Video/Concert Announcement: Twin Shadow

I posted about Twin Shadow about a month ago, but there are a couple of additional bits of news that are worth mentioning. Twin Shadow has been one of the biggest surprises of the year for me as his debut album, Forget, is holding solid in my top 20 albums of the year for at least a month now (purchase the album HERE). The album is mostly dreamy new wave but it never gets boring and is at the top of the heap of similar bands/albums that have came out recently. It doesn't hurt that 'I Can't Wait' off Forget is one of the best tracks of the year.

Twin Shadow will be making a stop soon in Kansas City when they appear at The Riot Room on Thursday, October 7th. This could end up being one of those shows that you don't have a chance to see in a venue this small again.

They've also put out a video for the song 'Castles In The Snow'. Check it out below:



Concert Announcements: The Sword, Free Energy, Tame Impala & more

Just a quick note to highlight a few shows that have been added to the concert calendar over the past few weeks. A few ones not to miss include The Sword at the Record Bar, Free Energy at the Record Bar and Tame Impala at the Jackpot. Here's the list of recently added shows:

Wed 10/20 Pigeon John @ The Jackpot
Thu 10/21 Free Energy/Foxy Shazam @ The Record Bar
Sun 10/24 Alejandro Escovedo @ Knuckleheads
Sun 10/24 The Sword/Mount Carmel @ The Record Bar
Thu 11/11 The Heavy @ The Bottleneck
Sun 11/21 Os Mutantes/Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti @ The Granada
Mon 11/29 Tame Impala @ The Jackpot

The full calendar can be found by clicking the red link in the upper left hand corner of your screen.



Drive-By Truckers Ticket Giveaway!

If you are a semi-regular reader here, it will be no surprise to you that I love the Drive-By Truckers. There are a handful of bands that I'll always hold near and dear to my heart and DBT fall squarely into that category. That's why I'm thrilled to announce that The Jeopardy Of Contentment will be giving away 2 tickets to their show in Kansas City at The Crossroads on Sunday, September 25th (you can purchase tickets HERE).

All you need to do is leave your name, email address and your favorite Drive-By Truckers lyric in the comments (If you don't want to leave your email address in the comments, just shoot an email to jeopardyofcontentment(at)gmail(dot)com so I can match up the comment with an email address for contact if you win...you still need to comment either way!). We'll randomly select a winner on Tuesday, September 21st and you and one guest will enjoy the best Rock Show around.

New Music: The Black Angels - Phosphene Dream & Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart

I remember back in 2001 when The Strokes debut album and The White Stripes third album were taking the indie music world by storm that someone claimed that these bands (The Hives and The Vines were lumped in with those two as well) were sparking the return of Rock music. That seemed funny to me because: 1. Rock music had never left and 2. Those bands aren't what I'd necessarily classify as "rock" music. Either way, if the title of the "Return of Rock" didn't apply then, now might be a more apt time to throw that out there with new albums from The Black Angels and Black Mountain.

First off is the third album from Austin, TX natives The Black Angels. Equal parts The Doors, The Velvet Underground and even Black Sabbath, The Black Angels are showing themselves to be the best of the recent pack of bands reviving late 60's rock music. Their debut album, Passover, was an absolutely epic affair and if you haven't heard this band yet, I recommend starting there.

The second album left me wanting more until I got an early copy of their third album, Phosephene Dream. Although there will be no mistaking who this band is once the first track starts, the band has switched it up on the new album more than they have before. Where as the first two albums are packed full with heavy, drone-filled goodness, the new album branches into pop territory as well. Songs like 'Yellow Elevator #2' and 'Sunday Afternoon' contain some serious pop sensibilities never touched on before by The Black Angels. Anyone worried that the band is loosing their edge just need to listen to 'Entrance Song' or 'River of Blood' to know that this band still has Sabbath running through their veins.

A band that I've always felt were kindred spirits to The Black Angels are the Vancouver outfit Black Mountain. Black Mountain also just released their third album, titled Wilderness Heart, which contains what may be my favorite album cover of the year (see above). While both bands certainly recall Black Sabbath, Black Mountain has never really utilized drone in their tunes like The Black Angels have.

Black Mountain frontman Stephen McBean is involved with so many other side projects, it's a wonder how he can put out a new Black Mountain album so quickly after the last one. I won't complain too much though as Black Mountain might have released their most cohesive album yet.

Although the ultra-heavy riffs found on the debut seem to be missing for the most part on Wilderness Heart, that doesn't mean that the album is boring. In fact, the first single 'Old Fangs' is one of the best rock songs put out in 2010. This is another fantastic album that you should pick up to get your rock n roll fix.


Not only have both of these bands put out two of the better rock albums of 2010 on the same day, but they are also on tour together. No stops in KC or Lawrence currently, but the rumor mill is swirling about the tour being extended and a stop in Lawrence being added in December. Nothing would make me happier as I've seen both bands separately and they melt faces. If any local show announcement is made, you'll read about it here.



New Music: The Walkmen - Lisbon

The Walkmen are one of those bands that I can fortunately claim to have been hip to from the beginning. A good friend raved about their debut, 2002's Everyone Who Pretended to Like Me is Gone so I picked it up immediately. Although I didn't love it at first I came back to it a year later and realized the beginnings of this bands brilliance. Since then the band has released two solid albums (2004's Bows + Arrows and 2006's A Hundred Miles Off) and also put out one of my personal top 20 albums of the decade in 2008's You & Me. The expectations the New York band has riding on their new release after the genius You & Me has got to be pretty heavy. Although the band didn't follow it up with anything as good as Y&M, they didn't fall of the map either with their new album Lisbon (out tomorrow on Fat Possum records).

Where You & Me was best enjoyed at three in the morning with a Jameson on the rocks, Lisbon might be the still drunk hangover album for the next morning. The tempo and mood of the album is definitely not as dark as the previous record. The opening track 'Juveniles' is a perfect example as it's almost poppy guitar lick would have felt out of place on Y&M. 'Angela Surf City' is another album highlight that's as upbeat as The Walkmen have sounded in a while. My favorite track on the whole album is the one that sounds the most like The Walkmen you know and love. 'Blue As Your Blood' proves once again that The Walkmen are not only capable of creating great albums consistently, but great tracks as well. Not all bands can do both but with previous tracks like 'The Rat' and 'In The New Year' and now with 'Blue As Your Blood' they continuously have at least one of my favorite songs of each year they release an album.

It seems like I've said this a lot this year, but Lisbon is a grower. This didn't capture me instantly like You & Me did. Now that I've had a few weeks to let it soak in, I keep coming back to this one. Once again, The Walkmen have released a contender for top 10 album of the year.

If you haven't already gotten tickets to their October 19th show at The Bottleneck in Lawrence with Japandroids opening, you better get on it. If it hasn't sold out already, it will be soon. There is really no reason why a band like The National are playing Uptown and The Walkmen are somewhere as small as the Bottleneck...so get tickets quickly.



Video: Deerhunter - 'Helicopter'

It wasn't until recently that I started to catch on to the musical genius of Bradford Cox. Between Deerhunter and Atlas Sound you'd be hard pressed to find another single guy consistently creating some of the best melodies in indie rock. The new Deerhunter album, Halcyon Digest, is set to come out on 4AD on September 28th and this is the first single from it, 'Helicopter'.

I'll be in Chicago for a weekend in late October and already have tickets to see Blonde Redhead that Friday night. Unfortunately for me, Deerhunter is playing that same night in town and I'm already starting to regret my choice. This song has been on repeat for me for the last two days and each time I listen to it I think more and more about getting tickets to Deerhunter and selling my other ones. I guess if Halcyon Digest is as good as I expect it to be, my decision might end up being made for me.

Here's the video for 'Helicopter':



Video: Cowboy Indian Bear - 'Saline'

For having a website titled "A Lawrence & Kansas City Music Blog" I admit that I do a really shitty job at covering local music. Although I mention a few local bands here from time to time, not enough local artists get covered on these pages. I'm going to try and rectify that starting with Cowboy Indian Bear. They are a band that's been working their asses off around town and the midwest building quite a name for themselves.

The band put out their first full length release Each Other All The Time earlier this year and it's fantastic. There hasn't been this quality of indie-pop coming out of the area in a long, long time. You should definitely cruise over to the website of the band's label The Record Machine to purchase the album or head to their Myspace Page to preview a few tracks first.

Here is their video for the single 'Saline':



Favorite Songs of the 2000's: M. Ward - 'To Go Home' (2006)

M. Ward could almost be considered an elder statesmen of indie music nowadays. His first of six solo albums came out over ten years ago...not to mention a couple EP's, his involvement with Monsters Of Folk and what's probably paying the bills best these days: She & Him. After seeing the She & Him show in KC last week, it's no surprise why Zooey & Matt's project is so popular. Zooey has huge star appeal and a nice enough voice, but the driving force behind the band is most certainly M. Ward. Unfortunately that was my first time seeing Matt play live because I'd love to see him come through town with a solo gig. Especially since he's responsible for one of my favorite songs of the decade with his cover of the Daniel Johnson tune 'To Go Home'.

This is a song that is close to reaching triple digits in terms of amount of plays in my house. No matter how many times I hear this song, I never get tired of it. The fact that M. Ward has a hypnotizing voice seems to help. Throw in Neko Case singing backup on the chorus and you have yourself a can't miss song. If this is your first listen to M. Ward's solo material, you owe yourself the favor of checking out his back catalog. Have a listen to 'To Go Home' below.