The Veils – “Bloom”

Artist: The Veils
Album: Troubles of the Brain EP
Homeland: UK
Release Date: 1/25/11
Featured Track: “Bloom

I heart The Veils. I adore Veils frontman Finn Andrews, son of XTC keyboardist Barry Andrews. There is a pathos and passion to his music that moves me to no end. And they’re great live. See them if you have the chance. Pick up their new EP on 1/25/11.

My Best of SXSW 2010

Yeah, I know.  This post is like a month overdue.  But since Austin I’ve been in work hell, life hell and  right-after-I-downloaded-all-my-SXSW-photos-to-my-Mac-the-hard-drive-fried hell. Thank God for Apple Care and Drobo. I’m back on line and slowly getting back on track. So, without further ado, here are my highlights from SXSW. Better late than never, right?

Best SXSW Anthem & Best Performer: Andy Clockwise, “Everybody’s in a Band”

Best Venue: Luster Pearl on Rainey St. hands down. Great vibe, great bands, great people.  Kudos Filter Mag!

Best Celebrity Sightings – The Fader Fort VIP area with Adrian Grenier and Billy Idol to name a few.

Biggest Buzz Band: Broken Bells.  Though their cool quotient has substantially dropped now that their debut album is being retailed at Starbucks.  Ah well, can’t blame them really.  Their album was probably one of the biggest leaks on record.

Cutest Couple: Al and Claire, who after The Broken Bells show at Lustre Pearl dropped on bended knee and proposed. (Sniff.)  While that album will always be sentimental for that moment, I will personally always think of them when I hear The Temper Trap’s “Love Lost”.  We had such a great time at that show and it’s one of the best, sappiest love albums ever.  So this one’s for you, you saps. Congrats!

The Temper Trap“Love Lost”

Best Surprises: Boxer Rebellion, Best Coast and Children Collide. Didn’t see ’em coming but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of their performances.

Boxer Rebellion“Broken Glass”

Best Coast“Over the Ocean”

Children Collide “Frozen Armies”

Best Live Performances & Most Likely to SucceedLocal Natives, The Veils, The Temper Trap, Phantogram, Cymbals Eat Guitars

Cymbals Eat Guitars“And the Hazy Sea”

Best Female Drummer – Stella Mozgawa from Andy Clockwise and Warpaint. Rad!

Best Discoveries: The Pharmacy, Thee Vicars, Lovvers, Love of Diagrams, Beaches

The Pharmacy“Coldest Morning Light

Lovvers“OCD Go Go Girls”

Love of Diagrams“No Way Out”

Thee Vicars“You Lie”

Beaches – “Eternal Sphere”

Buzz Bands I Just Don’t Get Even After Seeing Them Live: Chew Lips, Neon Indian, Washed Out, Sleigh Bells.  Sorry.

Best Band Working The Street:  San Francisco’s very own The Ferocious Few and Phantom Kicks. Both working the street crowd hard and making me proud.  The Ferocious Few with their signature street performances and Phantom Kicks pressing demo CDs into any willing hand.  Including mine.  Good job!

The Ferocious Few“Crazy Love”

Phantom Kicks“Eyes Familiar”

The OCMD: Best Albums of 2009


Alberta CrossBroken Side of Time
“Rise from the Shadows”

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Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
“Ready Able”

Tape Deck MountainGhost
“Scantron”


Ty SegallLemons
“It #1″


Atlas Sound Logos
“Quick Canal”


Flaming Lips – Embryonic
The Ego’s Last Stand”

Woods – Songs of Shame
Rain On”

Bear In HeavenBeast Rest Forth Mouth
You Do You

Amazing Baby Rewild
“The Narwhal”

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Band of Skulls – Baby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls” 

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Cymbals Eat GuitarsWhy There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”

The XX – The XX
Crystalised

She Keeps BeesNests
“Gimme”

GirlsAlbum
“Lust for Life”

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Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”

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Fever Ray – Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”

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Foreign Born – Person to Person
“Vacationing People

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J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”

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Leopold and His Fiction – Ain’t No Surprise
“Broke”

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Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”

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Speck Mountain – Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal

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Shadows on a River – Shadows on a River
“In Business

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The Veils – Sun Gangs
“The Letter”

The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love
Velvet

Jeff the Brotherhood – Heavy Days
“U Got The Look

Electric Tickle MachineBlew It Again
“Blew It Again”

Best Albums of 2009 – So Far

Whew, I’ve been wanting to get this post up for about 3 weeks now, but you know how it goes – life prevails and hobbies sometimes take a back seat. Well, here it is. My mid-year Best Albums of 2009…so far. Out of all the music I’ve sorted through thus far this year, these are the albums that bubbled to the top, the ones I happily came back to again and again.  They may not all be Pitchfork approved (or even rated for that matter), but they worked for me.

I’m not going to go through the diligence of ranking them, so I’ve listed them in alphabetical order. I’ll save the ranking exercise for the end of year round up.  Until then, I hope you find some new music to enjoy!

band-of-skulls-i-know-what-i-am

Band of Skulls
Baby Darlin Doll Face Honey
“Death by Diamonds and Pearls”

cymbals-eat-guitars-why-there-are-mountains-2008

Cymbals Eat Guitars
Why There Are Mountains
“And The Hazy Sea”

dan-auerbach-keep-it-hid-2009

Dan Auerbach
Keep It Hid
“The Prowl”

fever-ray-cover_medium

Fever Ray
Fever Ray
“If I Had A Heart”

fbcover

Foreign Born
Person to Person
“Vacationing People”

front_veck

Grizzly Bear
Veckatimest
“Ready Able”

ny2ptsthrexhth65cuv5ulo8o1_500

J. Tillman
Vacilando Territory Blues
“First Born”

l_66ad0a9523fd4684b078c37cbdbc1e38

Leopold and His Fiction
Ain’t No Surprise
“Broke”

1064574

Papercuts
You Can Have What You Want
“Future Primitive”

saki046_speckmountain-300

Speck Mountain
Some Sweet Relief
“I Feel Eternal”

album art

Shadows on a River
Shadows on a River
“In Business”

sun-gangs

The Veils
Sun Gangs
“The Letter”

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White Rabbits
It’s Frightening
“The Salesman”

Foreign Born + The Veils @ Bottom of the Hill

There’s always a bit of fear and trepidation when I anticipate a show as much as I did this one.  Usually you’re setting yourself up for a disappointment, but that was not the case Monday night at San Francisco’s Bottom of the Hill.  The stellar double header of Foreign Born and The Veils definitely goes down as one of my top concerts so far this year.

Both bands were excellent, but I have to say Foreign Born really delivered an outstanding performance with a rich, polished and professional sound rarely seen at the likes of this venue.  And they had a stage show too. When’s the last time you saw a show at Bottom of the Hill with two drummers, stage lighting and smoke effects?  It was a first for me.  They were tight.

The Veils, Finn Andrews, bared his soul during the show giving such a passionate performance he could barely compose himself after “Larkspur.”  Wow, was all I could say. His vocals reigned true throughout the night and his graciousness on stage was and unexpected surprise for me.  Impressive all around.

Videos: Foreign Born “Winter Games” + The Veils “Begin Again”

I had so much fun last night at The Veils and Foreign Born show at Bottom of the Hill that I’m deeming it Veils/Foreign Born Day at The OCMD.  Luckily, both bands have cooperated with me and released new videos today.  Check it out.  I think Finn Andrews was wearing the exact same outfit on stage as in the video.  Be forewarned, “Begin Again” is pretty intense and graphic.

Live footage from the show last night coming soon!

Album & Concert Pick ‘O The Week: The Veils + Foreign Born

Wow. There is an absolute stellar line of music happening tonight at Bottom of the Hill featuring London-based The Veils, So Cal up and comers Foreign Born and Cleveland buzz makers Other Girls. Two of whom also happen to be the creators of my more beloved albums this year. Why the hell this show isn’t sold out is beyond me. It’s quite possibly one of the finest line ups I’ve seen all year.  So if you’re SF-based, I highly recommend you get out to see it.  Regardless of where you live, you should definitely add these albums to your collection.

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The Veils “The Letter”

The Veils frontman and songwriter, Finn Andrews, makes me swoon.  His voice is stunning, his lyrics are soul baring.  Couple that with a heady rush of guitars and you’ve got yourself ballad rock epitomised (nod to the Brits here with that spelling). For a band that constantly earns comparisons to Nick Drake, Morrissey and Jeff Buckley, it’s almost incomprehensible why they are not a bigger deal.

Sun Gangs is their third release and I would go so far to say it might be one of the sleeper albums of 2009.  And now for a little music trivia. Did you know that Finn’s father Barry Andrews is a renowned musician himself? Playing with the likes of XTC, Brian Eno, David Bowie and Iggy Pop.

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Foreign Born:“Vacationing People”

Foreign Born started in San Francisco in 2003 after singer Matt Popieluch and guitarist Lewis Pesacov graduated San Francisco State University. After playing a few shows, the pair went down to LA to clean up their rough demos. The results were promising enough for Lewis and Matt to quit their menial jobs and move down to LA where the current line-up of Foreign Born was, yes, born.

Their first LP, On The Wing Now, was released in 2007 and their latest effort, Person to Person, just released last month.  I adore their first single from the album, “Vacationing People” and had the chance to see them perform at SXSW earlier this year. Judging by the number of recognizable faces in the audience at that show, it was evident that I’m not the only one who loves them either.  After all, if Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste deems you as his “favorite new band”, you must be doing something right.