The Strokes are an American rock band formed in 1999 in New York City. They rose to fame in the early 2000s as leaders in the garage rock revival. The band's members are Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (lead guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums and percussion).
Upon the release of their debut album Is This It in 2001, the group was met with much critical acclaim. NME made Is This It their Album of the Year. Since then, the band has maintained a large fan base, mostly in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. They have been on an unofficial hiatus since First Impressions of Earth in 2006. A number of members have embarked on a variety of side projects.
Beginnings and The Modern Age EP: 1998-2001
Lead singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas, guitarist Nick Valensi, and drummer Fab Moretti started playing together while attending Dwight School in Manhattan. Bassist Nikolai Fraiture had been friends with Casablancas and was attending the Lycée Français de New York. At age 13, Casablancas was sent to Le Rosey, a boarding school in Switzerland to resolve his drinking problems and improve his academic performance. In Switzerland, Casablancas met guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr..
Later, when Hammond came to New York to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he shared an apartment with Casablancas. They started a band which performed on the Lower East Side of New York, and at Manhattan's popular Mercury Lounge. Ryan Gentles, the Mercury Lounge's booker, quit his job to become the band's manager.
The band began rehearsing a twelve song set which included "Last Nite", "The Modern Age", "This Life" (an early version of "Trying Your Luck"), "New York City Cops", "Soma" and "Someday". Most of these songs now feature different lyrics. A demo sent to the newly reformed Rough Trade Records in the UK sparked interest there, leading to their first release via UK website NME.COM who gave away a free mp3 download of Last Nite a week prior to physical release as part of The Modern Age EP in 2001. The EP sparked a bidding war among record labels; the largest for a rock and roll band in years. The Strokes soon became the subject of enormous hype.
 Is This It: 2001-2003
The Strokes released their debut album Is This It in the US in October 2001 on RCA after some delay due to changes made from the UK-released version (released 27 August 2001). The cover of the latter features a black-and-white photo of a gloved hand on a woman's naked backside, shown in semi-profile, and is said to reference Spinal Tap's fictitious Smell the Glove. The naked model on the cover was photographer Colin Lane's girlfriend at the time. The North American version replaces this with an image of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber and replaced the song "New York City Cops" with "When It Started". The replacement of "New York City Cops", which contains the refrain "New York City Cops, they ain't too smart", was made in good faith following the September 11 attacks.
The melodic garage rock sound of Is This It received positive reviews from both mainstream and independent publications, including 4 stars from Rolling Stone, and a 9.1 from Pitchfork Media; it made many critics' top 10 lists, and was named the best album of the year by Entertainment Weekly and TIME. NME, in an article previewing summer concerts, urged readers to attend their shows, claiming that the band was touring on the strength of some of the "best pop songs ever". The influence of 1970s CBGB stalwarts Television was noted by many reviewers.
After the release of Is This It, the band toured around the world, featuring dates in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America staging for the Rolling Stones. The band headlined UK's Carling Weekend festivals in 2002, largely chronicled by a mini-documentary entitled "In Transit" which was released to members of the now-defunct "Alone, Together" fan club. Today it can be seen on their official website.
In August 2002, the band played at New York's Radio City Music Hall on a bill with The White Stripes. Jack White joined the Strokes on stage to perform the guitar solo on "New York City Cops". During that period, the band also appeared as musical guests on various late-night talk shows. Is This It yielded several singles and music videos, all of which were directed by Roman Coppola.
The group began recording their follow-up in 2002 with producer Nigel Godrich (best known for his work with Radiohead), but later split with him in favor of Gordon Raphael, the producer of Is This It. Recordings with Godrich were never revealed. In August 2003, the band toured Japan, playing a couple of the upcoming songs: "Reptilia", "Meet Me In The Bathroom", "The Way It Is", "Between Love & Hate" (formerly known as "Ze Newie") and "12:51" (formerly known as "Supernova"). The band also played Paul Anka's "My Way" with Japanese lyrics.
As of 2007, Is This It has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide.
 Room on Fire: 2003-2005
The Strokes released their second album Room on Fire in October 2003. It received praise from critics but was less commercially successful, although it still went gold. The album's sound maintained the Strokes' familiar reference points, while also evoking groups such as The Cars, Bob Marley, and Blondie. In the process, they made the cover of Spin Magazine for the second time, with each member receiving his own cover. They also made the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time. Additional media coverage of the band came from the relationship between Moretti and actress Drew Barrymore, which ended in January 2007.
The first single taken from Room on Fire was the song "12:51", which used distinct keyboard-like sounds produced by Valensi's guitar. The video was also directed by Roman Coppola, and was inspired by the futuristic look of the 1980s film Tron. This consisted of a mainly black scene, with instances of glowing picton blue and riptide. In November 2003, The Strokes played on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, performing "Reptilia", "What Ever Happened", "Under Control" and "I Can't Win". During the 2003/2004 "Room on Fire Tour", the band played with Kings of Leon as support act and Regina Spektor. While on tour, Spektor and the Strokes recorded the song "Modern Girls & Old Fashion Men", released as a B-side on the "Reptilia" single. Also during the tour, the band included The Clash's "Clampdown" as a cover, which was released as the B-side for The End Has No End.
In late 2004, The Strokes revealed plans to release a live album. The Live in London LP was planned for release in October 2004, but was abandoned, reportedly due to recording quality problems. The chosen gig was one held at the legendary Alexandra Palace in North London. In February 2005, Julian Casablancas wed long-time friend and assistant band manager Juliet Joslin. The Strokes had a three-concert South American tour in October 2005, with dates in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.
 First Impressions of Earth and Recess: 2005-2008
In late September 2005, "Juicebox", the first single from The Strokes then unreleased third album, was leaked online, forcing the single's release date to be advanced. The single was then released as an exclusive on online download services. "Juicebox" became The Strokes' second UK Top 10 hit, as well as their second US Modern Rock Top 10 success. During November and December 2005 the Strokes did a promotional tour for the still unreleased album, which involved doing one-off shows in major cities around the world.
Their third album, First Impressions of Earth, was released in January 2006 to mixed reviews and debuted at number four in the US and number one in the UK, a first for the band. In Japan it went gold within the first week of release. It was also the most downloaded album for two weeks on iTunes. Fraiture claimed that the album was "like a scientific breakthrough". In January 2006, the band then made their second appearance on Saturday Night Live playing "Juicebox" and "You Only Live Once".
The album was somewhat a departure from the band's two previous albums. One reason for this was a switch of producers from Gordon Raphael to David Kahne. Despite its initial strong sales, First Impressions of Earth received the worst reception, both commercially and critically, of all their three albums.
In 2006, the band played 18 sold-out shows during their UK tour. In February 2006, The Strokes won "Best International Band" at the NME Awards. In March, the band returned to the US with their longest tour yet. The second single off First Impressions of Earth, "Heart in a Cage", was released in March 2006.
During the summer of 2006, The Strokes played several festival dates in Europe, including the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden, Roskilde Festival in Denmark, the Oxegen Festival in Ireland (during this concert they were to be followed by The Who but due to the overwhelming reaction of the crowd they ended up staying on longer than scheduled), the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the FIB (Festival Internacional de Benicàssim) in Spain, Fuji Rock Festival in Japan and headlining Pentaport Rock Festival in South Korea. They then toured Australia and Mexico in late August and early September, followed by the second leg of the United States tour. While in the US, The Strokes opened for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers for five shows during their Highway Companion tour.
The Strokes went on to complete another US tour. During this final tour Casablancas stated to fans that the band would be taking an extensive break after it finished. An e-mail was sent out soon afterwards by Strokes manager Ryan Gentles, confirming that a "much needed break" would be taken. A new band website went online in May 2007 along with the release of an alternate video to their single "You Only Live Once" directed by Warren Fu. The video also featured a brief interlude with "Ize of the World", also from "First Impressions of Earth". In late 2007, the song "You Talk Way Too Much" was used in a commercial for the Ford Sync. Aleks Cisneros became the Strokes new assistant manager in late 2007.
 Fourth studio album: 2008-Present
The Strokes' frontman Julian Casablancas and guitarist Nick Valensi started writing new material for their band's forthcoming new album in the latter stages of January 2009, with the intent of entering the studio in February of the same year. Julian commented in Rolling Stone magazine that they have completed about three songs that sound like a mixture of 70's rock and "music from the future".
As stated on their myspace on March 31, 2009: "After a long and much needed hibernation period that saw many of the band's various other musical projects emerge, we're pleased to announce that The Strokes are now all back hard at work in their NYC space on writing and rehearsing new material for a 4th full-length album. No recording studio time has been booked yet, as they sketch out the blue-prints of new songs and fine tune plans in their rehearsal space, but it will undoubtedly be all mapped out and etched in stone at some point in the not-too-distant future."
In an NME News article, Pharrell Williams expressed interest in producing the The Strokes' next album. This followed the news that Casablancas had collaborated with Williams and Santigold on 'My Drive Thru,' a track commemorating the 100th anniversary of Converse's Chuck Taylor All-Stars shoe. The song was available as a free download from the official Converse site.
On April 3, 2009, media site RipcordNews.com received an update from The Strokes reporting,“I wish I could tell you that this definitely meant we can expect an album release date before the end of 2009, but it’s just too soon to speculate on that for sure yet,” he wrote. “One way or another…suffice to say, the work has begun!”.
On July 18, 2009, The Strokes' official website stated that the band are spending the summer of 2009 recording material for a new album. The website states: "The Strokes are working away in the city on their next record. The album is still on schedule for early next year release as previously announced."
Julian Casablancas has confirmed plans for a solo album, entitled Phrazes for the Young. NME reports that the album, recorded in Los Angeles, Nebraska and New York, has been produced by Jason Leader and Mike Mogis (of Bright Eyes fame). It will be released on the 2nd of November 2009, and is expected to be supported by a string of tour dates. Casablancas has stated that he wants to do a "series of over-the-top Disney style shows".
08 November 2009
The Strokes are an American rock band formed in 1999 in New York City. They rose to fame in the early 2000s as leaders in the garage rock revival. The band's members are Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (lead guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums and percussion).
31 October 2009
NEXT on our online music video showcase is experimental indie band, Stop Eject. The four-piece met in their adopted city of Nottingham two years ago, released their own EP, Cargo Cult Science, and are now working on new material.
And you are?
Rob Enola (vocals), Ross Swift (bass), Alex Scott (drums) and
Topher Batchelor (guitar).
We all met at university. Rob, Alex and myself (Topher) played in a couple of bands together. We convinced Ross to join us just before we graduated.
What's with the band name?
I don't know. We thought it sounded OK. We might change it on a gig to gig basis.
Describe your music and influences.
We all have really different influences and I think that comes across in our music. Alex has heavier tastes; Rob studied music at school is a long-time fan of Scott Walker, Jacques Brel and Joy Division; Ross listens almost exclusively to Radio 2 or 3. I have a classical music education but Blonde Redhead or Autolux were the biggest influence on my guitar.
What are the day jobs?
All four of us have spent time on both sides of the counter of a bookmaker. Two of us still do. Ross wants to be a marine biologist, lobster fisherman or agricultural worker. He has no qualifications in any of these.
Which other Notts bands do you rate?
I heard the new Love Ends Disaster album just after it was mastered and it's not only a great album from a great band, but perhaps the city's best hope of success. Nephu Huzzband and Swimming are good too.
Tuesday, supporting The Phantom Band at The Bodega Social. Then we're doing Friesland Arts Centre in Sandiacre on November 13.
Music for sale?
There's a free download of The Retirement of Intelsat 3R at our MySpace page.
Watch them perform an acoustic version of The Retirement of Intelsat 3R, at www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/localbands
IF you're wondering whether to plump for next year's Harrogate show featuring Holby City actor Mark Moraghan singing the swing jazz songs of broadcaster Nicky Campbell, you can get a sneak preview with a series of intimate warm-up shows next month, writes Graham Chalmers.
Although Moonlight's Back in Style doesn't happen at Harrogate Theatre until Friday, May 7 next year, a mini Monolighting is swinging our way, albeit without Campbell himself.
Moraghan, who is perhaps best known for his television work, as an actor on shows such as Holby City, Dream Team, Harry Enfield and Chums, and Brookside, will appear with a trio of musicians in the following shows:
Thursday, November 26: West Park Hotel, Harrogate - 8pm, tickets £10
Tuesday, November 24: Coopers, Guiseley.
Wednesday, November 25: Wakefield Jazz, Wakefield.
Two years in the making, Moraghan and Campbell have produced an album entitled Moonlight's Back in Style which showcase 'new swing' in the classic style, inspired by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr and Big Band Music.
It turns out Campbell has been writing songs since he was 11-years-old, and has held a lifelong dream of recording a swing album.
Moonlight's Back in Style is at Harrogate Theatre on Friday, May 7, at 8pm. Tickets are £20 from the box office on 01423 502 116 or on line at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk
The show is being brought to Harrogate by Knaresborough promoters Kula Productions.
A HARROGATE musician is hosting a special music event tomorrow, Saturday to launch an epic motorbike ride for charity.
Jonathan Skinner, former lead singer with leading local indie rock band Revolve, is hoping to raise a large sum for Cystic Fibrosis when he zooms round the whole of the UK next year in his self-christened Close To The Edge tour.
To get the ball rolling, so to speak, on what will be a 2,000-odd mile journey, he's holding a music night at Lure Bar in Harrogate on Saturday, October 31.
Headliners will be Harrogate rock band Faces of Dorian featuring former IV Play songwriter Nader Mabadi.
Entry costs £3, doors open 7pm and the show runs to midnight with proceeds going to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
Close to the Edge T-shirts are going to be on sale at the launch for £10 pounds (bargain at twice the price!!) along with them there will be the white Close to the Edge band on sale to for a piddly £2.
Jonathan will be taking to the road for his marathon journey in August next year, which gives him plenty of time to fundraise of charity.
RIPON is preparing to welcome one of the country's hottest new indie bands.
Ellen & The Escapades, who are currently being pushed by the likes of Radio 1 DJ Steve Lamacq, play The Golden Lion on Friday, November 13 .
Support comes from Ripon band The Weeknights.
Described as an "alternative folk" indie five piece, Ellen & The Escapades's first single Without You on their home-grown record label Branch Out Records was played by Alan Raw on BBC Radio Leeds, before being picked up by Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 2, and Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6.
For further details on DMB shows, email email@example.com or call 0176 605987 or 07739 720732.www.dmblivemusic.co.uk
"THEY'VE spent the last year building a killer live reputation, destroying PAs and bursting ear drums. . .investigate this vital new band further" - no, it's not something Gig Scene's written while getting a bit carried away about the merits of Harrogate metal band Drowned in Flames, it's what national magazine Rock Sound wrote recently about mssrs Craig Gordon, Niall Macdougall, Arran Johnson and David Colston.
The band's next live gig is a support slot for Shadows Chasing Ghosts on Sunday, November 1 in a Rock-it night in Bridlington.
EXCITING news about Harrogate's most famous band.
The new DVD by Wally is now on sale from their website but is already being snapped up as we speak.
Costing £12, it's captures their entire reunion show at the Royal Hall earlier this year.
If you're quick, you'll also get a free That Was Then concert T-shirt with each DVD purchase.
The new album, featuring all-new tracks, is at the mastering stage and should be on sale early December.
The band now seem set to get together for a single night next April, again at the Royal Hall with legendary broadcaster Bob Harris pencilled in hopefully in his MC role.
Fans should sign up at www.wallymusic.co.uk for advance notice of when tickets go on sale and news on their new album.
BLUES Bar stalwarts Simon and Sharon Colgan's success continues with news they've taken on a new bar - in Leeds.
The bar in question is that nicely old skool Duck & Drake and, in true Blues Bar style, they intend to inject as much live music into it as possible.
Paul Middleton, for one, may be playing a monthly residency there, though not with his Angst Band, which has come to a sudden full stop, as the veteran Harrogate musician undergoes one of his periodic dramatic changes of direction which keep him so creative and vibrant.
FANS of the late John Martyn can catch this genius singer-songwriter's best songs at Harrogate's Blues Bar next week when two of the UK's most active and respected performers present a celebration of his work.
After John's tragic death earlier this year, Keith James and Rick Foot put together a sensitve and very personal set to commemorate one of music's most talented and influential figures.
The duo bring their tour to the Blues Bar on Tuesday, November 3 when they will also be playing songs by other modern folk legends such as Davy Graham, Sandy Denny and Nick Drake.
To see Keith & Rick perform selected songs please visit www.keith-james.com/videos.php.
The Blues Bar in Harrogate's other gigs coming up include: Fri, Oct 30: Will Tang. Sat: Jed Thomas Blues Band.
THE fruit of local singer-songwriter Angie Shaw's small, but credited role, in backing sining duties at world-famous Abbey Road studios on the new Children in Need appeal single can be sampled on iTunes and HMV from this weekend, November 1.
The Children in Need album will be out on November 9 and the TV recording will feature on the Children in Need night on November 20.
IT'S always good to recognise anyone trying to good things for local music and there's a chance to celebrate the efforts of John R Dowbiggin to bring bands and fans together through jd74.
He's holding a party next Tuesday, November 3 at Harrogate's Revolution from 9pm.
If you're interested, visit www.jd74.org
THERE'S at least two events this weeknd which prove what a big town Harrogate is for rock, metal and punk - and what a healthy scene it's got for those types of music:
FOLLOWING the success of rock/metal/punk event Full Metal Racket, Crabtrees in Harrogate has its annual fancy dress Hallowe'en party on Saturday, October 31 with live music from local heroes Nihilist plus the weird and wonderful Damien S Fear running until 1am.
RULING punk promoters North Yorkshire Hardcore present a Hallowe'en night of mayhem on Saturday, October 31 at the Little Wonder puib in Harrogate from 7.30pm-11.10pm.
ROCK and indie fans should make a note that each Thursday night at Rehab bar in Harrogate, it's the Almost Famous night with DJ Jacko playing classic rock/indie/punk/alternative sounds all night plus a different live band each week. It's held under the auspices of those hard-working boys at Harrogate's leading recording studios, BASH. It runs from 11pm-4am. Free entry.
MASHAM Arts Festival closes tomorrow, Saturday, October 31 with a show by The Peace Artistes from Bradford.
Featuring members of Chumawumba, the concert at the Black Sheep Brewery tops a week of quality music from the likes of Mercury Prize nominee. Kathryn Williams, The Birdman Rallies and Landermanson.
Tonight, Friday, excellent alt-indie band The Birdman Rallies from Harrogate/York play Fearby Village Hall at 7pm.
More info from www.mashamarts.com
SO! Bar in Knaresborough is aiming to combine acoustic music and relaxed fun with a new fortnightly night called Song, Wine and Tapas to be launched shortly (the title gives the idea o the evening away).
It starts on Sunday. November 8 at 7pm, usually featuring entertaining acoustic duo The Wigglers (who play everything from Dolly Parton to Coldplay).
AFTER a sellout show by Fleet Foxes band member J Tillman in Thirsk last weekend, promoters In The Dock have plenty of other great gigs coming up in the classy Old Courthouse including ex-Seahorses frontman Chris Helme.
They've also just launched a new website at the following address: www.inthedock.net
Tickets are still available for the remainder of their autumn programme.
Friday, November 6 – Double bill of Chris Helme and The Lost Brothers.
Friday, December 11 – Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin.
Call 01845 595911 or in person from White Rose Books in Thirsk.
TOP local rock covers band Speedsta, who have a wide set but are particularly good at Foo Fighters, are the musical guests for Pateley Bridge Cricket Club's forthcoming annual dinner and awards presentation night.
The band will be playing from around 10pm at the event which takes place on Saturday, October 31 at the Memorial Hall in Pateley Bridge.
The bar runs until 12.30am and tickets costing £4 each in advance are available from Richard Light on 01423 711815 and Ellie Jackson on 01423 712067.
HARROGATE alt-rock band Ventriloweb play the Lure Bar on The Ginnel in Harrogate on Tuesday, November 3.
The new band line up of Graeme and Andrew Baranyai will be on stage from 9pm. You can download Ventriloweb's Alternative/Electro/Folk Rock music singles, watch music videos, read their blog and listen to free streaming mp3s at www.myspace.com/ventriloweb
MALE/female covers duo Sounds Like Us bring hits from the 50s onwards to The Half Moon in Knaresborough on Friday, October 30 at around 8.45pm and then The Punchbowl Tavern in York on Saturday, October 31 at 9pm.
Incidentally, Gig Scene has been told Janet and Morv generously donated the receipts for their last gig to the Shelterbox Rotary charity which is sending aid to the tsunami victims in Samoa and the earthquake victims in Sumartra.
POPULAR seven-piece combo The Nightjars play their only public show of the year at The Alexandra in Harrogate next Thursday, November 5 and the boys promise to unveil some new material.
THE Mitre in Knaresborough continues its series of Sunday night acoustic sessions with some sultry bossa nova/jazz soul Simon Parkinson and Vanessa Chutturghoon from Mauritius on Sunday, from 8.30pm.
THE Worlds End in Knaresborough has live music from The Roosters on Friday, October 30.
THE live country music act at Knaresborough's Last Chance Saloon this weekend is Pete Redfern who performs at Park Place Social Club on Friday, October 30. Park Place Social Club also has a weekly residency every Saturday night with entertainer Ian Shaw.
THE Fox & Hounds in Langthorpe near Boroughbridge has live music every Saturday night. This weeks' is a Hallowe'en special starring The Greedy Zebras from 9pm. The pub has also launched Sunday evening music nights from 7-9pm each week.
THE George in Wetherby has live music from Marts on Sunday, November 1 late afternoon from 4pm.
IRISH band The Tree Fellas appear at The Golden Lion in Helperby on Sunday, November 1 from 7pm.
RIPON & District Social Club has live music from Nikki Martin at Allhallowgate. As Saturday is Hallowe'en, you're encouraged to wear fancy dress, though it is optional.
THE Malt Shovel in Boroughbridge has live music from the likeable and talented Sarah Bear on Friday, October 30 from 9pm and then there's an evening of blues from Blues Cruise on Saturday, October 31. Don't forget, Wednesday nights are Jam Night at the Malt Shovel.
CLASSIC four-piece rock band Flood Damage are back on stage at The Ainsty in York on Saturday, October 31 with hits from the likes of the Rolling Stones, The Who and Free. www.flooddamagelive.co.uk
A NEW classic Britpop/60s covers band on the scene are looking for gigs. The Shrinking Violets are a five-piece playing hits by the likes of The Beatles, Kinks, Stones, Oasis, Kaiser Chiefs and more. Tel 07834 196 053 or visit www.myspace.com/shrinkingvioletsband
HARROGATE Jazz Club has live music from Cherie Gears with the Watermelon Men at the West Park Hotel on Tuesday, November 3.
HARROGATE Brasserie has live jazz/blues from the Karl Mullen Duo (featuring Karl on piano and Paul Baxter on double bass) on Friday, October 30 while on Sunday, November 1 there's live jazz from Aspects of Jazz.
Other Brasserie weekly music nights include: Tuesdays: David Bailey. Wed: Simon Parkinson and Vanessa Chutturghoon. Thurs: Simon Parkinson plus guest.
JAZZ In The Spa's weekly session at Boston Spa Village Hall on Saturday, October 24 features Dutch outfit the Freetime Old Dixie Jazzband. Doors 7.30pm, entry £8.
LEEDS Jazz Club has live music from the Harlem Hot Stompers on Tuesday, November 3.
RIPON is preparing to welcome a genuine Swedish folk/pop/rock sensation.
Thanks to imaginative promoters DMB, Josefina Sanner is to play The Old Deanery on Sunday, December 6 as part of her UK tour.
Tickets for theis intimate show are expected to go quickly - and are limited to 80.
Sanner, who sings in English, was inspired by peers like Joni Mitchell, Kathryn Williams, Ron Sexsmith and Kathleen Edwards.
The melancholic songstress releasd her self-titled debut CD in late 2006 and quickly won rave reviews throughout Europe which have won her slots in some of the continents biggest music festivals in the past few years.
For tickets, contact 01765 605987.
HIGH quality local promoters Kula Productions have booked folk legend Ashley Hutchings and his latest outfit The Lark Rise Band for a Knaresborough show.
I say latest - well, it's not the first time the Fairport Convention founder has turned the classic book/stage play and TV series into music.
Origjnally, it was his Albion Band who turned Flora Thompson's book's themes into a hit album.
Now Hutchings has linked up with a new generation of singers and musicians to produce a new album - Lark Rise Revisited.
The line-up features Hutchings on vocals and bass plus the following: Judy Dunlop (vocals), Simon Care (melodeon/vocals/dancing), Ruth Angell (fiddle/vocals), Mark Hutchinson (guitar/vocals) and Guy Fletcher (fiddle/drums/guitar/vocals).
The band play Frazer Theatre on Friday, February 19. Tickets costing £15 are on sale online from www.wegottickets.com/event/47441
Or buy them in person from Rock Steady Music shop on Regent Parade, Harrogate and Pear on High Street, Knaresborough.
Kula Productions are also planning a real feast of top acts for Knaresborough next year - many of whom made their name and fame in the 70s and 80s.
So far stars confirmed are Mari Wilson, Hazel O'Connor and Gordon Giltrap.
Dates include the following:
Friday, April 23, 2010: Mari Wilson, famous for her beehive hairdo and songs such as Julie London's Cry Me A River plus Just What I Always Wanted.
Friday, March 26, 2010: Hazel O'Connor, famous for her peroxide blonde hair, hit movie Breaking Glass and semi-electro pop like Will You and Eighth Day.
Friday, May 21, 2010: Gordon Giltrap, famous for his terrific guitar playing, musical styles which cross multiple genres and 1970s hit album Perilous Journey and hit single Heartsong.
While we're talking about Kula Productions, apologies for a blunderette in a recent Gig Scene. It seems Gig Scene made a 'slight mistake' about Knaresborough promoters Kula Productions live swing show next year starring TV/radio broadcaster Micky Campbell with Holby City actor Mark Moraghan.
We said it was taking place at Frazer Theatre but, for once for a Kula presentation, it will be at Harrogate Theatre.
Please note, Kula's October 16 show with 70 singer Kiki Dee and Carmello Luggeri is already sold out.
Tickets costing £16 are also going fast for Neil Innes, a man who was in Monty Python, the Bonzo Dog Band and The Rutles and who appears at Frazer Theatre on November 6.
Tickets for all Kula shows are available from www.wegottickets.com/event/47441 except for the Gordon Giltrap show for which you should visit www.kula-productions.com
POPULAR 1960s covers band The Diamonds (though they're not from that era, I hasten to add) are playing a special gig at The Manhattan Club in Harrogate on Saturday, November 28.
Tickets costing £5 are available from the club or you can pay on the door.
CLUB nights are still going strong at Harrogate's Rehab venue in its upstairs section called, appropriately, The Club.
Monday nights see the weekly FREEK night with "dirty beats and musical treats" from guest DJs and MCs.
It runs from 10pm-3am and entry is free.
Fridays at Rehab, meanwhile, see a massive FUSION event with an amazing 12 DJs - including Digital Future from Leeds, formerly Czech Republic, playing dirty electro, nu rave, breaks and electro techno.
The night was split between house/techno in the bar and drum n bass in The Club.
Finally, on a related dance theme, though at a different venue, Ventriloweb is about to take place at Lure Bar on The Ginnel in Harrogate on Tuesday, October 13 at 9pm.
POWERFUL art rock band I Like Trains, who blew the power at a Charm gig at the Blues Bar a few years back, are featured in a new season of hit TV show CSI Miami.
The Leeds-based post-rockers are delighted their new single Sea of Regrets is to be highlighted in this way.
Said drummer Simon Folgal said: "The track is going to be used for the closing credits of an episode. To have our music soundtrack the most popular television show in the world counts as a big tick in our lifetime ambitions box!"
The single is available at www.iliketrains.bigcartel.com or visit the following shops in person:
Crash, Jumbo, Leeds. Rough Trade, London. Picacadilly Records, Manchester.
LOCAL CD REVIEW
Tunji: MK Ultra (EP)
BARNSTORMING but brilliant, Tunji take the best elements of 70s prog rock on this EP and plunge them into a dystopian future - or is that the present?
It's easy to forget amid those old accusations of 'self-indulgence' that as well as things like time signature-hopping, elaborately-structured, show-off musicianship, the likes of Yes, ELP and even Genesis (check out their 1973 live album) also displayed National Grid levels of pure energy.
Ditto this impressive, no-holds barred, four-piece Harrogate-Leeds outfit who are due to play Harrogate's Dragongate Festival tomorrow (Saturday) around 4pm.
What is different and new about mssrs Tiff Miller (guitar/vocals), Chris Maysom (bass/vocals), Dave Dowson (keyboards) and Steve Campbell (drums), not to forget Dave Middleton on vocals, what they have in common with the new breed of prog rockers such as Mars Volta, is that their musical influences don't include such important old fogey 70s staples as r'nb, folk or jazz.
Tunji are children of the Rave and 'crusty' generation and, as such, their two dominant musical building blocks are ambient-dance and pure rock.
And, boy, does this EP rock. Not at the expense of hooks and melody, especially on the opening tracks Fires and De-Ja Vu, which have the punchy but slick vocal style of the Foo Fighters allied to a slight 1980s sheen.
They simply never get dull, not on the toughest, most snarling rock track Good Company. Not even on the 9min 30sec of the closing track, the epic instrumental Cos We Can (MK Ultra).
Awash in heavily-phased vocal narration about the treatment of prisoners, emergency sirens wailing in the psychedelic wind, it's hard to tell exactly what it's all about, though thoughts of Blade Runner or the CIA's secret drug-based, mind control programme from the 1950s (also called MK Ultra) rise and fall.
Perhaps, they're genuine US Government instructions for detainees at Guantanamo Bay? Perhaps Tunji are saying we're all trapped in a new Cold War?
Is that why their music sounds so urgent?
Super Pop starring Pagan Wanderer Lu.
Pagan Wanderer Lu was playing at Milo as part of a new night called Super Pop which I'd never come across before.
Though it was hot in this small Leeds venue, it was also musically bold, visually stunning and a lot of fun - although it was certainly sweltering upstairs.
I've never been at a gig where the audience stood swaying most of the time in 3D glasses, the idea of organisers www.modernmusicreview.com and VJ Quadrod.
As this inventive, DIY one-man band played tracks from his new album, Fight My Battles For Me the VJ projected amazing, moving images which took on a whole new life of their own if you put on the spectacles given out on arrival.
Pagan Wanderer Lu's songs had no fixed point, moving from style to style rapidly, one second sounding like an early 60s girl group, the next a little bit of folktronica before settling for New Order.
Witty, clever and provocative, his songs were full of synths and bleeps from one of those old mini Casio MT-40 keyboards mixed with traditional electric guitar and juicy sampled beats.
Playing two short sets, the first was more experimental, the second showed Pagan Wanderer Lu was capable of writing more conventional songs.
Highlights included one called The Bridge of Sighs and a great guitar track called The Memorial Hall which closed the evening.
As members of the crowd swayed from side to side, still wearing those red and blue spectacles, Pagan Wanderer Lu took the song beyond its rock roots into Rave, the beats booming out for some time in a terrific mash-up with soundman Dave Procter.
I haven't seen an 'indie' act who could change from Badly Drawn Boy to MGMT so quickly and still have a decent tune.
He's definitely one to look out for and the organisers modernmusicreview.com deserve congratulations for putting on such an unusual and brilliant show.
Next time some electric fans though, please.
Posted by che saidi at 9:10 AM
Every once in a while, someone sounds off about the state of indie rock.
Kelefa Sanneh did it in The New York Times in 2004 with this screed about rockism and its pernicious effects on anything that doesn't meet rockist criteria.
Sasha Frere-Jones took a different tack two years ago in The New Yorker, lamenting the lack of blues influences in much of modern indie-rock.
They were useful starting points for music-nerd debates, but this guy offers the most compelling perspective I've seen so far.
So much of what's critically acclaimed in indie circles is boring or boringly contrived, he writes, mentioning bands like Animal Collective. And he's right.
Weird and different can be assets -- the Flaming Lips have built a career on those traits. But the Lips, at least, seem to be following a muse instead of being weird at the expense of listenable songs.
Arty contrivance in the service of inscrutable experimentation usually just isn't that much fun to listen to -- and on a certain level, listening to music is about having an enjoyable experience.
Posted by che saidi at 9:08 AM
New Moon Soundtrack
The Twilight craze has come with some questionable developments in pop culture: Team Edward T-shirts, the resurrection of Teen Wolf, vampire baseball. But whether you're a hater who pines for the days when vampires weren't mild-mannered high-school stalkers or a Twi-hard who's pledged to name her first child (preferably with Robert Pattison) "Renesmee," there's one thing you can't argue with: Those bloodsuckers have excellent taste in music.
Or, to be more accurate, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas does. As she's done with her other high-profile credits (The O.C., Gossip Girl, Grey's Anatomy), for the New Moon soundtrack, she's assembled 15 songs by bands either revered in the indie-rock pantheon (Radiohead's Thom Yorke, Death Cab For Cutie) or on their way there (Lykke Li, Grizzly Bear, Bon Iver & St. Vincent). And they're all exclusive to New Moon (in case the Pitchfork crowd needed to be wooed over to the sparkly side).
Even on the off-chance the typical Twilight fan's tastes skew more toward the modern alt-rock of the mega-selling Twilight soundtrack (see Paramore's Decode, the last soundtrack's lead single), they'll likely be swayed by the indie-folk beauty of New Moon. For one, it's true to - if not an improvement on - the source material.
New Moon, as per author Stephenie Meyer, is all "about losing true love," and, whether or not the participating artists have bothered slogging through the book (we're looking at you, Death Cab), they're a stickler to the theme. This one's a 15-song dispatch from the pits of I-just-got-dumped-by-my-vampire-boyfriend despair.
Among the highlights: Thom Yorke's Hearing Damage is a sort of sensory deprivation tank for the angst-ridden. It's an atmospheric affair, featuring echo-wrapped vocals and a humming haze of electronic blips. Bon Iver and St. Vincent team up for Roslyn, an eerie and echoing acoustic folksong, made all the more haunting by the seamless blending of St. Vincent's high, fairy-princess vocals and the falsetto tones of Bon Iver's own pipes. Lykke Li's minimalistic Possibility is one of the more gripping mope-outs on the disc. The Swedish pop singer coos in a cracked-with-emotion whisper, accompanied by a barely-there piano, as she pines for a lover.
Band of Skulls get an honourable mention for injecting a bit of rock ‘n' roll badass-ery on the glam-rocker Friends. But it's Muse who offers the one moment of unabashed rock on the disc. Their remix of I Belong to You is a slap-happy mix of their usual Queen-esque bombast with some gothic piano- and clarinet-supplied whimsy right out of The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Forget Team Edward - can we be on Team New Moon Soundtrack?
Read more: http://www.nationalpost.com/arts/story.html?id=2121015#ixzz0VTHD9OII
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15 October 2009
Best Canadian Indie Bands
So, being a Canadian musician used to be a negative title and all of us hopefuls had no higher dream than to ex-patriate in order to find success. With the enormous influence of Montreal's Arcade Fire it could be said that a great change occurred that would forever alter the place of Our Home and Native Land in the eyes of music publishers and listeners across the world.
Having played bass and guitar in bands in and around Toronto, Ontario, the subject of quality, independant Canadian music is near and dear to my heart and here I will try to compile a list of the groups you should treat your ears to. This will by no means be entirely complete but give it a shot and listen to what polar bears sound like with guitars.
In alphabetical order because hierarchies are no good for this sort of thing:
* Arcade Fire (http://www.arcadefire.com)
* Arrows (http://www.myspace.com/arrows)
* Broken Social Scene (http://www.arts-crafts.ca/bss)
* Burn Planetarium (http://www.myspace.com/burnplanetarium)
* Cities in Dust (http://www.myspace.com/citiesindust)
* Constantines (http://www.constantines.ca)
* Cuff the Duke (http://www.cufftheduke.com)
* Death from Above 1979 (http://www.deathfromabove1979.com)
* Die Mannequin (http://www.myspace.com/diemannequin)
* The Coloured Lights (http://www.myspace.com/thecolouredlights)
* The Golden Dogs (http://www.myspace.com/thegoldendogs)
* In-Flight Safety (http://www.myspace.com/inflightsafety)
* Islands (http://www.myspace.com/islandsareforever)
* The Mark Inside (http://www.themarkinside.com)
* Mattie Leon (http://www.myspace.com/mattieleon)
* Mother Mother (http://www.mothermothersite.com)
* Royal City (Go to CBCRadio3 and search to listen)
* Shout Out Out Out (http://www.shoutoutoutout.com)
* The D'urbervilles (http://www.myspace.com/thedurbervilles)
* Two Hours Traffic (http://www.twohourstraffic.com)
* United Steel Workers of Montreal (http://www.myspace.com/unitedsteelworkersofmontreal)
* Wolf Parade (http://www.myspace.com/wolfparade)
* You Yourselves (http://www.myspace.com/youyourselves)
Last week we mentioned that Information Leafblower had surveyed 21 music and mp3 bloggers from across the United States to compile a list of the top 40 bands in America in 2005.
As I mentioned at the time, it got me wondering what a similar list would look like in Canada. To find out, I asked more than 20 music bloggers, writers and critics from across the country to send me their lists of the top 10 Canadian acts of the year. The only criteria were:
1) the acts had to be Canadian, whatever the definition of that would be; and
2) the surveyed writer had to believe they were hot in 2005.
21 people answered the call, and more than 70 acts were named from every part of the country (except, sadly, the North). Their lists were then compiled into one larger list, with points awarded both for position on each list (10 points for first place, 9 points for second, 8 points for third, and so on) and for simply being on a list. Thus, if a band or artist consistently was named at the bottom of several lists, they had an advantage over an act who was mentioned in a high spot on only one list.
The panel was:
From Blown Speakers, Rock Snob, The Tear That Hands Inside My Soul Forever, Adam Radwanski, For The Records, Zoilus, Pop (All Love), Strawberry Vivica, I Am Mike and This Is My Heart, Rock Paper Pixels, Villains Always Blink, Sucking A Lemon, Wedge-esque, Toronto Indie, Regulate The Voice, Chromewaves, Sean, Dan and Jordan from Said The Gramophone, and myself and Evangeline from this site.
And finally, to answer one more question before the list: it was originally going to be the top 30, but there was a four-way tie for the 30th position. Thus, the top 33.
Read the full list after the jump...
33) Great Lake Swimmers
Tony Dekker has just had a strong year, from his release of the beautiful Bodies and Minds, to opening for an American favorite of mine, Akron/Family, all along their tour. I can't even imagine the big things '06 has in store for him. (Sucking A Lemon)
(Click here for "Moving Pictures, Silent Films")
32) Martha Wainwright
My pal Sarah Liss called it: The most-talented of the Wainwright children. (Pop (All Love))
Her acoustic show at the Drake earlier this year made me wonder why she even bothers with a backing band. (Adam Radwanski)
(Listen to her on Myspace)
31) Karen Kosowski
Better than all the Sarahs out there. Karen puts so much passion into her music, it�s hard not to feel as if you�re intruding on her. (Toronto Indie)
(Listen to her on Myspace)
30) The Deadly Snakes
Most of the times I've seen these guys, they haven't been the biggest act on the bill. But they're invariably the best. And Porcella is a pretty fascinating album. (Adam Radwanski)
(Click here for "Gore Veil")
Spooky music to dance to. (matthew, ihm)
(Click here for "PF")
28) Ninja High School
NHS, for playing some hella exciting live shows to having their new single and record ("By Purpose Not By Plan/It's Alright To Fight" + Young Adults Against Suicide) released on Tomlab. (Sucking A Lemon)
(Click here for a sample of "Shake It Off)
27) Jason Collett
After Idols of Exile, Jason should have named his touring band Broken Country Scene. His songwriting is aces, but the arrangements aren't your typical singer-songwriter fare. Speaking of the Scene, he's probably the guy in BSS you hear the least about, which is a goddamn shame. (From Blown Speakers)
(Stream some songs on MapleMusic)
26) Buck 65
The new record was criminally underrated. Buck 65 continues to challenge the listener's expectations and hopes for hip-hop. (Regulate The Voice)
(Stream some songs from his site)
25) Cadence Weapon
Son of the greatest Edmonton radio DJ ever (DJ T-E-D-D-Y), Cadence Weapon continues on with that tradition by being the most exciting hip-hop artist to come out of Canada in years. Global conquest is next. (Regulate The Voice)
This guy is going to be big. He's pretty steady as an MC, and as a producer he's amazing. If there's any justice in the world, Cadence Weapon is the future of Canadian hip hop. His beats are insane. The first track I heard of his was his remix of Ghostface's "Save Me Dear" (the original being one of my favourite hip hop tracks), and it gave me the same feeling I got the first time I heard Dizzee Rascal. Exciting stuff. (From Blown Speakers)
(Click here for Cadence Weapon's remix of "Do They Know It's Hallowe'en?")
24) Black Mountain
They toured with Coldplay?!? (Regulate The Voice)
If Coldplay did one thing this year that wasn't worthy of scorn and derision, it was this: getting Black Mountain to open for them, even though they'd likely scare the crap out of anyone who bought X&Y. (matthew, ihm)
(Click here for "Druganaut")
(Click here for Islands' Myspace page)
22) The Organ
(Click here for a few of The Organ's videos)
21) Magneta Lane
Instead of trying to make it in the States, they've gone straight for Japan. Have opened for Sloan and controller.controller, not to mention that I saw them at a Harry Potter book launch and they got all the little kids dancing. Their EP is still rocking my ass, with a new album to be released early next year. To top all that off, they're the best looking band in Canada. (I Am Mike and This Is My Heart)
(Visit Magneta Lane's official site for streaming audio)
20) Bell Orchestre
You have to see Bell Orchestre live to understand why they deserve to be here - they are bringing light airry jazz music with strings strings strings to the indie kids. Sara and Richard from Arcade Fire really get to show off their skills here and Recording A Tape The Colour Of The Light is fantastic; if it's not on '05 lists, it will certainly be making the rounds in early '06. In addition to that the group has the french horn player from Torngat, a wonderful group from Montreal who also deserve alot of praise. (Sucking A Lemon)
(Visit Bell Orchestre's website for a few MP3s)
19) The Fembots
The City is my favourite Canadian album of '05. (Adam Radwanski)
(Visit The Fembots' site to download an MP3)
18) The Dears
One of Canada's best live acts. (The Tear That Hands Inside My Soul Forever)
(Click here for The Dears' New Music Canada page)
17) The Cay
Jordan Himelfarb and Christine Maki have yet to make their magnum opus, but while the rest of Montreal tears itself apart with disco-stomp and winter-weather hollerin', there is something altogether magic in The Cay's knitted guitar-picking, in their modest kindly harmonies, in the sudden Byrne-like lurches of fierce and necessary feeling. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
(Click here for The Cay's New Music Canada page)
16) Cuff The Duke
Desperately need to release a career-making live record. (Pop (All Love))
(Stream the album on Cuff The Duke's site)
15) Jon-Rae and the River
With their new disc Old Songs for the New Town, they have exploded all over the place. Other than that they are one of my favorite groups and I'm so happy to see them being successful. Their cd release show at the 'shoe back in august with Great Lake Swimmers, Akron/Family, and Lullabye Ark had to be -- and I'm sure many will agree with me -- one of the best shows of the summer. (Sucking A Lemon)
(Click here for Jon-Rae and the River's New Music Canada page)
14) Sunset Rubdown
The Rubdown is like Wolf Parade's attic - it's where Spencer Krug keeps his weird organs, the ones that cough up genies, the place for crippled songs and old bits and pieces. I think it may also be where he hides his secrets. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
Sorry Kardinal, but k-os runs the (Canadian hip-hop) game. (Regulate The Voice)
The biggest Canadian rap concert ever. 'Nuff said. (I Am Mike and This Is My Heart)
It might not be the most storied honour, but is it time to concede that k-os is the best rapper this country's ever produced? (Pop (All Love))
(Visit K-os' site for streaming MP3s)
12) Death From Above 1979
Dance music for the rock set, with a live show that will pummel you into submission. And now they've gone and upped the ante by remixing other people's music. That MSTRKRFT remix of the new Bloc Party totally saved it. (From Blown Speakers)
They have one of the most powerful sounds in music. Plus, their appearance on Conan (with Max Weinberg joining in!) was the best thing I saw on TV this year (musically). (Regulate The Voice)
(Visit DFA79's site for streaming audio)
11) Frog Eyes
(Click here for Frog Eyes' New Music Canada page)
Canada's witch-doctor, ship-captain and bard. I saw a guy at a gig in Glasgow who looked like Dan Bejar. He kept yelling at the singer to "put your fuckin' heart into it". The yells didn't go away when the singer sang lounder, or stronger, or more torturedly. They went away when the man went to the bar and ordered two drinks and then just stood there, one lager in either hand, shaking his head. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
(Visit The New Pornographers' site for Destroyer MP3s)
9) The Constantines
I really hate it when new records are described as "mature," but that's what happened to the Cons. Thankfully, they're aging well. (From Blown Speakers)
On Tournament of Hearts, The Constantines mixed sadness and restraint into their unique brand of rock, and came up with the best album of their careers in the process. (matthew, ihm)
(Click here for "Love In Fear)
8 ) Metric
Not so much for Live It Out, though I like it, but for the way they've managed - particularly with their live show - to make indie rock sexy and glamorous without compromising its integrity. (Adam Radwanski)
I might not ever love them as anything more than a singles band, but those singles are pretty fantastic. (Pop (All Love))
(Visit Metric's site for MP3s)
Dreamiest album of the year. Rapidly gaining popularity to the South of us by burninating at SXSE, getting played on The OC and opening for Death Cab. (I Am Mike and This Is My Heart)
They could use a little edge to them, but still... (Adam Radwanski)
I actually can't think of anything interesting to say about Stars. Just listen to their music. (From Blown Speakers)
I think they'll eventually out-sell both Arcade Fire and Broken. Possibly combined. (Pop (All Love))
(Visit Stars' site for streaming audio)
6) The New Pornographers
More poppy brilliance. (Regulate The Voice)
Twin Cinema didn't have that immediacy that the first two records had, but everyone already knew that Carl Newman could write a good hook. Twin Cinema was as a different kind of beast. That instant gratification gave way to songs that rely on subtlety, and might even be better. (From Blown Speakers)
I still don't think they've topped the singles off their first album, but "Bleeding Heart Show" comes close. (Adam Radwanski)
(Visit The New Pornographers' site for MP3s)
I can't wait for the point in time when all our moms love this record and we're listening to it over Thanksgiving dinner and Leisure Suite comes on. (Pop (All Love))
The thing about Ms. Leslie, is that you can play her music to pretty much anyone. Indie kids, obviously. But I know people who are almost strictly into hardcore punk who love Let It Die. My mom likes this record, my hip-hop loving exgirlfriend loves this record... honestly, it's a record for everybody. I know it was a 2004 release, but she toured her ass off this year, and that's where she's even better. Hearing the title track live, just Feist and guitar is just wow. (From Blown Speakers)
(Stream "Mushaboom" on Feist's Arts & Crafts site)
4) Final Fantasy
If any artist has amazed me this year, it is Owen Pallett. It feels like he came out of nowhere, although he didn't, that suddenly there was this artist of astonishing talent and original voice. It was like an alien landed on Mount Everest, equipped already with a deep knowledge of pop music, of composition, of Dungeons & Dragons. Owen's music reaches as deep and as recklessly as the country's more rockin' talents, and it's all performed with such ease and generosity that you'd think it was as easy as pushing your hair away from your eyes. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
Canada's answer to Andrew Bird. "This is the Dream of Win and Regine" is one of my favourite songs. ever. (From Blown Speakers)
The video for "This is the Dream of Win and Regine"was great. His set at the Ottawa Bluesfest in July was great. Has A Good Home was great. Basically, everything Owen Palette did this year (and last year, if you throw in his work on Funeral) was great. (matthew, ihm)
(Visit Final Fantasy's site for MP3s)
3) Wolf Parade
They put out my favourite album of the year. Screw the Isaac Brock connection, it's way more exciting that they picked up Dante DeCaro after he left Hot Hot Heat. (From Blown Speakers)
Wolf Parade are like an experiment in self-combustion. I keep waiting for Spencer's hair to catch alight, for Hadji's laptop to melt, for Arlen to explode and for Dan, yeah for Dan's heart to be on fire. Literally. Because figuratively it already happens, at the right
moments: everything goes smoky and hot and the only thing you can be sure of is fire and song and that there are ghosts whirling drunken in the room. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
The backlash may have come prepackaged, but "I'll Believe In Anything is singlehandedly more than enough to silence the naysayers. (matthew, ihm)
(Click here to download "Shine A Light")
2) Broken Social Scene
I really want the Arcade Fire fans and Broken fans to form separate and feuding groups, splitting the nation's indie kids down the middle. All of which would surely culminate in a cuddle party. Or monkey knife fight. (Pop (All Love))
Best album of the year, period. In a year from now, you will all agree with me. (I Am Mike and This Is My Heart)
Barely anybody thought they could top You Forgot It In People, but, not only did they top it, they blew that record out of the water with the new one. (Regulate The Voice)
(Click here for "Swimmers")
1) Arcade Fire
Rereleased their EP, crushed heads worldwide with their live show, played
with David Bowie ... just another year for the Arcade Fire. (Regulate The Voice)
How can anyone possibly argue that any other Canadian act had a bigger year? All right, maybe Nickelback. But only barely. (Pop (All Love))
I know...too obvious. But there's absolutely nothing like their live show. (Adam Radwanski)
I sit at my home in a room and I dream, dream, dream of a song called "Milk and Honey". It's by a band called Arcade Fire, and no recordings seem to exist. I've been listening to Arcade Fire for close to five years now and still there is no other group that grips me so firmly, that shakes me so hard, that so chimes me like a bell. There is no other group with a long lost song that keeps me up at night, that makes me sit at home in a room and dream. It's very sad, to know there's something beautiful you will never hear again. (Sean, Said The Gramophone)
Indie band Hujan in action
Forget reality TV music idols or manufactured pop acts. Malaysia’s appetite for homegrown indie bands know no boundaries this year. It has been a long time coming, but the momentum, for better or for worse, is with the local indie music community as it continues to push into the mainstream and attract media attention.
Just Malay indie rock outfit Hujan, possibly the biggest buzz band since OAG in the early 1990s, made good on its early promise as the nation’s breakthrough indie outfit. Led by enigmatic singer-songwriter Noh, Hujan began the year with much expectation.
Hujan, blending an inspired mix of indie attitude and Malay pop smarts, made the news early in the year with a tour of England financed by its Malaysian student fan base there, before returning home to play a career-defining set at the inaugural Sunburst festival in Kuala Lumpur. After courting controversy for its brash attitude in the Malay media, Hujan’s debut album, delivered the final verdict that this was no flash-in-the-pan phenomenon.
Rather than singing in fractured English, Hujan has elected to make cool music in Malay. With album sales exceeding 10,000 units, Hujan underlined the fact that homegrown bands can thrive on their own terms.
This has influenced younger bands to consider the national language as a creative outlet while the diverse and urban crowd, more accustomed to local English language music, has been sold on Malay indie.
If Hujan has single-handedly thwarted the Indonesian indie music invasion, the good news is that there has been no shortage of local contemporaries to challenge its lofty position in the coming months.
As a creatively fertile and self-sufficient community, the rise of prominent independent acts like Meet Uncle Hussain, Bittersweet, Laila’s Lounge, They Will Kill Us All, Couple, Deserters and Free Love can only mean a community going from strength-to-strength.
From Alor Star to Johor Baru right across to Kuching and back to Ipoh, there has been new indie music communities mushrooming, proving that the Klang Valley is not the only destination to produce the nation’s best new sounds.
Hujan Fans out there catch them @ Studio V performing live today at 3pm brought to you by Starfm.
The Times, a working class Indie Rock ‘n Roll band, is made up of Naza, Moon, Mono, and Irfan. Formed on 31st August 2004 after playing for a few years in OAG, the band cites their influences as Tan Sri P.Ramlee, Bob Dylan, Steve Marriot, John Lennon, Pete Townshend, Keith Moon, David Bowie, New Order, Morissey, Oasis, and The Corals for their fashion and attitude. Rachel Chan interviews the very spirited band by email.
What is Indie Pop Melayu Klasik? And how do you merge Tan Sri P.Ramlee, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie?
Yea..what is indiepop melayu klasik?? Authentic & original indie-pop sound made in Malaysia without sounding too much like our neighbours from Indonesia musically & lyrically. For example words like “itu kamu” or “aku tak bisa” or whatsoever Indonesian’s words never existed in our songs!!! Also DEWA/PADI/SHEILA ON 7 is not in the list of our influences.
We start to pick up the guitars because of these bands like THE WHO, SEX PISTOLS, THE CLASH, THE STONEROSES, Oasis, A.Rahman Hassan, Jeefrydin, S.Jibeng, SEARCH & SYJ etc.
How do we merge Bob Dylan & David Bowie & Tan Sri P.Ramlee…it’s like an algebra formula dude!! All of them are legends!!! Just mix & match. It’s a secret that we wont reveal to the public..nah!!
The album titles kind of sounds retro-political – are they supposed to be?
It’s nothing political. It is just The Times Music & Fashion statement for Wawasan 2020!! We greet out fans with our songs & lyrics, The Times really appreciate them with love.
What’s it like to be nominated in to the Top 5 Best New Artiste in the Anugerah Industri Muzik Malaysia 2005?
We don’t care much about it. Its 2009 now!! We want to score more like Diego Maradona’s hands of god!!
You mentioned thousands of Malay indie rock bands followed suit”. What are some of the indie Malay bands that followed in the footsteps of The Times?
Hujan!! Meet Uncle Hussein, Bunkface & more to come. Before this singing in Bahasa Melayu was not cool!! but now every band want to sing in Bahasa Melayu.. can you see how big the indie wave now in our country. Everyone want to form an indie band & sing it in Bahasa Melayu. Radios are aggressively playing malay indie band’s song, TAK KAN HILANG INDIE DI DUNIA!! HAHA!!
When did you realise that mainstream music fans were starting to appreciate indie music?
Do they really appreciate us?? We don’t think so. Only a few we guess. The Times really appreciate our fans all over the nation, we don’t care what status you are. Just come to our gigs, and then you’ll feel the vibe of Malaysian Indie Rock n Roll.
Posted by che saidi at 12:31 PM
The Kickback cracks into Chicago scene
The sirens of big-city fame have seduced many a small-town band.
For indie rock group The Kickback, it was Chicago. The former Vermillion, S.D., four-piece made the leap this summer.
In short time, they’ve had to navigate the unfamiliar currents of a big local scene. But the move so far is all good.
“Everyone was thinking basically the same thing. ‘We want to keep doing this, but we’ve got to find a way to bump it up to the next level,’” frontman Billy Yost said in a recent interview for The Journal’s Heard Mentality online music podcast.
The band’s “underdog” mentality surely didn’t hurt entering the scene, he said.
For several years, playing new venues meant hours on the road, and on a good night, recouping gas money. Now a host of Chicago venues within a few minutes’ drive welcome the band.
The steady schedule of gigs is spring-boarding The Kickback’s profile, in addition to recording sessions, mentions in city publications and a growing fan base — local and online.
That came straight from the top. Rock ‘n’ Roll bible Rolling Stone also published extolling words for the band.
The magazine said: The Kickback writes “lean, nervy songs that snarl and snap. Guitarist Billy Yost has a marvelously agonized voice and he wrenches notes from his larynx, hurling himself against the songs’ propulsive rhythms.”
The review was published Sept. 17 on Rolling Stone’s Hype Monitor blog, a place up-and-coming bands are spotlighted.
The accolade was a surprise, 22-year-old Yost said.
“My first reaction was that somebody had taken our (band) name,” Yost said after he saw “Kickback” in the headline.
Then came his name. Every letter was there.
“I started freaking out. I think I danced around the apartment sort of yelling,” Yost said. He then left brother and bandmate Danny Yost a voicemail. “You couldn’t really make out anything I was saying. It was just sort of high-pitched squeal sounds.
It was definitely one of the cooler moments of my life.”
Also good? The timing.
The band is recording for its second EP, “The Great Self-Love,” which Yost expects to release later this year.
“The EP is a celebration of the only thing my generation has learned how to do: pat itself on the back and rest assured that no one is as unique and special and perfect as us,” said Yost, who also works as a substitute English teacher.
“The Great Self-Love” release was delayed because of scrapped recording sessions in Sioux Falls, S.D., the Chicago move, and switching guitarist Cody Raterman with Chicago-native Tyler Zee.
Danny Yost and bassist Zach Verdoorn have returned from a touring stint with indie rockers Oh My God, also of Chicago.
The Kickback is now studio recording “The Great Self-Love” using money donated online by fans.
But if they can’t do it killer live, it doesn’t matter what the studio work sounds like, Yost told The Journal this past summer before the move.
14 October 2009
The Jealous Sound is a Los Angeles emo/indie rock band composed of vocalist and guitarist Blair Shehan (formerly of Knapsack), guitarist Pedro Benito (formerly of Sunday’s Best), bassist John McGinnis, and drummer Adam Wade bassist Josh Staples, and drummer Bob Penn.
Not much is out there on this band, other than the fact that they went through a long period of uncertainty (even as far as the Village Voice accusing Shehan, saying that he “went crazy and more or less disappeared”).
Drama aside, Shehan has the post-grunge/emo sound dialed in and locked down. Tracks like The Gift Horse showcase why they are a perfect match to current tourmates Sunny Day Real Estate.
13 October 2009
The music of New Moon is completely perfect
The New Moon soundtrack isn't set to come out until October 20, but we're already hearing some of the songs from the album. It's going to be a good one that Twilight fans and non-Twilight fans alike, will fall in love with!
Have you ever bought the soundtrack to a movie you're not even interested in seeing? We know that not everyone is a Twilight fan (shocking, right?), but we think that plenty of non-Twilight fans would fall in love with the New Moon soundtrack. At least from what we've heard so far!
We're guessing fans of Bon Iver, Grizzly Bear, and Thom Yorke aren't exactly the biggest Twilight fans. Generally speaking. Well, now all of these indie bands are going to be getting a whole new fanbase- Twilight fans. The tracks we heard that leaked online are pretty exquisite. The bands didn't alter who they are for the soundtrack. But they each have songs that seem to fit perfectly with the New Moon storyline.
Our favorite song right now is Bon Iver's "Roslyn" because we can just picture Bella wandering through the woods searching for Edward so clearly. We still haven't heard the tracks from the Killers or Lykki Li and we're really looking forward to those!
To hear more from Girzzly Bear and Thom Yorke on the New Moon soundtrack head to Prefixmag.com.
Indie Bands to Watch 2009
9 months ago 04th Jan 11:00
Indie Bands to Watch 2009
Kings of Leon look to set 2009 on fire
For many indie bands 2008 has gone by a little to fast, but with 2009 just around the corner they are fighting at the bit to make it big in 09.
With our proverbial finger always on the pulse, we have the top fives bands to keep an ear out for in the forthcoming year.
Kings Of Leon
Comment on this Article
They may have been around for a while, but we predict that 2009 is going to be all about Kings of Leon. Their fourth album, 'Only by the Night' has been in the UK album charts for 12 weeks now, and is still climbing reaching a converted 4th position this week.
Their second release from the album, 'Use Somebody' climbed to number two in the charts, whilst their first hit 'Sex on Fire' is still hanging in at number 15. Since forming in 2000, the indie-rockers from Tennessee, have slowly been building up to what we predict is going to be an amazing 2009.
Kra Ra Riot
New York, indie band Ra Ra Riot released their debut album, 'The Rhumb Line' just a few months ago and it's getting some fantastic reviews. They have been touring with Vampire Weekend and made a few appearances in the UK throughout October and November.
'Can You Tell' and 'Ghost Under Rocks' from their album, are really great tunes and are well-worth having a listen too. Their sound is fresh and vibrant, complete with violins, catchy drum beats and smile-along lyrics.
The 'Black Kids' released their debut album 'Partie Traumatic' back in July 2008. Since then they have brought out catchy and successful singles, 'I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend...' and 'Hurricane Jane'.
Their album stormed in at number 5 in the UK charts, and they have been touring tirelessly across Europe since. They have been compared to Acade Fire and indie legends The Cure, and we think that much more is to come from these Florida-born, indie rockers.
Brooklyn-based indie band Motel Motel released their debut album 'New Denver', back in July 2008. Things have been a bit quiet since the release but we predict that big things are going to come from this band.
Their roots are indie/folk rock and they certainly have a distinctive sound that has to be heard. The single 'Coffee', realised on their EP, is a mix of rattling, old-time country and foot-tapping good riffs. Look out for these come 2009.
Our last prediction for 2009, is the unusually named, indie band Suckers. They have been compared to the legend that is Mr. David Bowie, and listening to their single 'Beach Queen' you can see why. Based in New York, Suckers have been named one of the top bands to look out for in 2009 by music website; Ear Farm and have even been noticed by Time Out magazine, New York. Easy to listen to and enjoy with their chilled out lyrics and keyboard-led melodies, we reckon that Suckers will be big in 2009.
So, those were our predictions for the forthcoming year in the wonderful world of indie music, and if these few bands are anything to go by, it's going to be a great year.
12 October 2009
New Indie Rock Songs of 2009: The Veils, Superchunk, Robert Gomez, King Khan and more
It's been a busy week so far with stories about, and songs from, Melpo Mene, Klum, Fearless Vampire Kills, Pope Joan, downdime, L'Avventura, Curvise and many others. During that time the queue with more new indie and alternative songs has filled up again. If you like any of the bands, check out their web sites.
Songs featured today include newbies from Texan singer-songwriter Robert Gomez, Georgia's King Khan and The Shrines, Portland's Tara Jean O'Neil and Brooklyn electronic DJ Throcke. But first up, let's start with two bands that released new music today, London's The Veils and alt-indie legends Superchunk.
"The Letter" - The Veils from Sun Gangs, out today, April 7
The Veils Website
"Misfits & Mistakes" - Superchunk from Leaves in the Gutter EP, out April 7
"On This Day" - Robert Gomez from Pine Sticks & Phosphorus, out April 14
Robert Gomez on MySpace
"Land of Freak" - King Khan and The Shrines from From What Is?!, out on April 21
King Khan and The Shrines on MySpace
"Drowning" - Tara Jane O'Neil from A Ways Away, out May 5
Tara Jane O'Neil on MySpace
"Starry" - Throcke from Sometimes Not Unpointful, out now
Throcke on MySpace
You can grab our RSS 'Feed Me Indie' so you never miss a beat, follow IRC on Twitter to get cool stuff that is sometimes not featured here or friend us on IRC's MySpace
11 October 2009
Top 100 Indie Songs of All Time
After a challenge from a reader (thanks Tacos) and few weeks of deliberation, we have finally arrived at our top 100 indie songs of all time. We ranked in chronological order because ranking best to worst would have involved a group of people hurting one another.
To the best of our knowledge, all the songs below were originally released on an indie label. We tried to limit each artist to one song for variety. Obviously certain bellwether bands had two songs included because we just couldn’t decide.
There are some songs you expect to see and some you don’t. Most people haven’t heard of Golden Bear, but we can’t stop listening to it. Hopefully in a 10 years it won’t seem as out of place on the same list as Pavement.
We had input from many people and would like to offer thanks to Moish, Drinking Buddy, Nick, Pete, Kevin, Doctor A and Jim for their suggestions. I’m sure we still missed several great tracks and will hear about it shortly.
1. Live Wire – Motley Crue – Too Fast For Love – Leathur Records – 1981
2. Lake of Fire – Meat Puppets – Meat Puppets II – SST – 1983
3. Sitting Still – REM – Murmur – I.R.S. Records – 1983
4. Spirit Walker – The Cult – Dreamtime – Beggars Banquet – 1984
5. I Will Dare – The Replacements – Let It Be – Restless Records – 1984
6. Corona – The Minutemen – Double Nickles On The Dime – SST – 1984
7. I Apologize – Husker Du – New Day Rising – SST – 1985
8. Just Like Honey – The Jesus and Mary Chain – Pyschocandy – Blanco y Negro – 1985
9. Monkey Gone To Heaven – Pixies – Doolittle – 4ad – 1988
10. Touch Me I’m Sick – Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff Plus Early Singles – Sub Pop – 1988
11. All Your Lies – Soundgarden – Ultramega OK – SST – 1988
12. Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation – SST – 1988
13. Freak Scene – Dinsosaur Jr. – Bug – SST – 1988
14. Express Yourself – N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton – Rutless Records – 1988
15. I Wanna Be Adored – The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses – Silvertone – 1989
16. About A Girl – Nirvana – Bleach – SubPop – 1989
17. Where Is My Mind – Pixies – SurferRosa – 4ad – 1989
18. Waiting Room – Fugazi – 13 Songs – Dischord – 1989
19. Whiskey Bottle – Uncle Tupelo – No Depression – Rockville Records – 1990
20. Did I Tell You – Yo La Tengo – Fakebook – Bar None – 1990
21. Slack Motherfucker – Superchunk – Superchunk – Merge Records – 1990
22. Everything Flows – Teenage Fanclub – A Catholic Education – Matador – 1990
23. Mouth Breather – The Jesus Lizard – Goat – Touch and Go – 1991
24. Summer Babe (Winter Version) – Pavement – Slanted & Enchanted – Matador Records – 1992
25. Sodajerk – Buffalo Tom – Big Red Letter Day – Beggars Banquet – 1993
26. I Am A Scientist – Guided By Voices – Bee Thousand – Scat Records – 1994
27. Skull – Sebadoah – Bakesale – Sub Pop – 1994
28. Cut Your Hair – Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain – Matador Records -1994
29. I’ll Be Coming Around – The Bottle Rockets – The Brooklyn Side – East Side Digital – 1994
30. Drank Like A River – Whiskeytown – Faithless Street – Mood Food – 1995
31. Have You Forgotten – Red House Painters – Songs for a Blue Guitar – Supreme Recordings – 1996
32. The Distance – Cake – Fashion Nugget – Capricorn Records – 1996
33. Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club – Buena Vista Social Club – Nonesuch Records – 1997
34. Victoria – Old 97’s – Wreck Your Life – Bloodshot Records – 1997
35. Me and The Major – Belle And Sebastian – If You’re Feeling Sinister – Matador – 1997
36. Between The Bars – Elliott Smith – Either/Or – Kill Rock Stars – 1997
37. Holland 1945 – Neutral Milk Hotel – In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Merge Records – 1998
38. Score From Augusta – Beulah – When Your Heartstrings Break – Sugar Free Records -1999
39. Ohio – Damien Jurado – Rehearsals For Departure – Sub Pop – 1999
40. To Be Young – Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker – Bloodshot Records – 2000
41. Later Days – The Mother Hips – Later Days – Mother Hips Records – 2000
42. You’re No Rock n’ Roll Fun – Sleater-Kinney – All Hands On The Bad One – Kill Rock Stars – 2000
43. Lines in the Suit – Spoon – Girls Can Tell – Merge – 2000
44. Lowdown – My Morning Jacket – At Dawn – Darla Records – 2001
45. New Slang – The Shins – Oh Inverted World – SubPop – 2001
46. Blacking Out The Friction – Death Cab For Cutie – The Photo Album – Barsuk Records – 2001
47. Let There Be Rock – Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera – New West Records – 2001
48. Castanets – Alejandro Escovedo – A Man Under The Influence – Blooshot Records – 2001
49. Feed Kill Chain – Jay Farrar – Sebastopol – Artemis – 2001
50. Yardwork In November – The Actual Tigers – Gravelled & Green – Nettwerk – 2001
51. Jesus, etc. – Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot – Nonesuch Records – 2002
52. Fell In Love With A Girl – The White Stripes – White Blood Cells – V2 – 2002
53. Talk To Me Dance With Me – Hot Hot Heat – Make Up The Breakdown – Sub Pop – 2002
54. Start The Party – The Dirtbombs – Dangerous Magical Noise – In The Red Records – 2003
55. Outfit – Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day – New West Records – 2003
56. Quattro (World Drifts In) – Calexico – Feast of Wire – Quarterstick Records – 2003
57. Stupid – The Long Winters – When I Pretend To Fall – Barsuk Records – 2003
58. Set You Free – The Black Keys – Thickfreakness – Fat Possum – 2003
59. Flashes & Cables – Centro-Matic – Love You Just The Same – Misra – 2003
60. Ha Ha – Mates of State – Team Boo – Polyvinyl Records – 2003
61. Free – Cat Power – You Are Free – Matador – 2003
62. Save It For A Rainy Day – The Jayhawks – Rainy Day Music – Lost Highway – 2003
63. Counting Down The Hours – Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Shake the Streets – Lookout – 2004
64. Me & Jiggs – Josh Ritter – The Golden Age of Radio – Signature Sounds – 2004
65. Neighborhood #3 – Arcade Fire – Funeral – Merge – 2004
66. How Junior Got His Head Pin Out – Mofro – Blackwater – Swampland – 2004
67. Evil – Interpol – Antics – Matador Records – 2004
68. Each Coming Night – Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days – Sub Pop – 2004
69. Nights Like These – Lucero – Tennessee – Madjack Records – 2004
70. Runnin – Heartless Bastards – Stairs and Elevators – Fat Possum – 2004
71. 99 Problems – DJ Danger Mouse – The Grey Album – Shaolin Records – 2004
72. We Are Nowhere And Its Now – Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake Its Morning– Saddle Creek – 2005
73. Druganaut – Black Mountain – Druganaut – Jagjaguwar- 2005
74. He Lays In The Reins – Calexico/Iron & Wine – In The Reins – Overcoat Recordings – 2005
75. The Skin Of My Yellow Country Teeth – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! – 2005
76. The Engine Driver – The Decemberists – Picaresque – Kill Rock Stars – 2005
77. Stevie Nix – The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday – French Kiss Records – 2005
78. The Dark Don’t Hide It – Magnolia Electric Co. – Secretly Canadian – 2005
79. Halloween – matt pond PA – Several Arrows Later – Polyvinyl – 2005
80. Secret Meeting – The National – Alligator – Beggars Banquet – 2005
81. The Bleeding Heart Show – New Pornogrpahers – Twin Cinema – Matador – 2005
82. For Real – Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy – Jagjaguwar – 2005
83. Lion’s Teeth – The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree – 2005
84. Come On! Feel The Illinoise! – Sufjan Stevens – Come on Feel the Illinoise – Asthmatic Kitty – 2005
85. Hell is Chrome – Wilco – A Ghost Is Born – Nonesuch Records – 2005
86. The Denial Twist – The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan – V2 – 2005
87. Love In Fear – The Constantines – Tournament of Hearts – Sub Pop – 2005
88. Helicopter – Bloc Party – Silent Alarm – Vice Recordings – 2005
89. Cherry Cola – Eagles of Death Metal – Death By Sexy – Downtown – 2006
90. Hold On, Hold On – Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings The Flood – Anti, Inc. -2006
91. Wolf Like Me – TV On The Radio – Return To Cookie Mountain – Touch and Go – 2006
92. Returning To The Fold – The Thermals – The Body, The Blood, The Machine – Sub Pop – 2006
93. In and Out of Love – Trainwreck Riders – Lonely Road Revival – Alive Records – 2006
94. Roscoe – Midlake – The Trials of Van Occupanther – Bella Union – 2006
95. Chinese Translation – M. Ward – Post-War – Merge – 2006
96. Ten Thousand Orchestras – Golden Bear – Golden Bear – C-Side Records – 2006
97. The Funeral – Band Of Horses – Everything All The Time-SubPop – 2006
98. Cursed Sleep – Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Drag City – 2006
99. Anthem For The Already Defeated – Rock Plaza Central – Are We Not Horses – Yep Roc – 2007
100. Mistreating Queen - Radio Moscow – Radio Moscow – Alive Records – 2007
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