Swami John Reis and the Blind Shake have teamed up to make “Modern Surf Classics” that pays tribute to classic surf rock albums by offering up modern takes in the form of 13 original tracks.
I don’t think I had ever really thought about it before, but placing the Blind Shake into the realm of surf-rock actually makes a whole lot of sense. Their brand of hyper-energetic, stomping, stuttering garage-rock isn’t that far removed. Their liberal use of reverb and scordatura places them, at the very least, in the same timbral category.
“Brown Room” starts off acoustically, but it isn’t long before the reverbed lead line comes in, moving through a few short riffs that cruise along at a relaxed pace. If you are familiar with Real Estate’s first album you’ll appreciate the sound that they’re going for here. The video complements the track nicely with that haze of nostalgia on the surface of every frame, dulled colors and slight blur accenting footage of surfers taking to the waves.
It would be remiss of me to not mention the great Picardy Third that closes out the track. It’s a nice touch.
“Modern Surf Classics” is set for release on January 27, 2015. The album can be pre-ordered right now, and will be made available on CD/LP/MP3 and FLAC formats.
As I continue to play through all of my favorite releases of the year, trying to put together some sort of end of year compilation, the release that I come back to almost every day is Twin Peaks’ debut LP “Sunken.” I think that I’m going to have to say definitively that that is my favorite release of the year. My one complaint about “Sunken,” though, is that it’s way too short, but I guess that this tiny little single can tide me over until 2014 with its expansive 4 minutes and 17 seconds of material. I’m just going to consider these two songs as “Sunken” bonus tracks.
Both “Flavor” and “Come Bother Me” are considerably more poppy, and considerably less washy/reverbed out. You can take a quick listen to both the tracks above, and then you can head over to the bandcamp page to drop $1 on a download, or send it as a last minute gift.
According to the bandcamp site the single was released on cassette via Tripp Tapes this past Friday, December 20th with a 7″ via Jeffery Drag Records coming soon.
You can buy “Sunken” over here on CD, vinyl, or as a digital download. Check out the video for “Stand In the Sand” off of that album below.
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 Jesus, From 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.