Friday, May 29, 2009

Love Is A Wave

I just realized, thanks to Mike Slumberland on Facebook, that there's a new Crystal Stilts video for their single "Love Is A Wave". It's pretty rad for more or less just being a video collage of archive footage. In fact, as the first commenter on YouTube puts it, "this is the exact succession of images I wanted to see at this exact moment" – funny, though, true. Check it out!

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You're the architect of my heart

Alyssa and Andy

Nun Party is the wonderfully catchy lo-fi pop project of Alyssa Roberts with occasional help from Andrew Smith (The Airport of Love). At the moment, the female-fronted lo-fi pop moniker seems to be over-diluted with that fuzzy four-chord garage sound that, upon the beginning of it's recent revival, I was pretty smitten with – well, it's starting to wear a bit thin to me. Fortunately we've got Nun Party, who seem to lean more towards the likes of Dear Nora or The Aislers Set, rather than the Shoppies or JAMC. The harmonies, though sometimes obscured by the nature of the recordings, are pretty much irresistible – each voice seeming to take it's own path with a complete lack of regard for the other, much like the way many of my favorite Dear Nora songs seem to operate. But it all works out perfectly, of course. I never want this song to end :( You'll be listening to it on repeat, trust me.

[MP3]: Nun Party :: Architect of My Heart (Super 100% Recommended!!!)

Nun Party's debut CDr EP All Your Favorite Girls will be out soon on the newly founded Summer Camp Records out of Lutherville, MD! Keep your eyes peeled and be sure to order the crap out of it when it comes out! Oh, and you should order Andy's tape while you're there, too, because it's really good.

Nun Party on MySpace!

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I present to you, a less-than-interesting YouTube video of quite possibly of the catchiest, funnest, smileyest songs I've ever heard! Beryl Marsden's 1965 single, "Break-A-Way". Oh, god, when her voice gets a little snarly, like she's just getting over a cold, I think my heart breaks just the slightest bit. Beryl went on to join the strange lineup of Rod Stewart, Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and others in Shotgun Express in 1966 after her final solo single "What She Got" turned out to be a bit of a flop. This song, however, is a timeless pop gem if there ever was one.


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Thursday, May 21, 2009

All My Summer Songs No. 3

That Summer Feeling!

No. 2
[MP3]: Friends :: You'll Never See That Summertime Again
Submitted by Krister Bladh

"I had a very difficult time choosing a song, because I realised there are many songs that I associate closely with summer. Even though I made a summer mix earlier in the year (before heading to the New Zealand summer!) I thought I should choose something new that I'd heard since then. But then I thought some more about it, and if there's one song I'd really like to see on that mixtape (even though most of you have heard it, I hope) it's this song by Friends. It was the first Friends tune I heard, as it leads off vol 2 of The Sound of Leamington Spa. It just floored me and was very important for me in that summer of 2006. It's one of few songs that make me feel nostalgic, just like Richmans "That Summer Feeling" does. It lead me to purchase my first Friends LP (Songs Without Tears) and now three years later, believe it or not, I'm going to see them at Indietracks!"

I hadn't heard this song until Kris sent it to me, and now that I've listened to it several times over, I can totally see it becoming a fast favorite. I hope you guys like it! If you do, thank Kris! Remember, if you've got a song and something to say about it, please do send it in! 83in05 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

World Atlas

World Atlas

New fantastic pop songs alert! World Atlas are a new Brooklyn pop outfit featuring Fred Thomas of Saturday Looks Good To Me as well as a slew of other musicians. The songs on their MySpace point a pretty clear arrow towards Belle and Sebastian – and even more particularly, If You're Feeling Sinister. Though typically a lazy reference, I think in this case it truly hits the nail on the head and I really couldn't be more excited about it. Furthermore, I seriously doubt that anyone could really complain about a new band that sounds a lot like ...Sinister-era B&S.

Their debut EP is supposed to be all wrapped up by the end of May, so hopefully it'll see the light of day sometime pretty soon. Until then, chew on this:

[MP3]: World Atlas :: Girl On A Boy's Bike (Very very rec'd!!!)

World Atlas on MySpace!

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Monday, May 18, 2009

If you wanted to, you could walk away


On a recent online hunt for Juniper records I ended up on the Fantastic Records website, where I'd also ended up several times in the past, only this time I had some expendable cash. Alongside #Poundsign#, Juniper, and The Shapiros, there were a few names that were pretty unfamiliar to me, so I took a look through the catalog. After a quick listen to "Tokyo Girl" by Ampersand, I immediately ordered their <<<<<<<< EP (along with a Sparklers 7" – more on that later). I can't recall being as excited as I was for a CD to arrive in the mail as I was for this one in quite some time. It finally showed up and just as I had hoped – Bay-area pop bliss.

It reminds me of a lot of things I love, but a few names that stick out would be The Ropers (on "Paramour"), Small Factory (on "I'm Still Waiting"), and even labelmates #Poundsign#. After probably 15 or more listens all the way through, I can safely say that is one of the best records to come out of that whole late-90s-early-00s San Fransisco pop scene. Unfortunately, as far as I know, <<<<<<<< is the only record they ever released. Quite a shame, too, because I would kill for some more of this stuff! Eight songs is just not enough. Okay, I've talked enough now, just listen.

[MP3]: Ampersand :: I'm Still Waiting (Highly recommended!)
[MP3]: Ampersand :: Tokyo Girl (Also very recommended!!!)

Order the EP from Fantastic Records (there are still copies!)

Also, if more songs do exist somewhere and you know where, please let me know!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

You're Alight!

The sleeve looks good enough to eat.

Eux Autres are back with a new single, out June 2nd on Bons Mots Records! "You're Alight" b/w "A Band Undone" is the bands first release featuring new members Yoshi Nakamoto (Aislers Set, Still Flyin') and multi-instrumentalist Nevada Jones (not to be confused with multi-adventurist Indiana Jones) and it's sure to be a winner. The rad artwork and design are courtesy of San Francisco's Yellow Owl Workshop and might I say, they really outdid themselves! That orange paper looks a lot like this French paper that I used on something earlier this semester, good choice! Anyway, if I were you, I'd get to ordering it right away because there's only 250 copies to go around. Did I also mention that the first 50 orders get a sweet Eux Autres lapel pin?! I'm not typically one for wearing lapel pins, but I feel like I really need one of those.

You can preorder over at Bons Mots Records for $5!

Unfamiliar with Eux Autres? Get familiar!
[MP3]: Eux Autres :: Other Girls

This Sunday in Baltimore, MD! Be there or be square, dudes.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blame Love!

Boy Genius

I have to admit, I wasn't all too into Brooklyn band Boy Genius when I first heard them last year, but upon hearing their new single "Blame Love" about a month ago, I'll proudly fly the Boy genius flag now. "Blame Love" sounds to me like some great Small Factory song that sadly never was. No worries though, because Boy Genius wear it well. They deliver perfect boy/girl harmonies in all the right spots and right where I was hoping for it – a killer solo! I reckon Alex, Dave, and Phoebe would be proud.

[MP3]: Boy Genius :: Blame Love (Highly Recommended!)

The "Blame Love" 7" can be ordered via the band's MySpace page and I would really suggest doing so. They've also got a few dates coming up, including a spot at the NYC Popfest! Dates on MySpace, too.

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The Champagne Socialists

The Champagne Socialists

Ah! So close the Summer is now! I've got one, two, three paintings to turn in on Tuesday, but then I am DONE until the Fall. Of course, halfway through Summer I'll slip into boredom and long for more schoolwork – funny how that works, huh?

Anyway, with all this new found free time I've had for the past couple days, I've spent a little more time on Myspace stumbling upon good songs. After noticing that they'll be opening the Pains Westcoast tour for four days in July, I felt like L.A.'s Champagne Socialists were something worth checking out. While their biographical background may be a bit confusing, their music is anything but. The duo(?) play fuzzy pop songs influenced by classic Westcoast pop of the 50s and 60s. A nice, quick reference would be something like early Saturday Looks Good To Me.

[MP3]: The Champagne Socialists :: Teardrop Tattoo (Highly Recommended!)
The opening riff of this song pretty much says it all. Whether you're willing or not, you're going to be a dancing fool for the next two minutes. It's like the pop song equivalent of running through all the sprinklers up and down your street in the middle of the hottest Summer day. So in short, "Teardrop Tattoo" is a really good day – erm, song.

The Champagne Socialists on MySpace!

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All My Summer Songs: No. 2

That Summer Feeling!

No. 2
[MP3]: Jonathan Richman :: That Summer Feeling (Live at the Schauberg, Bremen 1985)
Submitted by Scott Summer Cats

"It's from a live gig from German radio from I think 1985. I bought it on cassette at a Sunday market that had a bootleg table: I do love a good cassette bootleg table... and this version really makes you believe, though I guess it's kinda a sad/reflective summer ode. I was never a huge fan of the studio versions… Ah, but this take, geez, listen to the swingin' band... Ok, maybe this doesn't swing per se... I really love the fact you can hear Jonathan moving off and on the mike during the performance."

I could only have to agree. This version even trumps the Jonathan Sings version, which I love very dearly. There's even a few extra verses, which alone make it worth it for me! This song IS Summer! I dare someone to best it. Remember, if you've got a song and something to say about it, please do send it in! 83in05 [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Lacrosse video: "We Are Kids"

Lacrosse's This New Year Will Be For You And Me was one of my favorite records of last year and they're already back with another one! "We Are Kids" is the first single from their new LP Bandages For The Heart, which was officially released May 2nd on Tapete Records. The video itself isn't quite as enthralling as the video for "You Can't Say No Forever" – likely due to it's lack of cute hand puppets – but it's pretty fun and quite blue.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

All My Summer Songs

Number One!

I've decided to start a new, season-specific feature here at Skatterbrain! For an as-yet-undetermined amount of time I will be posting some of my very favorite Summer songs. My hope is that perhaps is that it will be a fun thing to do on a regular basis and that it might also spur a little discussion from time to time, which is always nice. All the songs could even be compiled at the end into a super perfect Summer mixtape!

I was thinking that some guest posts might be fun for this as well, so if there's a song that your Summer wouldn't be complete without, send it to 83in05 [at] gmail [dot] com, along with some blurbage for a post and you'll see it here! Yay! This is going to be fun. Songs don't have to actually be about Summer, or have "Summer" in the title (though many will, because songs written about Summer tend to have a pretty nice Summer feeling about them), they just have to make me (or you) feel all sunny and happy – you know, that Summer feeling.

To get things rolling, here's a pretty unbeatable one for me.

[MP3]: The Pearly Gatecrashers :: In The Summer
This song comes from their 1993 LP New! Fluffy! Delicious! and although I only heard it for the first time a few years ago, it's dreamy brilliance was too much to resist. This one goes on repeat quite a lot for three months a year. A drive to Ocean City just not complete without a few listens to "In The Summer." The jangly guitar paired with Lenore's vocals are more refreshing than a 60mph breeze through the window, really!

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He knows I will ignore what he does to me


Dreamdate's new record 'Patience' has mid-90s Northwest written all over it – and when it strays geographically, it's heart is still in the right place (i.e., that wonderful "Go Fish" cover). Best friends Yea-Ming Chen and Anna Hillburg make up the whole of Dreamdate and it seems the two of them have only got one goal: putting smiles on faces. I read somewhere that they're just barely escaped being pop. Frankly I couldn't disagree more. Dreamdate are undeniably pop. They've got irresistibly sweet, catchy melodies and their songs are full of this childhood gossip of sorts that, as you know, I just can't resist getting all wrapped up in. Dreamdate's cuddly pop songs will be the perfect soundtrack to your little sister's next backyard pillowfight, for sure. Listen to "8 Sleeves". Very recommended if you're into Tiger Trap, Cub, AGSFB, or, um, you know, Portland in general. Heh.

[MP3]: Dreamdate :: 8 Sleeves (Highly Recommended!)

'Patience' is the second release on Portland-based Skywriting Records.
You can order the CD from their online shop.
Dreamdate on MySpace!

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Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Dentists "Writhing On The Shagpile"

Everyone's got their complaints about YouTube, but folks, this – THIS is why YouTube is great.

It was recorded live at the Bull & Gate, Kentish Town, London on August 29, 1987. "Writhing on the Shagpile" was their only single of 1987, actually, and it was released by UK label Tambourine. As they say at the start of the video, it's a very sexual song – haha. Indeed, but it's also one hell of a dancefloor ripper – the song is just rife with perfectly shambolic solos. I would kill for a video of "I Had An Excellent Dream" or "Burning The Thoughts From My Skin", but this will do just fine for now! A few more videos to be found HERE, including "She Dazzled Me With Basil"!

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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Liechtenstein coming to the US!


In the wake of their appearance at this year's NYC Popfest, Liechtenstein will be doing a small East coast tour, as well!!! Lucky for me, I might be seeing them three times! Luckier for me, The Sugarplums will be playing with them in Baltimore on the 17th!

Their debut LP 'Survival Strategies In A Modern World' will be out May 26 on Sweden's Fraction Discs and on June 9 on Slumberland Records. Can I just say – Slumberland is kicking ass in 2009! I can't wait to get my hands on it – it's going to an absolute smash! For proof of JUST how smashing it's gonna be, listen to "Roses In The Park". It's a bit more masculin than their previous single "Apathy", but only proves how versatile Liechtenstein can be within their relatively tight range of influences. Reminds me of a slightly less bombastic Flatmates tune. Liechtenstein really are today's shining example of fuzzy simplicity!

As far as the tour goes, I would suggest making out to as many of these shows as you can, as Liechtenstein are certainly not to be missed. I've heard wonderful fantastic things about their live shows and personally I can't wait to witness all those harmonies in person!

[MP3]: Liechtenstein :: Roses In The Park

MAY 15 - New York NY - Don Hills (NYC Popfest)
w/Don Lennon, The Tartans, Cats on Fire, secret band

MAY 16 - Philadelphia PA - Adobe Cafe
w/Brown Recluse

MAY 17 - Baltimore MD - Talking Head
w/The Calm, The Art Department, Sugarplums

MAY 18 - Cambridge MA - Middlesex Lounge
w/Pants Yell!, Suburban Kids With Biblical Names + Mark Robinson DJing

MAY 19 - Brooklyn NY - Bruar Falls
w/Cats on Fire

MAY 20 - Washington DC - Velvet Lounge
w/Lorelei, Sundresses

Liechtenstein on MySpace!

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Monday, May 04, 2009

A monthly mix: May!

May = Plaid? Maybe?

May might not equal plaid, but it certainly equals pop songs, I think. Monthly mixes, or at least intentions of monthly mixes, are nothing new around here, but here I go again, trying to get it going. By next month I'd like to see if I can't just make it some kind of podcast instead of downloadable mp3s like I've always done, but we'll see. The mix opens with one of my favorite Dislocation Dance songs, "I'm Doing Fine", from their third LP 'Midnight Shift'. It's not my number one favorite song of theirs, but I do think it's probably the most summery song they ever recorded! Cats On Fire's new record is one of my favorite of the year so far and "Garden Lights" is my current favorite of the bunch! A couple of softer songs from Sunday Records alumni The Liberty Ship and Class round out the middle. The Liberty Ship was Marc Elston's second attempt at indiepop following his time in Bulldozer Crash in the late 80s and is quite a departure from Bulldozer Crash's noise. I've been on a bit of Dentists binge lately, so I just had to include "Mary Won't Come Out To Play". It's my favorite Dentists song, and also pretty aesthetically appropriate to the mix. Plus, I just have to smile whenever I listen to it. I took the Sister Cities song from a Library Records compilation. It sounds terribly sad and the harmonies just kill me. I haven't ever been able to track down much information about them, though, so any additional info would be appreciated! Following Sister Cities the mix comes back up to speed, ending with a one, two, three punch of MBV, Juniper and one of the finest songs The Wake ever penned.

01. Dislocation Dance :: I'm Doing Fine
02. Beatnik Filmstars :: Still
03. Yo La Tengo :: Yellow Sarong
04. Cats On Fire :: Garden Lights
05. The Liberty Ship :: Cabin Fever
06. Class :: It's Hard To Let Go
07. Verlaines :: Pyromaniac
08. The Dentists :: Mary Won't Come Out To Play
09. Sister Cities :: Book Ends
10. My Bloody Valentine :: She Loves You No Less
11. Juniper :: Anna Thema
12. The Wake :: Gruesome Castle


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