Saturday, February 28, 2009

Noise Pop 2009: Night Five - It's Saturday!

If you've been rocking the Noise Pop vibe hard this week, then you're probably running on about your last ounce of energy. Well, ramp up, grab a red bull, and get your ass back out the door! There're some great shows tonight, and you certainly don't want to miss out on the tastiness, now do you!?!?!? (As always, headliners below, full lineup here)

Noise Pop 2009 Night 5:
Bob Mould @ Swedish American
Sholi @ Bottom Of The Hill
AC Newman @ The Independent
Portugal. The Man @ Cafe Du Nord
Clues @ Rickshaw Stop
Flosstradamus and N.A.S.A. @ Mezzanine

Noise Pop 2009: Ra Ra Riot Played Diesel And The Independent - Pictures, Review, Setlist

Let us start by saying this. We have heard many, many, extremely positive things about Ra Ra Riot's live set, and expectations can be a dangerous thing. Last night the band played two sets: one acoustic at Diesel, and one at The Independent to finish off the night. From what we had been told, we were expecting a set on the order of an artistic revelation, with a level of energy that would defy expectations. In reality, what we got was a band that has an extremely decent record, delivering an extremely decent performance of that record. There was little to criticize, but there was also very little that left us reeling.

The band's acoustic set started up the night, and it felt more than a little contrived. We might go so far as to say that any time we see a fretted acoustic bass, things start to feel a little contrived. The set was completely solid instrumentally, but just lacked the power and enthusiasm that had been delivered minutes before by Loch Lomond. That being said, we were more than willing to write this off - a band that's not used to playing acoustic can easily go bland under those circumstances, and Loch Lomond's set was also a lot to measure up to.

Unfortunately, when we got to the set at The Independent, it seemed to be more of the same. For a band that already has it's creative paintbrush firmly in the well of the Arcade Fire, it's a dangerous thing indeed to flirt with a mellow live show. However, Ra Ra Riot did exactly that - they delivered a show that existed precisely on the cusp of busting out and delivering a truly rocking show. Rather, they seemed far more concerned with delivering a stable, intricate set that held a firm grip on the arrangements of their record without adventure or pushing any boundries.

At the end of the day, we try to shy away from unnecessarily harsh criticism here at HAD - slinging mud's never any good for anyone. What's more, we're guessing there are more than a few people that will disagree with this review: the show was one of the first to sell out, and the crowd was going nuts all night long. That being said, we'll stand by our lament. We do actually like Ra Ra Riot's record, and we were hoping that the live environment would be a venue for them to push the record over the edge and really wear its bloody heart on its sleeve. Instead, it seemed to be a complacent delivery that had less to do with soul, and more to do with preaching to the choir.

Pita-Setlist here

Many more pictures at the
HAD Archive

Noise Pop 2009: Cut Off Your Hands Played The Independent - Pictures, Review

Writing a review on Cut Off Your Hands and not mentioning The Vines seems to almost border on the impossible, so we'll just get it off our chest. Both bands hail from the Australian continent (New Zealand and Australia, respectively), both bands draw heavily on 60's and punk rock influences, and both bands are fronted by singers who don't seem to have any perception that there is anything remotely like "appropriate" behavior for a rock band on stage.

That being said, Cut Off Your Hands are certainly not even remotely a ripoff. Their songs were adventurous, accessible, exciting, and full of life. The set was dappled with fantastic backing vocals, wonderful melodies, and driving rhythms that all combined to make for ridiculously immediate rock and roll. In short, this band delivers the entire package. And be quite certain, dear reader, that package most certainly includes rock and roll insanity.

Within 30 seconds of being on stage, Cut Off Your Hands front man Nick Johnston dove into the crowd, and was most certainly not caught. Rather, the crowd seemed to give way, and he headed resoundingly to the floor. Not one who was quick to learn a lesson apparently, Johnston would repeat this exercise two more times during the night to the same result. While the behavior was slightly unsettling, it is worth mentioning that with so many bands seeming routine on stage, it was unquestionably invigorating to see a band that was ready to deliver on all cylinders, regardless of the outcome.

And in the end, the outcome was, in fact, unforgettable. It's impossible to argue with the sheer amount of energy coming off stage, or the classic accessiblity of the melodies of the songs. At the same time, the band undoubtedly defined their own personality, and delivered a set that was distinctively theirs. Being from New Zealand, it seems that the band might not travel to the US as often as one might like. That being said, you can bet that next time they're in town that we'll be there. The band is touring the US now: Do. Not. Miss.

Many more pictures on the HAD Archive

Noise Pop 2009: Telekinesis Played The Independent - Pictures, Review

Seattlites Telekinesis got their feet wet in the Noise Pop water last night in one of the opening slots at The Independent. Being that the band has been garnering a fair dose of praise lately, we got there early to check it out and see what exactly we made of it. While we heard some whispered comparisons to Death Cab, we're guessing that's less from the music, and more from the band's city of origin. Telekinesis' set was far too rocking, their vocals far too full, and their rhythms far too direct to ever be mistaken (at least in a live setting) for their Seattle compatriots. Long story short: dead solid rock and roll.

Probably the most immediately noticeable aspect of the band is that they're fronted by a drummer. In the end this doesn't serve to make much of a difference to the sound, but it was noticeable in the stage setup. The drum kit was front and center, and if we're not mistaken it definitely brought the instrument to a far greater degree of prominence in the mix.

As for the tunes themselves, they are incredibly vivid, jangly rock and roll with accessible melodies, and riffs that are familiar as soon as you've heard them. The band did a fantastic job at roping in a crowd of potentially unfamiliar listeners, and truly engaging them in the music. The band could have easily been headlining the room, and we're guessing that next time they will be.

Many more photos at the HAD Archive.

Noise Pop 2009: Loch Lomond Played Diesel - Pictures And Review

As last night's Noise Pop got off to a start, we managed to make it down to check out the happy hour sets at the Post Street Diesel store. The event was surprisingly well organized, with killer acoustics and free drinks to be had to boot. The first set was from Portland natives Loch Lomond, and it was a doozy. The band managed to squeeze a crowd of people into a tiny space, and on top of that break out a variety of instruments, including not one, but two types of clarinet!

The band had a variety of instrumentation, but it really didn't completely define their sound. Rather, it acted as an addition to the solid composition to flesh it out, and give the songs more depth. The solid backup vocals had the same effect, with the band at times singing incredibly solid four part harmonies.

While most of what we've heard from the band online has been relatively mellow and folky feeling, they definitely manage to add a solid dimension of rock to their live sound. The tunes had a solid percussive base, and lead singer Ritchie Young also really kicked his vocals up a notch in enthusiasm and timbre. The end result was that the band delivered a solid, rocking set that had the crowd well invested by the time it wrapped up.

Loch Lomond plays again tonight at Rickshaw Stop.

More pictures at the HAD Archive.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Quick Trip Down The Newswire

We're too swamped with Noise Pop to wax philosophical on these bits (though we'd love to in both cases), but here're a couple of exciting news items from the past few days that we thought might catch your eye:

Now back to your regularly scheduled program!

Noise Pop 2009: Night Four Commences!

Tonight is the first weekend night of this year's Noise Pop, and as such we imagine you should be prepared for slightly more packed (and probably more rowdy) crowds. Tonight's lineup is strong, with more of an emphasis on "fresh blood" - all the headliners tonight are bands that have just realized success in the last couple of years. That being said, new music is just what Noise Pop is all about, so we can't think of a better way to kick off the weekend. As always, headliners below, full lineup here. Start your engines!

Noise Pop 2009 Night 4:
Maus Haus, Sugar and Gold - Benders (Happy Hour, 5-8PM)
Ra Ra Riot (Acoustic Set), Loch Lomond - Diesel (Happy Hour, 5-9PM)
St. Vincent - Great American Music Hall
The Morning Benders and the Submarines - Slim's
Ra Ra Riot - The Independent
Telekinesis, Dear and the Headlights - Bottom Of The Hill
Port O'Brien - Cafe Du Nord

Grand Lake Played Oakland - Pictures, Review

Last night we headed to Oakland to check out our first opportunity to see Grand Lake play live at a house in Oakland. The show was full to the brim, and pretty much diametrically opposite to your typical organized club gig. That being said, we were psyched to get out and see the band, and it was really nice to hear the material from Nevermint in a live setting.

The songs in general were rocking a bit harder than on the album, and in particular Caleb Nichols' bass took on much more of a prominent (and distorted) role. Also notable was that the record's catchier tunes ("She's A Hater", "Concrete Blonde On Blonde") took on an even catchier tone in a live setting. This is without a doubt a band that benefits from the live environment, and works well with it to deliver a completely different facet of their musicality.

At the end of the evening, the too-quickly-passing show got us all that more psyched for the band's upcoming shows leading up to the release of Nevermint. With shows at Amoeba, The Hemock, and The Uptown you'll have ample opportunity to catch the band in a live setting - we strongly recommend you do.

More pictures at the HAD Archive

Noise Pop 2009: Scissors For Lefty Played Benders - Pictures, Review

Last night at Bender's we managed to catch Scissors For Lefty playing to a packed room during the first Noise Pop show of the night. The band delivered an awesome set of their trademark partified, danceable pop, and the crowd was right there with them. By the end of the set the band (and the crowd) was dancing, sweaty, and happy.

The show was pure, classic SFL: lead singer Bryan Garza delivered an epic performance, sometimes on guitar sometimes not, with in between trips to every corner of the stage. His vocal performance continues to be a highlight of the show, dripping with charisma and begging to be watched. Meanwhile, the rest of the band delivered a solid instrumental performance combined with their always-strong backing vocals.

The band pulled upon material from their whole catalog, but the focus was certainly more focused on Underhanded Romance and last year's Consumption Junction EP. Talking with Garza before the show, we were psyched to learn that the band is actively working on new material, and has 20-plus tracks in the bag for a forthcoming record. While this may be the last SFL live show for a while, we were psyched to see them going strong - we'll be keeping an eye out for that new record.

Many more pictures in the HAD Archive

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Secret Show" Tonight: Big Round, Grand Lake, Man/Miracle, Cryptacize

We can't really tell you many specifics of how, but suffice it to say that when we got wind of this show, we were more than a little excited to hear of such a massive Oak-town love fest. Granted, with Noise Pop in effect, there's a fair dose going on in the city, so you may find yourself otherwise occupied. That being said, if you do find yourself in the East Bay tonight, or if the other available acts just aren't suiting your fancy, then this might be just your ticket.

Tonight at 42nd and Market in Oakland there will be something of "secret" gig featuring Big Round, Grand Lake, Man/Miracle, and Cryptacize. The four Oakland bands will be collaborating for free house party gig tonight starting around eight. We have to say, given that we've been digging us some Grand Lake lately, we're psyched to see them getting out and about. That being said, let us reiterate that this is a house party - we make no guarantees and offer no warranties on your experience. You have been warned.

Leonard Cohen: Tour - Paramount In April, Presales Tomorrow

If, amidst all of the Noise Pop excitement, you can manage to drag yourself away and pay attention to what else is going on, then check this: folk/rock legend Leonard Cohen will be touring the US this spring for the first time in 15 years. The ramifications of this are far reaching: For one, that's just a long time. For another, Cohen is a major force in rock music being what it is today, and is revered by everyone from Bono to Willie Nelson. But more than anything (and we'll try to say this as un-pessimistically as possible): the man is 74.

Now, we're certainly not thinking bad thoughts, but the simple fact of the matter is that even if Cohen has many years ahead of him, there's a point at which one simply stops dealing with the hassle of touring. What's more, Cohen's decidedly infrequent touring schedule makes all the more case for the idea that if you want to see him, you should see him now.

Cohen's tour crosses all of North America (with a heavy emphasis on Cohen's home country of Canada), and his Bay Area stop will be at the Paramount Theater in Oakland on April 13th. There's a presale tomorrow morning at 10 AM, with the normal on-sale Monday. Click here and use the code "takethiswaltz" to get your tickets. For those of you not in the Bay Area, check the dates below.

Leonard Cohen Spring 2009 Dates
Apr 2, 2009 Austin, Texas Long Center for the Performing Arts

Apr 3, 2009 Grand Prairie, Texas NOKIA Theatre Grand Prairie

Apr 5, 2009 Phoenix, Arizona Dodge Theatre

Apr 7, 2009 San Diego, California Copley Symphony Hall

Apr 10, 2009 Los Angeles, California NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE

Apr 13, 2009 Oakland, California Paramount Theatre

Apr 19, 2009 Vancouver, British Columbia GM Place

Apr 21, 2009 Victoria, British Columbia Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre

Apr 23, 2009 Seattle, Washington WaMu Theater

Apr 25, 2009 Edmonton, Alberta Rexall Place

Apr 26, 2009 Calgary, Alberta Jack Singer Concert Hall @ The Epcor Centre

Apr 28, 2009 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Credit Union Centre
Apr 30, 2009 Winnipeg, Manitoba MTS Centre

May 3, 2009 Minneapolis, Minnesota Orpheum Theatre

May 5, 2009 Chicago, Illinois Chicago Theatre

May 9, 2009 Detroit, Michigan Fox Theatre

May 11, 2009 Columbia, Maryland Merriweather Post Pavilion

May 12, 2009 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of Music

May 14, 2009 Waterbury, Connecticut Palace Theater

May 16, 2009 New York City, New York Radio City Music Hall

May 19, 2009 Hamilton, Ontario Copps Coliseum

May 21, 2009 Quebec City, Quebec Pavillon de la Jeunesse

May 22, 2009 Kingston, Ontario K-Rock Centre

May 24, 2009 London, Ontario John Labatt Centre

May 25, 2009 Ottawa, Ontario National Arts Centre - Southam Hall

May 26, 2009 Ottawa, Ontario National Arts Centre - Southam Hall

May 29, 2009 Boston, Massachusetts Wang Theatre

Jun 2, 2009 Denver, Colorado Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Noise Pop 2009: Night Three Is Here

We're still reeling from the goodness of Noise Pop thus far, and we're not even half way through! Nights one and two brought us so much awesomeness, that we're hard pressed to see just how it could continue to stack up. Still, that's the key to Noise Pop: it continues to hit home with awesome tunage every night! Here's what's in store for this evening (Headliners below, full lineup here):

Noise Pop 2009 Night 3:

Scissors for Lefty - Benders (Happy Hour, 5-8PM)
Thao Nguyen - Swedish American Music Hall
Josh Ritter - Great American Music Hall
Martha Wainwright - Slim's
Goblin Cock - The Rickshaw Stop
From Monument to Masses - Bottom of the Hill
Thee Oh Sees - Cafe du Nord
Kool Keith: Dr Octagon vs. Dr. Doom - Mezzanine

Noise Pop 2009: Stephen Malkmus Played Great American - Review, Pictures, Setlist

Tonight's set by Stephen Malkmus at the Great American could not have been more divergent from last night's Deerhunter set: one man, singing classic melodies to a devout crowd, armed only with a guitar. And yet, Malkmus managed to deliver far more than a simple one man show of the singer-songwriter variety. Despite a broken string and some stumbling lyrics, he brought forth a vast selection of his catalogue and offered up everything from old favorites, to covers, to his latest solo work, to the most far flung of Pavement b-sides.

First and foremost, more on that setlist: it was riddled with Pavement classics and b-sides, and even touched on a Silver Jews number. What's more, it didn't seem that encouragement to delve into the past was even needed: Malkmus opened the set with "Harness Your Hopes" and it was clear from there that the set would be comfortably retro in its bent. The set ran the gamut from Slanted And Enchanted through Real Emotional Trash, and from the sound of things, the audience kept right up with him. Even a cover of the O'Jays "Love Train" simply couldn't be stopped.

And really, there was no need to stop anything at all, because the room was clearly full of love. The Malkmus devotees are a hardcore bunch, from the numerous song requests it was clear that they had come to see Malkmus in something of a journey to Mecca. His catalogue is beloved, and yet so often beleaguered by breakup/reunion drama that this night provided a unique opportunity. Specifically: to see the man, and hear the songs, and simply transcend anything that stretched beyond the pure enjoyment of the composition.

It was clear from Malkmus' attitude that he could feel the positivity as well. For much of the set he was grinning and clearly enjoying himself. Moreover, he was a ridiculously good sport for all the song request cat calls, and even had a solid go at one ("Vanessa From Queens") that suited his fancy. He was obviously there to deliver songs to his fans, and more than succeeded in doing exactly that. From the first notes of "Harness Your Hopes", to the final distorted chords of "Summer Babe", the fans were rapt. As Malkmus took his final bow and headed off stage it was clear that tonight was everything and more that this crowd was looking for.

More photos at the HAD Archive


Harness Your Hopes


Blue Arrangements (Silver Jews)

Starlings Of The Slipstream

Pink India

Spit On A Stranger


Range Life
Real Emotional Trash
Loretta's Scars
We Have Laid Here (Bill Fay Cover)

Lions (Linden)

Freeze The Saints

Shoot The Singer

Zurich Is Stained

Heaven Is A Truck

Vanessa From Queens (Partial)



Love Train (O'Jays Cover)
Emotional Rescue (Rolling Stones Cover, Partial)
Summer Babe

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Noise Pop 2009: What's On For Night Two

Well, after a killer night one, we're more than a little psyched for Noise Pop 2009's night two. If you have any reservations, throw them out the door, because tonight's lineup is just as good, and quite frankly begging for your attention! Headliners are below, check out the full lineup here.

Noise Pop Night Two Lineup:
Girls @ Diesel (Happy Hour, 5-9PM)

The Aimless Never Miss @ Benders (Happy Hour, 5-8PM)

Stephen Malkmus @ Great American

The Mountain Goats @ Swedish American Music Hall

French Kicks @ The Independent

Matt Costa @ Slim's

Deerhunter @ Rickshaw Stop (yes, we know it's not officially Noise Pop, but come on!)

Ashes Of American Flags (new Wilco doc) @ The Roxie (9:15 PM)

Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison @ The Roxie (7 PM)

Noise Pop 2009: Deerhunter Played Mezzanine - Review, Pictures

Last night at Mezzanine, Noise Pop got going not with a bang (or even a pop, for that matter), but with a massive influx of glorious unrepentant noise expertly delivered by Deerhunter. The band played to a packed room of fans and brought forth a set that perfectly toed the line between their more noisy and more melodic compositions. What's more, the band seemed to completely transcend any of their sometimes-notorious stage drama and not only deliver a full set, but enjoy themselves at the same time.

Like we said, the set was diverse, and pulled from the band's entire catalog. The opening "Cryptograms" really served to get the night off to a great start, and the one-two punch of "Cover Me Slowly" and "Agoraphobia" was significantly meatier than on the record. While the extended version of "Calvary Scars" was a noise-rock masterpiece, our favorite spot of the evening was a fantastically perfect version of "Microcastle". When it kicked into the breakdown half way through, it simply blew the top off the room.

One of the most incredible thing about seeing Deerhunter live is their ability to recreate the layered sounds that define their records. Despite what we would have guessed to the contrary, there was nary a synthesizer in sight last night. Rather, the band uses guitars, vocals, and an array of pedals to generate the many tiers of audio. Most interesting to us was the number of synth-like tracks on the record that are actually processed vocals by lead singer Bradford Cox. Seeing the band craft these textures in a live environment is simply a wonder to behold.

If it's not clear from what you've already read, then let us be clear: we simply couldn't have asked for a better show than what we saw last night. Deerhunter demonstrated without a doubt that they are one of the most relevant and groundbreaking bands today. What's more, they have mastered a remarkably poignant ability to combine accessible, danceable melody with utterly challenging sound and noise. If music were a contest (and mind you, kids, we're not saying it is), these guys are most certainly the band to beat.

Deerhunter plays another free show tonight at Rickshaw Stop.
Setlist here
Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Noise Pop 2009: Noise Pop Starts Tonight!

Well, here it is: tonight San Francisco's own Noise Pop festival gets rolling, and with it some of the most anticipated shows of the year. You can check out HAD's guide to the fest right here, but in case you're just scoping out tonight's activities, here's what's in store:

Antony and The Johnsons
@ Nob Hill Masonic Center
John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats) @ Herbst Theater
Deerhunter @ Mezzanine (Free!)

Remember kids: stay safe, and have fun. See you out there!

Michael Zapruder Played Bottom Of The Hill - Pictures, Review

Sunday night at Bottom Of The Hill Michael Zapruder delivered on the promise of his latest record Dragon Chinese Cocktail Horoscope. Accompanied by bass, keyboards, violin, and a woodwind multi-instrumentalist, Zapruder quite successfully managed to recreate the intricate feel and sound that permeates the record. Zapruder effortlessly led the quintet through the set, while at the same time delivering an incredibly solid performance himself on vocals and guitar duties.

One of the most striking aspects of the performance was that Zapruder seems completely at home on stage. From the second he stepped on, not only was he relaxed and jovial, but he had a clear sense of confidence about the songs and where the arrangements were headed. This was no small feat considering that there were five parts going strong at any given time, and a fair number of less-than-standard song structures. Even the chaotic and fluttering instrumental breaks of "Ads For Feelings" managed to come across as completely composed and solid.

The only part of the show we would have changed was the absence of any sort of percussion. While the record doesn't have a huge preponderance of percussive elements, the beats do drive a number of the songs, and it wouldn't have hurt to pick things up just a tad in the live environment. Even perhaps just a drum machine or some canned beats where necessary might have been just the ticket to keep some of the songs true to their upbeat origins.

That being said, our favorite moment of the show was one of the most serene. At the end of the set Zapruder played a solo rendition of the fantastic song "Harbor Saints" that absolutely hit home. The song's sweet simple melody served to close out the rainy night with a gentle coda that served to perfectly illustrate not only Zapruder's fantastic voice, but his gift for composition as well. We're looking forward to hearing what comes next.

Michael Zapruder is headed to the East coast for three dates next week.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Continue Album Release Hype With Weirdo Videos

No, we can't really tell you what this means, or even really what it is. Suffice it to say that an abstract black and white video with German accented narration is the latest offering from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on the road to their new album. Here's the best we can do: Germans like synths, the new record has synths, make video with German narrator? Exactly. See? No idea. Anyone? Bueller?

Phoenix: New Record, Free MP3 "1901"

We here at HAD have been really digging on Phoenix for the last six months, so we were pretty psyched to discover that not only does the band have a new record on the way, but they've also released the first single "1901" as a free high quality mp3.

We're not exactly sure why we were so late to pick up on the awesomeness of the French band, but we can tell you that we're glad we finally got on top of things. They offer a brand of addictive pop music that is at once accessible and highly unique. It's perfectly crafted and intricate, while at the same time offering up a vulnerable underbelly where voices crack and things sometimes become unhinged. We couldn't recommend their records more highly: It's Never Been Like That is a current fave, but United and Alphabetical certainly both hold more than their share of water as well.

The band's next record Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix drops on May 25th, and if "1901" is any indication, it's set to be an awesome foray into Phoenix's dancy, fantastic, pop nuggety goodness. So really, what are you waiting for already? Go get your free mp3 now!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Anya Marina: Spring Tour, Album On The Cheap (Today Only)

Picture from the HAD Archive

You may recall that when we last saw Anya Marina, we enjoyed the show quite a bit. Well, since then Marina's been out and about promoting her record Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II, and shown up everywhere from Rolling Stone to Jimmy Kimmel (complete with a full band and new hair-do, no less!). After completing a tour with The Virgins, she's lined up a new set of dates going all the way through April.

We do have to say, you are strongly encouraged to go and check it out: Marina's an ace on the guitar, and her songs are tasty bits of catchy goodness. That being said, if you still need a bit of encouragement, you can snag her record at Amazon for $3.99 (today only!) - if you ask us, it's worth it for "Cut It Out" alone.

Anya Marina Spring 2009 Dates

25 Atlanta, GA - Vinyl
26 Charlotte, NC - The Evening Muse
27 Easton, MD - Coffee East
28 Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel

1 New York, NY - The Canal Rooom
2 Vienna, VA - Jammin' Java
4 Syracuse, NY - Funk n' Waffles
5 Albany, NY - Red Square
6 Boston, MA - Cafe 939 at Berklee
7 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
9 Cleveland, OH - The Winchester Tavern & Music
10 Columbus, OH - Rumba Cafe
11 Chicago, IL - Martyrs'
12 Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews
14 Lawrence, KS - The Bottleneck
15 Oklahoma City, OK - Blue Door
16 Dallas, TX - The Prophet Bar
19-21 Austin, TX - SXSW

2 Los Angeles, CA - Hotel Café
3 San Diego, CA – Casbah

Deerhunter To Play Second Free SF Show Wednesday Night At Rickshaw Stop

Maybe you didn't manage to RSVP for the show at Mezzanine. Maybe Noise Pop just doesn't have anything you're interested in on Wednesday night. Maybe you're under 21, and Mezzanine just wasn't feasible. Or, perhaps you're just so cracked out on Deerhunter everything else has been rendered meaningless.

Whatever the case, you're in luck: Deerhunter is playing a second free San Francisco show on Wednesday night, this time at the Rickshaw Stop sponsored by MySpace secret shows. It's first come first serve, unless you apparently are one of the first 15 people with a printout of Turbo Tax being in your top myspace friends. No, we're not kidding - we don't get it either. Regardless, get there early and get yer butts in line. In the meantime, enjoy the tripped out oil n' water video for "White Ink" above...

Graham Coxon Joins Pete Doherty For Solo Gig - Video

Given that the two worked on Doherty's solo record together, it should really come as no surprise that Graham Coxon has decided to join the Babyshambles front man on stage for his London club dates. Still, as we ramp up to the release of Grace/Wastelands and the reunification of Blur, we can't help but be psyched that their paths are intersecting.

All that's thanks largely to Stephen Street, who apparently introduced the pair and encouraged the collaboration, and was on stage at the London show as well. Check out the vid of Doherty and Coxon above, and then head over to Street's website where he's posted some archival footage of Blur recording Parklife!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blur Reunion Video Warms Our Hearts

Granted, there's nothing in the video below that we didn't already know. Still, seeing Blur all back together again just makes us that much more excited about the prospect of this summer's reunion shows. We have no idea why NME's preventing embedding of the vid, but ah well. Click below to check it out. We missed you boys!

Video - Blur Reunite! (NME)

Foundry Field Recordings: New Record, Move SF Date To San Jose

Last month we mentioned that Foundry Field Recordings had drummed up a West coast tour for the spring, with a San Francisco date on March 10th at an undecided venue. Well, sadly, it appears that the band has instead opted to stake out the show in San Jose at Anno Domini Gallery. No real word on why the band decided not to make it all the way up the peninsula, but we have to admit we're a bit bummed.

In the good news department, the band's tour kickoff post on myspace has a few more tidbits about recent developments in the FFR camp. Specifically, they have a new lineup, and a bunch of new material to play on tour. What's more, they're ramping up to release a new record entitled hierarchy [procession]. We'll keep you updated as we hear more.

Lissy Trullie Played The DeYoung

It may surprise you (but we doubt it) to find that "Friday Nights At The DeYoung" is not the easiest room for a rock band to play. It is , for all intents and purposes, a cocktail hour with culture. People are there to drink, see, and be seen. The room is well lit - it's a mueseum! It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a club or bar. However, last night, despite the interminable background conversation, lengthy bar lines, children running about, and (inexplicably) vacant space between the audience and the stage, Lissy Trullie and her band managed to put on a kick ass rock show.

Given the super-tight arrangements on the record, we were sort of expecting a similar feel in the live setting, and the band didn't fail to disappoint. Trullie held down duties on rhythm guitar, while the band pounded away at the rock solid arrangements that we've grown to love over the last couple of weeks. The band did play a couple of songs not on the EP, and while the compositions were great, we will concede that the band felt a little looser on the newer material. We're guessing it'll firm up with time.

Despite the shortcomings of the venue, the band still managed to rope in the crowd - the tunes were unquestionably catchy and accessible, and by the end of the set Trullie had pulled about 90% of the room over to the stage. In fact, if there was anything that seemed uptight or restricted about the performance, it was Trullie herself. While the musical delivery was impeccable, Trullie's stage presence seemed slightly self conscious, and a bit stiff. Maybe it was the room, or maybe it was just the jitters, but it seemed like the spunk of rock and roll that comes across in her music and in her look just wasn't there in her person.

If you didn't get the gist at this point, we'll lay it out one more time: this just wasn't your typical rock show. The venue was odd, the crowd unusual, and a certain rock "vibe" was conspicuously absent. That being said, Trullie and her crew unquestionably validated our love of their record, and no doubt converted more than a bit of the audience as well. No doubt we're looking forward to the next time she's in town; but we'd be lying if we told you we're not hoping that show is in a club.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive

The White Stripes Played Conan And Made A Godawful Mess Of It

Okay, we'll start by saying this: for the most part, we love the White Stripes. Jack White is unquestionably a musical genius, and their show at the Greek Theater during the Get Behind Me Satan tour was one of our fave concerts of all time. So with all that love, let us just say, without reservations or scorn: What on earth happened last night?

Sure, the two have been off the road and out of the studio for a while, but last night on Conan the duo played something that sounded far less like a world reknowned rock band, and far more like a folk duo at an open mike night. The guitars (yes, two) sounded boxy and thin. Meg's playing was amateurish and completely superfluous. The harmonies weren't even really harmonies - it was like some bizarre semi-unison chorus that they had thrown together a minute before they went on air. On top of that, both Jack and Meg looked far more haggard then we'd seen them in a long time.

Look, it was kind of the Stripes to come back for Conan's last show, and we'll concede the fact that they may have felt more than a little stale having to dredge up a performance out of nowhere. But seriously, is this the best they can do? We had high hopes for the rumors that the band was in the studio and possibly working on another record and tour. But if this performance is a sign of things to come, sorry to say, count us out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Reminder: The White Stripes Are On Conan Tonight

If The White Stripes had been showing some semblance of unity in the past year or so, the bigger news would be that it's Conan O'Brien's last night as host of Late Night. However, things being what they are (cancelled tour, no new material in a year and a half), we have to say we're pretty damn psyched to see the Stripes together again and tearing into some tunes.

Word on the internets is that the band has been working on a new record, but we haven't seen anything official yet. While we're hoping tonight might offer up a taste, we're guessing they might defer to more classic material. If classics are your thing, you might also want to check out the band's website, where they're liquidating a bunch of old tour merch dating back to 2002.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lissy Trullie: Debut EP, Free Show At The DeYoung Friday Night

We have to admit, we hadn't heard anything of Lissy Trullie until a few weeks back when we received a copy of her debut EP, Self Taught Learner. Suffice it to say, we are now very familiar. The EP has been on steady rotation since it arrived in our mail box, and doesn't show any signs of letting up. Trullie's record is an awesome dose of calculated garage rock that immediately brings to mind the garagey underpinnings of New York's past and present rock scene. Trullie's songs most immediately recall The Strokes, but given that Jules & Co. have borrowed from just about every venerable rock act out there, we're not sure just how much one can be accused of aping their sound.

On top of a solid batch of songs, it's certainly not hurting things that Trullie has solidly established a fair dose of rock and roll swagger. She's apparently a model as well as a musician, and is quickly getting head nods from the press as the heir apparent to Andy Warhol's pop culture legacy. We're not exactly sure about that, but we can tell you that if Trullie's attitude on record and film translates to the live environment, then she's going to do just fine for herself.

So about that live show: In addition to the awesomeness of Trullie's record, the Bay Area's getting an added bonus. Trullie will be participating in the DeYoung's events surrounding their new Warhol Live exhibition - she'll be at tomorrow night's Friday Nights at The DeYoung with her band. The set (from everything we can discern) appears to be free and open to the public. Given that, it doesn't really seem that you can go wrong. If you miss this show, you'll have to head to Austin to catch Trullie at South By Southwest. Put differently: Be there.

mp3: Lissy Trullie - Self Taught Learner

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Ramp Up For Record Release, Stream Single "Zero"

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' imminent record release of It's Blitz! is certainly no secret: the album drops on April 14th, and the band is hitting multiple summer festivals (with more US dates on the way) in its support. However, up until now, we hadn't heard anything off the new record. The first single, "Zero", drops next week on iTunes, but apparently the band has decided to offer up a bit of a taster, and the track is now streaming on imeem.

To our ears, the track is pretty classic Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but with a new significantly more synthy twist. We'd love to play it snarky and say that the band is coming on a bit late to the synthpop bandwagon, but the fact of the matter is that this track is completely killer, and we've been listening to it on repeat for about the last hour. Karen O's vocals are in top form, and the band does a bang up job at delivering a solid dose of balls-to-the-wall rock and roll. Have a listen.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Summer 2009 Dates
Apr 19 2009 Coachella Indio, California
Apr 29 2009 Paradiso Amsterdam
Apr 30 2009 Bataclan Paris
May 2 2009 Polsslag Festival Hasselt
May 3 2009 Live Music Hall Cologne
May 4 2009 Magazzini Generali Milan
May 6 2009 Columbiahalle Berlin
May 8 2009 Debaser Medis Stockholm
May 23 2009 Sasquatch Festival QUINCY, Washington
Jun 12 2009 Bonnaroo Manchester, Tennessee
Jul 10 2009 T In The Park Kinross, Scotland
Jul 11 2009 Oxegen Festival Punchestown, Dublin