Jul 31, 2009

Doves @ Metro Theatre

So, a Doves concert for me was going to be a journey into unknown territories. Perhaps unknown pleasures. Of course I was somewhat familiar with the Mancunian trio. I have heard the odd song through the years, whilst the band picked up acclaim and kudos. But until this year I didn't actually own an album of theirs and what I had heard wasn't exactly stoking my fire. But my girl is a big fan and so we trekked to the Metro Theatre on Thursday night for a sold out show, the band's first visit to these shores in 5 years. What did I find? I found a band that exuded professionalism. A band that created their sound in an impressive manner. In the end I enjoyed the night. It didn't change my life, but I left with a greater appreciation of the band's talents.

As stated, I do now own the band's latest release in the shape of "Kingdom of Rust". I have been giving it a spin lately and I do like it. Again, not love, but there are a few songs that I have quite enjoyed. Because of this fact I actually enjoyed the newer songs that the band decided to play. Such as "Jetstream", which opened the night. It's a good starter and seemed to get every one in the mood for a good night. Other new songs that I enjoyed included "Winter Hill", "The Outsiders" and the title track of the album in "Kingdom of Rust". When it came to the older tunes, I struggled a bit. Unfamiliarity doesn't always help when you are at a gig, but my favourite was probably "Pounding". Appropriately named, this song drives with real power. It also displays the band's greatest strength. A really strong rhythm section. Jimi Goodwin's bass acts as a lead instrument, which is strengthened by the drumming of Andy Williams. If you add the lead guitar of Jez Williams to the mix you end up with a pretty strong concoction. The band certainly performs well as a tight and efficient unit. My main reason for not totally connecting with the music at times is a lack of true melody. Quite a few of their songs don't soar to any great heights, nor do they contain any great peaks or valleys. I like songs with a bit more variation, a bit more light and dark. Now that might be coming from a Doves novice, but that's how I am calling it. However, I did enjoy the night. There was enough good music, played expertly, on display to make it a worthwhile and enjoyable night.

Set List (I pinched this from Sean)
Winter Hill
Almost Forgot Myself
The Greatest Denier
Kingdom Of Rust
Black And White Town
The Outsiders
The Cedar Room

Here It Comes
Last Broadcast
There Goes The Fear

Jul 29, 2009

The Flaming Lips @ Hordern Pavilion

Expectations can kill you. The anticipation for a big event can thrill you and excite you. But what if your expectations are not met. Your expectations set far too high. You can be in for a fall. Reality brings you crashing to earth. Well, Tuesday night at the Hordern Pavilion was a definitive case of expectations met. Indeed, probably exceeded. For my first time in seeing those Oklahoma legends The Flaming Lips was a night of pure wonder. Unadulterated joy. Smiles as big as watermelons, with hearts swelling and all worries smashed into the sunset.

Joy, joy, joy. For over 90 minutes a raptured audience became one. One big happy family. One big, seething mass of joy. There was so much happening, that I am sure I will forget something, but here goes anyway. A big screen lit up the back of the stage. An image of a naked woman projected onto it. Slowly, but surely, the action focused on her vagina, which morphed into some sort of huge psychedelic hole. Then each member of the band made their entrance through the hole, with background music on hand, before Wayne Coyne arrived to full fanfare. Wayne then proceeded to enter his famous bubble. Slowly it grew and he ventured forth into the audience, which promptly lost its collective mind. Then, after a brief pause, the band exploded into "Race For The Prize". At this point, countless balloons descended into the crowd, with confetti being exploded as well. The band was joined by its animal costumed dancers and the venue was just going nuts. Nuts I say. When the song finished, I was pretty much satisfied. The first ten minutes was a smorgasboard of action and delight and they had played a great song from my favourite Lips' album, "The Soft Bulletin". I could have left, but there was more...

It was nice to hear some new songs from their upcoming new album and we received one early in the shape of the thundering "Silver Trembling Hands", which was followed by the high energy "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song". This song was just so much fun as the crowd sang out "With All Your Power" from the bottom of their lungs. Then came a huge highlight. The glorious "Fight Test" was played in stripped back form, with all of its innate beauty glowing in the night. Truly stunning. But this night was more then just the music. It was the energy, the chaos, the glee of seeing inhibitions being thrown to the wind. We had the visuals on the big screen. We had the dancing frogs and panda type thingies. Oh, to be in one of those suits for a night. We had the enormous caterpillar and the person dressed as a sun. We had a monster that took Wayne Coyne for a ride. We had the confetti continually showering us and the balloons that bounced on the heads of happiness. We had a front man in Wayne Coyne that is pure love. He would pause through out the night to thank us and espouse the notion of love and happiness as a way of changing the world one smile at a smile. On this night cynicism would be kept at the door. This was a night for the true believers.

So, back to the music. If there was a slight flat spot, it was around the middle, as the audience perhaps stuggled with some new/old numbers. But it didn't last long. A serene "Vein Of Stars" led us to the obligatory "Yoshimi". Wayne asked us to sing along, but we didn't need much encouragement. Played with bare bones, the words echoed around the venue with smiles stretching till they ached with joy. It still got better somehow. I was excited to hear "Pompeii", a great song from their last album with Steven Drozd taking the vocals. Wayne then played a moving version of "Taps", in honour of the fallen in unjust wars. This was quite stunning. "The W.A.N.D" and "She Don't Use Jelly" were back to back wrecking balls of fun, a sheer delight. With that, the band made their exit. But it was only brief, for we needed one more song. "Do You Realize??" closed, with some tears being shed I am sure. The song was one last explosion of joy, preceded by a real life marriage proposal on stage. Colours and sounds clashed and imploded. As the song subsided Wayne thanked us more time. He had it wrong though. We were the ones doing the thanking.

Set List
Race For The Prize
Silver Trembling Hands
The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song
Fight Test
Enthusiasm For Life (Defeats Internal, Existential Fear)
Convinced Of The Hex
Mountain Side
Vein Of Stars
Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1
Pompeii Am Götterdämmerung
The W.A.N.D.
She Don't Use Jelly

Do You Realize??

Jul 28, 2009

Hallelujah The Hills

They come from Boston and number six. In 2007 they released their debut album in the shape of "Collective Psychosis Begone". Now, Hallelujah The Hills will release their second record. "Colonial Drones" contains 13 tracks and was produced by lead vocalist Ryan Walsh. The band's sound has been described as passion charged Indie rock. Full of sweeping guitars and complex lyrics, with the added bonus of strings. In the same sonic arena as their good friends Titus Andronicus, which can't be a bad thing.

Misra Records release Colonial Drones on September 22.

Colonial Drones Track Listing

1 A Guide To The World’s Most Fantastic Monsters
2 The Might Come Back Club
3 Put The Gurus in Charge
4 Blank Passports
5 Allied Lions
6 Oxus Pagoda
7 Variations On The Grand National Championships
8 Station
9 The Echo Sequence
10 Classic Tapes
11 You Better Hope You (Die Before Me)
12 It Carries Back
13 Flight Of The Paper Pilots

MP3: Blank Passports
MP3: Wave Backwards to Massachusetts (from Collective Psychosis Begone)

Jul 26, 2009

Do You Realize??-The Flaming Lips

Jul 23, 2009

These Four Walls-We Were Promised Jetpacks

"These Four Walls", the debut album from Edinburgh four piece We Were Promised Jetpacks is a strong and robust effort. Exciting, enjoyable and downright catchy. Yes, that is what it is especially. Catchy. Now that is not slight praise. For the ability of any song to stay trapped in your brain gives immense kudos to said song. Truly, if the song that is trapped gives you pleasure then it has achieved its aim. "These Four Walls" is chock full of tunes that are designed to stay with you for days. Now, this is not music that is overly complicated. Nor incredibly innovative. This is music that is true, direct and honest. Strong and forthright. Oh yes, did I mention that it was catchy.

Scotland is bringing us much goodness of late. Especially in the case of those Glaswegians Frightened Rabbit. We Were Promised Jetpacks do follow a similiar path. Songs of heart and aching passion, thunderous guitar and frenetic drumming. Oh, and that loveable Scottish brogue. But, We Were Promised Jetpacks are their own men. Creating their own path. Plus, they are probably a little edgier then the Rabbits, although that band still has the edge in creating memorable melodies. So, the man in front is Adam Thompson, who also is the chief songwriter. His voice is a huge wrecking ball, full of grace and power and complete urgency. Which is wonderfully illustrated on the superb opener "It's Thunder and It's Lightning", a rollicking tune that is full of angst and sorrow. A great start. Another highlight is the single "Quiet Little Voices", a thumping track consumed by anger. There are quieter moments too. "This Is My House, This Is My Home" is soft and lilting, before it bursts out of its shell in the closing stanza. Also, enjoyable are "Roll Up Your Sleeves" and "Moving Clocks Run Slow". A couple of tracks do feel a little formulaic and sometimes you wish for a little more variation. But overall this is a solid and enjoyable debut. This is music created from the heart and is full of conviction. I await with interest where these boys take us next.

Jul 22, 2009

Bay Of Pigs-Destroyer

Let's cut to the chase. Dan Bejar is a musical genius. There, I said it. There are only a few in my book. Right now, Krug, Elverum, Oldham, Lennox. In the past, Stipe, Malkmus, Mangum. Maybe a few more, but that's who I like. It's nice to be subjective. Anyway, Destroyer, the band of Bejar, have new product on the way. A two track 12" vinyl EP. "Bay Of Pigs" will be released on August 18 on Merge Records. The title track clocks in at 13:37 (hooray!) and the B-Side is "Ravers" (7:50).

Now, here comes a cut and paste. As Merge say it better then I could-

"Bay of Pigs" is the longest of Destroyer songs, and Destroyer's first foray into ambient disco. The song was recorded throughout the winter of 2009 with Destroyer collaborators/members John Collins and David Carswell at JCDC Studio in Vancouver. "Bay of Pigs" is an account of the 1961 American invasion of Cuba. The music for "Ravers" was played entirely on analogue synthesizer, and recorded in April 2009. It explores some of the more meditative realms of 20th Century classical composition. The song is a casual rumination on parties, political parties, madness and suffering (for one's art).


Jul 21, 2009

New Music, Enjoy, Share, etc.

Islands will be releasing a new album in September. September 22 to be exact. ANTI- are delivering the goods and the album is to be called "Vapours". We now have a track to share from the album and here it is. First listen doesn't grab me, but I am patient.

MP3: No You Don't-Islands

Also on the way is the new album from Ramona Falls, the side project from Menomena's Brent Knopf. "Intuit" is out August 18. First track is "Russia".
Very nice!

MP3: Russia-Ramona Falls

More music to keep you warm and happy-
MP3: Walkabout-Atlas Sound
MP3: Gold and Warm-Bad Veins
MP3: Never Seen-Lightning Dust
MP3: Ancestors-Throw Me The Statue
MP3: Little Sad Eyes-Magnolia Electric Co.
MP3: Early Warnings-Foreign Born
MP3: Northern Lights-Bowerbirds
MP3: Silver Among The Gold-Grand Archives
MP3: Fables-The Dodos
MP3: This Blackest Purse-Why?

Jul 20, 2009

Last Ride

2009 is proving to be an outstanding year for Australian film. Now you can add Last Ride to the list of cinema success stories. This superb film is powerful and evocative, with two central performances that will simply blow you away. Director Glendyn Ivin has produced spectacular results with his feature film debut. The film, based on Denise Young's novel, his handled with tender care. Leaving the viewer richly rewarded for their time.

Last Ride begins with a man on the run, played by Hugo Weaving. His ten year old son Chook (Tom Russell) is with him. The father is an habitual crim, having had several stints in jail. In time, we slowly learn of the crime he has committed. The boy is unsure of the extent of the crime, but has no choice but to follow his father. Which is often unfortunate as the father has a raging temper and is often cruel and harsh to his only son. This film is short on plot, but very big on atmosphere and interplay between the two main characters. This is certainly a road film with a difference. The dynamics between the dangerous father and the son are beautifully handled, with many scenes of absolute tension and the occassional lighter one to ease the load. Filmed entirely in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, the film is just simply breath taking to view. Scenes filmed on a salt lake will stay with you for days after. My only slight quibble with the film would be a slight lack of background story with the characters. We learn a little through flashbacks, but I could have done with slightly more. However, there is not much else to fault. Weaving is wondrous as the grizzled and angry father, whilst newcomer Tom Russell has more expression then many a seasoned actor. Even though the film has a languid pace, it manages to keep your interest right through to the dramatic climax. This is certainly a heavy film, there is not much humour on display, but it is very rewarding. It is mature, thoughtful cinema at its very best.

Jul 19, 2009

Black River Killer-Blitzen Trapper

This is wonderful. Great song, great video. Great band!

Jul 17, 2009

Alec Ounsworth Goes Solo

As we speak Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are unofficially on hiatus. The Brooklyn/Philadelphia band have released two superb albums. Well, I loved both. Some people hated on the second, but it was an album that I particulalry enjoyed. Anyway, to the point. Lead singer and chief songwriter Alec Ounsworth has a solo album in the works. "Mo Beauty" will be released on October 20 on ANTI- Records. The album was recorded in New Orleans at the famed Piety St. recording studio and produced by Steve Berlin, who suggested the New Orleans locale for the recording.

"New Orleans informed the spirit of the record, as it should. It’s not a 'New Orleans record,' though, because, besides "Holy, Holy, Holy Moses," most of the songs weren't written specifically for New Orleans . . . Any record can be influenced by its location aesthetically, and some are more than others. So it was with this record . . . it is New Orleans, after all", said Ounsworth.
Backed by a slew of famous New Orleans names, it will be interesting to see how the sound for this release develops.

Mo Beauty Track Listing
1 Modern Girl (... With Scissors)
2 Bones in the Grave
3 Holy, Holy, Holy Moses (Song for New Orleans)
4 That Is Not My Home (After Bruegel)
5 Idiots in the Rain
6 South Philadelphia (Drug Days)
7 What Fun
8 Me and You, Watson
9 Obscene Queen Bee #2
10 When You've No Eyes

Jul 16, 2009

In Due Season-The Chaser


Jul 15, 2009

No One's First, and You're Next

Modest Mouse are back. With something new, well sort of. August 4 will see the release of a new EP in the shape of "No One's First, and You're Next". This eight song release is a collection of B-Sides culled from the making of their last two albums. They have been releasing songs over the last 3 months on limited edition special 7" singles, but now all of these songs can and will be found on the one CD release. Happy days!

No One's First, and You're Next Track Listing
1 Satellite Skin
2 Guilty Cocker Spaniels
3 Autumn Beds
4 The Whale Song
5 Perpetual Motion Machine
6 History Sticks To Your Feet
7 King Rat
8 I've Got It All (Most)

MP3: The Whale Song-Modest Mouse

Jul 14, 2009

The Avett Brothers

If the words 'country music' make you scared, then just hold on a minute. If country music means Garth Brooks, Keith Urban or Shania Twain to you, then allow me a minute of your time. Allow me to talk to you about The Avett Brothers. For this is truly country music. Music with soul, passion and heart. If you are not familiar with The Avett Brothers, well then just wait until September 29. That day sees the release of their new album in the shape of "I And Love and You" (cover art above). This album is their major label debut, having signed with Columbia Records. The album's cover is actually a painting by Scott Avett named "Julianne In Vain". A multi talented group indeed! This North Carolina band's new album contains 13 tunes and was produced in California by Rick Rubin.

So, The Avett Brothers consist of two brothers in Scott and Seth Avitt, along with Bob Crawford. Their music is a delirious blend of bluegrass, rock, country and ragtime. They use guitar, banjo and stand up bass to deliver the message. A message delivered before on four full length albums, all worth tracking down. The title track is available as a single now.

MP3: I And Love and You

I And Love and You Track Listing
1. I And Love and You
2. January Wedding
3. Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise
4. And It Spread
5. The Perfect Space
6. Ten Thousand Words
7. Kick Drum Heart
8. Laundry Room
9. Ill With Want
10. Tin Man
11. Slight Figure of Speech
12. It Goes On and On
13. Incomplete and Insecure

Jul 13, 2009

Triple J Hottest 100 of All Time

So, unless you have been living in a cave for the last week you would probably be aware that Triple J has been counting down the greatest 100 hundred songs of all time as voted by their listeners. The countdown finished yesterday, with Nirvana taking out the number one spot. Now obviously any poll like this is going to pose questions and in some cases indignation. You can't please everyone, that sort of thing. I don't listen to the radio much anymore, preferring to source new music via the internet and although Triple J is far from perfect it is still light years ahead of the commercial alternative. When I have listened to Triple J though, they do seem to play too much hip hop and bland pop for my liking and I was worried that the poll would feature a lot of dud songs. But, on the whole, the 100 songs were pretty good. Some true classics in there and not too many bad ones.

FYI, here are the ten songs that I voted for-

Wilco - Sunken Treasure
Neutral Milk Hotel - A Baby For Pree
Wolf Parade - I'll Believe In Anything
Built to Spill - Car
Palace Music - New Partner
Arcade Fire - Wake Up
My Morning Jacket - The Bear
Teenage Fanclub - Everything Flows
The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
The Band - The Weight

Of these, only The Beach Boys showed up. I really didn't expect any of the others to make an appearance, except for "Wake Up". I was truly shocked by the absence of this amazing song. Especially as they have become a major factor in recent years. As stated, the poll did reveal many great songs but I can not fathom that the following acts were left out-
Neil Young
Bruce Springsteen
The Flaming Lips

I thought all of these acts were big enough and important enough to get a jersey. Especially when lightweights like Kings of Leon, John Butler Trio, Bloc Party, The Killers and The Living End stuck their nose in. The poll did seem to reveal a huge amount of 90s rock to be the flavour. Thankfully, most of these have stood the test of time.

The full list can be accessed here, but I thought I would offer some commentary on the top twenty songs.
Please feel free to give your thoughts on the list.

1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Truly seminal. Still sends chills. Hard to argue with this choice.
2. Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
I had nearly forgotten how powerful this song remains. Kicks ass.
3. Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
Never been a huge fan. It's a good song, but number 3????
4. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Wow! This song will never age. Just truly extraordinary.
5. Radiohead - Paranoid Android
Didn't expect this so high. Great song from a seminal album.
6. Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
No, no, no. Queen are vastly over rated. This song sounds oooooold.
7. Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
See number 3. Just an average song.
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
Um, used to like this. Hasn't aged too well. Decent, but too high.
9. Foo Fighters - Everlong
What? I thought they said 'Avalon'. One level above pub rock.
10. Led Zeppelin - Stairway to Heaven
Feels like a 'had to vote for this' song. Black Dog is way better.
11. John Lennon - Imagine
Yes, this is a timeless classic. Iconic.
12. Oasis - Wonderwall
Yeah, good song. Too high, but it is a wonderful melody.
13. Radiohead - Creep
Surprised this went so high. This band wrote so many better songs.
14. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
Never a great fan. It's good, but not great.
15. Radiohead - Karma Police
Truly amazing song. Deserves this spot.
16. Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
Yes, this is wonderful. Their best song. Clearly.
17. Hilltop Hoods - The Nosebleed Section
WTF!!!! Highest Australian song!!! I think I liked Taxiride more...
18. Muse - Knights Of Cydonia
Truly awful. This song is just plain bad. Shame, shame, shame.
19. Metallica - One
Pretty wanky, very predictable. Not too good.
20. White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
Just a superb song. This will never grow old.

So, there you have it. In an ideal world we might have Sunset Rubdown and Animal Collective and Sufjan Stevens and Wolf Parade and Okkervil River and Destroyer making a list like this. But we do live in the real world...

My partner and I were discussing the difference between favourite and best songs yesterday. You know, like 'my fav song is Song 2 by Blur, but clearly Like A Rolling Stone is a better song'. It's an interesting argument but I do believe that favourite and best is truly the same. That is, if a song or album is your favourite then you must naturally believe it to be the best. Well, that's what I think anyway.

Also, in 2004 Rolling Stone published their 500 greatest songs of all time.
Here is the Top Ten-
1. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
2. The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
3. John Lennon - Imagine
4. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
5. Aretha Franklin - Respect
6. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
7. Chuck Berry - Johnny B Goode
8. The Beatles - Hey Jude
9. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Ray Charles - What'd I Say

Jul 11, 2009

Vic Chesnutt @ The Factory

'Twas a strange night. Most peculiar. Firstly, we arrived to a sparsely filled venue. It would seem that despite Vic Chesnutt's huge body of work and credibility, he is probably not too well known in these parts. In fact, I only own two of his albums. But they are very impressive, so I was intrigued to see him live. So, the support act was a put together duo of WA singer (although now US based) Natalie D-Napoleon and Melbourne singer Andre Hooke. He was very good. She wasn't. Hooke, of Melbourne band Khancoban, has a tender voice and was a very good guitar player. I could see him again. But without her. Her voice was hard to like and her songs were mediocre at best. Not a great start.

Then The Factory was starting to fill out a bit more as the main man arrived. Vic Chesnutt. He was on the bill as playing with Victoria Williams, but he arrived on stage alone and gave us 45 minutes of a weird combination of beauty, strangeness, heartbreak and oddity. For those not in the know, Chesnutt was left a paraplegic at the age of eighteen after breaking his neck in a car accident. But he has gone on to record a multitude of albums and receive huge acclaim. He gets around in a wheelchair and although he was static on stage, his music moved us greatly. He started with a warm up, actually singing "I am warming up...". His wit is quite biting, as he provided much humour through out the night. He didn't seem to have a set list either as he constantly thought out loud what he should play, taking requests from the audience along the way. So, he played some old material and some new stuff as well. It would seem that his hands are not 100% functional, having to rub them between chords. So, it would seem he sticks to songs with fairly simple arrangements, leaving the more complex songs at home. Twice he abandoned two songs from "North Star Deserter". Which was a pity, but the songs he gave us were truly effective. His voice is eathbound and magnetic, his lyrics full of candour and heart and wit and he has a strange sort of presence of stage.

So, then Victoria Williams joined us. She is a country singer from California, who I was totally unfamiliar with. I expected some sort of cross between Patty Griffin and Sheryl Crow. Boy, was I wrong. She ambled on stage and was absent minded to say the least. She started to play and then realised her guitar was not plugged in. But her guitar chords were quite interesting and I was hoping for something different. Different it was, when she begun to sing. Her voice was unique to say the least. Kind of out of tune, but not really in an endearing way and there was a distinct absence of melody. So, after a few songs we made our early exit. Having seen the main attraction in Chesnutt, that was enough. A mixed night, but still rewarding.

Jul 10, 2009

Blitzen Trapper Are Coming!!!

Yes, that's right. You heard me. Portland, Oregon's very own. Those purveyors of all things beautiful are making their maiden voyage to Australia. I truly love their intoxicating blend of pop, country, rock and all things weirdly beautiful. This is a must not miss tour.

Blitzen Trapper Dates
November 11- The Hi-Fi, Melbourne
November 12- Metro Theatre, Sydney
November 13- The Hi-Fi, Brisbane

Tickets on sale July 16

Blitzen Trapper will also be releasing an EP on August 24 named "Black River Killer". It contains 6 previously unreleased tunes, plus the glorious title track that appeared on 2008's wonderful "Furr". These songs were previously only available at live shows in CD-R format.

Black River Killer Tracklisting
1 Black River Killer
2 Silver Moon
3 Going Down
4 Shoulder Full of You
5 Preacher's Sister's Boy
6 Black Rock
7 Big Black Bird

MP3: Furr
MP3: Gold For Bread

Jul 9, 2009


Chet are Canadian. They are from British Columbia. They have been around for a little while now, releasing 3 albums that quite possibly have escaped your attention. Well now, please pay attention. The band will be releasing their new album on Absolutely Kosher on September 15. "Chelsea Silver, Please Come Home" contains 7 songs and was recorded in a barn in Saanich. The band is led by Frog Eyes guitarist Ryan Beattie (he also records as Himalayan Bear) and his brother Patrick. They actually now number six, this photo was taken in 2007, but I loved it so I am using it here. Apparently it was taken near Kelowna, btw.

But I digress, Chet's music is complex and quite beautiful. Beattie's voice is unique and naturally emotive. Please mark September 15 in your diary.

MP3: The Night The Night-Chet

Jul 8, 2009

Nevermint-Grand Lake

File this under the radar. But, please find it. The debut album from Grand Lake is a little gem. A wistful creation of refined textures. Short and sweet, it only contains 8 tracks, it dishes out little melodies and creative pop tunes. Grand Lake is the brainchild of Caleb Nichols, formerly of Port O'Brien, who plays bass and takes most of the vocal duties. Rounding out the band are Jameson Swanagon and John Pomeroy. Hailing from Oakland, California they are in tune with the golden times of pop melody, having a distinct knack for creating music that is subtle and quietly arresting. Of particular note is the opening track in "Concrete Blonde On Blonde" which bubbles and perculates as it delves under your skin.

Thankfully there are plenty more gems to discover along the way. "Nevermint" staggers back and forth with some delicious guitar interplay, whilst "The Stars Are Not Projectors" is a pulsating song with real energy. "She's A Hater" is also a feature, with its loping rhythms and persuasive insistency and "Oedipus Hex" is sure to please with a style reminiscent of The Wrens. This is quite an impressive debut, concise, taut and full of melody and style. "Nevermint" is now available from 500 Records. It is well worth your time.

MP3: Concrete Blonde On Blonde-Grand Lake

Jul 7, 2009

Rain Machine

Kyp Malone (TV On the Radio) is releasing a new album on Anti- in the coming months. His new musical venture is named Rain Machine. Malone explains. "I've been writing and recording songs alone since I moved to NYC in 2000, at first alone because I didn't know anyone, then through the years by choice because of a particular freedom that going it alone afforded. I've played regularly since then, at first under the name Black Lights until some kids in Texas told me they were already using that name. Then under my own name but I didn't like how "Kyp Malone" looked on mock ups of t-shirts and fliers, thus Rain Machine."

Produced by Ian Brennan, Malone gives a taste of the sound as "a nearly full spectrum of frequencies audible to the human ear - a reflection of a variety of emotions and situations real and imagined, some rhythm and some rhyme."

More info when it comes to hand...

Jul 5, 2009

Vic Chesnutt

Next Friday I am going to see Vic Chesnutt in concert at the Factory Theatre. Here is Vic performing "Over", from his last album, in 2007.

Jul 2, 2009

The Dodos Get Set To Die (Not Literally)

Categorically and without doubt, The Dodos released one of the finest albums of 2008. "Visiter" was fresh and invigorating. An explosive and dynamic piece of music. The good news is we have a new album waiting in the wings. "Time To Die" will be released on Frenchkiss Records on September 15. Containing 9 tracks, the album was produced by Phil Ek. The band is also now a proper threesome with the permanent addition of Keaton Snyder.
“After Visiter, we had a lot of options for which direction to go,” says Meric Long, “But I knew we wanted to make a rock record. Being an acoustic band—primarily, at least—sort of works against this idea, but Phil’s production showcased that side of our band.”

Time To Die Tracklisting
1 Small Deaths
2 Longform
3 Fables
4 The Strums
5 This Is A Business
6 Two Medicines
7 Troll Nacht
8 Acorn Factory
9 Time To Die