Friday, February 25, 2011

Need Organ in Your Life? Crystal Antlers Bring It

  • Crystal Antlers - Daytrotter session []
  • The Catharsis Is Upon Us -
    Download here
    • Finally, some noise I can get excited about this month. I've enjoyed this group from Long Beach for a while now. Daytrotter brought us this 14-minute session of old songs and a cover last Friday, entitling the set The Catharsis Is Upon Us.
    • The Antlers are a bit garage, a bit punk, a bit California psych and a lot of noisy, organ-heavy angst. This is the stuff right here.
    • Two of the four songs here were on their 2009 album Tentacles (I played "Andrew" on episode 2 of the broadcast way back in July, 2009). The opening song is even older than that. 
    • However, the third track, "I Slept in an Arcade", is a hoppin', moddish cover of a song by L.A. new-wave/punk band Black Randy & The Metrosquad. Seems a bit out of character for the Antlers, but it's brilliant, nonetheless.
    • The session is a free download that you can access here.
      • Does anyone else think the stuff they write on Daytrotter is worthless? It's well written, but good grief. So touchy-feely. And some paragraph breaks would help tremendously.

If you're like me and have been waiting weeks for some good, new noise punk, look no further.

Crystal Antlers - "I Slept in an Arcade" (Black Randy & The Metrosquad cover; Daytrotter session; 2/18/2011)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Porcelain Raft Keeps It Real

  • Porcelain Raft - Gone Blind EP (Ac├ęphale) []
  • Gone Blind EP
    Gone Blind - Download here
    • London's Mauro Remiddi, a.k.a. Porcelain Raft, makes lovely homemade noise pop. Like me, he actually prefers the sound of a demo to a studio-polished recording.
    • The 12" vinyl EP has four tracks for $13, but the downloadable version has six tracks for just $5.94. All of them can be previewed at his MySpace.
    • He's finishing up a U.S. tour right now and about to head to Europe with YUCK in March.
    • This is a far cry from No Joy, Young Prisms and other noisy, psychedelic pop-punk that I usually get excited about, but I definitely recommend it for anyone into noisy pop music. He takes it in interesting directions.

I played the track "Dragonfly" on the January broadcast. That track as well as "Gone Blind" and "Tip of Your Tongue" (available on the digital version) were on the Ghosts of the Perfect Language cassette released on Japan's Sixteen Tambourines label just a few weeks ago. Here's the new EP's title track.

Porcelain Raft - "Gone Blind" (Gone Blind EP; 2/22/2011)

The Noise Pop Festival Is Really Something Else

The 19th annual Noise Pop Festival is now in full swing in San Francisco. You would think that I, as the proprietor of a blog and broadcast dedicated to noise pop and noise punk, would be excited. Gosh, I must seem like a Sour Steve this week. 

The thing is, fifteen years ago this festival was a very exciting thing for noise-pop enthusiasts. The fourth Noise Pop in 1996 was a true underground noise event that lasted four days. They had exciting, noisy bands like Creeper Lagoon, Fastbacks, Skyscraper, Supersuckers and a bunch of others I still know nothing about but wish I did.

Unfortunately, the so-called "Noise Pop" event is now just another "indie rock" fest with each group of fluffy hippies striving to be cooler than the next. The list of bands is so long I can't be bothered to count them. It now lasts a whole week and includes film and art viewing in addition to live music. There's even a bleeding "Culture Club". Honestly, it's about as indie puke as it gets. 

There are a few bands I'd be excited to see, especially Young Prisms, but most I couldn't care less about. They do have No Age and Wavves, and even Yo La Tengo. But that does not a noise-pop festival make, not when you have so many other bands that aren't part of that scene at all, like Social Studies, Admiral Radley and Ted Leo, to name but a few. Best Coast and Tamaryn are there, but where are the other Mexican Summer artists? Shouldn't they be at an event labeled "Noise Pop"? Maybe most of them are touring elsewhere. No Joy, for example, are in Europe right now.

I wish they could change the name of this festival, but sadly that's impossible at this point. True noise-pop fans will just have to get what they can where they can get it. But isn't that what we've always done?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beach Fossils: Not So Exciting After All

  • Beach Fossils - What a Pleasure EP (Captured Tracks) [MySpace]
  • What a Pleasure
    What a Pleasure - Download here
    • This is a different sound for the Fossils than what they used to do. "Lo-fi" can no longer describe it at all.
    • This seems to be yet another Captured Tracks act leaving lo-fi punk/pop behind in favor of a modern New Order feel, much like the label's creator, Blank Dogs. I can't even tell whether the drums on this release are real (I suspect so).
    • If you're looking for noise, you won't find much here. It's mostly just pretty, mellow love songs. This looks like another case of "Last Time They Get Mentioned On 8-Tracks Fierce". The entire Captured Tracks roster is beginning to fall of my radar, which I never would've expected six months ago.
    • I mentioned it on the latest broadcast, but again, how did we go from such an amazing January do such a ho-hum February? Yawnzers.

I played the single "Calyer" on the January broadcast. Turns out it's my favorite of the eight tracks on this EP. My second favorite, "Distance", was also the B-side of the "Face It"/"Distance" single that I streamed here way back on October 12th. So what the heck, here's "Face It", my third favorite. That's not saying much. Ironic that this one EP now has more songs on 8-Tracks Fierce than any other band I've talked about here. And I don't even like it that much.

Beach Fossils - "Face It" ["Face It"/"Distance" single (10/12/2010) and What a Pleasure EP (2/22/2011)]

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christmas Is Cool, But I Recommend the Free Demo

  • Christmas - "Namiot" single (K) [MySpace]
  • Namiot b/w Namiot Version
    "Namiot" single - Download here
    • These guys rock. This single was released by K Records today, but most of the songs recorded by the Olympia four-piece called Christmas appear on a free MediaFire upload they describe as "the early Christmas tapes". That includes a demo version of "Namiot". 
    • The demo sounds very different from the samples of the "Namiot" single on Amazon. It's much more lo-fi, and I actually prefer it. The new single version reminds me of Blondie or Bow Wow Wow in their most fun moments.
    • "Namiot" is the "poppiest" song on the demo tape. The rest is pure, fun, noisy art punk with female vocals and a soulful bent.
    • The B-side on the new release is called "Namiot Version". This is a remix by Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. Selector Dub Narcotic, also of K Records. Apparently it's a "muddier" version. I don't hear much difference in the Amazon sample, but I don't have the whole thing. Johnson remixes various K Records artists as part of a Dub Narcotic Disco Plate series.
    • Christmas's first full-length release will be a 12" vinyl on CMRTYZ/Highfives and Handshakes, coming March 15th. You can hear one of those tracks here.

So what I'm gonna play for you here is the demo version of "Namiot". I don't know when this was recorded, but it's not the new single version. Pretty underground stuff, and very cool.

Christmas - "Namiot" (demo version)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brave Irene's Album Is Worth Waiting For

  • Brave Irene - Preview of forthcoming S/T album (Slumberland) [MySpace]
  • Brave Irene - Pre-order here
    • This eight-track album was scheduled for release this week, but it's been pushed back a month. In the meantime, Slumberland has posted tracks 1 and 5 on SoundCloud, and they're very nice.
    • Brave Irene is a five-girl band from Vancouver. They're led by Rose Melberg, an essential member of the bands Tiger Trap, The Softies, Go Sailor and Gaze. 
    • The sound is very similar to those bands, noisy "twee", whatever that is. Always nice to have some new songs in that genre; they tend to be very creative.

Head over here to stream track 5, "Longest Day".  And here's track 1!

Brave Irene - "No Fun" (Brave Irene; coming 3/15/2011)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Asobi Seksu Utterly Fail with Fifth Album

  • Asobi Seksu - Fluorescence (Polyvinyl) []
  • Fluorescence
    Fluorescence - Download here
    • What in the world. I was never an avid fan of Brooklyn's Asobi Seksu, but I at least liked what they did until this abomination of an album. 
    • They were a pretty decent shoegaze band (hear 2008's "Me & Mary" on their MySpace for an example). This new album, their fifth, sounds like they absorbed all the hipster garbage that Pitchfork espouses on a daily basis and threw it up all over a studio.
    • The music sounds ok once in a while, with a nice moment here and there, but the vocals are what really throw this whole album off the tracks. I think they were going for "whimsical". It didn't work for me.
    • I can't recommend this for anyone. But I'll provide a download link just in case someone really needs it.
    • And yes, Pitchfork likes it, though they do find problems with it.
    • Also available on clear pink vinyl here.
This is probably the best of what this album has to offer. Some cool moments here, especially toward the end.

Asobi Seksu - "Trance Out" (Fluorescence; 2/14/2011)

Monday, February 14, 2011

8-Tracks Fierce Radio Show: February 2011 Edition

Here it is, the Valentine's 2011 episode of 8-Tracks Fierce. Now in stereo, and sounding pretty good! 

Download it using this link, or stream it right here:

8-Tracks Fierce - February

La Sera
La Sera - S/T - Download here
Featuring brand new music by...

The Babies - "Personality" (from their self-titled album, out 2/8 on Shrimper)

Yuck - "Georgia" (from their self-titled album, out tomorrow on Fat Possum)

La Sera - "Been Here Before" (from her self-titled album, out tomorrow on Hardly Art)

The Spells
Mrs Magician - "The Spells" single
Download here
Puro Instinct - "Slivers of You" (from their album Headbangers in Ecstasy, out 2/22 on Mexican Summer)

Toro Y Moi - "How I Know" (from his album Underneath the Pine, out 2/22 on Carpark)

Papercuts - "Chills" (from their album Fading Parade, out 3/1 on Sub Pop)

Mrs Magician - "The Spells" (from their 7" single, out 3/3 on Loud and Clear)

He Gets Me High
Dum Dum Girls - He Gets Me High EP
Pre-order here
Dum Dum Girls - "There Is a Light that Never Goes Out" (from their EP He Gets Me High, out 3/1 on Sub Pop)

[A couple of corrections to this episode: La Sera is a trio, not a solo act (all the "iamkatygoodman" stuff confused me). And it's pronounced "lah SEHR-uh", not "lah SEER-uh".]

Friday, February 11, 2011

Update...New Show on Monday!

I finally just got the new Silk Flowers album, and it's not 8-TF material. I'm not sure how I thought it was...

The Babies
The Babies S/T -
Download here
Anyway, The Babies' album is pretty great, but I'm going to talk about it on the radio show rather than write a post about it. After all, this blog was created to back up the show, not the other way around. Right now I'm trying to decide between three awesome tracks on side A, the faster side.

What else will be on the show? I'm still sorting it all out, but I have a lot of new material to choose from. And since I have so much on MP3 this time, the show will be in STEREOPHONIC SOUND, unlike the January show. It's gonna sound much better.

Besides The Babies, we'll probably hear new music from Dum Dum Girls, Puro Instinct, Mrs. Magician, Toro y Moi...I shouldn't make any promises at this point, but those are pretty good bets.

And since the show will happen to go live on Valentine's Day, I guess I should look for some love songs on these new releases...we'll see about that...

So swing by here on Monday for eight brand new noise-pop/punk songs and plenty of commentary by yours truly. Should be a good time. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dude, What Up?

I took a break from the blog for a week, and I feel refreshed. I don't think I missed anything too important. I think I missed a new single by Vivian Girls last week (get the free download here), but so much new music came out in January that I just needed to breathe for a while. We'll get to their new album in a couple of months, anyway.

Since I failed to take a picture...
it looked something like this.
I had fully intended to talk about The Babies' debut album, out today on Shrimper, and maybe even the new album by Silk Flowers. Unfortunately, I drove myself into a ditch this morning. It's been a rough day. Now I find myself at a library, without headphones, waiting for my car to be looked at. And I haven't even heard either of those albums yet. So those posts will have to wait...or maybe I'll just talk about those albums on the next episode of the 8-Tracks Fierce radio show, which I hope to record this weekend!

We'll see how the rest of the week goes...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Today's Noisy Singles

Released today and all streaming on MySpace. In no particular order...
  • Papercuts - "Do What You Will" single (Sub Pop) [MySpace]
  • Do What You Will (Album)
    "Do What You Will" -
    Download here
    • Pretty, lo-fi guitar pop from San Fran with a strong but sensitive male vocal by one-man band Jason Quever.
    • Released in advance of his album Fading Parade, coming March 1st.
    • The A-side track is a free download on Amazon! The B-side, "Thoughts On Hell", is 99 cents.
    • "Thoughts On Hell" shows up on MySpace, but it can't be played yet. Bummer! The short preview on Amazon sounds really nice, though. [Edit: It is available for streaming on MySpace now, and it is nice! Good use of strings.]

  • Craft Spells - "After the Moment" single (Captured Tracks) [MySpace]
  • After The Moment
    "After the Moment" -
    Download here
    • Sounds way too much like New Order with a lo-fi vocal. Love song with a disco beat and pretty little guitar licks. But some people are way into that, so this is for them.
    • The B-side is called "Love Well Spent" and features Orlando's Emily Reo. It's not much better, but I do enjoy her voice. Definitely adds something.
    • This may be the last time I mention a Craft Spells release on this blog. Not bad, but not really my cup of tea.
    • Both tracks are streaming on MySpace.

  • Catwalk - "One By Words" single (Captured Tracks) [Tumblr]
  • One By Words/Home
    "One By Words" -
    Download here
    • Catwalk is a trio from Oxnard, CA. They're doing a short West Coast tour with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart in April.
    • The A-side track has a disco beat but also some nice distortion of guitar, synths and vocals.
    • The B-side, "Home", is also on MySpace. I like it better. It's not disco at all. It's a fun, rockin' pop tune. You can stream both tracks here.

Papercuts wins this one hands down, even though I haven't heard all of the B-side yet. Check this out.

Papercuts - "Do What You Will" (single; 2/1/2011)