What is the essence of rock and roll? Let’s begin with the agreed-upon narrative: It was laced into the hard stops between Jimmy Rogers’ shrieking guitar licks and Muddy Waters’ growling pronouncements of his manhood when they performed “Mannish Boy” back in 1955. It launched from there into clubs in Chicago and Hamburg. It reached […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em #22 – Cy Dune"
Once upon a time, there was a band called Railbird. They were from Saratoga, NY, and they played a lot of shows in and around the Albany area, where I live. Railbird had a bunch of guys who all seemed to play about a dozen instruments, and a pretty singer-songwriter whose voice was quirky and […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #21 – Lip Talk"
What am I supposed to do? I am attracted to guys who are built like chicks and I am into bands who sound like Animal Collective; so obviously I am into Nico Haag who is guilty on both counts. And just because he has a slender frame, it doesn’t mean he isn’t manly. He is. He […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #20: Bleeklino"
by Matt Meade Of course our society is headed down the wrong path. Of course we are all doomed. Campaign finance. Global warming. Infectious diseases. Nuclear proliferation. 21st Century Crusades. Monsanto. Something has gone terribly wrong and even us, here in the first world, can feel the cold bite of the impending Winter of […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #18: Mardock The Sun God"
by Matt Meade I think I am having some kind of existential crisis. I am lying on the floor of my bedroom with my headphones on, staring at the ceiling, like I am some highschooler. I am typing this review into my phone as one super long text. My thumbs are like manic ping-pong flippers […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #17 – Battle Ave."
I feel that enunciation is overrated (I’m talking to you Harvey Keitel. Why do you articulate every frigging syllable even when you are playing a prison hardened street tough? How about an apostrophe or two? There’s not a “gonna’” or a “haveta” to be found in the man’s entire oevre.) Being too articulate, or […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #16 – Forever Cult"
by Matt Meade In the hip hop world, there is a practice that is referred to as interpolation. This is a practice similar to sampling, except instead of using the original recording, the segment is re-recorded by new musicians as a way to circumvent copyright laws, or to reinterpret the original song. The word is […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #15 – She Speaks in Tongues"
by Matt Rector It has been four years since Mountain Man released their album Made the Harbor. Three girls with three names (Amelia Randall Meath, Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, and Molly Erin Sarle) attending Bennington College in Vermont combined their voices to create ethereal, alluring harmonies. Years ago, when walking in the woods early in the morning, […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #14 – Mountain Man"
by Matt Meade The Canoes are a schlubby band from Evanston Illinois. How schlubby are they? Well, the cover of the “American English” single is a paunchy guy failing to spin a basketball on his finger. I ask you, what is more schlubby than that? The band sounds like a sloppy and invigored Sebadoh if Lou […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #13 – The Canoes"
Heccra by Matt Meade I like to experience music in a way that may be uncommon. I am typically sitting alone in a dark room, digesting all the constituent parts, the YouTube video, the band website, the viral marketing campaign, like it is all a part of some pastiched, multi-faceted found-footage film. Each song, each […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #12 – Heccra"
by Matt Meade Being a post-rock band is a thankless task. If you decide to form a metal, or jazz influenced rock band with no singer, you do so knowing that you will be no one’s favorite band. If you are more interested in layering textures than you are in snorting cocaine off of a […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #11 – Meadows"
Youngest Son by Matt Meade I have been trying to write this review for weeks now. It’s been difficult because the Christian imagery of this week’s artist forces me to overthink every reaction I have to every part of the music. Someday I’ll write about my complex relationship with Christianity and how I am simultaneously […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #10 – Youngest Son"
MenoPaws by Matt Meade Remember when you were in elementary school and you would stick your tongue on a 9v battery and when your tongue completed the circuit it would feel crazy and then you would do it again? Well, listening to this band is just as stupid an idea as licking a 9v battery. […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #9 – MenoPaws"
yesper by Matt Meade “Cannibal King” isn’t what you think. It’s not a cookie monster vocalist gutteralizing all over a thrash metal track at 220 BPM. It’s a delicate, gentle song by a talented singer-songwriter borrowing phrasing from The Flaming Lips’ “Waiting for a Superman,” and making coy references to “the quiet strength of the Carpenter’s house…” Not […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #8 – yesper"
by Matt Meade Mineral Girls – I almost hesitate to tell you about this band. They’re that good. It would not be a stretch to say that they are one of the reasons the “Never Heard of ‘Em?” series exists. I needed a forum for talking about bands like this one. I needed a place […]
Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #7 – The Mineral Girls"