Friday, 24 April 2009


Acephale Records, the label that is proud to say that has Salem's I Smoke Crack 7" EP as their first reference, has recently put on the market their second, a much more friendly record from a guy from Montreal who swallows all the influences and genres to spit them in one of the best moments from 2009 so far: You Hear Colors. And you can actually hear them when you listen to this really inspired six minutes tune that convines italo, disco, nudisco, balearic, electronica, psychedelia and everything else using organic and electronic sounds, percusion, guitar, synths and other instruments and does not even need a voice to reach perfection. The B-side, Invitation to Love, is another six minutes tune more concentrated in the nudisco genre but also pretty enjoyable. he's also released a digital only EP called Panesian Nights where he goes more 80s electro and, although is not bad at all, never reaches the perfection of this single.
And look out the following releases from this label as they have Air France and Memory Cassette as signed members on their myspace.

Released 16/03/09

CFCF - You Hear Colours.mp3


After some posts talking about difficult American bands I needed a more friendly well-recorded British band and this week's been the release of The Big Pink's second single after Too Young Too Love, one of my favourite songs of last year. They continue to explore sounds of the late 80s first 90s with their JAMC / MBV noise pop with synths and they moved from Gay sex (check the 12" Japanese only version of the first single) to Female nudity in the cover. But this is not the only change they've done as they've also moved from Merok, the label that owns one of the members of this duo, to 4AD, maybe the most mainstream you can go with an independent label.
Velvet, mixed by Alan Moulder, is an obvious hit destined to be popular even more after the unexpected support the music version of The Sun that is NME gave them the next big thing award in their last ceremony (other awards were for Oasis, Bloc Party or Paul Weller which makes it even more unbelievable). The b-side, Introduction to Awareness, is less immediate but not less interesting. They started touring Europe and Japan playing some shows with The XX and have recorded their first album provisionally called Models Can't Fuck.

Released 20/04/09

The Big Pink - Velvet.mp3


It looks that the one-member bands are the thing to be this year. The advance in technology has made suitable for everyone the possibility of creating and recording sounds from home with not much equipment and then put it online so everybody, no matter where you are, can enjoy your music and even leave you instant feedback. And Zola Jesus is yet another example of this situation coming from a random place in Wisconsin and having published four releases in less than a year. She's a kind of a noisy lo-fi Siouxsie meets young PJ Harvey in hell using lots and lost and lots of feedback that makes Wavves sound clean in comparison. Blues, post-punk and no-wave for the new millennium. This 7" single released at the end of last year is a good representation of her sound. While Soeur Sewer is more bluesy and clean and can even remind you the Cocorosie sisters, Odessa, the other song on the record, is darker than anything you can imagine, full of noise, feedback and weird distorted voices. And check as well if you can find them her other releases: another single, a 12" and a CDR soon to be published on vinyl. And if you still aren't completely afraid after listening her stuff you should know that she mentions another project called Zola Judas that sounds like it should be the evil brother of this one. Sick.
If you still doubted it, LO-FI IS BACK!

Zola Jesus - Soeur Sewer.mp3


And yes, the obvious thing to do after a post about Blank Dogs and another one about Dum Dum Girls was to talk about the project they both have in common and could one day beat their one-person bands in popularity. If Blank Dogs is dark, noisy and full of synths from the past and Dum Dum Girls songs are pop-punk Vivian Girls style they go somewhere else when they are together: They reduce the tempo and the noise to clean up the melody into a shinny and optimistic twee pop very K Records that makes the whole thing more accessible than anything they've done before.
If the non-stop creativity of these two workaholics was enough with their multiple releases they publish outside The Mayfair Set it looks they will not slowdown and will also be extremely productive here. This is their first ever release together published a couple of months ago but they already have plans to take out more singles for Woodsist, Zoo Music and, yes, Slumberland and a LP at some point this year. Keep on checking their myspace for future information.

The Mayfair Set - Desert Fun.mp3


Dum Dum Girls is just one girl, Dee Dee, which I don't really understand as this sounds like a full band. Know the Vivian Girls? So yes, Dum Dum Girls should be as famous as they are as friendship is not the only thing she shares with them because she performs a kind of garage-punk version of 50s /60s girl bands as well. The melodies are even catchier than theirs and the voice more melodic. Longhair, Mercury Mary and Let It Be Me, the three songs in this already sold out 7" single are three beautiful pop songs really inspired in these old vocal bands or even The Ramones as they are filtered through punk noise. She also have a 12" record out (hurry up, not many copies left) and a lot of releases coming this year: a couple of 7" singles, some splits and her first LP at some point next Autumn, all of them with beautiful covers of girls and girls love. Everything published through the every time more interesting labels Zoo Music, Captured Tracks, Hozac and Art Fag home of, between others, Blank Dogs, Woods, Box Elders, Brilliant Colors or Crocodiles.

Dum Dum Girls - Longhair.mp3

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


And yet another mysterious project of a multi-releasing guy that seems he doesn't do anything else with his life apart from recording and recording highly lo-fi stuff and publish it in any format available with the most random and unknown labels. And yet another one-man-band from Brooklyn that seems the centre of the music world these days. With a similar spirit to Wavves (DIY, noisy, fast and badly recorded) but more inspired in the sounds of the beginning of the 80s, like an impossible demo recording of an imaginary band formed by members of The Cure and New Order circa 1982 with a singer unable to achieve any change of tone or show any melody skills. In not much more than a couple of years his discography is wider than that from bands around for decades and his identity is still unknown as he has always covered his face with masks, bandages or other stuff, which we know it always adds a bit of notoriety to a project.

Blank Dogs - Keeping All the Time.mp3

And new album to be released in May where he improves a bit the quality of the sound, collaborates with the likes of Crystal Stilts and Vivian Girls and removes his mask!!! Here you have a really catchy advance:

Blank Dogs - Tin Birds.mp3

Monday, 20 April 2009


Last 18th of April was the second edition of the Record Store Day, a day dedicated to celebrate and protect the traditional independent record shops around the world, an initiative thought and originated a couple of years ago in the USA than has achieved major international representation this year. Many shops around the world prepared different activities and free gigs and also distributed a bunch of limited "just for the day" releases, specially vinyl and 7 inch records. Here we have some of the most interesting ones I got that day:

Sonic Youth - Pay No Mind / Beck - Green Light 7" single

Two classic artists covering each other; two of their best songs and two really interesting covers. While Beck returns to his roots stripping it down to a guitar (that's the Beck I like the most) and tries to emulate acoustically the sonic landscapes of the end of the song, Sonic Youth make an original version of Beck's song incorporating their trademark of noises but respecting the quietness and intimacy of the original.

Jay Reatard - Hang Them All / Sonic Youth - No Garage 7" single

No covers here. Each of them hands in an original unreleased song, but fail to be at their best. Jay Reatard's is just fine and Sonic Youth's instrumental garage tune is pointless and boring.

Tindersticks - What Are You Fighting For? 7" single

Originally a one-side only tour single they sent the 90 copies left they had only available in shops for this day. Tindersticks have been for a long time most enjoyable in little doses. A beautiful classic Tindersticks ballad.

Tom Waits - Live 7" single

Lucinda / Ain't Goin' Down to the Well and Bottom of the World. Three songs compiled in Orphans before played live during the Glitter and Doom tour, only available here for the day.

Jane's Addiction - Mountain Song 7" single

Re-edition of the 1988 impossible to find single.

Magnolia Electric Co. - It's Made Me Cry 7" single

Exclusive four new pretty songs just to be released in this limited for the day single with charity purposes. Let's you with the feeling of wanting to listen their next album.

New Order - Temptation 7" single and The Stooges - 1969 7" single

Rhino reissues of the original singles

Akron / Family - Everyone Is Guilty 7" single

First single to come out of their next album with an unreleased b-side only available on tour. they explore new boundaries getting close to Stereolab.

Ebony Bones - The Muzik 7" single

Will receive full release later this year but exclusive for the day on Picture disc. I also had the opportunity of seeing her live with her band at Rough Trade East and I have to say it was amazing. Colorful, professional and enjoyable.

Record Toreism - V.A. LP

A Thrill Jockey compilation with new and unreleased tracks from Mountains, Trans Am or a song from the new Tortoise album to be in the shops later this year and sees them moving slightly to new territories.

Apart from these issues we were offered other releases by the likes of Bob Dylan, Grizzly Bear or Elvis Perkins, but they were not available everywhere.
Friday, 17 April 2009


Hood has always been one of my favourite bands for many reasons: first of all because of their music but also because of the artistic aspirations they put in everything they create trying to give exclusivity to many of the releases they've put out as a band or under many other projects. Many of their releases are unique in artwork creating different covers for all the copies of one single item, with different Polaroids or recycling other records or objects to sustain a new one. In this case, the once Hood member Craig Tattersall and also a member of Remote Viewer puts out a 100 copies only CD inside 100 different old books transformed to hold the CD inside, all of them in diverse ways. But not everything is about the container as the content here is one of the best any Hood member has ever put out outside the main group. What at first sight can look like another generic ambient album is full of organic details, originality, analogue sounds, hiss, nature noises and beautiful armonies. For a moment I imagined it sounds like a slowdown ambient instrumental High Places album could.

The Humble Bee - Inscription for an Old Book.mp3

Saturday, 11 April 2009


Here we have another unsigned band, this time from Berlin. Eagle Boston found international recognition thanks to the inclusion of one of their tracks into the revealing and recently published compilation from Emusic Selected + Collected an emusic selects compilation. Satan Highway is one of the best tracks of this sample mixing post-punk with disco, a lazy DIY disco that would fit perfectly into the Italians Do It Better catalogue. The song starts with a funk rhythm with bass, synths and reciting vocals reminding The Flying Lizards to little by little gaining more power and end up more like a no-wave / punk song. After listening to the tracks they have in their myspace, the only reference I could find online so far, I can feel that they seem more interested in exploding the dark side rather than the funk one and even being quite pop sometimes but hope more tracks are on the way.

Eagle Boston - Satan Highway.mp3

Saturday, 4 April 2009


Slumberland Records has proved to be one of the labels to watch signing up interesting pop bands from both sides of the Atlantic and the funny thing is everybody thinks it's a new label but they actually started working as far as 1989 but they are currently living a golden age thanks to the fame some of their latest signings are getting. Sexy Kids are a band from Glasgow coming from the ashes of Royal We whom become one of the acts they've signed. I've always loved Glasgow and the bands coming from this city so maybe I'm not objective when it comes to admiring a new project from there, but the twee-pop of Sisters Are Forever has been non-stop in my record player and in my head as well. A stupid but killing punk-pop melody reminiscent of the first BIS and high pitched female vocals to jump and enjoy. The B side is less charming and direct but still perfect pop. This is their debut single and not information so far if they have any plans of releasing anything else soon as their myspace lacks any kind of information.

Released 24/11/08

Sexy Kids - Sister Are Forever.mp3

Friday, 3 April 2009


We had to wait 20 years to see The Vaselines on stage again. Well, actually the "again" is kind of tricky as very few people saw them live or new about them before their break up. As everybody knows, their fame and mythification started when Nirvana covered them in several occasions and they become a cult band for everybody who was able to get a copy of any of their releases that were later compiled by Sub Pop in a couple of occasions and are going to be put together again next month in a exhaustive compilation adding more rarities never published before.
"Come backs" are sometimes scary but they proved to be correct and funny despite the freshness and amateurism is gone forever. The strange thing of it all is that this was their first gig in Europe for nearly twenty years and they didn't get to sold out the event in a moment in time it looks designed for them to come back.
I read the other day a review at The Times that said the public was not enthusiastic as they expected something more "grungy" and were disappointed to find out they were particularly twee and I couldn't disagree more. I just saw a Nirvana T-shirt around and don't think that after all these years anyone there but the The Times' reviewer had only heard the Nirvana interpretations.