♫Makin' a soundtrack for another planet to hear♫ on Episode111 - Mental Radio which features brand new sounds from The Faint, Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, Caught A Ghost, Mimicking Birds, Tele Novella, Architecture in Helsinki, Family Crest, Dolly Parton, Sturgill Simpson, Actual Wolf, HTRK, Young Magic, Built To Spill and Mudhoney...
Previous: Episode110 - Smokin'
♬Liner Notes♬: It's Memorial Day weekend and, as Sasquatch rocks the Pacific Northwest, we're gonna rock some of the best new music this side of summer. Favorites like The Faint, Sean Lennon, Dolly Parton, Built To Spill and Mudhoney sizzle alongside Architecture In Helsinki, Caught A Ghost, Actual Wolf and much more!
Notes: "Before modern, synthy dance rock came into vogue, before dubstep, even before The Postal Service, teens looking for something to satisfy both their us-vs.-them, heartbroken moodiness and the need to dance like crazy people had the dark new wave of The Faint. The Faint made it cool for hipsters to dance in the late ’90s, and for that we thank them. 1999′s Blank-Wave Arcade and 2001′s Danse Macabre were indie dance night staples... There is a good chance that The Faint won’t be making many new fans from Doom Abuse. The lyrical content is the same paranoid, anti-establishment apocalypse they’ve been writing since Dance Macabre, and while the music is a shift back to the grime that was absent from Fasciinatiion, it’s still The Faint holding to their new wave revival." Fuckin' finally! After six long years, one of my favorite bands is back with a new full-length on a new label and I hope to be interviewing them when they come to town on May 31st! Stay tuned!
Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger
"Animals/Long Gone (Syd Barrett cover, live on KUTX)"
Notes: "The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is out to topple everyone’s expectations. The two-piece band has rather public identities to overcome: Sean Lennon is the only child of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, and his girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl is a world-class model who was the youngest covergirl on Britain’s Harper’s Bazaar... In the trajectory of Sean Lennon’s solo career and The GOASTT’s six-year history, Midnight Sun is their going-electric moment. Sean Lennon’s subdued and minimalist solo music paved the way for The GOASTT’s initial albums to be acoustic and saccharine in what Kemp Muhl now describes as "nerdy folk music." This April's album is oh-so-different. Inherited Beatlesque psychedelica meshes with modern-day indie à la Tame Impala and Deerhunter." Whoa, with this live Syd Barrett cover, Sean Lennon continually proves that he's the real creative legacy of his father. (Damn, they're in town tonight with Syd Arthur opening!)
Caught A Ghost
"No Sugar In My Coffee"
+1 Records, 2014
Notes: "Helmed by singer/songwriter/producer Jesse Nolan, Caught A Ghost also features drummer Stephen Edelstein and singer/percussionist Tessa Thompson, who has won acclaim for her acting roles in such TV series as "Veronica Mars," "Copper," and the upcoming Dear White People, which won The Jury Prize at Sundance this year. For its live show, the band morphs into an eight-piece outfit that includes a full horn section and much dancing." We heard "Sleeping At Night" from the East LA band back on Episode042.
Glacial Pace, 2014
Notes: "Way back in 2010, we posted “New Doomsdays,” a gorgeously fragile ballad from Nate Lacy’s ethereal roots-rock band Mimicking Birds. The Portland band is back with a new album called Eons this May, again via Isaac Brock’s Glacial Pace label, but lead single “Bloodlines” finds Lacy further distinguishing his voice from Brock’s feral drawl. The gently trembling vocal here will resonate with fans of My Morning Jacket and Phosphorescent; it sounds like a beam of light against the band’s beautiful psych spirals."
"Trouble In Paradise" single
American Laundromat, 2014
Notes: "Psych-pop foursome Tele Novella is known for powerful vocals complemented by dream-like vibes, and it seems their [latest] 7” won’t stray too far from the abstract charm that propelled them onto playlists and record players with their recent release Don’t Be A Stranger." The Austin band may be small, but their sound and their profile is growing.
Architecture in Helsinki
"I Might Survive"
'NOW + 4EVA'
Casual Workout, 2014
Notes: "Aussie indie-pop outfit Architecture in Helsinki...release their new album, the peppily-titled NOW + 4EVA... The band’s first since 2011′s Moment Bends, the 11-track effort was co-produced by Francois Tetaz (Gotye) and mixed by Damian Taylor (Arcade Fire, The Killers)... the five-piece have broken off their latest single “I Might Survive”. While it doesn’t sound quite as determined as Gloria Gaynor’s own survival anthem, the technicolor synth-pop cut does borrow some of Gaynor’s disco chic and glitz."
"Beneath the Brine"
'Beneath the Brine'
Tender Loving Empire, 2014
Notes: "The Family Crest began in 2009 as a creative outlet for friends Liam McCormick and John Seeterlin, but in the years since, it's morphed into something far larger. The independent San Francisco band is built around a core of seven, but boasts a sprawling "extended family" of over 400 people who have participated in some capacity -- everyone from conservatory-trained musicians to friends and fans “who just sing in the shower,” says McCormick, the mastermind behind the collective... With Beneath The Brine, The Family Crest’s Kickstarter-funded full-length, McCormick and company capture practically every type of instrument -- trumpets, French horn and trombone trios, pedal steel and vibraphone, choirs and and string quartets." As I recently noted, Tender Loving Empire is the best record label/toy store out there!
Notes: Dolly herself says, ""One of the reasons I called it 'Blue Smoke' is that it has a tinge of the bluegrass of the Smoky Mountains — a mountain music flavor. The 'Blue Smoke' song is about a heartbreak train called Blue Smoke." It's built on a spirited shuffle rhythm, rootsy instrumentation including guitar, fiddle and dobro and an instant sing-along chorus with her message of departure to an unfaithful love..." I streamed the whole album the other day and it reminded me, in a way, of Loretta Lynn's 'Van Lear Rose'. Aside from some covers (the great "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" from Dylan and the silly "Lay Your Hands On Me" from Bon Jovi) and the fact that 'Blue Smoke' isn't a Jack White-produced rager (nor should it be), the album has the heartwarming (duets with Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson?!) and even bittersweet feel of a legend saying goodnight like Lynn did on her last album.
"A Little Light"
'Metamodern Sounds in Country Music'
High Top Mountain, 2014
Notes: "Sturgill Simpson’s sophomore record is downright disorienting... Even the title — Metamodern Sounds in Country Music — feels ripped from the ’70s, when country artists like Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons and Jessi Colter brazenly upended the Nashville formula, unafraid of getting weird or getting raw... The spirit of the good old days is felt most strongly in the too-brief A Little Light, which swings even as it uplifts."
"Thinking Of You" (Live on The Current)
Notes: "The Current Beer EP features six songs recorded at The Current studios (or at First Avenue) from some of our favorite artists... [featuring] Cactus Blossom...The 4onthefloor...Har Mar Superstar...Caroline Smith...[and]...Frankie Lee" An awesome non-commercial radio station teaming up with a local, craft beer? I'll have another, please! And you can download the EP for free here.
'Psychic 9-5 Club'
Notes: "On April 1, HTRK return[ed] with their first proper album as a duo. The [Sydney] Australian group — whose name is pronounced "Hate Rock" — suffered a massive blow during the recording of 2011's Work (Work Work), when founding member Sean Stewart was found dead in his home. But on the forthcoming Psychic 9-5 Club, Jonnine Standish and Nigel Yang create a work that, according to label Ghostly, "looks back on a time of sadness and struggle, and within that struggle they find hope and humor and love." A song like "Blue Sunshine," heard below, seems to exemplify that, wrapping sensual Sade-like vocals inside a black blanket of moody bass, terse atmosphere, and skittering percussion. "Healthy dose of inner peace," Standish coos out with a narcotic stickiness, "Blue rays.""
Notes: "Breathing Statues found [Brooklyn's] Young Magic's lineup pared down to the duo of Isaac Emmanuel and Melati Malay, but the album sounds far bigger and more polished than their  debut, Melt... "
Built To Spill
"Jokerman" (Bob Dylan cover)
'Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One'
Notes: "In a couple of months, the compilation Bob Dylan In The 80s: Volume One will pay tribute to the most neglected period in Robert Zimmerman’s career. (This is, of course, a relative thing; the Reagan-era version of Bob Dylan still gave us “Most Of The Time” and one fifth of “Handle With Care.”) The comp, put together by producers Jesse Lauter and Sean O’Brien, is set to feature people like Deer Tick, Elvis Perkins, Reggie Watts, and, in an improbable collaboration, Gene Ween and Slash. For their contribution, Built To Spill have done a characteristically ragged and beautiful take on “Jokerman,” a weird half-reggae song from Dylan’s 1983 album Infidels, which Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler co-produced."
"Touch Me I'm Sick"
'Mudhoney On Top! KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live on Top of the Space Needle'
Sub Pop, 2014
Notes: "Although Seattle’s rich musical history has given it plenty of elder statesmen, very few are still kicking as hard as Mudhoney. As their latest album, 2013′s Vanishing Point, proves, [they] remain as energetic and furious as ever, raging against douchebags, large venues, and, uh, chardonnay with the same reckless abandon that fueled their initial rise to local notoriety. As part of their longtime label Sub Pop’s Silver Jubilee celebration, KEXP broadcast the quartet live from the top of the Space Needle and recently joined with Sub Pop to release that performance on vinyl for Record Store Day 2014. When the band actually finished setting up 605 feet above ground, they wasted no time kicking off their set with [1988's] “Touch Me I’m Sick”." Let's blow this Memorial Day weekend episode out with the first, best, loudest and snottiest track from the grunge-era, and it still scorches! (I remember the first time I heard this song, I thought "Holy s%$#!! Why is Nirvana the bigger band?!")
This week's B-sides: Skull Defekts, Rodrigo Amarante, Kite Party, Chet Faker, My Sad Captains and Blood Red Shoes
@PumpUpThaVolume Music News:
Against Me!'s @LauraJaneGrace criticizes @ArcadeFire for "We Exist" video
@beastieboys' Monster Energy Drink lawsuit finally goes to court
All Access: An Oral History of Washington, DC’s @930Club
In the Studio: @jennylewis battles loss and insomnia with help from @TheRyanAdams
I...want...you... ♫ Sayit – Röyksopp & Robyn
Somebody found us dancin’... ♫ Klapp Klapp – Little Dragon
Put this down for the record... ♫ Spotify Sessions – Pixies
And if you push it I will take you offline... ♫ Philosophize In It! Chemicalize With It! – Kishi Bashi
@ConorOberst channels Don Henley on the delectably inscrutable 'Upside Down Mountain'
Watch @conoroberst bring 'Upside Down Mountain' tracks to @CBSThisMorning
@SondreLerche's dancey, divorce-fueled "Bad Law," from upcoming fall LP
@verucasalt's classic lineup perform for the first time in 18 years on @ConanOBrien
Hear @kanyewest's jittery, abrasive new track "God Level"
10 Albums to Stream: @Neilyoung, @sharonvanetten, @MariahCarey, @HLeithauser, @robynkonichiwa + @royksopp, and more
.@MIAuniverse on the main stage, before the flying saucers with illuminated peace signs showed up & blew our minds.
Celebrating the legacy of futuristic #jazz composer #SunRa for his 100th birthday
Happy 73rd birthday, Bob Dylan!
(Thanks again to our #SongOfTheDay sources at @KEXP, @KCRW, @KUTX, @TheKeyXPN and @TheCurrent. Thanks to @TwilightCircus1 for the bed music - and thank you for listening!)