Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Dirty Projectors announced the details for their new album, the follow up to their amazing re-interpretation of Black Flags Rise Above. Bitte Orca will be released on June 9th on Domino records. Hopefully they will play some of the new songs at both of their shows next week. For those of you who missed out on the news, the band will play a free show Thursday at 7pm at the Walker as part of the Making Music Series, and will play an official show at the Walker Friday night. Both should be amazing.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Just found out Grouper will be opening for Animal Collective at their show at First Ave in May, which is really awesome. Grouper, who put out the excellent Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill last year, make this show even more of a can't miss. Her ambient and dreamy pop music is great for late night listens and should be a perfect warm up for hearing the Merriweather Post Pavilion stuff live. I am not sure what is left for tickets, but if you haven't picked one up yet, I would do it asap.
I got the latest CD from the band Black Gold, Rush, a few weeks ago and it has been slowly growing on me ever since. The band plays electro tinged rock while never becoming too bombastic or overplaying their hand, which is often a problem with that genre of music. The video above is for the song "Breakdown", which is one of the best songs on the album. Like WHG favorites Solid Gold, the song is a churning, nearly apocalyptic, electro funk jam that is both dark and epic. The band will be playing an opening slot tonight at Station 4 for a show headlined by the band Lydia. Black Gold will hit the stage around 7 for the all ages show, so don't miss out.
MCTC will be hosting a benefit tonight at the Turf Club for their photography department and have brought in some great bands to provide the entertainment. There will be a raffle to win students framed pictures, and the excellent musical lineup includes WHG favorites Gospel Gossip, Gay Witch Abortion and local stalwarts Plastic Chord, who sadly will be playing their last show.
Tickets cost $5 and it is $1 for a raffle ticket to win some great artwork. Music starts at 10 PM.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Solid Gold were cool enough to agree to keep us (meaning Culture Bully) up to date with what is going on with their London tour. The first(short) message we got is up HERE at Culture Bully. I'm looking forward to hearing more in the next few days.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Some great news just went up over on Culture Bully/More Cowbell about a great new show coming to the Twin Cities. King Khan and his mighty Shrines will be visiting the Triple Rock Social Club on May 16th. King Khan and the Shrines are one of the bands highest on my list of acts I want to see and have not, so this is very awesome news.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
The legendary Leonard Cohen will be coming to the Orpheum Theatre on May 3rd for what should be an amazing show. I just hope that the cash strapped Cohen doesn't charge an arm and a leg for tickets, although I think his lack of touring and brilliant songs would warrant it. Will update with ticket prices when they come available.
(Hat Tip: Culture Bully)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Good news, music lovers. Annie Clark, known to the masses as St. Vincent, is releasing her sophomore album. The sultry singer, who's debut album Marry Me was a disc I really enjoyed, will be dropping Actor on May 5th on the 4AD record label. The video above is from her excellent show at the Entry in 2007.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Newest video from Solid Gold, who continue to build steam towards their eventual take over of the entire world. Check them out tomorrow night at 7pm for a free instore at the Fetus, with Lucy Michelle playing before them at 6.
(Hat Tip: Sound Verite')
Troubadour M. Ward will be making a return to Minneapolis for a show on April 25th at the First Ave Mainroom. The show, which will be 18 +, will set you back a cool $16. Matt Ward is one of those musicians that is always constantly good, if not spectacular. I have always liked/respected/listened to/bought music by/seen live and have come to know that any project he is involved in will be a quality endeavor. He is a great talent, and his new CD Hold Time is excellent as usual, and his upcoming show should be no exception.
For those of you who may only know him through his duo She and Him, be sure to check out his great back catalog and check him out live in a few months.
Above is the video for the title track, "Hold Time", from his current CD.
Another local band who are Whiskey for the Holy Ghost favorites (like Gospel Gossip) that could very well blow up this year are the band Vampire Hands. They play frantic, pulsing music that is both wildly hypnotic and musically dense. Their last album, Me and You Cherry Red, was one of my favorite local CD's of last year and I have seen them many times live and never been disappointed. They have a great opportunity coming up as they will be the openers for the San Diego based buzz band Wavves, a tour that is sure to draw a lot of attention. On this same tour, they are also playing some big SXSW showcases that should expose them to some of the hipster taste-makers lounging around Austin.
Around town, they have a free show tonight at the Nomad (with Extra Life and To Kill a Petty Bourgeoisie) and will be opening for the Black Lips of March 16th at the Turf for what should be an awesome show.
The video above is from a show at the Turf Club where they played my favorite song, "No Fun", from the My and You Cherry Red disc. If you haven't seen/heard Vampire Hands, I would highly recommend checking them out.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The rumors are true, folks.....the Wrestler is excellent. Sad, poignant and crushing, the movie strikes nerve after nerve with its gripping portrayal of a broken down hero trying to find his place in a world that has passed him by. Mickey Rouke gives a world-wind performance that knocks the wind out of you and hopefully will get his due rewards with whatever awards they give to people these days for creating something so affirming as he did with this movie. The video above is for the Bruce Springsteen song "The Wrestler" which is also not half bad itself.
When I saw this movie my Dad and recalled seeing Jake "the Snake" Roberts at a local high school when I was younger and thinking about the similarities. Roberts was just pathetic....he was drunk (or on drugs) and the guy he was wrestling had to basically pin himself with the bloated Roberts on top of him. While it was fairly amusing, seeing this movie really struck a chord with how far he had fallen. When I was looking on Youtube for the video of "The Wrestler", I came across this juxtaposition of the song with some footage of Roberts, so apparently I wasn't the only one who had noticed the difference. A movie this sad becomes even more sad when you think of the fact that there is someone out there who is living it every day.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Stereogum premired some brand spankin new National songs today, which is always good news. The band, who's last two CD's, Alligator and Boxer, are two of my favorites of this past decade, apparently arn't putting out a new CD until 2010, but if these songs are any indication, it should be well worth the wait. The MP3's from Stereogum are bleow. For anyone out there who has missed out on the National, check out the videos both above and below.
The National - "Karamazov" (Live) (MP3)
The National - "Wake Up Your Saints" (Live)
Thursday, February 12, 2009
The British band, who mix Can sounding Krautrock with some snarky dance music, played a great set that really got the sold out 7th Street Entry moving. The 4 piece band frantic, pulsing sound is an oddly engaging juxtaposition with their stoic and serious stage demeanor, sounded great Wednesday night. The drums were crisp and the bass was loud, but it never overpowered singer David Best’s wry, aloof singing that propelled the catchy, but undeniably British songs forward. The band played a mix of songs from both of their albums and for the hour long set kept the show, which had sold out days in advance of the show, moving along at a good pace. There are some videos at More Cowbell from near the end of the set, starting with new single “Knickerbocker” and including one of the strongest songs of the night, “In One Ear and Out the Other.” Overall the band proved to be a fun time live and showed the chops that make them such a great band.
Based strictly on recorded output, I was more excited to see the opening band School of Seven Bells than Fujiya and Miyagi, but they ended up not meeting my expectations. I have been really enjoying their latest album, Alpinisms, and was hoping the shoegaze-dreampop sound would translate better in a live setting. Unfortunately, their sound was lost amid a drum machine and bass samples that were too loud and tedious and made their songs sound less ethereal and more monotonous. The layers of sound that make the album so great were lost during their set, and guitar player (and former Secret Machines member) Ben Curtis seemed to serve more as a male foil to the Deheza twins than a functioning member of the band. There were still some highlights and it was a cool sight to see the band, all with dark hair dressed in dark clothes, playing their sprawling and dreamy songs in the dark and dirty club. I would like to see the band as a five piece (adding live drums and bass) and see if that would help bring their sound to life a little bit more.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
First Avenue Mainroom
5 PM/ 18+
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
I should preface this by saying that I never quite fell for Lykke Li and her debut album, Youth Novels, as much as it seems a lot of other people did. Her quirky pop songs not only drew the attention of the blogosphere and public radio types, but seemed to do well enough with the non-music obsessed mainstream that exist out there. I thought the album was OK and had some strong songs, but I guess I was always a little confused by the people who seemed to be tripping over themselves to bestow her with such high accolades. In the same vein as M.I.A, I thought of her as talented but in existence mainly to appease the pop appetite of people who don't want to admit they like mainstream pop stars. Under this same train of thought, I was surprised at how many people shelled out twenty hard earned dollars to see a young artist who had put out not much more than an hours worth of work. Oh well, what do I know?
I think I was in the minority of the close to full Varsity who thought Lykke Li's Swedish Wiccan-on-meth stage presence was annoying and seemed wholly contrived and the show only cemented my feelings that she was no more than a run of the mill pop singer (a la Lily Allen). Like Allen, I think she has some decent songs and some potential to be a more well-rounded artist in the future, but I just felt like her show was a shining example of a hype artist fizzling out and exposing a lesser artist being propped up by a vague idea of what something is supposed to look or sound like. On some of her bigger songs like “I’m Good, I’m Gone” and “Dance, Dance, Dance” (and her painful covers of the Kings of Leon and A Tribe Called Quest), the crowd had less the feeling of a group who was there to enjoy the extensive talents of a singer than a group of people who liked something for more nefarious reasons and were more into the moment than the music. (In defense of that statement, there is nothing wrong with liking a concert more for the moment than the music; I just think people try to portray Lykke Li as transcending that or being something different than artists usually associated with that type of music.)
Overall, maybe my dislike for the show was something that kept multiplying upon itself. As her stage presence annoyed me and her songs sounded hollow, I was more and more confused by the rapturous response she was receiving by the crowd. I think sensing the disconnect between my thoughts on the show (an over-hyped pop singer who was being exposed for some paper thin songs and forced stage antics) and what was happening around me (screaming and general high praise for everything she did) caused even further frustrations.
While trying my best to not sound like a female-fronted, pop music hating curmudgeon, I guess I just never have bought into the hype that is Lykke Li. I withheld judgment until seeing her live, but that only served to bolster my opinion, which seems to place me on the opposite side of popular opinion on this young singer. I am sure most of the people at the show will vehemently disagree with me....if so, I would love to hear your thoughts on what I am missing.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Tapes N Tapes/Wild Light/Solid Gold- 1st Ave 9pm
Birthday Suits/1,000 of Cats- 7th Street Entry
Chasity Brown- Cafe Maude 9PM
1st Communion Afterparty- 400 Bar 9PM
Gospel Gossip- Hexagon 9PM
Grant Hart- Turf Club
Solid Gold & Beatrix Jar- Kitty Kat Klub 9PM
Me and my Arrow- 7th Street Entry 9PM
Cowboy Mouth- Varsity Theatre 9PM
His Mischief- Stasuis 9PM
lineup is as follows*indicates stage 2
1:15(ish) special guests
12;45 speeds the name
12:30 power of two*
12:15 plastic chord
11:45 economy team
11:30 zyclon b cool*
11:15 the nina the pinta
10:45 young brides
10:30 falcon arrow*
10:15 kill to kill
10:00 the hasbeen*
9:45 military special
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Saw the sad news the other day that the Silver Jews are claiming that they are done for as a band. While I always taken the final show news with a grain of salt from any band, it seems to me like David Berman and his crew would be ones to actually to stay off the stage once they have taken their final bow. I only saw the Silver Jews once, at the Pitchfork Music Festival a few years ago, but I have always loved their work. Going to Chicago that weekend they were one of the bands I was most looking forward to seeing, but I unfortunately didn’t pace myself that 100 degree day and wound up swinging in and out of consciousness laying in the outfield grass while they were playing their set. I tried to prop my head up and hear their great songs, but most of it, unfortunately, was lost on me. I did summon the strength to get up and walk closer when they played my favorite song, “Smith and Jones Forever”, but overall it makes me feel like an idiot that what may be the only time I get to see them was lost because I was passed out in a public park with people stepping on me. Oh well. Above is a video of them playing “Smith and Jones Forever” from their “last” show.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Backyard Tire Fire- Food for Thought (Daytrotter)
Backyard Tire Fire- Ready or Not (Daytrotter)