Cass McCombs’ last album, WIT’S END, was released only 4 months ago, but he already has a new one ready. On November 8, the songwriter will release Humor Risk on Domino Records. Those who were turned off by the stillborn, Rhodes-heavy WIT’S END have cause for optimism:
Humor Risk is an attempt at laughter instead of confusion, chaos instead of morality, or, as fellow Northern Californian Jack London said, “I would rather be ashes than dust!”. Musically, it is more rhythm-based, tempos swifter to nearly rocking, than the sparse WIT’S END.
In another possible indicator that Humor Risk will be more lighthearted than its predecessor, the last track is billed as a sketch, so we can only assume that McCombs is planning to get his Outkast on. You can pre-order the album here, and we’ve got the cover art and tracklist below. Continue reading…
In today’s fickle, post-Pitchfork world, each new band can start to feel like the latest chillwave flavor of the month. In the ambiguous sea of lo-fi turned glo-fi turned back to shoegaze whatever, it is important to give certain bands the distinction they deserve.
Phantogram duo Joshua Carter and Sarah Barthel are a reminder that, behind the indie genre’s similarities, there are subtle but important shifts in influences and backgrounds. Conceived on an isolated farm in Upstate New York, their debut album, Eyelid Movies, is the lovechild of 90’s hip-hop beats and urban dream-pop.
Phantogram have already passed through San Diego twice this year — the first time opening for The Antlers at the Casbah and, more recently, opening for The XX at House of Blues, and we can’t wait for them to come back. We spoke with Sarah Barthel after their House of Blues performance, and we also caught up with her later via email. Continue reading…
Nobody really likes seeing opening bands. Unless the band in question is someone you already know and/or like, sitting through an opening act is usually something people do to be polite or because they got to the show too early. Openers can be awful, boring, or, at worst, awfully boring. In their slot as opener for indie rock heroes Quasi, fellow Portlanders Explode Into Colors could have been just another in that mediocre tradition. Instead, the unassuming trio upstaged Quasi. Continue reading →