Mini-Beats – October 2009

Lou BarlowGoodnight Unknown (2009, Merge) ♥♥♥
-considerably more ‘manly’ than Emoh which might have something to do with the Dino Jr. reunion and Dale Crover drumming-
Unsparing SeaA Cloud In The Cathedral (2008, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-rustic backporch Americana; recorded to sound raw and powerful with a wide variety of instrumentation-
One For The TeamBuild It Up (2008, Militia Group) ♥♥♥½
-girl/guy indie-pop with a ton of harmonies and hooks-
VA – Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To The Cure (2009, American Laundromat) ♥♥
-hit or miss as is the case with most tributes; mostly misses-
VandeveerGrace & Speed (2007, Gypsy Eyes) ♥♥♥½
-Dylan-inspired folk likely to appeal to fans of Matt Costa and James William Hindle-
Dead Man’s BonesDead Man’s Bones (2009, Anti) ♥♥♥½
-yep, it’s Ryan Gosling’s band…and it’s quite good; recommended if you like old-school scary movies and children’s choirs…..-
65daysofstaticThe Destruction Of Small Ideas (2007, Monotreme) ♥♥♥♥
-more of the glitchy post-rock I’ve come to love from these guys with a rare vocal track at the end of the album-
IdahoBayonet EP (1995, Fingerpaint) ♥♥♥
-less dreamy, more lo-fi effort; contains the excellent ‘Sliding Past’-
MolyShut The Hell Up (2006, Tenor Vossa) ♥♥♥½
-loud/quiet dreampop in the vein of Great Northern or Mogwai-
Terra Terra TerraMind Like A Man, Soul Like A Child (2009, Bonded) ♥♥
-sleek and polished radio-ready pop/rock; not my cup of tea-
WeatherboxThe Cosmic Drama (2009, Doghouse) ♥♥♥
-fuzzy, garage-lite; think Emperor X or John Darnielle fronting the first Thermals album; an odd release for Doghouse….-
The Prime MinistersCompromiser (2009, self-released) ♥½
-this effort treads even closer to second-rate middle-aged power-pop than their last-
GirlsAlbum (2009, Panther Sounds) ♥♥½
-wildy inconsistent indie-pop drawing from many sources old and new; a reasonably hyped disappointment-
Kid SniperLandlocked (2002, High School Champion) ♥♥♥
-capable Pavement-inspired indie rock with a few jammy mathic numbers in the middle of the album-
The Paper ChaseSomeday This Could All Be Yours Part 1 (2009, Kill Rock Stars) ♥♥♥½
-a little more tame than other releases but another solid album of Paper Chase’s brand of creepy dirges and freakouts-
Jill AndrewsWhite Van (2009, self-released) ♥♥♥
-a limited release of b-sides and live cuts of mostly Everybodyfields material; sold exclusively to gather up fundage for a tour van-
Frightened RabbitSwim Until You Can’t See Land (single) (2009, FatCat) ♥♥♥
-hopefully not the beginning of the destruction of one of my new favorite bands….-
The Gifted ChildrenOne Clear Minute, Vol. 1 (2009, Tinhorn Planet) ♥♥♥♥
-another quick, solid vinyl-only EP from these upstate NY indie darlings-
Like A FoxWhere’s My Golden Arm (2008, Transit Of Venus) ♥♥
-serious Flaming Lips worship with classic rock influences; not my favorite local Philly artist…-
The Gentlemen’s ClubThe Servant (2006, Indie Pool) ♥♥♥
-mostly standard format pop/rock with a few ‘indie’ twists-
Volcano ChoirUnmap (2009, Jagjaguwar) ♥♥♥
-i’m betting this album was rushed to ride the coattails of Bon Iver’s proper release; a few great moments but equal parts yawn-
RelayStill Point Of Turning (2006, Bubble Core) ♥♥♥
-local Philly stalwarts flex their shoegazing muscles; they’ve since changed their name to Arc In Round-
MagooThe Soateramic Sounds Of Magoo (1997, Beggars Banquet) ♥♥½
-abrasive DIY indie-core that would have fit snugly into the Shrimper lineup; sadly way too much filler here-
Pattern Is MovementStowaway (2005, NFI) ♥♥½
-operatic indie with a focus on storytelling and angular backdrops; much better live than on record-
The Black Heart ProcessionSix (2009, Temporary Residence) ♥♥½
-their halcyon days are unfortunately behind them-
Drug RugPaint The Fence Invisible (2009, Black and Greene) ♥♥♥
-pysche-lite indie pop that featured high high’s and low low’s-
The Gifted ChildrenOne Clear Minute, Vol. 2 (2009, Tinhorn Planet) ♥♥♥½
-another quick, solid EP release for the gifted ones-
AristeiaYou Give Me Strength, You Give Me Patience (2007, self-released) ♥♥♥
-capable post-rock with vocals on a few tracks-
The Gifted ChildrenMy Museum Pieces (2009, Tinhorn Planet) ♥♥♥½
-first full-length release in a long while from these upstate NY favorites; not much different from the demo version of the album that’s been floating around the internets for a few years-
Goh NakamuraDaylight Savings (2004, self-released) ♥♥♥
-singer/songwriter power-pop; think Brendan benson or a more uplifting Elliott Smith-
Chapman & BrockerDance Of The Crazy Man (2007, self-released) ♥♥♥½
-brotherly duo put together an impressive and eclectic pop-rock album; give it time to grow a little…-
Monsters Of FolkMonsters Of Folk (2009, Artist First) ♥♥½
-an undeniable amount of talent producing an undeniably mediocre group of songs…-
The SubmarinesDeclare A New State (2006, Nettwerk) ♥♥♥½
-nothing groundbreaking or breathtaking here but there are a ton of gorgeous melodies and boy/girl vocals to latch onto, not unlike their latest album; RIYL Headlights-
The Mountain GoatsThe Life Of The World To Come (2009, 4AD) ♥♥♥
-John Darnielle waxes his usual lyrical self and disects the Bible; the backing music here sounded a little flat and soulless-
Wake The PresidentYou Can’t Change That Boy (2009, Magic Marker) ♥♥½
-Scottish indie-pop; a rare lower quality release for MM-
The One AM RadioAn Assembly EP (2003, self-released)
-see upcoming review-
Hush ArborsYankee Reality (2009, Ecstatic Peace) ♥♥♥
-freak-folk without the ‘freak’ part….if that makes any sense; there are actually a few sun-drenched psyche gems in here-
Adam ArcuragiI Am Become Joy (2009, High Two) ♥♥♥½
-local Philly troubadour releases another solid album; RIYL Damien Jurado & Will Johnson-
Je Suis FranceThe France Plays With Itself Vol. 1 – Shitcraft (2009, self-released)
-see upcoming review-
ElbaAn Avalanche (2008, self-released) ♥♥
-spacey, yet simple pop that shows potential but fails to hit that spot-
Happy FamilySound Farm EP (2009, self-released)
-see upcoming review-
A Sunny Day In GlasgowAshes Grammar (2009, Mis Ojos) ♥♥♥♥
-probably the best shoegaze-pop album i’ve heard in a couple years….well done!-

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