Filardo – UNKNOWN Sessions (Bridgetown Records)

I tend to dislike reviews that spend a lot of time talking about how an artist’s record is a bricolage of different influences and records from the past. It’s hard for me not to do this with Filardo, not because he’s creating some ultra-unique synthesis of music styles that is going to blow yer mind. Rather, Tom Filardo, the man behind the solo project as well as former bands like Bouquet and Total Noise, uses complimentary music genres and techniques from past musical zeitgeists like Tin Pan Alley, fingerstyle picking, and the tender lyricism of the 60s pop masters like Brian Wilson, Paul Simon, and James Taylor to create a 5 song tape that packs a songwriting punch.

These songs are truly for those who appreciate great songwriting, beautiful winding melodies and intriguing harmonic action provided nearly exclusively by Tom’s gently fingerpicked electric guitar. While he has a nimble dexterity on his fretboard, he doesn’t rely on flashy musicianship to captivate the listener. His hands traverse the entire length of the neck to chose the perfect chord and leading melody to buoy his gliding melodies and plaintive delivery. His harmonic choices belie a keen ear and expansive harmonic vocabulary rivaling Tin Pan Alley masters like Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, and Cole Porter but with the graceful guitar transitions of James Taylor and Paul Simon (especially his solo career 70s-era albums).

This session was recorded at The UNKNOWN in Anacortes, Washington with a few friends stepping in to help including Gregory Campanile, Stephen Steinbrink and Phil Elverum, with Nicholas Wilbur engineering. The backing band, who plays on everything except the first two tracks, provide a subtle and strong aura for these songs to develop into off-beat lounge music with the strongly meditative power of a folk singer. Mixing in vibraphones, atypical drum patterns, and deeply melodic bass, Filardo’s band opens up a floating space in time without resorting to typical jazz backing band or singer-songwriter backing band fluff. The placement of every note and melody is intentional throughout the record, from the snare accents to the Dirty-Projectors-esque dancing vocals harmonies of “go without reservations” on An Uncertain Time to the fret-climbing ending of Yesterday’s Cup that caps off with field recordings of “birds chirping” (as written in the lyrics).

The lyrics bend and twist through Tom’s artfully arranged stories, coming back around to enough familiar melodies to call it pop music, but intricate enough to qualify as Romantic-era classical art songs or heady Tin Pan Alley ballads. Although the lyrics sound dense, they speak to major tropes of pop and DIY music but in artful new ways. Lion’s Heart explores self-perseverance and striving through the bummers in life- especially juxtapositioned with the previous track, subtitled Bummer Surf Instrumental. It also doubles as the perfect closing song at shows when Tom bids farewell to the audience on a hopeful note. He captures the innocence and humble beauty of Brian Wilson’s songwriting through the tender lyrics of Valentine but also divines esoteric visions of contemporary life on the last two tracks. An Uncertain Time circles back to the theme striving for “heights already reached in conception” (or alternatively, dreams of people struggling in oppression of any kind), while he mystically surveys the physical decay of modern urban spaces in White Cube.

This all-too-short session covers plenty of ground but doesn’t stray too far off the map stylistically or sonically, but instead explores the diverse geography of melodic and harmonic choices available to talented songwriters like Tom Filardo. Although it can feel minimal, and definitely explores the empty spaces of music, the presentation of the songs feels complete and well put-together. It takes a bit of patience to fall into groove with these tracks, they can seem complicated or long-winded to yer average punk. However, each consecutive spin of the record reveals more depth and ingrains the idiosyncratic melodies into yer mind.

Listen/purchase: UNKNOWN Sessions by Filardo

Just made 25 more copies of Apollo Vermouth’s “Fractured Youth” cassette for those who missed out!

Bridgetown #110 out now at

For over a decade, Matthew Gray has found comfort in tape machines and grimy guitars, sneaking his brand of outsider pop into the subconscious of the unaware. “When We Were Metal” is Gray’s most accessible collection of songs, shimmering with the glow of hidden treasure in an abandoned attic. Dusty and worn, these are the eccentric but relatable tales of an ageless alt-rock ghost revisiting his youth in New England. Gray produces his songs in a manner befitting the cold, brisk air that hangs over a snowed out colonial town before the plows come around, finding friends in thin guitars, antique drum machines and gentle vocals wrapped in a couple coats of hiss.

• Limited to 50 type II chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time with full-color labels and doublesided printing on heavyweight gloss stock, includes digital download.

Bridgetown #109 out now at

A prolific explorer of dark formless fields, Tanner Garza finds rhythm and pacing that gives structure to the intangible realm. His sound work is akin to the inspection of a mirror that reveals a window into nothingness. No self, no outside world. “There’s More To Life Than This” is the result of isolation, of working in hermitage not towards any one thing. Instead, it is the natural document of cycles in a personal abyss. The recurring patterns of breathing and bloodflow captured on tape loops that slowly shift like the movement of muscles in gradual growth.

• Limited to 50 type II chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time with full-color labels and doublesided printing on heavyweight gloss stock, includes digital download.

Bridgetown #108 now available at

Morgan Enos and Reuben Sawyer summon coastal fog into thick swirls of heavily downtuned melodic haze. Returning to Bridgetown with another set of grunge songs that draws inspiration from the duo’s tenure in doom metal as well as the Siamese Dream generation of their youth, Sawyer and Enos bathe sparkling pop songs in a syrupy sludge. Sweet and addictive, the four songs that comprise “Atascadero” offer a glimpse into an understated but diverse range of styles and feelings that stem from crushing guitar tones in simple, subtle arrangements.

• Limited to 100 type II chrome cassettes dubbed in real-time with full-color labels and doublesided printing on heavyweight gloss stock, includes digital download.

What the fucks happening in Ferguson?

Bridgetown Records
pumpkinclem answered:

Alright, i’m gonna sit down and basically explain the situation in this ask so everyone of my followers knows why i’m so pissed.

Michael Brown, a 17 - 18 year old african american boy was unlawfully shot (8-10 times supposedly) by police in St Louis, Missouri on saturday, august 9th, 2014. He was unarmed, and had done nothing to attract suspicion other than the fact that he was black. His body was left in the street for 4 hours. (EDIT: i’ve discovered that the Brown family wishes for any and all photos of Michael lying in the streets to be removed. please respect this and do so)

There are several claims from witnesses (see: Dorian Johnson’s account and video [HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UP ON HIS ACCOUNT, ITS VERY SPECIFIC] — Brown’s friend who experienced the situation first hand, La’Toya Cash and Phillip Walker— Ferguson residents nearby the incident),  that fall together in generally close claims. However, the only one who’s claim seems out of place is the police officer’s who shot Brown. Who, by the way, is put off on paid administrative leave AND who’s name remained under anonymity for his safety (However, attorney Benjamin Crump is looking for a way to force release his name). He claims that Brown began to wrestle the officer for his gun and tried attacking him after he told Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson (22) to “get the f*ck on the sidewalk”.

According to Johnson, after a minor confrontation on the officer’s part where he grabbed Brown by the neck and then by the shirt, the officer pulled his gun on Brown and shot him at point blank range on the right side of his body. Brown and Johnson were able to get away briefly and started running. However, Brown was shot in the back, supposedly disabling him from getting very far. He turned around with his arms in the air and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” By this point, Brown and the officer were face to face as the cop shot him several times in the face and chest until he was finally dead. Johnson ran to his apartment and by the sound of his account, seemingly had some sort of panic attack. Later he emerged from his home to see Brown still laying in the streets. People were gathered with their cellphones, screaming at the police.

According to msnbc, the police refuse to interview Johnson at all, despite his amazing courage to come forward. They didn’t wanna hear it. They only listened to the cop’s account of it all and were vague with the media on what they thought happened. They’ve also refused to commit to a timeline in releasing autopsy results and other investigation information.

Numerous rumors are sweeping around such as Brown stealing candy from a QuickTrip, the store he emerged from calling the cops on him, Brown reaching for a gun, Brown attacking the cop first, ect. But these have all been debunked. (I know a lot of these have been debunked, but im having a hard time finding sources. if anyone could help out and link some legit ones id be SO grateful)

The event in and of itself was terrible, but now it has escalated beyond belief. Around 100 or more people, mostly black, went to the police station to protest peacefully. Things quickly turned bad as martial law got involved and authorities were bringing in K9s, tanks, heavy artillery, ect. The heavy police presence only made things worse as riots began to break out and looting and vandalism started. [ x ] [ x ] [ x ]

Now, as of very recently, the media has been banned from Ferguson. There is also a No-Fly zone above Ferguson for the reason of “ TO PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES ” as said on the Federal Aviation Commission’s website. Cop cars are lined up on the borders to prevent people from entering/leaving. Media outlets are being threatened with arrest. It completely violates our amendments and everything.

It’s becoming increasingly scary and difficult to find out whats going on over there. I’m afraid this is all the information I have, though. If anybody else knows anything about the situation, please feel free to add on or correct any mistakes i’ve made as i’m no expert on writing these things.

And as a personal favor, i’d really appreciate anyone to give this a reblog in order to spread the word. I think it’s a shame that this is going on in our own country yet so few people know about it. Help me make this topic huge and get this as much attention as possible.

A conversation that also functions as a safe place for liberal use of capital letters.

released this one January 2010

Nothing like seeing an HDTV through the second story window of a castle catty corner to a Trader Joe’s.

released this one in December 2008. All songs based on summarizing the plots of various Nicole Kidman movies.