Monday, May 31, 2010

Music Monday - Crawdaddy!

Music Monday with Crawdaddy!

Before Rolling Stone or Creem Magazine, launched in 1966, Crawdaddy! is considered to be one of the first U.S. magazines of rock music criticism. Originally born from 17-year old Paul Williams doorm room in Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, Crawdaddy! made noise across the country with features on the biggest rock bands in the world, years before other publications. In 2003 after years of personnel changes and financial constraints, Crawdaddy! shut down. Fortunately they were well ahead of the game when they brought the same integrity to the Internet version of the magazine. Now in its online version, Crawdaddy! still operates with the highest level of quality criticism, views from numerous genres, and sincere encyclopedia of knowledge of music from the 1960s to contemporary bands on the rise. Crawdaddy! writer Angela Zimmerman answered Music Monday's 10 Questions with true passion, and the broadest taste in music of one person we've seen in a long time! :)

Music Monday Q&A

1. How long has Crawdaddy! been operating?

Crawdaddy! Magazine was started in 1966 as the first U.S. magazine of rock music criticism. It rose and fell a few times over the years and came back as a weekly - and then daily - online magazine in May of 2007.

2. What makes Crawdaddy! different from other websites?

Crawdaddy! celebrates music, always looking for the merit in what we cover, choosing to spend our time with the art that makes us think instead of pouring over something we dislike, just to review it negatively. Call it an earnest take on the personal realization that can be achieved through music. We cover everything that we find in good taste, be it Motown from the ‘60s, post-punk of the ‘70s, underground college radio rock of the ‘90s, to breaking bands of today. We cover the whole gamut in a comprehensive way and really let the individual writer’s experience with the music translate to the page.

3. Do you feel Crawdaddy! has a specific musical niche?

We cover it all, 50 years of rock and all its derivatives. Not that many other publications explore such a wide range. While we do stories on many major artists, we also really tend to explore the unsung heroes of today and yesterday – Gary Higgins, Van Dyke Parks, Billy Childish, Jackson C. Frank, Black Randy.

4. What contemporary albums are you looking forward to coming out?

Autolux, Arcade Fire, Delta Spirit, Wavves, Against Me!, the as-yet-no-date-or-much-information-about Belle and Sebastian, Sun Kil Moon. I’m really into LCD Soundsystem’s new one, and Nathaniel Rateliff as well. Oh, and Free Energy, and Future Islands. Big fan.

5. How does Crawdaddy! support independent music and what is important about doing so?

We write about a lot of emerging bands, and are always promoting new artists that are on the road. We do quite a lot of live show coverage, which gives us an opportunity to talk about bands with no big backing. We couldn’t survive without them, and we always try to express our gratitude towards these artists.

6. Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazine? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?

I think there is and always will be a higher standard for print, although I do fear for the sustained survival of the medium. Bands have a lot more opportunity to be talked about, since there are so many blogs operating that can write about music. The pool is just so vast in terms of getting your band heard, I think a lot of times it just has to do with getting that lucky break so people start to come to your shows. All the sites that operate now live under the same big umbrella and we are all so directly impacted by what each other write, because it all shows up in our RSS feed. It creates a climate that is very dense and hard to infiltrate; the limelight is so diluted that bands have really found such new creative campaigns to make themselves rise above all the noise. It’s invigorating to be a part of it.

7. What blogs/publications do you read other than your own?

I rely pretty heavily on my RSS feed for news, and press releases and newsletters from labels and PR agencies. I also check out Stereogum, Mog, NME, LimeWire, Paste, Daytrotter, The New Yorker’s music section, and Pitchfork.

8. What has been your most definitive moment since you started at Crawddaddy!?

We held a charity show for Crawdaddy! founder Paul Williams last spring because he is in very poor health with no insurance. We read some passages from his works (I overcame my stage fright to read the first review he’d ever written of Simon & Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence) and had artists like Jello Biafra, Mojo Nixon, John Doe and Mark Eitzel perform sets for the show, which was held at a very intimate space here in San Francisco. Ben Fong-Torres hosted, we had a great turnout, made some money for the cause, to honor the life and work of Paul and Crawdaddy! It was so special.

9. If there is any musician/band you could interview (dead or alive) who would it be?

Jerry Garcia. I’m such a sucker for the Dead, but Jerry’s solo projects are high among my favorites.

10. If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?
Sonic Youth, who I consider the epitome of cool. That’d make me cool for life.

Each Monday we will feature a Q&A with the bloggers, critics, writers and taste-makers behind music websites, blogs, magazines and other publications that keep us all in touch with the latest in new music.
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Staff Infection: She & Him(s)

I'm notorious for downloading ten albums the week they come out (legally I might add) and then letting at least half of them slip through the cracks. I'm also notorious for listening to my iPod on shuffle and then realizing I had an album I didn't know I had. Such is the case with The Submarines who released their record, Honeysuckle Weeks in 2008. It became my album of choice this week as I rode around on my pink Townie cruiser (yes, I get a few stares). I swear every time I listen to "Swimming Pool" I picture Zooey Deschanel doing the same in one of her cute little cotton dresses. Chances are she probably has.

In an ode to all those boy-girl bands or she and hims if you will, this week's Staff Infection honors them. And anyone who's followed the GLG roster, knows we have a bit of a penchant for those boy-girl swapped vocals, so it seems apt we would kick off the new column with the very heart of bands that seem to infect our ears.

photo by Mare Costello

The Submarines, "Swimming Pool" (sample) from Honeysuckle Weeks
She & Him, "Thieves" from Volume 2 (MP3 posted by Pretty Much Amazing)
The Naked Hearts, "Call Me" from Mass Hysteria
The White Ravens, "Sparks" from Gargolyes and Weather Vanes (Release Date 7/6/10)
Gwyneth & Monko, "Lexington Ballad" from the Good Old Horse EP (Release Date 7/20/10)
The True Jacqueline, "Mondegreen" from Nice Bird (Release Date 6/22/10)

Every week a different Green Light Go staff member will write about what bands have infected their ears for the week and give you an opportunity to hear it for yourself.

This week: Janelle Rogers, Green Light Go Owner/Music Publicist Extraordinaire

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Friday, May 28, 2010

Favorite Friday with Avi Wisnia

Avi Wisnia's
Top 5 TV Theme Songs From My Childhood

No stranger to turning others' familiar songs into something entirely his own with his unique cover songs, Avi Wisnia finds his musical influences in all facets of pop culture, even cartoons. Wisnia believes strongly in where each of his "favorites" list are numbered, and he totally saw Neil Patrick Harris at the grocery store. Wisnia explains all....and believe us, you want to read it all. This piano man is a character. He not only provided us this fresh photo but an mp3 of a rough demo to his #1 Favorite TV theme. Amazing.

"As I have been compiling a set list for my upcoming NYC CD Release show on June 3 (at Triad Theater), I've been fooling around with some of my favorite songs - and it struck me how many of the most memorable melodies stuck in my head are the ones from TV shows I watched when I was a kid."

5. Muppet Babies
"There's something about Kermit's voice, I could listen to that frog sing all day."

4. Zoobilee Zoo
"How was I not totally freaked out by all the giant horrifying people-animals? The theme song!"

3. Doogie Howser, M.D.
"Also doubles as great ice cream truck soundtrack. It reminds me of when I bumped into Neil Patrick Harris at the grocery store. I bet that song just follows him everywhere."

2. DuckTales
"I challenge you to blurt out those two words and not have someone follow with 'WOO HOO!'"

1. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
"So I was backpacking around the Highlands of Scotland in late summer and I stopped into a local pub. I was by far the only foreigner. As I waited to get in on a game of pool, the guys playing asked me where I was from. 'Philadelphia.' They knew Philadelphia. 'Born and raised they asked. I countered, 'On the playground, that's where I spent most of my days.' It didn't take long for the ENTIRE PUB to join in with the entire song, including the sideways cap/head-bob finale. That's right, you heard it here first: Will Smith brings world peace."

Honorable mention: The Smurfs
"This is the great all-time palette cleanser. If you have a song stuck in your head - the latest Gaga, let's say - just hum this tune, and you'll be fine to go about your day."

Avi Wisnia NYC Album Release Event

Triad Theater - 158 West 72nd Street New York, NY
A special concert event featuring full-band performance by Avi Wisnia, with special guests and tons of surprises.
7pm doors
Show: 7:30-9:30pm
$7 early-bird tickets available till May 4, 2010, $9 advanced tickets, $12 day-of tickets
This show is open to all ages, 21+ to drink
2 drink minimum, cash only
Reservations recommended
Meet and Greet following set

Each Friday, hence the name Favorite Friday - one GLG band/artist will send us a list and comments about their "favorites" of the week. It could be a list of albums they are listening to in the van, books they are reading, guilty pleasure TV, and so on. We hope these various "favorites" will give you unique glimpse into the lives of our bands.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Call It Folk - The Dutchess and The Duke, Gwyneth & Monko

Thanks to the upcoming national release (July 20) of Good Old Horse from our favorite folk duo Gwyneth & Monko, we stumbled upon the blog Call It Folk - A Home for Good Songs and Ballads. And golly, do they follow through with indie and brand-spanking new bands that dip their toes into traditional mixed with contemporary folk pop. Featuring groups like Band of Horses, The Dutchess and The Duke to complete unknowns, a great feature of this site is that at the end of each "review" or feature of said band, they offer you a list of other artists you may be interested in after reading about said band.

An early review of Good Old Horse by Call it Folk had only great things to say about the beautiful duo.

"Their songs are all good, but they are varied, from lone and sparse ballads like "Pine Box Sailor," to more upbeat songs with full arrangements. Being a sucker for traditional-style storytelling, and vocal harmonies, I found myself weak at the knees listening for the first time to the lovely song "Pine Box Sailor." It's awash with imagery and longing, driven by it's waltz-like tempo and folksy, universal melody. Gwyneth's vocals and lyrics combine wonderfully in this sad lament. This song is from her solo album, but the killer harmony vocals are from Michael Monko. "Lexington Ballad" in the standout from the new EP. Great vocals from Moreland, with stellar mandolin lines from Monko. This is very good songwriting from a duo with lots of talent, and, we hope, at least a few more albums to come."
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beatles Vs. Rolling Stones w/ The True Jacqueline

It may not not Halloween, but on Thursday, May 27 at the Sierra Grille in Northampton, MA, The True Jacqueline will be emoting the essence of The Beatles. In an event aptly titled The Age Old Question: Beatles or Stones, almost a dozen bands will play 15 minute sets of songs by either The Beatles or The Rolling Stones in a battle for a winner. We don't think there will be a winner, but it sounds like a fun night.

The True Jacqueline will tackle iconic Beatles' songs "Golden Slumbers," "Carry that Weight," and "Don't Let Me Down."

"Last time, it was a David Bowie / Velvet Underground show, where we played "Changes" by Bowie and "Heroin" by the Velvet Underground," singer/guitarist Noah Stevralia shared with us. "This one is more of a friendly competition to decide who is the better band, the Beatles or the Stones. I'm firmly in the camp of the former."

P.S. This battle will never end. I mean, can you really choose one? I wonder if there will be trash talk?

Beatles vs. Rolling Stones Night @ The Sierra Grille
Thursday, May 27.
Cover: $3
Door Time 8:00 PM
Show Time 10:00 PM
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Monday, May 24, 2010

Music Monday - FensePost

Welcome the first edition of Music Monday. Each Monday we will feature a Q&A with the bloggers, critics, writers and taste-makers behind music websites, blogs, magazines and other publications that keep us all in touch with the latest in new music. First up...

Music Monday with FensePost - The Indie Music Blog

"Based in the fertile lands between Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC," is truly about supporting independent music. With live concert reviews, music news, CD reviews, videos and so much more, FensePost is more of a fan blog that has turned into a site worth checking out daily to learn about new bands. We were fortunate to get FensePost's very busy Andrew Fenstermaker to take a second from checking his other 982 unread messages in his inbox to tell us about how it his love of undiscovered music and fondness of Swedish bands that keeps him going every day. The staff may be small at FensePost, but they are mighty and mighty busy. Fenstermaker is the main writer for the site, but is a champion of new music writers, giving unknown critics a chance to be published. He also makes a point on how being a blogger can be a daily stress, trying to fit enough into the blog while maintaining a life outside of the Internet.

Music Monday Q&A

1. How long has FensePost been operating?

FensePost launched in June of 2006 after I finished my MBA. I started it to keep up with my passion in music as I left my college radio station, KZUU. We started with two to three posts per week and have grown to two posts per weekday on average. It's primarily just me, but I have a few loyal writers to toss stuff my way on a fairly frequent basis. I probably write about 2/3 of the posts under the guise "Fense" which was my DJ name in college (a rendition of my last name, Fenstermaker).

2. What makes FensePost different from other websites?

We don't really follow the trends or hype. Sure, we'll cover the hot bands on occasion, but we like to place a great emphasis on covering truly unknown bands that we think are great. Of course, I recently posted a live review of a James Taylor / Carole King concert I went to with my parents, but that's a rarity. Most music is independent. I also write about a lot of Swedish bands.

Another thing that's different about FensePost is that anyone can write for the site. Part of the reason I started it was to give young music fans an outlet from which to write if they so desired without the need to create an entire site on their own.

3. Do you feel FensePost has a specific musical niche?

Not really, outside of independent music. As writers, we each have our preferences. I love indie pop and have had a huge thing for garage since The Legends' Up Against The Legends (Labrador Records, 2004). Ron, who is my most consistent contributor likes pop, rock, folk and even covers an occasional hip hop artist. Cyndi, a new contributor from Oregon, has passed along a lot of great folk. I even cover jazz on occasion (I have a fairly extensive classic jazz LP collection).

4. What contemporary albums are you looking forward to coming out?

I wrote a piece recently listing a few reasons why Sub Pop could very well dominate my 2010 best of list. They've passed along some really great albums this year so far, and I think they've got some amazing stuff lined up. I'm SUPER excited that Hardly Art will be reissuing the old Carissa's Wierd [sic] albums, although that's not really contemporary. I'm also looking forward to seeing what Slumberland (Records) has in store for us in the second half of 2010. And I'm pretty excited to hear new stuff on Woodsist (Records), which dominated my "10 Bands I Should Have Checked Out in 2009" list from a month or two ago.

5. How does FensePost support independent music and what is important about doing so?

I think it's important as a blogger to not only support bands that you (the writer) feel are good and worthy of promoting, but that you also do your part to support the artists you love. I receive a lot of albums in the mail and digitally for free by bands and labels and promotion companies that want me to write about their band. If the group has a single or released an album on vinyl and I really like it, I'll do my part and pick it up on vinyl. It supports the band, and I have the means to do so (from time to time). In today's digital world, I don't think a lot of young people who grew up with readily available free music (albeit not necessarily legal) understand the importance of what that type of support means.

I try my best to only post songs that have been cleared by a band to be posted, and I do my best to link to labels and band websites where readers can order an album directly from the artist or label. I think both of those elements are an important part of supporting independent music.

6. Do you think online publications are taking precedence over print magazines? What kind of effect do you think that has on bands?

I'm kind of immersed in the social media world, so I would have to say yes. But I don't think print magazines will go away. They just need to change in a way that makes sense. People will always buy magazines, but these publications will need to find new ways to reach their audience. I think there's a great opportunity for them using devices like the Kindle and iPad.

As for the second half of the question, there's a big shift that's occurring. It doesn't matter if you're in a band, own a small business, or are part of a large organization, you have to think of this stuff differently these days. What's put out there today is public in a way that's completely different than yesterday. If I told my friends of a great band in the 90s, it only went so far. It mattered, but it was different. That type of "word of mouth" still exists, but due to the dominance of blogs and social networking, it's now global.

7. What blogs/publications do you read other than your own?

As much as people hate Pitchfork, I like to visit the site once every few weeks and check out their Forkcast. I think it's really relevant and they cover some really great bands. I'm also a huge fan of Daytrotter and have been since their seventh session (Drakkarsauna). Locally in the Pacific Northwest, we have a few really great blogs. There's IndiePages, which is occasionally updated with some very super underground pop from around the world (Chris Mac recently opened a record shop and mail order in Seattle; you all should go buy stuff from My favorite these days is Finest Kiss.

8. What has been your most definitive moment since you started FensePost?

I think a good definitive moment came about two months ago. I was getting a bit overwhelmed with everything... work, personal life, home ownership, turning 30 (soon), and I had an epiphany: the world won't end if FensePost isn't updated. As a blogger, we set strict regimens for ourselves that are sometimes unrealistic. I would love to post three times a day, but I also want to keep my house clean, have a nice looking yard, and watch Arrested Development for the 67th time. You can't do everything. You can't listen to every band that sends something your way. It sucks, but that's just a part of life. What you can do is this: do what you can, and have fun doing it. It's kind of a recurring definitive moment... I have the same epiphany about once every six to nine months.

9. If there is any musician/band you could interview (dead or alive) who would it be?

I'm not much of an interviewer, but I'm trying to get into it a bit more. I'm pretty stoked -- I'm just about to send off a few questions to the band that released my favorite album of 2009, Venice is Sinking. I think it would be great to pick the brain of a master like (Brian) Eno or (David) Bowie or even Tom Verlaine (guitarist for Television). Maybe even Morrissey, although he'd probably just get pissed at me 'cause I'm a huge Smiths fan and I'd want to know all about what his beef is with his former band mates and why they won't get back together.

10. If you could be in any band (of all time), who would you rock with?

The Smiths or Television. Maybe Sweden's best pop band, Acid House Kings. I have a huge thing for Swedish pop.
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Fan-Tan Hit Detroit and Finish Up in New York

When one of GLG's bands hits Detroit, we are only reminded even more how much we love our jobs. Fan-Tan played to a delicious group of dancing (and some of us, ahem, swaying) crowd at the Majestic Cafe Sunday night. The Brooklyn quartet took the intimate stage after Detroit's own Oblisk and put their sneaky pop groove into our heads and hips.

Detroit's gig was the band's second to last show for their Age of Discovery tour. They will take the long drive home to New York and after taking a breathe, Fan-Tan will play a "welcome back" home-to-New York-gig, show on Tuesday, May 25 at the Mercury Lounge with
The Tryptucs, The Hotcakes, and The Flying Chang. The band has said they will play an extra long set, starting off the grooves around 10 p.m.

We're not the only ones into Fan-Tan's slick sound. After listening to EP Age of Discovery, website Oh My Rockness found themselves fans of synth-pop and they didn't even know it.

"We guess we're into totally epic synth pop lately, because Fan-Tan's big and sprawling melodies are hitting us kind of right. Listening to this, we really wish we were in a massive rainstorm and there was a camera shooting down on us from a crane, because then we could outstretch our hands and lift them high to heavens while shouting a roar that's equal parts joy and pain. That's what Fan-Tan makes us want to do."

Flavorpill also highlighted Fan-Tan's upcoming show on their site. It's a late night, coming home to write about a band we all just saw. But that's what makes this job so fan-tan-tastic. Sorry, that's funny to me. Maybe it's because I'm sleep deprived and swayed too much tonight.

photos by shannon

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Favorite Friday with The True Jacqueline

I'm really excited to debut one of many new weekly features we will have on the GLG blog. On Fridays, hence the name Favorite Friday - one GLG band/artist will send us a list and comments about their "favorites" of the week. It could be a list of albums they are listening to in the van, books they are reading, guilty pleasure TV, and so on. We hope these various "favorites" will give you a glimpse into the other sides of our bands.

For the inaugural Favorite Friday we present:
The True Jacqueline's
Favorite Albums of the Week

"There's a lot of good new music that's come out recently. We've had some healthy discussion about the direction the new MGMT album has gone (Andrew's not a fan, Zach is). Kate is in love with Dr. Dog. We've all really dug the new New Pornographers album--all very solid stuff in their catalogue that doesn't try to reinvent their sound, but solidifies it. Zach is head over heels in love with Frightened Rabbit's new one, as well." And to make it even more fun, singer/keybordist Zach Farrell sent us this adorable shot from his recent wedding. Congrats!!

1. MGMT Congratulations
2. The Rentals Songs About Time
3. Man/Miracle The Shape of Things
4. R.E.M. Monster
5. Dr. Dog Fate
6. The Vivian Girls The Vivian Girls
7. The Magnetic Fields Charm of the Highway Strip
8. The New Pornographers Together
9. Frightened Rabbit The Winter of Mixed Drinks
10. Trojan Mod Reggae Box set

Don't forget that The True Jacqueline's album Nice Bird comes out on June 22!
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Belly, Juliana Hatfield, PJ Harvey, Nirvana Meld for Deli CD of the Month - Mass Hysteria! Go Naked Hearts

The Deli has chosen Naked Hearts' Mass Hysteria as CD of the Month! That's a fabulous treat on top of a delicious album of '90s alt-rock we know will soon start grabbing more and more critic's ears. Just talking/writing about the album makes me want to put the CD on, turn it up loud and sing and jump around to release my angst (you can still have angst in your 30s) and sway to the idea of true and gritty romance. Is that weird?

The Deli blog had only great things to say about the champion record and its "soul mates!"

"This is one of those bands that make boys and girls fall in love (with each other and with their music, of course). The Naked Hearts are a not-entirely-bass-less rock duo (live, the bass exists as if by magic even if nobody is playing it, as we have personally witnessed!) which offer some extremely well crafted, melancholic, guitar indie-pop. Amy Cooper (guitar and vocals) and Noah Wheeler (drums and vocals) are obvious musical soul mates - their voices perfectly complement each other, their songwriting is well integrated, and their performances are flawlessly tight. The simplicity of their guitar pop formula and the clean rock production may be reminiscent of The Strokes, but the main ingredients of their music (songwriting and overall mood in particular) make this debut a completely different beast."

"Mass Hysteria exists in a musical limbo floating between Belly's hyper-melancholic psych pop ("Way I See You", "Dark Shade"), the more straightforward and up-beat guitar pop of Juliana Hatfield and PJ Harvey circa 1992 ("Boyfriend"), and the obvious Nirvana influences ("Call Me", "Mass Hysteria"). Of course, the Naked Hearts don't have the angst that characterized all grunge bands - but it's their generation that seems to lack that trait. Almost surprisingly, instead, the band uses that genre's musical signature and fills it with some sort of innocence that instills a refreshing quality.

Maybe this is the way the unavoidable, almost due by now grunge revival will sneak back to our ears? The record has at least two singles with noteworthy potential: "Like I Do" and "Mass Hysteria" - true pop gems that build up and open up with harmonized choruses exactly the way we like it - this is stuff that could also work on the dance floor. Is there anything better than dancing intensely to an emotional rocking song, after all?"

Naked Hearts Tour Dates
Saturday, May 22, 3rd Ward, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, May 26, The Glasslands, Brooklyn, NY
Wednesday, June 23, Cake Shop, New York, NY
Thursday, June 24, Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling This Saturday!

Green Light Go artists like to keep themselves very, very busy. We wouldn't have it any other way.

I don't know how The Motion Sick's Michael Epstein has time for anything because he's always making up new blogs and new blog posts about various Motion Sick-related things. And sometimes about just weird things. His best side projects has been with his darling Sophia Cacciola for the band Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling. Their insanely cool "concept," album The New Number 2 came out last month and the duo playing their spy songs live this Saturday night.

The Boston Phoenix caught up with the pair who are in preparations to play in Cambridge, MA at the Middle East (Upstairs), this Saturday, May 22. They talked about the TV-show inspired album and why they record as a duo.

"Whereas other bands cram 20 friggin’ persons on stage at their shows, or rely on technology to fill out their sound, Cacciola and Epstein get a lot done with as few tools as possible. The singer doubles as drummer. The bass, jacked into a guitar amp, plays the highs and the lows, though never simultaneously," wrote Barry Thompson. “It’s weird for people,” Epstein observes. “They’re like, ‘Well, there’s no low end at this moment,’ or, ‘There’s no high end at this moment!’ It makes them uncomfortable.”

“We thought about getting a third person, but this way, it makes us more creative,” explains Cacciola. “We really want to build dynamics, quiet parts and loud parts. It’s harder to do that with two people, but it makes it more interesting.”

Epstein: “They get really upset. I don’t think it’s a personal thing. Some people are like, ‘Well, I hear a guitar part!’ ”
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Nirvana of Naked Hearts

DOA's Bryan Sanchez once again delves deep into a new Green Light Go release. Sanchez reveals some interesting comparisons for the Naked Hearts' Mass Hysteria. We've heard the alternative and '90s rock labels of Mass Hysteria, which we love, but Sanchez really dug deep into each individual song on the album, discovering something new in each tale.

"In between the sound of slashing guitars – the kind that sound as if they are being shred and are shredding at the same time – is a sweetly decorated chorus that finds singer Noah Wheeler singing, “No one, no one, likes you, like I do.” It’s a rather stunning opening, almost re-calling The xx’s debut from last year, before it turns into a bass-driven groove that then finds singer Amy Cooper echoing, “Like I do…” into a soothing ending. Equally gripping and influentially focused, its ability to latch on is substantially deep. And all of this happens on the proper opening song of Naked Hearts’ debut, Hysteria; it perfectly positions the album and the listener, as an album that will reveal many more shapes and colors to come."

"On the album’s title track, Wheeler’s roots as a jazz bassist shine on what sounds like a unique combination of Radiohead and Nirvana. Here, Wheeler is singing to the support of a looping bass part that conveys the harder side of the latter but the former band shows up all over the guitar’s melody with a terrific 90s angular riff. This all makes a lot of sense with each member nodding to their 90s influence in stride; it especially comes through on “Way I See You,” with its surf-ready bass and nostalgic guitar line."
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The True Jacqueline Announce National Tour in Support of Full-Length Release

Upon the heels of the June 22nd release of The True Jacqueline’s debut album Nice Bird, the spritely quartet from Massachusetts will hit the road to spread their jangly twee pop across the country.

The True Jacqueline have shared the stage with Bishop Allen, Sam Roberts Band, and Golden Bloom. Musically, The True Jacqueline offer indie-rock twists, breakdowns, and unusual arrangements that always remain melodic. Their songs can be both campy and heartfelt, but they write about what they know: real life, pop culture, and historical subjects. “We pull topics from many places,” says Stevralia. “We’re kind of nerds, so academic subjects like science, math, and history--as well as science fiction--tend to crop up often.” In 2009, tagged the band as one of “7 Undiscovered Rock Bands Worth a Listen.” On Nice Bird, The True Jacqueline present power-pop basics, indie-rock twists, and unexpected arrangements all the while remaining contagiously melodic. Their songs are playful, literate, heartfelt and always fun. The band writes about what they know: real life, pop culture, and their keen fondness of historical subjects. "...crunchy guitar riffs and...tight girl/boy harmonies, a la Apples in Stereo." -- Pop Matters

The True Jacqueline Tour Dates
6/24/10 CD Release Party Sierra Grille, Northampton, MA
6/26/10 Lompoc Cafe, Bar Harbor, ME
6/27/10 All Asia, Cambridge, MA
6/29/10 Wilbert's, Cleveland, OH
7/1/10 Lilly's Bar, Chicago, IL
7/3/10 The Green Room, Sheboygan, WI
7/4/10 Jolly 4th Festival, Sheboygan, WI
7/7/10 The Vollrath Tavern, Indianapolis, IN
7/8/10 Howler's Coyote Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA
7/10/10 Tritone, Philadelphia, PA
7/11/10 Bruar Falls , Brooklyn, NY

Free MP3s
It's the Water
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Brazilian Bossa Nova Comes to Best Buy Union Square

Avi Wisnia brings his Brazilian bossa nova to Best Buy Union Square with a special acoustic performance on May 27th to celebrate the release of his debut full-length album Something New. Recorded by Grammy-winning producer Glen Barratt (Amos Lee), Something New’s unpredictable cover songs only highlight the main attraction of his new collection of songs: his incomparable mish-mash of piano-pop meets bossa nova pop gems. Fans will have the unique opportunity to purchase Something New in advance of the national release on June 29th. In addition, all fans who purchase the CD will receive a limited edition kazoo, a trademark of a live Wisnia performance.

We also have it under strict confidence a cover of an 80s hit will be unveiled for the first time at this performance. For those of you who've followed the career of Sex & the City's Jessica Parker, she was in this great movie in the 80s with lots and lots of dancing. And by great, I mean 80's great. All we'll tell you is that the name of the movie is also the name of the hit song from the artist he'll be covering. If you have time on your hands, definitely hit Union Square on the 27th.
Thu May 27, 2010:
Live In-Store Performance
Best Buy Union Square 
One Union Square South New York, NY
Free and open to the public
Time: 5:30pm-6:30pm
Click Here to Read More..

San Diego Gets Down with Leopold and His Fiction

Indie Rock Reviews attended last week's Leopold and His Fiction show at Bar Pink in San Diego. Lemon Sun shared the stage that night for what sounds like a wicked time. The oh-so-friendly Monti Smith of IRR took a score of awesome, sweaty pictures and posted them for all of us who could not attend the gig.

"Revved up Honky Tonk shoots forth from the amps and mics. Bassist, Micayla Grace bounces barefoot and brazenly from every corner of the small 5 ft x 5 ft area that the three piece inhabits. Daniel falls to his knees as the Detroit fuzz escalates, and Jon brings up the tempo via the drums. A new sound familiar to all causes everyone present to put their hands together and stomp their feet. Once again, the gang has come in and swept a crowd off their feet."

"Leopold and His Fiction have been a favorite of ours over here at IRR for quite awhile. Daniel even did an exclusive Bionic Ear Session with us in which he recorded a song and our very own Travis did some of the Hand Claps. Now you may be thinking to yourself ,”Big deal, I can clap my hands.” And while that’s probably true, can you clap good enough to be recorded? Think about that! Now listen to it here..."

Lost At E Minor recently spread the gospel of Leopold and His Fiction in a highly favorable review. "I could easily compare Leopold and his Fiction to a vintage wine, a vintage car maybe, but they’re more like a rough piece of aged leather, one that’s been soaked and handled accordingly, reconstituted for a modern-day take. That’s just what they are." Read more....

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, May 17, 2010

Live on Canadian TV....The White Ravens!

You can applaud now.

While in Toronto for their Toronto Independent Music Awards showcase gig, The White Ravens had the very special opportunity to play live on TV. The band did a rollicking version of "Sparks" from their upcoming July release Gargoyles and Weather Vanes on Breakfast Television Toronto. That's pretty amazing. We are talking across the country on Citytv. Canada is a very wide and big country, but everyone gets Citytv.

The White Ravens Playing 'Sparks' on Breakfast TV in Toronto

The White Ravens | MySpace Music Videos

You can applaud again. Click Here to Read More..

Neutral Uke Hotel & Golden Bloom Showcase at NXNE in Toronto

We all know Shawn Fogel is a hard-working guy. But he's definitely been outdoing himself lately. Taking on the amazing Neutral Uke Hotel side project and self-reviewing his concert experiences in our new feature Thank You, Good Night. Now he's really taking the cake by playing two shows at this year's NXNE (North by Northeast) festival in Toronto.
On Friday, June 18th, Shawn (and some "friends") will play Neutral Milk Hotel's acclaimed album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea on ukulele. Shawn's first sold-out show as Neutral Uke Hotel was an amazing experience, so look out, Toronto, here comes Neutral Uke Hotel! After wowing folks on Friday, Shawn and his bandmates will play as Golden Bloom on Saturday the 19th. Audiences are sure to love the power pop they'll be serving up.
Tickets to NXNE available here!
Neutral Uke Hotel will perform Friday night, June 18th at the Painted Lady at 9:00 PM and Golden Bloom will perform Saturday night, June 19th at Czehoski at 11:00 PM.
Now in its 16th year, North by Northeast Music Festival and Conference (NXNE) has become the Canadian festival destination for new and emerging talent—unsigned bands, indie favourites, and major-label headlining artists alike. Seen as the most anticipated summer music event in Canada, NXNE has cemented itself as an essential showcase opportunity for the best in new music.Five-day wristbands for music events are $50 CND. One-day wristbands are $25 CND. photo by Kenneth Parry

Click Here to Read More..

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fan-Tan(stic) Reviews for Age of Discovery

Straight from DOA's Bryan Sanchez, a swell review for Fan-Tan's new EP. I think some of us (ahem) may have a critic crush on him. He always writes insightful and fare reviews on albums (and often of varying genres). He knows what he's talking about and he seems to have really enjoyed Fan-Tan's latest EP The Age of Discovery

"Shaking with an uncontrollable amount of pizzazz and propulsion, Kuki and Sandee Kooks’ rhythm section has the band gelling and flowing together. Like some kind of well-oiled machine, the fluidity of their train is driven forward by Mike Walters’ timely synthesizers. Not only do they add flavor and dimension to the music but they provide those aforementioned colors that conjure up many different kinds of dynamics. Even as an EP, each song is at least four minutes long, allowing enough time for the listener to realize the band’s scope. By the time the fantastic “No Complaint” comes around to close it all out, you’ve already appreciated the album’s ability at providing excellent sounds from every corner." found their own vision of Age of Discovery, pulling out a Sunny Day Real Estate name check to boot.

"Fan-Tan, four Triangle expatriates who started their new, terse four-piece after converging in New York City, mix Sunny Day's grandiose post-punk melancholy with the sonic blueprints of Roxy Music and their New Wave antecedents. It's a good look, too—entertaining and appropriate, with energy to spare." Click Here to Read More..

Friday, May 14, 2010

Thank You, Good Night: Part Deux of Neutral Uke Hotel

"Thank You, Good Night" takes a birds eye view of what it's like for a band to play a show that can only described as a pinnacle experience for the band themselves. In Part 2 of the debut Netural Uke Hotel show at the Arts at the Armory, Mike Epstein shares his experience.

Mike Epstein, lead singer of The Motion Sick and enthusiastic "Thumbs Up" guy on Facebook, had as much fun playing with Shawn Fogel as part of Neutral Uke Hotel as the audience did watching it. He was also completely terrified and nervous up to the night of the show. He had to learn to play the ukulele and fast. For "Thank You, Good Night," Mike described the evening events in his own words. We've also included a live video of his performance and even more description of what Mike is doing for the love of Neutral Milk Hotel.

"When Shawn asked if I wanted to participate in any way in Neutral Uke Hotel... I was immediately terrified. I can't say that I considered the idea much less than blasphemous. Nonetheless, I am a big fan of Golden Bloom and I thought, if anyone can pull this off, Shawn is it. So, I pondered how I might contribute and asked if I could play an outtake from Aeroplane. I thought it would be a nice way to take part without breaking or altering the flow of the record by changing singers.

So, I borrowed a ukulele from my bud J-Krafty (the number one arts and crafts gangsta rapper in the world) and took to learning, "Oh Sister," an unreleased sequel to "Oh Comely." I had an extremely hard time memorizing all of the lyrics (though I only fumbled a couple of words at the show) and an even harder time trying to decide how to deliver the song. The two existing recordings contain somewhat different lyrics and very different melodic delivery. I did my best to learn to play the song in a form that captured the simple melodic beauty coupled with the harsh, grated strains and the chaos of the song.

As for the rest of the show, Shawn kindly agreed to have me strum along to a bunch of other songs. I would have done even more, but I didn't have the time to learn them all on an unfamiliar instrument."

I was really looking forward to the show, but great trepidation remained. Would the sold-out audience react by taking offense? Would they understand the spirit of the project? Shawn made it clear at the beginning of the show that it was not about a band/audience delineation. We were all there to celebrate music that had deep and powerful meaning. People were encouraged to sing, clap, and stomp along...and they weren't shy!

The set began and I watched everyone in the room breaking out in smiles. By the time the instrumental break "The Fool" rolled around, it was obvious that every single person in the room was rapt. We had all been waiting a decade to catch NMH live, and NUH provided a way for a group of devotees to join together to quell the anticipation and desire, the magic and the beauty of Aeroplane.

It was amazing not only to hear the music come alive, but to watch the audience reactions. Just as (Jeff) Mangum's lyrics celebrate the immortality of beauty, dreams, and love, they teach us that there is nothing in this world for the pure of heart to fear.

I should have known all along that the show would be nothing short of magical and that the experience of merging performance and audience would be achieved. I am extremely honored to have taken part in it and I hope to get to experience it again."

Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank You, Good Night: Part 1: Neutral Uke Hotel

"Thank You, Good Night" takes a birds eye view of what it's like for a band to play a show that can only described as a pinnacle experience for the band themselves. It only seemed appropriate Shawn Fogel of Golden Bloom and now his side project, Neutral Uke Hotel, would kick off the inaugural post. Some may call it blasphemous (hint: read tomorrow's post to find out who) to recreate Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in it's entirety. Even if it is in a live setting, in a space which only holds 60 people. Ourselves, we call it sheer poetry. This is what Fogel said of the experience: 

Neutral Uke Hotel at the Center for Arts at the Armory, Somerville, MA (Friday, May 7th, 2010)

"I've been playing music for almost 20 years (if you can count blowing into a recorder in third grade as music), and I've been playing my own songs in bands for about 10 years now. In that time I've played well over 200 shows, and I've never felt a stronger connection to both the music and the audience than I did during my first performance of "Neutral Uke Hotel" at The Armory in Somerville, MA.

The room only holds about 60 people. Every single person there had some kind of deep attachment with Neutral Milk Hotel's music, that album in particular. During Daniel Harris' opening set the audience was mesmerized and silent, so I made a point of inviting people to sing and clap along during our set. The whole point of this project for me is to get people who are in love with In the Aeroplane Over the Sea together in one room to share that love."

"After inviting the crowd to not hold back we dove into the album, and I consciously didn't say a word in between songs, to preserve the flow of the album. During that whole set I felt something I'd never felt before. I felt just as connected to the music as the audience did. Rather than the normal distinction between performer and fans, we were all fans that night. The experiment worked! That same spark I've felt every time I meet someone who shares my love of NMH was multiplied exponentially, the room was virtually glowing. I'm not embarrassed to say that I actually got choked up for a moment during the set. It was while we were playing the album's title track. As the words 'what a beautiful face I have found in this place' came out of my mouth, I realized that statement had never rang so true."

NXNE just confirmed both Golden Bloom and Neutral Uke Hotel showcases during the festival. Neutral Uke Hotel will perform Friday night, June 18th at the Painted Lady and Golden Bloom will perform Saturday night, June 19th at Czehoski.

Neutral Uke Hotel Facebook
Golden Bloom Facebook Click Here to Read More..

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Leopold and His Fiction set to Rock BFD 2010

On June 6th, San Francisco’s Leopold and his Fiction will play the annual BFD (yes, that stands for what you think it does), Live 105’s annual summer show on the festival’s Local Stage. Over thirty bands, including Sublime with Rome, Deftones, Hole, Spoon, Matt & Kim, and Cage the Elephant will play on four stages for a full day of music at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

Relix has said of Leopold and his Fiction’s live shows, “They play like a subdued Whiskeytown, sloshed from the wistful fumes of coastal deserts…The heel taps, the hands clap, and the head paces to the bucking gait of the percussion." With visually stimulating live shows that often finds listeners in a dark, smoke-filled bar where the beer is cheap and the music makes you take notice, Leopold and his Fiction understand that some things are meant for the studio and some are meant to excite you at the live show. Fans have come to expect music and style influenced by the early 70’s and performed with energy that gets the crowd on their feet and dancing. “We are in our element and want to be nowhere else in the world than on that stage,” says front man and founder Daniel James.

Leopold and his Fiction climbed to #30 on the CMJ charts with their second album, Ain’t No Surprise and made it into the top 20 with their self-titled debut, while earning praise from NPR, Relix and Big Takeover, among others. They are currently recording their new album with Thom Monahan (Devendra Banhart, Little Joy, Vetiver) as co-producer in the vintage setting of John Baccigaluppi’s The Hanger. They’ve shared the stage with many musicians including Little Joy, The Dum Dum Girls, and The Studiofix.

The BFD is Live 105’s 17th annual summer concert. This year’s event is sponsored by Bud Light, Cabo Wabo Tequila, Scion, Dr. Pepper, Dr. Marten’s Air Wair, Metro PCS, Scott Hyver Vision Care, Inc, and Eleven.

To buy tickets to BFD, click here!

Leopold and his Fiction will also be playing the following dates in and around San Francisco:

May 28, 2010 @Chief Crazy Horse Inn Saloon - 230 Commercial Street Nevada City, CA
Cover: $5.
Door Time 5:00 PM
Show Time 9:00 PM
Also on the bill: West Coast Juice, Amaranth

May 29, 2010 @The Red Devil Lounge - 1695 Polk Street San Francisco, CA
Cover: $8
Door Time 8 PM
Also on the bill: The Soft White Sixties, Lemon Sun, The Neighborhood Bullys

Jun 17, 2010 @Bottom of the Hilll - 1233 17th Street (17th @ Missouri) San Francisco, CA
Door Time 9:00 PM
Also on the bill: The Moanin Dove, Geographer, John Vanderslice

Click Here to Read More..

Brooklyn's New Scene

In an engaging and inventive manner, this past April, Samantha Tilipman started a blog about Brooklyn's contemporary music scene. She wanted to dig deeper into the artists, their music and why Brooklyn is such a hub for creativity. She does so interviewing musicians and publicists (like our own Janelle Rogers of Green Light Go) to get to the heart of what continues to make Brooklyn a boiling pot for great music, almost a decade after the initial hype of the "hipster Brooklyn rock" was constantly being toted around.Tilipman states exactly what she intends to do with her blog Brooklyn Beats City Sounds.

"I write with a purpose."

Together we will travel the road to stardom through the eyes of a bubbling music group. We will see what it takes to make–what are the drives, desires, and dreams necessary to become known. Does making it in the New York music industry require talent or connections, a passion for fame or a passion for the art? Who’s involved in the success and who takes credit for it? These are just a few questions I hope to answer."

So far in her travels Tilipman has come across Brooklyn-based Green Light Go artists Naked Hearts and Fan-Tan, who both have new albums out this week. Tilipman interviewed both bands for the blog as well got some insight straight GLG head honcho Janelle Rogers.

Tilipman interviewed Naked Hearts' lead singer Amy Cooper about how the duo got their start and how they landed a high profile piece in Interview Magazine last year, and the band's future as an independent band.

"I hope that we’re able to still continue to make records. The main hope that I have is to be able to tour Europe; we would love to do that. We would just like to live being able to tour four to five times a year, and to plan our lives around tours. We’d record when we’re not touring. I think it’s totally possible. You just really have to keep doing what you want to be doing. There are a lot of ups and downs, and if you really love something, you just continue doing it and things will happen the way they’ll happen. I have faith that you’ll end up doing what you want to do for sure," Cooper told Tilipman.

Like many bands have done in the past decade, Fan-Tan, originally from North Carolina, moved to Brooklyn, in hopes of more support and they seemed to have found in according to their interview on Brooklyn Beats City Sounds. Among other things, Tilipman interviewed singer/guitarist Ryan Lee Dunlap about their transition from North Carolina to Brooklyn.

"It was pretty easy for us. We just moved and started playing shows. We emailed everyone as soon as we got here; it was a lot of calls and stuff. Our first show at the Cake Shop, and it was good. We had a good draw because we knew a lot of people in NYC at the time, so that sort of helped. And once you play one show at a venue you can book another show there later. We just kept doing that and then we went to bigger and bigger venues and started getting established as being able to play wherever we wanted to around the city."

The features on Fan-Tan and Naked Hearts were the direct result of a music industry insider who has seen bands come and go from the Brooklyn "scene," and as Green Light Go's publicist and owner, Janelle Rogers told Tilipman she didn't go out seeking "new: bands from Brooklyn.

"They actually chose me. A lot of my business is through word of mouth. It starts with one community and builds from there. Naked Hearts was the first Brooklyn band that I started working with and I met them from another Portland band that was called Star Fucker at the time [now called Pyramid]. And then the others were just word of mouth from other musicians."

Janelle also gave some great insight into why band's benefit from having a publicist. "From start to finish, we’re public relations because from the beginning we’re trying to help them find their identity. We don’t dictate that, we let them and we work with who they are and find their story within that. It’s targeting the people that we think would like their music. For Naked Hearts, they have their niche; an indie rock fan base that will eat them up and love them. For Fan Tan, because they’re synth-pop, the people that go out dancing on Saturday nights and listen to great retro-Brit-pop, that’s like their lifestyle. We’re playing into those things–how people would already consume the music and find the right writers for them."

Keep an eye on Brooklyn Beats City Sounds as Tilipman is adding new interviews and insights every week.
Click Here to Read More..

The Shins, Rogue Wave Have Competition

The Naked Hearts and No Second Troy album reviews are still rolling in, making us glow with pride!

Medleyville had really seems to get what No Second Troy are creating with Colors; how their indie sensibilities can be related to radio-ready lush modern rock, but the album's hues are up for different interpretation by each listener.
"In his band's bio, No Second Troy keyboardist Mike Beach talks about trying to navigate the middle ground between today’s pop and indie music, and in doing so makes a reference to pre- and post-"Clocks"-era Coldplay. Beach's Washington, D.C.-based band really has a lot more in common with The Shins and Rogue Wave in terms of pop sensibilities, attention to detail and good indie instincts – in other words, having the nerve and the smarts to throw in just the right amount of twists and turns to keep things interesting and a little different. Colors (out now) has plenty of crafty gems, with "The Black and White Movie" and "This Is the End of Me" far and away the best of the album's 12 tracks."

It may be obscure, but website Aiding and Abetting are into the '90s swing of Naked Hearts' Mass Hysteria. Read on....

"Oh, goodness. It's been a while since I've heard some honest-to-God indie rock. The Naked Hearts are Amy Cooper and Noah Wheeler (Cooper handles the guitar, Wheeler the bass and drums; both sing). Grungy, bouncy, lo-fi, sparkly, you name it. The Naked Hearts do it all in a minor key, and they make it snarl. Pop songs for the truly disaffected, I suppose. These are brittle pieces of brilliance pasted to the ceiling of a disillusioned teenager. I think we've all been there. The Naked Hearts have moved on a bit, but not so much that they cannot tap that primal pit of pain."

Click Here to Read More..

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Because I love June and Johnny (Cash that is)

I tend to have a soft spot, dare I say attraction to anything that resembles June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash, which is why Gwyneth & Monko was a no-brainer. Gwyneth carries the vocals on this one, swinging the pendulum to the vocal stylings of Jenny Lewis or Gillian Welch.

On July 20th Gwyneth & Monko will release their Good Old Horse EP which evokes a feeling of nostalgia rooted deep in classic country fundamentals. Their first release as a duo, it breathes gently with down-home roots and indie folk sensibilities. Lead singer Gwyneth Moreland and multi-instrumentalist Michael Monko create intimate, pure and heartfelt songs infused with sentimental lyrics.

The songs tell stories of rejected lovers and youthful abandon. In “Lexington Ballad” an ill and aging prostitute poses the question, “What if it had been different/what if I’d been your jewel/If I’d been your one true love dear and not some handy tool.” A Grateful Dead cover, “Jack-a-Row” attests to the bravery it takes to pursue love as a young woman dresses up like a man to go to war and save her lover in combat. Gwyneth says, “They are fictional stories about what I imagine it might be like to walk in these women's shoes.” “Good Old Horse” departs from the fictional characters as Gwyneth pays tribute to her childhood horse, “Brandy” who is now 30 years old.

Gwyneth’s lyrics and musical style reflects her small town life in Mendocino, CA (population 1,006), a city rich of nature and history. As a child, Gwyneth grew up in a ‘back-to-the-land’ way of life in a household with no TV, CD player or junk food. That lifestyle resulted in a young woman who values the simple things in life. Growing up listening to her parents’ Bob Dylan and Joan Baez albums, her childhood has clearly translated into her adult musical life.

Monko grew up in the San Francisco suburbs, incongruously playing hard rock while listening to bluegrass in high school. As he got older, alongside the bass and guitar, Monko was drawn to classic folk and country instruments like the fiddle, banjo, and mandolin.

Good Old Horse EP Track Listing
1. Good Old Horse
2. Union Station
3. Lexington Ballad
4. Jack-a-Row
5. The Cuckoo
Click Here to Read More..

Coldplay, Snow Patrol, No Second Troy Stand Out with Colors

Our boys of No Second Troy are in the beginning stages of getting some great press for their new album Colors.

On Tap Magazine is on board. "A unique cross between indie and pop, this five-piece band’s latest CD, Colors, is a successful 13-track blend of melodic tunes and smooth, effortless sounds. Ironically titled “Grounded,” the second song was a personal favorite, with mature and instantly infectious lyrics like, “My feet don’t touch the ground, you feel like coming down.” The rest of the album follows suit combining their experienced sound into an authentic mix of five musicians at their best. You won’t be skipping songs on this album, since each and every one will be a favorite," writes Ashley Estill.

NST lead singer Jeff Wharen was interviewed for a Southern Gothic Productions podcast in which he talks about the new album and so much more. You can hear the entire podcast, which also includes some tracks from the album.

Click Here to Read More..

Monday, May 10, 2010

Spinner Free Album Preview of Fan-Tan and Naked Hearts

This is a great week at GLG. We have two bands (oddly both are from Brooklyn) releasing albums this Tuesday, May 11. We can't wait to see what will happen when everyone finally gets to hear them!! Alt-rock darlings Naked Hearts will set Mass Hysteria out to the world and synth-popsters Fan-Tan will wow you with Age of Discovery.

The fine folks over at have chosen both albums to stream in their entirety on their site today for their Full CD Listening Party. Last week they had up albums by Broken Social Scene, The Hold Steady, and The New Pornographers. Spinner picks the best of the best for their Listening Parties. So head on over and hear why Spinner deemed Fan-Tan and The Naked Hearts as part of the mix.

Go revel in the ebb and flow alternative rock that duo Naked Hearts play with fire. We know this album is gonna get you. The New Yorker is on board: "The stripped down duo Naked Hearts is gaining momentum on the downtown scene."

Set your hips swaying with the moody synth-pop of Brooklyn's Fan-Tan by finally hearing all the tracks from Age of Discovery. "[Fan-Tan's] newest EP, The Age of Discovery ... is so good that the Killers will be flattered to be compared to Fan-Tan! It's time for some Fan-Tan worship." . We agree!

Some lucky Philadelphia Fan-Tan fans (say that five times fast) are fortunate enough to catch the band tomorrow night, Tuesday, May 11 at the M Room in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Weekly chose to highlight this show with a gracious preview.
"Fan-Tan may have formed in North Carolina, but they’ve got nothing to do with that angular, distortion-crusted guitar rock you know from Polvo or Archers of Loaf. Two of their four members—Kuki and Sandee Kooks—may be Indonesian, ethnically, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be whipping out the gamelan any time soon either. Instead, this fledgling band, now living in Brooklyn, makes the kind of sweeping, soaring, synth-glorious post punk you might remember from Echo & the Bunnymen, or even the Cure. They’ll be celebrating the release of their first EP, Age of Discovery, released via iTunes on the very day of this show."
Click Here to Read More..

Friday, May 07, 2010

Neutral Milk Hotel Fans: Cheap Thrills Gives Pair of Tickets Away to Neutral Uke Hotel Show Tonight!

For all you darling Neutral Milk Hotel fans in Boston who were shut out of the Neutral Uke Hotel show tonight at the Armory, Cheap Thrills is giving away one pair of tickets to tonight's show when you name your favorite Neutral Milk Hotel lyrics. So what you are waiting for?

 The Boston Globe produced an excellent feature that highlights (among others) tonight's sold-out Neutral Uke Hotel show at The Armory in Somerville, MA, performed by Golden Bloom's Shawn Fogel and guests.

Oh, The Boston Phoenix also chose Neutral Uke Hotel as a pick of the week, even though it is all sold out!!! We can't stop saying that!

In the Boston Globe piece "Covered in Glory," writer Jonathan Perry discusses three, dare way say, "cover bands," all with Boston-area shows in one week. In a span of a week, three musicians/bands will salute Todd Rundgren, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham.

First this week, there was Road to Utopia: A Tribute to Todd Rundgren, helmed by musician Gary Backstrom. With a nine-piece band, the evening paid homage to the '70s power-pop pioneer 's extensive career from his early days with Nazz to his popular solo work and that unfortunate Utopia phase (ugh).

Perry also talked to Golden Bloom's Shawn Fogel about tonight's show and Fogel's ukulele take on indie icons Neutral Milk Hotel's album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea.

“It’s one of my favorite records ever,’’ says Fogel, whose guitar-pop outfit Golden Bloom sounds nothing like NMH. “And the album doesn’t just have fans. The people who love that album are obsessed with it.’’ So our Golden boy told the Globe. He went on; “I think its easy for people to look at it and say, Oh, it’s a gimmicky, shtick-y thing — and it’s not,’’ Fogel says. “One of the things that makes the Aeroplane album incredible is the layered production and all the really fuzzy distortion and tape loops, and the nonpolished nature of it. But under all of that, these are unbelievable songs. That’s the goal of the project: to strip these songs down and get people in a room to share their love for this album. If everything goes well, it’ll feel like a campfire singalong.’’

If you haven't gotten your fix, Perry presses you to see the awesomely titled Buckingham cover band The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society, Saturday, May 15 at the Lizard Lounge in Cambridge.

Golden Bloom will be back to Boston on May 20th to headline The Middle East Upstairs and word has it a Neutral Milk Hotel cover ala ukulele may make it into the mix.

Amazing. Eat your heart out AC/DC and Led Zeppelin cover bands. This is how it should be done.

Click Here to Read More..

UK Digs Deep into Leopold and His Fiction

UK music blog Mojophenia - Mind Over Music gave some sweet love to the Leopold and His Fiction EP, while offering a listen to "Golden Friends" and "Ain't No Surprise" directly on the site. We all know how much the British love American bands who burn with heartfelt roots-rock and Detroit-twang & blues rock 'n' roll. We are very happy about this and so are so many State-side Americana, roots and southern-style rock bands.

"Self imposing and laid bare, Leopold and His Fiction seem musically aware of their songwriting direction, there`s no option to under achieve. When allowed, a fabulous audio `piece de resistance` will become apparent. ....If at the very least a gateway to some fantastic songs, inventive structures and swift establishment, surely set up to be a multi-hype machine favourite." You can read the full review on Mojophenia.

Click Here to Read More..

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Golden Bloom Headlines Middle East on May 20th

Golden Bloom is set to headline the Middle East (Upstairs) on Thursday, May 20th with his brand of playful and jangly pop. Golden Bloom’s soaring world of musical wonder will be joined by the bands Sodafrog (Tom Janovitz) and The Backup Factor.  

The show follows up a sold out performance at the Armory on May 7th; Fogel’s live side project honoring Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by way of ukulele.

Thu May 20, 2010:
472 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA - [map]
Doors at 9:00 PM
Golden Bloom on at Midnight
$10 cover
Also on the bill:
The Backup Factor, Sodafrog and Corin Ashley

Don't miss out, buy your tickets now!

Click Here to Read More..