So while we're not ones to get all materialistic and demanding at this time of year — we've mostly just hoped to get peace-on-earth, goodwill-towards-men-type stuff since we've become obsessively anti-clutter — we would love it if somebody were to buy us the fingerless gloves that Austin's trad-metal band The Sword has for sale on its website. Yeah, maybe it's a little (a lot) nerdy, but we've got more 12-sided dice than we could ever really use, and we're still plowing through all those late ’60s Robert Heinlein paperbacks with the Gene Szafran covers we bought this summer. And it's getting cold out. Not cold enough to need, you know, gloves with fingers or anything crazy like that, but cold enough to make our palms uncomfortable. Anyway, if you'd like to buy us said gloves, we'll be at 12th & Porter, goats thrown high, hair in our face, rocking out to some of the heaviest grooves in the known universe. —SEAN L. MALONEY
And now, enter the Woods:
As electronic music gradually starts to take hold of pop music as it did in the ’90s, indie rock has become a nation divided against itself: folksy sing-alongs vs. electroclash dance parties, analog tape vs. digital discs, Biggie vs. ’Pac. Well, maybe not so much that last one. But while seemingly every band in Brooklyn is trying to figure out how to shoehorn a drum machine into all of their jangly pop songs, we can always count on indie rock's more hippy-dippy side to bring the folk rock. Woods, who released their third record on their own label earlier this year, is about as close to keeping the peace as we may get. This is, after all, a band with a “tape-effects technician.” Though the jangly lo-fi folk pop from their past two efforts is still the focus of Sun and Shade, Woods isn't afraid to dip into psychedelia, as evidenced in the seven- and nine-minute instrumental freak-out jams that punctuate the new record. —LANCE CONZETT
And for good measure, let's have a good, old-fashioned Video Off!
And the winner is ... The Sword, obviously.