When I first heard that “the dude from Spoon has a new band with a guy from Wolf Parade”, I was stoked beyond belief. Members from two of the great indie-rock bands in recent history joining forces to create a whole new, dare I say, “group of superiority” known as Divine Fits. The lineup includes Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, Britt Daniel from Spoon and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown. So it’s not a surprise this album is pretty much everything you could wish for if you are a fan of Spoon and/or Boeckner’s Wolf Parade songs. Some of you might be familiar with Boeckner’s other project, Handsome Furs, an indie/electronic duo consisting of he and his wife, Alexei Perry, but the majority of my experience with the Canadian rocker lies amongst the three striking albums from Wolf Parade. There is certainly an electronic influence here but the digital effects aren’t forced and there is plenty of guitar to go around. The synths have a voice all their own and truly serve as a complement to the contagious head-nodding beats.
Album opener “My Love Is Real” perfectly encapsulates Dan Boeckner’s singing style and earnest mood while the spooky Halloween-esque piano riff sets the pace for a song that is both slow-building and intense. “Flaggin A Ride” sounds exactly like Spoon but I must admit I love it as much as any of the other Spoon-ful clap-happy classics. “For Your Heart” and “Shivers” are two superb songs that best illustrate the Divine Fits’ hybrid style as they blend addictive beats with well-placed driving guitar. With Boeckner singing on “Heart” and Daniels on “Shivers”, each tune showcases the respective singers giving it their all with passionate vocals and straining fervor. I’ll be honest, once or twice I lost track of who was actually singing. There is no Spencer Krug (former Wolf Parade co-frontman) of course and while I do miss his maniacal energy and song-writing, Britt Daniel fills that role with a frenzy and vigor all his own. Divine Fits is certainly in a happier place than Wolf Parade was and the songs are slightly more rockin’ than Spoon’s tick-tock approach. At 42 minutes long, this album is a very enjoyable and a perfectly paced listen. A Thing called Divine Fits emerges from the gate as one of my favorites so far this year. And the sound called Divine Fits is a welcome contribution to rock n roll from two of the best players in the game.
A Thing Called Divine Fits is streaming at NRP in its entirety up to its August 28th release date.
While most Spoon fans are getting a bit anxious for new material, the band’s front man Britt Daniel seems to be taking his time. While no details about writing or recording of new Spoon material has emerged, a new teaser trailer for Daniel’s side gig, a new band called Divine Fits has hit the web. While the details are scarce, here is what we do know. The band consists of Daniels, Dan Boeckner, formerly of Handsome Furs and Wolf Parade, and New Bomb Turks’ Sam Brown. The trio is putting out a new album later this year on Merge Records, and there will most likely be a synthesizer or two involved.
The band has released a new trailer that takes the term teaser to a whole new level, you can check it out below.
The letter I is a man of mystery, he says what he means but you’re never quit sure who he’s talking about, he prefers to stand alone but can do more with an S or a T than anyone, his words might be short but his impact is never diminished due to a strict less is more policy, he’s all around you but is barely noticed as he slips in and out of words like a ninja. Is it you? Is it me? No, it’s I. Today we salute the ninth and arguably most versatile letter in the alphabet with a killer playlist inspired by no other than I.
In the second installment of our 100 Albums You Might Have Missed series we look back at the year 2001. Here are 10 great albums that fell below the mainstream rock radar but truly deserve a second chance.
Released: April, 2001
A must-have album for any fan of late 60′s/70′s British hard rock with an American indie twist. It’s a 13 song record packed full of fuzzy guitars with intimidating riffs and growling hooks. I hate to use the overly cliche word “gritty” but this album is a true “kids in the basement” project with an energy and curled lip to boot.
Released: May, 2001
Despite Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary serving as the only two original band members remaining on this record, it is arguably Whiskeytown’s best. The album was actually recorded in 1999, and due to a changing of the guard at the record label the completed album sat on the sidelines for two years, earning the distinction of a “lost classic”.
Released: February, 2001
This is the band’s third release but still fairly obscure to most rock fans for an album that received a Grammy nomination. The band is Swedish, sounds British and yearns to be American. Resulting in a myriad of styles ranging from Pink Floyd, Oasis, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Stooges. The album is chocked full of well-crafted and catchy tunes, which is probably why Pitchfork hates it.
Released: May, 2001
Much was made of Dylan’s “comeback album” Time Out of Mind in 1997, but it’s follow up Love and Theft is just as good, if not better. The album is loose and fun in parts, and serious and somber in others. Lyrically, Dylan is in top form, but you don’t necessarily need to dig that deep to enjoy the album. Love and Theft marks the fifth decade in which Dylan has released an excellent album, not to shabby.
Released: June, 2001
It’s easy to write off MUSE as a Radiohead rip-off but this album showcases the English trio’s other talents and marks their direction towards a “space-rock” sound full of sweeping synthesizers, driving bass guitar effects and overly dramatic piano work. Not to mention it includes one of the best guitar riffs of the past decade in Matt Belamy’s shred-tastic “Plug In Baby”. MUSE is a band that clearly isn’t as uptight as their British counterparts and that’s what makes their sound all the more rewarding.
Released: July, 2001
In a time where so much country music sounds the same, Gillian Welch and songwriting partner David Rawlings turn in an album of unique and beautiful folk/country tunes that are anything but stale. About as low key as it gets, Time is full of heartfelt songs performed in a super chill acoustic setting. For lovers of folk and americana music, this one is not to be missed.
Released: July, 2001
The third album from NJ punk/emo/rock band Saves The Day. This release saw a change in the band’s guitar-driven power-chord sound to a more melodic and slower layered pop-rock style. Still holding on to dark and gruesome lyrics, lead singer Chris Conley manages to deliver his morbid imagery in a much lighter, almost sweeter fashion.
Released: October, 2001
Beachwood Sparks were first described to me as “Indie Rock Space Cowboys”, a pretty cool distinction that got me to take notice right away. While their recording career was short, it was also pretty sweet. Once We Were Trees, their second and final album plays the space cowboy card pretty well. While the late 60′s country retro vibe is certainly all over this record, the songwriting, harmonies, and melodies speak for themselves and make a great album regardless of the time period.
Released: March, 2001
Before Chris Carrabba started breaking teenage girls hearts as Dashboard Confessional, he did a turn as the front man for the punk/emo band Further Seems Forever. This might be an “emo” record, but it is pretty dang heavy. Carrabba’s strong voice is a perfect fit for the powerful band behind him, resulting in an inspired and impressive album.
Released: February, 2001
Spoon’s third album but the first release where the Austin-based rock outfit truly found their signature rock style. With stop-on-a-dime pacing, prickly guitars and calculated vocals, Spoon finds their charm in a tick-tock-rock groove that is sure to keep your head bobbing for many albums to come.
This morning the Austin City Limits festival announced their 2010 lineup. This year’s festival will take place October 8 – 10th, and will include headliners The Eagles, Muse, Phish, The Strokes and The Flaming Lips. There are plenty of really good bands on the lineup to get excited about including Austin natives Spoon, Monsters of Folk, Band of Horses, Yeasayer, Broken Bells, The Black Keys, Gaslight Anthem, and The National. The full lineup is listed below. 3 day festival passes are sold out, but there are still tickets for each day available. For ticket information or more information, check out the festival’s website.
The Flaming Lips
Band of Horses
Monsters of Folk
Robert Earl Keen
The Black Keys
Matt and Kim
Portugal. The Man
The Temper Trap
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Ryan Bingham and Dead Horses
Devendra Banhart and the Grogs
THe Soft Pack
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
The Almighty Defenders
Miike Snow, Mountain Goats, Bear in Heaven, Mayer Hawthorne, Midlake, Foals, Switchfoot, Cage the Elephant, JJ Grey and Mofro, Kinky, Angus and Julia Stone, The Morning Benders, Hockey, White Rabbits, David Bazan, Asleep at the Wheel, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Nortec Collective, The Very Best, Beats Antique, Henry Clay People, Blind Pilot, Givers, Dawes, Band of Heathens, Charlie Mars, Two Door Cinema Club, Lissie, Sarah Harmer, The Constellations, T. Bird and the Breaks, Chief, Frank Turner, Those Darlins, Carolyn Wonderland, TEACHERS, Kings Go Forth, The Relatives, The Ettes, Qbeta, The Dough Rollers, MyNameIsJohnMichael, Basia Bulat, Balmorhea, Dan Black, The Jane Shermans, The Kicks, Ponderosa, Two Tons of Steel, Caitlin Rose, SPEAK, Run With Bulls, Maxim Ludwig, Gospel Stars, Heavenly Voices, Wesley Bray & The Disciples of Joy, Jones Family Singers, Ashley Cleveland and Kenny Greenberg, Buddy and the Straight
The albums that the Get up Kids released in the late 90s came to define an entire genre of music. Their punk meets emo sound became so beloved and synonymous with the band that many fans lost interest as soon as they started to mix it up. Things finally came to a head, and after the disappointing Guilt Show album the band called it quits, leaving the members to disperse into their respective (and rather successful) side projects.
Last year, word of a Get Up Kids reunion tour came out of nowhere, then a new Daytrotter session from the band dropped, and now the band’s first studio recording in six years, the Simple Science EP has been released.
But Simple Science is more than just one EP. It is actually a collection of three EP’s the band will be releasing in 2010. Each release contains four new original songs released on limited edition 12″ and 10″ vinyl (the songs will also be released on CD and on Itunes). The first EP in the collection was released on April 17th(Record Store Day), the second is scheduled for a summer release, and the third for the fall. The recordings feature the full original lineup of the band, including bassist Rob Pope who was unable to join the band on most of the tour due to his commitments with his new band, Spoon.
The new EP isn’t exactly a return to form, but the band’s trademark sound is certainly present in spots. The first track “Your Petty Pretty Things” is the closest thing to an old school GUK recording, and would probably fit right in on Something to Write Home About. The verse in “Keith Case” sounds almost like a Spoon track, building tension around a fuzzy bass line before it is paid off with a vintage Matt Pryor vocal in the chorus. ”Tommy Gentle” falls somewhere between the Blackpool Lights and the New Amsterdams sound, resulting in a cool track that is my favorite of the bunch. Rounding out the record is “How You’re Bound”, the strangely long and largely forgettable closer.
All these years later, Simple Science showcases a fresh and relevant sound from The Get Up Kids. While this release might not be the band’s best material, it should be enough to wrestle up some excitement for the rest of the collection.
Last night Spoon stopped into the Jimmy Kimmel show with tour mate Bradford Cox sitting in on guitar. They played two songs from their latest album Transference, including “Who Makes Your Money” and “Is Love Forever”. Frontman Britt Daniel takes advantage of the guest appearance, rolling sans guitar for Who makes your money.
While it is a bit odd for me to see Spoon perform on national television with Bud Light ads all around the stage, it is pretty cool to see how easily the songs themselves make the transition. Very solid performance from a very solid band.
After the release of 2007′s easy to love album “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”, the Austin quartet goes in the other direction with the follow up “Transference”. Trading catchy hooks and sing along choruses for off-balance arrangements and layered textures, the band still manages to come up gold.
While many may take this release as Spoon turning their backs on their newfound mainstream audience, it is actually more of a return to form. The abrupt changes and break it apart, put it back together nature of these songs is classic Spoon. A minimalist sound was clearly the intention for this album, in fact half of the tracks on the album are actually presented in their original demo form. The bands precision is the constant here as the album bounces back and forth between lo-fi demo recordings and polished studio tracks.
Released earlier as singles, the first two songs we heard from this album “Written in Reverse” and “Got Nuffin” were two extremely original tunes and were enough to get us very excited about this album. Outside of the wannabe ballad “Good Night Laura”, the rest of the album didn’t disappoint, working very well as a whole. “Trouble Comes Running” and “Is Love Forever” are high energy that are sure to staples in the band’s already stellar live show.
“Transference” has little in common with “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga”, and listeners who judge the two against one another will probably be quick to dismiss this release. The band seems more focused on texturing instruments and sounds than creating pop radio friendly songs on this record, which is just fine by me. While this album will push many listeners outside of their comfort zone, it walks the line well, and is certainly worth the ride.
Last Night, Spoon took the stage at the Tonight Show, playing their single “Written In Reverse” from their latest album “Transference”. The vocals get a little pitchy at first, but stick with it, they end up rocking it out. With only three nights of the Conan Obrien show left, this just may be the last good music guest performance. We’ll keep you posted.
The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (Coachella to it’s friends) announced their 2010 lineup this morning, becoming the first major festival of 2010 to do so. The festival, taking place April 16th – 18th in Indio, California announced Jay – Z, Muse, and the Gorillas as the headliners for the three days, respectively. Last year’s headliners were Paul Mccartney, The Killers, and The Cure.
Other highlights include LCD Soundsystem, MGMT, a Pavement reunion, Phoenix, Spoon, and Thom Yorke’s new non-Radiohead band called “Thom Yorke????” See below for the full lineup.
Tickets for the event go on sale this friday, 1/22 at 10 AM. Three day festival passes are $269.00 plus surcharges. More details are available at the Coachella Website.
FRIDAY APRIL 16: Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Them Crooked Vultures, Vampire Weekend, Deadmau5, Public Image Limited, The Specials, Grizzly Bear, Passion Pit, Echo and the Bunnymen, Benny Benassi, Fever Ray, Grace Jones, She & Him, Erol Alkan, The Avett Brothers, Calle 13, The Whitest Boy Alive, The Cribs, La Roux, Yeasayer, Lucero, DJ Lance Rock, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Proxy, Ra Ra Riot, Deer Tick, Wolfgang Gartner, Aeroplane, Iglu & Hartly, Sleigh Bells, P.O.S., Baroness, Hockey, Little Dragon, White Rabbits, Wale, Kate Miller-Heidke, As Tall as Lions, Jets Overhead, Alana Grace, Pablo Hassan.
SATURDAY, APRIL 17: Muse, Faith No More, Tiësto, MGMT, David Guetta, The Dead Weather, Hot Chip, Devo, Coheed and Cambria, Kaskade, 2Many DJ’s, Major Lazer, Dirty Projectors, Gossip, Z-Trip, The xx, John Waters, Les Claypool, The Raveonettes, Mew, Sia, Camera Obscura, Tokyo Police Club, Porcupine Tree, Old Crow Medicine Show, Aterciopalados, Bassnectar, Frightened Rabbit, Dirty South, Flying Lotus, Corinne Bailey Rae, Pretty Lights, Shooter Jennings, RX Bandits, The Almighty Defenders, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Craze & Klever, Zoe, The Temper Trap, Portugal. The Man, Band of Skulls, Girls, Beach House, Steel Train, Frank Turner.
SUNDAY, APRIL 18: Gorillaz, Pavement, Thom Yorke????, Phoenix, Orbital, Spoon, Sly and the Family Stone, De La Soul, Julian Casablancas, Plastikman, Gary Numan, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Sunny Day Real Estate, Yo La Tengo, MUTEMATH, Deerhunter, Infected Mushroom, Club 75, Matt & Kim, The Big Pink, Gil Scott-Heron, King Khan and the Shrines, Florence and the Machine, Yann Tiersen, Little Boots, Miike Snow, Talvin Singh, Ceu, B.o.B., Babasonicos, Owen Pallett, The Glitch Mob, Mayer Hawthorne, Local Natives, Rusko, The Middle East, Hadouken!, The Soft Pack, Kevin Devine, Paparazzi, Delphic, One EskimO.
Transference, the latest from Spoon is streaming in its entirety for free courtesy of NPR. The album will be available for free online listening this week, until it’s release on 1/19. We are just as excited as you are, and will be posting a full review after we get a chance to listen to it. Until then, enjoy…..