Tag Archives: Band Recommendation

Band Recommendation: Model Zero


We all know that Memphis, Tennessee has/had the greatest bands. STAX. Goner Records, Jay Reatard, The Oblivians, NOTS, The Barbaras, Girls of the Gravitron, Yesse Yavis. I’m forgetting a lot. I know, I’m sorry. So what about the contemporary group called Model Zero?  Dang, I don’t even know if they’re around anymore. First and last I heard of them (until now) was at Gonerfest, outside of Memphis Made. Their stuff clicked with me – drum machine + real drummer, a variety of dance punk, but like if Giorgio Murderer was less bare bones and got funky on us. I remember hearing “Japanese Death Poem” live and being like “yup, I’m in.” Except it was one and done. Until I decided to do an ole search. An ole Googling of “Model Zero Bandcamp,” because I was craving for more of this group. They had to have recorded something right?

And look at this. https://modelzero.bandcamp.com/releases

That’s a four song tape with my favorite damn one on there. If the members of this group catch wind of this post, please keep doing what you’re doing. I’m not a freaking barometer of what is cool and in fact I hope the opposite, but let me tell you that you’re one of the most exciting groups going right now and that is based on very limited, limited information.


Band Recommendation: The Shallow End Divers

Every now and again, a mess-around, all-around fun local garage band comes to your attention. They might be new or old or some mysterious combination of those. The Shallow End Divers aren’t fly by night, lets get sauced and record it to 7″ toga wearing ’60s frat boys like The mighty Kegstands but to me they carry on that sweet sloppy casual trick. Yes, a beer or six sounds good to me. These Waltham, Massachusetts trouble makers have been carrying on their jam for well over three years, how could these dudes have fell through them KLYAM cracks? Stranger things have happened.

Sometimes garage is like dull and Shaws bakery cookie cutter throwbacky and all that, but sometimes it just isn’t that. With The Shallow End Divers, It AINT, specially on their most recent single game Dead Man’s Ladder/Forget Your Problems, they fall in that fine camp of rock ‘n roll that is deceptively clean and nicely listenable yet also begs to be heard in a more wayward show setting. Been continuously streaming their 2013 EP Melting Skies and I feel like I’m at King Khan and the Shrines or something, all puppeyed and shit, basking in the ole soul. Doing alright, more than alright, thank you.

Shallow End Divers are good people, I bet right. Setting all the imprisoned free.

FB: https://www.facebook.com/theshallowenddivers?ref=br_tf

Solo Doings: Mavis The Dog

Mavis The Dog has created his own universe of music. The sort of universe that I’m speaking about can be detected on some real spectacular records of the past few years like Girls of the Gravitron’s Magnetic Mountain and The Electric Bunnies Through The Magical Door and it is one of those ‘I know it when I hear it’ experiences that transports you into a modernly bucolic listening environment. The creative freedom pursued by the masterminds of these records definitely transcends what we might easily define as rock ‘n roll, punk, garage, folk, or anything like that. The ‘outsider’ MO, which is so thoughtfully made digestible by Irwin Chusid’s Songs in the Key of Z (highly recommended reading!), begins and ends with making satisfying music to your own ears.

Mavis The Dog from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is responsible for three and a half album’s worth of original material that was self-released digitally and on tape between April 2011 and March 2012. Mavis, whose internet presence is currently limited to his blog on which you can freely download every MTD album, has not released any new songs since, but that does not mean that this home studio solo phenom hasn’t been at work transmitting his headspace into bouncy, dreamy, psychedelic rock ‘n roll. He’s got a new batch of songs all set, he’s just ironing out some others in the mean time. I first found out about Mavis through DJ Boots Lobelle’s Don’t Paint Your Teeth WVKR radio show. Boots Lobelle’s programming pairs older outsider/DIY classics like Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair with newer artists whose approaches are just as bizarre and brilliant. After hearing Mavis played, I was able to track down his blog along with other websites that featured his music from a couple of years ago. I was instantly hooked and my fascination hasn’t faded. Mavis has been my car ride to work CD for some time now. My playlist is a personalized Best-Of that pulls tunes from all of his albums, but definitely takes a majority from The Second Album.

“The Beach Boys have a great lyric, “sometimes I feel very sad” which repeats and is sung over a happy sounding progression.  That contrast creates an emotion that is neither sad or happy and I can only relate it to the feeling of nostalgia. But it’s not nostalgia.  It’s something else that’s completely new.  And even though the lyric itself is totally simple and childlike, when it’s combined with the incredible melody it becomes impactful.  That’s the feeling I’m trying to get” is what Mavis tells me in a kind email correspondence. Of course I was curious enough to hear from Mavis himself. I really feel what he means and the way I think of it is that Mavis’ music reflects euphoric old memories, although often with contemporary anxieties and frustrations. In my mind, it is the positively radiant melodies and rhythms that take favor, claiming responsibility for the beauty and landscape of the MTD universe. The house might be dirty on the inside, but it sure looks fine from above.

Mavis The Dog has a sense of humor about things – “Should I go fishing with the Governor’s child? Should I kiss her when she doesn’t smile? Or should I leave her and forget!” (From “Nothing To Do” on The Dog Days of Mavis).  Any number of his lyrics contain plenty of lines that seem specific to Mavis, but sound about right to any music maker: “I’ll be at the basement, lady, writing up a new one, lady, I’m not hoping someday you will say,’I love you too, yes I do, yes I do’. (From “Throw Me A Stone” on The Second Album“). Armed with instrumentation and a simple style a la Johnston and White Fencian experimental production flourishes, Mavis The Dog says this about his songwriting: “The good songs write themselves.  After that it’s just layering and embellishing which is the most fun part for me.  That’s usually the step where the genre is determined.”

The Philly native cut his teeth in The Eeries (a superb DIY garage/pop band that put out an LP Home Alone on Evil Weevil earlier this decade) before going Mavis, bringing back the memories. Sleepy, whisper, haunts. Old girls. Then there’s some tunes that I don’t know how I missed the few times around that dodge the familiar: “$$$” stands on its own two with bass, voice, and some ambient instrumental effects. It’s not complete Mavis – it’s a diversion from the familiar song format. Bouncing a long, confidently directionless. But as far as that universe thing that I mentioned up top, the entire catalog is strongly steeped in one man’s chronicle. Yeah, you, go for it.

Mavis The Dog’s Bloghttp://mavisthedog.blogspot.com/

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: http://thepanduhs.bandcamp.com/

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 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: http://www.magneticsouthrecordings.org/AVAILABLE.html



Band Recommendation: Wet Illustrated

If you like your rock and roll energetic and spirited, hey ya here’s a band for ya: Wet Illustrated. They are very similar to a band that we here at KLYAM hold near and dear: Harlem. Like those Austin gents, these dudes from San Fran craft songs that are groovy and odd, but very charming. The melodies come at you from all angles so… beware! From 2011’s 1x1x1, you’ll hear some crazy good repetition “Satellite Kids,” slick Babies meets Barbaras (“Claws”, “Boogie Away”), and a variety of other material that has me intrigued. Their latest 45 Scorped is just as fun.

Check ’em outhttp://wetillustrated.bandcamp.com/

Band Recommendation: Dangeresque

Austin Texas’ own Dangeresque is a band you ought to be checking out…right about now! Start with their Quit Your Day Job EP (http://dangeresque.bandcamp.com/) which is by and large groovy and features solid singing chops for a style of music that oft is more lackadaisical! The fuzzy stomper “Walking Dead” has an immediate catchiness not too far off stylistically from The Soft Pack or The Orwells while a tune like “Always Leave A Note” is more bare bones with swift reverby guitar work!

Their latest Boots EP will be released on cassette on Halloween. It is a step up sonically and features some more instruments, a lil’ country, and those good ole kinda guitar licks that I was just bragging about. Stay on watch for more information.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dangeresqueband

Check Out Harlem’s Curtis Omara’s Band: Grape St.

Been wondering what Harlem has been doing lately? Well drummer/guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Curtis Omara has this cool band, Grape St. Harlem people will dig it and it definitely has a different perspective on things than Harlem (albeit in a minor way).

And here’s a link to more tunes: http://soundcloud.com/grape-st

Band Recommendation: Hooking Up

Hooking Up
is a band from Virginia. To describe them, I would say thick and exciting. From the sounds of their 7″ Groin Pains (Evil Weevil Records, 2012), the band is pretty straight-laced, just a real distinct rolling bass, drums, and vocals. The bass and singing style really stick out. The tunes flow so nicely. From the 7″, I love it all, but in particular the opener and closer, “Heavy” and “Sell Yourself.” The former reminds me of The Orwells in its solid production and groove. “I liked it when you were hot shit!” Nice screams and noises in the background at the end there. “Sell Yourself” starts out sparse and melodic before cranking it up several notches. ‘Course the melody never fades and we are left with something the Lovely Feathers might have done if they decided to be less weird, crunchier, and ballsier. The hooks are everywhere.

Well, for starters, check out that 7″ at their bandcamp or from Evil Weevil. And I’m in luck…they are playing at the Whitehaus on Friday March 9.