Atlas Sound Fans: Meet UNDO

UNDO - “The Hollow Backdrop”

Welcome to the world of Indie electronica.  I first heard this track and thought Bradford Cox is at it again.  But alas, it is not. This comes by way of the LA-based indie electronic duo Ory Hodis and Mike Jerugim, working under the moniker UNDO. Their sound has a similar aesthetic though. Ambient, sultry, hypnotic, atmospheric and a little sad. The pair is getting ready to self-release their debut album, “As Always but Never Before” on August 3rd. Take note.

SF Spotlight: Geographer

Geographer – “Kites”

In case you’ve been living under a rock lately, Geographer is the next ‘ need to know’ SF band. Synth-y, orchestral, moody and melodic, they make a beautiful cocktail of music.  The recipe? Take two parts Grizzly Bear and one part New Order, mix well and you’ve got yourself a heady concoction of sound perfect for after hour, late night sessions of…whatever. They’re set to release their next album, Animal Shapes,on August 17 on Tricycle Records.  Now you know.

Buke & Gass – “Medulla Oblongata”

Buke & Gass - “Medulla Oblongata”

Brooklyn-based Buke & Gass (pronounced byook & gace) are Arone Dyer on the “buke” (a self-modified six-string former baritone ukulele) and Aron Sanchez on the “gass” (a guitar-bass hybrid of his own creation). Rumor has it that Brassland (their current label) co-founders Aaron and Bryce Dessner discovered Buke & Gass when they played Sycamore, the basement venue down the street from The National’s home studio in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. They were so blown away that their self-produced the full-length record, Riposte, is now due out on the label September 14th. “Medulla Oblongata” is the first track from that album. Expect to hear more from this duo.

New Music: Black Lips – “Before You Judge Me”

Black Lips - “Before You Judge Me

“Before you judge me/Better find somebody else. Before you judge me, take look at yourself.” That’s right, gosh darn it. The tyranny of judgement. Has anyone escaped it in life? We’ve all experienced the condemnation of judgement at some point in time.  Or perhaps have been the perpetrator ourselves. But as a wise woman once said “if you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

So judge not, my friends.  Unless it’s music, of course.  For I do believe that one can accurately judge a man’s character by the music he keeps. But rest assured, adding this Black Lips track to your collection will surely save you from the purgatory of bad music taste. The single was released this week as part of The Adult Swim series of 8 tracks released over 8 weeks. Check it out.

Folkin’ Monday: Peggie Sue, todayokay, Pepper Rabbit

Peggie Sue – “Watchman”

Pepper Rabbit “None Shall Sleep”

todayokay - “HT Sandwich”

We all hate Mondays, but hopefully this trio of folky new artists set to hit Bottom of the Hill tonight in San Francisco will brighten your day. Peggie Sue is a UK-based trio on tour in the US to support their debut album “Fossils and Other Phantoms”, which was produced by members of Mumford and Sons. Preceding their headline act will be Silverlake’s Pepper Rabbit and San Francisco’s very own todayokay whose performance will mark their debut.  Folk out.

Cowboy Junkies – “Cacadias”

Cowboy Junkies – “Cacadias

Cowboy Junkies are back and aging like a fine wine with their latest release Renmin Park, the first of four planned over the next 18 months collectively titled “The Nomad Series.” Renmin Park was inspired by Michael Timmons’ trip to China on the Yangtze River and is themed around “a fictional love story of two people whose worlds will forever keep them apart.” How hopelessly romantic.

I personally was inspired and honored to share a virtual classroom earlier this year with the talented Mr. Timmons through the Berklee School of Music on Topspin, a technology platform designed to help artists take control of their musical destiny. He’s done just that and is thriving creatively without the constraints of a label. So kudos to you and your Topspin widgets, Michael!

MANTRA –> What Is and What Is Not

The Vision of A Dying World - “Mantra/What Is and What Is Not”

I could not blame my fellow man
I will not fear what I don’t understand
I have not known a truth so clear
I will not hate the things I fear
I will not dwell on what I’m not
I will give thanks for what I’ve got
I won’t deny what’s in my soul
I will accept what I cannot control.

Quite an inspiring song for an artist with such an apocalyptic name. The Vision of a Dying World is the work of San Diego-based Jackson Nathan Milgaten. This track is off his EP/7″ entitled “I Will Not Fear What I Don’t Understand.” Words to live by. Let’s all chant it. Milgaten will be playing San Jose’s The Gingerbread House on June 19.

Stuck In My Head: The National – “Afraid of Everyone”

The National – “Afraid of Everyone

As does most everyone, I adore The National’s latest album, High Violet.  Beautiful, dark and brooding, it will certainly be one of my top albums of 2010. This track in particular is a standout for me.  An obsession really as I listen to it over and over again. Matt Beringer’s pathos speaks to me. His distinctive baritone “voice has swallowed my soul.”  The lyrics of this particular tune are so lonely and dark that I yearn to understand what the song is about. But like all great songs, it’s vague enough to lead you to your own meaning and conclusion. I suspect it’s politically slanted but the subtext of trust is pervasive for me. And who hasn’t grappled with that concept at some point? What takes so long to establish and seconds to destroy, nothing is more painful than being hurt by someone you trust. It’s an alluring road, easy to get lost on…that road of fear.  To forgive and trust again is easy to intellectualize, difficult to practice. Finding the road to get you there? Well, like the song says, “I don’t have the drugs to sort it out.”

The Purrs – “Tearing Down Paisley Garden”

The Purrs“Only Dreaming”

Taking influence from all the classic indie rock bands like Yo La Tengo, Dandy Warhols and Pixies, it’s hard not to love Seattle’s The Purrs. The band has been knocking out music for the past 10 years and have just self-released their sixth album “Tearing Down Paisley Garden.” With psychedelic hooks like that in “Only Dreaming” you’ll want to love and hold them too. For a good time, just Purr.

Ghosty – “Team Up Again” [Free MP3s]

Ghosty- “Setting Fires”

“Team Up Again”

File another one under the off kilter and quirky category.  This one from Lawrence, Kansas’ Ghosty. I mean, when you write songs about setting fires that’s a little strange and suspect, isn’t it? Both ‘Setting Fires’ and “Team Up Again” are tracks from their new EP called, well, Team Up Again.  Get the album here at iTunes.