Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 16 - Welcome Christmas (Reprise)

Chuck Jones' animated "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is one of my favorite things from growing up.  I still watch it every year.  And it looks like my kids might start to like it as much as i do.  Listen to the reprise of "Welcome Christmas" below.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Horror Trailer - Krampus

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 15 - Frosty the Snowman

Looking for Christmas songs to post without repeating anything i may have done in years past, i occasionally come across something i had no idea existed.  Why did no one tell me that Cocteau Twins did a version of "Frosty the Snowman" in the early 90's?  Why am i only finding out now?  Anyway, it's wonderful, and you should listen below.

Total Control

Australian band Total Control have a new EP out, "Laughing at the System," on Alter Records, and it's a complex and tangled tapestry of influences and sounds.  At its heart, it's a punk record, but pulls from industrial, synth pop, post punk, experimental noise, and warbled, fractured pop, and it's all kind of intoxicating to listen to.  Check out the album opening "Laughing at the System 1" below and get the album here.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gary War

Years and years ago, when i first started writing this blog, weirdo experimental psych rock artist Gary War came onto my radar and made a pretty lasting imprint.  But i haven't heard anything from him in years...but no more.  New album "Gaz Forth" is due in February on Feeding Tube.  Listen to "Windows and Walls" below.

Circuit des Yeux

I don't really know how to describe the music of Haley Fohr and her Circuit des Yeux project.  Experimental folk rock?  Yeah, i guess that will do.  Anyway, new album "Reaching for Indigo" is a fascinating listen.  Check out "Paper Bag" below and cop the record from Drag City.

Houses of Heaven

Here's some more music i missed the first time around when it was released back in May.  San Francisco band Houses of Heaven make a kind of blistery, propulsive, dub-tinged post punk, much more suited for these colder winter days than the springtime when it came out.  Listen to "Black Waves" below and get the "Remnant" EP here from the always dependable Felte Records before they're gone.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 14 - Let It Snow

Luscious Jackson were damn near inescapable for a brief moment in the late 90's, and capped with their version of "Let It Snow," a song i remember from a Gap commercial that later got ironed out into a full version for a Capitol Records Christmas CD.  Anyway, it's a punchy little piece of pop.  Listen below.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Alvarius B

Ever since the demise of Sun City Girls, after drummer Charles Gocher's passing, surviving members Alan and Richard Bishop have continued to release music almost every year, the latter under the moniker of Sir Richard Bishop and the former as Alvarius B.  This year, Alvarius B released a massive album called "With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven," 35 tracks spread over 3 LPs.  Touching on psychedelia, folk, classic rock, Americana, and more, the collection finds the always prolific Bishop churning out the jams on a whole other level.  It's all definitely worth checking out.  Listen to his reinterpretation of Lee Hazlewood's "Dark in My Heart" below and get the album(s) here digitally or in LP form from Abduction Records.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 13 - Baby, It's Cold Outside

So, in a post-#MeToo world, this song is...let's say...problematic...because it's kind of rapey.  But man, it's a catchy winter tune, and there are a tone of excellent versions of it out there.  Listen to Ray Charles and Betty Carter perform it below.

Business of Dreams

Here's some excellent, hazy music form LA dreampop band Business of Dreams that came out way back in February of this year.  I'm not sure how i missed this release, as its cool and airy textures are right up my alley.  Listen to "Bottom Feeders" below and get the self-titled here via Parked In Hell.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I love, love, love when i order a record from a small indie label, and said label includes extra goodies along with my record...usually in the form of stickers and posters, but often with additional albums as well.  The good folks at Beyond Beyond Is Beyond sent along a copy of Michigan band Heaters' new album "Matterhorn" when i ordered Joel Gion's self-titled effort a couple of weeks ago, and it's a great little jangly, reverbed psych pop record.  Listen to album opener "Thanksgiving I" below and get the album here.

Cigarettes After Sex

We're hitting that time of the year when i start looking back and checking out all the good shit i somehow neglected to pay attention to earlier in the year.  I've got some year-end lists brewing, so making that last ditch effort to absorb anything and everything i might have missed the first time around.  And that brings us to Cigarettes After Sex, a dreamy, hazy pop outfit that would have fit right in playing the Roadhouse on the "Twin Peaks" revival.  Listen to "Apocalypse" below and cop the self-titled album here via Partisan Records.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 12 - The 12 Days of Christmas

John Denver and The Muppets' "A Christmas Together" is easily one of my all time favorite things from my childhood.  I just loved it, and still love it.  Listen to "The 12 Days of Christmas" below.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 11 - Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)

Man, i used to dump on John Denver when i was younger, rebelling against my Dad's music like all dumb teenagers do.  But i was so, so wrong.  It wasn't until college, admittedly with a little help from Mark Kozelek and friends, that i realized what an amazing songwriter Denver was.  Taken from 1973's "Farewell Andromeda," i don't know how much of an actual Christmas song "Please Daddy" is, but my Dad listened to it all the time, and it's got that innate sadness to it that so much Christmas music has.  Listen below.

Anna von Hausswolff

A haunting, gothy mix of heavy metal, dark folk, classical arrangements, pagan ritual, and dramatic flair, Sweden's Anna von Hausswolff is back with new album "Dead Magic" in March on City Slang.  Listen to "The Mysterious Vanishing of Electra" below.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 10 - Christmas at the Zoo

There's just something innately joyous about the The Flaming Lips.  Even when they're at their most challenging or dour, the light always seems to shine through.  And that's why Christmas is such a match for them, whether they're covering old holiday songs, making experimental Christmas movies, or just making their own strange odes to the season, it all works wonderfully.  Listen to "Christmas at the Zoo" from 1995's "Clouds Taste Metallic" below...and smile.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 9 - Back Door Santa

If Clarence Carter's 1968 soul jam "Back Door Santa" is not working its way into your holiday revelry, then brother, you are doing the season wrong.  Groove below.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 7 - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

I love The Polyphonic Spree, and yet somehow i missed that they released a Christmas album in 2012 called "Holiday Dream."  And on said album, they covered one of my favorite Christmas songs, John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)."  If you know the Spree, you know this is a all a natural fit, as no one exudes joy like they do.  Listen below.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Sufjan Stevens - Tonya Harding

Wow.  I mentioned a couple of days ago that i wasn't the biggest Sufjan Stevens fan in the world, only occasionally being taken with the artist's work when he ventures off the beaten path.  But man, when he wants to write a beautiful, melancholy song, he can soar.  "Tonya Harding" is Stevens' latest, an ode to the disgraced skating star and former 90's tabloid fodder.  And it's a beautiful song to boot (both versions), tackling the often complicated life of its subject and making her all the more human.  Get it digitally here, or snag the 7" from Asthmatic Kitty, and watch the video for the song below, featuring old skating footage of Harding.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 6 - Edward Scissorhands Main Title

Maybe it's the whimsical nature of his compositions, or the face that when paired with Tim Burton, he's often scoring music for Gothic and wintry scenes, but Danny Elfman's film soundtracks always remind me of Christmas time...the score for Burton's "Edward Scissorhands" in particular.  Listen to the "Main Title" below, Day 6 of the Sonic Advent Calendar.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

BEAK> - (Merry Xmas) Face the Future

Hey, Geoff Barrow's weirdo proggy project BEAK> made a Christmas song.  Listen to "(Merry Xmas) Face the Future" below, and get it here.  All proceeds go to the National Elf Service and The Mental Elf which benefits mental health information and research.

Ty Segall - Every 1's a Winner

We knew all those new tracks were leading up to something, and now we know that Ty Segall has a new album out in January on Drag City.  "Freedom's Goblin" is 19 tracks, probably touching on every kind of aspect one could expect from a Ty Segall song, and i'm all for it.  Listen to the guitar crunch of "Every 1's a Winner" below.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 5 - Christmas Will Break Your Heart

With as many joyous and reverent songs that come out for the holidays, there are also a ton of sadder tracks for the season as well.  Those are usually my favorites.  Before they were full on reunited, releasing new music, and touring again, LCD Soundsystem sneaked in a melancholy little Christmas tune a couple of years ago to placate the yearning, boogieing masses.  Listen to "Christmas Will Break Your Heart" below, Day 5 of the Sonic Advent Calendar.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sufjan Stevens - Wallowa Lake Monster

I'm not the biggest Sufjan Stevens fan in the world, but every once in awhile, the singer/songwriter makes something that just sticks to my bones, usually when treading into weirder atmospheres and odder material.  Last month's "The Greatest Gift" mixtape featured all kinds of odds and ends from 2015's "Carrie & Lowell," which are all fine i suppose, but album opener "Wallowa Lake Monster" hits all the right spots.  A beautiful mix of folk harmonies and synth textures that closes with echoing and droning cinematic allure.  I need more of this pronto.  Listen below and get the cassette here via Asthmatic Kitty.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 4 - Blue Christmas

Today, we're listening to U.S. Girls' synthy, post-disco version of "Blue Christmas," a classic originally made famous by Elvis Presley.  Listen below.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 3 - Listen, The Snow Is Falling

Maybe i'm kind of cheating here a little bit today, as "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" isn't so much a Christmas song as it is a winter song, but i'm using it anyway.  So much seasonal music gets incorporated into holiday festivities, that it can be difficult to separate the two.  Anyway, originally penned by Yoko Ono, i can't help but dig on Galaxie 500's 1990 cover version in all its Velvet Underground inspired glory.  Listen below...the snow is falling.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Marching Church - Christmas on Earth

Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is maybe one of the last people i'd expect to record a Christmas song, but here we are with "Christmas on Earth," a song recorded for his Marching Church project.  True to form, this is not a joyous tune, but rather a self-described "carol about parental kidnapping."  Dark stuff for sure, but it's good.  Listen below, snag the 7" on either red or green vinyl here via Sacred Bones, and Merry Christmas i guess.

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 2 - My Favorite Things

It's kind of funny to me how some songs start out in musicals only to become Christmas staples, like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from "Meet Me in St. Louis," or more to the point of today's post, "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music."  I guess it's not really a Christmas song, or at least it wasn't intended to be, but has become so wrapped up in the season that it's now inescapable.  And that's okay.  It's a great song.  And i think my favorite is The Supremes' version from their 1965 Christmas record.  Listen below.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Graham Coxon - Falling

Not to bring anyone down, but i was unaware that suicide was the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.  I'd imagine it's pretty bad stateside too, but that's not really a tidbit i feel like investigating right this moment.  Anyway, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon has recorded a song called "Falling," originally penned by Luke Daniel, an artist who took his own life last year.  Coxon will be releasing the song on 7" with the proceeds going to support the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).  Listen below, and think about throwing a few bucks towards the organization.

Michael Rault - Sleep With Me

Here's a little McCartney-esque pop song from Montreal artist Michael Rault.  "Sleep with Me" is a lush and warm little number, sure to be stuck in your eardrums very, very soon.  Watch the trippy video below, and be on the lookout for a new album from the artist sometime next year via Daptone imprint Wick Records.

Joel Gion

Probably most recognizable as one of the longest tenured members of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Joel Gion has been making psychedelic rock for over 20 years.  And outside of playing tambourine for BJM, he also crafts his own excellent tunes.  His latest, self-titled effort is out now on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records, which you can get here.  Pulling from both modern and old school psychedelia, folk, shoegaze, and even some Tropicalia, the record is an intoxicating listen, and well worth your time.  In the meanwhile, listen to the airy album opener "Zig Zag" below.

Friday Horror Trailer - Silent Night Deadly Night

Sonic Advent Calendar: Day 1 - It's Christmas Time Pretty Baby

Last year, i did an advent calendar of sorts on the blog, posting a different Christmas song for 25 days up to the holiday.  It was fun.  And, as much as my coworkers and associates would love to believe that i'm some ill-tempered misanthrope, i love Christmas songs.  So we're going to do it all again this year with 25 different tunes to get you in the season.  Let's start with the King, Elvis Presley's "It's Christmas Time Pretty Baby."  Listen below.

Thursday, November 30, 2017


New York indie 3-piece Triathalon have a new album of slinky pop songs out in February.  Listen to the slow and building "Day One" below, a mix of jangle and synth with just the right amount of creeping foreboding mood sliding just underneath the surface.  And get the upcoming "Online" album here via Broken Circles.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Run Child Run

Here's a new tune from electronic artist Run Child Run for your listening pleasure this fine Wednesday afternoon.  "Can't Catch Me" sounds like stripped down, minimalist trip-hop grooving on old jazz and world samples.  Listen below and pre-order the upcoming "Vanishing Point" album here from the artist.  It drops in January.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

U.S. Girls - Velvet 4 Sale

U.S. Girls' "Mad As Hell" is easily one of my favorite songs of 2017, a grooving, disco jam, and as i suspected, a new album is on the horizon.  "A Poem Unlimited" is due in February on 4AD, but you should totally watch the video for album opener "Velvet 4 Sale" below.  It's a slinkier affair, with some 70's detective show horn accompaniment, and all about abuse.  My feeling is that from this cultural sea change moment we currently have in progress surrounding the inevitable outing of sexual harassers and abusers, we are going to hear a lot of important music coming out from women artists.  Listen to them.  Pay attention.

Monday, November 27, 2017

The Warlocks

Years and years ago, i was at an Interpol concert on a surprising and very out of character freezing night in Austin.  With the roads icing over and the temperature steadily dropping, i found myself at the only venue in town that did not close early and cancel or reschedule its shows.  Standing in the cold at the outside stage at the old Emo's, drinking shots of whiskey to give myself the illusion of warmth, it seemed like it took forever for the bands to take the stage, so much so that my wife (then girlfriend) began putting together an argument (and a fairly convincing one) for why we should just go home.  I pushed the suggestion off.  And was then rewarded as The Warlocks began their opening slot.  Putting elements of psych, surf, shoegaze, and more into their layered guitar assault, they made me into a new fan.  And i dug on them for a few years after that, 2005's "Surgery" LP in particular being a favorite.  And then i lost track of them.  But lo and behold, they never went away, and they've got a new record out called "Vevey."  They still do what the do, and do it well, a Jesus and Mary Chain indebted brand of crunching, psychedelic rock.  Listen to "Red Camera" below and get the new record here courtesy of Cleopatra Records.

NOTE: Strange things are occurring when it try to link to the band's bandcamp page, so here's the address instead:

Ty Segall - The Main Pretender

All of these new singles from Ty Segall have got to be adding up to a new album i assume, but even if they're not, i'll gladly take these monthly jams from the ever prolific artist.  Out today, "The Main Pretender" combines glam and soul in a bouncy and frenetic sax-heavy affair.  Listen below and get the single here from Drag City.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Dark and cold or warm and light (currently the latter her in Central Texas), a lazy Sunday is always a good time Norwegian atmospheric black metal...right?  Right.  The self-titled debut from RÛR is full of shredding guitars, guttural, epic bombast, howling screams, interstellar orchestration, and tones both encroaching and ominous and soaring and beautiful.  This should be the perfect musical accompaniment for putting up a Christmas tree this afternoon.  Hooray!  Listen to "II" below and get the album here from the artist.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kelley Stoltz

I'm not really sure how i slept on "Que Aura," the latest release from psych-tinged, bedroom pop artist Kelley Stoltz when it came out over the summer, but damn, i'm behind.  Anyway, listen to dance-ready "Empty Kicks" below and grab the record from Castle Face.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Living Nudes - Outside the Orgy

Hey guys, hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and that you're keeping your cool today if you're out and about doing the peak consumerism thing.  Anyway, here's a couple of songs i recorded a few weeks ago whilst alone in the house on a chilly October evening.  Give 'em a listen and download them here if you feel like it.

Friday Horror Trailer - The Slumber Party Massacre

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Andrew Douglas Rothbard

A decade or so ago, i first heard recording artist Andrew Douglas Rothbard.  He crafted a lovely mix of psych rock, shoegaze, and indie rock, all to a stunning a beautiful degree.  After a few years though, i kind of lost track of him, as is wont to occur when you get older, but come to find out, he's still doing his thing wonderfully and now of Italians Do It Better.  Listen to "Rat & The Family Bones" below and get the new "Divonium Digitalis" EP here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


Here's some warm and gorgeous psychedelic pop from Sweden's HOLY.  "Heard Her" moves and swirls in all the right ways.  Listen below and get the upcoming "All These Worlds Are Yours" LP from PNKSLM in January.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Filthy Huns

It seems like it's been a while since i last hopped on the hype train for vast array of weirdo artists on Not Not Fun, and brother, that's just not right.  Anyway, December sees the release of the new cassette, "Forever Beast," from LA artist Filthy Huns.  Listen to "Magick Tea" below.  It sounds like wasted dub music mixed with pagan rituals all going on an acid trip together in the desert.  Then get it here.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

His Electro Blue Voice

Man, i sure am glad i came across Maple Death Records earlier this year when they released a vinyl reissue of Cindy Lee's "Malenkost."  Ever since then, the label has kept me in a steady supply of excellent off-center music coming out of Italy, from cowpunk to loopy synths to post punk and noise.  It's been great.  And now, out in a few days is the latest from Italian band His Electro Blue Voice.  "Mental Hoop" is searing, blistering mix of hardcore punk, industrial, noise, and psychedelic post punk.  Listen to "Earthworm" below and get the record here.