Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sun Kil Moon

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I am way late on this and have no good excuse. Everyone is on to the new Sun Kil Moon album and I even work with the band, but I figured it was overkill. Definitely check out Tiny Cities--it's more than Modest Mouse covers; I'd be bold enough to call them reinterpretations.

"Neverending Math Equation"

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Lady Sovereign @ Middle East Up [Monday Nov. 28th]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com The rhythm vandalist, Lady Sovereign, kicks off her short U.S. tour tomorrow night here in Boston at the Middle East [Upstairs] with support from Ghislain Poirier. The SOV just released a new single, "Hoodie," in the U.K. and the Vertically Challenged EP here in the States on Chocolate Industries. Here are the rest of the dates:

11-30 New York, NY - Knitting Factory
12-01 Philadelphia, PA - Silk City
12-02 Montreal, Quebec - La Tulipe
12-03 Toronto, Ontario - Revival
12-06 Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
12-09 San Francisco, CA - Live 105 party
12-13 Los Angeles, CA - Cinespace

"Fiddle With The Volume" [Ghislain Poirier Remix]

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Tom Vek: Interview

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

By Beth Mueller//November 6th, 2005.

Beth: Hey, Tom. Welcome to Washington, DC. How are you doing?

Tom: Good, good. I’m kind of losing my voice, so I must sound like a real beacon of health. But overall, I’m good.

Beth: I thought we’d start with some easy stuff, so let’s talk a bit about recording. I hear you’re sort of a whiz kid in the studio.

Tom: Umm not really. I wouldn’t really use “whiz kid.” I was lucky enough to get into a situation where I had a few bits of equipment to record with and that was quite limited, so I started really having to innovate quite a bit with the limited equipment. Being held back makes you kind of experiment more. So in that sense, it provoked a zany ‘trying things out to see how they sound’ type thing.

Beth: That process started out in your Father’s garage, yes?

Tom: Yeah. When I was about 14 years old.

Beth: What was that dynamic like—working with your Father?

Tom: Well, my Dad wouldn’t be recording. He actually worked from home and his office was on the other side of the wall. So sometimes he would come in and be like “Don’t play any drums for a bit, ‘cause I’m going to make a call.” And I’d be like, “Ok,” and switch gears to something else. Some other instrument.
And then, we had this thing called the “Wall Test.” Sometimes he would come in and say, “That really sounded good through the wall.” And apparently, if it sounded good through the wall it was some kind of award for music.

Beth: Did you start by playing all of the instruments by yourself? Or did you have friends come in?

Tom: I’ve been in plenty of bands with friends, you know, just school bands and college bands and stuff. But what I’m doing now is the stuff that I have always wanted to do. I just got into a position where I was playing enough instruments to be able to go about making an album by myself. And I could do whatever I wanted. I could concentrate on taking the songs wherever they wanted to go. It wasn’t going to have to be about filling roles, having to lay down a guitar track so the guitarist would have something to do.
So it’s kind of two things: I like being in a band. I like working with other creative people and being surprised by what they do and reacting off of each other. But in another sense, I do like to have control over what I’m doing.

Beth: How much of this process of creating music is marked by experimentation? Versus how much of it is based on a pre-formed idea of how the song should turn out?

Tom: The thing that fascinated me when I first got into recording really on was that it allowed you to do something that was impossible to do own your own. You could hear two things on top of each other. You could experiment and find the two notes that worked together and did something exciting. That’s what making music is all about.
I was so excited by it that I kept that kind of free working environment. A song will start with one riff, one single riff I can play on my own. From that point on whatever feels right is the route that the song is going to take. It’s quite nice to work in that way, because you don’t really write songs. You record songs. The songs kind of write themselves. And the final song ends up as something I was never really expecting.

Beth: To me, We Have Sound is full of contradictions. The songs are simultaneously lush and minimalist, dancey and subdued. It seems that if you turned up the guitar or added more of the slap bass, you could have made a full out rock album. Or if you turned up the drums or added synth, you could had a dance album. You could have taken the music in so many different directions.

Tom: I think that’s a nice way to describe it, thank you. But I can’t talk about it like it’s all deliberate. I kind of don’t want to take credit for it. It just happened that way.

Beth: Would you ever consider remixing the album for club play?

Tom: A lot more stuff has come out in the UK, in terms of singles and stuff. We have remixes done of all the singles. I’ve always been funny about remixes, ‘cause I grew up as a rock kid. And I really, really hated it when you would buy a single and there would be this lame house remix with vocals over a beat. So when it came to getting the first remix done, I was really apprehensive about it. But I think all of the remixes that we’ve gotten done have been really, really good. Like “If You Want” was really a re-edit of the song—it is twice as long and the kick is really compressed.

Beth: It has more pent up energy.

Tom: Yeah, the song was originally kinda drunk. And the remix is angry. Some remixes have been quite drastically different. And at the end of the day, I’ve liked how they’ve turned out.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Beth: I hate to do this to you… but you’re touring now with a band. How much do they contribute to your sound?

Tom: The band is for the purpose of turning the music live. It’s really weird. I do get asked quite a bit about how they affect my sound. And I’m like, why is there this assumption that I’m going to change what I’m doing? I’ve been in plenty of bands and known plenty of other musicians over the years but this album is a thing that I’ve chosen to do on my own.
Originally, when I was on a tiny record label, the question came up about what I wanted to live. And I just called some friends and got them involved. And it worked. When we’re out on tour and out on the road, it is like a band. There’s four of us, two in a room in hotels. It is a team effort. But I think, more fundamentally than that, the thing that got us all in this position is this bunch of music that I did on my own. To turn this into a band now, it wouldn’t be right.

Beth: How has the tour been going though?

Tom: It’s going good. Tonight will be the third show. The last two have been, well… they’re in kinda small venues with lots of character to them. The one last night, the Khyber in Philadelphia, was quite dingy. But that’s what being in a rock band is about.

Beth: This is really your first major tour of the United States. How do you find American crowds in comparison to British crowds?

Tom: It’s unfair to compare really, because we’re in quite different stages [of popularity]. My album only came out here last week. It’s been a lot of work and it’s taken a lot of time in the UK to get to the level that I’m at—not that it’s some amazing level, but you know. We’ve just got done a UK tour where a decent amount of people were coming out to each show. But yeah, [Americans] seem like nice people.

Beth: So after this tour, what’s next?

Tom: The album was actually finished in 2004, even though it was only released in this past year in the UK and even more recently in the States. This kind of delay is not uncommon in the music industry. But it’s fundamentally a good thing, because strangely enough we actually were able to re-license the album back to an independent label over here (Startime). This is an independent record and it’s great that it’s being introduced to people like that. But the end of this year is really the final push for this record.

Beth: So no mega world tour?

Tom: No, unfortunately. But it’s exciting, because I’ll get to go back to the studio after this tour. My next album is going to be better than this one. Yeah, I really don’t know what it’s going to sound like, but it’s going to be good. Laughs.

Beth: Mind if I ask you a couple of questions from our readers?

Tom: No, not at all.

Beth: You’re pretty young, only 24 years old. What would you be doing if you weren’t making music full time?

Tom: I only quit my job and the career path that I was taking before this at the very, very, very last minute. Because it’s wise to be slightly cynical in this industry about living the dream and stuff. I studied graphic design and was working as a designer for a year. That was the plan really. But it’s alright, I’m still sort of exercising it. I did the album art.

Beth: What is the origin of your last name?

Tom: I’m not feeling like lying today. It’s not an abbreviation. If you say my last name really quick, it sounds like Vek. It’s funny, I got an email from another Vek from Yugoslavia saying “I’ve been spending decades trying to track down my family and I thought we were the only ones.” I felt quite bad about that.

Beth: Who are some artists that you’re excited about right now?

Tom: There’s a band called Your Codename Is Milo, a British band. Kind of like intelligent rock, At The Drive-In ish. They would go well down here. There’s a lot of great music going on in the UK at the moment, underneath the kind of Bloc Party’s and the Kaiser Chiefs. There’s a band called The Chap, they’re amazing. I’d highly recommend their album. And there’s another British band called Clor. They sound like Nintendo pop.

Beth: Well, thank you for sitting down with me. I wish you the best of luck with the rest of the tour in the United States and your trip home at the end of the month.

Tom: Thank you.

Audio: "I Ain't Saying My Goodbyes"
Audio: "That Can Be Arranged"
Audio: "Nothing But Green Lights [Digitalism Remix]"
Video: "Nothing But Green Lights"

[Beth Mueller is a former music director at WGTB at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. You can listen to her show every Thursday from 4-6 Eastern. Beth will be an occasional Exitfare contributor.]

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Saint Etienne

January 24th will see the U.S. release of Tales From Turnpike House, the latest album from European pop masters Saint Etienne on Savoy. While I already dropped the cash for the import of this, I am definitely picking up this up: the tracklisting is different and there are some U.S. only tracks on it. Here's the tracklisting:

01// Side Streets
02// A Good Thing
03// Sun In My Morning
04// Milk Bottle Symphony
05// Dream Lover [U.S. only]
06// Lightning Strikes Twice
07// Slow Down At The Castle
08// Oh My
[U.S. only]
09// Last Orders For Gary Stead
10// I'm Falling
[U.S. only]
11// Stars Above Us
12// Teenage Winter
13// Goodnight

St Et is one of my favorites of all time. Outisde of Ted Leo/Rx, there isn't a group that I get crazier about. I saw them once, back in May of 1999 when they were touring on Good Humor, their brilliant take on American pop. A message from Bob [Stanley] on their official website says that "U.S. tour dates are almost in place." Cities confirmed include New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Here's a song off of the new album:

"Stars Above Us"


Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Jonathan Bates, who has been recording under the
Mellowdrone name for awhile, has assmebled a band and a release date for the debut full-length. Box drops on January 24th and it combines vestiges of Britpop with later period Cave In. We get a clue as to where they are going, but the final destination is clearly a surprise. The album's great, but the advance is copy-protected, so I'll only be rocking it in the stereo.

"Fashionably Uninvited"

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Subways

So The Subways are hitting the road in the States as a percursor to their debut album, Young For Eternity, dropping here early next year on Sire. Their sound is best descibed as the energy of The Crocketts and the crunch of The White Stripes mixed with the picturesque lyrcism of Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics. Also, the hyperbole-ridden mag that everyone loves, the NME calls them "The sexiest thing to sweep rock n'roll off its feet in years."
It's getting late, but this album might slip on my year end top 10 list--it's been burning up the ipod lately in the best way possible. Here are the dates:

Mon Nov 28 Spaceland Los Angeles, CA
Tue Nov 29 Cinespace Hollywood, CA
Thur Dec 1 Popscene San Francisco, CA
Sat Dec 3 Great Scott Boston, MA
Tue Dec 6 Rothko New York, NY
Wed Dec 7 North Six Brooklyn, NY
Fri Dec 9 The Mod Club Toronto. ON

Get to the Boston show early to catch The Twenty Twos, who might be almost as good.

Audio: "Rock & Roll Queen"
Video: "Rock & Roll Queen" [Quicktime]

Monday, November 21, 2005

Arctic Monkeys: updates!

The upcoming year guarantees an even larger explosion from the Arctic Monkeys. I mean, how can you get much bigger after you sell out every show in your home country and then come to the States for more sold out shows and have people buying tickets on the streets for $1200? This is a band that Noel Gallagher actually likes and was dangerously close to becoming a funk band. Here is what's going down with them in the next few months:

-the band's first North American single drops on Nov. 29th through Domino Records as a 10", but the songs are currently available through iTunes. Those songs are "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," "Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts" and "Chun Li's Spinning Bird Kick."

-a second UK single comes out on Jan. 16th which will include the tracks "When the Sun Goes Down" [numerous bloggers have mistakenly called it "Scummy"] plus three new studio songs.

-there is a video for "I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor" available on Domino's site.

"Choo Choo"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

South of Nowhere: Put Out or Get Out [Episode 3]

On this week's episode of South of Nowhere, it appears that the understanding and supportive Carlin family has a chink in their armor: they are not down with the gays. To quickly sum things up, while Spencer is out with her brother Clay, she meets a new friend, Kelly, who views their budding relationship as more than platonic. Ashley, who has nowhere to go for a night because her parents both have dates, spends a night at the Carlin's house while Spencer goes out with Kelly to see DJ Money. Ashley tries to warn Spencer of Kelly's intentions, but she insists that it isn't a date and rebuffs it as jealousy. Meanwhile, Glen and Aiden are still fighting and the scheming Madison ends up punking them both.

While Spencer is out, the cut-from-a-different-cloth Ashley weirds out the Carlins, especially the mother. The clash of Ashley's secular lifestyle with the very religious Carlin family is almost too much for Paula, who begins to worry about her daughter's well-being, especially after finding out that Ashley is gay. The ending of the episode worried the liberal in me, but it made me excited for various reasons. First off, an eventual showdown is going to happen between the Christian beliefs of Arthur and Paula and the sexual curiousities of Spencer. Also, there was a brief exchange between Clay and Ashley regarding Kelly's sexuality. Clay, who had met Kelly the night before, is way into her, and the question of sexual orientation never enters his mind. The only questions on his are: is she single and is she into him? When Ashley mentions that Kelly is a lesbian, you can read the look on Clay's face -- he is no longer thinking of his chances with the girl, he is now thinking about his sister, a topic that will obviously be dealt with in the not-too-distant future.

Ashley and Spencer have a tense moment after the concert, but like in the previous episode, they talk it out and make up. As they are hugging, Paula is walking down the stairs, sees them and states that it is getting late. To make things even more awkward, Ashley's bed is made downstairs, an obvious sign that the Carlin's morals do not waver.

New episode in two weeks. Get pumped!

Friday, November 18, 2005

O Fracas

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I love the Mystery Jets and in this week's NME, Blaine from the band was all about O Fracas. This is what he had to say:

"They’re like ‘13 Songs’-era Fugazi, with this great interplay between the guitars, and like, four distortion pedals for each guitar. That’s attention to detail. And they’ve got that At The Drive-In vibe about them, this feeling that they’re going to blow up at any minute."

I couldn't have said it any better myself. Check out a track below.

"Zeroes and Ones"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Jammer has been making quite a lot of waves in the British grime scene as of late with both his tunes and dreads. He heads up the East London label Jah Mek da World, has produced a ton of great tracks [including "Take U Out" and "Destruction"] and does just fine with the mic, too. He has appeared on the first Run the Road compilattion and in March he dropped Da EP and he has an album following in the new year.

Buy the EP here

"The Murkle Man"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Linfinity is the alter ego of NYC-based songwriter Dylan Wagner, whose work invokes M. Ward mixing it up with a host of the best British songwriters of the the past thirty years. He will be following up his debut EP A Manual For Free Living: Installation with an album in the new year. I am not quite sure which label is putting it out, but it should capitalize on the stark beauty and adroit lyricism of the initial EP.


Monday, November 14, 2005

World Leader Pretend @ the Paradise Lounge [Tuesday]

World Leader Pretend makes their way to Boston tomorrow night with a free show at the Paradise Lounge with Army of Me. The rock goes down at 6 p.m. WLP has been described by Amazon as "sloppy, garagey, analog and so damn fun to listen to," and their debut long-player Punches proves it.

Audio: "Bang Theory"
Video: "Bang Theory" [Quicktime]

Saturday, November 12, 2005

It's over for Arrested Development

According the CNN.com, the third season of Arrested Development will not extend beyond the initial order of 13 episodes, basically putting an end to the best sitcom on television.

Do I smell another letter writing campaign? I've already sent mine in...

Friday, November 11, 2005

Art Brut's weekend in NYC

London-based ironic/tongue-in-cheek/smart-assed rockers Art Brut are packing their bags and hitting up the Big Apple. They played Maxwell's Wednesday night and the Mercury Lounge last night
[thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the pic above] with more shows this weekend. Their upcoming schedule looks like this:

FRI 11/11 BROOKLYN, NY Northsix (18+) [with the out of control Test Icicles]
SAT 11/12 NEW YORK, NY Tribeca Grand Hotel
Plus a special all ages instore gig at Other Music
SUN 11/13 travel
MON 11/14 TORONTO, ON Lees Palace (19+)
TUE 11/15 CHICAGO, IL Double Door (21+)
WED 11/16 travel
THU 11/17 LOS ANGELES, CA Spaceland (21+)
FRI 11/18 LOS ANGELES, CA The Echo

I am looking to hit up the Saturday show at the Tribeca Grand Hotel. This is a free show, but you need to e-mail an RSVP to
getrad@igetrvng.com for it--the list closes today. Anyone that has info on the Other Music in-store, let me know.

Art Brut "Emily Kane"
Art Brut "Stand Down"
Test Icicles "Circle, Square, Triangle"

Ris Paul Ric @ Massart [Tonight]

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Ris Paul Ric takes the stage at Massart with Boo Radly, Dan Habb [of Like Language] and Yani Gordon. Ris Paul Ric, which is the funk-folk brainchild of former Q and Not U member Chris Richards, just released his first album, Purple Blaze, on Academy Fight Song.

Richards has this to say via his Myspace profile: "
My name is Christopher Paul Richards. I wrote some songs in my house in Washington DC at the end of 2004. I drove to Ottawa in January 2005 so my friend Tim Hecker could record them in his home studio. By the time summer 2005 rolled around I started performing the songs live with the help of Dan Caldas. Hopefully by the end of 2005 the recording will be released and I'll play the songs live in your town. "

"Purple Blaze"

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Go! Team Interview [Sept. 2005]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I did this interview with Ian Parton back in September, and it appeared on Stranded in Stereo, but for those of you that don't read SIS, here it is for you, albeit outdated.

I would also like to present the first Exitfare contest!. I am looking for my regular readers to hit up the reader map, let me know where you're from and tell me what your favorite Go! Team song is and why. The most interesting story will get a copy of the group's debut album entitled Thunder, Lightning, Strike!

Check out the interview HERE

The Mitchell Brothers

Oh man so I finally picked up the debut from The Mitchell Brothers and despite the strength of the singles, I had a bit of trouble getting into it at first, but now I am loving it. A little background info on the "brothers": they're actually cousins and one of them slipped a demo into Skinner's bag one day, he loved it and eventually started a label, The Beats, to release their album A Breath of Fresh Attire. You probably first heard the brothers guesting on The Streets' "Fit But You Know It" and they also remixed "Blinded By the Lights," which is easily one of the best songs on A Grand Don't Come For Free.

"Harvey Nicks" [f/ Sway]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tarantula A.D.

Tarantula A.D. pretty much eschews vocals and goes straight for the jugular. Their latest album, Book of Sand, which came out this past Tuesday on Kemado Records, features guest appearances from Devendra Banhart, Sierra Casady from Coco Rosie and Inouk. This is a band that understands rock music and the need to be epic, and they have the live show to back it up. They come to Boston on December 8th for a show at T.T the Bear's Place. Trust me--this is a great album, but it's one that will bear fruit with repeated listens.

"Who Took Berlin [Part I]"

The Joggers @ Great Scott [Thursday Nov. 10th]

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Star Time International has had glut of great bands recently, and one of my recent favorites is The Joggers. This four-piece has a dark, driving indie rock sound, sort of like Q and Not U without the dance. They're playing at my favorite neighborhood bar, Great Scott, tomorrow night with Gogogo Airheart, Faces on Film and Choo Choo Larouge. The show starts at 9 p.m.

Audio: "Era Prison"
Video: "Hot Autism" [Quicktime]

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


The All-Acronyms 2k5 tour hits Boston tonight at The Garden with Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age and Death From Above 1979 [pictured]. While it's going to be kind of weird seeing DFA at such a large venue [the last time I saw them was at a 50-capacity club in Philly], the opporunity to see a quality lineup such as this is not to be missed.

I am disappointed that I have a seat. I can't remember the last time I saw a show that was seated.

Death From Above 1979 "Black History Month [Josh Homme remix]"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Myspace owns your soul

Check out this great article from Wired magazine about the current importance/stature of Myspace. It's a great read and pretty interesting at how influential this site has become.


During the mid '90s Britpop explosion, there were a ton of amazing bands who put out solid albums that were packed end to end with great songs. Then there were certain bands that could only hold it down with great singles. Echobelly was one of those bands and despite this year's release of Gravity Pulls, their heyday is behind them. Things peaked in 1995 with their second album On, but after a b-sides collection, they largely disappeared for awhile.

"Four Letter Word"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Tom Vek @ T.T.'s Monday night

Tom Vek's debut album We Have Sound is one of this year's ten best and he is bringing the show to the road. His tour rolls into Boston this Monday November 7th at T.T.'s with support The Mobius Band.

"A Little Word in Your Ear"

The N

When the sun goes down, Noggin beccomes The N, a network devoted to teens. While their reruns consist of '90s sitcom bullshit like Moesha, Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, the original series they air are generally envelope-pushing, engrossing and fairly mind-blowing. There is the dearly departed Radio Free Roscoe, the flawless Degrassi franchise, Instant Star
[all of which come from CTV] and the new South of Nowhere [pictured]. SON is straightforward and pulls no punches when tackling issues of family, religion, acceptance, race and sexuality--and all in the first episode. The show focuses on an unconvential small town family from Ohio that has just moved to L.A., but it is definitely not predictable. The second episode premieres this coming Friday at 8:30 PM.

Luckily SON has come along because The O.C. has been rather bad this season.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Shout Out Louds/The Sun

Hey guys! This Saturday November 5th, the Shout Out Louds are going to be taking the stage at The Paradise here in Boston with The Essex Green and The Sun. The SOL's are from Sweden, and in addition to having a very cute girl in their line-up, they toe the same line that has made The Arcade Fire favorites of everyone who has a pulse and is slightly interesting. Anyone who's into Mercury Rev or the Flaming Lips should do themselves a favor and pick up the SOL's latest album Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. Check out:

"The Comeback"

Also, here's some stuff from The Sun to get pumped about:

Blame It On the Youth trailer


It's been almost four years since JJ72 released their last full-length, the amazing I To the Sky, which never hit shelves stateside. Now, they are back with a new bassist [Sarah Fox, ex-The Fangs] and a new single, "Coming Home." They do the atmospheric to epic thing better than just about anyone else out there and it really sucks that no one has batted an eyelash at this band recently. While I will probably never see this band live, there is nothing wrong with pumping up others for them!

Listen to a track from each of their albums:
"I Saw A Prayer"

Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Go! Team

The Go! Team blew my fucking mind last night, definitely the best show I've seen all year. The Grates, who opened, were decent, but relied on stage antics more than good songs, but they did keep the energy quotient high. The Go! Team owned the crowd from the first note to the last -- there were a number of songs where everyone in the club was on their feet and dancing. From "Huddle Formation" to "We Just Won't" to "Ladyflash," the group was phenomenal. I went to The Model after the show totally pumped and high on life!

Thanks to The Big Stereo for the pic above. Check them out for more photos and another review.