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   Friday, April 04, 2008  
First things first - and they don't get much firster, quite frankly - Centro-matic! Make that Centro-matic+tiny venue+15 minutes away! Yes, Matt, Mark, Will and Scott, Texas' best and longest-kept secret come to The Windmill in Brixton on the 19th. In the no-man's land between indie-rock and alt-c they've marked out their territory over at least half-a-dozen super-consistent albums. Will's dense, idiosyncratic wordsmithing and crashing, leadball-swinging electric guitar anthems are highly distinctive but the most telling motif may be Scott Danbom's keening harmonies. Also appearing as the pair's whisky-soaked alternate identity South San Gabriel and touting new split double-album Dual hawks, six quid ain't gonna buy you anything better all year...
[centro-matic][the new stuff on myspace]

Not sure what website Virb is all about or how long it's been around but it hosts some good music and whole albums in their entirety. There's that Bon Iver record, for instance, and the last from The Weepies, Say I Am You. And, most excellently, there's Little wars, the latest from indie instrumentalists Unwed Sailor. Don't let the 'Alternative / Experimental / Progressive' tags put you off, this is (more) emminently accessible bass-led melodic magic from Johnathan Ford and his latest cohorts. They were spectacular live a couple of years back in Shoreditch and would fit right in at, say, Latitude or The End of the Road (nudge nudge etc)...
[unwed sailor on virb]

And talking of The Weepies, this most perspicacious folk-pop duo put out their third release Hideaway on April 22. The previous full-length has lost little of it's bittersweet clear-eyed appeal over the past couple of years so will Deb Talan and Steve Tannen be able to clear the bar they raised this time round? Their myspace offers a few sample tracks; reallyrather is relaxed...
[the weepies][on myspace]

Songwriters surely know when they've really nailed one - everything falling beautifully into place, the chord changes, melody and structure all just so. Someone like Deb Talan would surely doff her woolly hat to the precious prettiness of Rosie Thomas' Kite song. Proving themselves way more dextrous tunesmiths than kite-fliers, for no particular reason here's the vid featuring Rosie and friends Denison Witmer and Sufjan Stevens:

And in a welcome Denison Witmer update, seems he's bought a pad, a cute little Danelectro and is a-crackin' on with the next album. Nice!

Ace indie-popsters My Sad Captains released another couple of tracks on vinyl last week. This blog tagged All hat and no plans a minor classic a couple of years back - make your own mind up over hear. Meanwhile band leader Ed Wallis' unleashes his overweening ambition in a recent interview with Soundsxp: 'We are yet to make that leap into gratuitous riders. We are usually too pathetic to ask for anything and we need a hard nut manager to force through our unreasonable demands for us'. Phew, etc...
   posted by SMc at 8:02 AM |