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Monday, Sep 28, 2009

This post is about a video game, but I implore even the non-gamers among us to pay attention, because The Shivah, though it first came out in 2006, is still in a class of its own. You can see right on the cover art that it’s a “rabbinical adventure of mourning and mystery”, which you generally won’t find at your local game dealer. The Shivah is normally a scant $4.99, and is of such a high caliber that it almost feels wrong to take it for free, but Lincolns can be hard to come by these days, and the man (developer Dave Gilbert) is just giving it away.  Go here before midnight tonight and use the coupon code “FreeShivah” to obtain one of the more notable indie games of the past few years.


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Monday, Sep 28, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Apricot Rail
Apricot Rail
(Hidden Shoal Recordings)
Releasing: out now


Most instrumental rock suggests the apocalypse is coming. If it is, Apricot Rail are too busy crafting beautiful lilting melodies to care. This Australian quintet have the charm, humour and songwriting nous—and a killer live show—to re-ignite anyone’s belief in music’s subtle, giddy powers.


“The album’s (and arguably the band’s) crowning achievement has to be ‘The Parachute Failure’—it’s spine-tinglingly anthemic and really leaps out at the listener. It so beautifully epitomises the band’s key strengths, as evidenced throughout this remarkable debut—powerful and emotive melodies that engage through the push and pull of delicate restraint and blissful abandon In a word: lovely.” –- Drum Media (CD of the Week).


SONG LIST
01 A Public Space
02 If You Can’t Join Them, Beat Them
03 Trout Fishing In Australia
04 Pouring Milk Out the Window (Single)
05 Car Crash
06 Wadnama
07 Rain Falls on Your Nose, It’s Red From the Cold
08 The Parachute Failure
09 On the Trolley
10 Halfway House


Apricot Rail
“The Parachute Failure” [MP3]
     


Photo: Tom Cramond

Photo: Tom Cramond



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Monday, Sep 28, 2009
Coming completely out of left field, electro-rock artist Motorcycles Are Everywhere has quietly released his debut album, 1983, and it's one of the most sonically dense, endlessly replayable discs you'll hear in 2009. Oh, and it's free.

For the longest time, Matt O’Hare has paid his dues by taking on one of the most thankless jobs in mankind’s history: theatrical sound designer.


Gathering rare and sometimes impossible-to-find songs, crafting sound effects and elaborate cues meant to be triggered at moments notice, and sometimes even writing songs specifically for a show can be a positively daunting effort. The person who can successfully tackle an effects-heavy production like Mnemonic or The Skriker is worthy of a medal of some sort, but—for the musically-inclined—sound designing is nothing short of the ultimate training ground for bigger things.


It is here where you have to deal with meeting specific challenges, often having to reach far outside your comfort zone to get results. It is through this process that Matt O’Hare has been able to hone his craft, learning everything he can before applying it to his own music. Back in 2006, O’Hare was once quoted as saying that he rarely writes music for himself, simply because he found it much easier to write for pre-existing material, like his score for the Hangar Theater production of Art built almost entirely out of soft guitar harmonics. Yet after tackling an expansive, ambitious design for the Trinity Rep/Brown production of The Maids in February of this year, O’Hare gradually began working on 1983, his first album under the pseudonym Motorcycles Are Everywhere.


What’s amazing about this little electro-rock gem is just how well it all holds together.  Playing every instrument himself, O’Hare manages to keep things propulsive, never once coming off like a laptop-rock project some kid did in his spare time.


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Sunday, Sep 27, 2009

Hush Arbors
Yankee Reality
(Ecstatic Peace!)
Releasing: 6 October


Dinosaur Jr. singer/guitarist J Mascis produces the new Hush Arbors album and shows up playing on a few songs too. The production is straightforward and lets the atmospheric folk music breathe. It’s not noisy and in-your-face like you might have expected with Mascis turning the knobs.


SONG LIST
01 Day Before
02 Lisbon
03 Fast Asleep
04 So They Say
05 One Way Ticket
06 Coming Home
07 Sun Shall
08 Take It Easy
09 For While You Slept
10 Devil Made You High


Hush Arbors
“Day Before” [MP3]
     



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Friday, Sep 25, 2009

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
Summer of Fear
(Saddle Creek)
Releasing: 20 October


His self-titled 2007 debut won hearts and minds with high-stakes, melodramatic folk-rock tunes like “Buriedfed”. The passion is still there in “The Sound”, from his autobiographical sophomore LP, Summer of Fear. He sings, “Why would I try to hate on anyone else? / It’s a hard enough time just trying to hate myself.”


SONG LIST
01 Shake a Shot
02 Always an Anchor
03 The Sound
04 Hard Row
05 Trap Door
06 The 100th of March
07 Summer of Fear pt 1
08 Death by Dust
09 Summer of Fear pt 2
10 Losing 4 Winners
11 More than a Mess
12 Boat


Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson
The Sound [MP3]
     



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