12.30.2009

Concert Announcements: Real Estate, The Cave Singers,
Ani Difranco & More

The concert calendar for the Spring is filling up quite nicely. None of these shows got me quite excited enough to warrant it's own post, but they'll all be worth checking out.

Also, there appears to be some confusion on the Midlake show I posted about last week. Pollstar and Eleven Productions have the date listed as I posted below for March 12th. Ticketmaster has the date listed as April 14th while Midlake's own website has both dates listed. I'm going to guess it's still March 12th but I'll update this if anything changes.

Meanwhile, here are the rest of the new show dates (note The Cave Singers...another fantastic band appearing at the quite intimate Replay Lounge) and view the full concert calendar HERE.

01/09 Old Canes @ The Record Bar, KC
01/25 Alberta Cross @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
02/11 Langhorne Slim @ The Record Bar, KC
02/17 RJD2 @ The Record Bar, KC
02/18 Eyedea & Abilities/Dosh @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
02/20 Nick Oliveri (formerly of Queens of the Stone Age) @ Czar Bar, KC
03/07 We Were Promised Jetpacks @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
03/07 Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
03/16 Woods/Real Estate @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
03/22 Quasi @ The Record Bar, KC
03/30 Electric Six @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
03/31 Puscifer @ The Uptown, KC
03/31 The Cave Singers @ The Replay, Lawrence
04/03 The Ruby Suns/Toro Y Moi @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
04/08 Miike Snow/Delorean @ The Record Bar, KC
04/10 The Big Pink/A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
04/16 Ani Difranco @ The Beaumont Club, KC

-Matt

12.23.2009

Next Big Thing: Local Natives

I know it's kind of lazy to compare new bands to every other band out there, but it works for me. If someone tells me about a new band, my response is always "who do they sound like?". Really it just gives me a way to know if I would even be interested in the first place....if someone tells me "oh, they sound like The Killers meets Owl City", I know instantly that I'm going to hate that band and don't need to waste me time.

That being said it's hard to talk about LA band Local Natives without naming a ton of bands that they sound like. When I listen to their full-length debut, Gorilla Manor (currently out in the UK, US release slated for 2/16/10), I hear bits and pieces of Cold War Kids, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes and even Yeasayer. That certainly doesn't mean that Local Natives are unoriginal, in fact, it's the exact opposite. Throughout the album I hear shades of the above mentioned bands but never feel like Local Natives are riding coattails or biting someones sound.

To be honest, I can't get enough of the album. It's full of pop gems but there is some much lush instrumentation behind it that it doesn't get boring. If this band doesn't absolutely blow up in 2010 I will be extremely surprised. Especially when marginal bands like Vampire Weekend are all the rage now. Mark my words: 2010 will be the year of Local Natives.

Local Natives Myspace

-Matt

12.15.2009

Concert Announcement: Midlake

JoC favorites Midlake will be making their way back through Lawrence and, just like for the tour for Van Occupanther, they'll be ending their trek in Lawrence (they do play a last show in their hometown of Denton, TX). They will be at the Jackpot in Lawrence on Friday, March 12th. They'll be touring in support of their third full-length album, The Courage Of Others, which will be released on February 2nd. You can head over to The Hype Machine to preview a couple of the tracks from the new album.

The last time they played Lawrence was at the Jackpot and it was about as packed as I've seen the place so you may want to get tickets early for this one.

-Matt

12.11.2009

Concert Announcement: Cymbals Eat Guitars/Bear In Heaven

Cymbals Eat Guitars:
Bear In Heaven:
Great timing on this concert announcement as the #38 and #14 bands on my 50 Best Albums of 2009 list are coming to Lawrence this spring. Cymbals Eat Guitars are taking Bear In Heaven out on tour as openers and they'll be playing at The Replay Lounge in Lawrence on Friday, April 2nd.

If you ask me the Replay Lounge is quite small for these two bands who are both garnering quite a bit of buzz on the blog scene. I'm guessing this will be moved to the Jackpot when it's all said an done.

Cymbals Eat Guitars Myspace
Bear In Heaven Myspace

-Matt

12.07.2009

2009 Albums of the Year

I'm not going to re-cap the year in music that was 2009 other than to say it was a bit of a disappointing year in my opinion. Not as many albums I think I'll be listening to in 10 years as there have been in the last two or three years. On the bright side, with the list of great bands that are putting out new records in 2010 growing and growing, things might be looking up pretty quickly.

Without further ado, here's my list:

50. AC Newman - Get Guilty
49. The Appleseed Cast – Sagarmatha
48. The Horrors – Primary Colours
47. Cold Cave – Love Comes Close
46. The Low Anthem – Oh My God, Charlie Darwin
45. jj – jj n°2
44. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone
43. Mew – No More Stories Are Told Today, I’m Sorry, They Washed Away
42. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
41. Dirty Projectors – Bite Orca
40. Julian Casablancas – Phrazes of the Young
39. The Flaming Lips – Embryonic
38. Cymbals Eat Guitars – Why There Are Mountains
37. Elvis Perkins - Elvis Perkins in Dearland
36. The Avett Brothers – I And Love And You
35. Old Canes – Feral Harmonic
34. Fever Ray – Fever Ray
33. Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
32. Akron/Family – Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free
31. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – s/t
30. Cass McCombs – Catacombs
29. Kurt Vile – Childish Prodigy
28. Passion Pit – Manners
27. Deer Tick – Born On Flag Day
26. Iran – Dissolver

25. A.A. Bondy – When the Devil’s Loose

Singer-songwriter stuff like this with a country tinge to it is right up my alley. This isn't the first A.A. Bondy album I've enjoyed, but it's certainly the most focused.






24. Dead Man's Bones - Dead Man's Bones

Whenever an Actor feels the need to start making music, I usually run away. This album is kinda haunting, a bit joyous and overall a really good record.







23. St. Vincent – Actor

As much as I loved Annie Clark's last album, Marry Me, she topped it with Actor. There are a lot of layers here that definitely rewards repeat listens.







22. The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - The Pains of Being Pure At Heart

A great debut album that shows a band with a ton of promise and the ability to write a great pop tune.







21. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below

If this album didn't have a few songs I just didn't dig, it would have been much higher on my list. Edward Sharpe and his band are responsible for what may be one of the best songs of the year, 'Home'.






20. Junior Boys – Begone Dull Care

I've been a big Junior Boys fan ever since I heard their first album, Last Exit. They haven't done me wrong yet as they've released another brilliant dance album.







19. Mastodon – Crack the Skye

The first of two metal albums in my top 20, Mastodon has continued their streak of nearly flawless albums with Crack the Skye.







18. Atlas Sound - Logos

I wasn't too sure why people were so crazy about Bradford Cox. I fully realize now, after spinning Logos, the genius of this guy.








17. Handsome Furs - Face Control

In my eyes, Dan Boeckner has always taken a back seat to Spencer Krug in terms of songwriting. However, with Face Control, Boeckner's blend of electro-punk hits the mark.







16. Pink Mountaintops - Outside Love

Stephen McBean continues the streak of fantastic albums by the Black Mountain camp.








15. Dinosaur Jr. - Farm

As Dinosaur Jr. continues to release amazing new albums 20+ years into their career, it begs the question: why do people still give a fuck about the Pixies?







14. Bear In Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth

The latest addition to my top 20 is another Brooklyn band that is beginning to garner a bit of well deserved buzz. The album has been in an almost daily rotation for me for weeks.







13. Girls - Album

One of the strongest debut albums of the year was from San Francisco band Girls. Both 'Lust For Life' and 'Hellhole Ratrace' are candidates for song of the year.








12. Lighting Dust - Infinite Light

Another group comprised mostly with members of Black Mountain. This time McBean is out done by his band members as Infinite Light may be the best BM side project ever.







11. White Denim - Fits

Austin's White Denim is another potentially over-hyped band that I thought I might hate before I heard them. Their album Fits is a scatterbrained rock album that's all over the map but is a really fun listen.






10. Megafaun - Gather, Form & Fly

This is the kind of thing that I really do love: a weird mix of freak-folk, country and psychedelic rock. Seeing these guys open for Bon Iver earlier this year was definitely one of my concert highlights of 2009.






9. Wild Beasts - Two Dancers

This is another album that I heard late in the year and just continued to move up and up my list of favorite albums all year. Another best song of the year nominee in 'All the Kings Men'.







8. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career

On their debut album, Camera Obscura released one of my favorite songs of the year ('Hey Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken'). This time, they release a truly great whole album with My Maudlin Career.






7. Strand Of Oaks - Leave Ruin

There always ends up being one mellow, acoustic album pretty high up on my list, and this year it's Strand Of Oaks' Leave Ruin. I gotta admit though, this album got as many listens as the rest of the top 10 and it deserves it's spot.


*No Strand Of Oaks songs are available on Lala.com....head over to their Myspace page to check out their stuff.






6. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

This album held my top spot for much of the year, but unfortunately I got a bit burnt out with it by the end of the year. I still think it's a fantastic album and it's definitely deserved of most of the hype.

*I couldn't find anything off this album on Lala.com, so here's their track from the New Moon soundtrack.



5. Animal Collective - Merriwheather Post Pavilion

The last on my list of albums that were almost painfully hyped. Yet, like Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective's most recent effort truly is great. Some of the catchiest stuff they've ever released and what may be their best album ever.






4. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

This is what a perfect pop album sounds like. It's slick, catchy and full of sheen and shine. Not only that but it's got true emotional and lyrical depth.







3. Baroness - Blue Record

If there is a candidate for an album that I over-rank because it's fresh in my mind (and ipod) at the end of the year, this might be it. I haven't heard a metal album this rich and rewarding in a really long time.






2. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer

This was in my number one spot for almost the whole year, and it's still so close my number one's and two's could switch in a few weeks. This is Spencer Krug's masterpiece he has been hinting at with Sunset Rubdown for years.






1. The Antlers - Hospice

Albums don't get much more emotionally stimulating or draining than with Hospice. An album that begs to be listened to from start to finish each time, this album is one that will give you something new you didn't notice each spin. There isn't a single song that will blow you away, but in context of the entire album, they are all brilliant.





Alright, what did I miss? What did I rank too low? What is the list missing that was good? What did I rank too high that was shit? Let me know in the comments.

-Matt

12.02.2009

Show Review: Baroness/Earthless @ The Riot Room

Earthless:
Baroness:
It's been a while since I've actually written up anything about a show I went to. Usually I forget to take my camera, I drink quite a bit and don't take any kind of notes. Those three combined leaves me with the feeling that I don't have the right to post any sort of "review" of a show. In reality, I'm not really reviewing the performance so much, but more writing about two of the more intense live bands I've seen in a while.

I went to this show to see Baroness. I've written something up recently on their most recent album that you can read HERE. Whenever I'm going to a show, I always try and check up on the opening bands in hopes that I'll see something that I might enjoy. The band that opened the show, Earthless, might have been the worst choice for an opening band ever. They aren't a bad choice because they aren't good, because they are one of the best live bands I've ever seen. They are a bad choice for an opening band because I don't know how anyone could follow them without coming off as limp or boring. Earthless are a three piece that plays a sort of stoner rock jam and metal hybrid. They played what seemed like one long song for their whole 40 minute set, but things never got boring. It was like watching three insanely talented musicians just jam and solo for 40 minutes straight. Their drummer was absolutely insane and I was exhausted from just watching him play. Like I said, Earthless put on one of the best live performances I've ever seen, DO NOT MISS them if you have the chance to see them play.

The headliner, Baroness, is a four piece metal band from Savannah, Georgia. They have two near perfect metal albums already under their belt with the release of their second full-length, Blue Album this year. They also might be one of the only bands that could actually follow an Earthless performance. They played an hour of music with songs ranging from both full length albums and their previous EP's as well. They are a really tight live band and are able to pull off almost all of the sounds and feel they've put to record. Discovering Baroness and digging into their back catalog is responsible for me diving head first back into metal music over the past month or so. I still haven't discovered anything nearly as good as the Baroness albums, but it's been fun trying to find one.

Baroness Myspace
Earthless Myspace

-Matt

11.25.2009

Concert Announcement: A.A. Bondy & more...

The promising concert dates are starting to roll in for the Lawrence and KC area. Another Jeopardy of Contentment favorite A.A. Bondy will be at The Jackpot in Lawrence on Friday, January 29th. His most recent album, When The Devil's Loose, is another strong effort and certainly will find a place high up on my best albums of the year list.

There are a few other noteworthy announcements that I missed over the last week or so. As always, check HERE for the full concert calendar.

12/03 Spoon/The Bravery/Metric/Hockey @ The Midland, KC
01/26 Yo La Tengo @ The Granada, Lawrence
01/28 The Life and Times @ The Record Bar, KC
01/31 Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
02/21 Alice In Chains @ The Midland, KC
02/28 Dropkick Murphys @ The Beaumont Club, KC
03/14 Flogging Molly @ The Uptown, KC
04/03 Tegan and Sara @ The Uptown, KC
04/14 Rogue Wave @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence


-Matt

11.22.2009

Video: The Antlers - 'Kettering'

I've already gushed about The Antlers album, Hospice, here before. In recent weeks after returning to the album again, it's begun to inch it's way in front of Sunset Rubdown for my favorite album of 2009. Few albums this year or this decade have had an emotional impact on me like Hospice has. It really is an album meant to be listened to the whole way through to appreciate the theme and story it tells. Here is a video for one of the best songs from the album, 'Kettering'. This fan made video pairs the haunting song with photos mostly taken from Flikr pages. It really does the song justice, enjoy...




-Matt

11.18.2009

Video: Wild Beasts - 'All the King's Men'

Another surprise album this year is from British group Wild Beasts. Their second full length album, Two Dancers, is a solid album from start to finish. It's sure to find it's way in my top 20 albums of the year. Here's what's becoming one of my favorite songs of the year, 'All the King's Men', performed live in Juan's Basement from P4K TV.



-Matt

11.13.2009

Baroness - Blue Record

Metal doesn't get talked about too much here, but it's not a genre that I overlook. A lot of what gets recommended to me I can't get into because of the screaming vocals. There are a few bands that are able to nicely blend screaming with singing and those bands are the ones I enjoy the most. Truth be told, everything I love about Metal can be found in the second full length album by Georgia band Baroness. It's heavy and intense but yet it's really beautiful at times as well. All that and the fact that there are actual melodies as well and I'm sold. I would be surprised if this isn't in my top 10 albums of the year, it really is that good.

Below you can watch the video for 'A Horse Called Golgotha' off Blue Record:




-Matt

11.11.2009

Concert Announcement: St. Vincent

It's been a long time since I've done one of these worth noting. St. Vincent will making an appearance in Lawrence on February 15th at The Bottleneck. St. Vincent is Annie Clark who has previously played with The Polyphonic Spree and Sufjan Stevens touring band. Annie herself is quite accomplished in here solo career as St. Vincent though. 2007's Marry Me (which is extra noteworthy since it's name was taken from the greatest TV show ever, Arrested Development) and this years Actor are both worth checking out.

Here's the video for 'Marrow' from the album Actor:



St. Vincent Myspace

-Matt

10.06.2009

New Music: Dead Man's Bones

It's certainly an interesting enough back-story: Actor Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields form the band after canning plans to do a musical monster/ghost love story for the stage. When they realized how much money the whole thing would cost they decide skip the play and keep going with the music part of it. To be honest, whenever an actor decides to start making music, it's usually horrible. There are certain exceptions (although I'm having problems thinking of many other than She & Him and, of course, This) but overall it's pretty consistent. When details began to surface about the Dead Man's Bones project and the addition of the Silverlake Children's Choir it began to sound more and more intriguing.

I'll admit the band name, album concept and early October release date make it all seem a little like a holiday album. Something that will be fun to bust out a few times before Halloween each year. It will be that album too and there is nothing wrong with that. After spinning it at least a dozen times in the past few days I'm seeing that after the cuteness wears off there are some fantastic songs in here. The Children's Choir will really be a make or break point for a lot of people on this album. I was hesitant about a choir too until I actually heard it. The kids really do add a lot to the songs and they never overshadow any of the album.

I've included a few of the best songs below from the record. You'll see the band is a bit all over the map with their style. 'My Body's A Zombie For You' sounds like Arcade Fire making a Halloween tune and should be on every Halloween mix from here on out. Dead Man's Bones proves to be more than an actor delving into the music world as Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields really did end up putting out an overall great album from start to finish. If you want to get this, make sure you get it before Halloween, but I'd imagine it will get plenty of play afterward as well.

My Body's A Zombie For You:



In the Room Where You Sleep:



Pa Pa Power:



-Matt

10.02.2009

Concert Announcement: Another (Promising) Buzz Show

I feel bad plugging another 96.5 The Buzz sponsored show two posts in a row, because frankly, the station sucks. Other than the two hours each Saturday that Robert Moore has his show and Resurrection Sunday, the station isn't worth listening to. But they are having another "Halloweenie Roast" concert this year and the lineup is strange but intriguing: Jet, Flock of Seagulls, The Raveonettes, Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears and White Rabbits.

Yes, Flock of Seagulls...



Now if you know me then you know me then you know I love the music from the 80's and not in a cheeky, ironic way either. I really think that the music of that decade will be looked back on as being as good as any other decade. Flock of Seagulls are a perfect example, most people only know 'I Ran' and they should. It's a fantastic and iconic pop tune but it's not nearly as good as one of my favorite songs of the decade, 'Space Age Love Song'. Watch the video for 'Space Age Love Song' below, although the video hasn't aged very well, the song has and it's is a way better Flock of Seagulls song then the more famous 'I Ran'. I originally was just going to post the audio, but 80's videos are so fantastically ridiculous that I included the video too.



Enough about A Flock of Seagulls because most of the rest of the lineup is just as interesting.

First off is headliner Jet, who are fucking horrible. Check out what may be the greatest Pitchfork review of all time for Jet's sophomore album (Possibly NSFW).

Also appearing are:

  • The Raveonettes: A fun boy-girl duo that I've never seen live but have always enjoyed on record.
  • Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears: These guys make new soul/funk music that sounds 40 years old and in a good way.
  • White Rabbits: A great indie rock band written about here many times before.

The concert is Wednesday October 28th outside and inside of The Beaumont Club. The headliners below will be playing outside while a few different local bands will play inside. Tickets are approximately 10 bucks and go on sale tomorrow morning. I'll be there and I'll be leaving after A Flock of Seagulls are done playing.

-Matt

9.29.2009

Upcoming (Free) Show: Passion Pit This Thursday

Despite the crap that actually flows over their airwaves most of the time, 96.5 The Buzz actually gets some pretty good bands to free shows in KC. This time Passion Pit will be playing an all ages show ($5 charge for minors) outside at The Beaumont Club on Thursday night. Local bands Audiovox and The Roman Numerals will open along with some band called Owl City. Passion Pit have hit the relative big time as far as indie bands go. They seem to be at that level of notoriety where they might get booked for SNL. Also, if you don't remember that far back, Kevin wrote about them over a year ago HERE.

Originally I read the doors opened at 6, but this is what's on the Buzz's website:

8pm - Doors
9pm- Audiovox
9:35pm - Roman Numerals
10:25pm - Owl City
11:25pm - Passion Pit

Here's a couple of Passion Pit videos in case you need motivation for this show. Both these songs can be found off their full length album, Manners. First is a live performance of 'Sleepyhead' from pitchfork.tv:



Here's the video for 'The Reeling':




-Matt

9.23.2009

Video: Monsters of Folk on Conan

Although it's one of my least favorite tracks on a promising collaboration between Jim James (My Morning Jacket), M. Ward and Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), it's still pretty cool seeing all three of them on stage together. The rest of the album is still sinking in but the lead single 'Say Please' is a little to Willburyish for me. Recorded under the name Monsters of Folk, the album is out as of yesterday, so pick it up.

'Say Please' on Conan:




-Matt

9.12.2009

Photos: Ben Nichols (Lucero) Solo Acoustic Show

Last night I caught Ben Nichols of Lucero at a solo acoustic performance at 1819 Central Gallery in KC. Lucero was in town opening for Cross Canadian Ragweed at The Crossroads and although I wasn't able to make it to the show, I did catch the pre-show solo performance and I'm really glad I did. Ben came in with a guitar and a handle of Jameson and took requests for almost an hour in the corner of the Art Gallery. It was a fantastic performance and the lady friend was able to catch a few snapshots of Ben on my phone.











-Matt

9.11.2009

Upcoming Show: Murder By Death @ The Bottleneck Saturday Night

If you've never heard of the Indiana band Murder By Death and are fan of the music promoted on this site, there is a good chance you are missing out on your new favorite band. Their sound could be described as the perfect mixture of Punk-Rock and Americana, with one of the most engaging vocalists around today.

Here's a better description from the bands record label, Vagrant:
"If you're not yet familiar with MURDER BY DEATH, the best way to describe them is probably "Americana-noir." Their latest album, Red of Tooth and Claw is like a modern version of Homer's Odyssey where the characters aren't as noble. Frontman Adam Turla's voice has been likened to Nick Cave and Johnny Cash, and he's backed by a talented band (including a cellist!) that fully understand how to convey the grit and drama of the Old West through their music. Any fan will tell you they're absolutely captivating live, very in tune with their instruments and their craft. Since the early 2008 release of Red of Tooth and Claw, they've done several headlining tours (both in the US and overseas; the most recent US tour this past spring was mostly sold out), they're working on a split 7" covers series with a number of artists (so far, Amanda Palmer, William Elliott Whitmore and O'Death have shared wax with them for the project, with more to come), they've also begun writing a new record. And though it's not a Vagrant release, they've also worked with sci-fi/fantasy/horror writer Jeff VanderMeer to create an instrumental soundtrack to go along with his forthcoming novel Finch. Also, fun fact: their song "Comin' Home" is featured in a recent trailer for the new Quentin Tarantino film Inglorious Basterds. TONS of cool stuff going on in that camp, and I urge you to check them out if you haven't heard them yet: http://www.myspace.com/murderbydeath"
I had the chance to check them out a few years ago at the Bleeding Kansas festival and although I hadn't heard of them at the time, their performance led me to check out anything they had put to record. Their most recent effort, 2008's Red of Tooth and Claw, is a great place to start.

They'll be at The Bottleneck in Lawrence tomorrow night and I can only imagine they've gotten even better live in the years since I've seen them. This is definitely a show not to miss.

-Matt

9.09.2009

Concert Announcement: Dirty Projectors, Jason Isbell, The Swell Season, more...

Quite a few concerts announced since the last time I threw one of these up here. Dirty Projectors get top billing since Kevin (who use to write for this blog back every once in a while) is a big fan of their most recent effort Bitta Orca. I'm kind of on the fence about it but I think it's got a few great songs on it. Either way they'll be in Lawrence on November 9th at The Granada, it should be a good one.

Other big announcements include Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit, The Swell Season, Meat Puppets, Art Brut and Passion Pit. See below for the recent shows and the full list is still RIGHT HERE.

10/01 Passion Pit/Owl City/Roman Numerals @ The Back Yard at the Beaumont, KC (Free Show)
10/02 Moby (DJ Set) @ The Beaumont Club, KC
10/07 Sian Alice Group @ The Record Bar, KC
10/30 Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
11/02 Fu Manchu @ The Jackpot, Lawrence11/04 Bouncing Souls @ The Beumont Club, KC
11/06 Meat Puppets/Grant Hart (from Husker Du) @ The Record Bar, KC
11/07 Art Brut @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
11/09 Dirty Projectors @ The Granada, Lawrence
11/13 The King Khan & BBQ Show @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
11/21 Electric Six @ The Riot Room, KC
11/23 Minus The Bear @ The Granada, Lawrence
11/30 The Swell Season @ The Uptown, KC


-Matt

8.26.2009

Upcoming Show: Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

In one of the big surprises of the year so far, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros have put out the most enjoyable new album I've heard in the past month or so. The LA band's debut Up From Below is getting press as a mix between Arcade Fire and the Mama's and Papa's. It reminds me a little bit more of I'm From Barcelona, if not only because of the massive number of band members. Either way it's a fantastic debut album and lucky for all of us they will be in Lawrence at the Jackpot Music Hall on Tuesday, September 8th. If you don't believe me on how catchy this group is, check out what are quickly becoming two of my favorite tracks of the year.


Home:



40 Day Dream:



-Matt

8.25.2009

Tickets for Springsteen? Pricey!

Our good friend Matt recently reported to me that he spent triple digits per ticket for the upcoming show. As he pointed out, he'd rather spend the money and get great seats for his first time seeing The Boss, and that is valid. Plus, it's doubtful you'll walk away from a Springsteen show feeling cheated. "You know, he just didn't seem to put much into it. Reall went through the motions."

After seven months of blankness, this information finally sparked a creative idea for another post, albeit a short one: What band or artist would you pay triple digits to see? This actually has me hard-pressed, as I'm a tight-ass. I can't off the bat fire off someone without thinking, unlike Matt, who will share it in his comment. And I'm not talking about bands that are gone, or people who are dead. I mean, right now.

My initial knee-jerk reaction would be the surviving members of Led Zeppelin, but I already saw Page/Plant in 1995, and nothing can top that, even without John Paul Jones not being there (and that was cheap- only 40 bucks or so at Kemper). After that, I don't know. Maybe I've lost a little passion to see people live, but I'm so used to club shows and 20 dollar tickets I can't fathom paying over a 100, and most of the bands I want to see tend to be at that club level.

Maybe I need to paint a certain scenario, like a big band playing at an intimate venue, once of those once in a lifetime moments, or bands who broke up but get back together to do a show. I also need to think about the idea of seeing a band with a great live reputation. So here's a short list:

Sleater Kinney
The Hives
Prince (if he rejects his faith and gets back with The Revolution)
Radiohead

That's all I got. More curious to hear from other people

Video: Sunset Rubdown - 'You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)'

Just for good measure, here's part 2 of Sunset Rubdown on pitchfork.tv, this time doing another fantastic tune of Dragonslayer, 'You Go On Ahead (Trumpet Trumpet II)':



-Matt

8.24.2009

Video: Sunset Rubdown - 'Silver Moon'



Sunset Rubdown apparently dropped by the Pitchfork Offices to play a few songs. Regardless of how you fell about that site, it's way cooler than any place you or I work at. Sunset Rubdown's most recent album, Dragonslayer, is still my favorite album of the year, and this live performance of the album opener just reminds me why.

-Matt

8.20.2009

Concert Announcement: White Denim

This is a band that I've been digging on for the last few months but hadn't mentioned here yet(other than their album cover previously appearing over in the left column under "what we're listening to"). White Denim are from Austin, Texas and have been building quite the underground following over the past year or so. Austin music blog Gorilla vs. Bear have been talking them up for a long time now but I never checked them out until their most recent album, Fits, came out in June.

Generally a ton of the stuff that gets hyped up on indie blogs can be, well frankly put, really shitty. I'm sure it's someone out there's favorite type of music, but this under-produced, no-fi, shitgaze stuff that's all the rage doesn't really do it for me. White Denim however seem to be cut from more of a 70's classic rock cloth that I really dig. Their new album has been hovering around in my top 10-20 albums of the year since I first heard it. Their video below is a great example of their sound, and while that track is good, my favorite tune on the album (and one of my favorites of the year) is called 'Regina Holding Hands' and you can hear that HERE.

White Denim will be at the Jackpot Music Hall in Lawrence on November 3rd. I haven't heard too much about their live shows, but if it's got as much energy as the new album does, it will be great.

Here's the video for 'I Start To Run' off Fits:



-Matt

8.19.2009

New Music: Lightning Dust - Infinite Light


I'm beginning to think that the bands that have spawned from the Black Mountain collective may be more impressive and prolific than the bands that Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner are responsible for. Black Mountain has connections with Pink Mountaintops, Blood Meridian, Jerk With A Bomb and finally Lightning Dust. I had picked up Lightning Dust's self-titled debut purely because both Amber Webber and Joshua Wells were members of BM, but wasn't impressed enough to keep coming back to it. When I heard their second album was coming out, I knew there was still a chance that they would release a great album and with Infinite Light they may have done just that.

It's still to early to call, but upon the first handful of listens this album is revealing itself to be another one of the years top albums. From the very beginning of the opening track, 'Antonia Jane', you know the centerpiece of this album is Amber's voice. It's got a haunting quality that few women that aren't named Beth Gibbons have. The music matches her voice perfectly on tracks like 'Never Seen', where just a drum machine and a dark synth line back her and the results are fantastic. The whole record certainly isn't dark and depressing, in fact songs like 'I Knew' and 'Times' are nice, tight little two minute rock songs. My favorite tune on the record might be 'Wondering What Everyone Knows', which in all honesty might not be all that special of a song with someone else singing it.

Time will tell where this album falls by the end of the year but at the very least it's made me consider going back to that debut album to see if maybe I just didn't give it enough of a chance. If you are a fan of Black Mountain or Pink Mountaintops I would definitely pick this up, it's got that same vibe you'll find on most stuff that Sam Beam touches. Lightning Dust just prove that maybe some others in the band are just as capable of putting out a truly great album.

-Matt

8.17.2009

Concert Announcement: Gogol Bordello

Every time this band comes through town I feel the need to throw up a post about them. They are just about the most fun you can have at a live show. I was out of town the last time they came through KC, so you can be sure I'll be there when they play Liberty Hall in Lawrence on October 24th.

There isn't anything else that exciting to annouce but there are a few smaller shows that you might be interested in. The one to watch for might be Nurses playing at The Jackpot in Lawrence on November 11th. I have a feeling those guys might be one of the next "buzz" bands to hit the indie scene.

09/05 Box Elders @ The Replay, Lawrence
09/08 Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
09/23 Ladyhawke/Ida Maria @ The Beaumont Club, KC
10/10 Those Darlins @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
10/10 Riverboat Gamblers @ The Riot Room, KC
10/12 Mastodon/Dethklok @ The Uptown, KC
10/24 A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Record Bar, KC
10/26 Ben Folds @ Liberty Hall, Lawrence
11/11 Nurses @ The Jackpot, Lawrence

As always, full concert calendar HERE.

-Matt

8.11.2009

Concert Announcement: The Antlers

Great news as The Antlers will be coming through Lawrence on September 16th to the Jackpot Music Hall. You can read about their fantastic new album in the post directly below. I gushed about it quite a bit already but it's quickly becoming on of my favorite 2 or 3 albums of the year.

Also, don't forget that Passion Pit are allegedly playing a free show for KU's SUA "Night On The Hill" show this Monday the 17th.

There are a couple other shows announced recently you may be interested in as well:

09/07 Casiotone For The Painfully Alone @ The Replay, Lawrence
09/09 Woods @ The Jackpot, Lawrence
09/27 Brother Ali @ The Granada, Lawrence
10/06 Portugal. The Man @ The Bottleneck, Lawrence
10/12 Mastodon/Dethklok @ The Uptown, KC
10/30 David Bazan/Say Hi @ The Jackpot, Lawrence

-Matt