Saturday, September 24, 2011

tolmie terrapin press

tolmie terrapin press is a label based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, which releases cassette and digital albums by the greatest bands you never heard of, YET. After locating a Band Camp page for The Dictaphone, I saw that the label was ttp, and their other releases were listed conveniently on the page, leading me to explore the artists sharing the ttp label. What an experience this has turned out to be! I would love to take this opportunity to share with you all the links to tolmie terrapin press artists now, because all underground music fans need to hear this music. Some of the wickedly dark and delicious gems available here alongside The Dictaphone's album past.future.void are minthill's mintville EP, blood lake's I Sincerely Want to Move the Mountains, mole people's mind-blowing self-titled album and split with Dr. Quinn, and rubella's album junkyard. There are more, so GO, check them all out and see which ones you like best, buy the cassette if you have a player (some insanely great artwork on the cassettes), or buy the digital, they've made everything available to those of us without tape players!

tolmie terrapin press Band Camp main page

tolmie terrapin press blogspot page

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Leafs new single

Any of you who read my older post reviewing The Leafs from Melbourne, VIC, Australia, know how amazing that EP of theirs is, and the duo from down undah, Gus and Michael, have not been idle music-wise since releasing that killer EP, Space Elevator. Michael calls it their 'manifesto', and an intro to the forthcoming EP Come, Take My Hand, and I call it just plain EXCELLENT. Here is your invitation to listen to the new single I Wanna Be A Machine, in all its post-punk angst and glory. Complete with angular guitar, sharp drum beats, and Michael's awesome vocals and lyrics, the song rocks as only The Leafs can. Enjoy it folks, and watch for the video for this song, and the new EP, later this year.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Peanut Butter Lovesicle

Originally formed in Ocean City, New Jersey, but now based in the heart of the New York City independent music scene, Brooklyn, Peanut Butter Lovesicle is making some of the most down and dirty, gritty, blues-inspired rock and roll, and folks, these songs will have you quivering in your boots, and loving every second of it. This is harder-edged rock music, with a sexy set of vocals and some seriously dirty guitar, all deep and growling, absolutely mesmerizing.
The band have released an EP called Heavy Daze Wildcat Craze, a live EP called The Raucous Kitten, and a recent single, a real mind-blower, called Black Eyed Blues. These songs are all romp and stomp and sexy creep, heavy on the big, low, bluesy guitar licks. This is just the kind of music I wanna hear while slugging back my beer in a dark, hot and sweaty, basement dive. Such a perfect soundtrack to late-night thoughts of, well, you know.......
Peanut Butter Lovesicle is a three-piece, of family members no less: Jake and Mike D'Arc, brothers on guitar and bass, respectively, both sharing those wildly sexy vocal duties, and drums and more vocals are provided by their cousin Timmy Miller. The band has already paid a visit across the pond to London and played some gigs there, but are now back in Brooklyn, so those of us who are in the NYC area, let's hope for some upcoming gigs, soon! This is just the style of music that true rock and roll fans can easily love, full of attitude and swagger, and rightly so. Give me the grime and grit of Peanut Butter Lovesicle's blues rock, and keep it coming, boys, it's WAY too good....

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Woollen Kits

From Melbourne, VIC, AU, comes Woollen Kits. I don't know all that much about them, YET, but I do believe they are a 3-piece band, and I do KNOW they make some terribly fun and addictive garage rock, as is evidenced by their EP they've made available for free download on Band Camp, Teenage Love EP. It's a quick listen, four songs clocking in at eight and a half minutes only, but hey, true garage rock tunes are usually three things: fun, catchy, and succinct, which is indeed how I would describe the Teenage Love EP songs. The vocals deliver the light-hearted lyrics in a low and easy style, absolutely perfect atop the jangly guitars and snappy drums. I adore this EP, go check it out now, and also check out this video for Woollen Kits' single Maths:

Kris Thompson Interview

High time here on DSK blog for a profile, and a most awesome interview, with someone who practically defines the underground psychedelic music scene, now, and seemingly, for always! In the recent past, I discovered the music of a now-defunct band called The Prefab Messiahs, and had the utmost pleasure of getting to know one of the men behind that band, and behind many other musical projects over the years, Mr. Kris Thompson. Those of you reading this who already know Kris, aren't you the lucky ones! I have checked out at least most of his projects over the past few months, and everything I have heard that he's worked on, has been some truly amazing work. To dedicate your life to making such music, music with substance and style, means you are bound to find listeners who are going to appreciate your art and your love with you, follow you and your work, and show you some *love* back. For myself, I only this year discovered Kris Thompson's immense and amazing body of work, but better late than never, and to catch up with him, and to make sure readers here who don't know him yet find out about him, I asked him some questions that he went above and beyond to kindly answer for me, and here they are, so enjoy the trip with Kris!

How did you first get involved with music, at what age & what was your first instrument?

I wasn't really drawn much to music until high school. There was a summer camp I went to on an island off of New Hampshire, and there was a lot of singing (folk/pop/rock) and we got to crank up rock albums on the stereo in the rec hall. So I caught the music bug there, and at home afterward I got a cheap acoustic guitar and started fiddling about on it. When some friends wanted to start jamming on electric instruments, though, I was the least experienced in guitar and so was "relegated" to the bass, haha.

You've worked with so many people and been in so many bands/projects over the years, but all of them were of a psychedelic nature, true?

Psychedelia can be a hard essence to pin down, but sure, you could say that there's at least a thread of it running through most of the bands and projects. The Prefab Messiahs (1981-83) were a Dada-influenced post-punk/garage/psych-pop unit. The Lost Demension (1983-85) was an experimental space/noise bedroom project. Jasmine Love Bomb (1986-89) was a loud-ish psych-rock affair. Nisi Period (1989-95) was a dark spacey post-punk band with 2-3 drummers. Cloud Furnace (1996-97) was a gloomy/spacey synth-punk project that did some unreleased recordings produced by Roger Miller (Mission of Burma). Abunai! (1996-2002) was a psych-rock/spacerock band with a hint of 60s UK folk-rock. The Lothars (1996-2009) were an experimental space/drone group with 2-4 theremins plus other instruments. Concord Ballet Orchestra Players (2005-present) are a Krautrock-ish avant-psych collective. Sometimes I play theremin in "avant-chill kosmische" sets with ambient guitarist Rob Byrd, and experimental cellist Wisteriax (Karen Langlie) joins in on that occasionally. Rob and I recently released a CD under the name Byrd/Thompson.

There have been lots of live and studio collaborations too, which keeps things really fun. It's cool to be able to spin out sounds with a wide variety of folks. The list looks crazy when I start pulling it together: Prince Rama, Bobb Trimble, Gary War, Damo Suzuki, Tanakh/Kawabata Makoto, Brother JT, Sore Eros, Nick Salomon (The Bevis Frond), Windy & Carl, High Llamas, Alastair Galbraith, The Spacious Mind, Quilt, Awesome Color, 28 Degrees Taurus, Many Mansions, Lauri des Marais, Crank Sturgeon, Mind Yeti...

Bobb Trimble made some incredible (and now very collectible) solo dreamy psych LPs in the early 80s; I made some low-key contributions to the 2nd one (Harvest of Dreams) and helped start his latest band (Bobb Trimble's Flying Spiders) in 2008. I helped him get those first two albums reissued in 2007, and his "lost 3rd album" from 1984 just came out earlier this summer on Yoga Records.

Were you always based in Boston? Is that your hometown for a long time now? From what I know, there is a thriving independent music scene there, but maybe you can give me your thoughts on that?

I grew up in Georgetown, a small town about 30 miles north of Boston. I did some music while at college in Worcester MA and Lowell MA, and then moved to the Boston area in 1991. Yeah, there's a lot of cool independent activity here. It tends to be pretty spread out and segmented, though, but I'm not sure if it's that much more so than most places.

Can you name some of your most fave songs you have made with your bands? Name some fave performances?

Fave songs...that's tough, but here are a couple each from some of the bands:
Abunai! - "Dreaming of Light", "Rolling of the Stones"
Concord Ballet Orchestra Players - "May 29, 1913 (reprise)","I Roamed Under It As a Tired Nude Maori"
Jasmine Love Bomb - "Empire Sun", "That River"
The Lothars - "Banjolin", "The Trot"
Nisi Period - "Echo of Suggestion", "Unless"
The Prefab Messiahs - "Beyond All That", "The 16th Track"

As far as performances, I'll never forget playing theremin with Damo Suzuki in early 2003 (you can hear me, but not see me in this vid). That was a Knitting Factory show in NYC. Damo had put out the word that he was looking for "sound carriers" (live collaborators) in each city that he visited. On my night, the carriers also included Gary Lucas (from Beefheart's Magic Band) and several guys from Parts and Labor.

It was also really cool playing with The Spacious Mind (Swedish space rock band) at Terrastock 6 (2006), and a couple of times with Windy & Carl -- once at Terrastock 4 in '00, and at a bookstore near Boston on '01.

Bobb Trimble's first-ever NYC show in June '09 was a great time. It was sponsored by Rotter & Friends, Viva-Radio, and Mexican Summer -- and they all went out of their way to make it a special thing for us. We did a live WFMU session during that visit too. Bobb had just gotten out of the hospital with pneumonia, so we were flying pretty seat-of-the-pants there -- but it all went pretty well.

What are you working on with your current band and also with Bobb Trimble?

Concord Ballet Orchestra Players had a double-cassette out earlier this year on L'Animaux Tryst. They'll be issuing an LP from us this coming winter too. Rob Byrd and Wisteriax and I have started recording a series of live shows, and at some point we'll use those as a basis for a full release.

With Bobb Trimble('s Flying Spiders) we've been doing some shows in support of his album The Crippled Dog Band. We've also started learning some vintage songs of his that never got released, and we'll be recording some of those. The New York show we played in 2009 was recorded multitrack and came out quite well, so we might mix that and do something with it too.

Future plans?

Well, mainly to keep finding myself in interesting situations, and to document and share them when it makes sense to. That's all I can really ask for. I'll probably do some recording-for-fun with Gary War this fall -- and new live/studio collaboration situations are always popping up.

Speaking of Gary, his label (with Taylor Richardson) Fixed Identity is going to be putting out an 8-song 45rpm 12" of archival stuff from The Prefab Messiahs this fall. It'll be called Peace Love & Alienation, which was a little catch-phrase of ours back then. It's going to be a really nice thing, with a screen-printed "zine" insert with posters, art, writings, etc.

Kris, thank you so much for taking the time to do this amazing interview. The body of work you lay claim to, is absolutely mind-blowing. There is so much to be awed by here, and so much to be proud of. For those of us who explore your music, our lives are all the more richer and wonderful for taking the trips with you.

Further links to explore with Kris Thompson:
AllRovi (formerly AMG AllMusic) discography
Trip Inside This House 10 Questions feature with Kris

Friday, August 19, 2011

Kent State Walk Through Walls EP

Kent State, from Baltimore, Maryland, has released a second EP titled Walk Through Walls, and like their first EP Spahn Ranch (reviewed on this blog HERE), and their single Challenger, they are giving it away as a free download to us all. Nick Vance, the voice and guitar behind Kent State, is full-time guitarist for awesome punk outfit Deep Sleep, and has been moonlighting with a few buddies as Kent State for a while now, putting his efforts into something different from the raucous, rowdy, most excellent punk rock of Deep Sleep. The sounds of Kent State songs are layered into distorted clouds of guitars and vocals that create a dark intrigue, but also retain a sense of light within the layers. Smashing cymbals and tambourines drive the songs of Walk Though Walls EP, and as they crash you into the walls of guitars, you realize it's a fantastic ride. Every song here is a highlight, but you might especially enjoy Hundred Years' War with its minute-long swagger psychedelic swagger that jumps right into Secrets For Sale, which has the signature hollow reverb of Kent State puffing wrecked smoke clouds all around the room. Low, wide-open guitar pairs with the airier vocals to continue the interplay that makes Kent State's music so intriguing.

So, Nicholas Vance invites you all to check out Kent State's music, no need to do anything more than download his own links:

Walk Through Walls EP

Spahn Ranch EP

Challenger single

Enjoy it all, friends!

Black Market Karma new EP release

Well kids, they have finally released a new EP, titled All That I've Made, and the four fantastic songs are available right HERE to listen to, and purchase as downloads. This deliciously psychedelic EP complete with BMK's signature huge expanse of guitars, serves as a prelude to their upcoming full length, still, TBA, folks, I know, been a long time a'comin' but it's on its way, we promise!

Monday, July 25, 2011

WU LYF at Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, July 23, 2011

World Unite Lucifer Youth Foundation, or WU LYF for short, spent a sweltering summer weekend in New York City, playing shows both in Manhattan and in Brooklyn. I have to say, this was a performance I was quite excited for, and these young Brits did not disappoint. In fact, they were so fantastic onstage playing songs from their debut album Go Tell Fire To The Mountain, that I was pretty blown away. WU LYF seem to have their own language, it's English, yes, but not the regular old English we speak in on a daily basis. They've done something to the words to make them their own, used them in unexpected combinations and in colorful and imaginative ways, which is evident even by their album title. I was really surprised to see how many people at the Brooklyn show knew every single word to all of WU LYF's songs. WU LYF sing in sort of a gospel style, with their music embracing not only gospel, but world beat, R&B, soul, even ska and straight up rock & roll. They have hit upon something so original, so absorbing and uplifting, that they definitely deserve to have real music fans listening. Adding a tribal and primitive element to their songs with huge, pounding drums, the howling, gospel-like vocals and Fender Telecaster Custom guitar work combine with that tribal beat to create music that strikes something deep inside the human spirit. Something strong and beautiful is stirring here beyond what is on the surface, and if you give it the chance, I believe you will come to love the feeling this music gives you.

I've posted some of my own photos, although they are a bit dark! I do shout a huge THANK YOU to WU LYF for playing for us that night at Knitting Factory, Brooklyn definitely loves you!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bass Drum of Death at Knitting Factory Brooklyn, July 23, 2011

Again Bass Drum of Death pay New York City a visit during their 2011 tour to support their album GB City and again they absolutely ROCK. This time around, John, Colin, and Print were playing with the likes of Young Buffalo (from the same hometown as Bass Drum of Death, Oxford, Mississippi), and all the way from Manchester, England, WU LYF. I have seen the band play quite a few times this year, and each time, they get better and better. I was thinking, are they getting tired being at the end of this tour and playing the rowdy rock & roll tunes off GB City over and over? My answer to that was, well, no, at least it doesn't SEEM that way, as Bass Drum of Death just continues to blow my mind with their bad-ass music even more now, than at the beginning of this tour months ago. Keep rocking, boys. Thanks for the great music and the great live shows. I've posted some photos from The Knit, as I was able to get some better shots this time.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Guru

The Guru, from Watertown, Connecticut, USA, are absolute charmers. Play their album Native Sun and from the second it begins, you will know exactly what I mean. Arizona kicks off the album with the best upbeat dance rock stylings, and you are already out of your seat. Reel It In keeps the pace pumping, the funky twang of Fender guitars filling the song. My personal favorite, Barracuda Hands, is insanely catchy and jumpy, with the perfect guitar riffs all jammed in there, and following song Pirate's Cove is yet another bouncy, spastic treasure. The Guru have even done their own sweet take on a disco dancing tune, Disco Daughter. All eight songs on The Guru's Native Sun album are so filled with bounce and charm, it's quite addictive.

The band consists of Kyle McEvoy, 17 yrs old, on guitar, Eddie Golden III on drums and awesome vocals, Colin Sullivan on guitar, and Dan George on bass, all 18 yrs old. The Guru may be young, but they have already got life all figured out, and that is something some of us older folks can't even say! Quote from their fantastic Tumblr: 'There's a certain way to live life, only a few know it. Trusting in other humans, trusting in yourself to make the best out of a situation, and knowing that you're only in it for so long.' This just blows my mind something crazy! I love this quote, this philosophy, of getting out there and doing something good and having a great time with cool people. Keep yourself surrounded with good things and feel the good vibes, and enjoy it while you can!

These four young guys have known each other for a long time, and have been playing music as a four-piece band for two years now, just getting together with their gear one day & as Kyle puts it: '...we all decided to jam together and we never looked back!' Colin and Eddie had already been playing as a two-piece with the name The Guru, and Kyle and Dan were in another band, but that day, it all came together for them. As for the scene around where they live in Connecticut, they pretty much made it what it is, setting up gigs, getting folks together for a good time, with great music. Impressive, this all is, they pretty much have me hooked with their story and their music, and I hope you all check out The Guru and get jumping with them and their tunes!

Soon to be released if all goes well, is Native Sun on vinyl, and a split EP with The Guru's buddies High Pop.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bass Drum of Death, Glasslands Gallery, June 25, 2011

One of my big new loves of the year is Bass Drum of Death, from Oxford, Mississippi, USA. These southern boys can serve up the bad-ass garage rock & roll like no other band. Their album GB City was made for one simple reason: to play it loud and rock out like crazy. Bass Drum of Death started out as just John Barrett playing and recording everything himself, but has grown to first include Colin on drums for live gigs, and now, Print on bass. If you love rowdy rock & roll, you owe it to yourself to check out GB City and support the band. New York indeed loves Bass Drum of Death, as the packed Glasslands proved again on Saturday night. As you can see from my photos, the guys are all a blur onstage, and I think I need a faster, better camera for the next time I see them play, later this summer! They play almost all the songs off GB City and they are all amped up & absolutely crazy, so much fun to let loose to. Definitely catch these guys when they hit up your city on their tour this summer and fall. Check their BLOG for dates and news.

Heavenly Blows, Glasslands Gallery, June 25, 2011

Heavenly Blows is from New York City, Brooklyn to be exact, one of my favorite places in the world, and one of the best places to find excellent bands. DSK blog presents to you bands and musicians from all over the world, but Brooklyn bands hold a special place in my heart. Anyway, I went to see Bass Drum of Death and Hanni El Khatib play at Glasslands Gallery on Saturday night, June 25, 2011, and the band opening for them was Heavenly Blows, and their music is stunning. The guitar is lush, hollow-body, open, and big. The vocals are male-female duet sung gorgeously by Stephen and Alix. The tone of the music of Heavenly Blows is dark, yet melodic, and full of intrigue and imagery.
I bought the 3-song EP the band was selling at the gig, and it's just not enough. I would love to hear more recordings from Heavenly Blows. The 3 songs, White Horses, I Will Always Be Here Tomorrow, and Sanctuary, can by heard HERE on the band's Sound Cloud page. If you are in New York and get the chance to see Heavenly Blows live (see their Facebook page for gig updates), you will not be disappointed: the sound is even bigger and more expansive live, with the addition of a Korg keyboard. Stephen's guitar work is top-notch, really great work with plenty of reverb to sweeten the songs dark edges. There is a perfect balance of rough and smooth within each song. Cheers to the band and I hope to hear much more from Heavenly Blows in the near future, the gig was quite a treat and the perfect compliment to the harder garage rock of the following bands of the night. My best to them!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice 2011

ALL of you who read this blog best be VERY familiar with Trip Inside This House blog and radio show. Please do not even say TRIP WHAT?! Just head on over to the annual Summer Solstice gift from Valis and contributors (music and artwork) and get your download now. HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!!! Take a TRIP, have some fun, I wish everyone a great summer season, and again, THANK YOU VALIS!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Honeycomb Bones

Honeycomb Bones is a duo out of Hull, England. Craig plays bass, Michael sings and plays guitar, and they use a drum machine for beats. I have been listening to two EPs by Honeycomb Bones for a few weeks now, and honestly, I never feel quite satisfied. That is not a slight to the band, rather, it's a huge compliment, as I can't listen just once to these songs. This music is........everything you could want when you feel lustful, down, and dirty, crazy dirty and sexy. Their Evil Age EP is indeed quite evil, but the good type of evil, the evil that oozes an incredibly sexy vibe of lust and longing. These songs, especially Artificial Sweetener, with its slinky stomp and rough growl, are the soundtrack to, well, you figure it out.
We All Agree With You is an older EP released by the band before Evil Age, and the songs are rough and a bit messy in all the right places. The music has a dark edge, husky vocals over dirty guitars and more bang and stomp and attitude than I have ever heard packed into four songs only 2-3 minutes long each. Basically, Honeycomb Bones makes music that is everything this blog loves: dirty, sexy, raunchy rock & roll. Check it out, friends, and put this music on when you're in the mood.
Honeycomb Bones is currently working on some new songs for a future EP release, and also possibly releasing the phenomenal Evil Age EP on vinyl. All I can think of is......yum, thanks, boys. Keep it coming, please.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Hussy

Ever felt like screaming a big FUCK YOU to the world & it's bull shit? That's what terrifically terrible twosome The Hussy have been doing with their music, so if you need a soundtrack to your FUCK OFF session, look no further. In a world full of over-produced, over-thought, over-played crap, the music made by Bobby and Heather of The Hussy, from Madison, Wisconsin, USA, is the antithesis of all that. The mission of The Hussy: to get you off your ass & get you to have a good time. Short and simple songs that never stop rocking out hard have made me fall in complete love with every single song I've heard from The Hussy. Alternating between sweet and screwed up, this is trashed-out, super catchy and fun garage rock you will love.
Five EPs/7"s came before the new album Cement Tomb Mind Control, and you can listen to everything they've released on The Hussy's Band Camp page and page. HAVE FUN WITH THIS MUSIC. It's meant to rock out to and have a blast instead of taking everything so seriously. I'm pretty sure before things got so crazy deep and complicated, rock & roll was meant to be as loud, simple, and fun as The Hussy. I am in love with their spirit; it's my soundtrack to a great time. Go see for yourselves what The Hussy is all about.
See the list on the right side of The Hussy's Band Camp page for a gig near you, soon.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kent State

Kent State is the side project of Baltimore, Maryland, USA punk rock guitarist Nicholas Vance. Nicholas plays with Deep Sleep most of his time, but has recently begun recording songs of a less-punk nature with some friends under the band name Kent State. Spahn Ranch is the first four-song EP he's made available to us, and it's a killer of a debut EP. Though the songs may not be the punk rock Nicholas plays with Deep Sleep, they are nonetheless as edgy as hell, played with loud snarls of guitars, lots of reverb & noise, and dark lyrics that are a bit distorted to add to the mysterious vibe of the music. So you have mystery, energy, and some great, dark, noisy guitars played in four short songs that beg repeating. Nicholas's own description for the style of music is 'psychedelic death pop'. I bet you're intrigued by that, huh? I have to admit, I could not have put it better myself, as all those descriptive elements are definitely in these four songs. But there is also more, down deep, dark & hidden, which makes this music even more intriguing. These songs have an immediate catch, the hooks and riffs that you get, right at first listen, but later, there is the itch that you like it, but you're missing something, so you keep listening, and it gets better and better. The blog Paranoid Futures is where Nicholas Vance is posting any and all of his work and updates, so check it out and get the Spahn Ranch EP from his link there. Yes you can listen to the songs first on the player, but trust me, you will want them for yourselves. And also, there is more to come from Kent State, very very soon, excellent news.

The Dirty Lungs new single release

My favorite band from Alabama, The Dirty Lungs, previously reviewed HERE, have just recently released a new single and b-side, Don't Fucking Remind Me b/w Serial Suicide. It seems like these guys are constantly reinventing their sound: these are two more songs from The Dirty Lungs that sound nothing like anything else they recorded before. Don't Fucking Remind Me, all easy, dreamy sweeps of California-style sounds and lyrics about lost love (yeah, it did not take me long to know the words to that song, guys) backed with the evil yells and pounding drums of Serial Suicide, are just two more reasons to know and love The Dirty Lungs. You never know what to expect from them, but you are never disappointed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Antenna relase new single

Strange Fusion backed with Headlights, the new single from San Francisco rockers Antenna, is up on their excellent website, go listen NOW. Ville and Jaakko have now found their permanent third member, Mina, and have solidified their sound into a deep rock groove. The two songs of the single are some excellent works of pure and perfect rock and roll. Antenna were profiled a while back for DSK blog, you can check that out HERE if you missed that original post. The band's site is kept up to date, so BOOKMARK IT for future gig dates and releases from Antenna, San Francisco's finest.

The Leafs

The information I have on these guys is this: The Leafs is two guys, Michael and Gus, from Melbourne, AU, who were in other bands, but decided the styles were not for them, and subsequently chose to collaborate on an eight song EP called Space Elevator, in the style favored by Sic Alps: sometimes noisy, sometimes quiet, decidedly lo-fi. This style suits The Leafs to a TEE. The tracks of Space Elevator EP are brilliant. Perfectly executed in the garage rock tradition of simplicity with a sharp edge, any fan of lo-fi rock and roll owes it to himself to check out this music, and The Leafs are kindly giving it to us for FREE on their Band Camp page. The title track rocks out teetering on the edge of punk, but then, following tracks on the EP slow down the pace & creep along, elegantly. Fields and Fences rocks back into the groove again, closing song Waves the Size of Mountains is a poem set to acoustic guitar, again, simply elegant. Actually, I found out from the band, each song has a story behind it, all of them pretty damn cool. You can tell these guys are not new to making music, but I suppose with the style of The Leafs' sound, they have found their perfect niche, and I am thankful for the wise Aussie who turned me onto this. The songs are short, though, and the Space Elevator EP leaves me wanting more, much much more.

Watch the video made for the song Space Elevator (video made by Gus and thanks to the band for sharing this!):

The Leafs - Space Elevator from Gus Kemp on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Shapes Have Fangs

Shapes Have Fangs, out of Austin, Texas, USA, not only boast one of the coolest names ever for a band, they make some of the coolest garage/psych rock you could ever hear. The songs of their debut album Dinner In The Dark, and the SXSW EP and singles they have released over the past few years, sound straight outta '69. Band members Dustin, Skyler, Josh and Evan were actually working with psych legend Sky Saxon shortly before his death in 2009. Check out Shapes Have Fangs music on their MySpace page, then go for the downloads of their SXSW EP and SXSW singles. Just trust me on this one, anyone who loves psych rock done up old school, will adore Shapes Have Fangs music. If you love that SXSW music of theirs, and I know you will, try checking out their full-length album Dinner In The Dark HERE (if you are a FaceBook account holder you can stream the album).

Austin Psych Fest's website has a page with links to purchase the album, and again, this is a band whom you do NOT want to miss, so DO check out the album, friends.

If Sky Saxon loved these guys, do you really think you won't??!!

Black Market Karma new video

This video is brand new and is for the soon-to-be-released single Pulling Shapes off their long-awaited debut full-length. Not sure of the release date YET for that full-length, but let's hope it's SOON.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Heavy Ghost

Heavy Ghost, out of Cary, Illinois, is a five-piece making some of the most fantastically hazy and catchy shoegaze music I have heard in a long time. Actually, I can't name one other band I've heard in recent years making music that sounds quite like this. Definitely taking influence from the original crop of shoegazers from the early 90s, the vocals are hushed and part of the overall delightfully woozy feel of the songs. Synths are used brilliantly in all four songs of this EP, to give the songs their hazy vibes, and the surprise of a tambourine here and there, well that just puts a little bit of psychedelia into the mix, perfectly. Heavy Ghost has given us an amazing little debut EP, go listen on their Band Camp page, and get it for yourself.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Bloody Knives new EP Disappear

Another band loved so much by DSK blog, Bloody Knives, has released a new EP titled Disappear and it KILLS it, folks.......that signature Bloody Knives sound of darkwave synths and driving percussion is all there, five new songs to crush you, nicely. Absolutely love this release. Go listen now on Bloody Knives' Band Camp page, and check out the VERY limited physical copy you can get your hands on IF you act very fast, as I did. No way am I missing out on their mind-blowing artwork. Love it, boys, LOVE IT. Thank you.

Audiodeluxe: New EP Release

Previously featured in DSK when they released their first EP, as some fantastic new psych-tinged trip hop out of Glasgow, Scotland, Audiodeluxe is now releasing their second EP, which you can listen to and purchase at their Band Camp page HERE. If you loved what you heard on EP1, go now and check out EP2, more gorgeous, trippy electronica done right by Audiodeluxe. We at DSK love it, Dez and Sammy, thank you!

Lead Stones

The Brooklyn, New York band Lead Stones takes this blog back to its roots: psychedelic rock. We originated here as a blog dedicated to UK psych rockers Black Market Karma, but have since branched out to different styles of music so long as the music was made and shared with independent spirit and creativity. Also in dedication to BMK, to get their music more heard among like-minded music fans all over the world, we focused on less-known and/or newer artists in the hopes that more folks will hear & appreciate the music. Well folks, Lead Stones' music needs to be heard by more people, and I have never been more serious. Brought to my attention by band member Andy, Lead Stones is a three-piece band from one of my favorite places in the world, Brooklyn, New York, and who are friends and gig partners with a beloved band of this blog, Sky Picnic. Andy comes from experimental psych rock duo Andy & Zeus; he plays keys for both projects. The work he is doing with Lead Stones is magical: the songs of the album Set + Setting are spell-binding. The album is made and meant to be listened to from beginning to end, hence Andy's favor of releasing music on cassette tape to just let it all flow (he runs a small label that does cassette tape releases called Electrick Gypsy). Have a listen and I think you'll agree the songs run perfectly together, all full of swirls and highs and lows and male/female vocals that simply rain down from the clouds over the music. Something visceral is stirred by music like Lead Stones album Set + Setting. This is music felt deeply, and it can bring your mind to another plane when you concentrate and let it flow. A collection of eight highly original, warm, beautiful songs, this album is truly psychedelic, and simply amazing.

Listen and LOVE Lead Stones

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Catholic Radio

San Francisco continues to be a fertile ground, indeed, for some of the absolute best music being made today. Recently brought to my attention, Catholic Radio is my latest discovery out of San Fran, California, USA. A four-piece, and a true rock band, Catholic Radio have a sound that is smooth and cool, with an air of mystery. Going back and forth between an edgier style of rock, and a dreamy, groggy, lighter side, Catholic Radio's recently released self-titled album is eleven songs of intricate, gorgeous guitar work that reminds me of the legendary Australian band The Church's sound, a beautiful style of playing guitar.
Led by Parker Moore on guitar and vocals, Catholic Radio is also comprised of Tyler on drums, Rob on bass, and Connor on keys but also playing guitar sometimes. Most of the songs on the debut album are just Parker playing guitar, but upon only your first listen, you'd be forgiven thinking there are multiple guitar parts within these songs. I have listened many times to the album, and when I asked Parker, much to my surprise and his credit, nope, for the most part, these songs are him on guitar and Connor on keys:
Terri: What kind of guitars do you use? You are 2 guitarists, right?
Parker: Just one guitarist (myself) on the album. My brother Connor is an amazing guitarist but has played keys w/ us up to this point, though is going to be playing a 2nd guitar in parts of songs for our new slate of shows & tunes. I mainly play an Eastwood GP, but used a strat and tele for a couple of parts on the album.....
Dreamy key sequences, and atmospheric guitar work make El Buen Sabor the big highlight here. I feel Catholic Radio have purposely made an album that follows through from one song to the next, with a flow to the vibe, but El Buen Sabor is a repeater, indeed.
I asked Parker about the music scene he and his band mates are a part of in their home city of San Francisco:
"The SF scene, it's in an interesting place right now, there's some really good music & bands happening in SF. We're tight and have gigged w/ The Actors, The Better Maker, Boy in the Bubble, Spiro Agnew, and are buds but haven't gigged yet w/ bands like Tokyo Raid, Sentinel, Cash Pony, etc. As with a lot of other major areas, the new folk/punk folk, garage/noise or electro-wave bands are pretty hot w/ the bookers. We like a lot of that sound, but it's not our style, so does pose a slight extra hurdle getting into some venues we'd like to play. End of the day, I think everyone in SF appreciates good music w/ a defined style, regardless of what's hot now, so we're just going to keep refining, writing, doing our thing – and see that momentum takes us."
I totally respect that point of view: there is so much room out there for different styles, and we want to hear it all! Catholic Radio's debut album is most definitely something different from what a lot of SF musicians are doing right now, and that is a great thing. It is a work with elements of psych, experimental, and post-rock, incorporating and embracing all of these styles of guitar rock, and keeping a smooth vibe throughout, from start to end. Check out the album, friends, and if you are in San Fan, go see them play! Too bad I'm in New York!

Listen to the album in full on Band Camp.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Boy Party

DSK loves the DIY spirit of young, creative musicians who are saying F the system, let's make music because we can do it ourselves, have a lot of fun, and give some cool people some great tunes. I recently briefed you on Alligator Indian, a band from North Carolina, USA, working on some great garage/punk tunes. Well they have some buddies who are also involved in the DIY music scene of North Carolina, a Greensboro band by the name of Boy Party (I do believe there is a little story behind the name, 'borrowed' perhaps from another buddy's blog name?!). Boy Party have recorded their first EP called On Yr Lips in Nathan's garage earlier this year, and this EP is lo-fi garage rock lover's heaven: 5 songs of sweet, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, lyrics sung over perfectly jangled (or perfectly fuzzy, in the case of I Saw You and the title track) guitars: odes to kissing, the beach, and lazy summer days spent wishing for things you don't have.
So, Boy Party is Nathan, Zack, and Logan currently seniors in high school, getting ready for arts & film-making studies in college next year, but for now, they are having some great fun in the garage, literally, with their music. Nathan, don't worry: people will most definitely hear your songs! Folks ready for some fun tunes should go right HERE for a free download of the EP. I can certainly see this EP on lots of peoples' summer play lists, fits right along with anything Real Estate and Beach Fossils: pure summer bliss.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Dirty Lungs

Like many Yankees, I have a bit of a fascination with the part of our good ol' US of A that lays below the Mason Dixon Line. Southern-made music is something I am always going to check out, and probably dig lots, as is the case with Birmingham, Alabama rockers The Dirty Lungs. The Dirty Lungs have released 2 EPs and a full album, and not one of the songs on any of those 3 releases disappoints in any way. Not one of the songs sounds like any of the others, and all are full of southern charm, flair, and some seriously amazing guitar reverb and interplay, which makes for a kick in the head upon first listen, and some very obsessive repeat plays. Want It?, the highlight of The Robins EP, has enough swagger and sexy attitude to put Elvis to bed, and I mean that, so seriously. DD Reg Reg, the highlight of the Deregulate Your Heart EP, is pure rock & roll FUN. Many of The Dirty Lungs' songs, like Sit Tight (from the album), are big & rowdy, loud & raucous, down & dirty, but some of the songs on these 3 releases are actually slower of tempo, and even a bit experimental in nature. Somehow, through masterful song writing and skilled playing, the southern charm of this band is always there, no matter what the tempo, pulling at your shirttails (in MY case, crawling up my arm and biting my neck, mmmmmm!), demanding your attention & enjoyment, and certainly demanding play after play, louder and louder. The 9 tracks of the album Somebody Here's Going Crazy can be found HERE, with stand-out songs Live Legit and 1000 Suns right in the middle of the album. Oh, and Lost In Space/Talkhouse from The Robins EP, with its mysterious vibe, and almost tribal drums and hushed vocals, that one deserves a WOW. Well, there are a lot of WOW's here listening to The Dirty Lungs music, go see for yourselves!

Alligator Indian

Time to turn the volume up again and get a little wild. From Ashville, North Carolina, USA, comes Alligator Indian, with one of the best, most promising EPs of demos I have heard in a while. For those of us digging the wave of garage/punk rockers making riotously good tunes today, Alligator Indian's music is bound to find a place in lots of our collections. It's early in their recording career just yet, but the Demonstrations EP and the New Weird Xmas EP (yes, done at Christmas time last year) Alligator Indian have up on their Band Camp page, are a big hint at some great talent for catchy, loud, cool-as-shit garage-punk songs. The band are currently working on polishing the demos and releasing a proper EP, but for now, the songs they've got up as demos are devastatingly good already, cannot wait for more from Alligator Indian!

R. Stevie Moore and Chris Oliver

Time Share is a song born out of the collaboration of legend R. Stevie Moore and long-time fan of his, and talented musician, Chris Oliver of The Solar System (recently profiled for DSK blog). It's really an exceptional song, quite unexpectedly funky and fun. Have a few listens HERE at the Sound Cloud page and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Solar System

Now to take the tempo down a bit, less frisky, more moody & trippy, I would like to introduce you to The Solar System. Basically the one-man project of Chris Oliver, originally from Detroit, Michigan, now in Warren, Chris was literally born into a musical family. His direction straight into music was pretty much laid out for him, you could certainly say. Learning drums at a very early age and playing drums in various bands kept him busy for years, then later he took up guitar, which he plays left-handed on his lap. Quite amazing already, it gets better: after delving into numerous styles of music, Chris began making his own signature sound of down-tempo, ambient tunes, which he has put into albums and EPs for us all to listen to, experience, and enjoy, all available on his Solar System Band Camp page.
The Solar System's music is all played by, recorded, and produced by Chris himself. The soundscapes are from dreams, light and airy, quiet and comtemplative. Many songs on the album Drawing A Blank are without lyrics, but a few do have words, like the gorgeous Surveillance Cam, which actually has a bit of folk to it. 1a3b4c5d has lyrics quietly sung over a trip-hop beat, always a favorite around DSK. Slightly darker Broken Silence is another highlight, with low keys topping a trippy undertow. Late Night Music, track 9, actually has some psychedelic influence with its Brian Jonestown Massacre-style guitars, then track 10, A Question, slips back into contemplative mode, quite and moody.
Listening to such varied artists as R. Stevie Moore, Tame Impala, Dumbo Gets Mad, Mr. Syd Barrett, Miss P.J. Harvey, and Neil Young, Chris keeps his influences always at hand, even though his music is quite original and nothing like any of the above-named artists. Striving for something atmospheric, he has succeeded with Drawing A Blank. Play it while you are relaxing late at night, needing only some ambient music to help along your escape from the day.

It's been quite a while since we've done a profile here at DSK, so I want to thank Chris Oliver for letting me into his Solar System, and letting me share it with you all, and for telling me what was happening in his music-loving life. Music lovers like we are, we have to stick together & spread the word. Check out The Solar System on Band Camp, Drawing A Blank is the album reviewed here, the rest of Chris's EPs are all there, too. Amazing cover art, by the way. Check it all out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dumbo Gets Mad

Easy-going, meandering, free-floating through space, rising and falling with the waves, Dumbo Gets Mad's album, Elephants At The Door, is an utterly psychedelic, hugely enjoyable trip through 40 minutes of space-time. The singles that have been circulating as teasers to the album, Plumy Tale and Eclectic Prawn, have made for a fantastic introduction to an album that most certainly does NOT disappoint, in fact, Elephants At The Door more than lives up to the promise of being high-in-the-clouds psychedelic, super-catchy, and insanely infectious. The album features male/female vocals in the style of psychedelic pop favored by contemporaries Minks and ZaZa. It's a lovely way to top music that is lush with layers of snappy drums, swinging guitars, loads of keyboards throughout. Self-esteem might just put you in the middle of Studio 54's dance floor. Raymond Play and You Make Me Feel are songs that would make Grizzly Bear jealous. The songs of Dumbo Get's Mad's debut album Elephant At The Door are so full surprises and fun, it's a repeater, for sure. With no more comparisons, I'll say this album is a huge winner in its own right, a fantastic debut from some talented Italians, and I thank them for this album!

Check the album out for yourself HERE.

A big THANK YOU from me to Bad Panda Records!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Vandelles news

The Vandelles are gearing up for a wave of action this year, ready to bring their fuzzed-out signature garage surf rock this month to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, and later, to SXSW, all in anticipation to their next release, their Summer Fling EP. Excited? I am: I have been in love with this band ever since they made New York City their home base a few years back. I've been fortunate to see The Vandelles play around town many times, and have written about them in past years for this blog. Now it's time to get excited again and check out their first single Get Around and go see them play if you are in one of these places:
Sat Feb 5 - New York @ Piano’s
Fri Feb 25 - Philladelphia @ The Tritone w/ Invisible Days and Lux Perpetua
Sat Feb 26 - Baltimore @ The Granfalloon w/ Bad Liquor Pond and Invisible Days
and the SXSW event is March 16.
Make sure you revisit The Vandelles' previous releases, the self-titled EP, and the Del Black Aloha LP, available through iTunes and by following the links on their own blog: The Vandelles.
It's never to cold to catch the wave of surf with The Vandelles, so go get it!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Disappears live at Cake Shop, NYC, 20 January, 2011

First off let me apologize for my lousy photos, as I was having trouble making my camera work on this night, but I still like to post a few of my own photos when I review a band's live performance for this blog! So apologies, now on with the review:

A good friend and huge fan of great music turned me on to Disappears music early last year, when their first album Lux came out. Lux quickly became one of my most-played albums, one that I always go back to, no matter what else I have been into at the moment. Lux has a quality that transcends your average guitar rock album. Disappears songs are most definitely of the post-punk style, an angular, tense, less-is-more style of music where the lyrics are more 'sharply-said' than sung. Brian Case and his extremely talented band mates have crafted songs that use strong, complex bass-lines and drums to carry hollow-body guitar reverb and sharp, quickly-delivered lead guitar and vocals, up to some serious heights of post-punk greatness. Disappears songs are full of swagger and attitude, and much of their music is down-right sexy. Disappears second studio-recorded release (they released Live Over the Rainbo shortly after Lux last year), called Guider, is a 6-song EP clocking in at 31 minutes, with half of those minutes being the final song Revisiting. Guider carries on what Lux began: Disappears exploration of guitars used as instruments to measure both space and time, with the bass and drums used to build the track that will run you into the WALL. It's quite a ride indeed.

The chance to see Disappears play live at tiny basement venue Cake Shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side, was not something I wanted to miss. To say they exceeded my expectations is an understatement. The qualities I hear and feel when listening to their recordings were amped to the maximum: the swagger, the attitude, the tension, as these guys are so at the top of their game, it's gotta be heard in person to be believed. I felt like they were all four (Brian, Jonathon, Damon, and new drummer Steve) playing off the same brain, like they were all coming from exactly the same pinpoint in space and flowing out in all different directions, yet the sound is still tight as can be. It's really hard to explain, except to say that it sounds like they have always been playing these songs (most of the songs off Guider, 3 songs off Lux, and 2 songs that are as-of-yet-unreleased), forever. And it's not like they are using new tricks, it's that they each have their separate parts that they meld together so seamlessly and effortlessly, so each song is its own perfect post-punk creation. Disappears live is not to be missed, so check their 2011 tour dates for a place near you, both in the US and Europe. Disappears: they love what they do, and it shows.