Saturday, March 04, 2006

New at Not Lame, 3/3/06.

Some interesting new stuff from Not Lame this time around. First off, they feature the Rhett Miller and Jason Collett releases we've discussed here.

Most notable among the new ones is the Japanese import of Roger Manning Jr.'s Solid State Warrior. To say this has been one of the more talked about, if not fetishized, releases since it first appeared via the Weedshare network last year would be an understatement. Well, it's now been pressed onto disc, and is being sold in Japan. As a result, it's going for $34, so you really need to be jonesing for this one. (Apparently it will be released domestically in the fall via one of Warners' boutique labels). Now one of the reasons it's taken me a while to get this post out is that I needed to go back and listen to this one again. At the risk of having my membership card in the online power pop community taken away, I have to say that I wasn't totally blown away by it when I heard it last year. But after seeing Bruce & Co. wax rhapsodic over it last night, I felt it owed it another listen.

For the uninitiated, Manning was one of the key players in Jellyfish. And if you're not familiar with Jellyfish, you might be in the wrong place. After listening to it again, one track after another (my previous exposure mostly came as random songs from it played on my iPod), I have to upwardly revise my opinion of the album. Not $34 upward, but I will describe it as "pretty damn good". Obviously, I hear Jellyfish here, but the other influence I hear is Supertramp, especially in the track "You Were Right". Maybe it's because of the name Roger, but I kept thinking of Supertramp's Hodgson here. There's definitely some vocal similarity, and the way the album moves around from bouncy pop numbers to lullabies to 50s-inspired tunes, I think back to Supertramp's criminally underrated ...Famous Last Words, the sequel to megahit Breakfast In America. My advice: as the fanatics among you probably have already sent your $34 to Bruce, the rest should track down the weed files here. You can listen in full, play the weed files 3 times apiece before they expire, and buy the downloads for $13.75 total (or $1.25 per) if you can't wait for the domestic release in the fall.

*Next up is Radio On, the latest from Toronto's The National Anthem. These guys bring the rock, and the Sloan comparison is somewhat apt; actually, it's what a solo Patrick Pentland album would sound like. You can download three mp3s directly from their site:

Ladies Love The 80's
Sugar Pop
Act Together

You can also sample away at their myspace page. Oh, Canada indeed.

*Todd Stadtman's Only I Can Save You is an interesting animal. I've sampled a few tracks (I'm digging "Jezebel Jones"), and it's certainly experimental indie pop. This isn't the kind of release that's going to blow you away immediately, so I'll reserve overall judgment.

eMusic subscribers can grab it here. Myspace it here. (Wow, I just used "myspace" as a verb.) Samples of all the tracks are available at the cdbaby page. Finally, you can download an mp3 from his site:

I Don't Know Why She's Here

Definitely worthy of further consideration.

*Chris Marksbury's A Little Guitar is a release that I can't find much on beyond Not Lame. According to Bruce, it sounds like "Flamin` Groovies, Little Feat, early Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Rockpile/Dave Edmunds, early Graham Parker & The Rumour, Travelin` Wilburys and pub rockers like Ducks Deluxe(lots!), Kursaal Flyers and Brinsley Schwartz." Check it out for yourself.

*Finally, we have No Disassemble, from a band called Slow Runner. Actually, I've had this release for quite a while, when it was released as a solo album by frontman Michael Flynn. It's the same album, but for some reason has been re-released under the group name. This is pretty decent indie pop, with a variety of influences. The AMG review quoted at the Not Lame page sums it up quite accurately.

Found an mp3 at, of all places:

Break Your Mama's Back

Stream that track, and three more at their myspace page.

OK, that's enough for this post; I've been at it so long, I may not be able to recognize my family after getting up from the computer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It should be known that those minority members of the online community that use Macs cannot access the Weed files, including those of Roger Manning - in the case of Roger, it's probably best to listen to samples via Not Lame, or to go to Roger's MySpace page:

Personally, I loved "SSW" from when I first heard the songs from a friend who did the Weed thing...and I bought a copy direct from Japan (arrived two days ago, and I'm still smiling).