Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Doleful Lions: Song Cyclops Volume Two (Parasol)
release: October 17, 2006
styles: lo-fi indie pop happiness
similar: Apples in Stereo, Sean Na Na, Of Montreal
rating: ****1/2

Mostly recorded in 1999, this companion album (22 songs in all!) to Volume One is like '60s bubbleyum pop filtered though psychedelic bedroom recordings. Although cleaner production could make Song Cyclops sound fuller and not as treble-y, it has oodles of charm and sweetness. It's packed with harmonies from main person Jonathan Scott, who covers the Crystals AND the Misfits. The best (sorta) new music i've heard all day. -Kenyon

Soft Complex: Barcelona + (Silverthree Sound)
release: October 17, 2006
styles: darkish indie rock
similar: stellastarr, the Stills
rating: *

This debut from members of Phaser, Burning Airlines and Engine Down cashes in on dark 80s-inspired rock that goes through the motions. with a cello. it's ok. just okay. 3 regular songs and five remixes of those songs. one of the remixes is all electronic with someone rapping. what the hell? -Kenyon

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Maps: Start Something EP (Last Space)
release: nowish
styles: spacey indie electronic
rating: ****

Taking the mellow vocals, keyboard and guitar set forth by Spiritualized and the best electronic elements from people such as To Rococo Rot and Four Tet, one-person band Maps hits all the right coordinates on this sparkling, multi-layered work. -Kenyon

Friday, November 24, 2006

Depeche Mode: Songs of Faith and Devotion 2-disc reissue (Rhino/Mute/Reprise)
original release: 1993, reissue release: October 3, 2006
rating- CD: ** DVD: ****

The pressure was on for Depeche Mode after the hugely successful Violator. With the opening abrasive noise and guitar of "I Feel You," many of us were like, what the fudge is THIS crap? Dave Gahan had grown his hair real long, the band (at least in the video) was playing live instruments and Dave Gahan was just BELTING out the vocals. It took a lot of getting used to. Years later the song can hold up well in concert and does have a certain power. "Walking in My Shoes" was more Violator-like, and the best song on an album from a band that had lost its footing on their direction and songwriting. On "Condemnation" and "Mercy in You" Gahan's vocals had never sounded this unfocused (blame the heroin), while the Martin Gore-sung track "Judas" is nice to hear, but would never be one of their best. What could have been an epic about love and religion is nearly a complete day off for DM. The DVD includes the album in 5.1 Stereo, remixes/non-album tracks and the short film doc. The latter, which is far more interesting than the album itself, explains via interviews with the band and producers why Faith and Devotion was such a wreck and why Alan Wilder quit following the tour. DM as a whole was close to falling apart for good, and they deserve congradulations for getting through this dismal period. -Kenyon

Saturday, November 18, 2006

classic vintage video.
Front 242 "Tragedy >>for you<<" (1991)

auto parts bad, vegetables good.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Brookside: Tonight, Long Island (Panic)
release: September 26, 2006
styles: Emo, punk-pop
similar: Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory, All American Rejects, the Movielife
rating: ***

These bands are a dime a dozen these days, but let's give credit to Brookside (not to be confused with another Long Island pop-punk emo band Bayside) because they HAVE at least been around since 2001, and, even though it's much of the old cliche lyrics about leaving suburbia and relationships and riffs we've all heard before, the band is professional, tight, and slightly above average quality of any other similar band listed on a 17-year-old girl's list of music in their myspace profile. -Kenyon

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Music Lovers: Guide for Young People (Le Grand Magistery)
release: September 5, 2006
styles: sorta chamber pop indie rock
similar: Stars, the Blood Group, Tindersticks
rating: *

Margaret Cho's "favorite band"? Gee. That doesn't say much for Cho. She's not all that anyway. Le Grand Magistery has always been a respectable indie label, with a roster including Momus and Mascott among others. The Music Lovers, whose brilliant name suggests this could be the ultimate indie rock experience, isn't able to deliver anything near that level. The baritone vocals are unnatural and uneven, while the music, a conglomeration of Brit pop and cabaret, is all tangled in mundane arrangements. Whatever heartbroken or romantic things they want to share are lost. -Kenyon

Monday, November 13, 2006

Latterman (Deep Elm records) at Masonic Temple in Smithtown last nite.

form a band, start a zine. proven diy long island veterans. third excellent record out now.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

65daysofstatic: One Time for All Time (Monotreme)
release: October 17, 2006
styles: Instrumental Post-Glitch Rock
similar: Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed!
rating: ****

Numbers in band names are never a good idea. Mixing electronics with live drums and post-hardcore guitars, however, has proven to be a smart move for England's 65daysofstatic. When you lay off the vocals and focus on the instrumentation instead, this is the kind of precise, dramatic rock that can result. -Kenyon
Daylight's for the Birds: Trouble Everywhere (This Generation Tapes)
released: October 31, 2006

styles: Dream pop, indie rock
similar: Pale Saints, Mahogany, the Brother Kite, Saloon, Russian Futurists, Mira
rating: **1/2

Ex-members of NYC band On!Air!Library! move into the airspace with dreamy dreamy noise and feathery vocals not like hazy Slowdive style but more like gentle Pale Saints or Mahogany. The album opens wonderfully, then loses momentum with too many unsatisfying slower-tempo songs that get lost in a thick fog of pretty voices and guitar effects. -Kenyon

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Danava: s/t (Kemado)
release: October 31, 2006
styles: Over the top, self-absorbed prog-rock
similar: Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, Wolfmother, The Sword
rating: **

Danava (pronounced DON-UH-VUH) is like a drugged-out prog sorcery version of the Darkness. They're a throwback to big-sounding experimental bands from the vintage days, with sludgy guitars, weird sounds, complex drums and non-comprehendable falsetto vocals. They play long, long rock symphonies (track two of the five here is 12 minutes) where you wonder just how each band member remembers what to play when. The funny thing about Danava is that they're from Portland, Oregon, where, for some at least, the image of light-hearted indie pop bands comes to mind. It just goes to show how Danava really don't care about what's going on around them and really are doing their own thing. This, by far, isn't for everyone, but will appeal to a select chosen few who play in their own metal-prog band or just like to shred on air guitar. -Kenyon

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Fast Food Nation out November 17, soundtrack includes music from Spoon, Friends of Dean Martinez. film features Bruce Willis, Patricia Arquette, Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, among other.

Directed by Richard Linklater and based on the book by Eric Schlosser that exposes the dangers of the fast food industry, FFN aims to "expose its scathing impact on not only our diet, but also our landscape, economy, workforce, and culture." This at the very least one-ups Supersize Me, thank goodness. Looking at the trailer, it's not a documentary but an actual movie with drama, humor and icky hamburgers. webby site.

The Cult, likely the least known artist to ever be profiled on VH-1 Behind the Music, confirmed dates for 3-week US tour October 27--November 13.........Saw III was like whoa on the gore......CMJ? what's THAT?!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Classic vintage video.
Ned's Atomic Dustbin- "Happy" (1991)

It wasn't a gimmick, but having two bass players was always the first thing we thought of when the name Ned's Atomic Dustbin was mentioned. Some may recall their most successful U.S. song "Grey Cell Green" from the superfantastic God Fodder. "Happy," also from the debut album, came first and it's very very 1991.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

girl you know it's NEW.

Beck- "Cell Phone's Dead" [video]. from The Information, released October 3. didn't Beck just HAVE a record out? he did, but that was like, a YEAR ago. this is what we call a "breakthrough video".
Christopher Willits -"Yellow Spring" from Surf Boundaries (Ghostly, released October 17) mushy oatmeal soft post-rock. and he's playing CMJ of course like everyone else.
Darkel- one of the guys from "French band" Air. (Astralwerks, released September) ambient electronic with a fondness for soft pop. so yea, not much different than Air.