Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Drunken Draculas - Dead Sounds

Shameless self-promotion, but my garage rock band The Drunken Draculas just released our first full length cassette tape. The title and cover should give you an idea as to the sound we were alluding to, but we still keep it rocking. You can download it for free, and if you are so inclined, buy a professionally dubbed cassette tape to put on your shelf to show your friends just how cool you are.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Creepy folk with Mountainhood's "Shine Shine"

It’s nearing Halloween, and as it is one of my favorite holidays, I have been busting out music that reminds me of the essential occasion. Mountainhood’s “Shine Shine” may not exactly be horror music by any stretch, but it is folk music for places tucked away and absent of light. Mountainhood has a recorded a slew of records in Northern California over the years, but this tape released by Spookytown Records remains one of my favorites. Everything about this release seems distant and ominous, right down to the excellent B&W Xeroxed cassette insert. If this is folk music to sing around a campfire, it would surely be played at that abandoned summer camp in Friday the 13th. The tape has long since sold out, but you can buy a digital copy of the recording at Mountainhood’s bandcamp page.


Over on the other side of America...

Just as a heads up, while I will continue to post at this site (as well as the other writers to the right), I am also posting at the great Detroit-based SpaceRockMountain under my Drunken Draculas moniker, Elvis Dracula. Here are some recent pieces.

The Gory Details - Killer Waves
Henry Spenncer - Saturn
The Kramers - ST
Irureta - 100% Pure Sport

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Federer - Easy Breezin (2011)

I picked up this tape on a whim after reading a review at Space Rock Mountain (a site I also write for as of this week), as it sounded like very little else being released at the moment. These guys really do sound like an early 80s smooth poop band, with ample amounts of keys and saxophone to accompany the deep, baritone-like vocals. I don't get the sense that there is anything ironic about this act; it sounds to me like they legitimately like this type of music and wanted to make some of their own. What they have produced is a great set of pop-songs that you may enjoy even if the band's style is something you have run from in the past. Thanks to the folks at Emigrate Records for putting together these professionally dubbed cassettes.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

The Lowdown: When it hurts, and yet feels so good

The Lowdown were a staple in the Santa Cruz underground scene when I was a student at UC Santa Cruz in 2000. Many of the band's members put on shows and lived in houses that acted as venues for music that would not sell tickets at the larger clubs and venues in town. I threw a few shows in my basement with the help of Hugh Holden, the front man for this band, and shared the stage with his more well-known act, Whysp.Some of the members from this group went on to work with Comets on Fire, one of the greatest bands to emerge from the previous decade.

No doubt about it, the type of music the Lowdown creates is not for everyone. Disjointed, chaotic, explosive; they have their share of detractors. But so does any band that is trying to develop something challenging and interesting. I have always found their records to be both danceable and fun, and their Y is a Crooked Letter is the best physical representation of the group's work.

 I'll Turn Your Blood Into Ants

Absent Without Leave Represents Greece. Greece Responds with more Bouzouki

Absent Without Leave was submitted to me a few weeks back, and while a write-up did not show up here immediately, I have been dwelling on their beautiful recent record, Faded Photographs. I was a big fan of long, moody, instrumental music in the early 2000s, but with the release of the new Godspeed record, I have been pulling out some old post-rock records as of late. Absent Without Leaves fits well next to a group like Rachel's, as they provide enchanting, lush arrangements that could easily fit into an independent film score.

It is not a free download, but help the guys out. Times aint great in Greece, and I know it would be great to see more music like this out of the birthplace of democracy. There are a few CDs left as well if you like those digital discs, released by the folks at Sound in Silence Records.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

L'Orange Remixing Old Jazz Records

I am a huge Billie Holiday fan. Her work is one I have consistently go back to over the years for inspiration and enjoyment, so I was thrilled to discover the North Carolina Hip-Hop outfit L'Orange. They (he? she?) have put together a record dedicated to Holiday, mixing her records effortlessly with rap vocals and deep beats. This is highly recommended stuff to anyone who enjoys chilled Hip-Hop, with a jazzy experimental flavor.