Carney, who plays bass for the group, joins up with four long time friends—all Ohio-based drummers—to bring the project to life. Drummer is rounded out by: Jamie Stillman of Teeth of the Hydra, formerly of Party of Helicopters (guitar),Jon Finley of Beaten Awake, also formerly of Party of Helicopters (vocals, guitar), Stephen Clements of Houseguest and Six Parts Seven (keys, vocals) and Greg Boyd of Ghostman and Sandman (drums). The band will embark on a fall tour in support of the new album.
I stumbled upon The Phenomenal Handclap Band at SXSW, fell head over heels in love and haven’t looked back since. Combining elements of soul, disco and psychedelic rock, their funky, booty shaking grooves are so infectious you can’t help but smile and bust a move. Thankfully, the band’s self-titled debut has just been released on Friendly Fire with enough new material to keep me jammin’ all summer long. Whoo hoo!
The Phenomenal Handclap Band is the vision of founding members Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, two underground New York DJ’s who combined their encyclopedic knowledge of esoteric music with their vast network of friends in the indie rock and underground soul scene to create a supergroup of eclectic and original sound.
The Bay Area’s own Bart Davenport appears on a couple tracks, as does Jaleel Bunton (TV on the Radio), Aurelio Valle’s (Calla), Carol C (Sí Se) along with many other carefully chosen artists. When touring the band is distilled to an eight-member powerhouse that is a sight to behold! They’re so fun, and the perfect band for summer. So get your dancing shoes on and tear it up!
North Carolina’s Floating Action self-titled debut is the latest work of Seth Kauffman – who already has a couple of albums under his belt by his own name. He mashes up a lot of influences on the album, but the jangly, soulful, lo-fi rhythms shine through. The perfect song for such a beautiful, balmy day here in San Francisco.
I had the pleasure to hang out with Rogue Wave’s Zach Rogue not too long ago and he told me about this amazing documentary film project chronicling their drummer, Pat Spurgeon’s, search for a living organ donor. The film, D tour, reflects on Pat’s choice to keep touring with the band while searching for a kidney and the risky venture of performing dialysis daily on the road. At an even deeper level, D tour addresses issues with the healthcare system, the lack of affordable insurance, the importance of organ donation, and much, much more.
It’s an amazing story. Directed by Jim Granato, the film is a labor of love both creatively and financially. A brand new song by Rogue Wave (with Japonize Elephants) called “Positive Hero Worship” is a free download to anyone who donates to the film at www.dtourmovie.com.
The film also features live performances from Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), Nada Surf, Ryan Miller, John Vanderslice, The Moore Brothers, and of course, Rogue Wave. The film will be screened as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival May 1-7. Make sure to head out and see it. The filmmaker and special guests will be in attendance!
I thoroughly enjoyed what felt like a TSOOL (The Soundtrack of Our Lives) private concert last night at The Independent. These guys know how to rock and have the attitude to match the music. Clad in satin red ‘The Who’ jackets and hippie tunics, they put on quite a performance with their guitar jams and theatrics.
TSOOL is one of my favorite rock bands from the 90s that have endured the test of time. The seasoned rockers are touring in support of their new double album, Communion, and wrapping up the limited US leg tonight in LA before heading back to Europe – where they are well know and adored.
I love the drums and have become obsessed with girl drummers. Not so long ago they were all but a rarity, or just a novelty act associated with an all girl band. It seemed that being a drummer was strictly part of the macho boys club. While female singers and guitarists have earned respect, female drummers still struggle to be taken seriously (think Meg White). And if they do get credit, it’s in that ‘not bad for a girl’ kind of way.
But more and more I see girl drummers turning up in new, up and coming indie bands. They’re not just a novelty act anymore. And I love it! So much so that I’ve been compiling a list of these hot young ladies to be featured in this trendspotting series: Girl Drummers.
Note: my intent with this series is to uncover the new, fresh talent. Not to shortchange the pantheon of fabulous and established female drummers out there – like Sheila E., Samantha Maloney (Hole), Cindy Blackman (drummer for Lenny Kravitz), Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill) or even Karen Carpenter (yes, she was a drummer!) – but I’m going to stay away from the history lesson and fast forward to now.
Meet Alice Talon (on the left) of LA-based Eagle and Talon, a post-punk girl band whose stripped-down minimalist rock “makes you wonder whether you’re being pet by a kitten or mauled by a lynx.” They’re primarily a guitar and drums-based affair and from some of the video footage I’ve seen, this girl can play drums. Alice is a classically trained pianist who started drumming when she went to Taiwan to discover her roots and subsequently spent many an afternoon drumming in the basements of Taipei.
Every year I host a music swap with my music geek friends where we share our top albums of the year. This year we spiced it up a bit by adding a new component – a mix of your favorite songs of 2008 by artists not represented in our Best Albums of 2008 list. (Ryan’s rules, not mine.) So here it is, my mix of some of my favorite indie rock tunes for 2008. I was struck by a lot of San Francisco local music this year and have noted those artists with an asterisk (**). I enjoyed the emergence of such good music from my hometown and hope you will too. Enjoy!
Artist:Blitzen Trapper Album: Furr File Under: Americana Recommended if You Like: Dr. Dog, Pavement, Band of Horses, Bob Dylan Featured Track: Furr
Portland’s Blitzen Trapper has been stirring up quite the buzz for the past year. Their last album, Wild Mountain Nation, made my ‘Best of’ list last year and was a darling in the indie music blogosphere. While some people didn’t take to that album’s lack of focus, I adored their schizophrenic romp through musical genres. It was very reminiscent of Pavement to me – weird and whimsical, which is a good thing.
The sound from their fourth album, Furr, is much more refined, honed in and mature. They seem to have grown up and figured out what works for them. And it works very well. Furr is like Bob Dylan meets Dr. Dog. They’ve taken the folk/Americana genre and played it out beautifully. No longer does the group sound like a bunch of teenagers trying every passing trend on for size. This album is cohesive and exudes a kind of confidence and talent that comes with maturity. It’s the real deal.
The best thing about my ‘job’ as a blogger (I say that with air quotes), are the presents I get in my inbox from new artists and record labels promoting their goods. It’s like a treasure hunt, sometimes the hunt leaves you empty handed but other times you hit jackpot. That’s the way I felt this week as I listened to two new releases from Canadian artists, The High Dials and Wintersleep. Check it out for yourself.
Montreal-based The High Dials make lush, intelligent psychedelic pop; dreamy anthems built on bittersweet melodies, bright harmonies and moody guitar sounds. They already have a notable fan base with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, who’ve declared them the ‘best band in North America’ and Rod Argent, legendary songwriter of the Zombies. Their new album ‘Moon Country‘ released this week.
The High Dials play this Saturday, October 18, at The Hotel Utah in San Francisco.
I’ve been listening to this album from Halifax- based, Wintersleep, repeatedly since I got it. Their new album, ‘Welcome to the Night Sky’, rose to the top of the Canadian indie rock charts drawing comparisons to acts such as Radiohead, Mogwai and Low. The album, which has been called a masterpiece by many, is now available in the US and expected to take America by storm. I’m hooked.
Don’t miss Wintersleep at Slims in San Francisco November 24.