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New Tunes from Adam Franklin and the Bolts of Melody

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I”ve been a fan of Adam Franklin since early on in Swervedriver‘s career, and he just keeps coming up with new ideas and new albums that I always find myself fawning over. His latest endeavor is called Adam Franklin and the Bolts of Melody.   The group has a new album titled I Could Sleep For a Thousand Years, which comes out on June 29th. The first single “Yesterday Has Gone Forever” is coated in Franklins smooth vocals, and recalls the pristine power pop of the 90s.  If this song doesn’t get you in the mood for relaxing in the shade while you’re trying to avoid the heat, then I don’t know what will.

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Download: dAdam Franklin and the Bolts of Melody – Yesterday Has Gone Forever [MP3]

Clem Snide @ Mohawk (5/25)

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Date 5/25/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 7pm
Tickets $10 @ Frontgate

We are always ready for another show by one of our favorite bands Clem Snide so you gotta know we’ll be in attendance for their show at Mohawk on Tuesday night.  The veteran act will be joined on the stage by The Heligoats and local artist Suzanna Choffel.  Go check this band out if you’ve yet to do so.

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Download: Clem Snide – Denise [MP3]

More New Tunes from Suckers

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We’re sure you’re probably tired of hearing about Suckers from us, as we’ve been fawning over the group for what seems like ages, but we can’t help ourselves.  As the June 8th release date of their album Wild Smiles draws near, the anticipation can only build.  This is going to be a contender for album of the year, we can promise you that, and luckily there is a new single for you to take a listen to today.  “A Mind I Knew” shows their versatility, as it’s not the adrenaline fueled punch you got from “Black Sheep,” but the emphatic breakdown over the track’s last minute just goes to show you why we love this band so much.  You should too.

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Download: Suckers – A Mind I Knew [MP3]

New Tunes from Sunglasses

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There’s a new band coming out of Georgia these days, and with their blend of melody and electronics, Sunglasses are sure to be making waves with the crowds soon.  At first listen, it has a lot of the flavor that Animal Collective has, but their beats have a bit more of American nostalgia to them.  For instance, this single, off their self-titled Sunglasses EP, feels like you’re walking into a Leave it to Beaver show, and the vocal delivery has a bit more of a flow, as opposed to a chant, like many of the chill-wave bands.  If you like it, you can hear more from the group when the EP comes on on June 15th.

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Download: Sunglasses – Stand Fast [MP3]

Jeremy Jay – Splash

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

2010 is going to be a busy year for Jeremy Jay.  His first album of the year, Splash, is just being released, while there is another album slated for release later in the year, not to mention his work on the movie Belle Epine.  Will all the work distract his natural knack for writing amazingly introspective pop numbers?  By the sounds of this album, Jeremy is still going strong, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

JJ begins the album with “As You Look Over the City,” which one can assume is his own personal narrative about his recent move to London, demonstrating his ability to approach the subject matter from third-person.  His guitar never seems over-bearing, and the accompaniment by his band always seems perfectly fitting to his deep croon.

While many will accuse Jeremy of staying in the same vein as his last two albums, there are definitely differences.  Point of evidence one: “It Happened Before Our Time.”  This is the first time he’s really messing with his vocal delivery, changing the pitch and the tone, both going a long way to evoke the mood of the song.  When his voice lightly echos in the background of the song, you can tell that he’s really pushing the boundaries of what he can do.  Then you have the second piece of evidence, ” Splash,” which has a quicker paced guitar line, sort of reminiscent of a more nostalgic version of The Thermals.  All the while his voice lands quietly atop his music, as it always seems to do.

One of the best things about Jeremy Jay is that while he sounds so familiar, he definitely has a taste all his own.  You can see his constant form of wondering, especially in the way that he writes his lyrics.  Take, for example, “Someday Somewhere,” where the chorus itself evokes that sense of search, or that sense of longing for something. He’s often in his own world, dancing around, using that speak-sing approach that was made known by his mentor of sorts, Calvin Johnson.  You combine that approach with his lyrics and you are left wondering, but in an involved sort of way, as listeners should be.

Everything about Splash really does sound familiar, but as the album takes a turn near the end, starting with “Why is This Feeling So Strong,” you get the feeling that Jeremy Jay is about to make his move; at times it almost feels as if he’s about to let loose a power chord to just blow you away, yet as always, he refrains.   He’s got one more album coming out this year, and the way he’s pushing his sound, who knows exactly where that record will end up, but we can only hope that he continues to put out consistently enjoyable collections of songs such as this.

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Download: Jeremy Jay – As You Look Over The City [MP3]

FT5: Songs About Loving Yourself

“My cousin Walter jerked off in public once. True story. He was on a plane to New Mexico when all of the sudden the hydraulics went. The plane started spinning around, going out of control, so he decides it’s all over and whips it out and starts beating it right there. So all the other passengers take a cue from him and they start whipping it out and beating like mad. So all the passengers are beating off, plummeting to their certain doom, when all of the sudden, snap! The hydraulics kick back in. The plane rights itself and it land safely and everyone puts their pieces or, whatever, you know, away and deboard. No one mentions the phenomenon to anyone else.”

Follow the jump for the Top 5 songs about just that.
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New Tunes from Television Personalities

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Listening to this new track from Television Personalities has really made my week.  While I’ll admit that Dan Treacy’s vocals don’t sound as sharp as they once did, you can still see how they evoke the purest emotion.  Perhaps it is this reason that has made the group one of the best cult bands, often missing mass popularity by mere minutes.  But, just take one listen to this song, wait until the rest of the instrumentation really takes hold of the song, and tell me that you don’t like it.  Well, lucky for you (and me!) there will be many more songs coming out on the groups next album A Memory is Better Than Nothing, which is supposed to come out in June. Get into it; they could’ve been bigger than the Beatles.

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Download: Television Personalities – Funny He Never Married [MP3]

Of Montreal @ Mohawk (5/23)

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Date 5/23/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets Sold Outz

Oh man oh man.  Don’t you just love living in this city?  When I see things like huge indie band Of Montreal playing at a smaller venue like Mohawk, I just get all warm and tingly inside.  Hopefully you already got your tickets to this sold out show on Sunday or you’ll be stuck  scalping for a good time.  The visually and musically pleasing band will have opening support from Noot D’Noot and a solo set by James Husband.  Try to make your way to the inside stage as well for a set by hot locals Mother Falcon.

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Download: Of Montreal – Id Engager [MP3]

More New Tunes from The Drums

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Let’s face it, I’ve been all about The Drums ever since I discovered their beach-pop jangle “Let’s Go Surfing,” but we’re nearing the time for the release of their debut self-titled album.  Recent days have posted a clever video with the great track “Forever & Ever Amen,” which led me to go to the band’s site where they were offering the song we’re offering today.  Honestly, I really like the song, if not for the very fact that it’s not nearly as jangly and bouncy as their previous work, which means their debut could be all over the map. Personally, I think that means we can expect great things from the band this June.

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Download: The Drums – It Will All End In Tears [MP3]

Cats on Fire – Dealing in Antiques

Rating: ★★★★★

Just a disclaimer, this is a collection album, including rarities, B-Sides, covers and a new track, all of which date as far back as 2002.  That being said, Cats on Fire is probably the one band that deserves your attention that you’ve possibly overlooked (mistake!).  If this is the case, then Dealing in Antiques is a great starting point, a place to find your footing as your obsession begins to grow.  For those of you already in the know, you have to be ecstatic to have access to these wondrous tunes.

You’ll know immediately that this group is willing to go out on a limb, as the being this collection with “Your Woman,” a cover of the hit by White Town. Still, keeping true to their form, there is a bit more of a jangle in the chorus guitar chord, giving more of a smooth bounce than the original provided with its club-banger tendencies.  They then lead you into 19 more tracks, each one worthy of your careful listening ear.

“Poor Students Dream of Marx” establishes the band’s sound as far back as 2004, and we’re lucky that they had such foresight to see their own greatness, even so early on in their career.  Personally, the way the guitar is played throughout the entire song just really gets me, especially when it picks up speed and difficulty.  Steady percussion keeps pace, allowing the guitar to cut in and out of the song, all of which accompany Mattias Bjorkas voice (imagine Morrissey-mixed with Jarvis Cocker, except more of a warmth tone as opposed to blatant sexuality).

However, not a band to be pigeon-holed, the group offers tracks like “Something Happened.”  There’s a bit of a gentle strumming along the guitar here, yet it all has a more country feel, almost folk-ish, showing that the band isn’t all about pristine jangle pop (though they knock that genre out of the park).  They immediately follow that with “On His Right Side,” which is one of those tracks that exhibits the beauty of this collection, as understated piano walks quietly in the background of Bjorkas and a heavily strummed guitar.  As Bjorkas reaches for that falsetto, you can’t help but to tingle just a bit; these are the sorts of moments that create cult followings.

As much as you’d liked to ignore the Morrissey similarity between Bjorkas and the man himself, a song like “You Will Find Me Where You Left Me” does definitely bring the aged crooner to mind.  Yet, there is a certain solemnity to the way Mattias sings throughout this song, as if he’s not seeking your understanding, merely evoking his own personal sentiment.  “Honey Your Baby” probably doesn’t do much either to distance Cats on Fire from The Smiths either, yet you have to really leave all that aside, as the sharpness of Marr is not quite as present here, instead replaced by a warmer, gentler guitar.   If you ask me, this is where the band achieves their bread and butter, asking you to fall in love alongside the record, rather than to merely listening to a story of another man falling in love.

Really, if you want a perfect record, this is probably as close as you can come.  You’ve got your jangle pop tunes, as previously mentioned, yet you’ve got slow burners such as “They Produced a Girl,” one of the band’s earliest songs on this collection.  The vocal quality is a bit dense, but its the perfect juxtaposition to the rest of the record, showing how what was rough merely needed a bit of polishing before creating gem after gem.  And to close out the record, they offer a new track, “The Hague.”  One listen to this track will make you salivate immediately for the next album, as this one surely isn’t enough.

If it weren’t for great little labels like Matinee Recordings, many people would probably not have the access to Cats on Fire, which would be tragic.  Listening to Dealing in Antiques gives the aura of a band beginning an enduring cult following.  You want all your friends to love this album, yet at the same time, you feel as if you’ll lock these tunes away forever.  Such is the way a quiet legacy is built, and such is the one you have before you after looking through the closet of this wonderful band from Finland.

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Download: Cats on Fire – The Hague [MP3]

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