Black Kids - Athens Popfest '07

This year's Athens Popfest lineup has been announced (Roky Erickson headlining), which spurred the guy who taped a lot of last year's Popfest to get his recordings from it out to the public. Check out this thread for several recordings from Popfest 2007, including Daniel Johnston (backed by Casper and the Cookies) and Apples In Stereo frontman Robert Schneider's side project Marbles. Last year's Popfest proved to be the breakout performance for Jacksonville, Florida's Black Kids [myspace]. The strength of their infectous debut Wizard of Ahhhs EP and the buzz from their Popfest performance eventually saw them turn into US and British press darlings and signed to Columbia Records earlier this month, but it seems they are especially loved overseas, recording their debut LP in the UK while touring there. Starting in June they'll be headlining their own European tour, just played Coachella (pictured) and several festival slots in the UK, and going by those measures it's not hard to see a bright future for these guys, but it's well-deserved - those spoils are built upon a foundation of some solid music. Black Kids have a certain swagger - even at their most rocking there's an underlying laid-back disaffection, and it's a juxtaposition that works, a bit like it did for Pavement. Theirs seems to be a gentle rollicking soul overcome to bouts of dancing and tuneful yelping (and a few Isaac Brock-ish vocal phrasings). Not too hot, not too cold, juuust right, with breezy keyboards cooling the air throughout. So before their debut LP skyrockets their popularity to Vampire Weekend levels, now is a good time to go back and hear the performance that helped launch it all:

Huge thanks to Lance [myspace] for recording and sharing this and all the other Popfest gems, and to Mick O for the Black Kids photo from Coachella last month. Below is last year's closing song, Daniel Johnston doing "Rock This Town". I don't think I'll be able to make it again to this year's Popfest, but someday I hope to go and see Athens, and one of the best underground festivals on the planet, and rock the town I've admired from afar for a while. Order tickets for this year's Popfest now if you have the means to go!

I also love the coincidence that both the bands playing behind Daniel Jonston are the two main supporting backing bands of Keith John Adams. We need Adams and Johnston to get together for a duet to complete the cosmic musical triumvirate.


Tap Tap

Tap Tap pretty much follows my M.O.: Hear one or two tracks from a band, absolutely love those tracks for a while, and take my damn sweet time finally getting around to check out the album. I think this blog's motto should simply be "better late than never". I'm pretty sure I picked up my Tap Tap tracks at Catbirdseat, I think the guy from Catbirdseat released Tap Tap's debut LP here in the US... about two years ago. I've finally I've gotten hold of Lanzafame, and it's superb. I'm not going to do justice to this music with words, that much is clear, most superlatives would be too over-the-top for the slightly understated music, but I don't want to downplay the gloriousness, either - and I just can't nail down the bands I want to compare them to, and even if I did, I think Tap Tap are probably better than the comparisons. They're definitely better than most of the new crap I hear today. Make up your own mind:

Tap Tap are from Reading, England, and fronted by one Thomas Sanders, who also is in Pete and the Pirates [myspace], who, judging from what I've heard, I like just about as much as Tap Tap, but apparently Pete and the Pirates are bigger (if Myspace comments are a measure), and have several big festival stops lined up this summer. Leave it to me to fall in love with a 2 year old side project that may never see the light of day again (Tap Tap had their own site at one time but the domain is now expired). Kind of reminds me of the Joggers offshoot Cajun Gems. BTW - I was trying to wait to get the Joggers live concert audio, to go with the interview, but whether it comes or not - Joggers interview THIS WEEK - that's a promise.


Ultimate 80's Midsummer's Day

But, you may ask, what about the rest of us who are awake during daylight hours and need something more upbeat? Here you go, a companion to the previous mix... the best 80's daytime mix ever:

To download the whole mix, click below:

I hope to get Joggers live audio to include, but even if I don't, I'll have a Joggers interview up this week


Ultimate 80's Midsummer's Night

Most 80's mixes are crap. Even mixes with several or even mostly good bands often have stinkers included, or too obvious song choices. Here I've chosen mostly familiar bands, but tried not to pick the biggest hits (tracks 2&3 are arguably those bands' second biggest hits). The first few songs I chose had a kind of nighttime feel, so I stuck with that, and made sure they were songs I was already familiar with and hadn't gotten sick of, that would stand the test of even more time.

And I wasn't planning on doing a new mix right now, I had seen Muxtape, on Boing Boing and forgot about it, and then my friend Daniella clued the rest of us at the Townhall in, so once again I'm a day late but somehow catch up. Muxtape is great for what it is: a simple interface for creating and sharing mixtapes online. A batch upload feature would be nice, and to be honest, in the end if it's a mix I like I'd rather just download the songs and have them, mixtapes should in a way be free like that, but I see where Muxtapes is trying to stay afloat and not draw the labels' wrath, by linking to where you can purchase the mp3 online. But - since this is the greatest 80's mix of all time, I'm uploading it to Muxtape and providing it for download here, but if you want to give something back to the artist, buy the songs you love

To listen to the songs individually, go to muxtape.com

To download the whole mix, click below:

Next post: Joggers interview and audio!