Sunday, December 28, 2008

Guitar: Honeysky / Saltykisses
release: November 11, 2008
(originally issued 2004/2005)
style: shoegaze, dream pop, ambient pop
sim: Swallow, Flowchart, His Name is Alive, M83
[rating: ****] German Michael Lueckner (guitar/programming) and Japanesian Ayako Akashiba (vocals) follow the blueprints of My Bloody Valentine's "Soon" for a large portion of these two albums. This isn't a surprise for an artist like this. What is unexpected is that they put a world-influenced spin on Honeysky and Saltykisses, which were not released in the USA until now. Lueckner surrounds himself with sound effects in achieving quintessential, vibrant dreampop that is an out of guitar experience. Guitar explores the other side of the coin with acoustic/organic pieces that belong together on a separate collection. Next album due February 2009. Yay. -Kenyon

Someone gets shot for talking during movie. it's about time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Raveonettes 2009 Tour Dates
1.15.09 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
1.16.09 New York, NY Webster Hall
1.17.09 Washington, DC Black Cat
1.23.09 San Francisco, CA Bimbo's 365 Club
1.24.09 Los Angeles, CA Henry Fonda Theater

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The 1900s: Medium High EP (Parasol)
release: January 20, 2009
style: indie pop
[rating: ***1/2] This 7-track collection of previous, mostly early unreleased songs from the Chicago group can be sorted next to Belle and Sebastian, not only for a close resemblance of vocals but also for an underlying somberness. The psych indie pop has touches of 1970s soft pop in "When I Say Cohen", "Making Love in Summertime" and more. A timeless afternoon delight. The album cover is sorta bad though. -Kenyon

: Throwing Sparks (Clairecords)
release: November 11, 2008
style: dream pop
[rating: **1/2] Life is too short to be spending 2.5 years on a record. My Bloody Valentine is the exception, of course. Work on the debut eight-song record by Florida-based Averkiou caused hundreds of re-takes and a member threatening "to smash his guitar into the wall." So dramatic. Life is too short for perfectionism. Averkiou's multi-layer vocals and waves of dense guitar crash somewhere between early MBV and M83. The only problem is the lack of a catchy melody to push Throwing Sparks beyond average shoegaze/dream pop. -Kenyon

The Secret History: Desolation Town EP (Le Grand Magistery)
release: November 11, 2008
style: indie rock
[rating: ***] Featuring ex-members of indie pop band My Favorite as well as daughter of David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson, Secret History is deep in tragic literary poetry. Like the latter day My Fav EPs, i'm sure there is a theme on Desolation Town relating to historical figures, though there are also some religious references. Secret History is musically rootsier than My Fav, though still maintains the urgent pop, like in the Stars-esque "The Ballad of Haunted Hearts." -Kenyon

Lowfish: frozen&broken
(Noise Factory)
release: October 14, 2008
style: minimal electro
similar: Kraftwerk, Luke Slater, Solvent
[rating: ***1/2]
Producer Gregory De Rocher is Lowfish, which proves there is still life to be given to minimal electro. De Rocher's brand of electronics is done with analaog synths and IDM blips. There are no vocals, not even use of vocoder for this guy who has toured with Adult. There are some steady tempos on frozen&broken, though it's more for the headphones than the dancefloor. -Kenyon

Sunday, December 21, 2008

U2 > No Line On The Horizon > March 2, 2009

Saturday, December 20, 2008

2008 is so last year. Obligatory top albums of 2008 and other year-end acknowledgements without looking at other top lists so i would not be influenced.

1. Glasvegas: Glasvegas (Columbia)
2. M83: Saturdays = Youth (Mute)
3. Fleet Foxes: Fleet Foxes (Sub Pop)
4. Lykke Li: Youth Novels (LL)
5. Ting Tings: We Started Nothing (Columbia)
6. Ladytron: Velocifero (Nettwerk)
7. Crystal Castles: Crystal Castles (Last Gang)
8. Bloc Party: Intimacy (Vice)
9. Ruby Suns: Sea Lion (Sub Pop)
10.Futureheads: This is Not the World (nul)

others of note:
Tapes 'N Tapes: Walk it Off (XL)
Walter Meego: Voyager (Almost Gold)
Pack A.D: Funeral Mixtape (Mint)
Does it Offend You, Yeah?: You Have No Idea... (Almost Gold)
Forward Russia: Life Processes (Mute)
Magnetic Fields: Distortion (Nonesuch)
Passion Pit: Chunk of Change EP (Frenchkiss)

top 5 songs

1. Ting Tings- "Great DJ"
2. Kings of Leon- "Sex is on Fire"
3. Uh Huh Her- "Not a Love Song"
4. The Verve- "Love is Noise"
5. Ladytron- "Ghosts"


Wierdest album- Brian Jonestown Massacre: My Bloody Underground
Artists i was sick of hearing about in 2008- She and Him, Vampire Weekend, Black Kids
Best concert - My Bloody Valentine. duh!
Best non-local band performance at local venue- Shiny Toy Guns
Biggest let down on film- X-files: I Want to Believe
Best live WWE wrestling event- Royal Rumble
Most awesome wrestler - CM punk
Saddest non-music story of year - Polar bears resorting to cannibalism
Dumbest local news story- Montauk monster
My own most-spoken quote- "Obama's in the HOUSE!" and "The ice caps are melting, we're all going to die soon and Obama can't save us."

Best humorous video to sum up 2008--- McCain gets Barack rolled.

thanks for reading. and now i go look at other best of 2008 lists.

update: aha! fleet foxes tops on pitchfork. hercules and love affair #1 song? they are out of their f-ing minds. that song is sh*t.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Autodrone: Strike a Match (Clairecords)
release: November 11, 2008
style: noise pop rock, dream pop
similar: A Place to Bury Strangers, Experimental Aircraft, Swoon 23
[rating: **1/2] Crashing into the noisier, darker side of the dream pop spectrum is Autodrone, who finally gets proper release of its first full-length. The female vocals, which aren't buried in the mix like one might think, are balanced against the brooding guitar tricks of Jeremy Alisauskas, who has credit with Projekt artist Unto Ashes. The band sets the sun on fire with effects and white noise while also embracing its passive side, even bordering on a melodic jangle. Through most of the album, however, Strike a Match can feel like noise for noise's sake. -Kenyon


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bloc Party >> "One Month Off" >> new video.
Because one band isn't enough.
Perhapst >> audio

John Moen of the Decemberists and previously and currently of a ton of other bands and peoples fronts Perhapst. His self-titled debut stays close to the home of his primary band. Although Moen plays most of the instruments for Perhapst, guests include Stephen Malkmus. Did i mention Moen is also the drummer for Robert Pollard's Boston Spaceships? god dammit! you know, some of us have ZERO BANDS.

[mp3] - "Quote"
[mp3] - "Incense Cone"
[mp3] - "Aren't You Glowing"
Peter Bjorn and John >> new audio + video.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

new audio>>>the Faunts

"Feel.Love.Thinking.Of." [mp3]
from album out February 17, 2009
new audio>>>The Raveonettes - "Come On Santa" [mp3]
do the Raveonettes really need a photo right now? come on, you should KNOW they look cool!

new audio>>>Frank Hoier

"Jesus Don't Give Tax Breaks to the Rich" (mp3)
This folk porched Hoier is hitting the road with The Weber Brothers. "Jesus Don't" is from his Lovers & Dollars, issued November 11, 2008.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Combichrist. new audio + video - "Sent to Destroy"

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Tractor Kings: Homesick
release: October 28, 2008
style: country indie rock
similar: Follow the Train, My Morning Jacket
[rating: ***] The one consistent member Jake Fleischli is missing home and some other things on a lonesome western rock road. Obvious titles are "See You Again" and "Black Hole in My Heart" to name a few. His thoughts are a common subject for song and his sleepy vocals may be hitting some flat notes, but Homesick is heartfelt, especially in opener "Bright Lights and Headlights," which, because of the pedal steel, is like a guy fronting Mazzy Star. Once again produced with Matt Talbott of Hum, the Tractor Kings walk a line of ringing guitars and shuffling drums that fade into the dusk. -Kenyon

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Dirty on Purpose (who have been interviewed by me) will be playing a "farewell show" with A Place To Bury Strangers (who have yet to answer my interview questions) on New Year's Eve at Mercury Lounge, NYC.

From the DOP camp: "We got back from tour about a month ago and sat down to talk about recording another record, and realized we didn't really want to record another record. Not now anyway. So we're going our separate ways. We're still playing music and we hope you'll come support our other projects: Joe and Doug harmonize sweetly in Neckbeard Telecaster; George shreds the bass in Coin Under Tongue; Joe helms Joe and the Flying Spoons; and Doug plays with Purse Snatchers and Black Acid. We reserve the right to change our minds and get back together in six months if we feel like it."
Margot Blanche [New York] - Her name fits into the first half of the 20th century, just as her music does. But Blanche updates it, using big band/jazz backgrounds ala the Real Tuesday Weld, complete with back-up singers. Comparisons to Amy Winehouse are futile. Margot Blanche's sultry voice helps keep her true to the roots and with exceptional composure to boot. It's quite a surprise she hasn't had more exposure in the mainstream. You know, like stupid Entertainment Tonight or something. -Kenyon

Moosejaww [Brooklyn] - Thank goodness they're not Moosejaw (one w). That band is HORRIFIC. This Moosejaww band with extra W needs to be careful not to be confused with them. Which should not be difficult. The band harnesses 90s pop-rock with a smooth vocal style somewhere between Sebadoh and Coldplay, especially for "Rollercoaster" and ballad "It Takes Two to Know One." -Kenyon

Wounded Buffalo Theory [Brooklyn] - WBT is progressive not so much for the music itself, but rather because they don't limit themselves. They're influenced by Pink Floyd, Eno and Sigur Ros as much as heavier bands like Tool. "Didn't Go Outside" even has in there some Husker Du (one of their influences). It's a connundrum how and why they stretch across the rock spectrum like that. They like to play really long sets, so that helps. The cosmic jam "Revolution Mine," which better damn be an original, is a direction the band should persue. -Kenyon

Friday, December 05, 2008

Longwave- new audio + video. "Shining Hours"

latest record, Secrets Are Sinister, out now.

tour dates:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sensory Underload (1996-2008)
(Hidden Agenda)
release: October 28, 2008
style: indie pop
similar: Jeff Hanson, Darren Hanlon
[rating: ***] Lead by Jarid del Deo, Unbunny was around just when this new thing called the internet was picking up steam. So? Unbunny better get on Wikipedia! There is a myspace, thank goodness. Sensory Underload is a collection of EPs, singles, rarities and unreleased tracks which include the out-of-print Typist EP released by Important Records in 2005. "Dental Hygenist" is a cute story of romance and a peach among the quiet calm indie pop. As long as it stays that way, Unbunny is cool. The louder songs (only a couple) encourage del Deo to raise his voice and unfortunately that strains the vocal cords. Keep it cute and soft like the bunny! -Kenyon
Hotel Hotel: The Sad Sea (Silber)
release: November 4, 2008
style: experimental ambient
[rating: ***] If true, it is indeed a fantastic story. A fantastic voyage, even. The Sad Sea was derived from Hotel Hotel's expedition with a sailor/sea captain searching for a ghost ship. i am so high right now. i'm doing an interpretive dance to this. -Kenyon

Electric Bird Noise: le vestibule - vestibule transitoire (No More Stars)
release: November 4, 2008
style: ambient experimental
[rating: ****] The latest from EBN (interesting enough, the same initials for Emergency Broadcast Network) is two tracks of about 25 minutes each. Because of this, instead of informing us of "key" or "recommended" tracks, the label gives us "recommended transition points." I think this is a first. Brian Lea McKenzie's experimental drones --produced mainly by guitar---are stunningly unearthly. If there are indeed cosmic soundwaves eminating from the depths of the galaxy, the Bird Noise is eerily close to its representation. -Kenyon

Champagne Riot: Paris and I (Shelflife)
release: November 12, 2008
style: Euro indie pop
[rating: **] CR's melancholy soft ultra indie is from one guy of Denmark who keeps it in the studio, focusing on creating "simple and melodic music and getting the most out of primitive equipment." Wow i never thought of THAT! Using groovebox beats and guitars, Riot wants to keep the music scene at a distance. i'm not sure if that's pretentious or righteous. -Kenyon
Crystal Castles (not the band)
The Pretenders
North America tour dates.

Current line-up of Chrissie Hynde, Martin Chambers, James Walbourne, Eric Heywood, and Nick Wilkinson is supporting Break Up The Concrete, released in October 2008. New songs at their myspace. Hynde is too thin.

29 Albany, NY The Palace Theatre
30 New York, NY Roseland
31 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata-Music Box
2 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
4 Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
5 Jim Thorpe, PA Penn's Peak
6 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
7 Ledyard, CT Fox Theatre
9 Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Theater
10 Cleveland, OH House Of Blues
11 Indianapolis, IN Murat Theatre
13 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
14 Akron, OH Akron Civic Ctr Theatre
15 Chicago, IL Riviera Theater
17 Milwaukee, WI Northern Lights Theatre
18 Milwaukee, WI Northern Lights Theatre
20 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
21 Kansas City, MO Ameristar Casino
22 Tulsa, OK Brady Theater
24 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
25 Aspen, CO Belly Up Aspen
27 Dallas, TX House Of Blues
28 Houston, TX House Of Blues
March 1 Austin, TX Stubbs
March 4 Phoenix, AZ The Dodge Theater
March 5 San Diego, CA House Of Blues
March 6 Pala, CA Pala Casino-Cabaret Room
March 7 Las Vegas, NV House Of Blues
March 8 Anaheim, CA The Grove
March 10 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
March 13 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
March 14 Reno, NV Silver Legacy Casino

Monday, December 01, 2008

Well sh*t on ME. i bet the main guy from M83 is sh*tting a brick right now and will be sh*tting an entire building of bricks when this tour gets underway. M83 opening for the gosh darn Killers. Who would have thought. Oh, oh and that's not all. It's been a BANNER year for the M83. The latest record hit the top of the CMJ chart and is the #1 record of 2008 at Urban Outfitters. Blah? In December, M83 is opening for the Kings of Leon in the UK. Get mad jealous.

with the The Killers--

17 Denver, CO Magness Arena - Ritchie Center
19 Minneapolis, MN Northrop Auditorium
20 Chicago, IL UIC Pavilion
22 Detroit, MI EMU Convocation Center
23 Toronto, ONT Air Canada Centre
25 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
26 Boston, MA Agganis Arena
28 Washington, DC George Mason University Patriot Center
29 Myrtle Beach, SC House of Blues
30 Atlanta, GA Atlanta Civic Center
31 Nashville, TN Grand Ole Opry House
2 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater
3 Austin, TX Frank Erwin Center
4 Dallas, TX Nokia Theatre
Doomsday industrial-electro artist COMBICHRIST will release TODAY WE ARE ALL DEMONS on January 20, 2009 through Metropolis. Samples of each track at the myspace. Huge extensive U.S and Euro tour through winter. www.myspace.com/combichrist

Say Hi (formerly Say Hi to Your Mom) signs on with Barsuk. Oohs & Aahs out March 3, 2009.