Monthly Archives: January 2008

Artist of the Week: White Shoes and the Couples Company

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Hailing from Jakarta, Indonesia, White Shoes & The Couples Company is a superbly skilled fusion of 70’s retro pop, 60’s Bossa Nova, and the classical music you hear during nature scenes in old school animated Disney films.

Their self-titled, self-produced debut album was released in the United States on Minty Fresh Records in September of 2007, and the country has since seen a significant drop in those who deem their cups to be half empty.

To say that listening to WS&TCC’s debut album is like taking a sun-dappled traipse through warmly beating clouds of benevolent pixies would be an understatement. Mere words cannot convey the endless summer day contained in their ba dup ba dup dup dups, doo doo doo doos and la da da das. Instant sing-along harmonies abound.

Lead vocalist/violinist Aprilia Apsari says it best during “Sunday Memory Lane,” when she wistfully recalls running in green yards, playing hide and seek, and enjoying “such a nice and gentle thing for you an I”.

Yes, these lyrics seem silly, but don’t be fooled. Though the subject matter doesn’t penetrate the deep end of the pool, the music and composition of WS&TCC is off the charts. Just about every song features a jazzy breakdown toward the middle, where bassist/cellist Ricky Surya Virgana often gets crazy crafty.  Check songs like “Windu & Defrina” or “Top Star”, the latter of which also features a fat helping of various ’70’s style ray gun/synthesizer sound punctuations.

The band really flexes their arrangement skills with the Woodwind Version of “Nothing To Fear”, which clocks in at just under 8 minutes – none of which drags. Actually, when listening to the final sequence, it’s hard not to wonder how much some top-notch animation would amplify it, like in Disney’s Fantasia. And as for the lyrics and harmony, well, let’s just say they are soothing to the point of lullaby. Parents should remember this one when putting their kids to bed.

Continue reading here! 

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Ra Ra Riot on BTR Live Studio!

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One of our very favorite bands joined us in the studio for an exclusive live session and interview- yes, it’s Syracuse’s own Ra Ra Riot. As a special treat, the band previewed some of their new material for us, which we know you’ll love as much as we do. They’re currently on tour, so check them out at a venue near you!

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Hear the session here!

Mardi Gras mix on BTR

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Airing today is a brand new edition of Roadside Assistance, this time featuring Mardi Gras as the theme. Wherever you may be headed for the festivities, our mix will have you ready to go. Hosted by DJ Latola and featuring picks from many BTR DJs, the show features tracks from !!!, The Brunettes, British Sea Power, Arizona, Blessed, and CSS

Check it out here! 

BTR Live Studio: Irv Irving

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DJ Jeff K hosts a live sesh with New York’s Irv Irving Group. The 7-piece band came into the studio for a 7-song set plus an interview, so definitely check out the show. Don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday and Friday for more live sessions.

 Listen to Irv Irving’s set here!

Titus Andronicus live at Death By Audio

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I’m pretty sure that Titus Andronicus is about to explode. Born out of the Glen Rock, New Jersey punk scene in 2005, they’ve solidified their lineup, honed their sound, and released a couple well-received 7”s on Shake Appeal Records and Troubleman Unlimited (they’ve also got a fantastic full-length on the way later this year). Titus’ genuinely epic folk-punk tunes, instantly memorable despite their lack of lyrical hooks, provide plenty of fodder for critics and fans alike.

However, the 5-piece is hard to pin down, and each song is only part of the picture. They’ve already been compared to everyone from The Thermals and The Pogues to The Arcade Fire and Brian Eno. So I thought the final show of their 2-week winter tour might provide some insight. In the process, I caught a surprising set by Screaming Females, a 3-piece from New Brunswick, New Jersey, who, together with Titus Andronicus, prove that New Jersey’s still got it (in case there was ever any question).

The Titus Andronicus homecoming show took place not in New Jersey but at Brooklyn’s Death By Audio, an all-ages art space in Williamsburg. Considering the neighborhood’s reputation for impenetrably hip art, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in the middle of a no-frills rock show as The So So Glo’s played a concise set of catchy, energetic, dub-inspired punk. The guitar work made me think of what The Strokes might sound like if they took their cues from The Clash (and maybe a bit of Op Ivy) instead of The Velvet Underground. The group’s frontman, adamant about getting the crowd excited and involved, demanded that we clap our hands and raise our fists, much like Funkmaster Flex warming the crowd for the Wu Tang Clan at the Hammerstein Ballroom the night before.

The Bloggeratti with Dirty on Purpose

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This week on The Bloggeratti Rachel is chatting with Doug Marvin of Brooklyn quartet Dirty on Purpose, not to mention previewing some tracks off of their new EP, Like Bees.  We dig it, and we think you will too.
If that weren’t enough Rachel is also spinning tracks from Heartless Bastards, Mezanine Owls,  Takka Takka, and more!

DJ Bryan knows more about punk than you

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It’s been said time and again that the punk movement came from nothing and nowhere; that it existed in a vacuum and that the only two things that made punk what it was were passion and speed.

Bollocks!

If there were no Who’s Can’t Explain, we wouldn’t have The Clash’s rallying cry, Clash City Rockers, now would we? Stiff Little Fingers’ Inflammable Material would not exist without the opening intro chords to Montrose’s 1973 hit “Rock the Nation” guiding the entire song, and Johnny Lydon’s Public Image certainly would not exist had there been no King Tubby, no Can and no Hawkwind.

Think I’m kidding?

Do a little homework and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Think Interpol and the Editors are ‘on to something’ with their respective new sounds? Well, they are a talented lot, so maybe they are. That being said, I’m sure as the sun is shining that that lot have got these songs burned on to their respective iPods for casual listening pleasure, and inspiration.

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FAMILY FODDER

With their extensive back catalogue now ridiculously out of print, Family Fodder have now been dubiously consigned to ‘Cult Band’ status. Their records are so in-demand that they now fetch huge sums of money in collectors’ circles. Based in London (and very much attuned to what was brewing in the local punk scene, albeit the more avant garde side of it) Family Fodder were not so much a band but a loose collective of roughly 20 different musicians brought together by the classically-trained Alig Pearce.

The band included members of This Heat and his girlfriend, the lovely French chanteuse, Dominique Levillain. Stylistically, the band were all over the map, mixing four-on-the-floor bubblegum pop into twisted tape manipulations, and combining world music experiments with minimalist classical composition permeating the melody line. Anyone familiar with their music knows that there is no such thing as a boring Family Fodder record, as they were filled with… What is it the French call it? Savoir faire? Hence, the track

Check out the rest of DJ Bryan’s article here! 

 Catch Bryan’s weekly punk show, LoudFastRules, here!