And, by “it”, we don’t just mean barbecues peppered with illegally imported fireworks, although we do mean that, too. In lieu of mixing metaphors about how our hott summer releases will tan your backside with their stunning brightness, we’ll just get on with what knowledge we have to drop on you this July. And by “knowledge”, we mean “records”, and a “publication.” Perhaps you’re chomping at the bit to hear about Maps and Atlases’ You And Me And The Mountain EP (Sargent House, 7/15), The Hard Lessons’ B&G Sides LP (Quack, 7/8), Love You Moon’s Waxwane (Sargent House, 7/15), new Riot Act Family Addition Miss TK & The Revenge’s No Biterz EP (Mr. Record, 7/8) or the Under The Radar Protest Issue 2008? My friend, you’re in the right place. Likewise if you’re curious about tour dates from our pals Alina Simone, Bird Names, The Coast, Good Old War, The Interiors, Little Pieces, Maps and Atlases, Neva Dinova, RX Bandits and Say Hi, all of which you can view at www.riotactmedia.com/tourdates.htm.
About Maps & Atlases’ You and Me and the Mountain: These are songs that wrestle themselves from flailing, algebraic fits of spazzy guitar notes and drum ruptures to lulling, voice-driven melodies that speak stories using lyrical images strung together like soup cans chasing a Cadillac. Mostly influenced by experimental and technically adept musicians such as Hella, Don Caballero, and Psych-Folkies Devendra Banhart and Six Organs of Admittance, Maps and Atlases create a distinctive blend of the intricate and organic. You can hear the title track for this EP on the band’s MySpace page (www.myspace.com/mapsandatlases), and you can see them on the road as much as you want, because they are touring into infinity and beyond. www.riotactmedia.com/maps.htm
A bananas li'l video of them playing about a month ago with FOALS:
The Hard Lessons don't suck in a way that can make the most jaded cynic care about something new again. Their instantly memorable neurotic rock-indie (in The Hard Lessons case, “Rock” comes before “Indie”) keeps the self-conscious singing and dancing well past last call--The Hard Lessons continue to out-work, out-rock and out-play expectations—they’ve killed it onstage in support of Iggy and the Stooges, Wolfmother, Rodrigo y Gabriella, Ok Go, Brendan Benson, The Dirtbombs, New York Dolls, The Killers, Von Bondies, Electric Six and Social Distortion, just to give you an idea. To get a better one, hear jams from their new LP, B&G Sides, on their MySpace Page (http://www.myspace.com/thehardlessons)Don’t miss them on tour if you can help it.
There are those who are disciples of Matt Embree, and those who just haven’t gotten it yet—if you’re one of the latter, we’re hoping that his new project, Love You Moon, will make you one of the former. The longtime RX Bandits/Sound of Animals Fighting frontman, studio owner and all-around songwriting genius’ new full-length, Waxwane, is out on Sargent House on 7/15, and you can hear tracks on (you guessed it) Matt’s MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/loveyoumoondog). Embree’s passionate notes on the human condition, love, struggle and the current sociopolitical battles we all face are stunning, immediate, poignant and spit with hot, furied frustration that is as poetic as it is urgent.
Speaking of politics, this month also marks the release of Under The Radar’s 2008 Protest Issue. Using the time-honored connection between politics and music to promote political dialogue and awareness in a way that few print publications do in this day and age, The Protest Issue features two alternating covers: one with R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse, the other with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, The Decembrists’ Colin Meloy, and Britt Daniel of Spoon. Inside the issue, you’ll find in-depth interviews and photo shoots exploring the intersection of music and politics as artists tackle issues ranging from Darfur to the environment to the upcoming 2008 U.S. presidential election. This is a pivotal era in America’s history and n ever has the time to utilize musicians’ voices through the media been more apropos. Visit www.riotactmedia.com/undertheradar.htm for more info!
Finally, Riot Act is more than excited to announce the addition of Miss TK & The Revenge to its roster—their new EP, No Biterz, is available now via iTunes, and you can hear ‘em here: www.myspace.com/misstk. A primer: Miss TK & The Revenge bring it. Like Blondie, Tom Tom Club, Missing Persons, Waitresses, Cyndi Lauper, Josie Cotton, or Toni Basil, MTKR come from the land of trouble funk, where go-go cowbells and dub party sounds reign. Comprised of New Jersey punk rock royalty--Ari Katz, vocalist of seminal hardcore legends LIFETIME (DecayDance) and ZERO ZERO (Jade Tree) steps back from the mic and onto the drum kit while wife Miss TK (also of Zero Zero) takes center stage, MTKR are anchored by razor-sharp J5 on guitar, Worrell prodigy Street Stylz on keys, Le Bobby Neutronique kickin’ the bells, claps and whistles, and m. Groovesteau L'ingenieur du Bas on, well, bass. If “No Biterz” isn’t yr new favorite summer jam, I don’t know what I can do for you.
And, um, here's a super-ridiculous YouTube video I found of a DJ playing said jam somewhere:
That’s it for this month’s output, compatriots---but worry not. In August and September, we’ve got buckets of news for you regarding The Coast, All Girl Summer Fun Band, Good Old War, Musee Mecanique, At The Spine, Nurses, Henry Owings’ Rock Bible and more. Until then, please do visit our special Riot Act Blog (www.riotactmedia.blogspot.com) for updates.
Joan & Sheila