Heartbreaking Bravery

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Tag: Teenage Cool Kids

Audacity – Counting the Days (Stream)

Audacity

We’ve hit the week’s midway point and it’s continued to impress on unreasonably strong levels. Music videos made the biggest impact this time around, with several threatening to steal today’s feature spot. Among them: Nude Beach‘s Children’s Museum of the Arts-assisted “For You” was a perfect example of a great band being great people, Sea Ghost crafted up a suitably gentle clip for “Cave Song“, Pissed Jeans proved they can be as ferocious in a visual medium as they are on record with their clip for the resuscitated “Boring Girls” [WARNING: Strobes], Teenager got tongue-in-cheek with “Hot Rods At The Loser Convention“, while both shotty and Spring King demonstrated their winsome penchant for lo-fi weirdness with their respective videos. On the single side spectrum, it was a huge day for post-punk ragers with excellent turn-ins from Crushed Beaks (“Rising Sign“), LA Font (“Bright Red Flame“), and Parkay Quarts- a duo version of Parquet Courts- who arrived on the strength of “Uncast Shadow Of A Southern Myth“, a song that’s already received coverage on this site in its earliest form as a Teenage Cool Kids song.

Another song that’s received coverage on this site is Audacity’s “Counting the Days”, thanks to their Jam in the Van performance. Incidentally, Audacity were the very first band to ever be featured on Heartbreaking Bravery, as their “Hole in the Sky” video came out the day this place began operating. All of that being the case, it’s always been easy to feel a strong connection to the band- especially since they’re currently riding a creative high peak as evidenced by last year’s outstanding Butter Knife and the just-released studio version of “Counting the Days”. Blending basement punk and basement pop into something that feels as galvanizing as it does cathartic has been one of the band’s specialties since their inception and “Counting the Days” proves they’ve just about mastered it. Fiery melodies collide with fierce instrumentals to create a knockout punch of a song and cement Audacity’s reputation as one of the best bands on their respective circuits.

Listen to “Counting the Days” below and pre-order the 7″ it headlines here.

Watch This: Vol. 16

Well, the stars didn’t quite align and this is, once again, a few days past-due. That’s the bad news. The good news? A bout with poor health (while admittedly not producing much content) did prompt a few brainstorming sessions. As a compromise for this edition’s lateness, it’ll be another spotlight piece (in the way of Vol. 9). Except this time, instead of BNTYK, the attention’s been turned to the Pink Couch Sessions series ([PCS] for short). While this site’s already praised IYMI for a myriad of reasons, and included a few [PCS] pieces here and there, giving them their own Watch This just felt necessary. While there were a few pretty extraordinary videos that were left out, Saintseneca, Big EyesHop Along, and Waxahatchee, have all been covered recently- or covered enough- that it felt justifiable to spread the focus elsewhere. After all, Heartbreaking Bravery would be nothing if it wasn’t constantly looking for new music to showcase. All that’s left is to find a drink, sit back, and watch this.

1. P.S. Eliot – We’d Never Agree

Before Katie Crutchfield started Waxahatchee and Allison Crutchfield was at the center of Swearin’, they were both in P.S. Eliot. This version of “We’d Never Agree” served as an introduction to the band for a fair few people and was a very early indicator of the extent of their respective talents. Katie’s front and center here, as arresting as she’s ever been.

2. Teenage Cool Kids – Landlocked State

Making their second straight appearance in a Watch This features edition, Teenage Cool Kids run though “Landlocked State”. The acoustic format allows the emphasis to be placed on the band’s extraordinary lyrical ability, always one of their strongest elements. They’ve rarely sounded better.

3. Sundials – Crosby Sucks

Midwestern winters can exacerbate already considerable levels of discontentment. There are four things that help pass the time when this happens: music, friends, drinking, and hockey. “Crosby Sucks”, in addition to being a showcase for Sundials’ great left-field basement pop, is a perfect distillation of all four.

4. The Sidekicks – 1940’s Fighter Jet

Steve Clolek has been making quite a name for himself lately. As a member of Saintseneca, his profile’s rising- and as a residual effect of that, The Sidekicks are also getting a fair amount of attention. They deserve it, too. Awkward Breeds was one of 2012’s best records and “1940’s Fighter Jet” was one of its most stunning moments.  Clolek delivers an even more powerful solo version here.

5. Busman’s Holiday – Mr. Spaceman

There are few things that would’ve been more appropriate for a [PCS] grand finale than this rousing take on “Mr. Spaceman” courtesy of Busman’s Holiday. Hitting all the sweet spots of a variety of genres spanning from chamber pop to twee to folk-punk, this is the kind of performance that can make a convert out of just about anyone. The melody, the strings, and the snare work all come together to create something magical.

Watch This: Vol. 9

As hyper-aware readers may have noticed, there hasn’t been much in the way of worthwhile live performance videos to post over this past two week stretch. This is often an inevitability during the new year midwinter dead zone. Fortunately, this allows both time and space to reflect on the things that may have been missed throughout or before this site’s existence. One of those is the dearly-missed BNTYK (short for Be Nice to Your Kids), which seemed to stand for everything Heartbreaking Bravery does. While BNTYK only lasted for a frustratingly brief amount of time, while they were around they offered up the most professional high-quality presentations of live performances from a murderer’s row of great basement bands. Below, you’ll find five of their absolute best. Enjoy.

1. Swearin’ – Here to Hear

Swearin’ are often at their fieriest when Kyle Gilbride’s allowed to take the control. When he’s offered the opportunity it’s very rare that Gilbride doesn’t just fucking go off. “Here to Hear” is easily one of the most impassioned songs in the bands repertoire and the way they feed off each other here is so infectiously joyous that it’s hard to just watch once. Swearin’ still holds up as one of the best LP’s this young decade’s produced so far and this video will always serve as an admirable document of a band exerting their energy because they believe in the thrill of it. It’s raw, visceral, and genuinely beautiful.

2. Bad Sports – Terrible Place

There aren’t many bands that can boast a discography as strong as Bad Sports. For an early run, they’ve already produced a few records that could find themselves categorized as basement pop classics. “Terrible Place” is a very strong indication of this and their committed performance here nicely underscores how hard this band worked to make that happen. Sweat pours down faces, heads are kept down, and there’s a general air of defiant determination. Here’s hoping this band sticks around for a long time to come.

3. VIDEO – Nothing Lasts Forever

The blood-caked upper teeth, the restlessness, the pure exhilaration of airing out unbridled frustration. VIDEO play up their classic hardcore influences to the absolute maximum capacity and wind up stronger for it. “Nothing Lasts Forever” is an appropriately short, sharp, and pointed blast of music. To write any more words on the matter would only do it a disservice by opposing what it stands for. Watch it below. 

4. Teenage Cool Kids – Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth

Teenage Cool Kids are one of the more singular acts playing the circuit right now and have done everything in their power to make their presence known. Notoriety wasn’t a difficult task for them; songwriting this absurdly good is bound to attract a fair share of followers. They became a band many turned to in the wake of The Goodnight Loving’s tragic dissolution as the two bands share(d) some similar aesthetics. Here, with “Uncast Shadow of A Southern Myth” the band demonstrates all of their understated strength for all of its worth. 

5. Waxahathcee – Michel

Book-ending this list with the pairing of the Crutchfield twins feels appropriate for a myriad of reasons. There’s perhaps no pair of people on the planet that so fully embodies what Heartbreaking Bravery believes in (and the same was likely true for BNTYK as well), aptly illustrating the lengths and emphasis of musical influence. “Michel” is a slight aberration in the BNTYK series as its primarily shot in darkness and, naturally, features only Katie Crutchfield and her taped-up acoustic guitar. It’s a characteristically stunning moment from one of this generations clearest voices. Watch it and reminisce of better times- times when the world had BNTYK in it.