Guess who roared into town the other night and totally threw down? The Kaiser Chiefs! Yep, they’re back, and they sounded gooooooood… New tunes like “Bows & Arrows” and “Misery Company” sounded just as great as the classic “I Predict A Riot” and the thunderous closer “Oh My God.” That new album is gonna rock.
This week we check out new releases from St. Vincent – St. Vincent, Silversun Pickups – The Singles Collection, and Bleeding Rainbow – Interrupt.
St. Vincent – St. Vincent (Loma Vista) – Annie Clark has thrown convention to the wind and is totally following her own muse. Not that she wasn’t before, but her recent collaboration with Talking Heads’ David Byrne has clearly seeped into her songwriting and arrangement, and for the better. Although the production is more electronic in nature, with less organic strings than on previous works, her deep lyrics and quirky melodies still shine through. She’ll be at SXSW and also hitting The Wiltern in LA soon.
Silversun Pickups – The Singles Collection (Dangerbird) – SSPU have put out a career-spanning vinyl boxed set collection (comes w/digital download) consisting of six pieces of 7” vinyl. They even did silver colored vinyl for the new song “Cannibal” and the exclusive track “Devil’s Cup” from the 2009 Swoon album recording sessions. This a comprehensive listen, which shows the band evolving from sounding a lot like Smashing Pumpkins meets MBV in their early days, into a more processed and original vibe on the newer songs.
Bleeding Rainbow – Interrupt (Kanine) – Hailing from Philadelphia, this four-piece band delivers high energy and rock riffs, blended with a catchy dose of male-female vocal harmony interplay. The guitars have a bit of Black Flag vibe on the more aggressive songs, and some Sonic Youth/Nirvana qualities on others. Nice to hear these kids referencing some classic 80’s and 90’s guitar greats. Catch them at SXSW this year to fully appreciate them, as their live show is rumored to really bring it.
OTHER NOTABLE RECENT RELEASES:
Wild Beasts – Present Tense (Domino)
Priscilla Ahn – Where We Are (SQE Music)
The Notwist – Close To The Glass (Sub Pop)
Yellow Ostrich’s intensely guitar-driven alt-rock with dreamy electronic arrangements on Cosmos were inspired by lead singer, Alex Shaaf’s self-immersion in Carl Sagan and Frank Drake. Textured and dynamic, the album can only make for an even better live performance.
In the meantime, snack on the official “Marathon Runner” video:
Thao Nguyen, a veteran “indie” rocker spent years of touring on her own (her dynamic stage presence shows it) hit LA with her band, The Get Down Stay Down, and did a long vibrant show at the El Rey. “Holy Roller,” “We the Common,” and “Bag of Hammers” were standouts of a mesmerizing night from the multi-talented and enthusiastic crew.
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness (Jagjaguwar) This singer songwriter entrances with her collection of songs (moody, bouncy, psych, sweet, lost, jangly… she nails it all cohesively) about loss and longing with the wit and wisdom of an old soul. A clever old soul.
Phantogram – Voices (Republic) Sexy mid tempo synths abound as these former chillwavers warm it up on their latest release. The duo trade vocal duties, balancing the sultry beats with lyrical sadness so that it’s an album which is deceptively depressing at times even though one could dance to it.
Lake Street Dive – Bad Self Portraits (Signature) Vocalist Rachel Price fronts this outfit with a thick soulful retro rock voice that perfectly suits this rollicking sound, part jump blues, mildly rockabilly, and indie all at once. Modern yet throwbacky, and lots of fun.
Hurray for the Riff Raff – Small Town Heroes (ATO) Alynda Lee Segarra, aka Hurray for the Riff Raff, is the troubador for the kids who still want to listen to old timey music but are mad at the Mumfords of the world for ruining it for everyone. Her intelligent and world weary vocals match the lyrics, and the music has more authentic buskin’ fervor than those other acts can imagine, since they haven’t lived it like she has.
Other Notable Releases:
Guided By Voices – Motivational Jumpsuit (GBV Inc.)
Bear Hands – Distraction (Cantora)
Lydia Loveless – Somewhere Else (Bloodshot)
– Mo Herms for The Independent
If you missed Failure in the ’90s, then you missed out. These heavy, melodic rockers put out one of the most ambitious beautiful and loud albums of that era with Fantastic Planet, and they performed much of it (along with a few tracks from their previous 2 records) at a reunion show last week at the El Rey theater. The venue sold out in under four minutes, and the Independent was lucky enough to witness this awesomeness! It was magic, and captured on camera by Matt Hartman. Check out the pics!
Here’s one for the Disney dorks: Join pop culture humorist and author Charles Phoenix as he sweeps us away on a fun-filled adventure to the early days of Disneyland when every visit to the park was a day worth dressing for! Charles pulls from his vast collection of “found” vintage slides to tell the amazing back-stories and glories of a visit to mid-century Disneyland. Enjoy legendary long-gone attractions such as The House of the Future, Skyway, Skull Rock, Rainbow Caverns, Flying Saucers, and The Carousel of Progress, all populated with guests dressed in fabulous 50’s and 60’s fashions. Wanna win a pair of passes? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you hear back from us, you and a friend are in for free. (Thanks, Dapper Day!)
Here are the deets:
CHARLES PHOENIX RETRO DISNEYLAND® SLIDE SHOW – DAPPER DAY EDITION!
3pm Saturday February 22, 2014
Anaheim, Disney’s Grand Californian® Hotel, Sequoia Ballroom
Valentine’s Day is LAME. If this is the only time of year that you tell your loved one how you feel, then you are a part of the problem! And the rest of us? We’re just bitter. So join Mo as she pulls all your Anti Love Song requests into one show (and we had more than would fit, trust us!) for an afternoon of spite and indifference on Friday, 2/14 from 1- 3pm PST.
If you miss it,we’ll play it again Saturday the 15th from 10am – noon. Talk about a love hangover…
This week we check out new releases from Band of Horses – Acoustic At The Ryman, Tinariwen – Emmaar, and Temples – Sun Structures.
Band of Horses – Acoustic At The Ryman (Brown) – It was just a matter of time until this band put out a proper stripped-down release to highlight their amazing vocal harmonies, and especially lead singer Ben Bridwell’s impressive range and feel. The instrumentation is minimal and tasteful and really bring out the songs arrangement and flow, and the acoustics at this legendary venue only add to the beauty of the music. Band of Horses is currently touring acoustically so don’t miss them in your town.
Tinariwen – Emmaar (Anti-) – Tinariwen recorded this record in Joshua Tree, CA and Emmaar really does surround you with a soundscape of beautiful desert guitars, intoxicating beats and lively vocals, which manage to communicate the bands’ passion and vibe, even though the lyrics are sung in the Tamashek language. Let yourself drift away with this one.
Temples – Sun Structures (Fat Possum) – These indie-rockers are flying the flag of mid-60’s era Beach Boys mixed with a bit of the Elephant 6 collective vibe from the 90’s on their new record. Catchy psych-pop gems, drenched in beautiful vocal harmonies, and a bit of melancholy. Brian Wilson would be proud.
OTHER NOTABLE RECENT RELEASES:
Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair EP Vinyl (Carpark)
Neil Finn – Dizzy Heights (Lester)
+++ – Crosses (Sumerian)
– Mark Reback for THE INDEPENDENT FM
This Thursday on Speak Easy, Steve Baltin hangs with Young The Giant, talking with this top ten band about NBA basketball, their D’Angelo fandom and playing hometown shows. Young the Giant just released their sophomore album Mind Over Matter in January and are heading out on a supporting national tour. Don’t miss this exclusive chat! This Thursday, February 13 at 6PM PST.