Friday, May 25, 2007


First up, the Chicago musical duo Coltrane Motion. I have been getting emails about these guys all week, and the more I listen to their new album the more I understand why.

From the press release:
Coltrane Motion is heartbreak you can dance to, booty breaks dipped in indie guitar fuzz with an mess of synths, samplers, & laptops tearing it all to pieces. The result is an inventive mix of noisy indie rock, sixties pop, and experimental hiphop. Farfisa stabs give way to stomp/harmonica breakdowns, and power chords howl over a frenzy of soul breakbeats. If it sounds like nothing you've ever heard before, chalk it up to the group's penchant for writing their own sound software and even constructing new instruments from scratch for live usage.
Fanatic also digs it, saying:
This is the new album from Coltrane Motion, two small-town Ohio expatriates now residing in Chicago. Lead singer Michael Bond records sixties-obsessed electronic pop in his home studio, while guitarist Matt Dennewitz covers it all in wailing distortion and delay at their live shows - the result is a raucous wall of sound built out of drum loops and fuzzed-out melodies, held together by swirling synths and organ drones. It's an indie rock dance record that doesn't follow the DFA/NME template, leaning more on 90s shoegazers and 60s soul jams than the usual post-punk roll call. Their frantic live show has been described by the press as an 'exuberant seizure' and 'the cool kids in programming class', its dance-punk intensity a far cry from your usual laptop performances.

Coltrane Motion - "Summertime"

Coltrane Motion - "How To Be"

the entire Coltrane Motion album, Songs About Music, right here.


Next up, Portland-based folk-tinged indie rock outfit The Shaky Hands, who were just voted Best New Band 2007 by Portland newspaper Willamette Week. Their self-titled debut album has been causing quite a stir across the internet, and it has been in my regular rotation since I first gave it a spin.

The Shaky Hands are relatively straightforward: They're a rock-and-roll band. A jangly, acoustic guitar-loving, summertime soundtrack of a rock band, but a rock band nonetheless. They spend much of their onstage time with backs at least partially turned to the crowd—sweaty and/or shirtless by the end of many performances. None of this seems particularly purposeful or forced, and none of it seems awkward. Therein lies the magic of the Shaky Hands: You won't see these guys pulling synchronized air-kicks or clapping in unison, but being energetic and passionate comes naturally to them.
Sliding bouncy go-go beats under shambling guitars and reedy, swooning vocals, Shaky Hands make the kind of catchy, soulful indie rock that’s tailor-made for brokedown car stereos and river-rat boomboxes. Their debut album’s 13 tracks glow with a sloppily romantic warmth that’s equal parts summer sunshine and candlelit mellow, pre-party buzz and scruffy day-after fuzziness. The result is a fully formed and confident debut; a big-hearted, starry-eyed bear hug of a record, full of youthful energy and tumbling vigor, just waiting to back new adventures and comfort old friends.

The Shaky Hands - "Hold It Up"

The Shaky Hands - "Summer's Life"

Video for the single "Why & How Come"

Hear more, and pick up the album, at