Tuesday, October 31, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: Division Day

I think everyone knows how I feel about Division Day already. Not to sound like a superfan of anything, but yeah, I'll pretty much be at all of these shows. Watch their video for "Hurricane" [uh above] and enjoy. They were superb last night in their east coast debut at Piano's, and you have three more times to catch them this week. I recommended all of the shows.

11/01: Fader Sideshow @ 88 Delancey St. 4 pm
11/03: Union Hall [w/ The Chages & Kunek] 10:30 pm
11/04: Underrated Party @ Sin-e [w/Birdmonster & The Head Set] 12:30 pm

MySpace: Division Day"
Audio: "Tigers"
Audio: "Tap-Tap, Click-Click"

Monday, October 30, 2006

Boston: Shows [Week of 10.30.06]

10.30: Albert Hammond Jr. @ T.T. The Bears
10.30: The Hold Steady/Sean Na Na/The Big Sleep @ Middle East Down
10.30: Irving/Headlights/Canada/The Brokedown @ Middle East Up
10.31: Favourite Sons @ T.T. The Bears
11.01: The Archie Bronson Outfit/The Tyde @ T.T. The Bears
11.01: Jay Bennett/Decibully @ Middle East Up
11.02: Black Keys @ Avalon
11.02: White Whale @ T.T. The Bears
11.03: The Elected/Margot & The Nuclear So & So's @ T.T. The Bears
11.03: Hot One/La Rocca @ Middle East Up
11.04: Los Abandoned/Chin Up Chin Up/Oxford Collapse/So Many Dynamos @ Middle East Up
11.04: The Decemberists @ The Orpheum
11.04: The Horrors @ Great Scott

As if I won't be seeing enough bands this week during CMJ, at the last minute I decided to drive down to NYC on Saturday to see The Kooks, a show that definitey made up for the eight hour round trip drive. To make matters worse, the wind and rain was horrible until I was almost in the city, but the weather eventually cleared up and it turned out to be a great night. The best thing about the show was how The Kooks' album is filled with hits -- all of the songs were great, so the show was a non-stop singalong. As for Boston shows this week, I am leaving for NYC this afternoon and I get back on Sunday, but the good news is that there are a ton of great shows in town, it really is impossible for me to pick a show to preview. In addition, I'll have updates from CMJ throughout the week.

The Kooks "Sofa Song"

Friday, October 27, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: ¡Forward, Russia!

[Video for "Eighteen"]

I love YouTube for many reasons, but at the top of that list are all of the great videos I've found, including this gem from ¡Forward, Russia!. It's a quirky video that showcases the band's manic energy and propensity for going all out, making them a favorite around these parts for awhile. Their debut, Give Me A Wall, has had just enough time to sink in, and it's everything that was hinted at in their demos: Fugazi is just as important as Wire, and a rock show isn't fun unless someone leaves bloodied. The crowd was hanging on their every move at SXSW, and with the album out, I am ready to work up a sweat and sing my face off. Let's hope those kids from Texas are there, too.

Nov. 2: Mercury Lounge [CMJ Showcase]

MySpace: ¡Forward, Russia!
Audio: "Sixteen" [will be up later, I can't figure out how to work the new EZarchive]
Video: "Nine" [Real Player] | [Windows Media]

Thursday, October 26, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: Kristoffer Ragnstam

Is it just me or has there always been a certain type of band that came out of Sweden? No matter what the music, the feeling always evokes the beautiful landscape of the tundra, but Kristoffer Ragnstam recalls a beauty of a different kind. He is equal parts the passion of Ted Leo, the pure pop of Spoon and the expert eclecticism of Beck, a sound that he has spent years crafting. Look for the full-length Sweet Bills in March [an EP is digitally available now], and check out his CMJ show on Nov. 4th at the Alphabet Lounge.

MySpace: Kristoffer Ragnstam
Audio: "Breakfast By The Mattress"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: The Rinse

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Will Bates started out as a child actor in London, playing the role of Toby for a couple of episodes of Dear John. As he grew older, he gravitated increasingly to music--finding work as a songwriter for British television and making dance records for fun. By 2002 he was ready for a change and moved to Brooklyn, where he quickly made friends with fellow out-of-towners James Rickman, Ryan Gruss, and Josh Nelson. They decided to form a band that would infuse pop hooks and post-punk sensibility over dance beats and from there, the rest reads like a slice of VH1 history...

The Rinse started writing and playing out, sharing the stage with bands like iForward, Russia!, We Are Scientists, The Like, and Maroon 5 in both the UK and the US. They traveled to SXSW where crowds embraced them enthusiastically and even made a video diary of the experience for Blender magazine, but the rabid success that their contemporaries felt was elusive for The Rinse. Then in the spring of 2006, their longtime bassist Josh Nelson left the band to pursue his doctorate in neurology. Though the future seemed uncertain, the band soldiered on with Megan X rounding out the line-up. In the coming months, the band grew even stronger. After playing a month-long residency at Pianos, The Rinse began working on their debut album in California. Next up is an EPentitled The Rinse, Sir and two shows at CMJ.

Below, you'll find two tracks that perfectly showcase the bands' unique pop meets post punk meets electronica sound. Off of their upcoming EP, "What To Lose" features a killer guitar riff and dirty dancehall beats that launch into a huge chorus. It's a bit darker than some of their previous material, but the band is incredibly tight and the song is incredibly catchy so I think that just may be a good thing. "Naughty" is a slightly older number that is available for free download on their website. From the addictive melody to the punchy drums and the schoolyard back-up vocals on the chorus, this song is just ridiculous fun. Much like the band.

Nov. 1: Fenway Recordings Showcase [9pm] Club Midway
Nov. 4: CMJ Party [5pm] The Tank

The Rinse
Audio: "What To Lose"

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: 120 Days

My boss just returned from Iceland and one of the bands that he can't stop talking about is Norway's 120 Days, a sinister mix of no wave, electronica and shoegaze, and it's something that would only fit in on Vice. Their eponymous debut is filled with songs that can't easily be contained into a simple pop nugget, and that's one of the best things about them -- they're a bunch of guys not afraid to fuck with convention. The band's tour of the States is bringing them to NYC for a few shows during CMJ, including the Vice showcase with my new favorite band, The Black Lips.

Nov. 1: Vice CMJ After Party [2 am] The Cakeshop
Nov. 2: Vice/Hydra Head Showcase [11:45 pm] Sin-E
Nov. 3: Total Norway [7 pm] Pianos Upstairs

Buy: 120 Days
120 Days
Audio: "Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)"

Monday, October 23, 2006

Boston: Shows [Week of 10.23.06]

10.25: Age Rings @ T.T. The Bears
10.26: Do Make Say Think @ Middle East Down
10.26: The Killers @ Orpheum Theatre
10.27: Fiery Furnaces/Viva Viva @ Middle East Down
10.28: Cold War Kids/Foreign Born/Swearing At Motorists @ Great Scott
10.28: 400 Blows/James Kochalka Superstar @ Middle East Up
10.29: The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower @ Great Scott
10.29 : These Arms Are Snakes/French Toast @ Middle East Up

CMJ is just a week away, and this year it's an extra day longer. That's fortunate because things will be more spread out, and I won't have to worry about burning out until Friday, instead of Thursday. There are a ton of great new bands playing this year, and the bulk of my posts will be dedicated to that this week.

10.28: Cold War Kids/Foreign Born/Swearing At Motorists @ Great Scott
Pitchfork really hates the Cold War Kids. First they ripped apart the brilliant track "Hospital Beds" and last week they saved no vile when reviewing the recently-released Robbers & Cowards. They've been a favorite of ours here for the better part of the year, with their revival-like live shows and songs that drip of the great names of rock past -- Jeff Buckley, Lou Reed and Marvin Gaye, all musicians that were genuinely talented in their own right. Do yourself a favor and make it out this show because this could really be your last time to see them in a venue this small [21+; 9pm; $10]
Buy: Robbers & Cowards

Cold War Kids
Audio: "We Used To Vacation"
Audio: "Hospital Beds" [demo]

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Others: New Video + Album

The Others released one of 2005's best albums, and on October 30th they are following it up with Inward Parts, an album that avoids the sophomore slump by being just as exciting and fiery as anything that has hit the shelves this year. Not sure why Poptones dropped them, but this release is coming out on Lime Records, with a single for "The Truth That Hurts" dropping on Monday. I do have the album sitting on my desk, but I'd feel guilty if I leaked one of the tracks early. Monday isn't too long to wait, right?

Pre-order: Inward Parts
MySpace: The Others

Thursday, October 19, 2006

CMJ 2k6 Preview: La Rocca

Los Angeles via Ireland group La Rocca bring their special brand of power pop to NYC for this year's CMJ in support of The Truth, their debut full-lenght. They are playing the Dangerbird Records showcase with the brilliant Silversun Pickups, Darker My Love, Dappled Cities Fly and Jim Fairchild at Pianos on Nov. 2nd. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Buy: The Truth
La Rocca
Audio: "This Life"

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Neon Plastix

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Electro punk is either hit or miss. For every band making exciting new music, there are ten imitators that just recycle the same tired synth progressions over and over again. Why listen to The Bravery doing a bad imitation of New Order, when you can just listen to New Order? Separating the wheat from the chaff can be a mind numbing activity. Lucky for me, I randomly came across a band today that is just THE definition of wheat.

That band is The Neon Plastix, a great young group that hails from Doncaster, UK. Mixing the best disco beats together with angular synthesizers and aggressive punk vocals, The Neon Plastix takes the typical dance punk fare and basically speeds it up about a thousand times. The result is a sound halfway between iForward, Russia! and Devo. Though they've only released one single thus far, the band has already played alongside The Sunshine Underground, The Charlatans, The Kooks, and Clor, so I think they're well on their way to a big bright future. Their second single "Dream"/"On Fire" comes out on November 6, but only 1000 are being pressed so make sure to buy yours early!

Myspace: The Neon Plastix
Audio: "On Fire"

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Klaxons: Xan Valleys EP

That whole "new rave" tag that NME or whatever started is stupid, but don't let that stop you from liking The Klaxons. The band is set to release their Xan Valleys EP through Modular Records today, and it's a mishmash crunchy guitar rock and shiny indie disco, but without the glowsticks. The band was stateside for a few shows last month, and it's not like I am a brilliant strategist or anything, but I'd think that a great time for the band to playing would be during CMJ in a couple of weeks...but anyway, buy the EP, trust me, it's good!

Buy: Xan Valleys EP
The Klaxons
Audio: "Atlantis To Interzone"
Audio: "4 Horsemen of 2012"

Monday, October 16, 2006

Boston: Shows [Week of 10.16.06]

10.16: Art Brut/The Spinto Band/Toyko Police Club @ Middle East Down
10.18: Matters + Dunaway/Blanks @ Great Scott
10.18: Age Rings @ T.T. The Bears
10.18: Supersystem/Eyes Like Knives @ Middle East Up
10.19: Dirty On Purpose @ Great Scott
10.20: The Beauty Pill @ Great Scott
10.20: Rev. Glasseye/Mittens/Victory At Sea @ T.T. The Bears
10.20: Del The Funkee Homosapien @ The Paradise
10.20: You Am I/Figurines @ Middle East Up
10.22: Mosquitoes/Oppenheimer/Chop Chop @ T.T. The Bears
10.22: Maritime/Bound Stems/Charlene @ Middle East Up
10.22: Pony Up! @ Great Scott
10.22: Ben Kweller @ Avalon
10.22: Scissor Sisters/Small Sins @ Orpheum
10.22: Tally Hall/The Changes @ The Paradise Lounge

10.16: Art Brut/The Spinto Band/Tokyo Police Club @ Middle East Down
Who would have ever thought that people would get the joke and Art Brut would be successful in the States? Definitely not me. It's not like the band has gone platinum or they've been added to commercial stations across the country, but their album is selling a modest amount and people are turning up to see them in droves -- their shows are consistently sold out, and with good reason. The band isn't the tighest, and they aren't the most attractive group of people, but the band is fun to see while their songs are catchy. Could it be that Americans are finally getting irony? I doubt it, but on occasion, people in the States can rally around a band that doesn't suck.
MySpace: Art Brut
Audio: "Modern Art"
Audio: "Really Bad Weekend"

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Sunshine Underground

No matter how good the trend, after a few years, a lot of the bands start sounding the same and it really is just time to move on. Leeds group The Sunshine Underground rise above the mix of boring imitators, which is why they have been an Exitfare favorite since last summer. Late August saw the release of their debut full-length Raise The Alarm, a party album that doesn't hesitate to push the envelope when need be. The album is both exactly what you would expect from the dance rock/new rave revival, but interesting enough to push the band above the fray. Look for the band on the road in the UK/Europe from now until the end of time, as well as some possible US dates next year.

Buy: Raise The Alarm
MySpace: The Sunshine Underground
Audio: "Put You In Your Place"
Audio: "Panic Attack"

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Silversun Pickups: New Video

This is the weekend of the Silversun Pickups, as they are playing at BU on Saturday night and the Middle East on Sunday. Check out their video for "Well Thought Out Twinkles," the first single off of Carnavas.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


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If I lived in the UK, I probably would know about GoodBooks already. I say this because GoodBooks has played alongside some of my favorite bands over the last few months, including Art Brut, The Kooks, The Magic Numbers, Mystery Jets, The Rakes, The Research, The Rumble Strips, and The Young Knives. Unless I was stone broke from paying ridiculously expensive rent in London, I'm sure I would have seen them play some 5 or 10 times. But I don't live in the UK. I live in a cold, windy city named Boston that was initially formed by religious folk fleeing the British, so I have the unfortunate luck of not having seen GoodBooks play. In fact, I only found out about them last night by complete accident while tooling around on Myspace.

GoodBooks formed in January 2005 and started playing dates around the UK, quickly garnering praise for their incredible live shows. By mid year the band self released their debut EP entitled Valves & Robots, at which time their profile really started to rise. Copies sold out all through the region, the band jumped onto bigger and bigger tours, and The Times even lauded them as "literate, avowedly untutored clatter." (I think that means the lyrics are intelligent, though I'd appreciate a translation from one of our British readers.) GoodBooks continued playing shows, released a one-off single on Transgressive Records in early 2006, and then signed to Columbia shortly after that. The band is currently working on their first full length, which will likely catapult them even further into the spotlight.

Don't believe me? Check out GoodBooks' current single "Turn It Back," a song full of musical contradictions. Although it starts with a distorted hip-shaking riff, the verses are marked more by softly delivered vocals than anything else. The driving drums pushing the rhythm forward at the chorus, accompanied by punchy guitar work and soaring vocals that hit beautiful falsetto highs. The song could certainly be a hit, played alongside the Keanes and Coldplays of the world. If that's not your thing, then you should check out some of Goodbooks' darker material like their cover of The Mystery Jets hit "You Can't Fool Me Dennis." With crazy vocal counterpart and minimalist synth giving way to jaunty distorted guitar by the end, this song is an incredibly interesting remake that works even on its own merits. The Mystery Jets liked the version so much that they threw it on the b-side to their own single "Inside Four Walls."

Myspace: GoodBooks
Audio: "Turn It Back"

Cold War Kids: "Oh, this life..."

"This film was compiled by our friend Tim Cahill and watching it now is amazing to see all the traveling that we've done and all the people we've met. Let me narrate some personal highlights included in this feature.

There's the junior high Battle of the Bands, Jonnie's Birthday in New York when we were too poor to buy him a drink, BART rides, Lollapalooza, playing in the restaurant of our Oslo hotel for European TV, our beloved Detroit Bar, Gypsy fourth of July at Sam's, boat rides at Rose's, recording Robbers & Cowards with Kevin, Brett dropping his bed out the Bayou porch, and lots more footage from our five trips round the country and short jaunts to Europe.

We put this film together to introduce ourselves to you, perhaps for the first time, and give you a glimpse of what we've been doing for the last two years; also to say thanks to those who have been with us since the beginning."

-- Nathan [Cold War Kids]

The band is on tour throughout the month of October, check their MySpace page for more info. They'll be in Boston on the 28th and in NYC on 11/01 at the Bowery during CMJ.

Buy: Robbers & Cowards
MySpace: Cold War Kids

Audio: "We Used To Vacation"
Audio: "Hospital Beds" [demo]

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Late Of The Pier

I think they call it "new rave" or something. Bands like The Klaxons and Datarock are putting a space age twist on the British dance rock scene, one where glowsticks are not entirely ironic and the '80s wardrobes are adorned by those not around the first time. Nottingham's Late Of The Pier have not so quietly been storming UK dance clubs, most famously London's Way Out West club night. The band pushes techno on its back, kicks electro in its face and rips indie a new asshole, and it's all done in that Dischord-style of DIY, where the fans are the most important part of the equation.

MySpace: Late Of The Pier
Audio: "Broken"
Audio: "Space & The Woods"

Monday, October 09, 2006

Boston: Shows [Week of 10.09.06]

10.11: Age Rings @ T.T. The Bears
10.12: MSTRKRFT @ Bill's Bar
10.12: Sparta/Sound Team @ Axis
10.12: Portastatic/Jennifer O'Connor/Jake Brennan @ Great Scott
10.13: Pet Shop Boys @ Opera House
10.13: Upright Citizens Brigade @ Great Scott
10.14: Xiu Xiu @ Middle East Down
10.14: Silversun Pickups @ Boston University [George Sherman Union]
10.15: Ex-models @ T.T. The Bears
10.15: Silversun Pickups/Viva Voce @ Middle East Up
10.15: Tilly and The Wall @ Middle East Down

10.12: Sparta/Sound Team @ Axis
If you read Gorilla vs. Bear, it would be easy to assume that Texas is the center of the musical universe and that's that. While there is quite the musical renaissance going on in Texas, one of the best groups to arrive from this mess is Austin's Sound Team. Last year's EP showed a ton of promise, but the June-released Movie Monster is everything you'd want to hear from a modern rock band, as it merges a DIY mindset with the past and present of computer technology. [630pm; $12]
MySpace: Sound Team
Audio: "Born To Please" [Bill Remix]
Video: "Born To Please" [Windows Media] | [Real Player] | [Quicktime]

10.12: MSTRKRFT @ Bill's Bar
MSTRKRFT rolls into town this Thursday to DJ
Paper, Boston's weekly dance party/get laid-fest for BU/Northeastern students. The best part of the night will not be dodging the college students getting shitty off of Smirnoff Ice, but waiting to hear what the duo will work into their set and how they seem to have more energy two hours in than when they first hit the decks. Maybe it's the pepperoni pizza? Stick around after the packed green line trains leave to find out. [18+; $10; 9 pm]
Audio: "Easy Love"

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Blood Arm

Why the fuck did The Blood Arm NOT blow up? All of the right people were talking about them last year, and they self-released an LP to almost no fanfare, an album that was filled with some of the best dance rock anthems of the year. Only a handful of copies were pressed and soon the band slipped back under the radar again...until now. Their first widely available album, Lie Lover Lie, sees the light of day on October 16th through City Rockers UK. Hopefully this LA band finally gets the love they deserve, even if it only comes from across the pond.

Pre-order: Lie Lover Lie
The Blood Arm
Audio: "Suspicious Character" [Remix]

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Now I know that there a million bands out there that may sound like New Order, but The Infadels really are a chip off the old block if you know what I mean. Not only are they an aural offspring, they have the same "feel" as well, sort of a sound and look that exists somewhere on another planet or in the future and a mesmerizing sound that is position somewhere between Danceatopia and Rockville. Travis over at Big Stereo beat me to the punch in January, but whatever -- better late than ever.

Buy: We Are Not The Infadels

Audio: "Girl That Speaks No Words"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

We Are Scientists/Art Brut

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Everyone knows We Are Scientists and Art Brut. Both bands absolutely blew up this past year due to their infectious songs, big riffs, delightfully witty lyrics, and strategic use of facial hair. But did you know that the two bands are on the road together this fall? The tour is being called "The Also-Ran Buzz Bands Tour." Though I'm sad to report that We Are Scientists won't be playing the Boston show, I do have good news:

THE TWO BANDS COVERED EACH OTHER. Seriously. You probably think I'm lame to have capitalized that, but whatever. Make sure to check out the tracks below.

We Are Scientists/Art Brut Tour Dates:

Oct. 5 -- Portland (Hawthorne Theatre)
Oct. 6 -- Vancouver (Commodore)
Oct. 7 -- Seattle (Neumos)
Oct. 9 -- Salt Lake City (In The Venue)
Oct. 10 -- Denver (Bluebird)
Oct. 11 -- Lawrence (Granada)
Oct. 12 -- Chicago (Metro)
Oct. 13 -- Detroit (Magic Stick)
Oct. 14 -- Toronto (Opera House)
Oct. 15 -- Montreal (Le Tulipe)

Myspace: We Are Scientists
Myspace: Art Brut
Audio: We Are Scientists "Bang Bang Rock N' Roll"
Audio: Art Brut "The Great Escape"

The Hard Tomorrows

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After Q And Not U announced that they would disband during the fall of 2005, everyone in Washington DC worried about the future of the city's music scene. At the time, I looked around DC and honestly felt sorta underwhelmed. Seeing The Evens at Operation Ceasefire reminded me of that painful sound that fingernails make on a chalkboard. Chris Richards' post-Q And Not U project, Ris Paul Ric, was okay, but the eclectic album and borderline bizarre live experience didn't live up to my expectations by a long shot. And while there are a ton of other bands from the District that are good, none of them are great--think Supersystem, The Washington Social Club, Army Of Me, and my personal favorite (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope. While (The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope certainly write broodingly, hypnotic songs, I think it's pretty clear that they haven't yet developed into the band that they could be. But after 11 years of playing together, maybe that day will never come.

At the tail end of the winter, I randomly came across a young band whose debut demo just blew me away. After listening to five songs of indie rock bliss, it was easy to declare The Hard Tomorrows as the best thing to come out of the DC music scene in years.

After months of writing and recording, the band released their self titled debut just a couple of weeks ago. Though it hasn't yet been reviewed by Pitchfork, I believe that this is one of the best albums of the year and just a terrific debut. The opening strains of "Take Down" really set the tone for the rest of the album with the pounding drumbeat mixing with aggressive guitar and punchy basslines. The song is like a train with no brakes--it keeps speeding up and the tension keeps building until the violent explosion at the end. That's not to say that The Hard Tomorrows are even remotely related to hardrock or hardcore or anything hard sounding, they're not. Their music is total indie rock, featuring hard downbeats, brillliant hooks, and gorgeous harmonies--elements that almost belie the intense undercurrent of the songs themselves ("Stop and Shoot," "Glossy Eyed Sweetheart," "Fences Around Lawns").

The second half of the album finds The Hard Tomorrows moving into new sonic territories, creating textures reminiscent of sunny Americana, jazz, and even the circus. "Counterfeit" is a rowdy, foot stomper that seems to be the young relative of southern honkytonk. It makes me want to drink whiskey and rub up against someone, if you know what I mean. In contrast, the jazzy "Wrecking Ball" feels like a night of drinking red wine--it starts on a quiet and sophisticated note, but as it goes on things get disorientating and aggressive until the regret starts to sink in. The song is gorgeous and heartbreaking simultaneously.

I cannot find enough good things to say about this album. In a musical climate where music seems to be either catchy or challenging, it is refreshing to find a band that can do both. And oh yeah, the album artwork is incredible.

Buy: The Hard Tomorrows
Myspace: The Hard Tomorrows
Audio: "Take Down"
Audio: "Patterns"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lily Allen: US Tour

I am going to throw this out there -- I am tired and lazy and this is going to be a really short post. Go see Lily Allen. Listen to this song and I'll have more later.

MySpace: Lily Allen
Audio: "Everybody's Changing [Live]"

Monday, October 02, 2006

Boston: Shows [Week of 10.02.06]

10.02: Built To Spill @ The Roxy
10.02: Wolf Eyes @ Great Scott
10.03: The Cat Empire @ The Paradise
10.04: Spank Rock @ Great Scott
10.04: The Teeth/Age Rings @ T.T. The Bears
10.04: The Secret Machines @ Avalon
10.05: Harvey Danger @ Great Scott
10.05: Damien Jurado @ T.T. The Bears
10.05: Two Gallants/Langhorne Slim @ Middle East Up
10.06: The Pill's 9th Anniversary @ Great Scott
10.06: Nightmare Of You @ Middle East Down
10.07: Brazilian Girls @ The Paradise
10.08: Islands @ Middle East Down
10.08: Cities/Village Green @ Great Scott
10.08: Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter @ The Paradise
10.08: The Melvins @ Axis

So I am still addicted to The Tube eventhough they are showing a shitty Gavin DeGraw video right now. Despite today being a washout, things were pretty awesome around the city this weekend, especially with all of the bands playing NEMO. I was expecting great things out of Ladytron, Be Your Own Pet and CSS, and that is exactly what I got, but the real surprise were The Black Lips. I came early to check them out at the Middle East, and I spent the entire set going back and forth over them, but on the way out after BYOP's set, I decided that they were the highlight of the weekend. Beyond that, the blogger panel went well -- it was nice to connect with some of my local peers, as well as field questions from the audience of musicians/journalists/industry folk.

10.08: Cities/The Village Green @ Great Scott
There are a lot of people out there that will say a remix EP is totally frivulous, especially one that drops six months after a debut full-length. North Carolina's Cities have plenty of reasons to disagree with this, especially when they drafted the help of such luminaries as Ladytron and Daedelus to rework their nuanced, dark indie rock tunes. The layered brilliance of their debut is picked apart on this EP and reassembled, slowed down, sped up and distorted in a way that reminds the listener why remixes were interesting in the first place. The band's show on Sunday at Great Scott probably won't be a dance party, but it will showcase their tunes that were so expertly deconstructed on Variations [21+; $8; 9 pm]

MySpace: Cities
Audio: "Writing On The Wall [Ladytron Remix]"