Archive for The Morning After Girls

The Best News Of The Week Is That The Black Ryder Have A New Album Coming Out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 4, 2014 by johnbuckley100

After something like a four-year wait, we were delighted with the news that a new song by The Black Ryder was posted on Stereogum.

Back in early 2010, Tulip Frenzy brought forth upon this land an early look at The Black Ryder’s debutBuy The Ticket, Take The Ride, which we’d damn near had to swim to Australia to find.  Our motivation for diving in the Pacific, credit card in hand, was simple: Aimee Nash and Scott Van Ryper had been core members of The Morning After Girls, whose early recordings were an almost perfect blend of both the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, and the songs that first were released by what then was known, in e.e. cummings lowercase lettering, as the black ryder, were simply awesome.

There are different ways one can measure a great record, but the two that matter are whether it has the potential to change the world, and whether years later you still play it regularly. Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride might not have changed the world, but from the full spectrum of Tulip Frenzy’s 2010 Top Ten List (c), this album today gets called to earbud duty every bit as much as that year’s winner, Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are.  There is the squall of guitars laying a pea-soup shroud of noise fog on Aimee Mann’s ethereal vocals, the drama of the songwriting revealing the hidden truth that these guys likely were what made the early Morning After Girls records so beguiling.  This was shoegaze music that got into the bones, that sunk into the marrow, that once in the head could not be eradicated.  Because of our regular playing of it, we have become intimately aware of the topography of our desert boots, the fray of our shoelaces. We play it all the time.

So the fact that The Black Ryder will, in early 2015, release The Door Behind The Door is reason for celebration, reason for optimism, the best news on the planet in an otherwise pretty dreary week.

Widowspeak’s “Almanac” Is A Compendium Of Facts About An Emerging Great Band

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on January 23, 2013 by johnbuckley100

When Widowspeak’s eponymous first album was released in 2011, you’d have been forgiven for thinking it was that Mazzy Star reunion we’ve all been waiting for.  Robert Earl Thomas was less adventurous than Dave Roback, maybe, though certainly his equal in sonic tastefulness, and singer Molly Hamilton sounded a lot like Hope Sandoval, minus the otherworldliness.  Now they are back with Almanac, and have surer footing, and a more aggressive pace, and we feel confident that the path they are on will take them far.

They make good partners, Thomas and Hamilton, as he shapes the sound with his lead guitar while she holds down the rhythm guitar parts forging the melody with artful phrasing.  Her voice stretches the canvas on which the songs are written across a fairly narrow frame.  Most times a baby doll husk, occasionally it loses all substance and recedes entirely into pretty fog, like Chet Baker playing trumpet on a slow song.  Widowspeak’s limitations, such as there are, emanate from whether one can live on the sustenance provided entirely by vocal meringue, and as we’ve just today heard about a restaurant in Tokyo that serves customers meals containing actual dirt, we have found ourselves nodding, seeking just a little grit, and wondering whether Widowspeak would be more satisfying listened to in longer increments if they emulated that approach.

Pareles used a Velvet Underground reference in his recent nice write up of Almanac, and while a stopped clock is occasionally right, you won’t be surprised that we beg to differ, that we think of Widowspeak less in the context of the VU than in the fourth-degree separation that comes from a young American band actually sounding more like the black ryder’s mutation of a Morning After Girls homage to the Brian Jonestown Massacre, who actually possessed the direct link to that VU sound.  Good company, though, right? More than sounding like Mazzy Star, better than sounding like one more acolyte of the Velvet Underground, Widowspeak reminds us of that magical moment we first heard the black ryder’s Aimee Nash singing with the Morning After Girls, though others will think of Miranda Lee Richards fronting the BJM.

For his part, Robert Earl Thomas is a canny lead guitarist who sounds more delicate on Almanac than he did live last November when Widowspeak opened for Woods at that amazing show at the Red Palace.  When he plays slide, he sounds like David Byrne on “The Big Country,” which of course was an homage to Phil Manzanera playing “Prairie Rose.”  All good lineage, all good music, a band with a future that links to the past — the best kind — and an album we will be listening to, over and over, until they mercifully deliver the next one.

The Black Ryder’s “Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride”

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by johnbuckley100

Pedigree counts more at events sponsored by The Westminster Kennel Club than in modern day rock’n’roll, but well before the release of The Black Ryder’s superb first album, it was clear this was a well-bred band. At least Aimee Nash was a member of the Morning After Girls V. 1.0, (was her partner Scott Von Ryper as well?) and if an adjunct of class is whom you hang out with, The Black Ryder’s got an A-list social network — the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Angels.

More than a year ago, “Burn and Fade” showed up on their MySpace page, with BRMC’s Peter Hayes sharing vocal duties, and it immediately placed TBR on the matrix.  If the bottom axis is a band’s relative immersion in the Velvet Underground, and the right axis is where they fit on the continuum between, say, the Stones upward toward the gauzy reaches of Mazzy Star and Galaxie 500, just that first song showed The Black Ryder scoring high in the upper right hand corner.

Frustratingly for us Yanks with a hankering for Aussie bands — we veterans of the long wait for The Morning After Girls’ second album (sans Ms. Nash) — Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride came out in Australia in November, got rave reviews, but as of this writing, no American release date.  Tulip Frenzy went into emergency acquisition mode, checked our Antipodal contacts, and through extraordinary measures (Amazon, credit card, paying up for the Import), are pleased to give this debut report for the American cognoscenti.

The Black Ryder are the real deal, and if Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride had found its ways to these shores in 2009, it would certainly have nestled near Assemble Head In Sunburst Sound’s When Sweet Sleep Returned high atop the Tulip Frenzy Top 10 List.  (It wouldn’t have knocked Sonic Youth outta the top slot, for those geezers gripped it with gnarled paws.)

In the keiretsu connecting the BJM and the Dandys and the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, they’re already supplying guitar strings and guitarists (BJM’s Rick Maymi, fer example) to The Black Ryder.  Unfortunately, the production checklist didn’t include making sure the drums snapped, but they methodically went through every element relating to the guitars.  I think my favorite song so far is the throbbing “What’s Forsaken,” but honestly, hear any of these songs in a club and you’ll reach for your Shazam app.

Look, I thought the early Morning After Girls recordings were some of the best sounds that came out of that miserable decade we’ve just escaped from.  I would be prone to enjoy an album featuring someone from that lineup.  This is so much better: a lovely, mid-tempo mashup of the Dig! bands that never strains.  It fits the tempo of life between 7:00 and 10:00 AM, and then again after 9:00 PM. Does that properly place it?  Music to listen to in an urban apartment with rain slapping the streets, while tea is made.  (Yeah, that kind of tea, with cream and sugar.) Now if we can only get them to buy a ticket on a Quantas flight over to these parts.

the black ryder’s “Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride” Out In October

Posted in Music with tags , , on July 21, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The Morning After Girls’ progeny the black ryder (lower case, like ee cummings) sent out an email this week announcing a first album out this October entitled By The Ticket, Take The Ride.  Importantly, they also have posted a song from it on their MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/theblackryder).  All we can say is Wow.  “Burn and Ride” sounds like the glorious offspring of a marriage between Spacemen 3 and Luna, with Mazzy Star doing the officiating.

If, following Aimee Nash’s departure from The MAG, they went on to be a little too polished for their original fans, Ms. Nash gives us a reminder of what’s missing.

The Morning After Girls “Alone” Is A Pretty Rock Classic

Posted in Music with tags , on July 14, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The thing I liked so much about The Morning After Girls’ first album, which had the rather utilitarian name of The Prelude EPs, 1 & 2, was the way it could be both raw and delicate at the same time.  Here was an Aussie band firmly in thrall to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, and all their progenitors and spore.  But that was a long time ago, as Sacha Lucachenko and  Martin B. Sleeman shed and gained new band mates, moved, more or less permanently, to New York, and over the course of the last few years, methodically kept the flame alive.

We’re glad they did, because Alone is a beautiful bit of artisanal crafting, bespoke tailoring on a classic last.  There’s good news and bad news here.  The good news is that they write oft-times brilliant songs — I’ve been grokking on “Who Is They” for months, and the title track is as great a bit of mid-90’s Britpop as anything Noel Gallagher would have produced after a three-day binge.  I hear echos of the Stone Roses, the Charlatans UK, Luna, maybe even Spiritualized: good company.  The bad news is that some of the rawness has been sandpapered smooth.  Sacha and Martin sing very pretty harmonies, and one doesn’t often complain about good singing, but in this case it sometimes sounds pretty for the sake of it.

When they want to, they still can rock — “Death Processions,” for example, packs a wallop.  The show I saw in January at the Mercury Lounge was ear-splitting and occasionally thrilling.  And they have the classicist’s memory of how bands like the Beatles and the Stones really stuck in your mind — it wasn’t just the hooks, the chorus, the solos, it was those tantalizing outros, making you hark your ear toward the speaker as the song fades away.  Oasis knew this from the start, but not many other bands do, nor do they have producers who understand the vaudevillian’s mantra of always leave them wanting something more.

It’s been a long time coming, a long strip tease, as some of these songs have for months been streamable on their web site.  This is a band that, with the proper management and a little luck, could be huge.  Based on the pleasures they offer, they deserve to be huge.  I just hope they don’t forget where they come from.  I don’t mean Australia, I mean raw and thrilling.  Bands too pretty leave me cold.

Here’s A Show To See: Warlocks With the Morning After Girls

Posted in Music with tags , on June 29, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Great news arrived this morning:

the morning after girls announce summer tour and album release party


photo credit: phillip graybill

join the morning after girls at the mercury lounge for a headline show to celebrate the release of their debut album ‘alone.’ on july 16, then they’ll cross the nation for this summer’s tour with the warlocks (dates below)

07/16 – new york, ny – mercury lounge

the morning after girls recall prime-era shoegaze outfits like ride (whose mark gardener made a guest appearance one one of the group’s early eps). where many of their peers put emphasis on volume, the girls know the power of a good, woozy melody. their best moments top churning guitars with clean, aching vocals.” – rolling stone


the morning after girls national tour dates:

07/30 – san francisco, ca – bottom of the hill
08/01 – seattle, wa – chop suey
08/02 – portland, or – doug fir lounge
08/05 – minneapolis, mn – turf club
08/06 – chicago, il – empty bottle
08/08 – cleveland, oh – grog shop
08/11 – philadelphia, pa – kung fu necktie
08/12 – boston, ma – great scott
08/14 – new york, ny – bowery ballroom
08/15 – hoboken, nj – maxwell’s
08/17 – chapel hill, nc – local 506
08/18 – atlanta, ga – the earl
08/19 – birmingham, al – bottletree cafe
08/20 – new orleans, la – one eyed jacks
08/21 – austin, tx – the parish
08/22 – houston, tx – walter’s on washington
08/26 – tucson, az – club congress
08/27 – san diego, ca – casbah
08/28 – los angeles, ca – spaceland
08/29 – los angeles, ca – spaceland


alone.

the debut album from the morning after girls, released july 7

recorded in various parts of melbourne, australia, and was mixed and produced by martin b. sleeman and sacha lucashenko, with alan moulder at the helm. as was always planned, martin and sacha relocated to new york city in 2008, and with the inclusion of ej (bass guitar), alex (keys, sounds, percussion), and anthony (percussion drums).

indeed, it is easy to say that life is a constant flow of beginnings and ends, inhaling and exhaling, rising and passing. well, the morning after girls’ voice remains steady and stronger than always, and as you join them on this journey, you will see that there is not a call, nor text, nor an email that you need to attend to. there is simply the true presentation of the bond between your heart, soul and mind.

the general public, which could serve as the group’s mission statement: big, sawing guitars, gauzy synths and searching vocals making for a song that’s hammering and hooky all at once.” – rolling stone

“the general public., is marked by hypnotically beautiful vocals encased in a rising and falling wall of powerfully insistent guitars.” – 9/10 prefix mag

“an onslaught of blissed-out psychedelic rock and leaden, secret machines and jesus and mary chain-esque reverb.” – rcrd lbl
“gorgeous” – village voice

“imagine taking all the majesty of the j&m chain, the mystery of my bloody valentine, the romance of the church, and the effortlessly subversive cool primal scream, and cranking it up to gorgeously thunderous levels in a trashy little lower east side club. now make it go one louder.” – filter mag

“something that harnesses the blood/guts of a traditional rock band facing the monolith of technology with desire and trepidation, taking a wary step in and plunging headlong into a seemingly limitless black hole, is, well…that’s a sound that’s harder to get than might initially appear to be the case,and its valuable when found.” – la weekly

“the morning after girls played the viper room on thursday night as if they were hellbent on being the next psych-rock contenders, and they might be. the new york-based quintet fashioned a glowing wall of sound and decorated it with colorful licks and cool harmonies; think primal scream, or a harder-edged verve, or the dandy warhols if they hadn’t drunk their own kool-aid.” – kevin bronson, buzzbands


www.myspace.com/themorningaftergirls

The Morning After Girls At The Mercury Lounge 1/27/09

Posted in Music with tags , on January 28, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The Morning After Girls are ready for prime time, ready for their close up, with a live set that takes the best from their new material — “Who Is They” finished the set — and the best of the old.  This is a powerfully constructed band, with tight vocal harmonies woven like a sash between Sasha Lucashenko and Martin B. Sleeman, who share guitar duties.  

Long ago, the story goes, novelist Scott Turow mentioned to his law firm partners that he would soon have a thriller out, and his partners asked if it was going to be big.  He was confident enough – and knew his publisher’s budget – to say, “It’s going to billboard-on-the-back-of-the-bus big.”  So goes the suspicion about what the Morning After Girls could  be.  They could be Oasis big.  They’re also going to delight critics, most of the time.  Think of the Stone Roses, at least for the vocals. And they split the difference between the louche ’60s guitar sound of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the tight hook-laden pop careerism of the early Dandy Warhols.  You know they were torn over who to root for when they saw Dig!

The problem with the Mercury Lounge as a showcase is they got about two seconds to set up, and the sound’s bad to begin with.  And this is an ambitious  band whose guitar lines are precise, who use pedals and phase-shifting atmospherics, and whose harmonies need to jell. Too often it sounded like one of the guitars was just a little out of tune, or at least stuck in the maw.  Oh, but when they rolled through “Shadows Evolve,” and got to “Chasing Us Under” it all worked.  The vocals were on, the guitar lines snaked over and around each other.  “Chasing Us Under” was worthy of Dean Wareham and Sean Eden, maybe even Lloyd and Verlaine.  For a band built on melody and guitar dynamics, they put up a big ruckus.

The new members of the band play tight.  Can’t wait, for their sake and ours, for The Morning After Girls to play a set with clean sound, after a sound check.  A very good New York debut under less than ideal conditions.

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