Listen to "Breathe" by the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit) and pass through a winding psychedelia wormhole at any given point in your day. The nearly 12 minute sojourn draws out like a desert daydream and is off Sorcerer, the new full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, out March 24th on Mexican Summer.
The duo's label introduces Sorcerer as "three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay." It was recorded between Brooklyn and Orlando where they allowed ambient sound elements of the respective neighborhoods in to add dimensions to their playing. The two brothers recently relocated from New York back to Orlando. Andy plays in Mac Demarco's band, and they will be on tour in May opening for him. Tour are dates below. They're also heading to Marfa Myths and will play one set as Tonstartssbandht, and another as Lonnie Holley's backing band." – Charles Steinberg
USA * = Opening for Mac DeMarco
May 9 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Burlington * May 11 - Montreal, QB @ Metropolis * May 13 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Theater * May 14 - Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre * May 15 - Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues - Cleveland * May 16 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre * May 17 - Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works * May 20 - Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle * May 21 - Asheville, NC @ Highland Brewing Company * May 22 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Small's Theater * May 23 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club *
Honestly, I would follow Will Oldham and his acoustic guitar anywhere it took me, especially towards a good cause. Oxford, Mississippi's The End of All Music record store is releasing a benefit record to support The Southern Poverty Law Center, out May 5th, and it features another campfire haunt from Oldham, under his recording moniker, Bonnie "Prince" Billy. Listen to "Treasure Map" below.
The press release describes more about the benefit record: "The 12-inch EP features new songs from Patterson Hood (Drive-by Truckers), Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, William Tyler, and Adam Torres, while the record's artwork is composed of photographs taken from Maude Schuyler Clay's book, Mississippi History, which was published by Steidl in 2015. The record will contain four tracks on the A-side and a "Resist Fear. Assist Love" etching by artist Nathaniel Russell as the B-side, and is being pressed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies - with the first 500 copies on colored vinyl. It will only be available for purchase through The End Of All Music website and at the brick and mortar store in Oxford.
All profits from the sale of this record will go directly to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the donation period for this project will remain open until the record sells out. The Southern Poverty Law Center is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education and other forms of advocacy, they work toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality. For more info on the SPLC, check out their website here."
"Treasure Map" is another profound, individual piece of folk songwriting from the form's Pied Piper, Oldham. Raspy, weathered lyrics like these drive it home: "I get my strength from all the love that comes my way/ And if we're brave it's that we have the chance to say/ I own this moment and keep lonliness at bay/ By giving all of what I can during my stay.." Thanks, Will. Thanks, The End of All Music. – Charles Steinberg
Listen – Tim Darcy: “Tall Glass of Water” and “Still Waking Up”
Feb 19, 2017
Amidst a showering of new releases in the past few days, including records from Animal Collective, Sun Kil Moon and Jens Leckman, Tim Darcy's debut Saturday Night ought to be noticed. Out on Jagjaguwar, the first proper solo album from the Ought frontman is a distinguished work. Comparisons to Lou Reed are clear, and the spirits of Iggy Pop, The Fall's Mark E. Smith, Bert Janch and Jackson C. Frank are also manifest through interpretatons of classic psych, punk and folk rock. The granular, lived-in surfaces speak of an uncompomising fearlessness in creativity and engender responses that are unexpected.
Hailing from Montreal, Canada – seriously, what's in the water up there? – but also by way of Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire, Darcy is one to keep an ear out for. The music world needs more soldiers like him.
On Jagjaguwar's bio of Darcy, the impact of his new music is described aptly: " A personal meditation reveals itself across these songs as you feel a poetic, thoughtful person attempting to reconcile a schism, one that grows more expansive as Saturday Night flows along. It is a journey, but it's a really fun, gratifying one; like a poem where you're not supposed to know exactly how to feel at that last line and you're left just bursting with a wonderful emptiness."
"... Saturday Night feels not just coherent but constant. Each track is woven to the next in a winding, complex journey through a charged, continuous present. They feel as if they've been brought together by a strong impulse, recorded in a very particular moment. The bright, ghostly choir that lingers around the edges of the album and Tim's tuned-between-radio stations guitar appear as characters in a cast of songs that at times breathe like folk music and at others hit like full-band rock tunes." Previosly released album tracks were "Tall Glass of Water" and "Still Waking Up". Saturday Night is an authentic, animate record, well worth the listen. – Charles Steinberg
Jeb Loy Nichols
Premiere: “Come See Me”
Feb 16, 2017
Jeb Loy Nichols is the kind of travelled musical soul whose sojourns and encounters could paint the kinds of stories told over a bottle of whisky. Drawing from a life of immersion in whatever music happened to move him as well as a diverse and revolving fraternity of artists, Nichols returns with his new album Country Hustle out in North America on March 31st, via his own label City Country City. Under the Radar is premiering the new single "Come See Me".
It's a funky, low swinging invitation to a record that will assuredly serve to kindle his myriad influences. The announcement of the new album describes Nichols' palate: "A potent, flavorsome gumbo cooked up from southern soul, country, blues, funk and folk, with a soupçon of hip-hop, dub and 80/90s club sounds, Country Hustle is schooled in the past but is resolutely modern in production, featuring collaborations from Andrew Hale, Distance and Nostalgia 77"
Nichols filled us in on how the old familiar voices from his receptive past informed his own on "Come See Me": "I wrote this song after listening to The Stanley Brothers sing "Tis Sweet To Be Remembered". The Stanley Brothers were a big part of my childhood, they were my father's favourite group and he played their records constantly. So, 'Come See Me' was born out of a fog of remembering. I sang it the way I thought Ralph Stanley might have sung it, the way that would have pleased my father, like an old country song. But often, with me anyway, things start off one way and, before you know it, they turn into something else. One day, while driving through the hills listening to Ali Farka Toure, I started singing it in a completely different style. And at some point over the next few weeks, somewhere between Ali Farka Toure and Ralph Stanley, I settled into my own voice. That’s the way it goes sometimes, songs, like memories, have a life of their own." Listen below to "Come See Me".
Mount Eerie: “Ravens” Video
Feb 16, 2017
When you are let into someone’s unthinkable personal tragedy, attention sharpens. Senses are micro focused on the details of substance and the pathways to its understanding open wider. Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie has confided through the sharing of his song and video “Ravens” today, revealing his process of coping with the sudden and particularly sad loss of his wife Geneviève Castrée. Geneviève was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just four months after giving birth to their daughter in 2015 and died a year later. “The video was directed by Elverum and created using footage shot by himself and Castrée in the months and years before her death, reflecting the intimate, candid nature of the music.” Song’s don’t get more on the sleeve than this, or more achingly stunning and the opening imagery of Geneviève running on the beach into a distant fog is the work’s essence.
Elverum wrote his new album A Crow Looked At Me, out March 24th onP.W. Elverum & Sun, during the fall of 2016, after Geneviève’s death. It was created in the very room in which she passed, using her instruments and writing his words on her paper. As described in the press statement:
“The songs are about the brutal details of that experience, from the hospitalizations to the grieving, the specific domestic banalities that become existential in the context of such huge and abrupt loss. These songs are not fun. They are pretty and they are deep, and they find a love that prevails beneath the overwhelming and real sorrow. It is unlike anything else in the Mount Eerie catalog in its unvarnished expressions of personal grief, metaphor-free.”
Feb 14, 2017
The Indiana four-piece Hoopsannounced their debut album Routines yesterday, out May 5th on Fat Possum, and a tour throughout North America and the U.K., with appearances at SXSW, Sasquatch, Shaky Knees and Noise Pop Festivals. They shared their first single from the album as well. You can check out “Rules” below. “Rules” demonstrates that the muted, pastel sensibility of the group’s first four-track recordings is still intact and still tingles with movement, calling to mind a summer vacation of skate boarding. Routines was recorded in a proper studio for the first time, namely, Rear House Recording in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Jarvis Taveniere (Widowspeak, Quilt).
Hoops is Drew Auscherman (vox, guitar), Kevin Krauter (vox, bass), Keagan Beresford (vox, keys, guitar), and James Harris (drums). Since forming in 2014, Hoops have released three cassette tapes and last year’s self-titled debut EP.
The announcement of Routines came with more background on these newcomers: “Hoops was born in frontman Drew Auscherman’s teenage bedroom as a solo ambient and beat-driven project à la Oneohtrix Point Never’s Replica. Auscherman named the band after the hoop houses at the nursery where he worked (not for his home state’s mania for basketball).
“The Indiana band craft hyper-melodic songs, built around power-pop chords, deceptively complex drum patterns, and rock-anthem sentiments that hide some tellingly dark thoughts. Three of the four members write and sing, each a frontman and a sideman simultaneously. During a live show, the bandmates can be seen frequently swapping instruments and positions on stage. The setup isn’t democratic so much as it is simply adaptable and committed: doing what the song demands, getting the sound just right.”
– Charles Steinberg
Hoops Tour Dates
2/18 - Norman, OK @ The Opolis
2/21 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
2/22 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic *
2/24 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Roxy Theatre *
2/25 - San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop Music Festival *
2/27 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom *
2/28 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
3/01 - Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret *
3/03 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room *
3/04 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater *
3/09 - Nashville, TN @ Freakin Weekend at The End
3/10 - Savannah, GA @ Savannah Stopover Music Festival
3/12-18 - Austin, TX @ SXSW
5/02 - Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
5/03 - Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
5/04 - Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
5/07 - Birmingham, UK Hare & Hounds
5/08 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
5/09 - Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
5/10 - London, UK @ The Lexington
5/12 - 14 - Atlanta, GA @ Shaky Knees Music Festival
Today, Aquarium Drunkard streamed two gorgeously understated Steve Gunn covers of The Smiths for their acclaimed Lagniappe Sessions. On his renditions of "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle",Gunn emulates Morrissey’s ivory smooth vocal longing and his trademark trill. The crisp staccato guitar notes on the original of “The Night Has Opened My Eyes” must have attracted Gunn to it in the first place. He translates these into gentler spanish folk acoustic picks and it’s the pacifying sound that emanates and echoes from playing under a stone terrace. A simple drum machine track captures the original rhythm in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and floats the lull of Gunn’s lyrical portrayal. Head over to Aquarium Drunkardto stream these covers and for some great background on Gunn's personal connection to The Smiths. Here's some of it:
“A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them. When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus, Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker. I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.” – Steve Gunn
Glitter Veils, formerly YOU, is the Australian duo Michael Whitney and Luke Zahnleiter. Today they released their debut by new name, Figures In Sightvia Flexible records. What becomes apparent in listening is the duo’s embracing of the musical function of catharsis.
These are contemplative fabrications that convey an existential awareness and their creators are conscious of them opening zones one can escape into. Sedated and funneled vocals drift along with processed guitar strokes and moody electronic shading. “Gibberish Talks” is quick-pulsed example.
Glitter Veils’ label paints a better picture for you, going along with today’s announcement of the new album: “Bearing a gift of melancholy, Glitter Veils craft delicate and finely wrought jewels that sparkle even in the dim light in which they were forged. With crystal-clear acuity the songs of Glitter Veils communicate intimate thoughts and reveries formed under streetlight, in isolation, in vulnerable moments. With lashings of ethereal noir, the deep-dream pop of Glitter Veils strike chords – emotional and musical – that you forgot existed.” – Charles Steinberg