Archive for January, 2011
Ahh….nothing like listening to a new album on repeat. Thank You, Happy Birthday, Cage the Elephant’s second studio album, was released early January 2011 and on its first day debuted number 1 on iTunes top downloads charts. The album itself is pretty solid — so check it out if you’re into garage rock. “Around My Head” is my favourite track from the album. The band performed a short set at Rolling Stone last week and videos of the performance are posted online. Here’s a link to their performance of “Around My Head”.
This is so cool and I just had to share it. I’m not a big Michael Jackson fan, in fact, I’m one of the few who feels Thriller is over-rated but I often like other people’s interpretations of his songs. To me, this is an indication of how good a songwriter he was. Anyone who has heard Chris Cornell’s version of Billy Jean will understand me when I say that Jackson was a great songwriter just not so good at singing his own songs. The songs themselves have good bones and other people have often built great interpretations from them. But that is a subject for a different post. Anyway, I found this video on the internet this morning and just had to share. It is awesome.
What can I say about something that is so totally different from anything you will hear in mainstream music or anywhere else for that matter? For one thing this is an instrumental which is a rarity in music these days, everyone seems to think they have something important to say instead of sometimes just letting the music speak for itself. Another thing is that the first time I listened to Butterfly the guitar work reminded me of Local Hero Mark Knopfler or maybe Cal era Mark Knopfler. But the next time I listened it didn’t sound like that at all. And the next time it was different again. So how do you classify something that changes on every listen? Well, you can’t, you will just have to make up your own mind as to who or what Delicate Steve sounds like. It is definitely on the outer edge of experimental music and I like that.
Butterfly starts off with a double-time shuffling beat and a delicate guitar line laid over a frantic electronic melody but about halfway through Delicate, Steve hits us with a wall of buzz that certainly changes the whole song. The delicateness is driven out by the onslaught. This change in tone adds a nice level of tension that propels us to the inevitable end. And instead of having the outro just fade out, Steve cuts it off short leaving the listener hanging over the precipice. The whole piece is unusual in it’s construction and I really liked it a lot.
Delicate Steve is fronted by multi-instrumentalist, Steve Marion with Mike Duncan (percussion), Adam Pulimia (bass), Christian Peslak (guitar) and Mickey Sanchez (keyboards) rounding out the band. You can find more information on their MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and website (for Canadian & U.S. tour dates). The debut album of all instrumental songs, Wondervisions, can be purchased from iTunes, or Amazon. You can also pre-order a vinyl version here or from Luaka Bop (founded by Talking Heads David Byrne).
Keep Away recently released an EP for donation in hopes of raising enough money to book some recording time, if the rest of the LP is as good as this I expect to be hearing a lot from these guys.
Last night’s show at Toronto’s Mod Club went off without a hitch. This soul-infused indie pop band from Los Angeles kept the crowd dancing and cheering the whole night long. Fitz & the Tantrums played their entire LP, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, from front to back. They also playing a couple of new songs that have yet to be recorded and an older track, “We Don’t Need Love Songs”, from their 2009 EP, Songs for a Break Up, Vol 1. The band worked to engage the crowd in a series of calls to the crowd to clap, booty shake, join in with singing and, at the end of the show, to “get low”.
During the encore, the band performed a cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. The show was capped off with their lead single, “MoneyGrabber”. It was here where the lead singer demanded the whole crowd to “get low” and crouch for several minutes. My bestie and I weren’t sure if the lead singer was actually serious about having the crowd crouch, but when the people around us started crouching, we were peer pressured into it. It was very strange — definitely a first at any show I’ve been too.
All in all, it was a pretty solid show. The band said that it was their second show in Canada (their first Canadian show being in Montreal). The remainder of their current North American tour dates are set in the Americas.