Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Nothing…
"Scream 'N' Cry" b/w "Uniformz"
Wide Awake Music [1979],  Sing Sing Records [2012]

By some unknown force or circumstance, these aggressive 1979 NYC punks put out a single that has, in thirty-three short years, become a holy grail of collectible punk 45s.  The Nothing were certainly in it then and clearly all about it, maybe even catching that first, early round of new wave before anyone even realized the style was seducing punk.  They had leopard print, indoor sunglasses, striped shirts, and noncommittal but fashionable attitude-influenced hairdos. Their music was fast, catchy, and in your face with speedy guitars, snotty vocals, and manic drums. Many years later, The Nothing were fortunate to be included on a volume of the legendary Killed By Death compilations which seems to be the most compelling evidence in the case of "Why has this single become so sought after?" It's also evident that the interest in this Trixz Sly fronted band overshadows his 1980 solo effort to the point of historic denial.  So what makes a two song 7" like this one sell for $2,000? The record is great, the single is extremely scarce, and the subject matter and execution is unquestionably punk. The good news? It's been reissued and you won't have to take out a loan to get your hands on a copy. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Charlie Tweddle
The Midnight Plowboy
Mighty Mouth [2012]

I don't know what captives me most about Charlie Tweddle. Is it the fact that this collection of songs contains nearly 50% farm animal subject matter, my growing suspicion that Tweddle's trademark is to laugh while singing lyrics that aren't particularly humorous, or is it the stories told within his songs and outside his songs via legend that grab my attention? How about Tweddle's alleged UFO encounters, his questionable denial of heavy psychedelic drug use in the late 60's into the early 70's, or his retired wild beard and extravagant getup? Charlie Tweddle is a real life farmer, real life musician, and real life tale of an acid folk outsider country star gone nearly forgotten. Midnight Plowboy's tracks were mostly written in the 70's, but not recorded until the 90's. With the exception of a small run of his Fantastic Greatest Hits LP (and later CD), Tweddle's songs have barely been heard all these years. So now's your chance to finally hear how a man can actually write a song about a love opportunity he missed out on by personifying a turkey sandwich he had at a diner in Ohio. Outlaw or Autistic? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Foreign Body
Kranky [2012]

Foreign Body goes back and forth between the soundtrack to an obsessively detailed film containing a close look at the surface of the moon, and the audio to a watered down death montage I'd envision Michael Landon having during his last moments on Earth as a dying drama star fixated on one of his past roles. MIrrorring's [sic] Foreign Body, a mind-numbing mostly instrumental six-songer, is the baby of west coast musicians Liz Harris and Jesy Fortino. It's an album to cherish alone, or while painstakingly appreciating your uneventful life. The record could make an excellent companion to the anti-solicalite, but it's not like he or she will ever let you know about it

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



Little Black Cloud [2012]

There's nothing like a flashback to a moment I missed in a personally favorable and memorable time in music. Dunebuggy and I somehow coexisted pretty closely (NYC) when I was growing up in central New Jersey, yet I never had the opportunity to see them or even hear them until now. As a fan of grunge music as well as the late 80's and early 90's brand of indie and all the sub-genres found within, I often sat out the mosh pits and gravitated to the feel-good end of the music of the era and apparently just missed these guys. Dunebuggy's sound is something I'd describe as somewhere between the melodic punk Boston scene of the mid 80's and a proto-emo pop scene that bands like Jimmy Eat World could've taken early notes on. This posthumous LP is a collection of their songs, some that have never been heard until now. The styles found within range from the clean production of opening track "Humdinger" to rougher but equally listenable tracks like "Domino Fawn" and "Bucket". One of the best surprises on the record is the guest vocals by Dahlia Seed's Tracey Wilson (one of the more influential indie female vocalists from the area at the time, think Sarah Shannon of Velocity Girl meets Arabella Harrison of Jejune) on stand out tracks like "Chump Change" and "Preserves". The album is solid in it's entirety and if you like anything I've spoken of in this review, you'll find something on this record worth hearing. The album is limited to 100 copies (white vinyl) so get your paws on one quickly or at least give the streaming tracks a shot HERE.

-Jeff Ogiba

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This Betrayal Will Be Our End

Sassafras Records [2012]

This Betrayal Will Be Our End by California's Merch reaches to be a time-forgotten concept album. It's the story of a slow dying love and the pain associated with all the spoils that accompany a twisted falling out. To make matters more interesting, the whole ordeal has a wild west feel (cello, piano, twangy guitar moments, etc.) giving the story an instant fantasy/pseudo-history vibe. The tracks read like a book of doomed relations, and fact or fiction, the sorrow in the singer's voice is quite convincing. This Betrayal… is not an album I'd throw on every night, but it's recommended for anyone who gets off on that merciless gut knot that comes with true loss.

-Jeff Ogiba

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Nick Dewiitt


Tear Drops [2012]

Nick Dewitt's new LP, Untitled will take you on a futuristic DIY suburban indie adventure. All nine tracks are instrumental -- Dewitt samples modern electronic sounds and composes quirky melodramatic key arrangements which span audial images of everyday cityscapes while calling upon the company of distant avant garde glitches. From start to finish, Untitled will provide its listener with a fast-paced journey reminiscent of the daily encumbrances of the emotionally pressured quick-pedaling Paperboy in the arcade classic of the same name. If you can conjure up a way to mentally dodge all of the aggressive musical obstacles while staying in motion, you might find yourself checking out this novelty once, twice, or possibly more after reaching that checkered flag.

Limited to 300 copies on red vinyl.

-Jeff Ogiba

Friday, April 13, 2012


Mansion Burning

Spoonful Records [2012]

In the early 00's, whatever music scene was attempting to exist was overrun by formulaic rock bands -- their flowing chestnut locks concealing their eyes as I forked over my not-so-hard-earned early-twenties cash for merch and barroom admission. Soon after my interest in these groups fizzled, I realized I'd been hoodwinked and left with a stack of unremarkable records and even less compelling t-shirts. Ever since, I've be wary of the "bar band" label. Sure, these are my issues to work out, but this jilted lover mentality isn't easy to overcome. Columbus Ohio's Sundown exhibits many of the symptoms that make me look at Mansion Burning with squinted eyes and a scowl. By the cover art and news that one member (Dustin White) is also in Times New Viking, I was expecting something a bit more chaotic than the twang infused alt-rock that greeted me. T.K. Webb, Chief songwriter and front man, has been around and has the uncanny ability to convey that fact with little more than his plaintive voice and strum. "Forever Too Far" seems to be the standout track, or at least the one I keep returning to. But there's something about this band (as I try to put any prejudices I may have aside) that isn't clicking with me -- if the energy level was kicked up a bit they could be flirting with Reigning Sound territory, but what IS being played is simply something that no longer interests me. However, I'm not so clouded as to overlook Sundown's appeal. I have a feeling that if you 1) own a framed Whiskeytown posted (but only if it's framed), 2) own every record The Afghan Whigs ever recorded, or 3) are a man currently wearing more than one necklace, you might love these guys. I hope that doesn't sound patronizing because I mean it sincerely, I'm trying to paint a picture. These plucky midwestern hymns could really connect with someone who likes their rock dusty rather than dirty, but it ain't me, babe.

-Brian Muirhead

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Cure

Pillbox Tales 1977-1979

Arkain Filloux

"It has nothing to do with me if there's a lot of bootlegs of The Cure; I've never objected to them, no one's ever had their tape recorder confiscated at a Cure show, it doesn't bother me in the slightest". - Robert Smith in a 2006 interview on unofficial Cure recordings. Before then and since then I've read a fair amount of comments, both positive and negative, made my Mr. Smith himself concerning the distribution and sales of unlicensed Cure music. So as for what his beliefs really are, who actually knows, but this particular bootleg calls to me in a bittersweet way. On one hand I want to hear the Easy Cure (as they were then called) rock out on some demos -- on vinyl, but on the other hand I know I'm more or less paying for a cheap (and probably a digitally transferred) version of something that has needed to be on vinyl. It's not like I could pass up some Cure stuff that I don't actually have on a record, but this whole scenario is such a cash grab for the bootleggers that it's left me torn. Pillbox Tales presents seven studio demos of tracks that pre-date Three Imaginary Boys and Boys Don't Cry (The Cure's first U.K. and U.S. releases respectively) and it all sounds pretty great. It's packaged in a limited two color hand-screened cover with Three Imaginary Boys-esque artwork and it's brought to you by the same bootlegger(s) who brought you The Smiths BBC bootleg, a Pixies bootleg, Birthday Party Bootleg ( …the list goes ON and ON). Regardless of how many different phony European addresses these bootleggers think they can red herring the industry with, I kinda hope they get away with it?

-Jeff Ogiba

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wild Nothing

"Nowhere" b/w "Wait"

Captured Tracks [2012]

Captured Tracks does not cease to impress with yet another phenomenal release. Virginia indie-pop wranglers Wild Nothing present two new tracks, "Nowhere" featuring vocals by Twin Sister's Andrea Estella, and "Wait", possibly thee track that confirms the success they've achieved here by upgrading their recording from bedroom to studio. The satisfaction I get from hearing Wild Nothing is nearly synonymous to the excitement that grows in my soul when I find another album on Sarah Records that I previously pretended was unobtainable. I patiently await the new LP. In solitude.

-Jeff Ogiba

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Virginia Plain

"Electric Eyes" b/w "Swamp Thing"

All Hands Electric [2012]

Co-founder of Brooklyn avant indie label All Hands Electric, and seminal kitty cat record album cover graphic designer, Alfra Martini is now known musically as your favorite Roxy Music track, "Virginia Plain". With the help of her backing band, comprised of Fono Luxe's Justin Miller and Christian Reinhardsen, Virginia Plain's debut comes off as a Roland 808-driven neo-gloom disco single with goth pop glam vocals. Both songs are exciting and reasonably danceable, reminding me of the regional cocaine-fueled indie dance groups of 2003 or 2004, but with a modern and relevant edge. The production on this record is impressive, as is the song writing and instrumentation, leaving both tracks to take infinite turns side up as my favorite.

-Jeff Ogiba

Thursday, April 5, 2012


s/t 7"

Don Giovanni Records [2012]

If you ask me, there's not enough spooky girl rock in the world, (if there can ever actually be enough) which is why I was so intrigued by this record. Noun, long-time solo project of Screaming Females centerpiece Marissa Paternoster, is a successfully bizarre concoction of cloak & dagger twang, cautious pop, and bad dreams. Marissa is joined on this recording by Hunchback alum Miranda Taylor, whose sparse drum-work and vocal harmonies make pitch-perfect additions. "I Don't Love Anybody" and "I Need Someone to Lean On" are the conflictingly titled tracks adorning side A - the first being a plucky and haunting girl-and-her-guitar piece sporting the unmistakable feel of home recording, and the latter a bright contrast full of strums, chugs and Ms. Paternoster's trademark warble. The flipside begins with "Space Inside" where the urge to shred can no longer be contained, though it exists in the filter of darkness and reverb that Noun has created. "Grave", the awkwardly upbeat closer, continues the shredding and best displays how well these two vocalists work together Two very distinct, heavy influences strike me while listening to Noun. One being the glory days of L.A. punk - there's a generous dose of X, Gun Club, and other forgotten creepy bands brandishing ironic crosses crawling out of alleyways to record their one and only Slash hit, then back into obscurity. Even more than seminal L.A. however, I'm hit with one name: Quix*O*Tic, the folky, punchy, and brilliant long-defunct D.C. group helmed by the Billotte sisters, which may be a reference out of left field, but I can promise it's dead on. Early Slumber Party and some inspirational K Records acts also come to mind, but in the interest of not berating my point to death I'll simply say that if you like female-fronted punk with a sinister tinge and an uncommon approach, you'll like Noun.

-Brian Muirhead