Carlos Wells’ New Haven-based Safety Meeting Records is putting out a limited edition of Head Space, the new album by musically proficient punks Blessed State on June 24. The vinyl LP is being issued as a 12-inch 45 rpm slab with eight songs. One of them, “Best Case Scenario,” has also been preserved as a video, here.
Miniature Tigers’ hysterical, glossily overproduced yet understated soul pop anthem “You Used to Be the Shit” now has a video accompaniment. It’s basically a song about old romance and lost youth, augmented with references to once-hot items such as laser disks. The video ramps up the retro with clips of everything from Jerry Springer and Urkel to Michael Jackson’s Bad and Friends to pogs and AOL. “We used to be free,” the harmony group intones, “but now she’s just used to me.” The song’s on the new Miniature Tigers album Cruel Runnings, out this summer. The band plays The Space in Hamden July 16.
The band Beverly gets airy and thumpy in equal measure on its new single (and video) “Honey Do,” which is kind of a liberating answer-song to the defensive rockabilly classic “Honey Don’t.” Not that “Honey Do” is a retro record. It’s a straight-ahead punk rock groove adorned with exquisite high-register vocals. A real charmer. From Beverly’s debut full-length, Careers, out July 1.
Crocodiles adhere to a Paisley Underground retro-Velvets pop sound for “Teardrop Guitar,” but add harmonies and a non-wasted energy. The balance of raw and refined is remarkable. The chorus: “I… wanna see you cry.” The song is part of the new Crocodiles album Crimes of Passion.
Painted Zero’s “Jaime” is a four-chord garage-rock run through the modern filter of contemporary Brooklyn indie rock. It sounds modern-quirky, with effects and crowd noises and layered guitar noises and the bourgeois-bratty vocals of Katie Lau, but it never loses that diehard ingratiating garage beat. Precious yet provocative. “Jaime” will be part of Painted Zero’s Svalbard EP, due out July 15 on the Black Bell label.
Nothing Like a Dame
By Eddie Shapiro (Oxford University Press, 2014)
I’ll be reviewing this collection of “conversations with the great women of musical theater” for my blog New Haven Theater Jerk (www.scribblers.us/nhtj/) in due time. But I offer the Below the Fold crowd this observation. Continue reading
Nothin’ to Lose—The Making of Kiss 1972-1975 (It/HarperCollins 2013)
The hefty paperback edition of this 2013 oral history of the band Kiss arrives just in time for a summer that features a Kiss tour (alongside Def Leppard, due in Hartford Aug. 10). The book’s remarkable for humanizing this kabuki cartoon of a band, for making us care about Kiss’ never-humble beginnings, and for getting comments not just from the four original members (two of whom left the act eons ago) but from a wide range of other rockers ready to attest that they’d never seen anything like Kiss (particularly in the early days when Kiss was an opening act that could spoil the audience’s appetite for the headliners). Continue reading
Funny new song, “Cool” (as in “She’s so…”) from the Louisville, Kentucky trio White Reaper. Fast, Buzzcocksian guitar with roots-rock flourishes and matter-of-fact boyish-charm vocals from Tony Esposito. The random cymbal smashes are precious, and the rhythm section of twin brothers Nick and Sam Wilkerson keeps speed-speed-speeding up for no good reason other than you to make you fall in love with rock & roll all over again. White Reaper’s touring Midwest and West this summer. Bring ‘em East! The EP with “Cool” and five other cool songs on it comes out June 24.
Noise bands are making a comeback. Not that irksome neo-noise but treasured classical drone-influenced post-punk pioneers of decades past. The Dais label is issuing limited edition seven-inch singles (300 copies each) of new works by ‘70s percussive loopmeister Maurizio Bianchi (“Amen Test”) and ‘90s rumblers Sissy Spacek (whose core grindcore line-up of John Wiese and Charlie Mumma has been amplified by new member Sara Taylor for the new work “Lead Their Exit”). The vinyl is $8 apiece. www.daisrecords.com
My summer’s already made—got an advance listen to The Orwells’ unstoppable second full-length album Disgraceland. Continue reading