Artist of the Week: Flake Music

Flake Music is the James Mercer-fronted precursor to the indie rock staple The Shins. Bringing at first only drummer Jesse Sandoval with him (soon followed by Flake Music’s other core members), Mercer founded The Shins after Flake Music’s conclusion in 1997. Their music bears an obvious stylistic resemblance to The Shins, although with notably lower production values. Flake Music’s career spanned one album, “When You Land Here, It’s Time To Return,” and one tour, in support of Modest Mouse.

‎”The Shins” performed by Flake Music (The Shins)

Bio: Atlas Sound

“Atlas Sound;” those were the two words that Bradford Cox uttered into a homemade converted karaoke cassette machine when he was just in sixth grade. Since the genesis of its name in 1994, Atlas Sound has become the solo moniker and a representation of Deerhunter’s front man and provocateur, Bradford Cox.

Incidentally, Atlas Sound was also derived from the brand of tape player he used to make those initial experimental recordings. Even though the karaoke cassette recordings were Cox’s original materializations, it was not until 2008 that Atlas Sound’s first album, Let The Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel, was released.

Even from his humble beginnings as a budding artist, Cox was revolutionary and creative in his musical endeavors. Through reading a Beck interview, he discovered that he could utilize his family’s disused karaoke machine as a rudimentary multi- tracking device (the Beatle’s whirling Leslie speaker should be darned!).

However, it is these innovative recording processes that are central to his music and sound, and it colors the intimate feel of Atlas Sound in a more translucent manner. Then for the second Atlas Sound album, Logos, which arrived in 2009, there was more of a pop rooted sensibility present. Logos featured collaborations with Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox and Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadler and this was the album that progressed from intense introspection towards an ostentatious pop plateau, translating his sound and work into a more comprehensively engaging form.

To quote the musical blog 4AD, “Cox’s work as Atlas Sound represents a feral and prolific musical voice. With its scorched beauty, stream of consciousness, and wonderfully cohesive pop narrative, Atlas Sound is another outlet for Cox’s relentless creativity, distinctly remaining the product of just one man’s vision.” Now, Cox has six full- length releases as Atlas Sound: Let the Blind Lead Those Who See But Cannot Feel (2008), Logos (2009), and Bedroom Databank (2010), which is separated into four different albums.

Seeing that Cox’s song writing style is a musical stream- of- consciousness, it is especially evident in his latest album, Parallax, which was recently released on November 7th, 2011 (on CD, vinyl, and digitally). On this album, all of the songs were written and performed by Bradford, but he had a little help from his musician friends, Andrew VanWyngarden (MGMT), Carrie- Anne Murphey, and Paul McPherson. According to the music blog 4AD, “all but two tracks on Parallax were recorded in June 2011 at New York’s Rare Book Room and were produced by both Bradford Cox and Nicolas Vernhes.” When listening to Atlas Sound, just let your mind go and freely allow it to flow.

Sources: 4AD and Wikipedia: http://4ad.com/artists/atlassound

Here are some Youtube videos that incorporate Atlas:

Atlas Sound w/ Noah Lennox- Walkabout:

Atlas Sound (on Parallax): “Terra Incognita”

Atlas Sound and Laetitia Sadier: Quick Canal

Atlas Sound- Quarantined

Bio: Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Laura Stevenson is a Brooklyn, NY-based singer-songwriter, as well as an alum of cult-DIY collective Bomb the Music Industry! Stevenson self-released her first album, A Record, in 2008, and her wonderful sophomore effort Sit Resist was released this year on Don Giovanni. Her band The Cans includes scene-documenter Dave Garwacke (of www.ifyoumakeit.com fame) on drums, who recently blogged this recipe for the official Laura Stevenson and the Cans mixed drink:
“The Laura Stevenson and the Cans”

6 oz. Kirsch
6 oz. Ginger Beer

Combine in highball glass and serve. Stir quickly.

Anyways, Laura’s music has drawn comparisons to Regins Spektor and Joanna Newsom, because she’s a cute girl who writes cute songs n’ such. Also, one time the Cans’ violinist Wen-Jay Ying made me a cup of hot water, to drink. Which is pretty cool, I think. This is what she looks and sounds like:

Come see Laura and her Cans opening for Atlas Sound this Saturday @ Zankel

Artist of the Week: Real Estate

Real Estate is an indie rock band formed in Ridgewood, New Jersey now based out of Brooklyn.

The band is composed of singer/guitarist Martin Courtney, guitarist Matthew Mondanile (also the guitarist for Ducktails), bassist Alex Bleeker (of Alex Bleeker and the Freaks), drummer Jackson Pollis, and keyboardist Jonah Maurer.

The band has just released their second studio album Days which following their self titled debut. Described as “underwater pop songs,” Real Estate nods to psychedelic and lo-fi influences. On Days, the band has tightened up their sound while maintaining their relaxed, breezy, and effortless sound.

http://www.myspace.com/realestate

ATLAS SOUND AT ZANKEL!!!!

WHO:

Atlas Sound with Laura Stevenson and the Cans

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=217314718333664

WHEN: 

Saturday, November 19

7:00: Doors

8:00: Laura Stevenson and the Cans

9:00: Atlas Sound

WHERE:

Aurthur Zankel Music Hall

(Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall)

HOW:

Buy tickets online or in Case Center

5 for students, 12 for public

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/209135

WHY:

Atlas Sound

Laura Stevenson and the Cans

Artist of the Week: Future Islands

 

Future Islands is yet another excellent band to breach out from the Baltimore Band scene. This trio formed in 2006, and released self-recorded Little Advances later that year, which was a split album with the solo project of their keyboardist, Gerrit Welmer.

 

Their official debut album, Wave Like Home cake out 2008, featuring “Beach Foam.”  In Evening Air  was released in 2010, featuring “Walking Through that Door” (Youtube link below) and “Vireo’s Eye.”

Their most recent album came out On October 11, 2011, called On the Water.   The album “[continues] to to deliver pounding rhythms, swelling melodies, and undeniable hooks,” as well as featured artists such as Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner.

Both On the Water and In Evening Air were produced by Chester Endersby Gwazda, who also produced Dan Deacon’s album Bromst.

Links :

Beach Foam

Walking through that door: