you resource for all things shoegaze & dream pop.

26 April 2013

Preston Maddox of Bloody Knives to Guest DJ WTSH May 15th, 2013.

Set List for WTSH on Strangeways Radio. Aired April 24th, 2013.

band name/track title
Ask For Joy. Requiescat.
Jesu. End of the Road.
Bethany Curve. Door 2416.
A Place to Bury Strangers. The Falling Sun.
Curve. Coast is Clear.
The Verve. Make It Til Monday.
Bedroom. Falling.
Close Lobsters. A Prophecy.
A House. Kick Me Again Jesus.
The Boo Radleys. Skyscraper.
Cocteau Twins. Blood Bitch.
My Bloody Valentine. You Made Me Realise.

25 April 2013

Cross Posted Review: Psychic Ills. One Track Mind. (Review by Dan Joy for The Active Listener).

Psychic Ills One Track Mind
Reviewed by Dan Joy
Cross Posted from The Active Listener

One Track Mind, released in February by Sacred Bones Records, is the fourth full- length release from Brooklyn psychedelic stalwarts Psychic Ills. It’s the second LP to reflect the sharp transition in the band’s approach to composition and record-making that we first heard embodied on 2011’s "Hazed Dream" LP.

Before "Dream", the band tended to source their songs from collective explorations and improvisations, “the whole band jamming and kind of pulling things out of that” as bassist Elizabeth Hart put it in Interview magazine. These methods, as one might expect, often yielded lengthy tracks, with several 8 to 12 minute opuses distributed across Psychic Ills’ first two full-lengths and the 2010 EP "Catoptric".

At some point after their third LP, "Mirror Eye", much of which was improvised in the studio, the band felt that they had taken this approach “as far as we could take it,” Hart said, “and wanted to try writing music in a way that was more unfamiliar to us, actually writing a song and not some kind of improvised approach.” With "Hazed Dream" then, a new modus operandi had been set into play, one in which guitarist/vocalist/multi- instrumentalist Tres Warren brought material written in advance to the rest of the band. (By this point the lineup had become the present trio of Hart, Warren, and drummer Brian Tamborello.) Hence the more conventional verse-chorus songcraft and more compact offerings of the last two LPs, both of which still retain a hypnotic, drone-underground atmosphere and manifestly psychedelic ornamentation...

Read the rest of the review HERE.

Lineup Announced for Downtown Music Festival in NYC - Includes Purity Ring, DIIV, Beach Fossils & More.

The Downtown Music Festival just announced the lineup for their New York edition, happening May 10-11 in the Manhattan's Lower East Side.

The first set of artists confirmed for this year's fest, put on by the record label and publishing company annually, include Black HippyPurity RingEarl SweatshirtSky FerreiraDIIVPalma VioletsTrash TalkBeach FossilsTeengirl FantasyInc.DucktailsRoyal Teeth, and Black Dave.

The music fest will take over a crop of NYC venues including Mercury Lounge, Bowery Ballroom, Pianos, and the Cake Shop. And for the first time ever, the festival will be hitting up Philadelphia, Toronto, Boston, Los Angeles, Denver and Las Vegas to spread the best new blood in hip-hop and R&B across the nation.

Two-day tickets are available now for $99. Not a bad bang for your buck.

Live Video: The Mary Onettes. Hit the Waves.

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Half String. Honeycut.

Half String

WTSH Classic Trax Archive: Close Lobsters. Let's Make Some Plans.

The Voices. Goodbye.

Bedroom. Nostalgic Feel.

24 April 2013

News: Wild Nothing Announce new EP and Video for A Dancing Shell.

Reposted from the Strangeways Radio Blog:

Wild Nothing, Jack Tatum’s one man dream pop project has announced a new EP and video for the track “A Dancing Shell”. The 7 song EP called Empty Estate is the follow up to Wild Nothing’s 2012 second full length release, Nocturne. It will be released on Captured Tracks/Bella Union on May 21st. The EP was inspired by Tatum’s struggles during the late 2012 Nocturne tour. He released a full statement about the EP:

“This is a record that happened very fast for me. We had just gotten back from a particularly long European tour last November, our first supporting Nocturne, and I was feeling a lot of things. I found myself struggling with what it meant to be a musician, with what music in general meant to me and what part I could possibly play in it. Playing the same songs every night for months left me bored with myself. But when I got home, for the first time in awhile it suddenly seemed that the pressure was off. We didn’t have any tours planned for several months and I started to remember again why I love music in the first place. I listened to Brian Eno and David Bowie for weeks on end and felt like I was hearing them for the first time. I took a trip to Miami with my girlfriend. I visited my family. I felt free to try things musically that I would have stifled before. The songs on this EP were recorded over a 10 day period and are a reflection of this time. Of all the frustrations and successes and moments of peace in between.”

Here is EP’s track list, below you can check out the video for “A Dancing Shell”.

1.       The Body In Rainfall
2.      Ocean Repeating (Big-eyed Girl)
3.      On Guyot
4.      Ride
5.      Data World
6.      A Dancing Shell
7.      Hachiko

TONIGHT! WTSH on Strangeways Radio. Stream it live 10pm EST/9pm CST.

Technicolor Teeth. Drips. Mastered by Screen Vinyl Image.

WTSH Classic Trax Archive: The Boo Radleys. Skyscraper.

NEW OFFICIAL VIDEO: Watch Io Echo's New Interactive Video for Ministry of Love.

Io Echo just can't seem to keep themselves to themselves. Extending their branches from the music world to the fashion world, and now, to the arts-tech world, Ioanna Gika and Leopold Ross are two of the most exciting creative personalities right now, and their 80s-tinged electro-pop project is fast becoming one of our favorite acts.

Ioanna and Leopold have teamed up with Barnaby Roper, Hector Muelas, Ricardo Viramontes, and Eduard Prats Molner (the dev lead behind Arcade Fire's groundbreaking experiential video for "We Used to Wait") to bring us these riveting new interactive visuals for "Ministry of Love." Remind you of the Architect surveying the Matrix? You're not far off; the video was born out of the concept of Orwellian surveillance, with the idea that the audience could control the band from a series of "rooms." Unsettling? A bit. Absorbing? That's an understatement. 

19 April 2013

Set List for WTSH on Strangeways Radio. Aired April 17th, 2013.

Heavy on the dream pop this week - lighter on the 'gaze. 
Just in case you're all 
"WTF is New Order and Siouxsie doing up in this!?"

band name/track title
Chapterhouse. Breather.
The Church. A New Season.
Beach Fossils. Distance.
New Order. Your Silent Face.
Tears Run Rings. Destroyer.
800beloved. Slasher Flick (TSA Mix)
The Chameleons. Perfume Garden.
Siouxsie & the Banshees. Dazzle.
Black Marble. Cruel Summer.
Claps. Until Today.
Ride. Sennen.
The Horrors. A Sea Within a Sea.

16 April 2013

News: Jetman Jet Team’s debut LP We Will Live The Space Age Released Today! Stream it on SoundCloud via PopMatters.

Today sees the official release of Seattle band Jetman Jet Team’s debut full-length We Will Live The Space Age by Saint Marie Records. Preview some of the album on Bandcamp and stream it in full via Soundcloud stream...

Pop Matters has posted a Soundcloud stream of the record and an interview with the band. In a brief accompanying review of the album, Pop Matters says, “What comes through on We Will Live the Space Age is Jetman Jet Team’s deft hand with various tones and textures, moving effortlessly from ethereal melodies to dense drone, from a pop sensibility to experimental daring.”
- Dan Joy

New Single & Video: Pete Fij & Terry Bickers. Betty Ford. Broken Heart Surgery LP Out 23rd April.


Like Groundhogs predicting an extended winter, former Creation Records label mates Pete Fij (Adorable / Polak) & Terry Bickers (House of Love / Levitation) have crawled out of musical hibernation to come together to declare that ‘quiet is the new loud’ and ‘down is the new up’.

Conjuring levels of intensity to match their more electrified combined musical pasts, their predominantly acoustic new album, Broken Heart Surgery, celebrates the downbeat and melancholic with a wry humour and lyrical wit. Think acoustic Velvet Underground, after-hours Richard Hawley or Simon & Garfunkel on a downer. But the forecast isn’t all grim, there are signs of spring in Pete Fij’s glorious vocal melodies, and Terry Bickers’ guitar here vindicates hisNME-imposed tag of ‘Guitar God’.

The Pete Fij-directed video for the first single from the album, Betty Ford, sees Messrs Fij and Bickers wading into the sea, clad in funereal black, on a freezing winter’s day. Betty Ford is about ‘a man brought down by his addiction to heartbreak’ says Pete Fij.

Betty Ford will be released on 23rd April and to celebrate its release Fij & Bickers will perform a suitably laid back one-off Sunday service show at The Albert in Brighton on Sunday 28th April.

The album is scheduled for release in late August with more live dates planned for the summer.
More info at:

Debut Single: SURFING. Hollow Sparrow.

“Hollow Sparrow” is the debut single from an up-and-coming east coast quartet called SURFING. The track is part of an EP slated for vinyl release this summer.
Here’s what they have to say about themselves:
“We are a very active band currently based out of Harrisonburg, VA, but moving back to Brooklyn this Summer. This past year, we played over 100 east coast dates, had showcases at SXSW 2013, L Magazine's Northside Fest and CMJ in Brooklyn. 

“Hollow Sparrow was one of five tracks we recorded with producer Lopato of LIL KIDS at The Sound Studios in Charlottesville, VA in February 2013. The track was mastered by Alex Deturk at Masterdisk Studios in New York, NY. Released April 9th 2013.”

SURFING will be playing at 285 Kent in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) on May 2nd with The Vandelles and Lunchbox.
- Dan Joy

Sunrise Ocean Bender Reviews Dead Leaf Echo's New LP, Thought & Language.

Brooklyn’s Dead Leaf Echo spread the Thought & Language on their new full-length. Going more for the wash and sway of shoegaze than the squall, Dead Leaf Echo couple it with their dreamy pop songs working up a sensual, melancholy and romantic shimmer that has popping sparks on the edges. Sparklers might be more like it since Thought & Language has a hazy glow that makes this a great summer spin, or one to remind you of that time’s aura when you need it. Mixed by John Fryer (Lush, NIN, Depeche Mode), there’s an obvious classicist vibe that permeates Thought & Language that blows out like a gust of fresh air. 

There’s a crispness Dead Leaf Echo inject through their song-craft and execution that you might think would be at odds with the glistening lushness they layer and elevate up with, but it all folds in on itself into a gentle eddy of colors and sounds…and of course, thought and language. With an opener called Conception, offerings labeled Birth, Memorytraces andChild, the crowning Thought isn’t out of reach. A concept rooted outing, Thought & Language follows that conception through the birth of a child and the discovery of thought and language... 

News: Stream the new Bloody Knives EP, DEATH, on AOL Spinner & pre-order it from Saint Marie Records.


More info from SAINT MARIE RECORDS - Pre-Order NOW!

Release Date: 4/23/13

Only available as 250 limited edition 6 (SIX) track 7" vinyl EP
100 - Red
150 - Black

These tracks are exclusive to this 7" vinyl w/ download only available to those who purchase the 7"
Orders will be shipped as soon as the records are received. Digital will be emailed on or before release date. If you order other items and want them shipped prior to this item shipping, please place orders separately.

1. nothing can save you now
2. not alone
3. waiting for you to die
4. kill you all
5. bullet in your head
6. peeling away the skin

DEATH, the 3rd EP from Austin’s Bloody Knives, is the band’s heaviest and darkest record to date. Written and recorded in a week, the EP is an explosion of metallic noise, grimy ambience, pummeling beats and ethereal vocals. The record was engineered specifically for release on 7” vinyl.

Bloody Knives is based in Austin Texas and consists of Preston Maddox (voice/bass/sounds), Jake McCown (drums), Kim Calderon (samples) and Christo Buffam (keyboards). Constant touring has spread the bands reputation as an explosive live act, with dense layers of sound and blasts of noise.

Video: The Verve. Gravity Grave (live).

Video: My Bloody Valentine. Honey Power (Live in Sydney, 2013).

Shoegaze: The Genre That Could Not Be Killed - The Guardian.

the genre that could not be killed

Formerly a UK music press term of abuse for hapless Thames Valley indie types who hid behind their fringes, now everyone's glad to be 'gaze

Shoegaze is back! Or, to be precise, it's been drifting past us in waves – how apt – ever since Sofia Coppola got Kevin Shields to pull his finger out for the Lost In Translation soundtrack in 2003. Twelve months later, revivalist club night-turned-label Sonic Cathedral opened its doors in an east London bar. Come 2007, the Guardian was dubbing its young disciples as, um, "nu-gaze"; and by 2009, the Sunday Times too was celebrating the genre that wouldn't die, profiling bands united by a love for the same five albums and appreciation of a good flange pedal (oh yes, it's real).

And so to 2013. My Bloody Valentine, grandaddies of 'gaze, finally release the album they started 17 years ago and suddenly, somehow, along comes a massive wang of new bands sounding like music's equivalent of mumblecore: dreamy, indecipherable, vaguely nostalgic. Cheatahs, Younghusband, Echo Lake, DIIV, Teen, Wild Nothing, Melody's Echo Chamber... We could spend this entire page, and more, name-checking bands heavily influenced by "the scene that celebrates itself", and knocking out the kind of noise that music hacks invariably rush to describe as "woozy". Or "fuzzy". Or sometimes, when it all goes a bit Cocteau Twins, "ethereal"... 

-Dan Joy

15 April 2013

Video: Daydream Machine. Dawn.

Video: Catherine Wheel - Live at the Bowery Ballroom, NYC on 11th July 2000.

Bandcamp Track of the Day: Fire Behaving as Air. Fade Away.

Fire Behaving as Air
Fade Away

New Track: White Blush. Neptune (Unfinished Work in Progress).

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight on the Strangeways Radio Blog. This Week's Gaze: Medicine.

WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight 
on the Strangeways Radio Blog: 
A Weekly Gaze.

About this week's spotlight: 
What: WTSH Shoegaze Spotlight feature
Where: Strangeways Radio blog
When: Weekly

Every week WTSH will present a shoegaze/dream pop band on Strangeways' blog, highlighting how very awesome the band is and how you should be listening to them and buying their music and supporting them because they deserve it.
This week's focus:
Medicine is a shoegaze/noisepop band from Los Angeles, CA. The band is generally considered to have had two distinct incarnations. The band was first formed in 1991 by guitarist, vocalist and programmer Brad Laner (aka Electric Company), based on some four track recordings Laner was working on in 1990. After showing the tapes to some industry people, he was told that if he formed a band that sounded like the tapes, he could get a record deal. Laner then assembled a band of musicians from the L.A. music scene. Medicine’s early lineup included Laner, drummer Jim Goodall, guitarist Jim Putnam, bassist Eddie Ruscha, and singer Annette Zilinskas, an original member of The Bangles. Putnam, Ruscha, and Zilinskas eventually left; the latter was replaced by former Fourwaycross singer Beth Thompson. On the basis of the original demo, the band got signed to Creation Records, becoming the first American band to do so...        CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

14 April 2013

Video: Chromatics. Into the Black (Neil Young cover).

-Dan Joy

Set List for WTSH on Strangeways Radio. Originally Aired April 10th, 2013.

band name/track title.
The History of Colour TV. Let's Get Sick.
Nightmare Air. Icy Daggers.
Loop. The Nail Will Burn (Out).
Girls Names. Notion.
The Telescopes. All a Dreams.
Swallow. Cherry Stars Collide.
Ceremony. Clouds.
The History of Colour TV. Suddenlines.
Insect Guide. Bats.
The Stone Roses. This is the One.
Shocking Pinks. End of The World.
Violens. Acid Reign.
Ian McCulloch feat. Liz Fraser. Candleland.
Disco Inferno. Love Stepping Out.

13 April 2013

Black Swan Lane's Upcoming LP, The Last Time In Your Light, is Now Available for PreOrder.

 Black Swan Lane's Upcoming LP
The Last Time In Your Light
is Now Available for PreOrder

TheLast Time In Your Light was recorded over a period of a year and a half and is slated for release in May 2013. It contains 12 mastered tracks on it. Pre-order it now for $13.00 US domestic or $19.00 for all orders outside the USA. All prices include shipping and handling and all orders come with an official Black Swan Lane guitar pick and sticker.

The Last Time In Your Light
A big sigh of relief. A huge breath as I finally relax and breathe. The newest BLACK SWANLANE album is complete. Just got word from the manufacturer that the album is being shipped out. This was the longest we have ever spent recording and mixing a record. A lot of thought was put into this one and some tough moments were spent deciding which tracks to keep and which to put aside. If I can listen to them a few hundred times and still love them, they usually make the cut.

We started recording this one at the beginning of 2012, right after the big US tour. Home, one of the singles on the album, was the first track that we got down on tape and we were off to a hopeful start. Writers block and health issues blocked our path for the next few months and our promise to deliver a record in 2012 was improbable. We also took a big detour to help record and produce Andy Whitaker’s first solo album which was delivered mid 2012 to very positive reviews worldwide. If you don’t have Things That Happened On Earth, it is about time you get it. Andy’s album brings the great Manchester vibe back to the scene.

Anyway, in the summer of 2012, we seriously got back to writing and recording new BLACK SWAN LANE material. A lot had been happening around me personally, so the writers block faded and new music started pouring out. Our great friend, band manager and girl Friday, Tara, in Arizona, had a near death experience as well. Swimming with sharks off the coast of Columbia can’t be the safest of things to do.  The notes from that event and similar ones, helped inspire some real life and meaningful lyrics.  You will have to listen to the song, Malpelo, on the new album to find out more…

There are a lot of references to god and a higher power throughout the album. The references are not to be taken as religious in nature, but more as questioning theology and whether there is a higher power up there pulling all the strings. Imagine trying to make heads or tails of the universe and why everything can be so mucked up at times. I have, however, always been envious of people who can so faithfully give their entire lives over to something that has never made any logical or scientific sense to me. When you are lying in a hospital bed, thinking this is it, you sure do start hoping there is more to come though.

The rest of the album is filled with some existentialism thoughts, future hopes, sad times  and delineations of people that you once thought were your friends, who are really nothing at all. We did decide to include the lyrics inside the cover of this one, so happy reading.

We are not an easy band to deal with in the studio. Forget the fact that John, our lead guitarist, is a complete perfectionist when it comes to tone, pitch and such..I typically write the music first and then have to come up with the arduous task of placing words on top because you’re supposed to have words, of course. Sometimes the words don’t always fit nicely. This creates situations of having to decide whether to re record the entire thing or start cutting and pasting things around.  There are other occasions where you believe the song is perfect going into the mixing studio and then develop feelings for change half way through. Ultimately, songs that were once intentionally eight minutes in length may get cut down to five for consideration to the listener. We definitely got our money’s worth out of Jeff Tomei, who mixes our records. It’s never super easy, but the final album always comes out wonderfully. The mastering was done by Donn Aaron in Atlanta, who I highly recommend for any and all musical projects.

At the end of the recordings, I am always looking for that one big one. On the last album, it was the song, Low. It’s that last minute push for the song that you think will make the whole record better. On this record, we got two. Stranger & Relax and Breathe. Of course, we made them the first two tracks on the album and fought over which deserved the first spot. When we laid down the tracks for these two songs, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and knew we had a complete record. When Stranger was fully recorded, I kept hearing (and dreaming about) a full on African American choir going on in the background. Since I am not a member of an African American baptist church and funds were getting lower by the hour in mixing, I settled on a black teenage girl I overheard singing to herself at a skating ring one night. It seemed like fate to approach a stranger to sing on a track called Stranger. Dyiesha, with the proper approval of her parents, was quickly invited to become our backup singer and meet us at Cock of the Walk studio, where chainsaw wielding, southern rocker, Jesse James Dupree resides. We could have made that whole scene into a reality show. A shy teenager out of her element, singing her debut on a BLACK SWAN LANE record while Jesse is filming snipits in the other room for Full Throttle Saloon on Tru TV. Lauren Fay, who sung on our last record, and who did an amazing job, was out having another child, so I was very happy to find a very last minute replacement.
We had tons of names typed on the cover of who we were going to thank, but we ran out of room.  And of course, I felt I was going to forget so many, so we removed the whole thing. If you have ever tried to promote us or help in anyway, you know who you are and you know you have our sincere gratitude for life.

I could tell you several hundred other stories, but I’ll stop for now. Bottom line-please support the little guys producing music that is far better than what is being drained into your heads on the radio at the moment. Yes, there is a new Ke$ha album out and I hear New Kids On The Block just reunited, but I would highly recommend buying the new BLACK SWAN LANE album because it is not going to suck. I’m very proud of this one and a ton of effort and funds went into producing it. Buy it and tell your friends to support us, so it won’t be – The Last Time In Your Light.

Jack Richard Sobel / BLACK SWAN LANE