Mikal Cronin – Tide 7"
Mikal Cronin broke out of the background of the garage punk underground with a wonderful solo debut this year and its been a constant on the RSTB turntable ever since. Not one to rest easy, Cronin is back already with a new single for
Goner; two new gems very much in the vein of the LP. The A-Side is a bit tighter and buzzier than his standard fare but still catchy as hell. The B-Side's a breezy bit of pop that conjures summer breezes and carefree days. It goes without saying that we're primed for what Cronin does next and with all the critical praise rolling in for the Trouble in Mind album it seems that he'll have plenty of options. Pick this one up while you can!

Listen: Mikal Cronin - You Gotta Have Someone

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posted by dissensous at 8:24:00 AM 0 comments


U.S. Girls

Well as best of lists abound here at the end of the year, there naturally arise albums that we overlooked in the last 12 months (there are many, we're sure). Meghan Remy's latest turn as U.S. Girls definitely falls under this category. U.S. girls on KRAAAK is Remy's most pop effort to date, even including a cover of Brandy and Monica's "The Boy is Mine" that comes off like a dark love call from the shadows. Its proof that Remy can't be pinned down by the expectations of noise pop. She bounces from soul to country to pop all filtered through the dark, lonesome corners of her semi-lo-fi trappings. But even those could be lifted in the future. It seems U.S. Girls aren't tied to any aesthetics and she certainly won't let anyone paint her into a corner. If you haven't gotten your hands on this one, its about time.

[MP3] U.S. Girls - Island Song

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 8:47:00 AM 0 comments


Pop. 1280

Pop. 1280 bring the same visceral crunch to their full length that they unleashed on their first Sacred Bones EP. The band's world view seems to have grown no brighter in the intervening months, still grounded in the dystopian notions of a post-punk post-apocalyptic future. The band's core of Chris Bug and Ivan Lip still traverse the scorched remains of their mythical world, "The Grid" and it seems that the reigns have only been pulled tighter and the body count only grown higher over time. The Horror is wrought with chewed glass rhythms and tar caked melodies that burn as much as they bind. Damn fine work and a hell of a follow-up to one of our favorite EPs from the last few years. Now if you'll excuse us, we've got an overwhelming urge to queue up Blade Runner, Logan's Run and The Running man and maybe cap it off with a trip to the Thunderdome.

[MP3] Pop. 1280 - Bodies in the Dunes

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posted by dissensous at 12:25:00 PM 0 comments


Veronica Falls - Six Covers

Veronica Falls certainly charmed our hearts this year and their record was certainly one of our favorites. The band has an uncanny knack for folding in influences while sounding tip-of-the-tongue nostalgic without fully recalling past records. They have that charming ability to make you yearn for the originals like they do and in that very same vein, they're also awesome in the covers department. Unfortunately this is long out of press but rapidly filling up the ebay shelves (ahem if anyone needs a last minute x-mas suggestion for me). On this limited run, aptly titled Six Covers the band rope in their now famous Roky Erikson cover with additional homages to The Rolling Stones, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The Verlaines, Slumber Party and The Eurythmics. The set's popped up digitally here and there but its well worth seeking out if you can.

[MP3] Veronica Falls - Thorn In My Side

Discogs: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 3:29:00 PM 0 comments


Golden Calves

It's no secret that we're fairly large Wooden Wand fans around here but due to timing, RSTB's documentation doesn't span much further back than the Vanishing Voice days. Well now, thanks to Woodsist, the world's getting another chance to check into Toth's early days as Golden Calves. Money Band LP + Century Band 12" collects the early days of Toth's first LP recorded at a practice space called The Cave in Purchase NY. The album's got a noise/free folk strain running through it that recalls (admittedly by Toth) a debt to Jandek, Tower Recordings and The Godz. It's definitely the sound of someone enraptured by where music can lead a listener. It's full of underground echoes and tonal studies crusted with the lonesome whisper of noise shadows. The album caught the ear of quite a few underground critics and appreciators including Byron Coley, Clint Simonson from De Stijl and Thurston Moore; the latter of which Toth would release a three-way split with. This split is also included in the release and show's Toth pushing his boundaries even further.

For those as caught up as we are in the WW/VV axis and trajectory this remains as a key part of the puzzle finally available to fans but its just as enticing to any and all who've gotten hooked on Jandek or Tower Recordings over the years. This one's limited (though not as much as its original run, naturally) so best not to sleep on this one.

[MP3] Golden Calves - Mod Bacteria (for Fred Neil)
[MP3] Golden Calves - In The Centre Of The Ring They Are Torturing A Bear

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 1:34:00 PM 0 comments


The Boys - Alternative Chartbusters
The Boys had a habit of always being declared on the brink of stardom and always falling short. Their first album mixed punk's edge and pop's bounce into a potent kicker of an album. Their second,
at the time, was somehow dismissed as sounding derivative of themselves. Though in later years it’s become something of a fetishized power pop gem (and rightly so). This reissue not only wraps up the great full album release but some great b-sides and even one of their holiday stints as "The Yobs". Some lineup changes after their third album led to rocky territory and after '81 the band drifted apart. But their reputation remained solid and eventually demand produced a series of reunions. Naturally this one is essential to any fans of the late 70's early 80's punk/power pop axis.

[MP3] The Boys - Do The Contract Hussle

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

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posted by dissensous at 8:30:00 AM 1 comments


Nothing People

Nothing People are always a welcomed return around here. The band has a proven knack for churning out dark punk deconstructions that somehow still seem to bury a few pop nuggets in the rubble. Smells Like Metal is no exception in that regard; a post-fallout, charred embers laden rocker with their pitch perfect nods to The Twinkeyz and Chrome fully intact. In dire times (or modern times actually) Nothing People's dark, squirming brand of rock seems to make sense. They brandish squall and anxiety like weapons against the ever encroaching tide of the world. They turn their backs on the light and embrace the coming darkness. Someday more than a few parties on the detention block will be soundtracked by their acerbic sweat. And you know that's just fine with us.

[MP3] Nothing People - Cathode Ray Tube / Gut Wind

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 9:39:00 AM 0 comments


Instant Action @ K&M in Williamsburg

If you're up for a night of garage, power pop, glam and 70's era punk and you're in the NYC area, come on out to K&M in Williamsburg tonight where I'll be DJing the second of what will hopefully a monthly series.

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posted by dissensous at 9:55:00 AM 0 comments

The Steve Adamyk Band

After getting sick of the bands he was in imploding, breaking up or dissolving Adamyk (Million Dollar Marxists) went for the self-monikered setup, which seems like a damn fine idea. Revolving players? No problem, as long as you remain the core, your name lives on! Adamyk's initial efforts quickly sold out and the sophomore release for Dirtnap is just as infectious as the early singles and album. Rolling the shattered remains of 80's power pop, 90's garage and recent shreds of garage punk together into a whirlwind of catchy melodies and enough guitar crunch to rot your teeth. The Ottawaians (is that a word? It is now) definitely know their garage pop turf and even pay some homage to past masters with a Dickies cover on the second side. Winter needs a few fun releases like this, if nothing else to keep the blood moving and melt away the chill. A recommended addition to your December.

[MP3] Steve Adamyk Band - Landslide

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 9:19:00 AM 0 comments


The Chords - So Far Away
It's no secret that we've got an affinity for the loves of John Peel around here, so the fact that The Chords recorded not one but two Peel sessions early on in their career comes as a major plus. Growing out of the 70's Mod revival
in the UK, the band was a favorite of Paul Weller and Sham69. They signed themselves to the latter's production company but fell out soon after over some of the personal opinions of Sham's Jimmy Pursey. The split with Pursey led the band to an album for Polydor which was well received. Despite the critical praise the band has come to be dismissed by some latter day critics as merely a Jam copycat, but the band's sneering lyrics were often far more critical of mother England than their predecessors. Sadly the band split shortly after a falling out at a show in 1980 and despite a short lineup substitution, they were never able to recover momentum. This, however, stands as a prime example of their contributions to the fertile grounds of British punk.

[MP3] The Chords - Maybe Tomorrow

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE

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posted by dissensous at 9:50:00 AM 1 comments


2011 turned out to be a really fun year for music. The RSTB top 20 is full of our favorites from the past year (in no particular order whatsoever). It seems like the list weighs heavily on the garage track but then again it was a particularly great year for the genre. If you've been keeping an eye on Raven over the past year most of the picks should come as no surprise. Some great new favorites angling their way into our hearts (Veronica Falls, Wax Idols, Barreracudas, The Caretaker, Mazes, Mikal Cronin) and plenty of past faves putting in some of their best efforts yet (Bare Wires, Woods, Peaking Lights, Sic Alps, Jacuzzi Boys, Grouper, Real Estate, etc.) We've collected a mix from the whole lot that you can stream below.

RSTB Top 20 of 2011:

Veronica Falls - Veronica Falls (Slumberland)
Mikal Cronin - Mikal Cronin (Trouble In Mind)
The Barreracudas - Nocturnal Missions (Douchemaster)
Bare Wires - Cheap Perfume (Southpaw)
Woods - Sun And Shade (Woodsist)
Peaking Lights - 936 (Not Not Fun)
Sic Alps - Napa Asylum (Drag City)
Wooden Shjips - West (Thrill Jockey)
Moon Duo - Mazes (Sacred Bones)
Jacuzzi Boys - Glazin' (Hardly Art)
Grouper - Alien Observer/Dream Loss (Yellow Electric)
The Caretaker - An Empty Bliss Beyond This World (HAFTW)
ADR - Solitary Pursuits (Public Information)
Ty Segall - Goodbye Bread (Drag City)
Wooden Wand - Briarwood (Self-Released/Fire)
Mazes - A Thousand Heys (FatCat)
The Skull Defekts - Peer Amid (Thrill Jockey)
Wax Idols - No Future (HoZac)
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo (Matador)
Real Estate - Days (Domino)

Support the artists. Buy RSTB 2011 favorites HERE.
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posted by dissensous at 12:26:00 PM 5 comments

Video: Wax Idols

Wax Idols have been one of our favorite new bands this year. Heather Fedewa and co.'s album No Future has spent a considerable amount of time on the turntable and now they've worked up a nice video accompaniment to standout track "Gold Sneakers". Check it out above and pick up No Future HERE if you haven't already.
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posted by dissensous at 11:11:00 AM 1 comments


Jakob Olausson

Jakob Olausson's been pretty quiet for the last few years. His album Moonlight Farm arose out of the Swedish countryside as a surprise jewel amongst an onslaught of psychedelic folk at the time of its release. Olausson's record felt ripped out of time, a lost artifact from the private press era, hung quickly with labels like loner folk and lost classic. That same feeling of stumbling on a hushed treasure from a lost soul is readily apparent from the first listens of Morning and Sunrise. Olausson, it seems, has kept the world's influences at bay and wrung out another soul weary album of folk songs from his dusted strings. Songs that seem destined for dawn reflections and lonesome meditation. Its easy to see why the current folk elite have praised Olausson for so many years (he's opened in the past for Wooden Wand, been written up by Ben Chasney and stands to open for Woods next year), there seems to be a kindred spirit in his attention to folk's past. His ability to channel echoes of Skip Spence or Gary Higgins feel effortlessly timeless in an age when genrefication seems to date everything. As I said earlier this week, don't count 2011 done yet. There are still more surprises at the end of the year.

Listen: Jakob Olausson - Riding on the Wind

Support the artist. Buy it: HERE
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posted by dissensous at 10:07:00 AM 0 comments


Vladislav Delay

The latest album from Sasu Ripatti's Vladislav Delay comes close on the heels of his last, one which broke the mold he's set and ventured further into jazz and power electronics than ever before. Vantaa on the other hand is just what we've come to love from the Finnish artist; full of dub-wise atmospherics and skittering beats. Its an edgy (in the paranoid sense, not the buzz-word sense), minimal wonderland that draws the listener into its mechanical, acetic charms. It seems that Ripatti's time with Moritz Von Oswald has been spent wisely. The dubplate dessert that he's created on more than a few tracks recalls the tone of the Trio's last few records. Similarly fans of the Basic Channel acetic have much to celebrate here and those unfamiliar with Vadislav will quickly find Vantaa occupying much of their time, drawing the listener deeper and deeper into a sonic rabbit hole with each listen. It seems winter may have an early contender for a soundtrack.

Listen: Vladislav Delay - Narri

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posted by dissensous at 10:09:00 AM 0 comments