Velocity Girl

Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Pop, Rock

I have this tendency to get addicted to songs to the point that the people around me begin throwing heavy objects at my throat and knee-caps. The detox process consists of playing the song over and over while I write a little narrative of my relationship with that song. Lately, I haven’t detoxed; it’s hard to get back into that habit once you’ve abandoned it. After today I promise not to discuss my lingering absence.

My latest awakening is due to one of my all time favorite roadtrip songs, “Go Coastal” by a forgotten favorite: Velocity Girl. I rolled the song over, along with a gaggle more, in a recent refresh of my exercise playlist (I only listen to that about once a week by the way...) and now I can’t live without it. It took me about 10 listens to re-memorize the lyrics, I’m slow like that, and now I’ll enjoy singing along to it for another 50 or so.

I talked a lot about Velocity Girl in my Sarah Shannon review, and now I’ll reciprocate. After Velocity Girl broke up in ‘96 (the same year I brought a child into the world—man, those 14 years flew by), Sarah reappeared with a couple of the velocity boys in Starry Eyes, put out two solo records in ‘02 and ‘06, sang on a Free Design cover with Styrofoam, brought a couple of children into the world herself, and is now writing and performing songs inspired, I imagine, by those children. I’m gonna call my friends at Yo Gabba Gabba and see what I can do about getting Sarah’s voice stuck in the head of cool kids and parents worldwide!

Forgotten Favorite [MP3]
Go Coastal [MP3]

Velocity Girl at

Posted by sean on 04.04.11 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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3hive Rewinds and Fast Forwards

Label: 3some
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop, Pop, Rock

Let's face it, 2010 was less than stellar at this url. The principals and our reviewers all dropped out of ear-shot simultaneously and for months 3hive has been out of commission. No particular reason really. Life unplugged us, and once unplugged it's hard to get back into gear, back into the groove.

Twenty-eleven's gonna be different. I can only speak for myself, but I'm back on the wagon. I'm good for a couple posts a week, maybe even three. I'll likely drop in the readings I'm obsessed with on occassion, like this, this , and this.

3hive's Most Popular Posts from 2010:

11. Jaga Jazzist
10. Inlets
09. Let's Say We Did
08. Happy Birthday
07. The Royal Chains
06. Bonobo
05. Junk Science
04. Cap'n Jazz [re-issue]
03. Galactic
02. Phantogram
01. Tycho

Posted by sean on 01.01.11 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Happy Birthday

Label: Sub Pop
Genre: Pop, Rock

Today is my youngest son's 6th birthday. Happy Birthday Jasper! What more can a six year old ever want on his birthday than a review on 3hive dedicated to him? Maybe he'll appreciate it more in ten years. When he wakes up he's gonna be appreciating the chocolate chip muffin I bought him from our local donut shop.

Back to Happy Birthday the band: the fine purveyors of music, Sub Pop, fell in love with Kyle Thomas' work as King Tuff. He brought on Chris Weisman and Ruth Garbus about a year and a half ago to back him up on a bunch of new song's he'd written. Sub Pop picked them up after they'd played five shows. And this wonderful album is the happy ending to chapter one of Happy Birthday's hopefully epic journey. The skewed musical note sketched out on the cover together with their label's name describe the band's music to a tee. If I had to make up a genre name for Happy Birthday, I'd call it hand-clap doodle rock. They don't actually use hand-claps on the album, but most of their songs are so fun that you wanna hand-clap your way through them. RIYL: Let's Active, Daniel Pinkwater.

Girls FM [MP3, 4.2MB, 192kbps]
Subliminal Message [MP3, 5.5MB, 192kbps]

Happy Birthday on Sub Pop

Posted by sean on 04.06.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Earth Program

Label: Tastee
Genre: Experimental, Pop, Rock

So one of the band members of Earth Program, I won't identify her specifically, has been pestering me for this post for some time. I think she didn't really realize that I had quietly retired from 3hive as a way to maintain sanity. Seriously, how can anyone actually listen to even a fraction of the music that's out there and keeps on coming every day? It was her quasi-anonymous e-mail that did it; "Dear Editor, " it began. Come on... As a disclosure, I knew this band member before there was an Earth Program, back when she was the complicated girl in the back of my high school Creative Writing class. She was as awesome then as her band is now, and I'm glad I unretired just to share some tunes I think a lot of you are going to like. I mean, just listen to "Eat Your MakeUp," ok? Earth Program is pop enough to be bearable and strange enough to keep things interesting. Sounds like a fine time to be 20ish in Chicago. Oh, and hi Jen.

Eat Your MakeUp [MP3, 4.2MB, VBR]
Le Gloom [MP3, 4.4MB, VBR]
Mawkish [MP3, 3.6MB, VBR]

Posted by joe on 03.16.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Let's Say We Did

Label: Nesna
Genre: Folk, Rock

Sebastian Fors, Sweden's answer to Jeff Tweedy, used to roll with a revolving cast of characters called The Ones That Got Away. He now leads a group called Let's Say We Did. Fors' groggy vocals and lovelorn lyrics cast a nice shadow against the band's bright Americana pop. Frayed edges in the production make it feel old and familiar, like flannel on a cold day. Cozy up.

Buy the EP here.

from Follow Me Down EP (2010):
Galaxies [MP3, 8.5MB, 320kbps]
from self-titled EP (2008):
Straight Back to You [MP3, 3.9MB, 192kbps]
Let's Say We Did on Facebook

Posted by sam on 03.03.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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The Royal Chains

Label: Merrifield
Genre: Pop, Rock

Sorry for the hiatus. Life got a bit hectic the last couple weeks, and since I'm pretty much navigating this ship solo (alas!) it doesn't take much for it to veer off course. Queue The Royal Chains. I pulled this out of the latest stack of mail at random and the lack of effort and forethought paid off. They're just a couple boys from Nashville via Brooklyn, Dan on guitar and Adam on drums and vocals, who describe their musical MO in the third person this way, "They write pop songs that are probably more rock. They write rock songs that are probably more pop." I struggled to chose a song to post. The whole five song EP is pop rock solid. I decided on "Lucy Takes the Dare" (which leans toward the pop end of their spectrum), because I think it's the hit. Which is funny because it's not structured like a hit at all. The song builds slowly, taunts you with a couple pre-choruses, a meandering bridge, then finally, two minutes in, the title is sung three times, and the song keeps building right into the outro and it's over and you have to hit repeat. There's some nice texture looping in the background which reminds me of Howard Hello and if you mix in a touch of Superchunk, minus a bit of tempo, you get pretty close to how great The Royal Chains is/are (depending on your plural band moniker usage preference).

Lucy Takes the Dare [MP3, 3.4MB, 160kbps]

Merrifield Records

Posted by sean on 02.16.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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Various: Sleepingfish 8

Label: WordHive
Genre: Other, Rock

Alisa and I read differently. She reads for plot. I for sentences. Sleepingfish publishes writers whose first concern is the sound of their sentences. Music without notes. Just tone and rhythm. Rhythm and mood. Consider this sentence from this issue:

She is unaware of the little bits of fabric he would sew into her palms: in private she squelches her poise and it is awful to hear silence exist in such a perfect American accent. [Julie Doxsee excerpt]

Sleepingfish not-so-regularly publishes such work from some my favorite writers: Peter Markus, Dawn Raffel, Diane Williams, and Terese Svoboda. Of note: the latest issue of Sleepingfish features an online supplement, a setlist of contributors past and present. We'll feature a few here, but more tracks, along with ordering info for the issue, can be found at Sleepingfish.

Venus Bogardus w/ David Ohle - G-Boys [MP3]
Poem Rocket - Appeal to the Imagination [MP3]
d. biddle - Laughter [MP3]

Posted by sean on 01.18.10 | Buy from Amazon, Insound
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