[MP3] Birds & Batteries: “The Golden Age of Dreams”

Psychedelic with a trace of Phil Collins? Yes, please. “The Golden Age of Dreams” puts my mind at ease on this mundane Monday. If only every week could start off with such optimism.

Birds & Batteries, out of San Fran, are set to drop their new album, Stray Light, August 7 via Eightmaps.


Think I’ll go for a walk outside now

I adore my life here in Germany. No two ways about it. That said, while my mom has been visiting recently (hi mom!), I’m of course reminded of those I left behind across the sea. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about those connections and relationships.

Not lovey dovey, husbandy-wifey-let’s make babies relations. While such permanent couplings are beautiful and I am lucky to have that one, perfect person in my life, I’m talking about something completely different. Friendships…platonic ones…important ones. Those we have, those we have yet to fully explore and those which haven’t yet crawled out from their peaceful slumber. Crouched in waiting, these associations prey on humans who finally realize “I might be mistaken, but I think we have something here. This person is worth some time.” It’s been my experience over the last 20+ years that music is often the #1 catalytic ingredient (sense of humor being a close second) that encourages these friendships to warm, swirl and bubble, and sometimes reanimate from a towering pile of dormant years of not being in touch.

Pop culture, media and music especially, transcends gender and geography to the point of saturating everything and everyone within its interminable reach with indelible catchiness and memories. It connects all of us. Allow me to illustrate; music it’s not, but I think it’ll inject some truth into what I’m rambling on about:

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Junior Prom

It’s bright music Monday on Knox Road! Junior Prom, a new Brooklyn duo, create some of the most infectious pop I’ve heard in, well, forever, and they’re barely even rookies. They began recording their first material in the winter and are gradually releasing tracks this summer. We’ll keep you updated either here or […]

New music from Borrowed Beams of Light

Borrowed Beams of Light (Adam Brock and Nathan Walsh), out of Virginia, are fresh on the scene with a new EP/LP, Hot Spring, set to be released August 14 via Funny / Not Funny Records. Their jubilant pop gets a kick in the arse on lead singles, “Wing Stroke” (stream) and “Blood Choir” (listen […]

[MP3] Dan Leno: “The World I Heard You Wait”

We formed in 2010 and set out to write some great pop songs together.

A mischievous smirk breaks out every time I listen to “The World I Heard You Wait,” recognizing full well the gem of a song I’ve stumbled upon while still not entirely grasping its impact. As soon as I’m about […]


Hey hey! See that small bridge far off to your right? I used to do flips off it into the water with my buddies back in ’98. The glorious days of cigarettes and far-too-much alcohol. Come, take my hand, I’ll show you. Maybe we’ll make a day out of it.

Miner – “Hey […]

[The Past Presents] Slint – “Spiderland”

Past Presents 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 also looks at the “lost classics” – countless albums that should have earned more attention but for one reason or another fell through the cracks.

At this point it’s safe to say that most people who consider themselves obsessive music fans have seen the move High Fidelity. One of the classic moments of the film sees Jack Black’s character assisting a customer with records that are essential to his collection such as the Jesus and Mary Chain and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde. Black slyly tells the customer, “Don’t tell anyone you don’t own Blonde on Blonde. It’s going to be okay.”

If there ever was a modern equivalent to Blonde on Blonde, it’s Slint’s Spiderland. Let’s be clear, Spiderland is not similar to Dylan’s classic in its sound, but it is similar in that it has become a record that you need to own, or at the very least be aware of.

When Slint quietly released Spiderland in 1991, I was too busy freaking out over Nirvana and Sonic Youth to notice, but by 1993 I was one board 100%. Unlike many albums, the noise surrounding this record has grown every year since. It is considered one of the first, if not the first record, to bear the post-rock and or math-rock tags and it is still known as one of the best of the genre. For my money, it’s also one of the best examples of an album’s ability to generate a mood. From start to finish Spiderland gives you the feeling that something sinister is about to happen. The tension is apparent throughout the album and is intensified by the seasickness the music induces. It sounds like a ship bobbing on rough seas; the music in constant motion, rocking back and forth and never letting you forget that something evil is to be unleashed.

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Royal Canoe, I love you

Empty out a swimming pool. Spray paint it in neon colors. Learn to ride a skateboard better than Tony Hawk. Ride your skateboard around the empty, painted pool. If you did this, the song you would need to listen to while doing so would be “Hold On To The Metal” by Royal Canoe. […]

Le Trouble

I’m not lying, I promise the songs below are from the same band! It’s why I’ve fallen in love with Le Trouble’s debut full length, Reality Strikes. I imagine in the future they’ll refine their sound a bit, but hell who can’t appreciate a bit of youthful experimentation? “Fine Line” is one of the […]

[Hype Hype Hooray] The Strange Evolution of a Band

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.

Here in Pocatello, an Idaho mountain town of 50,000, there is a blink-and-you’ll-still-see-it kind of music scene. That is to say, there aren’t many people who actually play music here. In that scene, it’s easy to notice guys like Shawn Barnby.

As I understand it, Shawn Barnby stared as a solo artist, playing open mic nights with his acoustic guitar and iconic rap-rock voice. With his talents he sings a sort of smooth blues pop (think a tougher Jason Mraz).

At some point, the solo artist decided to craft a band, called Shawn and the Marauders, with a drummer and bassist. The bass was later upgraded to Cello (how very classy!), which boosted their popularity, largely thanks to a handsomely-mustachioed cellist. After a few popular years they suddenly brought back the bass and added a female vocalist – a move that just might dub them: “The band that flew too close to the sun.”

They are Example #1 in The Strange Evolution of a Band.

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