Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Autumn, I can taste you

Mirah and Jherek Bischoff are obviously musical soulmates, but now there'll be a record of their collaboration credited to Mirah, with Bischoff rearranging some of her older songs for strings. The song selection comes from a variety of her albums prior. Particularly eager to hear a new arrangement of this beaut.

Relatives in Descent might be one of the year's most anticipated records on this end [and why not, with this list of inspiration sources?]

For the under-forty crowd: Devin McKnight, guitarist of this band and this seemingly shorter-lived band, has his own project, called Maneka. Funnily, this project sounds an awful lot like Vivian Fantasy. They've probably never met.

The Fresh and Onlys are returning to tour! And there's a new record coming out later this month, which received some production help from Kelley Stoltz and Greg Ashley (thank the sweet Jesus, Greg Ashley's getting work). With these kinds of friends providing guidance, this might be a rare Fresh and Onlys record that doesn't have layers for miles. But it's peppy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A few previews and then some

Chicago's Melkbelly has a record coming out October 13, called Nothing Valley, and "Kid Kreative" is the video where dude gets to be Full House-era Olsen twins for two minutes.

What's JG Thirlwell been up to? He's now Xordox, and he's got a new album called Neospection. Ninth death to Foetus, it appears!

James Graham is essentially incapable of making a misstep, and between Twilight Sad records he's gone and recorded a new project with the strange and beautiful Kathryn Joseph as well as the man who produced her 2015 record. (Honestly, said producer appears to be the official producer of Glasgow, going off his client list.) These three are called Out Lines and they make their album debut on October 27. This record's concept is marvelous.

From DIY Mag: The entire record has been inspired by conversations James and Kathryn has [sic] with users of Platform, a multi-arts and community space in the east end of Glasgow. They translated the stories that they heard into the album’s lyrics, while Marcus helped to steer the sound of the record.

London's Skinny Pelembe finally has something coming out; the Seven Year Curse EP is making its appearance on August 11. Another debut!

If you happen to be located in a more English part of the world, this launch is happening.

Monday, July 17, 2017

She knows the shimmy and the twist and the boogaloo: Saba Lou!

Maybe it's common knowledge that King Khan is the father of two daughters. In fact, he wrote a fun little song for his older daughter, Saba Lou, which appeared on December's Three Hairs and You're Mine.

Just seventeen in 2017, Saba Lou has released her own record, and it's the stuff of your Charlyne Yi dreams. The lovely thing about this record is that she's grown up surrounded by minor garage rock heroes, even has a few of them on her record and got Jared Swilley of Black Lips to write the album's liner notes, and though Swilley makes allusions to "Budget Dad," King Khan's name is nowhere to be found on the album's press release. Dad's here and there, behind the scenes, but the album's all hers.

Her singing may be thin, the way a teenager's voice ought to be thin, really, but it works perfectly well given the simple nature of the songs, and she does a lovely job as a storyteller. Her early childhood adventures seemed to be hinting at a future not unlike that of King Khan and his circle, but Saba Lou's gone the opposite route, playing softly and sweetly, lyrically approaching bigger topics. Some of us used our journals to ask similar questions when we were teenagers, though her record sounds much nicer -- and perhaps emotionally healthier -- than most of our journals probably read. If anything, Planet Enigma makes me envious of anyone who gets to take part in this musical family.

She's come a long way, too.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

It's 100 degrees and we're sleepy. Here's some good stuff to listen to.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Peter Perrett: Hard to say no

It's already been said, here and in a few other places, that we're all tickled to see Peter Perrett alive in 2017, making music or otherwise. But now that How the West was Won has been out for a week and we've had a chance to absorb it a bit, it can be safely said that he's still writing the best love songs around, and singing them in the same voice he would've used forty years ago. "An Epic Story," "Man of Extremes" and "C Voyeurger" are the love letters anyone would be happy to have written to them, though surely, most of us would have given up wishing and hoping by the time we'd become someone's wife of forty-seven years.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

One of these is not based in L.A.

If this doesn't make a star out of Lias Saoudi, what will?

Though it doesn't quite translate here, as a live act, Los Angeles-based Midnight Sister are sort of everything that was wonderful about musical guest performances on SNL in the '70s. Like a Klaus Nomi/Kate Bush hybrid, backed by some really excellent session musicians. Well, if Kate Bush were one to literally do the Macarena on stage. Marvelous mix of disco and yacht rock. Horrified that this is the way to describe such an interesting band.

Samira Winter basically nailed it on the head in trying to create a song influenced by "The Breeders, Weezer, and the 90's film 10 things I Hate About You" [sic]. Being in a band can be so dull, boo hoo.

There's a fun little one-man label that just came about in Fullerton last year, called Neck Chop, and many of the label's releases will probably be popping up here now and then. For now, here's part of a new release by Mark Cone, who's essentially achieved what the Screamers sought to do. Also have a look at his appearance on Highland Park TV, an appropriate reminder of what local access channels were/are good for.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Let's talk about Australia

After several years of posting their music, I've come to terms with the fact that every band coming from Australia is either a quirky, mildly folksy, coed group, or a sweaty band of men who survive on beer and meat and are soon due for haircuts. Maybe it's just difficult to find the stuff in between. Melbourne act the Stroppies are ideal if you've found Lower Plenty or Wireheads, or Terry, whom I've not been able to shut up about since they're such delights, all of them. And while I'd love to say there's some sort of trend among acts in which there are men and women singing in unison, essentially in monotone, folk with something of a punk-lite aesthetic, and a cartoonish element, all of these bands are basically linked by involvement from either Al Montfort or Mikey Young.

So the gist of this is that Mikey Young, whose name is stamped somewhere on the releases of many bands between Oakland and Melbourne, mastered this eponymous EP by the Stroppies, which is lovely for bopping up and down in your car seat and shaking your head from side to side like a member of the Peanuts gang at Christmastime. 

While we're at it, let's apply all of the above to Signs Are Rampant by Blank Statements, save for their much higher lady-ratio. Blank Statements share two members with the Stroppies, and their record was also mastered by Mikey Young and released on Melbourne's Hobbies Galore. If they'd been English, Blank Statements might've been a great fit for Damaged Goods, once upon a time.

You know what else Mikey Young has been up to? His debut solo record! If you're familiar with the synth work on the last Total Control record, this album won't sound entirely out of place. Your Move Vol. 1 comes out June 16. Now, why hasn't he begun scoring campy horror films, or for that matter, taken over duties on Halt and Catch Fire?

And finally, something on Tenth Court, not affiliated with Mikey Young. Small World Experience is a thirty-year old band whose first record in nearly two decades arrives on June 23. The music is not out of line with what bands like Lower Plenty (or any of the above acts) are creating now, and there are a great few bits of humor throughout the record -- the favorite here is probably "Table Talk," quite literally about the experience of sitting at the table for steak and kidney pie as a child and being told (as culminates in the chorus), "you're not going anywhere, finish your pie." Album opener "Sugar Beats" might actually be about the path to diabetes.

Musically, this seems to have guitar tunings similar to those used by Thurston Moore, and if anything, the sequencing seems a bit odd; there's no obviously climactic album opener or conclusion here, though the steady "Call of the Wild" might have been a more anticipatory start than "Sugar Beats." Still a reliably nice comeback record, though.

Here's a taste of what they were twenty years ago. Nineties as hell, no?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


We should all be grateful that this years-old song now has its own video and is on its way to making stars out of some very deserving kitties -- Nina, Sir Philip, Lolita, Tigger, Blackie, Miss Flea, Seymour, and Tsunami, who do their best to mouth the song's chorus. Check out the handsome fella at 0:30 and stay for the purrs.

Dion Lunadon of A Place to Bury Strangers has a record out (digitally) this Friday. The first single's title ("Howl") and the presence of a leather jacket on its Soundcloud background should be the biggest tipoff to the album's similarities, though Lunadon's record has a good amount of bite to it and some of the noise you'd come to expect from any member of A Place to Bury Strangers.

Story time: About ten ago, Oakland singer-songwriter Brian Glaze left me a note: "I hate B.R.M.C, B.J.M. Black LIps. Black Fucking Angles, and other Black shit!" [Sic, all of them.] But you know who doesn't hate Black shit? Dion Lunadon. This self-titled record is quite decent, especially through headphones, where you can hear the details in the recording; it's quick, snotty, extremely lo-fi, and might make you a bit nostalgic for the period about thirteen to fifteen years ago, when we had more "The" bands than we knew what to do with.

Argentinian Tall Juan has the mouthy approach of Richard Hell, minus the intellectualism, and he surely knows this -- look particularly to his cover of "Chinese Rock." There are also those heavy nods to the Ramones, which he's also in on, and a reference he's likely heard a thousand times. On the whole, Tall Juan Zaballa is a bit of a sexy fuck, a bit of a goof, a bit derivative, but he's entirely delightful. Oh, and Mac DeMarco's on this new album for a bit, on "Another Juan." Eh.

There's no beating around the bush. Montreal-based duo Co/ntry sounds the way man bun-era Thom Yorke looks when he performs.