Monday, September 29, 2008

Falling, falling, falling, falling, falling to the ground...

Swooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon. 1:20 just gives me the chills everytime. S glad that someone posted this up on YouTube. Whoever you are, thank you very much.

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Where will we get all our culture from?

The new All Girl Summer Fun Band!

The leaves are just beginning to fall and the air is chillier and starting to smell really good – and the new record from The All Girl Summer Fun Band could not have possibly come at a better time! Looking Into It, the band's 3rd full-length (their first without summer fun girl Ari Douangpanya, and first to be self-released through their AGSFBmusic label), sees the girls moving into a slightly more rocking direction. Somewhat gone are the cutesy songs of old, and instead what we find is little more noise ("Not The One For Me", "Trajectory"), and a little more maturity ("Lost", "Rewind"). Noise and maturity, together at last! Who said it could never happen?

After all the mention of rock and noise, I should mention that while that all may be intact here, Looking Into It is first and foremost a POP record – and a damn good one at that. It makes me feel like it's the 90s in the Northwest again – sounding not so far off from the likes of Tiger Trap, Dear Nora or, perhaps, Gaze (who are actually Canada-based, but might as well have been in the Northwest). Pile that on top of the fact that Autumn is just creeping in, and well, there's heaven. Right now I'm finding myself quite smitten with "Oh No", "Lost" and "Rewind". I've heard mentions of disappointment with the new record, but I just don't see it, and I'm thinking it'll actually be one of my very favorite records of the year. The girls have totally outdone themselves and now I'm just waiting to see some tourdates PLEASE!

[MP3]: All Girl Summer Fun Band :: Lost (So Hugely Recommended!)

ORDER Looking Into It from AGSFB music!!!
All Girl Summer Fun Band on MySpace!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

The Splinters: "Splintered Bridges"

The Splinters!

The Splinters are four girls – Ashley, Caroline, Lauren, and Courtney – from Berkeley/Sacramento, CA. I don't know too much about them as of right now, but I'm pretty enamored with ever song of theirs I've heard so far. They wear their influences on their sleeves, sounding somewhere between The Shangri-Las and early 90s K grrrl punk. "Splintered Bridges" comes from their debut self-released, self-decorated EP, which as far as I know, you can only get from them in person... but maybe you could send them a sweet email if you want one. I really like this song because I feel like it's just the perfect soundtrack to being pulled by a dog through the mud really fast in a red wagon with a tambourine tied to the back.

[MP3]: The Splinters :: Splintered Bridges (Very Highly Rec'd!!!)

The Splinters on MySpace!!!

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I Smiled Yesterday goes P!O!P!

Team ISY, whom I've mentioned before, is mostly two folks, Andrew and Brogues – and they put together some fantastic podcasts. Their newest mix, a guest mixtape for Jessel Baltazar's "What's On Your Tape" series is chock full of pop gems! I was pretty excited to see Birdie's "Spiral Staircase" on there, and that new Tartans tune, as well. However, I always end up hearing so many great new things on all of their mixes, and this one is no different! You can download it HERE Turns out that at the moment you can only listen to it streaming on the main page of Jessel's MySpace HERE. Sorry for the total confusion! I've spoken to Andrew though, and it will be posted for download via ISY's webpage sometime in the near future. The tracklist is below.

Hurrah! - "I'll Be Your Surprise"
The Jasmine Minks - "Think!"
The Church Grims - "Seen It All"
The Would-Be-Goods - "Motorbike Girl"
The Cinematics - "Puffa Train"
The Cannanes - "Strange Memories"
The Particles - "Truth About You"
Confetti - "Jenny"
Trixie's Big Red Motorbike - "That's The End of That"
The Tartans - "1939"
Birdie - "Spiral Staircase"
Grow Up - "Joanne"
The Avocados - "I Never Knew"
Grab Grab The Haddock - "Wan But Smiling"
Dislocation Dance - "You'll Never Never Know"
The White Sisters - "Nothing Out There"
Bomp Pops - "Won't Find It"
The Golinski Brothers - "Bloody"
Rote Kapelle - "Sundays"
Buba and the Shop Assistants - "Something to Do"
Jesse Garon and the Desperadoes - "Hank Williams is Dead"
The Vultures - "You're Not Scared"
Angela Strange & Jennifer Lewis - "I've Heard It All Before"
Twice As Much - "Step Out of Line"
Revolving Paint Dream - "Sun, Sea, Sand"
The Cupons - "Turn Her Down"

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NE Popfest!!!

Brought to you, as always, by Skipping Stones Records

Fall is finally here!! That means lots and lots of great things and one of them is the New England Popfest! And it's not too far off now! The Popfest will take place this year November 7, 8, and 9 at The Elevens in beautiful and lovely Northampton, MA. The schedule has been mostly finalized at this point and it looks fantastic! It's very very likely that I will actually be there this year because I will probably be filling in on drums for The Up Set! It's gonna be tons of fun, so you should be there! Here's the current schedule:

Friday, November 7: doors @ 8pm
The Fawns
The Up Set
The Lil' Hospital
The Specific Heats
Surefire Broadcast
The Sterns
The Besties

Saturday, November 8: Doors @ 8pm
Dream Bitches
Magnus – The Charade / Happydeadmen
The Bright Lights
The Smittens
Utah Rangers

Sunday Matinee : Doors @ 3pm
Jason Bourgeois (Bourgeois Heroes)
The Inclined Plane
Boy Genius
Math the Band

Sunday, November 9: Doors @ 8pm
Lima Research Society
Singing Bridges
The Hat Company
The Toothaches
The 500s
One Happy Island

For more info on all of the bands playing, please visit this page that Skipping Stones have put together HERE!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Muslims 7"!

The Muslims have got a new 7" single on the way on I Hate Rock N' Roll Records! Yessss! Aside from having the kind of band name that makes one go "Oh?", The Muslims play really good music. Absolutely nailing their brilliantly catchy three-chord garage pop, The Muslims – though still pretty young – work together their surf and punk influences with a confidence that is, well, pretty stunning. Their first single, "Extinction" was an absolute gem of a song, and this new single seems as if it will only further my love for them. "Parasite" b/w "Walking with Jesus" (a Spaceman 3 cover!) should be out soon, but you can go PREORDER it now from I Hate Rock N' Roll. You can also stream both songs there, so you should probably do that. After that, I'd really suggest watching the really really great video for the really really great song, "Extinction".

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Indiepop Does Indiepop: The Sugargliders & The Cat's Miaow

The Sugargliders' "Seventeen" covered by The Cat's Miaow

Here we go again! A little late today, but to be honest I'm surprised I remembered at all. Today's INDIEPOPdoesINDIEPOP is a case of the cover being far superior to the original – in my humble opinion, of course. The Sugargliders originally recorded "Seventeen" for Sarah Records in 1992. It was their second single for the Sarah (67). Three years later, on their second 7" single, The Cat's Miaow included a beautiful cover of "Seventeen". The single was the second for The Cat's Miaow, and was the very first release of Quiddity Records, which would later release records from the likes of Pencil Tin, Madison Electric, Super Falling Star, etc. Basically, Quiddity were super awesome. Anyway, I said first that I prefer The Cat's Miaow's cover of "Seventeen" more than The Sugargliders original, and that is in fact true. I don't dislike the original by any means, but the cover version – with it's thick veil of reverb – makes me feel like I'm walking through the woods on a snowy day. Being that I wish I was walking through the woods on a snowy day almost everyday, this is something that makes me feel very very good. However, please enjoy both songs, and make your own decisions.

[MP3]: The Sugargliders :: Seventeen
[MP3]: The Cat's Miaow :: Seventeen

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Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams

If my camera hadn't passed on, I would have taken my own photo!

I may have missed out (turns out they're actually not sold out) on the first two issues, but I did receive issue number three of Amy's Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams zine in the mail yesterday – and it's so lovely!!! As she said, "If you thought one and two were cute, just wait til you see issue three" – Now, I haven't seen one or two, but I am pretty sure this might be the cutest 68 pages I've ever held in my hands.

Within those 68 pages of wonderful you'll find interviews with Pam Berry (Black Tambourine, The Pines, Glo-worm, etc), Dustin Reske (Rocketship), Duglas T Stewart (BMX Bandits), Missy Kulik, The Airfields, Eric Bello of YAY! Records, and Bobby Wratten (The Field Mice, Trembling Blue Stars, etc). There's other fun and games, too, AND you can can even win yourself a pony! Yeah! A PONY!

As if that was not enough, issue three also comes with a 14 track compilation cd featuring: BMX BANDITS, THE AIRFIELDS, ROCKETSHIP, THE HAPPY COUPLE, SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL, HARI AND AINO, MARINE TIME KEEPERS, NORTHERN ELECTRIX, APPLE ORCHARD, THE PROCEDURE CLUB, NEW YEAR RUSE, THE DREAMERS, STILL CORNERS, and ANXIETY TWINS. The songs are all brilliant, and it's the perfect companion to flipping through the zine. You can snap up your very own copy right now, HERE! I highly encourage you to do so, it'll brighten your days for weeks to come :)


Also: Compilation CD update!!! The CDs are at the duplication shop as I type this. Should have them back by the end of the week! Then the stuffing of poly sleeves begins, and a release is seeming not too far off now!

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Who's Gonna Care?

Having just listened to the totally rad NYC band's new-ish-ish "Who's Gonna Care?" 7" EP, caUSE co-MOTION should not only be applauded for their brilliant nonsensical crashpop, but also for the expediency of their personal shipping, as the record basically arrived on my doorstep before I even finished closing the paypal window. It was actually released back in February on the band's own Can't! Cope! Records, but I just realized this fact about a week ago and quickly snapped it up! Glad I did, too, cause it's awesome. a-side, "You Don't Know" is my personal favorite – a perfect blend of chiming, jangling guitars and caUSE co-MOTION's typical quick paced frenzy – think, perhaps, if you can, Comet Gain's "Red Menace" EP. The title track is my second favorite, with the others not close behind. I would highly suggest grabbing this and getting yourself pumped up for their new Slumberland 7" which you can PREORDER right now! But go here first, and get this EP. Listen to "Who's Gonna Care?"

[MP3]: caUSE co-MOTION :: Who's Gonna Care? (Highly Recommended!)

caUSE co-MOTION on MySpace!

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The girl of 1000 dreams

The Pains posted a new demo on their MySpace today! It's called "The Girl of 1,000 Dreams" and it's, well, another great noisy pop song! However, it is important to note that they did in fact exhaust the world's entire supply of reverb to record this song. Speaking of The Pains, I figure it's as good a time as any to mention their Sweden Tour!

Here's the details, for all Sweden-dwelling folks reading:

24 Sept - Stockholm
Venue: Café String
All ages. Acoustic-ish instore

25 Sept - Gothenburg
Club: Svanen
Venue: Jazzhuset

26 Sept - Stockholm
Club: Svenska Musikklubben
Venue: Debaser Slussen

27 Sept - Malmö
Club: COIR 009
Venue: På Besök
Link: (Chris' POPnight!)

Okay well that's it, have a nice Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lil Hospital & The Specific Heats in Boston, Friday!

Hey friends! The life-affirming tunes of The Lil Hospital and The Specific Heats can be heard this Friday – 9/12 – in Boston! They will be playing along with two other bands at Brookline High School in Boston, MA. It is open to the public! So be there or be mathematically square! The Lil Hospital will be playing songs from their soon-to-be-released new 7" called "Universe Sucks" on Hugpatch Records. The Specific Heats will also be playing new 60s garage influenced jams with enough electric organ to make your head explode. And man, these two other bands with be playing whatever music it is they play, I bet! So don't miss it! I'm not 100% whether I'll be square or not, but I'm hoping I can make it, and if I do, I hope I'll see you there!

115 Greenough Street/ Right by the Brookline Hills T-Stop / on the 3rd floor in the auditorium. Doors at 7pm. Bands start at 7:30pm. Also, no substances, please. Bring your friends, bring your mom and dad, bring your favorite snack!

Lil Hospital on MySpace!
The Specific Heats on MySpace!
K Bye!

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The tremendously overlooked Cyclon86!

Until yesterday when I stumbled upon their deserted MySpace page by chance, I had never heard of Japan's Cyclon86. An amazing band by any pop-loving boy/girl's standards, Cyclon86 work jangling guitars, buzzing organs and synths, and super sweet vocals together is a way that just makes me want to scream "perfect!". It sounds somewhere between Rocketship and Stereolab to me, but head over to the MySpace page and listen for yourself. Being that their website is almost 100% in Japanese, I'm having a tough time learning too much about them or where I can find their music. If you've got any more information, please let me know!!!

Cyclon86 on MySpace!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tada Tátà: "Sticky Dumb Gum"

Tada Tátà are from Umeå, Sweden. They are two girls – Tátà & the Friend – who play the musical equivalent of a really sunny day where all you're doing is laying on a hill with friends and eating snacks! These are very sparse sounds – think Pipas, maybe, but Swedish – but the melodies are so catchy, and it's all so, cute. Word on the MySpace blog is that there's a few releases in sight, including an Edition 59 release and a 7" single, too! These songs are my favorite of the four songs up on their MySpace at the moment. If you like these you should totally head over there and listen to the others! There's even another version of "Sticky Dumb Gum" with cello!

[MP3]: Tada Tátà :: Sticky Dumb Gum (Hiiiiiiighly Recommended!)
[MP3]: Tada Tátà :: Hit the Wall

Tada Tátà on MySpace!

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Indiepop Does Indiepop: YMG & The Pines

Young Marble Giants' "Brand-New-Life" covered by The Pines.

Before getting to the songs, I should probably introduce what will likely be a weekly thing now (until I run out of songs, of course). I was driving home from Baltimore a few weeks ago with some friends and I decided it would be fun to play nothing but covers, and then their respective original versions all the way home. It was fun and seemed to be sort of endless, so I thought it might be something I could turn into a regular feature here, so I'm gonna try to do that! I hope you like it!

There's no better way to start it off than with the super-minimalistic post-punk of the Young Marble Giants. An interesting and difficult band to cover, but if anyone was up for the task, it was Joe Brooker and Pam Berry. Their cover of "Brand - New - Life" is kind of perfect, as far as covers go. They succeeded tremendously in making the song "theirs" to the point that it sounds like it could have easily been a Pines original. Joe's guitarwork flows beautifully, adding several brand new elements into the song, but still relying on YMG's brilliant original meldodies. Personally, though, I'm still a bigger fan of the original. That riff is totally unforgettable (you know the one) and there's just so much tension resting on Alison Statton's vocals that you cannot help but be completely mesmerized.

[MP3]: Young Marble Giants :: Brand - New - Life
[MP3]: The Pines :: Brand - New - Life

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Summer Into Fall!: A new Skatterbrain mix!

Cover art (photograph by Katie!).

As the scenery outside my window begins to change from green to yellow, I thought perhaps it was a good time for a new mix in honor of this most special of seasonal transitions! I wanted to keep it short, because I hate long meandering mixes, and because at nine songs it felt complete and I didn't want to tarnish it. I don't know if it's the best mix I've ever made, but I think it's pretty good, and appropriate to the theme. It starts out like a party, with the sun shining bright above, and as the tracks progress the air begins to get a little colder, and the days start to seem a little shorter. Of course, that's no reason at all to stop the party.

Enjoy! (Download link available right below the tracklist)

01. Saturday Looks Good To Me :: Parking Lot Blues
02. Semi-Gloss :: The Sunburn Song
03. Dear Nora :: 'Round and 'Round
04. Super Falling Star :: Closer To The Sun
05. Galaxie 500 :: Strange
06. Yo La Tengo :: Today Is The Day
07. Birdie :: Spiral Staircase
08. Clock Strikes Thirteen :: The Last Sad Song
09. Eggs :: This party Never Ends

DOWNLOAD IT! [ZIP file, 72mb]

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The Medusa Snare!

Adam John Miller = The Medusa Snare

The Medusa Snare is the fantastic solo recording project of Adam John Miller of the Manhattan Love Suicides. The cool thing is that it doesn't just sound like Manhattan Love Suicides 2, but more along the lines of early 90s American indie rock – not surprising though, as his list of influences ranges from The Clean to Galaxie 500 to Guided by Voices – even to Jeff Mangum. The Medusa Snare's Cinderella EP will be out soon-ish on – you guessed it – Squirrel Records! There's a few songs up on MySpace right now and they're all totally, wonderfully ace! I love them all, but it's "lxtab" that I've had on repeat for the past half hour, so I'd recommend checking that one out first!

The Medusa Snare on MySpace!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thrushes: "Trees"

Hello! Today I begin another fine year of classes at Towson University. I'm a bit excited to have a bit of a schedule again, as my days have been in quite a disarray this summer. Anyway, since I'm actually up before nine, I figured I'd squeeze in a post before I have to leave. Yes. Although, I may have never actually written about them before, Thrushes are probably my favorite band in Baltimore at the moment. I was looking up videos of them on youtube recently and I found this song, "Trees" – I love their album a lot, but I think this song surpasses every song on it. The chugging guitar, and Anna's super sweet vocal melodies make an incredibly perfect pair. I only wish I didn't have to go to YouTube every time I wanted to hear it!

Thrushes on MySpace

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