Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tennis and the Mennonites

Tennis and the Mennonites are a fairly new band, so I haven't been able to learn much about them. They've put together an EP called Magnets, which you can download from their MySpace page. It's a bubbly bundle of peppy pop songs (hello alliteration!), and they sound like they'd be good fun live. Try this one to start, but they're all worth a listen.

MP3: "Wicked Man"
(from Tennis and the Mennonites, Magnets EP, 2005)

They play tonight at The Library in Chapel Hill with The Honored Guests, whose drummer, Andrew Kinghorn, also plays guitar for Tennis etc. I wrote about the Honored Guests a while back, and still really like their album Iawokeinacityasleep. Their web site has a snazzy new design, and although there's no new music since my previous post, the band is in the studio, so maybe we'll hear something soon. I should say that the Honored Guests have earned bonus points from me for being the first band to link back to the Oak Room -- thanks guys!

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Sames et al. at the Coffehouse

After a fine show last Friday night (Prayers & Tears and Rosebuds -- review to follow), Duke's Coffehouse has another great lineup tomorrow night. It's the CD release show for Durham's The Sames, with Schooner and Erie Choir supporting.

The Sames were one of the very first bands I wrote about, back when I was still apologizing for not having the vocabulary to write about music. I know better now, but I still like their stuff -- solid, melodic indie rock. Here are two songs from the new album:

MP3: "Heart Pine"
MP3: "In Liberty Heights"
(from The Sames, You Are The Sames, Pox World Empire 2005. Buy.)

Schooner wasn't too far behind The Sames in my posting history, and they are not dissimilar. (I see that my pet phrase "melodic indie rock" was used in that posting as well...) No new tracks to highlight, but check out the ones in the old post. Schooner's recording a new album at the moment, so hopefully they'll give us a taste soon.

Erie Choir I don't know much about, and their web presence is scant. Apparently they do a fine cover of "Purple Rain." If this song is any indication (and if it's actually the same band...) I'll have to dig a little harder. It's a lovely acoustic number.
MP3: "The Ballad of Erie Choir"
(from ??? help me out someone.)

Friday, April 22; Duke Coffehouse; ~9 p.m.; $8/$5 Duke students (includes Sames CD!)


Wednesday, April 20, 2005


It's time for the annual Sparklefest shows, three nights of fine guitar pop/rock at Chapel Hill's Local 506. (Don't call it "power pop"!) Featuring NC rock legend Mitch Easter and apparently both The Nevers and The Never (web site not available), it should be a lot of fun.

There are more than twenty bands, most of whom I haven't heard (or heard of in many cases), but I'll troll through their websites and link up some samples. Here's the full schedule.

MP3: "Pearly Gates"
(from The Mockers, Living in the Holland Tunnel, One Eye Open 2001. Buy it here.)
MP3: "William Tell"
(from The Breaks, on Sparklefest 2003 comp.)
MP3: "Love"
(from The Rachel Nevadas, Love EP, Instant Haiku 2003. Buy it here.)
MP3: "Squeeze the Day"
(from The Shazam, Tomorrow the World, Not Lame 2003. Buy it here.)
MP3: "The Summer of Jocelynn May"
(from The Breakup Society, James at 35, Get Hip 200?. Buy it here.)
MP3: "The Passion of the Stars"
(from Michael Slawter, Solid State Affair, online release 2005. Buy it here.)

That's a pretty random sampling of the schedule -- no offense intended to bands that I haven't highlighted. If you like what you hear from these guys, spend some time checking out the rest of the lineup.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Eyes to Space: because everybody loves a keytar

What's not to like about a band that combines a keytar (homemade, no less!) with shredding guitar solos and an oboe, and claims to be "good humored dance music for the robot intelligentsia"? That's Chapel Hill's Eyes to Space.

I get a kind of Devo-meets-Iron Maiden vibe from them, which admittedly sounds kind of ridiculous, but their good natured acceptance of that silliness somehow works for me. (They come close to taking the ironic approach too far, but just manage to pull it off.)

MP3: "In An Unfamiliar Land"
MP3: "Roadkill"
MP3: "Dear Sir"
(probably from their EP 4-Sight. Their website doesn't say, and they don't tag their MP3s. It doesn't seem to be for sale [?!?] but you can buy their album The Elephant Experiment here.)

MP3: "Moving to Iceland [Jj remix]"
This is a totally different kettle of fish from the tunes above. This is mellow and spacy, lacking the humor and cheese of the other tracks. Honestly, more people may like this one, even though it doesn't seem to fit as well with the Eyes to Space aesthetic (though I have no idea how it compares to the original).

Friday, April 15, 2005

Monsonia and North Elementary Revisited

Here are some more updates from bands that I've already written about, while I try to get back around to some brand new stuff. (After a couple of months, I've got to dig a little harder to find new local stuff that I like -- suggestions always welcome!)

Complex, dark, and noisy, Monsonia (previously) have an EP available (buy it here) and put another track online to sample:
MP3: "Orca (The Killer Whale)"
(from EP, self-released 2005)

North Elementary (previously) has a few more songs from their stellar Lose Your Favorite Things up on their web site now:
MP3: "Heartbreakn' In Machine"
MP3: "Ships as Friends"
(from Lose Your Favorite Things, Sit-N-Spin 2004. Buy it here.)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Back in action with the Nein

Well, I didn't mean to be gone from the blog for more than a month, but that's just how things turn out sometimes. I'm still not really back in the swing of things, but just to get things rolling again, here's a song from the forthcoming album by the Nein, who I profiled prior to their SXSW show.

MP3: "Faint Sounds"
(from Wrath of Circuits, Sonic Unyon 2005. Released 5/17 -- Buy it here then.)

That's pretty dark and aggressive. If you're in the mood for something lighter and more cheerful, stream the new Rosebuds album, Unwind, here. I'm going to the CD release show at the Duke Coffeehouse this Friday, also featuring the marvelous Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers -- can't wait!