Web Toolbar by Wibiya Bears and Bullets: 2009-06-14

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Gave Bloc Party "One More Chance"

English quartet Bloc Party were never the best band in the world, but those that remember the band's March 2005 album debut Silent Alarm could at least say, in some ways, that the group was at least good, to a point.

Far be it from me to recall their 2005 efforts in a jaded tone, but the band has gone through a noticeable slump since then, which can no longer be referred to solely in the "sophomore" tense. The band's second album, 2007's Weekend in The City, was not quite as good as their debut, but certainly had moments of relativity.

From then on, however, Bloc Party produced newer music on a more feverish pace, releasing their utterly insipid third album Intimacy in October of last year. The album's sound curiously replaced the band's squarely novel post-punk varieties of Silent Alarm with harshly forced electronic syths, and monochromatic imagery. Not that sound change isn't a good thing - it's certainly worked wonders for other artists - but for a young group like Bloc Party, it was unnecessarily rushed.

Today I was graced with another sound of maturation of Bloc Party's work (found at MFR) with their newly leaked single "One More Chance." It seems so generous that a name befit the song so profoundly inaccurate. Not six seconds into the song does the whole arrangement feels sorely out of touch, even surpassing the misguided New Order-esque attempts of Intimacy.

What is heard here is a background more comfortable in 1996's Trainspotting club scene. It's a change almost unwelcome in any familiar setting, comparable to U2 going the way of 1997's Pop. Although it should be noted that Pop is much better than most of Bloc Party's music.

But shorter descriptions do "One More Chance" as much justice as long, detailed ones do. Awful works pretty well.

Sticking with the theme here; I've given Bloc Party "One More Chance" and they failed miserably. The official single is out August 10 via Wichita Recordings, but you can grab your copy here.

Christopher Weingarten on Music Journalism

Music freelance mega-writer Christopher Weingarten elegantly ranted his way onstage at the 140 Characters Conference in NYC a couple days ago, discussing the entailed nightmare that I was hoping I'd be in a couple years. For someone like myself, just hearing this from someone who knows is nothing short of horrifying. Never the less, it's a pretty solid jab at what music journalism has become and the uncertainties that go along with it.

- Favorite moment at 7:32; "Crowds have terrible taste."

500 Days of Summer

Joseph Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschenel's new movie 500 Days of Summer may be the most indie-bred movie of all-time. After viewing only about 25 seconds of the trailer, in which the two discuss The Smiths' "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" off of the group's landmark 1985 album The Queen is Dead, (a la Garden State with The Shins' "New Slang" scene. Come to think of it, it might as well be the exact same fucking thing) you can get a clear sense of that.

Yet despite the clear niche pseudo-appeal, I've fallen for it. The movie's set to release July 17, so you and your 18-24 year-old white girlfriend/boyfriend can sit in a theater and enjoy yourself with dozens of other 18-24 year-old white couples.

500 Days of Summer (Trailer)

Also, for those who may like the song they just heard, courtesy of Space Toasters.

The Temper Trap - Sweet Disposition - MP3

The Dead Weather and Phoenix do Talk Shows

Last night marked the television debut of The Dead Weather, with Jack White (on drums) performing on Conan's stage for the first time since Late Night with Conan O'Brien came to an end last March.

The band, fueled by The Kill's Alison Mosshart bending and maneuvering her typical on-stage swagger through "Hang You By the Heaven's" vocals, shows a little than some of the previous Tonight Show (cough* Gavis Rossdale) acts. Locals can catch the band at NYC's Terminal 5 July 16, and 17 if they're lucky enough to get tickets.

Hang You By the Heavens - The Dead Weather (Live on Conan)

And for those that missed it (and this) Phoenix performed "1901" from the band's recently released Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix album on Letterman.

Phoenix - 1901 (Live on Letterman)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More New Modest Mouse

Only a couple days after Modest Mouse's new 7" for "Autumn Beds" was released, we're treated the even more appealing B-Side "The Whale Song." You can pre-order the 7" here, or wait until the June 23 release.

New Music from The Very Best

For those who may not know, The Very Best (Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit) will debut their first full-length album, Warm Heart of Africa, this fall. And, as it usually is with The Very Best, you can find pretty much everything from them for free. Here's the album's self-titled track, with Vampire Weekend's Ezra Koenig contributing vocals.

Locals can catch the band at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge July 18.

MP3 Found Courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday Delay

Hectic couple of days here today, but hopefully things settle down and I can get back to a regular writing routine here.

The official Lollapalooza 2009 schedule was released today, and to say the very least I'm a little conflicted. Andrew Bird or Of Montreal? Los Campesinos! or Atmosphere? Ra Ra Riot or Friendly Fires? Dan Deacon or the Raveonettes? Vampire Weekend or Neko Case?! I'll have plenty of time to make those difficult decisions myself, though.

As for today, a good number of Modest Mouse tracks are coming out of the wood-works in the recent weeks, including "Autumn Beds," a one of the bands oft released B-Sides, plus another great MP3 courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Bears

With Bonnaroo 2009 reaching it's resounding finale yesterday, word is (it needs to be word because I wasn't there) that the annual Manchester, Tennessee festival was a resounding success. Attendance of the festival reportedly increased dramatically (up 5,000 from 2008), and weather reports of a rain-filled weekend were only true for Thursday.

But back in New Jersey, as I patiently wait for employee opportunity (hire me, I can write and cook food) and Lollapalooza, another listless (sports-world aside) weekend passed, and I have to show for it is last week's performance of "Black Hearted Love" from PJ Harvey and John Parish's latest album A Woman a Man Walked By on Letterman.

PJ Harvey and John Parish - Black Hearted Love (Live on Letterman)