Tag Archives: rock
Before I began this post, I plugged the Three O’Clock into our search bar to see how many times I’ve referred to this band. I was surprised and more than slightly disappointed in myself that there have only been two previous mentions (and only one by me!). You see, the Three O’Clock is one of my all-time favorite bands. They were one of the first bands I discovered on my own, once I had graduated from my parents’ Beach Boys, Bee Gees and Carpenters records (those records primed me for the Three O’Clock’s 60s-throwback sound). I can recall the night I first heard their album Sixteen Tambourines like it was last night: lounging in the back of a van, packed with friends, cruising down PCH, the crisp guitars, clean bass lines, and Michael Quercio’s magical voice ringing in my ears.
I immediately acquired that album and the band’s previous releases: their early garage-pop album as the Salvation Army and the first EP with their new name. These songs were my teenage years. These songs helped me navigate my formative relationships with girls as they, the relationships, ignited, crashed, and burned. No matter my mood, The Three O’Clock fit to a T. Any time a new girl caught my eye, “With a Cantaloupe Girlfriend” its driving drums and hopefully-baroque keyboards nudged me forward. Then when said girl reciprocated not ever, or for a year, two, then never again, “She Turns To Flowers” and its backwards guitar twisting through the refrain of “then she is no more,” saved me from wallowing too deep in teenage despair.
Then a funny thing happened. I never outgrew the band. Even after the band imploded I tracked subsequent projects with equal enthusiasm: Louis and Mary’s Danish, Michael and Permanent Green Light, and later, Jupiter Affect. By this point I was working full-time in radio and was quite the evangelist for all four aforementioned bands. I even brought out Permanent Green Light out to play a grand opening party for a music store I was managing. When my first son was two, I included The Three O’Clock’s cover of “Sorry” by The Easybeats in the first mix CD I made for him. We’ve been geeking out on the Three O’Clock together ever since. Now he’s sixteen. Now he just snags albums off my harddrive.
Fast forward a decade and the Three O’Clock and its members have lain largely dormant until late last year when blips of the band began surfacing on the radar of social media. I suspected these flickers of resurrection portended a much bigger event. And while the initial announcement that the band would be reuniting for Coachella was impressive, I’m much more thrilled that they’re playing a string of smaller shows, so my kid and I can be reunited with our paisley pals in a more intimate setting. I want to be crammed into a club with people who share my affinity for the band rather than fighting an indifferent crowd of 80k in the middle of the desert.
Michael, Louis, Danny, welcome back! See you Saturday!
While revisiting some of the press upon the announcement of Deerhunter’s forthcoming album Monomania (May 7th on 4AD), I encountered references to Bo Didley, The Ramones, and Ricky Nelson. The phrase “nocturnal garage” popped up a lot, too, whatever that means, as did the words FOG MACHINE / LEATHER / NEON. Basically, Deerhunter put out a cryptic press release and oddball write-ups followed. And now, that we have the title track, all of that nonsense has shown itself to be just that, nonsense.
Sure, “Monomania” does share some common ancestors with early Rock ‘N’ Roll, garage and punk, as the melody is simple and straight forward enough, but Rock ‘N’ Roll history is hardly its defining characteristic. Instead, “Monomania” stands out because Deerhunter mastermind, Bradford Cox, completely fucked with that history and washed it away with wave after wave of destructive, white-hot noise. As a young artist, not ready for the internet headlines, Cox would use a similar tactic as his safety blanket, obscuring both himself and his music. Now, as he’s matured both personally and professionally, the effect is welcoming, almost joyous. That’s huge.
You know that moment when you’ve heard enough from a band whom you’ve been following for years? That moment when you decide, “You know what? I really never need to hear a new song by these guys. I’m satisfied with the back catalog.” That moment is Comedown Machine. That band is The Strokes.
Over the course of 40+ minutes, the stylish, New York garage rock quartet, do everything in their power not to be the stylish garage rock band they once were. And, the problem lies not in the desires of vocalist Julian Casablancas and guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr to experiment with different styles. It’s that they haven’t a clue who they’d rather be.
A-Ha! That’s The Strokes on “One Way Trigger,” miming a familiar synth pop melody.
Brian Eno: That’s The Strokes dabbling in ambient music on “80′s Comedown Machine” and “Chances.”
Prince: That’s The Strokes attempting to be sexy and funky on “Slow Animals.”
The “The” Bands of the early ’00s not named the Strokes: All of them, from The Hives and The Vines, to the band The Strokes used to be, could write a better hook than, “All the Time,” the flat, uninspired attempt at a classic Strokes song by the modern day Strokes.
None of these tracks exhibit any solid identity or display any tangible passion. If the band, themselves, can’t be bothered to care, you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Why should I?”
Michael Benjamin Lerner is back with his third release, Dormarion, under the Telekinesis moniker. He recorded the album with Spoon drummer and producer Jim Eno at Eno’s Public Hi-Fi studio in Austin, Texas. On Dormarion Lane, to be precise.
Dormarion is catchy as hell. It’s a great follow up to his excellent 2011 release 12 Desperate Straight Lines. On “Empathetic People” (below) the drums blast you into submission as the layers of guitars wind in, out and around Lerner’s fuzzed vocals. Also for your listening pleasure is the over-before-you-know-it “Laissez-faire”. Please enjoy these tracks. Dormarion releases tomorrow, April 2 on Merge Records. You should buy it, it’s indie rock gold and I highly recommend it.
Telekinesis – Empathetic People from Dormarion (2013)
Telekinesis – Laissez-faire from Dormarion (2013)
Not much is known about the Italian duo, aptly named — at least at this point in their career — Wildmen. Their single “Haters Gonna Hate,” which comes off their self-titled debut, sounds like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club meets the Black Lips with a dash of Black Flag. It starts out with a gentle folk progression that quickly ramps up to an all-out garage anthem that’ll cultivate some serious self-confidence.
STREAM: Wildmen – “Haters Gonna Hate”