11.1.07 | Great Lake Swimmers
I told myself I wasn’t going to label Great Lake Swimmers as Band of Horses meets Norfolk and Western. But there’s a big difference between telling yourself that and having it obliterate any useful RIYL information running around in your head.
But truly, this is a great band that plays the dreamy and reverbed type of Alt-Country Americana Folk (er, Canadiana Folk) that Band of Horses is known for. They’re much more toned down, however – less of the anthemic indie rock feel. Great Lake Swimmers are from Toronto, and I’ve yet to hear a song of theirs that I haven’t liked – which means I should probably get on the ball and buy their CD(s). “Moving Pictures, Silent Films” is probably one of the most starkly beautiful songs that I’ve ever heard – so full of yearning and open spaces. It is unbelivably gorgeous and has been known to move many a Hockey-playin’ man to tears… Ok I made that up but you get the idea.
Bodies and Minds video
Great Lake Swimmers website
11.1.07 | Happy Halloweeny
Oh, I forgot to say Happy Halloween to everyone. So:
11.14.07 | I Hate The Post Office
Oooh. I had a long livid rant all lined up and ready to go against the Post Office. No, not the band Postal Service – they’re still cool. I mean the place where all your wonderful CD submissions go. Anyway, I deleted the rant to get to the point:
I’ve always had “issues” with receiving mail at our PO Box – the dunces simply refuse to believe that there might be some crazy person who reviews music as a FREE SERVICE for the benefit of indie musicians out there. I don’t get paid for this, this isn’t a job. So hell, of course I don’t have any fricking business license. I’m already paying for the PO Box, but NO they’ve got to make life hard for this FREE SERVICE I’m doing. I thought I was helping them out by not sending millions of packages to my house.
I was recently trying to add the Palebear name to our other PO Box since the Shmat one is going to expire, and they gave me the most unbelievable hard time. It wasn’t like this before, but oh well.
So, for now I’m going to try and include my name as an “ATTN” to see if that allows me to receive your CD submissions. I would really appreciate it if you could let me know if your packages are being returned to you. If that happens, I WILL use my house address. Sorry, mailmen… blame your idiot friends who work at the post office. Here is the new address:
ATTN: B. Yoshida
PO Box 397
Alhambra, CA 91802
11.1.07 | Minipop – A New Hope
A New Hope
[Take Root Records]
So I magically came across this band called Minipop – or to put it more accurately I was sent their CD. Quite delicious, girl-fronted, heavy dreampop for your listening pleasure. I thought I’d heard of them somewhere before but I’m not sure. There’s just so many band names floating around in my head these days. The gal singing sounds a little familiar – I just can’t place it, a little like Dolores O’Riordan – NOT. No, not like that. Scratch that thought permanently from your head. Maybe more like The Devics?
Music-wise, anything from Autumns to Map to Delgados would be a good enough guess. I sorta feel like they’ve got a mainstream-ish thing going – not necessarily a bad thing, but the songs are pretty polished and well produced. Some big fat delicious distortionverb going on all over the place. I like this stuff… oh unfortunately at press time, they are redesigning your site. So you’ll have to be content w/ their MyDisgrace page…
11.1.07 | Monarch – If Children
I’m going to start off this review by saying that I almost NEVER agree to receive a CD when a particular band emails me to tell me about their latest and greatest. Here is the reason why – unwanted obligation. I know I’m never obligated to write a review from a submission (well, tell that to the bands that call my phone number at home…), but for solicited CDs, I just feel obligated to do it. And since it takes me a long, long, long (long) time to write these things up, I feel bad about it. It’s even worse for “friend” bands, those that I don’t like. So long ago, I learned that the least contact possible is the best.
Well, I made an exception for Monarch because I listened to their songs and just knew that I had to get the CD. It doesn’t hurt that they’re from the Baltimore area (AGAIN) – lately I’ve been noticing that a lot of music coming from that region is right up my alley. In any case, their new album “If Children” (yes, the one that I agreed to receive in the mail) is pretty fantastic. It’s going to be very hard to put a finger on the style of music they play, but if you really had to push me for it, it’s a delicious combination of folksy pop and late 90s shoegaze tendencies. Like a handful of surprising nuts from a peculiar trail mix, but what a handful it is.
Oh, one other thing. This is the duo of Andy Stack and Jenn Wasner but you can’t tell it from the music. It sounds great, and quite full at times. The overall mood and structural tendencies remind me of anyone from Viva Voce, Matt Pond PA, Cat Power, Radar Bros. and Rilo Kiley. I could go on and on naming bands. Great mix of dynamics and musical moments on the CD.
But anyway, a big apology to them for not posting this for several months. They deserve your time, have a listen to the songs…