Browsing Category Bits & Pieces

Ezra Feinberg on Jon Gibson – Two Solo Pieces

Back around the time that Raven was still ramping up there were a good string of releases by Citay. The band was out of step with the indie set at the time. While they had a sense of grandiosity that would slot them in nicely with the ’06 – ’09 class, Ezra Feinberg and Tim Green embraced a cosmic classic rock quality and genuine appreciation of sunshine ‘70s riffs that would have done well had the band been coming onto the scene right about now. Where bands like Garcia Peoples and One Eleven Heavy have been embraced, they’d rightly have Citay to thank. A decade or so later Feinberg has moved on to a more serene thrum, though still struck with a shining positivity that radiates through his playing. With contributions from John McEntire (Tortoise), Chuck Johnson, and Jonas Reinhardt, he’s swimming through the calm, embryonic gap that lies between Eno, Cluster, Ashra, and Riley. Now Ezra’s sharing a gem that’s more in line with his latter day work – the haunting minimalism of Jon Gibson. Head below to see how this one came into his life and the impact its left there.

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Trummors – “Silver City Blues”

A sun-streaked new track slips out today in advance of the new Trummors LP, Dropout City on Ernest Jenning Record Co. The song is a faded-denim dose of cosmic country that ambles in on auburn strums and swooning harmonies. David Lerner and Ann Cunningham left the city steel for New Mexico’s grand expanses a few years back and the desert dust makes its presence felt on the low-light simmer of “Silver City Blues.” The song slides in on buttery leads, breezy harmonies, and a sense of ease that’s hard to resist. The band’s been building up to a release that sounds this effortless and lived-in over the past few years, but it’s hard to deny that this is a high-water mark for their brand of alt-country saunter. Keep an ear out for more from Dropout City as this is only a taste of what the band’s put together for 2020. Move it to the top of the watchlist.




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Mike Polizze – “Revelation”

I love it when a track comes in that I didn’t know I needed, but once its in the headphones the resolve is instant. It should come as no surprise if you’ve been crawling through the Raven feed over the last few years that Purling Hiss is always on the turntable, but now Mike Polizze turns the hiss down to a hum and lets his soft side shine through. With fellow Philly luminary Kurt Vile in tow, he shapes this track into an azure swoon lit on clear skies, yet burdened with a slightly heavy heart. While some similarities might arise with his recording partner, Pollizze finds his own faded grace in his new digs, shaking off the yolk of fuzz for a surprisegly clear view of pop that’s littered with strums, horns, and sing-along choruses. The album finds him on indie-folk outpost Paradise of Bachelors and heads this way in July. Gonna want to mark the calendars and get this one prepped to pop on repeat pretty soon.



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Jess Williamson on Living Grateful – Peace Mob

Its always when coming to something late that the feeling of being left out seems to burn like a secret shame in the cheeks. As much music as passes through the pages here, I somehow missed Jess Williamson’s first LP for Mexican Summer until about a year after it was out, but once it graced the speakers I was drawn in tight. With a second LP for the label (fourth overall) on the horizon, I’ve keep a much more perked ear in the direction of Mexican Summer these days. Her latest album is everything that the last promised — lush, honest, swooning, and surreal. Its the album of a songwriter comfortable in her discomfort and able to translate it into the kind of Laurel Canyon-dappled folk that seems instantly timeless. There seemed no way that Jess doesn’t have quite a few gems tucked away in her collection that may have proven influential, but rather than dig deep into the past she lands a band that was almost gone before they began, highlighting that feeling of seeing something great as it’s just being formed. Check out her recollection and ode to the sole LP from Living Grateful below.

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Ezra Feinberg – “Acquainted With The Night”

Just in time to cool off the angst of the year, the new album from Ezra Feinberg (Citay) comes to quench the thirst for something serene. Built on a circular guitar line, and bathed in the cool blue waters of synths that ripple like a requiem for an unworried life, opener “Acquainted With the Night” sinks below the soul’s horizon on the last amber hues of sunset. After the final folding of Citay, Feinberg has spent time traversing the ethereal with Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Arp. His close collaboration with Jonas Reinhardt from Arp is paid back on Recumbent Speech with synth contributions and he taps quite a few longtime compatriots with input from John McEntire (Tortoise), Chuck Johnson, Diego Gonzalez (Citay, The Dry Spells), April Hayley (The Dry Spells) making its way onto the album. I’ve long been a fan of Feinberg’s work with Citay and this feels like both a continuation of tone and exploration of new directions from the artist. Some days we all need a balm, and this is just what the mid-year stretch called for. The album is out June 26th. Mark your calendars.




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RSTB Radio WGXC: May

Another shut-in show is in the books and it gave some airtime to great new tracks from Melenas, Parsnip, Rose City Band, The Telephone Numbers, Sachet, Jess Williamson and many more. As usual I went crawling through the shelves and there’s a fair share of older favorites in there as well. Check out the full tracklist below and you can stream the set over at WGXC.

::Playlist::

Melenas – Primer Tiempo /// The Stroppies – Look Alive /// James Dean Driving Experience – Oh, Grateful /// The Telephone Numbers – Pictures of Lee /// Parsnip – Repeater /// Ezrat – Distortions /// Curt Boettcher – Love You Yes I Do /// Half Stack – Wings of Love /// Loose Koozies – Forget To Think /// Rose City Band – Real Long Gone /// Woods – Can’t Get Out /// Leah Senior – Evergreen /// Jess Williamson – Smoke /// RVG – Prima Donna /// Woolen Men – Alley Cat /// Sachet – D-Link /// Redd Kross – Follow The Leader /// Flat Worms – Condo Colony /// The Embarassment – Careen /// Weak Signal – Sorry /// CB Radio Gorgeous – Decline /// Galore – Lydia /// The Terminals – No /// The Moles – Bury Me Happy /// Chris Knox – Half Man-Half Mole /// The Field Mice – Emma’s House /// R.E. Seraphin – Today Will Be Kind /// Jeanines – Been In The Dark /// Modern Nature feat. Itasca – Harvest /// Ash Brooks – Mage /// Kikagaku Moyo – Ouichi Time /// Stonegrass – Tea /// Nudity /// Elevate in Rotation

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Paint – “Ta Fardah”

Good to see the announcement that Pedrum Siadatian (Allah-Las) has a new solo LP on the way under his Paint moniker. He struck out solo under the name briefly in 2010, but really kicked it into motion with an eponymous 2018 LP that perfectly fitted the sandblasted psych that the Las trade upon into an Ayers, Barrett bag with a bit of Rundgren thrown in as well. The record was produced by fellow L.A. scene-haunter and studio wizard Frank Maston, who’s no stranger to crafting a very specific ‘60s sound. He crops up again to produce Paint’s sophomore LP and that sound is still threaded through the excellent first single “Ta Faradah,” a soft-psych spinner that nods to Siadatian’s Iranian upbringing with nods to Middle Eastern psych and funk winding its way out on Finders Keepers and Soundways these days. In addition to Maston behind the boards band also features members of White Fence and Sheer Agony, giving the record a nice sheen that spills way beyond just the sounds here. Its a bump up from the last one, and I loved that, so keep this on your radar for July.



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Stonegrass – “Tea”

Wouldn’t be a week around here without a solid psych album featuring a Darryl Norsen cover, and this week we sneak in two, just under the wire (see also: Silver Scrolls). This one comes in from longtime RSTB fave Matthew Doc Dunn (The Cosmic Range, The Golden Road) who expands upon a couple of his previous psych-saturated outfits with a debut LP under the name Stonegrass. Linking up with Jay Anderson (Badge Époque Ensemble) & Tony Price (US Girls/Young Guv,) Dunn expands on the principles that he and Anderson had begun in their defunct project that flew under the flag of The Spiritual Sky Blues Band. Combining the exploratory sense of The Cosmic Range and a bit of Anderson’s psych-funk explorations with the Badge, the pair (along with Price on production) have crafted an LP that’s lifted out of the resin-soaked bins of the ‘70s psych sojourn – evoking sessions that stretch three days and roll out with barely a legible anecdote from the players but with riffs that could cut glass on contact. The first cut, “Tea,” is an absolute monster — barreling out of the speakers with grit and gas fumes, destined to tear your woofers to shreds. The whole album is a crusher, but you’ll have to wait until later in the month to experience its full glory.





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Silver Scrolls – “Walk Two (I – Nature’s Promise)”

Offering up a new cut today from the debut album from Silver Scrolls. The band is the latest work from David Brylawski (Polvo, Black Taj) and Brian Quast (Polvo) and centers around a meditation on walks, and their connection to free association and waking dreams inspired by The Christopher Bollas Reader. Gnarled and inherently rhythmic, the songs beat like an internal metronome, but spiral off into vibrating tangents of sound, both tense and amniotic. While some songs lean on the idea of walking as an escape from inner turmoil, some let that turmoil spill out into the streets and back in again. Honestly, its a rather prescient concept for a record in a time when movement is coupled with anxiety and allowable space has become a constant force in so many lives.

For this particular track, Brylawski explains, “The overall conceit is a person who goes for a city walk then anxiety comes in and (he) decides that a nature walk is what is called for – Nature’s Promise, a ‘Doom Blues’.  However, he realizes anxiety has entered this walk as well – nature does not guarantee tranquility, so (he) must seek something else.   This part of the album, the nature walk, was influenced by an actual walk my family took in Montana a year ago.  There was a sign saying ‘last bear sighting 5 days ago’ and someone had crossed that out and wrote ‘three days ago’.  My family started on the walk but as the path became more narrow and the forest became dense – my wife and I at the same time became worried about our kids and literally running into a bear so we turned tail and got the heck out of the trail.” The album lands July 10th on Three Lobed.



 

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Mixtape: Young Hearts Unite

There have been a lot of genres that have given support through the lockdown juggling act over here – Sunshine Psych (done that one), jangle pop (ditto) but I locked into a specific branch of latter day power pop and it all started to coalesce into a new mixtape. The formative years of power pop are captured endlessly on comps, often with the same tracklists shuffled and reshuffled, but there’s less documentation on these past ten years to be sure. Now, while that period of time might not be known as a heyday of power pop, you’d be wrong in that assessment. There’s a lot of high-profile, excellent stuff that crosses boundaries and digs out earworms (see: Ex Hex, The Bad Moves, Martha) all great but not what I was looking for in this regard. For this mix I focused on a strain of power pop that was derived directly from those late ’70s, early ’80s types that populated the comps circulating my youth. There’s a certain loose, edge of punk, but more lovesick and soft strain here. I find that sunny days and power pop go hand in hand, so this just seems like fortuitous timing. Hope it brightens someone’s day and sends you riffling back through the stacks of the last decade.

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