Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bucket List - SXSW

High up on my bucket list is to spend a week at the SXSW Music Festival. I just can’t imagine anything more fun than just going from concert to concert for 7 to 10 days, just overdosing on the sounds.
If I went this year, I would be sure to check out !!!, Agnes Obel, Allison Pierce, Big Thief, and Boogarins - and that’s just through the letter B! I probably couldn’t last the whole festival but I would give it the old college try.
NPR Music annually does a collection of 100 songs from 100 bands that will be there. It’s a pretty amazing selection of music and this year they have made it downloadable even. You can listen to it on their site, play the Spotify playlist, or just get the MP3s themselves. Think I know what I’ll be listening to for the next couple days!
You can find it here: The Austin 100

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Terry Malts - Gentle Eyes

Terry Malts, the oddly named “chainsaw pop” trio from the Bay Area, makes some interesting music. Lost At The Party, their October 2016 pick, was in my November Editors’ Choice playlist but none of the three songs from that list struck my fancy. However, the other day I was listening to WZBC and heard a song that reminded me of The Horrors, one of my favorite bands. I checked the playlist and it turned out to be the song Gentle Eyes from this album. So I played it again. And again. I really like it. Like I said, it reminds me a bit of The Horrors, with a touch of 80s New Wave like maybe Modern English. What do you think?

Friday, February 24, 2017

Flashback Friday - The Clean

I am a huge fan of New Zealand indie rock in general and of the group that could be considered one of the pioneers of that genre, The Clean (along with Split Enz of course). Their version of melodic, guitar heavy songs really hits home. The 2003 release of Anthology finally gathered together most of their best songs, which were often hard to find here in the US. It includes the full EPs Boodle Boodle Boodle (1981) and Great Sounds (1982), so it it a treasure trove of early New Zealand post-punk music. And it remains in heavy rotation, for there is always time for New Zealand indie rock!
Here’s Anything Could Happen:

In December of 2016, Merge Records came out with a new, remastered “deluxe” version of 2001’s Getaway, which includes an additional CD of live sets from Slush Fund and Syd’s Pink Wiring. And wow, I could just listen to this on constant rotation.
Here’s the remastered version of the album opener, Stars:

And here’s an epic version of Point That Things Somewhere Else from the Slush Fund session, which tosses in some keyboards to add a real full sound to the whole thing:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Toothless - Palm's Backside

Thanks to the Indie Rock Playlist Facebook group, I’m listening to the debut release of Toothless, which is a project of Bombay Bicycle Club’s bassist Ed Nash and it’s really good indie pop. I’m usually not a fan of a long list of songs with Feat. but in this case I have to make a exception. This song is featuring Marika Hackman and she adds a nice ethereal touch to the song.
Palm’s Backside feat. Markia Hackman:

And here’s the opening track, Charon:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Anthony Child - Truth Is Healing

When I am working, I like some non-intense electronic music. Anthony Child, who also records under the name Surgeon, late last year came out with a really nice sounding album of various intensities called Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 2 (the followup to the 2015 release called, strangely enough, Electronic Recordings from Maui Jungle, Vol. 1). I really enjoyed the whole album. It has a better cohesiveness than Vol 1 so I liked it better. Definitely music for winding down or for concentrating.
Here’s Truth Is Healing:

Friday, February 17, 2017

Juana Molina - Halo

Argentinian Juana Molina has had a remarkable life. The daughter of a tango singer and an actress, she first made a name for herself as lead in a comedy TV troupe, starting acting to support her music career. But she got very successful and then upset everyone by “throwing it away” and going back to her music. Her music was initially much more successful away from Argentina, where everyone expected her to be the television personality, not her own musician. And being such a unique sound - sort of electronic, sort of pop, sort of folk, didn’t make it easier to market either. She sings in her native language, a local Spanish dialect called Rioplatense Spanish, but that shouldn’t scare you off, as to me it is just another musical instrument. Just lovely sounds.
I became a big fan of hers when she came out with the Wed 21 album in 2013. She tends to take her time with each release, so this one came out nearly 5 years after the previous album, the well regarded Un Dia. This is Juana and her band during the Wed 21 tour, at Seattle’s KEXP studios:

And so I’m very excited to hear that she is coming out with a new album called Halo, on May 5th. Not sure if it is Cinco de Mayo on purpose, but it is already sounding great. Be sure to follow her Facebook page to keep up to date on this mesmerizing artist.
Here’s the album teaser video:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Delicate Steve - Cartoon Rock

It’s a lame album cover but the guitar rock instrumentals found on Delicate Steve’s third album are anything but lame. Lots of different styles but they are all toe tapping good, with a fantastic sense of whimsy. Delicate Steve (aka Steve Marion) is a hard working axe man, playing with folks like Sondre Lerche and Yeasayer and he’s put together quite a set of tunes on This Is Steve. I’ll toss out a few good ones here, but I urge you to give it a listen on your favorite stream service now!
Here’s Cartoon Rock, a song he imagines “what cartoon music might actually sound like if ZZ Top were the genre’s founding fathers.”

And here’s Nightlife, a rolicking call back to 80s video game music, it seems: