Psych

Tobacco City

Tobacco City recently announced that their debut full-length album, Tobacco City, USA, will be released via Scissor Tail Records on July 30th. The album, which will be available on vinyl and digitally, will include the group's two most recent singles, "Never On My Mind" and "Blue Raspberry".

Psych Folk of Lexi Goddard (Guitar/Vocals), Chris Coleslaw (Guitar/Vocals), Nick Usalis (Pedal Steel), Eliza Weber (Bass/Vocals), and Josh Condon (Drums).

You can catch Tobacco City at Empty Bottle on November 26th with Rookie and Brbra Bush.

   

Supergroup Sighting at Far Out: Bowlice Play The Boleys

 A special evening at the Far Out Lounge presents a unique superband moment and premiere of BOWLICE, featuring members of The Boleys (@smokeaboleys) and Mug Dog (@mugdog_atx). These two bands have previously played together at various venues in town from Far Out to Kick Butt, but this is their first joint performance. Mug Dog’s heaviness and subliminal funk complement the psychedelic playfulness of the Boleys when they come together as BOWLICE. 

On the eve of the solar eclipse, multi-colored lights dance on the ceiling as the evening’s bands play for an intimate crowd of fans, friends, birthday girls, and music lovers who are out on a Tuesday night. As BOWLICE plays Boley’s songs and engages the growing audience with a spirited, crowdsourced game of “Who can scream the loudest?”, the evening is full of shirtless men aplenty and long hair a-flowing. There is a love fest of shooting hearts and gesticulated glee to one another before the superband moves into the Boley’s song, “Fuck You.” 

 

The band’s synergy is palpable when the guitarist of the Boleys and the bassist of Mug Dog straight up rub their instruments together, strings kissing and bending. The sensuality of the music bangs through the PA system. A kind stranger from the crowd helps restore a cymbal gone askew, and then receives the microphone to howl along with Ethan Boley, lead vocalist and guitarist. All members of the superband contribute to an incredibly memorable live performance. 

 

Far Out Lounge has a massive outside seating area covered by a large tent. The thundering bass and drums, and dancing magentas and yellows make the tent feel like a rock music revival. It was a fun, festive show to see musicians be playful with each other as well as feel free to be themselves authentically, as they should! Take this as your sign to go out on a weeknight and participate in the immaculate return of live music. This might have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness BOWLICE but both bands have several upcoming shows you can catch this summer.

 

-- Mel Green


 

   

Woongi "Fruits of the Midi"

Woongi are preparing to release their latest album, Fruits of the Midi, this Friday, June 25th.

The album will include the group's last two singles, "Slow Reaction" and "Yield". The latter was released back in April and was accompanied by the video below.

   

Cookie Tongue bequeath a "Soggy Miracle"

I can't claim to know why Cookie Tongue are called Cookie Tongue. But in my imagination they took it from the title to an ancient fable, or a long lost Grimms' Fairy Tale, about a child granted three wishes with her first wish being for her tongue to be turned into a cookie because how great would that be. Except her wish backfires horribly because having a cookie in your mouth that you can’t swallow would be torture. Needless to say the girl nearly goes mad and ends up biting off her own tongue off to end the torment. So she can't communicate her next wish (“I’d like to have my old tongue back”) which is a pretty harsh way to learn a basic lesson like “be careful what you wish for.”

This is no doubt completely off base but much like a Grimms' fairy tales the Brooklyn-based combo are made up of equal parts playful/fanciful and twisted/demented. And it’s not an easy balancing act to pull off which is why not many people write good fairy tales and not many people are in Cookie Tongue. Another parallel is that Cookie Tongue clearly appeals to children and adults alike, a fact I can verify first-hand having just seen them perform live on the opening date of their upcoming (now ongoing tour) summer tour—SEE HERE for dates—because the adults at the show were rapt and the kids were losing their minds they were so into it.

The show was held outdoors on a perfect equinox evening with plenty of little rug rats running amok as their parents drank beer and cocktails no doubt happy to be given a break thanks to the Cookie Tonguers and their exquisitely ramshackle songs playing on a Ren Faire style stage decked out with flowers and mannequins and an array of glockenspiels and puppets and Casio keyboards and other implements of their trade. Rest assured Cookie Tongue know how to put the “freak” in freak folk with an extra helping of dollop of freak on top while providing suitable entertainment for the whole family.

A Cookie Tongue performance feels like if the roustabouts tied up the clowns and took over the circus; and then went on an afternoon-long drinking binge and raided the wardrobe/makeup cabinet and put on a crazy pastiche of stuff; and then went on stage and performed a surprisingly coherent set of calliope-inspired music with bizarrely poetic lyrics sung by a male-female combo in warbling, breathy tones that you're not sure if it's funny or disturbing or just different. But really that’s too easy an explanation, better to just go listen to their music like their last full length, Dream Seed Ceremony (2020), on which Omer Gal and Jacquelyn Marie Shannon inhabit a rogue’s gallery of vocal personas. So you can see why these two would be into puppetry with all the voices they clearly have trapped inside.

On their new EP from earlier this month, Soggy Miracle, Cookie Tongue continue to refine their quaint yet ornate junk store aesthetic forming a bed a sonic fertilizer for the lyrics and their sinuous twisty trains of thought and mantra-like repetitions--like the one sung from the perspective of a ten-year-old child tempted to eat his own baby teeth out of a cereal bowl with milk on them along with his friend but they don't know if they'll be soggy or crunchy.

Soggy Miracle closes with “Orange Sky” which is centered around a rousing yet doom-laden melody that'll make you wanna raise your mug in the air and toast the impending end--a song about taking “the back road out of here / away from the orange sky” which certainly sounds more than a little apocalyptic--especially at the end when the song turns into a swirling miasma of breathy vocalizing and megaphone man ranting and rat-a-tat snare drumming before concluding with a dramatic almost a cappella epigram or epitaph take your pick. (Jason Lee)

n.b. Credit must be given to Michele With One 'L' whose weekly Tuesday afternoon WFMU radio show called "Feelings" first turned this writer on to Cookie Tongue and to several other artists featured on this blog.

 

 

 

   

Langan, Frost & Wane Run the Gamut on New Album

           Folk rock trio Langan, Frost & Wane combine psychedelia and world music elements in their new single, King Laughter. The song shows off melodic acoustic guitar, polished vocal harmonies and exotic percussion sounds. Though they could easily be dubbed as folk-revivalists, the variety of instrumentation and textures opens the door for them to be categorized in many different ways. After listening to King Laughter, you can tell that the trio is rooted in tradition, but it’s clear that they also have found their own sound, thus placing them in their own unique sector of contemporary music. 

A few songs come to mind immediately as the song progresses. The rhythm section is reminiscent of the 2011 mega-hit Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye, as well as Long Gone Day by the 90s supergroup Mad Season. The vocal harmonies draw similarities to the classic band, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and the psychedelic overdubs slightly remind me of the Houston-based trio, Khruangbin. I assume that dabbling in musical styles on this broad of a spectrum was unintentional for Langan, Frost, and Wane, but that’s precisely why they’re so unique. Their sound includes Appalachian Folk, Middle-Eastern flavors and a touch of rock n’ roll. Yet their style remains defined, coherent, and grounded. Folky would probably be the quickest and simplest way to describe King Laughter, but it would be a disservice to stop there because the song consists of many complexities and subtleties that make it much more than just a folk song. 

One of the things I admire about the group’s lyricism is something that contributes to all great writing, that being the use of vivid sensory details. With lyrics like “King Laughter, who will come after/He pranced like a dandee and drank like a fisherman,” we’re immediately able to visualize this story that appears to take place in older times. Additionally, lines such as “White bowl and blueberry wine/Over-flamed all the cock and swine” highlight the use specificity, enabling the listener to formulate distinct images in their minds. Not only do Langan, Frost, and Wane provide something to hear, but they also stimulate sensations of taste, smell, and sight. The poetic nature of King Laughter certainly adds to their artistry and allows for creative visualization to occur. 

A lot of artists who pay homage to older influences, I believe, struggle to obtain freshness and originality so that they can find success in today’s world of music. This issue doesn’t appear to exist for Langan, Frost, & Wane. They have elements to their sound that very well could have made them a popular act during medieval times, but they also incorporate many modern flavors, impressively tying everything together. This trio of musicians have cultivated something that is unlike anything else, and we should all be eager to check out their soon to be released LP.

 

-- Quinn Donoghue