lovebyrd - s/t

the guys at ongakubaka records are keeping the pace fast, with their second cassette release, the self titled debut by german psych rockers lovebyrd, becoming available 1/9/15. their taste in psych rock has not faltered. lovebyrd is a woman fronted outfit featuring laid back rhythms, jangly, spaced out guitars, and enveloping harmonies. german accents have never sounded sweeter.

this short tape contains serious lysergic riffs worked into catchy sunshine-pop frameworks, and those passages you want from psychedelic rock songs that sound like they are flying you into outer this rate i'm gonna want to get every tape ongakubaka records releases!

get it on tape or digital here.

sweet bump it - slow down

LA band sweet bump it features retro rhythms and a strong compliment of female voices stacked up in classic pop/soul arrangements.

their latest song, 'slow down' shifts between the sounds of the 60's and 70's, with a slinky, single coil, reverby guitar melody in the verse giving way to a wah-wah driven boogy-woogy chorus fleshed out by those ronnettes-meets-b-52's vocal flourishes.

get the tune here.

kelly zullo - when we get there and gypsy

kelly zullo has a unique and i imagine inimitable style of playing acoustic guitar: lightning fast, funky, somewhat jazz influenced. a method that kind of makes you wonder 'is she really doing that?' when you listen to it. her playing is so fast it could seem like a parlor trick, with the sterility that can come with virtuosity, if it wasn't worked into clever, personal, fully realized songs.

kelly zullo swings her axe wisely, tempered by years of working at songwriting, and she delivers these songs in an acrobatic voice, at times backed up by a fiddle and upright bass. she has gained some notoriety for her style, particularly among the guitar community. check out a few tunes below.

get her latest album, 'live at natalie's', right here.

johnny yuma - beginning to blur

'beginning to blur' by massachusetts folk songwriter johnny yuma is an album in the troubadour tradition, consisting of bitter sweet story songs from under the street lights, recorded in a strummy man-and-guitar style.

the album also includes an instrumental that focuses on johnny's lead guitar work and a rendition of the folk revival classic 'worried blues', performed in a quieter finger-picked style.

name your price for it here.

ben clabault - angelita cry

a few months ago i wrote about a singer/songwriter from massachusetts named ben clabault, whose earnest, melodic songs, recorded with stark simplicity into a laptop, kind of blew my mind. he had a minimal internet presence compared to the average MFOA contributor, and i saw the opportunity to spread awareness of ben's songwriting by making a selection of his songs the first physical release on the modern folk music of america record label, practice records.

i'm happy to say ben liked the idea, so i can present PRCD001, 'angelita cry', a collection of 12 of ben clabault's songs available in limited, numbered edition of 20 hand printed CDs or as a name-your-price download.

the songs on 'angelita cry' have a deep honesty about them and artists like ben clabault are the reason that i started MFOA and practice records in the first place. stream the album below and if you like it consider picking up one of the CDs.

get it here. CDs will ship out around 1/1/15. go here to check out some more of ben's tunes that aren't on 'angelita cry'.

the lucies - it's not cold enough

the great thing about being a lofi/bedroom/basement recording artist is that as soon as you have an idea, you can lay it down. this can make for some fairly prolific release schedules among this type of musician. a case in point is the new EP by the lucies, who's last one, 'anna cassidy' i featured here just a little while ago.

'it's not cold enough' is simple, lofi psych folk with sonic elements that give it a cohesive, homespun vibe. a sort-of distant sounding fuzz bass has an almost cello like feel, washed out electric guitars and over-dubbed harmonies reinforce the sense of loneliness that inhabits the tunes. recommended.

name your price for it here.

matt confusion - satori, take me away

matt confusion is an italian singer/songwriter working in lofi bluesy formats. his recording style and electric guitar playing lend a touch of space and psychedelia to his stripped down tunes.

his latest album, 'satori, take me away', includes a cover of the classic blues standard 'st. james infirmary', which is one of my favorite songs in that tradition.

get it for free here.

william csorba - songs

i covered guitar soli artist william csorba's last album 'the bear creek child cemetary' just a little while ago, and was charmed by his loose jointed, cosmic sounding style of playing. the same can be said of his new collection, 'songs'.

on 'songs', csorba adds to the atmospheric nature of his picking style with touches like shimmering gongs and a recording of a running stream. he also does a cover on this album of the sam mcgee classic 'buckdancer's choice', a touchstone for guitar soli players.

get the album here.

kill the intellectuals - something about a new exciting future called promising untold happiness

on her latest album 'something about a new exciting future called promising untold happiness', houston, TX songwriter kill the intellectuals delivers more of her super emotional, stream of consciousness diary-style lofi anti folk.

the songs are cathartic and seem to just flow out of her, and the recording style reflects that, some sounding as if they were captured on the fly, with very expressive performances.

name your price for it here. tapes of her previous effort, 'sad grrrl eats oatmeal and stares into the vanishing point', (which i also covered) will be available soon from tyburn woods collective.

axle creek - the journey home

axle creek is a hard rocking band that blends the sounds of classic arena rock and modern country. gritty vocals, big guitar solos and bar-room rhythms. their harmonies are reminiscent of the giants among the canon of manly country duos. their latest album is called 'the journey home'.

check out a few tunes from the album below.

get 'the journey home' here.

josh woodward - the beautiful machine

josh woodward, of ann arbor, MI, makes upbeat singer/songwriter folk/pop with a modern edge and big, memorable choruses. homemade, and very skillfully produced.

his latest album, 'the beautiful machine', is full of catchy tunes with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics. there is a classic emo-pop influence to some of the tunes that is not heard frequently on MFOA.

get all of josh woodward's music here.

saturday city - she's the one

norwegian folk pop duo saturday city is back with a 'teaser' for the newest album, an intimate youtube clip of them performing their lilting new ballad 'she's the one' in the studio.

the new album will be out soon.

sapat - a posthuman guide to the advent calendar origins of the peep show

kentucky collective sapat is made up of a bunch of musicians from lousiville's fertile underground and their sound reflects a wide range of influences filtered through a very strange lens. there is a lot of eastern european elements, from krautrock guitar explorations to gypsy-jazz-folk woodwinds and old world operatic vocal flourishes.

there are also elements of prog rock and doomy sludge, strange chants and mystical incantations, psychedelic freakouts, yelps, howls, weird samples, and tons of energy. the more louisville bands from this scene (such as phantom family halo) i am exposed to, the more i wish i could catch a show down there...i imagine a sapat show would be like some kind of psychedelic pagan proceeding. recommended, this is experimental rock at its finest.

get the LP from sophomore lounge records.

azzuro peaks - you're so cool

azzuro peaks is a one-man lofi/bedroom/psych/pop/rock project from derby, UK. his latest release, 'you're so cool', features sun-shiny reverb guitars, synth strings and high-pitched self harmonized vocals that give the tune and almost baroque vintage psychedelic pop sound.

as you listen, you can almost feel yourself floating over the verdant english moors pictured on the cover art. a good song for a cold winter morning.

get it for free, along with an EP from earlier this year, here.

peter jens - ain't no manhattan for me

another in today's crop of contributions from singer/songwriters, peter jens tune 'ain't no manhattan for me' recalls the down-and-out-with-a-smile attitude of classic talking blues tunes, and it covers a similar topic, that of the wandering troubadour arriving in new york city.

peter jens' version gives the story a different twist, telling of the jealousy experienced when his friend has better luck than him; he's the dave van ronk to his buddy's bob dylan.

check out more of peter jens' music here.

p.k. workman - farewell old friend

utah based singer/songwriter p.k. workman trades in earnest, americana tinged folk-pop, with finger plucked guitars and soft vocal harmonies.

'farewell old friend', a quiet tune of love and loss, serves as preview for the EP that workman has on deck for release in 2015.

listen to more p.k. workman here.

all those ships - from far

another in off-kilter bedroom pop act all those ship's series of songs put out one by one, intended to gauge which tracks should make the final release, 'from far' is a non-traditional banjo based tune, propelled by shuffling lofi snares, with a big ending.

get it, and the others in this series, here. check out an all those ships video for the holidays below.

david rybka - look at yourself & lowdown

david rybka is a singer/songwriter from manchester, UK. his tunes go from dark, atmospheric and introspective to rocking brit-pop in their sound, which makes sense, because he also fronts a rock band called victorian dad.

i'm featuring two tunes below that show the spectrum of rybka's sound.

check out more of david rybka's tunes right here.

angela james - way down deep

'way down deep', the second album by chicago based singer/songwriter angela james has a fresh sound but harkens back to a classical era of american roots music.

recorded live with a band that was obviously feeling her vibe, the production is sparse and alt-countryish, with brushed snares, lilting steel guitars, some jagged, moody solos and mournful back-alley horns. angela's voice is the real star, a subtle instrument that carries a heavy sorrow somehow lightly through the misty places created by the music.

get it here on CD or on a limited edition vinyl pressing. below, check out a video for the lead single 'drink and try not to cry'.

recommended for 2014

i try to keep MFOA as different from your typical 'music blog' as i possibly can, which in the past three year-endings of it's existence, has meant ignoring the tradition of the year end round up of 'best' albums. i covered over 250 great artists this year and in an ideal world you would be listening to all of them and they would all be making a living doing what they love and feel passionate about. but that isn't the world we live in. anyway, this has been hands down MFOA's biggest year, and for that i thank everyone who visits the site, shares the links, buys/downloads the music, and especially all the musicians who send me their work. so, below are some of my most recommended albums from the past year of submissions, in no particular order.

-steve palmer - the unblinking sun-
in a year that was full of releases floating around the genre 'american primitive' (there will be more in this round up!), this was my favorite. at times contemplative, at times mind-blowing, heavy and psychedelic, steve palmer's 'the unblinking sun' combines influences of kraut rock and psych with the fahey-isms and in the process expands the possibilities of this resurgent genre. get it on cassette or digitally from dying for bad music records.

-buck gooter - the spider's eyes-
there is little i can say about harrisonburg, virginia's resident industrial blues demons buck gooter that henry rollins hasn't already. i love these guys and their band and i think that any other band calling itself 'punk' should probably be ashamed. 'the spider's eyes' is a pummeling, cathartic trip that is not afraid to confront the ills of the world head on, both sonically and lyrically. i did an interview here on MFOA with billy of buck gooter recently. get 'the spider's eyes' on sophomore lounge records or feeding tube records.

-nate henricks - apple juice-
nate henricks is a master of bedroom power-psych-pop. his latest album, 'apple juice', builds on his excellent 'neon for no one' (also from this year) with masterful pop melodies buried in weirdness and moments of heaviness that will rattle your bong. get it digitally here.

-pc worship - social rust-
pc worship did not submit 'social rust' to MFOA; this dark, free jazz inflected art-grunge record was coming out of the gate with love from major indie-rock publications. however, i have been posting about pc worship since the beginning of this spot and this record is among their best. 'social rust' shows another step in the progression of pc worship and their mastermind justin frye from freak-folk/improvisational noise collective to 'mutant soul' punk jam band to taught, pounding modern art-rock that sounds like this minute. get it on northern spy records or dull tools records.

-sarah louise - field guide-
north carolinian guitarist sarah louise released another one of my favorite american primitive/guitar soli albums of the year. 'field guide' is a meditative record that carries the musical genes of the hills and hollers of the appalachian mountains in which it was recorded. what made this album stand out sharply for me are the numbers where sarah sings...haunting, droning, dirge like renditions of traditional appalachian hymns that seem to hang in the air like a thick fog in the smoky mountains. get it here. 'field guide' will also be released on cassette sometime in early 2015 on scissor tail editions.

-jay satellite - a record-
the bay area mc formerly known as satellite high put out what i think is his best album yet this year in the form of 'a record'. the album builds on developments from the final satellite high release, including innovative production, recorded bedroom-style with organic instruments, a lot of non-drum kit percussion, and influences varying from prog-rock to metal to ambient, noise and drone. not to mention his agile flow and sharply witty, deeply introspective lyrics that inhabit the atmospheric music fully. get it digitally here.

-dead professional - hard hard hard-
dead professional has grown this year, from a one-man-band to a power trio, and they have released a long awaited EP, 'hard hard hard', the desire for which has been built through a workmanlike live schedule, including opening slots for the likes of ryan adams and bobby bare junior. this is power-pop that effortlessly blends the british wit and coolness of classic period stiff records with the warmth and heart of 1970's american songwriting in the vein of tom petty and bruce springsteen. get the EP here.

-c.m. slenko - moonlight veneration-
i love the approach over at sioux trails records, if i've said it once i've said it a million times, they are fellow travelers. my favorite release over there this year was c.m. slenko's 'moonlight veneration', an atmospheric album of acoustic and electric guitar soundscapes that sounds like it's title. a hazy, mystical dream throughout. get it here.

-salvaticus - hidden mana-
i don't get all that much metal through my figurative door, but i am glad when i do. 'hidden mana' by virginia's salvaticus is a crusty, hill country, black metal bludgeoning. long form, norway-by-way-of-appalachia-sounding compositions that at times settle into moments of acoustic serenity before revving up again to blast the fuck out of you. in terms of the black metal genre, salvaticus manages to bridge the gap between technical prowess and atmospheric gloom. get it on CD on lost apparition records or on cassette on eternal reign records, or digitally right here.

-daniel sage - wildlife-
'wildlife' by daniel sage is a mature sounding debut release, auteur power-pop and song craft with some rougher psyched out edges that seem to owe a debt of influence to the big muff pop-rock of the 90's. i also hear echoes of one of my favorite records, big star's 'third' in some of the pockets of controlled chaos, which makes sense, as 'wildlife' was recorded at the legendary ardent studios in memphis, tennessee. despite that fact, it remains a self-released effort. name your price for it here.

well, that's ten. making a list like this was hard. this is as close to any 'curation' you might ever see here. i could do a top fifty, but i don't get paid for this. you should listen to all wonderful homemade music i post here, and if you hear something you like, support the artist.

wett nurse - hissy fit

i was happy to observe this morning the first release by fellow music blog ongakubaka's foray into the label game...'hissy fit' by portland, oregon's wett nurse, is a swingin' garage/psych jammer from front to back. the guitars crunch, the organs swirl, and the drums pound and take you for a spin on the psychedelic dance floor. dark, swaggering amphetamine vibes throughout.

support this release, cause the dudes over at ongakubaka have great taste and will be sure to put out more solid releases if given the opportunity.

get it digitally or on cassette on ongakubaka records.

chris stringer - the rooted sessions (video)

singer-songwriter chris stringer of swansea, UK, writes intimate, confessional tunes characterized by his agile singing voice and guitar picking. he recently made some stripped down live videos of tracks from his upcoming EP 'sinking ships' for the rooted sessions, a welsh live video project for independent musicians.

download a couple of his older EPs for free here.

the hills and the rivers - the world

the hills and the rivers, of pittsburgh, pennsylvania, describe themselves as 'post apocalyptic river folk'...listening to their bittersweet, homespun full-length debut 'the world', it seems like an apt description to me, as i could picture them, from their sound, as a rag tag group of wanderers bringing comfort in the form of burlap harmonies and soothing acoustic sounds to the starving remnants of humanity in some sort of blasted wasteland.

they stray from the typical string band sound with touches of world music percussion, horns and a contemporary flair for songwriting, which works with their big, folk-ensemble sound.

get 'the world' right here.

laurence made me cry - the holly and the ivy

for the holiday season, welsh chanteuse jo whitby, who records under the name laurence made me cry, has dropped this dreamy rendition of the traditional christmas tune 'the holly and the ivy'.

it must be more of a british isles thing, because i am not familiar with the tune, but whitby's version is beautiful; a simple guitar, piano and jingly percussion (necessary to be festive) arrangement provides a great background for her angelic sounding voice on the lead vocal and self harmonized back-up melodies.

download it for free here. i also highly recommend her latest non holiday track, 'bellgrove'.

king pedestrian - new outdoors (video)

king pedestrian's self titled album, produced by todd tobias, is tour-de-force of idiosyncratic independent power-pop, with big guitars, catchy melodies, urgent vocals, weird lyrics, and concise tunes. the band has just completed a video for one of the stand out tracks, 'the new outdoors', which happens to feature all of the elements of their sound i mentioned above. check it out.

grab 'king pedestrian' digitally right here.

wishgift - folk twain EP

'folk twain EP' by chicago's wishgift is a knotty, prog influenced blast of aggressive, weirdo post punk, with an angry angularity that brings to mind some of the great bands of the touch and go records hey day in their hometown.

moments of sonic anarchy are included as well, with peals of nasty saxophone and other arty touches finding their way inside the corners of these tautly arranged songs.

get the EP on 12" vinyl on sophomore lounge records or digital right here. below, check out an 'unofficial' music video for 'pretty jenny', a song from their 2010 7" release.

odessey & oracle - odessey & oracle & the casiotone orchestra

odessey & oracle is a french band that takes their name from the seminal 1968 baroque/psych/pop LP by the zombies. a brief listen to their debut effort 'odessey & oracle & the casiotone orchestra' reveals that they draw from a similar source for their musical influences and that they have done their homework.

the music is sinuous, atmoshperic, psychedelic, and heavily baroque spaced out pop that i reckon you will be wanting to listen to more than once. it sounds like classic american and british psych filtered through a french, although i try to avoid comparisons, throw some stereolab in with those zombies and that free design. despite these comparisons, this album has a very fresh sound. i recommend this one.

get it here.

unqualified nurse - the weird

derby, UK noise punk act unqualified nurse is back with a sequel to 'medicine music' their release from a week or two ago. 'the weird' delivers more of the same raw, angry, lonely guitar punk aggression, but seems to have a slightly different personality to it.

the music is also delivered in the same quick burst...the eight songs that make up 'the weird' and 'medicine music' come in under ten minutes.

get it for free here.

a big silent elephant - sonne

a big silent elephant is the solo effort of italian artist mauro da re, who is also involved in numerous other bands. his first album under this moniker, 'sonne', is an excellent off kilter pop bag of tricks, recorded in classic eccentric one-man-band style in a cabin out in the country.

its full of jangly, catchy, homebrewed psychedelic tunes, characterized by spaced out guitars and far off, reverb drenched melodies, and carnival-esque soundscapes.

get it on limited edition CDR on resonating wood recordings.

abe po' ugly - flat foot prairie

my brother, abe po' ugly is back (check out some older stuff here) with an atmospheric drone-folk concept album about the various forms taken by war in the history and future of the american experience.

the album builds a cast of character's through who's eyes the listener can experience war from different angles and at different historical junctures, in an atmosphere of lofi fuzz, nylon string guitar, keyboard strings and sparse drum machines. i've made it the latest practice record for easy access.

get it for free here.

the plodes - high five every animal

the plodes, of vancouver, BC, are a high energy pop/garage type punk band that have the unique 'accordion factor' not too often seen in this genre. the squeeze-box here is employed in a droney fashion that fits the music very well, as opposed to attempting to cram polka breakdowns into the punk tunes.

the lyrics are kind of funny and sarcastic and high pitched and snotty, making me think a little of the more tongue-in-cheek side of classic punk when i listen to these guys, such as dead milkmen or early B-52's. as an animal lover (who isn't right?), i also enjoy the animal focused theme of this EP.

name your price for a download or get a 7" for the extremely reasonable price of 5 bucks right here.

brother earth - sunny side of the street (video)

i have covered 'positive haywires', the debut from brother earth, here before. brother earth is an exciting collaboration between two indie rock luminaries, todd tobias of bob pollard/gbv/circus devils fame, and steve five of the library is on fire. i'm happy to feature this whimsical/edgy jim henson-inspired video for what was actually my favorite tune off of 'positive haywires', the short, sweet, power-poppy snippet that demands to be played again, 'sunny side of the street'.

get the album, out now on hidden shoal recordings, here or here.

dead professional - hard hard hard

there isn't much more i can say about the signature sound of virginia's dead professional that i haven't said already, having covered them a few times on here before.

the much awaited debut EP, 'hard hard hard', is finally here, and it's five quick songs that draw on the best kind of classicism that rock'n'roll and power pop have to offer, with surprises here and there that expand on the sound you expect from dead professional that reward repeated spins. just get one! it 'delivers'.

get it here.

ben collier - reels, rags and relics

ben collier is a pennsylvania farm hand who enjoys recording classic american style dancing tunes and folk laments in his off hours. all of the music on the rustic set presented on 'reels, rags and relics' was recorded on reel-to-reel tape or cassette and performed almost entirely by ben.

listening to it, i can imagine folks 200 years ago dancing on wooden or dirt barn floors, barefoot or in hobnailed boots, arm in arm with new loves, drunk on moonshine, all up and down some half dreamed, sightly psychedelic appalachian america. ben has a real touch for making some high quality, lo-fidelity folk tunes.

i highly recommend grabbing it for free right here.

mammoth indigo - wonder (video)

virginia indie rock/pop band mammoth indigo is back with a video for the contemplative ballad-type tune 'wonder' from their self titled debut album. the video is a live performance with a cool concept...the band performs the song while walking down a peaceful neighborhood street. the video has a great ending with a little footage of the band playing 'the saints go marching in' with someone who i guess is one of their dads, which i found to be charming as hell.

pick up mammoth indigo's album as a download, CD, or a variety of vinyl options (including flashy 'bone white') here.

t.e. yates - that you knew (video)

british troubadour t.e. yates just released his debut EP, called 'posessed', on debt records. he is promoting that release with this romantic video for the anthemic lead single 'that you knew', a rocking folk pop song about new found love that is propelled forward by yate's disarming voice, driving drums and strumming mandolins.

name your price for the EP right here.

unqualified nurse - medicine music

UK bedroom/lofi/noise artist unqualified nurse's debut EP 'medicine music' delivers four songs in five unrelenting, distortion drenched, shit-fi, heavy five minutes.

seems to be just a person, a guitar, and glaciers of fuzz and anger. listen to it a few times, as it says on the bandcamp page, LOUD.

get it free here.

soapbox soliloquy - clothed in cost

the music of soapbox soliloquy is proving hard for me to pin down this morning. the sounds contained on the latest EP, 'clothed in cost', are certainly psychedelic, with elements of trip-hop, a genre that doesn't make its way on to MFOA all that often.

it might be dream-pop, some of the dreams it evokes are unsettling, and some are languid and ethereal. heavily effected acoustic guitars, fluid beats, distant vocals, lysergic lead guitars, and layers of atmospheric noises and sonic weather...i say give this one a try.

name your price for it here.

fish, flesh, field and henry dollar - tanacetum vulgare

'tanacetum vulgare' is the latest album by czech roots rock band fish, flesh, field and henry dollar (FFF&H$).

the lyrics are in czech, so i don't know what the songs are about, but musically, FFF&H$ are an energetic rock band that blends elements of punk, surf and roots with a euro-folk flair brought about by the presence of violins.

'tanacetum vulgare' is available in a limited edition of 30 CDs from resonating wood recordings out of poland.

marcus eads - sherburne county instrumentals

marcus eads' 'sherburne county instrumentals' is a collection of bucolic, rustic sounding guitar soli music that evokes the rural places the compositions are named after. it's no surprise, really, that marcus eads is from minnesota, which seems to be producing a large number of guitar soli performers at the moment.

marcus was recently featured on the 'looking west' guitar mixtape on the wonderful dying for bad music,  and has plans to release a split cassette with william csorba, who i featured here last week.

name your price for it here.

all those ships - we won't rest

i posted awhile back about all those ships' song by song album release process, where the artist chooses the line-up for his next LP based on the online response to each song (check out the previous tunes, 'tiny little storm clouds' and 'stuck in your head' here). the next in the series is 'we won't rest', a nice little self harmonizing bedroom indie-pop gem.

check out the songs here. check out a full description of all those ships' album selection process here.

free kittens and bread - puppet

free kittens and bread, from austin texas is an energetic band drawing influences from a wide variety of styles. classic punk can be heard in the 'whoa-oh-oh-oh' choruses and at times 'snotty' vocal delivery, but the instrumentation ranges from stripped down folksiness to big horns-and-toms indie-pop bombast.

the thread that unites the songs is catchy hooks, emotional lyrics, comfortable, homespun production and big harmonies that draw listeners in. 'puppet' is the latest of their many releases.

name your price for it here.

william csorba - the bear creek child cemetery

william csorba of houston, texas is another of many purveyors of finger-picked solo acoustic guitar (and banjo in this case), but the offerings to be found on his most recent album 'the bear creek child cemetery' are of the more intergalactic variety, though their roots lie in country blues and bluegrass styles.

psychedelic twangs and spaced out moments can be found in abundance within the interestingly titled guitar soli rambles, slips, slides and drones. also, you gotta love the exuma-esque artist portrait found on his bandcamp.

get it here.

JproD - the invite part 1 (minute til midnight)

i have featured the progressive, r&b and soul inflected hip hop of JproD (jep roadie) on MFOA a few times before.

he's back with another spaced-out track featuring forward thinking production and his signature unhurried flow. this track is the lead single from his upcoming album, 'regal'.

'regal' is out on november 25th.

the creak - silky works the night shift (video)

the creak, a progressive roots-folk band from san fransisco, is in the process of recording their new EP one song at a time.

the first tune, 'silky works the night shift', showcases their laid back approach, progressive instrumental flourishes, and smooth, layered harmonies, along with a whimsical video.

check out more tunes by the creak here, and look for the new EP out soon.

buck gooter - the MFOA interview with billy, preview track 'fun in the sun' from new LP

buck gooter is an increasingly well known duo of industrial noise-blues madness from rural virginia, and an MFOA favorite. i have had the pleasure of sharing bills with them in our shared native land and experiencing their visceral live presence a number of times as well as listening to their stark, abrasive and confrontational recordings. in my opinion, this is one of the few bands in existence that can truly claim to be 'punk', despite the fact that their music doesn't traditionally fit that bill. perhaps this ringing endorsement from henry rollins is evidence enough. the goot are MFOA fellow travelers par excellence because they keep doing what they do no matter what, they are road warriors and DIY legends, and they have helped release music by and support many other acts along the way, including an LP by the excellent psych/prog organ rock band MOUNDS and a comedy tape by the international man of mystery frank hurricane. the boys are about to release a new LP, 'the spiders eyes', as a joint effort by feeding tube records and sophomore lounge records, and i thought i would take this opportunity to ask billy a few questions about their approach and philosophy. as you read the interview, check out this blistering track, 'fun in the sun' from the new record, which i think is about global warming.

MFOA: buck gooter has been extremely prolific over the past ten plus years, not to mention extensive touring, various solo releases and side projects by billy and terry, and releasing works by other artists, all with a hard DIY ethic. what thoughts and motivations keep buck gooter going?

BB: what motivates me and keeps this band going is an inability to figure out something else to do that's as satisfying. i'm just on that tip, can't really figure anything else out that i like to do. when i look back on life before being involved with music, i was always headed towards music. i'm not sure what is after music for me. it's currently beyond my conception. SO doing the work is just part of being in the music and as far as i can tell music is life.

MFOA: buck gooter has made records in proper studios as well as many home-recorded efforts. do you find one process or the other to be more inspiring/satisfying? what was the recording process like for "the spider's eyes"?

BB: budget constraints have determined where an album would be recorded. i feel like we've done good work in both home and pro studios. we always go into a recording session with the songs completely fleshed out and rehearsed deeply so typically it's just a matter of capturing something we've tuned up in a different space, once and for all. recordings are funny like that, they are the definitive version of the song to (most) audiences but not so much for the band, maybe. over time, as songs are no longer played, they become the "definitive" versions. i guess that's better than nothing.

For 'the spider's eyes' we recorded with the incredible don zientara at inner ear studio. awesome. he is the best and really believes in our band. he knows us and treats us right. we spent more time mixing and fixing things than we normally do but still spent significantly less time than most bands do on these matters. it's just the way we work and kind of the only way it's possible given budget and psychic constraints on the group. the album was recorded in the same sequence as on the record and mixed accordingly so for me it's funny to listen to and note how bizarre the last few songs are. towards the end of mixing don and I started getting into a weird space and adding some effects and strange stuff to the mix that we normally don't mess with too much. another funny moment was when terry's amp died a little bit in the middle of 'eat my isolation' and we didn't realize his amp had lost some oomph until about  a month later during practice! HA! but you can hear it cut out on the recording and it cracks me up every time.

MFOA: we share a hometown in harrisonburg, VA (harrisonturd, as you often call it). how has growing up there and performing extensively in the local underground music scene informed your music and approach to performing, recording and touring?

BB: harrisonburg is a pretty caustic environment for music. It's turning into blacksburg, little by little, aka very university-centric to the point where there's just nothing but that collegiate culture. sterile. there's little pockets of resistance here but it's hard when there's just no money in anything anymore and everything costs too damn much, real estate especially. there used to be more of a 'scene' in town that's dwindled considerably but we were never part of that very much anyway. so we've always done our own thing, started out throwing our own shows in town then realized that was a pretty fruitless endeavor so we ventured out on the road more and more, finding better places to play and also attracting friends to town and hosting better shows here as time progressed. harrisonburg has given us very little so it forced us / influenced us more towards doing everything our way as the only way and not looking for too much help here locally. harrisonburg's harshness helped us broaden our scope.

as a sidebar i don't mean to short change all the cool people that have helped to make this town cooler and also included us in their events, etc. i'm speaking from a place of extreme frustration after the closing of the only adventurous venue in this town [MFOA: yes...a sad event to be sure] (and possibly in the entire western portion of the state of virginia). I also see the overall trend and big picture as being one of artistic de-prioritization in town and it blows.

MFOA: while not traditionally 'punk' in terms of your sound, I have always found buck gooter to be one of the most spiritually 'punk' bands I have ever experienced, live or on record. what drives the sustained angry and antagonistic energy that is expressed so well on buck gooter records and in live performances? i have an idea, the world is a fucked up place to be in. but i would like to know your thoughts for this interview, because you express it so well, in a way that has caught many people's attention.

BB: first off, thanks for considering us 'spiritually punk', which i consider a high compliment [MFOA: as it was intended!]. if i had to identify i'd identify as punk. to me 'punk' is more about the free space, as one luminary said. the free expression. not chained to a style or a pretense, just an artistic reaction forged with whatever tools can be wielded. folk art. the underground. the deep mind. an expression of a feral consciousness and an acceptance of that. words are divisive and mean different things to different people but i think 'punk' has held up pretty well for describing the 'fuck it all' trip. the world IS a fucked up place. for us it isn't a game, this is how we feel and this is what we do. i believe it to be a pretty pure expression and i try and follow that primal, raw impulse with the music as much as possible. 

MFOA: buck gooter clearly has a signature sound, that is consistent across your discography as well as unique. what artists, in any medium, inspire your approach?

BB: as we get older as a band we seem more self-influenced and self referential. 'the spider's eyes' album is named after a song with that title which is pulled from the lyrics to the song which is about listening to the beat of that song before it was a song and killing a spider. mise en abyme. looking further inward. the cover art could be construed as a 'spider eye' and there is a spider with eyes in the "eye"...

we'll write tunes and be like 'let's do it like we did on that one song' and then it sounds nothing like that one song. i know some of TT's riffs are his knock off versions of various songs of his that end up being completely different riffs. some of my lyrical forays come from band experiences or influences the band has had on my life. It's all knotted up. maybe I'm speaking too much here...


awesome! also, check out this bitchin' video for another tune from 'the spider's eyes'

pre-order 'the spider's eyes' from sophomore lounge records or feeding tube records.

dead professional - hold back

as the november 18th release date for the debut EP 'hard hard hard' approaches, john harouff AKA dead professional has tossed out another creased-and-ironed bedroom pop gem that somehow combines syrupy southern charm with drain-pipe tight english coolness to whet your appetite for it. this number, which features a soulful call-and-response chorus, is as catchy and memorable as usual, but ends with a cascading guitar solo that is practically psychedelic in the buttoned down world of dead professional opens a window onto more of john's skills as a guitar player and arranger.

pre-order 'hard hard hard' here.

d.b. rouse - d.b. rouse's flophouse in the sky

d.b. rouse of austin, texas is a veteran troubadour (he even wrote a book about traveling around playing on sidewalks, called 'busker'). on his latest album 'd.b. rouse's flophouse in the sky', he seems to be making a metaphor about finally coming to rest.

the tunes within are wry, harmony laden americana, flavors of classic country with moments of old-time jug band and ragtime flair that would not be out of place if you heard it in passing coming out of a boxcar door.

name your price for the album right here.

duce williams - miami folk

i really like duce williams' description for his release 'miami folk': 'miami folk is my perspective of folk music from a guy in miami'. another post where i can say this is the kind of thing that MFOA is all about.

the two tunes presented on 'miami folk'  have a modern edge and seem to tell a folk story, one of life and love. the songs are personal and intimate, delivered in a warm, welcoming voice surrounded by rousing, acoustic-anthem production.

get it here.

yesper - senses sensei

'senses sensei', the latest release by seattle lofi electro-folk artist yesper, is a pretty, laid-back and whispery affair. the gauzy moods on the album were provided in part by the recording process, as the album was recorded surreptitiously in the heights of an unfinished apartment building.

the sneaking around involved lends the album a secretive, romantic feel, which is complimented by hushed self harmonies and click-clack rhythms. it's a great fall listen.

get the album here.

the leeway - s/t

new york indie folksters the leeway bring big harmonies and prog-rock musical flourishes to the romantic, swaying tunes on their self-titled debut EP. while the harmonies sound down home, the production and song structures of composer pedro barquinha betray a musical sophistication not always found in all-acoustic rootsy type bands. at times, the leeway even veers into classicist, nearly baroque, pop territory, while still maintaining a simplicity of instrumentation.

grab the EP here. check out a video for their tune 'come back' below.

ben clabault - a selection of songs

there is precious little information in ben clabault's internet presence, which is so rare at this point as to be refreshing. his soundcloud simply shows a picture of him in a sushi bar, says he's from amherst, and has a ton of songs. and the songs are great. complex in both lyric themes and songs structure but simple in presentation, these songs are charming and caught my ear immediately. the historical ballad 'sand creek', about the massacre of an entire village of cheyenne by the colorado militia, is moving and stark. the latest song, 'tonight', has a dark and brooding vibe. other tunes range from personal and romantic to political to just instrumental. it's all presented in the simplest man-and-guitar laptop recording style, putting you face to face with clabault's deadpan but tuneful loner
folk vocal style. i don't know what else to say about this except this kind of submission is the reason i started MFOA in the first place. highly, highly recommended. check out a few tunes below.

there are too many gems to post. go to ben's soundcloud and check out a bunch more songs.


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