Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Bodies Obtained
From the Top of My Tree
(Finding You Attractive)
release: November 25, 2008
style: bizarre avant-garde rock
similar: Fad Gadget, Black Happy Day
[rating: *1/2] When your band name is from Joy Division lyrics, you better bring it. Bodies Obtained only brings a disconcerting oddness. The music actually has no similarity to Joy Division, though in the band's words in the press info they seem to justify it. So let's just cut to the chase here-- this mysterious artist from Detroit is only going to appeal to a specific and small audience. From the Top is the musical equivalent of a sideshow ala the Residents. The lyrics aren't wierd, but the delivery is wholey unorthodox. Various synth tones bloom all over the place like wild flowers, while the barely-sung, mostly unmelodic vocals embrace the no-wave of the early 1980s. In track three i'm positive there's a sample from Pac-Man circa Atari 2600, don't think i didn't notice. -Kenyon

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hot Panda
Mint Records' latest artist, Hot Panda, will release its debut full length Volcano... Bloody Volcano in early February 2009. From Edmonton, Canada, the kooky indie rock band has enjoyed comparisons to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Daniel Johnson (not necessarily a good thing) and The Talking Heads. Although lately we seem to have enough bands with Panda and Hot already, they do have a cute press photo.
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS, A.C. NEWMAN, NO AGE, GOBLIN COCK, CLUES and DEAR AND THE HEADLIGHTS scheduled for 17th Noise Pop 2009. February 24 through March 1, 2009 in San Francisco, CA.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Beach House tour dates + new video - "Used to Be"

Dec. 06 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts*
Dec. 09 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg #
Dec. 10 Providence, RI Club Hell #
Dec. 11 Northampton, MA Iron Horse Music Hall #
Dec. 12 Boston, MA Museum of Fine Arts #
Jan. 19 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern*
Jan. 20 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda*
Jan. 21 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore*
Jan. 23 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom*
Jan. 24 Seattle, WA Neumos*

* = w/ The Walkmen
# = w/ Tickley Feather

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

hello little boys little toys.
Shiny Toy Guns at Crazy Donkey November 24, 2008

on a rainy monday....

Friday, November 21, 2008

We All Scream for Ponytail !!
interview by Kenyon Hopkin

photos- Frank Hamilton
Freak-out noise band Ponytail has found its place among the likes of fellow art-noise band Deerhoof. If Deerhoof doesn't ring a bell, think a Japanese Sonic Youth throwing a childish fit. The band's videos are of people dancing as if on an acid trip, which seems to accomodate thei music. Its members, who met at the Maryland Institute College of Art, are Molly Siegel (yelping), Ken Seeno (guitar), Dustin Wong (guitar) and Jeremy Hyman (drums). Their 2008 album release, Ice Cream Spiritual, is out on We are Free records and was produced by underground rock phenom J Robbins.

You're playing Halloween in Brooklyn, is it gonna be mayhem? A party?
Dustin: Hope so! I want to pull off becoming Robin Hood but I can't promise anything really. I might be a shitty ghost for all i know. It's going to be a colorful evening for sure.

Whats the wildest show you ever had?
Dustin: Market Hotel hands down, the hottest hottest night I have ever played. I have never sweat so much in my life.

From where does Ponytail get its inspiration?
Molly: Fleetwood Mac, Dragon Ball, our Moms
Dustin: I think mainly positivity

Are there ever lyrics in the vocals or is it just random hollering?
Molly: There are some lyrics. A few of them are scrawled along the inside of the CD
Dustin: no way dude, molly knows exactly what she is doing

What do you think about the comparisons of Ponytail to Yoko Ono?
Molly: I am honored by the Yoko comparisons. She's for real.
Dustin: Its awesome! Yoko Ono is great.

Is Ice Cream Spiritual a different take or wordplay on Ice Cream Social?
Molly: Yeah you know, but spiritual, get it?
Dustin: It is, but you can also read it as I Scream Spritual too.

I am sure that your music is not for everyone. What is the worst thing any critic or anyone ever said about Ponytail's sound?
Molly: Someone said I was a bitch on their blog once, just for singing.
Dustin: Someone called Molly a whore once on a blog. That was totally inappropriate

Do you guys have day jobs? What are those jobs?
Molly: I work at a Children's Museum in Baltimore called Port Discovery.
Dustin: I work for my mom. She makes Blythe dolls. I make jingles and promotional animations for her.

What's the first significant thing you're going to do when you get home after your tour this year?
Molly: Well depending on what you mean by significant... I am going to sleep for sure.
Dustin: I think i might try to get into that TV series Heroes.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

movies left for dead.

Modern Girls (1986)
rating: **** >> Taking place through a night in Los Angeles, the lighthearted Modern Girls personifies mid-80s club life and culture without falling into most of the typical stereotypes of the era. Starring the likes of Virginia Madsen, the film follows three girls and a guy from early evening to early morning, each of them with their own agenda for love. An excellent soundtrack includes Jesus and Mary Chain, the Call and Depeche Mode. -Kenyon

Zombie Honeymoon (2004) rating: *** >> Only one zombie instead of an army of zombies, a man gets randomly infected by a zombie that walks out of the ocean. His new wife struggles to keep loving him even if he is killing and eating people. It's been done elsewhere, but usually not with this much heart. -Kenyon

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972) rating: no stars >> Tedious zombie flick and misleading title (no children here). The zombies don't even appear until there's like 20 minutes left. And boy, they take their time. When they do show up, it's a horrible rip-off of Night of the Living Dead. There's also some wierd necro thing going on with one of the characters. Blech. Here's the kicker- the recently deceased director Bob Clark went on to direct Christmas Story, Porky's, the original Black Christmas and (ugh) Baby Geniuses. -Kenyon
Luke Jackson
...And Then Some (Popsicle)
release: November 4, 2008
style: singer-songwriter indie power pop
[rating: ***1/2] His dear special guests that include string arrangements by Robert Kirby (credits include Nick Drake) made Luke Jackson so happy and appreciative. Jackson (not to be confused with the basketball player) should dare not sell himself short either on this album that's as big as the sum of its parts. His upbeat chamber-indie is near tops this year in this category. And Then Some includes the moving on, Billy Bragg-style song "Goodbye London," an overseas answer to Ryan Adams "New York, New York." The strings, lap steel, et al expand the simple songs into something a little more grand, adding life to lyrical content regarding moving away to a destination unknown. -Kenyon
US Christmas: Eat the Low Dogs (Neurot)
style: steamrolling sludge rock
[rating: **1/2] One time this North Carolina band unleashed an uninvited 20-minute sonic assult at a bar, interuppting basketball on TV. That's hardcore. i wonder what Obama would think about that. This stoner spaced rock is powered by mountaineering guitar riffs and otherwordly synth and theremin, all of which are more welcome than the scruffy, tuneless vocals. -Kenyon
Kinetic Stereokids: Have a Nice Day EP (Overdraft)
release: Oct 14, 2008
style: junkyard folk noise
[rating: *1/2] These guys opened for Trail of Dead, Secret Machines and Explosions in the Sky. WTF. The Michigan group's prelude to their next full album is three tracks including a live cut at KEXP. Although it would have been better titled "Tumbleweed" since they keep repeating the word, the title track earns a respectable comparison to Lou Barlow solo. But then comes "Blunder," which attempts to get all dramatic and dives into a self-indulgent mess of folk junk noise and some samples. The recording at KEXP is...oh no..did they sample a laughing baby? They did. Noooooo! -Kenyon

Friday, November 14, 2008

classic vintage video.
Curve - "Coast is Clear" (1992)
2009 artist to watch

Plushgun [Brooklyn]
My first thoughts were dang, Tommy Boy...this is hip-hop. Plushgun? Probably a boring generic rock band. Boy was i incorrect and will burn in hell. Plushgun's next album, Pins and Panzers is out from Tommy Boy in February 2009. Ravishing Postal Service/Joy Electric sputtery bounce led by Daniel Ingala. Listen to the wowy zowy of "Just Impolite"HERE.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Smiths
The Sound of the Smiths
(Rhino Reissue Repackage)
Release: November 11, 2008

If you've had any inkling at all to the post-proper studio album releases from the Smiths, you'd be aware of their now infamous best-of and singles comps, whether approved by Morrissey and Marr or not. Today Rhino releases this latest collection (in one-disc and two-disc form), which does get a helping hand from the songwriting team. Of course, The Sound of is suited better for an introduction to the band, as everything on the first CD is already known by any serious Smiths fan. The two-disc version has the B-sides and live tracks, though most of these have already been available and heard.

These are the only noted unfamiliar rare songs on the second disc, aka ones i've never heard. And half are covers. A difference does it make?

"Jeane" – Single B-Side
"Wonderful Woman" - 12" Single
"Money Changes Everything" - Single B-Side
"What's The World" -Live In Glasgow

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mt. Sims
Happily Ever After (Hungry Eye)
release: October 21, 2008
style: gothy electronic plop
similar: Cruxshadows, She Wants Revenge, dark Bloc Party
[rating: **1/2] Back in 2002 (wow, life was sure different then huh), Mt Sims aka Mount Sims aka Matt Sims, revealed himself and his stage dancers as an absurd, sexually-charged electro act. Like the second album in 2005, Happily Ever After is a much different Sims, though just as peculiar. Sinister and less robotic, Happily favors live instruments over electronics. Along the lines of dark cabaret and goth/post-punk are "What's the Big Deal?" the revengeful "The Bitten Bite Back" and the Bauhaus-like "Window Window." Sims will hopefully grow tired of this direction, cause boy, i am yearning for his catchier "Black Sunglasses" right now. There is HOPE. Either X-files style or Obama style. -kenyon
These Arms are Snakes: Tail Swallower & Dove (Suicide Squeeze)
release: October 7, 2008
style: post hardcore
similar: Uncut, Blood Brothers, Russian Circles
[rating: ***] You seriously don't mess with a band named These Arms are Snakes. The band has been hot for a few albums via Jade Tree and now Tail Swallower is here to attack, sting and burn. The band continues to break down the walls of rock using complex drum patterns and tongue tied guitar swoops. -Kenyon
Johnny Cash Remixed (Compadre)
release: October 14, 2008
style: disasterous
[rating: *] Johnny Cash has got to be rolling in his grave right about now. Not exactly "remixes," these are more like "songs" that sampled Cash. The worst offender is first: Snoop Dogg of all people ruins "I Walk the Line" for one of the most pointless reworkings ever. A couple of efforts are effective, namely the Midnight Juggernauts' mix of "Port of Lonely Hearts" and maybe the Wolf take on "Rock Island Line." Some of these other ones would make sense in a Fatboy Slim or Crystal Method big-beat track in the late 1990s, but the only level it works on is to introduce the uninitiated to Cash in general, which the recent film already accomplished. Try the originals instead. -Kenyon

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Cineplexx: Picnic (Portia)
style: exotic singer-songwriter lounge pop
similar: Air, Serge Gainsbourg, European dudes named Sebastian
[rating: **1/2]
Picnic is sung in Spanish and acts like French pop for the hipstees. Sebastian Litmanovich's easy-going vocals are replaced only once in English by veteran Euro indie pop guy Duglas Stewart, one of a few notable guests. "Belle & Sebastian" shows one of Litmanovich's influences, one that i'd rather be listening to right now. Oh snap, no i didn't. -Kenyon

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Castile Jackine is Vooded at Broonus: Volume 1
(Helmet Room)
release: November 11, 2008
style: indie folk freakout
similar: Moldy Peaches
[rating: **1/2] Despite this Denver band's name, Pee-Pee doesn't have its head completely in the toilet bowl. Lead by Doo Crowder, the ensemble's simple psychedelic folk grabs a load of instruments causing a Brian Jonestown Massacre filtered through naive fifth-graders. This is mainly a positive thing on wholesome, slightly charming songs such as "I Hope My New House Feels Welcoming for You." In a short while the roving tracks wear out their welcome. This includes "Pee-Pee Song" and of course the 10-minute, self-explanatory "Freakout Jam." -Kenyon