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by Joseph Fisher

10 Feb 2011


As a child, I tried, week after week, to convince my parents that we should just watch church services on TV on Sunday mornings.  Doing so, I argued, was just as good as going to church.  I lost this argument each and every week.

Now, the Catholic Church has blessed the new “Confession App” available for the iPhone.  Though the Church has made it clear that this application is not meant to replace traditional confession, I can’t help but feel a certain amount of I-told-you-so-ness in this techno development. 

For my part, I have eschewed cell phone use for most of my adult life for the most banal of reasons: I just don’t want to be accessible to any/everyone at all hours of the day.  (Funny that I blog on the Internet, though).  It will be interesting to see if the looming cellular presence of Catholic Guilt will scare people away from the iPhone.  Also, I can’t help but wondering, given that this app hit the iTunes store after The Beatles did, if John Lennon was somehow right.

by Dominic Umile

9 Feb 2011


Faint and decked-out in delay effects, the vocals on Echo Lake’s Young Silence EP cascade gently in the mix, with chiming guitars hard-panned to the left and right of them. This six songer is a mostly a lulling start for the UK act, but in line with the shoegaze well-knowns that shaped the sound of Young Silence, the players’ art rock tendencies lend lots of noise to the record.

While the usual suspects are to blame for Echo Lake’s debut—Jesus and Mary Chain, Slowdive, Ride—there is considerable promise in Young Silence. Shrill guitar feedback is steered back into the wealth of eerie melodies here, with every note positioned meticulously in mixdown for maximum “Wall of Sound” impact. Following the same “Be My Baby” drums that have hijacked more songs in the last ten years than any other rhythm has, the title track suddenly twists and turns, shaking loose of any familiar confines. Echo Lake founding member Linda Jarvis contributes a delirious haze of indistinct vocals over what’s suddenly an earth-shaking assault of drones and cymbals. The guitar lines are bent and frail, with Jarvis’s breathy and breathless call seeping into every jangly corner. Mesmerizing.

Young Silence is out on No Pain in Pop on February 14 (UK) and on February 15 (US).

by Daniel Ross

9 Feb 2011


It seems the spirit of DIY is well and truly alive still, at least in the wilds of Essex, UK. A region previously most notable for dog racing and some of the worst seaside resorts England has to offer, it’s becoming something of a hub for lo-fi eccentric pop, as exemplified by the thoroughly wonderful Tumbledryer Babies. Taking equal inspiration from their generic forebear Darren Hayman and the impressionistic pop of Phil Spector, this is a peculiarly English mix, and one that we can all experience for free. The band’s (surprisingly large) back-catalogue is available for free download from their Bandcamp page (http://thetumbledryerbabies.bandcamp.com/).

Made up of hubby-and-wife Andrew and Emma Louise Moore alongside bassist (and occasional thingy-hitter) Daryl Worthington, they’ve managed to court the interest of ex-Butthole Surfers Kramer and Paul Leary, who have mixed and produced 7-inches by the band. They’re travelling to SXSW in March so that sunny Austin can have a taste of dank, dreary Southend-on-Sea, so make sure you try to catch them if you’re going. They’ve also got a new record out, again available for free download.

by Eric Allen Been

9 Feb 2011


On Monday, Wilco reminded us via their official Facebook page that they’re hard at work on the follow-up to 2009’s Wilco (The Album). The Chicago-based band confirmed that their eighth LP will be out in 2011 and that a massive tour will subsequently ensue. 

Here’s the post: “Okay just a reminder: Wilco are making a record. It will be out later this year and will be followed by many, many concert dates. To quote Derek Smalls, they shall tour ‘the World and Elsewhere’ beginning in late 2011”.

The first string of tour dates, including some Jeff Tweedy solo shows, are listed below.

by Christian John Wikane

9 Feb 2011


David Pilgrim believes in albums. “Being a child of the ‘70s, I’m married to the album format,” says the Barbados-born, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter. “If I write ‘singles’ per se, it is by accident. I have always enjoyed the notion of an album as a series of suites, that transport you from one feeling to the next over the course of time, and this album is no different.” Pilgrim applies that sentiment to his forthcoming album, All Things Being Equal, a veritable passport of musical excursions.

Akin to his last solo album, Island Soul (2003), Pilgrim serves up an appealing blend of compositions that reflect his democratic approach to music-making. His sojourns between Barbados, Mali, Ghana, and Senegal over the past five years inform much of the material, as he draws from an eclectic palette that includes ska, R&B, reggae, Afrobeat, hip-hop, and pop. From the serene soundscapes on “Shallow Water” and “These Fragile Days” to the percussive mischief of “Baby Hot” to the rock-infused guitar solo in “Ride De Razor”, Pilgrim sates a variety of musical tastes across the album’s 13 tracks and two bonus remixes. (Listeners might recognize “Older”, “Never Go Home”, and “Belly” from Pilgrim’s work with the Soulfolk Experience on The Soulfolk Experience, Vol. 1 album.)

Some of New York City’s finest musicians join Pilgrim on All Things Being Equal, including V. Jeffrey Smith and Maritri Garrett (his collaborators from The Soulfolk Experience), Shelley Nicole (Shelley Nicole’s blaKbüshe), Jeff Jeudy (I Love Monsters), Ki Ki Hawkins (The Ki Ki Experience), Toni Blackman, Malesha Jessie, Sabrina Clery, Arin Maya, and DJPJ (Paul James). Written, arranged, and produced by David Pilgrim, All Things Being Equal will undoubtedly provide refuge for those seeking a mid-winter escape.

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