Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - You Are A Tourist

My very first post was about Death Cab For Cutie's Open Door Ep. In fact, it was 2 years ago today! Damn, I can't believe I've been doing this for 2 years already. If you haven't heard they will be releasing a new album titled Codes and Keys on May 31st. The first single "You Are A Tourist" has been released and you can give it a listen below (via Atlantic Records).

The guys sent out an email today asking fans to visit YOUAREATOURIST.COM on Tuesday, April 5th at 6pm CST for what is being described as the "First Live, Scripted, One-Take Music Video Shoot. Ever". They also are playing a series of small clubs, including a sold out show at The Metro. If you are in Chicago, please follow me on Twitter (@theearlynerd) as I announced the presale code for this show and many others. Last, but not least, they will also release Live At The Mt. Baker Theatre, a dvd filmed in April 2009. You can pre-order the album in a series of bundles, including the dvd and other items now.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bright Eyes - March 15, 2011 at the Riviera

When Conor Oberst announced he was moving pass the moniker Bright Eyes and issued his self-titled debut, I was a bit confused. I mean, Bright Eyes is Conor, quite similar to Trent Reznor and his band Nine Inch Nails. Over the years he definitely had help creating those albums, but what would Bright Eyes be without him? The answer is a duo. As critics and blogs heaped on the praise and crowned him the new Dylan, two key components were overlooked: Nate Walcott & Mike Mogis. Truth be told, if you caught Bright Eyes before I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning, you might not even recognize this band.

As each album progressed, more and more instruments and genres were explored. I often attributed that to Conor leaving Omaha, living in New York and traveling the world on his many tours. On stage, you get a very different answer. You get a band that really is great and when together, unstoppable. The constant rumor that this is in fact the final album and tour was swirling around the crowd with fans hoping for a certain song (I was praying for "Going For The Gold"). If this is the last go around, they are having a blast doing it.

The opener Firewall was one of the eight new songs played, but in a set of 24, there was plenty of time for a bit of everything. Walking onto the stage as the opening narrative played, they began a marathon of favorites with minimal crowd interaction, but plenty of energy. The first highlight/surprise was "Take It Easy (Love Nothing)", a track that probably couldn't be fleshed out with his previous shows. Nate Wolcott, sitting behind a stack of synthesizers and horns really showcased his talents as the staggering keys and beeps drove the crowd into a frenzy.

A favorite of mine "Cleanse Song" had Mike Mogis playing a beautiful slide guitar that was as clear as a bell while Conor swayed with the crowd. It brought a smile to my face. Another song that found rebirth was "Falling Out of Love at This Volume", a song written in 1995 and almost as old as the 18+ crowd.

The 3-song sequence of "Beginner's Mind", "Bowl Of Oranges" & "Poison Oak" would have been enough for me to call the night a success as they found their folk side. Lyrically I couldn't ask for more honesty than lines like "stay awhile, my inner child/ I'd like to learn your tricks/know what makes you tick/nurse you when you're sick" or the welcomed sadness of "well, I don't think I ever loved you more/than when you turned away/when you locked the door/when you stole the car/and drove towards Mexico". How can such a sad song be so damn good?

"Lua" was played especially slow with an acoustic guitar and a whimpering horn. "Road to Joy" should have been the closer, with so much built up tension and those fantastic words "let's fuck it up boys/make some noise!". Instead "One for You, One for Me" was the last song played, ending much like the new album, only much, much louder... The band is currently playing shows in the US through June, so please go see them.

1. Firewall
2. Jejune Stars
3. Take It Easy (Love Nothing)
4. Four Winds
5. Cleanse Song
6. We Are Nowhere and It's Now
7. Shell Game
8. Approximate Sunlight
9. Arc of Time (Time Code)
10. Falling Out of Love at This Volume
11. Triple Spiral
12. Hot Knives
13. An Attempt To Tip The Scales
14. Padraic My Prince
15. Beginner's Mind
16. Bowl of Oranges
17. Poison Oak
18. Old Soul Song (For The New World Order)
19. The Calendar Hung Itself...
20. Ladder Song
21. Lua
22. Lover I Don't Have to Love
23. Road to Joy
24. One For You, One For Me

Friday, March 18, 2011

MSTRKRFT - Beards Again

I have to admit, when Death From Above 1979 announced they were playing Coachella and additional dates, I really wondered what would come of MSTRKRFT. With little to no output since 2009's Fist of God and very few shows, I really thought they would get lost. Add to that a solo set by Al-P at Spybar and a JFK show at The MID, and you have a duo that isn't really hitting the scene that hard. Thankfully, the guys dropped a new song this week titled Beards Again and I love it. Gone is the fuzzed out bass, replaced with a building guitar and drums. Could they be taking a cue from Death Crew 77? I want more... Download it for free at the band's site.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Junip - In Every Direction Video and Ep

Junip just released an Ep & video for their great song, In Every Direction. The Ep features remixes from Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr & Morgan Kibby of M83 aka White Sea, along with three new songs. You can preview one of the tracks on their Soundcloud player, an instrumental titled Nackrosdammen. In even better news, they will be making their way back to Chicago for a show at the Empty Bottle, April 23rd. If you follow me at all, you know I have been praising their release Fields for a while and even reviewed their show at Lincoln Hall. Please pick up the new release or get a ticket.

The video was directed by band member, Elias Araya.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Iron & Wine - Tree By The River

With recent releases by Radiohead and Bright Eyes, I sort of feel like Iron & Wine's new album Kiss Each Other Clean got lost in the shuffle. If that's the case, hopefully some of you will watch this video and pick up a copy of his best work yet. As an added bonus, a limited number of tickets for his show at the Riviera have been released. The show is this Friday, so get them asap...