Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Wishing everyone a merry Christmas!

Like I always say, you can't have Christmas without George Thorogood and the Destroyers... it's like serving Thanksgiving turkey without a chicken and duck stuffed inside it. Hopefully everyone made it home safely (and timely) for the holidays, and that everyone has a Rockin' & Rollin' Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Review: Cave Singers @ Neumos (12-11-08)

photo cred: Kyle Johnson

Last night, The Cave Singers performed to a very happy Thursday night crowd at Neumos. While I understand how cool it must be for the former Murder City Devils/Pretty Girls Make Graves members to play the same show, pairing Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death as an opener for The Singers was a bad idea. Noise-rock doesn't get me in the mood for folk-rock. Anyway, once The Cave Singers came on, it was apparent that they were going to treat Seattle to some new tunes. Having just returned from Vancouver where the band laid down tracks for a new album, Neumos may have been the first venue to witness these live performances. Throughout the course of the night, I'll bet we heard nearly 5-7 new songs, including an awesome boot-stomping screamer (same energy as "Dancing On Our Graves").

Highlights of the night included a duet performance of "Belmar" with ex-PGMG singer Andrea Zollo, various references to Ghostbusters II, a wild story involving a $40 fine on a lost porno DVD, and a beautiful encore-closer "After the First Baptism". Throughout the show, a very friendly Quirk (with one righteous beard) entertained the crowd with the help of some Jameson. Not the longest set, but all in all, a great performance from an even greater band. No word yet on when the new album will be released. Expect it to rival Invitation Songs in sound, especially after hearing the new material showcased last night.

Setlist: (in no particular order)
5-7 New Songs
Seeds of the Night
Belmar (duet with Andrea Zollo)
New Monuments
Oh Chistine
Dancing On Our Graves (last song of first set)
After The First Baptism (last song of the night)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reminder: Cave Singers @ Neumos (12-11-08)

Cave Singers in Seattle this Thursday (Dec 11)

Just a reminder to any Seattleites reading this (all two of you), The Cave Singers will be playing Neumos this Thursday. Tickets are still on sale, so get them quick before they sell out (they usually do). Back in October, the boys headed north to record their new record, which I assume is complete. If not, at least we'll get to hear some new jams. Head over to their MySpace page to hear an untitled new song - it's a very gentle folksy number.

*UPDATE: The new song (as of Dec 11) has been taken down from their MySpace page.

For some old jams, enjoy the video for "Dancing On Our Graves" - one of my favorite boot-stomping singles off of their debut LP Invitation Songs.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Three Colours' Top 13 Albums of 2008

After getting a big "fuck you" from Blogger according to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, I've had to re-write my top 13 albums of 2008. Rather than give the full rationale for each of my picks, I've now just submitted my list without explanation. I also did not post a sample song along with a link to purchase each album (which apparently got me in trouble to begin with). What angers me most is that the deleted post was nothing but praise for these albums, as well free exposure. I wasn't giving away entire albums, and the songs I posted were singles you'd hear on the radio. Lame...

So without further ado, I present Three Colours' Top 13 Albums of 2008 (once again), along with the most disappointing releases of the year.

13. Beck - Modern Guilt
12. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line
11. Department of Eagles - In Ear Park
10. Foals - Antidotes
09. The Black Keys - Attack & Release
08. Born Ruffians - Red, Yellow & Blue
07. Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
06. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
05. The Aliens - Luna
04. Beach House - Devotion

03. Plants and Animals - Parc Avenue
I tend to hate jam bands, so to pigeon-hole Plants and Animals as one would be a broad generalization and a huge disservice to the band. While Parc Avenue is at times "jam bandish", it also flirts with psychedelia, folk, and nearly any other sub-genre of classical rock. Yet another Montreal band that I've fallen in love with, this is a must-have album of 2008.

02. White Denim - Exposion
Definitely the most rocking album of 2008, White Denim's debut US LP showcases the range of styles these three dudes can cover. Exposion delivers eleven power-packed garage jams that span the entire rock & roll spectrum. Based on their versatility and range of sound, I'm expecting BIG things out of this Austin trio. Witnessing their live act this summer, the band broke out some new tunes that will make yet another solid release.

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
This timeless classic follows up their 2008 Sun Giant EP using the same working formula: simple three- and four-part block harmony, songs about friends and family, history, nature, and the things around the Pacific Northwest, unconventional song structures - sometimes putting two songs together as one, etc... Fleet Foxes, the band's self-titled debut album, is a wonderful collection of beautifully arranged folksy melodies. Lead singer Robin Pecknold's majestic cries, coupled with a lush composition of guitars, banjo, mandolin, and vocal harmonies equate to the number one album of 2008.

Honorable Mentions:
Ratatat - LP3
Black Mountain - In the Future
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty
The Raggedy Anns - The Prospector Joe EP

Most Disappointing of 2008:
While these albums are not necessarily bad (well, the TnT album blows hard), I just had very high expections and was not happy with the initial reactions upon listening to these highly anticipated releases. After giving these albums ample listens, I still feel that they did not deliver the satisfaction I had predicted. Who knows, maybe one day my mood will change and these will end up in the "Most Underappreciated Albums of 2008"??? Not likely, but you never know.

Tapes 'n Tapes - Walk It Off
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
Matt Costa - Unfamiliar Faces

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Handsome Furs - Face Control Cover Art

Face Control Cover Art Unveiled

Just posted at Sup Pop, the cover art for the Handsome Furs' sophomore LP looks pretty sweet. Featuring a rabid, frothy-mouthed dog in front of a bright, red background, Face Control is sure to grab buyers' attention. Unfortunately, also announced, the album is now set to drop March 10, 2009 (originally a February 3 release date).

Friday, December 5, 2008

Plants and Animals Video: "Feedback in the Field"

"Feedback in the Field" by Plants and Animals

This psychedelic number receives an equally trippy video. Plants and Animals just released a new video for their latest single, "Feedback in the Field". If you still don't own a copy of Parc Avenue (one of the best albums of 2008), go get yourself a copy for Christmas - an excellent stocking stuffer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP

Bon Iver to Release New EP in January

I'm a little late on this one, but it appears Jagjaguwar has announced that Bon Iver's next release will be entitled Blood Bank. The EP will consist of four songs, many of which have already been showcased during their latest North American tour, and it will drop in the US on January 20, 2009. A track listing is posted below, along with a live recording of the title track.

Blood Bank EP
  1. Blood Bank
  2. Beach Baby
  3. Babys
  4. Woods

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spoon's Monthy Bonus Tracks (nearly a year)

Spoon: Demos and Bonus tracks

Spoon has always been very generous to their fans (see Devils Dishes and You Could Say So Motherfucker Vol. 1 & 2) - so when the band announced on Valentine's Day '08 that they would be releasing a new demo track for every month through their website, I was very happy. With many thanks to fellow Spoon fan Peter Herron (see Peter's exhaustive Spoon discography here) for filling in the gaps of songs that I had missed over 2008, I now present the entire set of bonus tracks and their respective months for all to enjoy. Posted this month is a great live version of "The Beast and Dragon, Adored" which was recorded at a '05 Sydney show during their Gimme Fiction tour. I'm sure more tracks are to follow, I just wanted to post them here for anyone who wanted them. If anyone notices errors or has other songs I'm missing, please correct me. Enjoy!

"Paper Tiger" (live Sydney '05) February
"Eddie's Ragga" (demo) March
"Cherry Bomb" (country version) April #1
"I Turn My Camera On" (first version) April #2
"Don't Let It Get You Down" (demo) May
"Was It You" (demo) June
"Merchants of Soul" (demo) July
"You Gotta Feel It" (rehearsal) August
"My Mathematical Mind" (demo) September
"In The Right Place The Right Time" (demo) October
"Ghost" (Ga ga ga ga ga ga ga demo) November
"The Beast and Dragon" (live Sydney '05) December

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Miracle Fortress - Watery Grave EP

For anyone craving a new Miracle Fortress album,
whet your appetite with this oldie.

Released in the winter of 2005, this rare gem is worth the listen. Sadly, the debut EP is out of print and nearly impossible to find. Hopefully I've saved someone the trouble of an in-depth internet search. If you love Five Roses, this five-song release is a nice supplement for any Miracle Fortress craving.

Miracle Fortress - Watery Grave EP
If you're just discovering the beautiful soundscapes of tortured genius Graham Van Pelt for the first time, then head over to Secret City Records and buy yourself a copy of Five Roses or their newest single "Have You Seen In Your Dreams" - you won't regret it.