2 ladies and some dudes

Mirah - Small Sale EP

I'll have you know I listened to a two-disc Agoraphobic Nosebleed album yesterday.

I'm talking about this one since I've been listening to it all week and don't yet have a copy of her new album (which is called (A)spera). Deal with it! And if you see this 7" in a used record store, buy it and then sell it to me so I don't have to steal it from my girlfriend when she isn't looking.

I'll be brief: 3 incredible songs, 1 not as good song, and 1 awesome instrumental. Totally twee, cutesy stuff here but Mirah's voice is so undeniably pure that all is forgiven. "Lonestar" even made me consider NOT hating Texas as much as I truly and deeply do. Nice try.

And if some sensitive indie-rock loser puts "Birthday Present" on a mixtape for you on your birthday, he's trying way too hard and should really just be more vocal about his feelings towards you instead of letting a beautiful young lesbian woman speak for him.

Madeline Adams - White Flag

I've only heard this one all the way through once, while driving through quaint towns in Northern Louisiana on the way to a rather unfulfilling weekend on tour. It was actually a perfect day outside...not a cloud in the sky. Good thing I was stuck in the van.

Madeline is awesome. She played most of these songs at the show I did for her here in Baton Rouge, and a gaggle of mostly young college girls sat on the floor in the living room with big shiny smiles on their faces. This album is sort of a departure from her other, more Plan-it-X type stuff. She's got a full backing band behind her, and the songs have a little more twang in them. Excellent hooks all around...just really catchy, good, folk-y music.

She calls Athens home, but she was born here in Baton Rouge! See? We're not all that bad!

SFN - (s/t 7" on 625 Thrash)

The first time I saw these guys we were playing with them in this weird office space in Madison, WI and they tore the place to shreds. YOUNG kids, maybe 18 or 19 at the oldest just exploding with energy. The second time, my other band played with them in New Orleans and they all must've done a bunch of coke beforehand or something because they jumping off the stage and tackling people in the crowd while playing their already break-neck-paced set like the record player was on 78rpm or something. Again, they demolished the place.

Powerviolence is such an obscure and stupid sounding genre that I feel ridiculous even talking about it. As if grindcore wasn't already music for people with strange music tastes, powerviolence takes it a step further by adding TOTAL cookie-monster vocals, even shorter songs, lower-tuned guitars, more bass, and 5-second sludge parts. SFN manage to make all this sound pretty impressive, even if their name supposedly stands for Smoke Fucking Nugs. And as if they weren't already playing an obscure-enough genre, 625 only pressed 300 copies of this album. So basically, find it on Soulseek or whatever if you're one of the, like, 2 other people I know who have heard of powerviolence and not of this band, or if you just like extreme stuff. Then go back and listen to Apartment 213, Lack of Interest, and Man is the Bastard if you want to hear some of powerviolence's heavy hitters. Steal mp3s, buy records.


Ghastly City Sleep- (s/t 12" EP on Robotic Empire)

Typically, when I say, "You really need to come to this show, this band is amazing" I mean it. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's an absolute understatement. Even rarer is the odd occasion that someone actually believes me, checks out the show, and comes back saying, "Holy shit, you were right!"

I did a show for GCS across town, and I was really scared that no one would be there. It was a weekday night, after all. Through some kind of hoodoo or voodoo, the hype machine was set to "stun" and tons of people showed up to see GCS and Man + Building. The place was packed. I suppose thanks is owed to Josh, Jesse, Mitch, and Rory for telling people how amazing this band was going to be.

Their live set is pretty similar to this EP: ambient post-rock with trapped-in-a-cave reverbvocals, sparse guitar work, and tribal drums beating ominously in and out of the foreground. Everyone and their parent or guardian will probably compare them to Radiohead, and they'd be right to do so. The only thing is that I really think this band reaches damn near the same magical level as those Oxford clowns. Where the two differ is in presentation. GCS has this mysterious, anonymous veil draped over them...the vocals are clear and up front, but they're dripped in enough reverb and sung smoothly so that you're not bludgeoned over the head with the dude's personality. I guess what I'm saying is that GCS doesn't have Radiohead's pretense factor. I personally love Radiohead, but sometimes I just get the uncontrollable urge to slap Thom Yorke in the face, you know?

What's really cool to me is the origins of this band-- we're talking serious post-hardcore royalty in the house. Members of City of Caterpillar, Pg.99, and Majority Rule. The triumvirate of awesome post-hardcore from that scene's capitol in the late 90s/early 00s, Richmond, VA. So it's great that this band that has a really professional and mature sound and performance is still down for $5 DIY shows. Like I said, no pretense.

They're new full-length is supposed to be out this year, once again on Robotic Empire, and if they tour then you'd better believe I'll be doing their show. Don't miss it this time and live in shame forever.

check out a couple songs here:
DEAD FRIENDS (s/t CD on Plan-it-X): Awesome melodic hardcore punk from Gainesville. The lyrics smack of desperation and resentment towards modern life. 14 quick songs with the occasional blast beat thrown in for good measure.

CHRONIC YOUTH Daschillin (self-released cassette): Andy from DEAD FRIENDS' other band. He calls it "noisy, drugged-out grunge" and that's about right. But emphasis on the "noisy". It's so noisy that you can't even make out the notes to a single riff. The vocals are buried in the background, which is a shame. Their singer is a scruffy dude who looks like he just woke up from a nap at 4pm after an intense bong sesh. Kinda sounds like Converge on Xanax without all the technicality.

PYGMY LUSH/TURBOSLUT (split 12" on Lovitt): A disclaimer: I had to listen to this on someone else's record player, and the record would not spin steadily. As a result, I heard everything with a subtle oscillation every couple seconds, and ended up with an undulation-induced nausea of sorts.

Two of my favorite bands, and probably TS's last release (let's hope not, though). The PYGMY LUSH side blends their acoustic and loud stuff pretty effectively. The opening riff on the first track is serious Good Rockin' Fun. The drumming is totally on point and the vocals fit in perfectly. The soft songs are catchy and lonesome, harkening me back to the Lush boys's backwoods palace in the Virginia woods, and towards the end a beautiful drone section begins to lull you sleep.

TURBOSLUT comes out strong with "Speed", which features a brutally droning Sabbath-esque riff, and from there there's pretty much no relief. Somehow the lyrical content is even MORE desperate and negative here than on Order of the Turboslut, which is something I personally enjoy. Disdain for sex, self-loathing, the hollowed-out insides of the used and abused. All the bases are covered and then told to fuck right off. Musically, the riffs are clearer and catchier. I wish Beck did more screaming on this one, but that's just me. Still noisy as hell, their side of this record cuts deep into corners of your brain you tried to forget about.

HURRAY FOR THE RIFF RAFF It Don't Mean I Don't Love You (CD, self released?): Alynda Lee has one of the best voices in all of New Orleans. Yea, I said that. Subtle, haunting, and never overbearing. It's a voice you almost instantly have a rapport with. Every track on here makes me feel like I'm drinking in the Marigny on a Sunday morning, watching old-timey bike punks pass by with hard wrinkled smiles on their faces. Hangover music indeed. The songs are all solid, featuring banjo, some light drums, accordian, etc. The standout track is "Bricks", and it's where Alynda's voice truly shines. The lyrics dance along the lines of death, drinking, love, and any combination of the three. The morbid content and vocal delivery make me want to compare Alynda to Dax Riggs, though Dax's lyrics are much more morbid than hers. Still an excellent album, though.

2 bands

-Cortez the Killer (tour demo) - I heard this band on an awesome mixtape and made my friend burn me the whole CD. She had seen them in New Orleans years ago and said they played to barely anyone in someone's living room. It was hard finding a lot of info on them, especially since there are about 20 myspace profiles for bands of the same name (blame Neil Young).

What we have here is 5 lo-fi tracks that all have a garage-y pop-punk feel. Normally, this would be a complete turn-off to me, but the songwriting is fucking brilliant. It's nothing you haven't heard before, but the hooks are just really solidly executed. The best track by far is "Can't Quit Me" which is just a textbook example of a well-written, catchy rock song.
I don't think the lo-fi-ness is really intentional,(the newer stuff on their myspace was definitely recorded more professionally), but it works well with their sound. I guess I just don't like people hopping on the lo-fi bandwagon. I mean, Wavves is okay and all, but sheesh.

Anyway, these guys rule and when I sent them a message online to tell them that, they said they'd let me book a show for them next time they come down South. So take THAT.

this is their myspace
All the other bands of the same name totally suck.

-O Haste Annihilation

Ok, so that mixtape had some other awesome bands on it as well as one insanely awesome Tilly and the Wall song that I was scared to admit that I liked for a while ("Rainbows in the Dark"). Whatever. Punk cred is a sham, and Bilal is the only person I know with an OFFICIAL "Punk Point" patch, anyway. And who can top that besides the hundreds of other people with the same patch?

A disclaimer: I don't really like folk-punk. In fact, I usually detest it. Sure, I was drawn to the beautiful posi-smile of Ghost Mice's violinist and maybe even connected with some of your boy's lyrics at that show at the Banks St Warehouse so long ago...but I have just seen too many spanging-crustlord-folk-punk bands by now, and I can't take anymore. I can't stand when the person singing says, "Ok, this song is about the WTO riots in Seattle....*sings* "The WTO riots in Seattle..."


Enter this band, O Haste Annihilation. Yea, they got a folky-punk thing going on, but it's so much better than the usual. I can't find what album these songs are from, but their label (Anti-Civ) has one listed called Post Apocalyptic Sing-a-Long, so I'm guessing that's it. Anyway, the first track is epic as fuck. Yes, epic folk-punk. It exists. It's actually somehow kind of metal even though there's no distortion and the drums are pretty sparse. You can tell these dudes are having a blast, and even if you doubted it, check out their bio:

still crazy in love after all these years, we are a serious bro-mance musical love affair that can't stop/wont stop. we have followed each other through the wilds of the eastern seaboard and soon will tour for our third time with charm. coming to a town near you if you are cuddling at least two days drive from the atlantic ocean, lets act like what we share matters, lets cut a rug and holler out our hearts. xoxoxoxoxoxox"

But on the real tip, I usually hate crap like this and I really enjoyed at least 3 of these songs, so that's saying something.

I'm starting this blog so that I review records/bands/shows. I don't always keep up with the new stuff coming out, so some of these records are older. My point is to get the word out about bands that people maybe haven't heard yet, and plus I just like to write.