Thursday, May 31, 2012

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Man On Fire VIDEO

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros unveiled their newest creation today with their video for the song 'Man On Fire'. The video was directed by Brady Corbet and it shows the likes of the NYC Ballet, NY Cheer Allstars, National Double Dutch League, and Soul Steps & Brooklyn Divas. The whole video is centered around New York City, and it really offers up a fun and interesting new video, go ahead and try to name another time you have got to see some footage of the National Double Dutch League?

The Dandy Warhols: SOUND CHECK INTERVIEW

Fake Plastic's very own Fr. Jones shoots the breeze with Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols about their new LP- This Machine, future disco albums, Veronica Mars, and of course- Lana Del Rey.





FR: So you guys are back with This Machine- in a music scene dominated by youth, how does it feel to be the elder statesman and does this have any effect on the sound of This Machine

ZM: Well I prefer the term "Cougar" as opposed to "elder statesmen".  We've always said our crowd age made the span from 8-80 and now it seems truer than ever.  As far as effecting our sound for This Machine, um no.  No effect whatsoever.  We make music for ourselves first and foremost and once we're as happy as we can be with it and release it to the public, the more people that get something from it the better.


FR: Internet aside, what are the main differences between the young up-and-coming musicians of today and the ones that defined the era when the Dandy Warhols first became popular? 

ZM: I guess the hugest difference is how much more DIY the industry is all around- from recording to distribution and promoting.  It's not about world domination anymore it's all about finding your niche audience and creating your own little scene.


FR: After 18 years, what approaches does the band take to keep things new and interesting?

ZM: Our approach has remained the same all this time.  We ask ourselves, "What isn't being done in music currently that we would l like to hear?"  What have we not experimented with that we would like to?  These are questions that stay the same but the answers are always changing.


FR: Speaking of the current scene, how has the revival of keyboard and synth music affected your role in the band? 

ZM: Honestly we don't pay much attention to that stuff and really, if we're hearing keyboards everywhere- we aren't gonna feel like putting them all over our album right?  This Machine really doesn't have much in the way of synths.  I mean, I really only laid them down if I thought it was essential.  That doesn't mean I'm still not enthusiastic about some sort of disco album in the future, tracking layers of synth tracks sure is fun!


FR: How do you approach bringing the Dandy Warhols experience to a live setting?  Has that approach changed over the years? 

ZM: No matter how a song of ours was recorded- when it comes time to make them work out live, we decide how best to get the essence of the song across with just the four of us.  It can be a challenge and some of the songs flat out don't work- but most times we're able to find an authentic way to present our music in the live fashion. Good times.



FR: What is your favorite song to perform live? 

ZM: Hmmm, Godless, I Love You, Horse Pills, Pete International, Boys Better- big fun synth outro. Really, it's all pretty damned fun!


FR: What was the experience like working with the legendary Mark Knopfler on the last record? 

ZM: In this day and age, people just email files.  Didn't even get to meet the guy.


FR: I have to ask.   Have you ever watched Veronica Mars and if so, do you have a favorite character? As if "We Used to Be Friends" wasn't super catchy enough- that television show really implanted it into your head.

ZM: Oh man, I did totally used to watch that show, but I can't remember any of the characters at the moment.  Great use of that song though huh?


FR: Music now is available in a variety of formats.  You have digital downloads, CDs, vinyl of course, and even cassette tapes are making a modest comeback.  What is your favorite listening format for music and on which do you think the Dandy Warhols sounds best?

ZM: Vinyl will always be my favorite, cassette can be pretty fun too.  CD is my least favorite.  I hate the plastic cases that break right away and the dumb discs scratch so easy!


FR: So the music scene has really gone sideways in the past ten years from Napster to iTunes to Spotify.  The way people listen to music has changed and we touched on that a bit already.  But where do you see the music scene going in the next ten years?

ZM: I have no idea.  I try to live in the now.



FR: What are your thoughts on Lana Del Rey?

ZM: I have no idea who that is.





- Fr. Jones

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Walkmen - Heaven VIDEO

The Walkmen debuted their new video for 'Heaven' today on Pitchfork. The video was directed by Alex Southam, and it shows a montage of Walkmen photos and video from the bands concerts and family photos. You could almost say that they were giving you an up close and personal look at the band.

M83 - Reunion VIDEO

M83 just debuted the new video for 'Reunion' today. The track is taken from M83's latest album 'Hurry Up We're Dreaming' and the video captures a lot of what the actually album was trying to portray.

'Reunion' was directed by Fleur & Manu and Produced by DIVISION, “Reunion” is part two of the story that commenced with “Midnight City." Together, these two tracks are the soundtrack for a pack of gifted kids with telekinetic powers who escape from an institution and run wild through a desolate cityscape. In the first video we witness their liberation, with “Reunion” we experience their defiance. Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, the video reflects Anthony's ongoing love affair with the magical escapism of film and the city itself.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Album Review: The Walkmen - Heaven


"I was the Duke of Earl" are the first words heard on the track "We Can't Be Beat", [re-]introducing us to the snarling voice of Hamilton Leithauser, the frontman of The Walkmen. Leithauser references a 1962 pop song (performed by Gene Chandler) about the invincibility of love, and the song shimmers as a glorious homecoming to the music world by The Walkmen, with their fifth major release, Heaven.

"We Can't Be Beat" would be unusual had it been placed anywhere else on the album, making it the epitome of a standout lead-off track. The following tracks, "Love is Luck", "Heartbreaker", and "The Witch" are evidence that the album is unbelievably well-constructed, as they leave the listener itching to hear what's next. It would be difficult for me to not see any of these tracks getting heavy radio play in the future.

Leithauser's voice is so polished that it can send goosebumps down the listener's arms and the band's usage of a sound it has nearly perfected are equally as beautiful as they are uniquely familiar. The guitar tones are ones that will bring a smile to any Walkmen fan's face, as well as pull in new listeners who are foolish enough to have not delved into The Walkmen's prior catalog.

It's incredibly difficult to think of a band that has taken a sound it developed nearly ten years ago, and hone it in over the course of multiple albums; not necessarily changing their aesthetic, but not really breaking any new ground in the same sense. This is a compliment, not a criticism. What The Walkmen have accomplished with Heaven, is a perfect progression of their brand of sounds. Albums like Bows and Arrows featured amazing tracks that spanned genres, from punk-inspired single "The Rat" to chamber-rock tracks "138th Street" and "New Years Eve". The album You & Me featured equally-as-scattered themes. Both of these albums are spectacular in their own right, but when The Walkmen released Lisbon in 2010, you could tell the group was growing up; experiencing "puberty" as a band almost (the groups releasing of the B-Sides to Lisbon only provide further epilogue as to what was to come): Pulling in influences and prior musical efforts and finally centering them in to one passage of music.

Thus, you could expect Heaven to be the band's finally growing up. And it is. The sounds are less scattered from track-to-track, as I mentioned before, the album flows seamlessly from one track to the next, yet each song could stand-alone as a beautiful piece to the puzzle. The progression from "Southern Heart" to "Line By Line" is so flawless that the tracks could have melded in to one, especially when considering what's on either side of both tracks: "The Witch", a hauntingly-poppy and upbeat melody precedes "Southern Heart" and "Song for Leigh" follows "Line By Line" perfectly, returning the listener to a place of bliss and happiness as Leithauser confesses: "I sing myself sick about ya".

"Heaven", the album's title track and lead single, glistens as a reminiscence to what the group used to be, but in a much more polished form. The band waits until the eleventh track to return its fans to a place and sound they are used to from prior releases: the quick bass line and guitar hooks are matched by the upbeat drums, and those who have seen The Walkmen live can imagine the snarling grin that brightens up Leithauser's face as he belts the lyrics, turning his face pink. As Leithauser begs "Remember, remember/ All we fight for". The first time I heard the the chorus to the song, the smile that came to my face was simultaneously the dumbest and greatest smile, rivaling the one that I imagine strikes Leithauser's face as he sings it himself.

I had long awaited the release of this album, and I find it impossible to consider any other band who is at the top of their game as much as The Walkmen have found themselves to be with Heaven. Every track glistens (even the instrumental piece found in the latter portion of the album) as a beautiful and remarkable statement: The Walkmen have grown up and found what they wanted all along, love and happiness, and this statement is put forth in a phenomenal manner, with an outstandingly beautiful album.

My Score: 4.8/5


UPDATE: Watch The Walkmen grow up in the newly released video for title track, "Heaven"






I urge you to support the band by purchasing this remarkable record from any of the locations below:

The Walkmen Store
iTunes
Amazon

John Frusciante - LETUR-LEFR PREORDER







Got some exciting news in the form of an e-mail through the John Frusciante mailing list this weekend. Looks like we will not only be getting one new release but two with both an E.P. and a full album.

Here is the e-mail in full:

Hello people,

There are two new John Frusciante records coming out. The first is an EP entitled Letur-Lefr, and the second is an LP entitled PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. I sing, play the instruments and am the engineer. The EP features a few friends on vocals, mostly MC'ing. The LP has one feature, the rest of the vocals being my own.

I consider my music to be Progressive Synth Pop, which says nothing about what it sounds like, but does describe my basic approach. I combine aspects of many styles of music and create my own musical forms by way of electronic instruments.

The tracks on Letur-Lefr are from 2010 and PBX was made in 2011. Letur is a compilation, a selected portion of music I made that year while PBX was conceived as an album, the songs having been recorded in succession. The records are very different from each other, so prior to the release of the LP, I will make available a free download of a song called Walls and Doors. This song pointed the way towards PBX, but was recorded 7 months earlier. I always took it for granted that Walls and Doors would be part of the record, but as it turned out the record was better off without it.

Letur-Lefr will be released in Japan on July 4th, in North America on July 17th, and in the rest of the world on July 16th. You can pre-order the EP, which will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and in 32 bit, FLAC and MP3 digital formats here.

PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone will be released in Japan on September 12th, in North America on September 25th and in the rest of the world on September 24th. Like Letur-Lefr, PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and in multiple digital formats.

We will provide a pre-order link for PBX sometime in early August.

- Thanks, John
@johnfrusicante


 This is very exciting news for everyone who's been craving new music from Frusciante. His last album, The Empyrean, came out in 2009 so it has been a long three years between releases.

I am much more of a fan of his solo work verses his stuff on the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and these two releases have just jumped to the top of my anxiously awaiting list for 2012.

Go here to pre-order the album.

--Mark.HaTe


The Vaccines - No Hope

The Vaccines just announced their sophomore album The Vaccines Come of Age which is set to be released September 4th via Columbia Records.  No Hope, sounds like a band growing up a bit and maybe coming of age. It has a more direct sound then the fun, energetic sound we heard from What to Expect From The Vaccines.

You can take a listen to the albums first single 'No Hope' below. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

The National - The Rains of Castamere

The National have now added a song on The Game of Thrones, titled 'The Rains of Castamere' that is now a part of their resume. The National's front man Matt Berninger's voice works perfectly for this role on the shows soundtrack, it is a haunting tune that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Raveonettes - Into The Night

The Raveonettes dropped their newest EP Into The Night about a month ago now and the title track keeps on ringing in my ears.  I have always been fond of The Raveonettes and the music they create, it always had that raw, edgy, garage, mid 60's sound to it.  'Into The Night' is no different, listening to the music feels like you should wait and hear The Velvet Underground next in your playlist. 

Into The Night Tracklisting:
01 – Into the Night
02 – Night Comes Out
03 – Too Close to Heartbreak
04 – Bad Ghosts

 

Metric - Speed The Collapse

Take a listen to new Metric track 'Speed The Collapse' which is taken from their upcoming album Synthetica, which is set for release on June 12th. The Canadian indie act deliver a flawless track that sounds better and better the more you listen to it. See what they have to say about their new album...

"Synthetica is about staying home and wanting to crawl out of your skin from the lack of external stimulation…about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection…about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It’s about what is real vs what is artificial."

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Play It Forward - CYMBALS

I came across CYMBALS song 'No Bad Decisions', about a month ago and have been meaning to post it to the blog for a whole month now, and am finally getting around to it. I have actually felt like I have hoarded it for myself, but now it is time to share it with the world. Well enough about my love for this song and more about the band.

CYMBALS remind me so much of Bloc Party with this song 'No Bad Decisions', it is an instant hit in my books, and I have been searching for more info on the band and what they have to offer. Check out the video below and let the music and visuals take you on a journey... A journey that ends with being introduced to a great new young band. Enjoy.

Also be sure to check out there brand new EP Sideways, Sometimes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sleigh Bells - Demons VIDEO

Sleigh Bells are back with a brand new video for 'Demons' which was just posted by Pitchfork.TV. Just like always you either appreciate these guys or wonder what it is you actually just listened to. 'Demons' is a high energy, distorted noisy mess that when you play it loud it actually makes total sense.

How To Dress Well - Ocean Floor For Everything

Here is a very lush new song 'Ocean Floor For Everything' from How To Dress Well, which is the stage name of songwriter and producer Tom Krell.

How To Dress Well will be dropping their new album Total Loss for release later in the fall this year, and it includes the lovely new song 'Ocean Floor For Everything'.  Check out the song stream below and be sure to snag the free download.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Album Review - Port St. Willow "Holiday"






Port St. Willow’s first full-length album entitled “Holiday” has left me speechless for several days. I have had this 55-minute ambient/folk picturesque artwork on repeat, and don’t tend on changing that anytime soon. This album in three words. Tyrant. Smoke. Motion.


I would describe Nick Principe’s project Port St. Willow to our readers unfamiliar with his work as the boiling narrative of Youth Lagoon’s Year of Hibernation sung with beautiful vocals similar to Peter Silberman of the Antlers, mixed with the atmosphere of a Grouper album.

I would listen to this album from beginning to end for the full effect, but the first track that stood out to me was “Tourist”, a song that sounds like a chase between a beast and prey. On second listen my favorite track was "Orphan" for the powerful vocals. There are some slower more peaceful tracks such as "North" that build into the more powerful, and that is why I suggest you listen to the album from front to back. I was impressed with the horn and trumpet use, especially in "North", without being too overbearing to the overall track. As of now my favorite track is the "Consumed", lyrics from Consumed overflow with meaning, and will shake you down to your bones in the most personal way. The pulsating drums coexist with a glass melody in an very well written conclusion. 

Holiday could very easily (and very unfairly) slip under the radar in 2012 with so many great albums being released every month, but it is clear that Nick Principe is pushing Musical (uppercase m) boundaries forward within his own construct, and deserves some recognition for one of the greatest pieces of gut-wrenchingly passionate artwork ever created.

Stream “Holiday” in its entirety here http://portstwillow.bandcamp.com/ and buy it for a mere $7. I am anticipating a hard copy of the album and am hopeful a tour sometime in the near future. I'm rating this album 4.8/5 only leaving Port St. Willow some room to improve on their sophomore album someday in the future. 





Sigur Rós - Ég anda VIDEO

I never seem to be amazed more by a single artist then Sigur Rós. Their music has always thrown me for a loop and has given me a listening experience like no other artist can deliver. Take a listen below to the newest song 'Ég anda' which is taken from their upcoming album Valtari.

Valtari is set to release on May 29th.

Valtari Tracklisting:
1. Ég Anda
2. Ekki Múkk
3. Varúð
4. Rembihnútur
5. Dauðalogn
6. Varðeldur
7. Valtari
8. Fjögur Pianó

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Album Review- Dinosaur Feathers "Whistle Tips"


It’s hard to find a three-piece pop band that doesn’t sound- well, a little too familiar in some sense. For a band to really flare in a genre full of endless competition, they need to capture the listener’s attention long enough to hook them from multiple angles.



That’s exactly what Dinosaur Feathers does in their sophomore album Whistle Tips released just over a month ago. Think Vampire Weekend minus the attention seeking attitude and boat shoes, add striking guitar riffs, a Mohawk, and some carefree lyrics, and Whistle Tips is left lingering in your brain and bending in your hips. Hard-hitting right from the get go with Young Bucks a sing-a-long anthem. Straight into track two  SURPRISE! a bob your head, tap your foot track. Within the first 10 minutes you’ve already forgotten your favorite songs from 2010’s Fantasy Memorial. DF avoids the sophomore woes many artists tend to face as they start to reinvent themselves as indie pop powerhouses. Certain Times has a guitar solo that’ll make you cringe for not practicing your own guitar more often. The final track No Man’s Gospel will remind you more of Fantasy Memorial slowing down the pace slightly in the beginning and wrapping the album up in a Whistle Tips fashion. 


Dinosaur Feathers is currently touring the states and Whistle Tips is available at your local music store 4.4/5 stars. 



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mystery Jets - Greatest Hits

The Mystery Jets will have their 4th album Radlands hitting North America on June 5th.  They are also set to tour with Keane in June and will be playing SLC, UT on June 26th, at The Gallivan Center.  I do feel Mystery Jets have flown under the radar for sometime now especially here in the US.  With a track such as 'Greatest Hits', the band give you a throwback sound that brings you back to earlier days.  It is a fantastic song and one that I have had on repeat all day long, and one that will be staying on all my current playlists. 

Radlands was recorded in both Austin, TX and Streatham, London and while listening you get a good sense that the songs resemble just that, a mix of Indie American, and some good old Brit Pop.  This is a match made in heaven as 'Greatest Hits' delivers in a big way. Also here is the Official US version on the video 'Someone Purer'

Yeasayer - Henrietta

Fellow blogger We All Want Someone To Shout For reported yesterday that Yeasayer's new song 'Henrietta' appeared online shortly after the band shipped physical CD's of the song to fans on their mailing list. The song is very Yeasayer-ish with the perfect blend of electro grooves and hush vocals. The band's singer and keyboardist Chris Keating had previously said that the song was inspired by Henrietta Lacks, a Baltimore woman who had a rare form of cancer which meant her tumours and cells continued to grow after she died in 1951.

'Henrietta' is the first new material that has come from the band since 2010's album Odd Blood. The band tweeted out "Yes, record number three is in the works! Keeping it brief because it should be."

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth - 1904

The Tallest Man On Earth is dropping his new album 'There's No Leaving Now' on June 12th, but in the meantime you can take a listen to his new song '1904', courtesy of Rolling Stone. Kristian Matsson is one of musics great voices, he is consistent in his song writing ability and continues to impress with quality song after song. '1904' is full of Matsson's rare talents and is a refreshing listen in the year 2012.

The new album 'There's No Leaving Now' will be released as a Deluxe Bundle which includes: the new album on cd and lp, an exclusive 7" featuring the lead single "1904" backed with a cover of "Cycles" - a song made famous by Frank Sinatra - two 17"x22" posters printed on uncoated stock, and an instant grat download of "1904." For purchasing details head here.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Reptar Sits Down With FPT's Kellen Nordstrom


Photo Credit: Andrew Reynolds, OnlineAthens
Reptar came back to Milwaukee on May 13, as a supporting act for Grouplove. Andrew McFarland (Drums), Ryan Engelberger (Bass/Keys), and newly-added member Jace Bartet (Guitar) were kind enough to take some time (after melting the faces of some 'tweens) and sit down with FPT's own Kellen Nordstrom, for a laid-back conversation chock full of nerdery and laughter. 

Kellen: Congrats on Body Faucet, guys, it's an amazing album.

Ryan- Thanks so much, you guys definitely gave the best review of the album; it was the only one that I felt the writer actually (A) Read the lyrics, and (B) took the time and effort to figure out what was going on with the different aspects of it. That was the kind of review I was kind of hoping for, in my mind; which is a pretty shitty thing to say, but that was pretty close to what I wanted to see.

Well, that's awesome, thank you so much!

Jace- YOU GOT IT!

(Laughter)

What was the "creative process" behind it? When did you record and write the material?

RE- Well we were on a tour with Phantogram, and that tour ended (for us) in Atlanta on November 13, and on November 15, we went to the studio to start recording.

How long did it take?

RE- We had about a month to record to it. We did 5 days of pre-production, 18 of recording, and then...

Andrew- Yeah, and then mixing and everything; post-production, and all that. We were really in the studio until about, the first week of January.

RE- We only had about a day and a half for each song. So it was somewhat chaotic.

AM- Yeah, we were a little rushed at times, but... 

RE- It's always nice to have that pressure.

Reptar's Body Faucet
For sure. Did you guys have a lot of the material for the album already written?

RE- Yeah actually, a couple songs like "New House", and.. "Sebastian", which we've been playing forever. And "Sweet Sippin' Soda" we've played for a while, too.

AM- "Houseboat Babies" was actually one of the first songs we'd ever wrote as a band.. it's like, the third song I believe that we ever wrote.

How did you guys determine what went on "Oblangle [Fizz Y'all]" and what would be saved for the LP?

RE- (Laughs) Kind of...chaotically? I feel like?

"Chaos" seems to be kind of a theme with you guys...

(Laughter)

I know you guys are friends with Quiet Hooves, the band that opened for you at Cactus Club last time you were here. I had written a review for that show, and described them as the most eloquent train wreck to see as a live band.

JB- That's pretty spot on actually.

(Laughs) I can tell you guys draw a lot of inspiration from each other, especially in a live show setting. 

RE- Oh, absolutely. And I think the album has a certain feel because 1/2 of the songs we had been playing [live] for a while. We had just gotten off this tour, so we had a feel for them all.

AM- Yeah we had been playing them every day for like, 2 months.

RE- But there were also some songs, that came about in that ONE DAY: between Phantogram and recording; "Isoprene Bath", and "Thank You Gliese 370 b" both were songs we put together in the studio.

AM- Yeah we just did most of the work with those in pre-production.

RE- Right, so I think having just come off a two month tour, and just kind of being "in a groove" made it easy to pick those up and just record it.

JB- Well, "Please Don't Kill Me", and "Ghost Bike", and "Three Shining Suns" were all part of Graham's thing... [Graham Ulicny, Lead Singer]

RE- Right right, he had performed those in a solo set before, and were kind of his own thing, called Thick Paint...

JB- It's just Graham by himself, playing a guitar.

RE- Yeah, and Andrew sat in with him a couple of times; so we just sort of "stole" those songs and used them on the album.

What would you guys say you were trying to accomplish with the album? It sounds like it was a pretty quick process, and maybe you were just trying to churn it out, but where do you see it "fitting in" with everything else that's being put out?

JB- I guess one thing that I've been trying to figure out is why the album is so god damn long?

(Laughter)

JB- I mean, I don't want to hijack this interview, it's a question I've had though: you guys said you wish you had more time in the studio, but why didn't you just cut three songs? You still would've had a full length album!

RE- Well, part of it was contractual. In that we had to record 12 songs. And if we had to record 12 songs, we wanted to make sure they were 12 songs that we didn't want to fuckin' do. And we want to have them be cohesive, where you can just sit down and listen to the whole thing.

AM- Also, I think, with that we wanted to have something that was going to be diverse, and not just having one song 12 different times; that's pretty much my worst nightmare, is having an album that every song sounds exactly the same.

JB- Mission: Accomplished. Haha, because they're not. 

AM- Which, I was really pleased with how [Body Faucet] turned out. This is my own personal answer to the question, but I had initially thought our first album was going to be a summation of everything our band had done in the past. And I think we did a really good job with not only that, but also moving forward with what the band is all about. I am still really pleased with that, as I listen to the record.

Well that's GOOD! I mean, if you can't listen to your own music, you probably have a little bit of a problem on your hands.

RE- (Laughs) Yeah, and I personally think, y'know, we had been playing these songs, and trying to create a live experience that was as freeing and would expel enough negative energy as possible. And I think part of why, to me, that's so powerful is because Graham writes these lyrics that are so personal, and y'know it does have a strong emotional quality to the writing. I mean my 3 favorite songs on the album are "Water Runs", "Three Shining Suns", and "Ghost Bike", probably because those are the three most emotional songs. 

"Water Runs" is amazing.

JB- Yeah sometimes I can't even believe we play that live.

AM- We... rarely play that live.

JB- We played that in Atlanta at our album release show and it was just an extremely emotional day; extremely rough day physically and emotionally, and I don't know what happened with that song, but man... that song. I... y'know... I was crying about my own personal problems during that song, but that was the song, y'know? I WAS STANDING THERE ON STAGE AND HAD TEARS COMING OUT OF MY EYES.

RE- Yeah, I mean, Jace was crying, Graham was crying, I was crying, I didn't see if William (Kennedy, Keyboardist) and Andrew were crying but they might have been!

(Laughter)

AM- Yeah that song is just too much sometimes.

RE- I mean we're not trying to take ourselves too seriously. We're not trying to be the deepest band in the world, but, there is emotional depth there. And I think being able to present a song like "Thank You Gliese [370 b]", which is a song about going to space, on the same album as "Water Runs" or "Three Shining Suns", and to have that album "make sense" is something that I'm extremely happy to be able to accomplish.

That really is awesome to hear you say that. I mean on the surface you come across as this loud, power-pop heavy, maybe even chaotic, but stripped down, the lyrics and individual parts are actually in depth, and it really come across.

JB- That's a huge thing to see that as a writer. And it's good to hear you say that, because I don't think a lot of other reviews really looked in to that. And I think a huge part of that is having access to the lyrical portion of the album. If you don't have that, I mean... Before I had access to the written lyrics, I didn't know a lot of the actual lyrics. I mean, the vocals are very stylized, and that's fine. But it's a weird spot to be in, in a band that has such "partying" music, but we wouldn't want to put any of those songs in an American Express commercial.

(Laughter)

RE- Nice Choice.

JB- I mean, I love that people have fun at our shows. And I want them to lose themselves, and just enjoy the moment, but I hope that they well get the chance to experience the lyrics at home, alone with it.

RE- There's a couple of things going on here, One is- a record is supposed to be enjoyed, most of the time, by your self. I mean how many times do you listen to an album with 500 other people? So, I think part of the goal is to have it be able to reach a more personal place. At the same time, at our live show we want it primarily to be fun. We don't want you to come out and see us and have you leave and just--

JB- We don't want you to cry!

RE- Yeah! Or like, if you do cry, awesome, but we want to give you something to dance to and work through it. I think the most straight-forwardly emotional song on the album is "Ghost Bike". And then immediately after that is "New House" which is the most optimistic. And I think that pairing is crucial. Because if you want to, the lyrics can take you to an emotional place, and then, we're gonna take you right out of it.

So what's a Reptar tour like?

JB- Oh god...

RE- Really nerdy. 

(Laughter)

JB- Yeah we're not really big partiers.

That's really funny. Because I reluctantly labeled you as "nerdy" or "nerd-rock" in my review, and I ended up having guilt about it.

(Laughter)

JB- Yeah don't feel bad about that.

RE- We are HUGE nerds. My mom called me on one of the first tours we went on, and she was a little nervous. She's like 'Ryan, what are you guys doing?? Are you getting into trouble?!" And I said, "Mom, right now, I'm going to be honest, we're listening to a Harry Potter book on tape."

(Laughter)

RE- On our van's dashboard we have a Darth Vader mask and a Handy Space Answers book. Which has all these questions about space and then the answers.

AM- It's a textbook about an inch and a half thick that's just question-and-answer format about SPACE.

JB- Yeah, and I mean we'll go in to Canada, and there's no need to worry about throwing away any weed, y'know there's no weed to throw away... or smoke. Everyone reads, we all read. 

AM- We listen to Yes.

RE- Or "This American Life"

JB- Recently we listened to a lot of political discussion on Greek policies. And everyone got really in to it. It's funny because we feel like we're SUPPOSED to be raging, but we don't have anyone to drive our bus. We still have to do this all our selves. Me personally, I'd probably party a lot harder if I knew I never had to drive the bus.

(Laughter)

JB- Maybe some day I'll wake up in the hospital. Or face down in the dirt behind a Mexican grocery store.

Someday.

(Laughter)

Is there any plans to go out on another headlining tour anytime soon?

AM- Well we had just got back from one. But, there's something in the mix. We're trying to work something out with this band, Rubblebucket, which is pretty much our favorite band in the country right now. But that would be more of a co-headlining tour.

RE- Right, and that would probably happen in like September/October. We're doing maybe a week in August so far. But so far, first, this summer, we're going to be hanging out; by ourselves, because we've spent every day with each other for about six months, if not a year and a half.

AM- Yeah I went to SF by myself for like a week in January. And that was the only time that I had not seen these... dudes.

RE- You were about to say assholes!

(Laughter)

AM- No! NO! NO! But it's been the only time I haven't seen these guys for a period of 4 days since probably last January.

RE- Yeah, and then we're also going to work on writing some new stuff. I mean, tonight we already played a new song.

YEAH WHAT WAS THAT!? THAT SONG WAS AMAZING!

JB- We put that together maybe a day or two before the tour. Graham was like "I got this one thing: boo-boo-bee-boo-doo-dee-dee-dee--" And we were like well there's a thing- 

RE- ...and then by the end of the day we made it into something, like there it was, a song.

JB- I mean, I love playing live, that's the main thing I'm interested in doing. But I'm still pretty new to the band. And so I'm anxious to get into the studio and getting more invested in some of this material, because I still feel as if I'm covering someone else's songs. 

(We were then interrupted by a rabble-rouser down the road, spouting off some jargon that is best left out. But our immediate response, collectively, was: "...Milwaukee.")

...ANYWAYS!

RE- We've always been interested in having as much material as possible to draw from, right now we're playing a lot of songs from the new album, because... well that's the newest stuff we have. But we're incredibly eager to have MORE new stuff to play heavily, y'know what I mean? You won't ever come to a Reptar show, unless it's a "release show," where we're focusing on a specific setlist.

JB- Yeah right. I think it's sort of a double-edged sword, that we don't really ever "stick" to a setlist. That's like a cool, classic-rock thing to do, y'know? But sometimes, it can create some tension, when everyone doesn't necessarily agree, then it can get really weird. 

RE- But think about how much worse that tension would be if we were doing ONE setlist an entire tour, and the fight you have at the beginning to create that setlist is the most epic discussion. For me, it's such an emphasis for the band on our live shows. We want everyone to come out, and for it to be as cheap as WE CAN make it, y'know: arguing with promoters, and people like that. If you come to more than one show, we want you to have a different experience every time.

JB- Yeah, one of the Grouplove guys came and said: "Man you guys are doing something different EVERY NIGHT! That's really weird! But I like it!"

RE- Quiet Hooves is probably the one exception to that rule: where my favorite bands don't play the same set list every night. But I also grew up listening to a lot of jam bands, so maybe that's not a fair comparison.

Yeah...[reluctantly] I did too. 

RE- Hey! We're still here! We're still ok as people!

(Laughter)

But I do think that is a telling sign of a band that has their shit together, y'know?

RE- Yeah, I mean even Bruce Springsteen doesn't play the same set every night.

JB- We just love playing music. I don't think we sit around and think of it as our "job," but it is; sometimes I wish it was something we collectively did more...

(Laughter)

JB- We're at work. But it's fun work.

RE & AM- It's the best job ever.

This is kind of a touchy question. But along those lines: How many albums do you see Reptar making?

RE- Oh man.

AM- That is an interesting question.

JB- I. Hope... A lot. That's something I wish everyone was here to speak for. I, personally, want this to go on as long as it "makes sense," as long as it makes sense for us to continue making music, both interpersonally and fiscally, than I'm down.

RE- As long as us, as people, are getting something out of it, I think we'll keep doing it. Even if we have to have other jobs. We started this on accident, just because we were friends that started playing music, and then people started showing up, and we were like "Shit, I guess we can do this more often" and then we did.

AM- And now, here we are, in Milwaukee. On tour. Having been on tour for about a year and a half.

RE- And we're slowly bringing more friends into the band. There's never been someone that's played in this band that who has not been like "Hey. This guy is our friend, who also knows how to play our songs"

AM- We're not ever just going to "hire" someone in to the band, just to fill in.

Black Keys style?

AM- Right.

(Jace raises his hand in question)

RE- But you're the perfect example of that. We were all friends...

JB- Right, the first time I saw Reptar, I wasn't too close of friends with them personally, and I was like: "Ehh... I dunno"

(Laughter)

JB- I didn't really know what the future held. I went and saw them one night in a very small club in Athens called Flicker--

AM- Oh shit.

JB- I was just like, "man I don't know what is going on" People were going crazy.

AM- Yeah we got banned from that place that night.

Kellen and Jace: Really!?

AM- Yeah it was wild.

JB- Anyways though, I just kind of kept going and meeting the members of Reptar. And it was strange because in Athens there was this sort of 'persona' that Reptar had but was incapable of controlling. And to have that is just, really out of control. 

RE- I'm completely ignorant as to what this persona is.

(Laughter)

JB- It's not really easy to define, but people just have this connotation about Reptar, but it really didn't have much to do with the music, or what we're playing, or a good set. And so that's weird. Luckily that's only true in Athens; We LOVE Athens, we have the most amazing time ever when we do play there... it's our home. We did a house show there a few weeks ago, that we literally told almost nobody about, and it ended up being this incredible experience and it was really cool because we just ended up playing in a small group of our close friends.

AM- Which we seriously have not done since probably the summer of 2009. 

JB- But THEN! We did this amazing thing of selling out the 40 Watt Club which is an amazing venue in Athens, for our album release show, so that was also really great. 

AM- And we played to almost NO ONE we knew.

RE- There was almost 800 people there.

JB- That was also really great. So, I'm not trying to knock one experience or the other, but it was interesting for me to be in a band that people have such strong feelings about, but don't really know anyone in the band, or probably have never seen them! Like, I'm fairly certain that most people that don't like Reptar, have never seen Reptar play live.

AM- Probably Not.

JB- But like, I went and saw Reptar play a couple of times, and Andrew and I were co-workers in a grocery store, I met William just by going to parties and stuff, I met Graham by being randomly assigned to do this mix tape trade, and then so me beginning to play with Reptar just happened so organically.

RE- Well right, and it wouldn't have happened had we not all become friends, first.

JB- No Way. I had been playing music in Athens for a really long time, and then had this conversation with Graham where we were like "Y'know our friendship is really important, I don't want that to become compromised by me becoming a member in Reptar" and he said "Well, I gotta be honest with you, that's cool, but I didn't ask you to play in this band because we're friends, I asked you to do it because I think you're a great musician and because we're friends.

RE- Get ready for the hard times, is basically what he was saying.

(Laughter)

JB- Well right, I mean being in a band with all of you guys, out on the road, in a van, gets tough! But it's never not worth it, yet.

(Laughter)

RE- NEVER NOT WORTH IT... YET!

Reptar continues to amaze me with just how awesome they are, both as musicians and people. Their live set on Sunday once again provided the crowd with a heavy amount of enjoyment and fun. It was a pure joy for me to be able to sit down and talk with them; the conversation seemed to flow effortlessly.

Check out the links for their debut LP, Body Faucet, below, as well as a link for Rubblebucket, the group Reptar speaks highly of during the interview.




Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros - Mother

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros unveiled a new video, titled 'Mother' over the Mother's Day weekend. Alex Ebert created the video specifically as a tribute to mothers everywhere. The track is featured on the "Every Mother Counts 2012" which is a compilation album. The album also includes songs from David Bowie, Eddie Vedder, Bono, Coldplay and many others, and you can purchase the album at your local Starbucks or online at StarBuckStores.com

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Temper Trap - Trembling Hands

The Temper Trap just debuted their new song 'Trembling Hands' over at Spin.com the other day. The band will release their self-titled sophomore album on June 5th, via Glassnote/Columbia Records. The new track shows a heavy dose of fine tuned piano melodies mixed in with lead singer Dougy Mandagi's incredible vocals.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Record Store Day SLC


photo: SLTribune

Salt Lake City’s record store was the size of a small apartment, but packed with treasures that would take us a lifetime to explore. Anna, Chris, and Matt were always quick with a music recommendation, some free concert tickets, the promotion of local talent and business, but the thing I miss most about Slowtrain was their genuine and contagious love for the community.
When it came to Record Store Day, Slowtrain RAWKED it, serving up local brew and the best in local talent on a stage in the parking lot all day long. While other excuses for record stores ordered a few of RSD’s exclusive releases, Slowtrain ordered every single piece of musically etched plastic their customers wanted. So if our favorite deceased record store taught us anything about our favorite holiday it is that RSD is more about community than the hardcopy music we walk away with. (Although holding a record in your hands for the 1st time is pretty sweet) Next April, drive a little further if you have to, but search out the record store with employees capable of intelligent music discussion and who actually care about the industry they’re in. A big thank you to Slowtrain for all the memories.

Advance Base - A Shut-In's Prayer REVIEW


Owen Ashworth from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone that called it quits December 2010, is making music again under the project name Advance Base. The 1st full-length album is out May 15th 2012 and is titled: A Shut-In’s Prayer. Advance Base was the name of an Antarctic outpost explorer Richard E. Byrd was trapped for five solid months in 1934 says Ashworth, and was felt an appropriate name for Ashworth’s new project featuring Nick Ammerman, Edward Crouse, and Jody Weinmann.
At first listen, the album beams with loneliness and rapport of an explorer from a century ago trapped in the gray solitude. The same minimalistic aesthetic melody gently resonates throughout the entire album, while a humble drum machine and unblemished Rhodes chords compliment complex lyrics of painful nostalgic, from a yesteryear of fleeted youth. The album is a perfect unit of radiation dosing from headphones to escape from a sanctimonious modern life to a simpler healing of growing up. Riot Grrrls seems to be the 1st single telling a story of young friendships growing up and growing apart as life happens. The opener Summer Love- that painful old breakup grinding at the joints with time like arthritis, and the closer Shut-In River Blues- a increased inevitability through interpretive Rhodes that life can be shut-in.
Advance Base’s A Shut-In Prayer is available on 150gram marble vinyl on the band’s website www.advancebase.com for a 34 minute shut-in of musical narrative reliving memories.  4.3/5



Explosions In The Sky - Postcard From 1952 VIDEO

When it comes to Explosions In The Sky, it is safe to say maybe they are a tad bit shy to produce music videos for their songs.  In the past, any video from EITS was a homemade video from obsessed fans that have been posted to YouTube.  Now in the past year the band have released their 4th official music video and this time 'Postcard From 1952' gets its day in the sun.  Check out the video below which showcases the art of growing up and how amazing life really is.  Anytime you listen to a track from EITS you get a sense of belonging and purpose, their music is so inspiring and with a visual added to the mix it only adds to the inspiration.

'Postcard From 1952' is from the bands 2011 album release Take Care, Take Care, Take Care