Friday, June 11, 2010

Band of the Week: Transfer

Every once and a while, I find myself in the presence of a band that causes the whole room to feel spectral and surreal, simply by delivering what seems second nature to them. Transfer are one such band. Hailing from San Diego, they are the perfect meeting point between classic rock and psychedelic music. In the live setting, their lead singer Matt maintained an insane howl that was perfectly synchronized to the twinkling music. Add in menacing drums that could slice through a tundra and you will understand the impeccable power of this remarkable band. Their latest album, Future Selves, was released in November of last year and is equal parts Flaming Lips and The Who, with stunning violin solos toppling about where you least expect them (“Take Your Medicine”). Their songs have a morose undertone hiding beneath their badass exterior, like Echo and the Bunnymen stuck in a whirlpool of grunge. “Get Some Rest” is the black sheep of the bunch—a slung back, Sam Cookeian number drenched in ol’ gospel feel. There is no time to ask questions. Just let it sink in. And get your ass to a show, Transfer’s concerts are life changing.

The Strokes Post #467

Classic Track Thursday

Jeff Beck - Freeway Jam [mp3]
from Blow By Blow (1975)

Jeff Beck is electric. he did to the guitar what Ben & Jerry did to ice cream. revolutionary glory.

originally a Yardbird, Beck blossomed into one of the greatest guitarists of all time. he is on constant rotation in my library and should be a part of your world too.

The Strokes Post #466

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


oh sweet sweet venison.

more videos HERE

no new songs but I don't care. no I don't. THE STROKES ARE BACK!!!

EPIC set list:

'New York City Cops'
'The Modern Age'
'Hard To Explain'
'What Ever Happened?'
'You Only Live Once'
'Vision Of Division'
'I Can't Win'
'Is This It'
'Red Light'
'Last Nite'
'Under Control'
'Heart In A Cage'
'Take It Or Leave It'

The Strokes Post #465

SPIN wants to send you to Lolla to see The Strokes, VIP style (helloooo, stage side view). details can be found HERE.

record review: Delta Spirit - History from Below

I am a music snob. Yes I am. When people tell me that albums like Congratulations are “growers”, I want to spit in their faces. Why? Because I believe that your soul should be able to recognize something it loves immediately, even if it may take your brain a while to deconstruct it.

I think back to the first time I heard History from Below, Delta Spirit’s spirited second album. I was driving to work in my car about a month ago and it was damn lucky that I had to stop at a red light because my eyes were flowing with uncontrollable tears. My body could not contain the emotion extracted from this tortuously perfect album.

Well before I heard the album in its entirety (I have been enjoying renditions of the new songs for the last couple of years at their shows), lead singer Matt Vasquez told me that History from Below was inspired by the writings of one of his heroes (and his guitar’s namesake)—Howard Zinn. On History from Below, not one element is spared in executing Delta Spirit’s revolutionary spark.

I first experienced Delta Spirit live, as openers at San Francisco’s very own Slim’s; they were feisty and unstoppable and I fell in love immediately. Until this very day, they remain to be my favourite live band. When I heard their debut record, Ode to Sunshine, something felt like it was missing. The intensity of their magnanimity as musicians was slightly blurred in the DIY production, although it was soon redeemed when I heard their foot stomping and hyperactive EP, I Think I’ve Found It. Don’t get me wrong, Ode to Sunshine remains to be one of my favourite records, but this sophomore effort, produced by Eli Thomson and Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket’s keyboardist) just blows it out of the fucking water.

“9/11” is by far the most striking opener I’ve heard all year. Matt’s signature thinking-man’s lyrics are displayed prominently, “all the old boys said they could make it last/like Vietnam without the draft”. Jesus. The music is equally raucous, as the tangy guitars are determined to keep up with Matt’s intense vocal delivery. History from Below continues, with a magnified, audibly rock’n’roll version of “Bushwick Blues”, a song that started out simpler, more folksy. Lest you fret, the band did not abandon their roots—they are still at the top of their game when delivering layered acoustic songs that effortlessly transport you to your most vulnerable emotional memories (“Salt in the Wound”; “Vivian”). The only difference is that the songs just sound a thousand times better. It’s not just the improved production quality either. Delta Spirit seems to have absorbed all of the positive energy that their crowds always deliver, and converted it to tighter songwriting and unparalleled musicianship.

Like a slinky, the songs are so emotionally gripping—haunting at times ("St. Francis")—by the sheer virtue of the band’s sincerity. You are swayed because the music relays stories and experiences with a numbing level of authenticity. Similarly, at their concerts, the entire audience cannot help but be completely absorbed in and enamoured by the music, because the band--unlike any other-- delivers as if every single cell in their bodies depended on it.

My favourite track of the bunch is “White Table”, mostly due to the fact that I feel like it is the best demonstration of the band’s explosive synchronicity. You can just hear those maddening multiple drum kits go go go. Did I mention the harmonies? History from Below has, without a doubt, perfected the oh-too-often half assed art of backup vocals.

I could write up a thousand words for each song on this album, but let it suffice to say that History from Below just strengthens my resolve in giving Delta Spirit the fortuitous yet highly coveted title of folk-kings. It's powerful and mesmerizing and filled to the brim with truth. It also makes me wish that bands like Mumford and Sons would go back to invisible busking. Bob Dylan believed that folk music was the music of the people, and I believe that people deserve unabashed passion, relief from their mundane and ruthless day lives. People deserve Delta Spirit. Anything less would be criminal.


the album is now available for purchase, I'd suggest you get your bottoms to a show and buy it directly from them. visit MYSPACE for dates

if you read this blog with any regularity and decide to overlook this album, you are effectively mocking me and depriving yourself of a glorious, obsession worthy album. and I will slap you for your double fault.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Strokes Post #464

Message: Why won't you come over here..? #fb
we've got a city to love!!

if you are in the London area, I forbid you not to go HERE tomorrow night

Monday, June 7, 2010

record review: Tokyo Police Club - Champ

Sophomore slump often befalls bands when they dare to tread into new territory and look further than their beloved debut tunes. Sometimes, though, the band in question embrace such a wholesome new persona that the entire concept of a weak second album is lost amongst the brilliance. Earlier this year, Vampire Weekend did just that with Contra; now, Canadian indie rockers Tokyo Police Club have followed suit. The guitars in opener “Favourite Food” are delayed yet racy and pave the path for “Favourite Colour”, the sweetest ode to teenage love I’ve heard since Weezer’s “(If You're Wondering) I Want You To”. Tokyo Police Club dig deep into Bleed American era Jimmy Eat World, turning up the amps and the nostalgia to the maximum level. The layers of humming and percussion are infectious and delivered in perfect proportions to the edgy nasally vocals from Dave Monks. “Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” marks the end of the first, uptempo-crazed chapter of Champ, and is followed by “Bambi”, a beat driven electronica track which eases you into the latter half of the record—toned down, mature, thought out. Who ever could have imagined that this band would be dolling out croons about regretfully pensive mornings that follow late nights filled with bad decisions? Champ is hi-fi, it’s cheerful yet thought provoking, and it’s overflowing with emotion. It’s everything that’s uncool in a nutshell, but if you love your ears, you will put aside your hipster irony and indulge in this superbly crafted album.

Tokyo Police Club - Favourite Colour [mp3, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!]

Champ drops tomorrow (08 June), make sure you pick it up!

photos: BFD 2010

The Soft Pack:

The Temper Trap:

The Gaslight Anthem:


the following photos are courtesy of my good friend Anita Wagner, who took over the digital memory making whilst I was busy dancing/crowd surfing/nursing my ankle (incurred while I was moshing in the Against Me! pit...yep that was me in the red dress amongst all the boys)

The Soft Pack:

Against Me!

The Gaslight Anthem:


hope everyone had fun!

photos: Grand Lake in Santa Cruz

The Crepe Place
04 June 2010

they rendered "Concrete Blonde on Blonde" wonderfully after a tad bit of technical difficulty.

...and this is what the assholes at the door think of under 21s: