February 20, 2008
Today's Hotness: Destroyer, Johnny Foreigner, Jakobinarina
>> We received this week promos for two hotly anticipated records: Destroyer's Trouble In Dreams and Frightened Rabbit's The Midnight Organ Fight. We'll have reviews of those in the coming weeks, but right now we'd like to draw your attention to the most recent Destroyer promo track, "Dark Leaves Form A Thread," because it is the rockingest thing songwriter Dan Bejar has done in some time, and it is undeniably catchy. The tune is ideally situated as Trouble In Dreams' second track, although we question whether it should have opened the set, which Merge will issue March 18. It probably doesn't make sense if you consider the album as a whole, as putting "Dark Leaves Form A Thread" in the no. 1 slot might suggest to listeners that the entire record will be characterized by snare-cracking anthems with edgeless roller rink synths, searing guitar and even some occasional feedback. Sadly, this is not the case. In fact there are quite a few tracks on Trouble In Dreams with no drumming to speak of, if memory serves (we've only listened to it about three times so far). Anyway, sequencing the number in the second spot probably doesn't misrepresent the record as an uptempo rockfest, but the track is so flat-out enjoyable we would have been tempted to lead with it if we were Mr. Bejar. Which, of course, we're not. Here's the song.
Destroyer -- "Dark Leaves Form A Thread" -- Trouble In Dreams
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[pre-order Trouble In Dreams from Merge right here]
>> Speaking of exceptional independent rock music, are you hearing this?! We mean, really, where is all the chatter about the new version of Johnny Foreigner's "Salt, Pepa and Spindarella" that is blowing our head off every time we don the headphones? The lucky thousands who will attend next month's South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, USA have at least two chances to see the stellar Birmingham, England-based indie rock trio. March 12 the band plays an ASCAP showcase at Dirty Dog Bar in the evening, and on the following day it plays an acoustic set as part of an afternoon jawn sponsored by XFM. Speaking of dates, Johnny Foreigner have 37 show dates posted at their MySpace hacienda right now. That is a little ridiculous -- who do they think they are, The Police?
>> Have Icelandic indie rock wunderkinds Jakobinarina broken up? We can't read Icelandic, but that seems to be the gist of this MySpace message from the band. Of course, the same MySpace page has live dates posted through the end of this week. So who knows. This Wikipedia entry for Jakobinarina reports the act will break up in March. Anybody hip to Icelandic jive who can give us a rough translation of the MySpace message linked supra should leave a comment. The Icelandic sextet -- whose members were all under between 17 and 21 -- issued its debut, First Crusade, on Caroline/Regal/12 Tonar in October. You can hear a number of tracks at the band's MySpace dojo. The writing may have been on the wall for months, as the last time we wrote about the act in mid-November was when young UK indie rockers The Video Nasties announced Jakobinarina had cancelled a tour for which The Video Nasties were to have provided support. If indeed Jakobinarina is no more, we look forward to whatever the band's songwriters concoct next. And we'll be keeping our eyes out for a cheap copy of First Crusade.