17 June 2015

Stuck In My Head: Summer Fiction, "Perfume Paper"

Generally, all it takes is a descriptor of "power pop" attached to a band to get me to come running. Enter Summer Fiction: when I an email drawing comparison between sophomore record Himalaya, released 16 June, and Big Star landed in my inbox, I was game. My love usually lies with the '90s alternative ilk, but Bill Ricchini's style feels older, too, more of the '60s and '70s; other comparisons rely heavily on Brian Wilson.

Essentially, lead single "Perfume Paper" has been stuck in my head - literally, it just kind of pops up throughout the day - since earlier in this month. It's been a long time since I've asked for a record in advance, but this jangly little 3:00 track tugged hard enough at my sentimentality that I really couldn't resist the rest.

If you're like me and want to hear the rest, SPIN has the full record available for streaming.

Two upcoming shows in NYC and Philly are slated for this week:
18JUN - Union Hall, Brooklyn, NY
20JUN - Boot & Saddle, Philadelphia, PA

I'll be at the Philly show; hopefully, some of you will be there, too, and I'll be able to pull together my thoughts enough to post about the show and the whole record sometime next week.

03 June 2015

Here's some French music for you. (Surprise!)

No, not much has changed in the past five years, even if I haven't written consistently (or at all): I still miss my adopted hometown of Paris as much as ever (although I get to go back in August - whee!) and I still try to keep an ear out for what's going on over there, or who will make their way over here. (Stuck in the Sound, I'm still waiting.)

These two landed in my inbox today:

AIR BAG ONE (it's capatilised everywhere, so I'll continue the trend) is a Francophone trio who seriously the channel '80s with their catchy synth-pop. It's not clear where they're from - their social media lists Cameroon, but they record and play in Paris, including opening for Brandon Flowers recently. (Except they write "support" instead of "open," since the French use the verb "supporter." So cute.)

They only have two songs listed so far - "1992," release a few months ago, and today's "You've Got Something." When I first started listening, I thought, "No, not really" and then my brain went, "SHUT UP you like this." It's like when I got into Pony Pony Run Run's, like, two songs, but better.

Both tracks from this (apparently digital) 45 are below. LP Rich Kids and US tour dates are forthcoming.


France Rocks noted that Paris Loves L.A., created by French actress Adele Jacques as a tribute to and in the vein of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot and the like, are playing a free show called "Paris Loves N.Y.C. Me Neither" - a nod to "Je t'aime moi non plus" - tomorrow, 04 June at Le Baron, New York. I'm not sure I'll make this one, but I'd sure like to; it certainly sounds interesting, even if I'm not the biggest fan of Gainsbourg.

01 June 2015

Nothing's on Telly: Teen Men have a party, tour with CYHSY, who are apparently still A Thing.

Oh, the mid-to-late-2000s. Listen, I sort of wax nostalgic for this golden period, when I was discovering new music right and left and actually dedicating time to writing about it. The age of Blog Rock. And speaking of Blog Rock, apparently Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are still a thing? I listened to their debut in 2005 or 2006 sometime and tried really, really hard to like it, but despite that perfect-for-Pitchfork 9.0 rating they got, I just couldn't get past the vocals. Sorry. Apparently they're still popular enough today that they booked two shows in Philly and two in New York for their 10th anniversary tour. Huh.

This post isn't about CYHSY. Although I went to Philly show one of two, my boyfriend and I didn't stay for the main act. (Not trying again 10 years later, not sorry.) We were there to see opener Teen Men, who released this video for "Adventure Kids" less than two weeks ago, and who are releasing their s/t record next week.

Rachel called it one of the weirdest videos she's ever seen. I don't really agree with her, but then again, she didn't see the visuals they show during their set, either.

Upcoming shows w/ Clap Your Hands Say Yeah:
02 JUN - Radio Radio, Indianapolis, IN
03 JUN - Exit / In, Nashville, TN
05 JUN - Club Dada, Dallas, TX
06 JUN - The Mohawk, Austin, TX
08 JUN - Lowbrow, El Paso, TX
09 JUN - The Crescent Ballroom, Phoenix, AZ
11 JUN - Troubadour, Los Angeles, CA
12 JUN - Casbah, San Diego, CA
13 JUN - Constellation Room, Santa Ana, CA
14 JUN - The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
17 JUN - The Independent, San Francisco, CA
19 JUN - Mississipi Studios, Portland, OR
26 JUN - Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE *

17 JUL - The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
18 JUL - Electric Owl, Vancouver, BC
19 JUL - The Bartlett, Spokane, WA
22 JUL - The Aquarium, Fargo, ND
23 JUL - Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
24 JUL - Majestic Theater, Madison, WI
25 JUL - Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL
26 JUL - Thompson House, Newport, KY
28 JUL - Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids, MI
29 JUL - Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto, ON
31 JUL - Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

01 AUG - Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
02 AUG - Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
* w/ Sin City Band

21 February 2015

Stuck In My Head: The Aquadolls' Stoked On You

All right, listen. It's been a long time, but I've got the Aquadolls stuck in my head, okay?

I'm pretty rubbish about listening to Insound's featured tracks of the week, but since I was cleaning out my email the other day (lol, you guys, you should see my email account for this blog), I actually managed to give "Sinus Infection" a listen. And then the rest of the record.

They sound exactly like a band called the Aquadolls should - surfy pop rock. Occasionally, Melissa Brooks's vocals remind me of  Arrah Fisher of Arrah and the Ferns (at least what I know of them, which is admittedly one record), but the songs are nowhere near as twee. While I'm digging the whole album, I particularly like "Wander," below:

But really, none of the tracks make me want to skip ahead, and that's a good thing, since I usually get into a rut with an album after a while.

Upcoming shows:
13MAR - The Yard, San Diego
28MAR - Burgerama @ The Observatory, Santa Ana

Hey, maybe I'll write again sometime soon, like I always say I will, right?

28 January 2011

Stuck In My Head : Young the Giant, "My Body"

I'm pretty out of the loop. (That's the understatement of the year, and it's only January.)

For instance : I know next to nothing about this band Young the Giant, other than that they've recently released a record, and that their song "My Body" keeps getting stuck in my head.

And that that's not a proper video. I know that. Here's a more proper video.

And I now know that making "quesadillas" in the microwave is not the best idea I've ever had. My lunch is a gooey, chewy mess.

16 November 2010

Hello, world. It's been a while. Here's what I've been listening to.

The title says it all. I always want to get back to writing on a regular basis, but I just haven't been in-tune enough with what has been going on, music-wise, for the past eleven months for me to write something, or anything, decent. This is probably a bad time to get back into things; every music outlet on the Interwebs is going to be flooded with top 10 lists for the next two months, and this time, it's not just top 10 of the year but top 10 of the decade. Ugh.

Well, in the meantime, here's a small smattering of what I've been listening to lately. None of it is new, but it's all good.

I came across this when somebody posted a comment along the lines of "here's some real talent and body paint" in response to this. (Why is Kim Kardashian even noteworthy, and why is she naked?) Weird, huh? Anyway, "I Am Not A Robot" and "Mowgli's Road" have been getting stuck in my head over the past few weeks.

Speaking of getting stuck in your head, how catchy is that one? I swear I heard this, in its entirety, in a dream last night. Is that normal? Um, they also have videos with the lyrics in Spanish and German.

And now for something completely different. This is the fifth of six videos made for their latest effort, Of The Blue Colour Of The Sky, which came out in January and I meant to write about and don't think I actually did. I'm not sure how much I like this new batch of videos. This is animated toast, which is either really awesome or really...weird. The animation is certainly pretty, but it reminds me of this, for some reason. They've also done a video with dogs, which I guess goes well with this lot.

Yeah, seriously. Fucking earworm.

Why didn't anyone introduce me to the Posies like, five years ago? I took it upon myself to watch the entirety of Daria and finished up, I dunno', a few months ago. The original version of this song played over the original TV broadcast of Is It Fall Yet?, and luckily that was the version that I came across. It's all I've wanted to listen to since then.

26 January 2010

Some Business for you.

As your local former Ser Biz intern, it is my duty to inform you that disbanded as of I-don't-remember-when SBR band Man In Gray are back with a one-show reunion at Union Hall on 20 Feb. :

Man in Gray
With not-on-Ser-Biz-but-much-beloved-by-them-nonetheless El Jezel and Coyote Eyes (who, if you'll remember, I saw at Northside back in June)
8 pm
8 dollars

There's some other Business going on (upcoming shows and records) that I haven't quite caught up on, so you'll have to wait for that. In the meantime, feel free to download SBR's annual free compilation of last year's releases and hits, The Year In Business : 2009.

Tracklisting :

1) SAADI - "Bad City (Serious Business Remix)"
2) The Two Man Gentlemen Band - "Me, I Get High on Reefer" (live)
3) The Paparazzi - "The Rococo Tape"
4) The Octagon - "Suicide Kings"
5) Higgins - "What Don't You Want?"
6) Jack and the Pulpits - "Francypants"
7) Rocketship Park - "Spinning Globes"
8) Benji Cossa - "Annie Delia"
9) The Unsacred Hearts - "Fake Kisses"
10) The Two Man Gentlemen Band - "Drip Dryin'(Reprise!)"

You can download the whole thing in a .zip here.

In case you missed out, The Year in Business : 2008 is here and 2007 over here.

19 January 2010

So it's a new year.

I'm sort of ashamed. I've REALLY fallen out of the habit of posting, haven't I? Which means I've fallen out of the habit of listening to new stuff, which means I have nothing to write about anyway, which makes it one big, vicious cycle. I've also been in Paris for four months now and I haven't yet gone to a concert. Not a single one. Not even at La Flèche d'or. This is batshit.

My goals for this year :

1) Keep y'all entertained and work up to posting an average of once per day. (I said "work up to." That's not going to happen this month.)

2) Stop being late to everything.

3) Figure out a way to get into the Pony Pony Run Run (21 January), B.B. Brunes (10 February), and Vampire Weekend (25 February) shows in Paris.

And in other news, Vampire Weekend has released a new record, OK Go has, too (and I actually have my tickets to go see them on the 26th), and I'll actually, ya' know, start listening to stuff and responding to your emails. Promise!

But seriously y'all, somebody get me into those shows and I will love you forever. Please?

20 November 2009

IT'S BAAAACK : La Fleche d'Or to reopen on 23 November. Hooray!

In the interest of full disclosure, I only went to la Flèche d'Or once to see Pony Pony Run Run before they were big enough to fill up une salle like La Cigale, but I didn't even stay for their set because my right ear was freaking out and I didn't know what wrong with it back then. (Which, ya' know, now I'm okay.)

And then I got news sometime back in May that it was shutting down due to "noise complaints." I thought it was gone for good (although this site posits that it was merely closed for soundproofing work) and was incredibly upset as I'd intended to spend every night I possibly could seeing shows there. La Flèche wasn't perfect - for starters, the drinks were terribly overpriced, but I suppose that was to make up for the fact that there was always 100% free entry. Plus they brought together obscure, up-and-coming, and fading bands from France, Belgium, the UK, the US, and more together for shows pretty much every night. I didn't go very often (if at all), but I did find some really great artists (like the aforementioned PPRR and Georgie James, for example) through their line-up.

Well, according to A Nous Paris, la Flèche is set to reopen on the 23rd, having been taken over by Alias and Asterios productions :

I'm not so keen on this whole "plus de sobriété" thing, but I guess if you're reopening a rock club that's been shut down for noise, it's necessary. The other big change : entry is now payante instead of free, which is a bummer. But 8 euros for a show is pretty reasonable and you get a drink along with that, so I guess it works out. Will that prevent me from going as often as I would have were it free? Yes. Do I still intend on making trips out there? Sure. Besides, Alias Productions sponsors a whole bunch of artists that I like, so I'm sure there will be shows I'll want to see.

Evan Dando from the Lemonheads is heading opening night, along with Chris Brokaw, Anoraak, and The Two. For the rest of the upcoming line up, go here.

11 November 2009

Stuck in my Head : My First Earthquake vs. MJ, "Billie Jean's Frenemies"

Way back in July (holy goodness, it's been that long...?), I was sent this video for My First Earthquake's first single of their debut record, Downstairs, called "Cool in the Cool Way." Given that it was released in mid-June, you may or may not have seen already.

It's subtitled "Invasion of the Hipster Bodysnatchers," and while I'm not usually keen on the whole "Those damn hipster kids! What's wrong with them?!" fist-shaking commentary, largely because a lot of those who make such commentary are eye-rolling hipsters themselves, this video seems to avoid falling in that pitfall because 1) it's self-deprecating, not eye-rolling, 2) it hints at the idea that "maybe we're hipsters, too," what with Rebecca's eyes flashing green at the end, and 3) it's damn catchy. I am not averse to damn catchy pop music.

Oh, plus their video for "Sweet Frowns" takes a stab at that favourite hipster girl obsession, Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette :

Wow, that's two videos. Maybe I should have called this a "Nothing's On Telly" instead of a "Stuck in my Head." Back on topic :

So, back when Michael Jackson died at the end of June (link for journalistic integrity and in case you've been living under a rock for the past five months), I feel like a whole load of people did covers and "tributes" and remixes and all sorts of things in his honour, justifiably so. Let's Sexy Fighting mashed up My First Earthquake's "In The Forest With Frenemies" with MJ's "Billie Jean" to get "Billie Jean's Frenemies." I think I had this song on repeat for the entirety of July and August. It's an odd combination ("Frenemies" is about, um, animals fighting and forest fires), but with "Billie Jean" taking a back seat lyrically and lending its slinky beats, it actually works pretty well without feeling ridiculously forced or particularly inappropriate.

Let's Sexy Fighting - "Billie Jean's Frenemies" (My First Earthquake vs. Michael Jackson) [link]

If you're not dancing by now, um. I don't know what to tell you.

My First Earthquake - "Cool in the Cool Way" [link]