Tag: indie rock

In Concert: Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, 2/17/11

In Concert: Interpol at Radio City Music Hall, 2/17/11

Music
The first thing I noticed about Paul Banks’ voice is how very different it sounded from the last time I saw them. Not bad, just not like what I remember. There’s a richer, more developed tone in there with some subtle nuances that weren’t apparent several years ago at Madison Square Garden. While my seats weren’t the best for visuals, sitting next to the sound board was ideal for maximum aural enjoyment. Everyone appeared to be in fine form, and even from a distance I could enjoy Daniel Kessler’s goofy dancing along with his excellent guitar work. Since founding member and notorious man whore Carlos Dengler left Interpol shortly after the completion of their fourth album, Interpol, David Pajo filled in on bass like a ninja, managing to sink into the shadows on a fully lit stage. From
Listening booth — DeVotchKa, “The Man from San Sebastian”

Listening booth — DeVotchKa, “The Man from San Sebastian”

Listening Booth, Music
I meant to write up a proper review for the latest DeVotchKa album, 100 Lovers, but just haven't had the time. So instead I'm sharing my favorite track from the album, at least so far. It's the sultry and exotic "The Man from San Sebastian," a cross between Joe Henry and Gogol Bordello if I've ever heard one. Love that watery, reverb-heavy guitar riff. In summary, 100 Lovers is one of the best albums I've heard so far this year, so do yourself a favor and pick up a copy right this minute. It's out now on ANTI-Records.   Related articles DeVotchKa: 100 Lovers (pastemagazine.com) Bold New Music, Old-World Sound (online.wsj.com) DeVotchKa is 'romantic, hopefully exotic, and good' (canada.com)
Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Album review roundup: The Go! Team, Cut Copy, and Adele

Music
It's just an extravaganza of music reviews on the Suit this week, no? Here's three more we didn't want to go without mentioning. The Go! Team — Rolling Blackouts (Memphis Industries) Wow, has it really been seven years since Thunder, Lightning, Strike came out? That hardly seems possible. The Go! Team did release an album between then and now, Proof of Youth, but it never even appeared on my radar. Luckily this album did, because I like it a lot. The opening track, "T.O.R.N.A.D.O.", is a 20-megaton blast of what makes the Go! Team so fun — big beats, clever orchestration, and of course those cheerleader vocals. The fun doesn't really let up over the course of a baker's dozen tracks. While a lesser outfit might be tempted to let the layered, dense arrangements do all the heavy lift
Album review: Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean

Album review: Iron & Wine — Kiss Each Other Clean

Music
I’m not sure that it’s possible for a stylistic change to be signaled faster than Iron & Wine does on Kiss Each Other Clean. Granted, four years have passed since the last proper album from singer/songwriter Sam Beam hit record store shelves — and even that one had begun to stray from his formula of acoustic guitar and hushed vocals — but the slight departure taken with the accompaniment on The Shepherd’s Dog is nothing compared to the leap taken here. With the first few notes of opener “Walking Far From Home,” all preconceptions of what defines an Iron & Wine album are shattered. Beam is not merely going to add a few instruments to create a more fleshed out sound — he’s headed to the studio with saxophones, synthesizers, flutes, and even some vocal tweaking. While 2007’s The
Listening booth — “At Least It Was Here”

Listening booth — “At Least It Was Here”

Listening Booth, Music
I don't know about you, but I find NBC's serialized television program Community to be one of the more humorous ones currently airing. But this post doesn't concern the show, rather it concerns its most excellent theme song. It's called "At Least It Was Here" and is performed by Los Angeles-based indie rock band The 88. It's a charming and fun tune, I hope you will agree.
New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 2

New Adventures in Hi-Fi: My Journey Into R.E.M., Part 2

Music
Welcome back! In today's installment of my musical journey through R.E.M.'s discography, I tackle the first two full-length albums from the Athens, Georgia quartet. The first one, 1983's Murmur, pops up in just about every list of the greatest pop/rock albums ever made, so I was really curious to hear what all the hype was about. And then it's on to next year's Reckoning and the first major stylistic change for the group. While the two records were released almost exactly one year apart, they really are very different artistic statements. So anyway, Murmur.  Hey I recognize that first song! It's a re-recorded version of the band's first single, "Radio Free Europe." Well one thing's for sure, this new version is a lot cleaner-sounding and much more professional. Too bad it doesn't quite
Album review roundup: Cage the Elephant, Cold War Kids, and Deerhoof

Album review roundup: Cage the Elephant, Cold War Kids, and Deerhoof

Music
I didn't make a New Year's resolution to listen to more new music in 2011, but it just seems to be working out that way.  And so far I've been rewarded with some pretty decent stuff.  Will the good times continue?  Let's find out... Cage the Elephant – Thank You, Happy Birthday (Jive) Here's another group that managed to become pretty popular without even appearing on my radar.  I can't speak to how Cage the Elephant may or may not have changed since their first album, but this one is pretty damn good.  For a so-called indie rock band, Cage the Elephant displays a real knack for catchy aggression and a willingness to incorporate whatever sounds and styles necessary to get their point across.  Album opener "Always Something" nails the slinky, urban vibe that My Morning Jacket went for
Album review: The Decemberists – The King is Dead

Album review: The Decemberists – The King is Dead

Music
The term progressive can have rather dangerous effects on music. For starters it makes the typical music fan cringe with ideas of long-winded guitar solos and lyrics about gnomes fighting dragons. Second, it can cause musicians to try to make albums that actually match those ideas. When coupled with other words like “19th century sea-faring folk ballads” it has to be questioned whether anyone would even bother listening. And yet here we are witnessing the sixth studio album from the Decemberists more than a decade into their career. After having built a sizable following with what seems like a rather niche take on indie rock, perhaps it is those potential trappings that forced Colin Meloy and company’s hand towards taking a more stripped-down and straightforward approach on The King is
Album review: Tapes ‘n Tapes – Outside

Album review: Tapes ‘n Tapes – Outside

Music
Had Minneapolis indie rockers Tapes 'n Tapes released Outside (Ibid Records) as the followup to their sparkling 2005 debut, The Loon, it would still be considered a letdown.  It would, however, be miles ahead of their actual followup, Walk It Off.  The songs are more fully formed, the production is cleaner and warmer, and guitarist/vocalist Josh Grier sounds more assured than ever before.  But while Outside has some nice things going for it, it still falls short in a few significant ways. For one, the album starts off with a string of decent but ultimately unremarkable tracks.  "Badaboom" and "SWM" are a pair of understated tunes that showcase the band's renewed focus on songwriting but leave no lasting impression.  The album finally starts to build some steam about halfway through, whe