Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Male Bonding, Girlfriends, & Love Inks @ Brighton Music Hall

Irene has moved her sorry ass out of town. We hope your power and sanity has been restored in full by now. That's about enough of weather related posting for us, back to business then. London's noise makers, Male Bonding are headed our way to celebrate the U.S. release of their new album Endless Now out today on Sub Pop with a show at The Brighton Music Hall. Tomorrow nights bill is rounded out by Austin's Love Inks and Boston's fuzz pop phenoms, Girlfriends. Music, beer, electricity what more could you ask for?

The show is presented by Fenway Recordings Sessions and advanced tickets can be purchased here, or at BMH. Doors are at 8:00 with music starting at 9PM.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Reviewed :: The Capstan Shafts - Kind Empires

Last summer we were completely bowled over by Revelation Skirts from Dean Wells' The Capstan Shafts, you can find our review here. That album found Wells jettisoning some of the lo-fi aesthetic of his earlier releases in favor of recording his 1-3 minute pop songs in a professional studio. Now The Capstan Shafts have returned with a new LP, Kind Empires released last month and offered as a pay what you want deal via Bandcamp. The album finds The Capstan Shafts returning to their lo-fi ways on 14 unfettered and completely addictive tracks in just over 22 minutes. One of the many strengths of The Capstan Shafts is their no nonsense approach, vocals come in with the first 10 seconds, no slow build ups or pointless guitar solos, just concise pop anthems in rapid succession . The album opens with the one-two punch of Degenerate Era Sweetheart and Come Wilder that effectively set the tone for the approaching hook fest. Up For Being is a charming snippet of a song, and what we can only imagine The Capstan Shafts would sound like from your front porch. The guitar fuzz goes back up for Porn Name Equation, a song with a great self deprecating chorus "I'm the last boy you should kiss", if you're into that sort of thing and we most certainly are. Throughout the album Dean Wells (once again) exhibits a penchant for writing intelligent and engrossing melodies that have a habit of bouncing around your head for days on end. By the time you get to the albums closing track, Onetime Milwaukee Suicide in which Wells seems to have saved his best track of the set for last, don't be surprised if you feel the need to relive the last 22 minute all over again (and again). Above all, what makes Kind Empire such a pleasure to listen to is the fact that it's comprised of so many great songs.

The Capstan Shafts will play TT The Bears on September 8th with Slowdim, The Blue Ribbons, & Ryan Lee Crosby.

Order Kind Empires from Bandcamp

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Forthcoming :: Male Bonding - Endless Now

It was warm afternoon in the spring of 2010 that we first had the pleasure hearing Male Bonding and their superlative debut, Nothing Hurts. We always remember favorable first listens with resplendent detail and this was no exception. I knew that word of the day calendar would come in handy one of these days. Anyhow, we bought the album at Newbury Comics on our lunch break and rushed back to the car to enjoy a sandwich, some windows down driving, and the remarkable hook heavy debut from Male Bonding. But enough about our lunch time exploits and last years Male Bonding. We are pleased to report that next Tuesday the trio from London's Dalston neighborhood will deliver their sophomore LP, Endless Now on Sub Pop. The new album was recorded with John Agnello at Dreamland Recording Studio in Woodstock, NY. The bands guitar fuzz, scrappy melodies, and big hooks remain intact albeit with a little more confidence and luster. Endless Now features 11 catchy as all hell tracks in just 36 minutes. Below you can check out two of the albums tracks, Bones which you can grab for the high price of your e-mail address as well as an embed of the album's opener Tame The Sun.

Pre-order Endless Now at Sub-Pop.

Male Bonding will play Brighton Music Hall next Wednesday August 31st with Girlfriends and Love Inks.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lets Pretend It's Not Monday Night

Here's your excuse to go out on a Monday night: three sets of lush intelligent pop courtesy of, Cuffs (2/3 of Pants Yell!/Big Troubles), Sleepyhead, and Fan Modine at Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge for just $5.00. This is a superb line up, not to be missed and I haven't even gotten into the rumor's swirling around the city this afternoon that Kurt Heasley *may* be in the building tonight to assist Fan Modine. I'm pretty sure that's worth at least $5.00.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This Weeks Short Bursts :: Crooked Fingers + Echo Lake

Over the next year Eric Bachman will be dividing his time between touring with the recently reunited Archers of Loaf (please play Boston soon!) and his solo vehicle, Crooked Fingers. In fact on October 11th, Bachman will release his sixth release under the Crooked Fingers moniker with Breaks in the Armor. The new album was recorded in Athens, GA by Matt Yelton, with backing vocals provided by songstress Liz Durrett. Yesterday Merge Records shared the albums opening track Typhoon. One listen and we were immediately reminded of what drew us to and continues to keep us engaged with Eric Bachman's post Archers output, a lethal brew of beauty and devastation.

Crooked Fingers will play TT The Bears Place on November 6th.

Tour Dates:
Sep 07 Portland OR – Music Fest NW
Oct 15 Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle
Oct 27 Asheville NC – Grey Eagle
Oct 28 Knoxville TN – Pilot Light
Oct 29 Charlotte NC – The Evening Muse
Nov 01 Washington DC – IOTA
Nov 02 Philadelphia PA – Johnny Brenda’s
Nov 03 Hoboken NJ – Maxwells
Nov 04 New York NY – Mercury Lounge
Nov 06 Boston MA – TT the Bear’s
Nov 07 Montreal QC – Casa Del Popolo
Nov 08 Toronto ON – Drake
Nov 09 Detroit MI – Magic Stick
Nov 11 Chicago IL – Schubas
Nov 12 Milwaukee WI – Cactus Club
Nov 13 Minneapolis MN – Triple Rock Social Club
Nov 14 Omaha NE – Waiting Room
Nov 15 Denver CO – Larimer Lounge
Nov 23 San Francisco CA – Bottom of the Hill
Nov 25 Los Angeles CA – The Echo
Nov 26 San Diego CA – Casbah
Dec 01 Austin TX – Mohawk
Dec 02 Houston TX – Fitzgerald’s Downstairs

*Photo credit: Gary Isaacs

Crooked Fingers - Typhoon by MergeRecords

London's hypnotic psych pop quintet, Echo Lake issued one of our favorite EP's earlier this year with the Young Silence 12" via No Pain in Pop and in June they wowed us again with the double A sided Another Day/Breath Deep 7". The new offering finds Echo Lake confidently alternating between The Cocteau Twins influenced, Another Day with Linda Jarvis providing vocals, and Breath Deep, which explores the hazy shoegaze territory of their debut single with a little more swagger.

Breathe Deep by Echo Lake


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Transmissions :: The War on Drugs

Philadelphia's pysch folk/ambient pop outfit, The War On Drugs will play Brighton Music Hall on August 21st in support of their 2nd full length LP, Slave Ambient out today on Secretly Canadian. The new album is a sprawling and shambolic 47 minutes that showcases the bands mastermind, Adam Granduciel's razor sharp songwriting and dexterous use of the recording studio. Often we feel a little underwhelmed by Americana as whole, but Slave Ambient has smashed our preconceived notions and limitations of "American Music" and has us reaching for this LP over and over. This video was debuted earlier this month for the album's center piece, the triumphant Come To The City.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Hush Now @ The Pill [Great Scott] Allston | Tonight 8.12.11

On September 27th Boston's dream pop stalwarts, The Hush Now will issue their 3rd long player Memos. However tonight when THN take to the stage at The Pill/Great Scott they'll be celebrating the re-release and remix of their sterling sophomore LP, Constellations 2.0, proper as well as the infectious Cure like remix of Thorns. The band will also be previewing new material from their soon to be released new album, an evening not to be missed.

Just in case you've been subject to some kind of media black out or trapped under something heavy this summer we've done you a solid and posted the entire Constellations 2.0 stream/download below.

The Hush Now play The Pill @ Great Scott tonight, 1222 Commonwealth Ave, Allston.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Sounds Now :: Big Dipper - Hurricane Bill

It's been a little stagnant around here, some heavy stuff has kept us away, but we are ready to refocus our energies and get back to it. What better way to get things going than with a brand new offering from Boston Rock legends, Big Dipper. A couple weeks ago the band shared the Gary Waliek composition, Robert Pollard, an ode to his Mars Classroom partner (see our review here) and just about an hour ago Big Dipper posted the Bill Goffrier penned , Hurricane Bill to their Soundcloud page. Hurricane Bill is slated to appear on the bands forthcoming new LP which to be honest we know very little about. And after a search of the interwebs came up empty we've decided to be patient and enjoy these two new tracks from our beloved Big Dipper while we keep our fingers crossed that the new album will be upon us shortly and recommend you do the same.

Hurricane Bill by BigDipperSongs

Robert Pollard by BigDipperSongs

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Sounds Now :: Slowdim - Dry My Hands [Demo]

One of the years most unexpected but completely awesome surprises came to us courtesy of Boston's dream pop phenoms, Slowdim. Back in February the band issued their 7 song debut EP, Spirals in which fronter Paul Sentz (This Car-Up) wrote, recorded, and played all the instruments. Expect to see that EP high on our your end list, come December. We had the pleasure of seeing the full band incarnation of the band that also features Karina DaCosta (28 Degrees Taurus) Ethan Cannon and guitarist Matt McKenna , both of the now defunct 100 Years War, last winter and was mightily impressed with their performance . According to the bands Facebook page Slowdim are in the early stages of planning their full length debut and have gifted us with this demo for a new track, Dry My Hands which you can buy from their bandcamp page for just a buck.

Slowdim play Zuzu's @ The Middle East on August 15th, be there.

Dry My Hands demo by Slowdim


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reviewed :: Boston Spaceships - Let It Beard

Robert Pollard's been threatening a double LP since the mid 90's, but for whatever reason, those projects never came to fruition. Most notably Guided by Voices' aborted The Power of Suck, with several tracks from that session finding a home on GBV's classic recording, Under The Bushes, Under The Stars. Well, it took 16 years but the double album Pollard's been trying make has finally arrived and to put it bluntly it's been well worth the wait. According to Pollard Let It Beard "is a subconscious concept album about the sorry state of rock and roll". For the sessions Pollard recorded 40 acoustic demos, that he delivered to multi instrumentalist, Chris Slusarneko (GBV) that were then trimmed down to 26. Slusarenko and drummer John Moen (The Decemberists) quickly worked up some basic tracks and over the period of 6 months added new sounds and arrangements to the tracks including, horns, strings, and some notable guest contributions.

Let It Beard is the 5th and final full length from Boston Spaceships, and as with the bands previous output they've managed to take another step forward, albeit this time it's a quantum one. It's almost as if this is the album Pollard has been hinting at since releasing the Spaceships' debut Brown Submarine. For a record that clocks in at 75 minutes, you might think there is some skipable material on Let It Beard, quite the contrary actually. This is one the most varied, engaging, and addictive LP I've heard in years and one that should be listened to in one sitting. The album starts off with Blind 20-20, the song features 4 time changes, not to mention plenty of guitar crunch and a bit of cello. J.Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.) shows up to provide a guitar solo on Tourist U.F.O. which only enhances the already staggering and melancholic anthem. Elsewhere Colin Newman (Wire) guests on the punked up, You Just Can't Tell, Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate) appears on the psych pop of I Took On The London Guys and Mitch Mitchell provides guitar (and cigarettes, we assume) on the fist pumping You in My Prayer. But it's the more noise riddled tracks like German Field of Shadows and A Hair in Every Square Inch of The House that add some weight and complexity to the album. Let It Beard and it's spectacular 26 songs is a masterwork and one of Pollard's finest records. Yeah, you need this.

Let It Beard was released today August 2, 2011 on Guided By Voices, Inc.