Artsy Oxford, UK quartet, Ride had some damn good shoegaze chops on its early Smile E.P. which showcased the band's thundering drums, screeching guitars and charming English vocals. The band certainly won over Creation records in 1990 while it pushed the pedals to the max on its air pump guitar jams. Smile had the heart of the Jesus & Mary Chain and the musical soul and fad of the Stone Roses and My Bloody Valentine. Ride went on to release four albums in a span of six years before its official break-up in 1996. Some critics expected them to save Brit rock but their longevity and even creativity was short-lived after it's first two albums. Here are a few smokin' numbers from their Smile EP, including the dynomite-pop sizzler, "Like A Daydream," the ulta-scratchy cat's meow jam on "Chelsea Girl" and the chill bass-driven bomb, "Drive Blind."
In response to the "Black Friday" retail madness that has come to embody the Thanksgiving holiday experience every bit as much as the Turkey dinner itself, for the last 20 years Kalle Lasn and the Adbusters Media Foundation have attempted to counter the rampant blind consumerism with Buy Nothing Day. However, this year, Lasn and the Adbusters crew have decided kick things up a notch with what they're calling a "Wildcat General Strike." It seems they're worried that their anti-holiday is in danger is "losing its edge," and it's time to "reanimate it with new intensity, purpose and scale." Here's the synopsis:
We want you to not only stop buying for 24 hours, but to shut off
your lights, televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you
to park your car, turn off your phones and log off of your computer for
We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset we’ll
abstain en masse, not only from holiday shopping, but from all the
temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.
Today on RFC we're giving you real door buster savings this Black Friday Buy Nothing Day by hooking you up with a chance to get on the list for your choice of two post-holiday indie rock shows: Sam Roberts headlining a 17+ show at Subterranean or The Ataris headlining a 17+ show at Beat Kitchen. Just drop us a line at radiofreechicago(at)gmail.com with "Black Friday Madness" in the subject line and your show preference in the body for your chance to get on the list with a +1. Good luck!
Dreamy indie pop quartet, The Sundays, had a uncanny knack for crafting charming, innocent and introspective tunes in the early 1990s. The band was formed in London in 1987 by mutual friends and partners, Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin at the University in Bristol. The Sundays were heavily influenced by The Smiths and The Cocteau Twins with Wheeler's airy, school-girl vocals and tender prose and Gavurin's free-floating guitar melodies. "Can't Be Sure," the band's first single topped John Peel's Festive Fifty in 1989. While, The Sundays' second single, "Here's Where the Story Ends" a sweet, strummy smash hit that paid homage to The Smiths' "Cemetery Gates," scored big with listeners at #1 on the U.S. Modern Rock Charts. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic went gold in the U.S. as did the band's follow-up, Blind, which featured the pleasantly poppy, "Love" and the wonderful rendition of "Wild Horses," which was later featured in a pretty, horsey Budweiser commercial.
Texas folkie Ola Podrida has just released his sophomore album, Belly of the Lion, and to commemorate, Podirda's put together a video for the disc's closing track, the understated, lo-fi "This Old World". Tour dates are sure to come soon, so do your homework on Ola Podrida before he makes his way to the Midwest.
Radio Free Chicago is no stranger to Capgun Coup, having posted their song "Bad Bands" earlier in the fall. Now that the Omaha native's sophomore effort has finally hit the shelves, the band's wasted no time in hitting the road and getting more tracks on to the internet for mass consumption. Following the raw, fun track "Bad Bands", Capgun Coup has brought us "Sitting on the Sidewalk", which together show quite a bit of promise for their latest release, Maudlin.
Vaguely reminiscent of the messy, DIY rock and roll of local boy Ezra Furman with a dash of surf and Ramones-era punk thrown in, "Sitting on the Sidewalk" has served it's purpose for me by becoming a nice break in the acoustic and folk monotony I often get stuck in when Autumn in the Midwest rolls around.
In the "Awesome Tour" department, Capgun Coup is hitting the road with Cursive this fall. Don't get excited yet, though, Chicagoists, the closest the pairing is getting to your hometown appears to Iowa.Capgun Coup - Sitting On The Sidewalk
Together now for nearly two decades, experimental jazz trio Medeski, Martin and Wood continue to push the boundaries of their collective sound in surprising new directions. Renowned for their improvisational dexterity and expansive musical vocabulary, the band's exploratory live performances have always been central to their creative process. For their latest project, The Radiolarian Series, the band reversed the usual recording cycle, challenging themselves to compose and develop three albums of new material through a series of tours before entering the studio. Released throughout 2008 and '09, the resulting Radiolarians albums are infused with the energies and influences of the trio's long experience traveling and creating music together.
Hopeless romantics the House of Love (HOL) formed in London in 1986, quickly garnered praise from legendary Creation Records and released three singles and a self-titled debut album. The band named after Anais Nin's 1954 novel, A Spy in the House of Love, which depicted a tormented adulteress coming to grips with her tempestuous relations. HOL showcased a bittersweet Brit-pop sound reminiscent of post-Smiths, early Echo & the Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs.
Fontana Records signed the band to rave reviews but poor sales and tension due to drugs between guitarists Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers eventually tainted the band's progression. However, HOL's second self-titled record, (aka The Butterfly album) mystified listeners with its acoustic arsenal on "The Beatles and the Stones" proclaiming "it made it good to be alone." More upbeat and noisy guitars swirl on earlier singles "Shine On" and captivate with a clever cat-and-mouse tale of love on "I Don't Know Why I Love You." On March 2, 2009, HOL released Live at the BBC.
Hurricane Bells debut is out now on Vagrant, making it one of the late 2009 albums I want to check out.
Despite the Spanish name, El Perro Del Mar is actually a girl named Sara Assbring from Sweden. First gaining attention with her self titled album during the great Swedish revival of 2006 that brought Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks" to muzak everywhere.
After last years From The Valley To The Stars, El Perro Del Mar is back with Love Is Not Pop, a relaxed and melodic collection of songs that features a pretty cool cover of Lou Reed's "Heavenly Arms".
Bone up on your El Perro Del Mar by snagging the track before she hits the Metro on Thursday with the aforementioned Peter, Bjorn and John.