Local Natives’ Gorilla Manor is amazing. Let me know if that requires any further explanation. The latest from the L.A. indie outfit is a video for my favorite track off the album, “Who Knows, Who Cares.” The video provides some feel-good visuals for the feel-good track as the band and friends frolic in the sunny countryside. Would have been nice if this was released a couple months ago though — rest in peace summer. If you were lucky enough to get tickets, make sure to check out Local Natives at their sold-out 9:30 Club show tonight.
Stepdad’s “My Leather, My Fur, My Nails” is a wacky 8-bit anthem packaged and ready for pop domination. The Grand Rapids trio takes electro-pop to the extreme, backing infectious but biting lyrics with some fuzzy, light-hearted synths pulled straight out of Kirby’s Dreamland. The band recently released a visual treatment for the jam, rivaling MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” as the most delightfully trippy video ever. If Windows ’98 stayed out in the desert for a few more days after Burning Man, you’d get the mesmerizing video posted above. If you like what you hear, don’t forget to download the band’s Ordinaire EP for just a buck here.
It’s been only five months since the release of Foals’ Total Life Forever and the band is alreadyfivevideosdeep. The Oxford math-rockers channel Napoleon Dynamite in their latest video for the album opener, “Blue Blood,” only in a far more adorable and awesome way. If this kid was on Dancing with the Stars, I’d be watching.
Join us in welcoming our good friend Gerard Gallucci to the ATG family. Accomplished diplomat, international peacekeeper, shark wrestler — Mr. Gallucci is all of these things, but most importantly he is a man with an ear for what’s good.Jerry will be writing here from time to time on music that us young folk may have missed out on, if not for our ignorance then by fault of our late births. So gather ’round kids, it’s time to get educated.
I’m new here. You can consider me a possibly cool geezer – I’m listening to Broken Social Scene, Bon Iver, Freelance Whales and Arcade Fire these days when I am not lost in space-time. I’ll occasionally pull things from the distant past that may still be a good listen. First time out, I’ll grab something from the Prog Rock bag – Yes. Yes, Yes. Quintessentially prog and by some considered a bit heavy, their 1983 release 90125 is anything but. Cuts “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” “Hold On,” “It Can Happen,” “Changes” and “Leave It” offer great riffs and just fly. 90125 introduced pop guitar and discordancy into their music and brought Yes a reprieve. But there was no development and while the band continued for another two decades, not much after 90125 is worth the listening. Now, what they did from 1971-74, that still makes me high. That’s for another day.
I’d like to keep this eulogy short. The passing of As Tall As Lions should be less of a reason for me to go on about how amazing the Long Island four-piece is and more of a call for those of you who have missed out to familiarize yourself with one of the better bands of the past decade. I will say, however, that the indie rock quartet’s 2006 self-titled release is one of the most beautiful albums I’ve listened to in my lifetime. If you don’t believe me, check out “Ghost of York” below. The band has scheduled three final shows in December. If you live anywhere near LA, Chicago, or New York, I highly suggest you go.
It’s hard to believe that the Young Veins were birthed by former members of Panic! at the Disco. The California five-piece strays far from the carnival pop-punk of its predecessor and instead draws from the tried sounds of the Beach Boys and brit-pop of decades past. It isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it’s fresh and damned catchy. Check out the new 70’s-inspired video for the title track and latest single off of their debut album, Take a Vacation!, above.
Can somebody tell Portugal. the Man to take it easy? At the rate they’ve been popping out albums, you’d think these guys were the biggest Catholics in the game. Since the release of their utterly amazing debut album, Waiter: “You Vultures!”, back in 2006, the band has released six full-lengths and a handful of EP’s. To top it all off, the recent Atlantic signees already started writing new material back in May of this year, only two months after releasing their latest album, American Ghetto. With all that said, this post doesn’t have anything to do with new material. In fact, it’s a video the band just released for “People Say,” the first track off of 2009’s The Satanic Satanist. Check out their comically disturbing take on tech support above.
Klaxons‘ show at the 9:30 Club with Baby Monster this past Tuesday was long overdue. Having sparingly made any live appearances since 2009, this tour was the first chance for stateside fans to catch a glimpse of the band since their rise to indie stardom off of the seminal Myths of the Near Future and in anticipation of the US release of their second album, Surfing the Void. The band split their set pretty evenly between the two albums. It was nice to hear live renditions of Surfing, especially given that the band was forced to re-record it after being told by their label that the album was too experimental. Although the final result is far from inaccessible, you could get the sense at the show that the band’s latest work is a bit darker and more psychedelic than their older material. That is, until they exploded into “Echoes,” the first single off of new album and perhaps my favorite Klaxons track yet.
Although the show was a great exhibition of Klaxons’ new material, it was also a powerful reminder of how amazing Myths of the Near Future was. It’s unbelievable how many amazing tracks were packed onto that album. There were no glaring omissions in their set list as Klaxons powered through the record’s best, including “Golden Skans,” “Gravity’s Rainbow,” and “Two Receivers.” The highlight of the show (aside from the Peace Walker) was the closer, “Atlantis to Interzone.” The raucous new-rave anthem set the room on fire and brought a pleasant end to what had been an amazing night.
Although not as blaring as former Sargent House label-mates and recent ATG favorites Tera Melos, Maps & Atlases have also been known for their quirky variety of math rock. Seriously, these dudes have dropped guitar riffs angular enough to put Pythagoras to shame. The Chicago four-piece’s latest release, Perch Patchwork,sees the band’s usual eccentricity infused with a hefty dose of melodic pop and folk. The result is an album that is a hell of a lot more accessible than their first two EP’s but still fresh and interesting. The guys recently released a video for their soulful single, “Solid Ground,” which you can watch above. Perch Patchwork is out now on Barsuk Records.
Tera Melos’ transition from abrasive math-core to a strangely infectious brand of experimental pop-rock is impressive, not only because of the vast difference between those two sounds, but for the amount of praise they’ve gotten since that change. Not a day has gone by without me hearing some acclaim of the band’s latest album, Patagonian Rats. I’m a fan either way and glad that Tera Melos are finally getting the attention they deserve. Check out the eerie pill-and-ground-meat-laden video for the album’s latest single, “Frozen Zoo,” above — perhaps you’ll find yourself unexpectedly hooked. Patagonian Rats is out now on Sargent House.
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