You all know how I love the Melbourne scene quite a bit, and Michael Beach has definitely been on my radar beforehand (he’s currently playing in the live Thigh Master band). His latest project, Michael Beach & the Artists just dropped a hook-laden 7″, which we’d love for you to listen to below. The A-side “Curtain of Night” carries this almost honky-tonk Replacements vibe; it’s got this country swagger, under the guise of traditional discordant indie rock with the faintest hints of pristine melody. On the flip B-Side, you get more of an experimental bit, with this bounding keyboard and waling guitar playing backing roles to Beach’s spoken word poetics. The group kick off a US tour at Gonerfest, followed by some East Coast dates at the start of October. The 7″ is being released by Tall Texan.
A friend from Arkansas hipped me to the Glands back in 2001, and I’m pretty sure any romantic interest for the next few years found “Swim” on a mix of some sort…pretty sure I included it on a mix I gave to my wife. I’ve referenced the band countless times over the 11 years we’ve run this site, and had always thought them to be fairly unknown in larger circles…until yesterday. NPR, P4K and Stereogum both reported that New West would be releasing new music from the band, with the line-up crafting songs around demos left behind by Ross Shapiro after his passing. I guess its bittersweet, as I’m grateful for new music…though its a reminder of the fragility of your heroes. For me, the self-titled LP will always be one of my absolute favorites; it’s a near perfect album in my ears. If, like me, you’ve quietly fawned over the band for decades, you’ll want to get this new Box Set from New West.