Viva Voce, Silversun Pickups, and Headlights (blogger fantasy tour #48) played at the Courtyard Cafe a couple of nights ago and I had a great time. I noticed that each of the band’s each have a really attractive female in their band which is probably what subconciously attracts me to them. Nah, it’s the music. I had a great interview with Headlights which I’ll put up in a couple of days, here is a show review I did about them a while back.
Silversun Pickups are still awesome if you needed reminding. The blogosphere collectively went nuts over their debut album, Carnavas, this Spring and you probably haven’t heard much from them since then. The band covered pretty much all of my favorite songs (Lazy Eye, Melatoin, Well Thought Out Twinkles, Kissing Families) and inbetween had some pretty interesting crowd banter. Brian, the lead singer said, “I’m officially preaching to counterculture here, right” after he discovered that no one cared about the University of Illinois game. He later had an argument with a crowd member over Jack Daniels saying it was the “McDonalds of Whiskey”.
The band was really fun to watch, the drummer for the band had a really cool setup. One of his cymbals was set up extremely high and the drummer had to do reach up and over his head to reach it, while still managing to maintain his furious beat. Brian, really tore through his riffs on the guitar and as you can see from the above picture explored the stage. Nicki meanwhile seemed to have most of the guys entranced with her pounding bass lines. The highlight was definitely the closer “Lazy Eye” which was absolutely rocking live, and featured a huge extended outro.
Marie Antoinette is one of the most anticipated films for me this year. I love Sophia Coppola’s work as a director (this, of course, excludes Godfather III), “Lost In Translation” is obviously a favorite but I also enjoyed what she did with “The Virgin Suicides” and am thrilled that she’s working with Kirsten Dunst again. Also, the casting of Jason Schwartzman (aka Max Fischer) is one I’m excited about.
One of the best parts, for some maybe the best, of a Sophia Coppola film is the Soundtrack, and while Lost In Translation explored Noise Pop and Shoegazing, this soundtrack is a brilliant mix of Post Punk, New Wave and Gothic Rock. It also has an Instrumental song by Air, who’s been featured in every Coppola film. It comes out on October 10th and you can win it as well as a prize package with some really cool stuff (wish I could win it, but I can’t). Here’s the rundown:
Marie Antoinette Official Soundtrack, Movie Poster, a Pin, and lipstick that might or might not have been used by the real Mary Antoinette.
Take a historical figure and pick out a New Wave/Goth Rock/Post-Punk song that you would put on the trailer for their film. You can explain your choice if you think that will help your chances.
Either email it to me at email@example.com or leave your answer (with an email address) in the comments. The one I like best wins all that stuff! You have till October 20th.
New Order - Age of Consent (Marie Antoinette) <--Watch the trailer Siouxsie and the Banshees - Stargazer (Galileo) The Cure - Jumping Someone Else’s Train (Jesse James)
Here’s a song from the MA soundtrack and an Arcade Fire cover of the song from the MA trailer:
DISC 1 01. “Hong Kong Garden” - Siouxsie & The Banshees 02. “Aphrodisiac” - Bow Wow Wow 03. “What Ever Happened” - The Strokes 04. “Pulling Our Weight” - The Radio Dept. 05. “Ceremony” - New Order 06. “Natural’s Not In It” - Gang of Four 07. “I Want Candy (Kevin Shields Remix)” - Bow Wow Wow 08. “Kings Of The Wild Frontier” - Adam & The Ants 09. “Concerto in G” * - Antonio Vivaldi / Reitzell 10. “The Melody Of A Fallen Tree” - Windsor For The Derby 11. “I Don’t Like It Like This” - The Radio Dept. 12. “Plainsong” - The Cure
DISC 2 01. “Intro Versailles”* - Reitzell / Beggs 02. “Jynweythek Ylow” - Aphex Twin 03. “Opus 17″ - Dustin O’Halloran 04. “Il Secondo Giorno (Instrumental)” - Air 05. “Keen On Boys” - The Radio Dept. 06. “Opus 23″ *- Dustin O’Halloran 07. “Les Baricades Misterieuses”* - Francois Couperin / Reitzell 08. “Fools Rush In (Kevin Shields Remix)” - Bow Wow Wow 09. “Avril 14th” - Aphex Twin 10. “K. 213″ * - Domenico Scarlatti / Reitzell 11. “Tommib Help Buss” - Squarepusher 12. “Tristes Apprets..” - Jean Philippe Rameau / W. Christie 13. “Opus 36″*- Dustin O’Halloran 14. “All Cat’s Are Grey” - The Cure
There’s two reasons to see a Clap Your Hands Say Yea, Architecture in Helsinki show: First is to check out all the hipsters in the crowd and second is to dance your fanny off. Needless to say, both were done last monday night.
We got there just as AIH were starting their second song, and it happened to be The CemeE2��Yellow Country Teeth”. The light show was pretty impressive and the disco multi-colored disco lights that filled the room occasionally really added to their set (and the quality of my pictures). This was far from the best show I’ve seen all year, but I have to say AIH lived up to expectations and if you’re an indie kid you probably already have tickets to this show anway. I’ll have all the pics up at Pictures For Kids Who Can’t Read Good soon.
Thank you to Derek from Good Weather For Airstrikes for pointing me in the direction of this track. It’s from Portastatic’s Sour Shores EP and it is an acoustic cover of one of my favorite tracks from this year, Hot Chip’s “Boy From School”. Nothing can beat the groovy laid back electro-awesomeness of the original but the quality of Hot Chip’s rhythm and melody still shine through on this stripped down cover.
It's been ten years since Jeremy Enigk released his first solo album, "Return of the Frog Queen", so to say among fans of Enigk that the release of "World Waits" in two weeks is highly anticipated would be an understatement. The album has been gaining some very positive buzz due to the quality of the released tracks and the some great early reviews, but it seems that the album still has a biggest significance to long time fans of Enigk (who are used to waiting).
Before you go out and buy "World Waits" (which I hope everyone does), I think you should familiarize yourself with the Enigk's work (Sunny Day Real Estate, Return of the Frog Queen, The Fire Theft). This post is for the casual Jeremy Enigk/SDRE fan or someone who's not familiar with his work at all and would like to know the history of one of the greatest musical geniuses of our generation. Chad from Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands, who grew up in Seattle and has followed Jeremy Enigk every step of his career, has added a short statement about Suny Day Real Estate and their albums and we selected together one track that we think sums up the album musically.
Sunny Day Real Estate: Most young people go through phases in their musical interests. Bands come and go, CD's once played endlessly eventually find themselves confined to the back of the shelf. This was as true of me as of any one else, with one very notable exception: Sunny Day Real Estate. As an impressionable teenager, SDRE made its mark on me in a most powerful way, forming musical tastes that never really went away. Sunny Day, cliched as it sounds, helped me through a lot of hard times; more than 12 years since they first emerged with Diary, their music continues to impress, inspire, and move me. - Chad
Diary (1994, Buy here) Simply put, Diary is what great, pure music is all about. Jeremy Enigk's enigmatic, beautiful lyrics and strained vocals, Dan Hoerner's amazing and complex guitar work, Nate Mendel's melodic bass lines, and William Goldsmith's overwhelming drum skills come together to form an album both rich and textured; an open journal of exposed feeling, raw emotion, and unrequited love. That the band was so young when such an incredible record was made (Enigk was 17 when most of the songs were written, 18 by the time they were recorded) only adds to the awe. - Chad
Diary is the album that changed my perspective on music, simple as that. It's still one of my favorites and the fact that music still stands up is a testament to how amazing it really is - Taylor
LP2 ("The Pink Record") (1995, Buy here) This is the one they released after they had broken up, splintered apart by Enigk's breakdown and subsequent conversion to Christianity. LP2 sounds much different than Diary - more intricate and less "rock" - but like Diary, it's the kind of record that all but requires you to listen to it as a whole, each song strengthened by the one before it. - Chad
There were a lot of expectations surrounding the release of HIFTBSO. Having broken up rather suddenly in 1995, few people ever really expected SDRE to get back together, but they surprised nearly everyone by reforming (minus Nate Mendel, who was a full-time member of the Foo Fighters by that point) and annoucing plans to release a third record.
Thankfully, though, Sunny Day was smart enough to not try and remake either of their first two records with HIFTBSO. The songs were varied and often wonderful, but they certainly weren't rehashing "In Circles" or "Seven" with the more ominous and heavy rock of "Pillars", the full-on groove and subsequent freak-out of "The Prophet", the acoustic balladry of "Every Shining Time You Arrive" or the mellow, reflective beauty of "Days Were Golden". This is, for lack of a better term, a more "mature" record than the previous two; Enigk's vocals have more weight and less scream to them and the music surrounding him is definitely more full. As the band took the stage for their first show back together (in Seattle), I was standing in the crowd with a big ol' smile on my face. They had reformed, and they didn't suck. - Chad
The Rising Tide (2000, Buy Here) The Rising Tide was a very different album for Sunny Day Real Estate and it's perhaps the least accepted by fans. The sound is much more expansive and full and the songs are heavily produced to includ complex string and keyboard arrangements (much different from the raw nature of Diary). The melodies are much more direct and accessible on this album especially in tunes like "Television" or the pretty piano ballad "Rain Song". The title track of the album is perhaps the most anthemic song the band ever produced. To me it was a fitting way to the end the band's career. - Taylor
Return of the Frog Queen: After the band split up, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith ran off to join the Foo Fighters, Dan Hoerner went back to his farm in Eastern Washington and Enigk began a solo career. In 1996, he released an absolutely gorgeous record, Return of the Frog Queen, on Subpop. It was a sharp turn away from SDRE musically, filled with acoustic guitar, orchestra strings, and Beatlesque flourishes that showcased Enigk's remarkable ability to craft solid pieces of music around his uniquely passionate and unmistakable voice. A short (only 29 minutes!) but wonderful record kept afloat by standout tracks like "Explain", "Lewis Hollow", and "Shade and the Black Hat". - Chad
The Fire Theft: The Fire Theft was formed in 2002 by Jeremy Enigk with Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith. They released a self-titled album in 2003 that focused primarilly on classic rock influences like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd but also channeled the raw passion of Sunny Day Real Estate with tracks like "Heaven" and "It's Over." - Taylor
Also make sure to visit the AOL Interface to listen to Jeremy Enigk's set. He recorded it a couple weeks ago and he played a couple new songs, as well as two from Return of the Frog Queen, and a Sunny Day tune.
A Fitter, Happier, Healthier, More Productive Website
I've been toiling away all weekend on this wordpress thing, and I think I actually got the new site at a point where I'm ready to share it with you. I think it's a massive improvement. If the new banner doesn't bring a tear to your eye, I'll personally buy you a orange mocha frappachino. Are the birds too cheesy? I don't think so. Are they messing up your browser? Get Flash.
Click the new banner to check out the site and make sure to tell me your thoughts. I know not everything is perfect yet, so tell me if something is messing up on you!
I'll still update this site for the next week or so with strong Update Your Bookmarks encouragement. (I'm having trouble posting Youtube videos on the new site, if someone is or thinks they are an expert in CSS and embedding stuff, email me)
Joseph Arthur and Ben Kweller are both singer-songwriter type, folk-influenced artists that have had CD's come out in the last couple weeks. I've been enjoying both of their albums a lot and since time is limited I'm covering both of them in one fowl swoop. Out of the two, Joseph Arthur delivers a much darker and moody album. You'd expect that from an album called Nuclear Daydream, and Mr. Arthur does it well. The album is much more psychedelic based then I would have expected, but it really works well as does the intertwining of acoutic and jangly guitar sounds. "Enough to Get Away" is a stand-out track for me, music-wise it's very dense and layered, making great use of multiple loops and electronic tracks. There's a rambling quality to the verses that I like and the chorus makes a great use of a backing chorus to emphasize the title line in the song. MP3Enough to Get Away MP3Black Lexus
Ben Kweller, on the other hand, produces a much more pop-centric album and one that is ultimately more enjoyable for me front to back. It's amazing to me that Kweller not only wrote twelve beautifully constructed songs but did all the instrumentation on this album as well (the man has talent). "Penny on the Train Track" is one of the best songs I've heard this year. I've listened to it dozens of times in the last week and I still am finding new things about it I like. It's quite amazing how he takes a simple piano tune with a guitar riff and finds so many places to go with it. "Nothing Happening" is another stand-out, the piano parts are a highlight of this song, and to me they recall some of Elton John's songs.
Outback Steakhouse's latest ad musicians showed up in Urbana, IL to headline the much-hyped 10th Anniversary Polyvinyl Party. Althought the crowd was full of diehards, I'm not sure anyone expected Music Man covers, onstage theatrics involving a handcuffs, a whip, and Saran wrap, and a complete disreguard for simple things like... clothing. The band brought out all the stops for the college town crowd and moreso than any other indie band I've seen, they were treated like rock stars (you wouldn't expect girls in the front to scream and constantly try to touch the lead singer at a Tapes n' Tapes show)
I was really impressed with the setlist at this show, it actually seems like it was constructed for a fan just like me who loves their newer albums, but is only familiar with a few "classics" on the older ones. The best part really was seeing leaked songs like "She's A Rejector" and "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" being played and people actually knowing all the words. "Till There Was You" (Music Man), "Bat Macumba" (Os Mutantes) and "**** The Pain Away" (Peaches) were all covered by the band.
Kevin Barnes clothing progression: puffy red blouse, skirt, and big red boots --> mini skirt, flowing half-shirt --> mini-skirt (no top)--> daisy duke jean shorts, signature red jacket --> daisy dukes (no top)
I posted a video of Requiem for O.M.M. 2 a while back and here's another video from the night. It's called "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" which is my new favorite Of Montreal tune and probably the song that makes me want dance more than any other song in the world. I still haven't figured out how to pronounce the name so I just call it "Chemicals!". Here's the video (sorry it's short) and MP3:
I don't want to oversaturate you with too much from one band, especially since I've already done a concert review (read here) and have an interview with Headlights scheduled in about a week, but I do want to share this awesome video I shot of them playing TV at the Pygmalion Fest. The Of Montreal review is coming soon!
Yesterday, I got an awesome pacakge from up-and-coming band D.C. band Middle Distance Runner. Not only did they send me their CD, and a hilarious personalized note, but also a slightly used pack of Dentyne Ice Arctic Chill (because in their words, "Apparantly nothing is colder then ice, dentyne ice"). As it turns out, I found both the gum and the album to be extrememly fresh and satisfying.
The album starts off with the wonderfully catchy "Naturally", and the handclaps draw you right into the album. Garage-rock "Man of the People" is the next track that caught my attention and it has a pretty rockin' riff that would make Jet jealous. They also manage to fit in some handclaps into this song (is that the MDR trademark?). "Out of Here" is an atmospheric rock song that may draw a few Radiohead comparisons, the guitar solo at the end really wowed me here. But all of those were just preparing you for the best song on the album, "That's A Lie" which builds up to a triumphant "wall-of-sound" finish. It's the perfect song to end the album.
Middle Distant Runner's album "Planes In Flames" is an extremely impressive debut. They're looking for a record deal, and I know that if I had a label I'd sign them right away. If not for the music, but for all the free Dentyne Ice that I would expect from them. These songs are all personally recommended by me. Don't leave without listening to them!
I got the The Cars Unlocked DVD/CD set in the mail today after watching the DVD, I've come to a few conclusions. First and foremost, Greg Hawkes is by the far the most awesome keyboardist of the 80's. He's absolutely hilarious in every scene that he's in. (I guess I should explain that as well as having 14 live performances there's a freakin' ton of backstage footage on this DVD, and most of it is surprisingly good). In one very memorable scene, Greg is explaining the different food groups that are provided backstage and while he's doing it he begins throwing the food all over the place and shouting things in a Italian (see pic above). That's what I call rock n' roll. In another scene Greg and guitarist Elliot Easton torture a interviewer from the Denver Post until breaking point. Very funny stuff and something I'm sure Cars fans will want to see.
The live shows are nice to have even though, from technical standpoint they're pretty poor quality. But since these were ripped from 80's videotape recordings you don't expect the picture quality or sound to be perfect, and it gives you a sense of 80's nostalgia in the same way that watching VH1 Classic all the time does. The song selection on the DVD covers everything that I'd want to see from the band besides maybe "Hello, Again". It's interesting to note the different hair styles that the band goes through from 1978-1987 and the range on the DVD of the band playing at small clubs to stadums to huge outdoor festivals. If you're a Cars fan or just enjoy old 80's concert footage go to Docurama to buy the album. The DVD can be summed up with a quote from Elliot Easton - "The kids were great, they were funny, they threw glass at us, they spit, they puked, I'm glad!"
Pygmalion Fest: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin was the president of Russia between 1991-1999. In fact, he was the first president of Russia. He also holds the Guinness Record for being the most hospitilized world leader. For some reason, a few college students decided to give the man some love and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin was formed. The band released their debut album, Broom, in 2005 and through a rollercoaster ride of blog mentions and a O.C. music appearance the band landed on Polyvinyl Records this year.
They opened up the Poyvinyl 10th Anniversary Party, and they rocked the house with a variety of songs from their debut and new unreleased songs. Other than a wierd statement that they would kick Sufjan's ass if he wrote a song about Missouri, their set came off very well and they seemed to have a lot of fun onstage. If you haven't heard the band yet, give these songs a try and I guarantee that you too will proclaiming your love for Boris Yeltsin.
Saturday's Somebody Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin/Headlights/Of Montreal show was insane. I took a bunch of video and pictures and I'm prepping a review of all three acts that played. Here's a preview of the Of Montreal show. The song they're playing is one of their self-proclaimed "Solid Gold Hits" - Requiem for O.M.M. 2.
The Deadly Syndrome
The Deadly Syndrome are a very new band (they just started playing shows last month) from the L.A. music scene. Somehow they must have gotten my address because they sent me their demo last week, and it's really good. Lots of different styles are represented between the four songs, "The ship that shot itself" is an acoustic folk song with a nice little melody progression. "I hope I become a ghost" is a jazzy Spoon-like piano rock song with a really interesting tempo change in the middle of the song. "Emily Paints" is a dance electronica song that shares some characteristics with New York scene bands like Clap your Hands Say Yeah. "Eucalyptus" is also a bit dancey, but I'd compare it more to Seattle bands like Wolf Parade.
The band covers a lot of genres/music scenes in one short demo (as the cliche goes "there's something for everyone"), it'll be interesting to see where the band goes from here, as it seems like they have a lot of options for which direction they want to take their music. Here's all four tracks (as provided by the band):
Any music that is posted here is for evaluation purposes only. If you like anything you see here, please support the artist and buy it. If anything needs to be taken down email me and i'll make it happen.