November 30, 2006

Review: Depeche Mode | The Best Of Depeche Mode Volume 1

Depeche Mode -- The Best Of Depeche Mode Volume 1... Or "Catching Up With Depeche Mode -- For The Umpteenth Time."

We're not certain how much of a review follows below, but that seems sort of appropriate. After all, how much is there to say about British synth pop legends Depeche Mode at this stage of the game that hasn't been said before? So let's just say this will be part memoir and part essay, with maybe a little analysis tossed in at the end. Maybe not.

We remember the exact year (1985) and pretty near the date (late June) when we first realized that we liked Depeche Mode. We were a strapping lad of 11 and had been dragged along to a parent's 20th college reunion. At one point there was a picnic in a field thronged with Ivy Leaguers and their remarkably unremarkable progeny. But very near our group was a gaggle of alternative-looking teen girls in black concert shirts blasting "People Are People" from a boombox (propelled at least in part by this music video, the song became the title track of a U.S. only EP in 1984, and the EP has the distinction of being the first of many, many Depeche Mode compilations; "People Are People" was initially released on 1984's Some Great Reward). We realized that we sure would have liked to have been hanging out with them.

As a child of the golden age of MTV, this was not the first we'd been exposed to Depeche Mode. But it was certainly the first time we felt a band represented a means of becoming part of something (at least slightly) outside the mainstream. And so the experience sold us on the band, because we wanted to be as cool and different as these goth-lite gals. It was a feeling that probably didn't go away for, well, maybe it hasn't gone away at all. But during the remainder of the '80s and the turn of the '90s the triumphant live Depeche Mode record 101 was released, followed not long after by the tour de force Violator (which along with The Sundays' Reading, Writing And Arithmetic and Joy Division's Substance was the only thing we listened to on an amazing trip to Germany in the summer of 1990). We listened to both DM records compulsively, and became a devoted fan.

Fast forward to this morning, and to a thing we hate. We hate what we refer to as the "me too" review -- we even hate "me too" reportage, one of the most unfortunate, homogenizing symptoms of the hive mindset of the music blogosphere. Even so, we were struck by the similar angle of today's review at Pfork of the latest Depeche Mode hits collection and the review we'd been drafting for a few weeks. You will notice as you dig into the paragraphs below that, despite our love for the band, the release of yet another Depeche Mode collection is a wholly uninspiring event. This is quite striking considering how few will quibble with the accolades for chief songwriter Martin Gore's superlative pop chops (which remain refreshingly intact, if the sole new -- well, previously unreleased, as it is an outtake from a recent album -- track "Martyr" is any indication). But as excellent as Depeche Mode has been and as good as they remain, The Best Of Depeche Mode Volume 1 begs the question of just how much repackaging of past triumphs can be done. The answer is, "as many as will shift units," of course, which is the crux of the Pitchfork review.

Despite all this, we still feel compelled to engage with the music at hand, if from arm's length. First, let's ruminate on hits collections and how they are typically treated. A review of your run-of-the-mill hits collection from a given artist generally touches on the following areas like an unimaginative lover: which records from the discography at issue are over- or under-represented by the compilers and possible explanations as to why; the collected works' relative fitness as a proxy for the artist's entire oeuvre; the degree to which any extraneous recordings, whether newly recorded or rarely heard, either 1) illuminate the darker corners of a band or songwriter's psyche and other material or 2) motivate hardcore fans (who logically shouldn't need to own such a compilation otherwise) to purchase the set. Throw in a clever turn of phrase or two, a personal anecdote about a zany live show or a tragic relationship from one's late teens, and the modern writer has largely satisfied the paint-by-numbers expectations of the reader (or even editor) of a typical glossy mag or glowing blog.

Frankly, we're not going to bother with hitting any of those points. What we will say is that at this stage of their career Depeche Mode has a tough row to hoe to get most music fans to do more than disinterestedly blink at the release of a hits collection, let alone inspire a writer toward stunning insights. This is no slag on the music included on The Best Of Depeche Mode Volume 1, which is as roundly excellent as the various days and ages in which it was released. All the same, Catching Up With Depeche Mode, the second compilation of Depeche Mode music, was released in 1985 -- do they still think we haven't caught up?

Stream Depeche Mode records for free at Rhapsody here.

Depeche Mode: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr


November 29, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: More Oval Than You Can Shake A Stick At

It is interesting to us that one of the more popular things we've posted recently was this item with an MP3 for defunct electronic trio Oval's mid-'90s classic "Do While." It just always seemed like the sort of thing that nobody else was into besides us. Anyhoo, imagine our compounded surprise when on a whim we popped "Oval" and "glitch" into the search box at YouTube and actually turned up a video for the song. The video, which we've posted atop this item, is unsurprisingly abstract and is comprised of slowly shifting shapes. Further searching turns up several additional and similar videos (probably from the same VHS collection) for Oval tracks along with one video from scene contemporaries Microstoria. So we'll list and link them: here is the video for Oval's "SD2;" a relatively engaging clip for "Textuell;" and a short but more varied clip for "Instantan." Finally, here's the video for Microstoria's tune "Sleepy People Network Down."


Rack And Opinion Remainders: The Rest Of This Year's Models

Sonic Youth -- The Destroyed RoomWe believe that there is an Order to Things and that Order obliges us to complete our Rack And Opinion items for the year before we embark on any sort of inevitable year-end wraps and best-of lists we might have in the offing. As you savvy music fans know well, new releases are going to be slim for the remainder of the year unless your name is The Chick From That Ska Band, are a big-deal rapper or you've got a box set to pimp to holiday shoppers.

So rather than make you suffer through a handful of barely populated Rack And Opinion items spread over the rest of the year, here is an omnibus list of the remaining releases of 2006 that, in our humble opinion, matter. As this is an unorthodox way of going about things for us, we're putting release dates next to the recommendations. It's a pretty standard clutch of reissues, best-ofs and collections, but that newish Okkervil River 12" is probably particularly good. Like us, you are probably already looking ahead to 2007. In the next few weeks we'll publish some obligatory lists. In the meantime, take a last look at the last new, good models coming off the 2006 indie rock production line. Rack And Opinion will resume in 2007.

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness -- I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness [Reissue] -- Secretly Canadian [12/5]
Okkervil River -- The President's Dead 12" -- Jagjaguwar [12/5]
Sonic Youth -- The Destroyed Room: B-sides and Rarities -- Geffen [12/12]


November 28, 2006

Today's Hotness: Juana Molina, The Cure, Rollins Band, Loomis

>> For a good long while we sat on an email with a link to a video profile of Argentinian electro-acoustic luminary Juana Molina. We finally watched it the other night and it is engrossing. Ms. Molina discusses the disparate sources of her inspiration, which include chirping birds, detuned guitars and noisy elevators. She also describes the evolution of her sound and, on a related note, her search for the perfect looping pedal. The clip also features appearances by KCRW DJ extraordinaire Nic Harcourt and producer and former Monsterland guy Thom Monahan. Anyhoo, the clip is atop this item and if you are a Juana Molina fan or aspire to be one some day we highly recommend sitting back with a cup of coffee and watching. Molina released her most recent set Son earlier this year on Domino. How about some MP3s?

Juana Molina -- "No Es Tan Cierto" -- Tres Cosas
Juana Molina -- "Tres Cosas" -- Tres Cosas
[right click and save as]

>> Stereogum pointed us to this interview between some doofus from Fall-Out Boy and Robert Smith of The Cure. Thing is, it is a great interview despite all the obsequiousness. Stereogum highlighted the best parts for this item today, but the rest of the interview is here and worth checking out, despite it being published in Entertainment Weekly.

>> Henry Rollins reported on his blog recently that some early Rollins Band records will get reissued next year. In the former Henry Garfield's words, "The first two up will be Hot Animal Machine and Life Time. Nothing will be different with Hot Animal Machine but Life Time will contain all the live tracks from the original CD release as well as all the studio tracks from the sessions. All these tracks on one CD will be a first. Later in the year we will put out the Hard Volume album and the Turned On album will be remastered and indexed with track numbers. There will probably be some other things from that era coming out as well." Here's the full item, with information about other forthcoming books and DVDs from Rollins.

>> We occasionally reference in clicky clicky erstwhile indie act Loomis, whose 1996 set You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow opens with a hot rocker ("Conquistador") that we still spin fairly regularly. Anyhoo, after one of our more recent references either here or at World Of Sound, the band got in touch and told me about plans for a one-off reunion show. The date is rapidly approaching, and if you are in or around Milwaukee on Christmas Eve Eve (that's 12/23), you can catch the much anticipated show. Other acts on the bill are also reuniting for one time only, and they are Compound Red and Alligator Gun. As Loomis states at its MySpace dojo, "This is the last time any of these bands will be playing. Be there." Full details here. And you can stream "Conquistador" and the rest of You're No Tiger, Meow, Meow, Meow for free at Rhapsody here.


November 27, 2006

Ascension: The Return Of The Elevator Drops... [MP3]

... or "The Unbearable Lightness of The Elevators Drops' 'Be A Lemonhead.'"

This is a particularly disjointed post, as we're having a hard time deciding which way is up with these paragraphs. Is this an item about an amazing band reforming after it self-destructed too soon, a la Mission of Burma? Is this an item about a lost music video for a perfect pop song that is just a pleasure to watch? Hard to say.

Inspired by the amazing video linked atop this post, one of the things we were working on prior to the American Thanksgiving holiday was a post about The Elevator Drops, an otherworldly Boston indie rock trio that practiced its craft in the mid- and late-'90s. The band, comprised of bassist/singer Dave Goolkasian, guitarist Garvey J. and drummer Fitts, released two records to critical confusion before dissolving while on tour in Texas in 1999. As it turns out, we are way late on stumbling on some exciting news: if messages at the band's MySpace page can be trusted, The Elevator Drops have presumably reformed and have recorded a new set entitled OK Commuter ( a title that extends the transportation theme of 1996's Pop Bus and 1997's People Mover), which will be issued on Archenemy February 14.

More back story: During our senior year in college we were pulled to a show on campus for a band we knew nothing about. The show was in the middle of the week or on a very beat Friday night, and as far as we can recollect there were no opening acts and the show was minimally attended. Which was too goddamned bad because we saw one of the most exciting and bizarre shows of our then 22 or so years. Yes, it was The Elevator Drops, and if we are recalling this correctly the trio showed up to the residence hall hosting the show in a giant, gleaming white 18-wheeled truck. Or at least that is what they pulled away in after the show as we stood with our mouth agape at the wonders we had just witness. You see, when The Elevator Drops took the stage they did so in make-up and in-character as evil clown robots strung out on heroin. Their movements were rigid and pop music glorious and weird. We have always had a hard time explaining the spectacle of the band that night (Mr. Goolkasian describes the spectacle here at the site for his more recent outfit The Texas Governor thusly: "We would dress up as an androids, attach flashing lights to ourselves, and bounce around singing. One day we spent $25,000 on a video and $5,000 to have someone touch up our make-up."). Anyhoo, we discovered the video above for the band's "big" "hit" "Be A Lemonhead" over at YouTube, and we're happy to see that the video captures a lot of the band's oddball antics and mannerisms.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention our reasons for dubbing "Be A Lemonhead" a perfect pop song. But as this piece is already quite long enough, we'll just say that the criteria are several, but the most notable here is the presence of a stunning closing lyric ("fall in love, but don't trust anyone"). This is something that the late lamented Haywood had down to a science ("looking for your car on the expressway, every time that I get up"), and it always resonates with us.

As an endnote, it is worth remarking that last year H-Dawg From Accounts Receivable and we saw Goolkasian's post- Elevator Drops project The Texas Governor play a number of times and enjoyed the act a great deal. You can read coverage here, here and here. Incidentally, for his part Garvey J spent at least some of his post-Elevator Drops career playing with the Weezer side-project The Rentals. We're thinking of tracking down Mr. Goolkasian and the rest of the gang for a Show Us Yours feature, and we hope that will be a bit more cohesive than this. Anyway, since you went to all the trouble of reading this mess of a post, we'll post an MP3 of "Be A Lemonhead" below, with a tip o' the hat to Logie, who hooked us up with the file so we didn't have to rip our cassette.

The Elevator Drops -- "Be A Lemonhead" -- Pop Bus

The Elevator Drops: InterWeb | MySpace | Flickr | YouTube


November 20, 2006

From The Admin Cubicle: Thanksgiving Break, Odds, Sods

Go Vegetarian.>> Aloha readerasauruses. Clicky Clicky will be off-line from this evening until, well, like a week from now, so as to celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday in our preferred manner. We've got a lot of irons in the fire for when we get back, but for now we'll just leave you with a few tidbits we have lying around...

>> Clicky Clicky contributor Jay Kumar saw Greg Dulli's Twilight Singers last week. Mr. Kumar reports that "[t]he band ripped through a 90-minute set chock full of Dulli's roiling, dark tales of addiction and love gone wrong. There was nary a song by the beloved Afghan Whigs, but Dulli offered snippets of covers throughout, including a line from Led Zep's "Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You" and later from Steve Miller's "The Joker." Highlights included the opening three songs, "Teenage Wristband," "I'm Ready," and "Bonnie Brae," as well as the band's take on TV On The Radio's "Wolf Like Me." Read the full review here. Incidentally, Stereogum is offering a download of the Twilight Singers' much-talked-about TVOTR cover here.

>> For us, early '90s D.C. shoegazers Velocity Girl was always more about the big guitars than frontwoman Sarah Shannon, which is why when Velocity Girl went pop on its sophomore set Simpatico! we were more than a little disappointed. Anyhoo, Pitchfork reported here last week that Ms. Shannon will release Feb. 20 her sophomore solo set City Morning Song on Minty Fresh. Pfork has an exclusive download of the title track and some more information at that link. It's a good pop song, in the AM radio sense of the term, but we don't imagine we'll listen to it all that much.

>> For those of you unsure about just what the hell happens in the music mastering process, there is a fascinating ILM thread discussing just that right here. Highly recommended.


November 19, 2006

Review: ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead | So Divided

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -- So DividedAfter 2005’s disappointing Worlds Apart, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead returns with the satisfying So Divided. While not on a par with 2002’s superb Source Tags And Codes, So Divided is definitely a return to form for the Texas-based act, as the band has fine-tuned its grandiose, kitchen-sink approach this time around. The instrumentation and musical styles are once again diverse, but the mix works.

Conrad Keely and his cohorts focused on songwriting and the results are impressive: “Stand in Silence” and “Wasted State of Mind” both have killer riffs that propel the songs along. The title track is a majestic, piano-driven, mid-tempo rocker, “Eight Day Hell” is a short ditty that wouldn’t be out of place on a Shins album, and “Sunken Dreams” has a Cure-like quality to it. ToD also does a decent cover of Guided By Voices’ “Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory.”

Reports from ToD’s current tour say that the band is only playing a few songs from So Divided, preferring instead to focus on material from Source Tags And Codes. Not completely surprising, given the popularity of the latter. But the newer material is strong and deserves some exposure in a live setting. -- Jay Kumar

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

[Buy So Divided from Newbury Comics here / stream it for free at Rhapsody]
[Buy the record from ITunes and receive the demo version of "Let It Dive."]

11/20 -- House of Blues -- New Orleans, LA
11/21 -- Warehouse Live -- Houston, TX
11/22 -- Emo's -- Austin, TX
11/24 -- Granda Theatre -- Dallas, TX
11/25 -- Jake's Backroom -- Lubbock, TX
11/27 -- Hoodlum's Music -- Phoenix, AZ
11/27 -- Marquee Theatre -- Tempe, AZ
11/28 -- House of Blues -- Las Vegas, NV
11/29 -- House of Blues -- San Diego, CA
11/30 -- Henry Fonda Theatre -- Los Angeles, CA
12/01 -- Henry Fonda Theatre -- Los Angeles, CA
12/02 -- The Glass House -- Pomona, CA
12/04 -- Empire -- Sacramento, CA
12/05 -- Rasputin Music -- Berkeley, CA
12/05 -- Fillmore -- San Francisco, CA
12/06 -- Crystal Ballroom -- Portland, OR
12/07 -- Sonic Boom (Ballard) -- Seattle, WA
12/07 -- Showbox -- Seattle, WA
12/09 -- Sugar Nightclub -- Victoria
12/10 -- Croatian Cultural Centre -- Vancouver, BC
12/11 -- MacEwan Hall @ University of Calgary -- Calgary
12/12 -- Red's -- Edmonton, AB
12/14 -- Avalon Theater -- Salt Lake City, UT
12/15 -- Fox Theatre -- Boulder, CO

Oh yeah, here's some recent video of the band trashing their gear, perhaps the signature facet of any good ...Trail Of Dead show.


November 18, 2006

That Was The Show That Was: Evangelicals

Evangelicals, TT The Bear's Place, November 15, 2006It is oversimplifying things to say that the difference between Evangelicals and the rest of the bands that you see in the middle of a bill on a Wednesday night at an established rock club in a major American city (besides the fact that Evangelicals are awesome), is that the band brings its own smoke machine. And red and green lights and piles of plastic flowers.

But let's not start there. Let's start with the fact that the touring Evangelicals are surprisingly heavy compared to the sounds captured on the band's pleasing debut So Gone, released on Misra in June [read our review here]. So Gone was recorded primarily by band leader Josh Jones, who incidentally and curiously wore only one sneaker for Wednesday night's performance. When performed live drummer Austin Stephens lifts the tunes from So Gone into a more dizzying sphere of psych-pop bliss. And bassist Kyle Davis lays down some particularly driving bottom-end. During "What An Actress Does Best" Mr. Davis tied Stephens' drumming and Jones' guitar work together in a manner similar to what Noel Redding did for The Jimi Hendrix Experience. And to top it off, more than once Davis was playing the bass and a synth at the same time, sometimes playing the latter with the headstock of the former.

Those who have heard So Gone know that Evangelicals have great material, but it was a pleasant surprise to see that the band also emphasizes showmanship. After a bit of fiddling to get a second vocal mic working for Mr. Jones, Evangelicals burst into an aggressive groove under cover of darkness, a groove that sounded like it would have been comfortable somewhere on side one of Smashing Pumpkins' amazing full-length debut Gish. We were shooting pictures so we weren't able to keep a set list, but we can report that eventually the band made its way around to playing "Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)" and "Here Comes Everything." The entire set was maybe a half-dozen tunes or so, as the band lost time to fixing the mic and occasionally kicking Jones' gamey amp into cooperating. Even so, the short, powerful set left us wanting more.

A general note about that night: Evangelicals were mid-bill support for blog dah-lings Annuals, whom we didn't stay to see. Given that Annuals had given away a lot of its record via blogs and received a coveted positive Pitchfork review this week, we suspected the club would be packed with indie youth. That wasn't the case -- we'd estimate T.T.'s was not half-full. Given the small crowd we saw down the block at the entrance to the Middle East Downstairs as we approached T.T.'s, and the report of All That She Surveys that the Amy Millan and Eric Bachmann show at Paradise was "undersold," we're guessing the big draw last night was Make Believe at the Middle East. So score one for those Kinsella dudes. We voted with our feet and feel like we saw the best band playing in Boston Wednesday night.

Evangelicals' tour runs through the first week of December, and we've posted the remaining dates below the requisite links and downloads. Make sure to check out the newish video for "Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)" at the very bottom of the item, too.

Evangelicals -- "Here Comes Trouble" -- So Gone
Evangelicals -- "Another Day (And Yoor Still Knocked Out)" -- So Gone
Evangelicals -- "Halloween Song"

Evangelicals: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | clicky clicky photos

[Buy So Gone from Newbury Comics here / Stream it for free via Rhapsody here]

11/17 -- Brooklyn, NY -- Union Hall
11-18 -- Philadelphia, PA -- Johnny Brenda‘s
11-19 -- Baltimore, MD -- Talking Head
11-20 -- Chapel HIll, NC -- Local 506
11-22 -- Atlanta, GA -- Drunken Unicorn
11-24 -- Austin, TX -- Emo‘s
11-25 -- Denton, TX -- Hailey‘s
11-28 -- Los Angeles, CA -- Spaceland
11-30 -- San Francisco, CA -- Bottom of the Hill
12-01 -- Portland, OR -- Towne Lounge
12-02 -- Seattle, WA -- Paradox
12-04 -- Boise, ID -- VaC
12-05 -- Salt Lake City, UR -- Kilby Court
12-06 -- Denver, CO -- Hi Dive


November 14, 2006

Mazarin Chases The Girl Into The Sunset [MP3s]

MazarinWe were dismayed to see reportage at Pitchebrity and Philfork regarding the at least conceptual demise of Psychedelphia luminaries Mazarin. The story goes that the band recently found itself at the business end of a legal threat from some unheard-of nimrods operating out of Long Island, NY, demanding exclusive use of the band name Mazarin, as they apparently have their own band operating under that nom de rock and have for some time. Rather than embracing the aggravation and footing the bill for fighting the legal action, Mazarin (the cool band, not the nimrods) bandleader Quentin Stoltzfus has decided to retire the name and the current iteration of the act. The band will play a final show at Johnny Brenda's in Philadelphia Dec. 2, and they are taking requests via email (hit the links above for more details on that, and make sure to request "Chasing The Girl," because that song is amazing).

We gave the band's most recent set, 2005's We're Already There, five stars in this review for Junkmedia. The set is a high water mark few bands will ever achieve, and the eerie title track is among the finest songs released in 2005; as such we are linking to an MP3 of that tune and others below. Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that the band is offering a free download of the heretofore unreleased tune "Your Advice" as a parting gift. MP3 goodness and links to all the relevant hotness below.

Mazarin -- "Your Advice" [New/Previously Unreleased]
[just click]

Mazarin -- "We're Already There" -- We're Already There
Mazarin -- "The New American Apathy" -- We're Already There
[right click and save as]

Stream all three of Mazarin's full-lengths via Rhapsody:

Mazarin -- Watch It Happen [2000]
Mazarin -- A Tall-Tale Story Line [2001]
Mazarin -- We're Already There [2005]

Mazarin: InterWeb | MySpace | Flickr


Rack And Opinion: Release Date 11.14.06

The Wrens -- SecaucusFor those of us who don't really have an interest in Joanna Newsom (who releases the very anticipated Ys today), this week's new releases are sort of a hodge-podge. If you've got a lot of banknotes lining your pockets and a serious fixation with The Clash, then the new The Singles box set is for you. It includes something on the order of 19 individual CDs made to look like the 19 vinyl singles the legendary punkers issued over its career. Reissue fans also have two Wrens sets, a Neil Young live record and an Adam & The Ants disc to consider. The safe bet for a truly new new release is Trail Of Dead's So Divided, which we've been spinning off and on for a couple weeks. It's definitely a step forward from Worlds Apart, and the pre-release teaser track "Wasted State Of Mind" has a hook that will set up shop in your head and never leave. Not to mention the odd polyrhythmic drumming that kicks off the track. Expect a review sometime soon. Anyhoo, those records and the rest of our picks for the week are listed below. Links go to relevant commercial opportunities with our friends over at Newbury Comics, because we like to support the scene.

Adam & The Ants -- Kings of the Wild Frontier [Remastered] -- Sony BMG [UK]
... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead -- So Divided -- Interscope [Stream it here]
The Clash -- The Singles [box set] -- Epic/Legacy
Depeche Mode -- The Best of Volume 1 [CD/DVD] -- Sire/Reprise
Jarvis Cocker -- Jarvis -- Rough Trade [UK]
Mercury Rev -- Hello Blackbird: A Soundtrack by Mercury Rev -- V2 [UK]
The Wrens -- Secaucus [Reissue] -- Wind-Up
The Wrens -- Silver [Reissue] -- Wind-Up
Neil Young & Crazy Horse -- Live at the Fillmore East 1970 [CD/DVD] -- Reprise [Stream it here]


November 13, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: Mineral's "Gloria" [MP3]

The mention of neo-synth rockers Antarctica over at I Do Later this afternoon made us think of late great second wave emo acts Christie Front Drive and Mineral. We never saw either band, but we played the Christie Front Drive/Boys Life split 10" (which is on the short list of the best 10" records ever issued) to death when we were doing college radio, and when Austin, Texas-based Mineral's The Power Of Failing came out we played it repeatedly at ear-harming volumes in our car. There's a lotta treble in that there record, let us tell you. Anyhoo, we took a moment this evening to see if the YouTube had anything for us in the way of Mineral footage and we turned up the clip that sits atop this item. It's for the emo classic "Gloria," and it was shot live at Emo's in Austin, Texas in 1998. Well worth watching, and if Mineral is new to you consider the band another weapon in your arsenal to use in those irritating bar room conversations about what is good emo (Embrace, Rites Of Spring, Sunny Day Real Estate, Promise Ring, etc.) vs. what is bad emo (any emo record made after Very Emergency). As an added bonus, here is a clip from the same show of the band doing the tune "Parking Lot." We'd have preferred a clip of Power Of Failing opener "Five, Eight and Ten," which is as hot a rocker as they come, particularly the coda at the end. But looky here, Mineral's label Crank! (famous around here for releasing the Haywood/Mariner Nine split 7") is hosting an MP3 of "Gloria," which you can grab from the link below.

Mineral -- "Gloria" -- The Power Of Failing
[right click and save as / stream all of The Power Of Failing here at Rhapsody]


Revisiting Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!'s "In Green" [MP3]

Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!We glanced at our 25 most played tracks in ITunes, noted that Volcano, I'm Still Excited's amazing "In Green" is holding strong at #8 after almost three years, and realized a lot of folks may not know about the band. Sure, The Machine of Hype shows three other blogs have posted about the band, one as recently as August. But humor us, this song is awesome. The defunct trio Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! was primarily the musical vehicle of one Mark Duplass, who took up keys after being sidelined from guitar playing by a serious struggle with tendonitis. At the onset of 2004 the band issued its eponymous debut on Polyvinyl and then fairly promptly disappeared. We reviewed the set for Junkmedia here when it came out and said, among other things, that "the smartest and most clumsily monikered act to hit the touring circuit in a while" was "the first pleasant surprise of 2004."

The whereabouts of the various members are detailed pretty well in the comments to this I Guess I'm Floating item from August, which we'll summarize: Mr. Duplass went on to work at his brother's film production company and released the feature "The Puffy Chair" into theaters this past June; guitarist Craig Montoro plays trumpet with a certain Mr. Stevens the kids are ga-ga about; and drummer John Thomas Robinette III plays in a clutch of indie bands based in Brooklyn. Nowadays the band's web site is dead (although the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine has scores of cached versions here), but you can still dig up information over at Polyvinyl here. One thing we didn't know until doing the research for this piece was that there is also a video for the tune. It's a tad underwhelming, considering the emotional punch of the song, but the slice of pizza totally makes it all worth while. Check it out here.

Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! -- "In Green" -- Volcano, I'm Still Excited!!
[right click and save as / stream the entire record via Rhapsody here]

[Buy Volcano, I'm Still Excited!! from Polyvinyl here]


November 12, 2006

Review: The Pixies | loudQUIETloud [DVD]

The Pixies -- loudQUIETloudYou will see the following quote in every review of the Pixies documentary "loudQUIETloud." Not far into the film Charles Thompson, he also known as Black Francis and Frank Black, admits that "[The Pixies] don't talk to each other that much. And it's not that we don't like each other, it's just that that's the kind of people that we are." This characterizes in a tidy manner the non-raderie of the band on its 2004 reunion tour. It's the kind of discomfort that inaudibly screams throughout a scene in which guitarist Joey Santiago, Mr. Thompson and drummer David Lovering sit together silently at folding tables, fiddling with their cell phones. Before the first show of the tour someone in the band proposes a toast (with non-alcoholic champagne, as bassist Kim Deal began rehabilitation for alcohol in 2002), and there is a moment of silence as no one knows what to toast to. Ms. Deal's twin sister and foil Kelley, who accompanied the Pixies tour at her sister's insistence and has had her own struggles with addiction, plays an interesting role as an quasi-omniscient narrator, offering pointed analysis in real-time of the curious aphasia and tensions among the band. It takes Thompson two days to tell the band that his wife is having a child.

The Pixies -- loudQUIETloudBut, although the film makers insist the film (which must have seen ominously static to them as they were capturing the footage) is about a band whose members can only communicate whilst performing, and although superficial blog posts will focus more broadly on Dinosaur-sized intraband dysfunction if anything at all, the over-arching theme of "loudQUIETloud" is uncertainty. Uncertainty that is even greater than "Will the Pixies record a new album?" Can Deal stay sober? Will the new Breeders material she writes -- while riding in an RV separate from the band with Kelley -- drive a wedge between her and the rest of The Pixies? Can Mr. Lovering, whose bi-annual royalty checks have dwindled and who prior to the tour considered "magician" and "metal detector" his primary avocations, dispel the demons that he fights off with red wine and Valium in the wake of his father's death? Will Mr. Santiago speak up? Will Thompson, who at the end of the film characterizes his current solo records as a form of passive-aggressive pressure on his bandmates to write new Pixies material, ever just ask them? Will he get what he now seems to want?

While the film relays many, many more questions than it answers, it is far from impotent. Although the film makers never show a complete song being performed, a decision that emphasizes the sense of uncertainty that imbues the film, the live footage presented is electric and arresting. The band sounds as otherworldly and exciting as ever, despite the missing hair and gained pounds. Sure, you bought the eponymous Pixies DVD 4AD released in 2004, but this is a different beast altogether. If you didn't get a chance to see it in the theater, you can already order the DVD from distributor MVD at the link below.

"loudQUIETloud" trailer | official web site | MVD site | Buy It

The Pixies: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr


November 11, 2006

Today's Hotness: Nirvana, R.E.M., Logh, David & The Citizens

>> NME here points to the trailer for the recent DVD reissue of Nirvana's "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" It doesn't appear that there is anything earth-shaking in there, although the interview portions seem relatively compelling to the usual images of the band breaking shit up and falling down. Come to think of it, the interviews on the recent R.E.M. DVD collection "When The Light Is Mine" were probably the best parts, save for perhaps the "Left Of Reckoning" short film. The clip for "Harbour Coat" that is a part of said film pretty much defines the band and autumn for us. A propos of nothing, atop this item is a live clip of "Harbour Coat" that doesn't appear on the R.E.M. DVD, although a clip of "Can't Get There From Here" from the same show, which we refer to as the "Michael's crazy legs dancing show," was included.

>> As mysteriously as we couldn't access anything at Swedish sextet Logh's web site for the last several months, today a MySpace bulletin spurred us to try again and the content was there. Odd. Anyway, there are snippets of two demos posted, "Death To My Home Town" and "The Black Box." The former is a surprisingly pop piano ballad, and the latter a spare acoustic-led strummer. We're not hearing the delicious tension that made the band's A Sunset Panorama album one of our favorites of last year, but then again these are just demos. Logh is just about to finish mixing its forthcoming set in Stockholm, and is planning winter and spring tour dates.

>> And speaking of the Swedish indie rock, H-Dawg From Accounts Receivable points out to us that you can buy the latest David & The Citizens record Stop The Tape! Stop The Tape!, which has yet to see U.S. release as far as we know, at EMusic. We recently wrote here about Friendly Fire's U.S. release of the band's Until The Sadness Is Gone. That's a good record, but it is interesting how different Stop The Tape! Stop The Tape! is -- there's a pronounced electro influence that is layered over top of the jangly pop sound of the former record. Worth checking out, fer sure.


November 9, 2006

Coming To Your Local Bandstand: Icy Demons

Icy DemonsAs we are getting to the far end of 2006 (which now makes it the near end... whoa...) we're starting feel like we can put the year into a little perspective. And we're certain that one of the most singular releases we heard this year was Icy Demons' Tears Of A Clone. The set was issued by Scott Herren's Eastern Developments label on Halloween, although the release date was bounced a couple times in order to get it in line with a new distro deal. But the record finally left purgatory 10 days ago and we're frankly surprised we didn't hear more of a commotion about it. We reviewed the record here in August, saying in part that "its songs lie somewhere on an axis between the aforementioned Genesis ("Golden Coin") and Herbie Hancock's electric jazz work ("Jump Off")." Truly, the record is wildly ambitious and none too shabby. The Chicago and Philly-based band is heading out for a small slate of tour dates at the end of the month, so once you get that Tofurkey in you, get ready to make the scene. Unless you don't live in Philly, New York or D.C., 'cause the band's tour is concentrated like FCOJ. You can stream a cut from the new record at the band's MySpace yert linked below. Legal MP3s seem a bit hard to come by, however, but take our word for it, this record is something else. If you like Aloha and other acts doing interesting stuff, hunt this record down. Full tour dates, such as they are, below the requisite links.

Icy Demons: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

11/26 -- AKA Records In-Store -- Philadelphia, PA
11/27 -- Bard College -- Annandale on Hudson, NY
11/28 -- Tonic -- New York, NY
11/29 -- The Red & The Black -- Washington, DC
11/30 -- Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, PA
12/01 -- Alfred University -- Alfred, NY
12/02 -- The Glasslands Gallery -- Brooklyn, NY

Finally, here is a video for the band's tune "Desert Toll," which offers a filmic, grainy tour of some of the more anonymous streets of Philadelphia. The tune is from the band's 2004 release Fight Back!


Free Range Music: Pavement, Daylight's For The Birds, Snowden

Pavement>> An electronic mail transmission from Domino Records' UK operations points to an e-card for the newly released expanded reissue of Pavement's dazzling Wowee Zowee. Big deal, right? Well, it sort of is, because the e-card points fans to an entire downloadable Pavement live set which, we believe, was once intended to be released as a live record. The show is recorded at The Palace in California in 1994. We've actually already heard it, because it is the same free show that was offered as part of the slate of inducements attached to the Wow Out pre-order offer. Incidentally, we got our copy of Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition with the morning's mail at the day job and the record is just smokin.' We don't know the extent of the remastering and all that, but we will say the first four tracks virtually leap out of the speakers crystal clear and delicious. Highly recommended. Anyway, here is the link to the e-card, download away folks.

>> [UPDATED] We're still listening to the new Daylight's For The Birds record virtually non-stop. That's despite the fact that our MP3s downloaded from EMusic have several coding errors that make certain tracks skip like a record. It is actually kind of retro. Anyway, the genius dream-pop band is now streaming the entire set at a web site set up to promote the record Trouble Everywhere here. We've already recommended buying the record, but if you want to go through the formality of, you know, actually hearing it first, hit the link supra. It's a hot, hot record. And would you look at that, we just got links to a couple MP3s in the electronic mail:

Daylight's For The Birds -- "To No One" -- Trouble Everywhere
Daylight's For The Birds -- "Flicker" -- Trouble Everywhere
[right click and save as]

>> When we publish our list of favorite songs of 2006 sometime next month one song you are sure to see is Atlanta-based Snowden's "Anti-Anti." Jordan Snowden recently stopped in at AOL's Interface and recorded a slate of tunes including a minimalist, reverby version of "Anti-Anti" that you should really hear. You'll be able to download the short set in about a month, but, you know, if anybody feels like capturing and ripping the stream now and sending us an MP3, we'll be your friend. Anyway, stream the tune and read more here. The band is coming to Great Scott in Boston the Monday after Thanksgiving, and we are hoping against hope that we'll feel up to making it out that night after what will likely be a long day of driving through the mid-Atlantic region the day before.

>> AOL Music brings a little bit more of the heat this week via the listening party for the new PJ Harvey Peel session collection. Definitely worth a listen -- here's the link.


November 7, 2006

Rack And Opinion: Release Date 11.7.06

Pavement -- Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels EditionDo you really need us to tell you what to buy this week? It's the sort of release date where the choices are patently obvious. If you're like us, you can't help yourself but buy Matador's 'roided up reissue of Pavement's Wowee Zowee, which comes with an augmented name and a second disc of rarities. Or so we've been promised -- our disc actually hasn't come in the mail yet. Usually Insound is on time with the pre-orders, so we're going to assume some sort of election day chicanery has waylaid it. Anyway, even if we weren't big fans we'd have to buy the double-disc set because it will look nice filed in our rack next to the other Pavement reissues. Another big disc this week is The Evens' Get Evens, which we are listening to right now, having just downloaded it from EMusic. It is a peppy little record isn't it? So raw and basic, but powerful. We're saying yes to it. Finally, there's that new Voxtrot EP out today. We wrote about it earlier, so hit this link and review our opinion.

As a special bonus, we are listing a record we totally slept on last week but have just in the last 24 hours have decided we love. Daylight's For The Birds, the newish project of some of the fine folks who brought you On!!Air!!Library!!, has just released its debut Trouble Everywhere. And it is gorgeous. We downloaded a few MP3s yesterday from somewhere -- we can't remember offhand and Hype Machine is down right now -- and were blown away by the great melodies and neato production and general dream-pop deliciousness of it all. So while the set was released last week, we are making Trouble Everywhere a pick for this week. Deal with it. The records mentioned supra and our other picks for the week are listed below. Links go to relevant commercial opportunities with the good people of Newbury Comics, 'cause we like to keep it local like that.

The Charlatans -- Forever. The Singles -- Island [UK]
Daylight's For The Birds -- Trouble Everywhere -- This Generation Tapes
The Evens -- Get Evens -- Dischord
Nirvana -- Live! Tonight! Sold Out! [DVD] -- Geffen
Pavement -- Wowee Zowee: Sorded Sentinels Edition [Expanded Reissue] -- Matador
The Pixies -- loudQUIETloud: A Film About The Pixies [DVD] -- MVD
Voxtrot -- Your Biggest Fan EP -- PlayLouder


YouTube Rodeo: Black Tambourine's "Throw Aggi Off The Bridge"

We love YouTube. We were minding our own business last night looking at clips of Seam totally slay at the Touch + Go 25th Anniversary thing from a couple months ago when we thought, hey, we'll just pop Black Tambourine into the search box for kicks. And lo and behold there is a clip for the band's dreamfuzz classic "Throw Aggi Off The Bridge," which is sitting atop this item. The clip is pretty student filmy, but all the best clips from the early '90s were. Even so, among all the shots of bridges and skylines is actually footage of the band in the studio, which from an indie musicological standpoint is priceless. At least to hardcore nerds like us. For those of you asking who the hell Black Tambourine is, here is how its label summarizes them:

"Conceived as an explicitly pop band at a time when pop bands were pretty rare in America, Black Tambourine wore their influences on their sleeves: The Jesus & Mary Chain, of course, but also folks like Phil Spector, Smokey Robinson, Love, The Ramones, Shop Assistants, The Pastels, 14 Iced Bears, Orange Juice and the list goes on. Though they only played a handful of gigs in their brief career, their two singles on Slumberland and Audrey's Diary wielded a large influence, and were key artifacts in the birth of US indie pop."

Wikipedia also has a very succinct summary here. Note in particular the band members' pre- and post-BT projects, which includes some of our other early '90s favorites: Whorl, Velocity Girl and Glo-worm. You may recall we rhapsodized about Whorl here over the summer. And we talked about Black Tambourine's label Slumberland here in September. Speaking of, if you know what's good for you, you'll head over to Slumberland and snatch up the BT MP3s they're offering. Actually, we'll save you the trip and just hotlink the band's shoegazer-tastic "Black Car" and the tune that got us onto this tangent in the first place.

Black Tambourine -- "Black Car" -- By Tomorrow 7"
Black Tambourine -- "Throw Aggi Off The Bridge" -- Complete Recordings
[right click and save as]

[Buy Black Tambourine's Complete Recordings from ITunes; stream it at Rhapsody]


November 6, 2006

Today's Hotness: The Notwist, Taken By Trees, Tokyo Police Club

The Notwist>> Did you know that a documentary was filmed about the making of revered German indie journeymen The Notwist's 2002 masterwork Neon Golden? It's true. An email promoting the release promises footage of "[e]ndless studio sessions, endless discussions with the record label and endless press interviews to promote the album." And you can watch the trailer right here. It features a lot of shots of the band's Acher brothers getting interviewed and speaking in German. As such we've got no idea what their saying. But the documentary, titled "On|Off The Record" and filmed over the course of 70 days by a chap named Joerg Adolph, was apparently issued Nov. 3. "On|Off The Record" is 90 minutes long and comes with English subtitles. According to the web site the DVD, which has a Region Code of "0" meaning the disc can allegedly be played in machines the world over, also includes Adolph's video for the album track "Pilot." Buy the disc here.

>> SwedesPlease here points us to streams of four new songs from former Concretes fronter Victoria Bergsmann. Her new project is called Taken By Trees and if the four tunes are any indication, its sound is skeletal and melancholy in a good way. Taken By Trees has a web site here and a MySpace lean-to here. News that Ms. Bergsmann left The Concretes in favor of pursuing a solo project was first reported in late July.

>> You ever wonder how much bands make when their music is used on prime-time TV? We've got some idea. A friend of ours in a band signed to a decades-old, mainstream indie had about 10-15 seconds of one of the songs on their latest album used in a prime-time teledrama earlier this month. Even though the bulk of the clip is trampled by dialog, my friend tells me his band got $20,000 for use of the tune. That's no small potatoes.

>> And finally, Cliptip here points to a very cool video for the ever-peppy Tokyo Police Club's "Nature Of The Experiment." The tune is from the band's recent release A Lesson In Crime. Check out the video here.


Coming To Your Local Bandstand: The Pernice Brothers

The Pernice BrothersJoe Pernice and crew Saturday began more than a month's worth of tour dates to support the recently released Pernice Brothers set Live A Little (which, if you pre-ordered, came with a nifty disc of demos and outtakes). We are of two minds regarding the tour: we're happy the band is out there bringing the rock to the people, but we are missing the witty bloggage that Joe and Ashmont Records business partner Joyce Linehan have been publishing regularly since the band's web site was redesigned. Still, with Joe's burgeoning superstardom peaking due to regular repeats of his "Gilmore Girls" cameo, it is probably best for him to be out there, striking while the iron is hot night after night. This tour is going everywhere in the U.S., but not Canada because of some sideman visa issues and feared trouble from the mounties. Don't know what you are missing? Well, fortunately for you Mr. Pernice's revamped web sites features full album streams. Hit this link to access streams of Live A Little and Discover A Lovelier You. The set list from the first night look's pretty hot, so buy your tickets now.

The Pernice Brothers: Interweb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

11/07 -- Lager House -- Detroit, MI
11/08 -- The Intersection -- Grand Rapids, MI
11/09 -- Schubas -- Chicago, IL
11/10 -- High Noon Saloon -- Madison, WI
11/11 -- 7th Street Entry -- Minneapolis, MN
11/12 -- Vaudeville Mews -- Des Moines, IA
11/16 -- Tractor Tavern -- Seattle, WA
11/17 -- Doug Fir Lounge -- Portland, OR
11/18 -- Sam Bond's Garage -- Eugene, OR
11/20 -- Old Ironsides -- Sacramento, CA
11/21 -- Cafe du Nord -- San Francisco, CA
11/22 -- Spaceland -- Los Angeles, CA
11/24 -- The Casbah -- San Diego, CA
11/25 -- Modified -- Phoenix, AZ
11/26 -- Launchpad -- Albuquerque, NM
11/28 -- Cactus Cafe -- Austin, TX
11/29 -- Hailey's -- Denton, TX
11/30 -- Chelsea's Cafe -- Baton Rouge, LA
12/01 -- Proud Larry's -- Oxford, MS
12/02 -- Bottle Tree -- Birmingham, AL
12/03 -- The Earl -- Atlanta, GA
12/05 -- Local 506 -- Chapel Hill, NC
12/06 -- Black Cat -- Washington, DC
12/07 -- Johnny Brenda's -- Philadelphia, PA
12/08 -- Mercury Lounge -- New York, NY
12/09 -- Iron Horse Music Hall -- Northampton, MA
12/10 -- T.T. the Bears -- Cambridge, MA


November 5, 2006

Free Range Music: Depeche Mode, Pavement, Mary Onettes

Depeche Mode -- The Best Of Depeche Mode, Volume One>> Next week yet another Depeche Mode hits collection will get released. We're not exactly certain how many such collections have preceded this one, because it depends on what you do and don't count, but we've always maintained that a person could live a long and full life just owning the amazing live set 101 and Violator. Even so, Messrs. Gahan, Gore and etc. have included in the new collection the heretofore unreleased track "Martyr," an outtake from 2005's Playing The Angel, and you can stream the video for it below in two delicious flavors of streaming media. You know what? The song's not half bad. There is a fairly riveting 30-minute EPK promoting the collection that features funny archival clips of the band (they were so young! Seymour Stein is so old!) and nice contemporary interview footage, and we're linking to that below as well. It's long, but it's quality.

Depeche Mode -- "Martyr" -- QT | WM
Depeche Mode -- The Best Of Depeche Mode, Volume One EPK -- QT | WM

>> If you've seen the excellent Pavement DVD "Slow Century" then you have already seen these videos, but with the domestic reissue of the band's Wowee Zowee coming Tuesday we thought we'd link to them anyway.

Pavement -- "Rattled By The Rush" -- QT | RM | WM
Pavement -- "Father To A Sister Of A Thought" -- QT | RM | WM

>> In the first promotion of its kind we've seen, you can preview the just-released Mary Onettes' Lost EP at here. This seems like an obvious path for to grow its business, and we hope to see more promos like this before gets bought by, oh, we dunno, AOL? Anyway, the Swedish band sounds like New Order and Echo And The Bunnymen. The Lost EP was issued on Labrador, which is also offering the title track as a free download.

The Mary Onettes -- "Lost" -- Lost EP
[right click and save as]


That Was The Show That Was: The Decemberists, Alasdair Roberts

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA, 20061104The Decemberists' show at Boston's Orpheum Theater Saturday night was so roundly excellent, so fully enthralling, that the show deserves to stand on its own rather than be subjected to the context of other shows. Even so, the differences between the balls-out and drunken Hold Steady performance Monday [review here] and last night's artful and nuanced Decemberists show are stark. We'll list just a few and move on: the Portland, Ore.-based quintet wore skirts or neck ties and hats, while The Hold Steady wore gas station attendants' shirts; The Decemberists show was staged in a proper theater with a proscenium and stage decorations, while The Hold Steady plied its craft within the grasp of rabid, beery fans; fans at The Decemberists show remained seated through several stirring songs before rising at the close of an electrifying rendition of "Perfect Crime No. 2," while The Hold Steady fans rocked out halfway airborne with plastic cups of suds aloft in what is basically an under-furnished, subterranean storage room with a bar at either side. There are more contrasts, but we'll move along.

The Decemberists' show, which we heard a theater staffer say was sold out despite there being about eight seats to our right that sat empty, kicked off with all three parts of the title track to the augmented quintet's latest set and major label debut The Crane Wife. From there the band kept gathering steam, to the point where the hardcore on The Decemberists message board [sign-up required] complained about the pace of "Here I Drempt I was An Architect" and "July, July." This, of course, didn't bother us, because we like it when rock music rocks. We will, however, agree with sentiments expressed on the board that at times the sound was particularly gamey -- band fronter Colin Meloy's acoustic guitar would occasionally disappear in the mix, as did the ensemble's violins at various times.

The charismatic Meloy alternately regaled and thrilled the crowd with the back story to "A Cautionary Tale" and by staging a ridiculous and impromptu, although dubiously accurate (a meteorite killed the redcoats?), re-enactment of The Boston Massacre in one of the aisles with the help of drummer John Moen, guitarist Chris Funk and supporting multi-instrumentalist Lisa Molinaro. The back story to "A Cautionary Tale?" It so happens Meloy once dated a woman who lived in Boston, and when he visited her here she sent him out for a somewhat miserable inspection of all the tourist spots with her mother, who took a stack of snapshots that Meloy still wonders what to do with today.

We would have loved to hear "The Sporting Life," and several folks in the crowd repeatedly called out to hear the epic "The Tain" -- even when Meloy appeared on stage solo at the onset of the encores. But even without a couple of fan favorites the show was wholly satisfying, capturing as it did an act whose creative arc remains on a pronounced upward path, and we thank the fine folks over at Filter MMM for kindly underwriting our attendance. As usual, we took a battery of largely disappointing photos, and as usual Blogger has highly pixelated the one we are posting atop this item. Oh well. We'll eventually get better at shooting photos, and maybe Blogger will eventually get better at not screwing up photos. In the meantime, enjoy the two MP3s posted below. Note that the live version of "A Cautionary Song" is not from last night. The Decemberists have tour dates booked through the end of February, and you can see them all at the band's MySpace wigwam here.

The Decemberists -- "A Cautionary Song (Live)" -- MySpace Download
The Decemberists -- "The Tain (Demo)" -- MySpace Download
[just click]

And here's a rough idea of the set-list, thanks to a more mentally together poster at The Decemberists forum:

The Crane Wife parts 1, 2 & 3
We Both Go Down Together
Engine Driver
Yankee Bayonet
Perfect Crime 2
Shankhill Butchers
July July
16 Military Wives
O Valencia
Here I Drempt I Was An Architect
The Island
Sons And Daughters

Red Right Ankle
A Cautionary Song
After The Bombs

The Decemberists: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr


November 4, 2006

Falling For David & The Citizens' "Let's Not Fall Apart" [MP3]

David & The CitizensThere is a moment in David & The Citizens' "Let's Not Fall Apart" wherein the band hooks you. You can tell the Swedish act knows this, since the song's title is taken from the lyrics that are sung at that moment ("one arrives and one takes off but let's not fall apart..."). The title is almost a knowing wink from the sextet, a warning that a wordy, deliciously melodic chorus is around the corner, eagerly waiting with a tambourine. And while we aren't head over heels for all of David & The Citizens' Until The Sadness Is Gone, which was issued this past week in the U.S. by the fine folks at Friendly Fire (who also brought you Asobi Seksu's excellent Citrus, but did not bring you Sean Lennon's shrugger Friendly Fire), there are a handful of tracks we return to again and again, including the aforementioned "Let's Not Fall Apart."

For those of you who speak Swedish Indie Rock, the band's sound is a little less glossy and twee than Aerospace and a little more rockin' than Shout Out Louds. In case you can't tell, we sort of have a thing for bands from Sweden (thing, thing, thing, thing, thing). Anyway, below we've posted a link to an MP3 of a version of "Let's Not Fall Apart" taken from D&TC's 2004 Big Chill EP. Despite Until The Sadness Is Gone being its debut U.S. long player, David & The Citizens are pretty darn prolific. You can check out a lot of the act's catalog at this well-stocked media page. Note that Until The Sadness Is Gone was first released in Sweden in 2003 and Germany in 2004, and the U.S. version has two bonus tracks. David & The Citizens' most recent set, Stop The Tape! Stop The Tape!, was issued in Sweden earlier this year on Bad Taste Records.

David & The Citizens -- "Let's Not Fall Apart" -- Until The Sadness Is Gone
[MP3 is actually the EP version as noted supra; just click]

Bonus Downloads:

David & The Citizens -- "Grey Coated Mornings" -- Until The Sadness Is Gone
David & The Citizens -- "New Direction" -- Until The Sadness Is Gone
[just click]

[Buy Until The Sadness Is Gone from Newbury Comics here]

David & The Citizens: InterWeb | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Below is the video for "Are You In My Blood?", which is a single from the band's latest record. It rocks. This band is definitely poised to break big in the U.S.