Liz wrote, “Listening to Fan Modine’s new album Gratitude For The Shipper is like floating through a dreamlike landscape of sound. Lush lyrics intertwine with melodies made by trombones, keyboards and euphoniums. Gordon Zacharias’s distinct voice sings of light and stars and love, making the record uplifting and completely enjoyable to hear.”
Read the rest of Liz’s review here.
“Drug” - White Denim
Claire Gallagher reviewed D, the Austin band’s latest effort.
Claire wrote, “[W]hen I heard that the band was to release their 5th studio album, D, I jumped at the chance to catch a listen. This album is yet another showcase of the band’s undeniable talent and creativity. Each song melds together beautifully, thanks to the constant aquatic groove that provides an ironically solid base for the album as a whole.
“At times, D feels more exotic and worldly influenced, exemplified by the Latin flare in ‘River to Consider;’ but then steel-tongued licks from songs such as ‘Burnished’ and ‘Beth Street’ bring the sound back to the band’s rock roots. While there are no instant, throat grabbing jams from this album, such as ‘I Start to Run’ from 2009’s Fit or Last Day of Summer’s ‘Tony Fatti,’ gems from D such as the opening track ‘It’s Him!’ and ‘Drug’ sneak up on your conscience until you find yourself humming their infectious tunes and slurring attempts at lyrics not yet memorized.”
Read the rest of Claire’s review here.
“Breakin’” - Baby Baby
Liz Livengood gave us the scoop on a hot new act out of Georgia, Baby Baby. Here’s what she said about the band’s latest album, Money.
Liz wrote, “It’s the raw, unrehearsed sound of Baby Baby that makes it so fascinating. Money is the result of nearly a year and a half of practices and live shows, and the boys of Baby Baby have perfected their imperfect sound. Tracks like ‘Instead Of Spending My $20 On The Blink 182 Reunion Show I Took You Out On A Date And You Never Returned My Phone Call So Don't Ever Expect To Eat Free Shrimp Scampi Again Bitch!’ (props on the hilarious name, btw) lace jarring guitar riffs with intense, almost imperceptible lyrics accented by driving percussion. I’ll admit I didn’t love Baby Baby’s sound when I first heard it. But it crept into my consciousness and reminded me that music should, above all, be fun. I delighted in the rap/rant in the middle of the song as well.”
Read the rest of Liz’s review here.
“Secrets (Numbers Stations Mix)” - Silver Swans
“motown glass” - Panda Riot
Jesse Diener-Bennett reviewed the last night of NYC Popfest 2011.
Jesse wrote, “I think it’s fair to say that the weekend-long festival has been – at least for the promoters – a success. The Thursday and Friday night shows sold out, as did the festival passes. Musically, Popfest was hit-or-miss. Most of the bands that participate are unknown, many of them performing in popular venues for the first time. For this reason, Popfest is always an exciting mix of amateur mistakes, happy surprises, and every sub-sub-genre of indie Pop under the sun.
“Silver Swans were definitely one of the standouts on Sunday’s lineup. Ann Yu’s dreamy vocals slide effortlessly along minimalistic grooves manufactured by DJ/composer John Waters. The effect is haunting and hypnotic; Silver Swans’ songs came and went like ghosts. … Another standout was Panda Riot. I’ve heard a lot of bands recently that approximate their sort of My Bloody Valentine fuzz pop, but Panda Riot did it with an enthusiasm and natural confidence that was simply blissful. Their music felt – for lack of a better word – authentic. Rebecca Scott’s vocals are simple and effective. Her voice isn’t virtuosic, but you could tell she weighed the meaning of every lyric, and her directness worked perfectly in its context.”
Read the rest of Jesse’s concert review here.
“Fake IDs” - Deleted Scenes
Kelly Knapp interviewed the band after a recent performance at The Rock Shop - here’s some of their conversation:
Kelly Knapp: Alright, so I’m here with Deleted Scenes, talking with Matt, Brian, and Dan. How did Deleted Scenes start?
Dan Scheuerman: Well, we’ve known each other since various grades in elementary school. We grew up in the same suburb in DC, so we’ve been playing in crappy rock bands our whole lives. Deleted Scenes started because we finished college and we decided to play music again and we didn’t know anybody else because we’re pretty shy dudes, so we called each other up and started playing again.
KK: How do you guys construct a song? Does everyone bring ideas to the band or is there one primary songwriter?
Matt Dowling: I’d say Dan’s primarily the songwriter, and he and I construct ideas and then present it to the band in a place where it has some kind of traction to it and we can get everybody involved. We’re not really a band that gets in a room and just starts jamming, it’s kind of like little free meditative structures.
KK: What do you guys think makes a good song? When are you satisfied?
DS: I don’t sign off on a song until I think the lyrics are really saying something. It could be somebody’s favorite song or it has all it’s tensions worked out in a very compelling way like a short story. I studied short story writing in college, and I was really bad at writing short stories, but I definitely learned how to edit the sh*t out of what I write, and that’s kind of the approach I take to writing songs. So that’s for me, but Matt won’t sign off on a song unless it’s really compelling structurally and rhythmically.
Read the rest of Kelly’s interview here.
“King of Diamonds (Acoustic)” - Motopony
Laurel Kathleen interviewed Daniel Blue of Motopony - here’s some of their conversation:
Laurel Kathleen: How does one go from art and fashion design to music? Isn't it usually the other way around?
Daniel Blue: Yeah, I mean I had my period of rock star dreams growing up. I’ve always sung, and I’ve always sung really passionately. My mom had me onstage at church when I was a kid. I loved being the center of attention and I loved to sing, but it really wasn’t until I had been kind of like, a full time artist for several years when I feel like I got a voice, or the confidence to do that. And then, something came out of the walls or sky and just filled me, and I had something to say. And because I had been singing to myself in my warehouse, the shower, all to myself all those years I had the vocal power to put that out there. I was 27 when I first picked up a guitar, because I wanted something to go along with what was coming out of my heart. When I first started performing, I was called oppressive and mesmerizing. Which was pretty awesome.
LK: So when did you decide to strike out into music?
DB: I started writing poetry at a young age. I had a super one-sided love affair with my teacher in high school, she introduced me to E.E. cummings and Pablo Neruda. And deeper, crazier, wilder poets. But she also suggested that Paul Simon and John Lennon were also poets, and that really captured my imagination. I had been writing 304 pages a day since I was young :that’s something I’ve put my 10,000 hours in. Writing and writing and wrting. Whether it’s gibberish or awesome, it’s something I’ve done as long as I can remember. Even early on as an artist, I was doing spoken word. That’s something I’ve always really loved, the lyrics.
LK: Is there an overall theme or message you want listeners to take away from the album?
DB: That’s a really good question. These songs have changed meaning several times. I think I have to keep doing that to stay passionate about them; they unveil more and more layers. My goal is to tell the truth about what I’m feeling, to be as honest as possible about what I’m feeling and say it in a beautiful way. But they can be many things to many people, and when I grow and change I think I’m almost lost, because the songs have evolved with me. It was an attempt at catharsis, an attempt at truth. Sometimes I don't even realize what the song is really about until much later. Like with the video for "King of Diamonds": while I was watching the finished product, I realized that that song is about me looking for my father. I didn’t even realize it until I saw it. It ripped my heart open and almost made me cry.
Read the rest of Laurel’s interview here.
“Coming or Going” - White Arrows
Festivals editor Lauren Novik highlighted the LA band’s upcoming appearance at the Sasquatch! Music Festival this weekend.
Lauren wrote, “White Arrows and I met at the Satellite (formerly Spaceland) where I jumped in thre back of a van and interviewed the boys. No, I wasn’t abducted, as you can see I’m still virtually here. We did however piss off the parking attendants and were asked to vacate the vehicle several times.
“Since that night White Arrows have been consistently charming- and I’ve been all over their music like an addiction I can’t kick. Lucky for us White Arrows are gearing up to play Sasquatch Festival this coming weekend and the boys put together a little video chronicling their shenanigans as they get ready to hit the road and then, the stage.”
Check out the rest of Lauren’s preview here.