Friday, October 30, 2009

NOV 3rd to free show at HOLOCENE

you know....who doesnt like a free show in portland!! specially after spending money on fake blood and masks for Holloween!

Please come out NOV 3rd to free show at HOLOCENE

The Rumble shows in portland have been a blast! hope to see you out?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BURN BURN... jessie torrisi

Burn, Burn
October 6, 2009 by Madeline Hollern
Filed under Austin Entertainment (go to linmk looks great!)

Jessie Torrisi played for dozens of New York bands before releasing her debut album, Bruler Bruler, or Burn, Burn in French. Jessie has recently moved to Austin and is about to take on a U.S. tour! But before she leaves, she’s gracing us with her presence through the month of October:

Saturday, October 10, Channel Austin Fundraiser
2pm, 1143 Northwestern.

Thursday October 22, Flipnotics
8pm, with Aimee Bobruck.
1601 Barton Springs.

Sunday October 25, Cedar Street Courtyard
9pm, 208 West 4th.

Friday, October 30, Lambert’s
CD Release Partay!
2nd & Guadalupe.
with Noelle Hampton, Nano Whitman & special guest stars.

Torrisi will be accompanied by her band, The Please Please Me. Her unique blend of influences and the array of instruments (drums, guitar, cello, flute, harmonica…) is sure to dazzle audiences in Austin and across the country.

To learn more about Jessie and tour dates, visit

-Priscila Mosqueda

Music For Animals!

Music for Animals 10-2-09
Published by Monica... That One Girl on Sunday, October 04, 2009 at 2:06 PM
I got kind of a sneak peak at Music for Animals, the out of town opener for The Blakes, as I wrote the preview article on them for the Times-Standard. I knew they'd be fun, danceable, and goofy in an very '80s-influenced way.

They were a blast.

Word has it, Music for Animals may be trying to come back through Humboldt toward the end of October/early November. You can bet I'll be there, as will a pile of folks who came out for the Blakes and fell in love with these guys.

Jessie Torrisi- Love, both lost and found, is a powerful songwriting force.

Jessie Torrisi
By admin • Oct 1st, 2009 • Category: By Greg Heaney, Featured Review 2, Reviews
brûler brûler
2 Stars

Love, both lost and found, is a powerful songwriting force. Music is full of men and women, longing and crushed, consumed by the fire of love. With this in mind, Jessie Torrisi’s debut album brûler brûler, French for “burn burn,” is an aptly named collection of torch songs with a Texas flair.

A singer in the Cat Power/She & Him tradition, Torrisi’s country-influenced vocals bring heat to her songs. She’s able to evoke a feeling of hopeful longing, like someone still holding out hope that their lost lover is going to come walking through the door any minute now. Torrisi isn’t just a one-trick pony of quiet desperation. On “Breeze In Carolina” she’s able to effortlessly shift from a confident drawl to a breezy frailty, taking the listener with her on an emotional journey. The best moments on the album come when Torrisi’s voice is able to take center stage, like on “Storm Clouds,” where she sings two-part harmony over minimal accompaniment, or “The Brighter Side,” a sparse track with a simple bed of piano and occasional slide guitar.

Where brûler brûler falls flat is Torrisi’s accompaniment. While Cat Power and M. Ward (the musical Him in She & Him) have pushed their music towards minimalism and sunshine pop, Torrisi’s music isn’t nearly as engaging. Her voice is just too throaty, too smoky and dark, for such glossy production. The albums sparkly production ends up coming off more coffeehouse adult contemporary than alt-country torch ballad.

With this album, Jessie Torrisi has shown that she has what it takes to be a great singer. But, one instrument doesn’t make an orchestra. brûler brûler is a promising beginning for Torrisi. Hopefully the future will see her getting more adventurous with the music, pushing the boundaries to find a sound that’s more wholly engaging and exciting and less safe. – GREGORY HEANEY

Monday, October 26, 2009

JESSIE TORRISI album out tomorrow !!

brûler brûler out!
hear it here:

“With this thoroughly impressive debut, she certainly has created an attention-grabber. It’s always a particular pleasure when a “mystery disc” turns out to be surprising delights, and bruler, bruler is one of those surprisingly delightful discs.”-NO DEPRESSION

“Ryan Adams, I think you married the wrong girl. You knew her as the ace rock star drummer in Unisex Salon, Les Fleurs Tragiques, and Laptop. On her debut solo outing (which translates as burn, burn in French) the hot and fabulous Ms. Torrisi has re-emerged as an alternative country rock goddess! With melodies to die for, and a sultry behind-the beat delivery the works every time, cuts including "Hungry Like Me," "X in Texas" and "Storm Clouds" ache in all the right places. Lucinda Williams, Shelby Lynn, and Patti Griffin eat your heart out! Bruler Bruler is certainly among the best debuts of 2009.”

“the most exciting debut of the year thus far, is a calm, gritty catharsis.”-SWAMPLAND

“It’s moments like these which capture Torrisi’s personality well. Torrisi brings a certain swagger and sexiness to these songs. Through her words and voice she presents a persona which is easy-going, energetic, and fun. At one point in “Cannonball” she sums it all up with this great line: “I want to sing as loud as I can/Be a one-woman rock and roll band.” And it’s easy to believe that she could do it. Most importantly, she sounds like she is having a blast while making this record and that is clearly communicated while listening to Brûler Brûler.” -BLOG CRITICS

"Blessed with a voice that matches Emmylou Harris for sly, lust-tinged smokiness and rivals Neko Case in the gorgeous-as-hell-but-can-chop-firewood-all-day department"-METRO SPIRIT

“Her correlation to acts like Feist and Regina Spektor are spot on, as most of the tracks from “Brûler Brûler” either feel like a trotting love song, or a slow, yet whimsical, level of swooning solo artistry. Jessie Torrisi has created something special here.” -BRING ON MIXED REVIEWS

“Overall, the plethora of instruments on hand for this record, combined with Torrisi’s captivating vocal finesse and influence from New Orleans jazz and New York City indie rock, have culminated into a fresh and pleasurable presentation.” -Dryvetme Onlyne

“Jessie Torrisi is a bit out of the ordinary. She's a Country/Americana singer with an Alt-Rock sound mixed in with her Country Twang. Her lyrics are intelligent and nuanced; full of sensuality and a personal voraciousness for life that can be startling and then endearing.” -Wildy’s World

“Her unique blend of influences and the array of instruments (drums, guitar, cello, flute, harmonica…) is sure to dazzle audiences in Austin and across the country.” -ENVY MAGAZINE

“She’s able to evoke a feeling of hopeful longing, like someone still holding out hope that their lost lover is going to come walking through the door any minute now.” -REVOLT

“Jessie Torrissi’s debut album feels like a warm blanket on a cold night. It is familiar, welcoming and fulfilling.” -FEMMUSIC

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Style Points, to spotlight the amaaaaaazin' album

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Style Points #1: The Unit Breed

I'm starting a new Gumshoe series, Style Points, to spotlight the amaaaaaazin' album art being disseminated by the indie scene of late. Perhaps buoyed by the proliferation of downloading and file sharing, bands are putting more emphasis on Album Art as an entity in itself.

A good example is the plentiful slabs of colored wax, but it goes beyond that. We're talking hardcover art books, hand-bound; we're talking paper fortune tellers and multimedia.

The Unit Breed are the first entry in my new series because they sent me this spectacular piece of wax after I'd already reviewed their fine album, Always Distance the Lonely . In addition to the wax, The UB include a glossy, full-color art book (shown above) with lyrics and enchanting images.

THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE. Style points, bitch, and an extra oomph given because both sides of the wax are different colors. I'm not going to blab a ton about this; the images, colors and patterns speak for themselves.

Stay tuned for The Lava Children, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Yes! Collapse/Mastema, Burial, Mono, Old Man Gloom and many more.
read here!

Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’

Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’
(Turn Up)

By C. Molly Smith

Jonesin’s new album tells a story through its simple, cut-to-the-chase lyrics. It is rich in keyboards, fun, bright and very cutesy; not to mention, it has a sort of ’60s, psychedelic twist.

The problem with Jonesin’s album, however, is the voice of Jenny Jones. It is similar to one of a puppet on a children’s show, maybe one of the Muppets or perhaps any of the characters on “Sesame Street” with squeaky, high-pitched voices. If you can overlook the shrieky voice, check out these lively, vibrant and vivid, pop narratives: “Rollerskates,” “Bummer Summer” and “Ice Cream.”

Grade: C

campus circle here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NBC :: Two Bands to Watch: Becks Regan Duo, Caravan of Thieves

Two Bands to Watch: Becks Regan Duo, Caravan of Thieves

Updated 8:40 AM EDT, Fri, Sep 25, 2009

Getty Images
Summer’s over but the local music scene’s heating up for fall and we’re introducing you to a couple local bands we think you need to check out as you plan your weekends.

BECKS REGAN DUO: The Becks Regan Duo is fairly new to the local music scene but the two Enfield musicians are quickly making a name for themselves and the booking gigs quickly for the fall and winter.

Becks is Becky Schaefer, on vocals.

Regan is Chris Regan, on guitar.

He is also the lead guitarist for Fear Nuttin Band (FNB), a popular reggae style band out of Massachusetts, which recently played with Toots and Maytals as part of the Warped Tour.

Becks Regan Duo covers all sorts of artists, including Amy Winehouse, Otis Redding, Katy Perry and Michael Jackson.

“We try to encompass a song that everyone can move to,” Schaefer said. They’ve been playing locally all over Connecticut at places including Tailgators in Derby, The Stonewall Tavern in Storrs, and Murphy and Scarletti's in Farmington.

SEE THEM: They also have a big show coming up on Sept. 25 at the The Yarde House on Route 5 in Enfield. On Sept. 26, they are at the Southwick Inn in Southwick, Mass. Come check them out!


CARAVAN OF THIEVES: The Caravan of Thieves combines folk, with gypsy flare and jazz in a modern way, using instruments – like banjos and fiddles – that you might not expect a group of musicians in their 20s to master.

And, they’re making an impression on audiences throughout the country.

Ben Dean’s on the violin. Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni are singers and acoustic guitarists. Brian Anderson’s the double bassist.

This fancy foursome has a notable resume that consists of music available on iTunes, a new CD called “Bouquet” and a tour schedule that takes them all over the country.

SEE THEM: The Caravan Thieves will perform in Fairfield on Oct. 30 and 31 at the FTC on Stage One at 7:30 p.m.

So take a listen to some of their latest work. We can pretty much guarantee you’ll be impressed.

Follow the band on its Web site.

Who do you think we should profile? Send us an e-mail here with their name and their Web site address.

Licensing deals help unsigned acts reach audience

Licensing deals help unsigned acts reach audience
Posted by: Stephanie De Pasquale on September 24, 2009 at 9:45AM CST

In the past two weeks, I've talked with three unsigned acts that passed through or are headed to the Q-C on a touring circuit.

Without label backing, getting their songs on the radio is close to impossible, but all have reached widespread audiences through licensing deals on television programs.

Gary Jules, who will play at Huckleberry's Pizza Parlor this Sunday, made the Billboard Top 100 chart after his song "Falling Awake" was featured on "Grey's Anatomy." When the folks at Billboard figured out he accomplished the feat without any radio airplay, a label, manager or publicist, Jules said they just started laughing.

"Two days later a writer for Billboard called back and did a whole article about it because it was sort of like a new door had opened," Jules said. "The idea that you could have a song on a television show and that people who watched that television show could immediately go and download that song and that song could subsequently end up on a more traditional record-buying list was amazing to them."

Five Times August's Brad Skistimas tours colleges almost exclusively, partly because he likes not having to compete with the bar atmosphere for attention, but mostly because he has secured multiple licensing deals with college-friendly shows such as MTV's "Laguna Beach" and "Real World." Skistimas has had so much success with licensing deals, that he became the first unsigned artist to sell his CD at Wal-Mart.

"For an artist like me, it's a great way around radio because a lot of artists on my level can't really get on the radio anymore because it's so corrupt and controlled," said Skistimas, who has tried in vain to schmooze his way onto the radio by performing at radio stations and buying the crew lunch. "Getting exposure on TV shows is really a great benefit to how we do things."

Pictures of Then also has had success with licensing agreements and just signed a new one to have their songs featured in upcoming shows on MTV. For them, the money that comes in from the agreements helps keep them afloat while on tour.

"Any licensing opportunity obviously comes with a payoff, and in terms of the payoff, it affords us the opportunity to put gas in the van or to do some promotion for the shows or for the record," said Tim Greenwood, of Pictures of Then, who added that licensing is also about adaptation. "Music is so accessible nowadays that really regardless of how good the music is, the band is not really ultimately going to make it unless they're capable of kind of adapting to the situation that the Internet revolution has brought about.

"So many bands are much more accessible than they ever were and there's so much music going on in the world, that the Internet has really kind of made all the old rules not apply."

But for all the good licensing deals have brought unsigned, up-and-coming acts, Jules says the practice really peaked about two years ago when "Falling Awake" boosted him onto the Billboard charts. Jules released his first record on a traditional record label in 1998, and since then has been putting out music on his own by utilizing the Internet.

"I think I've got it down in that I've finally figured out that things are constantly changing," Jules said. "In the absence of the traditional music industry, everybody sort of wants to know what's going to take the place of that industry and for a while people thought it was going to be licensing, when the truth is, is that nothing is going to take the place that the old industry left. Licensing is going to be licensing, and it's not going to be the be-all-end-all."

Diverse musicians join up, form band ‘For the Cause’

Diverse musicians join up, form band ‘For the Cause’
By Rachel Sullivan - Special to The Telegraph

Romeo Spike founders Mike Kunz and Donn Aaron met in 2006 through a mutual friend. Despite the fact that Kunz lived in Chicago and Aaron lived in Atlanta, the two struck up an immediate friendship that resulted in a friendly weekly songwriting competition.

When they realized that they were writing worthwhile material, they formed the bones of Romeo Spike and began working on their first album, “For the Cause.” Before long, Kunz moved to Atlanta, and the two friends began advertising for other band members. Drummer Will Brown and bass player Skyler Ross answered the ads, and Romeo Spike was complete.

Romeo Spike is set to take the stage Saturday night at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom.

Kunz and Brown recently gave a joint phone interview in which they took turns discussing the band, their music and each other. According to Kunz, “it was all just for fun in the beginning. Then things got out of hand. We found a producer and suddenly I had to move.”

Brown spoke for himself and for Ross when he said he had been looking for a band to join.

“I answered an ad on Craigslist. I wish I had a cool story, but this one is kind of lame. At least it worked out well,” Brown said.

The band will be featuring songs from “For the Cause,” along with some new songs Saturday at the Hummingbird Stage and Taproom. According to Kunz, “the band is about collaboration, about finding the right tool. Sometimes one of us will come in with a new song. Sometimes someone will show up with a sound or a riff and a whole new song emerges. It’s a bit like trying to bottle magic.”

After Brown finished ribbing Kunz for that last remark, he agreed in principle. “It’s fun because we all draw from various influences. Donn is your classic rock, while I like anything from Motown to Queens of the Stone Age. Skyler, man, he’s diverse and he has a formal jazz background,” he said.

Kunz chimed in: “I’m a recovering jazz musician, too. It took me awhile, but I’ve rediscovered rock.”

Despite their somewhat unorthodox beginnings, the band members complement each other well. Brown, who has never had a formal drum lesson, said, “Mike and Sky are both trained. Donn just started playing one day and he’s a natural-born guitar player through and through. As for me, I make up for my lack of skill with my natural good looks.” There was a moment of silence before Kunz laughed and said, “I would have said your high energy and enthusiasm, but OK.

“Just tell everyone to come out and hear us. It’s a new music blend, different from what they’ll have heard before. It’s rock, modern and classic,” he added, “It’s important to follow your passion and stay true to what you believe. I have a blind belief in myself, in this project, and in the others.”

Brown added, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. There are lots of roads out there, but you can always carve a new one and make your own way, too.”

On the Web:


Music Review: Jessie Torrisi - Brûler Brûler

Author: Gavin Breeden -

After playing drums for a slew of rock bands in New York City, Jessie Torrisi has set out to try her hand at being a front woman. To kick things off she has recorded a delightful batch of country-tinged indie songs for her debut record, Brûler Brûler ("burn burn" in French).

Although it may seem like a strange album title, it's a fitting one; these songs reveal Torrisi to be a woman who is both passionate and curious about the world and she also seems to burn with a creativity and excitement for life that makes her record really enjoyable to play.

Bearing similarities to classic country singers like Patsy Cline and current indie queens like Cat Power, Torrisi is able to exist in a space between country music and the indie scene. Thus, it makes perfect sense that she currently resides in Austin, Texas, a city which blends these two worlds more than any other Texan city.

One of Torrisi's most obvious gifts is her knack for crafting melodies. There are moments, like on "Cannonball" and "The Brighter Side," where her melodies are reminiscent of brilliant songwriters like Randy Newman. Yet her lyrics are also notable as they alternate between poignancy and humor, sometimes in the same song. "X in Texas" is an example of this. "You put the X in Texas... you are a wrecking ball," she sings to a former flame and she sells the humor and sadness of each line without undercutting the other. "You can have Texas and every woman in it," she sings to him later and she really means it.

It's moments like these which capture Torrisi's personality well. Torrisi brings a certain swagger and sexiness to these songs. Through her words and voice she presents a persona which is easy-going, energetic, and fun. At one point in "Cannonball" she sums it all up with this great line: "I want to sing as loud as I can/Be a one-woman rock and roll band." And it's easy to believe that she could do it. Most importantly, she sounds like she is having a blast while making this record and that is clearly communicated while listening to Brûler Brûler.

Continued on the next page Page 1 - Page 2

Torrisi hasn't gotten here alone, however. Some of her influences clearly crop up in these songs. For example, "Breeze in Carolina," which finds Torrisi highlighting her country side over a gently plucked acoustic guitar, is a lovely song, one which was probably inspired by Ryan Adams both in its style and subject matter. However, even when it's possible to pinpoint Jessie Torrisi's influences it doesn't detract from her songs. One of her greatest strengths is taking disparate influences from pop, rock, and country and combining them into something that sounds very fresh and original.

Yet, it's the closer, "The Brighter Side," which really convinced me of Torrisi's talent and potential as she sings matter-of-factly in a Texas drawl over a steady piano and shimmering slide guitar. The song lacks some of the energy of earlier songs but makes up for it with a compelling emotional tenor. It's a terrific vocal performance by Torrisi and makes the song endlessly repeatable.

This song combined with the R&B-country of "So Many Miles" and the rest of this record serve as a reminder that Jessie Torrisi is an artist who can't be tied down with expectations.

Page 1 - Page 2

still haven't heard of GIANT SQUID...

Critics around the world have the praised the brutal originality and wave inducing emotional heft of Giant Squid, and their bombastic second album, The Ichthyologist, produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, ISIS, Botch). Within a mere matter of months, fans from all corners of the globe snatched up every last copy of the album's original, extremely limited self released pressing of a thousand copies. Formidable Philadelphia based metal label, Translation Loss, immediately signed the band and re-released the album with fresh new mixes of several songs, and stunning new art work by legendary comic book artist, Sam Kieth (The Maxx, Batman, Sandman).

Now for the first time, you can listen to the critcally acclaimed album for free on myspace, linked from Giant Squid's official page, Anytime a new band surfaces that is this fresh in sound, turning a seemingly known genre upside down and churning it about like a crashing surf, dwellers of underground music can find themselves divided in their feelings about the powerful art presented before them. Some choose the safer, shallower waters of the ever prevalent norm. But, now is your chance to decide for yourself whether the engrossing, abyss crossing journey of The Ichthyologist is something you may wish to embark on. Here are the brave words of some that have:

"While the narrative may take a page from Gregory’s personal life, musically, The Ichthyologist invokes the elemental force of Neurosis, the cinematic scope of God Speed You Black Emperor, and the attitude of punk rock" – Revolver Magazine
"Musically, however you view The Ichthyologist, it's a massive undertaking with layers of instrumentation, voices, sonic moods, waves and textures, presenting a life affirming twist on the light-dark, up-and-down, seesaw post metal style." - Decibel Magazine

"An encompassing and engrossing sensory trip." - Terrorizer Magazine

"The Ichthyologist is, for lack of a better term, a grand fucking slam. Sublimely textured but crushingly heavy, deep as the ocean at its heart and yet instantly approachable, this is more than a great metal album—it is a beautiful work of art, by any standard." –

"This is some of the most honest, sincere, and best executed music out there today, and I think every music fan owes it to themselves to hear Giant Squid at least once. Five Stars!" –

"So, I would say that if you want to discover one of the most original and essential bands of the current era, put away your preconceived notions about what is and isn’t progressive rock and heavy metal and give these guys a listen. The album (like the band) is simply incredible and very unique and inventive. " -

"The band is a gobbling monster, wrecking any ship who wants to confine it in a sole genre… So early in the year and already we have a strong contestant to prog metal album of the year!" –

"It is fitting that such a beast would serve as the moniker for San Francisco-/Sacramento-based metal band Giant Squid. Titanic in sound, Giant Squid is difficult to categorize." – Submerge Magazine

"The Ichthyologist is a powerfully emotive, original album that accomplishes the rare feat of having powerful singles that don't disrupt the flow of the album as a whole." -

"GIANT SQUID reaches out to the world with an array of outstretched arms; some quirky and wandering, some melodious (often in disturbing ways) and others are simply heavy as hell." -


“Hi, We’re JONESIN’”
Free News Projects
Street: 07.15
JONESIN’= Joy Division + Gang Gang Dance
“Please come aliens/Humans need new friends,” JONESIN’ sing on track seven. That song and track three, “Too Stoned To Screw” (I think I inherently have to like that title for its “humor” alone) are the most listenable on a first spin. The other songs on this effort start to pick up on further tries. The majority of the album also does a great job of sounding like the vocals were recorded through a megaphone, and they were, or were effected to sound like it. I think another album more will see a fuller revelation from some of the more creative constructions on display this time. Warning! This is pretty poppy stuff, so steer clear, anti-pop thugs. –JP

Suburtban Renewal

Suburtban Renewal
For five years, the 'Gingerbread House' has been home to a quietly successful secret music scene

ON A WARM summer evening, a flock of youngish music fans wander around a backyard campfire, guys in beards sipping PBRs, gals with tats in retro boots smoking American Spirits. Inside, Unit Breed, a band visiting from Portland, plays to a small crowd packed into the living room.

This is the Gingerbread House, which has become the center of a unique music scene. On a select few Friday and Saturday nights, this quaint old San Jose home in a quiet residential neighborhood—notable only because its A-frame roof line is decorated with Christmas lights year-round—is transformed into a rock venue.

In theory, anyone is welcome to attend the Gingerbread House's legendary underground parties—but invites are strictly word of mouth. Todd, one of the four roommates who live at the Gingerbread House, declines to even share his last name.

"I try not to advertise the shows here too much, because if there were any more people, it would probably start to get chaotic," Todd says.

He says he was turned on to the idea of hosting shows in his home when a next-door neighbor who hosted underground parties moved out of town about five years ago. A musician himself, Todd wanted to offer a venue for out-of-town bands to play when they came to the South Bay.

And while hosting 100-plus people can present some serious problems (such as annoyed neighbors, a visit from the cops, drunken fights, stolen property, an aggravated landlord, etc.), Todd says he 's lucked out when hosting house shows.

"It's actually kind of a rare thing, because I expect chaos to happen, but everyone seems to behave themselves," he says. "Since it is in my house, I think people tend to behave themselves a little better than if it was at a venue."

Todd attributes the success of the Gingerbread House over the last five years to his tolerant neighbors and a hands-off landlord. Bands perform in a soundproofed back room. Todd never charges a cover to attend his house shows—all donations go straight to the band.

And while not many local residents may know about the Gingerbread House, there are plenty of bands from across the country that have heard of its legendary house shows. Past shows have included Up the Empire (from Brooklyn), Boy Skout (from San Francisco), Zettaimu (from Japan), Triumph of Lathargy (from Seattle), Mannville (from Boise), Seamonster (from Virginia) and Captain #1 (from Georgia). Todd says the word has gotten around that there's some kind of scene in San Jose.

"I get tons of requests all the time from people I don't know, and I have to tell them, sorry, we're not doing anything right now," Todd says. "It's kind of overwhelming.

"I would like to do this somewhere that is not my house, but I don't know how much of a demand there is for this in San Jose," he says.

While Todd doesn't see himself retiring from the world of house shows just yet, he does keep the future of the Gingerbread House in mind. "If I do move out, I would like to have younger kids here who get stoked on shows take over the lease. It would be a shame for it to end—this is such a rare thing."

Although it's usually a mellow scene, things do get out of hand on occasion. "Fourth of July was close. That was the most people we had here. The house was full, the back yard was full, the front lawn was full. I thought the cops were going to come for sure—especially when we started lighting off fireworks at the end of the night."

—Andrea Frainier

Pictures of Then still getting covered!

By Ross Raihala

Updated: 09/10/2009 12:18:15 PM CDT

The way things are looking, the Uptown Bar and Cafe will be yet another memory.

But unlike Maplewood's beleaguered, and now lawsuit-embroiled, Myth nightclub, the potential shuttering of Minneapolis' Uptown comes with some understandable circumstances. Namely, its 88-year-old owner, Frank Toonen, wants to sell the property and leave the money to his wife and the widow of their son, who ran the bar for years before he died in 2008. As it stands, the bar is likely to be torn down, with a new, three-story retail space built in its place. Relocating the Uptown remains a possibility but seems unlikely.

In the meantime, the Uptown continues to offer live music, and Sunday, a familiar former local will stop by for a show that's sure to fill the house. Sean Tillmann will headline in his Har Mar Superstar persona on a tour stop to promote his upcoming new album, "Dark Touches." The disc hits stores Oct. 13, and Tillman will be back in town Nov. 5 for a Triple Rock gig with Kool Keith and Nov. 6 for a proper CD-release show at the Varsity.

The Uptown also hosts a pair of CD-release shows this weekend. Local post-punks the Van Gobots sound a bit like Interpol, minus the goth tendencies, and celebrate the arrival of their debut full-length, "Guantanamo Beach Party," tonight with the Guystorm, Camel of the Sea and Pictures of Then. (The latter, by

the way, put out their sophomore album, "And the Wicked Sea," earlier this summer. It's a delightful and promising collection of Beatles-esque pop songs that seems poised to break to a wider audience. The band's song placements on MTV's "The Real World" and "The Hills" won't hurt.)

On Saturday, Franz Diego introduces his self-titled new disc at the Uptown with Alicia Steele, Alissa Paris and Greg Grease (of the Usual Suspects). While it's Diego's first proper full-length, he's hardly a newcomer. He has performed with Illuminous 3, hosted Radio K's "The Beat Box" and co-organized the Twin Cities Celebration of Hip-Hop.


More new local hip-hop arrives Saturday at the Triple Rock when No Bird Sing issues its debut. The trio features members of Abzorbr and Hyder Ali creating a distinct new sound without the use of a bass. It's pretty dark, powerful stuff. Black Blondie and Kristoff Krane are also on the bill, with Halloween, Alaska's James Diers spinning records between sets. No Bird Sing also plays an all-ages show tonight at St. Paul's Eclipse Records with Big Trouble, El Guante and Big Cats.

One more local band with a new release plays the Varsity on Saturday. The appropriately named Spectaculars roll out their sophomore album, "You Can Look Up Now," with support from More Than Lights. While it freely jumps genres, the base sound borrows heavily from Prince's otherworldly funk swagger. In a move that's becoming increasingly common, the band will give a card good for a free download of the disc to the first 200 people through the doors.

Local moviemakers Rebel Filmworks have come up with a novel idea to find new music for their upcoming release, "Full Throttle." The Alarmists, the Melismatics, Bren, Douglas Acres and Hollywood Burnout play a battle of the bands Saturday at the Fine Line. The winners will have a song featured in the film along with a possible cameo appearance.

Billy McLaughlin, the local favorite who retaught himself to play the guitar after being diagnosed with the crippling neurological disease focal dystonia, will play a free show Saturday in the new amphitheater in White Bear Township's Polar Lakes Park. It caps the second annual Township Day festival, which also features numerous performances and family activities.

James Clark, vocalist for Minneapolis rockers Throw the Fight, underwent surgery earlier this summer for testicular cancer. He's expected to make a full recovery, and his band is throwing a fundraising party tonight at the Rock in Maplewood. The St. Paul Sac Attack show will feature Throw the Fight, Far From Falling, Attention, Redborn and All the Way Rider, with free pizza from 8 to 9 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, with proceeds helping Clark pay some of his medical bills. The band will also make a donation to the Livestrong Foundation.

Duluth trio Low returns to town Saturday to headline a fall music and movies series at the Lake Harriet Band Shell in Minneapolis. Low will perform just after 7 p.m., followed by a screening of Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic, "Jaws." It's free, with audience members encouraged to bring blankets and picnic baskets.

The Cedar Cultural Center has two shows of note next week. Wednesday night, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roger McGuinn brings his famous 12-string Rickenbacker to town for a show with Caroline Smith. For more than a decade, the Byrds man has been recording traditional folk songs for online listeners. Those songs, along with a few Byrds tracks, are likely to pop up at this gig. Thursday, much-admired country artist Guy Clark plays the Cedar with Elizabeth Cook. Clark broke his leg last year. He has not only recovered but also has recorded a new disc, "Somedays the Song Writes You," due out later this month on Dualtone.

Pop music critic Ross Raihala can be reached at rraihala@ or 651-228-5553. Read more about the local entertainment scene at

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Unit Breed "Fans of prog- and psychedelic rock won't be disappointed."

Spun: The Unit Breed

Jordyn Marcellus

September 10, 2009
Print this story

Always Distance the Lonely

Credit: (Self-released)

One word that's been abused in modern music journalism is the term psychedelic. Once referring to a very specific brand of spacey, atmospheric and vaguely surreal-sounding music, now it's used as a lazy catch-all for anything even slightly difficult to describe.

The Unit Breed's Always Distance the Lonely is a perfect modern straight-up psychedelic rock album. The album is dark -- pitch black -- at times, with vocalist/guitarist Joseph Demaree's slinky riffs accompanied by his own quiet, deeply-mixed vocals. "Under Palms" starts off as a strange punk rock song, but ends up being a powerfully hallucinatory track.

The band's hazy guitar-work sounds like it was crafted in a basement between a fine fog of pot smoke. "Believe" is a great example; it's a calm number that slow-builds into bone-crunching riffs and heavily distorted guitars, finally culminating in a warbling, distorted sound bite which leaves the skin crawling. It's an addicting feeling, much like the rest of the album.

Always Distance the Lonely is a bad trip in the best possible way. Fans of prog- and psychedelic rock won't be disappointed.
Read me here

SF Bay Guardian show review of JONESIN

Live Shots: Jonesin' and the Sandwitches at Hemlock Tavern, 9/3/09
Text and photos by Ariel Soto

Donning matching black and white outfits, the Jonesin' duo bounced around the stage, singing old Dolly Parton covers and also their own lyrics, that sometimes focus on aliens, their amour, roller skates, and the foggy city we all call home.

Their music is totally bubbly and funky with just a hint of country and irony. With only their mikes and a boom box for back-up , these two belted it out at Hemlock Tavern for their official Hi, We're Jonesin' (Telemarketer's Worst Nightmare) record release party and as a send-off for their around the country tour, which includes stops in Kansas, Mississippi and Texas, too.

Jonesin', "Rollerskates"

VINYL review of MASTER Slash SLAVE
Tag Archive for 'Master Slash Slave'
Master Slash Slave – “Scandal” 12″ vinyl


on July 28, 2009

in M


The two members in Master Slash Slave must have grown up in the ’80s; that or they really, really love “Zelda.” Ushering in what can only be described as the Nintendo-core sound, the group combines programmed beats, live drumming and guitar with an array of synthesizers all heavily influenced by the “training interlude” music in “Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.” Add a Brandon Flowers-esque vocal quality to the mix and you have yourself one interesting band.

Master Slash Slave describes itself as sounding like “the White Stripes and Kraftwerk arguing with Interpol over what to wear.” While there is little doubt as to the Kraftwerk influence, the jury’s out on whether the other bands mentioned in the musical equation actually fit. The Killers and Devo arguing over who gets to score the next “Tron” soundtrack with Kraftwerk would make much more sense.

If you’re starting to get the impression that this band is a little weird, you’re right. In fact, some of the tracks on Scandal would blend in nicely with the loops found on DJ battle records.

Not all the tracks, however, sound like they could be featured in an upcoming Mix Master Mike album. With “Slummin,” the driving force of the song is no longer synthesizers but dance-tastic, double-time hi-hat action. Take away the analog vibe and the band starts to sound a bit like “Bows + Arrows”-era Walkmen. Master Slash Slave, however, wouldn’t be Master Slash Slave without some tweaking of the keyboard. Midway through the song, the band layers bright synthesizer tones over the traditional instrumentation, giving the song a futuristic “Super Mario Bros.” sound (not a castle level, though). The resulting effect gives the track a mash-up feel and goes to show that not all synth-heavy groups end up sounding like the Revenge of the Nerds band.

The duo also shows some variation on “High Heels.” Although the keyboards are still firmly in place, the only other accompaniment is an acoustic guitar and the vocals of Matt Jones. The track doesn’t really seem to flow with the rest of the album, but the song sounds good, and it’s definitely something different.

Long story short: if Capcom is looking to give the Mega Man soundtrack an indie rock edge, then Master Slash Slave is the band to do it. [By: Jake Corbin]

Rating: 3/5

the charming californian duet Jonesin

Jonesin : Hi, we're Jonesin! Tape (Shit Music for Shit People)

It seems like the cult Italian cassette label "Best Kept Secret" (check out their new signing "Dewdrop Fountain" from the Philippines!) has now found itself a little countrymate-cousin in the name of "Shit Music for Shit People".

Their first tape release, pressed in only 100 copies, comes from the charming californian duet Jonesin (Matt & Jenny Jones). They're young, they're well-dressed, they gonna marry very soon and they look like Nancy and Lee !

Musicwise, Jonesin's electropop is sad BUT happy, square BUT round, cheap BUT rich...and... haven't heard such a distinctive & profound mixed voice alliance since "The Ballad of Tom Jones".

Truly imaginative artwork by Audrey Bonnamy, available in blue, red and black ink !

Get the tape HERE while you still can !

=> A song : "Hey Aliens !"

=> A video : "Rollerskates"

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Pictures of Then – And the Wicked Sea on STEREO SUBVERSION

Pictures of Then – And the Wicked Sea
Album Reviews • Wednesday September 16th, 2009 • 9:49 am

The sea instinctively draws artists towards its promise of a muse and its transcendental landscape. Beowulf wrestled the sea monster, Ahab was consumed with it, and Icarus fell face-down into the sea after failing to heed his father’s warning. Minnesota’s Pictures of Then have fashioned their sophomore release after the wicked sea, though their songs romanticize the certain body of water rather than cast a dark shadow on it. But the dark shadows are few here and they are hidden by the pure pop buoyancy of the songs. And the Wicked Sea begins in a hopeful trance with the appropriate “A Glimpse of the Dawn” and ends just as resolutely with the ever-fading “Lands Uncharted.” Both songs bookend a journey through power-pop and acoustic strummers that is pleasant-enough but ultimately disjointed in its execution.

The first four tracks are where the action is; beyond that, the lack of cohesion damn-near sinks the ship, mid-journey. (Last oceanic reference, I promise.) The aforementioned intro song, “When It Stings,” “The Big Sell,” and “Nowhere is Somewhere” could all pass for long-lost Big Star tracks. “When It Stings” is primed with handclaps and even a kick-off “whoo!” to get the mess in gear. Its mobile bass-line and jagged guitars deter from the highly politicized lyrical matter: “We won’t follow anymore/ listen up, listen up/ we won’t be spoonfed like before.” And all of this before the big question gets asked, “Have they forgotten who it was that put them in control?” “The Big Sell” follows similar territory to similarly grand effect, only this time, the accusation is less thinly veiled: “You’re never ever go do no time, for your crimes/ but that don’t make you free.” Gems like this are what make power-pop so viable; the music shoots out of the gate faster than the lyrics can register. It’s a subtle, yet powerful effect that makes it that much sweeter to hear the second, third, and fourth times. And “Nowhere is Somewhere” is one of those songs that should/would/could be any summer radio hit, if we lived in an era that prized talent over beauty. Its sentiment is syrupy, yet straight on: “I’d rather go nowhere together/ than somewhere alone.” Love, of course, is one of the cornerstones of pop music.

Unfortunately, the songs lose steam beginning with the short, unnecessary “Stuck.” Afterwards, “Ahead” ushers in a vaguely ’50s beach-vibe shuffle that offers head-scratching and a bit of boredom. “Questions Anyone” pulls the same poor stunt again, so that by the time the out-of-place Elvis Costello-esque rocker “Wicked Sea” arrives, only one phrase comes to mind: “Wha’ happened?” Apart from its predecessors, album closer “Lands Uncharted” would have made a fine closer, but given the odd pairing that comes before it, its somber tone is too hard to take seriously.

And it’s a shame because And the Wicked Sea comes off strong with album-like potential, but should be trimmed down to a genius six-to-seven song EP. Pictures of Then didn’t exactly crash and burn like Icarus, but they did fly a little to close to charted, banal territory after a swift and satisfying takeoff.

Jessie Torrisi's Solo Album is Crème de la Crème

Jessie Torrisi's Solo Album is Crème de la Crème
Delicate, tender arrange-ments and biting, love-wary lyrics provide the essential contrast on Jessie Torrisi's solo debut, brûler brûler. Out from behind the drums which she banged skillfully for a half-dozen NewYork hipster rock bands, Torrisi appears to have found some solace-- and she has put it to good use. The album,the most exciting debut of the year thus far, is a calm, gritty catharsis.

Stand-up bass, laid-back drums, pedal steel, and acoustic guitar make up the core of the accompaniment, but there are surprises such as the quiet trombone punctuating her phrases on "X in Texas". Especially in the lower registers of her voice, appears an extra treat-- the subtle influence of a "Union City Blue"-era Deborah Harry. This sultry nonchalance adds to the North-South dichotomy of brûler.

Lyrically, Torrisi's themes tend towards the importance of personal kinesis and its efficacy on broken relationships. She's a woman burning old polaroids of the big city, and with them the memories of lovers lost among the skyscrapers and smog.Torrisi wonders out-loud why her heart has so often shattered, but never sounds like a victim. In fact, as on "Runaway Train", she declares that she'll "keep ridin'" regardless of who else jumps onboard or remains on the platform. It's the perfect soundtrack for a one-way trip from the Five Boroughs to the Lone Star. -- A.S.

Swamp Record here

Friday, October 16, 2009

Shawn Smith review on DAGGER MAGAZINE

SHAWN SMITH- THE DIAMOND HAND- GATOR- Don’t know what bands Smith has been in but I do know he collaborated with Steve Fisk on a record back in the 90’s (I think on Sub Pop) and he has also done some work with the Afghan Whigs. No surprise that Harold Chichester is one of Smiths main musicians on here. THE DIAMOND HAND is a moody record with forays into rock, boogie, soul, blues, etc.all while sticking to the rock format. Smith has an interesting voice. A modern day David Thomas?

Dagger Magazine on Pictures of Then

PICTURES OF THEN – AND THE WICKED SEA- SELF RELEASED- Chalk this one up at another winner from the Twin Cities. The sophomore effort by these cats has some good, punchy 60’s influenced rock. “When It Stings” could win these guys plenty more fans as would “Nowhere is Somewhere.” .

Target Audience Magazine on GIANT SQUID

Giant Squid

Live at Chicago's White Star Bar

August 8, 2009

Heavy and melodic, damning and redeeming, abrasive and beautiful...such dichotomies does Giant Squid mold from a dense brick of clay. Sculpting chiaroscuro from a monolith of sound upon solid guitar foundation provided by Bryan Beeson and Cory Tozer, Aaron Gregory adds to the guitar mix and punishes the microphone--mostly with a growling yell, but at times more melodic--backed by the occasional, awesome screams of Jackie Perez Gratz--I mean wonderful, although my inclination draws more to the haunting impression wafting from her wicked white electric cello. Behind it all I see Chris Lyman having a grand old time pounding on his drum kit.

The band is not superheavy but still quite forceful,good rock. I heard shades of Pelican, Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Black Sabbath, and in one relatively calm interlude, Tom Waits. The next-to-last song of the set featured a climax of marching crescendo on the drums that was quite fun, standing out from the general feeling of hiking through a dark morass. They are one of the most intent bands I've seen, concentrating, eyes closed, practically meditating. Intangible emotion is still projected but rarely shown on their studious faces. It was Giant Squid's first show in Chicago, in a little unassuming Czech bar with checkerboard floor on the northwest side, and the turnout was deservedly good.

Review and photos by Evan Tyler
Listen to our interviews with Aaron Gregory of Giant Squid

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jonesin review in PERFORMER MAGAZINE

page 49/60

Hi We’re Jonesin’San Francisco, CA
Recorded by Matt Jones | Mixing by
Matthew Morgan
and Felix Mercer

Jonesin is a duo out of San Francisco that does bounce-on-the-moon synth pop, Old West-style ballads and everything in between. Despite the vastness of their universe, Jonesin’ have found love. Their names are Jenny and Matt, and their album is about how they’re “totally getting married!!!” Hi We’re Jonesin’ sounds like a John Waters movie. Jenny’s voice has a shrill, schmaltzy, super-cutsie schoolgirl tone, while Matt has this Elvis/Cry Baby vibrato. The poppy track, “Ice Cream,” displays Jonesin’ at their campiest extreme: “Prettiest girl I ever saw/sippin’ soda through a straw/is she H-I-J-K-LM-N, oh here she comes.” But is it just nauseatingly cute or is it satirically cute with cynical undertones? It’s hard to tell exactly where on this spectrum Jonesin’ falls. For the jealous type (or anyone who’s not currently on the cutest honeymoon ever), listening to Hi We’re Jonesin’ could leave them feeling depressed and inadequate regarding their capacity for love. Luckily for everyone, Matt and Jenny acknowledge that even ridiculously cute people have doubts (even if those doubts, too, are cute and endearing). On the spacy “Too Stoned to Screw,” Matt says, “I don’t believe you but whatevs/I can always hang with my friends.”

“What If?” is a low-fi song that goes off on spoken tangents regarding the everlurking, inevitable question in any relationship: “what if we never met?” “How
Much You Wanna Bet” is a doo-wopy Western proposal. Jenny says, “It’s a very scary thing to say yes or no.” Matt says, “It’s gonna be a huge party except I promise that we don’t break up.” My favorite song, though, is “Hey Aliens” in which Jenny and Matt plead, “Please come aliens/humans need new friends.” A piano plods along in exasperation as Jenny sings, “I look forward to the day/when we’re not alone in space.” My favorite line comes from the song “Lil Wino.” It describes the lover as partner in crime/circumstance, and makes Jonesin’s cuteness bearable. Jenny sings, “I’m gonna take you home/even if it kills us both.” (self-released)

-Kristen Fox

Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’ in DANISH translated!
Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’
Af Camilla Grausen | 29.09.09 | Ingen kommentarer

Jonesin’: Hi, We’re Jonesin’

Turn Up Records/Xo Publicity

Format: cd

Udgivet: 2009

Musikalske slægtninge: The Moldy Peaches, Mates of State, The Jack Stafford Foundation, Aqua, Toybox

Tags: Casiopop, computer, indiepop


Jonesin' på Myspace

Xo Publicity

This review is delayed. It is something really crap - I hate that exceed deadlines as much as I have done this time. But the problem was simply song number four. I could well not get past Jonesin duo's song "Ice Cream". The number is so infinitely annoying! Already in the first few seconds almost explodes in bold, with a vocal that sounds like a cross between a blue hand puppet named Andrea and a random indietøs trying to sing in a cute and småretarderet, unique way. She exclaims: "Ice cream soda, cherry on top / Who's my boyfriend, I forgot / is it a, b, c, d, e, f, g / I do not know '. It's almost indescribable how irritating I find it, and text and voice gives me nasty associations with Toybox 'preteen-90's hit "Best Friend".

It was too much for me and I had to take the plate of each time the number came. Getting one is not just the rest of the album heard and notification is not required. As it happened, however, that I, after friendly reminders from the editors were convinced that I had to take the bull by the horns and get Jonesin's album. Now it's succeeded, and "Ice Cream" was fortunately biggest and worst scale of irritation scale.

The two people who have managed to torment me so, is Matt Jones and his fiancee Jenny Jones, who together form the duo Jonesin '. The couple lives in San Francisco, and the info on their website and album text appears to get here they played with a lot of keyboards, computer program, GarageBand, and old Nintendo'er little weed here and there. Inspirations for Mr and Mrs Jones are ghosts, aliens and skates, and these things are in themselves the content on Jonesin's debut album, which has been titled Hi, We're Jonesin '- and this is the course also.

Keyboard melodies, as the duo have knitted together at home, are as harmless. Some small blip-Blop-tunes, which admittedly is fun, it sounds like old Nintendo games. But one must ask: what good music is it really that used to be on some such old games? And, what is required to listen to it today, with the aforementioned Andrea shrill voice over? For myself and probably some others, the answer is no.

The album switches through boy / girl-vowels, and the band tries especially with vowels to create an indie-cute, naive expression just underlined by the subjects, the band has chosen, with titles like "Roller Kate," "Ghosts? No Way! "And" Lil Wino ". As for titles, then it is a very fun idea to make a song called "Too Stoned two Screw" as a counterpart to the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck". But otherwise the album is really not funny or cute.

It may only be appropriate to achieve to get two of the unfortunate names from the list of musical relatives to the rescue. For The Moldy Peaches with their funny, lo-fi songs or the marriage of Mates of State, with their charming pop should not be seated in that they fall into the same category of pure quality - despite some musical similarities with the Jonesin '.

Later on Hi, We're Jonesin 'comes fortunately a couple of numbers without much vocals. Where a portion of the album's songs sound like hyperactive children who fiser around on roller skates with too much sugar in the blood are moments on this last part, which sounds as if they rather depict children when they are dropped on the couch or asleep after children birthday is over. It is quite pleasant to listen to. But the overall sugar level and the particularly annoying numbers like "Summer Bummer" and "Ice Cream" ends to form an impression of Jonesin's album, and personally I would probably never pull the album out again, now that the notification of this is done. Sentence.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Brûler Brûler – Mini Review of JESSIE TORRISI

Jessie Torrisi – Brûler Brûler – Mini Review
Posted by Staff on September 9, 2009 – 11:41 pm -

Release Date: August 9th, 2009
Record Label: Wild Curls Records
Genre: Indie

Deciding to break off from group efforts, the TX singer/songwriter Jessie Torrisi, has dosed us with her solo record “Brûler Brûler.” Thankfully, Jessie has done more with this record then simply giving us a french lesson (”Burn Burn”). She has charmed the soul and atmosphere out of everything from a guitar, to a harmonica, a banjo, and even a kazoo in the making of this record. It all has a quaint quality to it, while feeling like something from current mainstream indie blended with an almost country twang. Her correlation to acts like Feist and Regina Spektor are spot on, as most of the tracks from “Brûler Brûler” either feel like a trotting love song, or a slow, yet whimsical, level of swooning solo artistry. Jessie Torrisi has created something special here. She’s not eccentric for no reason or boring to death (as much of indie has become) and is instead creative and passionate — leading to a record that has many slowly paced gems just waiting to be unearthed. ~ Staff
Score: 4/5

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Only Without the Coke
Nearly too cute for words, the San Francisco-based couple Matt and Jenny Jones form the peppy pop duo Jonesin’, specializing in tongue-in-cheek, sweetly sardonic tunes and an old-school, Sonny-and-Cher style. On a nationwide tour to promote their debut album Hi, We’re Jonesin’, they’ll be in Flag for a show at Mia’s Lounge, 26 S. San Francisco, with fellow Franciscans The Sandwitches. To find out more, call 774-3315 or check out

Saturday, October 10, 2009

GUMSHOE GROVE on The Unit Breed

Thursday, September 3, 2009
Style Points #1: The Unit Breed

I'm starting a new Gumshoe series, Style Points, to spotlight the amaaaaaazin' album art being disseminated by the indie scene of late. Perhaps buoyed by the proliferation of downloading and file sharing, bands are putting more emphasis on Album Art as an entity in itself.

A good example is the plentiful slabs of colored wax, but it goes beyond that. We're talking hardcover art books, hand-bound; we're talking paper fortune tellers and multimedia.

The Unit Breed are the first entry in my new series because they sent me this spectacular piece of wax after I'd already reviewed their fine album, Always Distance the Lonely . In addition to the wax, The UB include a glossy, full-color art book (shown above) with lyrics and enchanting images.

THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE. Style points, bitch, and an extra oomph given because both sides of the wax are different colors. I'm not going to blab a ton about this; the images, colors and patterns speak for themselves.

Stay tuned for The Lava Children, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Yes! Collapse/Mastema, Burial, Mono, Old Man Gloom and many more.
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Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Family Curse unleashed~!

Monday, October 05, 2009
REVIEWED: The Family Curse
The Family Curse
White Medicine
(Fainting Room Collective)

Similar Sounds: Butthole Surfers, Big Black, Jesus Lizard
File Under: balls out rock, stoner, unleashed, all or nothing

by J.P. Sutcliffe

The way you packed these records, Mr Magoo, suggests you knew I'd be exhausted by the sheer weight of boredom that the previous acts induced but this is shit hot stuff! It's Tit Wrench having infernal dealings with the bastard off-spring of Lydia Lunch.

Dear Megan; you sound mighty pissed off....

Listen to it as though you care.I do. I do care, I care passionately about music. But I'm hearing passionless depths of mediocrity in an otherwise sane world. This trio, who so remind me of Drain, are the best of the collection of discs I've been sent for perusal. Don't now inform me that they are a bunch of fucking hospital discharges who play music as some therapeutic, arty discourse into the explicit meaning of what it is to be likened to a fish. Not too experimental as to be tedious but quirky enough to make love to - not the disc, I mean shit you now what I mean.

Distorted vocal = Kool. Overly produced industrial back beat = not so Kool.

There's a violin inserted upon the third track. I'm, all for these expressions of volkish soul and I like what I'm hearing. Only if they'd dispense with the crappy beat.

All the tracks on this disc are well worth the hassle of hearing. Your average housemate is gonna wince at such ballache sounds. If it doesn't capture you first time time round then it ain't worth Jack-Shit. Apart from indulging with a fucked up impression of Shakira (track 4), this album is worthy of your time and mine. It's worthy of some radio airtime, at least.

The Family Curse on Rock n Roll Meandering Nonsense
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Review: The Family Curse - White Medicine

Label: Fainting Room Collective

Released: October 2009

There's no doubt that the Family Curse really like noise in general and the Butthole Surfers in particular. The opening track certainly makes no bones about it, but also shows that they don't quite get it. It's random and pointless and they miss that even the wild abandon of the Buttholes and the better of their ilk had direction even when it wasn't particularly discernible. There was always the notion, swimming around in the music somewhere, that there was some point. By "Laughing My Way to the Bank," it seems quite clear that that's what this band would be doing if this record took off. However, "Back in the Water" begins to turn the corner. It's every bit as crazy as the first two tracks, but it has purpose and that purpose gives it form. It begins to break down as it meanders through what amount to two other songs within it, but at least the album looks like it's going somewhere. Much of the album continues to struggle as it wanders through their contrived stabs at shallow darkness.

All hope is not lost however. On the album's second to last tune (though tune seems like such a stretch for these exercises in dissonance), "Exodus from Birds in the Night," they draw on a higher school of noise - John Zorn. While they're still nowhere near joining his league (well, who is?), the song's subtleties are more moving and deep and its excellence not only saves the album, but sheds some light on the rest of the music, making all but their worst moments at least a little more interesting.

White Medicine spends too much time trying and too little time being and that's i's serious flaw. However, dismissing it entirely or dismissing the Family Curse would be a mistake. There's something there if only they can simply allow that to happen. Aside from one fantastic track, this record isn't very good, but this a band that clearly has a good record in them.

Satriani: 7/10
Zappa: 4/10
Dylan: 4/10
Aretha: 5/10
Overall: 4/10


If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.
Labels: 2009, 4, noise, review

Beware The Family Curse!

Beware The Family Curse
Posted in Uncategorized by mdouglasparish on September 28, 2009

Word came my way recently of a new band from Seattle called The Family Curse that sounds like a great return to raw ugliness and musical irresponsibility that’s been sorely missed in music for awhile now. Crowds have been nutty and wild like no other time thanks to dudes like Dan Deacon and Lightning Bolt, but somewhere along the line, sheer noise and terror that used to haunt noise-rock in the days of Jesus Lizard and Foetus gave way to what basically amounts to pop songs blasted through cheap equipment.

The Family Curse is holding onto the cheap equipment, thank you very much, but steps back into the times when sludgy feedback and delay pedal drones were more like unruly whips and chains than the chin-scratching, wine glass-clinking curios they’ve become lately (thanks, Radiohead, I guess?). They’ve taken those strobe lights back from the neo-disco basement dance parties and stuck them back in the moldy corners of a haunted house.

Which is to say, this band is scary. On their new album, White Medicine (Fainting Room Collective), I don’t know what they’re singing about, and the song titles offer little clue: “Sewing Box,” “Teen Challenge,” “Like Lightning?” But the gist is that these dudes (and very demented singer-lady) have thrown too much trash down the kitchen sink. There are scorched Ministry drum beats,way over-distorted guitars, and this beast Megan Tweed screaming and hollering like someon locked Karen O in a Port-a-John at Ozzfest.

They stick a 13-minute-long doomscape right up at the front of White Medicine that rolls over and over like a Goblin/Butthole Surfers mash-up. There are tracks that sound like they’d be bumper music on 1994-era MTV. There’s one track that sounds like a tape-spliced church organ and glass chimes ensemble for about three minutes. All sorts of stuff that just plain doesn’t fit. I was psyched.

Have never seen this band live, but would like to. They might very well be insane mega-douches that run around spilling things on you, spitting in your face and setting themselves on fire — let me know if they are! You’d almost want them to just to live up to this album.

I’m awaiting this band’s arrival on the East Coast some day. Till then, catch them on the West Coast.

GUMSHOW GROVE loves the family curse!

Thursday, September 10, 2009
The Family Curse - White Medicine - Fainting Room Collective [Album Review]

The Family Curse ... good god. When people tell me a band is "crazy" I usually chuckle to myself heartily and think about Edward Ka-Spel. That makes me feel better, usually ...

But in this case "crazy" is actually a fairly apt descriptor (hear it for yourself; listen to all 6 minutes of "Bodies in Rooms" for free over there ---->). The Family Curse are dollars-to-donuts one of the kookiest combos around, dealing in an unseemly din of death loops, car-crashing crescendos and hyper-banshee shrieks.

Roll Karen O and Get Hustle into a nice little spliff and you have the right idea, but that's only the beginning. Sprinkle in a liberal dose of Albini (song title "Big Black Mark" is a dead giveaway), along with some PRE, Jesus Lizard, Death Sentence: Panda, Blood Brothers, San Francisco's Pigeon, AIDS Wolf and maybe even some Sneaker Pimps every so often.

You're getting close but you're still not there. Thirteen-minute mega-jaunt "Back in the Water," in all its fireworks-in-your-face fury, is redolent of none of these bands, nor is "Exodus from the Birds in the Night," a picturesque drone with pics and hum-bars all over the place.

And Megan Tweed; a lot of times frontwomen of her stripe end up doing more harm than good, but she is an exception. There are times when the Groove calls for more room, room Tweed isn't willing to give, yet she never ceases to pull new rabbit tricks from her gorilla larynx.

Same goes for her band. All told, The Family Curse should probably tour with Gay Beast if they haven't already. There's a lot of creative synchronicity going on here. Not that they sound alike at all, more that they're both heavy without being metal, hardcore, punk or noise.

Let's call it post-junk.

Stoner Rock review of THE FAMILY CURSE

The Family Curse - White Medicine
Review by Nick DeMarino (
Fainting Room Collective
Release Date: October 2009

read article here on stoner rock

Seattle’s The Family Curse have a good thing going. Their baffling approach to rock renders des c r i p tion of their sound fairly difficult. As a hack reviewer, it’s tempting to describe a band by genre (garage plus early industrial plus pop plus glitch plus noise rock) or comparisons (AIDS Wolf meets Kraftwerk or Björk meets Arab on Radar), but the results of those tactics are too convoluted in this case. Instead let’s simply state there’re guitars, electronic drums, keyboards, distorted vocals, and plenty of post production, all put together by three individuals.

The group’s sophomore effort White Medicine is a mixture of earnest pop hooks (see “Big Black Mark,” and “Sewing Box”), noisy punk ejaculations (see “Teen Challenge,” “Like Lightning,” and “Laughing My Way to the Bank”), and industrial ballads (see “Back in the Water” and “Bodies in Rooms”). Megan Tweed’s vocals are all over the place, at times singing sweet melody, at others screeching indecipherable gibberish. She’s the crazy ex-girlfriend who once snapped a record in half and tried to stab you with it. A violin and French horn eek into the mix every now and again, most overtly on “Back in the Water” and “Bodies in Rooms.” The pair of songs offers the greatest variety of structures and dynamics and at a combined twenty minutes, makes up over half of the album. However, the best bang for your buck is the morbid, pint-size waltz “Laughing My Way to the Bank.” Anyone who wants to dance to this should probably be committed (or perhaps in a committed relationship with someone of like mind). If ultraviolent art rock is what you’re seeking, look no further; The Family Curse is waiting with open arms.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pictures of Then on MN's ONION in regards to music video

Vid Vs. Vid: Pictures Of Then
by Lara Avery
September 3, 2009

Local foursome Pictures Of Then released its second album, And The Wicked Sea, in July. Critical consensus indicates that the band's edgy throwback sound—channeling current indie greats like Dr. Dog and Wilco—will find an audience beyond its Minneapolis roots. The video for pseudo-title track "Wicked Sea" combines wide-eyed dolls in stop-motion animation with a trippy revenge storyline that strangely suits the song's restlessly poppy vibe. Of course, romantic tension can be difficult to create with plastic figurines. Compare the doll-on-doll dynamics between the "Wicked Sea" vid and a behind-the-scenes clip of High School Musical principles Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. (Pictures Of Then's next hometown gig is Sept. 11 at the Uptown Bar.) READ AND WATCH HERE