Monday, December 31, 2012

A Soundtrack to Your New Year: New Track Rundown

The sun shines in through the shades as you awake and begin to remember that it is New Year's Eve. As you eat breakfast and start to get ready, excitement takes its hold. Seasonal affective disorder also begins to kick in right on time. You bring your coffee levels up to what you deem a sufficient amount to defeat it. You promise yourself that you will approach the night with a carefree spirit as opposed to your typical neurotic misgivings. This is the one day a year where your insomniac tendencies allow you to thrive. These songs play as you begin to map the course of the day:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Back: New Track Rundown

Hello, Stereo Typers. It’s been awhile since I have written in this space and I apologize for that. Allow me to explain the series of unfortunate events that have led to my unplanned and prolonged absence. I’ll start with the fact that Stereo Typing is no longer a Boston-based blog. I wasn’t able to find a job in order to obtain a lease and stay in Boston. For now, I am back living with my parents like the plot to so many bad sitcoms. I’ll spare you the gory details on what that’s like (hint: It’s not fun). The second major issue arose when I got back home and discover my computer wouldn’t boot.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stream: Baby Ghosts - Let's Always Hang Out Together, Okay?

Baby Ghosts are a punk band from Utah that employ elements of chiptunes in their sound. Typically, that sentence would be a nauseating description for me. When I hear Utah, I don't think of music. In fact, I don't really think of much except maybe canyons and Mormons, which are two things generally devoid of life that I could easily do without. Chiptunes are usually a novelty component that wears thin pretty quick. Sure I've had fun listening to HORSE the Band and The Advantage, but I don't find myself returning to them often. Despite these things, Baby Ghosts have smashed my preconceptions and left me feeling foolish. Let's Always Hang Out Together, Okay? contains irresistible songs that are far from bland or gimmicky and have me coming back endlessly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Stream: Sneeze - I'm Going to Kill Myself

Last night, I made my way to the Elks Lodge in Cambridge, MA where I was greeted by a welcome and familiar sound. It was that of Sneeze, one of Allston's finest up-and-comers, blasting away at gritty punk anthems. The band have a sound that could only come from those who are as well-versed in the punk scene of the 90's as they are the grunge. When writing about music, it gets exhausting constantly spewing out genres to place bands in. It seems like a new genre pops up every 10 seconds and I am guilty of muddling them together. Using genres in this manner, they start to lose their meaning. With Sneeze, I'm going to stick with one: grunge-punk. OK, I know - I rant about over-complicating genres and then I use a hyphenated one, right? Well, in this case, it is just too perfect. On the starkly titled I'm Going to Kill Myself, Sneeze find the perfect middle ground between grunge's distorted accessibility and punk's anthemic abrasiveness.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stream/Download: Trach - Heavy Arms EP

The duo Trach (pronounced "Track") is comprised of TRavis Hunter (Scouter) and zACH D'Agostino (Arvid Noe). Can you do the math there? The Heavy Arms EP is another reason why I have been obsessing over the sounds coming from Allston, Massachusetts lately. These six largely instrumental tracks each have their own unique vibe making for an entertaining 20+ minute listen. The opener and title track is a fantastic entry point and is both smooth and crunchy like organic peanut butter. Speaking of organic, they have a natural chemistry much like Boston’s other beloved duo Fat History Month.

Stream/Download: Geronimo! - Buzz Yr Girlfriend: Vol 2 - The Burden of Genius

Chicago's Geronimo! are a DIY band that have a distinctive mixture of post-punk and noisy progressive grunge. Their latest release is a sequel of sorts to last year's Buzz Yr Girlfriend: Vol 1, a gravelly 4-track cassette. Buzz Yr Girlfriend: Vol 2 - The Burden of Genius improves upon that release by leaps and bounds. With enhanced production and stellar songwriting, they secure their place one of more intriguing bands from the windy city.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Mid-Year Report

Anyone who knows a chronic music enthusiast knows that we live to make lists. Yeah, High Fidelity has us pegged in many ways. It’s a month past the midway point but I’d like to share my favorites from the first half of 2012. I started this awhile ago so that’s why some of the stuff I have written about lately isn’t featured here. I’m not going to ramble on too much because there is going to be a lot of music for you to dive into. I’m kicking it off with my Top 25 Albums and a Spotify playlist with my favorite track from each.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hear Sebadoh's First Release in 14 Years: Secret EP

With Lou Barlow gearing up for a new Dinosaur Jr. album called I Bet on Sky to be released September 18 via Jagjaguwar, I wasn't expecting any news from the Sebadoh camp. I hadn't really stopped listening to that excellent Bakesale reissue yet, then.. *Bam!* ...the first new material from the group in 14 years! I'm always wary when a band tries to recapture their magic after such a long hiatus, especially one hadn't put out anything since the 90's. Often they come back sounding like a shell of their former selves. Rest assured, Sebadoh is back in full lo-fi slacker-rock mode.

Geoff Barrow Has Been Busy: BEAK>, Quakers, Drokk

There's no doubt Geoff Barrow (of Portishead fame) has been an extremely busy man in 2012. March saw the launch of his Quakers hip hop project and more recently, he has released the second effort from his krautrock band BEAK>. He had also mentioned that a new Portishead album might not be too far behind. Each project is an intriguing and ambitious endeavor that you can sample after the jump.

Animal Collective Announce Single "Today's Supernatural"

I hate that when certain bands release a new single, every blog on the planet regurgitates it, often without even saying anything. Well, this time I’m jumping onboard, but it is in hope that a discussion may brew and because Animal Collective is one of my absolute favorite bands. On their new weekly radio program, the band presented the first true taste of Centipede Hz in all its oddball glory. “Today’s Supernatural” is much less poppy than the material on Merriweather Post Pavilion and brings back some of the quirky elements of their past. This is one track that is going to require many spins before you can fully absorb what is going on. I recommend switching to that 720p setting because there is a lot happening in this one.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Stream: DIIV - Oshin

DIIV is a Brooklyn band formed by Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith. It's not too hard to guess what kind of music to expect on their debut Oshin. It has all the marks of his previous band such as hypnotic guitars drenched in reverb and vocals that act more like an ambient texture than they do a focal point. Through most of the album, the buoyant guitars are the main attraction as they bubble and pop over fluid bass lines. The gently oscillating rhythms that accompany them sound like they were made to sway one's hips to while poolside on a cool summer night.

Stream: Marissa Nadler - The Sister

Confession time: It's been dark and dreary all day and my mood has certainly been reflecting this. It's now raining and I'm too broke to go out or order in so I have taken to writing about the best albums that I've heard over the past week. The latest from Marissa Nadler is a perfect listen for my current disposition. Her sixth album is the sister to last year’s self-titled release, which was one of my favorites of 2011. It is also the second from her Box of Cedar Records. Where the self-titled release found her expanding her palette, The Sister has her stripping it back down. The songs have skeletal structures but rich narratives.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stream: Hallelujah the Hills - No One Knows What Happens Next

In October of last year, I took a trip down to where people were camping out for Occupy Boston and caught a performance by Hallelujah the Hills. One of the songs they presented to the crowd was "Hungry Ghost Extraordinaire". The pensive ballad was a taste of what was to become their third album, No One Knows What Happens Next. Luckily, I snagged a video of their performance to tide me over. Having listened to that song so many times before the albums release, I allowed the anticipation to build sky high. The record has finally arrived and I've since had the chance to see whether they could meet such expectations. Once the sing-along chorus kicked in on the thumping bass-driven opener "Get Me in a Room", I knew that those expectations were about to be met and surpassed.

Stream: For Sleeping or Jumping - Dead Languages

Here we have something that deviates from the normal offerings at Stereo Typing. It's been awhile since I've covered any hardcore or metal; but when something good crops up, I don't want fans of those genres to miss out on it. For Sleeping or Jumping is a mathcore outfit from Boston that worked with Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Ryan Siegal, who produced the Coloring Book EP for Glassjaw, to produce their latest release, Dead Languages. Weinman's influence can certainly be heard in the winding and perplexing guitar acrobatics and Siegal's in the tight post-hardcore song structure. The unpredictability over these five tracks keeps you attentive and intrigued from the moment you press play.

Monday, July 23, 2012

RIBS Release Russian Blood, Play WFNX Boston Accents Funeral Party

RIBS gained notoriety when their debut EP, British Brains, became Reddit's top voted music post of all time its month of release. As the post mentioned, RIBS mastermind Keith Freund festered through a five year gestation period for that effort. Considering this, we can forgive him for taking another two years for the followup, Russian Blood. For what can be considered a "bedroom project", Russian Blood sounds like something ready for adoring fans at an arena. Freund and company take a DIY approach to every aspect of the band including the label, PR, production, and management. The result is very personal release given to a fanbase that they have built themselves from the ground up.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stream: King Tuff - King Tuff

"There’s nothin’ better than alone and stoned / Listenin’ to music on your headphones," sings Kyle Thomas on King Tuff standout "Alone & Stoned". One could take this as a hint as to how the album was meant to be heard. Under his King Tuff persona, Thomas has perfected the craft of creating poppy garage rock anthems. This self-titled record is his first for Sub Pop and the long awaited followup to 2008’s Was Dead. He has kept fairly prolific between the two albums, playing with freak-folk outfit Feathers and J. Mascis' stoner metal band Witch. He also toured with Hunx and His Punx and put out a record with his power pop band, Happy Birthday. The latter displayed his knack for writing quirky and memorable hooks and on King Tuff, he retains the cleaner production and tighter songwriting of that record. It seems Thomas may have crafted the perfect retro-leaning rock album.

Stream: Slothrust - Feels Your Pain

The title of Slothrust's debut full-length reminds one of the classic Dinosaur Jr. song "Feel the Pain". Much like Dinosaur Jr., Slothrust puts an emphasis on big guitar licks with bluesy undertones and grungy rhythms. The Brooklyn trio consists of guitarist/vocalist Leah Wellbaum, bassist Kyle Bann, and drummer Will Gorin. Leah sounds like she may have spent some time listening to tragically overlooked 90's rockers Kicking Giant. Said band were known for melding whirling guitars with provocative lyrics and that is exactly what she does with the one-two punch of "The Couch Incident" and "In a Sexual Way". However, after that song, the pace is slowed down with the early morning blues boogie of "7:30 am". It is a great example of how Slothrust doesn't stay in one place for too long.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Download: Skaters - Schemers EP

After feeling the onset of cabin fever one rainy night in early June, I decided to catch a show at the Middle East. One of Boston's finest up-and-coming bands, CreaturoS, were the headliners and I had been meaning to see them for awhile. I'm still saving every penny to pay the $1,000 they are asking for in order to own their 13 minute long track on bandcamp. I unfortunately missed the other two bands that played that night, but I was very happy to have caught Skaters. The group does not focus on punk as their name would indicate, but rather a catchy brand of garage pop. Schemers EP, available as a free download via their website, has made it's way into my regular rotation as of late. The opening track is a straightforward bit of crunchy rock that certainly wouldn't sound out of place on the radio. The tropical rhythm of "Fear of the Knife" and the tasteful horns on "Good Weird Woman" add wonderful flavor to their style and remind me of the liberties taken by The Clash. The killer hook to closer "Done for Good" makes it my favorite of the bunch. The jangly guitars and irresistible groove will surely bring about many comparisons to The Strokes, whom they had opened for in the past. Also, their music videos, which can be viewed below, are some of the crazier to hit the internet this year.

Stream/Download: Habitat - Habitat

The night of May 30th, there were too many great shows in Boston to choose just one. After watching Speedy Ortiz mesmerize the crowd at O'Brien's Pub for their release show, I decided to make my way to a basement show where Fat History Month were playing. When I arrived, I was greeted by the upbeat experimental pop from New Orleans' Habitat. I was instantly captivated by the band, which is a three piece ensemble comprised of Jack Donovan (guitar/vocals), Andrew Landry (guitar), and Evan Cvitanovic (drums). The crowd was already dancing away to the jazzy, intricate rock spewing from their amps. The two guitarists created a flurry of sixteenth notes playfully bouncing off one another. The calculated aspect of their music reminded me of early Maps & Atlases or UK math rock darlings Foals with a punk edge. Habitat's debut EP is available for free at their bandcamp and it is one of the year's more addicting releases. After the instrumental "Miracle of Deafness", "Broke My Home" demonstrates their unique and catchy style with guitars and cymbals crashing together beautifully. The anthemic closer "All Along We Used to Know" is one of my favorites of the year. The song starts with a guitar line that rings gently until the band switches gears and kicks into a galloping rhythm with plenty of fretboard aerobatics. Here's to hoping we get more of this in the future!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Stream/Download: Sand Reckoner - Sand Reckoner

Originally hailing from Bucks County, PA, but currently residing in Boston, Sand Reckoner prove to be a melting pot of rock ‘n’ roll history on their full-length debut. Their smoky riffs and groovy rhythms bring about easy comparisons to The Black Angels, especially on “The Morning Star” with the howling, reverb-drenched wah in it's final moments. What sets Sand Reckoner apart from the aforementioned band is their willingness to diversify their songwriting. There is a heavy folk element that is evident from “Shooting Bullets” and also takes center stage in “The Darkest Dye”. However, they don’t stop at simply integrating folk into their musical concoction. There are elements of psychedelic, blues, surf, and arena rock to be found scattered throughout.

Stream/Download: CHURCHES - C H U R C H E S

The Bay Area's CHURCHES have just released their debut EP for free on bandcamp and it is really hard to take it off repeat. The 90’s rock revivalists provide six tracks that play out like a tribute to the best of the grunge era. It's impossible not to hear Nirvana in the guitar-driven tracks like "Feel Alright". Singer Caleb Nichols, former bassist of Port O'Brien, has a great sense of melody and seems to be expelling some residual teenage angst that was still lingering around a la The Smashing Pumpkins. Drummer Pat Spurgeon does an excellent job of creating thumping rhythms that push the weight of these anthemic tracks right to your cerebral cortex. You may know Spurgeon as the drummer for the indie pop band Rogue Wave. He was also the subject of the film D Tour, which dealt with his struggles with kidney failure just as Rogue Wave started to take off. He shines bright on "Katie", a track that shows how well the trio - rounded by bassist Dominic East - meld together humming guitars and crashing rhythms. It also presents the most lyrically intriguing ideas with lines like "God is just a drink with which you wet your whistle / Jesus was a thief; he stole your poison apple". "Save Me" steps out of the grunge shadow with a catchy dream-pop melody and shows they aren't a one trick pony. Much credit is due to current WATERS and former Port O’Brien frontman Van Pierszalowskione, who did an excellent job of drawing out the best aspects of this band.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Track Lineage: "Let Me Roll It"

Track Lineage is a new segment I am introducing that examines the history of a song as well as its descendants. I am kicking it off with one of my favorite post-Beatles McCartney songs. Paul McCartney turned 70 this past Monday and with that came many musicians covering his songs in celebration. One of the choice tracks was the classic "Let Me Roll It" released February 15, 1974 on Apple Records. The song first appeared as the last track on side one of the Paul McCartney & Wings album Band on the Run. It was also featured as the b-side to the single for "Jet". It is often seen as a pastiche of John Lennon's style during that period and certainly features some of Lennon's signature marks. You can hear the influence in the dirty guitar tones and the tape echo vocals that seem to be derived straight from "Cold Turkey"; although this notion was shot down by McCartney himself. The song was inspired by a line in "I'd Have You Anytime", the opening track on the 1970 album All Things Must Pass by George Harrison. Perhaps unwittingly but more likely in response to the song's sound, Lennon's 1974 track "Beef Jerky" from Walls and Bridges featured an almost identical but extended riff. "Let Me Roll It" has become a live staple in McCartney's arsenal and there is some great footage of him performing the song in the fall of 2005 from The Space Within US DVD which can be seen here.

Stream/Download: Elegant Animals - Spectrum Nocturnal EP

Elegant Animals are a Philadelphia-based duo consisting of Jules Kazys on vocals and Brandon Shockley on guitar. Together they create groovy R&B with a seductive nighttime vibe. The bluesy intro to their Spectrum Nocturnal EP sets the scene perfectly through its come-hither bass line and flirtatious guitar. The slinky sound leads seamlessly into "Syndicate", which is the obvious single here. The jazzy guitar line and shuffling rhythms pair perfectly to make one's hips sway. However, the real gem is the title track. This slow-burner has a soaring chorus to die for and a captivating guitar solo that gives the emotive track an extra thrust. The production on these jams utilizes warm keyboards and carefully selected samples to establish an enticing atmosphere.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Stream/Download: TV Girl - The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle

The Wild, The Innocent, The TV Shuffle is a mixtape from the San Diego duo Brad Petering and Trung Ngo, together known as TV Girl. It is the perfect summer soundtrack and screams "Play me on the way to the beach!" It's hot outside and we need carefree music and they provide it in spades. The mixtape draws heavily from doo-wop and the bubblegum rock of the 50's and 60's. Fans of recent revivalists Cults, Richard Swift, and The Stepkids will find plenty to love on this one. After "Keep Me Distracted", which serves more as an intro to the mix, "I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now" is the perfect reference point for their sound. It's sweet looping strings, subtle horn accompaniment, and trip-hop beat recalls fellow sample-based crooner Jens Lekman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Stream/Download: Two Inch Astronaut - Red Pancake and the Dark Energy

I've sitting on this one for awhile but it's time to introduce you guys to Two Inch Astronaut. The band from Silver Spring, Maryland consists of Sam Rosenberg (guitars, vocals), Daniel Pouridas (bass), and Matt Gatwood (drums, keyboards). Right from the driving opening track, you can tell that these fellas are students of Discord Records and certainly dabbled in Touch and Go. "Tree Ate My House" follows and displays all the strengths of their exploratory songwriting style. It is an exercise in organized chaos with stop and go rhythms, fluttering horns, and winding guitars. "Power Baby" streamlines this approach into something more accessible that you can shout along to line by line. With "Big Suprise (Big Inflatible Guy)", they incorprate a punk rock fury that looks back to Nation of Ulysses for inspiration.

JEFF the Brotherhood - Hypnotic Knights EP

Summer is officially here and we are in the midst of a good old fashioned heatwave here in beantown. With the impending sunny days, you are going to want to grab a six-pack and chill with friends while listening to some upbeat tunes. Do I have a recommended soundtrack for such activities? Of course! The recently released Hypnotic Knights EP by JEFF the Brotherhood is tailor-made for days like these. The opening track is even titled "Sixpack". Frontman Jake Orrall and drummer/brother Jamin present four tracks of the crunchy fist-pumping rock that makes their wild live shows such a treat. Each song packs in plenty of Blue Album-era Weezer-isms with psychedelic leanings to keep things interesting. The duo are playing tomorrow (Thu, June 21) at TT The Bear's with Uncle Bad Touch, CreaturoS, and Skimask. I guarantee with that lineup it's going to be one to remember.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Track Rundown

Those who have been following Stereo Typing may know that I have been without a proper computer for some time. It now appears that my troublesome computer has finally been fixed. Barring another crash - which would be an inconceivable nightmare - regular posting will once again commence. I would like to celebrate with a carefully curated mixtape from the best tracks that had been circulating the internet during my hiatus. My favorite I have heard over the past month comes from prolific psych-rocker Ty Segall. His newly formed Ty Segall Band includes frequent collaborators Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moothart, and Emily Rose Epstein. "Wave Goodbye" packs all the fuzz and buzz you can handle and is a great way to kick off this mix. The image above is the awesome album cover for their debut, Slaughterhouse, which is now available to stream in its entirety at Spin. In a similar but noisier vein is Dope Body's "Weird Mirror". Their new record, Natural History, combines punk aggression and noisy rock 'n' roll in the most compelling ways. King Tuff is the latest project from Kyle Thomas, who had previously won me over with his power pop band Happy Birthday. The self-titled record and Sub Pop debut under the King Tuff moniker mixes glam and garage with influences from 50's, 60's, and 70's pop radio. The biggest surprise I've discovered lately would be from Colin Caulfield who performs under the name Young Man. Vol. 1 is full of introspective indie pop songs with thoughtful arrangements. Most songs deal with the tribulations of being twentysomething from an artist who is twentysomething; You can do the math on why I can relate to the album so much. All this and more after the jump along with Boston tour dates.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Download “Silver Spring” by Speedy Ortiz and Pre-order the Sports EP

Speedy Ortiz are set to unleash their Sports EP to the world on June 5th. It will be available through Exploding in Sound Records on limited edition vinyl or you can buy the intangible version via your favorite digital distributor. Exploding in Sound Records is, of course, a venture co-founded by your editor here so I would be remiss if I didn't say: Just get the damn vinyl! It comes with a download anyway and you get an awesome looking record and artwork to hold in your hands while listening. Now that that unpleasantry is behind us, I will say Sports is irrefutably one of the year's best releases. It contains five tracks of delightfully wry lyrics, winding guitars, and gripping rhythms. But don't take my word for it; The Boston Phoenix has already started generating buzz with this wonderfully written piece. The release show will be on Wednesday, May 30th at O'Brien's Pub in Allston, MA with Grass is Green, Young Adults, and Arvid Noe. It a veritable smorgasbord of sensational Boston acts. You should already know that Speedy Ortiz are a killer live act and I hope to see all you there next week. If you want Speedy Ortiz to come to your town or you are just feeling generous, the band needs help procuring a van and are offering some enticing incentives. Full details on the release and a free download of the irresistible single "Silver Spring" after the jump.

Album Review: Father John Misty - Fear Fun

I have to admit that upon first listening to Father John Misty's debut Fear Fun, I was left unimpressed. It may have been my high expectations. After all, the band was formed by singer J. Tillman, who played drums in Fleet Foxes and left that band to pursue this project. Fear Fun is a classic grower and with repeated spins, it has become one of the year's most rewarding albums. These songs need to be intimately absorbed as a whole. In this manner, you really start to understand this collection of stories telling the trials and tribulations of trying to "make it" and the things one does to survive. These are Tillman's tales of self-deprecation and self-destruction written under the guise of Father John Misty and filtered through the smoke and booze of the thousands of rock 'n' roll icons that came before him.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stream: Here We Go Magic - A Different Ship

From one of my favorite stories of the week, the picture above is the band Here We Go Magic on the road after they picked up a hitchhiking John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Cry-Baby). Guitarist Michael Bloch explained the ordeal:
There's a hydro-fracking boom in western Pennsylvania. You can't get a motel room. We had to drive til 4AM, and finally found a Days Inn in eastern Ohio. Getting back on the highway this morning, there was a man at the side of the on-ramp with a sign that read "to the end of Rte 70." Jen [Turner, bassist] wanted to pick him up, but we drove past him. As we passed by, our sound guy said "John Waters." Luke said, "Yep, definitely John Waters." We got off at the next exit and circled back. He was still there. We pulled up, opened the door and asked where he was coming from. "Baltimore," he said. And we said "Get in, sir."
Always the provocateur, filmmaker John Waters explained why he still hitchhikes revealing:
I still do hitchhike-- it's a great way to meet people, and to have sex.
Of course, this was reported in every corner of the blogosphere. What was failed to be mentioned was that Here We Go Magic released on of the must-hear records of 2012 and it is available to stream for free.

Stream: Silversun Pickups - Neck of the Woods

Dense shoegaze guitars and atmospheric synth effects fill "Skin Graph", the opening track of Silversun Pickups' third album, Neck of the Woods. The songwriting is dark and moody, giving the impression that you are lost in the woods and can be attacked at any moment. The cinematic approach is amplified with a screaming siren sound not unlike the one heard at the end of the trailer for Prometheus. It is somewhat unsettling and warns the listener that this is going to be a more adventurous album than their past efforts. The single "Bloody Mary (Never Endings)" is every bit as compelling as their breakout hit "Lazy Eye" and has a haunting chorus that ropes you in immediately. It is also a shining example of one of the band’s greatest strengths: their driving rhythm section. Throughout the record, the plodding bass lines from Nikki Monninger mix with the forceful drumming of Chris Guanlao to drive the record forward with boundless intensity.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pontiak Echo Through Church

Pontiak is a psychedelic rock trio comprised of brothers Van (lead vocals, guitar), Jennings (bass, organ, vocals), and Lain Carney (drums, vocals). I made a last minute decision to catch their set on April 29th when they stopped by Church and I was rewarded handsomely with an inspiring set. Their latest record, Echo Ono, has spent a great deal of time on my turntable and their performance reaffirmed the incendiary force of songs like "The North Coast" and "Across the Steppe".

Stream/Download: Krill - Alam No Hris

Out of a basement in Somerville, MA comes Alam No Hris, the debut from Krill. The trio of Jonah Furman (vocals/bass), Aaron Ratoff (guitar), and Luke Pyenson (drums) have crafted a catchy garage rock album that is very much indebted to the Pixies. Since first hearing them, I have become quite smitten with these tunes and they have been on constant rotation. The danceable jangle of "32 Teeth" reminds me of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Furman's warbly vocals definitely further that comparison. Hell, even the crappy album cover reminds me of CYHSY's debut.

Future Islands Give Us More Than Just the Wind at Paradise

I've seen Future Islands a few times before but I was still eager to see them headline the show at Paradise Rock Club on April 28th. The band has been one of my favorites for the past two years and they have been steadily garnering fans with their unparalleled work ethic. I was especially excited for this show because of the excellent openers, fellow Baltimore natives Ed Schrader's Music Beat and Boston basement vets Skimask. It's always great to see a band rise to bigger venues and get a chance to give their all to a larger audience. Future Islands did not disappoint; in fact, they were on an entirely different plain that night.

Monday, May 7, 2012

RIP Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, A Powerful and Irreplaceable Voice

Friday brought the sad news of the passing of influential hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Adam Yauch, who performed with the Beastie Boys under his stage name MCA. The Beastie Boys were among my first true musical loves. Ill Communication was one of the first albums I had ever purchased and I still have that same copy today. I’m looking at it sitting on a shelf on my desk as I type this. Although the copy is virtually unplayable, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it. I must have carried that everywhere I went for years and played it to every one of my friends ad nauseum. Along with Green Day’s Dookie, it was the soundtrack to my youth. But my obsession didn’t stop there. I followed the band throughout their career, loving each unexpected turn that their music took. Hot Sauce Committee Part Two was one of last year’s best records and is a shining example of how MCA was able to kick out the jams right until the very end.

Bad Brains Keep Sailin' On at Paradise

There are a handful of punk bands that I still listen to consistently. It's been awhile since I had closely followed the hardcore punk scene but I still find myself going back to the early albums from Bad Brains. I never thought I would actually have the chance to see them perform. When I heard that they would appear at Paradise Rock Club on April 16th, I knew it would be one of the year's must-see performances. The show sold out almost immediately after tickets went on sale, but I was lucky enough to snag one. Thirty-some years after their formation, Bad Brains showed an audience at Paradise why they are still one of the most talked about hardcore punk bands.

Church Gets Psychedelic

Hopefully, you are a religious fundamentalist that has stumble upon this review because of the title. Well, there's no reason to get upset (I know how easy it is to set you fundies off). The title is simply a reference to the incredible lineup of psychedelic rock that I witnessed on April 12th at Church. The semi-religiously monikered The New Highway Hymnal kicked off the night followed by hypnotic space rockers White Hills and the intoxicating retro rock of Sleepy Sun. It was a fantastically blasphemous night of repenting, PBR in hand, while enjoying a sermon that included deafening recitations from the gospel of rock 'n' roll.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pile, Speedy Ortiz Play New Songs at Great Scott

There is very little I enjoy more than seeing a bill that is stacked with promising bands on the rise. A bout of insomnia had kept me up the night before, but I knew I had to drag myself out to the show on April 9th at Great Scott. The unbelievable lineup included Slothrust, Speedy Ortiz, Buildings, Crinkle Face, and Pile. If I were to recommend five bands to keep your eyes on in the coming months, it would be the ones that were on that bill. Needless to say, I was pleased that I had dragged my lazy ass out to see all of them in action. To make the night even more satisfying, I captured performances of new songs from Speedy Ortiz and Pile, both of whom have upcoming releases on Exploding in Sound Records.

Cursive Burst and Bloom at the Middle East

It's a strange revelation when you realize that you have never seen one of your favorite bands live before. Such was the case when I saw that Cursive was coming to Boston with Cymbals Eat Guitars and Conduits. As much as Cursive's albums have meant to me, I had yet to catch a live performance by them. That was remedied when I saw them perform on April 2nd at the Middle East downstairs. It was to be my 3rd show in a row but I was still ready to rock. The night before I was seeing one of my other high school favorites, Converge, and I was looking to continue to ride that same wave of nostalgia with Cursive.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Track Rundown

Let me catch you up on my life, because we all know that's why you are here. Just as Stereo Typing started to update consistently, my computer decided that it would self-destruct, thus solidifying the blog's reputation for sporadic postings. But isn't that what makes this blog so fun and mysterious? It's a welcome surprise (or at least it should be) every time something pops up here. It keeps people guessing "Is this guy still listening to new music?" or "Do you think that blogger has finally been locked up in a mental institution." Meanwhile, I have to get one of those "job" things because society (and my wallet) hates an unemployed man (sans Mitt Romney for some reason). Anyway, here I am writing this unnecessarily personal introduction to a new track rundown on some crappy netbook. While deconstructing my attributes into alluring - dare I say irresistible - cover letters, I took the time to generate this playlist of inspiring new songs and videos for all to enjoy. More info after the jump.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Stream/Download: Harriet - Tell The Right Story

Harriet is an LA based group fronted by former Dawes member Alex Casnoff. From the first song, I was absolutely hooked to their self-released debut EP Tell The Right Story. The wonderfully titled "I Slept with All Your Mothers" is the type of soaring anthemic indie rock that I yearn for. The showstopping vocal performance at the end of the track is one of those great moments that gives you chills the first time you hear it ...and every time after. It's next to impossible not to want to shout along with his declarations of “I slept with all your mothers. I slept in bed with you. I’m slipping under cover. I gave myself to you.” The next track, "Soldier", has a bluesy shuffle that actually reminds me a bit of Queens of the Stone Age's "Make It Wit Chu". Closer "Send 'Em Up" is another clear standout. It has an aching beauty about it and perfectly exibits their ability to blend classic Americana, folk, and dynamic indie rock much like Wilco.

Stream/Download: The Dads - Clip Art

The Dads are a four-piece from Rochester, NY. I first heard of them through their single "Don't Know How to Eat That" which remains one of my favorites of 2012. The song's main guitar riff is intricate and memorable which is a pairing you don't hear enough these days. It reels you in and the heartfelt vocals keep you coming back. Other songs like "Carried Away" are punky garage rockers that remind me of Harlem. The searing guitars found in "Zinny the Cat" are similar to the tones that can be found on Mr. Dream's records. The eight tracks here breeze by but are easy to play over and over again. Clip Art is available with a name-your-price plan via bandcamp.

Exploding in Sound - Brain Damage for Beginners

If all the music I have been posting lately wasn't enough, I highly recommend downloading the latest compilation from the fine folks at Exploding in Sound. Brain Damage for Beginners contains many excellent songs from bands that were featured here on Stereo Typing including Radical Dads, Mikal Cronin, Creepoid, Extra Happy Ghost!!!, Fat History Month, Sandrider, Speedy Ortiz, and Shores. Apart from those there are plenty of gems to discover within.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pile Kick Off Tour + More

Pile's latest tour kicks off tonight with idiosyncratic garage rockers Fat History Month and I can't recommend it enough. The best advice you'll ever get is "Go see Pile live." I would take that advice if I were you, especially since they are paired with another outstanding Boston live act. These bands have amassed a dedicated following due to their commanding live shows. You will also have a chance to wet your appetite for new material since Pile will be performing songs from their upcoming release on Exploding in Sound Records due out late summer / early fall. After playing around town a bit, Pile - the workhorses that they are - will be heading back out with the mighty Ugh God. I caught them both in Philly last time around and you can read about my interesting night and why you need to see these amazing bands live. Below is the announcement along with streams for the aforementioned bands.

The Dirty Dishes - The Most Tarnished Birds

The Dirty Dishes are back with their long awaited follow-up to 2010's impressive debut EP. The Most Tarnished Birds is another five tracks of wonderfully spacey jams. It's easy to hear the maturity on these new tunes, especially on Jenny Tuite's vocals. Opening track "Hush" allows her to take the spotlight with a melody that is both gripping yet subtle. "Bloom" is my absolute favorite track. The songwriting is reminiscent of the quieter material from The Smashing Pumpkins that still takes the opportunity to pop out at you during the right instances. The cascading guitars among Jenny's confessions of "I'm watching you bloom" create a truly absorbing moment. Closer "Blur", unlike it's name, is another clear bright spot. It has the same sonic punch as the Deftones complete with driving guitars and a soaring chorus. With Jenny coming into her own as a vocalist, The Dirty Dishes are more exciting to follow than ever. Listen below and prepare to be fully enthralled.

Speedy Ortiz - Taylor Swift / Swim Fan

Exploding in Sound Records (Stereo Typing’s joint venture with Exploding in Sound) is extremely proud to announce the signing of Speedy Ortiz. The self-proclaimed “snack rock” and “post-post-grunge” band has a new single that builds on the promise of songs like “Cutco” from their magnificent debut, The Death of Speedy Ortiz. The transition is akin to Sebadoh’s evolution on Bakesale; the songwriting is tighter, the songs are catchier, but they still pack quite a punch. “Taylor Swift” is as irresistible as the pop singer herself (minus the generic music). B-side “Swim Fan” has more delicious crunch than a bag of tortilla chips. Speedy Ortiz is like a tightly wrapped burrito layered with hearty rhythms, spicy guitar licks, and saucy lyrics. I’m clearly hungry now so I’ll let you go. You’ll find the full press release and tasty tunes after the jump.

Grass is Green - Ronson

Grass is Green have released their latest opus, Ronson, as a limited edition [only 500 copies] CD through Exploding in Sound Records, sold exclusively at Grass Is Green concerts and it is one of the year's brightest highlights. I’m going to try and write about this album without mentioning the 90s. Goddammit. I already blew it. Well now that we are on the subject, Grass is Green doesn’t play into the current 90’s resurgence of aping old grunge riffs. Instead, they meld the best of angular alternative guitars and perplexing math rhythms. This means you’ll have plenty of reason to namedrop Jawbox and Polvo to your friends while describing them. And you will definitely be talking to your friends about this one because Grass is Green have created an album so engaging that you’ll need to discuss it shortly after listening.

Friday, March 16, 2012

New Track Rundown

It's been awhile and I've been struggling with writer's block among other things, but just in time for the weekend, I have compile another selection of tunes that need to be heard. Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and you are going to want something to jam out to while you are needlessly guzzling alcohol. Or maybe you need a playlist to rock that hangover away on Sunday? Either way I've got you covered.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Album Review: of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks

of Montreal mastermind Kevin Barnes has always been a risk taker. He has released new music every year since of Montreal’s 1997 debut, Cherry Peel, and no two releases have been alike. It’s been an unpredictable journey seeing how the band evolves from release to release. Paralytic Stalks is their 11th studio album and finds Barnes working in a more collaborative environment with Zac Cowell, who performs the woodwinds and the brass instruments on the record, and Kishi Bashi, who created the string arrangements. At the same time, this is his most personal and confessional release to date – almost to a painful degree. Previous albums had him channel feelings through his fictitious persona Georgie Fruit; but on this record, we have him directly confessing feelings of depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

Stream: Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend

Strange Weekend is the debut of Mauro Remiddi who performs under the guise of Porcelain Raft. It is quite the journey of genre-hopping bedroom pop. You wouldn’t be able to tell that this record was recorded in his bedroom if I didn’t just tell you as much. The opener, “Drifting in and Out” is an airy track that takes it’s title quite literally. Following suit, the gentle "Shapeless & Gone" is reminiscent of Jesus and Mary Chain at their most accessible and ends with buzzing guitars that add welcome texture. The buoyant acoustic structure of "Is It Too Deep for You" is not too far removed from the tighter Atlas Sound compositions. With its skittering beat and unpredictable synths, “Unless You Speak Your Heart” is the clear standout. Another highlight is "Picture" which rounds things out with a trip-hop feel that keeps the album bouncing along before dream-pop closer "The Way In". Strange Weekend is one of the more exciting debuts of the year and you can hear the whole thing for yourself after the jump.