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Friday night’s Julian Lynch, Ducktails, Campfires, Big Troubles, La Big Vic show feels like a distant dream at this point, but it wasn’t long ago. Already YouTube user John Maurer has uploaded a great video of the night’s closing song, “Droplet on a Hot Stone.” Lynch’s band left the stage (except for Sam Franklin) and he was joined by Matt Mondanile of Ducktails and Real Estate and Alex Bleeker of the Freaks and Real Estate. I was brought right back. Hopefully you will be too. And if you missed the show, well, here’s a glimpse…


drawn by Karen Aragon

Back at Christmastime, 2008, before I was listening to Ducktails, Matt Mondanile recorded a live session with Real Estate member and friend Martin Courtney at WFMU in Jersey City. The set has been floating around the past two years, and is regarded as a crystalline portrait of how something great started. Listening to the set now, it’s exciting to think about the careers of these two musicians, and all they have done since then.

The set is being released on wax by Inflated Records and the release party is tonight at Glasslands. Come down and hear Ducktails as well as Julian Lynch, Campfires, Big Troubles and La Big Vic. DJ Marty McSorley, who hosted Ducktails on WFMU, will DJ. Talk about full circle. Doors at 830.

Here’s a taste, “The Mall.” Mondanile’s voice, all coated in effects, announcing who he is, who Ducktails is and even who Real Estate is, shoots a shiver up your spine. It’s a short jaunt-but it bursts at the seams with heavy feelings. Mondanile and Courtney cover “Let’s Rock the Beach” directly after “The Mall.” You’ll hear some of that too.

Ducktails: The Mall (Live on WFMU)

taken at MICRO-PIXEL-RITES, sxsw2010

Campfires is making its first trip to NYC as a band this week. And on Friday we’re lucky enough to have them on the bill at Glasslands. Jeff Walls, who also designed the flyer for the show, whatta guy, says this about “Eastward, God Damn It!”:

Not a full song, but more an inspired burst, the song is, “just a fun little jam that was recorded specifically as a give-away for this mini-tour,” said Walls. ” I recorded it on my own during the sweltering heat last week.”

Well, Jeff, I guess productivity and heat can go hand in hand, because this song is a major kick in the bum. Get up and get em!

Campfires also plays tomorrow night at Shea Stadium, so if you’ve got something else going on on Friday…

Campfires: Eastward, God Damn It!

The super talented Erez Avissar shot these pics at MICRO-PIXEL-RITES. He has a certain way of capturing moods, that Rez. Don’t you think? What i get from these pics: serenity, the impermanent feeling of sunshine, familiarity… do you feel that too?

More after the jump…

I wanted to throw up these pictures real quick so you could all see, in part, how fucking awesome the show was yesterday. Located a little bit outside of the downtown Austin shit show, MICRO-PIXEL-RITES was a chill space with positive vibes, grass, beer, amazing hand-made seitan bbq sandwiches and hand cut fries. But you want to hear about the bands!

They were all shiny. Each band played like they were into you as much as you were into them. Must have been, again, the vibezzzz. From Big Troubles’ reverbed roar to the super energized performance of the highly buzzed Cloud Nothings, from the psychedelic haze of Rangers’ second performance ever to Family Portrait’s ability to make you feel in the future and the past at the same time, to Twin Sister, oh my god Twin Sister, save your heart now, to the always true Alex Bleeker and the Freaks to the female riot power of Coasting, to Pill Wonder, what a wonder with 2 drum kits and finally, Campfires, Jeff Walls’ Chicago bedroom project that is now a loud onslaught of pop. WOAH.

Family Portrait


Twin Sister

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks

Big Troubles

Together with the ladies of Pixelhorse and Visitation Rites, we are Sisters Doin’ It For Themselves this year at SXSW! This is female powered– and sure to be an overwhelmingly awesome and DIY backyard showcase.

The party goes down at 1204 Salina Street in Austin on Thursday, March 18 from 1-8 pm. Check out the flyer, post it, pass it, love that cat on records!

And stay tuned for a BIG announcement… pre-SXSW-pump up party wump wump featuring awesome bands. IN BROOKLYN.

Two bands from two midwestern cities, both fuzzy and fun. One is a one-man bedroom band that has never played a show but has loyal followers, the other is a full-band that played its first show in November and has since taken the Internet by storm and booked lots of shows.

Campfires and Cloud Nothings are the future. Make good music. Put it on the Internets. Build buzz and respond to fans and bloggers. Give songs away. THEN start playing shows. Both bands will be at SXSW, and Cloud Nothings will be at MtyMx. (Campfires was maybe going to be there too, fell through).

While there are many one-hit wonder Internet acts, both of these bands, especially Campfires, have put out release after release of hearty songs. The Cloud Nothings debut on Bridgetown sold out in like, five minutes. It’s being re-issued. Campfires has a release on Mexican Summer and Leftist Nautical Antiques. This split cassette, on Bathetic Records, is sure to be a golden ticket as well.

Stream Campfires’ “Magic Carpet” below.

As I emerge from hiding and re-enter not only a new decade and year but also the coldness that is January in New York, I’m eagerly looking, no searching, for sounds to get me through it all. Jeff Walls, CAMPFIRES, is from Chicago, which I think may actually be colder than NYC right now. You know the wind off Lake Michigan and all. His most recent release, a tape for Leftist Nautical Antiques, is like an antidote. This fucking freezing morning, after walking the half-time dog and taking a few short breaths of cold air, I put it on. Suddenly, hello life!

I’ve been a fan for awhile, read more about Walls and his other releases here and here.

Campfires music is fuzzy and jangly- shuffling drums and reverb-y guitars and Walls dedicated voice: “…I’ll see you again.” The album is called “Burning Rivers, TV Flickers, Drifting Off to Bed.” Buy it here (won’t ship til February) and while you wait get the song the album is named after below and a couple of others at Get Off The Coast.

Campfires: Burning Rivers, TV Flickers, Drifting Off to Bed

Dear Jeff Walls’ project Campfires sees its Mexican Summer release! The 7″ features “Stormy Late Fall,” “Rustic Arcadia” and the newbie “She Was Down.” Go get it!

Today feels like STORMY LATE FALL, even though it’s winter.

Campfires’ music is pure lo-fi pop. When you get down to it, this is the stuff of peanut butter and fluff perfection. Shiny melodies, fuzzy guitars and lazy vocals, you’ll be lapping it up. I know i do. Like milk and honey and apples.

I did a Q&A with Campfires in October. Read more about him there, he’s very forthcoming about music, recording, the internet, etc. Here’s the exclusive he gave me then, which is very short and perfect. It’s on the 7″!!! It’ll sound better on wax!

Campfires: Rustic Arcadia

Buy it.

CAMPFIRES did a little question and answer with MME last week and mentioned there was something special and secret in the works… Turns out Jeff Walls is putting out a 7″ on Mexican Summer in addition to two cassette tapes. It’s due to hit the street and the internets in late November. He’s on fire! Check a song here, a couple on his site, and this exclusive, unfinished track, “Rustic Arcadia.”

Campfires: Rustic Arcadia


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