Monday, August 30, 2010

Reviewed:: The Capstan Shafts - Revelation Skirts

When we started our account a year or so ago one of the first things we did was enter some of our favorite artists into our library. It will come as little surprise to those of you who know us or read these pages with any regularity, those artist are of the lo-fi variety. Well with each entry makes recommendation of like minded or at least like sounding artists. A band by the name of The Capstan Shafts kept appearing and before long I gave said band a listen and about 30 seconds in I was pretty much hooked. Dean Wells started releasing music under The Capstan Shafts moniker around 1999, first on home made CDR's out of Lydonville,Vermont and more recently with Manhattan's Rainbow Quartz label.

Revelation Skirts is the brand new long player from Wells's The Capstan Shafts and from the first track you notice right away that this is a more polished affair, not that it ever exceeds the mid-fi territory. But the guitar riffs are up front and the vocals are crisp, clear, and the anthems are catchy as hell. There are some obvious touchstones like that band a former school teacher fronted, you might refer to them by their three letter acronym. The Capstan Shafts make the most of those influences without ever sounding like a rehash. In fact's on tracks like Your Wasted Talent Here and Little Burst of Sunshine, Wells' embraces jangle pop with choruses that will bounce around your head for days on end. However The Capstan Shafts are at their best to our ears with guitars wailing and drums pounded, as on pop anthems like Class War Tease.

Some records can hook in on first listen and others seem to get better and better with each subsequent listen, somehow Revelation Skirts manages to do both. We just feel a little silly that it took a British website to introduce us to our new favorite American band.

Revelation Skirts is so completely in our wheel house it almost seems unfair to review it, but records this good don't come along very often. Someone recently asked us why don't we just cover bands that have more mass appeal to attract more readers? What fun would that be to cover music we have absolutely no affinity for. Plus that would leave less time devoted to under the radar bands so completely deserving of our time and attention like The Capstan Shafts.

Order Revelation Skirts from Rainbow Quartz

[MP3/Steam] The Capstan Shafts - Quiet Wars

Friday, August 27, 2010

Footage :: Unnatural Helpers - Girl In The Window

Unnatural Helpers play O'Briens on Sunday with The Needy Visions,The Maine Coons, & The Human Tail. Grab tickets here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gang Green/D.Y.S./The F.U.'s/ Jerry's Kids
August 29th/Revere, MA

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Forthcoming:: Shipping News

On November 16th Louisville post-rock goliaths, Shipping News will release One Less Heartless to Fear on Karate Body Records/ Noise Polution Records. After a 5 year absence the band has left their signature slow building songs behind in favor of concise noisy rock. As much as I enjoy the bands previous output I have to admit they sound rejuvenated and exhilarated on the new material. I guess it's time to loose that post-rock tag. One Less Heartless To Fear was recorded by Brian Lueken with assistance from Kevin Ratterman and Bob Weston (on the vinyl version). The album features 7 new songs as well two older tracks that were recorded at two all ages venues, Skull Alley in the bands hometown and at The O-Nest in Tokyo. RMSN are expected to announce a fall tour around the release of the new album.

Shipping News - The Delicate

[MP3/Stream] Shipping News at Touch & Go 25th Anniversary

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Track:: The Wrens - Crescent

Like many of you we have been waiting seven long years for the follow up to 2003's magnum opus, The Meadowlands. Well a very dim light seems to be appearing on the horizon. The Wrens have contributed the demo version of Crescent to the upcoming Dear New Orleans, a 31 track benefit album to be issued on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A fully produced version of the song is expected to appear on the band next album, whenever the hell they get around to finishing that. To our ears Crescent sounds like a perfect pop gem.

[Embedded MP3 From P4K]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Plan Accordingly::
Black Helicopter/Travels/The Sinbusters/ & Magic Shoppe
at The Rosebud Diner & Bar/Davis Square Somerville, MA Tonight!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Introducing:: The Martha's Vineyard Ferries

The pedigree of it's members alone was more than enough to capture our attention, however if the track that their label has posted to bandcamp is any indications this new trio is much more than a kick ass resume. The Martha's Vineyard Ferries is a new band that features Bob Weston (Shellac), Chris Brokaw (Come), and Elisha Weisner of Massachusetts based, Kahoots.The three friends got together at Bob Weston's house in Chicago in 2009 to record tracks for the bands forthcoming 4 song EP, In the Pond and a short time later a fake band was born.

Elisha Weisner explains how the band came together and what the future may hold for The Martha's Vineyard Ferries:
"the band started as a fake joke band name bob and I were using with some vague intention of maybe playing some music. we asked Chris to be the drummer in the fake band. A while after that we decided to actually do it, sent demos back and forth and got together at bobs house in Chicago for a couple days of recording and eating hot dogs. Basically it's just 3 friends playing punk rock. all of us have larger musical commitments outside of the ferries but, for me at least, it was fun to just kind of come up with a silly idea see it turn into something really cool. I am certainly looking forward to playing some shows and future recording. It's fun to be in a band with no pressure, no expectations and no real time frame.”

Thanks to the good kids at Clicky Clicky we are now well informed that The Martha's Vineyard Ferries play their first area dates on August 24th at The Dive in Oak Bluffs on the island for which the band is aptly named (sort of) and at TT The Bears on the 25th. Both shows are with the superb Denton, TX band Tre Orsi.

In The Pond will be issued on September 21st by Sick Room Records on CD and limited edition 12" vinyl. However I am told by the bands label that they will have some copies for sale at the upcoming shows.

Get Them Young is the first track offered from the In The Pond EP. We recommend you listen to it repeatedly until your head hurts or your laptop speakers say uncle.

<a href="">Get Them Young by Martha's Vineyard Ferries</a>

Monday, August 16, 2010

Snippet:: Belle and Sebastian

Our first glimpse into the forthcoming B&S long player, Write About Love. Albeit a brief glimpse via the album track, I Want The World To Stop. The record will drop on 10/12 just a few days before the bands Boston appearance at The Citi Performing Arts Center|The Wang Center.

Friday, August 13, 2010

This Weeks Short Bursts ::
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yelstin, Sharks, & The Capstan Shafts

Springfield, MO's popsmiths Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin drop their new full length in a matter of days. Let it Sway will be released on Tuesday August 17th via Polyvinyl Records. The new LP was recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, WI with Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) and Beau Sorrenson (Sparklehorse) and combines the bands early bedroom recording aesthetic with fully produced power pop. The record's been garnering some glowing reviews on the internets, check out The Music OMH. SSYBY have teamed up with Telekinesis for a fall tour that will have them playing TT The Bears on September 7th. Currently the band are raising funds through kickstarter to finance a new tour van. Donate here

Pre-order SSLYBY's - Let It Sway at Polyvinyl

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Sink/Let it Sway

Rising U.K. post-punks, Sharks have signed on with London's Best Before Records (Danananaykroyd/Johnny Foreigner) to release the bands new EP, Show of Hands. Over the past couple of years Best Before have been responsible for some of our favorite records and look to keep the streak going with new signees,Sharks. Admittedly we don't know much about this band other than they hail from Royal Leamington Spa or the "Leam" in Warwickshire, U.K. and have our full attention with one foot in 1977 and the other in 2010. Sharks will support The Gaslight Anthem on the New Jersey bands upcoming fall tour throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.

[Video] Sharks - Fallen on Deaf Ears

The Capstan Shafts is the brain child of former Lydonville, VT resident and current West Virginian Dean Wells. On August 24th The Capstan Shafts will release Revelation Skirts their 3rd full length for Rainbow Quartz and if my math is correct 23rd release over all, with 20 of those being self released CD-R's that Wells recorded between 1999-2007. The one time one man band has assembled a solid crew of backing musicians and recorded in a proper studio with the tracks found on the new record committed to tape at Strange Weather Studios in Brooklyn with producer/drummer/P4k writer Matt Lemay. The two tracks available at Rainbow Quarts are mid-fi classic pop and lookey, lookey here we've linked them for your listening and fist pumping pleasure.

Pre-order Revelation Skirts

[MP3/Stream] The Capstan Shafts - Heart Your Eat Out

[MP3/Stream] The Capstan Shafts - Quiet Wars

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Henry Clay People Return to Boston

After wrapping up a lengthy tour with Silversun Pickups & Against Me! California's pop stalwarts The Henry Clay People have announced another batch of dates. This time the band will be headed out with Drive By Truckers. However as luck should have it the band have booked a headlining show at TT The Bears on October 17th. Not that we have anything against the bands that The Henry Clay People have been playing with over the past couple of months, they're just not our cup of tea and we definitely need to see this band in a headlining slot. Tickets for their next Boston area show go on sale this morning through TicketWeb at 9AM.

[Video] The Henry Clay People - Slow Burn
Recorded Live @ Waterloo Records
Austin, TX

Saturday, August 7, 2010

This Weeks Short Bursts:
Deep Heaven Now & In Case of Evacuation Record Release

Somerville's Union Square will be rocking this afternoon, due to The Deep Heaven Now Festival going down at both PA's Lounge and Precinct. Deep Heaven Now gathers the finest east coast purveyors of ambient/Psychedelic rock for one glorious event. 10 bucks gets you admission to both stages and as bonus the Somerville Rock and Roll Yard sale will be held just out side of Precinct, where you will find a truck load of vintage vinyl & arts and crafts. 10 bucks for 19 bands, including The Hush Now, Young Adults, and the reunited Abunai! If that wasn't enough to get you there, the first 100 people get a free beer from Narragansett. The event kicks off at 2PM at Precinct.

More information on Deep Heaven Now can be found at their Facebook page.

This Just in: Young Adults set has been cancelled according to their myspace page, but don't let that keep you away from this great event.

On Sunday, Exploding In Sound takeover Church for a record release party for their In Case of Evacuation Compilation, 2 discs worth of new music from some of Boston's finest as well as some national acts as well, offered to you as a free download. The album features music from Black Helicopter, We Were Promised Jetpacks, and Doomstar! to name but a few. The record release will feature a few of Boston's up and comers included Grass is Green,The Dirty Dishes, and Ribs, as well as Washington D.C.'s Solar Powered Sun Destroyer. Tickets are just $7.00, it all kicks off at 8PM.

For more info or to download In Case of Evacuation pay a visit to Exploding In Sound.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Evolution of Clinic
Clinic are set to return on October 5th with album number six, Bubblegum. The English post-punk collective recorded the tracks with John Congleton at Elevator Studios in Liverpool, which mark the first time the band has worked with a producer since 2004's Winchester Cathedral. The bands label, Domino is calling the new album a high water mark for the band. We were huge fans of the bands early work, however they lost us a few records ago, so we're hoping this is a fact. The band has described the record as watery psych pop filled with ping-pong symphonies. Based on the album's opening track and the excellent Pete Fowler created new video, I'm Aware, Clinic are coming as advertised with dulcimers, harpsichords, and beautiful melodies in tow.

Clinic will play the Paradise on November 8th, get tickets here.

Pre-order Bubblegum at Domino Records

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Mountain Goats & The Extra Lens get Merged

Merge Records took another step toward complete world domination today when it was announced that the Durham, N.C. indie powerhouse have signed The Mountain Goats and The Extra Lens to it's ever expanding roster. The first release planned from the new signing is Undercard from The Extra Lens, a collaboration between John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) and Fraknlin Bruno (Nothing Painted Blue) to be released on October 19th. Undercard is the follow up to 2000's Martial Arts Weekend when the band was known as The Extra Glenns. We have no idea what precipitated the name change, but we're digging on the album track, Only Existing Footage.

[MP3/Stream] The Extra Lens - Only Existing Footage
[Video] The Extra Glenns - Baltimore
Live @ The Amstel Festival 7/12/02

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Reviewed: Versus - On The Ones and Threes

[MP3/Stream] Versus - Invincible Hero

I believe in giving credit where credit is due, my brother introduced me to Versus by way of the bands debut full length, The Stars Are Insane. In fact after hearing that record in 94' I borrowed it from my older sibling and never returned it, sorry bro. After my Versus introduction I purchased pretty much everything the band released and caught them live on couple of fateful evenings, and then without warning they were gone. Sure James Baluyut went on release music under +/- with former Versus member Patrick Ramos, Richard Baluyut formed Whysall Lane, and Fountaine Toups concentrated on The Fountaine Toups, but as much as I enjoy those hiatus projects, something was missing, that something was one of indie rocks most consistently engaging bands.

Ten years in the waiting, One The Ones and Threes marks the return of Versus and the return of original member Edward Baluyut. However instead of sounding like a comeback album or a band trying to recapture some of their past glory, On The Ones and Threes sounds like the album the band would have made had they not taken at ten year break. The album kicks off with the sixties infused pop and chunky guitars of Invincible Hero, and just like that Versus are back with arguably 10 of their finest songs, 12 if you pre-ordered from the bands label, Merge Records. The album's center piece, Cicada is a Burma-esque romp that burst out of the gates and never lets up, and has me reaching for a replay with each listen. When I first heard that Versus were returning as a three piece with original nucleus of the band intact, I was thrilled, but I had no idea they would deliver such a strong and instantly lovable record. On The Ones and Threes combines the pop gloss of 2000's Hurrah with the bands grit found on their early recordings, pretty much the perfect marriage of the bands strengths. The album is full of sublime melodies and finely crafted songs from a rejuvenated band at the peak of their powers. I for one hope they stick around for awhile (this time).

One The Ones and Threes gets it's official release today, August 3rd and the band will be in town to support Superchunk at Royale Boston on September 21.

Buy the album at the Merge Records Store