Stranded In Stereo: September 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yo La Tengo do the Freewheeling Thing

In what has to be the most anticipated tour of the fall, my #2 (maybe #3 at worst) all-time favorite band Yo La Tengo will be hitting the road in the most unconventional of ways on The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo Tour.

What is being dubbed as a show that will be part Storytellers and Unplugged, the band will be playing stripped down renditions of tunes from their entire catalog that spans well over two decades. The band will also be looking for participation from the crowd, so get your thinking cap on and get ready to maybe ask some questions and possibly get your requests honored. Just don't be that guy asking what the band's name means. (Answer: "pass the ketchup!")

Tour Dates:
10/9 - Pittsburgh at the Warhol Museum (2 shows)
10/10 - Bloomington at Buskirk Chumley
10/11 - Chicago at the Lakeshore Theater (2 shows)
10/12 - Milwaukee at the Discover World Museum
10/13 - Grand Rapids at Calvin College
10/19 - Long Island at Jeanne Rimsky Theater
10/20 - Woodstock at Colony Cafe (2 shows)
10/22 - Philadelphia at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary
10/23 - Alexandria at the Birchmere
10/29 - Portland at the Aladdin
10/30 - Seattle at Town Hall
11/1 - San Francisco at Palace of Fine Arts
11/4 - La Jolla at the Museum of Contemporary Art
11/10 - North Adams at Mass Moca
11/15 - Boston at Museum of Fine Arts (2 shows)

And I know I've posted this before, but still the greatest music video of all-time:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Saints Reschedule US Tour

After pulling the plug on some dates earlier in the summer, Australian punk legends The Saints have regrouped and have lined up nine dates that find them going all around the east coast, before hopping on a jet plane to do a show in Austin at the Fun Fun Fun Fest.

Here are the dates:
10.25 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
10.26 Columbus, OH @ Bernie's Distillery
10.27 Rochester, NY @ The Bug Jar
10.28 Pittsburgh, PA @ 31st Street Pub
10.29 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
10.30 Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's
10.31 New York, NY @ The Midway
11.01 Boston, MA @ The Church
11.04 Austin, @ Fun Fun Fun Fest at Waterloo Park

Monday, September 24, 2007

Iceland Airwaves '07: Ampop

Another Monday, another band from Iceland to mention that will be at the Iceland Airwaves Festival next month.

This week: they hail from Reykjavik, they shack up in Glasgow, it's the soothing indie sounds of Ampop. Already a house hold name in their native land, they have been trying to make it in America, thanks to stops at SXSW and having their song "Two Directions" appear in and episode of
Kyle XY. They come as a cross of the dramatic dynamics of Snow Patrol, with a hint of Chris Martin's vocals thrown in, and maybe just a dash of the epic sounds of Muse. If that tickles your fancy, do check out the song "Two Directions" available for download on your right.

For even more info than you can imagine on this year's fest, make sure you hit up their official website. You can click here for that.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jens Lekman Leaving 'Kortedala' For US Tour

In the past week, my iTunes Library tells me I've spun this new Jens Lekman record, Night Falls Over Kortedala, somewhere between four and six times. That doesn't count the three times I know it's been spun in the office. It's such a captivating album: the opening moments of "And I Remember Every Kiss" are the most cinematic moments of music this year. Big brash brass, strings, and Lekman's dynamic and powerful lament open up the strongest album of the fall. It goes right in to "Sipping On The Sweet Nectar" which features more great strings and brass, accompanying what to me is the phattest disco beat. The sampling style is even more prevalent on "Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig," a number started off with Doo Wop's reminiscent of TV On The Radio, before a thumping beat that I could only point to Kanye as a comparison.

His vocals often get compared to Morrissey, and I have denounced that man for centuries. Maybe I should start recanting my feelings and listen to Vauxhall & I. Until then, I'll enjoy Kortedala and you can when it's released on October 9th. I'll see Jens in Boston, where will you catch him?

10/23 Bloomington, IN Jake's
10/25 Washington DC Black Cat
10/26 Philadelphia, PA Unitarian Church
10/27 New York, NY Webster Hall
10/29 Boston, MA Paradise
11/02 Chicago, IL Logan Square Auditorium
11/03 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock Social Club
11/06 Seattle, WA Nectar
11/07 Portland, OR Someday Lounge
11/09 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's 365 Club
11/13 Dallas, TX Granada
11/14 Austin, TX Parish
11/15 Tallahassee, FL Club Down Under

Download: "Kanske Ar Jag Kar I Dig" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Jason Reeves Tell Us His All-Time Top 5

In the tradition of High Fidelity, one of the greatest books and films of my lifetime, our first ever guest blogger has bestowed upon us their company and is here to share with us his list of his all-time, top 5 favorite bands/singers.

Living in the great midwestern state of Iowa, Jason Reeves is becoming quite the popular singer on MySpace. To date, he's at #18 on the social networking site's Top 20 unsigned musicians. So, we here at Stranded In Stereo figure to celebrate his feat on making that coveted list, that he could share his list with us.

Take it away, Mr. Reeves:

1. Bob Dylan
Bob's easily the best songwriter in music. Is and was my
biggest, and did what can never be done again.
2. James Taylor
Nobody's smoother; his voice and melodies feel so easy and
free. One of the reasons I started writing songs.
3. Sufjan Stevens
He's the most brilliant, genius of a musician our generation
has seen. Probably one of the most incredible creators music has ever seen.
His songs are tragic and beautiful.
4. Pink Floyd
Nothing can be said about their sound. [David] Gilmour is probably my
favorite guitar player. They are vision and insanity.
5. Michael Jackson
I wanted to be him when I was a kid. His records are
Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad. He's the King Of Pop for a reason.

To check Jason's music out, and see how he lets his influences play a part in his music, check out his album The Magnificent Adventures Of Heartache And Other Frightening Tales) which is available through CD Baby.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Office really does say "Oh My" in New Vid

Giving Rilo Kiley's "The Moneymaker" a run for it's ... you know, money, Office have made their porn-related music video in the form of "Oh My." Featuring appearances by actual porn stars Peter North and Randy West, it looks as if the midwestern quintet are leading one guy on and them leaving him hanging and wanting more. Good job kids good job.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Release Tuesday

On first listen, I was a bit underwhelmed by the newest effort from Rogue Wave. I was ecstatic to hear of the prospects of opening track "Harmonium," and its nearly seven minute song length. But it just didn't sit with me well. I made it through the first four songs, up through first single "Lake Michigan," and ended up stopping there twice. Finally, on my third try the record just sunk in and has become a top contender (for me, at least) as one of the top records of the fall. Matthew Caws' harmonies and guitar playing help haunt the beautiful portrait that is "Chicago X 12." Once I finally got passed the first four songs, I found some of the best compositions Zac Rogue put together with the band. "Own Your Own Home" has the great finale of what sounds like controlled calamity, with noisemakers, toy pianos, people making noise: fanfare is the simplest way to state it but why not really explain it. The closing pair of tunes, "Phonytown" and "Cheaper Than Therapy" showcase a Wave crashing on the shores of AM radio. "Phonytown" with it's extended late 70s jam session at the end, and "Therapy" with it's solid guitar solo and synths that are the heart monitor as it flatlines at the finale. Not that it's a terrible album, because it isn't: it's their finest moment.

"Own Your Own Home" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

The movies came out as one big, epic, 3+ hour bloody, campy homage and it didn't go over so well. So when it came time for Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to release their Grindhouse monster on DVD, they went with two separate releases (probably to recup expenses.) Up first is the second half, Tarantino's Death Proof. In a 2-disc set, the film now comes unrated and extended, giving you more Kurt Russell driving his indestructible car; more women beating the shit out of Russell; and most importantly, more of Tarantino's trademark style of dialogue. The extra feature probably diatribes from Tarantino on why Kurt Russell is God and why he made this tribute to Vanishing Point the way he did; I'm just hoping the best trailers are on this one.

Buy: Death Proof [Here]

Monday, September 17, 2007

Iceland Airwaves '07: Gus Gus

Keeping up with my word, the second installment of our rock and roll expose on this year's Iceland Airwaves festival finds us going cuckoo for Reykjavik's own techno legends Gus Gus.

Using mind numbing repetitive beats coated with soothing vocals, the electronic trio remind me as a cross section of Underworld with maybe just a dab of the earlier works of New Order. Over the course of their five albums and a dozen years in the spotlight, the band hasn't garned a household name for their brand of techno and house music, but also for remixing their contemporaries like Bjork and Depeche Mode.

If you'll be in town, Gus Gus plays the festival Saturday October 19th.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rilo Kiley "Under The Blacklight" On Tour

When I first put on Rilo Kiley's 4th long player, I was shocked. Before the album had come out, all I had heard was "The Moneymaker," a song that took some time to grow on me (actually, I lie - I liked it from the get go. The rest of my co-workers were disgusted, I easily refer to it as a guilty pleasure. What? I like their attempt at Some Girls-era Stones.) The opening shine of "Silver Lining" painted a completely different portrait of the LA band: gone completely were the lo-fi brawn of Take Offs And Landings and instead was something even more polished than More Adventurous.

"Lining" would eventually grow on me, and "Close Call" was an instant fave with it being the closest thing to old school Rilo Kiley. I'm really trying more to appreciate "Breakin' Up" with it's cheesy back up singers and shlock, but it has a better chance of me liking it than the spanish speaking "Dejalo" or the Debbie Gibson cheese of "Give A Little Love."

What I do love is the 60s pop that is "Smoke Detector." Very summery guitar riffs, Jenny Lewis using the voice we all love (that's my problem with this record - why try and be a soul singer when you can do the cutesy thing you are used to?) and her most interesting of lyircs ever ('I took a man back to my room / I was smokin' him in bed.' 'Nuff said.) Danger, do the smoke detector indeed.

Either way, the record still holds up well in the end. And I better start liking these guys since they'll be coming to town next week and I'll be there. Go catch them yourself when they come to a town near you.

09-13 Omaha, NE - Sokol Auditorium
09-14 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue

09-15 Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre

09-17 Royal Oak, MI - Royal Oak Music Theatre

09-18 Toronto, Ontario - Phoenix Theatre

09-19 Montreal, Quebec - La Tulipe

09-21 Boston, MA - Avalon

09-22 New York, NY - Webster Hall

09-23 New York, NY - Webster Hall

09-25 Philadelphia, PA - Trocadero

09-26 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

09-27 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

09-28 Asheville, NC - The Orange Peel

09-29 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse

10-01 Fort Lauderdale, FL - Revolution

10-02 Orlando, FL - House of Blues

10-04 New Orleans, LA - The Republic

10-05 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live

10-06 Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom

10-07 Austin, TX - Stubb's Bar-B-Q

10-09 Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre

10-10 Tempe, AZ - Marquee Theatre

10-12 San Diego, CA - SOMA

10-13 Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel

10-14 Anaheim, CA - The Grove

10-15 Santa Monica, CA - Civic Auditorium

Download: "Smoke Detector" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Hot Chip! New Hot Chip! New Hot Chip!

Over the last two years, one of my favorite things in the world has been driving around listening to Hot Chip's Coming On Strong and making mixes that feature either "Boy From School," "Baby Said," or the beautifully sewn together "I Can't Wake Up." Thinking about all these songs and specific moments in life gives me chills, but nothing gives me more thrills than saying the words "NEW" "HOT" and "CHIP" in the same sentence.

I saw them almost a year ago at CMJ, and just a few months past their sophomore effort The Warning (one of last year's best records and defining moments of my summer and last weeks of college,) but their set was slightly outweighed by new songs. New songs that were funky, new songs that were fresh, new songs that were different yet the same. "Out At The Pictures" was glorious with all its cheesiness, and then there was "Shake A Fist," a fan favorite for quite some time in the live setting.

Now that they have finished their new album supposedly (maybe titled Made In The Dark, maybe called Shot Down In Flames, a title tied to another new song "I Became A Volunteer" when posted earlier this year on their MySpace.) Anyway, the band has released the studio version of "Fist" unto the world, and a MySpace bulletin from Joe Goddard of Hot Chip earlier this morning told me and the rest of us Hot Chippers to go vote for the song to get played on Steve Lamacq's show on the BBC next week. Do so to help Hot Chip here. Shot Down In The Dark or whatever Hot Chip's third opus will be titled is due in early 2008.

Elsewhere, you should check out Hyperbola, the official blog for those crazy kids who work at Planetary. I finally made my contribution by delivering my burning missive to the masses on this year's so totally awesome VMA's (barf.)

"Out At The Pictures" at CMJ last year. You don't know it but I'm right in the front of Alexis and Joe.

Stream: "Shake A Fist" [Here]

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Iceland Airwaves '07: Lay Low

Celebrating its ninth year of existence, the Iceland Airwaves Festival goes down in Reykjvik October 17th through the 21st. To coincide with this awesome festival, the Icelandic Music Export has compiled an exclusive 17-track compilation of Icelandic bands to be featured at this year's festival to be sold only on iTunes later this month. Leading up to the festival, Stranded In Stereo will feature a different Icelandic band that is featured on the compilation and will be at the festival.

This week, we're featuring the band Lay Low. Mainly a solo project dubbed Lay Low by singer-songwriter Lovisa, the intricate guitar plucks and bluesy vocals show a woman who sounds like she has been down, and is using the power of the blues to tell everyone how it is.

Download the brooding number "Mojo Love" over there on the right of the blog, and watch out for new MP3's every week leading up to the festival on October 17th.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pop Montreal Turns Six; SiS To Go

The sixth annual Pop Montreal festival is a few weeks away, taking place October 3-7 in (where else but) Montreal! This year's line-up is so stacked I'm very jealous I won't be going. Our very own Dany Sloan, though, he's the lucky one as he'll be hanging out for all the festivities that week. I'll make sure he does some reporting from the field here and there.

For the whole line-up and everything else you want to know about the fest, go here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Kings Of Leon get BRMC, Simple Kid for Fall Tour

When Because Of The Times came out earlier this year, it wasn't my favorite Kings Of Leon record. When I saw them at Lollapalooza, though, it just seemed to me that it all came together. Times is a big sounding record, deserving of a big stage to present the songs on. The songs went over well with the crowd, and some Eddie Vedder guy came out and joined them on their closing number, "Slow Night, So Long" to do his thing on the tambourines.

Making another run through the states, the Kings have invited San Fran's Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to join them on the American jaunt, with Ireland pal Simple Kid playing select dates as well.

Kings and Eddie:

Tour Tour:
09.04 San Francisco, CA @ Warfield
09.07 Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre
09.08 San Diego, CA @ SDSU Open Air Theatre
09.10 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
09.11 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
09.14 Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks
09.15 Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove
09.19 New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
09.21 Upper Darby, PA @ Tower Theatre
09.23 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
09.26 Charlottesville, NC @ Charlottesville Pavilion
09.28 Boston, MA @ Orpheum
09.29 Providence, RI @ Lupo's
10.03 Baltimore, MD @ Ram's Head
10.04 Detroit, MI @ The Filmore
10.06 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Ampitheatre
10.09 Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre

The BRMC and the Kid aren't resting; on days off they'll have a few smaller club gigs together.

BRMC/Simple Kid:
09.16 Madison, WI @ The Annex
09.17 Chicago, IL @ The Metro
09.20 Rochester, NY @ Club at Walter Street Music Hall
09.22 Norfolk, VA @ The Norva