Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Foxy Shazam: Bringing Arena Rock Theatrics to a New Generation

Thanks to technical difficulties with my camera, Macbook, and a new portable external hard drive all being friends so I could clear off my camera, I missed one of the main bands I'd looked forward to seeing while at SXSW, Foxy Shazam. (To the Best Buy-Columbia Heights employee who sold me the external hard-drive and assured me it was Mac-compatible, you, my friend, deserve a serious junkpunch.)

One part Queen, one part Slade, one part Cirque du Soleil, a dash of Arcade Fire, and maybe a little Rush (Shazam lead singer Eric Nally sounds oddly like Getty Lee to me), the Shazam opened the SPIN Day Party at Stubbs on Friday and from all accounts, their set was one of the best of SXSW. Nally's stage moves were jaw-dropping, and included a penchant for climbing about like Spider Man and acrobatic leaps atop his bandmates, much like in the video below.

Seems they wrote one of the songs on their forthcoming self-titled debut full length, out April 13, to be a "sports anthem" ("Unstoppable," which was used in a commercial during this year's Super Bowl). A little odd? Yup. But I dunno, I think odd, when it's creative, can be pretty exciting; at least it's not boring. The best part is that the Shazam doesn't seem to just rely on stage dramatics; if it were just all that and bombastic superego (they do proclaim themselves the "Michael Jordan of Rock n Roll"), I'd call bullshit for sure. But from what I've heard, the music backs them up. Now if they'd just bring the live show to DC!

I came across this bio written by Nally. It seems to explain a lot (including the band name).

About Foxy Shazam:

Hello, my name is Eric Nally and I am the singer and founding member of this rabble-rousing pack of f***s they call Foxy Shazam. Our other five members are (in alphabetical order): Daisy (bass) Aaron McVeigh (drums), Alex Nauth (horns) Loren Turner (guitar) and Sky White (piano). I love them but before I get into their story, I would like to spend a little time on myself: I am twenty-four years old, the father of two boys, Julian Michael and Francis Jordan, as well as a loving husband to Karen Nally. This creates an interesting contrast to my career as a professional musician.

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was one of two white boys in an all-black high school. The band name Foxy Shazam came from a saying in my school meaning, "cool shoes." If you had cool shoes kids would say those are "foxy shazam." Because of this we have a lot of soul, and try to let it bleed through our music as much as possible. Mom and Dad were pretty poor as I was growing up but always supported my musical interests nonetheless. In the early years they bought my band cheap guitars and amps and drove us to shows in the family Thunderbird. I owe them big time and will someday repay them.

Now that you know a little about my history, I would like to talk about my bandmates. Alex, our trumpet player is my right hand man and as a matter of fact he is transcribing this for me right now. Alex is classically trained, has a likable personality and is easy to get along with. We picked him up on the corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas a couple of years into the band's existence and I feel like his horn playing has added to the uniqueness of our sound. I meet a lot of people that think horns are stupid, but he's going to change that.

Loren, our guitar player is a weird guy to get the hang of and he's very quiet. Everyone that meets him gets the impression that he's mad at them but that's not the case, it's just the way his face looks. He loves Dimebag Darrell and I love the influence that gives him in his guitar playing.

Daisy, our bass player has been in the band for about three years. To be honest, I don't know too much about him and I like him like that. That's what makes him Daisy. However, I do know that his contribution to our band is enormous and without him we would not sound the way that we do.

Aaron our drummer is the newest member of the band. The position of Foxy's drummer, until Aaron, has been one that is filled temporarily but never permanently. I would never be caught dead in the clothes he wears but, hey, to each his own. His drum playing is not fancy but it's extremely solid and is exactly what we've been looking for all these years.

Last but not least is Sky White, our pianist who is trained in classical and jazz performance. I remember Loren and I went to a show his old band was playing and the second I saw him stand on his keyboard with a piñata on his head I knew we had to get him in Foxy Shazam. It didn't take too much convincing and a week later we were recording our first album Flamingo Trigger (which came out in 2005) and went on to do Introducing (2008). Our self-titled major label debut is coming out now.

When I listen to a Foxy Shazam record I think of Evel Knievel, Bruce Springsteen, my childhood, Van Morrison, my old friends from high school I don't talk to anymore, Elton John, the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond, Iggy Pop and my first kiss. One of my favorite things to do when listening to my music is to close my eyes and picture a crowd of six million people all chanting "Foxy! Foxy! Foxy!" The lights go out and my band walks on stage. It gives me goose bumps. It all makes sense to me. When you listen to our record, think of your favorite things and it'll make sense to you as well.

Foxy Shazam is not concerned with what category it falls into. We want to stand for our generation.

We want to be the biggest band in the world.

We are the Michael Jordan of Rock N' Roll.

Give a Listen: Oh Lord-Foxy Shazam/Buy Foxy Shazam

Lyndsey Parker, a super cool music editor for Yahoo Music, conducted an interesting interview with the Shazam following their bombastic Stubbs performance in Austin.

Foxy Shazam SXSW 2010 Interview from Yahoo! Music on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delta Spirit Announce April/Summer Tour Dates

The new Delta Spirit record, History From Below comes out June 8th and given what we just heard of the new tracks at SXSW, this new one will take your breath away. Daytrotter-related tour dates for April were announced this week, as well as US/Canada tour dates for this summer.

Lead guitarist Sean Walker was not playing with them in Austin-no public word yet if that lineup change is a temporary or permanent thing.

Delta Spirit Daytrotter Barnstormer Shows
Apr 27 2010: Daytrotter Barnstormer III: Secrest 1883 Octagonal Barn, West Liberty, Iowa
Apr 28 2010: Daytrotter Barnstormer III: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 29 2010: Daytrotter Barnstormer III: N1204 S. Hwy 120, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Apr 30 2010: Daytrotter Barnstormer III: Kalyx Center, Monticello, Illinois
May 1 2010: Daytrotter Barnstormer III: Codfish Hollow Barn, Maquoketa, Iowa

Delta Spirit Summer US/Canada Tour
Jun 8 2010: Belly Up, Solana Beach, California
Jun 9 2010: The Independent, San Francisco, California
Jun 10 2010: Doug Fir. Portland, Oregon
Jun 11 2010: Neumo’s, Seattle, Washington
Jun 12 2010: The Venue. Vancouver, British Columbia
Jun 14 2010: Neurolux. Boise, Idaho
Jun 15 2010: Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City, Utah
Jun 16 2010: Bluebird Theatre, Denver, Colorado
Jun 17 2010: Waiting Room, Omaha, Nebraska
Jun 18 2010: Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jun 19 2010: Metro, Chicago, Illinois
Jun 21 2010: Firebird, St Louis, Missouri
Jun 22 2010: Radio Room, Indianapolis, Indiana
Jun 23 2010: The Basement, Columbus, Ohio
Jun 24 2010: Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland, Ohio
Jun 25 2010: Pike Room, Pontiac, Michigan
Jun 28 2010: Middle East Downstairs, Boston, Massachusetts
Jun 30 2010: Bowery Ballroom, NYC
Jul 1 2010: Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
Jul 2 2010: First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jul 3 2010: 9:30 Club, Washington DC
Jul 5 2010: Cat’s Cradle, Carrboro, North Carolina
Jul 7 2010: Cafe 11, St. Augustine, Florida
Jul 8 2010: The Social, Orlando, Florida
Jul 10 2010: Bottletree, Birmingham, Alabama
Jul 11 2010: Thirsty Hippo, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Jul 13 2010: Juanita’s, Little Rock, Arkansas
Jul 14 2010: Cain’s, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Jul 15 2010: Lola’s, Dallas, Texas
Jul 16 2010: Mango’s, Houston, Texas
Jul 17 2010: Emo’s Outside, Austin, Texas
Jul 20 2010: Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, New Mexico
Jul 21 2010: Plush, Tucson, Arizona
Jul 23 2010: El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, California
Jul 24 2010: Velvet Jones, Santa Barbara, California

If You Didn't See It...Paul Westerberg's Thoughts on the Passing of Alex Chilton

The work of Paul Westerberg and the Replacements is responsible for much regarding my musical proclivities, as well as the main structure of the site that you are reading. (If you're confused by this, Google all but one of its segment titles. Then get thee to Amazon and buy every last Westerberg solo and Replacements record right now heathen.) I learned a lot of new things from the various mentions that Westerberg namechecked in his songs, one of which being the pop-laden beauty that was Alex Chilton's musical catalogue. Thanks to Westerberg penning that perennial song about Chilton for the Replacements' 1985 masterpiece Tim, I'm certain this experience happened to a lot of us.

If you've been living in a cave without newspaper delivery or internet service, Chilton died on St. Patrick's Day at the age of 59. So it seemed utterly appropriate to me when I heard that Westerberg wrote a piece about Chilton in a publication that reached far and wide like the Sunday NY Times. I was at SXSW when the article published, but if you haven't read it, it's a wonderful ode of acknowledgement and gratitude from one musical curmudgeon to another. And given the gratitude I have for Westerberg for introducing me to things like Chilton, I'd be remiss if we didn't publish it here.

Beyond The Box Tops-by Paul Westerberg

HOW does one react to the death of one’s mentor? My mind instantly slammed down the inner trouble-door that guards against all thought, emotion, sadness. Survival mode. Rock guitar players are all dead men walking. It’s only a matter of time, I tell myself as I finger my calluses. Those who fail to click with the world and society at large find safe haven in music — to sing, write songs, create, perform. Each an active art in itself that offers no promise of success, let alone happiness.

Yet success shone early on Alex Chilton, as the 16-year-old soulful singer of the hit-making Box Tops. Possessing more talent than necessary, he tired as a very young man of playing the game — touring, performing at state fairs, etc. So he returned home to Memphis. Focusing on his pop writing and his rock guitar skills, he formed the group Big Star with Chris Bell. Now he had creative control, and his versatility shone bright. Beautiful melodies, heart-wrenching lyrics: “I’m in Love with a Girl,” “September Gurls.”

On Big Star’s masterpiece third album, Alex sang my favorite song of his, “Nighttime” — a haunting and gorgeous ballad that I will forever associate with my floor-sleeping days in New York. Strangely, the desperation in the line “I hate it here, get me out of here” made me, of all things, happy. He went on to produce more artistic, challenging records. One equipped with the take-it-or-leave-it — no, excuse me, with the take-it-like-I-make-it — title “Like Flies on Sherbert.” The man had a sense of humor, believe me.

It was some years back, the last time I saw Alex Chilton. We miraculously bumped into each other one autumn evening in New York, he in a Memphis Minnie T-shirt, with take-out Thai, en route to his hotel. He invited me along to watch the World Series on TV, and I immediately discarded whatever flimsy obligation I may have had. We watched baseball, talked and laughed, especially about his current residence — he was living in, get this, a tent in Tennessee.

Because we were musicians, our talk inevitably turned toward women, and Al, ever the Southern gentleman, was having a hard time between bites communicating to me the difficulty in ... you see, the difficulty in (me taking my last swig that didn’t end up on the wall, as I boldly supplied the punch line) “... in asking a young lady if she’d like to come back to your tent?” We both darn near died there in a fit of laughter.

Yeah, December boys got it bad, as “September Gurls” notes. The great Alex Chilton is gone — folk troubadour, blues shouter, master singer, songwriter and guitarist. Someone should write a tune about him. Then again, nah, that would be impossible. Or just plain stupid.

Friday, March 26, 2010

SXSW 2010: Sondre Lerche and Jon Auer Rehearsing for the Big Star Tribute

The legendary Big Star was to be celebrated at SXSW this year with a panel on the band and its influence, as well as a closing set at Antones on Saturday. So it was a mighty big blow felt by everyone attending when news started circulating Wednesday of Alex Chilton's death. What was to be a performance by Big Star became a tribute to Chilton, with various singers slated to "borrow" Chilton's mic.

I've got photos forthcoming of it all, but it was widely agreed upon by all of us who attended that Sondre Lerche's performance of "The Ballad of El Goodo" was definitely one of the evening's highlights. Lerche's serene and moving voice was the right fit and brought the song, and everyone listening, to a whole new level.

The video below is of Big Star/Poisies guitarist Jon Auer rehearsing beforehand...

and of the performance at the tribute. I really wish you all could have been there, video doesn't come close to capturing the beauty of Lerche's sound. It was truly something special.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

All Tomorrow's Parties 2010 Lineup Released

All Tomorrow's Parties Festival-NY announced the start of their 2010 lineups today. Festival will be held 9/3-9/5 at Kutshers' Country Club in Monticello, NY.
All Tomorrow's Parties will return to Kutsher's Country Club, Monticello for the third ATP New York festival over Labor Day weekend, running from Friday 3rd September – Sunday 5th September. We recently announced that legendary film-maker Jim Jarmusch, well known for his fantastic collaborations and documentaries with musicians will be the guest curator on Sunday 5th.

Today we are happy to announce a new batch of artists, see below for full info...

As previously announced, Friday 3rd September features these performances as part of our Don't Look Back day:

IGGY & THE STOOGES performing Raw Power
SLEEP performing Holy Mountain
MUDHONEY performing Superfuzz Bigmuff + Early Singles
THE SCIENTISTS performing Blood Red River (first ever U.S. Show)
+ more to be confirmed!

Friday will also feature a Comedy Stage, details of which are to be announced soon.

ATP celebrate 10 years with a birthday party on Sat 4th September hosting a day of past ATP curators, ATP Recordings artists and friends. Our new additions are one of the first ATP curators TORTOISE, psych rock luminaries BARDO POND, BEAK> featuring Geoff Barrow of Portishead, one of ATP Recordings' latest signings in the form of SLEEPY SUN, and newcomers AVI BUFFALO. Here's that day's line-up so far...

BEAK> (featuring Geoff Barrow of Portishead)
+ more to be confirmed!

Jim Jarmusch will curate Sunday 5th September and new additions to his previously announced choices are headed by SUNN O))) and BORIS performing material from their mindblowing collaborative album ALTAR, HOPE SANDOVAL of Mazzy Star performing from her stunning new LP, cult Swedish psychedelic rockers DUNGEN and New York space-rock from WHITE HILLS. Here's how the day is looking so far...

SUNN O))) and BORIS present ALTAR
+ more to be confirmed!

Festival Tickets are priced at $250 + booking fee for the weekend. Friday day tickets are priced at $110 + booking fee. Saturday day tickets are priced at $120 + booking fee. Sunday day tickets will be available soon. Weekend Bus travel is available between Brooklyn or Manhattan and the festival. Day Bus travel is available between Manhattan and the festival. Accommodation at Kutshers is now sold out. Rooms for groups of 3 or 4 are available at the nearby Raleigh hotel (we operate a free shuttle bus between the hotel and festival site all weekend). Rooms are priced at $150 + room tax per person, full information available at atpfestival.com.

Weekend and Day Tickets, Accommodation and Bus Travel from Manhattan and Brooklyn are available now here.

Tickets are also available now in person from Other Music in New York City and Aquarius Records in San Francisco.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Roving Reports of Rock and Roll: SXSW 2010

Hello! I am back and alive (barely thanks to a head cold), but willing to tell the tales. Sorry I wasn't amongst those doing real-time postings...this year was great but also seemed to have the subtitle "SXSW 2010: If something can go wrong, it will." I'm working up the photos right now but some of the highlights off the top of my cold-ridden and exhausted brain (there will be others)..

-Ivan and Alyosha: awful name but wonderful band. Lead singer has a voice like Jeff Buckley but like an octave lower.

-Austin Hartley Leonard: wound up catching him twice, once acoustic with his banjo player, the other with his full band. Both times, awesome. He lives in LA so you kids with a more alt-country jones out there should check him out.

-Glossary: LOVED their sound and their musical timing...they change up tempos and do different types of hooks for sure.

-Street Sweepers Social Club: I haven't liked a rap-centered band since Public Enemy but good Lord was this good. The place was jam packed and the band's sound had everyone glued to the stage. (Although trying to shoot photos with mosh pits happening on either side of you is rough.) Met Tom Morello in the lobby of our hotel-really nice guy.

-Broadway Calls: Punk pop is back with a vengeance and this 3-piece is leading the charge. On same label as Gaslight Anthem so makes sense. Room sucked but the band was explosive.

-Superchunk: Four years in Chapel Hill, NC and I never got to see Superchunk play once (this was went they went into a bit of a hiatus). Eight years later, I can safely tell you: it was utterly magical. And fucking rocked my face off.

-Harlan T Bobo: Discovered this guy via the Memphis version of that "$5 Cover" show. Couldn't stay for the whole set as I had drinking to do with a KROQ DJ at the Hotel Driskill (and a drink, or five, at the Driskill had been on my list of things to do). But he's got this great sound and is quite the storyteller.

Wished I'd Seen:
-Surfer Blood: they played like 23 times over the four days and the first night I almost saw them but for bad location (they were put on a rooftop whose entrance was a tiny stairway next to the downstairs stage where another band was playing-quite the bottlenecked clusterfuck). From then on, it was just bad timing and I missed every other performance. (File under "bad timing").

-Cymbals Eat Guitars: file under "bad timing" and "Southwest Airlines is to blame"

More to come...stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ryan Adams, Now With More Metal

Ryan Adams has been a little bit country and a little bit rock-n-roll, a little bit punk and now, a little bit metal. It was reported yesterday that Adams plans to release a metal album, titled Orion, on vinyl next week. From Adams' website

We're going to begin pressing ORION ? my most legit METAL record ? on vinyl next week. Have a listen to the song below and let us at PAXAM know if you'd be interested in purchasing one.

The first track is being streamed for your listening pleasure here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lights That Flash in the Evening: The National @ The Bell House,Brooklyn, NY (3-11-10)

It took me a little while to warm up to The National initially, but once that fuzzy feedback and kicky drum beats got their hooks into me, it was all over. Lead singer Matt Berninger's voice went from being monochromatic to a wave of warm water in which I wanted to swim...

Last night's show at The Bell House in the Gowanus Canal area of Brooklyn, the first of two nights, was a hot ticket, due to the venue's size (small), the promise of new material (certain), and the limited notice of onsale (three days prior).

My "man on the ground," Russ Bleemer, sent me the following...Seems 2010 will be The Year of The National, and all the wine will, indeed, be theirs.

If the debut of the new material last night at the Bell House in Brooklyn is any indication, it's going to be quite a year for the National.

The new songs aren't all easy. But they have a big arena sound, the low-slow opening that swells to a big chorus or rave up instrumental ending that is reminiscent of the way Radiohead does Nirvana, which the Pixies basically pioneered after listening to a lot of classical music in art school.

The band is bigger now, with the keyboard/violinist they have toured with for ages, along with a second keyboard player who played for most of the show. A three-piece horn section was on stage the whole time.

If you are going tonight and have high expectations for the new songs, they will be met. But stop reading now, because there are bunch of spoilers below, though presumably tonight won't be identical. I gave The National new songs ratings below, FWIW....

The show ran exactly 90 minutes, starting at about 10:17. The opening act tonight is different, but last night, it was a sax/acoustic bass/guitar/vocalist that did a jazz set. The vocalist was pretty funny, well schooled in David Johansen's Buster Poindexter monologues, which he inserted into the songs. After a while, they veered slightly to a more Morphine-like sound, but the set remained a full-on jazz sound led by the guitarist's chords...kinda interesting. National lead singer Matt Berninger came out on their last song and sang a duet with the vocalist (which made it sound like a National song).

As for The National set...

1) They opened with "Blood Buzz," a song familiar from shows that circulated last summer. (Rating: 9)
2) New song that had a U2 undercurrent. Big key potential title line was "Didn't Wanna Be Anyone's Ghost." At the end of the song, Berninger said the song was called "Butterscotch Paraphernalia." (Rating: 8)
3) The next song, also new, was called "LIttle Blizzard." You had to be there, but this got a decent laugh. These obviously were not real titles. (Rating: 8)
4) Next song, new, had a big drum opening, then was a mellower voice/piano/bass verse that welled up into a huge full band finish. (Rating: 7)
5) "Start a War"
6) "Secret Meeting"
7) New song, short but full on Pixies soft to furious, might be called "I Am Afraid of Everyone." (Rating: 9)
8) Another new song with a refrain that sounded like "Losing my breath," with a weird funny line that stood out: "I gave my heart to the Army." Difficult to understand as the vocals were mumbly/muted, but again, same dynamics as described on 7. (Rating: 7-8)
9) "Slow Show." Berninger said his wife was really looking forward to the debut of the new songs, but got ugly-sick at the last minute and missed the show and was home, a few blocks away. He thanked her for not having to watch her be sick, and her help with "Slow Show" lyrics. He also credited her lyrics work on the next one which was...
10) "Apartment Story"
11) A new song, paced by a shaker played by the drummer, was a slow one with another hard to understand line/refrain like "I won't run--another thing coming undone." The title might be "Run Along." (Rating: 8)
12) New song called "Conversation 16." Big synth line, more like U2, again, than Nirvana. My fave new song up to this point. (Rating: 9)
13) "Abel." Crowd strangely polite and remained indie aloof.
14) New song with a big violin intro, with the violin underlying the whole song and carying a nice countermelody that soared to another big ending. (Rating: 8)
15) Set ended with "Fake Empire"--an incredible version of it, too.
16) Encore began with a new song that included the line, "I'll explain everything to the kings." Could be a good title. (Rating: 9)
17) "Mr. November." Much of it sang from the middle of the crowd, which finally lost their aloofness and got excited.
18) "Terrible Love," the song that they did on Jimmy Fallon two nights ago. Great ending, and very exciting. My fave new song, probably not surprising as I watched the video from the show repeatedly, so I was well prepared. :-) (Rating: 9)

The venue was perfect, everyone should have a Bell House in their town. Michael Stipe was hanging around...as well as a lot of media-types around us with accents, who felt the need to critique everything. And loudly. But the band? When I first saw these guys I thought they were too arty and indie-weird to make it. But now they sound ready to headline in the big places they are going to this spring, and arena headlining isn't out of the question.

The National release High Violet on 5/11.

The National - 2010 Tour Dates

Delta Spirit, Dawes, and Deer Tick Frontmen Form MG and V, Band to Debut at SXSW 2010 Next Week

A fun aspect of SXSW is that you see lots of new bands but also lots of established bands in new ways. Last year, for example, I got to see the debut performance of Tinted Windows, and though I wasn't sure how much I'd dig the Hanson kid, I have to admit, he's a pretty badass frontman for them.

It's looking like this year is going to have the same sort of thrill. MG&V, a combination of indie-band frontmen, John McCauley, Taylor Goldsmith, and Matt Vasquez, have formed a supergroup as a side project from their main bands., Deer Tick, Dawes, and Delta Spirit. It seems that when Deer Tick and Dawes were out on tour together last summer, McCauley and Goldmith started to kick around songwriting ideas. One thing led to another, and after the tour, the two wound up going to Nashville to continue their collaboration in earnest. As they were about to start recording, the two brought in Vasquez, as well as Dawes drummer (and Goldsmith's sibling), Griffin Goldsmith.

An interesting note: While McCauley didn't know Vasquez in advance, Vasquez and the other Delta Spirit members have known the Goldsmiths for years, and were helpful in giving Dawes some of their first major exposure. In our interview with Vasquez last year, he told us this about them:

And then the other opening band is a friend's band we've been promising forever that we'd take out, and finally we have the means to do it. They're this band called Dawes, they're really great. They sound just like The Band if a young Billy Joel that you could really believe in sang. And the drummer is this 18 year-old guy who plays like Levon Helm. The piano player learned bass from Rick Danko but he plays piano, and he's insane. He plays at this speakeasy in LA...they're just these crazy guys. The singer and drummer are brothers, and their dad is the only white singer in Tower of Power, so it's in the family.

An MG&V album release is slated for later this year.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Myspace Steaming All Tracks of New Whigs Record, In the Dark

The new Whigs record comes out next week but if you can't wait that long, head over to Myspace, where the whole thing is streaming (here). Pretty interesting (and gracious) move when you consider the band also provided three of the record's eleven tracks as free downloads. Standouts from a quick first listen are "So Lonely," "Automatic," "In the Dark," and "Kill Me Carolyne;" lots of good hooks and as usual with drummer Julian Dorio, a strong backbeat. Lyrically, lead singer/guitarist Parker Gispert seems to be have women and their form on his mind a lot (this could prove just metaphor until closer listening of course).

In the Dark drops 3/16, and preorders are available here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Shout Out Louds New Release, Work, Doing North American Tour in May

I really liked the Shout Out Louds 2005 record Howl Howl Gaff Gaff. Clean and keening Swedish power pop with the quirkiness that Swedish power pop is known for.

I recently heard "Walls," a track from their new record, Work, and much like "Very Loud" from Howl Howl, it's full of pop hooks and a strong backbeat. But "Walls" is heavier somehow, frantic and raring almost, with more of a definitive rock current flowing through it (guitar, pounding piano and so forth). Work's producer, Phil Elk, also did records by The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Band of Horses, so maybe some of the influence rubbed off.

Give a Listen:
Walls-Shout Out Louds (buy Work)

The band just put out a mini-documentary on the making of Work titled "Shout Out Louds ... at Work," and was irected by the band's bassist, Ted Malmros. (Malmros also directed Peter, Bjorn, and John's 'Young Folks' video.) "Shout Out Louds...at Work" acts as a diary that "provides a deep glimpse into the process that went into the creation of the songs that make up the new studio album."

The Shout Out Louds are doing shows at SXSW 2010, then heading out on tour in May with Freelance Whales.

Shout Out Louds/Freelance Whales May 2010 Tour Dates
02 May: 930 Club, Washington, DC
03 May: First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, PA
05 May: Webster Hall, NYC
06 May: Paradise, Boston, MA
07 May: Cabaret Music Hall, Montreal, Canada
08 May: Mod Club, Toronto, Canada
10 May: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
11 May: Varsity Theater, Minneapolis, MN
14 May: Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Canada
15 May: Neumos, Seattle, WA
16 May: Doug Fir, Portland, OR
18 May: Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
20, 21 May: El Rey, Los Angeles, CA (21st is sold out)
22 May: House of Blues, San Diego, CA

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Morning Benders Release Big Echo Out Today, Announce Tour Dates

Big Echo, the second full-length record from California's Morning Benders dropped today on Rough Trade Records. Lead singer/guitarist Chris Chu took production credit this time round, along with Grizzley Bear's Chris Taylor (talk about instant indie cred). Chu's songwriting is always so interesting-while it may sound like "just a power pop song," at first, let it breathe if you will, and run it a couple more times-Chu consistently turns quite a phrase amidst the musical complexities that the band brings to a track.

The Benders start out on tour tomorrow through April in support of Big Echo. Their acoustic SXSW show with Ben Gibbard for Stereogum at The Parish is slated as the hottest ticket this year for sure.

The Morning Benders Spring 2010 Tour Dates
March 10th: Jonny Brenda s, Philadelphia, PA*
March 11th: The Black Cat, Washington DC*
March 12th: Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC *
March 13th: The Drunken Unicorn, Atlanta, GA*
March 13th, 6pm: Criminal Records Instore, Atlanta, GA
March 15th: The Bottletree, Birmingham, AL*
March 17th Brooklyn Vegan Day Party at Emo s Austin
March 17th Rough Trade Records Showcase at Emo s Austin
March 18th Mess With Texas Party Austin
March 18th FADER Fort Austin
March 18th True Panther Sounds Showcase at Ms. Bea s Austin
March 20th Stereogum Range Life at The Parish (acoustic set) Austin
March 23rd: The Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ
March 25th: Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA#
March 26th, 5pm: M-Theory Instore w/ Surfer Blood, San Diego, CA
March 26th: Casbah, San Diego, CA#
March 27th: Detroit Bar, Costa Mesa, CA
March 28th: Muddy Waters, Santa Barbara, CA
March 30th: The Independent, San Francisco, CA%
April 1st: Holocene, Portland, OR
April 2nd: Crocodile Café, Seattle, WA
April 3rd: Media Club, Vancouver, Canada
April 5th: Club Velour, Provo, UT
April 7th: Hi-Dive, Denver, CO
April 9th: The Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
April 10th: The Maintenance Shop, Ames, IA
April 11th: Huckleberry's Pizza (Presented by Daytrotter), Rock Island, IL
April 12th: Schubas Tavern, Chicago,IL
April 14th: The Drake Hotel, Toronto, Canada
April 15th: La Sala Rossa, Montreal, Canada
April 16th: The Monkey House, Winooski, Vermont
April 17th: TT The Bear s, Boston, MA
April 18th: Hamilton College, Clinton, NY*
April 22nd and 28th*: The Mercury Lounge, NYC

*Acrylics, #We Barbarians, %the Mumlers
Miniature Tigers will be supporting the morning benders on all dates.

Check out our interview with The Morning Benders from early last year here.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Henry Clay People Sign with TBD Records, Announce Full-Length Debut forJune Release

The music business is filled with all sorts of people and personalities, both good and bad, and sometimes it's the kindest ones who get left by the wayside. So when the kindest ones win, it's a major heart-warmer.

The Henry Clay People is a band filled with the latter, which makes you like them as people. And they're crazy good musicians with big guitar hooks and catchy melodies, which makes you love their music. And word came down today that they've found a label that loves it too.

TBD Records signed HCP and will be putting out their first full-length, Somewhere on the Golden Coast in early June. About the record the band said, "The idea was to track the record as live as possible onto tape, leaving that dirt under the fingernails kinda feel. So yeah, there is a good amount of dirt, but hopefully other stuff too."

Listen to one of the new ones, "Slow Burn," here, with more to follow they said.

Congrats guys...couldn't happen to anyone nicer.

(Read some of our previous HCP show coverage here and here)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Seen Your Video: Silversun Pickups Rock "The Royal We" on Jimmy Fallon

Admittedly, I wasn't crazy about the Silversun Pickups song "The Royal We" when I first heard it on their latest, Swoon. But live, live the song is an effin' force of nature. The energy that exudes from lead singer/guitarist Brian Aubert alone could blow a house down; add the power of drummer Chris Guanlao, and it's a full-on hurricane. That sort of band is a blast to photograph.

This is the Pickups playing "The Royal We" on Jimmy Fallon last night. It was sedate compared to a normal show, honest. If you ever get the opportunity, be sure you see this band live just once.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lucero's Roy Berry and Brian Venable Mugged in Augusta, GA, Berry Injured

Unbelievable...Lucero drummer Roy Berry and lead guitarist Brian Venable were mugged last week after a show in Augusta, GA. Venable came out unharmed but Berry was suckerpunched and wound up with a broken jaw that had to be wired shut. "He is recovering from what would best be called a mugging," said Lucero manager Thaddeus Rudd, "and is home in Memphis recovering." Here's hoping he's feeling better soon.

As such, the band's Jackson, MS and Huntville, AL shows this weekend have been cancelled, but they are planning to reschedule at a later date. Rudd says Berry plans to rejoin the band for next week's run of shows in Tennessee. "They intend to fulfill next weekend's shows," he said.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Locksley Record Release for Be in Love Tonight in NYC

Hey New Yorkers, do you like to dance? Do you like power pop? How about joy? Then forget that it's a school night and do some dancing to joyous power pop at the Mercury Lounge tonight for the Locksley cd release party of Be in Love. The band's second release, Be In Love is an upbeat collection of power-pop songs that are full of big fat hooks and non-stop energy, a musicial ode to love, "the greatest thing ever," says Locksley's lead guitarist Kai Kennedy. Plus, the ticket gets you into an after-party, which is hosted by Red Bull, so your potential lack of sleep...covered! You'll be glad you missed a little sleep to experience so much joy.

Physical copies of Be in Love will also be sold at the event, in case you can't wait until the store release date of 3/16. Tickets are $10 and available here.

Read our recent show review of Locksley here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pavement's Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement Out 3/9, Includes Different Limited Edition Vinyl Version

Pavement's reunion this year has made fans all a flutter. 3/9 will bring another thrill in the form of a fully remastered 23-track compilation called Quarantine The Past: The Best Of Pavement. The compilation will span the entirety of Pavement’s career from 1989 to 1999. Matador is offering a 15% discount on it if you preorder from them.

Matador is also reissuing of all five of their Pavement releases, including the Watery, Domestic EP.

Track List for Quarantine the Past
2. Frontwards (WATERY, DOMESTIC EP)
3. Mellow Jazz Docent (PERFECT SOUND FOREVER EP)
5. In The Mouth A Desert (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
8. Shady Lane / J Vs. S (BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS)
11. Grounded (WOWEE ZOWEE)
12. Summer Babe (Winter Version) (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
16. Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse) (WATERY, DOMESTIC EP)
17. Spit On A Stranger (TERROR TWILIGHT)
18. Heaven Is a Truck (CROOKED RAIN, CROOKED RAIN)
19. Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite At :17 (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
21. Box Elder (SLAY TRACKS 1933-1969 EP)
22. Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence (NO ALTERNATIVE COMP)
23. Fight This Generation (WOWEE ZOWEE)

Give a Listen: Gold Soundz-Pavement (remastered version) (available 3/9)

Pavement held a contest for "most imaginative track sequence" awhile back, and the winning list will appear only on a limited-edition double vinyl LP. This different release come out on Record Store Day, 4/17. The silkscreen cover art may have some resemblance to the image above – the band are customizing it themselves.

Track List for Limited Edition of Quarantine the Past
1. Zurich Is Stained (SLANTED AND ENCHANTED)
2. Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite At :17 (SLANTED AND ENCHANTED)
3. Grave Architecture (WOWEE ZOWEE)
5. …And Carrot Rope (TERROR TWILIGHT)
6. Shady Lane / J Vs. S (BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS)
11. Extradition (WOWEE ZOWEE)
14. Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse) (WATERY, DOMESTIC EP)
15. Kennel District (WOWEE ZOWEE)
16. Price Yeah! (SLAY TRACKS 1933-1969 EP)
17. No Life Singed Her (SLANTED AND ENCHANTED)
21. Forklift (DEMOLITION PLOT J-7 EP)
22. Fight This Generation (WOWEE ZOWEE)
23. Box Elder (SLAY TRACKS 1933-1969 EP)