While Video Jed is on an indefinite hiatus to do some lawyering, sing karaoke and finally meet a nice Jewish girl, fans of his column are taking over VFSL one week at a time as guest columnists in tribute to his tireless work for this site. This week it is my great honor to bring you four videos from bands that I love that have new and upcoming releases.
“Episodes” from Her Dark Majesty (Tarantism) Out now
Record Release show Friday April 5 at The Satellite
Beautiful, intensely distorted guitar rock with vocals from a front woman who can outscore you on a math test, then beat you down in the schoolyard. The Hectors are the perennial sleeper hit of the Los Angeles independent music scene. They release excellent albums, then drop out of sight for months at a time until the next round of songs is ready to work out live. The precedents for these guys are something like ‘90’s K Records, the Olympia sound, and bands like the Spinanes, Velocity Girl and Racetrack.
“Please Don't Go” The Secret Will Keep You (Crossbill) Out April 23
The Secret Will Keep You is an exquisite album. The latest from the Lafayette, Louisiana band who draws us in like a tractor beam with the intensity of their live show. These tracks on their latest record are equal parts atmospherics, pop hooks and distorted guitar. The band tells me that in Lafayette people go out to shows to dance, to drink, and hang with friends. Music comes in at fourth place at best. Brass Bed creates this work in a context where a band—in songwriting and performance---has to be completely compelling to command any attention from the audience.
The Lonely Wild
“Everything You Need” from The Sun As It Comes (Ursa Major Recordings / Thirty Tigers) Out April 2
In shorthand The Lonely Wild play alt-country, Americana by way of Ennio Morricone. That’s not incorrect, but what really they do is bend country to their will. At its heart the Lonely Wild are devoted to writing songs that matter, songs about love, injustice. Wise beyond his years, front man and songwriter Andrew Carroll mines a vein of music as punk (Johnny Cash flipping off the camera) and outlaw as anything in rock ‘n roll. He knows how well country music can tell a story. When the band adds a second voice, that of the firecracker of a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jessi Williams, they draw on a tradition that includes duos like Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner, and June Carter and Johnny Cash, with a twist. In another unexpected turn heavy metal- and Pink Floyd-loving guitar player Andrew Schneider on lead guitar gives the group a big rock sound, each track almost operatic in a way that recalls Roy Orbison.
“The Argonauts” from The Dawn Sang Along (Branches Recording Collective) Out Now
On a recent Friday night The Little Ones played a record release show for their latest album The Dawn Sang Along, a joyful romp of a gig through a full house at The Echo. It was as if no time had passed since their last album Morning Tide (2008) was released and indeed when they played that title track the audience collectively just about lost it with exuberant pogoing and dancing and singing along. Setting aside their offstage antics, these guys and this new album demand a fresh listen.