Review: Amanda Palmer – “Forty-Five Degrees”

Amanda Palmer doesn’t waste much time getting going on her new record – and she doesn’t pull any punches. On the first song out of the gate on Forty-Five Degrees: A Bushfire Charity Flash Record, which is available online now on Bandcamp, she adds several timely verses to a pristine yet stark (and, at times, rattling)…

Profile: Buildings/Bummer and Microwaves/TRVSS

Noise-rock – NOUN – A type of rock music characterized by the use of dissonance or inharmonious noise, especially loud distorted guitar, amplifier noise, feedback, etc. Wet dream – NOUN –An erotic dream that causes involuntary ejaculation of semen. Noise-rock wet dream – A concert featuring Pittsburgh post-hardcore stalwarts Microwaves and TRVSS, plus touring bands Buildings and Bummer. See…

Review: MELK – S/T

It’s really easy to drink the Spencer Kilpatrick Kool-Aid. The Reno-based singer-songwriter has an amazing, even intoxicating handle on pitch-perfect period strut – in most cases, Stax-infused soul – and a smoky, emotion-damaged croon that accents and accentuates it perfectly. While his voice sounds like a cross-hatching of a bluesy John Mayer and Bill Withers,…

Review: Paracute for Gordo – “Best Understood by Children and Animals”

Post-rock boasts a long lineage of outfits driven by glassy guitars. Though birthed from the oft-unpredictable, highly surrounding-soaked likes of Talk Talk’s Laughing Stock, Television’s Marquee Moon or Slint’s Spiderland, much of what has come to define the post-rock genre, be it June of 44’s and Mogwai’s tangled multi-guitar attacks or Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s and Explosions in the…

Profile: Merce Lemon (2020)

“You think you love me. Well, look at me now.” With those simple words, softly cooed over a carefully plucked sequence of acoustic guitar notes, Bloomfield-based singer/songwriter Merce Lemon’s got you and got you good. The song expands, ever so slightly, with the addition of a restrained bass and a wash of guitar – but…

Review: Mezcla – “Shoot The Moon”

David Bowden knows how to wring some delicious elasticity from the electric bass – the key feature on his band Mezcla‘s debut LP, Shoot the Moon. As a bandleader and composer, Bowden’s breaking out with an eye (and ear) for bigger things on his first recording. And he’s doing it with some bold pronouncements. Just listen to…

Review: Phavors – “Petals”

It’s real tough to find inspiration in central New Jersey. I can vouch – I spent the bulk of my youth in suburban Monmouth County and attest to the overall blandness of the place; the running joke was, aside from havens like Asbury Park or the obvious Shore “culture”-markers, most of the municipalities were a…

Review: Raphael Weinroth-Browne – “Worlds Within”

Reconsideration, at least in this writer’s case, has been very kind to Raphael Weinroth-Browne. I was introduced last year to the Canadian cellist and post-classical composer by way of Worlds Within, the new 10-track song-cycle he plans to self-release on CD and digital platforms Jan. 24. At first blush, Weinroth-Browne’s modus operandi mimicked, at least…

Profile: String Machine (2020)

There are elements of Neutral Milk Hotel’s freak-folk,’90s slowcore, and of Montreal’s cinematic post-rock on Death of the Neon — the second LP from Pittsburgh-area ensemble String Machine — which Know Hope Records will re-release Jan. 16. But, more than that, the record is informed by a gnawing hunger: A hunger to create, yes, but also that…