Label Me / No Idea Records

Words by Ricky

OK, you’ve probably noticed a slight lack of updates lately. I can’t speak for the whole DUL staff, but yeah, I’M BUSY. I mean…just swamped with work, band stuff, and life in general. I’m in the process of starting my own music blog called “Label Me.” Nah it’s not meant to compete with this or any other local blog. It’ll continue this ultra-nerdy concept of gushing about the best indie and punk record labels ever. You’ll love it–probably. Hopefully DUL content will resume again (if you’re interested in writing, you should contact Brendan). For now check out this little punk history lesson. You’re probably familiar with No Idea even if the name doesn’t ring a bell.

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Label Me / Creation Records

Words by Ricky

I visited the delightful, sheep-splattered country of Ireland for work earlier this summer. With pockets of free time to spare (away from the sheep), I sought out record shops. The overpriced Dublin record stores didn’t impress me, but while in Belfast, I visited this joint nestled below a tattoo shop. It was called Dragon Records and was wonderful. Killer selection–reasonable prices–and best of all, I rummaged through tons of goodies near-impossible to find in the US…a lot of them were Creation Records releases. I didn’t have enough extra (non-drinking) money to buy to my desires, but I’ve been on a Creation kick ever since. A few books and documentaries narrate the Creation story waaaaay better than I can, but hell, the point of this blog entry is to talk about record labels…sooo onward!

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“My Favorite Songs of 2013 So Far…” Mix

Words by Ricky

There’s still another 5 or so months until “best of 2013″ lists dominate every publication in existence. Let’s get a head start, shall we?


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Throwback / Mimi & Richard Farina – Hard-Lovin’ Loser

[Throwback is a weekly (Thursday, natch) segment where we share a song or album from the past that we wouldn't otherwise have the occasion to discuss. We usually try to focus on the new, the fresh, and the undiscovered music here at DUL. This series gives us a chance to share songs and artists that we enjoy from other eras. They might be well-known classics, they might be hidden gems. They might be from 1969, or 1999, or even 1929. Who knows? There's lot of music out there, and this lets us share a small slice of what we like.]

Mimi & Richard Farina

Words by Brendan

You might not know about Richard Farina and his wife Mimi, but you really should. And you probably do, tangentially. Mimi Farina (née Baez) is the sister of Joan Baez, who you know as a famous folk-singer and ex-lover of Bob Dylan. Indeed, Bob and Richard were good friends as the two couples hung out together in the early- to mid-60s. (See the book Positively Fourth Street for more details of their friendship and such.) Moreover, Richard Farina‘s novel, Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me, is vastly entertaining. Anywho, I’m here to share a song by Richard and Mimi, so let’s get to it.

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Song Diary / of Montreal – Fugitive Air

of Montreal / “Fugitive Air”

Whether or not you’re following with the ongoing tales of Kevin Barnes and of Montreal, this song will burst with potential meaning. And crunchy guitars and catchy melodies and “doo-doo-doo”s and all manner of pop gems that of Montreal are deservedly known for now. It seems like they’re synthesizing their early guitar-based pop era with the more recent Bowie/Prince-esque funk-rock stylings and they sound all the much better for it. Meanwhile, Barnes’s crazy and cryptic lyrics are omnipresent, peppered with potent quotables, like “How can I unmake someone else’s mistakes?”. This is no new feeling for me, vis-è-vis of Montreal, but I can’t wait for this new album. Hope you’re with me.

—Cheers, Brendan

Pre-order Lousy With Sylvian Briar: Polyvinyl


[Song diary is a random but reoccurring segment where we highlight specific songs that have been living inside our heads while staying away from all the album and band specifics. Sometimes they're ours, sometimes other people's. Email us if you want to do one! Think of it like a virtual mix tape that's always being updated.]


Birdcloud / New To Us, New To You?

Words by Brendan

You might hear of bands that are “funny”. But trust me, they’ve got nothin’ on Birdcloud. This is the best band I’ve heard in many years that (a) means to be humorous and (b) succeeds at that. (It’s hard to do both!) The female duo of Birdcloud manages to take some folksy/country-fried sounds, with acoustic guitars and vocal harmonies, and spin them with bizarre and gut-tickling lyrics about … well, virginity and Jesus, Robotrippin’ and da Police, pussy-lickin’, and a whole bunch of other shit. Not for the faint of mind, this is a band for the inner child-adult in all of us.

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Video Picks / Yo La Tengo, Speedy Ortiz, Ex-Cops, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Crystal Soda Cream, Sonny & the Sunsets

We typically toss a video onto a post when highlighting a new band or a show preview or something and let you draw your own conclusion about it. Sometimes we throw a change-up… strike that — let’s call it a round up. These visual/aural displays were worthy of our attention, and we think you’ll dig them. If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a video must be worth a million. Hold on to your hats!

Words and picks by Brendan

Today we’re featuring an animated fun-fest from Yo La Tengo, a basement wrestling match from Speedy Ortiz, a chic display of emotional isolation from Ex-Cops, a powerful portrayal of depression from Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a lo-fi mini horror film from Crystal Soda Cream, and surrealist cinéma from Sonny & the Sunsets. All great songs, all great bands. Some may be new to you, so dig in!

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Video Premiere / J Bird Studio Presents …

Words by Brendan

A few years back, we at Draw Us Lines were producing Echo Chamber series. This was Jim’s brainchild, a video series to promote both Pittsburgh bands and local landmarks. I cannot stress enough how much Jim devoted himself to this project—finding fellow videographers and sound-people to support this endeavor—let alone the local bands/artists he recorded and the local businesses in which he recorded them. I was tangentially involved in some of them. By that, you should read that Jim did all the fucking work and I showed up to watch. (For serious.) They all turned out great.

Through those sessions, I met J of J Bird Studios. (Disclosure: Jim’s band Big Snow Big Thaw recorded their debut album at J Bird.) He has been our sound man on the Echo Chamber sessions for a while, and through both those sessions and his seemingly endless work with a stream of the best local bands, I’ve come to realize that J has an ear and a knack. He can tell who is up-and-coming in the local scene, and he can record their sound and share it. He has a serious talent, and I’m here to share it. J Bird has a new video series meant to share the awesome Pittsburgh bands coming through the studio out there in the North Hills.

Read on for some videos from two bands working on records out at J Bird, and some words about where this project is going.

(P.S. All the photos above are of J Bird working his magic on those bands.)

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Throwback / Ciccone Youth – Into the Groove(y)

[Throwback is a weekly (Thursday, natch) segment where we share a song or album from the past that we wouldn't otherwise have the occasion to discuss. We usually try to focus on the new, the fresh, and the undiscovered music here at DUL. This series gives us a chance to share songs and artists that we enjoy from other eras. They might be well-known classics, they might be hidden gems. They might be from 1969, or 1999, or even 1929. Who knows? There's lot of music out there, and this lets us share a small slice of what we like.]

Ciccone Youth

Words by Brendan

I recently read Confusion Is Next: The Sonic Youth Story. It is (predictably enough) the story of seminal indie rock band Sonic Youth, but it focuses on their story from their beginnings (early 1980s) up until 1995. The band had been going strong since then, although not recently :-(

Anywho, the book makes for an informative and enlightening look at the band’s earlier days, what the music scene was like then, and how the band revolutionized rock music in America. I highly recommend reading it, *especially* if you’re not really a fan of the band’s music. This book will make you rethink, at least, their position in American music history, and will make you want to relisten and reconsider. In the long run, you still might not love their songs, but it will make you appreciate their long-lasting influence.

But hey, one of the many things I learned in the book is that Sonic Youth‘s members, and some friends (particularly Mike Watt) had a fascination with Madonna in the mid 1980s. (Note: fascination does not equal fandom, per se.) So much so, the band formed a side project called Ciccone Youth (a play on their name with Madonna’s real last name) that released both a single and an LP.

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Throwback / Brigitte Bardot – Contact

[Throwback is a weekly (Thursday, natch) segment where we share a song or album from the past that we wouldn't otherwise have the occasion to discuss. We usually try to focus on the new, the fresh, and the undiscovered music here at DUL. This series gives us a chance to share songs and artists that we enjoy from other eras. They might be well-known classics, they might be hidden gems. They might be from 1969, or 1999, or even 1929. Who knows? There's lot of music out there, and this lets us share a small slice of what we like.]

Brigitte Bardot

Words by Brendan

I don’t know what your habits are like but, personally, I don’t listen to the radio much these days. Mostly, this is because I don’t own a car or a stereo with a radio. Admittedly, this is also partly because I like to have control over what I’m listening to. But once in a while, while riding around in someone else’s car or tuning in to a particular show (WPTS Local Show, what what!), I’ll listen. A couple weeks ago, I was doing some errands and had WRCT on in the car and … I don’t know what the show was or who was DJing, but it was awesome. Some 60s weirdness, psychedelia, rock, all good stuff. One French tune came on and it was so awesome I had to Shazam it and listen more later. That song was “Contact”, sung by Brigitte Bardot and written by Serge Gainsbourg.

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