Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Tunes Tuesday / The Big Beat 'cast 08

This week on New Tunes Tuesday, sample the latest from a quartet of veteran acts: WIRE, GANG OF FOUR, SOCIAL DISTORTION, and the reformed FEELIES, who you may not know much about but were a major influence on R.E.M.. Are they still going strong or should they just go away? Plus, the usual array of new bands, tracks, rants and raves. It's the most robust Big Beat yet.

YOUNG PRISMS "I Don't Get Much" (Kanine), from Friends For Now -  - If ‘slacker’ means ‘purveyor of angst-ridden badass psychedelic rock,’ then the Young Prisms qualify. This San Francisco based quintet just dropped their debut of dark and edgy C-86 inspired rawk on the in-form Kanine label. Think of them as The Pains of Being Pure At Heart's brattier younger sibling: the ones who might get you into trouble but you wanna hang with 'em anyway.  Opening for The Radio Dept. in the US now, returning to Austin for SXSW.

THE ANSWERING MACHINE "Lifeline" (Heist Or Hit), from Lifeline - Album #2 marks a progression from the Strokes-influenced Another City, Another Sorry to a more mature, layered sound that still has plenty of hooks to spare.  Returning to the USA for SXSW.

[STREAM] The Answering Machine - "Lifeline" by The Answering Machine

ECHO LAKE "In Dreams" (No Pain In Pop), from Young Silence EP - Shimmering dream pop with an electronic undercurrent and plenty of reverb to go around, this London quintet has spent the last year preparing for their close-up.  Fans of Beach House and Panda Riot will eat this up and come crawling back for more.

[STREAM] Echo Lake - "In Dreams" by Echo Lake

THE RADIO DEPT. "Liebling" (Labrador), from Passive Aggressive - Singles 2002-2010 - An early b-side from their newly released singles collection. In comparison to the current crop of chillwave/ shoegaze/dreampop bands, just how ahead of the curve were these guys? (TBB coverage)

THE JOY FORMIDABLE "Whirring" (Atlantic), from The Big Roar - Another UK band arriving to take their shot at America, the trio hits a homer with The Big Roar.  This re-recorded version of the Balloon Called Moaning single is expanded to nearly 7 minutes long with nary a second wasted.  A real tour de force and one of the new year's best tracks.  (TBB coverage)

JAMES BLAKE "Limit To Your Love" (Atlas/A&M), from James Blake - This halting Feist cover, issued as a single last year, earns an appearance on Blake's self-titled debut, out next Monday.  Advance reviews from the UK have been overwhelmingly positive.  SXSW is confirmed, but no other US dates have been announced.

THE PHOENIX FOUNDATION "Buffalo" (Memphis Industries), from Buffalo - Strong reviews of the Kiwi band's fourth album have propelled them onto critic's watch lists. They have a mature, full bodied sound that fans of Elbow and The Phantom Band should investigate. Available digitally in the US.

[STREAM] The Phoenix Foundation - "Buffalo" by EMI Music New Zealand

[DOWNLOAD] DIRTY BEACHES "Sweet 17" (Zoo), from Badlands - With its dark, blue velvety 50's vibe, I'll bet Frank Booth would love this song that sounds as like it was plucked straight off of a David Lynch soundtrack.  Canadian Alex Hungtai's debut record was all instrumental, and he mines an unexplored niche on his follow-up due in late March.  On tour with the Dum Dum Girls from mid-February right through an appearance at SXSW. (via Pitchfork)

[DOWNLOAD] THE FEELIES "Should Be Gone" (Bar None), from Here Before - Jangle pop pioneers and one of the originators of the American 'college rock' sound of the early '80s, The Feelies reunited for a few shows over the last few years and were rightly recognized as the influential force that they were.  Their first record in 20 years will hit stores in April.   I'm hoping they'll be a late addition to SXSW. (via Pitchfork)

WIRE "Bad Worn Thing" (Pink Flag), from Red Barked Tree - Forming in London in 1976, Wire was central to the development of post-punk. There've been a few stops/starts and a few lineup changes along the way, but through it all they've lost absolutely none of their grit and spirit.  Their contemporaries Gang Of Four may have a few more recognizable hits, but these guys still have all of the bona fides.

GANG OF FOUR "Who Am I?" (Grönland), from Content - Muscular track from their first album of new material since 1995. North American tour starts Friday in Toronto.

SOCIAL DISTORTION "Alone and Forsaken" (Epitaph), from Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes - I've never been much of a Social D fan save a few singles, "Bad Luck" in particular.  At a time, though, when many of Mike Ness' contemporaries are mellowing out, you've got to hand it to him for staying true to his rockabilly influenced punk roots. This Hank Williams cover is included on their first CD of new material in 7 years. 

LIGHT ASYLUM "Dark Allies" (self-released), from In Tension EP - New York duo Bruno Coviello (keys) and Shannon Funchess (vox) comprise the band, which sound straight out of Gotham's 1980's club scene. Dark, synth-heavy and oh so new wave, you'd better jump on board 'cuz I've gotta feeling the hype machine's about to jump on this train.

[STREAM] Light Asylum - "Dark Allies" by Light Asylum

(OLD SKOOL MYSTERY TRACK) - A landmark single, released 25 years ago, that sharply divided listeners but ultimately brought the perpetrators to much wider audiences. You think you know it?  You do...

[DOWNLOAD] CELESTIAL SHORE "Pals" (Double Denim), from California Eden EP - Presumably from Brooklyn, this quick hit of quirky, sun-kissed indie pop is taken from the band's debut EP that was "recorded mostly on a couch in West Hollywood and sometimes in a carpeted room in South Los Angeles". Oh. (via Pitchfork / Double Denim)


  1. Right on, just cranked the Mystery Track.

  2. wow. that version of "whirring" is stellar.

  3. Nice set of tunes Mike, although I'm not a James Blake fan.

  4. Another enjoyable beatcast, Mike, but as what Charles said, I didn't really care for that James Blake track either.

    The follow-up song to James Blake is very nice though!

  5. My only problem with this show is that it is too good. I can't get anything else done when I am listening to it.

  6. Unlike others I very much like the
    JAMES BLAKE "Limit To Your Love"(Feist)
    I like the very low bass rumblings.
    very cool to watch the oscilloscope on my media player while the downloaded song file is playing.