Friday, February 23, 2007


I’ve found over the years that the eras that I consider the “best” for the sort of music I listen to happen to correspond with the same years that I happen to be paying attention the most closely. Over the past 3-4 years, I’ve naturally concluded, as one who’s been blogging about music nearly every week during that period, that we’re in a pretty solid era of microgenre-bending rock music right now, with fantastic bands or acts popping up every few months. Here are 10 that I’m really into that I want you to be into as well (all names link to the individual band’s sites):

1. TIMES NEW VIKING(pictured here) Scattered but harmonious, joyful but ear-bleeding, TNV are the 2007 equivalent of the late 70s UK DIY bedroom recording movement crossed with that berserk 1979 Half Japanese triple-LP box set, with dueling male vs. female vocals rattling off of every surface. Their new CD “Presents The New Paisley Reich” blows away their (excellent) previous efforts and is the early favorite for record of the year around these parts.

2. JOSEPHINE FOSTER – Strange and ghostly folk chanteuse who can hit the upper registers & the lower depths as well as any Maria Callas you care to put forward. She never stands in one place too long and may be an acquired taste, but once acquired, wow. She bends vocal notes and guitar chords in ways that generate shudders and deeper wisdom. (warning – her most recent CD-R hints at a very experimental record to come later this year; I suggest starting with “Hazel Eyes, I Will Lead You”).

3. THE WOODEN SHJIPS – The prototype band for what I’d want “psychedelia” to sound like in 2007 – heavy but nimble; referential to the flipped-out greats while not overly apeing them; and full of layered, screaming keyboards, guitar and revved-up, droning sound. Only two small-form records in (a 10” and a 45), and they’ve already built up a cult-like following, of which I am a member.

4. NOTHING PEOPLE – Also mining the weirdo garage/psych vein are California’s Nothing People, but they do it in a much more lo-fi, splayed-out, guitar juggernaut sort of manner. Their 2006 EP is a godsend, and hopefully portends a lot, lot more to come like that.

5. PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT – Columbus, Ohio-based genre-crappers who play with such confidence and fuck-it panache they remind me of a pumped-up early FALL minus the repetition, but with all the bizarre cut-ups and decided lack of recording quality. I guess you’d call it really loud folk, but sometimes they explode into total noise, and that’s not very folky, is it? Just one and a half 45s so far, both fantastic.

6. THE TIME FLYS – The standard-bearers for punk rock right now, as far as I’m concerned, but these guys + gal are so goddamn fun they can probably even connect to a much wider, non-punker audience (though some people just HATE ‘em!). I compared them to the NY Dolls and old Texas punks earlier in the month, and was corrected by one wag, who said he heard RED CROSS’ “Born Innocent” more than anything else. Bingo! That’s why I like ‘em so much!

7. CHEVEU – Way cool, experimental French garage punk band who’ve already developed a reputation for complex, dirty, gruff songs built around simple, exploding riffs and a variety of tempos. These guys seem to have nothing but upside; I’m totally stoked to hear what an LP from them might sound like.

8. PISSED JEANS – It’s hard to pull off a sound that reminds this particular late-thirtysomething so much of his ear-bleeding youth & the bands from it, but these guys do it, approximating Black Flag, Drunks With Guns and the Laughing Hyenas with every monster riff and every tortured scream. It doesn’t sound dumb, it doesn’t sound dated, it sounds totally raw & alive and worth savoring. Please tour!!!!

9. MISS ALEX WHITE – She’s slipped under too many radars for my liking, which is a crime since every record she’s put out so far is a blast. Tuff, tuneful garage rock that constantly reminds me of some of the late 70s Masque bands from LA like The Eyes, The Bags and The Weirdos or slightly later ones like UXA.

10. CORTNEY TIDWELL - Guaranteed to be loathed by 75% of those of you reading this right now – but I shall soldier on. Miss Tidwell is an up-n-comer from Nashville who I read about & then downloaded a couple tracks from a few weeks ago; her m.o. is to graft exceptionally sparse arrangements & her lovely vocals onto to a template of OPAL-ish, even COCTEAU TWINS-ish melancholy country & electronica. Yeah, I know! Electronica! Put that in your pipe and smoke it! I recommend downloading her track “Eyes Are At the Billions” and proceeding from there. The album’s got more gems like that one.



Anonymous said...

Defintely love the new TNV & Time Flys albums. Gotta say I'm also a big Hank IV fan as far as other new-ish outfits go


Unknown said...

Considering your rave about that Angry Angles 7" while back I am surprised to not see any mention of the Jay Reatard record. Are you really not rocking it?


Anonymous said...

Really great list, many of my favorites are on there. Just an FYI - there is more Psychedelic Horseshit material out there, though it seems very rare. I have 5 self-released CD-R singles that came out prior to their first 7". Only about 35 minutes spread across them, but it's all phenomenal. They really need a full-length.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Give the Starving Weirdos a shot, though their most easily found release, the new one on Azul Discografica, seems like their weakest. And the Der TPK lp on Siltbreeze would be right up your alley.

Jay H. said...

David, yeah, have to be honest, I'm not rocking with the Jay Reatard record at all. Love the faux british accent, though - who wouldn't?

Anonymous said...

second that re: TNV
new one is my favourite of the year
Jakob O

Scott Soriano said...


I've heard plenty of unreleased stuff of both and most of it is on par or very close to their 2006 debut 7"s

Anonymous said...

Times New Viking, Wooden Shjips, Psychedelic Horseshit, Time Flys and Cortney Tidwell are all playing SXSW this year (as are Black Lips, Clorox Girls, Jay Reatard, Tyvek, Pink Reason and I'll be the first here to mention Clockcleaner, Carbonas, An Albatross, Reigning Sound, Oxbow)... It all kind of makes the other 11 months of living here in Austin less annoying.

Anonymous said...

No Age. 5 eps on 5 labels all coming out in March.
The new Barr record 'Summary' is my fave of the year so far.

China said...

Oh gosh, Time Flys, Miss Alex White and Black Lips are all great. The Mirrors have a re-release coming out in two weeks, that's exciting. And the new Saints, Billy Childish, Brokeoffs, Mark Sultan and Twilight Sad albums all have me in high hopes.

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a Pink Reason 45 pretty soon (I think Scott is, too), the album's out now, and Kevin's been writing/recording at a furious pace lately (hear some of the new ones on his site:

I saw Psychedelic Horseshit in Columbus not long ago, and they were awesome. Along with Tyvek, best new live band I saw over the last year or so. Times New Viking also played, and I have to admit that I don't get it at all. Nice folks and all that, and they're really into what they're doing, just don't hear anything special in the mix. Good list other than that, though Alex White's last recording didn't do it for me.


Doug said...

Clockclean er! Homostupids!
Nice list Jay.
Also, I'll second SS's picks Tyvek and Pink Reason. The Tyvek 7" from '06 has really grown on me.
FYI Psychedelic Horseshit should be releasing 2 LP's this year, one of new material and a vinyl version of the "paper singles" cdrs mentioned above...both hopefully on Siltbreeze.

Anonymous said...

Recovering from TNV record release party last night with Psychedelic Horseshit, Cheater Slicks, Mike Rep & the Quotas +4 or 5 more!!

Sonictroubadour said...

Rumor has it that the Nothing People may be releasing a full length on a local SF label some time in 2007!

As for the remainder of your list, there are certainly some very interesting and worthy artists listed.

I must admit, however, that I think the Time Flys are really, really, really over rated.

Anonymous said...

I'm jaded and grouchy all the time, and I never really cared for the Cocteau Twins -- though I'm on record as worshiping Opal -- but I gotta say, that Cortney Tidwell is really something. Jesus.

-- Markus

Unknown said...

If you can point me towards a record packed with songs as good as Jay Reatards' I won't care what kind of accent they're singing with, fake or not. I say you should revisit it.
And I have to say that I still rock both Miss Alex White records on a pretty regular basis and can't wait for some new stuff.


Anonymous said...

That's not the actual Pissed Jeans site, seems like a bogus myspace page


Anonymous said...

Also looking forward to more recordings by:

Billy Bao
Hibachi Stranglers
Hipshakes (LP was a little disappointing)
Home Blitz (amazed it hasn't been mentioned yet)
Vice City Rockers
Tunnel of Love
Black & Whites
Human Eye
Thomas Function


Anonymous said...

The Jay Reatard record gets the award for "record that most sounds like something I should like that I just can't seem to give a shit about." Many listens in now, and it's going in the sell pile.


Anonymous said...

i rocked the jay reatard at first too, but it seems like i'm moving on. sorry jay r. loved the lost sounds. i was going to mention, but some other homo already said, most of these good bands are playing in ATX for sxsw. i dont know whats so annoying about the other 11 months. sxsw is actually really annoying if you live here. full of exaggerated rock stars, who are mostly fans, and all the faux hawks and studded belts a boy could ever want. jay ? drive down for sxsw. eat some good food and go to a bunch of free parties. ben snakepit has some bands at his house. word.

bryan jamz

Anonymous said...

Just saw Cheveu in Paris last week and they were fucking great (...much thanks to scott soriano). Really looking forward to their west coast tour. So much good music out of France right now - Feeling of Love, Plasto Beton, and the Dreams ...awesome.