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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Do you ever come across a song that is just so appealing that you immediately want to know all the lyrics? That way, you can sound like (less of) an idiot when you’re singing on your commute. You try just listening to the song over and over, but that only works for about half the words. The rest you’re still making up your own nonsense words to.

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There are a lot of great albums out so far this year, but my stand-out favorite has to be w h o k i l l, the second album by Oakland-based tUnE-yArDs.  tUnE-yArDs was originally a solo project for musician Merrill Garbus, but for her second album, instrumentalist Nate Brenner works with her, along with some touring saxophones.

Similar to my experience with GIVERS, I found tUnE-yArDs largely by happenstance.  This year, I was at SXSW with a  gap in my schedule.  I saw that tUnE-yArDs was playing the NPR party and, having heard the track “Bizness” a few times, decided to check it out.  tUnE-yArDs started playing “Gangsta,” and when Merrill’s vocals came in, I got goosebumps.  I was hooked.

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I first heard about GIVERS in a serendipitous way.  Someone on my twitter feed had mentioned seeing them open for the Dirty Projectors in Georgia, and I happened to look them up.  Not only were the tracks on their myspace pretty jamming, but they were playing in Houston the next night.  Perfect opportunity to check them out.

Well, the show blew me away.  GIVERS has an infectious energy that the crowd can’t help but pick up.  A few songs in, I had abandoned the typical arms-crossed-standing-in-the-back-tapping-my-foot pose and was dancing along with everyone else in the tiny venue.

Each time I’ve seen them, everyone in GIVERS looks like they are having the time of their lives.  Watching them, you can’t help but be drawn into it.   Last night, GIVERS had a chance to showcase their indie pop on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.  Check it out, then pick up their first full-length, In Light.

Belle & Sebastian’s new video for “Come On Sister,” off last year’s album Write About Love, is a vision of the future.  Since fans like us no longer actually buy music, Stuart Murdoch can’t afford to spend his days writing us indie pop ditties.  Instead, he spends them working at a landfill to pay the bills.  Other band members work equally dull jobs, including selling ice cream, making dentures, and participating in what looks to be a rather sketchy direct-mail business.  It will be the day the music dies.

Not really, but it is a cute video.  Feel free to keep on illegally downloading, but do pick up the record on vinyl or grab some merch to keep the hits coming.

You can measure how good a summer show in Houston is based on a sweat index- that is, how sweaty the band (and the audience) are willing to get in pursuit of a good show.  And by that index, The Thermals‘ set at Fitzgerald’s was a killer one.  A few songs in, all three members of the band were, as bassist Kathy Foster put it, “glistening.”  By the end of the show, you could have upgraded it from “glistening” to “soaked.”

The heat couldn’t stop the band or the audience.  Fitzgerald’s was packed with fans who were singing and thrashing from the first few notes.  The show was exactly what a show at a divey rock club should be:  packed, loud, fast, and fun.  The band played a mix of new and old material, including crowd favorites like “No Culture Icons.”  The people at the front were going crazy, of course, but the enthusiasm made its way throughout the venue.

All in all, one of the most enjoyable shows I’ve seen in a while.  The Thermals are on tour for the rest of June with Matt and Kim.  If they are making a stop in your town, you should definitely check them out.  The tour schedule (and a bit more) after the jump. Read More

What is it with exclamation points that instantly draw me to a band?  Los Campesinos!, I’m looking at you.

It probably has something to do with the fact that if you punctuate your band with an exclamation, it’s a hint that you’re a band that doesn’t take yourself too seriously.  Which, in a world of very, very serious indie music, is absolutely perfect sometimes.

Today, I’m talking about The Go! Team, a Brighton-based band* that’s been putting out high energy songs (and even higher energy live shows) for the past few years.  They recently performed at Brooklyn Bowl, and Baeblemusic was there to catch it on film.

Below, watch The Go! Team perform “Buy Nothing Day” off their most recent album, Rolling Blackouts, then head over to Baeblemusic to catch the rest of the show.  It’s the perfect Friday soundtrack to keep you smiling until the weekend.

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*Try saying that 5 times fast. Now try this one: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.”  Good job.

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