Tom Waits' Rain Dogs is an extension of Swordfishtrombones, and certainly an experiment into yet another backwater, scurvy-ed and dilapidated album. For me, the real hit on it is Marc Ribot, who helps drive the jostled 'Singapore', but anchors down 'Jockey Full of Burbon'. This, of course, is not meant to overlook appearances from Bobby Previte on auxiliaries here and there, Greg Cohen on upright, or John Laurie's background vocalish-sax on 'Walking Spanish'. The more solemn Diane, by veterans Chet Baker and Paul Bley, is heroin remnants dripping off into standards. By '85 Baker was utterly destroyed by heroin, drugs or drug deals, by this time and admist label and mood jumping, he would fall out of a window to his death three years later. But here is one of Baker's last statements: trumpet accompanied by chiming piano trade off on a textbook rendition of 'How Deep is the Ocean'. Its dreary, hazy, and relaxing.

John Carter's Castles of Ghana features free-jazz compositions on the clarinet as well as Bobby Bradford on cornet. It's left-field avant howls create an atmosphere of remorse and reflection on the African Slave Trade. Lester Bowie is similar on I Only Have Eyes For You, an album not unlike Coltrane's My Favorite Things. State of the Tenor is a live double-disc from Joe Henderson and is a history lesson, with selections from all walks of jazz, as well as a beautifully recorded show from the Village Vanguard. The Big Gundown, Zorn's reworking/tribute to Ennio Morricone, was at one point titled Once Upon a Time in the Lower East Side and is his first in a set of interpretations he would do. After reinventing quartet interactions on his early works, Gundown is the ushering in of a phase which would move on to put Ornette Coleman, hard bop,and Mickey Spillane through his own filter. Finally, Ran Blake's third-stream, film nior compositions are collected on Painted Rhythms and then he would go on to do many more things, mostly in the footsteps of Horace Silver.
  1. Chet Baker and Paul Bley - Diane
  2. John Carter - Castles of Ghana
  3. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
  4. Lester Bowie - I Only Have Eyes For You
  5. Joe Henderson - State of the Tenor
  6. John Zorn - The Big Gundown
  7. Ran Blake - Painted Rhythms, 1
This Thursday, 5/27, a Lowell cultural revue of sorts will take place at UTEC on Hurd St. Starting at 6 pm, join the Revolving Museum and UML Regional Economic & Social Development Dept for historical immigrant mural presentations, live music by Celtic Angkor, slam poetry from FreeVerse! and refreshments. Free.

Also Thursday: Sinbusters and Ladderlegs will be playing a free show in Charlestown at the The Tavern at the End of the World on 104 Cambridge St. Doors at 9:30.

Other News:
To our readers: an apology for the lack of content from the last couple of weeks. Finals had most of us ravaged and away from the blog. However, expect more stuff from the WUML Blog and 91.5 FM all summer:

Fantastic Fallout summer schedule announced:
WUML wins kickball against UML's print-journalism news source. Another reason to listen to radio, another reason to read our blog: three-peat. Inner-forum details here.

Other News:

Last Thursday night, fellow Live from the Fallout Shelter host Sean and myself, ventured out to see Small Brown Bike at the Great Scott in Allston with a few of our friends. The Michigan born post-hardcore-beard-punk band recently got back together last fall and have released two seven inches, “Composite Volume 1” and “Composite Volume 2”, since then off of No Idea Records. The band would be playing their first show in Boston in seven years to a sold out crowd at The Great Scott. We had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Reed, lead singer and guitarist, before the show, which I can only imagine was like watching Chris Farley interview Paul McCartney on Saturday Night Live. Enjoy!

Tom: So why don’t we start by having you introduce yourself.

Mike: Hi, this is Mike and I play in Small Brown Bike. I play guitar, yeah, I play guitar.

Tom: So you guys have recently released two new seven inch records, the Composites 1 and 2. What was the motivation behind having these as separate releases instead of just one big recording and are there more of these releases to come?

Mike: Well, I think it just started as an idea, like we had originally started writing some songs last summer and the first two that we kind of finished up and felt like they were ready we said to ourselves, well we didn’t really want to just come out and do a full record, we wanted to do something that was a little more bite size and little pieces of music. So the first one we got out just because the fest was happening and we wanted to just make sure we had it out and literally got them the day of the fest last October. So I guess at that point we didn’t really want to do the big full length, we wanted to kind of come out in pieces. We’re going to do five of them total and the way that it happened was Dan our drummer does graphic arts and he had five paintings and collages that he had done in school on his wall in his living room and we were just sitting around one day after practice and we came up with this idea to do one for each painting or whatever and that was that. So the covers of each record are based on his collage, its actually the collage scanned in at a smaller scale.

Tom: So there are three more coming out?

Mike: Yeah for sure. So its just a matter of you know when, I don’t know. We’re kind of doing when we feel like its, you know like when we have songs. Right now we’re working on getting newer songs and obviously getting a record together but right now its just like yeah there will be three eventually.

Tom: So the reunion this time around seems to be a little more significant than from when you guys reunited back in 2007 for those shows. You guys even have a Twitter account now.

Mike: Haha, yeah we’re really 21st century.

Tom: What are you guys currently up to and what does the future hold for Small Brown Bike?

Mike: Well, I think we’re really just kind of taking it really day by day week by week kind of thing. The main thing is just having fun and being together writing songs again. I don’t know, sometimes you get so caught up in the business stuff or the we have to do this, we have to do that kind of thing. It’s a huge part of our lives but its not like the number one priority so we do it when we can all get together and get a chance. So right now we’re just writing new music basically, we’re playing these four shows on the tour and then we don’t have any shows scheduled after this. It really kind of just comes and goes. We look ahead about three months and decide what we want to do and then just go from there. So right now we’re just writing new music and mainly that’s done. My brother still lives in Chicago so we just send each other ideas on mp3s and stuff and get together when we can. So that’s the main thing, just writing as much as we can.

Sean: So you’re doing the five Composite albums. Will there be a full length encompassing those?

Mike: Yeah that’s the idea. Eventually we’re going to do five of them and then eventually the idea is to do an LP with all of the songs on it and we’d probably remix everything so it sounds more cohesive because each one we record in our drummers basement and have a friend mix them and so we kind of buy more gear and they, well I hope they sound a little better each time, so by that fifth one we’ll probably just remix everything and make it a full LP with everything.

Sean: So are you going to do more touring after that?

: Well, I don’t think we’ll ever do a big tour again. It’s not the same, I mean never say never, but its hard to see that happening where we just do like a full US five week tour. So stuff like this where we come out and play four or five shows, that will happen and we want to go out to the west coast this year. I mean, obviously we always had fun coming out here and playing shows and the west coast is fun and Chicago and Michigan were always fun. So I don’t know, its hard to say. Right now we don’t have anything scheduled at all. We’re kind of just like I said focusing on writing new music and that’s about it.

Sean: So do you think those are mostly going to be headlining shows or you’ll maybe be jumping onto somebody else’s tour?

Mike: I mean, if it comes up where somebody asks us to tour, I’m sure we’ll do the right thing, obviously we would totally consider it. But we don’t have a booking agent right now, we’re kind of just doing stuff on our own so that’s kind of part of that, is you know when you have a booking agent they know other booking agents who can get you on tours. So I think we’re just having fun kind of headlining right now and playing smaller shows with like two to three hundred people which is still huge, I mean that’s not a small show by any means. So its been fun just doing our own stuff and then we can play a longer set with some old songs and some new stuff too.

Sean: How about a Small Brown Bike/Hot Water Music show?

Mike: Always, I’d love too! Yeah, I’d love too, absolutely.

Tom: They only play in Germany.

Mike: My other band played with them in Chicago, what, two years ago. So yeah, I could see it happening if those guys were into it.

Tom: That would be the best thing ever.

Mike: Haha, thank you.

Sean: So after “Dead Reckoning” came out, you guys changed things up a little bit and you guys released “Nail Yourself To The Ground.” The last song on that, “A Table For Four”…what is that about exactly? Or what things?

Mike: Well, Travis wrote it, Travis wrote the lyrics to it so I don’t want to speak for him exactly. But I will say its based in reality, like we don’t really write stuff that we don’t believe in. But that song, we still play it and its one of our favorite songs to play and its just become one of those epic things that we like doing. I think we’ve all taken our own meaning from it. That’s about the best I can answer that one.

Tom: What does the future hold for your other projects, La Salle and Able Baker Fox?

: I don’t know that’s a tough question too. We don’t plan very well. Nathan, from Able Baker Fox and I keep in touch and almost every time we talk we say we have to write more music and we have to do something but he’s busy with Coalesce right now. I think it will happen again, I think we’ll eventually do something when we have the time or when we start sending ideas back and forth. Right now, I’m kind of focusing on writing songs for Small Brown Bike so that’s like what I want to do. But you know, I guess the lesson from Small Brown Bike is that breaking up doesn’t really mean much anymore, it’s like we get back together. So that’s the way I look at Able Baker, its like we just kind of aren’t actively doing anything right now. Same thing with La Salle, my wife and I still write music and we have a ton of songs and its just that you know we’ve both been in school and working and stuff so we just haven’t been out playing shows. But who knows when we’ll pick them back up again. Right now there’s no plans to do stuff.

Tom: At WUML, we play a lot of underground music. Are there any bands that you listen to who you think don’t get as much recognition as they should?

: Yeah, there’s a ton of bands. Well I think like Bridge and Tunnel and Your Skull My Closet who are both on tour with us right now, I think both of those bands are amazing and they’re not played on top 40 radio stations by any means but we respect them and appreciate everything that they do. Old Growth is another band that has one of the guys from Twelve Hour Turn in it who we were big fans of and toured a lot with back in the day and they’re just an awesome band. I don’t know I guess that’s all I’ve got right now off the top of my head. But yeah, I’d recommend those three for sure.

(At this point, one of our friends Nick stepped in to ask a question.)

Nick: What was the band that just kind of got your juices going? Name a few of them.

Mike: Well, when I was really young and getting into punk rock, 7 Seconds was a big one. We all skateboarded so they were huge in getting me into that kind of stuff. Then like as we started writing our own music, Jawbreaker was huge obviously, I mean, I remember the first time I heard that band it was just different and something that I wasn’t used to. I had heard punk and pop punk way before that but they were doing something that just kind of pushed it into a different kind of territory so I still remember hearing them for the first time for sure. And yeah, Hot Water Music was another one of those bands where I remember it was just a fluke and like a friend of mine was going to see them in Kalamazoo and they played in front of like ten or fifteen people and I just went and was like yeah I’ll go check out this band from Florida, they were playing with Giant’s Chair, who I loved at the time and it was just those four guys just pushing it, and it was just crazy, in front of like, you know there were probably thirty people at the show or something like that but to just see that energy…there’s a huge list, I could keep going. Even bands like classic rock, like Led Zeppelin and stuff, just growing up I loved that music. It goes on and on.

Tom: So for the last question, I ask this to a lot of bands. It’s really stupid and silly. Who do you think would win in a fight, all the humans in the world or all the ants in the world?

Mike: The ants? In a fight? Like a fist fight? Because ants don’t have very good fists.

Tom: That’s true, I never thought of that.

Mike: That’s my answer. Yeah, in a fist fight I guess we’d win because we have fists.

Tom: Alright, good enough for me. Well, thanks a lot for the interview. It was a pleasure and have a really good show tonight. We’ll be out there rocking out.

Mike: Awesome, thanks!

Keep an eye open for the next time Small Brown Bike hits your town as they put on one amazing live show. You can buy “Composite, Vol. 1” and “Composite, Vol. 2” at and check out the band’s music at .

This past Wednesday the 5th of May, Minus The Bear was kind enough to grace The Wilbur Theatre in Boston with their presence. The Seattle based indie rock, kind of proggy kind of poppy, band had just released their new album “Omni” the night before, the first release off of their new label, Dangerbird Records. Myself and WUML intern Jenna sat down with bassist Corey Murchy on the sidewalk outside of the theatre for a quick little chat about what is happening behind the scenes of Minus The Bear.

Tom: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself.

Corey: Hmm…I’m Corey Murchy and I play the bass in Minus The Bear.

Tom: Yesterday (May 4) was the official release of “Omni“, your new album. You guys must have been pretty excited for its release. What did you all do to celebrate?

Corey: Well, we played a radio show in New York City because we had played the night before and then we actually hoofed it up to Newbury Comics in Boston and played a little record store. So I guess we celebrated by playing in a record store.

Tom: Was that a wicked secret show?

Corey: The record store? Well, I think it was kind of last minute so I think it was maybe announced the day before or the day of so it was pretty short notice.

Tom: Yeah, that would be an awesome venue to see you guys in.

Corey: Yeah, there was a really great turnout so it was a lot of fun.

Tom: What would you like to tell people about the new album? What do you think is the most important thing about the new album?

Corey: I think just the fact that it was the first time that we all recorded kind of together as far as wanting to keep a lot of the tracks that we all recorded together as opposed to overdubbing later. So it was a lot more of a live feel and in the end it was about getting the right feel and the right vibe to the songs as opposed to whether it was perfect or not, it was more of a relative thing.

Tom: And that worked out pretty well for you guys, playing live like that?

Corey: Yeah absolutely. There’s a lot that was learned from it for sure but we pulled it off in the end.

Jenna: In what ways did the writing process of “Omni” differ from the earlier albums?

Corey: I think it was actually the first time that we really allowed someone else from outside of the band to take a stab at song arrangement and placement of parts and revisiting parts and stuff. We never really had an outside influence but working with Joe (Producer Joe Chiccarelli) in pre-production and stuff it was kind of like well what about going back to that chorus and what about not doing this part. So that was probably the biggest difference.

Jenna: How do you guys feel about the album leaking early? I know you guys posted your album for streaming online so it must have not really ruined any element of surprise. But there are a lot of different opinions between bands on this subject. Is it just assumed that this will just happen, or did you guys try to prevent it?

Corey: Yeah, I mean we always try to postpone it for as long as possible but we know that in this day and age its going to be leaked. And on one hand its really not that big of a deal because its kind of cool because kids can go and listen to the record and become familiar with the songs before they come to the show. So playing those songs live is always kind of fun when people recognize them and are familiar with them. So I think it kind of helps because it gets people out to the shows and then they’ll buy a CD at the show or a shirt or something.

Jenna: Yeah, it definitely helps out because I saw you guys at Bamboozle and all the new songs that you guys played, I knew all of them already.

: Yeah, so I think it’s a cool thing and I think it can actually be a good thing as long as you don’t freak out about it. At the end of the day people are still buying music, I mean it’s a lot less than what it was but I mean if you still love the band and want to support them then you’re going to buy the record.

: So you recently switched over to Dangerbird Records. What made you decide on the switch from Suicide Squeeze to Dangerbird?

Corey: Well, our record contract was up with Suicide Squeeze and we just decided to try something different and Dangerbird was one of the options and they were by far the right option. They come from selling records kind of where we come from too. It’s about the whole package and they’re a bunch of artists as well so they understand it. We’re really stoked. We’ve been really lucky to work with Suicide Squeeze because they’ve been so on top of it and they have helped us out in a lot of ways but we’re really excited about Dangerbird too. And we still support Suicide Squeeze, we love them. So there’s no bad blood there.

Tom: It’s pretty much just a new group of family and friends.

Corey: Exactly.

Tom: So you guys have been kicking around for almost ten years now and you have been pretty successful with your endeavors. I believe the hardest part of being a band is getting your name out there, for a lot of bands at least. In your experience, what has been the most effective way of promoting the band and what do you advise bands to stay away from?

Corey: Well, we have definitely put our time in on the road as far as touring and playing places repeatedly and I think that really helps to build a fan base if you come to their town and play. So I think touring is really, really important. You know, obviously the internet is not without its flaws, kind of like the whole downloading question, but its also a good tool. It gets kids interested in the band immediately. What was the second part of your question?

Tom: What would you tell bands to stay away from?

Corey: Oh Jeeze, there’s so many things to stay away from. You know, I would tell a band to stay away from letting someone else tell them what to do. We are really hands on with our band and we really want to know everything that’s going on from the mundane shit to the big stuff so I think sometimes bands let go of the reigns a little too soon because they think that’s the way you need to do it but you really need to stay on top of your shit ultimately.

Jenna: What kind of history have you had with college radio?

Corey: College radio has been really good. Kind of from the get go they have always been really supportive and I think a lot of our fans are turned on by college radio. I think that college radio is still really viable and even in the age of internet and websites and blogs and stuff I think that its cool that kids are still listening to college radio and its still a relatively unchanged format. It still gets people playing what they want to play. It’s good, it helps.

Jenna: So at our radio station, we only play underground music and try to stay away from the mainstream popular bands who don’t necessarily need our help anymore. Are there any bands that you would consider underground right now who you believe deserve a lot more attention?

Corey: The Heartless Bastards. I think they’re fantastic, I am surprised you don’t hear them more. Uhm…who else? Russian Circles are phenomenal. The Narrows are also really good, they’re from Seattle. All those bands…Velveteen’s another one.

Jenna: Who was your favorite band that you got to see at Bamboozle?

Corey: Piebald actually, Piebald was fucking awesome! They took us on some of our really early first tours and we opened up for them and we were main support for them and they are really good friends of ours and we have had a lot of really, really great times. Piebald are great dudes and they really took us under their wing on those first few tours and taught us a lot about touring and stuff because you know, they’re road dogs. So yeah, watching Piebald was definitely the highlight.

Jenna: Do you guys prefer playing at festivals or do you like smaller venues?

Corey: I mean, its like comparing apples and oranges, I know that’s cliché but its kind of true. They’re just different beasts. I think its always fun playing your own show and having your own thing going on but festivals are fun because you get to run into people and you know it’s a lot more hectic and chaotic which is a lot of fun too.

Tom: Alright this will be our last question and its a silly one. Who would win in a fight…all the humans in the world or all the ants in the world?

Corey: Ooh, ants. Ants.

Tom: That was a pretty quick response.

Corey: Yeah, ants are by design much more hearty characters than the old humans. I think ants will persevere much longer. You don’t want to fuck with a group of ants, man. Hell no.

Tom: It’s a big group.

Corey: It’s a really big group. We’re talking…a lot. Yeah, I’ve got my money on the ants. Sorry humans.

Tom: Awesome, well thanks for the interview and have a great show tonight!

Corey: Thanks man, it was nice meeting you!

Minus The Bear is currently on tour supporting their new album “Omni”. The album is now available to buy and is certainly well worth it. Make sure to catch these guys next time they come to your area, but in the meantime you can check them out at
After seeing them blow up the Silent Barn and the Mercury Lounge at the head and tail of CMJ last year, Male Bonding appeared three English chaps destined for greatness. Then we scratched around for anything by them...and only came up with two collections entitled 'Ruff Demos' and 'Brattwell Shed Punk Sessions.' Needless to say, they were fucking gold, and the band was signed to Sub Pop.

Oh the suspense. Now seven months later we have the release of their debut album Nothing Hurts, we have them breaking through a well deserved surface. First and foremost, MB can write a damn good pop song, but it's gonna be under 3 minutes, they're punk-rock. To be more exact, and to not call them post-punk/indie, these guys are intelli-punk with angular attack and frantic guitar work, and dabble in surf-rock. Immediately I noticed the speedy 1-2 shimmer of opener Years Not Long provided by guitarist John Arthur Webb, which breathlessly shoots into the dreamy All Things This Way. With each track, Male Bonding marks more territory; the lazy surf-haze of Franklin, the jostled, blistering R.U.F.F., or the heart-throb acoustic Worse to Come (feat. Vivian Girls). Male Bonding don't shy away from punk, but feel the need to evolve as polymaths of the genre. The unnerving anthem Pumpkin towards the conclusion deserves the old skip-to. Album-wide, Robin Christian's drumming is not only frantic in typical punk fashion, but also shows resolve in places, taking a back seat to wily guitar riffs or stabbing in cringing cowbell.

Of course, I cringed more live...and I loved it. Nothing Hurts' has more refined, alt-rock sounding versions of their songs sound different from live stuff and 'Ruff'/'Brattwell.' Of course, this simply makes them more accessible and allows them to put forth the breadth of sound they can produce better. The album will pass quick, and taking it at face value may be punk but Male Bonding writes simple statements, but is saying between the lines...put it on repeat.

Nothing Hurts is out on Sub Pop on May 10th. Check out Male Bonding here.
Kompakt's relentless assault of minimalism has been breaking out more and more. London-based Walls' self-titled debut is very cinematic. The different aspects of opener Burnt Sienna seem to creep up on a listener, leaping from the 70s to 80s and back here with borrowed roars and beats.

Cyclopean Remains lumbers and pulsates with jangly poly-rhythms and a opening string fanfare. Airy vocals are etched into a lasting guitar drone on Burnt Sienna which invites in an active backing synth. Throughout the recording there is noted style changes among their sound: sporadic, glitching A Virus Awaits!, Strawberry Sect sound like the opening of a Beatles song extended over 2 minutes, and Gaberdine is straight-forward micro house. Walls' best feature is not their ability to create these, but to float in and out so well, and incorporate strange wisps of footsteps, crush-like sounds, and bullfroggy croaks, as well as some smart samples such as The Black Angel's Death Song in Gaberdine.

Listen to Walls.