Posts Tagged ‘Bloomington’

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Bloomington, Indiana’s The Cowboys 4th album ‘The Bottom of a Rotten Flower‘ came out on Valentine’s Day and is a veritable box of rock and roll party tricks. But somehow we’re just getting around to featuring it and its 16 tracks of glorious classic sounding power pop.

It’s melodic, and catchy, with moments of Replacements recklessness. It’s sometimes a little quirky but in the best way not unlike pop masters Stephen Merritt, Elvis Costello or Ray Davies.

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This is the fourth album by the Cowboys is kinda like a modern Midwestern version of THE WHO SELL-OUT or SOMETHING ELSE BY THE KINKS–a basic R&R band stretching its wings to embrace more varied musical elements and dig into deeper subject matter. The Cowboys grow up! And they grow in number too, with Chris Kramer (Nobunny/Slushy) joining the brilliant Mark McWhirter for a killer guitar team. Vocalist/songwriter Keith Harman alters his whooping nasal-punk a bit, with a more naturalistic approach when it fits the mood. His songwriting skills are mighty. Zackery Worcel (bass) and Jordan Tarantino (drums) provide a solid, relentless groove.

There are 16 hooky gems in this new LP. To compare the Cowboys’ songs to Pete Townshend and Ray Davies was no casual thing up front. Check “Doghouse Rag” for primo late-60s Kink-kwality pop. Then there’s the insanely hooky “Some Things Never Change,” with its nod to early 70s Sparks. And dig “Bodie, Don’t Jump” in all its bubblegum glory! The deceptively short “Deuce” with its 70s-style pop exploding into VU-like noise, “The Witch” originally performed by The Sonics.

released February 23rd, 2018

Keith Harman – vocals
Mark McWhirter – guitar
Jordan Tarantino – drums
Zack Worcel – bass

Opening their album with more fuzz than an exploded dustbuster, Bloomington, Indiana’s Frankie and the Witch Fingers are riding high on the hallmarks of the 2010’s pantheon of garage rock heroes. Adding to the sonic soup a heavy dose of witchy vibes, psychedelic shake and an incessant grind that makes it feel vital and raw as skin peeled back, their sophomore album for Chicago’s chief gutwrenchers, Permanent Records, is fueled by more than just paint by numbers rock. The band knows when to ride the tide of fuzz-addled freakout, knows when to break in the shake n’ shimmy and knows just when to tear all the good times down for a good old fashioned dark horse that draws the shades and draws a little blood in the process. A solid offering from this band, reportedly uprooting from the doldrums of the Corn Belt to LA. It’ll be interesting to see how the move affects their sound in the future, but for now these nuggets are more than worth the price of admission.”

Frankie and the Witch Fingers are a garage rock outfit and with one song, they’ve made their forthcoming self-titled album on Permanent a hot album to pine for in 2015. Aside from the “True Detective” vibes, I’m not sure what exactly is going on in the “sexy and dangerous witchcraft” video for “Vibrations” which is puzzling, creepy and yet, sustains fascination. Regardless, this song is at the top of the heap when it comes to garage pop tunes that could’ve thrived in the 1960s. You just don’t hear organ work like that anymore.

Frankie and the Witch Finger’s track “Vibrations” off their self-titled album.

At Every SXSW, there seems to be one band that you can’t stop hearing about, and that honor goes to Hoops—it feels like everyone I’ve run into has listed them among their favorite sets. The band performed at Cheer Up Charlie’s. The indie-pop four-piece didn’t disappoint, serving up slick guitar lines and a welcome reminder as to why their self-titled EP was among our list of last year’s best. Their full-length debut, Routines, was released in May of last year.

Hoops’ full-length debut, Routines is a bittersweet and honest record that sounds both warmly familiar and jarringly distinctive. Whereas their previous releases were recorded on four-track tape machines in living rooms and basements (both their own and their parents’), Routines marks the band’s first sessions in an actual studio – namely, Rear House Recording in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with Jarvis Taveniere (Widowspeak, Quilt). Those sessions, however, were just one step in the band’s careful creative process. After a few months of touring, they returned to Indiana to set up their gear in Krauter’s parents’ basement and began experimenting with the studio-recorded tracks. Some songs they only tinkered with, others they scrapped completely and rebuilt from the ground up. They were determined to make a record that sounded like Hoops. The result is Routines, the sharpest and clearest delineation of the band’s sound thus far, drawing from and emphasizing each members’ distinctive influences and personal styles: four guys making music that is larger than themselves.

Tracklisting :

SUN’S OUT 0:00 RULES 2:50 ON TOP 5:02 BENJALS 8:47 BURDEN 11:07 ON LETTING GO 14:14 THE WAY LUV IS 17:40 MANAGEMENT 19:40 ALL MY LIFE 23:18 UNDERWATER THEME 26:00 WORRY 28:22

HOOPS – ” Routines “

Posted: December 12, 2017 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Describing a band as “ Band A sounds like Band B” isn’t ideal; it’s usually more effective to just describe how the music sounds. But in the case of Hoops, they are like “Real Estate meets DIIV” is pretty instructive. This Bloomington, Ind., trio writes beautifully laid-back pop songs that echo the gently rolling melodies of Real Estate, and they decorate them with the kind of hazy, downcast jangle that makes DIIV a joy. Hoops’ 2017 album Routines sounds like perfectly winsome indie-pop submerged in a dreamstate of digital doodads and lo-fi aesthetic—a formula that produces a bucket full of amiable earworms.

Hoops is…
Drew Auscherman
Keagan Beresford
Kevin Krauter

Kevin Krauter plays bass and sings in the Bloomington, Indiana, dream pop outfit Hoops, but he also released a stunning six-song collection, Changes, under his given name late last year.  consuming that body of work immediately would be ideal.

While each track on Changes holds its own as a singular achievement, it’s “reckless,” the album’s fourth cut, that has received music video treatment.  like the song it accompanies, hugh sherman donkin’s visuals are sparse but impactful; Krauter is filmed alone in various parts of an older building – a gymnasium; a stairwell; a loveseat – either playing or miming the various components of “reckless.”  the poignancy of the audio and video truly coalesce in the final moments, with Krauter departing as a harmonized piano motif gently drifts off into the ether.

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Amazon is hoping to soundtrack your late-summer road trips with their new Open Road playlist, which features 30 contemporary artists covering various car- and traveling-themed anthems. Artists include Hamilton Leithauser, White Reaper, and the blissed-out Bloomington, Indiana trio Hoops, who offer a dazed, hypnagogic rendition of Prefab Sprout’s “Cars & Girls.” “We chose to do ‘Cars And Girls’ because Prefab Sprout is one of our favorite bands in the whole wide world,” the band explain. “It’s not necessarily our favorite Prefab’s song but it was a whole lotta fun to cover.”

The accompanying music video from Weird Life Films is also a whole lotta fun, hitting that sweet spot between goofy sincerity and winking homage. “After losing a location last minute we ended up barreling over the skyway into Indiana to find an abandoned-ish highway hot under the sun near some oil fields,” says Weird Life Films. “There we took over the concrete strip after letting the oil field security know we weren’t terrorists. Before lastly hitting back to Chicago & wrapping up the foggy shoot as the rain storm hit.

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Stone Irr is the product of a special kind of Midwestern religious folk. Just start with the name: what seems like an obvious pun was, in fact, an honest mistake, and as soon as Stone’s parents found out, they offered to take him to the Lafayette, Indiana courthouse and change it. He was already in middle school. True story.

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Stone Irr’s debut album is called ‘Sinner‘. It’s a record about relationships – with a romantic partner, with god, with a complicated, conservative childhood. You hear it in tracks like “Wabash” and “In My Mind” – honest odes about the inane and tragic thoughts that come from trying to love someone. In “Lighted Room” and “Sinner” Stone speaks directly to former lovers and the divine.

FLANCH Cover

Murder By Death is a Bloomington, Indiana quintet with a wry, ominous name. But behind the geography and moniker is a band of meticulous and literary songwriters matched by a specific brand of brooding, anthem-riding balladry and orchestral indie rock.
Murder By Death’s path began in the early 2000s as most Midwestern college-town groups do, by playing to small crowds at ratty venues and frenzied house parties. Murder By Death translated their anonymous beginnings into a 10+ year career founded on a bedrock of five full-length albums, tireless D.I.Y. touring and performing ethics, and, most importantly, a dedicated, cult-like fanbase.
The other mainstay signature element of Murder By Death’s identity has been built by the overriding concepts behind each individual album. Every successive effort conjures up fresh imaginative and tactile worlds – whether it’s the battle between the Devil and a small Western town (Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?, 2003), an arid land of death and redemption (In Bocca al Lupo, 2006), or just songs inspired by a retreat into the Tennessee mountains (Good Morning, Magpie, 2010).
On September 25th, the band released their newest full-length on Bloodshot Record’s debut Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon. The album was written throughout 2011 in a basement in southern Indiana, and recorded in winter 2011 in Dallas, TX with producer-in-demand John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St Vincent, Black Mountain).

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Fuzz driven Psych Pop from Bloomington Indiana