Sunday, October 30, 2005

The sound of London

I think if one wants to hear the musical sound of London, one only needs to listen to Saint Etienne. In preparation for an upcoming trip to London, I watched the documentary Finisterre, which was scored by Cracknell, Wiggs, Stanley and co. The documentary consisted of visuals of the city with "interviews" dubbed over in which a few people explained what it was about London they loved/hated/felt/imagined. Saint Etienne's music really is the perfect fit for conjuring up London's visuals. Whenever I hear "Railway Jam" from So Tough, I immediately think of riding the tube and rail in London. And "Finisterre" itself is a aural journey through the great city. One of my favorite bands, Saint Etienne will always provide my musical soundtrack to London.

Their new album Tales From Turnpike House will be released Stateside in January, and will have two extra tracks that the UK edition did not include.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

DM at Bowery

Here's the setlist from Depeche Mode's Bowery show:

A Pain That I'm Used To
John The Revelator
A Question Of Time
Policy Of Truth
Walking In My Shoes
Suffer Well
Damaged People
I Want It All
The Sinner In Me
I Feel You
Behind The Wheel
World In My Eyes
Personal Jesus

Enjoy The Silence

That's friggin' ridiculous. Jesus, I wish I was there. Let's hope their tour has a similar set.

I wonder if she got in.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kinda spooky

[Here's the setlist from Oct. 27th's Deluxe]

The Christopher Effect will be guest DJ'ing DeLuxe at Lolita tomorrow night (Oct. 27th). DeLuxe is a nice combo of indie/Brit/French pop/indietronica. Lolita is on Broome at Allen Street in the Lower East Side.

DeLuxe at Lolita

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fake tickets?

Over the weekend, the Depeche Mode dot com news service reported that the "Starting the Angel" show at the Bowery this Friday is list only - no physical tickets are available, just the list with contest winners' names. The point of this announcement was to prevent fraudulent sales on eBay. My question, though, is what about the physical tickets given away by J&R Music World last week? Apparently they had 100 to give out, in return for the purchase of Playing the Angel, which were all gone by 11:15am. I wonder if that was some sort of scam.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Now I've seen it all

And I can die a happy man. Ladies and gentlemen, there was dancing at the Bowery Ballroom. A lot of dancing. At an indie rock show, never! Indeed, it happened. And it was thanks to Cut Copy and The Rapture.

Cut Copy played a ridiculously good set. At first, people were kinda just looking around and taking it in, but by the end, I think everyone watching could agree that Cut Copy was incredible. I don't think I've ever seen a band that animated. Those handclaps! Particularly good were "That Was Just a Dream" and "Zap Zap" and it was a nice touch mixing in Daft Punk's "All Around the World" to start "Future." Highlight was when they told the crowd to "make it like a Dr. Dre video" and had everyone jump up and down on the count of three. Surprisingly, the Bowery crowd obliged.

And then The Rapture came out and proved that they are officially back. A good, tight set - better than the Crash Mansion show two Thursdays ago and much longer. They played a mix of old and new, and had the crowd jumping around to "Sister Saviour," "Killing," "Out of the Races," and "Jealous Lovers." Luke overcame a broken string, and they had "Chris" out with tambourines and the occasional keys. The hometown fans danced their asses off, and it was an impressive sight to see.

Seriously, a lot of dancing. Nice work. Stay classy New York City.

The Rapture at the Bowery Ballroom

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

You seem Starshaped

Damon Albarn told XFM London that Blur will release a laid-back and low-key EP by the end of the year. He said it will be the "total opposite of Gorillaz." Damon also mentioned that Blur will not be replacing Graham Coxon - “What’s the point? We’d never be able to get one as good as Graham.”

And I finally saw Starshaped, Blur's tour documentary from 1992-1994. Brilliant footage - a lot of good behind the scenes action with shots of the band boozing, Damon throwing up, a chat with John Peel, and a good deal of concert footage as well. Starshaped focused on their Leisure and Modern Life is Rubbish tours - in their suits-with-Doc Martens stage. These guys were really punk-ass kids back then, especially Damon who seemed to always be running his mouth about something. Bonus points for showing Graham being interviewed by a German reporter while Slowdive is playing live in the background and for the "extras" which included video footage from an early show of theirs at a pub in London (with the long hair and flailing around, they could pass for Ned's Atomic Dustbin).

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

From the West Coast

Two bands from the West Coast I've been turned on to recently are worth mentioning, Velella Velella and The Arrogants.

Velella Velella present great loungey grooves. CokeMachineGlow aptly described VV: "what we have here, folks, is the Neptunes for people who like vibes and Burt Bacharach more than marching drums and Snoop Dogg..." Quite true - VV are the perfect mix of 60's spy soundtracks and dance funk. Right-click the outstanding "Do Not Fold/Do Not Bend".

Arrogants' sound oscillates from Juliana Hatfield/Belly to slightly shoegaze-esque guitars. Their new album new album You've Always Known When Best to Say Goodbye was just released and has 23 tracks(!) plus a dvd. You can download some songs from the album here and buy it here. Right-click my favorite track of theirs, Antony and Cleopatra.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sonic rock tomorrow night

Head down to Pianos this Tuesday to hear some of New York's best sonic rock (for lack of a better generalization) with Unlove (f/k/a Coma), Other Passengers, and Saints and Lovers.
Unlove have a hard drumming, shoegaze sound with a lush vocals. Other Passengers have a more psychedelic, noise rock edge, while Saints and Lovers feature falsetto vocals that manage to fit with their layered guitar sound (and they do a brilliant cover of "Atmosphere"). I rarely have the opportunity to see three bands that I like on the same bill, so I'm fired up about this one.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


I receive cd's from bands or record companies from time to time, and although most are just average, some are outstanding. Modernage's EP Receiver is one of those outstanding cd's. They have a melodic post-punk sound, similar to Elefant or perhaps an upbeat Interpol. This is all very surprising since Modernage hails from Miami, a city not known for it's post-punk rock. Modernage has made the rounds in NYC (Rothko, Bar 13, Tiswas, Sin-e) to much applause. You can hear some tracks from the EP on their website or at their myspace page. My fave by far is "The Shore."

Monday, October 10, 2005

Witching Hour

If electro is your thing, you should run out now and pick up Witching Hour from Ladytron. Their third LP is much more complete than 604 and Light and Magic, adding more live instrumentation to the mix than 604 or Light and Magic ever did. While those albums had some great tracks ("Playgirl," "Discotraxx"; and "Seventeen," "Flicking Your Switch" respectively), there were a couple of filler tracks that left those albums flat. Witching Hour, however, lasts a full 13 tracks and has some stand-outs to match. The single "Destroy Everything You Touch" is absurdly good; an epic track really. "International Date Line," "High Rise," and "Beauty *2" are great too.

You can see the video for "Destroy Everything You Touch" here.

Witching Hour

Friday, October 07, 2005

Got ta, got ta, know...Got ta, got ta, know...

The Rapture played a warm-up gig for their new material last night at Crash Mansion. And as expected, they rocked. Present were the usual funk rhythms, disco drumming, ear-splitting wails, and cowbell. They played 4 or 5 new songs (starting with the set opener, "No Sex in Bed"), and these sounded pretty good - nothing too different from Echoes, but Mattie sang most of them. As for their "old" songs, they played "Killing," "Sister Saviour," "Out of the Races...," and blew the floor up with "House of Jealous Lovers." Pretty good crowd there and everyone was clearly enjoying themselves. No encore though - Mattie explained that they haven't played in a year and their set was all they knew how to play.

Even though this was a practice run, The Rapture still have it. I'm sure the Bowery show on the 21st will be even tighter. (And Cut Copy opens for that one, nice!). They're also playing another warm-up gig at the Fixed! party at the Tribeca Grand on the 15th.

Luke Jensen

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Depeche Mode at MSG

I managed to score floor seats for Depeche Mode's December 7th show at MSG with the whole iTunes pre-sale thing. As expected, the system didn't work perfectly. It took me 7 tries before Ticketmaster accepted my iTunes-purchased password and kept saying "the system has no record of this password." So instead of getting seats in sections 1-4 right next to the stage, I was relegated to the back of the floor by wasting the extra three minutes re-typing my password. Although I'm pleased with my seats, I still really hate Ticketmaster.

And let's hope the Depeche-Mode-at-the-Bowery rumors are true. [Update, Depeche Mode's website has posted the following: "The band will be playing a warm-up club gig in Manhattan, called "Starting the Angel." This will be a small private club show for contest winners. Contest details to come shortly. Stay tuned." Boy would it be nice to get tickets for that. I'm sure they will be giving some away at their in-store at Tower Records on October 18.]