Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Soda Shop

Soda Shop is the Brooklyn, New York collaboration of musicians Drew Diver, from Horse Shoes [featured here in September 2009], and Maria Usbeck of Selebrities who have recently completed a pair of songs which are set for release as a single through international label Shelflife Records in January of 2011. Just in time for blustery winter days, Soda Shop provides a warm interpretation of sparse 1960s pop, with Maria's beautifully distant vocals accented by a tambourine and bells to touch each flake of snow landing on our windowsill. Have a listen while we happily pop our caps and slip straws into glass bottles... lovely song.

MP3: Farewell

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Often times, we have the fortunate opportunity to re-visit previously featured musicians and the various new endeavors or directions they decide to explore. In the case of today's MML offering, we find ourselves with a compelling debut single that might just send a few chills up the spine for those familiar with the artists involved. Morpheme is a brand new transatlantic collaboration of Chicago, Illinois duo Perry Pelonero and Kim Welsh from long-time shoegaze outfit Skylight as well as their current band Bliss City East and London, UK musician/programmer Dean Garcia of Curve (yes, that Curve) who also has a lovely trio of his own in SPC ECO. The newly released single, simply titled Infection, presents the perfect combination of danceable dream-pop and swirling guitars that both seem to beg for ear-bleed volume levels. Perfectly suitable for cocktails by a strobe-lit dance floor or resting the side of your head against a billowing stage amplifier, Morpheme provides a glimpse into the endless possibilities that could and should stem from this formidable introduction. We look forward to more from this music project... much more.

The song for you.

MP3: Infection

Related MML Features:

Skylight: March 2008
Skylight: September 2008
Bliss City East: December 2008
Bliss City East: May 2009
Bliss City East: April 2010

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Tomihira: Blackout EP

MML Quick Trivia:
Q: The very first artist ever to send a physical copy of music to MML?
A: You guessed it... Tomihira.

Nearly five years ago, we excitedly opened our first envelope to find music that would end up forming a long-distance and continuing bond with today's featured artist. For those not familiar, Tomihira is the aptly-named music project of San Francisco, California songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Dean Tomihira, who we first reviewed in March 2006 with a track from his incredible full-length album Play Dead. After following up in May 2006, then again in March 2008 with updated music, a prolonged silence settled in that had us both wondering... where is Dean? Rest assured, we've found our old friend and there is now a brand new release we can enthusiastically shout from rooftops about. Blackout EP is an upcoming mini-collection of four beautiful songs that will be made available for early 2011 consumption through a label not yet disclosed. A mystery for all at this point. As an exclusive preview, we bring you a first listen to one of our favourite songs from the EP...

Exclusive MP3: Flutterbie

With noticeable additions in electronic accompaniment, crisp new acoustics and moments of borderline-shoegaze layered guitars, Tomihira manages to exceed any relevance-factor, evolving without losing a single ounce of the original sound we first fell in love with. However smitten we are with Blackout EP, the mere thought of these tracks serving as firm footing towards a possible 2011 long-player is enough to keep our collective imagination rolling for quite some time. The next live performance takes place this very evening as Dean Tomihira takes the stage along with percussionist Markkus Rovito at Seattle, Washington venue The Josephine. As if you needed any more convincing, we also have a few previous recordings to share. Enjoy and stay in touch for updates as soon as the new EP drops.

From the New Order tribute album Community 2 (2006)
MP3: Mr. Disco

From the release Play Dead (2005)
MP3: World Class
MP3: Pillbox

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Clara Clara: Comfortable Problems LP

Admittedly, our updates on the various music projects of Lyon, France based multi-instrumentalist François Virot have been scarce in recent years. With an original review of his solo material in December 2006 and follow up for today's long-time collaboration in October 2007, our last mention happened back in April 2008. History out of the way, there is now a recent development and good reason for close listening to report. Clara Clara is the French trio of Charles Virot (bass), Amélie Lambert (bontempi keyboard) and, of course, François Virot (drums, vocals) who have released a new collection of eight impressive songs, titled Comfortable Problems, through Paris label Clapping Music just last month. Evolving from the lo-fi sounds of their earliest recordings, Clara Clara now seems to cast a vaudevillian atmosphere where distressed, travel-worn musical instruments leap from dusty cases to frolic through the night in raucous celebration. Guided by varied stiff beats and surrounded with Mr. Virot's familiar vocal warmth, the band continues to maintain every ounce of beautiful chaos we first became smitten with. The next live performance will take place December 3 at Limoges cafe/venue La Fourmi. And now the music along with matching videos for you...

MP3: Under The Skirt
MP3: Paper Crowns

Clara Clara - Under The Skirt from Clapping Music on Vimeo.

Clara Clara - Paper Crowns from Aurélien Durand on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Le Futur Pompiste

Today marks the brand new full-length album from a wonderful Helsinki/Turku, Finland based six-piece we've been fawning over for quite some time. Le Futur Pompiste is primarily the music project of songwriter Einar Ekström (guitar, vocals) along with vocalist Jessika Rapo (from Burning Hearts, who we featured in December 2008), Ville Hopponen (drums), Axel Ekström (keyboards), Johann Höglund (bass) and Janne Koskinen (flute). As a follow up to their 2004 debut release, Your Stories And Your Thoughts, Le Futur Pompiste have now completed a new self-titled collection of 10 songs which were just made available through our friends at Portland, Oregon label Shelflife Records. Given our adoration of music from this region of the world, our bias might be more than slight, however, the understated retro-pop loveliness involved here is more than enough to have us rearranging our list of favourite 2010 LP releases once again. Perfectly content with a cloudy afternoon while secretly dreaming of an evening in a long-abandoned rollerskating-rink. The sound for you now.

MP3: Five Hundred Heartbeats

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quilty: Black Hole Single

Brooklyn, New York trio Quilty returns with a pair of new songs in digital single format, titled Black Hole, which were released through NYC label Cooling Pie Records this past Halloween weekend. Barreling rhythms are once again guided by the fuzzed-out guitars and unmistakable vocals of Sarah Dupuis for a brief yet signature A-side track Lizard Queen. Visit the Quilty Bandcamp page for an equally impressive B-side in Chris On The Beach, and also have a listen to the band's debut full-length release Clover/Coriander from previous MML features in October 2009 and February 2010. One minute and nineteen seconds of lo-fi goodness from a band we love to follow.

MP3: Lizard Queen

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Love Culture

Following our collective ear for all things shoegaze-related often finds us visiting distant cities, on various continents, for any relevant evolution of this particular music style we both happen to adore. This time, however, our only need for travel involves a return to my very own hometown for an outstanding new development in a local music scene that is ripe for the taking. Love Culture is a Columbus, Ohio based five-piece consisting of musicians Raleigh Swan (guitar, vocals, keys), Tristan Swan (vocals, guitar, keys), James Levesque (guitar, keys), Sky Cunningham (bass, morgana) and Robert Fischer (drums) who are heavily influenced by music falling within a three year radius loosely surrounding the year 1989. As a result of their ongoing efforts, the band has a pair of impressive releases, the latest of which, having just been completed, is titled Drag EP. Before continuing any further, let's jump right in with a listen from the upcoming extended-player.

MP3: Ocarina

A slow-burning tension in mood and sound, which many other like-minded artists neglect entirely in their attempted interpretation, is exactly what Love Culture delivers so beautifully with the track Ocarina. Luring, and then holding captive the imagination while an undercurrent of restless energy simmers steadily into spectacular flashpoints. The completed Drag EP is set to be launched at the very beginning of next year with a release party to coincide as Love Culture takes to the stage at local Columbus venue Skully's Music Diner on January 1, 2011. As an added bonus, the band has also decided to put a few more coats of varnish on their early-2010 debut release Aquamarine EP and make it available once again as part of a double-EP package. Have a listen to one of our favourite songs from it...

MP3: Karolyne

If ever a reason involving music was needed for a return trip home to my beloved Columbus, I cannot even begin to imagine a better one. Such a lovely and promising band you might just want to keep a close eye on. We now leave you with a brand new video for the song Ocarina. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

AC Berkheimer: We Tell Them Tonight LP

A week spent away from the blog, winterizing our our little nest, but it now seems possible that we only needed visit our friends at Groningen, Netherlands label Subroutine Records once again for a fix of warmth and energy to surround us. We originally featured Rotterdam four piece AC Berkheimer well over two years ago, in June 2008, with their full-length album In A Series Of Long Days. Since this time, the band completed a follow up with EP offering First in Line By Accident, and now there happens to be another welcome update to fill your ears. We Tell Them Tonight is a brand new collection of 10 songs which were just released a couple of weeks ago for October 2010. As a highlight, the lead track Slow Down will serve as a gentle opener for a series of unique and varied turns in song structure, influenced subtly (sometimes heavily) by an undercurrent of shoegaze hints that will certainly find genre purists raising a positive eyebrow. Wonderfully enough, the overarching sound remains a footprint we can only associate with AC Berkheimer and a new LP that deserves serious consideration for best full-length release of 2010. For those who have skipped ahead for a listen, you can also preview the entire album by visiting this 3voor12 stream. The band will also be performing live on November 11 @ Den Haag (The Hague) venue Het Paard Cafe. Enjoy this one...

MP3: Slow Down

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blonde Summer: Eleganza EP

With all of the digital methods of music delivery available, reaching hands into the old MML post office box and finding a bubble-packed CD submission remains our favourite way to find new sounds. In the case of today's featured artist, a kind personal note was attached, leaving us with no choice but to listen in the car on our way home. Regardless of seasonal disconnect between the band name and chilled winds blowing autumn colours all around our auto-audio experience, it's a good thing we took a moment for listening. Blonde Summer is the music project of Los Angeles, California songwriter Chris Pope (guitar, vocals), along with supporting musicians Matt Reid (guitar), Chris Livingstone (bass guitar) and Stephen Kurshner (drums) who have recently put together five beautiful tracks belonging to a debut EP release titled Eleganza. Each and every song could easily serve as a highlight for featuring here, but our attention quickly honed in on Blonde as a good representation of what to expect from this new collection of music. An immediate introduction of hooks and breaks trickling unexpectedly into a sound that might have you wondering if you've stumbled into the middle of a lost number from Damien Jurado's 2002 album I Break Chairs. Excellent song from a solid EP worth paying close attention to. The next chance to see them live happens in Los Angeles on Friday, October 29, as Blonde Summer performs at local Highland Park venue, Mr. T's Bowl.

MP3: Blonde

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Space Siren

Months have passed since hearing from our friends at lovely Dutch label Subroutine Records, so we were just a tad excited in receiving our latest email update the other day. There is a new release to report here later this week, but first we have some quick catching-up to do. Earlier this year, Voorhout, Netherlands four piece Space Siren completed an impressive, self-titled double 7" single with four tracks deserving of a belated, yet immediate listen. Driving rhythm lines accompanied by a frequent spray of thickly layered guitars seem to be a perfect setting for the commanding yet somehow sweet vocals of a frontwoman known to us only as Gwendolien. The next live performance will kick off a string of regional dates, beginning tomorrow night, October 21, at Eindhoven venue PopEi as Space Siren takes the stage along with labelmates Nikoo who were featured here in March 2010. Now sink your teeth into the lead track from this 7" double single...

MP3: This Radar

There is also a video, created by Siebe de Boer, for the song This Radar. Enjoy as well.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jed & Lucia: Superhuman Heart LP

Coming off a weekend full of taxing obligations, we needed and found the perfect place to rest our minds for more than just a little while. To begin this week, we are fortunate enough to have new material from a pair of musicians who have been featured here many times in the past. Jed & Lucia are the Berkeley, California based duo of Mark Reveley and Emma Lucia who were first adored here in August 2006 with a debut EP titled Candles In Daylight. Since that time, we've mentioned their experimental electronic side project Kite In The Air with reviews in both April and November of 2009 followed by a return to the original loveliness of Jed & Lucia with another offering titled Many Many EP in January 2010. All history aside, there is now a welcome update to report for this ongoing collaboration. The band has completed a collection of thirteen new tracks, titled Superhuman Heart, which are set to be released next month through fabled San Francisco label/rare music purveyor Ubiquity Records. In advance of this new LP, the first single, Apostrophe, has now been made available and will give an immediate idea of what to expect from the album. Warm southwestern winds and sand under foot, or a brisk midwestern fall with leaves whipping up against windows...all you have to do is close your eyes for listening. Beautiful.

MP3: Apostrophe

Thursday, October 14, 2010

True Womanhood: Ghost Modern LP

Early on this year, in February 2010, we listened and fell deeply for Washington D.C. trio True Womanhood and their debut EP offering Basement Membranes. Over the summer, fortune was ours as the band stopped through Cincinnati for an August show at Northside area venue Mayday. The performance was lovely and frontman/guitarist Thomas Redmond was wonderful enough to slip us a promotional CD, including nine completed tracks wrapped in a simple brown sleeve with a receipt-like piece of paper listing the songs. Ghost Modern LP is the working title for this collection of new unreleased music which ended up being recorded and mixed by J Robbins (Jawbox... need I say more?). After having our hands and ears all over the promo disc for quite a while now, we need to remind all to keep True Womanhood very much in mind. The Ghost Modern release date, or even label(s) for that matter, have yet to be decided but we can give you one of many highlights as a preview. Expect another MML follow-up once the dust settles.

MP3: Last Rites

Monday, October 11, 2010

Small Radio: Le Migré 2

Revisiting previously-featured artists is most always a favourite music treat blog-side and tonight we have a healthy dose of experimental electronica from a duo easily deserving of another close listen. Small Radio is the collaboration of Scotland natives Colin Sweeney (Small Colin) and Scott Buchanan (Radio Scotvoid) who have existed as a transatlantic music project for quite some time, with Sweeney now living in Hönö, Sweden and Buchanan calling Salem, Massachusetts home. Since our original review in December 2007 and follow-up for the Le Migré EP last year in August 2009, the pair have completed another four tracks which were only just released through German netlabel Rec 72 last week. Le Migré 2 is the title of this most recent mini-collection of music. With a deep, rich series of introductions leading into clockwork beats and reaching tones to send our dental filings humming like tuning forks, we can see no possible way to go wrong with this new offering... enjoy.

MP3: Excellenti

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Tyler Trudeau Attempt

With the recent change of season and subsequent temperature drop, we felt an overwhelming need to revisit the warmth of summer with an impressive 7-inch single released through lovely Connecticut label February Records this past August. The Tyler Trudeau Attempt is a revolving cast of New Haven, Connecticut musicians fronted by... you guessed it, Tyler Trudeau, a long-time songwriter who has taken up residence in Brooklyn, New York in recent months. For those already listening and angling for a specific influence, genre or time period to pinpoint, your finger might not find a proper resting place and the beauty of this sound might be overlooked entirely. Although any ridiculous comparison on our behalf might include classic artists Dick Dale and/or Joe Jackson, please take time for listening to this infectious blend of energetic guitar-driven pop guided, if not tempered, by accenting waves of surf-goodness. Have a listen...

MP3: These Are Dark Times

These Are Dark Times happens to be the lead single from an already completed full-length release titled Something, Anything Else which will hopefully be made available soon-ish for 2011 once the right hands grab onto it. The next live performance will take place tomorrow evening, October 10, at local Brooklyn venue Fort Useless as part of their Songwriters Salon #8. Seriously looking forward to a full review once the full LP hits. We leave you with the video for These Are dark Times...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Grandfather: Why I'd Try LP

With another prolonged absence now in the books, both our email and PO boxes are brimming with new sounds and we have at least some of it sorted already. Starting by send date was probably the best idea for catching up... an idea that finds us front and center for the exact combination of guitar-meat, driving rhythms and fluctuating-yet-classic song structures we just so happened to be in need of today. Grandfather is a New York City trio consisting of musicians Joshua Hoffman (vocals, percussion), Michael Kirsch (guitar) and Jonathan Silverman (bass) who have completed a collection of nine songs which were just made available in August 2010. The new release, titled Why I'd Try, was recorded in Chicago at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini, mastered by Bob Weston of Chicago Mastering Service and is a lovely ride that balances waves of dissonance with a frequent descent into some warm smoke-filled basement lined with orange floral curtains and black light posters. Yes, it really is this good. Why I'd Try is currently available as a free digital download by visiting the Grandfather website but, after listening, you might also want to consider picking up one of 300 limited edition 12" vinyl records or the CD to hold firmly in hand. The next live performance will take place this Saturday, September 18, at Brooklyn venue Cameo Art Gallery. Have a listen...


Sunday, August 22, 2010


Upon receiving new recordings from side-projects associated with previously featured artists, our collective interest is always piqued as the scramble for retrieving music files and spreading sound all over our little office space begins. In this particular instance, we are fortunate enough to bring you exactly one half, the female half, of Chicago, Illinois based lovelies Panda Riot. Musical collaborators Rebecca Scott (vocals, guitar, tambourine etc.) and Melissa Harris (vocals, keyboards, glockenspiel, etc.) have recently put together a handful of songs, under the band name Architecture, which will eventually belong to a debut EP in the very near future. Any extended commentary on our part would be futile at this early stage but, after having an listen to the preview, serious recommendations for closely following this duo can easily be made. Settle in with this beautiful track and expect an excited follow-up once the release date arrives...

MP3: Tomorrow

As an unexpected bonus, check out this R. Kelly cover song from Rebecca and Melissa. Love it!

Bonus MP3: Pregnant (R. Kelly cover)

Extra Special Bonus MP3: The Book Of Love (Magnetic Fields cover - Rebecca Scott)

Previous reviews:
Panda Riot: March 2010
Panda Riot: November 2007
Panda Riot: November 2006

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Satin Gum: EP2

It's been nearly two years since our October 2008 feature of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania trio Satin Gum and we are now fortunate enough to have both updated news plus listening we can't recommend enough. As a follow-up to their self-titled debut EP, collaborating musicians Brian Spekis (vocals, guitar, keys), Dan Vavro (drums, backing vocals), and Travis Craig (bass) have recently completed five new songs for the aptly-christened release EP2. With emphasis shifting slightly away from a 'gazy wall-of-sound account first given here in 2008, the noticeable influence making its way to the surface now seems to be The Replacements, if not a classic slice of that particular time period of American rock'n'roll history, altogether. The monstrously effective guitars, vocals to honor (or taunt) Jeff Tweedy's past and various song structures full of catch-tastic turns within each track, easily lands EP2 towards the top of our favourite non-full-length releases for 2010. Visit the Satin Gum website for information on picking up a copy of the new EP and be sure to check out their next live performance, on September 4, at a nifty old building in Butler, Pennsylvania known as the Butler Art Center.

Have a listen...

MP3: Hip Shake Heartbreak

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunkyeol EP

Seoul, South Korea-based label Electric Muse always seems to brighten our day with a simple click of an email send button from a magic little world of music we've both come to adore. This time around, our earful of loveliness belongs to a collection local musician-friends, from a variety of Korean bands, who have crafted a debut EP under the name Sunkyeol. Admittedly, the information we've been able to piece together on this particular music project is limited, however, there is a brief 2009 interview through Korean music resource Indieful Rok that might shed a bit more light for those interested. From the dreamy opening bells of Songstress to the concluding guitars falling into a sleepy haze for Aphex Convention, Sunkyeol delivers a beautiful EP, consisting of four songs, which require immediate listening rather than any further explanation. Enjoy the lead track.

MP3: Songstress

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Purplespace: Eventually, Juliet...

As we've mentioned a few times earlier this year, 2010 is turning out to be an amazing series of months for EP releases from both new and previously featured artists. This time around, attention is once again focused in on Jacksonville, Florida based musicians John Hashtak (guitar, vocals), Tara Golden (vocals), Reed Clendenen (bass, vocals) and Jim Singleton (drums, synth) who were first featured here in October 2007 with their long-time music endeavor Starring Me. Since our very first exposure, the music continues to grow lovely little vines into our collective ear with the addition of their now thriving project Purplespace. As a follow up to the 2006 Purplespace debut Broken Bells and later full-length offering A Tiny Little Spark, which we fell in love with during February 2009, there is a brand new EP set to be released titled Eventually Juliet... that should become available at some point later this month. Five beautiful songs, straying no further than a local corner shop from the original sound, providing intensified vocal interaction and the fluid delivery in instrumentation needed to land us back into our chairs for an extended view of ceiling fans. A favourite track from the new EP for you now... complete suckers for bells, we are.

MP3: Counting Stars

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Hounds Below: Southgate House 8/6

The Hounds Below, a Detroit, Michigan four-piece consisting of musicians Jason Stollsteimer, Ben Collins, Molly Jean Schoen and Ben Luckett, happen to be making their way into our little world tonight, with a live performance at celebrated Newport, Kentucky venue Southgate House. Consider this an invitation to experience a unique take on classic rock-and-roll with a playful twist to send the senses bouncing wildly back and forth between Roy Orbison and Lux Interior. Please give the following song a good listen... an outstanding new band.

MP3: Love's No Longer Here

Related Link: Roy Orbison Wrapped In Cling-Film

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Screen Vinyl Image: Remixes EP

With our continued effort in playing catch-up after the most recent hiatus, we need to reach back a few months for a release which happened to escape our collective radar at the time. To be perfectly honest, any mention of the term "remix" will usually find us scurrying for cover under a pile of old dusty hardcore records. This time around, however, the band in question was finally realized and manipulated tracks absorbed, leaving a sweet flavour developing almost instantly in our ears. Screen Vinyl Image is the Washington, DC duo of multi-instrumentalists Jake Reid and Kim Reid who were originally featured here in April 2009 with a belated review of the album Interceptors. Since that time, Interceptors was happily included in our 2009 Favourites Edition and Screen Vinyl Image have released their most recent project, an EP titled Remixes, through Virginia based label Custom Made Music. Each of the six tracks included in this EP are versions suited for a night-time drive rather than the confines of peripheral computer sound devices and make for the perfect precursor to an upcoming August EP/Cassette titled Ice Station via Fan Death Records. Check out the next live performance at local DC venue Velvet Lounge on August 15 and be sure to listen to the following song, aptly titled "What You Need", as remixed by French artist TeenageSinTaste. Lovely.

MP3: What You Need (TeenageSinTaste Remix)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Harvey Girls: I've Been Watching a Lot of Horror Movies Lately

So, we've been away from our little music nest for nearly a month to the hour at this very moment. With both email and PO boxes filled with a variety of new treats, we have some serious catching up to do. Luckily for everyone's ears, a recent release is ours to report from a duo of musicians who seem to have a knack for raising chills up the collective MML spine with even a passing mention of possible new material. Multi-instrumentalists Hiram Lucke and Melissa Rodenbeek are the Portland, Oregon duo known to plenty of fans as The Harvey Girls. Originally featured here in September 2006, then again with side project Holland Buffalo in January 2008, and most recently for the release Nutate in July 2008, Melissa and Hiram now have a brand new album titled I've Been Watching A Lot Of Horror Movies Lately that deserves nothing less than an extended listen. For the sake of our sanity, please do not ask for an explanation of sound, influence or direction, as it would only find us scrambling endlessly in the wide expanse existing somewhere between Stephin Merritt and Steve Albini. Instead, visit their very own label/online community Circle Into Square to find more information on this new release and news updates for a bevy of like-minded artists. Portland is quite the lucky city to have The Harvey Girls as resident-musicians and you can check out a live performance on August 8 as part of the KBOO Community Radio PDX Bridge Festival. If only, in some parallel universe, we could be a band instead of a blog... this would most certainly be the one. Listen up.

From the 2010 full-length release I've Been Watching A Lot Of Horror Movies Lately:
MP3: Monster

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Meeting of Important People: Quit Music EP

Meeting Of Important People is the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania trio of Aaron Bubenheim (bass, vocals), Matt Miller (drums, piano, vocals) and Josh Verbanets (lead vocals, guitar) who were originally mentioned here in November 2008, followed by a feature of their self-titled debut release taking place in May 2009. Not letting dust settle for too long, the band has now completed a collection of seven new songs belonging to their upcoming Quit Music EP. Having spent the better part of this weekend listening to these new songs, we have no choice but to list this EP offering as dangerously close to topping our current 2010 favourites list. Please take a moment to absorb the following two minutes and twenty-four seconds. Thank us later...

MP3: They Love Me In The City

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fangs Out

It's been quite some time since we've had the chance to visit the goings-on at Washington D.C. label Etxe Records, so when a new CD arrived in our mailbox the other day and we discovered the musicians involved reside here in Ohio, a sit down for listening was well in order. Fangs Out is the duo of Mark Peterson and Samantha Wandtke from Toledo, Ohio who formed in 2008 after having performed in various regional bands together for a number of years. The result of this ongoing collaboration and most recent music project is an impressive full-length debut album, titled Speech Shadowing, which was only just released yesterday through Etxe.

In experiencing this collection of 10 new songs for a first spin, initial thoughts lead us deep into fits attempting to conjure up some of the more ridiculous genre assignments now existing for music of the early 1980s, While there is certainly a hint of Siouxsie Sioux influence existing within the beautifully dark range of Ms. Wandtke's vocals, raw instrumentation and lo(wer)-fi recording accentuate each track, giving contemporary relevance that deserves more than a second listen. One of our favourite songs from the new album Speech Shadowing...

MP3: Omerta

The next live performance will take place tomorrow night, July 1, at southwest Chicago establishment Honky Tonk BBQ and the album release party will be held back home in Toledo on July 10 as Fangs Out take to the stage at local venue Woodchucks.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Starry Saints

Our seasonal blog slowdown manages to happen here at MML like clockwork every year as spring turns into summer. New music sits neglected in both our email and post office boxes collecting dust as we stare vacantly into the evening sky at lightning bugs. Time for some catching up today as we bring you an altogether dreamy sample of song from a music project we've been holding back for far too many moons. Starry Saints is primarily the collaboration of Portland, Oregon artists Allen Davis (vocals, guitar) and Clint Sargent (guitars, backing vocals) who we originally featured four years ago, in June 2006, as part of the band The High Violets. Since that first ancient mention, which was followed by a June 2007 live performance/photo-fest here in Cincinnati, these two founding members of Starry Saints have enlisted the assistance of local musicians Ron Thomas (bass) and Jason Wann (keyboard, percussion) to complete a full band lineup. The resulting sound enjoys a combination of early 90s post-shoegaze influence and earlier lo-fi garage hints, while flirtatiously batting an eye at more radio-friendly horizons. As for news updates, the band is currently recording a full-length follow up to their self-titled debut EP and will be performing live next Wednesday night, June 30, at local Portland venue Mississippi Studios. Give this concluding song from the EP a chance to develop... lovely.

MP3: The Long Fade

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Army: Dora EP

During late September into early October of last year, we spent a few weeks featuring the music of seven different bands from wonderful Korean label Electric Muse. Having finished our multi-post marathon with no idea if there would be future correspondence, it was a recent delight to find a new email message with label news and a brand new release we can now share. Army is the Seoul, South Korea-based trio of Sejung Heo (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Seungwon Shin (bass, chorus) and Joohyun Yoon (drums, percussion, chorus) who have a debut collection of four songs titled Dora EP.

While the influences involved are decidedly western blues-rock, a classic genre we would usually cross any busy motorway to avoid, all songs included on Dora EP are massively catchy and deserve the same listening attention that left us slapping hands on thighs repeatedly. Army is an impressive addition to the Electric Muse lineup and the new EP will be celebrated with a live performance on Friday, June 18 at local Hongdae venue Club FF. Have fun chanting along with the lead track... nice one!

MP3: Wild Horse

Please visit the following links for past Electric Muse releases featured here at MML during 2009. Enjoy.

Dabang Band
Starry Eyed
Vidulgi Ooyoo
Dringe Augh
Plastic People

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Soda Fountain Rag: Reel Around Me

As difficult as it is for us to believe, well over two and a half years have passed since our first mention of the musician we have for listening today. Originally featured here in September 2007, then again in February 2008, Bergen, Norway multi-instrumentalist Ragnhild Hogstad Jordahl now has an upcoming full-length release with her tenured music project Soda Fountain Rag. The new collection of nine songs, recorded in Brescia, Italy, is titled Reel Around Me and will be made available on 10" vinyl through lovely Irish label Yesboyicecream Records (Yesboy Myspace). While patiently waiting for a hard copy of the vinyl to make its way overseas to our doorstep, a digital version of this latest offering arrived in our email inbox and all expectations were surpassed after having the chance to preview the music. Building on a simple formula of sweet, clever pop songs that draw on daily travels and observations, Soda Fountain Rag now seems to have acquired a beautifully enhanced range of moods to compliment a more commanding vocal presence. Our very first favourite pop album for the summer of 2010.

MP3: Are Philosophers Lonely?

Thursday, June 03, 2010


Shoegaze. With that one word right out in front, some of our frequent visitors might feel the need to jump ahead straight away for listening. Just know that, once the featured song begins, there are exactly 2:06 minutes of an extended ambient introduction, which leaves plenty of time to settle in for an epic little ride. Echodrone is a San Francisco, California-based music project that originally took shape in 2005 with a call to musical arms through online classifieds. After a couple of lineup changes and a self-titled 2007 EP along the way, current members Eugene Suh (guitar, vocals), Meredith Gibbons (guitar, vocals), Brandon Dudley (bass) and Mark Tarlton (drums) now have an impressive 2010 full-length release to share.

The Sun Rose In A Different Place is the title of this new album we received in the P.O. box and have been listening to for the better part of a week now. The sound delivered embraces classic influences that seem to fall within a two year window of 1990 where the footwear fixation genre we hold so dearly is concerned. Distressed and layered enough to please the purists, while polished in a way that could easily invite new ears, Echodrone lends a sparkly new coat of varnish and their own unique spin to this distinctive style of music. Gravity is one of nine tracks that make up The Sun Rose In A Different Place and we can't suggest it enough. Have a listen...

MP3: Gravity

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Blanket Ghost

Daryl Goerner is an Austin, Texas-based multi-instrumental/media artist who has a pair of long-time music projects we've only recently had the fortune of discovering. For the purpose of today's feature, we bring you The Blanket Ghost, an undertaking of his dating back to 2005. Utilizing a procession of old keyboards, laptop and a guitar on loan, Goerner composes a brilliant mixture of musical turns that find our welcome ears pressurised by ongoing transitions from well undersea to above the clouds with each vocal interlude. The sounds we are currently experiencing can probably best be described by the artist himself...

"The majority of songs recorded feature very simple song structures with more emphasis placed on the true essence of the sounds committed to tape. These are not pop songs, these are rudimentary ideas and feelings I've had that somehow made it from my head to your ears. Everything is recorded at home holed up in a 1950's boarding house turned apartments across the street from Pease Park in Austin,TX. "

Little Flower is the title of an upcoming EP that includes three lovely songs, one of which can be heard front and center, as a swimming introduction to what can be expected upon release date. For previous musical offerings, including The Light Years (2005-2009) and Halls EP (2010) along with available artwork, visit the Little Flower website. Before we neglect to mention it, Daryl Goerner also maintains a sister music project in Mejetairliner which is very much worth checking into. For now, we leave you with a first listen to a brand new track from The Blanket Ghost. The EP title might suggest, and we certainly hope, that there might be a follow up in some full-length form, or at least a few additional seeds germinating in the soil.

MP3: l o o k a t t h e s t a r s

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Never Setting Suns

Almost exactly two months ago (March 20, 2010) we presented an introduction to favourite regional music venue The Southgate House along with an impressive local trio that was to perform live that very same night. Since our original mention, the band was lovely enough to forward their brand new release to our weather-battered mailbox and we've been absorbing their sounds for the better part of a week now. Not just listening through our little computer speakers, but during daily travels around town at high volumes in the car, which lends added relevance to the music since the band is made up of local musicians. Enter Corey Larrison (vocals, guitar), Chris Courts (bass) and Tyler Griffin (percussion), the Cincinnati, Ohio three piece known as The Never Setting Suns who have a new full-length album to share titled And Now We're Not Alone. Before we go any further, let's have a listen to the very first track from this most recent collection of songs... shall we?

MP3: Made Of Hearts & Four Leaf Clovers

For those not already listening, this song is an excellent introduction for And Now We're Not Alone and a good indication of what can be expected from the balance of music contained within. Aside from the various catch-laden song structures involved, one of the more exceptional aspects of this album is the bands ability to avoid timeworn bells and whistles or any distracting veil of noise in the name of experimentation. Instead, this straightforward guitar-centered rock remains consistent and building from the warm inspiration of classic artists, specifically Neil Young, into open-ended flurries of distortion pedal goodness equally influenced by a more recent crop of artists. The next track we have from the album is actually titled after a favourite Texas-based outfit of theirs... and ours. Enjoy.

MP3: Explosions In The Sky

If previously unfamiliar with The Never Setting Suns, now might be a perfect time to get to know them. A great young band from right here in the Queen City.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Duchesses

Sydney, Australia-based four piece The Duchesses have thrown our collective senses into seasonal turmoil in the best way possible. A sound that could easily find us escaping snow drifts in exchange for the warmth of a dank pub also sends us searching for our ratty old blanket from which a sweltering outdoor music festival can be enjoyed during summer months. Call it the difference between arbitrary genre-terms psychedelic and shoegaze, or the alignment of stars where both are in harmony. Either way, we have another gem to share here. The brand new, debut full-length album was self-released around a week or so ago and is currently available by visiting the linked band name above or An upcoming pair of local live performance dates will take place, beginning on May 27 at Leichhardt venue The Wall, complimented by a June 9 appearance at Oxford Art Factory in Darlinghurst. The following preview from this new album should give regular MML visitors a good idea of what to expect. Enjoy.

MP3: Better Than You

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birds of California

West Haven, Connecticut-based Tweefort Records is currently planning a name change to February Records this summer, but the transition seems to be having no effect on the frequency of quality releases from regional and international artists. One of the latest offerings we've spent a great deal of time listening to is a brand new three track single from six-piece music collective Birds Of California. The musicians involved in this project are listed as Tim Brown (guitar, vocals) and Donna McKean (bass, vocals) of former incarnation Lunchbox, Stewart Anderson (drums) from Boyracer, as well as Amr Toppozada (guitar, moog), Jeremy Goody (horns, keyboard) and Ron McKean (piano, organ) to complete the full band. Their impressive single, aptly titled Great Expectations, is freely downloadable by visiting our above-mentioned links for the Tweefort/February label. For those who haven't already skipped ahead to listen, be prepared for a clean, yet surprisingly warm take on mod/britpop balanced by a respectable level of shoegaze-influenced and downright fuzzed-out guitar backdrop. Add in the simple accompaniment of horns and we are now smitten. Not entirely sure we've ever experienced this particular combination of sounds, but the result is just lovely. Birds Of California...

MP3: Laugh Out Loud

Sunday, May 02, 2010


In maintaining this little music blog, it only stands to reason that plenty of artists will end up having similar musical tastes to our very own. In the case of today's featured band, the listed influences raised more than a couple of eyebrows and ears straight away. Any mention of Mr. Robert Pollard is a special thing, but when the very next music reference is Bob Mould (specifically Sugar: see November 2007 tribute post) you can pretty much guarantee our undivided attention will be captured for at least an initial listen. This time around, we have an impressive one to share with our regular visitors. Picnic is the trio of Piero Punzi (vocals, guitars), Nicola Scandone (bass, vocals) and Stefano Iannone (drums, vocals) from Salerno, Italy. Although these three musicians have been performing together since school days, there have been no recording sessions in a proper studio. Instead, they've created a brilliant full-length collection of bedroom-recorded tracks, titled See Seldom, Soon Forget, that have yet to be released on any regional or international label. While the songs have a decided GBV quality that is easily spotted, the peripheral influence in no way overwhelms the unique sound of this band. Additional listening and information can be found by visiting the Picnic MySpace page. A pair of previewable gems from the See Seldom, Soon Forget LP to follow for your enjoyment. Yes, we love them.

MP3: The Useless Band
MP3: First Feeling

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thick Shakes: Ooh Mommy EP

If the format of the above picture looks vaguely familiar to those around our age, it's probably the result of it being an insert cover for a cassette tape case. Today's featured artist has a debut EP that was recently made available on cassette, so practice up on your sellotape/nail polish repair skills if picking up a copy to wear out in the dash. Thick Shakes is a retro garage-rock trio consisting of musicians Lindsay Crudele (bass, vocals), Timothy Scholl (guitars, vocals) and Matt Mafera (drums, vocals) from Boston, Massachusetts. With the assistance of Jerry MacDonald (recording, farfisa) the band now has a debut release, titled Ooh Mommy EP, through Austin, Texas net-label Snugglehound Records that deserves nothing less than a serious listen. When using the term "lo-fi", we are usually describing a contributing instrument or specific instance but, with the collection of songs belonging to Ooh Mommy, we found a sound that is genuine to microphones on a cold basement floor, recording fuzzed-out guitars to shake old rafters. Listen for yourself...

MP3: (Baby) I'm A Starfish

Photo: Mango Nebula

The next live performance will take place at local Somerville venue PA's Lounge on May 14 and additional listening can happen by visiting the Thick Shakes MySpace page. As if the preview we've provided was not enough, the EP also includes a cover song of The Magnetic Fields track Underwear. Not sure if this is what Stephin Merritt had in mind, but it certainly is a chaotic compliment to one of our favourite songs from the 69 Love Songs CD set. Enjoy.

MP3: Underwear (The Magnetic Fields)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Green Grocer

As mentioned in previous posts, 2010 is turning out to be a year in which quality EP releases seem to flow into our email inbox and this afternoon we have yet another impressive one to share. Green Grocer is the Chicago, Illinois trio of Michael Hurder (vocals, synths, loops, bass), Elliott Conley (guitar, fuzz) and Max Horwich (percussion, loops) who have a new collection of five songs that were released as a self-titled EP earlier this month. The sound is decidedly synth-pop, caressed warmly with an understated accompaniment of distant guitars providing a rich backdrop for what we consider to be the overwhelming allure of this music project. Vocals of frontman Michael Hurder are explained as "barks, growls, croons and screams" but our interest was quickly drawn away from the press release as we began listening to his voice. An instant comparison to Grant Hart developed to the point of us having to double-check band photos to be sure this wasn't a covert resurrection of Nova Mob. Hints of Ian McCulloch's vocal stylings seem to be an influence as well. Have a listen to this preview from the new EP...

MP3: Haunted

Most definitely a darker shade of pretty where late 80s-centered psychedelia is concerned. The band is currently putting together their itinerary for an extensive summer tour. Live dates and additional information can be found by visiting the Green Grocer MySpace page. To find, listen to and purchase the entire new EP, check out the Green Grocer Bandcamp page. There is also a video for the above featured track Haunted. Here ya go... !

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bliss City East / Vidulgi OoyoO: Split Album Release

It's not altogether uncommon for us to revisit artists mentioned here for new music, so when we learned of a long-awaited release involving two previously featured bands from completely different parts of the world, our excitement grew exponentially. In the works for well over a year, the brand new split album from Seoul, South Korea-based outfit Vidulgi OoyoO and spin-off evolution Bliss City East of Chicago, Illinois is now as real as it gets. The album was released earlier this month through our favourite Korean label Electric Muse and will be made available for the rest of the planet on June 21 by way of Chicago's Fake Label Recordings. Although each band approaches their distinct sound from a unique direction, similarities most certainly exist in swirling guitars and beautiful female vocals that find us drawn to this collection of songs like a pair of moths to a single porch light.

Enjoy the following preview tracks from this new album (currently available for purchase on Also be sure to visit the links for listening, additional information and to support both of these bands. Brilliant music all around that might have those familiar with the time-honoured sound of psychedelic rock and shoegaze melting gleefully into their seats. Let's get started...

Vidulgi OoyoO

MP3: Mermaid Queen

MML Review: October 2008
MML Review: October 2009
Vidulgi OoyoO: Cyworld Page
Vidulgi OoyoO: MySpace Page
Electric Muse: Cyworld Page
Electric Muse: MySpace Page

Bliss City East

MP3: Stop Clock

MML Review: Bliss City East - December 2008
MML Review: Bliss City East - May 2009
MML Review: Skylight - March 2008
MML Review: Skylight - September 2008
MML Interview: Perry Pelonero - July 2009
Bliss City East: MySpace Page
Skylight: MySpace Page (1990 - ????)
Fake Label Recordings: MySpace Page

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Free Electric State: Caress LP

We've been savoring a preview from today's featured artist for quite some time now and finally have the chance to give a heads-up for their quickly approaching new release that is very much worth the listening experience. Originally mentioned here in November 2009, Durham, North Carolina-based four piece Free Electric State have recently completed a full-length debut LP, titled Caress, which will be made available on April 20 through local label Churchkey Records. With only a week to wait for the new sounds, musicians Shirlé Hale (vocals, bass), David Koslowski (guitar, vocals), Nick Williams (guitar, vocals) and Tony Stiglitz (drums) will be kicking off a string of live performance dates with an early CD release party at Durham venue The Pinhook on April 16. For those not familiar with Free Electric State, be prepared for an impressive balance of driving guitars that provide hints of a sound pre-dating shoegaze, guided by beautifully strong female vocals we can easily imagine stopping a cargo truck. Sound ridiculous? Have a listen to Six Is One from the brand new album Caress.

MP3: Six Is One

As if the preview track alone was not enough to rattle the senses, there is also a new video for Six Is One to share. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

I Love You Airlines

I Love You Airlines is a New York City music project we originally featured in April 2008, with primary contributors Edi Kearns and Paul Rechsteiner piquing our interest in an EP titled A New High. Not much in the way of updates over the past couple of years until we received a much-welcomed heads up for their brand new single Horizon/Landing the other day. With the enlistment of NYC electronic(a) guru Gregory Shiff and a drummer simply known to us as Dave, the band has a breath of fresh energy to revive a pair of older songs that have been collecting dust up until now. After listening, be prepared for a sudden urge to visit the ILYA website as well as the ILYA Bandcamp for downloading this single, but also be forewarned... this is driving pop that culminates in a listening experience we can only liken to being gently inhaled by a jet engine. Lovely.

MP3: To The Horizon, Baby

Monday, March 29, 2010


There's a bit of MML history involved with today's featured artist, so be prepared for a number of links to previous mentions and music that can be recommended without hesitation. Joep Van Son is an Eindhoven/Noord-Brabant, Netherlands-based musician we originally became aware of when first featuring Subroutine Records artist The Sugarettes back in January 2007, then again in September 2007. With these early introductions out of the way, our follow up happened in June 2008 for spin-off endeavor The Very Sexuals and we now have a long-awaited update to report. Nikoo is a new music project that once again finds Joep Van Son surrounded by friends for a raucous self-titled, debut EP release that deserves a close listen. After the noise-tastic opening tracks Gimme Hell and Cow sent us swiveling around in our office seats with ear-to-ear smiles, this brief collection of songs ended up producing more than enough warm moments to seal the deal. A pair of favourites from the new EP have been singled out here and there is good news for interested ears. The entire release can be downloaded completely free by visiting the Nikoo website. Although there are no live performance dates yet listed for the early months of 2010, Nikoo is set to participate in the annual Tilburg music/arts festival Incubate later this year in September. Enjoy.

MP3: You've Got A Strange Effect On You
MP3: Marquee

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pop Empire: Live at Southgate House 3/23

Our intention of frequently posting notable bands performing at local venue The Southgate House was meant as an occasional feature but, as it turns out, an amazing amount of good music is happening there and back-to-back updates here at MML are definitely in order. Tomorrow night, March 23, Baltimore, Maryland rock outfit J Roddy Walston and The Business make their way into town for a live performance @ SGH along with a local band we excitedly found a distant connection with. Pop Empire is the Cincinnati, Ohio duo of musicians Henrie Wilson and sometime-Shed Cameron Cochran who we featured as part of his other lovely duo back in September 2006, then again in March 2007. The new release for this particular music project, titled Rainy Child EP, was made available late last month with original artwork and it can be freely downloaded for daily listening upon visiting the Pop Empire website (scroll to the bottom). With echoing, ever-present feedback guiding a perfect balance of solid guitar, shared vocal tangle and responsible levels of experimental accompaniment, Pop Empire provides a collection of songs that could easily top our early best-of lists for 2010. Have an extended listen to a pair of tracks from the Rainy Child EP...

MP3: Twirling
MP3: City Girl City Boy

Doors open @ 8pm... be there.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Southgate House: The Never Setting Suns 3/20

Upon relocating to Cincinnati, Ohio back at the beginning of 2007, one of our very first questions for local residents was a simple one. Are there any good places to check out live music in town? The recommendation we received, more often than not, was to travel over the Ohio River into Newport, Kentucky for a visit to The Historic Southgate House. We must have asked just the right people. Built two years after the war of 1812 by British prisoners, this beautiful home was once visited by soon-to-be President Abraham Lincoln and later the birthplace of John Tariaferro Thompson, inventor of the 'Tommy Gun' (more history here). Since that time, the original structure has been converted into a multi-stage music venue including a cozy lounge, substantial ballroom, intimate second floor parlour and third floor art gallery to compliment most any type of event. After having spent the past three years frequenting SGH for various live performance dates, we've found not only a favourite local spot for music, but one of the most unique venues in the entire United States. For this reason, we have decided to begin presenting regular updates for local, regional and visiting musicians who happen to grace any given stage within this historic and downright lovely old pile of bricks. No better time than the present to get started...

The Never Setting Suns

Cincinnati, Ohio-based trio of musicians Corey Larrison (vocals, guitar), Chris Courts (bass) and Tyler Griffin (percussion) make up The Never Setting Suns who happen to be front and center at Southgate House this evening for their record release party. The album, titled And Now We're Not Alone, was recorded last summer at local Cincinnati studio Ultrasuede with producer Gary Shell and engineer Chad Wahlbrink both lending their talents to the finished product. Now having listened to the impressive preview track we have featured, as well as a pair of additional songs on The Never Setting Suns MySpace page, our curiosity is very much piqued. Could the crisp, clear and frequent transitions in song structure be an influence stemming from fIREHOSE? Are the teetering vocals an homage to David Thomas of Pere Ubu? These questions, however ear-provoking, can probably be postponed as the band presents a sound that forges a path of its own with this new release. Tonight's show opens at 8:00 pm so be sure to arrive early as local bands Charlie Hustle and Irela will be performing as well. Looking forward to it.

MP3: What The Earth Can't Hold