Thursday, August 28, 2008

New High Places : From Stardust to Sentience

With their debut full-length on the way (due out on September 23rd via Thrill Jockey), High Places keep giving us little tastes of the album, and this time we get the closer. Their new song From Stardust to Sentience takes the listener to that familiar astral-projected place the band wants you to be in. With Rob Barber's lilting rainforest beats and Mary Pearson's airy vocals, the song is the perfect way to just melt away on a hot summer day much like this one. 

The band will be on tour this fall in support of their album, and will be stopping by Austin at Emo's on Wednesday October 15th. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bonus #2 : Xiu Xiu "Question of the Tour" Answers

When Xiu Xiu has a tour-based project, we take them up on their offer. This time, we have the answers to our questions, written mostly to Jamie Stewart (1 to Caralee McElroy) to gain insight into the minds of one of our favorite bands out there. I will not post the text to the answers here, because it is far more exciting to read from actual handwriting, so head on over to The Grizzly Life's Flickr account to catch the set in it's entirety. 

One of my personal favorites, I asked Jamie to draw me a picture, and this is what I received:

Questions for Jamie 19

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bonus : Polaroids from Xiu Xiu @ Mohawk

So its been a few days since we caught Xiu Xiu at Mohawk and we couldn't help but share these Polaroids with you, sort of a thanks for paying attention. 

If you weren't there super early, and I don't think you were since we were almost the only ones there when it happened, then you missed the impromptu jam session between Jamie Stewart and Ches Smith, with Caralee McElroy of Xiu Xiu and Carla Bozulich of Evangelista dancing along. 

All the rest are from the show, and every single one was taken by the lovely and talented Kayleigh Ingalls.

Also, as another super special added bonus, Kayleigh and I will soon be the proud owners of some 162 or so photos taken by David Horvitz of the members of Xiu Xiu in their downtime and other things, being that we were very willing participants in the disposable camera project, and as soon as we get them, we will have them developed, and then an elite few will be chosen for posting right here on The Grizzly Life

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 1

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 2

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 3

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 4

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 5

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 6

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 7

Xiu Xiu Polaroid 8

Tonight : My Morning Jacket and Nas

Tonight finds Austin with a couple of options on the table.

Option number one finds My Morning Jacket, a band that seems to be getting bigger by the minute, playing a big venue (Stubb's) to a big sold out crowd. If you didn't get your tickets in time, maybe you could sit behind Stubb's and put that distance-listening device you bought from the infomercial to good use?

Option number two find Nas, a rapper who has already been big and riding on the heels of a newly released, controversial album, playing a small venue (Emo's) to a small crowd (compared to that at Stubb's), giving an intimate performance to lucky fans. I don't think this one is sold out yet, but it's sure to be jam packed. 

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Fun Fun Fun Fest Tickets Now Available

For those intrepid trailblazers out there (okay, you should all be chomping at the bit) who are ready to purchase their Fun Fun Fun Fest tickets, you are in luck! They have gone on sale as of yesterday, and you can purchase them online at Front Gate Tickets (the link will take you right where you need to go to get them).

Tickets are $50.99 - $59.99. If you're a student, you can get your tickets for the cheaper price by just showing a valid school ID at the gates when you get to Waterloo Park. How nice?

Band we are most looking forward to: Deerhoof. mmm-mmm

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Review & Photos : Xiu Xiu @ Mohawk

Last time we saw Xiu Xiu, they played a small Ft. Worth bar that seemed slightly out of their element, and the crowd had a handful of hardcore followers and the rest were casual listeners who were looking for a show to go to. This time, the show in Austin at Mohawk seemed to be a bit different. The crowd seemed to know more of the music and there wasn't as much of a buzz in between songs (with some exceptions), from those who wanted to get back to the conversations they were having before the songs started playing. There was more of an energy focused at the band (at least at the front) and what they were doing on stage.

Most of Xiu Xiu's material had been reworked to sound vastly different than the previously recorded versions, and it makes sense. It must be terribly stifling to play the same songs, the exact same way for years on end and never changing a thing about them. This time, easily recognizable "classic" Xiu Xiu songs like Fabulous Muscles and Sad Pony Guerilla Girl were all arranged in different, stimulating ways. What better gift to give to an audience than a new look outlook on familiar material? Not everything sounded new, but what was reworked was not disappointing. If another band decided to rearrange their staples, it might come off a little contrived, but not here.

Despite some technical errors (Jamie punched the crap out of his POG pedal. I mean, really.) The band was spot on. One thing I might not have paid much attention to last time around was Ches Smith's drumming (as commanding as it is) because he was in the back of the venue, but this time, he took the place of absent bassist Devin Hoff and really commanded his third of the band. Let's just say the guy was a machine, and not in a stiff, robotic sense. He has so much fluidity and an excellent sense for his sound. It was also good to hear Caralee sing her only solo song Hello From Eau Claire. Jamie's vocals and instrumentation were a dream and one pleasant surprise took place when he brought out the autoharp for Bog People.

The band is a true testament as to what more live shows and musical acts in general should sound and act like.

1. Nieces Pieces
2. 20,000 Deaths for Eidelyn Gonzales, 20,000 Deaths for Jamie Peterson
3. The Leash
4. Pox
5. Hello From Eau Claire
6. Sad Pony Guerilla Girl
7. No Friend Oh!
8. Don Diasco
9. F.T.W.
10. Bunny Gamer
11. Fabulous Muscles
12. Boy Soprano
13. Bog People

Xiu Xiu 12

Xiu Xiu 14

Xiu Xiu 3

Xiu Xiu 4

Xiu Xiu 13

Xiu Xiu 11

Xiu Xiu 15

Xiu Xiu 10

Xiu Xiu 16

Xiu Xiu 7

Xiu Xiu 17

Xiu Xiu 19

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tomorrow : Xiu Xiu @ Mohawk

As you may have noticed, we are thoroughly excited to catch one of our favorite bands, Xiu Xiu, tomorrow night at Mohawk here in Austin. This is the first native-Austin show to be blogged since we've fully moved from Dallas, and I couldn't think of a better one to start things off. If you will be in attendance, you should let us know, because we'd be happy to share the experience. 

The musical palette will be adequately wetted with openers Common Eider, King Eider (aka ex-Deerhoof Rob Fisk) and Carla Bozulich. The doors will open at 7 p.m. so show up early because this one is sure to fill up quickly. We've seen some of what the band has been playing on this tour and its a set you wouldn't want to miss. Also, you might want to bring an umbrella... Oh, and don't forget to bring your questions and disposable cameras. 

Similarly, Ches Smith, drummer for Xiu Xiu, posted an entry on the band's blog that says that he and David Horvitz will have a recorder for fans to document any noises they may wish to have remembered, and Ches will write a percussion piece for the recorded sounds from each town, and they will be available in mp3 format at a later date. So, just head over to the merch table and get to recording. We will likely participate in the project and post Austin's mp3 when it becomes available. The project is called "Y/our town" and it could yield some interesting results. They just don't stop do they?

Fun Fun Fun Fest Lineup Announced

Oh this glorious day is finally here! The good folks at Transmission Entertainment have finally let loose the full lineup for FFF Fest! 

The wonderful folks over at the Austinist have posted the full lineup, and its looking pretty darn good this year. Of course, we will get more excited about it as the time nears, but right now, we are very pleased to finally have the news.

I don't think that much could have topped last year's incarnation of the festival, being that it was one of the best things last year, outdoing both SXSW and ACL (and most every festival last year), but this year, things are going to be a bit different, and not in a bad way.

From our view, the bulkiest part of the lineup will come early, with acts like Deerhoof, YACHT, St. Vincent, Shearwater, Bad Brains, Hawnay Troof,  and others. The acts in between will be interesting and I am sure we will come away with plenty of unexpected surprises. (hit up the Austinist for the full lineup)

Tickets will be going on sale soon and the two day pass will run you a measly $59.99 so there's really not much of an excuse to miss out. 

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tonight : The Fifth Annual Pandarosa Showcase Showdown @ Sons of Hermann Hall

This year's edition of the Pandarosa Recording Company's Showcase Showdown is tonight at Sons of Hermann Hall, and is set to be the best of the five. This is a particularly special edition of the label's annual artist showcase, because two of the label's bands, We Are Not Shepherds and Abraham Kills the Giant, will be releasing their debut albums. The poster's crucual information is kind of small so here it is so you don't get it wrong:

The show is at Sons of Hermann Hall, at 8 PM tonight, and the cover charge is a measly $5 per person. You really can't afford to miss this one. 

Monday, August 11, 2008

Xiu Xiu Embrace Photos and Questions On Tour

Jamie Stewart 1
(polaroid by Kayleigh Ingalls)

In their unofficial quest to become the world's most accessible band, Xiu Xiu are allowing their fans to get a little bit closer to them, and peer into life on tour and the mind of their frontman Jamie Stewart. 

First, photographer David Horvitz will be joining the band on tour, and instead of Polaroids, this time he will be taking fans' disposable cameras to record life on tour with the band (or whatever else he sees fit). If you see the band on tour, you can drop off your cameras (and a self addressed, stamped padded-envelope) with Horvitz and have them sent back to you. The good thing about the deal is that unlike Polaroids, you can get as many copies made as you see fit. You can't really go wrong with that deal. 

If you follow the band's blog on their website, you know that Stewart has been posing questions to fans and posting their responses on the blog for all to see. Well this time, its (y)our turn to ask the questions and get inside Stewart's head. He's calling it the "Question of the Tour" this is how it works:

You think up the questions and write them down, placing them in a self addressed, stamped envelope and give them to Stewart (or any other band member) at your local show (ours is on August 20th here in Austin at Mohawk). Stewart will answer them while on tour and mail them back to you. Anything goes, so this should be fun. 

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Beach House 7" Coming : Used To Be

It must be a tricky thing for bands to put out records and then write new songs shortly after. What is there to do with new material that you feel like releasing sans a full album? Beach House has the answer and it comes in the form of a 7" due out on October 21st of this year on Car Park Records. The A-Side of the record will feature a new song the band wrote while on tour called Used To Be. Don't assume, however, that the 7" will be all new stuff, because the B-Side will be a four-track demo from 2005 of the amazing track Apple Orchard off the band's self-titled debut album. 

The label describes the single perfectly by saying: "Together, it's the newest and oldest pieces of music Beach House has recorded."