Wednesday, November 23, 2022

NOVA ONE covers Angel Olsen

Even if you've never gotten into Angel Olsen, you know and love "Shut Up Kiss Me." It's just one of those universally beloved songs. Since we're huge fans of NOVA ONE and covers, we obviously have to bring you their cover of the Angel Olsen classic! NOVA ONE's version of "Shut Up Kiss Me" is a Roz Raskin solo track, with just their vocals and guitar. It's stripped down, but it still sees Razkin using tracks to harmonize with their own vocals. Beyond the charities the single will benefit, this is a great cover of a great song that you're going to need to check out.

You can listen to NOVA One's version of "Shut Up Kiss Me" below. The song is available via Bandcamp. Proceeds will be split between RIOT RI (an RI based non-profit offering music programming for women, girls, trans, and non-binary folks) and the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs. For more on NOVA ONE, check out the artist's website.

Carsie Blanton - "Rich People"

Photo by Shervin Lainez

One thing we love about Carsie Blanton is how she has mastered making music that sounds so sweet while being so viciously political at the same time. Her latest might be her sweetest and most vicious yet. "Rich People" is a jazzy, nightclub style song railing against the wealthy and how they are the root of all of our problems. It namechecks both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as the ones who set this all up, so CW if you're on the conservative side of things. You've never heard a line like "Rich people been fucking us all" delivered quite as sweetly as Blanton does here.

You can listen to "Rich People" below. For more on Carsie Blanton, check out the artist's website.

Hollow Hand - "Heaven Just Watched"

Photo by Holly Macve

Hollow Hands is the musical project of Brighton based musician Max Kinghorn-Mills and has just released a new single. "Heaven Just Watched" is an interesting mix of 70's era Americana tinged folk rock and more modern forays into indie rock while being all psychedelic. It has all of that sunniness of the California 70's psychedelic folk scene and a little of the edge of 90's psychedelic indie rock. This is perfect if you adore the music of bands like The Byrds and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. It definitely has that weird vibe while still being just mainstream enough to kinda be pop-ish.

Max Kinghorn-Mills says of the new single:

"Chaos reigns & London is in flames, 1666. The lyrics for ‘Heaven Just Watched’ are based on a diary I kept when I moved into London to work on music. I was reading Peter Ackroyd’s definitive biography of the city & totally immersed in the mythology & hidden rituals which form the foundations of the city’s architecture. I imagined myself walking through those streets. Nothing has meaning, there are no gods, choose your own adventure."

You can watch the video for "Heaven Just Watched" below. Your Own Adventure is due out March 3 on Curation Records. The album can be pre-ordered/pre-saved here. For more on Hollow Hand, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram

Hallelujah the Hills Cover The Smashing Pumpkins and Joanna Newsom

For their Patreon, Hallelujah the Hills have a monthly "Hills Cover Sessions" where they learn two cover songs which they arrange and record in a room together over a few hours. This month they decided to release their two covers to the public, and they are The Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" and Joanna Newsom's "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie." Joanna Newsom seems more akin to Hallelujah the Hills' own style, and the cover shows that. Their cover of "1979" is stellar, in that it's an almost completely torn down and rebuilt version. While the original is a perfect example of that mid-90's post grunge alternative that was just starting to become dance music although we'd never admit it sound, Hallelujah the Hills' version is a slowed down version that almost grinds to a halt, complete with an almost industrial level of noise and feedback. Leave it to them to take one of the prettiest and most mainstream songs of that era and dirty it up this much. Although it still has that epic quality to it that The Smashing Pumpkins' original had. For "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie," Hallelujah the Hills lean more into their folky side. It's not quite as minimalist as Joanna Newsom's original, but it's as minimalist as a six member band can get.

To hear Hallelujah the Hills' covers of "1979" and "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie," head on over to their Patreon. While you're there, you should obviously join their Patreon. For more on Hallelujah the Hills, check out the band's website.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Tanukichan - "Don't Give Up"

Photo by Brendan Nakahara

Tanukichan may be the project of Bay Area musician Hannah van Loon, it is also a collaboration between van Loon and Chaz Bear of Toro y Moi. The project's newest single, "Don't Give Up," is this odd mixture of chillwave, shoegaze, and nu metal. (I honestly didn't pick up the nu metal until I saw it mentioned in the press release, but now I can't unhear it...) "Don't Give Up" has the unmistakable electronic chill of bands like Massive Attack and Stereolab, the fuzz of shoegaze, and the oddly aggressive riffs of nu metal. This song should not work at all, but Tanukichan pull off this unique sound masterfully. It's one of the more unique and familiar sounding songs we've brought you in a while.

Hannah van Loon says of the new single:

"This song is about feeling I haven’t done anything with my life, but also knowing that I’ve accomplished a lot and it’s only getting better. I started writing the lyrics when I was on tour opening for the Drums after my first album came out. We were playing sold out shows in front of hundreds of people, but I knew it could change in an instant. I felt like I hit rock bottom emotionally, I wasn’t ready for the road and it killed me. I felt so disconnected from the band even though they were my backbone and were making it happen. The only thing that really helps me at that point is feeling like I can just let everything go, and we all die. Just accepting the fact that I can’t control anything and that in the end it doesn’t matter. We will all disappear. I wrote the chorus years later when I was finishing a bunch of the songs. I didn’t want it to be depressing, even though that’s where it came from. It came from giving up but I wanted to keep going. I wanted it to mean something moving on from the negative and I came up with a ridiculously positive chorus. Don’t give up now you know there’s another day, just know you’re going to get to a better place, a better place meaning a better place in life, or 'heaven,' just nothingness where all your worries are gone."

You can watch the video for "Don't Give Up" below. GIZMO is due out March 3 on Company Records, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Tanukichan, check out the artist's Twitter and Instagram. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

3/23 Sacramento, CA @ The Starlet Room 3/24-3/26 Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival 4/21Portland, OR @ Polaris Hall 4/22 Vancouver, BC @ Fox Cabaret 4/23 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern 4/26 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry 4/27 Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village 4/28 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups 4/29 Toronto, ON @ The Garrison 4/30 Montreal, QC Bar @ Le Ritz 5/2 New York, NY @ Baby's All Right 5/3 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's 5/4 Washington, DC @ Songbyrd 5/8 Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall Upstairs 5/9 Austin, TX @ Mohawk (Indoors) 5/10 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada 5/12 Denver, CO @ Globe Hall 5/13Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Block Party 5/15 Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar 5/16 San Diego, CA @ Casbah 5/17 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo 5/19 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill

Quasi - "Doomscrollers"

Photo by John Clark

Quasi (which we all know is the collaboration of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss) have a new single that is exactly what we expect from them and a refreshing change at the same time. "Doomscrollers" is an upbeat, happy alt-rock/pop song, but it's also shockingly dark at the same time. The song is called "Doomscrollers," so you're going to expect some level of darkness, but tying this level of dark with this level of upbeat is almost whiplash inducing. It's also a straight up alt-rocker for the most part, but at times there are added strings that give the song a cinematic feel. Quasi's upcoming album will be their tenth, so it's great to see a band with that much music still finding ways to surprise us.

You can watch the video for "Doomscrollers" below. Breaking the Balls of History is due out February 10 via Sub Pop, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Quasi, check out their Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Wed. Dec. 07 - London, UK - The Victoria

Fri. Feb. 10 - Boise, ID - Neurolux ^

Sat. Feb. 11 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court ^

Mon. Feb. 13 - Albuquerque, NM - Sister ^

Wed. Feb. 15 - San Antonio, TX - Paper Tiger ^

Thu. Feb. 16 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall ^

Fri. Feb. 17 - Austin, TX - The Parish ^

Sat. Feb. 18 - Dallas, TX - Club Dada ^

Mon. Feb. 20 - El Paso, TX - Lowbrow Palace ^

Wed. Feb. 22 - Phoenix, AZ - Rebel Lounge *

Thu. Feb. 23 - Pioneertown, CA - Pappy and Harriet’s *

Fri. Feb. 24 - Los Angeles, CA - Zebulon *

Sat. Feb. 25 - Oakland, CA - Starline Social Club *

Sun. Feb. 26 - Sacramento, CA - Starlet Room

Thu. Mar. 02 - Vancouver, BC - Fox Cabaret #

Fri. Mar. 03 - Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern #

Sat. Mar. 04 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge # !

Tue. Mar. 14 -Boston, MA - The Sinclair %

Wed. Mar. 15 - Kingston, NY - Tubby’s %

Thu. Mar. 16 - Ridgewood, NY - TV Eye %

Fri. Mar. 17 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s %

Sun. Mar. 19 - Durham, NC - The Pinhook %

Tue. Mar. 21 - Atlanta, GA - 529 %

Wed. Mar. 22 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn %

Thu. Mar. 23 - Nashville, TN - Blue Room at Third Man Records %

Fri. Mar. 24 - St. Louis, MO -  Off-Broadway %

Sat. Mar. 25 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle %

Sun. Mar. 26 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups %

Mon. Mar. 27 - Detroit, MI - Third Man Records %

Tue. Mar. 28 - Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe %


^ w/ Yuvees

* w/ Hurry Up!

# w/ No.2

! w/ Shaylee

% w/ Bat Fangs

First Listen: New Releases for 11 and 18 November 2022

November 11:

Artist: Smut
Album: How the Light Felt
Quick Thoughts: Smut is the sort of comfortable indie rock that I love, where it's not doing anything particularly revolutionary but is still doing what they do better than anyone else in the moment. Don't overlook this listen, there's a lot of great music to love in here.
Songs of Note: "Soft Engine," "Believe You Me," "Morningstar"

Artist: Delivery
Album: Forever Giving Handshakes
Quick Thoughts: This album has a lot going for it, and its refusal to conform to any specific genre is a benefit when many acts could treat it as a drawback. This album won me over right away, and will likely win you over, too.
Songs of Note: "Poor-to-Middling Moneymaking," "Baader Meinhof," "No Homes," "Good"

Artist: A7PHA
Album: II
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this because it's great, but also because it reminds me a lot of when Tricky made a pseudo-rap album and this has a similar feel in all the right ways. "Rapper are Haunted" is lowkey one of my favorite songs of the last few months.
Songs of Note: "Just Run," "Internet Boyz," "How Far," "Rappers are Haunted"

Artist: STL GLD
Album: Rock Boyega
Quick Thoughts: In a rap-heavy week, our favorite rappers from New England are back with another album of banger after banger, with a great mix of music and message to go along with it. How they aren't huge at this point is still beyond me, but if "Resisting" doesn't become a protest anthem there's something wrong with the world.
Songs of Note: "Thug," "My Block," "Resisting"

Artist: Homeboy Sandman
Album: Still Champion
Quick Thoughts: The other rap highlight of this week is Homeboy Sandman, who has a new album that feels old school both in its delivery (like in "Satellite") and in approach (like with the chorus of "Radiator"). He's another rapper that should be a lot bigger than he is. Make time for this.
Songs of Note: "Satellite," "Radiator," "News to Me"

Of note:

* Pomplamoose - Daft Pomp (A covers album of Daft Punk songs.)
* Imogen Heap and Dan O'Neill - Chordata Bytes I (Technology and animal-inspired tunes.)
* Actress - Dummy Corporation
* Illogic - The Transition
* Fenella - The Metallic Index
* Womb - Dreaming of the Future Again
* Fitz and the Tantrums - Let Yourself Free
* Elizabeth Moen - Wherever You Aren't
* Suzie Chism - Pobrecita
* Nas - Kings Disease III
* Venus Ex Machina - Doxa
* Orchid Mantis - How Long Will It Take
* Christina Vantzou - No. 5
* Breanna Barbara - Nothin' But Time
* Ruin the Nite - Sound the Alarm
* Gold Panda - The Work
* FaltyDL - A Nurse to my Patience
* Sarathy Korwar and Photay - KALAK
* Hyd - Clearing
* deux furieuses - Songs from Planet Earth
* Richie Culver - I Was Born By the Sea
* Full EFX - Headrush
* The Endorphins - Nothing is Real
* Plaid - Feorm Falorx
* Nervous Eaters - Monsters + Angels


* Tyondi Braxton - Telekinesis
* Too Many Zooz - Pecking Order
* Waiver Wire - Wasted Time Well Spent
* flowerovlove - A Mosh Pit In The Clouds
* Snooper - Town Topic
* Scene Queen - Bimbocore Vol. 2
* Jordana - I'm Doing Well, Thanks for Asking
* Little Snake - Driving on Acid
* Helena Hauff - Living With Ladybirds
* Jambinai - Apparition
* Jamestown Revival - Songs That Sleigh

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Run the Jewels - RTJ QU4TRO (Spanish remixes from their latest.)
* Groove Armada - GA25

November 18:

Artist: bis
Album: Systems Music for Home Defence
Quick Thoughts: bis is a classic alt-rock act that I have the same reaction to every time: I wish I listened to them more. This latest album leans heavy on the electronic influences, and it works pretty well. Old school fans might not love where they went with this, but for me, it was pretty great. Check it out.
Songs of Note: "Shopping for Tattoos," "Headaches," "Stress"

Artist: Shake Chain
Album: Snake Chain
Quick Thoughts: This album is bound to be polarizing for a lot of people. I absolutely loved it, and it's likely my favorite of the week: it's commonly unexpected and unpredictable, and it just sticks with you. It's the sort of angular indie rock that should be more popular than it is, and I highly recommend giving it a shot this week.
Songs of Note: "Copy Me," "Mike"

Artist: Velveteen
Album: Empty Crush
Quick Thoughts: Much like Smut last week, Velveteen provides a comfortable, enjoyable listen in a busy and weird week. If songs like "Just Like Autumn" don't grab you, I don't know what will.
Songs of Note: "7th Heaven," "Entwined," "Just Like Autumn"

Artist: Weyes Blood
Album: And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow
Quick Thoughts: Weyes Blood consistently does her own thing, and does it absolutely beautifully. In a way, this latest album is probably the best manifestation of her songwriting we've gotten yet. It's haunting, it's brutally honest, it's theatrical without feeling performative, and the songs are stellar. Don't miss out on this one.
Songs of Note: "Children of the Empire," "Hearts Aglow," "The Worst is Done"

Artist: Gladie
Album: Don't Know What You're In Until You're Out
Quick Thoughts: Gladie's latest continues along the indie singer-songwriter track that's made me such a fan. It's a quick hit of an album with some great songs interspersed throughout, so don't skip this one in a busy week.
Songs of Note: "Born Yesterday," "Mud"

Artist: Backxwash
Quick Thoughts: Backxwash is another rapper who won Canada's Polaris Prize for her previous record, which was well deserved even though it's rare to see a horrorcore-leaning act garnish the sort of critical acclaim she has. This new album is a lot starker in all areas, from the instrumentation to the tone, and it's strident and sincere in ways most acts try to avoid. Make time for this.
Songs of Note: "Vibanda," "Zigolo"

Artist: Caitlin Rose
Quick Thoughts: I've been a fan of Caitlin Rose for a few years now, and this album acted as a great reminder as to why I find her music so appealing. Solid roots stuff, a step above a lot of what's out there. Worth your time if this is your genre.
Songs of Note: "Modern Dancing," "Nobody's Sweetheart," "Black Obsidian," "Holdin'"

Artist: Bothers
Quick Thoughts: I wanted to highlight this because metal is decidedly not my genre, but this won me over. I don't know why or how, but songs like "Washed Out" just grabbed me and this ended up being an enjoyable one this week.
Songs of Note: "Washed Out," "Black Teeth Sadness"

Of note:

* Veps - Oslo Park (Solid alt rock.)
* Melissa Carper - Ramblin' Soul (Honest roots music.)
* Billy Strings - Me / And / Dad (Billy Strings is a real talent.)
* Boyhood - My Dread (When this is on, it's on)
* The Winston Brothers - Drift (Great instrumental funk.)
* Maple Run Band - Used to Be the Next Big Thing
* The Sorry Kisses - Hang From a Star
* Helen Ganya - polish the machine
* Anna Mieke - Theatre
* American Thrills - Parted Ways
* Errol Holden - Joe Frog
* Lenny Lashley's Gang of One - Five Great Egrets
* Bern Kelly - Garden City
* Those Poor Bastards - God Awful
* Quinn Christopherson - Write Your Name in Pink
* Soft Blue Shimmer - Love Lives in the Body
* Pulse Emitter - Dusk
* Royksopp - Profound Mysteries III


* Elizabeth M. Drummond - Congratulations (I loved this so much.)
* Weeping Icon - Ocelli
* The Wombats - Is This What It Feels Like to Feel Like This?
* Ellie Moon - Bad TV
* Gut Health - Electric Party Chrome Girl
* Ricky Desktop - Grammy Beatpack Vol. 1
* Tim Heidecker and The Very Good Band - Live in Boulder
* Collider - Excessively Worthwhile
* Phoebe Bridgers - So Much Wine
* GOON - Red Ladder
* Joshua Burnside - Late Afternoon in the Meadow (1887)
* Panda Swim - Downer
* Lunar Vacation - A Living Room Christmas
* Denzel Himself - Goth Cowboy: Country Songs for Grudge-Holders
* Zola Jesus - Alive in Cappadocia
* Michaela Anne - Happy XMas
* Sneaks - The Eva EP
* Eric Hilton - Present Past and Future
* Trophy Wife - Voyeur
* MYTBE - Good Enough
* Ruby Haunt - Cures for Opposites
* Born at Midnite - Alternty
* Hit Like a Girl - Becoming
* Tula Vera - Shape Shifter

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Grain Thief - Ain't Hungover Yet
* Nickel Creek - Live From the Fox Theater
* The Mountain Goats - The Jordan Lake Sessions: Volume 5
* Sarah Davachi - In Concert and In Residence

Also out:

* Amos Lee - My Ideal (A Tribute to Chet Baker Sings)
* Apollo Brown and Philmore Greene - Cost of Living
* Vado - Long Run Vol. 3

Live Shows: Letters to Cleo & THICK, Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA 11/19/22

Poster by Daykamp Creative

I usually try to avoid nostalgia shows and tours. While most people my age seem to adore them, it's not typically my thing. Many bands from the 90's come around once a year around the same time, play the exact same venue, and play basically the same setlist. It could be because I've seen a lot of these bands before, and usually for a lot cheaper than the shows cost now. I'm more into having a new or unique experience than I am having the same one over and over. Plus, you get a lot of middle aged people trying to relive their college and teen years, including trying to drink like they did twenty to thirty years ago. However, there are always exceptions to every rule, and mine is Letters to Cleo.

I've seen Letters to Cleo more than any other band. I'm not quite sure how many times, but I'd guess over twenty, maybe over thirty. Even though they play the Paradise every year, they always find a way to mix it up. This year saw a quick five song acoustic set to start things off. They were joined by Meghan Tracey on keyboards opened with one of their newer songs, "Back to Nebraska," which was surprising but somehow worked. One great thing about Letters to Cleo shows these days is that there are very few newbies. It's typically a diehard crowd who is perfectly fine with opening with a new song. The second song was a brand new song which sees Kay Hanley fantasizing about murdering her abusive high school boyfriend. Obviously that received a great reaction. From there we got "Step Back" and "Little Rosa," which are two obvious songs for an acoustic set. They closed this portion of the show with their cover of Nick Lowe's "Cruel to Be Kind."

After this, it was pretty much a greatest hits show. It's easy to forget just how many great songs Letters to Cleo have, but songs like "Go!," "Demon Rock," "Pizza Cutter," and of course the big hits of "Here and Now" and their cover of "I Want You to Want Me" will always be crowd pleasers. While many of their contemporaries can leave the impression that they're going through the motions for a paycheck, that's not the case with Letters to Cleo. Michael Eisenstein in particular seemed to be having the time of his life. This is the kind of band that has been playing to a lot of the same people for decades, and it's always fun to see them spot a familiar face in the crowd.

To help make this year's Homecoming shows a little special, they brought in a horn section for the encore. "Sparklegirl," "Rim Shak," and "Acid Jed" were particularly great with horns. It's definitely not a necessary addition, but a fun one to make this weekend's shows unique for the diehards.

Brooklyn's THICK opened the night. I've been a fan since discovering their album Happy Now back in August. It's a great album, but their live show is stellar. It takes all of the fun of the album, but with a more raw, noisy edge. Their pop side makes them a perfect opener for Letters to Cleo, but they're just a little more punk than I expected. Plus, they definitely love playing to a crowd. They definitely won over even those in attendance that just wanted to hear what they already knew. Seriously, get out to see these ladies while they're still in small venues, because they won't be for long.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Penny Rich - "Last Meal"

Buckle up before you listen to this new song from Penny Rich. The Cardiff based band has released a monster of a song in "Last Meal." The song was inspired by death row inmates in the US being allowed to choose their last meal before being executed. This is a bombastic and loud song mixing the very best elements of both punk and grunge. Nirvana comparisons are going to be made with this band quite a bit, but I'm also hearing hints of The Jesus Lizard, Death from Above 1979, and Dead Kennedys. "Last Meal" just bursts into a breakneck speed right from the start and never lets up. We say this a lot, but you're going to want to keep an eye on Penny Rich. This band could end up doing huge things.

Penny Rich says of their new song:

“The song explores the idea of a last meal as a metaphor for empty, superficial pleasures, indulged in to temporarily escape the anguish, anxiety or depression the consumer may be experiencing. It’s the juxtaposition between feelings of superficial satiety and profound emptiness. In short: empty pleasures that fail to cure the real issues at play.”

You can listen to "Last Meal" below. For more on Penny Rich, be sure to check them out on Facebook and Instagram.

Toeheads - "Mixed Up"

Detroit is just one of those cities that seemingly cranks out killer garage bands. Toeheads just released a new single, and it's possibly the most Detroit sounding thing we've brought you all year. "Mixed Up" has that early 00's garage revival sound minus all the slickness that usually entails. This one is just pure unhinged rock and roll with a punk edge. It could be a song from a lost Nuggets compilation if songs on those albums rocked this hard. It's a lot of fun and a little ridiculous, but since it throws back to the 00's garage rock revival, 70's Detroit proto-punk, and vintage 60's garage rock, what else would you expect?

You can listen to "Mixed Up" below. A Cruel Winner's World will be released on Big Neck Records. For more on Toeheads, check out the band's Facebook and Instagram.

Only Child - "Defeater"

Photo by Jillian Vaccaro

Boston singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Christopher James Martin is releasing music under the name Only Child. This music is dscribed as "queer Boston synth pop," and his new single under that moniker is stellar. "Defeater" is as much fun as the queer Boston synth pop description sounds. It's an upbeat synth heavy pop song that is humorous without being jokey, despite the song being about heartbreak. Of course, since it's a synth heavy song "Defeater" is going to get compared to a lot of 80's music, but Only Child doesn't sound entirely like an 80's throwback. It's oddly cinematic and ridiculously fun. Seriously, if you can't enjoy this one you truly need to take a long hard look at yourself.

Christopher James Martin says of his new single:

“‘Defeater’ is kind of a continuation of the themes covered in ‘Don’t Call Me BB’, about being infatuated with someone you shouldn’t be, with the added twist being, ‘you tell yourself you know better, but you’re still falling for it.’ In some ways, I feel like ‘Defeater’ distills what I was trying to do with this EP and this whole project, both sonically and lyrically, in one song.”

You can listen to "Defeater" below. Srs One is due for release in 2023. For more on Only Child, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, November 18, 2022

Hot Mustard - "Mustard Green"

The latest from Hot Mustard features Jordan McLean from Antibalas on trumpet and TV on the Radio's Dave "Smoota" Smith on trombone. "Mustard Green" is this impossibly funky blend of 70's soul, jazz, and hip hop. It's an instrumental track that slowly wanders its way through all of those genres, and just kind of meanders around different tempos as well. It's one of those impossibly cool songs that truly dares you to define it. This is the perfect song if you like The Roots, Guru, The Soul Rebels, or other genre blurring artists. Even if you aren't a fan of any of those, you should truly check out "Mustard Green." This is the kind of song that will reward you for stepping outside of your usual comfort zone.

Jack Powell says of his band's new song:

"There is some heavy contrast in this one, part of it is light and easy and part of it is ominous and foreboding. An interpretation that I like is the need to overcome discomfort to reach a higher plateau."

You can watch the video for "Mustard Green" below. Seconds is due out March 31 on Color Red Music. The album can be pre-ordered here. For more on Hot Mustard, check out the band's website.

Subsonic Eye - "Hurt Your Head"

Hailing from Singapore, Subsonic Eye have released a new song that sounds like what Sonic Youth would sound like if they decided to go poppy. "Hurt Your Head" has the same noisy and dark guitar tones that Sonic Youth built a career on, and at times the same breakneck sound. But this song is much more upbeat than anything Kim, Thurston, Steve, and Lee ever released together. This is all of the noise, but "Hurt Your Head" is cheery sounding and fun. There is a hint of menace in the song, but it's a fun, non-threatening aggression and menace. I don't know how anyone could pull this off, but Subsonic Eye do an amazing job with is.

Daniel Borces says of the band's new song:

"Even though Singapore is filled with colour and nature I always feel a sense of detachment from how it truly is, and that makes it difficult for me to feel peaceful. I don’t know if it’s just my internal life conflicting with my immediate surroundings, but the constant construction, noise, heat, humidity, rushing to places and overly manicured look overwhelms me and I just feel like a cat on edge all the time. Maybe I’m just drinking too much coffee to do work I don't need to be doing so I can feel productive."

You can watch the video for "Hurt Your Head" below. Melt the Wax is available now via Topshelf Records, and can be ordered through Bandcamp. For more on Subsonic Eye, check out the band on Twitter and Facebook.

Other Brother Darryl - "Until I Do"

Photo by Chris Valle

The musical description of "cosmic canyon rock" might not make sense until you hear the latest single from Other Brother Darryl, and then it makes perfect sense. The song also has a bittersweet meaning, as it is the first released since the unexpected passing of band co-founder Dave Mirabella. This is the kind of song that would have made Gram Parsons proud. It has that timeless quality that is soaked in 70's AM radio sweetness but is far too country to be a rock song, or even a soft rock song. But "Until I Do" doesn't sound like a throwback song. It has elements of the classics from the 70's, but it's a modern song. If you've ever loved anything considered alt-country, this one is for you.

Dan Nicklin says of the band's new song:

“I think this tune, in particular, one of the earlier song ideas that sat idle for eight years until we started writing in earnest, is a good choice. The song has also taken on a double meaning for me since it seems to apply to the band moving forward, but always with Dave in our hearts.”

You can listen to "Until I Do" below. The song is currently available with the B-side of "The Ballad of Joni & Graham" via Bandcamp. For more on Other Brother Darryl, check out the artist's website.

Live Shows: Little Hag, Yawn Mower, & Jordan Holtz, Wrong Brain, Dover, NH 11/16/22

I've been a fan of Little Hag ever since stumbling on their music back when Avery Mandeville was still playing under her name. One frustrating thing about running a music blog is discovering musicians I really like in other areas that never make it to the Boston/New England area. Luckily, Little Hag teamed up with Yawn Mower for a short tour of New England. Dover, NH is a little outside of the distance I normally travel for shows, but it's better than the drive down to Asbury Park so I couldn't resist.

Little Hag opened up the show with a fairly short set. Opening with "Tetris" was perfect and set the mood for the night. Mandeville pours everything she has into her performances and might be one of the most energetic performers I've seen in years. The rest of the set drew from 2021's excellent Leash, including favorites like "Red," "Blood," and "Schlub." Wrong Brain's set up provided for a unique stage set up. Surrounded by artwork including what might have been a large pink pinata on the side of the stage and multiple ghosts hanging from the ceiling, drummer Owen Flanagan was set up in the center of his four bandmates. Little Hag were a blast of pure indie rock and pop fun, and let's hope they make it up to New England more regularly.

Yawn Mower was up next. The band shares a bass player with Little Hag (Dana Yurcisin), and have a similar aesthetic. They also played a relatively quick set, focusing on their just released album To Each Their Own Coat. It's filled with fun, quirky indie rock songs. "Elevation" is my personal favorite from the album, so it was two bands in a row that opened with my favorite song. While a lot of indie rock tends to be very serious and important, Yawn Mower are just pure upbeat fun. They even included a cover of They Might Be Giant's "Dr. Worm," and more bands should really cover They Might Be Giants.

Rick Rude were supposed to close out the night, but seeing as four of five members were sick, it ended up being a solo set by bass player Jordan Holtz. You don't normally get a solo performance by a bass player, so it was an interesting set. I mean that in a good way, as Katz was a captivating performer. Rick Rude is one of those bands I'm not terribly familiar with, although they seem to play around constantly. If Holtz's performance was any indication, I need to get out to see a Rick Rude show as soon as everyone gets better.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Godcaster - "Diamond's Shining Face"

Photo by Ryann Logeais Ebersole

New York's Godcaster are back with more of their foreboding psychedelia. Their latest single, "Diamond's Shining Face," is this has this building menace lurking behind it. Typically psychedelic music is bright and happy, but that's not the case with Godcaster. It's reminding me a lot of that one weirdo freak out song on early Stooges albums. The song is like The Stooges meets a more modern psych band like The Flaming Lips. As the song builds, it eventually breaks out into these cathartic releases of noise bursts before going back to the slow and plodding structure of the song. This is a fairly odd song, but if you know Godcaster that is exactly what you want.

Lead vocalist Judson Kolk says of the new song:

"This song’s music and lyrics are inspired by the great western novelist Zane Grey and by a heartbreaking man named David Diamond who I met on the internet and who was in the process of losing his mind and becoming increasingly narcissistic and violent. What's very strange is that I've used the name David Diamond as an alter ego / foil for myself since I was about 17 prior to digitally meeting the real David Diamond. This character in my head was the deranged version of myself. The song takes place in my own time period."

You can watch the video for "Diamond's Shining Face" below. Godcaster's self-titled album is due out March 10 on Ramp Local, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on the band, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Taylor Ashton - "Santa's Song (I Don't Believe in Myself)"

Apparently we're going to keep bringing you Christmas music and apologizing that we know it's too early until at least Thanksgiving... The latest is from Taylor Ashton. The Canadian musician who is now Brooklyn based has what is probably the best titled Christmas song of the year: "Santa's Song (I Don't Believe in Myself)." It's a modern folk song that straddles the line between traditional folk and a more mainstream, pop based folk sound. It may lean a bit more into the mainstream side, but just barely. What's great about this song is that it uses jingle bells at a bare minimum and doesn't actually mention Santa by name, so we can almost get away with sharing this one so early. It's a fun little Christmas song that takes mental health seriously.

Taylor Ashton says of his new song:

“Carving out a music career in this day and age definitely requires a little suspension of disbelief. It's not always easy to believe in your own gifts, or to believe that you have something to offer. But it can be healing to hear that somebody else is also struggling. And so, I offer this little melancholy holiday ballad with a sense of humor and a little nod to the geography of Canada, my home country.”

You can listen to "Santa's Song (I Don't Believe in Myself)" below. The single is available now via Signature Sounds Recordings. For more on Taylor Ashton, check out the artist's website.

Black Belt Eagle Scout - "My Blood Runs Through This Land"

Photo by Nate Lemuel of Darklisted Photography

"My Blood Runs Through This Land" continues Black Belt Eagle Scout's (aka Katherine Paul) move towards a more indie rock sound. This song is just absolutely an epic. It only lasts five and a half minutes, but the song feels bigger than that. It's filled with a giant guitar solo along the lines of something from J Mascis along with Paul's intense vocalizations. This one is more along the lines of classic early 90's indie rock and grunge than the "shoegaze meets folk" that we are used to from Black Belt Eagle Scout. "My Blood Runs Through This Land" just keeps building and building with some of the most killer guitar shredding around. If you have yet to jump on the Black Belt Eagle Scout bandwagon, now you're chance.

Katherine Paul says of her upcoming album:

“I created The Land, The Water, The Sky to record and reflect upon my journey back to my homelands and the challenges and the happiness it brought.”

You can watch the video for "My Blood Runs Through This Land" below. The Land, The Water, The Sky is due out February 10 on Saddle Creek, and can be pre-ordered here. For more on Black Belt Eagle Scout, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Fri. Nov. 25 - Seattle, WA @ High DiveFri. Feb. 10 - Portland, OR @ Aladdin TheaterFri. Feb. 24 - Manchester, UK @ Night & DaySat. Feb. 25 - London, UK @ Moth ClubMon. Feb. 27 - Paris, FR @ Le Pop UpTue. Feb. 28 - Brussels, BE @ Botanique - Witloof BarWed. March 1 - Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso UpstairsThu. March 2 - Copenhagen, DK @ StengadeSat. March 4 - Rotterdam, NL @ RotownSun. March 5 - Berlin, DE @ Badehaus

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

shame - "Fingers of Steel"

Photo by Pooneh Ghana

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to see shame and it might have been one of the best shows I've seen in years. I'm thrilled we already have new music from the South London band, and especially since it's such a sonic shift for them. "Fingers of Steel" is much more melodic than anything off 2021's Drunk Tank Pink while still sounding like what we love about shame. It's a new style of post punk that's less aggressive and more sonically pleasing although it's also more discordant than they typically get. Everything about "Fingers of Steel" seems just slightly off and out of tune, but that's kind of what makes the song great. It's so close to being a mainstream straight up modern rock song, but shame just could never quite do that so you get another wonderfully unique song like this one.

You can watch the video for "Fingers of Steel" below. Food for Worms is due out February 24 on Dead Oceans, which can be pre-ordered here. For more on shame, check out the band on Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Wed. Mar. 1 - Dublin, IE @ Button FactoryFri. Mar. 3 - Glasgow, UK @ SWG3Sat. Mar. 4 - Newcastle, UK @ Boiler ShopSun. Mar. 5 - Leeds, UK @ StylusTue. Mar. 7 - Sheffield, UK @ LeadmillWed. Mar. 8 - Liverpool, UK @ Invisible Wind FactoryThu. Mar. 9 - Bristol, UK @ SWXSat. Mar. 11 - Manchester, UK @ New Century HallSun. Mar. 12 - Cardiff, UK @ TramshedTue. Mar. 14 - Nantes, FR @ StereoluxWed. Mar. 15 - Paris, FR @ Cabaret SauvageThu. Mar. 16 - Bordeaux, FR @ Rock School BarbeySat. Mar. 18 - Lisbon, PT @ LAVSun. Mar. 19 - Madrid, ES @ NazcaMon. Mar. 20 - Barcelona, ES @ La 2 de ApoloWed. Mar. 22 - Nimes, FR @ PalomaThu. Mar. 23 - Milan, IT @ MagnoliaFri. Mar. 24 - Zurich, CH @ PlazaSun. Mar. 26 - Munich, DE @ TechnikumMon. Mar. 27 - Berlin, DE @ AstraTue. Mar. 28 - Hamburg, DE @ MarkthalleThu. Mar. 30 - Oslo, NO @ VulkanFri. Mar. 31 - Stockholm, SE @ DebaserSat. Apr. 1 - Copenhagen, DK @ VEGAMon. Apr. 3 - Brussels, BE @ ABTue. Apr. 4 - Cologne, DE @ FloriaThu. Apr. 6 - Amsterdam, NL @ MelkwegFri. Apr. 28 - London, UK @ Brixton AcademyWed. May 10 - Durham, NC @ Motorco Music HallFri. May 12 - Baltimore, MD @ OttobarSat. May 13 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union TransferSun. May 14 - Brooklyn, NY @ WarsawTue. May 16 - Boston, MA @ The SinclairThu. May 18 - Montréal, QC @ Foufounes ÉlectriquesFri. May 19 - Ottawa, ON @ Club SAWSat. May 20 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s PalaceMon. May 22 - Kalamazoo, MI @ Bell’s Eccentric CafeWed. May 24 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia HallFri. May 26 - St. Louis, MO @ Off BroadwaySat. May 27 - Lawrence, KS @ The BottleneckSun. May 28 - Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic LoungeTue. May 30 - Dallas,TX @ Granada TheaterFri. Jun. 2 - Austin, TX @ The Scoot InnSat. Jun. 3 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music HallSun. Jun. 4 - New Orleans, LA @ Toulouse Theatre