Listen to: Pennies in a Well (mp3)
Free-wheeling DC psych-folk collective These United States will release its debut album, A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden, via United Interests, on March 4th. With 300+ shows across the U.S. and Europe in the two short years since its formation, These United States has emerged a wide-eyed amalgamation of intricately layered lit-pop and the punk rock ethic, a band of merry pranksters led by Jesse Elliott, spinning something fiercely, unapologetically positive out of the sinking reality of an empire gone Titanic.
Listen to: First Sight (mp3)
A record label that I have begun to enjoy on a regular basis is, People in the Sky. They are home to Robert Anthony Lee (aka Wax Stag), and he likes make electronic music with an '80's flare. Several months ago he released an ep called Short Road, and now he is preparing a full length album. However in March, People in the Sky will release a Short Road Remix Ep. So lets take it back to the old school!
Listen to: Short Road (Metal on Metal Remix) (mp3)
Another album that will be released in March, Dawn Landes has put a lot of work and time into creating her second album, Fireproof. However the actual recording process only took one day. The aptly named album was recorded live to 2” tape in a single day in an old fire station in Red Hook, Brooklyn (along with drummer Ray Rizzo, bassist Jonny Flaugher and engineer Adam Lasus.) It's an astonishing mixture of the urban and the rural. Fireproof is like a little kitchen garden planted between high-rise buildings; in it’s own way, a remarkable act of resistance. Fireproof's first, and perhaps most infectious track, "Bodyguard" was written following the burglary of Dawn’s Brooklyn apartment. She didn’t have much, just a Casio keyboard, a laptop computer and a hard drive….with her complete second album ready for production. Album two, and years of Dawn Landes' creative work, were gone forever. “I never looked back or tried to recreate those songs, never played them, nothing. I just started over from scratch. I wrote ‘Bodyguard’ in the kitchen while waiting for the police to show up,” reminisces Dawn.
Listen to: Bodyguard (mp3)
Panther has been around awhile, but 2008's Panther is has made a lot of changes. For of all Charlie Salas-Humara has added a member to his one man band, Joe Kelly (31 Knots) on drums, and boy does Joe provide some drums. There new album, 14kt God, also marks their Kill Rock Stars debut. After several successful releases on indie labels Kimosciotic and Fryk Beat, the art galleries soon turned to sold out venues when PANTHER caught the attention of headliners like GOSSIP and RATATAT. And while touring in support of 2007's epic and cheerfully damaged SECRET LAWNS Charlie realized he wanted to dance to a new beat. Soon after employing the ferocious drumming of Joe Kelly the HE became a THEY and on the upcoming 14 KT GOD (out Feb. 19 on Kill Rock Stars) contagious hooks and loops over crushing drums usher PANTHER into new and lucid songwriting territory, even hinting at the political with songs like "Violence, Diamonds" and "Beautiful Condo." But just when things seem to be making sense the fever kicks in and everything suddenly unglues and before you know it you're dancing to full blown anthems about sexual obsessiveness and airplane paranoia. Rest assured, PANTHER hasn't calmed down in the slightest, they're just poised and ready to pounce.
In my opinion this is one of Morrissey most under appreciated or misunderstood albums of all-time. Released in March of 1991, Kill Uncle took a very different approach the its poppy predecessor Viva Hate. The album had a much more diverse feel musical, which is not surprising since this was the first album with out Stephen Street. There somber reflective moments (There is a Place in Hell, Harsh Truth of the Camera's eye) and then there are moments of joy (Sing Your Life). Containing biting lyrics and interesting arrangements, Kill Uncle should have been wildly more successful then following year's release Your Arsenal, but unfortunately that never occurred.