Sunday, August 30, 2009

new: Pill Wonder, WAKR Monthly Mix Tape

"Yeah They Do"

Since picking up a few choice cassettes from Wild Animal Kingdom at the Underwater People's Showcase, I've been keeping my ears on the small label, run by Olympia's own Dana Jewell. Considering WAKR has released a bevy of beautifully handmade small batch cassette albums, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the new Pill Wonder tape continues the tradition. Pill Wonder played a cheerfully shambolic set at the Market Hotel two weekends back, and Jungle/Surf, the title of the new cassette, is an apt description of their sound. Bubbling with rainforest humidity and play pen playfulness, Pill Wonder's cassette is way more Elephant Six in nature, than, say Animal Collective, who I'm sure people would find a fitting touch point. Rousing in a manner much like that of a Kung Fu Panda in the midst of a noodle fight, tracks like "What We Know" and "Wishing Whale" ooze with gelatonus excitement, as if Wil injected ecto-cooler into his computer mic in order to get right on the Ghost Busters funk tip. As WKR notes Jungle/Surf "took three years to complete and was recorded single-handedly by Wil on his Dell Computer using the Adobe Audition Program downloaded illegally in his mother's bedroom." This cassette is limited to 25, as it will released by our boys at Underwater People's on beautiful 12" vinyl in the next lil bit.

Not one to get bored, Dana also recently started a WAKR Monthly Mix-Tape Club, a series which will highlight specific artists, motifs, and themes, and will be curated by some of the raddest dudes and ladies around. Dana writes, "To join MM-TC, I ask only that you pay for the shipping of the tape from Olympia to anywhere in the continental US for only $1.50 Monthly or for a full year subscription $18.00 so essentially the actual cost of the musix and tapes are free for you!" This is amazing. Luckily for me, I've been asked to curate an addition, and couldn't be happier about it. Sign up asap as I have no idea how limited these will be. And, well, because they are sure to be incredible. It'll be good. Feel good. All good. Etc.

Pill Wonder- What We Know

Friday, August 28, 2009

reminder: ChocBob Show at Cameo Gallery

"And Later On"

Being that its rainy, a bit chilly and the forecast for the weekend "blows," you might as well come to Cameo Gallery tomorrow night for one last pre-Labor Day, post-fuck this humidity party. A rager it shall be, with my boys Family Portrait kick starting the evening, which will sway from the hypnotic folk of Sore Eros to the wondrous Floridian pop of Holiday Shores to the vibrato-inflected surf psych of Beach Fossils. As usual, there will be cookies. So yeah, come out, its only $7 and if your nice, maybe we'll draw a moustache on your face. (Warning: Only nice people will be violated with magic marker moustaches.) Peep chronic videos below for a preview of what will mark the end of our summer, and the beginning of the autumnal transition.

In other news, our friend and pseudo west coast corespondent J. Spacecakes will be on location in San Francisco, a small psychedelic fishing village in Northern California (maybe you've heard of it), at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. In what is surely to be the best piece of web reporting in the micro-blogging age, Spacecakes will be live tweeting the musical styling, while sampling copious amounts of medical edibles. Being that Spacecakes is, well, the greatest stoner in the world, the worlds most absurd tweeter (not counting Ron Artest), and the most gracious dude left of the Mississippi, I highly recommend following his tweets this weekend, especially if your on the trapped indoors on the East Coast watching old movies on AMC while rain streaks down your windows. The party kicks off in Golden Gate Park today at 1pm pst. Follow J. Spacecakes on Twitter.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

mp3: Pure Ecstasy Future Nostalgia

"Your In It Now"

I've heard about 12 minutes of Pure Ecstasy's synthetic space rock and its all the serotonin drip you'll need to ease the transition from summer to fall. A busy man, Nate Grace, who operates under the guise of Pure Ecstasy, is currently selling two tapes and a 33 rpm 7" of grooves, which you probably already read about on Friendship Bracelet. Blissful and drifting in a Spacemen 3 coming down from a major trip without any dark periods , the three songs on Future Nostalgia act as a primer to a hypnotic voyage to ones happy place. Maybe its a desert island, or the mountains of the moon, or perhaps Buffalo, NY, wherever you want to go, Pure Ecstasy's self-released vinyl offering will take you there. As Ian noted, there are only 50 of these bad boys, each spray painted with a different cover. I ordered one today so apparently there are still some left, though not sure how many. But don't worry, if you get shut out, Pure Ecstasy will be releasing a follow up 45 next month on the brand spanking new Austin label Light Lodge, which is apparently about to start releasing some killer shit. Keep your eyes and ears to the grindstone. Then plug the lava lamp in for good company.

Pure Ecstasy- Your In it Now

video: Ducktails "House of Mirrors"

"Look to Find Direction But All You See is Your Reflection"

After filling the room with light rays, Matt Mondanile stood up from his loop station, grabbed his guitar and took us to the screened in porch. While Ducktails is known for its loopy take on tropical psych, "House of Mirrors," which is probably the most introspective song in the Ducktails canon, is a particularly solemn existential ballad. It's a standout, not just because its based around a quiet, very-straightforward chord progression, but due to its ability to seep into your psyche and help in the examining of life, love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. "In a house filled with mirrors, it's not easy to see where your going" may feel like an obvious use of the mirror metaphor, and it sure seems that way in retrospect, but without self examination, one would never truly know thyself. It takes a hint, or a house filled with mirrors, in order to delve beneath the surface of everyday existence. It's not easy, and it can be extremely painful, but, like the end of this tune, which finds Matt moving forward and ripping like an everyday Steve Hillage, when one does finally confront the subtle demons, deeply rooted hangups and other mental obstacles, the rest of life is, as Q-Tip said, "strictly butter, strictly butter, baby."

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

mp3: Weed Diamond Demos

"Nothing To Write Home About"

What separates Weed Diamond from the ever increasing crop of lo-fi guitar acts ruffling in the bedroom punk/pop scene is his uncanny knack for melody. Sure, Tim knows a thing or two about lacing incessant herb references in his song titles ("Stevie Wonder is TOOOO HIGH," "WAAAAY to much Purple," "Let's Burn One Down"), but what he's really good at is getting to the heart of a song. The songs on Weed Diamond's demo are not shrouded in layer upon layer of incandescent fuzz, nor blips, bleeps and bips, and while they are certainly lo-fi and the vocals are, well, barely audible, the tunes feel like echoes of songs I first heard in Peggy Sue Got Married. "Nothing To Write Home About," whose "Teen Angel" melody is as instantly recognizable as it is charming, relies heavily on ancient, interwoven prom riffs, which tumble under the sea as a placid synth and dreamy xylophone take the tune for a stroll down lover's lane. At the ridge at the end of the lane, "Nothing to Write Home About" dissolves into soothing blend of bells and whistles, until nothing is left but a single drum beat, the encapsulation of a prom night that everyone knows will not last forever.

Weed Diamond demos (.zip download) [courtesy of Weed Diamond and Friendship Bracelet]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

mp3: Mountain Man "Animal Tracks"

"And The Sweat Will Roll Down Our Backs"

I could go on and on about how this reminds me of a Green Mountain Joanna Newsome, how Alex Bleeker & the Freaks version of the tune is a raucous force to be reckon with, or how it makes me so introspective I think I need a therapist. Instead I'm just going to post the lyrics. The group is Mountain Man. The song "Animal Tracks." According to the band's site, the song was written by Alexie "in her room at night in the spring time in pink light listening to the peepers in her favorite red skirt."
We'll drink horse bark root beer
and sit on your back stairs
and I'll whisper in your hair
in the summer air
in the summer air

And the sweat will roll down our backs
and we'll follow animal tracks
to a tree in the woods
and a hole in the leaves we'll see
the bright baby eyes of a chickadee
A host of tunes available for free download and purchase, including high quality audio files for all you sound heads, on the band's website.

Mountain Man- Animal Tracks

Monday, August 24, 2009

video: Dana Jewell "No Family" & "Homeward Bound"

"I Wish I Was"

Coming on like a revelation after 25 minutes of ear shattering reverb courtesy of Big Troubles, Dana Jewell's early set at the Underwater People's Showcase was one of the most intimate set of the evening. Backed only by a guitar and his voice, which rings like an old familiar friend you rarely see, the proprietor of Wild Animal Kingdom Records, whose WAKR Vol. 1 and Vol.2 have become staples around Bobka HQ, performed a short set of ballads, including WAKR Vol.1 standout "No Family" and "Homeward Bound," a timeless tale chronicling ones longing for steady shelter, a warm bed and a good meal. A long way from his home in Olympia, Washington, Jewell seemed delighted in his Brooklyn surroundings, albeit a bit flabbergasted, but it's his unbriddled sincerity and genuine good heart that shine through on his performance, giving Jewell a sort of "man, I really want to be friends with that guy" quality.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

video: Ducktails "Various Songs"

"Surf's Up"

"Hypnagogic Pop" never sounded as good as it did Saturday night at the Underwater Peoples Late Summr Showcase. The festival, held at the Market Hotel, featured an ebb-and-flo of punky no-fi, jangly folk, psychotropic tropicalia, dark folk, surf psych and jungle fuzz pop, lending it a true musical melting pot vibe that even Lady Liberty could vouch for. In between running sound for bands like Big Troubles and Frat Dad, scene leader Matt Mondanile crept on stage as Ducktails for a hypnotic journey to the outer reaches of the milky way galaxy. I didn't know this at the time, but apparently axel's new camera picks up the color of aura's. Matt's is pink.

A Pink Aura indicates that the person achieved a perfect balance between spiritual awareness and the material existence. The most advanced people have not only a yellow halo around the head (a permanent strong point in the Aura) but also a large pink Aura extending further away. The pink color in the Aura is quite rare on Earth and appears only as a temporary thought, never as a strong point in the Aura.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

video: Family Portrait "Super Cool"

"Super Cool"

The last video from our Backyard Show series features the unofficial Underwater People's house band Family Portrait spacing through "Super Cool," a tune named for the drug the kids can't get enough of in season 2 of the Upright Citizens Brigade. True to form, the only real way to get the feeling of "Super Cool" across was to double expose the backyard performance with footage Axel shot years ago in Southeast Asia. If you weren't already planning on heading to the Underwater People's Showcase today/tonight at the Market Hotel, and this video doesn't convince you, well, sorry, I've done my best to try to get you there. You'll find me spacing out in the corner starring at my shoes and tugging at my hair. It's gonna be freaky good, in an R. Kelly way.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

video: High Places "Various Songs"

"This Is Where We Sing The Chorus"

When Ray Concepcion posted footage from The Walkmen's performance at the Guggenheim the other night, my first reaction was "Damn, I really want to see some High Places footage from that night." And so, this morning Ray graced us with another phenomenal capture. This up close and personal view of the band concocting synthetic lullabys swings from "Universe" to "Head Spins" to "The Tree With Lights In It," giving the performance a sort of "History of High Places" feel. If "Late Bloomer" were tacked on, viewers would see a clear progression; a taste of the past and a glimpse of the future.

mp3: Takeshi Terauchi & the Bunnys

Like an amphetamine fueled chase scene in a pulp noir, Takeshi Terauchi's fret work moves like a '64 Mustang weaving in and out of traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway, Jon and Ponch in close pursuit. WFMU notes that Takeshi, one of the finest surf guitarists in the world, was greatly influenced by the Ventures, who spawned an entire scene in Japan after they toured the country in 1962. The Eleki Scene, aka the Electric Boom, is an apt name for Terauchi's brand of whammy infused surf psych. His first album with the Bunnys, This is Terauchi Bushi is a Tarantino wet dream of a soundtrack. Certainly something Quentin was digging on whilst filming Kill Bill.

Takeshi Terauchi & the Bunnys- Kanjincho
Takeshi Terauchi & the Bunnys- Musume Doseiji

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

mp3: Organ Morgan "Cocaine Afternoon"

"Hell Yeah"
If you like the Avalanches, bikes with gigantic handle bars, the Caribbean, blunts, Quiet Village and the sort, download these Organ Morgan tracks immediately. Straight humidity, you will sweat.

Organ Morgan- Cocaine Afternoon

Organ Morgan- Broken Heart

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

mp3: Pillow Talk "What Does It Take?"

"I've Tried, I've Tried, I've Tried"
Pillow Talk's cover of "What Does It Take?" swoops in like an ocean breeze, the whispering organ setting the pace for a refreshing slice of island groove. The tune, which is like lovers rock cut by two white boys from Jersey, features boy wonder Julian Lynch, aided and abetted by Evan Brody, lead vocal provocateur of Family Portrait. The coconut Coppertone aroma is deeply ingrained in the tune, which, despite a slower tempo, is fairly loyal to Alton Ellis's rocksteady version, which, in itself, is a version of a song Junior Walker had a top five hit with in 1969. One of Lynch's contemporaries, or should I say forefathers, in the circular breathing world, Mr. Kenny G, has also covered "What Does It Take?" Compare and contrast all four versions below.

Pillow Talk- What Does It Take? (Julian Lynch & Evan Brody)

Alton Ellis "What Does It Take?"

Junior Walker "What Does It Take?"

Kenny G "What Does It Take?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

mp3: Night Recordings from Bali

"Rubber Television"
Sublime Frequencies, aka the guys who brought us the un-fucking-believable Radio Thailand series and the equally as "oh my god, my mind is expanding and contracting" 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground, began their run as psychedelic field recording masters with Night Recordings from Bali in 2003. I probably didn't notice because I was lost in the haze of, well, anything and everything that may create a haze. The third release by Sublime Frequencies, Night Recordings from Bali captures the heat of an Indonesian night, the breathing void of the jungle and the mystic rhythms of its people on a record that for many may a) make them go crazy; b) hypnotize them into thinking they can quit smoking; c) help them identify every living particle and molecule in their body, in order to create a lifesize illustration of themselves with colored pencils. Caught in its cryptic claws, I am speechless, so I'll let Sublime Frequencies describe this extremely, and I do mean extremely, far-out beast of a compilation. WARNING: YOU MAY SEE GHOSTS.
Beneath the creeping exterior of a pseudo-western culture slowly overtaking an amazing tradition of unique human expression, the moods of [Bali] are governed by magic and superstition. The hills, forests, rivers, and crossroads are alive with tales of demons (Leyaks) and a flesh-eating Ogress (Rangda). A lesser-known darker side of Balinese life secretly balances the lighter side "tropical paradise" of tourist brochures. This CD is composed of field recordings from August and September of 1989. The majority of the recordings were made at night in and around the villages of Peliatan and Ubud. Amidst the excerpts from Gamelan performances, rehearsals, and Ketchak, are sounds of the surrounding forests and mysterious crossroads where packs of dogs seem to take on forms of angry demons. Also encountered here are odd folk stylings for flute and drum, outdoor village theatre, and other various sound anomalies from the Balinese interior.
If you have any interest in the occult, shamanism, mysticism, drugs, darkness, extreme psychedelia or the forest, this is a must listen. That means you, you bong'd out liberal arts student studying the Polynesian Influence on 21st Century Psychedelia and Aural Healing.

Peliatan Night Walk/Gamelan Rehearsal
Legian Minstrals

video: Family Portrait "Mega Secret"

I love Ari, Brody, Mimoun and Sawyer so when they told us their first official Family Portrait video would feature kids with flame throwers, well, I got very excited. Needless to say, it brought me back to my pre-pubescent days spent making molotov cocktails in Morris County. I think its safe to say, "Do not try this at home." Catch Family Portrait at the epic Underwater People's showcase this Saturday at Market Hotel, then next Saturday, August 29th, at the Chocolate Bobka Presents show at Cameo Gallery, with Beach Fossils, Sore Eros and Holiday Shores.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

mp3: Weed Hounds "In The Afternoon"

"Starring At The Moon"

If Weed Hounds were Tapes 'n Tapes in the infamous Human Giant Clell Tickle skit, Pitchfork Editor-In-Chief "Brolin DiBiasi" would likely stick to his opinion: "not bad, for my taste, a little derivative of the Pixies." And no, for Weed Hounds, its not a bad thing. It's scuzzy, washed out, loud as fuck, and epically melodic, with coy harmonies reminiscent of Kim Deal's take on "Heaven" delivered by Laura Catalano, whose hushed whisper would as work well in a Vashti Bunyan lullaby as it would in Riot Grrrl sing-a-long. "In the Afternoon," a cut from Weed Hounds cassette demo, kicks off with sprawling feedback over a teenage garage rock beat as familiar as anything you'd hear at a high school talent show. It's crisp and warm, washed out in a way that would make '90s indie stoner-slacker forefathers like Chavez and the C86 crowd feel like God parents to the youngsters. The songs are familiar, and also familial, as if they've been around for a long time, and were only channeled by Weed Hounds recently on a four-track in someone's parent's basement. And that's OK. That's what rock n' roll is really all about; laying down simple songs that sound good in the your parents basement. No high concept, no technical wizardry, no bullhorn samples, auto-tuning or 808 drum fills, just melodic indie rock capable of charming a cold, stoned heart. Did I mention their name was Weed Hounds? Well, I should, because my guess is we'll be hearing a lot from them in the coming months, years, etc.

You can pick up Weed Hounds cassette demo on Crooked Direction by emailing If tapes aren't your thing, you can snag the demo digitally here.

Weed Hounds- In the Afternoon

video: Forest Fire "Slow Motion"

"By The Freeway"

The watchful eye of a Grandmother looking out on the kids filling her wood paneled basement could conjure a daunting, almost scornful, sentiment. Rather, in the case of Union Hall, it's homey. Albeit, a creepy sort of home, half dilapidated and populated by rusty steel sewing machines, withering bits of ancient love letters and the dust of cobwebs past and present. It's no surprise that Forest Fire, whose debut album was recently re-released by Infinite Best, look right at home in the taxidermy laden room. "Slow Motion," which kicked off the evening, felt even more appropriate in the basement of the Brooklyn bar, where the passing of time is comparable to the pace of a morphine drip, or worse, the amount of time it takes your landlord to fix your leaky ceiling. Either way, its a moment worthy of re-living, if at least in your mind, once or twice before you pass, if only so you can say "ah yes, that was a nice night."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

mp3: Atlas Sound covers Fleetwood Mac

"No One Is Listening"

Bradford continues to do his thing, this time on a romantic backyard acoustic version of Fleetwood Mac's "Walk A Thin Line." I think I can hear some banjo in the mix, which gives it a sort of campfire feel, same time, my ears may be tricked. Either way, another gem courtesy of Mr. Cox.

Atlas Sound- Walk A Thin Line

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

new: Africa Germany Germany ETC

"Retraced Steps"
The other day I was lucky enough to finagle a copy of the mysterious Africa Germany Germany Mexico Turkey Australia LP on Olde English Spelling Bee. Mysterious doesn't begin to describe the sound of the project, which bubbles like hash in the hot Hindu Kush heat and sways like the wafting garbage on the street in front of my apartment, which makes sense considering the only piece of info on the jacket of the LP is that it was recorded in Greenpoint in December of 2008. Insound notes the triangle of "Greenpoint, Bushwick and Ridgewood, NJ," which makes sense as it was released on OEBS, home to new records by Ridgewood, NJ cronies Ducktails and Julian Lynch. Also, the album, shrouded in secrecy, subtly appears in the "discography" section of a certain tropical loop master from a certain NJ town who plays in a few bands which certainly do not suck. That said, Africa Germany Germany Etc is a record for which comparisons to other sounds do no justice. It's full of bewilderment and ecstatic wonder, an album whose secrecy gives it a luminescence often reserved for moments where God's light shines through rain clouds and sprays incapable humans with hope and overwhelming befuddlement. The three track LP, which is limited to 215 copies, is all the drone, psych, raga, stoner shit that makes kids stay home and enjoy a deadbeat summer in front of the fan in their underwear, when they should be out picking up golf balls at the driving range, delivering pizza or doing anything besides providing t-shirts with adequate sweat stains. It's a special record for special people, and if your lucky enough, and smart enough, to pick one of these bad boys up, well, you're pretty fucking special.

Africa Germany Germany Mexico Turkey Australia- Retraced Steps

Monday, August 10, 2009

video: Alice Cohen "Black Pepper"

"Black Pepper"

Audio visual artist Alice Cohen, whom many of you may know as the director of the trypic video for Ducktails "Landrunner," recently released a video for "Black Pepper" from her 2008 record Sky Flowers on Crinoline Records. Not one to rest on her laurels, and believe me Alice has a CV the size of a thrice PHd'd brain surgeon, which includes a stint in the '80s gem-pop act The Vels, Cohen just released a new LP on Olde English Spelling Bee, home to Julian Lynch and the aforementioned Ducktails. Synthetic drum beats crackle over layers of cacophonous melodies, as Cohen channels a parallel universe much akin to Pee Wee's Playhouse on dark acid. Fans of Fever Ray, Grouper and Nite Jewel will all dig.

video: Girls "Lust for Life"

"Come On, Come On, Come on"

Another phenomenal Girls video, shot in Super 8 by Aaron Brown, is the perfect companion, appendix, side kick to the groups already phenomenal visual cannon. Polaroids and pillow fights galore.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

mp3: Big Troubles "Sick Days"

My Tummy Hurts
Big Troubles "Sick Days" sounds like a sick day. Your head hurts, your mom is forcing Robitussin down your throat, while simultaneously making you drink flat Coca Cola and pressuring your into taking an oatmeal bath. (Side note: Was I the only one forced to bath in oatmeal?) Anyway, Ian and Alex apparently know this sentiment all too well, as the boys have crafted a song as uncompromisingly slacker, sedated and washed out as any sick day I've ever had, and I've had my fair share. Sort of sounds like two teenage kids who couldn't afford weed decided they should just go steal Coricidin from the Grand Union and make an afternoon out of while Mom and Dad were at work.

Big Troubles- Sick Days

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

mp3: Julian Lynch "Nen Vole"

"The Wind Blows"
Our man Sawyer from Underwater Peoples, who could play Francis Ford Coppola in a live theatrical reenactment of Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, peeped me to the Wild Animal Kingdom this morning, noting that "before The Chiller's Mansion, and before even the existence of Underwater Peoples, existed the Wild Animal Kingdom. These guys are our inspiration, our father figures.... We stole their artists." It's true. Real Estate, Desolation Wilderness, Pill Wonder, Fluffy Lumbers and Julian Lynch, amongst others, all appeared on Wild Animal Kingdom cassette compilations. Anyway, while I haven't physically gotten my hands on either of these tapes, I did snag a copy of WAK Vol.2, and while I'm fairly familiar with much of it (Liam The Younger, Real Estate, Fluffy Lumbers), the mix also contains a phenomenal Julian Lynch track that I hadn't heard until this morning. "Nen Vole," which also appears on the Born2Run cassette Lynch released earlier this year, finds Lynch channeling an adolescent Neil Young stuck in a cabin with a few guitars, weeping the night away while a sole candle dances with a draft from the floorboards. It sways and shutters its eyes and dreams of places far far away. It's soft as wool in the dead of winter and warmer than bourbon on the hearth, or can cooked beans on an open flame. It's a feeling we associate with the good, sad times. Blanket time.

Julian Lynch- Nen Vole

mp3: Happy Family- Mindless Pleasures

"Not To Fuck You Up"
Will Pesta's recently sent me his sample based psychedelia, recorded and released under the Happy Family moniker, and I'm pretty sure it's not intended for the average American household. It's not upfront, accessible, or unabashedly joyous. Yet, at the same time, it is all those things, you just have to look hard enough. Buried under layers of dazed-and-confused samples, stacked high with a bevy of effects that'd make even Geologist blush, Happy Family make some of the most uncompromisingly kaleidoscopic music, a strain that may have seemingly been plucked from a double rainbow, or a jack-in-the-box. Appropriately, "Mindless Pleasures" seems to incorporate a sample from ye old jack-in-the-box, and turns it into a trapdoor of sorts, as if it were a gate to the bizarro Coraline world, yet, instead of having evil parents, the young heroines family are now unicorns and giant humanized blueberry's that speak in thick German accents and blow bubbles so big they can actually get inside of them. It's weird. But if you skim the surface, you'll find there is a lot more here than just some kid with a sampler inspired by Animal Collective and his first mushroom trip.

Happy Family's
have made their debut EP available to stream on Muxtape, and it's also available for download. Definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you don't have air conditioning.

Happy Family- Mindless Pleasures

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

show: Forest Fire Record Release Party at Union Hall

"With Gatling Gun Social Skills"
"...We Dance to the Beat." The first Chocolate Bobka Presents, a record release party for Forest Fire's Survival (finally available on vinyl via Infinite Best Recordings), is sure to be a doozy. In fact, the band has actually ensured that the evening will "have an overall sense of danger in the air," which, to me, sounds like a pretty good thing. Oh yeah, and there will be cookies.

In addition, the nice folks at Union Hall have agreed to let us give away a few pairs of tickets for the event. To enter, simply leave your favorite type of tree in the comments, along with your email address. A winner will be selected on Friday. Hope to see you there.

video: Real Estate "Green River>Suburban Beverage"

"Walk Next To You"

Real Estate jamming in a backyard in New Jersey at dusk is exactly how you want to hear their blissful tunes. After morphing from the Julian Lynch band into Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, the group took the stage as Real Estate, with Samuel Franklin (Frat Dad, Fluffy Lumbers) replacing Etienne on drums, for a mini-sesh captured by C.Axel. "Green River > Suburban Beverage," or, what in typical Dead head fashion I've dubbed, "Green Beverage," begins with the sun slowly sinking behind the tree's of the Garden State as Martin Courtney waxes lackadaisically about the joys of taking a stroll by the river side. By the time, "Green River" ebbs and flows into "Suburban Beverage," night has fallen. Lightning bugs were lighting up the backyard. 9+ minutes of sheer groove.

mp3: His Clancyness "Vampire Summer"

"So I Start My Days"

For my money, His Clancyness's "Vampire Summer" sounds more like a traditional deadbeat summer than Neon Indian's track which immortalizes lazy days spent, well, doing nothing. That is, because Neon Indian's "Deadbeat Summer" sounds a bit too alive. On "Vampire Summer," His Clancyness sounds like he's reaching out from the depths of boredom, trying to grab something tangible, only to realize that is exactly what he doesn't want to do. Of course, it's summer, so sitting around in your underwear trying to stay cool is really the only thing one can do.

His Clancyness-Vampire Summer

Monday, August 3, 2009

video: Alex Bleeker & the Freaks "Summer>Epilogue"

"Made of..."

There is really no better excuse to leave Brooklyn than to head to a backyard show in North Jersey. Even more so when the lineup consists of Julian Lynch, Real Estate, Frat Dad, Family Portrait, Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, and many, many more. So, on a sunny Saturday, a seemingly rare thing in the metro area, we headed out to Glen Rock to do just that; see some great bands, hang some like-minded folk, and, simply, straight chill. And that we did. One of the best parts of the day was seeing Alex Bleeker & the Freaks tear into "Summer>Epilogue," a loose, yet clamp tight country ballad, that, at first, seems like the Dead channeling Live Rust Neil Young. Of course, Alex Bleeker & the Freaks are a sort of re-worked version of Real Estate, featuring Martin Courtney on bass, Matt Mondanile on drums and guitar player Julian Lynch coaxing vibrant grooves from his sky-birthed Telecaster. If you haven't heard this tune, well, you should probably dig up some choice Dead bootlegs circa '77 and familiarize yourself with the "source" material. If you're too lazy to do that, which, essentially means you are one-helluva-lazy-mofo, then just watch this footage c. axel poekel III shot of Bleeker & the Freaks in Adir's backyard. Jersey never sound so fine. (Born To Run= the obvious exception.) Expect more video in the coming days.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

mp3: Julian Lynch "Human Nature" (MJ cover)

"Why? Why?"Julian Lynch, whose loopy excursions graced the Underwater Peoples comp, recently did a few covers for the forthcoming UP/BxF Michael Jackson covers compilation. Lynch, who is also about to release Orange You Glad, his first full-length LP on Olde English Spelling Bee, was kind enough to send up a preview of his Casio-incased soft rock take on the MJ classic "Human Nature." Sort of makes me forget that the dude who rests high above our couch with his baby tiger isn't actually here anymore. Look for the final comp soon on BxF.

Julian Lynch- Human Nature (Michael Jackson cover)