Sunset Rubdown Random Spirit Lover [Jagjaguwar]

rubdown.jpg

Rating: 8.5

While Sunset Rubdown may be referred to as Spencer Krugís (Wolf Parade) side-project, their third album, Random Spirit Lover, sounds less like a side-project and more like a swan song.†Through the album’s lengthy fifty-eight and a half minutes, Krug is able to†manipulate the poetic chaos in a seemingly effortless way, giving equal time to both the frenetic and more sedated sides of his songwriting.

Continue reading “Sunset Rubdown Random Spirit Lover [Jagjaguwar]”

Ryan Adams Easy Tiger [Lost Highway]

easytiger.jpg
Rating: 5.9

Ryan Adams has been a busy guy. The dreamy-eyed North Caroliner has put out five albums in the last three years, garnering him more than the average amount of press for his excessesÖespecially since his excesses involve heroin and cocaine. Now you might think that five albums is a lot for that span of time, but speedballs ainít called speedballs for nothing, and the same obstructions to productivity that the Average Joe on the street might face donít mean jack to Mr. Adams.

Continue reading “Ryan Adams Easy Tiger [Lost Highway]”

Art Brut It’s A Bit Complicated [Downtown]

brut.jpg
Rating: 5.5

Is is really that complicated Art Brut? You write a rock song. You write lyrics to go over it. In the lyrics you talk about nostalgia, and growing up, and awkward moments of a relationship Ė that sort of thing. You do about 10 of these bad boys, take it to a producer who makes it sound really pretty. You call the album Itís A Bit Complicated. You go on tour. You call trucks lorries.

Continue reading “Art Brut It’s A Bit Complicated [Downtown]”

Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga [Merge]

spoon.jpg
Rating: 7.0

Six LPs into their career, Austinís Spoon has become pretty ubiquitous for an indie rock band. Their singles, including ďI Turn My Camera OnĒ and ďThe Way We Get ByĒ turn up all over the place, including an enlightening video of a dancing robot on YouTube. Spoon has also provided the soundtrack for a movie (Stranger than Fiction) and has done commercials for Jaguar. While the awful truth may be that the majority of fans at a Spoon show would list the O.C. as their point of entrance, Spoonís songwriting has been consistently good for a decade: look no further than Girls Can Tell (2001) or Kill the Moonlight (2002) for proof.

The Underdog [mp3]

Continue reading “Spoon Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga [Merge]”

David Bazan Fewer Moving Parts [Barsuk]

dbazan.jpg

Rating: 6.0

The artwork on David Bazanís EP Fewer Moving Parts depicts Bazan-as-lumberjack, walking through the woods. He approaches a tree, and in the span of six pages he chops it down. Upon closer inspection, there is a little heart visible on a close-up of the tree, with the initials DB and TW inside of it. It doesnít take a detectiveís training to deduce what is going on here, and I quickly surmise that the DB is Bazan himself, and that the TW is TW Walsh, friend and former conspirator in Pedro the Lion. Without Googling a word I realize that Bazan has created a breakup album, and that the breakup is between him and his old band (which was pretty much just him anyways), and that his new sound is going to be totally unprecedented. Though I feel pretty confident about my assertion and even begin writing this review, I decide to give the album a listen, which is a pretty advanced protocol as far as usounds is concerned. The results of my investigation will horrify you.

Cold Beer and Cigarettes [mp3]

Continue reading “David Bazan Fewer Moving Parts [Barsuk]”

Cursive – Live in Seattle

cursive.jpg
Photo by Michael Alan Goldberg

Planes Mistaken for Stars, Cursive, Against Me!, Mastodon. There is no artful way to describe it. These bands all played together, and I was there.

Itís a different kinda show that happens at the Fenix in Seattle, WA. Located in the heart of the, I donít know, letís call it the mostly-abandoned south industrial district, the Fenix used to be a dance club in the†center of the 2 am stabbing district. Itís basically a large auditorium-esque space for people with blacklight stamps on their wrists to drink heavily. There is also a large space for people to do their slam dancing and what-have-you dancing in front of the stage, but I placed myself towards the back of the beer-drinking crowd, eager to investigate the people associated with a show like this.

Continue reading “Cursive – Live in Seattle”

Deerhoof – Live in Seattle

hoof.jpg
Hoof Closeup

Neumo’s
Seattle WA
February 1, 2007
w/ Black and Black
and Leti Angel

Whatís up with opening bands? I mean seriously: where do they find these people? Here I am, Thursday night, minding my own business, hanging out and waiting for Deerhoof to play. I had already endured the openerís thirty minutes when these two girls who might be in high school and this guy who might be (and is) in the band Phantom Planet come out onto the stage. And the way theyíre angular and attractive and solemn, well itís evident that something strange is brewiní. I knew it Ė the crowd knew Ė we all knew it like animals know it when a forest is gonna burn down; we knew it but we really didnít know what it meant. There was a VIP space on the balcony at Neumoís this night, and there were people eating sushi, and you couldnít go into this area unless you knew something. Something was up, oh yeah. And then I heard the people behind me mention it and the pieces fell together and it all made perfect sense: Black Black was from LA!

Continue reading “Deerhoof – Live in Seattle”