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Inside the Strange Walls of Castle Face Records

By Paula Mejia, Contributor

Before Matt Jones takes me on a tour of Castle Face Records HQ, the label he runs with Brian Lee Hughes and Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer, he warns me: "This place is weird." He's right: The building used to be a factory that manufactured baby carriages; there's still a woodshop downstairs and sawdust sprinkled all over the floor. Once Jones unlocks the door — identifiable only by a kaleidoscopic poster bearing the label's… more »

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White Lung’s Beautiful, Dark, Twisted ‘Fantasy’

By Kat Bee, Contributor

It's an unusually hot Sunday afternoon in late-April Los Angeles, and I'm huddled at a rickety sidewalk café table with Mish Way, the outspoken frontwoman of the roaring punk outfit White Lung. We're stationed outside El Huarache Azteca, a nondescript Mexican eatery in the rapidly-gentrifying Highland Park neighborhood, and one of Way's favorite local haunts since she moved to the city last December. The bright streets of Southern California are an unlikely place for Way to… more »

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C86: The Stories Behind the Iconic Compilation

By Wondering Sound Staff, Contributor

The back story is so absurd it almost defies belief: A cassette compilation, assembled by a magazine, comprised of 22 little-known bands and available only via mail order, became so influential that its title became shorthand for an entire genre of music. But that's exactly what happened with C86, a collection released nearly 30 years ago that continues to be rediscovered at an alarmingly regular rate. It's routinely described as "the birth of indie," and… more »

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Castanets, Decimation Blues

2014 | Label: Asthmatic Kitty / SC Distribution

Raymond Raposa has a magnum opus in him. As a matter of fact, he’s probably got a few. But the Portland, Oregon-based singer-songwriter, who performs under the name Castanets, is going to have to focus on one of his many talents to get his masterpiece.

Over his six-album discography — not counting a one-album, full-band detour as Raymond Byron and the White Freighter — Raposa has shown himself to be a gifted writer of gothic folk and lachrymose country, as well as a restless experimentalist in the mode of his label… more »

Wire, Document & Eyewitness 1979-1980

2014 | Label: pinkflag / state51

It feels like the reissue of Wire‘s Document & Eyewitness 1979-1980 should have happened sooner. The 1981 live recording has been out of print for more than 20 years now, and many of the songs on it were used as the basis for their last studio effort, 2013′s Change Becomes Us. And yet listening to the recording, reissued on the band’s own label Pinkflag, it’s easy to hear why the quartet may have been reticent to revisit Document. There is tension throughout these recordings, both on stage and… more »

It Looks Sad., Self-Titled

2014 | Label: Tiny Engines / Believe Digital

Every song on the debut EP by the Charlotte, North Carolina, band It Looks Sad. is a single word and the lyrics are just as plainspoken and simple — on “Radical,” Jimmy Turner pleads, “And I ask why/ Do we die?” Meanwhile, clean, delayed guitars overlap each other over mid-tempo drums and yawned vocals, all rendered with mid-fi production. It’s the kind of thing that makes you realize dream-pop acts DIIV, Wild Nothing and Beach Fossils have been around long enough to potentially be influences on a new band. The… more »

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Gimme Indie Rock!

By Marc Hogan, Lead News Writer

Calling all poseurs, dilettantes and part-time punks: Check your head and check your cred at the door. From Buzzcocks to Iceage, from dream-pop to chillwave, Gimme Indie Rock gives you the sickest vibes out of the scene that can't stand to be pigeonholed. Whether Dum Dum Girls or the Strange Boys, the Field Mice or Killer Mike, James Blake or PJ Harvey, you'll hear them all here — where it's totally OK to hang the… more »

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