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City & Colour @ Central Presbyterian (1/21)

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Date 1/21/10
Location Central Presbyterian Church
Doors 7pm
Tickets Sold Out Suckahs

Dallas Green, otherwise known as City & Colour, is playing an intimate show at Central Presbyterian Church on Thursday night.  To make the show more enticing, our new favorite singer Lissie will be providing opening support around 8pm.  We’re probably more excited about that lovely lady and her music so we’ll drop one of her songs below.  I suggest trying a scalper since the show is sold out.

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Download: Lissie – Little Lovin’ [MP3]

Surfer Blood – Astrocoast

surfer blood

Rating: ★★★★½

Over the last year, people have been suggesting that Surfer Blood might be the biggest band we hadn’t come across, leaving the band in the spot for breakthrough artist of 2010.  On Astrocoast, they live up to the hype, and in most cases, they far surpass what expectations we all had, creating one of the most colorful, yet playful, debuts we’ve come across in quite some time.

One would be hard pressed to pigeonhole this band at all, as they seemingly bounce from one spot to another throughout this 10 song debut.  For this listener, it sounds as if someone is channeling a Floridian soulmate of James Mercer of Shins fame.  There is something in the pitch in songs like “Floating Vibes” or especially in “Twin Peaks.” It’s not just the delivery of the lyrics, or the way the melody is approached, but it really feels as if the spirit of Mercer lies in there somewhere. “Twin Peaks,” by the way, is one ridiculously good song; you can listen to it on repeat, as I did, and never grow tired of it.

“Swim,” the album’s second track is such a bright moment that you can’t help but be won over by the fervent approach to bringing about swelling guitar waves and vocals that seem to echo through the room of your favorite local venue.  It’s this feeling of rawness that doesn’t seem forced, or steeped in some historical infatuation with bands of days gone by, though undoubtedly it does come from such moments.

“Take It Easy” comes like a close cousin to many of the songs of New York new wonders The Drums. Both bands have a club appeal that still seems rooted in the hallowed grounds of surf rock.  Like those New Yorkers, there is a certain vibrance to the writing itself, which moves it beyond pastiche, bringing a refreshing approach.  At this point, three songs in, the band should have completely won you over.

Near the end of the record, the boys slow it town just a hint, but the jangling of their guitars brings to mind a great deal of the work that came out of the Flying Nun label of New Zealand.  Perhaps the band is unaware of this, but that’s a sure-fire way to get straight into my heart, which allows me to look beyond the fact that the two 6 minute jams at the end, “Slow Jabroni” and “Anchorage” lag a little bit as far as pace goes.  Using time, these songs unfold into powerful pieces all their own.

All in all, this a sparkling debut from a band we know little about.  It’s full of playful tunes, whimsical lyrics, and load upon load of melodic hooks driving straight for your ears, and your heart. It’s refreshing to hear such a solid album arise beyond the hype, and fulfill on all the promise, which is precisely what Astrocoast does.  Based on this, Surfer Blood surely will be the breakout band we all heard they would be, and its deservedly so.

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Download: Surfer Blood – Swim [MP3]

New Music From Golden Triangle

goldentriangleAnother day, another interesting band from Brooklyn.  So here we have Golden Triangle who are set to release their debut LP Double Jointer on March 2nd via Hardly Art.  If this new single “Neon Noose” is your first exposure to the band, let us know what you think.  We’re gettin’ kinda in to it.

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Download: Golden Triangle – Neon Noose [MP3]

Jemina Pearl @ Emos (1/19)

jemima-beyourownpet

Date 1/19/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $10 from Ticketweb

Former Be Your Own Pet front woman Jemina Pearl is heading on over to Emo’s on Tuesday night.  Fellow energetic leading lady Arum Rae (White Dress) will be providing your opening support.  Should be fun… and crrraaaazzzzyyyyy!

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Download: Jemina Pearl – After Hours [MP3]

More New Music From Shearwater

shearwater_sit1Earlier today Shearwater dropped this new track “Black Eyes” from their upcoming LP The Golden Archipelago.  This is prior to the slated February 23rd release on Matador Records.  We also just received a promo copy of the new album in our inbox today and this thing is an epic adventure to say the least.  I suggest picking up a copy when physical copies are available.

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Download: Shearwater – Black Eyes [MP3]

New Music From Seabear

sea-bearIcelandic outfit Seabear are prepping a new album for release in March on Morr music.  The new LP will be called We Built a Fire and features this new single “Lion Face Boy”.  It features the soft style folk sound we’ve gotten used to after the band’s debut LP in ’07.  Enjoy.

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Download: Lion Face Boy – Single Version [MP3]

The Rocketboys On Daytrotter

rocketLocal boys The Rocketboys were on Daytrotter over the weekend and we wanted to give you the heads up about this underrated Austin band.  The guys play 4 songs including “Take it From Me” found below.  Not bad, not bad at all.

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Download: The Rocketboys – Take it From Me [MP3]

Spoon – Transference

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

A few years back, Spoon created a pop masterpiece when they put out Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (is that enough Gas?).  They return here with Transference, a record that may not be as easily accessible as their previous effort, but one that seemingly feels more rewarding than its predecessor.  Where Ga Ga Ga hit you in the face quick, Transference takes time to unfold before you, often upon repeated listens.

As the hazy organ work grinds over the opening moments of the album, you can tell that the tendency to rely upon hooks is gone.  Still, when you hear the audio switch from having Britt in another room, to having him right in your ear, you can tell that hooks aren’t required to reveal the power in this record.  It’s a dense tune, but it feels more like the reworking of tracks off Kill the Moonlight.

A lot of listeners will wonder where the catchy numbers have gone, as this record feels striped down and dirty by the time you get through the first three songs.  Then you come across “Who Makes Your Money.”  Initially, I couldn’t understand this song in the spectrum of the Spoon catalogue, but the more I listened to the record, the playfulness with which Britt approaches the vocals is so rewarding in time that it’s hard not to see this as one of the album’s stronger moments, which says a lot considering how simple it feels.

Oddly, the slow burner that is Transference is just picking up the pace.  “Written in Reverse” makes waves as it did upon its release as the single months back.  You combine that with the grittiness of “I Saw the Light,” and you can’t help but feel as if Spoon are finally hitting full stride midway through the album, preparing to carry you into bliss.  Such is the moment when you arrive at the brightest moments on the record, with “Terrible” and “Goodnight Laura.”

“Terrible” has the lo-fi appeal that everyone seems to crave in their musical coffee, yet it maintains the clever layering that Spoon has always held on to in their songwriting.  As the song barrels along, you can feel the classic moments of the band’s history come back into the present.  Then you stumble upon “Goodnight Laura,” which has to be my hand’s down favorite song on the album.  It reminds me of “Black Like Me” of Ga Ga Ga in its ability to evoke the utmost emotion from the listener, except it utilizes a piano as opposed to the use of guitar. Yet the hits don’t stop coming right here.

Transference fades into its closing moments filled with tunes like “Got Nuffin,” a song you already should have heard by the group, and “Nobody Gets Me But You.”  Neither of these songs feels completely polished, unlike the last album, so it maintains the quality that was established at the beginning. It has that sense of trial and error, though they clearly care less about the errors, choosing to leave them as part of the complete portrait they intended to create.

In closing, a lot of people just don’t get Spoon. They’ll claim that the band lack some sort of killer instinct, or that they chose to produced the album themselves, but let’s not forget they have Jim Eno and Britt Daniels, both who have produced records of brilliance in their own right (White Rabbits anyone?).  At the end of the day, the more you listen to this album the more you will get out of it, as it unravels bit by bit, leaving you with such a wonderful record that you’ll have to look hard to find faults.  It reaffirms that Spoon is one of (if not the only) the most consistent bands around, and Transference just adds to their list of quality records.

FT5: Modern Rock Stars

0115top5coverWe really live in a day and age when the idea of being a rock star is just about gone. Gone are the days of the lead singer who gets mobbed by fans everywhere they go or sleeps in hotel rooms full of strange women.  We don’t even get a lot of musicians with drug and alcohol problems anymore or who quite obviously don’t give a shit what anyone thinks.  You know, those people who were just way cooler than you ever hoped to be?  Dylan, Jagger, Plant, etc.  We all know the names.  That’s what makes them rock stars.  So today I wanted to create a list of those “modern rock stars” who have carried the torch of debauchery and coolness into a new age.  These guys (and gals) represent all the great things about being a rock star: alcohol/drug rehab stints, celebrity girlfriends, trend setting, don’t give a shit attitude, members of popular bands, and decent music all earn you a place on this list.  As a disclaimer I’ll say that all these artists rose to fame in the last decade so this means you won’t see a Dave Grohl or Eddie Vedder on this list because they have long been in the halls of the greats.  I’ll also make an attempt to compare each artist to who they most closely resemble from years past.  Please don’t assume that I’m comparing anyone artistically, I just wanted to give you a  frame of reference.  Follow the jump for the full list.

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New Tunes from JJ

jjphotoOur friends over at GvsB alerted us to a new tune that will be coming out on JJ‘s new album JJ n° 3, which hits stores March 9th via Secretly Canadian. Based on the adoration by all the blogs last year, this should be an album you’ll want to check out.  I can’t help but feel as if the harmonica changes their dynamic on this tune, but in a good way, I assure you.  Grab a listen.

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Download: JJ – Let Go [MP3]

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