Friday, July 31, 2009

Laura Stevenson and the Cans-A Record

I just want to start this off by saying, I LOVE Laura Stevenson. Every time I listen to these 8 songs, it seems like they just get better. The whole album is low-key, and pretty simple, although she does mix in some more traditional instruments like banjo and violin. I like to describe her as a less-pretentious Regina Spektor/simplified Beirut meets the Ramones. Lots of acoustic guitar paired with an amazing voice and the occasional harder-charging electric song makes this album amazing. Plus, it's released for free by Quote Unquote. What could be better?
She's supposed to be playing two shows this upcoming Sunday, one in Cambridge with Bomb the Music Industry and Andrew Jackson Jihad, and then another later that day in Windsor, CT, again with Andrew Jackson Jihad and Delay. Find more details here at her myspace.
And since that show is happening and I love AJJ, here's some more from the Phoenix, Arizona duo.
(or buy it at a show!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shinobu-Strange Spring Air, The Menzingers-A Lesson In the Abuse Of Information Technology

I had forgotten how awesome this album was until the last track, Moustache King, came up on shuffle. Just a feel-good pop-punk album, Shinobu is compared on to "the Weakerthans, New Order, The Pixies, Pavement and a few others." They released Strange Spring Air this past January on Quote Unquote, who are seriously like my favorite label ever because they release lots of good music for free.

In other news, this past Tuesday I got to check out a few bands I hadn't heard of before at a show at the Whitney House in Hartford. CT locals Swear Jar and Dead Uncles opened, and they both played great sets. I bought the Dead Uncles new split with Dylan Bredeau, but have yet to listen to the whole thing through because it's on cassette. If you haven't heard of Dead Uncles before, you should definitely check them out. Some top-quality rougher sounding pop-punk, their first full-length/CDR, the Dead Uncles Is Ruining My Life can be found here.
After that the Sidekicks played a pretty good set, but the band that really impressed me was the Menzingers, out of Pennsylvania. I particularly enjoyed their cover of the Clash's Straight to Hell. I wanted to buy their most recent full-length, but unfortunately didn't have the cash, and their lead singer actually told me to just download it. Solid dude in my book.
Edit: I'm listening to that Menzingers album now, and I can see these guys getting big. Fans of the Lawrence Arms and Against Me! should dig this.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dinosaur Jr.-Farm

A solid album from a great alt. rock band. Plus it's got some of the dopest cover art ever. August 16th, these guys are playing a free show in NYC, I'll post up some more details a little later. Could only find this in rar format, sorry. If I find it in zip later I'll up that too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Good Luck-Into Lake Griffy

At the beginning of the summer I went to see these guys at a show with Bomb the Music Industry! I had never heard of them before that, but they put on an energetic performance. The music is pretty laid back, and the guitarist does some legit shredding, without it sounding like shredding. I know that sounds dumb, but give it a listen, and I can almost guarantee you will enjoy it. They released their first full-length, Into Lake Griffy, in May of 2008. The whole album is great, but I'm particularly partial to Stars Were Exploding and Bringing Them Back to Life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Okay, so I've decided to start a music blog. Look out for music/show reviews, downloads, and even some show listings. For this first post I'm just gonna throw up some stuff I've been listening to a bunch lately.

First up is a split from Andrew Jackson Jihad and Ghost Mice, released on Plan-it-X back in 2007. Both bands are great folk-punk duos. AJJ, who have got the first half of the split, hail from Phoenix, Arizona. They mainly consist of two dudes, Sean Bonnette and Ben Gallaty, on guitar and upright bass, with others filling in occasionally. Their songs are pretty dark, with lyrical content that includes stuff about a vengeful Jesus, crystal meth, child abuse, and other unpleasant stuff. But, you know, they've got some happy songs too.

On the second half of the split is Ghost Mice, from Bloomington, Indiana. Their songs are a little more gentle, but still have alot of the typical anarchist/environmentalist stuff folk-punk bands seem to sing about. I was told the guitarist, Chris Johnston also plays in Defiance, Ohio, but I can't find a confirmation of this anywhere (admittedly, I didn't look too hard). One cool thing about these guys is they almost always play acoustic sets, having used a mic only once at some fest. Aside from Chris Johnston, who plays the guitar, the band also includes Hannah Jones on violin.

Overall a pretty rad split, you can go to Plan-it-X's website, to buy it, or download it for free here:

Another artist I've been listening to alot recently is blues-man Muddy Waters. Muddy is a bona-fide American badass, and if you don't agree with me, you can GTFO.

Last, one of my favorite hip hop artists, R.A. the Rugged Man. R.A. has been around for like, forever, and even did a track with Biggie way back in the day. He's vile and crude,
 but also pretty observant. His first full-length, Die, Rugged Man, Die!, was released back in 2004.