Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Installment: The Dance's Next Big Things

So admittedly I’ve been all U2’d out since the release of No Line on the Horizon earlier in the month, especially after I finally bought it and gave it a listen. It’s not only good, but it inspired a wave of U2 nostalgia that has dominated much of my listening for the last week or so.

That’s not to say I’ve ditched my quest to bring to light the newest of the new from both satellite radio and podcasts… It just means I’m spending even MORE time listening to tunes… Roughly all the time I’m not spending sleeping, or watching the Netherlands smoke Dominican ass in the WBC…

Anyhow, here are the nuggets of joy I’ve unearthed for you on this post. All are 100% guaranteed to make you enjoy life just a little bit more. If they do not, I’ll be happy to refund every cent of your entrance fee… Again, these are in no discernable order, so put away your betting cash…

Deerhunter
This Atlanta four piece defines lack of pretention, playing local clubs from Helsinki, Finland to Auburn, Alabama for nothing more than the love of the craft, sporting a brand of indie garage rock reticent of the early days of fellow Georgians REM. The band’s earlier sound was harder edged, a characteristic that was mainly due to the death of their original bass player, Justin Bosworth who passed due to head trauma from a skateboarding accident in 2004. However, the more recent recordings found on the albums Microcastle and Weird Era Cont. display a slightly more grown up and polished sound without denying the indie roots.

The band also hosts their own blog site which features tunes and videos. Well worth the net surf…

Crystal Castles
Referring to their sound as ‘thrash’ this Canadian duo can better be described as what your Atari would listen to if it still worked… had ears… and LOVED to dance… Once again proving that Canada is the place to be. The bands self-titled debut Crystal Castles was released to a fury of positive indie reviews roughly a year ago, and the song I can’t seem to get out of my head is Crimewave, linked below.

Still not convinced? How about the fact that their song Magic Spells samples quotes for the iconic 80’s miniseries V? When did Canada get so outrageously cool??



Black Lips
Fellow Atlantites and friends of the above mentioned Deerhunter, The Black Lips have been kicking around the southern club scene for more than a few years having released their debut album way back in 2003. Also similar to their pals above, The Black Lips suffered the loss of a band member early in their playing days when original guitarist Ben Eberbaugh was involved in a car accident with a drunk driver going to wrong way on the highway. Despite this loss the band carried on, believing these would be Eberbaugh’s wishes.

The rest of us are lucky they did, mostly because of tunes like this one. Reminds me of a cross between Morphine and any tune from a 70’s exploitation flick with just the slightest tinge of Vanilla Ice mixed in… But don’t worry, not enough to ruin it…



On an only-slightly-related note, Vanilla Ice is FORTY ONE… That’s scary…

The Bird & The Bee
Already having crossed over the ‘indie’ plane with appearances on Ellen and Nickelodeon kid’s show Yo Gabba Gabba this jazz inspired Los Angeles duo is putting a brand new spin on an old classic sound. As prolific as they are talented, since joining forces in 2006 tB&tB’s Greg Kurstin and Inara George have amassd two studio LP’s and four EP’s ranging from traditionally released CD’s to digital downloads, and have scored a US #1 dance hit with a remix version of Fucking Boyfriend. Did I mention their appearance on a kid’s show?

The new album, Ray Guns are Not Just the Future has received mixed reviews, ranging from ‘really good’ to ‘really REALLY good.’ Certainly worth checking out for yourself. Here’s a tune from the latest. A tune I defy you to not groove to… Just you try it… You WILL fail…



Lykke Li
It wouldn’t be a new music post without a visit to Sweden. The EU’s third largest nation and the ONLY place to get yourself a custom made Volvo is certainly a hot bed of indie music activity. This week’s twenty two year old vocalist fits the mold established by The Knife and Fever Ray. Only Li replaces the creepiness of The Knife that could exist just as easily in a Kubrick flick or entrant of the Resident Evil video game franchise with a sweetness that makes one want to hug and squeeze a classic stuffed Hello Kitty

Did I lose you with that one? Well give her a listen and draw conclusions of your own…



Last Shadow Puppets
The British trio made up of Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner, Miles Kane of new outfit The Rascals and producer/drummer James Ford bucks the ‘more electronic is more better’ phenomena gripping the throat of the indie scene in recent years by recording tracks that sound less like Turner’s Monkeys, and more like 2nd tier 60’s brit-invasioneers the Moody Blues or Spanish beat band Los Bravos. It’s a pretty exciting sound when compared to the other stuff hitting the indie air waves right now, but a word of caution… Also once considered the new wave of the brit invasion, Oasis went from pop-rock princes to royal douchebags inside of one LP…

Still, if that’s the fate of these puppeteers, it should be an entertaining ride, just as it was with the brothers Gallagher.

Here’s the throwback track, Standing Next to Me



The Airborne Toxic Event
My musical tastes tend to range across five decades from the 1960’s through the 2000’s with specific emphasis on the 90’s as I consider that ‘my’ decade… I point this out because in each of these decades there is a band that I feel if *I* were writing and recording songs during that time period, I would wish and hope to sound like that particular band. In the 1960’s it’s The Grassroots. The 70’s it’s Nick Drake (except for the whole dying part), me in the 80’s would have sounded a lot like Howard Jones, the 90’s is easily Counting Crows, and while the 00’s have heretofore belonged to Josh Ritter, on the strength of just one tune, the Los Feliz quintet The Airborne Toxic Event is making a run at that spot.

Keep in mind, I know and accept that I have neither the talent, patience, or in some cases insanity to fill the shoes of any of these musical acts, but they all sound like I hope I could sound if I was just a little more talented, driven, and out of my mind. Here’s the track I will add to my long list of songs I dream I would have written and performed…



That’ll do it, another seven acts for you to sink your teeth into, share your musical dreams with, and spend your hard earned money on. I’ve got plenty more where these came from, and am adding more every day, even though I’m obsessing over the upcoming DM long play Sounds of the Universe. Frighteningly enough, April is just a few short weeks away…

4 comments:

CSD Julie said...

I didn't know you liked Airborne Toxic Event that much. They are really addicting, though. And BTW, I am sure you can buy a custom Volvo on EBAY, but don't ask me for a value on it ok? Because we don't value those. ;-P

OCKerouac said...

I enjoy tATE because they sound like I think. By rights, I should hate them because they have invaded my thoughts and set them to catchy musical accompiniment in a way I could never hope to do myself, but I'm just not the jealous type...

I'll grant that you may be able to find a Volvo custom made for someone else off of EBAY, but if you want to pick which type and color of leather will best cradle your freeway driving ass you'd best get to Sweden...

CRwM said...

The Bird and the Bee video is . . . I think I'm crying just a little . . . nevermind . . . talk amongst yourselves . . .

OCKerouac said...

tB&tB do make an impressive vid, but I feel there should have been some Fighting Seizure Robots trying to challenge our hero on his quest to become a DDR grand champion...

BTW, there's no shame in crying... Especially whilst luchador masked...