Sorry for the dearth of posts recently, on business travel and there's as usual not enough hours in the day! That being said, Black Kids are an indie pop group from Jacksonville, FL. Reverby guitars meet squiggly synths and happy anthems. Conor Oberst doing his best Robert Smith imitation while fronting We're From Barcelona if they were weaned on My Bloody Valentine...what? Hit their myspace for some more free mp3s...
Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach You
Black Kids on MySpace
Proton Proton is a crazy ass band in Brooklyn bringing the rock back to indie rock. It's definitely not like all this weepy stuff that's been popular recently. It's dancey math punk not unlike Les Savy Fav but sparser with a touch of McLusky! Anyway, they've been moving up the circuit recently, scoring opening slots with Deerhoof and Les Savy Fav. Gotta love their instrumentation too - a guitar-bass hybrid and a toy piano?
Proton Proton - Lock Picker
Proton Proton - Chinese Dancer
Proton Proton official site
Proton Proton on MySpace
I picked up West Coast by Studio over at Rough Trade when I was in the UK. I think it's on my hotlist for one of the best albums of the year. Imagine The Cure and The Smiths met up and decided to form a supergroup that plays dance-drone music with touches of afro-beat! Most of the songs are built around hypnotic grooves that develop over the course of the song and embellished with delightful 80's alt-pop guitars. Also, the songs tend to veer towards the teens in running time...but it's easy to get lost in there!
Studio - Life's A Beach
Studio official site
Studio on MySpace
We arrived at the Crystal Ballroom shortly after 9. Upon arriving, we were surprised to see how empty the room was. Despite the fact that PB&J sold out the Doug Fir last time they were in PDX, they were unable to fill this larger venue. The Crystal has about five times the capacity of the Doug Fir, and the room was only half full. The lack of audience didn't take away from PB&J's show though.
They started off the first half of their set strong with "Let's Call It Off". A few songs from their previous albums were played,
including the high energy "(I Just Wanna) See Through". The crowd seemed somewhat uninterested in the middle of the set, but PB&J brought their A-game for the latter songs.
"Young Folks" was performed with a little help from two members of The Clientele, Mark and Mel. Mel filled in Victoria Bergsman's part quite beautifully. It was a wonderful dynamic between Peter's shimmying and shaking in contrast to Mel's coyly swaying.
PB&J saved their best for last with a 15 minute super extended version of "Up Against the Wall". Everyone in the audience was rocking to this one. In the middle of the breakdown, Bjorn made his way down into the crowd and let a few lucky people pluck his bass. Oh Bjorn, you stud! All in all, PB&J put on a satisfyingly fun show.
"Objects of My Affection"
- predatory wasp
Bonus Repost: Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks (Datashat Remix)
Pitchfork has been releasing some good mixes recently, here's a couple links so you don't have to dig through the site - they're not the easiest links to find...
DIPLO PITCHFORK MIX 02 TRACKLIST:
01. I Like Turtles
02. Mr. Vegas: “Lean Wit It”
03. M.I.A. [ft. Bun B and Rich Boy]: “Paper Planes”
04. Schooly D: “Gucci Time”
05. Yeah Yeah Yeahs: “Rockers to Swallow”
06. Jellybean: “Sidewalk Talk”
07. Belle Stars: “Iko Iko”
08. Scala & Kolacny Brothers: “Heartbeats”
09. Diplo & Switch [ft. Elephant Man]: “East, West (Remix)”
10. Nirvana: Drain You / Huey: “Pop, Lock & Drop It”
11. Marc Houle: “Bay of Figs (Ward 21 Mix)”
12. DJ Tamiel: “Bump Like This”
13. Queen [ft. David Bowie]: “Under Pressure”
14. Eddie Money: “Take Me Home Tonight”
15. Soulja Boy: “Crank Dat Superman”
16. Bat for Lashes: “What’s a Girl to Do (Break)”
17. DJ Shadow: “Organ Donor (Sandrinho Remix)”
18. Diplo & Switch [ft. Beenie Man]: “Solta Frango”
19. Mr. Vegas: “Hot Fuk (Diplo Mix)”
20. Enur [ft. Natasja]: “Calabria (2007 mix)”
21. Spoon: “Paper Tiger”
22. Circle Children: “Zulu”
23. M.I.A. [ft Akon]: “Boyz Remix (Hi Powered Boyz Get Down)”
24. Boy 8 Bit: “Suspense Is Killing Me”
25. KW Griff: “Tony’s Back”
26. Diplo: “Work Is Never Over”
27. M.I.A: “Bamboo Banger”
28. Sizzla: “Bamboo Banger (Dubplate)”
29. Blaqstarr: “Supastarr”
30. Shai: “If I Ever Fall in Love Again (Dub)”
31. Orbital: “Halcyon”
32. LA Priest: “Engine (Erol Alkan Remix)”
33. Petter: “Some Polyphony”
34. Rihanna: “Umbrella (Vandalism Mix)”
35. Justice: “Phantom Pt. II (Soulwax Mix)”
36. The White Stripes: “Little Cream Soda”
37. ZZT: “Lower State of Consciousness”
38. Kia Shine: “Crispy”
39. Bart Simpson: “Bartman (So Kripsy Mix)”
Unfortunately no track list for the Studio mix, but it's good stuff even if you can't name the songs! ;-)
Diplo - Pitchfork Mix 02 (The Goodness)
Studio - Information Mix
Grovesnor is the new project from former Hot Chip drummer Rob Smoughton. Like his former band, the music is mainly electronic in nature and very smooth. However, I'd say there is more of a sex factor here at work - it's cold and sexy like the Junior Boys, but somehow more optimistic and 80's piano ballad influenced. Richard Marx anyone?
Grovesnor - Nitemoves
Grovesnor official site
Grovesnor on MySpace
When I was in London a couple weeks ago, one of the favorite places I visited was the Shoreditch area of town. Hipster central. Yip. Anyway, Johnny Foreigner recently played to a packed house there and will continue to shock and aww around the UK in the next few months opening for Meneguar and the latest DFA signee, Prinzhorn Dance School. Have a listen to "Our Bi-Polar Friends" and you'll find delightful boy/girl vocal interplay coupled with big beats and spastic guitars. Mandatory blogger comparison: The Plastic Constellations with less hardcore influences and more pop sensibilities?
Johnny Foreigner - Our Bi-Polar Friends
Johnny Foreigner on MySpace
If Stars and DeVotchKa formed a supergroup, San Francisco's Parasol would be it. Threading male-female vocal interplay with soulful cello playing, Parasol manages to create a delicate balance of texture and emotion without coming across as sappy. Check out "I've Been Asleep" which was recently (relatively) featured on NPR!
Parasol - I've Been Asleep
Parasol - Rushing In, Rushing Out
Parasol official site
Parasol on MySpace
I want to write today about a most delightful band, The Most Serene Republic. Think of the art-rock and lush arrangements of Broken Social Scene with prog jazz influences and a penchant for skittery breakbeats...their new album Population will be released 10/2 on Arts & Crafts. Also check out "Phages" for an oldie, but a goodie...
The Most Serene Republic - Sherry And Her Butterfly Net
The Most Serene Republic - Phages
The Most Serene Republic official site
The Most Serene Republic on MySpace
Pratique is a 4-piece from NY - they remind me of a poppier Dismemberment Plan sprinkled with bits of The Smiths. That being said, "Death For Blushing Rogue" starts out with a funky and unexpected bassline, jumps into the verse, and pops straight into a brit-pop chorus and a lovely bridge. I feel some cosmic connection in the guitar part to the Cake version of "I Will Survive" and "The Plot" by White Rabbits. What do you think?
Overall, thumbs up, but I'd like to hear more of the dissonant parts and un-cliched disco basslines as shown they are capable of.
Pratique - Death For Blushing Rogue
Pratique official site
Pratique on MySpace
I'm in a pretty mellow mood today - feel like I might be coming down with something. Anyway, I'm fresh off my trip back from the UK and I've got British music on my mind. Today I'd like to write about Rod Thomas, a British singer-songwriter. Take care to note that I am not talking about Rob Thomas, singer of Matchbox 20...
Generally the singer-songwriter designation makes me roll my eyes, but Rod Thomas has managed to put some thought and care into his supporting instrumentation and arrangements. Did I mention it was danceable? Other publications have tried to categorize his music as "acoustic disco", a fair description - think Whitest Boy Alive, but more sexy! Maybe Whitest Boy Alive meets...George Michael?!
In any case, it makes for pretty good shagging music.
Rod Thomas - Good Coat
Rod Thomas on MySpace
There are 2 awesome things from Winnipeg: me, and The Weakerthans. Enough about me, though - they're back with their first new album since 2003! Reunion Tour will be released 9/25 and "Night Windows" is the first peak from the album. Catch 'em when they hit Slim's on October 3rd in SF (especially since they seldom come this way)!
The Weakerthans - Night Windows
The Weakerthans - Plea From A Cat Named Virtue
The Weakerthans official site
The Weakerthans on MySpace
Band Of Horses played SF last night at Mezzanine with Dinosaur Jr., but I was unfortuately a little too braindead after my flight to go to the show! In any case, Cease To Begin will be released October 9 and the band have generously provided the first single, "Is There A Ghost" up for download at their myspace page. Just to fill in the gaps, here's a B-side from their Funeral 7", a brilliant cover of The New Year. Go e-bow!
Band Of Horses - Is There A Ghost
Band Of Horses - The End's Not Near
Band Of Horses official site
Band Of Horses on MySpace
Hey guys, just got back from my vacation! Literally just stepped off the plane, so my brain's a bit fried...but wanted to get back to posting ASAP! Gonna keep this one short, though. On the trip, I was enjoying Foreign Born's debut album, On The Wing Now. It's an enjoyable and anthemic album, drawing easy comparisons to the Arcade Fire, old REM, and the French Kicks.
Foreign Born - Union Hall
Foreign Born - In The Shape
Foreign Born official site
Foreign Born on MySpace