PHW - November 2010


MP3 :: Coma Summer / Weekend

MP3 :: Beach Ball / French Kissing

MP3 :: Take Me Somewhere / Tennis

MP3 :: Knockout / Air Waves (follow link)

MP3 :: Photojournalist / Small Black

MP3 :: Lemonade / Braids (follow link)

MP3 :: 105 / Banjo or Freakout (follow link)

MP3 :: Golden Sea / French Films

MP3 :: Wasting Time / Reading Rainbow

MP3 :: Her Sinking Sun / Coma Cinema

MP3 :: American Mourning / Bikini

MP3 :: Chinatown / Destroyer

MP3 :: Superstition / Disappears (follow link)

MP3 :: Harlem River Blues / Justin Townes Earle

[video] Reading Rainbow - "Always on my Mind"

READING RAINBOW always on my mind from amanda finn on Vimeo.

Here’s a great new video, directed by Amanda Finn, from Philly duo Reading Rainbow. They’re new album Prism Eyes comes out this week on Hozac Records. If for some reason you want to hear the song without the cool visual accompaniment, stream it below. If you want to download it, head over to GvsB.

MP3 :: Wasting Time

(from Prism Eyes. Buy here)

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Reading Rainbow - Always On My Mind by HOZAC RECORDS

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[video] Memoryhouse - "Heirloom"

Memoryhouse - "Heirloom" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Ontario’s Memoryhouse have garnered attention this year because of the elegant chamber-pop of their free debut EP, The Years, a handful of singles, and the sublime video that accompanied their best song to date, “Lately”. Here’s a new video for “Heirloom”, a song that expands their delicate sound into shoegaze territory, and appears as the b-side to the recently released, sold out ‘Caregiver’ 7” from Suicide Squeeze. This one continues director Jamie Harley’s string of gorgeous found footage videos this year. “Heirloom” features visuals from a 1968 silent arthouse documentary called Home Movie, shot in Morocco and London. Check out more of Harley’s work here. (via) The “Caregiver” b/w “Heirloom” digital single is available here.

MP3 :: Lately

(from The Years EP. Download here)

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[vinyl reissue] Clem Snide - Your Favorite Music


I first heard Clem Snide by way of 2001’s brilliant The Ghost of Fashion. I was immediately taken with lead singer Eef Barzelay’s deadpan vocal delivery and bitingly caustic lyrics. Though based in folk, the music was punctuated with strings and horns, giving the whole thing a feeling of ragged grandiosity that particularly appealed to me. It was one of my favorites that year, shortly before I had the notion to keep track of such things and publish them online.

Upon exploring Clem Snide’s back catalog soon thereafter, I discovered Your Favorite Music, their low key sophomore album from 2000. Though a more sedate listen overall than its follow up, YFM immediate became another favorite of mine. The imagistic stories behind quiet ballads like “The Dairy Queen” and “African Friend” give the album a sense of weird mystery, while sadness practically pours out of “Loneliness Finds Her Own Way” and the title track like open wounds. The band breaks from the forlorn mood on a handful of tunes – especially the rowdy concert-favorites “I Love the Unknown” and “Messiah Complex Blues” – but the heart of Clem Snide’s sophomore album lies in the balance Barzelay finds between his irreverence, his wiseass sarcasm (kept in check for the most part), and the devastating honesty that surfaces more successfully here than on any other Clem Snide release. Well, there’s also Jason Glasser’s subtly gorgeous work on the cello and violin, which might be the understated backbone of this record, similar to the way the more prominent horns of The Ghost of Fashion carry that one.

Your Favorite Music is worth going back to and rediscovering, or just hearing fresh for the first time if you haven’t already. As Barzelay himself sings on “Sweet Mother Russia”, it’s “Like fight songs whispered through pillows”. Lucky for you it has just been reissued by Microfiche Records, a new label dedicated to finding worthy albums that have never been released on vinyl and putting them out there. This is certainly one of those records.

Buy Your Favorite Music on vinyl right here.

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[mp3] Disappears - "Superstition"



After releasing their excellent pre-punk indebted debut, LUX, earlier this year on Kranky, Disappears didn’t waste time getting their follow up together. Guider will drop January 17 and features this heavy little song called “Superstition”, which we saw way back this past summer in video form during the recording sessions.

MP3 :: Superstition

(from Guider. Info here)

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Tim Hecker announces new album - Ravedeath, 1972


Here’s another excitign new record announcement for Febraury – Canadian ambient/electronic sound artist Tim Hecker will release Ravedeath, 1972 in February through Kranky. That’s the very awesome cover art up there. The new record was recorded mostly live on one day this past July and follows last year’s excellent An Imaginary Country. Here’s what the press release had to say:

Recorded in a church in Reykjavik, Iceland and using a pipe organ as the primary sound source, this new piece is essentially a live recording. In reality, it exists in a nether world between captured live performance and meticulous studio work, melding the two approaches to sonic artifice as a unity…It is an almost physical presence that the listener feels as much as hears. This work is a significant contribution to Hecker's oeuvre, one which spans over ten years of musical production. Ravedeath is an enigmatic document of beauty and force.

The tracklist:

1. The Piano Drop

2. In the Fog l-ll

3. In the Fog lll

4. No Drums

5. Hatred of Music l

6. Hatred of Music ll

7. Analog Paralysis, 1978

8. Studio Suicide, 1980

9. In the Air l-lll

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Toro Y Moi announce new album - Underneath the Pine


There’s a new album coming from South Carolina’s Toro Y Moi. Underenath the Pine drops February 21 through Carpark, and follows this year’s lo-fi/chillwave/bedroom-pop debut Causers of This and the terrific garage/pop 7” single “Leave Everywhere”. Like most of the music that’s surfaced as part of the “chillwave” movement of the past 2 years, I found Causers of This to be somewhat uneven, but the “Leave Everywhere” single is promising enough to make me curious as to what new record sounds like. A recent Pitchfork interview might provide some clues. Check the tracklist:

1. Intro/Chi Chi

2. New Beat

3. Go with You

4. Divina

5. Before I'm Done

6. Got Blinded

7. How I Know

8. Light Black

9. Still Sound

10. Good Hold

11. Elise

Head over to Daytrotter to listen to/download a recent session.

MP3 :: Leave Everywhere (via)

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Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy


· Is it weird to feel that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy should have gotten 5 stars from the disposable pop/aging rock star caterers at Rolling Stone but not a 10.0 from Pitchfork? I know that’s totally hypocritical and says more about how I think of the standards those two sources set than the actual music, but seriously. It is a great album, but perfect? Does that include 3 minutes of Chris Rock being only kind of funny?

· This is, no doubt, the first perfect score handed out by both Rolling Stone and Pitchfork to a new release. If I’m wrong about that please let me know, but I don’t think it’s ever happened. Maybe they’re joining forces…

· It may be a reductive way of thinking, but does a 10.0 make MBDTF the best album released, in their eyes, since 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the last new album to receive a perfect score? Granted, I’m sure Pitchfork would probably go back and re-evaluate the scores in hindsight given to Funeral and Person Pitch and a few others they and everyone have championed, but they knew perfectly well just how much hype (for themselves) they’d stir up with that rating.

· Similarly, where would Rolling Stone rank MBDTF among several of the other recent 5 star albums they’ve awarded, like Mick Jagger’s Goddess in the Doorway and Springsteen’s Magic? Yikes, now do you see what I mean with point #1? If you ask me those geriatric RS editors need to be a bit more discerning….

· The music – oh yeah! A common gripe with Ye that you hear is that he’s not a great rapper. I’m far from the hip-hop expert who can compare one MC’s flow to another’s, but I can recognize Kanye isn’t Ghostface, or Nas, or Jay-Z on the mic. But I love the guy’s style – he’s intelligent, brutally honest, completely egotistical, and funny as hell and it all comes through on every one of these songs.

· No, Kanye West isn’t the only ambitious artist making music in 2010, but he’s up there with the very best. I’ve had no desire to listen to anything else for the past 5 or 6 days now.

· West may be a douchebag, an asshole, a scumbag, and a complete jackass (as no one less than the President of the United States of America called him), but when you can walk the walk…

· I think it’s kind of hysterical that Kanye wants to be considered the greatest artist of his generation, makes music that actually merits consideration in that discussion, and then goes out and pisses off, like, 80% of America with his antics. It’s his inability to be a “good” celebrity (as Jay-Z has become) that both makes him fascinating and holds him back.

· Am I the only one who thinks the cover art is the first time Kanye has ever put something even worth looking at twice on top of a record? Now that’s perfect…

· Along with Late Registration, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy makes a case for West as one of music’s most visionary, exciting, talented, self aware, and dysfunctional artists. Getting past all this other nonsense, it’s easily one of the year’s best collections of songs. And that's what it's all about. So I think it's time for us to have a toast....

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[mp3] Destroyer - "Chinatown"

Here’s a new tune from the next Destroyer album, Kaputt, which drops January 25 through Merge. After a pair of experimental EPs over the past year, “Chinatown” finds the always prolific Dan Bejar back with his typically warped version of indie/folk, here a bit more ambient than what we’re used to (and with saxophone!).

MP3 :: Chinatown

(from Kaputt. Info here)

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[video] "Girlfriend In A Coma" by an older gentleman on a British TV show

Thought I’d attempt to brighten your Monday morning with this.

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[video] The Vaccines - "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)"

Got a minute and 28 seconds? Here’s The Vaccines’ dizzying new video for “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)”. While you’re at it, check out a couple of recent performances from Later…with Jools Holland from the up and coming U.K. rockers:

[stream] Two Wounded Birds - "Keep Dreaming Baby"


Just got a heads up today about the U.K. based band Two Wounded Birds – thanks Julian. Two songs are streaming over at Soundcloud - “Keep Dreaming Baby” effortlessly captures the vintage surf/pop sound that bands like The Drums and French Kissing have brought back into fashion of late, and “My Lonesome” shows the band can do moody heartache as well as sun-soaked innocence. Look for an EP early next year.

Keep Dreaming Baby by Two Wounded Birds

Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues


In the case of Justin Townes Earle, separating the art from the artist has been a difficult proposition of late. On the one hand you have the very unfortunate incident that (allegedly) took place a few months back after a show in Indianapolis. I don't have the facts behind whatever did happen, but suffice it to say that it was ugly, and didn’t reflect well on Earle. On the other hand is the singer/songwriter’s utterly fantastic new album, Harlem River Blues, which continues Earle’s rapid ascension into the upper tier of working Americana artists. HRB is the fourth album in 4 years from Earle, and can be considered his New York record. The title track, with its uptown destination, is perhaps the most rousing suicide anthem you’ll ever hear, while in other places Earle sings from a Brooklyn bed (“One More Night in Brooklyn”), and as an subway worker in the cold, lonely tunnels under the city (“Workin’ for the MTA”). As he did on last year’s Midnight at the Movies, Earle demonstrates a natural control over a wide array of old-time genres including country, folk, blues, and rockabilly. But on this new record he also dips his feet into soul and gospel, and, unsurprisingly from an artist who has proven so versatile in the past, nails those influences as well (“Christchurch Woman” in particular). The production and crisp playing of his band are immaculate throughout, and the songs Earle has written show a writer with a unique voice. Harlem River Blues only further makes clear that JTE is capable of emulating his father as a songwriter. Here’s to hoping he can do the same with his demons and make records like this for years to come.

MP3 :: Harlem River Blues

(from Harlem River Blues. Buy here)

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[mp3] Coma Cinema - "Her Sinking Sun"


Don’t know much about this band yet, but I do know that I’ve been enamored with this creepy little tune by South Carolina one-man band Coma Cinema for the past few days. It’s from a forthcoming 2011 record called Blue Suicide and got a recent write up over at Pitchfork. Check it out:

MP3 :: Her Sinking Sun

(from Blue Suicide. Info here)

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[mp3] Bikini - "American Mourning"


It was just a few weeks ago that we heard “ACheerlaeder”, and now there’s a second electro-pop nugget from Bikini’s RIP JDS EP available from Lefse Records. “American Mourning” is buoyant despite its title, bouncing along like a couple of kids imagining a more danceable Animal Collective.

MP3 :: American Mourning

(from RIP JDS. Buy here)

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Ladies & Gentlemen...The Rolling Stones


Recorded in 1972 on the tour supporting Exile on Main Street (which is always hovering in my head near the top of my all time favorite albums) and rarely seen beyond its limited 1974 theatre run, the Rolling Stones concert film Ladies & Gentlemen…The Rolling Stones has at long last been released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Eagle-Rock. Capturing the band at the end of their beyond classic 1968-72 run, the film footage has been restored and remastered and, typically, looks and sounds amazing. Check out “Tumbling Dice” below and pick one up here:

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[mp3] Tennis - "Take Me Anywhere"


After releasing the Baltimore 7” earlier this year to widespread blog acclaim, the buzz-worthy married duo Tennis have signed with Fat Possum and will release their full length debut, Cape Dory, in early 2011. In addition to the absurd artwork, the new record will consist of 10 songs, but if you’ve been paying attention over the past few months you’ve likely heard, in one incarnation or another, 6 of them. The album's title track, “Baltimore”, and the highlight-so-far “Marathon” appeared on the 7”, “South Carolina” has been going around the blogs for a while and has a pretty cool video as well, and the band premiered “Pigeon” and “Take Me Somewhere” over at Daytrotter this past September. All together, these are certainly the makings of a noteworthy debut. The studio version of “Take Me Somewhere” was released this week as the first official mp3 from Cape Dory and continues the band’s winningly fuzzed-up, vintage indie-pop melodies. Via Pitchfork.

MP3 :: Take Me Somewhere

(from Cape Dory. Info here)

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[video] Seapony - "Dreaming"

Seapony - Dreaming from Double Denim Records on Vimeo.

As previously stated, Seapony’s “Dreaming” 7” drops November 15 from Double Denim Records.

MP3 :: Dreaming (follow link)

(from Dreaming 7”. Buy here)

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[mp3] Weekend - "Coma Summer"


Weekend is a San Francisco post-punk band that bring all sorts of chaotic noise on their recent Slumberland debut, Sports. Check out the awesome 6 ½ minute album opener “Coma Summer” and “End Times” below.

MP3 :: Coma Summer

MP3 :: End Times

(from Sports. Buy here)

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[stream] Smith Westerns - "Weekend"


Last year Smith Westerns impressed with their fuzzed-out, glammy, lower-than-lo-fi garage/pop gem of a debut. Now the Chicago youngsters have grown up (a bit, they’re still really young), signed with Fat Possum, and recorded their sophomore set – Dye It Blonde, which drops in January. And they may just have taken my previous advice (wink wink). The first single, “Weekend”, sounds fantastic – it’s a huge sonic improvement over the debut, yet still maintains that album’s knack for big time hooks and perfect melody.


Smith Westerns - Weekend by forcefieldpr

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[stream] The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - "Heart in Your Heartbreak"


Slumberland will release the “Heart In Your Heartbreak” 7” single from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart on December 14. Belong, the follow up to the band’s impressive 2009 debut, will be released in March.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak by forcefieldpr

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[video] The Tallest Man on Earth - "Love Is All"

Between The Wild Hunt and the recently released Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird EP, it’s been a banner year for The Tallest Man On Earth. I was a very happy boy today when I got the email saying there was a new video for “Love Is All”. The Wild Hunt is a great album, easily one of my favorites of the year, and this song in particular is just a flat out astounding 4 minutes of voice and guitar. I’ve listened to it probably upwards of 50 times and still, under the right circumstances, get chills from the way Kristian Matsson’s voice just soars on the second and third choruses. The video features vintage Super 8 footage compiled by director Johan Stolpe – certainly a fittingly nostalgic visual accompaniment to a song whose simple arrangement conjures such vivid emotion.

MP3 :: Burden of Tomorrow

MP3 :: King of Spain

(from The Wild Hunt. Buy here)

MP3 :: Like the Wheel

(from Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird. Buy here)

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The Radio Dept to release new EP


Just in time to remind you to include their excellent Clinging to a Scheme on your year end list (thanks, but I didn’t need the reminder), Swedish shoegaze/pop band The Radio Dept are dropping a new EP on the world. The Never Follow Suit EP collects the album track of the same name, a dub remix of it called “Never Swallow Fruit”, and 3 other originals. The press release promises more in common with King Tubby and Augustus Pablo than Pet Shop Boys and My Bloody Valentine. Foggy pop melodies find their way through multi-layered soundscapes of panoramic delays, hypnotic bass lines, echo-ing analogue synthesizers and skanky guitar loops. It drops November 9 on Labrador.

MP3 :: Never Follow Suit (follow link)

(from the Never Follow Suit EP. Info here)

MP3 :: Heaven’s On Fire

MP3 :: David

(from Clinging to a Scheme. Buy here)

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[stream] Fergus & Geronimo - "English Girls With Accents"

Over a year ago we heard the fuzzy Motown melodies of “Tell It (In My Ear)”, now Fergus & Geronimo, a slapdash garage/rock duo from Denton, TX, have signed with Hardly Art and will release their debut full length, Unlearn, in January. Below you can stream the lead track, “English Girls With Accents”, as well as the two other new, non-album songs the band has just put out as a 7” – “Never Satisfied” / ”Turning Blue”. Below that, check out “Tell It (In My Ear)” if you missed out the first time 'round. (via)

Fergus & Geronimo - Girls With English Accents by hardlyartrecords

Fergus & Geronimo - "Never Satisfied" b/w "Turning Blue" by hardlyartrecords



[mp3] French Kissing - "Beach Ball"


Way back in January I shared French Kissing’s lo-fi surf/pop gem “Oh Suzanne”, and it’s a song I’ve gone back to regularly ever since. Considering just how popular the whole throwback garage/surf sound of bands like Beach Fossils, Real Estate, and Tennis has been for the past two years or so, I can’t believe that the track didn’t propel them to that level of prominence. Last week I was wondering what the London 3-piece had been up to, eagerly looking forward to whatever was coming next. So I shot them an email, and it looks as though the timing couldn’t have been better. French Kissing is in the midst of recording new material for a future release, and recently contributed this sun-drenched little ditty to a compilation cleverly called Endless Bummer for Suplex Cassettes. Check that out below, as well as another chance to grab “Oh Suzanne”, and stay tuned for more from these guys soon, hopefully:

MP3 :: Beach Ball

(from the Endless Bummer compilation. Buy here)

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MP3 :: Oh Suzanne

(from the Oh Suzanne 7”. Info here)

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[mp3] Mazes - "Go-Betweens"


Manchester’s Mazes have released a handful of promising singles over the past year and a half, and have now signed on with Fat Cat Records to record their full length debut, due in spring 2011. Included on it will be a new version of garage/pop shredder “Go-Betweens”, previously found on the “Cenetaph”/”Go-Betweens” 7” for Suffering Jukebox. Listen:

MP3 :: Go-Betweens

From way back in the summer of 2009, here’s one of the band’s first jams, the still-awesome “Bowie Knives”:

MP3 :: Bowie Knives

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