Sinking in the Quicksand: tribute news, reunion ain’t happening

The French label YR Letter Records is putting together a pretty cool tribute to the ’90s with a lot of band I’ve never heard of covering a lot of songs I have heard of (and love). No clue whether or not this will be available in the U.S. when it’s released in 2009 but if I learn any more about it, I’ll post it here. Check out the Quicksand involvement – Powell covers Quicksand and Quicksand’s singer Walter Schreifels covers My Bloody Valentine. Here’s the tentative track listing:

ATOMIC GARDEN vs. MEGA CITY 4 (Grudge)
BILLY GAZ STATION vs. THE POSIES (Grant Hart)
BILLY THE KILL vs. DINOSAUR JR. (Feel The Pain)
COOPER vs. JAWBOX (Static)
DEAD POP CLUB vs. LES THUGS (I Was Dreaming)
DEVONMILES vs. WEEZER (Getchoo)
DOWN TO EARTH vs. SOUNDGARDEN (Let me Drown)
IAN LOVE vs. JEFF BUCKLEY (Eternal Life)
JONAH MATRANGA vs. DEFTONES (Be Quiet And Drive)
LEAD ORPHANS vs. PEARL JAM (Corduroy)
LUIS FRANCESCO ARENA vs. FAR (I Like It)
LULA FORTUNE vs. GRANT LEE BUFFALO (Fuzzy)
MR MOUSTACHE vs. BABES IN TOYLAND (Dust Cake Boy)
NOVELS vs. NIRVANA (Aneurysm)
POWELL feat. CYESM vs. QUICKSAND (Head To Wall)
RUN RONIE RUN vs. CHOKEBORE (Foreign Devils On the Silk Road)
WALTER SCHREIFELS vs. MY BLOODY VALENTINE

Somewhat related news: Walter Schreifels told BrooklynVegan that the chance of a Quicksand reunion is slim-to-none: “We actually reunited pretty soon after we had broken up and it didn’t really work. I think that thing is best left in its own little world. Well, you know I’m doing my solo stuff… I have my acoustic guitar. Other than the fact that I love playing with other musicians, Rival Schools gives me that chance to be in a rock band… so I don’t need to be in Quicksand.”

BOO!

Another one bites the dust: So long New Frontiers …

… I barely knew ya!

This is sad news since I had pegged The New Frontiers to fill in for The Damnwells as that band seems to be on a permanent hiatus (though an Alex Dezen album of some sort is supposedly in the mixing phase right now). Both bands have a rural rock sound without coming across as too alt.country, though I wouldn’t mind if either band indulged a bit in the twang!

This song (“Mirrors”) reminds me a lot of my friends in Bel Auburn (who seem to be missing from the scene as well … please don’t say THEY’VE broken up too).

Another great one (“Walking on Stones”).

And the one that’s going to end up on my “Favorite Tracks of 2008” mix (“Black Lungs”).

Here’s the official word from the band:

It’s never fun to tell people news they don’t want to hear so I’ll get right to it: The New Frontiers are quitting. It’s been a priceless experience, writing music together and sharing it with all of you in our travels across America, but the time has come for us to move on to other things. There are so many people out there that we couldn’t possibly thank you all for the support you’ve given us through the years. Giving us a place to stay on tours, making care packages for us, coming out to shows, buying records, feeding us, the list really does go on and on… We could not have done it for as long as we did without you. We’ll be playing a couple final shows here on the home front in Dallas and we would love to see any and all of you who can make it out. Thanks for taking part in the life of our band. We will miss you all…

Love,

The New Frontiers

If you’ve got it, Faunts it

This isn’t going to be a long diatribe about how there is no longer any M on MTV. I think if you’ve watched the cable channel any time in the last 10 years, you’ve figured that out for yourself. What I do want to say though is that videos still do help sell music and if the labels were smart (which we all know they aren’t), they’d figure out someway to get videos broadcast to consumers. Case in point, I DVR MTV2’s Subterranean every week and this morning was catching up on Thursday night’s episode. I was surprised at how many bands were broadcast in the hourlong show that I had never heard of before. My favorite of the bunch was the video for “M4 (Part II)” by a band called Faunts.

The video is great as is the song. I was really, really hoping these guys were from Scotland (they remind me a bit of Aereogramme) as I seemingly love just about everything that comes out of that country lately but a quick Google search revealed they are from Canada. I’m not sure whether or not the Blogosphere has already championed these guys but they are definitely on my radar now. And, solely because I loved this song, I went out to eMusic and picked up both the EP – M4 – that this song is featured on as well as the band’s debut full length – High Expectations/Low Results – which preceeded the EP. It seems like a perfect time to get into the band – which has been compared to everybody from Radiohead to The Cure to Sigur Ros – as their new album is due out in January 2009 and hopefully that means touring will follow.

How about some free downloads courtesy of Friendly Fire Recordings?

DOWNLOAD: “Instantly Loved”
DOWNLOAD: “Memories of Places We’ve Never Been”
DOWNLOAD: “M4 (Part I)”

It’s Fig Dish Friday

Been on a steady diet of Fig Dish‘s two major label releases this week – seeing Willison’s photos on a friend’s Facebook account made me hungry for some long-lost, gone-but-never-forgotten pop-rock mastery from the little Chicago band that could (or at least tried). I’ll be damned if the songs don’t hold up over time, but that should be expected from a band that is cut from the same cloth as the founding fathers on Mount Rockmore (Westerberg, Mould, Dando, Zander).  Yes, I did just quote myself from a 1995 article I wrote about the band for MOO Magazine.

If you’re not familiar with the band (and their record sales from the mid-to-late ’90s indicate that you’re probably not), maybe read some other sites that discuss the first album – That’s What Love Songs Often Do – and the follow up – When Shove Goes Back to Push (surprise, surprise, Pitchfork didn’t like it). Check out the love Wilfully Obscure gives the band’s first single (“Rollover Please” / “Miss California) which you can download. And if that’s not enough, I’ll refer you to the unreleased third album the band recorded, but never officially released, instead, allowing AtomicNed to offer it up as an exclusive free download. Hell, as long as you’re clicking around and downloading, how about a live reunion show from 2006?

If you’re willing to part with a penny (+ shipping and handling), you can pick up That’s What Love Songs Often Do on Amazon.com where you can also find used copies of When Shove Goes Back to Push used for prices ranging from a buck to 3 bucks.

There’s all kinds of post-Fig Dish projects (Caviar, Ness, The Prairie Cartel) you should check out but I’ll let you explore those on your own.

In the meantime, though few and far between, Fig Dish videos ARE available on YouTube and are presented here, for your viewing pleasure.

“Seeds”

“When Shirts Get Tight”