Bedouine – s/t (album review)

by Woody on July 20, 2017

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photo credit: Polly Antonia Barrowman

Bedouine, traditionally spelled as Beduoin, has the meaning of a nomadic Arab of the desert. In this instance it is the moniker of Azniv Korkejian, an Angeleno that has born in Aleppo, Syria and spent time in numerous ports in between. Working in the sprawling entertainment industry, Korkejian was writing songs as part of the close-knit community of musicians in Echo Park without any preconceived notions of a career in music.

The tone of her music is 60′s Laurel Canyon Americana with some Latin flavors mixed in. And those flavors come courtesy of Matthew E. White, Trey Pollard and the folks at Spacebomb. I have been infatuated with White and Spacebomb since hearing his music a few years back. Korkejian had White in mind as she was writing these tunes, and the marriage of her tunes with Spacebomb’s flourishes is a thing of beauty. So much is added to each track, yet never stepping on her toes; her honeyed voice floating to the top on every track.

All in all, this is a lovely album to get lost in. Some of the standouts include One Of These Days, Dusty Eyes and the closer Skyline. Simply put, this is one of my favorite debuts of 2017.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Bedouine is here

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Bunny announce debut EP, Sucker

by Woody on July 19, 2017

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Photo by Alexa Viscius

Bunny is a band from and the songwriting vehicle of Jessica Viscius. The track chill has a nice chill indie music vice to it that makes me want to hear some more. She’s play8ing a Lolla Party w/ The Lemon Twigs and at The Hideout on 9/2. Here’s a little more info on the EP.

Bunny, formed in Chicago during the winter of 2016, toes the bleary line between dream pop and bedroom rock. The first project of Jessica Viscius, their tunes take on a soft grunge feel, mixing dainty, pretty melodies with hazy lyrics delicately laced with sarcasm. Her tongue-in-cheek songs are a testament to the tried-and-untrue stereotypes of female frailty, dependency, and hopeless romanticism. Their debut EP, Sucker, will be released later this summer.

Sounds like: Mazzy Star, Velvet Underground, Opal, Courtney Barnett

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Bunny is here

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Originally from Portland, the surfer-punks are back with the follow up to 2015′s excellent Darling … It’s Too Late. The track below, Blame Myself, is a winner. Here’s some more info on the album.

Halfway between LA and Phoenix on a desolate stretch of I-10 lies Desert Center, a mostly abandoned town that mainly serves as a gas stop along the barren interior of California. Portland punks Guantanamo Baywatch, like so many touring bands, have passed through the town countless times on their way between shows. But the town has also become a particular source of inspiration for guitarist/vocalist Jason Powell, who recently relocated from Oregon to Arizona. It may seem ironic that a band that draws so heavily from surf rock would find their muse in a location so far from the beach, but it’s not as if The Ventures were hitting the waves in their hometown of Tacoma or Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet were waxing their boards in Toronto. Truth is, Desert Center was the place where Powell first farted in front of his girlfriend, resulting in their use of “desert centering” as code for passing gas. But Guantanamo Baywatch’s new album Desert Center isn’t an ode to bodily functions or breaking down comfort barriers within relationships. Rather, it’s a perfect reminder of the ecstatic rabble-rousing documentation of life in America’s lonely outposts offered up by that first wave of electric guitar pioneers.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Guantanamo Baywatch is here

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Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires Band Photo

A few weeks back, Jason Isbell was interviewed by Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. At one point during the interview, Noah acknowledges his preconceived notions of what Isbell’s beliefs should be based on his Alabama accent. It was an interesting observation and one that also translates to the music of The Glory Fires. Bains is a native of Birmingham, AL but his music and political leanings bristles with the energy that you’d associate with a punk band from Brooklyn. As Isbell retorts to Noah during that interview about his history with DBT and them being a “bunch of nasty punk rockers.” A statement that also translates very well to The Glory Fires.

The songs on Youth Detention walk the razor’s edge between his deep love of his home and criticisms of the many issues that he feels hold it back. The lyrics are pointed and not shy about their beliefs, but they don’t come across as preachy. Most of the issues he tackles – racism, greed, urban blight, religious hypocrisy – are ones that I stand firmly behind him. But even the ones that I don’t, I find his delivery compelling enough; sort of like disagreeing on subtleties with a good friend.

As for the music, the album is really well done. I dig it more than his last effort, Dereconstructed. Too often his lyrics were buried too deep beneath the din which could make it a bit of a challenge. Here, the production and mixing by Jeremy Ferguson, Tim Kerr and Lynn Bridges loses none of the ferocity of Dereconstructed but allows Bains’ vocals to always come across.

The double LP spans 17 tracks and there are some real gems here. Whitewash, a tune about the racial status quote, is a real standout as they slow things down a bit, really letting the twang shine through. The title track is a slow-building track that culminates with an anthemic flourish, very Patterson Hood. Crooked Letters is another stand-out. Using a recording of kids learning the tricks of spelling Mississippi, Bains delivers another winner that is sure to be great in a live setting. Towards the end of the album, Bains delivers a hopeful acoustic track, The Picture Of A Man, that hopes that the next generation can be better.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Lee a few times. Always greets me a smile and a genuine hello. Really happy to see him but out such a great album.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Lee Bains is here

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Blank Range announce Marooned With The Treasure 8/25

July 14, 2017

Credit: Don VanCleave A couple years back, I had the pleasure of catching a set by Blank Range on the strength of their EP. Since then I’ve waiting for them to announce their debut LP. Well that day is here. Marooned With The Treasure, will be released via the fine folks at Thirty Tigers. Based [...]

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TORRES announces Three Futures, 9/19/17

July 13, 2017

First time I saw TORRES (aka Mackenzie Scott) in concert, I was completely blown away. I tweeted out during the set that she looked like my daughter’s kindergarten teacher. But those looks mask a ferocity in her music that sucks you in during the performance. It makes you forget everything else going around you. She’s [...]

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Melkbelly announce debut album Nothing Valley on 10/13/17

July 12, 2017

Melkbelly are a Chicago four-piece that has been making a lot of noise in the Chicago DIY scene since 2014. While I didn’t catch them this past SXSW, by all accounts they were one of the must-see acts down there. Now there set to release their debut LP, Nothing Valley on 10/13/17 via Wax Nine [...]

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Sheer Mag – Need To Feel Your Love (album review)

July 11, 2017

Photo by Marie Lin From the moment Steven Hyden told me to start listening to Sheer Mag, they have become a staple in my listening diet. Led by the force of nature, Tina Halladay, the Philly 5-piece deliver an abundance of riffs on this homage to 70s rock and punk. Over the course of three [...]

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Deer Tick to release not one, but two albums in Sept

July 10, 2017

its been four years since the phenomenal Negativity came out. During that hiatus, I had the luck and pleasure of catching one of their shows during the ’16 Newport Folk Festival. Crammed into the Newport Blues Cafe as guests rotated on and off the stage before they took over was one of the most memorable [...]

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RIPS – s/t (album review)

July 10, 2017

RIPS are a four-piece out or Brooklyn that has built a reputation on their live performances over the last four years. Their s/t debut is out and it feels like a love letter to New York music. From Lou Reed straight to Parquet Courts (In fact, Austin Brown from Parquet Courts produces the album), the [...]

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