full screen background image

New Mexican “truewave” (come on) band Ether Island haven’t got much out in the ether (ho ho ho) yet, but what there is, I love. Sonically slow and dense, Corinne and Jeremiah Rosethorn’s vocals melt together, sounds a bit like EMA tooling around with Suicide. You can get some mp3s at the Bandcamp, here.

Their Soundcloud has 3 songs, with bits from their 7″ EP Season of Risk, and a couple of others, which I’ve included below. Check them out on tumbles, as well.

Ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself “man, I wish there was a new Ty Segall single”? I do that all the time, but it’s never too much of a drag – Mr Seagull is so prolific you could run an entire radio show on his work and collaborations alone.

Listen to ‘The Hill’ below, and buy that thing over at Drag City.

Since my shitty, lazy absence from writing this thing, the queue of shows coming on in Auckland has chunked up. Here’s a special Michael Music Blog sampler of what’s going on in this town:

Mark Gardener (from Ride): Ride were one of those bands who made really interesting, driving tunes that have you tapping a toe. They also made some marginal stuff that verges on wuss-rock. Both sides of the coin are likely to be on display at the Kings Arms, as Gardener is doing acoustic versions of both Ride songs and his own solo work. Support is Kurt Shanks and Tono & The Finance Company. It’s all on this Friday the 10th of August. Tickets from UTR.
Ride – Leave Them All Behind

Now! Here! Festival: This is probably the gruntiest mini-festival you’ll see in Auckland betwixt Borderline and Laneway. Across three days, you’ll get to see bands like The Dead C , The Coolies and It Hurts as well as a bunch of other mean shit. Full press release is here [pdf]. Highlights will be seeing the Dead C in Auckland (which hardly ever happens), seeing formally MMB approved act Nigel Wright play in a huge, disused silo down at Silo Park on Sunday and generally enjoying some weirdness across 3 pretty unique venues. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are available here and here. Pretty sure Sunday down at Silo Park is free.
The Dead C – sky

Earth: Noted almost-vengeance-killer Dylan Carson and his band of sonically crushing merry men are coming to town. I’ll let Earth speak for itself here. Tickets are on sale at UTR. They’re playing The Kings Arms, 8th September.
Earth – Old Black

That’ll do for now eh.

Daughn Gibson sounds like Roy Orbison without the varnish, like Stephin Merritt without the soul-crushing romantic disappointment. What makes Gibson worth a listen is his production, sampled layers of old folk and country which give his crooning something crunchy to land in. Gibson’s debut All Hell is filled up with tales in the country story-telling vein, morbid and salted with the sounds of real world distress. You can buy All Hell here, have a listen to the least dirgy track of the album below – I’m on a posi-vibe midway through writing this.

Daughn Gibson – In The Beginning

Time to get back on it, by posting about a song I gripped from Distonal about 4 months ago. Baltimore band Lower Dens released their second record ‘Nootropics’ on Ribbon earlier this year, I’ve been sleeping on it for a while. The song I’m on about here is Brains, a timid motorik skeleton hung with some washy-reverby lyrics. It’s one of those songs you think has been on for an age and are surprised to see such a short running time (okay, it’s over 5 minutes long but could easily be 8).

Lower Dens – Brains

Buy the thing here, or check their Soundcloud webpage for some goods.

Next up – hopefully something less than 6 months old!

The oh-so-mysterious Perfect Hair Forever, named after the Adult Swim show, plunks 60s mega-hunk pop in the vein of Frankie Valli amidst the current cauldron of surf revivalist fuzz. SPIT on your GRAVE (demo) sounds like some chill garage rock recorded by Timmy O’Toole, stuck down the well. That sounds like it has the ability to be exceedingly annoying, but it’s mostly not the case.

There’s a wealth of songs on PHF’s bandcamp. As suggested on that site, book the guy in for your next sweet 16th party. It will probably be a smash.

Perfect hair forever – SPIT on your GRAVE (demo)

Doldrums are one of the best noisy/samply bands in the world. They also have one of the most cryptically dick-ish band websites this side of a James Ferraro floppy disc nightmare.

Coming from Toronto, Doldrums is essentially this Airick Woodhead dude. Over the past few years Doldrums have put out some siq material, stuff that pushes its way inside your head, despite not really sticking to any conventional means of making a catchy tune. Doldrums are truly a unique sound, not an outfit that tries to be all weird for the sake of it, aww shucks etc. If you like things such as The Books, Sun Araw and Outer Limits Recordings…

This song, Jump Up.. My goodness.
Doldrums – Jump up

Check the album here: Amazon.dot.com

F YES. TOBACCO (part of the magical mystery gang Black Moth Super Rainbow) announced a new song on the tweets, today. Details of the upcoming album are sparse at best, but the dude makes some terrific tunes, so it’s well worth keeping an eye out for.


TOBACCO featuring Notrabel (Brian LeBarton) on screams.

And here he is with Beck:

Wellington’s Eddie Johnston has been recording and releasing his music under the moniker Shipwrecks for a wee while, but he’s now releasing things (via Papaiti) with the the probably slightly more Googleable ‘Lontalius’, even if that’s way harder to remember. Anyway. Tunnels goes from sparse electric guitar, to monotone drone with cheesy Casiotone drum tracks to cheery pop nuggets and back again. It’s totally free over at the aforementioned Papaiti Records page, as well as other/older material on Johnston’s Bandcamp. Pretty much perfect listening material for a Sunday evening.

Lontalius – Adore Us
Lontalius – Eye

Rackets are a skuzzy bunch of dudes. That’s the best word I could come up for them when sometime-lead-man Jeremy Goatsman pushed his way past the security door at bFM last Saturday and plonked himself down for an interview. The band were set to play a J-Day renegade set from the top of a fire truck (and they did). Calling these guys “no-nonsense” wouldn’t be fair, as their songs are pretty much the antitheses to remaining coherent. They’re known for doing some spews, playing virtually anywhere and having a very cool series of 6 video singles released a week apart earlier this year. You can read an interview with them at Under The Radar here.

Push A Man, (which they played from the aforementioned fire truck) is up on their bandcamp as a pay-what-you-want, along with a bunch of other good shit. ~Cheque it out~

This video made me feel really funny.

Whoa there. One of my favourite live acts, a real go-to of the late night Auckland Whammy Bar wino scene, is Dictaphone Blues. Front man Ed Castelow is a songsmith willing and capable of filling an album with tunes ranging from smirking 60s pop to wistful heartbroken regretters to certified nugged out jamstorms. It’s a delicate balance, but Dictaphone Blues’ new LP Beneath Crystal Palace seems to have landed happily in the zone of albums you can drink 2 bottles of wine to. The accompanying emotions will really help with absorption.

Listen to/buy the album on Bandcamp here. You can also grip a physical copy to play in the car or something here.

Have a listen to this song, if you will:

Drag City posted up this rad video of early 90’s Forgotten Foundation-era Smog on their site the other day. When they released this album (their first CD release), I was 5 years old and completely immersed in my ABC for Kids cassette. It’s kind of handy, then, that they’re re-releasing this clanging hunk of history for a 20th anniversary. You can buy the thing digitally, physically and physically again here, if that’s in your interest. Otherwise, check out this video of Smog on their first European tour. It’s mean!

Just a quick post to share this Soundcloud upload by Auckland’s most dedicated wearer of sneans + headphones, the phenomenally talented Stefan Neville, aka Pumice. Look for him weirding out a large crowd as the opener at a show near you soon. Hat tip to the lovely Paul Gallagher for putting this into my sphere.

Voyageurs are from Fayetteville, North Carolina, in the United States. I’ve never been to Fayetteville, but from their busy little bandcamp page, you get the feeling it’s a place with a strong psychedelic drug scene. Their Twitter page is rife with in-jokes to other dank warriors, such as DEAD GAZE and Dent May, certified party-time dudes.

I had a feeling I had posted something about an earlier Voyageurs release on this stinkin’ website, but apparently that was just guilty fiction. To make up for it, have a listen to the newest track from an upcoming album. It’s got the kind of beat you’d expect to find in something labelled IDM, with some sincere noodling going on in the background. Less raucous than previous outings, but equally endearing. (Grab it here).
VOYAGEURS – BEYOND SELF POSSESSED (DEMO)

And an old favourite for good measure: (buy here)
VOYAGEURS – CLUB ADDICT

With some added DEAD GAZE for seasoning: (spend spend spend)
DEAD GAZE – This Big World

Here’s a Brooklyn bunch, as heavy on the Instagram as they are on the beats. I find NIGHT MANAGER pretty neat (cheers to the magic Sonic Masala for this tip). Okay, the Instagram thing can get a bit tiresome (and shockingly – super mainstream now that it’s suffered prole-shift to Android and Facebook), but I’m willing to let that slide in favour of it pre-seasoning my expectations for the music. Check it out! You can buy it from Bandcamp, get on the mailing list and play the waiting game for an album to materialize. Either way, have a listen down here:

NIGHT MANAGER – Ghost