Music to Your Ears
By Laura Marrich
The Shins are Bigger than Jesus—Yup, it's official. As of this writing, The Shins' brand-new album, Wincing The Night Away, is the second highest selling album on Amazon.com, beating out The Beatles' Love (No. 8) and Madonna's Confessions Tour DVD and CD set (No. 6), for the love of all that's holy. So technically, they're bigger than the-band-that's-bigger-than-Jesus and Madonna. That's an astounding number of CD players to occupy. And with big-name recognition for what once was a small-town (that would be Albuquerque) band, comes the need for a Shins FAQ. Take note, members of the foreign press.
Bad Weather California
Music for indie record heads ... and your aunt and uncle, too
By Simon McCormack
Although Chris Adolf resides in the Mile-High City, the singer, songwriter and only permanent member of neofolk project Bad Weather California prefers a small town scene. The yen for a cozier location is evident in his intimate, gruff but earnest style that’s somewhere between a warm embrace and a cold stare. Like many independent musicians, Adolf is not all that comfortable in the digital age. Whenever he thinks a song sounds too crisp or clean, he makes sure to “mush it up.” Adolf and his ever-rotating cast of backing musicians are genuinely interested in making music for the masses, but they also want to make sure their souls stay intact in the process.
Flyer on the Wall
Soundtrack to Your Heartbreak
It came out this summer, but The Coma Recovery’s Drown That Holy End In Wine is actually the perfect album for Valentine’s Day. “Capulet” (track No. 8) even works as both the backdrop for a satisfying makeout sesh and the anthem of your next breakup. Get it at www.failedexperimentrecords.com.
The Postmarks The Postmarks · The Showdown Temptation Come My Way · Philpot Hate Writes Better Than Love
By Simon McCormack
Like a hot bath with all the suds at the end of a hellish week or a bad breakup, the debut release from the nouveau pop trio The Postmarks is a soothing (if a bit melancholic) album. This collection of songs has a light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel attitude in both the lyrics (delivered via soft coos by vocalist Tim Yehezkely) and the elegant melodies. There are elements of Burt Bacharach and The Smiths, and, although the instrumentation is complex, the record never comes close to sounding overproduced.
courtesy of the artist
Vampires Everywhere! • rock • Consider Me Dead • Set to Stun
By August March
Metalcore masters Vampires Everywhere! will be rising from their decrepit coffins…
Tacocat • post post punk pop • Red Light Cameras
By Robin Babb
Everything about Tacocat is candy-coated. Technicolor-dyed hair, surfy guitar vibes and unabashed riot grrl revivalism combine in this energetic quartet from Seattle to make some of the best pop-punk tunes you’ve heard since you became okay with listening to pop-punk again. It’s good music for gleefully burning pictures of your ex. With punchy but sweet vocals and catchy choruses that you’ll be humming for days, their latest album NVM is worthy of heavy rotation. Their second LP (and first on the Hardly Art label), NVM features beefed-up production but the same garage-y, DIY sound from their earlier EPs Woman’s Day and Take Me to Your Dealer. Stand-out tracks are “Crimson Wave” (which is about exactly what you think it’s about) and “Psychedelic Quinceñera,” a ballad about a girl who would rather forego the regular quinceñera formalities on her 15th birthday and get hella blitzed with her amigas instead. After exhausting the basement venues of Washington, Tacocat is heading inland on their winter tour with Sallie Ford. Red Light Cameras open. Pay your 10 bucks and get ready for the most colorful 21+ mosh pit of your life!
Open Mic Jam Night • Dave and Friends at Lizard Tail Brewing
Fuck the Facts • grindcore • CxDxSx • Desecrated Humanity • Embryonic Decay at Blu Phoenix Venue
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