Month: March 2018

Little Alien “Kung Fu Style”

From NY’s Little Alien comes a quirky, completely infectious pop-math jam with some positively prog flourishes about maybe someone not seeming as great as they appeared in the beginning. Also want to recommend their self-titled 2017 album (listen below) which is filled to the gills with shockingly accomplished pop/prog twists, turns and hooks and is inexorably cool through and through.

 

Hawk “Keeps Me Out”

“Keeps Me Out” somehow manages to be both grungy and ethereal, and is reminiscent of  Zola Jesus’s more pop infused moments. Epic, tuneful and just big, big, big in every way.

Mute Choir “Behind The Bars”

“…My heart in your hand, pumping blood in the sand”, “Behind the Bars” is both a Brian Wilson-esque lament and a squirrely bit of power pop. Full of cascading “oohs” and falsetto, a synth line like you’d hear on the world’s saddest carousel and a wonky guitar to close things out, it’s one sweet thing.

Group Photos “In the Morning”

Here’s some gorgeous post-punk to soundtrack staring out the windows of a high speed train, and letting all the blurry neon and desperation wash over you. And while the obvious comparison here would be Interpol or The National, “In the Morning” is far closer to the moody, underrated and timeless 80’s post-punk of Comsat Angels, A Certain Ratio and The Sound than that, and is all the better for it. This track is taken off the new EP “Open District” which is so good that we have to include it here as well.

Amber Mark “Love Me Right”

An airy, spare production coupled with Amber’s incredibly warm and honeyed vocal, lift this beauty to the highest of heights. It occupies the space somewhere between the late 80’s/ early 90’s sinewy soul excursions of Brownstone ( “If You Love Me” & “5 Miles to Empty”) and Ruby Turner’s “It’s Gonna Be Alright” and damn, it’s just as good, which is high praise indeed.

Glambat “Cole Gate (demo)”

Glambat is Emily Alderman and “Cole Gate” is one outrageously memorable song. From a lyrical standpoint it’s painfully specific, like there’s a reference to midnight in Litchfield, Connecticut among other things …yet it manages to remain utterly cryptic, it’s observations sounding like they’ve fallen straight out of a diary, written in that uncontrollable stream of consciousness style that takes over when you’re riled up. The bitterness and angsty observation is then wrapped up in a buzzing, hook filled lo-fi blanket, and lord it is supremely good.

Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

soul rooster Below sit the links to the Soundcloud and Spotify Weekly New Wonders Playlists.  Why both places ? Well because not all tracks are available through both services, so yeah, make the rounds and visit both if you want to achieve the maximum high. I let the dishes pile up this week so they are a bit longer than usual but please indulge in the lot even if it takes 2 sittings, commutes, laps etc., because there is a load of good stuff !

Soundcloud Playlist:

Spotify Playlist:



 

Weekly New Wonders Playlist !

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It’s impossible not to be hypnotized by this “Yoda” Fruit Bat, I mean the whiskers, the smirk, the knowing glint in the eyeballs, he’s just an absolute God/lunatic…but I digress. Here are this week’s Weekly New Wonders Playlists and oh man 2018 continues to gift us musically. Also attaching a couple of links below to 2 recent albums that are really fine and absolutely worth hearing and holding close as well, namely Shamir’s “Resolutions” and Soccer Mommy’s “Clean”. As for the playlists, you can listen on either Soundcloud or Spotify, links below !

Soundcloud Playlist:

Spotify Playlist:



And these 2 albums are so damn good….

Shamir “Resolutions” :

Soccer Mommy “Clean”:

Thyla “I Was Biting”

Gonna make this into one long sentence because that’s how relentless this song is: “I Was Biting” is a gigantic, continually ascending monster featuring an all consuming vocal from Millie Duthie (kinda reminiscent of wonderful Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow), with guitar, bass and drums pushed right up to the front of the stage and is completely restless, anthemic and kick ass and a reminder that maybe progress hasn’t actually set us free but pushed us all into a corner of surveilled sameness …which is to say yes, it kinda rules.

How you doin’ tonight Tallahassee ?!

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My brother plays in a cover band in Florida. I had questions. Lots of questions. 

A 4 piece whose arsenal features songs from the 60’s through now, my brother’s band covers the Florida coastline bar circuit literally and figuratively. This was a dream come true for me because my eternal cover band questions could finally be answered. Here we go !

Have you been surprised by the reaction to certain songs ?

We were playing “Heart-Shaped Box” at a smoky country bar…the smoke was so thick you could lean on it. Some bald hill-jack grabbed the mic from the lead singer and sang the song in a very spirited and angry way, probably reflecting  on mommy issues or something… the surprising part was he did not turn to face the cowboy hats bobbing into their Budweiser’s at the bar, nope, he sang directly into the face of our lead singer. It might have been a country bar but that is totally fucking punk rock (and a little obnoxious).

Have there been any big singalongs ?

People don’t sing along to our stuff thoroughly. Most people are faking the words and stop once you make eye contact… I think it’s fucking awesome anytime someone is feeling the music, who gives a shit if the words they sing are right? I certainly don’t…

Have you ever done themed sets ?

No themed sets in the true sense. Rhythm guitarist trying his hardest to play the wrong chord, bass player staring at the wall and forgets the song the band is playing at that moment or the drummer playing 150 beats a minute on a ballad… if these are themed than yes, we play themed sets all of the time.

Any funny stories about audience reactions  ( as a group or specific people) ?

A lesbian wedding party ended up at this biker bar we were playing at…the ladies were wearing overalls and tiaras and wanted us to play a song they could dance to but couldn’t recommend anything… our drummer says, “let’s play Tennessee Whiskey”. Let’s be very clear, I am not a fan of that song. We played it, everybody danced, the newlyweds had the most enormous cartoon smiles during that song, extreme happiness. It was fucking awesome!

What are some weird requests you’ve gotten ?

Sometimes a guitar nerd will play “stump  the chump” and request some obscure thing… we don’t do requests  unless we can “deliver the goods” properly…songs that we already know.

Do you find that the Floridian taste is a little behind the times ?

I wouldn’t define Floridians a certain way since so many people are transplants trying to escape from somewhere else… have you ever watched “America’s Most Wanted”? “The suspect is armed and dangerous, police think she/he/they are on the run to Florida”.
I am always amazed at the songs people know. 60 year olds singing along with Sublime, a housewife shouting out Godsmack lyrics or some young hipster kid in skinny jeans singing along with a Joe Walsh song. A good band will always watch the crowd but you don’t want to judge. I just appreciate that people are there and listening… Does that make sense?

Is it hard to play songs you don’t like ?

Initially yes. Sometimes my dislike grows even more after we play them routinely. There is something amazing about playing anything with a band once everybody is in the groove and there is flow. And when the audience, even if it’s only one person, feels it, then nobody should give a fuck about what I think. It’s just as much for them as it is for the band…even if it is a  song I hate.

Talk about what you loved when you were young…

I loved the Ramones as a kid. The music was raw, loud, unrefined, not complicated and made me feel great. Joan Jett gave me the same feeling… I was a nervous and frail kid, definitely not an “in your face” kind of guy. The music filled some of that gap mentally.

Ironically my musical motivation comes from songs that all of us agree on. Many times we play songs that I have never fully listened to until I had to learn them. Afterward I say “damn, I heard that song when I was a kid and hated it, what happened , that song is amazing”!

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