Saturday, August 30, 2008

Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano

It seems that all everyone, myself included, is talking about the fast couple days is Sarah Palin. I'd be kind of embarrassed to have the first female vice president be so anti-woman. She's already pissing me off.

Anyway, being back in Los Angeles means driving again (which also means paying for gas- ick). My favorite music to drive to is pretty much without a doubt the Blow. Paper Television and Poor Aim: Love Songs are my jams... just the greatest electropop perfect for cruising. I could go on & on about my love for the Blow, but I'll refrain. Here is my favorite interview with Khaela, conducted by Miranda July. I also love the deli aisle picture I posted a little while ago.

I'm not going to bother posting any Blow albums because I think K will have 'em down shortly, but I've got them upped, so send me your email address if you want them.

Before the Blow, Khaela performed as Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano and sometimes under her own name (Khaela Maricich). The Blow originally started out as another solo project, but then Jona (aka YACHT) joined on. Jona left, and Khaela's going solo again, still as the Blow.

As Khaela Maricich & Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano, Khaela contributed to a few compilations and released an album called Look for It in the Sky It Will Always Be There on KNW-YR-OWN. It was recorded by Phil Elvrum in Olympia in 1998 and originally released on cassette under the name Khaela Maricich. I think it was first released on CD in 2001 under Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano rather than her own name. KNW-YR-OWN just reissued it, this time under Khaela Maricich.

This is definitely more similar to her early Blow releases... Khaela & her ukulele rather than Jona's beats. It starts off with "Girl in the Sky," which was originally on one of the Yoyo live compilations performed by Khaela & Jenn Kliese. Back this with "Our Bad Sex" as the second track for an awesome one-two punch. "Lisa Cohen" is one of my favorite birthday-themed songs ("Girl I heard that it's your birthday and that you're turning 21"). It's really just kind of a love song. "V-Day 1998" also appears on Poor Aim: Love Songs with beats from Jona (a favorite on both albums for me). Throughout the album there are messages friends left on her answering machine. Overall, it's a lot of the same great pop songs as Khaela writes as the Blow but with more minimal backing.

After residing in Washington for a while, Khaela moved to Portland to be an artist in residence for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. I saw her a couple times in the past year... I wish I could put up a picture of the sweet screen-printed poster I got at the MFA when I saw her with Kim & Milli, but it's at school along with most of my shit... one more week.

Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano- Look for It in the Sky It Will Always Be There
Get it from KNW-YR-OWN

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another indie pop double post featuring Pam Berry: Glo-Worm & Best Friends Forever

I'm finally home again for a last little bit before heading back to school after being gone for almost two months. All this travelling brings to mind some BFF & Glo-Worm songs.

I mentioned Glo-Worm in my Black Tambourine/Vivian Girls post a while back because singer Pam Berry was in both Black Tambourine & Glo-Worm. She went on to Glo-Worm after Black Tambourine ended and subsequently played in the Pines, the Shapiros, and so forth. They also play yummy pop goodness but are cleaner than her previous band.

Glo-Worm started out as a two-piece with Pam & Terry, formerly of St. Christopher. They didn't play live to much but managed to release a few singles that were compiled on Glimmer. Glimmer was released on K, and the singles were originally released on great pop labels like Slumberland, and one was part of K's International Pop Underground series. Glo-Worm called it quits when Terry & his wife moved to Australia.

The first song on Glimmer, "Travelogue" is the one that especially hit home during my globe-trotting summer... not that I had any international summer romances or anything. You can read about Pam's love of foreign places but fear of planes in this interview. As far as I know, she now resides in London (her husband is English, I think).

The album features a few covers: "Friday I'm in Love" (originally a Cure song), "Downtown" (Petula Clark), & "Crazy Town" (Velocity Girl).

More than a decade later, Best Friends Forever also call the mind the whole on the road thing with "Eisenhower Is the Father." This and "Travelogue" are really more love songs than they are about traveling, but both still work for me.

I've mentioned before (in that same Viv Girls/BT post) that I don't like a lot of current pop, but BFF are again a clear exception. They hail from Minneapolis and have always been two real best friends. Jes & Bri have always been in the band with a rotation of percussionists. They were another band whose tour I missed this summer (on both coasts I think), so I'm hoping they'll head out on the road again soon. They've got a few Midwest dates left on their tour, so check 'em out if that's your locale.

"Eisenhower Is the Father" is about the interstate highway system and is on Romance Conflict Adventure. The album was released on Plan-It-X (but is not like the label's usual folk-punk) last summer. There are also other songs about being on the road like "Tour Magic."

Glo-Worm- Glimmer
Buy it from K
Best Friends Forever- Romance Conflict Adventure
Buy it from No Idea


That's all for now. Foot Village & company tonight. More info here. Brian Miller, who's in Foot Village, also runs Deathbomb Arc. He helps out on Gang Wizard's new release God-Time-Man Universal Continuum Calibration Disc, which is out tomorrow on olFactory, Lost Treasures of the Underworld, Green Tape and Tanzprocesz. Other all-stars in this Gang Wizard line-up include Eva of Kevin Shields. Check it out.

Also, listening to records again rules.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Buffy the Vampire Slayer slaying church attendance among women, study claims

I thought that was a really great headline... my older sister has a bunch of Buffy DVDs, and we've been watching them lately. I had been getting back into the first couple seasons while at school at the beginning of summer, but I couldn't get it on the same site outside of the country. Anyway, total guilty pleasure show. This article that the headline is from is actually kind of interesting, talking about gender roles in the Church and how it sort of drives some women away.

Also, I fixed the last couple links. Mediafire changed their uploading format recently, but the Elder and the Mass Movement should work now. Let me know if any others aren't though.

I don't really have too much to do now as tropical storm Fay has brought a ton of rain. I've also been working on a puzzle with Charlotte to pass the time (puzzle pieces, anyone?). These toucans are fucking tricky.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mass Movement of the Moth

I was originally going to do this post back in May but didn't ever put it up for some reason. I think it was the week when I had four papers to do, so maybe I realized I should be doing something productive instead. I hadn't done that many posts at that point, and it was getting seriously incestuous (mainly due to a lot of the Richmond stuff & its connections). That trend has kind of continued, but not in as concentrated a manner.

The revived interest in Mass Movement of the Moth (not that I haven't been listening to them regularly since then) is because I got their Outerspace LP in the mail from someone on Viva La Vinyl recently. While I'm not into color wax as much as a lot of other people, I love myself a pretty record. This one is a nice dark pink color.

Anyway, Mass Movement of the Moth were a band from the DC area. Synth hardcore sounds like a recipe for disaster but Mass Movement fucking rock it. I first heard them by recommendation from Ted. He tends to make really epic suggesstions and ridiculous statements ("Oh, man- have you ever heard of Melt Banana? They're so good."), but this one was clearly worthwhile.

A bit dated description from their myspace:
"Mass Movement of the Moth is a band of people who know each other really well. From DC and Northern Virginia, we formed almost three years ago with the idea and commitment to creating a band that explored and pushed new boundaries of genre and style while keeping the way we did things fun and DIY. We realized the importance of questioning and breaking down the definitions of our language, of these arbitrary letters and vowels and consonants. And instead to learn to communicate, connect and share our passions with one another through other medium. Unlike spiders, we cannot foresee the future, but we can shape it before it happens. We must learn not to dwell on the past and turn to the expressions of tomorrow. For our band, our music is our form of self expression, our tool used to create something that hopefully others can relate to."

Outerspace came out on Exotic Fever on CD in May of 2006 and last spring on Alone Records on vinyl. One review I read called it "fucking essential."

Though Mass Movement of the Moth is no more, its members certainly have no shortage of other bands. See Christian Brady solo, Antlers, VCR, Meadows, blah blah blah. Ashley Arnwine (who plays in Des Ark sometimes) and Joey Doubek are in Ingrid but are on hiatus for a while since she moved. Antlers are on tour with the Catalyst for a couple more days.
Sometimes I wish I lived in the DC area.

Mass Movement of the Moth- Outerspace
Get the CD from Exotic Fever or the vinyl from Alone Records

Friday, August 15, 2008


My time is winding down here across the Atlantic (I leave early tomorrow morning), and I hate packing more than anything, so I figured I'd procrastinate further by putting up something new. I took my final this morning (which I almost missed- long/horrendous story) and really have nothing to further help me idle away my time as I caught up on all the Project Runways I missed since winter break last year.

Given the fact that I watched nearly a whole season of Project Runway, it follows that I didn't really study too much for my exam. I figured it didn't matter too much as I did pretty well on the midterm for this classwhile using punk subculture as an anthropological example and comparing European and American hardcore scenes (I'm often determined to get away with using kind of ridiculous & unrelated examples). Anyway, when I actually do study, I often like to listen to kind of heavy stuff- doom, drone, sludge, and so forth.

Yesterday, while "reading" over some notes, I listened to a bunch of Elder. They were introduced to me some time early second semester by Alexandra when we were first coming up with possible acts for Record Hospital Fest. Out of Philadelphia, Elder features members of Towers (Craig) & Balboa (Armando & Drew).

On their myspace Elder describe themselves as "ambient/shoegaze/screamo." While this seems really odd, I would actually say it's a pretty accurate description. They take some of the more doom/metallic parts of Balboa and incorporate but sort of make it softer; I can't quite explain. The vocal combination of Armando and Craig really brings everything together.

Earlier this year they released a self-titled 10" on Forge Again Records. Only three tracks, but they're all really solid. "Golden Flower" starts things off pretty hard while "Shifting Gaze" is a nice transition to that more ambient-shoegazey post-rock (I really hate that term) feel. "Town of Clay" serves as a good combination of these techniques and a great end to an impressive EP.

Hopefully, they'll tour or we can get them up to Boston some time this year because I really would like to see them live. Elder don't have any dates coming up, but Towers are playing with Who Calls So Loud and Algernon Cadwallader in Brooklyn on the 27th and Balboa have a bunch of dates coming up.

Elder- self-titled
Buy it from Forge Again (you get a CD & a 10")


I've been meaning to post this for a while- check out Delocator. It helps you where to find locally-owned coffee shops. While I don't drink coffee, I enjoy other beverages at such establishments and have been spending a lot of time at a cafe around the corner from where I've been living here.

And if you haven't discovered the magic that is google reader, do it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Teenage Cool Kids

My cute German class teacher introduced a new word into my life yesterday- fremdschämen. It's basically where you feel embarassed for someone else. While I probably feel this too frequently, I have never felt it more than while watching My So-Called Life. Combine this with listening to Teenage Cool Kids and all I wanna do is watch Angela Chase pine after Jordan Catalano.

I'm not sure if this is true, but rumor has it that their album Queer Salutations syncs up to an episode of My So-Called Life. Which would be fantastic. Read the lyrics here and decide for yourself.

Teenage Cool Kids are a pop-punky band from Denton, Texas. They've got a '90s indie rock feel too (I've been listening to a bunch of Superchunk lately). I think their name is kinda stupid (not necessarily a bad thing), but I think they're great. They toured earlier this summer with fellow Texans Trifle Tower, which I of course missed along with everything else as everyone seems to tour in the summer.

Anyway, Queer Salutations came out some time early this year I think or maybe late last year. I love when bands can be totally cheeky & clever all while having some sincerity- maybe that why I listen to so much pop. "Awkward Type of Girl" is my favorite probably. "Write Back Soon" is highly amusing too. Really, I just love the whole album.

Teenage Cool Kids- Queer Salutations
Buy their shit

** 8/22 update: I like this review from Give Me Back 4:
"The note that comes with this CD compares them to MENEGUAR and that's exactly what the first song sounds like. The rest of the record is totaaaaaaally influenced by BUILT TO SPILL, and interestingly BUILT TO SPILL was the second band mentioned in the note that came with the CD. Well, thank you, note. You were spot on... Anyway, if you're like me and you thought BUILT TO SPILL's first handful of singles were the best shit ever, you will probably think that this TEENAGE COOL KIDS record is the best shit ever too. Seriously, I knew I'd like this just from looking at the sparse but unpretentious artwork. Fast to mid paced catchy indie rock songs with good lyrics. Listening to this record is like walking through a hipster party with the clever cynical dude who acts like he doesn't want to be there but totally enjoys pointing out why everyone else is full of shit. This was the only record I got this month that I was really psyched about and I want to be at a packed house show in this band's hometown jumping up and down and yelling along with a bunch of other sweaty losers."
-Gordy Tornado


And a favorite unrelated picture...

I'm headed to Paris for the weekend to have a slumber party with Amanda & Charlie! I'll be going back to the States the following weekend, which'll be nice- get to see my family and Charlotte (my bff who I haven't seen since May).
For the fall, I'm planning on trying to start upping a bunch of my records. I got a new preamp for my birthday (to replace the previous one I bought for $7 that, needless to say, didn't last that long). This one's supposed to allow me to record stuff onto my computer- hopefully I'm competent enough to figure it out.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I'm tough

I got my first real wound at a show tonight... I just got back from Career Suicide and am sitting here with peas over my face 'cause I took a head to the face- bloody nose hardcore. Don't worry- I got back out there.
And because they're my guilty pleasure...
Alkaline Trio- "Bloodied Up"

Fuck... my face hurts.

Pygmy Lush

I was really hung over yesterday after going out in East London on Thursday night... I made it to class on time, but it was pretty killer to sit through. My favorite hang over music (or really for any mood) is Des Ark, but I'm also really enjoying Pygmy Lush's new album for such a situation or just general listening.

Pygmy Lush are outta the DC area (Sterling, VA to be exact) and their six members' previous bands are some of Northern Virginia's best (post-)hardcore bands- Pg. 99, City of Caterpillar, Majority Rule, Malady, and so forth. While they have some of the same heaviness, most of the time they mix it up with the quiet.

Their newest album, Mount Hope, which came out in June on Lovitt and Adagio 830, just leaves you with the quiet. It's really gloomy sometimes, but so fucking pretty. You can get it on cassette, wax, or CD from Lovitt in the US (the CD version has a couple more tracks than the vinyl due to time constraints).

You should also check out their first album, Bitter River, on Robotic Empire. And, as I mentioned before, they'll have a split LP with Turboslut out in December on Exotic Fever. Unrelated really, but Turboslut's myspace now says their October tour is going towards the South, so major bummer on that front, but hopefully they'll come up to Boston at some point. OK, that's all for now- about to head to Career Suicide (hell yes).

Pygmy Lush- Mount Hope
Buy it from Lovitt