I'll admit that these themed-posts takes forever to write and research, so I hope you appreciate this latest handy guide to handsy albums. There are a ton of other albums with hands on the cover, but I'm only including the ones that we've previously mentioned on W♥M.
chairliftmusic.com ♥ myspace.com
Wow, such a great pop song, that "Bruises" song. It's a perfect blend of catchy bass and Rilo Kiley-esque vocals from Caroline Polachek and trying to impress someone with handstand but only regretting getting nothing but black and blue bruises for your trouble. And just when you thought "yes, what a great song", the song turns into a duet! Then ends on a non-sense "doo doo doo", just for good measure.
What I like about them, based on their album, Does You Inspire You, is that their lyrics aren't all about love and relationships: "Garbage" is about all the junk we produce ("we're making shit for you to throw away!") and "Planet Health" seems to be a community of health nut and something about putting out fires by stop, drop, and rolling. I won't read too much into their lyrics, because they seem cryptic enough.
What I think the band is having trouble with is what musical direction they want to take. They're either really catchy pop song ("Bruises", "Garbage") or no-so-pop music ("Ceiling Wax", "Make Your Mind Up", "Le Flying Saucer Hat" - although the beeps are awesome on this song). I know this sound harsh, but I feel that most people who hear "Bruises" and expecting the band to sound like this for the other 12 tracks might be in for a disappointment.
As evidence, I submit one Kate II, who recently saw Chairlift on tour with PB&J. I get the impression that was how the audience react to their show: kind of zombie like, until that "one song" came on.
Still, that song is so good and you'll play the pants off that song and ignore what I've said about the rest of the album.
The band's currently taking their hit song on the road:
06/11/09 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN
06/18/09 Echo Los Angeles, CA
06/21/09 Detroit Bar Costa Mesa, CA
06/22/09 Casbah San Diego, CA
07/18/09 Lovebox London
07/19/09 Latitude Festival Southwold
07/26/09 Secret Garden Party Cambridgeshire
08/01/09 All Points West Liberty State Park, NJ
08/08/09 Lollapalooza Chicago
08/13/09 Oya Festival Oslo
08/14/09 Way Out West Goteborg
08/16/09 Summer Sundae Leicester
Get "Evident Utensil" free from killeropeners.net
yeahyeahyeahs.com ♥ myspace.com ♥ twitter
Let me be clear: we are not a YYY website, I get questions about the banner all the time, showing one model/singer Marijne van der Vlugt.
So, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are pretty well-established now, with their third studio album, It's Blitz!. If you've liked the old yyy with their experimental noises and guitars, you may not like their new album - even though I think it's the best and most easily accessible music from them. If you think that's a joke, well the yolk's on you. Because I'm serious, this is their best work... I would recommend It's Blitz!, not the over-hyped Show Your Bones album, to fans that are just getting into the yyys.
The band seems to mostly a collaboration between singer/fashion-trendsetter Karen O and guitarist Nick Zinner. They seem to share most of the spotlight, and you almost feel bad for whatthedrummer's dude (Brian Chase). But I don't think he minds it much, based on his incredibly detailed blog.
For the most part, the I really liked the electro-dance songs: "Zero", "Heads Will Roll", and "Dull Life" sounds anything but dull. There's also a few tuned down tracks, "Hysteric" and "Little Shadow", which are great as you can really take the time and hear Karen O singing.
If you get the deluxe edition of the album, which I'll recommend, it comes with four bonus acoustic tracks. Maybe you can pick it up at one of their shows:
06/10/09 Club 101 El Paso, Texas
06/12/09 Bonnaroo Manchester, Tennessee
06/24/09 T-Mobile In Music Festival Zagreb
06/26/09 St. Gallen Festival St. Gallen
06/27/09 Le Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats Evreux
06/28/09 Glastonbury Festival Worthy Farm
06/30/09 Openair Arena Vienna
07/01/09 Roxy Prague
07/03/09 Eurockeenes Belfort
07/04/09 Werchter Festival Werchter
07/05/09 Roskilde Roskilde
07/07/09 Docks Hamburg
07/10/09 T In The Park Kinross, Scotland
07/11/09 Oxegen Festival Punchestown, Dublin
07/18/09 Quebec City Summer Festival Quebec City, Quebec
07/19/09 Ottawa Bluesfest Ottawa, Ontario
07/31/09 All Points West Jersey City, New Jersey
08/28/09 Rock en Seine Paris
08/29/09 Leeds Festival Leeds
08/30/09 Reading Festival Reading
antlersmusic.com ♥ myspace.com ♥ twitter
I've mentioned before that I think a band is important/notable when they have a Wikipedia page... as usually I rely on the user-submitted website for a lot of research. Unfortunately, The Antler's Wiki page tells you nothing about this mysterious band... only to mention that their latest release, Hospice, was "critically acclaimed". Upon digging, NPR calls Hospice Best Record of 2009 So Far.
The band seems to center around Peter Silberman, who's been having a lot of success. He recently signed with Frechkiss Records.
Apparently the album, Hospice, was inpired by the idea of caring for a terminal patient, who's mentally abusive. It's a difficult situation because they're the one that's dying... This will all be suddenly clear when you hear "Epilogue", which tells the story in song.
So, I'll have to say that listening to the album was a struggle for me. It is very atmospheric and you really need to listen with headphones to try and catch everything. The vocals are often drowned in a sea of noise and it feels like shoegazy/spacey for me. It's also too dense for me, and it seems like the sort of music that Pitchfork would love (and they do).
I would suggest checking out "Sylvia" as a sample song, but it's a bit too harsh and loud. Instead, I'll direct you to check out "Two". There's a lot of interesting sound on this song, and the vocals sounds like it's being sung far, far away from the microphone.
Oh yeah, tour dates:
06/10/09 BAR PINK San Diego, CA
06/11/09 EL REY* LOS ANGELES, CA
06/12/09 VELVET JONES* Santa Barbara, CA
06/13/09 BIMBOS* San Francisco, CA
06/14/09 DRUNKEN UNICORN+ (Peter Solo) Atlanta, GA
06/16/09 LOCAL 506+ Chapel Hill, NC
06/17/09 OUTBACK LODGE+ Charlottesville, VA
06/18/09 IOTA+ Arlington, VA
06/19/09 M ROOM+ Philadelphia, PA
06/21/09 MAGIC STICK# Detroit, MI
06/26/09 SOUNDFIX presents @ ROOFTOP FILMS New York
07/18/09 PITCHFORK FESTIVAL Chicago, IL
07/21/09 MAGIC STICK# Detroit, Michigan
07/22/09 HORSESHOE TAVERN# Toronto
07/23/09 PETIT CAMPUS# Montreal
07/24/09 JERKY’S# Providence, RI
07/25/09 IRON HORSE# Northampton, MA
08/21/09 MERCURY LOUNGE (record release!) New York
09/12/09 MONOLITH FESTIVAL Morrison, CO
09/13/09 MONOLITH FESTIVAL Morrison, CO
* w/ Au Revoir Simone, + w/ Cotton Jones, # w/ Frightened Rabbit
hootsandhellmouth.com ♥ myspace ♥ twitter
So, the first thing I think about when I hear Hoots and Hellmouth's sophomore album, The Holy Open Secret, is that they are good old country folks. You can't help but smile when you hear their music, that's for sure.
It would seem that the band name comes from their two primary songwriters: Sean Hoots and Andrew "Hellmouth" Gray (the nickname comes from an ex-girlfriend). The band came together as part of the West Chester University music scene in Philadelphia in 2005.
Obviously, as I previously mentioned, I was drawn to the happier songs (banjo-picking "You and All of Us", "Watch Your Mouth"), while the softer, more introspective songs ("Ne'er Do Well", "Family Band") fits well enough in the album, but I don't know how well-receive they will be performed live. To me, they seem like a high-energy live band.
It's also worth noting when I saw "What Good Are Plowshares If We use Them Like Swords", this is the first time I've ever heard the word plowshare used in a song. It made me smile as I think of Magic the Gathering.
Yes, they're on tour:
06/09/09 The Redstone Room Davenport, IA
06/10/09 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, MN
06/11/09 Shank Hall Milwaukee, WI
06/13/09 Intersection+ Grand Rapids, MI
06/14/09 Ribfest Chicago - North Stage Chicago, IL
06/18/09 joe’s pub New York, NY
06/19/09 Gullifty’s Camp Hill, PA
06/20/09 Southern Shore Music Festival Millville, NJ
07/03/09 Jewish Mother* Virginia Beach, VA
07/04/09 Jewish Mother* Virginia Beach, VA
07/09/09 Club Passim Cambridge, MA
07/10/09 Empire Dine & Dance Portland, ME
07/11/09 StageOne Fairfield, CT
07/16/09 The Basement Nashville, TN
07/17/09 JJ’s Bohemia# Chattanooga, TN
07/18/09 The Beacon Pub Swannanoa, NC
07/19/09 Unplugged in the Park @ Park Tavern Atlanta, GA
07/21/09 The Melting Point Athens, GA
07/22/09 The Evening Muse Charlotte, NC
07/23/09 The Camel Richmond, VA
08/05/09 Musikfest - Liederplatz Stage Bethlehem, PA
08/07/09 Infinity Hall Norfolk, CT
08/14/09 Summerfest Society Owen Sound, ON
09/11/09 The Ark Ann Arbor, MI
+ w/ Rev Horton Heat!
* with The Hackensaw Boys
# w/ Madeline and The Ginger Envelope