Tag Archive: “Joyful Noise Recordings”

I’ve come to realize something: There’s no one person quite like me. I’m the shit. Me, me, me. Narcissist. Self-gratuitous…. Just kidding, that’s not me but there isn’t another like me, which doesn’t sit well with me. Who else is going to direct others without the ego to blow his or her own horn? If there are any around me like that, I haven’t found them. Yeah, we live in a world of people that are so self-absorbed that constantly regurgitate the same BS that others have done before them, AND who refuse to even acknowledge their own influences. I’m not just referring to musicians but there are writers, journalists, photographers, etc. who all, for lack of a better term, copy. OK, so maybe some consider copying as the greatest form of flattery but for God’s sake man, note what’s influenced you! I have a lot to get off my chest at times and at most points, it doesn’t make sense, even to myself. I just hope that maybe some can take what I’ve written and decipher the jumbled mess that sits in my head. This leads us to today’s Friday’s Roll Out(!) where my excitement couldn’t be contained as I’m focusing on a sophomore release that came to fruition 15 years after an artist’s solo debut surfaced back in 2002. That was when I first talked to him, bu that’s a story for another time.

Spooky Action (Joyful Noise Recordings) appeared in front of me. I didn’t know what to do. It was as if inside I was screaming “FINALLY!”  There were other things that ran through my mind as well like “Please don’t suck” and “You better be fucking good.” I wasn’t putting the pressure on Jason Loewnstein but I was laying it all on the album itself. He’s kept busy performing with Fiery Furnaces after Sebadoh went on an extended hiatus, which started up again in 2007 with the original line-up touring in support of re-releasing early Sebadoh albums, and later in 2012 the band once again toured with a different drummer in support of the Bakesale reissue. In 2013 Sebadoh recorded the new album Defend Yourself, again giving me what I need. But I digress from Loewnstein and the …Action he’s released. it doesn’t sound like he’s lost a step since his 2002 solo debut At Sixes And Sevens, which I had to make my way back to. The years have roughed up his voice. Not as weathered as say a Tom Waits but gruff enough, giving the music an added charm. You can hear it blistering through your speakers, or headphones, on the entrancing “Dead.” I refer to this one song first because it’s probably my favorite off the album. It opens with a cacophony of guttural guitar noise but it’s when Loewenstein bellows it out here, where he sounds like he’s become more punk as the years have progressed than he had early on in his career. If such a thing is possible. And the song structure here will leave listeners enthralled, did I mention that? Well it will. He’s also continued to play with a crazed abandon, hitting sharper notes like on the opening “Navigate,” which hits like stinging rain on your face if you didn’t have a protective umbrella. It’s frantic, it’s blistering, and it’s completely glorious. “Machinery” is the best of both worlds with power blasts that are full-frontal assaults and complex melodies that are undoubtedly masked as simple ones when it’s far from the case. The shit literally hits the fan with “New Rocker” though, where the bottom end is liable make your spine fall right out of the orifice you’d think it would come out of. This(!) is the power jam we’ve been waiting for Loewenstein to give us. But there’s more! So much more. “Superstitious” follows suit here, capitalizing on that low end theory that I just can’t seem to get enough of. Oh dear Lord, after listening to Spooky Action I’m spent. There are 11 proper songs here and the beauty of this album lingers on, long after it ends. Hell yes.



Every time I think about it I wonder “Why do I know this name, because Imaad Wasif wouldn’t be hard to forget?” Of course I know it because I have a number of other albums he’s released. He was a founding member of the lowercase (Amphetamine Reptile) that played a strange amalgam of lo-fi post rock. Throughout the years he’s collaborated with The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Folk Implosion but he’s always worked on his own material Dzi (Grey Market) is Wasif’s fourth full-length album of blistering psychedelic rock and to be honest, tagging the album into a sub-genre of “psychedelia” is probably pigeonholing his music. It’s obviously influential but it doesn’t overtake the album. Wasif may get trippy but his song writing, it’s on point from beginning to end. The opening “Far East” builds up with one instrument being added after then next before Wasif comes in with a pseudo-falsetto. The dark timbre of the track is urgent and builds around Wasif’s beautiful vocals. It’s masterfully assembled. He then heads into the rallying “Astronomy,” with washes of guitar that make you believe he’s heading into a desert-rock or stoner-metal wet dream. Does he? Yeah, he heads in that direction but you’ll be pressed to raise the volume here and hit that repeat button. But it’s far from being reckless, showing he can handle himself alongside all comers. Wasif can obviously move at a frenetic pace but can slow things down when needed like with “Carry The Scar” where the song is built around a singular melody with a lot going on underneath. Lasers, squealing overdubbed guitar solos; there’s much to be offered up here. And then he slows things down a bit more with “Marie,” a captivating track that never moves faster than a snail at it’s top speed until right before the very end. That’s where there’s a slow rising crescendo, all the while though, Wasif never raises his voice singing blissfully until oblivion.  That oblivion comes in the form of “Dream Metal,” a wondrous journey into a world full of sharp objects and blood soaked roads. That’s the imagery I get from the music itself. The lyrical aspect of it seems heart-wrenching but avoids heartbreak. There’s strength here, and lots of it. “Mirror Image” sounds like the escape from oblivion but Wasif changes gears with “I’m Changing.” This is the point where shit gets real. It’s a ravaged pop song that showcases he’s not a one-trick pony. You can’t do anything but love this song. Imaad Wasif has outdone himself yet again with Dzi. You’d be hard pressed to figure out what he has in store next. I know I am.


Album Cover

Now the Charms is a band I’ve never heard of and so I know next to nothing about the Seattle, WA trio. What I do know is today the band released its debut album Human Error (Killroom Records) today. The group’s self-description of being  “a biomechanical noise punk trio whose necro-electro sound is akin to a thousand broken computers surging with blue crystal power” is probably right on point there. When describing the northwest I’m sure the Charms would be far removed from descriptions and comparisons of the groups that came before them. No, Human Error showcases something much darker and malignant. When I reference “darker,” I’m not referring to Twilight-era glittery vampire bitches, but rather a poignant cacophony of dark matter covering light. It’s a darkness that falls along the lines of A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Taste – era Ministry but far removed from the pretension and “industrial” tag. It has that feel of darkness. Yes I’ve been repeating myself now and again but one listen to Human Error and it will infuse your mind and spirit with everything that’s right about music. There is no pretense here, simply three guys who will bludgeon your mind until you succumb to their will. “C.O.D.” is the opening track and the band seems to throw conventionality right out the window. That repetitive bassline is hypnotic and you’ll realize that it was always there after repeated listens. “Sirens” has you believing the group will be slowing things down once it begins but it doesn’t. They do throw in a sublime melody that’s pretty, um, charming. The band keeps up the pace throughout the album with songs like “Only is Gone” creating noise for over a minute before they explode into it or when they rip into “Dream Fever” that has noticeable space, obviously included for the eventual changes in dynamics.  From beginning to end, the Charms just don’t stop, won’t stop. Human Error takes you on a journey, one that flows intensely throughout, questioning the meaning of your own miserable life. It’s something that we all need.




Jason LowensteinFacebook // Twitter // Instagram
CharmsFacebook // Twitter // Instagram
Imaad WasifFacebook // Twitter // Instagram

Mike Adams At His Honest Weight is the flagship recording project of Mike Adams, a musician, writer, TV host, and humorist from Bloomington, Indiana. Most of his songs are written and recorded by Adams, alone before they are handed off to confidant, Adam Jessup, for further production and polishing. On Casino Drone, his third solo album (released by Joyful Noise Recordings in mid-2016), Adams emerges as a power-pop elder statesman who is at once ambitious, idiosyncratic, and confident.

Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Adams, whose own work is a credit to his home city, to ask about his favorite bands from Bloomington. This is who he admires:

This was a very hard list to make! There’s always tons of great music in Bloomington (especially for such a small town), and its constantly shifting and evolving. I imposed some serious restrictions on myself just to narrow this thing down. This is also my gut reaction, this list could look a lot different if you asked me tomorrow, or yesterday, or an hour from now. We have an embarrassing wealth of great music around here.

Sir Deja Doog
Doog’s music is like Bobby “Boris” Pickett meets Lou Reed. It feels dangerous and uninhibited in the exact way that Rock n Roll is supposed to, AND the songs are spooky and catchy as Hell. Also, Doog’s stage presence is completely electrifying.

Brendas Friend
Brendas Friend is Amy O and Erin Tobey (fantastic solo artists in their own right). Together they’re magic. Loads of engaging harmony, head-spinning guitar playing, aggressive rockers, soothing ballads, super-cool aesthetic…they’re a hit! Their tune “House Down” has been my go-to pump up jam for several months now.

Goodhands Team
Austerity Measures was an instant new favorite album for me when it came out a couple of years ago and I listen to it often. Its an abstract collection of hypnotic, meditative, and disjointed electronic beats and atmosphere. It’s soft and round, but also deep and interesting. And, a Goodhands Team live show feels like peeking through the observation window of a scientist’s laboratory.

Busman’s Holiday
These dudes are a real Bloomington treasure. They’re freely creative, fun and endlessly entertaining, not to mention they consistently write absolutely killer tunes. They also have an enviable, innate ability to blow social and genre barriers apart with their magnetic personalities and unquestionable good music.

Durand Jones & The Indications
Durand kinda came out of nowhere and is presently exploding all over the place, in a national sense. His music is deep-groove, Neo-Basement-Soul in the most unassuming and genuine way. Its danceable, thoughtful and heartbreaking/mending at the same time, exactly what you want!


Justin Vollmar is somewhat of an artistic hero of mine. He exudes patience and care, his songs are crafted, deliberate and fragile. Then again, I’ve also heard him rock in a wild sort of way that leaves the hinges a bit loose (hear: “It Doesn’t Matter Much”). He’s unpredictable and always exactly right.

Lennon Beasley

Lennon is a prolific local TV producer and Bloomington legend who recently ventured into songwriting and has released 20 albums in the last few years. When I asked him about his recording process, he told me that he records the drums and vocals live, then puts the guitars/keyboards/bass on in overdubs. I’d classify Lennon’s music somewhere in a cloud between Frank Zappa, Wesley Willis, Neil Diamond and Daniel Johnston.

Amy & The Dancebox
I got to see Amy perform live before I ever heard any of her recordings. The show knocked me out, and I remember vividly the day I first heard her album. I dropped everything I was doing and excitedly, intently listened to the whole thing in my living room. I love it. She wrote original songs over Casio-keyboard style auto-chord demos, and they’re super catchy and lyrically challenging and playful. Sadly, Amy passed away a few years ago, but thankfully she left this incredible record behind for us all.

Terremoto was a very short-lived and mysterious band in Bloomington around 2003/5ish. I don’t know much about them, and I never really knew any of the members. There’s no information online either, but I made it my beeswax to be at every Terremoto show I possibly could. It was unabashed Black Sabbath-style riffing mixed with prog arrangement and Kraut-leaning repetition, and always very surprising. I remember bobbing my head and grinning uncontrollably at many of these shows.

Early Day Miners

EDM was the very first Bloomington band I loved. Their record All Harm Ends Here is a desert-island-album for me. Red House Painters meets Daniel Lanois meets Sunny Day Real Estate (and more recently meets New Order). Every album is expansive and beautiful.

(Visit Mike Adams At His Honest Weight here: http://www.mikeadams.info.)

Another Friday Roll Out(!) and what else is there? Hectic week, annoyances, and running into people I don’t want to see which is just plain ol’ happenstance. But I think about Thaione Davis and a line he spit where he said “Music is my salvation, it’s the minimum, it’s how I cope. It’s how I raise my folk.” So yeah, sometimes there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve engrossed myself in music but sometimes life takes over and detracts from the tasks I’ve tried to place in front of me. Politics are raging around me and I’ll tune it all out with a handful of albums that have been released this week because, well, it is the Friday Roll Out(!) after all.

Why? Um no, it ain’t a question, it’s a band. There’s a bit of insanity that comes to mind when anyone brings up Why? who is (a.) an anomaly, (b.) was an individual rapper, and (c.) now, is a band.  I think back to the Why?’s early 2000 releases, whose style I gravitated to when he rapped. And then things changed. Jonathan “Yoni” Wolf enlisted his brother Josiah , Doug McDiarmid, and Matt Meldon and boom, the band was formed. I read somewhere on social media recently one post that read “whiny indie rock.” Now while that description probably isn’t that far-fetched, what Why? accomplishes here is also done better than most other bands that are reaching for that gold ring. So now after releasing a handful of albums and 5 years since the release of the Mumps, Etc., the wait is finally over. The band has released its 10-song long player, Moh Lhean (Joyful Noise Recordings.) While the group doesn’t change much from its style of writing, it’s Yoni who’s changed things up a bit. Mumps, Etc. had that Hip-Hop flavoring with his raps throughout and singing on occasion where it fit, on the new album you won’t find any of that. It’s actually quite fitting though, The album opener “This Ole King” begins oddly enough with a guitar and Latin rhythms that slowly morphs into this grandiose track filled with softly filtered melodies and harmonies and from this point things seem to so much better.

WHY? - Moh Lhean
WHY? – Moh Lhean

“Proactive Evolution” has the group sounding almost orchestral. The expansive sound they’ve pieced together is generated by wind instruments, harmonies and lots of great percussion. It all done well, pushing the envelope without forcing it. Guitars, although they’re left at mid-level shouldn’t be ignored. A repetitive line midway through is captivating. But where the band seems to come into its own is with “George Washington,” as they leave space around Yoni’s vocals until the chorus comes into play and takes the some to another level. Once Moh Lhean ends you’re left with thoughts of “Is that it? It’s over?” You of course will be forced to play it again. And again. And yet again. There’s a charm to this album that shouldn’t escape any listener.

I keep thinking about how I never find myself curled into a ball of hopelessness after listening to Cursive releases but when it comes to the solo releases of lead singer Tim Kasher, he’s usually a Debbie Downer leaving me to wallow in my own misery. With a new album out today, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Fortunately, it seems as if No Resolution (15 Passenger) has broken that particular streak for me. While lyrically Kasher usually travels on darker roads, it seems with the new album….not much has changed. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. To many fans, including myself, his way with words borders on genius and while his imagery remains steadfast, this time around the tone of the music changes things. On “Runts,” with his character description, it seems close to the brink of ending it all, grasping onto the edge of that rope. And while you may feel for his pangs of yearning, it’s all ok! That’s because the music takes a different turn altogether. Catchy rhythms, lovely strings and keys, all the while singing “‘Fuck my life’ she said / pop in half a Xanax with a little wine / she can settle down…” It’s misery wrapped in some tasty chocolate. Or pharmaceuticals. Kasher is masterfully descriptive, and after every subsequent listen it gets better. “Break Me Open” bounces nicely before reeling in a bit of dissonance midway through but Kasher’s heart is open here cleverly using metaphors to get his point across. Again, this is where the strings come in and capture another feeling of beauty and despair. “No Secret” journeys on a different path though. Musically it’s angry, evocative, taking control both musically and lyrically. It’s a song that could be fitting with his main endeavor but it fits in fine on the collection of songs here, literally giving the “sweetness” of the songs more to chew on.

Tim Kasher - No Resolution
Tim Kasher – No Resolution

But there’s something about Tim Kasher and how he does things that I sometimes find refreshing, like on the repetitive “Hollow.” The rhythm softly creeps in and then barrels down through the track before eventually dissipating. It might be repetitive but it’s not repetitious. You’ll find horns and strings along with the prerequisite instruments he normally uses (I guess those horns/strings are part of what he’s accustomed to using now as well) but the shifting crescendos keep me enthralled. Occasionally I feel that Kasher wants us all to think he’s a mess of musician when fitting in so many different aspects of his psyche but he’s not fooling me here. He knows what he’s doing to keep me coming back. Tim Kasher’s lyrical prowess casts shadows over his contemporaries and musically, he’s become masterful with arrangements. No Resolution is just that good.

So this Joel Porter, he released a new EP today entitled Mountain Twin. It’s only four songs so I thought it couldn’t hurt to listen to it. If it were good, then it’s a win but if turned out to be bad, well, that’s also a win since there are only four songs. To my dismay though, it’s the former rather than the latter. Fortunately it’s fortunate and I’m the one that comes out winning in this scenario. Herein lies the conundrum though: for any singer/songwriter that straps on an acoustic guitar, he – or she – will endlessly be compared to those that came before them in the past 20 years or so. Porter does things a bit differently though, incorporating ambient sounds and other instrumentation to fill out his songs. The title track is a soft, sleepy, dreamy affair where he sings and coos over an underlying keyboard while those soft vocals try to lull you to sleep over his guitar. When that beat drops it doesn’t take anything away from the rest of the instruments. The track is just perfectly soothing. But this is where my previous comparative efforts come into play. Oh goodness, “St. Anthony” will trap everyone that comes into contact with it into a wallowing cell of despair. The track’s timbre is saddening the way a track from Elliot Smith or Sufjan Stevens can push everyone into utter despondency. I don’t mind it though and neither should you when it’s this captivating. “We Are Giants” draws you out a bit though, quietly leading you out and then enthusiastically builds to a crescendo. Joel Porter has a lot to offer up and with this look into the Mountain Twin EP I’m left wanting to explore some more.

Mountain Twin EP
Joel Porter – Mountain Twin EP


Tim KasherFacebook / Twitter Instagram
WHY?Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Joel PorterFacebook / Twitter / Instagram

The One With Great Storytellers

On this episode of Best Song Ever, Brian introduces a new segment that allows him to get some things off of his chest, Luke and Brian discuss whether or not nerds need to know more about sports, Luke defends shy white boys from Brian and Brian dips into the past and sings some N’Sync.  Also, there are eight incredible songs and some interesting discussions on hope and fear in politics and how music can bridge the gap between people who don’t see eye to eye.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One With Great Storytellers

Jens Lekman – “What’s That Perfume That You Wear” from Life Will See You Now out February 17th on Secretly Canadian

Fred Thomas – “Mallwalkers” from Changer out January 27th on Polyvinyl Records

Craig Finn – “Preludes” from We All Want the Same Things out March 24th on Partisan Records

Austra – “Utopia” from Future Politics out January 20th on Domino Recording Company

Brandon Can’t Dance – “Smoke & Drive Around” from Graveyard of Good Times out now on Lucky Number Records

Porter Ray – “Sacred Geometry [Constellation Mix]” feat Palaceer, Shabazz Palaces and Cashtro from Watercolor out March 10th on Sub Pop Records

Tall Tall Trees – “Backroads” from Freedays out February 17th on Joyful Noise Recordings

Priests – “Nothing Feels Natural” from Nothing Feels Natural out January 27th on Sister Polygon Records

The One With Awkward Boys and Punk Girls

This week on Best Song Ever Luke and Brian kick 2017 off in style with a song about dreading the upcoming year.  They talk about channeling your inner Julia Stiles, the Kirk Cameron classic film “Fireproof,” engage in another episode of Thor Talk and also introduce Tech Talk.  Of course, the music is always great and this episode may feature the strongest batch of songs yet.

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne bring you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One With Awkward Boys and Punk Girls

Mac McCaughan – “Happy New Year (Prince Can’t Die Again)” available for download at Mac’s bandcamp

Stef Chura – “Spotted Gold” off of her debut album Messes out January 27th on Urinal Cake Records

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya – “let gO Of my egO” from Drool out March 3rd from Sooper Records and Father/Daughter Records

WHY? – “This Ole King” from their forthcoming sixth album Moh Lhean out March 3rd on Joyful Noise Recordings

Elliott Smith – “I Figured You Out” from Either/Or Expanded Edition out March 10th on Kill Rock Stars

Pinegrove – “Aphasia” from Cardinal out now on Run for Cover Records

P.O.S. – “Wearing a Bear” from Chill, dummy out January 27th on Doomtree Records

Clap Your Heads Say Yeah – “Fireproof” from The Tourist out February 24th

The One About the Best of 2016

Brian and Luke take you on a journey through some of their favorite albums of 2016.   Also, be sure to check out their individual top 20 albums of the year list on the Ghettoblaster Magazine website!

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne will be bringing you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.


Songs Played on The One About the Best of 2016

Outer Spaces – “Words” from A Shedding Snake on Don Giovanni Records

AJJ – “Cody’s Theme” from The Bible 2 on Side One Dummy Records

DOGBRETH – “Do You Really Want Me” from Second Home on Asian Man Records

Lambchop – “Relatives #2” from FLOTUS on Merge Records

Twin Peaks – “Getting Better” from Down in Heaven on Grand Jury Music

Mutual Benefit – “Not for Nothing” from Skip a Sinking Stone on Mom+Pop

PUP – “Doubts” from The Dream is Over on Side One Dummy Records

Frightened Rabbit – “I Wish I Was Sober” from Painting of a Panic Attack on Atlantic Records

Eric Bachmann – “Carolina” from Eric Bachmann on Merge Records

Kishi Bashi – “Honeybody” from Sonderlust on Joyful Noise Recordings

The One That Opens With a Bang

Every week Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne will be bringing you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.  Thanks for checking this out, we hope you enjoy the show!


Songs Played on The One That Opens With a Bang

Cool Kids – “Connect Four” from Special Edition Grand Master Deluxe LP out soon on CAKE, LLC

Sinkane – “U’Huh” from Life & Livin’ It out February 10, 2017 on City Slang

Camp Cope – “Keep Growing” out now on Poison City Records

Joan of Arc – “This Must Be the Placenta” from He’s Got the Whole This Land is Your Land In His Hands out January 20, 2017 on Joyful Noise Recordings

Jay Daniel – “Paradise Valley” from Broken Nose out now on Technicolour

The Molochs – “You and Me” from America’s Velvet Glory out January 13, 2017 on Innovative Leisure

Grandaddy – “Way We Won’t” from Last Place out March 3, 2017 on 30th Century Records

Lite – “D” from Cubit out now on Topshelf Records


Music Videos Featured in Episode




The One About Australia

Welcome to the very first episode of Ghettoblaster Magazine’s Best Song Ever podcast!  Every episode Ghettoblaster feature writers (and dear cousins!) Brian LaBenne and Luke LaBenne will be bringing you fresh new songs with the hopes of introducing you to some that you may consider to be the best song ever.  Both Brian and Luke have no idea what songs the other has picked, so what you are hearing is their genuine reaction to listening to the songs together.  Also, if you enjoy this episode, head to ITunes to subscribe and rate our podcast with the highest rating available to you.  Thanks for checking this out, we hope you enjoy the show!


Songs Played on “The One About Australia”

Crying – “Wool in the Wash” from Beyond the Fleeting Gales out now on Run for Cover Records

Lizzo – “Good as Hell” from Coconut Oil EP out now on Atlantic Records

D.D. Dumbo – “Satan” from Utopia Defeated out now on 4AD Records

Dirty Projectors – “Keep Your Name” on Domino Recording

Julia Jacklin – “Coming of Age” from Don’t Let the Kids Win out now on Polyvinyl Records

Rafter – “You Are the Last of Your Kind” from the upcoming album XYZ out this Friday, October 28th on Joyful Noise Recordings

Personal Space – “Offering” from Ecstatic Burbs out now on Tiny Engines

Pavo Pavo – “Ran Ran Run” from the upcoming album Young Narrator in the Breakers out on November 11th on Bella Union Records

Special thanks to the band Congress for allowing us to use their song “Pond Fight” from their debut album Ugly Eye for our opening song!



Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion) has announced a new solo EP, Apocalypse Fetish, to be released October 28th on Joyful Noise Recordings. It comes as a follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed Brace The Wave – Barlow’s first solo release in six years – and features five new tracks.

Apocalypse Fetish is a 5 song extended play release from, me, Lou Barlow. The cover features a newborn child peering warily over the edge of her mother’s sling into 2016, the year that conspiracy theorists became experts and anger went [even more] mainstream. The song “Apocalypse Fetish” proposes that, perhaps, many of us have been disappointed that the end of the world has taken too long to come after we’ve spent most of our lives predicting it. And, perhaps, we’ve decided to take matters in our own hands and “bring it on” because, if it doesn’t come soon, then didn’t we all seem foolish talking about it all. the. time.

According to Barlow, “There are 4 other songs on the EP, none of which are political in nature but are similarly “fired up.” The melodic inspirations for the record came from my day in the back stairways and basement of the enormous Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Dinosaur Jr. were there opening for Primus in August 2015.) I was alone and playing my ukulele in the cavernous spaces and tiled showers there. The unique reverberations brought the beginnings of these songs. The hall is reputed to be haunted and I’m not so sure it isn’t.

I wasn’t able to fully draw the songs out until I recorded, once again, with Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab in Easthampton Massachusetts (May 2016.) I recorded my last full length record (Brace The Wave) there in 2015. I’m happy to consider this EP a follow up to that album, though, this time, every song is played on ukulele (strung with heavy strings and tuned much lower than a standard uke.) Actually, it sounds nothing like a ukulele. For all intents and purposes it is a 4-string acoustic guitar utilizing the strumming styles and lower toned soundscapes I’ve been pursuing since my first released ukulele recording: “Poledo” (on Dinosaur Jr’s 2nd LP You’re Living All Over Me.) Yes, I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’d be proud to have Apocalypse Fetish be my final record.”


Jad Fair is back! As the driving force behind the art-rock of Half Japanese since 1975, Fair has had a revolving cast of musicians, including his brother David, Don Fleming, Jay Spiegel, Kramer, Velvet Underground member Moe Tucker and many more.

Half Japanese returned in 2014 with Overjoyed, their first studio album in thirteen years. The uncharacteristically-accessible album was widely praised for its mix of upbeat positivity with the band’s signature off-kilter subject matter. They followed it with a surprise EP, Bingo Ringo, in July 2015. Here Half Japanese shares “Hold On” is the first single release for the new album Perfect set to drop on January 22, 2016 on Joyful Noise Recordings. Pre-order your copy here.