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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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Joyce Manor, Never Hungover Again

2014 | Label: Epitaph

On their last record, 2012′s Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, the Torrence, California, pop-punk band Joyce Manor crammed nine tracks (including a cover of the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”) into an impressive 13 minutes. Their new release, their first full-length for Epitaph Records, is nearly as quick: Only four of the songs on Never Hungover Again breach the two-minute mark, with the entire album clocking in under 20 minutes. Despite this, never once does a song feel incomplete — the songs, while succinct, still feel… more »

Landlady, Upright Behavior

2014 | Label: Hometapes / SC Distribution

Upright Behavior, the second album from the bewitching Brooklyn quintet Landlady, has the same cracked-worldview approach as the band’s debut, 2011′s Keeping To Yourself. But this time, frontman Adam Schatz — who’s also the multi-instrumentalist known as Brown Sugar in the equally skewed project Man Man—significantly tones down his band’s goofy vocal mannerisms and choppy garage rock vibes. Instead, Upright Behavior is more like Dirty Projectors or TV on the Radio, digging up the shadowy side of whimsy.

The album’s prickly percussion, clipped guitars and strings sound refracted through a funhouse… more »

United Nations, The Next Four Years

2014 | Label: Temporary Residence Ltd. / SC Distribution

When Geoff Rickly unveiled his United Nations side project in 2008, it was unclear whether we were supposed to consider it a serious commentary on the State of Things or simply the sound of aging hardcore vets enjoying the freedom from scrutiny their full-time gigs outgrew long ago. Now that they’ve shed the Reagan masks and survived a couple potential lawsuits — from the United Nations itself, who forced the super group to take its Facebook page down, and the Beatles, whose Abbey Road cover was incinerated by the… more »

OOIOO, Gamel

2014 | Label: Thrill Jockey

Boredoms devotees may be disappointed, at first, to learn that the seventh album from drummer Yoshimi P-We’s principal side-group contains motifs that have appeared on prior recordings reworked for gamelan. And yet Gamel isn’t just some crumb that fell from the avant-garde table; it’s the most tuneful batch of music OOIOO has released since 2000′s triumphant Gold and Green. Like that album, Gamel deals in hooks, first and foremost. If Yoshimi & Co. had to swipe a few themes from their more recent records in order to put together an… 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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