Friday, April 27, 2012

Show Alert: Mittenfields and Sad Cadillac @ Oregon Express 04/28/2012

D.C.-based band Mittenfields are currently on tour and are making a stop here in Dayton at the Oregon Express on Saturday, April 28th.  Be sure to bring your earplugs because their eclectic distortion-laden wall of guitars sound  is set to explode your eardrums. They are touring in support of their excellent self-released EP The Fresh Sum, that incorporates the rhythm-centric sound of their hometown with a fuzzed-out 3-guitarist attack and a quirky pop sense, like if My Bloody Valentine and Arcade Fire were one band.  I am excited to see them, I especially can't wait to hear the live version of the feedback-fueled standout closing track, "Cascades"!

Opening the show is the local lo-fi rock trio Sad Cadillac, whose promising debut EP Homegrown was self-released earlier this year and features a guitar-centric classic rock meets 90's indie rock sound that will fit right in with the Mittenfields.

Stream The Fresh Sum EP by Mittenfields here:

Stream the Homegrown EP by Sad Cadillac here:

For more info click here: and and

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Fixers - "Another Lost Apache" (First single for the UK band's first US release, the Pop Meat/Your Corruptor EP out now on Dolphin Love Records features sun-soaked Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies along with fuzzed out guitars set to a danceable beat...just the fix you've been looking for!)


2.  Johnny Bertram & The Golden Bicycles - "Mistake" (New single from the Portland-based singer-songwriter's sophomore album Neon City out now on Esperanza Plantation.  The album features his backing band The Golden Bicycles for the first time, providing a richer, fuller folk-leaning indie rock sound.)     


3.  The Hudson Branch - "Piggyback" (Wildly experimental Chicago-based art-folk/psych-pop five-piece released their second album, World Kid, this week on their own Dogs On Tour imprint.  Recorded by John McEntire (Broken Social Scene, Tortoise) and produced by Neil Strauch (Andrew Bird, Iron & Wine) the ambitious new album was released as a songbook with lyrics, photos and illustrations for each track by visual artist Rachel June.)


Bonus: Robbers On High Street - "Didn't Wanna Know" (Classic R&B meets indie rock with guitars both jangly and jabbing on the Brooklyn-based band's new EP Anything Could Happen, which features an outtake from their recent album Hey There Golden Hair as well as 3 other new tracks.  Out now digitally and on limited run vinyl from Tijuana Gift Shop.)


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Apes - "Sam's Song" 7"

Great Apes is the new project from singer/guitarist Brian Moss formerly of the Chicago-based post-punk band The Ghost.  After The Ghost disbanded, Moss stretched his legs in the folk and country-leaning project Hanalei for a while but now returns to his more passionate and intense punk rock roots with the nostalgia-laced skate punk of Great Apes whose excellent debut 7" Sam's Song is out today on Say-10 Records.  The single includes the surging and anthemic A-side, "Sam's Song" which re-introduces you to his distinct, gruff yet melodic voice.  The B-side, "It's A Trans' World" is a politically-charged 3-chord punk anthem complete with fist-pumping sing-along chorus.  The digital download of the 7" is included with purchase and includes a third song, the bouncy pop-punk of "Detonator". 

The songs on the Sam's Song single come from a seven-song session recorded in December of 2011 with producer Ryan Massey that will be split up into 3 different 7" single releases.  So look for more Great Apes music this Summer!

Stream a 3 track samper of the session including, "Sam's Song" here:

For more info: and

Friday, April 20, 2012

Record Store Day 2012

Record Store Day is tomorrow and if you don't know what that is, then you are terrible at being a fan of music!

The organizers for Record Store Day have teamed up with almost every leading indie and even some major labels to release limited edition exclusives just for the occasion. Check out for the participating record stores and list of the exclusive releases.

Here is a list of records I will be seeking out:

Shabazz Palaces - Live At KEXP (An explosive set recorded at the Seattle radio station)

Cursive  - Burst And Bloom EP (A limited edition marbled LP released on vinyl for the first time)

Metallica - Beyond Magnetic (Their recently released EP on 12" silver vinyl for the first time)

Misfits - Walk Among Us (Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their debut album on red, blue and clear 12" vinyl)

The Black Angels - Lonely/Watch Out Boy (Orange 7" with 2 new songs and digital download with their cover of The Zombies' "She's Not There")

The Mynah Birds - It's My Time/Go On And Cry (7" single of the only recorded material from a pre-famous Neil Young and Rick James R&B collaboration)

There are hundreds of exclusive and limited releases from other artists including Arcade Fire, M. Ward, Mastodon and the Flaming Lips, as well as a limited edition Reptar 7" on Black Bell Records! Thanks for supporting your local independent record stores!  I will be in Cincinnati at Shake It Records.  See ya there!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Maps & Atlases - "Winter" (Propulsive and melodic first single from the Chicago-based experimental art-folk/post-rock band's excellent new album Beware & Be Grateful out now on Barsuk. Check them out on their Spring-long tour now.)    


2.  High Strung - "?Posible o' Imposible?" (Side-winding guitars and 60's-era psych-pop melodies mark the first single and title track from the Detroit band's return with new album, ?Posible o' Imposible? out now on Paper Thin Records.  You can also catch their song "The Luck You Got" as the theme songs for the Showtime show Shameless.)


3.  Arkells - "Kiss Cam" (The Canadian band adds touches of Soul and Yacht Rock melodies to their keyboard-driven Juno award-winning anthemic alt-rock mix on their sophomore album Michigan Left out now.)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Meshuggah - "Koloss"

Swedish tech-metal kings returned after a four year wait with their highly anticipated new album Koloss, released late last month on Nuclear Blast Records.  After making a name for themselves with their progressive brand of speed metal and even forging a new metal scene altogether with the 7-stringed guitar-loving "Djent" sub-genre, the band has focus their sound with a more straight-forward groove-oriented sound, and all without losing their brutal edge.

The stomping stand out track "I Am Colossus" still maintains a staggering rhythmic pulse but reigns in the blast beats and prog-rock tendencies for a slower, more punishing sound befitting the song's title.  But don't worry, "The Demon's Name Is Surveillance" follows with a dose of speed and fancy fretwork.  Another standout track, "Don't Look Down" features a disorientating groove and soaring guitar solo.  And the first single and video released from the album, "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" begins with a siren-like guitar riff before bursting into a half-time rhythm that would ignite any pit in mere seconds and maintains that same intensity through to the end for another standout moment.

Proving yet again they are they heavyweights of the metal scene no matter how techical or brutal, Meshuggah bring it with their excellent new album Koloss.  Look for the deluxe version on CD which also comes with a bonus DVD that includes a making of the album feature and almost a half-hour of live concert footage. 

Check out the bleak performance video for "Break Those Bones Whose Sinews Gave It Motion" here:

For more info: and

Friday, April 13, 2012

Free Friday: A Place To Bury Strangers/Cermony Split for the Famous Class Records "Less Artist More Condos" 7" Series

This week, Brooklyn label Famous Class Records has released the first installment of their new 7" series, Less Artist More Condos, which was named after their former label partner, the late Ariel Panero.  His Brooklyn-based concert series of the same name helped to shine the spotlight on some of his favorite bands and the label hopes to continue that effort with the new 7" series.  The label selected the band for the A-side and then allowed the band to select the artist for their respective B-side.

For the first 7", noise-gazers A Place To Bury Strangers contributes the A-side "Burning Plastic" which is a slight departure from their norm, as the track features elastic New Order-like guitars, an electronic beat and a less bombastic sound.  And Ceremony, (whose latest Matador Records debut album Zoo was released last month) contributes a scathing slice of abrasive post-punk on the B-side, with the track "Send Me Your Dreams".

The 7" can be purchased here: 

The digital download can be downloaded for free here:

But the proceeds go to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1's Save The Music.  So stream the music below and then "pay what you want" for the digital download because it is for a good cause!

Listen here:

For more info: and and

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1. Emily Wells - "Passenger" (Singer/composer Emily Wells released her gorgeous new album Mama this week on Partisan Records. The lush and intriguing arrangements were born from her classical music past but the raw emotion and skill - she played nearly everything on the record - have a unique and modern touch. Also look for remixes of album tracks soon from Teen Daze, Baths and Dan The Automator.)


2. Radiation City - "Find It Of Use" (The Portland, OR dream-pop band found the inspiration for their hazy and intense new EP Cool Nightmare, out now on Tender Loving Empire, in an old piano that they found and used to write and record the EP. Then they repaid the piano by smashing it to pieces in the video for the aptly-titled single, "Find It Of Use". Released digitally, they also loaded the album unto USBs and attached them to some of the piano keys to sell while on tour.)


3. The Creepy Crawlies - "Mollie The Maggot Part II" (The California indie-pop duo self-released Get Buried!, their insect-obsessed debut album this week. Their super melodic guitar and organ-led sound is intimate yet anthemic and sure to appeal to fans of Mates Of State and the Rosebuds.)


Bonus: M. Ward - "Primitive Girl" (Stream the first single from his warm and inviting, guest-heavy new album A Wasteland Companion out now on Merge. Some of the guests include Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth, Howie Gelb, Dr Dog's Toby Leaman and his usual suspects Mike Mogis and Zooey Deschanel. But even with that many guests, M. Ward's voice, guitar-style and songwriting still take the spotlight.)


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Baby Teeth - "White Tonight"

Chicago's Baby Teeth are back with their highly-anticipated (especially by me) new album White Tonight.  Self-produced and released on their own No Means No Music label, the trio's new album is again filled to the brim with their unique brand of keyboard-led 70's loving indie-pop and set to witty lyrics that deal with life and aging (not so gracefully) in the rock scene.

"New Milk" opens the album with a bouncy midtempo rhythm, dizzying synth melodies and some Talking Heads-like background vocals to set the tone for the album.  The title track and first single, "White Tonight" stands out with a tale of regret and new priorities set to a danceable disco beat.  "Undefeated" features room-filling vintage organ swells and saxophone that revel in 70's rock glory.  "Space" follows with a galloping and frenzied rush of fuzzed out bass and keyboard freakouts for another standout moment. While the song's character may no longer be able to rock out, the music to "Diamonds" certainly fills the arena and his shoes.  "Cocaine Again" is a piano-led saxophone-laced ode to the white drug.  Pounding piano and spazzy keyboard fills highlight the upbeat and psychedelic stand out track "World Of Nothing".  And the eight-song album ends before you are ready with the glimmering 80's-inspired synths and sing-along chorus of the peppy and propulsive "Paul".       

With White Tonight, their excellent fourth full-length, Baby Teeth again create some of the most ingenious and infectious music around with style and humor to match.    

Download the single "White Tonight" here:

For more info: and and

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Broadcaster - "Tightrope Walker" 7"

The Long Island, NY-based pop-punk trio return with Tightrope Walker, an infectiously catchy new 2-song 7" single out now on Jump Start Records.  Legendary producer J. Robbins (Jawbreaker, The Promise Ring) helped them pump up their bouncy brand of nostalgia-laced punk with even catchier power-pop melodies and tighter musicianship that only heightens the anticipation for a proper full-length album.

The limited edition first pressing of 500 includes 100 copies on white vinyl and 400 on a very cool translucent red and includes a digital download of "Tightrope Walker" and "Anything You Never Heard" plus a digital-only track, the super-charged sing-along, "The Only Way You Know", all for a cheap 5 bucks.

Stream Tightrope Walker here:

Download "Vacation Days" from their Joyride EP released for free on their Bandcamp page last summer here:

Download the Joyride EP here:

For more info: and

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

3 Songs: On Repeat

1.  Simone Felice - "New York Times" (The former member of The Felice Brothers released his self-titled debut solo album this week on Team Love Records.  An accomplished novelist and poet, Simone is a great storyteller and his lyrics show attention to every detail.  The music is a sparsely arranged set of soulful, gospel-soaked folk with guests from Mumford & Sons and a local girl's choir on the stunning debut.)


2.  Bear In Heaven - "Reflection Of You" (Lead single from I Love You, It's Cool, their highly-anticipated sophomore album released this week with a partnership between Dead Oceans and Hometapes.  Their hybrid mix of dance-inducing synth-pop and experimental guitar-rock is more focused and refined, living up to the lofty expectations placed on them after their refreshing debut.) 


3.  Sad Baby Wolf - "Everything Is" (Neutral Milk Hotel cover) (After making their debut with two singles late last year, the new project led by Marty Crandall (formerly of the Shins) return with a hip-shaking and confident new cover of the fuzzy Neutral Milk Hotel classic to tide us over as they finish up their debut EP due later this summer.)


Bonus:  Of Monsters And Men - "Love Love Love" (Sweet male/female harmonies highlight the ballad taken from their debut album My Head Is An Animal, out now on Universal Republic Records.  The Icelandic band creates soaring and cinematic wide-screen indie rock like Mumford & Sons mixed with Arcade Fire.)


Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Magic Bullets - "Much Ado About" EP

The San Francisco-based band Magic Bullets are set to release their new EP Much Ado About today on Mon Amie Records.  Sadly it will be their last as the band has decided to break up to pursue new musical directions after seven years together.  The seven-song EP is a lasting testament to their emotion-packed 80's-inspired jangle-pop.

"Unlearned" opens the album with the nostalgic sound of a cassette tape being put into a radio and follows with an upbeat and danceable track of reflection.  "Time And Again" features tumbling drums and flickering guitars with an infectiously catchy chorus.  Stand out track "Common House Cats" is highlighted by a strutting bass line, vintage organ swells, some disco-leaning guitars and vocalist Philip Benson's crooning, Morrisey-like vocals.  "Awful" is anything but with a slower pace and shimmering guitars and keys.  The first single released, "What Took You So Long" features wistful melodies that float over the droning synths and jaunty rhythm.  The soothing New Age-inspired "No Longer There" shows a different side of the band with layers of reverb-rich vocals and an ambient glow.  The EP closes with the Cure-like melancholic joy of "If You Touch Her" and ends with the sound of a tape being taken out of the radio, completing the nostalgic cycle.     

And if you still long for more after listening to the Much Ado About EP, then you should know that the core members of Magic Bullets have chosen to get back to their roots in the more punk-inspired band Terry Malts, whose killer debut album Killing Time was released earlier this year on Slumberland Records.   

Download "What Took You So Long":

For more info: and