Monday, April 30, 2007

Assemblage 23: Meta (Metropolis)
release: April 24, 2007
styles: EBM, dark synth, post industrial dance
similar: And One, VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk
rating: ***

On Meta, Tom Shear seems to have moved on a little bit (relatively) from his own personal pain and emotional suffering. He still reflects on when he was down in a hole or sometimes still in one ("I can reach for the surface and try to pull myself free/but the last thing I want is to drag you down with me" in "Damaged"). On "Sorry," one of the best tracks that should be yet another dark dance club anthem, the lyrics are directed towards someone else down in a hole with whom he can't share the misery ("I'm sorry I cant grovel in emotions I outgrew"). He also worries about forgetting everything years from now ("Old"), which is one of the most sincere tracks on the album. "Madman's Dream" is oddly uncharacteristic, as it's apparently a reaction to the devastation in New Orleans, though musically the song stays true to the A23 dark synth dance form. And that's just fine because we need more depressing music for an already depressing world. -Kenyon

Friday, April 27, 2007


May 21-22 Webster Hall, New York. only $45 plus fee. they better be damn good.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

breaking news for Coachella- dancer Bez couldn't get visa to play with Happy Mondays. amongst some other re-unions at Coachy, Happy Mondays will be playing--supposedly drug-free--its first US show in 15 years (i saw them open for Jane's Addiction at Madison Square Garden, thank you very much) and then they'll leave the US and tour the UK. surprise. the band doesnt include all original members. gee wiz.
girl you know it's NEW
People Noise- "The Killing Fields". Featuring Ex-VHS or Beta guitarist Zeke Buck and member of Boom Bip Matt Johnson (not of The The). debut album out in June. on tour right now this minute.
kenyon is DJing HERE this saturday

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Blow: Poor Aim- Love Songs (K)
release: April 24, 2007
styles: innocent indie electronic
rating: ***1/2
Although i have so far missed out on the Blow's proper record from last year, i knew Poor Aim- Love Songs (a previously limited-release EP, here with 7 remixes) would for now do the trick. Main girl Khaela is always lovable, layering her vocals over bouncy synth and drum machine beats and claps. On this collaboration with officially added member Jona (aka YACHT), they open with Khaela wonding why a boy didnt call her (maybe she came on too strong? maybe he's gay?). Later on, she shows she knows more about getting boys than she lets on in "Let's Play Boys Chase Girls". On "Come on Petunia" the Blow takes lyrics from "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic," which is tons better than Chris Sligh's version. Tracks 8-14 are remixes that play more as electro and experimental dance tracks, adding beats and additional vocals. I'm trying to keep the blog free of images of cats. I'll make an exception cause that cat appears to have one eye and these songs are mad cute. -Kenyon

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

ok. blog was having problems loading. seems to be fixed now.

Friday, April 13, 2007

girl you know it's NEW
White Shoes & the Couples Company --"Tentang Cita"

the band has signed with Minty Fresh and Rolling Stone has named them one of the "Top 25 Bands on MySpace". I don't know how they managed to figure that out considering there's like 1.5 million bands on MySpace. Therefore, advance copy is calling them one of the top indie pop bands from Indonesia.

Erasure - "I Could Fall in Love With You ’’ from Light at the End of the World, out May 22 on Mute. at this point anything is better than that covers record they did a few years ago. For a duo that still sounds very 1980s (this could have been on a few of their old albums, though it's a little slicker), "I Could Fall" has a warm fresh feeling.

Fri 6/8 Las Vegas, NV MGM Grand Garden Arena
Sat 6/9 Salt Lake City, UT USANA Amphitheatre
Sun 6/10 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Tues 6/12 Chicago, IL Auditorium Theatre
Fri 6/15 Atlantic City, NJ Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Sat 6/16 Boston, MA Bank of America Pavilion
Sun 6/17 Washington, DC Merriweather Post Pavilion
Mon 6/18 New York, NY Radio City Music Hall
Tues 6/19 Toronto, ON Molson Amphitheatre
Thur 6/21 Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amphitheatre
Sat 6/23 Dallas, TX Smirnoff Music Center
Sun 6/24 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Wed 6/27 San Diego, CA SDSU Open Air Theatre
Fri 6/29 San Francisco, CA Greek Theatre
Sat 6/30 Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre
this blog has been taking a minute to fully load. i'm working on it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Klaxons: Myths of the Near Future (Rinse/DGC)
released: March 27, 2007
style: adventurous spellbinding rock
similar: early Liars, Pop Will Eat Itself, Test Icicles, Secret Machines
rating: ****
Given the dozens and dozens of newer dance-rock bands that have been buzzed about in the UK and US, Klaxons could have been easy to dismiss as more of the same. Merging punk, Britpop, noises and relentless psychedelic harmonies with lyrics that usually won't be comprehended, Klaxons' debut is unpredictably pleasing. There are at least a few tracks here for dancing, though Myths of the Near Future doesn't exactly earn the "new rave" tag they've given themselves. This is mainly a record to get crazy with, while taking in the band's non-stop, whirling sonics. -Kenyon
VNV Nation: Judgement (Metropolis)
release: April 10, 2007
style: EBM, dark dance, trance, post-industrial, future pop
similar: most artists on Metropolis
rating: **1/2
No matter what, VNV Nation is always totally sincere (particularly in a live setting), even if the songwriting and melodies aren't as memorable as the best tracks from 2000's Empires. Their emotion and energy is that convinving. Futureperfect and Matter + Form, the two follow-ups since Empires, have rarely been able to sustain the powerful arrangements and emotion within the songs themselves. At best, Judgement is only a slight improvement from Matter + Form, streamlining the electronics and featuring the usual lyrics about hope, loss, battles, things getting torn down, rebuilding, the past and the future. This may indeed be some of VNV's darkest work, but I'm still waiting for another passionate, memorable track that will get me on the dancefloor. The breakdown:

prelude- great intro.
the farthest star- ok, lyrics are optimistic. i think.
testament- harder, more aggressive. "it's just you and me now against the world"...i know i've heard that phrase before.
descent- dark, gloomy. spoken lyrics.
momentum- dizzying dark trance, brooding, instrumental on first half.
nemesis- heart-pounding with the bold statement "judgement day's not coming soon enough".
secluded spaces- ambient instrumental.
illusion- piano, slow, sad, powerful, a highlight.
carry you- straightforward futurepop.
as it fades- the closing outro music

classic vintage video. Kiss- "Tears are Falling" (1985)

depending on how you view it, this video is either a low or high point for Kiss in the 80s. no make-up. no Peter Criss or Ace Frehley. Paul Stanley's neon green gloves. the completely tacky outfits. the stage that has a vine to swing on. and an addictive pop-metal song. as for Gene Simmons, who cares, he gets enough attention already.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Walkmen touring with Kaiser "I Predict a Riot" Chiefs; Walkmen to be on very hip Spiderman 3 soundtrack.

4.06.07 Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory *
4.07.07 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club *
4.09.07 Boston, MA - Avalon *
4.12.07 New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom *
4.17.07 Montreal, Quebec - Spectrum *
4.18.07 Toronto, Ontario - Kool Haus *
4.20.07 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre #
4.21.07 Minneapolis, MN - Trocaderos #
4.24.07 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom #
4.25.07 Seattle, WA - Showbox Theatre #
4.26.07 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom #
4.27.07 San Francisco, CA - Warfield #
w/ Annuals # with the Little Ones

The Walkmen's label, Record Collection, will release the Spiderman 3 soundtrack May 1. Includes the Walkmen, Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Rogue Wave. Are they serial?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sunday nite at Masonic Temple, Smithtown.

the Mint Chicks. from freakin New Zealand!

the Prayers. from freakin San Diego!

did i mention they're from San Diego!?

Encrypt Manuscript. from somewhere around these parts.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Palomar: All Things, Forests (Misra)
released: March 20, 2007
style: indie poppy rock!
rating: ****
Since their formation in 1998, Palomar have traipsed the indie easy streets of Brooklyn, humbly perfecting pop. Despite risky line-up changes, their fourth album, All Things, Forests maintains all the cutsey power pop hooks and effortlessly pretty harmonies you’ve come to expect of these gals (and guy!, Dale Miller, who is endearingly shunned in nearly every recent photo of the group). The record lives up to its sort of somber cover art, showing off the band’s mature, more serious side. Life’s no bowl of cherries, but Palomar makes even the darkest parts sound awfully sweet with catchy tracks like, "You're Keeping Us Up" and "Woah!!". -Shannon

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Adult. - "I Feel Worse When I'm With You"

this is what happens when you get married. from Adult.'s latest record, released March 20 on Thrill Jockey.