• Formed late last year, Punk band I Fail already has an extensive cross-country tour planned and a raw but powerful new EP (highways …) under its belt. The band’s visceral take on Punk resembles classic American Hardcore, but the songwriting is more progressive and the sporadic guttural roars give it a connection to modern-day screamers, like a mix of Minor Threat’s raging energy with some of Fugazi’s exploratory tendencies and secretly recorded bursts of Ian MacKaye’s primal scream therapy sessions here and there. The EP release (it’s available on cassette, 10-inch vinyl and CD) and tour kick-off is Tuesday at The Comet in Northside with pals The Dopamines. (www.myspace.com/ifail513)
• Veteran singer/songwriter/harmonica-ist Dave Gilligan has reassembled his Roots/Folk collective The Midlife Crisis Ramblers for a new release, Living the Dream. The album veers wildly in tone and style, offering humorous takes on modern life’s hassles (“Inhumana”) one moment, Celtic jaunts (the traditional “Shady Grove”) the next, and includes detours into mournful instrumental Blues (“Blues for Ophir”) and somber, twinkling Pop (“In the Center”).
Gilligan’s vocals alternately sound like Lou Reed, Mark Knopfler and Bruce Cockburn, and fans of jaw-dropping harmonica playing need to get this album immediately — Gilligan is a genuine master of the instrument. The band unveils the new album Saturday at Fries Café in Clifton with guests The Flock. The show is free and starts at 7:30 p.m.
• Saturday at Mayday in Northside, the should-be-all-over-radio-and-magazine-covers Electro/Indie/Dance crew Eat Sugar releases its first full-length, Levantense!, a digital-only album the band crafted with producer John Schmersal of Enon. The release is a fantastic testament to the evolution of the band, which has scaled back some of its earlier “Rock” tendencies (without depleting any of the inherent energy) and created a more eclectic, neon-pulsating Electronic playground, putting them on par with artists like LCD Soundsystem and VHS or Beta, but with the exploratory mindset of Beck at his craftiest. In a word: Amazing. (www.eatsugarmusic.com)
• The Sundresses and visionary promotional army The All Night Party have teamed up for a unique release experiment. The “release” is a live album, Sundresses Off, featuring tracks from throughout the band’s performing history. The album is available in unusual packaging; the “faux vinyl” version has bonus goodies housed in a traditional vinyl album cover, but you can also get it as a CD or download (and future pressings will be issued in other weird forms). The “record” is a jumping off point for a new “living” Web site, which will constantly be updated with fresh material. At off.thesundresses.com, you'll find a clue as to what’s in store: videos, live show feeds, photos, contests, “used thrift items” and who knows what else. It’s an effort to offer more than traditional releases and engage music lovers in ways that the struggling music industry seems clueless. It’s a bold — if, at least now, somewhat confusing — concept that could be a hint of the shape of music distribution and technology to come. The band plays the Northside Tavern Saturday in honor of the new (and ongoing) release.
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