Category Archives: Friends

2011 Top 5s

I was asked to do an end-of-year best-of top-5 list by Felipe from the chaotisch and charmant blog. His blog will feature different best-of lists from various guests all this month, so check it out. I decided I might as well post my lists here as well.

There was so much good music this year — and so much I didn’t get a chance to listen to. I can think of at least five albums I didn’t get to hear that would probably have made these lists. From what I was fortunate enough to hear, these are the ones that really stood out. It looks like it was a really good year for female vocals, Slumberland Records and Comet Gain. I purposely left February Records releases off the list.

Top 5 albums
5. Veronica Falls – s/t (Slumberland)
4. Cat Naps – Why Don’t You Whisper? (self-released)
3. Gold Bears – Are You Falling In Love? (Slumberland)
2. Dum Dum Girls – Only In Dreams (Sub Pop)
1. Comet Gain – Howl of the Lonely Crowd (What’s Your Rupture?)

5 runners-up
5. Pocketbooks – Carousel (Oddbox)
4. Fireflies – Autumn Almanac (Happy Prince)
3. Girls Names – Dead To Me (Slumberland)
2. Sea Pony – Go With Me (Hardly Art)
1. Wild Flag – s/t (Merge)

Top 5 EPs
5. Tiny Fireflies – Change (Little Treasure)
4. Kids on a Crime Spree – We Love You So Bad (Slumberland)
3. Burning Hearts – Into The Wilderness (Shelflife)
2. Brave Irene – s/t (Slumberland)
1. Chalk and Numbers – He Knew (self-released)

Onward Chariots – “Save Me Maryann” single (Elefant Records)

If you never downloaded the two free singles from Onward Chariots … well, sorry, you’ve missed your chance.

The New York quartet has a new single coming out on Spain’s Elefant Records this weekend. Onward Chariots have accomplished quite a bit since those first two free releases early this year. Those songs received a lot of well-deserved praise and caught the ear of indiepoppers around the world. In addition to the Elefant single, the band played the Indietracks festival in England and Athens popfest this summer and will be playing Popfest! New England next month.

The Elefant single takes four of Onward Chariots’ best tunes from both February releases and offers them up in a nice little package. With great cover art and a reworked version of “Save Me Maryann,” you should get a hold of this release even if you did download the free singles. Plus, the Elefant single is being offered on white vinyl.

Hopefully this release will open more doors for Onward Chariots. We wish them the best.

Head over to Elefant and check out the “Save Me Maryann” single.

Popfest! New England

Popfest! New England is back this year … and after only going to one day of the New York City Popfest and missing Athens Popfest completely (even though I was supposed to go … ugh), I’m looking forward to heading up to Northampton and taking in two days and four shows of wonderful pop music. The dates are Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14.

Popfest! New England is organized by Skipping Stones Records and they’ve put together a great line-up this year … headlined by 14 Iced Bears. An added bonus is that two February Records bands will be playing the festival as well. Northampton-natives Bourgeois Heroes will play at 9 p.m. Saturday. New York’s Onward Chariots (who also played Indietracks earlier this year) will play at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.

I’m also pretty excited to see some other bands that we’ve booked for shows in the past on the bill, including Panda Riot (Chicago), Strega (NYC), The Hush Now (Boston) and The Smittens (Burlington), who are festival staples.

Check out the rest of the line-up and buy tickets here: Popfest! New England

Steven Deal – “Radio Twelve”

If you’re from New Haven and you don’t know Steve Deal, you’ve probably at least seen him around. He’s that big guy in the leather jacket … sometimes with bright red hair, sometimes with a hanky on his head. He’s usually surrounded by a group of people … usually musicians. Oh, you might have also seen him in the “It Happened But Nobody Noticed” movie.

Besides being an all-around cool dude, Steve is a music veteran who was part of New Haven’s glorious punk/new wave heyday. Steve’s been rocking since he was 13 and has been in a whole string of bands — Bleached Black, Chopper, Absolute Zeros, The Naomi Star.

After an extended songwriting hiatus and a bout with cancer, Steve is releasing his first solo album. “Radio Twelve” is “11 ‘hate’ songs, beer and brandy-soaked pop anthems, stories of romantic misery, self-loathing and megalomania.” This album runs the gamut from powerpop to ’60s pop and even has a little folkiness thrown in for good measure. These are fun songs that really should be accompanied with a beer … or 2 … or 5.

Tweefort is excited to be hosting two upcoming shows with Steve. You don’t want to miss these … this will be fun.

Saturday, Dec. 12: ArtSpace Underground with Swarm The Moon and Steven Deal. 50 Orange Street, New Haven. 8-11 p.m. $5. All-ages.

Friday, Jan. 8: Steven Deal “Radio Twelve” CD release show with Boy Genius and Mold Monkies. Cafe Nine, 250 State Street, New Haven. 10 p.m. FREE. 21+.