Sorry about no post yesterday -- I had a busy weekend coupled with an incredibly busy at work, so it didn't even occur to me that I had forgotten to get something together. Kotki Dwa is a Leeds/Bristol/Milton Keynes trio I have been meaning to write about for quite some time. The name of the band comes from a Polish lullaby, and while the band's music is quite appealing and radio friendly, they are much edgier than a child's lullaby. The band has been hyped by Radio 1 already and their self-released debut album Onlyyouarenotsleeping is out now. Visit the band's homepage for more purchase info.
Brighton is slowly gaining on Leeds as the best place for new music in England. The band takes the early '90s DIY punk thing and updates it for the future. They might be all too familiar to some, but it's the unique personality of the band that makes them stand out. If you've ever wondered what Bis would sound like if they were all riot-grrl and hailed from Seattle, this may very well be it. The band's debut album was just released last week, and you can pick it up here.
Exitfare Favorites: The Libertines "Up the Bracket"
Editor's Note: Back in January, I had intended this to be a regular series, but after I did a post on The Verve's Urban Hymns, I let this column go. I've tried a number of new things on the site over the years, but one reason I really want this one to stick is so I do not lose focus on the great albums from the past. The focus of Exitfare has always been on the new and cutting-edge music, and increasingly so on unsigned groups, but there will always be a place here for the classics.
All four of the individual talents in the Libertines have always been overshadowed by drama of Pete Doherty's life. Doherty is a great songwriter, one of the best of this generation, but as a human he is a mess. If he died tonight in his sleep, I would not be surprised. It would be a shocking and sad end to a great talent, but like many musicians who have had the world at their feet, they allow it to slip away.
I feel bad for Carl Barat, an equally as talented songwriter in his own right, whose contributions were often overshadowed by the cult of Doherty. The important thing to remember is that this album or the band was never just Doherty's deal -- it was as much (and moreso towards the end) Barat.
I first latched onto the Libertines in very late '01, between semesters while I was in college. Before blogs were really the norm, I paged through the NME every week only to spend hours in record stores looking for the bands I wanted to hear, usually in vain. I finally tracked down a pricey import single from these guys at Tower.
"Time For Heroes"
Up the Bracket is the first great album to come out of the new millennium, a record that was borne out of the so-called garage rock revival, yet one that transcended the scene with songs that stood on their own. There may have been plenty of tabloid-worthy stories to overshadow the music, but at least in England, people knew the music first and then the scandals. Unfortunately it's the other way around here in the States.
The music resonates because the music is instantly recognizable, a sort of slightly-polished shambolic garage rock, like the Kinks for the 21st century. Beginning with "Vertigo," the Libs take us through an album that may look at British life satirically, but it's their life and they love it nonetheless.
"Up the Bracket"
The trio of songs starting with "Horrorshow" show a band that is confident beyond their years, easily penning songs which frankly tell their story, one that wasn't tailored for consumption. This is no more apparent then on "Time For Heroes," a genius mix of love and angst that recalls the patriotism of Billy Bragg.
Great music is never just about the music -- it's about the people, society, and where you come from, and it's this mix that makes Up the Bracket truly great.
London's Such Identicals are a young band, more than likely forming some this year. They just recorded their demos in July and they have three songs posted on their Myspace, tunes that fall somewhere between the Libertines and the Violent Femmes. Besides that I really have nothing to say about them.
They need more Myspace friends (they only have 23!) and could use a nice bio as well.
Man Like Me are a weird electro/hip hop trio from Camden that sound like a cross between Justice and Jamie T. Though it's not usually my style of music, I can't get their new single "Carny" out of their head. I can't tell if it's one of the better party songs of the year or awful crap, but either way, it's a super infectious and fun track and that's good enough for me.
Early in '07 we covered Rotary Ten, a Sheffield outfit with a few singles, a hope, and some dreams. This past June, Xtra Mile Recordings dropped the band's debut album These Are Our Hands, but like the bad blogger that I am, I neglected to mention it. Here we are in the end of September and I am just getting around to it. The band's latest single is brilliant and well worth the price of admission (the album).
Although not cut from the same cloth of music that I am normally into, Boys and Girls, Be Happy Now is an oddly alluring trio that draws on '60s garage and modern new wave to create tunes are straightforward, yet cinematic in scope. The band has two demos on their Myspace, both of which evoke the eerieness of autumn in the English countryside. "Apples" might be the perfect tune to listen while the leaves fall and the days grow cooler. Unfortunately, LA isn't the best place to test that theory.
October 6th will see the UK release of In Our Space Hero Suits, the debut LP from Swedish quintet Those Dancing Days, on Wichita. The band has been rather buzzed about over the past year and if the first couple of singles ("Run Run" and the above "Home Sweet Home") are of any indication, the band does indeed means business with tunes that are as sticky sweet as they are soulful.
Catch the band around England this autumn.
September 24 - Pure Groove, London (In Store) 25 - Barfly, London October 21 - King's College, London 22 - Deaf Institute, Manchester 23 - Barfly, Cardiff November 23 - Thekla, Bristol 25 - The Cockpit, Leeds 27 - Fuzz Club, Sheffield 28 - Library, Lancaster 29 - The Other Rooms, Newcastle 30 - Stereo, Glasgow
The hit British show Little Britain is coming to the US via the six part, 30 minute comedy series Little Britain USA. Filmed in the US earlier this year both on location, in North Carolina, and in an LA studio, the HBO series will feature familiar Matt Lucas/ David Walliams personas from their original UK show, as well as a slew of new characters. Guest stars slated to appear include Rosie O'Donnell, Vivica A. Fox, Harry Lennix, and Sting.
Little Britain USA premieres Sundays at 10:30 pm beginning 09/28 (after Entourage), encoring Tuesdays (late night), Wednesdays (prime), and Fridays (late night).
Also, I will be giving away one Little Britain-themed flash drive, of which are mocked up to look like Vicky or Carol. First person to e-mail me wins.
Oxford's math-heads This Town Needs Guns are about to embark on a tour of the UK in support of their debut album, Animals, which is out on October 13th through Big Scary Monsters. This tour seems to be hitting every corner of the UK and as well, the band will be sharing the stage with some top quality bands -- Rotary Ten, Pulled Apart By Horses, and Tubelord, just to mention a few. The CD will be available to pre-order from the label site this weekend, and on sale at all shows from September 18th onwards.
The band's debut album should do well to further the band's mastery of the math-pop song, as evidenced by several winning early singles. One thing that sets them apart from contemporaries Foals is that they evoke the more polished Chicago sound, at times coming off like Ghosts and Vodka with lyrics.
16.09 - London, White Heat @ Madame Jojo's 17.09 - Birmingham, Flux @ The Yardbird 18.09 - Leeds, The Library 19.09 - York, The Basement 20.09 - Edinburgh, Henry's Cellar Bar 21.09 - Glasgow, The 13th Note 22.09 - Middlesbrough, Dr Browns 23.09 - Newport, Lincoln, The Turks Head 24.09 - Manchester, Sacred Trinity Church 25.09 - Leicester, The Firebug 26.09 - Sheffield, The Shakespeare 27.09 - This Ain't No Picnic Festival @ King's College, LONDON w/ Future of the Left + Instruments + Bearsuit + Tropics + more 29.09 - The Railway Rifle Club Inn, PORTSMOUTH w/ Tall Ships + Luke Leighfield 30.09 - Downtown Diner, ASHFORD w/ Sparrows + Elephants 01.10 - The Queen Charlotte, NORWICH w/ Calories + Hair Traffic Control + Battlements 02.10 - The Swan, IPSWICH w/ Tupolev Ghost + Battlements 05.10 - Hockley Hustle @ The Bodega Social, NOTTINGHAM w/ Tubelord + Pulled Apart by Horses + The Maple State + more 10.10 - The Fighting Cocks, KINGSTON w/ Rotary 10 + more 11.10 - Oxford, Carling Academy 14.10 - Bardens Boudoir, LONDON w/ Maps and Atlases + Tropics 15.10 - Lennons, SOUTHAMPTON w/ Venice Ahoy + I See Sparks 16.10 - Kruger @ Clwb Ifor Bach, CARDIFF w/ tbc 29.10 - Start The Bus, Broadmead, BRISTOL w/ The Light Sleepers + Instruments 30.10 - The Good Ship, Kilburn, LONDON w/ Maybeshewill + Brontide + Peerless Pirates
If you're really wondering what music sounds like while you're on drugs, but you're not down with the whole addiction/destroying your body thing, then check out Brooklyn's School of Seven Bells. They're a band that knows their way around a tune, as Ben Curtis did time with the Secret Machines and twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Deheza played in On! Air! Library! While it's tough to not judge an act by where they came from (Secret Machines suck), just trust me on this -- the band is good.
When I first heard "Connjur," I was reaching for a sleeping bag, but a week later when it came up again on my iTunes, I was demanding to hear the rest of the record. They're a band that's not short on weirdness, as evidenced by some of their upcoming support slots, including dates with M83 and Black Moth Super Rainbow. Debut album Alpinisms will be out on Ghostly International later this year.
09/27 Boston, MA - Urban Outfitters Newbury St. 10/17 Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room 10/18 Kalamazoo, MI - State Theater^ 10/22 Brooklyn, NY - Cake Shop (CMJ) 10/24 New York, NY - Levi's Fader Fort NYC (CMJ) 10/25 New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge (CMJ) 10/28 London, UK - Old Blue Last 10/29 London, UK - The Social 11/11 Atlanta, GA - The Earl + 11/12 Charlotte, NC- Tremont Music Hall + 11/13 Washington, DC - Black Cat + 11/14 New York, NY - Webster Hall + 11/15 Philadelphia, PA - Starlight Ballroom+ 11/16 Northhampton, MA - Pearl Street + 11/18 Boston, MA - Middle East Downstairs + 11/19 Montreal, QC - Studio + 11/20 Toronto, ON - Opera House + 11/21 Chicago, IL - Bottom Lounge + 11/22 Minneapolis, MN- Triple Rock + 11/25 Seattle, WA - Neumo's + 11/26 Vancouver, BC - Richard's on Richards + 11/27 Portland, OR - Doug Fir + 11/28 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore + 11/29 Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theater +
+ w/ M83 ^ w/ Black Moth Super Rainbow, Mates of State
On Wednesday, one of my office mates and I were discussing the brilliant debut album from the Stone Roses and before I could even start pontificating on how great every note on that record is, he insisted that I check out a band.
British four piece Four Dead in Ohio wins points by not only liberally recalling the Stone Roses, but with the Neil Young reference as well. The band's first single, out now on Fierce Panda, debuted at #9 on BBC Radio 1's Indie Charts this week. Not only does the band have the sound and excellent label backing them, but they've recently supported some top talent, including the Raveonettes, the Duke Spirit, the Black Angels, and Ladytron.
Although the sound of Young England may be splintering off in many different directions, there are still plenty of great bands out there that aren't just making noise for the sake of making noise. Just because you're pushing the envelope doesn't mean you're worth listening to.
CityLights hail from Warrington/Nottingham and are friends with Exitfare favorites The More Assured, and it shows. Great tunes from the shambolic, messy school of indie rock with plenty of wit to burn. The band have just recorded their debut single ("Mashed on Fashion"), which was engineered by Tom Aitkinhead (Lethal Bizzle, Pigeon Detectives, Babyshambles) at Cable Street Studios in London. Apparently they ran out of studio time, so they had to finish the vocals in Alex More Assured's bedroom around midnight. It was quite a stealth process since the landlord was upstairs asleep. They will recording the b-sides today, oddly enough.
If Dash Delete "play upbeat death metal without the distortion," then I have hamburgers for ears. Hailing from Aylesbury, their take on death metal is a bit more sun than gloom, falling in the tuneful indie pop arena. Since I can't be in five places at once, I missed these guys at The Great Escape, but it's okay. The band doesn't seem like they'll be a flash in the pan, as illustrated by the smart demos on their Myspace. Guess I'll see you next year, guys?
Back in May I saw these guys play in Hull, and the fact that I returned alive is quite an impressive feat. It was a night full of billiards and Czech beer, but most importantly, it was the night which I heard the tunes that would make up their debut long-player, Do or Die. Don't let the fact that they all wear matching suits scare you off because it is definitely not a gimmick. Much like when your local football team all wear the same uniform, this Leeds quartet is simply getting into the game as a combined unit.
Borne of a want to write straight-up barbed wire pop, Eureka Machines is made up of players from acts like the Scaramanga Six, Sisters of Mercy, The God Damn Whores and even Marky Ramone's band. That experience has allowed them to create smart tunes that split the difference between the Beach Boys and Queens of the Stone Age, and already people are catching on, as evidenced by their heavily attended sets on the BBC Introducing Stage at the Reading and Leeds Festivals.
The band's debut is out now on Wrath Records in the UK. Look for them on the road this fall.
SEPTEMBER Friday 12th - The Wheatsheaf, OXFORD Saturday 13th – The Brief, CROYDON Sunday 14th - The Charlotte, LEICESTER Friday 19th – Vintage Rock Bar, DONCASTER Saturday 20th – Shepherd’s Bush Empire, LONDON (with The Wildhearts) – SOLD OUTThursday 25th - Dry Bar, MANCHESTER Friday 26th - Riverside, SELBY Saturday 27th - Brudenell Social Club, LEEDS Sunday 28th - Viper Rooms, HARROGATE Tuesday 30th – Music Box, MANCHESTER (with Laika Dog) OCTOBER Thursday 2nd – The Park, PETERBOROUGH (with Laika Dog) Friday 3rd – The Asylum, BIRMINGHAM (with Laika Dog) Tuesday 7th – Corporation, SHEFFIELD (with Laika Dog) Thursday 9th – Rock Café, STOURBRIDGE (with Laika Dog)
After missing a chance to see White Lies at The Great Escape and arriving two days late to their first show in Los Angeles, I have to say that I am amped to FINALLY get a chance to see them play in October. If it's not obvious already, White Lies = my favorite electro-goth break out band of 2008. Check out the ridiculous Crystal Castles remix of "Death" above and make sure to buy show tickets way early (since their buzz is growing by the day!).
Sep 21 2008 - Club Ifor Bach (Cardiff, Wales) Sep 22 2008 - Night & Day (Manchester) *SOLD OUT Sep 23 2008 - Trade East (London, London and South East) Sep 24 2008 - Little Civic (Wolverhampton) *SOLD OUT Sep 25 2008 - Bodega (Nottingham) Sep 26 2008 - Leadmill (Sheffield) Sep 28 2008 - Thekla (Bristol) Sep 29 2008 - Komedia (Brighton) Oct 01 2008 - Centre (Norwich, East) Oct 02 2008 - The Cluny (Newcastle Upon Tyne) Oct 03 2008 - King Tuts Wah Wah Hut (Glasgow) Oct 04 2008 - Faversham (Leeds) Oct 06 2008 - Carling Academy (Oxford) Oct 07 2008 - ICA (London) *SOLD OUT Oct 21 2008 - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern (Toronto) Oct 24 2008 - Bowery Ballroom (New York) Oct 25 2008 - North Star (Philadelphia) Oct 26 2008 - Great Scott (Allston) Oct 28 2008 - Empty Bottle (Chicago) Oct 30 2008 - The Roxy Theatre (Los Angeles) Nov 01 2008 - Rickshaw Stop (San Francisco) Nov 26 2008 - Koko (London)
Much buzzed-about (for very good reason) Leeds spastica core band Pulled Apart By Horses will be releasing their debut single ob October 27th through Big Scary Monsters. "Meat Balloon" will be available via vinyl and digital download. The package comes with a free comic and CD. The release is backed with the b-side 'The Lighthouse' and bonus track "Super Hang-On." Look for the band on tour in Spain and the UK in October.
Make sure you see them on October 18th -- this festival will likely be Forward, Russia's last show.
3rd October - RADGEFEST 08' - DANANANANAYKROYD- Newcastle, End Bar 4th October – with Art of burning water & Omerta – Packhorse, Leeds 5th October - This Town Needs Guns & Tubelord - Nottingham, Bodega Social Club 7th October - En Vitoria. El Parral. VITORIA-GASTEIZ, Álava, Spain 8th October - C.S.A. Arrebato ¡ZARAGOZA, LECHE!, Zaragoza, Spain 9th October - Villa de Madrid, Madrid, Spain 10th October - Don Benito, Badajoz, Spain 11th October - Lisbon / Porto / Bragança, Portugal 16th October - supporting - Rolo Tomassi - Amersham Arms, London 18th October - Brainwash Festival w/ Forward Russia -Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 24th October - House party with Rolo Tomassi - Sheffield 25th October - with support - Preston, Mad Ferret 26th October - with support - Glasgow, Captain's Rest 27th October - supporting - Oxes & Bilge Pump - Liverpool, The Kazimier 28th October - Artrocker Club - Single Launch - Buffalo Bar, London 29th October - with support The Regal, Oxford 30th October - with support TBA, Nottingham
Brighton outfit I Say Marvin recently had a bout with a name change, as they used to be called Marvin and the Gayes. According to an interview in Artrocker, band member Sam Power says about the change, "We got word from lawyers that Marvin Gaye's estate would kick off and sue us and one of the first things you learn when you start in the music industry is that you really shouldn't fuck with soul singers, especially when they are dead! At first we thought that it would be kind of funny to take them, but the money loss wouldn't have been, although if we won and Marvin Gaye had to change his name posthumously that would have been incredible!"
Easily described as excellent dancefloor pop, the band has a real knack for crafting for constructing memorable tunes with dramatic flair. With a few singles under their belt and gigs with The Automatic and Feeder, the band is making a name for themselves in the Southeast, including a recent recording session with friend and producer Hugh Jones (Echo & The Bunnymen, Dodgy, Hope of The States).
Brand new video from Birdmonster. Their sophomore album is out today on the Fader Label.
Sep-02 The Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA* Sep-03 Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA? Oct-04 Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA+ Oct-05 Black Cat Backstage - Washington, DC+ Oct-06 Cat's Cradle - Carrboro, NC+ Oct-07 The EARL - Atlanta, GA+ Oct-08 The Social - Orlando, FL+ Oct-09 Club Downunder - Tallahassee, FL Oct-10 House of Blues - Parish - New Orleans, LA+ Oct-11 The Parish Room - Austin, TX+ Oct-14 Casbah - San Diego, CA+ Oct-18 Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR+ Oct-19 Chop Suey - Seattle, WA+ Oct-20 Media Club - Vancouver, BC+ Oct-23 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN+ Oct-24 The Abbey Pub - Chicago, IL+ Oct-25 Der Rathskellar at University of Wisconsin - Madison, WI+ Oct-27 Southgate House - Newport, KY+ Oct-31 TT the Bear's - Cambridge, MA+ Nov-01 Bowery Ballroom - New York, NY+
w/ Sons and Daughters* w/ Nada Surf? w/ The Rumble Strips+
the mp3s provided are for preview purposes only. if you like what you hear, go to the show or follow the
link to buy the album or single. also, i will be glad to remove an mp3 if you are the owner of the file and are unhappy with
its appearance here. thanks!