Future Islands played a small and sold-out show at The Eagle Rock Center of the Arts last night, spending most of the night unveiling songs off their pending 4AD debut, Singles. It was really exciting to hear the new songs for the first time, and the band seemed genuinely excited about them as well. They opened with a song called, “Back In The Tall Grass,” which was by far the highlight of the night for me – slowly building until a rhythm break that had everyone dancing. Can’t wait to hear it again.
Throwback Thursday of sorts. If your band isn’t taking advantage of the stage and getting into it as much as Samuel Herring does at live shows, you should just stop playing live. Go album only.
If anyone is keeping tabs (and I doubt that anyone is), the effect that the mid-90s DC indie scene had on me should be pretty obvious. Artists from Simple Machines, Dischord, and Teenbeat find their way onto the monthly mixes from time to time. My music taste is intangibly connected to this period, which played a significant role in my life (often literally). But regardless of personal connection, I can’t help but think that much of that period sounds as relevant today as it did then.
I got the opportunity a couple weeks ago to see M. Ward in an intimate studio setting at Apogee Studio in Santa Monica, hosted by KCRW as part of their Berkeley Street Studio Sessions. With a capacity of 150, the studio is probably the best venue I have ever witnessed live music at: the sound was excellent, and you had no choice but to have a great up-close view. M. Ward was fantastic, with an excellent backing that included a pedal steel guitar (a weakness of mine). He started off with a few older tracks… I remember at least “Poison Cup” and “Requiem,” before he started debuting a number of tracks from his upcoming A Wasteland Companion.
I got a chance to catch Beach House last month when their tour hit Los Angeles, and was blown away by their new song, which has been called “Wild,” “Frightened Eyes,” and something in a wingdings font that I doubt I could type out on a Mac in a format that anybody could read. It’s hard to make out much of the lyrics (is she saying, “heart is to chance”?), but it was THE new song, and was by far the highlight of their show.
I took the Dead Kennedys cover as a a concession to any in the Echoplex crowd that might have taken offense to “Sleepless In Silverlake.” Either that or they just wanted to make a social comment on the fact that Jerry Brown is back as governor.
Dear the guy in front of me at the 7 October Arcade Fire show,
The irony of telling people to stop singing along after the lyric, “They heard me singing and they told me to stop”, was obviously lost on you, but I take some solace in the fact that your kind got called out. Straight up:
So every time at every show, there’s always someone in front of you who’s like, “Could you please not dance, ’cause I’m trying to watch a show.” So politely say, “It’s very nice to meet you, and I respect your personal space, but I’m trying to be at a fucking rock and roll show.”
– Win Butler, 5 August 2010 (audio below)
I can’t be the only person who grew up on Superchunk and then spent my early adulthood enamored with Les Savy Fav. (LSF lead singer) Tim mentioned last week that he sang “Precision Auto” with Superchunk at San Miguel Primavera Sound (that’s in Spain), which is like the 90s punk rock version of the Arcade Fire/David Byrne on-stage pairings of 2005.
For those who can remember back to 2007, Les Savy Fav covered “Precision Auto” at Citysol in New York. Here’s a video of the event, courtesy of bittermelodies on Youtube. Kudos to them for taking a relatively watchable video… there’s no way I would have been able to keep a steady hand while bouncing around like a maniac had I been there. And I still say that On The Mouth is my favorite Superchunk album, although I have absolutely nothing against the later releases.
“What is that? You made that, right?”