Monday, March 20, 2017

I just can't quit you (this week, anyway)

Hey! Girlpool was signed to Anti- and they're now using drums and this video was filmed in Echo Park and features the mouthy chick from French Vanilla as the other ginger. Can't help but be reminded of the time Patrice O'Neal said that white people love feeling bad.

This man-trio from Cardiff called Disjoy played their first gig with the excellent Diät about one year ago, since un-becoming Luvv, and made a record in the last few months which is meant to see the light of day any moment now. This is the best impression of Killing Joke you might ever run across, and that's meant as a compliment.

Here's the first song off the second record by Alex Napping, which comes out in May. They are a-okay with turtlenecks and are the not-exactly-solo project of Alex Cohen, who made this thing last summer and recently left Austin.

Neville Staple's not dying!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Received two spring-appropriate submissions from Sweden's PNKSLM (Punk Slime) Records; the first is just about a perfect sequel to the Concretes, and to an extent, Up Against the Legends, about half a generation later, called Hater. The Malmö band only formed a year ago, and singer Caroline Landahl sings with a casual, reluctant quality that one might use if she weren't quite used to being center stage. There's a bit of Victoria Bergsman in her, and possibly a touch of Harriet Wheeler as well. Perhaps this is imagined, but it always seems to be the case with Swedish pop bands that there's a limit to how much cheer they're capable of, and there's a certain cloud over this full-length debut, which is lovely and otherwise boasts a breadth of energy and emotion.

Purchase You Tried, and give last year's Radius a go.


And then there is ShitKid, 24-year old Åsa Söderqvist, whose "Sugar Town" is not a cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic but musically something of an update on the Budget Girls, and--Jesus Christ, she would have been a great fit for Damaged Goods twenty years ago. Would almost conclude that the above theory about melancholy Swedes has already been disproven, except she's been photographed in a trench coat. 

Purchase EP 2.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Warping and bending

Years after he put out this fantastic record as Olivier Daysoul, Olivier St. Louis has put out a stunning new EP, and in the span of two songs he jumps from smoothly singing, "The way you wear them heels make a grown man cry" to a kitschy piece that harks back to '70s funk. He's also got quite the impressive/ridiculous/ambitious beard! He'll be at the Regent Theater in Los Angeles this May, with Oddisee (who produced that great 2010 record of his).

Purchase Ever Since the Fall

Received a beautiful submission from Richmond, Virginia, called Vivian Fantasy, a lo-fi dream pop act and the musical alter ego of Danny Bozella. Serial Experiments 1: Pink Witch bends all over the place, and within it, you might hear everything from finger-tapping to jingling bells to the warping of cassette tape. It even sounds pink. Vivian Fantasy, meet your new best friends, Los Angeles' Winter and Chicago's Warik.

Purchase Serial Experiments 1: Pink Witch


The newest EP from Boston's Free Pizza came out last summer but is worth a mention, particularly as they've just made a video for "Slipping." Berlin, DE is miles better than 2014's Boston, MA, and a step in a more focused direction. It might build nostalgia for a pre-internet world, when lyrics might have been wacky and goofy but totally without irony or with a naive sort of humor, much in the way Jonathan Richman is goofy but completely pure, or the way a foreign-born songwriter might approach lyrics with the limited vocabulary to sing only what is absolutely intended. Nothing here is overdone, nothing.

"Maybe if I didn't care/maybe if I went upstairs/this water would fucking boil/but I sit here staring at the fire/'cause there's nothing I would rather see/than this water already boiling."

Purchase Berlin, DE