Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 36

Prince has a new record coming out on called Art OfficialAge on September 30. He will also release an album with Third Eye Girl called Plectrum Electrum on the same date.

June Brides have got a new single coming out. You can get the digital single Tuesday and the 7” preorders are being taken now from Slumberland Records.

White Laces will be putting out their first single from the new album real soon.

Here we go...

This is the first album put out by Flowers. They have put out a quite a few EPs and singles before this. I have talked a bout a few of them. It is not officially out until the 9th of September but I got my copy a week and a half early. It will be available on LP, CD and DL that I am aware of. The LP is only fifteen bucks, very reasonable. I preordered my copy and it came on a beautiful bold pink with white swirl. It also came with a download card but I can’t use it until the release date. So, in order to get this review done I digitally recorded it. It sounds pretty good except for the static pop that I couldn’t get rid of when I scrubbed the audio. The songs over all are absolutely beautiful but there isn’t much variation in the music. I think that what I am saying is that it seems like all of the songs are similar in style. This is of course only my first few listens so the album may just grow on me.

There are already a couple of singles released from this album digitally. The first of the two is called Young. This is the lead track from the album. It is a great moderate rocker to start the album off right. It has a quick bass drum beat to start the song off with electric guitar playing chords that ring out perfectly. The vocals are so pretty. Her voice reminds me of a beautiful pink sunset that is rich and deep in color. As the song progresses there are strings added in the background giving the song a fullness that matches her vocals. the end of the song is just as minimalistic as the opening with piano taking the place of the electric guitar giving her vocals a fragile feel.

Joanna is the other single that has been put out so far. The drums on this one have the right quick pace like Young does. The guitar work has a fun jangle feel to it. Her vocals are a bit fragile through the whole song. I think that this one is a bit more fun simply because the vocalist makes her voice jump through hoops in the scale with fun highs and lows in the chorus. This track is just the three members of the band playing, no extras. It makes the song rawer than the first single.

I would like to add that the last track, Stuck, on the album is super sweet and minimalistic. It is just the vocalist and her bass guitar. It is a creative bass line that works so well with her vocals. The bass not only plays notes but also keeps the beat with percussive notes. This is probably my favorite track on the album.

This is a great album that I have been very excited about for a while. I am very happy that I finally have a copy in my hot hands.

This compilation was just released. I got my copy this week. If you got the physical album you were supposed to get a limited poster and a set of pins. I did not get the pins in my package but it was shipped from over seas in a weak outer sleeve to save on cost I am sure. I am actually glad that I did not get the pins because they probably would have damaged the record in transit. For those who preordered the physical record you were also supposed to get some extra tracks on the download, three of them to be exact. I ended up only getting two extra tracks and only one of them was on the labels list of tracks web page. Not that these extra tracks really meant anything to me. The only reason that I got the album was because Echo Lake had contributed a track. I really like Echo Lake and have been waiting for something new to be released. This is the first new music that I have heard from them since their debut album, Wild Peace, in 2011.

Echo Lake contributed a song called This Year and is the song that is being pushed as a single on the internet. It is a very melodic song with double tracked female vocals that have heavy echo and reverb on them. Giving me the feel of cotton candy laced with string steel, almost hard to bite but still very beautiful. The guitar is sweet too, just the right amount of distortion. The solo guitar part is like candy floss too. The unexpected part is when the harmonica comes in during the break. It comes off very light and fits the song well. The rhythm section, drums and bass, are easy to overlook. They do their job well and that is all that is really needed I guess. The song works so well that I can’t wait to hear more from the group. I hope it will be in the near future.

I Know You So Well is done by The History Of Apple Pie. I had never heard of the group before this song and am pleasantly surprised. The song is smooth and reminds me of the groups from the mid 90s alternative groups fronted by girls. It is boring as most of those acts were in the 90s though. They make use of the sounds but make the song so much more interesting. They also take from the shoegaze movement from the late 80s that I like so much. This may be why I like the song so much. It has a mellow smooth sound but still could be played very loud to get all new sounds.

The group Parlour put the song Slow Down on the album. It is a hard hitting track that reminds me of the Go-Go’s if they had been a part of the alternative music in the 90s. It is a really fun track that has a great beat. The vocals are multi-tracked and harmonized giving the vocals something special. It is a great track that I am happy to have heard.

You can hear all of the songs on the record at the Marshall Teller soundcloud page.

I got this album as a freebie when I bought the The Late Virginia Summers (TLVS) cassette from Harding Street Assembly Lab. They for got to send me the TLVS cassette and as an apology they sent me the three cassette combo pack. I wasn’t going to say no. Of the two extra cassettes this one was the one that struck me the most. The cassette came in a silk screened sack that had in it the cassette, a sticker and a unmarked CD in a white slipcase. The CD is supposed to be a mix-disc that is one track but many tracks from different artists mixed like it was a radio show or something. There are no commercials or anything just music mixed with no breaks. The plastic on the cassette is a smoky clear with a red metallic sheet underneath. It is pretty for a cassette. The cassette came with a download card but it didn’t seem to work when I tried it. So I recorded the cassette to digital myself. I found that there were three extra tracks. I think that the echoes on the end of side A were just to fill out the end of the tape. These same echoes happen just before the extra track called Stickers. The echoes don’t actually have a name so I labeled them Echoes 1 and 2. The music on the tape is very atmospheric but the drumming is excellent and makes the album stand out from other atmospheric albums that I have heard. No track specifically stands out above the rest though as this is an album that I would probably put on while I was reading a book. It is just something to have in the background. I think that is the way it was designed though.
That is all I have for now...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

vol. 5 Episode 35.5

Linkin Park with opening acts AFI and 30 Seconds To Mars at the Grand Stand in the Minnesota State Fair in St. Paul MN on August 26th, 2014

I pre-ordered tickets, as I always do, to the concert as soon as they went on sale. As I mentioned in past posts, this would be the first concert that I will take my thirteen year old son to. We, the family (my wife, my two children and myself), spent the day at the fair leading up to the concert and would meet up with my father-in-law for the concert. We had a great time at the fair chasing down all the foods that we wanted to eat and seeing the sights with the toddler and teenager. My favorites that I get are honey ice-cream with sunflower seeds, deep fried Twinkie and fried cheese curds. I also took the toddler down the giant green and yellow slide for the first time. It always freaks me out but the toddler didn’t seem to mind, it didn’t even faze him. We did find the Linkin Park tour bus and took pictures of us standing next to it.

The concert promptly started at 6:30 with AFI on the stage. Every concert I have ever been to, the doors open at the time on the ticket and the first act doesn’t start until an hour later. I did hear music at the 6:30 mark but just thought that it was some other music to satisfy the people coming to the concert. Apparently it was AFI starting to play. I wasn’t mad about missing them play because we were there to see Linkin Park any way. After AFI was finished with their set we met up with my father-in-law and said good-bye to my wife and toddler.

We entered the grand stand just after 30 Seconds To Mars started their set. I of course mistakenly thought that they were AFI but later during their set found out that they were 30 Seconds To Mars. I was actually happy about this because this meant that I didn’t have to sit through an opening act that I didn’t know or have any interest in. I know that they are pretty popular and have heard some of their music but I don’t have any interest in them or the music they make. The 30 Seconds To Mars set wasn’t that great though. I am not all that familiar with their music but what they played was not inspiring in anyway. The songs that I do remember were set up for the arena rock style. The crowd was able to sing and sing in tune but I want to hear some good music not the crowd singing your songs. The song that I didn’t like the most was near the end of the set. The lead singer said it was from their new album, I can’t remember the title of the song but it was basically the crowd singing with the lead singer repeating the same two lines after the crowd singing. It was so boring for me.

We found our seats, they were close to the middle but three rows from the top. It was sad to look down at the crowd and the artist on the stage and they seemed like tiny little ants. I am so use to going to the smaller venues and being able to touch the artists if I wanted to. They even had the jumbo-trons (giant LED screens now) up to allow people in our seats to see the artists playing and singing.

I was in such a rush to get in that I didn’t see the merch booths until we found our seats. I told my son that we would stop by after the concert. Unfortunately, the merch booths closed just before the concert ended and we didn’t get to go and see what they had for sale.

During the set up for the Linkin Park set my son nearly fell asleep waiting. It was about a half hour set up. I thought that this didn’t bode well for him staying up to watch his favorite band. I didn’t understand how he could be tired with his favorite band about to take the stage. Now, I haven’t seen my favorite band play live ever but I have seen the close second and third play and I was nearly bananas being able to see them live and talking to them in person. It could possibly put a damper on the situation being at the top of the stands and not being able to see the members up close. We could still see the jumbotrons clearly.

They opened up the set with the hard hitting single, Guilty All The Same, from the new album.  It sounded very similar to the studio recording with the exception that Rakim was not a part of the tour. The song was super hard especially in the drums. The hits were so loud and coming from the low end of the sounds. It may have been that there was an effect on the drums for this track that gave it that sound. It was a great rendition.

I also liked the Blackout intro that was played. I am not sure if they intended to play the whole song but the intro was very cool to hear. It was like it was just a impromptu section played to give the group some time to set up for the next song though. I didn’t know it was a part of Blackout until I came home and had a chance to figure out the set list.

I also liked the way that they did Robot Boy. It wasn’t the full song but instead was basically the opening of the song before the lyrics come in. I have always liked the music more than the lyrics in most music. Instead of the lyrics there was a very cool keyboard solo that lead into Joe Hahns’ DJ solo. This was a very cool electronic driven solo that progressively got more drum oriented and hard hitting before it faded into Numb.

I was very surprised that there were six songs in the Encore. I was even more surprised that they played New Divide as this is a track from the Transformers soundtrack. Most bands don’t play their B-sides are rare tracks. So this was a pleasant surprise. I an not necessarily a big fan of the track but the crowd recognized it right away and sang along.

The last track is my sons’ favorite track from the group ever, Bleed It Out. It is from Minutes to Midnight and was hilarious to hear him at the age of seven sing this song along with the lead singer. He doesn’t sing it so much now but every time I hear the song I think of him at that age singing along with the music. When the group started singing the song at the concert I expected him to be standing up right next to me to sing the song with the crowd. I was so disappointed to look over and then down to seem him sitting in the seat. I bumped him and said, “Come on, stand up, this is your song!” He begrudgingly stood up but had his head tipped down with his eye half open.

I probably won’t be taking him to any concerts any time soon because of the way he acted. I don’t see why he was so tired because he is usually happy to stay up and play video games or watch movies way past his bed time especially during the summer.

Either way, the concert was very good even if we had nosebleed seats. I probably would not go and see them again though because I like the smaller venues. I would say that if my favorite band came to town I would get tickets what ever venue it was. I would probably pay a bit more to see them too. This concert was more for my son than it was for me though.

Set List:
Guilty All The Same
Given Up
With You
One Step Closer
Blackout intro
Castle of Glass
Leave Out All The Rest/Shadow Of The Day/Iridescent
Robot Boy
Joe Hahn Solo
Waiting For The End
Final Masquerade
Skin To Bone/Remember The Name (Fort Minor)/Lying From You
Somewhere I Belong
In The End

Burn It Down
Lost In The Echo
New Divide
Until It’s Gone
What I’ve Done
Bleed It Out

Thank you City Pages and Adam Degross for the images. If you want a different perspective on the concert you can check out the City Pages review although their set list is a bit off.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 35

If you want to hear the song from Eternal Summers that will be on the cassette single from Haus Of Pins it is up on Heartbreaking Bravery now.

This is an extra post this week. There will also be a concert post this week too barring that I don't mess up the recording of the concert like I did on the last concert for the Oh Hellos.

Here we go...

This marks the fourteenth album from Weird al Yankovic and his first number one album in that time. The album has parodies from Pharrell Willianms, Robin Thicke, Iggy Azalea, Lorde and Imagine Dragons. There are also pastiche songs that imitate Pixies, Cat Stevens, Foo Fighters, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Southern Culture On The Skids. Yankovic created the originals first and wrote the parodies last to get the parodies to be as relevant as possible. It was decided by Yankovic to not release a lead single. Instead eight music videos were released one a week after the release of the album. Each video was released through a different video portal. I have always liked the music and lyrics that Yankovic has created but this new record hits that right chord for me and will sit on top of the stack of his albums for a while. The songs are so much fun.

The eight videos that have been released are some of the best spots on the album. I will go over a few of my favorites but there are also some great ones that have not been put to video and may not be. First, my favorites that were put to video. Word Crimes is my favorite song from the album. It is a parody of the Robin Thicke track called Blurred Lines. I did not like the lyrics that Robin sang and stayed away from the track even though the music was amazing. It then makes me very happy that Yankovic made a parody of the track because I can be happy listening to the song makes fun of people that don’t understand how to write. I don’t claim to be the best writer on the planet but the stuff that he sings about are hilarious simply because they happen all the time because people seem to forget the rules to writing.

Although Tacky is a great song I think that the twist that happens through Foil is so much better. It starts off simple with favoritism toward using aluminum foil to cover uneaten foods. It twists after this to talk about conspiracy theories and using foil as a hat as many conspiracy theorists seem to think is needed to protect them from mind control. It is a straight forward song with fun twists.

I really like the style parody of the Foo Fighters called MyOwn Eyes. The music may match the Foo Fighters but Yankovics’ vocal sound is more like Chad Kroeger from Nickelback. This isn’t a style thing because I might like Kroegers’ vocals if he had Yankovics’ style. I have always been a fan of the Foo Fighters and this song makes me feel a bit odd. I think that is what Dave Grohl would want any way so this song fits well I think.

This is the eighth album from The Smashing Pumpkins. It was released in June of 2012. The album was released as a part of the ongoing 44 song box set called Teargarden By Kaleidyscope. Billy Corgan sort of abandoned the idea of singles and EPs after realizing that he wasn’t getting the exposure that he expected. This is the reason that Oceania was released as an album. The album, over all, is not as heavy as albums in the past. The new guitarist mentioned that this was because of the political and social climate. The band thought that the album should be more spacey and dreamy. I think the band needs to revisit what spacey and dreamy sound like if that is the case. They should look up shoegaze and where that style has gone to better understand what those terms mean in music today.

There were two singles released from the album. The first single is called The Celestials. It is actually a promo single from the album to try to gain some interest through the radio stations. The first third of the song is done in acoustic instruments. The last two thirds of the song are focused on flowing into a rock song then into a heavy grunge song with a not to the Smashing Pumpkins hey day in the mid to late 90s. I was not all that happy with the track as it took to much time to get to what the song was meant to be in the long run. It did accomplish the slow build though. I wouldn’t have done the build the way that he did it I guess.

The second single from the album is called Panopticon. This track was also released as a promo single to the radio stations. This is the type of song that I would rather hear from the Pumpkins. It is hard and emotional at the same time. The beauty comes from Corgans’ movement from a major key in the verse (D) to a minor key in the chorus (A). the song truly embodies what the group were in the 90s and that is what Corgan wants from the group I think.

In December 2012 beck released the art and sheet music that is Song Reader. It was released as a compilation, meaning that different artists have recorded each song including one from Beck. All twenty of the songs are represented on this compilation from some famous and some that I have not ever heard of, not to say that they are not famous. Some of the artists that I recognize are Fun, Tweedy, Norah Jones, Jack White, Beck (of course), Laura Marling, Jarvis Cocker, Jack Black and Loudon Wainwright III. Honestly, I can’t say that I like this album all that much. There are some special tracks on the album that I do like but, I think, less than a hand full. I am not a big fan of the alt-country genre and that is where most of this music falls. It is twenty tracks of music that I don’t really have any interest in. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t good music and I may come back to it some day and find that I was completely wrong and like the music a lot.

I will highlight the few tracks that I do like though. The first song that I like from the album is called The Wolf Is On The Hill sung by Tweedy. This is the father son duo of Jeff Tweedy and his son, Spencer. The pair will be releasing an album together this September. The song has Jeff’s amazing vocal style combined with slow music that still keeps my interest. I am not a fan of Wilco but There is something special about the delivery of this track. It may be that Beck composed the song and Tweedy’s interpretation of the music is a perfect storm of music. Either way It is a nice spacious track that I do like.

The second song that I like from this album is called Just Noise sung by Norah Jones. I like what Nora has created in the past. I have never liked her solo work enough to buy anything my self though. This song would be the same. I like the track but if it were an album of this type of music I would not run out and buy it. That being said the chorus is what grabs me. The chorus is a call and response where her vocals are echoed by the music. It is a short track but it gets the point across.

The third and final song that I actually like from the album is called Heaven’s Ladder by Beck. It is all Beck and this is probably the reason that I like it. Beck wrote the music and has played the song making it everything that I like from beck not just the song writing. It is sweet and reminds me of the album that he put out at the beginning of the year. It could have easily been a part of Morning Phase. The song is sweet and slow and uses the sounds that you would have expected from beck and his backing group.

I can not recommend this album to anyone unless you are into compilation or cover albums.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 34

Joanna Gruesome will be part of a split EP with Perfect Pussy. Each group will contribute a cover track and a brand new track. This will be put out through three different record companies; Slumberland Records, Fortuna Pop! and Captured Tracks. At this time there is not a release date. Perfect Pussy will cover a sugarcubes track called Leash Called Love and J. Grue. will cover a track from I Hate Myself called …And Keep Reaching For Those Stars. Pitchfork has all the details that have been released on their page.

I don’t often cover info on mainstream artists but I caught the new song from Taylor Swift and it is pretty good. Because of this song I am actually considering getting the record. You can check out the video for the new song called Shake It Off.

I wasn’t able to attend the OK Go concert as it was sold out when I was able to purchase tickets. But, the group stopped by The Current studios to do a three song set on the following day. You can check it out the set on their web page.

Eternal Summers are also doing a split single with the band Broun Brogues on a label called Haus Of Pins. This is a UK record company and will be put out on cassette probably for Cassette Store Day coming up this fall.

OK, here we go...

This is the second album from Literature. The album was released this week (Aug 19, 2014) on Slumberland Records. The limited edition version of the vinyl is on translucent purple with solid pink splatter. It is also available as a DL and CD. The album overall has a great sound of the mid 80s indie scene. It is perfect for me because that is some of the stuff that I liked the most. The sound has been compared to The Feelies, Johnny Marr and the Buzzcocks already.

There has only been one single released from the album but there has also been a previously released 7” plus a track that I really like that probably should be released as a single. First the official single from the album is called New Jacket. The song right off reminds me of a cool mix of The Cure and The Smiths. It starts off with a quick beat and long guitar and 80s synth sounds. It is warm and inviting. I am not sure why this track was chosen as the first single though. It is very pretty but I would have thought that one of the other two singles that I am about to talk about would have been selected as the first single and this one as the second or third.

The English Softhearts is the song that I would have chosen as a first single from this album. The synth flute sound that follows the vocals through the chorus works better than can be expected in any pop song. This song is just as beautiful as New Jacket but comes off a bit catchier in the chorus. It also makes use of the jangle pop sounds of R.E.M. along with the sounds of The Smiths making this one of those special gems that shines very bright. This is my favorite track from the album.

Tie-Dye (Your Life) was originally released as a 7” single in 2012. The version on the album here has been re-recorded and completely sonically cleaned up. Better equipment means better sound, right? I talked about this single in Vol. 5 Episode 31. Here is what I had to say, “It is a fun pop track that makes reference to tie-Dyeing as if it were something fun to do. I don’t understand the reference but it seems like it is not referring to coloring clothing in an interesting way. This song kind of reminds me of Black Flag but with a happy fun feel. It is punk gone happy I guess. I really like the song.”

This is a great jangle/indy pop album. This album is probably the best of the year maybe even of the last decade or two.

This is the groups first album. It was released on Happy Happy Birth Day To Me Records (HHBTM) back in 2005. I got a repressing of the album with a different cover that was also limited to 200 copies. The repressing was done in 2009. I found out about this group from Odd Box Records. Their second 100 Club series had a single from this group. I hadn’t heard of the group before but was interested with the name of the group. I looked up their Bandcamp page and listened to this album. It was funny and fun in so many ways. There is a lot of talk of sex in pretty graphic ways, if you are an adult though these songs will be hilarious. They are probably not songs that you want to be listening to at work though. The album has twenty tracks and none of them are over two and a half minutes.

There are some great tracks on this album. I am not sure if there were any official singles released from the album so I will just highlight some of my favorite tracks. The first track on the album, I like, is a great introduction to the band. The song smacks of the sounds found on the 60s and 70s opening songs for the Saturday morning cartoons. It goes hand in hand with the cover for the album. It talks about the simple things in life that one would like to do with their best friend. I am not as much of a fan of the chorus with the simple la-la-la’s that happen but the lyrics of the song are what touch my heart.

The next song that I really like is called Dating Batman. It is a slower song that rhymes on every line. The lyrics talk about meeting Batman and dating him. She then goes on to say that things got strange because he would come back at night smelling like the bad guys. She then goes on to tell the listener that she broke up with Batman because that was uncomfortable in a relationship. It is a very silly story that has very good imagery in my mind.

I really like the cover of the cartoon version of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. It is simply labeled TMNT on the record. To hear a girl sing the lyrics with super indie music in the background is just fun. With the new TMNT movie just out in theaters this was the perfect time for me to have heard this song too. They didn’t change the lyrics either. This version is pop perfection with the right amount of nostalgia.

I like the song Abortion from this album too. The lyrics portray something that has been happening in this country for a long time. The lyrics talk about a boyfriend/girlfriend/couple that are both working part time jobs and can’t afford any kind of insurance who have gotten pregnant. Because of their situation they feel that their best course of action is to just have an abortion. I can’t say that I agree with the people that are being talked about but every ones situation is different. I think that it helps that the groups’ comic spin on the song helps to get the idea across.

I think that the funniest song on the album is one that should only be heard by adults. I don’t feel that it is meant for kids still in high school or below. It is also recommended that the song not be listened to in the work place. The song is called Dirty Song for a reason here folks. The song literally and comically talks about having sex and different ways to do so. The delivery of the lyrics is what I like the most about the song. It also helps that the music backing the lyrics is a fun romp from back in the 50s and 60s.

D In The P is a silly song also about sex but more veiled about what it is talking about. It is a short 33 second track that literally sings “Put the D in the P” in the first half and in the second half sings “Put the D in the P or the A.” The letters mean exactly what you think they do too.

The last song that I am going to talk about is called Do You Want It? (The Sex, I Mean). The song directly references the R&B sound that comes from the likes of artists like D’angelo. The music is programmed drums with a synth bass line. The lyrics are funny in the delivery with this track as well. The drummer sings, “Do want it?” and the guitarist replies “Oh Yeah.” The fourth time around with this the drummer singes, “The sex I mean” and she replies, “No.” The way that she says “No” is so funny. It makes the song perfect.

This is a very funny album with some points that shouldn’t be crossed but they seem to get away with it because of their comedic delivery. I can’t wait to share more albums from them in the future.

The group recently did an audio session for Audiotree. They have been on tour and I did get to see them on their stop to my home town but I had an error in my recording so I did not write about it. I am happy to be able to write about this live EP that Audiotree have put out instead though. All of the songs in this set are from their first and only album except one, Dear Wormwood. They actually played two new songs, this being one of them, during the concert that I went to. I am very sad that I don’t have copies of those two tracks from my own recordings but such is life. The group has stated that the groups sound is rooted in Irish Folk sounds. I would have said that plus a bluegrass sound but Irish Folk is what the band claims and so they are.

The EP has six tracks with little bits of talking between the songs. The EP also comes with a video of the whole session. This means that the download is a very large zip file, just so you are aware.

Because the EP is songs from their first album I will only be talking about the new song, Dear Wormwood. Sonically the vocals are very smooth and remind me of something from the soft rock era of the late 70s. Musically the song is very busy filling in where the smooth stretched out vocals leave space. There is so much going on at some points that it is distracting from the song as a whole. I like the song but I hope that the arrangement will not be as busy in the final mix of the song. It doesn’t help that there are thirteen members in the band at this recording.

All in all this is a great EP especially if you are into the alt-country sounds that are very popular at the moment.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 33

The soundtrack for the movie Blue Valentine will be released on LP, CD and DL this winter. It features many instrumental versions of songs from Grizzly Bear albums. You can pre-order it now on Amazon

I think that I mentioned a while back that White Laces have a new album but, at the time, didn’t have a record company to release it. They have found one now and it will be coming out in October through Happenin Records with help from Arrowhawk Records and Egghunt. No official date or preorder as of yet.

Allo Darlin’ have a new album coming out in October as well. You can pre-order it on iTunes now or wait for Slumberland to put their pre-order up and get it there.

Graveface records has put up a Kickstarter to get some of their upcoming releases pre-ordered.

Here we go...

Originaly released in 2012 but repressed in 2013, this is the first album from Literature. The album was released through Square Of Opposition Records and Austin Town Hall Records. The album was put out on LP CD and cassette. The cassette was put out in a red case. The record was bout out in many different colors as were the represses. The copy that I got was on clear vinyl. There were a bunch of repressed CDr’s put out in different sleeve colors. I got my copy as a bundle with their new album, Chorus, on Slumberland Records. The record was pressed at 45 rpm which is unusual for a small band but makes sense at the same time because the record is so short.

I am pretty sure that there was one single from the album but there are some really great tracks on this album aside from the single. The single is the title track from the album, Arab Spring. The song is quite fast paced. The band is on with the DIY music scene that has sprouted up in the past years. They have a sound that reminds me of a lot of the groups that have come out of the UK in recent years like Golden Grrrls and Joanna Gruesome. It is music that isn’t absolutely perfect but musically works incredibly well. The music is on the higher end of the spectrum sonically so if you don’t like your fender tone on the high side this may not be for you.

The other song that I really like and became the reason for getting the album for me is called Push-Up Bra. It is a super pop track that moves very fast. The guitar part is mostly staccato chords which give it that pop sound that was famous from the 80s indie pop sound. There are some added horns and an effect that sounds like a chorus of people modified. It is kind of odd sounding and caught me off guard at first but I have gotten use to it.

Most of the songs from this album can be found is some form on the internet. Weather it is live, taken directly from the album or via a radio show. They are all great tunes and I hope they get some recognition for the efforts they have put in. Great tunes deserve to be heard.

This is the fifth album from The Gaslight Anthem. The album was released this week (August 12, 2014). It is the first album for them on Island Records. Island has absorbed the label they were on, Mercury Records. Brian Fallon, vocalist and guitarist for the group, has said that the album took heavy inspiration from the Pearl Jam record called No Code among other album that focused on career shifts. The album has been released on CD DL and LP. All versions have been released as a deluxe version with three extra tracks. Best Buy has out done this by putting out a deluxe version with a bonus track. The deluxe version has a total of fifteen tracks. I did get the deluxe vinyl version which is a double picture disc. It looks very pretty but I wish it was pressed vinyl instead of a picture disc.

There have already been three singles put out from the album. The first is called Rollin’ and Tumblin’. This is my favorite track from the album. I talked about this single in Vol. 5 Episode 30 along with the second single and title track from the album, Get Hurt. Here is what I said about them, “Rollin’ And Tumblin’ is a faster track that I like just a bit more than Get Hurt. This track has a beat that almost reminds me of The White Stripes but the vocals keep it grounded in that classic Jersey sound. The group is not known for using full band staccato notes but they pull that style off very well with this track. The bridge of the song goes back to the classic Gaslight sound that I like. I think that the combination of the different styles works for the group on this track and hope that the rest of the album will have some more surprises.

The first track, Get Hurt, is the title track for the album, Get Hurt. It is a slower track but has a driving beat that pushes the track along. I guess if you get the slower track out of the way first you don’t need to worry about putting one out later. The song has a good beat and uses a synth sound to accentuate the vocals in the chorus. This is a new addition in sound for the group. I kind of like it actually. This is similar to what the Black Keys did on their last album.”

The third single from the album is called Stay Vicious. This track is a harder rock track than the band has put out before. I like it a lot. It hits hard musically but the vocals are on the softer side like all of their music has been. I almost expected Fallon to start screaming when the song started out but that doesn’t fall into his wheel house apparently. The song still has a lot of emotion but comes off restrained like most of the groups’ style is.

The album as a whole is very good. The three bonus tracks are not all that needed but since the 7” single has seemed to fall by the way side again the B sides need to get out to the fans somehow. The deluxe version of albums seems to be the easiest way to get those songs out there. I love the 7” single personally but they are becoming harder and harder to find. I usually have to get them directly from the record company or the secondary market if I miss the initial release.

This is a split EP between the two groups. It was released on Happy Happy Birth Day To Me Records (HHBTM). This was released as a 7” record with each group contributing two tracks. It was released as a part of the 2007 Singles Club series that HHBTM put out. It was released on light blue marbled vinyl. I got this EP because I decided that I liked the group Cars Can Be Blue. I found out about the group through Odd Box Records, who put out a single from them in their 100 Club series. I still haven received my copy of the single from the 100 Club Series but I do have this special EP.

The first track on the A side, the All Girl Summer Fun Band side, is called Communication Problems. It is a fun song about a relationship that is failing because they can’t seem to talk to each other. Everybody has this type of problem with a significant other at some point. When people are young this happens sometimes because the person one is dating is with this person because they can’t say no or possibly for other reasons but they are in no way in the relationship because they like they person. It is a silly idea but happens.

The second track is called Little Bird. It is a supper short track at 55 seconds long. It is a short track about someone walking under a little bird and they are just asking that the little bird not poop on them. It is a cute funny almost skit like track.

The third track is the first track for Cars Can Be Blue (CCBB) called Touch It. The song is a fast paced poppy track on advice from a woman to a man about touching his penis. She gives him the advice of, “You better touch it before it gets old.” It is sort of funny but sad at the same time. The verse parts of the song walk the listener through parts of this guys life starting at 25 and moving on to 35 where he still has no girl friend and through until he dies when he reflects on his sex life to find that he has only had relations with his hand.

The second track from CCBB is called Mosh Pit. This is a story about a girl who finds her true love in a mosh pit and she hates it. She also feels good about the girly things like kissing and touching each other but she hates it. She wants to be a hard core rock chick and these girly things are getting in the way of this aesthetic. It is an interesting view point to write a song about and I totally give them props for writing from that perspective.

This is not a necessary EP unless you are really into either of these two groups. 

More CCBB and Literature to come. That is all I have for now...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 32

Falling Up have set up a new kickstarter campaign for a new album. They are shooting for $40,000 to get the album made. The campaign went up two days ago now and they are already a quarter of the way there. They have written such good music in the past that I can’t believe that this would be a bad one either. Please, give what you can to get this off the ground.

Sea Wolf has gotten the test pressing for the Cedarsmoke album. I am another step closer to getting that record! It will be translucent gold from the picture that I saw.

Eternal Summers is starting a tour with Surfer Blood this fall! I am excited about that.

If you are a music writer and use Reason, they are coming out with Reason 8 this fall. It will be quicker and easier to use.

Here we go...

This is the fourth album from Family Force 5 (FF5) not including the two remix albums. The original lead singer, Solomon Olds (Soul Glow Activator) has stepped down as lead singer from the group but will still be active in song writing and remixing. Brother, Joshua Olds has taken over the lead vocalist roll and Teddy Boldt has come up to play the drums for the group. The new album hasn’t changed in sound from their past albums with the exception of a slight tonality change in singing for obvious reasons. The album was released on CD or DL this past week. There were two levels of preorder available both with the same CD content. One with a signed poster and basket ball jersey the other with just the poster not signed. I think that this is their best album to date. I has the hard hitting songs that I like and has songs that are very obviously talking about god in a vague sense. The latter has been somewhat lacking in some of their previous albums but I am happy to see them back. It is not that they haven’t been talking about god at all on the past album but they had hidden it very well. I feel that if I wasn’t a Christian and I listened to the last album I may not have known that Christianity was the basis for the music on the album.

There have been four singles released from the album digitally already. The first single is called BZRK. This song is super hard hitting electronic music with lyrics that are so jerky that it melts your face off as you can’t stop dancing to the music. It is a bit childish as the song simply talks about all out dancing. The lyrics talk about getting your heart rate up to the sky. This is a buried lyric about dancing for God. The bible does talk about making a joyful noise and I think that it is hard to make a joyful noise without moving your body in a way that adds to that feeling. All this is done to make a connection to God. This is one of the best songs I have heard from the band ever. I think that the best song and the one that means the most to me comes from their first album, I Love You To Death. BZRK hits me as hard as this one does.

The second single released from the album is called Let ItBe Love. This is a slow track that pushes the idea that love should be what makes the world go around. The lyrics brefly talk about argument and protests and how they don’t really solve the problem. What does solve the problems of the world is love. It really is as simple as that. If human beings could let profit go and live life in love we truly would be so much farther in life. This is not to say that having a home over our heads isn’t needed but more that putting our differences aside and working instead through love, kindness and grace that the world would be such a better place. It is a grand message and idea to live by.

The third single that has been put out is called Sweep TheLeg. It is a fun song that pulls on the 80s nostalgia of US desire to better understand Asian martial arts. The lyrics reference The Karate Kid and Bruce Lee among other references. The lyrics are so much fun for me being a kid of the 80s. It is a great rock track with a heavy beat that makes me want to bob my head like I was in a mosh pit in high school. This is a super hyper big beat track that is so much fun to not only dance to but to sing along with. I can’t stop smiling when playing this song.

The fourth and so far last single from the album is called Glow In The Dark. This is another big beat track. The lyrics talk about glowing in the dark. This is a reference to being the light of god. This is awesome to me as the darkness is always around us and God wants us to be the light, his light, in the darkness. The song is a re-imagining of the kids song that is still sung in churches today. It is truly a perfect idea of what we should be every day for god. Not only would this make us able to see the light for the darkness but it also makes us able to see others who glow in the dark and attract others to the light of God that have never seen it before. I really like  the idea of this song for those reasons.

I think that this is my new favorite album. I hope you all give it a chance!

This is the new album from Spoon, their eighth album. It was released on Aug 5th, 2014. This is their first album put out on Loma Vista. There have been a few different versions of this album put out. It was put out on CD and DL but the Vinyl was put out on translucent blue with a glow in the dark print on the sleeve over the standard graphic. It was also put out on standard black, white and, through Urban Outfitters, a clear version. If you pre-ordered the album from a local record store there was a limited 10” record with three tracks from the album given away for free. This usually was accompanied with the white vinyl version on the release date.

At this point there have been two digital singles released. The first is called Rent I Pay. I like spoon for what they create but they do have a style that I feel most of their music has. That style is very staccato in nature. This song is not lacking in that style at all. I would not have bought all of their albums if I didn’t like the sound that they have created. I don’t think that there is any other band that has put this type of sound all over so many albums. This is not to say that there aren’t soaring sounds in the background to fill in the gaps of the staccato notes. I think that this is part of what makes the band so great. Rent I Pay is more of an up beat track even though it talks about having to spend money on things that keep life moving smoothly.

The second single from the album is called Do You. The song seems to be about asking who ever your with if they just want to escape for a bit and do something different and unexpected. It is a fun idea. I like this idea and when I get the chance to do something like this is ends up being something really fun and memorable. The sound of the song is a bit different in that the lead guitar part is mostly acoustic. This is a happy change for me, not that the band has not done this in the past but more that I have been listening to a lot of electrified music recently. This is a nice change for me.

I have a feeling that the third song, Inside Out, that is on the pre-order 10” will probably be the third single. Keep your ears pealed for this one on the radio

With the upcoming second album from phil I decided to fill out my lacking collection in his solo career. I recently picked up the limited 10” called Running Blind and this single for the single from his first solo album. This single features not only the lead single from the album but also the lead single from the EP, Running Blind, which hadn’t been released quite yet. Maybe I will get to a full review of the EP at some point in the near future but for now here is the two songs from the single.

By Some Miracle is a very smooth track. The song is very slow with both acoustic and electric guitars. The drums seem to be played with brushes giving the beat a dreamy wash sound. There are also some other stringed instruments being played in the back ground adding to the emotionality of the song. The backing vocals add to this organic emotional feel to the song as well. And then it is over before you can blink. The song is short at two and a half minutes. The emotion that the song stirs though is what makes the song special.

The second track on the single is called Running Blind. This song adds bells to the song that sparkle like stars in the darkness above the beautiful acoustic guitar and bass parts with heartfelt lyrics from Phil. Later in the song there is an instrument that I can’t put my finger on but it adds soaring notes that almost overtake the song. This is perfect considering that the lyrics are over at this point and these notes draw the listeners’ attention. It is another beautiful track from phil and co.

I am happy to have this single and saddened that I never picked it up in the past. It is a bright gem that I have now added to my collection.
That is all for now...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Vol. 5 Episode 31

The Oh Hellos have a new live session up for download with a new track called Dear Wormwood. There are six tracks with dialog between and it includes a video of the six song concert too.

The new Bleached EP, For The Feel, is out now digitally on itunes.

alright, here we go...

I have gotten my copy of the new self titled album from The Ar-Kaics. This is not to be confused with the demo cassette that they put out. This is a completely new album, with the exception of two tracks, that the group has put out on Windian Records. The record company says that the album was recorded in the woods at Rag’s BB&R. They chose to stay secluded there to record the album away from anything except the nearest gas station to pick up alcohol and food. The resulting album is brilliant with tracks that range from raging garage rock to moody ballads without a snoozer in the bunch. I am paraphrasing what was actually said of course.

The first single from the album is called No, No, No. The song is instantly catchy and totally reminds me of the hard garage rock that made The Stooges a big hit. This difference is that The Ar-Kaics are doing this to make people happy where as The Stooges were just hard rock before it was considered hard rock. I like the stooges but I would much rather listen to The Ar-Kaics. I guess that they also have that early Beatles sound with the fun in the music. They also have that raw sound that The Hives have too. But then The Hives are also pulling from the same sources as The Ar-Kaics.

No Good is one of the two tracks that were on the demo tape originally. The song fits on the full length album pretty well. I think that it may have been recorded as it sounds a bit cleaner than the cassette version. It is a really sweet track that could easily be a single if they wanted it to be. I have been enjoying the song for quite a while now and may be bias to the song simply because of exposure though.

The second track that came from the demo tape is called Can’tKeep Waiting. This has some very cool guitar work that reminds me of The Black Keys but this work is overshadowed by the cracking vocals and the addition of a second guitar along with some smashing drumming. I really feel that this group has more noise and fun than anything that The Black Keys could ever bring.

Keep making this great fun music guys! I can’t seem to get enough of it. I believe there is still going to be another single released on Windian Records for this group. I just haven’t heard a release date yet.

Literature – Cincinnati/It’sCruel & Tie-Dye singles
With the upcoming second album from Literature I have dug up the first two singles from the group. The first single was released by Square Of Opposition Records. They are quickly running out of both of these singles if you are into the 7” format. The band also released this first single as a download with two extra tracks. At the moment you can’t get the third track, I Am Right Here, with the download anymore but it is on their first album. You can get the download of the three tracks that are unique to the single from their bandcamp page.

The first song, Cincinnati, is a super short and very catchy track. It is very pop oriented and the chorus is kind of funny. They sing about a friend that wrote a bad check. They went to cash it and were charged a fee. The funny part is that they don’t think they would have been charged the fee if they were in Cincinnati. It is funny to me because it doesn’t matter what part of the country you are in, you will be charged a fee. To think that your home town or favorite town would never do that to you is ridiculous.

The second track is called It’s Cruel. This song is one that I really like because it is so indie but at the same time it has R&B with 80s new wave sounds. It is a really good combination of these styles. I find it mind blowing that all three of these styles could be mixed together to make something that is so pop sensible but still not be on anyone’s radar for new music. I didn’t even find out about this track until they made it onto Slumberland records.

The unique download track from this single is called Man Maid Man. This song is a bit different in that the drums are pretty much washed out. I can hear the symbol but the drums are nearly non-existent on the track. More so than that there is no low end on this track. I couldn’t pick out the bass guitar if I tried. I can pick out the bass drum at times though. The vocals are distorted on purpose I believe. There are two guitars being played, one is distorted and fades back in the mix a bit the other is clean and sounds fantastic really. I can’t say that I like what this track sounds like but I do like what they were going for sonically.

The second single was released as a 7” only. It was pressed in white vinyl initially (about 30). Then there were about 70 that were pressed in varying shades of grey as the plant progressively went to solid black for the rest of the pressings (about 400 in black). Square of Opposition Records also put out this single.

The first song from this single is called Tie-Dye. It is a fun pop track that makes reference to tie-Dyeing as if it were something fun to do. I don’t understand the reference but it seems like it is not referring to coloring clothing in an interesting way. This song kind of reminds me of Black Flag but with a happy fun feel. It is punk gone happy I guess. I really like the song.

The B side track is called Apple. It has a fun slide guitar sound in the beginning of the track with the drums in a minimalist style. The rest of the band kicks in and becomes more full sounding after half a minute or so. The song has a pogo effect in the guitar playing that makes me think of some of the 80s new wave sound that happened in the mid 80s for sure. It is super fun pop for sure.

I am very excited for the new album from this band. 

This is a new EP from The Late Virginia Summers (TLVS). It precedes the upcoming album from the group with a non-final mix of one of the tracks and a special track from Hill City Eye & Ear Control. The latter is music from a collaborative impov troupe featuring TLVS & some of their friends.

The first track is called Claire Kincaid. This is the track that will be on the upcoming album but this mix is from some point before it was completely finalized. It is a slower track but is very atmospheric and sleepy. There are no lyrics on this version of the track and I don’t know if there is any intention to have any at this point. I like the track but if they decide to add lyrics I wouldn’t be hurt. It could due with lyrics but if they don’t put any on the song would still be a winner.

The second track is called Piece #62. It is a longer track at over eleven minutes. It was recorded during the time when they were putting together the new album but didn’t make it onto the album. It is a slow to build track that sometimes seems like it will never end. The song builds in intensity with volume and instrumentation until the last couple of minutes where everything backs off somewhat abruptly. I kind of like the track but understand why it didn’t make it onto the new album.

The third track is super short but is very heavy sounding. It is supposed to be a collage of sorts that was put together as the album was in the final mixing stages. There is some kind of recorded monolog that has some heavy distorted guitar over it. It kind of reminds me of what Radiohead had done on their second album with a few tracks.

The last track is the song called Sonnets Arrival. It is a live track with the improv troupe that they played with. This song has a banjo being played in the song. This is a new sound for the group. I am not usually a fan of the instrument but is seems to work with this track. The song doesn’t really go anywhere but allows the banjo to sort of meander through the song.

The band is currently shopping the new album around to record companies. I hope that someone picks it up because I have always found their music interesting.
That is all for now...