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Local Stuff: Sweet Valley, Heaven, Wild Eyes, MellowHype, Plus Shows

Posted by Billy Gil, July 20, 2012 12:35pm | Post a Comment
Sweet Valley and Heaven
 
There’s a new Sweet Valley track out. Who’s that, you ask? It’s Nathan Williams of Wavves, along with his brother, Kynan. “Total Carnage,” from their upcoming debut record, Stay Calm, is warped, instrumental surf rock that makes its looping riff sound like an endless summer. You want to just put it on, lay at the beach and never have that moment end. Stay Calm is out Aug. 7 from Fool’s Gold.
 

 
And speaking of Wavves, Wavves drummer Jacob Safari debuted songs from his new project Heaven via Vice’s blog this week. “Hanging Out” is kind of industrial and cool, with a foreboding beat and spacey vocals, while “Can’t Grow Up With Poison” is more of a straight-up shoegazer with a driving beat and a more melodic bent. I’m really digging this, obviously. An EP is due soon!
 
 
Wild Eyes – Blue Haze
 
New band crush: Wild Eyes, a So. Cal. shoegaze band with heart-and-brain-melting tracks that recall the best of the genre — Ride, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine. Found this one over at Buzzbands.la, where I learned they recorded their Blue Haze EP in a garage and rehearsal space. For such humble beginnings, the thing approaches Creation status. Gotta love those garage-gaze bands!
 

 
 
 
Mellowhype Tracks
 
Odd Future’s MellowHype have released two tracks from their upcoming LP Numbers, the followup to their excellent Blackenedwhite. “Fakuoy” has some sweet spectral street vibes, while “La Bonita” features vaguely Latin undertones while Hodgy Beats and Left Brain extol the virtues of spandex on Latina butts. Try to ignore the f-bomb in “Fakuoy” — didn’t you hear about Frank Ocean? Numbers is out Oct. 2.
 






 
Shows This Weekend
 
Friday: Gil Scott-Heron tribute @ California Plaza in Downtown L.A. at 8 p.m. Read about it here.
 
Saturday: The Happy Hollows, The Union Line, Rachel Fannan andBrandon Intelligator @ Bootleg Bar. ($10, 8 p.m.)

Sunday: Robatanists and Derde Verde play a daytime show @ Royal/T in Culver City. It’s the last day of business for the café, which is moving to a new location. The show’s at 3 p.m.

Local Stuff: Chelsea Wolfe, John Maus, Everest, Ariel Pink

Posted by Billy Gil, June 22, 2012 01:07pm | Post a Comment

Chelsea Wolfe – "Flatlands
"
 
Chelsea Wolfe has a new, all-acoustic album due in October on Sargent House. Here’s the first track, a spare and haunting departure from the more densely layered, dark folk you’ll find on 2011’s Apocalypsis. The track features Andrea Calderón on violin, Ezra Buchla on viola and Ben Chisholm also on guitar.
 

 


John Maus – "Bennington"

 
John MausWe Must Become the Pitless Censors of Ourselves was a fun trip through the sort of cerebral art pop of Klaus Nomi or Kraftwerk but with goofy lyrics and sturdy hooks. “Bennington” is no different, boasting a raunchy synth groove and lyrics like “I miss those funky eyes.” A Collection of Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material, collecting 16 tracks recorded over the past decade or so, is slated to come out July 17 on Ribbon Music. He’ll be at FYF Fest Sept. 1 (tickets go on sale at Amoeba today at 5!). I never realized what a babe John Maus is till today.
 

 


Everest – "Raking Me Over the Coals"

 
Sometimes you hear about an artist enough and finally decide to get off your ass and listen to them and discover, what do you know, they’re really good. Such is the case with me and Everest, whom I’ve heard about plenty but hadn’t bothered to listen to until “Raking Me Over the Coals,” a gorgeous alt-country-ish ditty whose breathy vocals and dusky production makes it the perfect aural approximation of a June gloom day. They’re at the Troubador July 24, and their new album, Ownerless, is due June 26.
 

 

Ariel Pink
Ariel Pink Announces Tracklist, Tour Dates

 
Two weeks ago Ariel Pink debuted the first song, a cover of Donnie and Joe Emerson’s “Baby,” from his upcoming album, Mature Themes. (Preorder the album at Amoeba here.) Now he’s unveiled the cover art, seen on the left, as well as the tracklist. “Baby” will be released as a one-sided limited edition 12”, while Mature Themes is due Aug. 21. Both will be released by 4AD. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti plays Bimbo’s 365 club in SF Oct. 1 and the Fonda in LA Oct. 5.



Tracklist:
 
1. Kinski Assasin
2. Is This The Best Spot?
3. Mature Themes
4. Only In My Dreams
5. Driftwood
6. Early Birds of Babylon
7. Schnitzel Boogie
8. Symphony of the Nymph
9. Pink Slime
10. Farewell American Primitive
11. Live it Up
12. Nostradomus & Me
13. Baby
 
 
Shows this weekend:
 
Friday: Liars at the Henry Fonda Theatre ($20.50, 9 p.m.)
 
Saturday: Fun garage pop times at the Heroes + Heroines record release show at the Echo with Babies on Acid (members of Dios/Dios Malos), The Orwells, Thee Mary Wells (members formerly of Thee Makeout Party) (Free, 5 p.m.)
 
Sunday: Part Time Punks Shoegaze Festival! I can’t go to this and it makes me want to shoot myself in the leg. But you should go and then tell me it was awesome and that I suck for not going. Mark Gardener of fucking Ride will be there, performing Ride songs with Sky Parade. Also performing will be Weekend, Lorelei, Half String, Astrobite, The KVB, Tropic of Cancer, Whirr, Moonbeams, Tennis System and a DJ set from Brad Laner of Medicine. Brad Schelden’s and my hearts just skipped a few beats. It’s at the Echoplex, it starts at noon, it’s $18 advance, $22 at the doors, and it’s all-ages. Go at noon if you want to see Mark Gardener.

Album Picks: Porcelain Raft, Howler, Common

Posted by Billy Gil, January 24, 2012 12:01pm | Post a Comment
Hey y'all! Here are my album picks for January:

Porcelain RaftPorcelain Raft – Strange Weekend

 
Porcelain Raft, aka Italian-born Mauro Remiddi, makes the kind of wide-eyed romantic pop that borrows from various genres — lo-fi, soul, indie pop and shoegaze — but ends up in its own emotional territory due to Remiddi’s bedroom-recording aesthetics. “Drifting In and Out” appropriately sees its swooning electronics and new wave guitars come in and out of focus in what feels like falling asleep with the radio on. Strange Weekend works because its filled with tiny surprises, like the way Remiddi suddenly gets all glam in “Shapeless & Gone,” like an electro-twee Marc Bolan, or the psych-hop beats that pull back the marvelously affecting “Unless You Speak From Your Heart” from preciousness. It’s not the first time at the rodeo for Remiddi, a 37-year-old veteran of indie pop, previously in the band Sunny Day Sets Fire; perhaps that’s why he gets nearly everything right on his first solo full-length record.

HowlerHowler – America Give Up


What a pleasure Howler’s debut, America Give Up, is. Already this early into 2012, we have the year’s most irresistible album, 10 songs from a band weaned on the likes of The Jesus & Mary Chain and Guided By Voices. Much like their forebears in The Strokes (how’s that for making us all feel old), Howler has a way of distilling somewhat obvious and oversaturated influences into three-minute gems that get pretty much everything right. — dig the swaying romanticism of “Too Much Blood,” or the surf-gaze of “America,” or the snarky indie rock of “Back of Your Neck” (featuring the too-good lyrics “you think we’re Bonnie and Clyde, but both of them fuckin’ died”). If you can stop playing this on repeat, you’re stronger than we are.

CommonCommon – The Dreamer/The Believer


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New School of Seven Bells Single Released - Free MP3

Posted by Amoebite, December 8, 2011 06:14pm | Post a Comment
School of Seven Bells
School of Seven Bells just released "The Night," the first single from their forthcoming third album, Ghostory. The album features SVIIB's signature dreampop influenced by ‘80s pop, shoegaze, and ambient electronic music. But it's also kind of a concept album in that it tells the story of a young girl named Lafaye and the ghosts that surround her life.

Free download
Free download of "The Night" by School of Seven Bells.

School of Seven Bells is vocalist Alejandra Deheza, formerly of On!Air!Library, and guitarist/producer Benjamin Curtis, a former member of Secret Machines and Tripping Daisy. They formed in 2007 in Brooklyn, New York with Alejandra's twin sister Claudia (who left the band in 2010). Their debut album, Alpinisms (Ghostly International), was released in October 2008. Their second full-length album, Disconnect From Desire, was released in July 2010 on Vagrant Records. Ghostory is out February 28, 2012 on Vagrant Records/Ghostly International.

Alpinisms disconnect from desire

Watch our What's In My Bag? video with Alejandra & Benjamin:

Album Picks: Real Estate, Twin Sister, M83

Posted by Billy Gil, October 18, 2011 02:10pm | Post a Comment
Real Estate DaysReal Estate – Days
 
Real Estate have helped usher in a contemporary appreciation of bands with clean guitars and hushed vocals, perfect for a summer day or autumn night. But Real Estate still do it better than anyone, as they prove on Days. From opener “Easy” and on, Days floats on breezy simplicity of melody and atmosphere that you could explain away as through line of Byrds by way of R.E.M. jangle pop informed by reverbed-out, dream pop aesthetics, but that would paint Real Estate as a throwback band when really their sound is their own. Country hues underpin even the spaciest of tracks, like the way winsome sliding guitars sway beneath the shivering, tremoloed star-shooting guitar lines of “Green Aisles,” and more obviously so on tracks like the springy, Smithsy “It’s Real,” which works some clever chord changes into a straightforward guitar-pop setting. Singer Martin Courtney’s voice is always plaintive but never intrusive, and the whole thing moves with subtle evocation, like a sepia-toned suburban home movie reel. It’s no coincidence a great, sunlit song on the album is titled “Wonder Years.”
 
Twin SisterTwin Sister – In Heaven
 
Twin Sister’s debut full-length delivers a band still emerging from chrysalis (their average age is now about 23, so says Wikipedia) but born with some pretty impressive power already. Roughly, Twin Sister are an indie pop band fronted by some froggish, androgynous vocals (singer vocalist Andrea Estella and guitarist-singer Eric Cardona both sound a little like the spawn of Sigur RosJonsi and St. Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell, the latter band of which they also sound a bit like on the lite-jazzy “Stop”). They touch on chillwave (the shimmering and strange chords of “Kimmi in a Rice Field” is the album’s absolute highlight) without committing to it, seemingly more interested in vibing late ’80s indie and video game music — the gentle “Luna’s Theme” has Sega Genesis written all over it, something that might be playing in some anime space station. But whatever Twin Sister ends up doing —be it cool Britpop, neo-futuristic electro or something else entirely — it ends up sounding great, if not entirely unified.
 
M83 Hurry Up We're DreamingM83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
 
After a decade’s worth of brilliant albums that have been increasingly epic in scope, Anthony Gonzalez of M83 has delivered the masterpiece he has hinted at for years. Gonzalez builds off the life-embracing yet ’80s nostalgic pop of 2008’s Saturdays=Youth across this double-album. Taking a hint from the Smashing PumpkinsMellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Gonzalez sweeps through childlike wonder (the children’s story as Kraftwerkian computer-pop of “Raconte-Moi Une Histoire”), adolescent angst (the two and a half minutes of skyscraper-sized orchestral rock in “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea”) and young adult excitement (Gonzalez cries “The city is my church!” in the neon-backlit “Midnight City”) to capture the wide-eyed energy and naiveté of youth. There’s newly an emphasis on the kind of shuffling ‘80s funk-pop of the likes of Huey Lewis & the News and Hall & Oates in songs like “Claudia Lewis,” but it actually feels less throwback-ish than some of his previous work, perhaps in part due to contemporaries like Toro y Moi and Neon Indian similarly fusing such sounds with shoegazer aesthetics. Indeed, with the kinds of sonic dreamscapes of albums like Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts and Before the Dawn Heals Us also in tow on songs like “This Bright Flash,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming presents us with all of Gonzaelz’s best tendencies, all at once, and at their utmost potential.
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