Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2009-08-23

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Bears: Surfer Blood

Apparently, and I only say this knowing the inherit risk of me saying the words may in fact kill the trend, kitschy surfer rock is not only popular again, but it seems to be sticking. The resurgence of the often forgotten but always likable summer soundtrack has been a more than abundant filler for the bulk of 2009. Artists like Delorean, Washed Out, Sunnybrook, nearly every artist on Lefse Records, and countless others have cultivated the washed out sounds of the 60's with a tinge of modernity to offset the unavoidable boredom of beach culture.

I only bring up the topic because I may have just heard one of the best modern surf-rock songs in, well, as long as the genre has been relevant. Far too often do the sounds of fringe-echoed vocals and hazy feedback make many of the aforementioned artists less than enjoyable. Surfer Blood (aptly named), however, seem to have perfected the output with their new single "Swim (To Reach the End)." The song is beyond catchy and joyful, with the more vigorous approach that makes other artists seem pedestrian by comparison. A must listen for any regular reader, or Hell, anyone else.


MP3 Courtesy of Pitchfork

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Franz Ferdinand On Conan

Franz Ferdinand did their talk show rounds last night, performing Tonight: Franz Ferdinand's newest single "What She Came For" on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. The performance starts off pretty slow, with the volume tuned down a bit too low for my liking, but the band comes together right before the end, almost making up for the first 2:30.

Franz Ferdinand - What She Came For (Live on Conan)

Thursday Bears: New No Age - You're a Target

Yesterday Los Angeles noise-punk duo No Age released their single "You're a Target" off of the band's upcoming Losing Feeling EP, due out October 6 on Sub Pop. The song features the regular No Age retreats; fuzz, screeches, lots of cymbals, and a blissful fury that has been so easily mastered by drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall. That being said, while "You're a Target" features many of the characteristics that exemplify most of No Age's catalog, the song is easily one of their best and is already on the short list for songs of the year.

The EP, the band's first original material since 2008's masterful album Nouns, will be available in 12" vinyl or digital format. Pre-order for yourself here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Bears: Weekend

Weekend, a massively unknown band from San Francisco, has branded their work with the messy showgaze punk that is crunched with the sounds from this Summer. I understand that Bears and Bullets usually is filled with work from artists that tend to be a little more popular than this low-key Jesus & Mary Chain throwback, but there's something so welcoming about the visceral sting you get when you hear the most raw, uninhibited brand of fuzz that can't help but to entice you.

I doubt I may ever write about Weekend again, but here's to hoping that the band's upcoming 7" scheduled for November release from Mexican Summer makes them a little bigger.


MP3 Courtesy of Transparent

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weird Summer

The guys at Aquarium Drunkard and Gorilla vs. Bear have dished out some lovely (and long) end of summer mix tapes, full of the fuzzy sun-fusion indie surf that have given Summer 2009 such a vibrant sound.

From the Aquarium Drunkard mix we have works from The Books, Atlas Sound, Love, Otis Redding, The Magnetic Zeros, Little Joy, Best Coast, and many, many more (full tracklist here.) The mix was put together by Aquarium Drunkard creator Justin Gage and his group Mondo Boys, which Gage calls a "NY/LA mixtape/sound collage collaborative."

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New Music: The Very Best - Rain Dance (ft. M.I.A.)

In the history of Bears and Bullets it may seem kind of odd that I've written more about the Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit duo The Very Best than any other artist in the site's year or so of existence. Maybe it's the timeliness of the two or the rapid rate they put out their music, but more than likely it's the obscure amount of appreciation I have for the Malawi born and inspired Mwamwaya, who's music is as infectiously engaging as it is remarkably uplifting. For those who are somehow still out of the loop when it comes to The Very Best, you can download the group's African-electronic infused debut album here for free.

As for upcoming new material, the group has released yet another single from their upcoming Warm Heart of Africa LP, which is officially available for download today via Rough Trade. The new single, "Rain Dance," features M.I.A. (who was featured on the previous album in "Get It Up"). The new single isn't as heart-thumping as "Get It Up," but gives M.I.A. a much welcomed larger role in the song.

It may not be as curiously inviting as the album's title track featuring Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig, or "Julia," but "Rain Dance" is still another delightful track worthy of a listen.


MP3's Courtesy of Fader and Pretty Much Amazing

Tuesday Bears: New A.A. Bondy

A.A. Bondy's second studio album, When the Devil's Loose, is scheduled for release September 1 (pre-order here) via Fat Possum Records. The album is already getting heavy hype from blogs like Muzzle of Bees, who's creator Ryan Matteson declares that he "can guarantee any regular reader of (his) site will call this album a favorite of the year."

Bondy is touring for the remainder of the year with scheduled shows at New York City's Mercury Lounge September 9 and Philadelphia's Kung Fu Necktie September 11. Catch him before you realize how good he is.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back Again ... New Times New Viking

It's been quite a while since I've been able to sit here comfortably and write daily posts for Bears and Bullets, but my little side vacation, fantasy football, and my birthday weekend are done with. So now, just act like I never left. I will anyway.

The common trend that popped up among the regime of popular music blogs (Pitchfork, Pretty Much Amazing, Gorilla vs. Bear, etc.) while I was gone was to issue their favorite albums and songs of the decade. Now while I understand the end of the decade is upon us, I'll wait for a little more appropriate time (say November, December) to dish mine out.

So, ignoring the whole listing thing, we'll just continue with the regular format. Sonic-fuzz infused Columbus natives Times New Viking are set to release their fourth studio album Born Again Revisited off Matador Records September 22. Like much of the band's past material, Born Again Revisited is a numeral approach to the noise clouded pop screeches that Times New Viking has been able to mature and master so well.

After the group's September 5 show in Los Angeles' State Historic Park they'll be touring overseas for several months, so it should be a while before they'll be around the Northeast again.


MP3's Courtesy of Pop Tarts Suck Toasted