Thursday, September 30, 2010

At the Intersection of Jangle and Garage Punk

Myelin Sheaths is not front women Cassandra Ward. However, Cassandra Ward is the front women of Myelin Sheaths, the phenomenal garage four piece straight from Canada. I know (honestly I do), how constantly blogs these are gushing about the latest garage flash-in-the-pan, who release a very awesome single only to be ignored next releases time. Well Myelin Sheaths are the real deal. These are tunes from their brand Get On Your Nerves LP of of South Paw Records (who have brought us other lovely release from Young Governor, and The White Wires), are pure Jay Reatard worship and it's wonderful. "Gloves/Mutations" in particular is a great ode to "Blood Visions", and the way the band manages to pull of instrumental intro into the chantey main song is proof of their garage-punk hybrid perfection.

(mp3) Myelin Sheaths-Gloves/Mutations

"Everything is Contagious" slows things down a bit. It kind of has that Jacuzzi Boys jangle to the riff (no wonder both bands released a 7" on HoZac), but there's definitely more snark to it as well. It has a first-wave punk feel to it, but done in a modern way of course with the back up chants. Oh, and it completely stands up to "Gloves/Mutations" as well.

(mp3) Myelin Sheaths-Everything is Contagious


Myelin Sheaths on Myspace
Pre-order Get On My Nerves here, from Southpaw Records

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harpoon Forever: Summer Vacation

For some reason, indie artists tend to love the summer time. Case in point, all the summer time albums that have come out in the time span of last month. And while summer may be officially over, a few bands are squeezing the last sunshine tunes, like Harpoon Forever. Much like Surfer Blood, the band invokes something aquatic with the band name and through cover art. Unlike Surfer Blood though, the band is less Pavement and Weezer, and a lot more Guided By Voices. How much like Guided By Voices? They sound like Von Hayes being fronted by BYODeath, who if your not familiar with either, are both bands I love and and total worshipers of the Guided By Voices thrown. Though Harpoon Forever manges to change the formula around quite a bit, with cleaner production by a landslide, and a all around more indie pop sound to the tunes. Not to mention the 4 minute solo Incorporated into "Paddle to Sea", that somehow manages to work wonders and not be annoying noodle rock. But it all manges to come back to that GbV core, and that's what's so attractive of them.

(mp3) Harpoon Forever-Summer Vacation
(mp3) Harpoon Forever-Paddle To Sea


Harpoon Forever's Tumbler

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Dead Gaze Tunes: Take Me Home Or I Die Alone

How much needs to be said about this news? Dead Gaze releasing brand new songs brings the same amount of joy and buzz to my ears that it did last time, i.e. lots and lots of it. Here we have the two songs from his upcoming 7" on Fire Talk Records, both pure examples of Cole Furlow's wonderfully warped take on indie rock. Shimmering guitar riffs placed over echoed to death vocals and a ton of other blips and beeps, and of course the ever present topics of longing and loss thrown in for good measure as well. Put "Take Me Home Or I Die Alone" and "B.emanuel Can't Come Close Enough" on the ever growing list of this year's must hear lo-fi-ish gems, something like Eternal Summer's glissening songs, but if they decided to listen to more Pavement then chillwave, and turn up their amps.

(mp3) Dead Gaze-Take Me Home Or I Die Alone
(mp3) Dead Gaze-B. Emanuel Can't Come Close Enough


Dead Gaze On Myspace

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Parenthetical Girls Are Bleeding For You

Parenthetical Girls are releasing their second 12" EP of their 5 part Privilege album this coming Tuesday, titled Pt. II The Past, Imperfect. "Young Throats" was released along with that news of the coming 12", and it's lays in complete contrast with what was heard on Pt. I. A pure and utter synth induced song, complete with drum machine and airy keyboard notes, it's kind of reminiscent of a darker Of Montreal song, but without any funk influence and even more painful lyrics, as is the pedigree of Zac Pennington. It might make you get on the dance floor, but it might make you cry there as well.

(mp3) Parenthetical Girls-Young Throats

Update: Parenthetical Girls have released a very bizarre, artsy video to accompany the song. View it in all its nonunderstandable and unwavering in difference glory.


As long as we are talking about the Parenthetical Girls, I would like to back track a bit and talk about Pt. I of Privilege for a second. In pure honesty, I had never really given the Parenthetical Girls the time of day, with the orchestra pop "A Song for Ellie Greenwich" really throwing me threw a loop. However, a few months ago when I decided for whatever absent minded reason to download "Evelyn McHale" and fell over in utter disbelief. A sweetly sad song to one of the most perfectly picked subject for a band, "Evelyn McHale" is a song that just manged to hit with it's acoustic strum and lyrical prowess that I just listened to it over and over again. I finally got Pt. I in the mail after putting it of for so long, and I can honestly say that it might be one of my favorite EPs, if not records, of this year, especially how the whole 12" manges to convey the same sense given that was felt on "Evelyn McHale". It's looking like each new part will lead to the band diving into new musical territory, as evidenced by "Young Throats", but I can say I am still wonderfully excited for what is to come next by Parenthetical Girls.

(mp3) Parenthetical Girls-Evelyn McHale


Parenethical Girls' Website
Slender Means Society Label, run by Parenthical Girls

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Coolist Kid Around: An Interview with Cloud Nothings

The constant coverage of Cloud Nothings music might seem excessive to some, but the truth is that the music produced is just so good, it be a crime not to cover it. So after fanning over the band for the better part of a year, I thought it was time to find some answers about the band. Luckily, band master mind Dylan Baldi was willing to take time out of his busy recording and touring schedule to don an email interview, where described touring with Fucked Up and Wavves, hardcore dads liking his music, and the details of his upcoming debut album.

The Creative Intersection:You first started playing music in Cat Killers and Neon Tongues. Was this out of teenage boredom or a supportive Cleveland scene? Was there a Cleveland scene so to speak?

Dylan Baldi: It wasn't for either reason, really. It was because I liked playing music with my friends (like the neon tongues stuff), and when I couldn't play music with my friends I made music on my own (like the cat killer stuff). There's definitely a Cleveland scene, but they're an insular bunch. I don't think the majority of the bands here are too accepting of my stuff.

TCI: You concentrated mostly on Cat Killers which had a bit of an ambient bent to it, before Cloud Nothings, which is more indie rock. What led to the shift?

DB: I just happened to make two songs one day that didn't quite fit with the Cat Killer stuff, so I just made a new myspace page and called it Cloud Nothings. There were actually a couple Cloud Nothings songs up there before I put "hey cool kid" on and started getting internet attention, but those will be secret from everyone forever and ever because they sound wayyyy different than everything else. It was, like, freak folk. I don't know what I was doing.

TCI: Both bands have quite a few cassettes releases to them. Are you a fan of cassettes and the growing cassette scene?

BD: Yeah, totally. I think cassettes and cassette labels and all that are great. Though I tend to think of a cassette as a band's demo more so than an actual record, a way to see if there's potential in an artist.

TCI: Did it surprise you when all the blog coverage started pouring in when Turing On came out?

DB: Yep.

TCI: Was it strange going from a recording artist to a live one? You didn’t have a band together when you started you started and the live set up has changed significantly since starting , right?

DB: I love playing live, so it wasn't too big of a change. Just had to teach the songs to my friends. There's only been one real lineup change...our first two shows had a different guitarist and drummer, but they both had to go to college so I found some other people who are, y'know, "college dropouts" or whatever.

TCI: You tend to create various small releases like 7” and EPs over large scale ones. Why is that, to suit the punchyness of the music better?

DB: I just get offers to do 7"s all the time so that's what I've been doing so far. I'm going to slow down on releasing those, though, and maybe make a blog sort of thing for those kinds of songs. I'm gonna put more effort into full lengths from now on and make sure they're all unified, quality statements as opposed to a bunch of punchy pop songs thrown together haphazardly.

TCI: You just finished playing some dates with Fucked Up. What was that like and were you surprised when they asked you? What was it like opening for a hardcore crowed?

DB: Touring with Fucked Up was great. They're all the nicest people, and it's an honor to know they like my music. Playing for a hardcore crowd just meant we got a little less applause than wasn't too weird. A lot of dads were in the audience, honestly. It was a mix of hardcore kids and dads, and all the dads bought our record.

TCI: Was it different from opening with Wavves, your other high-profile tour mates?

DB: Actually, it wasn't that different. About the same amount of crowd response at both, pretty much the same amount of merch sold. They were both pretty chill tours. Definitely had a good time on both.

TCI: It was announced recently that you plan to release your debut in 2011. Why so far from now, because it’s obvious that you could release a double album right now if you wanted. Are you taking your time with it and why?

DB: Well it's being released on Carpark, which is a "real" label, so it has to go through the promotion and whatnot that "real" label records go through. Takes a little more time than recording a bunch of songs straight to my computer and sending them to a dude who dubs them straight to cassette and calls it a day. It's all good, though. I'm really excited about the full's definitely a lot different than what people will expect, I think.

TCI: Various releases of yours are coming out in compilation form on Carpark Records late this year. How did that come about and is it weird having a compilation out this early in the band’s life?

DB: Carpark got in touch with me and I ended up signing with them not too long after Todd, the label head, saw us play live. We went back and forth on whether to release a full length or a compilation first, but in the end decided with the compilation. There are still plenty of people who haven't heard Turning On. The majority of people don't scour blogs for new music every day, just weird people like us. So it's being released to reach out to and familiarize that majority with Cloud Nothings before dropping a full length. I think it's a good move.

TCI: When people first heard Cloud Nothings though Turning On, it gave the impression of a lo-fi indie rock band. Through further releases though, a pop punk edge has emerged in some of your stuff, and some maturity has begun to emerge as well, especially in your new Bridgetown release. Was Turning On just your first step and this is how you’ve always wanted Cloud Nothings to sound, or do you view the band as one that can and is always changing its sound?

DB: Every release is going to sound different. The new record is all slow jams - seriously! It's almost like an ambient rock's super chill. The pop punk influence is more or less gone entirely. I just want to consistently put out good material, regardless of how it sounds. I listen to so many different kinds of music that I've realized there's no way I'm ever going to be able to focus on one sound for too long and be happy. I just want to keep branching out, and whether I do it as Cloud Nothings or even some other band name I'll definitely keep changing styles and sounds.

If I stick to one sound I have this feeling that I'm going to end up making a record that is just totally "okay," and not noteworthy in anyway, be it good or bad, and I'm not okay with that.

TCI: Final question: Why does your voice sound different on every recording?

DB: I use different effects on it every time, and I sing differently all the time too. Just to cure boredom, pretty much. On the new record I do some Jeff Buckley-ish just goes back to me wanting to explore as many sounds as I can.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

So Cow Announces United States Tour Dates...Again

(picture and video provided by the white lodge and The Great Pumpkin respectively)

So Cow, oh So Cow. For so long I ignored you, thought you were a hyped garage band sounding like, but no where as good as, Nobunny. Then when I finally decided to give you the time of day and listen to your debut, oh how was my mind made happy with your fuzzed out and catchy garage tunes. And how I discovered your kick ass covers of other bands, and all the times you had played in the States, and I had missed you. Now you are back in the States and Canada too, touring with Ted Leo and The Thermals, barley missing Texas, but I'm OK with that because other people deserve to see you too. And I'm sure their nights will be made happy from your famously great performances. So go So Cow and entertain the masses. GO!

For examples of the wonder of So Cow, please check out the following media:

(mp3) So Cow-Casablanca
(mp3) So Cow-Random Girls

And in the awesome covers department:

(mp3) So Cow-This Angry Silence (Television Personalities)
(mp3) So Cow-Mess Me Up (Nobunny)

So Cow Tour Dates:

18th Chicago I.L- Crown Liquors
19th Dubuque I.A- The Lift
20th Kalamazoo M.I- The Strutt
21st Columbus O.H- Cafe Bourbon St
22nd Nashville T.N- The End
23rd Memphis T.N- Goner Fest
24th Newport K.Y- Southgate House (w/ Ted Leo)
26th Columbia M.O- Blue Note (w/ Ted Leo)
28th Lawrence K.S- Jack Pot Saloon (w/ Ted Leo)
29th Denver C.O- Marquis Theatre (w/ Ted Leo)

1st Tempe A.Z- Yucca Tap Room
2nd San Diego C.A- Soda Bar
3rd L.A C.A- The Smell
4th San Francisco C.A- Hemlock Tavern (early show)
6th Reno N.V- St James Infirmary
7th Portland O.R- Mississippi Studios
8th Seattle W.A- Funhouse (w/ Mark Sultan)
9th Brooklyn NYC- Knitting Factory (w/ WOMEN and DD/MM/YYY)
10th and 11th TBA
13th New York NYC- Irving Plaza (w/ The Thermals, Cymbals Eat Guitars)
14th Boston M.A- Paradise Rock Club (w/ The Thermals, Cymbals Eat Guitars)
15th Washington D.C- Black Cat (w/ The Thermals, Cymbals Eat Guitars)
17th Jamaica Plains M.A- Homegrown 2 Festival (w/ Lightning Bolt, Ty Segal)
18th Ottawa O.N- TBA
19th Quebec City Q.C-Le Cercle (w/ Ty Segal, Teenager)
21st Moncton N.B- Paramount Lounge
22nd Halifax N.S- Halifax Pop Explosion
24th Montreal Q.C- Le Divian Orange
25th Toronto O.N- Parts and Labour
26th Cleveland O.H- Now That's Class (w/ The Intelligence)
27th Detroit M.I- TBA
28th Lansing M.I- Macs' Illustrious Bar
29th Milwaukee W.I- Cactus Club
30th TBA
31st Chicago I.L- Crown Liquors

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Album Review: Super Wild Horses-Fifteen

Whatever is being put in the Australian water keep pouring it in because it is producing some of the best ‘60s primitive garage rock meets post-punk music around. Eddy Current Suppression Ring, UV Race, and now another winning gem with Super Wild Horses’ debut Fifteen. Produced wonderfully by Mikey Young of ECSR fame, Super Wild Horses thankfully on imitate ECSR for a few seconds on their first song before diving into their own groove.

The band is actually quite bare and sparse in comparison to some garage/punk bands these days, probably due to being a two-piece, but mange to balance it with harmonies and melodicism that somehow manages to work despite, or maybe due, to the original sound of the band. The contrast is actually built around the two sides of the LP. Side A is the punkier side of the band. The thump of “Lock and Key” that grabs you instantly, with a guitar line working as a bass line, and spazzy yet controlled drum work; it’s clear what pros these two girls are. While the other tracks are more lean in sound, it not only works as a good backbone to the songs, but a contrast when new elements are added. The twinkle that comes to “Fifteen” just by a small key riff or the fury and mood set to the sublime “Golden Town” due to distortion and cymbal crashes. It all works out to the pieces adding up to one great sum of the parts.

Of course, side B serves as a nice opposite to all this. Not only due to the tracks sounding more fleshed out, but in the much more apparent harmonies as well. There’s the sweet despair and desire that comes from “I Want You”’s drum work and connected voices, but also the dissonance projected from “Enigma (You Say Go)” from the same exact elements. It all sums up what the band is trying to do, make ever so subtle differences work with one another perfectly. When one hears “Degrassi” which sounds like a Shop Assistants song through a fuzzy punk rock filter, but not a rip off or shallow misstep of either part, it’s hard not to think this. Super Wild horses are the musical equivalent of a rubber band; tight and springy on some parts, looser and different on others, and they manage to weave through and connect those areas so easily that it’s scary. A near perfect punky record.

(mp3) Super Wild Horses-Golden Town
(mp3) Super Wild Horses-Degrassi


Super Wild Horses American Tour Dates:

September 16: Brooklyn, NY – Cameo Gallery
September 17: Phildelphia, PA – Cha-Cha Razzi
September 18: Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
September 19: Chicago, IL – Permanent Records
September 23: Memphis, TN – Gonerfest
September 27: New Orleans, LA – Saturn Bar
September 28: Austin, TX – Beerland
September 29: Austin, TX – Club 1808
October 1: San Francisco, CA – The Hemlock Tavern
October 2: Davis, CA – Maximum Freedom Festival

Friday, September 10, 2010

Guided By Guided By Voices Cassette

The details for the Guided By Voices tribute cassette, properly titled Guided By Guided By Voices, was announced by Wild Animal Kingdom. Various members of the Underwater Peoples/Wild Animal Kingdom/New Jersey scene have covered various Guided By Voices songs, right in time for their reunion tour, and the cassette is on sale now. In conjunction with the info, three brand new covers were released into the world today. Fluffy Lumbers' quiet and slow cover of " Club Molluska", Martin Courteny IV (front man of Real Estate) two-part cover of the under appreciated "Kicker of Elves" and "As We Go Up, We Go Down" and Pill Wonder's semi-trippy take on "My Valuable Hunting Knife". The track list is below and features other very incredible/awesome artists like Invisible Hand, Big Trouble, and Andrew Cedermark. The cassette itself is limited to only 100 copies, and I expect it to not only run out ASAP, but not to be reprinted any time soon either

(mp3) Fluffy Lumber-Club Molluska (via Microphone Memory Emotion)
(mp3) Martin Courteny IV-Kicker of Elves/As We Go Up,We Go Down (via Sterogum)
(mp3) Pill Wonder-My Valuble Hunting Knife (via Weekly Tape Deck)

And in case you may have forgotten:

(mp3) Alex Bleeker and Evan Brody-Motor Away (via Stereogum)

UPDATE: I am proud to announce that Harpoon Forever has sent me their just as staggering and more rocking cover of "Awful Bliss". Check out the new cover right here:

Track List:

01 GBGBVOLYWA – “Intro”
02 Invisible Hand – “Non-Absorbing”
03 Chromium Bitch – “Tractor Rape Chain”
04 No Demons Here – “Wondering Boy Poet/Game of Pricks”
05 Martin Courtney IV – “Kicker of Elves/As We Go Up We Go Down”
06 Andrew Cedermark – “A Good Flying Bird”
07 Air Waves – “Back To The Lake”
08 Big Troubles – “A Big Fan of the Pigpen”
09 Alex Bleeker & Evan Brody – “Motor Away”
10 Eternal Summers – “A Salty Salute”
11 Pill Wonder – “My Valuable Hunting Knife
12 Hallelujah The Hills – “Chicken Blows
13 FZ – “I Am A Scientist”
14 Harpoon Forever – “Awful Bliss”
15 Citymouth & Chromium Bitch – “They’re Not Witches”
16 Fluffy Lumbers – “Club Molluska”
17 Dana Jewell – “14 Cheerleader Coldfront”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

M. Pyres and The Ambient and Fuzzy Night Time

M Pyres comes from the fertile indie lands of Colorado, which has produced the likes of Weed Diamond and Woodsman. So it should be no surprise that M Pyres cranks out semi-similar sounding airy lo-fi songs, somewhere between Campfires punchy psych tunes and Julian Lynch style soft and sparseness, with chunks of ambiance thrown in as well. After releasing the quite spectacular Apart the Echo cassette last year, M Pyres is back with two new releases on Patient Sounds once again. There are not proper releases per say, more bits and pieces that were decided to be put together. The BLACK TAPE is just that in fact, various demos, differently mixed, and other tracks all in one package. It’s not cohesive to say the least, but it’s not suppose to be, and it manages to show off what M Pyres is trying to do more of, which is getting a little moodier and experimental without losing his roots and style in the process. The Cast Off/Cold Months cassette is very concert on the other hand, in the fact that this is M Pyres diving head first into his love of ambiance. Nothing but long sonic landscapes and extended keyboard notes. It has been dark, dreary, and rainy here in Texas, and Cast Off/Cold Months fits the mood to a tee. I have never given ambiance the time of day, but this might be what pushes me over into the genre. If you can’t manage to snag one of the 10 copies of either cassette (yes, only 10!), Patient Sounds has both album up for download for free. I expect many handmade/mixtape versions to pop up and be traded shortly.

(mp3) M Pyres-Gravity Deluxe ( A Grand Exit) (From BLACK TAPE)
(mp3) M Pyres-No Currents (from BLACK TAPE)
(mp3) M Pyres-Wit as Ism (Demo) (from BLACK TAPE)
(mp3) M Pyres-The deep sea Divide (From Cast Off/Cold Months)


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Heavy Hawaii-Teen Angel

From the heartland of L.A., and the other two members former members of Fantastic Magic, comes Heavy Hawaii and their sparse neo-psychedelia. "Teen Angel" is a wonderfully quirky, handclap infused pop gem, something akin to Blonde Redhead and Ariel Pink jamming together and sped up a little. This will be off their upcoming 6 song 12" on Art Fag Recordings which will be out this month on the 28th. If this starts to wet your hipster taste buds for Heavy Hawaii, they also have an upcoming cassette on Mirror Universe coming out soon, along with a 7" on Vivian Girl's imprint label Wild World. Get excited over "Teen Angel" before you wind up getting lost in the soon to be mountain of blissful tunes this band will be turning out.

(mp3) Heavy Hawaii-Teen Angel (via Weekly Tape Deck)


That's The Sound of Your Brain on Fire

Usually I only write about one band at a time, but these two share a very similar ascetic, yet come out with such different music, so what would be more apt then showcasing both in one post? The weirdness of San Francisco Water Cooler's name is only ignored only when one is exposed to the insanity of their music. this music is a wonderfully blistering loud mess that is so unfocused that it comes all the way back around and focuses if you listen to it again. Ty Segall new Melted style after he has eaten handfuls of LSD and mushrooms for days, no weeks on end. That is what SFWC sounds like with II. Describing tracks would be useless because of how separated every track is from another, not to mention songs can go from a fuzzed out garage stomper to a psychotic art rock break down in seconds. Everything and the kitchen does not come close to describing this whirlwind of an album. II will only appeal to a sliver of music lovers, but for does it does click with, it will be musical bliss. What could be this year's most overlooked gem.


Rayon Beach are another animal altogether. Straight from Austin, Texas, one look at the cover art of this 12" EP should give you a decent idea of what your dealing with. This is what happens when the Texas heat finally gets to you; it melts your brain into such a poodle that you start banging on the wire faulty guitars and peddles, and sing whatever random thing comes to you mind at that moment. You pour it all into an 8-track, compress it, and pray it comes out good on the speaker end. Rayon Beach have a more evident garage tint to them to focus the music, particularly evident in "Wave Pool Ether" and "Paradise is Frail". Even in those tunes it's just as much "psychedelic front man guiding local art school dropouts" quality to them as well, and I mean that in the best possible way.