I'm not even going to do links. It's a holiday weekend, man. So you get We Shot JR as if it were some really shitty sight that doesn't link to artist pages. Sucks, huh? Kind of like a blog version of "It's A Wonderful Life." What if We Shot JR was never born? Everything would be so much lamer, so be really thankful for us.
A few notes:
Tonight at 1919 features Retro Spectro and Blank Blank, two bands that have broken up and are pretty great, so go see them. Stoned Men are minus a singer and plus a bass player. I recently received a very nice letter letting me on in some insider info about upcoming video work the group is involved in. Can't wait.
Don't miss Real Estate on Saturday. It's rare when someone makes a poppy guitar record in this day and age that isn't complete shit.
Retro Spectro/Blank Blank/Orange Coax/Stoned Men (1919 Hemphill)
Wanz Dover/Blake Ward (Fallout Lounge)
Matthew Gray Delves Into The Humanity Pools With The Six Foot Saucer Pot People/ Monastery/Delmore Pilcrow/Caleb Ian Campbell (Rubber Gloves)
Cursive/Capgun Coup/Old Cranes/The Timeline Post (Hailey's)
DJ A 1/Select (Zubar)
Mundo/Mark J/Chrisko (Green Elephant)
The England Ram A Band/Hard Times/Har Herrar/The County Lines/Tukr/Shaina Ferris/Joey Kendall (The Porch In Romney, TX)
J. Tillman/Pearly Gate Music/Sleep Whale (Hailey's)
Real Estate (City Tavern)
Dear Human/Manned Missiles/The Polycorns/Oh, Lewis (Rubber Gloves)
MFM/Evolve/Habeeb/A Fail Association/The Watchers/Lil Foot/In Girum Imus Nocte (Wasted Words Art Collective located at 2404 S. Fielder Rd. in Arlington)
DJ G/Yeah Def (Hailey's)
Unwed Sailor/This Old House/Native Lights (Dan's Silverleaf)
A Sunny Day In Glasgow | Waterfalls | Binary Sunrise (The Cavern) When I interviewed Kip Berman from Pains of Being Pure at Heart, we talked at great length about older indie-pop and stuff that we grew up with. The one recommendation that he gave me regarding something current to check out was A Sunny Day in Glasgow's new album Ashes Grammar. Of course I took the advice and found one of my favorite albums of the year. Glasgow's sound is hard to pin down. First listening brings to mind some of the more recent work of Animal Collective, with the electronic elements of acts like The Knife. Luckily, Glasgow is able to achieve the same level of musical fortitude without the pretentious baggage the aforementioned bags carry. The ethereal qualities recall a 4AD* sensibility; dark and morose but with an upbeat, electronic backbone. Great album, should be a great show. Kudos to The Cavern for the quality booking they have been doing recently.
Puscifer | Neil Hamburger (The Palladium) Now that I found out Neil Hamburger is opening, this two night stand has become much more appealing. I love Neil Hamburger, especially for his recent Tweet concerning Demetri Martin. (DL)
Or, more specifically he says the theoretical "end of music" is the "new paradigm." The readers in the comment section make the point that they too came to the same conclusion when they were "young curmudgeons." However, a young curmudgeon is the last thing that Branca is. What do you guys and gals think?
I'm sure you think I take it easy every week, but I'm taking it really easy this week. Forgive me. Tonight Puscifer is playing one of two shows at The Palladium and I'm hosting a little contest: If one of you libertarian Tool fans can find the autographed bottle of Maynard's Wine I have hidden somewhere in the Metroplex by Thanksgiving, you can keep it. I had planned on selling it on Ebay, but I love the thought of you pony-tailed, Bill Hicks worshipping, pseudo intellectuals scouring Dallas to get that prized item. Here's a hint: It's in Big Tex's ass-pocket. Later.
PS- Puscifer's Myspace URL is Myspace dot com slash "censorship is a cancer." Whoa, like, totally fuck the man, bro!
I don't feel like being very helpful today. I'm just going to run through this quickly...
Local H is playing at The Lounge tonight. I once worked at a record store where they performed, and it was one of the worst days as a retail employee I have ever suffered through, besides the time an old rich guy crumpled up his Christmas list and threw it at my head.
Anyways, this band is so bad that they actually made me sympathize with Eddie Vedder when they seemed to take a subtle stab at him on the track bearing the singer's name. I seem to remember some footage of them stumbling through a heavily distorted version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" as a duo at some festival that they were recapping on MTV News. That clinched it for me then, and still does: the 90's sucked.
Neko Case | Oh No Oh My (The Granada) There is this interview with Frank Black where they ask him what he thinks of Neko Case. His response: "What's a Neko Case?" I couldn't find the original interview, however I did find this awesome Time Magazine cover. Enjoy.
MON: Neko Case/Oh No Oh My (The Granada) MON: Local H/Engine Orchestra/Kinch (The Lounge) TUE: Puscifer (The Palladium) WED: A Sunny Day In Glasgow/Water Falls/Binary Sunrise (The Cavern) WED: Three Inches Of Blood/Saviours/Holy Grail/Vast Burai (Rubber Gloves) FRI: Retro Spectro/Blank Blank/Orange Coax/Stoned Men (1919 Hemphill) FRI: Cursive/Capgun Coup/Old Cranes/The Timeline Post (Hailey's) SAT: Mundo/Mark J/Chrisko (Green Elephant) SAT: The England Ram A Band/Hard Times/Har Herrar/The County Lines/Tukr/Shaina Ferris/Joey Kendall (The Porch In Romney, TX) SAT: J. Tillman/Pearly Gate Music/Sleep Whale (Hailey's) SAT: Real Estate (City Tavern) SUN: MFM/Evolve/Habeeb/A Fail Association/The Watchers/Lil Foot/In Girum Imus Nocte (Wasted Words Art Collective located at 2404 S. Fielder Rd. in Arlington) SUN: DJ G/Yeah Def (Hailey's)
Mary Anne Hobbs | Blixaboy | Pandai'a | Royal Highnuss | VJ S (eye) Plus Unified Minds | Gallery Cat | MC Astro | Bodega Brothas (Outside) (Green Elephant) Pretty big catch for Dallas to have such a prominent figure of both Dubstep as well as the BBC here all the way from London. Hobbs played music by Wanz Dover's Blixaboy project on her influential show, which is what eventually led to this event, and it's good to see Dover getting his due after much hard work over the years. For more info, scroll down to the interview below conducted by Boston's DJ Pandai'a, who has written for San Francisco's Big Up, and I would like to thank her on behalf of We Shot JR for helping us out. (DL)
MVSCLZ | Survive | Darktown Strutters | | /Tense/ | | Tommyboy (The Cavern) Perhaps one of the strongest lineups in '09, and one that nobody should overlook. This show includes some of the best acts from some of the best shows I've seen in the past two years, and is a who's who of some of the best underground acts in the state, hailing from Austin, Dallas, And Houston respectively.
You may have caught MVSCLZ at the now-legendary Swiss House sometime during the summer of last year, and they put on a really memorable show; obscuring their melodically brilliant vocal melodies behind Italo influenced rhythms and a ridiculous visual concept. No surprise since renowned Austin photographer and new media manipulator Ben Aqua is involved.
Houston's //TENSE// blew me away at the Kastle Of Luxurious Diamonds a few months ago, and had everyone really losing it to the mechanical throb of the duo's proto-industrial rhythms. I bought a copy of their CDR-release Memory at the show and it's often found in the cd player I am constantly made fun of for still using whenever I'm designated-driving some assholes home. //TENSE// also features the incredible lead vocalist Mariana Saldaña of Medio Mutante on keyboard and electronic drums, and her handling of the vocals towards the end of the set was a highlight.
Tommyboy did the visuals at that show, and he'll be DJ-ing tonight, which means that basically there won't be a single moment that's going to suck at The Cavern this evening. How often can you say that about any show, anywhere? Tommyboy was recently the focus of a very informative piece in Quick, which you can read here. Survive is the only group here, that I haven't seen live, but I'm looking forward to it after hearing them online a few times. (DL)
Great rock 'n roll show tonight at Rubber Gloves. This is going to be the release shindig for Kaboom's new album, Blood. I am a big fan of their last album, the awesomely titled Bear Nation. There is no one in town doing the stuff that these guys do; short, chaotic and unclassifiable, Kaboom have formed a distinct and unrelenting sound that can only come from years of working and performing. Which makes sense since the dudes have been making music for ten plus years. I recently asked guitarist Chris Cowdrey about how the sound on their latest release compares to Bear Nation and he replied "I hate the old one. Didn't have any "dirt" in it. This one got it some dirt." Sounds good to me. Haven't had a chance to see White Drugs since SHQ days but I am sure they are just as loud and sludgy as ever. Not much to be said about Drink to Victory except that they know how to bring the pain/hardcore to the brain. I'm ready to rock. (FP)
Hatebreed | Cannibal Corpse | Unearth | Born Of Osiris | Hate Eternal (The Door) I'm sure I'm the thousandth idiot to make this statement, but I really wish Hatebeak was playing tonight. Cannibal Corpse will forever remind me of being stuck in this 70's Chevy family van with no AC on a trip to Oklahoma City that was so brutally hot and uncomfortable, it forced all the passengers to take their shirts off, and we just sat there sweating to death while blasting Cannibal Corpse. That's how Cannibal Corpse sounds best. The album art to 1998's Gallery Of Suicide has stood the test of time; still pretty repulsive. (DL)
Kid Sister | David Guetta | A Trak | DJ Dan | Dave Aude | Morgan Page | Optical | Kill The Noise | Black Sun Empire | Wes Walz | DJ Merritt | Jeremy Word | Willie Trimmer | DJ Titan (The Palladium) Someone asked me if hipster hop was dead recently. I didn't know how to answer that. I saw fellow Chicago act, The Cool Kids, at Fun Fun Fun Fest recently, and they were surprisingly good live. Live hip hop, hipster or otherwise is pretty hit or miss. But you know what, most live music is miss and miss, so whatever. You're probably well aware that this part of the annual Meltdown Festival, due to the high level of promotion and always available and clean web links. I could use more of that in my research. I just wish someone could explain what "digital graffiti" is. (DL)
Email interview conducted by Josephine Tempongko (DJ Pandai'a).
Mary Anne Hobbs is arguably experimental music's most seminal figurehead- having hosted BBC Radio 1's Experimental Show (formerly called Breezeblock) for over 10 years, her relentless pursuit of the electronic underground's most ground-breaking and elemental sounds continues to reward the world with an opportunity to hear something that they've never heard before. From her beginnings covering rock music for the NME and Loaded magazine, to her third compilation of future sounds on Planet Mu, Wild Angels, she has made a life of sharing her insatiable passion for music.
This Friday at the Green Elephant, Dallas has the incredible honor of presenting Mary, who will be DJ-ing her incredible arsenal of new music, and she has taken a moment out of her busy tour to answer a few quick questions.
How would you describe the premise of your show in a few words, to anyone who were to ask what it was like? What would someone expect to hear, listening to it for the first time?
The future sound of electronic music.
You've no doubt met people along the way who have influenced or inspired you in one way or another- can you name the people who influenced you at the most pivotal moments in your life and what they taught you?
John Peel is my greatest inspiration...he taught me never to sell out anything you believe in.. trust your instincts, charge at your dreams and never look back..
Every extraordinary life has met with some adversity- and sometimes the worst times in our lives lead us to the most unanticipated successes- what is the best 'worst' thing that ever happened to you? Something that was very challenging at the time, but was a crucial moment in your life?
Running out of knickers on my US tour in September.. lol!! ;) this seems to be a common problem on the road.. I met up with Skream to play in Denver and he was 'commando' (ie without pants) too!
How do you go about choosing the music that you share on your show? Is there always a certain quality that you are looking for, that reflects a general idea or vibe that it is your intention to convey?
It's impossible to put into words.. it's a quality that is embedded deep within the DNA of a tune.. and it touches the very core of your soul.
Since the airing of your 2-hour special Dubstep Warz in January 2006, you have been a champion advocate of the sound ever since. What is it that drew you to dubstep in the first place, and how do you feel about the way the sound and the definition of the word have evolved in the past three and a half years?
It's a music that moves me physically, spiritually and emotionally. It's a sound that moves forward in thousands of scattered steps every day drawing in every conceivable influence.. so it's endlessly inspiring.
You seem to always be digging for the most extraordinary underground electronic music you can find- what does the idea of 'underground music' mean to you in a time when music is so extremely accessible through the internet?
It's a spirit, a freedom, and the signature of an artist who really is the master of his own destiny.
Earlier this Fall you had your first official US tour as a performing DJ. What's the greatest thing you've discovered while touring the US?
The energy and the hunger and the ambition of the American audiences is phenomenal.. it's such a pleasure and a privilege to play here.
What are your top 5 most exciting artists at the moment?
Flying Lotus Joy Orbison Sigha Blue Daisy James Blake & Airhead
You're about to bring something totally new to Dallas this Friday. What will the crowd experience when MAH steps behind the decks?
A rainbow spectrum of sounds and textures that will lift people to a beautiful space.. I hope.. :)
Both Mary Anne Hobbs and Pandai’a perform at the Green Elephant tonight, along with Blixaboy, VJ S, and Royal Highnuss.
FUNCTION Installation/Art/Music Presented in Conjunction With The Cedars Open Studio Tour 1837 Corinth @ Park Ave, Dallas, TX 75215 Corinth Park Warehouse November 21, 2009 10am-6pm Reception & After party 7pm-Midnight Music provided by Ishi and Blixaboy.
Free Energy | Max Tundra | Deastro (The Cavern) In the world of electro pop, nothing says "mixed bag" better than a new album from off kilter synth goof Max Tundra. After nearly a decade long career in which he received early and constant praise from Pitchfork, among other publications, Tundra continues to explore r&b, synth pop, funk, free jazz and glitch pop with an eye towards straight forward dance pop and at least one foot planted firmly in the realm of the experimental. Essentially, Tundra often sounds like a guy who wants to tease his listeners, crafting ridiculously catchy pop gems while constantly tossing curve balls in the form of odd tempo changes and surprising twists and turns, rendering many of his best pieces utterly unmarketable yet strangely compelling, a wrench in the turning gears of electro pop. This approach often works quite well, and standout tracks such as "Which Song" off his latest release Parallax Error Beheads You might have you wondering why this guy isn't playing the Granada rather than the Cavern. But just as often, his cutesy lyrics (songs about picking up chicks on Facebook?) and insistence on strange song structure can render the entire listening experience a bit empty, as if you're simply listening to some nerd goofing off. The good times certainly seem to outweigh the bad, however, and the fact that Tundra is playing such an intimate venue should be a real bonus for many of his loyal fans. Elsewhere on the bill, Ghostly International's prolific bedroom sensation Deastro should add quite a bit to this line up with his doses of distorted, reverb-heavy dream pop, pulled from a catalogue of hundreds of self produced tracks that are just now starting to see the light of day after years in the making. Headliners Free Energy seem to be quite a mismatch here, with a rather standard hipster take on glad rock and big 70's stadium riffs, neither of which ever seem to be handled well by dudes wearing Am Appy. (SR)
I just want to add that Free Energy evolved out of the Midwestern indie rock band, Hockey Night, who put out music on the now defunct Lookout. Anyone who remembers their particular style probably won't find their newer Springsteen-inspired sound all that surprising, but what is interesting is that it's produced by James Murphy and is out on DFA, perhaps signaling that the label is branching out. (DL)
Screening: "Beyond Elections" (1919 Hemphill) From the film's website: "From Venezuela's Communal Councils, to Brazil's Participatory Budgeting; from Constitutional Assemblies to grassroots movements, recuperated factories to cooperatives across the hemisphere - this documentary is a journey which takes us across the Americas, to attempt to answer one of the most important questions of our time: What is Democracy?"
Vexed UK | Dear Human | Lars Larsen | Blixaboy | DJ Electrodad (Rubber Gloves) Vexed UK is the collaborative project featuring Gutterth Records kingpin Michael Briggs, along with the gifted experimental vocalist, Sarah Alexander. There will be a hard copy version of the debut release, Mediation Music, available at the show, but the most remarkable aspect of the release is that you can actually stream the tracks online simultaneously, which enables the listener to manipulate the music as they see fit. The music is open-ended waves of crackling disturbances and distortion that become less subtle as the record moves along, with vocals that are hardly identifiable as coming from a human being sometimes, and I mean that as a compliment. I can think of a lot of records I wish I could manipulate, and many of them are on Gutterth, however this is easily the label's best release thus far. It's a free show with a well-rounded lineup and should be a pretty good time.
Guy Clark | Elizabeth Cook (Granada) I always found the celebratory Guy Clark song regarding Texas cuisine, "Texas Cookin'," to have an almost creepy arrangement, though it's an almost perfect example of upbeat 70's country, complete with a throbbing back-beat that wouldn't be out-of-place in most disco tracks from the same era.
Jookabox | Fizzy Dino Pop | Monastery (Hailey's) Asthmatic Kitty act Jookabox hails from Indianapolis and they have some sonic similarities with both Why? and Danielson Famile, if you can imagine, but maybe you shouldn't.
Imogen Heap | Tim Exile | Back Ted-N-Ted (Granada Theater) You over there. Yes you. The aspiring female singer songwriter. Please put down that Kate Bush record. Yes I know, Kate Bush is amazing, I won’t argue with you. But there will never be another Kate Bush. Yes, yes I know you have electronic bloops and bleeps over that ethereal falsetto and confessional lyrics to make you stand out. It just ain’t the same, ma’am. Look please don’t cry. No, no put that diary away. Good lord. Here, take this Laura Nyro record and go to the other side of that hill, maybe this will help you find your vision.
Don’t worry I didn’t take time out of my day just to bitch about the modern female solo artist. I am here to advise you to go to this show so you can check out opener Tim Exile, and then abruptly leave. I am not quite sure how these two got paired up for the tour. It is true that Exile’s latest album Listening Tree incorporates more vocals than we have heard from him in the past. But it is in no way accessible. Listening Tree really caught me off guard. With his latest work he has been able to incorporate the heavy confrontational sound he has been refining the past couple of years, while branching out past his DnB roots into singer-songwriter territory. Much in the same way that RJD2 did with his last album, Third Hand.
Exile shares a lot of qualities with one my favorite artists of the past few years, Max Tundra. Both of them got their feet wet by making glitchy, avant-garde music rooted in a healthy sense of humor. Max Tundra, despite the odd sounds and tempo changes, makes very warm accessible music. Exile on the other hand, while still incorporating humor, does so in a much darker, nastier way. Max Tundra I could see making an appearance on Sesame Street; Exile would be better suited for Wonder Showzen. Before Listening Tree, I was attracted to Exile's Reaktor-heavy electronic mayhem, but now I am excited to see how far he is going to delve into his new found songwriter side.
My introduction to Tim Exile's work was via his live album Nuisance Gabbaret Lounge. Upon first listen, the music reminded me of of first hearing Atari Teenage Riot as an angsty teenager. Those hard-hitting beats just made you want to punch someone, in a productive way of course. I really wish that this show was being headlined by Exile, because along with the live album, I have heard nothing but excellent things about the live show. It is tempting to go to this, because man, it would be funny to see the looks of the 30-something Clinique counter girls as he rips into "Tirade Of Abuse From A Sweaty Cunt," but after this jammed packed past 4 days of shows, I don't think it's gonna happen.(FP)
Followed By Static | Little Teeth (Hot Box Pizza located at 214 E Hickory in Denton) Pretty sure this is the same Little Teeth I saw play in an Austin backyard last year, and their challenging music, specifically the vocals, should make for a pretty interesting time at this pizza place this evening. Show is free and starts at 7 PM. (DL)
Blues Control | Silver Shampoo | Darktown Strutters | Fungi Girls | Wild In The Streets (Mable Peabody's): Stellar line-up tonight at one of my favorite places to see a show in the Metroplex (despite the fact that the last time I was there, I was almost beat up by a very angry woman who thought I cut in front of her in the bar line.) The first time I remember Brooklyn's Blues Control coming through town (and I could be wrong about this) was at a house show in March of 2008, on the same night WSJR was hosting Times New Viking, Psychedelic Horseshit and Wax Museums at the sadly defunct Strawberry Fields. I remember simultaneously loving our show AND feeling disappointed that I had to miss a group that I had just started getting excited about after spending a couple months with every Blues Control recording I could get my hands on. For those who have yet to dive into their work, Blues Control is a group that is rather difficult to define outside of a few descriptors-- loop-based, psychedelic, atmospheric, repetitive, avant-garde; but bands like this can't really be contained by such descriptions, because at the end of the day, this kind of loosely structured, hypnotic material usually becomes highly personal for any listener who's willing to let it in. Furthermore, the group seems to change quite a bit from release to release-- whereas early material such as 2007's Puff reveled in stoner drones, their latest release on Siltbreeze, Local Flavor, seems to explore everything from lo-fi roots rock (complete with an appearance from Kurt Vile) to traditional avant garde, all with the kind of wild, primitive aesthetic found on the Angus MacLise records reissued by Siltbreeze in the late 90's. This is adventurous, new psychedelic music that's difficult to define but easy to listen to. Highly recommended, especially considering the all around excellent line up of local openers-- be sure to catch Denton's Silver Shampoo while you can, because they don't play out often and they aren't to be missed by anyone with an interest in catchy proto-punk. (SR)
Written mostly by Frank Phosphate with some help by DL.
FRIDAY Hidden Cameras | Gentleman Reg | The O's (Hailey's) It's a pretty shitty time to be a gay person in America. Somehow it was decided that civil rights issues are something to be voted on by the public at large. On one side of the argument, we have testimonials from couples unable to receive perks made easily available to their hetero counterparts, civil rights experts explaining the social/historical significance of limiting civil rights, and even economists promoting the fiscal advantages of allowing people to marry whom they want. While defending for the other team there is Carrie Prejean. How is that team winning? Like a beacon of light amidst the darkness of ignorance, Friday at Hailey's will feature a solid night of musical entertainment from a queer-friendly lineup.
The Hidden Cameras have made a name for themselves the past few years for incorporating social issues and raunchy Vaselines-style sexuality into a genre dominated by whiny sweater-clad boys and girls. Whereas most baroque pop is meant to be played on winter mornings or late at night while crying over boxes of forgotten love letters, the Cameras are successful in incorporating a communal joviality into a typically morose medium. While politics play a role in their music, it will in no way alienate people just looking to hear some lighthearted, sexually mischievous indie-pop.
Unfortunately the band can sound a little too much like (cringe) Barenaked Ladies sometimes, but with a much darker and better sense of humor and purpose. Like The Polyphonic Spree, the Cameras have a lot of cooks in the kitchen, which can make for a diverse but inconsistent dining experience. Live however, The Hidden Cameras are pretty amazing. The band has a great time on stage, mixing theatrics and parlor tricks to create a nice interactive performance. If you have had a rough week this show will definitely put a smile on your face. (FP)
Chinese Stars | The Phuss | Sensitive Hearts (The Cavern): Members of Six Finger Satellite and Arab On Radar should make for a great show in theory and I'm sure they are great live, but I always wish the music would push just as hard as those acts whenever I hear a Chinese Stars song on community college radio. (DL)
Senora De Las Sambras | Church of the Apocalypse | Ascites | Mind Hunter | Small Talk | Wu Fru De Lu | Rakasan | Stress | A Fail Assosciation | In Girum Imus Nocte (Phoenix Project): This is a great lineup and further exemplifies Phoenix Project's commitment to host groups that fall outside of up-and-down-the-fretboard punk rock. Reduced ticket price if you bring a book. I have seen half of these artists at houses in Denton, but it's very comforting to see Dallas being invaded by the noise creeps. Note: Lychgate had to cancel due to illness. (DL)
Aight Yo #8: Lego The Mic (Rubber Gloves) Described by curator Yeah Def as a "freestyle fellowship," this night of hip hop will feature local producers and MC's in an orgy of beats and metaphors. There are not many opportunities to hear local hip hop this side of Lake Lewisville, so it sounds like a great oppertuinty to check out some original stuff. I also hear that anyone who feels the rhythm can jump on stage and do a little free styling themselves. This will probably be pretty funny once the night progress and drinks are consumed. And it is free. (FP)
Featuring tracks by former Dallas resident Kyle Humphries AKA Kylebeats, who is kind of the DFW version of Rodney Lemay if you didn't know. (DL)
Wax Museums | Uptown Bums | Occult Detective Club (Lions Den, Denton) And the award for hardest working band in Denton this week goes to, maniacal punk rock drum roll please....Uptown Bums! I caught the performance on Monday night with Video, and they put on a very solid show as always, with the two bands complimenting each other very nicely. Seeing as how Video shares members with Wax Museum, I am excited to see some of that same energy at this show. This will mark the last show of the year for Wax Museums, so keep that in mind while making your Saturday night plans. I haven't had a chance to check out a show at Lions Den yet, looking forward to it. (FP)
The Slow Burners | Brass Bed | Yellow Fever (Hailey's): Solid and diverse show for The Slow Burner's record release for their new album, This is Why We Fight. Slow Burners features members of Little Grizzly and RTB2. Front-man and songwriter George Neal is known for his energetic live performances, which helps to bring to life the boot stomping roots folk the band creates. Austin's Yellow Fever add a nice, subdued flavor to the mix with their female-fronted indie pop. (FP)
Peter Bjorn and John | El Perro Del Mar (House of Blues) I am very proud of the fact that I have never seen a show at the Target of music venues, House of Blues. The stories I have heard of the place makes this house show jumper stay far away. Snobbery aside, there just hasn't been anything to tempt me over there. So the big question: Does the Peter Bjorn and John show have what it takes to drag me out to the dreaded HOB? Of course not!
Peter Bjorn and John have everything going for them. They came in at just the right time and with just the right song to make it big in the world of commercially viable indie-pop. I'm glad that "Young Folks" happened; it was a solid song that you don't mind hearing over and over again, as apposed to most top 40 "indie" records that briefly make a splash upon the scene. But I was disappointed that the rest of the work I heard from them didn't really "pop" to me. Their music isn't bad or unpleasant, it just lacks the originality and personality to make it work past the single format.
The new album attempts to breach new ground by a taking a decidedly darker turn into the folk/synth-pop realm. This would be great if it still didn't all sound like the background music for a Volkswagen commercial. If you are looking for some new dark synth pop might I suggest you save your money on the overpriced tickets, parking and beer and instead go purchase the new release from Cold Cave, Love Comes Close, released last week on Matador. It's great. I bet there will be a lot more attractive young people at HOB as opposed to your room though, so the choice is yours. (FP)