Tag Archives: song

New Track: Lee Ranaldo & The Dust – “Lecce Leaving”

Lee Ranaldo & The Dust
Lee Ranaldo & The Dust photo by John Von Pamer

It’s still so strange to me to have to write, or even think, the phrase “formerly of Sonic Youth” or “ex-Sonig Youth,” but I think that we are all just going to have to somehow learn to get through it. We can do this. Together.

I’m not sure what makes it more disapointing: that we will not (most likely, but hopefully maybe there is still a possibility of a shred of hope that maybe we will?) hear another note by Sonic Youth, or that the ex-members have really not been making the kinds of albums that I can really get behind.

Ranaldo’s last album (what everyone seemed to refer to as his “first solo album” or, when people that should know better finally realized that it wasn’t his first solo album, his “first song-based solo album” as if what he had done before couldn’t be called songs for some reason?) “Between the Times & The Tides” was something that I could just never get into. I tried, oh how I tried. It just sort of fell flat. I know that that is unfortunate and unfair, in that on its own its actually a decent album. But, there is no way that I (or probably anyone) can listen to it (or anything that he does) without inadvertently (or maybe overtly) comparing it to Sonic Youth’s material.

On October 8 Matador will release Ranaldo’s latest, “Last Night on Earth,” with band The Dust that includes drummer Steve Shelley (Lee Ranaldo: now with 25% Sonic Youth!), Alan Licht and Tim Lüntzel. Listen to the track “Lecce Leaving” below. It immediately sounds richer and fuller than most of the material on “Times and Tides.” The band works well together to create a dynamic sound that is considerably more dense and contrapuntal. Shelley’s drumming adds the perfect touch, as does the slide guitar, steel string acoustic and keys. It’s a 7 minute tune that I almost wish would go on for 20. Though the lyrical content is admittedly darker, I can’t help but think that the arrangement is joyful in parts, or excitable at the very least, until the coda where things resolve in an unsettling, dark manner.

The album is available for pre-order on CD or LP from the Matador store, and as a download from iTunes. And check out Lee’s site here.

Tour dates for Lee Ranaldo & The Dust:

North America :

Tue-Oct-08 Hudson, NY Club Helsinki
Wed-Oct-09 Buffalo, NY Tralf Music Hall
Fri-Oct-11 Toronto, ONT Horseshoe Tavern
Sat-Oct-12 Detroit, MI Trinosophes
Sun-Oct-13 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Mon-Oct-14 Madison, WI High Noon Saloon
Tue-Oct-15 Minneapolis, MN The Triple Rock
Thu-Oct-17 Iowa City, IA Gabe’s
Fri-Oct-18 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room
Sat-Oct-19 Lawrence, KS The Bottleneck
Sun-Oct-20 St. Louis, MO The Firebird
Tue-Oct-22 Nashville, TN Exit/In
Wed-Oct-23 Asheville, NC The Grey Eagle
Fri-Oct-25 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House

Europe :

sun 10-Nov-2013 NL GRONINGEN VERA
Wed 13-Nov-2013 DE COLOGNE GEBAUDE 9
Thu 14-Nov-2013 FR METZ – acoustic show at le musée de la cour d’or
Mon 18-Nov-2013 FR FEYZIN – Epicerie Moderne
Fri 22-Nov-2013 UK CAMBER SANDS ATP FESTIVAL at Camber Sands
Sat 23-Nov-2013 FR PARIS – Boulogne Billancourt BB MIX FESTIVAL

North America again:

Fri-Dec-06 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Sat-Dec-07 Vancouver, BC Biltmore Cabaret
Sun-Dec-08 Seattle, WA Barboza
Wed-Dec-11 San Francisco, CA The Chapel
Fri-Dec-13 Los Angeles, CA The Echo

New Track: Lightning Bolt – “Barbarian Boy”

Lightning Bolt - Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson
Lightning Bolt – Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson

Barbarian Boy

Just when I thought I was going to have to search for things to write about one of my favorite bands, Lightning Bolt, shows up with a new track. I’m hoping for a new album soon now that it looks like Chippendale is done touring as Black Pus.

So we have this track, “Barbarian Boy,” and the most surprising element to me is that the vocals are more intelligible than anything else I’ve ever heard from the band. The drumming is also quite a bit more subdued than any other LB track, though this doesn’t make it is any less powerful. Gibson’s bass plows into view, fighting against feedback the entire way. Brief moments of silence created when the bass drops out works to heighten the intensity a bit, where formerly they would be content to maintain the same brutal dynamic throughout. But the silence doesn’t last very long as the end of the song becomes blurred in a monomaniacal circular pattern of bass fuzz accompanied by Chippendale’s chanting.

The track is part of a compilation put out by Adult Swim. It also includes tracks by Marnie Stern, Pig Destroyer, Dan Deacon and Metz. You can listen to the comp and download the tracks here.

Lightning Bolt//Brian Chippendale on Twitter//Bandcamp//Black Pus


New track: Deerhoof – "The Trouble with Candyhands"

(Originally posted on Tympanogram on August 7, 2012)

Deerhoof - "Breakup Song"
Deerhoof – “Breakup Song”

Everyone’s favorite San Francisco based fun-time art-pop band, Deerhoof, are preparing to release a follow up to 2011?s Deerhoof Vs. Evil with Breakup Song due in stores on September 4th via Polyvinyl.

They have released a typically quirkily named track, “The Trouble With Candyhands” on the Polyvinyl Soundcloud page that provides us with a short glimpse of their ever evolving sound. The addition of staccato brass adds a bit of a danceable salsa flair to the typically frenetic sound of the band. The guitars are dialed back significantly but Greg Saunier continues to carve intricate, shifting rhythms right through the heart of the song with Satomi’s high falsetto soaring sweetly above the foundation. You can hear snippets from the entire album by popping a token in the Jingletron. Based on this first listen it sounds like Deerhoof are placing a little more emphasis on their electronic leanings that started to show a bit more on Deerhoof Vs. Evil.

With a new album comes a new tour and Deerhoof are ferocious live, so check them out when they come to a town near you. And if you are in Portland, OR for their show (with the equally amazing Buke and Gase opening) I’ll let you buy me a few beers.

You can buy “Breakup Song” from Polyvinyl here.

Find Deerhoof:  Tour | Facebook | Polyvinyl

New track: Chelsea Light Moving – "Burroughs"

(Originally posted to Tympanogram on June 26, 2012)

Chelsea Light Moving
Chelsea Light Moving

As a Sonic Youth obsessive, I take it as my duty to inform everyone that Thurston Moore has formed another new project. The name of this new venture is Chelsea Light Moving and they popped up out of nowhere late last week on the Matador Matablog.

Thankfully the band sounds like they are interested in more of the late Sonic Youth aesthetic than they are in the solo Thurston Moore sound. The track, “Burroughs,” comes off sounding like a B-side for The Eternal or Rather Ripped, with an upbeat and noisy verse, sharp guitar stabs, and an extended exploratory coda. This track captures the energy that I believe is missing from Thurston’s Demolished Thoughts effort. It sounds raw, exciting, and it doesn’t even matter to me that this is probably the millionth track attributed to the influence of William S. Burroughs that Moore has penned.

The band is rounded out by Keith Wood on guitar, Samara Lubelski on bass, and drummer John Maloney. According to the Matador press release the track was recorded and mixed May 18-20, 2012, by Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab, Easthampton, MA. And there are some (very few) dates posted for Thurston, with no mention if it is him appearing with solo material or with new Chelsea Light Moving tracks. We are promised another track in a week though, so be sure to check back and grab that one as well.

[audio:http://quartertonality.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/chelsea_light_moving_burroughs.mp3|titles=Chelsea Light Moving – Burroughs] Chelsea Light Moving  | Blog
Upcoming Thurston Moore US dates:
June 24 – Missoula, MT  The Top Hat
June 27 – Bouler, CO  Boulder Theater
June 29 – Denver, CO  Larimer Lounge

New track: Lee Ranaldo – "Off the Wall"

(Originally posted on Tympanogram.com on March 5, 2012)
Lee Ranaldo
Lee Ranaldo
Watching your favorite band break up is tough to do. It’s like being a kid and having to decide if you are going to live with your mom or your dad after your parents get divorced. I’m still in the phase where I’m holding out hope that Sonic Youth isn’t going to disband, but rumors of this coming Summer’s Lollapalooza performance being the bands last are going around, and sooner or later we are all going to have to face the inevitable together.

In the meantime, Thurston Moore has released an album of genteel, somnolence-inspiring arrangements that function essentially as ruminations on open guitar tunings; Steve Shelley is drumming with Disappears (a band that nobody would be paying attention to if Steve Shelley wasn’t drumming for them); and Lee Ranaldo is making his debut as a solo songwriter with his album “Between the Tides and the Times” on Matador Records.

This isn’t his debut album by any means, as he has released a handful of highly experimental albums including East JesusFrom Here to Infinity, and Amarillo Ramp (for Robert Smithson) that would test the fidelity of any true Sonic Youth fan. These albums are in addition to other free jazz albums that he has collaborated on.

So far we only have one song from the new album, set for release on March 20. “Off the Wall” is structured in typical verse/chorus/verse fashion with a free-wheeling easiness in the melody that sounds like it would fit perfectly on Rather Ripped. This is, oddly, quite a departure considering Ranaldo’s other works. Leave it to someone so completely left-of-center as Lee Ranaldo to release a straight ahead rock track and have it seem like a departure. The truth is that this track does sound like one of the songs that would appear on a Sonic Youth album, where Ranaldo is typically woefully underrepresented.

He’s also got some solo performances coming up, including a spot at Primavera. Check him out live if you can, as his band includes not only Steve Shelley (you know, the guy from Disappears), Nels Cline, Alan Licht and John Medeski. His tour, with M. Ward and Disappears, mostly hits up the East Coast and parts of the South and Midwest. You can check the dates here, and pre-order Between The Times and The Tides at Matador.

Lee Ranaldo on: Facebook | web | Twitter

[audio:http://quartertonality.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Lee-Ranaldo-Off-The-Wall.mp3|titles=Off the Wall]

ETA (March 13, 2012): Lee’s album, “Between the Times and the Tides” is now streaming in its entirety on Rolling Stone.com.

Lee Ranaldo OFF THE WALL Official Video from Lee Ranaldo on Vimeo.


Joel Plaskett – "Lying on a Beach"

Joel Plaskett is easily one of the best songwriters working today, but truly under (almost un-) appreciated in the United States. He’s a lanky Haligonian formerly of  Thrush Hermit that releases a fairly steady stream of albums under his name, or with his band The Joel Plaskett Emergency. His sound varies quite a bit from country infused gems to Led Zeppelin inspired rockers.

This song appears on his 2005 solo release “La De Da” and is one of my favorites of his.

Joel Plaskett - "La De Da"
Joel Plaskett - "La De Da"
[audio:http://quartertonality.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/04-Lying-on-a-Beach.mp3|titles=Lying on a Beach]

Somebody introduced me
To a member of the club
I think that they confused me
With some other rub-a-dub-a-dub
Now, I work on the fifth floor
And nothing is my fault
I take advice like margueritas
With a heavy grain of salt
I always wake up in the night
Wondering if I’m doing it right
And if I had my way
I’d be getting on this flight tonight
And in the morning I’d be
Lying on a beach in the sun
Lying to my family and friends
Telling them that I have begun
Trying to find the means to an end
Lying on a beach in the sun
Lying just to cover my ass
Lying in the sun on the beach
Burning like the girls in the grass

I should be working on my manners
But I’m working on my website
All you star-spangled scanners
Trying to photocopy moonlight
Staring at the computer screen
Feeling so alone and obscene
Getting restless
Getting randy
Getting mean
Lying on a beach in the sun
Looking for a little romance
The temperature’s a hundred and one
Everybody take off your pants
Lying on a beach in the sun
Trying to figure out what to do
Lying in the sun on the beach
I realized I did not have a clue

I’m full of hocus pocus
And I’m slower than molasses
I’m coming in and out of focus
Like a magic pair of glasses
I go down to the staff room at lunchtime
I’m like a joke but there’s never a punch line
And if you step on my toes I’ll blow up just like a landmine
Give me a reason I’ll be
Lying on a beach in the sun
Nobody but my money and me
Is this your definition of fun
I’m bored it’s only twenty past three (You should go for a swim)
I’ll still be clinging to the company line
There’s sharks out there I think I saw a fin
Or maybe I’m just losing my mind

Somebody take a memo
We’re all on automatic
When I get it back together
We’re gonna need a little static
Somebody check my pulse
Slap me in the face
Show me what I’m made of
Get me out of this place
It’s like a weird technological dream
Watching buddies turn into machines
We never get our hands dirty
But paradise is never this clean
Come on
Lying on a beach in the sun
Don’t want to get burned to a crisp
You want something to remember me by
You can save it on a floppy disk
So long
You can kiss my ass goodbye
If I don’t jump ship right now
I’ll never figure out how to fly

New Grand Lake single

Grand Lake, having recently released their truly wonderful EP “Leaves Ellipse” has now put out the 2nd single from that EP.

“Christmas, California”, described perfectly by Grand Lake bandleader Caleb Nichols as “drenched in springtime sunshine, total California ear-candy.” It’s a fun song and one of the many highlights of “Leaves Ellispe”.

The song will also be available on a vinyl-only compilation released on Record Store Day by Burnside Distro – also featuring HAD Records label-mates the Heavenly States, as well as the incomparable Sea Of Bees.  You should definitely look for that on Record Store Day, which is April 16 this year.

Check out the song here, as well as the video that was filmed around the band’s new home of San Luis Obispo, California. The video is framed as a polaroid picture that captures the sunniness of the song.


Grand Lake – Christmas, California from Ryan Terzian on Vimeo.

Let’s review:

-new EP by Grand Lake, “Leaves Ellipse” is available for download here and here

-you should go to one of those sites to purchase the EP after you listen to this new single and watch the video.


Grand Lake - "Leaves Ellipse"