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Lately the Not Not Fun catalog has really been creating a buzz in my head. See Eternal Tapestry and Pocahaunted (RIP). And I don’t mean hype, though I am certainly talking about some of these bands more regularly than ever before, but the buzz these bands are making in my head is palpable and actually feels like a vigorous head shaking. Take, for example, Topaz Rags. The band just recently released a new 7″, The Crown Center, and the A-side of the same name is a righteous night-romper of a song. You’ll want to stay up all night! You’ll have to because of how your head feels! Oohing and scary aaahing make this a track of epic- Michael Jackson Thriller like proportions.
Topaz Rags: The Crown Center
Hailing from Michigan, Swimsuit make clean and minimal pop with low-fashion gloss, which is just the way I like guitar pop- unpolished and ragged. The band is the project of Fred Thomas of City Center and features some of the best harmonies not in a folk song i’ve heard in some time. On this rainy day, the first of many this week, and at the end of a very hot summer, why not try and get sunny one more time. This is easy breezy.
Check out the posts over at TGP and the newest song to leak online, “Sunlight” below.
Also, I just got a gingham bikini delivered from J. Crew (great sales now y’all), so this post is more than timely.
Purling Hiss make some pretty catchy and shaky tunes. Take “Don’t Even Try It” for example: starting with tape shake, and then unfurling with lo-fi vibrato and classiness, the new project of Mike from Birds of Maya shines. The muffled drums and the sing-along, be happy, ride-along bass are particularly atmospheric. The band has a record due out soon on Woodsist.
Purling Hiss: Don’t Even Try It
When people talk about wallflowers they’re referring to shy people, those that watch from afar, too timid to join in the game of life. But if those “wallflowers” were instead called “tapestries,” I think they’d be a bit more exciting. And an Eternal Tapestry? Forever an observer, hanging on a college door room wall, absorbing second hand smoke of all kinds, staying forever young? Sounds idyllic.
Eternal Tapestry has been releasing music on well respected avant-experimental labels like Three Lobed and Not Not Fun for some time now, but I just learned about them recently. I’m glad I did, because their music incorprorates some of my favorite elements: sweeping guitar solos with a psychedelic sheen, vast jams that venture into sonic netherlands, distortion…
“Cathedral of Radiance” is off The Invisible Landscape, on Not Not Fun.
Eternal Tapestry: Cathedral of Radiance
Cole Furlow keeps the DEAD GAZE jams coming with this latest installment in what is shaping up to be an impressive lo-fi rock catalog. “Emmanuel Can’t Come Close Enough” is the B side of a new release on Denver’s Fire Talk Records.
Like Furlow’s other tracks out there in the Internet, this one is also a hazy and syrupy sweet cacophony. With reverb so heavily poured on his vocals, you can’t tell what he’s going on and on about, but Emmanuel can’t come close enough. Luckily DEAD GAZE is there to make up the difference.
Dead Gaze: “Emmanuel Can’t Come Close Enough”
Catch DEAD GAZE on Nov. 12 at Glasslands, supporting Velvet Davenport and others to be announced!
One of the best things a musician can do is take something that is well-known, or a style rooted in the collective consciousness of a generation of listeners, and reshape it for a new one. This is something Steve Gunn seems to do very well. His songs are folk and bluegrass on the surface, but really they are experimental jams, with the base element being a standard lick.
“Mr. Franklin” begins classically, with a slide guitar beckoning your ears. Gunn’s sing-song vocals are a perfect match. The song goes on like this until about 6 minutes in when the feeling turns from inward introspection to outward celebration. A psychic guitar line echoes and rings and leads the way, knowingly.
Steve Gunn: Mr. Franklin
Harpoon Forever contributed a cover of Guided by Voices’ “Awful Bliss” to the recently released and quickly sold-out Wild Animal Kingdom compilation. The band sent it over to MME along with some original songs.
Harpoon Forever lets its songs grow. Well, based on the couple that i’ve heard, that’s the case. “Paddle to the Sea” in particular, is a more than 6 minute meandering trip. This is a scrappy song– it actually feels like a wild stab in the dark. It’s a successful wild venture though, complete with aggressive and sludgy guitar solos and drum fills. There is something so fresh-eyed about this song; you can feel the dedication seeping out in between the bars.
Check it out and the GBV cover, below.
Harpoon Forever: Paddle to the Sea
Harpoon Forever: Awful Bliss (Guided by Voices cover)
Harpoon Fever plays Death by Audio on Oct. 11.
Silver Futures is what was borne out of a fruitful relationship between Duguay and Mark McGuire from Emeralds. Initially bonding in Cleveland over a barrel of MSG, and then turning their collective dream into a realization in Brooklyn at Duguay’s apartment, the Pleasure Dome Lounge, Duguay and McGuire made music. The venue they met at was an old Chinese food restaurant. It was Emeralds third show, and Duguay was on tour with Julian Lynch, then Lese Majesty. Said Duguay:
Two musicians together in a room are bound to jam, especially since we spent some time rekindling our friendship with our mutual love of Popol Vuh…The album itself is based on a short story written by Tom Piccirilli with influences from Eliza’s Horoscope (starring Tommy Lee Jones) and Clive Barker’s Transmutations (1985).
And so: two great minds + a few avant-influences + open head space = Silver Futures.
Mark McGuire is playing a solo show at Glasslands tomorrow (Tuesday) night. The show was organized by… EPD. INFO HERE.
You can download the whole tape, which is totally sold-out, here. Below is side A–ambient and sonic explorations into unknown, virtual lands.
Silver Futures: Transmutations/ Contract Ice
I am a total sucker for down home, (or shall I say, under?) vibes and country licks and flourishes. From London by way of Australia, Allo Darlin‘ has got it down. Check out “My Heart is a Drummer” and tell me you feel otherwise. Singer Elizabeth Morris has a way with phrases, and her band mirrors that languid yet peppy pace, creating a song that shuffles and moves but feels like a field-day picnic. The bass player’s got some disco beats too, it’s a confounding mix!
Allo Darlin’: My Heart is a Drummer
The band’s album just came out on Fortuna POP!
Andrew Cedermark seems to play lead and rhythm guitar at the same time. That is really hard to do successfully, but he does it. With just a three-piece band Cedermark makes an intricate rock racket. Check out the video and mp3 for “Moon Deluxe” below, off his new album of the same name.
Cedermark is located in Charlottesville. If that’s where this video was shot, looks pretty idyllic. (Even tho the video is kind of scary!)Vodpod videos no longer available.
Get Moon Deluxe, out now on Underwater Peoples. Get it!
Andrew Cedermark: Moon Deluxe