November Music Reviews


Rumble in the Jungle 1974” from a forthcoming 7” release
CASYYY! Boom-by-ay! BRIAN! Boom-by-ay! After a cancelled date last summer (Brian tore his ACL in a skateboard incident…), one of the Bay area’s coolest duos makes their much-anticipated debut in Spokane. Casy & Brian, while in Seattle, were known on the house party scene for their, what they deem, “grime punk.” The duo—two dudes, mhmm, one Casy, the other Brian, a Casio and a drum set–relocated to San Francisco a couple of years ago, where they’ve set out to inspire the same spastic dance. It’s awesome. And it’s even awesome-r in person. And now, thanks to select awesome individuals in the community, you’ll get a chance to check it out. November 28 at Caterina Winery. That means you can spastically dance away your turkey. Mmm.

We’re still here missing you (Aviation Records)
Kaylee Cole is a talent mostly unheard of on the eastern side of the state. But, gosh, Spokane, I don’t have to tell you that, right? Cole’s path to local fame has been well catalogued (on both sides of the mountains, it’s worth adding), and her star is no doubt going to continue its rise with the release of her debut full-length album. Full of the sweeping melodies and mystical lyricism with which Cole is known for intoxicating her audiences, We’re still here missing you is the latest big triumph of her burgeoning career. She’s bigger here than ever before (in sound), more confident, and all-the-more charming because of it. Watch outtt, world. Cole’s CD release show is November 8 at Caterina Winery.

“Wannabe in LA” from Heart On (Downtown)
When I casually met Jesse Hughes a few years ago, the 15 or so minute conversation we had was so flavored by “Yeah, baby”s and “That’s right, girl”s that I was mostly just tempted to skip out on the crazy redhead. But, truth be told, Hughes is actually sort of refreshing (albeit in a seeming-sexist, definitely over-the-top sort of way). He’s unapologetically having a pretty ridiculously good time with a few of his friends (most notably Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age fame), and his music is—unapologetically, and likely admittedly—pretty ridiculously… alright. But it’s catchy as hell! If you’ve hated, give it another shot. Remember, it’s totally aware of its own stupidity (don’t think that “Wannabe” in this track’s title isn’t ironic…).

Look At Life Again Soon (Take Root)
Coco, Pony and Jem are back with their second album of 60s-style fuzzy garage goodness, looking and sounding sharper than ever. I caught the always well turned-out inter-gender LA threesome at a club in Vegas a few years ago just as they were releasing their solid but very lo-fi debut, and I believe the improved sound on this one recreates their live intensity much better. Pony’s drums sound positively crushing and Coco’s vocals retain and improve upon her trademark sneering-yet-soulful-and-seductive delivery. The songs, as ever, are short, sharp and driving.

The Globes EP (self-released)
The fellas of the Globes have already proven themselves an imaginative, creative, and ambitious bunch. This EP’s first track is a great reflection of that talent. I say only the first track because, well, the copy the dudes sent over hits some hella skippiness starting mid-way through the second track. The first though, “Killers/Saints,” has me sold and intrigued (read: pissed) over those other tracks. It’s catchy and melodic without being tired, and ultimately really lovable. Lovable not so much in a cuddly way, but lovable in an obsessive, go-to-every-show, kind of way, y’know… It’s not the most kid-friendly of tune-age, which may be stunting their growth in their new home of Seattle, but I’m gonna give it some time to hit the right venues and take overrrrr.

Break Up the Concrete (Shangri-La)
Chrissie Hynde and company have added a newfound touch of Americana to their trademark melodic power pop and in the process they’ve recorded their best album in well over a decade. In some cases, as in “Love’s a Mystery,” they’ve simply countrified slightly their classic “Back on the Chain Gang”-type pop balladry, and elsewhere, as on the title track, they try their hand at up-tempo roots rock. The results of these experiments are successful more often than not, due in large part to Hynde’s strong, matured songwriting throughout. Perhaps most interesting is the jazzy “Almost Perfect,” in which Chrissie shows us her sultry side.

Matador Singles ‘08 (Matador)
Ever since Memphis-based Jay Reatard signed with Matador early this year, he’s been turning out seven inch singles of his usual lo-fi garage punk-pop at an alarmingly fast rate. Now Matador has complied those tunes, plus a bonus track, and released them as a cohesive album. Reatard writes and plays everything himself, and his recordings sound as though they were laid down on an old four-track in his garage, but his adamantly do-it-yourself spirit belies a distinctive pop sensibility that distinguishes him from the vast sea of crappy punk out there. There are even a few quality moments of acoustic balladry to be found on the album.

“Nickels and Dimes” from Underhanded Romance (Eenie Meanie)
One week prior to Casy & Brian’s entry into Spokane, you’ll be treated to the local debut of anotherrrr San Francisco gem, one Scissors for Lefty! This track from last year’s amaaaazing debut LP, reps SFL’s pop prowess at its best. The band is self-releasing a new EP on this Northwest tour, which we’ve not yet had the pleasure of previewing, but believe, through our past experiences with the band, will be fantastic. This band is impossible to resist. Seriously. The smilin’ Garzas and Krimmels knock your socks off on November 22 at the Blvd, with headliners Shim and guests.

Secret Machines (TSM)
On their first album since the departure of guitarist/vocalist Ben Curtis and the addition of former Tripping Daisy guitarist Phil Karnats, the Secret Machines sound as though they haven’t lost a step in their ability to turn out Paisley Underground-style neo-psychedelia mixed with arena rock bombast. Their combination of crushing guitars, huge drums and trippy, meandering, melodic song craft at times reminds me of nineties cult favorites Hum but with better vocals. Perhaps the best track is “The Walls Are Starting to Crack,” wherein they slow things down to a crawl and come up with an effectively creepy, haunted vocal melody before letting the song devolve momentarily into an atonal freakout that would make Syd Barrett proud.

Futuristically Speaking: Never Be Afraid (Domino)
Tampa, Florida’s finest foul-mouthed lesbian hip-hop duo have finally released their debut album after plugging away in the underground for years. Having signed with UK-based Domino records, Yo Majesty enlisted the aid of several heavyweight European dance producers—including Basement Jaxx, CLP and Hard Feelings UK—who created old school Miami bass-inspired beats for the project over which MCs Jwl B. and Shunda K. spit their highly skilled, rapid fire rhymes. The lyrical content is all over the map, but partying hard seems to be a common thread throughout.


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