Wednesday, March 25, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat – featuring a premiere from Blade Of Grass

Blade Of Grass – “She Was” (The Los Angeles-based psych-rock band led by songwriters Josh James and Mike Hurst released their new 2-song EP/single late last summer.  The EP is led by the standout title track and lover’s lament, “She Was” with its laid-back head-nodding rhythm that is bolstered by a surge of warbling cosmic synth melodies and a soaring, sing-along refrain.  Fans of likeminded acts such as Tame Impala and The Big Pink will embrace their futuristic yet nostalgic 90’s alt-rock inspired brand of psych-pop that blends organic and electronic instrumentation with ease and charm to spare.)


Watch the mind-altering video for “She Was” here:

Vetiver – “Loose Ends” (Since the early 2000’s during the “psych-folk”-era, San Francisco’s Vetiver, led by Andy Cabic has been a consistent mainstay in the scene.  This week he released his sixth album and debut for Easy Sound Recordings, Complete Strangers.  This time around he has focused more on rhythm, adding in propulsive electronic Krautrock and danceable tropicalia beats to his sunny yet melancholic blend of 60’s psychedelic pop and subtle folk rock to great effect.  Friends and collaborators Devendra Banhart, Bart Davenport and Adrianne deLanda of Extra Classic contribute.)     


Tobias Jesso Jr. – “Hollywood” (Emerging singer-songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr. plays a retro-inspired blend of piano-led pop and soft rock that harkens back to 70’s legends Taylor, Newman and Nilsson.  His stunning debut album, GOON was released last week via True Panther.  The spotlight is clearly focused on his strong songwriting, memorable melodies and raw yet emotive voice though he worked with several different producers such as Pat Carney of The Black Keys, Jonathan Rado of Foxygen, JR White of Girls and Ariel Rechstaid who helped shaped his vision in the studio with their perfectly timeless arrangements and subtle ornamentation for a very promising debut.)      

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Jazz June – Entire Discography Reissue Collection

The emo – or whatever you want to call it – revival is in full swing and nostalgia for those poppy punk-fuelled musical diaries of the mid-to-late 90’s and early 2000’s is at its peak.  One of the most influential yet criminally underappreciated bands of that era was Kutztown, Pennsylvania’s The Jazz June.  However, it wasn’t exactly fair to pigeon-hole the band mainly as an “emo” band, as they referenced everything from prog, jazz and pop to post-hardcore and indie rock for a dynamic, genre-defiant sound.  The prolific band went on hiatus in 2003 and reunited shortly after in 2006 for a handful of shows and to release The Scars To Prove It, an odds-and-ends collection via Universal Warning Records in 2007.  It wasn’t until last year that the band led by vocalist/guitarist Andrew Low and featuring drummer Justin Max, guitarist Bryan Gassler and bassist Daniel O’Neill reunited once more and released both a new album, After the Earthquake, via Topshelf Records as well as a split 7” with Dikembe on Tiny Engines to great praise.    
And now after being out of print for nearly fifteen years - starting with their promising debut, They Love Those Who Make the Music released in 1997, The Boom, the Motion, and the Music (1998) and the next three releases originally issued by Initial Records - Breakdance Suburbia EP (1998), their beloved breakout The Medicine (2000) and their experimental final album, 2002’s Better Off Without Air - Universal Warning is set to reissue The Jazz June’s entire discography on CD for a whole new generation of fans.       

Additionally, Universal Warning has added in some exciting bonus material featuring 33 tracks of rare recordings and live performances and a live video from 2006 as a digital download included with every order.

So order these great albums and discover or relive and rediscover one of the great punk bands of the “emo”-era!   


For more info:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Free Friday: Fury Things/Brilliant Beast – Split EP

This week the Minneapolis-based label Guilt Ridden Pop released a new split EP from two of their dream-pop and shoegaze-inspired bands, Fury Things and Brilliant Beast.  It is available as a limited run CDR and they have also made the digital version available as a pay-what-you-want download via their Bandcamp page.
Brilliant Beast – a quartet led by sibling dual-vocalists/guitarists - contributes an emotionally-charged new song, “No Fate” as well as a noise-addled cover of “Heaven” by the Talking Heads, turning it into a slower-paced distorted dirge. 

On their side, the trio Fury Things recorded their two fuzzed-out new songs in just one take, quickly after writing them to preserve the raw energy and excitement of the moment.    

Download the split EP here:

Watch the jittery, disorientating video for Brilliant Beast’s “No Fate” here:

For more info: and and

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat

The Sidekicks – “Deer” (The Columbus based band brought in producer Phil Ek for their stellar new album, Runners in the Nerved World, out now via Epitaph Records.  Rightfully so, their highly-melodic rootsy indie rock is heavily indebted to a trio of legendary bands Ek has recorded in the past - Band Of Horses, The Shins and Built To Spill – and further distances themselves from the crustier punk of their past.  The arena-worthy 90’s guitar tones and catchy hooks are carried by frontman Steve Ciolek’s Bridwell and Mercer-like high-registered vocals for their strongest album yet.)   

Title Fight – “Chlorine” (The Pennsylvania punk crew recently released Hyperview, their highly-anticipated third album and debut for new label Anti-.  On the new album they sharpen their pop-punk and hardcore-rooted sound with a newfound focus on dynamic effect-heavy guitars that are both ambient and abrasive and dissonantly melodic; with layers of post-punk textures and New Romantic-esque vocal melodies.)       


Torche – "Annihilation Affair” (Over the past several years and releases the influential quartet led by vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks have been leaning more and more towards featuring melody and harmony with catchy elements of 90’s alt-rock blended into their heavy, sludge-rock.  Their latest album, Restarter, out now on Relapse retains that melody but embraces the heavy once again and the colossal, stomping album opener and standout single, “Annihilation Affair” is the perfect example.)


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Iron And Wine – “Archive Series Volume No. 1” & Dreamers and Makers are my Favorite People - A Short Film

Late last February, Sam Beam of Iron And Wine released Archive Series Volume No. 1, a new compilation album of four track recordings and songs, most of which reach back to the same time as his excellent debut album, 2002’s The Creek Drank The Cradle.  Released as the first of an ongoing series via his own label, Black Cricket Recording Co., the nostalgia-inducing first volume focuses on the hushed, mostly unadorned folk that became his calling card during his early years.  Standouts include the first single, “Everyone’s Summer of ‘95”, album opener “Slow Black River” and the plucky rhythm of “Judgment”. 

In addition, Beam has also released a short film, Dreamers and Makers are my Favorite People.  It was filmed at the Jerry Run Summer Theater in Cleveland, WV and documents the origin of the theater with interviews from the owners, Dusty and Renee Anderson as well as candid interviews with Sam as he reminisces about his decade-long musical journey.  Highlighting the film is special footage of Sam performing several of the songs from the new album, many of which had not ever been performed live.       

Watch Dreamers and Makers are my Favorite People - A Short Film here:

Stream “Everyone’s Summer of ‘95” here:

For more info: and

To purchase the film:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Free Friday: Henrietta – “The Trick Is Reimagined Acoustic”

The experimental Orlando-based indie-punk quartet, Henrietta released their long-awaited debut album, The Trick Is Not Minding late last summer via Animal Style Records.  Now they have quickly followed that up with a new EP titled, The Trick Is Reimagined Acoustic, where they have re-recorded new reimagined and acoustic arrangements for five of the tracks from their promising debut.  It is available now as a pay-what-you-want digital download via their Bandcamp page. 

The rolling squalls of feedback and tight, math-y rhythm of standout track “A Spectrum” is now reimagined with twinkling guitars and a loose, shuffling rhythm that allows the catchy vocal harmonies to take the spotlight. 

Download The Trick Is Reimagined Acoustic here:    

For more info: and

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat

Diet Cig – “Scene Sick” (The New Paltz, NY based duo of vocalist/guitarist Alex Luciano and drummer Noah Bowman of Earl Boykins released their debut EP, Over Easy recently via Father/Daughter Records.  Alex’s personal, conversational lyrical style and infectious pop sense are backed by jangly, upbeat punk-fuelled pop that recalls K Records’ output from the 90’s along with joyous, danceable rhythms and 60’s pop flavor.)  

Stream the domestically-descriptive and danceable opening track “Breathless” here:

Lieutenant – “Belle Epoque” (Under the moniker Lieutenant, Nate Mendel, bassist of Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate released his promising debut solo album, If I Kill This Thing We’re All Going To Eat For A Week, this week via Dine Alone Records.  While the album - produced by Toshi Kasai (Melvins, Big Business) - is heavy on guests including, Page Hamilton of Helmet, Josiah Johnson of Head and the Heart and former bandmate Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate, Nate really shines through in his first stint as vocalist, guitarist and songwriter.  His songs are dynamic and original with elements of catchy 60’s pop but feature some of the surging anthemic guitar riffs and passionate vocal melodies reminiscent of his influential current and former bands.)


Lightouts – “Interzone (Joy Division cover)” (The Brooklyn-based band released a new maxi-single, “More Than Ever” this week - their first release to feature new vocalist Skip Greer also of the Dead Kennedys and the Wynona Ryders.  As with all of their singles, it features a cover track, this time they impart their fuzz-drenched post-rock meets shoegaze sound onto Joy Division’s rare demo, “Interzone”.)    

Friday, March 06, 2015

Free Friday: Twin Peaks – “Mind Frames” (Wild Onion Demos)

Emerging Chicago-based garage-rockers Twin Peaks released their stunning sophomore album, Wild Onion last year on Grand Jury records to great praise and now they have released Mind Frames, an album consisting of ten demos from that album which they have made available as a pay-what-you-want download via their Bandcamp page.
The quartet of twenty year olds create an impressive retro-inspired rock-and-roll sound that takes influence from both the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys, sounding like a lost transmission from the 60’s.  These lo-fi bedroom recordings reveal a scruffy swagger and give a glimpse into the process as the demo version of the standout track, “I Found A Way” is drenched with vintage organ, howling vocals and flickering hi-hats that were tamed down slightly for the final version.    

Download Mind Frames here:

For more info:

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

3 Songs: On Repeat

Josh Berwanger/Dwight Twilley – Split 7” single (Out now on limited edition blue vinyl is the debut release of Good Land Records’ new 7” split series – “the Blues Series”.  The first volume proudly features old school power-pop purveyor Dwight Twilley and new school power-pop prince Josh Berwanger – formerly of The Anniversary – who go side-by-side with two new exclusive songs.  Look for more releases in the series that combine influential songwriters with those that have been influenced by their work.  Also, look for Twilley’s new full-length Always due this Spring on Good Land.)  
Preview Berwanger’s infectious and jangly “Some Other Guy” here:

Preview Twilley’s piano-led Lennon-esque “Shooting Stars” here:

The Cherry Wave – “Culture ‘90” (The Glasgow-based quartet recently released their aptly-titled new album, Avalancher, via Saint Marie Records.  The group stands apart from the pack by melding a heavy, roaring avalanche of hardcore punk and catchy yet understated hooks to their noise-addled and distortion-fuelled shoegaze sound.  Check out the pummeling opening track here.)


Passenger Peru – “Break My Neck” (The Brooklyn duo of multi-instrumentalists Justin Stivers and Justin Gonzales return with their highly-anticipated sophomore album, Light Places, out now on cassette via Fleeting Youth Records.  Their dynamic brand of fuzzed out psych-pop is raw; not fussed over yet carefully crafted and sharply melodic.  Check out the emotionally-charged standout single below.)