Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Born Secular: Saint Etienne At Roskilde

Recently, I've been listening to a number of older artists, particularly in the "shoegaze" genre. Saint Etienne is hardly the latter, and unlike many of the more venerable bands, they're still releasing records. I was really taken with them from the opening beats of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," which is, bizarrely enough, a Neil Young cover. I suppose that if Deep Dish can introduce me to Fleetwood Mac, there's nothing wrong with infusing singer-songwriter-types with electropop. In any case, you can't fault the band for prettiness. This set was recorded at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark on June 30th, 2000.


1. Lose That Girl
2. Nothing Can Stop Us Now
3. Heart Failed (In The Back Of A Taxi)
4. Only Love Can Break Your Heart
5. People Get Real
6. Sylvie
7. Like A Motorway
8. How We Used To Live

Only Cash Can Empty You Wallet: Here

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Fire's What You Are: T&S At Fingerprints

Tegan and Sara, often affectionately abbreviated, are perhaps one of the most endearing musical duos, at least in my experience. They're twin sisters, and when their personalities come together in a live setting, it's a very entertaining dynamic. That's to say nothing of the music they make, from the early fiery folk-centric This Business of Art to the more recent, denser works on So Jealous . While the former will always have a special place in my musical heart, realistically, this newer set will probably be more recognizable, aside from the rare "This Is Everything," which was on their initial independent release Under Feet Like Ours. With apologies to Ted Gowans, Rob Chursinoff and Chris Carlson, this in-store performance is a rather intimate one, and mostly acoustic guitar (not to mention banter!)-based. It was recorded at Fingerprints in Long Beach, California on September 21st, 2004. Some obligatory non-album content follows. Oh, and if you really like what you hear, be sure to check out their relatively new DVD, It's Not Fun, Don't Do It!


1. Intro
2. You Wouldn't Like Me
3. Walking With A Ghost
4. I Know I Know I Know
5. We Didn't Do It
6. This Is Everything
7. Speak Slow
8. I Can't Take It (Sort-of)
9. Not Tonight
10. Where Does The Good Go?

Walking With A Ghost (The Rentals Remix)

Tegan and Sara vs. Mylo - Walking With A Ghost In Paris
(A mashup with Mylo's excellent "Paris Four Hundred," courtesy of Party Ben)

Business (of Art): Here

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Canadian Constellation: Stars On CBC

Thanks to Evan Sung for the photo.

Stars are yet another fantastic Canadian band tied to the seemingly ubiquitous Broken Social Scene collective. They've emerged with copious amounts of touring, including shows with fixtures Death Cab for Cutie and The Decemberists, and uniformly positive critical reception to become one of the premier indie groups out there. Hype aside, they really do write some of the prettiest pop songs ever. Check out singer Amy Millan's recent solo album and singer Torq Campbell's other band, Memphis, as well as the general BSS stuff, for more Stars-goodness. I'm not sure about the date of the set, but it's clearly Heart-era Stars, recorded on CBC Radio. A few of the remixes and b-sides that you love so dearly follow.


1. The Comeback
2. Heart
3. Le Petite Mort
4. Romantic Comedy
5. Elevator Love Letter

Ageless Beauty (The Most Serene Republic Mix)
Fairytale of New York
Le Petite Mort
What The Snowman Learned About Love (Montag Remix)

Buy Yourself Online: Here

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mailbag: The Postal Service On KCRW

The Postal Service are perhaps the epitome of "indietronica," blending Ben Gibbard's (Death Cab for Cutie) yearning indie romanticism and Jimmy Tamborello's (Dntel, James Figurine) playful electro-instrumentals. It's a fantastic union, as evidenced by the sublime single "Such Great Heights." Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) provides backup vocals on the album and in this set, recorded on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic on May 6th, 2003.


1. Intro
2. The District Sleeps Alone Tonight
3. We Will Become Silhouettes
4. Nothing Better
5. Interview
6. Clark Gable
7. This Place Is A Prison
8. Such Great Heights
9. Brand New Colony (Take 1)
10. Brand New Colony (Take 2)

Give Up: Here
More Sub Pop Goodies: Here
Stream The Set's Video: Here

Thursday, August 17, 2006

New York City Cops: Interpol Live

Interpol holds a special place in my musical heart. Perhaps it's because I'm about to head off to New York University, where the band formed. Perhaps it's because they have a song named "Roland." In any case, the group does a fantastic job, even if they're incessantly pigeonholed as "new wave revivalists" or somesuch. Reportedly, they've just signed to major labelness, whatever that means these days. Hopefully, an album will be forthcoming next year. In the mean time, here's a set they did at the KROQ Weenie Roast on May 21st, 2005. Following is the awesome b-side "Specialist," and the new track "Direction," as well as a number of interesting remixes. Britt Daniel is the frontman for Spoon, Dan the Automator has produced albums for Gorillaz and Head Automatica (members of Eisley contributed to the track "Dance Party Plus"), and Interpol did a remix of Ladytron's Blue Jeans (perhaps because both bands share a song title in "Evil").


1. Next Exit
2. Slow Hands
3. Say Hello To The Angels
4. Narc
5. Leif Erikson
6. C'mere
7. Obstacle 1
8. Evil
9. PDA

Obstacle 1 (Arthur Bakers Return To New York Remix)
Slow Hands (Britt Daniel Remix)
Slow Hands (Dan the Automator Remix)

Ladytron - Blue Jeans (Interpol Remix)

Turn On The Credit Card: Here

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Interlude: I Turn My Camera On...the Ottawa Bluesfest

The main stage

As unproductive as July (and half of August) was blog-wise, it did not go entirely to waste. Believe it or not, this was my first proper concert, or succession of concerts. The Ottawa Bluesfest is an annual event held in July, spanning two weeks, on what is more or less the lawn of City Hall. It's a fantastic time, and if you're in the area, I'd highly recommend attending. Despite its name, there is a variety of indie (and often Canadian, naturally) rock acts, along with some uncompelling mainstream pop. I was only able to catch the last two days of the festival, agonizingly missing out on Metric. Nonetheless, I did see a number of enjoyable bands. Here are the obligatory blurry pictures, in chronological order. Enjoy!

July 15th, 2006

The M's

The New Amsterdams


July 16th, 2006



The New Pornographers

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