Monday, September 24, 2007


Download: Siberian – “Belgian Beer and Catholic Girls”
Download: Siberian – “Islands Forever”

This is big-time, reach-for-the-stars, anthemic rock and roll. Siberian doesn't do anything small and their songwriting ambition is surprising given the relative youth of the band members. This Seattle band writes crafty big-hearted pop that reminds us of the Bends-era Radiohead (with a decidedly American filter) or maybe the Arcade Fire without the quarter note bass drum all-the-freaking-time. There are twists and turns galore and a lot of subversion of traditional structures without seeming showy about it or anything. And what I really like is that they don't mind "going for it" in a non-ironic way. Siberian is a band that pounds it out without cynicism and full of optimism and enthusiasm, and even though "earnest" is supposedly back, it still seems refreshing when you hear it done right. Siberian comes our way courtesy of Sonic Boom Recordings, who also put out the great Pseudosix EP and Ghost Stories LP this year...a name you can trust!

Monday, September 17, 2007


Download: Biirdie--"Him"
Download: Biirdie--"Estelle" MP3

We here at Team Clermont are pleased to announce the upcoming release of Biirdie's second album, Catherine Avenue. It's coming out on Love Minus Zero Records (part of the Drive-Thru Records family), and we think it's a big, stunning Great American Rock Record. The band spins sweeping anthems told in California semi-gloss, with twinges of West Coast Country and big-hearted Southern balladry. It's an album about place and location, about the way that geography affects us. California itself figures heavily as a character on the record; two of the band's members are Southern ex-pats and the lyrics often address the bewilderment of finding oneself transplanted to Los Angeles. If you need musical analogues then we hear Fleetwood Mac, Grandaddy, CSNY, Rilo Kiley, and Brill Building pop, but that's by no means a complete list. This is ambitious orchestral music decked out in gorgeous harmonies, ringing pianos, and some pretty killer guitar work that knows a thing or two about dynamism. It knows when to take a breather, and it knows when to go for the knockout.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Slaraffenland US Tour

Download: Slaraffenland -- "Dust (Me As A Monster)"

Denmark's finest, Slaraffenland, are going to be hitting the States for a fall tour culminating in their performance at Hometapes' CMJ showcase. We here at The Cropper couldn't be happier about this. Slaraffenland put out one of our favorite records of 2007, and consistently put on an impressive live show. If you're at all able to make it out to any of the dates below, consider yourself very lucky. We love them. We hope you're able to see Slaraffenland soon:

Sep 25 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge - w/ Porlolo
Sep 26 - Nampa, ID - Flying M Coffeegarage - w/ The Invasion
Sep 27 - Portland, OR - Towne Lounge - w/ Donny Hue and The Colors
Sep 28 - Seattle, WA - Easy Street Records
Sep 30 - Hollywood, CA - Knitting Factory - w/ The New Loud, Casxio
Oct 01 - San Diego, CA - Che Cafe - w/Clock Work Army/Channing Cope
Oct 04 - Ames, IA - Iowa University - M-Shop - w/ The Helio Sequence
Oct 06 - Chicago, IL - South Union Arts -w/Fred Lonberg-Holm/David Daniell
Oct 07 - Fayetteville, AR - JR's Lightbulb Club - w/ Memphis Pencil
Oct 08 - Austin, TX - Mohawk - w/ Silver Pines
Oct 10 - Atlanta, GA - 11:11 Teahouse - w/ Tradesecrets
Oct 11 - Washington, DC - DAM! Festival @ Rock-n-Roll Hotel
Oct 12 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern - w/ Phosphorescent
Oct 14 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery - w/Paul Duncan/The Caribbean
Oct 15 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fire - w/ Pattern is Movement
Oct 16 - Somerville, MA - PA's Lounge - w/ The Coast
Oct 19 - New York, NY - CMJ Music Marathon - Mo Pitkin's - Hometapes showcase

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Little Name

Download: Little Name -- "How To Swim and Live"
Download: Little Name -- "Tracy & I"

This record has to go down as the surprise release of the year for us. It must have been a surprise for Ann Tabor of Sleepy Records as well. She received the Little Name "demos" one day out of the blue. This guy, Lee Barker, from Liverpool, is holed up in his house for eight years because of panic attacks and records this marvelous, bubbly British pop record that follows in the footsteps of Belle and Sebastian, British twee, and Gruff Rhys (his voice is often a dead ringer). The guy plays 99.9% of the instruments, the production is impeccable, and he just sends it out to a fledgling label, who was absolutely floored and quite happy to release it. Would that every unsolicited package was like that! Can you imagine getting this brilliant pop album in the mail unannounced? One wonders how many other great songwriters are holed up in their houses making beautiful music like this.