Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maps & Atlases - Fever [2012]

First Spin: Hear Maps & Atlases' Busy, Buzzy 'Fever'

Clicking the link above will send you to, where you can hear the first track to surface from Maps & Atlases' upcoming full-length Beware And Be Grateful. The band recently paired up with Chicago coffee makers Intelligentsia to make their own Maps & Atlases Selects coffee. You can pre-order this album on vinyl, and get yourself some M&A coffee while you're at it!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Ghosts and Vodka - Addicts and Drunks [2003]

For Fans Of: Pele, Piglet, Noyes
Genres: Math Rock, Post-rock, Instrumental
Spotify: Uh-huh

This four-piece from Chicago formed in the early 2000s via members of Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc, and Owls. They're one of my favorite off-shoots of that heritage. [Has anyone actually kept track of the multitude of bands that spawned from these same musicians? It's seemingly never-ending. Not that I'm complaining one bit!] They've been on hiatus for years, but Addicts and Drunks is still a must-have for any fan of instrumental rock.

Atmosphere - When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold [2008]

For Fans Of: Murs, Jay Electronica, Slug
Genres: Hip-hop
Spotify: Yip

This duo from Minneapolis has been playing routinely on my iPod as of late. Rapper Slug and DJ/producer Ant came out with a couple more albums after the release of When Life Gives You Lemons, but this one will probably always be my favorite of theirs. Basically if you're into good Hip-hop, you'll have a good time listening to this.

The Mars Volta

Neshama EP by Hollow Stars (2012)

Kind of Like: Grails, King Crimson, The Globes, Yeasayer
Genres: Indie, Rock, Experimental, Psychedelic, Noise Rock

Hollow Stars began as a side project for ex-Deerhunter guitarist, Chris Mee.  Chris no longer appears to be part of the band, but they didn't let that get them down.  Instead, they forged ahead and recently came out with this effort. This reminds me of Grails, but instead of being a post-rock band with eastern music influences, this is like an indie/noise rock band with eastern music influences.  It is nice to see bands taking on music like this because it can be really hard to translate the scales and tendencies of eastern music and making it accessible to people here.

Apparently, this Atlanta group is up to big things, so look for more news coming in the near future?

Listen Here:

Tall Ships - There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here EP [2010]

For Fans Of: Tellison, Tangled Hair, Vessels
Genres: Math Rock, Melodic Hardcore, Indie
Spotify: Roger

Tall Ships are a three-piece experimental loop band from Falmouth, Cornwall. They are well-known for their live performances, and if you happen to live in the United Kingdom, I envy you, because you will have plenty of chances to catch them with Los Campesinos! and Maps and Atlases. The band just released a single from their upcoming EP which is set to come out April 16th, called T=0. Hearing it got me pretty psyched about the direction in which the band is heading:

Big Scary Monsters along with Blood & Biscuits are to partner on the new release, which will be pressed onto seven inch vinyl. Only 500 copies will be available, with Tall Ships themselves helping out with the packaging. You can pre-order T=0, and/or There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here through the Blood & Biscuits site.
Listen Here:

Spraynard - Exton Square EP [2012] is featuring a stream of the latest EP from self-proclaimed "demi gods of horror-core", AKA Spraynard.
Exton Square is set for an April 17th release on Asian Man Records. We'll be posting a link once it's released, but until then, enjoy the stream!

Good Old War - Come Back as Rain [2012]

For Fans Of: Tigers on Trains, The Colorful Quiet, Days Away
Genres: Folk, Acoustic, Indie

I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't absolutely love this Pennsylvania indie-rock trio. Only way to be Alone was one of my favorite albums of 2008. Come Back as Rain is admittedly a bit underwhelming compared to their 2008 release, and I am not sure fans will like it as much. Still, there are a couple of songs I enjoyed very much, such as the one in the preview. They are currently touring the U.S., and coming to Detroit on April 17th. They are also featuring a few cool merch/vinyl bundles on their website right now that are worth looking into.

Holy Tentacles - Funky Fantastic [2011]

For Fans Of: Maps and Atlases, Minus the Bear, Joggers
Genres: Math Rock, Indie, Progressive
Spotify: Nada

Portland, OR-based Holy Tentacles attempts to concoct a homebrew of genres by mixing math rock with pop and progressive rock. You can definitely hear the trio's influence of of Maps and Atlases, as well as Minus the Bear, but that is not a bad thing, as they have created their own sound. Typically I would include a link to download this album for free, but because these guys e-mailed us directly, I feel a tad shady doing that. Instead, I am going to suggest that you head over to their Bandcamp to listen to the whole thing, and purchase it for $5 if you so choose.

They are currently touring in support of this self-released 7-song EP. Check out an acoustic performance of the song featured in the preview, "Backpack":

One thing I thought was particularly neat about this band: they just released their own beer! It's called Divine Ink, and it's a hand-crafted, hand-picked blackberry weizen. It would be awesome to visit Portland and try it!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Head's up on the William Bonney Vinyl

Once we get the first 100 preorders we will temporarily stop taking orders for the record.  We want to be sure that the band has a bunch for tour and once we get the records in they will be available:
1) from William Bonney on their tour
2) from either label SIGD/SftR

We are almost to 80 preorders, so if you still want one of the special preorder packages and the cool looking jacket, do it soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

William Bonney "Good Vibes" Preorder

So, been keeping this secret for a bit.  We are working with Songs From The Road Records and William Bonney to put out a special edition vinyl of "Good Vibes".  If you already ordered the Peace Be Still/Adaje/Lizards bundle and want this one as well, send me an e-mail at and I can refund your shipping for one of the orders.

We have a new site for SIGD Records:

I wish I could take credit for the screen printing on the record idea, but this was something that got inspired from the Child Bite/Dope Body split put out by Forge Again Records.  I really liked the premise and I had been pitching the idea to bands since I started SIGD Records.

As for Peace Be Still LP, we've hit a few bumps in the road.  I waited for about two or three weeks for the master cd to get to me so I could mail it to the pressing plant, but it never got to my house.  Damn post office.  So, last week we sent the order in, and the band sent a second master cd directly to the plant so we should be getting the test presses in a couple weeks and the final thing before their tour in May.  I know we wanted to get it out back in February, but like I said we hit a few speed bumps.

The Adaje/Lizards split is in, but I want to wait until the Peace Be Still LP comes in to mail them out together.  I am really sorry about the delay, and I am thinking of something I can do for people that ordered early.

Monday, March 19, 2012

(Classic) Are We Really Happy With Who We Are Right Now? by Moneen (2003)

Kind of Like: Boys Night Out, Damiera, The Get Up Kids, Look Mexico
Genres: Emo, Indie, Post-hardcore, Rock
Spotify: Here
Preview: Myspace

Maybe I will lose some cred for this.  I dunno.  I can say that this is one of my favorite albums to sing along to. It's just plain catchy, and Kenny Bridges vocals are somewhat high and fun to belt out.  The guitar riffs/harmonies aren't terribly hard to play, but the overall composition of each song is what brings me back time and time again.  I haven't listened to this album in years and I recently popped it in, and it hasn't really gotten old for me. I could drown in the weight of it all.

I listened to the album after this, Red Tree, like once or twice, but it just didn't stick with me.  I haven't listened to their latest album that came out in 2009 either.  This album and Theory of Harmonial Value are enough for me.  In my opinion, Theory was rough around the edges, but still had a few great songs on it, and this album that came after it, Are We Really Happy?, was their strongest and more fine-tuned material.

Listen Here:

Blackbird Blackbird - Summer Heart [2010]

For Fans Of: Small Black, Teen Daze, Washed Out
Genres: Electronica, Chillwave, Lo-fi
Spotify: Yes

Mikey Maramag, AKA Blackbird Blackbird, is an electronica/chillwave musician from San Fransico, California. He just released a new single a month or so ago, which you can listen to here. I was planing on throwing that on the site, but it's just one song and I'm not even a big fan of it. So, download this album by him instead because 1) it's ten times better, and 2) it contains a chillwave version of "Float On". Yes, that "Float On". 

Listen Here

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Von Wolfe needs help with tour dates!

Last year Von Wolfe released a really impressive EP called Life's A Beach (Read the SIGD feature), that eventually made it onto our Best of 2011 list.  They have a tour coming up and need help with a few dates.  Lend them a hand and let them know we sent you.

March 29th-Orlando @wills Pup
30th-Savannah, Ga @Sweet Melissa's
31st-Melbourne @Crane Community
April 1st-New Smyrna Beach @civic center
2nd-Jacksonville @burro bar
3rd-Leesburg-please help
4th-Ocala-please help
5th-Gainesville @1982
6th-Panama,Fl @A&M Theatre
7th-Pensecola, Fl @Sluggo's Vegetarian Restaurant
8th-Lafayette LA-please help
9th-Houston, TX-please help
10th-Grand Prairie, TX @Alliance Skate Park
11th- Witchita Falls, TX-please help
12th-Oklahoma city @Bad Grannys Bazaar
13th-Conway, AR @Soundstage
14th-Birmingham, AL-Please help
15th-Tallahassee, FL @bomb Shelter

Friday, March 16, 2012

Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired by Joyce Manor (2012)

Kind of Like: Spraynard, Stable Boys, State Lines
Genres: Pop Punk, Indie, Punk
Spotify: Here
Buy: Asian Man Records
Preview: Alternative Press (Include interview!)

We haven't been able to post as much lately due to busy schedules.  I have the next couple days off though.  This should help get people excited again. After releasing a self-titled album last year that topped a lot of "Best Of" lists, here is another record that keeps that momentum going.

It's really nice to see Asian Man Records staying relevant with bands like this, BTMI!, Spraynard, and Andrew Jackson Jihad. Mike Park has been running this great label since way back in 1989, and has served as stepping stone for influential bands like Alkaline Trio, The Lawrence Arms, Skankin' Pickle, and the Blue Meanies.  I feel very fortunate to be able to meet this talented, compassionate guy years ago when he did a living room tour across the United States.  When we got him to play at one of our houses, we nearly jizzed our checkerboard shorts.  I emphasize compassionate because not only does he put our good music, but he stands for good values with his non-profit organization Plea For Peace.

Speaking of Andrew Jackson, you can catch them with Joyce Manor.  Tour Dates here.

Sorry, went off on a tangent, I'll get to the point.

Listen Here:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Goodtime Boys/Solutions Split 7" (2010)

Kind of Like: Veils, The Long Haul, Pariso //// Hot Water Music, Calvin Ball, Junior Battles
Genres: Post-hardcore, Screamo, Punk //// Punk, Pop Punk, Post-hardcore
Spotify: Hell naw

Recently, I was listening to Goodtime Boys' Are We Now, Or Have We Ever Been, and I realized how much I really enjoy this UK band for different reasons than I like other UK bands like Veils or Kerouac.  While they certainly fit in line with those bands, I feel like GTB have something distinct about them that I can't put my finger on.  Maybe it's more of a thrash/punk feel and more use of higher melodic chords compared to the low and churning mathy sounds. Then again those other UK bands use those too, and Goodtime does the churning mathiness.  Hell, I don't know, maybe it's just their vocalist, Alex Pennie.  He does have a pretty lengthy and eclectic resume, and he has a ton of raw emotion in GTB.  Yeah, that could be it.

Anyways, I was listening to their latest EP, and I was like shit, I need to figure out what these guys are up to or have done in the past.  I wasn't able to find any news about a new release from last years EP, but I did find out they started out with a split from another UK band, Solutions, a year before.  I really like splits like this, the bands complement eachother, but don't fall into all of the same categories; just the broad spectrum of "punk".  Or whatever the fuck you want to call it.  

Goodtime Boys delivers 4 songs (well, 3 if you combine the intro with the first song) that are just as powerful as the ones in Are We Now, and I have a feeling I am going to be having both on shuffle now that I have everything they have recorded thus far.  The other band on this split, Solutions, is more of a Hot Water Music mixed with Latterman pop punk band.  They also really reminded me of another band we saw at Fest from the UK, Calvinball.

Overall, really solid split, and I really hope GTB is going to be working on new material soon.  Another EP would be nice, I am starting to appreciate hardcore EPs more than LPs.  Just seem stronger to me.  All killer, no filler.  Sum 41.

Speaking of the UK, I am really digging "Life's Too Short".  It's on HBO in the U.S.  I wish there was a clip of the scene in which the phrase "He just threw up on his penis" was used, but it isn't out there.  However, this clip is just as hilariously awkward.

Listen Here:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Phantasmagoria coming to UMD!

Phantasmagoria (not to be confused with the Japanese visual kei band) is an indie pop/electronica/experimental band from Detroit. Lianna Vanicelli and Christopher Jarvis are the two members, and they've agreed to grace the University of Michigan Dearborn campus with their presence as part of the WUMD music series!

If you're gonna be around the area on Thursday, March 22nd and wanna stop by, here's more info. There will be a live performance at 11:30 on the University Center stage, and an interview with the band will follow. And hey, it's free and open to the public! If you want to listen to more of the band, head on over to their Bandcamp, where you can purchase their newest 7" on clear green vinyl for about ten bucks.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I hope people think this is a concert flyer and their heart stops. Click to Enlarge

The skull is of Sahelanthropus tchadensis, an extinct hominid species dating back about 7 million years.  Whether it is really part of the hominina tree is unclear; there are conflicting views that it is either part of the human tree or the chimp tree.  It very well could be the earliest human ancestor.  The next time somebody tells you that humans did not evolve from apes, tell them they are absolutely right and that they should read up on early hominid species on wikipedia because it is really interesting.  Derp derp, we didn't evolve from no monkeys!  Of course we didn't, but we did have a common ancestor though that we diverged from.  That's my opinion anyways.

The bottom one is a fossil Canis lupus, or a wolf, which is where puppies came from. :]

I made that during a break from studying for my endocrine/neuro exam.  See you all soon, we have big news brewing.

(Classic) Plague Soundscapes by the Locust (2003)

"I wanted to change the way people perceive music, or maybe just destroy it in general."- Justin Pearson, bassist/singer
Kind of Like: Daughters (old), An Albatross, Ed Gein
Genres: Experimental, Mathcore/Grindcore, Electronica, Noise Rock
Spotify: Here
Preview: Myspace

Oh boy, found this cd in my car the other day, and boy did I have fun with it.  This album clocks in at just over 20 minutes and features 23 songs.  So, standard grindcore song lengths.  It is a quick album, but it is extremely memorable to me.  From the hectic accellerandos of "Earwax" to the awesome synthesizer break down thirty seconds into "Virgin" to the time signature switches flowing back in forth at the end of "Halfie in your Pants" to the final intense laser gun shots/beats in the closer "Pickup Truck".  That is a fragment, consider revising.  All of those song names are shortened versions of course, the names are quite long.  This is how grindcore should be.

Listen Here:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Skullgrid by Behold...The Arctopus (2007)

Kind of Like: PsyOpus, Dysrhythmia, Between The Buried and Me
Genres: Metal, Mathcore, Experimental, Instrumental, Post-rock
Spotify: No

"Behold... The Arctopus play instrumental music inspired by both metal and 20th century classical music. This technical and progressive style is executed on a regular electric guitar and drum kit but involves a 12-string Warr guitar, an instrument that covers the range of a bass and guitar and is generally played by tapping with either one or two hands. Their music often includes dissonance, polyrhythms and jazz-like elements."

Another oldy that resurfaced in my collection.  If you want to be blown away by three musicians and are into really technical music.  This shit is hard to digest, but if you are into that kind of thing, then you will really love exploring this album.  "Canada" has one of the best flowing transitions into one of the most metal solos ever. This album is short, but extremely mind-bending.  Last news from this bands was that they were getting a new drummer and going to release new, even more extreme material from scratch.  That was back in 2009, so I am wondering if they ever will come out with something else.

We have a radio show tonight!  Remember?

UPDATE:  Someone posted a youtube link in the comments below of a live set from last month of BtA playing all new material.  Click Here.

Listen Here:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dead Rhythm Machine by The Letters Organize (2005)

Kind of Like: The Refused, At the Drive-In, Every Time I Die
Genres: Punk, Post-hardcore, Screamo
Spotify: Affirmative
The Letters Organize were a blip in punk rock.  They released this album on Nitro Records way back in 2005 and then promptly broke up a year later.  I vaguely remember seeing these guys at the VFW hall in Northville when I was a young lad.  They had crazy energy, the likes of which I hadn't seen often.  I especially have vivid images of the vocalist even though it was 7 years ago.  I picked up this on compact disc, because I don't remember many bands I liked back then selling vinyl.

This band also had an EP and a demo before this that I haven't heard yet.  Honestly, I haven't even listened to this album in years.  The other day I decided to try and find it because I had a feeling it would be well-received here.  These guys weren't around very long, so this album went under the radar and was criminally underrated.  This album is an intense powerhouse that never slows its pace (except the outro in "Costume in the Corner").

Randomness: The beginning of "Trouble Sleeping" sounds somewhat similar to the beginning of Small Brown Bike's "On Repeat".  It is eerie, and I think listening to the Small Brown Bike song was what reminded me to look back into The Letters Organize.

Listen Here:

Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians [1976]

For Fans Of: Pulsating melodies
Genres: Minimalism, Contemporary Classical, Avant-Garde
Spotify: Facebook

Here's something a litte different from what we usually post. If you have never heard of Steve Reich, he is an American composer and minimalism pioneer. His composition Music for 18 Musicians was written for a cello, two clarinets, four pianos, three marimbas, two xylophones, a metallopohone, and four women's voices. Each section of the work has its own defining melody that when stringed together becomes one great musical specimen. I'd recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in minimalism, contemporary classical, and/or music itself. It's also available on vinyl via Discogs if you happen to have $60 to spare.

Ancre - Nacre [2011]

For Fans Of: Maserati, Sed Non Satita, From Monument
Genres: Math Rock, Instrumental, Post-rock
Spotify: Facebook

Ancre is a
math-post-rock trio (formerly a duo, up until the bassist joined) hailing from France, whose sound lies somewhere between Maserati and Sed Non Satita. The Nacre 12" (pictured above) is available through Echo Canyon Records, and looks pretty nifty. Only 300 copies were released, so they are sure to run out quick!

Streampad: Ancre - Narval

Southern Shores - Atlantic EP [2011]

For Fans Of: Washed Out, Air France, Pinemarten
Genres: Electronica, Lo-Fi, Chillwave
Spotify: Yes

Southern Shores is an Air France-esque Canadian duo on Cascine Records, and this is their latest EP. With its catchy beats, soul vibe, and disco influence, I expect this album to be on repeat in my car as soon as summer finally rolls back around. It's also available on vinyl for just ten dollars!

Delta Sleep - Mega Hits Vol. 1 [2011]

For Fans Of: Part Dinosaur, Mimas, Quadrilles
Genres: Math Rock, Experimental, Indie
Spotify: Facebook

Delta Sleep is a fivesome from Canterbury that formed in 2008. From their Lastfm: "Their music combines guitar-driven melodies, held together by jazz-influenced percussion and relentless bass, topped with sprinkles of left-fiele electronica." Basically, if you like fun Math Rock, you'll enjoy these guys and gal. They are currently recording an EP, so look out for that soon. In the meantime, clicking below will send you to their Bandcamp, where you can download the album for free.