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Lace Curtains

July 31, 2014

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Back in 2012 Michael Coomer (formerly of Harlem) started up Lace Curtains and put out an LP titled The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness.  It ended up landing at the very top of my album list that year and since then I’ve been impatiently waiting for a follow-up.  Well, it’s finally done and ready to be released, and I’m so very excited to soon have a new set of sure-to-be stellar songs to fawn over.  Below you’ll find the first track to be released off of Coomers upcoming full length.  It’s pretty damn great.  Enjoy.

:Lace Curtains – Wilshire And Fairfax:

A Signed Piece Of Paper is due out October 28 via Female Fantasy Records.

Bonus Video:

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Dan’s Top 5 Albums Of 2012

December 12, 2012

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Considering I listen to roughly ten new albums each week on Spotify, it’s not easy narrowing down my list of top albums to just five. While my favorite album was determined months ago, the rest of the top 5 and my honorable mentions list has fluctuated greatly. However, after much internal debate, shuffling of positions, and a far amount of procrastination, I present my top albums of 2012.

5. Imperial China – How We Connect

The second album from my favorite DC band was released in January of this the year. It contains all the things I loved about their first record – lots of searing guitars and swirling synths layered over pummeling percussion – but the new record also shows a marked growth in their sound. This is a tight record that balances musicianship, experimental elements, and sonic intensity. Add it all together and you have a stand out record from a band that has truly distinguished itself on the DC music scene.

:Imperial China – Ljos:

4. Cloud NothingsAttack On Memory

There’s just something about this indie-punk record that I instantly loved. It’s a throwback to bands like Fugazi and Nirvana that mixed fuzz-rock and punk with a pop aesthetic. The record is full of hooks, anthemic tracks, loud drums, and each song is distinguished by Dylan Baldi’s off-kilter yet charming  vocals. What’s not to love?

:Cloud Nothings – Stay Useless:

3. Mind SpidersMeltdown

While the first Mind Spiders record was basically a solo project of Mark Ryan (Marked Men), Meltdown was recorded with a full band and the bigger, more expansive sound is apparent. The lo-fi psychedelic tracks are gone and there are fewer quick hitting punk-pop jams. Meltdown is an expansive record with influences ranging from Jay Reatard to Brian Eno while still retaining the garage rock core that I love so much.

:Mind Spiders – Wait For Us:

2. OBN IIIS – OBNS IIIS

There are a lot of garage rock bands out there vying for our attention, but only one can be King of Rock Mountain, and that king is the OBN IIIs. I didn’t think it possible for them to top their last album, The Only And Only, yet they managed to do just that.

:OBN IIIs – People Are Afraid:

1. Lace Curtains – The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness

I’m still blown away by what Michael Coomer (Harlem) accomplished with The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness. Based on Harlem’s records I expected fun and goofy garage rock. Instead he delivered brilliant pop music that was heartfelt and honest. A personal and authentic album about regrets, confessions, apologies, and sex. Such lyrics usually mean a heavy or dark feel but Coomer manages a breezy laid back vibe that only magnifies the charm of the record.

:Lace Curtains – High Fantasy:

Honorable Mentions:
Ty Segall – Slaughterhouse
Metz – Metz
The White Wires – WWIII
Yellow Ostrich – Strange Land
Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

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Top 25 Albums Of 2012: Part 5

December 7, 2012

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And then it was the end.  You guys now have my Top 50 Songs of 2012 and my Top 25 Albums of 2012.  Hooray for sharing!  Anyhow, I’m off to take a break.  The rest of the SOTO staff will be posting their 2012 favorites next week, so if you’re not listed out, come on back by.

For good measure in regards to my album list, I easily could have spewed out 50 releases, but I realized that half of those would have been albums that I only listen to when I’m in a particular mood.  In other words, they’re not immediately accessible, and that to me knocks them down a notch.  So, if you’re looking for 25 releases that you can immediately dive into and love, this is the place to be.  Enjoy.

05) The Sword – Apocryphon

I thought the Sword’s last release, Warp Riders, was pretty fantastic, but Apocryphon is worlds better.  The album isn’t even what I’d consider metal, it’s just high quality rock n’ roll, and we all need that in our lives.

:The Sword – Eyes Of The Stormwitch:

04) Terry Malts – Killing Time

Slumberland put out a lot of nice albums this year, but the one that I felt stood above the rest was Terry Malts’ Killing Time.  It’s awesomely overloaded with fuzzed-out, two minute-ish punk jams that make you want to get up and go.

:Terry Malts – I Do:

03) Purity Ring – Shrines

I had very high expectations for Shrines, and Purity Ring actually managed to meet them.  Even after what seems to be a million listens, this album still sounds fresh and futuristic to me.   Wear headphones, friends.

:Purity Ring – Belispeak:

02) Japandroids – Celebration Rock

If you can listen to Celebration Rock and not immediately want to set out on a drunken, caution-free adventure with whoever happens to be around you at that moment, then you’re dead.  No one inspires like this duo does.

:Japandroids – The Night Of Wine And Roses:

01) Lace Curtains – The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness

Well, this is it.  We have arrived at my favorite album of 2012, and it comes via a side project of Michael Coomer (from Austin’s Harlem).  The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness is full of fantastic songwriting, and I’ve spent a lot of time just lost in each of its 10 tracks.  If only all pop music was this memorable.

:Lace Curtains – High Fantasy:

PS – I had a few other albums floating around in my head, so I made some mini-lists for fun.

5 Albums That Would Have Made The List Had I Done A Top 30
Dan Deacon – America
Reptar – Body Faucet
Titus Andronicus – Local Business
Ty Segall Band – Slaughterhouse
Frankie Rose – Interstellar

5 Great Albums That Require Patience
Mono – For My Parents
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
Beach House – Bloom
Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t
The Walkmen – Heaven

5 Great Austin Releases That Didn’t Make The Top 25
Dana Falconberry – Leelanau
The Calm Blue Sea – Arrivals And Depatures
Heartless Bastards – Arrow
Shearwater – Animal Joy
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Untogether

Top 5 EPs
Icona Pop – Iconic
MS MR – Candy Bar Creep Show
Dum Dum Girls – End Of Daze
Rubblebucket – Oversaturated
FIDLAR – Don’t Try

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 3

November 28, 2012

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On the off-chance that you weren’t paying attention throughout any part of 2012, then know that I have you covered.  Below you’ll find the third part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

30)  :Lace Curtains – Bedroom Honesty:  For a song that sounds so wonderfully casual and inviting, it’s brutally upfront about quite a few things.  I love it.  From The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness.

29)  :Three Mile Pilot – Long Way Up:  It doesn’t seem plausible for a band to take a decade-long break and then come back as good as ever, but 3MP are currently in the middle of doing just that.  For proof, give this indie rock effort a listen.  From the Maps EP.

28)  :Ceremony – Hysteria:  There isn’t anything about this punch to the soul that doesn’t make me want to set something on fire, and I appreciate that greatly.  From Zoo.

27)  :FIDLAR – Got No Money:  These guys have so many rad songs that make me want to thrash around, and yet it was this catchy little pop number that I couldn’t escape all year.  Variety is good, friends.  From the Don’t Try EP.

26)  :Yellow Ostrich – Marathon Runner:  Vocal loops, a good chorus, and just the right amount of rock – that’s the Yellow Ostrich formula, and in songs like this one, it works very well.  From Strange Land.

25)  :Rubblebucket – Oooh Wa:  This band’s name makes them sound like some sort of wild punk outfit, but as you’ll see in this shimmering track, they’re actually a really good indie pop act.  From the Oversaturated EP.

24)  :Felix – Oh Thee 73:  Listening to this duo snark their way through this intricate number has been one of my favorite parts of 2012.  From Oh Holy Motar.

23)  :How To Dress Well – & It Was U:  90s R&B isn’t something I can claim as my thing, but if it’s coming from How To Dress Well?  Well, then that is entirely me.  I wish I had a good dance move for whenever this comes on.  From Total Loss.

22)  :Reptar – Sebastian:  Reptar are a bizarre ray of sunshine for me.  The vocals live out in left field, but the music is gloriously upbeat.  I’ve been singing this one all year.  From Body Faucet.

21)  :Dan Deacon – Lots:  My favorite thing about Dan Deacon is that even if you can’t figure out what the hell he’s trying to do, he has songs like this one that you get into simply because they’re so kinetic.  If I ran, I’d totally run to this.  From America.

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Lace Curtains (Dan)

September 12, 2012

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One of the things I love about the Spotify integration with Facebook is seeing my All-Time top artists, albums, and songs. It even breaks it down by month. It’s cool to look back and see which albums I was jamming to throughout the year. Of course, the results are a little skewed by the fact my 4 year old insists we listen to her music while in the car. It’s only because I love her dearly that I suffer the shame of having Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen as my all-time most listened to song.

One thing Spotify doesn’t track though, is songs you have on your computer that aren’t on Spotify. This month OBN IIIs, Harlem, and LCD Soundsystem are my top played artists. However, if Spotify tallied local tracks too then Lace Curtains would be the clear leader. I have listened to The Garden Of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness more times than I can even count at this point. The year isn’t over yet, but it will take something pretty spectacular to supplant it as my top album of 2012. It’s that good.

Lace Curtains is the project of Michael Coomer, who is best known for his work in Harlem. It seems Harlem is on a break since the other driving force in the group (Curtis James) is currently promoting his other band, Grape St. Coomer took full advantage of the down time by recording this new record in Brooklyn with Matt Tong (of Bloc Party). When I heard about Lace Curtains I expected more happy-go-lucky garage rock, but this record is in stark contrast to the Harlem releases. Whereas Harlem played punky garage rock that was a bit goofy (like the sophomoric garage rock perfected by early Mudhoney), this is a personal album filled with songs about regrets, break-ups, confessions, apologies, and sex.

It’s safe to say that The Garden of Joy And The Well Of Loneliness is more heartfelt than anything Coomer has done in the past. He displays a vulnerability in his poetic lyrics. But that vulnerability doesn’t mean the record is stiff or overwrought. Rather it has a laid back, relaxed, and very honest vibe. The songs seem as they were written with ease, as if he was just getting a few things off his chest or having a conversation with significant other. While there are a few hints of garage rock, the songs are more of stripped down experimental-pop like you’d hear from the Velvet Underground.

While I thoroughly enjoy each track on the record, let me makes this perfectly clear: Cleopatra is my JAM. I fucking love this song. It’s a breezy, mid-tempo strummer but there’s just something about it that makes you want to listen to it on repeat all day, all night. I dare you to take a listen and tell me I’m wrong.

:Lace Curtains – Cleopatra:
:Lace Curtains – Bedroom Honesty:
:Lace Curtains – High Fantasy:

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