Tag Archives: Merge Records

Video: Divine Fits – “Would That Not Be Nice”

Britt Daniel, Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown do their thing in the dark.

A Thing Called Divine Fits is out now on Merge, and $5.99 at Amazon.

Listen: Mark Eitzel – “I Love You but You’re Dead”

Mark Eitzel and Columbus go way back. At one time Eitzel wrote for Tim Anstaett’s The Offence, and his early, Joy Division-esque band Naked Skinnies began here. They were the “hero band” of Ron House, who played lots of shows with Naked Skinnies and helped put out the band’s first 7-inch, “All My Life,” on “Naked House Records” in 1981. Eitzel formed the Skinnies, his precursor to American Music Club, with Greg Bonnell (AMC, Moviola), John Hricko and Nancy Kangas before heading out to San Francisco. Though Eitzel doesn’t recall the period with particular fondness and has yet to permit digital dissemination of the aforementioned 7-inch, it’s better than he remembers it to be and a fascinating look into how Eitzel started out.

Fast-forward to 2012. American Music Club is dissolved (at least for the time being), and Eitzel is about to release a solo album called Don’t Be a Stranger. Eitzel has said of the new record, “I wanted to make an album more reminiscent of records like Harvest by Neil Young or Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake than anything I’ve previously done.” The Young/Drake touchstones make perfect sense on this first preview, which recounts the tale of Eitzel watching a band fronted by a woman who wrote “I love you but you’re dead” on his poster.

Don’t Be a Stranger is out Oct. 2 on Merge Records.

Divine Fits to play Ace of Cups in Columbus Aug. 6

The Britt Daniel/Dan Boeckner/Sam Brown band Divine Fits just announced they’ll play their third show (ever) at Ace of Cups in Columbus on Aug. 6. From the band’s Facebook:

We are in need of some serious release and couldn’t be more jazzed to play in front of living sweating human beings. I’m especially excited to share this experience with people who have been nothing but amazing to me for many years. I can’t think of a better joint than Ace of Cups to kick this off. See you there August 6th. Connections are opening. Don’t miss them. You can DVR the olympics.

Buy yerself a ticket, and get ready to hear songs from the band’s forthcoming A Thing Called Divine Fits, out Aug. 28 on Merge Records.

Watch: Divine Fits album teaser

Last week we told you about Divine Fits, a new supergroup consisting of Britt Daniel of Spoon, Sam Brown of the New Bomb Turks and Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade (and the recently defunct Handsome Furs). Now the band has posted a video with just a bit of teaser music from the coming album on Merge Records. Watch the dancing blob and give it a listen…

New Band Alert: Divine Fits featuring New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown, Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner

Look for an album from the supergroup on MERGE RECORDS later this year. Says the press release, “The album was was produced by Nick Launay. Further details regarding the record’s release date, live dates, etc. will be announced as they are confirmed.”

Till then, stay tuned to the Divine Fits home page and Twitter. We’ll have more from Mr. Brown soon, too.

Wednesday in Columbus: Hospitality

MP3: Betty Wang
MP3: Friends of Friends

New Merge Records band Hospitality has been touring with Wild Flag, hitting Philadelphia today and Chicago on Thursday, followed by some shows with fellow Mergers Eleanor Friedberger. But a one Mr. Kyle Sowash is filling Hospitality’s empty Wednesday (4/4, tomorrow!) with a show here at the Summit in Columbus. Check out the tracks above for a preview of what’s in store (good old-fashioned, head-boppin’ indie pop.)

Two noteworthy local acts on this bill: Terribly Empty Pockets and half of Donewaiting BFF Miranda Sound.

Video: Richard Buckner – Still Looking For You (Townes Van Zandt cover)

Via Cover Me Songs, this was recorded two years ago at Merge’s 20th anniversary bash, but just recently released.

Jerry DeCicca from The Black Swans on Richard Buckner

MP3: Richard Buckner – Escape

Editor’s note: In anticipation of Richard Buckner’s long-awaited Our Blood, out today (8/2) on Merge Records, I asked Buckner fan Jerry DeCicca of The Black Swans (a band that has shared the stage with Buckner) to say a few words about the man:

I’m submitting this text as my end of a barter: I received the new Richard Buckner album, Our Blood, several months before its release in exchange for typing about it for this “website.” Summation, however, isn’t really my bag and, for Buckner, I have no critical eye. Instead, I’ll state why I made this agreement and try not to gush much.

Long ago, in a pre-Internet world, I became a Buckner-head, tracked him cross-country whenever word spread of a show. The road was his home, so opportunity abound! Then, he was something of a folksinger, or maybe he just sounded like one because he played an acoustic guitar. Like Mark Eitzel, Vic Chestnutt, and Mark Linkous, he used language and a guitar in a way that made everyone else sound square and safe and dumb. He channeled Creeley and cummings and William Carlos Williams and Townes Van Zandt and the mountains. Every record released was an event. Collaborators ranged from Butch Hancock and Lloyd Maines to Calexico to Marc Ribot and Dave Schramm to a Canadian (future ex-wife) drummer. Continue reading

Interview: Let’s Wrestle

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MP3: Let’s Wrestle – Dear John

While the indie/DIY scene continues to over saturate itself day after day with “really cool bands”, I can’t help but feel that most of these bands are missing the point. These days you can be hard pressed to find artists putting more effort into the quality of their music than their general aesthetic.

Thankfully, gems like London-based Let’s Wrestle (vocalist/guitarist Wesley Patrick Gonzalez, bassist Sam Pillay and drummer Darkus Bishop) shine through all the flimflammery and leave you with charming, unpretentious rock.

Upping the ante since their first full-length in 2009, In the Court of the Wrestling Let’s, the trio recorded their sophomore album with Steve Albini at Electrical Audio. Nursing Home was released last month on Merge.

I caught up with Wes last week to find out more about the band and their experience with Albini.

Wikipedia tells me (and genuine sources confirm) critics have compared you to The Fall and early Wedding Present. While I’m sure it’s partially because they must be influences of yours, how do you feel about comparisons like this when you read about bands?

I think these are reviews of early singles or something before the 1st album. People haven’t really said this much recently. I will analyze each reference way too much. For instance, with those two Mark Smith can’t sing. I think I can. the guitar sounds on early Fall records are really cool but I don’t think my guitar playing is like that and they also may be talking about the last Fall album which would be horrible. As for being compared to The Wedding Present, I don’t like them I think they are lacking songs. I don’t give a shit about how we sound. I mainly want people to acknowledge that it is pop music.
Continue reading

Video: Times New Viking in small-town Ohio

TNV’s new video provides a quick tour of small-town Ohio, and it’s also a preview of sorts for the Columbus band’s upcoming album, Dancer Equired. You’ll hear pieces of “It’s a Culture” and “Somebody’s Slave,” wrapping up in Musicol’s Studio A with Beth Murphy doing an acoustic rendition of “Try Harder.” Adam Elliott described the video to NPR’s All Songs Considered this way:

“hello, we are times new viking from columbus ohio” was shot by jo mccaughey in and around the small hometowns of the band. adam is from troy, ohio. jared is from new lebanon, ohio, and beth is from gahanna, ohio. intended to be a snapshot/vignette of where we came from before we moved to the big college town of columbus, ohio. the “roots” of our upbringing. our music somehow fits perfectly, no need for voiceovers. highlights include the landmark k’s hamburgers in troy and snicker’s bar in new lebanon, home to the karaoke in dixie county. please visit small town ohio. shot on a beautiful and very cold winter day.

Dancer Equired is out on Merge Records April 26 in the US, Wichita in the UK. (ht: Wumme)