Monthly Archives: January 2010

La Strada, M.T. Bearington and The Fictional West @ Rudy’s — Feb. 6

Next Saturday will be the first (and hopefully not the last) teaming of Tweefort with New Haven’s Safety Meeting Records. Come out to Rudy’s for cheap beer, great frites and three pop bands — La Strada, M.T. Bearington and The Fictional West.

Chances are you already know M.T. Bearington, and if not, you used to like one of their old bands. However, if that’s not the case, M.T. Bearington makes driving psych-pop music that’s sure to get under your skin and make a home in your head. The band is also getting ready to head out on a mini-tour with none other than Mates of State.

La Strada makes undeniably charming pop music that’s a little chamber pop, a little indie pop and a whole lotta fun. It’s rare to see strings and accordion on stage at Rudy’s, so don’t miss out.

The Fictional West have a single out now on Tweefort Records. They’re getting comparisons to Orange Juice, The Magnetic Fields and The Smiths. Limited by their non-fictional surroundings, these New Haven natives decided to combine their varied interests in indie pop, 80s new wave sounds and satirical themes into some nice low-key tunes. Go download the single if you haven’t yet.

Saturday, FEB. 6: La Strada, M.T. Bearington and The Fictional West
Live at Rudy’s, 372 Elm St, New Haven
$4, 21+ Music begins after 9 p.m.

TFR006: “Home & Abroad Songs Vol. 2″

TFR006: Home & Abroad Songs Vol. 2 – V.A.
Tracks are no longer available.

Mark your calendars. February 19 we’ll be releasing our second compilation in our Home & Abroad Songs series. Volume 2 is a massive, bloated double disc comp with one CD of Connecticut bands (Home) and one CD of national and international bands (Abroad … for our purposes “abroad” is anything not in Conn.).

We’ve got heavy New Haven representation on the Home disc, but also tracks from bands from Hartford, Westbrook, Bridgeport, Monroe and Middletown. And the Abroad CD has bands from as close as New York and as far away as Sweden and Denmark. Check out the complete list of bands below.

We’ll be releasing the comp Friday, Feb. 19 with a show at Cafe Nine in New Haven. Headlining will be NYC’s very cool pop band The Ballet. Also playing will be FayRey and Slam Donahue. And be sure to get there on time to catch one of the area’s newest pop bands, DayPape.

CONTRIBUTING BANDS:
Home:
The Fictional West (New Haven)
Mixtape (New York/New Haven)
The Tyler Trudeau Attempt (New Haven)
Sewing Machines (Middletown)
The Inclined Plane (Hartford)
Titles (New Haven)
The Dayzies (Middletown)
The Jackies (New Haven)
Saint Bernadette (Bridgeport)
DayPape (Westbrook)
Women’s Basketball (New Haven)
Think Quick (Monroe)
Slam Donahue (CT)
Shark (New Haven/Boston)
Love and Hymen (Milford/New York)
Fay Rey (New Haven/New York)

Abroad:
Gustav and The Seasick Sailors (Sweden)
The Postcards (England)
The Ballet (New York)
Oberhofer (Wash./New York)
The Upstairs! (Penn.)
Ex Norwegian (Florida)
The Mother Z’s (Illinois)
Robert Church & The Holy Community (Sweden)
Mammoth Life (Kansas)
Fairmont (New Jersey)
The Adventures Of (New York)
Poland (Seattle)
Cleemann (Denmark)
Sunset Soundtrack (Georgia)
Sunshower Orphans (New York)
The Susan Constant (Mass.)

TFR004: “Giant Clouds” by The Fictional West


 
The Fictional West began in mid-2009 when Christian Laursen, Matt Peddle and Brett Lukaszek found themselves limited by their non-fictional surroundings. They decided they wanted to write indie pop songs combining Matt’s interest in ’80s new wave, Christian’s mix of serious and satirical lyrical themes and Brett’s expansive drum sound.

“Giant Clouds” was the first song written and recorded as a band. The song was inspired by Christian’s almost nomadic lifestyle in the United States and Canada for the past decade. A heavily layered and delayed guitar is used for the main riff to achieve a vastness reminiscent of early U2.

Most recently written, “Soul for Suckers” is The Fictional West’s brand of new wave combining elements of The Smiths and more recent acts, such as Bat For Lashes and The Magnetic Fields.
In addition to working on their upcoming EP release, The Fictional West will be playing shows in the CT/NY region in 2010.

The Fictional West will perform Feb. 6 at Rudy’s. Tweefort and Safety Meeting Records have teamed up to bring you La Strada, M.T. Bearington and The Fictional West. 10 p.m. $4. 372 Elm St., New Haven, CT.

EDIT Jan. 19, 2010: Review from The Hartford Courant’s Soundcheck blog:

The Fictional West formed last year, when the trio — Christian Laursen, Matt Peddle and Brett Lukaszek — “found themselves limited by their non-fictional surroundings and decided to combine their varied interests in indie pop, ’80s new wave sounds and satirical themes,” says their MySpace page.

The band’s first song, “Giant Clouds,” features ringing guitar and warm vocals by Laursen. The second, “Soul for Suckers” layers effects-treated guitars over a swift, steady beat, and Laursen sings over swelling strings.

Local indie label Tweefort Records released the songs earlier this month (download them here for free), and the band is hard at work on an EP due soon.

EDIT Jan. 28, 2010: Review from Sugar Sours:

With hints of The Magnetic Fields, the Smiths, and what I say tastes like Orange Juice have a perfect formula for down-tempo jangle pop, seeing as their jangle isn’t exactly jangle-y, The Fictional West play that lazy-day, let’s go for a drive, indiepop that I’m so fond of. And they don’t just sound like the aforementioned groups, they also have the same knack for songwriting. No lie, the Giant Clouds single sounds like it could have been sent in to NME and gotten lost in the post for 20 years.

EDIT Feb. 2, 2010: “Internet Connection: Craigslist Ad Puts Indie-Pop Trio In Motion” — The Hartford Courant, Feb. 2, 2010

Awesome back stories are an important part of rock ‘n’ roll mythology, but sometimes the details are straightforward: The Fictional West met on craigslist.

The New Haven band, which performs Saturday in New Haven, formed a year ago after multi-instrumentalist Matthew Peddle responded to an ad posted by singer and guitarist Christian Laursen.

There was no magical first meeting, no moment of musical clarity. Just lunch.

“We were setting out to find a band right away, so we started playing right away,” Peddle, 23, says. “We got lunch, and we started playing, and we’ve kept going …”

TFR005: “An Octopus …” by Women’s Basketball


 
“Way catchy and more than a little bit clever. I like these hand-crafted demos even better than Tyler’s main project, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt …”One Base on an Overthrow, January 2010

Women’s Basketball is a (fake) band in which Tyler Trudeau is the only member. Women’s Basketball (the band) has nothing to do with the act of women playing basketball. Women’s Basketball is voice, electric guitars, bass, Casio keyboard and circa 1987 drum machine. Women’s Basketball is white-light, pure pop.

In the spring of 2008, Trudeau (The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, The Cavemen Go) started a fake band with himself. Originally, it wasn’t supposed to even be a fake band. In an effort to get better at writing songs, Trudeau decided to fire up his four-track, hammer out some three- or four-chord patterns on a guitar or a keyboard, and start making up melodies over it all. It was supposed to be just a writing exercise … but over the course of a few months, it started to get out of hand. The next thing Trudeau knew, he had songs with actual words, and verses and choruses, and full-band
arrangements — the kind of elements straight-up songs tend to have. He decided it was a band, and decided the band should be called Women’s Basketball.

Women’s Basketball is gritty and emotional. Lo-fi, bedroom recordings give the listener a window into the life of the struggling single living in an unforgiving city. Women’s Basketball tackles subjects as varied as insomnia, relationships, roommates, substance abuse and unrequited love.

EDIT Jan. 16, 2010: Full review from One Base On An Overthrow

Fake band are a great idea, especially when they’re actually not even real (remember Sioux Savage? didn’t think so), except that Women’s Basketball are a sort-of-real band and it’s really the guy in the band who’s made up (if you’re not following me here then don’t worry about it). Anyway, the Women’s Basketball album is one of the first things CT’s Tweefort Records has released since becoming a full-fledged digital-only label, and on the whole, “An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus” is a pretty fun thing to check out if you’re into home-recorded stuff that’s way catchy and more than a little bit clever. I like these hand-crafted demos even better than Tyler’s main project, The Tyler Trudeau Attempt, though your own enjoyment might depend on your tolerance for Tyler’s singing voice; myself, I think hearing lines like “I need to act fucking dignified” being sung by a voice that sounds like a poodle that’s getting run over by a dump truck is pretty hilarious, if not a huge part of the overall charm. On top of that, there’s also an ancient drum machine that sounds straight out of a M.O.T.O. cassette from the ’80s, which goes even better with the songs that have a more punkish tempo, like “Hold Me, Fuckers”. Stephen Fievet has nothing to worry about, I’m sure, but in any case this definitely one of the more amusing things I’ve heard in the first two weeks of this year.

EDIT Jan. 20, 2010: Review from A Layer of Chips:

Tweefort Records from Connecticut are putting out some really zippy little pop records at the moment, the favourite one of mine is Women’s Basketball’s ‘Like an Octopus…’, which is available for free download from the label’s website.

Women’s Basketball is apparently a one man band that started out as a purely songwriting project, but has now grown to TAKE OVER THE WORLD.

Anyway, the album is full of edgy, messy, neurotic pop songs, and it’s great. Just don’t listen to it after a bottle of gin.

Download ‘Calling People I Used to Date’ here. I think you get the picture from that song title, eh?

EDIT Jan. 21, 2010: Review from CT Indie:

Initially a bunch of demos, and eventually released as a full album, Women’s Basketball’s “An Octopus, But Like, an Octopus with Massive Wings, and Junk” is a fantastic adventure into lo-fi pop.

You can’t really talk about Women’s Basketball without first mentioning the fact that it’s a fake band started by Tyler Trudeau (alter-ego of Brian LaRue) of the Tyler Trudeau Attempt. It seems like sort of a side project, but I’ve got a suspicion it’s more of a just-for-fun type of thing. Everything seems to hiss and pop in time with the drum machine beats that hold the whole thing together. Buzzing keys, scratchy guitars and weird squelches compliment the strained vocals nicely. The lyrics are squirrelly – but that’s exactly what you’d want with song titles like “Evan, Don’t Touch My Stuff” and “Rage With Me, Andrew.” It’s a solid release, and even though it’s a whole bunch of 4-chord angsty pop diddies, it’s fresh and fun.

EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: “Calling People I Used To Date” getting air play on WPRK FM Orlando:

Hey there. Wanted to let you know that I run an overnight radio show Tuesday mornings, 3 AM to 6 AM EST on 91.5 WPRK FM, Orlando, FL. The show is called “The Real Congregation” and it’s sort of a “by-record-geeks-for-record-geeks” show. Anyways, as of last Tuesday, I’ve added “Calling People I Used To Date” and been playing it on-air. Really good stuff, in my opinion, and we got some positive feedback from listeners – the show streams worldwide at wprkdj.org and has a diehard Euopean fanbase. I also mentioned your site and that the album was available there. Thought you might want to know!

Also, is there going to be a physical copy of this album? I would love to order one to put in my personal collection. (Heck, I’d also like to know if there are any other web resources on the Women’s Basketball project).

I’d really appreciate continued emails like these from Tweefort, in hopes that we can find some more fantastic pop goodness to play!

RetroLowFi, Marc With A C

EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: Women’s Basketball on Indie-mp3 blog:

Pick of the bunch for me is the album from Women’s Basketball which is an album of simple and but pretty effective punk pop four track recordings.

EDIT Jan. 22, 2010: Women’s Basketball on area 51 del corazon.

EDIT Jan. 24, 2010: Women’s Basketball on Burning World’s Pod Fodder:

Women’s Basketball isn’t what you’d call a “real” band. It consists solely of a bloke called Tyler Trudeau who plays everything. The album “An Octopus, But Like, An Octopus With Massive Wings And Junk” is released this month through Tweefort and is guaranteed to put a smile on even the most miserable of creatures.

EDIT Jan. 29, 2010: Review of Women’s Basketball on Otherwise Open.

EDIT Feb. 1, 2010: Review of Women’s Basketball on Adventures In “New” Music blog:

I like this release. I was browsing the internet for record labels and came across the website for Tweefort Records. This release grabbed my attention purely by the cover and album title. This is some nice lo-fi bedroom recordings which consist of electric guitar, a cheap sounding keyboard, and mid-80′s drum machine …

EDIT: Feb. 18, 2010: Women’s Basketball reviewed in the New Haven Advocate:

When I first saw Tyler Trudeau play live, it was just him and an electric guitar, performing pop songs that could best be described as “Morrissey meets Billy Bragg.” After years of fronting his band The Attempt (which, in the interest of full disclosure, features Advocate music writer Brian LaRue), Trudeau’s side project Women’s Basketball finds him playing alone again, but this time he’s his own band, playing all the instruments. Cut loose from working with other bandmates, Trudeau indulges his love of lo-fi pop, but imbues it with the energy found in the first wave of post punk. Trudeau’s able to write songs that vacillate between hilarity and heartbreak, and An Octopus … nicely balances the two, from the goofiness of “Stuff that Sounds Like This” to the rejected self-loathing of “Rock Show/Not Rock Show.” He’s always had a knack for capturing painful situations with sharp observation and blunt honesty, and “Calling People I Used to Date” is practically a sequel to The Attempt’s classic “I Got a Lot of Poverty” (from In My Despair, I Took Up Painting, on Fromage-Cinq, 2007). —Drew Cucuzza

EDIT May 11, 2010: Very short review on our city is burning:

Somewhere between Atom and his Package and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone is Women’s Basketball. This is low-fi pop music with rambling lyrics about going on facebook drunk, or calling people you date because there’s no-one else to hang out with.

TFR003: “I’m So Good At Shining” by Onward Chariots

EDIT: Chariots of Tuna are now Onward Chariots. Tweefort heartily approves the name change.

Tweefort Records is proud to announce its first new release — a single from New York pop quartet, Chariots of Tuna.


TFR003: I’m So Good At Shining – Chariots of Tuna
1. A New Beginning
2. Seven Miles Away
Tracks are no longer available.
Check out Onward Chariots’ new single on Elefant Records.

Two songs can say so much when they are presented by New York pop quartet Chariots of Tuna. With equal parts hard and soft, Ben Morss and company present a wide spectrum of sound in just under 5 minutes playing time.

Morss’ carefully constructed tunes, delicate falsetto harmonies, loungey vibe, and solid beats recall pop from the Beach Boys and Shins to the Decemberists and Beck. Songs speak of the apprehension, anxiety and excitement of change, the ache of long-distance love affairs, faith and confusion and the simple self-pity of an unloved songwriter.

In 1999, in Sacramento, Morss began recording songs under the name “Chariots of Tuna” for indie-pop compilations such as I Made It Out Of Clay (Little Shirley Beans Records) and Candycore! (Asaurus Records). After relocating to New York, the project went on indefinite hiatus. In 2008, Morss, Dan Davine, Shawn Setaro and Rus Wimbish were playing together in the theatrical classical-pop hybrid group, the Infinite Orchestra. In their small practice space in Brooklyn, these skilled musicians hatched a plan to revive Chariots of Tuna. They recorded three songs in that same practice space. Morss sang layers of vocals and overdubbed keyboards late at night while holding his sleeping baby son. Davine engineered and produced the result. Chariots of Tuna returned to life.

Chariots of Tuna wants to bring you great songs. Enjoy!

“I think I have found a new favourite band, a band that has such an effect on me that I want to listen to their songs over and over again and I still want more.” — Eardrums, July 2009

“ … a new favourite we must recommend for listening. Think of a sound that exists somewhere between a polished Beach Boys single and an old dusty album from classic label Homestead Records and you will most likely understand why we are so taken with this music.” — Milk Milk Lemonade, July 2009

“Chariots of Tuna play a lovely baroque alternative pop. The light falsetto vocal harmonies and matching jangle guitars … are just a delight.” — Powerpopaholic, June, 2009

EDIT Jan. 11, 2010: “I’m So Good At Shining” has been reviewed by the indiepop blog Eardrums

Aahhh! A new single from Chariots of Tuna is better than Christmas, and this one is actually better than most things I can think of!

I adored their debut single, as you can see from my review, but the band has really progressed since then, and this is even better than I had dared to hope for. The songwriting is even more to the point, the vocals are more focussed and better, and these two songs are two gorgeous pop-treasures that in my ears are perfect. I am one of those who feel a little pain when I hear ecstatic guitar solos, but on “Seven miles away”, even the guitar solo is good!

I STILL want more…

EDIT Jan. 12, 2010: Review from Milk Milk Lemonade

Since an extended winter cold snap seems to have taken seasonal residence in our little corner of Ohio, we can think of no better way to defrost the ears than with a previously featured artist who has a decidedly warm new guitar pop single to share. Chariots Of Tuna is the oddly named, Brooklyn/Queens, New York four piece we made original mention of last year in July 2009 with their impressive EP Fondness Makes The Heart Grow Distant. If you have the chance, we recommend a visit to our previous review for links that might give a better understanding of the history and accomplishments of the musicians involved with this project. The brand new single from Ben Morss & company is titled I’m So Good At Shining and is now available for free download through lovely Connecticut-based label Tweefort Records (Tweefort MySpace). Once again, we are smitten with what we can only hope might be the precursor to a full-length album for this band.

EDIT Feb. 4, 2010: Chariots of Tuna included in Burning World blog Pod Fodder.

EDIT Feb. 17, 2010: Chariots of Tuna reviewed by Powerpopaholic blog —

Once again Ben Morss and company present a wonderful little EP with two shiny gems “A New Beginning” and “Seven Miles Away” – both are delicate pop candy full of falsetto harmonies and club beats matched with a perfectly placed guitar riff in the latter track. Bring on the full length guys, these freebies just whetted my appetite for more Tuna (In a Chariot).

EDIT April 9, 2010: Onward Chariots reviewed by Another Form of Relief blog —

… Formerly known as Chariots of Tuna (an excellent name in itself), the band is now on a renewed push for indiepop superstardom. The pace that the slightly hushed harmonies propel the song along almost masks just how complex the arrangements on these songs are. Seven Miles Away even has time to rock out just a bit at the end too. It’s all very reminiscent of the dearly missed Beulah. Not exactly the same musically, but this is the closest a band has come to evoking the same kind of feeling to me.

EDIT: Dec. 24, 2010: “I’m So Good at Shining” included on Burning World’s Best of 2010 list.