Saturday, November 28, 2009

Death @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009

The question on everyone’s mind before the set was if the members of Death (who had just reunited this year) would be able to recreate the songs on their debut album ...For the Whole World to See, despite not having played them in 35 years. While it didn’t start of good with a 20 minute soundcheck, but from the opening notes that echoed into the crowd, any fears were instantly shattered into a million pieces. Entering in Sunn O))) style robes, the trio launched directly into “Keep on Knocking” and it was clear they hadn’t lost a beat. Bobby Hackney’s bass was as tight as ever and he preformed and sang with the energy of a 30 year old. The same goes for Dannis Hackney’s drumming, which was particularly incredible the whole set through, but blew a few minds for his solo on “Let the World Turn”. Bobbie Duncan, despite being the “newbie” and the guitarist for their reggae band Lambsbread, was able to bring to life every note from the album with passion, personality, and only one pedal to boot. The band was extremely tight, ripped, and every other adjective used to describe really great punk shows, even managing to have great light show as well. It was a fitting to tribute to the bands original guitarist and Bobby and Dannis’ brother David Hackney, who the band dedicated the entire set to. Nothing was more fitting for a band that took 35 years to be recognized to be playing their only festival show here.Punk dreams do come true and Fun Fun Fun Fest helps every step of the way.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cassette Review: Robert Church and the Holy Community-Los Tres De Canarias

The cover art for this new 8-song cassette is an out of focus picture of what looks like an eight-year-old’s drawing of two bunnies holding hands, while two animal looking creatures dance in the back round. And in some sense that is the best description of how Los Tres De Canarias sounds. Sweet, innocent sounding pop songs with simple lyrics that still manage to capture an essence of youth most bands work their whole career for. For those who don’t know, Robert Church and the Holy Community are a Swedish pop band who since 2006 have been churning one stellar pop release after another, with this tape being no exception. Coming from the increasingly great people at Fox Pop, this collection of lo-fi pop songs is the thing cotton candy dreams are made of. Few bands can manage to use both a drum machine and vintage 80s sounding synth like on the stand out “1/10" and make it so catchy. The tracks are also more guitar based then previous which is a good thing, especially on songs like “Come with Me” the most rocking track with its sad little lyrics and incredibly hooky guitar. Their earlier style shines through on tracks like “Skinny Rabbit” and “The US of A” cute little songs with slightly dark centers, the formula of any good pop songs. Closing instrumental title track is a wonderful touch, with bleak horns and a drifting piano line. While not a masterpiece, it will be one of those releases that someone will find in 10 years and release how great pop music is right now. In the mean time, go get this great little pop album.

(mp3) Robert Church and the Holy Community-1/10


Robert Church and the Holy Community Website
Buy the cassette from Fox Pop Recording Co. Here

News: Julian Koster (the Music Tapes) to Do Another Caroling Tour

This year is ending on a some very sour notes, so who better to brighten the holiday times than the champion of singing saws, Julian Koster. After a great tour earlier this year and releasing the “Song for the Planet Pluto” video, Julian is giving us one last treat this year. Through out December, Julian Koster, along with his fellow carolers, will travel from city to city, preforming holiday and Music Tapes songs right at your houses. He will also be setting up group showings in the towns for anyone who can’t host the carolers themselves. All you need to do to have him come over to your house or see him at a group show will be to email him at

Go to for more information about the event. A letter as well can be sent to the "Caroling Ambassador" at 450 N. Harris St. Athens, GA 30601. Be sure to include a phone number or email address to receive the information about the about the event, whether you can host the carolers and let them sleep in your house, and be sure to send it ASAP so they can get it in time. The dates are not final, but likely the only places they visit. However, it is believed if enough people from a certain city/state ask and can host for the carolers, they might be able to come. Any changes in dates will of course be reported on.

(Proposed) Caroling Dates:

December 7th,8th,9th-Georgia, Tennessee, Indiana, Lower Half of Illinois
December 10th,11th,12th-Chicago, Illinois, Michigan
December 13th,14th,15th-Ohio, Pittsburgh, Western New York,
December 16th,17th,18th-Upstate New York, New England (Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, etc...)
December 19th,20th,21th-Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore, D.C., Chapel Hill

And to get in the mood for Holiday cheer...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Singles Review: Best Coast- Self Titled Debut and Make You Mine Singles

After months of my postings/love letters about Best Coast’s music, I finally have not one, but two singles worth of their music for my own. And all I had to do was shell out 18 dollars and wait a total of four weeks to get both. Money and time well spent? Completely, absolutely, 100 percent yes.

The self titled single on Art Fag Records was the one everyone was most excited about. Who wouldn’t be with “Sun Was High (So Was I)” on it? This could easily be the song of the year. Piece by piece, from Bethany’s lyrics, to the beautifully perfect distorted vocals, thundering drums, and soaring guitar line, all adding up to what could be the perfect pop song. And that’s just side A! The B side contains “So Gone” an almost equally good track on heartbreak, with 60s style “mmms” (distorted of course) to die for. Then there is her Lesley Gore cover of “That’s the Way Boys Are” which not only fits Best Coast’s music perfectly, but Bethany is also able to make it completely her own.

The Group Tightener single picks up right where the last one left off, with a ever so slightly darker tone. It opens with another cover, this time of The Beach Boys’ “In My Room”. It is pulled off so perfectly, and given such a new dimension from Cosentino, that I can’t tell if it is as good or better than “Sun Was High (So Was I)”. It proceeds into “Over the Ocean” a haunting little ditty about being alone, something that Cosention seems to write more about these days. Both the title track and “Feeling of Love” deal with longing or lose. While these songs may not sound like the most original, the tangled knot that is the 60's style influenced lyrics, instrumentation, and Bobb Bruno’s production, all merge into perfect lo-fi, summertime, pop songs.

In the raising sea of lo-fi/no-fi comeback artists, it is hard to stand out, and harder still to not suck and be original. But Best Coast easily accomplishes both of these, with catchieness to spare. I will wait for her next single, but till then I will listen to “Sun Was High (So Was I)” for the 500th time, because it is that good.

(mp3) Best Coast-Sun Was High (So Was I) (via Pop Headwound)
(mp3) Best Coast-Make You Mine (via Raven Sings the Blues)


Best Coast Myspace
Buy the Make You Mine single here, at Group Tightener
(Note: The self title single from Art Fag Records sold out fast. However a few might be on sale at other distros. If it can’t be found online, your best bet is to go to a Best Coast show, and see if they have any left.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Age @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009

At this point, it would be slightly pointless, to try to say something new about a No Age show. So I'll just say what more than likely everyone has said since No Age started preforming: Holy crap, those guys were good! But that's to be expected. In the 4 years that No Age have been doing this, the band have perfected the art of duo, putting up a show comparable to the White Stripes. Seeing the band perform "You're a Target" was one of the best moments of fest, period. Dean Allen Spunt drumming was so ferocious that eventually his limbs blurred into almost unseeable masses of light. They of course played all the must haves of any No Age show. "Teen Creeps", "Losing Feelings"  and "Eraser all preformed to huge fan fare, so much so that a circle pit opened up within 10 minutes of the set and did not let up until the show was over. And who doesn't love a good circle pit, especially at an indie rock show where almost everyone is woefully unprepared for it.   


Loving No Age Fans

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Album Review: Nosferatu D2-We're Going to Walk Around this City With Our Headphones on to Block Out the Noise

After the thousand or so listen I’ve given this record over the past few weeks, I’ve come to the only logical conclusion that his album will go down as one of the greatest musical tragedies of the decade. Nosferatu D2 were (are) brothers Ben and Adam Parker on vocals/guitar and drums, respectively. Forming in 2005 and stopping 2007, during which they played a scant 18 shows and recorded four demos. Now two years too late, Audio Anti-Hero (a label created just to release Nosferatu D2's material) has released the ten-track debut album from the band, taken from the band’s demos which have been mastered by Adam. My only request for this album is that it gets every ounce of press and critical acclaim that it deserves for the genius these two brothers managed to put into it is in surreal.

To understand what I’m getting at, please picture No Age for a second. Now have the drummer grow an extra four arms and two more legs. And then the have the band fronted by a fusion of Stephen Malkmus and Gareth Campesino. This the general idea of what Nosferatu D2 is. Rarely in a two piece does anything ever let up. But in D2 Ben actually is light on over using his guitar, giving the music a slightly striped down feel, but at the same time giving his jangly, post-punk style riffs more power. Adam’s drumming is also pulled off masterfully. There are times were you forget it is only one guy playing instead of three. Controlled yet completely wild and chaotic, it never becomes over shadowing or pompous. Even when the guitar stops for a few seconds and it is only Ben’s singing and Adam’s drumming, neither one outshines the other.

Still what hold these songs together, their glue, is Ben’s song writing. There are few times when someone can spew pain, hate and possibly tears and not only not come off as a total prick, but manages to be smart and-dare I say-poetic. This is one of those times. “A Footnote” sets fire to the belief that any of the music you like actually matters. “Springsteen” takes it one step further, a disgusted look at everything Ben grew up with, all vile, corporate, and mutated into something resembling his worst ex. “Broken Tamagotchi” is an evil hate message rapped in loneliness . When he yells “Found myself in a lonely place/ Cried Myself Awake”, he might as well be talking to a wall. The songs work, however, because of their wit. He realizes he’s just as much to blame as the people he is so upset at. That the imaginary profanities he slings are just as much for him as for his enemies. In “Colonel Parker” he demands the world in pure sarcastic wonder that the world worship him, but that the only person stopping him is himself. “Mojo Top 100 is a mockery at bad music journalism and poor music taste (and an apparent deep rooted hatred of Phil Collins), even though realizing the joy it has triggered in people. It all collides on the album’s final track “It’s Christmas Time (for god’s sake)” when he sees his world fall apart at the happiest of times. If it doesn’t make your emotionless hipster heart beat a little, I don’t know what will.

It is so tempting to use the word masterpiece here, as forced as it may seem. However, I know an album of the year contender when I hear it, and this is definitely it. This is pure, 100% heart on the sleeve indie rock, with not an ounce of fat or bullshit, and there is no reason why this album should not be in your hands by the end of this sentence. The quest to get these guys back together starts here.

(mp3) Nosferatu D2-Springsteen
(mp3) Nosferatu D2-It’s Christmas Time (for god’s sake)


Nosferatu D2 myspace
Buy the album here, at Audio Anti-Hero

Superman Revenge Squad (Ben Parker’s new band)

Shoenen Knife @ Fun Fun Fun Fest 2009

Adorable. Sweet. Very, very cute. When these words are being used to describe a punk band, chances are they are doing something horribly wrong. But for Shonen Knife it just works. For the almost 30 years that Shonen Knife have been making their bubble gum and Ramones influenced punk pop, despite few variations in the sound over the years, have managed to keep it fresh and fun instead of maturing, becoming adults, and being boring like their peers. This same 10-year -old joy translated directly to their live show. What other band can come on stage with matching bright color uniforms and start singing about giant kitties and not be laughed off stage? Singer/guitarist Naoko Yamano fusion of Japanese and broken English just mends so perfectly to the band’s songs. And that’s the thing about Shonen Knifes; they sound so timeless. The band played music from their 1982 album Let’s Knife right next t songs from their brand new album Super Group and you could not tell they were 27 years old. In fact, I would argue that their brand new material is just as catchy as their older stuff. So thank you Shonen Knife for injecting that mixture of sugar sweetness and punk you call your music into my 3:30 Fun Fun Fun Fest time slot.

The Crowd