Friday Playlist – Sunny Day Songs via Bandcamp

I realize that the way the title is phrased might lead one to believe that today’s playlist features songs by emocore pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate. That is not the case, rather, these are some songs for sunny days. Which around these parts, are plentiful. However, good songs to soundtrack your spring are not always as easy to come by so we picked a couple that you should download right away and burn to a playlist to play in your Scion.

The Ataris at Strummers

I am about a week behind on life, which seems appropriate given that at least one week was spent getting over some kind of upper respiratory infection. Last Sunday, I reunited with Chevron Girl alums Sean and Nathan (just the three of us for the first time since May 2007) for the reunion of pop-punk stalwarts The Ataris at Strummers in Fresno.

Kris Roe in Fresno

Like so many bands from the era (those NOT named The Get Up Kids btw) Kris Roe and Co.’s back catalog hasn’t aged consistently well, but boy, we had a ridiculously fun time singing along about the days gone by.

Maybe PopHeartEtc contributor Sean Cohea has more editorial thoughts to add but I’ll try to not spoil it by getting all sentimental, which would be akin to a punk band avoiding the inevitable kryptonite that we all know as “just one piano ballad, just this one time.” Again, TGUK are the only post-punk act I know of to really pull off the heartfelt ballads.

Here’s some video of “San Dimas High School Football Rules” which includes a cameo by some dog on the stage that all the girls thought was totes adorbs. Kris, you’ve still got a way with the ladies! In all seriousness, the band sounded tight and well-prepared and while So Long, Astoria is not my favorite The Ataris album (that would be Blues Skies, Broken Hearts), the original lineup played with zesty special sauce gusto and refrained from any silly revisionist history.

One question for my friends also heading to this tour, does this make you want to forgive Kris for Welcome The Night?

And finally, new music from The Ataris!

Friday Playlist: Skerik

PopHeartEtc. – Friday Mar 7 from on 8tracks Radio.

Skerik is a madman on the sax. The first time I saw him, he was playing with Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade, and he was dressed up in full “devil” regalia. He mostly plays tenor, often pulling what he calls “saxophonics” out of his immense bag of tricks. He can lead or lay in the cut. He’s played in all manner of bands, fronting Skerik’s Syncopated Taint Septet and helping shape the wonderful weirdness that is Garage a Trois. He also made Stanton Moore’s solo career by lending his chops on Moore’s first two records. Critters Buggin, Tuatara, The Dead Kenny G’s, Bobby Previte, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, and many others have shared the stage and studio with this crazy genius.

#tbt Frente!

Known best for their radio hits in the early ’90s, “Labour of Love” and New Order cover “Bizarre Love Triangle” from their debut album Marvin the Album, Australian band Frente! actually produced a stronger, quite interesting follow-up in ’96. Shape built on Marvin’s spare, acoustic guitar-driven framework, adding psychedelic flourishes, quirky song structures, and layered vocal harmonies. The album also traded in airy folk-pop songs for darker, moodier pieces that created a nice juxtaposition with Angie Hart’s pixie voice. Unfortunately, Shape did not produce a radio-friendly single, and the band broke-up soon after its release.

If you can look past some of the very dated ’90s music video tropes in these clips, you’ll hear a band with a unique, though still maturing sound.

Horrible (from Shape)

No Time (from Marvin the Album)

Air (from Shape)

Sit on My Hands (from Shape)

Lord Huron and Superhumanoids play the Fonda


 Lord Huron, LA based indie/folk rock band, has been steadily gaining popularity since their SXSW debut in 2011. Since then they have been touring steadily, most notably with Alt J, and released their first full-length album to critical acclaim in 2012. So it was not surprising when they sold out back-to back shows at The Fonda recently.

As the lights came up on the stage its glow revealed not Lord Huron, but rather a full Mariachi band. The sombrero clad band played Lord Huron onto the stage and set the mood for a night. Live, just like the album, Lord Huron’s musical stylings conjure up memories of friends, lazy days and backyard parties.  Playing through their catalog with efficiency, Lord Huron charmed the crowd with their earthy lyrics paired with the shimmering voice of Ben Schneider. Even though at times the songs seemed to meld into the same emotional wavelength it was when Schneider switched to the harmonica and let the music lead the way that Lord Huron really shined.

Lord Huron band pic

Fans of the group (or mindful music YouTube stalkers like myself) will note that the band has honed their live performance act with a bit more energy and spice than when they first graced the stage. Even adding in a blistery surprise at the end of their set that elicited screams from more than just the women in the audience.



Sadly Night Beds, whom was originally billed to open for Lord Huron pulled out of the tour. In their place was  LA based band Superhumanoids. This 80’s synth-dream-pop band commanded the stage and captured the attention of the crowd right away with their catchy blends of guitar and keys. They have a syncopated cadence reminiscent of Tears for Fears with a vocal play similar to Stars. Laying down some heavy base lines that swelled into the ethereal harmonizing of Cameron Parkins and Sarah Chernoff that gave way and melted into a dance hook, they certainly proved to be contagious.  Not leaving much space between songs, but rather filling it with reverberating guitar and dreamy keys that had an almost M83-like feel. Each song seemed to build upon itself and draw the crowd closer, wetting their appetite until they played their last song and left everyone wanting more, certainly not an easy feat for an opening act. Superhumanoids really were the story of the night and is a band to add to your “must listen, must watch, must obsess over list.”



By Anne-Marie Schiefer


*band photo credit: Superhumanoids and Lord Huron official