The Bin Bags in the Church for Psychopaths

binbags

The Bin Bags self-titled album is everything I had hoped DRINKS (the Cate Le Bon  & Tim Presley collaboration) would be. The Bin Bags are from London and count Rose Keeler of Keel Her as a member.Their brand of hazy and playful psychedelia strikes a fine balance between pop and weird. It’s got bits of the Syd Barrett, Acetone and Ultimate Painting in it. Their confident and steady hand doesn’t seem to be trying to impress you with how weird they can be, rather they sound more like they’re trying to hide their weirdness.

The Bin Bags self-titled album is out on Permanent Slump.

Oddities

rsb

So you’re perusing the internet and you come across something about a band that is made up of members of Total Control, UV Race, East Link and Dick Diver. What do you do? Try not to get too excited, right? Why haven’t you heard of this band before? Have you had your coffee yet today? Do you take sugar?

Well the the first thing I would tell you is that there is nothing obvious about Russell St. Bombings. If you’re looking for the next great unheard pop record from down under then you are looking under the wrong rock. This is an intentionally difficult record. It’s something that probably started as jam between friends and then because it had a few elements that were intriguing it continued.

Hey lets go get some beer and noodle around. A studio costs too much, so lets record ourselves with our phones. What’s the flight time from Perth to Manila?  Let’s use odd tunings and make the songs run together. Have you ever recorded a guitar solo in an airplane toilet?

The Clean were known to go off on tangents like this and they called those records Oddities. Today I was scraping moss from the steps in the back when out popped a somewhat large wormlike creature. Pop songs squirm out of the cracks unexpectedly, and then they burrow back down into the dirt just as quickly.  If Syd Barret would have conducted symphonies I think this is what it may have sounded like on the even days.

Oddly I find myself listening to this a lot more than I ever would have thought. Sometimes it feels good to listen to music that isn’t obvious. It’s exciting because you don’t know where it’s going and it’s exciting because you get the feeling that the band don’t exactly know where it’s going either. Where are you going?

Russel Street Bombings is out now on SmartGuy Records

Fun Trick Noisemakers

Quilt at Barboza, Seattle | 10 February 2014

Quilt

Listening to Quilt and reading about them on the internet you get the initial impression that they are 60’s revivalist hippies. On their sophomore album Held In Splendor the Boston band pluck strings from psychedelic era Beatles, unearth dusty jangle from the Byrds and sprinkle misty mountain vocal harmonies from the Mamas and the Papas.  The trio of Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler, and John Andrews are all songwriters which adds to the variety of their sound on the album. They also have voices that allow them to harmonize like Crosby Stills and Nash which are often the focus of their sound. A couple interviews with the band touch on them being into chanting and even some dub. So I was expecting a show accenting their ability to harmonize.  I wasn’t expecting a tendency for taking their songs into motorik and dub territory. What are good guitar solos on record turned into hypnotic grooves and made the songs take on new lives during their set last night in the Barboza basement.

When you add in these latent krautrock and dub tendencies you have an unbeatable combination, and at times last night they seemed to lock into jams like they were Stereolab or Neu. Perhaps it was the addition of a fourth member bassist Keven Lareau to the band for this tour that has opened up this new dimension. When they weren’t harmonizing in two, three and four parts, they were jamming and sometimes both at once to chilling effect.  Quilt’s brand of psychedelia was already pretty good given their songwriting ability and willingness to go beyond the stereotypical hazy laid back stoner vibe that is all too prevalent in much of this new wave of psyche, but this show put them into by themselves. Already exceptional the songs were put into whatever you want to call the next highest category (neu-super-metronom-psych). Quilt are one of the band’s to beat in 2014.

stream: Quilt – Tired and Buttered (from the album Held In Splendor on Mexican Summer)

Quilt are on tour right now.

Feb. 11—Media Club—Vancouver, British Columbia
Feb. 12—Mississippi Studios—Portland, Oregon
Feb. 14—Bottom Of The Hill—San Francisco, California
Feb. 15—The Satellite—Los Angeles, California
Feb. 16—Soda Bar—San Diego, California
Feb. 17—Last Exit Live—Phoenix, Arizona
Feb. 20—The Mohawk—Austin, Texas
Feb. 21—City Tavern—Dallas, Texas
Feb. 22—Fitzgerald’s—Houston, Texas
Feb. 24—529—Atlanta, Georgia
Feb. 25—Local 506—Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Feb. 27—Boot & Saddle—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Feb. 28—Rough Trade—Brooklyn, New York
March 1—Great Scott—Allston, Massachusetts
March 2—Casa De Popolo—Montreal, Quebec
March 3—Drake Hotel—Toronto, Ontario
March 5—Stone Fox—Nashville, Tennessee
April 2—The Windmill—London, United Kingdom
April 7—El Lokal—Zurich, Switzerland
April 14—Berghain Kantine—Berlin, Germany
April 17—Charlatan—Ghent, Belgium
April 19—L’Espace B—Paris, France
May 2—Carson Creek Ranch—Austin, Texas
May 7—Subterranean—Chicago, Illinois
May 11—Showcase Lounge—South Burlington, Vermont

The Purrs Get in the Car and Drive

purrs

You know what I like about the Purrs? Among their many charms, they have cars in their songs. Cars to take you to the place where everything’s going down and cars to escape after you’ve had enough. Out here in the wide open west, contrary to the current political winds, you need a car. It’s big out here and things ain’t getting any closer together. If you want to feel connected you’ve gotta get in the car and drive. If you want to disconnect from everything, you also need a one, and the Purrs understand that. They know when to cruise and they know when to put the pedal to the floor.

The Boy With Astronaut Eyes is the Purrs’ sixth album and it may be their best since The Chemistry That Keeps Us Together. Bassist and songwriter Jima has come up with a great batch of songs that rivals Chemistry’s top shelf stuff. The songs are  dusty, gritty, cosmic and road-ready. They feel like futuristic wild west space tales.  Jason Milne’s interstellar guitar solos propel the songs into the nether realms. New rhythm guitarist Liz Herrin provides some angelic backing vocals to counter Jima’s road-worn ones, while drummer Craig Keller is the designated driver that keeps the songs on the road or at least on a trajectory to intersect with the next outpost.

This batch of  Purrs songs are  doused in gasoline and then lit up with guitars. Cemetery Johnny is a blast of feedback over a killer bass groove that feels like Love and Rockets gone bad. They also can take you on strung out road trips down lonely west coast highways with acid rain pelting the windshield and if there is a bar on the roadside you can be sure that they are stopping. Fade Away may be thee strung out power drive to end all trips. Both sides of their single from last year re-appear here as well, which if you already have it may come as a disappointment instead of something else, but both Rotting On the Vine and You the Medicine and Me are more than worthy if you don’t do singles.

So the question is: Is this new Purrs album worth the road trip?  The first time I heard the Purrs I was in a car. It wasn’t a wide open road. I wasn’t driving to nowhere and there wasn’t a trail of dust in my wake, but when that song came on the radio, I felt like like I could bypass the grocery store and speed off towards the horizon. This record will have you reaching for the keys.

The Purrs play this Thursday, May 30th at the Comet Tavern. They’re currently in the studio with Erik Blood recording their next record that’s bound to be killer.

stream: The Purrs – Cemetery Johnny (from The Boy With Astronaut Eyes out soon on Fin Records)

stream: The Purrs – Fade Away

Off My Meds With the Purrs

Purrs

Man I love the kind of psych that Seattle’s Purrs deal in. Their strung-out deep vein vibes are the good stuff that will break apart any coagulation in your overly tense stressed out body. The problem though is that they’ve been hard to hook up with lately to get a fix of new Purrs songs. It’s been over two years since their last EP. Consequently I’ve been tensing up more, my blood pressure has been rising and I fear there may be some deep vein thrombosis setting in.

Just in time, the Purrs are back with a new 7-inch single that serves as a cocktail for their upcoming album. I already feel the blood flow being helped along by the medicine delivered via this two song single. Rotting on the Vine injects itself quite nicely. It’s a boost of pop with cool vocals and soaring guitars. B-side You, the Medicine and Me is more the slow release kind of med. It trickles into your being like ice in the veins. God, I feel so much better now. Thank you Dr. Purrs!

Order the Purrs new single from Fin Records.

Proper!

I had no idea the Proper Ornaments had a new five song EP out until reading about it over at the Austin Town Hall blog. Their 7″ from last year was good, but this new EP is pretty near brilliant. The band who take their name from a Free Design song share a member in James Hoare with Veronica Falls. Veronica Falls have an affection for the jangly side of the seminal Flying Nun label from New Zealand Flying Nun label. Proper Ornaments do too, but tend toward the more psychedelic side of things. The Bats come to mind, as does the moodier side of the Chills and even some non-New Zealand blood in the stylish pop of the Eric Mathews/Richard Davies collaboration Cardinal. The songs have an elegant translucent quality that floats them into your conscious quickly but they have long-acting mechanisms that keep them in your system. Since hearing this EP, I seem to go into withdrawal if I don’t play it every half hour. I think I may be addicted.

The record is available from No Pain In Pop.

stream: The Proper Ornaments – Who Thought

 

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Love Boat Is Back (And It’s Not a Re-Run)

With all this Boat talk it’s beginning to look like fleet week around here.  Italy’s Love Boat are back with not one but two new records.  The big one is new album on Germany’s Alien Snatch records.  It’s called Love Is Gone and is a slight progression from their previous album Imaginary Beatings.  Before they were a loveable ramshackle punk band with twangy songs.  On the new album that description still applies for some of the songs, but they’ve gotten a bit more subtle and suave.  There’s some west coast psychedlia that nods to bands like Love and the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and the Byrds.  If we’re talking present day, fans of  the Fresh & Onlys, Beets and Dead Ghosts will no doubt be booking flights to Sardinia, Italy to see these guys play since seeing them in the States seems like a pipe dream.

mp3: Love Boat – Modern Ties (from Love Is Gone – order physical products from Alien Snatch or get the mp3 version from Amazon)

But wait, that’s not all!  Love Boat also have new a four song 7-inch out on Shit Music For Shit People.  When it rains it pours.

mp3: Love Boat – You Know I Really Want You (order your copy of the single from Shit Music For Shit People)

Getting Dizzy From the Acid


It’s been almost four years since the last Lionheart Brothers album Dizzy Kiss. I figured that they had taken too much acid and broken up after that wonderful psychedelic record. I guess they didn’t just enough acid to get lost in the woods for a few years and come back with a new album called Matters of Love and Nature.  The record is set to be released at the end of this month on Racing Junior in Norway.  The first song released isn’t a huge departure from Dizzy Kiss, but when you can effortlessly mesh XTC, Caribou, Beach Boys and Neu! into an acid tinged symphony, why mess with a good thing?

mp3: Lionheart Brothers – Dizzy (from Matters of Love and War)

Strawberries Are Growing in My Garden (and It’s Wintertime)

The new Young Sinclairs is like a paisley slice of Forever Changes cake, an overgrowth of kudzu Murmers, a play where the characters are wearing Their Satanic Majesties Request wizard costumes, a Blurred Crusade to an Unguarded Moment, an Emergency Third Rail Power Trip, a Lolita Nation and a Clue leading to Megan’s bed.

Did the Roanoke, Virgina band record this in Mitch Easter’s Drive-In Studio 25 years ago?  No.  For all intents and purposes the Young Sinclairs are a one man band on record and the one man is Sam Lunsford.  Is he an unsung genius or just another guy in his bedroom recording songs and putting them out on CD-r’s?  Based on his new album Chimeys (his seventh if your counting) I would go with the former.  After hearing this album you’ll likely find yourself wanting to catch up, searching out the other six albums.  For convenience and brevity, Kindercore released a sort of best of earlier this year that you can pick up and bring yourself up to speed.  If that ain’t enough, the Young Sinclairs also have a 7″ coming soon on Planting Seeds.  Gotta go, the paisleys and kudzu need tending in the garden.

mp3: The Young Sinclairs -Kind of Soul (get the limited edition purple vinyl straight from the source: Chimney Sweep Records)

mp3: The Young Sinclairs – Girl, I’m For Real (get the 7″ from Planting Seeds)

Go Green: Green Pajamas’ Gigs This Weekend

The reclusive Green Pajamas have a couple upcoming gigs, one in Portland and one in Seattle this weekend.  The long-time Seattle band are  masters of the psychedelic tempest in a teacup otherwise known as plain old psych rock, or for you 80’s o’philes the paisley underground.  The band only ever play one or two 2 gigs per year so these back to back dates could be construed as a full blown tour.  They may be agoraphobic when it comes to playing live, but when it comes to putting out records they turn into in your face extroverts.  The band have been Seattle wallflowers dating back to 1984 and have put out more than 20 albums not including Jeff Kelley solo records.  That’s nearly an album a year for a quarter of a century.  Longevity appears to be in the pajamas (sorry).  It’s kind of crazy to think about the number of albums they’ve put out, and it’s more than a little overwhelming to a newcomer.

So where do you start with  a band that have so many records to choose from?  Some of my favorites are  the albums that they put out in the late 90’s.  All Clues Lead to Megan’s Bed, Seven fathoms Down And Falling from that period and the reissue of their early album Ghost of Love are all worth hearing.  Another way to go is the compilation route, Indian Summer collects their early hard to find singles, while Through Glass Colored Roses focuses more on late period Pajamas.  Getting both of the comps gives a pretty good overview of their career and you can dive in from there.

Live, they play songs from way back.  The last time I saw them they played one of their first singles, the almost famous Kim the Waitress, which was later made famous by Material Issue.  It’s not all old stuff, though, the band have been consistently releasing records on Hidden Agenda for the past six years.  Their latest record Poison In the Russian Room came out earlier this year.  It continues the psychedelic rock that these paisley undergrounders have been doing for so long. Overall it’s little more mellow in feel, but there are a few upbeat songs on it to keep you on your toes.

Another way to introduce yourself or reaquaint yourself with a band like the Green Pajamas who’s longevity is evidenced by their huge discography is by going to their gig.  They’ll be down in Portland Friday at  Kelly’s Olympian and then here in Seattle on Saturday at the Lo-Fi.  Just in case you’re on the fence, here are a few mp3’s to get you going.

Dec 4 – Green Pajamas w/boatclub @ Kelly’s Olympian in Portland
Dec 5 – Green Pajamas w/boatclub @ The Lo-Fi in Seattle

mp3: Green Pajamas – Any Way the Wind Blows (from Poison In the Russian Room)

mp3: Green Pajamas – Walking In the Rain (from Ghosts of Love)

mp3: Green Pajamas – Streets Of London (from Indian Winter)

mp3: Green Pajamas – Rattlesnake Kiss (from All Clues Lead to Megan’s Bed)

mp3: Green Pajamas – Planet Love (from Seven Fathoms Down and Falling)