Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Repeat - 10/27/2010

I steered clear of Oh Land for a while, because I really don’t need a Danish supermodel that makes cute electro pop to remind me of all the ways I don’t measure up. But I had to give in after catching her at CMJ.So good.

Kitten - Kill The Light by infinityyeah

Only saw Kitten for a minute during CMJ but I’m really digging this song from their EP Sunday School. Apparently the singer, Chloe, is only 16 and is drawing a lot of Karen O comparisons. Will definitely be keeping my eye on them.

Rhythmic and ambient at the same time, this song is perfect for soothing your weekend hangover as you get ready to go out for Sunday night drinks. MySpace

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Album Review: Warpaint's The Fool

There is almost no way this album wasn’t going to be good. Songs like “Billie Holiday” and “Elephants” have already proved that Warpaint is a band I need to be listening to. The Fool, Warpaint’s debut full-length, recreates the experience I had when I went to see the band perform at Mercury Lounge over the summer. It’s total zone-out music. I get the feeling that when these girls play together they all travel to the same cosmic plane where they can anticipate each other’s moves. As listeners, we are lucky if we can meet them halfway.

Full self-disclosure: this album transports me to about 6th grade, when my girlfriends and I fell in love with the move The Craft and as a result spent a lot more time at Native American stores, lighting candles, and listening to The Cranberries. But this disc is way more mellow, moody, and introspective. It was a natural move to have Warpaint open for The xx. This is the perfect album to listen to with the lights turned off.

Warpaint solidifies The Fool early on with the song from which they took their name, “Warpaint.” Listening to the song while putting on my makeup in the mornings or as I’m walking to work does make me feel as though I’m prepping for battle but in an ultra-strong and feminine way. First single “Undertow” follows, easily the most radio-friendly song on the record. The “battle cry” motif I’m hearing continues with the beautiful opening to stand-out track “Composure,” which echoes an African/bluesey chant.

“Baby” is brilliant. It makes me wonder what sounds these girls hear in the silence that I don’t even know to listen for. And not that the lyrics of the other songs aren’t great, but the sparse instrumentation and whispered delivery here really allow the words to stab you right in the heart. “You live your life like a page from the book of my fantasy,” is superb.

For me, the hardest thing about writing about music is having to compare bands to other bands. This is especially difficult because the bands I enjoy writing about the most don’t sound like anyone else. Warpaint is totally one of those acts that are almost impossible (at least for me) to categorize. That’s the best thing about them.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This Week's Show: Matt & Kim at Webster Hall

I have to move This Week’s Show to Tuesday because the show is tonight. Constant grinners Matt & Kim never fail to give me a good live show experience. This will be the first time I see them at an indoor venue, the first time I won’t be at a festival, and the first time I actually am paying money to see them. The heat was just turned on in my apartment so I guess I finally have to say goodbye to summer. I can’t think of a better duo to dance it all away to.

Diamond Rings at Santos Party House 10/20/2010 (Video)

Diamond Rings was one of the acts I was most excited to see this CMJ. I had no idea that he plays completely by himself, but I kind of figured that his eye-makeup would look better than mine. At the Stereogum/Popgun party on Wednesday night he played “Wait and See” into “Something Else” which was pretty perfect. His first album Special Affections is out today!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You Should Know About Eternal Summers

I caught Eternal Summers playing before Surfer Blood at a pre-CMJ gig at Cake Shop on Monday night. Simple guitar and drums. Pop melodies performed in raw, gritty sounds. Girl singer. Perfect.

Two tracks are below. Make sure you also listen to Heart Squeeze over at their MySpace too.

Eternal Summers - Pogo by infinityyeah

Eternal Summers - I'll Die Young for Rock 'n' Roll by infinityyeah

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This Week's Show: CMJ 2010/On Repeat - 10/19/2010

I think my friends are getting sick of me talking about CMJ. I’m just really pumped this year. While normally running around the city, perpetually late would seem like a horrible way to spend an entire week, CMJ feels like a challenge that is exciting and a reward in itself. I’m combining On Repeat with This Week’s Show this week to share a bit of the playlist I’ve been listening to in anticipation of this year’s marathon.

Dance party. With an Irish accent. On Repeat - 10/6/2010 band site

I’m definitely digging the first track from Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman’s solo project. I can’t wait to hear some more from her. On Repeat - 10/12/2010 MySpace

Vivian Girls have grown on me, The Dum Dum Girls are so cool, and Frankie Rose and the Outs nails the whole 60s-girl-group thing better than any other band trying out the trend right now. Frankie Rose had her hands in every one of those bands and she is just an all-around bad-ass chick.

Cloud Nothings - Didn't You by infinityyeah

The more and more I listen to Dylan Baldi’s Cloud Nothings, the more I love his songs. Noisy and melodic, perfect jumping around music. You Should Know About

Diamond Rings - All Yr Songs by infinityyeah

Catchy indie dance-pop with so much fierceness. You Should Know About MySpace

Savoir Adore - Transylvanian Candy Patrol by infinityyeah

Brooklyn’s own Deidre Muro and Paul Hammer write rock songs with playful sounds juxtaposed against incredibly dark themes. Been a fan of them for a while and they were the first band I ever interviewed, so I almost never miss an NYC-area gig. MySpace

Miracles of Modern Science - Luminol by infinityyeah

I can’t believe I haven’t seen these guys live. It really is about time. They describe their sound as “orchestral indie pop” and usually perform in spacesuits. If that isn’t enough to make you a fan, the fact that their songs are really good will help. You Should Know About band site

Happy CMJ everyone! If I see you out there I owe you a kiss or a high-five, whichever you prefer.

You Should Know About Toys and Tiny Instruments

It would be easy to classify Toys and Tiny Instruments as a novelty act if their songs weren’t so damn good. The band’s gear is all those toy instruments that were in our toy boxes when we were toddlers. I guess it sounds like you’d expect, only about 10 times better. They released their EP on Friday night at Bruar Falls. I have to admit that I wonder if the toys have enough of a range of sounds to extend their newness further than an EP, but only for a second or two. I’m having too much fun to worry about that right now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Repeat - 10/12/2010

Karen O - If You're Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough

If you read You Should Know About Sharon Van Etten yesterday you'd know that I'm recently on a folk music kick. Perfect timing for this track from one of my favorite artists: Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The song is a country cover that sounds completely bluesey and authentic. It's appearing on the Jackass 3D soundtrack and KO is joined by the cast for the last couple of choruses. She sounds fun and natural and I can't get over my girl crush on her.

"Never Come Around" is the first single from La Sera, the solo project of Vivian Girls bass player Katy Goodman and I like it better than anything Vivian Girls has ever put out. Undeniably catchy and playfully whimsical, Goodman's sweet soprano vocals are the star of this bouncy tune.

I'm not going to pretend that the reason I gravitated towards Caitlin Rose wasn't the fact that we have the exact same name. But her brand of old-timey country fits in perfectly with my folk kick this week.

You Should Know About Sharon Van Etten

I had heard the buzz surrounding the release of Sharon Van Etten's second album Epic, but I had never given her stuff a listen. It was probably because these days I'm not too into folk-inspired music. I was in the past, but now I'm more of a rock girl. I finally downloaded a few Van Etten songs and played "A Crime" as I started my morning commute. I didn't listen to another song the entire 40-minute ride. I kept on pushing the repeat button. Van Etten's deep voice and deeper lyrics paired with bare bones guitar strumming evoke more human emotion than any rock song every could. The cool thing about the best folk songs is that they are absent of any pretense. They sound the greatest when it's just the songwriter with their guitar, and no studio tricks. Sharon Van Etten has reinvigorated in me a love of simple, honest songs. I know she'll be on my playlist for months.

Also, on Saturday night I checked out Anything But Animals, a band of two guys from Berklee. Their drums/synth setup recalls the fast-paced pop of Matt & Kim, but their music is definitely for a rockier, moshier crowd. Their energy is up there too. Definitely worth a listen.

I'm changing up the infinity yeah schedule. I think This Week's Show works better on Wednesdays, that way we can get geared up for the weekend. So You Should Know About is moving to Mondays and On Repeat will be on Tuesdays.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

On Repeat - 10/6/2010

Totally digging this Bob Dylan cover by ultra-cuties The Morning Benders. It's part of a Bob Dylan tribute compilation from Reimagine Music called Subterranean Homesick Blues: A Tribute to Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home. The old school blues-y guitar takes me back to college, a time when I didn't listen to anything that was recorded before 1975.

Warpaint - Undertow

Warpaint's The Fool has got to be one of the most hotly anticipated LPs of the year. "Undertow" is here to hold you over until it drops October 25th. It's more of that great drone-y stuff the girls do so well. I think you can actually hear hearts breaking on the record.

This selection comes from my good friend Tamara with the instructions "You have to play it super loud!" T has been trying to get me to fall in love with Two Door Cinema Club ever since she saw them and compared their live show to when we saw LCD Soundsystem together. They will be stateside (they're Irish) for CMJ (yay it's October!) and I'd love to catch them. Here's more of what T had to say about TDCC, because I think she put it so well - much better than I could have: "[When they started playing 'Do You Want It All?']...everyone in the place started dancing like mad. What a love fest. Seriously, great great show. What energy! It's in my top 3 along with Foals and LCD Soundsystem for sure! However, if you for some reason are not feeling 'Do You Want It All?' check out 'Something Good Can Work.' It's my ringtone and makes me smile. It's dance-y and tot reflects their sound: upbeat and get-jiggy-wit-it! Or 'I Can Talk' which is darker but still manages to be upbeat. Sexier. More attitude. Their CD is very uniform sounding though, aside from a few mild spikes in tone and tude. I find the beats super energizing!"

Thanks Tamara!

You Should Know About Diamond Rings

I first became aware of Diamond Rings last summer when the video for “All Yr Songs” started making its round on the internet last summer. The video is 80s/analog inspired and the song is similarly adorable. I love the words Diamond Rings (nee John O’Regan) plays with and the way the syllables perfectly fit in the pocket of the beat. And the song is just infectious. I dare you to not get this stuck in your head after an initial listen.

You can’t argue that Diamond Rings’ songs and his aesthetic are unlike anything else out there on the music scene right now. But I think the most impressive thing about O’Regan is that he manages to be completely unique and yet still incredibly catchy and approachable. It’s quite easy to be different if you are doing something that nobody really wants to hear anyway. But there is a real subtle talent about being able to create something new that sounds so familiar. I’m very anxious to see what he does next. Diamond Rings is due to release a full length later this month.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Live Review: Foals at Music Hall of Williamsburg 10/2/2010

So I feel like I need to apologize for my Twitter feed on Saturday night. Get me in my favorite venue, add a few well-timed shots of tequila and I get a little tweet happy. But the Foals show on Saturday night was cah-ray-zee good. It trumped my Matt & Kim experience and took its place in the ranks of my top three shows of all-time. I was a little worried when I first arrived at MHOW as the crowd seemed to be particularly douche-heavy…when did frat boys get such good taste in music? One of them even classlessly burped right in my face. But once the music started, everybody shut up and started dancing. The energy in the room was charged with the feeling that we are all so lucky to be here and we are all having such a good time and aren’t Foals “killing it” right now? It’s one of my favorite feelings ever. I guess the show also gets some “best show ever” points because during the encore Yannis kind of fell on top of me and for about a minute afterward I smelled like his sweat…I swear I’m not a groupie!

I took a video, which is something I’m trying to start doing at more shows so that I have some unique content for infinity yeah. Here is the end of “Electric Bloom” which they ended with before coming back on stage to play “The French Open” and “Two Steps, Twice.” The video is definitely too dark in the beginning but if you stick with it you will be able to discern that Yannis is climbing on the speakers stage right. I also got some pretty good shots of him stage diving and doing some intense drumming on the floor tom. Hopefully this video stuff will become a regular thing and I’ll eventually get better at it.

Oh…I have a small little camera and I turned it lengthwise to record the video. I wasn’t thinking. So this video is 180 degrees rotated. Heehee. Sorry…you'll all have to turn your laptops.

This Week's Show: Mon Khmer at Pianos

Yikes you guys. Totally did not do a good job on This Week's Show today. I'm blaming it on the fact that I'm still recovering from the awesomeness that was Foals on Saturday (recap and videos coming up later tonight!) and I'm planning on having an easy, quiet week. If I was going to go to a show this week though, I probably would have gone to Pianos tonight to catch pseudo-Berklee band Mon Khmer headline a pretty solid lineup. Sorry for the late notice, next week I'll be more on top of things!