Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 26, 2008 at 3:00 pm
People tend to sometimes have the opinion that “nothing is going on in Detroit.” This, of course, is wrong. Remember Rock City? Yeah…that was fun. Anyway, here’s a couple of worthy, Detroit-centric news bits that we found while poking around the Internets.
Stereogum has posted an interview with Pas/Cal‘s Casmier Pascal, talking about a new song from their upcoming album that we already reviewed called “Glorious Ballad of the Ignored.” It’s about nerds getting beat up.
Pitchfork has a little blurb up about Comerica Cityfest — the one where the Zombies, Broken Social Scene, and a bunch of great locals, ranging from the Dead Bodies to Zoos of Berlin are playing; the one where you can eat fish ‘n chips for 11 dollars, er, we mean, eight tickets.
Webvomit points out that there is a benefit show for Slow’s BBQ employee Nancy Naperala — who, sadly, suffered a stroke a few weeks ago — happening TONIGHT at the Bohemian National Home, featuring Magic Shop, Dark Red, Shadiamond La Freedom, Sweet Bird, and the Readies. Doors are at 9:00 pm, and it’s a mere 10 bucks to get in.
– Ryan Allen
Tags: Bohemian National Home, Broken Social Scene, Cityfest, Dark Red, Dead Bodies, Magic Shop, Nancy Naperala, Pas/Cal, Shadiamond La freedom, Sweet Bird, The Readies, The Zombies, Zoos of Berlin
Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 26, 2008 at 2:00 pm
Head Like a Kite, There is Loud Laughter Everywhere (Mush, 2008)
Listen: “We Were So Entangled”
Seattle-area musician Dave Einmo’s second effort as Head Like a Kite follows the formula of 2006′s Random Portraits of the Home Movie, marrying easily digested electronic rhythms and production niceties to the beat of conventional indie rock. If you’re thinking that the result of that marriage might sound like a listenable, yet underwhelming blend of Eels, Beck, and LCD Soundsystem, you’re right. There’s nothing wrong with There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere, necessarily. Einmo and his collaborators usually locate a phrase to hang a scraggly guitar line on, which is then matched to looped live drums or processed electronic percussion; other times, they come up with what amounts to a typical indie rock song with a bit of electronic flair added. This album’s “Big FM Radio Hit,” for example, is a ringer for the last album’s Smoosh-guesting “Noise at the Circus.” But there’s nothing that really stands out on this record, either. Smoosh vocalist Asya even returns for “Daydream Vacation.” “Six Bags of Confetti” features the familiar “Wee-ooh Wee-ohh” keyboard setup, the blatant LCD-lite of “Listen Young Stunners” doesn’t live up to its cool name, and “Letting it Go on the Ohio Turnpike” helps fulfill the album’s non sequitur-sample-meets-swirling electronic figure quotient. It’s all passable, even listenable. But Loud Laughter rarely if ever causes question, curiosity, or even a sense of cool. — Johnny Loftus
Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 26, 2008 at 12:00 pm
The Old 97s, Blame it on Gravity (New West, 2008)
Listen: “Dance With Me”
Old 97s are back…and the same as they ever were. Which is refreshing, particularly in an era when alt country is an antiquated term and durable pop-rock songwriting is often considered too safe or straightforward to be viable. In other words, Blame it on Gravity requires patience, but then it blooms as big as those gushing yellow sunflowers splashed across its cover art. Head 97 Rhett Miller took a solo detour in the early 2000s, after the well-received Satellite Rides, and as he explored heartthrob jangle pop, the band took a break and the world started to veer away from the alt country scene that had embraced them. But they never really broke up, and as Gravity proves, they’ve stuck with each other and the changes in a fickle market to make a record as heartfelt, from the dust, and as hopeful as that perfect and elusive Saturday night in our minds. Tender guitars chime in the background of rewarding stuff like “My Two Feet,” while “I Will Remain” hunkers into its AM country station jaunt like it’s trying on a comfortable old pair of cowboy boots. “Dance With Me” and opener “The Fool,” meanwhile, crank the amps a bit, and Miller’s lyrics take an incisive, biting turn — these are the tunes for everyone who longs for another “Timebomb,” the 97s’ biggest hit and still one of their greatest songs. Welcome back, fellas. We’ll buy you a round the next time you’re in town, payment for rewarding our patience. — Johnny Loftus
Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 26, 2008 at 11:00 am
If you’ve already downloaded it, you pretty much know that The Slip is Nine Inch Nails’ strongest collection of electro power jams since, well, that “Perfect Drug” song was all over MTV. Since Trent Reznor has become the Goth/Industrial version of Ian McKaye and Thurston Moore — giving shit away for free, taking cool bands like Deerhunter on tour — it’s not surprising that he’s doing something special for the official physical release of The Slip, giving you more bang for your buck. The CD version of the album comes out July 22, is limited to 250,000 copies worldwide, and contains a DVD featuring footage for the band’s upcoming tour, as well as a 24-page booklet and sticker pack (stickers!!!). A gatefold vinyl version of the album comes out August 5. So now you can slip it in three ways…just the tip, halfsies, or all the way. — Ryan Allen
Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 26, 2008 at 10:00 am
Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 26, 2008 at 9:00 am
Stars Like Fleas, The Ken Burns Effect (Hometapes, 2008)
Listen: “Karma’s Hoax”
We’d heard about and read the Robert Wyatt comparisons everywhere, but man oh man, Stars Like Fleas really does suggest the old English folkie and glorious weirdo. There are the vocals on The Ken Burns Effect — halting, whispery, and in a quavering falsetto. But there’s also the group’s penchant for free improv, for the way a burst of blurting saxophone will suddenly overtake a quiet swash of violin, or how samples will combine with live instruments in ways not thought possible by most humans. But then, most humans aren’t Stars Like Fleas leader Shannon Fields and his collaborators, not to mention Robert Wyatt. Most humans do appreciate more melody and directness in their music, two things that The Ken Burns Effect doesn’t have. It’s an album built from little moments, instead — the way a vocal line is sung to match and play off the plaint of an instrument, or the anticipation of “Toast Suren” as it builds from the sound of an orchestra tuning up to an anti-crescendo of random percussion and bits of tossed-off guitar. And yet, if you stick with them, Stars Like Fleas will reward you with something like “You Azre My Meoir,” a blissfully perfect little pop song if there ever was one. The rest of the time, well, you have to take the beauty with the strange murmurs. Recommended only if you like thirteen-minute songs built from the tinkle of music boxes. Yes, some of us do. — Johnny Loftus
Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 25, 2008 at 6:00 pm
Obvious Bright Eyes comparisons aside, New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus vomit up raspy, fist-pumping indie rock that sounds like an amalgam of the Boss and the Replacements, with Motown-inspired intros and an energy that rivals a high Read more
Posted by: Johnny Loftus on June 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm
Archers of Loaf, “Harnessed in Slums” (Alias, 1995)
It’s awesome that the dudes in Archers of Loaf are like, wearing whatever they played a game of pickup basketball in the morning this video was shot. Eric Bachmann might have even been wearing the same shirt that time we saw Archers with Mary Timony and Helium at Rick’s Cafe in Ann Arbor. (Don’t bother looking; it’s not there anymore.) We’re not saying that some groups nowadays try too hard to match their visual sense Read more
Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm
Swiping their keyboards from Brainiac’s Hissing Prigs in the Static Couture and their vocal stabs from 1970s punk icons X-Ray Spex and the Adverts, Montreal’s Dutches Says squiggle and squeal their way through “Ccut Up” with a feverish flair. If the rest of their new album, Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs — to be released September Read more
Tags: Alien8, Brainiac, Dutchess Says, The Adverts, X-Ray Spex
Posted by: Ryan Allen on June 25, 2008 at 4:00 pm
From Fox News’ “Red Eye” — the show that brought us this bizarre interview with Stephen Malkmus a few months back — comes an interview with Drag City Records’ “funny man” Neil Hamburger. Hamburger, who has appeared on the show once before, turns up to promote his new country album, Neil Hamburger Sings Read more