Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Video :: Divorce :: Aids of Space

I have no idea what the fuck I'm hearing... it's like someone giving me a wet willy with a napalm-soaked finger.  Well-meaning, but entirely violent and corrosive.  Glasgow label Clan Destine has shepherded a number of regional artists and labels, one being Night School Records, home to Divorce (and Julia Holter, for balance).  Divorce just released their self-titled LP last week, and listening to it is similar to being accused of killing an entire family of Ewoks.  Full of "how could you?" and "you are the reason the galaxy is shit," alongside a fucking lumberyard of buzz-saws.  Watch this video then look me in the eye and tell me you didn't see the future.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Freelove Fenner :: Pineapple Hair :: Fixture

The real virtue of this song is that it runs the same exact amount of time it takes to follow these instructions on how to eat a Pop Tart.  The cast of instruments (slinky guitar, phased-out drum kit, bass and organ) are introduced swiftly enough for me to get the Pop Tarts out of the wrapper and into the toaster just in time.  Caitlin Loney's bored-as-fuck-but-that's-the-point vocals refuse to give a shit as I transfer the Pop Tarts to a plate, and the song enters a brief groove while I enjoy whichever flavor I've chosen for myself that day.  It's a virtue, and a very handy one at that... I've managed to create another new subgenre called PopTartArtPop: brief, pocket-sized, colorful, and sometimes found between the ass and head of a cat.  Freelove Fenner hold down their corner, and The Particles aren't too far off.

The Montreal duo have their new EP available on cassette via Fixture Records starting in early October.  I imagine pineapple hair to be sort of like a beehive, but fruitier... and thus the EP is rightly named.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Leisure Birds :: Globe Master :: Moon Glyph

There's a sort of Venn-diagram going on here -- the blurred line between Heaven and the heavens, perhaps even Catholic and catholic.  Where man meets myth, sin meets synth.  The ongoing fallacy of the human soul attaching a name to god.  The unspeakable.  The Mezuzah, the Dorian mode, the Byzantine slow-burner.  It seems that this fertile crescent is an ongoing theme for Oakland-via-Minneapolis label Moon Glyph.

Their most recent release is the sophomore LP from the Twin Cities' Leisure Birds.  Listening to Globe Master is like insisting that the Earth is flat to an alien force that's triangulated your location.  You fucked up, game over.  It's human anguish set to a conceptual arc of galactic defeat.  You won't need a lyric sheet to figure that one out.  No doubt, it can be a tough listen if you've got a big heart and a big imagination.  On a purely sonic level, it's brimming with hypnotic grooves and synthscapes, drifting and pummeling in the right places.  My only gripe is the lack of vocal harmony, which gives this set the off-setting illusion of one man's interstellar struggle, rather than the implied burden of the human race.  Which is not to say that I'm willing to join the choir, but I imagine there are more than a few Bill Pullman's out there.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: September

Swag Swag Swag Swag

09/02 :: Julia Holter :: Black Cat Back Stage
09/12 :: Pallbearer/Royal Thunder/Asthma Castle:: Rock and Roll Hotel
09/13 :: Ariel Pink :: 9:30 Club
09/18 :: Mount Eerie :: U Street Music Hall
09/20 :: Mike Wexler :: DC9
09/22 :: Matthew E. White :: Rock and Roll Hotel
09/23 :: Ital/Laurel Halo :: DC9
09/24 :: Twin Shadow :: Black Cat
09/25 :: Wild Nothing/DIIV :: Rock and Roll Hotel
09/26 :: Frankie Rose :: Rock and Roll Hotel
09/29 :: Grimes :: U Street Music Hall

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Limiñanas :: Crystal Anis :: Hozac

This is psych for simpletons.  Ye-Ye for yes men.  Fortunately for you and me, I get by with three chords, a couple dusty organ grooves, and a tambourine that gets more love than Paula Dean's saltshaker.  The southern-France natives return here with their second LP (following 2010's self-titled on Trouble In Mind), still sounding like a covered-wagon caravan of time-traveling gypsy-ravers passing in the night.  With Crystal Anis, they've stripped some (some) jangle for more riff-based jams.  Opener "Salvation" is an immediate welcoming, slipping and rattling like the B-52s stuck in a Morricone Mesopotamia.  The record deviates from here based on how wonky the electric guitar can get (tremolo or vibrato -- who cares??), but the tone throughout is a cohesive '70s cop eating acid-soaked donut holes while chasing candy thieves.  It just depends on when he's eating and when he's chasing, is all.  Heavy, heavy stuff.

Taste the rainbow over at Hozac.  Listen below...


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wet Hair :: Spill Into Atmosphere :: De Stijl

A bit of quiet time to blast my ears out, an empty house to welcome in my unholy hosts, a fresh-cooked meal to scrape into the garbage and opt for leftovers, three open beds to pass out on the hardwood floor.  Must be the Olympics.  Naked dudes diving in unison, Ning Ding playing ping pong, etc.

Wet Hair release a new long-player so simultaneously adventurous and cohesive, it could only come from the collective mind of three rigid aesthetes.  Makes sense, then, that it's borne of Night-People label-heads Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes, with the additional help of newcomer Justin Thye.  The textures that kick off the record are as fucked up as chewing on fluorescent tubes and chasing them with twizzler reduction, but as the songs unfold, the atmosphere of three-dudes-in-a-room becomes absolutely conceivable.  Live drums, dry bass, and swarms of poison sawtooth leads are the basic ingredients.  Relentlessly positive in execution, this record holds resemblance to kraut overachievers La Dusseldorf - kicking up red dust in a martian garage, with battle cries to push onward.  Only on "Blank Sunday" does a drum-program surface, fully servicing the album's transit and providing a purely kitsch respite.  Seven songs deep, 40 minutes long, and one ear-spanning worm wide - I've been cheering adolescent girls in uneven bars more enthusiastically than ever.

Reed is sane enough to not release material on his own label, so pick up a copy over at De Stijl and start getting excited about interstellar ladder-climbing. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: August

08/16 :: Chelsea Wolfe/Russian Circles :: Rock and Roll Hotel
08/21 :: Lightning Bolt :: Rock and Roll Hotel
08/22 :: Brian Jonestown Massacre :: 9:30 Club

Sunday, July 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: July

Forged in the furnace of Mordor so that we might 
eat pizza and fall short of our parents' expectations.

07/05 :: The Men :: DC9
07/06 :: Friends :: Rock and Roll Hotel
07/15 :: Killer Mike/El-P/Mr. Motherfucking Exquire :: Rock and Roll Hotel
07/16 :: OFF! :: Fillmore
07/19 :: Chromatics :: Rock and Roll Hotel
07/20 :: Lower Dens/No Joy :: Rock and Roll Hotel
07/22 :: Dent May :: DC9
07/24 :: Iceage/Dirty Beaches/Satan's Satyrs :: Black Cat Main Stage
07/25 :: Liars :: U Street Music Hall
07/28 :: Agalloch/Taurus :: Empire

Monday, June 25, 2012

Vestals :: Forever Falling Toward the Sky :: Root Strata

The solo debut from Vestals--one half of Higuma, the other half being Evan Caminiti from Barn Owl--has emerged from the seriously well-executed label, Root Strata. Forever Falling Toward the Sky emits steady low-level radiation with its slowed down psych guitar work. The atmo's not as amniotic as the recent Higuma transmission, but it's easily as warm and washed out. This will be making best-of lists at year's end without a doubt.

Here's the word from Root Strata:

'Forever Falling Toward the Sky' is the first ever release by Bay Area based Vestals, AKA Lisa McGee. A taught set of haunting electric ballads, these six tracks weave together a number of layered guitars and vocals into a smokey tapestry of blown electricity. Rather than the ephemeral drones McGee has been involved with recently, most notably the group-mind ensemble Portraits & the duo Higuma, Vestals retains the clarity of song, with these hypnotic gems having been slowly carved out over a year of recording & mixing. Filled out with drum machine & bass, 'Forever Falling Toward the Sky' really does have the feeling of a group completely jelled, hammering out feedback in a California basement, high on guitar worship & sunsets. Edition of 300.

The vinyl edition is being distributed by Thrill Jockey and it's limited to 300 copies. You can be damn sure I ordered mine.

Vestals :: Forever Falling

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sonny & the Sunsets :: Longtime Companion :: Polyvinyl

Well shit howdy. West coast troubadour Sonny Smith rounded up the Sunsets and a few members of his country project the Fuckaroos and recorded a country album. The Sonny & the Sunsets show last year at DC9 was probably the best live music-watching experience I had in 2010. There was definitely way more dancing than is typical for DC, and for once I didn't feel like decking any of the kids dancing. What does that tell you?

You can stream the whole album right now at Under the Radar. And come June 26, you'll be able to order the vinyl from Polyvinyl.

Sonny & the Sunsets :: I See the Void

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ash Borer :: Demo :: Psychic Violence

Since Ash Borer's first release of their demo back in 2009, you probably haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to listen to this band, assuming you've even heard of them. And now they've got three vinyl releases under their belt, each of them as essential as the next. As far as their demo goes, you're looking at two sides, two stunning tracks, one of which is untitled. I thoroughly believe that bands like Ash Borer--and I'll include Gilead Media/Pesanta Urfolk friendlies, Fell Voices, Hell, and Thou--have been smelted and forged in the shape of Black Metal to come.

Track one/side one, Drunke, peaks and valleys throughout its 14-minute run, and it's riff phrases are punctuated brilliantly with mind-melting vocal blasts that will blow your speakers and seriously encourage you to upgrade your receiver. The untitled side two is somehow much icier, sounding very much like what I imagine it must be like to cruise in solo flight aboard the International Space Station.

This reissue comes on thick, sleek, black-as-all-sin and cold-as-ice vinyl, and the cover features the band's name printed in gold embossing,  resembling the down-turned arms of Cthulu as if the dark lord had finally been anointed with dominion over the mortal realm. I've been keeping it under my pillow at night just to inspire bad dreams.

Pick up a copy of the demo from Ash Borer's own label, Psychic Violence (now on a crazy low discount), and listen to more from Ash Borer at their Bandcamp page.

Friday, June 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: June

Breaking up before we break down.

06/02 :: Chain and the Gang/The Coathangers :: Comet
06/04 :: Danzig
06/05 :: Mode Moderne :: House Show
06/07 :: The Clean/Times New Viking :: Rock and Roll Hotel
06/09 :: Bass Drum of Death/DZ Deathrays :: Red Palace
06/10 :: Valkyrie/Inter Arma/Ilsa :: Ras Hall
06/12 :: Grass Widow :: Comet Ping Pong
06/15 :: Jeff the Brotherhood/Heavy Cream :: Red Palace
                Alma Tropicalia :: Velvet Lounge
06/16 :: Twerps :: Rocketship
                Buildings :: Velvet Lounge
06/23 :: Protect-U :: Velvet Lounge
06/25 :: Purling Hiss/The Young :: Black Cat Backstage
06/26 :: Mean Jeans/Shirks :: Comet Ping Pong
06/29 :: Young Magic/Quilt :: Comet Ping Pong

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review :: Monomyth :: S/T

Sweet 16 summer guitar pop courtesy of Canada's Monomyth. I explain their talent to myself this way: the sun shines longer up there. Maybe not in Halifax. But I bet these guys have cousins or uncles who they have to visit once a year, and those relatives probably have to deal with the sun blasting them for a solid 20 hours in late June.  So maybe I'm not a scientist.

I first encountered them on the out-of-this world fantastic Khyber compilation (volume 2 for those of you counting).  Order their self-released cassette and/or take the free download path via their Bandcamp site. No, but really, toss these guys some US dollars, the exchange rate is running close to even these days, which means poor musicians are the same up their in the land of maple syrup as they are down here in the, er, land of used car parts.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Video :: Friends :: Mind Control

Hits all of the MD pleasure centers. The director, Hiro Murai, comes out smelling like roses again. Their new album (Manifest!) comes out on Fat Possum in June, and they'll be playing DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel @ 07/06. If you don't make it to minute 4, you'll never know what freedom feels like.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review :: Cellphone :: S/T

Whoa, didn't see this one coming. There I was just sittin in front of my CB trying to tune into my favorite broadcast when I ran into this rogue transmission. I gotta warn you: you're gonna love this, and I know you prefer to hate shit. Prepare yourself for the next phase of evolution, though, cuz this is some serious mutant shit coming your way. Can't be bothered to get off the couch and board up the windows? Then go ahead and give up now. You can hear the green glowing ooze rising from sewer grates and pouring out of storm drains on Cellphone's new EP out on Polyphasic.

Pac-Man punk rock? Man-tendo goth? Wait, wait, bear with me: Dorito Jazz. Fuck it, can't find the right words for what I'm feeling.

Cellphone :: One Last Shot
Cellphone :: Storm Chaser

Order their cassette today from Polyphasic and get that immediate gratification you prowl the streets at night for in the form of a high-grade mp3 download. It's a measly ten bucks plus it's coming all the way from Can-a-duh and plus it's got that sweet skull insert.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

News :: Heavenly Beat Debuts First Single

Beach Fossil's John Pena rolls out this new track from his solo project Heavenly Beat's forthcoming Captured Tracks release, Talent, and it's the first official jam of the summer. Girls and boys (mostly girls) will be blasting this in Ocean City for the next 16-odd weeks, pounding volley balls and guzzling Mich Ultra.

The Talent LP squirts out on July 24. Have at it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Listen :: Jeff Beam :: Be Your Own Mirror

This is about all I can/want/choose to handle on a Monday morning following a weekend of unspeakable ups-and-downs.  Chance meetings, terrible news, and corned beef hash (not once but twice) has got my whities a bit tightier than usual, and I'm pretty certain I needed this record to show up.  A swirling blend of tight songwriting chops and noise place Jeff Beam of Portland, Maine firmly in Adam Granduciel-meets-Elliott Smith/Cass McCombs territory.  There's even a bit of New England interstate krautjam snuck in, like hitting I-95 immediately after losing five pounds at the rest stop and slamming a Red Bull.  Aerodynamic, completely relieved, and confident for the future.  Which is not to say that this is great driving music.  Just great I-95 rest stop vending machine music, that's all.

I can't seem to find any label info for this man, so I'm gonna make the rare assumption that this guy works on his own dime.  Impressive, in this economy, yeah?  Risky business, sir.  Please listen to his newest record - Be Your Own Mirror - at his bandcamp page.  Perhaps even part with five hard-earned bones for a CD or hand-painted cassette.

Also, this.  Rest easy, Marty.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Paleoacoustics :: Sex Clark Five :: Strum & Drum!

Huntsville, Alabama couldn't be a more perfect setting for oddball 80s indie-lore.  Huntsville, at once completely anonymous and three hole-punched notches in the Bible Belt, but a little digging and you discover Space Camp.  Southern dredge with ties to the cosmos.  Mustachioed men in tiny Eraser Head tees.  The universe seems charmingly smaller, everything makes a bit more sense.  Fertile ground for a band called Sex Clark Five (four conveniently pictured above) to take the neighbor's basement by storm.  Theirs is a brief tale of Kinks obsession and John Peel ordainment, seemingly cut short by their own quick wit.  Leader James Butler and crew tracked their debut Strum and Drum! (a neatly precise genre-tag for their sound) in late 1986, and aside from an EP or two, all was said and done.  They've left behind a truly astonishing document of Southern jangle-pop, and I recommend seeking it out.  I also recommend covering your neighbor's car in bologna and letting it sit overnight.  Same difference.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Video :: Blanche Blanche Blanche :: Music Overall

I'm convinced there's something in the water in Brattleboro, VT.  A small-town gem of so-far-left-you-go-cross-eyed pop, the art scene here must not give a fuck about the outside world.  It's completely plausible that they might not know it even exists.  I view this video as a sort of Voyager-sponsored message about the dangers of displacing too much air into a fragile receptacle.  The ultimate tension and release, the most fundamental story arc, edge-of-your-seat type stuff.  Wait for it.

Blanche Blanche Blanche plopped this ballad on last year's "Our Place" long-player (on their own OSR-Tapes), and now it sees re-plopping on vinyl by Feeding Tube Records.  Be on the lookout for the new LP "Papa's Proof" on La Station Radar soon.  They also do song poems for $10, so if you're feeling particularly profound, you can write them about it and they'll immortalize you.  Off the charts, anyone?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Review :: Throbbing Gristle :: The Second Annual Report

So a band called The Death Factory was formed on exactly September 3rd, 1975.  Two years later, they issued their second annual report under a different name, Throbbing Gristle, as a generous token of what's been cooking.  A sort of "Hey, I wonder what the Death Factory has been up to all this time."  Well, Mom, we've been isolated in a concrete hell-hole decorated with bullet-hole disco-rays and rat shit for two years, obsessing over long-gone Nazi encampments and inventing what some ass pigeonholes as industrial music down the road for journalistic innovation and ease.  Cue elemental worry masked by disapproving looks.

Well, the long-gone Nazi encampments ring true here, but this is no Joy Division.  A recent series of Throbbing Gristle reissues by the original Industrial Records place this debut comfortably alongside the rash of 1970s reissues by labels like 4 Men With Beards and Bureau B.  The Internet is well-seeded with literature about this landmark of drone and noise, but in this collector-nerd's experience, I can't help but draw direct comparison to six-years-previous German innovators Cluster, or a completely sequencer-less Tangerine Dream.  Even those guitar-squalls on "Slug Bait" sound like pristine German engineering racing by on the Autobahn.

The fixation continues on "Zyclon B Zombie," an early single referencing the cyanide gas used in the Holocaust.  Here, this track spans the entire second side, the title making it much more harrowing than otherwise suggested.  I like to internally rename it "Zombie Curiously Gazing Over City-Scape," so I can share it enthusiastically with the family.  It's a bubbling, belching 20-minute outcropping at red dusk, levitating with tape-samples perfect for TV dinners and staining the carpet.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review :: V/A :: Smuggler's Way

It took conglomerate America no less than 3 years to reappropriate Record Store Day -- a noble quest that at its core celebrates small business -- into a circus of big-box bullshit aimed at the top dollar.  What a great idea turned sour so quickly, and beyond the control of actual record shop owners who become peripheral representatives of wide-eyed label heads.  It bothers me, but there are decent people on this planet, and the best of them put music out there with earnest intentionsRibbon Music and Domino put their resources together to release a genuine package of original art for those who care about the physical package, the one-off oddity, and the well-curated compilation.  So it is written, so it shall be: Smuggler's Way sits in my living room, not once, but twice, since my roommate also owns a copy.

First up is the music itself -- five rainbow-colored flexi-discs featuring one track each from Cass McCombs, John Maus, Dirty Projectors, Real Estate, and Villagers.  Cass holds true to his occult madrigal status, closing the gap by covering Leonard Cohen's "Teachers," a personal favorite from the 1967 Songs Of debut.  He locks the song in a tinder barn house, lights a match and slowly walks away.  John Maus pays tribute to his co-conspirator Molly Nilsson with a pulsating motorik cleanse that would sit well on his 2011 full-length, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves.  Real Estate tap the familiar pastel/pastoral vein with "In My Car," sounding like Felt and Foo Fighters simultaneously.  Dirty Projector's Dave Longstreth provides an acoustic demo "You Against the Larger World," a beautifully-played and sung stroll in the park, complete with his signature non-committal phrasing.  Am I right?  Villagers check in with a percolating, sample-ridden collage that sounds a bit like a sabotaged nativity scene.  But I'll be damned if it's not pressed on ectoplasmic flexi-vinyl.

It's a great compilation of music, but a big part of my allegiance comes down to the commitment to presentation.  Domino/Ribbon have simulated small-town basement comps by incorporating original drawings and prose from established artists.  Keyword is "simulated" here; you don't get the sense that anyone here was collaborating, or even aware of the final outcome -- but I believe in the sincerity of the project.  And I'm willing to spend money on it.  Really, the only thing missing is a toy or candy.  It's clear the Internet has destroyed zine culture, but as long as the music is central, the physical format will thrive.  The audience is still there... just give them something to get excited about.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review :: The KVB :: Always Then

I'm a little behind on gettin' behind. Gotta slow down just to show up.  Slapping on mud to get back that feeling of clean.  The KVB are back with a brand new mission. Compared to the even burn dealt out by their first Clan Destine release, Always Then stands out as bolder, stronger, more unified, with memorable hooks that sink way down into your flesh. The guitar is towering. The synths, magisterial. A forty minute-long crown of thorns.

The KVB :: Here It Comes

"Here It Comes" will probably turn out to be the most played track of the year on my account, and I feel like it's the most immediate selling point on the album. It's got the grave-gaze going for it, a sound I've been chasing in my dreams. It's midnight driving music for the hit-and-run crowd.

The icing on the cake has to be the seriously fuzzed out cover of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" that sounds more like the prelude to a night of solo vomitcore with your best friend, the bottle of bleach.

Head over to Clan Destine Records to pick up a copy on vinyl today. Move like a motherfucker and you may just be lucky enough to get one of the limited white vinyl represses.

Video time. Go:

Gott-damn, I just wanna throw a vicious throat punch into Garrison Keillor so hard. Think he'd sue?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

News :: King Tuff :: S/T

This summer's looking up with news of the sophomore King Tuff record, out May 29th via SubPop.  We've waited four dark, self-serious years for this one to land, and King Tuff himself emailed me last night to tell me how awesome it's gonna be.  And, you know, I'm gonna take his word for it.  He'd likely lop off my head with a guitar string-turned-garrote if I questioned it.

Here's to eating pizza all fucking night and playing pinball til my palms bleed.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review :: Social Climbers :: ST Reissue

Social Climbers :: Chris & Debbie

A big thank you to Yoga Records and Drag City for teaming up for this excavation, getting their hands a little dirty together in the desolate graffiti-haze of NYC no-wave 1981.  I'd have a large, one-man privately-drunk dance-party-sized hole in my life without their hard work putting this one out.  What you've got here is a group of blue-collar mid-westerners with jazz credentials waking up in the much-less-interesting-than-history-remembers punk scene of the Lower East Side, just as the guitars were suspect of not making your dreams come true.  In fact, you'll find very little six-string on this, an addictive cycle of bass grooves, hiccuping drum machine, and denim-colored Farfisa.  The inclusion of three or four instrumentals reinforces the musicality of the group, at once hypnotic and stabbing, sensual and violent.  But leader Mark Bingham's half-man half-gremlin freak-outs are perfectly welcome, evoking Can trapped in a calculator.  Pick up a copy for yourself... I've found myself making more and more friends with each consecutive spin.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

News :: Sweating Tapes :: May Day Sale

From now until May 8 Sweating Tapes, one of our favorite cassette (and vinyl) labels around, is taking 15% off of their entire catalog to make room for some new releases. So, yeah, this presents a pretty fucking great opportunity to get acquainted. The best possible introduction you could hope to get of ST past and ST future would be to pick up their compilation featuring ASSS, Vice Device, Tunnels, and a shit load of other synth-powered light dispensers. All of their releases comes with a high quality digital download so that you can grapple with some instant gratification.

Keep an eye out for some definite-buys out soon on Sweating Tapes like the Nightmare Fortress12" Until the Air Runs Out (sample below).

As for today's haul, I grabbed up the new Deathday c30 and the Animal Bodies 12", and holy shit, I'm going to be sacrificing some black cats come midnight tonight. Maybe not my cat, but somebody's cat, and definitely tonight at midnight.

Deathday :: Cold Room

 Nightmare Fortress :: Visionquest 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: May

Squeaking by for another month thanks to a little bit of spit and a whole lotta polish.

05/01 :: Bear in Heaven/Blouse :: Black Cat Back Stage
05/02 :: Xiu Xiu/Dirty Beaches :: Rock and Roll Hotel
05/04 :: Lower Dens/Widowspeak :: Rock and Roll Hotel
             Acid Mothers Temple :: Red Palace
05/05 :: Light Asylum :: U Street Music Hall
05/09 :: Active Child/Balam Acab :: Black Cat
05/10 :: Spiritualized :: 9:30 Club
05/12 :: Gentleman Jesse/Barreracudas :: Black Cat Back Stage
05/16 :: MV & EE :: DC9
05/18 :: La Sera :: Red Palace
05/20 :: Strange Boys/William Tyler :: DC9
05/22 :: Ophidian Trek Tour :: Meshuggah/Baroness/Decapitated :: Fillmore
05/24 :: The Ketamines :: Comet Ping Pong
05/29 :: Dandy Warhols :: 9:30 Club

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

News :: Machine Dream Spins Records :: Marx Cafe

It's going to be about self-gratification this time. Mishaps and poor taste are assured.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review :: Featureless Ghost :: MindBody

Got this tape in a few weeks ago, part of a batch from Night People, and I think it's the best thing to happen to me in 2012 so far. Seriously, before this, it was that skinned knee I got (just good to feel something, know what I'm saying?). But since this tape arrived I've been content just lolling around on the carpet with it. Propping it up on pillows on the living room floor, building fires in the fireplace, and laying around with a glass of Cab until the night drifts away from us. Been taking it out for bike rides, too, exploring new neighborhoods on the lookout for a cute cafe or maybe a yoga studio. One of our favorite things: buying cheeses neither of us has tried before.

Turns out Featureless Ghost goes through these motions with everyone. Trampin their way through cassette decks across the globe. But fuck it, I'm ready to be used. "Know-U" is the jam. Mas synthwave por favor. "Different Way" is the dance floor hit that may actually get me out on the dance floor. "Cool Dream" slips into a solidly psyched-out void from which it's hard to rebound your spacecraft.

It's cold, dark, and creepy material. Green ooze chockfull of designer mutagens.  Next time a tornado comes I want to take this album out to the storm shelter with me and plant the seeds for a superior, possibly winged race of people. Together we'll emerge and spread the word of OUR LORD AKAI. Even our elbow patches will have Ray Bans. Our turtlenecks will be wearing hair gel.

Pick it up from Night People. Everything they put out's fucking essential.

Bonus vid (pretend it's an Easter egg):

This video produced by Swan 7 for Newtown Radio is also a falling bomb worth planting yourself under:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review :: Ghost Wave :: S/T EP

Gotta say I luv to play catch up. It's like going into the light with Carol Anne at the beast's beckoning; it feels right even though it's the opposite of what mommy keeps screaming at me not to do. Can't believe this sound's over a year old cuz I'm still turning it right round like it cropped up yesterday. And all because a couple uh guys from New Zealand jamming fast, fuzzed up pop.

Spent all night doing my taxes, so this is what you're getting for a Tuesday post. Do I feel bad about that? No. What I feel bad about is that there aren't enough hours between now and work tomorrow to get trashed.

Maybe this post's all about me fighting back the forces of the blug-o-sphere, stickin it to flood of information, getting old news back on the street cuz it's still relevant. No, wait, this is all about the Clean coming to town in June, and well maybe this shit's just awesome on repeat.

Don't deny the BEAST, Carol Anne.

Ghost Wave :: Hippy

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review :: Teledrome :: Double Vision

For your Saturday listening pleasure slash weekly Millenium Falcon flight crew headtrip: some new space age garage from Calgary released courtesy of Hozac. Teledrome find a nice sweet spot in the noir/naive/trash punk field of homegrown rock and roll. Five tracks of synth-warped hooks wrap both sides of this 45-rpm antidote to all of the the sullen drone acts unloading their single note opuses these days. The title track to Double Vision peels out of the gate on roller blades, and by the time that Side B buzzer "Replacements" rolls through the lead singer's making some pretty Kraftwerkian pronouncements like "resistors resist" and "transformers transform." Even though those are pretty insipid sentiments in writing, I'm suckered in by the techno-veracity and worn out by all of the windmilling my arms have been doing. That's TRUTH TALK Motorman style.

Hozac's got an armada of other releases to look forward to this year, including the Teledrome LP, a long-awaited Nice Face follow-up, and one from those garage sweethearts, Liminanas (no accent squiggle on this American's keyboard and no way I'm going internet style to ctrl+c/ctrl+v it from some .es  neither). And if you were lucky enough to get in on round three of the hook-up club, you'll be soaked with some hot sounds from upside-down Canada a-k-a Australia, motherfucker. Jesus, learn some geography will yuh?

Now I'm gunna crush a C-minus and peace out to some gott-damned! blu ray sci fi. Blip.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Video :: Sand Circles :: Motor City

Braindead. Beaten and abused. Nothing but a meat puppet from the scalp on down. Spent the day sucking down dirt like a grave robber on the hunt for a wristwatch.

Better keep this brief.

Ladies and gentleman, the past won't be haunting us anymore, the present passed us by, and the future failed to come at sundown yesterday. Welcome to the post-future world. What comes after the afterlife: Sand Circles. Robocop music straight out of Stockholm. Sounds like sitting alongside the highway with a radar gun waiting for somebody to beat sixty-five. Better believe I've ordered my copy from Not Not Fun.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review :: Gap Dream :: S/T

Don't chuh look at me. I'm not crying, I'm just choppin' unyuns or maybe it's the seriously sweet sounds I've got humming through the Bandcamp.

Is it possible to be so into something that you can't be yourself without it? Your vision of yourself, your experience of the present isn't the same unless you're surrounded by something you only came across moments before?

Gap Dreams (not unlike the Gap itself) satisfies some weird psychically elusive part of myself that I didn't realize I needed for self-actualization. There's a satisfying rhythm, that would be perfect accompaniment for a laser-light show, and bangin' surf guitar, neither of which I realized I needed to proceed.

Listen to this...shit yourself...then come back crawling...

Released on Burger Records, but then what isn't?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review :: Satan's Satyrs :: Wild Beyond Belief

Saturday night's alright for fighting, and Friday night's prime time for some geeked out doom punk.

You want my advice? Drag into work late tomorrow, skip out early, head home in time to go toe to toe with Natty Daddy, and see if you're not forged from steel in the morning. Hope you forget the 8% abv hellride in between, soundtrack courtesy of Herndon, VA's own. Shit, I never imagined I'd be typing that.

Coming out any day now from the label started by the folks over at Joint Custody in Adams Morgan called Trash King Productions:
First edition of 500: 300 on black vinyl, 200 on clear red vinyl. Proudly made in the USA.
You just know you wanna get in on that red vinyl, don't chuh, kid? So why not try? Pre-order yours and pick it up at the store's location downstairs from Pharmacy Bar.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Review :: Total Control :: Henge Beat

Another one I'm coming to late here, but thanks be to Josh at Red Onion for turning me on to it before it completely passed me by. Been a longtime fan of Eddy Current Suppression Ring and the UV Race and it's no surprise that this collaborative side-project of the Aussie garage punk makes some great noise. My imagined garage rock workshop Down Under has all of these guys working an assembly line together, spooling together meters and meters of CrO2 with their tiny little hands.

From the Iron Lung Records site:
The combination of all their previous work and a steady live band has come together to form the great Henge Beat LP. Beautifully housed in a bright European-art-designed gatefold sleeve. These guys have outdone themselves with this one. Musically it rests somewhere between late 70's UK new wave a-la Ha Ha Ha era ULTRAVOX and the "now sound" EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING Aussie garage that we all know and love. Add a dash of hopeful Krautrock flavor and the recipe is a smashing success. We could not be happier to offer this perfect execution to you. 
Swing by Red Onion and pick up your copy like I did or, if your xenophobia's acting up, stay in your . Alas, 2011 must have been a good year. Too bad I drank it all

  Total Control :: Retiree

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Review :: Coma Cinema :: Blue Suicide

Can't stop listening to this. I think I love it. L-U-V. A year old, so it's the anniversary of sorts, so I'm not afraid to ask publicly at this point if Mat Cothran's up for doing a reissue, because I think I could sell this. Short run, high quality, cassette format. Everything above and beyond the cost of doing business goes back to the artist.

These are sluggish, pop missives composed by Jonah from the core of the whale's heart. Hyperliterate and tainted by an apathy for modern life. I would trust Mr. Cothran to explain to my health insurance company why they should cover the cost of my as-of-yet undiagnosed bone disorder.

Stream for free. Spend the dollar bills for the product. And make sure you check out Cothran's other projects.

[Note: Wonder Beard Tapes sells this release, but the site/functionality are non-site/non-functional as of this moment. This one right here. It's over.]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Video :: Gremlins :: JonBénet

Been meanin' to pack this one into your brain and watch it squirt back out of that play-doh factory you call a head. I don't hate you--in fact, I like you--I just like play-doh more. I guess that means I'm a bit touched, don't it?

Gremlins is comprised of members from Ricky Eats Acid, Toro y Moi, Braids, and Coma Cinema, which in case you can't do the supergroup math means that by minute three, you'll be wishing you could get all that play-do back in your head and keep it there. Hold it...hold it. Now if your parents would only come and pick you up before anyone sees you sneeze.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review :: Each Other :: Taking Trips

On Prison Art's reissue of Each Other's demo, former members of Halifax's Long Long Long pump out some golden sounds: rich guitar pop with no small amount of whack-job psych freeloading its way onto our shores like a van-load of prescription meds. Some beautiful stuff here, pink-cheeked and earnest. The recording's crisp, the drums stick, and the guitar shines.

Purchase Taking Trips direct from Prison Art to get the download and this sweet looking product, too.

Each Other :: Freak Heat

In other news, making up for some lost time here, so we're gonna take it back to some recordings we've missed in past months, maybe even rewind a year. So if you find the urge, follow us into the light.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: April

Stick it to the man before he has the chance to offer you his hand.

04/01  :: Andrew WK :: 9:30 Club [SOLD OUT]
04/02 :: Wild Flag :: 9:30 Club [SOLD OUT]
04/03 :: Natural Child :: Black Cat Back Stage
                  Small Bones/Fell Types/others :: Asefu's
04/05 :: School of Seven Bells :: Black Cat
                  Fordists/The Deads :: Velvet Lounge
04/06 :: Windian Showcase :: Foul Swoops/The Bizarros/and more :: Montserrat House
04/07 :: Windian Showcase :: Spider Fever/The Shirks/and more :: Montserrat House
04/12  :: Converge/Pygmy Lush/others :: DC9 [SOLD OUT]
04/14  :: Crystal Stilts :: Rock and Roll Hotel
04/15 :: Lambchop :: Iota
                 BSR/Rat Babies/Akris/Fortress :: Velvet Lounge
04/17 :: Paint Fumes/Los Vigilantes :: Comet Ping Pong
04/18 :: Washed Out/Memoryhouse :: Black Cat [SOLD OUT]
04/21 :: Chairlift/Nite Jewel :: U Street Music Hall
                 Dirty Ghost/The Fire Tapes :: Comet Ping Pong
04/24 :: Keep Shelly in Athens :: DC9
04/28 :: Ceremony/Tone/The Orchid :: Velvet Lounge

Monday, March 5, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: March

Sounds so smooth you'll be craving the fresh sleaze of the fro-yo freeze.

03/04 :: Young Prisms/Boy Friend/Ceremony :: DC9
03/05 :: Prince Rama/Pygmy Lush :: Comet Ping Pong
             Korralreven :: Black Cat Backstage
03/06 :: X-Ray Eyeballs :: Comet Ping Pong
03/12 :: Roomrunner/Priests/The Deads :: Black Cat Backstage
03/15 :: Megafaun/William Tyler :: Black Cat Backstage
03/17 :: EMA :: U Street Music Hall
03/23 :: Taking the Piss (indie pop dj night) :: Marx Cafe
03/24 :: Youth Lagoon :: Rock and Roll Hotel [SOLD OUT]
03/26 :: A Place to Bury Strangers (with some shitheel headliners) :: 9:30 Club
03/27 :: Liturgy/Sleigh Bells :: 9:30 Club [SOLD OUT]
03/31 :: Cloud Nothings :: Red Palace [SOLD OUT]
             Perfume Genius :: Iota

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

News :: Grave Babies :: Gothdammit

In keeping with the goth theme, it is with dejected and somnambulant pleasure for me tell you that Grave Babies will release a new EP, Gothdammit, on April 17th via Hardly Art.
Five songs, five reasons to line your apartment with roadkill, five reasons to purchase speakers large enough to burrow inside.

Listen below to the first single, "Nightmare." At a time when most emerging bands feel a need to change their sound for more polished results, Grave Babies are smart enough to know that no one sounds like them in the first place. Here, as before, guitars sound like rotting teeth grinding lightbulbs, and drums still sound like the snapping of fresh celery stalks, and the mix is dusted with dried up worm guts. And then it just stops.

Grave Babies :: Nightmare

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Video :: Mode Moderne :: Real Goths

Real goths spend Valentine's Day in abandoned train yards. Sometimes up trees. But they sure as hell never smile. Goldilocks ruins her aspirations here at about the 3:25 mark. Shame. Actually, she was done when her radiant skin entered the screen.

Vancouver's Mode Moderne have a new record coming out in May. This track is from a 7" of the same name released last year. I'm not smiling til they come to DC. Goths, I mean. I've strapped three squirrels' tails to my ass in hopes that they'll come sulking my way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review :: Shigeto :: Lineage EP

I've not dug into the roots of Ghostly International, but a quick look at their roster (both past and present) proves an aesthetic that has a lock down on a certain corner of my collection, with artists like School of Seven Bells, Com Truise, and Loscil, to name a few. Shigeto (real name Zach Saginaw) has been releasing material on the Ann Arbor-based label for a few years, and he continues to deliver his broken-down jazz electronics with the Lineage EP, released last week. Infinitely repeatable comes to mind - a varied but fluid meditation that never outstays its welcome. A taut mix of electric piano, chimes, harps and found sounds tethered to a shape-shifting rhythm section makes a shitty gray day completely tolerable.

Buy the damn thing, but save me a copy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Track :: The Men :: Open Your Heart

The Men :: Open Your Heart

One of my favorite bands from this past year. The mood turned satisfyingly agro at their 2011 Hopscotch performance, and I haven't seen them since. Open Your Heart is their second full-length release on Brooklyn's Sacred Bones, and it's every bit as rocky and hand-hewn as the first.

If the Men ever decide to play a show in DC, I'll burn down the Occupy DC encampment starting with the "dream tent." It's a promise. Bring hardcore back to DC, and I'll burn those fucking hippies where they sleep.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

News :: Upcoming Shows :: February

After a couple of dry months, Dirt Town is finally getting hosed. 

02/01 :: Smith Westerns/Bleached :: Black Cat Main Stage
02/02 :: The Kills/Jeff the Brotherhood :: 9:30 Club [SOLD OUT]
                  Tycho/Beacon :: Rock and Roll Hotel
02/06 :: Thurston Moore/Kurt Vile :: Black Cat Main Stage [SOLD OUT]
02/08 :: Veronica Falls/Brilliant Colors :: Black Cat Back Stage
02/09 :: Royal Baths :: DC9
02/11 :: Sharon Van Etten/Shearwater :: Black Cat Main Stage [SOLD OUT]
02/12 :: Die Antwoord :: 9:30 Club [SOLD OUT]
                 Dum Dum Girls/Widowspeak :: Black Cat Main Stage
02/14 :: Slow Club/Air Waves :: DC9
02/16 :: Zola Jesus :: U Street Music Hall
02/18 :: Dead Milkmen :: U Street Music Hall
02/27 :: Heartless Bastards :: Ottobar

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Track :: Lower Dens :: Brains

Not digging too deep for this one. Girl-next-door bombshell Jana Hunter has pulled her long line of charming men together for a new album, Nootropics, out in May via Ribbon Music. Lead single (and forthcoming 10") "Brains" just shuffled its way out of the Internet and interrupted my dinner conversation. This is a train song for blade runners, and highly recommended if you feel more secure defecating with the door shut even when no one else is home. They're not even due home for another 40 minutes. Hell, they went out of town for the weekend. Live a little, eh?

If the image shown on Lower Dens' website is any indication, this new record will have a shitload of keyboard textures. Must be in the B-more water supply.

Lower Dens :: Brains

Thursday, January 5, 2012