Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Northern Valentine
The Distance Brings Us Closer (Silber)
release: November 4, 2008
style: cold ambient
[rating: ****] Lead by a married couple from Philadelphia, Northern Valentine glides through definitive icy spells that are remarkably created by guitars and no post-production. Having already set a mood by placing a photo from Iceland on the album cover, Amy and Robert (along with two other guitarists and a bassist) easily evoke any kind of wintry, arctic imagery. These are also some of the most haunting ambient sounds put to tape, some of which play like the soundtrack for a crumbling and crashing ice sheet. -Kenyon

Friday, October 24, 2008

they're actual size and now we are even older
they might be giants
live at the crazy donkey. farmingdale long island NY. October 23, 2008

set included (not in order) : don't let's start, ana ang, the guitar, spider, they might be giants, birdhouse in your soul, new york city, polk, racist friend, dinner bell, fingertips, istanbul, the sun, the revised updated sun, particle man, doctor worm, experimental film, mesopotamians, seven, older, cyclops rock, take out the trash.

clicky on photos to make bigger.

Monday, October 20, 2008

International Jetsetters [Oxford]

similar: Monster Movie, Snowpony, BRMC
"Inside Yourself" - [mp3]
While Andy Bell is still getting his kicks as a member of Oasis, his bandmate from Ride, drummer Loz/Laurence Colbert, has a new band along with singer/guitarist Mark Crozer (who played in Jesus and Mary Chain), bassist Bert Audubert, guitarist Paul Crozer and vocalist Fi McFall. Their Heart Is Black debut EP hit the ground a couple weeks ago through Planting Seeds records, and it's got the goods you'd expect from people who have played in JAMC and Ride. "Inside Out" uses the same type of noise-pop as Yo La Tengo's "Sugarcube" and "Inside Yourself" motors down the highway wearing black sunglasses and a leather jacket. -Kenyon

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Divys
[New York City/Philly]
Similar: Foxglove Hunt, Book of Love
Undeniably indebted to vintage new wave pop, the Divys (William Rule and Kliff Ritz at the core) play the kind of tunes that would have been in a low-budget 1980s romantic-comedy. The Divys' "Sloppy Kiss," "Damaged Goods" and "Freak Boy" have an 80s-cheese awareness. These are songs that seem impossible to have been written after the year 2000. Which only makes the Divys incredibly joyous and in a wierd way, respectable. -Kenyon

The Bolts [California]
Similar: Weezer, Fountains of Wayne
If i was a high school kid in this band's town, there would be excitement in the air when they play small local shows. Three brothers and two friends get the party started (they say they are available for school dances, company parties, weddings, etc) with the funfilling, catchy harmony-driven pop rock of "Like a Fantasy", "Dead of the Night" and "Hero in Disguise." They also do a cover of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme song. i bet these guys get a lot of girls. dang. They're playing at freaking Disney Land tonight. geez. -Kenyon

Caw! Caw! : Wait Outside EP (Slant Shanty)
release: September 23, 2008
style: lo-fi indie rock
[rating: *1/2] Lo-fi recordings are great but this Chicago band needs the tunes to go with that. "Organisms" could have been an early practice session from No Doubt when they were 15, as there is a sax and a generic ska-like guitar chugging. The drums are higher in the mix than the nasally vocals, which aren't the kind of vocals that are supposed to be suppressed. If this was recorded in the late 1980s when indie rock was in its early days, then fine, Caw! Caw! might be something to make a small shout about. Otherwise, Wac! -Kenyon

Friday, October 17, 2008

classic vintage video.
The Alarm- "68 Guns" (1984)

The still shot you see above and at 1:48 appears
to be Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Past Lives: Strange Symmetry EP
(Suicide Squeeze)
release: November 4, 2008
style: indie art rock
[rating: ***] For whatever reasons they had, the Blood Brothers broke up and most of them continued as Past Lives. Now, i can understand the transition of a band like Slowdive. They evolved from something that arguably peaked in the early 1990s to the simpler Mojave 3, which shed all the guitar effects and ethereal vocals. But Past Lives? Where's the evolution? It's most of the Blood Brothers and there is little change to the sound. Well to be fair, Past Lives doesn't scream and sound like they're wrecking their instruments. They brought the volume and intensity down a few notches, perhaps cause they're older now. -Kenyon
Other Lives: Other Lives (tbd)
release: October 21, 2008
style: lilting organic folk
[rating: ***] Until they are able to make a name for themselves, Oklahoma group Other Lives are going to be known as the band who had the second release from tbd records. The first of course being Radiohead's In Rainbows. Other Lives does resemble some Radiohead, specifically the quietness of, say, "The Tourist." Piano and cello stand-out as the focal points, taking over by the time the last track is heard. -Kenyon

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

More Amor - "Same Damn Song" [mp3] Doesn't start out too promising, but chill cause it improves. The melty "bah bah" harmonies wrap around the fluttering synth. This cancels out the detection of emo pop-rock type vocals.

dates with the nite
10/10 - The Electric Theater - St. George, UT
10/13 - Modified Arts - Phoenix, AZ
10/14 - Burt's Tiki Lounge - Albuquerque, NM
10/15 - The Black Sheep - Colorado Springs, CO
10/18 - Mojoes - Tinley Park, IL
10/21 - Rehab - New York, NY (CMJ)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Antony and the Johnsons new audio + video. "Another World"
From EP out October 7 on Secretly Canadian. Full album in January. The song touches from a distance, the interpretive dance is a snoozefest.

Live Dates
10/14 Walt Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles, CA
10/16 Apollo Theatre New York, NY
10/30 The Barbican London, ENG
10/31 The Barbican London, ENG

Sunday, October 05, 2008

An Albatross
The An Albatross Family Album (Eyeball)
release: October 21, 2008
style: over the top post-hardcore prog noise
similar: Man Man, the Blood Brothers
[rating: ****] So named for including all band members of the past decade, the dizzying Albatross Family Album may be one of the most sprawlingly noisy concept records ever conceived. Saying Family Album is like carnvial music moving at light speed would undermine this ambitious outing, though it is a good place to start. This fantasy concept effort about a tribe of voyaging pilgrims finding the framework for peace hits its climax with "The Electric Proletariat Rides a Velvet Chariot" prior to completing the mission with the rumbling "3000 Light Years by Way of the Spacehawk." -Kenyon

Saturday, October 04, 2008

into>>the>>future. El Goodo

There's been many recent artists that use the blueprint of 1960s psychedelia. Welsh band El Goodo (not to be confused with El Guapo) is one of the most authentic-sounding of the bunch. It's a result of using the appropriate instruments (vintage Hofner bass, vintage Ludwig drums, Vox Continental, etc) and reverberated vocals. Super Furry Animals took them under their wings, bringing them on tour and in 2005 releasing El Goodo's first album under their Placid Casual label. El Goodo's second album will be on Grease records in January 2009. The first available cut, "Feel So Fine," is HERE.
TK Webb and The Visions get to play with Secret Machines.

October 16 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC *
October 17 - The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA *
October 18 - Webster Hall - New York, NY *
October 20 - Middle East - Cambridge, MA *
October 21 - Les Saints - Montreal, QUE *
October 22 - Lee's Palace - Toronto, ONT *
October 24 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY #
# Kemado CMJ Showcase (w/ Dungen, Marissa Nadler)
* w/ Secret Machines

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Ten Kens: Ten Kens (FatCat)
release: September 23, 2008
style: reverbed avante rock
similar: Elbow, TV on the Radio, Black Mountain
[rating: ***1/2] The previous Ten Kens record took a year to record. On this one they spent two weeks, albeit all day and night. Before burning out, the Toronto band was able to mount an album loaded with loneliness and sorrow. The band's earlier available track, "Y'all Come Back Now," was quietly lilting, so most of Ten Kens is an eye-opener. "Bear Fight" and "Spanish Fly," for example, are louder on guitars and percussion, though the vocals remain skeletal in the mix. Actually, "Spanish Fly" borders on early Nirvana. On some of the later tracks, the band is heard at its most complex and focused, resulting in some of the best dreariness this year. -Kenyon