Again I've got a huge backlog of stuff to listen to & review, a quick scroll through my inbox tells me that you can look forward to thoughts on the upcoming Katrina Stonehart/Vehicle Blues split on A. Karina tapes, songs by Hope Slide, two new releases from MJ Hibbett, songs by Summer Library, the list goes on and on... Plus I just got a big box of tapes from Bathetic Records that I'm hoping to listen to this week.
Anyway, I just wanted to direct you to two out of print releases recently uploaded by other blogs. Take the Pills! recently uploaded Welcome to the Wetherbeat Scene 1988-1991, an amazing comp put together by Stewart Anderson (Boyracer, 555 Records.) Wetherbeat features 36 songs from bands formed at Wetherby High School (many of them featuring Stewart himself.) I did some googling last night and while this is getting increasingly hard to come by, it looks like you can still get copies from Midheaven Maiorder for $7.25, which is TOTALLY WORTH IT. (Order here.)
Also worth a download is the Delta Dart demo tape recently uploaded at Soul Ponies. Delta Dart was a sort-of riot grrrl three piece out of (where else?) Olympia, WA. I picked up this demo tape a zillion years ago from the now-defunct Moon Rocket Distro which operated out of New Zealand.) The dual female vocals Delta Dart makes use of remind me of Tattle Tale (whose discography I uploaded awhile back.) I'll be honest, there's not much to differentiate Delta Dart from other female vocal driven riot grrrl type music, but I do have a soft spot for Delta Dart. To my knowledge, their albums Fight or Flight and Lone Star are both out of print, so I'm happy to upload them for anyone who might want them. Just ask!
(Details for the give-away are at the bottom of the post!)
Last night Drew and I headed up to the Grog Shop to catch Best Coast with Male Bonding and local CLE band, Clovers. We had seen Best Coast once before, last April at the Sco, and you could tell that the BC hype machine had been working overtime since then. The tickets for this show cost about twice and much and there were maybe twice as many people there.
This show has some good moments and bad moments. I really enjoyed Clovers' opening set. I had seen them once or twice before at the Happy Dog & they grow on my every time. Their lo-fi surf pop sound was a great fit for Best Coast & the crowd seemed to really enjoy their performance. You can listen to some songs & see upcoming tour dates on their MySpace (Clevelanders -- Clovers will be playing this weekend for Ingenuity Fest & they also have a show in October at the aforementioned Happy Dog.)
Male Bonding really surprised me. I feel like I've been seeing their album cover all over the place, but I never really bothered to check them out. But after last night, you can consider me a convert. Male Bonding blend elements of hardcore and pop & there's almost nothing I like better than punk songs with infectious melodies. Their full-length, Nothing Hurts, is out now on Sub Pop. You can stream tracks from Nothing Hurts on their MySpace.
Best Coast was great -- they played pretty much every single song off their debut LP, Crazy for You (out now onMexican Summer.) The band was just is spirited as they were the last time Drew and I saw them & though they fucked up a few songs, Bethany Cosentino was candid in her stage banter & used those fuck ups as a way to engage with the audience. There was sort of a dark moment where someone in the audience shouted, "Where's Snacks?" (referring to Cosentino's cat) -- she replied, "Back in California," and you could just tell that she did not want to have this conversation and was probably sick of people corralling her into talking about her cat all the time because it's "quirky" or whatever. Things got ugly when the same heckler shouted, "I heard he had a medical condition," and Cosentino replied, "Yeah, he does." People in the audience started cracking jokes about her "sick" cat and she snapped and shouted, "It's not fucking funny, he gets seizures!" (The audience responded to this with a chorus of "My ______ (mom, brother, dog, etc.) gets seizures!" and "Epilepsy! EPILEPSY!!!")
Over the last few months, as Best Coast has become increasingly more popular/visible and this narrative of Bethany "cat lover" Cosentino has continued to grow, I've heard a lot of criticism about Cosentino's lyrics and the way she's focused both her songs and her public persona around cats, weed, and her boyfriend. Everyone says that it's naive or tame or cloying or whatever, but last night reminded me of just how risky it is to sincerely be who you are in a public forum. So you're not afraid to tell the whole world that you love your cat, Snacks? Great, people who don't know you will get drunk and make fun of you because your cat gets seizures.
The give-away is closed! Congrats to Miranda!
So, as a give-away, I have a souvenir from last night: It's a Best Coast button, 2" in diameter featuring the bear from the California state flag. If you want one, just leave a comment here with the title of your favorite Best Coast song. (I understand that OpenID hasn't been working for everyone, unfortunately because of the volume of spam comments I sometimes get, I do have to have them moderated. If you're unable to post here, feel free to post elsewhere (on your own blog, tumblr, twitter, wherever) -- just e-mail me at email@example.com with a link to your post.)) As always if you post a link to SP elsewhere, you'll get an extra number when I run the random number generator. I'll leave comments open until midnight on Sunday! This is open to everyone, not just US residents.
I know we've been over this before, but I love Sourpatch. When I found out that I wouldn't be able to go to Athens PopFest this summer because of major work scheduling conflicts (I AM STILL BITTER ABOUT THIS!!!) Sourpatch was one of the bands I was saddest about missing. I love Sourpatch with all of the heart and sincerity that I typically reserve for bands like Go Sailor & Tiger Trap and why shouldn't I? Sourpatch is a self-described "four piece 90's pop-worship ensemble" and counts both Go Sailor and Tiger Trap among their major influences.
Sourpatch first stole my heart with a seven song demo on Where It's At Is Where You Are & followed up with an amazing album on Happy Happy Birthday To Me. Their latest, a 4 song EP (also released on HHBTM) seals the deal: this quartet makes perfect pop. "Deli Dream" and "Funny Inside" are sweet and sentimental, but not overly cute or cloying. "Sky is Falling" is a slight change of pace with male vocals, a guitar solo, & some slightly dissonant guitar noises/feedback, but it's just as catchy and heartfelt as the EP's first two tracks. "Into You," a 1 minute and 30 second indie pop jam closes things out.
The EP's four songs clock in at 7 minutes and 24 seconds, but the impressions of the songs linger much longer than their actual run time and it's not hard at all to find yourself wanting to start it over right from the beginning.
mira mija is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me. It has a beautiful screen printed sleeve and each 7" comes with a digital download. It's not up for order on the site just yet, but should be soon. If you can't be bothered to wait, Jigsaw has some available now & Chris is lightning quick when it comes to shipping things.
Check out the video for the 7"s lead track, "Deli Dream," below:
Sourpatch's full-length album (ALSO GREAT!) is available from HHBTM & you can check out more of their jams on MySpace.
Kevin Greenspoon, "Carpool Pepsi" (DOWNLOAD)
Cloud Nothings, "I Apologize" (DOWNLOAD)
I know, I know, I just wrote about that Bridgetown Records summer batch of releases, but I came home from work the other day & there was a copy of a new Bridgetown release sitting on my porch and I couldn't not write about it, especially when it's so good. The latest from Bridgetown is Kevin Greenspon + Cloud Nothings, a 10 song CD-split featuring 5 new songs from both of the featured artists. Drew and I listened to the split together in the car last night and since then I've listened to it four times at my desk -- honestly, it gets better every time.
I've been trying to think about how to talk about this album, because I am really bad at descriptive language and talking about what things sound like in concrete terms that will help someone to actually understand what they actually sound like, and most of the time the best I can do is to cobble together some weird story that doesn't actually make any sense but is maybe at least interesting.
So here is a story that will probably not tell you anything about what this split actually sounds like: When I was a senior in college, I went on a brief string of dates (maybe dates? maybe not dates?) with a guy a few years older than me who worked as an in-home portrait photographer and who drove all over rural poor communities in southwestern Ohio and southeastern Indiana taking pictures of people who wanted to have something to remind them of what they worked so hard for. He lived in a studio apartment in Cincinnati and on our first (non-)date we drove around for miles listening to this cassette tape of dissonant pop music and I had never heard of any of the bands on it because by the time I was a senior in college I was emotionally numb and spent all of my free time listening "Dead Set On Destruction" by Husker Du and "History Lesson Part II" by Minutemen on repeat, I was too embarrassed to ask who any of the bands were, but I feel like these songs would have been a perfect fit.
These ten songs sound exactly like that time in my life -- speedy, hazy, disoriented, but with this strong undercurrent of youth and vitality and melody. These songs sound like the hour long drive home at two in the morning -- like going 70mph in the pitch black dark, sometimes in the rain, sometimes in the snow, sometimes with the windows down -- unsure if I am headed away from something or towards something, only sure that I am moving.
If you need something a little less "ripped from the closing monologue of an episode of My So-Called Life," this split is 18 minutes and 26 seconds of amazing lo-fi pop music. Kevin Greenspon is based in California and Cloud Nothings are right here in Cleveland, OH, so this CD crosses the country and bridges the haze of the Pacific coast with the scum of the post-industrial midwest.
You can pick this up on CD from Bridgetown for $8 (it's in an edition of just 250 copies, so if you want it, don't hesitate to pick it up.) It's also available on cassette from cass/flick (UK) for £4.99+shipping.
Kevin Greenspon, "Carpool Pepsi" (DOWNLOAD)
Cloud Nothings, "I Apologize" (DOWNLOAD)