Wednesday, September 20, 2017

New Video from NJ's Damfino. Album Out This Friday, 9/22.

"Visit to the Women's Planet"

Since about 2007, North Jersey's Damfino has been the studio project of Joel Bachrach (multiple instruments / vocals) and Joe Merklee (multiple instruments / vocals). They'll be releasing their next album, One False Move and I'm Yours, this Friday, 9/22. The record is the band's first to be recorded with Oliver Ignatius over at Mama Coco's Funky Kitchen; and, over the course of making the LP, Damfino expanded to a real-live, full band with the additions of Alex Bachrach (bass) and Chris McKinley (drums).

About two weeks ago, Damfino released a video for single "Visit to the Women's Planet." It's an amazing, animated clip done by Wyatt O'Connell. The song itself is upbeat power-pop; and, together, the song and video were a true standout in my overstuffed inbox.

Just watch this thing. Trust me.

Damfino celebrate the release of One False Move and I'm Yours with a show at Issyra Gallery in Hoboken on 9/25 with help from our good friend, Jim Testa.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Stuff from Radiator Hospital, Archie Alone, High Waisted / The Coax, and The Burns

High Waisted released a new split 7" with The Coax on Little Dickman Records.

Still Swamped

This must be getting old for you by now, my complaining about how far behind I am on the inbox. Well, too bad. It's my site, and I'll bitch if I want to.

Seriously, though, I spent 12 hours on Saturday shooting the fantabulous Bond St. Block Party; and, then, I spent about 8 hours yesterday editing the photos. 100%, making photos is art, but there is something comfortably mind-numbing about working your way through 2000 of them. I think I used it as a bit of a crutch to avoid working through my scary inbox or thinking about other things.

This afternoon, I started at September 6th in the inbox and worked my way forward coming up with a few interesting things to share. I totally wanted to review an EP / LP a day this week, but that's clearly not happening. Here's some cool stuff, though.

Radiator Hospital, "Pastoral Radio Hit"

Philadelphia's Radiator Hospital have been a prolific source of lo-fi pop for a couple of years now. Previously, the solo project of singer / guitarist Sam Cook-Parrott, Radiator Hospital has grown into a full band. Radiator Hospital's sound may have filled out a bit, but Cook-Parrott is still a romantic.

About a week and a half ago, the band released the second single from their upcoming Play the Songs You Like. "Pastoral Radio Hit" is more sweet, romantic pop about the simple pleasure of infatuation: "I've been feeling very, very nice." There's something about the song -- maybe its lightness or its brevity -- that also gets across the fleeting nature of that high that comes early on in a relationship.

Anyway, Play the Songs You Like is out 10/20 on Salinas Records.

Archie Alone, "Motives"

NJ four-piece, Archie Alone, have a self-titled EP coming on 9/30; and, last week, they shared lead single "Motives." "Motives" is heavy and ambient post-hardcore, complete with artillery fire drums, several slow builds, and a few swirling interludes.

Singer / guitarist Cindy Ward says the song "is about trying to establish genuine relationships with others. Then becoming disappointed because most people are concerned with only getting what they want instead of reciprocating an altruistic friendship."

High Waisted / The Coax, Split 7"

Last Thursday, Chris Dickman and I headed up to Berlin NYC to help celebrate the release of the new split 7" from NYC's High Waisted and Minneapolis-based The Coax. It was a wild show totally worthy of the new music the two bands put out together.

For their part, High Waisted have moved beyond their girl group, surf rock sound with the post-punk inspired, anthemic "Free Throw" and the big rock sound of "Firebomb." The Coax chime in with the bright and garagey "Bologna" and the, well, spooky "Spooky Masquerade."

The split from High Waisted and The Coax is out now on Little Dickman Records.

The Burns, "Pharmaceutical Government"

At the end of August, Asbury Park's The Burns released Splenderson. Recently, they also released the Kevin Carlin-directed clip for single "Pharmaceutical Government."

The song is a laid back meditation on our highly-medicated society. It feels kind of sunny and easygoing; but singer / guitarist, Joey Henderson, is talking about some pretty serious topics, like how corporate profit motives may have contributed to our devastating opioid crisis.

Splenderson is out now.

OK. That's it for now. There's so much more good stuff to go through. It's overwhelming.

Edward Rogers, TV Generation, 2017

Album Review

By Henry Lipput

To paraphrase Pete Townsend, Edward Rogers is talking about his generation.

On TV Generation, his seventh solo album, Rogers is talking about both his generation and the musical generation that came a little before his (and mine) that's losing so many of its guiding lights.

The influence of two of Rogers' heroes, David Bowie and The Kinks, are evident throughout the new album.

First Bowie. The English-born Rogers (he moved to the United States with his family when he was 12) has a distinctive Bowie sound to his voice and you can really hear it on the two songs, "20th Century Heroes" and, especially, "No Words."

On the heartbreaking "No Words," he channels Bowie as he relates his reaction to news of his idol's passing. The song began as a poem written on the day of Bowie's death and has been given a terrific, sympathetic arrangement by Jane Scrantoni. In the song, Rogers sings about grieving "of a lad who went insane," "one of the original London boys," and someone "who gave us songs of outer space."

It's no surprise that Rogers has listened to a lot of music by The Kinks, too. He's got a Ray Davies lyrical sensibility and his musical vocabulary spans the group's output (it's also not surprising that earlier this year he opened for Dave Davies at Manhattan's City Winery). The title track, "TV Generation," is very much a callback to The Kinks' arena-rock albums of the 80s like Give The People What They Want and State Of Confusion. Without mentioning celebrity names, Rogers' song "20th Century Heroes" is a tale of recent rock deaths that could be his version of "Celluloid Heroes." (He even references "A Day In The Life" in the line "I saw the news, another died today.") And "The Player" has a very "Sunny Afternoon" feel to it (or perhaps even "Did Ya," The Kinks' 1991 single that was about the passing of Swinging London and used bits of that earlier song).

Other album standouts include the jangly gem "Gossips Truth and Lies," and "Wounded Conversation" is an acoustic beauty about a difficult time in a relationship: "A wounded conversation is easier said than done / 'cause in the end you have to hurt / the only one." "Sturdy Man's Shout" is a Rolling Stones-like bluesy rocker that could have come from their prime late-60s period.

"On This Wednesday In June" juxtaposes a lyrical acoustic melody with the story of a young man "who has hatred in his heart and wants the world to fall apart." With the refrain "Love is stronger than hate," the song, based on the events of June 17, 2015 (which Rogers characterizes as an "ordinary" Wednesday before the violence occurred), tries to make sense (if such a thing is possible) of the tragic shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

TV Generation is out now on Zip Records.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Relatively New Stuff from LKFFCT, latewaves, Lunch Ladies, and Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son

Lunch Ladies at The Saint back in March.

Digging Out

I've got an inbox full of new EPs, LPs, videos, songs -- many from friends of the site and artists we discuss here often. I've got 100s of pictures to edit from last night's release show for High Waisted and The Coax. Taking the easy way out as I begin to comb through over a week's worth of new and interesting material by calling your attention to a few bite-size morsels from some of our Garden State neighbors.

LKFFCT, "Hatchling"

Montclair indie rock quartet, LKFFCT, just released the first single from their upcoming Dawn Chorus. "Hatchling" sounds like it's about growing up, specifically as it pertains to an increasing willingness to listen to and be educated by others. It's kind of swirling, kind of psychedelic and goes out on a bit of a freakout that probably makes for some wild moments during a LKFFCT live set.

Catch the band this Saturday at Montclair's Meatlocker and next week as part of the second installment of the North Jersey Indie Rock Festival.

Dawn Chorus is out on 10/6 via Sniffling Indie Kids.

latewaves, "Face Down"

I've been kind of behind on Asbury Park's latewaves ("late" you might say). I see them in the listings all the time and have never managed to catch one of their shows. That changes tomorrow when they play a set at the third annual Bond St. Block Party in their hometown.

The trio recently signed to Panic State Records; and their debut EP, Partied Out, is due on 9/22. Earlier this week, latewaves released a video for single "Face Down."

The Chris Shashaty-directed video depicts a ghost and the Grim Reaper moving aimlessly through life until they ultimately find each other. The song is big and bruising with stylistic callbacks to 90s alt rock and more recent post-hardcore.

I'm pretty excited to see latewaves tomorrow.

Lunch Ladies, "Pick Yourself Up"

Back in March, when Jersey Shore-based Lunch Ladies released Down on Sunset Strip, CDM contributor Stephen Stec had this to say about "Pick Yourself Up:"

"It sounds like what your Real Estate LP sounds like played at double time; an absolute bopper that's probably the most fun and light-hearted sounding tune off the album. It just might be the most heavily resonating, a song that feels like waking up and opening your window to a morning so sweet, you've got to take a walk or go running and just do something generally weird to better yourself while appreciating the little things in life."

I liked that then; and, now that Lunch Ladies have released a new video for the track, I like it even more. Director Ed Hellman captures the fun, retro vibe of the song as he documents the band doing band things like playing and eating at diners.

Down on Sunset Strip is out now on Good Eye Records and is quite awesome.

Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son, "Another Deadbeat Summer"

Remember Neon Indian's seminal chillwave track, "Deadbeat Summer?" Yeah. This isn't that. Bobby Mahoney and The Seventh Son are Jersey rockers through and through with a sound that draws from Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem, and the brashness of our home state.

Originally recorded for the band's Friends in Low Places, the song has become a (if not the) highlight of the band's live set. Having grown up with the song, the band decided to re-record it and release it as part of a single to close out Summer of 2017, release details of which are forthcoming.

...OK. That's it for now. I'll get to more stuff in the coming days.