JUNE MUSIC REVIEWS

 

BE YOUR OWN PET

Summer Sensation 

(Ecstatic Peace)

Fun facts abound with Be Your Own Pet. Their average live set is 15-30 minutes long. All four band members have asthma. All four members draw their singles covers with crayons. They make their t-shirts in the kitchen with a silk screen and then personalize them with magic markers. And the disc? An unrestrained, fly-by-the-seat-of-pants, about-to-explode, chaotic mess of music. Crazy never sounded so great. Think early Le Tigre-with better vocals.

KIMYA DAWSON

Remember That I Love You 

(K)

Kimya Dawson is one of the most refreshing musicians making tunes today. Emerging from the New York anti-folk scene that came about in the early ’00s, Dawson has since proven herself as a force independent of her Moldy Peaches past (which was, on its own counts, plenty to get her by cred-wise). While the Peaches were a duo making their way on seemingly innocent charms, Dawson’s solo work is marked by her battles with inner demons. It is most clear on Remember, though, that Dawson has come out swinging. She’s stronger than ever, and the songs follow suit. Watch for ultimate charmers “My Mom,” “Loose Lips,” and “I Like Giants,” but be ready for all of the songs to put a big-hearted smile on your face.

GREEN MILK FROM THE PLANET ORANGE

City Calls Revolution 

(Beta-lactam Ring)

19:55. 7:06. 8:22. 38:07. We can let the first three slide, but a 38 minute song? NO. Crazy Japanese band’s noise opus disguised as 4 song EP! No thanks.

MECCA NORMAL

The Observer 

(Kill Rock Stars)

An album inspired by the duo’s Jean Smith’s experiences in online dating? Frickin’ fantastic! Concept-y in the best way, Mecca Normal’s12th disc is a delight-from the coy, discreet vocals, to the careful but beautiful instrumentation. Guitarist David Lester is the constant, with Smith swapping out on everything from synth to percussion to sax. You’ll think the vocals will take getting used to, but just give Smith a couple lines and you’ll be hooked. Best song title in the world: “I’m Not Into Being the Woman You’re With While You’re Looking for the Woman You Want.”

METALLIC FALCONS

Desert Doughnuts 

(Voodoo-EROS)

From the feathered masks to the black shawls, the tongue-in-cheek title to the 6.6.06 release date, it’s hard to look past Metallic Falcons as just a novelty act. The truth is, though, that despite the fact that this is the side project of CocoRosie’s Sierra Casady, it is offering something pretty crazy-originality. It’s moody, mostly-instrumental music that comes together in magical arrangements and dream-like escapes. If Casady’s past endeavors are up your alley, or if her various associations with Devendra Banhart and Tarantula A.D. intrigue, Metallic Falcons is probably something to check out.

MOUNTAIN CON

Sancho Panza 

(Hidden Peak)

It’s always baffled me why everyone thinks Mountain Con is so great. They can sell out every venue they play in Seattle and they can be hailed by local media, but I just can’t seem to understand the appeal. Mostly it’s boring and sleep-inducing. Six people should be able to make something more interesting than this.

RAINER MARIA

Catastrophe Keeps Us Together 

(Grunion)

The title track on this latest disc is so good it doesn’t matter how the rest of the album shapes up. But, lucky lucky, the rest is as good as the beginning. Catastrophe “gets” all of Rainer Maria’s years together and puts them into one fantastic musical blender. Female-lead melodic indie rock at its best.

THE ROGER SISTERS

The Invisible Deck 

(Too Pure)

First thought upon listening to track one: “One of these Roger sisters has an awfully masculine voice.” What’s that you say? Ohhh, Miyuka Furtado is singing, and he’s a dude. Got it. This disc did indeed fall through the cracks amidst releases in March, which is unfortunate because it’s really damn good. It’s spunky and punky, and when Jennifer Rogers does step up to the mic, she duals with Furtado in a way that brings him into the family perfectly (you know, like when you spar with a sibling but can’t help adoring

SMOOSH

Free to Stay 

(Barsuk)

Surely with the close proximity to Seattle, all Spokanites should have the lowdown on Smoosh by now. Two sisters from the Emerald City, heralded by the press, opening act to Death Cab for Cutie, Pearl Jam, Cat Power, countless others, 12 and 14-years old. Yeah, yeah, yeah. What you’re really thinking is, when did Smoosh get so old!? It’s true, we’ve been following them for years and, now, as their debut release on big-boy indie label Barusk arrives, it’s reason enough for some serious celebration. The smile on your face will be as big as those on Chloe and Asya’s. Yay for Smoosh!

SOUND TEAM

Movie Monster 

(Capitol)

Apparently everyone thinks releasing their album on June 6 is really funny and cute. Like the devil! Goodness! The title of this release lends itself to a relationship with its release date, but the overwhelming goodness of its tunes does not. Which is good! Sound Team’s name has been around for quite awhile now, but this is just the debut. Why do I feel I’ve been listening to them forever? I’ve never even heard them. Hype is evil. But this is good, and worth any resulting name-dropping. Synthy pop with long arrangement sensibilities (we have their past in psychedelic drone-hell to thank), Sound Team’s disc is surely one of the strongest this season.

STARS OF TRACK & FIELD

Centuries Before Love and War 

(Sidecho)

Little Portland band-that-could sticks by their lil’ label Sidecho to release BIG debut full length! Kudos, kudos, all around!

TILLY AND THE WALL

Bottoms of Barrels 

(Team Love)

The members of Tilly and the Wall are just about the cutest people pumping out music right now. Smiley, happy and upbeat, Tilly hails from our favorite musical hotspot, Omaha. In amazing company in the studio, on the road, and around their hometown, the music by default has to be amazing. And it is. Whether you missed 2004’s Wild Like Children or wore out your copy listening constantly, don’t miss the follow-up-it’s a little bit different, but just that little bit more awesome.

THE VACATION

The Vacation 

(American Recordings)

Sleazy machismo is oozing from this album cover. It is presumably lead singer Ben Tegel with the microphone tucked down his ripped denim drawers, bare chest above with leather jacket over. Trying too hard? YES. But it’s fun. Classic-y rock with the immediacy of bands that think way too much of themselves (Jet, The Hives). Purpose? Maybe not, but it’s too energetic and flat-out awesomely party-inspiring to get hung up on its shortcomings.

THE WALKMEN

A Hundred Miles Off 

(Record Collection)

The first of several releases coming this summer that excite the hell out of me (see in future months The Futureheads, French Kicks, the Long Winters). Hamilton Leithauser is easily one of my favorite frontmen, with his crackly croon and giant, intoxicating frame. It’s hard to imagine with bands as strong as the Walkmen that much in the way of “improvement” is possible from one release to the next but, watch out, Miles Off is undoubtedly the most exciting Walkmen release yet.