Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mechanical Owl

Myspace // "RSPCA" [mp3]

Yet another gem from Leeds, Mechanical Owl is the solo project of Mike Payne. His tunes come down somewhere between melancholic indie and varied electronica, with lyrics that paint a picture in a Belle & Sebastian sort of way. The recent
Snowdonia EP shows a musician that's influenced by every band he hears, as well as the sights and sounds that surround him with six memorable tunes.

In addition to this project, he can be found in
Mrs. Dice Feet (with Nic Burrows) and Crayon, which is a pop band rounded out by Harry Dean and Nic Burrows.

What Made Milwaukee Famous Returns

Myspace // "Resistance St." [mp3]

Austin's What Made Milwaukee Famous is back with their sophomore album, What Doesn't Kill Us. It's out on March 4th on Barsuk. The two years since the band's debut has only changed the band for the better, mixing their new wave stylings with more grounded indie rock. Look for them on the road this spring with Louis XIV and in LA next month for a bit of a residency.

Los Angeles Residency Tour
2/18/2008 : Los Angeles - Spaceland
2/21/2008 : Los Angeles - Silverlake Lounge
2/22/2008 : Los Angeles - Bordello
2/25/2008 : Los Angeles - Echo Lounge
2/28/2008 : Los Angeles - Silverlake Lounge
2/29/2008 : Los Angeles - El Cid
3/1/2008 : San Francisco - Cafe du Nord
3/7 Austin, TX - Emo's Record Release Party

On tour with Louis the XIV 3/10 - 4/5
3/10 - Atlanta, GA :: The Loft at Center Stage
3/12 - Philadelphia, PA :: North Star Bar
3/14 - New York, NY :: The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza
3/15 - Washington, DC :: Rock N Roll Hotel
3/16 - Albany, NY :: Jack Rabbit Slim's
3/18 - Montreal, QC :: La Sala Rossa
3/19 - Toronto, ON :: Mod Club
3/21 - Columbus, OH :: The Basement
3/22 - Chicago, IL :: Metro
3/23 - Minneapolis, MN :: Varsity Theater
3/25 - Denver, CO :: Marquis Theatre
3/26 - Salt Lake City, UT :: Club Sound (formerly Bricks)
3/29 - Seattle, WA :: Chop Suey (formerly Breakroom)
3/30 - Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre

3/3 - San Francisco, CA :: The Fillmore
3/4 - Los Angeles, CA :: Avalon
3/5 - Phoenix, AZ :: The Brickhouse Theater

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Exitfare Favorites: The Verve "Urban Hymns"

Editor's Note: I decided to start this as a new feature so we can take a look back at some of our favorite albums of the past. It won't exactly be regular, but you can expect to see it twice a month. This post was mainly spurned by reading about The Verve's reunion and how seriously my mind was blown a decade ago when Urban Hymns was released.

It's 2008 and
The Verve have just reformed to tour and work on a new album. Sound familiar? It happened back in '96 as the band, who has just released their most successful album to date, parted ways only to reform several months later.

When the band came back together, all of the old tensions were there, just as palpable as ever, and on top of that, drugs threatened to destroy the band. It's not an exaggeration to say that Urban Hymns was an album that was almost never made because it's 100% true -- it should have been made. To look back on all of the shit the band was going through, either directly or indirectly, it's a wonder even one of these songs made the light of day.


With A Northern Soul, the band has finally become stars in their native UK, but 1997's Urban Hymns would rocket them to international superstardom, although they didn't make anything of the album's first single "Bittersweet Symphony." The follow-up single, "The Drugs Don't Work" (a sentiment they didn't adhere to) was their first UK #1.

"Bittersweet Symphony"

The important thing to consider about this record is that its greatness is not directly related to its commercial success -- that was just a happy accident. In addition to the difficulty leading up to finishing this record, the band almost totally departed from the neo-psychedelic tunes of their early days. While alienating some of their hardcore followers, they were able to unite most of their classic fanbase with the commercial indie crowd.

"The Drugs Don't Work"

This is a record that grows with each listen, but not in that cliche "it grows on you" sort of way, but in a way that it's a multi-tiered creation that grows with you over the years. Each subsequent listen reveals something new, whether it be a lyric, favorite song or bridge. Over a decade later, I am still discovering new things I love about this album. The singles may be great, but the real gems are the album tracks, like the heart-breaking "Space & Time," the bittersweet "This Time" or the anthemic "Weeping Willow."

"Lucky Man"

Urban Hymns is a product of the stress of its creation and the talented musicians who were able to put aside their differences to complete this record. While the band may have been troubled, the attitude they put forth indicated that they were looking for redemption and willing to look to the future, but their downfall was that they didn't quite know how to do it yet.

Jimmy Eat World "Always Be"


I saw
Jimmy Eat World for the first time a decade ago and I am glad that they are still putting out great records, albeit for a much bigger fanbase. Their latest album, Chase This Light, came out last year and this is the band's latest video.

Englands Lane

Myspace // "Your Call" [mp3]

I suppose there are a lot of folks out there that have gotten sick of The Kooks and The View, but I like them just fine. Perhaps it's the fact that since I am in the States, I don't hear their tunes on the radio every hour, so there's no overkill factor. London's Englands Lane is of a similar ilk, combining hooky choruses with shambolic instrumentation, creating an instantly likable sound. For such a young band, they seem to be experts at constructing truly memorable dirty garage pop gems.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Supergrass Get a US Release Date

Supergrass // "Diamond Hoo Ha Men" [Video]

According to Astralwerks:

Supergrass is back. A fantastic new album entitled Diamond Hoo Ha, a brand new home on Astralwerks, and a sixth studio album showcasing the youthful energy and witty musical stylings of these Britpop pioneers.

After a dozen years, Supergrass (Gaz Coombes–Vocals & Guitar, Mick Quinn–Bass & Vocals, Danny Goffey-Drums & Vocals, Rob Coombes-Keyboard) have rolled back home, and rolled back the years, while marching firmly into the future. “We wanted a record where you got all of Supergrass,” says frontman Gaz of this decisive return to form, “The joy, the intensity, the darkness, the melodies. All of those have always been important to us and still are.” Hence Diamond Hoo Ha (release date: April 15th, 2008) an energetic album bristling with hooks to hang your coat off and melodies to lose your shoes to.

Recorded at Hansa Studios in Berlin and produced by Nick Launay (PiL, Gang Of Four), Diamond Hoo Ha is the band at their exuberant best. What other British band is still able, with seemingly effortless ease to conjure up songs and videos that crackle with breezy enthusiasm, humor and inventiveness?

During the summer of 2007, with the album completed, Supergrass supported U.K. stadium tours for Arctic Monkeys and Coldplay. Two very different invitations, both indicative of the regard in which Supergrass are held by the (slightly) younger generation. Of all the British rock bands who burst through in the mid-Nineties they’re the only ones still alive, still forging ahead, still – musically speaking – Having It.

1. Diamond Hoo Ha Man
2. Bad Blood
3. Rebel In You
4. When I Needed You
5. 345
6. The Return Of Inspiration
7. Rough Knuckles
8. Ghost Of A Friend
9. Whiskey & Green Tea
10. Outside
11. Butterfly

Blood Red Shoes "You Bring Me Down"


This is the second version of this video, filmed to coincide with the release of this single on February 4th in the UK. The band will also be playing every city in Europe on a very extensive tour that begins tonight in Leicester. Expect an album this spring!

29 - The Charlotte, Leicester (14+)
30 - The Hive, Edinburgh (14+)
31 - Leadmill, Sheffield (14+)

01 - 229, London (SOLD OUT) (18+)
02 - Clwb lfor Bach, Cardiff (14+)
04 - Little Civic, Wolverhampton (14+)
05 - Joiners, Southampton (14+)
06 - West End Centre, Aldershot (14+)
07 - Rough Trade East, Instore, London (free all-ages london show)
13 - Vooruit Cafe, Gent, Belgium
14 - Cooky's, Frankfurt, Germany
15 - Lagerhaus, Bremen, Germany
16 - Gleis 22, Muenster, Germany
17 - Star Club, Dresden, Germany
19 - Tirol Weekender, Innsbruck, Austria
20 - Muz Club, Nurnbern, Germany
21 - Ekko, Utrecht, Holland
22 - White Trash Visions Party, Berlin, Germany
23 - Effenaar Small Hall, Eindhoven, Holland
26 - Grand Mix, Tourcoing, France
28 - La Poudriere, Belfort, France
29 - La Vapeur, Dijon, France

01 - Le Cylindre, Besancon

Secret Moves

Secret Moves // "Weird Science" [mp3]

When I stumbled upon the Myspace page of The Boy Majors a few weeks ago, my initial impressions were "solid songs, bad name." Maybe they heard my mental complaint, or maybe it was just time for a change, as they're now known as Secret Moves. Comments on nomenclature aside, this Manchester group seems to fit in quite well with the city's legacy of producing great bands. The four tunes on their first EP are rough, but in all of the good ways. These are tunes that could rile an entire festival crowd, but for now they're inciting passion in packed clubs of a few hundred. And who's to say one is better than the other?

Monday, January 28, 2008

These New Puritans: Album Out Today (UK)

[Photo Credit: Dean Chalkley]

Myspace // "Elvis" [mp3] // "Elvis" [Video]

Today sees the release of Beat Pyramid on Domino, the debut long-player from Southend quartet These New Puritans. The band plays a familiar/not so familiar variation of sample-driven post punk with songs that are surprisingly mature for a band that's so young. They're obvious products of a generation where anything goes -- it's ok to have the Wu-Tang Clan, the Stone Roses and Klaxons on the same playlist.

The album hits shelves in the US on March 18th.

Foreign Born on Tour

Myspace // "In The Shape" [mp3] // Live & The Roxy in LA [Video]

“(On The Wing Now)… is a jangly, ‘60s-via-2007 mash-up that recalls Brian Jonestown Massacre… Laced with dreamy synth and shimmering echoes, from the anthemic refrain of opener “Union Hall to the droning Jesus & Mary Chain pulse of the epic “The Nights Tall.” - NYLON

LA band Foreign Born released their debut album last year on Dim Mak and are about to hit the road with St. Vincent.

Foreign Born Live (with St. Vincent)
Feb 15 - LA, CA @ The Echo
Feb 16- Santa Barbara, CA - Velvet Jones
Feb 17 - San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
Feb 18 - Portland , OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Feb 19 - Seattle, WA @Neumo’s
Feb 22- Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Club
Feb 23 - Chicago, IL @Schuba’s
Feb 24 – Columbus, OH @ Ohio State U Wexner Ctr.
Feb 25 - Pittsburgh, PA @Andy Warhol Museum
Feb 26 - DC, Washington DC @The Rock & Roll Hotel
Feb 27 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
Feb 28 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
Feb 29 – NYC @ Bowery Ballroom
Mar 1 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East

MGMT "Time To Pretend"

Myspace // "Time To Pretend" [Video]

NME loves them, so I guess that's cool. MGMT is one of Brooklyn's best new bands right now, and part of an awesome trinity (along with Yeasayer & Chairlift) that is producing some of the weirdest and most fun music right now.


Flash Guns

Myspace // "Locarno" [mp3]

There are hordes of great young bands producing music in the UK right now. Bands with innovative sounds and catchy lyrics that play shows on weekends, then return to their local high schools for classes on Monday. We've already written about Pull In Emergency and FortyFives, so now it's time to talk about an equally stellar band called Flashguns.

Flashguns are a quartet of boarding school kids from London and Brighton that play music that's deeply rooted in the sounds of the '80s
though updated somehow to seem totally fresh and current. Their music is the nexus between The Smiths and The Cure and newer bands like The Libertines and Arctic Monkeys, which may not make much sense until you give them a listen. I can't get enough of this band, their songs are so amazing that you'll keep them on repeat for days.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Myspace // "What Howard Said" [mp3]

Since we're in a Mother Vulpine mindset, it might be nice to know that Matt Bigland, the band's ex-singer, has been knocking around some tunes under the name Dinosaur Pile-Up. The band is rounded out by friends Tom and Tom, and while MV's more mathy moments come to surface in some of the tunes (four of which are available for free download on their Myspace), it's apparent that a new direction is beginning to take shape. While not totally relinquishing the past, it seems that these guys are embracing smart, fuzzy pop.

Most importantly, one of the band's influences is Michael J. Fox.

Mother Vulpine & Making Sense of My Musical Tastes

[Photo Credit: Kirst Wilson]

Myspace // "We'll Be Detectives" [mp3] // "Keep Your Wits Sharp (Her Words Are Quick)" [Video]

Have you ever really thought the bands you like, especially those that you consider your favorites? It's easy to put bands in a box based on what they sound like or what they sing about, and often times this is a reflection of our personalities, whether we are filled with angst, have certain political leanings or we just like a good pop song.

Thinking about those bands that I consider my favorites, it seems that one of the things that I crave in a group is stability. Just to take my four favorite bands (because I stopped counting there), three of them have been together for twenty years or more (Manic Street Preachers, Sonic Youth and Saint Etienne) and the other is over the decade mark (Idlewild).

Plus, it's hard to spend time with a band that only has a couple of albums because you exhaust all of their material fairly quickly. There are bands that I was in love with from the onset, like JJ72, Ultrasound, Ethel Meserve and even the Libertines, but they were only around for a short time and it's hard to develop a relationship with a band that has a limited catalogue.

Just like with relationships, sometimes it's love at first with a band, and that's exactly what happened with Mother Vulpine. They were yet another amazing band out of Leeds (seriously, when are people going to notice how amazing this city's scene is?) that eschewed common influences like Wire and Gang of Four for Les Savy Fav and at least ten bands on Dischord Records.

Beth first found them back in November '06 and since then, each and every song I've heard from them has been absolutely essential. They've only officially released one single plus a track or two on various compilations. While they haven't "officially" broken up, this Myspace diary doesn't exactly paint a rosy picture.

So where do I go from here? Chances are I will continue to listen to these songs every chance I get, but after awhile without even realizing it, other bands will start to take their place in my playlists. Tom Vulpine is in a new band, called Pulled Apart By Horses, but their Myspace page is curiously absent of any music. If you're in Leeds and happen to go to their secret debut show on Feb. 12th, do me a favor and record it. Or at least tell me about it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Skins Premiere Parties


Being that I am in the States, I got into Skins a bit late and a bit awkwardly, as I had to resort to watching episodes on Youtube. With only two episodes left to go in the first series, the show was inexplicably removed from the site. I still haven't seen the final episodes, but that's what DVD box sets are for!

Series two is set premiere on E4 on February 11th and in celebration, there are release parties throughout the UK. Further details are on the show's Myspace page. Additionally, they are offering up a free download from Operahouse. Past featured acts include Emmy The Great and Late of the Pier, so they definitely know which artists to pick.

I Was a Cub Scout "Pink Squares"

Myspace // "Teenage Skin" [mp3] // "Our Smallest Adventures" [Video]

We wrote about them nearly a year ago and it seems that the world was taken a liking to I Was a Cub Scout. They've taken the math influence down a notch, settling for something that takes the best from The Postal Service and Mates of State. XFM has been playing "Pink Squares" non-stop and if you're in the UK, check the guys out on a countrywide tour in February.

Girls Can't Dance


Myspace // "Plastic People" [mp3]

Hailing from the current music capital of the world,
Girls Can't Dance is one of the best up and coming bands in Leeds right now. The group formed last year at university over a mutual love of music and the boredom that results from being broke. Stylistically, Girls Can't Dance probably fit into the new rave genre pioneered by Klaxons and XX Teens though based more on a classic punk and new wave foundation. It's a gritty, intense and wholly enjoyable sound, one that gets your blood pumping in a very virile and animalistic way. This band has a huge future in front of them, I'm definitely excited to see how they continue to develop in the months ahead.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Feist "I Feel It All"

Myspace // "1234" [Video] // "My Moon My Man" [Video]

Feist's new music video for "I Feel It All" is another one-take spectacular, albeit one without sparkly sequined costumes, airport moving walkways, and large groups of choreographed backup dancers. In many respects "I Feel It All" is your prototypical low key performance video, one that shows Feist alone in a field singing the gorgeous upbeat song... while dancing around and setting off fireworks. The totally awesome video only serves as further proof of why Feist is hands down the cutest person in indie rock.

Two Hours Traffic: New Video & Tour

Myspace // "Stuck For The Summer" [mp3] // "Backheart Sweetheart" (Recorded by CBC Radio 3) [mp3]

It's unfortunate, but for whatever reason, Canada's Joel Plaskett has been ignored south of the border -- his band in the '90s, Thrush Hermit came and went quietly, and none of his solo disc have seen official release here. He played Boston a couple of years ago and only four people showed up! Luckily the Canucks understand and appreciate this multi-talented man as other bands have been clamoring to work with him, like Prince Edward Island's Two Hours Traffic.

Their latest album,
Little Jabs, is reminiscent of the firecracker pop that made their fellow Maritime mates, Sloan, famous. Plaskett produced this disc, helping to find that little extra in the band that pushes them over the top. The band just released their third video ("Nighthawks") from the album, and they'll be closing out the winter with a cross-country tour.

Feb 02 – Halifax, NS @ The Seahorse

Feb 06 – New Glasgow, NS @ North Shore Education Centre

Feb 07 – Fredericton, NB @ UNB – The Cellar – ECMA Showcase

Feb 09 – Fredericton, NB @ Delta Hotel – ECMA Showcase

Feb 09 – Fredericton, NB @ Nicky Zee’s – ECMA Showcase

Feb 14 – Quebec City, QC @ Le Bal du Lezard

Feb 15 – Montreal, QC @ Club Lambi

Feb 16 – Ottawa, ON @ Zaphods

Feb 19 – London, ON @ Call The Office

Feb 21 – Guelph, ON @ Bookshelf Ebar

Feb 22 – Brantford, ON @ The Ford Plant

Feb 23 – Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe

Feb 28 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON @ Loplop’s Gallery & Lounge

Feb 29 – Thunder Bay, ON @ Kilroys

March 01 – Winnipeg, MB @ Royal Albert Arms

March 05 – Edmonton, AB @ Pawn Shop

March 06 – Calgary, AB @ The Gateway

March 07 – Kelowna, BC @ Doc Willoughby’s

March 08 – Vancouver, BC @ The Railway

March 13 – Saskatoon, SK @ Amigo’s Cantina

March 14 – Medicine Hat, AB @ The Doghouse

March 15 – Regina, SK @ The Exchange

March 20 – Peterborough, ON @ Red Dog Tavern

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Supergrass: Live at Pure Groove in London


Pure Groove is a record shop in London that not only houses an extensive selection of titles, but it has a regular slate of in-stores. You can check out all of the action going on there at their Youtube page. To keep updated on these videos, subscribe to their Youtube group or keep coming back here, as we will be featuring their in-studios here as they become available.

Supergrass stopped by the store two days ago to perform as the Diamond Hoo Ha Men. Featured is a cover of "Beat It," a bit of "Caught by the Fuzz," and an interview with a gorilla.

Jason Choi & the Sea

[Photo Credit: Jason Gillis]

Myspace // "Leave The Night Behind" [mp3] // "More Than Many Sparrows" [mp3]

Jason Choi & the Sea's record label, Team Grizzly, describes Choi as “like the Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid.” He self-produced his own record, Leave the Night Behind, as well as co-produced Finland's Awake Arise the Great Untouchable, Will Farina's The Voice Around your Wrists, and Nicole Miglis’s upcoming, yet-to-be-named release. “Everybody in the Melbourne, FL, music scene looks up to him as sort of an indie rock grandfather,” Team Grizzly continues. The title isn’t arbitrary: he’s played with acts like Castanets, Madeline, Phosphorescent, Defiance, Ohio, the Living Blue, Scout’s Honor and a handful of others.

Blood Red Shoes

[Photo Credit: Alan Bell]

Myspace // "How To Pass The Time"

I don't understand why the Brits are obsessed with Kate Nash when they have bands like Blood Red Shoes gracing their stages. Comparing the two, Blood Red Shoes wins in a landslide... and that's not just because Laura-Mary Carter (vocalist/guitarist of Blood Red Shoes) is like three hundred percent hotter. It's because their music is actually good--it's fresh and exciting, not some tired rehash of Lily Allen.

Blood Red Shoes play an aggressive, yet hooky brand of post punk that's full of wailing vocals and distorted guitars layered over pounding drums.
Their music is so punchy and rhythmic that it feels almost math rock-y at times, similar in many ways to other British upstarts like iForward, Russia! and Foals. The band has a bunch of really fun and powerful songs that I'm sure sound fantastic live... so make sure to catch Blood Red Shoes when they come to your town. They'll be touring the UK and Europe through the end of February, followed by the release of their debut album on V2 Records later this spring.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coachella 2k8 Line-Up!


The official line-up of the Coachella festival was announced this evening. Over 100 bands will grace the stage of the three day festival in late April in the gorgeous desert valley of Indio, California. Highlights will likely include Exitfare favorites like The Verve, Black Kids, Cold War Kids, MIA, Stars, Black Lips, Jamie T, and Vampire Weekend though there's no shortage of great bands on the bill that I'm choosing not to list due to brevity's sake. Three day passes are $269 and one day passes are $90, both of which go on sale on January 25th at 10am PST via Ticketmaster.

Air Traffic: Free Download

Myspace // "Shooting Star" [Video]

Air Traffic's debut album, Fractured Life, is slated to drop on February 5th on Astralwerks in the States. To celebrate the release, they are giving away the brand new song "Come On" on XFM all this week. This will be a bonus track on the US edition of the record.

Speaking to Xfm, Air Traffic's David Jordon said:
"It's a free track we wanna give our fans just to say thank you very much for supporting us, and because it's gonna be on the American album as well. We don't want the English fans to feel cheated they didn't get it on the original album."

New Foals Song

Myspace // "Cassius" [mp3] // "Balloons" [Video]

It seems like the perfect pairing, David Sitek of TV on the Radio producing Foals' debut album. But alas, it wasn't meant to be as the band was not happy with what they heard, so they struck out on their own. Two songs have leaked from these sessions, which will give us a rough idea of what their debut will sound like.

Antidotes is out in March in the UK on Transgressive and April in the US through Sub Pop.

They're playing two dates in the US in February and then headed back to the UK for a sold out tour.

12 Feb 2008 Bowery Ballroom New York
16 Feb 2008 Chop Suey Seattle, Washington

Editors: Live at The Orpheum in Boston

"The Racing Rats"


I am not really sure if I gave the Editors newest album a fair shake. When it came out last year, I listened it to a few times, and outside of a couple great tunes (like "When Anger Shows"), I was pretty disappointed by it. Fast forward to this past Saturday where I found myself at their headlining gig with Hot Hot Heat and Louis XIV. I showed up early to meet up with Ryan and Sean, two Boston bloggers, to talk sports, politics, and yes, other bloggers. It was a good chat, especially to hear Sean's Office Space-esque work story and that he's still into Jamie T.

The highlight of the night was the Editors' set. It's been interesting to see them graduate through Boston venues as they've built their fanbase. They started out at Great Scott as a nervous unit with some great tunes, came back to own the stage at The Paradise and currently, as a fit and fighting group at the awkward (rock shows and seats do not mix) Orpheum. They meshed both of their albums into a tight set, showing that they were finally stars in their own right. The songs they played off of An End Has A Start were fleshed out and about twenty times better live. On my way to a friend's birthday party, I listened to the album again and enjoyed it.

And then I listened to Jamie T, whose album will never get old.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Russian Circles Hits the Road

[Photo Credit: Ryan Russell]

Myspace // "Death Rides a Horse" [Video]

Get excited for some epic rock as Chicago's Russian Circles will be hitting the road with Dalek and Young Widows. Their new album, Station, drops May 6th on Suicide Squeeze.

Russian Circles Live! w/ Dälek and Young Widows
Feb 19 2008 Subterranean Chicago, Illinois
Feb 20 2008 Magic Stick Detroit, Michigan
Feb 21 2008 The Ravari Room Columbus, Ohio
Feb 22 2008 The School Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Feb 23 2008 Soundlab Buffalo, New York
Feb 24 2008 Maxwell’s Hoboken, New Jersey
Feb 25 2008 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Feb 26 2008 The Barbary Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Feb 27 2008 Rock N Roll Hotel DC, Washington DC
Feb 28 2008 Grog Shop, Dub Trio, Beans Cleveland, Ohio
Feb 29 2008 Cactus Club Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Mar 1 2008 Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar 2 2008 The Rock Box Rockford, Illinois

Mar 15 2008 SXSW - Sargent House Official Show Austin, Texas
Mar 16 2008 SXSW - TBA Austin, Texas

March – April 2008
West Coast tourdates tba!

New Hot Chip Song

Myspace // "Made in the Dark" [mp3]

This is the title track to Made in the Dark, which is out on February 5th on DFA/Astralwerks.

The More Assured

[Photo Credit: Lola Peach]

Myspace // "I Want Your Despair" [mp3] // "All In Your Head" [Video]

Pinning down these guys is hard although they are to your ears what your favorite shoes are to your feet. London's The More Assured are experts in assimilating the history of smart British rock, coming off like a much more energetic Belle & Sebastian or The Kinks with 21st century tendencies. They are part of a loose scene (at least this is what I gather from an extending period of Myspace page jumping) that contains a number of other solid bands, like Pull in Emergency, the FortyFives and Kets. The single "All in Your Head" is available now on iTunes.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Robyn: US Release & Tour Details

Myspace // "With Every Heartbeat" [mp3] // "Konichiwa Bitches" [Video]

January 29th will see the Stateside release of Robyn's Rakamonie EP on Interscope. Look for the LP, which is tentatively scheduled for April. She's playing just a handful of dates next month.

US Rakamonie EP Tracklisting:
1. Konichiwa Bitches – 2:38
2. Cobra Style – 4:10
3. Be Mine (Ballad Version) – 4:08
4. With Every Heartbeat with Kleerup (Acoustic Version) – 3:35
5. Jack U Off – 2:15

02-05 New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
02-07 San Francisco, CA - SF Popscene
02-09 West Hollywood, CA - The Troubador

Q Without U

Myspace // "Sleep in Thirteen Eight" [mp3] // "One Piece Puzzle" [Video]

If The Fall's Mark E. Smith were a little happier, he might sound a bit like Glasgow's Q Without U. Their latest single is called "One Piece Puzzle" and is filled with all of the fuzz, pop and distortion that we all know and love, but these lads are able the seal the deal with the lyrics. This self-released gem is currently available in your local iTunes.

Try not to confuse them with the Dischord band with a very similar name.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Team Robespierre Tour Dates & New Album

Myspace // "88th Precinct" [mp3] // Everything's Perfect [Buy on Emusic]

Today Team Robespierre is Spin's Band of the Day. Big shit, there are a lot of days, why should you care? Because they're creating quite a buzz and their brand of electro punk is catchy as hell. Check them out on the road in February (including a date in NY with Exitfare favorites Foals) and look for their debut LP, Everything's Perfect, to drop for real on Tuesday. In the meantime, you can snag it on Emusic.

Also, check out the remix contest on the band's Myspace page.

Feb 1: OFFICIAL RELEASE PARTY, Death By Audio, Brooklyn
Feb 9: AS220, Providence, RI w/ MAHI MAHI
Feb 16: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, Princeton, NJ w/ Aa
March 12-16: AT SxSW

Grey Beast

[Photo Credit: Faith Essary]

Myspace // "Emotions Are High" [mp3]

It seems that I am better at seeking out bands I like rather than them finding me. I can count on one hand the bands that I like that have sent me unsolicited e-mails or Myspace messages, and Seattle's Grey Beast is one of them. It's electronica that matches the climates where they orginate. The mood is dour, but with a bit of searching, you'll find that it's not all doom and gloom. There's a party brewing just beneath the surface.

The Album That Killed Its Parents is now, and it can be previewed on the band's homepage.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Brit Awards nominees

[Klaxons Photo Credit: Bradley Meinz]

Via, the 2008 Brit Awards nominees have just been revealed. Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs lead the charge. Girls Aloud, who get a nod for best group, deserve the win this year. The awards will be held at London's Earls Court on February 20th.

Here are the top five categories:

British Male Solo Artist
Jamie T
Mark Ronson
Newton Faulkner
Richard Hawley

British Female Solo Artist
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
KT Tunstall
Leona Lewis
PJ Harvey

British Group
Arctic Monkeys
Girls Aloud
Kaiser Chiefs
Take That

British Album
Arctic Monkeys - 'Favourite Worst Nightmare'
Leona Lewis - 'Spirit'
Mark Ronson - 'Version'
Mika - 'Life In Cartoon Motion'
Take That - 'Beautiful World'

British Breakthrough Act
Bat For Lashes
Kate Nash
Leona Lewis

You can read the rest here.

Louis XIV On Tour

Myspace // "Guilt By Association" [mp3]

Louis XIV just kicked off a North American tour with Editors and Hot Hot Heat a few days ago. Their new album, Slick Dogs And Ponies, drops on January 29th on Atlantic.

January 15 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
January 17 - Terminal 5 - New York, NY
January 18 - Electric Factory - Philadelphia, PA
January 19 - Orpheum Theater - Boston, MA
January 20 - Club Soda - Montreal, QUE
January 22 - Koolhaus - Toronto, ONT
January 23 - Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH
January 25 - Vic Theatre - Chicago, IL
January 26 - Majestic Theatre - Detroit, MI
January 27 - Pabst Theater - Milwaukee, WI
January 29 - Majestic Theatre - Madison, WI
January 30 - Fine Line Music Cafe - Minneapolis, MN
February 1 - Ogden Theatre - Denver, CO
February 4 - Showbox At The Market - Seattle, WA
February 5 - Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC
February 6 - Roseland Theater - Portland, OR
February 8 - Warfield Theater - San Francisco, CA
February 10 - House of Blues - Anaheim, CA
February 13 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
February 14 - House of Blues - Las Vegas, NV

Joe Lean & the Jing Jang Jong "Lucio Starts Fires"

Myspace // "Lonely Buoy" [mp3] // NME Awards Launch Party [Video]

Awful name, great band. I can't stop listening to these guys! If you're in the England, the band is playing all over this month and next -- check their Myspace for more details.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Goldfrapp "A & E"


This where they sing about her favorite cable channel.

Goldfrapp's new album, Seventh Tree, will be available on February 26th through Mute. The single "A&E" drops on February 12th.

Reno 911 Season 5 Premiere

Myspace // Season 5 Preview [Video]

This Wednesday January 16th, the fifth season of Reno 911 premieres on Comedy Central at 10:30 pm EST. Guest stars this season include Seth Green, Lisa Lampanelli, George Lopez, Ryan Stiles and Christina Applegate (who is in the 1st episode -- a clip is above). It's either watch this or some stupid reality show.

The Far Cries


Myspace // "Black and Gold" [mp3]

As a belated holiday present to their fans, The Far Cries threw a few new tracks up on their Myspace page over the weekend. Showcasing the group's tremendous range, the songs delve into the upbeat electro-punk that made them famous and a newer, almost melancholy lo-fi sound. Falling into the former category, "Black and Gold" is a brash little song that's propelled forward by an electrified surf-rock guitar, male-female vocal interplay, and some great drum rolls. It's the type of stunner that you'd hear at the best underground dance party in London or New York, which seems to be The Far Cries' specialty. In contrast, "No Rest Nomadia" hits the other end of the spectrum with a much slower tempo, decidedly minimalist construction, and darker lyrical subject matter. But it works, which only makes me more excited to see what The Far Cries have up their sleeves.

Friday, January 11, 2008

MGMT/Yeasayer Tour

Myspace [MGMT] // Myspace> [Yeasayer] // MGMT "Time To Pretend" [mp3] // Yeasayer "2080" [mp3]

MGMT's Oracular Spectacular hits stores on January 22nd. They'll be on the road with Yeasayer, whose All Hour Cymbals made it onto our top albums of the year list last year. Exciting, I know.

MGMT was on Letterman the other night -- check out the video

MGMT/Yeasayer Tour Dates:

16 Washington DC - Black Cat Backstage
17 Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506

18 Atlanta, GA - The EARL

19 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon

20 Houston, TX - Walter's on Washington

21 Dallas, TX - Granada Theater

22 Austin, TX - Emo's Jr.

24 Phoenix, AZ - Rhythm Room

25 San Diego, CA - The Casbah

26 Los Angeles, CA - The Echo

28 San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill

30 Portland, OR - Holocene

31 Seattle, WA - Neumo's


02 Boise, ID - Neurolux

03 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court

04 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive

06 Omaha, NE - The Slowdown

07 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry

08 Chicago, IL - Schubas

09 Toronto, ON - El Mocambo

10 Montreal, QC - La Salla Rossa

12 Allston, MA - Great Scott

14 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg

15 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Download Fader 51

Official Website // Fader 51 [Audio Mix]

Download issue #51 of The Fader here.

This is their annual "Now Issue," featuring pieces on Santogold (who's on the cover) and scenes in Mexico City, Huntsville, AL and Lawrence, KS.

Duels: New Album Details


Myspace // "Potential Futures" [mp3]

It's hard to set yourself apart
in a city teeming with awesome rock bands. In the city of Leeds, where post punk, math rock, and simply bizarre ass music reigns king, Duels separate themselves from the pack by playing a fairly conventional brand of rock music. Their first album found the band experimenting with anthemic rock by infusing it with undercurrents of classic British rock and punk. I don't know what direction they'll take on their second album, The Barbarians Move In, but I'm excited to find out. The disc hit stores on February 14, followed hopefully by some tour dates.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Clarky Cat

Myspace // "Sightline" [mp3] // "Sightline" [Video]

One would think that a band that's friends with Late of the Pier would be a little too weird and out there for public consumption, but Nottingham's Clarky Cat eschew that assumption. Their sonic palette cobbles together a number of elements that might normally be considered "new rave," but I am still trying to figure out what that term even means. The band has just put out the single "Sightline", a tune that will leave you wondering whether it's a tune for dancing or folding your arms.

Justice North American Tour

[Photo Credit: Cesar Sebastian]

Myspace // "D.A.N.C.E." [Video]

Hey guys, Justice will be headlining the Myspace Music Tour this March. I had a chance to (finally) see them at CMJ last year and show was worth it -- a great mix between music and aesthetics. There will be support from Diplo, DJ Mehdi, Chromeo, Busy P and Fancy on select dates. Ticket sales for the general public go from today through Jan. 12th.

3.3 Austin, TX Stubbs Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
3.4 Dallas, TX Palladium Ballroom Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
3.6 Orlando, FL The Club at Firestone Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
3.9 Baltimore, MD Sonar Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
3.10 Philadelphia, PA The Electric Factory Justice, DJ Mehdi, Fancy
3.11 New York, NY Madison Square Garden Justice, DJ Mehdi, Busy P, Fancy, Chromeo
3.12 Washington, DC 9:30 Club Justice, Busy P, Fancy
3.15 Boston, MA Paradise Justice, Busy P, Fancy
3.16 Montreal, PQ Cepsum Justice, Busy P, Fancy
3.17 Toronto, ON The Docks Justice, Busy P, Fancy
3.19 Detroit, MI Royal Oak Music Hall Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.20 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.22 Denver, CO Ogden Theater Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.24 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.25 Vancouver, BC Commodore Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.26 Portland, OR Roseland Theater Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.27 San Francisco, CA Concourse Design Center Justice, Diplo, Fancy
3.31 Los Angeles, CA Mayan Theatre Justice, Diplo, Fancy

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Crystal Castles to Tour With Health

Myspace // "Air War" [mp3] // "Air War" [Video]

"One of the best things to come out of Canada since Arcade Fire" -NME

This Canadian band may be a mystery, but they've spent that past year plus creating quite the worldwide buzz. Their debut album drops on Last Gang on March 18th and they'll be on tour to support it, including two secret location gigs.

THU 2/21 TORONTO, ON Secret Location (TBA)
FRI 2/22 HAMILTON, ON The Casbah
SAT 2/23 LONDON, ON Call the Office
TUE 2/26 DETROIT, MI Magic Stick
WED 2/27 CHICAGO, IL Abbey Pub
THU 2/28 MINNEAPOLIS, MN Triple Rock Club
FRI 2/29 WINNIPEG, MB Pyramid Cabaret
SAT 3/1 REGINA, SK The Exchange
SUN 3/2 CALGARY, AB The Warehouse
MON 3/3 EDMONTON, AB The Starlite Room
WED 3/5 VANCOUVER, BC Richards on Richards
THU 3/6 SEATTLE, WA Chop Suey
FRI 3/7 PORTLAND, OR Backspace
SAT 3/8 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Independent
SUN 3/9 LOS ANGELES, CA The Roxy Theatre
MON 3/10 SAN DIEGO, CA Casbah
TUE 3/11 PHOENIX, AZ The Brickhouse Theatre
SUN 3/16 DENTON, TX Hailey's
MON 3/17 SPRINGFIELD, MO Randy Bacon Studio & Gallery
WED 3/19 DEKALB, IL House Café
FRI 3/21 CLEVELAND, OH Grog Shop
SUN 3/23 BALTIMORE, MD Ottobar
TUE 3/25 BROOKLYN, NY Studio B
WED 3/26 NEW YORK, NY Mercury Lounge
THU 3/27 MONTREAL, PQ Musee Juste Pour Rire
FRI 3/28 TORONTO, ON Circa



Myspace // "Telechrome" [mp3]

Los Angeles indie rockers Wintergreen released a new single on their Myspace page today entitled "Telechrome." Much like the majority of the songs on their full length debut Around & Around Again, the song is a toe tapper with furious guitar work, energetic drumming, and the most wonderfully catchy call and response chorus. I'm not sure if the band is currently working on a new album or not, but if their new material sounds half as good as "Telechrome" then this may be their year.

Steve Aoki Album Stream

Myspace // Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles [Album Stream]

Steve Aoki's debut album Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles drops soon (help with the date, anyone?) and since he is such a big star, he's taken over the biggest music site on the internet, Imeem. His entire album is streaming there now -- the only catch is that you have to login.

Those of you that are designers have a chance to win some swag if you make a logo that screams "Steve." Read about it

Monday, January 07, 2008

FortyFives: New Songs

Myspace // "Control" [mp3] // Video Blog

Back in
August, we wrote about FortyFives, a young band (teenagers!) from the Home Counties. They've been busy over the past few months, getting their egos stroked in the BBC, NME and Drowned in Sound, and recording a couple new songs. It's obvious that these kids are excellent learners as their studies in early Bloc Party and Maximo Park have taught them a lot -- how to lay down post punk club burners. Their pop nuggets might be familiar on the surface, but with an extra dose of excitement and spark.

The Shins Go To Jail

Myspace // "Phantom Limb" [Video]

According to, Shins keyboardist Marty Crandall (pictured above fleeing authorities) was allegedly arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, Elyse Sewell, who is better known as one of the contestants from the first season of America's Next Top Model. Of course we all rooted for her because she owns the same albums as us.

According to the police report on the jail's website, Crandall will appear in court tomorrow at 1:30 pm.

Perhaps Crandall will discover the real meaning of "Chutes Too Narrow" now. Thanks, Rusty.

EDIT 01.08.08: The case is dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Black Lips "Veni Vidi Vici"

Myspace // "Cold Hands" [mp3]

This is their latest video off of Good Bad Not Evil, directed by Edward Tegethoff.

Juno Soundtrack

Official Website // E-card // Michael Cera & Ellen Page "Anyone Else But You" [Stream]

An indie kid's wet dream, the soundtrack for Juno will be released tomorrow on
Rhino Records. The movie was released last month on a limited run, but it has since expanded to many more theaters.

The positively awful/annoying Kimya Dawson is all over this thing, but those musical atrocities are counter-balanced by some gems from The Kinks, Belle & Sebastian, Sonic Youth and Cat Power. Full tracklisting is below.

1. "All I Want Is You" Barry Louis Polisar

2. "Rollercoaster" Juno Film Version - Kimya Dawson
3. "A Well Respected Man" The Kinks

4. "Dearest" Buddy Holly

5. "Up The Spout" Mateo Messina

6. "Tire Swing" Kimya Dawson
7. "Piazza, New York Catcher" Belle & Sebastian

8. "Loose Lips" Kimya Dawson

9. "Superstar" Sonic Youth

10. "Sleep" Instrumental - Kimya Dawson

11. "Expectations" Belle & Sebastian

12. "All The Young Dudes" Mott The Hoople

13. "So Nice So Smart" Kimya Dawson

14. "Sea of Love" Cat Power

15. "Tree Hugger" Kimya Dawson and Antsy Pants

16. "I'm Sticking With You" Velvet Underground

17. "Anyone Else but You" The Moldy Peaches

18. "Vampire" Antsy Pants

19. "Anyone Else But You" Ellen Page and Michael Cera

Friday, January 04, 2008

The Boredoms Tour US


"The Boredoms…have a deserved reputation as a dogged and inspired cult band." - THE NEW YORKER

Japan's answer to Sonic Youth and every other weird band, The Boredoms, will be a playing a select round of dates in the States this spring.

3/18/08 SAN FRANCISCO, CA FILLMORE (in the round)
3/25/08 MINNEAPOLIS, MN FIRST AVENUE (in the round)
3/30/08 NEW YORK, NY TERMINAL 5 (in the round)

2007: Dany's Top 30

30. Kano // London Town (679)
Not as immediately enjoyable as his debut, but like his amigo Dizzee, he shows that grime has room for growth.

29. The Pigeon Detectives // Wait For Me (Dance To The Radio)
28. Kylie Minogue // X (Parlophone)
27. Babyshamblers // Shotter's Nation (Regal/Parlophone)
26. Arctic Monkeys // Favourite Worst Nightmare (Domino)
25. The Rakes // Ten New Messages (V2)
24. Modest Mouse // We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Epic)
One million years after their debut, Isaac Brock and company (and now Johnny Marr!) are still obsessed with life and death, penning unforgettable tunes that don't expire after a few listens.

23. Kate Nash // Made of Bricks (Fiction/Interscope)
22. The Cinematics // A Strange Education (TVT)
21. Girls Aloud // Tangled Up (Universal)
"OMG A GIRLS ALOUD ALBUM ON YOUR END LIST?/?!1??? THAT'S NOT INDIE!!1" I figure that will be the reaction from a lot of people, but if you're into anything remotely dancey (Kylie, Saint Etienne, etc), give this an album a chance. Their fourth album is by far their best, full of tunes that are anything but disposable.

20. Idlewild // Make Another World (Sanctuary)
19. Dizzee Rascal // Maths & English (XL)
18. Sophie-Ellis Bextor // Trip The Light Fantastic (Universal)
17. Bjork // Volta (One Little Indian/Atlantic)
16. Justice // Cross (Ed Banger/Vice)
15. Yeasayer // All Hour Cymbals (We Are Free)
14. The Maccabees // Colour It In (Fiction/Interscope)
13. O Fracas // Fits & Starts (I Can Count)
12. Klaxons // Myths of the Near Future (Interscope)
11. We Are Wolves // Total Magique (Dare to Care)
10. Young/Lost Ones // Left Coast or Pacifica and His Misadventures at the Flower Fields (Self-released)
Besides the UK, it seems that the best new bands are coming out of California, as the haul from the past few years is pretty impressive -- Silversun Pickups, Cold War Kids, Birdmonster, Division Day, Grand Ole Party...and #6 on this list. At times reminiscent of Limbeck, Tom Petty and Old 97s, these incredibly prolific guys just can't miss. Even their demos are better than most band's album tracks.

9. Dartz! // This Is My Ship (Xtra Mile)
8. Les Savy Fav // Let's Be Friends (French Kiss)
In case anyone forgot about these guys with the long layoff, Les Savy Fav is the best band in NYC right now.

7. Jamie T. // Panic Prevention (Caroline)
6. Rademacher // Stunts (Self-released)
5. Kubichek! // Not Enough Night (30:30)
4. The Wombats // A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation (14th Floor)
This was easily my most listened to band in '07 -- a day doesn't go by where I don't listen to "Lost in the Post" three times. The easiest touchstone is Supergrass, but the impressive thing is that they've already developed well beyond their influences with a lethal combination of hooks and unmatched wit.

3. Manic Street Preachers // Send Away The Tigers (Columbia)
As a teenager, I latched onto the Manics as a latter day Clash -- a band that could combine politics with undeniably catchy tunes. After The Holy Bible, the band was on top of the world, but then Richey James Edwards disappeared. It was an occurrence tantamount to Kurt Cobain's death, and it's something that would have destroyed a lesser band. In '97, they returned with Everything Must Go, an album that was not only critically praised, but one that made them one of the biggest bands in the world. Since then it's been a steady decline, but as one of my favorite bands, I stuck with them and I was rewarded by this year's Send Away The Tigers. It's a stunning return to form that shows that the band doesn't have to repeat their gems of the past to be a fighting and fit unit. This is a record borne of desire and reflection, reminding us that the best way to change the world isn't by living outside the system, but by working from inside it.

2. M.I.A. //Kala (XL/Interscope)
In 2007, even music had traces of globalization. Maya was basically finished with her sophomore album when the US denied her visa (it has since been resolved), so instead of fretting, she racked up the frequent flyer miles and made a world music album that doesn't suck shit, recording the album over three continents. She has two types of fans -- those that want to dance and those that want something more out of their music, and like the way of life she espouses in her work, those fans seem to get along just fine.

1. Bloc Party // A Weekend in the City (Wichita/Vice)
Two links for you. One sums up how I feel about this record and the other will make you chuckle.
Review @ SIS
Chuckle: Best Albums of 2005 (check #1 & #2)