Monday, February 27, 2006

Team Clermont's Song(s) of the Week 2/27/06: LYLAS and Stone Jack Jones

Download: LYLAS -- “His Master’s Merriment”

Download: Stone Jack Jones -- “Smile”

Welcome to second edition of Team Clermont’s Song(s) of the Week! This week I’m featuring LYLAS (and Stone Jack Jones as a bonus!).

I think that one of the hottest scenes in the country right now is Nashville’s rock scene: De Novo Dahl, Lambchop, Be Your Own Pet, Kings of Leon, Forget Cassettes, The Mattoid!, Character…well, the list goes on and on. One of the labels on which this resurgence has been built is Fictitious Records, an independent label founded in part by Roger Moutenot, super producer of Yo La Tengo and Sleater-Kinney, among others.

LYLAS’ (Fictitious Records’ newest signee) first full-length, Lessons for Lovers, is an exceptionally well-produced and lovely chamber pop lark that recalls Donovan (in a good way) and Belle and Sebastian. It’s light and airy, but is in no way superficial. Beautiful stuff. I can't stop listening to it. It's got a classic quality to it that you can find in the best works of Stephen Merritt; it's not even rock and roll really. It comes from some place more classic, some different era.or time period. Like Greg Kihn said, "They don't write 'em like that anymore!" Indeed. Our featured track, “His Master’s Merriment", is a perfect example of the LYLAS aesthetic.

I’m also, as an added bonus, throwing in an amazing track from atmospheric Americana artist and Patty Griffin protégé Stone Jack Jones. “Smile” (from Jack’s acclaimed new record, bluefolk) features Ms. Griffin and the gorgeous production work of label scion Roger Moutenot. It’s got a foreboding, apocalyptic beauty to it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

IMing With The Stars: Christopher Ward from Pattern Is Movement

Not a picture of Chris, but interesting nonetheless.

So, a band that we really like around these parts is Philadelphia's Pattern Is Movement, and not just because they are some of the nicer guys around and are extraordinarily organized for a band, which, frankly, makes us sorta hot under the collar. We dig organized bands.

I think that their warped, polyrhythmic, and skittery pop (?) music is the bees knees' (what does that mean?) and I can feel a strong bit of buzz building on the horizon for these fellas. And, man!, are they on the ball!

Our intrepid reporter, Jon Polk, is on the case for this edition of IMing With The Stars, as he chats with Pattern Is Movement's friendly drummer, Chris Ward. They start with sandwiches and make references to Billy Madison, which always makes for a good interview. Enjoy!

Jon Polk: are you ready sir?
Jon Polk: are you ready to im with the stars?
Christopher Ward: i thought it was tomorrow
Christopher Ward: but i can do it now!!!!
Jon Polk: i'm keeping you on your toes
Christopher Ward: haha
Jon Polk: i like a surprised interviewee
Jon Polk: so, the pressure's on
Jon Polk: we've got to do this fast and be funny
Christopher Ward: ok
Christopher Ward: let it begin
Jon Polk: what have you eaten today?
Christopher Ward: i had a hoagie from wawa
Jon Polk: oooh.
Christopher Ward: turkey/cheese/lettuce/tomato/oil vinegar/little mayo
Jon Polk: i've got a friend that grew up outside of philly in jersey
Jon Polk: and apparently, the wawa was essentially the fulcrum of his teenage years
Christopher Ward: it is true
Christopher Ward: when giving directions in new jerse
Jon Polk: you know we don't have those here
Christopher Ward: it will always include a wawa
Christopher Ward: for instance: take 295 - get off at exit such and such and then turn left at the wawa
Jon Polk: right, i don't think they get south of Maryland
Jon Polk: i like their sign though
Christopher Ward: yeah -- south of Maryland
Jon Polk: so, was it a 'shorty' hoagie?
Christopher Ward: its all sheetz
Jon Polk: what's their name for a full sized one again?
Christopher Ward: a classic
Jon Polk: nice
Christopher Ward: i had a classic -- i am at the studio today till 9pm - so i needed some food in my belly
Jon Polk: what's up in the studio?
Jon Polk: give me some Pattern Is Movement gossip.
Jon Polk: our 7 and 1/2 readers are dying to know...
Christopher Ward: i work as a part time engineer at a recording studio in new jersey
Christopher Ward: but in pim news
Christopher Ward: we are releasing a 12" vinyl of stowaway on alone records in the spring
Jon Polk: nice
Jon Polk: and you'll be at SXSW, yes?
Christopher Ward: that is correct
Jon Polk: other touring plans?
Christopher Ward: we have been playing a lot on the weekends
Christopher Ward: we just played duke U and wake forest U
Christopher Ward: and we play wesleyan U this friday
Jon Polk: nice
Jon Polk: how'd you find the 'research triangle'
Jon Polk: ?
Christopher Ward: we love it
Christopher Ward: our friends the physics of meaning hosted us for the show in chapel hill
Jon Polk: would you describe it as 'rough and tumble'?
Jon Polk: chapel hill that is
Christopher Ward: a bit
Christopher Ward: the people are great there
Jon Polk: i dig that neck of the woods quite a bit
Jon Polk: so, the shows were good then? any odd experiences their?
Christopher Ward: not really - colleges are always fun to play
Jon Polk: how come?
Christopher Ward: the crowd is either really hot or really cold
Jon Polk: so, a really cold crowd can be enjoyable?
Christopher Ward: either they love music or they walked in on it
Christopher Ward: yeah - a really cold crowd is fun because if you do win one person over -you feel as if you have moved mountains
Christopher Ward: its that underdog mentality
Jon Polk: is there a general approach pim takes when a crowd is particularly unresponsive? Do you do anything differently, or just stay with it in the same way?
Christopher Ward: well - andrew is a gym teacher - so he has a lot of experience with cold crowds
Christopher Ward: he will take his bass into the crowd and sing
Jon Polk: what!!! You've got a gym teacher in your band!
Jon Polk: Fantastic
Jon Polk: what grade?
Christopher Ward: middle school in philadelphia!
Jon Polk: Does he talk about it much? Does he get advice for various activities and what not from you guys?
Jon Polk: How the hell do you get into something like that?
Jon Polk: Actually, that's my next question, give me the run down of everyone's day jobs.
Christopher Ward: oh yeah - he talks about it all the time - he went to school for physical education
Christopher Ward: dan teaches high school
Christopher Ward: corey works at a warehouse
Christopher Ward: i work at a recording studio and also work at rock clubs in philly doing sound
Jon Polk: what club in philly is your favorite?
Jon Polk: it's weird there doesn't seem to be the same consensus in philly as in other towns
Christopher Ward: i love playing the northstar bar
Christopher Ward: as well as the first unitarian church
Christopher Ward: they sound is great and the crowds are wonderful
Jon Polk: gotcha
Jon Polk: we gotta wrap this up soon, so two more questions
Jon Polk: 1)
Jon Polk: what sports/games are middle schoolers in Philly most responsive to?
Christopher Ward: well - andrew explains that physical education in the city is just about getting them to exercise - he also incorporates spelling and so forth - because a lot of these kids cannot read
Christopher Ward: is not just about
Christopher Ward: that is what i meant
Jon Polk: has he said what in particular has been most useful in terms of getting the students engaged?
Christopher Ward: music at times -- he has games/events tied to music
Christopher Ward: like a certain sound on the keyboard equals a certain response
Christopher Ward: for instance, if he plays a trumpet -they have to jump on one foot -- they seem to like doing that,
Jon Polk: when i was in elementary school, we did this weird game/dance in which two people would bang pieces of bamboo together in different rhythms and patterns, and another person would have to jump in and out of the spaces the bamboo clackers were creating. It was pretty awesome, thanks Coach Vidd!
Christopher Ward: that is amazing
Christopher Ward: my memory of gym is
Jon Polk: wish i could remember what it was called
Christopher Ward: we all held on to a big parachute - and had to get a ball in the hole of the parachute
Christopher Ward: teamwork!!!
Jon Polk: oh yeah, I did that too. good stuff
Jon Polk: okay, you ready for the last question?
Christopher Ward: indeed
Jon Polk: what is your favorite shape? Mine's the sphere, so you can't have that one.
Christopher Ward: i have no clue!
Christopher Ward: i want to say the circle - but i dont know why
Jon Polk: circle it is then.
Jon Polk: okay, the last word's yours. Now's your time to soar.
Christopher Ward: Thanks for the interview Jon
Christopher Ward: and
Christopher Ward: Jon, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
Jon Polk: that's a wrap

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Download: 13ghosts -- "The Search Party"

Download: 13ghosts -- "Robert J."

[ed. note: this marks the first post by intrepid paste-up maker, chart-enterer, and rock star Patrick Keenan]

Master of many dark styles, 13ghosts' cicada, is a truly diverse emotional masterpiece. Two songwriters Brad Armstrong and Buzz Russell challenge each other to dig up the graves of their own mysterious pasts. The album channels Smog and maybe Grandaddy pre-Sumday for a many perfect numbers. There is a country element that watches over all, but there is also some psychedelic, experimental, and maybe lounge elements at work here too. “Song from down here” is a song of praise to “sleeping in sweet Georgiagrass;” a must for any southerner with a summer evening to spare. Also check out the first "Toby Dammit" track, and, of course, the two tracks available above that are good indicators of the album's diversity.

Another rising star from The Land of Vulcan brought to you by Team Clermont.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Team Clermont's Song of the Week 2/17/06: inaugural edition!

A shoegazer.

Download: (the sounds of) kaleidoscope -- “New Language”

Download: (the sounds of) kaleidoscope -- “Oh My Mind”

Hello everyone! I’m pleased to announce the debut of a new feature here at Team Clermont called Team Clermont’s Song of the Week (we stayed up all night working on that one). Every week I’m going to highlight a song (or two) from a band that we like and you may not have listened to yet. All of the songs will be downloadable, of course, and many will be exclusive album tracks that probably haven’t seen the light of day yet! We hope you enjoy it!

This week, I’m sending out a song from DC noise-pop band (the sounds of) kaleidoscope. I feel like this band really has a career ahead of them, and I believe that “New Language” really demonstrates the band's strengths. It’s got powerful, multiple-guitared shoegazer choruses and pretty, peppy verses. It’s everything that I love about noise rock and shoegaze stuff rolled into one. For no extra charge I’ll throw in this other great tune, “Oh My Mind”, which also comes from the band’s new LP, From Where You Were To How You Got There.

Enjoy these album tracks from (the sounds of) kaleidoscope!

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Download: LYLAS -- "His Master's Merriment"
Download: LYLAS -- "Homes and Hugs"
Download: LYLAS -- "Tiny Echoes"

LYLAS is further evidence of a resurgence in the Nashville rock scene which has recently produced De Novo Dahl, Be Your Own Pet, The Mattoid, Stone Jack Jones, Character, Forget Cassettes, and many, many more. A country and CCM town no more! LYLAS’ Lessons for Lovers is an exceptionally well-produced and lovely chamber pop lark that recalls Donovan (in a good way) and Belle and Sebastian. It’s light and airy, but is in no way superficial. Beautiful stuff.

Loney Hutchins from The Mattoid and Bobby Bare, Jr.'s band produced and recorded this thing and it sounds marvelous. Two excellent Nashville labels, Fictitious Records and Cleft Music, are putting this thing out.

I seriously think that this record is actually better than the last few Belle and Sebastian records. I can't stop listening to it. It's got a classic quality to it that you can find in the best works of Stephen Merritt; it's not even rock and roll really. It comes from some place more classic, some different era.or time period. Like Greg Kihn said, "They don't write 'em like that anymore!" Indeed.

Another set of old-timey singalongs brought to you by Team Clermont.

The 4 pillars of hip-hop

Overheard in the office today:

"If I'd spent all of the time that I spent in college working on the Four Pillars of Hip-Hop--Breaking, MCing, DJing, and Graffiti--I'd be a better person today."

I think we can all agree on that.

Also: "I think that breakdancing may be the single coolest thing that ever happened ever."

Ah, the wisdom of Team Clermont.

For the record, I tried to breakdance to just about everything I could, as long as it had a beat: Thriller, Prince, Culture Club. I used to worm my way around the den to "I'll Tumble 4 Ya."

I had orchestrated dances to the Miami Sound Machine.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Do the cockroach!

Download: "Young & Old" by Gregor Samsa

I think that band names are important, although I give a lot of bands I like a pass because I like them. I mean, The Flaming Lips? The Beatles? U2? I think all of those are sort of silly, but I like the bands, so it doesn't matter. I don't really like those kind of clever names like Kathleen Turner Overdrive or John Cougar Concentration Camp beyond the initial chuckle factor.

And I really don't like names that seem like that seriously date the band aka Uzi and Ari from the Royal Tennenbaums. That just seems too...NOW, you know? Too precious. For the record, I've heard really good things about Uzi and Ari, but, still, what's next, Vote for Pedro? Oh, wait...

I think you've got to give some distance to pop culture references and such. You've got to let them percolate for a while, so that you can see how it's judged by history. Call me a perennialist, I guess. So the Richmond band, Gregor Samsa, is totally okay according to my rules because Kafka is in great shape, zeitgeist-wise. And it doesn't hurt that their stunning debut, 55:12, might be one of the best records of this very new year.

I'm a sucker for a few genres above all else: power pop, space rock, Led Zeppelin, and orchestral pop. I'm predisposed to like all of it. But Gregor Samsa's gorgeous space rock transcends my predispositions. It's an amazing record through and through. If I had never heard a single delayed or chorus-ed guitar in my life, I would still love this record. I'm as struck by it as I was the first time I heard Godspeed You Black Emperor! (before they started switching exclamation points and became formulaic).

Gregor Samsa comes to us from the exciting new label, The Kora Records, who also brought you the Out Crowd and Meredith Bragg & the Terminals.

The post transformed and transmogrified by Team Clermont.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

SXSW hammjamms! is what we've got right now. Wristbands and badges get you in to the first party. The second party is open to the public! It's gonna be the biggest hammjamm ever!

SXSW, WOXY, & Alternative
present The Team Clermont/Echo Records
Official SXSW College Party '06

Join us for drinks, music, & food…on us! We think we have an amazing roster here. Are you ready for a hammjamm?

Time: Thurs 3/16, 2-6 PM
Venue: Red 7 (611 East 7th St.)
Where: at Red River & 7th., 3 blocks from Convention Center
Ages: 18 + up

5:10 Midlake
4:30 The Capes
3:50 Field Music
3:10 Tapes 'n Tapes
2:35 Stephen Yerkey
2:00 King Of France

Red 7 is one of the newest clubs in town and is being renovated under new ownership (it used to be Mambo Kings).

Also, check this out:

Management Music Division and Team Clermont present:

The Eastside Scootenanny!

Time: Thursday-Saturday 3/16-3/18, 2-11:00 PM every day!
Venue: Red’s Scoot Inn (1308 E. 4th Street)
Where: 10 minute walk from Emo’s door-to-door--that’s nothing!
Ages: 21+

Check this insane lineup…times TBA, but everyday goes from 2 until 11 or so:

Thursday, 3/16

Okkervil River
Johnny Lives
Til We’re Blue
Dressy Bessy
The King of France
Ethan Azarian
The Sun
Hourly Radio
Youngmond Grand

Friday, 3/17

Fiery Furnaces
John Vanderslice
Crystal Skulls
Scout Niblet
Friends of Dean Martinez
The Glass Family
The Brokedown
Vaca Gold

Saturday, 3/18

Apollo Sunshine
The Capitol Years
The High Strung
The Burning Brides
Dengue Fever
Magneta Lane
Modern Skirts
Casting Couch

That’s an amazing lineup, if we do say so ourselves. There will be a taco truck parked nearby that has been described as “kick-butt” by someone in the know. Cheap beer. 12 bands a day. Crazy, no? Besides our Thursday party this will be a home base of operations of sorts.

Monday, February 06, 2006

On The Road Again!

We've got sure to do your part...

Casiotone For The Painfully Alone:
3/3 Los Angeles, CA @ The Smell
3/5 San Diego, CA @ Che Cafe
3/6 Phoenix, AZ @ Trunk Space
3/7 Santa Fe, NM @ College of Santa Fe
3/8 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
3/9 Dallas, TX @ Good Records (6pm instore)
3/9 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves (9pm show)
3/10 Austin, TX @ Beerland (free show!)
3/11 Houston, TX @ The Proletariat
3/15 Knoxville, TN @ Pilot Light
3/16 Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight
3/18 Arlington, VA @ Galaxy Hut
3/19 Philadelphia, PA @ Kensington South Forum
3/21 Manhattan, NY @ Cakeshop
3/22 Brooklyn, NY @ Glasshouse
3/23 Northampton, MA @ Gallery TK
3/24 Somerville, MA @ PA's Lounge
3/25 Albany, NY @ Valentine's Downstairs
3/26 Rochester, NY @ Bug Jar
3/27 Columbus, OH @ Skully's Music Diner
3/28 Grand Rapids, MI @ DAAC
3/30 St Louis, MO @ Lemp Arts
3/31 Iowa City, IA TBA
4/1 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen

Gregor Samsa
3.07.06 CD Release Richmond, VA: Gallery 5
3.09.06 Phila, PA: Khyber
3.10.06 NYC: Cakeshop
3.11.06 Boston: The Coolidge Corner Theater
3.12.06 Buffalo: Mohawk Place
3.13.06 Columbus, OH: Bernie's
3.14.06 Chicago: Subterranean
3.17.06 Atlanta: The Drunken Unicorn
3.19.06 Tallahasse: Beta Bar
3.20.06 Tampa: New World Brewery
3.21.06 Gainsville, Fl: Common Grounds

Ian Love:
3.1.06 - philadelphia, khyber
3.2.06 - baltimore, ottobar
3.3.06 - nyc, mercury
3.4.06 - hoboken, maxwell's
3.5.06 - brooklyn, southpaw
3.6.06 - boston, paradise

The Capes:
Feb. 8th - College of Charleston Campus Show- Charleston, SC
Feb 11th - Star Bar- Atlanta, GA
Feb. 12th- CBGBs- New York, NY
Feb. 14th-James Madison University Campus Show- Harrisonburg, VA
Feb. 15th-The Dame- Lexington, KY
Fed. 17th- Jackpot Saloon- Lawrence, KS
Feb. 19th- Record Bar- Kansas City, MO
Feb. 24th- Beauty Bar- San Diego, CA
Feb. 25th- Beauty Bar- Las Vegas, NV
Feb. 28th- UCLA campus show (lunchtime)
Feb. 28th- Indie 103.1 Presents The Capes at The Key Club (night)
March 1st-The Independent- San Francisco, CA
March 4th- El Corazon- Seattle, WA

Heros Severum:
March 25- Washington DC
March 30- Soul Bar - Augusta, GA
March 31- Clemson, SC
April 1- Fluke Fest. - Athens, GA
April 6- The Garage - Columbia, SC
April 7-8- MACROCK – Harrisonburg, VA
April 12- Beta Bar - Tallahassee, FL
April 13- Sluggo's - Pensacola, FL
April 15- New World Brewery - Tampa, FL
April 28- Lit Lounge – New York, NY
April 29- Parkside Lounge New York, NY

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The great un-classy list

The nutritional data for jalapeno poppers

Jon and I are hard at work assembling it right now, but here's what we've got so far. Any help would be much appreciated. Just because something is un-classy doesn't mean you can't like it. I probably like half of the things on this list. Here goes:

  • TGI Friday's frozen jalapeno poppers
  • Using the word "fantasy" in a song (Earth, Wind, and Fire excepted, of course)
  • Ice Milk
  • Screwtop wine
  • Camouflage
  • Pontiacs (the cars, not the Native American tribe)
  • A Wedding Story on TLC
  • Outlet malls
  • Car bras
  • Jean shorts
  • Windsor, Ontario
  • Toilet paper roll air fresheners
  • Above-ground pools
  • Taquitos
  • Blowing bubbles with your own spit
  • Ice beer
  • Superior, Wisconsin
  • Tour shirts
  • The Olive Garden
  • West Memphis
  • Squishy toilet seats
  • Beer cozies
  • Chicken in a Biscuit crackers
  • Brookstone
  • Pumpable popcorn butter
  • Pink flamingoes
  • Car seat covers
  • Concessions at a bowling alley
More as the situation develops.

From the corn dog-loving fellas at Team Clermont!