Friday, August 16, 2019

BODEGA - "Shiny New Model"

Photo by Kristen Kay Thoen
Our favorite art party rockers out of Brooklyn are back with a new song! BODEGA have just released a video for "Shiny New Model," which is off an upcoming EP. While the songs off last year's Endless Scroll were a wonderfully weird mix of hip hop, post punk, and folk, "Shiny New Model" is almost just a straightforward song. By most bands this might be an odd little song, but for BODEGA it's surprisingly normal. It's almost like a post punk top 40 ballad, but maybe just a tiny bit faster, and with a killer guitar solo.

You can watch the video for "Shiny New Model" below. Shiny New Model, the EP, will be out October 11 on What's Your Rupture. You can pre-order the EP here. For more on BODEGA, check them out on Facebook and Instagram



Joel Paterson Covers The Beatles

There's nothing I have to write about the importance of The Beatles and their influence on the entire world. Vintage aficionado Joel Paterson agrees, and he's set to release an entire album of Beatles covers. The first single is a cover of "Michelle." "Michelle" isn't very high on my list of personal favorite Beatles songs, but this cover is spectacular. It's vintage sounding and instrumental, with guitars being the focus. There's a bit of a surf edge to it, and it's fun to hear a song we're all so familiar with reimagined this way. 

JD McPherson wrote the liner notes for the album, and he describes it this way: “Each of Joel’s interpretations of these songs are concise, genre-bending, stylish tone poems, mixing both Joel’s and the Beatles’ own century-spanning inspirations into one zesty musical stew."

You can listen to Joel Peterson's version of "Michelle" below. Let It Be Guitar! Joel Paterson Plays The Beatles will be out September 20 on Bloodshot Records. You can pre-order your copy here. For more on Joel Paterson, check out his website.

Live Shows: The Queers, The Prozacs, and Dirty Walter and The Smelltones, Ralph's Rock Diner, Worcester, MA 8/14/19

Even though I've been a fan of The Queers for over twenty years, I had only seen them once before, and that was opening for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones at a recent Hometown Throwdown. I had yet to see their own show, which simply doesn't make sense for a (semi) local band that has been around seemingly forever. Once they announced a headlining show less than an hour from my house, in a venue with its own parking lot no less, I simply had to go.

As I walked up the stairs into the upstairs area of Ralph's, I could hear one of the opening bands playing a cover of "In the Still of the Night." I'm a sucker for a punk rock cover of a classic oldie, so I was pretty happy. Turns out Dirty Walter and The Smelltones play nothing but covers of oldies. They also busted out versions of "Sherry" by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes, and "It's My Party" by Leslie Gore. They also crammed nuggets of Nirvana and Metallica into some of these songs for good measure. A funny thing happened during their set. I kept bouncing between enjoying it and being annoyed by the gimmick. A song would start, I'd be annoyed that it was yet another one of these feeling that the joke was old, but by the end of the song I'd be bopping away and fully enjoying myself. Somehow Dirty Walter and The Smelltones pulled off an entire set of oldies punk covers through sheer charm and fun.

The Prozacs were next, and were basically the exact kind of band you'd expect to open for The Queers. They're a bratty punk band that heavily leans towards the pop end of punk. The band took the stage with 3/4 wearing their own shirts. It took a while, but they very slowly won me over. Are The Prozacs a good band? Not really. Their ode to Jack the Ripper, "The Ripper," includes the lyrics "Hey Jack / Jack the Ripper / What you did was really fucked up." But you don't always have to be a good band when you're as fun as The Prozacs ended up being, and sometimes that's all you really need.

Then The Queers took the stage. You know what you're getting at a Queers show at this point. It was a just short of an hour burst of fast heavily Ramones and Beach Boys inspired bratty, obnoxious punk rock, which is what a packed Ralph's wanted. This was an audience of die hard fans yelling along to just about all their songs. You forget how many simply great songs The Queers have: "I Met Her At the Rat," "This Place Sucks," "Love Love Love," "Monster Zero," "Night of the Living Queers," and "Granola Head" were all played to a great ovation. The band even brought out original member Wimpy Rutherford for a rare treat to sing a few songs like "Kicked Out of the Webelos." By the time they got to their biggest hit, "Punk Rock Girls," I had almost forgot the song existed. It says a lot when a band could have skipped their most well known song without the audience knowing or caring.

Apologies to Time Out Timmy, the very first band to go on. I missed your set completely, but a four band bill on a Wednesday night is a lot to ask of this aging hipster. I promise to catch you next time.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Nickel&Rose - "Another Man"

Milwaukee's Nickel&Rose aren't shying away from the political on their new single. "Another Man" is about the shooting of black men by police in America. It's an incredibly direct and powerful soulful Americana song that includes the lyrics “Twenty-first century don’t mean a thing to me because it might as well be 1910” and “They killed another man/ Police pulled a gun on me when I was only Seventeen/ I could have been that man.” This heavy message is delivered by a great song. "Another Man" could be about anything and you'd be sucked in and paying attention. The subject matter just makes this song even more vital. 

You can listen to "Another Man" below. For more on Nickel&Rose, check out their website.

Skyzoo & Pete Rock - "It's All Good"

While younger artists working with their musical heroes has been common in the past decade or so for rock and folk artists, there hasn't been much in the world of hip hop. Skyzoo is changing that by working with the legendary Pete Rock on a collaborative album. I'm not that familiar with Skyzoo, but Pete Rock's work with C.L. Smooth helped soundtrack my teenage years. Their first single together is out, and "It's All Good" is, quite simply, great. It doesn't hurt that the beat for "It's All Good" comes from Rock's secret stash and is from around the time (1994) that Rock was working on Nas's beyond classic Illmatic. 

Skyzoo has this to say about the album:

“The idea for Retropolitan came from a feeling of necessity. The album is both a love letter and a wake up call to the city of New York. In an age where hype dominates reality, FOMO supersedes integrity and gentrification has supplanted tradition, this album is screaming for NYC to wake TF up – even as Pete & myself thank the city for all it’s done for us at the same time. Wake up from accepting your culture being stripped away from you. Wake up from believing that the people who aren’t cut from the cloth you created know your fabric better than you. Wake up from denying the change that’s taken place within you, told to be for your betterment, when it’s solely for theirs, and at your expense and detriment. Wake up from ignoring the identity you once had, the community you once built, the strength you once manifested, all to take on that of one you assumed would expand your reach, when all it’s doing is spreading you comically thin. Dear New York, all five boroughs of you, thank you for all you’ve done. You’re the greatest. Now sit back, listen, and wake TF up."

You can listen to "It's All Good" below. Retropolitan, the upcoming album from Skyzoo and Pete Rock, will be out September 20 on Mello Music Group. You can pre-order it at Skyzoo's Bandcamp

Le Butcherettes Cover Buzzcocks

Photo by Adela Loconte
We love cover songs here at If It's Too Loud..., so we try to bring them to you as much as possible. Last week saw the release of Le Butcherettes covering the Buzzcocks's iconic "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)." Since Le Butcherettes bring the kind of noise that leads to touring with bands like the Melvins, I expected an aggressive, noisy cover. Their version of "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" is very true to the original. If anything, it's a little more tame and New Wave than early pop punk. Of course, Teri Gender Bender's voice is her voice, so there are some Le Butcherettes moments from that as well as some nosier guitar parts towards the end, but it's still a very true to the original cover.

You can listen to Le Butcherettes version of "Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" below. The song is available via Rise Records here. For more on Le Butcherettes, check out their website.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pony in the Pancake - "Summer Has a Way"

Photo by Pony in the Pancake
I don't normally equate Albany, NY with sunshine and summer vibes, but Pony in the Pancake could change that. "Summer Has a Way" is this great laid back, chilled out summer vibe. It's all jangly guitars and killer synth riffs mixed with just the right amount of surf rock. It's a bizarre (in a good way) mix of indie pop and psychedelia. The band says about the song: 

"Summer has a way. It does. It sets you apart from other seasons. Summer is Majesty.  It reminds you that perfection exists.  It has a way. But that, you already know.  You wish you could capture that moment forever.  The Moon sets.  The Music dies.  The Waves crash.  The Sun Shines. Summer.  It lets you know."

You can listen to "Summer Has a Way" below. Summer Sun, the new album from Pony in the Pancake, will be out September 20 on Five Kill Records. You can pre-order the album at Bandcamp. For more on Pony in the Pancake, check them out on Facebook

Big Thief - "Not"

Confession time: As much as I absolutely loved Big Thief's 2016 debut Masterpiece, I just wasn't able to get into Capacity or U.F.O.F. Those albums were fine, but they just didn't grab me the way their first album did. I know, I know... I'm probably wrong. Somehow they're set to release a fourth album in the fall, and if the first single is any indication, I'm going to be very happy with this new one. "Not" reminds me of Masterpiece. It goes back to that beautiful yet noisy rock epics I came to love from Big Thief. "Not" sounds like it could break apart at any moment, but it keeps on chugging along, gaining momentum without the tempo speeding up. Plus, it climaxes with one of the most epic J Mascis worthy guitar solos I've heard in years. 

You can listen to "Not" below. Two Hands, the upcoming album from Big Thief, will be available October 11 via 4AD. You can pre-order the album here. For more on Big Thief, check out their website. Current tour dates are below the song.


Wed. Aug 14 - Saint-malo, FR @ Route du Rock
Fri. Aug 16 - Hasselt, BE @ Pukkelpop Festival
Sat. Aug. 17 - Wales, UK @Green Man Festival
Mon. Aug. 19 - London, UK @ Bush Hall
Wed. Oct. 9 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Thu. Oct. 10 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Fri. Oct. 11 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall (SOLD OUT)
Sat. Oct. 12 - South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Sun. Oct. 13 - Boston, MA @ Wilbur Theatre
Tue. Oct. 15 - Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe (SOLD OUT)
Wed. Oct. 16 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre (SOLD OUT)
Thu. Oct. 17 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
Fri. Oct. 18 - Chicago, IL @ Metro (SOLD OUT)
Sat. Oct. 19 - Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
Mon. Oct. 21 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Thu. Oct. 24 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
Fri. Oct. 25 - Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
Sat. Oct. 26 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
Mon. Oct. 28 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore (SOLD OUT)
Tue. Oct. 29 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
Wed. Oct. 30 - Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
Fri. Nov. 1 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
Sat. Nov. 2 - Albuquerque, NM @ Sister
Mon. Nov. 4 - Austin, TX @ Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
Tue. Nov. 5 - Dallas, TX @ Trees
Thu. Nov. 7 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
Fri. Nov. 8 - Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom (SOLD OUT)
Sat. Nov. 9 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sun. Nov. 10 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Mon. Nov. 11 - Columbus, OH @ The Athenaeum Theatre
Mon. Feb. 17 - Lisbon, PT @ LAV
Tue. Feb. 18 - Porto, PT @ Hard Club
Wed. Feb. 19 - Madrid, ES @ Joy Eslava
Thu. Feb. 20 - Barcelona, ES @ La 2 de Apolo
Sat. Feb. 22 - Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
Sun. Feb. 23 - Milan, IT @ Magnolia
Mon. Feb. 24 - Lyon, FR @ Epicerie Moderne
Tue. Feb. 25 - Paris, FR @ Cabaret Sauvage
Thu. Feb. 27 - London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
Sat. Feb. 29 - Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
Sun. Mar. 1 - Manchester, UK @ Albert Hall
Mon. Mar. 2 - Glasgow, UK @ Old Fruitmarket
Thu. Mar. 5 - Brussels, BE @ AB Ballroom
Fri. Mar. 6 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Sat. Mar. 7 - Cologne, DE @ Luxor
Sun. Mar. 8 - Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefährlich
Mon. Mar. 9 - Berlin, DE @ Astra
Wed. Mar. 11 - Copenhagen, DK @ Vega Main Hall
Thu. Mar. 12 - Gotheburg, SE @ Pustervik
Fri. Mar. 13 - Stockholm, SE @ Debaser
Sat. Mar. 14 - Olso, NO @ Rockefeller
Sun. Mar. 15 - Aarhus, DK @ Voxhall

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Messthetics - "Drop Foot"

The Messthetics are quickly becoming our favorite improvised jazz/punk band featuring Brendan Canty and Joe Lally formerly of Fugazi. Their latest single, "Drop Foot," features a slightly bigger sound. It's a brisk song, which you would expect for the punk side of things, and there is quite a bit of noodling for the jazz side of it. But "Drop Foot" has a big sound to it, almost in a classic rock kind of way. In fact, the first 45 seconds or so has a hippie/jam band vibe. After that is over, the noise truly begins.

You can listen to "Drop Foot" below. Anthropocosmic Nest, the new album from The Messthetics, will be out September 6 on Dischord. You can pre-order the album here. For more on The Messthetics, check them out on Facebook.

First Listen: New Releases for 9 August

Things appear to be picking up for the fall...


Artist: Spirit Family Reunion
Album: Ride Free
Quick Description: First album in far too long from a favorite here.
Why You Should Listen: Spirit Family Reunion is criminally underrated.
Overall Thoughts: At this point, can we just call Spirit Family Reunion the best kept secret in roots/folk? From the moment Ken and I saw them open for David Wax Museum back at the church in Boston, they have consistently put out some of the best music in their genre, and after a long break and some lineup shuffling? As far as I’m concerned, they haven’t missed a step. There’s not a missed moment on this record, and it feels as pure and authentic as ever.
Recommendation: Do not miss this album – it’s not only the best thing out this week, but perhaps one of the best records of this year.


Artist: Lilith
Album: Safer Off
Quick Description: Long-awaited debut from some indie alt rockers.
Why You Should Listen: This is a solid album with a lot going for it.
Overall Thoughts: I’ve been waiting on this album for some time, and it pretty much delivers. The sort of female-fronted alt-rock that has been ruling the indie airwaves around these parts as brought us to Lilith, an act that keeps it largely midtempo and introspective throughout its runtime to solid results. There’s a lot to love here, with a key highlight being "G.O.Y.T." I’m just as excited to listen to this again as I am to see where the next step ends up.
Recommendation: One of the best this week.


Artist: Marika Hackman
Album: Any Human Friend
Quick Description: New album from an alt-rock singer-songwriter.
Why You Should Listen: Hackman took a big step forward with this album.
Overall Thoughts: How is she not famous on the level of artists like KT Tunstall or Sara Barrieles? That’s the question I asked repeatedly throughout this album, which has a great singer-songwriter sensibility but then has songs like “I’m Not Where You Are,” or “Conventional Ride,” or “Hand Solo,” any of which should really be ruling the adult alternative charts. I really liked her last album, but this is such a leap forward it’s almost a shock. I was excited already, but this is a really great listen that should not be allowed to get lost in the shuffle?
Recommendation: A must hear.


Artist: Infinity Crush
Album: Virtual Heaven
Quick Description: Quiet, delicate singer-songwritery folk.
Why You Should Listen: This album surprised me over and over again.
Overall Thoughts: Every so often I add an album to my list based on the cover alone, and I felt like this would be a pretty interesting listen based on initial presentation. What I didn’t expect was something so stark and so fascinating. There’s a fragility to this that is only magnified by the instrumentation throughout. I don’t know if this is something truly different, but it sure sounds like it and that goes a long way for me.
Recommendation: Don’t sleep on this one.


Artist: Purple Mountains
Album: Purple Mountains
Quick Description: Now-final album from David Berman.
Why You Should Listen: Listen as a tribute, but listen also because it's good.
Overall Thoughts: We missed this one from the former Silver Jews frontman, but given his tragic suicide last week I felt it necessary to take a listen. The context of the time (especially with some of the early tracks) feel especially haunting on a listen, and the album ends up having an additional amount of sadness as a result. While this album might hit differently a month ago or with proper distance, for now it is an interesting work with a lot more weight.
Recommendation: Give this a listen if you can.


Artist: Smooth Hound Smith
Album: Dog in a Manger
Quick Description: Great rootsy music with a mainstream feel.
Why You Should Listen: This album throws a few curveballs, all of which are great.
Overall Thoughts: I didn't want to leave this out this week, but if you're into the sort of newer country with an alternative/classic flair, this needs to hit your rotation. It won't be for everyone, but it's a listen that I'm glad Ken sent over because I enjoyed it so much. Looking forward to spending more time with it.
Recommendation: Another quality listen.

Of note:

* Beth Bombara - Evergreen (Solid, mainstream-friendly alt-country)
* The Regrettes - How Do You Love? (A good listen even if it’s not up to their debut)
* Ra Ra Riot - Superbloom (Typical quality from an indie mainstay)
* Feeder - Tallulah (A little dated, but better than it has any right to be)
* Che Apalache - Rearrange My Heart (Reminds me of David Wax Museum and I am here for it.)
* Chris Carroll and Adam Carroll - Good Farmer
* Seeker Lover Keeper - Wild Seeds
* Oompa - Cleo
* Ainslie Wills - All You Have Is All You Need
* WHY? - AOKOHIO
* P.P. Arnold - The New Adventures of... P.P. Arnold

Eps:

* Snow Patrol - Reworked (EP 1)
* Olivia Lane - The One
* Clara Bond - Crown
* Rudimental - Distinction EP
* UV Rays - The Right Stuff

Also:

* Maybe April - The Other Side
* Pete Yorn - Caretakers
* Marc Cohn and The Blind Boys of Alabama - Work to Do
* Matt Muse - Love and Nappyness
* Mutlu - Good Trouble
* Bon Iver - i,i