Artist:Woods Album: Songs of Shame File Under: Lo-Fi, Psych Rock/Jam Band Recommended if You Like: Mount Eerie, Dungen, Wavves, Crystal Stilts Featured Track: “Rain On”
I’m pretty much a sucker for anything filed under the murky category of ‘lo-fi’ but I particularly like the genre-bending twist the Brooklyn-based group calling themselves, Woods, puts on it – which is a combination of lo-fi, psych rock, jam band and Neil Young-tinged folk.
It sounds ridiculous but it works in a delightfully quirky and unpredictable way. For just when you think you’ve got their sound figured out – fuzzed out guitars, off-kilter vocals – they’ll throw in a nine minute guitar jam (“September With Pete”), a great cover (Graham Nash’s “Military Madness”), a melancholy ditty (“Rain On”) or an experimental instrumental (“Echo Lake”). Wrap all that together with the hazy ambience of cassette tape recording and you’ve got yourself an album worth listening to. Trust me.
For those in the Bay Area, Woods is part of a stellar bill of music planned August 30 at Bottom of the Hill also featuring Kurt Vile and Dungen.
Apteka, the Chicago-based 4 piece is heading to San Francisco to bring their psych rock, shoegaze sound to The Rumble on June 3 at Harlot. RSVP for the event here then download a free copy of their EP on their MySpace page.
Listening to another SXSW discovery this week, San Francisco psych rock group Sleepy Sun and their track “Sleepy Son”, I couldn’t help but muse what I would give to have one some mornings. Every day I’m startled awake by a little 3 year old drill sergeant who comes barreling into the room announcing “It’s morning time, Mommy! Get up, get up, GET UP! LET’S PLAY!”
At what age do we lose our enthusiasm for getting up in the morning? I’ve given this due thought and can honestly say I can’t recall, but I don’t ever remember having the kind of energy and enthusiasm to greet the day like Judah does. I should feel lucky really because he sleeps until 7:00AM (very humane in the kid world). Yet I am pained every morning by this process and find myself constantly devising strategies to extend my sleep.
Set breakfast out the night before? 10 minutes. Let him use me as a race track for his cars? 20 minutes. Allow him to do something semi-destructive like launch hot wheels with his car shooter into the wall? 30 minutes. But the mother of all sleep aids? TV. Movies are a regular early morning weekend routine. We’re talking 90 solid minutes of quiet, blissful, uninterrupted sleep. A few weeks ago, I found my ace in the hole, Mary Poppins. 2 hours and 23 minutes of sleep heaven!
One of my favorite groups from last year, The Early Years, just released a single in the UK on vinyl this week. Apparently, the band has just finished recording their second album, but this is their first new material in a good while.
The two new tracks, ‘Like a Suicide’ and ‘Computer Voice‘, are available for streaming on the band’s website. I was so thrown off after sampling the tracks, I had to check three times to make sure I was on the right MySpace page. Their self-titled debut album fell squarely into the category of psych rock for me, and I loved the way David Malkinson’s voice echoed David Gilmour at times. These new tracks sound more like krautrock – not that it’s a bad thing…just different.
The A side, ‘Like A Suicide‘, is an electro, experimental number that moves into more familiar Early Years’ guitar-based territory as it progresses. ‘The Computer Voice’, is krautrock meets Jim Morrison with loud guitar, drums and vocal loops that will send your head into psychedelic dreams – definitely my favorite of the two.
I still eagerly await their second album, but until then, you should check The Early Years debut album. It’s a good one. Featured here is the video for a single they released last year, ‘So Far Gone.‘