Slowdive | Slowdive |

Slowdive | Slowdive |
The title of Slowdive’s first album in 24 years is surprising insightful. The self-titled Slowdive is perhaps the most Slowdive-ish album of them all. It could pulled out of today and slotted into their discography and at any point in between their past releases.
The haunting, soaring guitars still take center stage – either doling out delicate melodies a la “Catch the Breeze” or wall-of-sound as they did on Blue Day. No more toying with electronics, this is the core Slowdive.

Given the way Slowdive fell apart at the crashing end of shoegaze, there is comforting assurance from knowing that when these five musicians get together, this is the music they make. Neil and Rachel’s voices still slot seamlessly together, with subtle undercurrents throughout the songs that demonstrate the maturity gained from more time on this planet. While Pygmalion has its fans, today’s new album is the one Slowdive should have released instead.

[Buy a copy of Slowdive on limited edition silver vinyl in the 3hive Co-op Shop. While supplies last.]

Air-Sea Dolphin

Air-Sea Dolphin | Honey Radar split 7" |

Air-Sea Dolphin | Honey Radar split 7" |

Fuzzed out head-bobbing bassline. Yes.
Thumping floor tom. You betcha.
Falsetto harmonies. How could it not?
8-bit video game sounds, ’cause the song is actually a video game. Duh.
Catchy as all get out. Yep.
Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo and James Higgins of Elf Power/Of Montreal. Ah yeah.

Available as an online-only RSD release.

The Sky Drops

Sean and I were just trading jabs this week on Facebook regarding MBV comparisons on these pages. So it’s ironic that I’m gonna keep it going.

You gotta love it when a band fulfills its promises. How many times have you heard, “The new album will be out by the end of the year,” only to have it come out two years later or (in the case of MBV, a frequent reference when talking about the Sky Drops) not at all. The Sky Drops promised that despite a medical problem, their full album would be out in 2009, and they did it. Out now, the Sky Drops debut full length Bourgeois Beat, self-released on Fridabear Records, has them further fleshing out their wall of guitars with some mighty catchy hooks, moving from shoegazer fuzz-pop to fuzz-rock. I long ago gave up hope of another MBV album; with Bourgrois Beat filling that space, who needs it now?

From October 13, 2008:
Why didn’t someone tell me? Seriously, I feel like an idiot. My Bloody Valentine played somewhere where I actually live, and I MISSED it! Sure, I saw they were going to play some dates, but did I pay close attention? No. This review almost had me breaking my hand punching my desk. Next time, will someone please email me?

So in my misery, I turned to the Sky Drops for some comfort. These two songs are from last year and show them moving away from their MBV-infuenced shoegaze into their own territory, but the wall of guitar is still the focus. Their debut album, expected earlier this year, has been delayed due to Rob being unable to play the guitar, but they promise us it’ll be out in 2009.

From original post May 24, 2006:
Sean has baited me in the past making this comparison. I swore I would never do it, cause seriously, how can anyone ever approach the genius of Kevin Shields? Then I met the Sky Drops, Rob Montejo and Monika Bullette of Wilmington, Delaware. So when I make a My Bloody Valentine comparison here, I mean it. “Now Would Be” could be the last song on MBV’s Isn’t Anything, and “Green to Red” could have appeared on MBV’s Loveless right in between “When You Sleep” and “I Only Said.” Now, kind reader, a word. Please don’t assume I’m accusing the Sky Drops of plagiarism; au contraire, I’m paying them one of the highest compliments I can. And just think, they make all this racket with a guitar and drums!

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The Radio Dept.

The Radio Dept started a journey a number of years ago, a pop voyage (pronounced French-style) if you will, that has started a new leg. The fuzzed out bliss pop seems so very long ago, as they enter an orchestral funk pop phase, still framed with their signature techniques. Regardless of the destination, the fun is in getting there.

Second Post 5/9/2008:
The Radio Dept’s last LP Pet Grief further cemented their delicate pop sounds, built with the tools of 80’s pop (haunting keyboads, drum machines, echo pedals), as their sound. “Freddie and the Trojan Horse,” from their upcoming June EP, doesn’t mess with their formula, but it does turn up the tempo and the urgency.

Original Post 11/17/2004:
Like religious conversion or political persuasion, music can be very personal. Isn’t that why we like it? So rather than a cold, third-person blip about The Radio Dept., allow me to share something personal, which is that I just love The Radio Dept. Love. My longstanding record for the most times I’ve listened to a song in a row is Joe Jackson’s “Got the Time,” clocking in at 48 consecutive listens. But, at the rate I’m going, The Radio Dept.’s “Pulling Our Weight” is going to overtake that before the night is over.

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Photons will be releasing three EP’s this year, the first of which is Glory!, out tomorrow via “Where Were You Last Night” continues the raucous party, still with bassoon.

Original Post Oct 20, 2008:
In trying to figure out what to write about San Francisco’s Photons, I had several paths in mind. Working in the musical history of the city by the Bay, or coming up with something witty about their eclectic pop. Then I remembered the line from the top of their Myspace page that says all you need to know before downloading and listening: “Now with Bassoon!”

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Coltrane Motion

There’s something about 3hive’s hard drives and Coltrane Motion. Sam’s crashed three years ago shortly before posting about Chicago’s Coltrane Motion, and mine recently had to be replaced, too, shortly before posting about them. I had intended to also post some photos I took of Coltrane Motion when I saw them in May 2006 while in Chigaco, but I may have to blame a different hard drive crash from last summer for misplacing most of those. Which is rather unfortunate, as they played in an old church, and I got a sweet shot of Michael Bond bouncing under an enormous lighted cross while still trying to keep his mouth at microphone level and not tipping over his laptop stand. Michael, the driving force behind Coltrane Motion, is also a dead-ringer for 3hive’s Sam, but alas, that photographic evidence is also missing. I did find an poor quality shot I took with my phone inside the church, which is below. Sam’s description of Coltrane Motion still holds true, as further demonstrated by their first 7″ release “The Year Without A Summer b/w Maya Blue,” out tomorrow.

Original Post by Sam on 14 Jan 2006:
My hard drive crashed this week which, as reliant as I am on my PowerBook, is like suffering short-term memory loss. One of the few artists I remember having on tap for 3hive is Coltrane Motion, who are members of a Midwest artist-run collective/label called, irony of ironies, datawaslost. These tracks are a good representation of Coltrane Motion’s “sound” — in quotes because they seem to have as many “sounds” as they have songs, due in part to their habit of making their own software and instruments. This makes remembering what I wanted to say about Coltrane Motion even more difficult. Was I pogoing to the urgent dance-punk of “I Guess the Kids Are OK” or singing along to the sizzling crooner pop of “Pi Is Exactly Three”? Cutting rug to the cheeky Beck send-up “Supersexy ’67” or stroking my chin to the backmasked glitch ‘n’ beats of “The End of Every Movie”? Couldn’t tell ya. So I guess I’ll own up to liking all four. And, please, before you start downloading: a moment of silence for my hard drive…

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King Loses Crown

I recall an interview with Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins many years ago where he said that in his head the music he wrote sounded like death metal. I get the same sense with King Loses Crown. While this San Francisco duo exercises their love of hooks and synthesizers analog and digital, somewhere in their heads perhaps their music sounds more like death metal than the electronic power-rock of their self-titled debut EP.

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Awesome Snakes

The Awesome Snakes are Danny and Annie carrying on the legacy on their dear, departed Minneapolis band the Soviettes. Punk rock bass ‘n’ drums that is dirty, obnoxious, in-yer-face insulting, and full of enough attitude to make you feel young again.

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It started in October. The holiday season kicked into full swing with Halloween, which might be the most anxiously awaited holiday of the year at my house. I suffered a serious knee injury the week before Halloween, but we had the November elections, Thanksgiving, and Christmas arriving before we knew it, with all the hussle and bussle that go with them. It continued into January with my wife’s birthday and some major issues at work, and then we finally got to February where they continued. It feels like we’ve been running non-stop since October. Prior to this weekend, we’ve been out of town for five weekends in a row. My music choices have been changing as I’ve tried to keep up the pace. Faster, faster, if it didn’t have enough BPM’s or pounding energy, I wasn’t working for me. I found myself listening to a lot of Black Flag, Bad Religion, the Specials, and the Projects on the train ride to/from work.

Don’t get me wrong; it has been good times, a whole lotta fun with family, friends, and great places. But it was all starting to catch up with me. Last week I was on my fourth cold of the season, my knee is in bad shape as I’ve been doing hard rehab in a final attempt to avoid ligament reconstruction surgery, and my body has felt like it’s falling apart. On Saturday, finally at home for the first weekend in six, I downloaded the Houston duo Papermoons’ “Follow the Sun,” a delicate, melodic song of peace and tenderness, fell asleep at 9 pm, and had the best night of sleep I’ve had in months. Coincidence? Maybe. But maybe not.

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