Monday, September 28, 2009

Japandroids Played Mercury Lounge - Review, Pictures, Setlist

We've been drooling over Japandroids' record for a while now, so we were psyched when we learned the Vancouverites would be in New York. Last night at Mercury Lounge we caught the duo delivering a scalding hot (and extremely early) show to an enthusiastic crowd. The show had been added after their first date sold out, and judging by the heavy attendance last night, it was the right call.

To call the set frenetic would be an understatement: these guys are a blistering ball of energy that's every bit as loud, exciting, and heart-on-sleeve as the record. What's more, they manage to surpass the energy on the record, which, frankly, we would have thought impossible. To say the least: we likey. Very much.

The band's set, while short due to time constraints, was actually quite diverse. While they could have stuck to the "play the album" formula and made everyone happy, they instead made a concerted effort to mix it up. This included a new track, a cover, and the closing track of the show, which apparently is from a compilation. In short, the band delivered a setlist that was unexpected, which was nice to see when they've got one album to work from. Our only disappointment was the absence of "Wet Hair". It's a fave track on the record, and it was conspicuously absent.

While the show ended at 8:30 PM, we walked away from Mercury Lounge last night not only satisfied with our experience, but also satisfied that Japandroids live up to what's on the record. With such simple tunes and straight ahead production, there was a lot of potential for the live experience (especially from a duo) to be a let down. Last night's show was exactly the opposite: Japandroids delivered in spades. Get out there and see them.

Japandroids Setlist
Heart Sweats
New Song (7" coming this fall, "Here's The Money Back"?)
Rockers East Vancouver
The Boys Are Leaving Town
Cover (McCluskey? To Hell?)
"Stage Jam"
Young Hearts Spark Fire
Unknown Track

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive

Japandroids Remaining North American Dates
09/28/2009 Buffalo, NY Big Orbit's Soundlab
09/29/2009 Hamilton, ON Casbah
09/30/2009 Peterborough, ON Montreal House
10/02/2009 Montreal, QC Le Divan Orange (POP Montreal)
10/03/2009 Ottawa, ON Maverick's
10/04/2009 Quebec City, QC Le Cercle
10/05/2009 Boston, MA Great Scott
10/06/2009 Philadelphia, PA The Barbary
10/07/2009 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks
10/08/2009 Cleveland, OH Now That's Class
10/09/2009 Chicago, IL Schubas
10/13/2009 Dallas, TX The Cavern
10/14/2009 Austin, TX Emo's
10/16/2009 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack's
10/17/2009 Atlanta, GA 529
10/18/2009 Chapell Hill, NC Local 506
10/19/2009 Washington, DC Rock and Rock Hotel

Neighbors, Devandra Banhart Remix Phoenix

Phoenix at Rumsey Playfield, from the HAD Archive

Was this weekend's show not enough Phoenix for you? Well fear not, because we have a bit more for your Monday. While are the proles are relegated to remixing "1901" and "Fences", the rock star set gets a different tune altogether: Neighbors and Devandra Banhart have remixed "Rome", and the band is giving the track away for free.

While we're not always Banhart's number one fans around here, "Rome" is one of the most killer tracks on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. What's more, its dynamics and killer riffs make it ripe for remixing. And, Neighbors and Banhart definitely deliver. While we'd rather than Banhart not sully Thomas Mars' vocals with attempts at dueting, the rest of the track is spot on.

The pair manage to take a lot of the rock out of "Rome", instead opting to lean on the atmospherics of the tune's bridge. Amongst bendy synths and layered vocals, the remix emphasizes Phoenix's more subtle side, and that suits us just fine. Check it out for yourself below.

mp3: Phoenix - Rome (Neighbors and Devandra Banhart Remix)

Phoenix And Passion Pit Played Central Park - Pictures, Review, Setlist

On Saturday night, after hearing a chat with Ryan Adams, we headed uptown to see Phoenix and Passion Pit rock out in Central Park. The pair had already played Rumsey Playfield the night before, and by all accounts it was a spectacular show. We were eager to take in what would be one of the final outdoor concerts of the summer.

Passion Pit opened the night, and despite what we had from some haters the night before, the band delivered a solid set that was firing on all cylinders. The vocals were on point, the instrumentals were tight, and most importantly, they got the entire crowd dancing without exception. Not only that, but they were the perfect opener for Phoenix: fun, cheery, and full of energy.

Phoenix took to the stage around 8:30, and started things off with a bang: "Lisztomania" was the first song out of the gate. From there the band dove into a traversal of their last three records with "Long Distance Call", "Lasso", and a searing version of "Run Run Run". From there the set, while occasionally making a step into the back catalog, focused heavily on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. This obviously wasn't much of a stretch for the crowd, who eagerly sang along to every word of the band's latest record.

After closing out the set with a jam that included "Rome" and "Funky Squaredance", the band returned for an encore. The encore began with Thomas Mars and Christian Mazzalai delivering stripped down versions of "Everything Is Everything" and "Playground Love". This was followed by the full band kicking into killer versions of "If I Ever Feel Better" and "1901". Needless to say, we, and the crowd, were extremely pleased.

If you're even a semi-regular reader of HAD, you've probably picked up on the fact that we're pretty smitten with Phoenix, in particular their live show. Well, Saturday night did nothing to change that: the band expertly delivered a set that not only traversed their catalog, but never had a dull moment. The bottom line is that this is a band who are perfectly in line with their ever-expanding popularity, and show no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Phoenix Setlist


Long Distance Call


Run Run Run



Love Like A Sunset

Too Young


Consolation Prizes


Funky Squaredance ->



Everything Is Everything (quiet)

Playground Love (quiet)

If I Ever Feel Better

Many more photos at the HAD Archive

Ryan Adams Spoke At New York Public Library - Pictures, Review

On Saturday night we stopped in to check out Ryan Adams at New York Public Library's "Live" series. Adams spoke with actress Mary Louise Parker for about an hour and a half, and delivered a perspective on art and writing that was insightful, balanced, and funny all at the same time. There may be detractors out there of Mr. Adams new, more artsy, pursuits, but after Saturday's talk, consider us convinced.

The pairing, which seemed odd at first, was actually pretty natural: apparently Louise Parker and Adams used to live next to each other in New York, and are quite good friends. Not only are they that, but apparently both are quite well schooled in the current state of modern poetry. It was clear from the outset that they both took a great deal of delight in reading and discussing poems, and do so regularly.

Much of the talk centered around the work of poet Mark Strand, but about half way through things got more focused on Adams' own work. Apparently writing was Adams' first love, and music was simply a second option. The fact that he now has the opportunity to pursue both is a testament to his success as a musician, and as the talk closed Adams was good enough to recite his poem "Plus Dreams". It was delightful, and we highly recommend - haters be damned.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from Adams over the course of the evening:

  • "There's a certain amount of Dukes Of Hazzard in me, you can't extract it"
  • (on re-reading poetry) "it's like led zepplin iii - a let down when your sixteen, but when you're 24 and someone dumps you and gives you a j'..."
  • "poetry is singing for people who choose to live without melody"
  • (on Auden) "He came from a time when there was only one way to go. Well, two ways; the other way was straight to hell!"
  • "There's a table, and there's your balls. You can put them on the table, or you can walk away."
  • "you gave me a gift when you left that milk out for my stray cat soul"
  • (on how art influences poetry) "I've written a lot of poems about hot girls at art museums. Seriously."
  • "the pink elephant is dirty"
Pictures by Peter Foley, courtesy NYPL

Julian Plenti (Paul Banks) Played The Guggenheim - Pictures, Review, Setlist

On Friday night we stopped in at the Guggenheim for the second in the museum's "It Came From Brooklyn" concert series. This time around, the main event was Paul Banks' solo project Julian Plenti, with a solid dose of comedic input from MC Eugene Mirman.

Mirman, who we hadn't seen since his show with John Wesley Harding, was in typically solid form. While the gig was a bit non-standard (lots of short bits between the other acts), Mirman delivered a solid take on his usual routine. One highlight included a "bouncer audition" in which Mirman convinces an English bouncer to recite ridiculous one liners.

Banks took to the stage around 10:30, with a band significantly larger than his usual four piece. In addition to Banks on guitar, there was an additional guitarist, bass, drums, and a three piece string section. The mix of instrumentation served to flesh out the sound, and moreover it served as a solid foundation for the atmospheric sound of Julian Plenti.

And really, that was the big question of the night: How would Banks' set away from his Interpol band mates shape up? Well the simple answer is "quite well", but we'll give you a bit more than that. Banks maintained his trademark monotone vocal style, but the overall vibe of the show was completely different. Not only was Banks talking between songs and smiling for much of the set, but the feel of the show was one of a band enjoying themselves and not being afraid to show it.

One of the more interesting points of the evening was Banks' choice of covers. They included America's "Horse With No Name" and the Pixies B-Side "Into The White". In short, not exactly what you might have expected. That being said, both tunes actually played out extremely well, and served to underscore a set that undeniably confirmed there is a whole other side to Paul Banks, and that side is Julian Plenti.

Setlist here
More pictures at the HAD Archive

Friday, September 25, 2009

David Bowie - "I Would Be Your Slave"

While David Bowie's 2002 release Heathen was largely hailed as a critical and commercial comeback for the man who fell to earth, its single releases were dominated largely by the album's more upbeat tracks. The shame in this is that it overlooks one of the album's most beautifully simple moments: the sycophantic love song "I Would Be Your Slave".

"I Would Be Your Slave" was actually one of the first tracks to be heard from Heathen, as Bowie debuted it at a Tibet House benefit the year prior. The Tibet House show gave a preview of an arrangement that would ultimately make it to the record: a simple arrangement driven primarily by bass and drums backed by a string quartet. The song itself takes on an almost droney quality, consisting of relatively few chords, with Bowie's voice driving the melody and direction of the song throughout.

All things being equal, however, the song's lyrics are it's true high point. Bowie is not one who's known for his vulnerability in lyric, or even for love songs in particular. That's what makes the tune just so fascinating: the lyrics are the simple plea of one who would do any and everything to win back the affections of another. In the end, it's the song's emotional honesty and vulnerability that wins us over every time; it's so simultaneously tragic, yet beautiful, that it really leaves the listener with a disquieting sense of pity.

Any Bowie moment is a good one, but this one's great. Give it a listen.

mp3: David Bowie - I Would Be Your Slave

Phoenix Played Jimmy Fallon, Two New York Shows This Weekend - Video

Well, if you're anything like us, you've been anticipating this weekend for a while: Phoenix will be playing two sold out nights in Central Park with Passion Pit opening. No doubt the shows will be a blast, and it's a great way to close out the summer. Well, not content to simply deliver two nights of concerts, the band have already made their way into the city, and took the opportunity to perform yesterday at the Soho Apple Store and on Jimmy Fallon.

We didn't make it to the Apple Store, but no doubt it was something of a mob scene - free shows tend to do that. The Fallon appearance, on the other hand, we managed to snag, and now deliver to you (above) via the magic of the internets. We have to say, we're a bit bummed that the band is still using "Lisztomania" for their live performances. Given the number of amazing tracks on Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, it seems silly to hear the same tune over and over.

That being said, we still love the tune, and the band most definitely nailed it. Combine that with the fact that Thomas Mars has decided to change up his look with a spiffy new black jacket, and consider us won over. See you out there this weekend.

video: Phoenix - Lisztomania (Official Video)
mp3: Phoenix - Lisztomania

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Some Tasty Japandroids Video For Your Thursday Morning

The above vid is a tasty little video from the CBC (that's Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, it's like the BBC for Canada) meeting up with Japandroids and shooting the shit. Not only do you get to see the band's rehearsal space (tiny) and hear them talk about their inspirations (Axl, Satan), but you also get to hear their funnily authentic Canadian accents. Well worth a watch.

mp3: Japandroids - The Boys Are Leaving Town

New Port O'Brien Record On The Way, Fall Tour Underway

We have no idea why, but for some reason we managed to let this one sit on the back burner for a couple of weeks. Well, have no fear: we're back on top of things, and we're happy to report that Port O'Brien's new record threadbare drops on October 6th. We were huge fans of All We Could Do Was Sing, and so we're more than a little excited to hear the band has a new record on the way.

The first track released from the album, "My Will Is Good", definitely seems to indicate that the waiting was not in vain. The track manages to combine Port O'Brien's more mellow moments with a driving beat and some string based atmospherics. It all combines to create a track that really seems to be pushing the band in a direction of refined experimentalism. We definitely dig.

The record will be released on TBD records, and the band is wasting no time promoting it: a tour is already underway that will cover most of the US. And, as we can attest, a Port O'Brien live show is nothing to turn your nose up at: the band's live set manages to take all their material to a whole new level. Combine that with a new album's worth of material, and well, we're excited.

mp3: Port O'Brien - My Will Is Good

Port O'Brien Fall 2009 North American Dates
September 25 Salt Lake City, UT - In The Venue
September 26 Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
September 28 Omaha, NE - The Slowdown
September 29 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
September 30 Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
October 1 Chicago, IL - Schubas Tavern
October 2 St. Louis, MO - The Billiken Club
October 3 Indianapolis, IN - Radio Radio
October 4 Cincinnati, OH - Southgate House
October 7 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts
October 9 Toronto, ON - Sneaky Dee's
October 10 Montreal, PQ - Il Motore
October 13 Boston, MA - Paradise Rock Club
October 14 New York, NY - The Mercury Lounge
October 16 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
October 17 Philadelphia, PA - North Star Bar
October 18 Baltimore, MD - The Talking Head Club
October 19 Washington, DC - DC 9
October 21 Chapel Hill, NC - Nightlight Bar & Club
October 23 Atlanta, GA - The Earl
October 24 Nashville, TN - Exit In
October 27 Dallas, TX - The Cavern
October 28 Austin, TX - Emo's Jr.
October 30 Phoenix, AZ - Modified Arts

HAD Featured On BreakThru Radio's "Anatomy Of A Blogger"

When the folks over at BreakThru Radio offered to let us take over the reigns of their "Anatomy Of A Blogger" show, we couldn't resist. They were kind enough to conduct an interview and use a hand picked HAD playlist. The show runs about an hour, and has some damn fine tunes, if we do say so ourselves. Plus you get to hear our same kooky opinions about the music industry, only now you don't have to read! Just sit back and listen....

Stream: HAD on Anatomy Of The Blogger

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Music - Bear Hands

Brooklyn's Bear Hands have been kicking around for a little while now, gradually building up a reputation as being a rock band that can deliver. A quick listen to the band's tracks makes it clear that that ain't no lie. They manage to exude a certain vibe that we here at HAD happen to love, which is to say: pure, unadulterated rock and roll.

Now news has come over the wire that the band are in the process of recording their first full length (a follow up to the four track Golden EP), and are taking a couple of nights off to deliver a few shows to the hapless souls of New York City. Exciting, yes?

So, if you dig the tune below, and find yourself desiring to be on the upward slope of the "what's hot" curve, this might just be your chance. The band will be at Cake Shop on Friday night September 25th, and at Braur Falls in Brooklyn the following evening, the 26th. While we've never seen the band live, we're certainly liking what we hear on record. And, if our sources are to be believed, the live show is kinda like that - but better. In other words, well worth your time.

mp3: Bear Hands - Golden

Nouvelle Vague Returns With Third Record

We were introduced to the Nouvelle Vague records by an ex-girlfriend, and while that didn't exactly hold up, the records have. Which, we have to admit, is a bit surprising. The concept (bossanova takes on new wave classics) sounds far fetched. Far fetched enough, at least, to make one think it might not yield multiple successful and enjoyable records.

Luckily, one would be wrong: not only are the band's first two records fantastic, but they now have a third on the way, and from the looks of things it'll hold up to band's reputation. 3 drops on October 20th, and manages to take a new twist on the band's sound: they've enlisted some of the original singers to come on board and sing duets on their revamped takes. Normally we'd raise an eyebrow to such a gimmick, but the band's stellar performance on record so far is leaving us open minded.

While we're not sure a covers record can qualify for "record of the year", we will say this: Nouvelle Vague manages to deliver albums that not only stick around on our playlist, but do so for a long time. As such, we'll definitely be picking a copy of this one up, and we recommend you do the same.

mp3: Nouvelle Vague - Master & Servant

Monday, September 21, 2009

Yura Yura Teikoku Played Music Hall Of Williamsburg - Pictures, Review

We had heard whisperings that Yura Yura Teikoku's set opening for Yo La Tengo in Boston was fantastic. In fact, one HAD staffer even went to so far as to say that the band had outshone YLT, and not by a little bit. Suffice it to say, it was enough to peak our interest and get us to head over to the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night, and we certainly didn't leave disappointed.

Much like Yo La Tengo, YYT manages to jump around a plethora of styles while seeming completely at home in each one. The tracks varied from noise rock, to chilled out Floydesque jams, to a poppy radio friendly tune that could have easily qualified as current-day Kings Of Leon. Absorbing the breadth of the bands catalog was challenging, but also completely entertaining.

The band themselves are a tightly knit trio consisting of bass, drums, and guitar. While the bass and drums are so locked in they could almost be a single instrument, guitarist Shintaro Sakimoto frequently tore away from the mix on his own. Sakimoto's playing was by far the most magnetic piece of the evening, as he created wave upon wave of noise and ended up sounding far more like two or three instruments than one.

At the end of the show, we have to admit, we walked away a bit boggled: On the one hand, YYT are unquestionably savvy, both technically and as songwriters. But their set fluctuates genres so quickly, that it's tough to get a handle on the feel and flow. That being said, we went into the show unfamiliar with any of the band's material, so the fault may lay there. Regardless, the performance and virtuosity we saw left one thing for certain: we'll be giving the band another listen in the very near future.

Many more photos at the HAD Archive.

Phoenix Drop "Fences" As Multitrack Download

You may recall that earlier in the year when Phoenix released their single "1901" as a multi track recording for remix purposes. Well, apparently that wasn't the end of it, as the band has now gone and released "Fences" in the same format. You can snag the multi-track download right here.

We're actually excited to see "Fences" get the nod, as it seems to be the underappreciated stepchild of "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix": it hasn't really been played live, and gets little mention in critical circles as well. We're curious to see what fans will come up with for the track, but more importantly whether this development causes the band to dig out the track for a live showing at Central Park this weekend. We certainly hope so!

mp3: Phoenix - Fences

Julian Casablancas Drops First Single From Solo Record - "11th Dimension"

The anticipation has been growing for Julian Casablancas' first solo record Phrazes For The Young, and if "11th Dimension" is any indicator, the hype has been well justified. On the track, Casablancas manages to take his classic Strokes vocals and infuse them with a dancey, synthy, retro goodness that manages at the same time to be completely fresh. While it sounds very little like The Strokes, in its approach its not all that different.

Which is to say: Casablancas made a name for himself eight years ago with a record and a band that was highly derivative, yet at the same time managed to transform an industry with its originality, energy, and willingness to make high quality rock and roll. This track has that same energy and vitality. On it's surface there's little that's obvious to surpass any other dance-rock track, but somehow it manages to transcend that and deliver far more. Let's hope the rest of the record is just as tasty.

Phrazes For The Young drops on October 20th

mp3: Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ryan Adams - Destroyer

Ryan Adams at The Catalyst, from the HAD Archive

For many frustrated Ryan Adams fans, Heartbreaker is still the high watermark of his prolific career. The record has a certain intimacy and immediacy that simply hasn't carried over to his other records. What's more, it's probably the only example of Adams' managing to successfully edit his output and deliver a collection of bulletproof songs that exemplifies his mind blowing songwriting abilities. The subsequent releases, while certainly having strengths, always have an eyebrow raising moment, or simply lack the depth of Heartbreaker. As such, the holy grail for critics and fans alike has been the possibility that Adams release the "next Heartbreaker" and finally ascend to his throne of Bob Dylan-like greatness. The irony is that the record already exists: it's just that you haven't heard of it.

In the year 2000 Adams recorded Heartbreaker with musical duo of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings backing him up. Ethan Johns produced the record, and the rest is history. In short, it allowed Adams to live up to all the promise that had filtered through the drunken haze of Whiskeytown. However, less well known is that shortly before this Adams had joined the exact same team to create Heartbreaker's predecessor, entitled Destroyer. Unfortunately , Geffen/Interscope claimed rights to the record (at least according to Adams), and it never saw the light of day. Luckily for Adams' fans, that wasn't the end of the road. As with many of Adams unreleased records, the tracks magically found their way to the internet, and were rapidly consumed.

Destroyer is largely Heartbreaker's twin. The production methods are similar, Adams' demeanor is almost identical, and many of the musical choices are in parallel. Many of the tracks feature simple arrangements with one or two guitars, and vocals are often Adams double tracking harmonies, but at times include Rawlings or Welch. What's more, Adams' songwriting, which became decidedly more sunny on Gold, is still in something of a romantic tragedy: self deprecating and lamenting love lost. Also, similar to Heartbreaker, Destroyer contains a single electrified track: Adams taking a stab at Welch's "Revelator". That being said, there are differences between the two: Destroyer brings in instrumentation not present on Heartbreaker: xylophones, bass, and piano are all far more prevalent in the record's mix.

However, production and instrumentation aside, the true winning mark of Destroyer is the songwriting. It's Adams at his very best: poppy, miserable, melodic, and dark. "Rainy Days" is a pop masterpiece resting on a bed of dischord and chaos. "Hey There Mrs. Lovely" manages to sadly lament a lover, while maintaining beautifully sweet harmonies through and through. Meanwhile, the sardonic "Born Yesterday" manages a wry stab at untruth with the lyric "Make me a list of all the things I don't want to know, to keep me safe.". In short, it is the Adams that we all love best: a clever, broken hearted, witty, miserable, musical genius.

The irony is that the love of Destroyer is not limited to fans: Adams himself has recently begun rerecording and rewriting the songs in an effort to get them out there. But the fact of the matter is that his new recordings simply don't do them justice. His new production methods and band lineup miss the simplicity that Rawlings, Welch, and Johns lent to the material. What's more, there's something to be said against messing with a record that's already this beautiful. Put differently: don't. We'll certainly buy a copy whenever it finally gets released, but until then we have this to say: Ryan, why not record another?

Given that folks posting unreleased Adams material have run into some significant legal trouble, we can't post mp3s. That being said, don't let us stop you from snagging a copy of your own. xoxo.

White Rabbits Mount Fall Tour

White Rabbits at The Independent, from the HAD Archive

While we're a bit bummed to see that the band won't be making a hometown stop in New York, we're nonetheless stoked that White Rabbits are continuing to tour in support of their killer record It's Frightening. You may recall that we positively dug the band's show at The Independent in June. Given how much fun it was, we're not exactly shocked that the band has upgraded to a larger room, and will be at Slim's on November 4th.

This is a band that absolutely kills live, and for all of the percussive wizardry on their record, the live show definitely pushes it up a notch. If you find yourself digging on their tunage, don't miss a chance to catch them out in the really world. You'll be glad you did.

mp3: White Rabbits - Percussion Gun

White Rabbits Fall 2009 Dates
Oct 17 Rock N Roll Hotel Washington DC
Oct 18 Johnny Brenda’s Philadephia, Pennsylvania
Oct 20 Pearl St. Café Northampton, Massachusetts
Oct 21 Club Hell Providence, Rhode Island
Oct 22 Higher Ground Burlington, Vermont
Oct 23 La Sala Rosa Montreal, Quebec
Oct 24 Drake Hotel Toronto, Ontario
Oct 25 Magic Stick Detroit, Michigan
Oct 27 Firebird St. Louis, Missouri
Oct 29 The Blue Note Columbia, Missouri
Oct 30 Larimer Lounge Denver, Colorado
Nov 1 The Clubhouse Phoenix, Arizona
Nov 2 El Rey Los Angeles, California
Nov 4 Slims San Francisco, California
Nov 5 Wonder Ballroom Portland, Oregon
Nov 6 Media Club Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 9 Cedar ST Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nov 10 Turner Hall Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Girls Album Streaming, US Tour Kicks Off In November

We here at HAD have been digging on Girls since day one, so we're not exactly shocked that the band is rapidly making their way into the world of success. In the past few months, they've received a fair dose of blogosphere hype, signed a distribution deal with Matador, made some killer videos, and now, released their debut record.

Girls' Album drops this coming Tuesday, but this past week the band had an early hometown-only record release for the lucky residents of San Francisco. Suffice it to say that they got more than a welcome reception - the band managed to pack in some sold out shows and a well attended Amoeba Records appearance.

And deservedly so: the record sounds great. It manages to take the band's already solid live sound, and build on it with layers of production that manage to increase complexity without becoming flowery or over the top. Lead singer Christopher Owens sound fantastic as well, and his pouty drawl gives the band an undeniably unique persona. In short, we likey.

While you can pick up the record on Tuesday (and we recommend you do), you'll have to hold your horses to catch the band's live show. They're headed to the UK next week, and won't be back in the US until November. That being said, when they do return they've got a solid cross country jaunt planned, starting out on the east coast, and wrapping up with two dates in SF, followed by a closer at the Troubadour in LA. See you out there!

Girls - Album
Girls - Hellhole Ratrace

Girls Fall 2009 North American Dates
Nov 2 Maxwell¹s Hoboken, New Jersey
Nov 3 Black Cat Washington, Washington DC
Nov 4 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nov 6 Bowery Ballroom New York, New York
Nov 7 Great Scott Boston, Maryland
Nov 9 Il Motore Montreal, Quebec
Nov 10 El Mocambo Toronto, Ontario
Nov 12 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Nov 13 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Nov 14 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nov 17 Nuemos Seattle, Washington
Nov 18 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon
Nov 20 Swedish American Hall San Francisco, California
Nov 21 Bottom of the Hill San Franfuckingcisco Home!, California
Dec 5 Troubadour LOS ANGELES, California

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Postmarks Plot North American Tour

We were already psyched to hear that The Postmarks had a new record on the way, so we were even more elated to hear that the band has set up a North American tour for the fall. With the new record's more aggressive stance and more upbeat sound, we think that it'll be ideal for a live setting. What's more, with a kickoff in San Francisco at Hotel Utah and a wrap up with two shows in New York, it's perfect for our bicoastal vibe. See you there!

mp3: The Postmarks - My Lucky Charm

The Postmarks Fall 2009 Dates
Sep 29 Hotel Utah w/ BROOKVILLE San Francisco, California
Oct 2 Spaceland w/ BROOKVILLE Los Angeles, California
Oct 3 Downtown Brew w/ BROOKVILLE San Luis Obispo, California
Oct 5 Hi-Dive w/ BROOKVILLE Denver, Colorado
Oct 6 The B Side Lounge w/ BROOKVILLE Boulder, Colorado
Oct 8 Emo’s Inside w/ BROOKVILLE Austin, Texas
Oct 9 Backroom @ The Mink w/ BROOKVILLE Houston, Texas
Oct 11 Czar Bar w/ BROOKVILLE Kansas City, Missouri
Oct 13 Double Door w/ BROOKVILLE Chicago, Illinois
Oct 14 Shank Hall w/ BROOKVILLE Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Oct 15 Radio Radio w/ BROOKVILLE Indianapolis, Indiana
Oct 16 Southgate House w/ BROOKVILLE Newport, Kentucky
Oct 17 Rex Theater w/ BROOKVILLE Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Oct 19 The Middle East Cambridge, Massachusetts
Oct 20 The North Star w/ BROOKVILLE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 22 Canal Room - ASCAP Showcase @ CMJ New York, New York
Oct 24 The Bell House w/ AU REVOIR SIMONE Brooklyn, New York

Kings Of Convenience Drop New Video For "Boat Behind"

After all of last week's Kings Of Convenience excitement in New York, we weren't sure what we could plan on hearing from the band next. Well, it turns out we didn't have to wait long: the band has just dropped a video for the tune "Boat Behind". Keeping with the new record Declaration of Dependence's cover art, it's got a nice little road trip troubadour vibe. If only we could all take some time off for such a jaunt....nice indeed. Check it out above.

Declaration Of Dependence drops on October 20th.

mp3: Kings Of Convenience - Boat Behind

First Pavement Date Confirmed, Tickets On Sale A YEAR In Advance

Sure, it's huge that Pavement has finally decided to reunite. But even so, it's baffling to learn that tickets are going on sale more than a year in advance. Yes, you heard that correctly: tickets for the band's September 21st, 2010 date at the Central Park Summer Stage will go on sale tomorrow morning, September 19th, 2009.

Tomorrow's on-sale is a presale via the band's new site, and apparently a full on-sale will occur on Tuesday September 25th. The password for the pre-sale is ZOWEE and the ticketing link is here. Apparently once the full on-sale occurs, there will also be tickets "without surcharges from the Nokia Theatre box office in Times Square and from Earwax at 218 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg."

If you can already feel the megahype starting to build, you're not alone.

mp3: Pavement - Type Slowly (Live)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Twilight Sad Heads Out For North American Tour

Well, we couldn't be happier about this one: turns out The Twilight Sad's date with Frightened Rabbit in SF this week is just one of many on a tour of the US. While, sadly, Frightened Rabbit won't be joining them for the whole thing, the band has lined up a thorough tour of the US (and all over the world) in support of their new record Forget The Night Ahead.

The band's last record was one of our faves of 2007, and we're expecting no less from this release. What's more, we've never had the chance to catch them live, and are champing at the bit to do so. The band's waves of noisy guitars and anthemic vocals beg to be heard live, and frankly, we can't wait.

The record doesn't drop until October 5th, but meanwhile you can satisfy yourself by catching the band live as they tour the continent over the course of September.

mp3: The Twilight Sad - Reflections Of The Television

The Twilight Sad Fall 2009 North American Dates
Sep 16 Neumo’s Crystal Ball Reading Seattle, Washington

Sep 17 Dante’s Portland, Oregon

Sep 18 The Independent San Francisco, California

Sep 19 the Voodoo Lounge San Jose, California

Sep 20 Knitting Factory Los Angeles, California
Sep 22 Plush Tucson, Arizona

Sep 24 The Mohawk Austin, Texas
Sep 25 Spanish Moon Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Sep 26 Bottletree Birmingham, Alabama

Sep 27 The Masquerade Atlanta, Georgia

Sep 28 Club Downunder Tallahassee, Florida
Sep 29 The Social Orlando, Florida

Oct 1 Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Oct 3 North Star Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Oct 5 Black Cat Backstage Washington, Washington DC

Oct 6 Bowery Ballroom New York, New York

Oct 7 Great Scott Allston, Massachusetts

Oct 10 El Mocambo Toronto, Ontario

Oct 11 Blind Pig Ann Arbor, Michigan

Oct 12 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois

Ryan Adams Re-Launches Boutique Label

Ryan Adams @ The Catalyst, from the HAD Archive

While the word "launch" seems a bit dubious given the Paxam tee shirt and records we have sitting right here, we're still pretty damn happy at the news that Ryan Adams will be relaunching his boutique label. Apparently Adams will be using Paxam (which has been dormant for close to five years), to launch a series of digital singles that will "support the site and keep FOGGY TV broadcasting."

Speaking of which, Adams' site has recently turned into something of a TV station for his music and (aforementioned) bloggy videos. We're not sure exactly how much "support" it takes to host a web site and film videos on your macbook, but suffice it to say: not much. Case in point, Adams' own assessment of the endeavor:

"Thanks for making Pax Am the number one Ryan Adams merch site online. We would hunt anyone else down though. Did you have a rad summer? Good. If you said no, never worry, Pax Am is here. We are gonna fill your fall and winter up with vinyl, digital singles, and t shirts you don't need. Stay tuned for videos, free tracks, and our digi-singles. Subscribers get first dibs on rare vinyl. Remember, purchasing the buck 49 singles is a way to keep FOGGY TV on the air, but it is not necessary to view the weekly content. This is my label and my internet disco dream. Make it real you jerks. Worship me."

That being said, we're nothing if not suckers for the awesomeness that is Ryan Adams, so count us in.

You can head over to Adams' store now, where two of the digital singles are already available.

mp3: Ryan Adams - If I Am A Stranger (Original 7" Version, From Paxam Single)

Land Of Talk Adds New York Date

We were already psyched enough when we found out that Land Of Talk were touring in support of their new EP. So, suffice it to say that when we discovered that they quietly added two East Coast dates to the tour, we were completely stoked.

The band has added a date in their hometown of Montreal, as well as a stopover in New York at Mercury Lounge on November 21st. Given that we've been aching to see Land Of Talk live for the better part of two years, we couldn't be more thrilled with the news. We'll see you there.

mp3: Land Of Talk - Weighty Ghost

Land Of Talk Fall 2009 Dates
Oct 27 Casbah San Diego, California
Oct 29 Spaceland Los Angeles, California
Oct 30 The Cellar Door Visalia, California
Nov 2 Cafe Du Nord San Francisco, California
Nov 4 Doug Fir Lounge Portland, Oregon
Nov 5 High Dive Seattle, Washington
Nov 6 Nightlight Lounge Bellingham, Washington
Nov 7 Biltmore Cabaret Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 12 Segal Centre - CBC Radio 2 Routes Montreal Montreal, Quebec
Nov 21 Mercury Lounge New York, New York

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Japandroids: Post Nothing

First, go get a copy of this record. We'll wait.

Back? Turn the volume to ten, and press play. That should be about right.

In short: believe the hype. Japandroids' Post Nothing has been on our "too listen" pile for a while. As it's been sitting there, we've heard a range of opinions from those who thought the band was a mythological creature from Vancouver, to those who thought they were the greatest thing ever, to those who had never heard of them. Put differently, there was such a range of opinions, we had to sit down and listen for ourselves.

When we did, we discovered a record that is everything that we love about rock and roll: crushing guitars, billowing beats, and vocals that cry with passion and agony. It's shocking that a duo can get a sound this big; and it's big in every possible way. It could be described as a sonic assault, and that would get halfway there. But the reality is that there's a solid dose of subtlety as well: the band has mastered dynamics, and knows when to pull back into the quiet moments. Those moments serve not only to underpin their louder ones, but also to show a band that's got a fair bit more going on then the straight ahead post-punk that the album title casually tosses aside.

Thankfully, the band's talents don't stop with sonic excitement: the instrumentals are just one piece of the pie. As we listened to the tunes, we found ourselves continually drawn in by emotionally frank lyrics. There's a degree of the sly humor that defines MGMT, but there's also a fair bit more. It's a level of honest emotion in these lyrics that gives the listener a true sense of youth adrift in the world, and a genuine desire to escape confusion in favor of a carefree clarity that isn't appearing as easily as it should be. All of this combines to give the music a depth and relevance that reveals itself more and more on repeat listens.

If it sounds like we're more than a little eager to dole out praise on this record, then you're getting the idea. From the moment we gave Post Nothing a spin last week, we've been listening to it on repeat, and still haven't tired of it. That just makes us all the more excited that the band is in the midst of a North American tour that will find them in New York next Thursday at Mercury Lounge. We plan on being there, and hope you do to. Meanwhile, satisfy yourselves by listening to this record again, and again, and again. We promise - it'll be well worth your while.

mp3: Japandroids - The Boys Are Leaving Town

Japandroids Fall 2009 Tour Dates

09/16/2009 Urbana, IL Pygmalion Festival
09/17/2009 Detroit Magic Stik
09/18/2009 Guelph, ON Albion
09/19/2009 Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
09/21/2009 Columbus, OH The Summit
09/24/2009 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
09/28/2009 Buffalo, NY Big Orbit's Soundlab
09/29/2009 Hamilton, ON Casbah
09/30/2009 Peterborough, ON Montreal House
10/02/2009 Montreal, QC Le Divan Orange (POP Montreal)
10/03/2009 Ottawa, ON Maverick's
10/04/2009 Quebec City, QC Le Cercle
10/05/2009 Boston, MA Great Scott
10/06/2009 Philadelphia, PA The Barbary
10/07/2009 Pittsburgh, PA Garfield Artworks
10/08/2009 Cleveland, OH Now That's Class
10/09/2009 Chicago, IL Schubas
10/13/2009 Dallas, TX The Cavern
10/14/2009 Austin, TX Emo's
10/16/2009 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack's
10/17/2009 Atlanta, GA 529
10/18/2009 Chapell Hill, NC Local 506
10/19/2009 Washington, DC Rock and Rock Hotel

Pavement Reunion In 2010

Stephen Malkmus changes a guitar string at Great American Music Hall, from the HAD Archive

While details are still sketchy, it seems to be bubbling out from numerous "reliable sources" (KEXP and Brooklyn Vegan included) that Pavement is set to reunite in 2010. Despite the fact that this has been rumored just about forever, the enormity of it really can't be ignored.

Pavement is a band that not only inspired just about every band you've loved since (Radiohead included, kids), but also never really managed to realize their own greatness in a live setting. Their shows were often discombobulated, and even by the band's own account, not everything they could be. We're really hoping that this reunion news could be the special sauce that brings back the awesomeness, not to mention a new record. Maybe? Please?

While nothing's confirmed, the rumor mill is currently listing 4 shows at Central Park Summerstage 2010, and a possible Coachella spot. Yes. Please.

Kings Of Convenience: The HAD Interview

Last week we were psyched to get to catch a rare performance by Norway's Kings Of Convenience. As such, it was even more exciting to learn that we were going to get a chance to sit down with Erlend Øye, one half of the dynamic duo. We met Erlend at EMI's headquarters in New York where, despite being a bit under the weather, he was kind enough to join us in a discussion about songwriting, capitalism, recording and impromptu In N Out performance. We hope you enjoy.

HAD: How's your day going?

EØ: It's good but...

HAD: Yeah.

EØ: Yeah. You know, yesterday was the same, and concert, and now...

HAD: The concert sounded great though...

EØ: You were there?

HAD: Yeah, we were there last night and we really enjoyed it. Nice surprise at the end, too. With Feist.

EØ: Cool, cool.

HAD: We've enjoyed your records from quite a few years back, so.... New York is your only scheduled performance - are you planning on doing any other major cities in support of the record later on?

EØ: Yeah, that would be a proper tour, like in a year, maybe April or something, but we're still not sure if it's going to happen.

HAD: What was the motivation for the sort of impromptu concert here?

EØ: Well, Astralwerks asked about it, and we've been working with these people for a long time. Most record companies in most countries change personalities all the time, but these people have stayed the same. So, you know, we kind of have a special relationship with these people. So they asked, and okay okay, why not? Come over here, do a show, do some promotion, play at the radio. It made sense - the United States is one of our biggest markets.

HAD: So, continuing along those lines, do you feel like in your absence over the past few records, have they been ready there for you to release the record whenever you were ready?

EØ: Yeah, yeah - I mean they've been asking: "What's happening?". So that's good.

HAD: You mentioned last night that you're a big fan of the New York restaurant scene, and that you guys got dinner at Kampuchea. What are some of your other favorite places around town?

EØ: Well, we went to Freeman's, because we stay across the road, that was pretty good. We also went to Cafe Select...

HAD: Did you go to the bar in the back?

EØ: No, is there a bar in the back?

HAD: Yeah, you go through the kitchen where they're preparing food, and it's the room in the back that's two levels and tiny with a bar and waitress. Yeah, it's totally weird.

EØ: So it's open all the time? I didn't really see people walking up... That place had good food, but it was way too loud. That's a big problem for me. I hate music in restaurants. It's okay if it's a cafe or something, but a restaurant? If the food is good, you don't need music.

HAD: In terms of music in general, what records are you listening to right now?

EØ: I don't listen so much to music. You kind of, you're working on making music yourself, and there's so much music during the day, you want to hear silence. But what do I listen to? For example, the song "Tigresa" by Caetano Veloso, a Brazilian singer. And, I like, I was listening to the record of the band The XX - a new band from England.

HAD: How would you characterize them, if you can?

EØ: It's not loud, it sounds a bit like early The Cure.

HAD: So, with the new record you kind of went in this bossanova direction...

EØ: We continued the bossanova direction! I guess that's the thing is like - if I would say one thing about this record that it's "more" than the others, it's that it's more slow songs, even more slow songs. There are the bossanova songs, and the rhythmical songs for sure. Well, I just think there's more of it.

HAD: Do you think that's a result of the natural evolution of your earlier work, or was there some outside influence that pushed you in that direction?

EØ: Well you know, there haven't really been - there was bossanova on the first record. We haven't had so many new influences on the band, honestly. There haven't really been anything that we're like "whoa, this is the new thing". Have there? Well, there's this one song "Rule My World" - that has a bit of a French House inspiration. That's the only new thing.

HAD: One of the things that I've spoken with a lot of people about who are big fans is the Versus record, and we were curious how much ownership you feel of that record as part of the band's catalog, versus how much it's other people's work, really?

EØ: Yeah, that's a good question, exactly - because it's not really us - it is our record, but at the same time - it's not really us. So, I think our fans are much more conscious about this record than we are. I rarely think much about it. It's a great record - it's probably the greatest remix record ever, not that that says very much, but it does work.

HAD: Did you have involvement with choosing the artists who did the remixes and picking those people, or was it more the label who did that?

EØ: No, we were very involved - I think our A&R found three of the artists.

HAD: One of the things about your live show is that it's very tight - you have a lot of interplay, and what we hear on the record is very well represented, live. When you get into the studio, do you go for a live performance, or do you work with multiple tracks? What is your recording and rehearsing style?

EØ: Yeah, this record is, yeah, the most live recorded album we've made. Um, and it's - at the moment that the album is recorded, it also marks the time that we are free to move away from that version. You sort of try to figure out "what is the ultimate, what is the pure version of that song?" - that's what we try to record. But the moment it is recorded, then we're totally free to remix it. But we try not to remix it, you know, we want the recorded version to be mostly substance and no style. "Style" meaning if you would add a long instrumental passage because, live for example you have a long instrumental solo. But when we record, we try to have it very compressed. What you were saying that the version on the record were similar to the live versions, that's something that will probably change. We'll go on a tour for real, because now we can change it totally around, if we want to. Because, the real, the ideal, version is on the record.

HAD: When you're playing live, the steel string you use, is that a D-28?

EØ: Very similar to that, yes.

HAD: Are your guitar choices static, and have they been static over the years, or do you vary the guitars that you play on?

EØ: There is something about if you write a song on a certain guitar, and you play it on another guitar, you could be like: "Huh, it doesn't work on this guitar". So, you kind of get stuck with the guitar you bought, in a way. Naturally, if you had tons of different guitars, you could do tons of different things in the studio, with more variation. But, when you then go on tour, you'll have a problem, because you have to bring all the guitars. Because a lot of them won't work on the one that you bring. So I try to stick to my Martin - almost a D-28, but not quite. I don't know why...

HAD: When you do go into the studio and you're recording, how much, if any, of a relationship do you have with the technical side of the studio? Is that something you get involved in?

EØ: Yeah, I'm actually quite into the technical side. It's something I really learned from my time in The Whitest Boy Alive, where it's very DIY. So I learned a lot there.

HAD: When you're recording, are you doing digital or tape?

EØ: Yeah, we haven't used tape for a long time - we used it on the first record. But I found, it's not so much about the tape as it's about how you use microphones, and what kind of room you're recording in. You hear it much more there than in the tape vs. digital. There is a difference, it's tiny, it's there. But it's - digital is so much easier.

HAD: When you're choosing microphones and rooms, do you have certain go-to microphones, or do you experiment in the studio, or both?

EØ: Well, we have some microphones called Schoeps, kind of cigar mics. They've become our main mics.

HAD: When you record, is it the two of you in a room recording live?

EØ: Yeah. Although two songs are more layered, "Mrs. Cold" is one of them.

HAD: We were talking about "Mrs. Cold" before we got here - specifically about a YouTube clip of you playing it at In N Out two years ago. Aside from the In N Out story, we wanted to know how old are the songs on the record, how long have they been floating around?

EØ: Yeah, I mean, "Mrs. Cold" is kind of a new song, which means that it was written in January 2007, so for us that's pretty new. Yeah, after Brazil and Mexico I was in California in March 2007 driving with my friend Simone. We stopped at In N Out where some people challenged us to an impromptu rap battle. I had my little ukulele with me, as we were at In N Out, and well, I played the song.

HAD: Did you win?

EØ: Heh - well, I guess so! But, to my big surprise, it then like a few days later was on YouTube and also on Pitchfork. Pitchfork posted it, and it was so random. But that's really fun, I really love that with, it's the really good thing about, the new digital age. About everyone sharing consumer content.

HAD: And then another song from the new record, "Riot On An Empty Street", it was said that that was originally a song intended for the album of the same name...

EØ: Yeah, the moment that song didn't make the album, the idea that it was a good album title came up. That song is really old - from 2001. But we had a new recording of it that we felt did it justice.

HAD: There's a page on the web that has an extensive set of all the interviews you've done...

EØ: Yeah, the .org, yeah.

HAD: ...and one of them mentions that you had a desire to live in California. Is that something you still think about?

EØ: Yeah, you know, I have to say I'm kind of over that: I can't drive, you know? You kind of get enough of America. America is very catchy, but not so deep. I find after a while, I really enjoy America, but Europe is the best place. It's the most variety in shortest distance. And it's fun with the different languages and the different cultures. It's really, yeah, there's more to dig. Always more to discover.

HAD: In a lot of documentary films about European bands coming to the states, there's this idea of New York as a mythical mecca of pop culture. Specifically, in both The Clash and U2 documentaries, there are scenes where they enter the scenes and they show the band's jaws drop as they see the city. Did it have that effect for you? Did it have a mythical aspect?

EØ: Still does. New York still is a one of a kind place in the world. In Sao Paolo for example, there's a beautiful old part of town, with beautiful sky scrapers: super dangerous. At night time, kids can't be around there. It's so unique in New York, it's the sort of shopping window of the capitalist idea. Here, capitalism works. The best survives. The small, tiny, independent restaurant, store, survives. You go a little bit outside, it's Burger King, Taco blah blah blah. Chains. That's the bad side of capitalism. At some point it has to continue to grow, and it can only keep growing by crushing the small independents, and the quality gets worse and worse. But New York, yeah, it's the best of capitalism. The biggest argument for capitalism. And amazing diversity, and amazing food.

HAD: How does that carry over to Bergen? Has it penetrated in the same way in Europe?

EØ: In Norway, it's much better overall than the United States. We have free health care, social security, not so many chain restaurants. We don't have so much of these "forgotten areas" of the country, like Detroit for example. But, it's not a big country, so, you know.

HAD: Are you living in Bergen now?

EØ: Yeah.

HAD: We've actually been to Bergen: took the Hurtigruten up all the way to the border of Russia and Finland.

EØ: Yeah! Well, I've never taken the whole trip, but I've taken it little by little.

HAD: When you tour some of the cities up the coast, is that how you get there?

EØ: Yeah, or you travel between them at least. We were at a show and the boat was leaving at one thirty at night. It's like, "Oh, good boat! Nightliner!"

HAD: What do you think when your fans, you were joking last night about people trying to speak Norwegian phrases to you, do you think there's an imbalance with American fans? Do we have less international perspective?

EØ: Well, you know, it depends - it's hard to say "Americans" in one big stroke. I mean, as far as I know only 10% Americans have passports, and in Europe that's like "what?" totally unheard of. So, we travel more, but you have all these Spanish speaking people in your country, so, you know, strange. But I'm not expecting anyone to know anything about Norway. And I just kind of laugh. People think it's so amazing to learn a Norwegian phrase. You know, it gets old! The first time it happened it was cool, but then the fifty-ninth time you're kind of like "Haha, okay, 'Good Morning' in Norwegian...yeah, okay."

HAD: Back to the music a little bit - in terms of songwriting, and how you view your music. There's an anecdote about Lennon and McCartney, how they were two guitars, two voices, and had never really considered the concept of a "lead". Then somebody wanted it for sheet music, and asked what's the "lead" vocal line, and they really didn't know - there were just two of everything. When you write and perform together, do you have that concept of taking the lead?

EØ: Well, that's a really interesting anecdote. I think Lennon and McCartney is a really good way to describe me and Eirik, because that's really how it is. It's kind of clearly different, at the same time, you're not always able to tell who it is. There are clearly separate voices, but not always so easy to see. And, the great thing is really the combination of the two makes for a good band. For sure, there are just two guitars, there are just two voices. We don't really care. One is not supposed to be louder than the other. You're just supposed to choose one that you listen to.

HAD: Is that true for writing as well? Do you collaborate, or do you individually bring songs to the table?

EØ: We're much more collaborative than any other band I know. It used to be much more on the first record, much more collaborative. Now it's more half finished songs being brought in, and then we arrange them together.

HAD: In addition to this record, you also had another record this year with The Whitest Boy Alive in March - how do you find balance between the two? Do you complete one and switch to the other, or are they both going at all times?

EØ: Yeah, they're somehow going at the same time. It's not that difficult to differ between them. Usually the songs with The Whitest Boy Alive we jam together and songs come up. But I like the idea of being in both bands. I have a lot of song ideas which are quite similar and it's good to have these kind of different bands, because it just makes it less similar. The different songs kind of become less similar than they would if there was one band and one output. And also, because The Whitest Boy Alive is...the concerts are very different. People are dancing, it's a party, we play festivals. Kings Of Convenience is different, very quiet.

HAD: You said a lot of the recording you do with Whitest Boy Alive is DIY. How does that work? Do you demo a lot of things, use a four track?

EØ: No no, all the members know how to use computers and proper mixing desks, and proper mics.

HAD: Do you have a preference for a digital recording system?

EØ: We use Logic. It's cheaper than Pro Tools.

HAD: And you get to pick your hardware.

EØ: Yeah, that's true too.

HAD: Well, unfortunately it looks like we're getting to the tail end here. Great talking with you.

EØ: Same - it was fun. Thanks.

Photos by Colin Nederkoorn