Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Download: Ham1 – “White Rat”
Download: Ham1 – “Hare Lipped Bust”
Download: Ham1 – “I Had A Good Idea, But It Passed My Mind”

Ham1, an Athens, GA mainstay that released its self-titled (and free!) debut to much acclaim in 2005, has been picked up by eco-conscious Orange Twin Records for its second album, The Captain’s Table. The brainchild of schoolteacher/songwriter, Jim Willingham, Ham1 takes equal inspiration from old movie soundtracks and modern dilapidation, drawing from jukebox rock and roll archetypes, spaghetti westerns, and flea market lost and found sounds to create original pop songs and instrumental scores.

For his first Orange Twin release, Willingham capitalizes on his longstanding musical relationship with a pair of veteran Elephant Six luminaries; former Olivia Tremor Control members, drummer/multi-instrumentalist Eric Harris and keyboardist Pete Erchick, make key textural and compositional contributions to the new disk. Rounding out the idiosyncratic lineup are Athens fixtures Jacob Morris and Chris Sugiuchi on cello and trombone, respectively; acclaimed local songstress Liz Durrett, whom the band often backs on stage, lends her rich vocal harmony to two tracks.

Ham1 will soon embark on the “Three On A Tree Tour” supporting Liz Durrett and Vic Chesnutt and acting as both acts’ backing band.

The “Three On The Tree” Tour:

Sept 28 The Werehouse Winston Salem NC
Sept 29 The Grey Eagle Asheville NC
Sept 30 Gravity Lounge Charlottesville VA
Oct 5 Arts Center Carrboro, NC
Oct 6 Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
Oct 12 The Pilot Light Knoxville, TN (tentative)
Oct 13 The Basement Nashville, TN
Oct 18 The 40 WATT Athens, GA
Oct 19 Workplay Birmingham, AL
Oct 20 The Earl Atlanta, GA

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mother and the Addicts

Download: Mother and the Addicts -- "All in the Mind"
Download: Mother and the Addicts -- "So Tough"

Chemikal Underground (home of the Delgados, Arab Strap, and Mogwai) brings us another great band from the UK. This time Sheffield's Mother and the Addicts, whose second album, Science Fiction Illustrated, is a real piece of work, a catchy of slab of uniquely British post-rock. It recalls the Fall, Orange Juice, Jarvis/Pulp...lots of stuff, but it's definitely it's own thing. MOJO and NME are falling all over themselves for this band, and I think you will, too!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Three 4 Tens

Download: The Three 4 Tens--"Everyday"

The Rainbow Quartz label returns with another batch of wonderful power pop; this time is comes from the Three 4 Tens, a group that seems equally adept at ringing jangly rock and dystopian, sludgy JAMC-style fuzz. It's a great romp (I'll try to refrain from using the word psychedelic in any manner--man, we overuse it...hey! it's what we dig!) and a real grower as an album, which ain't a bad thing at all. Plus, compared to a lot of similar bands, they go for interesting textures and frequencies beyond the normal Rick guitars and punchy bass tones.

Complete Hoogie-Boogie Land

It's like US Maple vs. Ugly Kid Joe. Thanks to Candice Jones for the tip!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Alina Simone

Download: Alina Simone – “Black Water”
Download: Alina Simone – “Saw-Edged Grass”

She's already earned plaudits from publications like Pitchforkmedia, Magnet, The New Yorker, and Time Out New York, and for good reason. Alina Simone's songs, driven by her razor voice, are heart-stomping marvels. She puts it out there in the manner of the early non-Starbucks-y Cat Power/PJ Harvey with a little of that Sleater-Kinney swagger, but she has her own voice, though. Her voice and guitar sit impossibly high in the mix, with every note hanging there naked for maximum efficacy. This album, Placelessness, is something else...it really cuts deep. This Ukrainian-born, North Carolina-based NYCer is a real discovery and I really see good things on the horizon. It's just undeniably good. Listen to "Black Water"--that thing is a smoker.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Mabuses

Download: The Mabuses--"Mirth"
Download: The Mabuses--"Seasider"

Who are the Mabuses? Multi-city, multinational, multitalented, and many other multis. A lot of guys who get together and assembled their third record, Mabused, a sprawling quirk-pop masterwork that has no paucity of great ideas. They just keep rolling them out until the end. It's got shades of XTC, Super Furry Animals, Olivia Tremor Control, you know, the good ones. As for the band members themselves? Well, that's a bit of a mystery, isn't it?

Also, the listen to the whole album, which is streaming at Stereogum.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Download: Mancino--"Five Blades"
Download: Mancino--"L'Amour (Or Less)"

Mancino's Manners Matter is a blast...a wild, inventive piano pop monster rife with clever turns, dodges, changes, and hooks. I've never seen them live, but I bet they completely kill it. This album's been building buzz now for a while in anticipation of its national release and for good reason. You can read more about the album here, here, here, here, and here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Angel and the Love Mongers

Download: Angel and the Love Mongers -- "The Humanist Queen"

This bunch of ex-bankers and ex-lawyers and Knoxvillian gadabouts have put together a fist-pumping new wave record, The Humanist Queen, that recalls the Smiths and Morrissey's output, Modern English, and, occasionally, in the best possible way, Duran Duran. Lead singer Angel has a powerful voice, one that recalls Jeff Buckley's more soaring arrangements, and the band just motors through the song, always going for it. I really feel like that is a band that has captured a kick-ass live show and transferred it to record. Look for it on Rock Snob Records.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Download: Airiel--"Thinktank"

Airiel's LP, The Battle of Sealand, is soon to be released via Chicago label, Highwheel Records. This is reverb-heavy, effects-coated, honest-to-goodness shoegaze pop in the early Creation Records mold. It's not the slow stuff like Slowdive or Spacemen 3. This is the stuff with that great Mancunian backbeat and the pop hooks amid the crazy din the guitarists whip up. Expect to write posts with the words "swirling" in them.

Show: Club Europa (98 Meserole Ave, Greenpoint)
Where: Brooklyn, NY
When: August 11th, 2007

Show: AS220 (115 Empire Street)
Where: Providence, Rhode Island
When: August 13th, 2007

Show: The Khyber (56 S. Second Street)
Where: Philadelphia, PA
When: August 14th, 2007

Show: Black Cat (1811 14th St NW)
Where: Washington, D.C.
When: August 15th, 2007

Show: The Metro Gallery (1700 North Charles Street)
Where: Baltimore, MD
When: August 17th, 2007

Show: The Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave) **The Battle of Sealand - RELEASE PARTY**
Where: Chicago, IL
When: August 29th, 2007

Show: C.C.La Noche (Av Bolognesi 307)
Where: Lima, Peru
When: September 1st, 2007

Show: Triple Rock (629 Cedar Avenue)
Where: Minneapolis, MN
When: September 28th, 2007

Show: KEXP Live from Chicago
Where: Chicago, IL
When: October 3rd, 2007
Details: Airiel Performs a live set on KEXP 90.3 Seattle remotely broadcast from Engine Studios in Chicago listen live on www.kexp.org

Show: KEXP Presents Airiel @ Darkroom (2210 W. Chicago ave)
Where: Chicago, IL
When: December 6th, 2007
With: Arks and Walking Bicycles
Details: 9 PM

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Donny Hue and The Colors

Download: Donny Hue and The Colors – “Humming With The Flower Birds”
Download: Donny Hue and The Colors – “Real, Long Time”

Donny Hue and The Colors' first album, Folkmote, combines lush, magisterial lullabies with shimmering chamber pop, yet the songs are haunted by psychedelic nursery rhymes gone horribly awry, and ghostly, incandescent dreamscapes. It's got a lot of early Of Montreal vibe to it, which is to say that it's got a lot of Kinks vibe to it! Haha. Donny moonlights in The Terminals with the wonderful Meredith Bragg as well. This is quality stuff, in part because it has a good time and doesn't take itself too seriously. Ace record label The Kora Records is putting this out (M. Bragg, Gregor Samsa). Donny Hue and The Colors will be hitting the road this fall. Look for them in these fine cities:

9.03 - WFMU Radio Appearance @ 3pm
9.04 - Brooklyn, NY @ Southpaw
9.06 - Philadelphia, PA @ Khyber
9.07 - DC @ Olsson's Books & Records in Dupont at 7pm
9.07 - DC @ Velvet Lounge
9.09 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Blend
9.10 - Athens, GA @ Little Kings
9.11 - Atlanta @ The Earl
9.12 - Memphis, TN @ P&H
9.13 - Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
9.14 - Austin, TX @ House show
9.15 - El Paso, TX @ Cactus Café
9.16 - Flagstaff, AZ @ Macy's
9.17 - Las Vegas, NV @ Aristocrat
9.18 - Los Angeles, CA @ Knitting Factory
9.19 - Los Angeles, CA @ TBA
9.23 - Oakland, CA @ Mama Buzz
9.26 - Eugene, OR @ Black Forest
9.27 - Portland, OR @ Towne Lounge
9.28 - Olympia, WA @ Le Voyeur
9.29 - Seattle, WA @ Mars Café
10.1 - Denver @ Hi Dive
10.2 - Lincoln, NE @ Crescent Moon