Friday, March 30, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 48

SXSW has come and gone and while great memories linger, it's time to focus on some new releases by bands that weren't here in Austin. I'll play a tune from the new album by THE SHINS in addition to SIMIAN GHOST, FIXERS, HOT CHIP, POND, and BEACH HOUSE. 15 artists debut this week: THE INVISIBLE, SPLASHH, WILD BELLE, PYRAMID, KID A, JULIA HOLTER, LIKE PIONEERS (feat. ex-Bound Stems members), CANUTE, I AM OAK, a few "I didn't expect to hear that" tunes from RODRIGO Y GABRIELA and CHRYSTA BELL, plus and DIY First On band DIVE.

So grab a cocktail and kick back, it's Happy Hour at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce & Beat.  

BRETON "Edward The Confessor" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems (video)
THE INVISIBLE "Protection" (radio edit) (Ninja Tune), from Rispah
SIMIAN GHOST "Curtain Call" (Heist Or Hit), from Youth
WILD BELLE "Keep You" (Sandhill Sound), single 
DIRTY GHOSTS "Ropes That Way" (Last Gang), from Metal Moon (video)
GOTYE "Easy Way Out" (Samples & Seconds / Republic), from Making Mirrors (video)
THE SHINS "No Way Down" (Columbia), from Port of Morrow
KID A "BB Bleu" (tba), from BLCKRSECHLL
CHRYSTA BELL "This Train" (La Rose Noire), from This Train - Produced by David Lynch (video)
FIXERS "Floating Up" (Mercury), from We'll Be The Moon
DIVE "Geist" (Captured Tracks), single
I AM OAK "Gills" (Snowstar), from Gills EP
BEACH HOUSE "Myth" (Sub Pop), from Bloom
CANUTE "Ephemeral" (self-released), free download
SLEIGH BELLS "Crush" (Mon + Pop), from Reign Of Terror
HOT CHIP "Flutes" (Domino), from In Our Heads
LIKE PIONEERS "Boggs" (Abandoned Love), from Oh, Magic
RODRIGO y GABRIELA & C.U.B.A. "Santo Domingo" (ATO), from Area 52
POND "Leisure Pony" (Modular) from Beard, Wives, Denim
ODONIS ODONIS "Handle Bars" (FatCat), from Hollandaze
JULIA HOLTER "Goddess Eyes II" (RVNG), from Ekstasis
PYRAMID "Neutral" (Technofavrik), Life Above The Stars EP

Friday, March 23, 2012

LISTEN: Amazing Radio (22 March)

After featuring nothing but SXSW artists on my last two Amazing shows, I'll admit being glad to spin music that I set aside until after the festival concluded. It may have taken me a few days to recover but it was great to get so many new tunes into the mix.


HOORAY FOR EARTH "No Love" (Dovecote), from True Loves
THE ABC CLUB "White Lies" (MAP), from White Lies EP (video)
ELECTRIC GUEST "This Head I Hold" (Downtown), from Mondo (video)
FEAR OF MEN "Phantom Limb" (Sex Is Disgusting), from Hanna Schygulla Demos
JEWELLERS "Sing Trees" (self-released), tba
WORLD TOUR "Believe" (Cascine), from Believe EP
SARAH WILLIAMS WHITE "If I Smile At You" (self-released), single
WORK DRUGS "License To Drive" (self-released), single
THEME PARK "Two Hours" (Transgressive), single
THE ANSWERING MACHINE "Lifeline" (Heist Or Hit), from Lifeline (video)
BEAR DRIVER "Big Love" (Adventure Club), from Bear Driver
DANIEL ROSSEN "Silent Song" (Warp), from Silent Hour/Golden Mile EP
BETH JEANS HOUGHTON "Atlas" (Mute), from Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (video)
SELEBRITIES "Night Heat" (Cascine), single (video)
BENJAMIN SCHOOS "Je Ne Vois Que Vous (feat. Laetitia Sadier)" (Freaksville), from China Man vs. China Girl (stream)
THREE BLIND WOLVES "Hotel" (Communion), from Sound Of The Storm
SHIMMERING STARS "When I See You Again" (Almost Musique), from Ghosts Past EP
LULU JAMES "Rope Mirage" (self-released), from Rope Mirage EP (video)
CREEP "Animal (feat. Holly Miranda)" (self-released), single (video)
I CHING "It's Me" (Best Fit), single
WILD FLAG "Boom" (Merge), from Wild Flag
PLUM "The Seed" (EmuBands), from The Seed (video)
ST. GREGORY ORANGE "Salem AM" (Philophobia), from Midnight At The Sycamore Lounge
CALM OF ZERO "Dark Therapy" (Fryup/Fauve), from Acoustic Sessions 1 (performance video)
AMANDA MAIR "Sense" (Labrador), from Amanda Mair (video)
PNFA "Seize" (Deepwise), from Seize EP (video)
THE WHITE ALBUM "Guns & Ammunition" (self-released), from The Album

Music via: mu-sique, SF Critic, My Old Kentucky Blog, BIRP!, Teenage Kicks, Idolator  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 47

After 4 days, I managed to see most but not all of the bands I really wanted while meeting up with friends and have a rousing good time less than 10 miles from my own bed. Major win!

I purposely focused the last few shows on bands playing SX,  so it's nice to get to some new tracks I'd been holding off on.  This week I’ll spin a some of my favorites from the festival and reach into my personal stash for a few extra Wild Card picks.  After being pummeled with so much new music, admittedly, some comfort food is in order.  It's great to have you listening...

THE MEN "Open Your Heart" (Sacred Bones), from Open Your Heart
BEACH HOUSE "Myth" (Sub Pop), from Bloom
BRETON "The Commission" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems (video)
GRIMES "Vowels = Space and Time" (4AD), from Visions
-> Mike's Wild Card Pick of the Week <-
THE JAM "Town Called Malice" (Polydor), from The Gift (video)
PAUL WELLER "That Dangerous Age" (Yep Roc), from Sonik Kicks (video)
BLACK MOUNTAIN "Mary Lou" (Jagjaguwar), from Year Zero soundtrack
TAME IMPALA "Solitude Is Bliss" (Modular), from Innerspeaker (video)
POND "Fantastic Explosion of Time" (Modular) from Beard, Wives, Denim
DAUGHTER "Run" (demo) (self-released), demo
THE SHINS "Sea Legs" (Sub Pop), from Wincing The Night Away
ODONIS ODONIS "Ledged Up" (Fatcat), from Hollandaze (video)
THE TWILIGHT SAD "I Became A Prostitute" (Fatcat), from Forget The Night Ahead (NSFW video)
SILVER SWANS "Around You" (Twentyseven), from Forever
SCUBA "Flash Addict" (Hotflash), from Personality
NEW ORDER "Crystal" (London/Reprise), from Get Ready (video, live at Glastonbury 2005)
TANLINES "Brothers" (True Panther Sounds), from Mixed Emotions
DJANGO DJANGO "Life's A Beach" (Because), from Django Django
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS "Low Times" (Vagrant), from Ghostory
TURF WAR "100 Years" (Old Flame), from Years of Living Dangerously (stream)
CAPITAL CITIES "Safe and Sound" (Lazy Hooks), from Capital Cities EP
SWISS LIPS "U Got The Power" (self-released), single
VCMG "Spock" (Mute), from Ssss

Music via: Rollo & Grady, I Guess I'm Floating, Austin Town Hall, Fluxblog, This Bonus Track, mu-sique, Chromewaves, 8106   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

LISTEN: Amazing Radio (15 March)

Every year at SXSW, there's a huge presence from overseas. And no contingent is more visible than the British. Pictured above is the British Music Embassy, a club known as Latitude 30 the rest of the year. This is the epicenter for the UK industry during the week and as a result, most bands from Blighty play here at some point. I point this out since this show is the final SXSW preview from yours truly, the humble American of English heritage (Yorkshire). Yes, two previews for DIY Radio and the second of two here for Amazing Radio. Every artist played on the show appeared at SXSW, if not the Embassy, during the past week.

I was in a pretty great mood during this show, so I hope you'll listen and enjoy.  SXSW may have ended but the music endures.  

HOSPITALITY "Betty Wang" (Merge), from Hospitality
LETTING UP DESPITE GREAT FAULTS "Teenage Tide" (Old Flame), from Paper Crush EP (video)
DAUGHTER “Love” (Glassnote), from The Wild Youth EP
TASHAKI MIYAKI “Somethin’ Is Better Than Nothin’” (Sounds of Sweet Nothing), single
SPECTRALS "Big Baby" (Slumberland), from Bad Penny
HOWLER "Back of Your Neck" (Rough Trade), from America Give Up
HATCHAM SOCIAL "I Look Like A God When You Dance With Me" (Fierce Panda), from About Girls
KORALLREVEN "Honey Mine (feat. Victoria Bergsman)" (Acephale), from An Album by Korallreven
FUNERALS "Water Over Night" (Robot Elephant), from Water Over Night - Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs
THE TWILIGHT SAD "Sick" (Fatcat), from No One Can Ever Know
WE WERE PROMISED JETPACKS "Quiet Little Voices" (Fatcat), from These Four Walls
IDIOT GLEE "Let's Get Down Together" (Moshi Moshi), from Paddywhack
CULTS "Oh My God" (ITNO/Columbia), from Cults
ZULU WINTER "Let's Move Back To Front" (Arts & Crafts), from Language
HORSE THIEF "Warrior" (self-released), from Grow Deep, Grow Wild
YOUTH LAGOON "July" (Fat Possum), from The Year of Hibernation 
HOODED FANG "Clap" (Full Time Hobby), from Tosta Mista
TRUST "Sulk" (Arts & Crafts), from TRST  
NO "Stay With Me" (self-released), from Don't Worry You'll Be Here Forever
CLOCK OPERA "Once And For All" (Island), from Ways To Forget
LA SERA "Break My Heart" (Hardly Art), from Sees The Light
TURF WAR “Cheers To The Years” (Old Flame), from Years of Living Dangerously
DELICATE STEVE "Don't Get Stuck (Proud Elephants)" (Luaka Bop), from Wondervisions
CYMBALS EAT GUITARS "Keep Me Waiting" (Barsuk), from Lenses Alien (video)
ODONIS ODONIS "Handle Bars" (FatCat), from Hollandaze
GARDENS & VILLA "Spacetime" (Secretly Canadian), from Gardens & Villa

Music via: Spinner, Brooklyn Vegan, Song by Toad, My Old Kentucky Blog, Listen Before You Buy, You Ain't No Picasso, Chromewaves, Austin Town Hall, FADER, EARMILK, Largehearted Boy    

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 46 (SXSW Preview Pt. II)

SXSW may have come on gone but the music lasts forever, at least on this li'l Mixcloud widget that features music from a whole bunch of bands that were just here playing for masses of people that were also just here. And where's the only place you're gonna hear this? Exactly.

In addition to a new MIIKE SNOW song, there's a lot of first-timers on the show: SOFT SWELLS, THE MEN, PEAKING LIGHTS, CHARLI XCX, LEE FIELDS, THEESATISFACTION, SOLANDER, and WUSSY.

MIIKE SNOW "Paddling Out" (Republic), from Happy To You (video)
SOFT SWELLS "Put It On The Line" (Modern Outsider), from Soft Swells
ZULU WINTER "We Should Be Swimming" (Arts & Crafts), from Language (free download)
SOLANDER "Book of Advice" (Tenderversion), from Passing Mt. Satu
NEW LOOK “Janet” (!K7), from New Look
CHARLI XCX "Nuclear Seasons" (This Is Music), single
POLIḈA "Lay Your Cards Out" (Totally Gross National Product), from Give You The Ghost
DEVIN "You’re Mine" (Frenchkiss), from You're Mine EP
THE CULT "Rain"(Sire), from Love (video)
FUTURE OF THE LEFT "Polymers Are Forever" (Xtra Mile), from Polymers Are Forever EP
NOT IN THE FACE "Fire Through Time" (Electric Factory), from Bikini
WUSSY "Pulverized" (Shake It), from Strawberry
THEESATISFACTION "QueenS" (Sub Pop), from Awe Naturale
TANLINES "All Of Me" (True Panther Sounds), from Mixed Emotions
DJANGO DJANGO "Hail Bop" (Because), from Django Django
BRETON "Ordinance Survey" (self-released), from The Blanket Rule EP (free EP download)
KORALLREVEN "As Young As Yesterday" (Acephale), from An Album by Korallreven
BEN KWELLER "Jealous Girl" (The Noise Company), from Go Fly a Kite
THE MEN "Ex-Dreams" (Sacred Bones), from Open Your Heart
FUNERALS "Water Over Night" (Robot Elephant), from Water Over Night - Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs
D/R/U/G/S "Mila"  (Moshi Moshi), from Connected EP

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Big Beat's SXSW Review

For whatever reason, of all of the social platforms available I chose to update my personal Facebook account with quick, capsule thoughts about the bands I caught during SXSW. Here they are, conveniently cut-and-pasted from four posts to one, with my verdict at the end.

(Wednesday, March 14th)
Caged Animals - ok, but just ok.
2:54 - the band was great, especially the rhythm section, but the songs were bit weak. Too centered around the singer. A long way of saying the music was more interesting than the lyrics.
Daughter - very, very good. Seemed genuinely blown away by the audience reception.
Zola Jesus - wow, really boring. left after a few songs.
Got closed out of Django Django. Wasn't willing to wait in line. Would have made it in but The Best Wurst called.
The Men - rawk! Got venues confused, meant to see Blondes and ended up at this backup choice. Left after one song. Too tired to rock, wanted to dance. Ended up just going home. A good start.

(Thursday, March 15th)
Psychic Ills - stoner rock. Not for singing and dancing, but for laying down and avoiding. Far out, maaan.
Turf War - Sloppy, anthemic post-grunge punk from carefree Georgia boys. No beer left untouched. 4 guitarists on stage, don't tell Pitchfork. Long live rock.
Breton - angular, electro English math rock. Love child of Foals and Errors. They've got tunes. First US gig. Big potential.
Clock Opera - ballyhooed, kinda fey English indie pop band version 19,739.
Capsula - thunderous power trio employs every rock star cliche but with infectious enthusiasm. Stooges-style rock that, surprise surprise, played to the largest collection of over 40 year old dudes of the week. Lousy room.
Letting Up Despite Great Faults - posh venue (Driskill) hosting pleasant LA electro pop band. Rattle your jewelry.
Korallreven - delayed start, chatty inattentive audience ruined this Radio Dept. offshoot for me. Hype Hotel fail..
Alpine - Aussie band fronted by two animated, sashaying females. Quirky alt-pop. Not enough tunes.

(Friday, March 16th)
Electric Guest - charming white boy, doo wop reggae. A li'l Vampire Weekend-y. Debut CD recorded w/ Danger Mouse so, yeah, you'll be hearing about them.
Friends - Brooklyn blog buzz band - odd makeup, like they met through want ads - have a few legit bangers but the rest is kinda meh. Black Kids, anyone?
Tanlines - caught the last half of their last song, damn! Like what I've heard from the record though.
Caveman - moody Brooklyn indie that sits comfortably between The Walkmen and Grizzly Bear. Admit to being engaged in conversation throughout. Blame the free Red Stripe.
Three Blind Wolves - Scottish band. Um...that's all I've got.
The Xcerts - more Scots. Energetic emo/screamo trio that sounds pretty 2003 to me yet still have some nice meoldies and an appealing front man.
The Twilight Sad - can you tell I was at a Scottish showcase? Suitably intense & brooding wall of sound. Stumped a Scottish friend when I asked if they have bands that do anything subtle. Singer looks like Ian Curtis. A lot.
The Hundred Days - San Fran guitar pop aiming for alt-rock radio. Too vanilla for my taste but can see them finding airplay.
Tiny Victories - Brooklyn electropop band engaged crowd by sampling audience members voice and looping 'em into each song.

(Saturday, March 17th)
The BlueBonnets - Local all-female band feat. Austin native and Go-Go Kathy Valentine. Melodic adult pop/rock that went down well with mostly local, non-SX crowd out to take in some tunes. The ladies can play.
Howler - The NME hype unrealistically raised expectations for this *very* young band. Their good but not great debut is a promising start with hints of better to come, but let's leave it at that. Their final show of a long week had both band and crowd taking a while to warm up to each other.
DZ Deathrays - Artrocker championed Aussie duo are a scuzzy punk Black Keys. Playing in an awful room, the rawk sounded like a wall of indistinguishable noise. Left after a few songs.
Big Scary - Aussie duo: she plays drums, he alternates between keys & guitar. Supposedly an up and comer down under yet did nothing for me. Starting set with a lengthy, maudlin number never a good idea.
Dutch Uncles - Natty Brits (might be first wingtips ever seen on stage but the pleated pants...dude!) play snappy Noughties-style Britpop. Entertaining and distinctly British, reminded me of Dogs Die In Hot Cars and Maximo Park.
Ceremony - for anyone that missed out on 80's hardcore bands like Black Flag or the Dead Kennedys, this SoCal band bring the sound back. That said, Rollins could eat these guys whole.
Odonis Odonis - huge find here. Canadian trio rocks hard like Future of the Left doing The Jesus and Mary Chain. Lots of melody buried underneath a wall of noise. Yum!
Clock Opera - 2nd time seeing 'em to ensure spot to see the next band. Caught a little more of the nerviness in their music but dude usually sings in a high register, which is a turnoff for me.
Django Django - Franz Ferdinand meets Hot Chip. They've got the tunes and down to earth appeal. "Default" is a legit tune that could launch them here.
D/R/U/G/S - cool, chunky beats that shoulda had the joint bumpin' but 70% left after Django. One of the more intriguing DJ's I've heard in a while. That's all folks.

(The Top 6 SXSW bands/shows)
1. Odonis Odonis
2. Breton
3. Daughter
4. Turf War
5. The Twilight Sad
6. Django Django

Hear a tune from each of the Top 6 on Spotify.

LISTEN: Amazing Radio (8 March)

Here's the first of my two SXSW previews on Amazing Radio, during which you'll hear nothing but bands that played here in Austin last week, save for an interview with Sebastian Arnström of SIMIAN GHOST.  The show contains several singles that flew under my radar last year from PRINCETON, VANBOT, OBERHOFER, and SLEEP ∞ OVER.  Also, the Bicep remix of that BLONDES tune is outstanding as is "Connected" by D/R/U/G/S.

CROCODILES "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" (Frenchkiss), from Endless Flowers
WIDOWSPEAK "Harsh Realm" (Captured Tracks), from Widowspeak
VANBOT "Lost Without You" (self-released), from Vanbot
COLD SPECKS “Holland” (paradYse), single
ST. LUCIA "We Got It Wrong" (self-released), from St. Lucia EP
PRINCETON "Clamoring For Your Heart" (self-released), single
NEON INDIAN "Polish Girl" (Transgressive), from Era Extraña
TENNIS "It All Feels The Same" (Fat Possum), from Young and Old
BRETON "Interference" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems (video)
2:54 "Scarlet" (Fiction). from Scarlet EP (video)
PHILCO FICTION "Horizon" (Brilliance), from Take It Personal (free download)
SIMIAN GHOST "Wolf Girl" (Heist Or Hit), from Youth (video)
SIMIAN GHOST "Curtain Call" (Heist Or Hit), from Youth
BLONDES "Water" (Bicep remix) (RVNG Intl.), from Blondes
BEST COAST "When I'm With You" (Mexican Summer), from Crazy For You (video)
ANDREW BIRD "Eyeoneye" (Mom + Pop), from Break It Yourself
OBERHOFER "Gotta Go" (White Iris), single
SLEEP ∞ OVER "Casual Diamond" (Hippos In Tanks), from Forever (video)
D/R/U/G/S "Connected" (Moshi Moshi), from Connected EP
WHITE RABBITS "Heavy Metal" (tbd), from Milk Famous
FRIENDS “I’m His Girl” (Lucky Numbers), single
CRYSTAL FIGHTERS "Champion Sound" (Zirkulo), from Star Of Love (video)

Music via: Gorilla vs. Bear,, We All Want Someone To Shout For, Klap 4 Music

Friday, March 9, 2012

LISTEN: The Big Beat 'cast 45 (SXSW Preview)

In the run-up to SXSW, I've put together a preview of bands hitting the ATX. Whether they're playing an official showcase, free dayparty, or a secret show to be held in a proper venue, bar, parking lot or vacant lot, the Festival is nothing less than a Mardi Gras of music.

GRACE WOODROOFE "Transformer" (Modular/Fontana), from Always Want
SANTIGOLD "Disparate Youth" (Downtown/Atlantic), from Master Of My Make-Believe (video)
DJANGO DJANGO "Default" (Because), from Django Django
GARY CLARK JR. “Bright Lights” (Warner Bros.), from The Bright Lights EP
FRESHKILLS "The Bigger Man" (Bat Rabies Alert / The End), from Raise Up The Sheets (video)
NITE JEWEL "One Second of Love" (Secretly Canadian), from One Second Of Love
PURITY RING "Ungirthed" (self-released), single
ARAABMUZIK "AT2" (Duke), from Electronic Dream
MOTEL BEDS "These Are The Days Gone By" (No More Fake Labels), from Tango Boys
BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN "Ramrod" (Columbia), from The River
THE MAGNETIC FIELDS "Andrew In Drag" (Merge), from Love at the Bottom of the Sea
ALPINE "Hands" (Ivy League), single (video)
GRIMES "Genesis" (4AD), from Visions
ALABAMA SHAKES "Hold On" (ATO), from Boys & Girls
GIRL IN A COMA "Cemetery Baby" (Blackheart), from Exits & All The Rest
BEAR IN HEAVEN "The Reflection of You" (Dead Oceans/Hometapes), from I Love You, It's Cool
FANFARLO “Replicate” (Canvasback/Atlantic), from Rooms Filled With Light
LOVE INKS “Be Brave” (City Slang), single
ELENI MANDELL "Pauline" (Zedtone), from Thrill
FRIENDS "Friends Crush" (Lucky Number), single (video)
FIDLAR "I Wanna Be Your Cocaine" (self-released), free download
THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN "Head On" (Blanco y Negro), from Automatic (video)
TWERPS “Dreamin” (Underwater Peoples), from Twerps
THE SHINS "Simple Song" (Columbia), from Port of Marrow
SLOWDANCE "Spell" (self-released), from Light & Color EP
LOWER DENS "Brains" (Ribbon), from Nootropics
BLONDES "Lover" (RVNG Intl.), from Blondes

Music via: Rolling Stone, Pick Up The Headphones, Weird Magic, Rollo & Grady, Music For USB Ports

Thursday, March 8, 2012

LISTEN: Amazing Radio (1 March)

As you know, I now host a two hour show on Amazing Radio every Thursday from 10p GMT (5p Eastern) under my own name in addition to The Big Beat. But did you know that you can stream the station time shifted to each of the four main US times zones?  Meaning that you can listen at 10p no matter where you are in the US.  Or in the UK, hear me Wednesday morning at 6 by punching up the Pacific stream. 

Here's last week's show featuring first plays of WHITE RABBITS, THE OK SOCIAL CLUB, SAFARI, CROCODILES, TURNPIKE GLOW, SISTERLAND, STILL FLYIN', FUNERALS, DINOWALRUS and ISLET.   The Amazing Rewind embed is only good for a few weeks but I've been given the OK to re-post the show afterwards via Mixcloud.  Sorry to say that I'm unable to offer the Amazing show as a download.  I've already posted the show from 16 February.  The feedback you've given about Amazing has been universally positive, so thanks for your support!

THE OK SOCIAL CLUB "The Shape of Things To Come" (Platform), single (video)
WHITE RABBITS "Heavy Metal" (tbd), from Milk Famous
THE COUCH "The Way You Came" (self-released), from Old & Touchin' Blue
BETH JEANS HOUGHTON "Sweet Tooth Bird" (Mute), from Yours Truly, Cellophane Nose (video)
RHYE "Open" (Innovative Leisure), from Open EP
TV GIRL "Benny and the Jetts" (self-released), from Benny and the Jetts EP
SAFARI "Doubt" (Sons Of Stereo), from "Doubt" / "Are We Ready" single (video)
JAGWAR MA "Come Save Me" (The Blue Rider), single (video)
AZEALIA BANKS "Liquorice" (self-released), n/a
THE WAVE PICTURES "Spaghetti" (Moshi Moshi), from Long Black Cars
SARAH WILLIAMS WHITE "Hide The Cracks" (Strangers remix) (self-released), free download
CROCODILES "Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)" (Frenchkiss), from Endless Flowers
TURNPIKE GLOW "1986" (Fünke Pop), single (free download) (video)
CURXES "Haunted Gold" (self-released), single
SISTERLAND "Milk & Honey" (Blessing Force), from Dirty White EP
STILL FLYIN' "Travelin' Man" (Ernest Jenning), from On a Bedroom Wall
YOOFS "Hazy Dayz" (self-released), single
FUNERALS "Water Over Night" (Robot Elephant), from Water Over Night - Robot Elephant vs. Tundra Dubs (free download)
FRANKIE ROSE "Know Me" (Slumberland), from Interstellar
ALT-J "Matilda" (Infectious), from "Matilda" / "Fitzpleasure" single
WORLD TOUR "Sparks" (Cascine), single
SPEECH DEBELLE "I'm With It" (Big Dada), from Freedom of Speech (video)
DINOWALRUS "What Now" (Old Flame), from Best Behavior
CLOUD NOTHINGS "No Sentiment" (Carpark), from Attack On Memory
ZOLA JESUS "In Your Nature (David Lynch remix)" (Sacred Bones), single 
ISLET "This Fortune" (Shape Records (Turnstile), from Illuminated People
BLONDES "Lover" (RVNG Intl.), from Blondes

Music via: Austin Town Hall, You Ain't No Picasso, Rollo & Grady, Pick Up The Headphones, Earmilk, The Dadada Music Blog, 8106, Basement Fever, Night Drive

Monday, March 5, 2012

DOWNLOAD The Big Beat 'cast 44

You know the drill, downloaders. Limited time, etc., yeah yeah blah blah. Tracklisting is here.

GUEST: Giselle's SXSW picks

Navigating the music lineup for SXSW can be exhilarating, exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming for many music fans and that includes myself. And I'm not even talking the bounty of unofficial shows that straddle the Festival. All in all, SXSW is a happening and provided you can deal with the crowds, there's no better place to be if seeking out new and emerging artists is your thing (in addition to catching a few existing headliners slipstreaming on the action).

I turn to a lot of people to learn about bands I should know about and for SXSW, my friend Giselle of Bands With Phones scours the list like a champion fantasy leaguer prior to draft day. So I'm thrilled she agreed to pen the first guest column on TBB to highlight a half-dozen bands on her radar for next week's big show.....

Last year was my first SXSW and I decided to take full advantage by using it as an opportunity to discover a lot of new bands. I researched as many of the bands I could and came up with quite a few new favourites. I've done the same this year and thought I'd use this opportunity to highlight a few bands that may be new to fans of this blog (Thanks TBB!).

ROSIE AND ME (Brazil) Showcase at St David's Historic Sanctuary, March 17
They were listed on the first batch announced for SXSW 2011, but weren't able to make the festival for financial reasons (it's expensive from Vancouver, I can't imagine the costs from Brazil). They've just released their debut album, The Arrow Of My Ways (stream http://rosieandme.bandcamp/) and well, they're not really doing anything different here, but the banjo and the female vocals make for a great listen. They’re one of my must-sees this year and the church venue should provide a perfect setting for them.

THE LIGHTHOUSE AND THE WHALER (USA) Showcase at IFC Crossroads House at Vice, March 16
Not a SXSW discovery for me, I stumbled upon them in the summer and fell in love straight away. MTV describes them as "really cool melodic folk rock" and they haven't really strayed far from the path set by Mumford and Sons. There's a lot of bands in this genre including Of Monsters and Men and The Lumineers, who are also on my schedule this year, but I'm recommending this band because their performance at CMJ. Despite not knowing a single song, they just blew me away. Whatever that magic 'something' is that makes a band really special live, this quintet from Cleveland definitely have it. How they are unsigned, I have no idea.

SOLANDER (Sweden) Showcase at St David's Bethel Hall, March 14
I fell in love with this band at first listen. The album, Passing Mt. Satu can be streamed at and it's wonderful. It reminds me of a cross between Fanfarlo and Sigur Ros and is a superb example of the indiepop that the Swedes seem to do so well.

K.FLAY (USA) Showcase at Antone's, March 14
OK, full disclosure, I came across K.Flay just after last year's SXSW and have been a big fan ever since. Hip Hop/Rap is usually not my thing, but throw in witty and intelligent lyrics and songs that use "Heavy Cross" by the Gossip and "Crystalized" by The xx as backing tracks and I'm a lot more interested. I've seen her twice and she's great live...although difficult to photograph because she never stands still. She's on the lineup for Bonnaroo this year so I think her star is on the rise. Download the recent Eyes Shut EP for free.

FENSTER (Germany) Showcase at The Loft, March 16
I’ve only heard one song but it is, dare I say, rather jaunty. Whenever it comes on, I find myself tapping and humming away. The song caught my attention at first listen and I found out afterwards that they’re on the Morr Music label (former home to one of my favourites, Surf City). I don’t imagine they’ll be playing Vancouver anytime soon so I’ll be catching them at SXSW.

TANGO IN THE ATTIC (Scotland) Showcase at Easy Tiger Patio, March 14
I spent a rainy Sunday a couple of weeks ago going through about 60 bands and just when I was about to give up hope, came across these guys. I know nothing about them and have only heard this one song but it has a lot of things I like...great drums, a superb bass line and it's a bit shoegazey. If you're looking for a band that's a cross between We Were Promised Jetpacks and Surf City (and really, who isn't) this may be the band for you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

LISTEN: Amazing Radio (23 February)

Some really great stuff in this show....I think BRETON is gonna have their followers especially if you're a fan of other FatCat bands like We Were Promised Jetpacks and THE TWILIGHT SAD (also on the show) although probably have a wider range than both. JESSIE WARE, who sang on SBTRKT's debut, is shaping up to be kind of an indie Sade (you gotta problem with that?)....YOOFS have perfectly captured the sound of underground psychedelia that reminds of a fave of mine from the 80's, Live Skull (anybody? anybody?). That SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS track ("Low Times") is strong, and get a load of WILLY MOON all retro and all. Damn catchy. And for some good old old skool noise rock, hang in there for ODONIS ODONIS, TURF WAR and the return of ALL THE SAINTS who famously, to me, blew their amps during a WOXY session at SXSW a few years back. Good times.

BRETON "Interference" (FatCat), from Other People's Problems
NADA SURF "Waiting For Something" (Barsuk), from The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy
FRIENDS "Friend Crush" (Lucky Number), single (video)
MARIBEL "Jezebel Jive" (Splendour), from Reveries
BATTLEKAT "Into The Forest" (Good Tape), single
CRAIG FINN "Jackson" (Vagrant), from Clear Heart Full Eyes
NIGHTLIFE "Awake" (self-released), from Radio EP
JAGWAR MA "Come Save Me" (The Blue Rider), single (video)
LAUREL COLLECTIVE "They Hate Me" (Tape Club), from Heartbeat Underground (free download)
JESSIE WARE "Running" (PMR/Island), single (video)
PORCELAIN RAFT "Put Me To Sleep" (Secretly Canadian), from Strange Weekend
YOOFS "Hazy Dayz" (self-released), single
SELEBRITIES "Night Heat" (Cascine), single (video)
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS "Low Times" (Vagrant), from Ghostory
THE TWILIGHT SAD "Another Bed" (Fatcat), from No One Can Ever Know
THE ROMLEYS "Shake 'Em On Down" (self-released), tbd
WILLY MOON "Yeah Yeah" (self-released), tbd
ODONIS ODONIS "Handle Bars" (FatCat), from Hollandaze
MiNI dOG "Another Man Done Gone" (n/a), from Juke Joint
ANDREW BIRD "Eyeoneye" (Mom + Pop), from Break It Yourself
ROYAL BATHS "Faster, Harder" (Kanine), from Better Luck Next Life
TENNIS "It All Feels The Same" (Fat Possum), from Young and Old
NZCA/Lines "Compass Points" (Loaf), from NZCA/Lines
CAVEMAN "Old Friend" (Original), from CoCo Beware
ALL THE SAINTS "Half Red, Half Way" (Soulterrain Transmissions), from Intro To Fractions
FANTASY RAINBOW "No Hope. Not Ever" (Tiny Lights), from No Hope. Not Ever
CAGED ANIMALS "Teflon Heart" (Lucky Number), from Eat Their Own
TURF WAR "100 Years" (Old Flame), from Years of Living Dangerously (stream)

Music via: Surviving The Golden Age, Cause Equals Time, Audio Drums, Weird Canada, Pick Up The Headphones, The Dadada,

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MMMM - Mike on the Moheak Music Meeting

In advance of The Big Beat's premiere on Moheak Radio, my friend Bruce Rave invited me to phone in and take part in the station's weekly music meeting that he hosts Thursdays from 7 to 9pm Pacific. Bruce is a highly respected former A&R man at Capitol Records instrumental in the acquisition and development of such artists as The Knack, Iron Maiden, Duran Duran, Missing Persons, The Motels, Weird Al Yankovic, The Church, and Thomas Dolby. In addition to hosting the Music Meeting, he hosts a weekly show on the station, Go Deep with Bruce Rave, an extension of his blog of the same name.

The show rates and debates new releases in a roundtable format and for my hour, I was joined on the show by TV producer Stephen Gelber. If you'd like to listen, I come in at roughly the 52 minute mark. Moheak DJ's Lina Lecaro and Jean Luc Gaudry bookend my portion of the show. Even on the phone, you can tell I've never met a microphone I didn't like.

You'll hear new releases from Santigold, Nada Surf, The Ting Tings, The 2 Bears, Young Hines, The Cribs, La Sera, Heartless Bastards, The Couch, Gorillaz/James Murphy/Andre 3000, Fidlar, Django Django, Radiohead, Amadou & Mariam, The Shins, Brandon Benson, Grimes, Maribel, and Yoofs.