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   Sunday, April 17, 2005  
In theory, May is shaping up to be busy, busy:
May 4
Citizens Here and Abroad / Windmill Brixton
'Shoegazing San Franciscans and their infectious indie pop propulsion.. Catchy guitar melodies, rapid drum fire, a few keyboard bleeps and tings of a xylophone' -- for £4? Yep, that'll do nicely...
Citizens Here & Abroad / Appearances mp3

May 9 Arcade Fire / Astoria
May 10 Nina Nastasia / London Bush Hall
May 12 Go! Team (+Dungen & The Research) / Electric Ballroom
May 18 Norwich's finest, Bearsuit / London Metro
'Stop-start boy-girl twee-rock cutie-killer six-piece with everything from cinematic waltzes to catchy electro disco and hard punk screaming riot grrl noise...' [See also: Bunky]

'‘What happens when two Athens indie-rockers who love alt-country meet three alt-country Texans who love indie-rock?' Er, The Casting Couch is what happens, apparently. 'One of the most seductive introductions to a band that I've heard in a long time, filled as it is with endlessly engaging songs that have catchy melodies and a friendly demeanor, but also tap into authentic feelings of hurt.' That's Erasing Clouds on their debut EP, 5 songs...
The Casting Couch

Five songs are also all that's on offer so far from Sarah White & the Pearls on their self-release, You're it. And as this sort of thing - midtempo rootsy acoustic alt-pop - goes, it's really just about as much as this blog needs in a year. Luckily, every song here stands up.
The chunky strum of Hopin you're well kicks things off, White coming across as a more convincing Thea Gilmore maybe. With bloke-y backing vocals from, um, the blokes (Jeffrey Grosfeld bass, Steve Ingham drums) it's point is made smartly, in and out in 2mins22. Tidy.
Downhill, with echoes of Liz Phair, follows, the guys chasing the tune out at a gallop. The soft hoarseness of White's voice is attractively exposed in the becalmed mid-section of Fightin' words. Not that it'll mean much to anyone but Lemonpeeler's Michael Hayes comes to mind.
And it gets better. The initial country-folk plunk of Sweetheart turns into a memorable pop chorus sustained by White's double-tracked vocal. And closer Inside a room is the most rounded track of the lot, warm organ suffusing the electric strum and boy/girl singing; it's not quite a corker but it's not far off. So then, Sarah White & the Pearls: great name and a robustly appealing debut from this trio-plus. There's really nothing fancy here - except the tunes...
Sarah White & the Pearls / at CDBaby

Still no new tunes as yet from Haley Bonar.. she's presumably still figuring out "what's going to happen with the new record, which I finished and then aborted at the last minute". But there is a new website, at least...

But in the way of new(-ish) stuff, reallyrather heartily recommends:
Arctic Monkeys / Scummy
-a sharp slice of Sheffield life from these perky a la mode popsters..
Arctic Monkeys / Scummy mp3


Boy Omega / The best time of year
-excellent homemade folky-pop from Swedish guy Martin Gustafsson & friends from last year's debut, I name you isolation...
Boy Omega / The best time of year mp3

Catching up with The Shins: 'The band's sophomore effort, Chutes Too Narrow, has sold more than 600,000 copies. Those might not be coke-on-the-private-jet numbers, but they're definitely an amazing feat for an independent band with two albums.' [more]

Super-advance notice on the next release from SF psych-popsters Oranger.. 'twill be called New Comes and Goes and will hit the shelves September 20...
Oranger / eenie meenie records

That Pipettes reshuffle in full: farewell then Julia.. hello Gwenno!...
   posted by SMc at 8:44 AM |