Sunday, September 28, 2014

Free Music from LU (Features Members of Lorelei and The Saturday People)

Apparently this was recorded a few years ago but it's out now. And, yeah, that pic is a half-decade old too.

This is Amusing the Profits Away from LU. And LU is Matthew Dingee from Lorelei and he's joined by Kristaps Kreslins and Dan Searing, Jr. (The Saturday People, Whorl, Glo-Worm).

This is cool stuff...and it sounds nothing like those bands, I should add.

Think Throbbing Gristle, Chris and Cosey, and side 2 of Low

Grab the record via the Bandcamp links.

Enjoy Catchy New Tune From Silver Spring's Today's Man Here!

What a pleasant surprise this video turned out to be!

"Have You Been" is the new cut from Silver Spring, Maryland's Today's Man and it's aces in a kinda OMD-circa Crush way. There's a hint of China Crisis here too.

Today's Man are on the new(ish) Chateau Hits label. What? Is Silver Spring the new hip epicenter of tune-makers in the D.C. area now?

Follow Today's Man on their official Facebook page.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

FANTASTIC Free MP3 From SLUG (Field Music and Ian Black)

SLUG is a new project/band from Ian Black and the Brewis brothers from Field Music, along with other Field Music associates. They are recording their album right now. However, in the meantime, you can get a free download of this awesome track via their official website or the widget below.

It's like early Roxy Music mixed with a hint of XTC...and a lot of Field Music-type goodness.

Follow the band on their official Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Few Words About The New Laetitia Sadier Record (Out Today)

You either get it or you don't, right?

I mean, I'm not going to write anything that will make a novice listener a fan of Laetitia Sadier. But what I can do is hip you to the fact that the one-time Stereolab singer has delivered her third wonderful solo album in Something Shines, out today on Drag City.

Following on from 2010's excellent The Trip, and 2012's equally great Silencio, Something Shines delivers 10 cuts that fans of Stereolab and this singer will thoroughly enjoy.

From the 'lab-like starter "Quantum Soup" to the light and nimble "Then, I Will Love You Again" and on to the "The Milk of Human Tenderness" with its 'lab-like title, Something Shines opens with a one-two-three punch in the style of Sadier's previous band. The jazz drums of Emmanual Mario give "The Milk of Human Tenderness" a flavor previously absent from most Stereolab records. And Sadier sounds a bit relaxed here, as if the vocals were being laid down all at once and live. It's a fantastic performance that thrills without being showy.

The spoken word coda of "The Scene of the Lie" segues into the melodic and lovingly-titled "Release from the Centre of Your Heart" which sounds like an outtake from Dots and Loops...and that's the only time that sounding like an "outtake" can be such high praise. The cut also serves as a pretty good vehicle for Xavi Munoz and his warm bass-work.

The down-tempo mood really hits its stride in "Echo Port" where the keyboards and drums percolate under Sadier's vocals and multi-tracked backing vocals to great effect. Subtle and moving, the song is the highlight of Something Shines for me.

Something Shines is a remarkably consistent album from Laetitia Sadier. More seemingly relaxed than her earlier solo releases but admirably in a class with the best late Stereolab records, this LP should be a must buy for fans today.

Follow Laetitia Sadier on the Drag City website.

Weirdon From Purling Hiss Drops Today: My Quick Review

Within about a second or two of "Forcefield of Solitude" kicking off I was asking myself:

"Why haven't I been listening to Purling Hiss before now!?!"

Well, I had seen the band's name in print but somehow I had neglected to spin their stuff. Well folks, Weirdon, out today on Drag City, is a beast. It's a crazy zebra of riffs and hooks held together by animal magic production.

I don't know much about main-man Mike Polizze but I do know he's gonna give Ty Segall and Bob Pollard some stiff competition.

After that opener which seems to channel both those guys mentioned above, "Learning Slowy" oozes classic Sonic Youth-style menace (but it's got a kick like the best of the Stooges). "Another Silvermoon" throws in Pavement-level melody with a sort of languid charm that gives the tune more than just slacker rock appeal; it's got real emotion in those vocals.

At some point in this review I'm bound to throw in another Ty Segall mention. That's an apt reference point but Polizze and his Purling Hiss crew are also doing something akin to what Grifters did a few years ago. It's that Pavement template pushed in new directions -- less stoner vibes and more focused weariness...but weariness wedded to killer melodies ("Reptil-A-Genda") and vicious guitar hooks ("Where's Sweetboy").

"Aging Fast" adds a hint of the Beatles...well, the Fab Four filtered through GBV or something. "I Don't Wanna Be A..." offers a nod in the direction of Albini-produced Nirvana while "Running Through My Dreams" is all early Beck moodiness.

Epic 8-minute album closer "Six Ways to Sunday" unfurls like Dinosaur Jr. with some fantastic guitar lines leading the song forward. It's like Grandaddy...but with Neil Young sitting in with the band. Wonderful stuff.

Polizze, Kiel Everett, and Ben Leaphart have made a great record in Weirdon. It's the more mellow -- in spots, at least -- cousin of Sunbathing Animal from Parquet Courts and the rowdier riff-rocker heir to Bakesale from Sebadoh, for a rough comparison.

Follow Purling Hiss on their official Facebook page or on the Drag City website.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fantastic Tune From Brighton's The Art Club: Play It Here!

This is a great big catchy slice of indie pop, ain't it?

Like The Drums, Brighton's The Art Club have a knack for taking familiar elements and putting them together in a new way. And "Falling Down" is like early Psychedelic Furs with Jim Kerr from Simple Minds singing over the top of it. And lead singer David Murdoch's guitar solo ain't half-bad either! And as a bonus, play "Let's Start Again". It's Flesh for Lulu-meets-Human League goodness.

The Art Club are making some awesome music in Brighton and I urge you play these tunes and then -- like me -- hope that they make some more music soon!

Follow the band on their official Facebook page here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grab Free MP3 From Skytone Here!

I'm a little late to the party with these guys but I thoroughly loved their 2011 album Shining Over You which you can get from

The record covers a lot of styles and genres, mixing acoustic folk-rock with more anthemic stuff and there's something very emotional about some of the tracks -- check out today's free MP3 of "We Are One" and get a sense of what I mean. It's like some wonderful clash of genres -- think Nick Lowe covering an old U2 song. I love it!

After you've enjoyed this one, head over to Skytone's website or their Facebook page.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Free And Fantastic Slumberland Records Sampler Up On Amazon

I can remember Archie walking into the University of Maryland Record Co-Op carrying the first release from Slumberland Records back in 1989. Even though I knew some of the people on that piece of vinyl -- mainly 'cause they were all regular customers at the Co-Op -- I was probably a bit cynical about the chances of the bands and label succeeding.

But hey, I was a jerk when I was 22 so what did I know then?

So now 25 years later it's time to celebrate what has become one of America's premier record labels. Mike and his Slumberland crew first focused on a certain kind of C86-inspired guitar-based pop, as well as the sort of music that would later come to be called shoegaze for lack of a better term. But these days Slumberland has a much wider range of acts.

There are 22 great reasons to get this compilation. I was thrilled to see such a rare Lorelei (pictured above from late 2012 here in D.C.) cut included -- from the awesome Why Popstars Can't Dance compilation -- and there are great tunes from Black Tambourine (of course), Veronica Falls, and Phil Wilson (of June Brides) too.

Grab this amazing collection now for free on Amazon!

And it includes one of the best singles of the last year, the self-referencing (for Slumberland Records, that is) "Black Tambourine" by Withered Hand with guest vocals from Pam Berry.

In Which Beverly and The Drums Rock The 9:30 Club

I really should have gone to see Dot Dash in Baltimore but...B-more is a long drive in an old car so tonight I consoled myself with an equally great gig: Beverly and The Drums at the (new) 9:30 Club.

Drew, Jamie, Scott, and additional keyboardist Caitlin -- Beverly -- played most of their debut album Careers, out now on Kanine Records, at an early gig at the 9:30 Club.

The band delivered a short, energetic set to a largely appreciative crowd...including me, my wife, and my best friend.

A standout was "All The Things" and I caught some video of that before the 9:30 Club staff started telling people to shut off the cameras.

The Drums were peppy and energetic despite some detours into more languid tracks. Unfortunately and inexplicably they did not perform my fave cut -- "I Felt Stupid" -- but they did do a lot of other good tunes from their new album and their earlier releases.

I guess a good measure of how good they were is that I now consider myself more of a fan of The Drums than I did before tonight.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ridiculously Rockin' Live Cut From Twin Peaks At WAMU

Hyped band Twin Peaks made at an appearance at WAMU here in D.C. and they tore the roof off the place. I urge you to enjoy this really blistering performance. It's like the Stooges meets Pavement meets an early Dischord band.

Really fantastic.

Then head over to the WAMU 88.5 Bandwidth website for more details on this performance and others.

And follow Twin Peaks on their official Facebook page.

Spin Thoroughly Excellent Single From The Autumn Stones Here!

What a pleasant surprise this cut turned out to be!

This Canadian quartet have somehow managed to combine the best bits of The Big Dish (remember them?) and Danny Wilson with the hook-laden guitar-rock and harmonies of a band like The Housemartins.

"In With The Out Crowd" is well-crafted pop like those acts mentioned above and it's got a sense of emotion that I really enjoyed -- think The Wild Swans covering an early Morrissey solo cut.

The cut is from the band's upcoming album. While you're waiting around for that, play this song here, then head over to the band's official website to find out more about The Autumn Stones.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Did You Know About This Television Personalities Tribute EP By Spain's The Yellow Melodies?

Thanks to Wally over at, I'm now aware of Spain's wonderful The Yellow Melodies and their splendid tribute EP to The Television Personalities.

The EP, How Television Personalities Learned To Love, features 5 covers of songs by that band and they are fantastic. Each track sounds great on its own so it's not like you've got to be a huge fan of Television Personalities already to dig these cuts.

For details on the EP, click here.

For details on The Yellow Melodies, click over to their official Facebook page.

Play Awesome New Beverly Video Here As Tour With The Drums Kicks Off Today

Beverly are here with their new video for the infectious and haunting "All The Things" off their debut album Careers, out now on Kanine Records.

Drew, Jamie, and Scott -- Beverly, don't you know? -- are heading out on tour with The Drums as of today. Be sure to catch them when they are in your 'hood.

In the meantime, spin the "All The Things" video below -- and some live action below that -- and check out the band's official Facebook page for more details on the band and the tour.

New Tune From Young Romance - Play It Here!

Finally, some new tunes from the wonderful Young Romance!

Readers will remember how much I gushed over "Pale" by Young Romance a few months ago and now the duo is here with the lovely demo for a new song called "Room to Breathe"...but you've got to listen now 'cause they said on their Facebook page that it would only be up for a week.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Enjoy Rare Primal Scream Cut Here (RIP Robert Throb Young)

I'm sure that any music fan worth his or her weight in records has heard the news that Primal Scream's Robert Throb Young has died. Young was the band's bassist before he became their guitarist.

That photo comes from a truly marvelous blogpost from the equally wonderful Raechel Leigh Carter. Read this interview I did with Raechel to learn more about her time singing for Baby Birkin and Piano Magic, and her adventures with Pulp.

And play this Janice Long session track Primal Scream from July 07, 1986, to honor the late great Robert Throb Young of Primal Scream.

[Photo: Raechel Leigh Carter via her Hero Culte blog.]

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New Deers Single Is Here To Rock Your Socks Off!

A new single by Deers means it's time to dance. Or party. Or whatever you want. The tune, from the "Barn" single, is all slinky vocals and hooky riffs.

Part early Pixies, the cut is instantly catchy and infectious -- like all the Deers cuts so far -- and yet another smile-inducing tune from this (now) four-piece.

Follow Deers on their Facebook page here.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Quick Review Of The Marvelous Wooden Aquarium From Mazes

What can I possibly say about the new Mazes album that a thousand other bloggers won't say this week? What rave of Wooden Aquarium -- available from Fat Cat Records on either Monday or Tuesday depending on which continent you're on -- do you want to hear from me?

Do you want me to sing again the praises of the Television-meets-Feelies rush of "Astigmatism"?

Or how about I tell you about the more sinister "Salford" with its nods in the direction of Anita Lane and Nick Cave by way of Queens of the Stone Age?

(Well, "Salford" is one of the cuts on the record that's pretty hard to describe!)

Or maybe you want me to write about the chiming Byrds-isms of "It Is What It Is"? You want me to tell you how this cut is like the most catchy tune that the Rain Parade never recorded?

Well, perhaps you need me to tell you how perfect "Explode into Colo(u)rs" is? Need me to tell ya that it's hypnotic and alluring like some weird Opal/Delgados love child?

I could tell you that "Vapour Trails" and "Ripp" blend trippy Nuggets-era hooks with modern ideas of songcraft.

And then I could alert you to the Dream Syndicate-ish licks of "Letters Between U&V" and tell you how the riffs are mean and lean and cool.

Or I could write you some descriptions of "Mineral Springs" and "Stamford Hill" that clued you in on the fact that these tracks were like early Let's Active and R.E.M. filtered through a Brit indie pop sensibility.

And I could hip you to the Camper Van Beethoven-like "Universal Me" and then finish up my review with a mention of how "The Third Ridge" closes the album with a slow-burn number that sounds suspiciously like the best tracks from George Harrison's part of the Beatles circa 1968.

Should I do all those things? Should I write some long flowery descriptions of these 11 cuts? Should I spend a day looking for the right comparisons for the perfect indie pop on Wooden Aquarium and so name-drop more bands like The Velvet Underground and The Modern Lovers and early Talking Heads?

No. What would save you and me a lot of time would be if you just got Wooden Aquarium from Mazes as soon as humanly possible.

If you are in the USA, click here.

If you are in the UK, click here.

Friday, September 5, 2014

FANTASTIC New Tune From Jenny Toomey (Tsunami, Grenadine)

While she's not recorded anything in a few years, a lot of indie rock fans, especially those of us in the D.C. area, still love the music of Jenny Toomey. Co-founder of the seminal Simple Machines label, Toomey also sang and played music in awesome groups like Tsunami and Grenadine (with Mark Robinson of Unrest and Teenbeat Records).

Now Toomey is back with this tuneful taste of an upcoming single on the UK's Where It's At Is Where You Are label.

(I think I blogged about this wonderful label before when Sheffield's Standard Fare released something on it...and oddly this new Toomey cut sounds a tiny bit like Standard Fare!)

Jenny Toomey has teamed up with Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue as the Human Hearts and you can play the wonderful Pretenders-style "Distracted" below. Once you pre-order the single, you can download that song and then get the A-side when it's released.

I strongly urge you to do so!

(Big tip of the blogger hat to WAMU's Bandwidth page for first posting news of Jenny Toomey's return to tune-making!)

Monday, September 1, 2014

New June Brides EP Is Out Today!

There's a new EP from The June Brides and that's a thing to celebrate. Phil Wilson and his crew have created 3 rollicking slices of pop glory. From the rush of "Being There" to the regret of "I'm Undone" and on to the jangle of the title cut, these 3 songs are well-crafted odes to love and life.

For more details, check out the band's page at Slumberland Records.

New Tunes From The Effects (Devin Ocampo From Deathfix)

Happy Labor Day. Reward yourself by buying these 2 tracks from The Effects. This band is a new project from Devin Ocampo from Deathfix and a bunch of other great Dischord bands.

I especially like the Shudder to Think-isms of "Old Soul"!

Follow The Effects on their Facebook page.

Buy the single after playing it below.