Stranded In Stereo: February 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dinosaur Jr and T-Mobile live?

Corporate shows are a weird monster.  Big rock shows have been sponsored by corporations for eons, i imagine that you cannot see a Rolling Stones show or a U2 show without massive Virgin screens, or AT&T billboards.  Still you don't expect to see one of Grunge's father figure bands presenting a show to celebrate the release of T-Mobiles new smart phone.  Weirder still their was no mention of the phone throughout the entire show, barely a billboard or a poster even, albeit a few projected words referencing the aforementioned phone.  

You can't blame Dinosaur Jr, they have never been a talkative band, and honestly i would cry if J Mascis was to begin a speech on the benefits of touch screen, wi-fi enabled phones and the apps available.  As amazingly awesome as it was to see Dinosaur Jr live for free, and they did play a great show, it was very strange to see moshing at a corporate show.  I half expected a power point presentation about coverage at the intermission.  

The fans and the band seemed as confused as each other with this weird event.  Still all that aside, J, Murph and Lou played a solid set of classics and new material with soaring solo's and low key vocals.  Still one of the best ear-blistering country grunge bands around, or just one of the best bands around.

  If Kurt Cobain had not of blown his face off i wonder if he would have accepted his place in music and presented a show sponsoring the new iPad or latest 3G smart phone, possibly this would have made him end it all again. 

Monday, February 15, 2010

This night has opened my eyes

Over the weekend their was an outstanding collection of free shows for the artistic or fashion inclined and internet savvy financial crises sufferers.  On Friday the 12th at Hollywood retail experiment Space 15 Twenty their was a Valentines party at the hipster by numbers shop Urban Outfitters.  Their was discounts galore and 16 year old hipster's in their brand new flannel + ironic shirt and skinny jeans combo wading through the rejected, last season clothes.  But their was two things i was interested in, free alcohol and Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor are a cute band of shimmery Smiths'esque guitar lines and heavily reverbed vocals.  They have the archetypal California sound of psychedelic pop cuteness and low-fi cavernous hooks.  Their 16 yr old guitarist's love of what she does is both honest and obvious and quite enchanting in its hooky-ness.  This is probably the blondest band i've ever seen, from the sister duo of long blond locks to the posy 2nd guitarist and his perfectly manicured blond mop.  Even the Bass-Player has mousey-blond hair.  But who cares, they are a good band and have a long time to develop.

On Saturday after a day of eating Kim-Che fries and abstract fusion burritos at the LA street food festival what could be better then finding out a band you love featuring revered music legends will be playing near your house.  Family bookstore on Fairfax is, no.1 one of my favorite places for books, no.2 fucking cool. 

They had a gallery opening for musician/artist and legend Tim Kerr and to celebrate they had LA punk band No Age featuring legendary Mike Watt on Bass and Tim Kerr himself on guitar.  They played a two song jam set with layers of art noise and punk passion.  Tim Kerr was stunning with his balding refrain and his outright awesome guitar moves, thrusting his guitar high into the air and into the crowd.  It was one of those nights where you slap yourself and go, "i live here."  It was an eye opening experience and a sheer privilege to be able to walk down the street and witness such a thing.  It was so good i gradually forgot about the free Alcohol.  Thank you LA.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maps & Atlases

Achieving some hype in 2006 when signing with Sargent House, Maps and Atlases set a strange tone in music. Part math, part finger tapping glory and a whole lot of whimsical pop cuteness. Check out the demos on their myspace for their soon to be announced 2010 release and you cant help but smile to their melodically intricate yet perfectly catchy new songs. It would be easy to point to other bands of now like Vampire Weekend as a reference point, merely due to the songs being melody based and happy. The pseudo-African rhythms wont help comparisons either but i don't see Vampire Weekend finger tapping.

It may not have seemed possible back in 1986 of anyone finger tapping without the pretension of jumping of a drum riser with dry ice, crotch shots and endless montages of screaming groupies, but maybe the time has come to utilize this technique. Anyway we have Steel Panther to keep the latter alive as their is something hokey and kitsch about hair metal bravado in this weird world of sensitive guys in flannels with beards.

The new Maps & Atlases album is being recorded by Jason Cupp (Finch, Nurses) across the US in various places. No details of a release date yet, but with their East Coast tour coming to wraps shortly it cant be far away. All hale the un-rawk and pomp of nu-finger tapping.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Rumble LA with Jaguar Love

Jaguar Love, comprised of ex Blood Brothers' shrieker Johnny Whitney and axeman Cody Votolato's new album Hologram Jams is about to be released on Fat Possum Records. The duo play one of the most infectious blends of punk, soul and grimy, dance-your-ass-off sounds we've heard in a long time. This is the fourth date of the West Coast RUMBLE Tour and opening the night are LA natives the The Rhone Occupation, bringing their brand of melodic indie pop ala Gibbard's Death Cab to 3 Clubs. Their digital EP WOULD IT KILL YOU TO TALK THIS OUT? is getting a lot of love lately from our camp, while New York's Ultra Violent Lights will keep the 90's garage sound alive as they stop by in support of their late 2009 release, Here in Filth.

This party is FREE and located at 3 CLUBS (1123 Vine St. LA, CA 90038)
For the newest news about THE RUMBLE parties, follow them on Twitter, check out their Myspace, or go read the Future Sounds blog.

--Matt Draper

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Rumble SF with Jaguar Love

The RUMBLE West Coast tour with Jaguar Love (at Portland's Holocene tonight) hits San Francisco TOMORROW.

Jaguar Love-- comprised of ex. Blood Brothers shrieker, Johnny Whitney and axeman Cody Votolato-- make sultry and pulsing soul-soaked dance tunes that will have you standing (and then dancing) at attention in mere minutes.. it's ferocious and we love it.

Also on the bill are SF electro-pop outfits Butterfly Bones and My First Earthquake. Butterfly Bones are definitely making waves, drawing comparisons to Australian dance pop heroes, Cut Copy. While indie pop group, My First Earthquake are making a name for themselves with their upbeat dance worthy tunes ala Mates of State.
The Rumble: Seattle is brought to you by Future Sounds, and Spin Earth and is a party that highlights up and coming artists in an intimate setting. The goal of The Rumble chain of parties, which is now in 8 cities a month is to have the indie community support the indie artists, from retail to radio to press to online outlets.

This party is FREE w/ RSVP to SonicLiving ( before 5pm DOS)
OR $5 at door and located at CAFE DU NORD (2174 Market St.)

For the newest news about THE RUMBLE shows, follow them on Twitter, check them on Myspace, or go read the Future Sounds blog.

--Matt Draper