national

National Site

The Little Bear: The Infinity Cat’s Meow

If you thought you had found all the buried treasure in Nashville’s local music scene, you thought wrong—unless you’ve been lucky enough to stumble across The Little BearInfinity Cat’s atypically non-punk trio. They are quite the hidden gem—never seeming to play with any of the Infinity Cat staples, i.e. JEFF the Brotherhood, PUJOL, Heavy Cream, etc.—(probably because they aren’t a punk band). Instead, they play pop/rock with a hint of folk, lead by singer/songwriter Claire Guerrero, who is joined by Mandy Rogers on keyboards/vocals, and Justin Baker, on electric guitar/vocals. A good comparison would be local folk band, Korean is Asian, but more upbeat and less folksy.

The Little Bear tends to entrance you with tight harmonies, and clever, polyphonic little ditties to build a more rhythmic layer of sound above the ambience of the keyboard/synth and electric guitar. (The song, “Parachute,” is a good example of this). The background vocal bedazzlements are a central theme in their material, helping to create both of The Little Bear’s dominant styles, which are either abundantly pretty folk/pop, or more theatrical, pop/rock. Listening to “Slow and Steady,” is like listening to Queen’s “Killer Queen,” with the bouncy, almost big-band approach, while “Coldest Cloud” almost grinds along to the point of being an old PJ Harvey tune. This variation in material is admirable, and while Claire will tell you that her biggest influences are Portishead, Fiona Apple, Bjork, and Stevie Wonder, her songs are also reminiscent of Jewel, Tori Amos, or even Michelle Branch (before she got pregnant and joined The Wreckers).

Assuming that none of the members of The Little Bear get pregnant, they should have some pretty exciting things going on in the near future. They recently recorded an album with Infinity Cat founder/legendary songwriter, Robert Orrall, and sound engineer, Jacquire King, whose previous collaborations include Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, and Tom Waits. You can also look forward to hearing SEXTTAPE, which is an upcoming split tape they’re doing with PUJOL on Infinity Cat Records. The Little Bear seems to be riding on a fast train that’s headed to the land of fame and fortune, so you should get on that train too, and take it to their next show, which will be at the 5 Spot on September 24th.—Erin Manning

   

Justine

A couple of weeks ago we brought you the news of the new album from Unicycle Loves You, Mirror Mirror being released this September. Now we have a track from that album called “Justine”. The video for “Justine” was released a year ago and was directed by Athony Dixon.

The release of Mirror Mirror will be celebrated at Schubas on Sept. 11th with The Nurse’s Novels and Village.

   

Billy & Dolly Rumble

April's Artist of the Month winners Billy & Dolly will be playing this weeks The Rumble San Francisco as presented by Future Sounds. The best part about The Rumble [as always] is that its free to anyone who RSVP's and its only $5 to those with commitment issues and/or those who are socially sensitized to making plans. Billy & Dolly will perform along with  LA's Rumspringa and Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt. Wednesday, August 4th at Cafe du Nord. No street fighting just sound.

-Nicole Leigh

   

From our Open Blog: Loose Lips Sink Ships / Victor Villarreal

Chicago indie rock veteran/guitar virtuoso Victor Villarreal (Cap'n Jazz, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka) and DeKalb, IL's math rock wunderkids Loose Lips Sink Ships are gearing up for the pressing of a split 7" record, entitled Eating Happens. The record is set for release August 27th on Chicago newcomers Whaleplane Records. Eating Happens is Villarreal's second release under his own name (the first being 2009's Alive), and is Loose Lips Sink Ships' second 7" record on Whaleplane, a label that got its start in the college town of Fredonia, NY. The record features a track from each artist, Loose Lips contribute the knotty, spastic "Sarah Palin's Parasailing" and Victor offers up a fingerpicked folk song entitled "Prophesying Hypothesis." The record is a limited edition item (just 500 hand numbered copies are to be released this August) and is available for preorder now.

Preordering the record not only includes immediate download of this album, it also ensures that it will be shipped out before the release date. A free stream of both tracks is available, as well, at Loose Lips' webstore.

   

La Scala

Last week La Scala released their new ep The Last Carousel by performing at Empty Bottle. The EP was recorded at Stereophonic Studios by Marshall Terry in April of 2010 and was mixed by Balthazar de Ley at Audio Bordello. It mixes traditional indie rock with a flair for the dramatic. The band has that cabaret style that bands like My Gold Mask and The Loneliest Monk are perfecting. You can stream the ep and purchase the vinyl 12” here.

Speaking of My Gold Mask you can download the track that Gretta Rochelle of My Gold Mask performed with La Scala here. It is a cover of "Tu Farai" by Mina.