Well here you fucking go…
Twenty Thousand Light Years (Thank You eljesusmartinez)
You’re the Reason Why I’m Afraid to Die
I’m Sorry, But I’m Beginning to Hate Your Face
So it is almost here. The most anticipated album in a…well…a long time. As part of a promotion for their upcoming record Year of the How-To Book, Eagle Seagull is having a free online listening session as well as making I Am Sorry But I am Beginning to Hate Your Face, a most delicious song off of the new record, free for download. All you have to do is sign up for their email list. Here is the address for the offer, http://media.pias.com/eagleseagull/. Visit their Myspace as well, http://www.myspace.com/eagleseagull. For those of you who don’t know this band, it is about fucking time you get your priorities straight.
A note from the anticipation inducers about their upcoming record, Year of the How-To Book. We have been looking forward to this record for…well…for-fucking-ever… Below as posted on their Myspace and Facebook pages:
Our album WILL come out this year!!!
Hey all -
We haven’t been very good about updates and such over the past 8 months or so. So what have we been up to? Long story short, some utterly depressing things have happened to us and, obviously, our long overdue album “The Year of the How-To Book” has yet to be released.
That said, the album is coming out this year! Perhaps we should change the album’s title to “The Years of the How-To Book”…
Anyway, more updates to follow soon. Our heartfelt thanks to those of you still anticipating the release of this album. We hope you’ll agree with us (when the time comes) that it’s well worth the wait.
Peace & Love,
Eli and Eagle Seagull
While we wait for the record to find its way to our various music machines, we wish Eli and company the best of luck and a long period of mania to follow their troubles.
There is no denying that 2008 has passed with breathtaking speed. Frederick Foxtrott comes to you this year with our list of top ten releases just a few days shy of 2009. Rather than spend New Year’s celebration in New York City, we are going upstate to spend time in the out doors, at the base of the Adirondacks. There is something poignant about spending what is typically observed by thousands of people crammed together with bright lights and loud sounds in the isolated cold with small but extraordinary company.
There is also no denying that this year proved to be an interesting time for music. The industry as a whole is largely tending to homogenize, with publications as banal as the Florida Times Union regularly looking to Pitchfork top ten lists to inspire their own critical hierarchies. The style generated over the last decade that has dominated the genre of independent music has become standard fare. It is blandly ubiquitous and overly diffuse. Nonetheless, while we got nothing perfect, there was plenty to listen to—plenty to listen to other than Vampire Weekend or Fleet Foxes, both of whom received the latest dose of sickeningly strange love from most indie media. Seemingly lost in the midst of the hollow recordings that dominate the suggestion pages of the taste-making press are truly great releases. So here they are—known and unknown—loved and loathed.
Top Ten 2008
1. M83- Saturdays = Youth
Expanding from shoegaze to stargaze, as his name implies, Gonzalez managed to not merely replicate a style modeled by Tears for Fears, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Flock of Seagulls, but he has retroactively contributed to the bleak genre of gothic pop in a way that is insertive rather than derivative. With modern instruments and production, Gonzalez (re)vitalized a style, giving color and texture to a genre that many feel has been muted by twenty years of impersonation and distillation, killed by retro themed knockoffs and karaoke bars alike (Read Review).
2. Conor Oberst- Conor Oberst
Even as he releases a self-titled record, suggesting biography, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band offer a personal narrative that is reflexive and acutely aware of where his lyrical perspective is anchored. Released on Merge Records rather than our beloved Saddle Creek, Conor Oberst is a record that disconnects from the iconic figure that the songwriter has become, allowing for the reclamation of personhood (Read Review).
3. Eagle Seagull- I Hate EPs (EP)
With its self-degrading title, I Hate EPs gives us a most vivid taste of what Eagle Seagull is up to. It is worthwhile to listen to every word on this EP. The lyrics are most certainly still emitted from the more noir recesses of our thought processes. They embody the violence that we inflict on one another with our thoughts, our lies, our manipulations, and the perfect memories that have since been pickled in the acerbic tension of current conditions (Read Review).
4. Sigur Rós- með suð…
Icelandic for “with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly,” með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust belies Sigur Rós’ self awareness that rejects the accumulation of star-power, instead favoring the humble roles of music makers with intimate attention to detail and an endless commitment to the art rather than constructed personae that sadly distract many once great contemporaries (Read Review).
5. Shugo Tokumaru- Exit
I am quite sick of the tendency for any musician who employs a whistle in their song structure to be labeled the next “Insert Nationality” Sufjan Stevens. Shugo seems to get shellacked with this honor quite often. His instrumentality relies on a menagerie of distinct sounds that have the sole intent of forming an effervescent ambience. I don’t imagine such a project can be said to be unique to Mr. Stevens. Indeed, Shugo Tokumaru’s Exit is one of the most original records released this year, and it is certain to endear many who listen. If you get the chance to see this guy upon his North American return, be sure to catch him at an appropriate venue, so that all the glorious array of whips and bobs don’t just float away (Read Review).
6. Hypatia Lake- Angels and Demon, Space and Time
There is the band and then there is the music. It is immediately understood when listening to Angels and Demons, Space and Time that Hypatia Lake has put together a record of enormous depth. The band itself is much less a physical entity, as it is a concept. The record is diffuse and eclectic, a psychedelic feast of beautiful noise and exquisite ambiances (Read Review).
7. Peasant- On the Ground
I have said previously that Damien DeRose’s voice is flawless, but his ability to bottle that beauty is remarkable. Usually such criticism is approached from the opposite angle. People rarely question what can be recorded after seeing such satisfying live performances. I have written at some length about Peasant’s talent and couldn’t be happier with this release. On the Ground offers 13 tracks without sounding repetitive or exhausting my patience and tolerance for sensitivity, which is rare these days. Peasant accomplishes this in part by keeping his songs under 3 minutes, making sure that the bitter moments do not overstay their welcome. I am happy to announce that Peasant will be re-issuing On the Ground in 2009 with the help of Team Love Records. If there is anyone out their with a modicum of taste, Peasant will make many more 2009 best release lists than he did this year (Read Review).
8. The Octopus Project- Hello, Avalanche
For those of you who are tired of bands that seek to reproduce the melodies of Tortoise, the sequence execution of The Album Leaf, or the gravity of Explosions in the Sky, know that Hello, Avalanche is a contribution to the modern music soundscape of unique and particular character. The Octopus Project allows the audience to dance as they marvel at a functioning collection of flesh and blood, rather simply to listen with a dissatisfied and disinterested ear. This is the balance they strike; they have a defined structure without sounding sterile or methodical. Who knew Austin…who knew (Read Review)?
9. Portishead- Third
No where on this record will you find the turntable scratching of Western Eyes or Only You. Clearly Portishead is not trying to recapture elements of their past. The lyrics are depressed and relaxed, sexy and sad, and in true form this relaxation is not brought on by contentment or happiness, rather it sounds opiate induced. It conjures the image of a dim room with the yellow haze of a poppy parlor (Read Review).
10. Magnetic Fields- Distortion
The Magnetic Fields…are extremely self-reflexively aware of Distortion’s influences and have taken steps to ensure that they do not appear to take themselves too seriously. This awareness not only saves the record from obsolescence, but it is exactly what makes it so relevant to how the music industry navigates itself forward, sometimes stopping to reflect on the nostalgic moments of its past (Read Review).
Other bands have blissfully welted the ears of the interested in 2008. Delta Spirit, released their debut, Ode to Sunshine. It was soulful and courageous. I usually prefer that bands keep their “gods” and “lords” out of my CD/MP3 player, but I’ll gladly make an exception for these impassioned song writers. Look for them on Jimmy Kimmel Live on January 16th. They split the rest of winter between Europe and North America, gracing the Bowery Ballroom stage on February 21st.
Canadian melody makers Wintersleep released Welcome to the Night Sky, an incredible record that offers exceptional lyrics and noisy pop riffs. Frederick Foxtrott reviewed their debut and recommends them with complete confidence. Welcome to the Night Sky is lyric driven record themed with violence and sickness. The guitars are distorted and heavy, accompanied by a barrage of cymbal crashes, but Wintersleep never fail to ebb back, allowing the listener to hear the calm after the storm, in addition to the silence before (Read Review).
Frederick Foxtrott thanks all of you for reading and visiting over the past year. We have expanded our readership greatly and only hope to continue in growth and reviews. We have some interesting things planned in the coming months so stay tuned. If you would like your record reviewed, give us an email and we will arrange something. We aim to keep you informed of not just what is happening in the world of independent music, but what should be happening.
Happy New Year,
This year we have chosen to highlight 3 line-ups and venues for 2008 College Music Journal’s Music Marathon. Of course, we are also featuring a few bands from each list, as we know everyone could use a little heads up on these fine, fine bands.
Wednesday – Oct. 22
Cory Chisel & the Wandering Souls 7:00 PM
Shugo Tokumaru 8:00 PM
Audrye Sessions 9:00 PM
Love As Laughter 10:00 PM
Wild Sweet Orange 11:00 PM
Margot and the Nuclear So-and-Sos 12:00 AM
Wednesday night Tokyo’s Shugo Tokumaru will be the highlight at the Bowery Ballroom which might come as good news to those of you who have late shows to attend. He would be the perfect evening starter.
Pretty & Nice (downstairs) 12:00
Twi the Humble Feather (upstairs) 12:15
Eagle Seagull (downstairs) 12:45
James Jackson Toth (upstairs) 1:00
The Muslims (downstairs) 1:30
Japanese Motors (downstairs) 2:15
Peasant (upstairs) 2:30
Friendly Fires (downstairs) 3:00
Sharon Van Etten (upstairs) 3:15
Crystal Antlers (downstairs) 3:45
Pwrfl POWER (upstairs) 4:00
Sebastien Grainger (downstairs) 4:30
Wye Oak (upstairs) 4:45
Phosphorescent (upstairs) 5:30
Friday – Oct. 24
Other Lives 7:00 PM
Mother Mother 8:00 PM
Wild Light 9:00 PM
Ambulance LTD 10:00 PM
Delta Spirit 11:00 PM
Eagle Seagull 12:00 AM
The Virgins 1:00 AM
Friday sees perhaps the most varied selection of bands. A good spot to catch a wide selection of new and innovative artists is the Mercury Lounge.
…dance rock’s finest ladies and gentlemen…
***This year we are going to post submissions from readers who attend this year’s CMJ Music Marathon. Write a narrative, long or short, and let us know what bands deserve attention.***
Decently produced show footage from Eagle Seagull‘s performance at Paridiso in Amsterdam on May 21st of this year. I think that, in regards to a release date for their upcoming LP The Year of the How-To Book, it is safe safe to say that “Some time early in 2008″ has been modified to “Sometime in 2008,” but I think most people are fine with that, as long as they get a wink and a wave. This footage below does just that, and fine job as well. I am not even sure why I thought the record was coming sooner than later. I probably just made it up.
Also if you would like to read some of Eagle Seagull‘s exploits as they toured with The B-52s click here. Eli Mardock tells The Reader a harrowing tale of a nipple pinching deviant, a nippy Fred Schneider, and the true meaning of family fun at Disney Land. Enjoy!
May 22nd 2007
In order to tie up some loose ends I thought I’d look back to 2007 when married couple Dan Boeckner, of Wolf Parade, and writer Alexei Perry released Plague Park under the moniker Handsome Furs. The band, named for a short story penned by Alexi, toured Europe before Plague Park was even complete. Granted, the Montreal duo had plenty of help in the label and marketing department from their association with Wolf Parade, benefiting from their status as a major buzz band of ’06 and ’07. The signs warning of Handsome Furs potential flaws were certainly imposing. Another successfully crafted record by a husband/wife team only a couple years after Apologies to Queen Mary? Let me guess, guitar riffs backed by synthesized drum sequences. Lay your doubts to rest, for someone who was never quite interested in the Wolf Parade bandwagon, this record will impress. I have had the disc for a while now, but it has only come to my attention as of late that Plague Park should have someone championing it for what it is, a great fucking record.
Those elements beyond guitar and beat machine that elevate Handsome Furs above their initial humdrum grow in your bones the more you listen. What you want to distrust becomes clever and interesting. The sequences become ingenious and you feel cheated because you’ll never get to be the one who thought of it. Isn’t that one of the best compliments you can give; distain because some band claims another inch of creativity from a nearly exhausted cerebral fabric? Boeckner’s voice is intensely woeful, and the lyrics are beautiful. They shuttle from dirge to digital, expending high amounts of energy but quick to slow and return to contemplation. There is never the sinfulness of Eagle Seagull or the synthetic dexterity of Xiu Xiu, but Handsome Furs deals a heavy blow to snobbish ears. Plague Park is an urban memory of rural roots; it is an exhalation of intimate song-craft; it is a great fucking record.
I Hate EPs (EP)
March 11th 2008
In terms of record labels, Eagle Seagull is in the process of solidifying the framework in which their second record will be released. While they negotiate the terms of their future, they have been kind enough to put out a li’l som’n som’n for us to chew on, at least until they finish preparing their forthcoming effort The Year of the How-to Book. As is widely known, The Year of the How-To Book was produced by Ryan Hadlock, who has produced for artists such as Blonde Redhead and Steven Malkmus of Pavement. The record is due out sometime this year. Meanwhile, Eagle Seagull has committed to a domestic tour with such acts as Tokyo Police Club and The B-52s, with Europe to follow later in the year. This darling band has a lot to look forward to in the coming months.
I Hate EPs isn’t really an EP, it is a single of epic proportions that serves as a bridge from their debut to their new material. In this sense it is a “true EP” in that it acts an extension of recorded material, rather than a lump of five or six songs released as a sort of mini-album. It contains two songs which will almost certainly be on their upcoming record and three live previously released tracks. With its self-degrading title, I Hate EPs gives us a most vivid taste of what Eagle Seagull is up to. It is worthwhile to listen to every word on this EP. The lyrics are most certainly still emitted from the more noir recesses of our thought processes. They embody the violence that we inflict on one another with our thoughts, our lies, our manipulations, and the perfect memories that have since been pickled in the acerbic tension of current conditions.
I’m Sorry, but I’m Beginning to Hate Your Face is as great as its title. It embodies the romantic ideal that all things worthwhile and all things that are imbued with meaning are tethered to the relationship between those who have loved. This romance is not always pretty, as we often experience the instant karma of our deeds. With a dramatic wish, we want those who have wronged our affection to reap what they have sown. Specifically this song reflects on the love of an empty shell. A façade, a void, something not full, something love is supposed to be. In the end we are left with only our resignation to reason and disparagement of what lacks. The betrayal of love is met with the bitter negotiation of the perfect past moments and the inevitable question of, “How has it come to this?”
“We don’t talk about love; we don’t talk about sex; we don’t talk about dreams; we don’t talk about you; we don’t talk about me; we don’t talk about anything at all.”
What follows is a morose confessional recounting the fucked up duality of our sins and our victimization. I Don’t Know if People Have Hated Me, but I Have Hated People contrasts a person’s transgressions with their claim to be oblivious to what has been trespassed against them; it questions whether that obliviousness entitles them to assume that everyone else is just like them. It is the self discovery that they are in fact a monster. The song is beautifully played to an ominous piano progression interwoven with a most depressed, yet precious violin. The song ends with a surprising appellation of positive character. The narrator submits that they do not know if they have been forgiven but that they have forgiven others, which in context with their obliviousness speaks to the entitlement they feel. We are all monsters. We are all human.
The rest of the tracks, Your Beauty Is a Knife I Turn on My Throat, Heal It/Feel It, and Holy, are live cuts of songs from their debut self-titled record. They are appropriately faster, making them more danceable and aggressive. Carrie’s violin has a noticeably increased and appreciated presence in the live versions. The live recordings capture the band’s energy and attractive style perfectly. Eagle Seagull’s strength comes from their ability to define incommunicable moments. They may not use the most accessible words or the most flattering melodies, but their abstractions are extraordinarily palpable. God damn, this band is good.
Mar 19th 2008 8:00PM @ Birdy’s w/ Tokyo Police Club- Indianapolis, Indiana
Mar 20th 2008 8:00PM @ The Jackpot w/ Tokyo Police Club- Lawrence, Kansas
Mar 22nd 2008 8:00PM @ Kilby Court w/ Tokyo Police Club- SLC, Utah
Mar 24th 2008 8:00PM @ Independent w/ Tokyo Police Club- SF, CA
Mar 25th 2008 8:00PM @ Glass House w/ Tokyo Police Club- Pamona, CA
Mar 26th 2008 8:00PM @ Troubadour w/ Tokyo Police Club- LA, CA
Mar 28th 2008 8:00PM @ Soma w/ Tokyo Police Club- San Diego, CA
Mar 29th 2008 8:00PM @ Clubhouse w/ Tokyo Police Club- Tempe, Arizona
Mar 31st 2008 8:00PM @ Meridian w/ Tokyo Police Club- Houston, Texas
Apr 1st 2008 8:00PM @ House of Blues w/ Tokyo Police Club- Dallas, Texas
Apr 3rd 2008 8:00PM @ Studio A w/ Tokyo Police Club- Miami, Florida
Apr 5th 2008 8:00PM @ Backbooth w/ Tokyo Police Club- Orlando, Florida
Apr 7th 2008 8:00PM @ 40 Watt Club w/ Tokyo Police Club- Athens, Georgia
Apr 8th 2008 8:00PM @ Exit/In w/ Tokyo Police Club- Nashville, Tennessee
Apr 9th 2008 8:00PM @ The Spot w/ Tokyo Police Club- Cleveland, Ohio
Apr 25th 2008 8:00PM @ Theater of Living Arts w/ The B-52’s- Philly, PA
Apr 26th 2008 8:00PM @ 930 Club w/ The B-52’s- Washington DC
Apr 27th 2008 8:00PM @ The National w/ The B-52’s- Richmond, Virginia
Apr 29th 2008 8:00PM @ House of Blues w/ The B-52’s- Cleveland, Ohio
May 1st 2008 8:00PM @ House of Blues w/ The B-52’s- Chicago, Illinois
May 4th 2008 8:00PM @ Gothic Theater w/ The B-52’s- Englewood, Colorado
May 6th 2008 8:00PM @ Show Box w/ The B-52’s- Seattle, Washington
May 7th 2008 8:00PM @ Roseland w/ The B-52’s- Portland, Oregon
May 9th 2008 8:00PM @ The Independent w/ The B-52’s- San Francisco, CA
May 10th 2008 8:00PM @ TBA- Los Angeles, California
May 11th 2008 8:00PM @ House of Blues w/ The B-52’s- Anaheim, California
May 19th 2008 9:00PM @ Point Ephemere- Paris
May 20th 2008 9:00PM @ Grand Mix- Tourcoing
May 21st 2008 9:00PM @ Paradiso- Amsterdam
May 23rd 2008 9:00PM @ Trix w/ Sunset Rubdown- Antwerp
May 24th 2008 9:00PM @ Gebaude 9- Cologne
May 25th 2008 9:00PM @ Lagerhaus- Bremen
May 27th 2008 9:00PM @ Schocken- Stuttgart
May 28th 2008 9:00PM @ ISC- Bern
May 29th 2008 9:00PM @ 59:1- Munich
May 30th 2008 9:00PM @ Szene- Vienna
May 31st 2008 9:00PM @ Beatpol- Dresden
Jun 1st 2008 9:00PM @ Magnet- Berlin