28 July 2012

Top 5 Favorite Indie Labels

Top 5 Favorite Indie Labels
Here's a small list of some of my favorite indie labels that are currently around. I'm not talking about the giants in the indie community (Subpop, Southern Lord, Polyvinyl) but more of the smaller labels that don't really get as much press, but we love stuff that they put out. In the comments of this article, or on facebook, tell me your favorite indie labels too. I'd like to hear about it.

Sunup Recordings

These guys are a tape label from [I believe] Minnesota, and everything I've heard from them I've been very impressed with. Their tapes are incredibly cheap ($4) and always very professional. I ordered my FAVRTSM tape from them, and it sounds amazing. Definitely check them out, very cheap and great abstract and experimental music. Oh, and they put out that brilliant Otto Rollo tape. So much great music. Listen and order stuff here.

Puzzle Records

This is a record label from Germany, actually. Just going through the label's discography is pretty amazing just by the amount of releases they have. Tapes, Cd's, 7"s, everything pretty much. The music itself is very enigmatic, mainly because of the fact there is nowhere you can listen to there stuff. Almost anywhere. But, just from the descriptions of the music, you can tell it's intense stuff. Noise, Grindcore, Drum And Bass, Sound experimentation, Doom, and Drone. The way I look at it is that, their stuff is so cheap (about $2.50 in America most the time), it's a nice minor investment to find out what the stuff sounds like. Also, most their tapes are hand painted and are just generally cool. Also, they have some awesome splits, often involving up 6 bands. It's just generally cool stuff. Check out here!

XO Pressings

Right in my backyard in KC there's an amazing label named XO Pressings. If you're into DIY punk and hardcore stuff, check out this label. $2 bucks for most tapes and around $12 for LP's. I'm currently trying to complete my collection of their stuff, and it's not that hard with how cheap their stuff is. It's just very intense and noisy and lo-fi Kansas City weirdness, and I love it. Features a band we've blogged quite a lot, Meat Mist and tons of others that I love. Listen to their stuff over here.

Sea Of Tranquility Records
Sea of Tranquility Records
I believe this label is just directly in Lawrence, and they have just amazing indie stuff. Some hardcore, some indie rock, post-hardcore, emo, etc. Most of their stuff is incredibly cheap (I believe their most expensive item is $8 for an LP) and totally worth it. They distribute great records, they put out great tapes and make music that I consistently find myself loving a lot. Find all their stuff here.

Whatever Forever

These guys are my friends, and they've release some of my favorite records.... Ever really. Agent X12, Karma Vision, Generals, Heartscape Landbreak, Blakey Bear, Oils, Bo And The Locomotive, South B**** Diet, and I believe Dean Monkey And The Dropouts. While that isn't really a ton of releases, I love them all SO MUCH. I've never, ever been even slightly disappointed by them. And, they make killer pizza's.

Other Labels I Love
Replay Records
Purr Tapes
Keep It Together! Records
Woozy Tribe
Le Record Machine
Type Recordings
It's A Trap! Records

25 July 2012


*Photo by Carmen Cheung

Alright, we're very happy to show you guys our latest interview. We did an interview with the wonderful Michael Lacour, also known under his stage name B L A C K I E. As far as we are concerned, B L A C K I E is one of the best names in experimental hip hop music in this modern age. We can't wait for to read our interview with him. It's up there with some of our favorite interviews (SSLYBY, Have A Nice Life/Dan Barrett, Meat Mist). Enjoy!

B L A C K I E Facebook Page
B L A C K I E Website

Me: Please state your name, occupation and location.


Me: So, you’re releasing a new album this year, Gen. Tell us about that.

B L A C K I E: It is out now. It is called GEN. It is the first complete full length I have released since 2008.

Me: You have a very abrasive sound on your tracks and in your live performances. What’s your inspiration for that?

B L A C K I E:  I like to feel the music. I got to hear it distorted & blown up or else it is boring to me.

Me: There’s a video of you on the internet throwing a guy’s beer during a performance at SXSW. Do you have something against cheap beer?

B L A C K I E: I do not drink so I tend to do that if I see anyone drinking during a show.

Me: When did you first start recording music?

B L A C K I E:  I started playing around with tape decks when I was like 12 or something. Making little loops and rapping over them.

Me: If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

B L A C K I E: Probably Anne Teresa De Keersmaker.

Me: When you play a show, you perform with a giant amp wall behind you. How loud does that get?

B L A C K I E: It depends on whats going on with it. Sometimes it gets crazy, sometimes its not working 100%, sometimes I have to play shows without it. I have to feel the music, I like it really really loud.

Me: Do you make your own beats?

B L A C K I E: Yes, I make all the tracks.

Me: Is their anyone who you think you sound like?

B L A C K I E: Richard Wayne Penniman.

Me: As a musician, what do you think your biggest accomplishment has been?

B L A C K I E: I have not stopped.

Me: Any closing comments?


Jet Plane: Wonderful Russian Post-Rock

A while back, we received our first international submission. Russian band Reserve De Marche sent us their excellent album The Last Twenty Years. Apparently, the note that we like Russian bands got passed on to Jet Plane. Jet Plane is a 4 piece group works within one of my favorite genres ever: Post Rock. Their latest album All The Static Stars is a great trip through the genre with beautiful atmospheric songs that simply glide. The album has great musicianship within it that at times feels like it just might be improvised. Packing 50 minutes into 8 tracks, Jet Plane definitely gives you their all. All The Plastic Stars is available for your streaming and downloading services above, and a CD copy is available here.

23 July 2012

The Human Fly: Melancholy Folk Forever

The Human Fly is a great new lo-fi folk band from VA/CT that I'm really crushing on right now. It's pretty amazing sad folk music, recalling dudes like Elliot Smith and Bon Iver. It's very somber, melancholy and harmonious. Each track seems to burst towards the end into something truly beautiful. This is definitely a winter/fall record, but I will definitely continue listening to this record through this summer season and into the cold bitter days of Winter in Kansas. Everything Feels Bad All At Once is an excellent debut record from The Human Fly. Definitely stream and download it above.

The Dirty Nil: Summer Mix-tape

If you were looking for some new Alternative Punk to let you blaze through the final days of summer, definitely check out this new EP made by The Dirty Nil.  They're a 3 piece from Ontario that makes some nice blistering rock music. Combine Torche, OFF! and maybe some recent SF garage rock and you will get something like and/or similar to The Dirty Nil. "Bruto Bloody Bruto" starts the EP just right and sounds just like something one could skate to perhaps. Then the rest of the 3 tracks are just pure fun. The album expires later in September, so definitely get it before it goes away.

21 July 2012

Dungeons & DJ's: Beats Of Beauty

Austin's Dungeons & DJs is a band that is helping me get some of much wanted new trip hop stuff. Their latest EP Crescendo Slaps has some smooth beats and very bright and beautiful electronics. Every track is a very serene, yet fast moving at the same time. That EP is streaming above and available for your buying pleasure. 6 tracks of great beats. Do it. You won't regret it. Sorry for the short description, but I can't think of much else to say about it. It's awesome.

19 July 2012


Photo by Sarica Douglas

Here's a nice little interview I did with KC's own Jonathan Brokaw of All Blood. He's released an album this year that actually wound up on my favorite albums of the year so far list. We talk about his latest album, house shows, and drunken talks with King Khan. While reading it, definitely listen to the MTYMNHKA's approved record Flood down below (definitely turn your volume down before you do that though). Hope y'all enjoy it!

Me:  Please state your name, location and occupation?

Jonathan: My name's JB, from KCMO, and I cook things that were once alive and bang out noises onto old recording equipment for a living.

Me: What is All Blood? Who else is in it?

Jonathan: All Blood is pretty much just my name for all the songs I write. Occasionally I've been backed up live (my friend Megan helped me for a bit, but now we're in an entirely new band all itself), even then it's usually just me.

Me: On the most recent All Blood tape "Flood", pretty much ever track is super loud. How'd you get it to sound like that? And tell us a little more behind "Flood"s recording process.

Jonathan: I used a $75 Yamaha 4-track with a knock off SM57. Besides the equipment snag, the real trick to that ridiculous sound was to basically ignore the pleas of my 4-track by recording completely at peak levels. Then I tried to mix out some of the pure noise so the individual tracks would still be noticeable. I like this style because it makes the whole of the song attack in one big solid form, while keeping it from sounding like pure static. You get the panning/mixing benefit of isolated tracks, without them sounding seperate and noodely. You can also pull some wicked and completely random tones everynow and then. It's almost like getting extra instruments without having extra tracks.

Me: What's your biggest musical influence?

Jonathan: It's hard to say. I really like Devo, and some of the washed out sounds of Matrix Metals or James Ferraro. The Intelligence, The Gories and Current 93 were important to this album, but so were Thanksgiving and Mount Eerie. Most things have an influence on me, so I'll stop here before I namedrop to oblivian.

Me: Do you prefer House Shows or Shows At Actual Venues?

Jonathan: House shows, definitely. They're more intimate, more fun, more memorable and more wild. The only setback is the difficulty of getting enough money for touring bands.

Me: Your mildly related to the folks over at XO Pressings, mainly for the Troost DIY Compilation. What's your favorite release from them?

Jonathan: Everything Meat Mist. The Robert Plant's Dingleberry tape is pretty great too (Will and Dan are both completely insane), and the Thin Man Wig's Out by Sneaky Creeps is really well recorded. Also, the Demon Horse tape, because I was in that band.

Me: Any memorable show memories?

Jonathan: I got really drunk at Garage Fest and heckled King Khan. Demon Horse played a show in Boston where we were up to our necks in drunk punk hooligans, trying to keep our amps from being knocked over while playing one of our best sets ever. It was wild and I got butt naked later that night. I've seen a fair share of fires and vandalisms at shows, but I'm a good kid and would NEVER do that. 

Me: What was the last album you listened to before this interview?

Jonathan: The Dicks - Hate The Police

and this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6pQtHhNIr4&feature=youtu.be

Me: Is their any possiblity of a All Blood tour?

Jonathan: god, I hope so. I'm trying to buy a car and set up a good live act, possibly with my room mate and friend Zach who records under Puffs or Plumes, and maybe with some loop pedals. Before that, I'm sure this weirdo garage punk band I'm in with Megan Karson and Carrie Thomas will tour. I think the name of that band is Cell Walls. We have no idea what the hell we're going to call it.

Me: Who are some of your favorite KC bands?
Jonathan: Meat Mist, Dark Ages. Der Todesking were cool, but who knows what they do now. Lazy. The Sperm were great, and I wish I could have seen them live. Mosquito Bandito is this awesome dude who plays awesome songs all by himself. He's a beast. My favorite of all time was White Bitch. Sneaky Creeps are good, but I wish they would practice more. Maybe that's besides the point? Whatever. Also, shout out to Folkicide. Oh! and The Conquerors and The Scammers.

Me: What plans do you have for the rest of 2012?

Jonathan: I just helped my friend Burnie/Folkicide record an entire lo-fi and stripped down, folk punkish version of Queen's Night at the Opera. We're going to finish mixing down in a couple weeks. I'm also helping my friend Pat Rocha record a tape for his project Dragon Tears. I'm also planning on recording a split between my friends Kelsey and Taylor. I'm hopefully going to make one or two music videos for All Blood and finish recording an album that I hope to earn enough money to press to vinyl, as well as a tape of a capella covers of pop and punk songs. My friend Alyx Poska's going to put that out. Um, and that Cell Walls band will probably record a demo? We'll see. There's alot to do before the world ends in December.

18 July 2012

CONCERT REVIEW: Tropical Punk w/ Bird Law, Baby Boomers and Jon Fitzgerald.

A Great Night Of Rock At The Overlook

Last Saturday, we went to The Overlook to go see a nice little show. And that we did. After myself, my father, Quinton of Panda Circus and his girlfriend Bailey waited out on The Overlook porch for about an hour for the show to start (Oh, Lawrence), the basement opened up for the beginning of the show. Tons of great musicians graced the "stage" of The Overlook last saturday. Lucky for you, person who probably went to go see Liars at The Granada, me and Quinton are here to recap the nights events. Enjoy....

Quinton's Opening Thoughts:

I didn't go to The Overlook last Saturday to see Tropical Punk, or any of the other bands playing that night. It's not that I didn't WANT to see them, just that the show was completely off my radar until Drew texted me about it. Someone forgot to tell me about liking The Overlook on Facebook, I guess.  

"Where exactly is this place?" 

I hadn't realized Bailey hadn't been to an Overlook show before, though it's not like I've been to more than a few myself. Which is a tragedy, considering that I always enjoy myself. I was supposed to go see Bomb The Music Industry! and Stiff Middle Fingers there last summer, but I ended up taking my dad to see Steely Dan that night instead (it was his birthday present, and totally awesome). But I digress. 

                                         Jon Fitzgerald

Me: Jon Fitzgerald opened up the show. He played pretty amazing actually. His voice was very bluesy and growly and his guitar playing was equally great. He began with a cover track, and it was just the sounds of infinite fun. Everyone sang and howled along with him. He also did a re-worked Rolling Stones cover. That was pretty awesome. His lyrical writing skills on his own tracks were pretty well displayed. His set was pretty short (probably about 25 minutes), but he made the most of it. People packed the basement for it, and they all loved it.

Quinton: Jon Fitzgerald first. He had a crazy awesome voice, one with a growl and volume and damn near perfect pitch that combine into quite the captivating instrument. His music was, sadly, not available in any kind of recorded format, but I snagged a video of an excellent re-imagining of The Rolling Stones' "Beast of Burden." (link coming soon).

                                        Baby Boomers
Me: Now, I'm personally a huge fan of Baby Boomers. Friend of the blog Nate Shobe recommended them to me because he knows the guys in the band. Their Tapes EP is pretty amazing. Although the crowd for their part of the show kinda sucked (for some reason most people went up upstairs at this time, don't know why) , and was the reason they had a 30 MINUTE SOUNDCHECK, Baby Boomers still played great live. They were super loud (I kept myself side stage to ovoid my ear drums getting ripped to shreds) and just straight up rockin'. They also got some good jammed on. Oh, and their drummer is terrifying. I really have never seen a drummer just destroy his drum set since seeing Generals back in March at Wonder Fair. The crowd sucked, but these guys still killed it.

Quinton: I snagged a picture of Baby Boomers, featuring Jon Fitzgerald fronting a guitar and drums garage blues duo. Good stuff, really energetic. I didn't see most of the set because I went off wandering in search of a bathroom and ended up talking to the guys playing MTG upstairs. What I heard through the floor was pretty stellar, though.

                                                                                               Bird Law
Me: One of the reasons I really wanted to go to the show was that it was Nick Powers last show at The Overlook for a while. The drummer behind one of my favorite Lawrence punk bands Beta Maxx, Nick played behind the kit Saturday for his new band Bird Law. It's him on vocals and drums and a girl named Elise Atkinson on vocals/a dirty, feedback filled bass. I only caught about 4 songs, but those 4 songs were just.. some abrasive punk rock. Super loud, fuzzy, fast and fairly ear splitting. Bird Law is moving from The Overlook to Nashville very soon. I wish them the best in their journey through America on their tour that their going on later this year.

                                                        Tropical Punk
Me: Like previously said, I left around the time Bird Law was half way threw their set. I missed Tropical Punk's set. I was fortunate enough to talk to the dudes in the band for like 20 minutes before Bird Law's set. They were awesome guys, as you can tell by the beautiful picture I got of them above. I got a copy of their cassette, and I've loved it so far. Luckily, since I wasn't there, Quinton was around to tell us a bit about their sound. Read it right below.

Quinton: And then there was Tropical Punk. Garage surf punk masters from Nashville, these guys should have way more than 165 likes on Facebook . They swagger and wail like The Redwalls, churning out picture-perfect throwback rock powerful enough to make Kings of Leon question their deviation from the cause, to make The Deadly Snakes wonder why they ever broke up, to make Murder By Death wonder why they aren't touring with Tropical Punk right. now. Their first album is laced with Lo-fi vocal lines and sing/yell-along choruses; bouncy, snakey walking bass lines; thundering, driving drums. They've got jangly guitar chords and overdriven solos that are a bit sloppy but catchy as all get out. They know how to straight up kill a 3/4 drinking song, and, most of all, try as hard as you might, you couldn't possibly have as much fun as them. Trite as it sounds, these guys ARE the party. Check 'em out at http://tropicalpunk.bandcamp.com/album/ends-of-the-world.