Sunday, October 14, 2018

Currently Listening

I've actually made a number of Currently Listening playlists lately that I never posted, mostly because I've been so busy.  Make the playlists themselves is the easy part...it's the typing up the tracklist that's time consuming.  It's also something that I'm not going to do on my phone (hell I don't like texting so why in the world would I try to type something of any length on that bloody thing?) and since I'm not on a computer as often as I used to be, these things fall along the wayside.  That's also one of the reasons why I'm so behind on reviews.  But, there are new records that I have to recommend.

First is Restorations' LP5000.  This is the band's fourth album (though one could make a very, very compelling argument that it is actually an EP but I digress) is absolutely beautiful.  That said it is a record that may take a few listens to really get into; also I think that the two songs selected as the lead singles were nowhere near the strongest tracks on the record.  Other records that I'm really digging are Extra Arms' Headacher, Notches' Almost Ruined Everything, Jabber's Forever, and Brand New Friend's Seatbelts For Aeroplanes.  I'm also really excited to dig into Hey, Chels' self-titled record, Nightmares For A Week's Celebrations, and Sharp/Shock's Youth Club.

This past week I also discovered an excellent podcast thanks to a recommendation from the fine gentlemen at The Album Club (which is easily my favorite music related podcast and a MUST for any self-respecting music nerd) and that is The Great AlbumsThis week's episode was about Fugazi's Repeater and featured Nick Palmer from the band WAX WAV.  After listening to the episode, I had to check out Nick's band and holy crap am I glad that I did!  This is great stuff.  The band has two EPs out and both are well worth a listen.

This is a playlist that I made last night while making dinner and includes a bunch of new stuff including THICK, Swingin' Utters, Cold Years, and Squarecrow plus classics from Fugazi, The Flaming Lips, The GC5, and Guided By Voices, and that's just a sample.  For fun, I'm also including those other playlists I created over the last couple of weeks, just without typing up the tracklists.

1.  "Modern Western World" by WAX WAV (from Ep2)
2.  "Styrofoam" by Fugazi (from Repeater)
3.  "Melt" by Jabber (from Forever)
4.  "Trains Brains And Rain" by The Flaming Lips (from Hear It Is)
5.  "Under Surveillance" by Extra Arms (from Headacher)
6.  "Zest" by The Friday Prophets (from Zest)
7.  "People Who Died" by Against Me! (from People Who Died)
8.  "Be Myself" by THICK (from Would You Rather?)
9.  "Pristine" by Snail Mail (from Lush)
10.  "Saints" by The Breeders (from Last Splash)
11.  "The Blame" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
12.  "Soap Opera Box" by Squarecrow (from Before the Sun Catches Us All)
13.  "Shades of You" by Notches (from Almost Ruined Everything)
14.  "I Am A Scientist" by Guided By Voices (from Bee Thousand)
15.  "Miss Ohio" by The 1984 Draft (from Makes Good Choices)
16.  "Dead End Town" by Sharp/Shock (from Youth Club)
17.  "Camo Jacket" by Two Cow Garage (from III)
18.  "Demons of Springtime" by Swingin' Utters (from Peace and Love)
19.  "In Between Bands" by Muncie Girls (from Fixed Ideals)
20.  "Refused" by The GC5 (from Kisses From Hanoi / Horseshoes and Handgrenades)
21.  "Dear Me, 2003" by Hey, Chels (from Hey, Chels)
22.  "St." by Restorations (from LP5000)
23.  "Apathy Kills Again" by Dead End Drive-In (from Mea Culpa)
24.  "Burnin' Up" by The Goo Goo Dolls (from A Boy Named Goo)
25.  "No Fun at All" by Kurt Baker Combo (from Let's Go Wild!)
26.  "Arrows" by Nightmares For A Week (from Celebrations)
27.  "Slip Away" by Basement (from Beside Myself)
28.  "Fix It" by Bob Mould (from Beauty & Ruin)
29.  "Endless" by Cold Years (from Endless)
30.  "Reagan Youth" by Superchunk (from What a Time to Be Alive)





The Extras...





Sunday, September 23, 2018

Currently Listening

Since I was a teenager, I've wanted to run an alternative radio station.  After going to school for broadcast journalism, I quickly learned that radio and music really having nothing to do with each other.  This realization sucked and I gave up on the idea of running a station (or a show) that played new and classic underground music.  And yet that desire to share the music that I love never went away and eventually took over this website.  These Currently Listening playlists are my way of doing the 21st century version of doing a radio show (and yes I have done a podcast before but that takes a lot more time and energy than I have to give). 

This week's Currently Listening is actually two playlists, one created on 9/18 and the other on 9/21.  Both are a mix of new releases (including great stuff from Somerset Thrower, Lone Wolf, A Vulture Wake, The 1984 Draft, Restorations, and Hey, Chels) and classics (including Redd Kross, ALL, Teenage Frames, Helmet, and Wakeland) and all are worth checking out. 

9/18/18 Playlist
1.  "Hangovers" by Muncie Girls (from Fixed Ideals)
2.  "People Have the Power" by Patti Smith (from Dream Of Life)
3.  "Say Goodbye" by Lone Wolf (from Lone Wolf)
4.  "Reason, Where Are You?" by The Friday Prophets (from Reason, Where Are You?)
5.  "Need Some Air" by Urge Overkill (from Exit The Dragon)
6.  "Crazy?" by ALL (from She's My Ex)
7.  "Sitting Still" by R.E.M. (from Murmur)
8.  "Wake Up, Motherfucker! It's Casual Friday!" by Somerset Thrower (from Godspeed)
9.  "A Murder Of One" by Counting Crows (from August And Everything After)
10.  "True Believers" by The Bouncing Souls (from How I Spent My Summer Vacation)
11.  "Then & Tomorrow" by Down By Law (from All In)
12.  "Right All Along" by Tiny Stills (from Laughing into the Void)
13.  "Screw Up" by Sincere Engineer (from Rhombithian)
14.  "Morrissey of Mandys" by The 1984 Draft (from Makes Good Choices)
15.  "Pressed 2 Death" by illuminati hotties (from Kiss Yr Frenemies)
16.  "Whole World Girl" by Free Cake For Every Creature (from The Bluest Star)
17.  "Brookfield" by Drag The River (from You Can't Live This Way)
18.  "Lovin" by Drawstring (from Four [Heaven, Hell and a Small House in Between])
19.  "Karaoke Kiss" by Kate Nash (from Yesterday Was Forever)
20.  "Get It Right" by Frank Turner (from Be More Kind)
21.  "Blessed Unrest" by The Penske File (from Salvation)
22.  "Exposure" by Colour Me Wednesday (from Counting Pennies in the Afterlife)
23.  "Push Me Through the Wall" by Placeholder (from Placeholder // Jail Socks)
24.  "Dead Languages" by A Vulture Wake (from The Appropriate Level of Outrage)
25.  "The Ballad of Me and My Friends" by The All Brights (from The White Album EP)
26.  "High School Weirdness" by The Stayawakes (from Dogs ans Cats / Living Together)
27.  "Still Life" by Katie Ellen (from Still Life)
28.  "Heartbreak, Radio, Cars and Rain" by Mixtape Saints (from Everything We Used To Be)
29.  "Why Are You So Tired" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
30.  "Shades of You" by Notches (from Almost Ruined Everything)
31.  "H.L.S." by Swingin' Utters (from Peace and Love)
32.  "The Good Fight" by Benchmarks (from Bud Bronson & The Good Timers / Benchmarks)
33.  "Hit the Lights" by The Dirty Nil (from Master Volume)
34.  "Let's Call It Off" by The Addisons (from Here It Comes Again)
35.  "The Earth Trembles" by Re-Volts (from Wages)
36.  "A New England" by Billy Bragg (from Life's a Riot With Spy vs. Spy)
37.  "Barbed Wire Love" by Stiff Little Fingers (from Inflammable Material)
38.  "Who's Got The Action?" by Teenage Frames (from More Songs, Less Music)
39.  "Nowhere Is My Home" by The Replacements (from Tim [Expanded Edition])



9/21/18 Playlist
1.  "Heaven" by Charly Bliss (from Heaven)
2.  "Can't Stand Me Now" by The Libertines (from The Libertines)
3.  "Feed the Machine" by A Vulture Wake (from Feed the Machine)
4.  "Know I Shouldn't, Know I Will" by Stuck Out Here (from Last Night, This Morning)
5.  "Caretaker" by Restorations (from Caretaker)
6.  "I Hate My School" by Redd Kross (from Annette's Got the Hits)
7.  "Think I'm Still In Love With You" by Joyce Manor (from Million Dollars to Kill Me)
8.  "Take Me Anywhere" by School Of Fish (from Human Cannonball)
9.  "Callow" by Therapy? (from Cleave)
10.  "Take Me Anywhere" by Hey, Chels (from Hey, Chels)
11.  "The Science of Myth" by Screeching Weasel (from My Brain Hurts)
12.  "I Don't Want a Nuclear Family" by Sharp Shock (from Youth Club)
13.  "Living in Darkness" by Agent Orange (from Living in Darkness)
14.  "Wanna Type" by The Bigger Empty (from Lakes & Oceans, Vol. 3: Erie)
15.  "Holiday in Cambodia" by Dead Kennedys (from Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables)
16.  "August" by Aspiga (from Dragged Through the Years)
17.  "Supernova" by Liz Phair (from Whip-Smart)
18.  "Blackbird" by Alkaline Trio (from Is This Thing Cursed?)
19.  "Unsung" by Helmet (from Meantime)
20.  "6 Weeks" by Beach Bunny (from Prom Queen)
21.  "Misconstrued" by Wakeland (from To See The Sun)
22.  "Boil Through" by Odd Robot (from Amnesiatic)
23.  "Going Underground" by The Jam (from Setting Sons)
24.  "For the Lonely One" by Lucero (from Among the Ghosts)
25.  "Step On" by Happy Mondays (from Pill 'N' Thrills And Bellyaches)


Saturday, September 22, 2018

10 Questions with S. Reidy; Announces 'And Here With You, I Am' EP

Hailing from Norman, OK S. Reidy will release his latest EP And Here With You, I Am on October 5th, 2018.  The EP will be available on Spotify, iTunes, and is currently available for pre-order on BandCamp.

About the EP --
Following up his 2017 full length album, Until the Darkness Comes. S. Reidy is striking while the iron is hot, and just a little over a year later will release his new EP And Here With You, I Am.
The EP will contain 5 new songs that continue the narrative of Until the Darkness Comes, one of which “Dustin’s Mustache” was released along with a music video in June of this year.
The EP was written, produced, mixed, and mastered all entirely by Reidy himself. The new release will also feature a guest appearance from Signor Benedict the Moor, Death Bomb Arc signee from Sacramento, CA. As well as a guest verse from Oklahoma’s own Huckwheat.
This new release features S. Reidy at the sharpest his song writing has ever been, all while maintaining his Indie Rap spirit we’ve come to know. 

Tracklist --
1. Fall
2. Lost Kite Theory (Feat. Signor Benedict the Moor)
3. Dustin’s Mustache
4. Let Down Machine
5. Mangled (Feat. Huckwheat)



This interview was conducted via email September 18-22, 2018.

For more information  check out S. Reidy on Twitter, InstagramBandCamp, SoundCloud, YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.

Dave:  When did you first start playing and writing music?

S. Reidy:  Oh you know, honestly it's a super typical story of boy in the 7th grade attempts to learn how to play guitar to win over cute girls. When I was 12 I asked for an acoustic guitar for my Christmas, and once I had one in my possession I spent a majority of my days learning how to play songs off Enema of the State by blink-182. I wrote a song when I was 13 for a girl and I played it for her at the talent show. She was less than impressed from what I remember, haha.


Dave:  On your BandCamp page you describe your music as "I make rap songs for the sleepy."  How is your music different from tradition/mainstream rap?

S. Reidy:  Well it absolutely is sleepy music, and so much radio rap seems so mad and screamy and mad now haha. I don't have any issues with mainstream rap I like a lot of it. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, and Juice WRLD all inspire me a lot. But for some reason ever since I was young I've always been the type of person to equalize whatever is going on in the room. When people were loud, I was quite. When people were calm, I was the one being rowdy. So that never really changed when it came to trying to make a sound that was unique to myself. But I enjoy music most when I blend all of the influences I have in ways I rarely hear.


Dave:  You have a new EP coming out October 5th called And Here With You, I Am.  What the story behind the record?

S. Reidy:  I knew when I finished my first album "Until the Darkness Comes" that the narrative I had in mind for the album wasn't quite finished. If anything it was the first chapter of what I envisioned. This EP continues the stories and ideals of the album, and while the narrative I have in mind is STILL not quite done, this EP puts a cap on the 1st act I would say.


Dave:  Do you have any plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

S. Reidy:  Oh yes, I'll for sure be hitting the road to support this release come winter. At the very least me and my partner in crime Lonemoon are going to do a west coast tour spanning over a week or so. Lonemoon has a super good record coming out October 19th too, so well probably do a double headline tour situation. I've loved playing in LA, and I'm super excited to be back there. But I really enjoyed playing in Chicago a few weeks back, so I'm hoping to get back out there by spring time as well!


Dave:  Looking over your catalog (via BandCamp), it looks like you have taken a very do-it-yourself route to producing and releasing music.  What made you decide to follow this path over working with a traditional record label?  Subsequently, what are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry?

S. Reidy:  When I first started rapping, I was hitting up record labels all the time. But once I had a few releases under my belt I just lost all interested. I've talked to a ton of record labels since, and I'm still open to the idea if it feels right, but it just doesn't right now. Especially growing up idolizing people like Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye for helping me understand that things don't have to be glossy and well polished to be intriguing and captivating art. But growing up going to shows at the Opolis in Norman, and having Norman Music Festival ever year since I was 12, I grew up in super positive artistic space.     


Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

S. Reidy:  Man, I used too. My "process" is super all over the place at this point. But it makes since because the lyrics I write are just bits and pieces of ponderings and claims that come into my head throughout the day. But if I have any process it would be taking those ponderings and claims together in a cohesive story.


Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Oklahoma?

S. Reidy:  Its great. There are so many great acts Limp Wizurdz, Annie Oakley, Planet What, Lonemoon, GWIZ, Young Readers, Sativa Prophets, Abbigale Dawn, The Big News, Dresden Bombers. All those bands have their own sound and represent Oklahoma so well and that's just the tip of the iceberg. But I could go on for hours. haha.


Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

S. Reidy:  I will be 100% honest I really can only do this with bands and albums haha.

Bands:
1. Neutral Milk Hotel
2. blink-182
3. Lucero
4. Pedro the Lion
5. Minor Threat

Albums:
1. In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
2. The Money Store by Death Grips
3. Nobody's Darlings by Lucero
4. Control by Pedro the Lion
5. Dark Comedy by Open Mike Eagle

(These answers literally change every day so don't hold me to this. Haha.)

But I do love shows like Regular Show, Spongebob, and We Bare Bears. I love Nightmare Before Christmas and Spirited Away. And honestly Ive read about 2 books in my whole life. Basically I'm a 9 year old child, Haha.


Dave:  What’s next for you?

S. Reidy:  I would love to tell you, but unfortunately it's a secret. Kind of a surprise of sorts.  What I can tell you is that this EP will be the last release of it's kind for me..


Dave:  Any final thoughts?

S. Reidy:  Everyone reading please come to my EP release party October 19th at The Resonator in Norman!! Young Readers and Sativa Prophets are performing along with me and there will be free coffee and tea, as well as guest appearances! Thank you so much for helping me announce my new EP and I hope this isn't the last time we talk like this!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Album Review: 'Fixed Ideals' by Muncie Girls

Title:  Fixed Ideals (Official, Specialist Subject Records, Buzz RecordsBandCamp [Muncie Girls], BandCamp [Specialist Subject], Amazon, iTunes, Spotify)
Artist:  Muncie Girls (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, BandCamp, Spotify, Wikipedia)

Muncie Girl's return with the follow-up to 2016's brilliant From Caplan to Belsize withe the equally fierce and powerful Fixed Ideals.  While Fixed Ideals does pick up where From Caplan to Belsize left off, it is its own record that displays growth, change, and stylistic expansion resulting in a distinct piece that at the same time feels like it is part of the same whole.  In a lot of ways, Fixed Ideals is to From Caplan to Belsize what Wig Out at Denkos was to Dag Nasty's debut Can I Say?.  In both cases the follow up record sounds very much like the band in question, while at the same time exploring new ground.  And with each record, the opening tracks set the stage, letting the listener know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that things have changed.  In the case of Fixed Ideals, the record opens with the mid-tempo indie rocker "Jeremy," a devastatingly personal and angry song directed at guitarist/vocalist Lande Hekt's father.  from the the record kicks into gear with the ridiculously catchy first single "Picture of Health."  Continuing with the Dag Nasty comparison, the second song on Wig Out at Denko's "Trying" is classic Dag Nasty and sounds like it would have fit perfectly on Can I Say?; the same can be said for "Picture of Health" with its punchy and poppy indie punk infectious nature.  The rest of the album takes the indie punk genre and pushes its boundaries adding elements of indie pop ("Bubble Bath"), Manchester/baggy ("Isn't Life Funny"), and hints of post punk throughout.  The result is a record that sounds like a musical love song to all the great things that the British underground/punk scenes have had to offer for the last 40+ years.  And that's just the music!  Herkt's lyrics are filled with a palpable anger and frustration but never fall into despair.  In fact there is a hopeful tone to these songs, propelled by Herkt's distinctive vocals, that keeps the record from being a complete downer.  What makes Fixed Ideals such a great record is that it gets better with each and ever spin.  The record demands multiple listens and never disappoints. 



Sunday, August 26, 2018

Currently Listening

I am so far behind on reviews but there are a slew of great new records that have come out this year.  Some recent excellent new releases include Makes Good Choices by The 1984 Draft (which I did review), Daytime / Nighttime by Fresh, Proto Retro by Dot Dash, Seatbelts for Aeroplanes by Brand New Friend, and All In by Down By Law.  On top of that though, Aree & the Pure Heart, Swingin' Utters, and Mercy Union have all dropped great new tracks in preparation for upcoming releases.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

A lot of times I simply can't keep up with everything that's coming out.  One of the ways that I try to make up for my lack of reviews is with these Currently Listening playlists.  All of these records and artists are worth checking out and I highly recommend that you do so.

1.  "When I'm with You" by Tiny Stills (from Laughing into the Void)
2.  "Gasoline Heart" by Aree & the Pure Heart (from Gasoline Heart)
3.  "Jan Kowalski" by The 1984 Draft (from Makes Good Choices)
4.  "Nighttime" by Fresh (from Daytime / Nighttime)
5.  "Roman Cars" by Buffalo Tom (from Quiet and Peace)
6.  "Come One, Come All" by Somerset Thrower (from Godspeed)
7.  "Take a Piece of All That's Good" by Ogikubo Station (from We Can Pretend Like)
8.  "Little Lump of Coal" by Smoking Popes (from Little Lump of Coal)
9.  "Don't Wake Me Up" by The Pauses (from Unbuilding)
10.  "Nonbeliever" by Restorations (from Nonbeliever)
11.  "Around You" by Free Cake For Every Creature (from The Bluest Star)
12.  "Stall All Night" by Beach Rats (from Wasted Time)
13.  "Parachute Powerline" by Dot Dash (Proto Retro)
14.  "The Creek" by American Television (from Death Defier)
15.  "Something to Talk About" by Proud Parents (from Proud Parents)
16.  "Undertaker, Undertake" by Swingin' Utters (from Undertaker, Undertake)
17.  "Girl" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
18.  "Rebrand It" by Down By Law (from All In)
19.  "Chips and Vics" by Mercy Union (from Chips and Vics)
20.  "Bottom Of The Hill" by Lone Wolf (from Bottom Of The Hill)


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Top 10 Records of 1998

Twenty years ago, I was neck deep in the burgeoning street punk scene of the late '90s.  Bands like Swingin' Utters and Those Unknown had set the stage a few years earlier with seminal and classic albums (see The Streets of San Francisco and Those Unknown respectfully) which helped launch renewed interest in the oi and '77 style punk bands of the '70s and '80s.  This style spoke to me with its simplicity and basic rock 'n' roll nature and I immersed myself in this sub-genre for a number of years.  1998 also saw a number of great pop punk records released, a swing revival, the Goo Goo Dolls moving away from the influence of The Replacements, R.E.M. releasing their first album without Bill Berry on drums, and Refused changing the game. 

This list was one of the harder ones for me to put together.  There were records that were obviously going to make the list, but when it came right down to it, there weren't enough releases for a Top 20 and to make it a Top 15 I'd have to include stuff that otherwise make the honorable mentions.  So I cut the list at 10 and called it a day. 

Anymore, I like to create a playlist on Spotify to accompany these posts, but as with my 1997 list, a lot of these records are woefully out of print and thus not on my favorite streaming service.  So instead I've created a playlist on YouTube to highlight this list. 

10.  Life Won't Wait by Rancid
9.  Veni Vidi Vici by The Forgotten
8.  Curse Of A Fallen Soul by Dropkick Murphys
7.  American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine by The Donnas
6.  Five Lessons Learned by Swingin' Utters
5.  Mass Nerder by ALL
4.  Scary Picture Show by Riot Squad
3.  Dead End Stories by One Man Army
2.  Over the James by Avail
1.  Do or Die by Dropkick Murphys




Honorable Mentions --
Hagfish by Hagfish
Don't Look Back by The Truents
Smitten by Buffalo Tom
The Dirty Boogie by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
The Bodies by The Bodies
Celebrity Skin by Hole
Midwestern Songs of the Americas by Dillinger Four
The Shape of Punk to Come by Refused
Dizzy Up The Girl by Goo Goo Dolls
Up by R.E.M.
A Long Way Home by Dwight Yoakam
All Fall Down by Against All Authority
Goddamnit by Alkaline Trio
Munki by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks
Dark Days by The Ducky Boys



Sunday, August 05, 2018

Currently Listening

1.  "Believe Me Never" by Fastbacks (from Zucker)
2.  "Locked Up" by Muncie Girls (from Locked Up)
3.  "Start Me Over" by Gameface (from Three To Get Ready)
4.  "Syndicate" by Squarecrow (from Before the Sun Catches Us All)
5.  "Song of the Year" by The Nixons (from Song of the Year)
6.  "Rebrand It" by Down By Law (from All In)
7.  "Chemical Imbalance" by The Kimberly Steaks (from Chemical Imbalance)
8.  "Year of the Dog" by Barely Civil (from Barely Civil / Barely March)
9.  "Around You" by Free Cake For Every Creature (from The Bluest Star)
10.  "Down Love" by Paul Westerberg (from 14 Songs)
11.  "Lighthouse" by Katie Ellen (from Still Life)
12.  "Goin' Through Your Purse" by Material Issue (from Freak City Soundtrack)
13.  "Girl" by Brand New Friend (from Seatbelts For Aeroplanes)
14.  "The Will The Message" by Bombshell Rocks (from Street Art Gallery)
15.  "Death Defier" by American Television (from Death Defier)
16.  "I'll Be Right Here" by The Slow Death (from I'll Be Right Here / Factory)
17.  "Slumbers" by The Stayawakes (from Dogs and Cats / Living Together)
18.  "American Love" by Aree & the Pure Heart (from Heartsongs)
19.  "Wages" by Re-Volts (from Wages)
20.  "Good Things" by Sebadoh (from Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock)
21.  "Unfair Weather" by Dot Dash (from Proto Retro)
22.  "The Brothels" by Rancid (from Give 'Em The Boot)
23.  "Sleep" by Mixtapes Saints (from Everything We Used To Be)
24.  "Silence" by ALL (from Mass Nerder)
25.  "Something Awful" by Bam!Bam! (from Golden Haze 2 EP)