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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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Nude Beach, 77

2014 | Label: Don Giovanni Records / Redeye

Brooklyn trio Nude Beach‘s breakthrough sophomore album, 2012′s II, was compared to artists such as Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and the Replacements, but power-pop aficionados might have heard echoes of smaller bands like the Rubinoos, Badfinger and even the Raspberries, albeit with more fuzz on top of the bright melodies.

The band’s follow up, 77, is a sprawling double album that further separates it from the power-pop pack with a cleaner sound to accentuate its melodic prowess. Gone are any Costello, Petty or Westerberg reference points —… more »

The Pop Group, Cabinet of Curiosities

2014 | Label: Freaks R Us / Believe Digital

Unlike the uptight grooves of their ’70s post-punk peers Gang of Four, the Pop Group, led by Mark Stewart, always sounded like they spent actual time immersed in the raucous vibe on P-Funk albums, absorbing the ambience instead of stripping the sound for parts.

“Singer”/ranter Stewart and his Bristol crew didn’t have GoF’s way with a melody, but as Cabinet of Curiosities, an odds ‘n’ sods collection of singles and live tracks, demonstrates, that wasn’t really the point: They threw sounds together — funk guitar, disco drums, timbales, shouts… 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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