New Music: Spectre Folk – “The Blackest Medicine”

For the better part of 15 years, Pete Nolan has been creating home-fi psych music under his Spectre Folk alias. After spending time in  noise-rock outfit Magik Markers and then later as a member of GHQ, Nolan made his name a fixture on the Brooklyn DIY music scene. He’s appeared on the last two Woods records—2009′s Songs of Shame features the epic 9min kraut-jam entitled “September with Pete“—and was later picked up by Woodsist to release his first Blackest Medicine EP.

In March, Nolan put out his second EP, The Blackest Medicine II, on Woodsist where he expands the group to include Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, Tall Firs guitarist/vocalist and Sonic Youth sound engineer Aaron Mullan on bass and NY Times cookbook author Peter Meehan on guitar. The group churns out warm, feel-good psych pop with hazy vocal lines and ghostly folk melodies, making them a perfect fit alongside their label mates. Jams often slip into fuzzed out Krautrock territory, revealing Shelleys and Mullans recent stint as the rhythm section for the revived Neu!. You can stream or download the EP’s lead track, “The Blackest Medicine” below (a sped up version from the first EP), or order yourself some wax over at Woodsist records. Turntableless entities can purchase the album via iTunes.

MP3: “The Blackest Medicine” 

Video: Alex Bleeker and the Freaks – “Our Song”

Alex Bleeker

On Thursday night, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker performed at The Glasslands with a new band of Freaks. The group jammed heavily and debuted several new songs, including the one called “Our Song” featured in the video below. The song sounds more Real Estate-y than most of Bleeker’s solo material, but still has his trademark Crazy Horse/jamband feel to it. Bleeker and the Freaks recently signed to Domino records and will be hitting the road next month on their first national tour. Check out the full list of tour dates below.

Head over to to read my interview with the Phish-loving bassist.

Alex Bleeker & the Freaks’ August Tour

August 8 Brooklyn, NY—Monster Island Basement
August 9 Philadelphia, PA—Danger Danger Gallery
August 10 Washington, DC—Subterranean A
August 11 Charlottesville, VA—Venue TBA
August 12 Durham, NC—The Layabout
August 13 Atlanta, GA—529
August 14 Athens, GA—Farm 255
August 15 Oxford, MS—Cats Purring Dude Ranch
August 16 Nashville, TN—Grimey’s Records Instore
August 18 Baltimore, MD—Venue TBA
August 20 North Hampton, NH—Runnymede Farm

Magic Trick – “Daylight Moon”

As a big fan of San Francisco’s Fresh & Onlys, I was psyched to hear news of frontman Tim Cohen’s latest full-length solo effort, The Glad Birth of Love. While Cohen’s solo material has always departed from the Onlys’ sound, nothing has veered as far off course as this one. To make that clear, Cohen even drops his own name for his band’s Magic Trick psuedonym.

The album features four, free-flowing compositions that venture deeply into the world of proggy psychedelia. Reminiscent of Genesis at times, Cohen and co. layer the songs with dreamy lyrics and stretched out Floyd-like instrumentation. A local cast of San Fran psychies including John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees), Grace Cooper, (The Sandwitches), Diego Gonzalez (The Dry Spells, Citay) appear on the album, which comes out August 23 on Empty Cellar. You can stream or download “Daylight Moon,” a seven minute astral excursion that shows Cohen’s continued progression as one of the most promising songwriters of today. Click here to pre-order the LP.

MP3: “Daylight Moon

Video: Kurt Vile – Pitchfork Festival Performance

KV @ P4kfest (Photo by Erica Gannett)

For those who missed it, Mr. Kurt Vile performed a soul-stirring set with his Violators at this weekend’s Pitchfork Festival in Chicago. Vile’s sun-soaked guitar melodies and matter-of-fact vocal delivery offered the perfect soundtrack under the hot summer sun. For some time now I have been a big fan of Vile’s genuine authenticity and unique sound. To put it plainly, this dude is real. You can stream most of the set from yesterday’s performance below.

Also, the second video off Vile’s stunning 2011 release Smoke Ring for My Halo appeared a week or so ago. Check out the video for the album’s lead track “Baby’s Arms” shot entirely on a Windows Phone.

Woods – “Find Them Empty”

Just months after dropping what is arguably the album of the year, Brooklyn psych rock quartet Woods will release a new 7″ on July 19 via Sacred Bones. I’ve been sitting on one of the two tracks, “Find Them Empty,” for a week or so and I’m sorry for not sharing it sooner. The heady mix of jangley lo fi fuzz and cool sun bleached harmonies are the signature sounds we’ve come to know and love from this band. You can check out the song below, and if you haven’t already I suggest you pick up their new LP Sun & Shade.

Real Estate – “It’s Real”

Real Estate

In advance of its Oct. 18 sophomore album release, Real Estate is offering up a new single off Days called “It’s Real.” You can stream the track below or head over to Domino Records where you can download it for free in exchange for your e-mail address(click here for the link). The 7″ officially hits stores on September 27 with the “Blue Lebaron” instrumental as the B-Side.

On Saturday, Real Estate hit the road on a tour alongside Dent May that will see them travel through the U.S. and Canada for the remainder of the month. The band will also appear at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park alongside The Feelies on July 23 as well as at The Woodsist Festival in Big Sur, CA on July 31. Check out the full list of dates, along with the Days tracklisting below.

Days Tracklist:
1. Easy
2. Green Aisles
3. It’s Real
4. Kinder Blumen
5. Out of Tune
6. Municipality
7. Wonder Years
8. Three Blocks
9. Younger Than Yesterday
10. All The Same

Real Estate 2011 Tour Dates:
July 12 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl w/ Dent May
July 13 – Oxford, MS @ Proud Larry’s w/ Dent May
July 14 – Nashville, TN @ Hard Rock Cafe/ Sounds Like Summer w/ Dent May
July 17 – Chicago, IL @ Subterranean w/ Dent May
July 18 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick w/ Dent May
July 19 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison w/ Dent May
July 20 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore w/ Dent May
July 23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Prospect Park Bandshell/Celebrate Brooklyn w/ The Feelies and Times New Viking
July 24 – Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell’s w/ Dent May
July 31 – Big Sur, CA @ Henry Miller Library / Woodsist Festival w/ Thee Oh Sees, Fresh & Onlys, Woods, Sic Alps, Sun Araw, White Fence
August 2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent w/ Dominant Legs & Melted Toys

Wide Wail – “Summersong”

Pulling into Watkins Glen last Thursday, our car went into deep silence when the sounds of some unknown band graced our ears over The Bunny’s airwaves. The Ducktails-like guitar tone combined with the spacey psych effects sounded to us like the work of Matt Mondanile—but actually turned out to be a late ’90s group from Vermont. Before DJ Rubes could identify the song, Phish took to the stage for their soundcheck and all we heard was “I’m fading out…I’m fading out…Phish is soundchecking.”

Determined to find the source of this music I had heard, I went to the Bunny Radio’s facebook page and discovered it to be “Summersong” by a group called Wide Wail. The song comes off an album called Like It Never Was, released in ’98, but now seems to have fallen into relative obscurity. Numerous searches later and all I can find is this single song, which I ripped from the Bunny broadcasts.

Wide Wail – “Summersong”

Download Link

If you have any Wide Wail in your collection, or know more about them, please share! I am eager to know more about this band.