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Matthew Berlyant: February 19, 2012

  1. HoneychurchWill You Be There with Me? (Siren Sound)

    This is absolute gorgeous, quiet alt-country in the vein of Mojave 3 (or Neil Halstead‘s more recent solo work), Gram Parsons or perhaps even the quieter moments on Wilco‘s Being There but with an ethereal, lighter than air feel that’s not too far removed from ’70s soft rock or even more experimental stuff like later Talk Talk. In fact, listening to this reminds me a little of the first time I heard Being There. You can stream it here.

  2. Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents” EP (Jagjaguwar)

    The A-side is of course familiar from Tramp and is one of its best (and its most well known) cut and it sounds great on vinyl! The B-side “Mike McDermott” is an OK experiment, so only hardcore fans should pick this up (provided, of course, that they already own Tramp).

  3. Sharon Van Etten – “Leonard” EP (Jagjaguwar)

    The better of her two recently released singles from Tramp (this one is forthcoming), it pairs an A-side that’s one of Tramp‘s best songs with the B-side “Life of His Own”, a track strong enough that I think it should’ve been on the album. Now I understand why she chose to play it for her encore at the World Cafe Live Free at Noon show last week.

  4. Screaming Females – “It All Means Nothing” EP (Don Giovanni)

    This is a tour-only 7” single released to promote their record store tour, which stopped at Long in the Tooth here in Philadelphia (see my review below). The A-side is from their forthcoming, Steve Albini-recorded new album Ugly and it’s a good track. It doesn’t match the best tracks from 2010’s Castle Talk, though, but the B-side of this takes the cake. It’s a live version of Castle Talk‘s “A New Kid” recorded in WFMU’s studios that’s absolutely blistering, showcasing just what a powerful live band they are. Most live B-sides are throwaways, but this one is a huge exception. A must!

  5. Screaming Females – Long in the Tooth (Philadelphia) – February 15, 2012

    Though they’ve played at the venerable Philadelphia record store Long in the Tooth on several prior occasions, this was my first time seeing Screaming Females there and my first time seeing them since a 2009 show at Johnny Brenda’s when they opened for the late Jay Reatard. They played for about 25 minutes or so and since I didn’t recognize some of the songs, I assume that they were mostly new. They did combine these with some older numbers in the set, though, and the crowd sang along with these. There’s great video and decent audio (though Marissa Paternoster‘s vocals aren’t as audible as they were live) of the performance here.

  6. The Tyranaround – “Colour Your Mind” EP (Cleopatra)

    An Australian rarity from 1986 that a co-worker recently turned me on to, at times it sounds more like ’67/‘68 era Pink Floyd than their garagier contemporaries. It does rock a little harder and is sort of like if Lime Spiders or a similar ’80s garage rock revival band would’ve attempted to make a record in a more psychedelic style. Anyway, I like it a lot.

  7. ShoppersSilver Year (self-released)

    As far as I know, the only place you can hear this Syracuse’s band latest is their bandcamp site, but I highly recommend checking it out as all 8 tracks (all simply numbered I-VIII Roman numeral style) are like Bikini Kill colliding with The Joy Formidable and maybe even the crush of early Killing Joke. Listen to it here.

  8. Les Demoniaques – “Teenage Lust”

    A one-off collaboration between Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls and a singer named Tamaryn named after a 1974 Jean Rollin film, this is a cover of a song from The Jesus and Mary Chain‘s 1992 album Honey’s Dead. They really make it their own here while retaining the hazy and druggy spirit, adding a creepily sexy vibe that the original only hinted at. You can stream it here.

  9. KraftwerkComputer World (Warner Brothers)

    I found a nice vinyl copy of this 1981 classic and when I picked it up, I found out that they’re playing a string of 8 shows at Museum of Modern Art in New York in April where they’ll be performing one album in its entirety at each show. I don’t think I’ll be able to go, but I would love to see the shows for this one along with 1978’s The Man Machine.

  10. Karen Dalton1966 (Delmore Recordings/Light in the Attic)

    This is a recently released collection of previously unreleased and hard to find recordings that predate Dalton’s first album (1969’s It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going to Love You the Best). “Katie Cruel” (perhaps her most well-known song) is included along with “God Bless the Child” (associated, of course, with Billie Holliday, a singer to whom Dalton has been compared to vocally) and other folk standards like “Cotton Eyed Joe”. This is beautiful, haunting stuff.