Friday, February 29, 2008

Your Vegas

Your Vegas formed in December 2004 having all met at school on the outskirts of Leeds a few years previously. The band have quickly amassed a large number of epic and anthemic songs from loud and driving rock 'n' roll to close and delicate ballads. An indie deal in the UK followed shortly afterwards and they will release their limited edition 7" self-titled debut single on Monday 29th August which has been recorded, produced and mixed by the band in their flat in Otley, just outside of Leeds, where the band also rehearse and gig at raunchy and raucous all-night parties.

New Universal Republic band Your Vegas, whose sweeping pop EP is garnering raves and turning heads of iTunes fans (it opened up on the iTunes rock chart at a stunning #27), are making their way through several towns and cities on their much anticipated US tour, which kicked off on January 25 in Seattle Washington. The much buzzed about run is '08's kickoff alt-romp, with Your Vegas joining New York's new-wavey quintet the Bravery and British powerpoppers Switches on the multiple city trek before venturing off for a handful of solo shows in March.

Hailing from Leeds, UK, the resilient band hit their epic stride by selling everything and squatting smack down in Hells Kitchen, NYC, signing with Universal Republic last year, and drawing comparisons to breakthrough bands such as Coldplay, The Killers, and others. "Their sound is so polished, carefully constructed and could be mistaken for thinking it was U2 up on the stage", crowed one review. Pop culture tastemakers have also taken notice, with Your Vegas putting in a rousing TV performance from the Sundance Film Festival and picking up a key endorsement from Playboy magazine as one of the Top 10 Bands to Watch in 2008. Upcoming touts by indie-chroniclers Alternative Press, Music Connection, and are also in the works.

Propelled by calling card signature songs on the 3-track EP like the soaring "It Makes My Heart Break," and the plaintive pulse of "Troubled Times," Your Vegas has already carved out that rarest of profiles: Anthem-driven rockers re-setting the indie music clock. Their debut CD, A Town And Two Cities is in stores April 22nd. Recommended!

Your Vegas - In My Head
Your Vegas @ MySpace

Your Vegas - The Way The War Was Won

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Thursday, February 28, 2008


Born in Taiwan to a rocket scientist and kindergarten teacher, prolific electronics maestro David Wang (Mochipet) did not get his musical start until the ripe age of 15 when the urge of heavy metal overtook him during his high school years in Livermore, CA. Shredding through a set of two-inch speakers and a cheap stiletto six-string, Wang conjured up the twisted forces which began his musical adventures of debauchery and mayhem.

Since then he has put out records on such esteemed labels as Bpitchcontrol (Berlin), Tigerbeat6 (Oakland), Schematic (Miami) and a slew of others and has worked with the likes of Spankrock (Ninja Tune), edIT (Alpha Pup), Daedelus (Ninja Tune), Kid606 (Tigerbeat6) and rocked crowds (sharply dressed in his debonair purple dinosaur suit) with Modeselektor, Kid Koala, M.I.A. and more all over the world. Wang opened up shop for his own Daly City Records imprint releasing an array Bay Area hip hop and electronic artists as well as his last two Mochipet albums. First, dancing though the techno-centric Disko Donkey (2006) nights with Ellen Allien (B-Pitch Control), Broker/Dealer (Ghostly) and Phon.o (Shitkatapult) and others...then moshing through Girls Love Breakcore (2007) with Aaron Spectre (Cockrock) and Otto Von Schirach (Ipecac). From Techno and Breakcore to Grime, Dubstep and Hip Hop, the Mochipet production style is difficult to define because he does it all!

Mochipet is back once again with an army of MCs, hell bent on bringing the Hip-Hop genre to whole new levels of creativity. "Microphonepet" is a collection of Mochi-Beats (2003-2008) matched with notable MCs such as: Casual & Opio of Hieroglyphics, Raashan of Crown City Rockers, Mykah9 of Freestyle Fellowship, Dopestyle of Kutmaster Kurt, RQM of Al Haca, Jahcoozi, 215TFK, and Kutti MC to combine elements of Glitch, Dubstep, Jazz, Funk, Afrobeat, and Computer Rock to bring you something entirely different. The varied production styles of this record bring on gems like the glitchy, hype party starter "Sharp Drest", the classic hip hop sounds of "Lazy Day" and the 2-step/Grime influenced "Mr. Malase". The results will have Club Kids rocking out to Miles Davis and Backpackers picking up Roland TB-303s. Recommended!

Mochipet - Get Your Whistle Wet
Mochipet - Get Your Whistle Wet vs The Whistler
Mochipet @ MySpace

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New album release... Evangelicals

Picking up where their 2006 debut So Gone left off, Evangelicals leave behind much of their ADD-addled approach on The Evening Descends, instead taking their wealth of great ideas and harnessing them for good. The hyperactive, overdriven pop is still here, but it is balanced with restraint--not a lot, but enough--that allows the songs to shine through. All this and stories, too: Beneath the shrieks of guitars, keyboard blasts, and proggy space-age grooves, singer/guitarist Josh Jones leads the listener through tales of religion and revivalism, plus insanity, drugs, black-outs, zombies, good and evil, car crashes, love and a mental institution called Bellawood. Jones's wild narratives and propulsive pop songs are anchored with the right balance of stoicism and wit by bassist/keyboardist Kyle Davis and drummer Austin Stephens.

Still not sure what to make of the madness? Evangelicals' The Evening Descends just might be Oklahoma's answer to Prince's Around the World in a Day, but from the perspective of someone crashing at Pee-Wee's Playhouse... who happens to have a chainsaw slowly gnawing through his leg. The Evening Descends is crazy, self-assured and above all, a totally wild ride.

The Evening Descends... and worlds collide. First you hear the prodigious musical skill: the deft guitar work, the clever pop sensibility, the wild arrangements. But then on other end of the spectrum there is the innocent and youthful charm of a trio of lost boys who seem to have no business making music with such maturity and sophistication. Taken together, you have Evangelicals, a wholly demented ensemble from Norman, OK. Dabbling in glam, slipping in a little funk and soul, drinking the psychedelic Kool-aid, blasting the synths, cranking up the guitars, and wrapping it all up with a dose of pop smarts, The Evening Descends is the first great album of 2008. Highly Recommended!

Evangelicals - Skeleton Man
Evangelicals - Midnight Vignette (mov)
Evangelicals @ MySpace

Evangelicals - Midnight Vignette

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Bird And The Bee

Multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin and doe-eyed vocalist Inara George draw upon a mutual fondness for jazz standards and '60s tropicalia to deliver the stylish indie pop tones of the Bird and the Bee. The two musicians were introduced in 2005 by mutual friend Mike Andrews, whom George had enlisted to produce her solo debut, All Rise. Needing someone to contribute piano to several tracks, Andrews called upon Kurstin, who had studied under renowned jazz pianist Jaki Byard during his college years. George and Kurstin soon found themselves spending hours together in the studio, where a shared interest in jazz-based music -- something that George hadn't explored much on All Rise -- helped lay the foundation for the Bird and the Bee.

Apart from Kurstin's work with Byard, neither musician had done much with jazz or tropicalia before. Kurstin had previously contributed keyboards to selections by Beck, and his production credits included work with the Flaming Lips, Peaches, and Lily Allen (with whom the Bird and the Bee would later tour). On the other hand, George -- the daughter of Little Feat's Lowell George -- had pursued work as a Shakespearean actress before forming the post-grunge band Lode and subsequently embarking on a solo career. Both George and Kurstin began to explore new sounds and textures in Kurstin's studio in Echo Park, CA, eventually composing enough sun-kissed material for their debut EP, Again and Again and Again and Again, which arrived in late October 2006. The Bird and the Bee's self-titled LP was released the following year by Blue Note Records, spawning a number one hit on the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart with a remix of the sassy "Fucking Boyfriend." After enjoying positive press from such outlets as NPR (which even aired one of the duo's performances from Washington, D.C.), the pair returned to the studio. Please Clap Your Hands, a five-song EP featuring a cover of the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love," arrived in September 2007, and the duo heralded its release by joining indie pop act Rilo Kiley on a fall tour.

At February 12th, The Bird And The Bee digitally released Too Many Hearts EP. A four-song Valentine's Day EP featuring three new songs - "Birthday", "Last Day Of Our Love" & "Come As You Are" - with music by Greg Kurstin & Inara George's trademark lyrics, sung sweetly but laced with her wry observation on love found and lost. Inara also sings a duet with Gus Seyffert on "Tonight You Belong to Me," a 1920s song performed by Bernadette Peters and Steve Martin in the 1979 film The Jerk. Recommended!

The Bird And The Bee - Birthday
The Bird And The Bee @ MySpace

The Bird And The Bee - Again & Again

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


Candle was formed by singer/songwriter Kevin Coons in late 2005, when he first started writing and recording his own songs. Eventually he started to play live solo or with the help of friends Paul Frankel or David Baggelaar. In September 2006, over the course of a week and half, Candle recorded their first full length, Birds were meant to fly, for real love records. A few months later Candle completed their first tour of California with label mates and friends Elle Moss. On this tour, Ross Major joined on lead guitar and the band line up became solidified. In July and August of 2007 Candle and Iamb toured California in support of their 7'' vinyl release called, "Come Back Home." This release featured two Iamb songs on Side and two Candle songs on Side B.

Candle will be making a short tour of California in March, and plans a full US tour this summer. The band and has played with groups like A Weather (team love), Aereogramme, The Twilight Sad, A Northern Chorus, and Briertone.

Candle has finished recording their 2nd full lenght CD, entitled "Miles and miles and miles." The album has taken a lot of work (fully recorded and mixed on Paul's ranch in Paso Robles, California) but it is one of the band's proudest accomplishments. In this release, Kevin's Coons' songwriting has taken a turn away from Candle's earlier experimental and ambient work to create more straightforward folk songs that pack an emotional punch. This release features lush orchestration, including guest performances by Orange County chanteuse Lauren Mulderrig, Little Wings/Le Petit Protest's Randall Sena, renowned California fiddler Zach Angles (Briertone), and Real Love's own Pat and Andrea Patton from Kapiano. Multiple harmonies, fiddle, trumpet, banjo, piano, mandolin, cello, and harmonica were all utilized with the goal of a sound that is full without being intrusive to the lyrical content. Fans of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Whiskeytown, Wilco, Bright Eyes and Okkervil River should be instantly familiar with Candle's sound. Release date is set for March 22nd, 2008. Check It Out!

Candle - Pennies In A Well
Candle - Keeping My Feet On The Ground
Candle @ MySpace

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Teenagers

The Teenagers are an French pop-electro-rock band hailing from Paris but living in London. Michael plays Bass and vocals, Dorian does Guitar, computers and vocals and Quentin is the lyricist and vocalist. Dorian and Quentin actually met as teenagers in the suburbs of Paris. Bored with their day jobs as promotional call centre employees and under-paid waiters, the two friends created the "Fuck Nicole" single in 2005, an ironic plea to the waifish starlet Nicole Richie. Unexpectedly, it took off on MySpace with a shot, launching the two twenty-five year olds to Internet (and scenester) stardom. When Delafon moved to London for business school (he's since dropped out), Dumont also followed, bringing along fellow adolescent bassist Michael Spziner to complete the teen trifecta. The final product of this threesome sounds like Kraftwerk doing the soundtrack to a porno film.

Debut single "Homecoming" featured a duet with a girl called Sarah. Second single is "Starlett Johansson". Third single called "Love No" will be released in March 2008. Debut album "Reality Check" comes out in March 2008 (MEROK/XL).

Reality Check
is an anthemic ode to American pop (and culture), accented by spiky synthesizers, neon-gold guitars and thick French accents. Highly Recommended!

The Teenagers - Homecoming
The Teenagers - Starlett Johansson
The Teenagers - Fuck Nicole
The Teenagers @ MySpace

The Teenagers - Starlett Johansson

The Teeneagres - Homecoming

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Loch Lomond

Long a popular fixture of the Portland music landscape, Loch Lomond effortlessly combines their symphonic nature with chamber-pop melodies. The six to nine performers orchestrate instruments to provoke a visceral experience that is both raw and emotional, weaving the distinct use of mandolin, theremin and saw along with the traditional indie instrumentation.

Luring the listener with the unique range and power of his voice, Ritchie Young’s vocal ability enables him to switch from fragility to thunder in the turn of a phrase. Yet, Young exercises the power of restraint, saving vocal tornadoes for emotional apexes, buoyed by the four-part harmonies, string section swells and rhythmic dynamics of the ensemble.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic Funky Church, a Portland venue that serves as a home to local artists and musicians , Loch Lomond utilizes this space to nurture their music in a way only a high-domed ceiling and absent sound system can convey. In conjunction with the cathedral’s influence, Ritchie Young calls on inspiration from within to infuse his creativity. “My internal inspiration comes out of me in strange ways,” says Young. “I lock myself in a room until I scream, knock stuff over, whatever I'm compelled to do to make a song emerge. Once a song does come out of me, I leave it alone. Changing the structure or the lyrics would feel like I was second-guessing my art.”

There are no half measures with Loch Lomond. This group remains a long respected, gathering force that brings their tidal waves of sound to a much wider audience by immersing itself in a myriad of trained musicians. Ritchie explains, "It was a very slow process of finding the right people that fit. I say this in the most humblest of ways. Amanda Lawrence for example was at a show we were playing and her husband leaned over to her and said 'This is the band you need to be in; this is what you have been looking for!' She gave Peter Broderick a call and the next week she was playing with us and she fits so well."

The third official recording from Loch Lomond, Paper The Walls, evokes an emotional response to deeply imprint itself on the listener with songs comprised of gently narrated stories unraveling with rustic charm; simple in form, but saturated with tone and texture. Recorded at Portland's Type Foundry (M Ward, The Decemberists) and their second release from Hush Records, the album is rich with detail while retaining an uncommon sense of space. Recommended!

Loch Lomond - Northern Trees, Knees And Lights
Loch Lomond - Songs In 3/4
Loch Lomond - Witchy
Loch Lomond @ MySpace

Ritchie Young - Untitled (Northern Trees...)

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Thursday, February 07, 2008


Founded in 1998, pacificUV was formed by Clay Jordan and Howard Hudson. Their debut album, longplay 1, was released in 2002 and shortly after their tour supporting their album; co-founder Howard Hudson left the band. The album received widespread praise from The Big Takeover and Rolling Stone, which called the album “a masterpiece.” After releasing their follow-up EP, Jordan relocated to Portland from Athens, Georgia.

In April 2008, pacificUV, now comprised of Jordan and bandmates Mike Irwin on keyboards, Matt Kline on bass, and Jesse Robert on drums, will release their second LP. Several songs on longplay 2 are textured, languid laments similar to the first record, while others, like the 10-minute long “Orson”, are dense noisescapes, which threaten to collapse in on themselves. Lyrically there’s something added as well, with words invoking a mood akin to the ambient shadow of a Lee Friedlander photograph or the dripping Southern Gothic intuition of a Tennessee Williams script. Recommended!

pacificUV - Need
pacificUV @ MySpace

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

El Perro Del Mar

El Perro del Mar was founded in the end of 2003 around the idea and need
of making music on terms of one's own. Behind the alter-ego is the sole member Sarah Assbring.

Sarah started out as what is often referred to as an mp3-artist and in spring 2004 the first cdr-ep 'Baby, I've been in a bad place' was released by the then newly started Swedish label Hybris. Two more cdr-ep:s, 'I've got good news' and 'Holiday Special', were released shortly thereafter. In late 2004 the first official ep 'What's new? El Perro del Mar' was released, including the songs 'I can't talk about it', 'This Loneliness' and 'It's all good'. Also around this time, she contributed with the song 'Shake it off' on a joint and very limited split single initiated by friend Jens Lekman. She joined him shortly thereafter as opening act on his tour in Sweden.

In May 2005 all the previous unofficial and official releases were gathered to form the compilation album 'Look! It's El Perro del Mar!'. Later that year the ep 'God Knows (You Gotta Give to Get) was released, including the songs 'God Knows', 'Do the Dog' and 'Say'. In December El Perro del Mar and Jenny Wilson performed together in the winter concert 'Under a Starlit Sky' at Södra Teatern in Stockholm.

During spring 2006 a reworked version of the album was released in England and Europe by British label Memphis Industries. Around this time El Perro del Mar went touring as support act for José Gonzalez as well as on her own. By the end of 2006 the self-titled album was released in the U.S. as well as in Australia and New Zealand. The album received rave reviews.

El Perro del Mar also had the opportunity to make a short yet highly successful tour in Brazil. In spring 2007 El Perro del Mar toured the U.S. together with her band consisting of Jesper Jarold(Fontän), Björn Synneby(pacific!) and Jon Ölmeskog(Silverbullit). El Perro del Mar left the label Hybris and found a new home on Licking Fingers, the Concretes own label. It was time for new ideas and new ways.

During the spring and summer of 2007 the much longed-for work on the second album 'From the Valley to the Stars' began. The recordings as well as the producing were done by El Perro herself in her own studio in Gothenburg. With the exception of a trip around India in the fall the intense work on the album lasted until December 2007. The album's Scandinavian release date is the 27th of February. The album will be preceded by the release of the single 'How did we forget?' on the 13th of February. The U.S release date is set to 22nd of April. Recommended!

El Perro Del Mar - How Did We Forget
El Perro Del Mar - From The Valley To The Stars
El Perro Del Mar - It's All Good
El Perro Del Mar - God Knows (You Gotta Give To Get)
El Perro Del Mar @ MySpace

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Belly Boat

Cutesy, ramshackle folk from Zoe Latta and Silvie Deutsch in Santa Cruz, CA. Their voices clamor for attention like small children but then suddenly out of the dixie-cup folk they pull together into sweet earnest pop songs. Mostly comprised of the two voices, some dime store guitar, piano and the breathy squeeze of an accordion, Belly Boat is the sound of joyous inexperience; and where others drown themselves in layers of perfection, Zoe and Silvie let their rough edges charm you until you let them fall away and reveal the pop gems at their center. Signed to Not Not Fun.

Dear Robert Hanoy is a scratchy, expansive masterpiece, 14 sung songs of outsider ragtime, rambling European café waltz, and charismatic lyrical chemistry. Influenced equally by Cocorosie, Celine Dion, and Chamillionaire (circa “Ridin’ Dirty”), BB weave piano, accordion, and dueling voices into a freaky, frayed woolen mitten of strange emotions. Recommended!

Belly Boat - Little
Belly Boat - Rind
Belly Boat @ MySpace

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