Dead Confederate were supposed to launch a grunge revolution that would seize us all and bury us with its power. This was based largely on an EP, a first record and a song, "The Rat" that seemed to have enough power to do so. This didn't happen but then again, Karl Marx thought 1848 was the year that would launch a seismic transformation of society. Powerful figures don't always get their timing right.
Of course, Dead Confederate are back with their second LP, Sugar and are giving away track 9, "Giving It All Away." Not the best song on the record (that would be "Run From The Gun" featured in the video above), "Giving It All Away" has a great second movement and is the same dark, lit-from-below rock we saw melting the Mercury lounge back in 2007 and 2008. Worth noting it was at that show that a major label A&R leaned over and said, "This is great but we could never sell it." That may be true, but just because they can't sell it doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it.
Listen :: Dead Confederate - "The Rat"
Listen :: Procedure Club - "Feel Sorry For Me"
Listen :: Atlantic Line - "Exit to Intro" [LP]
Listen :: Neutral Uke Hotel - "King of Carrot Flowers, Pt. 1"
Listen :: ArpLine - "Fold Up Like A Piece Of Paper"
32feet: Top 5 Desert Island records?
One Foot in the Grave - Beck
Loveless - My Bloody Valentine
Harvest - Neil Young
The White Album - The Beatles
Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon
Has Liz Phair been about as good and bad for girls as Nick Hornby has been for boys?
Liz Phair spoke her mind without any hesitance. She didn't stop to wonder if this is how a girl is supposed to talk. Hornby's characters seem to explore their romantic obsessions with a similar kind of honesty, that doesn't stop to consider if this is how they are supposed to be feeling. They just feel that way without self reflection. So, yes Liz Phair and Nick Hornby are equally good and bad. I'm assuming "bad" means good "bad" though.
If you could describe your music in two sentences, what would they be?
Usually, I ask bands if they were on a sinking ocean liner and there were only two life jackets, who would get them? It can be revealing. Since it's only you, let's assume there's 40% of a life jacket. Do you take it or say, "fuck it, that's a broken life jacket" and swim for it?
I'd float for as long as possible.
Stylistically, who is the one influence, from whom you borrow, that no one ever picks up on?
I listened to Blood Sugar Sex Magic by Red Hot Chili Peppers endlessly as a teenager. I am very influenced by John Frusciante's melodic palate. I don't play funk, and I can't tear it up like him, but there are a decent amount of similarities in our guitar playing. I went on to listen to listen to his solo records endlessly also, especially the first one, How to Record Water for 10 Days.
What is the one thing people don't know about you that they should absolutely, always remember?
Sometimes, I wish animals were different colors than what they are. You know, like pink deers, or blue bears. That would be amazing.
Listen :: Blair - "Hello Halo"
Listen :: Blair - "Heart"
None of your business. by TPBSecretLeaks
Listen :: Washed Out - "You and I " [feat. Caroline Polachek]
School of Seven Bells are wearing it on their skin. Each member of the band features the cover art of their new record, Disconnect From Desire, tattooed prominently on their body; guitarist Ben Curtis is wearing his over his heart. The intoxicating vocalists, Alejandra and Claudia Deheza elect to circumscribe the image on their arms, reflecting a different, nonetheless committed, series of personal choices. A physical commitment, a mixture of pain and soaring beauty, lies indelibly etched in black ink in definition and defense of a new tribalism. School of Seven Bells are exactly this; urban and profane, distant and enormous, ancient and horribly futuristic, a burn of contradictions and desire.
The two Deheza sisters reflect a different, two-roads-diverged-in-a-yellow-wood question. Alejandra, quick, propulsive and bubbly, offered the only "thank you's" and annotations, saying early in the evening, "these are all songs off our new album ... but we have some old ones later." Claudia, delicately behind a keyboard, remained still, providing the intense minor key harmonies for which the band is so deservedly famous. She takes her eyes off the keyboard only to send soul-splitting gazes to the back of the room. The Mercury Lounge, sold-out to capacity, began to move on the fourth song of the evening, the stunning "Babelonia" from the band's forthcoming LP. Alejandra danced on the downbeats, arching her eyebrows to indicate the seriousness of her purpose. Claudia was, well, predictably hard to read.
Though the crowd knew few of the songs, the soaring wall-of-sound approach proved non-negotiable. There were moments so loud, so condensed, so incredibly intricate that you wonder if this band is like Icarus, daring their wax-wings not to melt on the surface of the sun. But perhaps this is darker. On main-set closer, "My Cabal", the band drifted away to some foreign and familiar, a pleasant and unsettling challenge to their audience to join them by the end of the night, burned together in our ears and on our bodies.
Listen :: School of Seven Bells - "Babelonia"
The Strokes returned to the stage in London on Wednesday night for their first performance in four years. The band's fourth LP nearly or very nearly finished, they took the stage under the name Venison to play 18 songs of old material. They opened with maybe the band's finest work, "New York City Cops," a track memorably buried off the American release of their debut, Is This It, in the wake of September 11. The footage trades sea-sick camera steadiness for proximity, but even in grainy darkness, the moment is undeniably weighty. Perhaps, this is the perfect moment, for a band that defined the nihilistic return of credible rock in 2000, to come back ten years later, one more time with feeling.
Listen :: beat radio - "the best and the brightest"
James Murphy is an unlikely rock god. We've been here before, along with seemingly everyone else, but it's shocking every time. A chubby dude, wearing a white tee shirt and 100-watt smile, gets the kids moving. Granted, most San Franciscans spend their waking hours boogieing to the music only they can hear, but some of us don't. And yet, we're all bouncing up and down to LCD Soundsystem. A friend who categorically doesn't dance, is dancing. This is the Power of James: the venue changes, the results don't. Groundhog Day The Musical?
Murphy and the gang are, understandably, tiring of the shtick. After weeks of touring, the set list has gotten repetitive. They are tight, but not as tight as they were a fortnight ago in New York. They work the crowd into a fevered pitch during most songs -- although "Get Innocuous," "All I Want," and "Pow Pow" never take off -- but their energy lags between each effort. They catch their breath. We follow suit, eager to start again. For us, it's our one chance to witness Murphy; for LCD, it's another gig in another city.
Set closer "New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down" remains a gorgeous, poignant duet between the lead singer and Nancy Whang, but just like the band tonight it's missing... home. Murphy wrote his best song about the misery of being on the road, away from his friends. Halfway through the show, he yells "where are your friends tonight," scans the crowd, and sees a seething mass of happy faces he doesn't recognize. It must be a bit disconcerting.
You can take LCD out of New York, but you can't take New York out of LCD. Or something along those lines. (Yes, they recorded most of This Is Happening in a Los Angeles mansion, but it's more Gotham than Batman.) But dancing, that resonates across the country.
This show, like every other one, becomes a night of simplicity.
Listen :: Sean Carey - "In The Dirt"
Listen :: Gold Sounds - "You're A Vision"
Listen :: Gold Sounds - "So It Goes"
Listen :: Tobacco - "Six Royal Vipers"