Category Archives: Check ‘em Out!

Video: Francisco the Man – “Progress”

Francisco the Man

“…indie in theory, but with big-tent ambitions, a little shoegaze, a lot of synth-pop, the faintest hint of danceable forms of punk.”  Pitchfork

“Francisco the Man articulate all their pent-up yearning and tension with layers of reverberating guitars (and now, synths) ranging from lush to squalling. If you’re looking for reference points, think Built to Spill canoodling at the beach with ’90s British shoegazers and contemporary electro-poppers.” Buzzbands LA

 “The right balance of ear-catching fervor with a looming electronic armor to separate itself from the throwaway pop milieu.” I Guess I’m Floating

 “The glistening, hook-filled guitar jam “Progress” is the first single and it packs a huge melodic punch.”Music for Ants

 “A catchy chorus that gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day, tight wave-guitars and an overall summery dancing vibe.” Subbacultcha

LA’s Francisco The Man recently announced the release of their debut album, Loose Ends, on Small Plates records this September 30th.  Check out the video for their song, “Progress” now!

It took roughly seven years, a teenage instrumental rock band, a debut EP, additions and subtractions, a roller rink and a near death experience to arrive at Francisco The Man. Following a two-year hiatus beginning in 2008, the band relocated from Riverside to Los Angeles, CA, bringing along a new addition, guitarist Brock Woolsey. With the help of Small Plates Records, they released two 7″s, In the Corners and Tiger.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Check 'em Out!, new albums, video, listen, Awesome

Check ‘Em Out: Streets of Laredo

streets of laredo

Brooklyn-based, New Zealanders’ Streets of Laredo have announced their first full-length album, Volume I & II on Dine Alone Records, out October 7th.  Destined to be a soundtrack for all things Fall, this album is a sing-a-long collision of jangling harmonies, stomping percussion, horns and guitars.  Take a listen to their debut track “Slow Train” below. The band also premiered a teaser trailer documenting life on the road; check it out here.

Founded by close-knit family members Daniel, Dave and Sarah Jane Gibson and inspired by the fervor and madness of the 70’s folk-rock circuit, Streets of Laredo was born out of trying to escape the mundane everyday working life. Older brother Dave tells the story, “Both Dan and I had done the hard yards in bands in New Zealand but we were worn out and a little lost by it all. And broke. I was running this t-shirt company and Dan walks in one day to tell me that he’s finished with music and he’s gonna go get a real job. All of a sudden my ‘big brother’ instinct kicks in and rather than see this young songwriter throw it all away, I gave him a job doing t-shirt orders, and we started working on demos and writing songs together, pretty much day and night from then on in.”

Refining their sound and songs one holiday weekend at a beach house on the New Zealand coast, the Gibsons started to fashion a sound that was equal parts folk storytelling and psychedelic madness.  With just one home-town show under their belt, a handful of demos and a whole lot of hope, they took the plunge and decided to move halfway around the world. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 and Streets of Laredo in a rehearsal space in Brooklyn NY with a guitar, a drum-machine and no money, trying to figure out what comes next.

Quickly adding fellow countryman Thom Darlow and local Brooklynites Sean McMahon and Andrew McGovern to the mix, this now rambling, multi-instrumental, seven-piece started to craft a dance-inducing mix of vocal hooks, beats and wild sounds that saw the New York music scene embrace them as their own – building a firm reputation in the music halls of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side for playing danceable, crazy songs that kept fans coming back for more – not to mention seeing the band feted as a must-see act at both CMJ and SXSW.

A quick trip back to New Zealand saw the band record the bones of ‘Volume I & II’ – ten songs inspired by their old life in NZ and their new life in NYC – in an old converted Auckland theatre where, courtesy of friendships and favors, they locked down that distinctive Streets of Laredo sound.

Like Bob Dylan running late to a Ramones concert or Paul Simon getting blind drunk with Grizzly Bear, however you describe them the resulting songs and sound have had an instant effect on fans and critics alike.  Stay tuned for an upcoming US tour announcement!

sol

Listen: Streets of Laredo – “Slow Train”

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, listen, new albums

Newest Love: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness – “Cecilia and the Satellite”

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness has shared the cover art for his upcoming self-titled album, which will be released on Vanguard Records on October 14, 2014. The striking image was created by Jimmy Marble. AMITW’s first single, “Cecilia and the Satellite,” is already getting strong airplay across radio formats and is available now on iTunesAmazon and Spotify.

Andrew is currently on tour with Matt Nathanson and Gavin DeGraw and will be performing tonight at Central Park’s Summer Stage. For other tour dates, updates and more information visit: http://www.andrewmcmahon.com/

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, listen, new albums, Newest Love

Listen: Goldroom – “Till Sunrise” (ft. Mammals) [Belarbi Remix]

Belarbi

 

Listen: Goldroom – “Till Sunrise” (ft. Mammals) [Belarbi Remix]

1 Comment

Filed under Check 'em Out!, listen, remixes

Check ‘Em Out: Daniel Wilson – “Killed Ya”

daniel wilson

“Wilson’s latest takes on the stylings of a gospel song but steadily marches with soulful synths and drums built upon a rock-solid foundation of a pop song nonetheless…there’s a solid chance that the skill he showcases will get stuck in your head all day” – YOURS TRULY

Detroit-based songwriter Daniel Wilson returns this week with late summer single “Killed Ya” as the first offering from his forthcoming The Boy Who Cried Thunder EP out this September via Zap Records.

Influenced by his love of the hometown heroes of Motown, classic rock ‘n’ roll and the years dedicated to singing in his church choir, the new track is an upbeat, more sophisticated departure from his beloved first EP Young Rubbish which included singles “Will You” and “Please Dream Again”.

Daniel Wilson grew up in Detroit, Michigan. His family regularly attended church and even though Wilson didn’t care for the sermons too much he loved the music. Much like the music on those Sunday mornings, his parents would pack the car full of Gospel cassette tapes.

As a child spoken for mainly by religious music, he wouldn’t dive into anything wildly different for years. He became a choirboy and found support from his choir director who encouraged him to explore his classical voice. After spending years keeping his voice hidden, too shy to sing at even family get-togethers, he slowly found the confidence to explore performing which opened up a new world of possibilities and reinvigorated his initial thirst for music.

He was born again, baptized by The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, as many big names as he could find for free on the Napster’s and Kazaas of the world. He took the Christian music with him and never let it go but was starting to realize that heaven was more than one thing, more than one place, that God could be found in Aretha Franklin asking for Respect. His bond also grew with the classical music and show tunes his choir teacher would pick out for them to sing. It helped that his mother loved musicals and watched them almost all the time.

Before long he began auditioning for solos; still couldn’t read music but his ear and voice were good enough. He was then offered the opportunity to travel Europe with BLFAC’s International Choir and ended up singing several solos on that tour – suddenly he wasn’t so afraid anymore. Being heard became something he needed, a rush that brought him closer to people, himself, a new idea of God. Before the trip to Europe he had even started writing, whether it was poems or little songs about faith, bullies, girls. He wanted to be heard, he wanted his songs to be heard.

So he used his Mom’s old tape recorder and bought some tapes just to start somewhere and sort out his ideas. One thing let to another and he finally found the money to buy cheap music software, which then led him to uploading his own music online, covers, simple collaborations with friends, fully aware that he was now on the path to finding himself, his voice. He wondered, “What else is there for me to find?”.

killedya

Listen: Daniel Wilson – “Killed Ya

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!

Newest Love: High Ends

Photo Credit: Mandy-Lyn

Photo Credit: Mandy-Lyn

” …more akin to American weirdos of various unseemliness from Ariel Pink to Jim James, tapping into a bygone era of retro-futurism and resulting in something so out-of-time that it sounds timeless.” Pitchfork

” …retro-futuristic sound that’s hard to pin down but easy to enjoy — similar in spirit to fellow Vancouver resident Dan Bejar’s Destroyer.” Stereogum

“…  a futuristic, psychedelic rock track that has put us in a trance.” Refinery29

The new solo project High Ends from Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes is titled Super Class and will be released October 7th via Dine Alone Records. Having previously revealed lush album cut “The Weight” and the psych-rock single “Intoxicated,” NYLON has revealed the video for infectious album track “Downtown” today. Filled with irresistible, ‘80s-inspired analogue synths & an infectious refrain, the video is an artistic interpretation about relationships and detachment in the modern age.

Innes explains, “Downtown” is a song I wrote about internet dating. It’s actually more about a conversation I had with a friend regarding dating in general. She was finding internet dating hard to escape because less and less people try to meet people the old way now. She explained that in the old days she felt like a club was like a jungle and people behaved like animals. She used to hate being gawked at and treated like an object, but the internet thing doesn’t feel like anything at all. I feel like the video interpretation that Sabre has made for the song somewhat fits the modern feel of what it’s like to be single and detached from the new way of dating. The girl goes Downtown and still ends up by herself. It looks like she has a clear mind though, which is always nice.

The ten-song LP was recorded with producer Colin Stewart (Dan Mangan, The New Pornographers) at his Vancouver Island facility. During the sessions, Gold & Youth drummer Jeff Mitchelmore handled percussion, Louise Burns and The New Pornographers’ Kathryn Calder contributed backing vocals, and Ladyhawk’s Darcy Hancock laid down guitar. Fans not able to wait until album release can grab the 2-track single featuring “Downtown” and “Intoxicated” available now.
High Ends
Super Class Tracklist
1) Downtown
2) The Weight
3) Intoxicated
4) I’m Gonna Keep On Dancing
5) Cappuccino
6) The Believer
7) River Cruise
8) Ocean Song
9) Feel/Sleep/Aliens
10) Working Man’s Blues

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, listen, Lists, new albums, Newest Love, video

Stream Intergalactix’s Debut EP!

unnamed

Recently I posted about my newest love, Intergalactix. Now, you can stream their debut EP, IWSOM before it’s out on the 12th!

Stream: Intergalactix – IWSOM (via Red Bull Music)

“Tuesday” was my favorite previously (mostly because it was their only song I’d heard), but now my new favorite is “The New Sound”!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, listen, new albums, Newest Love

Check ‘Em Out: [Belarbi]

belarbi

Hot off the press!!!

Check out this new remix from Belarbi.

Listen: SBTRKT – “New Dorp. New York” (feat. Ezra Koenig [Belarbi] Remix))

He writes: (sic)

Hi guys,

This one is special, tricky I would say as I’m such a fan of sbtrkt and Vampire week end.
I humbly tried to give a personal twist to their great song.
Since they released it, it seemed I had to drop everything else and only do that
I’m happy to share it fresh with you guys
[Belarbi]

Freshly out in the limelight, [Belarbi] has already received a warm welcome on social networks. His debut remix, a version of Nonono’s “Pumpin Blood”, has promptly gathered a half million plays on Soundcloud. His first original track, “Paradise” was an airy yet catchy display of his rich and diverse influences. Add a stream of well-polished productions bringing a unique touch to tracks such as Yuna’s “I Wanna Go” or Two Door Cinema Club’s “Changing Of The Seasons”. Forward-thinking label Kitsune got it right, releasing [Belarbi]‘s remix “Kyllan” by BeatauCue. And Lykke Li “No Rest For the Wicked” last month.

Listen to all of [Belarbi]‘s remixes on Soundclound HERE.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, remixes

Listen: Operators (On Tour with Future Islands)

EP 1

“Discovery is the supposed raison d’etre of these fests and CMW 2014 delivered with the best buzz band in recent memory, Operators, an electronic rock group so good that first night I went and saw them again the next two nights, too.” – Huffington Post

 “The trio’s first, utterly blazing midnight set at the Dollar on Thursday left a representative sample of Toronto’s music-industry intelligentsia – label reps, promoters, festival programmers, publicists, bloggers, critics and jaded scenesters in general – tizzying about in a froth of unanimous excitement this writer has rarely witnessed in his two decades on the job.” – Toronto Star

 “Featuring gurgling electronics occasionally reminiscent of early Unicorns, blasts of synths and steady drums, the new material brought Boeckner’s pop tendencies into full view” – Exclaim

 “even in the keyboard-driven Handsome Furs, we’ve never heard Boeckner’s howling growl set against such a sleek digital background.” – Stereogum

 “Boeckner emphatically swoons about “one true love” over an ’80s-indebted backdrop of shimmering synths and booming bass. Infectious and danceable, “True” is New Wave for 2014.” – Consequence of Sound

operators

Operators is Dan Boeckner’s (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits) brand new analog/electronic/dance project, and we are excited to announce the release of their debut offering, EP1: an upbeat, aggressively melodic collection of synth driven pop songs. The EP will be out this Tuesday, August 5th, and they have released the first track from the EP “True”.

 Listen: Operators – “True”

Dan Boeckner has shown his diverse musical taste over the years; consequently, his decision to focus his attention on a new, electronic dance project shouldn’t be surprising as it feels like nothing more than a natural progression from the first synth he bought for the debut Wolf Parade EP, to the primarily stark, digital sounds of Handsome Furs, and now the organic, melted, deeply dance driven Operators.  Recorded at Montreal’s Hotel2Tango, the five track EP1 features “True” and four other new tracks, functioning as the band’s defacto mission statement.

Even before releasing any music, Operators played a handful of shows showcasing all previously unheard songs. This included Toronto Music Week in June, where the band (who had released no music and posted no information about themselves online) sold out a three night residency at the Silver Dollar Room.  Huffington Post remarked the band was “an electronic rock group so good that first night I went and saw them again the next two nights, too.” Noisey was there too, saying “The performance wasn’t just energetic, it was frenetic…Operators’ music is all hooks-it’s dance pop. It’s direct, it’s immediately accessible…”

The band’s proper North American live debuts will happen courtesy of a largely sold out tour starting August 7 supporting Baltimore’s Future Islands, followed by headline performances of their own. On Monday, tune in to KEXP.org to watch Operators’ live in studio session at 1pm PST, before their headline set at Barboza that night.

 Operators on tour:

  • 8/2 — Happy Valley, OR — Pickathon
  • 8/3 — Happy Valley, OR — Pickathon
  • 8/4 — Seattle, WA — Barboza
  • 8/7 — Brooklyn, NY — House of Vans*
  • 8/8 — Milvale, PA — Mr. Small’s Theatre*
  • 8/9 — Indianapolis, IN — The Vogue*
  • 8/10 — Milwaukee, WI — Turner Hall*
  • 8/11 — Sioux Falls, SD — Icon Lounge*
  • 8/12 — Fort Collins, CO — Aggie Theater*
  • 8/13 — Salt Lake City, UT — Kilby Court
  • 8/15 — Boise, ID — Egyptian Theatre*
  • 8/16 — Portland, OR — Doug Fir Lounge*
  • 8/18 — Sacramento, CA — Harlow’s*
  • 8/19 — Fresno, CA — Star Palace at Warnors Theatre*
  • 8/20 — Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre*
  • 8/21 — Los Angeles, CA — The Fonda Theatre*
  • 8/22 — San Diego, CA — Irenic*
  • 8/24 — Phoenix, AZ — The Crescent ballroom
  • 8/25 — Tucson, AZ — 191 Toole*
  • 8/27 — Denver, CO — Gothic Theatre*
  • 8/28 — Omaha, NE — The Waiting Room*
  • 8/29 — Des Moines, IA — Wooly’s*
  • 8/30 — Chicago, IL — Schuba’s^
  • 8/31 — Columbus, OH — The Big Bang*
  • 9/2 — Montreal, QC — La Tulipe*
  • 9/3 — South Burlington, VT — Higher Ground Ballroom*
  • 9/4 — Portland, ME — Port City Music Hall*
  • 9/7 — Toronto, ON — Horseshoe Tavern
  • 9/13 — Hamilton, ON — James Street North Supercrawl
  • 10/23 — Halifix, NS — The Marquee Club

* with Future Islands

^ with Tweens

Leave a comment

Filed under Band Change-ups, Check 'em Out!, listen, new albums, Shows, Whoa!

Check ‘Em Out: Kiev

Photo credit: Murphy Karges

Photo credit: Murphy Karges

“The sun sets in the background as the band plays on, masterfully achieving an organic sound…” Elmore Magazine

“Sharing their funk and psychedelic rock influences through visuals that reinforce its sound, the hypnotic track is set to a magical journey that sees the band’s members riding on bongo drums while coming in contact with electrified lily pads” NYLON Guys

“Kiev’s genre-transcending full-length […] exudes a powerful otherworldly quality, as if Orange County-based band of sophisticates give in at times to the urge to simply space out.” Buzzbands.LA

Orange County alt-rockers Kiev released their debut full-length album, Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth, in October of last year. In support of the record, the band is kicking off a west coast tour today with fellow Californians Bad Suns.

Having recently unveiled their otherworldly video for Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth album cut “Be Gone Dull Cage,” the band has now dropped an incredible live video of “Solving and Running”- shot in a stunningly picturesque desert locale.

Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth was produced & engineered by Chris Shaw (Wilco, Phish, Super Furry Animals), and pays homage to collective band influences & minimalist pioneer Steve Reich. The members of Kiev have strong connections to the world of visual art, and have orchestrated & added a multi-faceted 3D element to their live performances. Additionally, the LP art was originally a band favorite by renowned contemporary artist Walton Ford, who gave the band his blessing to use it as the cover for Falling Bough Wisdom Teeth upon hearing the record & how it spoke to his painting.

Full West Coast Tour w/ Bad Suns Kicks Off Today:

8/1: Bakersfield, CA @ B Ryders
8/3: Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s
8/4: San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
8/5: Reno, NV @ Cargo Reno
8/6: Eugene, OR @ Cozmic
8/7: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
8/10: Boise, ID @ Reef
8/12: Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
8/13: Las Vegas, NV @ Container Park
8/15: Santa Barbara, CA @ Velvet Jones

Leave a comment

Filed under Awesome, Check 'em Out!, listen, Shows, video