Barsuk Records

Menomena – Mines [Album Review]

by Woody on August 12, 2010

Four years ago, we tried to catch Menomena at SxSW at a 2am set. After a never-ending sound check and many technical mishaps on stage, we bailed before they went on. We were drunk and bitter, so we split. I’ve since regretted leaving because I’ve become fairly obsessed with Meonomena in the ensuing years.

After what seemed like an interminable wait, Menomena has delivered a much anticipated follow up to Friend and Foe and, my Lord, was it worth the wait. Much like when I listened to The Morning Benders’ Big Echo for the first time, I was left grasping for words on how to best express my appreciation of this album. The threesome are less reliant on their production techniques this time around which makes the music less jarring and more accessible.

After a warm -up of sorts with the opening track, Menomena jolts you with the jumper cables on “TAOS.” Full of tempo changes, spastic chords and a chugging horn, it embodies the features that first drew me to the band on their previous album. “Dirty Cartoons” alternates between a folk and prog-rock,  going back and forth without much fanfare and ending in lovely harmonies.

I could continue to break down every tune on the album but that would set get tiring for both of us. I would urge you to delve into this album and enjoy it as a complete meal – sort of like a degustation menu. You might feel overwhelmed and bloated at the end, but you’ll definitely be satisfied.

Menomena – TAOS

Menomena – Five Little Rooms

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Pearly Gate Music [Album Review]

by Woody on August 2, 2010

Pearly Gate Music, essentially just Zach Tillman with help from a few others, including his brother Josh (aka J. Tillman), has just put out one of the finer debuts of the year. And while its sound is not easy to label, it is certainly easy to enjoy. On first listen I was immediately reminded of Elvis Perkins, another songwriter with unique ideas and a lo-fi aura.

What really stands out is the album’s spontaneity and authenticity. It feels as if it was created on the fly in the studio. Some of my favorite tracks include The Big Escape, If I Was A River, and Rejoice, but my favorite is Gossamer Hair. I have know clue what Gossamer Hair is but I do remember Gossamer from Bugs Bunny.

If this is the music they’ll be playing when St. Peter is rendering his decision on my fate at the Pearly Gates, I might let a few people skip me in line and enjoy the full show.

MySpace | Barsuk Records

Pearly Gate Music – Big Escape

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pearly gate

Pearly Gate Music is an incredibly talented gentleman by the name of Zach Tillman, who makes beautiful, unusual, simple-yet-complicated songs structured around his extraordinary singing and melodic sense. I stole that line from the press release because I love the track, but am unfamiliar with the artist. I’ll report back after listening to an album.

Zach and band will be touring the country, including appearances at SxSW, in the months leading up to the release of their self-titled debut.

Pearly Gate Music – I Was A River (live)

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rocky

Rocky Votolato has spent his last two albums exploring country and folk roots that shaped his upbringing in Texas. He’s battled privately with depression and anxiety and True Devotion is his quest for peace of mind. The album will be out on February 23rd via Barsuk Records.

Rocky Votolato – Red River

Here are the upcoming tour dates:

February:

13 RENO, NV‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Rainshadow CCHS !@
24 NEW YORK, NY‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Mercury Lounge (CD Release Show) !, #
26 CHICAGO, IL‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Schubas (CD Release Show!) $

March:
02 PORTLAND, OR‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Mississippi Studios #
04 SAN FRANCISCO, CA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Bottom of the Hill @
05 LOS ANGELES, CA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Troubadour @
07 SAN DIEGO, CA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Casbah‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  #
08 PHOENIX, AZ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Rhythm Room @
09 ALBUQUERQUE, NM‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Launchpad @
10 DENVER, CO‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Hi-Dive 16+
11 PROVO, UT‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Velour @
13 SEATTLE, WA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Neumo’s (CD Release Show!) @

April:
01 MINNEAPOLIS, MN‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Triple Rock $
03 LANSING, MI‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Mac’s Bar %, @
05 TORONTO, CANADA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Drake Hotel %, 19+
07 ALLSTON, MA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Great Scott %, $
10 PHILADELPHIA, PA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  First Unitarian %, @
11 WASHINGTON, DC‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  DC 9 %, $
13 PITTSBURGH, PA‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Garfield Artworks %, @
14 AKRON, OH‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Musica %, @
15 NEWPORT, KY‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚ ‚  Southgate House %, @

! with My Flag Is On Fire, The Bindle Stiffs
% with Brooke Waggoner

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Ramona Falls video for I Say Fever [New Video, mp3]

November 10, 2009

One of the best songs/videos of the year comes from Ramona Falls, the solo venture of Brent Knopf of Menomena. The album entitled Intuit is out now via Barsuk Records. I just spotted it on eMusic. Ramona Falls – I Say Fever Video: Ramona Falls – I Say Fever Tweet

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False Alarm from The Wooden Birds [new mp3]

May 7, 2009

The Wooden Birds are releasing their debut album, Magnolia, via Barsuk Records on May 12th. They have an ambient acoustic sound with breezy vocal harmonies. They just offered a second taste of the album with a free download of “False Alarm.” The Wooden Birds – False Alarm Previously posted: The Wooden Birds – Sugar Tour […]

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The Wooden Birds – Sugar [new mp3]

April 1, 2009

The Wooden Birds is the latest project from Andrew Kenny, who also performed as a guest artist with the Album Leaf, Her Space Holiday, Styrofoam, Ola Podrida, Arthur & Yu and most recently the Broken Social Scene. The full length album, Magnolia, is due out on May 12 via Barsuk Records and also features Ola […]

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Say Hi releasing Oohs and Aahs [new mp3, SXSW 2009]

January 22, 2009

I first wrote about Say Hi last year around this time. The shoegaze-ish sound is not normally my cup of tea, but there’s something about this band that continues to draw me in. I say “band” but it’s actually just Eric Elbogen who wrote and recorded the album in his home studio last year. Say […]

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