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Next Level : Ducktails

12 Aug

Ducktails is New Jersey’s Matthew Mondanile’s sugary sun-noise project. What’s that you say? You’re hearing warm waves of nostalgia crashing onto the coast of Fiji? But you’ve never been to Fiji? Yet you still feel like you are fading into a reminiscence of summer bliss that perhaps did not occur? Interesting.

Well, with the help of using samples and playing guitar and synthesizers over them recorded on cassettes in his parents’ basement, Ducktails’s songs summons these half-dreams/half-memories into fruition. Mondanile also does guitar for fellow New Jersey band Real Estate, as he grew up four houses away from lead singer Martin Courtney. Speaking of dreams though, Mondanile dreams of moving to Portugal one day and recently tweeted “I wish artists and musicians made more money :(“.

Those may be his dreams, but ours is that his third full-length album, Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics, released on Woodsist Records this autumn, will help extend our summer fun like a back-to-school Justin Bieber concert.

Posted by : Melissa Kim


Next Level : Prince Rama

11 Aug

When Dirtbag Journalism talks about bands that are “next level,” we’re usually talking about awesome, up-and-coming music that catches us off guard and makes us all the happier for it. But Brooklyn-based trio Prince Rama (sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson with friend Michael Collins) has figured out how to exploit the term “next level” in every way possible (in the best way).

They were all raised in the largest Hare Krishna commune in the western hemisphere in a small town in Florida, where they met three years ago. Their music is almost psychotically psychedelic. They were signed to Animal Collective’s Paw Tracks Records after their set at this year’s SXSW. And their fourth full-length album out on September 14, Shadow Temple, was produced by Rusty Santos, and Animal Collective’s Avey Tare and Deakin.

Prince Rama makes other Brooklyn psychedelia sound like The Killers, and they’ll make you want to, in the words of Noel Fielding describing singer Paloma Faith, “saw off a piece of a rainbow.”

Prince Rama will be playing the Snowball Gallery with Deakin in Toronto on Thursday, September 16.

Posted by : Melissa Kim

Next Level : Altered Zones

8 Jul

Pitchfork Media has made itself a creditable source for independent music news since 1995. In the last 15 years; indie music has seen more transformations and crazy sub genres than you’d care to memorize. It’s been really beneficial for our generation to have this beacon of up to date information be available to us at all times.

The music scene has changed a lot  more in the past few years and some of these new bands are doing things on a much smaller scale, which makes it hard for a lot of different types of music lovers to check them out. Underground, extremely overlooked and sometimes completely off the radar; these fresh faces are making very unique, leftfield music that’s not reaching the masses. But now a group of awesome bloggers are about to change all that.

On June 29th, 2010, Pitchfork announced that they will launch a sister site called Altered Zones. This site will give readers a chance to dwell into the emerging D.I.Y music scene that has been slowly growing more and more over the last several years. 14 different blogs will post new tracks, explore new genres, and showcase a flood of new bands that are making their way on the underground scene. Blogs like : Friendship Bracelet, Gorilla Vs Bear, Get Off The Coast, among others are going to share all their awesome music with us. From psych pop, drone, tropical, African beats; nothing is off-limits on Altered Zones. You’ll have 10 favorite new bands after one visit to that site.

Sounds good right ? You don’t know how awesome it really is until you check out the site itself. Beautifully displayed, amazing content and music, and every blogger gives thorough information about the band they’ve posted. For the site launch; the bloggers posted their favorite albums, cassettes, and tracks of the first half of the year. The regular post schedule will start on Monday.

Altered Zones is going to change the game that is music blogging. It’s the pinnacle of what Dirtbag Journalism strives for and it’s about time that we recognize the contributions of these D.I.Y musicians and the people who love them. Altered Zones plan for world domination starts now. Good on you dudes!

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Next Level : Tony Castles

13 Jun

There are three dudes in Brooklyn that you have to check out. Tony Castles are still getting their foot in the door, but these young men definitely have “Next Level” written all over them. So the back story goes like this; Paul Sicilian and Gabriel Wurzel first crossed paths as freshmen at a central Connecticut high school. The two soon began playing together in punk bands, which continued when they went to Skidmore College. They were introduced to fellow student and musician Willie Miesmer.

Within two years of graduating all three moved to Brooklyn, NY where they reconnected and began playing together. The boys are notorious for swapping instruments and experimenting with gear and dream poppy sounds. Songs like Adequate Sheen have this atmospheric pop sound that’s just too die for . One might say it’s kind of Born Ruffians during the dreamy days of Animal Collective; with waves of organic sound and good drum(really good drum).

What’s got them on Dirtbags radar ? These kids aren’t signed and there making some serious moves. Just last week they opened for U.K Afro-punk powerhouse Ebony Bones in Toronto and let’s just say while Ebony stole the show as always; these fresh faces short set at Wrongbar was more than a good first impression. The band’s debut EP was recorded by Jake Aron (Jamie Lidell, Yeasayer, Chairlift) and mixed at the Rare Book Room by Nicolas Vernhes (Dirty Projectors, Deerhunter). The EP is coming soon, but until then these dude will be touring like crazy all summer with Fools Gold.

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Next Level : Dentata

14 Apr

Dentata is a band that’ll surely be the next big thing in Toronto very soon. They’re everything you love about a good live show and everything you love about sexy girls with guitars, all rolled up into one sweet ass package. The band, which consist of Dana, Tamsen, Neil, and Alex(also known for her band  Romo Roto) is still fairly new, but so far things look promising.

Each of their songs has a different energy, but they all manage to kick you in the teeth just as hard as their live show. It’s swampy riot grrl, with amazing guitar riffs and Dana Wright wearing fierce leather knee highs on stage(too much to handle, yeah we know).  They just recently played a show at The Beaver in Toronto that was jam-packed and super fun . Something about them just brings you back to the good ol’ days, the meat and potatoes of punk rock, the sweaty shows and dancing with your friends. Dentata may have been put on “Next Level” prematurely, but we like a band with promise and attitude. The only piece of advice we’ll give to you if you decide to attend one of their shows, don’t get in these girls faces and prepare to be amazed and drink a lot of beer.

Dentata will be playing the Bad Day Magazine Issue 7 Launch Party on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 134 Ossington in Toronto

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Next Level : Trust

16 Feb

The dictionary defines trust as the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, ect., of a person or thing.  In the case of newcomers Robert Alfons and Maya Postepski; these words are all the defining characteristics of a band at the their level. They’re also all the things that make Trust one of the most ambitious, hardworking bands in Toronto. We have a good feeling that with the right timing; you’ll be loosing sleep over their infectious sound and amazing live show. However, nothing good ever comes from being presumptuous; so let’s go over what we know for sure. The music sees Alfons and Postepski’s evoking the spirits of early disco; with a gothic lo-fi sound that gives them a spooky vibe that works on the dance floor.

They both have very unique looks and their live performance can only be described as “great experience”. They’re in talks of working on a split 7” with another Toronto newcomer/legend in the making, Josh Mcintryre of Little Girls(if you don’t know Little Girls, we’ll let it slide as long as you promise to link that shit right after your done reading this). The icing on the cake was their show on April 7th, 2010. Trust played a solid show with Washed Out, along with Small Black at Wrongbar in Toronto.

This show lead to a lot of amazing press and even more amazing opportunities for the Toronto duo. All we can hope is that at some point their hard work leads to a solid debut album that will crush the competition and maybe put these Crystal Castles comparisons to rest because these kids are setting a bar all their own. Check out their myspace below.

Update : Trust will playing the Bishop Morroco album release at Unit C/102 Ossington with Dj sets by Jaime Sin and Mikey Apples.

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Next Level : Broken Bells

31 Dec

In September 2009, two of the greatest minds in music decided to form a band and best believe the music world is still not sure what to expect. James Mercer of The Shins and world renowned hip hop producer Brian Burtman(Danger Mouse) have announced that Broken Bells will release their self titled debut album on Columbia Records. More information about this project should be revealed in the coming months. For now, take a listen to their new single, The High Road.

Posted By : Max Mohenu