upcoming release

33 1/3 editor Ally Jane Grossan talks about the series’ past and future

Posted in books, interview, upcoming events, upcoming release on September 10th, 2014 by Nick – Be the first to comment

333 spines
For those who love music and books, there’s nothing finer than Bloomsbury’s critically acclaimed 33 1/3, which examines individual, seminal albums, in pocket books that pack a punch. The 33 1/3 series celebrates its 100th book, on Michael Jackson’s Dangerous, on Thursday, September 11 and will be having a party for its 10th anniversary on Thursday, October 2, at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn.

Ally Jane Grossan is a commissioning editor at Bloomsbury. She edits academic books in the realms of pop music and sound studies and is editor of the 33 1/3 series, taking over from founding editor David Barker in November 2012. She is also co-editor of the forthcoming textbook, How to Write About Music. We spoke with Grossan via e-mail about the series and its history.
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Poole’s “Vampira” an interesting biography of the horror host, but thin on details

Posted in books, movies, reviews, streaming audio / video, tv, upcoming release, video on June 19th, 2014 by Nick – Be the first to comment

book cover - vampiraSoft Skull Press always presents a unique twist with its biographies or memoirs. It’s never just a straightforward history of the titular individual, but rather an analysis of the environment which produced the subject. In the case of W. Scott Poole‘s Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror, the author uses the ’50s horror host as an entry point to discussing the era’s social mores and how the woman born Maila Nurmi challenged the status quo.

The author has a wealth of information on which to draw. Sadly, little of it is regarding Vampira herself. There’s minimal evidence of her television program, and what remains of her work is, essentially, bit parts in a few films. The thing for which she garnered her initial acclaim exists only anecdotally, leading to a great amount of speculation on Poole’s part.
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Four new Slovenly singles from The Anomalys, PUFF!, Thee MVPs, and Useless Eaters

Posted in garage rock, punk, reviews, upcoming release, vinyl on June 11th, 2014 by Nick – 1 Comment

Three upcoming singles from Slovenly Records, as well as one (PUFF!) on their new imprint, Mondo Mongo. These all came into my inbox at the same time, so they’re all getting reviewed simultaneously. Each review was limited to a certain amount of space, and I kept to that, in the interest of brevity.

THE ANOMALYS -Deadline Blues- EP - coverThe Anomalys“Deadline Blues” b/w “No More!”

Ignore the a-side, which is pretty rote, even though there’s a nice reverb on the guitar tone. The vocals are so high up in the mix as to irritate, especially given the tone-deaf delivery. The crazed drumming and insistent background vocals on “No More!” make it the far more interesting track on here. It’s frantic and the surf bridge makes it completely danceable. You can freak the fuck out on that one.
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Kippi’s Daniel Mana on the band’s upcoming Sickroom Records debut

Posted in interview, rock 'n' roll, upcoming album, upcoming release on March 18th, 2014 by Nick – Be the first to comment

kippis
Due out next week from Sickroom Records is the debut release from Italian trio Kippi’s, entitled Semplice Como Nuvole. It’s a fascinating combination of motorik post-punk rhythms and psychedelic influences. The whole album is frankly hypnotic. Coming as it does right as the weather’s warming up, we can see this getting a lot of windows down, volume up play around the house, and especially in the car. We were lucky enough to get to ask frontman Daniel Mana a few questions about the band and their album via e-mail.
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Potpourri of Pearls, “We Went to Heaven”

Posted in electronic, indie, reviews, upcoming album, upcoming events, upcoming release, video on January 24th, 2014 by Nick – Be the first to comment

cover - potpourri of pearls we went to heavenPotpourri of PearlsWe Went to Heaven has been playing down here in the basement, in the living room, at work, and various places over the past week. I’ve been trying to figure out if my initial impressions of it being amazing and weird have held up to repeated listens.

Honestly, the first time I listened to We Went to Heaven, the whole ’80s worship thing was a fun angle — especially the fact they were lifting Erasure, making this a refreshing switch from bands who’ve been swiping New Order’s sound for the better part of two decades.
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Adventures / Run Forever, “Split” EP

Posted in indie, punk, reviews, upcoming release, vinyl on January 15th, 2014 by Nick – Be the first to comment

cover - adventures run forever splitPairing Adventures with Run Forever is such a ridiculously perfect idea, it’s basically one of those “shut up and take my money!” releases. Adventures’ dreamy indie pop has a certain angular melodicism to it that hints at part of the band’s involvement with Code Orange Kids. It especially comes out in the feedback-drenched ends to their songs.

Run Forever, however, works it a little differently. Rather than fading out their songs, they opt for epic intros, leading into harmonies suited perfectly for lifted hands and heartfelt sing-alongs. The bands compliment one another, and they’re both on the rise, so why wouldn’t the two acts come together?
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Ex Friends, “Rules For Making Up Words” LP

Posted in punk, reviews, rock 'n' roll, streaming audio / video, upcoming release, vinyl on January 9th, 2014 by Nick – 2 Comments

cover - ex friends rulesWe’ve talked about asthetics I’m not down with before — the whole Hot Water Music thing being beyond my comprehension, for example — and I’m trying to figure out what it is about Ex Friends‘ full-length, Rules For Making Up Words, that turns me off.

Just a few months back, I was excited beyond all belief regarding their Twisted Around 7-inch. Now, listening to this record that they’ve released on Paper + Plastick, I’m just kind of watching it tick by in iTunes, waiting for the damned thing to be over.

For lack of a better thing, I think it’s kind of like my Dillinger Four preferences. I love D4 songs with Paddy on vocals, and get kind of ambivalent toward Erik songs, but I’m pretty all right with songs where they both sing. Same thing goes for Ex Friends — I love Audrey Crash‘s vocals, but am kind of turned off by Joel Tannenbaum‘s delivery.
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Nightmare Boyzzz, “Bad Patterns” LP

Posted in garage rock, punk, reviews, rock 'n' roll, upcoming release, vinyl on November 12th, 2013 by Nick – 2 Comments

cover - nightmare boyzzz bad patternsOh, man — can power-pop be the next big thing in underground rock ‘n’ roll? We got the ball rolling with the Exploding Hearts, Missing Monuments, and Mean Jeans, but it hasn’t seemed to become a “thing” like lo-fi, shitgaze, or whatever. However, given that we’ve got the #1s getting released in the states, and this Nightmare Boyzzz LP hitting about the same time, I’m hopeful.

Bad Patterns, out in two weeks on Slovenly Recordings, is truly wonderful. I’ve been returning to it more and more over the last week or so, and with each listen, I find something new to like about it. Granted, it’s not like these Huntsville boys are breaking out for new territory with this release. It hearkens back to quite a few other artists, taking pop-punk’s energy and the bouncy guitar rhythms of glam, and merging them with any number of early ’80s acts that came on the heels of the Buzzcocks and the Undertones.
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Acid Mothers Temple and Space Paranoid, “Black Magic Satori” LP

Posted in covers, reviews, rock 'n' roll, upcoming release, vinyl on October 1st, 2013 by Nick – Be the first to comment

cover - acid mothers temple black magic satoriAcid Mothers Temple and Space Paranoid is the latest, umpteenth version of the Japanese psychedelic rock collective, and on this go-’round, Black Magic Satori, it’s less psych and more doom. I mean, seriously: DOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

No, but really: there’s some super down-tempo Black Sabbath love on this LP — “Black Sabbth” the song, specifically, right down to the ringing bell. On the title track, “Black Magic Satori,” Acid Mothers Temple and Space Paranoid takes the sound out of the grave and into outer space, courtesy of Higashi Hiroshi‘s madman synths.
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Josh Berwanger, “Strange Stains” LP

Posted in reviews, rock 'n' roll, upcoming release, vinyl on September 30th, 2013 by Nick – 2 Comments

11183_JKTHandclaps. Sing-alongs. Jangly guitars. It’s been weird to hear Josh Berwanger‘s songs on develop live over the last year or so, and then hear them in their final, polished form on Strange Stains. Some of the songs here are so much different that it almost takes a moment to get what you’re listening to.

“Mary,” for instance, has this chunky guitar riff live that, on album, becomes strummed acoustic guitar. It goes from power-pop to something almost folksy in its recorded form — all stomps and hanclaps. While that power-pop live version is killer, the folksy rendention just shows the strength of Berwanger’s songs — the presentation can change entirely, and I’ll still love ‘em.
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