I already highlighted the Pains of Being Pure at Heart for releasing one of the best albums this week. I should also note that garage rockers Obits came out with Moody, Standard and Poor. If your tastes fall more toward the pop side, try Generationals’ Actor-Caster. Both albums are recommended.
Who knew the Pains of Being Pure at Heart could rock? Belong, the opening song and title track of the band’s sophomore album, has an unmistakable sound: Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins. The influence is undoubtedly due to the Pains’ producer, Flood, who didn’t work on Siamese Dream but collaborated with Smashing Pumpkins on later albums.
Not every song sounds like a Smashing Pumpkins retread but the album definitely has a more sonic feel than the excellent self-titled debut from ’09. That album — as I said at the time – sounds like Jesus and Mary Chain if JMC was a pop band. This is the second album released in the last couple of weeks that has a slick, polished sound that also resonates ’90s-era alternative (See my review of the Joy Formidable). But Pains continue to show their love for the ’80s on other songs, such as The Body and My Terrible Friend.
The rest of the lineup additions: The Fresh and Onlys, Twin Sister, Health, the Radio Dept., Baths, Shabazz Palaces, Gang Gang Dance, G-Side, How to Dress Well and Chrissy Murderbot.
GBV and Neko Case play Friday. No Age plays Saturday and Kurt Vile performs Sunday. You can see the full lineup (so far) here.
Generationals just put out a new song and video to promote the band’s upcoming album release, Actor-Caster, out at the end of the month.
Listening to the The Joy Formidable is like taking a trip back to the early to mid-’90s when bands like The Breeders were suddenly “big.” Up and down tempos climax with bombastic sonic blasts. The Breeders’ Kim Deal lifted the template from her former band the Pixies, which influenced scores of bands that decade (most notably Nirvana).
Wales-based Joy Formidable takes the Breeders template and spiffs it up on The Big Roar (out in the U.S. on Tuesday). In parts, it’s a little too slick. Nonetheless, it’s addictive and one of my favorite album releases so far this year. It’s not entirely new. Four of the albums songs appeared on the 2010 EP A Balloon Called Moaning. Those four songs – The Greatest Light is the Greatest Shade, Cradle, Austere and Whirring – also happen to be the best tracks on the new album.
The style isn’t entirely new either. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Elastica and others copped the same sound. But it’s working for me.
The Obits is the latest band featuring Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork). It’s nothing fancy: Stripped-down, uptempo garage rock. But it’s good and nasty. If you like that kind of thing, the band’s second album, Moody, Standard and Poor, definitely gets the job done. It will be released March 29.
Download Shift Operator from Obit’s upcoming album.
Here’s a video from a 2008 gig:
Here’s a live performance of the song:
Jacuzzi Boys play old-school, cave stomp-style garage rock with a touch of psychedelic flair. After a series of 7-inch releases, the Miami band put out its debut album, No Seasons, in 2009. Next week, the band heads back into the studio to record its second LP.
This year’s Pitchfork festival starts off strong with Animal Collective headlining the first night. Or at least that’s the way it appears now. A partial lineup was announced today as tickets went on sale for the July 15-17 fest at Union Park. Animal Collective also headlined Pitchfork in 2008.
The Friday night schedule also includes James Blake and Das Racist. On Saturday, ATYP-approved bands Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Woods perform. A reunited Dismemberment Plan also plays Saturday, and at the top of the bill (?) …Fleet Foxes. Hmm.
Sunday features Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Cut Copy and an ATYP new favorite, Yuck. See the rest of the initial schedule announcements here. Tickets are $45 a day or a three-day pass for $110. The three-day passes will sell out quickly.
UPDATE: The three-day passes were sold out by Saturday.
Of course, the schedule will be beefed up over the coming weeks. And the order of performance will be more clear as we get closer to July.
I’ve been to every Pitchfork festival and I’ve never been disappointed. There have been some incredibly strong performances in recent years.
Deepak Mantena, from Oxford, Mississippi, aka Junk Culture, makes trippy music. His latest release, last month’s Summer Friends, sounds a little bit like Animal Collective, nods to the Beach Boys and has a whole lot of other influences snaking through electronic beats.
Junk Culture opens for Girl Talk this weekend for a sold-out, two-night stand at the Congress. Download the title track from his latest release below.
UPDATE: Junk Culture also plays a free show at Beauty Bar Sunday night.
Here’s a Junk Culture video from the 2009 EP West Coast: