Ought, Beautiful Blue Sky

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 … 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!”



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 … Continue reading

Better to Burn Out: A Farewell

Notes on Leaving



Apparently, this is my 600th post on Now This Sound Is Brave; it’s also my last post as owner. As the song goes, it’s better to burn out than to fade away, but I think I did both. I don’t have the fortitude to recount the whole thing in new words, so I’ll steal from a personal post I made yesterday:

“My music blog is set to turn four years old around the end of this month… but I’m thinking about shutting it down. I took an official hiatus from posting when I started my current day job in early 2013, but I’d slowed way down on writing before that. I thought the seasonal layoff from the day job would give me time to get back into the spirit, but the spirit seems not to be there for me anymore. I haven’t even listened to much music in the last few months. And very little in the way of new music (I listened to an old A-ha album a few days ago, and those songs are still bouncing around my head because there’s been nothing in the … Continue reading

Strummer Remembrance Day

Joe Strummer


Watch this video on YouTube


Joe Strummer, who we take as our patron saint here at NTSIB, died 11 years ago today. The above song, “Mega Bottle Ride” by Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, ends with the line “And it’s time to be doing something good”, and it seems to me that one of the best ways that anyone can pay tribute to Joe is by doing good in his name.



A lovely example of that ethos is the Tumblr blog “What Would Joe Strummer Do?” A recent post on the blog itself beautifully sums up what’s going on there.


letsagetabita-rockin asked: Hello, Joe. Do you like the idea that there’s someone who lets people ask them rather serious questions on the internet and answers them as if they were you?

This blog was started as a fun project, a bit of punk-rock silliness we could share with others. We didn’t expect serious questions, but we got them – and now, those questions are the reason we keep doing this. If people stop asking us questions, we’ll stop answering.

In the meantime, there are … Continue reading

The Mad Caps: Stretch Pants

The Mad Caps

The Mad Caps - Stretch Pants


The Mad Caps have a new (well, new-ish) single out called “Stretch Pants”, and it’s full of dirty, dirty, dirty fuzz, like a deep city back alley at 3 o’clock in the morning where you’re pretty sure touching the pavement would direct-connect you to at least ten communicable diseases.

The video for the single seems custom-made for Friday afternoon viewing. WARNING: THIS VIDEO CONTAINS SHAKE WEIGHT. Proceed with caution.


Watch this video on YouTube


The Mad Caps Official Website

The Mad Caps @ Twitter

The Mad Caps @ Facebook

Continue reading

Fonda: Sequence Dream


Fonda - Sequence Dream


Ever have it happen that you dismiss a band as “not my thing” for a while, then, one day, you hear a song that makes things click? “Oh, I get it now!” you say.

I had that moment today with the band Fonda and a new single they released in late November (on Minty Fresh), “Sequence Dream”. There’s something about its sweep of dream pop, the layers of diaphanous vocals and gossamer keys and guitar, that sits perfectly here in the early winter days. It’s music for sitting by a window with a hot cuppa and being self-indulgently melancholy.



The b-side, “Another New Year’s Eve”, is, as you would expect from the title, custom-made for wallowing in holiday heartbreak.

Fonda, if you didn’t know, have been recording since the late ’90s, just released their most recent album, Sell Your Memories, last February, and already have a new album in the works.


Fonda Official Website
Fonda @ Twitter
Fonda … Continue reading

Tony Fitz: Cut Me Up

Tony Fitz - Cut Me Up

Tony Fitz


Face front, true believers! I’m back in action! At least for the time being… As I’m on seasonal layoff from my day job through January, I’ll have enough time and brain power to contribute to the blog again, instead of just harassing you all on Twitter.

The NTSIB crew (can it be called a crew when there are just two of us?) love taking part in the Couch by Couchwest festivities every year, not least because we always manage together some new friends who also happen to be very talented. This past CXCW got us acquainted with Tony Fitz when he organized a very lovely Irish showcase.

Aside from all the behind-the-scenes work Tony does in production, recording, and sound engineering, he also makes music with his band Susie Soho. And in between everything else, he has began recording solo songs, releasing them on an as-ready basis, the first of which is “Cut Me Up”, which includes Ciaran Brady from Heritage Centre on drums, along with Jason Maher and Niall … Continue reading

On Joe Strummer’s Birthday: Reinvention

Joe Strummer

Time to raise a glass to NTSIB patron saint, Mr. Joe Strummer a.k.a. Woody Mellor a.k.a. John Mellor, who would have been 61 years old today.

Joe had a nervous energy that never let him settle in one place, one role, one style, one identity for too long, as outlined in a new article from The Atlantic website Joe Strummer and Punk Self-Reinvention. When Joe passed away in 2002, he was in the midst of yet another renaissance with his young group of lads, the Mescaleros. Below is an artifact from that time, a full Mescaleros show filmed at the Roseland Ballroom in New York in 1999.


Watch this video on YouTube

Continue reading

A Change Is Gonna Come

First, I want to emphatically state that I love Now This Sound Is Brave, and I love every single person who has ever stopped by to read even a single post we’ve made in the last three years.

Love, at the risk of sounding precious, is what NTSIB has always been about, founded on and powered by love. I’ve never made a cent from this gig… though I have reaped all kinds of rewards. I just do this because I love music, and I want to share the music I love.

That being said, it has become more difficult to keep up my four-posts-a-week schedule, and now that I’ve started a new day job, it’s become all but impossible.

Don’t toll the funeral bells yet, though. This ship will keep sailing, if I may jump metaphors, tethered by my always-reliable superstar co-blogger, Jennifer, but I will be pushing my opinions on you all less often. (Though I plan to keep hanging around Twitter to retweet and harass everyone.)

It’s not an end, just a shift. And I hope you will all continue to hang with us because we love hanging with you.


“A Change Is … Continue reading