Twenty fifteen and Crushed Beaks

Aine and Ben's wedding day

Here we are on the fledgling wings of yet another year, thousands of bands vying for our attention in a sea of Soundcloud links, drop dates and nervously planned record release gigs. On days like this I’m glad to be a lowly consumer rather than an actual musician. While it makes me sound lazy (and talentless), I much prefer snuggling on the sofa with a cup of coffee and listening rather than wrangling up band members’ calendars and figuring out who is available on what date at X venue in X city. What a headache. Cast solely as the role of Listener, I have none of the drama I hear and see occurring regularly among some of my musician friends (and strangers alike). I can pick and choose the little nuggets of lovely I listen to rather than say, having to sit through a long­winded Skype yarn from my drummer who has to go to his kid’s 1st grade Noah’s Ark performance instead of playing a gig that’s been planned for ages. Because, you see, Abby’s Imaginary Band is made up of oldsters, like me, with decent taste, day jobs and offspring:


What a fucking pain. Right. Happy New Year. Moving on.

I must admit that while I scour the internet, shops and magazines for new music, radio has proven itself an integral part in opening my ears to tunes I otherwise would have missed. Take new-­to-­me favorites Crushed Beaks and their airwave­-friendly single ‘Overgrown’.

A few choice senders have been playing the grooves out of it, and for good reason. Hailing from SE London, Crushed Beaks have been tickling ears with several EPs since 2011. 2015, however, will play host to their full-­length debut, Scatter. Armed with a mutual love of horror flicks, Alex Morris, Matthew Poile and newest recruit Scott Bowley present smart, hook-­filled pop with just enough fuzz and grit to tempt the ears of staunch shoegazers and indiepop kids alike (hi).

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Pretties for You

Pretties for You (oh hey, Alice Cooper) did well in choosing their band name. Their music is exactly what I’d expect, which isn’t a bad thing. Female vocals, abundant energy, in-your-face rock. Intense passion oozes from Martina Forsgren’s voice and the unrefined sounds follow. Another thing going for Pretties for You is that they’re […]

[MP3] Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons: “Hurricane”

You can see the opening scene to a TV show in this Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons song. The main character is purposefully walking, or jogging in the morning, or doing something mischievous that makes them look and feel superior to all else. You know what I’m talking about.

“Hurricane” takes on […]

Peggy Sue: “Idle”

Tragic events have afflicted my hometown this past week, one hitting closer to me personally, but both just as heartbreaking.

It’s the small things in life that we don’t pay any attention to until it’s too late, and often not even then, that help us become whole. We all work. We all look for […]

Nothing Romantic About UK’s Savages


“The world used to be silent / Now it has too many voices.”

- Savages (Silence Yourself Manifesto)

As I prepare to see Savages at the Fonda Theatre in L.A. tonight, I look back at my first experience seeing this band earlier this year.

Jerking her head back-and-forth, with sudden and purposeful movements, Jehnny Beth’s dark, piercing black pupils slice through the crowd’s veneer of hipster-euphoria like a Katana sword through a watermelon. Her stage presence is as impressive as Ian Curtis during the genesis of Joy Division, and one day, we’ll all be talking about her ability to own a crowd. So if you weren’t already aware, Beth, the vocalist and lyricist of UK-based quartet Savages, is driven to be taken quite seriously. For her, Savages is fine art; a gallery showcase of her soul, and to be taken seriously as a proper artist is expected.

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The Hipster Gestapo at the El Rey, with their heads spinning as they text their fellow KCRW-listening groupies about the “Next Joy Division,” seem dumbfounded at the monochromatic intensity in the French-born singer’s eyes. As the white lights reveal the wrinkles in their all-black outfits; bass player Ayse Hassan quickly stands out sonically with the pummeling bass line for “City’s Full,” which has the bassist bouncing behind her pearl white P Bass like a possessed beatnik on a pogo stick. The ferocious rhythm section of Savages is the byproduct of Hassan’s experimental punk plucking; smashed together with the outright hydrogen explosion of crashing cymbals and frenetic hi-hat bravado of their drummer, Fay Milton, who is known to have an unconventional warm-up routine that requires isolation and focus. Milton’s virtuosity behind the kit is one of the pillars that will hold this band above their peers, in a different stratosphere, for as long as they wish to occupy the space.

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With vocals reminiscent of Britt Daniel (Spoon) and a definitive Britpop vibe, Spires is bringing back the feel good 1990s. The NYC foursome is picking up local steam and looking to make a name for themselves outside the city. Their debut 7” and digital single “Candy Flip” is slated for official release October […]

Cold Country

He knew he was done. He hadn’t been doing quality work in a while, and frankly he didn’t care. He was going to head home to his parents, who at this point woke up at 4 am, tended to the garden, read the newspaper, left the stove top on all day in case […]

The Darcys: “The River”

It’s time for a little late night drive. Passing through city lights, everyone out and wasted, I’m pretending to know their conversations. Windows closed, the silence in my car larger than the life outside of it. Some holding hands, others dancing on the sidewalks, more running through the streets. I grip the cold […]

Buffalo Rodeo

Monday can be the best day of your week if you’re willing to make it happen. Buffalo Rodeo’s brand of kinetic upstart indie rock is sure to give a jolt to anyone’s fresh work week despair. And if you’re happy-go-lucky ALL THE TIME, this Bowling Green, Kentucky group should be right up your alley.


Good Graeff

Is it possible to mix angst with elation? These girls (twins!) think so.

If you like, head on over to their Kickstarter page and see how you can support ‘em.

Good Graeff on the web | […]