Zine: March, April & May #3

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The third issue of the February Records zine, “March, April & May,” is now available to order.

The zine is 68 pages and includes interviews with Phil Wilson, Elizabeth Morris, Young Romance, Peaness, Knut from Eardrums Pop and Featherfin, Strange Passage, Kevin Alvir, Postal Blue, Emma Kupa and Ray Neal of Miracle Legion.

The zine also includes a download of the March, April & May Mix #1 digital EP with tracks from Postal Blue, Jason Bourgeois, Strange Passage, The June Brides, The Hairs, Emma Kupa and Featherfin. Tracks are all previously unreleased — either new songs, covers or live or acoustic versions.

The first 20 purchases will also include a copy of March, April & May #2 until they are all gone. All purchases will also include a few free February Records badges.

The zine is limited to 75 copies and is only $4 (plus shipping). Order here.

FEB044: “Clever” by Punctuation Club

February Records is proud to announce its latest release: The “Clever” EP, the debut release from Punctuation Club.

Brooklynite Liam Joseph Carroll is the sole continual member of the band and he says Punctuation Club is your creepy sister’s new favorite indiepop group. We think he’s probably right. He’s been sitting on these five tunes about art school, revenge, relationships and lapsed Catholicism for years, letting them stew in his psyche until they finally spilled out into the “Clever” EP.

Liam has been writing songs and playing guitar and drums in bands since his teenage years. He has released music under the name Volcano Divers and was active in the Philadelphia underground experimental/noise community, fronting a drone act called Dead Pines, and briefly playing in the noise-rock group Clothes.

Now, as Punctuation Club, Liam gets to the heart of independent pop music, presenting five stripped-down, tongue-in-cheek tunes inspired by the likes of Yo La Tengo, Pants Yell!, Beat Happening, Black Tambourine and My Teenage Stride.

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The five-song download includes a PDF booklet with an exclusive interview with Liam.

Upcoming for early 2017

February Records has a couple projects in the works that will be coming out very, very soon. Keep your eyes peeled.


Clever
 by Punctuation Club 
— Punctuation Club is Brooklynite Liam Joseph Carroll. Liam says Punctuation Club is your creepy sister’s new favorite indiepop group and we think he’s probably right. He’s been sitting on these five tunes about art school, revenge, relationships and lapsed Catholicism for years, letting them stew in his psyche until they finally spilled out into the Clever EP. Clever will be available as a digital download on Friday, Jan. 27. Check out the single, Art School Confidential, on the Punctuation Club bandcamp.

March, April & May No. 3 — In late winter or very early spring, we will be releasing the third issue of our zine. We have some great contributors lined up and interviews with Phil Wilson, Peaness, Mercury Girls, Knut Eardrums, Young Romance, The Hairs and more. This issue will also come with a digital download with unreleased tracks from some of the bands featured in the zine. More information coming soon.

Also! — Copies of Constant and True — A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg are still available. We are very close to breaking even, which will then allow us to donate any and all proceeds to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, a charity that is near and dear to Rose Melberg’s heart.

March, April & May: 2016 year-end roundup

This is not a best-of list. This is not a top-10 list. 

Lately, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with year-end “best-of” lists. I love to read them and, usually, hate the results. Boiling down a year’s worth of music into ten (or 25 or 50 or 100) ranked bands or songs or albums just doesn’t really do the trick anymore. And let’s not even talk about number ratings. 

Below, is a mostly-random, un-ranked, un-quantified list of LPs, EPs, tracks and live shows that I enjoyed this year. Some of these I listened to almost non-stop for long periods of time. Some of them I only listened to a few times, but they seriously made an impression. The list is not comprehensive. There’s a lot I left out and a lot I didn’t get a chance to hear. I also included February Records releases because, let’s face it, I like them and I listened to them a lot.

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[LP] Flowers – “Everybody’s Dying to Meet You” (Kanine) — I love this band. Flowers’ first LP was my favorite album of 2014 and “Everybody’s Dying to Meet You” might be my favorite album of 2016, though I won’t commit to that. Check out track 4, “All At Once.”

[EP] Strange Passage – “Shine and Scatter” (self-released) — This Boston quartet channels late-’80s/early-’90s UK post punk. The four-track EP is the kind of thing you’ll listen to over and over. Check out track 3, “Shine and Scatter.”

[live] Miracle Legion (with Winterpills) at The Outer Space, Hamden, CT – July 16 — I’m so glad this band got back together. This show was great. It was also nice to get back down to the New Haven area for a show.

[live] Allo Darlin’ (with Simon Love, Chorusgirl and The Spook School) at Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn – NYC Popfest May 20 — I didn’t know at the time that this would be my last chance to see Allo Darlin’ (and possibly the last NYC popfest as it goes on hiatus). It was definitely worth the five-hour bus ride to New York for their set alone.

[track] Peaness – “Oh George” (House Plants Records) — A smart garage-pop anti-love song to George Osborne.

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[live] Teenage Fanclub (with Skylar Gudasz ) at the Sinclair, Cambridge, MA – Oct. 17 — First time seeing Teenage Fanclub. Did not disappoint.

[LP] Bent Shapes – “Wolves of Want” (Slumberland) — Literate indiepop with a touch of college-rock. From Boston. Check out track 5, “Realization Hits.”

[EP] half sour – “Charm School” (Disposable America/Too Far Gone) — Bratty, punchy “slacker-pop” from Boston. Check out track 1, “Ten Year Tenure.”

[LP] The Very Most – “Syntherely Yours” (February Records) — OK, just a little bit of bias here, but not much. This is a great record. We’d been talking with Jeremy for a long time about teaming up for a TVM release on February and we finally got around to it this year. Jeremy reworked nine TVM tunes into synth-pop songs with guest vocalists. Adriano do Couto of Postal Blue, Colin Clary of the The Smittens, Charles Bert of Math and Physics Club, Lisle Mitnik of Tiny Fireflies and more were featured. The album is still available to download. Check out track 1, “Good Fight Fighting” (featuring Adriano do Couto).

[track] The Monkees – “Me and Magdalena” (Rhino) — That Monkees album (“Good Times!”) that came out this year is actually pretty good. This song is pretty great even if it is written by Ben Gibbard. Gibbard should forget about Deathcab for Cutie and just write songs for Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz to sing.

[EP] The Beths – “Warm Blood” (self-released) — Fun, upbeat New Zealand guitar pop. Check out track 3, “Idea/Intent.”

[LP] Fear of Men – “Fall Forever” (Kanine) — Atmospheric. Ominous. Beautiful. Check out track 6, “Island.”

[LP] The Tuts – “Update Your Brain” (Dovetown) — This album is infectious. Check out track 2, “Tut Tut Tut.”

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[live] Elvis Costello and The Imposters at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston – Oct. 25 — This is the third time I’ve seen EC and the first time I’ve seen him with a full band. Great show.

[LP] Math & Physics Club – “In This Together” (Fika Recordings) — Get some of the band’s best EP tracks, B-sides, rarities and unreleased songs all in one place. Check out track 16, “Weekends Away.”

[track] Dexys – “Both Sides Now” (100% Records / Rhino) — This cover from the album “Let The Record Show: Dexys Do Irish and Country Soul” has been a constant on my YouTube playlist. I want to live inside this video.

[live] The Go-Go’s (with Best Coast and Kaya Stewart) at House of Blues, Boston – Aug. 8 — This show was so much fun. Lots of dancing. Lots of singing along. Lots of beer.

[track] The Pretenders – “Holy Commotion” (BMG/Clouds Hill) — I don’t even want to hear the rest of the album that this track is on — the Chrissie Hynde/Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) team-up that is “Alone.” I enjoy this song, though.

[live] The Cure (with the Twilight Sad) at Agganis Arena, Boston – June 16 — I’m not usually one for arena shows, but I can’t be blamed for sitting in the nosebleeds to see The Cure. Playing a lengthy set and then four encores, I got to hear everything I wanted to.

[LP] V/A – “Constant and True: A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg” (February Records) — Here’s another little bit of horn-tooting. Jeremy Jensen of The Very Most curated this amazing tribute compilation to Rose Melberg and we got the honor of getting to promote it. In all honesty, this album has been consistently playing in my car or in my headphones since it came out. Every one of these 21 tracks is a winner, with covers by The Hermit Crabs, Rocketship, Boyracer, Emma Kupa, Marc Elston, John Girgus, Seapony and more. Copies are still available. Check out track 21, “My Broken Heart,” covered by Rocketship.

— Danny

FEB043: “Constant and True — A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg”

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Order “Constant and True — A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg”

“Constant and True” is available to purchase as a CD and digital download. Any surplus from the sale of this album will be donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, a charity that is near and dear to Rose Melberg’s heart.

***

February Records is proud to announce its latest release: “Constant and True — A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg.” This extremely ambitious project was conceived of and brought to fruition by Jeremy Jensen — leader of the Boise, Idaho, pop group The Very Most — out of his appreciation of Melberg’s prolific output.

Rose Melberg is indiepop royalty. As primary songwriter for one of the very first American indiepop bands, Tiger Trap, she played an indispensable part in furthering
the indiepop movement in the U.S. She went on to release music both as a solo artist and as a member of the bands Go Sailor, The Softies, Gaze, Brave Irene, Tally Ho!, PUPS, Imaginary Pants and Knife Pleats, with sounds ranging from fragile, wistful folk to giddy, fizzy cuddlecore to sophisticated, almost jazzy, pop. Her music as been released on such labels as K Records, Double Agent, Kingfisher Bluez, Kill Rock Stars, Slumberland Records, Where It’s At Is Where You Are and Lost Sounds Tapes, just to name a few.

Bands and artists from the United States, Scotland, England, Spain, Norway, France, Australia and Dominican Republic have provided tracks for this compilation. Two bands (Boyracer and Transmittens) even came out of retirement just to contribute a track! Their interpretations of Rose’s music run the gamut from pop-punk to epic, symphonic walls of sound. The album has 21 tracks in total and features The Hermit Crabs, The Prams, Featherfin, Bodyheat, Emma Kupa, Saturday Looks Good To Me, Marc Elston, Ashley and Eli of LAKE, Fireflies, The Smittens, John Girgus and The Legendary House Cats, The Royal Landscaping Society, Gabardine, Boyracer, Band á Part, Seapony, The Very Most, Tomiji, Tangible Excitement, Transmittens and Rocketship.

“Constant and True — A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg” will be released as a CD and a digital download, with artwork by Marta Tortajada.

Tracklist

The Hermit Crabs – Wonderful
The Prams – No Fun
Featherfin (feat. Deerful) – Old Days
Bodyheat – Moon Singer
Emma Kupa – You And Only You
Saturday Looks Good To Me – Winter Pageant
Marc Elston – The Best Days
LAKE – Tracks And Tunnels
Fireflies – Selfish
The Smittens – Together Forever in Love
John Girgus and The Legendary House Cats – Hello Rain
The Royal Landscaping Society – I Love You More
Gabardine – It’s Love
Boyracer – Alaska
Band á Part – Long Distance
Seapony – He’ll Never Have to Know
The Very Most (feat. Sarah Robostein) – C.K.M.
Tomiji – Fine Day For Sailing
Tangible Excitement – Puzzle Pieces
Transmittens – Words And Smiles
Rocketship – My Broken Heart

‘March, April & May’ No. 2

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The second issue of the February Records zine, “March, April & May,” is now officially available to order through our Bandcamp page. Inside are band interviews, essays and even a little bit of humor. Interviews include: Duglas T Stewart of BMX Bandits, The Arctic Flow, Tiny Fireflies, Jigsaw Records, Lost Tapes, Big Quiet, The Very Most and Cozy Catastrophes.

The zine is limited to 50 copies and is only $2. Order here.

FEB042: “Syntherely Yours” by The Very Most

 

February Records is very proud to offer the latest album from Boise, Idaho, indiepop band The Very Most. This is a very special digital-only release with nine of your favorite songs by The Very Most re-recorded as synth-pop songs featuring guest vocalists for each track. Guests include Lisle from Tiny Fireflies, Adriano from Postal Blue, Colin from The Smittens, Charles from Math and Physics Club, Thomas from Pale Spectres, Sam from Boise band Central City Music Company, Adam from California band Adam and Darcie, Laz from Bubblegum Lemonade/Strawberry Whiplash, and Geoff Crestwell from Boise City, Oklahoma, shoegaze band Pellow.

  1. Good Fight Fighting (Featuring Adriano do Couto of Postal Blue)
  2. Things Too Obvious to Sing (Featuring Geoff Crestwell of Pellow)
  3. This is Where I Should Be (Featuring Sam Counsil of Central City Music Company)
  4. Jonathan Richman (Featuring Colin Clary of The Smittens and Colin and the Clarys)
  5. Polygraph (Featuring Charles Bert of Math and Physics Club)
  6. Today it is Even Better (Featuring Laz McCluskey Strawberry Whiplash and Bubblegum Lemonade)
  7. Sweater (Featuring Thomas Guilcher of Tomiji and Pale Spectres)
  8. You’re in Love With the Sun (Featuring Lisle Mitnik of Fireflies and Tiny Fireflies)
  9. Multnomah Now! (Featuring Adam Sanders of Adam and Darcie)

Pre-order the album from Feb. 15-Feb. 22 and immediately receive two tracks for download, “Sweater” featuring Thomas Guilcher, and “Multnomah Now!” featuring Adam Sanders. “Syntherely Yours” will be available for purchase on Feb. 23.

The Very Most was started in Boise, Idaho, by Jeremy Jensen in either 2002 or 2003 (he honestly can’t remember). Since that time, the band has released three full-length albums, seven EPs, and a bunch of miscellaneous tracks. Recorded entirely in Jeremy’s backyard studio (made from a converted shed), the music exists in a pretty little spot on the Venn diagram where The Beach Boys, Camera Obscura, New Order, Teenage Fanclub, and The Wedding Present meet. It makes heavy use of male/female harmony, vocal call-and-answer, and lushly layered instruments, both conventional and not-so-conventional. It’s all pop, and it’s all melodic, but it finds a lot of different ways of being melodic pop.

Jeremy Jensen and co … are just perfecting their craftsmanship, each new song seems to be more enduring and rich. Can’t wait for the rest!Bloodbuzzed

Upcoming for 2016

February Records has been pretty quiet lately, but that’s about the change. We have three projects on the horizon for early 2016 that have been keeping us pretty busy and that we’re really excited about.

March, April & May No. 2 — At some point this winter, we will be releasing the second issue of our zine. We’ve rounded up some great contributors, so expect more interviews and more news. More information will be coming soon!

Syntherely Yours by The Very Most — In February, we will be releasing the next album from Boise, Idaho, indiepop band The Very Most. This will be a very special digital release, a collection of synthpop songs from the band featuring lots of guest vocals. Guests will include Lisle from Tiny Fireflies, Adriano from Postal Blue, Colin from The Smittens, Charles from Math and Physics Club, Thomas from Pale Spectres, Sam from Boise band Central City Music Company, Adam from California band Adam and Darcie, Laz from Bubblegum Lemonade/Strawberry Whiplash, and Geoff Crestwell from Boise City, Oklahoma, shoegaze band Pellow.

Constant and True: A Tribute to the Songs of Rose Melberg — In late Spring, we will be releasing Constant and True, a compilation CD of indiepop artists paying tribute to one our favorite artists of the last 25 years — Rose Melberg. Rose’s bands (Tiger Trap, The Softies, Brave Irene, Go Sailor, Knife Pleats) have been important to indiepop nearly since its inception. Rose has also made several gorgeous, mostly acoustic solo albums for labels like K and the late, great Double Agent records. Constant and True will feature such bands as Rocketship, The Smittens, Band a Part, LAKE, Seapony, Transmittens, The Very Most (featuring Sarah Lowenbot), Marc Elston, and many others covering Rose’s songs.

2015 year-end list

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I wasn’t planning on writing a year end list this year until Danny convinced me to. Being an adult took over this year – I changed jobs, I bought a house, and then proceeded to spend the last 6 months fixing up said house. Suffice to say, I didn’t listen to a lot of new music. There is definitely some overlap between Danny’s list and this one, but I feel that’s to be expected.

In no particular order:

The Arctic FlowThe Luminous Veil

Lost TapesLost in Youth

Owl & MouseDepartures

Postal BlueOf Love & Other Affections

Tiny FirefliesThe Space Between

Funeral AdvantageBody is Dead

Alpaca SportsWhen You Need Me The Most

Tim the MuteWhy Live?

The Spook SchoolTrying to be Hopeful

Thee AHsNames

Share your favorite albums of the year with me! What have I missed out on?

Happy New Year, everyone. We’ll see you in 2016!

— Kristin

2015 year-end list

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Every year I waffle back and forth around this time trying to decide if I’m going to do a year-end list. This year, it really wasn’t until I saw Knute’s from Eardrums Music wonderful month-by-month lists that I decided to put one together.

There was a lot more really great music this year than I had originally thought. Some standouts for me were The Go! Team, who I’d never really listened to before this year. Cozy Catastrophes, who we released an EP with last year, put out a great full-length this year on Jigsaw Records. Boston’s own Funeral Advantage had one of my favorite albums this year.

Here, in (mostly) no particular order are fifteen of my favorite releases from 2015. Kristin will be posting her’s later this month. — Danny

The Go! Team The Scene Between
(Check out the track “Catch Me on the Rebound”)

Funeral AdvantageBody is Dead
(Check out the track “You Sat Alone”)

TigercatsMysteries
(Check out the track “Wheezer”)

The FireworksSwitch Me On
(Check out the track “Runaround”)

Mammoth PenguinsHide and Seek
(Check out the track “When I Was Your Age”)

Tiny Fireflies The Space Between
(Check out the track “Youth”)

Lost TapesLost in Youth
(Check out the track “Slumber Party”)

Joanna Gruesome Peanut Butter
(Check out the track “Honestly Do Yr Worst”)

Wild Honey Sleep Through It
(Check out the track “Sleep Through It”)

Space DazeCapture a Thing
(Check out the track “Was Never”)

Cozy CatastrophesHave You Ever Heard of Cozy Catastrophes?
(Check out the track “Hideaway”)

Big Quiet Big Quiet
(Check out the track “Punk Floyd”)

Alpaca SportsWhen You Needed Me the Most
(Check out the track “Just Like Them”)

Virgin SuicideVirgin Suicide
(Check out the track “There is a Glace Over my Eyes”)

SeaponyA Vision
(Check out the track “Everyday All Alone”)