Category Archives: Video

Toy announces 2014 US Tour

TOY announces US Tour

I’m listening to TOY’s “Join The Dots” album and it’s truly masterful. I can usually find something wrong with even the music and bands I love, but this album may be perfection. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to listen to the entire album here.

TOY have just announced a 2014 US Tour, and while it breaks my heart that Denver isn’t represented in the cities that they are visiting, I am really glad to know that somewhere in the world (Los Angeles to be specific) an audience will be treated to TOY and The Horrors on the same night. If you live in LA and you skip this, fucking move away from there – because what’s the point? Find the tour dates below.

Apr 28 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
Apr 29 – Portland, CA – Doug Fir
Apr 30 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
May 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The First Unitarian Church (SOLD OUT) *
May 4 – Austin, TX – Austin Psych Fest
May 5 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
May 6 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

* – w/ The Horrors

 

New album details and video from The Horrors

Recorded over 15 months in the band’s east London studio-laboratory-bunker with co-producer Craig Silvey (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, The National), Luminous is the follow-up to the band’s 2007 debut Strange House, the Mercury-nominated Primary Colours (2009), and the critically-acclaimed Skying (2011) – a record that entered the charts the UK charts at number five, featured prominently in the end-of-year magazine/newspaper polls, and was anointed NME’s Album Of The Year. Luminous is trailed by “I See You,” which received its first broadcast earlier today on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. The seven-and-half-minute synth anthem was recently unveiled at The Fly Awards in London, where The Horrors were joined onstage by Thurston Moore. Luminous is out on May 6. The track listing is: Chasing Shadows First Day Of Spring So Now You Know In and Out Of Sight Jealous Sun Falling Star I See You Change Your Mind Mine and Yours Sleepwalk

TheNationalReview

Review: The National – Trouble Will Find Me

Years ago, when I was a younger and more misanthropic record store employee, a coworker of mine used to say that even the best bands in the world really only had 3 great albums in them, with very few exceptions.  Or more likely he said something like “It’s Modest Mouse’s 5th album? Fuckin’ forget it.”

Trouble Will Find Me is The Nationals 6th full-length release.  Let me start by saying I love The National.  I have threatened fellow writers Tyler Jacobson and Jake Ryan with physical violence in arguments over The National.  I honestly believe Alligator and Boxer were 2 of the greatest albums of the last decade and “Mistaken For Strangers” might be one of the greatest rock songs ever written.  But it seems that The National, like so many other bands before them, have aged out of their youthful angst and settled into a comfortable routine together.  Which, appropriately, are some of the themes this album explores.

In “Demons,” Matt Berninger sings “I’m going through an awkward phase/I am secretly in love with/Everyone that I grew up with” invoking a wistfulness over lost youth and the adolescent relationships that shaped him.  In “I Need My Girl,” he says “I know I was a lot of things…I can’t get my head around it/I keep feeling smaller and smaller,” as though he is looking back over his life.

These are themes so many artists have explored as they mature, which is something I can attest to even in my own writing.  And Berninger is, at times, even brilliant in his own acknowledgement of this.  In “Graceless,” he writes “Is there a powder to erase this?/Is it dissolvable and tasteless?/You can’t imagine how I hate this.”  And there is something to be said for self-reflection, acknowledgement of regret, and uncertainty for the future.

Trouble does have moments of absolute genius. Bryan Devendorf’s always inventive drumming gives “Demons” a pulsing sense of immediacy. “Graceless” has an extremely catchy melody and even approaches a dance beat, making it a candidate for one of the break out hits on the album.  But possibly the most beautiful track on Trouble is “Fireproof.”  It is sparse with haunting minor guitar melodies and delicately swelling strings throughout.  Perhaps this song best of all showcases Berninger’s heartbreaking baritone.

But, ultimately, much like High Violet before it, the album is somewhat lacking in the visceral energy of The National’s earlier work.  Which, as I said before, is no real surprise for a 6th full-length release.  To quote my friend Joe, it may be that The National is destined to become an NPR band from here on out.  However, given that the band ends the album with the line “You can all just kiss off into the air,” to quote the Violent Femmes, it is unlikely they care a great deal what this writer thinks.

The National – “Demons”

 

King Khan & The Shrines

VIDEO: King Khan & The Shrines – “Bite My Tongue”

The best news I’ve heard all day… (well, that’s not true – but it’s in the top 3.) King Khan & The Shrines have announced a follow up to What Is!? and released a video offering the first taste. Idle No More will be released by Merge Records on Sept. 3rd.

From King Khan:

It has been a lengthy hiatus, but we have finally finished our latest ‘masterpiece’ and named it after an incredible indigenous-rights movement that is happening right now called Idle No More

I was born and raised in Montreal and spent a lot of time on the Kahnawake Mohawk Indian reservation. Much of my juvenile delinquent training came from years of tripping out there with my best friends. I began the Shrines in 1999 with the blessings from my brothers in The Spaceshits, right after we disbanded. The dream was to make something reminiscent of Sun Ra, James Brown, and Otis Redding with a hint of The Velvet Underground, Love, The Monks and about a million other influences that riddled my LSD-soaked brain at the tender age of 22.

The Shrines was my pirate ship and we sailed many a turbulent sea, spreading our music ‘like peanut butter’ all over the world. We celebrated our cult ‘underground’ status and became the kings we are through word of mouth and by making an ‘aural eyegasm’ that has often been called the ‘wildest show on earth.’

Idle No More is probably the most refined piece of music we have made to date. The songs are about the state of the world we live in today. It took a long time to make, but we are very proud and pleased to bring you this album. I hope that the future will brighten up every time it is played. Ultimately, John and Yoko were absolutely right: LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED!

Peace and Love,

King-Bama Lama Khan

Emperor of RnB

3 Songs to hear this week

3 songs to hear this week: 5.24.13

Looking for some new sounds? Try these 3 songs to hear this week on for size. They are mostly new, save for Parquet Courts – but our friend Lenny has been (rightfully) on me about checking these guys out. I finally did. Solid band.

1. La Luz – “Sure as Spring”

Tour Dates:
Jun 28 – Portland, OR – The Know
Jun 30 – San Francisco, CA – The Hemlock
Jul 2 – San Diego, CA – VOID
Jul 3 – Phoenix, AZ – The Last Exit
Jul 4 – Marfa, TX – Padres
Jul 5 – Austin, TX – Hotel Vegas
Jul 6 – Fort Worth, TX – The Wherehouse
Jul 8 – Atlanta, GA – 529
Jul 9 – Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light
Jul 10 – Nashville, TN – Stone Fox
Jul 11 – Boone, NC – Black Cat Burrito
Jul 12 – Baltimore, MD – Golden West Cafe
Jul 14 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
Jul 15 – Boston, MA – TTs the Bears
Jul 17 – New Haven, CT – BAR
Jul 18 – Harrisburg, PA – The Makespace
Jul 19 – Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog
Jul 20 – Detroit, MI – Garden Bowl
Jul 24 – Denver, CO – Moes
Jul 26 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
Jul 27 – Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party

2. Alpine – “Gasoline”

Pretty much anything out of Australia will get me to pay attention. There’re so many good bands coming out of there lately spanning the spectrum of genres. That said, this song is much better if you’re not watching the video. -Tyler

Alpine Tour Dates
*supporting Crystal Fighters
†supporting Grouplove

June 1 San Diego, CA The Casbah*
June 4 Los Angeles, CA El Rey Theatre*
June 5 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall*
June 7 Portland, OR Holocene*
June 8 Vancouver, BC Electric Owl*
June 9 Seattle, WA The Crocodile*
June 11 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge*
June 12 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge*
June 13 Brooklyn, NY Celebrate Brooklyn†
June 14 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall*
June 15 Toronto, ON The Hoxton*
June 17 Montreal, CA SAT*
June 18 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair*
June 19 New York, NY Webster Hall*

3. Parquet Courts – “Stoned and Starving”

Tour Dates:
MAY 25th@ The Black Cat – Washington,DC w/ Total Control, UV Race

MAY 26th @ Strange Matter Richmond,VA w/ Total Control, UV Race

MAY 27th @ 529 Atlanta,GA – w/ Total Control, UV Race

MAY 28th @ Murphy’s – Memphis,TN w/ Total Control, UV Race

MAY 29th @ RGRS – Denton,TX w/ Total Control, UV Race, Endless Thoughts

MAY 30th-June 2nd CHAOS IN TEJAS – Austin, TX

JUN 2nd @ El Cosmica FREE SHOW – Marfa, TX

JUN 3rd @ The Rhythm Room – Phoenix, AZ

JUN 4th @ Che Café – San Diego, CA

JUN 5th @ The Echo – Los Angeles, CA

JUN 6th @ Richshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA

JUN 9th @ 1234-GO Records – Oakland, CA – w/ Pure Bliss

JUN 10th @ Davis 4th – Davis, CA

JUN 12th @ Doug Fir – Portland, OR

JUN 13th @ Neumos – Seattle, WA

JUN 14th @ Electric Owl – Vancouver, BC

JUN 17th @ Neurolux – Boise, ID

JUN 18th @ Urban Lounge – Salt Lake City, UT

JUN 19th @ Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO

JUN 20th @ Sweatshop – Omaha, NE

JUN 21st @ Triple Rock – Minneapolis, MN

JUN 22nd @ High Noon- Madison,WI

JUN 23rd @ The Bishop – Bloomington,IN

JUN 24th @ Magic Stick Detroit, MI w/ Protomartyr, Feelings

JUN 29th @ South Street Seaport 4 Knots Music Festival - New York City FREE SHOW

JULY 4th @ Eurokeenes Festival – Belfort, FR

JULY 5th @ Hove Festival – Tromøy Island, NO

JULY 6th @ Roskilde Festival – Copenhagen, DK

JULY 7th @ Metropolis Festival – Rotterdam, NL

JULY 7th @ Wereld Draait Buiten Festival – Amsterdam, NL

JULY 9th @ What We Do Is Secret Festival – Stockholm, SE

JULY 10th @ What We Do Is Secret Festival – Göteborg, SE

JULY 13th @ TT The Bear’s w/ Woods – Boston, MA

JULY 14th @ Space 53 w/ Woods – Portland, ME

JULY 15th @ Signal Kitchen w/ Woods – Burlington, VT

JULY 16th @ Il Motore w/ Woods – Montreal, QC

July 17th @ Horseshow Tavern w/ Woods – Toronto, ON

JUL 20th @ Pitchfork Music Festival – Union Park, Chicago, IL

JULY 22nd @ Zanzabar w/ Woods – Louisville, KY

JULY 23rd @ Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar w/ Woods – Charlottesville, VA

JULY 24th @ Morgan’s Pier FREE SHOW- w/ Woods

JULY 25th @ Ottobar w/ Woods – Baltimore, MD

AUG 2-4 @ Pickathon Festival – Happy Valley, OR

AUG 9th @ Oya Festival – Oslo, NO

AUG 11th @ Flow Festival – Helsinki, FL

AUG 16th @ Green Man Festival – Black Mountains, Wales, UK

AUG 17th @ Route Du Rock Festival – Sainto Malo, FR

AUG 23rd @ Leeds Festival – Leeds, UK

AUG 24th @ Reading Festival – Reading, UK

AUG 25th @ Rock En Seine Festival – Paris, FR

AUG 30th @ End of the Road Festival
Curated by Boyz II Men – North Dorset, UK

AUG 31 @ Electric Picnic Festival – Dublin, IE

SEPT 2nd @ AN Club – Athens, GR

SEPT 6th @ Berlin Festival – Berlin, DE

SEPT 7th @ Into The Great Wide Open Festival – Vlieland Island, NL

SEPT 8th @ Bestival – Isle of Wight, UK

SEPT 28th @ Pappy and Harriet’s WOODSIST FESTIVAL – PIONEERTOWN – Pioneertown, CA

OCT 8-13th @ Austin City Limits – Austin, TX

brmc-peter-hayes-black-rebel-motorcycle-club-8308485-600-324

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at the Gothic Theater

Several songs into Monday night’s show at The Gothic Theater, Robert Levon Been of BRMC asked the crowd, “Do you all still believe in the power of love and fucking rock and roll music?”  And the resounding response from the crowd restored our faith in rock and roll, if only for one night.

There are many different definitions of “rock and roll music,” but since its earliest origins, the core of rock has always been based in classic blues and rhythm & blues.  Many years ago, having grown sick to death of classic rockers like Zeppelin, Hendrix, and Aerosmith, I said something to the effect of “If I never have to endure another blues based rock band, I’ll dance naked on the roof in celebration.”

But the last decade has brought us a resurgence of blues based rockers like the Jack White, The Black Keys, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.  This generation of bands base their sound not on their bloated classic rock predecessors, but on the blues legends of old like Leadbelly and Robert Johnson, creating a sound far more raw and authentic feeling than the blues based rock of yesteryear.  Throw in a little Velvet Underground, a dash of Jesus and Mary Chain, and a heaping scoop of a live show with edge and immediacy, and BRMC has crafted a sound that could potentially save us all.

BRMC  once asked us “Whatever Happened to my Rock and Roll?” And over the course of the last decade, BRMC has brought it back to us.  So yes, Robert, thanks to you, Peter and Leah, I still believe in the power of love and fucking rock and roll music.

Love Burns – live at The Gothic Theater 5/20/13

 

Conscience Killer – live at The Gothic Theater 5/20/13

 

And check out photos of the show on the Denver Post’s “Hey Reverb” blog

 

joy-formidable-feature

Songs I like: Ladies Night

By now most folks know where I stand on the present sensitive folk movement.  Mainly that I’m over it.  So today I thought I would prove I’m capable of more than just bitching and post some bands I actually like.  And no, none of them formed in the 90’s.

In my latest search for bands with balls, I realized a lot of the music I’m hearing and liking. with real heart, is being made by women.  Not that this is a revelation; women have been making substantive rock music for a long time, from Janis Joplin to PJ Harvey to Karen O.  But unlike other women I’ve known, I’ve never been the kind of fan who uses gender to differentiate musicians.  And as a musician myself, many of my own idols and mentors have been men, something which has never been an issue for me one way or the other.

My point being that in my ongoing search for music that is meaningful to me, in this never ending onslaught of watery goo washing across the internet, I wasn’t seeking out female artists specifically; so I was surprised to find women making a large portion of guitar heavy indie rock.  And yes, I know men are doing it too, bands like APTBS, Titus Andronicus, Metz, and many others along with half the members of the bands below.  But I think it’s nice that in age where many men are choosing to grow sensitive beards and play lute or whatever, more and more women like Marnie Stern, Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females, and women of No Joy are out there fucking shredding.  So, nice balls ladies, way to go.

Here are some of the others I’ve been enjoying:

The Joy Formidable:  A Welsh rock band formed in 2007.  This track is from their 2012 album Wolf’s Law

The Ladder is Ours

 

Ume:  An Austin-based trio just starting to garner real recognition.  If you don’t know these guys yet, you need to.  This track is from their Sunshower EP, not their most recent, but one of my favorites.

The Conductor

 

The Naked and Famous:  Admittedly, I haven’t loved everything these guys have done.  They can be a little sugar-pop for my taste.  But this song from their debut album, Passive Me, Agressive You, caught my ear some time ago, and I think it’s a great example of how a band can mix synth with rock to produce something both beautiful and agressive.

Frayed

3 New Songs You Need To Hear

3 new songs to hear this week: 05.10.13

It’s not all “Grohl’s a hypocrite” this and “people in clubs are dicks” that here in the underground headquarters of YMIA. Sometimes music puts a smile on our face – lots of times actually. So, here’s where we take some time to stop pissing and moaning about Mumford and all of his many sons to expose you to some of the new songs that we believe will turn your grimace into an honest smile less of a grimace.

Take a few minutes and give these songs your ear. You’ll be better for it.

1.) Wooden Indian Burial Ground – “Helicopter”

Tour Dates:
May 7th – Portland, OR – The Know
May 8th – Seattle, WA – Sunset Tavern
May 9th – Sandpoint, ID – Downtown Crossing
May 10th – Missoula, MT – Ole Beck VFW
May 11th – Bozeman, MT – Filling Station
May 12th – Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
May 14th – Milwaukee, WI – Quarters Rock & Roll Palace
May 15th – Chicago, IL – Quencher’s Saloon
May 16th – Champaign, IL – Thee Death Tower
May 17th – Columbus, OH – Rumba Café
May 18th – Washington, DC – The Sunshine District
May 19th – Harrisburg, PA – Stage On Herr
May 20th – Baltimore, MD – Club K
May 21st – Doylestown, PA – Siren Records
May 22nd – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Necktie (downstairs)
May 24th – Brooklyn, NY – The Grand Victory
May 25th – Burlington, VT – Monkey House
May 26th – Portland, ME – Gino’s
May 29th – Cleveland, OH – Happy Dog
May 30th – Akron, OH – Annabelle’s
May 31st/ June 2nd – Nelsonville, OH – Nelsonville Music Fest
June 3rd – Newport, KY – Southgate House
June 4th – Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia
June 5th – Knoxville, TN – Pilot Light
June 6th – Memphis, TN – Bar DKDC
June 7th – Little Rock, AR – Vino’s Brewpub
June 8th – Fayetteville, AK – Nightbird Books
June 9th – Tulsa, OK – Soundpony
June 10th – Nashville, TN – The Stone Fox
June 11th – Birmingham, AL – Bottle Tree
June 12th – Mobile, AL – Music Box
June 15th – Shreveport, LA – Fatty Arbuckles
June 18th – Marfa, TX – El Cosmico or Lost Horse Saloon
June 19th – El Paso, TX – Calavero Cafe
June 20th – Las Cruces, NM – The Trainyard
June 21st – Santa Fe, NM – High Mayhem
June 22nd – Durango, CO – Olde Schoolhouse Café
June 25th – Boise, ID – Neurolux
June 29th – Portland, OR – Star Theater

2.) Sulk – “The Big Blue”

I love this band – We’d been waiting for their debut release, “Graceless”, for a long time and it’s finally out. I can assure you, it doesn’t disappoint. It’s an entire album full of A Side single worthy material.

3.) Drowners – “Long Hair”

Tour Dates:
6/11 – Rams Head Live – Baltimore, MD *
6/12 – Jefferson Theater – Charlottesville, VA *
8/5 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK #
8/7 – Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ #
8/8 – House Of Blues – San Diego, CA #
8/9 – WIltern Theatre – Los Angeles, CA #

* – w/ The Vaccines
# – w/ Foals

Blur live at the Mercury Cafe in Denver - 1996

Blur – Live at the Mercury Cafe in Denver – Feb. 1, 1996

Our friend Phil recently posted this gem while he was prepping himself for his visit to Coachella. I was in the Mercury Cafe when this happened… this fantastic show by Blur. I wasn’t in the room where it was taking place though. A conman had convinced my roommates that he worked for Virgin – and being that my roommates were aspiring musicians it was an easy con – and in exchange for letting him couch surf in our house for a couple of days would ensure our entry into the show. While I can cite several instances as being this man’s lone detractor (that is until he disappeared in the middle of the night with several items belonging to my roommates at which point everyone got on board) I must have believed him enough to not bother securing my own tickets. Here is what appears to be the full video of that very show…. see how smart I am? Only had to wait 18 years and I got to see the show for free.

Setlist:
Intermission
Popscene
Tracy Jacks
It Could Be You
Charmless Man
End Of A Century
Oily Water
Mr. Robinson’s Quango
Jubilee
To The End
She’s So High
Globe Alone

A Place To Bury Strangers

A Place to Bury Strangers does Dead Moon, and the Question of Covers

A Place To Bury Strangers‘ exclusive Record Store Day release “Strange Moon,” is a tribute to Portland punk veterans Dead Moon on 12″ colored vinyl (for those vinyl fetishists out there).  In conjunction with the record, the band released this statement:

“I first saw Dead Moon perform around 1992. Dead Moon was my friends favorite band and soon to become one of mine. It was the first of many shows he booked for them and I was lucky enough to get to know and play along side Fred, Toody and Andrew. They played before a band and proceeded to usurp the room with their straight up, stripped back, raw honesty and unbelievably great songs. Since joining A Place To Bury Strangers, we haven’t recorded a single cover, until now. I like that APTBS has never made carbon copy versions of covers and has always made each song their own.  When Oliver came up with the idea to do Strange Moon, it  sounded like such an exciting and interesting project. A Place To Bury Strangers doing Dead Moon? Hell yeah, lets do it!!”— Dion Lunadon, APTBS

On the first track, “Don’t Burn the Fires,” APTBS stay true to the song’s original form while adding a heavy dose of their signature face-melting noise and distortion to create a recording, I humbly think, Dead Moon would be proud of.  Check out both versions back to back.

 

Which brings me to a larger, more general question that’s been coming up in conversation with my musician friends for the last several months: to cover or not to cover?

More and more I’ve been hearing band members say “I would never play a cover song,” a sentiment which I find surprising.  There seems to be a pervading attitude among people I know that covers are cheesy sell-out crap for bands who aren’t original enough to write their own material.  There is a great deal of disagreement even in my own band on this.

Look, I get that cover bands are for weddings and the kind of street festival that serves giant turkey legs, but that’s a far cry from a band who puts a well-placed cover in their set by a artist they love and take influence from.  Especially if the band makes an effort to make that song their own.  There is a long and distinguished tradition of this in rock music.  Here’s a few, just off the top of my head:

  • Johnny Cash – Hurt (Nine Inch Nails)
  • The Lemonheads – Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkle)
  • The White Stripes – I Just Don’t Know What to do With Myself (Dusty Springfield)
  • Bjork – It’s Oh So Quiet (Betty Hutton)
  • Patti Smith – Gloria (Van Morrison)
  • Death Cab for Cutie – Earth Angel (The Penguins)
  • Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (Traditional)
  • The Flaming Lips – Dark Side of the Moon, in its entirety (Pink Floyd)

These aren’t party-band assholes, everyone on this list is a respectable artist.  And these are only the artists who took the time to record and release their cover songs.  Many of the people I’ve engaged in conversation about this topic are also against simply placing a cover in a set.  I would argue that a well done cover can be useful for both huge and unknown bands alike.  When an unknown band puts one solid cover in their set, it helps them engage the audience in a way that their originals can’t.

Your average small-show attendee is some drunken douche who’ll spend half his time looking at his phone and the other half trying to grope the girl in knee sox to his right.  He doesn’t give a shit about your crappy band.  But throw in your own loud noise version of Buddy Holly, and suddenly he’s paying attention.

And when a well known band like Atoms For Peace does a live cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” paying ticket holders practically pee themselves.  Which you can watch for yourself:

So bravo APTBS, you paid tribute to a great band that shaped you and you did it in an original way.  That’s exactly what a cover should be. And as for the larger debate on whether bands should consider cover songs, I take the same stance I take with tequila shots.  1 or 2 can add some excitement in an otherwise dull night, but too many and your shirt smells like vomit.  What do you think?