Amanda X share new single “Guatemala,” team up with Siltbreeze for first LP

Amanda X share new single "Guatemala," team up with Siltbreeze for first LP

It’s a time-tested formula. You wanna be cool? Like, icy, aloof, black leather jacket cool? Add an “X” after your first name. That’s how you know this new release from Amanda X is gonna be cool — I mean, if you couldn’t already guess from it being on Siltbreeze.

Now, in a shocking turn of events, Amanda X isn’t just one real haughty Teutonic woman. It’s three North Philadelphian women: Cat Park (guitar), Tiff Yoon (drums), and Kat Bean (bass). Together the three-piece make the kind of warm, grungy Raincoats/Sleater-Kinney-esque rock that gives a loving nod to the 90s. Back in 2012, they self-released the Ruin the Moment EP and started opening for the likes of Dum Dum Girls, Parquet Courts, and Marnie Stern. Their new LP Amnesia drops July 28. You can check out the single “Guatemala” below (via Noisey):

Amnesia tracklisting:

01. Guatemala
02. Dream House
03. Things Fall Apart
04. Tunnels
05. Nothing Wild
06. Parsnip
07. Low and Mean
08. Paranoia
09. Trouble
10. Woke Up
11. Friendly Tones

• Amanda X:
• Siltbreeze:

S undertakes series of cool choices, culminating in signing with Hardly Art and releasing new record in September called Cool Choices

Cool Choice #1: Jenn Ghetto, who already had a totally kick-ass name and also co-fronted Carissa’s Wierd, has a solo project that is so awesome it goes by the cryptic-yet-effective moniker of S.

Cool Choice #2: S had been chugging along for a few years post-Carissa’s Wierd until in 2004 Jenn Ghetto decided to put her sweet, harmonic bedroom rock songwriting tendencies on hold (not a cool choice). The cool choice emerged in 2010 when Ghetto changed her mind and started playing and recording again.

Cool Choice #3: Instead of the usual insular approach that Ghetto had adopted for her three prior S records, she decided to rope in some band members and road-test her songs for what would become S’s fourth album.

Cool Choice #4: Seattle label Hardly Art heard one of these road tests and offered to release the album that S had written.

Cool Choice #5: Ghetto roped in Chris Walla from Death Cab for Cutie to record a bunch of songs with S at his studio in Seattle.

Cool Choice #6: Given the series of cool choices made to reach the finished product of S’s new record, they decided to call the album Cool Choices. Which in itself is a cool choice and will be available September 23 via Hardly Art.

Cool Choice #7: This is where you come in: check out the lead single “Vampires,” or catch S live at one of the dates listed below.

Cool Choices tracklist:

01. Losers
02. Like Gangbusters!
03. Vampires
04. (guitar solo)
05. White House
06. Brunch
07. Remember Love
08. Tell Me
09. Muffin
10. Balderdash
11. Pacific
12. Let the Light In

Tour dates:

10.10.14 - Oakland, CA - 1-2-3-4-Go! Records
10.11.14 - Claremont, CA - KSPC at Claremont College
10.13.14 - Los Angeles, CA - The Smell
10.14.14 - San Louis Obispo, CA - Xroads
10.15.14 - Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place
10.18.14 - Eugene, OR - The Boreal

• S:
• Hardly Art:

[Photo: Adrien Leavitt]

Teenage Fanclub to reissue two albums on vinyl in celebration of Merge’s 25th anniversary

Merge Records turns 25 this year and is celebrating it with a year-long series of “classic albums” re-releases. Nothing unusual there, until we realize that the latest announcement in the series involves a couple of albums by Teenage Fanclub, Man-Made and Shadows, which are certainly respectable additions to the Scottish quartet’s output, but not exactly held in as high regards as Bandwagonesque (1991), Grandprix (1995), or even the already divisive Songs from Northern Britain (1997). But it sorta makes sense here, because (and here’s the catch) Teenage Fanclub’s tenure on Merge only comprises these two albums.

So, there you go: Man-Made and Shadows are coming out on vinyl for the first time in the US, on August 5. And they’re actually pretty good, even if Man-Made involves the typical late-career move of seeking out a star producer (Tortoise’s John McEntire) to shake things up creatively and Shadows pulls the oxymoronic feat of making power pop sound at peace with middle age’s mellow stability. This is not necessarily a bad thing; if we consider that Big Star — most power pop bands’ template — never had to deal with growing too old to play this kind of music, it’s certainly interesting to see some of Chilton and co.’s heirs try and solve the dilemma.

Both albums will be available on 180-gram vinyl, individually or as a bundle deal, and the reissues will include a couple of bonus tracks. Also: Teenage Fanclub will be playing the Merge 25 festival later this month.

Man-Made tracklisting:

01. It’s All in My Mind
02. Time Stops
03. Nowhere
04. Save
05. Slow Fade
06. Only with You
07. Cells
08. Feel
09. Fallen Leaves
10. Flowing
11. Born under a Good Sign
12. Don’t Hide
13. Please Stay *
14. Falling Leaf *

* bonus tracks

Shadows tracklisting:

01. Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything
02. Baby Lee
03. The Fall
04. Into the City
05. Dark Clouds
06. The Past
07. Shock and Awe
08. When I Still Have Thee
09. Live with the Seasons
10. Sweet Days Waiting
11. The Back of My Mind
12. Today Never Ends
13. Secret Heart *
14. Dark and Lonely *

* bonus tracks

• Teenage Fanclub:
• Merge:

Korg releases new synth for Nintendo 3DS

Korg has just announced the release of a new “soft synth” geared up specifically for the Nintendo 3DS. The DSN-12 was designed with app-builders Detune and features 12 monophonic synths based on the classic Korg MS-10. According to Resident Advisor, “You can add up to three effects to each of them—with modules ranging from delay and flanger to compression—and sequence them individually. Then, you can combine them into larger patterns and up to 99 ‘scenes.’” Sounds like this puppy also comes with a 3D oscillator that lets you visualize your voyage through arpeggiated insanity.

If you are totally feeling this handheld soon-to-be-vintage synth madness, you can complete your sweet rig with the Korg iMS-20, an app (also designed with Detune) for the iPad that functions similarly to the DSN-12. Put both of those right on top of Korg’s recent re-creation of the ARP Odyssey and you could be lost in space for days.

Check out a preview of the DSN-12 below:

• Korg:
• Detune:

RIP: Chris Grier, member of To Live and Shave in L.A.

From Wondering Sound:

Chris Grier, a member of avant-garde noise-rock group To Live and Shave in L.A. from 2003 to 2007, died last night. The Miami-born experimental collective’s co-founder Tom Smith, formerly of Pussy Galore, announced the news on Facebook, calling Grier “a brother in arms.”

“He suffered a cardiac arrest, had the presence of mind to call 911, but when paramedics arrived they found him unresponsive,” Smith wrote. “Chris was pronounced dead at Brooklyn Hospital. Damn, damn.”

Grier is credited with guitar and treatments in the band and played on such albums as 2006′s Noon and Eternity, when To Live and Shave in L.A.’s lineup included Andrew W.K. and Thurston Moore. Grier also was in the rotating avant-rock collective Scarcity of Tanks with Minutemen’s Mike Watt and others, and he was one half of the drums-and-guitars Ultimate Vag with Scott Verrastro of psych-improv outfit Kohoutek.


During Grier’s career, the Washington, D.C.-based musician and journalist also played with the likes of Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, Little Wings, Little Howlin’ Wolf and more. In D.C., he organized 2005′s Noise Against Fascism concert on the day of George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Whether solo or in groups, Grier shared bills with Faust, Bob Pollard, Dan Higgs, Max Ochs, Grey Daturas, Flower Travellin’ Band, Ya Ho Wha 13, Wolf Eyes’ Nate Young, Sightings, Magik Markers, Wooden Wand, Religious Knives, Six Organs of Admittance, MV+EE and others.

• To Live and Shave in L.A.:

Drag City and Yoga Records unearth lost synth gem with reissue of Matthew Young’s debut album Recurring Dreams

It’s often tempting to scorn 80s synth music wholesale; at times it feels like those cheesy tones and plinky-plonky drum beats were used simply because the technology was there. Then the good folks at Drag City and Yoga Records come along and prove you’re a twat who hasn’t even begun to plumb the depths of private-press synth music, just by pushing a slab of mind-melting vinyl across the table and whispering, “Have you ever heard Matthew Young’s debut album, man?”

Come July 22 you will have a chance to atone for your hitherto-ignorant lack of appreciation for home-recorded synth records when the aforementioned Drag City/Yoga reissue cult icon Matthew Young’s debut album Recurring Dreams.

Recurring Dreams is the ultra-obscure precursor to Young’s classic (yet still pretty obscure in its own right) Traveler’s Advisory album, which together make up the entirety of this synth-wizard’s oeuvre.

Far from ham-fisted slabs of available technology, Matthew Young proves with Recurring Dreams that there were early proponents of synth music who applied light touches and subtle twiddles of the knobs to create far-out meditative jams bordering on the aural equivalent of religious sermons. Listeners, repent!

Recurring Dreams tracklist:

01. Mistral
02. First Blood
03. No Reason
04. Recurring Dream
05. Version Inversion
06. Late Poets
07. The Forest of Lilacs
08. Night Music

• Matthew Young:
• Drag City:
• Yoga: