Friday, February 27, 2009

mp3: Kurt Vile

"Before They Walk Away"
(photo by yapsnaps)
Kurt Vile makes drowsy folk with synthetic accents reminiscent of waking up in the middle of the night in a NyQuil haze, Christmas lights blurry in your foggy eyes. That in mind, it makes perfect sense that Vile is a friend and collaborator of fellow Philadelphian Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs, who lends his talent to Vile's project, playing such luminary instruments as "memory man gtrs, take-the-edge-off effects and sweet loops." (Vile also plays on The War on Drug's phenomenal Wagonwheel Blues.) One listen to Vile's weary folk, which at points feels not so far away from Mexican Summer label mate and Dylan acolyte The Tallest Man on Earth, while also channeling the bedroom stoner folk Lou Barlow churned out in the 90's with Sebadoh, and it's clear he knows his psychedelic American music history quite well. Mexican Summer will release Kurt Vile's God Is Saying This to You, a collection of "tracks from Overnite KV, a tour-only CDR made in conjunction with a European tour of Kurt's other project (The War on Drugs), along with a handful of extra tracks recorded specifically for this release", on 12" vinyl in March. I'd go ahead and pre-order here while the gettings good.

WFMU is hosting a few cuts Vile laid down in Jersey City this summer, here.

Raven Sings The Blues has a few choice cuts from Vile's recent tour-only ep, here.

Kurt Vile- Breathing Away
Kurt Vile- Slow Talkers

Thursday, February 26, 2009

cover: Headless Heroes do Vashti, Johnston

"Wilder than Moonlight"

(photo by damusic)
While reading P4k's review of To Be Still, I came across a mention of a set of covers Alela Diane did for a project dubbed Headless Heroes. Apparently, the super group, consisting of Hugo Nicolson, Josh Klinghoffer, Woodrow Jackson III, Gus Seyffert, Alela Diane, Leo Abrahams, Joey Waronker, Dirty Pretty Strings, Pocketknife, Mike G., Irana Douer, Sarah Lynn Graves, & Eddie Bezalel, released an album of covers in November. The disc, The Silence of Love, which features Diane's timeless voice on every track, includes songs by Vashti Bunyan, the Jesus & Mary Chain, Daniel Johnston, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, just to name a few.

Hearing one of my favorite vocalists cover two of my all time favorite songs (Johnston's "True Love Will Find You In The End" and Bunyan's "Here Before") is quite the Thursday morning revelation. Excitement level for Alela's show at Music Hall just went through the roof.

Headless Heroes (feat. Alela Diane)- Here Before (Vashti Bunyan)
Headless Heroes (feat. Alela Diane)- True Love Will Find You In The End (Daniel Johnston)

Headless Heroes - Just Like Honey (Dir. Nina Spiering, Mirka Duijn)

The North Wind Blew South

live: Sharon Van Etten @ Zebulon

"The Truth is I Have No Idea"
Bushwick-based chanteuse Sharon Van Etten brought heart-wrenching, "sad prairie folk" to Zebulon last night, which is a second home of sorts for Ms. Van Etten. Coincidentally, the show marked the celebration of Sharon's 28th year in the world, and family and friends were strewn about the audience. The show started with cuts from Ms. Van Etten's debut EP, including "I Wish I Knew", "For You" and "Consolation Prize." Before long Sharon invited friends from Motel Motel and She Keeps Bees to join her in, giving her often sparse balladry a more fleshed out sound. While the guest vocalist from She Keeps Bees didn't seem to remember her lyrics, her downtrodden hum, along with finger-picking accompaniment, wrapped Sharon's downtrodden folk in a warm haze of muddy atmospherics and gentle ooohs. Being that her EP couldn't get much more lo-fi, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that her forthcoming debut LP will (hopefully) feature the "fuller" sound we were treated to last night.

I should also mention Melanie Moser and the Eleventh Hour Band who helped open the show and brought a sort of VU/Nico-meets-Jefferson Airplane by way of Mazzy Star vibe. This band, which included a horn section and a guy playing a "zaga" (or maybe zaza? not really sure), which is some crazy cross between a banjo, a sitar and a zhonghu, would be an ideal soundtrack for a post-millenial acid test. Definitely a band to watch.

If you missed Sharon's show last night, don't worry, as she'll be playing the Arthur Magazine benefit at the Market Hotel on Saturday, and another show at Glasslands on Sunday.

Sharon Van Etten- Have You Seen
Sharon Van Etten- Consolation Prize

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

video: Spiritualized at World Trade Center

"I Don't Know What To Do With Myself"
(photo by Miss Spocchia Ha Il Nasodacornflakes)

Shot atop the World Trade Center in April of 1996 on the Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating In Space tour, these intimate videos not only provide an up close and personal view of the band at its peak, but also show just how much J. Spaceman and his evolving troupe have grown since their heyday as the Spacerock band of '90s. In layman's terms, no string sections or Gospel singers, just face melting, heart pounding psychedelia. I haven't snagged it yet but there is also a torrent of the show that has been hovering around the web. And if that doesn't cure your fiendish appetite for old school Spiritualized, then head over to the "Complimentary Medicines" section of band's website for some rarities, live cuts, alternative mixes, demos, outtakes and a few choice John Peel recordings.

Spiritualized "Shine A Light" World Trade Center

Spiritualized "Mainline" & "Electricity"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

mp3: Quiet Village "Victoria's Secret"

"Ohhhhhhhhh Ohhhhhhhh"

Somewhere in between Henry Mancini, JDILLA and Brian Eno is Quiet Village, an avant sound project from Britain's Matt Edwards and Joel Martin. I found this one in the new arrivals portion of the used bin at Permanent Records last week. Still in the shrink wrap, with a price tag of $20, I knew I couldn't resist this one, if only for remembering that GvB included it as one of his favorite records of 2K8. Whistful, dreamy, funky, sexy and fresh, Silent Movie is the film score that DJ Shadow (or Lemon Jelly) never made, or, conversely, the hip-hop record Mancini never made. Whatever it is, Silent Movie is the perfect companion for both breakfast, lunch and dinner, as it, like you and me, evolves with the sun. Oh, and if, as a friend once said, Panda Bear's Person Pitch is the elevator music on the way to heaven, than I'm pretty sure "Victoria's Secret" is the music playing when you arrive at the pearly gates.

Quiet Village- Victoria's Secret

Interview with Quiet Village

Monday, February 23, 2009

classic: Francoise Hardy

"And Jesus Was A Sailor"

Francoise Hardy is the prototypical bohemian French icon. The essence of all things cool, Hardy is sort of the equivalent to the French Nico, equipped with a better voice and an almost preternatural beauty. She simply exudes cool, and does so no better than on her 1968 record Comment Te Dire Adieu, which features covers by Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg, both of which are available below.

Francoise Hardy- Suzanne
Francoise Hardy- Comment Te Dire Adieu

Friday, February 20, 2009

classix: The Undisputed Truth

The Undisputed Truth is often considered Norman Whitfield's Motown "lab rats"--a way for Whitfield to experiment with psychedelia and dark instrumentation which he would later infuse with his more popular group, The Temptations. Whitfield recorded a handful of psychedelic soul albums for the Temptations (Cloud Nine, Puzzle People, Psychedelic Shack) after 'out-producing' Smokey Robinson with the Temptations "Ain't Too Proud To Beg" in 1966.

Whitfield was one of the most daring and edgy producers in all of Motown in the late 60's and early 70's and this is never more apparent than his work with The Undisputed Truth, a group originally comprised of a few 'Motown muts': Joe Harris from the Preps and Billie Rae Calvin and Brenda Joyce, backup singers for Diana Ross, The Four Tops, and others. When Whitfield left Motown in 1975 to start his own label, he convinced The Undisputed Truth, Rose Royce, and others to follow. Calvin and Joyce soon left the group, and Whitfield brought in Chaka Khan's sister, Taka Boom and a few others reincarnating The Undisputed Truth as more of a spectacle of black funk-adelia. Their 1975 album, Cosmic Truth, contains one of the oddest 1-2 punches on wax: a soulful cover of Neil Young's "Down By The River" followed by the album's funk-saturated hit single, "UFO's."

The Undisputed Truth - UFO's [from Cosmic Truth 1975]

The Undisputed Truth - Smiling Faces Sometimes (1971)

mp3: Vetiver

"Please Don't Pass Me By"

If I had to dislike something about Vetiver, it'd be that they are just so easy. Almost like easy listening of the folk variety. While this could easily tarnish their reputation, fact is their sound is so effortless and carefree that the simplicity doesn't bother me, rather it enchants me, giving their sylvan folk a preternatural quality, comparable to dawning sun. If your looking to get into the band, I highly suggest checking out "Sleep a Million Years", a collaboration with Vashti Bunyan which appeared on Vetiver's covers album Things of the Past, which, like all thigns Vashti, is absolutely magical. Vetiver released their latest, Tight Knit, this week on Sub Pop and will be heading on tour with current Bobka favorites Papercuts this Spring. The pairing will hit the Bowery Ballroom on May 3rd and Brooklyn's Bell House on May 7th. I highly suggest penciling this in on your calendar.

Vetiver- Everyday
Vetiver w/ Vashti Bunyan- Sleep a Million Years

Thursday, February 19, 2009

mp3: Damon + Naomi "Information Age"

"Our Lives Will Never Be The Same"

Computers crashing, all around us business fails, the times are hard, or so they say
"Information Age", one of my favorite tracks from Damon & Naomi's More Sad Hits, could have been written last week, as thousands of Americans (specifically New Yorkers) scrapped by to pay rent, patiently/anxiously awaiting the passage of President Obama's Stimulus plan. Of course, the song was written nearly 17 years ago, as the country teetered on the edge of the digital era and war waged in the Middle East. While the song has certainly provided solace for those seeking clarity in uncertain times, it's affect may not have been felt greater than in Louisiana in the early 90's when Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum was writing On Avery Island. Legend has it that the song "Naomi" on Neutral Milk Hotel's debut "was written after listening to the first [Damon & Naomi] album on repeat for a week while trapped in Louisiana feeling sad." You really can't make this stuff up.

Damon and Naomi- Information Age

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bobkast #23: I Dream A Highway

"Home I'll Never Be"
(photo by Dorothea Lange)
Wealth I seek not, hope nor love, Nor a friend to know me; All I seek, the heaven above, and the road below me Robert Louis Stevenson
Lonely, broke and desperate, yet brimming with optimism, the song of the great American highway is deeply ingrained in the psyche of anyone born from sea to shinning sea. Some say it's Manifest Destiny, others merely an idyllic hobo's dream. Whatever it is, it's easily felt on cold, dark nights on lonesome highways, heading off the grid, or to some fabled watering hole, or, simply, home, wherever, or whatever, that may be. As Gillian Welch once said, "I dream a highway."

Bobkast #23: I Dream A Highway
Utah Phillips- Starlight on the Rails
Bob Dylan- Thunder on the Mountain
Marissa Nadler- River of Dirt
Karen Dalton- Down on the Street (Don't You Follow Me)
Townes Van Zandt- Waiting Around to Die
Magnolia Electric Co.- Hard to Leave the City
Dr. John- Travelin' Mood
Peter and the Wolf- Safe Travels
Woody Guthrie- Hard Travelin'
Antony and Bryce Dessner- I Was Young When I Left Home
Solomon Burke- Memphis
Gram Parsons- Return of the Grievous Angel (w/ Emmylou Harris)
Bruce Springsteen- Reason to Believe
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy- Goodbye Dear Old Step Stone
Tom Waits- Home I'll Never Be

Download Bobkast #23: I Dream A Highway (PC: right click + save as; Mac: apple (command)+click)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

old: Yo La Tengo

"We Could Slip Away"

Yo La Tengo's Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003 isn't just a clever use of alliteration, rather a comprehensive collection of highlights, gems and rarities that begs the question, "Why aren't Yo La Tengo the most popular band in the world?"

While perennial fan favs like "Tom Courtenay" and "Autumn Sweater" appear on the greatest hits collection, reinterpretations of both indie staples also appear on the Outtakes and Rarities disc, which plays out like a wet dream for the Electr-O-Pura, Painful, I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and ...And then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out faithful. My Bloody Valentine leader Kevin Shields lends the woozy "Autumn Sweater" an even more hypnotic element, which, in typical Shields fashion, took forever and a day to complete. Oh, and in case you were wondering if Yo La could reinterpret their own tunes, well, they can, as exemplified by the acoustic version of "Tom Courtenay", which features Georgia's subtle, sublime and absolutely enchanting vocal. Simply put, the cutting room floor for Yo La Tengo tends to be miles above most bands most accomplished works, a profound testament to their oeuvre.

Yo La Tengo- Tom Courtenay (Acoustic version)
Yo La Tengo- Autumn Sweater (Kevin Shields remix)

Friday, February 13, 2009

mp3: Papercuts

"It Looks Like It's Gonna Be a Long Long March"

In anticipation of You Can Have What You Want, I've found myself revisiting Papercuts mesmerizing sophomore release Can't Go Back. Full of melancholic indie pop of the best variety, Jason Quever has a knack for masking sad songs with uptempo melodies and meandering instrumentation, giving Can't Go Back the feel of a long walk by the shore on a windy afternoon. Subtle and introspective, his songs are like old homes, all knowing and full of knooks and crannies, in which real gems lie hidden like Stuart Little. His soon to be released You Can Have What You Want, which, like its two predecessors, will be released on Devendra Banhart's Gnomonsong label, features contributions from Beach House guitarist Alex Scally, which practically guarantees maximum dreaminess.

Papercuts- Dear Employee

Thursday, February 12, 2009

reissue: Swervedriver Raise

"Hallucinogen headlamps / my sane scape's disrupted in a pickup truck"

In the wake of their reunion and the publicity of last year's Coachella, underrated 90's British shoegazers Swervedriver just re-released their first 3 albums (Raise, Mezcal Head, Ejector Seat Reservation) in the UK and now their first 2 here in the US. All three albums get a modest treatment, only adding a handful of tracks (a few of which are previously un-released), however, none of this excitement pours onto a second disc. That being said, the US reissues have been remastered and their kick-ass debut, Raise, is as energetic as ever. The addition of fan favorite "Kill the Superheroes" is a pleasant but ultimately safe surprise. The only new track on Raise is "Andalucia", a b-side from 1991 that's been circulating around the world wide web for years. In the end these reissues might not attract hardcore fans but instead act as a replacement to their predecessors for new fans discovering Swervedriver 18 years later.

On a side note, it seems everyone loves the southern Spanish province, Andalucia:

Swervedriver - Andalucia [from 2009 reissue of Raise]
Pixies - Debaser (Live)
The Clash- Spanish Bombs (in Andalucia)

CAVEAT: The following clip from Luis Bunuel's masterpiece, Un Chien Andalou is not for the squeemish

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

mp3: White Antelope "It Ain't Me Babe"

"You Say Your Looking For Someone"
(photo by grandchildren)
He's done it again, this time covering Bob Dylan's classic "It Ain't Me Babe." As expected, absolutely majestic, most notably the doubled vocals, which give it a sort of campfire deep inside a cave sing-a-long vibe. Apparently this was on the White Antelope MySpace page, although it seems to have been removed. Oh well, you can snag an mp3 below. Thanks to Peenko for the heads up.

White Antelope- It Ain't Me Babe

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

mp3: Treasure "We Were Hunted"

"The Second Line Was A Sound"

Reminiscent of chiaroscuro, Treasure's songs shed light on tiny, often overlooked, elements of life, giving the mundane an ethereal glow, much like a lonely street lamp highlights remnants of day's gone by. The group will be playing two shows at Williamsburg's Monkey Town on Thursday as part of BAM's Sounds like Brooklyn Festival. Meanwhile, you can pick up their debut EP Tea Party via their MySpace page. The disc features "letter pressed covers with original artwork designed and individually hand painted by Maude Black" and is limited to 300 copies. Get one here before they're gone.

Treasure- We Were Hunted

Treasure "White Wake"

live: The Sight Below, Grouper NYC

"Love Is Enormous"

Reclusive Seattle ambient provocateur The Sight Below performed his first ever live radio set on Seattle's KEXP back in September. Just after the new year, Ghostly made it available as the 18th edition of its highly subscribable Ghostly Cast. The impressive set was also listed as one of KEXP's "Live In-Studio Sessions You May Have Overlooked." While this 27 minute live set is the perfect companion to The Sight Below's Glider, it only makes me even more excited about the ambient artist's set this weekend at (le) poisson rouge. Not only will the Sight Below be making his NYC debut, but he'll be doing it as part of a lineup that also includes the Portland's Grouper, whose Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill has kept me company on many a long, cold winter's night.

Billed as "An Evening of Sensual Machine Music with Lusine, Grouper, Michael Brofman performing pieces by Erik Satie, and The Sight Below, I'm not exactly sure this is the best place to take your significant other, that is, of course, unless your significant other is J. Spaceman or Yoko Ono. Regardless, I'll be there spacing my face and sipping on a can of Pork Slap. Romantic, eh?

The Sight Below- Ghostly Cast

Monday, February 9, 2009

we saw: Nodzzz, Woods, Wavves

"I'm So Bored"
(photo by YiiioiiiY P)
A long weekend of shows ended yesterday afternoon in Morningside Heights with sets by Nodzzz, Woods and Wavves. Put on by WBAR and Todd P, the Underground Lounge was packed with undergrads hopped up on blog buzz and Red Stripe, reminding me of days spent in half-dilapidated barns and outhouses. To be honest, I haven't been that impressed with Wavves on record. I bought the LP a few weeks back and, for whatever reason, simply hadn't gotten into it yet. That was until yesterday when Nate and Ryan's three-chord skate punk shredded by head, and, by association, my neck. I can't remember the last time I head banged so hard, simply getting lost in a mess of breakneck schizo punk. Surprisingly, Wavves was much less lo-fi live than I thought, especially compared with Woods, who are really fucking lo-fi (shitty instruments, singing through headphones, broken cymbals, etc. As Bejar said best "The kids with the homemade microphones have very interesting sounds.") Nate played a rather new looking Tele through an equally as new Fender Twin Reverb, the amp of choice for many a guitarist, but hardly a staple at DIY basement parties. Highlights included "California Goth" (7" now sold out), "So Bored", "Weed Demon and "a new song we've never played", which is as close to a romantic ballad as I think we're gonna get from Wavves. All in all a great set.

While Wavves was pretty phenomenal, for me the highlight of the afternoon was Woods, whose Sun Ra meets "I'm-still-trying-figure-this-out" sound was a super pleasant surprise in between sets of shabby garage punk. Woods did some interstellar exploration, reaching for the most far out galaxies, yet managing to ground their sound in songs, which after getting lost in space kept calling me back to earth. I'm really not doing this any justice right now, but I bought their latest record Woods Family Creeps and, so far, I'm really enjoying it. Really looking forward to catching these guys again.

As for Nodzzz, I wasn't expecting much after reports from friends on Friday said they "sorta sucked live." Maybe it was my low expectations, but I thoroughly enjoyed their teenage stoner doo-wop, which would be the perfect soundtrack for driving through the desert with Hunter S. Thompson and Beavis and Butthead high on rubber cement. Goofy and badass, all at once.

Wavves - Part 2 by Yours Truly from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

we saw: Pains of Being Pure at Heart

"This Love is Fucking Right"
(photo by RichterFit)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's show at Mercury Lounge on Saturday night was both short and stellar. Consisting mostly of cuts from their recently released, and 'Best New Music' awarded, self-titled debut, the Brooklyn based twee-gazers sounded super tight, proving that it's Ok to know how to play your instruments and be in a "loft-pop" band. "Come Saturday" was an appropriate and expected highlight, propelling the crowd into a head bobbing, hip shaking dance-by-yourself-party. The band took a no nonsense approach to the evening, banging out one adorable, and oddly provocative, jam after another. The swagger, the sound and the songs, it was all there, making for a highly enjoyable evening with one of the brightest young bands around. As usual, Bill puts it best. "The only thing that could have made it a more perfect evening would have been if it had fallen a week later on Valentine's Day." Indeed.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- Come Saturday

Friday, February 6, 2009

demo: Alex Maas "I'd Rather Be Lonely"

"Love Comes Tumbling Down On Me"

Quite the departure from his day job fronting psychedelic janglers The Black Angels, "I'd Rather Be Lonely", a demo recording by Alex Maas, is a not cover of the Eddie Spencer's Canadian soul classic "If This Is Love (I'd Rather Be Lonely)." However, the rough gem certainly borrows from Spencer's timeless chorus. Upon my first few spins I likened it to Arthur Russell's folkier side, specifically "Eli" and "Close My Eyes", both of which were compiled on last years Love Is Overtaking Me. The demo I have is labeled as part of the "Honeysuckle Folk" genre, which I've never heard of, though it would be an apt description of Mr. Maas's minimalist retro leanings. It's sunny and gothic all at once, as if the repetitive strum of an effected electric guitar and Maas's high lonesome vocal creates a vacuum in the sky which swirls all parts joy and sorrow into a harmonious cumulonimbus cloud. A rough Angels jam or a budding solo project, whatever it is, I'm intrigued and will certainly be keeping my eyes out for more.

Alex Maas- I'd Rather Be Lonely

Thursday, February 5, 2009

new: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

"Look Your Best Friend In The Eye"

The other day we mentioned that Slumberland finally issued The Pains of Being Pure at Heart's self-titled debut. Like Bill, we think this one is a mega-contender for 'Best New Music.' No doubt about it, POBPAH write some of the catchiest indie pop anthems in recent memory. We're pretty psyched for Saturday's sold-out show at the Mercury Lounge, as you should be too. Got shut out? No worries, as the band will be back in NYC in March for a show at The Bell House.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart- Everywhere With You

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

classic: Springsteen @ Hammersmith Odeon

"The Magic Rat Drove His Slick Machine Over the Jersey State Line"

Nearly four years ago, Columbia remastered and reissued The Boss's American masterpiece Born to Run for its 30th anniversary. Complete with two incredible DVD's, one following the intensely epic recording sessions, the other a full length a cathartic, goosebump inducing, heart wrenching, dance-your-ass-off 1975 concert at London's Hammersmith Odeon, the box set is an essential piece of the Rock and Roll history puzzle. Personally, I've never seen better footage of Bruce. The recording captures him at his peak, performing like a rag doll in his signature beanie, with the Big Man by his side. If you thought the Super Bowl Half Time Show was sweet, peep this asap, as its proof that the Boss is absolutely the coolest, most genuine guy alive. Period.

Purchase the Box Set here. Absolutely essential.

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band "Jungleland"

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

cover: Dent May does Prince

"I'm Over Being Sober"

Dent May, aka Mississippi's most talented ukulele player, takes on "When You Were Mine" from the Purple One's third record Dirty Mind. Handclaps, uke, some squeeze box, a pleasant Casio synth riff and some sweet vocal harmonization make this an irresistible companion to The Good Feeling Music of Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele, which, coincidentally, came out today on Paw Tracks. Snag Dent's Prince cover below.

(Also, if you find yourself at the record store, or on Insound, you should probably pick up the Pains of Being Pure at Heart's debut, which also came out today, on Slumberland.)

Dent May- When You Were Mine (Prince cover)

update: Pecknold is White Antelope

"Said the Knight on the Road"

Just a little follow up on the last post. AtEaseWeb member Robin Pecknold confirmed that it was he who recorded and posted the two songs on the White Antelope MySpace page. In his own words:

I used to post demos of songs on that page before the record came out. The Guitar Duet thing dates from when we were recording the LP and the cover of False Knight I did about two weeks ago. I posted the first demo of Blue Ridge Mountains (when it was called Stirring, before the other Stirring) on there before. I might put that back up, it had different instrumentation and was kinda cool....

Right now I am alone in this house we've rented to record the next record in and tomorrow I'm going to record a cover of Ridge Rider, the Judee Sill song, for this compilation. Trying to write new stuff is hard right now for some reason.

I want to do a record of really spare stuff for White Antelope so it may be recorded this year. I dunno if that is a good name though.

Thinking out loud.
I guess I can add the White Antelope (or Robin solo disc) to my increasingly elongated list of albums I'm anxiously awaiting to hear in 2009. The two tracks in discussion are available below.

White Antelope- False Knight of the Road
White Antelope- Magic Rings, Guitar Duet

Monday, February 2, 2009

new: Fleet Foxes Side Project?

"And He Stood, And He Stood"

A good friend in a quaint, psychedelic fishing village just passed along a fascinating piece of information. White Antelope's MySpace Page. I told him" I know nothing" of said band. But the first song, "False Knight on the Road", automatically started playing and its gentle finger picking felt pretty good. Then, about 30 seconds in, I heard this familiar voice, angelic in its tone, come weeping through the tree's. Robin Pecknold? My IM box bounces and it, coincidentally, reads "Robin Pecknold." Some extremely light research showed that he was "friends" with Fleet Foxes and fellow Seattle folkees the Cave Singers. Still somewhat skeptical, I took a look into the pics section of White Antelope's profile and noticed a picture of someone who looks a lot like the dude that sings in that pretty awesome band with the Peter Breugal painting on their album cover. Well, the songs, the second being "Guitar Duet", an instrumental, are stunning, especially in their ability to summon the heart and soul of American folk music. Pecknold's(?) voice is timeless, able to conjure Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Paul Simon and James Taylor in one fell swoop, without sounding like neither an imitator nor an impostor. It's quite wondrous to fell a century's worth of history in the voice of a young man.

Listen to White Antelope here.

ED Note: So the Kids on AtEase have verified "False Knight on the Road" as the b-side on the Mykonos 7". White Antelope is all but confirmed as the solo work of Robin Pecknold. Great news all around. Anybody have any info on the Mykonos 7"?

new: The Sundelles

"I Wanna Sleep All Day"

(photo by alexadan)
We saw the Sundelles rock a shabby set of lo-fi three chord doo-wop at Dead Herring Friday night and were pretty impressed by their knack for head bobbing, hip shaking melodies, vocal rave ups and their relentless use of the fuzz box. Simple and straight forward, their brand of loft pop will sound familiar to fans The Muslims (now the Soft Pack) and the Vivian Girls, as well as older heads jonesing for some new Nuggets and Pebbles for the 21st century. RCRD LBL has a few tracks for download, so expect to hear more about the Sundelles in the near future. There is certainly a place for them in the DIY cassette/7" scene.