Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Have A Listen : Jim James @ St. David's Church at SXSW

(photo by Alexandra Marvar)

So since you probably weren't there, the good people at NPR (with James's permission of course) have been kind enough to release their recording of the Jim James set from that glorious night in March when we caught that tiny off-shoot of a show at St. David's Episcopal Church during SXSW this year.

NPR is releasing the material as a part of their All Songs Considered concert series, which features performances from the Glitter and Doom Tour by none other than Tom Waits, Shearwater, and DeVotchKa among others. 

Follow the link to listen to the set, which clocks in at 53 minutes and 37 seconds and spans just about all of My Morning Jacket's career. 

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks

(beautiful photo of Grizzly Bear's recording set-up; photo)

I would be doing a disservice to all of you if I didn't post the amazing new Grizzly Bear song Two Weeks. The band unveiled the track on Letterman this Wednesday, on July 23rd. With each listen, the anticipation of more new material grows and grows. The songs starts with bouncy keys played by Daniel Rossen and those familiar harmonies that Grizzly Bear is known for. The new material takes a cheerier approach than the melodramatic stylings of their past work, but it goes wonderfully with their other new song, While You Wait for the Others. Their way of releasing these songs has been very interesting and I hope they keep it up. Way to keep us excited guys.

Video of Two Weeks:

Review & Photos : Wolf Parade at The Palladium Ballroom

Wolf Parade has never graced a stage in Dallas during their half-decade or so as a band and they finally made it last night. The timing was right for the band, following their latest release At Mount Zoomer, and hasn't been since about three years ago due to the various side projects like Handsome Furs and Sunset Rubdown.

So, was Dallas worth the wait? It sure seems so. The band's fan base has grown immensely since the release of Apologies to the Queen Mary in 2005 and it is likely that most people in the crowd hadn't ever had the chance to see the band perform. The crowd was comprised of hipsters, greek-lifers, and even a mother with her baby strapped to her chest with one of those Baby Bjorn things, just to prove the eclectic mix of people the band attracts and those who have been waiting for years to see them play.

The band did not disappoint those who have been waiting for so long (and those who just got into them). For those who have been sticking around since the beginning, the band played a hefty amount of old material like You Are A Runner and I am My Father's Son, Grounds for Divorce, and Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts, among others. At Mount Zoomer, hasn't immediately grabbed my attention like their first full length did, but the songs they chose to play from it, especially Soldier's Grin, Language City, and An Animal in Your Care, sound just as good live as any of their other material.

Hopefully the band won't make the wait between Texas dates as long as last time (ACL 2006 to now), but until then, we have Spencer Krug's other band Sunset Rubdown, to look forward to catching in the fall.

Wolf Parade play Austin tonight at La Zona Rosa.

Sunset Rubdown will be back to Texas in September, playing Mohawk in Austin on the 27th, followed by The Granada in Dallas on the 29th.

(On a side note, this was our last Dallas show as residents of the city (well, county). We will be taking Austin by storm as of August and will be bringing you all that Austin has to offer from then until eternity!)

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Wolf Parade 11

Wolf Parade 15

Wolf Parade 6

Wolf Parade 10

Wolf Parade 2

Wolf Parade 4

Wolf Parade 5

Wolf Parade 3

Wolf Parade 13

Wolf Parade 1

Wolf Parade 16

Wolf Parade 7

Wolf Parade 14

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Deerhoof Confirmed for Fun Fun Fun Fest, More On the Way


Deerhoof, one of the bands on our running list of "How Could The Possibly Outdo Last Year?", has just been confirmed for Fun Fun Fun Fest 2008. By starting big (in our eyes) the good folks at Transmission are letting us know that this year certainly won't disappoint. They sent out the message via our buds at Gorilla Vs. Bear and also confirmed Dan Deacon and The Dead Milkmen. Things are looking good this year. More info about the rest of the lineup is coming in August.

Friday, July 11, 2008

New High Places

(amazing album art for the High Places s/t)

So we might be a tad bit behind on this story, but we don't particularly pride ourselves on breaking news. One of our more recent favorite bands, High Places, will be releasing their self-titled debut album on September 23rd on Thrill Jockey. The press release has this to say of the album :  
"The album emphasizes the themes of goodness manifested in nature, and hardship and wonder as necessities to human existence and growth. Additionally, High Places accent the idea of maturation and development through the recurring mention of trees and their extending, enveloping branches."
Sounds good to us! While some of you might be thinking this all sounds a little bit far out, like something you might hear in an REI store, just hold on a second. Give the song Golden, which will be featured on the album, a listen and you will see that it all makes sense. We haven;t heard the entire album yet, but we're pretty positive that it won't be disappointing once it surfaces in September (unlike somethings that have let us down this year). Rob and Mary plan to tour the "entire United States" in September, so we've got our fingers crossed for some Texas dates. 

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New Grizzly Life Coming Soon!

We are very excited about our new layout and you should be too. We can't wait to see it completed! It's about time we changed things up a bit around here, and with our move from Dallas to Austin, we obviously can't keep the left-hand graphic, so its all going! Stay tuned for the update!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Review & Photos : No Age @ Good Records and The Loft

Two No Age shows in one day is enough to make any fan giddy with excitement, and that is exactly how I felt to know that the band was playing both an in-store at Good Records and a full set at The Loft on Monday.

Despite being an hour late due to unknown reasons, the crowd still stuck around in respectable numbers to see No Age play their second in-store at Good Records. Last time, the band was lesser known, but this time, due to a greater amount of press and a recent MTV appearance, the crowd seemed more aware, complete with two sorority looking girls, which stop me if I'm wrong, aren't really the type... I could be off base but I think I'm right. Anyway, the band played a good amount of material from their Sub Pop debut Nouns plus several older tunes. Dean and Randy where charming as expected and pleased the crowd with both their music and their humor. As is the case with in-stores, no one really got down, but that didn't mean that people weren't enjoying themselves. Smiles where abundant and the buzz after the last notes was a good sign.

The show at The Loft, opened by somber noise maker Infinite Body, had quite a laid back feel which seems to be a common thread among shows at The Loft. The audience stayed confined to the lounge areas and the patio until the next act took the stage, because the number of people in attendance on a Monday night was low enough to where one would be guaranteed a decent spot, at least until Abe Vigoda was finished with their set. I was surprised how many people were there to see Abe Vigoda specifically. They sold a good number of shirts and records before they even played and the crowd seemed to know their material and enjoyed listening to it.

The crowd for No Age can be best described as comatose. It would be my guess that Dallas had a case of the Mondays and just decided to not show up with their game faces on. Dean in particular took notice of the stiff bunch set before the band and attempted to get the audience riled up at several different times in their set. The music certainly wasn't the issue because No Age played an on-point set once they hurdled a couple of "technical difficulties" after the first couple of songs. The set was punctuated with the instrumental bits from Nouns, which Dean described as "reflective moments" and also served as "question and answer" time where people asked questions like "What did Pete Wentz smell like?", to which Dean and Randy jokingly replied "Money!". It is unfortunate that the crowd didn't reach the momentum that the music should have given them until the final song of their set Everybody's Down, when the band
finally got some feedback from the crowd who decided to go out with a fit of shoves.

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No Age @ Good Records

No Age @ Good Records 2

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No Age @ Good Records 4

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Infinite Body @ The Loft
Infinite Body at The Loft

Abe Vigoda @ The Loft
Abe Vigoda at The Loft 1

Abe Vigoda at The Loft 2

No Age @ The Loft
No Age at The Loft 1

No Age at The Loft 2

No Age at The Loft 3

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Review & Photos : Fuck Yeah Tour @ Mohawk in Austin

By all accounts, the Austin stop on the Fuck Yeah Tour lived up to its name. By the end of the night, headliners Matt and Kim had the audience shouting the phrase several times, and all of the acts who took the stage had the audience very captivated and actively involved, which seems to be a hard thing to accomplish these days.

Crystal Antlers, who joined the tour on the Austin date, seemed to be the big surprise of the night. Most people who mentioned them enjoyed what they were playing, but there weren't too many people there at the time, so it could be a toss up. My thoughts: they were good, but not what I had come to the show for. (I bet their recorded material is worth listening to)

Next up on the bill (minus the comedy that we didn't see) was Team Robespierre. Hailing from Brooklyn, this four-piece played on the floor and had everyone dancing. What more could one really ask for? Not only were they a whole lot of fun, they also weren't that bad. Sometimes, you can still dance along even if the band isn't all that great, but that wasn't the case for this one.

The next band to grace the floor of Mohawk was a favorite of ours, The Death Set. Unlike the last time we saw the band in Dallas, Death Set fans were out in droves and nearly everyone close to the band knew the words to just about every song in the set, which was full of the best songs on the band's most recent release, Worldwide. Each time we see them, they get better and better.

This was my first time seeing Matt and Kim, but I knew what to expect from videos online and what I've heard from several people. Their recorded material doesn't lend itself to as much action as their live show does, and both should definitely be experienced. The duo is all smiles and possibly the cutest out there. How is it that two people can be so happy? I guess with the turnout that seems to come in droves, much like the show in question, could make them so happy. Thanks to a broken keyboard, Matt and Kim were forced to play Lightspeed, which Matt claimed they never do, so that was quite the treat. We're really looking forward to seeing them again and hearing their new material.

(I got the chance to meet the official photographer and all around amazing guy Todd Seelie at the show and though he hasn't posted pictures from our date yet, you should definitely check out his blog for tons of coverage from the previous dates on the tour.)

Matt and Kim
Matt 1

Matt 2

Kim 2

Kim 3

Matt 3

Kim 4

Matt 4

Matt 5

Matt 6

Matt Surfing

The Death Set
Johnny 1

Johnny and Peter 1

Johnny and Peter 2

Jahphet 1

Peter 1

Johnny 2

Johnny 3

Team Robespierre
Team Robespierre 1

Team Robespierre 2

Team Robespierre 3

Team Robespierre 4

Crystal Antlers
Crystal Antlers 2

Crystal Antlers 1