Friday, May 18, 2012

Nothing to Despise on Joe Pug's sophomore

Joe Pug - The Great Despiser
Lightning Rod Records
-out now
4.5 / 5

We at the blog make no secret of the fact that we really enjoy Joe Pug. Well, mostly. On his sophomore album, the folker strums back into a sound more reminiscent of his debut EPs; acoustic, bare, laid back. And while we generally don't up-thumb an artist who doesn't develop their sound, strangely enough, there's something a bit deeper on this one. Pug masters an incredible confidence in his singing and writing, pulling off relatively simple sons such as "Silver Harps and Violins," "One of Many," and most everything else here, never droning out his listeners or losing the emotional intelligence of what he's got here. It's a tough act to put out fairly stripped songs that stand on their own legs, and much tougher to make us enjoy them more with each listen. Our single complaint is the country-crooning "Stronger than the World," which is something of a sore thumb in an incredibly serious and tight songlist. But damn! - everything else is tender, quiet, and beautiful like a fall morning. Well done, Mr. Pug. Well done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What're you doing June 6??

Hey y'all. So:

Now to bring you up to speed: Seer Group, aka, our friends behind the Boston-ish Grinding Tapes label, has put together a full-length of their own devious doing. Disclosure here's that we personally know much of the crew involved on this one, second thing is that this one certainly took a heck of a long time to put together, and was certainly effort that paid off. We think so, anyway.
So why are we throwing up this link to a space-trippy, pop turbo-charged album that came out a couple months ago? Well, 'cause we want you guys to keep open that first Wed. night in June. They've somehow managed some time between putting out tiny mtns and The Points North releases to put on a full, spacetastic ultra-stellar show here at the Middle East in Cambridge. There's a whole slew of Boston-area bands in attendance, and we wanted to give you guys a heads-up on this album, let you check it out in time to check in to the show. Make sure you ask your parents about extending your curfew, 'cause it's 8p -12:30a.
What are you waiting for! This stuff's totally nebular (???). Go put it in your ears, and hopefully we'll see you there,

PS parts of Owlpine were featured in this brilliant, life-changing film linked here

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Newport Folk Festival Update!

So! Fellow New Englanders, not only has Wilco been added to the NFF lineup on Friday night (check out, but Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes, Mystic Valley Band, et al) has another, later Friday night show at the Jane Pickens Theater because, well, he's at the Folk Fest and apparently has time to kill. It's a charming little venue (emphasis on 'little'), and we very very greatly suspect these tickets will sell out incredibly quickly; check it out right here. The tics go on sale this Friday, and we're gonna scramble downtown to pick up a pair. Strongly suggested you folks who are checking out the Folk Fest consider this show, too, while you have a chance.
For those of you not terribly familiar with downtown Newport, it's not at the festival stomping grounds: follow Broadway going south, stay stuck in traffic for a while, and when it takes a bend to the right, it's technically within sight. But you probably won't see it past the park, so, por favor, google it so you aren't wandering around for half an hour! Its camouflage is part of the local charm, yeah.
Keep on a-rockin',

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

17 Pygmies come up short (pretty good title, eh?)

17 Pygmies - CIII: Even Celestina Gets the Blues
-out now
2 / 5

The incredibly ambitious finale to the Celestina trilogy of albums finds the L.A. galactic indie rockers dabbling in the forms of the short story, screenplay, and possibly even novel to present their interstellar tale. So, yes: ambitious. And while the Pygmies certainly show a lot of enthusiasm for their material here, the listener must ask the question: Where's the beef? We put this one to our ears a couple times, and after track 4 (aptly named "Celestina XXVI"), there isn't really a whole lot beyond their songs' repetitive foundation to grip onto. That's fifteen minutes, and four tracks, of slow, ambient build; never mind the crew's lost in space until "Celestina XXX." We haven't been this frustrated with this kind of "all to show nowhere to go" since My Morning Jacket's "Circuital," though to be fair, MMJ's previous album is worthy of our worship. We do appreciate artists who go out on a limb to experiment, but at the same time, we know your money (dear readers) and time are valuable to you; that experiment should pay off before you should pay out. On this one, the Pygmies are too much in love with their own voice, and though it may have modest charms, their ambition here has blinded them to what is really a sluggish, plodding album as formless as the inky black of space itself. Take a pass on this one, 'cause it's not going to replace "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" any time soon.