Sunday, August 26, 2007

Liars: New Album, Bill Graham in October

I have yet to make mention of the new Liars eponymous album that is coming out on Tuesday (It was supposed to be out last Tuesday, got pushed forward). It's exciting to have a new disc from a band that really seems to be at the forefront of breaking new ground with every record they release.

I first heard of Liars in the 2001 days of the "new-garage" onslaught from New York City: lead singer Angus Andrew was dating Yeah Yeah Yeahs front-woman Karen O, and mentions of the two bands usually went hand in hand. I have to admit that they didn't actually catch my interest that much at the time, and I let the second album slide by me upon its release.

That all changed, however, with last year's Drum's Not Dead. The album is a challenging sonic masterpiece, and its appeal was increased by the inclusion of a full-length film to accompany the album, as well as a 5.1 surround mix of the audio (a personal sound-fetish, but that's for another post). The sound is difficult to explain without hearing it, but it's at once dischordant and melodic, experimental and straightforward, aggressive yet subtle. Needless to say, a follow-up from such a dynamic disc is eagerly awaited. A few hype machine assisted listens in, and I'm still absorbing it. However, at first listen it seems to be a tad more straight-ahead rock than the last album. You can find almost all the tracks on the net at this point (it leaked in June), but I encourage you to pick up the disc and support the band.

In the other half of this news-bite, I'm wrestling with disappointment with the band's upcoming San Francisco appearance. The show is at Bill Graham Civic Center on Saturday October 20th, providing support for Interpol. I'm disappointed by this development for so many reasons. For one, the Bill Graham is probably my least favorite venue in the city: It's a vacuous, gigantic space with poor sound, and very little to offer concert goers besides $6 gummy bears. It's sad that this is Bill Graham's legacy.

On top of the venue, there's the tour support for Interpol. Granted, the bands came out of New York at the same time, and maybe it's just buddies doing one another a favor. Unfortunately, I think it reads more like Interpol countering their recent major label release with a dose of "indie cred" in the opener slot. I've seen Interpol a number of times, and while they're a solid live band, I'm disappointed that their icy (and to me, boring) set is going to cut into what could be a Liars headline gig at a smaller venue. Here's hoping that Liars will swing through town to take another shot at a smaller headlining gig. In the meantime, I'll probably try to jump on board at Bill Graham - if I can find a cheap ticket.

mp3: Liars - Plaster Casts Of Everything
Stream: Liars @ Myspace - Entire album