[MP3] Trophy Wife: “Microlite”

I’ve been waiting for an electronic song of this ilk for a while now. It’s been quite some time since I posted some sugary electronica, but that’s not because I’ve stopped listening to it. It’s mostly due to the fact that there’s been a disappointing dearth of it in 2010. (If I’m wrong, […]

[MP3] Kori Pop: “Nowhere Near My Heart”

Canadian songstress Kori Pop (are you already skeptical? Don’t be! It’s her actual name…unless that makes you more skeptical), recently released her debut album, From The Outskirts, and is kindly providing her first single, “Nowhere Near My Heart”, for free download. She takes the standard singer/songwriter fare (piano, hand claps, you know the […]

[Hype Hype Hooray] Because I CARE about your Halloween playlists

Every [two weeks?] Jamie Hale takes a long, hard look at the music industry and the blog scene that feeds it. Here, he releases those findings and makes snarky, sarcastic remarks. Admittedly, both Jamie and Knox Road are a part of this scene. So sue us.

Normally this column would be […]

[The Past Presents] Guided By Voices – “Bee Thousand”

Editor’s Note: We’re proud to announce a new feature here on Knox Road, titled “The Past Presents”. Author Jesse Croom will be a regular contributor to KR with this column and a column about cassette culture (coming soon!). Essentially, The Past Presents explores the importance of context. It revisits revered albums from the past 20-25 years to ask the question, “Is this album still a classic, or has it lost its edge over the years?”. Was it a great record for that particular time and place, or is it something we’ll be passing on to our kids? It will also look at the “lost classics” – countless albums that should have earned more attention but for one reason or another fell through the cracks. Enjoy.

Halloween night, 1994 was an ugly scene. I was packed into a club called Tattoos in State College, PA waiting anxiously for Superchunk to take the stage. Butterglory and Guided By Voices opened the show and from the moment Guided By Voices hit the stage I hated them. I knew them only by name, not by reputation. I had yet to hear their new album, Bee Thousand, but the buzz surrounding it was deafening. When they stumbled to the stage all I could see were a bunch of wasted 30-somethings standing in the way of what was sure to be an amazing Superchunk set. As the band launched into their first song, Robert Pollard, dressed in his captains jacket and button-down oxford shirt, started cutting loose with some high kicks and inspired jumps. The set continued and I remember being stunned by the brevity of the songs and by Pollard’s energy on stage. It was about that point that Pollard fell backward over the drum riser, slid off the back of the stage, landing on his back with his legs reaching into the sky. Naturally, he never missed a beat. I was disgusted with their antics, but I was secretly smitten.

Released over 15 years ago, Bee Thousand is still wrapped in hype and surrounded by legend. In short, Bee Thousand is considered a classic. The question now, is Bee Thousand still an important record? Is it still a classic?

In 1994, the year of Bee Thousand’s release, there was a strong punk and indie-rock scene all over the country. People starting bands in the early 90’s grew up with punk rock and were taking the DIY philosophy of punk and applying it to their own music. Guided By Voices had been recording and releasing their own music for years leading up to Bee Thousand and had nearly given up on the band several times. Luckily, they held it together long enough to release their masterpiece. There are not many albums in the last 25 years that “changed things”, but Bee Thousand definitely did.

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‘Tis a gift to be simple: PLAYBUTTON

There isn’t much else to say, folks, aside from how genius the concept is:

http://www.playbutton.co/

Happy Wednesday.

Serena Andrews

Serena Andrews is a tough one to crack. One minute she’s singing a Broadway-ish, super radio-friendly single, the next she’s getting all bizarro and experimental. She could probably go for something in between the two and gain a bit of consistency. Not that I don’t enjoy the eclecticism, I just think […]

[MP3] The Rest: “John Huston”

Canadian rockers The Rest recently released a teaser track, “John Huston”, off their forthcoming 2011 album, SEESAW, and it’s all kinds of wonderful. I’m also curious as to what the album will be like. Seesaw like the playground item, evoking a deep-seated nostalgia, or seesaw like the play-with-words item, evoking, well, I don’t […]

[MP3] Reading Rainbow: “Always On My Mind”

http://www.vimeo.com/16203739

Philadelphia duo Reading Rainbow has already made some great stuff I’m not afraid to admit I love. Most recently, they sat down with Philadelphia-based Shaking Through to record three tracks, one of which, “Always On My Mind” was featured and for good reason! The fuzzy pop track harkens back to recent […]

The Aeronautical Legends prep unique record project, offer rough new mp3

The Aeronautical Legends, a pop folk band out of Akron, Ohio, are making their fourth record with a doozy of an idea. They have a Kickstarter project that challenges critics and bloggers to get in on the creation of a record. Essentially, the critics would have some say in the creative process, providing a […]

[Abby’s Road] Thinking hard about the weather

Autumn has always been my favorite season. Because of this, my brain has an inordinately unbalanced pocket of memories, seasonally speaking. Most of my fondest happen to have occurred in and around the crisp, fall days of my past. There is nothing like being in Western Pennsylvania roundabout this time. Despite the dying flora, it smells like life.

New music is always in abundance post-September 1st…always an enormous amount of new releases for overzealous holiday shoppers who want to have their swag purchased by Thanksgiving (whatever), plus tours and smaller shows are in full swing; a cornucopia of musical delights, if you will. Yes, well, it is no surprise then, given my predisposition for being happier when the pumpkins are the plumpest, that I like to plan visits to my childhood home roundabout this time. October, in particular, is the finest. With my impending move across the pond in December quickly approaching (yes – I am moving to Munich in December!), my most recent trip home was the most bittersweet visit in a long time.

First and foremost, I was home to hang with my mom. As always, we planned the customary dinner, wine nights and walks but this time I was home to do something that has been requested of me since approximately 1995: clear all of my belongings (read: crap) being stored in her attic. There are no two ways about it. This, friends, was madness. To those of you half my age out there – take this as a token of my sincere concern for your future mental well-being. KEEP YOUR SHIT ORGANIZED. I cannot stress this enough. I beg you.

The last 15 to 20 years have seen many attempts by me to catalog the items I didn’t necessarily want in my own apartment but, for some bizarre reason, wanted to hold on to in my mother’s house, a place I visit 3-4 times a year. Incidentally, these visits never include my venturing into the 3rd floor catacombs to lovingly stroke the giant bins containing VHS tapes of back-to-back recorded episodes of 120 Minutes. At any rate, I made a decision to really purge this time. If I hadn’t looked at it (or missed it) in the last ten years, for the love of Kevin Shields, it was going to be trashed.

Continue reading [Abby’s Road] Thinking hard about the weather