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All posts for the month March, 2014

We celebrated our first official show by staying on air for nearly five hours. Playlist after the break.

1) Swirlies – Pancake
2) Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Independent Street
3) Air Waves – Knockout
4) Lorelle Meets the Obsolete – What’s Holding You?
5) Kicking Giant – She’s Real
6) The Replacements – Alex Chilton
7) Jean Paul Sartre Experience – I Like Rain
8) Thee Oh Sees – Devil Again
9) Temples – Shelter Song
10) The Raveonettes – Heartbreak Stroll

11) Slowdive – Souvlaki Space Station
12) Deerhunter – Vox Celeste
13) Stereolab – Three-Dee Melodie
14) Beat Happening – Foggy Eyes
15) Mecca Normal – Blue TV
16) Amateur Party – Even Now They Would Move Against Us
17) Superchunk – Tie a Rope to the Back of a Bus
18) Dead Moon – Graveyard
19) Slint – Nosferatu Man
20) Ty Segall – Girlfriend

21) Dandy Warhols – Bohemian Like You
22) Barbara Manning – Whatever I Do is Right/Wrong
23) The Beets – I Think I Might Have Built a Horse
24) Casey Neill and the Norway Rats – Arden Eden
25) Jacqueline Taieb – Sept Heures du Matin
26) Strange Boys – Doueh
27) Night Beats – Satisfy Your Mind
28) Coachwhips – Not Gonna Make it Through the Night
29) King Khan and the Shrines – Luckiest Man
30) O Mighty Isis – Teenager from Outer Space

31) Amphibious Man – RL Stine
32) Graph – Eeau Claire
33) Blood Robots – Bored Housewifes
34) Majik Markers – American Sphinx Face
35) Reynosa – Carinito
36) Jacques Dutronc – Le Cactus
37) The Kinks – Till the End of the Day
38) The Zombies – Is This the Dream?
39) The Troggs – Night of the Long Grass
40) Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free

41) C.O.C.O. – Ess.ay
42) Seam – Sweet Pea
43) Grass is Green – Big Dog Tee Shirt Birthday Weekend
44) Cop Shoot Cop – Low. Com. Denom
45) Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa – Susu Naga
46) Quilt – Saturday Bride
47) Las Kellies – Two Types
48) American Analog Set – First of Four
49) Heavenly Beat – Consensual
50) Beirut – Port of Call

51) Minus the Bear – I Lost All My Money at the Cockfights
52) Real Estate – Talking Backwards
53) June of ’44 – Have a Safe Trip, Dear
54) why+the+wires – Wire to Shore
55) Bells≥ – Promendade
56) Rodan – Gauge
57) Hospitality – Inauguration
58) Dum Dum Girls – In the Wake of You
59) Against Me! – Unconditional Love
60) Throwing Muses – Sunray Venus

61) White Fence – Baxter Corner (Live)
62) Frankie Rose – Question/Reason
63) Kelly Stoltz – It’s Summertime Again
64) Black Lips – Do the Vibrate
65) Allah-Las – Catamaran
66) Los Campesinos! – What Death Leaves Behind
67) La Luz – Easy Baby
68) Eilen Jewell – Nowhere in No Time
69) Mountain Goats – The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton
70) Mt. Eerie – Lost Wisdom

71) Courtney Barnett – Are You Looking After Yourself?
72) Yellow Fever – Horse
73) The Cows – Can’t Die

Soaring Baltimore-based shoegaze. They’re playing GarfArt on April 18th, and are well worth the price of admission.

Geographic North just released a cassette of guitar improvisations by Lotus Plaza (AKA Lockett Pundt, of Deerhunter fame) that will make the inside of your brain glow. Stream the whole thing above, then pick it up at the label’s website.

Good music on vinyl can be hard to come by.  Unfortunately, small indie label Rorschach Records is closing shop (for good reasons such as a newborn baby).  But they need to expedite clearance of records due to a sick puppy.  If you have some funds, head on over to their online shop.

I highly recommend Why+the+wires’ All These Dead Astronauts or Amateur Party’s Truncheons in the Manner.  And if you like good rock that may also engage in meta discussions about gender politics within the hardcore scene, check out The Two Funerals’ Boys Club.  Lot’s of hardcore 7″s at dirt cheap prices too.

If we’d only stayed in Portland 3 more weeks last September….

And yes, Alien ID makes me happy right off the bat.  Even with the “recorded on an iphone” distortion.

Holy hell, Chromeo’s definitely going next-level on their upcoming LP. Watch for the A$AP Ferg cameo in this one:

On the same subject, here’s another previously released track from White Women, featuring Toro Y Moi, ICYMI:

This is a review of the new Black Lips album, but first let’s focus on the Black Keys instead. I’ve never really given much of a thought to them, positive or negative. If I happen to be listening to modern rock radio, I’d certainly prefer to hear “Howlin’ For You” over Disturbed or Alice in Chains or the Lumineers, or whatever other flash in the pan that’s being pushed this month, and I vaguely remember a few good songs from Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory. Beyond that, I’ve never known enough about the duo to form an opinion on them either way. That’s now changed since I heard that Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney produced Underneath the Rainbow, the newest LP from the Atlanta punk band. Inexplicably, it seems that Carney, against his best interests, used all of the tools at his disposal to ruin everything great about the Black Lips’ sound and turn them into tiny econo-Dan Auerbachs. For this, I feel like the Black Keys need to be held personally responsible.

I can almost imagine this dork pulling up to the studio on Day 1 in his Saab, rolling up the soft top, then sitting the four of them down and explaining that the soccer mom demo is really who’s buying music these days. That’s not to say the songwriting here is bad. Quite the opposite, actually. There are twelve tracks of the southern-tinged garage rock the Lips have made a career of playing, and a majority of them are really good. But production-wise, the whole thing sounds completely two-dimensionally flat. Seriously, Carney has made millions of dollars banging on his kit all over the world, and yet he manages to render even Joe Bradley’s drumming tinny and lifeless over the course of the album. That’s actually impressive in its ineffectiveness. This thing would have sounded better recorded in GarageBand.

Luckily for the Black Lips, they’ve spent upwards of a decade crafting songs that transcend recording budgets, from their cinderblock-wall in-the-red early releases to 2009’s 200 Million Thousand, which very well may have been tracked in the bathroom of a methadone clinic. Hell, one could argue that the quartet’s breakthrough was Los Valientes del Mondo Nuevo, which was recorded live in Tijuana, a setting that doesn’t necessarily conjure up visions of quality control. The only real exceptions to the rule have been Good Bad Not Evil and the Mark Ronson-helmed Arabia Mountain. This has never been a group that needs studio sparkle to get their point across.

The same song quality is still present on Underneath the Rainbow, it just takes a few extra listens to break through the one-size-fits-all, rock radio sheen applied over top of everything. “Funny” and “Do the Vibrate” are the true standouts here, the latter being a Cramps-esque tribute to the auxiliary benefits of your phone’s vibrate setting. “I’ll call you babe, you don’t gotta pick up, darlin'” mumbles singer/guitarist Cole Alexander towards the end of the song. Not exactly subtle, but when has this band ever been reserved? “Justice After All” hops along to a countryish stomp, and the handclaps and pounding rhythm of “Dandelion Dust” really drive home the fact that these guys could probably cross over and break through if they ever decided to care about that sort of thing. “Dog Years” closes out the festivities with a spoken word dirge that recalls back-catalogue highlights “Dirty Hands” and “You Keep on Running”.

Ultimately, this is an adequate album, but one whose production keeps me from being able to fully engross myself in it. Even at its best moments, I feel like I’m hearing a second-hand account of a story or watching shaky, bootlegged version of a movie filmed on a handheld camera inside a theater. I recognize what I’m witnessing, but it’s several degrees removed from anything resembling the warmth of a human element. Glass half full, though: I’m really excited to hear some of these songs played live, loud as possible and without any filters over top. Until then, though, I consider Underneath the Rainbow very good, but not the band’s best.