Saturday, January 29, 2011

3 Bands You Might Have Missed In 2010

As we come to the end of January, it seems like 2011 is up and running. But even with everyone putting out a "best of" list, it's easy to overlook a few good bands. So before you start searching for the next big thing, check out these 3 that you might have missed...

If you haven't seen Freelance Whales in Chicago, you haven't been looking. The band played local venues 7 times in 2010 while supporting their debut album, Weathervanes. I caught them at the Metro last year as the opening act for Tokyo Police Club and immediately focused in on the instruments and layers they present. My favorite track is the hazy "Ghosting", but you really can't go wrong with anything on the album.

Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor

Freelance Whales | Myspace Music Videos

If you are wondering where all the women have gone, start listening to The Mynabirds. Laura Burhenn and a handful of guests made What We Lose In The Fire We Gain In The Flood a classic that ends up elegant and worn at the same time. Fans of Cat Power or Fiona Apple should take a listen to a voice that sounds as soulful as anything released in the last decade. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket to the sold out Bright Eyes show, come early as Laura and company are the opening act.

The Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie from Saddle Creek on Vimeo.

Any band that uses a cow bell is fine by me. Free Energy released Stuck On Nothing last year and I just found it infectious. The same way you blast Cheap Trick every time it comes on the radio, these guys make fun rock. Upbeat and filled with enough power chords to turn any event into a party, press play and turn it up!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Matt & Kim - "Cameras" Video

Matt & Kim started my morning right with a kick ass video for "Cameras". The first single from their recent album Sidewalks. They're in Australia right now, getting ready to play this year's Big Day Out. Lucky bastards...

Dashboard Confessional - A Guardian of Sorts (To Catch You)

I am constantly fighting technology, or at least delaying it. When I was in college, I bought every CD that was released from my favorite bands, with a collection growing well over 1,500. Before that, I bought tapes and I'm even old enough to have received Guns N' Roses "Appetite for Destruction" on vinyl for Christmas. To be frank, I hate MP3 is his smug cousin FLAC.

That being said, a ton of artist are embracing technology and getting music out faster than ever. In the past week, Best Coast, Dashboard Confessional and a few others have given away songs. New songs, for free.

Chris Carrabba followed a tweet on the 13th about "working on some tunes", with another message on the 14th simply stating, "Just Recorded This...". The song titled, A Guardian of Sorts (To Catch You) is available now using the widget below. As he finishes up his 10 year anniversary tour of The Swiss Army Romance, it's good to hear something so raw. Those who didn't get to grab a poster for his Chicago show can go here to get a limited edition poster from Lincoln Hall.



Friday, January 14, 2011

Weezer - January 8th, 2011, Aragon Ballroom

Weezer came to town last week as part of their Memories Tour, playing the Blue Album on Friday and the incredible Pinkerton on Saturday. As much as I would have loved to make it to both shows, I had to make a choice. I have regrets, we all do. But, I'll never regret missing the first night for what was an amazing second night.

So many people have called Pinkerton the blueprint for Emo. I don't care about its merits to the younger generation, I had this fucker on cassette. Hearing the complete album would have been enough for me, but they really showcased the entire catalog and broke out some serious treats. For some reason I was under the impression that they would open with the full album and then play a mix of their songs to end the night. Instead Rivers and crew jumped in their "time machine" and treated fans to hits off every album starting with Hurley. You literally felt like you were looking through a year book, or walking through your old gym.

As I watched them on stage, I couldn't help but notice the confidence the band had. For all the anxiety and nervous tension we've heard about throughout the years, they looked stronger than ever. Brian Bell never left his spot on the left side of the stage, instead bouncing with the swagger of a millionaire. If Pinkerton was their puberty, these guys decided to kick in the doors of their class reunion. "Dope Nose" was a highlight of the first set, along with the rarity "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly".

If I told you that every song in the second set was great, would you believe me? In high school, I loved "Across The Sea", but to hear it live was something I'll never forget. "El Scorcho" got the biggest cheer, a sing-along that even impressed the band. When the closing song "Butterfly" finished it was definitely too soon. The night seemed to fly by like most great nights do. Thanks Weezer for giving me and a sold out crowd what they wanted, a chance to catch up with old friends.

1. Memories
2. Porks & Beans
3. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived
4. Perfect Situation
5. Dope Nose
6. Hash Pipe
7. You Gave Your Love To Me Softly
8. Susanne
9. Jaime
10. Only In Dreams
11. Tired Of Sex
12. Getchoo
13. No Other One
14. Why Bother
15. Across The Sea
16. The Good Life
17. El Scorcho
18. Pink Triangle
19. Falling For You
20. Butterfly