La Sera

Pop Addict: La Sera’s Sees the Light

Every other week, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

La Sera: Sees the LightLa Sera: Sees the Light (Hardly Art, 3/27/12)

La Sera: “Please Be My Third Eye”

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When she’s not making lo-fi garage rock as the bassist of Brooklyn trio Vivian Girls, Katy Goodman has been keeping busy with her solo project, La Sera. Last year’s solid self-titled debut showed a more pared-down side to Goodman, as the album was loaded with an arsenal of dreamy indie folk. This year, La Sera has shifted directions a bit, and her latest effort, Sees The Light, is packed full of upbeat, peppy indie-pop gems.


Pop Addict: Cults

On Thursdays, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

Cults: s/tCults: s/t (Columbia, 6/7/11)

Cults: “Abducted”

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From the Peoples Temple’s mass suicide in Jonestown in the 1970s, to the violent end to David Koresh’s born-again hedonists in Waco, Texas, cults have been a dark chapter in America’s history. Though the organizations themselves claim to offer hope and promise to its members, something much more terrible has been covered by promises of self- fulfillment and spiritual rejuvenation. True to its name, then, Brooklyn-based duo Cults has a bit of this duality as well—offering music that’s blissful, summery, and full of promise yet tinged with an underlying darkness.

The band, though, has no problem balancing these contrasts. In fact, throughout the duo’s debut album, Cults’ gorgeously crafted summer-pop songs are layered with recordings of Jim Jones’ infamous “death speech.”  The second track, “Go Outside,” wallows in its own instruments, buzzing to life while Jones’ words state, “To me, death is not a fearful thing; it’s living that is treacherous.”  It then explodes into Madeline Follin’s hook-driven vocals, Brian Oblivion’s hazy guitar tooling, and an inescapably catchy xylophone — evoking a sound somewhere between Best Coast, The Kills, The Raveonettes, and The Beach Boys.

And though that juxtaposition helps define Cults, the band moves forward, track after track, offering catchy pop rock — the kind that makes you want to throw some belongings in the car and hit the road until you reach the coastline. And, in that sense, that’s the scary part of Cults: the songs are infectious — enough to brainwash you into liking it immediately.


Pop Addict: Tennis’ Cape Dory

Tennis: Cape DoryTennis: Cape Dory (Fat Possum, 1/18/11)

Tennis: “Long Boat Pass”

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Fiction is at the heart of pipe dreams. Rarely when we scheme something far-fetched or grandiose do we actually follow through in executing our plan, especially if it’s something as profound as selling all of our possessions and sailing across the map for about a year or so. But that is precisely what husband-and-wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, the masterminds behind indie-pop outfit Tennis, did.

After graduating from college, the two philosophy majors sold their belongings and ventured away from Denver to embark on the unknown by means of a sailboat — a plan for which they prepared extensively. Navigating around North America, the couple then decided to document the experience, not through film or memoir, but through music. And thus Tennis was born.

From the get-go, Cape Dory, the couple’s debut effort on Fat Possum, gives you a glimpse of what its voyage must have been like. With 10 songs clocking in at less than 30 minutes, Riley and Moore’s feeling of staying put for too long in any one place is almost tangible. Once the album sets sail, it’s ready to move along without the need of staying anchored in any one spot. The songs, with titles like “South Carolina,” “Baltimore,” and “Bimini Bay,” move along swiftly, as the band looks to cover the most ground (or water, rather) in the quickest amount of time.

The Groove Seeker: The Go! Team’s Rolling Blackouts

On a weekly basis, The Groove Seeker goes in search of killer grooves across rock, funk, hip hop, soul, electronic music, jazz, fusion, and more.

The Go! Team: Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries, 2/1/11)

The Go! Team: “The Running Range”

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Originally Ian Parton’s solo home-brewed music project, The Go! Team became a six-member band upon the release of its debut, Thunder, Lightning, Strike, in 2004. As Parton put together a group to perform the music live, the pieces fell into place, and the band quickly became the highlight of international music festivals.

After running into copyright issues surrounding TLS’ samples, The Go! Team released Proof of Youth in 2007 — a sophomore-slump-dodging record that proved that Parton’s distinct patchwork funk pop was not a fluke. Four years later, the Brighton, England-based sextet is back with Rolling Blackouts, a rambunctious effort that leans toward ’60s-inspired pop. Building off its trusted template with a slew of guest vocals, including Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino and Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki, the team’s upbeat blend of garage rock, hip hop, and noise pop sounds as refreshing at it did when Parton began.

Jackpot Records

Behind the Counter: Jackpot Records (Portland, OR)

Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.

Sporting two locations, (Fabulous!) Jackpot Records has served Portland’s independent music community for 13 years as both a new/used CD, LP, and DVD retailer and a record label that reissues lost treasures.  We recently caught up with Burnside manager Patrick Dennehy to get some staff picks and see what has been trending.

Rhys holds Kurt Vile: Constant Hitmaker
Rhys holds Kurt Vile: Constant Hitmaker