A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink, Damien Brennan

DamienBrennan

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Damien Brennan is a young singer/songwriter who grew up in County Down, Northern Ireland and later refined his craft busking and backpacking his way across Italy and Austria. Below are three of his songs, all of which serve to demonstrate his big voice and big sweeping sound, and particular talent for setting a dramatic romantic … Continue reading

Post War Glamour Girls, Feeling Strange (Part 1)

Post War Glamour Girls by Emily Marlow

“Kudos to those with the broke nose breathing it in” Truth is, I should have been writing about Leeds band Post War Glamour Girls here a long time ago, but sometimes the relationship between a listener and a band plays out like a film romance – a glance across a crowded room, light and awkward flirtation, mixed signals, the listener ends up going home with some other band only to run into the first band again at some coffee shop, and stilted conversation is followed up by falling into bed together. You know, metaphorically speaking. In short, I am remiss for not mentioning it before, but PWGG are a good band. A really good band. Their 2014 full-length debut, Pink Fur, still enjoys heavy rotation in my listening and can still make me gape in wonder. Now, in the run-up to their next LP, to be released in October, PWGG are offering some of those new songs free for a limited time (as in, it was announced on August 14th that it would be free for two weeks, and it’s the 18th now, so…) in the form of the Feeling Strange (Part 1) EP. Listen and download below. Feeling Strange … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: Paul Bohak

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It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. When I took over the blog a year ago, when April commenced her (now over) hiatus, I put up submission guidelines in which I asked artists to give me their “elevator pitch.” Since then I’ve gotten all flavors, sizes and shapes – some good, some bad, some just there. A week or so ago, Paul … Continue reading

Video: Hangman Two-Step, Blackwater Jukebox

blackwaterjukebox14

Our friends in Blackwater Jukebox have a couple of new things: a new video, for Hangman Two-Step, which you can watch below, and also a new website. Hangman Two-Step purports to hail from Australia’s Barossa Valley, acquired during an encounter with Lazarous Scamp and the Bear Tribe Boys. I like it because every time I listen to it I remember the first time I heard it: standing on a freezing train platform in Newark, NJ, watching rats scuttle over the tracks, and possessed by a spike of joy of the kind that causes one to do things like abandon pastries and dance in public. As for the video, it is a fine piece of work by Kenji Christopher Green, even if that rope around Geordie’s neck makes me nervous every time the camera pans over it.

Ought, Beautiful Blue Sky

Ought slider Hera Chen

That song… That song that makes someone grab someone else to immediately transmit the new infection… A song that makes someone sigh with relief… A song that makes someone break down… Ought are responsible for that song. Their new album Sun Coming Down arrives September 18th. July 17th will find them at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, Illinois. After that, Europe. 01 Aug Binic Festival, Binic (FR) *FREE* 03 Aug Cas’Aupa, Udine (IT) 04 Aug SuperUho Festival, Sibenik (HR) 06 Aug Chelsea, Vienna (AT) 07 Aug OFF Festival, Katowice (PL) 08 Aug Klub 007 Strahov, Prague (CZ) 11 Aug Radar Festival, Aarhus (DK) 12 Aug Folken, Stavanger (NO) 13 Aug Landmark, Bergen (NO) 14 Aug Oya Nights, Oya Festivalen, Oslo (NO) 15 Aug Way Out West Festival, Göteborg (SE) 17 Aug Sommerloft 2015, Berlin (DE) 18 Aug EXIT 07, Hollerich (LU) 19 Aug Bogen F, Zurich (CH) 20 Aug For Noise Festival, Lausanne-Pully (CH) 21 Aug Pukkelpop Festival, Kiewit-Hasselt (BE) 22 Aug MS Dockville Festival, Hamburg (DE) 23 Aug Lowlands Festival, Biddinghuizen (NL) 24 Aug Noorderzon @ Vera, Groningen (NL) 27 Aug Barretto, Portoferro (IT) 28 Aug Frames, Fondogianus (IT) 29 Aug Soundpark Festival, Brugnera (IT) 01 Sept Village … Continue reading

Feel Bad for You, June 2015

Feel Bad for You, June 2015

Fine, so it’s nearly July, but this summer-themed mix by the FBFY bedraggled crew of music lovers will be good for a couple of months yet. Drunken comments are encouraged. “Feel Bad for June! Just in time for the first New England heat wave of 2015, and my bum is sticking to my vinyl chair. Ahhh summer! Long hot days, warm breezy nights. Sitting in your overly air conditioned office all day, wishing you were at the lake. Being an adult sucks. Thanks to our main man Phil for the killer artwork!” Download 1. “It Must Be Summer” Fountains of Wayne Utopia Parkway (1999) Submitted By: @philnorman Comments: It must be summer, because I’m falling apart. 2. “This Summer” The Royal Sea The Royal Sea (2011) Submitted By: The Mad Mackerel Comments: The Royal Sea’s album was a particular favourite for us in 2011, although never seemed to get the acclaim we thought it deserved. A beguiling mix of surf rock, garage and indie pop, lead track This Summer opens with a spectacularly catchy drum beat before the vocals of Timmy Sunshine come in like a rush of sugar coated adrenalin, plaintively announcing: We crashed everybody’s parties, we drank cheap … Continue reading

Chill Out, Drown Out: Resplendent, In Vivid

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Chill Out Drown Out: music for when you need to, well, chill out, and also drown out extraneous noise. Tunes for calming down and concentrating on important tasks or just having a peaceful time in the middle of a hurricane of a day/week/month/year/existence. I occasionally feel bad when my highest recommendation for something is “this is excellent background noise,” but – it is truly one of the finest accolades I can give. It means the music has successfully walked the fine line between “delicate, beautiful, but unobtrusive, integrates well into the process of multi-tasking” and “so boring I forgot the first song half-way through.” Resplendent, by In Vivid (Ben Snook, of Lawrence, KS) is indeed delicate and beautiful. The swirling textures and gently propulsive energy make it – for me, at least – ideal for tasks that require concentration and creativity. And, best of all, it stands up to repetition; I listened to it three times in a row one night last week and never got sick of it. Here are three songs to whet your appetite, chosen at least in part because I liked the titles. Lightswitch Indicator: The second song on the record, this one is for when … Continue reading

Covers of Note: I Walk The Line, Scott McFarnon

scottmcfarnon

I Walk the Line is Scott McFarnon‘s interpretation of Johnny Cash’s classic tune and it is, in all seriousness, breathtaking – in a good way. He’s stripped it down and rebuilt into something quiet and melancholy; the eyes that are wide open all the time gaze upon the line in a state of mournful, almost wistful introspection rather than paranoid, hypervigilant bravado. In the video below, McFarnon uses London’s newest park/art experiment, also called The Line, to illustrate his vibe, and it is beautiful.

A Tribe Called Red, Suplex

Suplex - A Tribe Called Red

No one ever retires permanently anymore, do they? Even dead artists have made returns to the stage. A year into my so-called retirement, I’m feeling antsy and decided I needed to get back into this blog that has given me so much. I won’t be trying to keep to the daily schedule that wore me out the first time, but I’ve got some ideas brewing and thoughts to share. (Plus, there’s a new Wind-up Birds EP coming in the near future.) First off, though, a quick post to share the great news that First Nations DJ/producer crew A Tribe Called Red have a new EP out called Suplex. ATCR continues to combine native song and drum elements with compelling beats for the same heady effect that intoxicated me when I first heard them back in 2012. Fader recently premiered the video for title track “Suplex” (featuring pow wow drum group Northern Voice), described as “a story about native youth, wrestling and becoming a role model without needing the stereotypes.” Suplex is available via the ATCR website, Spotify, and iTunes. (And you can get one of those sweet bandannas as featured in the video at ATCR website.) If you missed their … Continue reading

A Good Read A Good Listen and A Good Drink: Oiseaux-Tempête

OISEAUX-TEMPÊTE, 2015; photo by Pamela Maddaleno

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss. In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire. Oiseaux-Tempête, more or less of Paris, are an ever-changing entity. An iteration of the band that includes Frédéric D. Oberland and Stéphane Pigneul (FareWell Poetry and Le Réveil des Tropiques), Ben McConnell (Beach House, FareWell Poetry, Marissa Nadler) and bass clarinet virtuoso Gareth Davis (Elliott Sharp and Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)) have just released ÜTOPIYA?, … Continue reading