The Flaming Lips are an American rock band formed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1983. Instrumentally, their sound contains lush, multi-layered, psychedelic rock arrangements, but lyrically their compositions show elements of space rock, including unusual song and album titles—such as "What Is the Light? (An Untested Hypothesis Suggesting That the Chemical [In Our Brains] by Which We Are Able to Experience the Sensation of Being in Love Is the Same Chemical That Caused the "Big Bang" That Was the Birth of the Accelerating Universe)". They are also acclaimed for their elaborate live shows, which feature costumes, balloons, puppets, video projections, complex stage light configurations, giant hands, large amounts of confetti, and frontman Wayne Coyne's signature man-sized plastic bubble, in which he traverses the audience. In 2002, Q magazine named The Flaming Lips one of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die."
Seth Kaufman, the unsuspecting man behind the band Floating Action, lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and maybe more than it usually would, that piece of biographical information about him says a lot. He lives there, in one of the prettiest cities in this great and great big old country, cuddled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains, and he takes advantage of all of its splendors, it seems. He greedily and voraciously fills his available time with hiking and wiffle ball games, picnics and other outdoorsy activities that no matter how much any jerk will want to argue with you, are the very elements of the good life. He’s a man who probably burns very easily, but he throws himself into nature, even when he’s traveling and exploring the rest of America, visiting Missoula on tour and rafting on a river until the sun’s well past its setting and the insects have begun their calisthenics and vocal exercises for anyone who wants to watch and listen. He believes in this thing called the good life and in just writing that and thinking about the various things that he values, it’s abundantly clear that those are truly aspirations - seeking that old-fashioned good life in the simplest and most assessable of pursuits - from an older time, a generation of hard-working people who didn’t feel as if they always needed to be working. It’s of a generation of people who worked to afford themselves bread and milk, a roof over their heads and evenings and weekends to get together with their neighbors, close friends and family and enjoy their company anyway they could think of. These pursuits of well-earned rest and relaxation are those that clash violently with the adopted mentality of working overtime all the time so it’s really just normal and never being too far removed from a gadget or glowing white screen. There’s no moderation to our sad commitment to working and working if only for a more heaping collection of green pieces of paper.
Kaufman and Floating Action, a band that has gotten tighter and tighter over the last two years and turned into a soul-grooving group that wouldn’t have been out of its league in Muscle Shoals, Memphis, Philadelphia or Detroit in the 60s and 70s, bring us to a very calm place where they woo us with gorgeous melodies and scrappily fuzzed out tones that radiate a vinyl warmth that somehow immediately instills a feeling of nostalgic happiness.
The songs that are on the band’s self-titled debut full-length are numbers that reflect the carefree, I’m-clocking-out-early-for-the-rest-of-the-day thought even if there’s a love problem or an even more torturous non-love problem. Mostly, the songs that Kaufman writes come from a spot of reluctant comfort, where a man and a woman are in the middle of their love, a mutual feeling where they care, love and yearn for the other and they’re desperately hoping that it doesn’t wane, but who could ever be certain of anything so uncertain as love? Kaufman’s characters worry about this constantly - that impermanence of those matters - and there’s begging and pleading (all of it mostly internally in the privacy of one’s own troubled confidence) that feels absolutely justified and actually quite endearing. It’s what we all do in those same situations when the going is good, we pray that something or someone doesn’t come along and muck it all up like usual. Kaufman sings about being held up to the sunlight, but he’s most wise when we’re allowed to drift with him and empathize with his spirit on “So Vapor,” when he lets this line out soft and cool, “When your mind is at ease to let go, to let go, to let go/So vapor.” It captures all of his greatest inspirations and fears in one short and resoundingly soothing touch.
Forest Fallows is an atmospheric pop duo based in Tucson, AZ and consisting of Mike Barnett and Alex Morton and their friends.
Foxx Bodies are a Tucson Riot Grrl/Boyy band. They rule and are taking Tucson and the West Coast of the US of A by storm. They are coming to a town near you very soon, and if you like angry womyn and dudes with facial hair/facial glasses playing surf influenced garage punk, you would be foolish to miss them
Fur Family is the project of Sean Peter Rogers with members of Golden Boots, Lemon Drop Gang, and other Tucson area bands.
The project of Phoenix songwriter, Jay Hufman. The music is best summed up my Mark Anderson: “if you like downer, cowboy blues with experimental underpinnings then this is the album for you.”
Low-Key San Diego hush folk.
Globelamp is the solo project of Elizabeth Le Fey, formerly of Meowtain and Foxygen.
Alt-Alt-Psychicana from Tucson, AZ.
Upstate New York freak-folker Laura Goetz. Hauntingly beautiful tunes. Former member of Castanets and frequent collaborator with Viking Moses.
Grandaddy is an American indie rock band from Modesto, California, formed in 1992. The band consisted of Jason Lytle (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Kevin Garcia (bass guitar), Aaron Burtch (drums), Jim Fairchild (guitar) and Tim Dryden (keyboards).
After several self-released records and cassettes, the band signed to Will Records in the US and later the V2 subsidiary Big Cat Records in the UK, going on to sign an exclusive deal with V2. The bulk of the band's recorded output was the work of Lytle, who worked primarily in home studios. The band released four studio albums before splitting in 2006, with band members going on to solo careers and other projects. Grandaddy reformed in 2012 and have since made a number of live appearances.
Chilled-out-lounge pop from Portland, OR. Much sexier than the name implies.
Great pysch-pop band from Nashville via NYC and Athens, GA fronted by Ben Crum.
Grey Waves is a band from Seattle and they rule.
Haboob are a freaky weird Instrumental Jazz/Prog/Funk/Psych band and can be loosely described as a Golden Boots side project, as many of the main players are also in Golden Boots. Led by Jeff Grubic (who frequently plays sax and keys with Golden Boots), Haboob is usually made up of 3 or 4 of the following dudes, who are all Golden Boots: Ryen Eggleston, Andrew Collberg, Ben Schndeider, and Dimitri Manos. Along with organist Nick Letson (who is my roommate and also played on the upcoming Golden Boots LP). Haboob constantly plays shows around Tucson for audiences as varied as wealthy dinner crowds, senior citizens, and noise shows.
Hello shark has been a musical escape since 2006. Linc Halloran grew up in coastal new England and has been singing songs in living rooms across the country as well as being loud with uncountable band members. Dreaming of naked swimming holes during the day followed by sloppy sing slings at night has become a regular.
Bloomington Pixie Psych
Jack Lewis' Awkward Energy
New York Native and Portlander, Jack Lewis writes fun quirky pop songs and occasionally plays with his brother, Jeffrey Lewis.
Jad Fair (born June 9, 1954) is an American singer, guitarist and graphic artist, most famous for being a founding member of lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese.
Jason Lytle (born March 26, 1969) is an American musician best known for his work in the indie rock group Grandaddy. The group split in 2005, and Lytle continued to release music as a solo artist and in collaboration with other musicians. Grandaddy reformed in 2012.
Jeffrey Lewis (born November 20, 1975) is an American singer/songwriter and comic book artist. Lewis was born in New York City and grew up on the Lower East Side. He attended State University of New York at Purchase, New York, graduating in 1997 with a degree in Literature. His Senior Literary Thesis was on the comic book Watchmen.
Lewis also lectured on the topic of Watchmen at the Institute For Cultural Studies at the University of Leuven, Belgium, in 2000, and the text of his lecture ("The Dual Nature of Apocalypse in Watchmen") was published in the book The Graphic Novel, edited by Jan Baetens, in 2001.
Starting in 2000, he spent about 2 years living in Austin, Texas, playing open mike nights, working odd jobs and distributing his autobiographical comics to local coffee shops.
Several of his musical influences have been acknowledged in his songs such as "Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror", "The History of The Fall" and "The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song", concerning the song by Leonard Cohen. Lewis' lyrics are complex and literate, often combining a nihilistic world-view with a hopeful message and sharp wit. Growing up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, his songs are also highly informed by his home surroundings, with songs name-dropping places such as Williamsburg, the FDR Drive and the East River.
Lewis is often regarded as part of the antifolk movement, foremost because he was one of the many bands and performers (including The Moldy Peaches, Major Matt Mason USA and Lach) who played in the 1990s at New York's SideWalk Cafe and its biannual antifolk festivals and open mic events. His music also possesses certain traits of a perceived antifolk style - a downbeat self-deprecating humor, an off-kilter singing style, a mixture of acoustic and 'punk' songs which feature themes of everyday occurrences and feelings. Lewis himself does not mind the 'antifolk' tag: "I think it's a cool title. The fact that no one knows what it means, including me, makes it kind of mysterious and more interesting than saying that you're a singer/songwriter or that you play indie rock."
After being signed by the British record label Rough Trade in 2001, Jeffrey Lewis released his first official album The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane. Also that year (in February), Lewis was visited by Kimya Dawson while living in Austin, Texas. Over the week she stayed there, they wrote five songs. These songs were later re-recorded with a full band and released by K Records under the moniker "The Bundles," on an album of the same name, in 2010.
In 2003 Rough Trade released the album It's the Ones Who've Cracked That the Light Shines Through, credited to Jeffrey Lewis with Jack Lewis and drummer Anders Griffen. His third Rough Trade record, City and Eastern Songs, was released in the UK in November 2005 and in the US in September 2006. Most of Lewis's albums also include his brother, Jack Lewis, who wrote or co-wrote and sang and played bass on a number of the songs. In October 2007, Rough Trade released 12 Crass Songs, a Jeffrey Lewis album consisting entirely of songs written by the anarcho-pacifist British punk band Crass, reworked to match Lewis's antifolk style.
He has also performed and collaborated with Kimya Dawson of The Moldy Peaches as well as Diane Cluck. Some of his hand-drawn comics appear in the cover art of his CD releases.
In June 2008 Jeffrey Lewis with his brother Jack were the support act for Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks in Europe. Other well-known acts that Lewis has performed shows or whole tours with include Devendra Banhart, Jarvis Cocker, Black Dice, Adam Green, Thurston Moore, the Fall, Kimya Dawson, Beth Orton, Frank Black, the Fiery Furnaces, Daniel Johnston, Scout Niblett, the Mountain Goats, Dr. Dog, the Moldy Peaches, Cornershop, Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players, Wooden Wand, the Cribs, Danielson, Herman Dune, Los Campesinos, Roky Erickson, and Super Furry Animals.
The New York Times has published his writings and graphic works.
The New York Times online Op-Ed page "Measure For Measure" hired Jeffrey Lewis to write a number of short essays on the topic of songwriting, some of which he drew in comic book form. All went up on the New York Times website at intervals from 2008 to 2013.
Lewis has created a number of illustrated historical songs, usually sung while flipping through accompanying books of color drawings, including ten such pieces which are in use by The History Channel on their website.
In November 2011 The New York Times ran a feature article on Jeffrey Lewis in the Arts section of November 23, written by Ben Sisario.
In January 2013, Lewis gave an interview with Audio Antihero's Jamie Halliday for GoldFlakePaint, where he revealed that there would be upcoming releases by himself and Jack Lewis and another record with Peter Stampfel.
Lewis published a comic strip in The Guardian newspaper in London. It was entitled “What Would Pussy Riot Do?” and it was printed on the occasion of a new release of a single with the same title.
Jeremiah Green's day job is playing drums for Modest Mouse. He also has the side projects JGreen and World Gang.
Tennessee all-star band made up of James Toth (Wooden Wand), Timothy Bracy (Mendoza Line), and Bingham Barnes (Glossary).
I know nothing about Joey DeMarco yet, except that his upcoming record, Dead Channels, that I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of, has already become my summer chill-time jam. It's pretty fantastic.
Former drummer of Dr. Dog plays all the instruments on this homage to all classic forms of rock n roll.