Just read your write-up on Autolux in the Coachella feature…really loving the feature. Anyway, I just saw them live TONIGHT, actually, and you seemed interested to know how they sound live. Well, the answer is REALLY good. Their sound is really crisp and clean live, and it’s just very surreal. They have lots of mood lighting on stage, not sure what they’ll do at Coachella, but at the club, it was very cool. Their stage presence is kinda lacking, but again, it’s kinda one of those bands where they don’t really NEED the stage presence, you can just tell they’re really into their music, and the music kinda creates a presence for the band. It’s just this huge wall of sound that hits you, and it’s really, really good.
So yeah, hopefully that’ll translate at Coachella for you. Take it easy man.
If anyone else wants to contribute concert reviews of bands on the Coachella lineup, by all means email me.
Anyways, we’re past the halfway point now, and very well into the 50’s. That’s a whole hell of a lot of bands, you know that? How many people do you know that can name 50 of the top of their head? If you’ve been reading Coachella A-Z, then you can.
COACHELLA A-Z PART 6
Sixtoo is a white rapper from Halifax that has a raspy, weak voice that on occassion likes to cover Joni Mitchell. Sounds like a party, right? You know, that’s perfect, because often the best artists are the ones that seem least like the norm. His website is a parody of Photoshop, he has a blog, and the only guy I can compare him to is Buck 65. That, however, is an awesome comparison. At Coachella, there is going to be three white rappers from Canada (two from Nova Scotia!) and I think this guy is my favorite. There’s lots of press already out there for Buck and Sage, and they more than deserve it, but this guy should get some ink as well. He raps slowly and with a dark trip-hop flavour that makes better driving-at-night-music than anything on BET. For heavy bass and incredible alternative MC lovers, Sixtoo is someone not to miss at this show.
You can download three mp3s of Sixtoo right here.
Shout Out Louds
“Shout Out Louds is all about simplicity. From the first tentative efforts in the rehearsal room to the release of the 100ÃŒÅ EP, Shout Out Louds have always been true to this artistic credo. Neither arrangements nor melodies is allowed to be too complicated.
ItÃŒÂs also the soundtrack to the state of being in love, a state that harbours a high degree of anxiety. There is a touch of desperation in Adam’s vocals deriving from the feeling that things are too good, that happiness will end or that emotions are about to run cold. The most striking undercurrent in Shout Out Louds music is the fear of discovering that one has ceased to love.” – http://music.colorize.net/shout-out-louds.html
I don’t ask for much, really, but I’m asking that someone, somewhere, make this your new favorite band. You say that’s Bloc Party right now? That’s okay, it’s not too much of a jump. They sort of have the same sound, but Shout Out Louds sound more human. They way they speak on their website makes them seem like the nicest people around. Their videos are cool, their songs are fun, dancy and great pop. Just listen, you won’t have much choice but to love them.
You can listen to three songs from their newest EP and watch three videos on their main website.
A few weeks ago, I read on a blog somewhere that Sloan’s big goal now was to win the Canadian Juno’s ‘lifetime achievement award’ the same year they win the ‘best new artist’ at the Grammy’s. Everyone in Canada found it funny, but funny because it’s completely true. Much like the Tragically Hip, Sloan has been around for a hell of a long time, released a hell of a lot of records, had a hell of a lot of success in Canada, but nobody in America knows who they are.
Sloan is a great example of the love/hate band. There are a few (like me) who could take them or leave them, but most people who know who they are say they are either the greatest band in the world or the worst. Also similarly with the Tragically Hip, it’s a tough band to write about since their sound is fairly unique while at the same time not doing anything that other bands do just as frequently. They’re basically a pop rock band with catchy choruses and humorous lyrics, but the Sloan lovers out there know that I’m not giving them a lot of justice by saying that. So, I’ll do what all music previewers do; quote someone else who can put it more eloquently than you can: ” It’s not even as clear-cut as a derivative band churning out songs not up to par with the icons they emulate; on past albums, Sloan has written better songs than anything The Rolling Stones have put out in 20 years. It’s nothing more nor less than comfort food: virile riffs, clunking drums, four-part harmonies, and disparate songs with lyrics that range from the exhaustive task of getting a girl to love you to the exhaustive task of getting a girl to love you for a slightly longer period of time. As anyone who’s ever lived through a reality I like to call “perpetual pain and torture” knows, comfort food is often valuable, even necessary.” – pitchforkmedia.
Here’s another band where if you sign up on their official website, you can win a trip to see them at Coachella. Right beneath this announcement is the fact that Smokestacks will not be playing Coachella, but has instead replaced themselves with a band called Goodbye Radar. Okay then.
I don’t usually go against the alphabetical code here (and for other modifications/additions to the original lineup, check out part 9 of the Coachella A-Z column, posted on April 25th) but since this is a direct switch, I’ll play along. Okay, as for Goodbye Radar, I am stuck with the absolutely impossible job of previewing a band for which there is no music, no previous hype, no previous concert reviews, and a band bio that only says “wE aRe HumANs wE LiVe oN EarTh”. The site, in which reads like it was written by a 12 year old who just learned how to use the caps lock button, promises that they are in the recording studio at the moment and that there will be mp3’s avaliable ‘next week’. Who knows when ‘next week’ will be exactly, but check back in a few days and see if they’re telling the truth. Are they DJ’s? Are they a rock band? Are they aliens, posing as people living on earth? I don’t know, and neither does seemingly anyone else. This is one of the few total wildcards at Coachella. Check them out if you like a guaranteed surprise.
Here’s another band from England that sort of sounds like Oasis/Coldplay/Super Furry Animals. Does that make sense? My girlfriend is all over them, but I personally don’t see the appeal, besides being yet another band that has swooning vocals and poppy sounding guitars that sound sort of like everyone else that’s good. If sounding like other bands that people consider good make a band good, then Snow Patrol is pretty good. In terms of market value, it would be every romantic girls’ favorite band right now, so long as they’re under the age of 21 (anyone over that should go with Stars).
You can watch three of their videos on their main website.
In Toronto we have this rock club called the Dance Cave. It’s a place you take people when they don’t think that dancing to rock and roll is possible. After going to the Dance Cave, dancing to anything but rock music seems…wrong, somehow. I do believe that’s where I first heard Spoon. Spoon’s sound is typical indie-rock; every sound is important and heightened, and the guitar seems to take more precedent for controlling the beat than the drums. He takes small but successful risks in the sound that only make him sound more original. Not all of his songs are dance-worthy, but none that I’ve heard have been filler or misfires. Each song seems to have a reason to exist on it’s own independent of the rest of the catalogue. Every album sounds different too. Their earlier stuff sounds vaguely pixies-esque, with the newer stuff sounding almost like the New Pornographers (come to think of it, why aren’t the New Pornographers at Coachella? They’ve got a new album out and their sound completely fits and I love them so they should be there dammit!). You won’t be dissapointed by this band, I promise you that.
There’s a bevy of songs you can stream on their website.
I’m not taking back my plea to make Shout Out Louds your new favorite band, but if you didn’t dig them then give the nod to Stereophonics. That is unless you’re above their hipster-du-jour garage rock that sounds vaguely like New Order but with a singer that growls like Cobain. Their newest album is a departure from a few releases filled with sentimental crooners that I loved but it seems few else did. The new stuff is rougher and ready-made for dirty rock bars filled with cigarettes and local beer. These guys do both kinds of stuff really well. Depending on your viewpoint, the new album is geared toward cashing in on the garage rock sound, and you could be right, but they don’t sound fake. The only thing I’ve found different is that they haven’t been loading their videos full of naked women anymore.
They’ve got just about every song in their catalogue in full on their website, plus every video they’ve ever done. They’re little, though.
Subtle is a 6 person electronic machine that pumps out looped, sampled beat poetry that’s awesome mood music for any occassion and any hour. The guys are all rather eclectic (and a fan of pillows, it seems), and thier video for ‘FKO’ is beautiful. It’s an absolute shame they might not make it. On their website, it’s explained that they suffered a car accident and one member is in intensive care. Because of this, all tour dates have been postponed until further notice.
You can download ‘FKO’ and watch the quicktime video (better quality than most internet videos) on their main website.
“It forges elements of deep minimal house, silky smooth tech-house, straight-up techno, and even modern dub. The duo drafted dub poet Benjamin Zephaniah for his wise words as well as former Opus III nymph Kirsty Hawkshaw and JB Rose for their respective vocal talents. The result is an album that is both rich in its musical influences and cutting-edge in its production.” – Epitonic
I haven’t heard much of Swayzak, but what there is certainly lives up to this description. I dig this stuff, partially because of whoever is singing, partially because of the super-clean techno. There isn’t much story and there isn’t much to say about these guys. They do what they do, and if it’s your thing, then you’ll get a kick out of them. It’s as simple as that.
You can download the track Kensal Rising right here.
That’s it for this week. Check out last week, when I take a look at Tegan & Sara, Tiga, The Arcade Fire, The Bravery, The Blood Brothers, The Chemical Brothers, The Dresdon Dolls, The Faint, and The Fiery Furnaces. A few of my very, very favorite bands are on that list. It’s going to be a good week.