Tuesday, November 30, 2021

First Listen: New and Missed Releases for 26 November

Clearing the decks...
Artist: Kylie V
Album: Big Blue
Quick Thoughts: This album is incredible, and I hate that I missed it early on. Kylie V has done something truly special here in that it's a unique voice and tone while still feeling as familiar as a lot of recent efforts. This will likely end up on a few year-end longlists, including mine, because it's that good.
Songs of Note: "A Story If You Want It," "On My Mind"

Artist: Galactikraken and Jonathan Young
Album: Starship Velociraptor
Quick Thoughts: This will be divisive for most people, but think about if The Darkness did synth rock and you might scratch the surface of what's going on with Galactikraken. It's an absolutely insane album of music that is loud and caphophonic, but is somehow still incredibly compelling. I know this isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it's certainly mine.
Songs of Note: "Glory or Gold," "Settle It With a Swordfight," "Storm the Castle," "Jetpack Race"

Artist: Calva Louise
Album: Euphoric
Quick Thoughts: This is a sneaky great record. It's alt-rock with a bit of a radio-friendly edge, and if you don't struggle with the foreign language efforts, a lot to love here. I didn't want this to get lost in the shuffle, so know that this one is absolutely worth your time.
Songs of Note: "Free To Be Lost," "Ephemeral," "Belicoso," "Alcanzar, "The Odds," "Mafalda"

Artist: Karen Peris
Album: A Song is Way Above the Lawn
Quick Thoughts: A folky, quiet effort that has some real legs. It's reminscent of Bedouine in many regards in that it feels like it transported itself from decades past and is here to sing to us now. If you like the quieter folky efforts, give this a spin.
Songs of Note: "Superhero," "I Would Sing Along," "Map for the Orange Daylight"

Artist: Baby Bulldog
Album: Little Ripper
Quick Thoughts: Alt-indie rock with a little bit of attitude. Steph Barker is the drummer for L.A. Exes, and this first solo album is just a lot of fun. I don't have a ton to say about it except that I think it's really great and scratches that alt itch perfectly. Give it some time.
Songs of Note: "Daddy," "You"

Artist: Nell and The Flaming Lips
Album: Where the Viaduct Looms
Quick Thoughts: Nell Smith is a 13-year-old Flaming Lips fan who is also a songwriter and musician. She struck up a friendship with Wayne Coyne after dressing as a parrot at a Lips concert, and now we get an album of Nick Cave covers with Nell on vocals and the Lips on instruments. I can't really get into Nick Cave (it's all me on that point), but this is probably my favorite Flaming Lips-related listen in some time, and I'm very interested to see what else we get from Nell Smith in the future. Just a fascinating, wonderful album.
Songs of Note: "Weeping Song," "O Children," "Red Right Hand," "The Ship Song"

Of note:

* USS/Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - The Science & Artfunkel Victory Lap (Answers the question as to what would have happened if Seattle grunge discovered drum machines.)
* Blockhead - Space Werewolves Will Be the End of Us All (Via frequent Aesop Rock collaborator.)
* El Michsels Affair - The Abominable EP (Not really an EP, but instrumental/alternative takes of their most recent effort.)
* Handsome Jack - Get Humble
* Andrea von Kampen - That Spell
* Inca Babies - Swamp Street Soul
* Nina June - Meet Me on the Edge of Our Ruin
* Pye Corner Audio - Entangled Routes
* Bent Knee - Frosting
* 7038634357 - Permanest
* Remedy - Remedy Meets Wu-Tang
* Julie Doiron - I Thought Of You
* Eris Drew - Quivering in Time
* Sincere Engineer - Trust Me


* The Centaurettes - Cute to be Mean
* 7038634357 - My Way Out
* Christian Lee Hutson - The Version Suicides
* Jessica Winter - More Sad Music
* MarthaGunn - Caught Up and Confused
* Hayley Mary - Fall in Love EP
* Lars Fredericksen - To Victory

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues/Christmas:

* Various Artists - @0 (A collection of ambient music, really good stuff.)
* BEGINNERS - A BEGINNERS Guide to Christmas
* G. Love and Special Sauce - Coming Back Home for Christmas
* Allie X - Cape God (Deluxe)
* Helmet - Live and Rare

The Aquadolls Cover The Waitresses

Photo by Savanna Morales

I know, I know... two Christmas songs in one day, but I think you'll forgive us on this one. The Aquadolls have released a ska punk cover of The Waitresses' immortal holiday song "Xmas Wrapping." Ska punk covers are their own punchline most times, but I don't think there's a song more begging for a ska punk version than "Xmas Wrapping." The original is one of the more fun non-traditional classics out there, and The Aquadolls amp that up with this one. Plus, it's produced by Fat Mike of NOFX and even features Angelo Moore of Fishbone on saxophone and El Jefe of NOFX on trumpet for some extra cred.

Melissa Brooks of The Aquadolls says of the cover:

"Every year when the weather starts getting colder (and in California terms meaning we go from blistering hot weather to a breezy 70 degrees) it means it’s time for the holiday season.

"This leads to our not-so-friendly winter companion: seasonal depression. Christmas time can be really difficult to navigate through, especially during a pandemic. The holidays can suck, but with the help of a good pal or two and some rock n roll, hopefully, it can suck a little less!

"We created a ska/punk-inspired cover of The Waitresses’ “Xmas Wrapping” with the production help of Fat Mike from NOFX and Jon Graber, with horns from El Hefe of NOFX and Angelo Moore of Fishbone. It’s so exciting for us to collaborate with so many music icons on this and put a new twist on such an underrated and timeless classic. We hope you start a mosh pit to this and this makes your holiday season rock harder than before!"

You can listen to The Aquadolls cover "Xmas Wrapping" below. The single is available here. For more on The Aquadolls, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter.

Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys - "Ghost of Christmas Past"

Back in October we brought you "Haunted Horror Howl," the fantastic Halloween song from Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys. The New Milford, CT rockabilly band are back with a new song for Christmas. "Ghost of Christmas Past" is a rockabilly take on A Christmas Carol. It's a modern take on Charles Dickens' tale, mainly because the novella is from 1843, so rockabilly is quite modern compared to nearly two hundred years ago. But, classic rock 'n' roll is a perfect sound for a Christmas song. The best Christmas classics are fun, and "Ghost of Christmas Past" is sure to become a new annual favorite for you.

You can listen to "Ghost of Christmas Past" below. The song is currently available as a download via Bandcamp. For more on Dave Del Monte & The Cross County Boys, check out the artist's Facebook.

Live Shows: Dinosaur Jr and The Lemonheads, House of Blues, Boston, MA 11/27/21

Photo by Cara Totman

It takes a lot to get me to go out to the House of Blues. It's just a huge (by my standards) venue that rarely has artists I like playing. Plus, I hate parking near Fenway Park, and in the winter I hate a $5.00 coat check. But, how could I possibly say no to a double bill of Massachusetts rock legends Dinosaur Jr and The Lemonheads?

Seeing as this was a Big Rock Show opening up for another band at a huge hometown venue, I assumed this would be a night of big hits for Evan Dando and The Lemonheads. I was happily wrong. Sure, they played a ton of fan favorites, but they were hardly the bigger hits. There was no "Into Your Arms" or "It's a Shame About Ray" played on this Saturday night, and definitely no "Mrs. Robinson." This might have been the first time I've seen The Lemonheads or Evan Dando without them playing "The Outdoor Type." The more well known songs played this night were "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" and "My Drug Buddy." Instead we got fan favorites like "Dawn Can't Decide," "Rudderless," "Stove," and even "Style," which I don't think I've ever seen live in the dozens of times I've seen The Lemonheads' various configurations. The Lemonheads are currently playing as a trio, although they were joined by Chris Brokaw and a keyboard player towards the end. Despite avoiding the Big Hit Cover (as they always do), Dando is not shy about busting out a few covers. The House of Blues show saw them playing John Prine's "Speed of the Sound of Loneliness," where they dropped their 90's alt-rock sound for pure country, and closed with The Bevis Frond's "Old Man Blank." Dando looked and sounded better than he has in years, and was obviously having a blast playing again despite being less chatty than I've ever seen him. The Lemonheads played that masterful combination of tight and loose, but sounded a little sloppy. But, that's how we want them to sound, so it was a perfect set for fans.

Dinosaur Jr opened their set with the classic "Bulbs of Passion" from their 1985 debut album. After that, they played five songs in a row from their latest album, Sweep It Into Space. It's a fine album and all, but it's more than a little laid back, and the last thing you're looking for with a Dinosaur Jr show is laid back. But, they have a new album to promote (even if J Mascis needs cue cards for the lyrics of this new album) and they got that out of the way quickly. (Plus, Lou Barlow did lead the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" to his son Hendrix during this time, and that's always fun). After that, they broke out with 2007's "Been There All the Time," and never looked back. It was a night of absolute classic fan favorites like "The Wagon," "In a Jar," "Freak Scene," "Sludgefeast," "Gargoyle," and obviously "Feel the Pain." The encore was a dream trio of "Out There," "Little Fury Things," and their cover of The Cure's "Just Like Heaven," which I'm fairly certain they've been closing with for two decades now. This was a monster of a show, despite the slow start.

If there was any issue with the evening, it was muddled sound. I'm sure the beast that is a Dinosaur Jr live show can wreak havoc on your average sound system, but the vocals in particular were very muddled. I thought it might have been from me standing too close, but when I loved to the back for the encore there were still issues, particularly with Lou Barlow's microphone.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Justin Golden - Idle Hands EP

We've been fans of Justin Golden's ever since we discovered his music way back in 2016. The Richmond, VA artist has just had this compelling mix of throwback blues and smooth vocals we can't resist. He recently surprise released a new EP, Idle Hands EP. While the new release does have what we have come to want and expect from Golden, it does show off a newer sound for the artist. The EP opens with "Lullaby for Elle," an instrumental track that clocks in at just under a minute and a half. It starts off with some folk/blues guitar, but slowly an orchestral sound of feedback (?) slowly enters the song, letting you know that this will be a bit different. "Guiding Light" is a folk song that is as gorgeous as it is powerful. The EP closes out with two songs we've previously covered, "Arm's Length" and "It Ain't Much," but are still well worth a listen.

You can listen to "Guiding Light" below. For more on Justin Golden, check out the artist's Facebook.

The Natvral and Jen Goma Cover The Byrds

The Natvral is the newest project from Kip Berman, formerly of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. It allows him to show off his more folk and roots side, and you don't get more folk and roots than covering The Byrds. For The Natvral's newest single, Berman recruited Jen Goma for a cover of "The Ballad of Easy Rider," the theme song for Easy Rider. It's an iconic song, and probably much more folk pop than you remember it being. Goma takes on lead vocals for the song, and it's definitely a more modern folk take on the original. It's a little more lush, but not by much. The original is a fairly pop take on folk, by 2021 standards. This is a great cover that the majority of our readers are going to really enjoy.

You can listen to The Natvral and Jen Goma's version of "The Ballad of Easy Rider" below. The song is available for the "name your price" option over at The Natvral's Bandcamp. For more on The Natvral, check out the artist's website. For Jen Goma, you can find her on Twitter.

India Ramey - "Cocktail for Christmas"

Now that we've made it through Thanksgiving, it's officially ok to start posting Christmas music. We almost didn't make it this year because this new single from India Ramey is just so great. "Cocktail for Christmas" has a vintage country feel but amped up a little for the modern times. It's simply about drinking your way through the holidays because sometimes you just need to when your family starts talking politics. When a song includes the line "I'll be lit up like a Christmas tree by the time the turkey's done," how can you not love it? This kind of song is perfect for fans of Nikki Lane, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, or Sierra Ferrell's Christmas single from last year.

You can listen to "Cocktail for Christmas" below. For more on India Ramey, check out the artist's website.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Cheap Cassettes - "She Ain't Nothin' Like You"

Coming out of Seattle, The Cheap Cassettes are a band out of time. Their latest single proves this since "She Ain't Nothin' Like You" sounds like it should have been released around fifty years ago. The song is pure, vintage Cheap Trick/Big Star style power pop. It doesn't sound like anything from this century. This is the kind of song you'd hear a snippet of as part of a late night TV commercial for old timey compilation CDs. "She Ain't Nothing Like You" is a glorious throwback to a time most of us have only experienced through pop culture.

You can listen to "She Ain't Nothing Like You" below. The song is available as a single with the B-side "Cold Sundays" now via Rum Bar Records. You can get a copy over at Bandcamp. For more on The Cheap Cassettes, check out the band's Facebook.

Sun June - "Easy"

Photo by Santiago Dietche

Austin, TX's Sun June have an expanded version of their 2021 album Somewhere coming out in January and have released the first bonus track from that release. "Easy" fits perfectly with the band's excellent album. It's a light, breezy track that fits into the space between indie rock, dream pop, and folk perfectly. Fans of all three genres could make a case that Sun June are theirs, but a song like "Easy" belongs to them all. It's the kind of song you're going to want to pull out during the summer. It's such a wonderfully laid back track that deserves to be listened to driving around or hanging out on a porch when the weather is much kinder outside.

Laura Colwell says of the new song:

“‘Easy’ is a romantic struggle song. It’s about love and partnership and longstanding arguments that are hard to get past. We started working on it after quarantine was lifted. Everyone had been cloistered alone for months, so frustration was easy to tap into. At the same time, it was joyous and cathartic to play together again, so the song came out upbeat and optimistic too. We loved getting to return to Good Danny’s studio to record—it was easy to find the sounds we wanted and get back into the Somewhere vibe.”

You can watch the video for "Easy" below. Somewhere + 3 is due out January 14 on Run for Cover. For more on Sun June, check out the band's website.

The Centaurettes - "Trust Fund Tree"

St. Louis based band The Centaurettes are a trio made up of three queer members and two people of color. All three are vocalists, and they have branded their take on punk "pastel punk." While that does convey the warmness of their music, it ignores the absolute power behind it. Their latest single, "Trust Fund Tree," is this amazingly powerful loud/quiet/loud burst of punk. It is filled with this giant and loud guitar, vocals that will melt your face off, and more venom than you thought possible. If I'm going to do the music journalist thing and make a clever comparison, it would be Nirvana and the Melvins meets Mannequin Pussy.

Bianca Maldonado says of the new single:

"Trust Fund Tree is an ode to putting yourself first, even when it hurts. It recalls my youth of being trapped by controlling family and crushing expectations dangled on strings of generational wealth. I chose to break away and carve a path of my own happiness, even though it meant stripping myself of every hand-out that comes along with the blood-money-funded cookie-cutter lifestyle. It reminds me that I fight for passion, self-expression and freedom over capitalist convenience."

You can listen to "Trust Fund Tree" below. For more on The Centaurettes, check out the band on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

First Listen: New Releases for 19 November

Artist: Weakened Friends
Album: Quitter
Quick Thoughts: Ah, Weakened Friends. No local/regional act has gotten better and better over time than this band, and while their debut album was a favorite in these parts, this new record is somehow even better. Song after song after song is an absolute winner, and the extra polish is just icing on an already delicious cake. I say "this should be their breakthrough" a lot, but this should really put this band on the map. An absolutely stellar release, and I'm interested in seeing how many year-end lists this ends up on.
Songs of Note: "Bargain Bin," "Quitter," "Everything is Better," "Tunnels"

Artist: Yucky Duster
Album: III
Quick Thoughts: Yucky Duster is another underrated band that I really enjoy and doesn't get enough love. This final, posthumous collection of indie rock tracks keeps the band on the trajectory they've been on for some time, and the songs are still peppy and fun and sound unlike a lot of the indie stuff out there at present. It's too bad they're all done.
Songs of Note: "Grump," "Very Good Day"

Artist: Ladyhawke
Album: Time Flies
Quick Thoughts: Ladyhawke had one of my favorite albums of a few years back, and this follow-up is a long time coming and was ultimately worth the wait. This album leans more into the pop territory, with some sharp melodies and some interesting swerves you might not have expected given her previous output. In total, however, this is an album worth hearing and one of my favorites this week.
Songs of Note: "Think About You," "My Love," "Mixed Emotions," "Reactor," "Walk Away"

Of note:

* Allison Lorenzen - Tender (Often-gorgeous layered folk music.)
* Bruisey Peets - Poached Eggs (Often a surprising listen, worth the time.)
* Deap Vally - Marriage (Lots of great moments here.)
* Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Raise the Roof (Not as great as their first effort, but still solid.)
* HOO - We Shall Never Speak
* Mr Twin Sister - Al Mundo Azul

* Jedi Mind Tricks - The Funeral and the Raven
* Elbow - Flying Dream 1
* BT - Metaversal
* Converge and Chelsea Wolfe - Bloodmoon: I
* Sarah Davachi and Sean McCann - Mother of Pearl
* Mapache - 3
* Willie Nelson - The Willie Nelson Family
* Apollo Brown and Stalley - Blacklight
* Pageant Boys - Haunted
* Annie Booth - Lazybody
* Fine Place - This New Heaven
* OSS (The Orb) - Enter the Kettle
* Matt Patershuk - An Honest Effort


* Potty Mouth - 1% Happier (Farewell EP from a band that should have been huge.)
* Ultramarine - Interiors
* Greer - Happy People
* Bill Laurance - Zeal EP
* Donatachi - donatachi.com
* Blawan - Woke Up Right Handed
* Layzi - What's Left to Lose
* K.Flay - Outside Voices
* Natalie Bergman - Keep Those Teardrops from Falling
* Papercuts - Baxter's Bliss EP
* Mandy, Indiana - ...
* Chartreuse - Is It Autumn Already?
* Sean Nelson - Holster
* Shutups - Six
* Girls Rituals - Cow
* Justin Golden - Idle Hands EP

Live albums/Compilations/Reissues:

* Cassandra Jenkins - (An Overview on) An Overview on Phenominal Nature (Demos and outtakes from her recent album.)
* Brian Wilson - At My Piano (Does what it says on the tin.)
* Jessy Lanza - DJ-Kicks

Also out:

* The Darkness - Motorheart
* Jack and the Dull Boy - Failure in Three Parts

Remedy featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Cappadonna, Masta Killa, Solomon Childs, and Street Life - "Crazy 8's"

If you're a long time Wu-Tang Clan fan, it's going to be impossible to not like the latest from Remedy. The Wu-Tang affiliated rapper's latest single, "Crazy 8's," sounds like late 90's Wu-Tang, plus it features a cast of seven guest MCs that include Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, and Cappadonna. This literally sounds like a lost song from Wu-Tang Forever. It has that same gigantic cinematic feel with the classic kung fu samples from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). All that being said, "Crazy 8's" doesn't feel like a nostalgia fest or a throwback. Something about it still feels current and modern.

You can watch the video for "Crazy 8's" below. Remedy Meets Wu-Tang is due out November 26. For more on Remedy, check out the artist's Facebook and Twitter.

Yard Act - "Payday"

Photo by James Brown

Hailing from Leeds, Yard Act are threatening to become the next huge thing out of England. The band's new single, "Payday," imagines a bizarre world where Blur skipped out on the whole Britpop thing around the time of Parklife to become an experimental post punk band that also was really into funk. Needless to say, "Payday" has a wonderfully unique sound with buzzing and swirling guitars and all sorts of odd little twists and turns. We've been late to jump on this bandwagon, so you're going to want to jump on and join us ASAP.

Singer James Smith says of the new song:

‘Payday’ was one of the few tracks on the record we had to rebuild completely in the studio because the first demo was recorded on my computer and the hard drive corrupted. We spent about TWO hours trying to figure out that stupid keyboard part I'd put on it and couldn't remember how to play. It was boring but worth it. It's about gentrification, class fetish and how the human brain is so powerful that with enough time and processing power combined it will be able to justify, defend and/or continue to commit the actions of any human being it controls.

You can watch the video for "Payday" below. The Overload is due out January 21 on Island Records. You can pre-order/pre-save the album here. For more on Yard Act, check out the band's Facebook and Twitter. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

6 Jan | Pryzm, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK11 Jan | Rough Trade, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT12 Jan | Rough Trade, Bristol, UK13  Jan | Rough Trade East, London, UK – SOLD OUT19-22 Jan | Eurosonic, Groningen, NL 2 Feb | L’Aéronef, Lille, FR3 Feb | Trix, Borgorhaut, BE4 Feb | Paradiso Kleine Zaal, Amsterdam, NL5 Feb | Molotow, Hamburg, DE6 Feb | Stengade, Copenhagen, DK7 Feb | Plan B, Malmö, SE9 Feb | Badehaus, Berlin, DE10 Feb | Blue Shell, Cologne, DE11 Feb | Rotondes, Luxembourg, LU12 Feb | La Boule Noire, Paris, FR 17 Feb | Village Underground, London, UK – SOLD OUT18 Feb | Patterns, Brighton, UK – SOLD OUT19 Feb | The Joiners, Southampton, UK – SOLD OUT21 Feb | Exchange, Bristol, UK – SOLD OUT22 Feb | Clwb Ifor Bach, UK Cardiff23 Feb | Bodega Social, Nottingham, UK – SOLD OUT24 Feb | The White Hotel, Salford, UK – SOLD OUT25 Feb | The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK – SOLD OUT26 Feb | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK – SOLD OUT1 Mar | The Cluny, Newcastle, UK – SOLD OUT2 Mar | The Caves, Edinburgh, UK3 Mar | Mono, Glasgow, UK4 Mar | Whelans, Dublin, IE14 Mar – 20 Mar | SXSW, Austin, US 22 Mar | Union Pool, Brooklyn, US 23 Mar | Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, US24 Mar | TV Eye, Queens, US25 Mar | The Sinclair, Boston, US27 Mar | The Garrison, Toronto, CA29 Mar | Sleeping Village, Chicago, US-------- 5 Apr | Earth, London, UK15 Apr | The Casbah, San Diego, US18 Apr | The Crocodile, Seattle, US19 Apr | Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, US 21 Apr | Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco, US11 May | Trinity, Bristol, UK18 May | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, UK19 May | Zanzibar, Liverpool, UK20 May | Irish Centre, Leeds, UK21 May | Band on the Wall, Manchester, UK22 May | The Foundry, Sheffield, UK26 May | O2 Academy, Leicester, UK27 May | Arts Centre, Norwich, UK 5-7 Aug | Off Festival, Katowice, PL9-13 Aug | Oya Festival, Oslo, NL24 Nov | O2 Academy, Leeds 25 Nov | O2 Ritz, Manchester

Alison Clancy - "Mutant Gifts"

Photo by Esteban Haga

Alison Clancy moved from California to New York City with the dream of becoming a dancer. She became a dancer with The Metropolitan Opera, becoming a dance soloist in early 2020 for Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer. When the Met was forced to shut down in March, Clancy was introduced to Father Graeme Napier of St. John's Church in the West Village. She was invited to live on the church campus as an artist in residence, and recorded an EP as part of the project. The first song off that EP, "Mutant Gifts," features Clancy on vocals and electric guitar accompanied by cellist Brent Arnold. The song is an eight and a half minute epic that meanders its way around inside your brain. At times it's completely experimental, and at others almost mainstream. It's going to remind you of some of the members of Sonic Youth's more out there solo work, but with one foot planted in traditional song structure... at times. There are moments of the song where it is strikingly lovely, and others that will rattle you. And that's why you need to check it out.

You can watch the video for "Mutant Gifts" below. Mutant Gifts - Live at St. John's is due out January 14 on Independent Project Records. For more on Alison Clancy, check out the artist's website.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Live Shows: Weakened Friends, Rebuilder, and Oldsoul, O'Brien's Pub, Allston, MA 11/20/21

It was three years almost to the day since I had last seen Weakened Friends. That's a long time to not see one of your favorite bands, especially when they're fairly local. When the band announced a two night stand at the tiny O'Brien's Pub, I knew I had to go, especially seeing as they hand picked their openers which are a who's who of Boston indie rock right now.

First up was Oldsoul. This is a band I'm wasn't that familiar with. I saw their name on multiple bills I wanted to go to, but never quite make it. As this show got closer, I listened to them on Spotify a bit. I enjoyed them, but nothing prepared me for their live show. Oldsoul on record is a pretty tame indie rock band with some strong pop sensibilities. Live they are an absolute beast of a band. They played far heavier than I could ever have expected them to, especially since I think I have been confusing them with another band that leans a little folkier than they are. This was pure indie rock fury with a punk edge, but still with that pop sensibility they have on record. Oldsoul are one of the better live show discoveries I've made in years, so expect to see a lot more of them around here in the future.

Rebuilder was next, and I wasn't really looking forward to them. I saw them opening for The Dead Milkmen once, and just didn't get into them. They weren't a bad band, just a little too straight up pop punk for my personal taste. I knew seeing them at O'Brien's in an opening slot was a Big Deal, though. Two months ago they headlined the much bigger Sinclair (The Sinclair has a capacity of 525, O'Brien's is 75), and they have their own two night stand coming up at O'Brien's for New Year's Eve. On Saturday night they completely won me over as a fan. Maybe they've grown as a band since that night, or maybe I've just been in a more open mood since live music has come back. Either way, their brand of pop punk seems doesn't have that quality that makes me feel old. No, Rebuilder are making pop punk for adults these days. It was all the fun of pop punk, and maybe even emo. They played a high energy set that was absurdly fun. Even if you're a crusty middle aged indie rock snob, you need to check this band out.

Weakened Friends just released a killer album that is wreaking havoc on journalist's year end lists as we speak. It's a little more pop than we've heard from them in the past, but in the best possible way. When played live these songs were an absolute revelation. They played ten out of the album's eleven tracks, with another eight coming from previous releases. Saturday night these songs became giant rock songs played with an energy and joy that you could feel pouring off the stage. This was a noisy, loud rock show with the trio playing in that perfect mix of loose and tight that you want from an indie rock band. Brand new songs like "Quitter" and "Spew" got the same intense love as old favorites like "95" and "Main Bitch." The old songs may have gotten a better initial reaction as they started, but we've only known some of these new ones for maybe thirty six hours at that point. This was a band playing in front of die hard fans for the first time in a long, long time. It may have been the most fun night of live music I've had since this whole mess started back in March 2020.

Che Noir - "Praises"

Photo via Facebook

I'm pretty sure this is the first hip hop we've brought you from Buffalo, NY, but we're thrilled to help you discover Che Noir. "Praises" has this ultra laid back feel to the song that still has some underlying intensity, like a next generation Snoop Dogg, especially in the chorus. The "Shea Butter Queen" has this flow that's feels like a warm embrace. It's closer to listening to a close friend tell a story than it is listening to a performer. Plus, the stripped back instrumentation has a hypnotic quality that makes you pay even closer attention to "Praises." This is the kind of song that is not only going to have you diving into Che Noir's 2020 release As God Intended but the entire Buffalo hip hop scene.

You can listen to "Praises" below. Food for Thought is due out on December 17. For more on Che Noir, check out the artist's website.

David Wax Museum - "Love Light"

Photo by Tristan Williams

No other artist out there tweaks their sound album to album quite like David Wax Museum does. It feels like they've been cranking out new music lately, all without sounding anything like the previous release. The band has a new single out, and "Love Light" continues the band's constant evolution. Gone is the electronic adjacent sounds they've been playing with before. In it's place David Wax Museum are dipping into a chilled out folk version of neo-soul. This is a perfect direction for the band to take, with the warm sounds of their music mixing perfectly with this style. As honeyed as the majority of vocals and instruments are in "Love Light," the one exception is the fiddle which cuts into the song with a harsh swoop. We get excited for every release from David Wax Museum, but this upcoming one feels a little extra special.

You can listen to "Love Light" below. Remember My Future is due out December 31. For now you can get the single over at Bandcamp. For more on David Wax Museum, check out the band's website.

Friday, November 19, 2021

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Let's See Each Other"

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

A Place to Bury Strangers have been masters of huge, loud, noisy rock for over a decade now, but they still find ways to surprise. Their new single, "Let's See Each Other," is still loud and discordant as hell, but instead of a giant rock song it seems more electronic than standard rock. The song is a giant swirling concoction of noise rock and experimental electronic sounding like Aphex Twin decided to rock out while still not leaving his couch. This is the kind of music for those of us who haven't been posting obsessively about Taylor Swift for the past week. If you want your rock huge and aggressive with plenty of psychedelia and electronic elements, check out "Let's See Each Other."

You can watch the video for "Let's See Each Other" below. See Through You is due out February 4 on Dedstrange. You can pre-order the album here. For more on A Place to Bury Strangers, check out the artist's website. Upcoming tour dates are below the video.

Mon. January 31 - Washington, DC @ Songbyrd #
Tue. February 1 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s #
Wed. February 2 - Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz #
Fri. February 4 - Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace #
Sat. February 5 - Detroit, MI @ El Club #
Sun. February 6 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mon. February 7 - Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club #
Tue. February 8 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave. 7th Street Entry #
Fri. February 11 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos %
Sat. February 12 - Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios %
Sun. February 13 - Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre %
Tue. February 15 - San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel %
Wed. February 16 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom %
Fri. February 18 - San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar %
Sat. February 19 - Tucson, AZ @ Hotel Congress %
Tue. February 22 - Denver, CO @  Larimer Lounge %
Wed. February 23 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck %
Fri. February 25 - Nashville, TN @ The High Watt %
Sat. February 26 - Atlanta, GA @ 529 %
Sun. February 27 - Chapel Hill, ND @ Cat’s Cradle
Fri. March 4 - Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg !
Wed. March 9 - Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang &
Thu. March 10 - Dresden, DE @ Beatpol &
Fri. March 11 - Warsaw, PL @ Klub Poglos &
Sat. March 12 - Prague, CZ @ Futurum &
Sun. March 13 - Bratislava, SK @ Randal Club &
Mon. March 14 - Budapest, HU @ Durer Kert &
Wed. March 16 - Bucharest, RO @ Control Club ^
Thu. March 17 - Sofia, BG @ Mixtape5 ^
Fri. March 18 - Thessaloniki, GR @ Eightball ^
Sat. March 19 - Athens, GR @ Temple ^
Mon. March 21 - Skopje, MK @ 25th of May Hall ^
Tue. March 22 - Belgrade, RS @ Club Drugstore ^
Thu. March 24 -  Zagreb, HR @ Mochvara ^
Fri. March 25 - Bologna, IT @ Freakout Club ^
Sat. March 26 - Rome, IT @ Largo ^
Sun. March 27 - Milan, IT @ Legend Club ^
Tue. March 29 - Zurich, CH @ Bogen F ^
Wed. March 30 - Munich, DE @ Backstage ^
Thu. March 31 - Martigny, CH @ Caves Du Memoir
Fri. April 1 - Paris, FR @ La Trabendo *
Sat. April 2 - London, UK @ Lafayette *
Mon. April 4 - Antwerp, BE @ Kavka *
Tue. April 5 - Munster, DE @ Gleis 22 *
Wed. April 6 - Amsterdam, NL @ Melkweg *
Thu. April 7 - Groningen, NL @ Vera *
Sat. April 9 - Stockholm, SE @ Hus 7 *
Sun. April 10 - Oslo, NO @ John Dee *
Mon. April 11 - Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset *
Tue. April 12 - Berlin, DE @ Hole 44 *
Wed. April 13 - Cologne, DE @ MTC *
# with Glove
% with TV Priest
& with Jealous
^ with Plattenbau
* with Lunacy
! with Native Sun, GIFT

The Forms - "All Souls Day"

Photo by Noah Kalina

There's a certain segment of the population will listen to anything if they hear the name "Steve Albini," and I'm definitely one of those. Queens, NY's The Forms enlisted Albini to record some music which includes their new single "All Souls Day." The new song is about as far away from traditional rock as you can get. Most of the song is built around bass steel pan, and also include tack piano, rhodes, and hammond organ. The result is this hypnotic song with lyrics that sound quietly chanted in a way that feels like you're hearing some kind of ceremony happening in the next room. The song has an intensely personal vibe even at the larger parts. The Forms have created this unique sound that you need to check out.

Alex Tween of The Forms says of the new song:

"The 'soul' of our song 'All Souls Day' is the bass steel pan, a deep sonorous mysterious magical musical instrument we had never heard before that sounds ancient and futuristic all at once. Layered upon that is a tack piano, rhodes, and hammond organ while the vocals were recorded at a church in Rockaway, and the result is a strange dark meditative soundscape of a quiet apocalypse. We decided to release the song on the actual All Souls Day...in fact our entire release calendar was based upon that happening. The song is a wild mood swing after [the previous two singles] Head Underwater and Southern Ocean which were upbeat colorful freak pop songs. We don't know what kind of song All Souls Day is - but it's definitely in the vein of a doomy zeitgeist, which is leaned into by the song's video, in which we play the song in an isolated field in the middle of the Catskill Mountains, and over the course of the day seem to conjure forces that come alive by night as the surrounding goldenrod and spiders look on."

You can watch the video for "All Souls Day" below. The Forms have an album due out in 2022. Details will be forthcoming. For more on The Forms, check out the band's Facebook.