Earlier this week, In Store Recordings released Judson Claiborne’s latest LP We Have Not Doors You Need Not Keys. It’s an accessible batch of rock that touches upon a variety of genres. Below, you can stream the track “Old Buddha.” The song begins with some crowd chatter before giving way to a toe-tapping drum and bass line. The lyrics for “Old Buddha” are derived from an ancient poem by an unknown author. Indianapolis readers can catch Judson Claiborne live tonight at his album release party at Sabbatical in Broad Ripple. The show is free.
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I’m an unabashed adorer of Bay Area psych rock juggernaut Burger Records. The label cemented itself in the consciousness of the uninitiated in 2012 with the breakthrough success of King Tuff’s self-titled LP on Sub Pop. This sent demand for Burger’s 2008 King Tuff release, Was Dead, soaring. The label has since reissued the album, which is currently sitting near the top of the College Radio charts. Burger has consistently churned out some of my favorite material from 2013 in Burnt Ones’s You’ll Never Walk Alone and Wyatt Blair’s Banana Cream Dream, among others.
One criminally under-appreciated Burger release from 2012 was the debut, self-titled LP from Cleveland psych pop fuzzsters Gap Dream. The band drenched its melodic pop in reverb and echo in an addictive haze of marijuana-fogged perfection. I first became aware of Gap Dream late last year, when ToT favorites the Allah-Las stopped by Red Light Radio and played one of the band’s tracks during a guest DJ set. My intrigue grew into a passionate love affair earlier this spring when I watched Gap Dream transform its catchy pop hooks into an aggressive, guitar-heavy live set at Austin’s Hotel Vegas during SXSW.
Today, Burger dropped a video for Gap Dream’s latest single “Chill Spot.” The track is set for release on 7″ vinyl between a b-side, entitled “Peter’s Brother.” “Chill Spot” finds Gap Dream delving into more synth-heavy territory, without abandoning the pop hooks that got them this far. Watch the video below and grab your copy of this limited-edition wax while it’s still available.
Last month, Brett and I made a Sunday voyage to Bloomington to see Montreal’s Mac Demarco. His 2012 LP II was one of our favorite releases of the year. I had caught Demarco a couple of times earlier this spring at SXSW, so I was aware of his ability to transcend his brand of mellow, melodic pop into a dynamic live set. This knowledge coupled with the promise of Russian Recording‘s intimate performance space made this Sunday retreat mandatory.
Earlier that day, Demarco had played an afternoon set in the sweltering heat of Bonnaroo, only to pack up his gear and travel directly into the welcoming arms of Indiana’s lone bastion of liberalism. Due to the tight turnaround, Demarco’s set kept getting pushed back. Eight o’clock turned to nine, turned to 10, which turned to 11. Though we remained hopeful that Demarco would show, it was a toss-up as to his energy level for the set. Would he be wiped from the festival and break-neck drive? Or, would he muster his strength and deliver a set on par with buoyant, charismatic performances that I caught in Austin?
Fortunately, for the several dozen bodies sandwiched into an over-sold Russian Recording, Demarco delivered. Fortunately, for those unable to attend, Jurassic Pop Records announced it will release the recordings as a limited edition (200 copies) live cassette. Those interested should act fast, as these are likely to fly off the shelves. Demarco delivered a set that featured highlights from his studio releases II and Rock and Roll Nightclub. He also stretched his standard pair of cover songs into an otherworldly, 10-minute medley that culminated in a rockin’ rendition of Neil Young’s “Unknown Legend” and made up for any lost time on the road. It was a sweat-drenched set that I will remember for a long time, and now I have the recordings to crystallize it. Listen to Demarco’s live version of “Baby’s Wearing Blue Jeans” below, and discover one of the best live acts going. Purchase Live at Russian Recording while you still can. All of you cheapskates can stream the recordings in their entirety over at Ad Hoc.
Written by Rob Peoni