The first thing you notice about Smooth Sailing, Mike Pace and the Child Actors' new LP, is that it gleams. Picture a studio stuffed with synth whizzes, session bassists, forty or fifty world-class audio engineers. Picture some label accountant rubbing his temples, grilling a Child Actor over some outrageous line item ("ten thousand dollars for 'vibe maintenance??'). Picture, of course, the man himself, Mike Pace: stomping around in a speedo and bathrobe, refusing sleep, verbally abusing children, sinking periodically into morose funks, instantaneously emerging from those funks with gnomic yet emotionally lucid career highlights like this album's "Troubleshooting," etc.
The reality is, in its way, even more outlandish. In the years since Pace adopted his Child Actors moniker and released Best Boy, he's had no fewer than two children, acquired a mortgage, and settled fully into a consuming job in production music. Smooth Sailing, then, was written and recorded in the cracks of a full and meaningful life: in those minutes or hours most of us use to watch bad TV, or stare blankly into the middle distance. And yet in terms of scope and lushness of sound, and in the way it updates and personalizes a whole slew of classic rock reference points, it stands with the best of War on Drugs or Father John Misty. Like those guys, Pace is first and foremost a nerd, the good kind: someone who cares passionately and unpretentiously about something most people never think about, specifically progressive rock and big-tent singer-songwriter stuff from the 1970s, and puts that care to productive artistic use.
On some level Smooth Sailing is its own classic rock radio station, diverse enough to appeal to a whole jammed freeway's worth of commuters. Some might prefer the Randy Newman/10cc-style "Senior Statesman" (one of Pace's full-fledged story songs, which some enterprising movie producer should option ASAP), others the perfect power-pop of "Blaster" (think Sugar, or Matthew Sweet). Undoubtedly some will cry right there in their cars to "Disconnected Heart," a ballad so beautiful you could picture a Xanax-addicted SoundCloud rapper sampling it. I personally love "Americana Manhasset"—a pink-sunset ambient-instrumental track which harkens back to at least four imagined pasts, only one of which I lived through. (Credit goes as well to Matt LeMay, the producer/multi-instrumentalist who embellished, shaped and mixed each of the songs on Smooth Sailing.)
If you've ever listened to Pace's music you know this already, but just to be clear: this is no kind of bloodless genre exercise. As always with Pace, the cherished albums are all mixed up with the memories of those cherished albums, and with the memories those albums soundtracked, so that the result—filtered through Pace's well-established interest in nostalgia, time's passing, etc.—is on the one hand new and idiosyncratically Pace-imprinted and, on the other, familiar and comforting and kind of pleasantly sad—pop sad.
This stuff might not sound much like Mike's last band, Oxford Collapse—possibly New York's last great indie rock band, before the whole operation shipped over to Philadelphia—but it definitely feels like Oxford Collapse, because all of Pace's songs yearn in this totally unique way. And as ever these songs are set in places built for yearning: beach towns, high school hallways, commuter trains. The yearning has something to do with growing up, with putting away childish things. A song like "Escape the Noise," with lyrics about giving up on guitars and "ragged nights," has a ton of parallels in Pace's discography, but this one's his best—for many reasons, but especially because we now know for sure that he doesn't actually mean it—that he'll be writing about this stuff for a long while to come. - Daniel Kolitz
Dot Dash’s new album Proto Retro, the band’s sixth long-player, is out now on The Beautiful Music. It’s the label’s 42nd release.
Coming off of 2016’s amped-up, fuzzed-out Searchlights, the 12 track Proto Retro sees Dot Dash taking a poppier, janglier direction but one that retains the punky, garagey energy that has marked the band’s previous releases.
Proto Retro was recorded at Inner Ear and The Bastille in Arlington, Virginia and produced by Geoff Sanoff (Lloyd Cole, Darlene Love, Television.)
Dot Dash is a Washington D.C.-based trio -- Terry Banks (guitar & vocals), Hunter Bennett (bass), and Danny Ingram (drums.) Ex-bands within the Dot Dash orbit include power-poppy indie rockers Julie Ocean; harDCore pioneers Youth Brigade and The Untouchables; indiepoppers The Saturday People, Tree Fort Angst, Glo-Worm, and St. Christopher; plus Swervedriver and Strange Boutique.
Along the way, Dot Dash has played shows with The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Richard Lloyd (ex-Television), The B-52s, The Monochrome Set, The Psychedelic Furs, The Chameleons, The Dickies, Ash, Hugh Cornwell (ex-Stranglers), The Clientele, Stiff Little Fingers, The Godfathers, The Bats, Ian Hunter (ex-Mott The Hoople), The Fleshtones, Urge Overkill, Glen Matlock (ex-Sex Pistols), The Drums, Ultimate Painting, The Trashcan Sinatras, Sylvain Sylvain (ex-New York Dolls), Drivin'n'Cryin, Frankie Rose, Tommy Keene, The Empty Hearts, Wussy, Matt Pond PA, Moon Duo, Terry Malts, Soulside, Jack Grisham (TSOL), Wax Idols, Chris Stamey (ex-dB’s), Allo Darlin', The Supersuckers, Adam Franklin (Swervedriver), X___X, The Explorers Club, D.O.A., Elf Power, Stevie Jackson (Belle & Sebastian), Eternal Summers & lots of other rocking combos.
Cutty's Gym are a four-piece from Scotland. The music has been described as noise rock, punk, and art rock. Cutty's Gym have played with other noisey bands: Melt Banana, Pile, The Animal Spirits, Hey Colossus. Cutty's Gym like to make noise and make people dance. They are a four-piece from Scotland.
Check out what happens when three outcasts take on the "cool kids" at the start of the summer in New Found Glory's recently released music video for "Call Me Anti-Social". The track is from the band's 9th Studio Album, Makes Me Sick, which was released last Spring.
May 17, 2018 - Coral Springs, FL - Meet Sam, Brooke, and Jimmy - 3 best friends. Their favorite things to do are play 007 GoldenEye on Nintendo 64, talk about their favorite messy projects in science class, and most of all raid abandoned construction sites for what they consider to be treasure (i.e. wood, nails, screws and the occasional tool). They used to play Mario Kart more than 007 but all agreed that it made them too stressed out (especially Jimmy). They all became close friends by finding a common bond. You see, what first felt like rejection ended up being the road that led them to each other. Being an outcast brought them together which quickly felt like true friendship. The kind of friendship that matters - not status, not perfect grades, and not caring what is considered cool or not. They loved how different each of them were and always encouraged each other's individuality.
It was the first day of summer break. Sam's older brother, Troy, and his high school clique were celebrating with one of their typical parties. As if they didn't throw these parties all year already, summer was just another excuse. Also Troy and Sam's parents were away at the lake for the weekend so the opportunity to break all the rules was there. Sam, Brooke, and Jimmy hated summer with a passion. They felt too insecure for the big social gatherings, bathing suits, partying and all the other stuff they didn't relate to or understand the point of. It just seemed like a waste of time to them. Plus from past experiences, they usually were made to feel unwelcome. That's probably the reason this party triggered them the most. They felt it was time to show they were proud of the weird little family they became. Anti-Social to some but best friends to each other.
Feeling inspired by one of their clever heroes Kevin McAlister from the Christmas classic Home Alone, combined with some of their favorite scenes from the old box of horror VHS tapes they found; Sam, Brooke, and Jimmy had all they needed to devise the ultimate prank. Unfortunately for Troy and his clique, Sam, Brooke, and Jimmy never really learned what it meant to go too far. Movies are fantasy but this was real life.
In addition to the music video, New Found Glory has announced they are releasing a deluxe version of the album called Makes Me Sick Again. New Found Glory is officially kicking off The Sick Tour with support from Bayside, The Movielife, and former Yellowcard vocalist William Ryan Key in Orlando, FL. The tour will start tonight with a Sold Out show in Orlando, FL, traveling to over 25 cities before wrapping up on June 22nd in Dallas, TX. Many cities have low-ticket warnings with some already sold out. Be sure to head to http://newfoundglory.shofetti.com/ for a fully updated list of venues and tickets.
Loud, sweaty, sweet rock n roll- Miesha & The Spanks are two of Calgary AB's busiest road junkies. Miesha Louie (guitar/vox) and Sean Hamilton’s (drums) brand of garage rock sits somewhere between the timeless jam of The Runaways and scrappiness of The Gits, with just enough influence from 50s girl-group romanticism to catch a case of pop sensibility. They’re explosive together on stage, and their upcoming album ‘Girls Girls Girls,’ produced by Paul Rawson and Danny Farrant (of The Buzzcocks) promises to put that on record. Miesha & The Spanks are at their best spilling out of their van and onto a stage after a real long drive.
It was a chance meeting with Danny Farrant at Sled Island Music Festival that led to their collaboration, first with 'Stranger EP,' cited by Mike Bell (Calgary Herald) as “representing Miesha and The Spanks at their most polished and more accessible." The EP sets the stage for ‘Girls Girls Girls,’ offering a taste of what’s still to come: ten songs with the impassioned songwriting fans are used to, but imbued with a new visceral energy and unbridled electricity.
Miesha & The Spanks have toured coast to coast many times, with additional performances at NXNE, Halifax Pop Explosion, Sled Island, Canadian Music Week, and BreakOut West. They have shared the stage with Queens of The Stone Age, Death From Above 1979, Hot Snakes, Nashville Pussy, Imperial State Electric, Pack AD, C’mon, Bison BC, Hot Hot Heat and many more amazing bands.
A combination of retro aesthetics, enduring lyrics and alt-rock grit.
The best music happens when artists refuse to remain stuck in their own comfort zones and creative boxes. Whenever this happens, they are free to give full range to their vision, and they can really come up with something that’s groundbreaking and personable. This is certainly the case here with Tommy Red and his brand new EP release, “I Wanna Be Exploited.”
Marva Von Theo is an Electropop / Synthwave duo formed in 2016 by the Athens-based singer-songwriter Marva Voulgari and the Vienna-based composer-producer Theo Foinidis.
Their Debut Album “Dream within a Dream” was released early in 2018. The 12 songs on their Album, lean towards an electronic sound that incorporates a variety of influences ranging from the music of the 80’s until today. Darkwave sounds, Jazz harmonies, Rock and Dance drum beats resonate together and mature into something darkly romantic.