New podcasts are up with Lil Bub & Her Dudes (Mike Bridavsky and Matt Tobey) as well as a good chat with Ryan Allen (of Thunderbirds Are Now, Destroy This Place, Ryan Allen and His Extra Arms). Head over to the podcast page and get your listen on!
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Mike Gallacher is a man from Tacoma, Washington who currently resides in Detroit, Michigan. We've been friends for a good long time due to circumstance (weddings, road trips, happenstance and location have all factored in). Sometimes, friendship explodes out of nothing, and next thing you know, you've hit the ground running full speed with a new buddy who suddenly feels like family. Mike has been that sort of friend for me. (It also doesn't hurt that he's a wizard with all things guitar-related and my go-to guy for any sort of gear-related questions.)
So, Mike has been working in secret on a new EP for a good while, and finally has it released to the public. The band is called Monarchs, and the EP is called Citizens. I've asked to hear this stuff for months, and none of my requests have gone answered, so I'm thrilled to finally hear this monster he's been working on behind closed doors for so long. The songs are bombastic and leap out of the speakers with life, hovering wonderfully in that same hooky anthemic-but-angular territory that J. Robbins was mining with Burning Airlines, while vocally taking after a more maladjusted Bob Mould.
Put your ears on the new Monarchs EP here.
I've never been a giant fan of bands who rely on laptops and synths as their musical foundation. Coming of age in a post-Nirvana world, it's been engrained in me to feel a great sense of distrust with any band who may have backing tracks or just a little too much polish. However, put some incredibly tasteful songwriters at the head of the project (who also manage to produce giant, complex sounding songs whose layers compliment rather than compete), that red warning light in the back of my head flips off and it's a lot of fun.
Detroit's Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. happen to be that exact beautiful combination, creating perfect plastic pop with legitimately moving/clever songs hidden beneath the sheen. On record, it's a giant, whirring machine that spits out post-millennial Pet Sounds harmonies atop glitchy loops. In a live setting, the band has an incredible polished live show with flashing "JR JR" lights across the stage and giant synchronized video projections, but they aren't afraid to light the fuse and let their songs blow up into bombastic rock and roll. The world of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. truly is a beautiful dream, melding progressive electronica with indie pop in wonderfully unpredictable, anthemic fashion.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Miniature Tigers play tonight, October 17, 2014, at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle. Tickets are $16.