Gaffa Tape Sandy – Meat Head

Gaffa Tape Sandy – Meat Head
SONG OF THE DAY

Okay guys, let’s hear it for our man Sir Christopher Chope! Good ol’ Chris, who’s stalked this planet for over seven decades, blocked a UK bill that would have criminalized upskirting by shouting “Object!” during the bill’s second reading in the House of Commons. Now I’m hardly an expert on How a Bill Becomes a Law in my own country, much less in the inscrutable lands of the Old World, but if that was all it took to block a bill here our government wouldn’t get anything done. Not that they do anything worthwhile as it is, but to kill a proposed law our Senators and Congressmen are first required make several appearances on CNN and on the Sunday morning chat shows in order to cast personal aspersions on the bill’s sponsors. Only when a sufficient level of vindictiveness has been attained can the bill be downvoted.

To justify his blockage Sir Chris said, “The government has been hijacking time that is rightfully that of backbenchers. This is about who controls the House of Commons on Fridays and that’s where I am coming from.” I totally get where he’s coming from. Who wants to talk about taking photos of knickers on a perfectly good Friday afternoon? That sort of talk is reserved for Saturdays while watching Match of the Day. The #2 FAQ on the MOTD website: “Why is my team always on last?”

Gaffa Tape Sandy’s new single, “Meat Head,” addresses the guy-type behavior that makes folks like Sir Chris such endearing creatures or, to put it less satirically in Gaffa Tape Sandy’s own words, “‘Meat Head’ was written as an attack on the type of mind-sets people harbour which involve believing that they somehow own or have the right to the body of another person.” Apparently, this common-sense message hasn’t been easy to deliver. The digital release of “Meat Head” was almost delayed when “a male member of staff at the distributor” marked the cover art by Emily Allen (that fairly innocuous picture up at the top) as “nudity/pornography.” I can’t make this shit up, folks. And – huh-huh-huh – you said, “Male member.”

Gaffa Tape Sandy, based in Bury St Edmunds, an English village with charming pictures on Google, is Kim Jarvis (vocals, guitar), Catherine Lindley-Neilson (vocals, bass), and Robin Francis (drums, percussion). The band self-describes as a “three-piece garage rock band, spewing out glorified noise for your amusement only… Soft but abrasive, like a silk shirt with a sandpaper lining.” The initial release of “Meat Head” took place back in June; it is now available as a double-A side 7″ single, along with “Beehive,” from Antigen Records.

You can support deserving musicians like Gaffa Tape Sandy by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to follow Gaffa Tape Sandy on their website and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And check out other releases from Antigen Records on their website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Epilogue: A new upskirting bill is now wending it’s way through the UK system, with passage imminent. The revised bill also makes it a crime to upskirt a man wearing a kilt. Well, thank God for that.

See The Eye – Shimmer

See The Eye – Shimmer
SONG OF THE DAY

See The Eye’s “Shimmer” is a shimmering source of shoegazey nugazey dream pop, a pulsating pile of echoing guitars and energetic drums that bounces off the back wall and wraps itself around your head like an elastic aural mirror that reflects and distorts this wall of sound, a veritable suite of reverby riffs and softly executed vocals. Listen to “Shimmer” while sampling a Hopworks Honey Lager from an unchilled unstemmed wineglass that you bought years ago and contemplating how those years were a lifetime that brought you to this day when you can finally say “We are.”

“Shimmer” begins innocently enough, with an acoustic guitar that fools you into believing that you’ve stumbled into a folky coffee house where the Mac Books outnumber the cargo shorts. And you can believe that for all of seventeen seconds, until the hi-hat hits and the guitars open up along the firing line. Far from being an excuse to plug in the delay pedal, “Shimmer” is a beautifully melodic track featuring multiple movements and ever-shifting textures. The effect is hypnotic and surprisingly danceable.

See The Eye is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, a pleasant place that I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a few times. The band is Harry Zulhazs (lead guitar, vocals), Danny Yuwanda (rhythm guitar, vocals), Abee Kusmara (bass, vocals), and Arya Adita (drums, percussion). “Shimmer” is from their six-song EP, titled EP, released earlier this year. The EP includes “Social Bribe,” an excellent single released in 2016 featuring a stunning lead vocal by Yudith. EP is available from Bombay Records, which also carries Seventeen Years Old and Berlin Wall, a band we featured in July.

You can support deserving musicians like See The Eye by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to follow See The Eye on FacebookInstagram, TwitterYouTube, and Soundcloud.

And check out more releases from Bombay Records on Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp.

Jack Tate and The Satisfactions – Lose Your Mind

Jack Tate and The Satisfactions – Lose Your Mind
SONG OF THE DAY

As our world accelerates towards Idiocracy like a Mustang GTO on a beer-and-cigarettes run to the 7-11 at 10:59, it is difficult to differentiate Sanity from Insanity and losing your mind becomes not a worry but a forgone conclusion that one may as well embrace because it’s, you know, going to happen someday. The soundtrack playing behind our mental decline should be Jack Tate and The Satisfactions’ “Lose Your Mind,” a high-energy cosmic buzz of excellently executed guitar riffs and edgy vocals ricocheting off the mentally permeable walls of 60’s psychedelia. Listen to “Lose Your Mind” while sipping an apricot cider smuggled out of Portland and contemplating whether anyone will notice when your mind slips over the edge or perhaps whether it’s already plunged into the chasm and you haven’t notice but everyone else has.

“Lose Your Mind” is all about guitars, one layered beneath the next, each presenting a distinct reverby riff that could carry the track. Piled together the guitars create a wall of sound that says, “Hey, put down whatever it is you’re picking up and listen to this.” But the true North Star of “Lose Your Mind” is the lead vocal that careens through the track with an abandon rarely seen in these End Times when being cool means you’ve purchased a better Fortnite dance than the loser in the next cubicle whose only redeemable quantity is his mastery of Facebook.

Longtime readers of this massive tome know that the paragraph following the Bandcamp thingy is reserved for the Obscure Reference, in which we attempt to demonstrate that all of those songs of the 60’s that we’ve stored in our brain have not yet been displaced by reruns of The Office (American version) and W1A (brilliant, yes, no, very good). The obvious comparison is to the 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me” owing to the vocal style, energy, and subject matter of “Lose Your Mind” compared to the fate of Roky Erickson. I feel that’s not quite obscure enough for both of my readers (if we count the cat who, now that I think about it, perhaps should be counted nine times). Well, you and the cat are just going to have to settle for “You’re Gonna Miss Me” because I have to be somewhere in thirty minutes and I’m not going to go through every song in my library trying to find the source of that third guitar riff that sounds kinda like “Rebel Rouser.”

“Lose Your Mind” is from Jack Tate and The Satisfactions new eponymous 13-song LP. And if I ever write eponymous again, please send a cargo shorts-wearing hipster to my house with instructions to rip that coveted Music Press card from the hatband of my Fedora. I don’t know much about this band, though I have a feeling that I should. I know they play live dates, and I know Jack Tate is an excellent musician. He has a video on Instagram playing Debussy’s “Arabesque No.1.” What? No, not on the spoons, on a piano. The album has the feel of a one-guy-plays-all-the-instruments project though I’m probably wrong. At any rate, it’s a good album and you should listen to it.

You can support deserving independent musicians like Jake Tate and The Satisfactions by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to follow Jack Tate and The Satisfactions om Facebook and Instagram.

Uncle Uncle – Broadband, Hifi, Now!

Uncle Uncle – Broadband, Hifi, Now!
SONG OF THE DAY

Uncle Uncle’s “Broadband, Hifi, Now!” reminds us that nothing can make you feel more disconnected than being connected, the latest iPhone and unlimited data serving only to display with unwavering certainty that you have no DM’s on any social media platform. If the only nourishment our souls required was that little red dot below the heart in the lower right corner of your screen, we would all feed Mark Zuckerberg a steady diet of Cat Pictures and keep that dot lit up like a reindeer’s nose 24/7. But if each of Justin Beiber’s 104,000,000 followers likes the Tweet about the strange person on the bus that you’ve been composing in your head for the past week, it will not balance the scale when the opposite beam supports the knowledge that Al Gore invented the internet in order to provide someone with an extraordinarily effective means of ignoring you.

“Broadband, Hifi, Now!” is a folky bluesy palette of warm colors painted over spare trees, a beautiful slide guitar flowing before a backing rhythm with open spaces of air that the singer could fill but doesn’t, the brief phrases echoing away into the background. The effect is haunting, but with a hint of a nostalgic smile out on the edge of the sound.

Uncle Uncle is Kevin Cappon (guitar, vocals, songwriting), Christian Edstrom (guitar, slide guitar), and Dominick Burnham (drums, bass, synthesizer, backing vocals). The band self-describes as “a folk rock band putting sounds and words to observations on everyday existence.” The group is based in Santa Barbara, California, where it was born in a garage.

“Broadband, Hifi, Now!” is Uncle Uncle’s latest release, following their three-song EP, Say It. Last month we featured “Island 73,” from Say It, a beautifully simple song with soft layers of guitars swirling beneath a timeless voice. There is an unforced naturalness to Uncle Uncle’s music, a product of good songwriting and musicians who instinctively know how to play together as a single instrument. Extra credit to Dominick Burnham for pulling double-duty as Producer, and doing it very well. You don’t get this sound by crowding three guys into a bedroom and sticking a microphone in the middle, which now that I type it sounds rather odd.

You can support deserving independent musicians like Uncle Uncle by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. There’s only four of them, so you might as well buy the whole lot (they’re all good). And be sure to follow Uncle Uncle on Facebook and Instagram.

American Television – Death Defier

American Television – Death Defier
SONG OF THE DAY

You can bet the farm, bet your bottom dollar, bet five dollars a hole with two dollars in your pocket, or bet yourself that you won’t get dumped for coming home late with the coffee grounds of another woman trailing across that worn out Kirk Cousins jersey. Which brings us to “Death Defier” by American Television. Of all the things you can drop your wad on, it’s that gamble you make on a Relationship that’s either a killer or a death defying ticket to eternal life, the one that has the power to make you feel more alive than a cockroach romping across a stale pepperoni pizza or deader than the open can of beer that’s been sitting in your garage behind the Christmas ornaments since you took down the tree last April. Win the bet or lose, you’re about to have a Life Changing Experience.

“Death Defier” is a melodic buzzsaw, an atom-smasher with just enough pop infusion to leave an aromatic aftertaste, the kind that has you reaching for the replay button and saying, “Uh, hey, let me hear that part again.” The track roars to life with the prerequisite punky guitar/guitar/bass/drums, but the creative song construction and well-sung lead vocal set this track apart from its partners in grime. “Death Defier” rocks hard, but you won’t feel as if you’re being struck repeatedly between the eyes with a ball peen hammer.

American Television, based in Washington, DC, is Steve Rovery (vocals, guitar), Jerred Lazar (guitar, vocals), Bryan Flowers (drums), and Edwin Wikfors (bass). “Death Defier” is their new single, backed with “The Creek.” The band accurately self-describes as “melodic punk.” American Television has been around for five years and, from what I can tell, appears regularly in the DC area. Judging from their videos, the guys are slightly beyond the “snot-nosed punk” stage which, it says here, is a positive. It takes a few years to knock the edge off the angry angst.

“Death Defier” was released in tandem with a special blend of coffee from Weird Brothers Coffee. Buy 16 oz. of beans and you get unlimited listening on Bandcamp and a digital download. Or something like that. Better hurry because, as of this writing, there’s only two bags o’ beans left. At any rate, here’s a cool video showing the guys on location at Weird Brothers.

You can support deserving independent musicians like American Television by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening to their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to follow American Television on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

And if you’re in the DC area, you can catch American Television live at Club Heaven and Hell on August 16, and at The Pinch on September 03.

Chaotic Bride – Magnetic Love

Chaotic Bride – Magnetic Love
SONG OF THE DAY

Chaotic Bride’s “Magnetic Love” is a righteous romp recalling those days when guys who grew up listening to Hank Williams (senior) picked up Les Pauls and set the world on fire. Rock, pop, punk, and country each take a turn at the wheel as “Magnetic Love” careens through two-minutes-nine of harmonies, humbuckers, and hot melodies. Listen to “Magnetic Love” as you accelerate toward the drive-in on the edge of town that is no longer there, either the drive-in or the town and possibly not your car that was repossessed last Wednesday when it was parked in front of the county library as you were inside checking your Facebook page on the public computer. But wherever and however you listen, listen to “Magnetic Love” loud and often.

“Magnetic Love” jumps out the door fully formed, a mess of guitars soon joined by a vocal that recalls early Elvis Costello. It’s a powerful punch, a wall of sound that rocks but doesn’t forget that the best rock has a melody that you can take home after the show is over. The star of the show in question is the lead guitar, with solos and fills out the proverbial wazoo (I can’t believe I used the phrase “proverbial wazoo”). The only advice I have is to crank up that cowbell that appears around the one-minute mark. What? No, I’m not going to say it…

Both of our regular readers know that the paragraph after the Bandcamp thingy is reserved for the Obscure Reference, our opportunity to display our Encyclopedic Knowledge of Popular Music. The Obscure Reference for today: “Magnetic Love” brought to mind “Walking With a Mountain” from Mott the Hoople’s Live album. You can draw a not-too-curvy line from Ariel Bender’s guitar solos to those in “Magnetic Love.” What? Yeah, I know in the first paragraph I said “humbuckers” and Ariel Bender had a P-90 on that Les Paul Jr. What’s your point?

“Magnetic Love” is from Chaotic Bride’s new three-song EP of the same name. This is the part where I tell you something interesting about the artist. But I don’t know nothin’ ’bout no Chaotic Bride other than they/he are/is from Davis, California. The social media accounts are new, but I have a feeling that the person or persons behind Chaotic Bride have been around for a while. I don’t think this is his first rodeo and, if it is, congratulations on finally escaping from your mom’s basement.

You can support deserving independent musicians like Chaotic Bride by visiting their Bandcamp page, listening their songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. There’s only three of them, so you might as well spring for the entire lot. And be sure to follow Chaotic Bride on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud.