Reighnbeau - 'Ashes'

Normally I'm not too keen on cutesy misspellings in band names, but if you're making perfectly eerie slowcore, I might just forgive you. These guys are masters of the doomy guitar build.

M. K. Sol

I’m not going to lie, I’ve had an ultra busy couple of weeks. It isn’t over either. I’ve got a crazy amount of stuff to do over the next couple of days. Times like this call for a very specific type of music. I needed something that was ambient enough to kill some of my stress, but interesting enough to keep me from slipping into an unproductive coma. I can’t believe how perfect M. K. Sol is for that.

I’ve been listening to M. K. Sol’s album, “The Guild / Days Of Sorrow” on Bandcamp, and it’s really putting me in that “Don’t worry! Everything is good! Do what you need to!” kind of mood. The layers of piano are beautiful enough to strip away your concerns and elaborate enough to keep your attention.

I’m growing particularly fond of the title track, “The Guild”. I think it does the best job of illustrating all the points I’ve been making so far. I have so much work to do right now, but listening to this somehow keeps me from worrying about it at all.

M. K. Sol has eleven great tracks on “The Guild / Days Of Sorrow” on their Bandcamp page, and they’re all absolutely worth checking out. Head on over for perfect stress relieving, thought provoking, instrumental mood music. Albuquerque, you’re putting out a lot of great stuff like this right now, and Michael Solomon Kesner’s music under the abbreviation M. K. Sol is right at the very top.

Lost Lingo - Wave In

This groovy electronic outfit promises world peace and sexy happiness through dancing. Maybe that is the recipe. Either way, this two-part jam should get you going, and if you like what you hear, you may be able to catch Lost Lingo at one of their upcoming tour dates.


Serious Business

I love songs that are so fast that listening to them makes me want to test my typing skills. “Cubical Cowboy” by electronic artist Josh from Albuquerque does not disappoint at all. I’m actually quickly developing a sort of learned helplessness from trying to keep up with this ridiculously fast tempo.

That’s an interesting concept. People naturally try to nod their heads or otherwise move their body to the tempo of songs with strong beats, but if you make the beat so fast that they actually can’t physically keep up, you start to mess with them psychologically. Is this your intention, Josh? If so, well done. I can’t keep up with these beats at all, and they’re blowing my mind.

“Opportunity”, the second track on his album “Serious Business” is slower than “Cubical Cowboy”, but no less interesting. These tones are better than most, and these beats are still very strong.

“Elevator” is probably my favorite track on the album. If I close my eyes and imagine that I’m in an elevator while I listen to this, I love elevators so much more than normal. This song incites a stronger physical urge to move in me than any of the others, even though it’s probably the slowest. This sort of just blows all that stuff I said about fast songs totally away. Josh’s songs are great. Josh’s songs are confusing in exactly the right ways. Once again, excellent work, Josh. Keep making tracks like this and I’ll keep finding them and writing confusing stories.

Lousy Robot

The Strange And True Story Of Your Life

A crunchier than real life electric guitar immediately begins Lousy Robot’s album, “The Strange And True Story Of Your Life.” The know that we all seem strange, and they’re not complaining. This was released in August of 2005, but I wouldn’t have been surprised at all if I would’ve looked at the bottom of Lousy Robot’s Bandcamp page and discovered a mid-nineties date instead. This kind of writing hasn’t existed in such radio friendly rock in a long time. Excellent job, Lousy Robot.

My favorite track on the album is definitely “Together Somehow”, the very first of the album’s ten tracks. However, “Flying Pizza” is very solid as well. This makes me want to jump back to early high school and hang out with my sister on the trampoline for six or seven hours on a hot and boring Saturday. That’s a much greater compliment than it probably sounds like. Those were great times, and songs like this were the soundtrack for those times. All I need is a twenty dollar cd player, an extension cord, a trampoline, and way more time than I know what to do with.

They called this postpunk and power pop which both mean totally different things in 2005. The postpunk indie rock of 2005 is the radio nostalgia of today.

These guys definitely kept making records since 2005. Speaking of which, they released “Smile Like You Are Somewhere Else” in 2006 and “Hail The Conquering Fool” in 2011. Be sure to give it all a listen.

North America - 'Wet Dream'

North America describe themselves as desert psych rock, or "pastry makin' music", but the following track sounds more like what would happen if early Battles were caught in a sandstorm. A great closer to an EP of spacious long-form proggy jams. 

Jenny Invert

"They call this “Indie-Freak-Pop Ménage” or “A mix of rock n’ roll and sweet indie"

Jenny Invert is great! The sparkling guitar at the beginning of “The Past Has Passed” (as well as the clever title) was enough to hook me in and convince me to write about this band for this week’s article. I love the reverb on the vocals for the main line. These arrangements are great, and the vocals seem sincere.

Sometimes we all need to remember that the past really has passed. “Everything that was is gone, and now is all that’s left” he sings. That’s so incredibly true. This track is only two and a half minutes long, but it’s one of the most important ideas I’ve ever thought about.

They call this “Indie-Freak-Pop Ménage” or “A mix of rock n’ roll and sweet indie, with a twist of jazz and some nods to vaudeville”. It’s certainly unique. “Crossing The Divide” needs to be on the radio. This is really good pop/rock. I like the squealing sounds.

The beginning of “Look To The Future” is an exciting break from radio pop. The beginning of this song is a really great mess. Sometimes people hit things all at once and it sounds terrible, but sometimes it sounds great. It sounds great here. Call it jazz-rock fusion. Miles Davis did that a lot, right?

Jenny Invert likes riding bikes, giving pedicab rides, riding in the van, and getting pedicab rides. This band loves riding. I hope they love roller coasters. I hope they love trains. Those are some of the best things to ride.

Alex Full Of Wonder

Alex would be a wonderful dinosaur.

Turtles are among my favorite animals. Some of the best albums are recorded in bedrooms. So, when I saw Alex Full Of Wonder’s album cover for I Am A Turtle, I knew I had to write about them. Only 58 people like this music on Facebook? What’s wrong with the world today?

Alex would be a wonderful dinosaur. Turtles are kind of like dinosaurs.

All of these songs are very honest and very, what you would call, lo fidelity. This genre (honest bedroom singer/songwriter folk) requires the songs to lack elaborate production. I’m starting to hate when people use the word “indie”. Alex Full Of Wonder doesn’t. All the tags are: Alex, full, of, wonder, I, am, a, dinosaur, folk, singer-songwriter, turtle, and Albuquerque. That’s way more descriptive than bands that just say, “Hey! We’re really indie, you know?”

None of these songs are very long, but that’s also a requirement of the genre. “She Stayed Up Just To Watch The Sunrise” is an instrumental guitar track split into two parts. That’s really tasteful.

“Song Of The Bells” is my favorite track on the album. It’s totally eerie, and eventually this rumbling bass thing starts creeping in.

It appears that Alex got a banjo for Christmas, as evidenced by a December 26th Facebook post, “Got a wonderful new instrument to play with. Get ready for some banjo in my future songs!” Keep an eye out for that and other gems from this Albuquerque local. Go like Alex Full Of Wonder on Facebook.

Lowercase Noises

Lowercase Noises from Albuquerque, New Mexico is a refreshing take on experimental, ambient, drone, post-rock. Multi-instrumentalist and producer Andy Othling has been gathering quite a many fans recently on Facebook, and his latest project, the five-track album “Vivian”, is really worth the recognition.  

I don’t know if it’s really this obvious, but the title of the first track, “A Little Lair For A Very Small Bear”, paired with the album cover really make me imagine the song as it could play in the nursery for a napping child. Othling states directly that “this album is a gift to his new daughter.” This is a beautiful gift, much like his May 2010 album “Marshall” for his son.

The packaging is handmade, the songs are well written and produced, and the context is beautiful. This is really worth a serious listen, even if you aren’t baby Vivian or Marshall.

These melodies are subtle, and these tones are smooth. This is really what you want to listen to if you’re in a very “I want to hang out in my room and reflect” kind of mood, as we all inevitably are from time to time.

Othling has completed quite a few projects under the name Lowercase Noises now besides Vivian and Marshall. Seafront (2009), Ambient Songs (2010), Carry Us All Away (2010), and Migratory Patterns (2011) all seem well worth a full listen. I’m saving them for a slow day here in Murfreesboro. I’m so glad Othling actually used the phrase “lullaby-like” in the biography section of his Facebook page.

The Blue Hornets

Rock Steady In Albuquerque

 I haven’t enjoyed modern Reggae and Ska in quite a while. I spent most of my live in Knoxville, TN, a town which held a “Ska Weekend” every year and attracted bands from all over the country. That scene was great, but it wasn’t really anything I could enjoy very long without being at a show. That sort of third-wave Ska was mostly punk influenced, and that tends to be what I associate with Ska.

However, The Blue Hornets are no such punk rockers. They list their genre as Reggae / Rock Steady / Ska. Those are three very different genres originating at quite different times in Jamaica with quite different associations, but just the fact that they listed all three instead of Punk or Rock shows their interests. The Blue Hornets are solid musicians, writing solid, fully enjoyable songs.

You’ll only find one song on their Facebook page, so go to their actual site where you can get samples of several others and buy songs if you wish. The song on their Facebook page is probably their best though. It’s called “Swing Easy” and that’s exactly what it does.

The Blue Hornets are playing at Alibi’s tonight. Formal attire is encouraged, and there will be a champagne toast at midnight. There will also be limited free food from Monroe’s and a Photo Booth from Photo Booth rentals of New Mexico. If you don’t have any other plans and you want to swing easy in Albuquerque tonight, go ahead and head over to Alibi’s on Central Avenue.