Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Good Links...

I was contacted by the gent who runs Indie Interviews recently so I went and checked out his site. Pretty good stuff. Lots of interesting interviews with good bands. The interview with Johnathon from Shearwater is quite good and I'm looking forward to hearing the recent interview with The Baptist Generals because I hear the singer/songwriter guy is a bit unstable and that always makes for a good interview. Speaking of interviews check this article out regarding some of the worst interviews in rock history

The Weakerthans...

Nothing super new today, but the kids in the Weakerthans have been rockin' my iPod pretty hard lately. I liked Left And Leaving quite a bit but for some reason I didn't buy the follow up Resconstruction Site for some reason and, honestly, I don't remember why. Recently Ian Mathers wrote this very good piece for Stylus about the Weakerthans song "Aside". It got me to digging up L&L and then to download Reconstruction Site from eMusic. Man, I really missed the boat with Reconstruction Site. It just tickles my musical funny bone. It's been on heavy rotation for about a 11 days now and given my incredibly short musical attention span (I think that's why I like EPs so much) that's quite an accomplishment. So now I ask you to do the same. The Weakerthans rock in a semi-emo, semi-political always melodic way. There's even hints of country seeping out the speakers on Reconstruction Site. Really strong record and very recommended.

from Reconstruction Site:

Plea From A Cat Named Virtue

from Left And Leaving:


Friday, August 26, 2005

Minus The Bear...

Hi my name's Peter and I'm a lazy blogger. I've just been busy actually. But I've been digging on this Minus The Bear record Menos El Oso. I hadn't heard about these guys until a few weeks ago, but supposedly their last record was pretty knockin' as well. I can't speak to the veracity of said knockedness but Menos El Oso has been cranked loudly in my car mucho lately. It's a strange mix of emo, math rock, and pop. I think I described it to someone as semi-math rock-emo-avant flair. It's technically accomplished music which is actually something that usually turns me off (I think that's from sharing an office with an obsessed Steve Kimok fan for about 2 years); these guys can flat out play. It's melodic and loud, quirky, weird time changes, the vocals are a bit too smooth but not everyone can croak-emote like Will Scheff or Will Oldham or Joe Pernice. Definitely meant to be played loudly.

from Menos El Oso:


The Game Needed Me

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Thee More Shallows...

I've been knee deep in this band lately. Mostly because I was reviewing their currennt record More Deep Cuts, but even if I wasn't reviewing it I'd be listening to it. It's a really strong sophomore effort. I'll spare you all my usual mouth running since you can read the review if you're really curious. Instead I'll just give you some important things to think about.

Important thing #1 - Their label is Turn Records. Home of The Dying Calfornian amongst other fine bands Turn keeps churning out the good stuff.

Important thing #2 - You won't be able to easily and conveniently categorize More Deep Cuts. It's operating on too many disparate levels at one time.

Important thing the last - With 3 years between their debut and this record who knows how long it will be before these perfection minded kids give us another record. So get on this now.

from More Deep Cuts:

Freshman Thesis

2 AM

Friday, August 19, 2005


ALL HAIL MAZARIN!!! I have no idea what the name means but it just sounds really cool to yell that. While the name may invoke satan worshipping metal heads (or is it just me?) the music couldn't be more different. Mazarin are a Philadelphia based band that have (to my knowledge) two records out. The Tall-Tale Storyline was released in 2001 and is a damn near perfect set of indie pop songs touched with a bit of psychedelia and space rock tendencies; Pitchfork gave the record good props if you tend to put much credence in what they say.

So here we are in 2005 and all I got to say is, ALL HAIL MAZARIN!!! Yell it. Go on. The new record is We're Already There and is a must hear. If you enjoy, for the most part, the music posted here at B & G then you will be consumed by this record. I don't mean to go overboard with the hyperbole but this record is, once again, about as perfect an indie pop record as you're likely to hear. This time around the boys add more drone to the sound, veering wonderfully close to Velvet Underground territory but still keeping their pop wits about them. It's a listen and a half.

Both records are excellent and fall into my can't miss category. If you listen you will like. It's damn near impossible to decide which songs to post but here we go:

2 songs from 2001's The Tall-Tale Storyline:


Suicide Will Make You Happy

1 song from the recently released We're Already There:

I'll See You In The Evening

Check em out over HERE

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Southeast Engine...

Southeast Engine are fun. Not fun in the way you talk about a girl or guy that you hang around with but is too fat to consider dating. I mean fun in the sense that they make you want to tap your feet and, if you're the sort, jump around the room and play lead singer with a flashlight as a microphone. They can introspective and quiet. They can be loud and bouncy. They are good at both. They're from Athens, OH (no, not Georgia) and remind me a lot of Okkervil River for some reason that I can't really put my finger on.

Good stuff though.

2 songs from their most recent CD Coming To Terms With Gravity:

Holy Ghost

I'm Never Sure

You can pick up this fine disc at Miles Of Music

Monday, August 15, 2005

Great Lakes Swimmers...

Great Lake Swimmers current eponymously title album has been in pretty heavy rotation here at Bars & Guitars for the last couple of months, so I have to say that I was pretty stoked when Misra Records sent me an advance copy of their forthcoming record Bodies And Minds I was pretty stoked. The record can be ordered from the Misra site now, but it won't be released until October here in the US.

Great Lake Swimmers have really expanded the sonic pallette with this record. Where as Great Lake Swimmers is a moody somber record that's just a touch more than voice and acoustic guitar, Bodies And Minds fills out the sound pushing the song into more recent Sam Beam territory. It still has a very down home vibe (though minus the recorded in a grain silo schtick) that's anchored by Tony Dekker's warbling voice. It's an assured follow up that'll turn some heads far beyond the Iron & Wine, Devendra, Sufjan Stevens crowd.

1 song from Bodies And Minds:

When It Flows

Friday, August 12, 2005

Sin Ropas...

I wrote about Sin Ropas quite a while back. Their album Trickboxes On The Pony Line is as fine an album as you're likely to hear. It's a twisted country/pop album only 8 songs in length but packed with so much power that it makes you step back from the speakers. I've been thinking and listening to Sin Ropas alot because I've pondering the idea of a category of music called "psych-folk" or "countridelic" or, well, you get the idea. I've been listening to Phosphorescent, Sin Ropas, and Lowlights a lot lately and what catches my ear is how these bands take the notion of traditional country music or Americana and kind of turn it on its ear. All three of those bands have this wonderful way of taking traditional song structure and sounds doing something that just totally takes you away from what's expected, be it a found sound, a reverb laden feedback heavy guitar, the crackle of vinyl, a toy piano, etc. It's sound that's just been captivating me lately. I think it goes back to my love of Sparklehorse and the twisted things he did with his songs.

Anyway if you've never checked out Sin Ropas you really should. Trick Boxes on the Pony L:ine is a uniformly excellent record. They've got lots of mp3s on their site. You can order it HERE

1 song from Trick Boxes on the Pony L:ine:


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Long Time No Post...

Hi, my name's Pete and I'm a lazy sod. No, not really. Well a little bit. I've been sick, antibiotics, etc. etc. and a general malaise due to the illness has spread over me rendering it near impossible for me to log in to Blogger and make a post. I'm feeling much better now (thanks for asking), so I'll get back on to a more regularly scheduled situation. I've been listening to an awful lot of music lately so I'm not quite sure where to start, so how about a few comments first:

I've been meaning to pick up the Boy Least Likely To cd since it was reviewed at Pitchfork. It was a rare time when a Pitchfork review actually made me want to buy something and not strangle the reviewer. I'm a little underwhelmed. It sounds like The Housemartins if they'd grown up in the American South. Maybe it'll grow on me.

I've had a couple of reviews up recently if you're interested:

Faris Nourallah - King Of Swedenj

Buckern & Langford - Sir Dark Invader vs. The Fanglord

Most recently and the subject of today's post is Richmond Fontaine's The Fitzgerald.

This record is unlike other Richmond Fontaine records. While earlier efforts earned the band comparisons to The Replacements, The Fitzgerald is a quiet understated affair that focuses on songwriter Willy Vlautin's intense small town character studies. It's definitely more a folk record than a rock record. The whole band dynamic rarely comes into play except on a few songs. It's very claustrophobic in a lot of ways, not that the instrumentation is dense in a wall of sound way but more like the lighting in a casino bar. It's hard to describe but even the spare voice and guitar numbers feel dense. It's a brooding record and it's quite good if you go in for that kind of thing.

2 songs from The Fitzgerald:

Incident At Conklin Creek

Exit 194B

You can purchase here as an import.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

The Exit...

The Exit are from New York and play a ragged punked up pop that sounds way more like Husker Du or The Replacements than Blink 182 or Harvey Danger. It's all about loud, pogo inducing guitars. I've found their EP to be inconsistent but when they're on it, it rocks good. I guess that means there's potential for their forthcoming album Home For An Island to one of those rare rock records that rocks without genre or a self-conscious nod to what they know they're ripping off.

I like this song from the EP:

Let's Go To Haiti

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The Real Tuesday Weld...

I can't claim to be passionate about The Real Tuesday Weld, I'm more lukewarm appreciative. In fact I had no contact or knowledge at all of the band until about 7 months ago when I friend of mine put 3 songs of theirs on a mix he gave me. It's decent music, kind of dreamy and far away, the lead singer has a sultry smooth voice, the production is sterling, tight and clear. I don't usually go in for this style of music, but there is something nice about it at certain times. It fits very well as background music (I really don't mean that negatively), dinner conversation music, long drive music. It swirls like creamy pudding fresh off the stove. It's advanced pop music, meaning that the compositions are still very much based in pop structure (verse, chorus, verse, strongly melodic) but infused with beat and ambient tones. The band is currently using a blog to support the release of their record The Clerkenwell Kid.

From the blog site, which is well done and well written with lots of interesting stories that (presumably) relate to the songs on the record, you can stream the record or download some individual tracks. Cool way to get people interested in hearing the record.

from the The Clerkenwell Kid (released on June 21):

Something Beautiful