April 30, 2009

Why Do Some Men Do This?

A conversation with a spectacular lady friend last night got me thinking. As women who love music, are passionate about the subject, collect records, and have a decent working knowledge of music, we still find ourselves in the position where the occasional (more often than we care to admit) man we meet finds a way to insult us as not just women but as music fans.

I don’t know why this is but there are many dudes out there (my male friends excluded because they have NEVER made me feel this way) who seem to think they A) know everything there is to know about music B) owe it to the women in their lives to school us helpless females on “good” music or C) and this is the worse of the bunch, look at us in awe, like a baby taking their first steps when we – we being woman they are talking to- already know about whatever “obscure” band they are trying to impress us by name dropping. And FYI …more often than not we know more about the band than they do.

The fact that I inevitably own more music then these fellow record obsessed types is just a side bar to my eye rolling boredom and annoyance with these personality types.

I don’t understand why there are men out there who think the women they meet are lost sheep in need of a musical shepherd. Not only do we not need your lame insight thank you very much but we mock your pathetic ways when one awesome lady music fan meets up with another.

In hindsight this topic made me realize why I love working in a record store so much. It is the one place that I as a female record nerd am treated with respect. The simple positioning of me behind a counter at a killer music retailer guarantees the respect I often don’t get when I am at a bar or a show.

This is just another reason why I love record stores AND my friends who share my passion for music in a way that is never demeaning. I salute each and every one of you for this. You have no idea how much it means to me and the other fabulous ladies in your lives.

April 30, 2009 : Cause & Effect : Fundraiser Show


Well you know how this time of year works. Your favorite local community radio station begs you for some $$$ because without that green stuff they don't have a way to keep the station up and running. WRIR is no exception to this reality. We have the people power, amazing volunteers and talented on air folks with terrific radio shows, but the station still has bills to pay and without donations from our wonderful listeners we won't be able to keep the station going. You are bright people, you get the picture, and I know this is all stuff you have heard a billion times before.

You can call in and donate the old fashioned way during our show tonight or donate on line at wrir.org. We are on from 7PM to 9PM tonight and you can stream our show online or at 97.3 if you live in RVA.

Our fundraiser show will have more talking than usual (asking for money takes up air time, ha!) so we opted to do mini C&E sets - three songs featuring the classic show formula of tracing one band to another. IE : The Ramones to The Nerves to No Age. I read an interview with No Age that talked about their obsession with The Nerves and how that seeped in to their recording session for the last record Nouns. The Nerves in turn were heavily inspired by The Ramones and there you have it, a mini Cause & Effect set.

April 29, 2009

I forgot how great this song is....

Thanks for the reminder K to the C.

April 27, 2009

Jeremy Enigk / OK Bear

Artist - Jeremy Enigk
Title - OK Bear
Hometown - Seattle, WA
Label - Lewis Hallow Recordings
Street Date - May 12, 2009
RILY - Sunny Day Real Estate, Jeremy Enigk past solo records
The Hits - In like a lion (1-4) and out like a lamb (5-12)
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Major

Let me get this out of the way first. I am a long time Sunny Day fan. I own all their records, have seen them countless number of times, and am blessed to have been friends with and played music with a member back in the day. I however lost track of the band in their Fire Theft stage and truthfully only listened to the first solo record by Jeremy. The second record slipped by me and here I am what feels like nearly a lifetime later sitting with the third and yet to be released newest Jeremy Enigk solo record called OK Bear. (an English translation of what he thought were made up Spanish words that didn't mean anything but actually meant ok bear.)

I think for any of us who feel raised on SDRE (and like them) there is an undeniable and instant comfort in hearing Jeremy's voice again riding out the full dynamic range of lullabies and dynamic melodies that surge and crest into enormous crashing choruses. His voice is as strong as ever - especially with the opening tracks "Mind Idea", "Late of Camera", and "Life's too Short" and if you had told me this was a new Sunny Day record, I would probably believe it. Listen to those choruses build and tell me differently. (although for you hardcore fans it is clearly not William on drums - Victor Garcia delivers a more finessed hit rather than atom bomb strikes to the kit) I think back to how my parents felt about hearing John Lennon's voice in a solo capacity and the bliss it gave them as lifelong Beatles fan. I can say I finally understand what they were experiencing.

Lyrically we still have hard to pin down themes but again, any SDRE will know this to be his trademark style with hints of a man on an ongoing spiritual journey without beating you on the head with any outright religious sermons. As a woman who has been quoted in Pitchfork for liking "a little less God in my rock", it should mean something when I say Jeremy's melody choices, song structures, production choices, and sincere vocal performances overshadow anything that screams emoting Christian artist.

The line up for OK Bear features a line up that reflects the fact that it was recorded in Barcelona, Spain so while all songs are still written by Enigk, the players are Spanish and not a parade of A-list American indie rock stars or ex SDRE members ("The musicians include Santi García (producer, guitar), Victor García (drums), Ricky Falkner (producer, bass, guitar, keyboards) and Ramón Rodriguez of the notable Spanish bands Standstill, No More Lies, and Madee" The instrumentation is just shy of epic (the press announcements describe this record as a minimalist rock combo) so while yes, there is just guitar, bass, piano, and drums, there are additional layers of horn, percussion, and xylophone which help to fill out nearly every song. The trick is that as each song moves from verse to chorus they rise and fall, pulse in such extraordinary ways, that even as a more stripped down band with production choices that stray away from trying to be Coldplay, the songs never sound thin or lacking.

OK Bear has moved into my very short list of top 10 records of the year and I think since it made it onto my stereo yesterday I have already listened to this thing a good 5 or 6 times. In fact I can't think of many new records I have decided to really make the effort to sing the praises of this year no less have played back to back more than once. 2009 is looking up.



I picked up this LP a few weeks back and am LOVING it. Check out the single below.

For a little more about this super talented but still relatively unknown soul duo, check out this Funky 16 Corners post.

April 24, 2009

Sick Day

Allergies? Cold? Flu? Whatever. I feel like crap. Back on Monday.

April 23, 2009

Thursday April 23 : Cause and Effect : Coachella

In celebration of everyone's favorite music fest held on a polo field in the desert, we will be featuring many of the artists who took stage at Coachella 2009. No need to bake in the sun or wait in a long line for over priced food/drinks , you can enjoy these artists from the comfort of your own home or wherever you may be listening.

If you aren't familiar with Coachella - check out their site here.

Tonight from 7PM to 9PM on Cause & Effect you can expect to hear music by: Lykke Li, A Place to Bury Strangers, Kala, MBV, Crystal Castles, Vivian Girls, Fucked Up, M. Ward, The Horrors, Superchunk, Gang Gang Dance, and oooohhhh so much more.

You can listen on the dial in RVA at 97.3 LP FM or at http://www.wrir.org/

PS: As an extra bonus because I am sick sick sick today there won't be nearly as much chatting during the show and when I do talk everything comes out clumsy and muddled. Good stuff.

N.P.R. shout out to the WU

N.P.R. traces the history of an iconic sample.


April 22, 2009

Mini Reviews Part 3

Artist - Bat For Lashes
Title - Two Suns
Hometown - UK
Label - Astralwerks
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Kate Bush, Scott Walker, Fever Ray
The Hits - Glass, Sleep Alone, Moon and Moon, Siren Sing, The Big Sleep
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review - No sophomore slump here, Natasha Khan delivers a potent modern day take on Kate Bush... spinning musical tales so epic, mystical, and stunning that the legendary Scott Walker found her worthy enough to make an appearance by closing out the record with her. Light on percussion, big on piano / keyboard – the star here is still the vocals which haunt and cast a spell with each new song.

Artist - Matteah Baim
Title - Laughing Boy
Hometown - NYC
Label - Dicristina Stair
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Metallic Falcons, arty girls who would shun you at bars and don't go to the parties you go to, CocoRosie, Nico
The Hits - I didn't pull anything off this record after reviewing it for the station for my own personal enjoyment.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review- One half of the duo Metallic Falcons with Sierra Casady of CocoRosie – this performance artist gone solo singer offers us her second album. Psychedelic landscapes are painted with strings, keyboards and layers of her hushed vocals – like a more whimsical but no more melodic Nico. Highlighting the tracks of just tambourine or someone whistling, her experiments often fall flat but buried between the experimental leanings are some moments of greatness. The problem is most people won’t have the patience to find them.

Artist - Metric
Title - Fantasies
Hometown - The Great White North
Label - Last Gang Records
Street Date - April 14th 2009
RIYL - Ladytron, Stars, Emily Haines
The Hits - Collect Call if I had to pick one
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review - Its frustrating to me to have such a gifted singer buried under mediocre lyrics and super commercial sounding indie rock dance pop songs that could have just as easily been handed over to Madonna. Heavily produced and studio perfect, what is left behind is a painfully well executed record without any of the passion. Ladytron, Stars, or Feist. Sure they are all part of the same peer group but the difference is Metric has cashed in the grit and went mainstream to the point of car commercial banal.

Artist - The Decemberists
Title - The Hazards of Love
Hometown - Portland, OR
Label - Capital
Street Date - Now
RIYL - The Decemberists, heavy handed narrative tales, prop-rock
The Hits - A Bower Scene, Isn't it a Lovely Night, The Abduction of Margaret, The Queen's Rebuke, Margaret in Captivity
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review - : A concept album. There I said it. Consider yourself warned. Those three words are enough to scare away most rock fans but for you long time Decemberists fans you will be faced with a seriously dense listen and probably their heaviest record to date all trapped within the walls of a tight narrative. It is difficult to just pull tracks as this record is really a book filled with chapters that fall short when removed from the bigger picture. One last thing – this sounded like Trail of the Dead performing Shakespeare. Cool?

Artist - Peter Bjorn and John
Title - Living Thing
Hometown - Sweden
Label - AG / Star
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Being let down in a big way
The Hits - and an 's' to hit
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Light
Mini Review - I don’t know what to say other than this might be my first big disappointment of the year. I LOVED PBJ up until now, especially their last release but Living Thing is a flat out failure. Zero hooks, no personality to be found, these new songs come across with the unfinished feel of demos. Let me put it this way, it was nearly impossible to pick songs I TRULY recommend. Blargh, what a bummer.

Artist - Richard Swift
Title - The Atlantic Ocean
Hometown - Cali
Label - Secretly Canadian
Street Date - Now
RIYL- See review
The Hits - Meh.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate
Mini Review - Jaunty light hearted piano ballads are the norm on Richard’s Swifts 4th release. M Ward lite anyone? Jamie Lidell on a carousel?

April 21, 2009

Photos of Record Dealers by B+

Thanks for tip Baconfat!

Extraordinary Records

A new Taschen picture book featuring "the 400 most remarkable vinyl artifacts ever produced" as shared by some of the world's most famous record collectors.

April 20, 2009

Magic Bullet Frisbee Team

AKA Golden City + Forensics + Ringfinger + Beth.

And Delaware.... we are not on speaking terms and am confused by your adamant anti-pork status and old school hole in the floor toilet.

I don't care what people say...

those Forensics dudes are good looking.

Stomping Grounds : Lancaster PA

This is where I played Saturday night at 2:30 in the AM. Thanks to all who waited it out and watched! The bill was GREAT ...Snowing, Golden City, and crap....there was one more brilliant band on the bill and I can't recall their name. Somebody remind me!

The whole night was like being in a time machine. It felt like 1993 again in the best DIY house show kind of way possible.

To the left is the brick tunnel you take to get to the basement of the Stomping Grounds.

Thi s is a look from the back of the room. Close quaterters and cozi-riffic.

On the wall at Mr Suit in Lancaster : CLASSIC

April 17, 2009

Friday Flashcard : Not Exactly Name That Metal Band

This logo pretty much says it all - "metal" versions of classic hardcore ala Minor Threat and Youth of Today.
Check out their songs:


April 16, 2009

April 16, 2009: Cause & Effect : The Black Keys

Tonight on Cause & Effect we will be exploring the blues rock anthems of The Black Keys including the bands they claim to be influenced by as well as the modern groups found in their peer group.

Listen in from 7PM to 9PM tonight as we play music by The Gories, Hendrix, The Sonics, Zep, Otis Redding, Howlin' Wolf, Link Wray, Stanley Bros, Ike Turner, Devo, Jon Spencer, Wolfmother, and more!

WRIR LP 97.3FM on your dial (If you live in RVA) or you can stream us on http://www.wrir.org/.

April 14, 2009

Pretty & Nice Tour Dates

I heart this band and wish everyone would check them out live. So good, so very good.

Pretty & Nice

04.14.09 - Detroit, MI - Trowbridge House of
04.15.09 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
04.16.09 - Springfield, MO - Nathan P. Murphy's
04.17.09 - St. Louis, MO - The Firebird
04.18.09 - Lawrence, KS - Jackpot Saloon
04.19.09 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
04.20.09 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
04.23.09 - Seattle, WA - Holy Mountain
04.24.09 - Sacramento, CA - Blue Lamp
04.25.09 - Santa Cruz, CA - Zami Co-op
04.26.09 - Los Angeles, CA - Knitting Factory
04.28.09 - Phoenix, AZ - Modified
04.30.09 - Austin, TX - Emo's
05.01.09 - Houston, TX - Super Happy Fun Land
05.02.09 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
05.04.09 - Birmingham, AL - TBA
05.05.09 - Florida TBA
05.06.09 - Florida TBA
05.07.09 - Florida TBA
05.08.09 - Florida TBA
05.09.09 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
05.10.09 - Charlotte, NC - Milestone
05.11.09 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland
05.12.09 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
05.13.09 - Wilmington, NC - Soapbox Laundro Lounge
05.14.09 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
05.15.09 - Philadelphia, PA - TBA
05.16.09 - Washington, DC - Rock N Roll Hotel
06.05.09 - Boston, MA - TT the Bears $

Mini Reviews : Part 2

Artist - An Horse
Title - Rearrange Beds
Hometown - Australia
Label - Mom + Pop
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - Liz Phair, Sleater Kinney, Team Dresch, Rainer Maria
The Hits - Postcards, Horizons, Scared as Fuck
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate to Strong
Mini Review - Aweeeeee – it’s a throwback to mid 90’s girl fronted emo minimal-ish indie rock ALA Rainer Maria or early K / Kill Rock Stars stuff. I won’t say this is for everyone but for those of you who share a weak spot for post hardcore lead by a lady, then I bet you will like these songs too.

Artist - Iran
Title - Dissolver
Hometown - NYC
Label - Narnack
Street Date - Now
RIYL - TV On The Radio,
The Hits - I Can See the Future
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate
Mini Review -This is their third full length and is probably best known for being an off shoot of TV on the Radio as this NYC three piece includes Kyp Malone but truthfully that is about the most exciting thing I can say about the record. This once lo-fi experimental band has stepped up to the sonic plate in addition to writing more focused songs but somehow in this growing process they lost the edge that drew me to them in the first place. I am however super stoked on the Black Metal movie that Iran's member Aaron is working on. http://www.blackmetalmovie.com/

Artist - Balky Mule
Title - The Length of the Rail
Hometown - UK
Label - Fatcat
Street Date - Now
RIYL - Knowing where Syd Barret lives
The Hits - Wireless, Chalk, Range, Illuminated Numbers, Paper Crane
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review -Wow – it took 8 years for Sam Jones of Flying Saucer Attack / Third Eye Foundation to release a new record and it is worth the wait, assuming you like the vocal stylings of Syd Barrett, TVP, or Ray Davies. It also carries the charm and clumsiness of Pavement but placed within a more electronic setting. Occasionally far out folk, all in all this is a perfectly imperfect GREAT record.

Artist - Fever Ray
Title - S/T
Hometown - Sweden
Label - Mute
Street Date - Now
RIYL - The Knife, Kate Bush, Bats for Lashes
The Hits - This record requires a full listen and shouldn't be broken down into parts.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Strong
Mini Review: Important to note : this is the debut solo release by Karin Drejer Andersson who is one half of the The Knife. We have her in a more stripped down atmosphere with brooding stark 80’s industrial dance beats and lyrics focusing on every day things.

April 13, 2009

Mini Reviews : Part 1

My blog is showing the ripple effects of A) me not having a job and no longer getting an endless stream of new CDs. B) no job for several months + minuscule unemployment check = no money to buy new music C) having a weekly radio show that requires intense focus on one artist at a time.

I am however lucky enough to get a small handfull of new releases to review for the radio station so I thought I would run down a quick list of some of those titles here.

Artist - Crystal Antlers
Title - Tentacles
Hometown - Long Beach, CA
Label - Touch and Go
Street Date -Out Now
RIYL - Kick out the jams motherfucker, early Whigs, Anastasia Screamed (if you know this band - I love you)
The Hits - Dust, Tentacles, Memorized
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate to strong
Mini Review - Early Afghan Whigs had they taken the brown acid. The worst part about the record is the trendy band name.

Artist - Telekinesis
Title - S/T
Hometown - Seattle
Label - Merge
Street Date- Out now
RIYL - being disappointed by Merge occasionally
The Hits - that would be stretching the truth.
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - moderate
Mini Review - Telekinesis is basically a one man band from Seattle who recorded with Chris Walla from Death Cab. No shocker here, this sounds like a catchy indie pop record made by someone from the Northwest who clearly likes the way Ben Gibbard and company writes songs. Safe and non offensive, this is an indie rock record that the silver set (AKA your rents) could probably enjoy too.

Artist - Pan American
Title - White Bird Release
Hometown - Chicago, IL
Label - Kranky
Street Date- Out now
RIYL - the 5 other Pan American records
Hits -I appreciate this record but nothing exactly screams hit to me
Richter Magnitude Rating Scale - Moderate
Mini Review : White Bird Release isn’t a significant detour from Pan American’s previous five albums. Dreamy, spacey, hushed, soundscapey…all the usual suspects are in place.

April 9, 2009

April 9th, 2009: Cause & Effect : Stereolab

Fresh on the heels of the press announcement that Stereolab will be going on a hiatus, tonight on Cause & Effect we will be tracing the rich influences of the group. Stereolab is ideal for our show because the band has such been incredibly vocal and open about the music that influences their songwriting and in turn there is an ocean of material to pull from. Keeping that in mind we decided to play just songs from the incredibly large Stereolab catalog and the music they have been inspired by, skipping the peer group and sound-a-like angle.

This has been a dream show for me as a record nerd so it is exciting to have a chance to play such a wide variety of music such as Neu, Faust, Sun Ra, Brigitte Fontaine, Yoko Ono, Don Cherry, Suicide, The Velvets and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Join us tonight from 7PM to 9PM on www.wrir.or or if you live in RVA 97.3 on your dial.

April 8, 2009

The Lollipop Shoppe / Just Colour

Son of a bitch.

I picked up this reissue record for the cover alone but the second the music started pouring out of my speakers I knew this had to be some sort of pre Dead Moon band and I am cursing because I can't believe I didn't know about this record sooner. Fred Cole from Dead Moon has such an incredibly specific - frantic intense voice - that there really is no mistaking him for anyone else.

And holy fuck I am glad I found this record which much to my amazement doesn't carry a sticker anywhere on it that calls out the fact that Dead Moon fans should rejoice upon hearing this fantastic slab of wax. And once again - zero liner notes. Hmph!

Just Colour was released in 1968 (their only release) and while the name of the band, The Lollipop Shoppe, might trick some into thinking this would be a fluffy sunshine pop record, it is really anything but. The title of the first track on the record offers a perfect hint of what kind of material you can actually expect and "You Must Be a Witch" kicks of the record with monstrous roar. While there some soft moments to be found on this record they all seem to fit perfectly and build tension / momentum to the points where the band unravels into a frenzy of psych rock perfection.

I really can't believe I am so late to the party on this record. I am shaking my head at myself as I type this.

April 7, 2009

Out Today!

Available as a limited CD (100 hand numbered) via www.littleblackcloudrecords.com or through your favorite digital store.

You can also stream tracks from the record on the label.com too.

May tour dates with Ringfinger to be announced soon.

Did you know....

Actor Don Johnson of Miami Vice fame was once the singer in a Los Angeles late 60's hippy psych rock band (with country over tones) called Horses. There is a CD reissue floating around and I just saw that Anthology Recordings has it available in digital form now too. Anthology has snippets up of every song on the record so check out a very young (a mere 18 years old) Sonny Crockett.

April 5, 2009

Very Limited Ringfinger CD : OUT NOW

Limited to a mere 100 - this is a very special DIY pressing. It comes in a red bag with the CD of Decimal, a lightning bolt track listing, black number paper, a little book, a coaster with album art hand signed and numbered by me, an origami prize, and it was all put together by hand by just me.

You can buy it from our record label web store. Go to http://www.littleblackcloudrecords.com/

Also available now from our label is our first proper release, Fits & Cycles on CD by Cinemasophia. You can buy it on line from our .com too and it is also limited to just 100 and hand numbered. The LP street date is still TBD.

One last thing. I believe Magic Bullet is repressing my LP so the first pressing of 500 is sold out in most places. I think we have just a few of the original pressing left at our web store.

April 4, 2009

Thank You

Pictures from my first Ringfinger show in RVA...4.3.09....at the Sound Of Music Studio.

April 3, 2009


Special Guest : Stephen Brodsky - he will be singing two songs with me tonight.

April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009 : Cause & Effect : MACRoCk

This weekend, starting tomorrow, marks the start of another MACRoCk Festival held at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA. This April tradition began in 1997 and it put together by the University's radio station (student run) WXJM. The fest includes a variety of shows happening each night in several different venues but includes several other aspects ranging from a label expo to panels relating back to indie music.

For full details about this year's fest including band set time's and show locations go here.

Maybe it's just me but this year's collection of bands playing the fest seem to be especially Virginia-centric so we thought it might be a nice change of pace for our radio show to highlight some of our favorite groups playing MACRoCk this year, many of whom are local to our region.

Tonight's 7PM - 9PM set will include songs by: Eternal Summers, Antlers, Slingshot Dakota, Algernon Cadwallader, Just Die, Young Widows, Cinemasophia, Medications, Josh Small, and as the saying goes....a whole lot more.

Listen the old fashion way on your dial at 97.3 FM or at www.wrir.org

April 1, 2009


My favorite girl group from Sweden have a new song posted on their MySpace page called "All At Once" and it appears their full length will be coming from Slumberland in May.