Handwritten will be released on July 24th and "45" will be available for purchase on May 8th.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Handwritten will be released on July 24th and "45" will be available for purchase on May 8th.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
You can hear more from Sinai Vessel on their Bandcamp page and you can follow them on their Twitter and Facebook as well.
Friday, April 27, 2012
Also, keep your eyes peeled for Electric Guest when they make their major network TV debut on The Late Show with David Letterman on May 4th!
Thursday, April 26, 2012
I made it to Grimey's with time to spare and there was already a pretty substantial line down the alley and up the side street. The weather was perfect for hanging out and everyone in line seemed pretty excited to be there. I didn't even overhear any pretentious arguments about who should and shouldn't of put out releases or how cassettes were really superior to vinyl. The wait was also made pretty bearable by the free swag they started randomly handing out. I ended up getting two incredibly cool posters of The Smiths and Fleet Foxes for my efforts. When we finally made it in, I was able to find The Horrible Crowes 7" pretty easy. Although I was pretty close to my meticulously calculated budget, I just couldn't pass up the other two releases on my list, the "Side by Side" of "Respect" with Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin and the 12" mint green "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes" by Social Distortion. Before checking out, I rummaged through a huge box of free posters and surprisingly managed to uncover some beauties by Arcade Fire, Wild Flag, Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. Apparently, Merge Records sent a couple rare goodies and I just happened to be the first one willing to dig a little. If that wasn't enough poster goodness for one day, when I got home I discovered that my Social Distortion album was one of the ones that included a "Machine Gun Blues" poster that was signed by the entire band! Of course, there were also a ton of free stickers, compilation cds and other promo items stuffed into each bag as well. Grimey's NEVER disappoints and it was quite the haul all the way around. Eventhough all of the cool extras were nice, the only thing I needed to consider the day a success were the actual releases. When you combine awesome artists with incredible songs, super cool vinyl colors and tasty picture sleeves, you've got something pretty special on your hands. I hope everyone else had as much success getting the releases they were looking for and had as much fun spinning them when they got home as I did. Record Store Day is such an awesome concept and it's so cool to see it getting bigger and better each year. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, I'm already counting down the days until Record Store Day 2013!
Here's a pic of my RSD 2012 purchases so that you can see the cool translucent Coke bottle green of "You Be Illin'," the solid gold of "Respect," the splatter red on white of "Kick Out The Jams" and the Mike Ness signature on the "Machine Gun Blues" poster. As far as the other wax colors, Social Distortion is on mint green, Ryan Adams is on blue, The White Stripes is on translucent red with black wisps, Karen Elson is on goldish "milk and honey" blend and both The Civil Wars and The Horrible Crowes went with classic black.
Monday, April 23, 2012
- How Long
- Heaven Help Me
- Until You
- More Than A Man
- Carry Me Through
- Love Will Be Enough
- Nothing Fancy
- Grace's Amazing Hands
- Someday, Sarah
- White Flag
- Mine To Love
- Little Lies
- God Gave Me You
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
(Here's my most recent post for the fine folks over at NoiseTrade.)
If you like the rustic stomp and clap of Americana folk revivalists and the raw, emotional vocal stylings of bands like The Avett Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show and The Devil Makes Three, then you’ll find much to love in the “tradition meets today” sound of The Lumineers. Acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, back porch percussion, gang vocals and lots of heart all contribute to the fun, down home sound the trio creates. They just released their self-titled debut full length earlier this month and have also put their 4 song EP, originally called The Lost EP but redubbed here as Tracks from the Attic, up on NoiseTrade. Tracks from the Attic is a great peek into the earlier stages of a couple songs (“Classy Girls” and “Flapper Girl”) that made it to the full length and a couple (“Elouise” and “Soundtrack Song”) that are exclusive to this release. With pounding rhythms, singalong choruses and lyrics that mention Romeo and Juliet, Elvis and The Talking Heads, Tracks from the Attic will definitely put a smile on your face and a stomp in your boots. Also be sure to check out the video of “Ho Hey” below. It’s the first single from The Lumineers self-titled debut full length, currently available through all major retailers or directly from the band here.
Monday, April 16, 2012
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Loud. Fast. Heart. This formula has served MxPx well over the last 20 years and with their newest album, Plans Within Plans, they've once again proven that they've down right mastered it. With 13 tracks clocking in at just over 35 minutes, the boys from Bremerton have created another classic no holds barred, no note wasted punk rock record. Since the early 90's, MxPx has flirted with a variety of different moods within the punk vein, but I caution anyone to lazily use terms like "old school" or "return to form" when describing the ferocity of Plans Within Plans. While it's true that MxPx has always had one foot firmly planted on the shoulders of those who've rocked before them, they've continually been a forward-facing locomotive of powerful music and honest lyrics. There's no question that lead singer/bassist/principal songwriter Mike Herrera seems to be an unending source of songs, as he masterfully splits his notebook between MxPx, Tumbledown, Arthur and solo endeavors. (I know, I know fanboys, don't forget The Cooties!) But what's even more amazing than the sheer volume of his writing, is the quality and direction that each song takes. None of the songs on Plans Within Plans sound like anything other than MxPx songs. Granted the signatures sounds of Tom's Les Paul growl and Yuri's bombastic drumming help seal the deal, but at the core of any great band is their songs. A fact that is clearly not lost on MxPx or their fans for the last 20 years.
Of the 13 ignited songs on Plans Within Plans, none of them waste time trying to reach the "standard" three and a half minute mark. What that means for the listener is a "strap in and hold on" ride of super fun, singalong songs that will have you getting back in line for another round as soon as the ride's finished. Explosive track "Screw Loose" busts in like the Kool-Aid Man and just as quickly dips out in just a little over a minute! Songs like "Aces Up," "Nothing Left," In The Past," "Stay On Your Feet" and first single "Far Away" are half encouraging/half cathartic romps that will somehow leave you simultaneously spent and refreshed. Even when MxPx does one of their tried and true love songs ("Lucky Guy"), the energy is as palpable as the sentiment. While Mike's unmistakable bass tone, Tom's snarling guitars and Yuri's pounding drums are more than enough to carry this great album, they brought some friends along to help out for a couple of the songs. Special guests include Stephen Egerton (Descendents, All), The Swellers, Greg Bennett (Neutral Boy) and two of Mike's Tumbledown mates, Jack Parker and Harley Trotland. Even with so many additional folks, the cohesion between songs is flawless. The entire album has an amazing spirit to it, but to me, one of the most interesting tracks on the album is "Cast Down My Heart." The song was spawned from a poem of the same name that Mike found in a notebook given to him by his grandmother. He added his own spin on it but the hopelessness of the original poem's young girl dealing with a soldier boyfriend during WWII translates perfectly to the new song's characters. 2 minutes and 11 seconds of manic punk rock written around a grandmother's hand-me-down book of poems. Loud, fast, heart indeed.
You can pick up Plans Within Plans pretty much everywhere but you can also order it directly from the band on cd, vinyl or digital HERE.
(Unfortunately some of the colored vinyl orders have been delayed at the plant. Once I get my gorgeous gold copy in, I'll post a pic of it as well.)
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Monday, April 2, 2012
(Here's a new post I recently did for NoiseTrade.)There’s no question that singer/songwriter/poet/creator Kevin Max is a bonafide renaissance man and a modern day agent of creative dissent. With his newest project,Fiefdom of Angels, Max combines a novel, graphic novel and an accompanying soundtrack to create an origin story for angels. While on paper that may sound daunting, Max delves deep into races, locations, connections and conflicts to shape characters worth caring about and a story worth telling. The graphic novel is rich in detail, plot and emotion and the soundtrack uses cover songs and Kevin Max originals to enhance the characters and arcs laid out in the story. Kevin has graciously offered a teaser of the graphic novel and Side One of the soundtrack here on NoiseTrade for a limited time.
Fiefdom of Angels: Side One is a five song EP comprised of four cool covers and one reimagined original. Using a spacious orchestral vibe and a haunting choir of layered vocals, each song breathes with atmosphere, melody and texture. With long intros, lush instrumental passages and airy moments of stasis, it’s no surprise that the listening experience, just like the overall story itself, is truly enhanced by a certain attentiveness. These songs do not want to get somewhere, as much as they want to create somewhere. While the new wave-esque cover selections were intentionally picked to relate to the story, they certainly could’ve been chosen on great song merit alone. Real Life’s “Send Me An Angel,” Joy Division’s “Shadowplay,” Queen’s “Dragon Attack” and Muse’s “Take A Bow” all get the same cinematic, chamber music treatment with inspiring results. “End of the Beginning” is the sole original composition on the EP and has been floating around in demo form since Max’s Stereotype Be days.
The graphic novel teaser included with the download is a stunning 28 page collection of arresting story frames, helpful angelic race cliff notes, detailed maps, elaborate character bios and a condensed prologue to get you up to speed. More than just a story, Max has unfolded an entire mythology that is dense with individuals, collectives, places, practices, cultures and clashes that will tug at your head, your heart, your beliefs and your imagination. No matter your religious leanings (or lack thereof), Fiefdom of Angels will certainly get you thinking, feeling, discussing and dreaming in ways that you may not have before. Max refers to Fiefdom of Angles as “my Magna Carta and my Opus, my Fifth Symphony and my White Album, all rolled into one” and with the magnitude of what he’s conveying, I think that’s dead on. I encourage you to simultaneously listen to the EP and read through the graphic novel, letting both the audible and visual elements weave together and reach you at the same time. With more stories and songs to come in theFiefdom of Angels collection, wouldn’t it be better to immerse yourself from the beginning instead of trying to cram it all in later? Zero Issue awaits…