Thursday, May 28, 2015


In the middle of May, I had the opportunity to see Tel Aviv's Vaadat Charigim support Froth on their Los Angeles tour date (more on this later). The show's lively opening act, Winter, was unexpectedly grabbing, and though well-fitting among a nostalgic shoegaze lineup, the group's 24-year old Brazilian frontwoman, Samira Winter, was unusually, well, happy, considering the typical romantic or introverted qualities generally offered by the genre. 

Winter is awfully reminiscent of the Sundays in the most wonderful way; their leader is never not smiling -- maybe she's high? Maybe she's had a near-death experience and is merely grateful? Whatever her deal may be, Samira Winter appears to love life and it comes out in her persistent smile. Truly, the girl never stops smiling while she plays.

So this positively elated band, led by Samira Winter, put out a record in March, and lyrically it's like a Best Coast record, told with a hint of co-dependence ["I thought I knew better/And stray from your tricks/You use and abuse me/Why can't I resist?/You're my drug/Cause you're my drug," from "Pretender"], or maybe just the desire for real friendship [refer to one of many ambiguous songs in "Flower Tattoo": "Say, say you love me/Say you're my friend/Just stay no going"]. 

But then, there're these happy-go-lucky options, like "Crazy" ["You make me feel funny/Shivers in my body/Hanging out with you/What about some ice cream?/Walking down the street we'll scream and scream/I don't care about what other people think"]. Winter is this perfectly childlike, childish, youthful, innocent manifestation of honest love, whoever might be on its receiving end, and it's all so very joyous in spite of the longing in its stories.

Anyhow, come see them when they play this lengthy shindig in Los Angeles, come July. A lovely lineup all around, really!

A video palindrome that addresses abortion

This new song and video from Till Lindemann, 52, father of at least two, frontman for Rammstein, is an excellent mens' rights complement to a quick read of Elfriede Jelinek's Women as Lovers.

Denmark's Communions have a new, self-titled EP out on June 1, and "Summer's Oath" is a dreamy swirl of post-punk and synths that bring to mind too many '80s and '80s-inspired bands to list off (a list which obviously includes the Cure). Visit last year's Cobblestones EP here.

More from the Communions EP:

Remember Vells? No? Toronto's Grounders have a lazy sort of sound (god, is dreamy in right now?), and they remind an awful lot of that quiet Seattle project. The following is off their full-length debut.

None of them had any success, most are (unjustly) obscure but every one of them has inspired me

Excellent post-punk compilation find from Optimo Music; here's a sampler of the double LP set for release on July 6. From Soundcloud:

Optimo Music release the compilation “Now That’s What I Call DIY! (Cult Classics from the Post-Punk Era 1978-82) in early July.

A1. Tesco Bombers – Break The Ice At Parties
A2. Sara Goes Pop – Sexy Terrorist
A3. People In Control – When It’s War
A4. Nancy Sesay & The Melodaires – C’est Fab

B1. The Distributors – TV Me
B2. Dorothy – Softness
B3. Thomas Leer – Private Plane
B4. Visitors – Electric Heat

C1. The Murphy Federation – Fed Up Skank
C2. The Distributors – Never Never
C3. The Cro-tones – Tea Machine Dub
C4. Fatal Microbes – Violence Grows

D1. The Spunky Onions – How I Lost My Virginity
D2. The Fakes – Look Out
D3. The 012 – Meltdown Situation
D4. The Prats – Disco Pope

This is a compilation of 16 UK 7" singles recorded between 1978 and 1982, compiled by JD Twitch, that showcases the DIY spirit of those times.

"If Punk was the nuclear detonation, the fallout that came after was where a lot of the most interesting music of that era was made. People who would never have thought to release a record before realised it was something they could do, and the end result was a DIY explosion. I've always loved music that doesn't try to fit in a particular genre, that is anti-canonical and doesn't care what else is going on in music at that time, that takes risks and is full of imagination and ideas that may or may not make any logical sense but that resulted in something unique, that ignores conventions about how a record SHOULD be produced and that was created simply because its creators felt the urge to express themselves and share the results with some other people. This compilation compiles 16 tracks that fulfil all those criteria. None of them had any success, most are (unjustly) obscure but every one of them has inspired me and would be in my ultimate 7" singles box." – JD Twitch.

This release has been a real labour of love involving tracing long-lost artists to far-flung corners of the globe, persuading them that the modern world needs to hear the music they made several decades ago, tracking down lost masters, lovingly restoring 7"s in the case of those where the masters were lost and then conceiving an elaborate package with detailed sleeve notes to house the double album package.

The 2 x LP vinyl edition comes in a super deluxe package combining a double-sided black and white four x 12" panel sleeve, hand-folded into an LP sleeve with a colour insert containing colour photos of all the sleeves all inserted in a bespoke pvc wallet. The four x 12" panel sleeve contains sleeve notes and detailed overviews of each individual track by JD Twitch, and an introduction by New York's DIY expert Dan Selzer. Due to the huge amount of work involved putting the sleeve together, it will only ever exist in an edition of 500 copies. Should there be a repress it will come in a more conventional sleeve.

Release date is July 6th. Distribution by Kompakt.

Digital version contains 13 tracks.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Celebrating Memorial Day

The new Destroyer track is absolutely enormous and grand and not a Mariah Carey cover and Dan Bejar will be in Los Angeles this September with Frog Eyes!

Annique Monet's Phantom Letters comes after her departure from hippie-dippie Topanga bullshit band Worthless and is available in a limited batch of 100 cassettes with handmade art. It's quirky. Like, Soko-quirky. Except she didn't come from France; she came from Florida.

Erase Errata have returned and made their first recordings in nearly a decade, and they sound exactly as they once did! Happily so. Hannah Lew, bass player for the fabulous Grass Widow, directed the video above. The members of Erase Errata just gave a fabulous interview in Rookie, in which they explain their six-year hiatus and discuss the meaning of "Don't Sit/Lie." Perhaps some nice musician out there will coax Grass Widow out of hiding and direct a video for them?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Happy Riot Grrrl Day!

"Shy Women" off the upcoming Loyalty (May 12) showcases the Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman as something of a classic, '70s-style singer-songwriter. The multi-instrumentalist would also fit beautifully on a collaboration or tour pairing with fellow Canadian Bry Webb.

Pre-order Loyalty.

More off the new album here:

Here's another lovely surprise of a similar vein, from New York's Wilsen. The album on which "Garden" will be released has yet to be completed. For a taste of what to expect, listen to the slightly simpler Magnolia EP from 2014.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Froth: Bleak

Speaking of Vaadat Charigim, labelmates Froth (who recently supported Broken Water at Part Time Punks) will be joining them for a few dates in Southern California next month:

May 12 - San Diego @ Casbah
May 13 - Los Angeles @ Echo
May 14 - Santa Ana @ Constellation Room

Bleak gets released on May 5. Pre-order here.

England is still weeping

Two new, beautiful English tracks to feature today. The first comes from the Cambridge-based Tape Runs Out, who've just put out a debut single, "Friends," the B-side of which is called "Flowers" and contains all sorts of sampling that resembles the beach, from tape running backwards which mimics the cry of seagulls, to the melancholy grey ceiling of cloud that can be heard via guitar. "Friends," below, bears an incredible resemblance to the style of Israel's Vaadat Charigim, a favorite here. Tape Runs Out currently shares a Welsh label with Ukraine's Ummagma, to boot.

Starar are a brother/sister duo based in Lincolnshire and London whose "Time Under We" gets released as a single this...Sunday? Yes, this Sunday, Easter, and they've got a whole span of singles and EPs under their belts from the last five years, all of them with terrible cover art. But "Talisman," just released on Tuesday, is a lovely little bit of noise, a shoegaze rocker that reminds of My Bloody Valentine to an extent that many newer shoegaze bands would kill to achieve.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

The return of Upset!

D'aww, Upset is something of a supergroup (members of Vivian Girls, Hole, and Slutever!) that takes the best of Girlpool and the Soviettes and mashes them into one little pop-punk adventure. New album '76 is almost entirely upbeat and will remind you of how much you'd wanted to start a band with your own girlfriends at one point (1998) but never did. That's kind of a bummer, isn't it? 

Buy this shit at Lauren Records and then see them on tour with Colleen Green.

4/2 Ft. Worth, TX - The Grotto 
4/3 Houston, TX - The Shop 
4/4 New Orleans, LA - Circle Bar 
4/5 Birmingham, AL - Seasick Records 
4/6 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn 
4/7 Durham, NC - The Pinhook 
4/8 Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery 
4/9 Philadelphia, PA -  
4/10 Brooklyn, NY - Shea Stadium 
4/11 Pittsburgh, PA - Modern Formations 
4/12 Cincinnati, OH - Woodward Theater 
4/13 Chicago, IL - Beat Kitchen 
4/14 Milwaukee, WI - Cocoon Room 
4/15 Minneapolis, MN - Hexagon 
4/16 Fargo, ND - The Hawk's Nest 
4/18 Missoula, MT - The Real Lounge 
4/19 Moscow, ID - The Pizza Pit 
4/20 Seattle, WA - The Black Lodge 
4/21 Portland, OR - Bunk Bar 
4/22 Arcata, CA - The Farmhouse 
4/23 San Francisco, CA - Rickshaw Stop 

California: Lacks Water, Boasts Creative Adult

This new track by Creative Adult is awfully nice; "Ring Around the Room" distances the band from their [rather Pissed Jeans-esque] 2012 EP, Dead Air, now showing hints of everything from Echo and the Bunnymen to Iceage. After a single full-length record in 2013, they are putting this out as one of three tracks on a special seven-inch for Record Store Day, which -- don't forget! -- occurs April 18.

Something old:

In January, Creative Adult also put out a split with Wild Moth, available for order here.

The British Are Coming: Part 1

A relatively recently reformed Part 1 will be re-issuing the Funeral Parade EP of 1982, now set to include "a remastered 12" vinyl in a deluxe gatefold sleeve with accompanying horror zine I...Paraworm, packed with never-seen text and unpublished artworks from the pen of guitarist Mark Ferelli." The re-release will be out on Sacred Bones on April 15, and accompanies a small east coast U.S. tour, their first visit to the U.S.