Device-004: Soft Targets “The Kids Want Action” single

image: cover of the Soft Targets seven-inch single, The Kids Want Action b/w Don't Ask Why
Soft Targets .... create a focused, tight-knit unit that revels in creating three minute bursts of snarky, high-octane guitar pop.
Chicago Weekly April 13, 2006

“The Kids Want Action” backed with “Don't Ask Why”

Soft Targets: Reg Shrader (ex-Seam, Circus Lupus; guitars), Chris Auman (ex-Reagan National Crash Diet; guitars, vocals), Dave Potter (formerly of Lustre King; drums), Dan Kiss (former Public Defender -- and that's not a band; bass). Jane Hanna and Chris Negrete (both of Vamplifier [myspace]; Negrete now the Soft Targets drummer) contributed backing vocals, and Hanna also played keyboards on “Don't Ask Why.”

Cover by Mike Dixon. Recorded by Kris Poulin at Kayfabe Studios and pre-mastered for vinyl by Carl Saff.

Both tracks from this new Soft Targets 7" are available for preview on myspace, at both the Soft Targets page and the Loud Devices page!

Device-003: Plastic Crimewave solo “The Howling Light” single

[image: cover of Plastic Crimewave solo 45, The Howling Light b/w I'll Be Back in Your Days Again]
... it's very cool. It piles up layers of vocals, noises and bending strings into a bluster-circus of acid folk.
The Wire 270, August 2006

Solo acoustic excursion from Plastic Crimewave (he of The Galactic Zoo Dossier hand-drawn zine, “The Secret History of Chicago Music” and many other things).

Two songs: “The Howling Light” backed with “I'll Be Back in Your Days Again.” Vinyl-only 45 rpm seven-inch single.

Acoustic guitar, sitar, words and cover artwork by Plastic Crimewave. Folksy blues guitar and background vocals on A-side by Joe Cassidy, with additional background vocals by Merritt Lear, dog tags by Fozzy. Produced by Joe Cassidy at Musicola Studios in Chicago. Mastered for vinyl at Golden Mastering.

Plastic Crimewave has released CD-Rs of his solo work, but this release marks his solo debut on vinyl.

You can order online from Rocket Reducer Mailorder.

Device-002: First Coat Move Like Sparrows CD

[image: cover 
of First Coat CD, Move Like Sparrows]
Fusing rock elements with Loughridge's newfound love of unconventional song structures and deeply personal lyrics, the album is just 8 tracks long, but manages to present itself as a complete whole .... among the finest ever put out by anyone in Chicago.
Move Like Sparrows is a creative and diverse adventure in underground pop/rock. At times thoughtful and introspective, other times wistful and catchy.

Eight tracks: 1. try again ([megaphone] mp3 3.1 MB)   2. artichoke ([clapboard] video at youtube.com)   3.  drunk online shopping   4. uranium decay   5. catchy pneumonia pajamas ([megaphone] mp3 7.5 MB)   6.  listen to your kids   7. astonishing astronomies   8. butterfly

Loughridge is a master lyricist, and the band as a whole work like a fine-tuned engine.

On Move Like Sparrows, First Coat was: Paul Brannon (drums), Will Long (guitar, organ, piano, vocals), Conor Loughridge (vocals, guitar, wurlitzer, piano, synth), and Sean Mahan (bass, organ, synth), with Deirdre Kelly (cello).

The songs are by Conor Loughridge. The sessions were engineered and mixed on analog tape in September and October/November 2004 by Scott Adamson at Sema phore Recording in Chicago, and the album was mastered for CD by Jim Wilson at Yes Mastering.

First Coat hailed from the South Side of Chicago. A beloved Hyde Park neighborhood institution, they played together in various configurations from 2000 (when they went under the name Drexel) to 2006 and were an enduring and inspirational constant in the close-knit collective of musicians around Mr Hyde Records.

You can still order copies from CD Baby. You can also buy Move Like Sparrows (or individual tracks) from the iTunes Store.

Device-001: The Swansea Mass “Silver Venus” single

[image: cover of the Swansea Mass seven-inch, Silver Venus b/w Chessy]
Both sides feature some gently sweeping guitar, which adds a languid, and dreamy feel to the songs creating music you can sink in to, although Chessy does contain a more rocky undertone.
Ptolemaic Terrascope #35, Winter 2004/05

“silver venus” backed with “chessy”

Maybe the Swansea Mass was just too good to last. Other than one compilation track, this seven-inch single is the only release to document the post-shoegazer sound of this too short-lived band, who existed, in slight variations, from the fall of 2002 to the spring of 2005.

For this record, the then core trio of Emma Bryant (ex-Salomé, on drums), Jeff Rufo (guitar, vocals) and Anne Stevens (bass) was joined by Pavan Singh on lead guitar. Both tracks were recorded by Jeff Boyd in November 2003 and were mastered for vinyl at Golden Mastering. This record really captures the band at their peak.

The cover art (printed black on silver) was drawn by Plastic Crimewave.

You can order online from tonevendor.com.

pairing nicely mumbled shoegaze dynamism with the post-Galaxie 500 guitar-wobble. Pleasing.
The Wire #248, October 2004
Chicagoans' debut single is a shoegazer delight.
Buy on sight or be forever ridiculed by cooler peers.

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