"As half of the guitar-and-drums duo The Black Keys, Dan Auerbach has explored, and repeatedly blown up, nearly every shade of the blues for more than a decade. The band's raw early years in Akron, Ohio, were defined by ragged, high-octane bangers full of heavy riffs and explosive drumming. That gave way to an expansive, radio-polished sound that's elevated Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney to the status of arena-filling rock stars, but the blues have still been threaded through every iterative step. Now, on the heels of The Black Keys' 2014 album Turn Blue, Auerbach turns his attention to a different expression of the blues, with his new band The Arcs and yet another stylistic shift. On The Arcs' debut, Yours, Dreamily, it takes the form of immersive R&B and soul, built around buzzy guitars and funky grooves — and embellished with velvety harmonies, hissy tape recordings and lip-curling attitude." - NPR (First Listen)
"The Arcs teams Auerbach with his longtime musician buddies Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon and Kenny Vaughan, plus all-female mariachi band Mariachi Flor de Toloache." - Rolling Stone
"It’s great to learn just how warm and natural Auerbach’s voice sounds next to saxophone, piano, and loose sprinklings of upright bass." - Consequence Of Sound
The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach Shares New Arcs Track "Outta My Mind" - Pitchfork
"Yours, Dreamily feels off the cuff, inspired, and is a completely immersive experience as songs fold in on each other in an undulating collision of influences." - CBC Music
RIYL: The Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Benjamin Booker, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
TRY: #2, 3, 6
You get to a point when its not about anything at all other than expressing yourself in the most honest and natural way possible. This is what seasoned songwriter Daniel James has accomplished with Worried Well. By scaling back the traditional rock instrumentation, James has made the focus of Worried Well rely solely upon the message and the tense feel of his melodic and often afflictive songwriting. James and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Cam Jones have turned their two-man band into a regional indie staple since forming in 2011. The duo has been developing a following and headlining club shows in their native New England, getting press recognition and favorable reviews including a nomination for “Best New Act” and “Best Rock-Pop Act” in The Portland Phoenix, as well as touring the northeast and performing with such acts as Murder By Death, mewithoutYou, the Hold Steady, and Gin Blossoms. A well received self-titled record was released in late 2011.
On "Great Appetite, Poor Taste," Worried Well's newest effort, weaves the unlikely themes of political commentary, religion, mental health and the mundane into short, rapid-fire and loud songs. Unlike the band's previous releases, this stripped down ten-track record is much more reflective of Worried Well's raucous and tense live performances. The band has signed with New Jersey label Mint 400 Records and they will be releasing their new LP on vinyl and CD as well as everywhere that MP3's are sold on September 7th 2015.
"The real light on this album is the lyrical spinnings of James. He sings songs that are relatable to millennials; they may not be universal, but they give a window into his life, and the life of his friends. They’re songs about the trials and tribulations of living in a city and country that doesn’t much care for us, so we care for ourselves and for each other in the ways that we best know how. That reason alone would be enough to give this album high marks; add in heartfelt delivery and a relatable message and you have an album worth your time." - Andrew Nelson | The Portland Phoenix
RIYL: Band of Horses, Sidekicks, Built to Spill
TRY: #1, 5, 8, 10
"Bleeder’s Digest maintains Elbogen’s singular sound, matching smart, concise guitar and synth figures with tight grooves and understated vocals that hit like decrepit lullabies." - Stereogum
"KEXP is delighted to sink our fangs into the worldwide premiere of a new track from Seattle’s own Say Hi, a.k.a. Eric Elbogen. Elbogen follows up his 2006 vampire concept album Impeccable Blahs with the sun-shy sequel, Bleeders Digest, a continuation on the exploration of their lives, through song." - KEXP
Vampires. Does there exist a species more mysterious, slandered, glorified and misunderstood? The answers to all of those questions and more. Tonight. In this bio. It was 2006 when we last checked in with vampire biographer and dad-joke comedian Eric Elbogen (he’s mostly been devoting time to his slacker-guitar / synth-pop ‘band’ Say Hi). Back then he’d taken his exposé deep behind the trenches of post-Buffy vampire life (death?) with his record Impeccable Blahs. There, he found a culture ripe with individuals as complex, moral, stupid and romantic as their human counterparts. They just happened to get their sustenance from drinking blood.
But that was before the complications the Twilight series introduced. Suddenly, things were different. Garlic wasn’t really a thing any more, mirrors couldn’t be relied upon to not have reflections and, gasp, apparently the cloud cover of the Pacific Northwest was enough to give them a we-can-now-walk-around-in-the-sunlight loophole? Let’s just say things didn’t really sit quite right with the vast majority of blood suckers. They rebelled. Subtly at first. But, before us humans knew it, they’d infiltrated the very fabric of our society.
Bleeders Digest is their story. It’s polaroids of their patience, resilience and wrath. In opening track “The Grass Is Always Greener,” the vampires are content with coexisting until the song’s protagonist cartoonishly hurls a giant boulder at them (thanks a lot, Jenny). By the time we reach the chugging anthem “Pirates Of The Cities, Pirates Of The Suburbs,” the fang-ed demons have driven most of us from our homes in a bloody wash of brute force and Darwinian eminent domain.
Say Hi is Eric Elbogen. He lives in Seattle, WA and has been making records since 2002. His ninth, Bleeders Digest, is a record about vampires and the sequel to Say Hi To Your Mom’sImpeccable Blahs.
RIYL: Telekinesis, Son Of Stan, Army Navy, Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr
TRY: #1, 2, 3, 8
"The consistent upbeat guitars and shimmering synths blend together with uplifting lyrics to create blissfully summery tracks." - Interview Magazine (Video Premiere)
"In typical YAWN fashion, the track opens with a sensational hook before jumping in with snapping drums and obscured vocals. Soon a tumbling bass line comes in, making an already exuberant track feel even more vibrant and weightless. Frontman Adam Gil sounds like an alien transmission that’s managed to settle in with the sunny vibes. It may be this year’s weirdest and most eccentric summer jam." - Consequence of Sound (Track Premiere)
"This is Phoenix via Surfer Blood, with the little bit of weirdness that marks YAWN's signature sound. "Overflow" is a noticeable progression from the band's most recent, sophomore album, last year's Love Chills. Where tracks on that record occasionally bordered on the kooky (although pleasingly, to be sure), here they've slimmed down to their most effective parts: solid guitar work that alternates between glossy and fuzzy, a light-handed percussion style that supports without distracting, and airy team-effort lyrics that float above the winsome noise." - Village Voice
"Taking cues from recent tour mates like Tame Impala, The Kooks, Yuck, and Mates of State, YAWN has engineered a refined, left of center, palatable pop-psych sound as sampled on the EP’s title track." - Speak Into My Good Eye
"Mike Krol Takes a Bite Out of Crime in 'Neighborhood Watch' Video" - Flood Magazine
In baseball, a strike is a missed opportunity.
Three of them and you’re out.
In bowling’s hallowed alleys, a strike is the minor miracle of all ten pins falling at once. Back-to-back strikes make a double. Do it a third time and you’ve got yourself a turkey.
History will decide which sports metaphor to apply to Mike Krol’s first two records, I Hate Jazz (2011) and Trust Fund (2013). But as needle meets groove on Turkey—Krol’s first record for Merge—there is no ambiguity. A shiny black ball tumbles past the suburban strip malls of a polyestered Wisconsin and veers precariously close to an East Coast gutter before gathering momentum in a physics-defying sprint for the Pacific. California is where the headpin falls—the right velocity, the perfect geometry, the bowler’s intent beautifully realized in a noisy moment of awesome destruction.
Mike Krol got his bike stolen and his heart broken. He bailed on graphic-design-as-career. He kept playing drums and guitars, and he kept writing songs about the stuff he hated and the stuff he loved. Leaving Milwaukee for Los Angeles, he took a few years’ worth of wrong turns. But when he showed up at a studio in Sacramento in March 2014, he had his affairs in order. Plug the vocal mic into a guitar amp. Plug the guitar into an overheating box of vacuum tubes. Put the computer in the closet. Roll the tape.
Some people thought Mike Krol couldn’t do it. Mike Krol was not among them. From the mission manifesto of “Suburban Wasteland” to the alienation and vitriol of “Left Out (ATTN: SoCal Garage Rockers),” Turkey questions the world but does not question itself. It knows what it’s after: explanations from a thoughtless thief, a soulless scene, and a dead dog. A certain degree of revenge. The house but not the kids. You. It is sweet melodies sneered, Mountain Dew guitars, VU needles buried in the red. It is a record 30 years in the making, made in four days.
Those who know Mike Krol know that this record was his goal. He risked a great deal for a turkey.
Goal accomplished, the question becomes: what do you call a fourth strike?
RIYL: Ty Segall, Wavves, Thee Oh Sees, The Orwells
TRY: #2, 3, 5, 6