Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Nice Boys In Post Exploding Hearts Story.

The Nice Boys were covered in a post Exploding Hearts story that was posted on Pitchfork today.
Online Article

Exploding Hearts' Bankston Cooks Up Memphis Treat

Though he left Exploding Hearts before the release of their first (and, sadly, only) album, Guitar Romantic, "King" Louie Bankston has carried the rock torch for his former bandmates since the untimely deaths of the Hearts' Jeremy Gage, Adam Cox, and Matthew Fitzgerald in a 2003 automobile accident.

Bankston has recorded in several incarnations in recent years. His most recent full-length, Memphis Treat, is credited to King Louie & the Loose Diamonds, a group that includes members of Tearjerkers, Kajun SS, and Viva L'American Deathray Music. The record was mixed by the legendary Jim Dickinson, who has produced Big Star, the Replacements, and many, many others.

Empty Records will release Memphis Treat on June 5.

Thanks to reader Ben Glover for the tip.

The Nice Boys, the new band from surviving Heart Terry Six, released their self-titled debut album last year. They have a few shows scheduled for the end of May in the Pacific Northwest.


01 Negative Contact
02 Memphis Treet
03 Gypsy Switch
04 Girl in the Holler
05 Heart
06 Wheelbarrow Whiz
07 Fire on the Sun
08 She's Losing Her Hair
09 Looking for a Heart
10 Montagne de l'Amour
11 Untitled Lament
12 The Burning Sands

Nice Boys dates:

05/22 Olympia, WA @ KAOS/Evergreen State College
05/30 Seattle, WA @ Rendevous Stiff Film Festival
05/31 Portland, OR @ Dante's

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Incredible Michio Kurihara Review On Foxy Digitalis.

Michio Kurihara "Sunset Notes"

I’ve never officially awarded anything a “Ten” before, and for the first time, I’m tempted to do just that. Guitar-samurai Michio Kurihara’s first name-branded effort, “Sunset Notes,” probably deserves the first down, but I’m holding back purely on the premise of Murphy’s Law. Should I award this truly stunning record top honors, the next “Sgt. Peppers” will come out next week, change the world, and I’ll be forced to convince my editor we need an 11-star scale. So Mr. Kurihara, if you’re out there, and if someone’s translating, know these nine stars fall short of communicating the inspirational effect your album has had on at least one soul. Listening to “Sunset Notes,” I’m moved to sing, dance, become teary-eyed, call my mother, and make amends with sworn enemies. It’s honest, it’s majestic, it’s inspiring, and it rocks with unbridled conviction. It’s probably a perfect work of art. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to change the world, but if it did—if the world truly followed suit—we’d have achieved a state of keen, utopian bliss.

Lending his instrumental sorcery to such notables as Ghost, The Stars, White Heaven, and Marble Sheep, Kurihara has built a reputation as Japan’s prime minister of brain blistering guitar accompaniment. Now, at long last, he casts his own name onto the marquee, conjuring a mature and masterful statement with which to announce his role as a sonic director. It’s an album that accurately summarizes a signature sound, without ever straying near triteness. Present are the blinding lights he’s known to borrow from the cosmos, but equally registering is the humility of a servant to songcraft. Nothing here sounds forced, or as if its composer might have a point to prove (not even in the context of “I’m more than just a guitar player”). What’s here is the passion and dedication of a team member—this time, he just happens to be quarterback.

Part psychedelic journey, part compositional showcase, “Sunset Notes” pivots upon a handful of stylistic touchstones that range from abstract aural painting, anthemic hippie hymns, gently crafted jazz waltzes, and dizzying, damaged surf rock. Compositionally, much of the work herein might be likened to Spanish guitarist Ibon Errazkin’s invigorating themes of repetition, but shaded with Kurihara’s own profound grasp of color. One also can’t help but to note two tracks featuring the lovely vocal stylings of Ms. Aso Ais (also featured on Pedal records), during which “Sunset Notes” frolics within wistful psych-pop not unlike the delicately unfolding blossoms of Nagisa Ni Te.

The appropriately tagged opener, “Time to Go,” literally leaps from the gate, galloping through a series of slithering triplets seasoned with sprinkles of shimmering ambience. Seemingly a simple, good-time rocker, you’ll notice, leaning in closer, how the piece actually sounds like a battle cry or a sound of alarm. Following is the album’s most idiosyncratic piece, and winner of the ”Sunset Notes” What the Fuck Award. “Do Deep Sea Fish Dream of Electric Moles was accurately described by a friend as some kind of acid-fried, patriotic anthem--no, really! It actually sounds like a national anthem of some sort, but dripping with Kurihara’s masterful aural prose, rich, textural, and vivid. Two songs in, be assured, you’ve already gotten your money’s worth.

“Pendulum on a G-String-The Last Cicada,” however, towers the highest of all. Ringing a stylistic bell, Kurihara’s endlessly resonating, lovingly played notes hover over a repetitive one-chord stomp like bumblebees in a clover patch. Cleverly conceived quiet interludes within the track allow you to surface for air, but you really just don’t want to. Instead, the effect is like waking up from a dream to which you desperately want to return. It’s that good.

The album’s closer shows Kurihara doing the honorable thing and giving his vision a bona fide ending. Not only does it serve as a nice recap of the entire affair, but also individually testifies to Michio’s remarkable ability to construct a complete statement, rather than half-baking a cool guitar lick passed off as a song. Comprised of his levitating guitar harmonies, auditory fireflies, intricate chiming, and massive waves of ecstasy, “A Boat of Courage” is wrought with the intensity a little man with one seriously huge heart.

In the captivating interview conducted by the Ptolemaic Terrascope, Kurihara reveals his status as a working class musician, still laboring in a factory after nearly two decades of rocking. Some would call this a shame, evidence of the deterioration of the artist-consumer affiliation. Author J. D. Salinger famously noted that, "the mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” I find Kurihara’s servitude to music to be nothing less than inspiring, confirmation that real artists still thrive, respectfully dedicating lifetimes to a pursuits greater than self. If “Sunset Notes” doesn’t inspire, check your pulse. If you have one, listen again; you’ll hear a man who knows exactly who he is and who he wants to be. 9/10 -- Travis Johnson

Revolver USA Podcast #3 Is Ready For Your Listening.

On the third installment of the Revolver USA Podcast you can hear up and coming tracks from such righteous artist as; Robert Pollard, Melt Banana, White/Lichens, Terry Riley, Thee More Shallows, Loden, Chris Connelly, DJ Elephant Power, Qua, and the Zodiacs.

It's super easy to subscribe.

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Our podcasts will appear on a weekly basis featuring the latest distributed by Revolver USA. They are enhanced podcats featuring album artwork and links to various sites.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Melt Banana On Tour With Tool.

Japanese avant-spazz veterans Melt Banana launch a massive six week US tour starting in Sac-town next week. By a strange twist of fate MxBx will be supporting Tool for various dates throughout the Southeast and Mid West. Noise-Punk & Nu-Metal - why not?

MELT-BANANA Bambi's Dilemma US Tour
05/16 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
05/17 Visalia, CA @ Howie's
05/18 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
05/19 Pomona, CA @ Glasshouse
05/20 San Diego, CA @ Casbah
05/22 Phoenix, AZ @ Hollywood Alley
05/23 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
05/24 Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory
05/25 Dallas, TX @ Rubber Gloves
05/26 Austin, TX @ Emo's
05/27 Houston, TX @ Numbers'
05/29 Tampa, FL @ Sundome - supporting Tool
05/30 Tallahassee, FL @ Beta Lounge
05/31 Orlando, FL @ Amway arena - supporting Tool
06/01 Sunrise, FL @ Bank Atlantic Center - supporting Tool
06/02 Jacksonville, FL @ Veterans Memorial Coliseum - supporting Tool

06/03 Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds
06/04 Duluth, GA @ Gwinnette Center - supporting Tool
06/05 Greenville, SC @ Bi-Lo Center - supporting Tool

06/06 Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat's Cradle
06/07 Richmond, VA @ Richmond Coliseum - supporting Tool
06/08 Baltimore, MD @ 1st Mariner Arena - supporting Tool
06/09 Atlantic City, NJ @ Boardwalk Hotel - supporting Tool

06/10 New York, NY @ Knitting Factory
06/11 Boston, MA @ Middle East
06/12 Washington, DC @ Black Cat
06/13 Winston-Salem, NC @ Lawrence Joel Veteran's Coliseum - supporting Tool
06/14 Columbus, OH @ Little Bros
06/15 Cincinnati, OH @ Mad Hatter
06/16 Cape Girardeau, MO @ Show Me Center - supporting Tool
06/17 Evansville , IN @ Roberts Stadium - supporting Tool
06/19 Cedar Rapids, IA @ US Cellular Center - supporting Tool
06/20 Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center - supporting Tool

06/21 Chicago, IL @ Abbey Pub
06/22 St. Louis, MO @ Scottrade Arena - supporting Tool
06/23 Fort WAyne, IN @ Memorial Coliseum - supporting Tool

06/24 Minneapolis, MN @ Entry
06/26 Des Moines, IA @ Picadur
06/27 Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
06/28 Omaha, NE @ Sokol Underground
06/29 Denver, CO @ Bluebird
06/30 Salt Lake City, UT / Urban Lounge
07/01 Bozeman, MT @ Zebra Cocktail Lounge
07/03 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's
07/04 Portland, OR @ Dante's
07/06 San Francisco, CA @ Independent

Monday, May 07, 2007

XLR8R Previews New Colleen.

XLR8R gives an early review of Colleen's new album Les Ondes Silencieuses, which streets on June 12th. Colleen will be playing select European dates and the Mutek Festival this Spring.
Online Article

Colleen Preps Album

Cécile Schott (a.k.a. Colleen) is no stranger to the eerie side of ambient music. Since 2001, the Parisian producer has been crafting a unique collage of moody music, integrating dark and heavily effected samples from her record collection into her work, as seen on her 2003 debut Everyone Alive Wants Answers. Four years later, Colleen has stayed in touch with the darkness, but her newest darling, Les Ondes
Silencieuses (Leaf), is no treated sound collage–it's all about 17th century acoustic instrumentation.

Obsessed with the viol (a rare 17th-century instrument bowed like a cello, but fretted like a guitar with seven strings), Colleen found someone to custom-make the instrument, inspiring her to step out of her Acid Pro box.

Les Ondes Silencieuses is an unadorned piece of classical bliss–functioning on the tone of the instrument rather than layers of complicated melody. While tracks like "This Place In Time" levitate between open space and the thick resonance of the viol, layered pieces like "Blue Sands" use the same sampling techniques of her past, but with sole emphasis on the viol itself (hitting it with mallets, finger-picking, etc). The result is nothing short of creepy bliss.

Fred Miketa

Les Ondes Silencieuses is out June 12, 2007 on Leaf.

1. This Place In Time
2. Le Labyrinthe
3. Sun Against My Eyes
4. Les Ones Silencieuses
5. Blue Sands
6. Echoes and Coral
7. Sea of Tranquility
8. Past the Long Black land
9. Le Bateau

Beirut Online Blitzkrieg!

Beirut's sold out Bowery Ballroom shows from last weekend stirred up a shitstorm amongst the online community. Check out the posts from today alone. Judging from the reviews and photos it was quite the million dollar bash.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Dead C Reviewed By Dusted. contemplates the future of the Dead C's Future Artists album scheduled to be released later on this month.

Artist: The Dead C
Album: Future Artists
Label: Ba Da Bing!
Review date: May. 3, 2007
Online Review

It's been four long years since New Zealand's merchants of grimy noise-rock released The Damned. In that time we've seen bands like Wolf Eyes and Sightings (to name just a couple) rise to, if not fame, certainly some reasonable recognition for plying similar waters. The title of this album's first track may contain some indication that The Dead C know their place: "The AMM of Punk Rock," while self-referentially winking, isn't far off. The Dead C have, for the past 20 years, been toiling on the sidelines showing how to improv your way through territory that isn't quite rock, isn't quite punk, isn't quite noise, isn't quite anything but what it is. Whether it's something you will enjoy is quite another question, of course, and it's certainly unclear how The Dead C feel about your answer.

That first track is 13 minutes of desultory drum hits, mildly buzzing static and squeaky scrapes. That buzzing static may be the one constant throughout the album's five songs, all of which flaunt a distinct layer of audio crud. For 10 minutes, "The AMM of Punk Rock" remains a formless, meandering sound field, with occasional irritating high-pitched bleeps, before it coheres into a vague chug, powered by feedbackish noises. It's followed by "The Magicians," unique here both for its brevity (just under four minutes) and its song-like form, complete with laid-back vocals (it's the only one here that's got 'em). Despite the singing and strumming guitar, the drums remain simple thumps hidden behind a curtain of clanging guitar scree, and the whole contraption rattles along like an old truck, threatening at any moment to fall to pieces.

That feeling of impending collapse lingers over the whole album. The glitchiness of "Macoute" often resembles a motor in need of a tuneup. Its stereo field of whooshes and buzzes is interrupted by stop-start noises, odd breaks in the flow of time. "Eternity" is thick with atmosphere, a dark, dank guitar strum with ringing drums that over time becomes filled with jagged guitar textures until a crude, driving riff begins to poke through the rough, Skullflower'd noise. "Garage" closes things with angular, awkward guitar plucks and strums over muttering static and occasional interjections of electronic bleep. It eventually breaks down into vaporous waves of hiss and crunch, with sporadic guitar strums, until it comes to an end with a lethargically wavering buzz which abruptly cuts off.

Future Artists raises many questions, from its title - are they themselves the artists of the future, or are they waiting for some future in which to become artists? - to its intent. For every moment of intrigue, there are moments of aggravation; for each recognizable string pluck, there are abstract fields of sound to be plumbed. On first listen, the seemingly purposeful and self-conscious lack of focus was more annoying than interesting, but subsequent airings began to reveal rewarding details. It's an album that doesn't allow for early conclusions. Only time will tell whether Future Artists receives further listens or is relegated to the status of not-fully-baked. The jury is still out.
By Mason Jones

Hurrah, The Revolver USA Podcast Is Here!

Want to hear the latest from the corral of Revolver USA exclusive labels?

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Our podcasts will appear on a weekly basis featuring the latest distributed by Revolver USA. They are enhanced podcats featuring album artwork and links to various sites.

Thee More Shallows In The SF Weekly

Awesome TMS review/preview for their May 4th record release show in this week's edition of the SF Weekly.

Thee More Shallows
Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)
Ed Masley
Published: May 2, 2007
Online Article

Where: Café du Nord
Details: Thee More Shallows performs on Friday, May 4, at 9 p.m. Admission is $12; call 861-5016 or visit for more info.
Subject(s): Thee More Shallows by Ed Masley

Thee More Shallows' offbeat indie rock finds a cozy home in Anticon Records. The San Francisco-based label is known for embracing tweaked hip hop and ambient soundscapes. Here its roster expands to include Book of Bad Breaks — pop dressed in disorienting textures. The opening track, "D. Shallow," is a 40-second fragment of a folk song. It could almost pass for a Mountain Goats or Smog number, were it not for all the chaos. From distorted clatter to wayward bits of conversation and coughing, TMS kick off with claustrophobia, driving home the creepy noir quality in bandleader Dee Kesler's lyrics. In the album's most hypnotic highlight, "Eagle Rock," Kesler warns, "If you survive to be a daddy, this'll be a lullaby, too." The drums add a hip-hop swagger to the haunting psychedelia before the singer switches to a creepy whistling solo. "Dutch Fist" is even eerier, its verses recalling the nightmarish laptop of Add (N) to X as Kesler compares modern finance to torture techniques of a bygone era. "Fast forward 200 years," he sighs. "The Dutch fist has adjusted its grip/ The bank branch fat managers bosses are using credit like they used to use a whip." As the beats kick in like ?uestlove crashing a Grandaddy session, TMS offer just one of many unexpected detours on a ride that rarely moves in the expected direction. — Ed Masley

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Neurosis Given To The Rising Doc.

Now in its third decade of innovative noisy psychedelic-metallic thunder, Neurosis is more than a just a powerful band—it’s a religious experience. As such, personal epiphanies are repeatedly told both by those who’ve been converted by Neurosis’ sensory overloading live show and by those who’ve felt transformed while listening to the legendary quintet’s recordings. In preparation of their new album Given To The Rising the band has filmed a short-form documentary detailing the making of the album along with giving first-hand insight into the legacy of the mighty band. Given To the Rising hits the streets on June 5th.

Regional US dates are in the works for 2008. Unfortunately only a handful of Euro dates are confirmed so far.

06/24 Clisson, Pays de la Loire, FR @ HELLFEST
06/26 Stockholm, SWE @ Debaser Club
06/28 Arendal, NOR @ HOVEFEST