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jason on 06/07/2010 at 03:00PM

Big Troubles: shoegaze from Ridgewood NJ live on WFMU

Big Troubles from left: Sam Franklin, Alex Craig, Ian Drennen and Luka Usmani

The first time i saw Big Troubles play live, it hit me like My Bloody Valentine at All Tomorrow's Parties, but with Sugar-ier tunes in a smaller space (NYC's Le Poisson Rouge). At that moment, I was intoxicated not just by the music, but by the alcohol. So later on I decided that I should always eat dinner, because those shades of Jesus and Mary Chain jangle-fuzz might've just been my blurred imagination...but my impressions were later affirmed by the far more reliable ears of Doug Gillard. He'd recently shared a bill with Big Troubles, and encouraged them to play live at WFMU.

Sure enough, the session is bursting with 2-minute doses of blissed-out shoegaze-y pop. "Freudian Slips" (a version of which debuted on the wfmu blog back in December) is the most immediately infectious, while the Pollard-y "Drastic & Difficult" might be my favorite from the session, and with so many new tunes in the mix, I am very excited about the future of this band. Olde English Spelling Bee is set to release their debut LP this summer, along with a 7''. Last I heard, Blackburn Recordings still has a few copies of the 4-song "Freudian Slips" 7''. Alex Craig and Ian Drennen made these recordings as a duo with blownout drum machines, fuzz guitar, and a touch of psychedelic effects wizardry. Live, they're joined by Sam Franklin (Fluffy Lumbers) and Luka Usmani (No Demons Here). 

The group's hometown of Ridgewood NJ is a breeding ground for music as of late (Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Real Estate), especially if you include neighboring town of Glen Rock (Titus Andronicus, Vice City Rockers). But Big Troubles don't really sound anything like these other artists. During the Talk's Cheap interview, they cited music as-heard-on the television show Pete and Pete as an influence, and primarily picked out tunes late 80s/mid 90s for their DJ set, which included Cleaners from Venus, Lilys, and Tobin Sprout. Rather than spotlight other music from Ridgewood, they tipped us off to intercontinental contemporaries from Australia (The Twerps) and Germany (Vomit Heat).

>> full live set (mp3s)
>> Talk's Cheap radio show (stream)

play it loud!



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