Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pet Ghost Project; A Sonic Boomerang That Grows Louder With Each Pass

I have been touting the genius of Pet Ghost Project since the inception of this music soapbox. I love Justin Stivers like a brother, and am getting to know his bandmates Justin Gonzalez and Jake More a bit better every day. I consider myself lucky to know them and even luckier at how much faith they placed in myself and Jenn months ago.

What makes Pet Ghost Project so special? A lot, actually. What you get from them is a stunningly honest messages weaved throughout layers of sound that draw on everything from classic jazz, to surf rock, to indie pop. There's a line in what you would call "experimental noise" and "music," and Pet Ghost Project knows exactly where that line is. They push it as far as it can get without ever crossing the boundary. Everything, no matter how crashing and pounding and intense it gets, remains harmonic and melodious. They know when to push, when to pull, when to break. They let you go for a moment or two, then come right back at you with songs that go from thought-provoking to heart-wrenching, but never give you a cushion to land safely on.

I can say with all honesty, that nearly everyone who has sat down and put in a CD from Pet Ghost Project has come away completely transfixed. They create music that is unique and truly special. And we are so proud that Justin had the faith in our passion to to sign on and allow us to promote his creations. We're watching him finally catch on. We watch him get excited by every review, and every bit of deserved praise. And we know it's only a matter of a bit of time before he won't be able to keep up with it all. We've got so much in the hopper for Pet Ghost Project, so look for some big announcements coming soon. Until then, Justin, Justin and Jake were kind enough to put together a smashing cover of Pavement's "Box Elder" to promote the showcase this Saturday at Cameo. Grab it below!

Listen: Box Elder (Pavement Cover)
I Throw Away Pennies, from "The Great Satisfactory"
Violent Dreams, from "Cheer Up ~ It's Raining"
Listen: The Consequence of Thinking, from "Idiot Brain, Genius Heart"
They Built a City in My Country Mind, from "The Wordless Conversation"

Official Site
On Another Note

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Rest; Watching Colors Dance Through the Air

When you listen to The Rest's "Everyone All At Once," you immediately know you are listening to something very special. It's such a complete and enchanting album, with such a smart, luscious sound, you can't help but be drawn in, and you can't help but lose yourself in it. Let me assure you, nothing is lost in their live performances. I was one of the people lucky enough to catch them on their first trip to New York for an NYC Taper showcase, and after seeing them, I immediately began plotting to get them back to New York, for my sake, theirs, and everyone who had not gotten to see them the first time. So to me, I could not be more thrilled to have them play on Saturday at Cameo. And when you walk away from their performance, you will be asking yourself, "How have I not heard these guys (and gal) before?"

Their 2009 release will more certainly be in my year-end's best, as it will in many others. The reviews of their album are more than likely only eclipsed by The Antlers' "Hospice." So it's not just me sitting here touting them, it's everyone who has heard them. That's how well it's constructed. Listening to it from cover to cover is like watching "Fantasia," without the visuals, and they aren't needed. The music creates them for you.

Adam was my first interview (which seems like ages ago.) And since then, I've watched them rocket to be the best sound coming from Canada (yes, I said 'best.') They bring something to the table that ebbs, flows, works you into a frenzy, relaxes you, charms you, challenges you, digs at you, and ultimately leaves you wanting more. And more. Adam Bentley, Anna Jarvis, Blake Bowma, Dwayne Brydon, Jordan Mitchell, Matty Buzanko, and Steve Jones are a family. They function as one, and when you watch them, you see them feed off each others' energy. And there's a lot of that. They bring it when they have to in a fury, they are subdued when they should be.

It's our extreme pleasure to bring The Rest back to New York for our showcase this Saturday at Cameo. The 150-ish people there when they play are going to be witnessing something incredible.

Listen: Walk On Water (Auspicious Beginnings)
Listen: With Every Heartbeat (Robyn Cover)

Official Site

Photos used with permission: ©2009, Sara Collaton (Official Site)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

'The Hush Now' is Making Some Noise

So many times when I sit down to listen to music, I look at the titles of everything before I even pop in the cd or press play on iTunes. Such was the case with Boston's 'The Hush Now,' and their track listing of songs tickled my emotional buttons before I heard a single note. Then I listened.

What is wonderful about The Hush Now is that their songs ring true to their titles, and what you get is an almost storybook weaving of tales from the tender to the
forlorn sung in the alluring voice of Noel Kelly. They aren't always songs to make you feel good, but they always make you feel. And that, to me, is the best mark I can give. I liken The Hush Now to how I felt when listening to "Cerulean" by the Ocean Blue, that same evocation of emotion. There's a crispness that lulls the listener into a trance, and transports them to a more innocent time, a different place; one that was simpler, less grays, more black and white.

Combing through the endless praise of The Hush Now, you'll see the word "dripping." A lot. There's reason for that. The music is the foundation to The Hush Now, and
off that foundation, the crooned words drip off, leaving a rippling puddle that reverberates with every song. This is what indie pop is supposed to be: a collection of music and lyrics that are relative to everyone who has gone through life, had a heart broken, been torn apart and put back together.

Now set to release their second LP in January 2010 (and believe me, it's a gem,) "The Hush Now" are growing their fan base with their signature sound. It’s dream-pop elevated, a brand of music pulled from the past and modernized with their own hook that soothes the soul and teases the heart. The Hush Now most definitely have carved their path in the ears of many, and 'Hoping and Waiting' is already winning over fans and critics alike. We're thrilled to have The Hush Now come down to play on September 26.

Listen: Hoping and Waiting
Listen: Bedtime Stories

Download the Debut LP FREE!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meeting of Important People; A Steel Curtain of Sound

I held off on this post when I learned that Meeting of Important People was playing a show with Ladybug Transistor at Union Hall. It's one thing to tout an album (which I've done quite frequently with MOIP, as I devoured the album after just one listen) and another to tell you what you you're in for for a live show.

What I (and a nice collection of others) were privy to was a sonic onslaught from a tight trio who brought a high-energy show to New York from their hometown of Pittsburgh. I had high expectations; those were blown away.

Seeing Meeting of Important People live allowed me to hear their influences more clearly, because when they played live, in one song, you could hear Brian Wilson or the Beatles, and the next would project a more raw, witty post-punk feel of say, Dead Milkmen. But it's all streamlined through a powerful indie-pop sound that's as catchy as anything I've heard this year. It was a set that left me wanting more and made me even more excited to have them back to New York for our showcase at Cameo.

Meeting of Important People have carved their niche and know themselves well as seen on their bio on their MySpace: "Haunting melodies over garage pop, mod-folk, even some dancy punk." Perfect. But there's an element to MOIP that's intangible. They have that charisma on- and off-stage that's infectious. It makes you want to know them and their music more.

What can you expect from Meeting of Important People? A lot of "wow." A lot of verve. A lot of reflection of the music they make that translates oh so well onto stage. Expect loud. Expect melodic. Expect to be floored.

Listen: I Know Every Streeet

Look for Meeting of Important People on: