Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Music is an international language.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wardicus Wednesdays #5 - Thursday

I'm back from the north country (where the internet is a public access terminal in the local library) and I brought some music with me.

No Winter, No Autumn - Moscow Olympics

I know that the Olympics are in China and that it's 2008 not 1980, but Moscow Olympics rock. The five piece from the Philippines has a little bit of twee, a little bit of shoegaze and a little bit of straight up pop. See also: Asobi Sesku, Galaxie 500

Left Behind - CSS

New Cansei de Ser Sexy. If the last album was about alcohol and making love to Death From Above, this album is about hard drugs and fucking to HEALTH. It's still dancey as all hell, but it's harder and dirtier and riot grrrler. See also: Ratatat, Le Tigre

Ghost Under Rocks - Ra Ra Riot

Ra Ra Riot are good at chamber pop. They may not be the best, that title belongs to the band's influences -the heavy hitters of indie rock, but it's summer and they're fun. Perfect for short walks (or drives) to the park/beach/liquor store. See also: Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend

Blackout - Sennen

Sennen is about BIG. Big noise, big spaces, big walls. They group is from Norfolk and it shows: they sound like ambient, nu-gaze and post-rock all rolled into one. I'm really digging these guys right now. See also: Mogwai, Verve

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hillbilly Love Songs Go Major Label

The Avett Brothers have spent the last few years tearing up the summer festival scene and pretty much running circles around the south of this country. Their stops in the NE have been few and far between yet they still have managed to get themselves a nice dedicated following where ever they go. If you were able to catch their show at Higher Ground a few weeks ago, sick life. The Avett's albums continue to flow but the real gem of this band is the live performance. When I saw them last summer I was blown away by the energy of the band. The Avetts are composed of three members, Scott and Seth Avett on banjo and guitar respectively, as well as stand-up bassist Bob Crawford. I swear to you every song either Seth or Scott would break a string from playing so hard and, without turning his head, would throw the guitar over his shoulder backstage where a roadie would be watching the sky, ready to catch it and switch in a new instrument. I have never seen such pretty instruments take such a beating. If you have the chance to see them do it.

Now I ask myself what is the point, or general relevance of this post?

Just returning from Chile, I find myself extremely out of the loop on all music happenings/news/whathaveyou. However, I have learned in my absence that the Avett Brothers will be moving from their small town label Ramseur Records to the major label, American Records, a division of Sony BMG/Columbia. The Avett Brothers are doing an album with Rick Ruben? Wowzers.

This new move is a bit startling for me. The newest and last Avett Brothers project on Ramseur Records came out last month, The Second Gleam, and along with most of their newer stuff is more slow and sentimental compared to the upbeat, hoedown, foot stomping music of their past.

Will this new move from cornfield to skyscraper soak the Avett's in the sweet stench of success? Only time will tell.

Here is a song from the new album and one of my favorites of an older album.

Murder in the City - The Avett Brothers

Pretty Girl From Cedar Lane - The Avett Brothers

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wardicus Wednesdays #4 - Wicker Park Fest.

First, I don't care that it's not Wednesday. I like alliteration. I just finished my summer class, so give me a break if I'm a little behind this week. On to the post.

There are three major reasons why Wicker Park Fest is better than Pitchfork.
1) The price - I paid $30 to go to one day of Pitchfork. Wicker Park Fest was only $5 and that was a donation. I only paid it because I'm a good person.
2) The location - Wicker Park Fest is only 3 L stops from my apartment, while Pitchfork is 45 minutes on a crowded train. Also, it's smaller so you don't have all those out-of-towners coming to flood the streets with their dunks and deep-v's.
3) Post-rock - Wicker Park Fest loves less accessible music like math rock, post-rock, post-math-rock, neo-post-rock, and also Prefuse 73. While Pitchfork had the heavy hitters, Wicker Park Fest had the goodies. For example:

Discontinued - Nomo

Nomo blends funk, afro-beat, and free jazz wonderfully. Influenced by the likes of Sun Ra and even played a cover of "Rocket Number Nine" during their set. The band has not one, not two, but three drummers. And a tenor sax player who resembled Bruce Willis. What more could you want?

Fairweather Friend - Daedelus

Daedalus is an eccentric dj who performs his sets dressed in Edwardian attire (notice the mutton chops). He's shy and frequently shows humility when the audience cheers his mixing of 40's & 50's samples with homemade beats and pop lyrics. He's an extensive record collector, a Ninja Tunes spinster, and all-around boogie maestro.

Song For Josh - Joan Of Arc

The homegrown Chicago band Joan of Arc was formed by Tim Kinsella in the wake of the break of of Cap'n Jazz. Using subtle electronics and sampling techniques, the band is often described as "difficult." I don't get it. It's pop music.

Witch - Maps And Atlases

Here we have another Chicago band, Maps & Atlases. They do math rock. I wish I had gotten video of the performance instead of just this picture because it's funny to watch hipsters try and shuffle in 7/8.

The Great Leap Forward... - Red Sparowes

Finally for some post-rock. Red Sparowes (sic) consists of members of a number of other musical projects, most notably Isis. They are set apart from the rest of the post-rock clan by their extremely long song titles. I mean, this song's full title is "The Great Leap Forward Poured Down Upon Us One Day Like A Mighty Storm Suddenly And Furiously Blinding Our Senses." Damn. These guys were loud and dirty. My ears are still ringing.