As first reported on Ad Hoc earlier today, Mike Sniper’s Zodiacs project has returned with a new single called “Stranger.” Rounded out by fellow front people Patricia Hall (Soft Metals) and Andy Grier (Thieves Like Us), is a delicate but dark synth-pop number that sounds like a natural progression from Sniper’s Blank Dogs work. Expect an actual album from the loose collective later this year.
Tag: Blank Dogs
The Details: As guitarist JB Townsend told us in the eighth issue of self-titled, “I want the Crystal Stilts to sound as classic as it can sound. I think the new record is going to be way less weird than the first one. But the first one was also very simple, and there’s a drum machine under the songs and I recorded drums over it. This one has more of a poppy sound, influenced more by the ’60s and its more ‘band’-sounding.”
So there you have it. Read more of our exclusive interview with Townsend and his roommate—Captured Tracks founder/Blank Dogs frontman Mike Sniper—after the jump, right alongside the album’s first single, the jingle/jangle of “Shake the Shackles.”
We sift the ‘net for today’s top stories so you don’t have to…
Photo by Turkishomework
While it seemed like Mike Sniper was dropping one Blank Dogs record a month for a while there, the truth is he’s been relatively quiet recently outside of last spring’s Phrases EP. That’s because he’s been busy with two things: (1) the restless release schedule of his Captured Tracks imprint, and (2) the ongoing sessions for his first proper album since 2009′s Under and Under.
Well we can finally say that the latter’s done, and it’s on the way sooner than you think. According to an interview in The Line of Best Fit, Blank Dogs’ Land and Fixed LP is due out on October 12 and features all-new material outside of the Phrases song “Blurred Tonight.”
We first stumbled upon the moonlit & moody sonatas of Bishop Morocco at the most random venue ever: Toronto’s rather trendy Drake Hotel. Having quickly read the Canadian duo’s bio, we were surprised to find that one of its members is Jake Fairley, a techno producer best known for a rather ballsy Kompakt album (2004′s Touch Not the Cat) and 12-inch singles for such reputable dance imprints as Border Community, Echochord and Traum Schallplatten. And then there’s his partner-in-post-punk, Jim Sayce, who’s played with everyone from the Deadly Snakes to Tangiers—bands that have counted current and former members of Guided By Voices, the Hives, the Reigning Sound, and Sloan among their ranks.
Not exactly the type of guys you’d expect to fall right in line with Factory Records and the many descendants of Morrissey, but it works quite well on Bishop Morocco’s self-titled debut and makes perfect sense once you play the following crowd-pleasing mix.
“If they catch you, just say you’re Americans! They won’t shoot!”
That’s what Jacqueline Castel and her Future Primitive Films crew heard as they hopped a decrepit fort fence in Queens and captured part of Gary War’s “Highspeed Drift” video—her first of many for one of self-titled‘s favorite local labels, Sacred Bones Records. (Among Castel’s other activities: custom headdresses for Devendra Banhart; costumes based on Marcel Dzama’s Department of Eagles video; and movie curation through The Third Floor, a collective of ex-Kim’s Video employees.)
Taking cues from our Primer guides to artists, subgenres and scenes, the following is our first installment of Screening Room, a running commentary that revolves around music video directors that’d be all over MTV…if it was 1991 and Matt Pinfield was still around. If you or someone you know would make sense for a future profile, let us know over at our Twitter or Facebook pages.
And now, our feature presentation…
[Photo by Tae Won Yu]
As we said in an extensive feature about Slumberland Records’ 20th anniversary, the grated guitars and misty melodies of Black Tambourine are a major influence on today’s noise-pop scene, with echoes of their essential back catalog popping up in the Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Vivian Girls and just about anyone else who enjoys jagged but joyous hooks.