I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’ll take Dan Boeckner over Spencer Krug any day. If that statement is means nothing to you, let me explain. Dan Boeckner is a member of the famed Wolf Parade along with lead singer, Spencer Krug. Both have had numerous side projects (Dan with Handsome Furs, and Spencer with Sunset Rubdown and Swan Lake most notably) but while Spencer grabs most of the limelight, Dan is the one who steals my heart time and again. His energy is infectious and the passion and chemistry he and wife Alexi Perry exude in their side project, Handsome Furs, is so palpable and irresistible you just want to climb on stage and start making out….with both of them. They have a good thing going and I’m very excited for their forthcoming effort, Sound Kapital, set to release on Sub Pop this June 28th. And if this album cover is any indication of the material inside, they are as hot as ever.
The Handsome Furs finally made their way to San Francisco this week and, well…this was pretty much what the show was like – HOT! Their energy, connection, passion and performance on stage was raw and magnetic. The husband and wife duo bared it all for the audience (figuratively speaking), pouring their souls into their music and each other, feeding one another into a frenzy and into heaps on the floor several times throughout the night.
There were moments when I thought Alexi Perry was going to dive through her drum machine back into the Matrix, only to be brought back from the edge by the dashing Dan Boeckner’s embrace and kiss. For real, people! It was truly amazing and inspiring to watch two people so connected and effusive. If it wasn’t rock and roll it might have even been a little sappy.
Oh, and I haven’t even talk about the music yet. I love these guys and have been remiss for not featuring their new album, Face Control, on this site yet. It’s sure to be on my top album list of 2009. Just like their sleeper debut Plague Park was in 2007. Face Control is definitely more upbeat and dancey, likely inspired by their romp through the clubs of Eastern Europe. Boeckner’s straightforward rock and songwriting shine in this album. as it does in his work with Wolf Parade. I’ll take him over Spencer Krug any day.
Hmmm, check out this tasty nugget that arrived in my inbox from Canadian indie rockers, Black Hat Brigade. Do I hear a little bit of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs in there? The band is independently releasing their second EP, Fathers, on May 28 and have launched a fan-based donation project to help bring the album to life. A+ for ingenuity! To donate visit the Black Hat Brigade MySpace page.
Friday at SXSW kicked off in style with a great day party hosted by Insound at Club De Ville. Obits opened the day with an impressively scorching set, followed by one of my favorite bands, The Handsome Furs, who’s energy and chemistry did not disappoint. I had yet to see them live so was thrilled to get up close and personal with them at such a great venue. (Loved Alexei Perry’s leopard print jumpsuit too.) American Analog Set followed but they were a bit too quiet to be appreciated with a crowd in the full throws of an all you can drink PBR pint party, so off I headed to the Spin private event at Stubbs.
At the Spin party, which was a blast, I caught The Black Lips – who lived up to their infamous stage performance reputation — Glasvegas and the seminal band of the 80s Echo and The Bunnymen. Ian McCulloch’s voice was amazing and the band’s performance was one of my highlights of the festival for me. Between sets we were entertained by the likes of The Crystal Method and NASA. A great show all around! Thanks Spin!
Without missing a beat, we headed to the TopSpin party to see White Denim crush it. If you don’t know this band already, you are missing out. Exposion is my favorite album of 2008 and they are absolutely incredible live. Whew, okay. I’m a good nine bands in and we haven’t even gotten to the official SXSW schedule yet!
The evening kicked off with Alberta Cross. Man, these guys are good. Really, really good. One of the SXSW sleepers, in my opinion. Loney Dear was up next with a lackluster performance, but all was redeemed when we made it to Emo’s Jr. for King Kahn & The Shrines. Holy crap! I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything quite like them. Absolutely and completely crazy live performers. People were hanging from the rafters, taking off their pants, moshing and giving puja to the holy Hindu, King Kahn. I didn’t think the night could get any better until we ended up at the mother of all after parties to see Starf**ker. My new favorite band. I loooovve them!
Check out the zombie thriller video to the new Handsome Furs track, “I’m Confused” from their new album that dropped this week, Face Control. Unfortunately, their tour won’t be bringing them to the West coast but for those of you SXSW bound, you can catch them there!
Montreal’s Handsome Furs have a new album on the horizon! Their second effort, Face Control, is due out on Sub Pop Records 3/10.
The side project of Wolf Parade‘s guitarist and vocalist Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry, Handsome Fur’s Face Control ‘draws inspiration from Eastern Europe and re-maps Eastern Bloc surveillance state themes to contemporary life and the irony of our acceptance and embrace of self-monitoring, through blogs and facebooks and myspaces and credit/debit accounts and surveillance cameras and GPS devices.’ Confused? Just listen to this new track, ‘I’m Confused’. And if you haven’t already heard their debut album, Plague Park, do so now. It was one of my favorites for 2007.