I had the utmost pleasure to take my sidekick Ladybug to Dallas to check out the Kills at the Granada Theater on Saturday. Great show, great band. I’m not incredibly big on concert reviews, so I won’t doddle, but the Kills are pure entertainers on stage, and know how to work out the raw, salacious vibes that ooze from their tunes. I’m not talking about glammed-up Prince writhing all over his guitar, but a very natural energy that adds depth to a band that has grown steadier with age. Openers the Horrors knocked it out of the park–a very icy, fuzzed-out Joy Division meets Dirty Projectors.
House photographer Bill Ellison caught some amazing pictures, be sure to check them out here.
Last year I was lucky enough to grab Olga Bell’s self-titled EP for a mere $5 and it was one of the most worthwhile purchases I had. Plus, it was for charity, and who doesn’t love charity, right? Nonetheless, Bell is an extremely talented musician who’s managed to rise to the top of the fray in the music jungle of Brooklyn. And her sound? Well, imagine if Bjork sat in on an Animal Collective jam session…it’s a great, beautiful weird-fest. She seems to have a real knack for musically filling space and using her classically-trained voice and piano skills to weave in and out of her compositions. It’s good stuff. She’ll be playing the Brooklyn Vegan-sponsored show in Austin, so check it out.
Bell – Chunk
So, New Jersey is absolutely on fire these days. I could write up a whole post on why the Garden State has been kicking other states’ collective asses recently, but bands like the Gaslight Anthem, my boys Titus Andronicus, Fountains of Wayne, and the ever-increasing impact of the Boss tend to speak for themselves. In 2009, new kids on the block Real Estate are breaking out. They play a punked-up, fuzzed-out brand of shoegaze pop, and like their friends Titus Andronicus, their lyrics focus on the highs and lows of suburban life. Give these guys a look when they roll through Austin — they’ll be playing ALL OVER.
Real Estate – Suburban Beverage
So we’re officially a month from a little Austin shindig that you might have heard of before: SXSW. I’m pretty geeked because besides being a shit-ton of bands coming through this year (obviously), there are a lot of great bands at that. And some big, big names to boot. As we get closer to the kickoff (March 18th), I’ll post some bands that I’m particularly going to try to catch.
I think that there is some legitimate trepidation these days when a band is compared to Arcade Fire — there seem to be plenty of unworthy comparisons thrown around these days to bands without the gutsy panache Arcade Fire had when Funeral released. London’s Fanfarlo, however, will draw immediate comparisons to both Funeral-era Arcade Fire and Beirut, but they exist outside of that widely-thrown blanket. They blaze with the anthemic capacity of the Canadian folksters and the pop-sensibilities of Snow Patrol, though their tunes still seem fresh, unheard-of. They’ll be releasing a brand new album, Reservoir, on a short tour with (who else) Snow Patrol around the UK before setting their sights on Austin in March. Reservoir should be a huge hit for these guys, and I’ll be sure to give a review right here.
Fanfarlo – I’m A Pilot
Fanfarlo – Luna
I think at this point it would basically be redundant for me to express how excited I am to see Grizzly Bear coming through Austin. In part because it’s pretty neat to see that a band that’s as widely-known as they are at this point is still coming to SXSW, but also because 2009 is set to be “Year of the Grizzly Bear” all over again. Exciting times! The Brooklyn guys recently announced the May 26th release of a new album, Veckatimest, and yours truly could not be more excited.
Grizzly Bear – While You Wait For The Others (Live On KCRW)
I’ve been very, very excited to make a mention about a very, very talented singer-songwriter from the Bryan-College Station area — Ian Nelson. Ian possesses an innate ability to craft songs that are not only unique in their styling and nature, but that also tap into the earnest emotions of the heart. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone that is this fresh in their music career sound as if they have been on the road, cutting songs for years. Yes, his music is that good. He draws instant comparisons vocally to an early, Greenwich Village Bob Dylan, while musically, channeling Nebraska-era Bruce Springsteen with stark, haunting blues. Ian has a yet-to-be-named album on the way that I’m pretty geeked to hear, and you can be sure that you’ll get the details of it right here as they come along. He’ll be playing two sets at the Frame Gallery (216 N. Bryan Ave.) from around 7-9:30. I promise you, you won’t regret being there!
For those locally, if you haven’t had a chance to check out First Fridays in downtown Bryan, well then you’ve just been missing out. Most of the businesses, restaurants, galleries, and pubs downtown will have lots of great things going on, and are open late. Check out the First Fridays schedule here.
P.S. This is my last post until after I take my LSAT on Saturday morning, so wish me a speedy recovery!
Posted in Live
Tagged Ian Nelson
This Saturday, a brand-new local fashion label, Desired Hearts, will be hosting a fantastic lineup of acts at the trusty Stafford Main Street in Bryan. If you haven’t seen Cruiserweight, imagine something very near Paramore with the angst of Blake Babies-era Juliana Hatfield, or really anything else Juliana Hatfield has done. They’re good, and the rest of the lineup is sure to impress as well. Be sure to check out the featured bands below, especially our local friends Two Capitals and Desired Hearts.
This is also a great opportunity to mention that I’ll soon begin to devote a post here and there to new developments, both locally and nationally, in the fashion world. Yours truly has a relatively narrow perspective, but I’ll do my best to give you what I feel is relevant.
Enjoy the show!
Presented by: Desired Hearts
The Wonderland Avenue