Pitchfork Music Festival, Day One

man man
This was wild.
I got to the festival about an hour after gates opened (maybe 1.00).
The first band to play was Hot Machines ... definitely a good opening act. Their red-haired singer was wailing away, the other guitarist (Alex?) was axing away, and the drummer was sweating up a storm in the back. Not bad for the opener.

Chin Up Chin Up came out looking slightly dazed and confused (staring into space, waiting for Hot Machines to wrap it up), but were truly on the ball. All except the singer who may have been struggling to fight off the heat (it peaked out around 95 degrees!) ...
But really, the group played their hook-filled, addictive brand of pop-rock, and even gave us a few songs that are going to be on their next album, due out in October.

After them was a band I've been wanting to see for ages ... Man Man! Wow was this band impressive. Honus Honus and crew all wore white and tribal facepaint. Chang Wang (or is the drummer named Pow Pow?) was a driven man behind those drums. Granted, he looked like he'd been pulled out of a Flintstones cartoon, but he was on top of that set. The group as a whole did a remarkable job or replicating their studio sound (Sergei Sogay and Alejandro Bjorg can do a fantastic impression of a children's choir, harmonies and all) ... they even threw a bag of forks around and started banging on pots and pans (and anything else they could get their hands on). Awesome stage presence ... awesome show, that one.

Neither the Mountain Goats nor Destroyer are exactly my thing, but they really did a great job yesterday as well. John Darnielle (the man behind the Mountain Goats) was much more charismatic than I thought he'd be, speaking in between almost every song, giving background info on most of them, and just making the crowd feel like they were in a more intimate setting than a festival grounds tends to be.
Destroyer had some minor technical difficulties I think, but when they were off they never looked back. No wrong or out-of-place notes, no technique issues -- this group is a very strong and talented band.

The last group that I saw for the day was ... Art Brut, and man were they worth every bit of the sweltering hot weather! Eddie Argos, the singer, was lots of fun, interjecting jokes and anecdotes between every one of their songs. He even jumped rope with his mic and walked out into the crowd once! Jasper Future, one of the two guitars, was running all over the place, and truly enjoying to watch. Mikey B, the drummer, didn't stand out too much until the end when he engaged the audience in some call-and-response drum play. A great way to end their set (which included three "new" songs, one of which was "half complete," and Art Brut's "first" cover ... wanna know what they covered? Kim Wilde's "Kids In America").
Fantastic festival. Wish I'd had the Futureheads left in me ... wish I'd had another day left in me ...
Chin Up Chin Up - We Should Have Never Lived Like We Were Skyscrapers
Chin Up Chin Up - Virginia, Don't Drown
Man Man - Van Helsing Boombox
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A New Idea ...

So I went to the Gris Gris concert last night. Man was I unprepared for this concert ... I knew the band was sort of garage/psychedelic in nature (from their MySpace page description), but I didn't know they'd be so unique and original as well. Often they'd mix Beatlesesque guitar strumming and chord progressions with one of its opposites (dissonant vocals, minor third chords on the organ, clarinet wails). The one thing I found frustrating about listening to them was I never knew when they'd hit on something genius; when they'd stop; when they'd start. A little more form would make them even more enjoyable.
The New Young Pony Club has been getting hype all over the blogosphere, but I recently found this track, Gotta Get Into You that is not on their MySpace page or anything. Enjoy!
Speaking of the blogosphere, this Japanese chick, Tigarah has been getting a lot of play. She raps -- sort of -- and mostly in Japanese, and always sounds very, very angry. But you know, if that's her style, I guess I dig it. She hung out in Brazil for a while, but says her style comes mostly from U.K. grime ... (and that's pretty much accurate). Check out her MySpace page.
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BiBaBiDi, the Group

I may not keep this thing up if no one joines it, but hey -- it's worth a try! If anyone is interested in joing my last.fm group, please click on this link and join!
I want to see if I can make this blog into a more interactive experience. You can read my posts here, but then comment over at last.fm and find out more about whatever it is I post ... related artists, related genres, or just new music in general! So let's see if this goes anywhere!
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Cliche Music For Cliche Peoples

dead disco
I don't know French, and that makes finding out who the hell Call Me Poupee is. They seem to be from Quebec, but that's all I know about this male-female duo. Regardless, they're tre cool ... this is music for haunted houses and futuristic spaghetti westerns. Loopy synthesizers, disinterested yet sexy vocals, and a bass that just doesn't stop plugging along, this band's got character. Of course they've got a MySpace page.
When I first saw Dead Disco mentioned, I thought I was reading about Metric (as in Metric's "Dead Disco"). No Metric here, but still a cool band ... they've got a bit of Metric's new wave thing going on, but they lean more towards the goth side of the spectrum. Tons of eerie synths and echoes and that sort of thing here ... I like how they're all pretty girls. I hope that doesn't make me sound creepy.
Call Me Poupee - Western Shanghai
Call Me Poupee - GoGo Dancer
Dead Disco - Automatic

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"Don't Feel Like Dancing"

sister sisters
Still not a big fan of the Scissor Sisters, but their new single, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is sort of enjoyable! It leans more towards Abba's addictive breed of pop that their previous stuff did, and I duess that's why I can't say no to this song. Check it out ...
the Scissor Sister - Don't Feel Like Dancing

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"Read A Book"

I know nothing about this guy D'mite ... I will leave investigation to you all this time. But this song is too much ... enjoy it.
D'mite - Read A Book

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Happy Hardcore

professor murder
Professor Murder is the first "Happy Hardcore" band of all time. I'm not quite sure how much hardcore shines through in this group's music -- it sounds, to me, like a combination of DFA79 and the DFA -- but they're certainly interesting. Primal, sparse, distant, yet fun and definitely worth dancing to. They've got some very cool live tracks on their homepage and a MySpace Page as well.
Bloody Panda creeps the hell out of me with their thrashing and screaming and chanting and detuning and ...
Not really my thing, but indeed an experience to hear. I think it's just a two-piece band, which explains their sparse, yet really, really abrasive sound. They, too, have a MySpace Page.
From the looks of this post, you'd think I've turned into a metal head or hardcore fan, but I haven't ... guess what kind of music Ghengis Tron plays, though? Yup, hardcore. But in their case, it's all about starts and stops, surprise, build ups, and restraint. I still don't think I could bear much more than a few tracks turned down to half volume, but they're without a doubt unique.
While the Weegs are not a "happy" band by any means, they're definitely not quite as scary as the above mentioned groups. These guys draw more from the Cramps and DEVO and punk in general. They're all out of key and frantic, but that makes them all the more ... fun? They all wear matching clothes ...
Maybe I'll just stick with Ratatat for this week ...
Professor Murder - Champion
the Weegs - Rations
the Weegs - Two & Three Eights

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Lost Penguin is America's Plastics for the year 2006. They scream (a female and a male), they use a cheap drum machine, they repeat repeat repeat, and don't like long songs. Definitely a cool thing that they've got goin' here ...
Boys of Brazil has this Interpol sort of thing going for them ... but it's certainly more punk-edged and unfortunately, simpler.
Speaking of Interpol, I Like Trains is their latest lookalike ... which I guess isn't necessarily a band thing, and since they're pretty good at it, I'll let them pass ... check out their MySpace page as well!
Hot Club de Paris is not from Paris, but they're hot ... or something, I guess. Another Orange Juice sort of guitar pop band here, so nothing "new" (I guess that'd make their sound approximately 25 years old ... ), but again, certainly a welcome entry to the world of pop music. Check out their MySpace page.
Ratatat has completed a new album, and two tracks (at least) have been leaked from the album (due out next month, looks like). These sound great ... more effects and synths and that sort of thing have been added in here, but they're still the same old beat-making, hook wizards, Ratatat.
Ratatat - Montanita
Ratatat - Lex
Ratatat - Swisha
Ratatat - Wildcat

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The Pudding Pops

the pudding pops
I just got back from Japan. I like this band, though, and I thought you all should hear them since they're nice. I'll write a better post when I'm a bit more settled here. But for now ...
the Pudding Pops ... the Pudding Pops MySpace page ...
(They aren't "the shittiest birthday band ever"!)
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Let Downs

E.S.G. is one of those bands that only started getting any sort of recognition after the group's breakup. Since I wasn't alive when they were around back in the late 70s and early 80s, I obviously cannot say how popular they were, but I get the impression that they weren't getting asked to sign to a major label.
But then along came the Liars who sampled one of their songs for a piece of theirs (yeah -- I forgot the name ... ), and then James Murphy started talking about them a lot, and then they were big big.
Personally, I have to say I never really got the group. They were fun, funky, energetic ... but I always felt like their stuff was sort of in between styles. Sometimes it sounded like they were edging on something George Clinton would do, but at others, it seemed like Run D.M.C. was producing them, and -- this will sound racist -- I'm not used to that sort of diversity in black music. If you do rap, you do rap, and if you do funk, you do funk (sorry -- disregard that if you want).
The group recently got back together and recorder a new, rather short album. And yeah, it's bad. Listen to "Everything Goes" and be surprised in a depressing way.
On a much better note, I would like for all of you to know that OOIOO is coming out with a new album, Taiga next month. Such a cool band. For those of you who don't know them yet, OOIOO is Yoshimi, of the Boredoms' side project band. They're rather into Japanese folk and drum circles and that sort of thing ... they've got a very organic feel to them, which I think is the biggest difference between them and the Boredoms (also, they're all girls). So that should be fun ... (they're actually playing a few shows with the reunited E.S.G. in Japan).

The Wombats is a neato little three piece from Liverpool. They are most definitely pop, but they've got this dark side to them ... like if Interpol was a poppier band. I dunno -- something like that. Check out their MySpace page!
And lastly for this installment ... Erlend Oye has a new band, the Whitest Boy Alive. I really don't like that name much -- I would feel a little embarassed casually mentioning them in a conversation -- but they're a pretty good group! Unlike Kings of Convenience, these guys are a tad more high energy (not much, though). They've got a pretty wicked bass, and I love that sort of crisp, melody-carrying guitar. Oh, and they add in plenty of swooning electronics and effects and such. Check out their MySpace page as well!
E.S.G. - Everything Goes
the Wombats - Little Miss Pipedream
the Wombats - Derail and Crash

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Packing Up

I cannot tell you how frustrating it is packing all my stuff up for my return to America. I would like to keep my books and my CDs and other "unnecessary" items, but I know I have to let some of them go. I'm already letting go of almost all the books I collected throughout this year, but I find it really hard to let go of my CDs. Also, it would also be nice if people didn't give me so much crap. I appreciate the gesture of giving going away presents, but I resent the fact that I have to haul the stuff halfway around the world.
So I'm posting this in an attempt to alleviate the stress and frustration.

I am really digging this band Disco Doom. They write hook laden pop songs that have this rough, garage/metal sort of feel to them. Pleasant and full of angst at the same time. Also, the singer sounds like he's trying to channel Beck. They are from Zurich, a city whose name I like to say. Check out their MySpace page.
Good, I've come across another excellent British band, Larrikin Love. Starting in the 60s and 70s, recording equipment and materials and studio space became cheaper, and this caused a boom in the number of garage bands. This was good ... more people making music, more people getting into it ... it was a great thing, I think. But, as we all know, many of those bands were crappy, and many of them only recorded a single or two. Now, we've got a problem ... not only are there are still too many bands to count, but a lot of them are actually ... good! How the hell do you chose!?
Back to Larrikin Love ... they're like the Libertines' version of Orange Juice. Light yet heavy. And oh, goody! they, too have a MySpace page!
New Moscow is an adorable pop group from Gothenburg. Very crisp and sweet guitar lines ... humble, mellow vocals ... husky, thick, swooning bass ... these guys have got "it."
And lastly ... a download for your listening pleasure ...
Waldorf is spooky, man. If Depeche Mode was from Switzerland (does that make sense?), they would be Waldorf. Er ... they resemble Depeche Mode is what I'm saying, I guess. But they write songs full of Biblical references and include lots of church choir-like vocals and organs and tons of reverb. They creep me out, but I dig ...
They've got a MySpace page, but why not also just download the track I've posted!?
Waldorf - Get Ready For Your Last Dance

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The Scent

les incompetents
And the BiBaBiDi listing begins (again ... )
Something about Aaron Lacrate is unique to me ... he's a skateboarder (Milkcrate/Milkcrate Records) obsessed with rap and crunk and that sort of thing. This isn't ... supposed to happen! I guess I always associated boarders with a different kind of music ... more chill stuff, and certainly not something that like, Snoop would dig.
Regardless, he's pretty good ... check out his MySpace page for samples!
Les Incompetents is certainly a fun band. A lot of Orange Juice and Aztec Camera influence here, but it's strangely ... funkier than any of those Postcard groups. They swing more, and incorporate some Latin rhythms and such. They too have a MySpace page!
The "the" bands are certainly not going out of style ... they're just running out of worthy nouns to use ... the Donkeys!? Sorry ... I don't know how much I dig the name, but these guys are pretty cool, even if they are asses (had to throw it in). They seem perpetually wasted or wiped out or at least really tired. And I guess that's sort of cool.
I had one more band for you guys here, but I seem to have copied down the address incorrectly, and am therefore unable to deliver ... three's a magic number, though, so we'll leave it at this!
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