Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bored Spies - Summer 720

Seeing Bitch Magnet with the mighty Moss Icon (who were pretty fucking amazing, by the way, both then and in retrospect) last year reminded me what a mark I have been for Soo Young Park over the years. In the wake of that show, I've favorably revisited most of my favorite SYP projects over the last few months (Seam, Korea Girl, Ee), but soon they were laid fallow again in the wake of six week Greg Dulli bender JS-NYC has been on of late.

As Soo Young lives in Singapore currently, it seemed like last Fall's run of shows was going to mark the end of any active music project for Park and the other members of Bitch Magnet, but earlier this week a tweet from Henry Owings alerted me/us to the presence of a new band with BM drummer Orestes and Park (as Panther Lau) with Seoul-based singer-guitarist Cherie Ko called Bored Spies. Not sure how the band rehearses and records given they live in three different countries, but regardless, Summer 720 is the first release from the trio and it's pretty damn good, featuring two very 90's indie rock dream pop chestnuts. The elastic Bitch Magnet rhythm section is melded to breathily assured yet unaffected vocals from Ko to make some serious ear candy. Evidently, a full-length looms ominously in our future. JS-NYC is excited.

Get the Summer 720 here for less than two beans US.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Dakota Suite - An Almost Silent Life

For almost as long as I've been an American Music Club fan, Red House Painters and Dakota Suite have been recommended to me by likeminded angst aficionados. RHP have been kind of hit and miss for me post-Down Colorful Hill, but Dakota Suite have always resonated. There is a strong argument to be made that the attraction is one stemming from the everyday contrarian JS-NYC nature and the fact that I'm pretty sure DS have never made it stateside for live shows, but regardless driving force Chris Hooson is definitely one to be held in the same stead as Mssrs. Eitzel and Kozelek.

Dakota Suite sport a cinematic chamber music vibe, spartanly beautiful and often underpinned by strings. An Almost Silent Life is a little less dark than its predecessors, but tracks like I Know Your Desolate Places and I Recoiled So Violently I Almost Disappeared stand very little chance of being reinterpreted on Glee. Not that that is in anyway a bad thing. If you like your music darkly beautiful or enjoy viewing other people darkness from an outside perspective, you can far few more darkly compelling artists than Chris Hooson and Dakota Suite.

If you're in the EU, look for some incarnation of Dakota Suite on tour in the coming weeks. Doesn't look like North America will be part of the promo experience, but keep track of their goings-on here at their official web presence.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Live: Nude Beach at Mercury Lounge 1.17.13

Nude Beach came on my radar a couple years ago when they played an in-store at Generation Records. The trio impressed me with their straight-forward rock leanings that were charmingly bereft of the Brooklyn douchebaggery that raises my old guy hackles at thirty paces. I can't say I foresaw them opening the gang of dates for Roky Erickson they scored last year, but more power to them.

I posted up as Nude Beach were settling in and the rock commenced in straight order. The singer kid is straight out of CBs in the 70s, albeit perhaps without the substance abuse issues. They romped through a little more than a half-hour of honest three chord rock that seemed more than a little indebted to The Figgs. Drinks were consumed, asses were moving and the crowd could safely be accused of having been rocked. I would venture that we'll see the gents on this side of the water again soon.

Look for a review of the reissued II soon and keep track of day to day Nude Beach goings-on here.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Live: MiniBoone with Pretty & Nice at Mercury Lounge 1.11.13

While the love from JS-NYC for Mercury Lounge is both longstanding and unabashed, an early show on a Friday night at 217 Houston is frosting on the rock and roll beater. It's always a pleasure not to have to ride over the bridge to Brooklyn in winter months, but more importantly, I like me some MiniBoone and the drummer has moved his sartorial and tonsorial tendencies from Let It Be to House Of The Holy, making it that much easier to look at him/attend his shows. The band has a new face in the bass slot and has a lot of potential goodness in the breach for 2013, including a new record with the good folk of Ernest Jennings.

I rolled up and got some quality beer time in with said MB skinsman and estimable drummer about town Jim Wood before we caught the Pretty & Nice set. The gents are from Boston and have a sort of Talking Heads/Modern Lovers thing going on that didn't really rock my world, but I am old and cranky and they definitely drew, so take that with a grain of salt. The lovely Marta de The Meaning Of Live showed and indulged me a healthy amount of bass nerdery and we all posted up front and center for the MiniBoone extravaganza. The set was tight as per usual, yet surprising bereft of side kicking from the crew, but asses were a-shaking and good times seem to be had by most. I'm excited to hear what the discriminating rockers about this fair country think about the boys. I understand there is a fairly ambitious touring schedule in the offing, including SXSW, so look out for the record and this merry band of miscreants in a town near you very soon.

Keep track of Mini-Boone here.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Live: Graham Parker and The Rumour with The Figgs at The Society For Ethical Culture 12.1.12

I had forgotten about this show, initially owing to the high ticket price and having seen the first (albeit then-without Brinsley Schwartz and Andrew Bodnar) Rumour reunion show at the dear departed Lakeside Lounge. I also figured it would be without The Figgs, as Ian Hunter had been playing the shows previous. I was wrong on the second point, but was pleased to get an 11th hour call from Pete and score some guest list.

I rolled in and posted up front and center as America's Finest Rock BandTM launched into their aces but far too brief half-hour set. Said Society For Ethical Culture seemed an odd choice for either of the bands, what with its pewlike seating and high ceilings but the boys were in good form, hitting some of the high points of the most recent double record The Day Gravity Stopped, peppered with some choice deep cuts from the back catalog.

As the Figgs set drew towards its close and more and more tony people were escorted by ushers to positions around me, it became pretty obvious that I was occupying some real estate that was soon going to be awkwardly challenged, perhaps to the detriment of my future Figgs guest listdom. Upon investigation, I came to find that I was correct and not in the front row. In fact, I didn't even have a seat at all, as despite there being no general admission area, I was in possession of a standing ticket. Didn't make a lot of sense, but I managed to be unobtrusive for a pretty aces hour-plus set that went two encores and included a pretty comprehensive run through a gang of enthusiastically received Rumour classics. Not too many spring chickens in the audience (or on the stage for that matter) , but one hell of a good set. GP and The Rumour are featured prominently in the new Judd Apatow film. It's going to be very interesting to see what it does for the Rumour in 2013.

Check the set list below and check out the new Rumour record Three Chords Good.


  1. Encore:
  2. Encore 2:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Twilight Sad - No One Can Ever Know tour EP

The gents from Glasgow have been spoiling us of late, dropping the new record and a remix version thereof, then bringing a tour only EP for the Stateside dates. The EP compiles six alt versions and demos in high quality digital form that is the perfect thing for the obsessive-compulsive music blogger in your life, all with charming homespun packaging.

I dig it a lot and am pretty sure all the tracks here are now available digitally for those that were/are unable to get this via a merch table. While nothing here is indispensable, it is undoubtably quality and perhaps a little more palatable for the average fan than the bloops and blorps of the remix record (look for a review soonish).


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Jawbreaker - Bivouac reissue

Ah, Jawbreaker! While we continue the waiting game for the documentary, Adam and his Blackball Records have continued the Jawbreaker reissue initiative by releasing a remastered version of the second full-length to commemorate the two decades that have elapsed since its initial release on Communion/Tupelo.

I'm not going to stoop to the level of telling you why you should be buying this record, but will inform the uninformed that the non-album tracks that previously appeared on the Chesterfield King 12" are included, along with period photographs and art mockups in booklet form.  Sweating collector nerds should be informed that said 12" is also available again. Bivouac is also available in oversized black circular form, should you be so inclined.

Step lively. Here's a link to the Blackball web presence.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Frank Turner - Last Minutes and Lost Evenings

I came a little late to the Frank Turner party, but after picking my jaw off the floor and wrapping my head around a new artist in the 21st Century popping up on Kimmel and shouting out the punks and skins with equal parts credibility and skill, I drank the Kool-Ade like it was getting funneled down my pencil neck. 2011's England Keep My Bones proved to be pretty aces, as were the increasingly frequent NYC shows behind it.

Judging by his Twitter feed, our dear Mr. Turner sure does get around. He does ok on this side of the pond, but over UK/Europe way, he's a bona fide phenomenon. 2012 was very good to our hero, seeing the young man from Wessex selling out Wembley (Arena) and appearing at the opening ceremony for this year's Olympics. He's signed to Epitaph stateside, and Mr. Brett and co. have levied this little catch-all slab of delight on the heels of England Keep My Bones to get everyone in the US up to speed before a new record drops this Summer.

I had initially thought that Last Minutes and Lost Evenings was a live record. Evidently the UK version has a DVD of the live show from Wembley packaged with it, but this version is pretty much a primer for the new Turner marks that don't have the import First and Second Three Years comps. I'd like to see the live show, but the fifteen tracks here are more than worth the price of admission, starting with I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous and romping through to the closing live take on Ballad Of Me And My Friends. Often spoken of in the same breath as far inferior units like The Asslight Anthem, but with far better songs and the ability to win over opening slots for the likes of Social Distortion and Dropkick Murphys, Frank Turner is to be checked out immediately if you haven't already.

Get Last Minutes and Lost Evenings here from the Epi-punks and keep track of our jet-setting Mr. Turner and his Sleeping Souls here.