Watch This: Vol. 5

by Steven Spoerl

While last week’s retrospective was a fun exercise, this week’s Watch This is back to normal. Ranging from overseas Bohemian punk takeovers to locally-shot basement invasions, Vol. 5 stands as one of the series’ more  eclectic installments. Take a deep breath and dive in below.

1. The Midwestern Charm – Bloodbath (Live at Mill Creek)

After a promising self-titled debut effort, The Midwestern Charm have been doing everything in their power to present themselves as a reinvented machine. Their songwriting has improved, their sound has gotten more aggressive, and (as clearly evidenced here), their live presentation has gotten a lot sharper. Expect big things from these four in 2014. 

2. The Love Language – This Room – Calm Down (HearYa Session)

Merge Records act The Love Language have been quietly excelling at releasing punk-tinged powerpop whether it be in a live or recorded setting. Their recent HearYa Session is exactly what you’d expect from a band operating on that level.

3. Moonface – Helsinki Winter 2013

This site owes Moonface quite a bit. Without Spencer Krug (and collaborative partners Siinai), Heartbreaking Bravery never comes into existence. Julia With Blue Jeans On was one of this year’s most arresting accomplishments and the reverberations of that solo piano record are still being felt, as evidenced by this live clip FILTER premiered a few days ago.

4. The Growlers (La Blogotheque Session)

The Growlers have found success with their recent Burger Records affiliation, as well as with both the demos for their latest full-length, Hung at Heart, and the record itself. This La Blogotheque Session finds them playing the streets of another country, amplifying a more Bohemian personality.  It’s a singular moment for both band and blog.

5. Sleeping in the Aviary – So Lonely (Live in Stevens Point)

This week’s band to know is the now-defunct Madison-via-Minneapolis act, Sleeping in the Aviary. Towards the end of Sleeping in the Aviary’s run, the manic-pranksters were co-fronted by two incredibly talented musicians. This clip comes  courtesy of Heartbreaking Bravery and exemplifies the attitude and energy of small town Midwest basement shows. Give it a watch and pick up/stream Sleeping in the Aviary’s entire discography over at their bandcamp.