Monthly Archives: July 2014

Millsted redefines punk hardcore with “Harlem”

"Harlem" by hardcore-punk outfit Millsted

“Harlem” by hardcore-punk outfit Millsted

In the 2012 online video “Kill the Sound: The Millsted Reunion,” the noise-hardcore-punk band talks about the struggles they’ve faced as a band, such as personal turmoil and issues between members. Many bands, when times get rough, would easily call it a day, or  splinter off into separate groups and move on.

Brooklyn-ites Millsted, with their eight-song LP “Harlem,” shows they’re back, still together, and ready to kill it some more.

Millsted, who call themselves “The Larry David of Hardcore” started in 2003 and released two albums, “Umm….Yea” in 2008 and “The Great Adventures of the Gold Red Rocket” in 2009.

Vocalist Kevin Uffre is at full throttle on “Harlem.” His manic-depressive shredding is a perfect bedfellow for Pete Belloli’s drums, which drill tightly through each song. Uffre comes down from the clouds once in a while to bring more mind-bending lyrics, while bassist Samuel Fernandez keeps it all steady. The work from guitarists Chrisopher Carambot and Robert Dume is actually a lot more varied than what you would expect from a hardcore punk band.

Most of the songs on “Harlem” are blissfully brief; having more would just be overkill for the power that explodes from each song. Millsted realizes that delicate but all-important distinction.

The exception is “Seafoam Lovers.” At an unheard-of 9 minutes for a punk song, it’s actually more of a quiet pyschedelic odyssey that was born from some dark underworld.

Millsted’s songs sometimes brings out the wackiness of Dead Kennedys, such as on “Televangelist,” where Uffre sounds eerily and unabashedly like Jello Biafra.

The single “Coyote,” with its anthem bark, is one of the harder songs from “Harlem,” and belies the melodic variety that is just underneath.

There’s a lot of depth to “Harlem,” so much so that it could almost qualify as a crossover hardcore punk/progressive/psychedelic album.

Millsted proves they’re hardcore pioneers who happily refuse to stay boxed in to one pure genre — this may be the key to their not-so-secret success.

Upcoming shows are Aug. 10 and Sept. 17 at The Grand Victory in Brooklyn.

Listen to Millsted’s “Harlem” on Bandcamp or Soundcloud.

Dig it or Ditch it: Dig it, for those who like unconventional hardcore.

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Filed under Hardcore punk, Punk-rock, Review

Duologue’s “Drag and Drop” takes flight

Duologue releases another single from "Never Get Lost," called "Drag and Drop."

Duologue releases another single from “Never Get Lost,” called “Drag and Drop.”

Duologue this week released another single from “Never Get Lost.”

Drag and Drop”  is extremely catchy and a beautifully spare love song.

The video is simply an image of a dove frozen in midair who experiences different incarnations of static and motion— a digital and visual effect that makes an offbeat reference to the song’s title.

Duologue has also announced work on another video, this one with Marshmallow Lazer Feast. Their record release party is set for Sept. 17 in Oslo, London.

It shouldn’t be long before this song, and band, catches fire.


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Filed under Electronic, Indie, New Music, Uncategorized, VIdeos

Kimbra’s new song “Miracle”: Welcome to the 70s

Kimbra Golden Echo

New Zealand’s own Kimbra has released a new disco-infused single off The Golden Echo,” “Miracle,” which unabashedly channels early Michael Jackson harmonies but brings a lighthearted twist. The song also features Michael Jackson/Daft Punk drummer John JR Robinson, so it’s a win/win.

“The Golden Echo,” Kimbra’s second album, will be released Aug. 19 on Warner Bros. Records

Kimbra has also announced a U.S. headlining tour that kicks off Oct. 20— tickets are on sale beginning Friday, July 25.

10/20  San Francisco, CA – The Independent*

10/23  Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy*

10/24  Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory*

10/25-10/26   Las Vegas, NV – Life Is Beautiful Festival

10/27  Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue*

10/28  Denver, CO – Sherman Street Event Center*

10/30  Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line Music Café

11/01  Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall

11/06  New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom*

11/07  Philadelphia, PA – World Café Live – Downstairs*

11/08  Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall*

11/09  Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall*

* w/ Empress Of


Filed under New Music, Pop, R & B, Retro Soul

Bear in Heaven streaming “Time Is Over One Day Old”

Bear in Heaven in a lovely collage Photo credit: Dusdn Condren

Bear in Heaven in a lovely collage
Photo credit: Dusdn Condren

Bear in Heaven’s fourth album, “Time Is Over One Day Old,” is now streaming on NPR’s “First Listen.” The band, while from Brooklyn, doesn’t sound like its music was made on U.S. soil, and that’s its magnetic draw. The eclectic group, formed by John Philpot in 2003, incorporates krautrock and psychedelia to create a sound all their own.

“Time Is Over One Day Old” will be released Aug. 5 on Dead Oceans/Hometapes. You can also just skip right ahead and listen to “Autumn” and “Time Between” via Soundcloud. Pandora is expected to host the stream next week, so there’s plenty of opportunities to check them out.

Here’s their tour dates through October:
Mon. Aug. 4 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade (in-store)
Wed. Aug. 20 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Thu. Aug. 21 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Fri. Aug. 22 – Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Sat. Aug. 23 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle (Back Room)
Sun. Aug. 24 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Tue. Aug. 26 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Wed. Aug. 27 – Houston, TX @ House of Blues (Bronze Peacock)
Thu. Aug. 28 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
Tue. Sept. 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echoplex
Wed. Sept. 3 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Fri. Sept. 5 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Sat. Sept. 6 – Spokane, WA @ Bartfest
Sun. Sept. 7 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
Wed. Sept. 10 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
Thu. Sept. 11 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
Fri. Sept. 12 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Sat. Sept. 13 – Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
Sun. Sept. 14 – Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
Tue. Sept. 16 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Wed. Sept. 17 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
Thu. Oct. 2 – London, UK @ XOYO
Fri. Oct. 3 – Brussels, BE @ Beursschouwburg
Sat. Oct. 4 – Paris, FR @ Espace B
Sun. Oct. 5 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
Mon. Oct. 6 – Cologne, DE @ Club 672
Tue. Oct. 7 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain
Thu. Oct. 9 – Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar
Fri. Oct. 10 – Lund, SE @ Mejeriet
Sat. Oct. 11 – Stockholm, SE @ Kagelbanan
Sun. Oct. 12 – Goteborg, SE @ Pustervik
Mon. Oct. 13 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee
Tue. Oct. 14 – Bergen, NO @ Landmark
Thu. Oct. 16 – Aarhus, DK @ Atlas
Fri. Oct. 17 – Hamburg, DE @ Aalhaus

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Filed under Electronic, Indie, New Music, Psychedelic rock

Honeyblood’s “Killer Bangs” a summer quencher

killer bangs

Sun-kissed girl group Honeyblood last month dropped the single off their new debut, just in time to cool you down with its creative hooks and candy-coated vocals.

The band is just two: Scottish women, drummer Shona McVicar and vocalist and guitarist Stina Tweeddale, and their sound recalls Haim or Best Coast. honeyblood

With a bit of punk and bright harmonization, “Killer Bangs” moves at a fast clip until it briefly switches time signatures. The recently released song was an Insound “track of the week” last month.

Honeyblood’s debut was released on FatCat Records July 15.

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Filed under Indie, Indie pop, New Music, Punk-rock

You really, really need to hear The Bots’ new single, “All I Really Want.”


The Bots’ “Pink Palms” due Oct. 14

The Bots this week released the single “All I Really Want,” for their upcoming full-length album “Pink Palms,” due Oct. 14 on the FADER label.

The song is a mix of Arctic Monkeys and a bit of Franz Ferdinand, with a dash of Skaters, set to a youthful punk beat. Spoken word tangles with tight harmonies on the song but still maintains a proper clash of explosive guitar and disciplined drumming.

The Bots, LA brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei, have caused a permanent stir around garage-punk circles. Mikaiah handles lead vocals, guitar and bass, while Anaiah conquers percussion and backing vocals. “Pink Palms” was helped along in production by Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs — which also could hint at the album’s sound.

Mikaiah Lei offers some insight: “Thematically, there’s the recurring subject matter of sadness, loneliness, and regret but underneath it all there’s an element of happiness and an overall melancholy vibe to these songs,” he says in a press release.

At first listen, “All I Really Want” sounds more polished than the rough-and-tumble DIY-ness of their earlier work.”Pink Palms” could be a slight detour from their bass-heavy/electric-powerhouse signature sound.

Whatever it sounds like, The Bots is unabashedly talented and “Pink Palms” may be something to admire come fall.

Listen to “All I Really Want” on Soundcloud.

The Bots are brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei (Credit: Rebecca Smeyne)

The Bots are brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei
(Credit: Rebecca Smeyne)

The Bots also have a smattering of U.S. tour dates lined up through the fall:

8/6 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA

8/10 – Outside Lands – San Francisco, CA

9/6 – Chill on the Hill – Detroit, MI

9/7 – Riotfest – Toronto, Canada

9/13 – Riotfest – Chicago, IL

9/20 – Riotfest – Denver, CO

9/27 – The Shindig Festival – Baltimore, MD

11/9 – Fun Fun Fun Fest – Austin, TX


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Filed under DIY, New Music, News, Punk, Punk-rock

How Death put a needle to the chest of punk


I got the DVD “A Band Called Death” as a gift. My friend knows I’m a punk-hungry girl, always ready to learn more, so he thought this was right up my alley.

I fully admit, when I heard the title of the DVD, my mind sort of was a mix of going blank, then thinking, “oh shit, what did he buy?” followed by, “Who the hell is Death?”

But I was the clueless one. My friend had done his research and told me a little about the band’s history; then I was intrigued.

The band was originally called Rock Fire Funk Express–Dannis Hackney on drums, David Hackney on guitar and Bobby Hackney on bass. The three African-American brothers from Detroit first started making funk music. Then they saw the Beatles and the Who, changed their tune pretty quick and became a protopunk band.

David Hackney was adamant about calling their new reincarnated band Death, “spinning death from the negative to the positive,” according to Bobby. When they went to record several songs in 1975, they had support from Clive Davis, president of Columbia, but when they wouldn’t budge on the name, support fell through.

While the Hackney brothers still had the masters, those original recordings sat in Bobby’s hot, dusty attic, a place where albums should have no earthly business.

By 1977 Death sputtered out, and the members moved to Burlington Vt., about the farthest you can get from any bustling music scene. They switched to gospel rock this time and released two albums. David Hackney died of cancer in 2000. The surviving members are still in the reggae band Lambsbread.

But like any enduring story, it hardly ended there.

According to the movie, Ben Blackwell, writing for the blog Chunklet, wrote about one of Death’s songs, “Politicians In My Eyes,” of which just 500 recordings were made.

Listening to “Politicians In My Eyes,” it’s eye-popping how forward-thinking the song is, with its progressive, almost psychedelic middle section, with its hard-punk vitriol and revolution-blaring lyrics, and the song sat, for decades.

Once the single started to leak, the fire spread and talk about Death rumbled quietly underfoot — after the Clash came and went, after the Sex Pistols burned out, after Bad Brains exploded onto the scene, after countless other punk bands credit those early influences and said they did right by the genre.

Three sons of Bobby Hackney formed the band Rough Francis in 2008, bringing the seven original songs into the bright light of the 21st century. Then Death began to reawaken. In 2009, the songs were released on Drag City Records and titled “For the Whole World to See.” That’s when punk enthusiasts started to open their eyes to this gem of a band.


It seems like it was meant to be that Death should remain quietly asleep for so long. It took decades for the rest of the world to wake up to this definitive protopunk band. If they had found a record label in 1980 that would take its name, it could have died on the table and it wouldn’t have been afforded this neo-revival.

The advent of MTV in the early 1980s and its polished visual element was further proof history was not ready for a band called Death.

Death would probably have been buried under the messy pile of sweaty punk-rockers, and their name was all that did them in. While the Pistols, Ramones, Clash and other punk giants will always claim their spot, the story of Death should remind everyone that punk-music history never really has an end.

It took the work of Rough Francis, record collectors and musicians to stoke the fire and give members of Death the recognition they always deserved. Above it all, David seemed to have the prescience to see far ahead in the future and know it would all work out.

Keeping an open mind to new music should always be a constant to fans, bloggers, recording companies and bands, because the most influential stuff could be where we least expect it.

There must still be more punk fans out there who haven’t heard of Death. Alert to those guys: More head-banging has arrived.

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Filed under DIY, Features, Garage Punk, Hardcore punk, Noise Punk, Protopunk, Punk, Punk-rock, Review

Woman’s Hour on the right wavelength; “Conversations” out Tuesday


“Conversations” by Woman’s Hour is out Tuesday on Secretly Canadian

The New York Times has an excellent page that streams new work from music artists, known and unknown. It’s a good source to check when you’re burned out on seeing the same artists moving up and/or out, or when the empty gossip gets to be too much.
Take a breather with Woman’s Hour. The Times is streaming the quartet’s debut, “Conversations,” which is out Tuesday on Secretly Canadian records.
The four are from London and based their name on a BBC Radio program geared toward female issues and culture.

Woman’s Hour’s emotional sound, sometimes called “swoon pop,” if that helps you place their style, has been compared with Wild Beasts. It’s the right blend of soothing and mysterious.
Lead singer Fiona Burgess often evokes the vocals of Sade, sweltering in the heat of passion and love. Burgess describes the band as “Four people silently moving in sync.”

Woman's Hour photo

They’ve already accomplished a lot: The band’s title track was honored with a remix by London producer Fort Romeau. Also, watch the video for “Conversations.” The monochromatic video couldn’t get any more minimalist and puts you right at ease. The video for “Her Ghost” is even better.

And judging by the band’s buzz so far, there’s no doubt the members of Woman’s Hour are sharing the same wavelength.

The band is also launching a mid-summer tour, which will move into fall:

Sat. July 19 – Hertfordshire, UK @ Farr Festival

Sun. July 20 – Suffolk, UK @ Latitude Festival

Fri. July 25 – Topcliffe, UK @ Deer Shed Festival

Sun July 27 – Sheffield, UK @ Tramlines Festival

Sun. Aug. 3 – Kendal, UK @ Kendal Calling

Fri. Aug. 8 – Skipton, UK @ Beacons Festival

Sat. Aug. 16 – Crickhowell, UK @ Green Man Festival

Fri. Aug. 29 – Bingley, UK @ Bingley Music Live

Thu. Sept. 4 – Isle of Wight, UK @ Bestival

Tue. Sept. 23 – London, UK @ Village Underground

Wed. Sept. 24 – Oxford, UK @ The Jericho Tavern

Thu. Sept. 25 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds

Fri. Sept. 26 – Leeds, UK @ Belgrave Music Hall

Sat. Sept. 27 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute

Wed. Oct. 1 – Washington, DC @ DC9

Thu. Oct. 2 – New York, NY @ The Mercury Lounge

Fri. Oct. 3 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade

Sat. Oct. 4 – Oneonta, NY @ SUNY Oneonta @ Fine Arts Building Room

Mon. Oct. 6 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel

Tue. Oct. 7 – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle

Thu. Oct. 9 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo

Fri. Oct. 10 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop

Tue. Oct. 14 – Bristol, UK @ The Exchange

Wed. Oct. 15 – Nottingham, UK @ Stealth

Thu. Oct. 16 – Glasgow, UK @ Tuts

Fri. Oct. 17 – Liverpool, UK @ East Village Loft

Sat. Oct. 18 – Cardiff, UK @ Buffalo Bar

Tue. Oct. 21 – Hamburg, DE @ Molotov Exil

Wed. Oct. 22 – Berlin, DE @ Berghain Kantine

Fri. Oct. 24 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet

Sat. Oct. 25 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique/Witloofbar

Tue. Oct. 28 – Oslo, NO @ Vanguard

Wed. Oct. 29 – Stockholm, SE @ Lilla Hotellbaren

Thu. Oct. 30 – Copenhagen, DK @ Ideal Bar

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Filed under Indie, Indie pop, News, Preview, VIdeos

Cannonball! Breeders back with new music, tour


The Breeders: Back in the pool Credit: Andrew Kuykendall

Here’s news many fans of 90s band Breeders will gladly welcome: The band is returning this fall, embarking on a Southwest tour. The Breeders achieved tremendous success with the August 1993 album “Last Splash.”

According to a press release, the band’s been hard at work on new material and ready to debut the new songs on tour. The Breeders will cap their tour at Hollywood Bowl, performing alongside Neutral Milk Hotel on Sept. 18.

In case you’ve somehow forgotten, here’s a link to the summer blowout song “Cannonball” from “Last Splash.” That 90’s bright vibe and irresistible bass groove is still unmatched, so high hopes for the new material.

Here’s their tour dates:

The Breeders Tour Dates:

09-02-14 St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway

09-03-14 Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar

09-05-14 Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO

09-07-14 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge

09-08-14 Garden City, ID – Visual Arts Collective

09-10-14 Seattle, WA – The Showbox

09-11-14 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom

09-13-14 San Jose, CA – C2SV

09-16-14 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom

09-17-14 San Diego – Casbah

09-18-14 Hollywood, CA – Hollywood Bowl

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Filed under Indie, News

Get on outta here: 2 new live songs on Brown biopic soundtrack


If you’re already planning to see the new James Brown biopic, “Get On Up,” you’ve got at least two more good reasons to go: Two previously unreleased concert recordings will be on the soundtrack.

For Godfather fans, that’s big news. Concerts for “the hardest working man in show business” were his bread and butter. His 1963 album “Live At the Apollo” has influenced countless artists. Patti Smith quietly nestles a reference to Brown and his song “Lost Someone” into her song “Piss Factory.” It’s unclear if Smith was referring to the ‘Live at the Apollo” version… but we digress.


If you’re unsure whether o drop cash on a movie and a soundtrack, think of it like this: New live versions of “Please Please Please” and “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” have been out there, waiting, for too long.

The soundtrack is set for release July 29 on Polydor/UMe, while the movie will be in theaters Aug. 1.

GET ON UP: The James Brown Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
2. The Payback. Pt. 1
3. Out Of Sight
4. I Got You (I Feel Good)
5. Caldonia +
6. Please Please Please (Live) + — previously unreleased
7. Night Train (Live)
8. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, Pt. 1
9. It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World (Live) + — previously unreleased
10. Cold Sweat, Pt. 1
11. Mother Popcorn, Pt. 1
12. I Got The Feelin’ (Live)
13. I Can’t Stand Myself (When You Touch Me) (Live)
14. Say It Loud-I’m Black And I’m Proud, Pt. 1
15. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine (Live)
16. Super Bad (Live)
17. Soul Power (Live)
18. Try Me (Live)
19. Please Please Please
20. Get Up Offa That Thing
All tracks produced by James Brown

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Filed under News, Soul, Uncategorized