Sunday, September 30, 2007

Trembling Blue Stars

So I've been in bed with a cold for most of the past week and haven't really thought much about posting music. Recently, a few strong recommendations for today's artist were thrown my way so I mustered up the energy to pay attention for a few moments. Glad I did. Judging by the number of previous releases and myspace page views, I can probably guess it a safe bet that some of you have heard or are at least aware of this band. In case you are not familiar, Trembling Blue Stars are an experimental indie pop outfit from Brighton, UK consisting of founder Bobby Wratten (guitar, vocals), Keris Howard (bass), Beth Arzy (vocals) and Jonathan Akerman (drums, percussion). This music project, and subsequent band, began as the solo undertaking of Wratten in 1995. For those who remember the few good artists who ended up inhabiting the Sarah Records lineup during the late 1980's, Bobby Wratten's previous incarnation with The Field Mice might ring a few bells. In 1996 Trembling Blue Stars began releasing albums through UK based LTM Recordings (LTM Myspace) and have continued more recently as a part of Spanish label Elefant Records (Elefant Myspace). The latest full length offering titled The Last Holy Writer was made available earlier this year and is receiving plenty of critical praise. This track is beautiful...have a listen.

MP3: Say Goodbye To The Sea

As if the xylophone and warmly expressive cello line in that song were not enough, there is another track titled November Starlings from the latest release in the form of a Youtube video featured below. Also be sure to visit the Trembling Blue Stars Myspace page for more information and music. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

MML: Weekend Milk Mixer (Vol. 1)

There is supposedly the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US taking place this weekend here in Cincinnati, Ohio. Unfortunately for my liver, we reside two blocks from this giant festival and will need to set new records in the beer drinking department. For this reason, we will deviate from our usual fare in order to present an assortment of music for your listening pleasure. All of the bands we've featured this time are worthy of a full review on MML and I plan on getting to some of them in the coming weeks. For now, enjoy a random sample of what we have been listening to lately and be sure to check into some of the links for more information and good music.

Rebecca Scott

We originally featured the music of Chicago shoegaze two-some Panda Riot at the end of last year [November 2006 Review + download.] Rebecca Scott is half of that duo and has recorded a really nice cover of The Magnetic Fields song "Book Of Love" from the 1999 69 Love Songs trilogy. Expect new music from Panda Riot very soon.

MP3: Book Of Love (Magnetic Fields Cover)

The Dora Steins

Another great band from Sweden? I think you can safely place that bet. To check out more upbeat and really good music, stop in for a visit to The Dora Steins Myspace page. They also have an official website for additional information. If you like this song, it is very important that you visit Ramp Music to vote for the band. Just skip the intro page and it only takes a minute. We just voted!!

MP3: Didn't We Have Fun

The Jealous Girlfriends

This Brooklyn, New York outfit is receiving praise from all corners of the music blogosphere and for good reason. Our first feature of this band was posted this past January 2007 All of the links you will need are there. This is a definite favourite.

MP3: The Pink Wig To My Salieri

Black Tambourine

Thought I'd throw in a classic from Slumberland Records for good measure. This track was released in November of 1991 as part of the four song 7 inch single titled By Tomorrow. Band members Brian Nelson and Archie Moore were also both a part of Velocity Girl at various points in time.

MP3: Black Car

The How

Another, more recent artist from Slumberland Records. I have to admit, I know absolutely nothing about this band aside from the fact that they sound just like The How... I mean The Who. You get it, ah? This song was released in September of 2006 as part of a 7 inch single titled Happy Matt.

MP3: I Was A Boy


Film is a band from Athens, Greece that I have been meaning to feature for quite some time. If you appreciate female vocal fitness that brings to mind Kate Bush, this song will instantly have you melting where you stand. Some of the other material from this band is more guitar based and I hope to feature that aspect of their sound very soon. There is a Film Myspace as well as a Film Website for you to look into. Great stuff.

MP3: Alarm

Fundias and The Medium Mindblowers

When I tell you this band is from Sweden, you might guess that a sweet pop song is coming your way? Guess again my friend. This is straight forward indie rock with plenty of energy. The lyrics are Swedish language but for some reason it really doesn't matter at all. There is more raucous yet outstanding music to be heard on the Fundias and The Medium Mindblowers Myspace page as well as their website.

MP3: Smebacker

Vox Von Braun

Ok, I saved something really good for last this time around. The sound is luxuriously gritty and might bring to mind a favourite moment or two from the back catalogue of The Jesus and Mary Chain. Vox Von Braun is from Groningen, Netherlands and is signed to one of our new favorites in local label Subroutine Records. Have a listen, then pay a visit to the Vox Von Braun Myspace page for more music.

MP3: Lord Of Pesetas

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Snow Coloured Kid

Last week we featured indie pop artist Ragnhild Hogstad Jordahl who has a previously released EP through Limoges, France based Anorak Records. While poking around on the Anorak MySpace page for more information, we found another musician that piqued our interest. After checking around a bit more, we discovered a recent review on Indie MP3 and were amazed that we neglected to listen on one of our regular visits. Snow Coloured Kid is the one man music project of Anssi Konttinen from Kotka, Finland along with three additional musicians/friends to round out the full band. The track featured today belongs to a self titled debut EP that was released April 2007 through the above mentioned Anorak Records. For some reason, the song structure here kind of reminds me of Game Theory's 1986 album Big Shot Chronicles and that is more than a good thing... however random the comparison may seem. For more music we can easily recommend from the EP, and to send a compulsory friend request, visit the Snow Coloured Kid MySpace page. It's all very good.

MP3: I Hope You're On My Side

As an added bonus, the following is a 2006 untitled demo track from Snow Coloured Kid that just so happens to be another excellent guitar pop song.

MP3: Untitled (Demo 2006)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Sugarettes

One of the first artists we featured to kick off 2007 was an excellent indie rock quartet from the Netherlands [January 07 review + download]. The track posted then was part of a 4 song EP, Sugarette City, by a band that had us hoping they would follow through with their promise of a full length release by year's end. As our good fortune would have it, a brand new offering is now complete and will be available in only a matter of days. As mentioned in our previous review, The Sugarettes are a four piece outfit consisting of members Joep van Son (guitar/vocals/melodies), Iskaa (vocals/guitar/), Marnix van den Broek (percussion/programming/vibes) and Cox Dieben (bass/vibes) from Eindhoven, Netherlands. Each of the members have been performing in various local/regional bands for years (most notably Iskaa with her current mainstay Foam) and have recently found a collective home for their brand of energetic indie rock.

Love and Other Perversities
is the title of the new album which is set to be released through Groningen based label Subroutine Records (Subroutine MySpace) who added the band to their lineup earlier this year. Production duties were handled by Lucien Kleintjens of another local music project, Bad Cheetah. After first listening to the two new tracks featured today, it was easy to realize this new material as an impressive and natural extension of the previous EP. As the spirited cheer that begins Ready Steady winds itself into the body of the song, it becomes evident that the Sugarettes are willing to depart from the early 90s sound that is threaded so nicely through much of their music. Enola Gay (don't worry, it is not a cover of that awful OMD song from 1980) brings the band back to familiar ground as strong hints of sonicyouthesque goodness prevail. If these two songs are any indication, the new release will be a treat. Take a listen...

MP3: Ready Steady
MP3: Enola Gay

The CD release party will serve as the band's next live performance date as they travel 2 hours north to Groningen venue Vera Club on October 4th. For more music and information, visit both The Sugarettes MySpace page and The Sugarettes website. This band is highly recommended.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Soda Fountain Rag

Photo by Eirik Lande

Ok, how much fun is this indie pop song? While this is a only brief track at just over two minutes, it serves to extend my sense of summer that will be sorely missed in a few short weeks... and besides, I've always been a sucker for the kazoo. Soda Fountain Rag is primarily the one woman music project of Ragnhild Hogstad Jordahl from Bergen, Norway. The music is produced by Anders Kaasen who also assists (guitar) along with Lars Jakob Stava (bass) on stage for the live performance dates. There is previous material to check out including an EP from French based Anorak Records (Anorak MySpace), a full length album on Italian label My Honey (My Honey MySpace) as well as an upcoming fall release by way of Ireland's Yesboyicecream Records (Yesboy MySpace). For more studio recorded and live music, pay a visit to the Soda Fountain Rag MySpace page. There is also an Soda Fountain Rag NRK Urørt profile with a ton of downloads if you click where is says "Last Ned" on each song. Oddly but nicely enough, some of the other tracks I listened to brought to mind Claudia Gonson and her initial offerings via Future Bible Heroes. The next live show will be this Saturday, 15 September 2007, in Copenhagen at the Kaninkanon 5 indie pop festival.

MP3: Red Tape

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MML Pop Quiz: The Original Shoegazers?

Before the term shoegazers first was coined by the NME and soon adopted widely by the British music press, there were a handful of bands that most now consider the precursors to that specific genre. While I believe that the swirling guitars of American bands who gained exposure in the UK during the mid 80s (Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du) were heavy handed fuel for the original sound, the pre-existing structure that would shape this new movement most definitely evolved within the UK. The "mystery track" featured today was released in March 1985, around four years before the original joking mention of the term shoegazers, as part of a four song EP by a band most of you know... We were revisiting some music over a couple of beers the other night, and had to double check our home audio system to make sure this was the same band we had originally chosen. The track and/or artist will be easy for some of you to identify while others of you might require a few additional listens.

Can any of you name the artist? Extra points for the title of this amazing instrumental song...

MP3: March 1985 - Mystery Shoegaze Track

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hate Everything You Hate

The days are ending earlier as the boil of summer makes way for the promise of a dank new season. I can almost taste my past as the leaves change colors around me and music is no exception to this phenomenon. For some strange reason, I associate shoegaze with Autumn, so today's raw demo makes for a perfect start to this brand new week in September. Hate Everything You Hate is the one man, DIY music project of 33 year old Tsuyoshi from Tokyo, Japan. When listening to the new demo track Kisses Bloomed we have featured today, you might notice a traditional take on footware fixation accompanied by a sonic boom lowered through your chest via Tsuyoshi's bass guitar. If this is a demo, I can't wait to listen to the finished product. For more music, information and to add a new friend, visit the Hate Everything you Hate MySpace page. There is also an HEYH Audioleaf profile with an older song. This is good stuff... take a listen.

MP3: Kisses Bloomed

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Elle s'appelle

The last time we visited the Merseyside area of northwest England for music, we were delighted to find a band whose presence has since received plenty of attention [July 2006 review + download]. This time around we have another wonderful find in a guitarless trio of artists who might just be the new darlings of an area that is constantly submerged in great musical offerings. Elle s'appelle is a three piece pop outfit consisting of members Andrew Donovan (vocals,bass), Lucy Blakeley (keyboards,vocals) and Owen Cox (drums) from Liverpool UK. For additional tracks and the band's live performance schedule, stop in for a visit to the Elle s'appelle MySpace page. Since they have yet to create an official website that I am aware of, the most updated information you can find is available on their MySpace blog. Elle s'appelle plays tomorrow night at local Liverpool venue Barfly (formerly The Masque). I would love to see this band live.

MP3: She Sells Sea Shells

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Red Fox Grey Fox

It's been forever since I visited some of my own favorite music blogs, so it was decided to make the rounds on a couple of occasions last week. One of the more fortunate of these adventures was to MFR where I found plenty of good stuff including today's featured artist. Red Fox Grey Fox is a pop threaded, indie rock quartet consisting of Peter Miller (vocals, guitar, keys), Jeremiah Satterthwaite (guitar, keys), Stephen Lindquist (drums, keys) and Benjamin Pien (bass guitar, keys) from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band's new full length CD From The Land Of Bears, Ice and Rock was made available August 7 through Minneapolis based Say Rah Records (Say Rah MySpace) which is an branch of parent (and equally good) label Afternoon Records. When listening to the lead track Building A Building, the first thing you might notice is Peter Miller's unique vocal tone. His range is an amazing treat that lends a refreshing departure from many artists the band lists as being influential to their sound. Somewhere around the 1:50 mark of this song, the band jumps into a beautiful gallop that had me hooked for repeated listens. If you would like additional info, upcoming live dates and more great music, check out the Red Fox Grey Fox MySpace page. This new release deserves a high recommendation from MML... quite addictive, don't you think?

MP3: Building A Building

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Nyles Lannon

N. Lannon, or Nyles Lannon, is an artist we have been following for quite some time. In case you are not familiar, Nyles was once the guitarist/frontman for San Francisco, California based outfit Film School. Beyond his departure from that ongoing project, there are a couple of solo releases that serve to highlight his penchant for both experimental electronica and folk guitar (folktronica). The combination of these two styles are rarely presented in a manner that we can recommend for listening, but whenever Mr. Lannon comes out with new music we are prepared for something exceptional. The upcoming full length, 11 track CD Pressure will be available September 18 through the Badman Recording Co. (Badman MySpace). You can also get your hands on this gem (and it is all very good) via CD Baby. For more music and September live performance dates, stop in for a visit to the N. Lannon MySpace page There are also downloads available on the N. Lannon website. The following is a YouTube video of Hollow Heart from the 2004 release Chemical Friends.

From the upcoming Sept. 18, 2007 release "Pressure":
MP3: Next Obsession

From the 2004 released "Chemical Friends":
MP3: Demons

From the 2004 released "Astronomy For Children":
MP3: This Morning