Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Justice North American Tour

[Photo Credit: André Wolff]

French dance duo Justice will be making their way back to the States this fall for a full and proper tour. It would be nice if the guys could make their way up to Boston for a gig, but I don't blame them for avoiding the city, and I'll get to see their CMJ date [10/20] anyway. Their debut album † is out now on Vice, and if you head over to their blog, you can download many exclusive tracks from the guys. Get the record, it's easily one of this year's best.

I want to go to the Mexico City date, but that's the weekend of Pop Montreal.

10/05 - Mexico City, MX - Velvet
10/07 - San Diego, CA - 4th & B
10/09 - Los Angeles, CA - Henry Fonda Theater
10/10 - San Francisco, CA - Mezzanine
10/11 - Portland, OR - Holocene
10/12 - Seattle, WA - Neumo's
10/13 - Vancouver, BC - Commodore Ballroom
10/16 - Minneapolis, MN - Foundation
10/17 - Chicago, IL - Metro
10/18 - Toronto, ON - Republik
10/19 - Montreal, QC - Metropolis
10/20 - New York, NY - Webster Hall - CMJ Music Marathon Showcase
10/21 - Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom

[Myspace] Justice
[mp3] Fucked Up vs. Justice's "Stress"

Pull In Emergency

Pull In Emergency
[Photo Credit: Jacob Perlmutter]

I'm just guessing here, but I bet that the last year has been a bit of a whirlwind for North London quintet Pull In Emergency. The band only formed in August 2006, but they've already released a single on Mute Irregulars and played a ton of shows at every pub and club in the region that would have them. That takes a lot of hard work--especially for a band that's still enrolled in high school. With ages ranging from thirteen to fifteen, Pull In Emergency is definitely young but you'd never know it from their music. They play a brand of jangly, lo-fi indie rock reminiscent of The Libertines but with a girl with a big, deep voice on the mic. Expect big things from this band.

[Myspace] Pull In Emergency
[mp3] "Backfoot"
[mp3] "What You Say"

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Cold War Kids Video

"A sound so original and timeless you wonder how it sprang from the Los Angeles suburbs and not the dark, rich loam of the bayou" - LA Times

Sorry I used someone else's quote, I thought it was about time, especially since I've described this band so many times over the past two years. They are simply that good, and they've just filmed a video for "Hospital Beds," which is off of their debut album Robbers & Cowards on Downtown/Atlantic.

The band is on tour now, playing with Muse in August and The White Stripes in September.

Aug 1 2007 Arrow Hall Toronto, Ontario
Aug 2 2007 Freedom Hill Amphitheatre Detroit, Michigan
Aug 4 2007 Lollapalooza Chicago, Illinois
Aug 6 2007 Madison Square Garden New York, New York
Aug 9 2007 Patriot Center Fairfax, Virginia
Aug 10 2007 Penn's Landing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Aug 11 2007 Agganis Arena of Boston University Boston, Massachusetts
Sep 18 2007 Bayside Concerts @ The Embarcadero w/ The White Stripes San Diego, California
Sep 19 2007 The Forum w/ The White Stripes Los Angeles, California
Sep 21 2007 Greek Theatre w/ The White Stripes Berkeley, California
Sep 24 2007 William A. Egan Civic Center w/ The White Stripes Anchorage, Alaska
Sep 26 2007 Paramount Theatre w/ The White Stripes Seattle, Washington
Sep 27 2007 Paramount Theatre w/ The White Stripes Seattle, Washington
Sep 28 2007 The Idaho Center w/ The White Stripes Nampa, Idaho
Sep 29 2007 The E Center of West Valley w/ The White Stripes Salt Lake City, Utah
Sep 30 2007 Snowking Convention Center w/ The White Stripes Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Oct 2 2007 Rushmore Plaza Arena w/ The White Stripes Rapid City, South Dakota
Oct 3 2007 Fargo Civic Auditorium w/ The White Stripes Fargo, North Dakota
Oct 4 2007 Pershing Auditorium w/ The White Stripes Lincoln, Nebraska
Oct 6 2007 Aragon Ballroom w/ The White Stripes Chicago, Illinois
Oct 7 2007 Aragon Ballroom w/ The White Stripes Chicago, Illinois
Oct 11 2007 Kivs Auditorium w/ The White Stripes Albuquerque, New Mexico

[Myspace] Cold War Kids
[Stream] "Hospital Beds" [Real Player] | [Windows Media]
[mp3] "The Littlest Birds"

Back from Mexico/Shows In Boston This Week

I just got back from over a week in Mexico, exploring ruins, rain forests and small towns on the Yucatan Peninsula. The trip was amazing and I could go on and on about what I did and saw and how it is a totally different world than the States, but this a music blog, so I'll save the trip report for somewhere else. I do have a few pictures to share with you, and by the end of the week I'll have them all in a Flickr photo album.

Mayan ruins in Muyil, which is between Playa Del Carmen and Felipe Carillo Puerto

Beth, the other Exitfare-er, being Beth in Puerto Morales.

Bimbo, based in Mexico, is one of the largest food corporations in the world. I first encountered this company in California, but I had forgotten about them for awhile and had a chuckle every time I saw a sign or a Chivas jersey.

Great name for condoms. Saw these at a bodega in Valladolid.

Mangrove swamp in Rio Lagartos.

On the ferry to Cozumel. To entertain us for the 35 minute ride, they had a TV going that played ads for places on the island, bits about Cozumel's history and music videos. Some of them were from American artists and others were from Mexican groups, like the glam rock Moderatto. Check out the gem I had to witness here. After viewing a few of their other videos, I think they actually are trying to be serious, although it comes off like a joke.

A gold record plague for one of Journey's albums at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Miguel on Cozumel.

This Week In Boston
07.30: The Automatic/The Sterns @ Great Scott
07.30: St. Helena/Foundry Field Recordings @ Middle East Up
07.31: Shout Out Out Out Out/Protokoll/Matters & Dunaway @ Great Scott
07.31: You Am I/Smoking Popes/The Appreciation Post @ Middle East Down
08.01: Army of Me/Kid:Nap:Kin/The Casual Lean @ Great Scott
08.01: Negativland @ Middle East Down
08.02: Z-Trip @ Middle East Down
08.03: The Pill @ Great Scott
08.03: Cary Brothers/Stars of Track & Field @ The Paradise Lounge
08.04: Lez Zeppelin @ Middle East Down
08.04: Cuizinier [of TTC] & DJ Orgasmic @ Great Scott

Thursday, July 26, 2007

People Noise

[Photo Credit: Zeke Buck]

People Noise is an immensely talented psychedelic rock duo from Louisville, Kentucky. Much in the vein of other Louisville bands like Slint, My Morning Jacket, and Asobi Seksu, People Noise takes discordant sonic elements and mixes them into a gorgeous web of music. With layers of throbbing, dense instrumentation running counterpoint to softer, almost haunting vocals, the band's songs are as powerful as they are fragilely beautiful. In this sense, their debut album Ordinary Ghosts evokes the sounds of Muse, Radiohead, and early Smashing Pumpkins--though without the transcendent singles that made those bands so popular. Give them time to develop and they just may get there.

People Noise has just about hit the halfway point of their massive tour of the United States. They're playing a bunch of smaller cities that bands rarely visit, Make sure to check out the dates below to see when they're coming to your town.

Wed 7/25 Salina, KS @ Lucky's Bar
Thu 7/26 Kansas City, MO @ El Torreon Ballroom
Fri 7/27 Tulsa, OK @ DFest
Sat 7/28 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
Sun 7/29 Aurora, CO @ Wyatt's Torch Bar
Mon 7/30 Boulder, CO @ The Trilogy Lounge
Tue 7/31 Denver, CO @ 15th Street Tavern
Wed 8/1 Albuquerque, NM @ Atomic Cantina
Sat 8/4 Phoenix, AZ @ Casa Blanca
Sun 8/5 Santa Monica, CA @ Nocturnal Bar
Mon 8/6 Pomona, CA @ The Glass House
Tue 8/7 San Diego, CA @ The Jumping Turtle
Thu 8/9 Davis, CA @ KDVS 90.3
Sun 8/12 Eureka, CA @ The Boiler Room
Wed 8/15 Seattle, WA @ The High Dive
Sat 8/18 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Sun 8/19 Salt Lake City, UT @ Monk's House of Jazz
Mon 8/20 Riverton, WY @ Fremont County Fairgrounds
Fri 8/24 Missoula, MT @ The Badlander
Sat 8/25 Fargo, ND @ The Nestor
Mon 8/27 Omaha, NE @ The Slowdown
Sat 9/1 St. Louis, MO @ Lucas School House
Mon 9/3 Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
Tue 9/11 Augusta, GA @ The Mission
Wed 9/26 Durham, NC @ Duke Coffeehouse
Thu 10/11 Bloomington, IN @ Live From Bloomington

[Myspace] People Noise
[mp3] "The Killing Fields"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Hard Tomorrows Broke Up!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The Hard Tomorrows played their last show over the weekend at The Red and The Black in DC. I had been championing them for nearly two years, so the news is definitely a bit of a bummer. Head over to their Myspace blog for free downloads of ALL their songs, including the entirety of their stellar debut album Lights Out.

[Myspace] The Hard Tomorrows
[Mp3] "Glossy Eyed Sweetheart"

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Jamie T US Release Date + Shows In Boston This Week

I never saw as many "WTF" looks on peoples' faces as I did during this guy's set at SXSW in March. Of course now that all of the cool kids are starting to notice Jamie T, we'll see those same people claim that they were the early adopters. Yeah, right...

Panic Prevention, which won him the best solo act of 2006's NME Awards, drops in August on Caroline here in the States. The man and his band will be playing several shows in September where you'll more than likely be able to hear "Salvador," which was featured on Entourage earlier this year.

Saturday, September 8 - Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Festival
Sunday, September 9 - Toronto, Ontario – V Festival
Wednesday, September 12 – Boston, MA – Great Scott
Thursday, September 13 – New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
Saturday, September 15 – Philadelphia, PA – North Star
Tuesday, September 18 – Chicago, IL – Schubas
Wednesday, September 19 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
Saturday, September 22 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Café
Sunday, September 23 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
Tuesday, September 25 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
Wednesday, September 26 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour

[Myspace] Jamie T
[mp3] "Salvador"

This Week In Boston
07.24: David Vandervelde/Blitzen Trappen/Christians & Lions @ Great Scott
07.24: Chris Cornell/Juliette & The Licks @ Bank of America Pavilion
07.25: Jesse Lacey/Kevin Devine @ Middle East Down
07.25: Jenny Owen Youngs @ The Paradise
07.26: Amanda Palmer & Aberdeen City @ Middle East Up
07.26: Lucinda Williams/Charlie Louvin @ Bank of America Pavilion
07.27: The Pill @ Great Scott
07.27: Fiction Plane @ The Paradise
07.29: Silverchair @ The Paradise

Monday, July 23, 2007

XX Teens

London's XX Teens released their single "Darlin'" last week in the UK. The song fuses new rave and weird psychedelic pop in a manner that's simultaneously difficult, grating, and incredibly catchy. The sound is equal parts Klaxons and Man Man and I think it's bound to be a hit. Check out the video for "Darlin'" above--under the direction of Simon Green, the band created a stunningly perfect visual fit for the bizarre song.

[Myspace] XX Teens
[Mp3] "Darlin'"

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Les Savy Fav Album

“Up-beat, jaunty rock, deliberately curdled with dissonant guitar lines and critiques of capitalism.” – The New York Times

After six long years, NYC band Les Savy Fav is back with a new long player called Let's Stay Friends. Featuring guests like Enon, Eleanor Friedberger of Fiery Furnaces, Islands’ Nick Thorburn, Emily Haines of Metric, Black Heart Procession’s Joe Plummer and SNL cast member Fred Armisen, the album drops on 09/18 on French Kiss Records.

Let’s Stay Friends Tracklist
01. Pots & Pans
02. The Equestrian
03. The Year Before the Year 2000
04. Patty Lee
05. What Would Wolves Do
06. Brace Yourself
07. Rage in the Plague Age
08. Slugs in the Shrubs
09. Kiss Kiss Is Gettting Old
10. Comes & Goes
11. Scotchguard the Credit Card
12. The Lowest Bitter

[Myspace] Les Savy Fav
[mp3] "What Would Wolves Do"
[mp3] "The Equestrian"

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Hours

If you search "The Hours" on Google, you'll find more hits for the overbearing film that won a ton of awards than the British band of the same name. It's a shame, because the band is much more interesting than Nicole Kidman in a fake nose. Case in point? The Hours' video for "Ali In The Jungle," which I've posted a few inches up. It's an inventive and surreal take on the big stage spectacular, portrayed through exquisitely beautiful computer generation.

The song itself is equally memorable, propelled forward by an ingeniously simple piano progression, gorgeous descending vocal lines, and fantastic lyrics about beating the odds--like Muhammad Ali's defeat of George Foreman in the so-called rumble in the jungle as the song title suggests. The lyrics probably come from a very personal place, as band member Anthony Genn struggled to overcome a heroin addiction in recent years (successfully, I might add). The theme may be heavy, but the song is not heavy handed--as evidenced by the wonderful last line of the chorus "like Ludwig Van/how I love that man/well the guy went deaf and didn't give a fuck."

Their single, "Ali In The Jungle," was re-released earlier this month on special 7" across the UK. You can also pick up their debut full length, Narcissus Road, in stores now.

[Myspace] The Hours
[mp3] "Ali In The Jungle"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Scissors For Lefty: New Video

San Francisco group Scissors For Lefty just recorded a new video. Their debut album Underhanded Romance is out now on Eeenie Meenie.

[Myspace] Scissors For Lefty
[Video] "Lay Down Your Weapons"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Calvin Harris: New Album

Scottish musician Calvin Harris is set to drop his '80s-inflected dance debut I Created Disco on Sept. 4th through Almost Gold. According to Harris, “My tunes aren't supposed to invoke deep thought within people; they're just to get you dancing. But musically it is for the brain - it's not music for stupid people. I take great pride in my productions. It's not knocked out in a few seconds."

He is joined by a band on the road who just did the UK festival circuit, as well as opening for the likes of Faithless and Groove Armada.

Calvin Harris
"Acceptable in the '80s"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Shows In Boston This Week

I am a bit late with this, sorry.

07.16: The Field/Matters & Dunaway @ Great Scott
07.17: Switches @ The Paradise
07.18: St. Vincent/Scout Niblett/Viva Viva @ Middle East Up
07.18: The Twilight Sad @ Great Scott
07.18: Battles/Singer @ The Paradise
07.19: Matt & Kim @ Middle East Up
07.20: The Pill @ Great Scott
07.20: The Ponys @ Middle East Up
07.20: Scissors For Lefty/The Hedrons @ Great Scott [7 pm]
07.21: Protokoll @ Middle East Down


[Photo Credit: Jo Pearson]

It's no secret that the music scene in Leeds is white hot. There must be something in the water, because
I literally come across another incredible band from the city every week. My newest find is a three-piece named Samsa, who play an utterly hypnotic and brooding brand of indie rock. Their music evokes a bigness reminiscent of epic rock bands from the 1990s like Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, and Muse--influences quite different from their more punk-leaning contemporaries in Leeds. Samsa released their single "To Conquer" on the Leeds imprint On The Bones Records last month, make sure to pick it up in real life record stores (UK) or iTunes stores (US) now.

[Myspace] Samsa
"Sweet Disease"

Friday, July 13, 2007

White Rabbits: New Album + Tour

[Photo Credit: Billy Pavone]

The rest of the world is finally catching up to us, as great reviews of Brooklyn's White Rabbits have been rolling in from the likes of Pitchdork, NPR, The Village Voice and Spin. The band is keeping busy this summer, as Fort Nightly just dropped on Say Hey Records, and they'll be playing a host of shows, including an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman on July 19th. This record is easily one of the year's best -- make sure you check them out at Siren Fest for me.


[Myspace] White Rabbits
[mp3] "Navy Wives"

Stars North American Tour

On October 17, Stars will embark on a full U.S. tour in support of their new album, In Our Bedroom After The War.

There will be a limited amount of tickets on sale via the Arts & Crafts website.

OCT 17. Higher Ground. Burlington, VT.
OCT 18. Town Hall. New York, NY.
OCT 19. Berklee. Boston, MA.
OCT 20. 9:30 Club. Washington, DC.
OCT 24. Starlight Ballroom. Philadelphia, PA.
OCT 26. Cat's Cradle. Carrboro, NC.
OCT 27. The Variety Playhouse. Atlanta, GA.
OCT 28. Club Downunder. Tallahassee, FL.
OCT 30. Stubb's. Austin, TX.
OCT 31. House of Blues. Dallas, TX.
NOV 02. Vic Theatre. Chicago, IL.
NOV 03. Pantages Theatre. Minneapolis, MN.
NOV 04. Slowdown. Omaha, NE.
NOV 06. Gothic Theatre. Denver, CO.
NOV 08. Rialto Theatre. Tucson, AZ.
NOV 09. House of Blues. San Diego, CA.
NOV 10. The Orpheum. Los Angeles, CA.
NOV 13. Bimbo's. San Francisco, CA.
NOV 14. Bimbo's. San Francisco, CA.
NOV 15. The Crystal Ballroom. Portland OR.
NOV 16. The Showbox. Seattle, WA.

[Buy] In Our Bedroom After The War
[Myspace] Stars
[mp3] "The Night Starts Here"

A Brief History of Saint Etienne: Part Two [Foxbase Alpha]

Saint Etienne formed in 1988 in Croydon, England, and were a group made up of music journalists, ones whose ideas were as extensive as their record collections. Songwriters Pete Wiggs and Bob Stanley formed the core of the group with Sarah Cracknell coming along later, although she appears on most of the band's debut, Foxbase Alpha, which was released in 1992. While the group was obviously fixated on the sounds of '60s London, they were able to adroitly mix that love with the more contemporary dance sounds that were filtering about the UK at the time. They named themselves after a French soccer [football] team.

At first listen, Foxbase Alpha is an indie dance album, but upon closer inspection, this was an intelligently crafted album, one that merged indie, dance, '60s girl groups and samples of found sounds. This was a record that was ahead of its time, and the record's first single was their cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," a brilliant discofied version that defines the group to this time. Oddly enough, Cracknell didn't appear on this track -- Moira Lambert handled lead vocals.

Other standouts on the record include the loungey, almost jazzy "Carnt Sleep," the sexy indie dance anthem "Spring," the sample heavy "People Get Real," the girl group-inspired "Nothing Can Stop Us" and "Kiss & Make Up" [Sung By Donna Savage]. This was a record made by dabblers and record collecting geeks that had favorite tunes in every genre, but most importantly, Saint Etienne was able to craft a record that, at least in my mind, is what London and Europe sound like on a warm summer night -- a cosmopolitan sound for the indie rock set.

[mp3] "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
[mp3] "Spring"
[mp3] "People Get Real"
[Video] "Only Love Can Break Your Heart"
[Video] Kiss And Make Up"
[Video] "Nothing Can Stop Us"
[Video] "Nothing Can Stop Us" 12" Remix
[Video] "Nothing Can Stop Us" [Live at the Hollywood Avalon Feb. 2006]

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You Say Party! We Say Die! Video


The band's sophomore LP Lose All Time hits stores on August 15th via Paper Bag Records, and they'll be touring this fall with K-OS.

[Myspace] You Say Party! We Say Die!

New Justice Album

This past Tuesday saw the release of , the debut album from Justice on Vice Records. All this week, the band is taking over the label's blog and posting more remixes and mashups than you can count on your two hands. I have a sampling below, while the rest are on the blog!

[Myspace] Justice
[mp3] Jay-Z vs. Justice "Show Me How To D.A.N.C.E."
[mp3] Madonna & Britney Spears "Me Against The Music" [Jusitce remix]
[Video] "D.A.N.C.E."

Let's French

Let's French
[Photo Credit: Liz Gorman]

Let's French is an inspired little band with an odd affinity for French culture. Their bio mentions violent political revolutions, socialized medicine, and free croissants for all. What's so odd about that? Oh yeah, the band isn't even remotely French. They hail from the District of Columbia and play a brand of indie rock that owes more to British rock music like Joy Division than Parisian salon culture.

Let's French sound like a cross between Interpol and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah--featuring the driving, lushly layered post punk of the former and the energetic, quirky informality of the latter. Add elements of garage rock and surf rock to the mix and you have a dynamic sound that really works for the band, something that their debut album Victory clearly proves. Full of memorable lyrics, sing-a-long choruses, and blistering layers of instrumentation, it's solid from start to finish. I had a hard time picking a song to post, which is a testament to the fact that all of them are really freaking catchy. Put Let's French on your list of bands to watch.

PS. If you live in DC, catch their show at the Black Cat on July 27th. They're playing with De Novo Dahl and my buddies The Dance Party, who are releasing their debut full length. Should be a good time!

[Myspace] Let's French
[Mp3] "Your Name Here"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Superdrag On Tour


The original line-up of Superdrag is reuniting after a long hiatus for a six date trek in the fall. Fans of the power-punk band, take note--the pre-sale starts tomorrow (July 12) at 12pm local time. You have to be a registered member of the Superdrag Fan Community, so click this link to register (for free) and they'll email you the pre-sale password. I heard tickets are like 10 bucks, plus you'll get an autographed limited edition poster with every pre-sale purchase. You can also submit setlist suggestions on their site. If only all bands cared about their fans this much...

October 05 - Nashville, TN @ City Hall
October 13 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
October 20 - Knoxville, TN @ Barley's Taproom
November 02 - New York, NY @ The Fillmore
November 03 - Boston, MA @ Paradise
November 08 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

[Myspace] Superdrag

Againist Me! On Tour

New Wave came out yesterday, which is the band's major label debut.

Against Me! will be doing two special week of release in-store performances. Here are the details:
July 11th @ 9 pm at Vintage Vinyl (51 Lafayette Road, Fords, NJ. Tel: (732) 225-7717)
July 13th @ 6:30 pm at Backside Records (139 North San Fernando Blvd., Burbank, CA. Tel: (818) 559-7573)

Catch Against Me! On Tour:
July 28th Seattle, WA - Capitol Hill Block Party
July 29th Spokane, WA - Big Easy
August 1st Des Moines, IA - House of Bricks
August 3rd Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
August 5th Omaha, NE - The Slowdown
August 7th Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom
August 8th Ft Worth, TX - Ridgelea Theater
August 9th Corpus Christi, TX - House of Rock
August 10th Houston, TX - Meridian
August 11th New Orleans, LA - House of Blues
August 14th Nashville, TN - Rocketown
August 15th Charlotte, NC - Amos' Southend
August 16th Charleston, SC - Music Farm
August 17th St. Petersburg, FL - Jannus Landing
August 18th Jacksonville Beach, FL - Freebird Live
August 19th Gainesville, FL - Common Grounds

[Myspace] Against Me!

I hate Wooden Wand

This guy is a pompous asshole. Read the pretentious missive he put on his Myspace page. I am not sure if tis dipshit is having delusions of grandeur or if actually thinks people care about him. Guess what? After reading this, I don't, and if I ever meet him I'll suggest a great place he could put his "wooden wand."

[Myspace] Wooden Wand

Crystal Castles: New 7"

While we wait for Crystal Castle's full-length debut later this year on Last Gang, this Toronto glitch-pop duo throws a couple of tracks our way in the form of a split 7" [with Health] on Lovepump United. On top of all of this, the band has been busy remixing the likes of Bloc Party, Liars and The Klaxons, turning these dance rock groups inside out through the eyes of an old Atari console.

[Myspace] Crystal Castles
[mp3] "Mother's Knows Best"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Perishers

The Perishers

The Perishers had been playing shows throughout Sweden for seven years when they released their second album, Let There Be Morning. Quickly, things started to change. The band started getting radio airplay, started playing bigger shows, and soon landed a song in a major car advert. Two years later, the band's stature continues to grow in spite of a lengthy hiatus to write and record a follow-up album slated for release on September 4. It's crazy, but not all that surprising--after all, the public can't seem to get enough of pop-friendly alternative rock bands like Keane and Snow Patrol lately.

It must be said that The Perishers are quite different from those other bands. Firstly,
The Perishers' music is a bit more subdued, more heavily reliant on a strong vocal melody, and supported more often by lush orchestration than those more rock-oriented groups. Secondly, The Perishers make me want to kill myself. Now, don't call a help line or anything--I mean it in the best possible way. Ola Kluft has a melancholy baritone voice that amplifies the emotive elements portrayed in their songs to the point that I feel those same exact emotions in the pit of my stomach. It's this indescribable element that makes The Perishers such a powerful band.

The Perishers' third album, appropriately named Victorious, features much of this dynamic emotional storytelling. Each song is perfectly crafted to make you feel something--be it a gorgeous high or deep piteous low. You'll listen to "Carefree" and "To Start Anew" and actually start feeling exuberant and happy in spite of yourself. You'll be moved by the hollow sadness of "Never Bloom Again" and "Get Well" to the point of crying while writing an email. It's crazy, I know. But that's the definition of great music.

[Myspace] The Perishers
[mp3] "Carefree"

Monday, July 09, 2007

Kubichek!: New Album

[Photo Credit: Dean Chalkley]

I don't like admitting when I've made a mistake, but every now and then I drop the ball, so all of my readers -- I am sorry! I've been hyping Kubichek! for what seems like an eternity, and they're a group that should have blown up about a year ago, but they've held their cards close to their chests, taking things slow.

Now here's the kicker -- they released their debut album Not Enough Night on 30:30 in March and I totally missed the boat. I have yet to hear the entire disc, but the singles are quite impressive, capitalizing on the big rock ambitions of their brilliant demos.

[Myspace] Kubichek!
[mp3] "Nightjoy"
[mp3] "Hometown Strategies" [demo]

Other Passengers + Shows In Boston This Week

Other Passengers are a Brooklyn band that don't really fit in anywhere. Their sound is part of experimental, part prog and part dance, and at the end of the day, these guys are all weird. And that's something we all need every now and then. They come from the same school as the defunct DC group Black Eyes -- you'll probably hate them the first time you listen, but you'll be drawn back for more. It's sinister music, but that's why it's so awesome.

And as always, the Brits are onto the awesome shit before everyone else -- the band's debut will be released on Something In Construction [Emmy The Great, 65 Days of Static] later this year.

[Myspace] Other Passengers
[mp3] "Gorilla"

This Week In Boston
07.09: Fujiya & Miyagi @ Middle East Down
07.11: Maximo Park/Monsters Are Waiting/The Oohlas @ The Paradise
07.11: Richard Buckner/Six Parts Seven/Verona Downs @ Middle East Up
07.11: Mirah/Benjy Ferree @ Middle East Down
07.13: The Pill @ Great Scott
07.14: Buffalo Tom @ The Paradise

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Format: Free Album Download

The Format

Heads up: Make sure to click over to The Format's website for a free download of their quirky breakthrough album, Dog Problems. Highlights include the breezy pop tune "She Doesn't Get It," the slow melodramatic crescendo of the circus-y "I'm Actual," and the ridiculous honky tonk jazz inspired "Dog Problems" (listen for the clarinet solo!). The indie pop group decided to give the album out for free to celebrate the one year anniversary of its release. All you have to sign up for their mailing list, which is a small price to pay to witness the slow combustion of the record industry (just kidding, I think promotions like this actually help profits in the long run). Act now, the download will be taken down on July 16th.

[Myspace] The Format
[Free Album Download] Dog Problems

Fields Remixes

British/Icelandic indie/folk band Fields released their debut Everything Last Winter on Black Lab/Atlantic earlier this year, and in case you forgot about, here are a series of remixes.

[Myspace] Fields
[mp3] “Song for the Fields” (Ewan Pearson Remix)
[mp3] “If You Fail We All Fail” (SebastiAn Remix)
[mp3] “If You Fail We All Fail” (Badlands Remix)
[Video] "Song For The Fields"

Interpol Album Stream

For those of you yet to get your hands on a promo copy of the new
Interpol album, MTV2 just posted a full album stream. Our Love To Admire is out this Tuesday, July 10th.

Also, the band is on tour staring later this month in Rochester, NY. There's still no Boston date.

7-19 Rochester, NY - Harro East Ballroom
7-20 Atlantic City, NJ - Music Box @ Borgata
7-21 Norfolk, VA - Norva
7-23 Cleveland, OH - House of Blues
7-24 Pittsburgh, PA - Byham
7-25 Columbus, OH - The LC Amphitheatre
7-27 Grand Rapids, Michigan - Orbit Room
7-28 Detroit, MI - MI State
7-30 Milwaukee, WI - Rave
7-31 Indianapolis, IN - Egyptain Room
8-01 St. Louis, MO - Pageant
8-03 Covington, KY - Madison Theatre
8-04 Chicago, IL - Grant Park (Lollapalooza)
8-05 Baltimore, MD - Pimlico Race Course (V Festival)
9-08 Montreal, Quebec - Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

[EDIT] 12:20 PM
Here are some more dates, including that elusive Boston show.
10 September - Albany, NY - Palace Theatre*
12 September - Boston, MA - Agganis Arena*
14 September - New York, NY - Madison Square Garden*
15 September - Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theatre*
16 September - Raleigh, NC - Disco Rodeo*
18 September - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live*
19 September - Miami, FL - Bank United*
21 September - Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle*
22 September - Nashville, TN – Ryman*
23 September - New Orleans, LA - Sugar Mill*
25 September - Houston, TX - Verizon Wireless Theatre*
26 September - Austin, TX – Stubbs*
27 September - Dallas, TX – Palladium*
10 October - Kansas City, KS – Uptown*
11 October - Chicago, IL – Aragon*
12 October - Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre*
14 October - Denver, CO – Fillmore*
15 October - Salt Lake City, UT - McKay Center*
16 October - Boise, ID - Big Easy*
18 October - Seattle, WA – Wamu*
19 October - Portland, OR - Memorial Coliseum*
20 October - San Francisco, CA - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium*
23 October - The Forum - Los Angeles, CA*

[Preorder] Our Love To Admire on Itunes
[Myspace] Interpol
[Stream] Our Love To Admire
[Video] "The Heinrich Maneuver"

They Might Be Giants On Tour

Classic indie rock group They Might Be Giants kick off a Northeast US tour later this month, playing a lot of random places. Mohegan Sun? Count me in!

Their latest album, The Else, is out digitally now and will be available physically through Idlewild [their own imprint through Universal] on July 10th.

7/18: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
7/19: Dewey Beach, DE @ Bottle & Cork
7/20: Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon
7/21: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
7/22: Detroit, MI @ Max Fischer Music Center (Concert of Colors) FREE
7/25: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
7/26: Seaside Park, NJ @ The Green Room
7/27: Wellfleet, MA @ Beachcomber
7/28: Uncasville, CT @ Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Casino FREE
8/01: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
8/03: Amagansett, NY @ Stephen Talkhouse
8/04: Oyster Bay, NY @ Planting Fields Arboretum FOTA Pavilion FAMILY SHOW
8/04: Oyster Bay, NY @ Planting Fields Arboretum FOTA Pavilion
8/08: New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom

[Myspace] They Might Be Giants

Editor's Note

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I am finally back in Boston and settled in, so I'll have a ton of stuff for you from here on out. Also, thanks to Beth for pinch hitting.

Thursday, July 05, 2007



Bands are increasingly releasing their albums online for free, either as a "thank you" to loyal fans or as a gimmick to gain fans (depending on your level of cynicism). I personally lean to the "gimmicky" side of things, employing classical economics theory to rationalize that the album wouldn't be free if it were worth buying. My little theory was proved wrong on Tuesday, when Los Angeles band Wintergreen released their debut album (Around &) Around Again for free on Myspace. I hate being wrong, but I'll overlook that fact to delight in the awesomeness that is this record.

(Around &) Around Again showcases Wintergreen's knack for writing tightly constructed indie rock songs that toe the pop-friendly line. They remind me of turn of the century Death Cab For Cutie in this regard, i.e. the period when Ben Gibbard & Co. were increasingly writing pop songs but were still lo-fi and cool. But I digress... The album features all the hits from Wintergreen's debut EP, The Extended Play, including the jaunty "When I Wake Up" and the blustering "Last Dance." The new songs are just as good, if not better. My favorite is probably "Fall Apart," a 2 minute 22 second stunner that contrasts minimally orchestrated verses to a lush chorus in the most marvelous way. It's also totally addictive, a perfect song for summer.

[Myspace] Wintergreen
[Album] (Around &) Around Again

The Smashing Pumpkins: US Tour Dates + New Video

Unless you live under a rock, I'm sure you already know that the Smashing Pumpkins are set to release Zeitgeist on July 10th. Not to sound like a total street teamer or FOSJ (Friend of Steve Jobs), but you should go pre-order the album on the iTunes Store ASAP. Why? Everyone who pre-orders the album will receive an exclusive Ticketmaster pre-sale password for the Pumpkins' upcoming tour of the United States. And you'll be able to download the totally awesome album/Transformers soundtrack song "Doomsday Clock" early. Not to mention getting to listen to the album Tuesday morning without the chore of showering/leaving the house/etc.

The Pumpkins are currently wrapping up their residency at the Orange Peel in North Carolina, but they'll be doing a proper tour of the United States in the fall. Recently released tour dates are pasted below, courtesy of the NME. The show at the 9:30 Club goes on sale Friday at 10am on Tickets.com but I must warn you, if you try to buy tickets I will hunt you down. Rumor has it that the rest of the shows go on sale on July 14th on Ticketmaster. I've posted their awful music video for "Tarantula" above to hold you over until they visit your town.

July 10: Washington, DC (9:30 Club)

Sept. 8: Montreal (Osheaga Festival)

Sept. 9: Toronto (V Fest)

Sept. 13: Las Vegas (the Pearl)

Sept. 18: Phoenix (Dodge Theatre)

Sept. 24: Vancouver (NE Forum)

Sept. 28: Salt Lake City (McKay Center)

Sept. 30: Morrison, Colo. (Red Rocks)

Oct. 2: St. Paul, Minn. (Wilkins Auditorium)

Oct. 4: Normal, Ill. (Braden Auditorium)

Oct. 7: Detroit (Fox Theatre)

Oct. 9: Pittsburgh (Palumbo Center)
Oct. 11: Columbus, Ohio (LC Pavilion)

Oct. 15-16: Boston (Orpheum Theatre)

Oct. 21-22: Philadelphia (Tower Theatre)

Oct. 25: Memphis (Mud Island Amphitheatre)

Oct. 30: Atlanta (Fox Theatre)

Nov. 3: Dallas (Nokia Theatre)

Nov. 5: Nashville (Ryman Auditorium)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Alones

I'm on vacation, so I'm going to keep this quick. The Alones are an indie rock band that hail from Stroke-on-Trent, UK. Their video for the awesome song "Silver" is posted above. Check it out. (And if you're from the UK, check out their Myspace page for tons of tour dates).

[Myspace] The Alones