Band Recommendation: Underwater Bear Ballet

I haven’t made a band recommendation in a while, hell I haven’t even written about a new exciting band in a while either. Well, new to me. The band is called Underwater Bear Ballet and they’ve been spinning in my head a lot recently; so hard I got the spins. They’re from Boston and they have some really odd pop flavor in their sound that I struggle to describe.

We’ve been enticed by the band for the past couple months now and lucky for us they have some new recordings. Their previous efforts were marked by noise and that general fuzzy, homemade touch that you know we’ve always welcomed around here. Recently however, the band recorded the Couch Surfing EP at Mystic Valley Recording Studio (Free Pizza, Littlefoot, and many others) in Medford, MA with Alex Garcia-Rivera. This new EP took the old demos and amped them up quite a bit. In spite of our sloppy tendencies, I can say with certainty that these new recordings are an improvement and truly augment the band’s strong songwriting. Still, I can’t put my finger on who or what this band sounds like, but that’s probably a good thing.

Check them out here:

You can see them live at a haus that is white on March 16th and a Cabaret in Emerson that is free on March 21st  (with CHARLIE!), I recommend you attend both and listen to all of their music. Do iT!


BAND Recommendation: URSULA [Boston]

Saw URSULA for the first-ish time last night at the Black Lodge in Allston, kicking off what would be a memorable night of rock ‘n roll (as most nights are around the Boston underground in the year 2014). I say first-ish ’cause the <real> first time was at Last Haus, but I only caught maybe the last 5 minutes of the set and being squished back couldn’t really see what was going on. Either way I recognized their “cub scout” demo, thought damn this is it!

Yesterday afternoon I was jamming along to the rest of their bandcamp Demos. I connect with this 2sum maybe because of their noisy, amateur aesthetic. Random but not really. I won’t claim I know their secrets. Whatever so there in the fusty Black Lodge netherregions, URSULA is about to play. Kurt Dorito pops on some Delta 5 who I mistake as The Slits or The Raincoats. Alright so I was close enough in time period and style. The key here is the DIY Spirit, not so much the sound although the conversational-yelling vocal varieties and sustained, head boppable beat is reminiscent of those groups. I recognize some of the tunes from the demo, which come in a couple choice flavors (among others) — the first is like a fuzzy power punk, more structured and the other is more experimental, with some guitar playing that I never knew existed. What I’m saying is the motion is like cutting the strings or using them as percussion. Some funky noises came to be, so sweet!

I always get a little more excited seeing something a little different in live performances. URSULA do it for me, much like a couple other bands on last night’s bill – Miami Doritos and Saralee – go about their business uncharacteristically. Atypical rock ‘n roll. Throw early Fat Creeps on there as well for a bit of a point of reference. Well anyway, go at it, you’ve already got the Demo open, just waiting for me to shut up. I gotchu.

Band Recommendation: The Panduhs

The Panduhs

The Panduhs fuck. Fuck it, these panduhs don’t give a fuck if you are feeling blue or if you’ve had a bad day. No, they are going to keep rockin’ and rollin’ in their own little Panduh way. They exist in their own Panduh world. A world fixed on marshmellow pop, Hunxian hooks, and straight up rock ‘n’ roll that celebrates the oldies as well as the modern age. If you dig Beach Boys, Magic Kids, or Peach Kelli Pop you should dig the Panduhs or else. Or else I will track you DOWN. Just listen to the group’s song “When I Grow Up,” in all its Barbara Anne esque glory. A friend of mine said that these songs rub him the wrong way. And that’s just it. I want music to rub me the wrong way, as long as I’m getting rubbed, that’s all that matters. It doesn’t matter if it’s wrong, if I’m getting rubbed (if I’m feeling the magic) then it’s always right.

Let  The Panduhs rub you all over here:

Band Recommendation: Kaviar Special

I’ve been having a blast listening to the latest self-titled album from Rennes, France’s Kaviar Special. The French band actually sings in English and they blend garage, pop, and surf all into one giant rock ‘n’ roll mix. This is an album surely for the slimy at heart. Fans of Black Lips, Atlantic Thrills, Hunx and His Punx, and Jacuzzi Boys will really dig this. My favorite cuts are “Dating A Slut,” “Paradise,” “#1,” and “Summer.” Shit, I wish I had heard this album in the summertime, because I know exactly how Kaviar Special feels when they repeatedly sing “I Wish that summer never ends!” Seriously, these dudes really don’t want summer to end haha. Well, at least we have the good tunes and each other.

I can’t recommend this band and this album enough. Kaviar Special’s debut LP is co-released by Azbin Records/Howlin Banana Records. You can order it here:

Band Recommendation: The TeleVibes

I could tell you about The TeleVibes, but I say you should just go see them. Chris tried telling me about the Salisbury Mass threesome a few months back after catchin them at Wilder Zangcraft, but per the ole usual he was a bit shithaused!! Anyway, I caught TeleVibes last night playing alongside Nice Guys (so sick, you know this) and Gymshorts (Providence band so sick) at Zuzu and damn these guys rock ‘n roll straight top of the tot pole style. I mean TVs are more unusual than a lot of stuff passing as Surf Rock these days – and I mean this assuredly. The drums pound harder and wilder, guitar playing like a constant barrage of twisty leads. All very pop. Though there wasn’t much chaos amongst the crowd last night, I’d say that’s probably coming any day now with these dudes on the ]no[ stage.

They’ve got a tape coming soon – January 22, 2014 – and a release show that same night at Middle East Upstairs. Playing with them will be our fave Providence dudes The Atlantic Thrills, Vundabar, and The Guru.



Band of the Week: Lust-Cats of the Gutters/ On Tour Now!

Photo from

We haven’t made a band of the week in a long, long time. It’s something reserved for only the best. We hear so many bands, it’s hard to keep up with all of them, but I recently came across an amazing two piece known as Lust-Cats of the Gutters from Denver and they rock! It’s a mixture of riot grrl, garage, and minimalist twee pop like Beat Happening and Vaselines (but heavier). Vivian Girls also come to mind when I hear this band. If you’re a fan of the fun, riot inducing punk slime we regularly champion on this site, then you will most likely enjoy Lust-Cats of the Gutters. If not, then I will have to slap you across the face repeatedly until you get the picture.


Lust-Cats are currently on tour with New York’s Mannequin Pussy! They recently slayed in Brattleboro, VT, Jamaica Plain, MA, Middletown, CT, and Brooklyn, NY. So catch them when they destroy your town…

Tour Dates:
Monday, 10/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Kung Fu Necktie w/ Congenital Death, Pushups, Pussy Dog,
Tuesday, 10/8: Baltimore, MD @ The Sidebar w/ The Vibrators, Sinnin’ Man, Starcrunch
Wednesday, 10/9: Arlighton, VA @ The CD Cellar w/ Nic Fits, Dudes
Thursday, 10/10: Charlottesville, VA @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar w/ Lil’ Huffy, The Harang
Friday, 10/11: Durham, NC @ The Pinhook w/ Colleen Green, White Fang, The Memories
Saturday, 10/12: Atlanta, GA @ 529 w/ Carnivores
Sunday, 10/13: Gainsville, FL @ Display w/ Waylon Thornton, Witch Titz, Velma
Monday, 10/14: St. Augstine, FL @ Shanghai Nobby’s w/ Trailer Park Princess, Thunderhoof
Tuesday, 10/15: Tallahassee, FL @ Lydia’s House w/ TBA
Wednesday, 10/16: New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar w/ Trampoline Team, Patient Zero, The AIDS Monkeys
Thursday, 10/17: Houston, TX @ TBA
Friday, 10/18: McAllen, TX @ Thirsty Monkey McAllen w/ The Sad Campers
Saturday, 10/19: Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas w/ Guantanamo Baywatch
Sunday, 10/20: Fortworth, TX @ Wherehouse w/ Bitch Bricks, Space Pussy
Monday, 10/21: Hot Springs, AR @ Low Key Arts
Tuesday, 10/22: Russelville, AR @ Thurberdome w/ Radradriot
Wednesday, 10/23: Memphis, TN @ The Lamplighter w/ Loser Vision & Swimming
Thursday, 10/24: Nashville, TN @ Dino’s w/ Beef Oven, Study Hall
Friday, 10/25: Bowling Green, KY @ Rocky’s w/ Crybaby
Saturday, 10/ 26: Detroit, MI @ Lo & Behold! Records & Books w/ Nature Boys, surprise guest!
Sunday, 10/27: Cleveland, OH @ TBA
Tuesday, 10/29: Providence, RI @ TBA
Wednesday, 10/30: New Haven, CT @ Cafe Nine w/ Gabba Ghouls
Thursday, 10/31: NYC Halloween @ Lit Lounge w/ Happy Jawbone Family Band, Gabba Ghouls,

Band Recommendation: Thee Tsunamis

Three wicked killer tracks on Thee Tsunamis’ Bandcamp is plenty enough for me to taste the swell, the tasty swells that is this trio’s music. Surf rock seems to be a perpetually in style fun style to play and listen to, but when bands twist and turn it in their own direction, the stuff seems to be the most exciting. Indiana’s Thee Tsunamis punch in some country flair (most notably vocally) alongside can’t-go-wrong ’60s garage/pop drum and bass rhythms. Like I said, all three songs rule, but the one one that I’ve found myself going back to is: “A Goodbad Man Is Hard To Find” – it’s as if Rhode Island’s Atlantic Thrills underwent a sex change, moved to Tennessee, reconvened, played some tunes, etc, etc. Thee Tsunamis bring a vibe that should respectfully place 50 year old B52s fans in the same room as 20 something Those Darlins diehards.

Confused? Hopefully you get it. Do what you have to to hold dear this band; they have a tape out on Magnetic South Recordings: