8.4.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Aug 4
8.3.06 | Lollapalooza 2006 Live Broadcasts
Uh yeah, you remember Lollapalooza right? I haven’t been to one since the early days when you could stare up Courtney Love’s dress while listening to Pavement rock out (favorite quote from no less than 5 people watching me and a friend dance to Pavement: “So, you actually know who this band is? Who the hell is this?”
Anyhow, so I’m too old to go to one of these things now. But maybe I’ll watch it live from the comfort of my home, and you can too since they’re broadcasting some of the bands performing online. Of course, they don’t tell you exactly which ones (at least they haven’t yet) but I know from the Subpop site that at least 2 worth watching will be online: Iron and Wine and Sleater-Kinney, the latter which will be calling it quits soon after they perform.
Anyway the link to view it is at the ATT Blueroom. Lollapalooza is being held this year Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 4th-6th 2006.
Here’s the other bands who I’m hoping they’ll webcast: Wilco, Death Cab For Cutie, The Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket, The Shins, Sonic Youth, Broken Social Scene, The New Pornographers, eels, Stars, Calexico, Nada Surf, Of Montreal, Rainer Maria, and Oh No! Oh My!
8.9.06 | Lys Guillorn – Three Songs
[Little Cowgirl Records]
A beautiful, and all too short, new EP from Lys Guillorn came our way awhile ago. Three Songs are three of the prettiest home-recorded folky tunes to hit our ears in awhile. Shades of Edith Frost, Tarnation, and many other indie country artists bloom forth on her songs. She has a lilting voice that slyly lulls you nearly to sleep, but the pretty pastoral melodies and instrumentation (mandolin, bells and lap steel guitar) are enough to make you sit up and take notice. The music has a country garden feel but with a good dose of darkness to it so it’s not “skippin’ in the garden” country.
8.1.06 | Oh No! Oh My! – S/T
Oh No! Oh My!
OK, I swear that I knew about this band from awhile ago but just never got around to making a post about them. I swear that I was ahead of the curve… but now I look like a copycat poster now that the exclamation filled group Oh No! Oh My! is hitting it (slightly) big time. Oh Well Oh My, better late than never.
Now, if you think you’ve heard the phrase “Oh No! Oh My!” somewhere before, it could be because the band took their name from a The Robot Ate Me (who are off Swim Slowly, a pretty nice little label in their own right) song. Their album is self-released, however, and is available on Itunes starting today.
The music itself is totally amazing and bouncy indie pop. Imagine the Masters of the Hemisphere swallowed by Slomo Rabbit Kick with a hint of Beulah and other E6 type bands. They also remind me a bit of Pants Yell! another great exclamation point band.
I think more than anything, Oh No Oh My is another band I can use to fill in the void left by the Masters. “Walk In The Park” is a mid-tempo bah-bah-bah filled song that seems to owe a little to the Belle And Sebastian song “Nice Day For A Sulk” but the atmosphere is much more open and playful with cool keyboards and other instruments.
The other available track is called “Jane Is Fat” and takes Slomo Rabbit drums and combines it with a groove that reminds me of a Brittle Stars song. But the singing and melody is ALL Masters all the way. I don’t know how to describe it really: sort of poppy transcendent joyful. Like the Masters, they tend to soar even without trying or meaning to. Truly great stuff, and I’ll be getting their full album (which has a gargantuan 22 songs on it) in a little bit.
8.10.06 | Palebear Blurbs – Aug 11
Hey there. Effective immediately, we’re making a change in the so-called “Blurbin’ Fridays” feature. It’s going to be renamed to “Palebear Blurbs”. The reason? Sometimes we feel like blurbin’ and sometimes we don’t. So it sucks to be tied to a Friday schedule. So now, you might get a bunch ‘o Blurbs any day of the week. Cool, huh?
OK, I recently slogged through about 100 mp3 submissions to the Palebear contact page. Gahhh, somebody help us. Anyhow, all of the below are from that batch. So why are there only four of them instead of five? Draw yer own conclusions from that…
8.14.06 | Red House Painters – Target Commercial
Red House Painters
A few days ago, I was idly listening to the news on TV when I heard a song for a Target Commercial and looked up immediately. Again, I thought maybe someone left the CD player on because it was the intro Red House Painters song Cabezon from the album Ocean Beach.
Not only was I impressed because Ocean Beach is one of my favorite RHP albums, but it’s pretty cool that Target chose this song for two reasons. The first – it’s from one of their older albums (originally 1995, re-released in 1999?), and second – even though it is the first track on the album (so marketing probably was just demoing a bunch of different older indie albums to glean some tracks, and they got lucky because this perfect song for their commerical was the first one) it’s NOT a hit single. In fact it’s an instrumental, so the only way you might have known that was if you had the album (or cheated and visited their site).
Continue reading “Red House Painters – Target Commercial” …
8.29.06 | Silversun Pickups – Carnavas
The Pickups put out their latest album Carnavas more than a month ago, but I’d actually received it when it was still titled “Title TBA”. As in to be announced – just goes to show how far we are behind again.
Having finally absorbed some of their CD finally, I can say it’s one of my favorite “noisy” albums this summer. By noisy, I’m saying it falls into the range of MBV and The Swirlies though it’s often more structured. You should probably start out with the second song “Well Thought Out Twinkles” which has some great riffs accompanied by great doses of crunchy distortion and Brian Aubert’s saw blade vocals chopping through the mix.
His voice may take some getting used to – he has a higher raspy delivery, like Smashing Pumpkins plus a band from long ago, For Squirrels. Maybe a bit of Matt Suggs’s Butterglory days or Mac from Superchunk thrown in there.
There is a definite quirky and spacey feel to more than a few of the tracks – it’s not typical rock. Fans of basement experimentalists will probably like this. There’s a sludgy heaviness to the songs as well (like a 90s Seattle feel), enough on a few tracks to make your teeth rattle. The album is pretty well produced, however, so don’t expect any lo-fi comparisons. One cool thing – I just found out they’ll be touring with one of my favorite duos, Viva Voce.
Selected Albums on Itunes:
8.7.06 | The Lil’ Hospital – Heavy Metal
The Lil' Hospital
As a sign of just how shmattily crazy the Shmat’s joint PO box has gotten lately, he has not gotten to listen to The Lil’ Hospital’s latest until just this very minute. But what a great record! The Shmat has already been familiarized with the jumpin’, twee-bumpin’, ego-less stompin’ indie pop greatness that the Hospital put forth in a flood from their earlier “I Wanna Be Well” album (Best Friends Records).
The newest release is called “Heavy Metal” and stumbles giddily into your living room via Total Gaylord Records. Most of the same auditory hallmarks are still there: the sweet ‘n perfect melodies that make you sway like palm trees, the Beach Boys – Barbara Ann “live room recording” feel, and the great choruses that are so insistently delicious that the Shmat feels like dancing and peeing at the same time. This record sounds a bit cleaner and the songs sound a bit more structured than previous outings. It’s still great and immediate indie pop, yet it seems to grab and yank at yer heartstrings even harder.
At this point the Shmat needs to talk about the “Swede Connection”. Oh, he knows quite well that head-Hospitaleer Kevin Alvir is not from Sweden. But shmat-darned if he still reminds the Shmat heavily of some of his fave Swedish indiepoppers. That would include The State of Samuel of course. If you’re looking for non-Swedish references, they could be: Tullycraft, Butterglory, Pants Yell!, Boyracer and The Gerbils.
Continue reading “The Lil’ Hospital – Heavy Metal” …
8.22.06 | Vivian Linden – Watch The Light Fade
Watch The Light Fade
One of the newer indie labels we’re keeping an eye out for is Seattle’s Tarnished Records. They’ve got a couple good artists in the folky semi-Mazzy genre that we dig. They recently put out Vivian Linden’s Watch the Light Fade which is an awesome, sultry alt-folk-country album.
As far as the vocal department goes Linden has that wounded and bruised semi-drawl in spades, reminding us of Edith Frost’s lonesome lost call, the emotional strength of Renée LoBue (Elk City), Paula Frazer’s smoky songwriting and maybe a little bit of woundedLori Carson. Pick out a few Hush or Barsuk artists to throw into the mix and you’ll be getting close.
What makes the album genuinely hit the sweet spot is the amazing backing musicians that surround her: twangy guitar dipped in vibrato, simmering brushed snare, lonesome tinkling piano and moody bass. It sort of reminds me of the Norfolk and Western vehicle that Adam Seltzer uses to create a pictoral atmosphere that’s like a heavily rusted, lonesome automobile awaiting the pre-thunder of a gathering storm. Sorry, it’s difficult to explain. It’s not gloomy folk – it’s more pensive than anything. She just really nails that timeless feeling of being stuck inbetween the rain and the shine.