In just 10 seconds time this track plays with your, well, at least my head in where it could just possibly go.At first, it sounds like it could be a new Kanye joint, but then within three seconds you hear a light pulsating beat a la Prefuse 73.All of a sudden, Gabriel Rios’ gentle, yet smooth vocal delivery immerses through your speakers and into your head.He is singing, although his voice’s cadence is almost that of a rapper.To add to melodies thrown down by the acoustic, there are also sparse piano pieces, a woman sprinkling the track with ooohs and children’s voices thrown throughout.On repeat.This one is for my prolific friends at Moving in Stereo.Is this the first track Joe may like from me?Perhaps.
I don’t get drunk often in Boulder. That’s because, when I’m ready to kick back and relish a hard week spent, most folks in Boulder are preparing for a 14ner, maybe their “first.” Yes, they talk about their first 14ner as if it was their first non-elevation conquest. It’s simply not right.
This is a music blog, so I’m supposed to recommend some music, no matter when or why I post. So, I’ll simply recommending the most significant song I’ve heard in the past year. It is, what it is, but I’m not afraid to say it means more to me than some catchy pop tune with no moral compass begrudingly trapped in the reality of Bush’s NeoCamerica. Despite this post, you must still check out “Safe Travels,” by Peter & the Wolf. Beautiful and sublime.
After Dave’s most appropriate post, I thought I would continue along the same path. I’ll be writing in a few days about the forthcoming U.S. debut by My Latest Novel, but tonight I stumbled upon a recording by one of their new U.S. labelmates, Peter & the Wolf. It’s a furtive little diddy, with plaintive, expressive vocals. Even better, according to the Seattle Stranger, it’s appropriate music for a “post-apocalyptic, godforsaken planet.” Finally, music for the new millennium.
The band is actually playing this week in Denver, although I doubt I can attend. They will be playing at the Empty Bottle in Chicago this coming Saturday. I think they’re worth checking out, especially if you’re into that whole post-apocalyptic, experimental indie thing.
Is there a record available for every mood?For me, the frame of mind I’m in at a specific time can completely affect the opinion on a record, no matter how good or unique that group’s sound just may be and a few songs from San Francisco’s Halou must have came just at the right point during a rather melancholy day for me. Nine times out of 10, I’m an avid listener of upbeat songs that have positive, yet inspiring lyrics, but there are times when a downtempo track will catch my attention.The recipe to craft these beautiful, but also at the same time dark songs is similar to what another infamous downtempo/trip-hop group used, that being Portishead with two males and a female on vocals.Besides the obvious comparison to Portishead, Rebecca Coseboom’s lead vocals quickly reminded me of Shirley Manson’s of Garbage fame.
Halou uses guitars, keyboards of all styles, at times a voice that seems to stem from above, and ghostly beats to create a sound that has the ability to quickly put you in a whole other state of being.I hope that you aren’t as difficult as I am when it comes to hearing a new song for the first time, but regardless of your feelings, hopefully this music will instantly hit you.
I saw them open for Tapes N’ Tapes and was pretty impressed. As a Myspace user posted of the concert, at least I wasn’t alone in my thinking about the strange venue and the best performers that evening.
Nice show at that obscure little Ukrainian theatre the other night, you stole the show.
I was probably too critical of TnT in my last post, but nonetheless, The Lovely Feathers have a Myspace page and I’m really enjoying their songs. “Rod Stewart” was fantastic in concert, and it’s even funnier knowing that’s the name of the song! I will probably definitely see them with The Slip in Boulder next month, which is really making an effort to bring in more indie bands, even those playing Denver too.
Another post about the concert:
Nice show at the Ukranian Foundation tonight guys! Even though the venue sucked, you totally stole the show from Tapes ‘n Tapes. Seriously, it was the first time I saw a crowd boo a band for not doing an encore. By the way, I arrived late, did you guys played Fudgecicle?
I had to search far and wide for some criticism of Tapes ‘N Tapes, who I saw tonight in Montreal at a strange, former church called the Ukrainian Federation. First let me make clear my biases: I don’t like TnT. I’ve wanted to like them, but it just ain’t happening and it really didn’t happen tonight. I believe Jason and Dave, while not huge fans, are both supporters. I’m sure they can offer a response to my criticism, although I really don’t know where to begin. To be fair, I’m more critical of the response to TnT, then to the band themselves. They might put out an album I like at some point, and I hope they don’t think they’re as good as the reviews say they are. First, let me post some of the criticism I found, from E! Online (Jess should be proud):
Do hipsters even listen to the MP3s they so anxiously post on their blogs for the world to devour? After all, it’s those same bedroom geeks who are largely responsible for the deafening hype surrounding the arrival of this Minneapolis indie rock quartet’s thoroughly underwhelming debut, an album that merely paints within the lines already drawn by Pavement and the Pixies. Listening to tracks like “Insistor” and “In Houston,” you wonder if singer Josh Grier has ever heard anyone else sing besides Steven Malkmus, while the band bashes away in predictably amateurish style. Give away all the free audio clips you want. We say, Clap your hands say no!
I think the review is too kind, because TnT can’t even paint within the Pavement lines. Not fucking close. TnT might just not be my thing, and I accept that. However, the primary comparison repeatedly made by said hipsters are that TnT is the new Pavement. Pavement though wrote memorable songs. I haven’t found any by TnT.
I had decided to leave early since the show was really, frankly, pissing me off when Josh Grier announced they had 3 songs left. It was 25 minutes into the set! Many rightfully booed. I guess album two still has a ways to go. I stayed for one more, but didn’t make it to the encore to hear my so-called, for lack of a better word, “favorite”: “Insistor.”
Maybe I’ve become too pop-oriented as I approach 30. But, the apparent hooks on this album I simply don’t hear. Tonight’s opener far outplayed TnT in my opinion, and I think the crowd’s reaction indicated as much. We also had to hear Josh Grier tell Montreal scenesters they have lots of good bands coming out of Montreal, “if you weren’t aware.” Thanks for the tip, Josh. Maybe I’ll go and check them out at Pop Montreal.
So, the openers were The Lovely Feathers, and while not exactly my thing, they were lovely. Good songs, good stage presence, energy, and unpretentious. All things missing from the TnT performance. Color me confused.
I’ll try to keep my discussion to music. That’s what I’m here after all, meaning this blog and my hotel in Montreal. Still though, ever met an unfriendly Canadian? I know they have to exist, but they’re a friendly bunch.
Montreal is a wonderful city. Even more than I had expected, the bilingual culture is astounding. You can hear two teenagers on the métro speaking while alternating haphazardly between French and English. People smile too, a lot.
So, today’s conference events were fantastic. Some really interesting discussion, and yet a reaffirmation that I know what’s going on in the business, so few statements really surprise me anymore. That’s a good thing, even though it makes things less eye-opening at times. Peter Jenner kicks ass. Also, these folks really want you to visit their website since they managed to ask a question at every session nearly, basically as a self-promotional tool. Any music producer/distributor from Central Virginia who describe themselves as a “social movement” is alright in my book.
So, I have to cut this short for now, since it’s late here, but the show tonight was very Canadian. As in, a friendly crowd with even friendlier-seeming bands, playing almost pure power pop. Sloan know how to put on a great show, and they also knew the opening act The Yoko Casionos (Best Unsigned Band at NXNW 2005), put on a great show, so they pulled out Cainonos’ Misty and Juice to join them for two songs during the encore. Misty led a rousing rendition of the recent, but classic Sloan track, “The Rest of My Life.” I later bought the Yoko Cainonos’ CD, and it wasn’t just because I wanted a personal thanks from Misty working the merch table, although that didn’t hurt. A “cheers mate” from her upon seeing my selection of their debut album was appropriate, although for a sad, fleeting moment I imagined I was back in London.
Sloan love the strobe lights, and they love to rock in prototypical, power pop style with alternating synched guitars and vocals. While never accused of being terribly original, it’s hard to deny the fact they write great songs and know how to win a crowd over. They’ve also carved out their own niche within power pop. Speaking of which, apparently Sloan crowds like to repeatedly chant “Sloan, Sloan, Sloan” between songs. Again, isn’t that friendly? It is clearly life-affirming to the sharply-cropped mops of Sloan, who don’t hide their enjoyment when “Sloan” is being repeatedly shouted from the rafters.
I frankly am more comfortable reviewing a CD than a show, so that’s about it, even though I coul offer more. I also need to lay myself down.
Also, do realize, this is my last post before I attend a session tomorrow called: “The New Deciders: Metafilters, Blogs, Podcasts. AW YEAHHY. Not only will Ryan Schreiber himself be on the panel, but he’s also signing copies of Pitchfork. I hear too he’s throwing a bouquet into the crowd (or maybe it was a hidden golden ticket). It’s mine, and what is mine, is Moving in Stereo’s–Chicago, Boulder, and Montreal today; the world tomorrow.