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The Mormons release Forge Ahead EP

It was a cold and easy drive down to Pehrspace on Dec. 30th to catch Hello My Name Is Record's year end show. Tucked away in an unassuming commercial building dotted with restaurants, it's a venue where the uninitiated only seem to enter when dragged in by friends; it breeds a level of intimacy in the crowd.

The band I was most impressed with, in part that I hadn't seen them live up to this point, was the straight ahead punk rockers The Mormons. Donning the missionary garb of white dress shirts, ties, slacks, bike helmets, and backpacks, I knew from first glance the band would be a treat. Their vocalist, Patrick, contorted and shook like a special ed case before ending the show by crawling under a rug and letting the crowd drag him away. I should be wearing a bike helmet too, my skull feels like it was cut open and the Mormons took a hand blender to it.

The Mormons recently released their EP, Forge Ahead, on their own label MorMusic. It's available for purchase and download at CDBaby. For fans of Bad Brains, Fugazi, or even Devo, it's a fresh musical fix.

-Angelo Lorenzo

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Aimee Mann, Lori McKenna & Special Guests to play benefit show for drummer John Sands on 1/21/11, at the Paradise Rock Club, Boston

Once again the kindness, generosity and incomparable sense of community that defines the unique Boston music scene comes together to support a dear friend and drummer, John Sands, who in November suffered a terrible heart attack. He is expected to recover, but the recovery is going to be long and arduous and the medical bills are building up.

Two legendary Boston musicians, Aimee Mann and Lori McKenna (also two artists Sands has played with) will be preforming during a very special benefit show for his family at the Paradise on 1/21. Other performers and special guests will be announced later. There will also be a silent auction. More info on that at the bottom of this post.

“John’s family and friends are touched by the love and support they’ve received from the community during this very difficult time,” said local bassist and longtime Sands friend Richard Gates, who has spearheaded benefit efforts. “John faces a tough road ahead, but I can’t think of a better way to help him and celebrate him on his way to recovery than with a benefit show featuring a lineup of some of his favorite artists and collaborators. He’s a passionate about the artists he accompanies, and he’s a musician’s musician. Plus, he’d be the first guy to pass the hat for anyone else in need, so we’re happy to help do exactly that for him.”

Tickets are $40 and are available via Ticketmaster, and the Paradise Rock Club box office. Concert organizers are looking for additional items for the silent auction. Anyone wanting to donate items can contact concert organizers at teamhuggybear@gmail.com. Information on how to make individual or corporate donations to the John Sands Care Fund is also available at: http://www.teamhuggy.com

--Meghan Chiampa





The Deli’s January CD of the Month: Utopian Tree - An American Chinese

Somewhere between psych pop and fuzzed out folk, indie darlings An American Chinese proves to possess a sound as unique as it is fun. Heard throughout their prior EP Panic Pilgrim, their latest full length, Utopian Tree continues in this tradition, refashioning listeners to ease into a sound that eludes the pitfalls of convention, keeping the band’s work far from feeling so-so. From the buzzing charm of “Jersey Claw to the acoustic drive of “The Distaste of Dairy Frank”, Utopian Tree blooms clever and crisp, full of pop charm and acoustic based chants.

Recorded in the band’s South Philly studio, An American Chinese’s debut LP begins with an atmospherically brief intro by way of “Safe Tigers”, which bleeds effortlessly into the windy backdrop of “Japanese Salesman”. Dreamy chords alongside textured vocals by frontman Mitch Marzec sets the album’s second track catchy with tambourine shakes and snare. Followed closely by “No No Like That”, An American Chinese makes the most of sparse yet concise backbeats alongside an acoustically seeped progression enriched by harmonized lines and a sharp chorus. “Jersey Claw” one of Panic Pilgrim’s best, resurfaces, with buzzing hums that lean into tongue-in-cheek lyricism nestled between steady drums and chords that play out like a chilled out b-side by the Violent Femmes with a pinch of scattered synth that vaguely conjures memories of the electrified interludes of The Cars’ power-pop single “Just What I Needed”. A presumable favorite for fans, “Indian Punk” remains upbeat and nears full-throttle while “Petition To Dear St. Augle” gradually eases into an energized conclusion by way of a stripped down intro that brings to mind pop smith Kiwi Lawrence Arabia. “Chasing Rabbit” is dancey with hints of acoustic punk sensibility and delectable synth. The cricket chirps of “Building a Blue Jay”, in addition to the track’s melodic integrity, render the song cinematic and bright. “Panic Pilgrim, Quick Grab Your Suitcase” showcases An American Chinese’s chops for imaginative storytelling with finesse. Ending with a final track bearing the quintet’s name, Utopian Tree roots itself in the swirling psych pop dreams of an act with the power to render listeners swaying and spellbound well after its latter notes. You can purchase the album here. - Dianca Potts
 
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Best lo-budget video of 2010: Rubblebucket

Rubblebucket formed in Burlington, VT. between saxophonist/vocalist Kalmia Traver and trumpet player Alex Toth. We covered them already in our New England site but part of the band has now relocated to NYC so here they are in our NYC homepage... Their recently released "Triangular Daisies" EP is a new direction for the band. The album is psychedelic indie-pop, with a wider appeal. A track off the album “Came Out of a Lady” was made into a music video, and proves great works can be achieved when a bunch of art majors get down to business. The new EP was recorded at DFA studios, but the sound is refreshing and not your typical bass-heavy “neon party yeah!” flavor. After a two-night stint in San Francisco, the band toured Maine to Florida. Rubblebucket recently played La Poisson Rouge with The Rebirth Brass Band, the show brought out a secret “horn attack,” of a 10 piece horn section.


 

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Noteworthy NYC Artists from Best of NYC Submissions: Rachel Zamstein

So it’s a pattern that’s been seen innumerable times throughout history- a woman and her guitar. But Rachel Zamstein’s pop-rock gems are not to be overlooked, a fact proved by her recent bookings along the east coast and as far away as Stockholm. Her debut album, “Bouquet” features her melodies backed by a full band in true rock ‘n roll fashion, with jazz infusion in her soulful vocals, a demonstration of her influence from her grandfather, a professional jazz musician. See Rachel at Rockwood Music Hall on January 10. - KB

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