Chicago’s Fancy Fuxwill be playing a 2:00pm set on the first day of Mamby on the Beach. They play a fun blend of house, hip hop, and dub. Their first big single, “Stripper,” is outstanding, and clips of their live sets look like a good time. They should be a fun start to the festival. Tickets are still available, by the way.
Keep your mind open.
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Nine Inch Nails recently announced they’ll be releasing two EPs in the next seven to nine months. The two EPs follow the December 2016 EP Not the Actual Events, and the band says the three EPs are linked (but they haven’t revealed how they are). The first is scheduled before the start of their summer tour in July, and the next will be released “6 to 8 months” after that.
One of the best albums of 2017 is a full-length debut by a band that broke up before it was released.
No one seems to know, or is telling, why New York post-punks WALL (Vanessa Gomez – drums, Vince McClelland – guitar, Elizabeth Skadden – bass, Samantha York – lead vocals, guitar) broke up after releasing one critically acclaimed EP (WALL), wowing crowds at the 2016 South by Southwest festival, and recording what appears will be their only full-length record – Untitled. Perhaps they felt they’d said all they wanted to say. Perhaps they found out the music businesses wasn’t what they wanted after all. Perhaps it was the classic “artistic differences.” I’m not sure we’ll ever know, but there are hints on Untitled – a scorching post-punk testament to desperate times and desperate measures.
The first lyrics on Untitled are “Everyone looking ‘round, looking to get high. I was looking ‘round, looking to get high.” on “High Ratings.” The band drills out the jagged punk angles they had mastered so early around a song about people looking for validation in a world in which others are easily obscured by our narcissism.
“Shimmer of Fact” unveils WALL’s love for Joy Division. The reverbed vocals about a relationship gone wrong after moving from the friend zone to the lover zone include “Something went wrong.” and “We crossed those lines.” The song “Save Me” has shared male and female vocals (“You wanna walk away, now that’s it over?” / “Save me from myself.”) and powerful riffs that underline the frantic lyrics about danger and the thrills it can bring.
“(Sacred) Circus” continues the Joy Divison-like bass, but the guitars float into shoegaze glory, and then crash into punk rock, as they sing about love, lust, and jealousy. Part of the chorus is “Nothing in this life is sacred.” That includes, by the way, our expectations of WALL and what they had planned for their musical career. “Wounded at War,” with its guitars that sound like they’re melting in the sun, is both a salute to homeless veterans and a punch in the gut to the institutions that trained them. “Go home, soldier. Back to the war that bred you, soldier,” they sing.
“Everything In Between” sounds like it belongs in a rare 1980’s VHS vampire movie. Trust me, you’ll understand when you hear the heavy bass, racing pulse beat, and distorted guitars. “Charmed Life” (a Half Japanese cover) has a great saxophone riff throughout it. “Watch everything you do and everything you say,” they sing as they mix surf rock, post-punk, no wave, and 50’s love songs. The song ends with an abrupt stop by the band and York saying, “I guess I’m leavin’.”
On “Weekend,” she sings, “The weekend, the weaker I am.” Partying has become too much of a chore. “I can’t live this way,” she sings while the band (who sizzle for the whole track) agrees to go with her and “skip town.” “Turn Around” has York telling an admirer to “pull yourself together” and forget about even trying to chat her up or risk death.
The album ends with “River Mansion,” a gorgeous piece of post-punk shoegaze that has the band wishing for good things ahead but knowing they might end up not getting them. “We built this dream on a hill…A storm is brewing. I’m safe in the house, locked in a dream.” Perhaps WALL realized they’d already achieved the dream of expressing their art (and getting critical success for it) and knew it was time to leave the mansion they’d created before success flooded and drowned them (“I’m laying in the river and the rain is getting thicker,” York sings). Maybe WALL sensed that success wasn’t going to be good for them. Maybe there was infighting (“When our eyes meet, and you’re lying through your teeth. When our eyes meet, and I’m lying through my teeth.”). Maybe they knew going out on top was going to be the best, safest option.
Or maybe it’s all a lark. We won’t know until they or their label decide to tell us, if they ever do. Until then, we have Untitled to give us clues and questions without answers. Sometimes the mystery is more exciting than the solution, and perhaps that was WALL’s message the whole time.
Keep your mind open.
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QUOTES “Featuring a slight stoner vibe — a perfect companion to the laid-back guitar jangling of the tune.”
– The 405
Toronto’s Goodbye Honolulu may fall into the “slacker rock” category, but they’re hard workers when it comes to churning out new tunes.
Announcing No Honey EP out September 01, 2017 via Fried Records, produced by Mike Turner (Our Lady Peace).
RIYL – The Black Lips, Ty Segall, New Swears, Cage the Elephant, Beck
We all know how these band biographies go, right? Friends meet in high school, start jamming, form band in parents’ garage and everyone lives happily ever after.
Well Goodbye Honolulu DID meet in high school but they didn’t just form one band. They formed 5 individual projects and started their own record label while still in school, the 100% local Toronto label Fried Records. While other kids were cramming for exams or wasting away playing video games, the Goodbye Honolulu boys were busy playing in bars (attempting to sneak their underage friends in), honing their live skills, writing songs and self releasing multiple albums a year.
These teenage years were laying the foundations and as they hit their 20s Emmett, Jacob, Fox and Max decided to join forces and focus their song-writing and energy to one project, say “hello” to Goodbye Honolulu.
Goodbye Honolulu, evoke a 90s slacker vibe mixing vintage garage rock n roll history with modern elements, it’s not exactly pop and it’s not exactly punk.
Goodbye Honolulu is best known for their live shows and in best form when every member is screaming their heads off with shout along choruses. Whether it’s Emmett’s fuzz-layered guitar, Jacob’s gnarly vocals, Fox’s Bowie-inspired vocal inflections or Max beating his drum kit to death, Goodbye Honolulu make their audience the VIP guests to their rock n roll party.
Highlights of Goodbye Honolulu’s ride so far include a USA tour supporting their pals Hinds and releasing their debut album Heavy Gold in 2016.
Emmett Webb (Guitar/Bass/Vocals)
Fox Martindale (Guitar/Vocals)
Jacob Switzer (Guitar/Bass/Vocals)
Max Bornstein (Drums)
Tour Dates: June 21 – Divan Orange, Montreal QC July 15 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto ON w/ New Swears
“Kids rock” legends Feltworthwere kind enough to let me interview them recently about their inevitable foray into serious rock music. I learned a lot about their influences, how they met, and what kind of barbecue Cozy prefers.
7th Level Music: I’ll start with one for Manny and Dezi. How did you two decide to start a band and how did you meet Morris and Cozy?
DEZI: Manny and I have been playing together for as long as we can remember. Cozy answered an ad we put out in a music paper. We thought he was too crazy to be in our band but he brought Morris with him and when we heard Morris play we begged him to join. He didn’t want to but we said we would take Cozy if he joined so he agreed.
7LM: Cozy, I know you played some saxophone on Feltworth’s “Super Duper” album, so do you plan on bringing it back with the new rock-oriented material?
DEZI: That was just for the photo shoot. That whole album is predominantly MIDI sounds. If you think you hear a sax on the first record, it’s a fake.
7LM: Your agent has stated that you guys are performing and putting your music out there for free. Is this right? I think it’s great to see people making art for the sake of art. How did this decision come about, and was it a difficult one?
DEZI: I was initially defiant when we were being booed by kids and moms but I did have a bit of a freak out when it hit me that we had closed the doors on a lot of our money making opportunities. I think I have arrived at a place of acceptance. COZY: Wait, I’m not being paid for this? MANNY: I like to think we’re in our “investment period.”
MORRIS: It could be argued that we have been releasing children’s music under duress. Lately we’ve been composing and recording our music freely. “Freely” is not quite the same as gratis, if you catch my drift.
7LM: How has the crowd response been so far? Was it difficult to make the transition from playing to crowds of children and their parents to crowds of hipsters, old school rockers, and music bloggers like yours truly?
DEZI: As I said, there was an excitement in the chaos of the bad press and poor reaction. I guess we are hoping to reach music bloggers like you. We are currently at 230 Instagram followers so go tell your nerd friends.
COZY: It’s weird. The moms still come backstage after the shows to meet (and greet!) us it’s just this time around they get a little more dolled up – no more worries about baby barf!
MORRIS: If I never have to play to another whinging three-year-old again, I certainly won’t complain.
7LM: A follow-up to that: Are you surprised that people are surprised you guys decided to make a rock record? It seems like you guys have been hinting at this all along with your cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Monkey Man” and how the cover of your self-titled album was a parody of Boston’s self-titled debut.
DEZI: The Boston parody was for our 4th album, Beanbagtown, which I think is musically the best of our records. We had the most freedom to produce it the way we wanted. It wasn’t as big a seller as the first few, but it did get some good critical reaction. Maybe that gave us the confidence to take the step. MANNY: Right, I guess there have been hints through our children’s records that we appreciate rock and pop history, so perhaps some parents may have caught on. I attempted to do a more kid-centric version of an early Velvet Underground track by renaming it “All Tomorrow’s Birthday Parties” for Beanbagtown, but that was left in the can.
7LM: Do you tend to write grooves first or lyrics first? Or does it depend on the song?
DEZI: Who says “grooves”? Ew! Anyway, music first most of the time although songs where you start with the lyrics often tend to be the best. It’s just harder to do. I have more musical ideas. I don’t often find myself in a coffee shop with a journal. MANNY: I sometimes see Morris in a coffee shop with a journal. Or maybe that’s the wine list. But yes, usually music first for me as well.
MORRIS: Understandably, most of my lyrical contribution has been cloistered within the bound confines of my diary. With that in mind, even the most untrained ear can hear the inherent tension as I express myself on the keyboards.
7LM: Morris, is it just me or do I hear touches of Jerry Lee Lewis in some of your playing on “Forget This Feeling?” I also wondered if you were influenced by some of the great French jazz pianists like Martial Solal or Jacques Loussier since you grew up in France?
DEZI: I think Morris is more influenced by Jerry Lewis than Jerry Lee. He is originally from France after all.
MORRIS: I will always have a soft spot for the music I grew up on, but I will not lean back on the fundamentals of greats like Solal and Loussier. America in all of it’s youthful bravado and naïve innocence has unveiled its charms clumsily. “He shook my nerves and he rattled my brain…” Does that make sense when I express it in English?
7LM: I know you’ve done some gigs with Animal Eyes, Situation Bad, and a few other indie acts. Are there other bands you’re hoping to jam with soon?
DEZI: We share a rehearsal space with those bands. I wouldn’t say we are fans per se. Most of our favourite bands have human beings in them.
COZY: Quite frankly I’m hoping to take over for Gregg Allman in the Allman Brothers Band. Rest easy, MidnightRider. MANNY: Hmmm…I’m not big on jamming. I guess it’s fun though. Animal Eyes are a half-decent KISS cover band. Not alot of room for jamming with those guys. The only brothers I’m interested in are the Hudson Brothers…kids music to rock cross-over geniuses.
7LM: You guys have a wide variety of influences ranging from the Beach Boys and Beatles to the Clash and Joy Division, so I’m wondering what range of material we might hear on a future full-length album?
DEZI: I like those groups. I don’t know much about Joy Division, but I know about them and I know a few songs. I would say we are less nihilistic. Cheap Trick is a good example of a band I wouldn’t mind being confused with. If you ask me, Robin Zander is the best singer in the world. COZY: Cheap Trick YEAH! Anybody that has a drummer named after bread (Bun E. Carlos) is okay in my book! I would also like to write more songs that are closer in style to the band Bread. They are so mellow it’s HEAVY. Heavy mellow! MANNY: I think the material on our album will kinda bridge the gap between pop/rock and rock/pop. I prefer New Order to be honest.
MORRIS: I think that we shall have to strike a happy balance between “agreeing to disagree” and “having our cake and eating it, too.”
7LM: Speaking of influences, Cozy you mentioned barbeque is a major influence on you. Do you prefer Kansas City style, Texas style, Memphis dry rub, or another type?
COZY: Texas all the way! I mean, you’d be a fool to think otherwise. My idea of heaven on earth is the family special at Salt Lick BBQ, Driftwood, Texas. ALL YOU CAN EAT for $24.95!!!! I have an endorsement deal with those guys. Twice a year they slather me up in their Whiskey Barrel BBQ Sauce and all I have to do in return is mention them in interviews. Mission accomplished?
7LM: Which Indiana Jones film is the best?
DEZI: I saw the second one but not the third one. So, the first one – Raiders of the Lost Ark. Karen Allen is the shit!
COZY: Who? MANNY: When I was a kid, my friends were all going to see Poltergeist, but I was nervous to see such a scary film so I tried instead to convince them to see Raiders of the Lost Ark… for the third time. No luck. But yes, the first is the best.
MORRIS: Am I the only one who finds the late River Phoenix captivating in “The Last Crusade?”
7LM: Lastly, is everything okay between you guys and Tame Impala?
DEZI: They are one band we can agree on on the tour bus. Except when we saw them play live, the dude had bare feet.
COZY: We plan on getting our manager Skip to drop the hammer on ’em. See you in court guys, may the best lawyer win!
MORRIS: Okay!? We’ve already got two domesticated rabbits, a monkey (?), and a cat. I think there’s plenty of room for Impala in the Feltworth camp.
7LM: Thanks for your time. I wish you all the best.
Though he may still be tweaking the space laser to perfect album Numero Twomero (hey, it’s a working title), Todd Terje has still found the time to tease us with “Maskindans,” a sneak preview of what’s to come in the form of this body-moving, brain-grooving cover version of a Norse synth spectacular from the dystopian dance floors of 1982. Inspired by his Dansbar diversions, Todd took to the studio for a little multi-track mania, replaying every part of this doomy dancer with all the Olsen sparkle you could ever wish for. Luring Det Gylne Triangel back into the booth for the first time in 25 years (possibly in his trusty Delorean!), Terje topped off the pops with a newly recorded vocal from the original lyricist, closing the temporal loop and opening the door to dance floor nirvana.
With a minimal wave goodbye to the moodier moments of the original, Terje turns up the funk and gets lost in the groove on this deep discoid delight. After an unruly intro of malfunctioning sirens and squawking synths, “Maskindans” morphs into a nasty new wave nodder, bursting with chorus bass, mutant guitar riffs and infectious 4/4. Ola Ødegård´s monotone vocals stomp along with darkened eyes and backcombed hair, throwing angular shapes and computer feelings before the track romps off into interstellar overdrive. Punching the big red button marked dub, Terje picks up the echo and drops a Bobby O bassline, flirting wildly with acid house as revving synths light up the kosmische sky.
Remix duties fall to Phantasy man Erol Alkan, who replaces those dub disco flourishes with the strobe-lit pulse of Giallo, stripping the track back into a dark wired dancer which steals a beat on the imminent Electroclash revival. An insistent bassline and mechanical beat power straight into the peak time while the treated vocals take us all the way back to hearing Jeans Team in skinny jeans on the darkened dance floor of Trash.
Slip into your tin foil hat and do the “Maskindans,” it’s almost album time (not again!)
“MASKINDANS” 12″ TRACKLISTING
1. “Maskindans” feat. Det Gylne Triangel
2. “Maskindans” (Erol Alkan Rework) feat. Det Gylne Traingel
3. “Maskindans” (Radio Edit) feat. Det Gylne Triangel
TODD TERJE TOUR DATES: June 8th – Budapest, HG @ Kolorádó Festival June 9th – Madrid, SP @ True Music Festival June 10th – Venice, IT @ Venezia More Festival June 16th – Dublin, IR @ District 8 June 17th – London, UK @ Krankbrother Street Party June 18th – Barcelona, SP @ Sonar Innervisions June 25th – Chicago, IL @ Mamby On The Beach* June 27th – Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Park*^ June 28th – Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield Amphitheater*^ June 30th – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley*^ July 1st – Los Angeles, CA @ The Greek Theatre*^ July 13th – Dour, BG @ Dour Festival July 14th – Paris, FR @ Zig Zag July 15th – Bygrave Woods, UK @ Farr Festival August 19th – Amsterdam, NT@ Blijburg aan Zee August 25th – Paris, FR @ Touquet Music Beach Festival
In other words, it’s one of the most fun records of the year. That shouldn’t be a surprise when it’s something cooked up as a goofy music project by GOASTT’s Sean Lennon and members of Fat White Family. The Moonlandingz were a fictional band in this project, and now that band has come to life.
Opener “Vessels” is a song about sex, possession, and / or addiction. The heavy back beat and 1980’s no wave synths give the whole song a dark, smarmy feel. Lead singer Lias Saoudi’s vocals get louder and more frantic as the song progresses, and the Waitresses-like saxophone cacophony only helps. “Sweet Saturn Mine” was the first single released by the band when they kind of, sort of existed. It has a wicked drum beat and synths Gary Numan would love. Saoudi sings about strange happenings in strange places and, I’m pretty sure, orgasms that don’t necessarily bring relief. The Eccentronic Research Council’s synthesizer work and drumbeats on this are sharp as a knife.
“Black Hanz” is great psychedelia, and one of those songs that is apparently bonkers live (judging from YouTube videos I’ve seen). It’s something you’d hear in a weird curio shop in San Francisco that has a secret disco in the basement. “I.D.S.” begins with spooky female vocals from Charlotte Kemp before Saoudi starts a chant and then a Sigue Sigue Sputnik-like beat rushes at you. “The Strangle of Anna” could be a long lost Raveonettes track with its fuzzed-out guitar, Phil Spector rhythm, and heavy reverbed vocals.
After the brief, creepy circus music instrumental of “Theme from Valhalla Dale,” the Moonlandingz deliver “The Rabies Are Back,” which is just as wild as you hope it will be. “I turned my back on Paris, when I heard their dogs do bite,” Saoudi sings at the beginning before he goes into a bit of a frenzy singing about werewolves. “Neuf Du Pape” is just as weird and funky, combining new wave with industrial.
You can guess the subject of “Glory Hole.” You might not guess that it seems to involve sex across the galaxy or that it has such a wicked beat. “Lufthansa Man” is cool space / lounge / synth rock. It deserves to be on your next playlist (or mixtape if you’re still old school) named “Damn Funky Tunes.”
The album ends with the apocalyptic, epic, and crazy “This Cities Undone.” I’m sure it slays live and inspires crowd chants and spastic dancing as the band sings about the end of the world and puts down killer beats and cuts. If the world is going to end, you might as well party to something like this.
You might as well crank this whole damn record. It’s one of the best, funkiest, and weirdest albums of the year. I hope this fictional band doesn’t disappear into the ether. I hope they stay outside the fourth wall for a while. Break your own fourth wall by letting this album into your head. It will do the rest for you.
FELTWORTH –“Forget This Feeling” / “You Turn Me On”7-inch (out June 02, 2017)
Share new video “Forget This Feeling” YouTube // Brooklyn Vegan “Both songs are super-catchy pop, reminiscent of The Beatles or The Sweet, or Canadian bands who like The Beatles and The Sweet.” – Brooklyn Vegan
“There’s no Juno category for Best Musical Performance By a Puppet — but if there were, Feltworth would likely have it locked down.” – CBC “Forget This Feeling” is a rollicking slice of pure power-pop built on an insistent piano part from Morris and stellar brotherly harmonies, all loving smothered in appropriately fuzzy guitars. For Feltworth the near future is bright…orange.”
– The Line Of Best Fit Feltworth is a 4-piece rock band consisting of Dezi Feltworth (bass, vocals), his brother Manny Feltworth (guitar, vocals), Morris Katzenburd (piano, keyboards) and Cozy Balboa (drums, tambourine). You may, of course, know of them already if you have children at arm’s length. Feltworth has been an outrageously successful act on the children’s music scene for many years. They burst into the limelight early in their career with their first album of music for youngsters called Super Duper. They followed that smash record with both Felty, Felty Places and We’re Feltworth, a pair of multi-platinum releases that saw the “fabric four” begin to add more original material to their repertoire of tried and true children’s classics. Their game changing fourth album, Beanbag Town, was their first album of all original songs for kids. It’s still considered a high water mark on the spectrum of adolescent entertainment.
Though regarded as financially and commercially successful, the fellows of Feltworth didn’t feel creatively satisfied by being pigeon-holed as children’s act. So, against their manager’s wishes, they’ve embarked on making a real pop/rock record that reflects their own personality and their influences – be it The Sweet, Paul McCartney, Brian Eno or Rupert Holmes. With the change in direction, they are challenging their core audience and seeking new listeners. It’s been a tough-sell to their manager and label, so the band has decided to self-finance the new recordings that will be released via their own Dezman Productions label. The first release from this brand new batch of activity is a limited edition orange coloured 7” single featuring the rocking “Forget This Feeling” (lead vocals by Manny) and the longing romanticism of “You Turn Me On” (lead vocals by Dezi). There’s more music to come. The past is behind them. The future awaits-ish.