Oh My God is simply one of the greatest live shows that has ever existed. I have been following these guys since about 2003, from Duffy’s Tavern to the Double Door and now to Pianos in Manhattan. It has been nearly eight years since I fist got a glimpse of the insanity that emanates from the stage – I was once fortunate enough to open for them. Anyways, I’ve told my stories about one of my all time favorite bands in prior posts (here and here), but here they are again, beginning their fall tour with us in NYC. If you know what is good for you, you’ll go to Pianos tonight a see it for yourself.
Below are a few videos from their new material. Also, visit their website oand myspace.
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.
On Sunday, October 27th I went to see a show that I have been anticipating for a very very long time. Sunny Day Real Estate is reunited and touring prompting well a founded rumor that they will record new material. I can confirm that they played a new song during the set that Jeremy Enigk said they wrote together for the tour. Now this is the full band folks. What It Feels Like to Be Something On and Rising Tide were recorded without Nate Mendel. They have not really functioned like this together in 14 years. The band was soulful and beautiful; energetic and monolithic in stature.
These guys are true heroes to some, including me, and they did not let their admirers down. I truly wish my good friend and musical partner Mike could have been there. This band was so influential on the music we made together. I wish that my little brother, Josh, who missed out on 2003′s Fire Theft show because the bouncer kicked him out for puking. Seeing Sunny Day with him would have made my conscience feel a little better for loading him up on dirty martinis and then ditching him…on his 21st birthday. I saw this band not simply as a reunion of great musicians, but as a collapsing of time. On Sunday, I stood in Terminal 5 with my wife, but also with my friends from home, my brother, and everyone else in my life who has ever been inspired by this excruciatingly unique and gracious band. It was perfection.
Now I am going to steal an idea from another online site called Prefixmag.com. I have no problem stealing from the blog because of their awful fucking writing as evidenced by this quote:
“The band performed “Seven” from its classic eponymous debut, Diary, which is now 15 years old.”
So this is a double knock on the online magazine. I steal from them, and then I say don’t use the word eponymous when you don’t know what it means. If the band’s name was Diary or the song was named Diary, then the debut would be eponymous. Prefix, stick to 15 cent words or less. If you want to hire someone to review music you have my email.
Sunny Day Real Estate, Seven on Jimmy Fallon 2009
Sunny Day Real Estate, Seven on The Jon Stewart Show 1994
Go to Brooklyn Vegan for an amazing collection of photos and live footage like this:
4. Song About An Angel
6. Guitars & Video Games
8. Theo B
9. New Song
13. In Circles
14. Spade And Parade
Music As Sunny Day Real Estate
How It Feels to Be Something On- 1998
Rising Tide- 2000
As The Fire Theft
The Fire Theft- 2003
As Jeremy Enigk
Return of the Frog Queen- 1996
The End Sessions- 1996
World Waits- 2006
The Missing Link- 2007
OK Bear- 2009
09/30/09 7:00 Washington, DC 930 Club
10/01/09 7:00 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero
10/03/09 9:00 Atlanta, GA Center Stage Theater
10/05/09 7:00 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
10/06/09 7:00 Houston, TX Warehouse Live
10/07/09 8:00 Austin, TX La Zona Rosa
10/09/09 7:00 Tempe, AZ Marquee Theatre
10/10/09 7:00 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
10/11/09 8:00 Hollywood, CA Music Box
10/13/09 8:00 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
10/15/09 8:30 Spokane, WA The Knitting Factory
10/16/09 8:00 Seattle, WA The Paramount Theater
02/20/10 Brisbane, Australia
02/21/10 Sydney, Australia
02/26/10 Melbourne, Australia
02/27/10 Adelaide, Australia
03/01/10 Perth, Australia
The arts pace known as Secret Project Robot, by the water off Metropolitan in Williamsburg, welcomed their guests with a baby pool full of taurine laced energy drinks. While this was on its face a seemingly dubious display of corporate sponsorship, their presence was entirely appropriate. Energy was requisite. The music space exuded a “do it yourself” aesthetic in everything from the door-lady drawing hearts on the hands of patron who shelled out the $8, to the cheap vodka and whiskey or the large bucket of iced two liter mixers behind a small slab of a bar manned by a particularly festive cross-dresser and another barkeep, who I am sure would have been worth describing had his look not been so overshadowed by the slutty red lipstick and stuffed brazier. So too it went with the bands who performed; all had promise, all had songs worth listening to, all were experimental and dynamic, but all were outshone by the final clamorous fashion of These Are Powers.
In yet another sticky scenario, Secret Project Robot’s stagnant heat was oppressive, but they had sprinklers spouting off in plastic tubs so at least we knew they were thinking about us. Bill Salas stood behind his drum kit with a console of electronic rhythm pads, infusing the natural resonance of an open snare with manufactured blips and bops. Pat Noecker, ex-bassist for The Liars, wielded his instrument with genius pomp. His bass had been modified to produce an array of shrieks and moans; his contribution at times imitated the demolition of a 40 story building, other times it shot through the room like an auditory emanation of a laser cannon. And then there was Anna Barie. Part bean-shìdh, part international world-music pop star, Anna chanted smooth and cool, bobbling a rhythmic voice through wicker work of the drums and bass. She would volley steamy sighs down on an already moist mass of dancing limbs and then pull back with a low pitched croon.
The energy of These Are Powers is simply incredible. They have released a couple of records; their latest All Aboard Future, was released on Dead Oceans in February of 2008. The alchemy of these three musicians produces a refined and potent power from seemingly disconnected parts. As a group, These Are Powers function together with a rare sense of theater, fashion, and ragged opulence. For any avid show-seeker, These Are Powers are a must. Apparently the Chinese love them too…
Terrific Seasons- 2007
Taro Tarot- 2008
Cockles (Split) with The Creeping Nobodies-2008
All Aboard Future- 2008
August 22nd 8PM Littlefield NYC Brooklyn, New York
August 27th 6PM Brooklyn Bowl Brooklyn, New York#
October 17th 8PM The Independent San Francisco, CA*
October 18th 8PM Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon*
October 19th 8PM Crocodile Cafe Seattle, Washington*
October 20th 8PM Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, BC*
# with Cymbals Eat Guitars
*with A Place to Bury Strangers
Justin Lamoureux, after a few Midwest shows, will head East to perform solo. He will bring his quintessentially Midwestern music and story to Williamsburg, Brooklyn and will be playing at the staple upstart venue Pete’s Candy Store. Here listed, are other confirmed show dates. More to come…
Apr 1 2009 9:00 Omaha, NEThe Waiting Room
Apr 4 2009 9:00 Sioux City, IASioux City Eagles Club
Apr 7 2009 8:00 Vermillion, SDUniversity of South Dakota
Apr 17 2009 9:00 Omaha, NEThe Slowdown
Apr 25 2009 8:00 Omaha, NEBarley Street Tavern
May 16 2009 9:00 Louisvile, KYThe Nachbar
May 18 2009 8:00 Portsmouth, NHThe Red Door
May 19 2009 8:00 Philadelphia, PAThe Green Line Cafe
May 21 2009 8:00 NEW YORK CITY, NYPETES CANDY STORE
May 26 2009 8:00 Jamestown, NYLabyrinth Press Company
May 29 2009 8:00 Sheboygan, WIParadigm Coffee House
May 30 2009 8:00 Minneapolis, MN331 Club
February 27th 2009
The darkly sensual style that is both consumed and created in Europe’s thriving electro-indie rock scene has sent another beautiful band stateside. Recorded at Planet Rock studios in Berlin under the supervision of Rob Kirwan of U2 and Depeche Mode fame, Lovebites is a supremely focused record by Germany’s Super 700. Ibadet Ramadani’s vocals nicely compliment the somber strings and opiate waves of the Marrakeshian melodies. Lovebites shuttles between a flurry of epic aesthetics and the slow, sexy romance of an Ian Fleming spy novel. One can imagine a kaleidoscopic image pouring a deep red velvet color over barely perceivable undressed bodies when listening to Super 700.
The band avoids the awkward distraction that sometimes occurs when German vocalists sing in English. They do this not by avoiding the language, but by perfecting it.Some might compareSuper 700 to Blonde Redhead, but this would be yet another lazy juxtaposition. While both bands have an affinity for thematically dark songwriting, Super 700 clearly aims toward the accessibility of Sade. As a complete work Lovebites flows from song to song, mimicking the motion of an oil filled hourglass; it is cohesive, each song belonging to the other. The record does not contain the most original or provocative material, but it excels as a mysterious and beautiful work, entirely worth our attention.
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 andEagle 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.
March of the Zapotec EP
Realpeople: Holland EP
January 27th 2009
Using his trip to Oaxaca, Mexico as fodder, Zach Condon has brought home March of the Zapotec, the first disc of a double EP released in late January. Mr. Condon inserts roughly 30 seconds of what sounds like a street marching band as an intro to the record. The track is aptly named El Zócalo after El Zócolo Plaza in Oaxaca. The two names are permutations of the same word referring to an open, public square—a space where music, rhythm and public life can unfold. This voyeuristic reference perfectly captures the records inspirational center. Oaxacan traditional brass bands, who possibly share roots with Balkan traditional music as a result of European military expansion into the region in the 18th century, are a perfect appendage to Beirut’s already rustic appeal. The Band Jimenez, a 19 piece band from Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, backs Condon as he synthesizes a genealogical connection between the two worlds of Mexico and Eastern Europe. It is quintessential Beirut, whose somber tone is accentuated with a marvelous old-world beauty fused with indigenousness and romantic antiquity.
The second half of the double EP is released in part under Zach Condon’s pre-Beirut name Realpeople. The five track disc is essentially Mr. Condon and a drum machine. Though his signature baritone vibrato is anchored in an Ernest Hemingway novel, with the Holland EP, he extends his hands forward. Rather than join two points on an atlas he marries two different eras, allowing the double EP, in its entirety, to comment on both time and space. Make no mistake, songs like No Dice and My Night With a Prostitute From Marseille have a Casio-tone, early house quality that many may not appreciate, especially those who gravitated toward Beirut because of the band’s authentic musicianship. In all, Holland proclaims to committed fans and critics alike that Zach Condon will not be boxed in by anyone. Even if what he does best is what we have come to know as Beirut, we should not believe he has no other aspirations or prospective direction. Condon appeals to the most saccharine elements of electronic music in a way that recontextualizes and renews his creativity. It was not a misstep so to speak, but it was dangerous. Lucky for us all, Condon’s newest proclamation is nearly as relevant as those that came before.
Wednesday, January 28th
105 Eldridge Street, New York NY LES
First it should be noted that for those of you who have never been to Fontana’s in Manhattan, this place is great—go there soon. Granted the place was not exactly packed Wednesday evening, so I do not know the levels of douchebaggery that flow into the joint during peak volume, but I do know the aesthetics are excellent. They have a purple felt pool table…
The venue itself is in the basement. It is a typical Manhattan hole in the ground. The best thing about this set up is that its small size and earth insulated walls ensure ear damage. Fontana’s is blissfully loud. It is dimly lit, giving the room the tenor of an opium den. The bar is positioned in the back, the amber lights drawing attention to the various colored liquids resting on the liquor shelf. It was the perfect place to view The Depreciation Guild in all their shoegazey glory. As of late it has become objectionable to allow oneself to be called “shoegaze,” but there seems to be no argument from the band when people deploy this genre definition—the word appears on their Myspace page no less than 14 times. The thickly constructed wall of melodic noise pulsed from a dark stage. The stage background was lit by a projector emanating Technicolor geometric shapes over the face of the drummer, Anton. Christoph and Kurt were shrouded in pitch, orchestrating their knobs and pedals to direct a deafening wind that blew to the back of the venue. The vocals betray an intense infatuation with 80’s pop melody construction. Their brazil nut colored mod hair styles matched—they looked like a band from an era when constituent musicians would share some attribute, whether it be a hair cut, a t-shirt, or a jacket. Combined with the forceful ambience of guitars, a post-punk back beat, and an accentuation of low-bit synthetic sounds, The Depreciation Guild engaged in an orgy of reverberation and distorted harmonics. Their strong performance confirmed that this wouldn’t be a night of openers and closers, but a menagerie of varied but equally impressive musicians. Rarely is one subjected to such a luxury.
The bands began about a half hour late due to what I can only assume was a lack of audience, but as The Depreciation Guild finished the crowd began to thicken. By the time Cymbals Eat Guitars’ gear was set up, the room was coming alive with chatter and the clinks of whiskey glasses. From the first note, it was determined that Cymbals Eat Guitars was entirely different show than that of the band before. The energy was not subdued, it felt coursing and adrenal. Joe Ferocious’ voice was brain lacerating—a braided arsenal of calm and sensitive croons, lined between what too few people are able to achieve, dopamine inducing screams. And the Hazy Sea exemplifies how the band shifts during their live performance. It is the song that initially hooked me in. Live, the song was twice as loud, twice as energetic, and twice as good. Mr. Ferocious worked his guitar over—tapping and sliding and tweaking the strings into disjointed and caustic solos. It was delicious! The contrast between The Depreciation Guild and Cymbals Eat Guitars cannot be overstated. Ferocious and company’s infatuation with pop doesn’t spend much time contemplating dreamy things; their infatuation is a result of years of underage drinking and late nights listening to Pavement, Pinkerton era Weezer, and Issac Brock. It is an optimism wrought with defiance and the desire to remain unshackled by social expectation. Is this what these people really mean with their music? I don’t know—but it is exactly how their music makes you feel.
Black Diamond Bay headed by ex-Dear member Patrick Krief was yet another turn in this show’s display of style and genre. His voice is refined and his hands play a soulful guitar, fluttering the bluesy Hendrix/Stevie Ray signature across the lower steps of the E and A strings. Krief is a guitar man—he is a songwriter that frames an old and noble tradition into something new. When Black Diamond Bay took stage, the venue had largely become deserted, the once attentive audience forsaking the hole at Fontana’s for some other Manhattan happening. In the end, there only seemed to be the musicians on stage, the bands that came before, my friends, and friends of friends who remained. This was in some ways tragic and in other ways fortunate. Tragic, because the band deserved a full house—fortunate, because we had the house to ourselves and incredible musicians to keep us company. I was afraid that Krief and his mates would not perform as well as they might if the house was at capacity. The room might lack the reciprocal energy required to rock the faces off those who insisted on looking first, hearing first in the front row. I’ll say this, the collection of bands was great and every one of them performed exceptionally, but if there was a crescendo of the night—a highlight that humbled all other moments— and I think the other bands would agree, Krief’s final solo was it. The band didn’t muddle through the night for the first chance to get off the stage; they didn’t offer a half-hearted effort. Krief finished the evening with his white guitar positioned on the ground. While on hands and knees, he pounded with a forceful fist on the fret board like the final desperate moments of CPR, when the chest is pounded with abandon to awaken a dying heart, generating a freight train inside our heads.
All this in an empty venue, in a vacant bar.
Black Diamond Bay continues their tour in support of their latest effort, Calm Awaits, February 5th at The Mercury Lounge. Go…and see for yourself.
Just two days ago on January 27th Peasant’s debut record was again released. Paper Garden Records continues to support this extraordinary artist, accommodating an ever growing fan base spurred by Damien DeRose’s touring and the music’s appearance on the television shows Kyle XY and Bones. He has also recorded live sessions for the impressive Daytrotter on-line music magazine and WOXY. Anyone who questions Mr. DeRose’s ability to translate his recorded material into a real and authentic experience is obligated to listen Peasant’s Daytrotter session. Click here. Peasant is somber, intimate, and melodic—infusing an appreciation of plain spoken poetry and honest emotional truth into music that can best be described as simply beautiful. In many ways I feel vindicated for having such faith in this guy. From the first day I saw him play at a 2007 CMJ loft show, it was clear to me that as long as people had the opportunity to hear him, they would continue to do so.