Listening to her work as part of the ornately melancholy band Carissa’s Wierd, or her solo work as S, you might not expect to find Seattle’s Jenn Ghetto fronting a Blink-182 cover band. And yet. Silly Goose, Ghetto’s latest group, just released their debut seven inch, featuring a trio of faithfully-played covers bolstered by Ghetto’s distinctive voice. For this writer, at least, much dancing in a desk chair ensued. I checked in with Ghetto to learn more about the project’s […]
Shannon and the Clams make classically stripped-down music: over tautly-played guitars, the interweaving vocals of Shannon Shaw and Cody Blanchard lay out surreal narratives. It’s a timeless style, and it works. Their new album, Dreams in the Rat House, continues their tradition of taking a solid garage-rock sound and taking it to surreal places. (Think The Cramps; think Panther Burns.) It doesn’t hurt that both Shaw and Blanchard also make music as part of other, equally impressive, groups: Hunx and His Punx and […]
Band Booking: Judson Claiborne on Service Animals, Hypnosis, and “Endless Uncomfortable Conversations”
The first time I heard the music of Chris Salveter, it was in Low Skies, a band whose songs sat at some taut crossroads between the elegaic and the Gothic. Their 2006 album All the Love I Could Find remains a favorite, and I was thrilled, when listening to the latest album by Judson Claiborne — my first exposure to the band — to hear a familiar voice in the mix. We Have Not Doors You Need Not Keys is Judson Clairborne’s third album since […]
Last month I found myself in an almost dangerously sweltering show at Death By Audio in Williamsburg, contemplating the ongoing 90’s alt-rock revival from up close. The evening started off with the riff-heavy California X, whose crunchy guitar sound brings to mind a hundred different grunge and alternative singles from my early adolescence, and continued with Roomrunner, a group whose music is specifically designed to encourage headbanging. By the time headliners Speedy Ortiz took the stage, the crowd had entered […]
Total, the debut from Portland’s Hausu, comes at your in roaring waves of guitars. It’s a strand of postpunk with more than a few traces of Unwound and Sonic Youth in the mix, ably blending furious guitars with more trance-inducing qualities. It’s also an impressive internalization of a sound that debuted long before this group’s members, all of whom are in their early twenties, were born. Making the familiar both your own and fresh is no small feat, and I checked […]
Music, in most cases, is supposed to be fun. While there are inevitable counter-examples to that statement, comprising goals such as solemn self-expression or emotional catharsis, for the most part, music, especially pop music, is meant to make you feel good. It can also be funny, as demonstrated by indie garage rockers The Hairs, whose new album The Magic’s Gone walks a fine line between carefree goofball imagery and arch self-awareness. With song titles like “Tennis Penis” and “Birds Shit Then Sing,” […]
San Francisco’s The Blank Tapes play a skewed, blissed-out take on pop music. The cover of their new album, Vacation, featured Adams laying on a beach, oblivious to the wave about to crash down on both him and his trusty melodica. That’s a good metaphor for the songs within: both tending towards the beatific and wittily self-aware. I checked in with the band’s founder, Matt Adams, via email on the eve of their Brooklyn show.
In the spirit of the short & fast songs made by Seattle’s Iron Lung, I’ll keep the banter here abbreviated. Their sound? All grit and fury and tense waves of feedback. Is there a new album? Indeed! Called White Glove Test. An interview with Jensen Ward: what you’re seeing here. Discussed? Books! And noise. And a compilation called Sub Pop 1000. Enjoy!