20 February, 2018

Dreaming in Stereo episode 26

It's funny how long Wye Oak flew under my radar. They're practically a local band for me, but I just now finally tuned into them. Digging what I heard, really interested to see what the new album has to offer. You can tell, though, that the group has elevated past the dreaded "local band" status, as their current tour features no Baltimore date (DC is the closest they get).

Lowtide is the key discovery of this show. As mentioned in the show, I caught them on an episode of Henry Rollins's radio show Fanatic on KCRW, where he played the entire album. It is brilliant all the way through, and definitely an album that will be on heavy rotation here.

And I've only been able to dig into a couple of tracks on the new TBTCI compilation, but so far it's looking like another quality comp. I don't know how he does it, but Renato Malizia is truly one of the standouts in keeping this music going.

Lowtide - On the Fence - Southern Mind - Rice is Nice
Purs - On - single
Tape Deck Mountain - Morse Code - Echo Chamber Blues -
Ride - Catch You Drowning - Tomorrow's Shore EP - Wichita Recordings
Sway - Our Time On Poli - We Have No Influential Friends
Canards - Ending Soon - Ending Soon
Chapterhouse - Greater Power - Blood Music - Dedicated
Foliage - Fate - Truths
Seasurfer - We Run - Dive In - Saint Marie Records
Minipop - Someone to Love - A New Hope - Arco Records
Wye Oak - If You Should See - Tween - Merge Records
Zombie Girlfriend - Wind - Fuzzy Feelings - The Blog That Celebrates Itself

07 February, 2018

Dreaming in Stereo epsiode 25

True confession time: I haven't watched Twin Peaks. I know, I, too, feel that this is a personal failing of mine, something my better half is keen to point out. But, to be fair, I was 13 or so when it came out, and while I did enjoy a good mystery even at that age, I also think a lot of the truly Lynchian qualities of the show would have been lost on me at that point (although by that point in my life I was very much fond of the weird). I did see Fire Walk with Me while in high school though (with my parents, no less), and remember thinking, "He's really reaching with this one" (something my teenage self would most definitely say). But even then I was blown away by the soundtrack. Angelo Badalementi's compositions were just haunting, aided greatly by Julee Cruise's voice. I'd actually been toying with the idea of dropping some of that into the show, and here we finally are. If I had better foresight, I could have timed it to fit somewhere with the revival last year, but such is life. Anyway, here we're definitely putting the dream in dream pop.

And again, ignore what I say, the band is called Coma Pony. This is what happens when you have multiple notes all over the place.

Also, just to vent some steam, Mixcloud has been acting really wonky lately, making uploading far more difficult than it seems it should be. Here's hoping nothing goes away, but at least I feel better about filling up my computer's memory with all those backup files.

But enough kvetching. Enjoy!

Voluptuos Panic - If I Could Shine (The Sweetest Ache) - Popkiss, TBTCI Meets Sarah Records - The Blog That Celebrates Itself
Coma Pony (feat. Lucia Tacchetti) - Teletransportar - Magnánima Compilado Vol. 4 - Magnánima
The Black Windmill - Medicine - Black Windmill EP
Angelo Badalamenti feat. Julee Cruise - Into the Night - Soundtrack to Twin Peaks - Warner Bros.
Starrsha - Sway - Starrsha
The Churchhill Garden (feat. HIDEKA) - Forever - single  Kindling - Sunspots - Spike & Wave
Slowdive - When the Sun Hits - Souvlaki - Sanctuary
Snowbird - Porcelain - Moon - Bella Union
Love Spirals Downward - Ladonna Dissima - Idylls - Projekt
Bauhaus - Hope - Burning From the Inside - Beggar's Banquet
Dead Can Dance - Don't Fade Away - Toward the Within - 4AD

02 February, 2018

Dreaming in Stereo episode 24

A "theme" show if you will - perhaps not as consistently noisy as I'd thought when putting it together (that middle sections ends up more like loud dreampop than anything), but I think there's enough feedback here to keep the people who enjoy that sort of thing happy.

That new A Place to Bury Strangers track is magnificent, and I can't wait for the full album to drop in a couple of months. I'll most likely also be revisiting Tape Deck Mountain when their new one hits in a few weeks. I still haven't made it all the way through the Magnánima Compilado Vol. 4 - it's 50 tracks, people! - but so far there are definitely a few keepers. One thing I'm really enjoying about doing the show in 2018 (not that I didn't in 2008) is seeing how this music is global now. There was an article in the Guardian a few months back focusing on Asian shoegaze which I think nicely puts a point on it. Needless to say, I think there's another theme show coming in the not-too-distant future.

That Medicine song was a fun find. There's a band with a definitely interesting evolution - I actually enjoyed their electronic album (which featured Brandon Lee's sister, of all people). 

That Dirty Sidewalks song was a joyous find - an American band that sounds like Definitely Maybe-era Oasis with Going Blank Again-era Ride feedback? I'm in!


A Place to Bury Strangers - Never Coming Back - Pinned - Dead Oceans
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Reverance - Honey's Dead - American Recordings
Car Crash Sisters - Orange - Sundance Sea / Magnánima Compilado Vol. 4 - Industrias WIO / Magnánima
Young Boys - Love Hits - New York Sun - Hollow Eyed
Communions - Forget It's a Dream - Communions - Big Love Records
Spotlight Kid - Sugar Pills - Ten Thousand Hours - Saint Marie Records
Merchandise (feat. Dum Dum Girls) - Red Sun - Red Sun single - Sub Pop
June Parker - Slow - We're Exactly Where We Are
Medicine - Long As the Sun - To the Happy Few - Captured Tracks
My Bloody Valentine - When You Sleep - Loveless - Creation
Tape Deck Mountain - Suicide 1997 - Slow Salvation - Lefse Records
Au.Ra - Pyramid - Jane's Lament - felte
Dirty Sidewalks - Where's the Love - Bring Down the House Lights

Dreaming in Stereo episode 23

One of the joys of ever-evolving technology (and generous friends) is that at some point in your life you'll find yourself booting up an old machine of some sort and finding all sorts of old treasures you'd forgotten about (as well as the occasional file you'd wished stayed buried). Looking through an old homemade tower I'd been gifted several years ago (how many? We're talking Windows XP) I came across my old rip of Mew's 2005 album And the Glass-Handed Kites, and quickly fell back in love with it. Seriously, this was the album to beat back in '05/'06, with its soaring melodies, wall of sound, and just the sheer ambitiousness of it - not just the lack of gaps between songs, but the way they bled into each other - it was very much an album of its era, and yet it stood out so far from what else was on offer that year.

2009's No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away // No More Stories, The World Is Grey, I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away on the other hand, couldn't live up to the glory of its predecessor (at least to my ears at the time), and I found myself eventually moving on. I suppose I'll be revisiting that album soon as well, and checking out last year's Visuals (which is worth checking out just for the cover, if nothing else).

Also on the technology tip (to borrow from '90s hip hop slang), can we all admit what a godsend mp3 blogs were/are? Even though all the streaming services have basically killed the format (save for a few notable holdouts), it was a great way to find a song or two from some band you'd never heard of, or even knew a bit. Not that a Soundcloud or Bandcamp link isn't just as good - hell, you should be supporting the artists, anyway - but those blogs were nice, especially for out of print or super rare tracks. Case in point, the Mercury Rev and Mazzy Star songs in this episode. I honestly can't remember where that MR one came from, and even after doing some research I'm still not sure that Mazzy Star live collection is 100% above the board, even by the much looser standards overseas.

The set as a whole is a pretty broad range, and covers the spectrum of genres this show features, so if you listen to only one - but why limit yourself? Oh, and that Indelicates song - another group I'd long forgotten about and recently re-discovered. So bitter, so acerbic, so entertaining. "Thank you and goodnight," indeed.

Blushing - Hidden Places - Weak - ATHRecords
Nabihah Iqbal - Saw U Twice - Weighing of the Heart - Ninja Tune
Dayflower - Big Blue - single / We're Sad and Listen to Loveless Every Night Vol. 1
Ride - Pulsar - Tomorrow's Shore - Wichita Recordings
The Sundays - I Kicked a Boy - Can't Be Sure 12" - Rough Trade
Mercury Rev - Isolation (live) -
The Malady of Sevendials - Idol Hands - single
Mazzy Star - Flowers in December (Live at KCRW 1996) - Ghost Highway
Mew - The Zookeeper's Boy - And the Glass-Handed Kites - Sony BMG
M83 - Graveyard Girl - Saturdays = Youth - Mute Records
British Sea Power - Waving Flags - Do You Like Rock Music? - Rough Trade
The Indelicates - We Hate the Kids - American Demo - Weekender Records

17 January, 2018

Dreaming in Stereo episode 22

As you can see, with the new year comes a new naming convention for the shows. I'm not sure it really matters, but I feel that having the episodes less tied to the date might make them more listenable in the future. And it makes hiding the erratic nature of the release schedule less obvious (did I just admit that?). I'm definitely looking forward/hoping for more consistency in the coming year.

I said before that I wouldn't indulge in a "best of" show for 2017, so this is as close as we'll get. Partly it's clearing out some tracks that have been patiently waiting to get played (I've been trying to work that Autumn Sighs song in for several episodes now) and partly featuring songs that made the end of last year far more enjoyable. With that new Ride EP already on the way, I'm looking forward to what the one-eight has to offer. And I was recently going through an old computer and found some gems I'd forgotten about, so I figured it would be good to share (especially that last one).

As you can hear, I'm still working out the mic configurations, but at least now you won't have to deal with the extreme volume disparities (hopefully). One of the joys of DIY is actually having to DIY, but we should have the kinks out sooner rather than later, I'd think.

This is all less music-oriented than I'd planned, so enough of me, let's get to the music:

Spiritualized -  Medication - Pure Phase - Dedicated
Look Blue Go Purple - As Does the Sun - Time to Go: The Southern Psychedelic Movement 1981-86 - Flying Nun Records
Asobi Seksu - New Years - Citrus - Friendly Fire Recordings
Deafcult - Stars Collide - Auras - Hobbledehoy Record Co.
The Autumn Sighs - The Autumn Sighs - Branches - Reptile Music
Amber Arcades - Right Now - Fading Lines - [PIAS] Recordings
Echo and the Bunnymen - The Back of Love - Porcupine - Sire
Japanese Breakfast - Diving Woman - Soft Sounds from Another Planet - Dead Oceans
Ariel Pink - Feels Like Heaven - Decicated to Bobby Jameson - Mexican Summer
Alvvays - Plimsoll Punks - Antisocialites - Polyvinyl
Morrissey - Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up On the Stage - Low in High School - BMG
Blink-182 (feat. Robert Smith) - All of This - Blink-182 - Geffen

12 January, 2018

New Songs to Tide You Over

When I first came up with the idea for Dreaming in Stereo 2.0, the idea was to replicate the radio show I used to have way back when - 2 hours a week of playing the jams and yammering on in between sets, hopefully entertaining music fans while scratching the DJ itch I've had for a while now (and since I don't foresee re-entering college any time soon, the Internet was the natural next choice). Between the technical limitations that come with relying on freeware and, well, life, the format and schedule didn't quite work out that way, but the hour-long shows are probably sufficient for the modern attention span anyway. Despite my best efforts, there are still some technical issues to be resolved, so while I set out to record a new show tonight, it was not meant to be. Hopefully I'll be back up and running again soon, unless this all turns out like some horrible Black Mirror episode.

That all being said, I don't want to leave you with nothing in the interim. So I'll share some new gems I've recently uncovered:

First things first, and you've probably already caught this by now, but the Iggy Pop/Jarvis Cocker cover of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds' Red Right Hand. The song has been used as the theme for the Netflix series Peaky Blinders (which is completely worth your time), and if you wanted to know what it felt like to watch the show, this track is actually the perfect summation. This is one of those duet teams you'd never think to put together, yet the combination works so well, and turns the brooding doom of the original and makes it manifest as some wild fever dream. And frankly, after so many years of watching Jarvis perfect his singer/songwriter persona, it's nice to see there's still a bit of the wild man left in him.

And for another take on the song, PJ Harvey contributed her version as well, which is brilliant in its own right:

After blowing us away with their return album last year, Ride are back again (already!) with a new EP, Tomorrow's Shore, coming next month. The first track, Pulsar, is a solid continuation of the gazey rock of Weather Diaries, while Catch You Dreaming, features more keyboard and electronics than I'm used to, and sounds a lot to me like Mew circa 2005 (which is not a bad thing by any means). Definitely looking forward to hear the rest of the release.

I've mentioned KEXP's blog on the show before, and it might be cheating, but they have been a great source of music, not just in the DiS format but in general. A new artist I just discovered (as in right before I started typing this entry) is Nabihah Iqbal, a British artist who's apparently making the transition from straight electronica (do they even still call it that?) to a more indie/dreampop sound, and well, damn. She's got that solid groove/rock balance that New Order struck so perfectly in the early '90s, with a nice contemporary take. Definitely worth checking out:

Monday would have been David Bowie's 71st birthday and yesterday marked the two year anniversary of his passing. I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch the Lazarus video. Perhaps this will be the year, perhaps not. I was recently tipped off to Tony Visconti's remastered edition of Lodger that came out last year (yes, I am out of touch), and thanks to Henry Rollins and his Fanatic radio show got to hear it and the original mix back to back for a nice compare/contrast. Can't say I was in love with all of it, and it all sounds a little to of the moment for me to be really comfortable with, but some of the songs got a nice kick, particularly one that's always been near and dear to my heart (at least since I started getting behind the decks):

Way back when, I got Lodger (the Rykodisc edition, to be exact) through the Columbia House CD club, back when you'd get a stupid amount of CDs for the price of one, and it completely went over my head at the time (to be fair, I was young). Giving it a re-listen, I realize now what a great album it was, and now I'm sad again that we'll never get any more new material from David (although I keep holding out hope that there's some secret unreleased album or extra songs that will see the light of day).

Speaking of Visconti, he's apparently producing a new The Good, the Bad, and the Queen album. So there's that to look forward to.

28 December, 2017

2017: A Year in Shows

This was a year for concerts. Last year wasn't (although there was no shortage of shows to attend), and I made going to shows the goal for 2017. And the universe responded, in one of those "careful what you ask for" types of responses.

Granted, most of the shows were of established-to-old bands, but frankly there haven't been to many new bands that have caught my fancy enough to get me out to see them (I missed Chvrches by a year, and will probably have to wait until the new album at this point).

To a one, I can't think of a show that I didn't leave completely and thoroughly entertained by and satisfied with. The Decemberists in Richmond, VA were spot-on as always, with their show closing rendition of The Tain aptly demonstrating not only their sterling musicianship, but the work it takes to pull off this 22 minute song live as well as their willingness to do so.

(Please note, none of the following videos were actually recorded by me. Thanks to the internet, I can enjoy the show and leave others to the chronicling.)

Depeche Mode in DC were stellar. At this point, it would be easy for them to just play a couple of songs off the new album and stick to the familiar hits (a tactic I'm sure many fans would not have a problem with). Instead, they focused squarely on material from the 1990s onward, and made it clear they were touring the new album, as opposed to using the album as an excuse to tour. Their form was perfect, their sound was great, and Dave Gahan moved around more on stage that one night than I do in a normal week.

Speaking of DC, let's not forget Morrissey, not least of all because he actually showed up. Considering that he canceled all the shows on the tour afterward, it was a lucky thing indeed. Perhaps the Der Spiegel controversy had made him circumspect, or perhaps the signs on the door stating the show was being recorded meant I'll have a chance to see the show again on DVD at some point, but Moz was not only on his best behavior (no rants, no Meat is Murder to kill the mood), but he and the band put on one of the best performances I've seen from them (and this would be the fifth time I've caught him). As I treat every Morrissey concert as if it's his last, this would be a fitting note to go out on.

Also in DC, Gary Numan proves to not only refuse to give in to nostalgia, but delivers to a degree that artists half his age aspire to. As with Depeche Mode (and Morrissey, for that matter) he was definitely touring the new album, but made sure to sprinkle in enough classic tracks to keep the fans happy. And he fucking rocked. Personal note: While eating dinner before the show, the friend I went to the show with asked what song I wanted to hear. Grasping, I said "I Die: You Die," from the Telekon album. Not a huge hit, but a personal favorite. So, the show happens, Gary does the main set, then an encore, then comes back out for another encore. On the screen behind him comes the familiar red bands on black motif from the Telekon cover, and within a few notes I realize he's closing the show with my song. Whether it was fate or chance, I'll never know, but it was a great note to end the year's concerts on.

Slowdive and Ride were back after decades-long hiatuses, and performed like they'd never stopped. The Slowdive show in particular was perfection, and meeting Rachel Goswell after the show was a nice touch. AFI offered a nice return to my punk roots, and proved to be just as good as they'd been fifteen years ago when I saw them last (although I missed a lot of that show due to the terrible decision to go into the pit - this time I wisely stuck to the balcony). That show also introduced me to Nothing, who sounded like they stepped right out of the '90s.

Also on the punk note, caught the Damned on their 40th anniversary tour, and even though they're a little slower than in years prior (I could actually understand what Dave Vanian was singing), they still had that fire and wit of decades past. And they even played that song from the Young Ones.

And, of course, U2 had their Joshua Tree tour. Now here's a band not touring on a new album - in fact, one released thirty years prior - but who sounded as fresh and engaged as if it had just come out. I went in somewhat interested in the band, and with the first drum measure of opening song "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was a converted fan. Well played, boys. (It helped that the rest of the show was amazing, and it was great to see a band who knew how to play a stadium and make it feel just as good as a small venue).

Of course there were plenty of shows I didn't make it to (Jesus and Mary Chain, the barely-advertised Specials reunion tour, Kool Keith), but I can't complain. Here's looking to next year.