Phosphorescent is Alabama native Matthew Houck, a singer-songwriter who draws comparisons as varied as Bonnie “Prince” Billy to Fleet Foxes. Houck, who now resides in Brooklyn, just made a fascinating album, Muchacho. The release is getting a lot of well-deserved buzz, which explains why he sold out a Saturday night show at Lincoln Hall.
If you snagged a ticket, consider yourself lucky to be able to see a rising artist. Strand of Oaks opens.
Also check out the band’s excellent new album, You’re Nothing.
Here’s a new video for the Woolen Men’s Hold It Up. It’s a cool song from a good band. I’m high on these guys and their new self-titled album.
The latest relese by the Men, New Moon, starts with a country-style ballad. It’s not what you’d expect after last year’s burner Open Your Heart. But it prepares you for the other country-tinged songs on the album. Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a country album. The Men blend a number of styles — garage, alt-country, punk. Though the album starts off with a slow song, it quickly picks up with Half Angel Half Light, an upbeat almost clasic rock number that reminds me of Tom Petty. The momentum continues through the next track, Without a Face.
My favorite song on the album is I Saw Her Face, a Neil Young and Crazy Horse-style rocker, which could have been the album’s climax. But two songs later, we’re treated to The Brass, an aggressive punky number that makes you realize New Moon sounds almost like a compilation rather than a cohesive album. Electric is another great anthemic number. At this point in the album, you’re thinking the focus has really shifted from country to punk. But then here comes another classic country-rock type number, Bird Song, followed by another catchy punk song, Freaky.
The story of this album has been told a few times already. These guys from Brooklyn took off to the Catskills to record the album in a cabin. That explains the country influence, right?
The album closes on the eight-minute long MC5 homage jam, New Moon. After listening a few times, I’m not sure that the jam holds up for the entire eight minutes. But this album, overall, holds up very well. It’s the best thing I’ve heard this year and it’s highly recommended.
These guys were previewing their recently released material as early as SXSW last year.
The Men play Chicago’s Lincoln Hall April 11.
Check out this new song and video from Wavves. Demon to Lean On will be on the upcoming Afraid of Heights. The new album is out March 26.
Garage rocker Ty Segall treated his fans to three albums last year. Last month, two early Segall albums were reissued, including the self-titled release from his surf-punk band Traditional Fools. The second reissue, Reverse Shark Attack, is Segall’s release with longtime bandmate Mikal Cronin. Segall has come a long way as an artist since those earlier recordings but I still enjoy listening to these raw tracks. If you’re a Segall completist, you’ll want to pick up the reissues.
I Wear Black is the first song on Reverse Shark Attack. The video above was shot at Permanent Records in Chicago.
“Where we surf, there’s always waves.” This Traditional Fools video gives you a good idea what the band sounded like. The song, Street Surfin’, is not on the recently reissued album.
Liars have a new video for WIXIW, the title track to the band’s 2012 album. Check it out below.
Here’s a new song by the Men, played live and loud. Electric is now available on 7-inch and will be on the album New Moon, which is set for a March 5 release. The just-released video is actually from a gig in London last year.
Here’s a new video, Ecstasy, from Copenhagen punks Iceage. The young band is releasing its second album, You’re Nothing, on February 19.
Dinosaur Jr. changes a bored couple’s life in this new video.
Sin Fang just released a new video for the song, Look at the Light, ahead of a new album. The LP Flowers is set for relase February 19.
If you don’t know Olsen, she’s a collaborator with Bonnie “Prince” Billy and made a very good album on her own last year, Half Way Home.
Sail to the Sun is the latest single from Wavves, which plans a new album in the spring. Check out the song and video below.
Nada Surf made one of the best and most memorable pop albums of 2012, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. You can catch the band at Metro Saturday night with opener Eternal Summers (which also made a fine album this year, Correct Behavior).
Here’s a great video from Yacht, Second Summer, made with Animation Domination.
Following the recent release of the single Teenage, Veronica Falls this week put out a video for the song. Teenage will be on the album Waiting for Something to Happen, which is coming out in February.
Check out this video for the new Chromatics’ song Cherry.
You can listen to the song and download it here:
Yo La Tengo plans to put out a new album, Fade, in January. Here’s a video for the song Before We Run, which will be on the new release.
Australia’s Tame Impala is playing a sold-out show Tuesday night at Metro. My guess is these guys will be playing a much larger venue when they return to Chicago for another gig. Check out the band’s website and you’ll see a number of sold-out shows. Tame Impala’s latest album, Lonerism, was just released last month.
Here’s a just-released video of Feels Like We Only Go Backwards from the album.
Here’s a new video from Dropkick Murphys, Rose Tattoo. The video features shots of actual band tattoos worn by fans. The song will appear on a new album, Signed and Sealed in Blood, which is expected out in early January.
Just when I think the indie girl group genre has run its course, a group like Grass Widow proves me wrong. It’s not an entirely new formula but it’s done well. Check out the band’s album Internal Logic, released earlier this year. Grass Widow plays Empty Bottle Thursday.