Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Sky Is Erupting (Gratitude)

notes and reflections and such below ...


1 "marcy rain" (itasca) - i received this album in the most perfect way; delivered fully-formed, entirely unexpected, directly from the person who made it. feels rare to find minimal psychedelic folk w/ such hard-hitting clarity/feeling and specific downcast mood ... i want to listen to this while riding the jmz in the rain

2 "mirror" (d. vassalotti) - totally blistering guitar work and much brutal emotion laced throughout the writing on this lp. i recently lost power in my apartment and listened to it on repeat w/ candles lit until my laptop died. it felt appropriate seeing as this record is like the sound of an artist draining himself into song til there's nothing left

3 "arm candy" (hysterics) - totally inspired show at stolen sleeves in september, the best set i have seen there in three and a half years. i can really relate to these lyrics, which seem to be about the disturbing notion of girls being condescendingly pushed to the margins of a subcultural scene-- but claiming yourself and combatting that and calling it out. reminds me exactly of the many fortunate/unfortunate ways being involved w/ so-called hardcore impacted me in pre-teen years + changed my life

4 "thick lip" (white lung) best of 2k12. this song is about backwards beauty standards and it will crush you; i previously called it the "most abrasive collective assault" of the white lung >ideal<

5 "with or without you" (blanche blanche blanche) i remember listening to this lp for the first time and thinking it was the most alien-sounding thing i'd heard in so long, i just started laughing at how great and strange it was. i am grateful these prolific brattleboro weirdos have entered my life w/ their music and taught me about their community of songwriters

6 "kenosha" demo (swearin') i will also -never- forget where i was the first time i heard the swearin' demo ... how many times this year have i walked down nassau singing this outloud to myself/looking nuts/etc? i've already spilt much ink on this lp, which will figure very high on my "actual" year-end list

7 "your party sucks" (pygmy shrews) r.i.p. pygmy shrews! i loved playing this band on wnyu ... i also HATE going to parties. i hope they are lying about breaking up and that final show at 285 was a joke

8 "noccalula" (waxahatchee) - this album cuts through me, it is so sad and beautiful. "allison's only calling when her life's falling apart"-- is a terrifyingly resonant line for me

9 "become what you are" demo (merchandise) - this is a glimpse into the process behind my favorite song of the year ... if we are friends in real life then you are definitely fucking sick of hearing me talk about this band. i could write many pages on this one track and i am sure that soon i will

10 "at least it would come out" (patti smith) here is the part where i brag about meeting her this year. at several points i swear she looked me in the e y e s . . . . . .


1 "civil society" (nuclear spring) one of my favorite new NY bands who i saw play many times this year, here is a choice quote the singer offered during a september show: "this set is dedicated to the future tastemakers of america. you're all a bunch of fucking morons." pretty cool

2 "but there has to be more" (lower) there is so much poetry and desperation in their music, they are my favorite band to emerge from the cpn scene and i think this song proves they're not bound by one particular genre or feeling

3 "don't forgive lightly" (siamese twins) best new demo, i have listened to this consistently since last december (and written about it) and grown more in love ... in fact, siamese twins' set is one of the primary reasons i travelled to ladyfest boston in february. too bad lizpelly's parking meter ran out five minutes before their set and we ended up spending an hour bickering in her borrowed car instead of watching them, because liz does not actually know how to drive. SIGH. luckily they played saint vitus this fall and it ruled.

4 "thaw" (laurel halo) forward motion's the only answer

5 "tyjna" (nu sensae) i never listened to much music sung in slavic languages before this year but pussy riot made me more attentive to how amazing it sounds

6 "house of the beating hell" (salvation) appropriately i finally purchased this EP at "heaven street" on halloween... i've spent much time writing at my desk with these four songs on repeat, go figure

7 "atlantico" (pegsvs) i interviewed pegasvs in barcelona after seeing them play primavera and real early in our conversation they mentioned franco battiato and psychic tv. this is the most poppy song on their lp and while i can't understand all the words, i like how they still convey the >sublime< vastness of an ocean

8 "try to make yourself a work of art" (julia holter) very real timeless mantra

9 "garden of delight" (cult of youth) pinnacle of a triumphant record on resistance to this fucked up world, and prevailing love, with some >magic< for good measure ...

and man is an animal that strives to evolve
but there are some people who don’t bear that resolve
and cruelty in nature, a fascism pure
a reflection of man that we’re forced to endure
and angels breed whilst devils kill
we’re left to rot in this human landfill
and left to die whilst lovers kiss
but you and i / an ipsissimus
and devils breed whilst angels die
but you and i (yes, you and i)
we bear their load from start to end
so what’s the use? (yes what’s the use?)
to resist their control and bury their claim
and carry the banners of freedom again
and love will prevail and tend to their flock
and those that oppose us will soon be forgot
and love will prevail since hate was a lie
and those that oppose us.

10 "farewell angelina" dylan cover (marissa nadler) astounding, spellbound cover of one of my favorite dylan bootlegs from one of my favorite contemporary voices; "call me any name you like, i will never deny it / but farewell angelina, the sky is erupting / and I must go where it is quiet."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Listen to Teenage Cool Kids "Denton After Sunset"

Teenage Cool Kids are Denton, Texas trio who formed in 2006, and have since released three LPs of smart, 90s-inspired indie rock. The first song of their most recent release, "Denton After Sunset" from Denton After Sunset, is the track that initially hooked me about a year ago. (I've been continuously coming back to that 2k11 release ever since.)

"As I grew older, I became / acquainted with my own identity / It's pretty boring but assuring, once / you know what not to be," sings Andrew Savage, quick and monotone over distorted guitars that -- in place of any sort of hook or chorus -- get noisier between the verses. (Stream it above.)

With roots in Texas punk, they're the sort of decidedly do-it-yourself band that appears on If You Make It's Pink Couch Sessions(video below) and do all booking and recording themselves. The singer of the band is now the singer of Brooklyn's Fergus & Geronimo. Hopefully that doesn't mean he's done with this band? I have no idea though.

Teenage Cool Kids - Landlocked State from If You Make It on Vimeo.

Here is a full stream of Denton After Sunset:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Siamese Twins: "In a Box"

It is my twinly duty to report on all happenings of the Masschuetts/Chicago indie pop band Siamese Twins, so here we have it, another gloomy piece of post-punk from one of my favorite new bands. It's called "In a Box" and it will be on their new 7" single from the Labor of Love label. I think the single comes out in a few weeks. Can someone please book them a show in New York?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Weed Hounds: "At Night [Demo]"

Recently it was brought to my attention that the beloved Long Island-to-Brooklyn dream pop band Weed Hounds have broken up, after an all-too-short three year run. My heart sunk a bit when I heard this because I loved them-- their debut tape and 7" were staples in my New Afternoon Show repertoire. And their 2009 live set was without a doubt one of my favorites. Anyway: lo and behold, a new demo has surfaced on Soundcloud. The track was apparently recorded over a year ago and will be included on an upcoming Katorga Works 12". This will presumably be their final release until the inevitable 2016 reissues series and/or compilation of B-sides and rarities. (I hope!)

Sigh. At least that other shoegaze band is repressing some stuff soon though, right?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Siamese Twins: "We Fall Apart" + "Don't Forgive Lightly"

mp3: Siamese Twins: "We Fall Apart"
mp3: Siamese Twins: "Don't Forgive Lightly"

The Massachusetts/Chicago trio Siamese Twins have been on my radar for a minute; I believe I discovered them when Adam Whites (who runs Katorga Works and I Could Die Tomorrow) posted a track by the band on Facebook last year. I was intrigued by their name, naturally, and enjoyed how it had both dreamy and morbid connotations. Recently I returned to their self-released demo cassette (which you can download here) after attending the very inspiring Ladyfest weekend in Boston, where they performed. Here's what I wrote about Siamese Twins on Pitchfork:
Siamese Twins are a darkly-shaded Massachusetts dream pop trio who bring to mind early 4AD and Slumberland. "We Fall Apart" is a standout from their self-released demo cassette, living up to its very twee title with a mix of noisy, Black Tamb crunch and occasional bits of breathing guitar jangle, all pushed along by a quick beat and melodic 2-D vocal. It's by-the-books indie pop that's too well excuted to not garner repeat plays.

I have no idea if they plan on releasing music beyond the six songs on their demo. Also, speaking of Ladyfest, check out the 2012 sampler they put together in January.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Screaming Females cover "If It Makes You Happy" at Lorem Ipsum Books

At this point, Pellytwins Dot Blogspot Dot Com is basically a Don Giovanni Records fanzine, and we're pretty okay with that. (Though we swear a relaunch with more expansive posts and a print-zine counterpart are actually, in fact, in the works. #Official.)

Here is a video I snapped last night of Screaming Females covering Sheryl Crowe's epic jam, "If It Makes You Happy." Screamales also covered this at the annual Don Giovanni showcase this past weekend in Brooklyn -- an inspired event as always.

This video was shot at Lorem Ipsum Books, one of my favorite places in the Boston area these days. Lorem Ipsum is a true gem in Boston. Above-ground DIY show spaces are rare in this town and I feel very lucky to be helping put shows on there. I put on this show with the Dreamhouse show-booking collective, a new group that I am organizing shows with in Boston. We have a decidedly minimal (read: non-existent) Internet presence but if you are interested in booking a show with us try emailing dreamhousecollective at gmail.

I am excited to rip the audio and play it on my radio show at WZBC. OOh speaking of which -- my show there is called Echoes/Ephemera and it airs Thursdays 6-7pm. I play only demos, home recordings, and other lo-fi/rarities/self-releases/field recordings/etc. #selfpromo

This was the second night of a tour the Screamales are on now of all free shows in record shops. I guess they made an exception for Boston. Modern Hut and Parasol played too and they were great. Screaming Females continue their record shop tour tonight at Feeding Tube Records in Northampton. Check out all of the dates here.

See you whenever xx

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Guest Mix: Don Giovanni

Note: This is one of the best things we have posted on this blog ever.

Earlier this summer I wrote an article for Billboard on the "50 Best Indie Labels in America," and naturally included Jersey punk label Don Giovanni, who I first learned about in 2008, when I wrote about Screaming Females for Rolling Stone. I will never forget the moment in that interview when the drummer, Jared, told me that Joe, from Don Giovanni, once threatened to kill himself if he could not release the band's records. That sort of enthusiasm is always intriguing. Don Giovanni has since become one of my favorite indie labels operating anywhere in America, due in no small part to their releases for bands like the Females and Shellshag, whose energy is I think unparalleled by any other pocket of contemporary DIY music. Here's what I wrote about them for Billboard:
Don Giovanni isn’t a household name, but when founders Joe Steinhardt and Zach Gajewski launched the label as students at Boston University in 2004, that was hardly their intention—they set out to document the New Brunswick basement punk scene, and have become recognized throughout the underground DIY punk community for indie rock and punk releases from the likes of Shellshag, The Ergs!, and the critically-acclaimed Screaming Females.

We have probably spent more time talking about DG on this blog than any other label or band, and this guest mix by Joe is the first in a series of mixes that we will be posting as we "relaunch" our blog this fall. Many of these tracks have never existed before in MP3 format. Check out what Joe had to say about the mix, as well as the tracklisting, below. Screaming Females and Shellshag play Bowery Ballroom with Hilly Eye, tonight.

mix: Don Giovanni Guest Mix 4 Pellytwins Blog

When the Pelly twins asked me to put a mix together for their site I was stoked, especially when they said they wanted me to do all current bands not on the label. I've heard over and over again that there aren't as many good bands around as there used to be, or that all the great bands broke up, etc. This mix represents just a small part of a class of bands that are not just the best around right now, but who are sure to be considered classic in the future. With I think just two exceptions of bands that recently broke up, all of these bands are active:

01 Tacocat - Party Trap
02 Masshysteri - Dom kan inte hora musiken
03 Tropical Punk - To Hearts
04 The Men - Think
05 House Boat - Real Life As a Metaphor for Real Life
06 Blasting Concept - Age of the Rat
07 Avon Ladies - Power Failure
08 The Two Funerals - Boy's Club
09 Tenement - Stupid World
10 Lemuria - Wise People
11 The Gift - Corpse Reviver
12 Emily's Army - Strictly For The Birds
13 Lecherous Gaze - Phaze
14 P.S. Eliot - Sadie
15 Omegas - Peasant Dance
16 Grabass Charlestons - Dale
17 Dead Mechanical - Sidewalks
18 Vacation - Cop Knock
19 Night Birds - Paranoid Times

-- Q&A with Don Giovanni Records
-- Premiere: Modern Hut's debut single, "Wrong"
-- mp3: Big Eyes - "Why Can't I"
-- Shellshag Played the New Afternoon Show
-- Big in 2k10: Byrds of Paradise

Friday, September 16, 2011

Check Out This Sick Pop-Punk Comp to Benefit Planned Parenthood

On October 4th, the Gainsville, FL punk label Paper + Plastick will release Are You With the Band?, a stacked pop-punk compilation of female-fronted artists to benefit Planned Parenthood. Curated by Lauren Denitzio, formerly of The Measure SA, it includes previously unreleased tracks from two of the best bands we've featured on this blog: Noun (Marissa of Screaming Females), and Brooklyn's Shellshag. Not to mention Cheeky, Little Lungs, Slingshot Dakota, P.S. Eliot and more. It's kind of like a who's-who of the Microcosm-fueled DIY pop-punk/indie scene, and will be available digitally and on 12" vinyl with a large-format, full-color art booklet. Other pockets of contemporary DIY could do well taking a page out of this scene's book; we're hard-pressed to recall other recent projects with such positive and proactive social agendas.

Track listing:
1. Aye Nako – Bent Out Of Shape *
2. Cheeky – Two Face
3. Black Rainbow – Make Amends *
4. Dead Dog – Couch *
5. Sourpatch – Things You Say *
6. Little Lungs – Things Fall Apart
7. Slingshot Dakota – Michael Jordan Saved My Life
8. The Measure – Stop Calling *
9. The New Dress – Hey Kid *
10. No More – Flatland *
11. Noun – TV Shows *
12. The Two Funerals – Too Late *
13. Shellshag – Crybaby *
14. The Homewreckers – Uncontrolable Decay *
15. P.S. Eliot – Entendre *
16. WITCHES – Grey
*Previously unreleased

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Premiere: Modern Hut's debut single, "Wrong"

Pellytwins’ Weblog is stoked to unveil the very first studio recordings from New Jersey’s Modern Hut — the indie rock project of Joe Steinhardt, founder of New Brunswick punk label Don Giovanni. And it sounds just like that. Joe seems to draw influence from our favorite chapters of Our Band Could Be Your Life: big, Mascis-like guitars with a distinct and monotone drawl that endearingly recalls Calvin Johnson, all with the honest, catchy thoughtfulness that pervades his own label’s catalog. Stream his first single, “Wrong,” above.

Also stream its B-side, “Life,” which features guest vocals from Screaming Females’ throaty front-shredder Marissa Paternoster. Marissa produced the tracks at NJ’s Hunt Studio, where Screaming Females recorded their past two records; she plays drums, while Fid from The Measure (SA) holds it down on bass. Whereas “Wrong” is unequivocally rooted in Joe’s pop-punk unbrining — he played in NJ band For Science until 2008 — “Life” shows Modern Hut’s affinity for honest, straightforward lyricism that captures life’s candid moments, reflecting on life, death, and boredom, while maintaining a sense of humor about it all.

“A lot of songs are very whimsical and carefree. They’re all about surfing and hanging out and partying, and all of these things that life really isn’t, ” Joe told us. “I’m just trying to write songs about the things you actually do in life.”

Three years in the works, Modern Hut’s debut release, for which Joe is seeking a label, is out later this year.

Follow Joe via

Words by Jenn & Liz.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Northside: Iceage in America

It was, apparently, difficult to get near the stage at Public Assembly during last night's Iceage show, their debut on American soil. I was unaware. Here's some footage I shot from my easily-attained spot on the side of the stage. Watch a monsoon of camera flashes and fist-pumps, and at the very end, the singer drops into the crowd. Photo of the setlist, below. Iceage were dark, chaotic, and fun, but would I expect anything less of a Sacred Bones showcase? I enjoyed The Men, Prurient, Pop 1280, and Cult of Youth just as much — if not, more.

Lookout for a full Northside report here on Monday.