Archive | February, 2011

Band of the Day (2.28.11) Arbouretum

28 Feb

Best new band from Baltimore shows why Rock is Back

Band of the Day 2.28.11 Arbouretum

I’m not going to let it die. There are more rock bands than ever this year. Yeah sure, there are always rock bands, but the genre is filling up nicely with bands that have the right sound and it is the right time. Arbouretum is Baltimore’s best rendition of 70’s hard folk rock. Jethro Tullish, but more down the line of Black Mountain. The heavily distorted electric guitar is coupled with the poetry of vocalist Dave Heumann and the sonic similarity of Ian Anderson’s wailing. It’s Bad Company meet’s Jethro, meets Richard Thompson. Clever interludes and a great use of deep vocals and smoke screened guitars. Love these guys and they probably will love you when you become a fan. Their new record The Gathering, their 4th full length was released on 2.22.11 and it’s a beauty. Pick it up on Vinyl. Swear to you that Rock will rule this year.

The Gathering as described by Heumann:
“The album is inspired by The Red Book by Carl Jung, or more specifically, Jung’s pursuit of the inner images that led to the book’s writing. Dave Heumann, the singer, guitarist and main lyricist of Arbouretum, has long been a fan of experiences that surpass comprehension and describe the numinous. The narrative of ‘losing one’s way and finding it again’ resonated deeply and it was in this context that the songs that comprise The Gathering came to be.” Just listen.

Vitals for Arboretum:
Hometown: Baltimore, MD, USA
Members: Dave Heumann (Guitar // Vocals), Corey Allender (Bass), J.V. Brian Carey (Drums), and Matthew Pierce (Keyboards and Percussion).
Sonic Soulmates: Warren Zevon, Richard Thompson, Jethro Tull, Kyuss, Black Mountain, Bob Seger
Must Hear Tracks:
“The White Bird” – Just what the Tull ordered! Makes me want to protest something!

“The Highwayman” – Their cover of Jimmy Webb’s The Highwayman is a great track, probably the best on the album.

“Song of the Nile” – Mood track with Kyuss overtones!

Label page

Band of the Day 2.24.11 Star Slinger

24 Feb

No question that Star Slinger is the best new band of 2011

Band of the Day 2.24.11 Star Slinger

What the hell. Amazing doesn’t describe what Star Slinger provides. It all started on April 10th of 2010, when the Nottinghamshire beat master Darren Williams went record shopping in Manchester’s North Quarter. By June 2010 Darren had pieced together his first LP “Volume 1”, recording tracks when they came to him, even in his bed. He’s so much better than Toro y Moi,

He’s now produced 26 official tracks, one ginormous LP and a buzz that is unstoppable. He’s also remixed Small Black’s “Photojournalist”, Deerhunter’s “Helicopter” and has been leaking out unofficial remixes from Broken Social Scene, etc. Look for Star Slinger to release “Volume 2” very very soon. Below you’ll find our three favorite tracks from “Volume 1” and his most recent EP released via SoundCloud.

Hometown: Nottinghamshire, UK
Members: Darren Williams
Sonic Soulmates: Girl Talk, LCD Soundsystem, Keep Shelly in Athens, J Dilla, Toro Y Moi, Mathemagic
Must Hear Tracks:
“Mornin” – Just the best track of the year!!!!

“Elizabeth Fraser (COCTEAU TWINS REWORK)”– Poking at my heartstrings by remixing one of our favorite artists of all-time with our all-time favorite track “Heaven or Las Vegas”


Hear the most recent EP tracks now, posted 10 days ago:
“Casanova’s Jump Off”

“Slow ‘N’ Wet”

“Baby Daddy”

Star Slinger official site

Band of the Day (2.23.11) Sic Alps

23 Feb

SF Fuzz rockers bring it with 22 new tracks on their new record!

Band of the Day (2.23.11) Sic Alps

Following-up on my theory that this year’s music babies are from two distinct camps…the ladies of fuzzy Phil Spector and garage rock…Where La Sera was the former today Sic Alps is the latter. I can’t say enough about the vibe from Sic Alps. They crush it and they’re not embarrassed to own it. I the fact that they grind out the catchable hooks and they repeat what they love. Arizona Turk has a hidden rock love underneath his electronic skin, so I know when I get rock bands from him, they’re going to be quality. There isn’t a rock genre that he’s missed. What I love most about Sic Alps is their ability to combine their fuzzy garage rock vibe with classic sounds, strong hooks and harmonies that rival some of the best and they’re unforgiving with 22 tracks. 22 tracks and I can’t find one that sucks. Really! Give em a whirl and admit that you love them. When they slow it down, they’ve got a little Elvis Costello vibe.

Grab Napa Asylum now on a 2X Vinyl set…came out on 1.25.11

Hometown: San Francisco…THE PLACE IS RULING THIS YEAR!
Members: Mike Donovan and Matt Hartman
Sonic Soulmates: Lou Reed sometimes, Elvis Costello sometimes, Thee Oh Sees, 90’s fuzz rock (Pavement), Ty Segall and 60’s Bay Ares Psych rock
Must Hear Tracks:
“Jolly” – Opening track gives you the hint!

“Nathan Livingston Maddox” – Slow it down Lou Reed style

“Meter Man” – My favorite track….not so lo-fi, but fuzzy and brilliant!

Follow Sic Alps:
Official Site

Band of the Day (2.22.11) La Sera

22 Feb

Vivian Girls peaceful little bird creates a beauty with La Sera

Band of the Day (2.22.11) La Sera

I’m getting the sneaking suspicion that this year’s lot of new artists are falling into two camps. The female led, fuzzy Spectors and the garage rockers. There have been some outliers, but not enough to say that they have a clan of bands. La Sera falls into the Spector ladies. The Vivian Girls are fantastic and their dreamy morbid pop is always beautiful and their spin-offs are getting just as much press. Many of you probably have La Sera’s limited 7″ spinning on your iPhone or you may have picked up their self-titled LP last week. If you have, then you know that they are worthy of the Band of the Day nod. In February 2010 Katy Goodman started working on some new material that birthed La Sera. Her inspiration is part an attraction to early pop hits from the 1950’s and the other part an obsession with choral harmonies. The music of La Sera is less aggressive than Vivian Girls and has a more peaceful choir sound. Katy met Brady Hall (the director of Vivian Girls videos “Moped Girls” and “When I’m Gone”), and they immediately collaborated, flew to Seattle and the two recorded all the vocals, mixed the songs and filmed two La Sera music videos at Brady’s home studio. The albums dozen or so tracks stemmed from these sessions. Hear our three faves below.

Buy the self-titled La Sera LP on vinyl

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Members: Katy Goodman (bass, vox), Jenn Prince (guitar, vox) and Jonathan Weinberg (drums, vox, keys)
Sonic Soulmates: Tennis, My Bloody Valentine, Phil Spector 50’s ladies
Must Hear Tracks:
“Devils Heart Grows Gold” – Quite possibly the best track from her!

“Dove into Love”

“Under the Trees”


Band of the Day (2.21.11) We Made God

21 Feb

Iceland produced this chilly rendition of the Deftones

Band of the Day (2.21.11) We Made God

This high throttle Icelandic rock monster takes the best of 90’s Deftones and sprinkles in some Sigur Rós to tease you, then crushes your sole with are you missing a word here?. The band was honored in 2008 as the Must Hear band of the year with it’s debut As We Sleep. Since then, the band has toured and created a second record, It’s Getting Colder, that takes you on a new adventure. The album was released on 1/21/11 and is an epic journey for these boys. Their tortured Icelandic souls are on display as they lure you in with English lyrics and a musical flair for the Deftones. If you loved White Pony, then you’ll love the mastery of We Made God on this record. It’s the closest comparison I can find, but it suits them well. At times the band can be incredibly terrifying, but they make good when they turn up the throttle
and crush it.

Hometown: Kópavogur and Hafnafjörður, Iceland
Sonic Soulmates: Explosions in the Sky, Stabbing Westward, Sigur Ros, Deftones
Must Hear Tracks:

“The Start is a Finish Line”

Official Site

Band of the Day (2.18.11) Cinemascopes

18 Feb

Cinemascopes bring it with garage style rock

Band of the Day (2.18.11) Cinemascopes

Today is the day….the day my fine feathered friends dropped a little treat onto my hard drive. New Radio”F$%*ing”head…. what do I think??? Well as the Arizona Turk pointed out at 5am this great morning, “They had two years to produce something and it sounds rushed” well it’s first listen and we’ll have more to say after a day of it with headphones. “Little By Little” is a rad as is “Codex” let the debate start. Is this album speaking about the “Death of the Dictator” ???? Listen and learn.

What was next to my Radiohead treat…? Cinemascopes! Brighton garage rockers with a flare for wailing guitars and synth craziness. But then you get to track 4 of the EP and it’s there, the brilliance of the band. I’m hooked badly on this track. It’s called “Lost Children” with a sense of great early Snow Patrol, Bloc Party basslines and just good rock drum and guitar. You be the judge of Leon Morgan, Milo Boyd, Owen Thomas and Steffan Eliades 3 tracks. The new self-titled EP is FREE here!!!

Hometown: Brighton, UK
Members: Leon Morgan, Milo Boyd, Owen Thomas and Steffan Eliades
Sonic Soulmates: Thievery Corporation, Snow Patrol, Bloc Part, Thurston Moore led Sonic Youth, Neu
Must Hear Tracks:
“Lost Children” MP3 –>Cinemascopes Lost Children

“Battle Axe”



Band of the Day 2.16.11 – Heidi Spencer and The Rare Birds

16 Feb

Band of the Day 2.16.11 – Heidi Spencer and The Rare Birds

Heidi Spencer is a singer-songwriter from Milwaukee, WI who’s quietly toured and recorded for years on her own dime. She’s lived in 12 states, traveled the states, world and even had a Jewel-type stint, where her car became her home. Finally, finally the restless maiden gets her shot in the Bigs with Bella Union (the label is home Fleet Foxes, Midlake and Beach House and more). The well-paced indie folk twang accompanies her school-girl with an edge voice. “Alibi”, the opening single, sends you right down the Lucinda Williams path. I find some moments she’s sounding a lot like Emmy-Lou Harris, then she falls back into a somber slide guitar tone, that has less hope and more pain…Lucinda Williamsesque. It’s heavy stuff and it’s really good. Give this minstrel a whirl.

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Members: Heidi Spencer- vocals&acoustic guitar, Bill Curtis- drums, Jesse Hrobar- piano, Dave Gelting- contabass, Renee Hendrix- harmony, Matt Hendricks- guitar
Sonic Soulmates: Joanna Newsom, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch
Must Hear Tracks:


Official Site

Band of the Day – 2.15.11 Howlin Rain

15 Feb

It is Howlin Rain and you will be too when you hear the new EP

Band of the Day – 2.15.11 Howlin Rain

The rules are the rules, but sometimes you have to break them. Our tradition is to focus on bands that are near the beginning. A record or two at the most, but we can’t deny one of our faves Howlin Rain the glory of Band of the Day. Howlin Rain is a native San Francisco band, formed in 2004, released two LPs and now…a glorious EP. It’s brilliant and it’s time they hit the road and got their just due. We’ve been fans for years and we’re so glad to share them with you. The first time I heard them I thought I sent back to 1968 listening to Radio Luxembourg or DJ John Peel. That underground culture was fueled by zines like IT (International Times) and OZ magazine. It’s not too different than today. The market has been disrupted and the bloggers are fueling today’s music revolution. There are so many new bands and the good ones need your love. Listen to Howlin Rain.

Hometown: Formed in Oakland, CA
Ethan Miller – Vocals, Guitar
Joel Robinow – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Cyrus Comiskey – Bass
Raj Ojha – Drums
Sonic Soulmates: Rod Stewart, Faces, Dead Meadow, Dungen, Traffic, Cream

Must Hear Tracks
“Burning The Midnight Lamp” – Rod Stewart 70’s wailing coupled with psychedelic guitar

“Hung Out in The Rain” – Just a perfect 70’s style love tune. Might be their best track.

Follow Howlin Rain:
Official Site

Band of the Day 2.14.11 Föllakzoid

14 Feb

Föllakzoid will take you to places you never thought you could go!

Band of the Day 2.14.11 Föllakzoid

Chile is due. With coal miners, earthquakes and just pure bad luck, it was time for something brilliant to happen. Well, it’s our belief that Föllakzoid (pronounced foll-ack-zoid) are the reason to believe. If they’re the tip of some Chilean psych scene, then we are in for a friggin’ treat. Stumbled on these bad boys last year and I’ve been waiting for a new release to announce their loveliness. They’re part Verve, part Dungen, part Tame Impala. Their groove is harder though. They have a vibe that helps them pull away from that Sabbath rip-off sound. They started playing together three years ago in Chile when they were twenty years old. The first time they jammed together they played nonstop without speaking for two hours and were seemingly over taken by a trance without any clear reference point. The music is big and deep. It will definitely envelope you. I read somewhere that they called it Krautrock…maybe, I call it fantastic.

Hometown: Santiago, Chile
Members: Domingo Garcia-Huidobro on Guitar, Diego Lorca on Drums, Juan Pablo Rodríguez on the bass, Francisco Zenteno on Guitar and Gonzalo Laguna as a Lead Singer. Since 2008 Ives Sepulveda is also playing keyboards and shakers.
Sonic Soulmates: Dungen, Tame Impala, Verve
Must Hear Tracks:
“IV, III, II, I” – One track is enough. 9:00 minutes of grooved out bliss. I like to play Gran Turismo to this, but it’s just me.

Buy the ep HERE


Tonight in the City – The Radio Dept.

14 Feb

Live @ The Independent The Radio Dept in SF

It’s Vday folks and my Muse surprised me with tickets to our #3 Hummingbird Award Winners from 2010 —- The Radio Dept. Pictures will be posted an we’re stoked to have some Swedes visiting out fine foggy or misty city of SF!

We love The Radio Dept. here, their accolades are below:
#3 Hummingbird Award Winners of 2010
Voted #3 Best New Album Gem of 2010 – Editors Pick
Voted #1 Best New Track “Heaven’s On Fire” Gem of 2010 – Editors Pick

Grammy Round-up 2011

13 Feb

Arcade Fire now My Morning Jacket in 2012

Nobody can deny that Mumford, Avett Bros. and Dylan ruled the Grammys tonight, but you have to give it to Win Butler. Only true musicians run up and play another song after they achieve the biggest upset victory in Grammy history. That may have been the first time we’ve ever seen Win smiling while playing. Yep we are “Ready to Start”….Oh and Esperanza Spalding deserved it.

Every band has to start somewhere. It took art galleries and cafes for Win Butler to create Arcade Fire in 2001. Every band has a story, so start reading some of the great stories of the BEST NEW BANDS of 2011 and the BEST of 2010.

Just because your favorite band becomes monsterously huge, doesn’t mean you have to become a hater. We know you were there in the beginning.


Band of the Day (2.11.11) Love Axe

11 Feb

Bi-Coastal Buddies create a long distance indie folk anthem - Love Axe

Band of the Day (2.11.11) Love Axe

After years of playing in multiple bands, Chris Hatfield and Heath Johnson collaborated on this years folk anthem album of the month, maybe year. Love Axe feels like a passion project that took years to create and after reading their bio, it’s very true. Chris Hatfield lives in Oakland and Heath Johnson in Charleston, SC. They met back in 2000, formed a band named Army/Navy, broke up, moved to opposite coasts, but kept creating. They wrote the album over several years, finally meeting in SF to record. Phenomenomenons’ is that record they created and it’s part Jack Johnson, part Jayhawks, part indie folk. The album is anthemic with explosive folk codas. The songs drag a little, a few lag over 6:00, but they’re not repetitive, good diverse sound that pulls in electric guitars just at the right time.

Hometown: Oakland, CA USA (WOOHOO) & Charleston, SC, USA
Members: Keyboards, Bass, Vocals – Chris Hatfield & Drums – Heath Johnson
Sonic Soulmates: Jack Johnson, Bad Books, The Monday Mornings
Must Hear Tracks:
“Don’t You Ever Change”

“Hundreds of Knives”

Buy Phenomenomenons: Name your Price on BandCamp

Follow Love Axe:

Band of the Day 2.10.11 The Dodos

10 Feb

The Dodos Finally Finally Finally have a 4th LP

Band of the Day 2.10.11 THE DoDoS

Here again we have another case of a Laney Boggs band. Curious what a Laney Boggs band is? Well Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook in She’s All That should answer that question. The teen romance story where your best friend of the opposite sex listens to you rant all night long about your horrible relationship, then in one moment you realize, “Damn she is really hottttt.” Maybe she removed her glasses, or got dressed up for prom, whatever it is, it’s a classic story and The Dodos are a perfect fit. The SF duo of Meric Long and Logan Kroeber have been trolling the small venues since 2005, playing gigs, putting out 3 LPs, 2008’s Visiter was very good, and it took their single “Black Knight” to make us realize how amazing they truly are. It’s simple drum guitar beat is great, but the vocals remind me of 2005 faves Born Ruffians or last year’s Morning Benders. The guitar slapping at the end reminds me of “Cherub Rock” by the Pumpkins, but it’s the whole package that makes this track great. I love this track and from what has slipped into my Inbox…the album is going to be huge. The album No Color is slated for March 15th and is rumored to have guest appearances from Neko Case, etc. The Dodos should be on your radar, and SXSW may be their Prom dress.

Vitals for The Dodos:
Hometown: San Francisco, CA, USA
Members: Meric Long, Logan Kroeber
Sonic Soulmates: Born Ruffians, Morning Benders, Smashing Pumpkins, The Kooks, Arctic Monkeys
Must Hear Tracks:
“Black Night” – Really might be my favorite track of 2011 so far. Gotta listen to it.

“Winter” – From the Visiter record and it’s shows their depth.

“Don’t Stop”

Pre-Order No Color On Vinyl NOW

Follow The Dodos:
Official Site