Stranded In Stereo: April 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Great Escape Preview: Wintersleep

Halifax band Wintersleep won a Juno Award for New Group of the Year after releasing their third album, Welcome to the Night Sky, in 2007. While their music can make them as canon as Canadian sweethearts Wolf Parade or Broken Social Scene, the melodies they produce are heavier than you might expect. The heaviness is not startling because it is loud, but because it seems to have come from another time—it's a heaviness that sets them apart from the other bands stepping onto the scene and creates an atmosphere that is both intense and reassuring.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Great Escape Preview: The Bombay Bicycle Club

With good reviews on their previously-released EPs, Bombay Bicycle Club will release their debut album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose Island Records in July. After first forming when the band members were just 15, they've created something that NME described as the “hottest sound to come from North London for quite some time.” Their energy is raw and has a sort of hazy shoegaze that layers above snarky, mature lyrics and otherwise poppy, jittery vocals. Since winning a competition against The Holloways, they've gotten a lot of good press and are producing music that shows a lot of promise.

SIS At The Club: Peter Bjorn & John

(Photo by G. Khaikin/iPhone)

After many listens to
Living Thing, I was rather excited to see Peter Bjorn & John live once again. There was all this criticism, how their many performances at SXSW were universally panned due to technical glitches and a rather apathetic appearance from the Swedish trio. I still went in to the Paradise with my head on my shoulders and no opinion formulated; like when I heard for years about how Yo La Tengo's live performances were a total crapshoot between deafeningly awesome just god awful, I was going in as a fan and someone who's already seen them enough who just wants to see how these interestingly put together new songs can be performed in a live setting.

We discussed it at the office this morning and I had made up my mind: they pulled it off. I will admit at first I was nervous; the awkwardly arranged first half of the set opened with the quiet and nimble "Just The Past" into the ultimately brooding when performed live "Start to Melt", followed by "Beats Me Everytime", a song Peter introduced as on oldie that no one knew. When he used the term oldie they probably thought 1960s; it came out this decade.

But then things picked up a bit. The mid-section was chock full of
Thing's tunes: the title track was executed perfectly with Bjorn's deadpan expression delivering the line "it's a living thing" as Peter, dressed in a suit that even made him look like Paul Simon, noodled away on his guitar. "Lay It Down" was different in that the key was slightly different, but a fun bouncy number the crowd seemed to enjoy. Bjorn even continued dancing doing the robot and mimicking handclaps during "It Don't Move Me".

After the set ended with the 1-2 punch of "Young Folks" and "Objects of My Affection" from the stellar
Writer's Block, the encore was where it had to be. Not for the heavier rendition of new single "Nothing to Worry About" but for the 14 minute (I am not kidding) rendition of "Up Against The Wall". Peter and Bjorn careened across the stage, almost dropping instruments and their own bodies on myself many a time, while John wailed away on the drums where he stood - not sat - all night. Oh and Peter was wearing shorts during the encore with dress shoes and argyle socks - what a European. Well done, boys.

This clip is from what some called a disastrous headlining set at Emo's during SXSW. This is their cover of the Weepies "Fa Ci La". I wish they would have played it last night. Oh well!

Set List:
Just The Past / Start To Melt / Beats Me Everytime / Chills / Lay It Down / It Don't Move Me / Living Thing / Let's Call It Off / Young Folks / Objects of My Affection // Stay This Way / Nothing To Worry About / Up Against The Wall

The Stranded Q&A: Fly Upright Kite

From left to right, Liam, Holland, Jarred, and Asad form the Boston-based band Fly Upright Kite, who are having their Boston CD Release Party TONIGHT @ Great Scott in Allston. This is their second EP release, "Weightless."

With a dynamic blend of indie rock, Fly Upright Kite's music resonates deeply with each listener and viewer, as they make both the music and performance an emotional experience as well as a musical one. You can check out their music @, where you will find all 6 tracks off their new EP currently streaming.

1. Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston based bands because:
"We know how to survive the ever changing weather conditions and the over saturated music scene! Hah."

2. Name at least 3 bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think its fits well:
"Jeremy Enigk (sunny day real estate), Circa Survive, As Tall As Lions, Copeland, Jimmy Eat World."

3. Your favorite Boston venue to perform in is:
"Middle East (upstairs or downstairs)."

4. Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song-writing, etc.)
"I'd say we value strong songwriting as a priority, coming from any genre, and from there it is really a mix of a lot of styles: indie rock, ambient music, groove and rhythm based music, music that tends to be catchy but in an unconventional manner (not just the standard pop song), such as Radiohead's writing."

5. Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is:
"Well, we sometimes have band meetings at the Model Cafe or Silhouette Lounge in Allston... I dig Precinct in Union Square personally..but there are definetly some cool spots around all over the place for sure."

Don't forget, you can check out Fly Upright Kite @ Great Scott in Allston Tonight 4/29!!!

If you can't make the show, check out their myspace @, or get a sample of their music here:
Download: "October Ghost" [mp3]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Great Escape Preview: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Four-piece pop band The Pains of Being Pure at Heart is as endearing as being young, open, and free from social obligations. It's the feeling after waking up from a dream that is simple and unalarming, but refreshing enough to leave a tune playing in your head that you can't shake off for the rest of the day. Their noisy, melodic dream-pop is backed by a simple pulsing and distorted guitar riffs that urgently reminds you of how beautiful it was to be pure at heart. Their self-titled album was recently released by Slumberland Records.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Band of the Week: Divisible

Divisible is a Los Angeles-based indie rock band. This dynamic duo met in LA and chemistry sparked immediately. They make intimate, personal, and emotional songs that will pulsate through your very being. Shola, the lead singer, uses her wide range of vocals and mesmerizing voice to sing somewhat of a hymn and ballad to her audience. The product is an encapsulating noise which evokes a warm and peaceful feeling. With moody, creative, heart-wrenching, and intelligent lyrics this duo undeniably digs into the bowels of your soul.

The album
Less Than Lion blends music sensations such as Peter Gabriel and PJ Harvey. The album has a worldly and almost tribal vibe to it. In this album Shola explores and expresses her journey to West Africa to reconcile with her father. Without being overbearing, the band incorporates and intertwines distinct primal sounds with modern indie rock sounds. This remarkable album obtains thought-provoking lyrics that speak from the heart, a singer with a voice that could tame a lion, and primal yet modern captivating instrumentals.

Stream: "Love Is The Cost" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (4-27-09)

Being dead never stopped a rapper from putting out a record. Rap producer J. Dilla died in 2006 of Lupus, but he’s still putting out a record this year. Like Tupac and Biggie, Dilla left behind a veritable library of unreleased material. On June 2, Nature Sounds will release Jay $tay Paid, which compiles 25 select cuts from that collection. His own mother, Maureen Yancey is executive producer and Pete Rock arranged and mixed.

Ferret Music has pushed back release date of Poison the Well's new album The Tropic Rot to July 7th. The international date is still July 6th. The band wrote on their blog “We're all incredibly happy with how this record has turned out. It doesn't sound like any other Poison the Well record.” But isn’t that what every band says?

Emulating Jonah Matranga, Billy Corgan has decided to go the music subscription route. Smashing Pumpkins are now offering a subscription service via the bands website. A 12-week subscription will go for $40. It will include access to video and photographs revealing the band in the studio.

Thursday a member of the Japanese boy-band SMAP (Sports Music Assemble People) was arrested following an alcohol fueled debacle. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi was apprehended naked in Tokyo park. He was charged with public indecency. Local reports state that five hours after he was arrested, he still blew a he blew 0.8 BAC. That’s Tucker Max territory.

Gossip Girl Leighton Meester is currently recording tracks for her debut album at an LA studio. Previously, Meester did a duet with Tony Bennett and sang in the 2007 movie 'Drive Thru. Universal records have the album slated for a tentative fall release.

Art Brut released its third studio album Art Brut vs Satan last week. The album is available as a CD and as a digital download. The work was produced by Frank Black and is their first outing since the 2004 single Formed A Band.

The Killers are working on an album of all covers. The list of song will include numbers by Murray Head and Cyndi Lauper. Drummer Ronnie Vannucci said "We have a couple in the can but I don't know when the hell we'll get it off the ground to release it. It's going to be one of those things that will be more fun for us than anybody else.”

Thursday, April 23, 2009

SIS At The Club: Elvis Perkins in Dearland

I have seen Elvis Perkins in Dearland five times now. Last night was easily the best set yet. Granted the past four times have included all of the live favorites that are now committed to tape on their eponymous new album, but they now seem like a well oiled machine. The three men who make up what is In Dearland have never complimented Perkins any better.

We were sitting in the front row and Elvis strutted out with this new look. Gone was the short, semi-spikey and coke-rimmed glasses. Now apparent was a long mop of hair and a pair of tinted prescription glasses, giving a look of more of a dweller of the Haight-Ashbury scene circa 1968 as opposed to a singing troubadour preaching around Max's Kansas City. What was normally saved for the end of the night was what started the night as Perkins played a solo rendition of "123 Goodbye," keep it in the key they normally play it in live as opposed to the more dramatic feel of the album version which I am not a fan of. From there, they transitioned to a rollicking version of "Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville," another song that showed the band already morphing songs from an album but five weeks old to new versions live. Rather than sounding all ragtime with a break down featuring a bunch of horns and other assorted things, it strolled more like a rockabilly number. This isn't just because drummer Nicolas Kinsey was wearing prescription Rayban's (that was because he left his glasses at home he assured the sold out crowd).

From there, the set featured predominately material from their new album and a few tracks from Perkins' breakthrough
Ash Wednesday. They also managed to fit in covers (the sister song to "Weeping Pilgrim" that was "Weeping Mary") and iTunes bonus tracks ("Stay Zombie"). The encore was a solid and swift two songs: after a solo rendition of "All The Night Without Love", we were wisked back in to Dearland with the always amazing "Doomsday".

Being front and center made it such a great show as you were right in the middle of the energy that Dearland gave off. During the more upbeat tunes like "Hey" and "Doomsday" which are famous for Kinsey running around on stage beating his indian drum, he along with bassist Brigham Brough and and multi-instrumental guy Wyndham Boylan-Garnett hoop'd and holler'd so to speak, getting the crowd out of their seats to clap and sing along. And all the while Elvis just stood there. Was he just being a shut in, perhaps a closed off indie celeb? No, probably not. Maybe he doesn't like to be the center of attention, but it would be nice if he could find some more energy, but I guess with such emotion coming from his songs and voice, you have to leave it to Dearland to bring the crowd to their feet.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland Set List
123 Goodbye / Send My Fond Regards to Lonelyville / Hey / Emile's Vietnam in The Sky / Chains, Chains, Chains / Heard Your Voice in The Dresden / Ash Wednesday / Weeping Mary / Stay Zombie / Shampoo / Stop Drop Rock & Roll / Hour's Last Stand / While You Were Sleeping // All The Night Without Love / Doomsday

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Rumble Hits NYC Tomorr

So now that spring is finally here, you can put the scarves and knit gloves and such away and come on down to Fontana's for this month's edition of The Rumble. We have three great bands starting off the night at 9PM so make sure you come on out!

Oh and it is Earth Day, too - check out that nice flyer The Library is On Fire made!

SIS/Future Sounds Present The Rumble
105 Eldridge Street
J,M,Z to Delancey

9PM: Seascape
10PM: The Library is On Fire
11PM: Cinema, Cinema

See you there!

New Passion Pit Video: "The Reeling"

When the video for Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" came out it was all about the head of Michael Angelakos and how it spun around in that nifty looking cube. And now there's the new video for "The Reeling", the first single from their upcoming full-length Manners. Angelakos' head is back in the forefront, but instead of being sleepy this time, it's all about being more paper mache. And there are some girls running around at night in Brooklyn. Maybe some confetti, too. Maybe it's like Nick & Norah but not really at all. Either way, it just gets me even more excited for the new album.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Band of the Week: Shilpa Ray

Shilpa Ray as an artist is sexless and blunt. Shilpa Ray as a frontwoman is noisy, raucous, grinding, raw—slurring jazzy vocals while playing distorted and overwhelming notes on a harmonium, an instrument she’s been playing since she was 6. After first entering the music scene with the now defunct garage-blues Beat the Devil, she’s winning over critics and her local New York scene with a syrupy and husky voice that sounds like a punk Ella Fitzgerald.

Her music is as vulnerable as a child would be, but as bold and charming as one as well—the lyrics howl full of regret and longing, not submissively but with the sort of aggressiveness and emotion that would fill a bitter Byron poem. She lacks the kitschy high notes that a woman on stage often has, preferring for her voice to moan monotonously, drifting between notes that don’t pop but drone, fizz and bang. The energy her music has is concentrated not in punches, but
drips between layers.

Her unique sound may be attributed to this sort of non-non-conformist attitude she writes with in her blogs, mocking herself as a “hipster” and writing awful things about her job as a shopgirl in a department store.

Stream: "Beating St. Louis" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (4-20-09)

Record producer Phil Spector has been sentenced life in prison for the murder of Lana Clarkson in 2003. The jury didn’t care that he’d produced records for the Beatles, Tina Turner, The Ronettes, Leonard Cohen and many others. Despite a family history of insanity, and his daily psych meds he did not opt to plead insanity in six years and two trials. He will be eligible for parole in 18 years, which at his age is still a life sentence.

HORSE The Band is putting out a limited 7-inch for their track "Shapeshift" with a remix by Skrillex on the b-side. They will be on sale May 11th through the Vagrant Records website and on tour. Their LP Desperate Living is scheduled for a tentative summer release through.

It’s arts and crafts time. posted a pdf origami kit for rapper MF DOOM. All you gotta do it print it, cut it out, and follow the directions. Jose recommends card stock over regular paper after ruining the first two attempts.

Marilyn Manson is hasn’t taken the hint yet and is dropping a new album The High End of Low, May 26th. Tites include “Arma-goddamn-motherfuckin-geddon.” “We’re From America” ...and the oh-so-clever, “Pretty As a Swastika.”

Notice for all Boston readers, The Megapolis Audio Festival, runs April 24-26 They are holding sessions on field recording, circuit bending, illegal art, activist films, sound art and collage, audio production, radio wizardry, electro-acoustic instrument building, and what else could you possibly have to do?

This week paparazzi jumped out of the bushes and frightened a horse. This wouldn’t be notable except Madonna was riding the horse and was rushed to the hospital. The scope of her injuries is presently unknown. This is not her first mishap in horse play. In 2005, she broke 3 ribs and her collar bone in a similar fall.

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice have recorded an EP together called Moon Colony Bloodbath. The album is being released exclusively on 10-inch vinyl. Producer Chris Stamey guests on a few songs.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Movie Star Junkies on Tour

Voodoo Records calls the Movie Star Junkies "raw exotic sailor trash". the description sounds like pidgin English, like the spam viagra haiku I get in my in-box but it's also true, no matter how rough their garage rock affectation gets, there is also a thread of Scott Joplin's lost sea shantys. They are on tour; go see 'em and tell them Jose Fritz sent you.
  • Apr 20 Lager house - detroit
  • Apr 21 Paul green school of rock - detroit
  • Apr 21 L j’s corktown
  • Apr 22 Ronny’s - chicago
  • Apr 23 Tranks power plant - milwakee
  • Apr 24 The black sparrow - lafayette
  • Apr 25 Lemmons - st.louis
  • Apr 26 The oleavers - omaha
  • Apr 27 Box awesome - lincoln
  • Apr 28 House party - provo
  • Apr 30 East end - portland
  • May 2 Fun house - seattle
  • May 4 Knockout bar - san francisco

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Video Round-Up

So the other week I did this on a Friday, but this week I decided to do it on a Thursday just because I can't contain my excitement anymore on these fun videos I have to share with you. In no order other than the logical whatever comes to my mind first as I write this post:

First we have that Cymbals Eat Guitars band whose star is surely on the rise. Since I first started spinning their phenomenal debut Why There Are Mountains back in January, Pitchfork has become their newest fans awarding both the album and the jam "Wind Phoenix" with the Best New Music stamp of approval. They're also opening up for The Walkmen AND Beach House at Webster Hall in NYC tonight. Looks like my blogger license will stay in tact. Here's some footage from them this past Easter weekend, opening up for Beep Beep at the Cake Shop.

Cymbals Eat Guitars | April 12th Cake Shop | nyc from intervuus on Vimeo.

Next up is the new video from St. Vincent. I love me some Annie Clark. She is so, so pretty. She is only two years older than me. Can anyone arrange a date? Either way, the lovely songstress has a new album called Actor coming out on May 5th, and the first single is "Actor Out Of Work". In the video for said song, it appears her cuteness be auditioning actors that are out of work I bet. And they are crying. And she thinks she loves me, she thinks she might? [Editor's Note - Apparently it's "mad" not "might." Either way!]

Finally, we have the latest video from The Breeders. They're getting up there in age, but I still find Kim and Kelley Deal attractive in the same way I do Kim Gordon. They are chicks who rock out in indie rock bands and they smile and are oh-so polite. Oh, and their new video takes place at a roller derby! The track is the titular song from their new self-released Fate to Fatal EP. It's a pretty catchy jam but you'll have to jump through a hoop to see this one. Rolling Stone has the exclusive so click here and watch it. No blood for the weak at heart, at least I don't think so.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Can't Stop Spinning: Telekinesis! by Telekinesis

You know a record is good when after having one song on repeat all day, you eventually start drifting away towards other songs to only come back to that first one and it still holds up good. And with every new favorite song you realize that it is no longer about ranking a song as a favorite but ranking an entire collection, a scrapbook of portraits, an entire album as one of your favorites of the year and if not all-time. And when the songs are just chock full of imagery and optimism in both lyric and chord, you too can start to feel better about your own life, especially when each song starts to hold just as much meaning to your own young life as it does to its writer. And 31 minutes the record ends and you just go back to the beginning. One revolution down, and a lifetime to go.

Michael Benjamin Lerner, he is
Telekinesis on record. Along with some guy named Chris Walla, they went in to a studio in their native Seattle and pieced together a strange and happy tale of innocence and love one song by one song at a time. It is one of most honest, one of the happiest records I have heard in a long time. Lerner keeps talking of Japan, and not just in the first single "Tokyo", but in the bookings of a flight to a foreign land in "Awkward Kisser" to moments later being whisked away to said "Foreign Room". He is a man obsessed with a land like I and am sure many others have been obsessed with girls they always wanted to be with but never got to be with. I say that because for all of his musings of the far away land, he has never been. Not even once.

"Awkward Kisser" was that song I mentioned at the very first sentence, the song that was on repeat for an entire day. Outside of its immediate hooks and beat that you think you'd be better hearing at a sock hop then a modern day club, it's just so short, all of 105 seconds long. Like the great Bob Pollard before him, he is able to capture an entire moment in the formula of verse-chorus-verse-chorus and end scene. And that chorus is so perfect to me: Lerner's vocals and bass drum freshly full of reverb sounding epic and glorious. The melody ever so catchy as he declares the simple line "And when I woke up / you were by my side". I could play that part on repeat for hours and sure that's just the hopeless romantic in me coming out but it does sound dreamy all-in-all.

With this self-titled debut, Lerner has made not only an album that could be about his everyday escapes and daydreams in some kind of Orwellian
Brazil type of way, but an album each and every one of its listeners can identify themselves with. After many repeated listens when I started to pay attention to his words, I realized he wrote in a way more people need to just forward and up front. No metaphors, no allegories, no hidden meanings. Blunt. Honest. Real. It's that album that for me we'll always carry a special place in my heart because of the people (er, person) in my life and how it just reminds me of them and how it is an album that will resonate with many people in that demograpic of "I remember the first time I heard/played/saw Telekinesis!" How I can place myself in their kitchen as I played it for them for the very first time and how when the closing number "I Saw Lightning" came on I, too, became honest and blunt. I told them this song, just Lerner barring his soul stripped to his voice and an acoustic guitar, was a dedication from me and that the words pretty much summed up the way I felt about them.

I wanna care for you when you are all alone
Sit inside our house and unplug all our phones
Watching raindrops stream down on our windowsill
Let's be in love

At least I've got this record to be in love with, yes?

: "Awkward Kisser" [mp3] // [Buy Here]

Monday, April 13, 2009

Band of the Week: My Sad Captains

London-based quintet My Sad Captains was formed in 2004 and has been praised by NME and The Fly since. They’ve been spending the past few years playing around the London area, sharing the stage with bands like Tilly and the Wall and the Broken Family Band, and creating homespun demos using a violin, guitar, keyboard, glockenspiel, samplers, and Malkmus vocals. Their alt-pop sound is slightly drowned by soulful Americana influences and they attempt to keep people’s interest by developing creative melodies unique to themselves. The dusty coatings in their music create a sort of escape to roads in open desert and clear skies—a sort of sentimentality that isn’t found just in their lyrics, but in their complete sound. Their music is catchy—the sort of pop that you’d hum to yourself while walking by dry thorn on an empty street.

Their trip to SXSW was a necessary step to getting their music noticed, and a new album called
Here & Elsewhere will be coming out this year from Stolen Records. Their last album, Bad Decisions, came on Fortuna POP to good reviews.

Stream: "A Change of Scenery" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (4-13-09)

In an open letter PETA has asked the Pet Shop Boys to rename themselves the Rescue Shelter Boys. The looney civic group defended the letter, explaining that "most dogs and cats sold in pet shops are sourced from profit-hungry breeders who may have bred them in cramped, filthy conditions." The Pet shop Boys politely rebuffed them.

This April 17th ShadyVille Dj's King Magnetic is hosting a release party for his album The King and The Cauze at the sterling Hotel Allentown. It’s hard to be a rapper in coal country. It's already available as a free download here.

The Beatles are releasing a complete remastered catalog on September 9th. It’s the same day as The Beatles: Rock Band video game will be out. A digital realize is still being held up by Steve Jobs. It’s that ongoing argument between Apple Inc. and Apple Corp. damn you Steve Jobs!

Slightly less climactic is Beck’s decision to reissue his 1994 album One Foot in the Grave. The double disc release is planned for April 14th. In addition to the original 16 tracks, the second disc includes 13 unreleased tracks.

Anticon has made theFREEhoudini , a free uber-mix available as a free download. The 39-minute-long mix features appearances from Buck 65, Aesop Rock, Busdriver, Lionesque, Slug of Atmosphere, D-Styles, DJ Baku, Pedestrian, Sole, Serengeti, and Yoni Wolf and Odd Nosdam as cLOUDDEAD

Ferret Music has signed Revolution Mother. The Long beach California locals are now planning their second release "Rollin' With Tha Mutha" for a July 07th debut. Warning to liquor stores: stock up on Yeager.

Hell has frozen over and Ted Nugent is reuniting his old acid rock band The Amboy Dukes. April 17 The Amboy Dukes are receiving a Distinguished Achievement Award at the annual Detroit Music Awards. The groups appearance at the show will be their first since 1968. Nugent has described the Dukes as "the world's greatest garage band.” Which regardless of his ego... is somewhat accurate.

Billy Bob Thornton has canceled his band’s Canadian tour. It all goes back to Billy Bob’s CBC interview. The irritable actor compared Canadian fans to mashed potatoes without gravy. Despite the bland insult Canucks revolted. At a post-interview show in Toronto Thursday the band was soundly booed.

Rapper Kanye West appears in the news twice this week: Once for expanding his brand with a new sports beverage, and once for being parodied as a homosexual fish on South Park. West will soon have his own energy drink through GURU Beverages. The money will be spent on therapy to get over that whole gay fish cartoon thing.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Stranded Q&A: Keep Me Conscious

Formerly known as Cherry S/T, now going by Keep Me Conscious, this Boston-based bandis a collective of 5 musicians that have all teetered on the line of commercial success and complete failure in some way or another. With a distinct brand of modern rock, soaring guitar riffs, chest-stomping bass and crushing drum work, Keep Me Conscious is on a mission, to create music that they love and believe in (Hopefully you will too). You can check them out at

1. Hailing from Boston makes us better than all those non-Boston bands because:

"Boston has a DIY, bust-your-ass-if-you-want-it-bad-enough mentality, but is also very down to earth. We are motivated and work hard, but are level headed, and 110% appreciative of everyone that supports us. We really try to be cool with our fans on a person to person level, not a band member to fan level..."

2. Name at least three bands that are still around and touring that you'd love to be on a bill with, and think it fits well:

"Lost Prophets, Story of The Year, 30 Seconds to Mars, Kill Hannah, and Deftones. We wouldn't fit on Deftones, but that would be a dream come true to share a stage with them."

3. Your favorite Boston Venue to perform in is:

"Harper's Ferry and Bill's Bar (R.I.P.)."

4. Are there any genres that influence your music conceptually, rather than sonically? (In that you can't hear from simply listening to the music, but from getting into the structure or mathematics of the song writing, etc).

"Yea, pretty much any genre that's well written. Finding influence from artists other than ones that you sound similar to is huge. It's about finding ideas from non-obvious places and applying them to your sound, your style. For me personally, stuff like Mutemath, Radiohead, the Police, Massive Attack, Royksopp, tons of others. Stuff that's not necessarily the same style as ours but can aid in sparking fresh ideas in our song writing."

5. Your favorite local bar to hit up when not doing the whole band deal is:

"Big City in Allston, hands down."

If you want to check out Keep Me Conscious live, you can catch them, at what is going to be a rockin' CD release show, at the Middle East on April 25th.

Here's a sample of what's to come from these guys:
Download: "Nightmares in 3D" [mp3]

Peter Bjorn & John on The Interface

So, I still can't stop spinning Living Thing, the new Peter Bjorn & John long player, and with every listen I always get these vivid daydreams of how they will pull all of this off in a live setting. And then I checked my inbox and it appears that the swedes completed an AOL Spinner session playing all my favorites from the album. Even that nod to Graceland in the title track.

My only complaint is that the songs don't sound as meaty, but maybe it's because it is just the three of them in a room. Maybe at the club and when the bass will be heavier and in my face it won't feel so hollow. You be the judge.

Here's "It Don't Move Me"

Check out "Nothing To Worry About", "Lay it Down" and "Living Thing" at the Spinner site.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eels: Tremendous Dynamite trailer

So the other week we got the word that the new Eels album, is in the can. I am excited. I'm sure I mentioned it before but, yeah, no pressure to follow up 2005's Album of the Year of course not. Since then, our first taste came in the form of "Fresh Blood" and moody near trance-dance number with a phat beat and some keys.

Last week came news of Tremendous Dynamite: Making Hombre Lobo, a 30-minute documentary that shows a very bearded E and his collection of Eels this time around (Koool G Murder? Al? The Chet are you in there??) making the record that now bares the subtitle 12 Songs of Desire. The trailer for Dynamite was unleashed yesterday showing not only the band tracking the titular track, but also shows E finding his dog Bobby Jr. in a compromising position.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Can't Stop Spinning: "Kettering" by The Antlers

There's something about a haunting piano that always does it for me. It has to be in a minor key, a sequence of notes emitting from the ivory that is just as awkward as it is melancholy. The wind blows with the whistles that emit from the prior "Prologue" that lead in to this piano that fades in ever so slowly yet almost all at once on "Kettering". It's there in the forefront, surrounded by the foggy ambiance before Peter Silberman's vocal comes to the bedside of a dying friend, confidant, lover. With every line delivered, Silberman sounds like he's licking his lips to let people know his fragile voice is emitting something.

The song is as sad as the bio that goes with
Hospice, the second full length from The Antlers. Silberman locked himself in his room essentially, emerging with home demos of skeletons in the closet that make up the ten track opus. But this song is so strong and the image on the album's cover above, the hand of a committed patient and what is to be believed their closest kin, seems to fit right in with this song and the album's theme. When reading over the lyrics it sounds like they tried to help, that bedside friend, tried to save them, but came up short. Instead they sat there; they could have left at any time but instead they stayed through every painstaking moment, taking on all the pain they could.

Oh, yes, the rest of the album is good, too, but this song is just painstakingly beautiful.

Stream: "Kettering" [MySpace] // [Buy Here]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Band of the Week: Slow Club

After the break-up of the Sheffield band The Lonely Hearts, Slow Club was formed by Charles on vocals and guitar and Rebecca on vocals, guitar, and percussion. The two-piece folk-pop band recently had two of their songs used in commercials in Canada and the U.S. The first EP was released on Moshi Moshi Records, with a debut album to be released in June. The duo has been called the UK’s answer to the White Stripes, but they’re much more approachable. Their live shows have been supported by groups like Tiny Dancers and labelmates Tilly and the Wall.

While Charles strums his guitar, Rebecca beats on all sorts of exotic instruments—glass bottles, spoons, and the back of a wooden chair. Their use of DIY musical instruments and whimsical, folksy twee-pop may seem infantine, but their quirkiness is genuine and their sound infectious. Their lyrics are romantic in the most literal sense—they novelize everyday emotion and feeling until they become endearing. Their songs are fodder for lazy spring Saturdays with lemonade on the porch.

Stream: "Let's Fall Back in Love" [MySpace]

Monday Morning Newsletter (4-7-09)

On April 7th Jimmy Eat World is releasing a digital-only Clarity Live. The album is a live recording of their 1999 album recorded this February in Arizona. If you don’t remember, take word from Jose. Clarity was their last good album. That makes this worth listening to.

Rumors were confirmed this week that Rivers Cuomo will be collaborating with Rainn Wilson of the TV program The Office. Their joint effort will be released as a solo CD/DVD due out April 28th. The rest of Weezer is not even slightly jealous.

Brakebrakesbrakes (aka The Brakes) will be releasing Touchdown their 3rd album on April 21st. The album, produced by the Delgados' drummer Paul Savage, comes out on Fat Cat records in the U.S.

You’ve probably read that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has left the Smashing Pumpkins. This time Billy Corgan has responded by holding open auditions Friday, April 10 in Los Angeles. Please submit resumes and video links to

New Kids On The Block are back from the dead and have announced a summer tour. The “Full Service Tour” starts May 28th in Atlanta and ends July 18 in Dallas. Tour mates Jabbawockeez are expected to help attract that chomo-bait crowd they enjoyed in the 1980s.

Malawian judge Esmie Chombo ruled that Madonna would not be allowed to adopt a second child. His ruling was based on a state statute requiring adopters to reside in Malawi for a minimum of 18 months. The question of course is why this law wasn’t invoked the first time. Madonna is now considering purchasing the entire nation of Malawi.

Metalcore band Zao has announced that they will only press 8000 copies of their new album Awake? The remaining sales will be all digital. The release is scheduled for May 5th on Ferret Music.

Minneapolis-based alt-country act the Jayhawks have reunited for two shows this summer. One show at Barcelona's Primavera Sound Festival on May 30 and one at Minneapolis's Basilica Block Party on July 10. No other dates are scheduled but an appearance at Bonnaroo is rumored.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Superdrag: Lake Fever Sessions

Lake Fever isn't a disease; it isn't what made Jason put on a hockey mask in those Friday The 13th movies. It's a studio in Tennessee, the same studio Superdrag spent part of last year laying down their latest album Industry Giants. It also where the band recently participated in one of these fancy Lake Fever Sessions. The band play five of the dozen Giants tracks and there's some high quality videos for you to watch over on their site and some fun pictures to look at too. Make sure you check it out.

Lake Fever Sessions set:
Filthy & Afraid
Everything'll Be Made Right
Cheap Poltergeists
Live And Breathe

XX Merge: Get Ready

I have always been a big fan of Merge Records and most people know this about me. They also probably know I once spent a summer interning there - fun times for sure! This year is their 20th Anniversary and so far they haven't skimped out on anything. There's been the SCORE! Box Set of curated comps by awesome people, a covers album and now the motherload is coming to us in the form of nothing other than a festival!

XX Merge
will take place in the beautiful Triangle of North Carolina July 22nd through the 26th. While the first four nights will take place at the infamous Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, the final night will take place at Memorial Hall down Franklin Street on the UNC Campus. Who's playing? Over 25 acts says the label. Confirmed so far are label founders Superchunk along with the classic Merge acts Polvo and Spent alongside the modern contemporaries like M. Ward, The Broken West and a band y'all know are near and dear to my heart, The Rosebuds. Oh and Spoon, Conor Oberst, Destroyer and Neutral Milk Hotel (whoops...too soon?)

Tickets for the event in the form of a five-day pass go on sale on Wednesday, April 8th, for the friendly price of $150 ($30 a night isn't bad). Exclusive merch and other daytime activities are to be announced. Hit up the XX Merge page for more deets. Also - who wants to buy me this here shirt? I'll be 25 this May ...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Rumble LA April Edition Tonight!

We continue the trend of no fooling around this April so far with the LA edition of the Rumble taking place tonight at the 3 of Clubs. Simon Says No, who rocked our faces off last night in San Francisco, will be on hand for tonight's show, playing alongside Rademacher and The Frontier Brothers. DJ sets in between will be handled by DJ's Michael - yes, that is two different DJs who share the same name.

For more info and free RSVP action, hit up the Future Sounds blog who we partner up with to bring you these awesome shows.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

THe Rumble Hits San Fran Tonight!

There's no April Foolin' going around here. We've got three great bands playing the Harlot tonight in San Francisco. Simon Says No are invading the country playing alongside our friends Leopold and His Fiction. DJ sets by Bagel Ted and Vin Sol are also in the cards.

Get more details and RSVP for free over at the Future Sounds site.