Monday, April 30, 2007

Francophilia: Daft Punk at Coachella

We close out a week of Coachella goodness - and April, for that matter - with the set from last year. While this mere recording of Daft Punk's set pales in comparison to what must have been an incredible experience, there's definitely enough going on to differentiate it from their album material. While the mashup has been elevated to an art form in its own right, there's some particularly awesome about cutting and pasting your own material. Daft Punk plays at Keyspan Park on August 9th.


1. Intro
2. (Close Encounters)
3. (It Begins!)
4. Robot Rock
5. Technologic
6. Television Rules The Nation
7. Too Long
8. Steam Machine
9. Around The World / Harder, Faster, Better, Stronger
10. Too Long
11. Face To Face
12. Aerodynamic / One More Time
13. The Prime Time of Your Life
14. Da Funk
15. Superheroes
16. Human After All
17. Outro

Use It: Here

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Positive Tension: Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Coachella

In that dim haze of childhood radio consumption, my impression of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs remains surprisingly clear. Although the song in question, "Maps," isn't really reflective of the band's first mess of a record, Fever To Tell, its poignancy seems a bit more spread out in their sophomore release, Show Your Bones. I'm still not sure if that's a good thing. Granted, I was never a huge fan, but the immediacy and DIY-ness of earlier works was, if not cathartic, at least refreshing. In a live setting, the band straddles the line between old and new, between abrasion and vulnerability, and it's interesting to hear how these styles mix. This recording's from April 30th, 2006.


1. Cheated Hearts
2. Black Tongue
3. Fancy
4. Honeybear
5. Pin
6. Gold Lion
7. Phenomena
8. Art Star
9. Turn Into
10. Maps
11. Warrior
12. Y Control

Altogether: Here

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blindhouse: Bright Eyes at Coachella

I remember becoming pretty incensed after reading AMG's review of 2005's pair of Bright Eyes albums. There's a fine line between negative criticism and senseless mud-flinging, and I'm still inclined to believe that the line was crossed. But what I didn't realize at the time was what a polarizing figure Conor Oberst is, and I suppose I was so awash in media praise that I kind of took his alleged greatness for granted. So, after somewhat objective listens, I've found him to be merely okay; I'm actually far more fond of some of his collaborators.

Anyhow, the trend continues in his May 2nd, 2005 appearance, which features Gretta Cohn, formerly of Cursive, and Nick Zinner from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (perhaps a sign of things to come...).


1. Don't Know When But A Day Is Gonna Come
2. Another Travelin' Song
3. Old Soul Song
4. Neely O'Hara / Lover I Don't Have To Love
5. Bowl of Oranges
6. The Calender Hung Itself
7. Road To Joy
8. Lua

Going For The Gold: Here

Interlude: Boys and Girls in America


We take a break from the blazing Indio Valley for a quick retreat into the relatively temperate, if recently damp, Washington Square Park South. Many thanks to the Program Board for putting together another great show, to the bands that performed, and to the DJ for playing so many female-fronted rock bands (and air drumming).

Michael Jordan

This was...different: loud, dissonant, abrasive noise from a quintet of NYU'ers. As my friend remarked the bass and (dual) drumming wasn't bad, but the frenzied guitar, squeaky violin, and mildly irritating vocals made for the most painful set I've ever experienced. Stylistic incompatibility aside, they did kick off a high energy night with a very dynamic stage presence, and deserve an "A" for effort. If your ears are made of sterner stuff than mine, click below.

MySpace: Michael Jordan

The Thermals

The Thermals
took no prisoners in a roaring set that matched their openers in volume, but surpasses most of their peers in content. Their most recent work, The Body, The Blood, The Machine, is an intensely political album, and that social frustration was definitely conveyed through Hutch Harris' commanding voice. While their set resembled one long rallying cry, with one short, crunchy songs transitioning to another, the intensity level didn't ebb. And then there was the stage diving, which really picked up with "Here's Your Future," and continued throughout. The only minor flaw was a short break due to some technical difficulties, but once that was resolved, the band rocked onwards.

Check out a feature on the Thermals in Washington Square News. (Represent!)

MP3: The Thermals - A Pillar of Salt
Buy: Here
Official Site: The Thermals

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady's frontman Craig Finn is a swell guy, but to say that he's an acquired taste is a bit of an understatement. His modus operandi is akin to spoken word, and this unconventional delivery is probably the greatest obstacle towards appreciating the group as a whole. While I'm not sold on it - I think that some of the most effective moments were when he dipped into a more straightforward croon - but there were lines that were legitimately poetic, as on the opener "Positive Jam." He stalked the stage like a demagogue, often throwing his arms out or moving away from the mic and repeating a line, and while he's not your usual frontman, he was very involved. The performance also dispelled any notion that the band's merely about booze, as political issues and surprisingly touching anecdotes mixed with the odes to alcohol.

While my focus was on Finn, the rest of the band wasn't bad. It was pretty straight-up rock, although they'd occasionally chip in to a chorus (such as on "Southtown Girls") or a highlight a guitar solo courtesy of Tad Kubler. The crowd helped things along, participating in particularly anthemic shouts, waving, jumping, and generally doing what crowds do. Although Finn's vocals lacked the bite of the Thermals, stage diving remained very much en vogue, and it seemed to propel both the band and the audience to greater heights.

Towards the tail of the show, a couple events of note occurred. Guitarist Kubler was pretty adventurous, first climbing up on the column of speakers and later doing some crowd surfing of his own (see below). But what really struck me was the last thing Finn said, about how much of a joy it was to play, and to share that joy with us. While I wasn't enraptured by the show, I can understand that sentiment completely. Rock on!

Here's the Hold Steady at Schubas in Chicago on March 12th, 2004. Enjoy:

1. Positive Jam
2. The Swish
3. Hostile, Mass,
4. Most People Are DJs
5. Knuckles
6. Certain Songs
7. Barfruit Blues
8. Milkcrate Mosh
9. Killer Parties

MP3: The Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations

Buy: Here
Official Site: The Hold Steady

Friday, April 27, 2007

Nightsongs: Massive Attack at Coachella

(via Flickr)

It's late, probably too late to be doing this. But in many ways, now is the perfect time to be immersed in Massive Attack's nocturnal sounds. Ideally, they'd soundtrack every insomniac's existence, because the group doesn't merely convey a sense of darkness; they embrace it. This recording from April 20th, 2006 is particularly downtempo, as the band seems to have stripped things down in the sultry California dusk. The understandably Mezzanine-heavy set is pretty reflective of where the band is now, and hopefully their next album, Weather Underground, will come sooner rather than later.


1. Intro
2. False Flags
3. Risingson
4. Man Next Door
5. Future Proof
6. Karmacoma
7. Teardrop
8. Angel
9. Safe From Harm
10. Inertia Creeps
11. Unfinished Sympathy
12. Group Four

I Want You: Here

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Books: Belle and Sebastian at Coachella

In a very short period of time, Scotland has become a source of some my favorite bands. While Belle and Sebastian fall into the former nationality, they unfortunately lack the latter classification. Despite their preeminent status as twee group extraordinaire, my experiences have been unremarkable, although that's probably due to my own lack of effort. I'm sorry to say that the most intriguing thing I've heard about the band to date is that members of Múm appear on the cover of one of their albums.

Thus, another reason I'm thankful for the existence of live sets is that they provide an opportunity to experience the band in a unique way, perhaps one that's more accessible than a studio cut. Again, some personality leaks through, and much like their pleasant, unassuming music, the band seems like a genuinely happy bunch, although the subject matter of their songs isn't always sunny. This show dates back to May 2nd, 2004.


1. I Fought In A War
2. Step Into My Office, Baby
3. The Model
4. Judy and the Dream of Horses
5. You Don't Send Me
6. The Stars of Track and Field
7. If You Find Yourself Caught In Love
8. Roy Walker
9. Stay Looser
10. Sleep The Clock Around

Asleep On A Train: Here

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

In Memoriam: Sleater-Kinney at Coachella

My first taste of Sleater-Kinney wasn't particularly sweet. Abrasive, discordant guitar and screechy, if fiery, female vocals did little for my inner (not to mention outer) pop fan. But as the months passed, I think my view of the group has become a little more sophistication, despite the fact that they don't occupy the swoon-inducing pedestal of various other groups. While respect isn't the best substitute for adoration, they're definitely deserving of it, with a longevity that is unprecedented for any band, punky or otherwise. Of course, this all came to an end last summer, as the band announced that dreaded "indefinite hiatus."

Thus, this set is a fitting tribute of sorts. Recorded on April 30th, 2006, it's one of S-K's last shows, and despite my general ignorance, I think it's safe to say that the band has rarely sounded better. In addition, the sprinkling of dialogue, particular the bit involving Madonna, further enforces how down-to-earth, how downright likeable, the band is. While I have yet to undertake a focused overview of their discography, this recording makes a very good case for doing just that.


1. What's Mine Is Yours
2. Jumpers
3. Rollercoaster
4. Sympathy
5. Oh!
6. The Fox
7. Banter
8. Get Up
9. Modern Girl
10. Step Aside
11. Let's Call It Love / Entertain

What's Yours Is Mine: Here

Monday, April 23, 2007

Redox: The Chemical Brothers at Coachella

And the countdown begins.

Coachella is this upcoming weekend, and although I won't be attending, I'll do my darnedest to be a part of the festivities. Although nothing beats physically seeing a band, there's always a bunch of excellent recordings that emerge. So over this next week, I'm going to post the various sets that I've stumbled across, and hopefully by doing so, you'll be introduced to an interesting new band, or be reminded again why you like an old favorite.

The Chemical Brothers are definitely one of the larger electronica acts, and it's pretty apparent from this set that they can transmute their impressive discography into a live setting. The Brothers
are valley veterans at this point, having appeared four times, with this being the most recent one, recorded on April 30th, 2005.


Disc 1
1. Intro
2. Hey Boy Hey Girl
3. Get Yourself High
4. The Big Jump
5. Galvanize
Music: Response
7. Block Rockin' Beats
8. Come Inside
9. Under The Influence
10. It Doesn't Matter
11. Out of Control
12. Temptation
13. Star Guitar

Disc 2
1. Interlude
2. The Boxer
3. Hoops
4. Surface To Air
5. Believe
6. Electronic Battle Weapon #7 (Acid Children)
7. The Golden Path
8. Interlude
9. The Private Psychedelic Reel

Surrender: Here

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Interlude: Repetition Makes An Impression

April 19th, 2007

Hot Chip is one of the few bands that I've really enjoyed, but for some reason or another, haven't blogged about. I guess I didn't really get into this until after seeing all the praise for The Warning on various year-end lists, although I hadn't really contemplated attending until realizing a few days prior to the show that tickets were still available. I'm unsure if this show sold out (the Friday one did, quickly), but serious thanks to Tanmay of Musicality for picking up tickets online for us. Also, check out more coverage of the event at Sound Bites.


San Francisco's Tussle opened up. The band had two drummers, a bassist/keyboardist, and a guy in the back doing programming. It wasn't an accident that the drummers set up in front, as the whole set was percussion driven, which was definitely fine by me. Meanwhile, very nice bass lines and abstract vocal samples and other electronic effects provided some variation. I was pretty awed by how this all synced up, and while it was somewhat repetitive - the theme of the night - I was very impressed by the end of the set.

MP3: Tussle - Here It Comes (Kling Klang Excerpt)
MP3: Tussle - Eye Contact (Kling Klang Excerpt)
MP3: Tussle - Disco D'oro Munk Remix (Rong 12'')
MP3: Tussle - I'm An Indian Too (Rong 12'')
Official Site: Tussle

Hot Chip

Hot Chip have a very refreshing take on electronic music. As with my last synth-driven show at Webster Hall, everything was organic and played live, and although "live" is somewhat subjective when you're talking about four synths and a drum machine, the band incorporated many other instruments. From the onset, the bass was gigantic, perhaps a little much so, but it really added some immediacy. Unfortunately, I'm not really familiar with their pre-Warning material, and the setlist omitted some of my favorites, namely "Careful" and "Colours."

Still, the songs that I did recognize were given new forms, often taking choruses to their breaking points; "No Fit State" was a great example of this, with its militant title line twisted around a variety of airier lines. Again, somewhat repetitious, but the band maintained great energy, often headbanging alongside a significant portion of the crowd. The two primary vocalists were also their excellent, mellow selves, and even in the midst of frantic energy, they delivered their somewhat melancholy, distinctly British, and still very appealing vocals with ease.

And, of course, everything went insane with "Over and Over." You could feel the anticipation when the band started repeating a leisurely "Laaaid back," which exploded as the songs hit its chorus. I have to admit that I joined in with the gymnastics, along with what seemed like most of the crowd. The floor had been bouncing pretty much all night, but things really got out of hand. With this peak, the band headed off for the encore break, and while things slowed down when they returned, eventually concluding with downright tranquility. And with those last longing lines, Hot Chip confirmed that they just a bunch of romantics, albeit with a lot more bounce than your average heart-on-sleever.

MySpace: Hot Chip
Official Site: Hot Chip

Friday, April 20, 2007

Interview: CocoRosie

CocoRosie has come a long way from the bathtub.

The duo, made up of sisters Bianca and Sierra Casady, had very turbulent childhoods. Their Cherokee father moved them from reservation to reservation, teaching at various Steiner Waldorf schools, and their mother, also a teacher and an artist, moved from state to state.

Bianca eventually pursued the visual arts, studied linguistics and sociology, and attended “Kill Whitey” parties in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, Sierra, who changed boarding schools frequently from the age of 13, eventually moved to Paris to study opera at the Paris Conservatory. In 2003, Bianca left Brooklyn to explore the world, inexplicably finding herself at Sierra’s doorstep, and the two were united after ten years of separation.

This chance encounter led to impromptu recording sessions in Sierra’s Paris apartment. The two chose the most isolated and acoustically suitable room in the house – the bathroom – in which they recorded over the next two months.

These recordings circulated amongst their friends, eventually making it into the hands of Touch and Go Records, which signed the band and issued their 2004 debut album, “La Maison De Mon Rêve” (French for “the house of my dream”).

For a duo that never contemplated being signed – Bianca has not even had formal musical training – their success is perhaps reflective of the shift towards independence in the music industry.

“I don’t know anything about the music industry ten years ago, but it seems that [now] in all industries people are attaining the technology they need to produce things by themselves. It would have been hard for Billie Holiday to record an album in her bedroom,” says Bianca Casady.

The comparison is particularly apt, as Bianca’s vocals are reminiscent of Holiday’s earthy delivery, providing a sharp disparity to Sierra’s classically-trained soprano.

But CocoRosie’s sound defies attempts at classification, as their idiosyncratic methodology includes sound effects from children’s pull-string toys, beat boxing courtesy of Parisian vocalist Spleen and sampling, alongside traditional instruments such as guitar and harp.

Before finalizing the deal, Touch and Go requested that CocoRosie perform live in front of the label’s management, something they had never done before. But after a week of whirlwind rehearsals, the sisters gave a strong performance, and they have been touring frequently ever since.

Perhaps as a result of their diverse childhoods, the two have adapted readily to playing in a variety of regions.

“It’s not so different when you get on stage. In Brazil the people sing and dance with us. In Italy they talk. In Germany their mouths are wide open. Europe is smoky,” says Casady.

Their sophomore release, 2005’s “Noah’s Ark,” was mainly written on the road, and includes guest appearances from Devendra Banhart and Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons).

Despite these artistic connections to the “freak folk” movement, as well as a permanent residence in the Brooklyn, an incubator independent music, the sisters remain outsiders.

“We love this little farm on the south of France. It’s the only place we feel home. We don’t feel attached to any scene,” says Casady.

They decided to return to France during the recording process of their most recent album, “The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn,” which Casady describes cryptically as “more mud and wind and worms.” Along with gathering vocal samples from an old horse, the two also explored family cemeteries in the French countryside during the creative process.

“The lyrics took a very personal journey. We wrote and recorded at night, alone,” says Casady.

They mixed and mastered the disc in the surreal country of Iceland, whose cultural icons of elves and fairies seem to conform to CocoRosie’s subject matter.

Although past lyrics are often inscrutable, such as “All of the aborted babies will turn into little Bambies” (from “K-Hole”), the new album is not devoid of more explicit allusions. “Japan” contains the line, “Everybody wants to go to Iraq/But once you go there, you don't come back…We may have our freedom but we’re still on crack.” Spirituality pervades the album, and Sierra’s vocals are often reminiscent of gospel.

Ultimately, music has been a unifying force for the Sierra and Bianca, and they have remained “inseparable” after the formation of CocoRosie.

“[Our relationship]’s gotten better, like a good bottle of wine,” says Casady

Bianca has also founded her own label, called Voodo-EROS, which distributed the “soft metal” group Metallic Falcons, which consists Sierra and Matteah Baim as members. Bianca also opened an art gallery and performance space on 123 Ludlow Street, dubbed the Voodoo Eros Museum of Nice Items, which recently featured her artwork.

Bianca’s artwork mirrors the bizarre, childish qualities of CocoRosie’s music. She created the cover art to “Noah’s Ark,” which features doodles of a zebra, horse and unicorn, quite possibly in copulation. Splotches of magenta watercolor form the clouds, and an abstract wash of green ink becomes a meadow.

Despite a great personal investment in all forms of art, Bianca’s views regarding distribution remain quite liberal.

“I think file sharing is fine. [Recorded] material is dead. Live music will never go out of fashion,” says Casady.

This forward way of thinking is indicative the vibrant way the group views art, and life in general.

“We leave it all a mystery until in happens. I can't imagine tomorrow,” says Casady.


Thanks to Bianca and Miranda from Touch and Go Records for setting this up. As mentioned many, many times, CocoRosie plays at the Warsaw tonight (my tickets have been taken, sorry!).

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Interlude: Free To Stay

My grandpa passed away today, and I'm going to be flying down for the service over the weekend. Unfortunately, I now have tickets to two upcoming shows that I won't be going to, and it would be a shame if they went to waste. So, if you're in the area and are interested in either show, email or IM me and we can arrange something.

I have two tickets for CocoRosie's show tomorrow night at the Warsaw; doors are at 8 pm.

MP3: CocoRosie - Rainbowarriors
MP3: CocoRosie - Werewolf

I have one ticket for Emilie Simon's show at Joe's Pub on Sunday; doors are at 11 am.

MP3: Emilie Simon - Flowers (Live)
MP3: Emilie Simon - Joe's Pub Interview

The Week That Was #13: Catalyst

A fair amount of turnover this week near the bottom, along with bands that I recently saw, or aspired to see. Here are some of those new (and old) discoveries, enjoy.

I've realized that I really, really like Bowery Electric. Their last album, Lushlife, blends some of my favorite elements of trip-hop, singer-songwriting, and downtempo, making it a nocturnal work on par with, in my humble opinion, Endtroducing. Their past work, while very well done, relegates singer Martha Schwendener's vocals to the background, which is a shame. But on this track, it really works, and it's one of the most spectacular examples of "tripgaze" that I've ever heard.

MP3: Bowery Electric - Fear of Flying
Buy: Here

Telefon Tel Aviv's Map of What Is Effortless lives up to its name. Trippy IDM beats mix seamlessly with more organic strings and vocals, leading to some of the greatest hybridization of the artificial and organic since, well, "Teardrop." Vocalist Damon Aaron is particularly emotive in this track, and it's a rarity that such a detached genre is able to convey so much emotion. The band releases a remix compilation on May 17th.

MP3: Telefon Tel Aviv - I Lied
Buy: Here

Singer-songwriter the City Lights (aka David Gwaltney) utilizes sparse arrangements and a throaty delivery to create songs of love and loss. Although his material consists of songs recorded over a period of four years, his approach does maintain a stylistic coherency. Within the limits of acoustic guitar and vocals, Gwaltney maintains velocity, offering up-tempo pop songs despite the occasionally melancholy subject matter. While Gwaltney investigates the typical songwriting content, he injects enough personal experience to prevent the songs from becoming completely indistinguishable from his peers. The mournful "Insert Name, NYC," for example, alludes to immediate surroundings before progressing to a more generic line - "girlfriend back home" - but there's enough emotional investment that the song mostly succeeds. While Gwaltney does not offer a particularly groundbreaking approach, his sincere songwriting and confident playing is relatively appealing. -from WSN's Battle of the Bands

MP3: The City Lights - Insert Name NYC
Vote: Here

Chapterhouse is another one one of those shoegazing groups, which is to say, they're probably only appreciated by a small segment of the audiophile population. I first heard them on a random shoegaze compilation, which featured the b-side "Mesmerise." Their most prominent album seems to be Whirlpool, which featured the #8 single "Pearl." Guitarist Simon Rowe would eventually play guitar for Mojave 3.

MP3: Chapterhouse - Mesmerise
MP3: Chapterhouse - Pearl
Buy: Here

Neo-shoegazing is still very much in style, as evidenced by Sweden's Serena Maneesh, and their well received debut. While this first track is gorgeous, the rest of the album is not nearly as accessible, and I found it to be quite exhausting. Of course, the genre was never known for its easy appeal; despite the gift of melodicism, things often become very repetitive. But for those that can appreciate these qualities, it's very rewarding.

MP3: Serena Maneesh - Drain Cosmetics
Buy: Here

Conjure One is essentially a side project for Delerium member Rhy Fulber. As with his main group, he incorporates a number of guest vocalists. While the results may come off as a bit formulaic, the results are usually good enough that their uniformity can be overlooked. This was one of the first songs I heard from either group, and it's remained a constant favorite. Unfortunately, this might be Marie's only collaboration with either group.

MP3: Conjure One - Sleep (ft. Marie Claire D'Ubalbo)
Buy: Here

The lineup for this year's Ottawa Bluesfest has been announced, with artists such as Metric, Final Fantasy, and some guy named Bob Dylan. One sad absence is Controller.Controller, who I saw during last year's festival (actually my first real concert, hard as it may be to believe). Unfortunately, the status of C.C isn't very optimistic, as singer Nirmala Basnayake departed from the group in October. But at least we'll always have the band's great full length, X-Amounts.

MP3: Controller.Controller - PF
Buy: Here

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Interlude: One Down, Three To Go

I've hesitated to mentioned the Rangers in quite a while, mainly because I haven't had the ability to watch any of the games. That's a pity, because they've been pretty much the hottest team over the last month. It all culminated in tonight's 4-2 victory, which sealed their first playoff sweep since 1994, the last year they won the Stanley Cup. Hopefully, this milestone will be the first of many in these playoffs, but it only gets harder from here on. Enjoy the rest, fans and players, and get ready for Round 2.

MP3: Röyksopp - Clean Sweep

Pleasure From The Bass: Lamb at Drum Rhythm

Although Lamb is similar to many artists that I enjoy, at least according to, it's taken a while for me to really get into them. While their native Manchester is known for music of a much different style, you can consider them honorary Bristolians (Bristolers?), as they blend trip-hop moods with more uptempo drum 'n bass. Vocalist Lou Rhodes has a distinctive delivery, and while it's not as pretty as some of her peers, it definitely gives their sound a significant human element. While not the most acclaimed or virtuosic group of their genre, Lamb are nonetheless very worth hearing.

I'm not exactly sure about the date of this set, but it was recorded at the Drum Rhythm Festival in Amsterdam. It's unclear what the status of Lamb is at the present, as their 2005 show at the Paradiso was supposedly their last live appearance. However, Lou did release a solo album just last year on her own label, Infinite Bloom, and I'd assume that we haven't heard the last from the group as a whole.


1. Little Things
2. B Line
3. Lusty
4. All In Your Hands
5. Cotton Wool
6. Ear Parcel
7. Alien
8. Softly
9. Fly
10. Cold
11. Gorecki
12. Bonfire

Cotton Crush: Here

Monday, April 16, 2007

Aqueous Transmission: Broadcast on KEXP

This post marks our two hundredth and first. To say that things have exceeded my initial expectations would be a gross understatement, but I'd like to think that my original intentions are still being followed: to share music that I'm passionate about, and perhaps as a side effect, to improve my writing and meet some cool people. Some of those latter folks would be Rodney of B(oot)log, Frank of Chromewaves, Derek of Good Weather For Airstrikes, Danielle of Music Is Art, Tanmay of Musicality, Jennings of rbally (please come back again!), Elizabeth of Wassup Rockers, and of course, Arivia for taking the time to help out. Thanks to everyone for their support!

So, I guess I just use big round numbers (or thereabouts) as an excuse to post Broadcast. These tracks come off their most recent full length, Tender Buttons, and I really should listen to them more. The set was recorded on KEXP on October 30th, 2005.


1. Intro
2. America's Boy
3. Black Cat
4. Interview Part I
5. Corporeal
6. Interview Part II
7. I Found The F
8. Outro

Colour Me In: Here

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Impure Hair: Blonde Redhead on KCRW

It's been a few days since I posted a live recording, and Blonde Redhead would seem like a sensible place to resume things, considering how much I've enjoyed their new album. Unfortunately, there's nothing quite as stunning as "23" contained within this set, which comprises about half of their last release, Misery Is A Butterfly. Their older material doesn't seem quite as accessible, and it'll probably be a while before I fully explore the rest of their discography. Anyhow, for fellow New Yorkers who missed the band's in-store last Tuesday, Blonde Redhead play at Webster Hall on May 8th. And for those keeping score at home, this set was recorded on KCRW on March 22nd, 2004.


1. Anticipation
2. Falling Man
3. Misery Is A Butterfly
4. Melody
5. Messenger
6. Magic Mountain

Drain Cosmetics: Here

Interlude: Dance Party Plus

Crashin'In is a weekly concert series that takes place every Friday at Galapagos, and it's great for a number of reasons. There's a real sense of community that you don't really get in various one-of shows; this is really a group of people that are united in their appreciation for music (and willing to stay up late for it). It's a showcase for local bands that even active denizens of the blogosphere would probably not hear, or have the impetus to see live. And, from a personal standpoint, there's wicked electronic action, courtesy of the inter-set DJs.

However, I would never have stumbled upon such a great event if it weren't for the fact that Headlights were playing a special late show, and major thanks to Seth at Polyvinyl and Lio at Kanine for setting all of this up.


I was pretty intrigued from the moment Chairlift began setting up. How often do you see a band with four keyboards - including one played by the drummer? This curiosity bloomed into immediate appreciation as the band started out with Mojavesque guitar twang, with singer Caroline's pretty, countrified delivery reinforcing the resemblance. Although the rest of the set didn't deviate much from this restrained volume, the appeal of the songs definitely outweighed a lack of rawkin'. Also, the occasional addition of tambourine and xylophone kept things upbeat and, as Caroline demonstrated enthusiastically, there were times were the music was danceable. Consider me a fan.

MySpace: Chairlift

So, as I mentioned, the DJs did a the great job done in between sets, and I was pleased to recognize a number of the songs. While the following might not be precisely the same mixes that I heard, they should definitely give you a good indication of the vibe.

MP3: Bloc Party - Banquet (Phones Disco Edit)
MP3: Justice vs Simian - We Are Your Friends
MP3: The Long Blondes - Giddy Stratosphere
MP3: Röyksopp - What Else Is There (Jacques Lu Cont Radio Mix)
MP3: Tiga - You Gonna Want Me (Extended Vocal)


Headlights' set began with an introspective mood, with Erin Fein's murmur awash in ambience. But they struck immediacy with the first chord of "TV," and the set's momentum continued wonderfully from there on, progressing effortlessly into "Put Us Back Together Right" and "Lions." I've been enjoying these songs in their album forms for the last few months, and it was a real treat to hear them live. While there aren't as many "special effects" in the this setting, the band was loud and confident, although the instruments did tend to bury the vocals a little.

Things really picked up when the crowd mobilized, really justifying the "indie disco" line on one of the event's fliers by dancing exuberantly. As the band noted, "No one was dancing at Pianos," and the passion that manifested itself at Crashin'In really differentiated the event from more standard fare concerts. Even within the confines of the traditional DJ set, there's some preconception of what the crowd should be doing (e.g. raving), but this was pure spontaneity. As awesome as Headlights is (doubly so for doing a two shows in a night), there's no doubt that the night was really enhanced by the crowd.

And really, this is what makes the whole experience worthwhile.

For more on Headlights, check out yesterday's Washington Square News.

MP3: Headlights - Lions
MP3: Headlights - Lullabies
MP3: Headlights - Put Us Back Together Right
MP3: Headlights - TV
MySpace: Headlights
Tour Dates: Headlights
Buy: Here

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...