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Lights On releases their debut album ‘Here Comes The Ocean’

San Diego rockers Lights On

Post punk rockers Lights On have just released their debut album 'Here Comes The Ocean'. The San Diego based band has a touch of 80's New Wave, but still remains uniquely moden. It's just too bad they're currently playing some dates in New York before returning home at the end of the month.

You can download their song 'Redlights Flashing' right here. Check out the full album or watch them back in San Diego on July 31st at the Casbah.

How more quirky can you get? Mirror Mirror at McCarren Park, 07.14

Not everybody likes quirky music - we do, in particular when the quirkness is supported by some good ideas and interesting songs. Mirror Mirror is the electro-psych-rock brainchild of three sick Brooklynites - sick in the head, of course. We are honestly having a hard time finding musical comparisons for these guys - there's some early Pere Ubu maybe, early Pink Floyd at times, Peter Gabriel?? We couldn't help but welcome this borderline wacky video with a smile, but check out also the rest of the material on their myspace page, as there are some more organic songs that deserve to be heard. The band will play McCarren Park on 07.14 at 6.15.

PPALMM "Cal-Aesthetics"

We might be in a new golden age of underground electronic music, call it what genre you will. Glo-fi, chillwave, psychrock: sexy names that never quite do justice to the music they’re meant to describe. You’d think an entire generation of American youth was mainlining Robotussin while nodding off over a Moog in a sepia-tinted bedroom. But if all these kids were really huffing computer cleaner, you’d hardly get the choice selection of well-crafted, just-enough-polished electronica that we have today. Acts like Blackbird Blackbird, Pollination, Toro Y Moi, Truman Peyote and Boston’s PPALMM are putting out impossibly ready-to-play music that peels off into experimental directions while still maintaining a pop sensibility. Not all of these acts are touring, or even gigging; many remain bedroom wunderkinds. But it’s a sign of overall fertility that these acts are flowering in the absence of extensive club support. If the music is good, everything else follows. PPALMM’s Cal-Aesthetics is the latest crown of laurels on the brow of this burgeoning scene that’s going to outlive its half-snarky glo-fi label.


The tracks from Cal-Aesthetics hew more to the techno end of the spectrum, away from the warped tape warblings of a Neon Indian. In fact, the overall sound is pretty clean, though dense and detailed. There’s no magnetized tape stressing here to produce that half-step hurky-jurky fade-in/fade-out rhythm that’s so popular these days. PPALMM sneaks in rhythm the “old fashioned” way, with artfully constructed samples and beats. Tracks ‘New Nostalgia’ and ‘Revel’ bring to mind middle period Aphex Twin. The latter especially invokes the heavier, dirrrtier house sounds of Richard D. James in his UK club mode. The medium tempo ‘_outherewithme_’ and ‘elec_TR_olling’ have a leisurely pace and subtlety reminiscent of Endtroducing-era DJ Shadow. All great tracks, but the heart and soul of Cal-Aesthetics is probably ‘Acid Cops’, a techno-thriller that harkens back to the straightup house grinders of the early 90s while infusing the sampling vocabulary with digital treats those pre-Macbook luddites could hardly have fathomed.


PPALMM is probably one of those underground acts that trends more towards the bedroom wunderkind at this point. Though the man behind the music Paul Morse (Paul M. = PPALMM- get it?) has gigged regular in the Boston area, and been on some great bills with Toro Y Moi, Das Racist, Truman Peyote and Class Actress, you get the feeling that outside of New England PPALMM is an unknown quantity. Cal-Aesthetics should change this and hopefully open a few doors. It’s a good thing to hear music from this special scene that doesn’t lean hard on the warbled tape, tremolo-ed “chill thump” to grab the listener’s attention. The “chill thump” could become the new disco beat- played out, lamed out- if people don’t watch out. But if it does, PPALMM will be high and dry with an album that visits Chillville, yet, thankfully, doesn’t live there.


Download "Cal-Aesthetics" for free here.


--Mike Gutierrez


Blood Under the Bridge

Blood Under the Bridge is the third release and second full-length by Bottomless Pit. The album will be released by Comedy Minus One on August 10th. Our first peek at the album is a song called “38 Souls”.

Drag Show Concert @ French Quarter

Friday night was all kinds of classy at the French Quarter Café, where a drag show-themed concert took place. The night was hosted byThe Aeronauts, and featured performances by local bands,The Little BearJunkyard Girls, Pushy Lips, and Lazy Susan. Things started off early around 7 pm with a performance by the new Infinity Cat band, The Little Bear. Imagine the combined voices of Fiona Apple and Leigh Nash, but singing pretty, pop/alt-rock—somewhere along the lines of Vedera or A Fine Frenzy.  I only caught their last song—something about a parachute—but it was good enough to make me want to investigate their next show more thoroughly. (It will be on July 28th at The End). After Little Bear’s set, there were a number of people scuttling around in drag, which was piquing everyone’s interest for the next band, Junkyard Girls. The Nashville experimental/ambient/singer/songwriter group was only in duo form, featuring lead singer/pianist, Aaron Phipps, and violinist, Caroline Yoder. Clad in a sensible navy blue and white, polka-dotted dress and Kelly green wig, Phipps oozed the quiet drama of Dame Judi Dench, as he serenaded the audience with autobiographical ballads about intimacy in its many forms, in addition to some real talk concerning drugs, politics, and aliens. Compared to previous Junkyard Girls shows, it was clear that several of the songs had been revamped a bit, such as “The Intimacy Is Absent,” “Fantosmia,” and “Aliens.” The trusty, “Tell’Em I Sent You” was played with a Latin-infused, bossa feel, created by Phipps on the autoharp, and the dramatic melodic enhancements of Yoder’s violin playing. “Caged Bird,” was a new one, and interestingly enough, sounded like something that came off of Beach House’s second album. Any sort of finalized ensemble formation has been long-awaited, although the acoustic setup was good for Junkyard Girls because it showcased Phipp’s voice and his lyrics, which seem to be his strong points. Speaking of points, that’s when it was time for me to skedaddle. This was unfortunate, because I foolishly missed the other bands, (especially the Aeronauts, who sound like Muse), and didn’t get to participate in the high-heeled drag racing. Get it?! Drag racing? Oh well—better luck next time.—Erin Manning

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