Tag Archives: shimmering stars

I don’t know about you, but unfortunately I have like, responsibilities, so I’m in on this Sunday eve, hoping to heal the last remnants of hangover, so I made this down-tempo mix. It still rules, though.

01 Bitch Prefect – Marilyn Monroe
02 Weed Hounds – Beach Bummed
03 Sonny & The Sunsets – I Wanna Do It
04 The Meanest Boys – Strangest Things
05 Heavy Hawaii – Beacons
06 The Beets – Time Brought Age
07 Dead Ghosts – How The West Was Fun
08 Pete Drake – I’m Just A Guitar (Everybody Picks On Me)
09 The Bell Peppers – Cry Baby
10 Shimmering Stars – Love Is Strange (feat. Sue McClure)
11 The UV Race – Lost My Way
12 Icky Boyfriends – Nervous Guy
13 Bob Dylan – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Live at the Hollywood Bowl, 1965)

mp3: Nu Rave Brain Wave x Halloweenie, A Mixtape [65.1mb]

I’ve been revisiting Mickey & Sylvia‘s hit Love Is Strange quite a bit recently; I’m just ever so entranced by the way Sylvia sings “baby, oh baby, my sweet baby, you’re the one“. And my love of the original reminded me of what a good version those Shimmering Stars submitted for Cactus Mouth‘s Tears On My Pillow: Part II compilation. The Vancouver four-piece put their own somewhat-signature moves onto this cover, it’s really well done, lively and sounds a bit murkier but it works really well with the Sue McClure’s backing vocals. You can still get that excellent compilation via Cactus Mouth.

mp3: Shimmering Stars – Love Is Strange (ft. Sue McClure)

On Friday the 13th, I got my hands on a copy of the great compilation released by Cactus-Mouth, Tears on My Pillow: Part II. It features our longtime favorites, School Knights, taking on Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway‘, sounding as tight and as reverberated as ever. They can pretty much do no wrong. One of our favorite Canadian bands, Shimmering Stars, keep to their deep rooted vintage sound with excellent harmonies on their take of Mickey & Sylvia’s ‘Love Is Strange‘ with guest vocals from Sue McClure. Also featured are the great Cloud Nothings, our new favorite Tennessian’s Acid Glasses, and Lizard Kisses. Download two tasters below, or head over to Cactus-Mouth to download the whole thing for freesies.

mp3: School Knights – Runaway (Del Shannon Cover)
mp3:Shimmering Stars – Love Is Strange (ft. Sue McClure) (Mickey & Sylvia Cover)

If I can say anything about February 2011, it is truly the month in which I can say I lost my mind! But, of course, it’s been ultra fun. Spent a part of it in LA and the rest in Brighton and as far as I’m concerned, February is just the month that slides into March, or what is known as the greatest month featuring the greatest week of my year (SXSW). However, there was tunz of good music this month, and here’s a selection of my favorites:

01 Sonny & The Sunsets – I Wanna Do It
02 Shimmering Stars – Dancing To Music I Hate
03 Mazes – Bowie Knives
04 Chain & The Gang – Not Good Enough
05 Indian Wars – 8 Feet High
06 Eagulls – Pullin’ My Leg
07 Assassins 88 – Age of Consent
08 TV Colours – The Kids Are All Grown Up
09 Chapter 24 – All Them Selves
10 Shannon & The Clams – Sleep Talk
11 The Babies – Sunset
12 Tandoori Knights – Bandstand
13 Die Jungen – In The End

mp3 | Nu Rave Brain Wave x February 2k11 – Mixtape

Photo Courtesy of | Steve Louie

Shimmering Stars have been a mainstay on this blog since we discovered them back in July, featured them on tons of mixtapes, and did an interview with them. Basically, in a nutshell, I adore them. The singer, Rory, sent over this jam from their as of yet untitled, with an unknown release date, debut album, which will be released on Almost Musique. Needless to say, I’m pretty fucking excited about it. Below, stream ‘Dancing To Music I Hate‘, a brand new cut from the album. If you adored their 7″, you’re going to love this with their ridiculous vocal harmonies and beautiful 50s vibes standing pretty opposite to the lyrical material which has deliciously dark undertones. This band are very special and I, for one, cannot wait to hear the rest of this album.

Shimmering Stars – Dancing To Music I Hate by nuravebrainwave

I can’t believe it’s time again for me to say who I think is going to blow up next year. I’d like to clarify that nobody has asked for my input on this, but I feel that these bands are going to either blow up or achieve mild success that to me is the equivalent of superstardom. There’s been a lot of great new bands to come up this year and I couldn’t feature all of them so in lieu of having a list of like 20, I’m listing my top 10 bands that you’ll likely see on the pages of this blog, and maybe some other places and here’s a few that I got obsessed with too late or forgot about: School Knights, Ghost Outfit, Brown Brogues, Bleeding Knees Club, Straight Arrows, Cum Stain, The Franks, Friends, Wicked Fag, Tijuana Panthers, Sauna Youth, Moonhearts, Family Trees and Son of Rams. There’s too many to list, but check these out:

10 Audacity | Fullerton, CA | Myspace

Youthful punk rippers that go balls out every time, the fuzz doesn’t seem to mask the undercurrent of straight up great songs, best to see live and jump around to, nowhere to go but up.

mp3 | [download id="249" format="2"]

09 Shimmering Stars | Vancouver, BC | Myspace

Very new, but very good. More of the tender, half-sweet half-hidden-dark side 50s/60s pop with more than a tinge of the Everly Brothers, but serious lyric potential here. Basically, rules.

mp3 | [download id="172" format="2"]

08 The Vaccines | London, UK | Myspace

Teetering on the edge of being swept up into the British Hype Machine notwithstanding, these are great pop songs filtered through a very watery veil of 60s surf, but end up with something big, echoing and catchy as fuck.

mp3 | [download id="200" format="2"]

07 Spectrals | Wakefield, UK | Myspace

Northern England’s favorite ginger man doing stunning 50s doowop mixed with perfect, swooning 60s pop. Making it new with serious songwriting chops.

mp3 | [download id="102" format="2"]

06 Sex Beet | London/Leicester, UK | Myspace

UK’s best answer to anything that is happening in the US garage scene; makers of grimy, fuzzy, incredibly infectious noisy garage rippers. Bonus points for excellence in keyboard, being as great live as on record, weed smoking jams.

mp3 | [download id="175" format="2"]

05 Heavy Hawaii | San Diego, CA | Myspace

Beach born, Spector raised ridiculously catchy, tender, floating sentimental jams that err on the side of excellence rather than annoyingness. Bonus points for weed smoking jams.

mp3 | [download id="136" format="2"]

04 Sweaters | Los Angeles, CA | Myspace

Los Angeles’ heir to the crown of boisterous, timeless, wickedly humorous, anthemic pop songs of positivity, joy and awesomeness. Only band who puts a smile on my face in person and on record. Bonus points for being published authors.

mp3 | [download id="250" format="2"]

03 The Babies | New York, NY | Myspace

Exercise in mastering simplicity in song writing, then adding fuzz, a little bit of shambles and the best male/female shared vocals. This blurb doing them absolutely no justice as they’re incredible.Minus points for not knowing how great they are, as they’re still not a full-time band.

mp3 | [download id="195" format="2"]

02 King Charles | London, UK | Myspace

Forward thinking, experimental pop guitar shredder with more talent than songs going to a major label. Could be great.

mp3 | [download id="7" format="2"]

01 The Growlers | Costa Mesa, CA | Myspace

The kings of surf, garage, psychedelic swamp stomps with undeniable PhDs in ridiculously infectious melodies; dark, insanely intelligent lyrics and making you dance (even if you don’t wanna). Also, wearers of ridiculous clothing.

mp3 | [download id="251" format="2"]

I love doing year end roundup coverage and I’m still waiting to put up the bands to watch list, so I thought we’d highlight some of the great bands we discovered over the past year. Some of them made our 2011 bands to watch list, some of them didn’t, some of them aren’t even NEW but rest assured they all rule. As per the usual, you can download a great mp3 from each of the bands at the links.

The Strangers Family Band

Les Rallizes Denudes
Best Coast
Happy Birthday

Caitlin Rose
Eternal Summers
Wild Palms
White Fence
Cloud Nothings
Hey Sholay
The Invisible Hand

Fair Ohs
Monster Rally
Family Trees
Silver Machine
Hot Spa
Fergus & Geronimo
The Jim Jones Revue
Jeffertitti’s Nile
Mind Spiders
Shimmering Stars
Young Sinclairs
Son of Rams
The N.E.C
Velvet Davenport
Dominant Legs
The Splinters
The Vaccines
The Babies
Las Robertas
Heavy Hawaii
Francois & The Atlas Mountains
Myelin Sheaths
Pete Drake
Mess Folk
Black Mekon
Man The Hunter
Navajo Bixby
Demon’s Claws
French Kissing
Whatever Brains
The Castillians
Bass Drum of Death
Dead Ghosts
Sonny & The Sandwitches
Crusaders of Love
Bleeding Knees Club
Straight Arrows
Hello My Name Is Red
Sauna Youth
School Knights
Tree Hopping
The Meanest Boys
Ghost Outfit

And due to high demand you can download a track from each artist put into a zip folder right here.

2010 has been a pretty fun year for music. Every year, I discover more music, better music, and sometimes it cracks me up to see how my music taste grows and differs as the years go by, but I think 2010 has been a great year for new bands and kickass albums. I’ve compiled my list of 10 albums that I really loved, 5 EPs that just got to me, and then 30 songs that I’ve called Top Songs, but they’re just 30 songs that I liked a hell of a lot and came to me as I thought about it and scanned carelessly through iTunes. It’s interesting to note that half of my favorite albums are from California bands.

Top 10 Albums of 2010

10 Ty Segall | Melted | Goner

mp3 :: [download id="211" format="2"]

09 Woven Bones | In & Out & Back Again | Hozac

mp3 :: [download id="88" format="2"]

08 Dead Ghosts | S/T | Florida’s Dying

mp3 :: [download id="207" format="2"]

07 Heavy Hawaii | HH | Artfag Records

mp3 :: [download id="136" format="2"]

06 The Strange Boys | Be Brave | In The Red

mp3 :: [download id="212" format="2"]

05 Fool’s Gold | Fool’s Gold | IAMSOUND Records

mp3 :: [download id="213" format="2"]

04 Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo | Subpop

mp3 :: [download id="14" format="2"]

03 The Soft Pack | The Soft Pack | Mexican Summer

mp3 :: [download id="130" format="2"]

02 Harlem | Hippies | Matador

mp3 :: [download id="214" format="2"]

01 Happy Birthday | Happy Birthday | Subpop

mp3 :: [download id="40" format="2"]


Top 5 EPs of 2010

05 Monster Rally | Monster Rally EP | Self Released

mp3 :: [download id="27" format="2"]

04 Unouomedude | Marsh EP | Self Released

mp3 :: [download id="118" format="2"]

03 Caitlin Rose | Dead Flowers EP | Names Records

mp3 :: [download id="101" format="2"]

02 Sex Beet | EP | TBA

mp3 :: [download id="175" format="2"]

(note: this is totally not the artwork, as this isn’t released yet, but the EP is too good to not be included on this list.)

01 The Growlers | Hot Tropics EP | Everloving

mp3 :: [download id="149" format="2"]


Top 30 Songs of 2010:

01 The Babies | Meet Me In The City | Listen

02 Happy Birthday | Perverted Girl | Listen

03 Sex Beet | Stay

04 Friends | Make It Better

05 The Meanest Boys | Strangest Things

06 Tennis | South Carolina | Listen

07 Spectrals | Leave Me Be | Listen

08 Family Trees | Dream Talkin’ | Listen

09 Cee Lo Green | Fuck You | Listen

10 Sonny & The Sunsets | Too Young To Burn | Listen

11 Beach Fossils| Sometimes | Listen

12 Woven Bones | Wanna Tell Ya | Listen

13 Ty Segall | Bullet Proof Nothing

14 Surfer Blood | Take It Easy | Listen

15 School Knights | Lunch Money

16 Happy Birthday | Subliminal Message | Listen

17 The Growlers | Sea Lion Goth Blues | Listen

18 Unouomedude | Buildings | Listen

19 The Strange Boys | Laugh At Sex (Not At Her) | Listen

20 Mind Spiders | World’s Destroyed

21 Fair Ohs | Hey Lizzy | Listen

22 Fergus & Geronimo | Girls With English Accents

23 French Kissing | You Just Don’t Know What Love Is For

24 Sweaters | Fruit On The Vine

25 Demon’s Claws | Fucked on K | Listen

26 Swampmeat | Brand New Cadillac

27 Gaoler’s Daughter | Meet You On The Other Side of the World

28 Shimmering Stars | I’m Gonna Try | Listen

29 My Pet Saddle | Il Fait Beau | Listen

30 Cults | Go Outside | Listen

We got the chance to speak to Rory, the singer and chief writer for the fantastical Vancouver outfit Shimmering Stars. We’ve been loving their 50s and 60s pop vibe with a little bit of garage and surf thrown in there, it’s basically like, everything that we hold dear here at this little blog, so we were happy to hear what Rory had to say about his parents loving Shimmering Stars, their strange odd jobs, and misanthropy. Check it out:

We’re super digging on your forthcoming EP. Why did you decide to include the Everly Brothers cover?

The Everlys were the biggest inspiration for Shimmering Stars initially, so it seemed natural to include a cover on our first EP. ‘Let It Be Me’ is a classic love song. After many failed attempts, I realized that I’m incapable of writing songs like this. So the Everly Brothers cover is a welcome respite from my songs, which are about heartbreak, despair, misanthropy and other uplifting themes.

So some of your songs were recorded in your parents garage… What do they think about Shimmering Stars? If they like it, does that worry you?

Tim and Sue McClure love Shimmering Stars! This would have worried me when I was 15 but I’m pretty comfortable with it now. My grandparents like it too. I think if your music speaks to different generations you’re doing something right. Or something horribly wrong.

How did the name Shimmering Stars come about?

To be honest, it was very last minute. I thought it sounded cool. A few people have since assured me that it doesn’t.

Everyone pretty much loves the 50s/60s vibe that your music is rooted in. Are there any other genres that you guys would test out?

We’ve talked about moving in a more shoegaze-y direction. There’s a pretty strong relationship between shoegaze and doo-wop/50s/60s pop that we’d like to explore. Maybe something a bit more atmospheric and textured, but still drawing on the same basic influences.

How much of your lyric writing is personal to you? Or is it more giving a voice to other stories?

Unfortunately, it’s all very personal. When I started doing these recordings I didn’t even tell my friends about it, so I felt pretty free to be honest. Write what you know.

I’m asking because ‘I’m Gonna Try’ is one of the most pleasant, hopeful hate songs I’ve heard. Tell us a little bit more about your misanthrophy.

I’d never want to advocate ‘misanthropy.’ But everyone experiences it on occasion, especially if you’re living in a city. It’s natural to want to kill everyone sometimes! But seriously, the point is not to celebrate misanthropy, but to acknowledge it and then to move on. I think to ignore these feelings is probably unhealthy. Be realistic about yourself. Acknowledge your hateful feelings and try to overcome them. Or don’t. Do what you want to do. This is just a very honest expression of something I experience regularly: feeling hateful, feeling guilty about feeling hateful, and then knowing that I need to change. Then trying to change. Then failing to change. Repeat.

Most of you guys are in other bands, does that ever conflict with Shimmering Stars?

Felix and Clint are in another band called Mode Moderne. Clint has another band called Manic Attracts. And Andrew and I are in a band called Bedrooms of the Nation. The Vancouver music scene is pretty incestuous so it’s not uncommon to see the same person in four different bands. There’s no conflict for Shimmering Stars – I think it’s pretty natural for everyone to be balancing this band with other projects.

You guys have been getting lots of nods over here in the UK, will 2011 bring Shimmering Stars to these shores?

Absolutely. We hope to make it over there in Spring/Summer 2011.

What else do you guys have planned for 2011?

We’ll be releasing a full-length in the Spring and we hope to do SXSW in March. After that we’ll be headed to Europe for a tour. And hopefully a North American tour after that. Then Andrew will most likely die in a bizarre gardening accident.

What’s the best record you’ve bought this year? Or alternatively, what’s the best random record find you bought this year?

Felix likes the last Fresh & Onlys last single, and my personal favourite is the Manic Attracts full length, “Eyes Wide Shut.” Check it out!

So what else does Shimmering Stars do in their spare time for cash?

Andrew is an international man of mystery. We know it’s business-related, but that’s all we can say for certain. Felix owns and operates a recording studio called Little Red Sounds. Clint is a taxi cab dispatcher, a job he cherishes each and every day. I am in school upgrading to become a teacher.

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten on tour?

I’ve never been on tour but Felix assures me that Mexican food in the States is unbeatable.

And finally, some shoutouts:

Wolf Nebula for life!
Andrew Dergousoff: F.Y.F.F.F!

mp3 | [download id="172" format="2"]

November has been a really weird month, but I’m pretty sure this is the raddest mixtape that I’ve ever posted. Every single one of these songs pretty much fucking RULES and is at least an 8/10, with most of them being 10/10s. That’s a fact.

01 The Babies – Meet Me In The City
02 French Kissing – You Just Don’t Know What Love Is For
03 Shannon & The Clams – Warlock in the Woods
04 The Barbaras – Summertime Road
05 Chuck Berry – Blues For Hawaiians
06 Sonny & The Sandwitches – Throw My Ashes Off This Pier
07 White Fence – Lillian (Won’t You Play Drums?)
08 Velvet Davenport – Mystery Michael
09 Shimmering Stars – I’m Gonna Try
10 Dead Ghosts – When It Comes To You
11 The Castillians – Lovers Call
12 The Soft Pack – Gagdad
13 Tijuana Panthers – Crew Cut
14 Daniel Johnston – Urge

mp3 | Nu Rave Brain Wave – November 2010 Mixtape