Thursday, December 15, 2005

Robert Pollard

It's been nearly a full year since Robert Pollard disbanded Guided by Voices. Although he's been very busy in 2005 releasing several e.p.'s and albums under various other band names, he didn't release a proper album of all new material. Well, not officially anyway. Immediately following the recording of the final GbV album, he recorded From A Compound Eye. In the spring of 2005, he sent the album out to a few close fans. Word got around and fans started to salivate. Unbelievably, Pollard agreed to allow it to be distributed to a larger group of fans. As leaked albums go, it quickly spread and nearly every GbV/Pollard fan now has a burned copy. He shopped the album and it was eventually picked up by Merge Records, who signed him to a two album deal. In an interview earlier in the year, he joked that he's already completed his contractual agreement with Merge and his first album hasn't even been released. January 24, 2006 will see the official release of From A Compound Eye.

Two days after it's release, Pollard will make his first post-GbV stage appearance on a tour stretching through April. It won't be nearly as packed with dates as the old GbV tours, but he'll be backed by a stellar group of musicians: Tommy Keane (longtime Matador Records artist), Dave Phillips, Jason Narducy (fresh off of a tour supporting Bob Mould, also former member of Verbow), and Superchunk's Jon Wurster (who has also backed Pollard on GbV tours and in the studio). Check the dates and clear your calendar.

Robert Pollard - The Numbered Head

Robert Pollard - I'm a Window

Robert Pollard - Kick Me and Cancel

(photo: Terri Nelles)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Idle Hands

The Idle Hands have been kicking around the Minneapolis scene since 2002. Within a few weeks of their first gig, they landed an opening slot for the Brian Jonestown Massacre. BJM's Anton Newcombe was so impressed with their sound and attitude that he was tempted to release their album on his own label. Word is that, upon getting the offer from Newcombe, singer Ciaran Daly told Newcombe to toss of. They recorded their debut e.p., the 5-song Dig? at Minneapolis' Minor 7 Studios and released it in 2003.

Their music has subtle hints of the Dandy Warhols and BJM infused with heavy doses of the 80's English pop of Echo & the Bunnymen and The Mighty Lemon Drops. Ciaran and bandmate/brother Criostoir are originally from England and Ireland, so if you hear a bit of an English accent and influence, your ears are not fooling you.

I couldn't dig up any MP3's, but there are several tracks streaming at their website.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Top 10 of 2005

I went through the list of new albums that I've listened to this year and counted up about 60 of them. Keep in mind that of those 60, I have listened to about 50 of them in the last 3 months. These 10 do not necessarily represent my favorites of the year, but they are the ones that have been played the most for one reason or another throughout the year (be it the mood that I'm in at the time or whichever one I could randomly grab and put in the car stereo while keeping my eyes on the road). I have several albums that I'm sure will get repeated listens over time, but there is just not enough time in the day to listen to all of them and give them the immediate attention that they deserve. I hate ranking albums, because they all have their own merits that would trump those of another. So, in no particular order, here are my top 10 albums of 2005:

Bob Mould - Body of Song
Underneath Days

Spoon - Gimme Fiction
The Beast and Dragon, Adored

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
The Price of Gas

Death From Above 1979 - Romance Bloody Romance
Romantic Rights (Erol Alkan's Love From Below Re-edit)

The Wedding Present - Take Fountain
It's For You

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Howl
Ain't No Easy Way

The Evens
You Won't Feel a Thing

Calla - Collisions

American Analog Set - Set Free
Cool Kids Keep

New Order - Waiting For the Siren's Call
Hey Now What You Doing?

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Their bio reads: "Shimmering walls of pink noise with dreamy, languorous guitar, gently-treated vocals, and swimmingly beautiful melodies." That right there my friends is the hook, line and sinker. Shoegaze music might be a thing of the past but it's spirit certainly lives on, and Faunts are definately one of the new torchbearers.

Listen to Instantly Loved from their dubut album High Expectations/Low Results and see what I mean.

They've got a couple of songs from the record up at their website and a few other full songs streaming on their MySpace page. You can also sample, and buy, all of the songs from Amazon and eMusic.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lab Partners

In addition to the Lounge Act post below, be sure to tune in Friday, Dec 2 at 4:00 when Dayton, Ohio's Lab Partners stop by the Lounge to play some tunes.