Author Archives: Dave

[listen] Foxes in Fiction // Shadow’s Song

Foxes in Fiction’s “Memory Pools” – off 2010’s Swung From the Branches - returned to my orbit a few months back when I happened to re-listen to an old mix I’d once spent a great deal of time laboring over. Immediately entranced with the calming beauty of the song once again, much like I had been the first time around a few years back, I was unable to recall exactly why I had lost track of the song. Also unable to figure out why I hadn’t gone about my usual routine of scouring for what else the band had to their name, my prompt downloading of a bevy of releases gratis via Orchid Tapes (of which there are plenty) should henceforth correct all issues of neglect.

Since that time I’ve made further efforts to engage with the band by glomming on to various social network accounts. As such, I’ve learned that Foxes in Fiction is the name by which Warren Hildebrand creates his own music, and Orchid Tapes is the manner in which he releases music in both physical and digital manifestations for a number acts in addition to his own. From what I’ve gathered, Hildebrand and his label are both recipients beyond worthy of adulation. Based on his internet presence, it seems vitally clear that Hildebrand could easily mark both super cool and extremely nice on a personality test.

My reintroduction to the band was rather timely, considering a new album, Ontario Gothic, is due to be released in September, and a new song surfaced as a result. “Shadow’s Song” is again arresting in it’s stately beauty, with breathy vocals, and astute violin and cello work. The label is run out of Brooklyn, but Hildebrand is paying homage to his roots just north of the border with the title of his coming record. In my short time following along with the band, Hildebrand has mentioned how much a labor of love the release has been, and the results here are obviously worth the effort.

[listen] Dry Heeves // 90’s Prom Song


When listening to Lubbock, Texas quartet Dry Heeves, obvious comparisons to other bands shuttled through my brain. I’ll spare all five people who read this the rehashing of that tired tactic. Comparisons aside, while the Heeves are not bent on shattering the earth with groundbreaking material, the music is in fact remarkably fun. There isn’t a great deal of variance from song to song, and with this particular formula it isn’t especially necessary. They have their rhythms down and are quite good at pulling it all off again and again.

“90’s Prom Song” was my introduction to the band, and is a more sedate affair than many of its counterparts on debut full length Boogie Till Ya Puke. From the opening baseline, it’s easy to recognize this is drunken, reverb heavy surf rock you’ll just as quickly feel at home with. Perhaps it is just my personal tastes, but I could listen to Boogie as well as the band’s two previous EP’s (also available at their Bandcamp page below) and never feel close to puking.

Throughout their songs, the band has one endearing affectation: the occasional indie rock yelp littered throughout their warbles happen to be quite canine-sounding. Related to this quirk, when listening I had a stray thought that made me chuckle lightly to myself before questioning just what was wrong with my brain (please be gentle) – I give it high barks: three yips and a woof.

Dry Heeves // Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook

[listen/download] Slow Animal // The Other Side


The first notes of “The Other Side” lull you into the belief that, perhaps, a few extra years in age have softened the edges of Slow Animal’s familiar lo-fi punk sound. It doesn’t take long to shatter that thought. There is an added layer of maturation on a new track entitled “The Other Side,” but the rough, ramshackle effervescence of youth has not been lost. Familiar constructs are retained: melodic guitars held to a steady upbeat pace, with muddled diatribes affirming the efficacy of illicit substances and enduring pleasure; but all that doesn’t mean they’re stagnant.

Listen, I adore this band, and their set at our last ill-fated birthday show was the highlight of the evening for me. Just about anything they’ve created has been more pleasing to my ears than a luxurious q-tip insertion, and a much healthier decision to boot. They indicate this is the first single off an upcoming EP of the same name, and that a full length should be in the offing as well. One can only hope.

Slow Animal // Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr

[listen] Jimi Goodwin // Oh! Whiskey

Though he was likely the driving force of the overall sound of Manchester’s Doves, if it hadn’t been evident prior, it’s obvious now with new track “Oh! Whiskey” that Jimi Goodwin was principally responsible for the band’s folk-centered jaunts. That aspect was never my favorite, but with such a varied base of styles it provided a well earned change of pace throughout the band’s catalogue – a catalogue which any long time reader of tympanogram should be aware I am a great admirer. Despite having been released nearly 14(!) years ago, “The Cedar Room” remains in the conversation (perhaps its totality depending on the day) of my personal favorite songs of all time.

It’s been quite some time since there’s been new music from the on-hiatus Doves, so it was with great pleasure that I learned of Goodwin’s debut solo album, Odludek. “Oh! Whiskey” exercises those folk muscles at the onset, with an extended harmonica solo, familiar rolling guitars, and Goodwin’s rough around the edges vocals centered on heartache and drinking. I’ve yet to listen to the remainder of the record, but Goodwin has described it as a “mad mixtape” and “eclectic as fuck,” meaning it’s surely as deftly varied as I expect.

While I hold out hope that Doves will reunite and give us another effort on the level of “The Cedar Room” or “There Goes the Fear,” I’ll be happy to take in the rest of Odludek for the time being.

[interview] Dan from Joywave


A few weeks ago my inbox revealed a PR email that proved, at least initially, mildly surprising. In short time however, it made complete sense. I receive a good deal of email from this particular agency, so it wasn’t that I received written relations of a public nature from them, but rather that its subject happened to be Rochester’s own Joywave. A band with whom, as you should probably know if you’ve visited this site before or happen to be fans of the band themselves, we have a shared history. We collaborated on releasing a 7″ vinyl single a few years back, one which you may still purchase here. We happen to live in the same town, so our paths have crossed many times in the interim, though with less frequency as of late. The PR email made sense when considering the band’s upward trajectory (major PR firm/cross country tour) – inverse to that of our now twice halted blog – but as ever, we remain invested in their future and hope to continue to lend a hand as best we can with our limited influence. As such, I sent mustachioed front-man Dan a few brief questions about the contents of that email as well as other band happenings, and he was kind enough to respond.

It has been a while since we (personally) have gotten any official updates on the world of Joywave. What projects have you been working on individually and as a band in the last year or so?
Writing and recording has taken up most of our time this past year. We started working on our full length in the fall, and 4 of the songs from that will be coming out March 11th on our new EP. I spent quite a bit of time working on a project called “Big Data” with my friend Alan Wilkis as well.

Give us a primer on Big Data. How do you separate the projects? Do you approach writing lyrics differently?
Totally different. Big Data is very much social commentary on the digital age, and I try to keep everything with Joywave personal and real. It’s pretty easy for me to keep them separate in my head.

You were just in California, you’re headed to Texas for SXSW next week, and in April you’re headed out West again sharing some dates with RAC. Is more touring a goal moving forward?
I think we’ll take some time off to finish the record after the April dates, but hopefully we’re touring a lot once that’s wrapped up.

How did you get set up with RAC? Are there other bands you’d like to tour with?
Andre (RAC) did a remix of our song, “Tongues”, and asked me to do it live with them late last year at Bowery Ballroom and Music Hall of Williamsburg. We met there and he was nice enough to ask us to join them for the West Coast leg of their tour.

The band seems to write songs that are eminently remix-able, and you’ve also contributed some excellent reworks of other band’s music. How do you feel about remixes in general? What role do they serve for you when being remixed, as opposed to doing the remixing?
It’s always interesting to hear someone else’s take on your song. We just got in a really cool “Tongues” one that hopefully the world will hear soon. Sean does all the remixes for us, but it’s usually a good way to experiment with new techniques and different genres. We don’t ever feel like we have to turn someone else’s song into a Joywave song.

Recently, we talked briefly on twitter about bands ‘making’ it. You said that 2014 was going to be a good year. Where do you see yourselves heading in 2014 and beyond?
The top. Kidding. That’s always a subjective thing. Hopefully we have a record out by the end of the year and get to experience some new places/things.

Despite our hard hitting questions lending no real new insights into the Joyworld, regardless, it’s good to keep up with the band’s happenings. Presently down in Austin initiating their world takeover, there are a number of dates over the next few days that you can catch if you happen to be attending SXSW. If not, at least sample new EP How Do You Feel? below, and hope they make a stop in your neck of the woods sometime in the near future.