Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Burger Records

Patsy’s Rats – Rock N’ Roll Friend (Music Video)

patsy's rats

Editor’s Note: There’s been a month-long gap in coverage, thanks to near-incessant travel and other extenuating circumstances. The following run of posts that contain this note will be posts that should have appeared sometime within the past several weeks. Use these posts as an opportunity to catch up to the present release cycle or to simply discover some new music. Either way, enjoy.

Every once in a very rare while, a great song gets a great hangout clip that world-builds so effectively it’s easy to want to dive right into whatever’s being depicted onscreen and just get completely immersed in the experience. The clip for Patsy’s Rats standout single “Rock N’ Roll Friend” is that rare video. Kicking things off with a wink is the shot of someone in an Oldsmobile turning up the radio as the song swells up in the background.

What follows is a whole array of quintessentially Californian imagery: open roads, old muscle cars, skateboarding, and a quality selection of open fields. The band mimes their way through the song, throws guitars to each other, lights one on fire, and very clearly just enjoy each other’s company. It’s a video that lives in a very pure moment and it serves as the perfect antidote to the increasingly grim videos that have been populating the format’s landscape in recent times. Give it a watch (or five) and then call up some friends, take a trip, or just spend some time outside… and then do the whole thing all over again.

Watch “Rock N’ Roll Friend” below and pick up a copy of Patsy’s Rats here.

The Side Eyes – I Don’t Want To Go To School (Stream)

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While Clique, Tamu Massif, Oscar, Pity Sex, White Lung, Thin Lips, Stephen Steinbrink, PAWS, Karen Meat, Spray Paint, Land of Leland, RLYR, and Nick Leng may have all released great songs over the past few days (that deserve a whole lot of repeat listens), this post’s feature falls on a band new to the site: The Side Eyes. The quartet’s releasing their debut EP as a tape on Burger, injecting the label with some exciting new blood.

“I Don’t Want To Go To School” is the EP’s lead-off single and it’s a tremendous, surf-tinged basement pop number that easily separates itself from their peers thanks to a monstrous chorus that slows the song from a sprint to a crawl. The song’s another in a long tradition of carefree songs about wanting to skip out of the rigorous trappings of school and enjoy their freedom and the open air instead.

Occasionally, those songs register as a lazily compiled pastiche of better, past efforts on the same topic. In the case of The Side Eyes, there’s enough conviction in both the composition and the vocal delivery that it’s almost impossible to not believe their narrative. From the frantic, surging guitar part to the rhythm section’s bite and the considerable venom of the vocals, “I Don’t Want To Go To School” doesn’t strike a false note.

Weirdly triumphant and effectively anthemic, the song could transition into a legitimate rallying cry for a new generation. A generation dealing with a broken education system that’s continuing to experience an inward collapse. A generation that’s being, increasingly, deprived of outdoors experiences. A generation that, at some point, we won’t be able to blame for wanting to skip school in favor of fresh air.

Maybe “I Don’t Want To Go To School” is a lot more simple than a pointed social commentary, maybe it’s not. Either way, The Side Eyes have gifted us an exhilarating, thoughtful track that deserves praise and loving inspection. Turn it on, crank it up, and then go spend some time outside.

Listen to “I Don’t Want To Go To School” below and keep an eye on Burger to pick up the cassette.

Lady Bones – 24 Hour Party Girl (Stream)

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Now that the site’s caught up to the current release cycle on all fronts, their may not be as much material in the ensuing posts as some of the more recent entries. Even with that note, it’s extremely clear that 2015’s not going to bother to slow down its astonishing pace in regards to great new releases. While not a lot of publications or bands offered up new material over what seemed to be a slightly extended Labor Day weekend, there were still a few slivers of gold. The music video format found strong representation by way of Mick Jenkins’ stunning “P’s & Q’s” and Skating Polly’s delightfully whirlwind “Nothing More Than A Body“. Single streams saw another compelling duo ushered forth in Terrible Feelings’ new noir-tinged basement pop classic “Black Water” and Drowse’s slowly-unfurling, dread-induced “Melt“.

Full streams were in much larger supply, with no less than six outstanding titles vying for greater attention. Soul Low hit a new career with the surging, shambolic Sweet Pea EP, reaffirming their potential in the process. La Lenguas proved that “Love You All The Time” was no fluke by padding it out with two more stunners on their debut EP, Tears In My Milkshake. Rightfully-vaunted punk label Dirt Cult found another strong release in Blank Pages’ urgent No Reception EP while Heyrocco got their career off to an extraordinarily promising start with the powerful Teenage Movie SoundtrackBoth Communions and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin exceeded heightened expectations with The High Country and Communions, respectively, to bring everything home.

All of those songs, records, and music videos- as always- are worthy of praise and greater scrutiny. It’s Lady Bones’ latest, though, that earns this post’s featured spot. The band recently began teasing their upcoming Dying with a song, “Botch“, that suggested a bold atmospheric shift. Now, “24 Hour Party Girl” has arrived to confirm the band’s new era. Lady Bones had initially caught this site’s attention by virtue of an incredible split release with Horsehands. Any of the band’s more vibrantly bright tendencies evidenced in that first release have all but vanished, replaced instead with the dour relentlessness that drives bands like their labelmates (and site favorites) Kal Marks.

“24 Hour Party Girl”, like “Botch” starts murky and intent, working itself into a contained furor that seems as if its on the verge of toppling everything over at any given moment. Incredibly dynamic, restless, and unnervingly foreboding, the song’s unavoidable proof of the band’s sudden ascension to an unthinkable level. Coming in 15 seconds shy of five minutes, it hits its fiercest moments in its closing passage, erupting into a bruising, cathartic release. The guitar sings while the rhythm section punishes, bringing everything to an unexpectedly explosive finish, leaving nothing but smoke in its wake. Two songs in and Dying is already looking like a surprise candidate for Album of the Year.

Listen to “24 Hour Party Girl” below and pre-order Dying in advance of its June 3o release date from Midnight Werewolf here.

MOURN – Gertrudis, Get Through This! (Stream)

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MOURN hit this site with the force of a runaway train and created a crater in the wake of Captured Track’s unveiling of the live clip of “Otitis” that accompanied their signing announcement. Now, the band’s following up their acclaimed self-titled release with a spiky single, Gertrudis, headlined by the almost-title track “Gertrudis, Get Through This!”.  As has been the case with the preceding posts, this wasn’t the only release that merited a reasonable amount of attention to have appeared throughout the past week. Chuck Ragan released an incredibly effective artistic lyric video for “Vagabond“, his collaboration with Lucero’s Ben Nichols, Jon Snodgrass, and Chad Price while World Cafe released the full recording of their recent Hop Along session (which made an appearance in the last Watch This). Tomorrow’s Tulips hit a career high with their meticulously constructed video for “When” and Rice Milk’s hypnotic burst of minimalist basement pop, “Take My Weight“.

While each of those four selections deserve to be heard (and seen), it’s MOURN that earn the title feature this time around on the sheer magnitude of “Gertrudis, Get Through This!”. From the opening cadence that gets fired off like a countdown to the anthemic chorus, this exudes powerhouse. Sharp and intuitive, the track serves as a blistering reminder of the band’s unique strengths, providing an extra exclamation point to their spectacular self-titled effort. Fiery and unyielding, “Gertrudis, Get Through This!” bodes well for the band’s future and seems to indicate their resistance to any outside pressure. Call it a declaration or call it a manifest, just make sure to also call it what it truly is: a great song.

Listen to “Getrudis, Get Through This!” below and pick up Gertrudis from iTunes here.

Worriers – They/Them/Theirs (Stream)

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There were a lot of great items that were released over the past week and, as such, this will be the first of many posts coming throughout the weekend. Each one will have a featured piece and approximately four other releases included with whatever’s in the title. To that end, before getting to Worriers’ impassioned career highlight “They/Them/Theirs”, we’ll be taking a look at some other memorable songs- and one great EP- that are worth hearing. Among them, Big Star’s Jody Stephens’ new project Those Pretty Wrongs and their lovely “Lucky Guy“, Spirit Club’s compellingly gentle basement pop tune “Fast Ice“, and theweaselmartenfisher‘s unbelievably stunning “Daguerrotype Reboot“. Add in Trophy Dad’s Shirtless Algebra Fridays EP and it would already have been an impressive quartet with four worthy potential features. Then, of course, there was “They/Them/Their”, a blistering basement punk tune that’s both a pointed commentary on gender roles and easily Worriers’ finest work to date.

Lauren Denitizo lays out the songs terms from the onset with one of the year’s best opening lines in “You’ve got a word for one/so there’s a word for all”, before capping that verse off with “what if I don’t want something that applies to me/what if there’s no better word than just not saying anything”, delivering a stark, no-bullshit narrative for the respect all people’s identities deserve to be met with in under 20 seconds. Of course, it’s only a fragment of what, even with no lyrics, would have been the sharpest music of Worriers’ expanding career. The lyric set, which serves as one of 2015’s most arresting, just sweetens the deal. Even brought down to the chorus’ “We are floating between two ends that don’t matter” (a sentiment that articulates in one line what Tica Douglas’ Joey managed to create a compelling album around) , “They/Them/Their” becomes Worriers’ implicit clarion call.

We’re currently in the midst of a landscape that’s changing for the better, allowing for greater empathy and humanism. It’s a shift that’s being met with derision from the people who feel challenged by the changes. Worriers have always had their patch of land picked out and their flag stuck in the dirt. Now, they’re delivering the most eloquent reasoning for why they’re in the right and laying out the reasons to follow their path. I’ll be on their side of this movement every time. Which side are you on?

Listen to “They/Them/Their” below  and keep an eye out on this site for more news on Imaginary Life, Worriers’ forthcoming album, which is due out via Don Giovanni on August 7.  

Connor La Mue – Stargazer (Stream)

The Sleepwalkers II

I’ve come to regard a lot of my friends as family over the course of my time playing in bands, booking shows, and documenting as much of Wisconsin’s music scene as I possibly could. Two of the bands I made really early, meaningful connections with were The Sleepwalkers and recent Texas Is Funny signees The Midwestern Charm; two bands that have been intrinsically connected since their formations. Both acts have shared members for years, one of which being Connor La Mue (who fronts The Midwestern Charm and is The Sleepwalkers’ bassist), who has quietly been releasing solo demos under his own name. One of them, “Stargazer”, is among the best La Mue’s ever written. Before going too in-depth on that, though, it’s worth noting that yet again there’s been a lot of incredible music to appear over the past two months. Among those songs: Thee Oh Sees’ blissed-out psych-punk tune “The Ceiling“, Algiers’ punishing, soulful “Black Eunnuch“, Braid’s propulsive “Because I Am“, Damien Jurado’s magnetically weary “Oh The Land Blues“, and Ancient Sky’s massive, brooding “Garbage Brain“. Continuing to rack up the great songs count were Tracey Thorn’s gentle “Let Me In“, Michael Rault’s breezy psych-pop throwback “Lover’s Lie“, Ryn Weaver’s enchanting ambient pop piece “The Fool“, Blanck Mass’ unrelenting “Detritus“, and Tim Kasher’s sprawling folk-tinged Chris Farren cover “Half Full“. Now, with all of those accounted for, it’s time to refocus on the punchy, lo-fi micro-punk of “Stargazer”.

La Mue’s built himself a consistently impressive discography but hasn’t gone the full solo route since his formative years in music. Now, he’s grown restless, with the attention surrounding his work at an all-time high. That restlessness seeps its way into “Stargazer” which is, all at once, the shortest, most immediate, most bruising, and most freeing thing he’s committed to any sort of recording. Built around a drum track, La Mue fully indulges a 90’s influence that may owe a bigger debt to Guided By Voices than his work with either the Charm or The Sleepwalkers may have suggested. Raw, exhilarating, and bold, “Stargazer” hinges on the repeated mantra of “Do you ever wonder where we came from?” betraying its creators sense of wonderment to a fascinating degree. When the solo comes sweeping in to lead “Stargazer” to its rousing finish, it’s a genuinely stunning moment. Gritty and absurdly promising, “Stargazer” seems to point out, against all odds, that La Mue- after around 10 years of making and releasing music- is only just getting started.

Listen to “Stargazer” below and keep an eye on this site for more from La Mue’s other projects.

Watch This: 2015, Vol. 3

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Over the past few days, this site’s been running a campaign to get one of its most important cornerstones back. When the Watch This series was first brought into existence, it was done out of admiration- but also frustration. For whatever reason, great live footage never quite gets its due. Outside of rare exceptions (Scorsese’s The Last Waltz comes to mind), it’s an overlooked format. Reduced to miniature, it has an almost non-existent footprint. Yet, the very best of these clips hinge on the abilities of both filmmaker(s) and the central subject and are treasured fiercely by the people invested in either side. There’s a common ground between film and music that these clips manage to accentuate and exploit when they’re operating at their highest level, they represent multimedia formatting at its finest. Watch This was designed to amend the medium’s inexplicable reduction, Every Sunday, the installment would feature five of the strongest live clips of the week in some small effort to amend the egregious exclusion of a central focus for live footage.

Since 2015 started, like everything else, I’ve been amassing a list of some of the strongest entries in this category and this post marks the last of the trilogy making up the 15 or so weeks that made up 2015’s first quarter. There’s a heavy emphasis on interview-heavy clips and full sets, with healthy numbers for KEXP, BreakThruRadio, and Pitchfork. DIY culture is mostly fully embedded in Pupppy’s set at the endearingly named Dong Island and the whole playlist is bookended by two of the finest live videos of the year. Each of those two clips comes courtesy of NPR, with a full Sleater-Kinney set providing an exhilarating opening and a devastating Torres lullaby clip bringing the proceedings to a hushed, haunting close. Regular Watch This will resume on Sunday and continue weekly. Now, the video player below contains hours worth of material so it’s not something that’s probably going to be watched start-to-finish- but it can certainly be bookmarked and all of it is worth seeing (and, just as importantly, hearing). So, with all that mind, sit back, crank the volume, take a drink, settle in, and Watch This.

1. Sleater-Kinney (NPR)
2. Bully – Trying (Pitchfork)
3. Mike Pace and the Child Actors (TCGS)
4. Fred Thomas (BreakThruRadio)
5. Swervedriver – Autodidact (KEXP)
6. Menace Beach (3voor12)
7. Waxahatchee – Coast to Coast (Pitchfork)
8. Literature (BreakThruRadio)
9. Fat Supper – Mind Your Head #14 (MOWNO)
10. Francisco The Man (KEXP)
11. Nots (BreakThruRadio)
12. Title Fight – Mrahc (Pitchfork)
13. White Reaper – The Cut (BreakThruRadio)
14. GRMLN – Night Racer (Amoeba)
15. Girl Band (KEXP)
16. METZ – Nervous System (Pitchfork)
17. Popstrangers (BreakThruRadio)
18. Laura Stevenson – Bells And Whistles (Space Jam Sessions)
19. Jenny Lewis – Just One of the Guys (Jimmy Kimmel Live)
20. Strand of Oaks – For Me (Amoeba)
21. Pupppy (Dong Island)
22. Krill – Foot (WKNC)
23. Museum Mouth (WKNC)
24. La Luz – Call Me In The Day (KEXP)
25. Torres – A Proper Polish Welcome (NPR)

First Quarter Clips, Pt. 2 (Video Mixtape)

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We’re not even three months into 2015 and it’s already yielded a sprawling treasure trove of the kind of music-related items that are worth cherishing. It’s been a particularly strong year for music videos, with some titles from last year’s best releases getting their just treatment balanced out by some tantalizing clips sending expectations for the forthcoming releases that they’re attached to rocketing up to stratospheric heights. Animation, lyric videos, puppetry, seductively slow cinematography, static shots, dancing corpses, subtitled documentary footage, blood, more puppets (it’s been a great time for puppets in music videos), and self-shot footage are just some of the traits that define this two-part collection of 50 of the year’s most engaging clips. All of them, from the folk-leaning lilt of the second collection and the largely DIY punch of its predecessor, deserve praise. Don’t allow the fact they haven’t received any accompanying text beyond this introductory paragraph to do them a disservice; a few of theses videos rank as the best thing the attached band’s ever done and several others continue stunning individual stylistic penchants. More than anything, though, this is a collection that’s intended to represent the diversity and strength of 2015’s earliest offerings in the visual medium. Whether the video comes from an established act or a relatively unknown band, as always, is largely besides the point: this is art worth celebrating. Set aside an hour or two and dive into the madness- and keep an eye on this site for a continuation of this series that should be appearing in the coming days.

COLLECTION II

1. Mitski – Townie
2. Hailey Wojcik – XO Skeleton 
3. Doomtree – Final Boss
4. Hundred Waters – Innocent
5. Palma Violets – Danger in the Club
6. Girl Band – Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?
7. Jawbreaker Reunion – My Own
8. Screaming Females – Hopeless
9. Museum Mouth – Sacred
10. Celestial Shore – Now I Know
11. Chastity Belt – Time To Go Home 
12. Cloakroom – Starchild Skull
13. Modest Mouse – Coyotes
14. Girlpool – Chinatown
15. Sweet John Bloom – Blood Moon
16. Bass Drum of Death – Better Days
17. Colleen Green – TV
18. Turbo Fruits – The Way I Want You
19. Young Widows – King Sol
20. Evans the Death – Enabler
21. Green Dreams – Rich Man/Poor Man
22. Japanese Breakfast – The Woman That Loves You
23. Michael Rault – Still Not Sad
24. A Place to Bury Strangers – We’ve Come So Far
25. Karen O – Day Go By

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COLLECTION III

1. Gothic Tropic – Underwater Games
2. Laura Marling – False Hope
3. Beech Creeps – Son of Sud
4. Ultimate Painting – Riverside
5. Elvis Perkins – Hogus Pogus
6. Trust Fund – Essay to Write 
7. Mount Eerie – This
8. Kevin Morby – Dancer
9. Seagulls – You and Me
10. Bay Uno – Wait For Your Love
11. Jose Gonzalez – Leaf Off / The Cave
12. The Staves – Black & White
13. Big Noble – Ocean Picture
14. Inventions – Springworlds
15. S. Carey – Neverending Fountain
16. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – Boundlessness
17. Ava Luna – Coat of Shellac
18. Novella – Land Gone
19. Young Buffalo – No Idea
20. Avi Buffalo – Think It’s Gonna Happen Again
21. HUMANS – Tell Me
22. Kathryn Calder – Take A Little Time
23. Sondre Lerche – Lucky Guy
24. Doe Paoro – Traveling
25. Asaf Avidan – Over My Head

First Quarter Clips, Pt. 1 (Video Mixtape)

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As was laid out in yesterday’s mixtape, for the next few days this site will be in strict catch-up mode. Mixtapes of some of the best material to emerge in the first three months of 2015 will be running until everything’s brought up to the present-day release cycle. A few items here and there will be granted individual focus pieces but don’t let that distract from the importance of the songs and clips in all of the past and forthcoming lists (as well as the one on display here). It’s been a strong year for music videos across several genres, which is something this package of clips is intended to emphasize. From site favorites Mumblr‘s stroke of brilliance in incorporating actual live footage from their previous shows into “Got It” to the Bob’s Burgers tribute to Sleater-Kinney to the searing, soulful “Keep In Mind (Asshole)”, there’s a lot here to admire. Dive in below and explore a few of this year’s richest treasures.

COLLECTION I

1. Mumblr – Got It
2. Toro Y Moi – Empty Nesters
3. Heaters – Levitate Thigh
4. Menace Beach – Tastes Like Medicine
5. California X – Hadley, MA
6. Protomartyr – Want Remover
7. Destruction Unit – Final Flight
8. MOURN – Your Brain Is Made of Candy
9. Young Guv – Crushing Sensation
10. Cyberbully Mom Club – Bobby Pins
11. King Tuff – Headbanger
12. Sleater-Kinney – A New Wave
13. Cayetana – Scott Get the Van, I’m Moving
14. Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose
15. Franky Flowers – Fell In Love
16. Gal Pals – Do You Ever?
17. Celestial Shore – Weekenders
18. Twerps – Stranger
19. Kuroma – Simon’s in the Jungle
20. Kool Stuff Katie – Cars
21. Fear of Men – America
22. This is the Kit – Bashed Out
23. Tori Vasquez – Keep In Mind (Asshole)
24. Only Real – Can’t Get Happy
25. The Dodos – Competition

Quarterbacks – Pool (Stream)

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Continuing on with tonight’s coverage of last week’s events in music, this will be the second post dedicated to showcasing the very best single streams that emerged last week (there were technical complications that disallowed much of anything being posted).  With music videos already having earned their showcase and nearly a dozen songs being included in the last post, it’s time to double down on the songs that make up the remainder of last week’s haul. A few of the songs on display here rank among the best these bands have ever produced and deserve quite a bit of attention on their own merit- so, enough talking, let’s cut to the recap.

Dirty Dishes came charging out of the gate wild-eyed and swinging with the vicious post-punk burner “Red Roulette“, Kagoule set about achieving something similar via the decidedly off-kilter (and subtly menacing) “Gush“, and Happyness closed the 2014 chapter of the year’s best series- Art Is Hard’s Pizza Club- with the appropriately scuzzy “Jelly Boy (Jesus, Baby)“. Murder By Death made their return to the fore by virtue of the swirling “Strange Eyes“, Munroe made a deep impression with the starkly arresting “Bloodlet“, and Cloakroom advanced previous hints- in support of the increasingly problem claim- that Further Out will be one of 2015’s finest records via the unveiling of “Starchild Skull”. Mope Grooves cooked up the perfect sub-minute basement pop tune with the helpfully instructional “Don’t Sleep In Your Jeans“, Dick Diver released the triumphantly laid-back “Waste The Alphabet“, and site favorites Girlpool continued their impossibly winsome streak with the surprisingly searing “Alone at the Show“, one of the duo’s strongest songs to date.

Today’s feature falls to another site favorite, Quarterbacks, and their newest track, “Pool”. Quarterbacks had previously carved out a name for themselves via their excellent Double Double Whammy release, Quarterboy. Back when that was released, Quarterbacks (led by Dean Engle) was still very much a solo project but, somewhat curiously, for the project’s upcoming self-titled effort, it’s gone the full band route. Adding even more intrigue to this is the fact that the two songs (“Pool” and “Center“) to have been released from Quarterbacks so far already appeared on Quarterboy. Both songs take on a new vitality in the full band setting, though, rendering all of that background information fairly meaningless. “Pool”, in particular, is accentuated in fairly thrilling ways, with the rhythm section playing up the song’s manic neurosis. In typical Quarterbacks form, the whole thing’s over in under 90 seconds- but it still feels resoundingly complete. With the rate Engle & co. have been going, it’s well within the bounds of reason to fully expect Quarterbacks to emerge as one of 2015’s richest treasures. February 10 can’t get here soon enough.

Listen to “Pool” below and pre-order Quarterbacks from Team Love (who are releasing it in association with Double Double Whammy) here.