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What’s up dudes? The lazy days of summer are almost in full effect here in this lovely city by the bay, so it’s been time to listen to music outside in the sunshine rather than listen to music in the livingroom while crying. Yes, I cry sometimes. Sometimes it’s because I’m worried about the rainforests, sometimes it’s because I have a really stubborn hairball in my throat. But I’m not ashamed to say that this kitty has a soul, and sometimes it pours out of my eyeballs. And sometimes, coming down off catnip can be really hard, man, especially when my dealer’s dry.

Anyway, yesterday was the perfect day to scratch up some summer music, and I was fortunate to stumble across the latest from Vetiver, To Find Me Gone (more on that later), and through association, a band called Feathers.

Now Feathers conjures up all sorts of gruesome images. As you know, I am a vegan (Mother Earth bears enough fruit to feed its people, no need to eat something just because it tastes good with BBQ sauce, brothers). So feathers to me are things I only see savages pick their teeth with after devouring an innocent chick. Heathens!

But Feathers also happens to be several bands–I’ll explain. Digging up Vetiver brought me to Feathers. I checked ’em out, and found a lovely E.P. by the name of Absolute Noon. Imagine Tortoise, Stereolab, and The Go! Team (if they were good) thrown under a truck, run over repeatedly ’til they’re flat as a pancake, then rolled up and used to snort some Pixy Stix. That’s their sound.

So I tried to share them with some friends, and next thing you know, they think Feathers is too hippy…even for me. I listen to a particular session Susie Vomit is referring to, and she’s right. It’s a different band, also by the name of Feathers. Seriously, what the fuck?

First of all, Feathers is a stupid name for a band. And here we got two bands both calling themselves Feathers. Whoopty-doo they did the whole “We don’t need a ‘the’ in our names” thing like Islands. Still. It’s stupid. But that’s not all, in scratching around for Feathers stuff, I find The Lovely Feathers, another band–but with the ‘The’ and an adjective.

This predicament called for the debut of Cat Fight!–a special section to throw bands and songs into the metaphorical Octagon and let ’em duke it out.

The Contestants

Feathers
Synopsis: A three-piece based out of Miami on Home Tapes label. Recorded with some producers who worked with Wilco and Tortoise. Instrumentals with groovy organs, bells, pianos, etc… Absolute Noon is first of three EPs scheduled… next one (‘Synchromy’) is done and should be out soon.

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Sounds like: Tortoise, Stereolab, The Go! Team. Well sort of Go! Team.

Motto: “Fuck words!”

Choice Amazon.com quote: “What it most closely resembles, however, is the work of the little-known, but pioneering artist in this genre, Nathan Michel, whose wonderful disc, Dear Bicycle, deserves widest possible hearing–though it must be said Feathers operates without the formal compositional rigor that underpins Michel’s work.”

Feathers – My Apple Has Four Legs
Try and dig up “The Rise”… it’s rad.

Feathers
Synopsis – A six-piece from the hippiest parts of Vermont. I mean even hippies call these people dirty hippies. First real full length (self-titled) released in April, but was previously released in limited quantities. Totally were DIY…sold their album as an LP only at their shows. Afraid of parking “in the big city.”

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Sounds like: hippies with a lot of instruments, Espers. Just picture beards and big brown jugs with ‘XXX’ on them.

Motto: “Is this a real fight? Because we didn’t bring any weapons. Just this bitchin’ mandolin.”

Faux artsy Amazon.com quote: “This music makes me feel like making something myself. I put it on while I’m painting. Or I put it on to make myself FEEL like painting. I think it’s the openness of the songs and the collaborative music-making approach of the band itself that comes through the music and enters the brain. Sorry, there’s no other way to explain.”

Feathers – To Each His Own
Feathers – Live at WNYC

The Lovely Feathers
Synopsis: A five-piece from Montreal all 23 years old 24-years old (thanks Jena – I’m a retard) or younger. Seriously, what are they putting in the water in Montreal? Album ‘Hind Hind Legs’ just released in April.

Lovely Feathers 

Sounds like: Early Ash and The Cribs if they were even more hyper-active and a bit more goofy, any young band that also has ADD and was crushed under its own talent. Tiny tiny tiny bit like the whole Tapes n Tapes and Pavement thing.

Motto: “We want more candy and beer.” 

Retarded Amazon.com quote: “When I put my headphones on and pressed play, I found myself ,quite quickly, being transported into a strange, wierd, intense, escapist, energetic, painful, yet pleasant land. Their lyrics are quite limbic, though sometimes linear, and other times not-linear at all. still the words somehow create a cohesive tapestry, where, I the listener can still some how interact and re-appropriate the fabric. obvioulsy due to the limbic, sometimes vague nature of the feathers lyrics, we will all undoubtedly have our own interpretations, but for me,generally speaking, the words seem to be about the natural fragility of human power relationships within society, and the neccessary but tragic ego that we seem to bring into them.” Seriously, someone wrote that.

The Lovely Feathers – Ooh You Shocked Me!
The Lovely Feathers – E Man Sorrow

Winner: The Lovely Feathers take it today with their bitchin’ quirky rock. But as we all know, young bands and quirky rock either OD or fizzle out before they can actually make something of themselves. And for each of their great songs, there’s one eighth of a song that isn’t, which is a pretty darn good ratio. Still, highly recommended expect big and bright things from them in the future-ish time.

Miami-based Feathers should make a name for themselves and their avant-garde instrumental pop sound. Expect them to be a leader of the next big thing in music, coming sometime next year. And also expect them to change their name. I got a name, how about “The Lovely Feathers”? Fuck–already taken. Really looking forward to the second E.P.

And as for Vermont’s Feathers, well you guys aren’t bad…but you’re no Vetiver. But let’s be honest, the whole hippy folk thing is just like befriending some nice hippies. You let one come into your house, and he’s cool and does his dishes, maybe even buys a six-pack. But soon, you get a bunch of other uninvited hippies in the house who start drum circles in your kitchen and won’t shut up about hybrid cars.

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