Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sister Vanilla! Return of JAMC...sorta!


Download: Sister Vanilla--"Jamcolas"
Download: Sister Vanilla--"Can't Stop The Rock"

Man, it's been a long time since William and Jim Reid (and the inimitable Ben Lurie) played music together under the Jesus and Mary Chain rubric, and the world has been lesser because of it. In fact, my last major Chain experience (besides wearing out my Darklands and Psychocandy cassettes) was a not-so-good one. I saw them with Mercury Rev (who ruled) the day after William and Jim got into some major fight, and the band was just Jim and company. And it was very, very clear that something was missing up there on stage. Jim seemed downright despondent, but they soldiered on. Even with the awkward emptiness on one side of the stage, it was hard to deny those songs.

Now they're back, for the much-publicized reunion tour, and, more importantly, a record of new material backing sister Linda in the band Sister Vanilla. And it's amazing. What does it sound like? It sounds like they never left. It's great. It's refreshing. It's comforting. Linda's influence makes the whole affair softer at times (a la the excellent Stoned and Dethroned), but it definitely has a heavy duty Darklands vibe to it, although there's a unique "offness" to the whole affair. All of the solos feel brilliantly loose...all of the hooks are catchy as hell, but slightly improper. Honestly, I can't contain my excitement. I'd wait another ten years for a record like this (but I don't want to).

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Murder Beach



Download: Murder Beach -- "Potholes In My Lawn"
Download: Murder Beach -- "Automatic Day"
Download: Murder Beach -- "The Sweet"

What's not to love about Murder Beach? The name of the band is great, continuing down the path of indiepop band name misdirection, a trend followed by fellow Athenian upstarts, Titans of Filth. Their show flyers, website, and other graphics-related endeavors are always attractive and have an overarching thematic consistency that's pleasing to the senses thanks to the efforts of Murder Beach mastermind, Ian Darken. Let's see, what else? Oh yeah, they're all great people. Hell, one of them has worked in this very office -not that it makes you a great person in and of itself- and another records Lucas's records. But don't love them for all of the aforementioned qualities. Love them for their concise, catchy, indiepop tunes, three of which we offer for your enjoyment today. The Beach has been maintaining a relatively low live profile here in Athens of late as they're currently working on wrapping up their second LP. This one's been a long time coming (like since I moved to Athens), but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. They are one of The Cropper's favorite local acts, and if you only like them half as much as we do, you'll still be thanking us for sending them your way!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bikeride.


Download: Bikeride - "Hideaways"

Many things have surprised me about today's featured band. When I first heard that we would be working with Bikeride, I did my initial search on AllMusic, only to find out that I have apparently been missing out on something really good. The previous three albums were all 4 stars or better on AMG, and those came from three different writers. An impressive feat for Tony Carbone, who has been putting out records since 1997 under the moniker Bikeride, and the latest, "The Kiss", is slowly inching its way into my subconscious.

"The Kiss" is one of those records that really is all over the place. Starting off with the warbly, dreamy "There's Something Odd About Elizabeth", the record finds itself going east, with what appear to be tablas and sitar on "Your Lips and You", and then to the twangy rock of "A Dancer's Feet are Not so Neat." And that's just three songs. Propulsive drumming, wild keys and horns drive my favorite song on the record, "Podiaphobia", something the band describes as "70's prog-rock a la Spinal Tap", and I agree with that synopsis.

The song "Hideaways" is the song linked above, and is one of the purest, catchiest pop songs I have heard this year, disguised as a waltz freak-out. You'll have to hear it to believe it.

And, if you happen to live in the SoCal, check out this Bikeride performance:

Di Piazza's (21+)
5205 E. Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach, CA
with Hell at Night, The Thingz, Digital Unicorn

And, one last bit of media to throw at you, a video put together by Ground Control Magazine, featuring interviews and clips of the band performing/practicing.


Live-blogging the Oscars!



That's right...I'm live-blogging the Oscars and I hope to give you minute-by-minute coverage of everything OSCAR, from the fabulous dresses to the big-time award surprises! You best hold on...it's going to be a non-stop thrill ride!

8:35 p.m. OMG. Who were those people? White is boring. Why are ugly people on the screen?

8:36 p.m. Ellen is just delightful...for a lesbian.

8:37 p.m. I hope she starts dancing! It's an absolute delight on her show!

8:42 p.m. LEO! Grrrrrrrrr-eat facial hair! Keeping the goatee alive. Me likee!

8:43 p.m. Once again: delightful. That choir bit was HI-larious.

8:45 p.m. Pan's Labyrinth? That looks weird. And too foreign.

8:48 p.m. Marry me, Maggie G! But who cares about all of these nerds. BOO!

8:53 p.m. Jack Black is too violent for my tastes. It seems like they are hiding the attractive people behind that weird screen this year.

8:56 p.m. Click wuz robbed!

8:59 p.m. Kids are always funny. But that Pinkett-Smith kid deserves a serious SPANKING for flubbing his lines.

9:04 p.m. Who cares about short films? NOT ME!!

9:10 p.m. So Penelope ain't from Mexico?! Big deal. She speaks Spanish, right? No need to apologize Ellen...you're doing great! And I think Penelope Cruz comes from Fabulousville...population: HER!!!

9:12 p.m. Those people making noises are funny, but where is Michael Winslow!? I'd love to see that Kung Fu movie bit!

9:18 p.m. More sound awards. Can you say "YAWN" in 5.1??

9:21 p.m. I didn't see Dreamgirls, but Eddie Murphy should have won because it was the first time in a while he hadn't played multiple characters. We should celebrate that kind of restraint.

9:25 p.m. Those shadow people are like demons!

9:30 p.m. James Taylor...ain't no heroin gonna hold me back...I'm at the OSCARS, BABY!?

9:34 p.m. Melissa Etheridge has a message, people! More lesbians!?!

9:35 p.m. Al Gore is swelling up like James Doohan.

9:44 p.m. Happy Feet looks downright wonderful, but I didn't see it. I hope no baby penguins died like in that March movie. DEPRESSORAMA!

9:46 p.m. Writers like writers?! Big whoop!

9:52 p.m. Tom Hanks makes a funny. So does Helen Mirren. Too bad they have to cede the stage to a bunch of writing uglyfaces!

9:54 p.m. Some writer guy is talking.

9:58 p.m. Anybody catch Jack Nicholson? Is he supporting Britney? Way to go, Jack!

10:02 p.m. Those chairs look comfy.

10:04 p.m. Is that costume lady married to that guy from Total Recall who had a psychic baby in his stomach? Way to marry up!

10:08 p.m. Tom Cruise is not being creepy...bad thing?

10:11 p.m. Ellen and Clint: priceless! Comic gold!

10:14 p.m. Pan's Labyrinth may have good cinematography but it looks like it smells funny.

10:16 p.m. Pizza rolls are delicious!

10:21 p.m. Pirates for best Visual Effects?! YES!

10:24 p.m. Some foreign people are talking.

10:25 p.m. Foreign films=SNOOZE ALERT!

10:29 p.m. That smelly Pan movie didn't win! Phew!

10:34 p.m. Jennifer Hudson won! Somebody call Nutri/System! Haha. I kid. It's great that OSCAR is weight-blind.

10:42 p.m. No one watches short movies.

10:46 p.m. Jerry Seinfeld: hopefully not a racist like his pal, Kramer!

10:48 p.m. Al Gore wins again...trees are great and all, but what ever happened to GLAMOUR!?!

10:52 p.m. Clint Eastwood: great director...but he can't act for crap! Look at the way he flubs his lines. Keep him away from starring roles!

10:55 p.m. Celine Dion is Canadian.

10:59 p.m. Ennio Morricone: Italian!

11:07 p.m. That Babel guy played some weird instrument. I don't like it one bit!

11:15 p.m. I didn't see Little Miss Sunshine because of the gay content.

11:22 p.m. Singing! Dreamgirls! Beyonce! Fabulousness!

11:25 p.m. Will the singing ever stop?

11:29 p.m. Best Song: apparently lesbians control Hollywood: Melissa Etheridge wins!

11:35 p.m. I can't get enough of these montages. I particularly like Michael Mann's tribute to esoterica itself!

11:43 p.m. I know I should care about editing, but I don't. I say, throw it all in a blender and let God sort it out!

11:47 p.m. Some people died last year. Do we know them? I don't know. Most of them were ugly.

11:51 p.m. Helen Mirren is one hot grandma. But she is British so her teeth are probably scary.

12:02 a.m. A BLACK GUY (Mr. Whitaker) WON! This is groundbreaking TV! I thought Battlefield Earth was underrated!

12:06 a.m. A short famous director just won an award from three taller directors. Apparently, great directors are not chosen for their looks. Get thee behind the camera, ugly sticks!

12:12 a.m. The excitement is pee-inducing!

12:14 a.m. When did Dr. Clean get so cool? And where is Annie Hall's tie? The Departed sends us on our way! I never tire of that Marky Mark. I heard "Good Vibrations" and became an instant Wahl-flower!

Well, that's it. What a fabulous display of wondrousness! I hope you enjoyed my LIVE-BLOGGING of the Oscars.

As Will Smith might say, "Peace OUT!"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Morning Jacket is Sweating My Balls



Listen: My Morning Jacket--"Golden"

W. T. F.

From the My Morning Jacket Website:
"For all of you who missed your prom back in 1956 or 1986 or 2006 for that matter, we will be hosting the 1st annual MMJ 2 night prom, March 6th and 7th, at the fabulous, prom-ready, 40 watt club in Athens! The first time we walked thru those hallowed 40 Watt doors we said to ourselves, "this place looks perfect for a prom!" And now the dream will be a reality. The theme is a futuristic/retro under the sea vibe - costumes (tuxes, suits, robots, mermaid and lobster costumes, anything prom/ocean related) are not only encouraged - they are MANDATORY!!! NO ONE will be admitted without proper attire! There will be cake, balloons, fishnets, classic cars, chaperones, spankings, and a whole lotta shakin goin on - 2007 style upin this bitch ya'll. Come prepared to dance the night away, and make up for all the proms you missed..."

My Morning Jacket is taking our prom! We lovely foools at Team Clermont have been holding a prom at the 40 Watt in the summer for almost a decade now. The reason it's "prom ready" is because they never took down our decorations! Seeing as MMJ is soooo excited to play a prom, I'm going to pull a Colbert here and challenge them.

YOU HEAR THAT MY MORNING JACKET?! I CHALLENGE YOU!
I challenge you to have your wannabe prom and play the real deal BLUE RIBBON BALL this year! JULY 28th at the always awesome 40 Watt! Also the theme will not be some lame ass "Under The Sea" crap. Ours will be much cooler and proper dress is mandatory! Don't even THINK about walking in there in flannel!

(ed. note: we are still totally going to the shows at the 40 Watt)

The New Rags' analog jamz.


Download: The New Rags—"Your Room"

Man, I am really excited to bring this to you! Of course, if you’re from Australia you already know this jam from a Nike commercial. I think it's hot in Japan, too (they were climbing the iTunes alternative charts there--last time I checked they were #2!?). But does anyone read this blog, much less Australians or Japanese folks?

Anyway, this song is raw, raucous fun from the two-man dynamo The New Rags. It’s just a drummer and a completely overdriven Fender Rhodes, two lines of lyrics, some uh-uh-uh's, and it's all totally. The songs on the New Rags' Take Jennie To Brooklyn! EP are short bursts of insanity with some filthy licks. I’ll hit you with some more MP3s soon. I really, really like this band. It reminds me of the best Quasi stuff, but the rest of the band's oeuvre is more diverse than this song suggests.

Added points to the label Silent Stereo Records (operated by the New Rags), who believe in naturalist analog recordings that preserve the natural tempo fluctuations, mistakes, tics, pops, and fun of the tape-driven recording days of yore.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Knoxville signage


Download: Bad Animal -- "The Hunted"

For reasons of rock, I was in Knoxville, TN (pop. 173,000) this past weekend. While there I was introduced to a Bad Animal indigenous to the city. It's a strange town, and to illustrate this I've assembled a variety of store names and one billboard sign from just one road - Broadway - that really did it for me.

* Jeans a Go-Go

* Pardon Jewelry

* Chintzy Rose

* Tangles Hair Salon

* an otherwise unmarked building with tinted windows called, i kid you not, "Abstract Title"

* a billboard that read, "Knoxville, Seafood Capital of the World.....Captain D's, Now Hiring"

No one that I spoke with was able to explain to me how/why Knoxville is the Seafood Capital of the World, but if you know, please comment.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

YESSSSSSSSS!



I sat around for about 5 minutes today think about things to say about this, but really it's one of those rare bits of art that truly speaks for itself. I will give you somethings to look forward to though
0:01 - remember that accent you will never hear it again
0:09 - bolo tie, meet ascot. Ascot, meet bolo tie
0:18 - Bolo suddenly remembers she's from Queens
1:12 - based on her wardrobe, Linda clearly left her brain cells at home.
1:30 - He's going for a Jalepeno popper monopoly!
2:16 - the smoke here may help explain Linda's later behavior
2:21 - Like pouring coffee on an electronic piece of equipment
2:37 - Little known fact, this rap is what inspired Snow
3:03 - Corporate strip tease! WOOOOOT!
3:13 - Windows 386: sure to turn you into the whore you always knew you could be
3:32 - I love how William treats Linda the way i treat people when I accidentally walk in on them snorting coke
4:27 - This is the first and last time a girl will ever sit in William's Lap
5:40 - Mr. Payne's night job is doing voice over work for Santa Claus
6:03 - Uh-oh, I saw this scene before in Jerry Maguire
and end it with a freeze frame. ENJOY

Louis



Download: Louis—“My Own Good”

Louis Schefano just might be one of my favorite songwriters, but the guy is criminally overlooked. He played drums for Remy Zero and Little Red Rocket (who later became Azure Ray), but his most important work has been his solo project, Regia. Regia released an album of beautiful pop music called The Art of Navigation about 7 years ago (has it been that long) on spinART that deserves a major reevaluation.

Louis now records under the name, Louis (natch). He has always been a songwriter capable of straightforward, matter-of-fact vulnerability. His lyrics are so direct as to be surprising in their candor. His songs are always tender but sturdy; they are not fragile, whiny constructions or barely-there anthems to self-loathing. The guy's been hurt, but he's not down for the count, you know? While Elliott Smith (RIP) was gaining accolades in the late 90s/early 00s, Louis Schefano was writing equally compelling music that came from a similar place, but never received the same amount of acclaim.

It’s great to see that Louis is still at it, and this song, a stunner that Pitchfork gave 4 stars, demonstrates he still has those heartbreaking bedroom pop chops. Let's not overlook Louis again!

Louis has an EP, Freak Show Revenge, coming out soon on Superphonic Records.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tacks, the boy Disaster



Download: Tacks, the boy Disaster -- "Matilda"

'Cropper favorites Midlake brought this Texas band along with them for the first leg of their ongoing US tour. Unfortunately, the tour came through our neck of the woods on none other than Superbowl Sunday, and while we at Team Clermont are fans of the music, our boss/co-worker/friend, Bill Benson, is an even bigger fan of Chicago sports, and the odds of us missing a single minute of the Bears first appearance on the NFL's biggest stage in over twenty years was slim to none. So, long story short, we missed Tacks' performance, which I am more than a little embarrassed about. Fortunately for us, Eric from Midlake demanded that I go home with a copy of their EP, Oh, Beatrice, which you can buy here, and I haven't stopped listening to it since.

Although it isn't immediately apparent on the song we're offering today, which reminds me more of the softer songs of The Microphones, they have a lot in common with their tour/state-mates, and apparently once shared a member. In addition to sounding great, the EP is handsomely packaged making it even more of a must have. The band has plans to do more touring, has a few videos up its sleeve, and will soon release another single prior prepping their full-length, so you should hear more about them soon.

I realize that I haven't actually said that much about the song I posted today, and while I do sometimes agree with the criticism that blogs don't do enough insightful writing about the music that they're posting, I mean c'mon, the song is right up there. You don't need my hackneyed metaphors and cliched comparisons to ruin it for you any more than they already have, right?

Mutant Sounds



You think you've got a blog? You don't have a blog, Mutant Sounds has a blog. Seriously, I don't know why the rest of us even bother. So good, sssshhhh don't tell.

A Flashdance/MC Hammer fusion



I don't know why I just thought of this, but it remains as cringeworthy today as when I saw "The Dance" a couple of years ago. I had to pause the DVD and walk around the house to get the courage up to soldier on and finish watching.

There was this guy at my junior high who sort of acted like a robot (and not in a cool breakdancing way) and always did this weird, spastic trot around the cafeteria at every school dance. It was truly bizarre, and everybody used to line up behind him, mimicking him until the whole thing resembled a dying human snake. It was funny, but then not so funny, and I was always really embarrassed for him, even though he never seemed that embarrassed for himself.

That's how I feel about this scene from The Office. You can taste the humiliation.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Explorers Club!

Not related to the band...

Download: The Explorers Club--"I Lost My Head"
Download: The Explorers Club--"Forever"

I saw the Explorers Club last year when they played a show with the phenomenal Murder Beach (I need to post about them) and Col. Knowledge and the Lickety-Splits (ditto) at the Caledonia Lounge. Athens' crowds are notoriously stingy with the love for out-of-towners, but after a couple of songs, they held us transfixed. If there is one thing we like in this town, it is the 60s. Like, all aspects of it. We never met a Pet Sounds-y ba-doom ba-doom drumbeat we didn't like. And here is this band up there playing this ridiculously old-fashioned Zombies/Beach Boys/Phil Spector/Kinks/Strawberry Alarm Clock mixture with such energetic aplomb that, if not for the killer guitar solos, you could have heard the collective jaw-dropping. They were preaching to the choir, sure, but, man, they were just good. And a non-stupid djembe solo? That's hard to pull off.

These guys (from Charleston...yeah!) are for real, and apparently labels have been taking notice. Good for them. These "demos" (see above) sound better than most bands' albums. I haven't heard anything so authentically "old" in quite some time. It's such a hard sound to nail with computers and click tracks and all of the digita hoohaw available to bands in today's studios. Just listen to "I Lost My Head" and prepare to have your mind blown.

Jesu.


This is one of the busiest add weeks that we have had at Team Clermont radio so far this year. Not only do we have the recently Cropped about album by The Coach and Four going for adds this week, but we also have the UK sensation The View, as well as the Aqueduct album.

Today though, the focus is on the new album by Jesu (pronounced 'yay-zu') titled The Conqueror, out on February 20th in the US on Hydra Head Records. Justin Broadrick, the Birmingham-based musician who is the driving force behind Jesu, has also been involved in Napalm Death, Techno Animal, and most recently Godflesh. The Conqueror has drawn a lot of inter-0ffice comparisons to Sigur Ros, Pelican, Isis (who Jesu will be touring with later this month), and I still insist on a similarity to Hum (especially their Downward Is Heavenward album). Zach Baron at Pitchforkmedia.com made the comparison to Slowdive or Codeine, and I definitely sense a shoegaze influence.

Many of the tracks on The Conqueror clock in over seven minutes long, but much like David Lynch's INLAND EMPIRE, time will not play much of a factor in the overall listening experience. There are alternating moments of pounding, crushing gravity followed by those aforementioned moments of shoegaze bliss. Overall, The Conqueror balances the "metal" with the "melody", and will hopefully throw anyone looking to pigeon-hole the album scratching their heads after repeated listens.

Oh, and here are those tour dates:

2/20- Spaceland - Los Angeles CA
2/22- Casbah - San Diego CA
2/23- The Clubhouse - Tempe AZ
2/24- Launchpad - Albuquerque NM
2/26 - Conservatory - Oklahoma City OK
2/27- Ridglea Theater - Fort Worth TX
2/28- Emo’s Alternative Lounging - Austin TX
3/1- Numbers - Houston TX
3/2- Spanish Moon - Baton Rouge LA
3/3- Bottletree Lounge - Birmingham AL
3/5- The Social - Orlando FL
3/6- Common Grounds - Gainesville FL
3/8- 40 Watt Club - Athens GA
3/9- Tremont Music Hall - Charlotte NC
3/10- Alley Katz - Richmond VA
3/11- 930 Club - Washington DC
3/13- Theatre of Living Arts - Philadelphia PA
3/14- Irving Plaza - New York NY -
3/15- SXSW (Hydra Head Showcase)
3/16 - SXSW (press day)
3/17- The Middle East - Downstairs - Cambridge MA
3/18- Theatre National - Montreal QC
3/19- Barrymore’s - Ottawa ON
3/20- Opera House - Toronto ON
3/21- St Andrews Hall - Detroit MI
3/22- Metro - Chicago IL
3/25- Triple Rock Social Club - Minneapolis MN
3/26- The Picador - Iowa City IA
3/27- Granada Theatre - Lawrence KS
3/28- Marquis Theater - Denver CO
3/30- In The Venue - Salt Lake City UT
4/1- The Big Easy - Boise ID
4/2- The Big Easy - Spokane WA
4/3- Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Room - Seattle WA
4/4- Hawthorne Theatre - Portland OR
4/6- Bimbo’s 365 Club - San Francisco CA
4/8- Henry Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles CA

7 questions with Andrew Spencer Goldman of the Fulton Lights

Download: Fulton Lights—“Fire in the Palm of My Hand” MP3

This was going to be on of our IMing With The Stars features, but I clicked on the wrong button and lost the whole IM conversation (after losing half of the previous interview with a mysterious AIM connection problem). So Andy and had to resort to the ol' fashioned quickie email interview. Maybe Andy and I can reconvene soon and do this up proper. Anyway, here is the interview with Mr. Fulton Lights himself, Mr. Andrew Spencer Goldman:

1. So...do you consider the Fulton Lights a band or a one man project?

Well it's definitely not a one man project. There are people playing with Fulton Lights without whom I could not work. Steve Silverstein, Rob Christiansen, those two guys have been essential. Pat Muchmore has been a rock. On the other hand, we're definitely not a band in
the conventional dudes-in-a-basement making democratic decisions about the music. I'm always open to suggestions and frequently ask for them, but ultimately I know that with this project I'm the motor that keeps it going. I am the cheese?

2. You lived in DC. Is the scene there as intense as everybody thinks it is? Were you allowed to have beers?

Ha. Um, no. Contrary to popular belief they are not all Straight Edge Quakers. I miss the places I used to hang out. I used to rip shit on the mic at Galaxy Hut karaoke night. I bumped into Ian
MacKaye at Whole Foods once, and he was all, "you killed it on 'Rapper's Delight' last night!" Scout's honor.

3. Why do you think it's so hard for people to come up with interesting questions in rock and roll interviews?

Stop smokin' that weed, son.

4. The record is named after the lights on Fulton Street, right? How has geography, specifically your Brooklyn surroundings, affected the tone of the album?

The songs are infused with different elements of the city as I experience it. The subway rumbling right under the apartment, the train screeching on the tracks, the buzz and hum of the electricity, the overhwelming hugeness of New York. All of that stuff soaks in. I
think I'm the kind of person that is very much affected by my surroundings. It's entirely possible or even likely that if I had spent the last five years living in rural Georgia that the album would have reflected an entirely different set of sounds and energies. Or even living in a different city. Every city has its own energy and its own sounds.

5. You were in two other bands, John Guilt and Maestro Echoplex, and had a modicum of success with them...it's been a few years: what's different about the whole being-in-a-band rigmarole this time around?

Well for one thing I'm a few years older now. I'm trying not to waste time, which is not to say I wasted any time before. I had many great experiences with Maestro Echoplex and John Guilt. But I can feel a new focus and intensity that maybe wasn't so fully developed before,
or maybe an urgency would be a better way to describe it. I also feel that my songwriting has grown to a point where I'm beginning to be more accurately able to express myself in a way that is uniquely me. For a songwriter, that's everything. It's a good feeling.

6. What's your favorite place to eat on the road? I'm talking restaurant and meal.

Anywhere that isn't fast food.

7. What is the most abysmal show you've ever attended?

I've seen some stinkers, for sure. But it'd be poor form of me to talk bad about someone else doing what they do. I guess the only truly abysmal shows are the ones where people are just fakin' it. That's just plain ol' offensive.
-----------------

Fulton Lights' self-titled debut will be available soon on Android Eats records and on limited edition vinyl on Catbird Records

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Songs Of The Week - Les Breastfeeders and Arizona


I've never been a lyrics person. It's not that I don't dig on the art of the poet or anything like that, but mixing the hubris of a poet with rock music can yield some pretty dodgey results (Jim Morrison? any one? any one?) Perhaps that's why the new record from Quebec's LES BREASTFEEDERS hits me just right...i don't speak French (or as Toby Keith calls it, "Freedom")
The lead song from their new album, Les Matins De Grands Soirs (out now on Blow The Fuse) says it all. It's a non stop rocker that leaves you breathless and hungry for some poutine

Download: Les Breastfeeders - Viens Avec Moi



It's rare that a great album can be crafted on a dare. Somehow, Brooklyn's Arizona managed to pull it off. The band, working mainly off word of mouth, have made quite a name for themselves over the last year. The self-released "Welcome Back Dear Children" is available now via the bands website and you can catch them on tour next month with The Slip and Band of Horses. 

Download: Arizona - Splintering


DATES:

Feb 28th, World Cafe Live w/ The Slip - Philly
March 1st, Recher Theatre w/ The Slip - Towson, MD
March 3rd, The Grog and Tankard - DC - 5pm
March 3rd, The Velvet Lounge - DC - 9pm
March 6th, Cat's Cradle w/ The Slip - Carbarro, NC
March 7th, Visulite Theatre w/ The Slip - Charlotte, NC
March 8th, Smith's Olde Bar w/ The Slip and Gringo Star - Atlanta, GA
March 10th, Cafe Eleven w/ Band of Horses - St. Augustine, FL
March 12th, The Social w/ Band of Horses - Orlando, FL
March 13th, Common Grounds w/ Band of Horses - Gainesville, FL
March 14th, The EARL w/ Band of Horses - Atlanta, GA
March 15th, Blue Cat's w/ Band of Horses - Knoxville, TN
March 17th, Red Gorilla Festival (during SXSW) - Austin, TX
March 20th, Casablanca - Phoenix, AZ
March 27th, U of MN Duluth Rafters - Duluth, MN
March 28th, The Dry Bean - Madison, WI
March 29th, TBA - Chicago, IL
March 30th, TBA - Cincinnati, OH
March 31st, TBA - Columbus, OH

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MP3 Roundup!


We've been crazy with the posting lately, so I just wanted to do a recap of the stuff we've been rocking in the past week. Here you go:

Download: Casper and the Cookies--"Sid From Central Park"
Download: Circulatory System -- "Yesterday's World"
Download: Loney, Dear--"I Am John"
Download: The Dexateens--Neil Armstrong
Download: Green Pitch--New Year Departure
Download: The Coach and Four—“Hello Destroyer”
Download: The Coach and Four—“Tiger High ‘85”
Download: The Coach and Four—“Girl Arms Redux”

Cookies and Apples




Download: Casper and the Cookies--"Sid From Central Park"

What's that smell in the air? It's the smell of nepotism, my friends. You see, I'm roommates with Jason and Kay, scions of a band called Casper and the Cookies, who just so happened to release one of my favorite records of 2006, The Optimist's Club (the living with them thing came later, so I'm not THAT biased). It's an inventive, almost spastic (in the best possible way) power pop tour de hook (see above track...and don't kill me for saying "tour de hook") that careens from song to song with dangerous energy. Even the mellow songs and sound collages have verve. The band's live show is something else, a glittery and wild non-stop pop music push-and-pull.

I'm gonna be taking care of the cats and mouse-eating frog while Jason, Kay, and Co. hit the road with the hobbit-approved Apples in Stereo (a favorite here at The Cropper) who are touring behind their fantastic new record, New Magnetic Wonder, which features more piano bass than any other record ever, including the entire Todd Rundgren catalog.

Here are the tour dates:

02-08 Lexington, KY - Dame
02-09 Cincinnati, OH - Top Cat's Club
02-10 Cleveland Heights, OH - Grog Shop
02-11 Buffalo, NY - Buffalo Icon
02-12 Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel
02-13 Washington, DC - Black Cat
02-15 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
02-16 Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
02-17 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
02-19 Montreal, Quebec - Main Hall
02-20 Toronto, Ontario - Lee's Palace
02-21 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
02-22 Columbus, OH - Little Brother's
02-23 Chicago, IL - Subterranean
02-24 Minneapolis, MN - Varsity Theater
02-25 Madison, WI - Memorial Union
02-27 Ames, IA - Maintenance Shop
02-28 Omaha, NE - Sokol Underground
03-01 Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
03-02 St. Louis, MO - Blueberry Hill's Duck Room
03-03 Columbia, MO - Blue Note

Go check 'em out!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Circulatory System


Download: Circulatory System -- "Yesterday's World"

Summer Hymns and Folklore return from their tour this week. There will be a show at the 40 Watt tomorrow to celebrate the homecoming and Folkore's "CD release". In addition to the aforemention road-sharpened duo, Athens' own New Sound of Numbers will be rounding out the bill as well as Cloud Recordings' artists and local "Where's Waldo" substitutes, Circulatory System. The last time The 'Cropper saw C-System, at the Caledonia, they looked like they were having a great time playing, and they certainly sounded sharp. Here's hoping that 2007 sees the release of their long awaited follow up to the debut LP, the latter of which you can purchase here.

Voices that Care




Today, out of nowhere, I quoted the chorus of this song to somebody. It brought back so many fond memories of 1991. This song is pretty amazing, true it's no "We Are the World" but I argue that this is way better. There is some surreal mingling going on in this vid, my personal favorite is Orel Hirshceiser hanging out with the Fonz.
How many Early 90's Celeberties can you name? First person to name the all wins a Crystal Pepsi!
Extra Credit if you know who the hell the bald dude is at the end.

Bill Benson: Celebrating 19 and a half years of being awesome.

Today is the 3Xth birthday of Team Clermont's very own Bill Benson. In tribute to him, I am posting a few videos from his favorite band of all time, Styx. Here's to another thirty-something more years (19 and a half of them totally awesome)!



"Rock everybody! Roll everybody! Shake everybody! Shout everybody!"

If you're a little confused at the end--and it's hard to tell whether the audience is booing the skit or the actors in the skit--it's okay. Your feeble mind cannot comprehend the saga of Kilroy as laid out by the genius, Dennis DeYoung.

Let us toast Mr. Benson with a piping hot glass of styx!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Loney, Dear.


Download: Loney, Dear--"I Am John"

I realize that it is still very early in 2007. We haven't even celebrated Washington's birthday, or thrown up in a cooler in Panama City for Spring Break 2k7 yet!! But, I feel confident in saying that Loney, Dear's album Loney, Noir is already one of my favorites of the year.

Loney, Dear is part of the new Swedish invasion, which includes bands like El Perro Del Mar, Peter, Bjorn and John, and ABBA. Emil Svanängen is the mastermind of the operation, and has played on the same bills as Sonic Youth, Devendra Banhart, and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

The video below is for the song called 'I Am John', and it follows a circular melody, as Svan√§ngen’s acoustic guitar and vocals are mixed with keyboards, clarinets, bells, and backing vocals. It's a gorgeous song, that is contrasted by a video that can only be described as unexpected. You will know what that means when you see what is considered a hat at the end of the video.



If you like live shows, and you like Loney, Dear, check this out:

03.10.07 - Irving Plaza, New York City
03.11.07 - Avalon, Boston
03.12.07 - Union Pool, Brooklyn
03.16.07 - First Avenue, Minneapolis
03.17.07 - Pabst Theater, Milwaukee
03.18.07 - Schuba's, Chicago
03.19.07 - Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland
03.20.07 - Southgate House, Newport
03.21.07 - Mercy Lounge, Nashville
03.22.07 - Grey Eagle Tavern, Asheville
03.23.07 - Headliners, Columbia
03.25.07 - Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta
03.27.07 - Bottletree, Birmingham
03.29.07 - Abbey Road, Gainesville
03.30.07 - Studio A, Miami
03.31.07 - Club At Firestone, Orlando
04.01.07 - Freebird's, Jacksonville
04.02.07 - Moon, The, Tallahassee
04.09.07 - First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia
04.10.07 - 930 Club, Washington
04.11.07 - Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights
04.12.07 - Magic Stick, Detroit

Pa-Pa-Pants Man!

I know you've all probably seen this a million times, but it deserves to be shown again and again and again. It leaves me with so many questions (SPOILER ALERT):
  • Why are the parents standing around watching the kid poop? Doesn't that make him uncomfortable?
  • Is it inappropriate to wear pants in Japan until one poops successfully in a toilet? Illegal even?
  • Now that we know that our urine and fecal matter is sentient (and quite cute) should we be sad every time we excrete waste matter into our (talking) toilets? The tigers didn't seem too sad about it. What happens to said anthropomorphic waste matter? Where does it go? Does it die?
  • On that same note, does every single inanimate object in Japan have eyes and feelings and stuff? If so, is it awesome or creepy to live there? I suspect a little bit of both...
  • Is that little boy tiger, um...I mean, does he have a little, you know? Thingy. Ew....
Watch and ponder:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Songs Of The Week: Dexateens and Green Pitch


I was reading MOJO and saw this INSANE 4 Star review for the Dexateens and was like... "DAMN!"
So good for those guys. There's not enough southern rock out there right now and these guys are bringing it. Their third release, Hardwire Healing, was produced by the Drive-By Truckers' Patterson Hood and is being released on Skybucket Records on February 6th. Check out this fine sample from the hot as the Alabama summer record. If you live around Athens, come see them tomorrow at the 40 Watt!

Download: The Dexateens--Neil Armstrong


A little something something about Green Pitch. I love this band, it's part of my new love of all things Scandinavian. Things like fjords, meatballs, Bjorn Borg, Beowulf and black metal. Green Pitch, however, is not classifiable as black metal, which some of you will probably find unfortunate. In fact, they are on the other end of the spectrum, making quiet, subtle songs with intricate guitar/vocal interplay. Rex Garfield (the female vocalist) and Ste Rasch (guitar and
vocals) harmonize beautifully on this track, which one of my personal favorites on the album, and proves that there are better things that IKEA coming out of Scandinavia land.

Download: Green Pitch--New Year Departure