We’ve had lots of folks sending in emails asking when we’ll be arriving in Austin for SXSW, and that picture up above pretty much describes what our replies are. If the incredible decline in content over the last couple of weeks hasn’t communicated it, perhaps the sad face will. We’re pretty swamped over here, but certainly not dead. However, the slavemasters at our 9 to 5′s are keeping us out of Austin this year. The good thing is that our writer Justin will be in the Austin area, but probably doing more of the fan thing as opposed the writer thing. We’re officially drowning our sorrows in vats of Great Lakes beer and eating lots of donuts. Our calendars include SXSW next year, so hopefully we can stick it to the man or get promotions in the meantime. The interesting thing, however, is what happens to the blogosphere during these couple of weeks. Everyone sort of puts on blinders and focuses solely on the SXSW circus. Being bloggers that are not attending gives us a unique perspective. We’re still listening to tunes and evaluating. This is a boon for you. Because we’re pretty strapped for time, here’s a quick round up of the goodies that have been gaining speed this week. Enjoy this week’s list and follow us on TWITTER and FACEBOOK. We hope everyone has a safe trip down to Austin. Call me for my credit card number, and I’ll buy everyone a round or two.
This Week’s List
ARMS – Heat & Hot Water – In the wake of the unfortunate collapse of Harlem Shakes, Todd Goldstein decided not to go to sleep. We’ve posted a few sporadic MP3’s from his solo project turned full on band, ARMS, in recent months, and he’s apparently hitting a creative stride. The trio has just released a free EP for fans, aptly titled, EP, and the first MP3 offered is “Heat & Hot Water.” Harlem Shakes was certainly a pop act, but Goldstein’s guitar work shouldn’t be underscored. When we saw them play live last year, I noticed that Goldstein was a musical braniac, sitting behind the band and allowing his intricate guitar work blend in. On the ARMS project, Goldstein gets to move outside the restricting peramaters Harlem Shakes required. This is a good thing, folks. Snag the EP HERE and spread the word.
ARMS – Heat & Hot Water
Keepaway – 5 Rings – Brooklyn trio, Keepaway, will release their EP Baby Steps via Lefse records on May 18th. There’s a lot going on in “5 Rings” and it warrants quite a few repeat plays. Synths, riveting percussion, and off-kilter melodies swirl on this thing. We’re not super hip on any back catalog, but there’s certainly promise with this track alone. In what seems to be the ongoing theme, Brooklyn outfits are testing musical boundaries and winding up with all the credit they deserve. Consider moving Keepaway into the discussion, as the EP should hit pretty heavily.
Keepaway – 5 Rings
Japandroids – Darkness at the Edge of Gastown – Polyvinyl is releasing No Singles at the tail end of April. It’s a compilation of Japandroids’ first two EP’s that have long been out of print. Post-Nothing created a lot of waves last year, and it’s nice to get a taste of how the band was working before this album started gaining momentum. “Darkness at the Edge of Gastown” comes from the second EP, Lullaby Death Jams. The slicy metallic guitars are front and center. For folks aching for more Japandroids tracks to break shit to, look no further. On a side note, the band is touring soon with Avi Buffalo. We’ll be at that double-date with bells on.
Japandroids – Darkness on the Edge of Gastown
Mimicking Birds – New Doomsdays - I don’t know a whole lot about Mimicking Birds, besides the fact that “New Doomsdays” has been circulating heavily in my playlist over the past week. Their self-titled LP just hit the shelves last week. Stereogum referred to their connections to Modest Mouse, and I can definitely hear it.
Mimicking Birds – New Doomsdays
HEALTH – In Heat (Javelin Remix) – I’m not a huge HEALTH fan on record, but I’m super stoked about Javelin’s upcoming album. The remix play here is worth a listen, as the Brooklyn duo is about to turn water into wine with the new LP. Enjoy.
HEALTH – In Heat (Javelin Remix)
Oh No Ono – Eleanor Speaks (Caribou Remix) – Justin reviewed Oh No Ono’s LP a couple of months ago and referred to it’s varietal grandeur. Caribou’s upcoming album, Swim, also promises. The melting together of these two works well.
Oh No Ono – Eleanor Speaks (Caribou Remix)
Dr. Dog – Stranger- Is it possible that Dr. Dog is the best live show on the planet? I’ve seen them three times, and I’d be willing to throw some money down on this debate. The bluesy hook-rocking foursome has now released two tracks from their forthcoming album, Shame, Shame, and smooth and ass-shaking sounds promise to continue with very little change. If you’re within a 200 mile radius of a Dr. Dog show, chalk it up as a huge missed opportunity if you don’t gas up the car and catch the show.
Dr. Dog – Stranger
MGMT – Flash Delirium - I read an interesting article this week regarding “Flash Delirium,” which seems like a left turn for MGMT. The first released track from their upcoming album, the shifting and changes in the song no doubt polarize listeners. The band alluded to the creation of the song, pointing out that much of it was laughable at first and it’s almost as if they extended a short apology to fans that were put off by the track. To me, however, this is a change in MGMT that I can get behind. I’m digging it.
MGMT – Flash Delirium
Wye Oak – I Hope You Die – I just missed the Wye Oak show in PA last night, and I’m kicking myself for not paying enough attention to my calendar. The buzz has been pretty hot on this band and for good reason. The hybrid mix of about ten different styles are done without sacrificing melody and artistry. Nothing seems forced, and tracks lay out as smooth as silk, also with enough rock to keep the blood pumping. The Pittsburgh stop was a long way from SXSW, but I’m going to venture the long traveling won’t tire them one bit.
Wye Oak – I Hope You Die
Neon Indian – Sleep Paralysist – The glo-fi music can’t be that difficult to create, but I’ll always make the argument that it may be difficult to make it extremely well. Neon Indian is at the top of this game. The Small Black and Washed Out sound isn’t as colorfully rendered, and the newest leaked track from Neon Indian shows this. Like popping weeds in a summer yard, hooks and catchiness is abundant; the standards the Palomo employs are still front and center. Dude’s just simply creating excellent music.
Neon Indian – Sleep Paralysist