No Jazz Cigarettes, just this year’s Spring Fever Mix

Not that we had a winter this year on the East Coast, but Spring is in full bloom here in Brooklyn. Post-bloom actually, which is a good thing for you allergy sufferers. And so thaws my blog which has been on deep freeze since February. So here we are with this year’s Spring Fever mix and I think it turned out pretty good! Lots of great new sounds, covering a lot of sonic territory (well, within a certain pale milieu, let’s face it). Anyway, here you go, do enjoy.


1. Shrag – Tendons in the Night
2. Veronica Falls – My Heart Beats
3. Django Django – Life’s a Beach
4. Allah-Las – Tell Me (What’s on Your Mind)
5. Scraps – Secret Paradise
6. Hollie Cook + Prince Fatty – And the Beat Goes On
7. Dent May – Best Friend
8. New Build – Do You Not Feel Loved?
9. Bear in Heaven – Cool Light
10. Tanlines – Green Grass
11. Craft Spells – Sun Trails
12. Violens – Sariza Spring
13. Dive – How Long Have You Known?
14. Lotus Plaza – Strangers
15. Lightships – Stretching Out
16. Ex Cops – You Are a Lion, I Am a Lamb
17. Crocodiles – Psychic Conversation 9
18. Ty Segall & White Fence – Easy Rider
19. Paperhead – Pictures of Her Demise
20. Spiritualized – Hey Jane
21. Richard James – Magical Day

In case you forgot how I do things, these songs are mixed together so please don’t listen to this on shuffle. It’ll sound wrong. Liner notes are after the jump

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If It’s Not Cold Outside, Visit the Ice Palace in Your Mind: Wintry Mix 2.22.2012

We haven’t had more than seven days that’ve dropped below freezing, but it is still technically winter. I keep hoping we’ll get one snowstorm before it’s over. Maybe. Here for you, there’s two bands from Finland, four from Australia, Dreams and Dreems, Cats and Cates, guitars and synths. One Dinowalrus. I think this will be the last Wintry Mix of 2012. But look for Spring Fever in April.


1. Eux Autres – Right Again
2. Gap Dream – 58th St. Fingers
3. The Megaphonic Thrift – Tune Your Mind
4. Disappears – Pre Language
5. Black Twig – Death Scene
6. Woollen Kits – Out of Whack
7. Veronica Falls – Thorn in My Side
8. Internet Forever – Centre of Your Universe
9. NZCA/LINES – Okinawa Channels
10. Metronomy – The Bay (Clock Opera Remix)
11. Dinowalrus – Burners
12. Weird Dreams – Holding Nails
13. The Chap – What Did We Do?
14. Bad Dreems – Chills
15. Cardinal – I Am a Roman Gypsy
16. Field Trip – Sleeve of the Skin
17. Young Prisms – Gone
18. The Tough Shits – Cats and Dogs
19. Cats on Fire – A Few Empty Waves
20. Cate Le Bon – Ploughing Out Pts 1 + 2

No shuffling! Click through for liner notes.
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Why So Blue?

The weather on the East Coast is now in the ’60s, the leaves are changing and Fall’s official start date is Wednesday. Might I suggest Veronica Fallsdebut album as the perfect soundtrack to the Autumn? Minor chords are strummed at a fierce jangle, dark romance sung at close harmonies, and production that sounds alive and full of space.  The album was mostly recorded live over a three day period by producer Guy Fixen, which gives the songs a real immediacy, and shows off the bands chops. And as I said before, there’s a lot of headroom too — it’s a “you are there” sound that really only works if your band can play.

The band get the C-86 tag a lot but, apart from The Velvet Underground (which has inspired 95% of all indiepop), New Zealand seems to be a bigger influence anyway. “Misery” and current single “Bad Feeling” could both be Bats songs. (The Verlaines are a clear influence too, and I bet someone in the band loves The Chills’ “Pink Frost.”) But this is not a band you really sit around playing “spot the influence” to, as you’re too busy swooning to the gorgeous melodies and Roxanne Clifford’s truly lovely voice.

There’s not a dud in Veronica Falls‘ 36 minute running time. New songs (“Misery,” “Bad Feeling,” the effervescent “The Box”) are equals to early singles “Found Love in a Graveyard” and “Beachy Head” which appear here in newly recorded versions that might actually improve on the original versions. Normally I grumble when bands put all their singles (and b-sides) on their album, but the album has very good flow. It works. (That said I hope to hear some new songs next week when they play NYC.) Lyrically, it’s all old school romance: love and death, often intertwined. Sad, but happily so. This is haunted pop, a brisk October breeze that calls for a nice cardigan.

MP3: Veronica Falls – Misery (buy the album)

If you’re on Spotify, you can listen to the whole thing.

And for a little comparison, here’s a classic from The Bats:

MP3: The Bats – Block of Wood (from Daddy’s Highway, buy the album)

Speaking of the The Bats… they have a new album, Free All the Monsters, coming out October 25 on the newly-rejuvenated Flying Nun label that is celebrating it’s 30th birthday this year.  You can stream the title track here:

In addition to the new album, Flying Nun is reissuing some of its classic catalog on vinyl, including The Bats’ Daddy’s Highway which “Block of Wood” is from. They’re also reissuing The 3D‘s 1992 ripper Hellzapoppin’. More titles revealed soon — here’s hoping we’ll get The Chills’ Submarine Bells and The Verlaines’ Bird Dog. And cross your fingers for a Bats U.S. tour, they’re great live.

And speaking of touring — back to Veronica Falls. They’ll be in North America next week. Tour dates are after the jump.

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Killer Bs: Veronica Falls – “Starry Eyes”

starry eyes indeed

It's rare when a single's a-side is bettered by the flip. Rarer still that a cover surpasses the original. But I think both those things happen with Veronica Falls' debut 7" on Captured Tracks. "Found Love in a Graveyard" made my Favorite Singles of 2009 list when it was just an MP3 floating around on the internet — indiepop at its sad, romantic best. But what a treat too see they covered Roky Erickson's "Starry Eyes" for the b-side. Roky's take (of which there are many versions) was more twangy power pop, but Veronica Falls let the lovelorn lyrics lead the understated arrangement, punctuated with ooh-wee-oohs and the fragile vocals of Roxanne Clifford and Patrick Doyle, both late of Glasgow's Royal We and Sexy Kids. Perfect for you next crush mix-tape.

MP3: Veronica Falls – Starry Eyes