Three-listen indie rock in a one-listen world.

 We are Forgotten Species and we are a band. Blake is too young, Chris is too drunk, Matt can only play one note and Lizz needs a watch to keep time. But we can vote.

See you in a few...

We're taking a little solstice this summer so that Lizz and Nixon can both welcome new little FS fans to their families. But fear not - we're still jamming here and there and prepping new music for a fall recording effort. We'll also be announcing some new and exciting shows for fall so please stay tuned. 

And in the meantime, buy our album!

Blake on Music in 2014: Better than expected

I would argue that there are no bad years for music, and that 2014 was pretty good in that any year that Arcade Fire don't release a record is a good year for music (although I did feel like I stepped in a steaming hot pile of Jack White every time I took my eyes off of the ground). I am still trying to figure out why everyone loves the War On Drugs album. I just hear John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band after they split half a pot brownie and decided to "do something expansive" in the studio.

In no order, I liked this stuff: 

Download Blake's playlist here.

I had gotten to my hotel very late one night when I was out in LA and had to get up at 5am the next morning to catch a flight to Mexico. The second I put my head down the fire alarm went off. They went room by room and forced everyone out on to the street. By the time the fire department came, checked the building and gave the thumbs up for everyone to go back to bed, it was time for me to grab my bag and go to LAX. I sat in the last seat by the toilet on a ghastly flight through brutal turbulence. When I landed a friend picked me up with a cooler full of Tecate and a bag of Al Pastor and habenero sandwiches. An hour later I was half asleep on the beach listening to "Instant Disassembly" on a tiny portable speaker. I sat up, and standing in the water about 10 feet away was an ursine figure in a heavy hemp poncho smoking a joint. It was Jim James. He looked at me and said "the waves are rolling up in perfect time to the song." And they were. The Flaming Lips were opening for My Morning Jacket that night, and to this day I thank whoever runs the universe that I didn't have that moment with Wayne Coyne.

Some kind of sad transmission from the distant planet of 5/4 time; Static Wall is some true gangster jangle. Can't wait for the full length next year.

I don't think I have had a country record on this list since Ramsay Midwood was a pup. Maybe Nashville is finally turning the corner.

I think this is the pinata MGMT have been flailing at the last two times out. Plus, their name.

I listened to Lonely Richard and I Know Myself with some friends while driving down the side of Mt. Hood late on a spring afternoon and then couldn't listen to anything else for two weeks. Superlative Cosmic American Music.

Sharply observed classic indie guitar pop. So charming it is almost hatable. Almost. Barely.

I am pretty burnt on beats and synths but this is some deep and cool shit. It sounds like Invisible Conga People are hanging out late in the studio waiting for their Chinese food but then their Chinese food is delivered by The Blue Nile and everyone is like, fuck it, let's jam.

Ty's prolificacy makes Bob Pollard look like a lazy tub of goo. If the sixteen year old me had had access to "Feel," I would probably still be in prison. Listen to Manipulator this week and then go knock over a neighbor's snowman, gently. Yeah, that will show them.

I know, I am supposed to have the Run The Jewels record here.

Are Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj and those people calling this guy yet to make them good?

This is the definition of a simple pleasure. When the ingredients are The Feelies, Lou Reed, and The Clean, you would be hard pressed to mess up the chili.

Some chill dude stretching out on his acoustic guitar with some jammy bros is usually my worst nightmare, so it is hard for me to describe why I like this so much. Total stoned majesty.

Melancholy minimalism for the sad college girl moping around inside of all of us. Mine is named Edith. When you google Liz Harris, she looks so tired. I am worried about her. Please sleep Liz.

These guys are like the '27 Yankees of Indie Rock, and their latest is a sleek beast wrapped in a lush pelt of redoubtable melodic power. I bet Jeff Lynne stays up nights worrying about these guys.

My favorite reissue of the year.

Elmhurst has long been a legendary hot bed of young guitar bands since...fuck it, Elmhurst is terrible. But for some reason ground zero for the Chicago guitar revival is in the 60126 zip. The Orwells and Twin Peaks show at Lincoln Hall was the best thing I saw all year.

Tweak Bird, man.

Without sounding at all like the Smiths, they still remind me of them in that the guitar parts are always perfect and a little unexpected.

Dude released a lot of music this year (and does every year, for that matter). But if you like to drive around Chicago at 3AM on a Tuesday scoring crack under the Lake Street El, Moodymann is your soundtrack. Also great for taking a bunch of 6 year olds to Chuck E. Cheese.

A middle aged guy takes all of the fucks he used to give and boxes them up and puts them by the curb. This is possibly a masterpiece. Plus he called The War On Drugs "beer commercial lead guitar rock." Which made people angry, but is also true.

Pasty British guys with 12 string guitars who like The Byrds and Donovan and Stone Roses and Oasis. I am sold. Every time.

Now that everyone puts their best of lists out on Columbus Day, my laziness makes me look smart. Here is the D'Angelo record everyone has waited for since 1942. It's on my list. In the year it came out. Suck it, real critics. 

Lizz on Music in 2014: Weird But Generally Ok

Greetings, FS faithful. I am here to share with you my favorite songs of this past year should you be curious about what tickles the fancy of a mediocre bass player in a local power pop outfit. For fun, I'm also going to tell you why each song made the list. A list about my list, if you will.

Here's the music: Best of 2014

Here is what comes to mind when I hear each of these worthy tracks:

Strand of Oaks, "Goshen '97" - Apparently this song is about bandleader Timothy Showalter's high school years, where he was "lonely, but having fun." It's inspired me to write "Whitefish Bay '99," where I was "lonely, but also drunk."

Kishi Bashi, The Ballad of Mr. Steak - I work all day, every day in a role that requires me to have a deep understanding of beef preparation and production, so I appreciate this ode to a bachelor named Mr. Steak and his quest to find another cut of meat that likes to "booty-booty shakey-shake." 

Cloud Nothings, "I'm Not Part of Me" - Cloud Nothings is what I think of as the ultimate high school band, and what I tell people my high school band was like. In reality, it was more like this

Temples, "Keep in the Dark" - Apparently this is one of Blake's six-year-old son's favorite bands. Actually it was probably on Beckett's Best of 2013 list, since those pint-sized tastemakers at Playdohfork are usually all over anything British and slightly funky.

Kevin Drew, "First in Line" - Kevin Drew attacked me once outside the womens' bathroom at Schubas. I mean, full on threw me up against the wall and accused me of telling someone I was in Broken Social Scene.  Or he really just wanted to be first in line for the womens' bathroom.

Avery Tare's Slasher Flicks, "Little Fang" - Once in a while I like a song with a bassline that sounds like the musical equivalent of one of those Lindor chocolates - when you break its shell, its lusciously smooth center starts to melt. And so will you.

Archie Bronson Outfit, "Two Doves on a Lake" - Is this stoner rock? Also, 5/4 time makes me feel intoxicated.

Andrew Jackson Jihad, "Children of God" - I am pretty sure this song is about zombies. The line "Out the corner of my  eye/Coming out from a teeth-filled sky/With eyes as red as a dog's asshole when you see it shitting" is probably the reason I won't burn a CD of this playlist for my dad. Not because of the language, but because he would find that to be an overly pedantic description of the undead.

Amen Dunes, "Lonely Richard" - This is one of those songs that probably sounds great on repeat after you've eaten a pot cookie and gone to bed with your socks on. Might try it and let you know.

Afghan Whigs, "Matamoros" - This was my driving song of the summer and also my nominee for Sex Jam of the Year until I went to the Metro in October and laid eyes on 2014 Greg Dulli. Time has not been good to you, Greg Dulli. 

Twin Peaks, "Flavor" - I'm considering buying this album for my dad for Christmas, as he has a tendency to like every other band on a bill (or in the city of Chicago) more than mine. 

Haunted Hearts, "Something That Feels Bad is Something That Feels Good" - Apparently this band wasn't popular with music critics despite the presence of at least one Dum Dum Girl. But I love the measured build of the verses into that weird little hopping bass break. I'd like FS to play with this band some day. You guys down?

Parquet Courts, "Instant Disassembly" - These guys are like those assholes in elementary school who could draw a hyper-realist picture of the family dog in art class, get picked first in kickball and recite a perfect multiplication table, all while high on Dimetap and Flamin' Hot Cheetohs. They don't even have to try.

Hamilton Leithauser, "I Don't Need Anyone" - This is the song I would have written to a hundred guys I dated in my 20s, if I was any good at writing songs. Come to think of it, that is most of the Walkmen catalog. 

The Orwells, "North Avenue" - We think these guys practice in the space next to us. They once left a note on our door that said "CRAZY HORSE! We love your band." We are not sure who was moonlighting in our room but we have a pretty good idea.

Benjamin Booker, "Violent Shiver" - This dude is straight talented. I am the world's second-biggest Jack White apologizer (after these people) and Ben Booker showed him up at the Chicago Theater earlier this year. Matt saw his set at Schubas a couple of months back and assessed it with a short nod, which is Matt for "Fucking outstanding!!!!"

Peter Matthew Bauer, "Phildelphia Raga" - I once made the mistake of trying to fade into LCD Soundsystem's "Dance Yrslf Clean" right before the big dance break. Don't make that mistake with this gem...just let it build.

A Sunny Day in Glasgow - "Crushin'" - I am not sure I actually like this song since I skip over it every time I put this playlist on shuffle. But I listened to it a lot at work while writing tweets about how to prepare the Perfect Thai Basil Beef Sliders, so interpret that as you will.

Bishop Allen, "Start Again" - I hate when a band that is responsible for one of your all-time favorite house cleaning albums (In BA's case, The Broken String) puts out something new and potentially advanced in some way. Fortunately Bishop Allen understands that I want them to make the same exact record every time, and puts my level of comfort above their own continuing artistic relevance. 

J. Mascis, "Every Morning" - Fo Species owes much to Dinosaur Jr.  and if J. can make a convincing acoustic record, maybe we can too. Sike!

Perfume Genius, "Queen" - I am less impressed with this guy than are other members of our band, but this song is pretty sweeping for a solo pianist. I would pay good money to see him go head-to-head with Nixon at one of those Dueling Piano bars.

The New Pornographers, "Dancehall Domine" - Jim DeRogatis called this song his second-favorite of 2014, after "All About That Bass." You can take that to the bank, A.C. "Carl" Newman.

The Vaselines, "High Tide Low Tide" - This song is so stinkin' cute in its simplicity and irreverence. Kind of like me.

Circa Waves, "Young Chasers" - This sounds like something I would have listened to during my indie rock heyday, and by "listened to" I mean "Put on my iPod and skipped every time in favor of something more emo."

Alt-J, "Left Hand Free" - This song is about masturbation, right? Ok, good. Alt-J reminds me of the bands that were popular around town when I was coming of age in Milwaukee, if those bands looked cool and popped pills instead of smoking pot. 

Nude Beach, "I Can't Keep the Tears From Falling" - I think Nude Beach is the new Spin Doctors, and I'm ok with that. My dad used to play the shit out of Pocket Full of Kryptonite  during my formative years and I try to bring that kind of sensible groove to all that I do. 

TV on the Radio, "Quartz" - I admit that I've only listened to this song a handful of times, but I didn't want to be left out of the TVOTR wankfest. Wank, wank. 


- Lizz