Snap Sounds

Snap Sounds: Beach Fossils

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BEACH FOSSILS
Beach Fossils
(Captured Tracks)
Your pretty guitar — or in Beach Fossils' case, your gorgeous guitars. Lyrics and vocals are virtually beside the point, considering how poetic the guitar sounds are on these songs. Beach Fossils is well-listened enough to admire McCarthy and the Go Team. On "Youth" and "Wide Awake," the group comes up with something deeply emotive. You have to make the jump and join me on the other side to find out. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Kisses

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To name a song “Midnight Lover” is ambitious, and perhaps dangerous. A song with a title so classically charged with sex and romance had better deliver. Luckily, this track from Kisses' upcoming album Heart of the Nightlife (Surround Sound) possesses enough swoon-worthiness to compensate for its relative lack of lust. This duo is romantic, and has the disco credentials – love of Cerrone and Gino Soccio; tutelage under Alec R. Constandinos – to deliver the sleek seduction. Read more »

Snap Sounds: New Young Pony Club

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NEW YOUNG PONY CLUB

The Optimist

(The Numbers)

New Young Pony Club really got me revved when they released their debut album Fantastic Playroom [Modular, 2007] and packed it with a whole ranch full of songs for hot gallops and rapid romping. Now that it's been a good chunk of years, the London five-piece claims they've grown up and grown out of their label contracts-- they've become totally self-produced, self-funded and their new album The Optimist (fresh on the shelves this week) is self-released. Is it self-improved? Neigh (as in a horse noise and symbolizing my uncertainty).

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No Bra makes topless creepy

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Exposed breasts usually make my heart beat a little faster in a good, sexy sort of way. But when Susanne Oberbeck, front-woman of post- No Wave- techno band, No Bra, takes off her top, letting her frizzy red hair dangle past her puss and slightly cover her chest, my heart beats faster in a nervous sort of way. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Dum Dum Girls

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DUM DUM GIRLS

I Will Be

(Sup Pop)

Dee Dee. Jules. Bambi. Frankie Rose. Their names would be perfect for the pole and dollar-bill dances, but the only stage these four L.A. ladies take on is one with a mic. Together they are The Dum Dum Girls and today these bad-ass babes put out their first full-length record, I Will Be. Primarily dirty garage-pop with a shot of girl-group charm, the Dum Dum's combination of sweet and ratty comes off with a second-wave feminist punch. Hot harmonies, lo-fi fuzz, sexy black outfits, and sassy melodies that stick like bubblegum. 

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Snap Sounds: YACHT

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YACHT

The Afterlife

(DFA)

YACHT is to the river as an Oreo cookie is to a tall glass of milk-- fully dunked and soggy. The newly released video for "The Afterlife" is alllll about the Portland electro-pop duo gettin' baptized and cleansed. River baptisms, bathtub renditions, slow-mo and even reverse baptisms. Were they naughty?

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Snap Sounds: The Consulate General

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THE CONSULATE GENERAL

Person Number

(Circle Into Square)

We loved him when he was creating music under the moniker Boy In Static and I think a few tears may have been shed when Alexander Chen left the Bay and unpacked his instruments in Gothenburg, Sweden. Like anyone who has ever taken residency in that beautiful country, Chen’s creativity has flourished and his new solo project, The Consulate General, is a breath of fresh Nordic air. 

 

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Snap Sounds (and Q&A): Art Museums

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THE ART MUSEUMS

Rough Frame

(Woodsist)

San Francisco's Josh Alper and Glenn Donaldson lightly place these love songs within comic frameworks. The opening track describes a shy, lovelorn music fan too shy to twist and shout, peppering the scenario with observations such as, "He's worn his pants like that / For a very long time." It also mentions a Buggles record, but Television Personalities and Guided By Voices are better reference points to the Art Museums' sound. In their world, a sculpture garden is a good place to discuss cinema. Read more »

Snap Sounds: Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba

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Four ngonis -- that's a lot of ngonis! Bassekou Kouyate -- Malian maestro of the stringed instrument which not only calls up the resounding Middle Eastern oud, the plucky Appalachian banjo, and the freewheelin' Greek zither -- has built a legendary sound around a quartet of ngonis (not as dirty as it sounds, but quite sexy), and has just released a bumptious and beguiling album, I Speak Fula (Sub Pop). He'll be bringing his multitudinous band and joyfully haunting sound to Slim's on Thu/11.

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Snap Sounds: Rollercoaster Project

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ROLLERCOASTER PROJECT
Revenge
(Absolutely Kosher)

A Dickens quote culled from A Child’s History of England and the note, “All songs made with careful horror and loving attention” accompany the second album, Revenge, by The Rollercoaster Project (ne Johnny White). Spectral, spooked, and downright epic in its use of tweaked audio, cassette tapes, samples, synthesizers, and piano, it gently tags the film score work by Popul Vuh, sending a listener off on mind travel, far from petty retribution.

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