Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Strokes Post #107

an interview predating the release of Is This It. they have always been too cool for everyone. and Jules is just stagnant haha

Saturday Music Definitions: Festival

BFD today! I hope everyone's summer festival goings are superb this year.

David Bowie - Memory of a Free Festival [mp3]

from Bowie at the Beeb =)

Ra Ra Riot - St Peter's Day Festival [mp3]

Sigur Ros - Festival [mp3]

Adam Green - Festival Song [mp3]

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Strokes Post #106

The Strokes - Hard to Explain (live, Oxegen Festival) [mp3]

quite simply, perfection.

band of the week: The Static Jacks

Current lineup:
Henry Kaye -guitar
Ian Devaney -vocals
Spencer Kimmins -bass
Nick Brennan -drums
Michael Sue-Poi -guitar

Ah, youth. It seems like all of the best music is derived from those too young to worry about mortgages or driven by ego-maniacal motives like wanting to be heard on the radio or winning five grammys.

The Static Jacks are from New Jersey. They’re five eighteen years olds who play good rock n roll music, but don’t be fooled, they aren’t a “new band” per se, as they have been together since they were thirteen. Their latest release and second EP entitled “Bridges and Tunnels” has entranced me beyond measure. I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since I first clicked play, and this troubles me, as the band is still in its early stages and I have no idea when they’ll come to California. And this is definitely a band worth seeing live.

On the rise, the band has opened for Tokyo Police Club at Bowery Ballroom and Blind Pilot at Mercury Lounge, two sold out shows that have hopefully opened people’s eyes (and ears!) to this fantastic band.

The Static Jacks are all about bringing the good stuff back to the table. Guitarist Henry Kaye told me “We're sick of synth music too..that is why we are here, to try and help fill the void of straight set up garage rock bands.”

The first thing I thought when I first heard the band was “damn, these boys are exactly what I need right now.” Guitar, bass, drums, vocals. No synthesizers, no special effects. Stripped down, exactly how I like it.

RCRD LBL sum it up quite nicely: "be stoked that there are kids still buying guitars out there instead of Ableton". The Static Jacks have recently been featured on the website, click here to check that out.

Lead singer Ian Devaney’s voice actually has the same nasally quality that Donald Cummings of The Virgins has, but the delivery is much more urgent, like Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters.

The Static Jacks have lyrics that’ll blow you out of the water. They are dreary and incredibly insightful for such a young band, but I’m not complaining.

On the opener, “Resistence/Self Control”, Ian sings: “so give up on hope and cast down your dreams/resistance is as resistance seems/and nothing's gonna happen if you stay or go.” The songs are riddled with references to lovers that are strikingly mature; this is clearly a band beyond its youth and ahead of its time. On “Fire on the Bridge and in the Tunnel Below”, a highly dramatic scene is rendered: “it was a crime of passion/done in my own fashion and I couldn't escape it/it was an act of war”. These first two songs are the darker of the bunch, the latter two flirt more with melody and strangely optimistic hooks.

“Stay a Lover” sounds like a Ramones song with more intricate lyricism. This, and the closing track, “Wine Cellar” even flirt with Beach Boys-esque guitar licks. Needless to say, I’m hooked. Now you can be too.

The Static Jacks on MYSPACE

The Static Jacks – Resistence/Self Control [mp3, highly recommended!]

My favourite of the bunch, it’s instantly gripping and heartbreaking as it shatters your ears with glorious sound. “We wouldn't fall in love, we'd just fall down,” Ian declares. Little does he know of how much power The Static Jacks’ modest handful of songs have, most importantly: the the power to help people rediscover their love of rock n roll, pure and simple.

And I’m pretty ecSTATIC about that.


Jun 18 PERSONALITY CRISIS @ Crash Mansion New York, New York
Jun 25 Velvet Lounge w/ PANSY DIVISION WASHINGTON, Washington DC
Jun 26 The Fire Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 28 Billy Baloneys Danbury, Connecticut
Jun 29 The Middle East Cambridge, Massachusetts

the last time I posted shows local to the area which an impressive band hailed from, about a month later, they went on a full on US tour! I'm hoping that the same thing will happen with The Static Jacks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

new MGMT video: Kids


"Kids" was my absolute favourite song of last year, and I am really quite enjoying the Bowie-esque get-ups which Andrew and Ben are sporting.

also, I just learned from indieblogheaven that this was the first song the boys ever wrote. that's so great =)

The Strokes Post #105

and now, for the finale:

The Strokes - You Only Live Once (live, Jools Holland) [mp3]

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

record review: Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

The new Grizzly Bear album is one of the most boring things I’ve heard all year. Regardless of how many times their lead singer sings “oh whoa” in “Cheerleader”, he never comes across as either sincere or even mildly interesting. All I’ve read about this album is how perfect it is, how it’s the embodiment of everything that is right about current indie-pop (sorry, guys, but that title belongs to Phoenix’s new record).

So why is it that the first time I put the record on, I couldn’t get past the fourth track? That I had to force myself to go back and give it another couple of chances, none of which left any lasting impressions? Reality check: this record will not change lives. It lacks substantial creativity, it is by no means melodic or riff heavy, and I can’t imagine how anyone would have any parts of any of the twelve songs stuck in their head. Even lead single “Two Weeks” fails to sustain my attention, all it does is remind me of a toned down version of a really annoying MIA song. Am I supposed to enjoy the rattle of cell phones buzzing?

I know what people will say:
Hanan, you just don’t understand Grizzly Bear. You don’t like this kind of music. Your brain isn’t advanced enough to wrap itself around this Pitchfork-approved genius.

To this, I have my reply ready:
Give me one song on Veckatimest that moves you to tears. That urges you to get up and dance uncontrollably. One song that tickles your soul or prompts you to be politically aware.

Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Fuck this shit, I'll wait for the new Arctic Monkeys release instead, thank you very much.


Now don't get me wrong: I think Grizzly Bear is a decent band. I prefer Department of Eagles, but I did enjoy their last release, Yellow House. I even liked their contribution to Dark Was the Night. Furthermore, the following performance really did take my breath away, so I suggest that you all watch it a few times rather than waste your time with Veckatimest :

Now excuse me, I’m going to go listen to Meat Is Murder--a true work of inspired art--rather than delude myself into thinking that something is great just because everyone is raving about it. And this is where the entire blogosphere hunts me down with their pitchforks. haha, look at that, an unintended pun.

The Strokes Post #104

The Strokes - Last Nite (live on Jools Holland) [mp3]

such an incredible set. expect one more tomorrow.

The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother 7"

when I previously posted the track, I forgot to mention that the single is available for purchase as a can get that ONLINE or at your local record shop, if they have it in stock (they probably do)

previous single "Hang You From the Heavens" is also available.

in any case, here's the mp3 for those who haven't heard it:

The Dead Weather - Treat Me Like Your Mother [mp3]

it's amazing how splurging on vinyl can ALWAYS appease your guilt for downloading music...

The Naked Hearts to play a couple of Bay Area gigs

just stumbled upon this band, after receiving an email from NoahLinn Wheeler, half of the NY male/female duo. they're nothing like the White Stripes, but they are QUICKLY growing on me.

anyhow, a more thorough post will come later, stream some songs on their MYSPACE and decide for yourself if they're worthy of your time (my vote goes to yes)

JUNE 11th
*Pretty Blue Presents*
w. PWRFL Power, Cap Lori, Kitchen, 100 Swans

JUNE 16th
w. PWRFL Power, Cap Lori, Daniel Francis Doyle, That Ghost

new Grand Lake single + tour dates

so the boys and girl of Grand Lake (well, now with a different boy behind drums, as over-booked Ryan Parks was replaced by John Pomeroy...guess he's no Jack White) have released what is probably my favourite song of theirs so far, previously dubbed "Werewolf Workweek" but now shall be known as "Sandusky Sunset"

a couple of things worthy of note, the single will be released as a CASSETTE with a free mp3 download and a nifty button (I'm speculating on the qualifier here, I haven't seen them but I think it's safe to guess that they're probably quite awesome) AND the limited 100 copies will be solely available for purchase at their concerts.

so, as not to deprive your wonderous collection of these soon to be priceless artifacts (I don't think teenagers these days even know that cassette tapes contain music in them, they probably think they're old school birth control dispensers or something), head on out!

6/11 - The Deli Presents, El Rio, San Francisco, CA
6/20 - Old Ironsides, Sacramento, CA
6/22 - Steynberg Gallery, San Luis Obispo, CA
7/11 - Mission Creek Music Festival, Oakland, CA
7/16 - Sophia's Thai Kitchen, Davis, CA
7/22 - The Stork Club, Oakland, CA
8/20 - Silver Factory Studios, Los Angeles, CA
8/21 - Tin Can Ale House, San Diego, CA
8/22 - The Uptown, Oakland, CA
8/25 - The Comet Tavern, Seattle, WA
8/27 - Guidance Conselor Release Party, Portland, OR

Grand Lake on MYSPACE

new Kings of Leon video: Notion

Kings Of Leon - Notion

I kind of prefer THIS VIDEO but I am completely and unabashedly biased.

The Strokes Post #103

an mp3 of my favourite rendition of a damn perfect song, here you go:

The Strokes - Heart in a Cage (live, Jools Holland) [mp3]

and here is the heartwrenchingly awesome video:

(I think I've posted the above video seven times now, but hello, total eargasm)

record review: Patrick Wolf - The Bachelor

Listening to this record is like frolicking through a mystical forest in a JRR Tolkien book. But that’s just one aspect of it. The Bachelor 's eclectic collection of songs is really radically different from Patrick Wolf’s old work, but strangely, completely appropriate. It is darker, but different in a good way (think Beck's move with Modern Guilt ).

The record itself embodies an obvious internal struggle Wolf must be experiencing with his creative genius: he obviously is trying to evolve past his established persona as a king of all things electronica and industrial (only an Anglo could pull that one off), and while he cannot completely detach himself from his past, the first six songs on the record deliberately tread into classical territory, emulating (recent) Radiohead and Andrew Bird more than anything else (strangely, while managing to sound nothing like either artist). In these songs, he layers soaring violins and urgent pianos with his always powerful vocals to deliver an incredibly chilling and enthralling listening experience.

The title track echoes QOTSA’s “No One Knows”, first with a violin, and then with a thumping piano beat. The lyrics “I will never marry, marry at all” are much more straight forward than that Morrissey song, and the delivery is equal parts Antony Hegarty and Kurt Cobain.

The sixth song, “Thickets” takes you into the world of hobbits and other fantastical creatures, but only if you want to go. It also serves as the definitive divide between the first, experimental, classically-approved portion of the record, and the latter half, in which Wolf reverts to his old ways, and does so beautifully. It’s as if he is reminding you that he is still the Patrick Wolf from The Magic Position, only smarter and more worldly, not to mention much more musically proficient.

This record is epic but not contrived, complex but not pretentious; best of all, it’s one of those great rare albums that truly allows you to imagine things and leaves so much room for interpretation, making you feel half as creative as Wolf (as opposed to listening to, say, Zach Condon’s music, which always leaves me incredibly depressed, feeling like a useless, talentless piece of shite in comparison to anything with the label Beirut).

Each song tells a different yet equally gripping tale, enticing me to analyze the entire thing track by track. But I’ll leave that to you, dear readers, because that’s half the fun.

This is, by far, the best, most innovative, well rounded and musically advanced record I've heard all year. And it's only part one of a double album, the second half of which shall be released next year, and will be called The Conqueror.

Highly fucking recommended.

Patrick Wolf - Damaris [mp3]
from the first ("classical") half

Patrick Wolf - Count of Casualty [mp3]
from the second ("electronica") half

the record dropped today, so what are you waiting for? get your butts out to your closest indie record shop and assert your rights as consumers with great taste.

Patrick Wolf will be playing a show at Slims next Monday. Atrocious band Jaguar Love is one of the openers, but aural redemption will inevitably ensue.

visit him on MYSPACE for more music and tour dates.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Arctic Monkeys announce new album release date, tracklisting!

two weeks and a day after my twentieth birthday, my very favourite British band of the modern era (and probably my [current] third favourite band of all time, after The Strokes and The Clash...well, maybe fourth after The Smiths...) will release their much anticipated third album, produced by Josh Homme of QOTSA and James Ford of Simian Mobile Disco


01. My Propeller
02. Crying Lightning
03. Dangerous Animals
04. Secret Door
05. Potion Approaching
06. Fire & The Thud
07. Cornerstone
08. Dance Little Liar
09. Pretty Visitors
10. The Jeweller's Hands

to be released on 24th August 2009

Belle & Sebastian frontman with new project

Stuart Murdoch's new musical endeavour is called G-d Help The Girl, and here's a taste of what you all can expect:

G-d Help The Girl - Mary's Market [mp3]

it sounds like B&S stuck in a really awesome supersmash bros video game. good stuff.

it's going to be a b-side to the forthcoming single, "Funny Little Frog"

Stuart's on lead vox,
Brian MacNeill on vox organ.
Francis MacDonald drumming,
David MacGowan on electric bass
Kenny McKeeve guesting from Camera Obscura on guitars
Tim Davidson guesting from Attic Lights on guitar also.

for lyrics click HERE

Live Nation: no ticket fees on Wednesdays

starting this Wednesday (June 3rd) at 12:01AM, Live Nation will not charge ticket fees for Ampitheatre shows if you purchase the tickets on a Wednesday.

perfect, they announce this a few hours after I drove all the way to Mountain View to pick up a pair of tickets to BFD in order to avoid 20 dollars worth of surcharges.
this is my life.

anyhow, as you all know, Live Nation and Ticketmaster recently joined forces, so this is an attempt on their part to appear less evil and wallet-raping. I am partially appeased.

The Strokes Post #102

part deux of the arlene grocery concert

The Strokes - Sagganuts (live Arlene Grocery 29 April 2000) [mp3]

The Strokes - The Rhythm Song (live Arlene Grocery 29 April 2000) [mp3]

The Strokes - Alone, Together (live Arlene Grocery 29 April 2000) [mp3]

The Strokes - A Minor 4-4 (live Arlene Grocery 29 April 2000) [mp3]

download part one HERE