2011/03/28Album Anticipation: We Are Augustines
I am not someone who gets very worked up over most new releases. Sure there are a select few... new Radiohead albums obvs, other releases from some of my dearest favorites or perhaps a band releasing an album after a long hiatus (the Strokes, however, do not apply here). But this year I am just a teensy bit OVERWHELMINGLY anticipating the release of the debut album from NYC band We Are Augustines (Bill McCarthy and Eric Sanderson formerly of indie rock group Pela), entitled Rise Ye Sunken Ships.
Due out for a release in June, the story of this album's creation (read on their website) - which was driven largely by McCarthy's experience of the complicated life and tragic suicide of his brother - is something slightly beyond moving: reading about it actually brought me to tears, and upon first listen, Rise Ye Sunken Ships takes you to that same raw emotional core. This album will have a very special and well deserved place on a lot of year end lists - certainly my own.
Here is the beautifully simplistic video for first single Chapel Song, which is available for free download on their website:
Leading up to the album's release the band will play a string of tour dates (below):
12 - Boston, MA - Brighton Music Hall (18+)
13 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom (18+)
15 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg (18+)
16 - Washington D.C. - Black Cat (all ages)
18 - Toronto, ON - Horseshoe Tavern (19+)
19 - Ann Arbor, MI - Blind Pig (18+)
21 - Milwaukee, WI - The Rave (all ages)
22 - Chicago, IL - Double Door (21+)
23 - Minneapolis, MN - Triple Rock (18+)
26 - Vancouver, BC - Biltmore (19+)
27 - Seattle, WA - Crocodile (21+)
29 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's (all ages)
30 - Los Angeles, CA - Roxy (all ages)
1 – Costa Mesa, CA – Detroit Bar
posted by n. @ 3/28/2011
2011/03/22The Megaphonic Thrift
Going into SXSW I was prepared for a lot of awesome surprises and a lot of familiar favorites. My first of the awesome surprises category actually came during my own showcase (when you book a party with three other parties involved you don't get say in every band - but that can actually work out great because you get to see all kinds of new stuff from people whose opinions you trust), which was Norwegian group The Megaphonic Thrift. They've been generating buzz for a while, but sometimes seeing something live is what really clicks it all together for me. If you like Sonic Youth or A Place To Bury Strangers these guys are right up your alley - loud and awesome.
On that note, literally every other band I heard this year at SXSW was some kind 90s throwback which was a pretty pleasing turn of events for me to say the least (I like my twee preciousness, folky granola and electro synthesized everything as much as the next indie blogger but sometimes I just want to rock the fuck ouuuuuuuut).
The Megaphonic Thrift - Candy Sin
Their new album, Decay Decoy is out now - check out this video below for new track Talks Like A Weed King:
posted by n. @ 3/22/2011
2011/03/21SXSW 2011: The Recap
Well, that was crazy. SXSW 2011 is now over, somehow I survived, and made the video above as a summary of some of what (I think) happened. Big thanks to my friends at HP for taking such good care of me - except for that time I got locked in the Spin Magazine shed that was full of free alcohol which was baaaaad news - and to everyone at Flavorpill, the Musebox and The Bellhouse for putting together such a fun day party.
Special hugs go out to DJ Russ Cat for not having a total meltdown and Jeff from The Culture Of Me for bringing the snark (time and time again).
Let's do it again next year?!?!
More recaps and regular blog updates forthcoming.
posted by n. @ 3/21/2011
2011/03/18SXSW 2011: Angry Birds with Yellow Ostrich
In their first trip down to SXSW, Brooklyn's Yellow Ostrich arrived yesterday at the Spin loft bright eyed and ready to.. totally kick my ass at a game of Angry Birds. I blame my lack of prowess at playing on one of HP's new giant touch screen computers which is more than a little bit different from playing with just your thumbs on a smartphone. Not to mention that with a band name like Yellow Ostrich I suspect they had just a bit of an advantage when it comes to slinging birds. Hopefully their total domination put them in even better spirits as they head off to rock SXSW 2011.
Check out the video below, their introduction in HP's Every Passion Has A Road series where they discuss their evolution from a one man band to a three piece and how much they like eating EGGS (see what I'm saying about this birds thing???).
posted by n. @ 3/18/2011
2011/03/17SXSW 2011: Interview with Rural Alberta Advantage
Today while hanging out at the Spin Loft on 6th street, a veritable oasis of rum drinks and free schwag amidst the St Patrick's Day/SXSW double whammy, I had the chance to chat with Nils, Amy and Paul of the Rural Alberta Advantage. As one of the bands HP has followed down to SXSW this week, they told me about how technology has really changed the dynamic of what it means to be a band on the road.
Keyboard player Amy praised new technologies and social media in particular for helping really garner a lot of the support and love the band has been seeing lately as they set off to tour in support of their sophomore effort Departing. Amy also related that the experience of being documented while on tour has been an interesting one as she used to watch Almost Famous and think that the whole being followed on the road by a reporter would be annoying, but in fact has found being on the other side of the spectrum to be a positive experience for the band as a whole and hopefully will introduce them to a whole new community.
The band especially appreciates the merits of social media as a way to connect with their fans, although drummer Paul did relate a funny story of when a fan posted a photo of him juxtaposed with Gerard Butler in the film "300" on the band's Facebook page. Here is the photo for you to judge (Amy jokingly mentioned that Paul only told me this story so that I will always relate him to Gerard Butler in my head... mission accomplished, Amy!).
Really though, the band more than anything love technology because it's the best way for them to keep in contact with their loved once while they are on the road - instead of falling off the grid as bands might have done in the past they are always able to be connected with both family, friends and fans.
Check out this video with Rural Alberta where the trio discuss their recent emergence as a top indie-band on the scene and their feelings of excitement and a bit of anxiety too as they head out on the road to SXSW 2011.
posted by n. @ 3/17/2011
SXSW 2011: Austin BFFs Party!
Oh man, you guys, I am SO TIRED. I know this goes without saying, but I'm gonna say it anyways because it's kind of all my brain can register right now. Regardless of the various obstacles thrown in my path (impacted wisdom tooth! OUCH), however, it has been a fun trip so far and I still have two more days to go until I surrender - PARTY HARD!
Yesterday we kicked off the Music portion of the marathon with a party I presented/co-curated alongside some of my bffs from Flavorpill, The Musebox and Bellhouse NY, presented by HP: Everybody On. It was an overcast but still warm day at Lipstick 24 and everyone had a great time rocking out, drinking some Sailor Jerry's cocktails (I swear every time I taste one of those all I can think about it last summer at the Pool Parties.. it will probably be like that forever. Some highlights for me on the band discovery front included FINALLY seeing Kids of 88 who were more rawkus fun than I even anticipated they would be, Operator Please who are kind of a teenage version of the Gossip, and Esben and the Witch who literally made the ENTIRE venue vibrate with their beautiful gloom.
Anyways, thank you to everyone who came out last night - but the fun doesn't stop here. Today I'll be live-tweeting from the Spin loft, hanging out with up and coming artists, playing Angry Birds on some sweet new HP computers and hopefully relaxing a little bit before tonight kicks into high gear. Now it's breakfast taco time!
Check out some more photos from the party from my friends at HP on their flickr page.
posted by n. @ 3/17/2011
2011/03/11Every Passion Has A Road (to SXSW!): Young The Giant
Good morning internet world! Apologies for the lack of posting goodness here the last couple of weeks - I've been swamped with work work work and also attempting to properly celebrate a particularly significant milestone birthday in my life. But all that insanity was for good reason, because I am currently writing this from a hotel room in Austin Texas where I will be living for the next week and bringing you crazy awesome* coverage from SXSW!
This, of course, would not be nearly as potentially cool without a little help from my friends at HP who I will be "working" with while I'm down here in Tejas. I use the term "working" a bit lightly here since in this instance it's basically going to involve running around chugging margaritas and seeing awesome up and coming bands in 80 degree weather - all the while tweeting the latest and compiling some photos and videos with my HP Envy laptopper. No complaints here! It also totally helps that HP have partnered with Spin Magazine and selected three of my FAVORITE (no, seriously) up and coming bands to follow down here to Austin in their Every Passion Has A Road series.
First up? So-cal indie-rock wonders Young The Giant!! Seriously the mega crush I developed on these guys during last years CMJ has essentially reached a fever pitch - and I'm definitely not alone - as they gear up to blow this conference out of the water. Check out this video of the band talking about the passions that drive them as they head out on the festival circuit -
Stay tuned here all next week for more SXSW goodness and behind the scenes shenanigans! I need a breakfast taco like whoooaaaaaaa.
This post sponsored by HP! I’m excited to partner with them to help you celebrate your passion for music. For more examples of how other people are using HP technology to enable their passions visit http://www.hp.com/everybodyon and be sure to follow @hp_pc on Twitter.
posted by n. @ 3/11/2011
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