Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cold Specks' Creepy Video for "Hector" has dark twisted questions.

 Back in May we reviewed I Predict A Graceful Expulsion and said this about Hector:

-A wonderful surprise is Hector with a percolating beat and picking guitars flirting with dissonance. As the piano down beat reverberates around a solid drum beat it feels very much like it could exist as a twin sister to some Radiohead song on their Rainbows album.-

The video is a total surprise. It is as if Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Anne Rice and George Romero got together to create "this confounded imagery to music."  I love it. It is really creepy, beautifully shot with a story somewhere to be flushed out by anyone who cares to do so. Dark twisted questions ready to be answered. 

-Robb Donker 

AND be sure to check out the latest press release below: 

We are a week away from the start of Cold Specks' headlining North American tour and are happy to debut the new video for “Hector” the next single off of Al Spx debut release I Predict A Graceful Expulsion. Who doesn’t love a zombie bride?
Self-proclaimed as "doom soul", the music of Cold Specks draws on folk and gospel elements, with a strong personal interpretation. At times it can be heavy and bleak, but the willful, raspy vocals of Al Spx offer an element of brightness. The weight of each track grows slowly and as her velvetly vocals hit your ears, you will instantly feel swathed in this warm blanket-like familiarity. As the leaves begin to change and the nights grow darker and colder, this is the music that will warm you from the inside out.
And as a reminder of how beautiful art and creative people still c0-exist in New York—something we all should be remembering this week, make sure to check out Al’s La Blogotheque Session and Ice Fishing With Dan Session from her tour with Great Lake Swimmers over the summer.

11/8 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
11/9 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA
11/10 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
11/11 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
11/13 – Dan’s Silverleaf – Denton, TX
11/14 – The Mohawk – Austin, TX
11/17 – Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Museum – Los Angeles, CA
11/18 – Bottom of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
11/20 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
11/28 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
11/29 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
Cold Specks, lead by singer-guitarist Al Spx, hails from Etobicoke, Canada although she now calls London home.  Channeling James Joyce’s Ulysses she donned the name Cold Specks from Joyce’s gripping script
Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

NEW- M83 Video - "Steve McQueen"

This highly creative and dreamy video directed by Balthazar Auxietre and Sylvain Derosne was the winner of the Genero TV video contest. The interpretation full of whimsical imagery won them a cash prize and heaps of praise. Check out Genero TV as they have tons of similar such contests but you better show your A game because the entries for any given contest is really bringing out the creative creme of the crop.
(following is a press release)

M83 are pleased to announce the release of their next single, “Steve McQueen”,on November 27th. Celebrating this exhilarating track the band decided to draw from their biggest inspiration and support system-the fans themselves. Partnering with Anthony Gonzalez selected French Director Balthazar Auxietre and Animator Sylvain Derosne’s (who has also collaborated with Spike Jonze) unique vision of a world honoring the “power of childhood, an eagerness for life, and the kind of paradoxical energy you have when you grow up.”
Auxietre describes M83’s overall body of work as “…a sound of his own, made with a kind of “epic fragility”, something very visual, very atmospheric, which can bring powerful images and energy as a filmmaker.”

This third single from the critically acclaimed Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, continues the legacy of M83’s dazzling cosmic-pop, with exploding guitar riffs and driving drum beats, the listener is sure to be carried away. The single will be released with diverse and epic remixes from Alluxe, BeatauCue, MAPS and SALM.
Stream MAPS remix here!
“Steve McQueen” Tracklisting
1. Steve McQueen (Album version)
2. Steve McQueen (Maps remix)
3. Steve McQueen (SALM remix)
4. Steve McQueen (BeatauCue remix)
5. Steve McQueen (Alluxe remix)
Be sure to mark your calendars for this year’s Black Friday Record Store Day. On November 23rd the band will release an exclusive, limited edition “Reunion” 12” featuring remixes by Mylo, Sei A, Naked and Famous and Polly Scattergood.
“Reunion” 12” Record Store Day Tracklisting:
Side A:
1.    Mylo Remix
2.    Sei A Remix
Side B:
1.    Naked and Famous Remix
2.    Polly Scattergood Remix
November 1st - Pitchfork Paris Music Festival – Paris, France
December 4th - 107.7 ‘The End’s Deck the Hall Ball 2012’at Key Arena – Seattle, WA
December 5th  – 94/7  ‘December To Remember’ presents M83 at the Rose Garden - Portland, OR
with Tegan and Sara and The Killers
December 7th – 91x ‘Wrex The Halls’ at Viejas Arena – San Diego, CA
Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen (Beck, NIN, The Mars Volta, Goldfrapp), mixed by Tony Hoffer (Air, The Kooks), and including contributions from Brad Laner (from 90’s band Medicine), Saturdays=Youth vocalist Morgan Kibby,and guest vocalist Zola Jesus, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is a double-album journey that takes us to the horizon and introduces us to new landscapes. About awakening, craving, and conquering, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming pushes into new vocal territory for M83. Here we see Gonzalez test out different ways of singing, ranging from a spectral breathy whisper to a howling scream. 
“I think it is a reflection of my 30 years of being a human being. It’s a compilation of all my previous music together. It’s a retrospective of myself”, says Gonzalez.
M83 is Los Angeles based French artist Anthony Gonzalez.

Halloween FEVER in Outer Space October 30 at Los Globos

Halloween FEVER in Outer Space
October 30 at Los Globos
...Calling all aliens and space explorers...
This month's FEVER is a Halloween special.
Los Globos will be transformed with outer space decoration into another planet.

Fancy Space People
Don Bolles, Nora Keyes, Danny Winebarger, Andrew Scott, Sean Ellwood, Professor Cantaloup, Bri-On
Daiana Feuer, Gerard Olson, Beth McNamara, Donna Suppipat (of Tommy Santee Klaws) plus Andres Renteria doing a psychedelic spaceship version of itself
Diva Dompe, Labanna Babalon, Logan White, Liz Armstrong, Sylvie Spencer
video: live at EPIC

Cabeza De Vaca Arcestra
 Dance by Psychosoma Movement Laboratory, visuals by the mystery machine and music by the cosmic Cabeza De Vaca Arcestra doing an Aelita Queen of Mars dance
plus (we're very excited for) DJ Sun Araw
Performances begin at 10pm
Los Globos 3040 West Sunset Boulevard (downstairs)
$5 cover
Come in outer space costume, be it alien, astronaut, or nebula

co-presented by L.A. RECORD
RSVP on Facebook

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Concert Review: Los Campesinos- A Musical Mousetrap @ The El Rey 10/18/12 - plus The Lovely Bad Things and Moses Campbell

Los Campesinos, The Lovely Bad Things and Moses Campbell at the El Rey in LA-10/18/12

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." Los Campesinos is itself a musical mousetrap and people (as well as record companies) have been clamoring to get a piece of them since late 2006 less than a year after they formed while still University Students in Cardiff Wales. Their early work was receiving praise from the likes of Pitchfork Media and Drowned in Sound while they were attending classes. Los Campesinos' adoring fan base has keenly hooked into Gareth David's adroitly emotional lyrics wrapped in Tom Bromley's energetic indie pop / rock. Stirring dance-able, often times happy sounding compositions colliding with dark, angst ridden lyrics proved to be a heady intoxicating mix. Their performance at the El Rey last Thursday almost 6 years to the month since they were first signed by Wichita Recordings revealed a supremely tight and self confident group of musicians. But before I pile on more complements, let's give some mention to the two bands who preceded them and who Gareth David enthusiastically referred to as "fucking superb."

Moses Campbell who coincidentally also formed in 2006 have something else in common with Los Campesinos. In both cases it feels like we have seen them grow up. Their laid back persona on stage belie their songs that are dynamically driven. Songs like Nest and Walk On Water are pretty progressive for indie rock exploding with musical bursts of energy while allowing for soft passages and pretty guitar breaks. Lead vocalist / guitarist Sean Soloman sings in almost a pensive way one minute and then can belt it out when the music stirs around him often times propelled by Pascal Stevenson's solid bass guitar, Miles Wintner's skilled guitar work,  Andrew MacKelvie's drumming and Pauline Lay's wall of violin. Yes, wall of violin. She furiously churns out some serious sounds. At one point during their set someone yelled out, "What is your band's name?" to which Sean replied in a real deadpan way, "Los Campesinos." The obvious bow to what was going to happen later was both witty and charming and got a good laugh from the audience. They do receive the "LCFS" stamp of approval.

The Lovely Bad Things took the stage next and, no, they didn't form in 2006 but in late October of 2009 so this gig was ostensibly their 3 year anniversary show The power chords and sustaining feedback as they charged their instruments up was a sign of things to come. Opening up with a new song called Here and Anywhere their sound is post punk head banging fare all the while being compositionally dense. This song, for example has about 3 distinct drum patterns by Brayden Ward, was melodically rich as sung by Lauren Curtius and also deconstructed into a dual opposing lead break in the middle (by Tim Hatch and Lauren) only to slowly build to a rocking climax (with appropriate flashing lighting). It felt like the end of a set rather than the beginning. Trading off each other's instruments often, what followed were songs off of New Ghosts / Old Waves like I Just Want You To Go Away and You Done Messed Up as well as roughly 4 new songs one of which was North Bend. Sung by guitarist Camron Ward it is a sonic pile driver full of tasty guitar licks that gives way to girl /guy vocals that kind of bookend a Pixie-ish chorus. One new song that I don't know the name of (something Honeycomb I believe) was a surprising departure of sorts for the garage rockers. While still firmly tucked in indie rock, it edged more mainstream than most of their songs and felt like a soundtrack for youth breaking away and running free. Cool song. The Lovely Bad Things, yes... fucking superb.

Now to that amazing musical mousetrap. A fully primed crowd pushed close to the stage instantly cheering as the first tom tom beats of By Your Hand began. Bathed in red light, the belly keys filled the room until the entire band dove in head first with Gareth at the helm. It is a stellar piece to start off with, the audience freely joining in and singing along during the chorus. The dynamics, the punch, feel so much stronger performed live. The fury of songs like Ways to Make it Through The Wall and  Death to Los Campesinos too sounded more realized live as Gareth's voice strained more toward a punk snarl, "I swap the bruising for a bumping sensation... I'll be ctrl-alt deleting your face with no reservations" as vocals ping ponged between himself and Kim. Now the crowd in full tilt mode were jumping in unison. I came to a realization during Romance Is Boring and Songs About Your Girlfriend that Gareth vocals bring Robert Smith to mind. It could of simply been the sound of the El Rey room but this is a good time to point out that I am one who appreciates British singers who sound British when they sing.

A few songs in and Gareth had abandoned his sweater. Besides possessing the songs he sings, he is adept at talking to the crowd and handling a girl in the audience who seemingly had too much to drink. It was a funny back and forth as she insisted that her and her friends come up on stage to dance. Gareth let her praddle on with all the politeness he could muster until he flat out stated "It's not gonna happen... this is my time to shine." The crowd ate it up as they should. The crowd pleasers of all crowd pleasers, We Are Beautiful , We Are Doomed chased itself at a breakneck pace feeling like a supercharged emo-ish version of a Mars Volta or Royal Bangs song. The audience gladly joined in again singing at the top of their lungs, "THERE'S FUTURE IN THE FUCKING BUT THERE IS NO FUCKING FUTURE!"

After their long build up to You! Me! Dancing! -as it kicked into full gear and as the entire audience went into a lovely frenzy I realized that I was witnessing a love fest the likes of which you don't experience with a lot of bands. Live, the maudlin The Sea Is A Good Place to Think of The Future feels like an anvil on your heart. As the applause subsided Gareth said, "Thank you LA" and graciously thanked the venue, the promoters and globbed sincere heaps of praise on the two other bands. He is a class act. Los Campesinos finished off their set with an inspired rendition of the melodramatic Baby I Got The Death Rattle. As the song rested, the crowd clapped in anticipation of the last up tempo third of the song.

After rousing applause, Los Campesinos encored with Knee Deep At ATP transitioning into Sweet Dreams Sweet Cheeks. At that familiar guitar break, Gareth climbed down from the stage and walked deep into the adoring crowd. It was one of those moments. As the synth sustained and the guitar pushed out catchy licks, Gareth held his mic over his head almost like a conductors baton as happy faces clapped in unison eventually parting for his return to the stage. The jammy nature of this song made for a fun dancy ending to a great set as the audience joined in the last stanza. The Los Campesinos show was (to use GD's own words) fucking superb.

Adler Bloom

Monday, October 22, 2012

Val Kilmer? Really Bad Karaoke- Circa 1987

Is this Val Kilmer doing an amazingly bad Karaoke rendition of "Bad" by Michael Jackson?
Apparently not but it is still pretty damn entertaining! Circa 1987. Watch this and revel in the awful choreography and the fact that he has no pants on. This was posted by this singers son who is so fortunate to have a dad who is so goofy!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nature's Son- Intermission EP- A Garage Pysch Rock Onion

Nature's Son- Intermission EP is like a freaking garage psych onion that when peeled reveals the trippy guts of 60's / early 70's psychedelic / experimental bands like Afterglow, Elephants Memory, and Eyes of Blue and even adds post punk flavors especially on track 3: Why Do You Cry For? that made me think of late 70's / early 80's art punk. Track1: Don't You Understand is a garage rock shimmy shaking party built around a Farfisa organ sound. The narcotic sounding vocals and lead licks are pretty sweet. The song is a constant build up and makes a great soundtrack to dance to (with your beer in hand). Track 2: The Haunt is a short quick instrumental that dramatically implodes with descending chords. Surprisingly, track 4 is a cover of the Gories Thunderbird ESQ or might I say a re-imagining of it. I think Mick Collins will be happy with the result. While it starts true to the spartan garage blues punk of the original, Nature's Son kicks up the tempo and fills it out with more energetic lead guitar work, a sonic wash of  vocals and a jamming harmonica. I actually like this just as much as the original version. Is that bad to say? Enough reviewing, I am going to get my beer and put on "Don't You Understand" in replay mode for about a half hour.
Robb Donker

Nature's Son - Intermission available through Lolipop Records

Lolipop Records Facebook

Nature's Son Facebook

Nature's Son Bandcamp

AP- Random YouTube Video- Bad Karaoke by Harold and Beth

From the American Pancake RANDOM YouTube files comes Harold and Beth doing a terrible, yet ultimately charming and fun, Karaoke rendition of Elton John and Kiki Dee's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sounds of Noise- "What's It To You" - Draws Blood.

Sounds of Noise are a 3 piece band out of Long Beach, California and the brainchild of Eddie Angel Monroy (vocals/guitar), Paul Corley (vocals/bass) and Eric Zimmerman (drums). Their sound is straight forward bottom heavy indie rock with uninhibited dashes of psychedelic sounds. The video for What's It To You is a hallucinatory trip to wacky town with images of abduction, knife play, and weirdos jumping on beds. The song opens with noisy cool sustaining guitars that give way to a super catchy driving bass line. The tone is pure indie rock with a decidedly power pop edge and strong vocal melodies. It is the first listen and look at the upcoming Ambulance LP that Sounds of Noise have been working on over the past 10 months and is due to drop soon.  American Pancake is proud to of produced this video in conjunction with the band's own independent label S.O.N. Records.

We spoke to Sharky McWilliams who directed the mild mayhem.

AP: So who came up with the concept of the video?

Sharky: I originally had the concept of a sort of mental case / unstable girl who is making her way from a bar to some destination. That destination is a vacant house and Eddie and Paul are tied up in chairs that are nailed to the floor. The rest of the video was going to switch between scenes of better days and her basically torturing Paul and Eddie. That was it. Simple stuff.

AP: This video is a far departure from that description. What happened?

Sharky: Well, shit happens ya know (laughs). Some people who were committed to do the original concept could not do it at the last minute. We had a deadline to meet before the release of the record so we had to kind of make it up as we went along.

AP: Last minute rewrites.

Sharky: Fuck that. No time to rewrite. We had to just brain storm and Eddie and Paul are great to work with in that way. They are creative and are willing to try anything really.

AP: Speaking of Paul, he didn't end up as one of the tied up people in the video (?).

Sharky: No. When principal, key actors could not make our shoot date we chose to only focus on Eddie. The mental girl was supposed to have alter egos in the form of two other girls and we lost them all. It only forced us to think on our feet. I mean the night before the shoot was scheduled and it all fell apart I started taking notes and coming up with options. The original concept was not going to have any green screen in it. 

AP: Those shots with a shirtless Eddie Angel are some of my favorites. Gives the video an acid trippy feel.

Sharky: (Laughing) Yeah, Eddie ending up shirtless was off the cuff too. His idea and it looked better. Mind you, we shot the green screen in a backyard not ever knowing what I was going to do with it, what background could work.

AP: It looks, feels planned out.

Sharky: Well, it was touch and go for awhile. The key thing was for the images to fit with the sounds of the song and I think it works ok. We only had one day to shoot and we made those hours count. Eddie was tied to a chair for over 2 hours solid. I, personally, couldn't do that.

AP: That could be difficult.

Sharky: It doesn't sound hard but he was getting a little tense. Paul made jokes about it as did Eddie and in the end some of the key shots of Eddie kind of maniacally laughing was Eddie being real. Oh, and, by the way, Paul does end up briefly in the video (in a shot of the band playing and) at the very, very end.

AP: Who are the other "actors" who appear in the video.

Sharky: For now they shall remain nameless. They were part of the thrashing around in the water while you are drowning scenario.

AP: ????

Sharky: What I mean to say is that the two people who I will call the "mental case" and her "alter ego" gave their full blessings and permission to appear in the video but do not care to reveal themselves at this time.

AP: Is there a reason why?

Sharky: Let's just say they were pulled into the project really spontaneously.

AP: It sounds like it was against their will (said jokingly).

Sharky: Well.... I think they feel good about it. 

AP: When referring to this video I have heard comments like gothic and American Horror.

Sharky: I think it is more like gutter trash in a way. We brought two cameras and ended up using the lower end camera for much of the shots. It was clear that it was producing a real dingy, grainy look with a lot of muted unsaturated colors and I really liked the look of it. It also hid things and I didn't want clarity in the video at all except for the opening shot really and the shot of Eddie being drug around like he was just knocked out. Once he is in the mental case's hands I wanted that dingy creepy look.

AP: For a creepy torture video there is not alot of torture.

Sharky: Yeah, that is for sure. Once we played the song on a boom box during shooting it was clear that the song itself was not dark enough to go too hardcore. It is not a shocking graphic video and I like that it is not. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy that kind of thing but not so much within the music video genre although there are some exceptions. Trent Reznor's classic 90's Nine Inch Nails- Happiness In Slavery is a video that still makes me go eeewww, in a good way especially when that contraption grabs Bob Flanagan's nut sack. But besides the obvious shock value, that music fit that imagery. Eddie and Paul's music is not dark. I would say it has a thoughtful kind of sad edginess to it but it is not dark.

AP: It is good stuff!

Sharky: It is indeed. 

AP: The knife shot in the video was graphic in a way.

Sharky: Not too graphic but I love it and I must say that it was a spur of the moment thing AND no trick knife was used.

AP: Hmmm?? 

Sharky: Seriously. That was a fucking steak knife taken from the kitchen. It was crazy shit.

AP: And the blood?

Sharky: We won't go there.

American Pancake is proud to present Sounds of Noise "What's It To You" off the upcoming Ambulance LP-

Monday, October 15, 2012

Los Campesinos, The Lovely Bad Things and Moses Campbell- OCT 18th at the EL REY

YOU don't want to miss this one!!

Goldenvoice and IHEARTCOMIX presents Los Campesinos at the El Rey with The Lovely Bad Things and Moses Campbell.  Go here for tickets!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cold Specks NORTH AMERICAN Tour starts on November 8th!!

 AP Reviewed the Cold Specks album "I Predict A Graceful Expulsion" back in May. We love that album. I also got a chance to see the lovely Al Spx perform solo at the Troubadour which was an amazing experience. If you have the chance to see her on this upcoming tour, please do. And if you have not read the aforementioned review you can find it here.

It is only four weeks away from the start of Cold Specks' headlining North American tour, mark your calendars people! Beginning November 8th in New York, Cold Specks will head south and play around the country, ending on the 29th in Chicago. Check out her full list of dates below!
Self-proclaimed as "doom soul", the music of Cold Specks draws on folk and gospel elements, with a strong personal interpretation. At times it can be heavy and bleak, but the willful, raspy vocals of Al Spx offer an element of brightness. The weight of each track grows slowly and as her velvetly vocals hit your ears, you will instantly feel swathed in this warm blanket-like familiarity. As the leaves begin to change and the nights grow darker and colder, this is the music that will warm you from the inside out. 
To get an idea of how stunning Cold Specks is live, take a look at two recent live sessions she did while in New York City. Her show is an absolute MUST for your Novemeber. 

11/8 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY
11/9 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA
11/10 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA
11/11 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
11/13 – Dan’s Silverleaf – Denton, TX
11/14 – The Mohawk – Austin, TX
11/17 – Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Museum – Los Angeles, CA
11/18 – Bottom of The Hill – San Francisco, CA
11/20 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR
11/28 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN
11/29 – Schubas – Chicago, IL
Cold Specks, lead by singer-guitarist Al Spx, hails from Etobicoke, Canada although she now calls London home.  Channeling James Joyce’s Ulysses she donned the name Cold Specks from Joyce’s gripping script “Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire, evil, lights shining in the darkness.”


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Your Ugly Sister- a taste of Slaves

Laguna Beach (CA) has two really sweet things. A spectacular basketball court right on the beach and Your Ugly Sister. The 3 piece garage rockers are working on their next full length album entitled Slaves and have given all of us a little taste of the upcoming single. Look out for a record / cassette release with Lolipop records soon.

The title track Slaves is seriously fun. The production has a lot to hold your interest, a spartan guitar hook built on a tom tom beat that erupts into double time thick guitar hooks and sonically washed vocals. The psychedelic ebb and flow of the song never makes it dull. On the contrary, the sounds wash over you making you sway one moment and want to dance the next. The guitar lead break is bad ass. Slaves ultimately becomes hypnotic and could easily go on for twice as long as it does and still leave you wanting more.

Bloodlust Blues gets even more trippy. Your Ugly Sister wraps what is essentially a country blues rock progression in heavy doses of springy reverb and lo fi guitar goodness. The chorus with it's thick harmonious vocal wall cemented together with equally thick guitar sounds result in a hallucinatory treat that feels very much like something that could of been on Ty Segall's Goodbye Bread LP and I mean that as a total compliment.

Your Ugly Sister- Slaves
Your Ugly Sister- Bloodlust Blues

For Abel- Sneak Peek at the Wildebeest LP

Glasgow based For Abel whose debut album Greater Inventions caused a bit of a ruckus among critics who couldn't resist comparing their mix of intense moody rock to a whole host of indie bands from Joy Division to the Wedding Present to The Smiths to Shed Seven to the Cure AND Robert Armstrong's vocal style to that of Neil Hannon or Morrissey or Martin Rossiter. There seemed to be a lot of dissection going on. After all the parsing of sounds, one thing is clear, the music grabs you by the bollucks and the heart. You can hear influences in most talented artists. It is Neil Hannon and Ian Curtis, after all, who have always sounded to me like they were doing a bit of Jim Morrison (just listen to the low lulling cadence). In the end, iconic music always stands on the shoulders of those who came before and For Abel brings their own unique flavor to their post punk sounds that do hover in that lovely 90's Brit fog. For Abel's strident guitar playing, vocal presence (at the forefront), romantically somber and punchy tone does (thankfully) contain the musical DNA of those aforementioned bands and I hear a decidedly Mod thing happening in the shadows as well. In the end Greater Inventions feels like a lovely embrace from a long lost friend.

For Abel is letting us all get a sneak peak at their second LP Wildebeest by sharing two songs which will be the single- A side: The 17th Failed Hope Song and the B side: House of Ghosts. The 17th Failed Hope Song feels like a full sprint of a rock song like Armstrong is running away from the somber melody at a break neck pace. There is sweet break as he sings "Keep my feet on the ground" like a mantra until the song explodes into an uplifting conclusion. The dynamic House of Ghosts has sweet tempo changes in all the right places. The drumming is magnificently jammy. The chorus full of guitar sustains and harmonies is catchy and destined to become a sing along at shows.
Robb Donker

Sol Cat's pychedelic groove in Fishin With John

Out of Nashville, Sol Cat stirs up a psychedelic groove in their new video for Fishin With John. The song bristles with a funky syncopation and a dirty synth keeps the party of sounds cooking along. It is a hearty stew that makes me think of Modest Mouse and The Cold War Kids mixed up and then loosened up by clouds of pot. It definitely gets into your dance bones and chill bones at the same time.

After you check out the vid, you can download the song for free (and an email exchange) here:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Eagle Rock Music Festival -Pics

Eagle Rock Music Festival Pics October 6th, 2012
Photographs by Michelle Halac
Talenthouse all creative

click on pics to enlarge
Crowd Surfer

Gas Lamp Killer

Gas Lamp Killer

John Wayne and Friends

John Wayne

La Sera

Peaking Lights


Tijuana Panthers

Tijuana Panthers

Tijuana Panthers

Vex Ruffin

Crowd Surfer


Eternal Summers - You Kill Video brings back memories.

If you like post punk pop rocks exploding in your mouth than you will love the 3 piece band from Roanoke, Virginia known as Eternal Summers. Their video for You Kill brings back so many memories (jeeez). We have all had days like this. After you watch it, check out their live session and interview from NewTown Radio.

Eternal Summers Facebook
Eternal Summers Bandcamp
Eternal Summers Blog
Get Eternal Summers' Correct Behavior LP here

Eternal Summers - "You Kill" Video from stereogum on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Move On The Sun - Varied Artists from hitRECord - An Ambitious Collaboration

Move On The Sun is a collection of songs from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Collaborative Production company HitRecord. If you haven't yet heard of HitRecord, it is an online community of creative folks. Anyone can join and the site now has 80,000 plus members who can post all sorts of creative stuff from short stories, to artwork, to their music. As soon as you upload anything, while you may still own it, your creation, your art is given to the HitRecord community at large to do with what they want. They can re-mix your songs or adapt your art into other artful endeavors. This collaborative effort is why their are 78 contributors to the 15 songs that were eventually realized on this album. It is definitely an interesting concept and in this case, on this particular album, this process has mined some musical gems. The songs run the artistic gamut from indie R and B, hip hop hybrids with touches of jazzy sounds, electronica, alternative folk with a gloomy bent, dark indie rock, experimental and pretty indie pop. Each and every song is very listenable and some truly stand out and beg you to learn more about the artists who created them. While there is a fair amount of so called experimental works and alternative sounds, this collection runs right down the middle of the underground /cool hipster elite road. Damn, all the songs sound so polished and well produced. Some seem perfectly suited for a cool hip high end beer commercial, namely: Diamond In The Rough, Enjoy The Ride or Downtown 81. Others like The Grind and Anicca are well rendered instrumentals exhibiting some seriously jammy musical throw downs (especially the Grind) but elements on both these songs can tend to sound cut and pasted a bit too much. How much you like these songs maybe dependent on how much you love that type of thing. The sultry indie pop of More with a (Fiona Apple-ish) vocal performance (that is to die for) hooked me deeply although I could of done without the spoken in French portion which felt a bit pretentious to me.

In the end, Move On The Sun is, indeed, an ambitious piece of work and I applaud the way it was created. It does, though, play it safe. There is nothing too dangerous on this record. Nothing unpolished or raw which is sometimes makes for the most listenable experience. Standouts for me are the addictive indie pop of the title track Move On The Sun, Malibu which seems to begin in it's raw form until it is morphed into a version sounding a bit like a One Republic production (I would of loved to hear the initial version), Wolves in The Woods, a darkly driven guitar track with superb vocals (The could be a Feeding People song), Why Am I So Dizzy, acoustic at it's core that expands to a sweeping piece or alternative folk and finally, The Good Stay Young (interlude) which at 36 secs wanted me wanting more.

Robb Donker


Wake Island - It Takes Time EP- Artfully Edgy Progressive Indie Rock

Wake Island are 4 musicians from Lebanon,Canada and the United States and currently based out of Montreal. Their current EP It Takes Time is a moody feast of progressive indie rock with dashes of art rock thrown in for good measure. The first track- I Like It is full of 90 ish dynamic rock progs and sultry tempo changes. The vocal delivery is a bit of a Michael Hutchence and Jim Morrison blend. Go feels more strident in it's approach and moves like an action movie. The synth hook and heavy guitar ryhthmn pulls you into the beat. The organ lines and wild abandon has the feel of early 80's new wave. Use It As A Weapon could be the theme of a Bond movie. Twelve More is full of drama and has an epic and discordant feel at the same time. Probably the most cinematic feeling song on the EP, it grabs you by the shirt collar and then lets you go as it becomes quite introspective. The ethereal sounds and dreamy rhythms make you feel like you are floating through space. I really love the vocal melody that soars on the guitar bed and drum beats.

Wake Islands - It Take Time EP feels as cozily familiar as it does fresh and new. The progressive, yet hooky, indie pop rock rides a wave that harkins back to 80's and 90's new wave indie rock /pop stalwarts. I can feel the ghosts of early Radiohead, early Muse, INXS, Duran Duran and the Cult. The end result is trippy, beautiful and artfully edgy.

Robb Donker

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