Friday, June 29, 2012

1994: Top 50 Singles

1994... it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The alternative dream slowly collapses but leaves a trail of wonderful music behind. 

One of the finest moments of the year came right at the end, when Throwing Muses released "Bright Yellow Gun", a ray of bright sunshine in the heart of December. The song is one of the catchiest pop moments from the pen of the ever prolific Kristin Hersh and at the same time features some of her wildest guitar playing.

Other equally worthy candidates for Single of the Year of 1994 included Hole's signature tune "Miss World", Veruca Salt's anthemic "Seether", the gleeful heartbreak of Sebadoh's "Rebound" and the astonishing collaboration of the Inspiral Carpets with The Fall's Mark E. Smith for "I Want You", the track that topped John Peel's Festive 50 of 1994.

Here's our Top 10 Singles of 1994 - click here for the complete Top 50:

1.   Bright Yellow Gun - THROWING MUSES
2.   Miss World - HOLE
3.   Seether - VERUCA SALT
4.   Rebound - SEBADOH
6.   Supersonic - OASIS
7.   Sabotage - BEASTIE BOYS
9.   Bull In The Heather - SONIC YOUTH
10. Connection - ELASTICA

Listen to most of our 1994 favourites by pressing play below:

1994 Singles by ody on Grooveshark

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Found Sound 5 with Bruxa, LAw, La Femme, Young Hines, Dead Leaf Echo, The Paellas

It took a while, but Found Sound is back once again with a handful of fine tunes selected among several submissions from promising new artists around the globe as well as other discoveries through the various social media outlets out there. If you have a tune you think we might like, you can reach Cool Music Central through facebook, twitter, soundcloud, or or even drop us a line to the address here. We can't answer to all of your emails but you can rest assured that we'll listen to your music and our favorite songs will be the subject of a future Found Sound post. So let's get started with Volume 5:

Bruxa - V∆!

Last August Portland post-witch-house synthpunks Bruxa dropped the limited edition cassette "Eye On Everybody" (listen here). This was the intriguing first part of a trilogy that will continue with the release of a second EP on Sweating Tapes sometime this summer. As "V∆!" shows with its combination of horror hip-hop beats, Front 242-style menacing synths and Sly and Robbie references, Bruxa are putting their dancing shoes on for this one. You should also check out the awesome Nightmare Fortress remix available as a free download here.

LAw - Conscious Warriors

We first introduced you to the electro - hip hop - beat experiments of Los Angeles DIY artist LAw in the previous edition of Found Sound. Last month LAw returned with the release of his self produced album "Experimental Imagination" which you can hear in its entirety here. The 12 songs on the album were chosen among a hundred other compositions and we've picked one of our favorites, "Conscious Warrior", to present for your listening pleasure here.

La Femme - Paris 2012

La Femme is a mysterious new wave and surf rock influenced six-piece from Paris, France. Check out below the excellent sci-fi video for their latest release "Paris 2012”, their second single, and go here to listen to their fine debut EP "Le Podium #1".

Young Hines - Can't Explode

Here's something for fans of Brendan Benson or Jack White. Georgia native Young Hines was discovered by Brendan Benson when he happened to listen to one of his demos which some of Young's friends were playing while they were painting Benson's house. The result of this happy accident was Benson producing Young Hines' album "Give Me My Change" which came out this spring on Readymade Records in the US and Lojinx in Europe. Have a listen to the rockin' "Can't Explode" above and check out the video here.

Dead Leaf Echo - Act of Truth

New York indie rockers Dead Leaf Echo are about to release their debut LP "Thought & Language" on Custom Made Music, mixed by John Fryer and with artwork by Vaughan Oliver (frequent 4AD collaborators both). The dreamy "Act of Truth" is a non-album track which will be released as a split single with Slowness, out on June 26 via Greenfuse Records.

The Paellas - Lights / Long Night Comes

When I first read the name The Paellas I naturally assumed they were Spanish. They are actually a lo-fi indie pop band from Osaka, Japan who recently released as a free download the lovely single "Lights / Long Night Comes", the second of which is my favorite, sounding like a long lost Sarah Records b-side.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Thee Oh Sees, live @ An Club (Athens, June 4, 2012)

Pure rock'n'roll energy and manic garage-pop thrills is what we got in the first ever Athens show by Thee Oh Sees. The San Francisco band has always been very prolific but as their most recent album "Carrion Crawler/The Dream" proves, they are currently at the top of their creative powers which translates in some truly inspiring live gigs, blessed by the holy spirit of rock'n'roll. Amen!

John Dwyer's quartet delivered with unique fervor a deafening 90-minute psychedelic garage sermon which kicked off with the tremendous "The Dream", one of the new album's highlights, and never lost any steam 'till the two-song encore which sealed off a tremendous night, thoroughly enjoyed by the wildly enthusiastic crowd.

Local psychedelic krautrock heroes Baby Guru (read also here) opened the show with a tight 45-minute set that added value to the whole experience. Good rock'n'roll vibrations to fight off the New Great Depression blues!

Here's a taste from Thee Oh Sees performance at An Club: this is a brand new track called "Lupine Dominus"  from the forthcoming album "Putrifiers II" where a touch of krautrock groove is applied for some extra propulsion to the garage rock mayhem. Check out also the amazing way in which John Dwyer's vocals intertwine with Brigid Dawson's - a fine combination that proves to be one of the band's greatest strengths. 

Thee Oh Sees - Lupine Dominus, live @ An Club (June 4, 2012)

Baby Guru, live @ An Club (June 4, 2012)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

New Releases: May 2012

Round up of the most interesting albums and singles released in May 2012 (fun fact: did you know that "Bloom"'s album cover glows in the dark?):


BEST COAST - The Only Place
2:54 - 2:54 
CHROMATICS - Kill For Love
EL-P - Cancer 4 Cure
SANTIGOLD - Master of My Make-Believe
LAUREL HALO - Quarantine
SILVERSUN PICKUPS - Neck of the Woods
THE CRIBS - In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull
OFF! - Off!
GRASS WIDOW - Internal Logic
LED ER EST - The Diver
LIGHT ASYLUM - Light Asylum
THE SCHOOL - Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything
SMOKE FAIRIES - Blood Speaks
REGINA SPEKTOR - What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
HERE WE GO MAGIC - A Different Ship
DZ DEATHRAYS - Bloodstreams
FUTURE OF THE LEFT - The Plot Against Common Sense
SOULSAVERS - The Light The Dead See
NIKI & THE DOVE - Instinct
BIRTHMARK - Antibodies
KING TUFF - King Tuff
CITIZENS! - Here We Are
MOUNT EERIE - Clear Moon
GARBAGE - Not Your Kind of People
CORNERSHOP - Urban Turban
SAINT ETIENNE - Words And Music By Saint Etienne 
GAZ COOMBES - Here Come The Bombs
RICHARD HAWLEY - Standing At The Sky's Edge
SUN KIL MOON - Among the Leaves
SIGUR RÓS - Valtari
LAw - Experimental Imagination
YOUNG HINES - Give Me My Change
THE ELECTRONIC ANTHOLOGY PROJECT - The Electronic Anthology Project of Dinosaur Jr.

Singles & EPs

The Only Place
BEST COAST - The Only Place
METRIC - Youth Without Youth
FRIENDS - Mind Control
LIARS - No 1 Against The Rush
JAPANDROIDS - The House That Heaven Built
GUIDED BY VOICES - Class Clown Spots a UFO (mp3 via Stereogum)
THE BLACK KEYS - Dead And Gone
SCHOOL OF SEVEN BELLS - The Night (mp3 via Stereogum)
THE SHINS - The Rifle's Spiral
jj - jj n° 4 (Beautiful Life mp3 via Stereogum)
THIS MANY BOYFRIENDS - (I Should Be A) Communist
NIKI & THE DOVE - Tomorrow
DZ DEATHRAYS - Dollar Chills
I CHING - It's Me / Drive
DIAGRAMS - Ghost Lit
RICHARD HAWLEY - Leave Your Body Behind You
PAUL WELLER - When Your Garden's Overgrown

Laurel Halo @ Bios (Athens, 27/5/2012) presenting live her debut LP "Quarantine"

Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Afghan Whigs, live @ Vox (Athens, May 29, 2012)

The last week of May turned out to be a major '90s flashback trip for me. It began by spending several hours listening to singles from 1993 for our latest ’90 Top 50 list and then The Afghan Whigs rolled into town for the fourth show of their reunion tour which kicked off in New York just a few days before. And then came the weekend with live streaming from Barcelona’s Primavera Sound festival where The Afghan Whigs were once again among the protagonists, playing along several other legends of '90s indie rock including Mudhoney, Mazzy Star and Archers Of Loaf. Without a doubt, the '90s are back in a big way and The Afghan Whigs are leading the charge!

Although I’m not particularly fond of reunions and reliving the “good old days”, I think that if a band feels that it can still do justice to its old material and there is an audience out there willing to pay good money to see that, then they should definitely go ahead and give it one more try. And after seeing last Tuesday what The Afghan Whigs are still capable of doing, I must say that in their case it would have been criminal neglect not to reform. After all with such a stellar back catalog which boasts not just one or two but four of the greatest rock albums of the '90s, I think it would be very difficult to make a botch job of this reunion.

16 of the 19 tracks that Greg Dulli, John Curley and Rick McCollum presented along with Dave Rosser, Rick Nelson and Cully Symington who complete the 2012 version of The Afghan Whigs, came from those four albums released between 1992 and 1998, with "Black Love" and "Gentlemen" rightly having the lion’s share and "Congregation" along with "1965" contributing a few of their key tracks.

The three non-album tracks that completed the stunning 95-minute set were all soul and r’n’b covers - not surprising given Dulli’s love for these genres and the influence they have had on his work. The covers included The Supreme’s hit "Come See About Me", from the "Uptown Avondale" EP, as well as two new entries in the band’s repertoire, Marie "Queenie" Lyons’ "See And Don't See" (available as a free download here) and Frank Ocean’s "Love Crimes". These two covers along with "Fountain and Fairfax" and "Miles Iz Dead" made up the encore of a truly breathtaking performance from a band that proved that it can still perform with the same fire and passion as it did in its early '90s heyday. And given that Dulli’s songwriting still remains strong as proven by his recent work with The Twilight Singers and the one-off collaboration with Lanegan as The Gutter Twins, I think that they should seriously consider taking this reunion to the next level: into the recording studio to add another chapter to a most remarkable story that deserves much wider recognition and success than what it got the first time around.

Here’s the night’s complete set list - all killer no filler:

1. Crime Scene, Part One
2. I'm Her Slave
3. Uptown Again
4. What Jail Is Like
5. Blame, Etc.
6. When We Two Parted/Dead Body
7. Gentlemen
8. Come See About Me (Supremes cover)
9. Crazy
10. My Enemy
11. 66
12. Debonair
13. Bulletproof
14. Summer's Kiss
15. Faded

16. See And Don't See (Marie "Queenie" Lyons cover)
17. Love Crimes (Frank Ocean cover)
18. Fountain and Fairfax
19. Miles Iz Ded / Into the Floor

The Afghan Whigs - My Enemy, live @ Vox (Athens, May 29, 2012)

Support came from one of the best Greek rock bands of the '90s, the also recently reunited Bokomolech, who have already taken that next step into the recording studio for the album "Mass Vulture". They successfully mixed their old classics with the new material adding even one or two brand new, so far unreleased tracks, proving that once you get the ball rolling again there is no stopping to the creative flow.

Bokomolech, live @ Vox