Post image for Benjamin Shaw “You & Me” EP (2014 Audio Antihero)

In this brave new digital age, gone are the unnecessary “deluxe single” releases, stuffed full of bullshit remixes by people you’ve never heard of, or worse, don’t care to hear remixing an artist you actually care about. It’s so refreshing that we don’t have to put up with this wave of secondary releases that are little more than a pathetic label attempt to cash in on an artist a second time.

Now, all that said, You & Me kind of qualifies as exactly that. This isn’t to say that the EP is without merit. Firstly, Benjamin Shaw’s original track is a charming indie-pop single with witty “meta” lyrics (“So here’s a line about the system. Here’s a line that’s barely funny. Here’s a pop culture reference, and a lazy refrain like ‘you & me’”) and kinda gets stuck in your head and  hangs out for awhile. But the true appeal here IS the remixes, or more accurately, re-creations by Jack Hayter, Cloud and Broken Shoulder.

Jack Hayter’s rendition takes  Shaw’s vocals and lays them somewhat awkwardly over some clean and lovely lap-steel. As the track smoothly rolls on, is dissolves into sparse distorted guitars and ends with a sadness that the original track only nodded at.

Cloud takes elements of Shaw’s track and creates a jangly, dreamy interlude that is the standout piece here. It is downright haunting and beautiful, and left me more interested in familiarizing myself with Cloud than the work of Shaw himself.

Broken Shoulder takes us further down the experimental rabbit hole, while still clinging to some semblance of pop sensibility. The wash of warm tones and warbling distortion/tasteful noise elements are such a far cry from the original track that you completely lose touch with the origin of this journey. These tracks are in this order for good reason, the trip would only make sense in this order.

All in all, definitely a rewarding listen, though I can’t say that I feel as inspired to check out Shaw’s full length (Goodbye Cagoule World) from which the track was taken, as I do to delve into the works of the other artists presenting his work here. – Joshua Isaac Finch

{ 0 comments }

Tonight in Eugene enjoy the bizarro-gore-rock of FEAST ofFETUS at Black Forest. These boys have been at it for a handful of years now crafting creepy, dark, weirdness that Mike Patton would be proud to have obviously inspired.

Ok, we get it. Maybe a little strange for your taste? Americana act, Redleg Husky is playing an early show at Oakshire Public house at 5pm.

For more options for your weekend, check out our full show schedule. Happy Weekend.

{ 0 comments }

Post image for Burning Cyborg “Entering Digital Infinity” 7″ (2014 Legs Akimbo)

Digitally released Sept 11, the 7″ EP will feature 6 songs in about as many minutes that are just about the grindiest thing to fall out of a laptop in the UK, possibly ever. Possibly anywhere. This is the most brutal fucking shit you’ll ever experience without actually eating glass.

Entering Digital Infinity is intense, guitar-driven, digital speed-core that sounds like a skillsaw painting a supercomputer red… with the blood of  the men foolish enough to give the thing free-will in the first place. I remember MY first supercomputer. – Pablo Influenza

{ 0 comments }

Tonight In Eugene 9/12/14

by on September 12, 2014

Tonight In Eugene: Sometimes you just gotta forget all your worries and shake that thing. Sometimes the week was just too crushing, too grueling, TOO. MUCH. LIFE.

Well, maybe you should just get out and shake off the week day blues with local dance-pop act, The Great Hiatum at The Granary tonight…

If that isn’t your sweaty dance-floor, then maybe you should check out experimental gloom by Entrail at The Wandering Goat, or our hit up The Black Forest for a little rock and roll with Mars Grass. Or check out our full show schedule for more options.

{ 0 comments }

Post image for Flashback Friday: Starflyer 59 “The Fashion Focus” (1998 Tooth & Nail)

I remember buying The Fashion Focus when it came out and fighting against the very depths of my being not to throw a “what the fuck?” temper tantrum in the car on the ride home in front of my conservative christian parents. The sounds coming through my headphone speakers in my discman (yeah… portable cd players. It was the stone age). I’d followed Jason Martin and co damn-near religiously since 1994′s self titled (AKA “Silver” for it’s plain silver cover) record landed in my sweaty palms in early 1996, ridden with massive distortion and whisper-soft vocals, effectively destroying my “all punk all the time” mentality and opening a gateway to the more notorious Pale Saints and Slowdives of the world. I was a late-bloomer where shoegazing was concerned and having had a mere 18 months to let the fuzz wash over me, I was simply not ready for Starflyer’s 4th, and vastly different record.

Where Silver had shone soft crunchy light on shoegaze, the following record (Also self titled, often called “Gold” for similar observational purposes) had kicked it up a notch, including more feedback, more squeals, more crunch, and, admittedly, yes, record three, Americana had definitely incorporated a little more 50′s rock and roll, and almost some surf influence, I simply wasn’t ready for the syrupy indie-pop that formed the core of The Fashion Focus.

It was easily 10+ years before I gave this album the appropriate time of day. Having spent years on my shelf, in boxes through multiple moves, and eventually sold off with all of my hard copies a handful of years ago, I actually wound up stumbling across the record again, when in the grips of a small-scale crisis over turning 30, I downloaded an exhaustive collection of the band’s complete studio recordings. Even then, I avoided the album based on those age-old, knee-jerk feelings. That is, until “Too Much Fun” came on when I’d carelessly left my iTunes on shuffle. At first I paid no mind.

But then I stopped what I was doing. This was some guitar-god shit. The lead guitar wailed, almost wept, and I found myself in awe when I realized that this song lived in the back 40 of a record I’d never given the time of day to. I calmly switched off shuffle, let the song finish, and started the record from it’s beginning.

I’d like to say that The Fashion Focus instantly became my new favorite Starflyer 59 record, but that just isn’t true. What did happen was a beautiful opportunity to see a band that shaped my taste in music from a very different perspective, at a point in my own musical maturation where I was willing to sit down and experience it.

After releasing Americana, Jeff Martin began demoing tracks for a new record. They were leaps and bounds different from the Starflyer that fans knew, and either in the interest of saving face, fear of change, or simply because the band felt the songs sucked, they scrapped them. The Fashion Focus, it would seem was in part the end result of trying to break away from form, but also that handful of songs, which, strangely, seems to have resulted in what is, quite honestly, a much LESS jarring transition into the future sound of Starflyer 59. A lot of Martin signature sounds exist throughout the record, especially opener “I Drive A Lot,” sad-boy slowburner “We’re The Ordinary” and the before-mentioned “Too Much Fun.” In between are some solid indie-pop gems, drawing heavily on 60′s pop in the vein of The Zombies, or even The Beatles. Not all bad, but not specifically all keepers if you ask me. Still, The Fashion Focus makes for a rewarding listen, and it definitely worth revisiting.

Coincidentally, that collection of discarded songs was released years later as the short record, I Am The Portuguese Blues (once again sporting a monochrome cover, in blue, presumably a subtle nod to the era from which the songs came) and having now heard the album that nearly was The Fashion Focus, I have no doubt in my mind that Starflyer 59 made the right decision in shelving Portuguese Blues. It’s still not a total loss, but I’ll just say that 27 minutes is long enough. – Joshua Isaac Finch

{ 0 comments }