Grizzly Bear is a 4 piece experimental folk band from Brooklyn, NY. Sound is somewhere between Espers and Animal Collective. sort of funny that they're on Warp Records, but good music is good music, right? Give these guys a listen, good old fashioned folk songwriting + experimental bits keep it very interesting. Listen to "On A Neck, On A Spit" and I doubt you'll be able to keep from tapping your toes once it gets going.
Below we've got 2 tracks from Yellow House, and a track from the remix album, Horn Of Plenty. I love how the remix was able to keep the core feeling of the Grizzly Bear song while changing it to a quasi trip-hop song!
Grizzly Bear official site
Grizzly Bear on MySpace
Grizzly Bear- On A Neck, On A Spit
Grizzly Bear - Lullabye
Grizzly Bear - La Duchess Anne (Safety Scissors Remix)
"The Crane Wife 3"
Just a quick thanks to predatory wasp here for covering both nights (10/17 & 10/18) of The Decemberists at Crystal Ballroom!
"The Gymnast, High Above the Ground"
"The Engine Driver"
"Culling Of The Fold"
"We Both Go Down Together"
"Sixteen Military Wives"
"The Legionnaire's Lament"
I couldn't hold myself back from expanding upon my post the other day involving the Klaxons. I've probably listened to "Gravity's Rainbow" about 7 times over the last 24 hours. Apparently they are part of this "New Rave" movement all the kids have been talking about it. What does it sound like? It sounds like "They Threw Us All In A Trench & Stuck A Monument On Top"-era Liars + elements of electronica and Hot Chip-style multiple singers. Pretty quirky lyrics, and literary references...pretty nice find by the blogging community.
Their full length, Myths Of The Near Future doesn't drop until early 2007. You can pick up the Xan Valleys EP now though.
Gravity's Rainbow music video
Klaxons - Gravity's Rainbow
Klaxons - Atlantis to Interzone
Klaxons official site
Klaxons on MySpace
I woke up this morning like the guy from memento - slightly confused and wondering where his wife was, not realizing she wasn't there because he had developed a memory problem and injected her with insulin 3 times in 5 minutes. That aside, time for a few tracks I have been enjoying recently...
Beirut - Elephant Gun
This song pretty much describes how I feel right now. Resigned, but optimistic. A slow build, it climaxes to a crescendo adding more instruments along the way before the brass section really takes off. It's not too much of a departure from Gulag Orkestar, but likewise, the arrangement seems to have tightened a little. The warbling trumpets are so expressive!
Klaxons - Atlantis To Interzone
Klaxons are like slightly more hyper Liars before they branched off into more noise. Sort of hear some Hot Chip in here. It definitely fulfills my requirements of noisy/messy vs. pop sensibilities. These guys are getting hyped up as all hell, and this song is a good reason why.
Frida Hyvönen - I Drive My Friend
A piano-driven song about a breakup. I haven't exactly worked out the story yet, but it seems like circumstances beyond her control are dictating the breakup and she's regretful about it. It's a lovely little ditty. Not sad or depressed, just upbeat-resigned, if that's a plausible explanation. Her US debut, "Until Death Comes" drops next Tuesday, October 24th.
PS. Don't go to google, search for "weightlifter" and hit "I'm Feeling Lucky".
Went to the Joggers/Oxford Collapse show on saturday at Hotel Utah. Intimate venue, a great (and surprising) place to see bands of this caliber. Yeah yeah, I didn't go to Bridge School, but I hate going to Shoreline.
Memoir started off things with a solo acoustic set. Thought it sounded somewhere between the decemberists and REM.
Boy In The Bubble was up next pushing their brand of glam rock.
Oxford Collapse got on stage the rocked the place out.
They were all over (and off) the stage. Didn't play "Proofreading" but they did play "Please Visit Your National Parks"...videos below.
The Joggers pretty much went crazy too. Started off the set with "Wicked Light Sleeper".
I like this photo, looks like he's taking off...
One more shot of screaming!
Oxford Collapse @ Hotel Utah 1
Oxford Collapse @ Hotel Utah 2
Oxford Collapse @ Hotel Utah 3 - "Please Visit Your National Parks"
The Joggers @ Hotel Utah
The Postmarks pretty much play picture perfect indie-twee-pop. Based in Miami, Florida, they self-describe their influences as "Francoise Hardy, The Smiths, John Barry, Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, Burt Bacharach". How can you not love that? "Goodbye" recalls french pop from the 70's with a strong nod to the orchestral arrangements of Brian Wilson. Their Goodbye EP just came out this past tuesday with remixes by James Iha and Tahiti 80. Unfortunately, the debut album doesn't come out till Jan 23, 2007!
Anyway, check out "Goodbye"...I think you'll agree it's the perfect song to contemplate both sides of a heartbreak.
The Postmarks - Goodbye
The Postmarks official site
The Postmarks on MySpace
The Dresden Dolls were accompanied by two live dancing dolls
throughout the show. Highly entertaining.
The Red Paintings followed by Jason Webley opened the night. Webley got the entire crowd energized with his accordian and caustic voice. According to him, the quickest way to get fucked up is to point your finger in the air, stare at it, and spin around 12 times.
Trash McSweeney of The Red Paintings accompanied The Dresden Dolls on stage for their rendition of "Mad World" during the encore. Earlier in the set they brought back Jason Webley to sing some Bon Jovi and break down the song analytically after each verse.
Amanda and Brian were tight as usual, and their sound filled Crystal Ballroom nicely.
The Jeep Song
Livin' On A Prayer
Mandy Goes To Med School
Astronaut (New Song)
Dresden Dolls - Girl Anachronism
Dresden Dolls - Half Jack
Dresden Dolls official site
Dresden Dolls on MySpace
On a side note, I'd like to welcome new Let's Sexy Fighting team member predatory wasp! He will be covering events in the Portland area and is the man behind this post.
Ok guys, thanks to the promo folks and Ace Fu Records, I have a copy of Annuals' debut cd, "Be He Me" to give away - skip to the bottom for more details on how to enter the contest. First, my thoughts on the album!
"Be He Me" is an ambitious, sprawling record. Difficult to imagine that Adam Baker is only 20 years old - there must be some pretty resentful older rockers out there. The range of emotions expressed on this album is incredible. If 30 is the new 20, then how old is he really? Sounds like he's already been through his midlife crisis and then some.
"Brother", the song that most strongly channels the Arcade Fire, starts off the cd with a cathartic bang. "Dry Clothes" follows the High Fidelity rule of escalating, but not surging too early. "Bleary Eyed" sits firmly in the Shins-meets-Broken-Social-Scene camp. Think that's it? Delving further into the album reveals a wide variety of other influences drifting in and out of consciousness, be it the chanting and quasi-tribal polyrhythms of Animal Collective to the rich vocal harmonies of the Beach Boys (Brian Wilson era, of course). A sad early Tom Waits saloon/lounge piano even wanders in on the second to last track, "Father".
In short, this will probably be on the Let's Sexy Fighting year end list and you should pick it up today on iTunes or your local indie-friendly record store. Also, Annuals needs to swing up for a SF date on their current tour...
Contest Details: Write me an indie-rock related haiku (5 7 5) in the comments and leave me some way to contact you. I'll select the one I like the best on Thursday, 8am, PST and contact the winner.
Annuals - Brother
Annuals - Dry Clothes
Annuals Official Site
Annuals on MySpace
Caught What Made Milwaukee Famous on Saturday at Cafe Du Nord in SF...they were opening for the Long Winters.
WMMF put on a tight show and had a polished sound.
Good turnout, and the audience seemed pretty into it.
It was Michael's birthday...the Long Winters decided to keep buying him shots of Jagermeister!
A clip of "Idecide"
A clip of "Sweet Lady"
Well, as you can see, I did make it to the show last night. Check out further down the page for more photos and a short video!
The Let's Sexy Fighting team got to Popscene early last night, around 7pm. Probably within the first 30 people in line. It ended up wrapping around the corner by 8pm...Popscene is a small space, and it reached capacity quickly after the door were opened. Ended up having a few drinks and sitting through the opening DJs until the main event.
Lily and the band came on a little after 10:30. The place was full of enthusiastic fans, to which she chirped, "Looks like a lot of you have been downloading the cd!"
She was spot on, she sounded great and so did the brass. Unfortunately, she had a sore throat and was forced to cut the set short. I know her sets this tour have been about 40 min (simply cause she only has one cd) but we all wanted more!
We tried to track her down for a photo after the show, but didn't play the waiting game long enough. All in all, excellent concert, lots of energy, but unfortuantely short set. Hopefully (or hopefully not) we can see her in a small venue like this again. Enjoy the video clip...Lily, come back!
UPDATE: Added a video of Lily's performance of LDN.
Just wanted to drum up some support/make getting into the concert impossible for the Lily Allen show tomorrow night at Popscene in SF. A blogger favorite for months, she combines the best bits of dub, reggae, ska, and a lot of sass in general. Even if you are the most jaded scenster this girl will make you move your feet. Give it a try. Her approach to lyrics are very direct, descriptive, and to the point. You might even want to draw a comparison to the lyrical stylings of the Streets. You can only listen to people singing "everyman" lyrics so often...
Popscene, for those unfamiliar with how they do things, does not sell advance tickets for shows like this. Therefore you have to get your ass there early and get in line! They always do this with big shows...one of the first times Bloc Party came across the pond is was impossible to get in. Better get there early...show "starts" at 9pm. Did I also mention this is only one of 5 stops Lily is making/made in North America?
Lily Allen - Smile
Lily Allen - Everything's Just Wonderful
Lily Allen official site
Lily Allen on MySpace
Hey there troopers...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead is coming out with their new album, "So Divided" on November 14. What do I have to say about the album so far? I think it is a marked improvement over "World's Apart". I must warn you though, that those expecting "Source Tags And Codes II" will be disapointed. They've continued to expand their sound, adding some prog elements, and I kid you not when I say I can hear some Genesis and Annie Lennox in here. In addition, they've continued to flesh out the songs with orchestration and horn sections. My only reservation is I wish it sounded more dirty, like the old days...but give both of these songs a chance, they're both build songs.
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Naked Sun
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - So Divided
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead official site
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead on MySpace
Imagine a big sweaty bowl full of gypsy, punk, dub, and jazz. Stir until the consistency is smooth and you've got Nervous Cabaret! My initial instinct is if you enjoy Gogol Bordello or Devotcha, check these guys out. They have more of an indie-rock edge though. I swear I can even hear some of The Clash in here! I like to think this is what The Tigerlillies might sound like if they took themselves seriously.
The songs themselves are dark, but sensuous - check out "Ratatat Heart". Plus, they have a full time trumpet player, and if you know me, I am a sucker for trumpets...keep an eye out for these guys.
Nervous Cabaret - Ratatat Heart
Nervous Cabaret - Mel Gibson
Nervous Cabaret official site
Nervous Cabaret on MySpace
What does a bollywood copy of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" look like? Watch this with sound for maximum amusement. You guys know the drill, slow friday...
Sorry I'm a little late to the table with this one...but if you're like me, a lot of times you will see a band name over and over and again and gloss over it without investigating further. However, that one fateful day comes where you say, what the hell, let's check these guys out, and you end up loving them. Most recently, this happened with Figurines for me. They are a danish take on pacific northwest indie pop/rock. Listening to them, it's hard not to draw comparisions to Built To Spill or Modest Mouse. It's tight, fast, and melodic. A few off kilter chord progressions, but that's all part of the fun!
They are coming to the Rickshaw Stop in SF on Oct. 28 with another one of my new favorite bands, The Morning Benders...
Figurines - The Wonder
Figurines - Debate Because It's Over
Figurines official site
Figurines on MySpace
Been having a rough time recently...feel like I'm hitting that ol' quarter-life crisis...let me tell you my story in a musical consisting of indie rock songs...
01. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Building Skyscrapers in the Basement
02. McLusky - Without MSG I Am Nothing
03. The Cribs - Hey Scenesters!
04. Xiu Xiu - I Luv the Valley OH!
05. Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton - The Lottery
06. Cold War Kids - Hospital Beds
07. The Wrens - Happy
08. The Futureheads - Danger Of The Water
09. The Clash - London Calling
10. TV On The Radio - Young Liars
11. Interpol - Leif Erikson
Now, what do you guys think the plot is?
The band that I'm digging this half of this week is Oxford, Mississippi's Colour Revolt. Note the "extra" u in colour...Their name is derived from Flatland, Edwin Abbotts' 19th century social commentary on life in two dimensions. OK, OK, you say. What does the band actually sound like? It sounds alternatingly dream-pop and alternatingly tortured. It's a combination that has been used before to great effect by ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. Their self-titled EP is brimming with potential, and has recently has been picked up for national distribution. Check these guys out! They aren't coming out west anytime soon, but this goes on the sonicliving wishlist...
Colour Revolt - A New Family
Colour Revolt - Our Homes And Graves
Colour Revolt official site
Colour Revolt on MySpace