23 May 2009

Grizzly Bear

New video for Grizzly Bear's "Two Weeks". With all the over-stimulating videos being made these days, it's nice to see technology being used for simple effect. And that simple effective has either turned the members of Grizzly Bear into real-life Wii people or LSD users. Just look at those dilated pupils and shit-eating grins!

21 May 2009

Crystal Stilts

Crystal Stilts released a 7" for a nice little tune called "Love is a Wave" nearly two months ago. In the time between then and now, they've managed to scrape together enough couch change to compile a video montage of 60's and 70's type things. Beaches and monkeys and drive-in movies.

The song sounds a bit like the Magnetic Fields if Stephen Merritt were a transsexual. Neat!

18 May 2009

Dorothy Berry

Tell me this song doesn't instantly make you feel good.

Dorothy Berry - You're So Fine

16 May 2009


And while I'm going on about pop-punk from my younger years, it's probably an appropriate day to post this Lagwagon song.

I've spent this particular May 16th watching the Lost finale, failing miserably at the "Good Weekend" quiz in the Sydney Morning Herald, and reading bicycle articles. Nerdy, insular, and empowered, respectively. It's just another Saturday.

Lagwagon - May 16th


It seems like that Japandroids album Post-Nothing has been out for a long time, but I didn't bother listening to it until the other day. I think it's actually only been out for maybe a few weeks, or a month or two at most. But it got a lot of hype, and I hate hype. I try to avoid listening to anything getting lots of hype that I wouldn't otherwise listen to, because

A) I like my music opinions to be my own, and
B) I don't trust people.

Hype: I don't understand how it hyppens.

If you were able to make it through that terrible pun, I thank you. When I first heard Japandroids, I was instantly reminded of something pop-punkish from my younger days. I was having trouble placing it though, and it was starting to eat away at me. It finally dawned on me: Japandroids are the lo-fi reincarnate of Brand New. Without all the spite and death threats, I guess.

So I figure I'll just binge on the couple of Post-Nothing tracks that I like and then be done with it. But for now, I'm quite enjoying it. Guilty pleasure of the year so far.

Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire

13 May 2009

The Embarrassment

As an addendum to the last post, there's a Homestead compilation called Human Music that features a song by Big Dipper as well as lead singer Bill Goffrier's other band, the Embarrassment. The Embarrassment had broken up well before the assemblage of Big Dipper, but reunited during Big Dipper's prime. It was during this period in 1988 that Human Music was released.

The compilation features just as many Homestead bands as not, including a bunch of Flying Nun bands (the Clean, the Chills, the Verlaines, and the Tall Dwarfs) since apparently Homestead was Flying Nun's first US distributor. We haven't seen a New Zealand-U.S. collaborative powerhouse of media since...well...Flight of the Conchords. Rest In Peace.

Fun fact about this Embarrassment song- it was covered on an Ass Ponys EP in the mid-90's. You remember the Ass Ponys don't you? "Little Bastard"? Nothing like the heyday of 90's alternative music. Check out that killer goatee and Jncos on the lead singer.

The Embarrassment - Two-Week Vacation

Big Dipper - He Is God (which is an anagram for "hogs die", for whatever that's worth)

The only Embarrassment videos on Youtube either sound like garbage or are from their recent reunion tours, and I won't settle for either. So instead here's the video for Big Dipper's most popular song, "Faith Healer".

Big Dipper

I haven't been so good about updating regularly, but I'm looking to fix that, I swear. We just got a Wii up in this bitch, and with that, papers and reports and speeches to prepare, a vegetable garden in need of nurturing, and baseball season in full swing, I get a little distracted. But I have good intentions!

I'm a big fan of The Best Show on WMFU. In the few years that I've been listening to it, one of the best things I've gotten out of it is an introduction to the band Big Dipper. Big Dipper come from Boston USA, and are a spin-off of a spin-off of Mission of Burma. It's like the indie/post-punk version of six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Ok, I admit, it's nothing like that.

Big Dipper put out a couple albums, signed to Epic, and as it is with the major label curse, broke up after only one Epic release. Fortunately the pure and mighty Merge Records released a retrospective anthology of the band's work just last year, giving them another moment in the sun. If you're a fan of college rock, you will like!

This track is off that aforementioned anthology, although I don't think it was released previously. From what I can gather, it was recorded after their Epic failure and then stowed away in an overhead compartment once the band took off on their separate life journeys. Get it? Like an airplane! Hey-o!

Big Dipper - Wake Up the King

02 May 2009

The Flips

Fresh out of Brew City, The Flips are a new 6 piece girl group that mix the songwriting style of 60's groups like Martha & The Vandellas and the lo-fi aesthetic of the Vivian Girls. Unlike the Vivian Girls, however, these girls are all class. Just check out their Brady-esque record cover!

The band recently released their debut, a 7" called "That Girl Stacey". The songs on this recording can be found on their Myspace page, or you can listen to the one I've got queued up for you below.

If these girls can get the quality of their recordings up to snuff, they definitely have some potential for upward mobility.

The Flips - I Still Wanna Be His Girl

01 May 2009


Tactics were a late 70's/early 80's Australian post-punk group, originally out of the Canberra (where, like Rodney Dangerfield, they got no respect).

As I mentioned in my post about the Go-Betweens, I wanted to start delving into Australian music that I don't think gets proper recognition. Tactics are definitely one of those bands. I hadn't actually heard of them until earlier this year when my friend Andrew, the invisible third party in the electro-pop "duo" Walter Meego, turned me on to them.

It appears that their albums are near impossible to locate, as they're not even listed on Amazon or Allmusic. Fortunately a compilation was released a few years back entitled "The Sound of the Sound", compiling their first two full lengths as well as some live stuff and demos. A second volume was released last year, and those are both readily available on Amazon.

Tactics were formed in 1978 in Canberra, but quickly moved a few hours north to the urban sprawl that is Sydney. Band members came and went. Tactics' only constant was guitarist/vocalist Dave Studdert, who up and left Australia altogether in 1989 for the greyer skies of the UK, where, from what I can tell, he still plays in bands today.

Here is a track that I especially like from their first album My Houdini, called "No More Talking".

Tactics - No More Talking