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Volume #109 August – September 2016
Greetings! Autumn is finally here and since the last mix I had a nice few days in San Francisco, I hadn’t been out to the West Coast before and can see why people like it, the weather is certainly more agreeable there. However, there are fewer feelings better than coming back to New York after being away.
01) Drive Like Jehu - Here Come the Rome Plows: Felt quite lucky to be able to see Drive Like Jehu on this brief run of shows they put together, almost 20 years after their initial break up. Of course they played this song, and pretty much everything else you would want to hear! One could make a good case for them being the best post-hardcore band (I’d probably have to hand it to Fugazi, as would most).
02) Tyvek – Wayne County Roads: As everyone who reads these notes should know, Death By Audio was my favourite music venue and closed almost 2 years ago. Famous Class recently put out a 3LP set of songs from the last month the venue was open called Open Your Own Fucking Showspace. I saw Tyvek at the venue a couple of times (including this recording) and they always put on a good show.
03) Ted Leo & the Pharmacists – Bottled in Cork: Here’s another track from Open Your Own Fucking Showspace, I think it had been some time since Ted Leo & the Pharmacists had played (he often plays solo), and they were one of the surprise guests when Screaming Females played.
04) Hurry – Nothing to Say: I recently saw this trio from Philadelphia trio open for Nada Surf and was pretty quickly won over with their jangle-tinged tunes and the sarcastic between-song banter never hurts. Their album, Guided Meditation, was released in April and is on bandcamp for a mere $5.
05) Katy Goodman & Greta Morgan – Where Eagles Dare: Two of my favourite artists in recent years, Katy Goodman (La Sera) and Greta Morgan (Springtime Carnivore) teamed up and released a covers album called Take It, It’s Yours. Turning 10 punk/new wave songs into slow, sombre but beautiful compositions with gorgeous harmonies. The approach reminds me a little of what Mark Kozelek did with his AC/DC covers record (in spirit moreso than execution). “we walk the streets at night, we go where eagles dare, they pick up every movement, they pick up every loser, with jaded eyes and features, you think they really care?”
06) Amber Arcades – Right Now: Another band I recently saw open for Nada Surf, and after doing some more research, it’s not surprising me to find out that this song was recorded in New York, with a backing band that consists of members from Real Estate, Quilt and Kevin Morby (with Ben Greenberg producing). Amber Arcades is the moniker of Annelotte de Graaf, and her soft but sweet vocal marries perfectly with the production here. “I made my mind up long ago, The road is long and slow, So many things to leave behind, But everyone can live their lie, I’m not even sure that I don’t like mine”
07) The Jigsaw Seen – Your Mind is Like Mine: I have to admit to being slightly embarrassed that I didn’t know Jigsaw Seen have still been a pretty active band in recent years. Considering they have written one of my favourite songs of all time, My Name is Tom, from 1991, you’d think I’d keep on top of things. Regardless, I was thankful to get the chance to see them recently (and of course, they played that song), promoting their most recent album, Old Man Reverb, which has all their signature sounds and I gleefully picked it up after the show, now I just need to fill the gaping holes in my record collection.
08) Robert Forster – Pandanus: This month’s freebie-from-my-friend-Herb entry comes via Go Betweens’ Robert Forster, the album The Evangelist got a lot of plaudits upon its release in 2008, but was one of those albums that passed me by at the time. Most of the album has more of a singer-songwriter vibe, but this certainly evokes his older band. “The candle of the day, Has burnt down to wick, The candle of the night, Has not yet been lit”
09) Dusk – My Own Design: Whilst having somewhat of a meltdown being at yet another show on my own (which is probably a good 60% of the time), I was reminded why I do go to so many shows solo, because every band were fantastic. Headlined by Tenement (more from them soon), Amos Pitsch’s other band, Dusk, also played. They play a soulful take on country and have multiple harmonies while sharing lead vocals on different songs. They don’t have an album yet, but hopefully that won’t be the case for too long. This song was released on bandcamp in March. “I used to love you and I used to know why”
10) Okkervil River – Okkervil River RIP: 3 years ago Okkervil River released The Silver Gymnasium and I met Will Sheff at a record store, trying to give a compliment I said “one day you’ll release a bad album but it hasn’t happened yet!”, to which he laughed and said that sounded ominous. Having just released new album Away, his winning streak is still intact.
11) Teenage Fanclub – Hold On: I haven’t managed to see Teenage Fanclub since they played Oxford Brookes in 2002… so I was overjoyed when they announced a couple of shows here in October in support of new album Here, their first album since 2010’s Shadows. You know what you’re getting with a Fannies album, gorgeous tunes and fragile vocals, which of course they deliver in spades yet again.
12) Tenement – The Strangest Couple in Love: Tenement’s headlining set at Saint Vitus was what I imagine getting a dose of oxytocin is like. This track is from the self-titled album (which is actually more of an EP) from last year, and few bands can deliver so many great hooks in such a short space of time. “And it’s no mystery how it goes, and how it ends everyone knows”
13) American Football – You Know I Should Be Leaving Soon: Illionois trio American Football released a critically loved self-titled album in 1999, and that was that, until 17 years later when the band they will be releasing another self-titled album (due in October). I have a ticket to see them in January.
14) Preoccupations – Degraded: Preoccupations used to be called Vietcong, and despite a name change I suspect they will always be known as “Preoccupations fka Vietcong”, so changing names seems a little silly anyway. I can understand why they did it, because people look for any conceivable moment to be offended these days, but how many bands would have to change their names? Anyway, they have a new album out and it’s rather good, as you would imagine because Vietcong’s albums were good and this is the same band. “Some good ideas split in two, So solemn and melancholy, Another thing that you can do, Unwillingly for some money”
15) Explosions in the Sky – Tangle Formations: I probably hadn’t listened to Explosions in the Sky in over a decade (like most, I adored The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place), but when they announced a show at the beautiful Kings Theatre, I picked up tickets without even thinking about it. Thankfully, new album The Wilderness (their first in five years), while not exactly breaking their formula, is a breath of fresh air mostly given my distance from the band’s output. Anyway, the show was spectacular.
16) Russian Circles – Vorel: I saw Russian Circles at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco while on holiday, mostly because I wanted to go to the venue as I didn’t exactly know their music intimately. The venue is deserving of its lofty reputation, and thankfully the band were great too!
17) Cloakroom – Deep Sea Station: Opening the previously mentioned Russian Circles show were Northwest Indiana trio Cloakroom, who couldn’t help make me think we’ve finally ran out of band names. However, with elements of slowcore and heavy-shoegaze, I was a happy listener
18) Fur Helmet – Ether: Another mood saving band I’ve seen live solo was Fur Helmet, who have that reverb drenched desert psych sound down to a tee. You can get their EP for just $2 on bandcamp.
19) The Men – Lion’s Den: The Men’s latest album will be self-released (as opposed to on Sacred Bones like most of their records). The band have been playing new material for the last 18 months which has had a distinct classic rock vibe, but this track is a cross between Iggy and the Stooges and Mudhoney, which is certainly a pretty great combo. It’ll be interesting to see what direction the final product hones in on.
See you when winter hits most likely! Until next time
Peace and love - Q
Download from http://www.mediafire.com/file/re6h5s1rk0fduh4/Q109.zip