Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't check me out!

The Pains have just released a brand new video for "Young Adult Friction", their second single from the best record of the year. It's much in the style of their previous video for "Everything With You" except this time around the whole band is in it. Along with skeletons, mannequin hands, beds, and a whole bunch of books. The Pains never cease to be brilliant. A Brilliance much like that of a perfect Summer day. You don't quite know why, but it just makes everything seem better. Watch Away!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Balloons In The Sky!

Danny and Jen Transmittens!

With the very Springtime-ish weather we've been having lately, I've been keeping lots of fun, sunny pop songs in heavy rotation and Transmittens' "Balloons In The Sky" is one of them! Their debut record, Our Dreams just came out WeePOP! Records – to no surprise, as they're some of the finest purveyors of fun, sunny pop out there! – and it's sure to be something to hold on to in the upcoming Summer months. "Balloons In The Sky" is a blast. It makes me want to go outside and just run around and be eight years old. Yes, it's quite twee indeed, but what have I ever had against pure, unadulterated fun?! And Bells?! There's also a video for "Cow Clouds", another song from Our Dreams that you can watch below. If you like the Softies, Besties, Deirdres, etc, etc, etc than you'll probably just want to go ahead and order this one right away. And you can do that over at WeePOP! central! Hooray!

[MP3]: Transmittens :: Balloons In The Sky (Very Rec'd!!!)

Transmittens on MySpace!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

You were the first one

Another beautiful day today. I walked home from class listening to this one. All Springtime Fridays should have some Unrest involved, I think.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Good Day for some Juniper

Sunny blue sky! thanks for nothing photobooth.

Video for "Making Gerard Smile" by San Francisco band Juniper. This was Juniper's first single, released in 1996 on the Orange Label. The Following year they released a second single, "Think and Die Thinking" on Fantastic Records. Both are very worth your money if you can track them down. Which you should do, of course.

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SF Popfest 2009!!!

I hope I haven't tainted SF Popfest's branding with my yellow monotone.

In the ever-growing list of popshows and festivals I will NOT be able to attend this year, the San Francisco Popfest remains one of the few that I'm the most broken up about. The lineup is amazing and who wouldn't want to hang out in San Francisco all weekend??? My hopes and dreams of making it this year are all but washed away, but now that it's back, hopefully the SF Popfest will continue to keep going and I'll be able to make it next year. Now, in the interest of not making this any more grim, here's the schedule, as if you haven't already seen it somewhere else. Highlights for me would have to be Northern Portrait, Tullycraft, Brilliant Colors, Dear Nora, Eux Autres, and Cheap Red. To anyone going – DO NOT miss Cheap Red. I'm very, very jealous that you'll have a chance to see them, so don't blow it!

Thursday, May 21
Venue: The Rickshaw Stop
Ages: All
Doors: 7:30pm
Tickets: $13 advance/$15 door
Suburban Kids with Biblical Names
Still Flyin'
Oh No Oh My
Pelle Carlberg

Friday, May 22
Venue: Annie's Social Club
Ages: 21+
Doors: 7:30pm
Tickets: $13 advance/$15 door
The Hot Toddies
The Tartans
The Orange Peels
+ indiepop dancing until 2am

Saturday, May 23
Venue: House of Shields
Ages: 21+
Doors: 3:00pm
Cost: $5 door (no pre-sale tickets)
Gregory Webster
Champagne Riot
Brilliant Colors
+ guest DJs from Big Pink Cake (Bristol, UK) and Hungry Beat (LA)

Saturday, May 23
Venue: The Rickshaw Stop
Ages: All
Doors: 7:30pm
Tickets: $13 advance/$15 door
My Teenage Stride
Northern Portrait
Tullycraft (LAST SHOW EVER!) :(
Magic Bullets
The Smittens 

Sunday, May 24
Venue: Acoustic Picnic Show in Local Park (location TBA)
Time: 1pm-ish (TBD)
Ages: All
Cost: Free!
Let's Whisper (Colin Clary + Dana Kaplan both of The Smittens)
Pocketbooks (Dan and Emma of)
Gregory Webster
Antarctica Takes It!
Land of Ill Earthquakes
Apple Orchard

Sunday, May 24
Venue: Café du Nord
Ages: 21+
Doors: 6:30pm
Tickets: $13 advance/$15 door
The Hidden Cameras (special solo performance)
Eux Autres
Dear Nora
Birds of California
Cheap Red


MySpace links for all of the bands playing can be found HERE if you're up for some investigating, which I would totally suggest doing!

ALSO! This Friday, April 24th, Your Latest Crush will be hosting a lovely Popfest fundraising night at the House of Shields! Go and have fun and raise $$$$$$! More info HERE!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

It's all because of you!

The Soulboy Collective

The Soulboy Collective – whom, unfortunately, I may have overlooked because of the name – were recently highly recommended to me by the always reliable Andreas! I cannot thank him enough for introducing me to them because, like he promised, they play an undeniably toe-tappingly fantastic blend of indiepop and northern soul. Just listen to that guitar! and that beat! and oh, those sugary sweet vocals! And how exciting it is to have them come back to us after all of eight years!

Here's some more info:
Rising from the ashes of defunct Stuttgart-based rave pop outfit Boy Hairdresser (1988 - 1993) in 1994, The Soulboy Collective operate as a loose unit of musicians (Bernd), DJs (Christian, Uli), dabblers (Jürgen) and assorted guest singers - amongst others Ahlie of Elektrolochmann fame. Having released the song "Pattonville Soulgirl" on the "Harakiri"-Compilation in 1995, The Soulboy Collective did remixes for Die Fantastischen Vier ("Populär", 1996), Electronic ("Until The End Of Time", 1997) and Boozoo Bayou ("Night Over Manaus", 1998). All other tracks like "Gentle", "I'm Not in Love But I Could Be" (both from 1996/1997) and "Cool Without You" (1999/2000) are previously unreleased. In 2004, the two old Altobelli/Boy Haidresser tracks, "Juventus" and "Casino Action", were re-recorded as The Soulboy Collective with the help of The Underground Itself. Both songs appear on TSC's debut single to be released on the Firestation label some day.

2009 sees the return of original singer Ahlie to the line-up. Despite living in St. Louis these days, she sang on "It's All Because Of You", the first new Soulboy Collective song in eight years.

I'm in love just a little bit, I think. I hear a little bit of Comet Gain and Saturday Looks Good To Me, and a little bit of Kicker, too – which all makes perfect sense. So if any of that is up your alley, then I think you'll be just as in love with The Souldboy Collective as I currently am! Listen listen listen!

[MP3]: The Soulboy Collective :: It's All Because Of You (Hiiiiighly Rec'd!)

More on MySpace!

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Hey! My apologies for the lack of action around here lately. Whenever I get busy this blog tends to be the first thing to get knocked to the bottom of my list of priorities. But I wanted to make a quick post to say that I fiiiiiiiinally got my Mayfair Set and Brilliant Colors 7"s in the mail yesterday. The wait, long as it was, was well worth it in my opinion. I've had them both spinning constantly for the past 48 hours and they seem to only be getting better. At the moment I think I'm loving Brilliant Colors a bit more than the Mayfair Set, but I would still highly recommend picking both up as soon as you can.

You can order both 7"s from Captured Tracks on MySpace!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

An Interview with Kevin of Knight School!

Knight School

I haven't done an interview for Skatterbrain in quite some time and so who better than to do a new with than my good pal Kevin Alvir of fuzzy Brooklyn pop band Knight School! Their debut LP The Poor And Needy Need To Party is an absolutely great record through and through and Kevin's unmistakable wit and natural ability of making catchy happen are widely evident. If you haven't picked up a copy yet, you must! You really must! Here's the interview!

How did it feel to get a fresh start, musically?
Good, I guess. It felt Refreshing. It felt like New doors opening. It felt like playing around in this unventured part of a construction site. I don't know. But it has that sort of feeling.

Did you feel like it was something you needed to do?
I felt that I had outgrown my old musical project and wanted to do something that I felt reflected.....uhhh.....myself.

Why name it Knight School?
It was just a funny name I thought of while driving around. Maybe there are some deep meanings in it. But I thought it resulted from a lack of a thinking and a disregard for anything hip.

How is living and playing music in ny different from back in philly or dc?
Well, it can be expensive in NY. But I have made a lot of friends in New York. There is so much to do, see, and experience. So it's pretty worth it for me. As for music, it can be a little overwhelming. I mean there is that "Brooklyn pop scene" that bloggers and kids in the UK talk about, but there are also bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, M.I.A, and the National amongst many others that come from Brooklyn/New York. So it's easy to feel VERY VERY small and insignificant. So I really embrace that. Philadelphia and DC had like one or two bands that I felt like I had some commonality with. I compare the transition to New York with my transition to art school. I was the prized "artist" in high school, then I went to "college (art school)" and realized that I wasn't very good and had a lot to learn. Am I divulging too much?

How did 'the poor and needy" go from something you were putting together in your bedroom, to be released overseas on Lost Music?
Well, I was planning on putting together "the poor and needy" album together on my own, which I was going to release. I thought I'd only have to make 5 copies of the cd. Then Lost Music was really interested and asked me if I wanted them to release it. So...

I've tried playing the cd on big speakers, it becomes white noise. was the extreme fuzzy lo-fi - ness an aesthetic choice or was it just out of recording necessity?
Oh really? It sounds pretty good to me.

What albums and/or bands would you say ended up most influencing the songwriting on the record?
Uhhh....hmm...that takes some thought. The songwriting is kind of unconscious. When I started recording the songs for "Poor & Needy" - I just remember being real inspired by the Cannanes and their attitude. I have this really lo-fi Cannanes tape, "Happy Swing" that seemed pretty reckless and I was like, "Why should I make this hard?" But there are lots of other bands that I found inspiring like Tall Dawrfs, TVPs, Pavement, GbV, the Clean, and a bunch others that have a similar spirit.

Your song titles are hilarious and brilliant, how do you come up with them?
Thanks. There is no formula. It comes from being bored. I dream of being a comedian but all of it just works itself into music that isn't necessarily Tencaious D. But seriously, they just come out that way and I guess my personality just comes out with it.

If you could only play one song on the guitar for the rest of your life what would it be? Why?
"Dream On" by Aerosmith because it has so many parts in it and it's kind of baroque sounding. Therefore, I think it would take my whole lifetime to learn it and play it. Also, it's a really good song in my opinion. Real dramatic.

What are some of your favorite new bands at the moment and why?
Favorite new bands??? I love Let's Wrestle from the UK. I've been listening to their album for the past year. They're really funny and touching at once. And recently, we played a show with them. I was kinda starstruck. But they're crazy young and already hitting all the right chords (lyrically and musically). I like some of the new wave of Lo-Fi bands....Times New Viking, Psychedelic Horseshit, Dum Dum Girls, Nodzzz, Brilliant Colors. Also, I really like this band called Pains of Being Pure At Heart, they're pretty new to the world. But to me, I remember when their drummer was just an ipod operated by Peggy 2 years ago. But they have a good balance with their music and lyrics - I feel like I'm taking in a really sweet, subversive yet touching indie film when I listen to them. But to sound like a lot of other jaded jerks out there, I find it hard to latch onto newer music. Just because it seems like a lot of bands come out as 2nd generation xeroxes of bands that were once fresh and new to me. So if new bands really need to get me, I need to latch onto their bottom line.

What do the coming years have in store for K. Knight?
I am not really sure. I am not even sure what the coming months have in store for me. I guess for the moment, we have a 2nd Knight School album half-done. More shows, more records. Hopefully a tour in the summer. I just want to have a good life.

And will you be taking over the world?
I don't think either party is prepared. But....we can make due.

Thanks to Kevin for the interview!
You can find Knight School on MySpace HERE
Buy The Poor And Needy Need To Party from LostMusic Records

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I had a dream of you, but dreams don't come true

Songs About You

It had been at least two years since this record had played in my presence, but I played "Leaving" in the car the other night and now I seem to be on an endless and dreamy Language of Flowers kick. It's a lot like love, really. I don't recall these songs meaning as much to me before as they seem to now, which is entirely possible – it has been two years, maybe I actually understand them now. Now if only the clouds would part and dreams would come true and we'd get a brand new Language of Flowers record. Sadly, this seems like more than a dream at this point. However, we should feel lucky that we still have songs like "Leaving".

[MP3]: Language of Flowers :: Leaving


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Let's Start A Riot!


Cheap Red are a brilliant new pop band in the form of Stewart and Jen of Boyracer and Akina and Arland of Kanda! They list influences as Judas Priest and Marine Girls, though they ultimately end up sounding like a more tender, mid-tempo Boyracer. Though the word mid-tempo typically conjures up images of really boring songs, Cheap Red are actually anything but. The songs on MySpace are all replay again and again worthy and the whistling chorus in "Let's Start A Riot" is particularly amazing. They've got a debut DOUBLE CD coming out in May on, you guessed it, 555 Recordings! You can also see them at SF Popfest if you happen to be going, which sadly, I am not.

Head over to the Cheap Red MySpace and have a listen!

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