Augh, two months without an update? What has even been going on? Well, work is mostly what’s been going on. It’s funny, even when you have a job that you (more or less) enjoy, it sure does manage to sap you of enthusiasm for things like blogging and, of course, things have been piling up in my inbox and the more e-mails I get about things I might want to write about, the less motivated I am to actually write and then there are even more e-mails and even less motivation and, well, you get the idea. So, in an attempt to clear the air, I’m going to give you a quick rundown of my inbox and things I’ve wanted to write about (but haven’t) and hopefully by the time I get to the end of this post, I’ll be back on level ground & ready to get down to blogging business.
01. Couple Skate Records (oh my god, perfect label name alert!) is gearing up to release an album from Seattle band M. Women. Faithful will be out on October 15th and features a sound reminiscent of Evol-era Sonic Youth and The Wipers. While listening to the tracks that Couple Skate was kind enough to send my way, I also noticed a heavy dose of darker Beat Happening (think Black Candy.) If any of that sounds appealing, head over to the Couple Skate site & check out the videos for “Faithful” and “Bedrest.”
02. New tracks from artists on Dirtnap Records — okay, I was legit going to ignore this press release just because of that whole aforementioned being overwhelmed by my inbox thing, but the following line totally caught my eye, “Ben Weasel was hyping [Steve Adamyk Band] as his favorite new band….I guess that factoid woulda resinated more had he not made an ass out of himself at the recent Screeching Weasel SXSW performance […]” Which, duh, a great way to get me to listen to something is A) have it be pop punk and B) open the gates for a discussion about sexism in pop punk via Ben Weasel’s constant public dickitude. Anyway, the track in question (“Landslide” by the Steve Adamyk Band) is indeed high-octane pop punk with a tappy guitar intro that reminds me of Marnie Stern’s impeccable cover of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” The Steve Adamyk’s band second LP will be out in mid-November on Dirtnap. This particular e-mail also included a link to “Can’t Just Be Friends,” a crunchy lo-fi garage number that sounds exactly like something Drew would make me listen to in the car until I bullied him into letting me listen to The Velvet Crush or something. The past couple of years have been very good to garage rock revival, so if that’s your thing, I recommend checking out Bad Sports’ new LP (Kings of the Weekend) out now on Dirtnap.
03. New (well, old now, but whatever!) single from The Bynars — “Every Little Thing You Love” is a slow synthy jam that enumerates the tiny good things that help you remember what makes life worth living. You can download this track (and others) from The Bynars’ Bandcamp, where you can also stream their album. Totally not related to the way The Bynars sound, but I absolutely love the design identity The Bynars have put together for their releases.
04. EardrumsPOP are continuing their free digital EP release series with some new tracks from Laura K. Normally I’m not into ukulele driven pop music, but Laura K has a sweet melodic voice that carries you along and her songs have a sweet sound offset by smart, knowing lyrics. Really, what continues to impress me about EardrumsPOP is the love and care they put into making their digital releases feel like more than just downloads. I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts about EardrumsPOP, but each EP is accompanied by original artwork featured in a digital booklet (that also includes artist interviews and a few other neat pieces.) Like all EardrumsPOP EP’s, this release includes a cover meant to provide a forum for the featured artist to draw attention to a favorite band of theirs that they wish more people knew about. It’s this kind of collaborative spirit, working to bring together different labels, artists, and illustrators that reminds me of what a vibrant and important role indie labels can play in building a community of artists. You can download the latest EardrumpsPOP EP, featuring songs by Laura K, here.
05. Okay, okay, there are more things in my inbox, but I’m supposed to go see WILD FLAG tonight and there’s just no way I’m going to get through everything right now. (I’m already running late!) But, someday I will! Or, you know, I’ll just skip all of the e-mails I’ve been saving and get to writing about things I’ve actually been thinking about lately (like Lana Del Ray and performativity vs. perceived authenticity in indie music or how much I love the video for Beyonce’s “Countdown” — in other words, truly important things.)