Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Great Escape Preview: Operahouse

Myspace // "Telescopes" [mp3] // "Diane" [Video]

Exitfare is returning to England next month and we are going to spend a lot of time checking out some of our favorite new bands. Our time across the pond will culminate with three days at
The Great Escape in Brighton, which will play host to 200+ bands, including some of those that have gotten a lot of ink in these pages, like The Wombats, Yeasayer, Futureheads and The Go! Team.

But we're going to focus on the upstarts, like North London quartet
Operahouse, who create an excellent mix of sharp, punchy indie rock. They've caught the eyes and ears of Zane Lowe, Jonathan Ross and the NME, while their new single, "Diane," will be out on May 5th. Each time I look at the single's cover, I think the girl (Diane, I presume) is vomiting rainbows, but on second glance, it's apparent that the lights are coming from her eyes.

Look for them at
The Hope on May 16th.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Noah & The Whale Live at Archway Library for Pure Groove Records

Myspace // "Five Years Time" [mp3]

This is the latest installment in Pure Groove Records' live series. Also, the shop is leaving Archway for Farringdon -- more info on their website.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cajun Dance Party: Album Out Today (UK)

[Photo Credit: Jon Bergman]

Myspace // "The Hill, The View & The Lights" [mp3] // "The Next Untouchable" [Video] // "Amylase" [Video]

As Cajun Dance Party's debut The Colourful Life drops today on XL, it seems that all eyes are on them, not only because of the hype surrounding them, but because of the psuedo-scene they are loosely associated with in London. As other teenaged bands like Pull in Emergency, FortyFives, Kets and Bombay Bicycle Club garner attention, it will be interesting to see if they have more than a few good singles in them.

The precedent that the Cajuns are setting is a good one. While their debut contains just nine songs, seven of which that were widely available as demos, the two new tracks are excellent and those familiar songs have been redone with surprisingly effective results. The tunes have been fleshed out without being superfluous, retaining the immediacy of the demos.

Look for the band on tour in the UK in July.

First Exitfare mention: 25 April 2007 (almost a year to the day)

"The Race"

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Friday, April 25, 2008

White Lies "Unfinished Business"

Myspace // "Death" (demo) [mp3]

The buzz has grown bit by bit with these guys. Things started out quietly with their old incarnation, Fear of Flying, but once they regrouped and refocused under White Lies, it was off to the races, so to speak. The band is tipped to be one of the breakout acts of '08 with the NME recognizing "Unfinished Business" recently as their single of the week.

It does appear that the future looks rosy (ha, ha) for these guys -- a hotly tipped slot on the NME New Noise Tour and an anticipated performance at this year's Great Escape. Look for me in the front row!

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Duran Duran on Tour

Myspace // "Nite-Runner" [Stream] // Red Carpet Massacre [Buy]

I am sure that this blog isn't the right forum for
Duran Duran, but if I said I wasn't into the band, than I'd be lying. They've been around for three decades and every time they seem to be fading into obscurity, they put out an album that silences their critics -- or at least has a few good tunes on it. Their latest, Red Carpet Massacre, isn't a revelation by any means, but it does have some solid tunes. Look for them on tour this spring in the States, where they will probably be playing the hits you actually want to hear.

Buy tickets for the tour here.

Apr 29 - General Motors Place - Vancouver, BC

Apr 30 - WaMu Theater - Seattle, WA

May 2 - Sleep Train Pavilion - Concord, CA

May 3 - Santa Barbara Bowl - Santa Barbara, CA

May 4 - Nokia Theatre - Los Angeles, CA

May 6 - Dodge Theatre - Phoenix, AZ

May 8 - Valley View - San Diego, CA

May 9 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV

May 10 - The Joint - Las Vegas, NV

May 12 - Wells Fargo Theatre - Denver, CO

May 14 - Rosemont Theatre - Chicago, IL

May 15 - Masonic Temple Theatre - Detroit, MI

May 17 - Chastain Park Amphitheater - Atlanta, GA

May 18 - UCF Arena - Orlando, FL
May 19 - Mizner Park Amphitheatre - Boca Raton, FL

May 21 - Koka Booth Amphitheatre - Raleigh, NC

May 22 - Mann Center for the Performing Arts - Philadelphia, PA

May 24 - Atlantis - Paradise Island (Bahamas)
May 27 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

May 28 - Agganis Arena - Boston, MA

May 30 - Central Park Summerstage - New York City, NY

May 31 - Central Park Summerstage - New York City, NY


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sorry OK Yes

Myspace // "Smoky Electro Eyes" [mp3]

According to the band's bio, Sorry OK Yes "have created a sound, which you can't and even don't want to classify."

I am with these guys -- I am over classification and putting things into neat little groups. Can music just sound good, feel good and be good? This Italian group, made up of three 19 year-olds, know what sounds good and they get right to the point by making music that updates The Kinks for the 21st century. Over the next few months the band will be playing around Europe, including a date at Liverpool Soundcity, and a string of shows in the US this August. Their first single, "I Just Want To Be a DJ," will be out on
WIT Records later this spring.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mystery Jets "Two Doors Down"

Myspace // "Two Doors Down" [mp3]

The more I hear from this new album, the more I think that it eclipses their debut. "Two Doors Down" is out as a single on 2nd June.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Secret Moves: New Songs

Myspace // "Heart Attacks" [mp3]

Manchester group Secret Moves just posted two new songs on their Myspace page -- "Heart Attacks," which is featured above, and "Said I Was Right Behind." These two excellent new tracks are perfect companions to the tunes from their debut EP (recorded under the band's old name, The Boy Majors), a perfect group to carry on the infectious indie rock torch of Ash.

I'm bummed that they won't be gigging while I am over in the UK next month.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Your Vegas "In My Head"

Myspace // "In My Head" [mp3]

Leeds strikes again. The debut from Your Vegas, A Town and Two Cities, is in stores April 29th (in the US) and available on iTunes now.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

South Return to the States

Myspace // "Better Things" [mp3] // "Better Things" [Video]

April 29th will see the release of the new album from
South, You Are Here, on Bluhammock. The band has bounced all over the musical map in the past, but with this release, they've put together their most nuanced and fully-realized work yet. If you did not catch them at this year's SXSW, make sure you get to one of these shows.

4/26 Brooklyn, NY Union Hall

4/27 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s

4/29 New York, NY Mercury Lounge

5/1 Boston, MA Great Scott

5/2 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar

5/3 Washington, DC Rock & Roll Hotel

5/5 Chicago, IL Abbey Pub

5/6 Minneapolis, MN Turf Club

5/8 Denver, CO Marquis Theater

5/11 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge

5/12 Seattle, WA Nectar Lounge

5/14 San Francisco, CA The Independent

5/15 Los Angeles, CA The Echo

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Young Knives "Up All Night"

Myspace // "Terra Firma [mp3]

Superabundance is out 04.22.08 on Rykodisc. Vote for the video here so it can added to MTVu's playlist.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Seascape

Myspace // "Person Place or Thing" [mp3]

Months ago while looking through Bombay Bicycle Club's friends, I discovered indie rock trio The Seascape, a trio that has the whole British guitar thing down (reminiscent of Luxembourg), except for the fact that they aren't from the United Kingdom at all. They're actually teenagers from Connecticut who write smart, cracking tunes, the ones that get caught in your head for days. There's something very special going on with these kids -- I have a feeling that they have more than good tunes up their sleeves.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

¡Forward Russia!: Album Out Today (UK)

Myspace // "Spanish Triangles" [mp3] // "Breaking Standing" [Video] // Life Processes [Buy]

There are bands that we've covered that have gone nowhere, and then there are those that are able to catch on internationally due to hard work and great tunes. Leeds group ¡Forward Russia! are in the latter camp, and their debut Give Me a Wall was a cathartic event -- a smart foray into spastic math rock. While there are plenty of bands that put out that great debut record, most of them aren't able to follow it up with anything worth listening to, but with Life Processes, ¡Forward Russia! march on with their best record yet.

The album will be out in the States in June on Mute.

1. Welcome To The Moment (The Rest Of Your Life)
2. We Are Grey Matter
3. A Prospector Can Dream
4. Spring Is A Condition
5. Don’t Reinvent What You Don’t Understand
6. Some Buildings
7. Breaking Standing
8. Gravity & Heat
9. Fosbury In Discontent
10. A Shadow Is A Shadow Is A Shadow
11. Spanish Triangles

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The Forms Spring Tour

Myspace // "Red Gun" [mp3]

The Forms dropped their latest, eponymous album on Threespheres late last year, which was yet another noisy math rock masterpiece from them. It seems as though their home is the road as they are playing even more dates, this time along with Minnesota-based Cloud Cult.

April 16 – The Middle East – Boston, MA *

April 17 – Union Hall – Brooklyn, NY

April 18 – Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY *

April 19 – Rock And Roll Hotel – Washington DC *

April 21 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC *

April 22 – Smith’s Olde Bar – Atlanta, GA *

April 24 – The Basement – Columbus, OH *

April 25 – Schuba’s – Chicago, IL *

April 26 – First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN *
* with Cloud Cult

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Friday, April 11, 2008

The Subways: New Song

Myspace // "Girls & Boys" [mp3]

It seems that a lot of people have forgotten about The Subways, but the band is starting to show life after some personal turmoil. In early '07, singer Billy Lunn had vocal nodes removed, which is totally not a pretty site. On top of that, Lunn and Charlotte Cooper, the band's bassist and other singer, broke off their engagement and split. A lesser band may have thrown in the towel, but it seems as this trio are fighters, and we're all the better for it. The band has just released "Girls & Boys," the first single off their yet-to-be released new album, All or Nothing. The track is available as a free download at their homepage.

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Kooks on Tour

Myspace // "Always Where I Need To Be" [mp3] (Live @ the Astoria in London)

The brand new album from The Kooks is out this Tuesday (tax day!) here in the States. The band did a short swing through the country in February, playing an inspired gig at North Six (yes, I know it's not called that anymore) with fellow countrymen The Duke Spirit.

Look for the band to do a full tour once the weather warms up for good, including a slot at the annual Sasquatch Festival.

May 18 - San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
May 19 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern
May 24 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
May 25 - George, WA @ Sasquatch! Festival - all ages
May 26 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
May 29 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
May 30 - Kansas City, MO @ KRBZ's 'Buzz Under The Stars' Series at The City Market
May 31 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café
June 1 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom
June 2 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
June 4 - Toronto, ON @ Kool Haus
June 5 - Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore at TLA
June 9 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
June 10 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5
June 11 - New York, NY @ Terminal 5

"Always Where I Need To Be"

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Blood Red Shoes "Say Something, Say Anything"

Myspace // "It's Getting Boring By The Sea" [mp3]

This is Blood Red Shoes' brand new video -- the single was released this week and the band's debut full-length, Box of Secrets, is out on Monday, April 14th.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Young Knives: New Album

Myspace // "Terra Firma" [mp3] // "Terra Firma" [Video]

Oxford, UK's Young Knives' new album Superabundance will be released stateside April 22 on Rykodisc. Hailed by Q Magazine as "a celebratory affair - a hugely likeable and intelligent pop album that sings with human warmth, and ultimately, quiet defiance." Superabundance is the follow up to 2006's Voices of Animals and Men.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Bobby Cook & the Sleepers "Deja Vu"

Myspace // "Secrets" [mp3] // "Deja Vu" [Buy]

Could Bobby Cook be the next great songwriting talent out of the UK or is he simply a lad with a few good tunes. The cinematic pop masterpieces of "Secrets" and "Deja Vu" indicate that the man may have much more up his sleeves, while "Higherground" shows that he is not a one trick pony by infusing his well-developed songs with a bit of soul.

For now it's anyone's guess, but I am pretty confident about his chances to rise above the fray. This is a singer-songwriter that can buck the trend of being boring and vapid.


Monday, April 07, 2008

Håkan Hellström

Myspace // "För Sent För Edelweiss" [mp3]

I spent a lot of time over the weekend trying to track down info about Håkan Hellström, but most of the sites I came across were in Swedish. Thanks to Wikipedia, I was able to fill in the pieces. Hellström started out his music career young, spending time in the indie rock outfit Broder Daniel, but at the turn of the millennium, he began to focus on his solo c areer full time. This year sees the release of fifth disc, För Sent För Edelweiss, yet another disc that fits nicely next to Nicolai Dunger or Kristoffer Ragnstam.

Friday, April 04, 2008


Myspace // "Flybus! [mp3]

Bands that name themselves after cities, states and countries tend to miss the mark when it comes to the actual quality of their music. Just to name a few, Boston, Kansas and Alabama are all complete and utter shit. Iceland, an otherworldly place to most of those not from there, has bucked the trend once again with Reykjavik!, a quintet that also hails from the national capital.

On their debut EP, they go straight for the throat with spastic tunes like "Flybus!" and "You Always Kill," but are able to retain a pop sheen on the tuneful "O, Lord." Reykjavik, a city with just 118,000 people, sees only four hours of daylight in the winter, but the summer nights are almost as bright as the days. It's this type of environment, in the world's most liveable city, that is conducive to creativity, and it shows -- this country has produced countless unique bands over the years and there is no sign that it will ever stop.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Acorn "The Flood Pt. 1"

Myspace // "Crooked Legs" [mp3]

This is the latest video from Ottawa's The Acorn from their second album, Glory Hope Mountain. The clip was put together by Christopher Mills, who has also done work from Interpol, Modest Mouse and Broken Social Scene.

The best news of all is that the band's new album is finally out in States through Paper Bag Records, plus they'll be playing a handful of dates in the eastern half of North America.

11-Apr - Montreal, QC - Zoobizarre (w/ Torngat)
20-Apr - Ottawa, ONT - The Manx (solo show)
23-Apr - Cleveland, OH - Case Western University w/Fiery Furnaces
24-Apr - Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio - w/ Le Loup
25-Apr - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
26-Apr - Minneapolis, MN - 7th St Entry
27-Apr - Madison, WI - Cafe Montmartre
29-Apr - Nashville, TN - Exit/In
30-Apr - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
01-May - Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight
02-May - Philadelphia, PA - Khyber
03-May - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
04-May - Brooklyn, NY - Sound Fix (instore)
06-May - NYC, NY - Mercury Lounge - w/ Cave Singers & Love as Laughter
07-May- Boston, NY - Great Scott

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Let's Wrestle

Myspace // "I Won't Lie To You" [mp3]

"Let's Wrestle are the most miserable and hateful band in London," so heralds the Stolen Recordings' website. It's a ridiculous claim, as everybody knows that Kate Nash is easily the most miserable and hateful person in the British music scene for cruelly subjecting the world to her music. Though the label's statement definitely seems like posturing, I am infatuated with Let's Wrestle nonetheless because their EP, In Loving Memory Of, is seventeen minutes of pure slacker rock bliss. I sorta see t
he London three piece as a lo-fi cross between The Cribs and The Rakes with a little of Eddie Argos' (Art Brut) talky singing style thrown in for good measure. And just like the aforementioned bands, Let's Wrestle's songs feature incredibly catchy choruses and memorable lyrics ("It's not cool to be nice, so I won't be nice") that will stay in your head for days on end.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Lazy Darlings

Myspace // "Life is Easy" [mp3]

As a music fan, one rule of thumb you need to always follow is this: Neil Young never goes out of style. His recordings are diverse and positively timeless, and although he has his fair share of clunkers, when the man is on, he is on. Dave James, the heart and soul behind The Lazy Darlings, knows this all too well, as he takes the best of Young, Gram Parsons and Wilco to make his own Americana masterpieces. Not even together a year, the band has been recorded by Richard Green (ex-Ultrasound, now of The Somatics) and played with Tim Hann of fellow West Yorkshire group
I Concur.

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Girls Aloud "Can't Speak French"

Myspace // "Hoxton Heroes" [mp3]

So friends, I totally forgot about the new video from Girls Aloud. Not sure if posting this will cause me to lose credibility or anything, but then again, I did pick Tangled Up as my 21st favorite album of 2007. Sometimes a good song is a good song no matter what label it's on.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bobby Cook & the Sleepers

[Photo Credit: Nick Kiehl]

Myspace // "Secrets" [mp3]

There are times when you really need to get inside a song to understand it, listening to it over and over until finally you break through, but there are those times when a song grabs you right away and has you hooked a few notes in.

This is definitely the latter.

While I've seen the name pop up from time to time, I didn't check out London's Bobby Cook & the Sleepers until last night, mostly due to the normal preconceptions. You know exactly what I'm talking about -- the world doesn't need another tortured guy on guitar, but Mr. Cook has his finger on something much more exciting, a sort of palatable energy brought together by marrying the soul of Bruce Springsteen with the epic post-millennial aspirations of The Arcade Fire. If you've ever wondered what those two outfits would sound like if they came together, than you need not look any further.

Those of you in London will be catching a lot of this guy, including appearances at the Camden Crawl, The Great Escape and a gig tonight at Under the Westway with The Brunettes.

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