Of all the music that’s been spilling out of New Jersey in the last few years I’m always drawn most to Family Portrait. Yes, the goods flooding from The Garden State all stem from a certain classic rock warping background, but there’s a certain twangy Neil Young-like vibe to the works of Family Portrait that draw me in each and every time. And of course this isn’t just Neil Young’s varied tones redone to fit a modern sensibility. This is Neil Young and his ilk held underneath the waters of sonic change, burbling for air, thrashing even, to no avail. When the jangly acoustic guitars kick in at the 13 second mark, it’s as if the taut strings are fighting out of a pit of noise.
A full length is a brewing, a just don’t know when yet.
Family Portrait – Glide Pt. 1 (Demo)
Source: Ruby Quartz
I’ve been chatting up this duo from New Jersey for weeks now and of course the week I set off on my two week cross-country road trip they decide to sidle up to the SF bar for a couple of shots of booze. That means frowny faces for me but, luckily, for you, that means you get to see this lo-fi fuzz-robot of a band explode on stage at a little joint called Hotel Utah.
Please fill my void, get out there and see this show.
Check out there tracks “Sanity” and “Saturday Mourning.”
IIt’s a good day to be a fan of cruisy, pre-summer music, as New Jersey native Ducktails (some guy and then some other guy) have, after a terribly long wait, released a full length, self-titled album. This is music for a day of Brazilian bathing suits at the beach, a nice laid back, semi-tropical adventure that’ll have your mind wandering towards hot hot sand and the dirty scent of sun tan lotion.
I imagine most who are listening to this will be clad in denim, knee-length cut-offs, but you know, that’s just the kind of music it is. Now sit back in your broke-down lawn chair, icy cold Modelo in hand, and crank the boom box, it’s just about summertime.
Ducktails – Daily Vacation
Ducktails on Myspace
I can’t say much about New Jersey. The only experience’s I’ve ever had with New York’s dirty neighbor to the south involved Newark (and nothing good comes out of Newark), Six Flags (sort of like a trashy, embassy of fun amongst the seedy grit of Jackson) and a Travel Lodge my father booked for us that included blood stains on the sheets, shootings, and a six inch bullet proof glass. Up until now, I’ve got NJ up on my place to visit list right next to the The Republic of the Congo.
Thanks to the good folk over Raven Sings The Blues (steadily becoming my favorite blog), I’ve been introduced to the absolute lo-fi brilliance of New Jersey native Ducktails. There’s a hint of hipster-love El Guincho emanating from “Beach Point Pleasant” but instead of high-octane cocaine, it’s more a sedated blunt amidst the fake nails and permed hair of the New Jersey Shore. It reminds of bleary eyed beach vacations, my head lolling to one side, the crash of the surf just nudging the edges of my hearing.
Ducktails – Beach Point Pleasant
Ducktails on Myspace
If hell exists, we hope it has an especially hot and uncomfortable corner for people who steal musician’s gear. The latest musician to fall victim to gear-stealing scumbags is Seattle’s own Sera Cahoone, who’s van was broken into in New Jersey. According to Sera’s myspace post on the event her guitar and Jeff’s banjo and Dobro were stolen. Fast acting fans have already arranged a benefit to try and help Jeff and Sera cover the cost of replacements. Including a benefit dinner/raffle/Jeff look-a-like contest at the Station Bistro.