The debut album by this Brooklyn-based group has been on heavy rotation for me quite a while. Even more so now that the Grizzly Bear/ Here We Go Magic show at The Fillmore is merely days away. I’ve been listening to it incessantly all week and I am as infatuated with Luke Temple’s (Magic) voice as I am with Ed Droste’s (Grizzly Bear). Both are pure and angelic and the two bands complement each other perfectly.
Both albums are atmospheric but Magic is decidedly more lo-fi and ambient in a Panda Bear kind of way with lots of loops and multi-tracked vocals. The beautiful, murky rhythms of “Tunnelvision” and “Fangela” are representative of much of the sound found on the album. But I must confess they lose me on a couple of their noise, experimental tracks toward the end. While it’s a bit incongruent to the overall flow of the album, it doesn’t overshadow the overall experience – enchanting.
This was the scene out my back door this morning. Set up by my 4-year old, Judah. He just received a box full of Matchbox cars from his cousins in Chicago. And this is either an extremely organized display of admiration for his new booty or he has some serious Type A tendencies. Only time will tell.
I like Wheat. I wonder if their name was inspired by the 70s rock band Bread. Or if they would have named their band Wheat had they formed during the low carb craze. Decidedly lo-fi and low key, this indie band has been rocking for more than 10 years running. Their newest effort, “White Ink, Black Ink” is due out July 21 on The Rebel Group.
Here’s a new track off the album, “H.O.T.T”. Ain’t these lyrics the truth…
“Half of the time I feel broke, cracked, peeled and weathered/ Half of the time I feel shiney and new. Half of the time I feel I’m clever/ half of the time I just haven’t a clue.”
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.
More than likely you’ve heard of Deerhunter. Their last album, Microcastle, topped many ‘Best Of’ lists last year, including mine. But what about Circulatory System? Yeah, me neither but you soon will – trust me. I got tipped on their forthcoming album, Signal Morning, recently, took a listen and have been smiling ever since. It was like listening to Deerhunter on a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour. Holy head trip! This is fan-fucking-tastic, who are these guys?
As it turns out, Circulatory System has been around a while and share much in common with Deerhunter. Both were formed in 2001 in Georgia, have received critical acclaim and have front men tormented by disease. Circulatory System was founded by Will Cullen Hart after Olivia Tremor Control fell dormant in 2000. He and most of the other Olivias now comprise much of the band. Their eponymous debut album was released that same year to much critical acclaim and their long awaited sophomore release, Signal Morning, is finally due out September 8.
Seven and a half years in the making, Signal Morning has been sculpted from countless hours of recordings. The end product is a heady, complex and orchestral sonic journey. The songs, composed by Hart, explore his battle with Mutliple Sclerosis – much in the same way as Bradford Cox explores his plight with Marfan Syndrome in his work with Deerhunter and Atlas Sound. And like Deerhunter’s trajectory with Microcastle, I expect this album will explode and take them to a higher level.
P.S. Rumor has it that Olivia Tremor Control is together and recording again too!
Sigh. It’s June 1, and like clockwork, the cold, damp fog has taken hold of San Francisco. Time to pull out the winter clothes. I always lament this time of year just a little. Ten months out of the year I have no complaints about this town with it’s eternal sunny skies. But June and July in San Francisco are just the worst in terms of weather. I live in the sunniest part of town too, with some of the best views of the city. So when it’s foggy in my hood, you know it’s bad.
Here’s the view of the city from my hill this morning. I felt like renaming this Say Hi...track to “June Was White, July Was Grey”. I will definitely feel better when the winter’s gone.