2006 Band Profiles
(We'll be adding more profiles soon)
The Brother Kite,
to The Music Box
Thebrotherkite is a stirring dream-pop experiment that is as absorbing
as it is challenging and one that no discerning listener should
But the human voice -- even one as ethereally lovely as lead singer
Patrick Boutwell's -- is just one more instrument in the melange of
guitars, keyboards and percussion that make up The Brother Kite's shoegaze
sound. Think waves of harmony and melody, plus insistent rhythms, all
sounding like a cross between The Beach Boys and a symphony, and you
start to get the idea. /The Providence Journal
Bunnygrunt, St. Louis,
Bunnygrunt formed in early 1993, releasing 7"s and EPs and drawing
attention to their rapid release schedule. They recorded two full-lengths
between 1995 and 1998 and attracted favourable reviews, yet the band
disappeared soon after this, with little fanfare.
In the fall of 2004, a new collection
of old tracks and rarities, entitled In the Valley of Lonesome
Phil, was released and their earlier song Season's Freaklings
was used on the soundtrack to the Billy Bob Thornton movie, Bad
Santa, enhancing the band's popularity. The band played a house
party, with Lauren Trull on bass, to celebrate the movie's release,
and decided to reform full time, playing the Athens PopFest later that
year. The band released their latest album, Karen Haters Club,
on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, in the fall of 2005.
Colin Clary &
the Magogs, Burlington, VT
If you like to make out to the Beach Boys and have ever fallen in love
or had your heart broken then we consider you among our peers and this
album is about someone like you. Simplicity and subtlety are combined
with solid songcraft and pristine arrangements to create an achingly
poignant album of considerable emotional and lyrical depth all wrapped
up and disguised as a sunshine pop record.
Einar and Maggi were all well versed in indie and alternative rock and
found out that with a Dr. Rhythm drum machine and an analog Tascam 4-track
Portastudio could do wonders. Einar's sister, Hafdís, surprised
them all by suddenly displaying singing talent, and was hired immediately.
Now with a keyboardist and drummer, Dýrðin are poised to
please pop fans with their humor and charm in such songs as The
Frog Prince and "17 júní," celebrating
the Icelandic national holiday.
Dýrðin has begun their little
pop revolution in their native Iceland, opening up for The Raveonettes,
Blonde Redhead, Trabant, Bacon and Helvar at the Innupukinn Festival
as well as playing at the infamous Iceland Airwaves Festival.
Hands and Knees, Boston,
Spunkier than Strokes and as fundamentally uplifting as the first
Legends! album (its the treated vocals that draw out the parallels
as much as anything), La Fea froth and bubble with a bundle of trouble,
erupting in an artfully poised rush of blood like rabid Pop Artists
with safety pins stuck in their hearts. La Fea are Punk Rock in the
same way that Baby Lemonade were Punk Rock and Green Day werent.
Go figure. Tangents
The Icicles first full-length album, A Hundred Patterns,
features sweet melodies, beautiful harmonies, smooth bass lines, solid
toe tapping drum beats and great sing along choruses. But somehow the
sum is more than the total of the parts. The beautifully quiet Pretty
features Jeff Baron (Ladybug Transistor, Essex Green, Sixth Great Lake)
on guitar. Pop fans need not worry, there are also plenty of get-up-out-of-your-seat-and-dance
songs like I Wanna Know.
The Icicles have magically sewn together
a classic pop album that will keep you warm on those cold winter nights,
and will keep you cool during the dog days of summer. If you are looking
for comparisons look no further than Heavenly, the Go Gos, sixties
girl group the Murmaids and more recently the All Girl Summer Fun Band.
The Lil Hospital, Washington,
It started as an extra-curricular activity for Kevin Alvir. Needing
to express his love for the Aislers Set and the Television Personalities,
Kevin recorded pop songs in his basement using a 4-track, a cheap drum
machine, and an electric guitar under the moniker "the Hospitals."
Since Kevin didn't have any friends that shared his liking for pop music
or to play with, he decided to call his tapes, The Lil'Hospital.
Recently, the Lil'Hospital has released
their 2nd full length on Total Gaylord Records, "Heavy Metal"
(2006). Kevin gathered a full band of 4 friends: Edward (drums), Lynne
(bass), Bob K (guitar/moog), and Sadie (violin/vox). This time the songs
are decorated with strings, horns, keyboards, and real drums. The songs,
at times cryptic, bespeak a Ray Davies-esque world where characters
strive for authenticity in a world full of inauthenticity. If you don't
pick up on that, it's okay. The Lil'Hospital just wants you to hum along
and dance around.
Locas in Love, Cologne,
Zum Beispiel Ein Unfall
We are a band that took its name from a subseries of the Love &
Rockets comics, a band that likes to play loads and loads of shows when
it isn't burying itself in recording projects. We like to stay busy
and we'd love to take you along for the ride. Yeah.
Math & Physics
Club, Seattle, WA
to Weekends Away
Seattle five-piece Math and Physics Club will charm you with short,
smart pop songs filled with sweet sentiments and jangly instrumentation.
With inspiration drawn from their 80's pop roots, along with a nod to
60's folk, the sound is familiar but fresh, and before it's over you
may well find yourself humming along and daydreaming of lost loves.
Childhood friends Charles and James first picked up guitars and started
writing their own songs in college, but the collaboration remained confined
to dreary Pacific Northwest basements until they met Kevin, Saundrah,
and Ethan within a fortunate span of just a few months during the summer
With a hastily sewn together demo recorded in their basement, they managed
to catch the ear of Jimmy Tassos at Matinee Recordings. They soon signed
on as the only active American band on the label and found themselves
amidst Matinee's impressive roster of indiepop royalty, including The
Lucksmiths, Would-be Goods, Pipas, and Harper Lee. They released their
debut EP, titled Weekends Away, in February 2005, and they are working
on a follow-up due later this summer.
My Teenage Stride,
The Brooklyn-based My Teenage Stride draws from a kaleidoscopal array
of pop influences to create songs that are at once highly personal and
idiosyncratic and universal in their appeal. My Teenage Stride's musical
vision encompasses every era of pop music's rich history, but never
flirts with pale imitation and craftless posturing.
The heart of My Teenage Stride's recorded output is found in multi-instrumentalist,
singer and songwriter Jedediah Smith, who is thusfar the sole instrumentalist
on all of MTS's recordings. Jedediah grew up in Massachusetts and at
age 14 started playing drums and guitar, soon adding bass, piano, and
organ to the mix. As soon as he could abscond with his older brother's
Tascam 4-track, he was writing and recording songs as a one-man band,
and by age 18 he had compiled several boxes of tapes and had already
written 400 songs. A decade later, he's probably written thousands,
with no signs of slowing down.
Echoes of John Cale's solo work, mid-sixties Kinks, Phil Spector, The
Chills, David Bowie, Guided By Voices, The Wedding Present, 80s synth-pop
and even Neil Diamond can be heard in Jedediah's recorded oeuvre, but
that's just a short list - Jedediah is a living compendium of virtually
every pop style that has existed from 1956 through the present.
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Palomar was born in 1998 with the instant
release of their self-titled, self-released, debut album "Palomar."
Packed with four-part harmonies, their Frankensteinian meld of spirited
indie pop and angular punk immediately won them comparisons to Seattle's
Fastbacks and England's Talulah Gosh. Their sophomore album, "Palomar
II" was released in 2002 and was met with unbridled enthusiasm
by such print publications as Billboard, the New York Times, and The
New Yorker. Palomar also began touring nationally at this time, playing
dates with alt. rock untouchables Spoon, Mates of State, The Wrens and
many more. "PALOMAR III: Revenge of Palomar" is, not surprisingly,
Palomar's long-awaited third album. Released in the summer of 2004,
Palomar have already toured the country twice in support of the CD,
most recently opening dates on Luna's farewell tour. This indie quartet's
thoughtfully crafted pop songs exist, seemingly unconsciously, in stark
and refreshing contrast to the exhausting march of faddish rockers that
trudge anonymously along the commercial airwaves today. Palomar is a
band that exists simply to express itself uniquely, timelessly, and
with endearing optimism.
Polar Bear Parade,
From: Marisha Chinsky
Subject: Re: Message from San Diego Zoo Web site user to Visitor/Guest
Please get the polar bears on the camera. The view is only water. I
have not seen the bears on camera in a long time. You should consider
getting the moving camera that tracks movement like the Panda Cam at
the National Zoo.
To: Marisha ChinskyBR Sent: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 13:00:29 -0800
Subject: Re: Message from San Diego Zoo Web site user to Visitor/Guest
Thank you for your suggestion. Please understand that our cam does not
cover all of the areas where the polar bears may choose to go.
Ponies in the Surf, Boston, MA
to Little Boy Lost
Hi, Ponies in the Surf started out as a strummed lark on a summertime
porch -- novelty songs, children's tunes, commercial jingles, Zombies
covers, stabs at Edith Piaf melodies and other attempts to create the
soundtrack to our lives. We're a brother and sister duo (Camille and
Alexander McGregor), so that soundtrack life has overlapped plenty of
times. We've always thought our songs are best suited for 3 a.m. or
early afternoon, since often those are the moods we're trying to recapture
in sound. You know, like when you have an epiphany while washing dishes?
We're from Cambridge, Mass and Bogota, Colombia, and we think people
that only like one kind of music are sad. We try writing and singing
in lots of international styles, most of the time with one guitar and
two vocal chords. Sometimes the simulated orchestra shows up, too. Our
musical heroes are many, but we have covered songs by Claudine Longet,
the Everly Brothers, Talking Heads, Palito Ortega (the Argentinian Ricky
Nelson), Antonio Carlos Jobim, and 60's Christian folkies Linda Rich
and Joseph Wise. I think we even tried a Singing Nun song once, too.
We think music is the most beautiful and profound thing possible in
this world, and we try our best not to commit too many crimes against
The Sawtelles, Plantsville,
Listen to Garden
Think of this as a lo-fi version of the White Stripes, with Peter
Riccio as Jack White (voice, guitar) and Julie Riccio (voice, drums)
as what's her name. Happily, this pair doesn't have the bloated affectations
of the Motor City's only profitable export. Their best songs ("Floor
It," "Happy," "Side by Side") are colored by
steady acoustic strumming and simple but busy drumming that recalls
Mo Tucker of the Velvet Underground. Their lyrics are at times as inscrutable
as Robyn Hitchcock's, and some of the songs seem to be searching for
a tune but Here Is... has a sneaky appeal, growing on you with each
listen. Alan Bisbort, The Hartford Courant
Secret Shine, Bristol,
to Catch the Sun
In September, 1991, Secret Shine released two debut singles ("After
Years" and "Unbearable") on two different labels (Sarah
Records and A Turntable Friend, respectively), within a week of each
other. The sound of these singles was definitive Sarah Records-styled
pop. Shortly thereafter the band changed their sound to something more
distorted, loud, and raw - but definitely still melodic. "Ephemeral"
was released in April, 1992 and was the first hint at this band's great
sonic achievements. "Loveblind" followed in March of 1993,
and was quite a success - the single was played every night on Steve
Lamacq's show as "Single of the Week", and that same week
John Peel also played it every night - it reached #19 on the UK indie
charts. "Untouched" was released a month later and was the
bands shining moment - a full 8 tracks of gorgeous, blissful shoegaze/dreampop.
Reverbed & distorted guitars, ethereal boy/girl harmonies, sonic
bliss... "Greater Than God" was Secret Shine's last release
for Sarah, and was their hardest-edged sounding release to date, taking
big cues from the loudest bits of MBV's "Loveless."
Secret Shine will be promoting their
latest ep, Elemental, released in spring, 2006.
The Smittens, Burlington,
Doomend Lo-Fi and in Love
The Smittens are a five-piece fi-curious indiepop band hailing from
Burlington , VT. The Dangerfive label released their debut album Gentlefication
Now! in winter, 2004, a DIY bubblegum pop explosion! Their second release,
A Little Revolution, out now, was mastered by Rob Christiansen (Tsunami,
Sisterhood of Convoluted Thinkers).
This is pop music as an act of revolution
Like the Pogues
might sound if every member were Jonathan Richman. Erasing
The Snow Fairies,
to Baja California
The Snow Fairies want to make you dance to pop music! Originally
formed in 2000, the five-piece has been crafting short and sweet tunes
that have been heard on such record labels as Shelflife and Red Square
Records. Rose Bochansky (vocals), Jayme Guokas (guitar/bass), Melissa
Kramer (keyboards), Laurance Margaritas (guitar/bass), and Matthew Snyder
(drums) combine catchy melodies and peppy rhythms with lyrical themes
ranging from the romantic to the bizarre. The most recent of these
pop gems are available on the band's second album, Get Married, out
now on Chocolate Hearts and Total Gaylord Records.
to Kiss or Wave
spouse is an experimental rock band from the northeastern united states.
inspired by legendary rock and roll bands like the clash, the replacements,
the pixies and pavement, spouse make music that follows in a tradition
of great song writing while breaking new ground in sonic expression.
similar to groups like the magnetic fields and the flaming lips, spouse
operates more like a project than a fixed roster band. josé ayerve,
has been leading and directing the band since its inception. many musicians
contribute to the project, creating a rich collage of talents and perspectives.