Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meet the unforgettable Tim Carr!

More and more, this appears to be transforming into a year of fantastic singer-songwriters. Aside from the already mentioned English musicians This is the Kit and Marika Hackman, there are amazing songwriters popping up in Los Angeles, one of whom is Tim Carr.

Tuesday night saw Jherek Bischoff making his debut as an L.A. resident, performing at the Echoplex while backed by Brother, Sister, and though Tim Carr spent two sets playing drums (for Brother, Sister's own set as well as Bischoff's), he opened the show with a stunning solo set, managing to create a playlist that was lush and delicate and, really, embodied what the world sounds like when it's about to blossom. He reminds an awful lot of Will Stratton, and is just about one of the best solo performers I've seen in years. The thing that really pushed him forward was the addition of his bandmates in Brother, Sister, contributing strings to back him for two songs, bringing his already dreamy music into another world. The addition of a harp can only help things along.

Tim Carr - Now Now
Tim Carr - The Last Day of Fighting

New Pile! New Pile!

The new Pile album is ready and will see a release next week, coinciding with the start of a spring tour (which, for now, has no established dates in Los Angeles, but is otherwise a good conclusion to the band's desperate fundraiser for a new van). As far as the record goes, it's a reliable, standard, angsty/grungy Pile record, and there's no epic star of the album in the style of last year's "Special Snowflakes," though "Tin Foil Hat" comes awfully close, dynamic with great buildup and fulfilling climax.

Rick Maguire still sounds grumpy.

Buy the sucker at Bandcamp starting March 3!

Edit: A-ha! They will in fact make a stop in Los Angeles! Visit them at Los Globos in Silverlake on March 29.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Bitches get stuff done

Obviously, the new Speedy Ortiz song is great. It's about being a grown-ass woman.

This tour poster, designed by Michael DeForge, is also pretty great.

SJ Esau released one of last year's best albums and I dropped the ball

Somehow, I missed last year's album by Bristol musician/producer SJ Esau, one of the very first artists I'd reviewed for this site. In 2007, Sam Wisternoff was something of a novelty, more than partly due to his obsession with cats, but in March 2014, he created an absolutely brilliant mess of an uncategorizable record, and it's run across my lap only a year later. Exploding Views is all sorts of things -- wacky, completely manic, exciting, and not resembling, in the least, the majority of what's come out in the last couple of years. If that weren't enough, it offers a guest appearance by Doseone. This is the record I've needed and waited for for quite some time.

Exploding Views may very well sound dated, a decade from now. But for now, it's an incredible thrill, a real demonstration of what Wisternoff can do, and if this release was years in the making, I'll be delighted to see how he evolves in the next few years. Completely sold on this record, even if a year too late.

A proper return by Vaadat Charigim

Tel Aviv's dreamy shoegaze band Vaadat Charigim is finally putting out a new record and touring the U.S. west coast. Sinking as a Stone will see a May 5 release on Burger Records, and freshly released track "Ein Li Makom" is gorgeous; while consistent with their general sound, it shows a bit more backbone and a certain blossoming beyond the softer, more timid and beautiful sounds of the band's debut. But then, there are those bleak lyrics, whose despair comes through even via Juval Haring's swirling guitar. Write what you know.

(Translated from Hebrew:)

Do not want to be realistic
Do not want to exhaust myself
Something in me screams
Time is the killer
Something in me screams

I do not have a place in this world

Do not want to be realistic
Do not want to do you proud
High wooden fall
Do not want to hear
Do not want to touch

I do not have a place in this world

Tour dates:

05-09 Austin, TX - Levitation
05-11 Phoenix, AZ - Valley Bar
05-12 San Diego, CA - Casbah
05-13 Los Angeles, CA - Echo
05-14 Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room
05-15 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
05-18 Portland, OR - Bunk Bar
05-20 Seattle, WA - Barboza
05-22 Brooklyn, NY - Baby's All Right

Additionally, frontman-guitarist Juval Haring requests that one of his own favorites, Cain and Abel 90210, be given a listen. Per his request:

Rocking mom's wardrobe: Advaeta

Advaeta is a Brooklyn-based trio of ladies who work as a small art collective, recording together and making their own album art, and whose debut full-length, Death and the Internet, will see an April 28 release on Fire Talk Records.

Advaeta also look like 1993:

Have a listen to their noisy, sloppy 2012 EP -- 2012.

The end of Geronimo! and a new beginning for Extra Happy Ghost!!!

Before Geronimo! disappears from the Exploding in Sound roster, and for good, they'll be releasing their final three tracks on the EIS-released, limited edition cassette Buzz Yr. Girlfriend Vol. 4: Why Did You Leave Me?, due for a March 31 release. This is a fabulous way to go out. Their last show will be at the Beat Kitchen in Chicago on March 28 -- tickets available here.

This is sort of music made specifically for the white, bearded guy in plaid, but Calgary's Astral Swans, a project of Matthew Swann, will be releasing a nice little loner rock album on Arts and Crafts tomorrow. All My Favorite Singers Are Willie Nelson is rather bare bones, mildly distorted and moody, the stuff that fans of Feist and Bryan Webb would most certainly be happy to have.

This will be the first release for Madic Records, and the first for Swann under the Astral Swans name (see his 2011 release as Extra Happy Ghost!!!).

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Fuzz from elsewhere

There's a new King Khan and BBQ Show/Bad News Boys track! They still sound like shit, thankfully.

Additionally, Mark Sultan/BBQ will be on a spring tour of his own this -- er -- spring.

Not a lot of music from Switzerland makes it over here; however, Bern-based garage pop band Artlu Bubble and the Dead Animal Gang have been slowly promoting their 2013 eponymous record, initially released on Fruit Jelly Records and now out internationally, and in celebration, they recently put out a video for the album's best track, the rather peppy "Leave it to the Kids." The band refers to their genre, questionably, as "kitchen-folk?" And somehow, that seems rather appropriate.

Preview the entire record at Soundcloud.

New Bang Gang (heh heh)

Icelandic act Bar├░i J├│hannsson, under the moniker Bang Gang, is releasing his first album since 2008's Ghosts from the Past. No release date has been given as of yet, though first single "Out of Horizon" is an agreeable, retro pop song not too far off from "Soul Meets Body" that boasts some fantastic cover art courtesy of Ulrike Theusner (see above).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dreaming of the northeast

Edmonton's Faith Healer has a debut album, Cosmic Troubles, coming out on March 31 on Mint Records, and the songs released thus far are at once spacey, detached, dreamy, inspired by the mods and '60s France.

Also [finally!] putting forth a proper debut is Marika Hackman, whose We Slept at Last is now set for a Feb. 16 release, and whose one-off singles have been featured on Choir Croak Out Them Goodies since 2012. It's about time. The record is incredibly serious and incredibly beautiful; "Before I Sleep" has a similar feel to "Bashed Out," the new single by fellow British folk act This is the Kit, "Claude's Girl" has the tone of an eastern European waltz, and the entirety of We Slept, particularly "Skin," feels like the motion of the night sea. This will be one of the best records of the year.

The Mary Onettes have finally made it down to the U.S. after a couple of failed tours! The Swedes have a brand new track adorned with the loveliest sort of dissonance, and it essentially resembles a hybrid of the '80s new romantic movement and early Ariel Pink. They've evolved just enough over the last few years.

Starting with tonight:

Feb 10 (Tuesday) - Boston @ Great Scott
Feb 11 (Wednesday) - Philadelphia @ Johnny Brendas
Feb 12 (Thursday) - NYC @ Cameo Gallery
Feb 13 (Friday) - DC @ House of Sweden
Feb 14 (Saturday) - Chicago @ Empty Bottle (2H)
Feb 18 (Wednesday) - Seattle, WA @ Barboza
Feb 20 (Friday) - San Francisco @ Rickshaw Stop
Feb 21 (Saturday) - Los Angeles @ Bootleg Bar
Feb 22 (Sunday) - San Diego @ Soda Bar
Feb 23 (Monday) - Phoenix @ Pub Rock

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

England, returning

Ride is coming to the U.S. and re-issuing OX4!

Coachella - Indio, CA - April 10
The Warfield - San Francisco, CA - April 13
Fox Theater - Pomona, CA - April 14
Terminal 5 - New York, NY - June 4

There is finally something new to share from Bristol/Paris act This is the Kit, the stunning folk project of Kate Stables and a rotating cast of friends. This is the Kit will have a new record out on April 7, and Bashed Out will be their/her first since 2011's stunning Wriggle Out the Restless. If you haven't happened upon Stables' work until now, it is not to be missed -- it's folk at its finest, authentic, earthy, soothing, thoughtful. Really doesn't get much better than this. Here's the title track from Bashed Out, then:

Visit something old: