Thursday, August 29, 2013

Morrrrre from Alias Punch.

Hey! Remember Alias Punch? The band from Florida with a trippy, trippy video and single out? They've got a new single and an upcoming tour.

Sept. 3: Orlando, FL - The Peacock Room
Sept. 5: Sarasota, FL - Ringling Underground
Sept. 6: Ocean Springs, MS - The Squeaky Lizard
Sept. 7: New Orleans, LA - TBA
Sept. 8: Memphis, TN - The Lamplighter
Sept. 9: Nashville, TN - Springwater
Sept. 10: Carbondale, IL - Lost Cross
Sept. 11: St. Louis, MO - TBA
Sept. 12: Chicago, IL - Township
Sept. 13: Chicago, IL - TBA
Sept. 14: TBA
Sept. 15: Detroit, MI - PJ's Lagerhouse
Sept. 16, Port Huron, MI - Schwonk Soundstead
Sept. 17: Canton, OH - Buzzbin
Sept. 18: Pittsburgh, PA - Howler's Coyote Cafe
Sept. 19: Buffalo, NY - House Show
Sept. 20: Syracuse, NY - Funk n' Waffles
Sept. 21: TBA
Sept. 22: Boston, MA - Radio Bar
Sept. 23: New York, NY - The Delancy
Sept. 24: Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Fireproof
Sept. 25: Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
Sept. 26: Baltimore, MD - TBA
Sept. 27: Washington DC - The Velvet Lounge
Sept. 28: Richmond, VA - TBA
Sept. 29 Chapel Hill, NC - The Cave
Sept. 30 Raleigh, NC- Slim's
Oct. 1: Charleston, SC - The Sparrow
Oct. 2: Athens, GA - Flickr
Oct. 3: Atlanta, GA - Wonderroot
Oct. 4: Atlanta, GA - House Show
Oct. 5: Tampa, FL - Plan B
Oct. 7: Orlando, FL - Will's Pub

Monday, August 26, 2013

Andrew St James grew up in a Bret Easton Ellis novel.

His musicianship is fabulous, and "Cassidy" very much recalls Irish folk, but the press release surrounding Andrew St James admittedly pegs him as an 18-year old San Francisco native who may or may not be kind of a dick.

“I am inspired by the odd characters that I call my acquaintances,” St James says of the colorful cast that inhabits the songs on his debut album Doldrums, set for release on September 24th.  Hip street folk, Irish immigrants and Mission hipsters star in songs that exist as soundtracks to hard-lived lives. They are tunes that speak with a frank realism and dark sense of humor to kids of St James’s age that are living in a mixed-up world.

“Despite its light qualities, ‘Cassidy’ is a dark song,” he says of the album’s first single, a tune that lives on the fringes of heartbreak.  “At the time I wrote it, a former lover of mine had returned to my city. I still loved her, but it was soon evident that she had no intention of seeing me.”  Of Doldrums, St James says that “This album is about growing up,” and adds humorously, “Granted, growing up for me consisted of rancid partying, rich girlfriends, and strange mission coffee shop poetry readings.”

The Eversons may or may not be creepy.

This single by Wellington, New Zealand-based band The Eversons, out on Lil' Chief as an extension of their 2012 record Summer Feeling, offers end-of-summer novelty appeal, is perhaps not the type of record you buy in a shop, and will certainly get old, quickly, but it's lovely for a laugh and has the same sort of giggle-appeal that the Wombats once had with "Little Miss Pipe Dream."

Admittedly, their videos are also good for giggle-appeal, and it's refreshing to see a band that gets a good bit of joy out of being happy. Listen and purchase here.

This one's an old gem:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Ovlov - '90s Ramble, Part II

A few weeks ago, I rambled a bit about '90s nostalgia, and where Speedy Ortiz fits into the current revival in music and culture. I don't doubt that they're tired of getting pegged this way, but it's an unavoidable discussion that would otherwise remain an elephant. While on the topic, then, it's time to mention Newtown, Connecticut band Ovlov, who lost drummer Michael Falcone to Speedy Ortiz and remain part of their New England circle.

Last month Ovlov released am, a record that, on first listen, jumped to my list of this year's top three records (Speedy Ortiz's Major Arcana and Iceage's You're Nothing round out the trio). The comparisons are inevitable, but this is not to belittle Ovlov -- rather, the comparisons best serve to show what the band have been given and then improved upon. Their use of powerful minor chords on "The Well," blaring from Steve Harlett's guitar, echo the method of J. Mascis; the guitar solo on "Where's My Dini?" carries the same tone as Mascis' guest solo on Boston Spaceships' "Tourist UFO" (Let it Beard). The harmony between Hartlett and Sadie Dupuis on opener "Grapes" may recall the Rentals. And "Milk" and "Blue Baby" were, eighteen years ago, what I'd hoped Foo Fighters would be. They are Lou Barlow at his highest level of energy but lack his sad sack sensitivity.

Ovlov have been making records for several years, prior to the nostalgic trend to which they're being held, and they've gone through several lineup changes and been pared down to a trio of brothers. There's little originality in them, speaking broadly, but then, who has room to be entirely original at this point? am is as close as we will get to a flawless rock record in 2013.