Monday, August 31, 2009

Siblings Frank and Anna Carey + a million overdubs = the orchestral goodness of The Ams.

Check out the Chicago duo’s Dennis Wilson-inspired ballad “Your Mere Presence” by clicking here.
Listen & Re-post!

[MP3] “Your Mere Presence”:

The Ams is an orchestral pop duo from Chicago consisting of siblings Frank (vocals, guitars, keyboards) and Anna Carey (keyboards, vocals). The Ams debut album, The Release of An American Soul, a collection of thirteen tracks that showcases the siblings’ knack for crafting deeply-layered tunes, is set for release on October 6th via the their own Shields Records.

Frank, in the role of producer, draws heavily from the influences of producers like Joe Meek, Phil Spector, and Jeff Lynne, composing and arranging all of the album’s string and horn parts himself. The countless overdubs set to two-inch tape at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studios, are all the work of Frank and Anna alone, as well.

Frank’s songwriting also represents a wide variety of influences, seen with the Dennis Wilson-inspired ballad “Your Mere Presence,” (MP3) the Brazilian samba sound of “Godspeed Your Safe Return,” and the swinging sixties London vibe of “Saturday Afternoon.” The Ams’ desire to learn from the past but also move into new territories can perhaps best be seen on the album’s final track, “The Death of an American.” Here the band creates an experimental opus that runs longer than thirteen minutes, showing that The Ams have an affinity for the musique concrete leanings of bands like Spiritualized, and fellow Chicagoans, Wilco.

And while the melodies of the album overall reflect a hopeful and positive spirit, the lyrics, often, are anything but. Lyrically speaking, The Release of An American Soul is a dark, brooding album that dwells upon recurring themes of death, despair, and failed love. These apparent obsessions are not what one would expect from two single siblings in their mid-twenties!

The songs constitute a concept album that loosely tells the story of a fictional sixties icon who obsesses over the themes of aging, dealing with broken relationships, an unfulfilled past, and an imminent death. Ultimately, the identity of who this sixties icon is based on is left open although vague references are scattered throughout the album -- California is mentioned, England, various places in Europe… but ultimately the death proclaimed in the last song is only explained as “the release of an American soul.”

Artist: The Ams
Title: The Release of An American Soul
Label: Shields Records
Release: October 6th, 2009

“Your Mere Presence”: MP3

The Ams Links:
EPK MySpace

Fanatic Links:
Website Blog Facebook MySpace comPuteR Podcast Twitter YouTube

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Austin’s My Milky Way Arms releases album of Star Wars-ian “crystal operas”; Launches tour.

Check out the addictive, layered pop of “Fillenium Malcon” (MP3) from Lightsaber Circuit Breaker.
Listen & Re-Post!

[MP3] “Fillenium Malcon”:

Chase Hill is Space Kill is My Milky Way Arms. About Lightsaber Circuit Breaker:

In the summer of 2008, Space Kill set out on a dangerous yet spiritual quest to Earth to find his true inner self, and the secret of his newly acquired yet strange super powers that began developing in his adolescence. As he entered Earth’s atmosphere, he lost control of his ship and crashed into the northern arctic icy tundra. Having traveled for weeks, lost in the freezing wind and snow, and on the brink of insanity, he happened upon a massive castle of ice and snow. Once inside, Space Kill stumbled upon a pile of elaborate glistening crystals, each one producing a specific frequency.

To Space Kill’s utter surprise, these crystals were simple in nature to manipulate, and when one crystal was struck against another, the oddest of sounds was produced. Space Kill was soon arranging and composing symphonies in the comfort of his newly discovered fortress of solitude. Once he felt comfortable with his knowledge of these bizarre crystals, he began transposing these songs into super tweaked electronic versions of the original crystal operas. Having found the meaning behind his powers, Space Kill realized his purpose to share these melodies with all of mankind.

My Milky Way Arms Live:

09/03 Austin, TX @ Carousel Lounge
09/04 Houston, TX @ Super Happy Fun Land
09/05 Mobile, AL @ The Blind Mule
09/06 Birmingham, AL @ Greencup Books
09/07 Athens, GA @ Go Bar
09/08 Richmond, VA @ The Camel
09/09 Philadelphia, PA @ Danger Danger Gallery
09/10 Charlottesville, VA @ Tea Bazaar
09/11 Ashville, NC @ The Garage at Biltmore
09/12 Atlanta, GA @ Graveyard Tavern
09/13 New Orleans, LA @ Circle Bar

Artist: My Milky Way Arms
Title: Lightsaber Circuit Breaker
Label: Milky Syndication
Release: September 8th, 2009

“Fillenium Malcon”: MP3

My Milky Way Arms Links:
EPK MySpace Facebook

Fanatic Links:
Website Blog Facebook MySpace comPuteR Podcast Twitter YouTube

Monday, August 24, 2009

My First Earthquake drops “Outta The Band,” the second video from its Downstairs debut.

West coast tour starts this weekend; Video for “Cool In The Cool Way” racks up 40,000 YouTube views.

Watch. Listen. Re-post.

“I went to the bathroom / Just to check my hair/ During practice for a band / I joined on a dare”

[VIDEO] “Outta The Band”:

[MP3] “Outta The Band”:

After racking up a cool 40,000+ views of “Cool In The Cool Way,” its ode to hipster body snatchers, San Francisco’s My First Earthquake has dropped “Outta The Band” the latest single and video from its popular full-length debut, Downstairs, produced by Anthony Molina of Mercury Rev. The clip (directed and edited by Eric Slatkin) is a two-minute, furious and in your face performance piece that amps up the band’s unbridled energy and star-turning moves of lead singer, Rebecca Bortman.

If you haven’t already checked out My First Earthquake, now’s your chance. The album is a collection of ten electro-pop-rock-dance songs that you might like it if you're a fan of Metric, The Ting Tings, New Young Pony Club, Ladyhawke, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or Blondie. See below for links to “Cool In The Cool Way” and click here to see the new video for “Outta The Band” to get into My First Earthquake.

My First Earthquake Live:

08/24 Eugene, OR @ Samuri Duck
08/25 Portland, OR @ Dunes
08/26 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
08/28 Burlington, WA @ Common Ground
08/29 Bellingham, WA @ The Rogue Hero
09/17 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
10/18 San Francisco, CA @ Bernal Height's Fiesta on the Hill

To further support the recent release of the Downstairs album, My First Earthquake will begin a series of west coast tour dates tonight. The band’s live show has earned the group a loyal following in San Francisco where it recently sold out its record release show at local hotspot Café du Nord. Now, My First Earthquake’s growing legion of fans out west will get to see the show for themselves for the very first time.

My First Earthquake – “Cool In The Cool Way”

“…it's a meta-hipster statement that will make the universe implode upon repeated viewing.” - SFist

[VIDEO] “Cool In The Cool Way”:

[MP3] “Cool In The Cool Way”:

Artist: My First Earthquake
Title: Downstairs
Label: Self-Released

“Outta The Band”: mp3 video
“Cool In The Cool Way”: mp3 video

My First Earthquake Links:
EPK Website MySpace Facebook Twitter YouTube

Fanatic Links:
Website Blog Facebook MySpace comPuteR Podcast Twitter YouTube

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fans of Echo, Siouxsie, and Killing Joke will be attracted to The Opposite Sex.

Check out “Frozen Heart/Frozen Mind” (MP3) from the band’s upcoming Live + Burn EP.
Listen! Post!

[MP3] “Frozen Heart/Frozen Mind”:

“If you're like us and you're still culturally camped out in 1985, we have a band for you: D.C. natives The Opposite Sex.” -The Washington Post

The Opposite Sex has been described as majestic, powerful, dramatic, intense and unhinged. Apt verbiage considering a handful of the band’s influences which include Echo & The Bunnymen, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Killing Joke, New Model Army, T.S.O.L and other 80s-era legends with beautiful hair.

Live + Burn is the follow-up to The Opposite Sex’s 2007 full-length Violent Heartstrings and breathes bigger life into the group’s dark, post punk sound, heightening its elements of pop and 60's psych.

Leave It All Behind” begins with an icy, emotional verse that breaks into a catchy, unforgettable chorus. Songs like “Another Big Bang” and “Frozen Heart/ Frozen Mind” (MP3) depict a strange anxiety, over layered textures of aggressive guitars and drums.

Check out tracks from The Opposite Sex’s Live + Burn via the links below and see the band live in Philly and Brooklyn in September. Stay tuned for more dates with The Opposite Sex this fall.

“The fondest affections are reserved for those new and exciting bands that seem to appear out of thin air… The Opposite Sex is that sort of band…”

Artist: The Opposite Sex
Title: Live + Burn
Label: Self-Released
Release: September 1st, 2009

“Frozen Heart/Frozen Mind”: mp3
“Is That You?”: mp3

The Opposite Sex Links:
EPK MySpace Facebook Twitter LastFM

Fanatic Links:
Website Blog Facebook MySpace comPuteR Podcast Twitter YouTube

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eternal Sunshine director, Michel Gondry, says “Oui!” to Miami duo, Old Wives’ Tale.

Brotherly act’s video for it’s “[15] Amphetamine” single is presented award by acclaimed French auteur. Listen! Watch! Post!

“[15] Amphetamine”: [MP3]
“[15] Amphetamine”: [VIDEO]

“...amped-up, high-focus, twitchy, and sweaty. This is late-night music -- churning synths, funky basslines, and DFA Records-style cowbell create a roiling, speed-paranoia vibe that still stays danceable. The album was recorded between Miami and the Valencias’ native Bogotá, but sounds piped directly in from downtown New York or east London -- first-class!” – Miami New Times

It’ll take just one listen to the debut recording from Miami duo Old Wives’ Tale to understand why brothers Jaime and Felipe Valencia have coined it “amphetamine music.” Songs from the band’s Younger Limbs release such as “danceDanceDAncing,” “Royal Flesh,” “Vending Johnny,” and the stand out single [15]Amphetamine (along with it’s impressive accompanying video recently selected by celebrated French auteur Michel Gondry [Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind] as the “Audience Choice Award” winner in the Video Music Awards) all live up to the assertions made above by the Miami New Times.

See Old Wives’ Tale performing live in Madrid:

The Valencia brothers formed Old Wives’ Tale in 2006 shortly after making the decision to relegate their biology, chemistry, music and audio engineering diplomas to mere wall decorations. Infected by an angst that resonated in every indie club in Miami’s design district, Jaime and Felipe joined their contrasting music personalities to create a fresh sound composed of distorted bass lines, disco beats, ripping guitars, and lyrics referencing alter-egos, heart-breaking love affairs, and one-night stands.

Younger Limbs was recorded in the brothers’ home studio in Miami with additional work in Bogotá, Colombia. Of the resultant “amphetamine music,” the band casually explains with tongue-in-cheek, “We don’t want to be thought of as pharmacists!” More seriously, Jaime and Felipe elaborate, exclaiming, “This is an effect the band has on itself and on the audience. We want to stimulate people so that they don’t let life just pass before their eyes!” With songs as striking as those on Younger Limbs, Jaime and Felipe needn’t worry about that -- our eyes and ears are wide open.

Artist: Old Wives’ Tale
Title: Younger Limbs
Label: The Creative Motel, Inc.
Release: September 8th, 2009
“[15] Amphetamine”: [MP3]
“Royal Flesh”: [MP3]