Archive for November, 2009

Beach House

November 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

This week’s band of the week is a popular indie band with a haunting, minimalist sound. They came seemingly out of nowhere with no hype or anything in 2006 and subtly overnight became a major name in indie rock. A healthy dosage of Pitchfork and blog-love didn’t hurt either, and now, according to Wikipedia, this band is cited by MGMT and Grizzly Bear’s Ed Drost as their favorite band. This week’s band of the week is…

The guitar-organ duo of Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand is the kind of band that might have been relegated to obscurity in the years before the blogosphere came to power, but in 2009, they’re just the type of headphone-bliss band hipsters eat right up. And deservedly so: the band’s beautiful melancholic melodies and hazy atmospheric sound are instantly recognizable and just plain great. Admittedly, I’d lodge the complaint that at times, because of their sparse arrangement perhaps, their songs can be hard to tell apart, but even so, it’s hard to complain when the songs are as good as they are.
And sign of the times – because of the friendly communal sphere that the world of indie rock has apparently become, the band’s moody siren-voiced female vocalist Victoria Legrand has gotten so far as the soundtrack of Twilight: New Moon on which she guested with Grizzly Bear on “Slow Life”. She also appeared on the Grizzly Bear song (and Veckatimest highlight) “Two Weeks”.
The band’s first album, 2006’s Beach House, was a strong collection of songs, bested by 2008’s Devotion, which essentially was a slightly better collection of songs with slightly better production values. The group’s latest, 2010’s Teen Dream, comes out in January, but like most albums these days, it’s already leaked. How is it? Pretty much just like what’s come before but maybe a little bigger, more ambitious and still very, very good. This is one beach house well worth spending time in.
Buy “Devotion” on vinyl here.

Shout out: Why Write?

November 29th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Why Write? is a new musical project of Danish singer/songwriter Jacob Faurholt, who’s resume includes an album with the now-disbanded Sweetie Pie Wilber, as well as two solo albums: 2007’s Hurrah Hurrah and 2009’s Are You In The Mood For Love?. His latest EP, apparently self-titled, is 5 songs of a kind of scruffy indie-pop somewhere between 80’s British Indie-Rock and modern Jonathan Richmond-idealizing Swedish indie-pop, characterized by Faurholt’s untrained vocals and enigmatic but homey lyrics. And yeah, it’s good stuff.

The EP was released on the Candian What A Mess Label last week and was mixed by KRAMER, the dude who mixed albums by Galaxie 500, Low and Daniel Johnston. Check out the video for the song “Burning Holes” below.


Awesome Album Covers!

November 25th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

“That’s an interesting umb…uh…where is your head?”

New Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck Video Features Album Cover Homages

November 20th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

So, while watching the new Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck video for “Heaven Can Wait”, one of the video’s many ridiculous images caught my eye.

Charlotte Gainsbourg “Heaven Can Wait” from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

At about 1:40 in the clip, we see Beck at a bar, dressed in a white suit which has been digitally manipulated to contrast with his surroundings, fiddling with a little umbrella in his drink. His head is titled downwards, with his white fedora obstructing his eyes. Homage or not an homage to the cover of Led Zeppelin’s In Through The Out Door?
Then, at 1:48 we see a dude sitting in a white bathtub, filling it up with Pebbles cereal. Could this be an homage to the cover of The Who Sell Out, in which Roger Daltry is seen in a bathtub filling it with beans? Alright, this one is a lot more debatable, but still, it is debatable.
What I think is not debatable, however, is the image at :56 of a person looking in the mirror only to see the back of their head is an homage to Rene Magritte’s Portrait Of Edward James.
Not too mention the entire thing has a vibe very similar to the cover of The Doors album Strange Days.
Anyone see any other homages?

Shout Out: Intensive Care

November 19th, 2009 | Uncategorized | 0 Comments

Just wanted to give a shout out to a sick band from Montreal called Intensive Care. These guys play a kind of indie-pop-prog rock that wouldn’t be unfair to call the kind of missing link between Malajube and Plants And Animals, featuring the bright eyed wonder of the later, with the multicoloured palate of the former.

They recently released an album called Fairytales From The Island, filled with great, catchy, intricately composed songs. Produced by Jace Lasek (Stars, Sunset Rubdown, Besnard Lakes), the tracks make delicate use of studio flourishes like orchestration, but for the most part get the best sounds out of innovative use of guitars and synths. For example, opener “Tales Of Sarah Jane, the Golden Horse” veer from lullabye-like coo to epic grinding building to a gentle “ooh-ooh” comedown, while “Le Magicien” works off bubbling synth at the beginning only to be taken away by elastic guitar lines. Each track is a small adventure in it’s own right, but feels as tight and compact as your standard two-and-a-half-minute pop song.
The band also just happen to be playing Rancho Relaxo tonight on a solid bill with Alphabot, Other People’s Friends (ex and current Phil Allister members), Edgewater Hotel (ex Effens members) and Broken Telephone. Check out the Facebook event to find out more. of Sarah Jane, the Golden Horse (Video) from intensive care on Vimeo.
For more info on Montreal concerts, visit Quality Plus Tickets.