Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pixies Bring 'Doolittle' to Asbury Park - Courtesy of SPINNER

Check out this great write up by Michael Mehalick (Published on SPINNER)

Kristian Dowling, Getty Images

Last night (Oct. 28), as temperatures continued to dip toward freezing along the New Jersey coastline, things were just heating up in legendary Asbury Park. Hordes of fans aged 18 to 40 -- some already dressed for Halloween -- filled the Wonder Bar and celebrated the one time you could hold a "Pixie Party" without being in danger of receiving any curious stares. The occasion: Equally legendary Boston-born alt-rock pioneers the Pixies were in town for the second stop in as many days on their revived 'Doolittle Tour.'

Opening act Surfer Blood, who just released the 'Tarot Classics' EP, took the stage first and set the scene inside Asbury's cavernous Convention Hall. The band played several new tracks for the first time live, including the appropriately spooky 'Blair Witch.'

A few minutes later, after film clips inspired by Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali illuminated a large video screen, the Pixies took the stage and captured the crowd's full attention for the rest of the night.

"We're going to play some B-sides first," said the band's buoyant bassist, Kim Deal, as they launched into 'Dancing the Manta Ray.'

A few songs later, the familiar ringing guitars of 'Doolittle' opener "Debaser" rang throughout the building. For much of the show, as the band more than dutifully re-created its classic 1989 album, lead singer and rhythm guitarist Black Francis remained in the spotlight, while Deal took over the banter in between songs, not unlike the seductive DJ from the classic cult film 'The Warriors.' The quirky dynamic and history of the band was celebrated throughout the night as videos of each individual member were shown as the band played.

"Now we're on the other side," Deal quipped midway through, "somebody's going to have to get up and flip the record." Seconds later, the Pixies launched into a particularly inspired rendition of 'Monkey Gone to Heaven.' Indeed, the second side of 'Doolittle' allowed for a little more of that band dynamic to shine through, as drummer David Lovering took over lead vocals for the whistlers' favorite 'La La Love You.' This set up Francis' most expressive sing/wail of the night, which came during the ultra loud 'There Goes My Gun.'

After finishing side two of 'Doolittle,' the band reemerged after an encore break to play the "U.K. surf" version of 'Wave of Mutilation' and closed with fan favorite 'Where Is My Mind?' After the band's much deserved final bow, the crowd left knowing it had seen one of the better shows in which a band plays the same song twice.

Watch the Pixies Perform 'Where Is My Mind?' in Asbury Park

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Man Man at the Ukranian Cultural Center- FYF Presents on Oct 27th - Live Review

 Upon the beautiful stage of the Ukrainian Cultural Center, Grandchildren opened for Man Man, with their obvious bouncing eccentricity that is similar to that of the headliner. This six member group was clad in fine clothing and sported well groomed beards. They played emotional serious music that loudly enthused the crowd. They also use wind and brass instruments as Man Man do. A band I had formerly never heard of, I now want to hear again and again.

Man Man initiated their set with their newly released video for “Piranhas Club”, and their fairly new “Rabbit Habits” video. The stage was dark except for red strings of lights adorning their equipment. The fans sang along to the videos, and cheered as well. The audience was happily excited, awaiting the endless energy and fast funk of Man Man. They introduced their fine set with “Feathers”, a beautiful song which I had hoped they would play. They then played my favorite “Top Drawer”, which forces heads to bob with its strong drums and loud keys. Man Man swiftly transitioned into “Dark Arts” which you can’t help but shake your hips to. They then played a salsa-esque tune entitled “Haute Tropique” that everyone danced along to. This mysteriously sensual song powerfully seduced us all. The audience reached for Honus as he quickly changed costume and sang into his vintage style microphone. They actually played “Rabbit Habits” in its entirety, which sounded beautiful live, while the music video played in all of our minds. As Honus looked deep into the wild eyes of the audience members, they cranked out “Bangkok Necktie” which is off of their masterful new album Life Fantastic. They followed with “Shameless”, which is of course featured on my Best Songs of 2011 list. It is an emotional song, and truly is one of the best. Honus got out his acoustic and we all knew that “Steak Knives” was to be played, a mellow song with lyrics of love. With Honus in his gorgeous green sequined shirt, they closed their set with “Van Helsing Boombox”, another song chock-full of heart. Man Man played a perfect ows like this are the reason I fucking love Fuck Yeah Fest.
Alyssa Holland


HALLOWEEN Costumes and Covers SHOW- Pomona, CA OCT. 29

Isn't Halloween all about losing yourself for one night and becoming someone else or something else?? Well, what could be more fitting for a Halloween Costume Party than the bands performing losing their own original music for one night and becoming some other legendary and semi-legendary bands! This is the case on Oct. 29th in Pomona, CA. Check out the rad poster and hit the facebook link for more information!! Shit and only 2 bucks entrance fee if you are wearing a costume!

FACEBOOK EVENT- Pangea, Cheeto Champ, Summer Vacation, Lovely Bad Things and Horror Squad- Halloween Show

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

First Look- Gianna Gianna - "All Encompassing"

Performance artist Gianna Gianna who usually stirs up mind bending sounds with the undefinable BLOK is strutting out on her own, first releasing a book of her art and musings and now a solo musical project. The first glimpse into her sound without BLOK is "All Encompassing" which is currently available for free download at As I pushed play with some trepidation, I was surprised that this song didn't burst out with the kinetic energy that is Blok. Gianna Gianna smartly goes in another direction twisting your senses with tribal tom tom beats and not really any accompanying rhythms except for some ambient sounds and chordal drones. This leaves only Gianna's voice that hits tones and melodies that remind me of East Indian folk music coated with a heavy "not of this world" patina because of the vibe and effected mix. Amidst the meditative cadence and Gianna's vocal theatrics, she also utters percussive sounds and pops with her lips. The result is a hypnotic mix that conjures up both other cultures and other species at the same time. I referenced Ridley Scott's Blade Runner when I reviewed BLOK's video Jungle Dog Fang Hell and with "All Encompassing" - Luc Besson's The Fifth Element comes to mind as it sound like a song that should exist in another place, another time and maybe even another solar system. This is a sonic tripfest so you might not want to listen to this while you are driving lest your mind (and car) wanders to other places. Gianna Gianna is both femme fetale and femme cerebral and proves, once again, that she is a force to be reckoned with.
Adler Bloom

Experience- "All Encompassing" here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Album Review-" Low Roar" by Low Roar

If, after listening to Low Roar, you don't have a special place carved out in your heart for Ryan Karazija's music then you best just cuddle back up with your Farmville, fantasy football leagues or porno magazines because you surely must not have people whom you have loved and lost in your life. The songs feel both intimate and detached in a swoon of chilly echo. Ryan treats his lyrics as a frame work for his beautiful melodies instead of the other way around and doesn't hesitate giving his words their own lyrical architecture to suit the melody he creates. Thom Yorke is a master at this, extending a first syllable so much that a particular word is unrecognizable until the complete world is uttered. Ryan does this with beautiful effect as well and while Yorke/ Radiohead comes to mind in songs like "Help Me", "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" and "Puzzle" because of some of the production flourishes and vocal strains, Low Roar is very much his own emotional animal.

The songs on Low Roar's self title album were rendered in Reykjavik, Iceland and one wonders if the new culture impacted these songs. "Give Up" does have a beautiful drone that sounds like a harmonium in the background, a popular instrument in Nordic folk music. With it's guitar picking, pearly sound and Ryan's emotional singing, the song cuts straight to your heart with lyrics like. "In my world, I'll do my best to make it seem like I'm happy" and the chorus refrain "Don't give up on me." The clarity of Ryan's voice and his aforementioned ability to construct some wonderful lyrical melodies as he hangs out syllables to suit the mood is really evident in "Just a Habit" - a song that can lull you into a serene state. "Patience" is immediately dour and dark with an amazing chorus that lifts you if only into a dark place. It would be a wonderful song to grace a movie soundtrack. The title song "Low Roar" creates images of cathedrals but is just an interlude. One of my favorite songs on Low Roar is the lengthy titled "Friends make Garbage, Good Friends take it out" and is one of those songs that you could hear around a campfire to take the chill away. It is propelled by dancy guitar picking and what could be wooden sticks being clapped together. "Because we have to", the saddest sounding song on Low Roar evokes a tragedy about to unfold.

Low Roar is for those among us who love beautiful songs that do have a somber, sad tone. You can call it dark folk, you can call it alternative folk, what ever you call it, Low Roar can stir you into an introspective place and cast evocative images in your mind.

Adler Bloom

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Album Review- Tiger High- "Myth Is This"

Memphis based Tiger High (Jake Vest, Toby Vest,Greg Faison and Greg Roberson) create large expansive sounds that not only rock but have the ability to lift you up off the ground until you are levitating in their beautiful over modulated hum. On Myth is This, the distortion (which sounds like it envelops the entire recording including the drums) creates a powerful sense of urgency and nostalgia and pours a patina of longing all over these songs. Let's not be mistaken though, this effect would do nothing if it were not for the well written compositions they are soaked in.

"Why Oh Why" cuts through you like a be bop 60's slow dance tear jerker. The chorus literally begs you to sing along. "Boys at the Bottom" jams with a free wheeling beat and Brit post punk vibe. "Myth is This" with it's paisley pop melodies and thick ambient sound washes over you.  "Losing Out" kicks along with a touch of Southern Blues buried deep inside the fuzz, in fact, the thick rhythms almost sounds like a wall of fiddles.  "Up and Down Again" engages you with a heavy bass and drum bed while the guitars shred. The rock progression is familiar but it still stirs you into a hypnotic dance.

Of all the songs on Myth is This, "Carry My Love" might be it's defining moment. Not only does it wrap you up in a swirl of tom toms and thick guitar sounds and one hell of a catchy guitar riff, the vocal melodies are so thick and uplifting that the song sounds like an anthem of sorts. The fact that the bridge descends into a trashy surf rock party vibe makes it even that much better. The bass and guitar work is cool and playful.
"Vipers" is straight forward hard garage rock with a 60's style organ. The last track, "Always Mine" feels like hard painful memories resurfacing. It ebbs and flows between droning ambiance, soaring guitars and evocative vocals again soaked in that ever present fog of lovely fuzz.

Adler Bloom

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Littul Bullie" by Ellogoods

Well, after reviewing so many new artists we had to post up our own tiny little projects. Along with "Addicted and Happy" (more on that later) you can check out "Littul Bullie" which is mostly live demo-eeee compositions. Let me know what you think. First 100 people who email me (see contact info) will receive the tracks and cool EP art for zilch, nada, nothing, freeeee.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bitch Slappin the Ooompa Loompas! WHAAAT?

Bitch Slappin the Ooompa Loompas! WHAAAAT? All kidding aside- NO BAG JACKIN this Halloween!

Business Cats get down to bizness!

Soaked in a pool of distortion- the Business Cats get down to busyness! Fan video filmed and edited by Alec Kirkwood. Courtesy of Sincerely California.

The War on Drugs Adam Granduciel - "these are a few of my favorite things"

Courtesy of Pitchfork- Adam Granduciel of The War on Drugs expounds on some of his favorite things including The War on Drugs - Slave Ambient hats that his dad made-- (wtf? ha)- check it out-

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Feeling Yuck (eeee) this morning-

Need me some Yuck this morning- From their recently released double disc deluxe edition of "Yuck" on Fat Possum records- Cousin Corona starts off with a decidedly Pixies vibe and then turns into all that is Yuck- Cousin Corona by Yuck
Soothe me is soulful and has a chorus that soars like a classic Stones ballad. Soothe Me by Yuck
YUCK Double Disc Deluxe Edition track listing: :

01 Get Away
02 The Wall
03 Shook Down
04 Holing Out
05 Suicide Policeman
06 Georgia
07 Suck
08 Stutter
09 Operation
10 Sunday
11 Rose Gives a Lilly
12 Rubber

13 The Base of a Dream Is Empty
14 Milkshake
15 Coconut Bible
16 Cousin Corona
17 Doctors in My Bed
18 Soothe Me

I haven't seen Yuck since February back when I shot them at the Echo. I am looking forward to seeing them again.

MGMT cover "Lucifer Sam" on Jimmy Fallon

This past week musical artists have been paying tribute to Pink Floyd on the Jimmy Fallon show. It has been a cover fest of sorts and our old friends MGMT chose to cover "Lucifer Sam" from the Pink's debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Released in 1967, it was the only album that was produced under the steadfast leadership of founding member Syd Barrett. For whatever reason, MGMT sported industrial fishing wear and appeared to be the next cast of The Deadliest Catch. But who cares, they rocked as always.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Album Review: Jungle Habits by Young Circles

Jungle Habits by Young Circles is a veritable profusion of electronica, ambient, glam folk, shoe gaze, psychedelia and some genre yet to be named - creating a chemical cocktail with trace elements of artists like Radiohead, the Flaming Lips, Damon Albarn, and Portishead. Every song has delicious morsels of sound to be consumed and while some of the songs bring those aforementioned stellar artists too mind too much, I never got the feeling that I am listening to a creative rip off as much as songs that are "inspired by"- and ultimately, much of Jungle Habits is stuck in my head.

"Devil" has a groove that would have Thom Yorke dancing up a storm with a thick free bass line and askew lyrics like "you sleep in mangers while I sleep with strangers" or "slip off your shoes while you burn down the building".  The song, like many on Jungle Habits have musical arcs full of breaks that take the songs on some rich departures of sound. "Summer Noose" is a short acoustic meets dark dream pop. "Love Hitch" (one of my favorite songs on the album) skips and hops like an old 78 record in a lonely haunted house with industrial sounds echoing in the background. It is like David Lynch meets a Church Gospel with a slight Moby vibe. The middle break sounds all disjointed while muted vocals echo "Watch the road the road now"- that paints the imagery of a car wreck about to happen. Touches like this are pure theater of the mind and work on a dark moody level, all the while sounding very cool. I mentioned Damon Albarn and he comes to mind on "Asthmatic" which has a beat that moves like a horses gallop. I love the breaks and melody during the vocals- "Dreaming of you... dreaming of you".

The most jammy progressive song on the album is "2012". It cranks  like a Royal Bangs or Muse song but is more quirky. The drums shine throughout this little pressure cooker. "Jangala"- a  kind of calypso induced exercise in repetition and foreign voices on top of voices creates a nerve wrangling cacophony of sound that, in the end, is too grating for my taste but I could see how it could be a real crowd pleaser live. The title track, "Jungle Habits" strays into electronica, meets, drum core, meets underground rap (sorta). "You. Me. Nothing" has stream of conscious style phrasings and explodes into walls of sound only to edge back down into those free form phrasings and the cool chorus "You. Me. You mean nothing... nothing to me"- grabbing you with it's own vocal groove only to explode again. This ebb and flow is so incredibly smart and dynamic. While Young Circles has created an album with mood inducing art house sensibilities, they gently slap you in the face on their final track with the surprisingly sweet and endearing "Changing" that wraps you in a lush blanket of Lennon-esque love hugs.

All and all, Jungle Habits creates some truly wonderful "blendo" rock art with enough avant garde touches to dazzle and keep you guessing. Apart from the effects, the twisted lyrics and mood bending arrangements there are rich melodies here. I look forward to Young Circles next sonic surprise.

Adler Bloom

Check out Jungle Habits by Young Circles here

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Tell her Know" cover by Tennis

Tennis does a lovely and faithful rendition of one of the best pop songs ever written- You can download it at their site here. Tell Her No by tennisinc

Bird - "Pantoms" - wallow in their doom folk

Are you ready for some "doom folk"- one of the many twists on the folk genre lately. This video with it's high contrast black and white tones and somber feel, definitely has the dark patina of gothic horror. Bathe in the bone chilling sound of "Bird". This Liverpool band is fronted by Adele Emma and it is wonderful to hear a Brit who sings with a British accent. Turn off the lights, pop on the headphones and enjoy. Also enjoy the interview courtesy of Just the Music that I Like- (interview).

Death From Above 1979 and Ty Segall are neck and neck.

Well from all the many videos I shot at this years FYF fest, by far, the most popular videos have been "Death from Above 1979 - "Turn it Out" and TY Segall - "Standing at the Station" and "Imaginary Person"-
They are now almost running neck and neck. Who will hit 1000 view quicker???  We will see.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Papa- "I am the Lion King" video

PAPA: "I Am The Lion King" from Hit City U.S.A. on Vimeo.

The magnificent Papa. It is reported that Darren Weiss and Thom Yorke hit the dark shadows of the Oxford Circus tube station and have dance offs.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers- "Now and Then" Album Review

Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers lay down some big jams that transport you back in time. Woodstock comes to mind, when heavily influenced blues rock would openly divert into progressive guitar dances smack dab in the middle of the song. Back then those long intense grooves would help all those who were tripping reach that drug induced nirvana but Phaxanation and The Dust Kickers seem to just jam for the pure love of it and it shows.  Now and Then encompasses roughly 3 years of song writing. In songs like "Lost My Ways"- "Now and Then" and the infectious "Falling Apart" there is a 70's renegade surf sound happening with Adrien Parker's guitar bouncing cooly (like a Heavier metal Duane Eddy) on what sounds like true 1960's Sears Silvertone Spring Reverb while Enrique Poveda's free form drumming and Daniel Huizar's solid bass work give the songs a harder progressive edge.

"Open Your Eyes" (one of my favorite songs on Now and Then) creates a delicious musical chaos. Adrien's potent guitar works off Povada's excellent drumming that dares to be absent in all the right spots. It is like a crazy carnival ride, with ambient guitar sounds that mimic a Theron and I absolutely love the studio talk thrown in- "Hey, let's try that... or listen to it."  Less steeped in psychedelia but having a more post punk sound are songs like "She Said" which almost has a Smithereens vibe and the very fun garage rock "Ohh It's a Zombie" which is the perfect sing along party song about becoming the walking dead with the immortal line, "now my feet just drag and this has to be bad." The opening hook in "The Days When We Used to Walk" almost sounds like a rock anthem riff that U2's the Edge would come up with but the rest of the song is lovingly steeped in a 70's rock feel as is "Can't Win" which evokes tie dyed shirts and faded bell bottoms hanging on that blonde girls sexy hips.

While some of the songs on Now and Then do have some derivative hooks that seem a bit familiar, almost all of the songs playfully divert and take you on a maze of melodies and sounds. This fusion composing style is what makes them so special. They are a mix of shoe gaze, psychedelic blues rock with free form jam in a classic 70's rock stew. Phaxanation and the Dust Kickers songs definitely take you on a trip, none more so then the last track on the album. "Around the Bend" is a slow burn cooker with droning sitar like guitar sounds. It then becomes broad and cinematic, Adrien's open guitar picking hanging in the atmosphere only to give way to heavy power chords. I imagined slow motion silhouettes against a wind swept orange desert sky. Close your eyes and the music will transport you. To where? That's up to you.

Adler Bloom

Catch Phaxanation with Abe Vigoda and Crystal Antlers at the UCR BARN
THE FALL 2011 BARN CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS Abe Vigoda and special guest Crystal Antlers with openers Phaxanation and the Dust Kickers on Octobet 19th!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Future Islands- On The Water Album Review ::: "Future Islands harkens back to the pure romantic movement..."

Like a movie soundtrack, On the Water fades in on top of sounds reminiscent of clattering dishes or seaside wind chimes. It is a brilliant aural device that pulls you into the song like a camera tracking in to a scene. By the time Sam Herring voice growls above the fray of dark synths, a solid churning bass and drums with lines like, "I'll shield you like a candle" and "can't I be the one who saves your life" - the song is in full tilt over the top melodrama. Future Islands harkens back to the pure romantic movement in the 80's when synths ruled the day and bands all sung with British accents even if they were from Alabama. Herring unabashedly massages his tortured lyrics at almost every turn and his voice is integral to what Future Islands is creating.

As Bowie was as much a performance artist as a rock and roll singer, a voice like Herrings creates a hyper sense of reality raising these songs into that same kind of realm. They feel like dramatic passion plays. "The Great Fire" sung as a male / female duet could be a Roxette song but with Herring's lion like growl plays like a mini opera. In the end, it is beautiful as it is conceptual.  In "Where I found You" Herring tones down his vocal performance with great effect. While his steel plated vocals sound majestic and grand they can also sound incredibly sad and introspective.

"Give Us the Wind" is a stadium burner of a song and I could see a million strong holding up their cell phones (with lighters emblazoned on them of course).  "Close to None" with it's building choral church synths soon erupts into a powerful beat drawing memories of New Order and Depeche Mode. The chunky bass line and drum beat work off Herrings vocal so well. The tempo and dense production tames his beast a bit- this is also the case on "Balance" which cooks along like a LA rave party.

As in the beginning, ambient sounds of seaside life and churning water inhabit "Tybee Island" as Herring sounds like he is singing to himself.  It is a nice departure that again reminds you that "On the Water" is a performance piece as does "Grease" which is the final track. It is a wonderfully wrought ballad that seems to end to quickly fading out and leaving us with the same ambient sounds On the Water began with. Alas, every movie has to end.

Robb Donker

Ohbijou- METAL MEETS Album Review ::: "an enchanting and lovely askew piece of musical art"

Ohbijou's Casey Mecija has a disarming voice. I mean this in a literal sense. I imagine that if she opened her mouth and began singing at the edge of some battlefield that the combatants would lay down their arms if only for a short time. There are a myriad of singers who can sing pretty well but not many have a voice that has something different and special. Mecija imbues her vocals with a sense of wide eyed wonder that conjures up Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Ohbijou's latest sonic adventure Metal Meets is a stirring string laden fairy tale of an album and, like most fairy tales, it paints both uplifting and dark imagery.

Heretofore Ohbijou has lived largely in the indie folk genre and while they have always mixed it up, Meets Metal puts them firmly on the fringes of psychedelic rock. Songs like "The Dreaming" with it's dramatic arc and dissonance could live side by side with the acidic Sargent Peppers Album and "Turquoise Lake" (one of my favorites on MM) has a dreamy bed, sultry bass line and evocative lyrics, "Don't you know I know"- and finally erupts into a full attack of sound that actually reminds me of Crystal Antlers (a bit).

"Echo Bay" creates a sense of urgency and movement. "Balikbayan" is beautiful and bittersweet drenched in the fondness for ones homeland, "the heavy freight... it carried the weight of a better life".  Amidst the dreamy spaces, there is also fine a pop sensibility in songs like "Meet Metals" and "Niagara" which are probably the more mainstream songs (on MM). "Iron and Ore" is big and sweeping. I love the drum beat. This song is as solid as the metal metaphors that run though out it. I mentioned the dark under theme of many fairy tales and "Sligo" starts, "Left you in Sligo... hanging in a tree... swaying with dead bodies and rusted rosaries". The lyrics that ask more question than they answer float among  percolating synths and pearly reverb washed guitars. This song is pretty mind bending but still builds to an uplifting conclusion.

I have only touched the surface of  Ohbijou's Metal Meets. It is my new spacey love affair. All the songs are little masterpieces. It is an enchanting and lovely askew piece of musical art. I place it fondly next to Crystal Antlers Two Way Mirror as a dreamy companion piece.

Adler Bloom

You can stream Metal Meets here at Spinner.