Wednesday, June 22, 2011


 Face to Face have reunited following their 2004 break up to the delight of rock fans everywhere.
Their latest album Laugh Now, Laugh Later was released in May and finds Face to Face pumping out pop-punk riffs as if they never split up. Formed twenty years ago in Victorville, California, Face to Face has undergone many line up changes through out the band's history. Laugh Now, Laugh Later reunites Terver Keith with Chad Yaro, who parted with the band before 2002's How to Ruin Everything. Keith and Yaro are joined by Scott Shiflett on bass and percussionist Danny Thompson.
Download the track It's Not All About You today (June 22-23 only) free from

What You Came For

Should Anything Go Wrong

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Tulta Behm photo
 I first heard the synth rock band that is American Men on an indie compilation earlier this year. Their track Good Po-lice immediately caught my attention. Throbbing yet upbeat, American Men's music manages to sound retro and progressive all at once. Below is my interview with Claude Speed (no, not that guy) who generously took the time to speak with me about where their cryptic name came from and what's next for the Scottish four piece. Visit American Men's tumblr or LuckyMe's homepage for more American Men music and info.

Bradley: What was the inspiration behind the name American Men?

Claude Speed: There's no one answer to this, so here are some possibilities:

(1) American Men supposedly got their name by randomly selecting two pairs of numbers and looking up the corresponding page/word in a copy of Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

(2) American Men supposedly got their name by finding a phrase which would be statistically the least likely to produce a relevant result on Google.

(3) American Men supposedly got their name after weekend in Barcelona, when the members woke up unable to remember anything that had happened the night before. The only evidence of their activities was a smashed Ouija board and a grainy VHS depicting underwater pyramids and a pitched down voice chanting “American Men” over and over again.

B: How would you describe your music to our readers?
CS: Chasing the future, a hundred years too late. A sad computer imagining what Chavez sound like just from reading the wikipedia entry; failing. Reconstructing the contents of your hard drive from memory.
B: How would you describe the electronica scene in Scotland? And in Europe?

CS: There's been a lot of good electronic music in Scotland for as long as I can remember. I was fairly obsessed with Boards of Canada in the '90s and Benbecula records were doing pretty good records in the last 5 years or so. The obvious reference points in Scotland for us are LuckyMe and Numbers. They are both doing pretty awesome things.

I'm not that familiar with the electronica scene as a whole in Europe, but a lot of the music I've been into in the last few years has come from England, there's too much to mention, the Netherlands, like Beat Dimensions, Rush Hour, Kindred Spirits and Nod Navigators and Spain, such as Mweslee, BFlecha and Arkestra collective. There's also a great radio show from Athens, Greece that my girlfriend and I listen to every weekend called Black Athena. And Machinedrum just moved to Berlin!

B: Would you say it differs from the North American scene?

CS: I'm probably more attuned to the similarities between US/Canadian artists (particularly LA, New York and Montreal) and the Scottish ones than I am the differences. I think that when myspace was a big thing the concept of a geographical "scene" lost importance. People would link up online and location became way less relevant. I think the camaraderie was built up in a virtual space rather than a real one. A lot of the artists I listen to I hear about are from friends who linked up with those people online.

What is the American Men writing process?

CS: It used to be that I'd write what were essentially guitar songs, and then transpose them to synths. The idea was that those synths would sound somewhere between a distorted guitar and a Boards of Canada type sound.

Now the process is that one of us comes up with an idea for a song, sketches it out on the computer and then sends it to everyone else to comment on and work on. We all have fairly busy schedules and don't all live in the same city so that's generally the start/middle of the process for now. We do try to meet up to finish songs in person either in the studio or in my flat. We have two drummers now, hi ya Robbie, which should make the process more interesting too.

: What is coming up next for American Men?
CS: We're in the midst of writing an album to come out on LuckyMe next year. We have pretty much no idea how it's going to sound; although we've written the bones of twelve or thirteen songs that's mostly restricted to the melodies, chords and basic rhythms. So a lot of the fleshing out is still to be done. Particularly picking the right sounds. Once we're happy with 20 minutes or so of new music we'll play some low key shows I think. 

B: Is there anything I neglected to mention that you want our readers to know?

CS: 1. The new Dutch Uncles and Gang Gang Dance records are tremendous.
2. I'm doing a solo album as Claude Speed which I'm enjoying a lot and I'm hoping will be awesome.
3. Don't Ever Antagonise the Horn.

Cool World

Thursday, June 16, 2011


 The first eight minutes of True Blood's new season have been leaked (watch below) or released as promotion, whichever you choose to believe. The teaser shows that Sookie Stackhouse's fairy relatives are not as benevolent as they first appeared; in true ridiculous TB fashion. True Blood's life force may be vampires but there are many other supernatural beings lurking in the bayous of Louisiana. HBO's blood thirsty series has presented a serial killer, a maenad and werewolves as main antagonists so far. The sneak peek hints that fairies (or are these elves in the clip masquerading as fairies?) will bring the pain this time around, yet it has been reported season four will prominently feature witches in addition to delving deeper into the fairy realm. The inclusion of Wicca wretches this year stays true to Charlaine Harris' fourth book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series (which has been re-branded the True Blood series, naturally), Dead to the World. Aside from Sookie's perilous journey to another plane, there are still many questions lingering from last season's finale. Where did Tara go and will she come back to Bon Temps? How will Jason handle Crystal's deserted derelict family? Who emerges victorious in the Bill versus Sophie Anne confrontation? Viewers will learn the answers when the new season premieres June 26.

Friday, June 3, 2011


 This post began as a continuation of my post on geocentric songs. As I listened to and looked over Bon Iver's new eponymous album I noticed that many of Justin Vernon's latest songs reference cities and locations. So this post is really "10 more great geocentric songs; plus three from Bon Iver."
 Hailing from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Vernon has quickly risen out of indie obscurity to become the trendy titan to watch in a few short years. His frostily effective 2007 self-released debut, For Emma, Forever Ago, demonstrated his sweetness with tracks like Skinny Love and Flume. For Emma would secure a wider release on Jagjaguwar in 2008. The Blood Bank EP followed in 2009. The EP's title track is slow paced and haunting and remains one of his best. Blood Bank also found Vernon experimenting with auto-tune, which was met with varying critical reactions. With the exception of Flume, I tend to prefer Vernon's baritone vocals over his soprano style singing- and could do without the auto-tune altogether. Whether high, low or auto-tuned, Bon Iver's music is frequently catchy and manages to captivate. His new self-titled album is no exception.


Perth (Intro)



Sea of Japan
Earl Greyhound

New York City

California Run
Neil Nathan

Zurich is Stained  

Of Montreal
The Stills

Baltimore Blues No. 1
Deer Tick(Also see Huston, TX

Hong Kong Garden 
Siouxsie & the Banshees 
(Also see Israel

Paris Blue
Lykke Li

Talking Lynndie England
Oh No Ono

Rendondo Beach
Patti Smith