All Rise for Augustines!

Brooklyn band Pela went through many obstacles before deciding to call it quits in 2009.  As they wrote on their site:

“Over the past 2 years we’ve faced tremendous obstacles.  We recorded an album twice, had a falling out/legal battle with our old label, fired 2 managers, had a big record deal fall through, and Billy had a hand injury followed by a foot injury.”

Yet, we Pela fans can be thankful that Billy McCarthy and Eric Sanderson persevered, joined forces, and released debut Rise Ye Sunken Ships. Well, read about it in the Blurt review below:

waa

Promising Brooklyn band Pela disbanded in 2009 yet the talented musicians are returning. Former lead guitarist Nate Martinez went on to form Thieving Irons, while former lead singer, Billy McCarthy, and bassist, Eric Sanderson, have resurfaced-with Rob Allen on drums-as We Are Augustines. Debut ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships is a welcomed arrival. One of the best equations of Pela was McCarthy’s entrancing, raspy voice and once again Pela fans can swoon to his enthralling vocals.

‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships is sonically similar to Pela, and also falls into the classic, American rock genre, yet proves more muted and introspective. And equally impressive to the contemplative scope of the lyrics are their sources of inspiration as explained by McCarthy. The catchy single “Chapel Song” contemplates the emotions of watching a former love marrying another. “Augustine,” the rocky relationship between brothers; and “Patton State Hospital,” the heavy burden of placing a loved one, formerly institutionalized, in the state hospital of the same name.

A fine return for McCarthy and Sanderson, ‘Rise Ye Sunken Ships will hopefully prove the catalyst of a lengthy career for the talented trio.

DOWNLOAD: “Chapel Song,” “Patton State Hospital”

Check out We Are Augustines‘ site to learn more about the lads and enjoy the uber catchy, “Chapel Song” right here.
[audio:http://writographer.co.nf/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/01-Chapel-Song.mp3%5D

Damned Constant Future…

Parts & Labor returns with their fourth LP, Constant Future. And sure, our future may be ever looming and bleak but at least it sounds good. Parts & Labor’s lead singer, Dan Freil, injects a dose of morose with his lyrics as he scrutinizes life’s follies. And though the band has downsized from a quartet, you’d never know an instrument was subtracted from their “musical equation” as the three gents still manage to produce massive, harmonious commotion.

Blurt review below:

Photo by Brock Fetch
Photo by Brock Fetch

Nine years and counting, Brooklyn trio Parts & Labor continues to astound with the amount of layered, sonic commotion they can create with just drums, bass, a keyboard and a guitar. Constant Future, their fourth full length, bursts through 12 songs in a mere 39 minutes.

Perhaps this fast playback attributes to some songs blurring into one, but luckily there are a few tracks that rises above the amalgam and hook you with their catchy melodies and riffs. “Fake Names,” “Outnumbered” and “Neverchanger” are the definite forerunners; and though the dynamic music is entrancing, equally impressive are the existentially, poetic lyrics and Dan Freil’s fast delivery. How often does one utilize words such as “beleaguered” and “unencumbered” in one song (“Outnumbered”)? Constant Future is an adrenaline charged album that proves Parts & Labor still know how to rock.

DOWNLOAD: “Outnumbered,” “Skin and Bones”

Be sure to visit Parts & Labor’s site to discover more about this kinetic, noise band.

Drum roll for my favorite track, “Skin and Bones!”
[audio:http://writographer.co.nf/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/07-Skin-And-Bones.mp3%5D

101 Reasons to Love 101

101. It’s a delicately, beautiful album.
100. Keren Ann has…
99. = |

No way am I continuing that! But Keren Ann has indeed delivered a lovely LP that deserves all the praise it has received. For her sixth album the songstress melds jazz and folk to produce a gracefully lavish release. Read my Blurt review below:

101, Keren Ann’s sixth studio album, is a calm, jazzy and hauntingly beautiful foray into the lovelorn recesses of her mind; and the quiet, well orchestrated music perfectly complements Keren Ann’s gentle vocals. What’s equally impressive: Keren Ann’s lyrics. The title track is a spoken-word affair as she counts down from 101 random references such as “52 white keys” to “1 God.”

From the juxtaposed, cheeky, Bonnie and Clyde-esque song “Blood On My Hands” – chronicling her misadventures with a man toting “a Winchester pre-64” – to the contemplative, melancholic track “Strange Weather,” where she declares “I will love again,” Keren Ann covers the many facets of the subject.

KerenAnn1011

Lead track “My Name Is Trouble,” the most upbeat song on the album, is immediately ear-catching; nevertheless, even the decidedly slow paced numbers begin to permeate your subconscious. 101’s subdued, ethereal atmosphere makes it an album to enjoy one quiet, pensive afternoon.

DOWNLOAD: “My Name Is Trouble,” “Run With You”

Be sure to visit Keren Ann’s site to discover more about this talented singer/songwriter.

AgesandAges Is Restless

Alright You Restless proves to be a strong debut from a blossoming band. What else can you suspect from a seven piece, alt-folk band from Portland whose producer was Viva Voce‘s Kevin Robinson? (And if you are not familiar with the Viva’s click on that link back there.)

Some words I used to describe Restless…”organic, emotive, upbeat, positive, charming…” Sounds good so far? Then read the full Blurt review below:

AaA
Photo By: Alicia J. Rose

Portland seven-piece folk outfit, AgesandAges, releases an upbeat, positive debut that clandestinely lifts your spirits. Damn them. With their memorable harmonies and melodies Alright You Restless proves charmingly simple yet intricate. Though Tim Perry is the band’s lead vocalist, all members lend their voices and AgesandAges manages to beautifully balance everyone’s instruments (strings, drums and the occasional piano or accordion) to orchestrate heartfelt music that channels Americana.

“No Nostalgia,” “Alright, You Restless,” and “So So Freely” are all quality tracks where the music and Perry’s vocal stylings permeate your mind after several listens. Yet the songs that prove the most outstanding are those where the other members of AgesandAges join Perry. The two closing tracks, “When I Was Idle” and “Souvenir,” best illustrate this element and are the most pulsating numbers. Alright You Restless is an organic, emotive album that will remind music aficionados that good music thrives.

DOWNLOAD: “When I Was Idle,” “Souvenir”

And, of course, be sure to visit AgesandAges’ site find out more about this new, promising band.

Dead Confederate’s Still A Wreck…

Ok, not really, it just sounded catchy to say, didn’t it? No? But I say they’re “still a Wreck” as they’ve followed their signature sound from their first album Wrecking Ball…clever, eh?

Digressing, Dead Confederate’s 2008 debut garnered a lot of attention…and deservedly so. Their dark, melodic rock, grunge, alt-country combination proved highly addicting, just listen to “The Rat.” So I was really excited for this album and though I was not bowled over by what I heard, Sugar is definitely worth several listens!

My favorite track on the album is “Sugar,” give it a listen. Sorry I don’t have it for you here but head to: Dead Confederate’s website to give the their songs a listen and to Blurt to read the review!

LCD Is Happening

Can LCD Soundsystem ever do wrong? No really, not a rhetorical question…James Murphy is one talented musician and, with the aid of equally talented friends, always manages to create captivating albums. With This Is Happening he continues down the “kick ass dance music” path. This is a fine release that I REALLY enjoyed, read my Blurt review here, check out LCD if you are not already familiar with his work and BUY THIS ALBUM. I love it!

LCD Soundsystem can do no wrong sonically. James Murphy, the mastermind behind LCD and DFA
Records, has the knack and talent for creating bodaciously catchy tracks that will incite the most uncoordinated soul to dance. This Is Happening, only LCD’s third LP, continues in this impressive pattern and includes tracks that dip into Murphy’s customary genre pallet.

The hour long album includes nine tracks that range from ‘80s new wave to dance-punk to
hypnotic trance. And again Murphy contemplates sizeable subjects as love, life, and hypocrisy all behind the upbeat veil of electronics. Opener “Dance Yrself Clean” slowly pulls you into Murphy’s world as it quietly pulsates before exploding with drums, synths and beats. “You Wanted A Hit” touches on the 
exasperating demands of the music biz; with the chorus “We won’t be your babies anymore,” Murphy begins “You wanted a hit/But maybe we don’t do hits/I try and try /It ends up feeling kind of wrong.”

Perhaps this track is an insight to Murphy’s profession that This Is Happening may be his last LCD Soundsystem album. Hopefully those words were that of an overwrought artist in need of a siesta because This
Is Happening is a work of art.

Standout Tracks: “Dance Yrself Clean,” “You Wanted A Hit”

Here’s my favorite track from the album, You Wanted A Hit…wait for it folks, it’s an excellent build up!

Navigating the Mines

I was really excited to hear what the Portland band had to offer for their second release and it is impressive! Menomena’s uniquely creative and emotive music shines through on Mines but what make the album more special in my humblest of humble opinions is the strikingly personal lyrics and passionate singing that tugs at your heartstrings. Listen to “Dirty Cartoons” to see what I mean and read my full review at Blurt.

Menomena – Dirty Cartoons
[audio:http://writographer.co.nf/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/04 Dirty Cartoons.mp3]

Earl Greyhound Delivers an LP…

…with a “suspicious” name. Ignoring the innuendo, Suspicious Package, is a great follow up album to their 2006 release Soft Targets. There the trio continues their brand of old school rawk! Read my full review at Blurt and take a listen to one of my favorite tracks from Suspicious Package.

Earl Greyhound – Holy Immortality
[audio:http://writographer.co.nf/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/06 Holy Immortality.mp3]

Editors Live!

Read Live Review @ Blurt!

I. Love. The. Editors.

That is all, enjoy the pictures!

Ok, want more? When the UK group returned with their third album, I was hesitant of their new sound (more synths and dance beats). Well, my doubts were quelled as In This Light and On This Evening is a great album. Still brooding and dark with great melodies, the music gets you dancing. And the Editors live is an experience you should…experience. They are always great in concert…I had the luxury of seeing them once before so I knew I had to see the quartet again.

Opening for them was NYs Antlers, there are a few pics of them as well!

All shots were taken on B&W film, 100 ISO amazingly; 50mm prime with the Olympus OM-2n…