Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Back Room

I recently picked up Editors' The Back Room and have concluded that it's one of the three best albums of 2005. I've been impressed with this band since I bought the "Bullets" 7 inch, and the album really brings it all together for me. Their sound harken's back to darkness of The Cure and Joy Division but it includes the upbeat rythyms of early U2. The band that they will draw the most comparisons to is Interpol, but the Editors' music is a bit more upbeat (even if the lyrics aren't) and the vocals are better. The singles off The Back Room are especially strong ("Bullets," "Munich" - tied for my favorite song of the year - and "Blood"), and the rest of the album does not disappoint - mixing slower ballad-esque songs with post-punk rock (check out that foot stomping chorus on "Fingers in the Factories"). The copy of The Back Room I bought came with Cuttings, a second cd that includes their b-sides. While they're good, the b-sides cannot compete with the album tracks (except "Release").


Looking forward to a US appearance from these guys.
From Cuttings:

Friday, July 29, 2005

Dear God, it was awful

I had the misfortune to go to Snitch last night, the "rock 'n roll sports bar" partially owned by a Stone Temple Pilot and a Gun 'n Rose on 21st Street. Awful. If you wanted to see what the Jersey Shore looked like circa 1989, this is the place for you.

I then made it home in time to catch Louis XIV on Conan. They performed "Finding Out True Love is Blind," a song I love. It sounded pretty bad though - it just didn't have the full force it does on record.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I'll be there, will you?

I'm DJ'ing at Route 85a in the East Village on Tuesday night (the 26th) from 9-ish onwards. I'll be playing a nice selection of Britpop/indierock/discopunk/electro. Route 85a is at 85 Ave. A between 5th and 6th, downstairs. And they're serving $2 Rheingolds and $5 cosmos!

[Update - here's my setlist from Tuesday]


Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Straight out of West London, Like a Loaded Gun"

Hard-Fi at the Mercury Lounge

Hard-Fi came out and rocked the Mercury Lounge last night. I had high expectations for this show, and Hard-Fi didn't disappoint. They're music is very high energy, as their stage performance demonstrated. The best description of their music would be upbeat Britpop meets The Clash, with their dubbed-out reggae roots. Richard Archer clearly wants to be a star, and his stage presence channels that. They played their singles "Cash Machine," "Tied up too Tight," and "Hard To Beat" (the first two are available on the US-released Cash Machine EP), and went through other songs off of their brilliant album Stars of CCTV including "Stars of CCTV" and the closer of the set "Living for the Weekend." They even regaled us with their dubbed-out version of "Seven Nation Army" (Central Village had an mp3 here). I think these guys are primed to be big - check them out at Rothko tonight before they start playing bigger venues in the future.

Hard-Fi at the Mercury Lounge

The rest of the night was ok. Nine Black Alps played their pop-punk with precision. They have great melodies on top of jarring guitars. Sam Champion was average stoner rock, and their best song was probably a cover of Tom Petty's "Refugees." I could only stay for two songs by The Cribs, but what I heard, I liked.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hard to Beat this Tuesday

Hard-Fi comes to town tomorrow night for their first NYC show. They'll be at the Mercury Lounge tomorrow and then at Rothko on Wednesday. I'm pretty fired up about this show. Their album Stars of CCTV is great - an upbeat, britpopish sound. Their singles "Cash Machine," "Tied Up Too Tight," and "Hard to Beat" are especially strong. Also on the bill for the Mercury show are Nine Black Alps, Sam Champion, and The Cribs (it's almost like an NME-approved show). See you there.


Friday, July 15, 2005

Is it fun to bash Britpop?

It seems like a lot of people are bashing Britpop these days. The Village Voice had a piece, which seemed to be based loosely on John Harris's The Last Party, discussing Britpop's demise. After reading this article, the great Chromewaves discussed his falling out with Britpop - mentioning that he sold off almost all of his Britpop cd's. The comment section to his post also have a lot of peeps slagging off on mid-90's British music.

All of which I disagree with. I've liked Britpop since I first saw the video for "Metal Mickey" by Suede (which was kind of strange) on 120 Minutes (with the equally strange Dave Kendall!), and still love it now. I think it's hard to nail down the Britpop sound - other than being British and from the mid-90's. There were so many different sounds (Suede's glam, Oasis' cock rock, Blur's art rock, Pulp's lyrical geniusness over moogs), but they're all gathered together as one genre (and really Britpop was a reaction to early 90's American grunge rather than a distinct sounding genre). Even the British music mags didn't really like the sound (Q gave Definitely Maybe a bland review with 3 out of 5 stars) until they had the oppportunity to classify it in 1995 as a genre.

I think most people hate "Britpop" primarily because they dislike Oasis, which is fine, but there are more British bands than just Oasis. Anyway, I'm keeping my Britpop cd's and frankly, will keep playing them all the time.

Monday, July 11, 2005

What makes a successful rock 'n roller?

Apparently, according to Serge Pizzorno, the right shoes, the right jeans, the right haircut and most of all, mojo. The NY Times Style section had a nice piece on Kasabian's field trip to Alcatraz. In said article, we learn that Kasabian really likes Cheetos and Coronas. Who wouldn't?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Most played in 2005

I'm fascinated by the iPod's "Top 25 Most Played" feature. I love checking this out from time to time. I'm very surprised as to what I've been listening to in 2005, and I wonder how much this list will change come the end of the year.

So here are the Top 25 Most Played songs on my iPod (since the beginning of the year):

  1. The Bravery - Tyrant
  2. Interpol - C'mere
  3. Bloc Party - Helicopter
  4. The Killers - Jenny Was a Friend of Mine
  5. Hard-Fi - Hard To Beat
  6. Editors - Munich
  7. The Killers - Smile Like You Mean It
  8. Every Move a Picture - Signs of Life
  9. Bloc Party - Like Eating Glass
  10. Ladytron - Playgirl
  11. Interpol - NARC
  12. Bloc Party - Price of Gasoline
  13. The Dandy Warhols - Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth
  14. Interpol - Obstacle 1 (Arthur Baker Return To New York Mix)
  15. Bloc Party - Always New Depths
  16. Oasis - Turn Up the Sun
  17. Prosaics - Teeth
  18. Catatonia - Road Rage
  19. Moving Units - Between Us and Them
  20. Bloc Party - This is Not a Competition
  21. Catatonia - Road Rage
  22. The Bravery - Out of Line
  23. Groove Armada - Easy
  24. Slowdive - Morningrise
  25. The Madison Strays - Last Train

Man, I've been listening to a lot of Bloc Party. (I swear this counter thing doesn't work - I can't have listened to some of these songs that much.)

The Quiet Zone

Last night's performance by The Go Station at Tiswas was their best yet, and they had a big crowd there to see it. I've seen them 5 or 6 times now, and they get better each time. But last night was definitely their best performance to date. The rhythm section was tight, and Doug's vocals were at his best. My favorite song of the night was "Hold On," but I really loved their cover of New Order's "True Faith" - which came out during the encore.

It was also their EP release party. I picked up The Quiet Zone after the show, and I'm very impressed.