Friday, April 29, 2016

Watch This / Listen to This -- featuring Star Horse and The Ross Sisters

The almost transcendent dream pop that Star Horse pushes out in the world is as powerful as it is beautiful. Take Slower Now with its heavy flowing bass and soaring synths carrying Maja's sweet vocals. It evokes surreal imagery in you mind. Now take Veda Victoria, Dixie Jewel and Betsy Ann Ross who danced, sang and contorted their way into the minds of men and women in the 1940's. Put them together and you have something weirdly in sync. Mute the sound on the video, push play and after any pesky commercial interruption push play on the Star Horse soundcloud track and be amazed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Brick Road by Accept Us is.... "a beautiful lo-fi mess with glimmers of brilliance" and Straight Out Of Reston, Virginia

Accept Us out of Reston, Virginia has something to say on their latest sound foray entitled "Brick Road" but it can be hard to decipher. A lot of the tracks sound like just fucking around and tossing sonic ideas in the air. At least that is what I imagined as I listened to the 6 tracks.

I could be totally wrong and their are some truly evocative stuff here. Some beautiful wonky moments of tone and texture buried in the murky low-fi sounds. In Figure Out the Length Of Things the drums fall in and out of tempo alot resulting in this kind of slow mo sway of a song. The drums act like a hazy dreamy narcotic that pulls you into the circular guitar lines. I must say that as much as I wanted to shut this song off in the beginning, the strangely inducing tone kept me on and kept me going back to this song a lot. Get Angle On Things is basically built on two power chords (that shift to two more chords on occasion) and the words at one point say "a beautiful lethargy" which I guess distills this song into it's essence.

And so it goes with much on this album. Lo-fi sounds that feel not that flushed out but just might be (?). It is hard to say. Sizing Up The Situation sounds like a rough demo but it is here in all its embryonic glory.  The last track, Waste is the most shoe gazey static filled track with a cool bass line that in the end give this song a sense of romance really.  Maybe the most interesting thing about Brick Road is finding these pretty amazing passages of sound within the abrasive noise folk tones. In Explain (Like A Man) there are beautiful acoustic undertones and melodies in the section between 1:19 and 1:58. The feeling is sad, celebratory and inspired.... and so very cool. I wanted that musical passage to last like 2 minutes more and build.  I guess for me, personally, there are glimmers of brilliance to be found in a lot of Brick Road but you have to be willing to dive into the static and noise to find them.

Does this sound like a lukewarm recommendation?  I don't know. People send me stuff and I do my best to bring it to you all if it has something interesting. Sounds that excite me in some way. Some of what I hear by Accept Us feels rough and ad lib and some like flushed out blends of alternative folk, psych rock and shoe gaze. Some of it sounds like a mess and some of it is so mysteriously beautiful. I just want to know what these boys are smoking.
Robb Donker

Monday, April 18, 2016

California Punk from Audacity - New Album "Hyper Vessels" - Back From Europe / Japan Catch Their US Dates

When I listen to Audacity's latest punk pile driving album appropriately titled "Hyper Vessels" I thought of Dead Milkmen and Bad Brains a bit. I also thought of Ty Segall (at his most punk) genetically fused with 1000 elementary school graders high on pixie sticks.

The utter heaviness of the guitars, bass and drums and Matt Schmalfied's vocals that always sound like a kid mouthing off to an adult is mosh inducing punk to be sure but as part of a Orange County, California DIY scene that Audacity has helped cultivate over many years (since they were in middle school) the ferocity is tempered with a sense of fun too.

"Hyper Vessels" might just be there most punk sounding record thus far (I even hear some Johnny Rotten in Overrated) as the Fullerton Boys have discarded (for the most part) any mid-tempo tracks and power pop tone. Totally Killer record that you can hear on their Bandcamp here and revel in their video for Dirty Boy below.

Audacity has just returned from touring Europe and Japan and are currently touring US dates. See below. Tonight they will be in Tennessee and tomorrow night in Atlanta.
Robb Donker


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Burger Records' Celebrates Five Years of Fun (and Trend Setting Music)- Hundreds of Pics- Burger X Five @ The Observatory

Putting on a cohesive music festival especially of the indie is a daunting task but the boys over at Burger Records have some how made it work at every turn. It seems like they intuitively know this aesthetic that they have more or less created. In fact, this thing they have percolated, this ability to coalesce all these bands and type of music that is this blend of garage, retro, kitsch, punk, prog punk, proto punk, psyche punk and 70's pop all feels so specific to Burger Records that anyone else who puts on these types of shows feels like they are copying the "Burger brand". The way the Burger boys choose the sounds feels innate and while it can appear that this massive success has sprung up easily around them anything this good and trend setting is a byproduct of hard work fueled by passion and fun born out of countless days and nights at the Burger Records hub in Fullerton California.

Last month, Burger put on a FIVE Year Anniversary Series of shows at the Observatory (home of the Burgerama Shows) from March, 7th to the 13th and as sure as John Dwyer wears shorts on stage Burger X Five was a smashing success. Check out the scads of pics shot by the wonderful Joanna Bautista  -  (for more full rez glory) and see her comments below:

Joanna Bautista's words:::

Day 1: Was such a good line up, everyone was friends. Most bands danced to the other bands set. The former guitarist from Hammered Satin was by me supporting his old band, such a nice guy named Edward. Funny moment was when the bassist from Fly Traps went up and kissed the singer from Death Valley Girls.

Day 2: Levitation Room's front man was so sick but held it together and put on a good show.

Day 4: So many people showed up to the last 2 days! Slow Dive performed in the middle of the day which was unexpected. Unfortunately, the singer, Rachel couldn't make it but was still a great performance. The constellation room was PACKED for Lovely Bad Things, pretty hard to get around. Press got kicked out early during Black Lips because it was as if everyone in the crowd decided to jump at the same time toward the stage!

Day 5: During The Orwells set press were getting kicked out of the pit by the third song, like usual, but I tried sticking around. Ended up being the last to leave because Mario tried to land a kiss on me, but I made it really awkward and just went for a hug HAHA! The press pit was completely off limits during Crystal Castles. They had actual police guarding and every security working in the pit, insane. The crowed still loved Crystal Castles without Alice and some even said Edith was better.

The Orwells:::

Cherry Glazzerr:::

Hammered Satin:::

Tijuanna Panthers:::

Death Valley Girls:::

 The Lovely Bad Things:::

Chrystal Castles:::

Andre Nikatina:::

Thee Oh Sees:::

Jessie Jones:::


The Black Lips:::

The Garden:::

Shannon and the Clams:::

The FlyTraps:::

The Buttertones:::



Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel:::

Mystic Braves:::

Tomorrows Tulips:::

Levitation Room:::

Beach Fossils:::

Dead Meadow:::

Go Zilla:::

The Gooch Palms:::

The Sloths:::

Guantanamo Baywatch:::



Wild Wing:::

LA Witch:::