Thursday, November 29, 2007

David Broderick

In an exclusive interview, David Broderick talks about his new EP 'Miles from the Highway' and the Denton, Texas music scene.

In Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas houses the largest music school in the nation. Add to that a metro population exceeding 7.5 million, and you have the perfect environment for a music culture to thrive in. How did the Denton music scene help you develop your craft? Are there plenty of venues that you like to perform at there?

[david broderick]
I had been coming to Denton for years to go to various shows. I lived in a town right in the middle of the metroplex so Dallas and Fort Worth were roughly equal distances, but Denton always drew the coolest bands. I think one of the biggest influences Denton has provided is its huge jazz scene, and the high population of musicians in general. The town has to cater to that so in return there are a lot of places to play; Hailey's, Andy's, J & J's, Rubber Gloves, Dan's Silverleaf, The Secret Headquarters which actually just closed down. As a musician you can pretty much always find a place to play, and if you cant then you can always get on 35 and head to Dallas, Fort Worth, OKC, or Austin.

You informed me that Midlake, Robert Gomez, Baptist Generals and Fishboy all come from Denton - and that list goes on. Are there any other up-and-coming Dentonites that we should know about? Which Denton bands do you like the most?

[david broderick]
There is this great band I checked out a few weeks ago called Mom. They're one of the most interesting, beautiful things I've ever heard from the area. Grab their CD if you can find it anywhere. I'd say Midlake has been my biggest influence from a Denton band. I see them every time I get a chance, and I actually just got back from having coffee with the keyboard player. I've really enjoyed everything they have done from the time I was in 8th or 9th grade. They're incredible.

'Points off the Center' - the A-side from your new EP 'Miles from the Highway' - has a Latin vibe with shuffle rhythm and percussion. Are there any particular Latin music genres or artists that inspire you?

[david broderick]
I like a lot of bossa nova jazz stuff, but I'm not particularly into any latin artists. I think I'm just attracted to some of those rhythms and qualities because they have a strong beat to them and you don't hear it too much in most modern music coming out. It's really catchy and has an interesting, almost dance quality.

The phrase 'miles from the highway' can be found in the lyrics to 'Points off the Center'; the lyrics sound tight. Do you feel that good lyrics are important to a song?

[david broderick]
I definitely think that lyrics can make or break a song, and that's definitely the area that I'm most self conscious about. I try to write in as few words what I would like to say and in a non-direct fashion. Whenever I try to say too much I end up ruining what I started with. I focus on melodies a lot too. A strong melody that gets stuck in your head is a good melody. A unique melody that you find yourself singing without becoming obnoxious is a great melody.

How does the title of your EP tie into the meaning of 'Points off the Center'? What is the meaning of the song?

[david broderick]
Both the title and lyric refer to just getting away from things. I was just ready for a change in my surroundings. It's kind of ironic because where I'm living now, I can see highway 35 from around the corner. The album as a whole is about seeing something new, but 'Points off the Center' is actually about going back to how things were when most everything new ends up being the same.

A song titled '7/4 Shoreline' by Broken Social Scene is played in non-standard 7/4 time. I seem to hear a non-standard time signature in 'Give a Hand' from your new EP. Mainly, I'm referring to the drumbeat that comes in with the Roswellian news flash. Is the drummer playing a non-standard beat?

[david broderick]
Actually that song is standard 6/8 time, but it has a bit of a "gallop" to it which might give it an odd feel. The section after the second verse is played very loosely though. I think it opens that area up a lot into a melodic dream-like state which suits the song well and adds to the dynamics of the song before such a rigid and dissonant crescendo.

One year ago, more than 50 eyewitnesses - including several airline employees - saw an unidentifiable flying object above O'Hare Airport. For 60 years, Americans have been reporting this unexplainable phenomenon. 'Give a Hand' has a news flash track that sounds like an early Roswell report. Could you describe what 'Give a Hand' is about? How do you feel about the UFO phenomenon?

[david broderick]
'Give a Hand' is the opening song on the EP and I think serves two purposes. On one end it gives you some insight to the main character of the album, but it also is me sort of telling myself that putting myself in a new area isn't necessarily going to be an amazing new experience. I think it's kind of best stated with the lines "There's nothing in the woods you can't find in the city where you're from." I can say I'm not particularly interested in UFO phenomenon, although there is a ridiculous website about how Earth was colonized by aliens and Jesus was one of the aliens. I have fun browsing through that place.

Are there any particular producers or engineers who have helped develop or shape your sound?

[david broderick]
I recorded, mixed and mastered this album on my own so I would definitely say that I have some influences as far as that whole aspect goes. My brother had a home studio off of his bedroom and he was always messing around in there. I read an interview with Brian Deck, this chicago guy who has done a lot of big records, and I really like his style and way of seeing things as far as mixing goes. I like listening to lots of records and seeing what kinds of sounds they use, and tones. The new Animal Collective is great; I'm still absorbing both Midlake albums. I don't know.. It's really such an overwhelming thing to take on and just a really big learning experience. I've learned a lot about how I play and how I write.

What are some of the extra musical instruments you use to flesh out your tracks, and help define your sound? Any particular effects or synths that you like to use?

[david broderick]
On this record I have used a lot of flute samples. I think they have this warm, rustic quality that exaggerates the whole "living in the woods" vibe. I also messed around with a lot of different overdriven synth sounds, and organs. For the most part everything else was pretty standard. A lot of tape delay was used, and played around with trying to get a lot of "warbling" sounds on some of the leads.

profile @

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Hylozoists is the name of a rotating collective - a Canadian who's who list of musicians - assembled by Paul Aucoin.

While touring with a 13-piece, Hylozoists can fit the bill, but this forces them to pick and choose venues that can fit the band.

As well as the organizer, Paul Aucoin is also the primary songwriter. Sometimes he will provide clear cut parts for a particular musician to play, other times he will leave room for a band member to come up with their own interpretation.

Each instrumental track off the latest full-album La Fin Du Monde sets the scene as a movie soundtrack would. Each track could be dubbed in a series of unrelated film shorts; little projects that have been spliced together into one reel. And for that reason, all of the song titles are tentative. Write your own little screenplays, and then change the song titles. Musique pour la Sonorisation.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ boompa (strait is the gate - hylozoists)
mp3 @ sxsw (smiley smiley - hylozoists)
stream @ radio3
stream @ radio3 (studio 211)
video @ youtube (warning against judging a christian brother - hylozoists)
video @ youtube (promo)
review @ cokemachineglow
review @ popmatters
review @ sputnikmusic
review @ treblezine
review @ punktv
review @ artistdirect
interview @ punktv
interview @ gauntlet
home page @ thehylozoists
label @ boompa
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gospel Gossip

In an exclusive interview, Sarah and Ollie of Minnesota-based Gospel Gossip talk about songwriting inspiration, studio recording and the music industry.

Shadows are Bent and Lucky Lemmings are two strong tracks to represent A-side and B-side, respectively. Gospel Gossip has an original sound that overshadows comparisons to other bands.

Creative blocks can be frustrating; depressing at times. Are there any particular bands that stir up creative juices - or sweep out the cobwebs - as a muse? Are there any bands that stand out as a primary source of inspiration for your songwriting?

I don't know. It's too easy to run too far in the direction of "inspiration." I'm most blocked when I become too attached to the superficial qualities of a band or sound, like lyrics or melody or structure. Those things are hypnotic but with respect [to] songs themselves, meaningless. Being inspired is about inhaling a feeling and breathing it back out. I wrote the start of Lucky Lemmings after lying on my floor listening to Heroin [by The Velvet Underground] repeatedly for three hours. But that doesn't mean they sound alike or are about the same thing. That said, there still are albums that we collectively love. Psychocandy, Daydream Nation, and Horses are a few of those.

We're big Talking Heads fans too. True Stories was an inspiring movie for all of us. Speaking of...

Which novels or movies inspire you? Any particular authors?

Ollie and I just saw I'm Not There by Todd Hayes, and it's pretty incredible. There are a lot of references to Ingmar Bergman's Persona, which makes sense, and that's also another one of my favorites. I would put Jean-Luc Godard and David Lynch on the top of my fail-proof filmmaker list. Authors... Virginia Woolf will never cease to amaze me, and T.S. Eliot, but then again he's a poet. William S. Burroughs is pretty great for a trip.

All the late-60's counter culture films are very influential for us as well.

Are there any producers or sound engineers who have helped to shape or develop your sound?

Neil Weir, he's a Minneapolis guy, mixed our album. He understood where we were coming from and is unique in the way that he's not so crazy about digital post-production effects, as so many producers these days seem to be. He went ahead and used analog effects, like tape delay, to really hone out our sound.

Yeah, it was this Roland RE -150 Space Echo that he bought in Northfield (of all places). It was a big box with a bunch of VU meters, looked like it was from the early 80's. We used it on all the songs as a post-production effect. The ambient jangling sound on Shadows Are Bent is a good example. We also titled two songs after the effect. But yeah, it really saved us because we got into a terrible situation with the guy we tracked with, and it turned out to be difficult to expand our sound when we went to Neil. So there's a lot of tension between experimentation and cookie-cutter engineering.

I noticed that you are scheduled to play at First Avenue on December 13th, a venue that has been a rock-it launch pad for Twin Cities-based bands for decades - the CBGB of Minneapolis. The show is a CD release party for your latest project. Are you excited about the gig? Has that show put a buzz in the group's busy hive?

We're playing 7th Street Entry, not First Avenue proper, but still it's fabulous. It's our favorite venue in Minneapolis; the sound is incredible, and the atmosphere perfect. It's just a small black black room.

The Entry's just as historically important. The Replacements and Husker Du played there often. Prince got his start there. A bunch of great national bands play there too. First Ave. is too scary to play. We haven't done it yet, but it's huge. It looks exactly the way [it] does in Purple Rain.

In your message, you noted 'shoegaze' and 'New Order' as general tags for comparison. There are places where I have caught a The Cure vibe, e.g. 1:37 into the 'Lucky Lemmings' MP3 - mostly from the slight dissonant tremble in Sarah's vocal, but also from the layers of electric guitar. Speaking of which, how are you able to emulate such layering live - with a three-piece band?

We just added a synth player, actually, and she's helped a bit to fill things out, although I wouldn't say that sparseness in sound was ever an issue to begin with. We did do some overdubbing on the album, but even on Lucky Lemmings I don't think there are ever any more than two guitars going at once. When we're live I use a digital delay pedal, which can really help to take the sound and explode it.

The great thing about that song is that it's always different when we play it. That also worried us when we were recording it. We thought it was going to be really difficult and untrue to the way we play it live. But I'm happy; it's my favorite on the album. And yes, there are a bunch of references in the song. I don't think we had the Cure in mind. The drums in the middle of the song are a rip off of Age of Consent [by New Order]. Same with the fills I do toward the end: those are taken from Patti Smith's Free Money. Anyway, we're not embarrassed about our influences, but we also don't make our music live through them. They're kind of like terse, offhanded comments, allusions, things to allow our music to go somewhere else.

In addition to the Twin Cities music scene, are there any cities with scenes that you really liked? Which is your favorite city to perform in, outside of Minneapolis?

We've only been on tour once, and it wasn't much, just some house shows and art collectives up the west coast. In Chico we were going to play this place called the Crux Collective, and Justin was following our van on his motorcycle and ended up getting stranded somewhere around San Fransisco, I think. We panicked, but someone at the collective stepped up to fill in on bass. That was I think one of the worst and most honest shows we've ever played.

Seattle and Vancouver were fun... really great music Cities. I remember a death metal band opened for us in L.A.

Enough times, in music reviews, the reader encounters an avalanche of sonic comparisons - this can be misleading, even confusing. Have you come across any sonic comparisons to GG that might make you scratch your head?

We haven't really been reviewed yet. Although once some drunken guy said we sounded like U2. That was off-putting.

I could see where that guy was coming from. The weirdest one I've heard yet was today: someone on a message board said we were a shitty version of the Beatles or something. I think we've got more balls than the Beatles because we can make louder music with fewer genitalia.

It is clear that your band's sound has jelled. It can take years for a band to get that tight. How did GG first come together? How long has the band been in its current configuration of Sarah, Justin and Ollie?

I had been writing songs for a while when I met Ollie at Carleton. We'd drink whiskey and played in my dorm laundry room from time to time. A few months of that got old, so we brought Justin in. He and Ollie played in a hardcore band called Rainbow Magical. We'd been playing together for a little less than a year when we recorded the album, so now I guess we've been together for almost a year and half. And now we have a new member, Deanna, as I mentioned.

There are many new bands out there that are in the process of building a fan base. Such bands rely on file sharing as a means of exposing even more listeners to their music. But - as well as a blessing - file sharing has proven to be a curse.

Based on your experiences in an indie band, how do you feel about the current state of the music industry, with the pervasive manifestation of illegal file sharing, and major labels shifting into survival mode? What steps has GG taken in order to survive as a band in this crazy music industry environment?

Some bands understand that art and expression aren't about ownership, and those are the bands that will survive, or at least matter. It's obvious that the music industry is floundering, but it's also obvious that the major labels are still making money. Britney Spears is paid over $700,000 every month and she sees only pennies from album sales. Greed fuels corporate industry, and the music business is no exception. It hasn't yet been able to reconcile with itself that perhaps music isn't just another commercial commodity to be bought and sold, as they've been treating it to be for so many decades. They can't stop file sharing because people don't think they need to pay money for music anymore. They can use lawsuits to frighten people but not to make them buy worthless albums. If they need to make millions they need to find a way apart from selling music, because (hopefully) they're never again going to convince the populace that a compact disc is worth $15.

If I were to take a guess, it sounds as if your tracks were laid out with an 8-track recorder on 1/2" media. What make-model of recorder did you actually use? Any other equipment you might like to mention? e.g. guitar pedals.

Everything was actually tracked digitally with Protools. Maybe the analog echo and reverb techniques that I already mentioned are what are giving you that feel. My delay pedal is a Boss DD-6. It's priceless. I use a Metal Muff for distortion, and that's it. A lot of the best sounds come out of twisting the guitar around, bending the bridge, and so on. Justin uses a DD-3 and a Boss Bass Overdrive.

I doubt that your band will ever receive a scathing review. Have the critics been writing nice things so far?

You're the first. Set the bar high.

profile @

mp3 @ (shadows are bent - gospel gossip)
mp3 @ (lucky lemmings - gospel gossip)
mp3 @ (wind - gospel gossip)

blog aggregator @

interview @

images @

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bloc Party

London-based indie-rock Bloc Party is fronted by singer-songwriter Kele Okereke.

Their latest full-album, A Weekend In The City is a multifaceted social statement:

Hunting For Witches expresses the sociopolitical manifestation of islamophobia - via terrorism, government intervention and media saturation; a song inspired by the 2005 London bombings.

The Morrissey-esque Uniform laments the socioeconomic influence of the spirit of commerce on young consumers.

Where is Home? relates the sociogenic problem of hate crimes from a black-British perspective - inspired by the killing of family-friend Christopher Alaneme.

The song title SRXT represents the anti-depressant Seroxat with vowels extracted to avoid litigation. The song is a sociopsychological allegory from a despondent viewpoint; Tube-related sound effects correspond to a listener meditating on the issue while sitting on a train with eyes closed and headphones on.

The lead track Song for Clay is a tribute to the novel Less Than Zero, particularly the story's protagonist, Clay. A line from the lyrics, people are afraid to merge on the freeway, corresponds with the first sentence of the novel: People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ sixeyesmedia (we were lovers - bloc party)
mp3 @ rednicko (hunting for witches - bloc party)
mp3 @ rednicko (song for clay - bloc party)
mp3 @ nialler9 (where is home - bloc party)
mp3 @ xs4all (the prayer - bloc party)
mp3 @ musicforants (waiting for the 7.18 - bloc party)
mp3 @ box (sunday - bloc party)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (song for clay - bloc party)
video @ youtube (waiting for witches - bloc party)
video @ youtube (i still remember - bloc party)
video @ youtube (srxt - bloc party)
video @ youtube (sunday - bloc party)
video @ youtube (the prayer - bloc party)
video @ youtube (uniform - bloc party)
video @ youtube (commentary song for clay - bloc party)
video @ youtube (sunday - bloc party)
video @ youtube (srxt - bloc party)
video @ youtube (interview with nme - bloc party)
review @ metacritic
interview @ bullz-eye
home page @ blocparty
label @ wichita-recordings
lyrics @ blocparty
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Golden Dogs

The band name for five-piece Toronto-based The Golden Dogs was inspired by a dream that frontman Dave Azzolini had about a "invisible dog, and every time I'd pet it, it would make this amazing sound."

The Wings-era McCartney cover - Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-five - is listed as the ninth track(see Revolution 9) on the discography of their latest full-album Big Eye Little Eye.

Birdsong - from the band's previous triple-EP Everything in 3 Parts - is on the soundtrack for the Canadian comedy Everything's Gone Green. The track was also licensed to an ad campaign for Zellers - "this means we can get a van and things that let us be a band," Azzolini informed The Coast during a phone interview.

The latest full album's lead track Dynamo kicks the door open with a Ramones vibe. The latter punk forerunner had played their final show in August 1996.

The sunny lead vocals on Construction Worker are provided by the band's keyboard percussion mistress, Jessica Grassia - Azzolini's better half.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ thetorontotimes (construction worker - the golden dogs)
mp3 @ sxsw (never meant any harm - the golden dogs)
mp3 @ thetorontotimes (runouttaluck - the golden dogs)
mp3 @ iheartmusic (nineteen hundred and eighty-five - the golden dogs)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (never meant any harm - the golden dogs)
video @ youtube (construction worker - the golden dogs)
video @ youtube (interview)
video @ youtube (saints at the gates - the golden dogs)
review @ betterlivingthroughmp3
review @
review @ cokemachineglow
review @ muchmusic
review @ popmatters
review @ radio3
review @ sxsw
review @ nyunews
interview @ thecoast
interview @ thetorontotimes
home page @ thegoldendogs
label @ truenorthrecords
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Blakes

Two Times by Seattle-based The Blakes was "written in seven minutes," according to guitarist/vocalist Garnet Keim. The raw vitality of the vocals is the dynamo behind the A-side track's breakout potential. It is that type of easily identifiable genuineness that chiseled the Ramones deep into the granite of rock history. The vocals also disclose a Bon Scott influence.

"One of our most popular songs Don't Bother Me has two chords - we learned it's not the chord or the structure, it's the vibe," stated bassist/vocalist Snow Keim. He informed KEXP Seattle that their songwriting does not target specific genres: "We're not trying to write particular types of songs - we just write." Any resulting similarities are basically byproducts of their influences. Their inspiration is fueled by the hits of "cool bands," like The Rolling Stones.

Material for their albums is developed by stacking up lots of demo tracks, and then picking and choosing the best sounding tracks from the pile to be fleshed out further.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ prewarblues (two times - the blakes)
mp3 @ sxsw (don't bother me - the blakes)
mp3 @ lightintheattic (pistol grip - the blakes)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (two times - the blakes)
video @ youtube (don't bother me - the blakes)
video @ youtube (commit - the blakes)
video @ youtube (modern man - the blakes)
video @ youtube (linkwalk - the blakes)
video @ youtube (vampire - the blakes)
video @ youtube (magoo - the blakes)
video @ youtube (lie next to me - the blakes)
video @ youtube (pistol grip - the blakes)
video @ youtube (picture - the blakes)
video @ youtube (streets - the blakes)
review @ spin
review @ threeimaginarygirls
review @ ocweekly
review @ thewigfitsallheads
interview @
discography @ amazon
label @ lightintheattic

Bat for Lashes

The 2006 album Fur and Gold by Brighton-based Bat for Lashes made the shortlist for the 2007 Mercury Prize, causing a 185% spike in album sales.

In Trophy, singer/songwriter Natasha Khan's Björk-textured vocals sing:
creatures of mercy
shoot shoot shoot
shoot them down
set me free
On Horse and I Khan's nursery-rhyme harpsichord-synth graces an album that allowed her to quit her nursery-school job. While her Bruce Springstein cover I'm on Fire features real harpsichord and finger-picked viola.

The enchanting fairytale verse/chorus of Bats Mouth is fleshed out with piano and strings, then upstaged by a long magnificent bridge buildup that firmly establishes the title. Lyrics are dense with imagery of dark forests and constellations.

For certain songs, Khan told Wikinews that she may "gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I'm writing about..."

profile @ myspace
video @ youtube (horse and i - bat for lashes)
video @ youtube (interview on
video @ youtube (interview on the culture show)
video @ youtube (moon on moon - bat for lashes)
video @ youtube (the stick)
video @ youtube (trophy - bat for lashes)
video @ youtube (what's a girl to do? - bat for lashes)
review @ metacritic
interview @ wikinews
interview @ imposemagazine
home page @ batforlashes
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Apples in Stereo

In 2002, Denver-based indie-pop band The Apples in Stereo released Velocity of Sound. After a five year distraction of side projects, the group released New Magnetic Wonder in February.

The hook-saturated pastiche Can You Feel It? proves that Apples has not abandoned its sonic power-pop roots - acknowledging Daft Punk with electronic effects in the song's intro, while a Beatles-tensed lead vocal belts out "oh—", followed by a Jeff Lynne-influenced vocal harmony repeating "can can you feel it?"

Energy reprises Liam Gallagher vocals, while 7 Stars combines jangly My Bloody Valentine guitar rhythms with a fusion of Daft Punk/ELO vocals. Filter Magazine said the track was "water-tight in Beach Boys/Beatles stylization and form."

But Apples lays down brighter tracks than most of the bands it has been compared to, while matching the positive energy of Jeff Lynn compositions.

Robert Schneider told The A.V. Club that he liked the Ramones for how "pure and unaffected [their music] was. The main thing you were hearing was this real, human vitality, not just sound effects and pretty instrumental parts and clever counterpoints. The recording would resonate with you. It really hit me that this was more important than anything else..."

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ box (7 stars - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ indieblogheaven (can you feel it - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ fileden (energy - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ (open eyes - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ (play tough - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ (radiation - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ girljukebox (same old drag - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ (skyway - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ (sun is out - apples in stereo)
mp3 @ indieblogheaven (sunday sounds - apples in stereo)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (can you feel it? - the apples in stereo)
video @ youtube (energy - the apples in stereo)
video @ youtube (new magnetic wonder 1 - the apples in stereo)
video @ youtube (new magnetic wonder 2 - the apples in stereo)
video @ youtube (new magnetic wonder 3 - the apples in stereo)
video @ youtube (new magnetic wonder 4 - the apples in stereo)
review @ metacritic
interview @ avclub
home page @ applesinstereo
label @ elephant6
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Down the Tiny Steps

Jonnie, songwriter for Down the Tiny Steps, recently put out a demo track titled Catapult, and there is a video of the performance at The Boat Tavern located in Cellardyke. He informed me, "It's one of my older tracks to be honest, but that is a new recording/version of it. Closer to the way we play it live." The new version has been tagged "demo", representing a step toward the next recording of Catapult, which will be "a bit more snappy."

I asked Jonnie for the meaning of the album title Death by Telegraph Stop. He informed me that the title "means a few things but its certainly open to interpretation." In a newsletter sent to record company subscribers last month, he described how the title was inspired - in a sense - by "coming across an old, rusty telegraph pole in the middle of the woods."

Since Glasgow - the dear green place - was established a long time ago, it is safe to assume that the city has had a band scene since the 6th century. There, you will find the folk-rock experiment Down the Tiny Steps, postulated by their latest album Death by Telegraph Stop. This may be the first band to ever use a digital staccato scottish brogue rhythm in Summer is for Going Places. How they finessed this gum bumping experimentation is an example of the group's inventive intelligence.
summer's for going places
winter's for watching film
in this state of constant travel
there's no time for standing still

Perhaps Summer  was inspired by the constant motion of a touring band - country hopping from stage to brightly-lit stage. To revel in the warmth of can lights and applause.

player @ myspace
video @ youtube (summer is for going places)
video @ youtube (dial tone)
profile @ myspace
home page @ downthetinysteps
label @ fence records

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

British Sea Power

Brighton-based indie-rock band British Sea Power released their 5-track Krankenhaus? in downloadable form last month, with the hardcopy arriving in less than a week. Their next full-album Do You Like Rock Music? is scheduled for release in early 2008. Atom and Down on the Ground will then appear on the 2008 full album as well.

Lead-singer-songwriter Yan explained the meaning of Atom in a press release: It's kind of about how over analysis leads to more questions than answers, whether with relationships or quantum theory. He shared with The Tripwire a list of bands he used to listen to: The Pixies, Julian Cope, The Smiths, New Order, Joy Division...

Apologies To Insect Life from their first full-album The Decline of British Sea Power echoes the familiar spastic scraping electric guitar heard in songs by the Pixies.

Sea Power is more often compared to 70s-era Joy Division, while the former has a sound dominated by electric guitars, rather than by keyboard.

Yan's brother Hamilton contributes about one-third of the songs. He described to The Tripwire how the band had better equipment in the studio to lay out tracks with. There were lots of nice machines. Proper ones... Sea Power also had engineering help to polish their sound.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Au Revoir Simone

The "triple keyboard action" of Brooklyn-based lo-fi Au Revoir Simone's 11-track The Bird of Music is the follow-up to their 8-track 2006 debut that was released on the London-based indie label Moshi Moshi Records.

Simone is currently touring Europe with French electronic duo Air - slated to play at venues in London, Paris(Zenith), Milan, Madrid and Lisbon.

Dreamy synth layers in the lead track of Simone's 2006 mini-album Verses of Comfort, Assurance & Salvation could be heard in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. In which dulcet tones of keyboards and vocal harmonies define their sound, which has been tagged "simple, elegant, and ethereal" by Pitchfork's Brian Howe.

What Kimya Dawson is to the anti-folk movement, perhaps Simone - with their Casio-casual aesthetic - is to a potential "anti-synthpop" movement - a lyrically and sonically unpretentious genre. As in Sad Song, the second track off their latest album.
play me a sad song 'cause that's what I want to hear
I want you to make me cry
I want to remember the places that we left
lost to the mists of time

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ fileden (sad song - au revoir simone)
mp3 @ sxsw (fallen snow - au revoir simone)
mp3 @ aurevoirsimone (through the backyards - au revoir simone)
mp3 @ notontheguestlist (stay golden - au revoir simone)
feed @ hypem
video @ youtube (fallen snow - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (haunted house - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (night majestic - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (sad song - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (stay golden - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (through the backyards - au revoir simone)
video @ youtube (with david lynch)
review @ pitchforkmedia
review @ pitchforkmedia (verses of comfort, assurance & salvation)
review @ stylusmagazine
review @ lunapark6
interview @ youtube (interview by boomtown)
interview @ imposemagazine
interview @ vice
interview @ gothamist
interview @ lunapark6
home page @ aurevoirsimone
label @ moshimoshimusic
encyclopedia @ wikipedia

Monday, November 12, 2007

Clorox Girls

Justin Maurer, songwriter and guitarist for the band with a gender switched brand-name - Clorox Girls - likes the support punk bands receive overseas. Where they "played 47 shows in 45 days in Europe," according to Punk TV.

Colin Grigson(former bass player) posted tour diary entries in Willamette Week for some of their shows in August 2006, including shows in Mexico and Brazil. Regarding the São Paulo show, he expressed, "I like feeling far from home. I think that's why I like touring so much."

Two standout tracks from their latest pop-punk release J'Aime Les Filles are Flowers of Evil and Straight to My Heart. The Portland-based band's hooky third full-album was named after the title of a song composed by 60s-era French singer-actor Jacques Dutronc. While fans riff through the non-HC tracks, they might catch nuances of The Beatles, The Ramones, and surf punk.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ byorecords (flowers of evil - clorox girls)
video @ youtube (don't take your life | this dimension - clorox girls)
video @ youtube (mexico tour trailer)
discography @ amazon
feed @ hypem
podcast @ portlandmercury
interview @ punktv
review @ aversion
review @ popmatters
review @ sxsw
review @ threeimaginarygirls
home page @ cloroxgirls
label @ byorecords

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Singer-songwriter Natasha Thirsk started the Vancouver-based indie-rock band Catlow. She is a self-taught musician raised by musical parents, and former lead-singer of The Dirtmitts. Her father played saxophone and her mother played piano.

Kiss the World was recorded at Studio 9. Included in the musical collective for the album were the following:
Ian Browne (Matthew Good Band)
Wil Golden (Michelle Branch)
Ed Maxwell
Al Sgro (Gary Jules)
She enjoyed working with the lineup, but would "like to have a set, solid group of people to work with," Thirsk informed BeatRoute Magazine. But Kiss does not solely represent indie-rock. "I write so many different styles of music. I started off writing dance music, then I got into indie rock, and then I write sad songs," . Her strong tracks - representing indie-rock - are Number One and The Weekend. On acoustic guitar, there are Sun in My Eyes and Ocean Space Sand, while Iamloved hatched from "the whole shuffle-pop thing, which I totally picked up from nightclubbing."

She collaborated with friend Jennifer Deon to form The Dirtmitts who released their first self-titled album on Sonic Unyon Records in 2001, which had two tracks featured on the television series Just Deal and in the incidental music for the film American Psycho 2. The title track of The Dirtmitts' second album Get On appears on the second season soundtrack for the cable television series The L Word.

Among artists Thirsk likes are Elliott Smith, Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and New Order.

profile @ myspace

stream @ (number one - catlow)
stream @ imeem (kiss the world - catlow)

feed @ hypem

discography @ amazon

interview @ beatroute

label @ boompa

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The senior-thesis-borne Clarksboro-based Danielson is an assembly of family and friends in symbolic uniforms. Previous eponymous incarnations of Daniel Smith were Danielson Famile and Br Danielson.

Smith's brand of dissonant falsetto was influenced by Black Francis of the Pixies. He was listening to the Beatles at the age of five. He also listened to early Dylan albums as a kid. Other influences were the Minutemen and Sonic Youth. When something works or connects with your ear its hard to say why, related Smith in an M station interview.

Danielson's latest celebratory message arrives in Ships, which has proven to be most accessible—an album to resolve all things past, according to the band's bio. This new LP has the potential to broaden a loyal fan base. Through a half-dozen albums—and a decade of touring—Smith has clarified his experimental avante-garde music, further defining the concept of art rock.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bound Stems

Bound Stems sprouted out of the multifarious math-rock roots of Chicago - the genre's historical hub in the Rust Belt.

The meaning of the band name is linguistic, not botanical. For example, -ceive is a bound stem that requires the suffix re- or con- in order to function as a real word.

Appreciation Night is their full-length debut engineered at Studio Ballistico. According to Flameshovel Records, "the songs' edges are embroidered with the found sounds of airport patter and clattering turnstiles, parties, private conversations, snow crunch and drifting histories." The album is a musical social mosaic of the city it was inspired by.

Texas-transplant multi-instrumentalist and solo-songwriter, Janie Porche is the new addition to their lineup - who adds the vocal feminine touch for a boy-girl dynamic.

In Crimes and Follies, Bobby Gallivan's lyrically cathartic vocal tracks are laid out side-by-side in split-channel stereo, causing an interesting sonic effect through headphones.
you tried to explain, you shot it back, you talk a pretty good game
and at the end of the night, we're crawling up the stairs together with a secret inside
Excellent News, Colonel is about a girl from New York who falls in love with a guy from Chicago. When the conversation switches from her to him, the time signature changes, as if to represent his personality. Taped conversation and airport sounds help tell the story of long distance romance.

profile @ myspace
mp3 @ flameshovel (andover - bound stems)
mp3 @ flameshovel (western biographic - bound stems)
mp3 @ flameshovel (wake up ma and pa are gone - bound stems)
mp3 @ flameshovel (my kingdom for a trundle bed - bound stems)
mp3 @ boundstems (totipotent - bound stems)
mp3 @ media.spin (crimes and follies - bound stems)
mp3 @ press.boundstems (refuse the refuse - bound stems)
mp3 @ dailyrefill (risking life and limb for the coupon - bound stems)
mp3 @ recidivism (excellent news colonel - bound stems)
video @ youtube (wake up ma and pa are gone - bound stems)
feed @ hypem
discography @ amazon
review @ pitchforkmedia
review @ prefixmag
review @ musicbox-online
interview @ daytrotter
label @ flameshovel
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