Show Preview: Operators @ 3Ten Tonight!

Blue Wave was one of our favorite records of 2016. Radiant Dawn is well on its way to getting the plays from all of us at ATH to make the top albums of 2019. Operators is Dan Boeckman’s currently active project; Dan is a very nice person to meet and talk to about music and all the other things. Devojka, Sam Brown, and Dustin Hawthorne make things whole and this band puts out an amazing level of jam live. I am salivating at hearing them fill the speakers at 3Ten. Get tickets here or at the door, a sample below from the previous tour of one of my favorite jams.

Have To Share New Operators

Yeah so I’m a bit late on this news, but when it comes to I band I love like Operators, the news will be coming at ya no matter the timeliness. On Friday Mr. Boeckner and his band released this incredible new single called “I Feel Emotion”. The song has somehow managed to combine the driving qualities of a Springsteen song with the electronic/synth sounds from the 80s new wave movement. Basically, I love it and you should to.

Operators will release new album Radiant Dawn on May 17th. Pre-orders are live now.

Preoccupations Strike Again!

unnamed-58Are you properly exited for the upcoming, self titled LP from Preoccupations? No? Well, this new 11 minute track from the band is bound to make that happen. “Memory” is a sprawling, seemingly endless number that features the brilliance of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner. This track feels like it’s a center cut of the upcoming album, as it spans in a few different directions. First it starts with that post-punk growl that we’ve come to know with Preoccupations, but this time around it feels a bit lighter and poppier. As the song progresses, those guitars wind their way through the song and the backing “oohs” sound like ghostly wails before the band transitions into the next sound scape. Take a listen and then go preorder the album, which is out September 16th, right here via Jagjaguwar Records.

More From Operators

unnamed-13-1At this point in his career, Dan Boeckner can really do no wrong in my mind. Regardless of how is making music or who with, he continues to churn out hit after hit. Today I’ve got another new track called “Blue Wave” under the Operators band name. As I mentioned previously, this is truly some great music that could easily rival his early work with Handsom furs. Carry on friend.

Operators will releaseBlue Waveon April 1st via Last Gang Records.

Operators Kill It

unnamed (13)I’m realizing as I type this that several big sites posted this song yesterday, but if you’re like me and sort of anti huge music websites, well maybe you haven’t heard this yet. So Operators is the current project of Dan Boeckner who many of you know from his glorious days in Wolf Parade and his later projects with Handsome Furs and Divine Fits. Basically the guy churns out hit after hit regardless of the current name or project he’s going with. Today we have yet another gem to add to Boeckner’s hit machine with this new song “Cold Light”. As a straight shooter and a guy who is sometimes too honest, I mean it when I say that this is some of the best sounding music I’ve heard from Boeckner since his days in Wolf Parade. Count me in.

Operators debut album entitledBlue Wave will come out on April 1st via Last Gang Records.

Operators

640I’m not sure how we have yet to report on this, but better late than never they say right?  Operators is the current project of Dan Boeckner who many of us know for his time in Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs, Divine Fits, and a slew of other projects.  When the man makes music, the world needs to pay attention.  The new group just released a new EP about a month ago (purchase here) and today we’re getting a listen to brand new single “Start Again”.  Get ready for the dance floor.

Show Review: Divine Fits @ Beerland (8/1)

Supergroup? I guess to many of us, Divine Fits would qualify.

Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs, Sam Brown of New Bomb Turks and that one guy in Spoon. To get things going after holing up and recording the pending A Thing Called Divine Fits due 8/28, the band decided to do a home town tour hitting Austin, Montreal and Columbus. Austin got to be first, a sneaky show a Continental Club preceded this one. But this was the first night they officially played a show.

Beerland got to host, The Young got to open.

Read more

Handsome Furs – Sound Kapital

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Electronically driven, but vocally backed, is what Handsome Furs have shown us their sound consists of on their past two full-length records. It seems on Sound Kapital, they chose to put an even larger strain on the electronic elements of each song, nixing the guitar somewhat completely. Although an interesting choice, this heavy electronic sound is one that works stylistically for Dan Boeckner and his wife, and follow member, Alexei Perry.

This album starts out somewhat misleading on “When I Get Back.” Sure, there is the lovable drawl of vocals, but there is also this backing dub-esque beat that throws the number off a tad bit. Despite this underwhelming start, Handsome Furs progress as the album moves along. After the pace increases on “Damage,” they follow with “Bury Me Standing,” which is the first real standout track, complete with raging synthesizers, a hint of electric guitar and quickly iterated lyrics. Here, you also have the introduction of a mechanical feeling emoted from the songs. The repeated lyrics turn into a motif, feeling similar to a machine doing the same thing over and over.

This proves to be a bit of a double edged sword for this band. For some, this may prove to be simply too much because of the doubly repetitive base in synth. However, others may be allured by the gripping intensity of Boeckner’s vocals that Handsome Furs has not previously been known for, as exemplified on the power double of “What About Us,” and “Repatriated.” As I mentioned before, it seems like as this album moves along, the songs get better and better, and these two are no exception; they don’t contain the redundancy that the earlier tracks seem to have. Or perhaps the band’s sound just grows on you with more exposure.

But the most impressive song for me comes at the very end with the seven-minute stunner that is “No Feelings.” The exact opposite of its namesake, this song is packed with head bob inducing beats, but is also driven intensely by the power of Boeckner’s vocals. He successfully takes over the song, as opposed to letting the electronic aspects have the lead, and it does not feel longer than any of the other songs on Sound Kapital because it is so enjoyable. The track itself ends with the repetition of “no feeling” over and over, contributing to the overall theme of the growth of industrial behavior, in the most careful way possible.

With the large focus on electronic beats, I was pleasantly surprised with this album. The prevalence of Boeckner’s vocals draw away from heavy synth, creating nostalgia for those who love his power in his other works, and furnishing a new love for those who haven’t delved into his catalog.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/07_Repatriated.mp3]

Download: Handsome Furs – Repatriated [MP3]

New Music from Handsome Furs

As reported earlier today (via P4K) there is a new record coming out from Handsome Furs, yet another side-project from one of the key members of Wolf Parade.  This one’s definitely one of the finer pieces the duo have put together, with the focusing revolving around electronic beats and Dan’s voice, which sounds really strong and polished, for him at least, on this outing.  You’ll be able to get this electronica-influenced record titled Sound Kapital on June 28th from the good people over at Sub Pop Records.  Listening to this track, sounds like this could be the most focused work the duo has compiled, leaving us as excited as ever for their work.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Handsome_Furs_-_What_About_Us.mp3]

Download: Handsome Furs – What About Us [MP3]

Handsome Furs – Face Control

furs

Rating: ★★★ · ·

Dan Boeckner and his wife/girlfriend/whatever, Alexei Perry are releasing their second album, Face Control, on Sub Pop Records under the Handsome Furs moniker.  The first outing had a lot of interesting moments, carried mostly by Boeckner’s voice.  Interestingly enough, you don’t find the band breaking new ground with their latest release.

The instant the album kicks off with “Legal Tender” one will immediately note that the beats on this round are a lot more prevalent than on the last outing.  That’s not to say that Dan doesn’t throw in some slicing guitar licks, as he surely does so on this track, but they seem merely as extra moments.  It’s as if the beats support the entire infrastructure of the songs, while the guitar seems to be an afterthought.

Still, one has to question whether or not this is enough to carry an entire album’s worth of songs.  Answering this question will more than likely divide a lot of people, as the better tracks coming from this album, such as “Talking Hotel Arbat Blues” or “All We Want, Baby, Is Everything,” are really fantastic, displaying how some of the more thought out moments on the album can rise above the simplistic formula.

And yes, there is Boeckner’s phenomenal voice.  As part of Wolf Parade, he’s pushed his voice to the limits, sometimes letting his voice curl into a bit of a yelp.  This is not so on the Handsome Furs work, where we find him restraining himself quite a bit, allowing for the vocals to pull out every ounce of emotion from both his voice and the listener. Clearly the power of his voice is capable of serving as the backbone of an entire album, but probably not as the sole focus of said album.

“I’m Confused,” for instance, relies upon Dan entirely, using his voice to carry the entirety of the song until his guitar work angularly cuts through the background of the song.  It’s an interesting sound, but it fails in the fact that it comes across as if the whole song was just merely a momentary thought; it has no flesh or filling.  This is not what one asks for in such cases.  Sadly, this is the feeling a lot of listeners will be left with when listening to this album all the way through, time and time again.  There are moments when you can’t help but to be taken aback by the songs, but other moments exist when you might ask for a bit of density to the songs, a little exaggeration if you will.

You’ll come to the end finding that you’ve enjoyed the album as a whole, most notably for previously mentioned tracks, but you won’t find yourself dying to listen to it over and over again, only asking yourself questions about whether the band could have done more to fill some of the blank space that stands motionless throughout the album.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/03-talking-hotel-arbat-blues.mp3]

Download: Handsome Furs – Talking Hotel Arbat Blues [MP3]