One to Watch: New Mexico – “Have You Met My Friend?”

Artist: New Mexico (formally Apes of Wrath)
Album: Have You Met My Friend?
Genre: Garage Rock
Release Date: November 16, 2010
Label: Unsigned
Track: “Abused and Amused”

There’s nothing about this San Diego-based trio (formally Apes of Wrath) I don’t like. Their music gives me that warm, tingly feeling. The kind of instant love I felt when I first heard White Denim. In fact this track ‘Abused and Amused’ kinda has a little White Denim going on in there, no? Recently nominated ‘Best Local Act’ in their hometown, they are gearing up to release their debut EP under their new moniker on November 16 via iTunes. Hot, hot, hot.

Buke & Gass – “Page Break”

One can become a bit jaded burning through as much music as I do, flippantly classifying bands into the latest trend du jour… electro pop, chill wave, nu wave, shitgaze. So I always pause and take note of an artist with a unique and distinctive sound. That happened the first time I laid ears on this duo calling themselves Buke & Gass. I’m endlessly intrigued by their clattering noise. I mean they make their own instruments! This is the video for the track “Page Break” off their album Riposte.

The Rumble SF Tonight: Burnt Ones, Ume, LSD & The Search for God

Burnt Ones - “Gonna Listen to T.Rex All Night Long”

Carry that Giants love forward to The Rumble San Francisco tonight at Milk Bar featuring San Francisco’s Burnt Ones headlining. The garage rock trio (with evident T.Rex influences) are recent transplants to our fair city by way of Indianapolis and are signed to music tastemaker My Old Kentucky Blog’s label Roaring Colonel. The group was just featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered yesterday to boot. Supporting them are Austin-based rockers Ume and San Francisco psych rock/shoegazers, LSD & The Search for Godbecause lord knows you’re going to need a lot of that to find Him. Entrance is free, per usual, with an RSVP at SonicLiving. And Trumer Pils specials will be flowing.

One to Watch: Cloud Control

Artist: Cloud Control
Album: Bliss Release
Track: “Meditation Song #2″

Yet another outstanding band hailing from Australia, this four piece from the lovely Blue Mountains seem to be on par with buzz makers Tame Impala. Soooo good. Their much anticipated debut album, Bliss Release, hit Australia earlier this year and is slated for the rest of the world in 2011 (though you can get it on iTunes now). This track, “Meditation Song #2″, will be released as their single in November 22. With their 60’s era boy/girl harmonies and psychedelic jams, what’s not to love? And they keep good company too. The band is currently on tour in Europe with the likes of Tame Impala, Local Natives and The Temper Trap. Yeah, it’s that good.

The Coldest Morning Light

The Pharmacy - “Coldest Morning Light”

Sigh. It’s hard to be a music snob. Really it is.  It causes a lot of mental agitation and angst when you’re not in control of your music destiny.  Take the past four days as a case in point, where I immersed myself willingly in a yoga retreat, voluntarily abstaining from my usual mental masturbation of work, music, blogging and other social media. As a result, my unoccupied mind went into a panic. The only cure, of course, was music. In need of a distraction my mind started creating playlists in my head (coming your way soon). I made a game out of coming up with the perfect song for every pose, every memorable moment. I turned into Mary Katherine Gallagher, whose feelings could be best expressed by …well you know the rest.

This morning when I woke up to the cold rain and fog clinging against the Napa hillsides, my mind immediately went to The Pharmacy’s, ‘Cold Morning Light’. First discovered at SXSW this year, the New Orleans based trio has an interesting garage pop vibe that hooked me immediately. The band is heading out on a European tour, along with other acts like Dum Dum Girls, in support of their current album Weekend. Check it out EU friends.

One to Watch: The Vaccines – ‘Wreckin’ Bar/Blow it Up’

The Vaccines –  Blow it Up

Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)‘ 

London buzz band, The Vaccines, are officially ‘On the Verge’ with demo that caused a sensation, a debut record now in the making and their first UK tour underway. It’s all happening so fast for them they don’t even have a MySpace page, or website. Described as the Mary Chain on happy pills, their first single ‘Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)/ Blow it Up’ will be available on November 29. But you can get it here now.

Recently Played: Sean @ Drowned in Sound

I don’t know about you, but I tend to judge people by the music they keep. It’s a sure indicator for me of whether or not we’re going to get along. It may be unfair, may be a little harsh but I can’t help myself. It’s an ongoing fascination I have with compelling and notable people too. It’s all I can do to NOT rip their iPods out of their hand to find out what they’re listening to. And then I realized…wait, I can do that legitimately! And thus the series, ‘Recently Played’ was born where I ask those that I respect and admire (either musically or otherwise) to send me the last 10-12 tracks they’ve recently played. It’s been enormously enjoyable for me. I hope it’s as much fun for you. And that you’ll get to discover some cool new tunes and people along the way. So, without further ado…

Meet Sean….

Founder // Drowned in Sound
Columnist // The Sunday Times Culture
Monthly Playlist Curator // http://blog.spotify.com
Twitter//@seaninsound

Yes…he’s all that and a bag of chips. But most importantly, Sean is the founder of Drowned in Sound (DiS), one of the UK’s first and most established music blogs. Celebrating 10 years of blogging this month, DiS has become an award-winning destination for more than half a million music fans a month. And if that’s not impressive enough, Sean writes a column for The Sunday Times, does a monthly selection of playlists for the Spotify blog, is the driving force behind DiS Records (Kaiser Chiefs, Metric, Bat for Lashes, Martha Wainwright, Emmy the Great, etc) and was recently named one of the London Times’ most-influential people under 30.  You should definitely listen to what he has to play.

//Recently Played//

  1. The Emeralds - “Candy Shoppe”
  2. At the Drive In - “One Armed Scissor”
  3. These New Puritans - “Numerology (AKA Numbers)”
  4. The Stills - “Still in Love Song – Extended 12″ Remix”
  5. The Walkmen – “The Rat”
  6. Beirut – “Elephant Gun”
  7. Nine Inch Nails - “The Way Out is Through”
  8. No Age - “Everybody’s Down”
  9. HEALTH - “In Violet”
  10. Ben Frost - “Theory of Machines”
  11. Mount Kimbie – “Serged”
  12. Interpol - “Try It On”

How It Always Ends…

Fox Royal“How It Always Ends”

“Across The Room”

A perfectly themed post, thanks to Austin, Texas-based Fox Royal who’ve just finished recording their EP, Us Against Us Again. The four piece met and formed in Lubbock, TX then relocate to the Music Capital of the World and have been performing shows around Austin ever since. They’ve got a couple coming up: Tuesday, 10/12, at Red 7, and 11/9, at The Mohawk.

*sigh* Austin. I miss you.

The Power of Ten: 10 Albums for 10/10/10

It’s 10:10 AM on 10/10/10. A perfect 10. These tri-numeral dates come around once a year and this year it falls on the number 10. Is it an auspicious day or a bunch of hullaballoo? There is a certain completeness of order with the number 10. For the Chinese the number is lucky, representing perfection or completion. We’re born with 10 fingers and 10 toes after all. Perfect beauty is measured on its scale. Top 10 lists are ubiquitous. And any respectable album contains at least 10 songs.

If you’re technologically-inclined, today is a “binary” day. The ones-and-zeros representing the binary code or the mathematical language “spoken” by computers to create all things digital. Converting the date 10/10/10 to binary code gives us 101010. And in the binary counting system, that number translates to 42, which means…absolutely nothing.

But hey, it’s a nice theme for a post isn’t it? And everyone loves a top 10 list. So, here’s mine.  The 10 albums I’m obsessed with on this month, this day, this year. The albums I have on heavy rotation right now and keep coming back to again and again. Ten, in a long list, of albums you should most definitely own. Listed in no particular order, they are:

Artist: Royal Baths
Album: Litanies
Track: “Nikki Don’t”

Artist: Deerhunter
Album: Halcyon Digest
Track: “Desire Lines”

Artist: Sea of Bees
Album: Songs for the Raven
Track: “Marmalade

Artist: Sonny & The Sunsets
Album: Tomorrow is Alright
Track: “Lovin’ on an Older Gal”

ArtistLower Dens
AlbumTwin Hand Movement
Track: “A Dog’s Dick”

ArtistTame Impala
AlbumInnerspeaker
Track: “Vital Signs”

Artist: Future Islands
Album: In the Evening Air
Track: “As I Fall”

Artist: Ty Segall
AlbumMelted
Track: “Cesar

Artist: Tamaryn
AlbumThe Waves
Track: “Mild Confusion”

Album of the Week: Royal Baths – “Litanies”

Royal Baths - “Nikki Don’t”

Meet your new favorite San Francisco garage rock band: Royal Baths (formerly known as The Baths but forced to change their name so not to be confused with LA’s Baths). I’ve been silently stalking these guys for about a year. Unable to satisfy my craving for their music because they only released cassette tapes (a most annoying trend, btw), I was oh so thrilled when they signed to the tastemaker Woodsist label. The future looked bright with the promise of a debut LP on a format I could actually consume.  And that day has finally arrived. “Litanies” is out and my need for a whole and complete Royal Baths fix has been satisfied. So satisfied. Lo-fi, dark, brooding goodness is what this is all about. With a heavy dose of eccentricity. Future SF garage rock royalty in the making.