Wednesday, December 23, 2009

[Homeward Bound]

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

[new music] Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP iTunes Release

CWK - Behave Yourself EP at iTunes

Cold War Kids finally released new material after what feels like a long break since Loyalty to Loyalty. Physical copies of the EP Behave Yourself won't drop until January 19, 2010, but you can now pick up a digital copy exclusively over at iTunes.

For a sample track, head over to RCRD LBL and listen to "Audience."

[news] Spoon Interviews Howie Weinberg


Interview with mastering engineer Howie Weinberg

For those unfamiliar with Howie Weinberg, there's a great chance you've listened to his work without knowing it. Weinberg is a mastering engineer that has worked on seminal albums by some of the world's most influential bands. Said albums of note (a full list here) include Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill, Nirvana's Nevermind, Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger, Smashing Pumpkins' Gish, Siamese Dream, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, Adore, Machina... and now Spoon's new album Transference. He's got the gift of knowing how to ensure that an album sounds good.

The above video is of Spoon's Britt Daniel and Jim Eno interviewing Weinberg about his work on the band's seventh studio album Transference. It's worth checking out, and nice to hear him describe the LP as "rootsier" and "dirtier" than Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

In other news, a big congrats to Spoon for winning Metacritic's "Artist of the Decade" title. To see the criteria for the award, as well as a list of the other winners, read the full article here.

Pre-order :: Spoon - Transference (released 1-19-2010)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

[new music] Moonface - Dreamland EP Hear it Now!

Own a copy today!

You can now acquire a digital copy of Moonface's Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums over at the Moonface website. Purchased through a Radiohead-style "pay what you want" donation, the one-song, 20 minute long EP is then available for download once the transaction is complete. If you're more of a material kind of person, you can pre-order yourself a physical copy (12" vinyl only) over at InSound for $15 (release date is January 26).

The Moonface website seems to be receiving a lot of heavy traffic, which has the tendency to crash. Be persistent, and it'll eventually go through with the purchase.

Pre-Order :: Moonface - Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums

Monday, December 14, 2009

[new music] Moonface - Dreamland EP Pre-Order

Pre-Order Now

You can now pre-order a 12" copy of Moonface's Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums over at InSound (also, you may notice that the album blurb sounds quite familiar). Spencer Krug's dream-inspired EP will only set you back $15, but you'll have to wait until January 26 of the new year. Here's hoping the digital copies will become available sooner for pre-order buyers...

Pre-Order :: Moonface - Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Three Colours' Year End List (2009)

Not another Year End List

After a somewhat mediocre year of music in 2008, the last year of the aughts brought us some solid releases from a handful of indie veterans as well as some surprise gems. All in all, 2009 has been a great one. So in Three Colours’ opinion, here’s the best music of 2009.

Top 20 Albums 0f 2009
20. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears – Tell 'Em What Your Name Is
19. The Whitest Boy Alive – Rules
18. The Cave Singers – Welcome Joy
17. We Were Promised Jetpacks – These Four Walls
16. Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
15. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
14. Brazos – Phosphorescent Blues
13. Franz Ferdinand – Tonight
12. Elvis Perkins in Dearland – S/T LP
11. Taken By Trees – East of Eden

10. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
French electro-pop rockers Phoenix treated us with the feel-good album of the year that’s just begging you to dance.

9. Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer / Introducing Moonface
While it’s probably cheating to count both of these as one entry, I went ahead anyway. Sunset Rubdown stripped away the gloss of Random Spirit Lover to return with the powerfully dark Dragonslayer. Moonface treated the hardcore fans with two softly beautiful tracks.

8. Say Hi – The Oohs and Aahs
The very talented one-man-band from Seattle, Eric Elbogen's Say Hi, finally strikes gold with its sixth full-length indi-pop/low-fi masterpiece.

7. Telekinesis – Telekinesis!
This self-titled debut is chock-full of fresh, tender kicks from Seattle’s Telekinesis, another one-man-band fronted by multi-instrumental Michael Benjamin Lerner.

6. White Rabbits – It's Frightening
Hiring the helping-hand of Britt Daniel for the production of their sophomore effort, White Rabbits paired down the big-band arrangements of Fort Nightly to create a more minimalist record that’s frighteningly awesome.

5. Julian Plenti – Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper
After three terrific albums with Interpol, lead singer Paul Banks explores his creative side with the solo project Julian Plenti. Using his new musical vehicle for more experimental ventures, Banks has delivered some very interesting sounds without upsetting the Interpol fan base. Catching these guys live only made this album more appreciated.

4. Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
Following up the Polaris Prize winning debut Close to Paradise, Patrick Watson returns with an even stronger follow-up. Accompanied by lush orchestration and eerie vocals, Wooden Arms plays out like an epic fantasy novel, transporting the listener to otherworldly dreamscapes. Secret City Records hits another home run with this release.

3. The xx – xx
Taking me by complete surprise, South London’s The xx have released an absolute gem with their debut album xx. Not only did the xx make it to number three on this list, the band also won “Rookie of the Year” honors with this LP. Sounding very little like any band currently out there, the xx succeed by truly exposing themselves, making their lyrics sound like they’re directly from the heart. The minimalist, indie touch on soft R&B-styled tracks creates catchy, hook-laden instant classics.

2. White Denim – Fits
After landing Exposion as the second best album in 2008’s year end list, White Denim returned with Fits to re-claim their position for 2009. Delivering in one album what some bands strive to achieve over an entire career, Fits blasts all the grooves with no apologies. The band has been melting faces across Europe through aggressive touring. With the superb craftsmanship of Fits, White Denim is finally starting to garner the respect they so truly deserve – they recently signed with Downtown and were able to drop their first indie label record late this year.

1. Handsome Furs – Face Control
Handsome Furs totally blew my mind with Face Control. Upon first listen, each song firmly planted its hooks into my brain, proving to be one of the catchiest LPs of the year. The fact that this album ceases to wear itself out after nearly 12 months of heavy rotation is exactly why this album landed itself at the top of 2009. Handsome Furs proved that some bands aren’t affected by the “sophomore slump.” Face Control is to Judgment Day as Plague Park is to Terminator: same great vision, however, the sequel was executed to perfection.

Honorable Mentions
• The Blakes – Souvenir
• Black Math Horseman – Wyllt
• Islands - Vapours
• Volcano Choir – Unmap
• Swan Lake – Enemy Mine


Top 5 EPs of 2009
1. Beirut - March of the Zapotec EP
2. Spoon - Got Nuffin EP
3. Bon Iver - Blood Bank EP
4. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears - S/T EP
5. The Blakes - Lights On EP

Best Shows Attended in 2009
(I missed some really good ones this year)
1. Spoon / Black Joe Lewis @ Crystal Ballroom (12-11-09)
2. White Denim @ The Tractor (4-5-09)
3. Julian Plenti @ Chop Suey (11-16-09)
4. White Rabbits @ The Crocodile (6-22-09)
5. Department of Eagles / The Cave Singers @ Neumos (1-28-09)
6. Plants and Animals @ Nectar (3-17-09)
7. Telekinesis / The Cave Singers @ Lawnapalooza (5-14-09)
8. Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears @ The Tractor (5-22-09)
9. The Blakes @ Neumos (9-29-09)
10. Dr. Dog / The Cave Singers / Golden Boots @ The Crocodile (4-14-09)
11. We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Neumos (9-16-09)
12. The Cave Singers @ Easy Street Records (8-18-09)

Most Disappointing Albums
We at Three Colours usually follow a strict policy when writing about bands. If it’s good music, we love it up and praise it through reviews. If it’s bad, we simply neglect to mention it. There’s no point ripping up someone’s hard work, it’s just that the music simply failed to hit the right chord with us. On the year-end list, however, we do point out a few instances over the year where a band we’ve loved has let us down. It’s possible that these albums require an amazingly high number of listens before they are truly appreciated, but up until this point, we haven’t reached that just yet. Hopefully on next year’s list, we can place these in the “Most Underappreciated Albums of 2009” category. But right now, this is how we feel about these disappointingly weak releases.

1. Pearl Jam – Backspacer
What happened to Pearl Jam, I ask? Where’s the angst, the fight, or the emotion? Perhaps living in Seattle too long and becoming a father mellows the soul. Or perhaps Mr. Eddie "Antitrust" Vedder has finally sold out, complete with an exclusive Target release. Now that PJ are on their own label, they should have the freedom to fully explore the creative spirit that once brought us greats like Vitalogy and No Code. Instead, Backspacer does nothing but bore. The first single “The Fixer” was a Trojan horse – catchy, upbeat, and a totally different than rest of the album. In the time of American Idol, I at least thought the fathers of grunge would have served up something better than an LP full of family-friendly generic rock.

2. Silversun Pickups – Swoon
After absolutely eating up Carnivas, my expectations for a follow-up were admittedly sky-high. I’m not even sure how to describe it, but Swoon just fails where Carnivas excelled. I’d rather have bands sit on a record until it’s absolutely great (see Fleet Foxes) than meet the fans’ demands and release something that hurriedly soulless (see Tapes ‘n Tapes).

3. Nouvelle Vague – 3
For those of you unfamiliar with Nouvelle Vague, two dudes got together to remake a bunch of our favorite “New Wave” classics with the aid of sexy French and Portugese female voices. The first two efforts were nothing short of fabulous. The main criterion for each cover, that no lead singer had ever heard the original version of the song, made each interpretation an entirely new sounding track. With high hopes on NV’s third LP (fittingly entitled 3), I was grossly disappointed to find out that the original singers from each track performed duets. The song selection was sub-par and the overall finished product left me wanting to forget that 3 had ever been released.

Most Anticipated Albums of 2010
1. Spoon - Transference
2. Plants and Animals - TBA
3. Spencer Krug – Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums
4. Fleet Foxes – TBA
5. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
6. Miracle Fortress – TBA

For the full list of anticipated albums, check out the Three Colours' 2010 Music Forecast.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

[review] Spoon @ Crystal Ballroom (12-11-2009)

Spoon Gives Fans a December to Remember

All week long, local radio station 94.7 KNRK has been hosting a string of fantastic shows at Portland's Crystal Ballroom as a part of their December to Remember series. Saving the best acts for last, Friday night kicked off with a killer performance from Austin's Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. Comically sporting a Tiger Woods hat, Black Joe Lewis tore through a funky, soul-filled performance featuring songs from the highly entertaining Tell 'Em What Your Name Is. Highlights from the set were "Big Booty Woman," "Get Yo Shit," and "I'm Broke."

Next up on the night was LA's Anya Marina. She only performed two songs in a short acoustic set, which I found as slightly odd. Her second song, "Satellite Heart," was apparently one that she wrote for the New Moon soundtrack. The very mention of New Moon erupted a number of boos from the crowd. No surprise there...

Last on the bill was Spoon. Treating their home-away-from-home with a rare sneak-peak of their upcoming album, the band kicked off their 22-song set with "Mystery Zone." Hearing it live, I may have changed my mind on how I feel about this new track. I don't love it, but I think it's better than my first impression. Wasting no time with in-between-song chatter, Spoon catapulted into an extra groovy "Don't You Evah," then brought out the Honeybears' horn section for "You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb" and "Stay Don't Go." Who knew that "Stay Don't Go" would sound so amazing with horns? Best song of the night! We were then treated with another new track: the punk-inspired "Is Love Forever?" which I think sounded pretty good. They blew through some Spoon concert staples, but we also got to hear a few more tracks off Transference. In particular, the new single "Written In Reverse" was a home run. I was lukewarm about "Trouble Comes Running," but my spirits were soon lifted by "Target," "Fitted Shirt," and many other Spoon classics. The Honeybears returned for the set closers to enhance Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga's "The Underdog" and "Rhthm & Soul."

If the concert had ended right there, I would have been able to go home with a permagrin, but Spoon returned for a 4-song encore. "Black Like Me" started it all off and sounded as good as ever, however, I was completely blow away by what followed: the live version of "Got Nuffin" sent chills down my spine. Lead singer Britt Daniel even announced that it was the best "Got Nuffin" performance they've ever had. The night ended with "The Way We Get By" and a rocking rendition of "Jonathan Fisk."

This was, hands down, the best Spoon show I've attended! Hopefully they'll return to the Pacific Northwest after Transference drops and grace the city of Seattle with an equally awesome show. A full set list is posted below:

Spoon set list (12-11-2009):
Mystery Zone
Don't You Evah
You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb (w/ horns)
Stay Don't Go (w/ horns)
Is Love Forever?
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
The Ghost of You Lingers
Written in Reverse
I Turn My Camera On
Trouble Comes Running
Don't Make Me A Target
Fitted Shirt
They Never Got You
I Summon You
Small Stakes
My Mathematical Mind
The Underdog (w/ horns)
Rhthm and Soul (w/ horns)
Encore:
Black Like Me
Got Nuffin
The Way We Get By
Jonathan Fisk

Friday, December 11, 2009

[tonight] Spoon @ Crystal Ballroom (12-11-2009)

Last reminder - Spoon in Portland

Spoon will be playing in Britt's hometown of Portland, OR, tonight (December 11) at the Crystal Ballroom. If you're happen to live in the Pacific Northwest, this would be a great time to catch many of the new jams from the band's upcoming seventh LP Transference, which won't be released until January 19, 2010. Also, stage support includes Black Joe Lewis, which means you'll get to hear a handful of tracks backed by the Honeybears' horn section. The rest of the short tour is posted below. If you're not close to any of these cities, fret not: this is just a pre-tour teaser. After Transference drops, expect a more appropriate world tour.

Spoon tour dates:

DEC 11 - Portland, Oregon - Crystal Ballroom (w/ Black Joe Lewis)
DEC 12 - La Jolla, CA - RIMAC Arena
DEC 31 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater (w/ Jay Reatard)
FEB 14 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
FEB 15 - Manchester, UK - Academy 3
FEB 16 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
FEB 18 - Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
FEB 19 - Cologne, Germany - Luxor
FEB 20 - Berlin, Germany - Frannz Club

[news] White Denim - West Coast Tour Dates (2010)


White Denim back in Seattle

After taking a brief holiday break from touring the Eastern 48, White Denim return to the road and are heading west! Below are the dates, which include a Neumos visit on January 24 (Sunday). Tickets are $10 and available through Ticketwest, or at Rudy's Barbershop. Stage support includes Austin's very own Brazos. Mark this on your calendar, and pick up a copy of their groove-bomb Fits if you haven't already.

White Denim tour dates:
1/16 - Club Congress - Tucson, AZ
1/17 - Casbah - San Diego, CA
1/19 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA
1/20 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
1/22 - Doug Fir - Portland, OR
1/23 - Media Club - Vancouver, BC
1/24 - Neumos - Seattle, WA
1/26 - Urban Lounge - Salt Lake, UT
1/27 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO

Buy :: White Denim - Fits (LP/CD/iTunes)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

[news] Plants and Animals - New Album Complete

Season Greetings from P&A

Arriving via email today was a holiday cheer from Plants and Animals, complete with this great Photoshop pic of drummer Matthew Woodley. On it was news of the new album's completion and a handful of live dates. There's not really much more info about the album that Woodley didn't say in his interview (here) - I'd love to hear the album's working title, or what date the band plans to release it (other than in 2010). Here's what was actually said:
The new record is finished. Now we wait around while the industry types play golf tournaments and do bizness. Then it hits the streets!
Anyway, the fact that's the wheels are in motion for a new LP is enough to make my day. Below are the dates for some upcoming shows, as well as a video of there very awesome "Feedback in the Field" from the lovely Parc Avenue.

Plants and Animals tour dates:

January 23 - La Fl├Ęche D’or - PARIS, FR
January 26 - MIDEM – Morrison’s Lounge - CANNES, FR
January 28 - Paragon Theatre - HALIFAX, CA
January 29 - L’Osmose – U de Moncton - MONCTON, CA
January 30 - The Capital - FREDRICTON, CA
February 17 - Ninksai - QUEBEC CITY, CA
March 17-21 - SXSW - AUSTIN TX

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

[video] Handsome Furs - "A Great Decision" (New Song)


Handsome Furs showcase new song!

Originally posted over at Snakes Got A Blog, Handsome Furs were filmed performing a new song "A Great Decision" at Lee's Palace (Toronto, Ontario) on December 5, 2009. After conquering the world through extensive touring/sight seeing, I'd be surprised if this is the only new tune the band has written since Face Control. I can only imagine how great the studio cut will sound...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

[reminder] Spoon @ Crystal Ballroom (12-11-2009)

photo cred: Sandy Carson
Spoon to play Portland this Friday

For those in the Pacific Northwest who are wanting a sneak peak at Spoon's upcoming album Transference (to be released January 19, 2010), the band just so happens to be playing in Portland this Friday at the Crystal Ballroom. Listeners are bound to hear a few new tunes in the mix should they attend. Tickets are still on sale (here) for $33 after all the bullshit Ticketmaster surcharges. Opening for Spoon is Austin's very own Black Joe Lewis, complete with his big brass band. For those unfamiliar with this pairing of acts, expect the incorporation of horns during songs like "Underdog," "Jonathan Fisk," and "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb."

This show is the week finale for a series of concerts put on by local Portland radio station 94.7 fm. Dubbed the "December to Remember," the lineup this week at the Crystal Ballroom has been insane! Check out the list of shows below.

12-7 (Monday) - Passion Pit w/ Hockey
12-8 (Tuesday) - Metric w/ Band of Skulls
12-9 (Wednesday) - The Bravery w/ Airborne Toxic Event
12-10 (Thursday) - Vampire Weekend w/ White Rabbits
12-11 (Friday) Spoon w/ Black Joe Lewis

Friday, December 4, 2009

[news] Wolf Parade - LP #3

Wolf Parade back in the studio

Officially news (via Wolf Parade fan-site) according to Arlen Thompson, Wolf Parade are back in the studio recording the band's third LP. Hopefully the band stays on track and makes the "early spring" release goal. Here's what what was said:
The record is going well. We’re just starting songwriting. We’ll be in the studio tracking at Hotel2Tango at the end of February and are trying to have the record finished by early spring.
In other news, Spencer Krug is set to release the highly anticipated Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums through his newest vehicle Moonface. Expect the album to drop January 26 via Jagjaguwar.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

[new music] Spoon - Transference Pre-Order

Pre-Order ASAP and Receive T-Shirt Bundle

Keep the Spoon news coming! You can now pre-order a copy of Spoon's upcoming album Transference and receive a special edition t-shirt (see above). The album drops January 19, 2010. Check out prices below for each package:

Pre-Order :: CD [$13]
Pre-Order :: LP [$15]
Pre-Order :: CD + T-shirt [$30]
Pre-Order :: LP + T-shirt [$32]

[mp3] Spoon - "Japanese Cigaratte Case" December Bonus Track


In the month of December, Spoon offers up another bonus track. Back in June, we were treated with a demo version of "Japanese Cigarette Case," however it seems this song took many tries before the flamenco guitar-style became the standard. Check out this demo version entitled "Japanese Cigarette Case (delay song)."

Oh, and if you haven't heard, Spoon's first single off their new album Transference was released today. Grab the digital single for "Written In Reverse" here.

MP3: Spoon - "Japanese Cigarette Case" (delay song demo)
(December Bonus Track)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Three Colours' 2010 Music Forecast

Anticipation Builds as 2010 Rapidly Approaches

2009 was a fantastic year, but Three Colours is already looking ahead with anticipation as some great music is already on its way. With the end of the aughts only weeks away, a list below has been compiled of the top albums and EPs already slated for the new year. Get amped!

Confirmed in 2010
Vampire Weekend - Contra (January 12)
Spoon - Transference (January 19)
RJD2 - The Colussus (January 19)
Cold War Kids - Behave Yourself EP (January 19)
Moonface - Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums (January 26)
Beach House - Teen Dream (January 26)
Yeasayer - Odd Blood (February 9)
Shout Out Louds - Work (February 23)
Steve Mason - Boys Outside (March 10)
LCD Soundsystem - TBA (March)
Black Keys - TBA (April)
Interpol - TBA (Early 2010)
Plants and Animals - TBA (Early 2010)
MGMT - Congratulations (Spring)
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach (Second quarter of 2010)

Rumored in 2010
Wolf Parade
White Denim
Miracle Fortress
Radiohead
Thom Yorke
Born Ruffians
Fleet Foxes
Sufjan Stevens
Arcade Fire
Foals
Strokes
Battles
Caribou
Cold War Kids
Treasure Hunt

[news] Spoon - Transference Cover Art

Transference gets a face

Over at Stereogum, the new album cover of Spoon's seventh studio LP Transference was just unveiled. I remember reading an interview a while back with Britt Daniel (via Pitchfork) where he said that picking the album cover art was a very important selection process. In order to choose an image, Daniel said this:
[Almost] always it's just been looking through photos, or art books, or images online. I always say I want a striking image. The only time we didn't do that is when we hired Sean McCabe to do the cover for Gimme Fiction. He took that photo himself, and I love that cover. I think it's probably our best cover.
Keeping with the theme, Spoon has picked William Eggleson's Sumner, Mississippi, c. 1970 for their newest cover.

"Written in Reverse," the first single off Transference, drops tomorrow digitally. See the Beatles-esque cover art below.

UPDATE: You can now listen to the studio version of "Written In Reverse" (here) on NPR's All Songs Considered. According to the host Robin Hilton, he got an early copy of Transference and he's been "listening to it pretty nonstop." He also thinks "it might be the band's best [album] yet."

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

[video] Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"


Yeasayer's new video (Not Safe for Viewing at Work)

The first single off of Yeasayer's upcoming album Odd Blood now has a video. "Ambling Alp," one of ten tracks to appear on the follow-up to All Hour Cymbals has already gotten many spins from me since they offered the single free (here). The video, a visually stunning compliment to the otherworldly tune, joins Sigur Ros and Flaming Lips as yet another weird video featuring running nudes.

Odd Blood drops February 9 on Secretly Canadian.

Warning :: Video has artfully tasteful nudity - not safe for work.

Download: Yeasayer - "Ambling Alp"

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

[news] Spoon - Transference New Release Date & Single

Spoon even sooner!

Announced over at Merge Records:
The wait for Spoon’s new album, Transference, will be a little shorter! Transference will now be released on January 19, 2010.

Produced by the band, Transference will be preceded by first single “Written In Reverse,” which will be released digitally December 1. A seven-inch vinyl release will follow January 5 featuring the exclusive B-side “Mean Red Spider,” which will not be available digitally. We will begin taking pre-orders for Transference and the “Written in Reverse” 7″ on Tuesday, December 1st.

To hear a live version of "Written In Reverse" from 2008, follow the link below. I wonder if "Mean Red Spider" and Get Nice's "Mean Mad Margaret" sound anything alike?

UPDATE: Due to a DMCA complaint, I can no longer provide a link to the live bootlegged copy of "Written In Reverse."

[reminder] The xx @ Neumos (11-27-2009)


The xx in Seattle

Just a friendly reminder to all who managed to nab tickets for this Friday's show - South London's The xx will be playing Neumos as stage support for Friendly Fires. For those of you who are just finding out about it now, this show is unfortunately sold out. Hopefully the band will gain enough popularity that would warrant a headliner tour later this year. Their album is one of the best 2009 has to offer. If you don't have it, get it now (here). To further entice you, listen to "Islands" and "Basic Space," two greats off the band's debut album xx.

Monday, November 23, 2009

[new music] Spencer Krug's Moonface - Dreamland EP

Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums

Back in January in an interview by Stereogum, Spencer Krug (of Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake) reported that he'd been tinkering with a marimba/drum project for nearly two years. Krug had this to say:
"[The marimba is] an instrument that I've always liked, but I've never had the patience to bring on the road or even try recording. I don't think it's the coolest move for my 'street cred,' but it's a beautiful sounding instrument, what can I say?"
According to Jagjaguwar, Spencer Krug's experimental solo project has been given the name Moonface and will be releasing the 20 minute Dreamland EP: marimba and shit-drums on January 26, 2010 (the same day as Spoon's Transference!). For those of you who keep up with every Krug moniker, Moonface has already released a two-song picture disc in collaboration with artist David Horvitz. Those two songs however did not feature the marimba, so don't expect the same sound. So what should we expect? Jagjaguwar has only said the following:
This is physically available only in the vinyl format (approximately 20 minutes of music on a single side of a 12-inch record). It is also available in digital formats. The vinyl edition and some digital editions will be accompanied with a dream journal, on which the music is based.
I once kept a dream journal, though it never made any sense when I tried to analyze it. I wonder if Krug's dream journal talks of places where lovers have wings, perhaps??? They've also released the cover art of a snorkeling Krug, which is posted below. 2010 is already shaping up to be one solid year for music.

Friday, November 20, 2009

[new music] Brazos - Phosphorescent Blues

Brazos, quietly beautiful

Concluding their tour with White Denim after blazing through the eastern half of the greater 48, Austin trio Brazos have been busy promoting their new full-length album Phosphorescent Blues. Sounding very little like their debut EP Feeding Frenzy, the band has sanded down their rough edges with the addition of soft piano touches and subtle orchestration. Brazos is Andy Beaudoin (Drums), Martin Crane (Vocals, Guitar, etc), & Paul Price (Electric Bass), and the music they have created is timeless. Fans of indie folk acts like Fleet Foxes, Okerville River, and Blitzen Trapper should give this record a spin. Below are a handful of tracks off Phosphorescent Blues which embody the sound and soul of this beautifully crafted long player.

Buy :: Brazos - Phosphorescent Blues

<a href="http://brazos.bandcamp.com/album/phosphorescent-blues">My Buddy by Brazos</a>

Thursday, November 19, 2009

[new music] Steve Mason - Boys Outside

New Music from Steve Mason

For fans of Beta Band, King Biscuit Time, or even the slight departure of Black Affair, the news that Steve Mason was making a new album brought nothing but joy and anticipation. It now appears that we now have a concrete date for all the waiting to end. Announced this week via Twitter, Mason has reportedly finished his newest LP entitled Boys Outside, which will be released under his own name on March 10, 2010. Mason enlisted the help and production skills of Richard X, as well as his label Black Melody.

To tide fans over until next year, Mason will be dropping the first single "All Come Down" this November 23 (pre-order here). You can listen to a snippet here, and from the sounds of the new track, it's going to be one amazingly chill album (which we all can appreciate). A video is posted below showing the progression of Mason & Richard X songcrafting a new cut for the record.

Pre-order :: Steve Mason - "All Come Down"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[news] Spoon - "Quincy Punk Episode" Revealed

Before CSI, there was Quincy, M.E.

Up until now, I've never understood Spoon's reason behind the naming of "Quincy Punk Episode", a great song which appears on the very underrated Series of Sneaks LP. Today I came across an article railing on the old TV show Quincy, M.E. and it's portrayal of punk in its infamous episode "Next Stop Nowhere."

For those of you like me who are unfamiliar with the show, it's not too surprising. Originally aired in the mid '70s and early '80s, this show probably pre-dates most Spoon fans. Quincy M.E. was the original forensic crime-buster television series, and without it, we might not have such shows today like CSI or Bones (you either love it or hate it for that). The premise of Quincy, M.E. revolved around a coroner (Dr. R. Quincy, Medical Examiner) who uncovered murders based on his findings while inspecting the dead. What's surprising to me is that the police he worked for made enough mistakes for his show to last 7 years.

So in 1982, Quincy M.E. decided to air the episode "Next Stop Nowhere" which involved the murder of some dude at a "punk" concert. The stereotypes are absolutely ridiculous (see the episode trailer below), and no surprise, the music is blamed for the kid's death. I'm sure this freaked some parents into banning punk music in their respective households, but the major fallout from this episode was the spawning of "Quincy punk," a term used to denote the punk-rock posers who worried more about the height of their mohawk than the "true spirit" of being punk.

So because of my ignorance of '70s crime scene investigation TV shows, I never made the connection to where Spoon's "Quincy Punk Episode" got its name. I'm glad I know this random bit of knowledge, and hope others learn it, too. Posted below is a good live version of the song from 2007 at San Francisco's Treasure Island, courtesy of the BayTaper via Internet Archive.



MP3: Spoon - "Quincy Punk Episode (live)"
(live @ Treasure Island 9-16-2007)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

[review] Julian Plenti @ Chop Suey (11-16-2009)


Paul Banks and Co bring Seattle something special

Last night at Chop Suey, Interpol's frontman Paul Banks debuted his alter ego Julian Plenti to a crowd of energetic and enthusiastic fans, eager to be only the second audience to ever witness this band perform live. The entire album was conceived and recorded by Banks himself, but to help bring this music to the stage, he was accompanied by The Giraffes' guitarist Damien Paris, as well as a bassist, drummer, and an amazing cellist. Plenti of songs were performed on the rainy Monday night, as you can see by the set list posted below. In fact, the entire debut album Julian Plenti Is... Skyscraper was played, as well as three others.

The night kicked off with a very chill opener, a post-rock-influenced instrumental introduction song that served not only as a sound check, but also set the the tone for the night, showing us how strings can enhance any performance. The band immediately catapulted into "Fly As You Might" and ensnared the crowd (Video of both songs are posted above, but mind the poor audio quality). With very little in-between song chatter, the opening riff for "Fun That We Had" evoked a eruption of cheers. To my surprise, the newly put together 5-piece sounded like they'd been playing for years. And for once, it actually looked like Banks was having fun on stage.

The set took a chiller mood when "No Chance Survival" hit our ears, but the band quickly followed with one of the best songs of the night, "Unwind." Afterwords, Banks commented on the setting of Chop Suey, saying how much he loved the intimate venue's "hot, sexy, and dirty" feel. After performing for years to arena-sized crowds with his other vehicle Interpol, I'm sure the Plenti tour will be a refreshing change of pace and a more personal experience. Multiple times in the night, you could see Banks taken aback by the warm welcoming reactions from Seattle's fans. He was very appreciative, which translated to the fantastic performance for all.

The best string of songs on the night began with "On the Esplanade," followed by a rendition of "H" that would make Explosions In The Sky jealous, and finished up with the title track "Skyscraper." At this point my night was complete, thinking that the only song left for the encore would be "Games For Days." However, to my surprise, we were treated with a bizarre set closer: Banks first began singing the Christmas classic "Let It Snow" which broke into either an unknown cover or an unreleased Plenti original, which after the song we were informed that it was "Goodbye Toroonto" (a video is posted below, but mind the poor video quality).

The band left the stage, but the cries of the fans soon brought the humbled Banks and company back on stage to perform their encore set, which included the America cover "Horse With No Name" and the night closer "Games For Days." All in all, a fantastic way to spend your Monday night. This show ranks up there with the best of the year. I strongly recommend trying to catch these guys in a city near you; however, these dudes currently have an extremely abbreviated set of tour dates. Perhaps more to come?

Set list - Julian Plenti (11-16-2009)
Instrumental Intro
Fly As You Might
Fun That We Had
No Chance Survival
Unwind
Girl On The Sporting News
Madrid Song
Only If You Run
On the Esplanade
H
Skyscraper
Let It Snow / Goodbye Toronto

Encore

Horse With No Name (America cover)
Games For Days

Monday, November 16, 2009

[tonight] Julian Plenti @ Chop Suey (11-16-2009)

Photo Cred: Gabi Porter / MetroMix.com

Julian Plenti Is... Playing Tonight

This is your last chance to catch Julian Plenti (aka Paul Banks of Interpol) performing his live solo material from his debut album Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper. To help bring this one-man show to the live stage, Plenti will be accompanied by members of French Kicks and The Giraffes. The all-ages show will take place at Chop Suey - doors open at 8pm. Tickets are only $16 and include stage support from I'm In You. See you there.

Who? Julian Plenti
Where? Chop Suey
When? November 16, 2009 (doors @ 8pm)
How? $16 (tickets here) all ages

Sunday, November 15, 2009

[review] White Denim w/ Parque Touch @ Rock & Roll Hotel (11-14-2009)

Parque Touch Reunion!

Guest writer and Senior White Denim Correspondent E-Rock has been kind enough to give us yet another White Denim concert review, this time at Washington, D. C.'s Rock & Roll Hotel. Sounds like yet another solid performance. Hopefully WD will be hitting up the West Coast sometime soon (fingers crossed).

White Denim Rock DC
submitted by E-Rock, guest Three Colours contributor

White Denim once again deliver the goods with a rousing show at the Rock & Roll Hotel, Washington, DC. Frequent readers of Three Colours are aware that this is not my first time witnessing White Denim’s explosive set. The White Denim freight train-steamroller thundered through Amsterdam last September, firing on all cylinders for sixty minutes straight. The band started out with a similar intensity this time around, but then settled into a slightly looser groove and stretched out their jams with more developed psychedelic or progressive arrangements. White Denim later finished the set strongly with their typical rapid-fire song medleys and tight, scorching execution.

I don’t have a lot of new details to add from the last review as the set was mostly similar. White Denim did pull out a new song that has not yet been released on LP. It was an exciting mix of styles (like everything else), with a bluesy classic rock intro riff progressing to a complex bridge with start-stop dynamics and swirling rhythms. They also had several new renditions for their studio craft.

The band was treated with a very enthusiastic crowd at the Rock & Roll Hotel. The venue was crowded (but not full), so it is possible that the word is finally getting out for this critically-acclaimed band. WD members were really enjoying themselves and appeared happy to be back stateside. Block (drums) and Petralli (guitar/vocals) were particularly intense and played off each other’s leads throughout the night. Terebecki (bass) was in his own zone, providing bass slaps and slides, and the three played as tight as any band I’ve seen.

The most unexpected event of the night was the finale of the show when White Denim invited Lucas Anderson (a.k.a. Byshop Massive, now a DC resident) onto the stage for an impromptu reunion of Parque Touch (Austin, TX). The foursome blazed through the decidedly more hardcore Parque Touch song “You” (heard here) for a fiery finish to an already strong show (video below).

White Denim are more talented than your favorite band and give intense live shows that cannot be missed. Buy tickets now if they are rumbling through your area. I can’t recommend these guys enough.

I should also mention that the opening acts did a good job warming the crowd up. My Mind (Philadelphia, PA) kicked off the night with a short set. They call themselves Punk/Funk/Crunk, but the group struck me as a progressive band that decided to play punk. I personally found their set entertaining and (inadvertently) hilarious. Next up were Brazos (Austin, TX). These three guys were really talented and played dreamy indie rock with chiming guitar, smooth/groovy bass, and well placed percussion. Martin Crane (guitar/vocals) puts his vocals up front and has a delightful, higher register voice that fits very nicely with their sound. While most of the group’s songs were generally happy and middle paced, Brazos concluded their set with a faster paced rocker, followed by a minor-chord melancholy gem. I highly recommend checking out Brazos if they are rolling through your town.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

[news] Depauw to Hell, We Got the Bell!

Wabash 32, Depauw 19

With an outstanding performance this year at the 116th Monon Bell Classic, Wabash College brings home the 300 lb trophy from Blackstock Stadium. This sound victory ends the two-year losing streak and tie-breaks the series to 54-53-9. Proving once again, Depauw still swallows...

MP3: Wabash College Glee Club - "Old Wabash"

Friday, November 13, 2009

[concert] Spoon in Portland @ Crystal Ballroom (12-11-2009)

More tour dates

Spoon has announced multiple dates, including some European shows in February. Of note, Spoon will be playing in Britt's hometown of Portland, OR this December 11. If you're in the Pacific Northwest area, this would be a great time to catch many of the new jams from the band's upcoming seventh LP Transference, which won't be released until January 26, 2010 January 19, 2010. Also, they'll be accompanied by Black Joe Lewis, which means you'll get to hear all the songs from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga with a horn section. Other dates are posted below.

Spoon tour dates:

DEC 03 - Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre
DEC 04 - Boston, MA - Orpheum Theatre (w/ Phoenix, Passion Pit)
DEC 11 - Portland, Oregon - Crystal Ballroom (w/ Black Joe Lewis)
DEC 12 - La Jolla, CA - RIMAC Arena
DEC 31 - Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theater (w/ Jay Reatard)
FEB 14 - Glasgow, UK - King Tuts
FEB 15 - Manchester, UK - Academy 3
FEB 16 - London, UK - Electric Ballroom
FEB 18 - Amsterdam, Holland - Paradiso
FEB 19 - Cologne, Germany - Luxor
FEB 20 - Berlin, Germany - Frannz Club

MP3: Spoon - "Written in Reverse (live)"
(live @ P-Fork Fest '08)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

[video] White Denim - "I Start To Run" (ver 2.0)

White Denim's Second Music Video for "I Start To Run"

Earlier in the year, White Denim premiered their trailer park inspired Mad Max video for "I Start To Run." The film short featured bassist Steve Terebecki running through the desert on a quest to save his fellow bandmates from death! Interestingly enough, the dudes have made another music video for "I Start To Run", apparently in light of their new US record deal with Downtown, I suppose. In this new version, they've somehow managed to capture their zany humor, as well as show off the potpourri of energy that one experiences throughout their latest LP Fits. Watch if for yourself above, or see the original below.

Also, the band is concluding their US tour of the eastern half, with the following shows remaining.

White Denim tour dates:

11/12 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY
11/13 - Kung Fu Necktie - Philadelphia, PA
11/14 - Rock N Roll Hotel - Washington, DC
11/16 - The Basement - Nashville, TN
11/17 - The Bottletree - Birmingham, AL
11/18 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
11/19 - The Social - Orlando, FL
11/20 - Cafe Eleven - St Augustine, FL
11/22 - One Eyed Jacks - New Orleans, LA

Make sure to pick up a copy of White Denim's Fits if you haven't already.

Buy :: White Denim - Fits

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

[news] Gorillaz Collaborate With Alan Moore

How Does One Top Demon Days?

When Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett set out to create their cartoon creature band Gorillaz, the story and concept behind the characters was just as important as the music. On tour, the two masterminds behind the project created theatrical masterpieces for the lucky individuals in attendance. Almost like an opera, the band performed live behind a huge projected screen, with only their silhouettes visible to the crowd. Attendees not only got to hear the amazing songs played in the concert setting, they also watched a cartoon storyline unfold as the show progressed.

Fast forward to today - Albarn and Hewlett are back into the creative process working on the the band's third album, tentatively titled Plastic Beach. According to a Mustard Magazine interview, the dudes have enlisted the great Alan Moore to help with the concept of the story. Moore, best known as the author of Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell (to name a few), will receive in return of his services a contribution to his new bi-monthly magazine Dodgem Logic, which launches this month. Here's what Moore had to say:
[The Gorillaz] came down to Northampton last week because we’re planning for me to do the libretto on their next opera project. Being an opportunist, I of course asked them if they’d be prepared to contribute some pages to Dodgem Logic. Rather than just doing an interview with them, I thought it would be interesting to hand over a few pages for them to curate...
So far, the rumor mill has the release date for Plastic Beach in the second quarter of 2010. Already getting anxious to hear it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

[reminder] Julian Plenti @ Chop Suey (11-16-2009)


Julian Plenti Is... Playing Seattle

For those of you unfamiliar with Julian Plenti, it's the moniker that Paul Banks (of Interpol) has been using for his solo material. His debut album Julian Plenti is... Skyscraper is one of my top albums of 2009. There's something about Banks' cryptic lyrics and otherworldly grooves that just works so well for me.

Julian Plenti will be playing a show later this month (November 16) in the very intimate Chop Suey. I've not read many reviews for his solo shows, but I have a strong hunch that this concert is going to be one of those really cool experiences. What I do know is that he's backed onstage with a bassist, guitarist, cellist, violinist, and a drummer. Give him credit for experimentation!

Tickets are still available at the box office or online at Ticketweb. Tickets are only $16 and include stage support from I'm With You. Doors open at 8pm - don't miss it. Also, check out these instrumental artistic music videos from Plenti himself.



Who? Julian Plenti
Where? Chop Suey
When? November 16, 2009 (doors @ 8pm)
How? $16 (tickets here) all ages