Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Long Whisker debut with Long Live Long Whisker

Some things are bound to happen, like Long Whisker. The assemblage of Reagan Sova, Scott Hein and Jim Cherewick must be fated since it is so unlikely. All three members come from acts that have made their names in the burgeoning Ypsilanti scene or in the Detroit area to such a degree that they needn't have begun another project (granted, LW may not have happened had Sova's old project Bear Mountain Picnic stayed together). Yet Long Whisker is real and the quickly assembled debut EP is so well executed that it can't be anything but destiny.

Long Live Long Whisker is the proclamation made at the outset and the name of the band's first effort. Cherewick and Sova summon the plodding rhythm and indie sensibility of acts like Silver Jews and imply the nostalgic ethos of The Kinks' Village Green Preservation Society with their acoustic guitars and vocal tradeoffs. The interjecting harmony of Hein's various keys, especially the occasional Rhodes-like sound, is a perfect unifying element for the overall sound. Lyrically, Long Whisker are a synthesis of storytelling and peculiar observation ("astronauts are so expensive to insure because the darkness of space is so unforgiving"). Sova's direct, doubletracked delivery contrasts with the unique emotive croak of Cherewick.

In all their modesty and subtlety, Long Whisker appear to be a modern version of what any number of prestigious bands might have been in the seventies had they not slipped from country-fried to arena rock, or hated each other so much or been such broken, self-conscious rock gods. As grandiose as that may sound, all it really means is that modesty and sensitivity coupled with masterful execution makes really good music and Long Whisker have made a great start. Download it for free here.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Hospital Garden

Lucas Hollow left Bear Mountain Picnic behind in Ypsilanti, Michigan in late 2007. Having settled in Dayton, Ohio, Hollow has found a new cohort to launch the project Hospital Garden, which continues the loud, frayed-edged and earnest rock that came out of BMP. Hollow's latest self-recorded songs are now available via AvE as Mailbox Demos. These tracks were originally circulated among friends to allow a testing of the waters, now that Hollow is without his BMP songwriting partner, Reagan Sova. They will be the basis for full band recordings later on. Though all you get here is electric guitar and vocals, one can already tell that Hospital Garden is going to be an intensified continuation of the BMP experience (anyone who saw them live will wonder if further intensity is possible, but those that have already seen Hospital Garden might attest that it is). Think of a fierce crystallization of Dinosaur Jr., Pavement and The Pixies and then imagine it as lo-fi as it can get (almost). Mailbox Demos is available here for free. It's also up on

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fields of Industry set to release Two Dogs, A Television

It's taken a long time, but a release date for Two Dogs, A Television is finally set. The album will be digitally released May 20th by Cerberus Records via iTunes and other major digital outlets. The band is self-releasing the CD on Arts vs Entertainment. Copies of the disc are already available at shows. The album features art by Graham Mason.

Check out FoI's myspace for upcoming shows in and around Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor.

Update: Two Dogs, A Television is now up for name-your-own price on Bandcamp.

Goro Doesn't Die