CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 4 Feb / 19 Feb]

 
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Friday, Mar 1, 2013
On "Let's Get Sick", young German shoegazers the History of Colour TV show they have a way with conjuring up trippy soundscapes.

You know that young German shoegazers the History of Colour TV have a way with conjuring up trippy soundscapes, considering how they seem to transform a plain old rehearsal space into what seems like another dimension. Just check out the video of the extended live version of “Let’s Get Sick”, the leadoff track from their recently released album Emerald Cures Chic Ills. Despite the no-nonsense performance, the band whips up enough reverb that it’s no optical illusion that they look as if they’re actually vibrating, the feedback rippling like heatwaves off asphalt.


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Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013
North Carolina's Kingsbury Manx returns in March with their sixth full-length, Bronze Age.

North Carolina’s Kingsbury Manx has oft been labeled a folk-pop act, and not without some reason. But as the band returns in March with their sixth full-length, Bronze Age, it’s clear that just folk-pop doesn’t fit anymore. The impressive new record expands their gauzy, shuffling melodies into fuzzier rock turns and edgy atmospherics, sometimes stretching out into layered fever dreams. Nowhere are the band’s strengths as clearly on display as they are on “Handsprings”, a swaying track that glides on cascading piano and perfectly understated melodies. When the chorus opens up in its triumphant close, you think the song has hit its high point. And then the bright sounds bottom out and you’re left with the shadowy negative of those sounds, everything bright and swelling turned dark and spacious. It’s a brilliant turn on an album full of them, and a sure sign that a long-unsung band who been at the top of their game for a long while has somehow found another level. This isn’t just their sound, it’s also the best version of it to date.




Bronze Age is out March 5 on Odessa Records.


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Thursday, Feb 21, 2013
"Stick To" offers a good sampling of Ace Reporter's sound, which recalls the moody drive of the National, just a little more immediate in its scale.

Ace Reporter is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Chris Snyder. Culled from what Snyder called a “threesixfive project”, which had him work on a track a day for a year is Ace Reporter’s debut album Yearling. “Stick To”, a track from the forthcoming full-length, offers a good sampling of Ace Reporter’s sound, which recalls the moody drive of the National, just a little more immediate in its scale. It helps, too, that Snyder’s melodic baritone brings Matt Berninger’s to mind and that Ace Reporter’s detailed, vignette-based songwriting flashes glimpses of the National.


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Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
Bell Gardens create atmospheric, dreamy music where the songs slowly unveil their mysteries in good old analog time.

Bell Gardens create atmospheric, dreamy music where the songs slowly unveil their mysteries in good old analog time. The group is comprised of two fellows, Kenneth James Gibson (Furry Things, [a]pendics.shuffle) and Brian McBride (Stars of the Lid), who began forming their distinctive sound in early 2010. Notably Bell Gardens reject synthesizers in the creation of their enigmatic soundscapes; the tunes are made up of voices and live instrumentation (strings, horns, and piano). It’s all part of an attempt to make the music as “natural” sounding as possible while sticking to tools that were available in music studios from the ‘50s to the ‘70s. Today we bring you the premiere of Bell Garden’s latest video, “Fruitcup”, and you can also sample a recent mix the band made below.


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Tuesday, Feb 19, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
Babe the Blue OX were one of the first Brooklyn indie rock trendsetters, creating their early work in a part of town that was still a long way off from "Hipsterville".

Babe the Blue OX were one of the first Brooklyn indie rock trendsetters, creating their early work in a part of town that was still a long way off from “Hipsterville”. With a beginning in 1990, the Williamsburg-based group of Tim Thomas (guitar, vocals), Rose Thomson (bass, vocals) and Hanna Fox (drums, vocals) packed NYC clubs and created a surprising musical mix that was very nearly impossible to categorize. Of course, the band wanted it that way as they drew from disparate influences such as Captain Beefheart, the Minutemen and Prince—three other artists that are hard to place in a single genre box. Now, Babe the Blue OX has returned with their official sixth full-length LP, Guilty, which released earlier this month. Today, we bring you the premiere of the album’s first track, “Dragging the Joneses (Down to My Level)”, a tune about getting older and dissatisfaction.



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