Archive for the 'Garage' Category

Japandroids – Younger Us

So I’m a day late with this one. Japandroids played the Metro last night, and as you’d probably expect, they’re a really good live band. They sort of remind me of Titus Andronicus in that there are a lot of call and response points and “oh-oh-ohs” in songs that really get the crowd into it. I also get the sense that if you want to see these guys with just the two person set-up, you should probably do it soon. More popularity and more resources will probably lead to them wanting a fuller sound and they’ll go the Black Keys route and add a bass and rhythm guitar at some point, but that’s just a guess.

If you’ve listened to any indie rock on the last year, you’ve almost certainly heard the House that Heaven Built and the Nights of Wine and Roses (if you haven’t, you should do so now), so I’m posting the track that is my friend’s favorite song from the album, and over time has become one of my favorites as well. They opened for the Walkmen a couple years ago, which was a rare miss for me, but I already had tickets for Guided By Voices that night, and I hadn’t seen them before. Life is full of tough choices.

Parquet Courts – Master of My Craft & Borrowed Time

These two songs flow into one another so well, that I really didn’t feel like I could post only one. Like Foxygen, this is a band I’d heard a lot of about, but didn’t bother to listen to until they were listed on what appeared to be a lackluster Pitchfork Festival lineup. I’ve been listening to this album about three times a day for the last couple weeks.

I hear Television, Jonathan Richman, Art Brut, Guided By Voices, and hell, probably a few other things on this album as well. As other reviewers have noted, they bring a stoner aesthetic, but you can tell that these guys actually really do care about about what they’re committing to a recording. I’d suggest checking out what is probably their most buzz-worthy track, Stoned and Starving. It’s five minutes of genius on an album where it seems like half the songs fail to break the two minute mark. Really can’t wait to see these guys live.

St. Rosa and the Swallows – The Thermals

A second straight “Coming Attractions” post, and get used to it, because there are a bunch of shows coming up in the next few weeks. I first saw the Thermals at the 2009 Pitchfork Festival, where, if memory serves, they played on the East stage in between sets from the Walkmen and Grizzly Bear (might have been before the Walkmen, in fact it probably was). I was going to just see the Walkmen and take off, but ran into some friends and stuck around. I didn’t give them much thought until their 2010 release Personal Life, which I didn’t love. But that’s OK, because I dug into their back catalog, and these days I probably listen to The Body, The Blood, The Machine at least once a week. They’re probably one of a handful of bands I’d currently call “my favorite”.

They’re playing Lincoln Hall tomorrow night (5/16) and I’m really looking forward to hearing them play in that space, because aside from the production on their first album, More Parts Per Million, their sound is pretty clean, and Lincoln Hall has absolutely tremendous acoustics. So far I’ve only seen them at festivals and at Logan Square Auditorium (not a great place for a show, but probably a great place if you’re looking to hold a Quinceanera for your 15 year old daughter). They’re a little too power-poppy to be punk, and a little too punk to be power-pop. But their stuff is almost all up-tempo major key, which means it’s more or less like aural crack for these ears.

Wait For Us-Mind Spiders

No offense to Jennifer, but this song is awesome, though the video makes me want to cry because it is very Outer Limits and I feel sad for fan astronaut and his possible fake fate on sad empty planet. I predict Zombie will like this one. Garage psych and I think they would play a great show. They are from a few hours away from Cloverhill Big Texas Cinnamon Roll, but it seems like a lifetime.

Mind Spiders – “Wait For Us” from stereogum on Vimeo.

Smith Westerns – Weekend

This is the first in a series of “Coming Attractions” posts for me, though I suppose in actuality, most of my posts here are in that vein.

This is a Chicago band, so I can never tell if the all of the buzz is local, or indie nationwide, but I know they’ve had some Pitchfork love. I caught a bit of their set at the Pitchfork Festival this year, but I think we were waiting for Neon Indian to start, so we probably weren’t paying attention, and quite honestly, it didn’t sound that great. Also, I don’t love their first album. And of course, you’d be justified in pinning the P4k praise on their willingness to appear at the Festival.

But I gave in to the hype and gave the new album Dye It Blond a try and I was sold about 15 seconds into this track, which leads off the album. I mean, those are some seriously great hooks in that first guitar part. Really all of the guitar work on this album is phenomenal, and the production values are pretty decent, making the whole thing fun to listen to. They sound like a cross between the happy and druggy eras of the Beach Boys.

They get another chance to impress me at the Empty Bottle in a couple weeks. They wouldn’t be the first band I hated at Pitchfork but subsequently loved in a proper venue.

Into the Open-Heartless Bastards

I remembered to start listening to WOXY again, so I could find some new bands to scoop off of emusic. I heard the HB’s “Valley of Debris” and liked it so I got their last album All This Time. The album was so immediately listenable and engaging that I also picked up the earlier album emusic had, Stairs and Elevators. It is pretty good as well, but this is one of those situations where the band sounds fuller, more wonderful, deeper and more complex on the newer album. You can see that they are growing as artists and that is always nice to see such a progression. It may have just been the recording budget, but the songs just sound “more.” Here is a fairly good to excellent live video for “Into the Open” from All This Time.

Go buy now.

Icky Thump-The White Stripes

I can’t wait for the White Stripes backlash. This will make it easier for me to piss you off. Consider this post the first of many “touch touch touch touch touch I’m touching you” (you: “don’t touch me. you’re on my side of the car”) in the backseat of the station wagon while our parents are dragging us to Craters of the Moon National Monument. I still like them and dedicated followers of fashion cannot dissuade me.

Viva Voce – From The Devil Himself

Went to the Shins concert tonight, which was expectedly awesome. But there is very little interesting to write about seeing one of the best bands today at the top of their game. No, the actual massive surprise was from the opening band, Viva Voce, who kicked almost as much ass as The Shins did. OK, maybe half that ass, but that’s still an impressive ass and way more than the typical 3 Bulls half-ass. Viva Voce, who announced their name about six times during the show and added that they are from Portland, Oregon, are the classic husband/wife team. Kevin plays the drums, sings, and occasionally rocks out on the acoustic guitar, whereas Anita is a guitar goddess of the highest decree. She also has a great voice, and really should become Chuckles new rock crush, Eleanor Friedberger be damned. Their music ranges from almost ’60s-era folk rock to complete Yo La Tengo free-form freakouts, and they are witty and play with aplomb.

Most of the songs they performed, all of them excellent, were from their new album Get Yr Blood Sucked Out. The best song from the set was this track, nicely put to a cheeky video. Musically, it is not representative of the other tracks, but it’s really goddamned catchy. The song evokes a little Grateful Dead and some music that Pinko Punko totally knows and I just can’t get to the tip of my fingers. But it’s good in a familiar and awesome way. Anyway, check out the video and check out their other songs as their myspace page. We Do Not F*ck Around is another super good track, of which they opened and closed with different variations on the song.

In the event that this actually embeds properly ….

Black Grease-The Black Angels

Neo-psych garagey stoner jammies. Kind of have that dope-deal-gone-wrong widescreen final-scene vibe. This song is pretty good. From Austin, Texas.

It’s My Life-The Animals

This is the one I’ve been waiting for on You Tube. I think this is my fave Animals tune- a perfect distillation of their everything. I’m going to consider that the song is not as misogynistic as the set designer for this live clip. Jesus H. Chunderwagon on a triscuit- let’s put the Go-Go dancers as trophies on a hunting lodge wall! Those birds, always bringing Eric Burdon down! I would prefer to think that EB is really telling “The Man” to kiss off. Also, someone says he kind of forgets the words in this performance. I call it garage only because all the garage bands in the world kind of wanted to be the Animals. Luckily there’s not a backing tape that kept going all Ashlee Simpson on him. Twerpy little Eric Burdon could still eat Taylor Hicks like he was a tiny little oyster cracker.

You’re Gonna Miss Me-13th Floor Elevators/A Cold Night For Alligators-Roky Erickson

We have first some high quality Nuggets-era garage awesomeness, extra special for Gregor Samsa. We’ll follow it up tomorrow with some more from this seminal era. You know, scratchy voiced, maybe some organ, guitar, bass, some dudes playing in their garage and singing about getting laid or getting dumped. Without that “Canadian” proggo crap. These bands had five albums out in the time it took John Bonham to really get going on longer versions of “Moby Dick”. Obviously, the coolest part of the song is the electric jug thingy.

13th Floor Elevators-You’re Gonna Miss Me

Here’s the lead singer of the above band, noted Austinite Roky Erickson. He’s a little bit infamous, he’s added a decidedly horror movie feel to the garage stylings of his tunes, plus he was pretty screwed up by a stay in a mental hospital after a Marijuana bust at the end of the 60s. It is pretty shocking what they would do to people back then. The guy is great. Thanks to Gregor for the suggestion. Hope you enjoy it. I’m sure Norbiz has lots of stories of hanging out with the Rokester in the desert waiting for the alien probing.

Roky Erickson-A Cold Night For Alligators