After 2009′s Love Comes Close, Cold Cave returns with stronger vocals, bigger beats and better riffs on its second album, Cherish The Light Years. These songs show a transition has taken place and turned Cold Cave into something greater. This album is intense, exhilarating, ambitious, and pretty damn fantastic. All nine tracks are memorable, well-crafted songs that mark the band’s growth.
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s newest album, Belong, comes out tomorrow (March 29, 2011), their second album after their self-titled debut album in 2009. The sugary ten-track record is definitely a coherent, listen-through-the-whole-thing ordeal, which differs from their last album, peppered with hits. Overall, the album has a London-rock flavor to it, though a little more poppy and a little less leather jackets and Ramones-mullets.
Slightly Stoopid may have released their first album in 1996, but the rowdy crowd who packed in to hear them at the 9:30 Club was surprisingly extremely young. High school-aged young. (I watched two very sad, under-aged fans being escorted out of the club before the band even hit the stage.) But I can see why they have such a consistent appeal with youth. The band from Ocean Beach, California sums up in their music and their demeanor so precisely what high school is and should be. Their songs create the perfect, perpetuating jam soundtrack for riding the emotional swells of your teenage years. Their music not only sounds good but feels good, too. Read More »
First of all, it was the Cold War Kids so obviously it was an amazing concert. Second of all, they did the three things that make a concert great for me: I got to belt out the songs I knew, fall in love with the songs I didn’t, and watch everyone on stage make weird facial expressions. Nathan Willett, lead vocalist who looks suspiciously like Quentin Tarantino, distracted me from EVERYTHING with his “Oh no you didn’t” neck twerks and “Girl please” hand gestures while the rest of the band flounced around the stage with their endearingly nerdy dance moves. Read More »
First of all, Noah and The Whale’s newest album, Last Night on Earth, has nothing to do with whales, so whatever, strike one. The band merges Neutral Milk Hotelesque vocals with a Guggenheim Grotto sound for a consistent theme of, well, consistency. The album teases with a first track named “Life is Life,” which disappoints in that it is not an 80’s Opus cover, but that’s fine, I let it go (just this once). The lyrics surprise since the songs are not about a guy, the girl he dated, how she keyed his car, blah blah blah. They were, for the most part, stories told from the third person, which was cute. Except they get so lost in monotonously static arrangements and tempos that by the time you’re aware of a new song it’s already too deep into new narrative territory.
Royksopp, the Norwegian experimental electronica band, played a sold-out performance Wednesday, March 23rd at the 930 Club. Happiness abounded. The band came onstage at 11 pm dressed in a wardrobe of bizarre and ever-changing Nordic influenced costumes, including sheer canvas face nets, flashing light-up headpieces with feathery wings, and a full bear costume. An enormous sheet with a print of a boom box graced the back of the stage.
“What day is it? Is it Wednesday? You know we really just don’t care,” opened the lead singer, Svein Berge in funny, clipped, Norwegian-accented English. Thus began a night of carefree giddiness that only Nordic music and animal-inspired dancing can create. Read More »
Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Grammy’s were 2 weeks ago–old news Brian! Since then bands like Mumford & Sons, Arcade Fire, and Florence and the Machine have been dominating the iTunes Top 10 Albums as if hip-hop was dead and gone for good. Many I’m sure, like my mother, are breathing a long sigh of relief; relief from what she would call the continual barrage of stripped down 808 clap beats with lyrics about bitches, guns, drugs, teaching everyone and everything how to dougie, etc. As of right now, 1 out of the top 10 albums can be labeled as “hip-hop”–that one being Lupe Fiasco’s iTunes Pass to his upcoming album LASERS, which isn’t even out yet, sitting pretty at #10. Go Lupe Go.
Should we be worried? Were MCs like Nas correct? Is Tupac rolling over in his grave/throwing back drinks in New Orleans wondering how hip-hop has gotten to this point? While it ain’t looking good, all hope is not lost. In fact, the future of hip-hop is looking very bright indeed, and it’s not the future everyone is talking about. Read More »