Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Week That Was #16: Connectivity!

It's been a pretty hectic couple of days, hence the lack of activity here. The free time I have had, I'm sorry to say, I've been pretty inclined to squander; I guess not having immediate obligations really encourages me to do nothing. But hopefully, I can make it up to you guys. While it wasn't a spectacular week of new discoveries, I did do a pretty thorough exploration of the number two charter, a nice example of interconnectedness. Enjoy!

I was perusing some magazine or another and came to the realization that Client just released a new album, entitled Heartland. While they don't quite exceed Ladytron when it comes to crafting dystopian electropop prettiness, the Rotherham trio are a fine substitute until the Liverpool quartet finally releases a followup to Witching Hour, hopefully by the end of the year. Incidentally, both bands are in full tour mode, with half of the 'tron (Mira Aroyo and Reuben Wu) wrapping up a U.S. DJ tour. (Did anyone go to the Hiro Ballroom show a few nights ago?) Meanwhile, Client plays at Studio B next Friday, June (!) 1st, as Ladytron starts up European dates in Lithuania. Here are cuts from both bands, the former being a fine single from Heartland, while the latter a pretty interesting take on one of the few on the aforementioned Witching Hour.

MP3: Client - Drive
MP3: Ladytron - Soft Power (Vicarious Bliss Gutter Mix)
Buy: Here and Here

Now, while Vicarious Bliss might seem like a cool name for a remix, turns out they're actually another noisemaker from the explosive Ed Banger. It's a wonder that I hadn't heard of the label until a couple months back, considering the sheer momentum of Justice's fantastic new(ish) single, complete with equally excellent video. While the duo is clearly adept at creating crunching electronic action, it's the particularly winsome vocal, reminiscent of the equally fantastic "We Are Your Friends," that makes it a standout. Awesome!

MP3: Justice - D.A.N.C.E.
Buy: Here

So, back to Client: while the group continues idiosyncratic etymology for its members (Client A, B and E), it's been revealed that its members are veterans of industry, with singer Sarah Blackwood (Client B) previously appearing in the band Dubstar. They've announced plans to reform on their MySpace, and it'll be interesting to see where they go with that. This track is undoubtedly their most well known, appearing on pretty much all of their releases. (Aside: Is it just me, or does every band have a song called "Stars" or thereabouts?)

MP3: Dubstar - Stars
Buy: Here

But after hearing that Dubstar track a couple times, I was had an unsettling sensation of deja vu. As it turns out, I had heard the song before, albeit through Lacuna Coil's rendition. Unfortunately, my consumption of that group has dropped off precipitously; despite their pretty accessible qualities, it's a style that doesn't really do much for me these days. However, one can't really dispute Cristina Scabbia's soaring vocals, and she proves herself particularly adept with these two covers.

MP3: Lacuna Coil - Stars (Dubstar Cover)
MP3: Lacuna Coil - Enjoy The Silence (Depeche Mode Cover)
Buy: Here

Speaking of Depeche Mode, Technique was all set to go on tour with them, but for some reason, singer Xan Tyler wasn't up for it. Kate Holmes, the other member, would eventually unite with Sarah Blackwood, forming Client. Conveniently, they posted the video for this track, and in a fitting tribute to new media marketing, I was hooked. While the lyrics are rather uninspired, the rest of the song makes up for it.

MP3: Technique - Sun Is Shining
Buy: Here

Last but not least, Battles have popped up with such frequency in the last couple months that I felt very obliged to check them out. While doing that Headlights interview, Tristan mentioned that they had really been enjoying Battles' new release, Mirrored. Writeups in the New York Times and, just last week, the Village Voice have been pretty positive as well. As noted in the latter article, the group played at our very own Kimmel Center last month (I saw Hot Chip instead), and they'll be back for a July 20th gig at Studio B, as well as a free show at the Seaport Music Festival on August 31st.

MP3: Battles - Atlas
Buy: Here

And with the title of this post being extracted from Mahogany's wonderful album, it'd be neglectful for me not to mention that the band will (also) be playing at Studio B on June 28th, along with Robin Guthrie, formerly of Cocteau Twins. I'll be missing out, but hopefully you will not.

Oh, and today's my birthday. Festivities will commence...eventually.


Elizabeth U. said...

what up dude! hope you had a good birthday!

Joseph Coscarelli said...

happy birthday, roland. see you at memphis.

tobee said...

we're extremely appreciative of what you're doing here. the webworld would be a sadder place without people like you.
all kind of sounds for your birthday, roland.

ps. just to be awfully precise: the Lamb gig you posted some time ago is from May 1999. keep up the good job.

rgsc said...

Happy Belated Birthday! I hope it was awesome.

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