Monday, December 1, 2014

Musical Advent Calendar 2014 Day 1 - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Days Of Abandon
May 13th YEBO Music

Between their sophomore and junior release, PoBPaH have ditched the Smashing Pumpkins drenched radio guitar rock of Belong (thankfully) along with  an integral band mate (sadly). This is not a complete return to the lo-fi, Slumberland inspired sound we fell in love with back in those salad days of aught-9. Days of Abandon takes all the great stuff from their debut and Higher than the Stars EP and polishes with tricks learned from rubbing Flood's bald head.

Kip's vocals and delivery can be a bit much for the faint of heart, new member Kelly Pratt (replacing Betty Wang) offers a reprieve, taking lead on two of the best tracks. If you pissed and moaned about their previous releases lacking "innovation"... despite the glossy production this one might not change your mind. For the rest of us who cry ourselves to sleep twice a month spooning a photo album of ex-lovers...this one is for you!

Okay, 24 more to go. Bloggers promise.

My SCATHING review of Belong : link
My WSJR interview with Kip back in 2009: link

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Frank Politics! Three steps to ending gun violence...

If I became president the first three things I would do are enact the following edicts...

1. Every school (public and university) must spend at least twice as much on mental health services as they do on sport programs.

2. Convert at least half of the churches in the US to mental health facilities.

3. Make all guns illegal. Citizens can exchange their firearms for tasers, baseball bats, pepper spray or other non lethal defense.

Did I miss any? Please continue the list in the comments.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Musical Advent Calendar Day Seven - Beachwood Sparks : Tarnished Gold

After an excruciating eleven year hiatus Beachwood Sparks return to the always barren psychedelic country indie pop scene. I know there are many "roots rock" or "alterna-country" or "shit kicking pop dust bowl ballad" type bands out there but no other contemporary band captures the feeling of the Sweetheart era Byrds like Sparks. They don't just emulate but build upon the style, stripping away the linear storytelling of later era Byrds and infusing it with early Byrds songwriting.  So glad to see them back.

Musical Advent Calendar Day Six - Magnetic Fields : Love at the Bottom of the Sea

Big surprise the new Magnetic Fields album is amazing.  Unlike Distortion and Realism which each musically tackled their respective titularity, Love gets back to the sythn/acoustic swap of their earlier work. More of the same? Yes, but no one writes a song like Stephen Merritt and the world continues to become a lonelier place. We need all the bitter sarcasm we can get.