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Volume #91 – August – September 2013
Summer is finally starting to wind down as October rapidly approaches, I love all the events that happens but the heat and humidity are rapidly making it my least favourite season! Despite having the mix done well in advance I’m struggling to get his out the door by the end of my (self-imposed) deadline, the majority of this mix features bands I’ve seen live recently with a few scattered new discoveries.
01) Roomrunner - Bait Car: If there is a better record released this year than Ideal Cities then I’ll be very happy. The promo sticker on the album simply states Yes we’ve heard Nirvana, try harder. They have of course, featured previously on this series but Ideal Cities is their debut full length and this track also opens the record. If your ears survive the opening exchanges and piercing effects then well done. I’ve seen the band 3 times and something incredible happens every time.
02) California X - Pond Rot: California X have that sludgy desert-rock tone that seems to have been cruelly left behind by many bands. Despite the name, the band hail from Amherst in Massachusetts, and are on the Don Giovanni record label (more from then later).
03) Fuzz - Loose Sutres: Ty Segall is a man of many talents and an output that threatens to surpass Robert Pollard in terms frequency. With Fuzz, Segall takes his seat at the drumkit but it makes him no less a frontman as he is the vocalist. I saw Fuzz play a free outdoor show at Redhook Park in the summer and they were incredible. Catch them if you can, their debut album is out now. Their sound can be perfectly described with their name.
04) Primitive Hearts – Harmony: The west coast seems to be serving up a countless number of garage rock acts right now and Primitive Hearts are a fine compliment to the movement, if this doesn’t get your head nodding then you just don’t like rock and roll.
05) Brick Mower - Back to Haunt Me: I saw Brick Mower at Death By Audio back in February and was wowed by their set, to the point where (admittedly, I was probably drunk) I paid double for their CDs, insisting they didn’t need to break change from my $20, regardless, it was money well spent. Fans of Superchunk (who I seem destined to not see live!) should gobble this up. This track appears on their 2013 album My Hateable Face, via Don Giovanni records, both label and band are from New Jersey.
06) TV On the Radio – Mercy: My love for TVotR runs deep, and it is always a joy to hear a new song by one of your favourite bands (they are, for me, still the best band of this millennium), Mercy is perhaps the most straight forward rock song they have released since Wolf Like Me, and by all accounts came together very quickly. Let’s hope there is more around the corner and who knows, maybe an album!
07) Bad Cop - Light On: This is the title-track from their recently released EP, which is a more controlled record compared to their debut album, Harvest the Beast, I had convinced myself I had already used a track from that but I guess I haven’t! I’ll rectify that soon I’m sure. Anyway, Light On has a swagger to it that I hope you’ll enjoy.
08) Bass Drum of Death - Shattered Me: I saw BDoD supporting Unknown Mortal Orchestra at the seaport in the summer and while I enjoyed UMO’s set, the night belonged to them. From Oxford (Mississippi, not England), John Barrett writes and records everything, while the touring band is now a 4-piece. They may be set for a sudden burst in popularity as the track, Crawling After You appears on Grand Thest Auto V.
09) Evans the Death - Telling Lies: This song has been my earworm since first hearing it on a free compilation of Slumberland Records acts, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. This appears on their self-titled debut released last year, while they are preparing for a follow-up release.
10) Gos Gos – Vacation: Another free outdoor concert, this time down at Coney Island was headlined by the Go Gos, I had initially went to see Tom Tom Club who were due to support, unfortunately it rained terribly all night and they could not play. I was starting to wonder if the whole night was worth it, but what the hell I was drenched by now anyway, thankfully after opening with this song the mood was transformed and the rain stopped shortly after.
11) Lost Boy? – Chew: I love the DIY venues in New York, one of which is Shea Stadium, who not only put on great acts but also record every artist that play and are free to listen to. I haven’t seen Lost Boy? yet but this was recorded from a set they played there.
12) They Might Be Giants - You're On Fire: This sort of comment may become boring, but I saw They Might be Giants play a free outdoor show at Prospect Park in August. There really are few things more wonderful than seeing a Brooklyn band playing a huge show in their own backyard. This track opens their latest album, Nanobots, which is a fine addition to their discography.
13) Bad Girlfriend – Feelings: This song is a bit more dreampop than their previous efforts, which had a garage rock feel, but the change feels good. I keep missing them live so I hope I get to rectify that soon.
14) Mikal Cronin – Change: Another of my favourite records released so far this year is II, which is staggeringly consistent. This is one of the more rocking tunes on the album, on which Cronin plays almost every instrument. He played an incredible set at the Bowery Ballroom, his 12-string guitar ended up with about 3 strings by the end of the night. “Faith is just a lover I don’t know, love is just an answer I don’t know”
15) The Holydrug Couple - Long Rain: One of the centrepieces of my Chilean mix, I just felt moved to use another Holydrug Couple track. This particular song has gone through a few iterations in their discography so far, and I don’t have my computer with me to check which version this is as I type these notes at the last second, sorry!
16) Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It: Sharon Van Etten is the artists I have listened to the most in the last 3 months (according to my last.fm stats at least, but I do not doubt it), her album, Tramp, was one of the finest of 2012 and she played an enchanting set at Googamooga this year in Prospect Park, after which I picked up her debut album, Because I was in Love and Epic, on which this song appears. This song seems fairly obviously about a friend with suicidal intentions, but I think the lyrics reflect a broad scope that leaves the listener with the chance to interpret them as they wish.
17) Future Bible Heroes - Living, Loving, Partygoing: Future Bible Heroes made a somewhat unexpected return this year with their third album, Partygoing. I usually lean towards the Stephin Merrit sang tunes on any of his project, but this Claudia Gonson-led tune is the centrepiece of the album.
18) Daniel Lopatin and Tim Hecker – Vaccination: Two of my favourite ambient/electronic artists collaborating on a record is enough to make one weak at the knees, albeit obviously in a sombre, reflective way. This song has a haunting quality to it, like your trapped in a graveyard waiting for rescue.
19) Fuck Buttons – Stalker: After a period of absence, Fuck Buttons finally return with perhaps their most focused and impressive album to date in Slow Focus, which they self-produced. I had conspired to miss seeing them live a few times whilst back in the UK so I’m looking forward to covering their show at Le Poisson Rouge in October.
I hope that was enjoyable! Also, check out my articles on www.mysociallist.com. October is looking like a hectic month with various gigs lined up.
Until next time
Peace and love - Q