Friday, February 6, 2009

Band of the Week + concert review: Delta Spirit

ok, I know this is cheating as I have already posted about Delta Spirit as Band of the Week, but I don't care

this band is GENIUS. I thought their live show was excellent when they opened for Matt Costa, their headlining show surpassed even that. Best. Live. Act. Ever.

Seriously, one of the BEST BANDS OUT THERE TODAY. Their drummer Brandon Young has excellent rhythm (and is super friendly!), their bass player Jon Jameson is glorious, their lead guitarist Sean Walker busts out riffs that may make you convulse euphorically, their lead singer Matthew Vasquez will shock you with his ability to screech in perfect tune and then revert to singing softly, and finally, their keyboardist Kelly Winrich will surprise you by picking up various other instruments throughout the set, in addition to providing a great backbone to the music.

Delta Spirit - Gimme Some Motivation [mp3, HIGHLY FUCKING RECOMMENDED!]
this song is the closest they've come to capturing how awesome their live sound is.

Delta Spirit - People C'mon [mp3]

CONCERT REVIEW (Wednesday 04 February 2009 @ Bottom of the Hill, SF):

Opening band Dawes faltered on the first couple of songs, not grabbing my attention until the lead singer Taylor Goldsmith started actually engaging with his guitar. Midway through the set, I was sold, and thought "hey, this band is decent, I'll buy their CD on the way out". I had spoken to Taylor before the show and he had described the band as sounding like Bob Dylan and The Band. I definitely heard the latter in their set, especially with Tay Strathairn's solid effort on the piano. What is it with Southern California bands rediscovering more Americana roots (Dawes are from LA, Delta Spirit are from San Diego). I'm not complaining though.

The second set was rendered by Other Lives, a band from Oklahoma. Now I'll keep this simple: this band was boring as hell. I actually got SLEEPY by the end of their set. Yes, SLEEPY at a rock concert. I didn't like that they had a cellist and a violinist because in my opinion, if you're going to incorporate those instruments in your music, you better as hell make them sound stupendous (see Ra Ra Riot for further instructions). The violin was as flat as the lead singer's voice, which was like a less interesting Colin Meloy. The cellist was basically just their second bass player, which I wouldn't mind, if either of them actually were any good. Bass guitar is my favourite instrument but the problem with most bass players is that they only play a couple of notes and that doesn't even really matter, because you can't even really hear them.

Now, from the first verse of Delta Spirit's "Strange Vine", I decided that I didn't want to buy Dawes' record after all. I remembered how good Delta Spirit were when they were an opening band and that's ruined mediocre opening bands for me forever. They played a handful of new songs, and a lot off of their debut EP I Think I've Found It (2006), which I didn't own until after the show, because I couldn't find it anywhere. I am SO glad they had it at the merch table, it's genius. I took a video of their song "Streetwalker", as well as a couple of their new songs, I'll upload them to youtube soon and post them here too. "Streetwalker" also showed up on their re-release of Ode to Sunshine, which they originally self-produced in a cabin. I have the original from last year, it's one of my most prized possessions.

Matt sang a song about his grandmother ("Vivian"), which was slower the rest of the songs. For most of the set, everyone was dancing and having a great time. The band really went all out on their last song (before the encore), "People, Turn Around". At certain points in the set, Kelly and Sean joined Brandon on drums, and the result was explosive. I found the band after the show, and they were all way too drunk to be able to answer any of my pre-prepared questions, but I didn't even care, they were a lot of fun regardless. In short, it was a perfect set and if you miss seeing this band live you will kick yourself later. Do not be fooled by their albums, while both I Think I've Found It and Ode to Sunshine are genius, they don't come close to measuring up to their live sound. This is a band to fall in love and then spend a lifetime of awesomeness with.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Pete Doherty to give lecture to Uni students tomorrow night

reason # 734293230248204 that I wish I lived in Ireland.

Pete Doherty - Kilamangiro (acoustic) [mp3]

record review: Adam Green- Sixes and Sevens

In perpetuating the genre of "anti-folk" (read: a combination of folk music with hilariously inane lyrics), has Adam Green become anti-anti-folk?

Sixes and Sevens is Adam's fifth solo record (he used to be in the Moldy Peaches with Kimya Dawson [of Juno fame]) and it's nowhere near as snarky as any of Adam's old stuff. Instead, it treads into weird ground, at times sounding simultaneously like Interpol and Jack Johnson ("Cannot Get Sicker").

"That Sounds like a Pony" sounds like something that would be deemed anti-techno, if there were such a thing. The crazy drumming in that song also brings attention to a unifying factor of the record: the incredibly short nature of the song lengths. The longest song is 3:12, but most of the 20 songs on Sixes and Sevens end at the 2 minute mark.

A horn section is introduced in "Morning After Midnight", in case you weren't thoroughly confused already. The two redeeming songs on the record are "You Only Get Lucky" (truer to old Adam) and the closer, "Rich Kids".

Looks like this is one of those things that only die hard fans can love. The rest of us have to just grin and bear it.

(after all, I do love Adam's voice)

Adam Green - Cannot Get Sicker [mp3]

Adam Green - You Get So Lucky [mp3]

Adam Green - Rich Kids [mp3]

Sunday, February 1, 2009

don't believe the hype: M83

there has been a lot of buzz about M83 (Anthony Gonzalez's electronica project) lately. All I have to say is: don't waste your time. Saturdays = Youth is dull, tedious and unoriginal. You'll be bored out of your brains midway through, and if you stick it out you might have to purge your ears.

don't believe me? give yourself a listen below, and make your own decision:

M83- Too Late [mp3]

Sunday Morning Covers

Kevin Barnes (of Montreal) - Shakedown Street (Grateful Dead cover) [mp3]
really quite sweet (in the endearing sense of the word)

Elliott Smith - Here Comes Flash (Kinks cover) [mp3]
this one is strange. not Elliott Smith-y at all. from a concert two months before he passed away.

Fall Out Boy - Love Lockdown (Kanye West cover) [mp3]
it's no secret how much Patrick Stump loves Kanye.

Spoon - Panic (The Smiths cover) [mp3]

I never would have guessed that Spoon would cover The Smiths. The Rolling Stones, yeah. regardless, it works beautifully.

The Postal Service - Grow Old With Me (John Lennon cover) [mp3]
seeing as how the band has been on hiatus since 2005 and seeing as how Death Cab garners everyone's attention (with good reason), it's easy to forget that The Postal Service exists. well, they do, and they're awesome.

The Beatles - Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Larry Williams cover) [mp3]
I remember a time when I didn't know that Beatles covers (of other bands that is) existed. I just always assumed that The Beatles were this untouchable entity whom OTHER bands covered. But I soon understood otherwise as I worked my way through their discography and thought "wait, that guitar riff sounds DISTINCTLY American. let me look this up", and realized that The Beatles had covered LOADS of songs. Anyhow, I will try to post a song a week until my library is exhausted. enjoy.