Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Crushed Stars

Download: Crushed Stars -- "Spies"

Crushed Stars is placid, patient, pop sophistication. These songs are meticulously arranged and beautifully performed, falling in line with such artists as David Sylvian, Red House Painters, and even Burt Bacharach. This is hazy, starry late-night music that forgoes aggression and attack for uncommon beauty. Todd Gautreau, the man behind the music, is a powerful songwriter and one of the best dreampop craftsmen around.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The LK

Download: The LK--"Private Life of a Cat"

Download: The LK--"Tandem Bikes"

What to say about Sweden's The LK? They are brilliant musicians and just as lovely human beings. The LK (The Love of Kevin, Colour, Chaos, and the Sound of K) is the collaboration between Lindefelt, abstract sound artist, and Fredrik, pop visionary and songwriter par excellence. Fusing musique concrete-style collages of sound with iconic pop arrangements, the typical LK song is both gradually mind-invading and comfortingly direct. Recorded with a minimum of equipment, VS. the Snow was built largely by glueing pieces of Lindefelt's abstract sounds, lyrics and voice to Fredrik's simple, beautiful melodies and chords. The Kora Records has really struck gold with this band. Check 'em out post-haste!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

King of Prussia

Download: King of Prussia -- "Misadventures of the Campaign Kids"

While a quick assessment of King of Prussia's debut might bring to mind the Smiths, Belle and Sebastian, or a more straight-ahead Flaming Lips, the band's deftly-designed, often misanthropic, lyrics--which speak of home as place, home as state, consumerism, summertime, etc.--place the band closer to the Steely Dans and Magnetic Fields of the world. The point here is that it's hard to categorize KoP, even if their erudite power pop is warmly familiar. They are definitely a fitting band to reboot the Kindercore label!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Download: Zillionaire -- "The Gardener"

Download: Zillionaire -- "No Contest"

Zillionaire's upcoming LP, The Street Lights Have Been Turned Down, is coming out on New Granada Records, the Tampa-based home to Candy Bars and Isobella, proving yet again that there's more going on in the Tampa Bay area than Morbid Angel. Not that there's anything wrong with Morbid Angel, mind you. Still, it's nice to hear a variety of sounds associated with a city as opposed to Tampa being exclusively thought of as metal, and DC conjuring up nothing but Dischord, etc. New Granada's stable is impressively diverse, and Zillionaire is indeed a step in a new direction for the label. Their debut, which harkens back to the halcyon indie rock days of Versus and Bedhead, will be out soon.

The group, formed in 2004 by Heath Dupras and Keith Ulrey, was originally envisioned as a guitar-and-drums duo, but the layered, dynamic nature of the material quickly revealed a need to bring others into the fold. With the addition of Michael Waksman (guitar, vocals) and Bryan Bates (bass), the now completed line-up set about making music on their own terms and at their own pace. Zillionaire indeed took their time (a year and a half to be exact). The songs above are a taste of the debut they set out to make.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Murder Mystery

Download: Murder Mystery -- "Love Astronaut"

Download: Murder Mystery -- "Honey Come Home"

Murder Mystery
is here to bring the feel-good pop. Their upcoming debut album, are you ready for the heartache cause here it comes, is a showcase of their unique talents: meticulously crafted melodies and harmonies, intertwining guitar arrangements, catchy basslines and danceable rock n' roll beats. It's a collection of unpretentious pop gems, so clear some space to dance.

Catch Murder Mystery on tour:

Tue Jan 15 - Pittsburgh - Garfield Artworks
Wed Jan 16 - Cleveland - Beachland Tavern
Thu Jan 17 - Detroit - Small's
Fri Jan 18 - Columbus - The Basement
Sat Jan 19 - Lexington, KY - The Dame
Mon Jan 21 - Athens - 40 Watt
Wed Jan 23 - St. Louis - 2 Cents Plain
Thu Jan 24 - Chicago - Schuba's WOXY event
Fri Jan 25 - Madison - The Annex
Sat Jan 26 - Minneapolis - Triple Rock Social Club
Wed Jan 30 - Vancouver - The Railway Club
Thu Jan 31 - Seattle - Skylark
Fri Feb 1 - Portland - Tonic Lounge
Sun Feb 3 - LA - The Scene

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pattern Is Movement/We Versus The Shark

Download: Pattern Is Movement -- "Right Away"

Download: We Versus The Shark -- "Right Away" (Pattern Is Movement cover)

The stars appear to be aligning favorably for Philadelphia's Pattern Is Movement. Not only does the band have a killer new record, All Together, coming out later this spring, but they also just got done playing a New Year's Eve show at The Knitting Factory in NYC with The Dirty Projectors, which you can read about here. The song above "Right Away" is on PIM's upcoming full-length, but fortunately you don't have to wait 'til April to get your paws on it. Not only is it obviously available in digital format here, but you can also get it on a clear vinyl 7'' with the equally strong "Korea" right now. Here's that link.

As you can see, I've also reposted We Versus The Shark's cover of "Right Away" as well. This is part of a very cool project WVTS has taken on, cheekily titled Murmurmur, in which they will cover a different song that inspires the band each month throughout the year. Some of the songs will likely be relatively high-profile acts, but the Shark plans to give plenty of attention to a number of less widely known local groups as well. Either way, it should make for some interesting listens. WVTS is all sorts of talented and they've got omnivorous ears (can that happen?), so I'm really looking forward to hearing what else they dig up. You can read more about their cover project here.