Video: Tristen – “Got Some”
From Sneaker Waves, out now on Modern Outsider Records.
Last month Tristen’s song “Glass Jar” totally took me by surprise with its jingle-jangle guitars and cool backing vocals from Jenny Lewis. I like this new song even better, and the video’s more fun as well. Who doesn’t love a slumber party? Pillow fights, negligee, talking to boys on the phone! Good clean fun.
“I think you’re pretty cool but as a general rule / I’m gonna hang back here in the atmosphere.”
Tristen: web, twitter, fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Thunderbirds Are Now! – “Outsiders”
Mostly dormant for ten years Livonia, Michigan’s Thunderbirds Are Now! just released two new songs to benefit the ACLU. This is one of them.
“We are the outsiders that you don’t represent / Not my chosen leader, not my president.” I suppose times like these don’t really call for subtlety, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s fine to be hit over the head with a message as long as it’s got a good beat and a catchy melody. The band reworked the lyrics to a couple of older, unfinished songs and recorded them at Big Sky Recording in Ann Arbor in one day. Good for them.
You can get both new songs on Bandcamp.
Thunderbirds Are Now! fb, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Thunderbirds Are Now video: Outsiders
Video: Sloan Peterson – “Rats”
Why are Australians so cool? Courtney Barnett, Nick Cave, Men at Work, Crocodile Dundee, Olivia Newton John, Bon Scott. You know? It’s crazy.
And there might be one more for that list: Sloan Peterson. That’s not her real name, of course. Sloane Peterson was Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend. This Sloan Peterson looks like a 1990s Calvin Klein ad and sounds like she’d stick you with a switchblade.
I’m a sucker for any song with chugging guitars and an “ooh ooh wee ooh” intro. It’s little surfy, sort of Pixies-ish, maybe via early Weezer. “No future, no mind / You’re not one of a kind.” Her voice is squeaky but serious. “I’m by your side / And I love you dearly.” She wrote it “for any one who has ever struggled with crippling anxiety, or the feeling of being alone. I wrote It when I was 17, a super hyperactive crazy teenager trying to start over in a new city by myself.”
The single is out now on Mirror Records. Her debut EP is due September 8.
Sloan Peterson: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: Broken Social Scene – “Vanity Pail Kids”
Let me pitch this concept to you: We open with a toilet in a recording studio scatting (get it?) and beat boxing, but his/her baghead record producer just isn’t feeling it. They decide to take a break and go to the bar where a gang of other bagheads are dancing and drinking the night away. Our hero, the toilet, spies a sink from across the room and is lovestruck. They dream of explosions and a weird Kabuki princess, who tries the toilet on for size before he/she sets off for the desert to meet some wise urinals who tell him/her to chill and just accept the poo/pee humans have to offer. Our hero, the toilet, then hitches a ride with the urinals’ man-about-town, Bud, back to the city, but not before Bud takes a piss in our hero, the toilet. By the end, we’re back in the studio with baghead producer really digging on our hero, the toilet’s improved scat (get it?) performance.
Produced by Joe Chiccarelli with Nyles Spencer and mixed by Shawn Everett, Hug Of Thunder is out now on Arts & Crafts. Buy the physical album or the digital album.
Broken Social Scene: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Tour dates after the jump.
Continue reading New Broken Social Scene video: Vanity Pail Kids
Video: Triptides – “Invitation”
From Afterglow, out now on Requiem Pour Un Twister.
I’ve gotta admit: I liked this band a lot better before I found out they weren’t French. Don’t get me wrong, their sound is spot on mid-60s folk-psych, which I love. Think the Banana Splits. But if you’re going to go this far to get the correct tones, you also need to get the right haircuts. You can away with it, I suppose, if you’re European because what do they know? But dudes, if you’re from Los Angeles via Indiana you’ve had plenty of opportunity to figure out the look. Get your act together. Bass player shouldn’t remind me of Rolf from Sound of Music. Rest of the band looks like the Wonderstuff. That’s just wrong.
That said, I like the song. But it’d still be better if they were French.
Triptides: twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Triptides video: Invitation
I was flipping through the July 6, 1972 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (RS-113) when on page 33 I saw a full-page ad that caught my attention.
“The Toker is scientifically designed to change harsh smoke into a mild aerated form that doesn’t irritate your throat or lungs (there’s no coughing). It’s also designed to cause you to draw the smoke deeper than you would using conventional methods of smoking. Since the smoke is mild, you can hold it longer. Which means it works faster. Let’s you reduce the amount of smoking mixture you use by about half! And, removes almost all smoking odors (so, there’s no paranoia).”
I mean, come on. This is ridiculous on about a million levels.
But hey, “If you don’t dig it, no hassle. You’ll get your money back!” Which is good because $15 in 1972 had the same buying power as $88.11 in 2017.
Continue reading 1972: When Rolling Stone ran full-page ads for bongs
Video: Wilder Maker – “Only Child”
From the New Streets 7″, out now on Saddle Creek.
I like this song. It’s got cool guitar tones and an easy listening, lite rock vibe that works nicely with the boy/girl vocals and lyrics about “ice cream on the porch swing” and staying up too late, “the world on my screen.”
Wilder Maker: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Continue reading New Wilder Maker video: Only Child
Back in 1558, Sir Thomas Gresham, who was the financial agent for Queen Elizabeth I, articulated what was to become known as “Gresham’s law.” The law has it that “bad money drives out good.”
He was talking about physical currency.
One way to think about this is to take a quarter out of your pocket (assuming that you’re reading this in the U.S.; if not, it doesn’t make any difference although it will be less physically obvious).
When you look at the coin edge-on you see a sandwich of materials. There is a copper center covered by two shiny layers.
Said quarter is 91.67 percent copper. The shiny stuff is nickel and it makes up the remainder.
Prior to 1964 quarter were made of silver.
So in Gresham’s law, the “bad money”—the metal sandwich—drives out the “good,” the silver, which has a much higher value in terms of the metal alone. Almost as soon as the cupronickel quarters appeared the silver quarters disappeared. Some were saved by coin collectors. Some, no doubt, were melted down (which, by the way, is illegal) and sold as metal.
What does any of this have to do with music?
Continue reading Listening to Gresham’s Law
Video: Bad Cop / Bad Cop – “Womanarchist”
From Warriors, out now on Fat Wreck Chords.
Do you feel bummed that there isn’t more protest music being made these days? Well maybe you’re just not looking for it in the right places. Bad Cop/Bad Cop is writing the songs that need to be heard. “I can’t watch while evolution falls apart / Bury me in history with Nancy Morgan Hart.” You’ve gotta love a band who drops references to Revolutionary War heros!
While comparisons to Joan Jett might be too easy this is definitely a “recommended if you like…” situation. These gals are badasses. “On social media what’s really going on? / Opinions without action never gets anything done.” Right on. Sock it to the Man!
Bad Cop / Bad Cop: web, twitter, fb, amazon, apple, spotify.
Video: The National – “Guilty Party”
From Sleep Well Beast, out September 8 on 4AD.
I never really got the National until I heard the song “Bloodbuzz Ohio.” Now I like them, and I can no longer even hear the Joy Division references that turned me off when Boxer first brought them to my attention.
Continue reading New National video: Guilty Party