Show Review: Destroyer @ The Mohawk (9/24)

DestroyerWednesday night was a packed evening, with tons going on in Austin. But, I know I’ll see Thee Oh Sees at least four more times this year, minimum, so I went with my heart and something a little more rare, Destroyer. Not only that, but we got an extra special treat, as flight delays for Jennifer Castle meant we were treated to an Austin great, Thor Harris & Friends. Read on for some brief thoughts and Brian’s photos.

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Show Preview: Destroyer @ Mohawk (Tonight)

D700 Destroyer 156

Location Mohawk
Doors 6:30 PM
Tickets $20 from TE

Perhaps the greatest thing to come out of the New Pornographers explosion (in my opinion) is the mass discovery of Dan Bejar. Now, I don’t want to take away from the rest of the group, but Dan, under his Destroyer moniker, has by and far exceeded my expectations. Everything he releases is ultimately interesting, and this year’s Posion Season is a must have in any modern indie record collection. And live, he’s something else. He’s one of those characters you can’t peel your eyes away from, leaving you emotionally invested in every musical note. Jennifer Castle will open the show early, so show up to support the support.

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Are You As Excited As You Should Be For The New Destroyer Album?

destroyer_band_print_41No? You’re not? What the fuck is wrong with you? I guess you haven’t heard “Dream Lover,” but it’s alright, because I’ve got you covered with another single from Destroyer’s Poison Season, which is coming out soon on August 28th via Merge Records. “Times Square,” gives you classic Dan Bejar– swirling lyrics and storytelling around his blend of orchestral rock. His signature drunken poet delivery is there and prominent and the word on the street is that this new album is going to be killer. Take a listen and get properly excited. Preorder it here. 


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What Can’t Destroyer Do?

dan-bejarI mean really? Over the years, we’ve heard Dan Bejar’s Destroyer go several different musical directions, and with “Dream Lover,” we get a step in the dream rock direction. Judging from the 8 times I’ve played this song since I first heard it, it’s a step in the right direction. This song is huge from the start, and then somehow gets even bigger with its horns-a-blazing finish. Bejar dreams of being lovers on the run, and the breezy music seems to capture this free spirited dream. Such is the perfect track to get you stoked for his upcoming album, Poison Season, which is out August 28th via Merge Records here in the States. August can’t come soon enough.

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Something Different from Language of Shapes

languageI was searching for something different today, something that wasn’t your typical indie blog track, so I’m happy I stumbled upon this tune from Language of Shapes.  The song has this pirate shanty folk aspect, similar to some of the early Cult of Youth albums.  But, the vocals have this odd recording effect in play, which creates a warble that resembles Dan from Destroyer; it all leaves you with a spectacular song begging to go back and discover exactly why you fell in love with it. You’ll be able to hear more such tunes when the band release their ThunderKryst EP, coming later this Spring.

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Show Preview: Destroyer @ The Belmont (11.19)


Date Tuesday, November 19th
Location The Belmont
Doors 7:00 PM
Tickets $15 from Ticketfly

Next week we will be gifted the pleasure of a new album from Dan Bejar, the man behind Destroyer.  Well, it’s Five Spanish Songs, so you won’t likely get an entire album’s worth of new material, but five songs alone is enough.  He’ll likely be bringing those tunes to Austin on Tuesday night, which makes sense considering four of the tracks are sung entirely in Spanish, our honorary secondary language.  You won’t want to miss the show, regardless, as Dan’s such a talented performer that it makes it difficult to take your eyes off him.  He’ll be joined by the always entertaining John Wesley Coleman, so you can grab a bit of local flavor while you’re at it.  See you there? Sounds good to me.


Download: Destroyer – Chinatown [MP3]

Show Preview: Destroyer @ The Mohawk (3/25)

Date Friday, March 25th
Location Mohawk
Doors 800p
Tickets $12 from Transmission

What? You didn’t get enough good music from SXSW?  Good, because we’ve got one great bill laying in wait for you over at Mohawk this Friday.  First, you’ll get the quirky pop wonderment of Destroyer, or Dan Bejar if you like.  For his voice alone you should attend this show, nevermind the amazing song arrangements he’s managed to put together over the years.  Also, you’ll get one of our new favorites, War on Drugs, who craft really quiet, atmospheric numbers seemingly filled with secret messages.  This show could be out of this world, and we hope that you’ll head out to the Mohawk to meet up with us.  Both bands are guaranteed to be worth your time.


Download: Destroyer – Chinatown [MP3]

Destroyer – Kaputt

Rating: ★★★★☆

When thinking about Destroyer, one might envision the older drunkard who mumbles brilliant things under his breath. While Dan Bejar may or may not be drunk when he writes the songs for his albums, it is still obvious that he writes vaguely brilliant songs, often coupled with a variety of different musical accompaniments, which vary depending on the album. On Kaputt, it seems that Mr. Bejar has chosen to go the way of jazz, along with 80’s pop elements that put a new spin on his coded lyrics. 

 At the opening noises of “Chinatown,” it’s possible to think that perhaps you put a different CD into the player, due to the presence of saxophone and tambourine, but when the familiar guitar strumming is heard and Bejar begins his craft, you know you’re in the right place. The smooth jazz beat in the background mixes with voices, creating a hazy fog where Destroyer lives. It’s foggy enough so that you can see everything right away, but clear enough to understand and enjoy. Slowly, that irresistible beat pulls at the muscles in your feet and makes them tap, and you have been hypnotized by Kaputt.

I could go through the list of songs on this album and tell you of the brilliance in each and every single one, but that would spoil the fun for you. I will however tell you that along with this new jazzy sound, there are some other new aspects to the album, such as the presence of feminine vocals. No, Bejar does not climb to falsetto, but rather hires the vocal talent of Sibel Thrasher, who can be heard on almost every track. Whether it is a big part, or a tiny one, she adds another dimension to Destroyer—as if they needed more complexity. On “Kaputt”, she blends in with the lead vocals and disco beats, giving the impression that the narrator is an ambiguous figure, not just one man preaching to you about the delicate intricacies of life. At one point in the song, Bejar remarks that “it all sounds like a dream,” which sums up the lyrics, as well as the smooth music that becomes Kaputt, all swirling around in your head.

With this new spin on his wit, Destroyer’s choice to incorporate a different sound with their classic style contributes to the catalog of albums. It does not hinder the witty lyrics, nor does it take away from the intricacy that the group does so well. Bejar and company continue their path of wowing their audience with their sacred knowledge of changing just enough to keep their style fresh, but not too much where they have become unrecognizable.

If you’ve been a Destroyer fan since their origin in 1995, or this is your first experience with the group, the waves of cryptic lyrics will wash over you, leaving each person with your own spin on the meaning of his words, just like every well written album should.


Download: Destroyer – Chinatown [MP3]

New Music From Destroyer

News is spreading on the interwebs today of a new LP from Dan Bejar and his band known as Destroyer.  The new album, Kaputt, is set to be released on January 25th via Merge records.  Until that date, we’ve got new track “Chinatown” below to tide you over.  If this song is any indication to the new album’s sound, I think we’ll all be jamming this one long into 2011.


Download: Destroyer – Chinatown [MP3]

Free Merge Spring Sampler

It’s that time of year again for all of us to begin reflecting on the first third of our year in the music world.  Merge has of course released some stellar albums in these first 4 months of 2010 and they’re celebrating that with a free 14 track digital sampler.  Awesome songs from She & Him, Destroyer, Let’s Wrestle, and tons of others are including.  The Sampler is currently available for free download via Amazon.  This also gives me another excuse to post up one of my favorite songs of the year from Merge band Wye Oak.


Download: Wye Oak – I Hope You Die [MP3]

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