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 mildly quirky coed folk group, or a sweaty band of men who survive on beer and meat. 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 and in monotone, cartoonish folk with something of a punk-lite aesthetic, 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.