Friday, May 26, 2023

Crimes - Good Hope (2011)

Late May is the time where I start to think about summer. Technically still spring, there are a few summer-esque things that occur in the next few weeks before the solstice. Honeysuckle will explode in the next two weeks, and with it the dizzyingly sweet fragrance. At the end of the first week of June, lightning bugs (or fireflies) will fill the evening trees with miniature constellations. 

This is also the time I inevitably start looking for my summer music. I don't know why summertime is associated with music... maybe almost probably (definitely) it has something to do with capitalism. But, like a parasite, capitalism lives in me and it feels natural to seek the summer record.

Good Hope is a good contender. Crimes from Minnesota, a 4 piece sharing the same lead singer of the phenomenal Loud Sun, recorded their debut LP Good Hope in 2011. It is reverb-laden, shimmering psych pop with a melodic and stoned vocal delivery that just makes me relaxed. These songs, much like those of Loud Sun, are like the "couch-lock" of music. Put it on and forget it's there, you'll realize 30 minutes later that you just came up for air and that you have been swimming, drowning in thought. 

You'll wonder where the time went. Their second release was written up by our old friend Elvis Dracula in his EP Grab Bag Vol. 32. Also an excellent release. 

If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Crimes are playing a reunion show on June 3rd at Palmer's Bar.

Crimes - Good Hope


Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Past Lives - Tapestry of Webs (2010)


Growing up in a small city with limited resources for bands, one that was never included on anyone's tour schedule, was frustrating for a young me. Situated firmly between NYC and Philadelphia, you'd think that teenage me would have many options. 

Life wasn't like that, however.

Fast forward to my first experience living in a bigger city. My desire for live music was so pent up that every year I would bankrupt myself seeing live music. It was like a drug. I would get yearly bonuses that would all be dwindled 4 months, where I'd inevitably pull money from my retirement fund to cover rent. 

One of the bands I saw in this time was Past Lives. I was working with the bassist from The Thermals, who were opening, so I had the rare opportunity to see a show for free, and I loved The Thermals so win win. Then Past Lives takes the stage and within minutes my little mind was splattered all over the walls of the venue. 

Past Lives featured Jordan Blilie on vocals... a very recognizable voice in the music scene of the Pacific Northwest. I'd loved his earlier band The Blood Brothers, but didn't really follow Blilie's career or even know what he looked like. So immediately when he started singing I knew he was standing right in front of me. 

Tapestry of Webs is post-hardcore pushed up toward colorful melodicism and away from the dismal, grey vibes more indicative of the genre. The music is energetic and thrashing at times but also swings towards balladry. There's singing AND screaming. Guitars AND saxophone and... is that a clarinet or a bassoon in there? A wild, beautiful, inspired record that 13 years later is still giving newness to my ears. 

Past Lives - Tapestry of Webs