Category Archives: Music

[listen] Jimi Goodwin // Oh! Whiskey

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [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.

[stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

tame impala live versions cover [stream] Tame Impala // Be Above It (Live Version)

Record Store Day, that annual celebration of all things limited, local, and vinyl, is exactly one month from today. The floodgate of releases has opened, with the extensive list of things to drool over and subsequently save for taking shape. I personally haven’t done much list scouring, but the two I have seen that I really want are the Sunny Day Real Estate split 7” (because who doesn’t want new SDRE?) and the live EP from Tame Impala.

Creatively called Live Versions, the EP features eight tracks culled from the Aussie band’s live show – specifically a 2013 show in Chicago, handpicked by the lead singer to showcase versions that were substantially different from what fans already have on the studio albums. This track, “Be Above It”, is the second to last on the EP, and first on the band’s sophomore album, and while the first few minutes feel familiar, the band turns its Sixties stoner-psych to 11 in the second half.

Record Store Day is Saturday, April 19, and if you happen to be in the record stores around Rochester and prevent me from getting my copy of Live Versions, you’re in for a world of pain, my friends.

[interview] Dan from Joywave

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [interview] Dan from Joywave

joywave sxsw [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.

[listen] Yumi Zouma // The Brae

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [listen] Yumi Zouma // The Brae

YUMI ZOUMA [listen] Yumi Zouma // The Brae

Whenever a brand new artist unleashes their work upon the world, it’s easy to wonder how much a labor of love it has been for everyone involved. The months or years of effort and practice the musicians lent to working and reworking material laid out for judgement and enjoyment. The promotion of said work and everything therein, as well as the many other unseen forces at work like families and friends and anyone else who contributed in any way large or small is largely unquantifiable.

Despite all these varied efforts to prepare work scaled for maximum exposure, early work is often crude and rudimentary. So when a band seemingly populates out of nowhere and captures the attention of the entire (admittedly very insular blog) world, it’s easy to wonder why it ‘happens’ for some and not others. In the case of New Zealand’s Yumi Zouma it isn’t difficult to understand why, not even in the slightest. On first single, “The Brae,” the band’s sound is immediately polished to an 80′s nostalgic shimmery sheen, their dream pop emerging effortlessly mature.

Part of that behind the scenes work is the involvement of Cascine Records, who we’re always glad to lend an assist to. Head to Cascine to pre-order the limited – and eponymously titled – 10″ vinyl, and hit up Soundcloud to sample the other tracks from the band’s debut EP.

Yumi Zouma // Facebook | Twitter

[stream] Years & Years // Real

pinit fg en rect gray 20 [stream] Years & Years // Real

years and years real cover [stream] Years & Years // Real

Do people still use the word ‘banger’? I hope not, because it only makes me think of Tobias as Mrs. Featherbottom in Arrested Development, or a bunch of orange individuals dancing at a club. But if people do still use it, chances are it’s appropriate to describe this track from London’s Years & Years. The London trio already has an EP under their belts, released last September through the folks at Kitsune. “Real” is the title track to their new EP, due out again through Kitsune – this time on February 17th.

The song starts off fairly unassumingly before morphing into something much larger and addictive. It’s a tale of lust and/or longing, and though it maintains its danceability throughout, there’s a melancholy to the lyrics that ultimately makes “Real” much more grounded than the normal themes of getting drunk/high/laid (not that there’s anything wrong with any of those goals for a particular evening).

And while we can feel bad that the protagonist doesn’t get his wish of the object of his desire staying the night, his pain makes for a hell of a song. I’m talking frontrunner for a track I’ll play incessantly for the next eleven months.

Connect with Years & Years // Facebook | Twitter