5 Acts: September 2006

Friday, September 29, 2006

Swan Lake

So I saw Sunset Rubdown on Wednesday night at Black Cat and wet my pants no less than three times from excitement. Okay, not really. But seriously, Spencer Krug is nothing short of a freaking genius. Both he and another bandmate were seriously ill but still played an amazing set, which included "I'll Believe In Anything," a song Spencer usually plays with his band Wolf Parade. For the new project called Swan Lake he's joined by Dan Bejar of The New Pornographers (and Destroyer) and Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes. How can you go wrong with that lineup? You can't! Their debut disc, Beast Moans, is out from Jagjaguwar on November 21.
Swan Lake on MySpace

Finest Dearest

San Francisco, CA
Finest Dearest is another band that I can't get enough of. I've been craving a full-length from these guys since I got the Pacemaker EP almost a year ago. Unforunately, I'll have to wait a bit longer for that. Good news though - they just finished a 7" of new material! It's called Off Sides and should be available through Insound by November 1. Catch them on the road right now if you're in Cali, Orgeon, or Washington. Also, their website is back up, so check that out too!

Charlotte Martin

Los Angeles, CA
Charlotte Martin is a master at weaving gorgeous melodies into vibrant arrangements. Her latest record, Stromata, is available now and highly recommended for anyone who misses The Choirgirl Hotel days from Tori Amos.


Denver, CO
Laylights recently impressed many listeners at the Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati. Right now they only have a couple dates scheduled around the Denver area, but hopefully they'll get out on the road soon. Their debut EP is suggested for people who like bands like Interpol and Editors.


Chicago, IL
Roommate began as a solo project in 2001 by Kent Lambert and slowly grew into a full live band by 2004. Songs The Animals Taught Us is available now from Plug Research.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Hidden Cameras

Toronto, ON
Despite what the Pitchfuckers think, I strongly suggest you check out the latest record from The Hidden Cameras if you haven't already. Awoo is packed with inviting pop melodies and tons of giddy glockenspiel. The band is currently on tour and I'm catching them November 17 at Sonar in Baltimore.


Brooklyn, NY
Spider is the moniker used by Jane Herships and her music is undeniably moving. The Way To Bitter Lane can be ordered through her MySpace page using PayPal. So far she's got shows lined up for October in Baltimore, Syracuse, and Montreal. Great!

The Minders

Portland, OR
The Minders once again got help from their buddy Robert Schnieder of The Apples In Stereo for their latest release. In A Bright, Guilty World is as well-crafted as their previous albums and it's available now from Future Farmer Recordings.

Piano Magic

United Kingdom
Piano Magic has a new EP out entitled Incurable and the title track is one of the best of the year. Seriously!


New York City, NY
Hymns is currently touring with Ben Kweller and getting ready to release Brother/Sister October 10 on Blackland Records. Their music is recommended for anyone who likes dreamy folk rock.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bishop Allen

Brooklyn, NY
In case you've been living under a rock in 2006, you probably are already aware that Bishop Allen is putting out an EP every month this year. How ambitious! And none of these songs have been anything less than impressive. Here's a track from the July release.


Brooklyn, NY
I guess it's apparent that I really love bands from Brooklyn. Pela is one of these bands and their new EP, Exit Columbia Street, is just too damn good. They're playing DC9 on October 28 and it should be an excellent show.

The Inklings

Brooklyn, NY
The Inklings is a quartet from Brooklyn. Their debut album, Rhizomes, is available at CD Baby.

The Honored Guests

Chapel Hill, NC
The Honored Guests just released Tastes Change on the Chapel Hill based label Breakfast Mascot. They are playing a few dates in October and November so make sure and check to see if they're going to be near you!

Boy Omega

Boy Omega is Martin Henrik Gustafsson. His music is both melodic and melancholic. It's like a great mix of Xiu Xiu and Elliott Smith.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Blow

Portland, OR
The Blow opened up for Architecture In Helsinki last night at Black Cat. Amazing amazing! To be completely honest, I can only say that Khaela Maricich put on an impressive performance. Her musical partner, Jona Bechtolt, is off playing in his other band at the moment. Khaela never stopped bebopping around that stage. She loved it and so did we. The new album comes out in about a month on K Records, but you can pick it up at a show if you're lucky enough to see Khaela dancing through your city.


Montreal, QC
Indie rock French Canadians singing in that Frenchie French. I don't understand most of it, but I still love it! Malajube is currently touring around Canada but hopefully they'll dip down to the U.S. soon. A listing of where you can order their disc online can be found on their website here.

The Zebras

Brisbane, Australia
The Zebras is officially releasing Worry A Lot on October 7. However, you can go ahead and order it directly from the band using PayPal. Some of it is kind of Bob Mould-y to me. Good stuff!


London, UK
Scanners is playing a few dates in the States during the end of October, supporting Forward, Russia! Should be a great show. Sadly for me, they're just playing in the West.

don Agbai

Goteborg, Sweden
don Agbai only has ninety-eight friends right now on MySpace, but I'm sure that number will blow up soon. This Swedish trio is suggested for anyone who likes excellent electronic pop. Oh soooo good! Their EP is available now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Chin Up Chin Up

Chicago, IL
The debut full-length from Chin Up Chin Up was one of the most satisfying releases of 2004. Once again, I'm pleased with the band's latest effort, This Harness Can't Ride Anything. This time around they're signed to the spectacular Suicide Squeeze. The new disc can be ordered directly from the label or from Insound (15% off if you order before October 15 and use coupon code chinupchinup15).

Casper & The Cookies

Athens, GA
Athens has been a hot spot for good music since as long as I can recall. This is clearly evident with acts like Casper & The Cookies. Their album entitled The Optimist's Club was released about a month ago and can be ordered from Athens-based hhtm.com (Happy Happy Birthday To Me).

The A-Sides

Philadelphia, PA
The A-Sides has finished their second album, Silver Storms. Right now they're looking for a label and will hopefully release it sometime in early 2007. In the meantime pick up their debut record (Hello, Hello) or download it from iTunes.


Los Angeles, CA
Oh Mr. Jimmy Tamborello - part Figurine, solo as James Figurine... solo as Dntel... and one-half of The Postal Service. Whatever name he's assuming for the music he's making, he's always sure to please. This one is from a 7" he put out earlier in the year and was also featured on the Sound Of L.A. compilation from Plug Research. It features vocals from Mia Doi Todd.

The Radio Dept.

Malmo, Sweden
Here's a remix of a song off the latest album from The Radio Dept.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hello Seahorse!

Hello Seahorse! is sweet music. That's really the only way to define it. The vocals, the instrumentation - sweet, sweet. ...And The Jellyfish Parade is the debut record and it will be available online at CD Baby very soon. If you can't wait, make an inquiry about getting it directly from the band's label, Freaks And Geeks.


Raleigh/Chapel Hill, NC
Annuals is recommended for anyone who likes music like Animal Collective. This North Carolina crew is currently on tour, playing with acts like Man Man and Tapes 'n Tapes. I'm seeing them on Halloween at Black Cat.

The Bird And The Bee

Los Angeles, CA
The Bird And The Bee is Inara George and Greg Kurstin. It looks like these two are setting up residency on Friday nights at Silverlake Lounge in L.A. during the month of October. According to their webiste, the debut disc is coming out January 2007 (at the latest).


So I don't really know much about Hej!. They're Swedish and they like to do the cover thing. I think "With Or Without You" is my favorite, but you can download all six of them for free here.


Champaign, IL
Shipwreck just released a new EP called House Of Cards back in July and they're heading back in to the studio to record another. Their plan - to record four EPs in sixteen months. They'll be performing on Thursday at The Canopy Club in Urbana IL as part of Pygmalion Music Festival.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Darker My Love

San Francisco, CA
Darker My Love has the nice privilege of sharing a label with acts like Silversun Pickups. Dangerbird Records has just put out their debut and the band is currently touring in support of it. I'm going to try and catch them at The Ottobar in Baltimore on November 9.

The Glad Version

Minneapolis, MN
The Glad Version is recommended for people who enjoy painfully joyous tunes like those of Death Cab For Cutie. Their full-length, Lights Out North Star, is out now and the band is playing at Staccato here in DC on November 3. (Note to Staccato: Time to update your calender.)

How To Cure Dyslexia

London, UK
How To Cure Dyslexia is the work of David Miller. This is suggested for anyone who digs downtempo acoustic music.

Colour Revolt

Jackson, MS
Colour Revolt previously put out their EP on Esperanza Plantation but are now getting it re-released October 3 through Tiny Evil. In support of this, they are touring quite extensively through the end of November, playing with acts like Anathallo and Page France.

Sky Parade

Los Angeles, CA
Sky Parade features Tommy Dietrick, who is a former member of The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Fire In The Sky is available now and a second album is coming in January 2007.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Los Angeles, CA
Gliss will be playing a couple shows in the L.A. area before heading over for a UK tour in October. Love The Virgins is the name of the new album and most of the material on it was written while the band was touring Europe with great acts like Billy Corgan, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and Editors.

As Tall As Lions

Long Island, NY
As Tall As Lions is highly recommended if you like bands like Coldplay. They are touring extensively right now in support of their new album that just came out last month.

Benni Hemm Hemm

Reykjavik, Iceland
Apparently big bands are all the rage these days. And with Benni Hemm Hemm, there's good reason for that. Here's one of my favorite tracks from their album - great song title too! Good to know the band isn't discriminating against the disabled.

Swedish Polarbears

Karlstad, Sweden
Swedish Polarbears is suggested for anyone who likes good powerpop. Check out the photos from their fun video shoot.

The Decemberists

Portland, OR
You all already know who they are. The Decemberists are back with a new album on October 3. The Crane Wife very well may be my favorite from them yet. This track features vocals by the lovely Laura Veirs.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Alabama / London, UK
So I've had this disc from Semifinalists for a long time but just recently really started listening to it and loving it. The three memebers came from a range of backgrounds and met at film school in London. Also, all three of them sing on the album. I can't even think of anyone to compare them to - it's just good rhythmic rock.


New York City, NY
LEVY is a quartet from New York who's opened up for acts like Guillemots and Athlete. According to their website they're going to start a UK/US tour "soon."

Autumn In Halifax

Rochester, NY
Autumn In Halifax is David Merulla. His songs are elegant arrangements and primarily instrumental. Right now he's finishing up work for a new album that should be out in October.

White Mud Free Way

Brooklyn, NY
White Mud Free Way released their debut on Bar/None in 2004 and they're currently working on material for a new record. Can't wait! Check out the video for "Mercury" on their homepage.

Tap Tap

United Kingdom
Tap Tap is the fine work of Thomas Sanders. His new album is available now from Catbird Records and will appeal to those who likes bands like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Antarctica Takes It!

Santa Cruz, CA
Antarctica Takes It! is making their own CDs especially for you. It doesn't get any sweeter than that, folks. And it's only $6! You can order it directly from them - info at their MySpace page.


Champaign, IL
Elanors just got done touring with the fun Finnish group Husky Rescue. Next up they'll be playing Pygmalion Music Festival on September 23 and then they're heading west in November. Their second disc, Movements is out now on Parasol Records.

The Glass Family

Austin, TX
The Glass Family is all about great songwriting and instrumentation that soars. They're signed to I Eat Records and Sleep Inside This Wheel is available now.

Chad VanGaalen

Calgary, Alberta
Chad VanGaalen just released out his new album, Skelliconnection last month on Sub Pop. Tonight he's opening up for Band Of Horses at Black Cat.

Nouvelle Vague

Paris, France
Nouvelle Vague is currently touring the U.S. and Canada. Their sophomore record, Bande a Part is available now.