Monday, August 31, 2009

Julian Casablancas Live In Tokyo: Video

While the quality is admittedly horrible, that doesn't stop us from getting ridiculously excited that the first Julian Casablancas solo show has transpired, and there's video on the web. As of yet, we've only been able to dig up two clips: One has really quiet audio (above) and is apparently titled "River Break Lights". The other (below) has extremely loud audio, and is titled "11th Dimension". Sure, this is pure from-the-crowd footage, but that doesn't do anything to reduce the awesomeness. Time to get back to NYC for a show Jules!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Outside Lands 2009: Day 1, Part 2 - Review, Pictures

Day one at Outside Lands continued with much of the same good weather offered up earlier, but a musical slide towards the mainstream. It's no secret that this year's Outside Lands' lineup leaned more heavily towards the middle than last year's, and the second half of Friday was a clear example.

The National began our afternoon, and delivered their signature sound to an enthusiastic crowd. We must say that, despite being huge fans of the band, we're always pleasantly surprised that their dark(ish) sound is making popular headway. Seeing such a heavy band draw in a crowd (especially in broad daylight), is not only surprising, but gives us a fair bit of faith in the masses.

We left The National, and found ourselves immersed in a highly enthusiastic crowd for Incubus' set. To be honest, we didn't even know they had had a hit since "Drive", but the enthusiasm of the crowd seemed to indicate otherwise. While it's not exactly our style, You can't really argue with a band that gets the crowd this psyched.

From there we gave into our inner Carlton Banks, and caught Tom Jones' set. What can we say? Jones is a frikkin classic icon, and if you didn't know what you were getting into with this, we're sorry. Either way, Jones effortlessly delivered some loungey goodness.

Our night wrapped up with Thievery Corporation, and it was quite the show. We're more than happy to admit that Thievery doesn't always catch our fancy. But the fact of the matter is that this was way more than the band from the record. They delivered a drove of performers to the stage, and gave the audience a performance that was part concert, part broadway production. Suffice it to say, it was an epic way to wrap up the night, and left us more than ready to take on Saturday.

Many more photos at the HAD Archive.
All photos by Rick Audet.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Outside Lands 2009: Day 1, Part 1 - Pictures, Review

Well, it appears that the weather is significantly more on Outside Lands' side this year than it was last year. While last year's Friday date was overcast and chilly, this year was quite the opposite. The festival started out yesterday to blue skies and some killer San Francisco weather, and today appears to have the same in store. Can't really argue with that. Luckily, HAD will be on hand to enjoy the weekend in full, so keep checking back with us for updates. Here're some of the highlights from the first half of yesterday to get you going.

We started our day with Autolux, and we have to say, it was definitely the start of the day. The band delivered a totally solid set, but the crowd was a tad thin. The fact of the matter is that midday Friday is just a tough slot to get people packed in for. We were psyched to get to catch the band live, and really we think they deserved a bit more of a central time slot.

Built To Spill delivered their typically bullet proof set to their legions of devotees, and as is to be expected did so in highly stoic form. It's amazing that these guys can rock out, sound amazing, and look like they're about to fall asleep. Granted, it's part of their live persona, but sometimes we just wish we could see a bit of excitement in their live show.

The Dodos built up on their live set from Wednesday night by delivering another completely solid show. The crowd's enthusiasm was just as evident as it was at the Rickshaw, and we have to say that this band is dangerously close to being in "do no wrong" territory. They simply kill live, and there's no ifs ands or buts about it. Case in point: the mass of fans who waited it out to get there early for the set, and definitely got the payoff they were looking for.

We weren't exactly sure what to expect from Silversun Pickups after hearing that they hadn't quite delivered at Coachella. Well, we have to say: they certainly delivered in San Francisco. The band rocked out in the best way possible (including a little tribute to Sabbath's "Iron Man"), and had a definite rapport with the crowd. We don't know how things work in SoCal, but rest assured that at Outside Lands, rock is alive and well.

So, there you have it kids - your first field report from Outside Lands 2009. We'll have more coming down the wire, but meantime get out there and enjoy the day - it's gonna be a killer one!

Many more photos at the HAD Archive
Photos by Rick Audet

The Dodos Played Rickshaw Stop - Pictures, Review

On Wednesday night, things kicked off for this weekend's Outside Lands goodness with a show at The Rickshaw Stop from hometown heroes The Dodos. Despite their critical acclaim and live awesomeness, we here at HAD had never managed to catch the band's show. Admittedly, we're relatively late-to-the-game converts, but we've been hooked on the band's new record Time To Die ever since it leaked a while back, so we figured this show at The Rickshaw would be the perfect chance to play catchup.

We couldn't have been more correct: the band delivered an awesome, charismatic set that was all at once noisy, melodic, and expertly captured their unique sound. Doing so meant more than a few technical curiosities on stage: Singer Meric Long used some fancy pitch shifted vocal pedals for backups, drummer Logan Kroeber (as is apparently typical) decided to forgo a bass drum in favor of a tambourine taped to his shoe, and the band's newest member Keaton Snyder provided an epic vibraphone component of the set.

However, even more than the band's technical wizardry, we were taken with the sheer joy and and excitement that reciprocated between the crowd and the band. The enthusiasm and energy was exactly what a live rock show should be all about, and it was a great way to kick off a huge weekend of music. Or, in the words of one HAD staff member: "I'm pretty sure everyone in the audience, male and female, was charmed to death". Indeed.

More pictures in the HAD Archive
All photos by Sarah Klinger.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ryan Adams Video Game Goodness

We were originally just going to leave this as a tweet, but it's so damn good we just has to make sure you saw it.

It's a video to accompany Ryan Adams' new video game column. Seriously. Is there anything better?

John Lennon: "Jealous Guy" (Video)

We don't have much to say about this clip that it can't say for itself. Suffice it to say that we were stumbling around the internerds late night, and found this awesome vid of John Lennon recording "Jealous Guy" from his phenomenal solo debut. It's one of those things that you're just glad someone was hanging out with a camera in hand. Enjoy.

Lissie Trullie: Record Deal, Video

Lissy Trullie at the DeYoung, from the HAD Archive

You may remember that earlier this year we were pretty stoked on Lissy Trullie's debut EP. Well, now word has come down the wire that Trullie has been signed to Downtown Records, and that the EP will be rereleased with four additional tracks. This is good news all around: not only will Trullie's fantastic EP be more widely available, but new music as well? Tasty.

While we were digging around all this news, we also discovered two videos of Trullie's that we had never seen before. And, for what it's worth, they're both pretty solid. Sure, they're pushing the whole New York/fashion vibe a little heavily, but then again, that's sort of her schtick. What's more, it wouldn't exactly hurt the world if we had a few more folks who were willing to be unabashed rock stars, now would it?

mp3: Lissy Trullie - Ready For The Floor (Hot Chip Cover)

The Walkmen, "Four Provinces": Video

Well, here you have it: more video news from The Walkmen. We were so psyched to catch the video for "On The Water" last week, that we were shocked to discover that a video for "Four Provinces" had been floating out there on the internets for quite some time. It's a neat little stop-motion photography dealie, and continues to maintain the band's shockingly good taste at creating interesting, arty videos. We like.

mp3: The Walkmen - Four Provinces

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rain Machine: Album, Fall Tour

TV On The Radio at Treasure Island Festival 2008, from the HAD Archive

You may recall that we were super excited to hear about Kyp Malone(of TV On The Radio)'s new solo project Rain Machine. Well, we're happy to say that even more news is starting to become available, and it's all looking super good.

First off, Rain Machine's eponymous debut drops on Anti Records on September 22nd (cover are above). We have the first released track from the record ("Give Blood") for you to check out below, and we have to say: we likey. The track mixes some killer percussives with Malone's trademark vocals to create a track that is not only danceable, but begging for remixes. Do not pass this one up.

What's more, Malone is planning a tour in support of the record, and will be touching down not just on both coasts, but in the middle as well! In New York, that means a hometown stop in Brooklyn at the Bell House, while in San Francisco it'll be an evening at the ever-lovely Independent. Check out all the dates below - excitement!

Rain Machine Fall 2009 Dates
Sep-21 Brooklyn NY Bell House
Sep-25 Echo Park CA The Echo
Sep-26 Los Angeles CA The Getty Center
Sep-28 San Francisco CA The Independent
Sep-30 Portland OR Doug Fir Lounge
Oct-01 Seattle WA Neumos
Oct-02 Vancouver BC The Biltmore
Fri/Oct-09 Birmingham AL Bottle Tree
Sat/Oct-10 New Orleans LA One Eyed Jacks
Mon/Oct-12 Athens GA 40 Watt Club
Tue/Oct-13 Atlanta GA The Earl
Thu/Oct-15 Madison WI High Noon Saloon
Fri/Oct-16 Minneapolis MN 7th Street Entry
Sat/Oct-17 Chicago IL Double Door
Sun/Oct-18 Detroit MI Small's
Mon/Oct-19 Toronto ON Lee's Palace
Tue/Oct-20 Montreal QC Il Motore
Thu/Oct-22 Cambridge MA Middle East Upstairs
Fri/Oct-23 Philadelphia PA Johnny Brenda's

mp3: Rain Machine - Give Blood

Mount Eerie: New Record, Fall Tour

We've been fans of Phil Elverum ever since his Microphone-y goodness, and as such we try to keep an active eye on his most recent project, Mount Eerie. Well, last week we picked up Mount Eerie's latest record Wind's Poem, and we have to say: we dig. While the record is covered in Elverum's easily recognizable sonic fingerprints, we have to say that something about this record struck a different chord than those in the past, and has been winning us over more and more by the day.

Despite its Daft Punkish cover (above) the record is anything but - a pop dance master Elverum is not. What he is, however, is a masterful explorer of textures and sounds, and on Wind's Poem the former is what takes the lead. Each track on the album explores a certain sonic area in a way that creates a flow of traversing a palette of sound. That palette is amazingly diverse, and the stylistic range across the course of the record is remarkable. What's more, whether it be walls of feedback, or pulsing woodwindy synths, Elverum manages expert execution across the board.

While (like much of Elverum's work) we think this record is really more of an all-the-way-through sort of affair, we do have to single out one track. For whatever reason, "Between Two Mysteries" stood out to us as the record's moment of glory. The pulsing synth track gives way to live drums and a relatively up front vocal that just kills us every time. It's just plain lovely. Have a taste below.

Given our affection for the record, we were psyched to see that Elverum has a massive tour in store for the fall, touching extensively on both coasts. In New York that means stops in Brooklyn and Manhattan, while the Bay Area will see the band in both Oakland and San Francisco. Which is to say, you have no excuse for missing this. Check all the dates below.

Mount Eerie Fall 2009 Dates
Fri. Sept. 18th- Portland, Ore.- Backspace
Sat. Sept. 19th- Oakland, CA- 21 Grand- 416 25th St. (at Broadway)
Sun. Sept. 20th- Los Angeles, CA- Center for Arts, Eagle Rock
Mon. Sept. 21st- outer Los Angeles, CA- tba
Tues. Sept. 22nd- San Diego, CA- Che Cafe
Weds. Sept. 23rd- bay area- tba
Thurs. Sept. 24th- Eugene, OR- EMU Amphitheatre at U of O
Fri. Sept. 25th- Olympia, WA- Northern
Mon. Oct. 5th- Oak Harbor, Wash.- Oak Harbor Library
Tues. Oct. 13th- Anacortes, Wash.- Department of Safety
Weds. Oct. 14th- Seattle, Wash.- Vera Project
Thurs. Oct. 15th- Portland, OR- Wonder Ballroom
Fri. Oct. 16th- southern OR/nor. CA- tba
Sat. Oct. 17th- San Francisco, CA- Great American Music Hall
Sun. Oct. 18th- Reno, NV- tba
Mon. Oct. 19th- Salt Lake City, UT- Kilby Court
Tues. Oct. 20th- Denver, CO- Rhinoceropolis, 3553 Brighton Blvd.
Weds. Oct. 21st- Springfield, MO- tba
Thurs. Oct. 22nd- Lexington, KY- Red Mile Round Barn
Fri. Oct. 23rd- Charlottesville, VA- tba
Sat. Oct. 24th- Philadelphia, PA- Haverford College
Sun. Oct. 25th- Philadelphia, PA- 1st Unitarian Church
Mon. Oct. 26th- upstate NY- tba
Tues. Oct. 27th- Palmer, Mass.- a candlepin bowling alley
Weds. Oct. 28th- Boston, Mass.- Mass Art
Thurs. Oct. 29th- tba
Fri. Oct. 30th- outer Philadelphia, PA- Swarthmore College
Sat. Oct. 31st- Brooklyn, NY- Market Hotel
Sun. Nov. 1st- New York, NY- Wordless Music- Le Poisson Rouge
Tues. Nov. 3rd- Pittsburgh, PA- Garfield Art Works
Weds. Nov. 4th- Cincinnati, OH- Art Damage Lodge
Thurs. Nov. 5th- Louisville, KY- the 930 Listening Room
Fri. Nov. 6th- Bloomington, IN- Banneker Community Center
Sat. Nov. 7th- Chicago, IL- tba
Sun. Nov. 8th- Madison, WI- tba
Mon. Nov. 9th- Iowa City, IA- Public Space One

mp3: Mount Eerie - Between Two Mysteries

Holy Fuck Contest Winners Announced

Thanks to all who entered our contest for tickets to this Thursday's Outside Lands kickoff, featuring Holy Fuck. We're please to announce that the winners have been selected, and they are Justin Maxon and Sara Pendleton! Congratulations to the winners: it's gonna be a killer show, and a great way to kick off a weekend of fantastic music. For the rest of you, do not despair! There's so much great music going on in San Francisco this week, your options are endless. Get out there, and let us know what you see!

mp3: Holy Fuck - Jungles

Monday, August 24, 2009

Contest: Holy Fuck Outside Lands Kickoff At The Independent

Well, here we are: it's the week of San Francisco's biggest (and youngest!) music festival, so we hope your damn well ready. Outside Lands kicks off on Friday, and is ready to bring you three days of music, with far more bands than you could possibly hope to see, and a crowd fit to compete with Coachella. Luckily things look fantastic (if not, as always, a bit chilly) weather-wise, so now all you have to do is wait. Right?

Wrong! Because guess what? In addition to the massivity that Outside Lands, Another Planet has lined up a series of "night shows" to further augment your musical uptake. Some of the artists at these shows include Conor Oberst, The Dodos, Holy Fuck, Akron/Family, ALO and The Dirtbombs. Not too shabby, eh?

The whole weekend is kicking off with Thursday night's Holy Fuck show at The Independent, and we're glad to say that we have two pairs of tickets to give away. All you need to do is email with the name of your favorite Holy Fuck song, and you'll be in the running. The contest ends tomorrow night at midnight, so get on it!

mp3: Holy Fuck - Jungles

Karen O And The Kids - "All Is Love"

Never mind that there's a fever pitch of hype behind the new Where The Wild Things Are, that the preview includes The Arcade Fire, or that Spike Jonze is the director. On top of all that, they've gone and roped in Karen O to provide some original material for the soundtrack.

Billed as "Karen O And The Kids", the band's first single from the soundtrack has just dropped, and is streaming over at myspace. The tune finds the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman in ultra-falsetto, with a distinctly Arcade Fire influenced backing track. It's quick, it's cute, and it's fun - probably about right for the pace of the movie. That being said, it's not exactly breaking any musical barriers, at least not to our ears. You be the judge.

Stream: Karen O And The Kids - "All Is Love"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hippies Are Dead's Second Anniversary: Photo Giveaway Contest!

Yes kids, that's right: it was two years ago today that Hippies Are Dead got our groove on with a tiny little post about an undersold Animal Collective show at The Fillmore. My how times change.

Here we are two years later, and still going strong. We've managed to expand to New York while maintaining a San Francisco presence, and we continue to be impressed and amazed as more and more killer music is propagated upon the world.

Of all of our experiences over the past two years, probably the most rewarding has been our coverage of live shows. Live music has been an HAD focus since the beginning, and as such it's provided the impetus for a lot of our original content, and more importantly the HAD Archive.

So, here's the deal: We're so excited about HAD's 2nd anniversary, that we want to hit you, our readers, up with a little thank you. As such, we'll be giving away two large-size (we haven't decided just how large yet), archival quality prints from the HAD Archive. All you have to do is send an email to with a note telling us which photo you'd like a print of, and how you discovered HAD. That's it! We'll pick two winners at the end of next week and get your photos on their way.

Thanks again for a great two years folks, we're looking forward to a lot more.

Friday, August 21, 2009

David Bowie: "Shake It"

Okay kids, the weekend's here, which means we're about to get our awesome on. That being said, we wanted to leave you with a tidbit to fuel your party vibe, and this here's it. Enjoy.

Let's Dance is probably the most lamented David Bowie album that's actually fucking good. Largely the product of the fact that it spawned three massive radio hits, the Serious Moonlight tour, and Bowie's subsequent one-two punch of mediocrity with Tonight and Never Let Me Down.

But the reality is that Let's Dance is a magnificent album. Produced by Nile Rodgers it is, yes, undeniably poppy. But the underlying songwriting is amazing, the arrangements are bulletproof, and listening to the eight tracks straight through will put a smile on your face almost immediately. Never mind the fact that it's the record that took Bowie, essentially an art/cult rock figure (albeit a massive one) up until this point, and truly placed him squarely in the mainstream.

The most interesting part is that in the shadow of the record's three radio hits, the other five tracks barely get a head knod in current day assessment of the record. Between the expert production, Stevie Ray Vaughn's lead guitar work, and some frankly solid songwriting, that's a travesty. Case in point: "Shake It".

The last track on the record, "Shake It" was also the B-Side to China Girl, and it's probably the funkiest track on the record. Maybe a tad lightweight for devout Bowie fans, it is nonetheless one of our overlooked faves in the Bowie catalog. Bowie manages to take a relatively insipid lyric about hitting the town, and infuse it with enough joy and charisma to win over even the most pessimistic of listeners. Combine that with a positively solid performance from the band, and, well, give it a spin this weekend. You won't be sorry.

mp3: David Bowie - Shake It

Monsters Of Folk Drop Album Preview

Well, we have to say: we just keep getting more excited for this record. Monsters Of Folk have dropped two more tracks from their upcoming record on their myspace page, and another five track "teasers" on youtube. In addition to the formerly released, "Say Please", they've also let "Dear God", and "The Sandman, The Brakeman, And Me" loose on the internets.

With every new track that we hear, we're more and more impressed at the degree to which these tunes seem to leverage the talents of all the members, while at the same time holding their own unique persona. "Dear God" unquestionably under the influnce of Evil Urges MMJ, while "The Sandman" toes the line between the acoustic worlds of Oberst and Ward.

It boggles the mind what, with tracks this good, the band will be able to do live. You can bet we'll be there to find out.

Monsters Of Folk 2009 Tour
Oct 13 Orpheum Vancouver, BC
Oct 14 Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR
Oct 15 Paramount Theatre Seattle, WA
Oct 17 Fox Theater Oakland, CA
Oct 18 The Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Oct 20 Spreckels Theatre San Diego, CA
Oct 21 Orpheum Theater Phoenix, AZ
Oct 22 Santa Barbara Bowl Santa Barbara, CA
Oct 28 Holland Center Omaha, NE
Oct 29 Orpheum Theatre Minneapolis, MN
Oct 30 Auditorium Theatre Chicago, IL
Oct 31 Louisville Palace Theatre Lousiville, KY
Nov 2 Massey Hall Toronto, ON
Nov 3 The Orpheum Boston, MA
Nov 6 United Palace New York, NY
Nov 8 Beacon Theater New York, NY
Nov 9 Academy of Music Philadelphia, PA
Nov 12 Philadelphia Church Stockholm, SE
Nov 14 Huxleys Berlin, DE
Nov 15 Vega Copenhagen, DK
Nov 17 Troxy London, UK
Nov 18 Elysee Montmarte Paris, FR
Nov 19 E-Werk Koln, DE
Nov 21 Crossing Border The Hague, NL
Nov 22 Crossing Border Antwerp, BE

mp3: Monsters Of Folk - Dear God (Sincerely MOF)

Ryan Adams Exhibition On Tap For Morrison Hotel

Just in case you were worried that Ryan Adams' recent marriage and subsequent relocation to LA would slow him down creatively, fear not: While he continues to keep his promise of not releasing new music, he has managed to release a book, and now he's jumping back into his painting.

On September 23rd Adams will find himself back in New York as the artist-in-residence at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. Apparently Adams will not only be exhibiting his previous work, but also creating new canvases on site. We have no idea what to expect (well, except for what's above) but it should be quite the trip - we'll definitely be stopping by.

mp3: Ryan Adams - If I Am A Stranger (7 inch version)

Land Of Talk: Tour and New EP

We couldn't be more excited about this news. After being thoroughly enthused about Land of Talk last year, we had a bit of the wind taken out of our sails when the band cancelled their tour, announced a lineup change, and basically went into hibernation.

Well, thankfully, it was temporary, and the band are back in a big way. Not only have they arranged a eight date west coast tour (with promises of east coast dates as well), but they've put together a new four track, three video tour EP for our consumption.

The EP , entitled simply EP as far as we know, will consist of four new songs, and videos based on songs from last year's Some Are Lakes. You can check out the video for "The Man Who Breaks Things" above, and meanwhile you'll just have to sit on your pretty little hands til the band hits the road and you can gobble up that tasty new EP. Delish!

Land of Talk Fall 2009 Tour Dates
10/27 - San Diego, CA, Casbah
10/29 - Los Angeles, CA, Spaceland
10/30 - Visalia , CA, Cellar Door
11/02 - San Francisco, CA, Cafe DuNord
11/04 - Portland, OR, Doug Fir
11/05 - Seattle, WA, High Dive
11/06 - Bellingham, WA, The Nightlight
11/07 - Vancouver, BC, Biltmore Cabaret

mp3: Land Of Talk - Weighty Ghost

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Atlas Sound: New Record, Fall Tour

Atlas Sound - Logos, Cover

If there's anything Bradford Cox is (besides a musical genius, and a bit of a drama queen), it's prolific. Case in point, after releasing two records under the Deerhunter moniker last year, Cox is already back with another as Atlas Sound. Logos drops on October 20th on Kranky Records, and should be quite a treat for the ears. While some have found Cox's solo/Atlas material to be less accessible, this disc (much, in our opinion, like Microcastle) promises to be a fair bit more open to the masses. What's more, it features a nice cameo by current hipster-idol Panda Bear, of one Animal Collective. Win.

Bradford Cox At Mezzanine, from the HAD Archive

In addition to the record, Cox is mounting a fall tour for Atlas Sound that will cover most of the US. This will include two New York dates on October 20th and 21st at Le Poisson Rouge and The Music Hall Of Williamsburg, and a stop in San Francisco on November 3rd at Great American. While we've never seen Atlas Sound live, we can tell you this: if it's half as good as Deerhunter's live show, then it's damn well worth your money. Go!

Atlas Sound Fall 2009 Dates
Oct 15 The Earl with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 21+ Atlanta, Georgia

Oct 16 Local 506 with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 18+ Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Oct 17 Black Cat with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Washington DC, Washington DC
Oct 18 First Unitarian Church Sanctuary with Broadcast and The Selmaniares. All ages Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Oct 20 Le Poisson Rouge with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. New York, New York
Oct 21 Music Hall of Williamsburg with Broadcast and The Selmanaires Brooklyn, New York
Oct 22 Paradise with Broadcast and The Selmaniares. 18+ Boston, Massachusetts

Oct 23 Le National with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Montreal, Quebec
Oct 24 Lees Palace with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 18+ Toronto, Ontario

Oct 25 Wexner Centre with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Columbus, Ohio

Oct 26 Bottom Lounge with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 18+ Chicago, Illinois

Oct 27 The Cave with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Northfield, Minnesota

Oct 30 Biltmore Cabaret with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 19+ Vancouver, British Columbia

Oct 31 Neumos with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 21+ Seattle, Washington
Nov 1 Doug Fir Lounge with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. 21+ Portland, Oregon

Nov 3 Great American Music Hall with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages San Francisco, California
Nov 4 Troubadour with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Los Angeles, California

Nov 5 Rhythm Room with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Phoenix, Arizona

Nov 7 Hailey’s with Broadcast and The Selmanaires. All ages Denton, Texas

Nov 8 Fun Fun Fun Festival Austin, Texas

mp3: Atlas Sound -Walkabout

The Walkmen: New Video For "On The Water"

It's no secret that we're huge fans of The Walkmen here at HAD, so we were pretty psyched to learn that a new video had dropped for on the water. Then we watched it, and well, it's sorta sad. The video's a 3D animation that basically centers around a farmer killing some rabbits with a rainbow gun.

Okay, they might be rainbows, but damned if it didn't bum us out just a bit. That being said, it's a testament to the animators that we give a shit at all, so that's something. Check it out above.

mp3: The Walkmen - On The Water

The Features: New Video, Signed To Kings Of Leon's Label Imprint

We really had no idea that Kings Of Leon had gotten their own label imprint (429 Records), much less that they had signed HAD faves The Features. But, all things being equal, we're not actually surprised. Obviously the Kings have been blowing up as of lately, so the fact that the label is giving them a little creative reign is no surprise. What's more, the first time we saw The Features was opening for the Kings at Slim's! It was a fantastic show, and we have to say, it seems that The Features made just as good an impression on the Kings as they did on us.

So, what does this mean for the band? Well, it means that their new record Some Kind Of Salvation is getting some major label oomph behind it, and that they've got some dates opening for the Kings at some major venues. What's more, it seems their budgetary constraints have allowed for a fancy-schmancy new video for "Lions", which you can check out above. Still no New York or San Francisco headlining dates for the band, but rest assured, we'll keep our eyes open.

The Features Fall 2009 Dates
Aug 28 527 Main Street Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Sep 4 Barleys Knoxville, Tennessee
Sep 5 JJ Bohemia Chattanooga, Tennessee
Sep 8 Merriweather Post Pavillion- Opening for Kings of Leon Columbia, Maryland
Sep 9 Mohegan Sun Arena- Opening for Kings of Leon Uncasville, Connecticut
Sep 10 Headliners Louisville, Kentucky
Sep 13 Monolith Music Festival - Red Rock Amphitheatre Morrison, Colorado
Sep 21 The Slowdown - The Features opening for Phoenix Omaha, Nebraska
Oct 20 Telmex Arena w/ Kings of Leon Guadalahara, Jalisco
Oct 22 Sports Arena w/ Kings of Leon Mexico City, México
Oct 24 Arena Monterrey w/ Kings of Leon Monterrey, Nuevo León

mp3: The Features - GMF

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Handsome Furs: Face Control

We know, we know: this record's been out for almost six months, and we're just so behind in just getting into it now. Well, tell you what kids: here at HAD we transcend that shit. Real music was made to last, and if you stumble on it six months late, guess what? Still good for consumption. As such, we're more than excited to have us some Handsome Furs.

We actually first got a taste of the band after The OCMD mentioned the awesomeness of the Furs' live show. That was enough to peak our interest and send us digging on myspace. When we did, we liked what heard, and decided that it was indeed time to pick us up a nice, fresh, sparkly copy of Face Control.

For those not in the know (don't worry, we're with you, like 90% of the time), Handsome Furs is a Wolf Parade offshoot, consisting exclusively of Wolf Parade member Dan Boekner, and his wife Alexei Perry. The fact that they're a duo alone is quite impressive: the band's records have an incredibly big sound, and through the extensive use of synths and drum machines, they manage to easily fill the roles of a "full band".

So then, what exactly is that band delivering? Well, it would be easy to classify it as post-punk, new wave electronic, and leave it at that. And, in some ways, the description would be apt: the band unquestionably has influences squared firmly in the sound of early 80's England. But, that being said, they also manage to transcend their debt to that genre with a sound that is far more accessible and impassioned.

Where many of the original new wave bands were rooted firmly in a cold, calculated sound, Handsome Furs definitely have a gift for very user friendly melodies and hooks. While many of the samples and beats could be seen as derivative, they manage to escape that dead end by infusing the derivative framework with Boekner's enthused vocals, and guitar lines that recall other, far more mainstream bands.

The result of all this is that the Furs' manage to create a record that is at the same time experimental and accessible, calculating yet friendly, and unquestionably memorable. While we have to say that our fave track is the album's leadoff "Legal Tender" (below), the entire record has a sense of unity that makes it an automatic candidate for repeat plays. Often we find ourselves humming one of the record's tunes much later in the day, and not able to place it, only to realize that the Handsome Furs have inundated themselves far more thoroughly than we had ever expected, and that's a very good thing.

mp3: Handsome Furs - Legal Tender

The Postmarks: New Album Drops Next Week

Here at HAD, we've been big fans of The Postmarks ever since their self-titled debut LP. Never mind the fact that subsequently the band released a great LP called By The Numbers on eMusic, and managed to get some pretty substantive remix mileage out of the first record's worth of material.

Given all that, we were psyched to hear that the band has a new record dropping next week. So far we've only managed to get our hands on one track ("My Lucky Charm", below), but judging by the sound of things, the band's 1960's pop sensibilities are firmly in tact. It may seem, even, that the band learned a bit from the remix treatment, and decided to give their tunes a bit more driving rhythm. We likey.

It appears that the Florida natives have thus far only planned for dates in their home state, but we'll keep an eye out. It seems like a given that the band will be touring in support of the record, and this is one we don't want to miss.

mp3: The Postmarks - My Lucky Charm

Ambulance LTD Played Mercury Lounge - Pictures, Review, Setlist

Never mind that they haven't been touring extensively, haven't released new material in three years, and have had a complete lineup turnover save for one Marcus Congleton: last night at Mercury Lounge, Ambulance LTD proved beyond a doubt that they have been hard at work creating awesome, inspiring music. And, if the crowd was any indication, the production delays have done nothing to dull the enthusiasm of the band's fans.

One of the things that has doubtless worked in Ambulance's favor is the fact that their first record is ridiculously dynamic. It's stylistically exciting, and despite being highly accessible, it holds up remarkably well on repeat listens. Last night it became immensely clear that much of that inspiration is rooted in Marcus Congleton's simultaneous ability to lead the band down a very clear melodic path, while at the same time pushing the boundaries on what could definitely be considered "jams". The band's ability to toe the line between the two makes for a thrilling live experience.

It also worked to the band's advantage that they have amassed a solid repertoire beyond that first record. The setlist, which easily could have been just a run through of the band's lone LP, was solid balance of the new and the old. What's more, it doesn't hurt that the new material stands up amazingly well amongst its older brethren. In particular, the new tune "Ivy" blew our minds. The song managed to combine a funky dance vibe with a rock jam in the best way imaginable. (You can stream a demo of the tune on the band's myspace.)

Towards the end of the night, the band did what we would typically call one of the riskiest moves in the business: they covered Dylan. There are so many reasons why doing so could be a blunder, a farce, or just plain not work. Well, we're here to tell you: it worked, and it worked well. The band dove into "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here with You", and delivered it with all the subtle rock sensibility that graces the rest of their work. Not only that, but Congleton managed to inflect Dylan's vocal line with a fair bit more melody. We know it's a travesty to say the cover beats out the original, but, um - yeah.

So, there you have it: if you're not getting the gist, we loved the show. It'd been five years since we last saw Ambulance, and three years since a new record, and we couldn't be happier to see that they're not even remotely slowing town. We know it's tough to wait on a band when there's so little to go on, but that's why we're here to help you. Without a doubt, whenever it comes, by whatever means, the next chapter from Ambulance is going to be well worth the wait. Promise.

Instruments (instrumental)
Paper Doll
New English
Country Gentleman
Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You (Bob Dylan Cover)
Heavy Lifting
Stay Where You Are
Young Urban

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive

mp3: Ambulance LTD - Live On WNYC Soundcheck

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dinosaur Jr, The Walkmen and Saviours Played Summerstage - Pictures, Review

On Sunday afternoon we, along with a slew of other fans, braved the 90+ degree heat, and made our way to Summerstage for the final show of the summer. A free gig featuring Dinosaur Jr., The Walkmen, and Saviours, it was a completely solid dose of rock and roll, and just right for the killer heat wave the city's been experiencing for the past week.

Bay Area natives Saviours opened the show with an extremely solid dose of in-your-face metal. We have to admit, when it kicked off we were skeptical as to how the crowd might take to the bold genre leap, but there was definitely unbridled enthusiasm. Given J. Mascis' massive guitar sounds and killer riffs, it follows that his fans would be open to some metaltastic goodness.

Soon after, The Walkmen took the stage, and delivered a massive set that was far more rock oriented than their show Friday night at the Guggenheim. While they still played a fair dose of their more heady material, they also dug into their rock roots, and unrepentantly delivered fan favorite "The Rat".

It's also worth mentioning that the band, despite how awesome they sounded Friday, sounded even better on Sunday. It was as though Friday had been a dry run, and Sunday was the true delivery. The band seemed more conscious of their sound, and all the playing seemed more immediate and in your face. What's more, Leithauser's voice sounded even better than on Friday, which was truly remarkable.

All in all, the band managed to offer up a killer set that completely catered to the more rock-oriented vibe of the bill, and left us with an extremely lucid demonstration of just how versatile The Walkmen can be as a live unit.

The show wrapped up with a show from Dinosaur Jr., and it was everything one might expect: the band is ridiculously tight, loud, and ready to deliver. In the blistering Sunday heat, they dove into a lengthy set of classic material and never let up.

What's more, the band did pull in a fair amount of new material, and it was remarkable just how easily it blended into the set. The trio has really managed to seamlessly return to form, and it's almost as though they were never on hiatus, and just kept making great rock and roll.

And, at the end of the day, that's exactly what Sunday's show was all about: blistering, sweaty, awesome rock and roll in the hot August heat. Between all three bands, the gamut of rock was traversed, and it balanced perfectly to round out this year's Summerstage in fine form. Well played.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive