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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009

Some bands hit you over the head like a sledgehammer, while others, gently stroke you with a velvet glove. Thee Oh Sees hit you over the head with a sledgehammer while wearing a velvet glove. I recently saw San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees perform as part of Noise Pop—the annual indie music festival, now in its 17th year—and still can’t remove the smile the band carved into my face.


The band led by John Dwyer (the Coachwips, Pink and Brown, the Hospitals) have a sound soaked in reverb and revved up like a muscle car on death ride. They conjure Halloween at the end of February and could re-animate a zombie crowd into shimmying teenagers.


Guitarist Dwyer and singer Brigid Dawson alternate between call and response and dual harmony, conjuring the Cramps and the B52s. This is garage-psychobilly done with vim and vigor. The songs are a bit one-dimensional but it’s a great dimension to inhabit. The rhythm section, comprised of Mike Shoun on drums and Petey Dammit also playing guitar, complete Thee Oh Sees nightmare vision.


Their most recent release, last year’s The Master’s Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In, is a delight and is the perfect accompaniment for a midnight drive down a deserted road. It might even turn even a casual listener into a drifting killer. I can’t get set and album opener, “Block of Ice”, out of my mind and “Adult Acid” has the swagger of Johnny Cash on LSD. This a band to line up for if they decide to go on a killing spree in your hometown.


Thee Oh Sees will be off to South by Southwest and have new record entitled Help in limited edition vinyl only out now, with a full release soon. 



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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009
Psych folk super-duo’s eerie drones

In Babylonian mythology, Anahita is the goddess of water, fertility, healing and wisdom…a powerful symbol of the female life force. In musical terms, Anahita is a new collaboration between Espers cellist Helena Espvall and Fursaxa’s Tara Burke, a fragile, unearthly combination of female life forces that takes shape in floating vocals, plinking strings and Middle Eastern tonalities. The duo’s first record together, recorded primarily on four track and at home, roams an alternate universe, full of haunting harmonies and fleeting glimpses of infinity. The disc, called Matricaria,  is out on Important Records now.


Anahita
“Pirin Planina” [MP3]
     


“Chalice of Cypress” [MP3]
     


“Velvet Shoon” [MP3]
     



Tagged as: anahita
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Thursday, Mar 5, 2009

David Wain—the rarely disputed king of absurd comedy—is having a busy month. According to his (always-entertaining) blog, he’s currently shooting new episodes of his series Wainy Days and promoting the March 10 DVD release of Role Models. We live in hope that he’s using the remaining time and energy to expedite the DVD release of The State, which has been held hostage by MTV for well over a decade.



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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2009

Baltimore’s electronic mad man Dan Deacon adds some more traditional orchestral instruments to his usual laptop shenanigans on his new album Bromst. Due out later this month, the album can be streamed now through NPR Music’s First Listen.


Dan Deacon
Bromst [stream]


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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2009

Dom Hoare & Andy Gillham’s debut album Sketchbook was easily one of the best albums of 2007. Yet, the Echaskech project received little press outside of the UK due to a lack of distribution. Other than that which is no fault of their own, there is no reason why Booka Shade should be as big as they are and these guys aren’t right along side them. The moving non-album single “Every Touch” came out early last year (complete with the following choice video). From all indications, their next album will be just as good as their premiere.



Tagged as: echaskech, skechbook
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