The venue was small, the crowd was equally small, drunk , college aged, and predominately male. The scene was set for the extremely rare and quite odd Sea Wolf aggressive dance (I refuse to say mosh) pit. Alex Brown Church armed with his acoustic guitar, maintains his composure, but is clearly surprised by the "crowds" (maybe 25 people total) reaction. He runs through several of the tunes on the bands latest album "Leaves on the River", the highlight for me being "Middle Distance Runner", and then thanks the crowd and turns to leave the stage. The 10 dancing fools start chanting, "one more song", Alex reluctantly agrees, but on one condition... they must stop dancing! It was at that moment that I wonder if I would ever see Sea Wolf at The House Cafe again. Listen to : You are a Wolf (mp3)
Sea Wolf's label is Dangerbird Record's which also managed Darker My Love. You can download Darker My Love's self-titled debut here for free.
Normal, IL is home to husband (Hank Hofler) and wife (Jane Dowe) team, Oh Astro, who are preparing to release their new album, Champions of Wonder, on Illegal Art on November 6th. If you were forced to classify their unique style of music experimental electronic would almost fit, but their music reaches farther them most. One of the common techniques on Champions of Wonder is the manipulation of vocals by spectral software that is coded by Dowe and long-time mentor Christopher Penrose. Even the more experimental or ambient tracks contain ghostly sounds of vocals that have been stripped from their original context and placed into the pulsating electronic world of Oh Astro. The other common practice on the album is that every sound, with the exception of some of the vocals, is sampled from pre-existing recordings. The types of music sampled range from top 40 songs to indie hipster music to the obscure. In the end, it’s more about what is done with the sample than what was originally sampled. Much like label mat Girl Talk, Oh Astro also reaches into the realm of hip-hop by involving Stefan Robinson (a.k.a. Yea Big) on several tracks. Listen to: Snow Queen (mp3) and Hello Fuji Boy (mp3)
While on the subject of Illegal Art, here is their latest sampler featuring tracks from Girl Talk, Steinski and the soon-to-be-released albums by Oh Astro and Realistic. Get it here!
Manchester Orchestra and Annuals are proud to announce a 20-date co-headlining tour beginning October 26th in Atlanta, GA. As a special exclusive to the upcoming touring partnership, Manchester Orchestra and Annuals have created an exclusive, limited edition 7-inch for fans attending the shows. Only available on the upcoming tour dates, this split vinyl 7” contains each band covering each other’s tracks: Annuals cover Manchester Orchestra’s “Where Have You Been”, and Manchester Orchestra cover Annuals “Brother”, the Mp3s of which are available below. For the artwork, each band re-interpreted the other's album art, featured below.
Also check out the new video for "Carry Around".
Great news this week for TMTS fans (which I am a huge one), here is the press release from Secretly Canadian: "We're uber pleased to announce Seattle's Throw Me The Statue to the Secretly Canadian family. Conceived and fronted by Scott Reitherman, TMTS has been delivering its wondrous concoction of cheapo sequenced synths, brass ensembles, fuzzed out beats and epic vocal melodies to various Seattle clubs for the past year. Due in February, "Moonbeams" "is both complicated and personally cohesive. Each song expands beyond the bedroom atmosphere often attributed to mellow solo artists. The opening track, 'Young Sensualists' sets the tone with a digital backyard party beat while a guitar riff and vocals dance smoothly over it." (QRO Magazine, 2007)" TMTS will touring the US with now label mate Jens Lekman next month. Listen to: About to Walk (mp3)
The Peel Back: Operation Ivy "Operation Ivy" (1991)
I have always had a more diverse taste in music, but that diversity is not always appreciated. This can really become apparent in the punk music circles. Take for example the day I "lost" my Operation Ivy tape. I used to hang out in a parking lot behind a restaurant on the banks of the Fox River. People would sit in or on my car and simply enjoy the company and the music. One day an acquaintance was sitting in the back seat looking through my tapes, and she simply could not get over the fact that I had both Frente and Operation Ivy in the same tape case. She was disgusted, and that was the last day that I say my tape, and all because I respected Frente. This album is being rereleased by Rancid Records (Epitaph) on November 6th. Listen to: Sound Sytem (mp3) and Heathly Body (mp3)