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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Discoverer 152: new indie findings

Here we are! Ready to get mesmerized with this year new music findings in our discoverer seriesbut while they start coming, let's make a quick stop to talk about three mind blowing acts found at the dusk of 2016. Cause it's never to late for great music!

Omni. We begin in Atlanta, Georgia, with this trio formed by guitarist Frankie Boyles (previously in Deerhunter and Balkans) and ex-Carnivores Philip Frobos on vocals/bass and Billy Mitchell on drums. After grabbing our attention with first tunes 'Afterlife', 'Wire' and 'Wednesday Wedding', past summer they delivered debut album 'Deluxe' via Trouble in Mind. Summoning Pylon and Wire's angular, powerful and oddly hypnotic postpunk, this was one the best records of the year (that I discovered too late to add to the list). Now they are back with the 7" 'Fever Bass/Thesis' single, out late February via Chunklet, and we are ready to get ourselves inmersed in the cascading, propulsive guitar riffs and ringing beats. Not to miss.

Ryley WalkerQuick move to Chicago, Illinois, to meet Mr. Walker, a young folk from Rockford who moved to windy city in 2007, joining the local noise scene with bands like Heatdeath and Wyoming before shifting slowly to his current folkie style. In 2011, being just 21, Riley's first releases appeared in the form of tapes 'Evidence of Things Unseen' and 'Of Deathly Premonitions', the latest alongside Daniel Bachman. A fingerpicking promise was born. After a bike accident in 2012 that forced Ryley to quit his day job, he became a full time musician, something evident with 2013 recordings 'In the West Wind' EP and 'All Kinds of You' LP, echoing Nick Drake. But Ryley was still adjusting to his own sound, which blossomed a couple of years later with LP 'Primrose Green', out through Dead Oceans, where he combined the talents of a full backing band with pastoral and psychedelic sounds, and his latest offer to date (if we exclude the collaborative efforts with Bill MacKay and Charles Rumback), 'Golden Sings that Have Been Sung'. Fated for greatness...

Gurr. Berliners Laura Lee Jenkins and Andreya Casablanca met in university and bonded over literature, music, movies and hanging out. Becoming a band seemed the natural next step and, around 2012 first tunes surfaced their bandcamp (please check the funny song descriptions) with a very limited cassette with these songs and many more released in late 2014 and a split EP with Burnt Palms on the same year. Official debut EP 'Furry Dream' arrived in April 2015 via Duchess Box Records. But we weren't prepared for their hyper-addictive first album 'In My Head', out in October 2016. Echoing bands of the 90s like the Breeders or Belly as well as beloved contemporary acts like Honeyblood or Chastity Belt this is stunning, carefree and overpowered collection of garagepop gems. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 132

End of January arrives, and despite the year has begun in a pretty disappointing way (again, I'm not talking about politics, if so, the words used would be terrifying or utterly depressing) so this is one of the occasions our regular, working week Jukebox closer is more than needed to cheer up our mood. Even more so when it's so full of exciting new discoveries, like Imaginary People and No Thank You, plus the surprising return? (please!) of our beloved Let's Buy Happiness and another terrific tune from Nadia Reid. And remember, all songs are available at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2017 Jukebox playlists

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 131

The weather, exhaustion after a long week with some tense moments... and, moreover, a Friday that goes straight to the History books as such a worldwide threat is assuming the presidency of the United States. So, in need of a break? Same here. Let's do it with some exciting music courtesy of our beloved Rose Elinor Dougall and Joanna Gruesome plus some great new finds in our new TOP TEN Jukebox! And remember, all songs are available at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2017 Jukebox playlists

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 130

Did you think we have forgotten our weekly dose of new music? No way! So, here's its the second round of our TOP TEN Jukeboxwith some of the songs we are enjoying the most in this beginning of the year (do not miss the stunning comebacks of Julien Baker or Diet Cig). PLUS, and it's a big plus (dare we say one of the biggest) the first new tune of (ratlle, snare, hum) of Slowdive!!! You'll see/hear, a lot to listen. And remember, all songs are available at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2017 Jukebox playlists

Friday, January 13, 2017

Music to look forward in 2017

A bit later than last year, but a tradition is a tradition. Here are our new year's music wishes! A quick top ten of summary of the music releases/events we're looking forward the most in this 2017.

Stellular's about to land,
the voice is back
1. The year begins with Rose Elinor Dougall’s new album ‘Stellular’, arriving next week. What can we say? It’s been too long without her and I’m pretty anxious to hear it. Please tour Spain, please tour Spain, please tour Spain… Exactly the same can be said with masters The Bats, who will release ‘The Deep Set’ in January 27th. A terrific way to start 2017, musically speaking (no politics in this post or we’ll all get depressed).

2. Two sophomore albums from two mesmerizing bands that you SHOULD see live if you have the chance. After the mighty ‘Land’, Novella returns to action with ‘Change of State’, scheduled for mid-February, with the first tunes setting the bar as high as expected. And Desperate Journalist will follow with ‘Grow Up’, arriving in late March, a record that should confirm them as one of the bands to follow devotedly.

3. Two of the Blog’s most anticipated and awaited albums of 2017 doesn’t have a release date yet, which make us even more impatient to get some update on them. We’re referring, of course to "our" music genius from Boise and most beloved sure-fire, Jeremy Jensen, aka The Very Most. He announced a few days ago details on new music are about to come, yay! The other is a debuting name that has all the numbers to release one of this blogger’s record of the year; Filthy Friends, or the supergroup (usually not my cup of tea) lead by Corin Tucker and Peter Buck, alongside plus Scott McCaughey, Kurt Bloch and Bill Rieflin. Judging from the first glimpses you can hear at the Internet (Todos los Santos’ Festival and first tune ‘Despierta’) expectations couldn’t be higher...
Filthy Friends, let's talk (again) about the passion...
4. Not enough? There’s not a lot of announcements right now, but you can always trust labels like Flying Nun, Shelflife, Jigsaw Records, Slumberland, Matinée, Test Pattern, WWNBB, February Records, Kanine, Fishrider, Merge, Sub Pop, HHBTM, to just name a few. Sure they have prepared a wonderful year of music for us.

Delightful pop stings granted...  
5. In what regards to national releases, 2017 is the year of several personal favourites returning to action. First take, a trio of infallible bands: Me and the Bees, When Nalda Became Punk and Los Punsetes.

6. Want more? Here’s a second take, courtesy of the great label El Genio Equivocado: Cosmen Adelaida, Ghost Transmission and Grushenka. Add the usual wise ears of the folks running labels like Discos de Kirlian, Pretty Olivia or La Castanya (Beach Beach is also back right?) and the year couldn’t look brighter. And yes, I know there’s some band from Granada set to return too...

7. Time for live music now. Our first VIDA! And with my beloved Real Estate presenting new album? All we have heard about the Festival’s vibes are excellent, so we are really excited about going down to Vilanova i la Geltrú!

8. And another Primavera Sound Festival ahead, this time with all the line-up unveiled and several mandatory gigs, as usual: Angel Olsen, Mitski, Julia Jacklin, Hamilton Leithauser, Magnetic Fields (new album)… and, finally (space for the drums rattling, it’s a “big finally") Teenage Fanclub! The wait is over...
22 years after, new waves of sound await us... 
9. What else? Here’s a potpourri of names (concerts, albums, wishes) that come to our minds at the moment of writing this lines. For sure, another Minifestival is scheduled for March, with Cristina Quesada & Andreas Johnson playing in Barcelona (another "big finally"!), plus our dear Linda Guilala, Luke Haines and Neleonard. Will Lisa Hannigan and beloved Beth Orton tour here? Albums from The Luxembourg Signal, Hospitality, The Feelies, Alvvays, Tim Darcy, The Shins, and... Slowdive (is that for real?) should/could arrive. And let us dream about Michael Stipe taking back the mic...
The end of the world is coming soon (and we know it),
so please come back before it's too late <3
10. And, of course (yes, saved for the very last, to keep “the tension”) this is the year of The National’s comeback... Just in time to strike back at the "fake empire" about to arise in Washington D.C...

Granted, many more records, songs, gigs and amazing moments related with music are awaiting us, so let’s 2017 officially (musically speaking) begin!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Bloodbuzzed Jukebox Week 129

A new year has begun... time for a new Bloodbuzzed Jukebox season! Here comes the first TOP TEN Jukebox of 2017, a playlist that counts with our friends of Me and the Bees (they are also back!), Dois, the new signature of the always music-wise Discos de Kirlian, alongside the second track of the forthcoming The Bats album and the regular dose of new and exciting discoveries, like Lowly or Ratboys. Plenty to listen, enjoy and discover! And remember, all songs are available at our Soundcloud page (Join Us!).

Direct links to 2017 Jukebox playlists

Monday, January 2, 2017

Best Books of (My) Year 2016

We're back! But before starting 2017 at the Blog we must end with the last best-of-the-year lists (promise)... with the favourite reads of 2016! Thanks to my duty at and the support given by many incredible publishers, the last twelve months have been an astonishing time for bookworms (like me). Besides, it's been a year that I'm particularly fond of, because it has been full of stunning short fiction collections. Obviously, it's been a tough rank to do, but here's my Top Ten (plus a trio of honorable mentions below). Go read them, you won't regret it! And don't forget to check our best of list of songs, records, EPs and concerts!

10. The bones of Louella Brown and other stories - Ann Petry (Palabrero Press)
Only five stories here, but what a superb small collection to introduce us into the masterful prose of Ann Petry. Give us the form. Hard in their content. Resonants in their draft. And, sadly, pertinent even today. Ann Petry reveals herself to be an extraordinary observer of the reality she had to live in the 'land of opportunity'... for whites (much better if they are also men and rich, of course) of the past mid-last century. A reality that, with the exception of the first, magic story, she presents us with daily facts and an amazing simplicity, Without moralizing or 'selling the drama' to impact the reader, in Petry's tales things speak for themselves. "Just” the exhibition of the tragedies, injustices and everyday tragic consequences of a world 'at two speeds' depending on skin color, gender or social class. It will be the reader's task whether or not to feel the pang of indignation or shame. Or recognize that annoying ringing in the ears: that of history repeating itself in all its cruelty in the XXI century... Major discovery.

9. Hellfire: the Jerry Lee Lewis story - Nick Tosches (Contra)
Way beyond the musical biography (as a matter of fact, just it’s alibi), ‘Fuego Eterno’ is pure literature, in big capital letters. Submerged in sulfur and looking face to face to the American myths, again, rooting us to the deep south… where 'The Killer' awaits. The story of Tosches naturally links together the facts and data about the musician with the literary miracle only the legends have, fabling about that brief impasse in the time in which the rock defied society, puritan and prudish, shaking its foundations, while they buried purely 'white' genres like big bands, ballads and swing. And Jerry Lee Lewis, along with Elvis and several 'secondary stars' like Johnny Cash or Carl Perkins, are the 'Riders of the Apocalypse', the adalides of a new world. Paladins with feet of clay and tremendous internal crossroads. Because Mephistopheles is a capricious and cruel master to serve… Unmissable.

8. Water music-  T.C.Boyle (Impedimenta)
This is not a novel, this is alchemy! How can you marry adventure and historic novel, epic, natural realism, darkest humour, scathing satire, baroque style... and create such an enjoyable literary artifact? Witchcraft it has to be! A sublime narrator, Boyle and his exuberant prose, full of impossible or arcane terms and, at the same time, truffled by vulgar expressions and colloquialisms, are capable of making us laugh and dazzle at the same time. He plays with the reader, 'entering and leaving' the 'historicist genre' to splash his story with obvious anachronisms, literary 'excursions' that undermine the structure of the novel where he wants to contextualize the time (with vitriol and caustic soda) and, in particular, English society. Summoning the spirits of Borges and García Márquez in pre-colonial England while visiting the unknown heart of the African continent. In short, a sumptuous feast of reading. Countless pleasures await those who enter this book, a phenomenal reading experience.

7. La rivière sans repos - Gabrielle Roy (Hoja de Lata)
Guided by the wisdom and the ever-flowing prose of Gabrielle Roy we are invited to witness the twilight of a civilization & a culture, the Inuit, practically unknown, distant, hidden, for us. It’s a fascinating and beautiful journey to a world of wild beauty, quietness, tremendous seasonal rigors and vital rhythms. A universe in dramatic opposition to the urban world, in a moment of transcendental transformation, dealing with the unstoppable advance of a modernity which calls into question their way of life. Combining the harshness of certain situations and the historical reality of the time (the Korean War, Vietnam) with a delicate narrative and a genuine humanity in portraying the characters in the midst of their contradictions, limitations and yearnings, Roy is able to tell us that the 'wheel will keep spinning'. That everything changes, everything happens ... but, at least, there will always be the river.

6. Novato en nota roja - Alberto Arce (Libros del K. O.)
Here comes Alberto Arce, a courageous and honest journalist living in a hell also known as Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras. A country that lives in an undeclared war for years, with areas with homicide rates that surpass conflict zones like Baghdad or Kabul. Arce, on an extraordinary task taking in consideration the extremely dangerous circumstances in which he carries out his job, analyzes splendidly and with meticulous details the magnitude of the tragedy of what can be called a ‘criminal state’, sunk by corruption and violence. And he does that without heroism, barely revealing his logical regrets, frustration and fear. Without giving up to investigate, make the needed 'awkward questions'. Going from the ‘quotidian deaths’ to the exposition of a miserable system in all their dimensions in which militaries, police, politics and press show all their abject vileness. ‘Novato en nota roja’ is especially frightening, but is also one of the best homages I have read in a very long time to this courteous but seriously endangered profession that is journalism.

5. A manual for cleaning women - Lucia Berlin (Alfaguara)
As Lydia Davis (another illustrious writer) points out with the stories of Lucia Berlin 'we never know very well what comes next. Nothing is predictable. And yet everything is extremely natural, plausible, true to our psychological and emotional expectations.' The balance between her sense of humor and the relentlessness of what she tells us is fascinating. The drama and the tragedy are well present: deaths, defeats, immense disappointments, terrifying decisions, devastating mistakes and missteps. But Berlin flees away from fatalism and always manages to convey to the reader that there is "one more chapter". Like the amazing Grace Paley, she also brings empathy, curiosity, eagerness to observe and to establish links between human beings. Both can inject you with an unexplained 'joy of living' while you read them. What a discovery.

4. Preparation for the next life - Atticus Lish (Sexto Piso)
The son of legendary editor Gordon Lish 'squares the circle' with (another impressive) debut novel, impeccably intertwining the coordinates and mythology of American literature, but managing to renew its focus and reach at the same time, dissecting with overwhelming precision the desolate, and very current, situation of illegal migration in the United States (valid to half of the world). An impossible love story in the midst of a catastrophe, a unique portray of a New York utterly devoid of glamor, suffocating and cruel. A place that tries to hide the roaring lament of the rotten and violent ghettos, where racism and violence are cultivated. An iconic location that crushes angry, exhausted, anguished and paranoid people, that tend to accuse the weakest to justify both the lack of hope and, above all, their own pettiness. And a memorable, gigantic literary creation named Zou Lei, indefatigable, unshakable despite extreme difficulties. Hope despite the times.

3. Glanbeigh - Colin Barrett (Sajalín) 
Another stunning collection of short stories penned by a mesmerizing, really young debuting author. Dark yet transparent. Raw and yet singularly poetic. Reading ‘Glanbeigh’ feels like getting knocked out by the unexpected social analysis behind singing, half funeral half sardonic, of ‘No Future’ by the Sex Pistols. Like absorbing Owen Jones’s works about the the humiliation of the working class by the real scum that presides the world. Like following the cameras of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, hard, dignified and honest, putting faces and places to the defeat. Forget the green, sumptuous meadows, vertiginous cliffs, epic seas enraged of dearest Ireland. No, ‘Glanbeigh’ is gray, leaden, sullen, depressing, oppressive... and perfectly recognizable. A dungeon for his young people, the desperate protagonists of these seven stories of heavyweight punch, but also an elegiac lyricism. A soul behind the gloomy realistic imprint.

2. Cutter and Bone - Newton Thornburg (Sajalín)
What happens when the Great American Dream shows its true face? What happens when reveals is all a big lie? American literature has been trying to answer that question for years, and now, thanks to the rescue of this unique ‘Cutter and Bone’, a thriller, a buddy novel and a road novel, we might have the answers. From Santa Barbara, California, to Rockhill, in the Ozarks, Missouri, always with the presence of the Vietnam‘s ghost, Thornburg’s work is a partial map of a country in demolition, placing at one end a Hollywood stripped off any glamor and, in the other, The American Gothic of Grant Wood's painting. A snowball of Nietzschean dimensions that ends up becoming ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ without casinos or a binge of hallucinogens. Kerouac’s ‘On the road’ without gasoline or romanticism. Because there’s only one destiny when everything has been lost.

1. Volt - Alan Heathcock (Dirty Works)
'The blues tells a story. Every verse of the blues has a meaning'. I think it was John Lee Hooker who said it. But, well, that's what Alan Heathcock does in the stories gathered in ‘Volt’. Tell you stories you can’t skip. That you can’t forget. Heartbreaking truths spitting out in what seems the simplest way, when in fact that’s the most complicated, demolishing, authentic and personal way. Stories that are painful and redemptive. That are honest, transparent, stoic, not infrequently distressing... and yet curative. A vehicle to transmit, exorcise and share the most buried feelings. Like the best literature. Like the best blues. Raw. Pure. Impressive and awe-inspiring.Volt’ is a masterpiece of a debut, penned by an incredible, Robert Johnson caliber’s, bluesman turned writer.

Three honorable mentions I MUST ADD to the list before ending the post (I told you it has been a great year for short stories): the phenomenal blending of jazz, journalism and myth of “I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say”, included in 'Kill all your darlings' by Luc Sante (Libros del K.O.); the mind blowing 'Killing and dying' (Sapristi Comic), which is not only the title of Adrian Tomine's latest work, but probably the best short story read within the whole year; and, finally, the classy 'Joe Gould's secret' by Joseph Mitchell (Anagrama), an absorbing hybrid between journalism and fiction. Three masterpieces.

Want to check last year's books list? Click here
Or do you prefer checking 2014?
And 2013'? Then click here
And 2012's? Check here
Or 2011's? Click here