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Rock

The Castells – Young Lovers

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If the excellent jagged “Young Lovers”, the latest single from Durham UK band The Castells, is any indication – we will be hearing a lot more from them in the very near future. Somebody get Zane Lowe this track!

The Castells england (Facebook) (Twitter)

Rating 8.0

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reviewed by
10-12-11

French Films – You Don’t Know

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Listen to “You Don’t Know” and try to guess where French Films are from. Manchester? No. London? No. Dublin? Nope. Finland! French Films are Finnish and are really good. “You Don’t Know” is a great (albeit brief, the track clocks in under 2 minutes) slice of hooky modern post punk. Sound good? Give French Films a spin.

French Films – You Don’t Know

French Films finland (Facebook) (Myspace)

Rating 8.0

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reviewed by
10-12-11

Brice Woodall – Sea of Knives

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“Sea of Knives”, excerpted here from Chicago indie pop artist Brice Woodall’s “Id Escaped” EP, is one gorgeous stop-what-you’re-doing melody after another. Don’t sleep.

Brice Woodall – Sea of Knives

Brice Woodall illinois (Official) (Soundcloud)

Rating 8.0

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reviewed by
10-11-11

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

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The Swedish sisters Soderberg return with “Lion’s Roar”, excerpted here from the duo’s upcoming LP of the same name. FAK’s beautiful “Ghost Town” was one of our favorite tracks of 2010 and “Lion’s Roar” is right there in terms of quality. The tune is folky but also references dusty country western balladry, (Think Townes Van Zandt). The Lion’s Roar is due digitally November 8th.

First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar

First Aid Kit sweden (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.3

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reviewed by
10-11-11

Chapel Club – Waterlight Park (Demo)

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Writing chops have taken hold of the Chapel Club lads as heard in this latest demo released of their new track “Waterlight Park”. Previewed from the bands forthcoming sophomore LP, “Waterlight” stays true to the band’s taste in melodic dissonance while broadening out the music palette with a warmer, more soulful, less icy sea of dreamy instrumentation.

Chapel Club – Waterlight Park (Demo)

Chapel Club: england (Facebook)

Rating 8.0

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reviewed by
10-10-11

No Diavolo – Nuns

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No Diavolo give us a reason to listen to new music today with “Nuns”. Southern Florida rock duo combine the best of soulful music with choice hip-hop like vibes. We’re into it.

No Diavolo – Nuns

No Diavolo florida (Soundcloud) (Twitter)

Rating 8.2

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reviewed by
10-08-11

RAVE’S FAVES: Wild Flag – Romance

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Wild Flag from Portland consists of members from Sleater-Kinney, Helium, and The Minders. This is a cool, quirky, upbeat track that reminds me a bit of Fiery Furnaces. Contributed by Bruce Rave

Wild Flag – Romance oregon (Facebook)

Catch Bruce on Moheak Radio Fridays 1-3pm PST

reviewed by
10-06-11

The Peach Kings – Easy

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LA’s Peach Kings are our new favorite band. The joyful slow roll of “Easy” will melt you instantly. Do not sleep.

The Peach Kings – Easy

The Peach Kings california (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.7

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reviewed by
10-06-11

Nick Waterhouse & The Turn-keys – Some Place

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California-based, Nick Waterhouse & The Turn-keys’ “Some Place” puts a gritty, raw, and rhythmic spin on contemporary Jazz and R&B. The beginning vocals, reminiscent of the legendary Buddy Guy, are almost shriek-like and lets you know right away that you’re in for something special. The song has a loose and stirring flow and will have you putting your arm around your girlfriend/boyfriend in no time. Contributed by Trevor Meyer

Nick Waterhouse & The Turn-keys – Some Place

Nick Waterhouse & The Turn-keys california (Official) (Facebook)

Rating 8.2

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reviewed by
10-06-11

REVIEW: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Tape Club

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How many great songs does SSLYBY have to release before they become a regular part of that Best American Bands of The 2000’s conversation? Tape Club is a triumph. By deliberating staying away from their most popular tracks, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin has released a compilation equally representative of their talents, proving that their B and even C-sides are of great merit. The first half of the collection (through the Cobain meets bubblegum “Not Worth Fighting”) will be very familiar to fans of the group, mainly consisting of cuts from their first two pre-Broom EPs, Gwyn and Grace and Someone Still Loves You Michael Holt. “Let’s Get Tired” and “Song W & Song L” reside among their best work. “Lower The Gas Prices Howard Johnson”, an angsty yet innocent love song, could most easily have been inserted onto Broom. The Wilmington Demo of “Dead Right” is probably better than the original Pershing version on account of the warmer production and harmonies. “Cardinal Rules”, about the Springfield, MO minor league baseball team, and “We Can Win Missouri” explore the same issues of autochthony and personality of place as on “Yellow Missing Signs”. It would’ve been cool to see a live cut (they’ve been known to cover “Mr. Wendal”) or something from Daytrotter at least, but fortunately the collection has much of interest for even the most avid devotee. As for the SSLYBY neophyte, new bands will form on both sides of the Mississippi after listening to the 26 choice gems which comprise Tape Club. Contributed by Chris Gedos


Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Dead Right (Wilmington Demo)


Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Cardinal Rules

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin missouri (Official) (Bandcamp)

RATING: 8.8

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reviewed by
10-05-11

LIVE SHOW REVIEW: Girls / Nobunny / PAPA @ Lincoln Hall, Chicago 09/29/11

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Girls came to Lincoln Hall in Chicago last week to headline a show. You’re seeing these words, so I can assume you’re interested in this band. I’m interested in them too; I even like them and have for a little while now. Their new album came out last month, and that’s why this show happened.

A four piece named PAPA opened the show. Their name is in all caps. First of all, I have to tell you that they have a singing drummer. If I were you, I would really want to know that before anything else.
Aside from the fascination I have with the sheer phenomenon of the singing drummer, Darren Weiss immediately snapped feeling into the room. With accents from organ and electric guitar, the rhythm section drove every number forward without coming close to sacrificing a song’s pace. Each tune carried a simultaneously pulsing, easy, and forceful tone. “Ain’t It So” hung with me throughout the set. I don’t want to be that guy that names other acts, but I was thinking Walkmen and the Band at various times throughout the set. What may be an unusual sentiment during an opening band, I never found myself waiting for PAPA to stop playing.

Nobunny came on stage next. You know he wears a rabbit mask and no pants, right? Anyway, there’s this place across the street that has a pretty decent Mexican hamburger with avocado. I opted for waffle fries on the side. It was really good.

You may have seen pictures or videos of Girls’ recent performances. No gospel choir showed up, but keeping with tradition for this tour, rainbowed bouquets of flowers lay across amps and hung from all mic stands. The two constant members, front man Christopher Owens and instrumentalist JR White, walked on stage backed by none other than good ol’ PAPA.

They tumbled right into the show leading off with “Laura” off their first record. Not my first guess or preference, but after ten seconds it sunk in and carried on as the perfect choice. A not-so-fast, jangly start felt just right and led into the rest of things. After a short lull, “Honey Bunny” and “Alex” came next. Probably two of the best songs on the new album, they sounded tighter and more energetic than
I would’ve imagined them being on stage. Not bad! But wait it gets a little better right here.

After another healthy dose of forced banter and tuning after the first lump of songs, Girls let loose with the acapella intro to the album’s yearning soul track, “Love Life.” The plaintive jam immediately pulled everyone together in attention. Smiles and nodding abounded. I do want to pause and tell you that Christopher was wearing blousy, caramel colored corduroys topped with a denim shirt. All white oversized Air Force Ones completed the ensemble. Song after song, he poured himself into each number while seeming genuinely somewhere just short of disinterested and careless. During instrumental breaks, Owens writhed and twisted away from the microphone doing a ‘luuded-out Bo Diddley type thing; I was feeling it.

Compared to what was sitting on Girls’ two albums, these performed versions seemed to care nothing about their recorded counterparts. The songs were unfurling, new things unto themselves, and they looked and sounded killer. “Die” is the guitary, soaring, rock track on Father, Son, Holy Ghost; I normally flip past it. As both guitars started into the live version, out rolled galloping, crunchy harmonies. It sounded completely right. It wasn’t quite what one would expect from the wistful, druggy, west coast rock dudes, but it leapt out and left everybody full and grinning. During the focused mess, Owens stood upright with unusually good posture strumming sometimes aimlessly, and occasionally earnestly and haphazardly. His face was about two feet right of the microphone, but his lips casually mouthed “Ba ba bas” while he pointed half-closed eyes in no specific direction. You could tell these songs were supposed to be like this.

From that point there were five or six more songs. The band seemed less and less keen to be playing for the people watching them. I can’t really blame them; there were a lot of girlfriends-rubbing-their-boyfriends-back-during-the-show type of folks. You know, the people who actually make it into the show that sells out early. Yeah, bummer. Some of the last songs got iffy. “Hellhole Ratrace,” the hazy, slow building (and best) track off the Girls’ first album, was played in its entirety. But it was also done in half the time. And with that, their forced encore, the band left the stage.

I don’t think I would’ve preferred a show that built to multiple crescendos brimming with smiling musicians that gave the crowd compliments in between applause. Girls aren’t a flawless band, and they don’t have a flawless sound. They stick with you by way of all their nicely bent corners and familiar frayed edges. Why would we want anything less when they stood right in front of you? Contributed by John Ennis. Photos by Joe Annoreno and John Ennis.

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Girls california (Myspace)
Nobunny california (Myspace) (Facebook)
PAPA california (Twitter) (Facebook)

reviewed by
10-05-11