6.26.06 | Bloc Party – Saturn Commercial
So Here We Are
I think this is the first time I’ve heard a Saturn commercial playing an indie rock band that I knew. The band in question is of course Bloc Party and the song of theirs that was used is “So Here We Are” off of Silent Alarm. The commercial that used it is for the new 2007 line of Saturn cars including the Sky Roadster, VUE Hybrid SUV and one of the sedans that I don’t remember.
I must have heard the song in this commercial about 50 million times already. I wasn’t as into the Bloc Party (often misspelled Block Party) album when we received a copy of it awhile back but it’s sort of grown on me. Standard post-Interpol drony Brit-rock, but the song that they used was perfect auto-commercial music. It’s a bit more dreamy and shoe-gazey than their other tracks.
6.16.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Jun 17
1. Louisiana – The Walkmen (Interpol-istic Clinic-al Bob Dylan)
2. Seasick on Shore Leave – The Payola Reserve (Dylan Spoon-ing with Costello)
3. Did I Step On Your Trumpet – Danielson (Devendra Banheart plus Dios Malos?)
4. Djien – The Robot Ate Me (Blonde Redhead playing Nintendo)
5. Scotland the Brave – Amps for Christ (Matmos playing bagpipes)
6.23.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Jun 23
6.30.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Jun 30
Here you go…
1. Hospital Verses – Adah (Delgados, Devics, David Gedge)
2. Our Friend In Baghdad – The Hypermodernity Club (Earlimart, East River Pipe, E from The Eels)
3. Dirty Woman – Bill Patton (Byrds, Bob Dylan)
4. Well Thought Out Twinkles – Silversun Pickups (Over and Over and Over)
5. Something Of An End – My Brightest Diamond (Joni, Tori, Shannon Wright)
6.9.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Jun 9
This Blurbin’ Friday features Rainy Day Indie Dreamytime music for all the June-gloomers out there. Have a great weekend…
1. Katy Song – Red House Painters (This entire list could be all RHP songs)
2. We’re Going To Nowhere – East River Pipe (Shiny shiny pimpmobile)
3. Temporary Loan – Edith Frost (Slow-glow country folk)
4. Bass Crawl – Idaho (Would have chosen Staring at the Sun but it wasn’t listed)
5. You Own Me – American Analog Set (This was supposed to be a Low song, but couldn’t get them in Itunes linkmaker)
6.2.06 | Blurbin’ Fridays – Jun 9
I got a little bored of just doing the usual links every week, so we’re trying something new for this one: all links from the SAME band. Band in question is Sonic Youth, who are releasing a new album very soon (review to come next week). Sub-topic of this Blurbin’ Friday is “Sonic For Dummies”.
I’ve wanted to make something this for awhile … not exactly a introductory best-of “primer” for those unfamiliar with Sonic Youth, but a list of their songs that people who don’t normally like this type of music (read: noisy art-punk) have a chance in hell of actually liking. In other words, slightly more toned down stuff. Not even their best stuff, but you know about “catching more flies with honey”…
Now, I’m not saying that if this is you, then you’re a “dummy”… it’s just that the title sounds more catchy: Sonic for Dummies. Yeah, I’m no authority on Sonic Youth either, so be kind:
5. Theresa’s Sound World – Dirty (At least the drony parts)
8. Candle – Daydream Nation (Just HAD to pick one song from this album)
6.19.06 | Burning Idols – The Feeding Bird
The Feeding Bird
This was a pretty interesting little EP called The Feeding Bird by the band Burning Idols that found its way into my inbox the other day. There is something strange and off-kiltre about the mixing of Patricia’s tinny and reverbed Slumber Party meets Madder Rose vocals in the opener “Siempre” with the more edgy, angular and punky musical accompaniment. And in the end I thought it worked quite well.
“Butterflies” has a more standard punky structure. But there’s those vocals again. This time, the guys contribute backup vocals. It’s really interesting… I don’t want to say that the singing lends an element of “twee” to the mix, but the interplay reminds me of Tullycraft, Butterglory, etc.
“Slow Dig” seems to capture the lazy-hazy cadence of Slanted era Pavement, with those shambling “do-do-do”s at the end really reminding me of them. There’s an old band called Star Ghost Dog that comes to mind sometimes, though Burning Idols are much looser than straight-up indiepop. In fact, the closer “Pretty Though” has enough sonic mayhem and machine-gun distortion to sound Sonic Youth-ish. A lovely and dynamic mix of indie rock tunes on this EP.
Patricia Gomes – guitar /vocals
Pablo Andres Lopes – bass
Eric R. Gumulak – drums / vocals
6.15.06 | Francine – Airshow
We got into Francine through Soma FM (one of the best radio routes to great new indie music). Clayton sent me a copy of their new album Airshow which just came out this past Tuesday. It’s a wonderful disc of mellow to midspeed indie pop. The songs may not startle, but that’s a good thing here.
I still don’t hear the Malkmus mid-range comparisons really. In fact, listening to this at Palebear HQ we came up with a few different comparisons. Francine’s music sounds to me a bit like a cross between Michael Penn and Jon Brion. That’s kind of interesting actually because I know that Clayton actually co-wrote a song with Aimee Mann called “Invisible Ink”… and she’s married to Michael Penn. And Jon Brion produced some of Aimee Mann’s work. So I guess it’s not so far a stretch?
Anyhow, there are tons of great imaginative songs here on the album that went immediately into my IPod. The arrangements and melodies are quite interesting, but never complex enough to make you frustrated. Cool stuff.
Selected Albums on Itunes:
Ghost of the Russian Empire
With Fiercest Demolition
This is a stunning debut EP that immediately made me sit up and take notice. Your gut reaction may be to peg Ghost of the Russian Empire as a federation of Muscovites who love playing Radiohead-influenced music. Instead, the quartet hails from the “frigid tundra of central Texas” and I’d say that their music reminds me more of several 80s shoegazer bands like MBV, Ride, and Lush with vocals that sound like Aaron Espinoza of Earlimart. Doves and The Delgados might be other touchpoint comparisons.
Certain songs like “Nov 2070″ have the sort of thumping darkness and distant chill that Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Dandy Warhols love to traffic in. There is a deep enveloping haze that permeates their music, with a driving beat behind all of it. A futuristic indie-rock soundtrack to Philip K. Dick or William Gibson. This is much better than many of the Interpol-ish bands coming out of England and Europe.
Ok, I have to admit that “Psychomedicated” DOES remind me an awful lot of Thom Yorke. But I’ll take this kind of homage any day of the week over bands that just copy Radiohead outright. “With Fiercest Demolition” is a delicious EP filled with great, swirling songs that you shouldn’t miss listening to.
Mike Plata – drums, percussion
Ruben Anchondo – guitar/bass
Jason Pike – guitar/bass
Brandon Whitten – guitar/vocal
6.7.06 | Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped
The confession with Sonic Youth is that the first album I ever got was “Dirty”. I worked backwards from that album through Goo, Daydream Nation, Sister and Evol. But actually, I think Sonic Youth is one of the few seminal bands where you might be better off starting from the most recent albums and going backwards, especially if you’re not used to their artsy noisepunk approach.
So anyway, I’ve been listening to a promo advance of their latest album “Rather Ripped” on and off for a couple months now. And I think this might be as good as any entry point for someone looking to see what they’re all about.
I actually don’t have any of their most recent stuff (Sonic Nurse, Murray Street) so I can’t say what the latest Sonic trend has been. However, if it’s been anything like Rather Ripped, then it just shows how nicely their punk has aged along with them like fine wine (well as much you can expect for slightly aging punkrockers).
It’s become even more balanced while keeping their elliptical tunings / chord changes and rapid fire strumming /drumming intact. The vocal duties are pretty equally split between Kim and Thurston, with the occasional Lee song popping up.
I like to compare the distribution of songs on their albums to road trips. You’ve got your slight speed bumps (#4 Sleepin’ Around, #6 Jams Run Free, #8 Turquoise Boy) but at least they’re not immense potholes in this case. You’ve got your crowd pleasing, long stretches of highway with scenery (#2 “Incinerate”, #5 “What A Waste”). And there’s the requisite sleepy time songs, where you’re driving at night with everyone else asleep (#3 “Do You Believe In Rapture” and #9 “Lights Out”). Finally, there’s at least one impulsive but epic side trip which is track #11 “Pink Steam”, though it’s a bit short for a Sonic Youth epic at under 7 minutes.
Do I mean to say that they’ve become formulaic? Not at all. But balance is here to stay with Sonic Youth (with allowances for occasional noisy and experimental albums like SYR 1-4).
By the way, they are streaming the entire album here, though I don’t know how long that’ll remain up on the site.
6.5.06 | The Kickbacks – Motel Stars
Though The Kickbacks have been kicking around for near 10 years, this is the first time I’ve heard their stuff. Dominating their sound is an Americana Rock feel that a lot of people are going to say reminds them of none other than The Replacements. But wait, they’re from Boston.
Songs like “$$$” and “Lazy Eye” from their fourth release, Motel Stars, are have a really melodic feel to them that surprisingly catchy. Other songs, like “Fixed to Be Broken” are a bit more mellow. This one has pretty little chimes and a beatbox drum bumbling along. “Tip My Girl” is similar, with a pedal steel leading the way. I rather like this quieter side of the band. Reminds me of certain Wilco songs, even Sparklehorse at times. Overbaugh’s voice is interesting; it is slightly nasal with a compressed tension to it that makes it sound like the words aren’t coming out of his gut but somewhere higher up in his chest. This actually goes rather well with the music. If you had a straightforward singer here, I might be inclined to take a pass. Instead, I surprised myself by leaving it in the CD player for more than a day…
Tad Overbaugh – Vocals, Guitar
Steve Scott – Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Matt Arnold – Bass
Perry James – Drums
In case you happen to be a fan of Touch and Go Records, you might like to know that their 25th anniversary is coming up. To celebrate they’re holding a big band shindig featuring Touch and Go artists like Calexico, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Quasi, Girls against Boys and Seam over the course of three days at the 10th Annual Hideout Block Party in Chicago.
I have some good memories from Touch and Go artists, so this would be something I wouldn’t mind seeing. This is pretty far in the future in September, so you’ve got the whole summer to plan that trip. A side note is that if you buy tickets your karma will possibly increase since the profits are being donated to several charities / organizations ( Tuesday’s Child, Literacy Works, and the Thomas Drummond Elementary School).
Here’s the details for the Touch and Go part of the celebration:
25th Anniversary Touch and Go Celebration
at the 10th Annual Hideout Block Party
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
Dates and Set Times:
Friday September 8th 5pm-10pm (gates open at 4pm)
Saturday September 9th Noon-10pm (gates open at 11am)
Sunday September 10th Noon-10pm (gates open at 11am)
The full list of bands currently includes: !!!, The Black Heart Procession, Calexico, CocoRosie, Didjits (all original members),Enon, The Ex, Girls Against Boys (all original members), Killdozer (all original members), Ted Leo + Pharmacists, Man… Or Astroman? (all original members), Negative Approach (featuring John Brannon and OP Moore), The New Year, Pegboy, Pinback, Quasi, Scratch Acid (all original members), Seam, Shellac, The Shipping News, Supersystem, Three Mile Pilot, Uzeda.
The tickets are on sale at Ticketweb.com and 3-day passes are $35. (The first 10 3-day passes sold will be $10 each and the first 250 3-day passes sold will be $25 each).