Monthly Archives: April 2014

TEEN has seen the wave of the future


TEEN- The Way and Color

The video for “Not For Long” — off TEEN‘s ambitious new “The Way and Color,” features  manipulated faces floating in space, symmetry and synth-like brass. The sound is sterile, clean and orderly. It lays itself out slowly. Its unusual time signature lends to the oddity of its psychedelic background and smoothes out a cohesive foundation for the rest of the album.
It’s surprising”Not For Long” was a single off the album — “All the Same,” with its inner soul, might have been the more obvious choice — but TEEN goes its own way, and that suits them fine.

TEEN is lead singer Teeny Lieberson, Lizzie Lieberson on keyboard, Katherine Lieberson on drums, and now joined by bassist Boshra alSaadi.”The Way and Color” was recorded in 10 days in upstate New York, pulling influences from D’Angelo and R&B great Erykah Badu.


TEEN- The Way and Color

Teeny Lieberson voice is like an easygoing river, maternal, with the haunting electricity of Olivia Newton John. Her vocals are built for pop, but she has other uses for it. The combination of femininity, jazz beats and raw experimentation is what makes TEEN sound so soothing and wonderfully uncomfortable at the same time.

Harmonized choruses abound, as on “More Than I Ask For,” where TEEN uses horns and reverb with a mid-tempo easy-listening feel. It’s got a space-age jazz flavor that’s outside the realm of alternative.

“Tied Up Tied Down” employs foreign sounds that create a sonic map, while “Breathe Low & Deep” uses two tempos — quirky and deep — with repetitive guitar notes to explore feelings of love and frustration. “Sticky” contains a backward loop that recalls 70s synth and modern techno-psych pop. The album launches into a mini-odyssey to finish, on the futuristic “All the Same,” full of horns and echos.
Most of “The Way and Color” are long-form songs that pull in a bouquet of different musical influences, even flute, R&B sax and voice manipulation, covered with a strong 80s-synth taste.
These worldwide cultural influences color TEEN’s music, but doesn’t define it– it just helps it stand out from the rest.
The “Way and Color” was released April 22 on Carpark Records. You can buy it here.
Dig it or Ditch it: Dig It, but take your time.

TEEN’s got a whole bunch of tour dates lined up, playing with Phantogram, GRMLN and Jessy Lanza on various shows:

Tues, Apr 22 Austin, TX @ End of an Ear (free in-store 3pm)

Tue, Apr 22 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek

Wed, Apr 23 Dallas, TX @ South Side Music Hall

Thu, Apr 24 McAllen, TX @ Cine El Rey

Fri, Apr 25 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live

Mon, April 28 Los Angeles, Ca @ Bootleg Theater

Thu, May 1 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel

Fri, May 2 Sacramento, CA @ Witch Room

Mon, May 5 Seattle, WA @ Barboza

Tue, May 6 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar

Fri, May 9 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry

Sat, May 10 Chicago, IL @ Schubas

Thu, May 22 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right (Record Release Show)

Sat, May 24 Washington DC @ U Street Music Hall

Fri, July 18 Brighton, UK @ The Hope

Sat, July 19 Southwold, UK @ Latitude

Sun, July 20 Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall

Mon, July 21 Glasgow, UK @ King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Tue, July 22 London, UK @ The Lexington

Thu, July 24 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso Kleine Zaal

Fri, July 25 Hamburg, Germany @ Aalhaus

Mon, July 28 Paris, France @ Le Nouveau Casino


Further listening/viewing:

“Not For Long” stream:

“Not For Long” video:

“Tied Up Tied Down” stream:

Off the Avenue Presents: Savannah Stopover Sessions “Not For Long”:



Filed under Electronic, Experimental, Indie, Review

Time to visit your friendly local record store

Two years ago, I had to toss my mid-1980s combo-radio/CD/tape/record player in the city dump. Actually, it was my parents,’ but I secretly nabbed it from their basement. I couldn’t bear to see it go; that would signify albums really are dead.

But the turntable had speed issues. The rectangular metal buttons with the little finger divots weren’t operating. I’m guessing one of the last things it played was one of my mother’s Luther Vandross CDs, possibly “Give me the Reason.” Mostly, it sat in my cellar, occupying quite a bit of space.

It was a warm sunny day in May– I drove out solemnly to the dump, lugged and  hoisted that 15-pound behemoth out of my trunk. I carried that poor thing over to the metal bin 10 feet down, lobbed it as far as I could and watched it fall. It then sat in the blazing sun among quiet vacuums, an endless conga line of wires, and more than a few flies.

Thankfully, records are not dead.

It’s time to have some human interaction and experience the most glorious of days– Record Store Day. 

On Saturday, a healthy number of record stores all over the U.S. and the world will tout hundreds of special releases, rehashes and maybe some free goodies for the year’s annual event. Time to queue up and wait. Most music stores are not specifying what they will have. Stores request a certain number of whatever they think their customers might like, then wait to see what they get.

My advice would be to not waste too much time on record stores’ websites. I’ve clicked on a few — some are informative, some not. A lot lead to “404 Not Found.”

From the little information I found for record stores in northern New England:

If REM played a big part in your high-school career in the 80s, if “Hairshirt” was your song, then you should make your plans now. Bassist Mike Mills is going to be at Bull Moose in Scarborough, Maine, at 2 p.m. to sign autographs. Mills will be there to celebrate REM’s release from their MTV Unplugged sessions from 1991 to 2001. Eleven of those tracks were not in the original broadcast.

For the stuff that doesn’t sell that day, Bull Moose says it will put them up for sale on their website April 21.

Also from Bull Moose’s website, a very thoughtful public-service message– “Resellers Bite.”
“RSD is a celebration of the special relationship between music fans and record stores. Nothing spoils the fun more than people buying to resell later. If that is your plan, please reconsider. Why spoil everyone else’s fun just to make a few bucks? You can also make money selling single cigarettes at the school yard.”

What a happy image!

Spun Records in my hometown of Dover, N.H., is expecting a bunch of RSD jewels. That’s where I’m probably heading first. I’m not expecting to be first in line and I don’t plan to get fixated on finding cool stuff, although I probably will. Since this will be my first RSD experience, I hope I find something good that’s affordable. Keep dreaming, right?

Here’s the list. It’s huge.

For me, a little Joy Division (An Ideal for Living- 1978) would be nice, or Meltdown with the Ramones (10″ vinyl). I may make a beeline for Parquet Courts’ “Sunbathing Animal.”



You could find Johnny Cash, John Oates or Johnny Winter.

Not sure I want to spend my money on this one, but someone will: Ron Jeremy: (yes, that Ron Jeremy)–“Understanding and Appreciating Classical Music with Ron Jeremy.”

Get a little highbrow with Ron Jeremy

Get a little highbrow with Ron Jeremy

Porn star notwithstanding, a lot of Record Store Day is really for collectors. But it’s also a time to remember when records were the only game in town. Stores had what they had, and if you were lucky enough to live near a good one, you had a friend for life. Records will always have their place in music history and RSD is here to remind us of those days– days of disco, Led Zeppelin and Michael Jackson.

So celebrate your heritage.


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April 15, 2014 · 7:59 pm

Listen: The Roots’ new song “When The People Cheer”

The Roots’ “When the People Cheer” — a new kind of hip-hop slow-jam but with a bite. Album drops May 13.

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Put a jolt in your spring with this new rock

The news that Wolfmother, Parquet Courts and Jack White are all resurfacing from the depths brings an unexpected heat to 2014.

Australia’s Wolfmother is back in the picture, after absences, alleged sickness and a temporary split, with a new album released March 23.



They’ve inherited the rock and roll spirit of the 60s and 70s and imbued it with more grit and fire. You can get Wolfmother’s album “New Crown” for a measly $7 at Bandcamp. It’s immediate shred. If Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin mated, Wolfmother would be its devil-child.

The band broke through big-time in 2005, then faded from view here in the states. Among a new lineup announced in 2009, illness sidestepped the band in 2010 and they had to cancel a European tour. “New Crown” has been in the works since 2011, what the band has called “one beastly sounding record.” Can’t say no to that.

On April 1, Jack White released a video of his new song “High Ball Stepper,” teasing us until the album Lazaretto drops June 10 in the U.S. and June 9 in the UK on Third Man Records. Vaulters, fans who joined Jack White’s special fan club, can get a limited edition of the release, with a book, artwork and unreleased demos. There’s a good chance it will be worth your money.


“High Ball Stepper” is hammered and crafted in the vein of the White Stripes’ “Ball and Biscuit” and “Catch Hell Blues.” “High Ball Stepper” roils and swirls like the paint that shimmies and vibrates on the speakers in the video. Check it out here and be mesmerized.

Also April 2, Parquet Courts announced a new album, “Sunbathing Animal” and let loose the title track. It’s a tangled, beautiful ball of energy ratcheted up tenfold by Andrew Savage’s frenzied vocals. The 13 tracks are due June 3 and follow in the pulsing footsteps of “Tally All the Things That You Broke” and “Light Up Gold.” You’ll be able to find it on What’s Your Rupture?/Mom + Pop.


Never one to take a nap, they’ve also set up a summer world tour with Protomartyr, punk-rock’s bastard cousin. Enjoy “Sunbathing Animal here. Much of “Sunbathing Animal” was laid down during their 2013 tour. A big, steaming pile of punk-rock beauty is expected with this new release.


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Filed under News, Noise Punk, Post-punk, Punk-rock, Review, Rock, Uncategorized