Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guided By Voices Reunites The Classic Line Up

The 1993-1996 line up of Guided By Voices will perform alongside Pavement, Sonic Youth, Belle & Sebastian, Spoon, & Superchunk in Las Vegas on October 1-3 as part of Matador Records at Twenty One. The bands line up will consist of,Robert Pollard, Tobin Sprout, Mitch Mitchell, Greg Demos, and Kevin Fennell. This simply can not be missed. Ticket information and more acts are scheduled to be announced on July 5th, via the Matablog.

matador records

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pre-Show Hyping + Giveaway:: Walter Schreifels

An Open Letter To The Scene is Walter Schreifels solo debut and as of today a clear front runner for our favorite release of 2010. As a founding member of the seminal NYC hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits, and as the frontman of post-hardcore outfits Quicksand, and Rival Schools we thought we knew what to expect from Walter Schreifels, that is until we heard An Open Letter To The Scene. The LP is an acoustic pop master stroke that channels Walter's recent solo performances and finds influences in some unlikely places, at least for this hardcore luminary. During the recording of the album in New York and Berlin, Walter found inspiration in the music of The Byrds and The Beatles. The results are nothing short of stunning, An Open Letter To The Scene is record that requires your immediate attention.

Walter Schreifels plays upstairs at The Middle East tonight and tickets can be had here. Walter will be supported by Allston's The Cold Beat & Greg Lyon (Pending Disapointment).

In celebration of tonight's show, we're giving away a copy of the new album, An Open Letter To The Scene courtesy of Walter's U.S. label, Academy Fight Song. To enter just send an e-mail with Walter Schreifels in the subject line to ashgrayproclamation@yahoo.com.

Update:Congratulations to Thomas Siegel from Somerville for winning a copy of An Open Letter To The Scene. Thanks to all who entered.

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Weeks Short Bursts:
Cloud Nothings, Black Helicopter, & Harlem

Cleveland, OH's Cloud Nothings were in town this week to support Wavves at Great Scott and if you follow us on twitter you probably already know that my ADD was in overdrive this week when I missed this show after grabbing tickets and somehow forgetting about it. Hopefully we'll get another chance to catch Dylan Baldi in the near future. Baldi's Cloud Nothings just released the new 7" Didn't You b/w Even If it Worked Out via Old Flame Records. Noise pop with an emphasis on the pop and another slab of lo-fi perfection from the young Mr. Baldi.

[MP3/Stream] Cloud Nothings - Didn't You (via Stereogum)

Cloud Nothings debut LP, Turning On can be had at Speakertree Records (Vinyl) & Bridgetown Records (CD).

One of Boston's best and in my opinion criminally under appreciated bands, Black Helicopter will play P.A.'s Lounge on Saturday. The band quietly released there 3rd LP , Don't Fuck With Apocalypse back in May, once again via Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label. Armed with tracks off the superb new record as well as some older gems too, Black Helicopter bring their covert operations to Somerville with support from Velvet Elvis, The IOA, and Lord Jeff.

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Buy the new album at Ecstatic Peace

Black Helicopter/MySpace

Austin, TX's Harlem are responsible for one of our favorite albums of the past few months. Hippies (Matador) is a gritty garage rock record that keeps finding it's way back onto the turntable, probably because it's damn good. The band will return to town to support Jack White's Dead Weather on July 14th at The House of Blues. Harlem have just issued a new video for the track Someday Soon. The video was directed The Focus Creeps, Ben Chapel and Aaron Brown respectively.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Photographic Evidence: The Futureheads
We're finally ready to shut up about the great show we witnessed a couple a weeks ago, when The Futureheads made their first Boston appearance in over four years. I talked the wife into bringing the camera along to snap a few shots. We also wrote a review of the show for the fine folks at Melophobe that you can access here.

The Futureheads @ The Paradise June 7,2010

Photography: Nicole G. Hamill

Friday, June 18, 2010

Let's Wrestle Release Video & Announce U.S Tour

Let's Wrestle have announced a U.S. Tour with Man Man on the left coast that will kick off on September 5th in Santa Barbara, CA. Doesn't our favorite English 3-piece pop ensemble know we need a show in Boston too? We have no one to blame but ourselves. Ever since missing them open for Quasi back in April we've been kicking ourselves. The band has just released a video for I'm So Lazy, a song they recorded for a limited edition split single with The Love Language, originally released on Record Store Day.

Lets Wrestle U.S. Dates
9/05 Santa Barbara, CA SOhO Restaurant and Music
9/06 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
9/08 Seattle, WA Neumos
9/09 Vancouver, BC Rickshaw Theatre
9/10 Portland, OR MusicfestNW

Order Let's Wrestle's excellent debut as well as The Record Store Day split 7" from Merge Records Store.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hallelujah The Hills Issue Two Summer Singles

As Hallelujah The Hills prepare to head out on the road with Titus Andronicus for a short eight date tour the band has posted two new tracks for free download with assistance from Brooklyn Blogger, Pop Headwound. Ever since first hearing the band shortly after the release of the bands debut Collective Psychosis Begone we've been singing the praises of HTH and these two tracks prove once again that Hallelujah Hills are crafting some of the finest and intelligent pop songs in Boston and beyond.

Hallelujah The Hills play Great Scott on July 8th with St. Clair, Mr. Sister, & Sleepy Very Sleepy. Grab tickets via Ticketweb.

[MP3/Stream] Hallelujah The Hills - That Ticking Sound You Hear

[MP3/Stream] Hallelujah The Hills - Introductory Saints

Download these two new tracks via Pop Headwound

Summer Vacation With Titus Andronicus
Sat, Jul 10, 2010 New Haven, CT Lily's Pad
Sun, Jul 11, 2010 Northampton, MA Pearl Street
Mon, Jul 12, 2010 Albany, NY Valentine's
Tue, Jul 13, 2010 Buffalo, NY Ninth Ward at Babeville
Wed, Jul 14, 2010 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
Thu, Jul 15, 2010 Grand Rapids, MI Intersection Lounge
Fri, Jul 16, 2010 Chicago, IL Subterranean
Sun, Jul 18, 2010 Youngstown, OH Lemon Grove Cafe

Friday, June 11, 2010

This Weeks Short Bursts:
Gruff Rhys and album #10 from Elf Power

Super Furry Animals king pin Gruff Rhys is looking at a busy summer with the release of his long awaited documentary Seperado! and the release of The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness, a collaboration with Barazilian muscian/tv repairman Tony Da Gatorro.

Seperado!, a documentary 5 years in the making will be premiered in the U.S. at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 24th. As of today there are no plans for a Boston area screening, however we expect more U.S. screenings to follow the L.A. premiere. The film chronicles Rhys' search for his long lost, guitar playing Patagonian uncle. Co-directer Dylan Goch follows Gruff Rhys as he tours nightclubs and tea houses from Wales to the Argentine Andes. The film also captures the recording process of the forthcoming The Terror of Cosmic Loneliness album.

Pre-order the album at Amazon

Elf Power will return on September 14th with their tenth LP. The self titled release will be issued by Orange Twin and features guest appearances from Olivia Tremor Control/Circulatroy System alumni Will Cullen Hart, Bill Doss, John Fernandes, and Heather McIntosh. The Elves have offered up Strangers In The Window in advance of the fall release of Elf Power.

[MP3/Stream] Elf Power - Strangers in The Window

Friday, June 4, 2010

Review::The Futureheads : The Chaos

In 2004 I was completely bowled over by the debut record from Sunderland, England's The Futureheads. That sparkling debut, a record I still listen to on a regular basis, is filled with a near perfect batch of new wave post-punk anthems. The bands subsequent albums have been met with an unfair reception from fans and critics alike that seem to be waiting for the band to duplicate or repeat what they accomplished on their self titled debut or maybe their waiting for another Kate Bush cover, it's not gonna happen. As far as I can tell the band has yet to release a sub par record. Instead of going back to familiar ground the band chose to widen their sonic palate and push their sound forward on album number two, News and Tributes and again on 2008's This Is Not The World. With their just released fourth album, The Chaos on Dovecote Records in the U.S. and on the bands own Nul imprint in their native UK, The Futureheads have delivered their most sonically adventurous recording as well as their finest since releasing the much lauded debut.

Unlike the bands previous work, The Chaos took a little bit longer to reveal it's many charms. However after my 3rd listen I was completely sold and ready for another go. The album perfectly marries the bands four part harmonies, swarming guitars, and their odd and immediate pop hooks. From the opening chords of the title track, to the should be smash hit Heartbeat Song, to the a Capella heavy Jupiter The Chaos is relentless and unwavering.The album's filled with menacing pop songs and it's never more obvious than on Sun Goes Down, an infectious romp that serves as the albums most accessible and addictive tracks.

The Futureheads have released a stunning and exhilarating rock record comprised of charging and concise pop thrills. Just don't call it a return to form, The Chaos is the LP TheFutureheads have been hinting at over the past two records. While the masses waited for them revisit the sounds of their debut the band has upped the anti and ripped us all a new one with The Chaos.

[MP3/Stream] The Futureheads - Struck Dumb

The Futureheads will play The Paradise on Monday June 7th withThe Like and Static Jacks.

Buy tickets for the show here

Order The Chaos