Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ambient Signal - 10/28/08

WRPI 91.5fm!
http://www.wrpi.org/ for webcast
Tuesdays 6-8pm

This will destroy you - Freedom blade
If these trees could talk - The Friscalating daylight
Lymbyc Systym - Notations
Petra Haden & Bill Frisell - Yellow (coldplay cover)
Camera obscura - Books written for girls
Denali - Welcome
Margot and the nuclear so and so's - At a carnival
Annuals - Hot night hounds
I'm from barcelona - Music killed me
Copeland - The grey man
Audrye Sessions - Turn me off
School of seven bells - Half Asleep
Jolie holland - Palmyra
Postmarks - 7-11
The Arcade fire - In the backseat
Menomena - the late great libido
Beck - Lost cause
The Album leaf & Bright eyes - Hungry for a holiday
Amiina - Fjarskanistan
Sigur Ros - Svefn G Englar
Midlake - Roscoe (acoustic)

my CMJ update!:

Bands i saw in order:
Frontier ruckus (good..folk music..lots of members..even a saw!)
rainbow arabia
starfucker (awesome)
shugo tokumaru
faunts (nice to finally see them live)
cory chisel
shugo tokumaru
audrye sessions (good energy)
love as laughter (eh..)
wild sweet orange
margot and the nuclear so and so's (delivered)
blind pilot (vibraphone and banjo? hellz yeah)
starfucker (awesome again)
white rainbow (guy with effects pedals and drum machine making a minimalist loop/drone)
dear everything (solo guy from menomena)
helio sequence (drummer had amazing faces)
annuals (amazing..crazy energy)
uglysuit (totally unexpected postrock type music from like 6 guys with super long metal hair..pretty good)

pinkie swear

misha - weatherbees
minus the bear - let's play clowns
minus the bear - drilling
the notwist - good lies
modest mouse - dashboard
modest mouse - baby blue sedan
modest mouse - fly trapped in a jar
modest mouse - so much beauty in dirt
portishead - nylon smile
radiohead - street spirit (fade out)
air - once upon a time
emilie simon - flowers
explosions in the sky - first breath after coma
portishead - sour times
radiohead - fake plastic trees
alias - oakland in the rearview
antenne - gloves on
explosions in the sky - your hand in mine
air - mayfair song
mogwai - i chose horses
her space holiday - just another day
portishead - only you

I'm back, CMJ was great. If you're looking for some halloween fun, check out the troy night out after party this Friday night at Revolution Hall!


Gold Sounds 10/28/08: CMJ + new music edition

So as you've been reading, CMJ was this past week. I'll provide a retrospective of sorts by playing CDs from artists that performed at this year's CMJ Music Marathon. I also have new music to play from artists who weren't involved with CMJ at all this year. CMJ music is blue and plain old new music is red.

The Broken West "Auctioneer"
Miniature Tigers "Dino Damage"
Pattern Is Movement "Jenny Ono"

Broken Social Scene "Ibi Dreams of Pavement (A Better Day)"
Land of Talk "It's Okay"
The New Year "Folios"

Her Space Holiday "Same Song Sing Along"
Shugo Tokumaru "D. P. O."
Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez "Narwhal Horn"

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson "The Debtor"
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's "As Tall As Cliffs"
Anthony Green "Califone"

Fourth of July "Purple Heart"
The Little Ones "Rise & Shine"
Of Montreal "Women's Studies Victims"

Love Is All "Movie Romance"
Johnny Foreigner "Eyes Wide Terrified"
Los Campesinos! "...and We Exhale and Roll Our Eyes in Unison"

Oxford Collapse "Young Love Delivers"
Appomattox "Spanish Virgins"
Deerhoof "Basket Ball Get Your Groove Back"

CMJ ROCK BLOCK - Hello Sir Records showcase
Pegasuses-XL "The Big Haunt"
We Versus the Shark "I Am a Fantastic Battle"
So Many Dynamos "Progress"
The Bronzed Chorus "Inbetween"

Annuals "Hardwood Floor"
Minus the Bear "Knights"
Coheed and Cambria "Delirium Trigger"

Jessica Lea Mayfield "Kiss Me Again"
Marnie Stern "Ruler"
Kimya Dawson "We're All Animals"

Women "Shaking Hand"
Boo and Boo Too "No Tempo"
Sonic Youth "Teen Age Riot"

Thursday "In Silence"
These Arms Are Snakes "Woolen Heirs"
Envy "An Umbrella Fallen into Fiction"
Hum "I Hate it Too"

Ra Ra Riot "Dying Is Fine"
The Notwist "The Devil, You + Me"
Starfucker "German Love"

Passion Pit "Better Things"
School of Seven Bells "Half Asleep"
Lykke Li "I'm Good, I'm Gone"
CaUSE co-MOTION "Take a Look"/"Which Way Is Up?"

Rainbow Arabia "Omar K"
sBACH "08"
We Versus the Shark "Gothic Y'all"

The Mae Shi "Run to Your Grave"
Maps and Atlases "You and Me and the Mountain"
Tobacco "Street Trash"/"Truck Sweat"/"Hairy Candy"

Fifty/Fifty {No Go}

There's no Fifty/Fifty on tonight but not to worry, I'll be back next week.

However, there is something I'd like to share with the readers:

MTV Music

Oh, remember Pop Up Video? Go here: http://www.mtvmusic.com/search/?term=pop%20up%20video

I think I've spent about an hour on this site today no lie. Pretty much every music video ever (including new ones like Holy Fuck's "Lovely Allen" and Neon Neon).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gold Sounds at CMJ: Part 3

Wednesday night, Hello Sir Records Showcase @ Bowery Poetry Club: The illustrious Hello Sir Records organized quite the show Wednesday night, featuring some Hello Sir mainstays and some up-and-coming artists. The best performances are once again preceded by an asterisk.

Child Bite: Probably the only mediocre band of the night, Child Bite has all the elements of what could be an interesting band: sloppy and dirty instrumentally and unpolished vocally. Dirtiness is a quality that works in some music (see: We Versus the Shark), but for Child Bite it did little to enhance their sound. Here's hoping they manage to cultivate a sound that works for them in the future.

*Pegasuses-XL: Being a very strange band, I had no idea what to expect from Pegasuses-XL. However, they put on a strong live performance full of unreserved enthusiasm. The set consisted of dual drumming at one point, beatboxing and rapping at another, and instrumental mayhem everywhere else. Most of the members swapped instruments a few times during the show, further displaying their obvious musical propensity. Recent full length The Antiphon highlight "The Big Haunt" made a strong showing, and the band also played some new songs from an upcoming new release.

We Versus the Shark: Gold Sounds favorite We Versus the Shark performed next, and played a few songs from Dirty Versions as well as their recent Radiohead cover and "I Am a Fantastic Battle" from the EP of Bees EP. The band's performance wasn't bad by any stretch, but after seeing them perform several times before, something seemed to be missing. Temporary guitarist Neil Callaghan possesses the chops of recently resigned guitarist Samantha Paulsen, but the chemistry the band had live in the past wasn't as strong this time around. Not that that's Neil's fault; that sort of chemistry is hard to come by, and is only established after a long time of playing as a unit. Hopefully WVTS will grow out of these growing pains and continue their streak of solid releases.

*The Bronzed Chorus: Two-man post-rock that sounds just as full as other like-minded bands with more members. Drummer Brennan O'Brien simultaneously drummed and played keyboard at times and guitarist Adam Joyce made his guitar swell and envelope the room. They created a warm atmosphere the crowd basked in and ingrained themselves into the minds of many an audience member, as seen by the influx of people at their merch table right after they played. The Bronzed Chorus is clearly a band to watch out for in the future.

*So Many Dynamos: For the second night in a row, So Many Dynamos put on the best performance of the night. Again playing a mix of songs old and new, the band played just as tight as the previous night and got the significantly larger crowd dancing. New songs such as "New Bones" and "The Novelty of Haunting" present a new, almost creepy dimension of the band, both with its eerie instrumentals and dark lyrics ("I think your demons need some exercise", "I'll cut the wires that run through your cranium," etc.) that is sure to get them out of the shadow cast upon them by The Dismemberment Plan. Their new album, the Chris Walla-produced The Loud Wars, comes out in February and will definitely be an album to watch out for next year. Even sooner than that, the band will be playing Valentine's in Albany on December 4th with Ra Ra Riot, a show that should not be missed.

I left the show before Ho-Ag went on because it was late. Lame, I know. More to come soon!

Gold Sounds at CMJ: Part 2

Wednesday afternoon, Terrorbird Party @ Cake Shop: The next afternoon, Cake Shop played host to many frequently covered, blogged about, up-and-coming artists (again, the best performances have an asterisk preceding them).

*Starfucker: Now here's an example of a band I had heard absolutely nothing from before I saw them live and loved after seeing them live. Their songs ranged from more traditional sounding rock songs to short keyboard/electronic freakouts, and this wide variety kept me guessing throughout their whole set. Along with the music, it looked like the band were having a lot of fun playing, especially their singer (though I wasn't close enough to take any good pictures). Good songs + enthusiastic performance = one of the best shows of the week.

Shugo Tokumaru: Japanese singer/songwriter Shugo Tokumaru recently released his new album, "Exit," here in the states. The album is a pleasant, slightly melancholic affair, something one might listen to while trying to relax or sleep. In short, his music is beautiful. However, most of the songs Shugo Tokumaru and his band played fell flat in this live setting. Perhaps with other like-minded musicians it would have been enjoyable, but the music was too quiet and reserved compared to that of the other artists playing that day and I mostly found myself patiently waiting for the next act to come on.

Faunts: This Canadian foursome only had time to play four songs, which ranged from standard mid-tempo chilled-out rock numbers to more drawn out, largely instrumental songs (sort of a mix of jam band stuff and post-rock). The music, while not very original, was pretty good and the band's live antics kept the crowd interested.

*Tobacco: Tobacco, member of Black Moth Super Rainbow, was up next and turned in a short set of his spazzy brand of electronica. He got most of the audience grooving, providing woozy beats accompanied by a very, very strange video. While it was revealed that the video also contained the majority of the performance's audio, this realization didn't take away anything from his performance; it just proved how great his music is and how enjoyable his live performance was. His new album, Fucked Up Friends, is out now.

Women: Up next was Women, a recent Jagjaguwar signing and a group that's pretty hard to categorize except as perhaps loud and dirty rock. Their songs sounded much different live than on record, but they were still very good. The band had a certain cocky swagger not often seen in such young artists, and indeed the group seemed very comfortable on the stage. Also, if you look hard enough, you can see Marnie Stern watching them in the back.

Takka Takka: Honestly, this just didn't click for me. I watched and listened to the band's set and can't remember a single aspect of it less than a week later. Maybe I missed something, or maybe they just weren't that good. Another product of the hype machine? Possibly.

Marnie Stern: Finally, the woman most of the crowd were waiting for stepped up to the microphone with her band. A lot has been made of Marnie Stern's impressive guitar skills, but the thing that struck me most about her live performance was how shrill and high-pitched her vocals were. She made innocent jokes in between songs in her normal, Alvin and the Chipmunks-esque voice, and then would go into a song and scream like a banshee. The sonic assault experienced as a result of the shredding guitar and vocals was very, very intense, and made for a good show. Just make sure to bring earplugs if you ever see her live.

Gold Sounds at CMJ: Part 1

So CMJ was this past week, and it was an absolute blast. While seeing 30 live performances, I made sure to write about and take pictures of the various artists I saw throughout the week. With hundreds of bands performing across tons of venues, there were sure to be some surprises and some duds, and indeed there were. With that said, here's the first part of my CMJ coverage, with the best performances preceded by an asterisk.

Tuesday night, The Annex and Don Pedro's: I started my night at The Annex, located in the Lower East Side (the majority of venues in NYC seem to be there). Out of all the venues I went to, I would have to say that this was, by far, the worst. The sound was totally out of whack for all two performances I saw and the audience space was very, very cramped.

Chairlift @ The Annex: Chairlift is a three-piece Brooklyn-based band who play indie pop/rock consisting of synth/guitar/drums. Yes, another one of those. Unfortunately, this band did not have any memorable songs at all; they were all similar in tempo and sound. Their stage presence was pretty static and between songs they only asked for the sound to be fixed. Basically, they took themselves way too seriously and that took all the fun out of their show.

Violens @ The Annex: Violens were one of the bands I really wanted to see at CMJ this year. They've yet to release a full-length, but the songs they have released so far sound great. They sound like The Doors, but with more pleasant vocal harmonies (see: "Violent Sensation Descends"). However, the band suffered a lot of problems during their set, included the aforementioned sound problems and a blown-out amp halfway through their set. As a result, their songs sounded much different than intended and I ended up not enjoying their set at all either. Unlike Chairlift, however, they took the sound woes more in stride and at least tried to make the best of it.

*So Many Dynamos @ Don Pedro's: This show was actually not a CMJ show, but I knew it was going on near where I was staying in Brooklyn and since I got to the Bowery Ballroom for Friendly Fires and Lykke Li way too late, I decided to stop by Don Pedro's on my way back home to check them out. I'm sure glad I did, because Don Pedro's was a much better venue than The Annex and So Many Dynamos put on one of the best shows of the week. Playing half old and half new songs, the dance-rock band were tight the whole way through and even incorporated some interesting transitions; the whole band yelling the lyrics to the outro of "In Every Direction" after the song ended and then going straight into "Progress" was my favorite moment of the show. More on So Many Dynamos to come in future CMJ coverage.