Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost review

Father, Son, Holy Ghost is an unlikely title choice for an album that stays true to the modern musical standards of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Then again, Girls are a band comprised entirely of males so maybe outright contradiction is their thing. Or maybe for their title they exchanged the international garage band triumvirate for the paradigm of trinities because they’re just that clever. And maybe Girls is a nod to those who obviously inspire some of their most interesting tunes.

I’m going with the latter of my hypotheses because I want to believe that these guys are as brilliant as the constant repeat of the album in my headphones would have me believe.

This album is really hard to argue with. You would have to love to hate things to do it, like the Karl Lagerfield of the music industry, you would have to get off on stomping on everybody else’s ideas to claim that Girls’ sophomore full-length is lacking in any respect. It is retro in the best way, keeping all the working components of classic rock without any of the kitsch. The Kooks and The Libertines tried to make music like this, but maybe they were too British to make it work.

The sound of Girls is head-nodding for the most part, heartstring-pulling at times, and is definitely the kind of music you wish your boyfriend wrote instead of ripping off the Arctic Monkeys.

People who love Los Lobos and Elvis Costello will love it without annoying those around them who are sick of the hair gel and jean shopping worshipped by that ilk. People who love The Kinks and The Stooges, which I assume are all of you with a working heartbeat, will definitely fall into line by the third track, the distortion heavy “Die” in which Christopher Owens reminds us over and over and that we are totally, absolutely, without a doubt going to die. And sooner than we expect. This track tapers off into a several minute, guitar string bending instrumental that expertly melts into “Saying I Love You,” a goodbye song for sad saps.

If you happen to run into these guys in the Bay Area, make sure to give them a palm chaffing high five.


St. Vincent – Strange Mercy review

St. Vincent wasn’t on my radar prior to late spring of 2009, even though the band had already released an album two years before. My wife and I were set to head to Bonnaroo in a couple months and, in preparation, were listening to as much music as we could get our hands on from dozens of bands in the lineup, St. Vincent being among them. So, Actor was in the rotation.

I wasn’t sure what to make of St. Vincent’s sound initially and still was uncertain weeks later as we watched the band live at Bonnaroo. Annie Clark cut quite a profile though; a dark-haired, slight figure dressed in what appeared to be slacks and a puffy, floral-print blouse, looking like a mid-80s housewife while head-banging and shredding on her guitar.

Clark’s presence and musical acumen suffuses St. Vincent’s third album, Strange Mercy. The major descriptive term that came to mind was “wall of sound.” There is no simple, unaffected playing. Each song is literally saturated in effects that could point to some interesting and diverse influences.

The pulsing, layered percussion on the third track, “Cheerleader,” reminded me of the lush, ambient soundscapes created by the duo Air. The funky, looping guitar licks and trilling synthesizer on the next track “Surgeon,” could have been made by the hands of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker themselves.

“Northern Lights” has a ’90s Stereolab sensibility. Three-quarters of the way through, the album gives way to the curiously somber and understated “Champagne Year,” with Clark singing “It’s not a perfect plan, but it’s what we got” with a sadness and dry wit that channels Aimee Mann.

I found myself enjoying the album more for the inventiveness of the compositions than for the relatability of the lyrics. Although “You’re like the party I heard through a wall. I’m always watching you through a keyhole,” from the song “Dilettante,” stuck in my head. I’m curious to find out what Clark has up her sleeves for the future.


Bush – The Sea of Memories album review

Following a decade-long hiatus and the subsequent reunion spearheaded by front man, Gavin Rossdale, British rockers, Bush have released a sparkly new album.  The Sea of Memories is not quite what old fans may expect, though it seems to me that it’s the right step towards a hearty and forceful comeback that might actually give them a few more years in the business.

The first indication of discrepancy between this release and those prior is Rossdale’s choice of producer.  This time around, rock and roll legend, Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica) took the helm and the result is a record immensely more palatable to a much larger audience. More grandiose than previous releases, it also seems as though the band have set out to make something new rather than re-hashing old attempts at Sixteen Stone-era success.  Original fans fear not, this is still the same heavy-hitting group of Brits, though it seems they’ve gained a matured sense of perspective in their time apart.

For the first time in the band’s history, Bush – by way of Rock – have given in to their natural tendency for arena rock hooks and catchy (if not slightly cheeky) melodies.  As for their grungier side, it’s still present in impeccable form (as illustrated by disgusting guitar tone on album opener, “The Mirror of the Signs”) only now it’s laced with enticing, guilty pleasure riffs and an ever-so-slightly mellowed attack.  For example, power ballad, “All Night Doctors” opens with piano (?!) and a vocal melody reminiscent of 90’s pop-rock (dare I say Goo Goo Dolls?) that caught even me, a still-in-the-closet pop fanatic off guard.

Is this the next big thing in the world of the grunge rock comeback?  Is it even the next big thing in the world of the UK’s music scene?  Probably not, but it undoubtedly marks a powerful return for a band that’s seen it’s share of success and failure.  A well-crafted effort and an exhibition of a new sound that has the potential to lead a veteran band into a new market, The Sea of Memories is well worth your time and attention.


Lady Antebellum – Own The Night review

Lady Antebellum’s third album, “Own The Night,” truly has a song for just about anyone. Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott blend their vocal strengths wonderfully over the twelve tracks, and Dave Haywood provides vocal backup and instrumental support. Though definitely a country album (banjos, mandolins, and acoustic guitars largely make up the instrumental background), the variety of songs and topics covered makes it an album that many people can appreciate.

The album opens with “We Owned The Night,” an energetic piece reflecting on a past relationship and the thrill that it once brought. Haywood’s mandolin playing is showcased as it provides a light introduction, but the presence of electric guitars and a driving drum beat makes the song an easy crossover into the pop genre.

“Just a Kiss,” the second track, was the first single released. It quickly became a radio hit, and is an up-tempo ballad describing the joys of experiencing a new love and the potential of what it could become. The melody is catchy and quickly gets stuck in your head, but Scott and Kelley provide beautiful harmonies that make it a worthwhile listen.

“Cold As Stone,” brings the album its first truly sad moment. Whereas the previous five tracks have moderate to fast tempos, “Cold As Stone” is a ballad sung in a haunting style. The lyrics explore pain so great that the singer wishes he could escape: “Wish I was cold as stone / then I wouldn’t feel a thing / wish I didn’t have this heart / then I wouldn’t know the sting of the rain.”

The other tracks each touch on different situations and feelings resulting from and revolving around love. Though there are sad moments, this album isn’t swept up into the mournful tragedy that so many country albums become. There is reflection on times passed and lost, but the songs of “Own The Night” seek mainly to share and experience, not to lament on times gone by. Chances are that just about anyone can find a track on this album to identify with.


Grimes – Geidi Primes review

I put this review off for a while. I stashed this album away in my iTunes library and went to a few too many concerts, took about two thousand pictures, and then realized, “Oh yeah, I’ve got that review to write about Grimes, but I’m seeing her open for Arcade Fire so I’m going to wait until I see her stuff live and then I’ll finally write the review.” Montreal musician Grimes has put out a new album called “Geidi Primes,” and this is an album review of that very album. Electronic, airy, and surprisingly enjoyable.

Upon first listen to the album, I was met with some odd bass noises in “Caladan,” which provides a nice melodic keyboard opening to the album. Grimes, the informal moniker of Claire Boucher, chooses to not put her vocals at the forefront of this song, and a few others. I find that if this were mixed differently, I could enjoy this synthy mix better. I realize it may be a stylistic thing, but “avi” suffers from the same mixing problems. Awesome electronic song, but Boucher’s vocals aren’t given their proper spotlight. I may not be a producer or mixer – I know – but Grimes has some vocals that she should really show off more! Other solid songs off the record include the almost-poppy “Rosa,” which loops a smooth guitar while Grimes sings (incredibly well) about “sewing up her heart.” It’s really fun for a song that sounds rather minimalist, and I’m shocked that I like this so much.

Does the album have any other shortcomings? Sure. I’m not a huge fan of the second half of the album. Songs like “Shadout Mapes” are just a little too obscure for my liking. Very minimalist and simple, and quite airy as well. It’s not by any means terrible, just not something I can get into. “Venus in Fleurs” and “Beast Infection” are some of the others I can’t get wrap my head around to enjoy. Musically, they’re great – just not something I’d find myself playing over and over.

Now, I saw Grimes live just a few days ago. When she performs live, she’s even better. Thumping bass, shining vocals, and she’s looping and mixing the track right before your eyes on her own. She’s talented, and incredibly cute. The crowd waiting for Arcade Fire didn’t give her the support she deserved. Most of the audience stood there bored. It may not have been their cup of tea, but Grimes was all too excited to be opening for the hometown heroes. As she should be – I hope to see her in a smaller venue sometime soon. She definitely deserves more credit than what she got with the hipster-esque crowd she performed for. Go give this album a spin. You’ll like what you hear, even if half of the song titles are just… weird.

tour dates

Twin Sister tour dates and Twin Sister remix competition




“[In Heaven] highlights all the right things about the band, further proving there’s more to the group than pretty bedroom pop… give yourself over to this record, and it gives back.” PITCHFORK [BEST NEW TRACK]

“[The band go] deep, taking its time with tempos and moving harmonies… some gifted and cloistered young minds.” NEW YORK TIMES

“Kimmi in a Rice Field” marks the second video off Twin Sister’s debut full-length, In Heaven, which is out this week. Following up on their playful affair “Bad Street,” the band collaborated again with Dan Devine, this time with drummer Bryan Ujueta co-directing. The video is a powerful visual counterpart to the atmospheric track, based on a ghost story created and written by Andrea Estella (lead singer).

The band have also partnered up with Juno Download on a remix competition for the track and the winning remixer will have their track released by Domino and receive several other prizes. Find out more about the competition and download the stems here:

09-28 Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool
09-29 New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
10-01 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall +
10-02 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall +
10-04 Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater +
10-07 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s #
10-08 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey #
10-09 San Diego, CA – Detroit Bar #
10-11 Denver, CO – Bluebird #
10-13 Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck #
10-14 Oklahoma City, OK – U of O #
10-15 Memphis, TN – Hi Tone #
10-16 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge #
10-18 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar #

+ w/ Wild Beasts
# w/ Pains of Being Pure At Heart

tour dates



Atlantic Records is excited to announce NEEDTOBREATHE’s new album The Reckoning debuted at #6 on this weeks Billboard Top 200. Released last Tuesday, this memorable collection of rock songs has been catching the attention of both critics and fans. Along with USA Today, Entertainment Weekly and more, The New York Times raves “this gifted band makes anthemic Southern rock that, on it’s fourth album, The Reckoning, is beginning to reach for the far seats of the arena.”

USA Today spotlighted Drive All Night as their “Pick Of The Week” and “more than just a search for a fresh start, it’s an ode to the redemptive qualities of romance and a full tank of gas.” Entertainment Weekly adds “Drive All Night is sharp enough to inspire both lighter waving and moonshine chugging” while The Washington Times raves “Drive All Night has the epic sweep of a Bruce Springsteen tune … The Reckoning is rock ‘n’ roll music with a moral compass.” The Salt Lake Tribune simply called The Reckoning “The best rock album of 2011 … full of passionate anthems poised to fill arenas.”

With their reputation as a must-see live act built from non-stop touring, Bear and Bo Rinehart, pastor’s sons who hail from the rural South Carolina town of Possum Kingdom, along with drummer Joe Stillwell and bass player Seth Bolt, were determined to create a statement-making album that truly captured the magic behind this genuinely appealing rock band.

“We wanted to make an important record in the way that people used to make records. Bands rarely have the time that allows them to create a game-changing album like Born to Run, Rumours, or Damn The Torpedoes. So we said, ‘Let’s set ourselves up to do that. Let’s believe in the songs enough that we’re willing to take the time they need and really push ourselves. It may sound naïve, but we still have a dream that we’re going to make a record that’s going to change everything for us.”

Tour Dates:

September 28th EnergySolutions Arena Salt Lake City, UT
October 1st Philips Arena Atlanta, GA
October 2nd Philips Arena Atlanta, GA
October 4th Verizon Arena Little Rock, AR
October 5th New Orleans Arena New Orleans, LA
October 6th Mississippi State University Starkville, MS **
October 7th Arkansas Music Pavillion Fayetteville, AR **
October 8th Dallas Cowboys Stadium Arlington, TX
October 9th Bayfest Mobile, AL **
October 11th KFC! Yum Arena Louisville, KY
October 14th Sprint Center Lubbock. TX
October 15th Oklahoma City Arena Oklahoma, OK
October 20th Valley View Casino Center San Diego, CA
October 21st Arena Phoenix, AZ
October 22nd Arena Phoenix, AZ
October 25th AT&T Center San Antonio, TX
October 26th Fran Erwin Center Austin, TX
October 28th Track 29 Chattanooga, TN **
October 29th Rupp Arena Lexington, KY
October 30th FedEx Forum Memphis, TN
November 2nd The Varsity Theatre Baton Rouge, LA **
November 3rd The Lyric Oxford Oxford, MS **
November 4th Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa AL **
November 5th Minute Maid Park Houston, TX
November 10th Florida Theatre Gainesville, FL **
November 11th Veterans Memorial Arena Jacksonville, FL
November 12th St. Petersburg Times Forum Tampa, FL
November 13th American Airlines Arena Miami, FL
November 15th Georgia Theatre Athens, GA **
November 16th Time Warner Cable Arena Charlotte, NC
November 17th RBC Center Raleigh, NC
November 18th Colonia Life Arena Columbia, SC
November 19th Jefferson Theatre Charlottesville, VA **
November 21st Madison Square Garden New York, NY
November 22nd Madison Square Garden New York, NY

** Indicates headlining shows

All other dates are with Taylor Swift

tour dates

The War On Drugs Add December North American Dates To Their Endless Tour In Support of Slave Ambient


Including Bowery Ballroom in NYC, Union Transfer in Philly, Lincoln Hall in Chicago

The War On Drugs are on a roll! The first legs of their US and European tours in support of the widely raved about Slave Ambient (“Best New Music” on Pitchfork, “Best of 2011 So Far” on have been exceptional, and they’ll be hitting the road again in October & November for another month of touring the United States. Things are going so well for these guys, they’ve decided to return to some of the towns they played in August and September to play larger venues. This includes return visits to Chicago, New York (adding a Bowery Ballroom show in addition to the Beacon Theater show with The National), Washington, D.C., Toronto, and Philadelphia, plus gigs in a few more cities they have not ventured to yet in support of the new album. A full list of dates is below.

“When the band’s wide-screened psychedelic flourishes are fused with Granduciel’s well-worn Dylan- and Petty-isms, songs like ‘Brothers’ and ‘It’s Your Destiny’ wondrously conjure nothing so much as the Traveling Wilburys recording for mid-1980s 4AD.” — Pitchfork [Best New Music]

“bridges the considerable distance between Düsseldorf and Nashville.” — Village Voice

“a swath of nostalgia in a storm of mind-bending audio. This is boss-gaze, and—sorry, old dudes and purity chasers—it’s stupendous.” — Under The Radar

“On a sleepy Sunday night in Minneapolis, The War On Drugs came into the Entry and confidently delivered one of the shows of the year. Now that is the way to end a weekend.” — Minneapolis City Pages’ Gimme Noise

“You’ll likely decide to play this all the way through again before it’s even half over. It’s that cohesive and melodically insistent.” — SF Weekly’s All Shook Down

“Alternately downhome and astral, Adam Granduciel’s arrangements on this slice of dreamy rock are locomotive, tinged with wistfulness, and unfold and sprawl like a field gone green in spring.” — Premier Guitar

“Classic rock reborn with added sizzle and drone.” – Uncut

“A work of real wonder.” – MOJO

“A record so accomplished that it already feels timeless . . . This is a near-flawless rock album, and certainly one of the best you’ll hear all year.” — The Quietus

10/10/11-Harrisonburg, VA @ Blue Nile @
10/11/11-Raleigh, NC @ Kings Barcade @
10/12/11-Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle #@
10/13/11-Atlanta, GA @ The EARL #@
10/14/11-Pensacola, FL @ DeLuna Festival
10/17/11-Dallas, TX @ Bryant Street Tavern #@
10/18/11-Austin, TX @ Emo’s #@
10/20/11-Tucson, AZ @ Plush #@
10/21/11-San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar #@
10/22/11-Los Angeles, CA @ Satellite #@
10/23/11-San Francisco, CA @ The Independent #@
10/25/11-Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar #@
10/26/11-Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern #@
10/27/11-Spokane, WA @ A Club #@
10/28/11-Nampa, ID @ Flying M #@
10/29/11-Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court #@
10/30/11-Denver, CO @ Hi Dive #@
11/01/11-Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot #@
11/02/11-Columbia, MO @ Mojo’s #@
11/03/11-Bloomington, IN @The Bishop#@
11/04/11-Cincinnati, OH @ Mayday Northside#@
11/05/11-Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern#@
11/06/11-Baltimore, MD @ Talking Head#@
12/03/11-Harrisburg, PA @ Abbey Bar At Appalachian Brewing Company
12/04/11-Washington, DC @ The Rock ‘N Roll Hotel
12/06/11-Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio
12/07/11-Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
12/08/11-Toledo, OH @ Mickey Finn’s Pub
12/09/11-Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe Tavern
12/10/11-Ithaca, NY @ Castaways
12/11/11-New York, NY @ The Bowery Ballroom
12/12/11-New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre w/ The National
12/17/11-Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

% with Caveman
& with Porcelain Raft
# with Purling Hiss
@ with Carter Tanton

reviews tour dates

Beirut tour dates for the Rip Tide album


Beirut is pleased to announce additional tour dates in support of new album The Rip Tide, out now via Pompeii Records. The tour is currently underway and shows have been receiving rave reviews:

“The show confirmed how cohesive this group has become. And it showed how Mr. Condon has been growing into his singing…he sounded like someone who knew his bearings, and well.”
– New York Times

“Constantly subverting expectation without becoming contrived, Beirut can transport you somewhere else during their songs; ironic, then, that tonight there’s nowhere else you’d rather be.”
– The Independent

“Condon evolved as both a songwriter and singer. His compositions have become more lush and intricate…but Condon’s maturation is evident mostly in his voice. This was on full display at Terminal 5.”
– Spin

Joining Beirut leader Zach Condon (ukulele, trumpet, piano, vocals) on the road is Perrin Cloutier (accordion, piano), Paul Collins (electric bass, upright bass), Ben Lanz (trombone, piano, tuba), Nick Petree (drums), and Kelly Pratt (trumpet, euphonium). A six piece band who has consistently honed their live show throughout the band’s career, Beirut puts on an undeniably solid and confident performance and shows a singular band maturing both on record and in concert.

BEIRUT TOUR DATES (new shows in bold)
Sep 28 Denver CO – Fillmore w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 01 Oakland CA – Fox w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 02 San Francisco CA – Independent w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 04 Los Angeles CA – The Greek Theatre w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 06 Sante Fe NM – Warehouse 21 w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 07 Santa Fe NM – Santa Fe Center w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 09 St Louis MO– Pageant w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 11 Royal Oak MI – Royal Oak Music Hall w/ Laetitia Sadier
Oct 25 Richmond VA – The National w/ Basia Bulat
Oct 27 Atlanta GA – Variety Playhouse w/ Basia Bulat
Oct 29 Austin TX – Stubbs Waller Creek w/ Ramesh
Oct 31 Houston TX – Warehouse Live w/ Ramesh
Nov 01 Dallas TX – Prophet Bar w/ Ramesh
Nov 04 Mexico City – Cuervo Salon
Nov 05 Mexico City – Cuervo Salon
Nov 07 Nashville TN – Cannery
Nov 09 Lexington KY – Kentucky Theatre
Nov 11 Cincinnati OH – Bogarts
Nov 13 Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory w/ Basia Bulat
Nov 26 Providence RI – Lupo’s w/ Perfume Genius
Nov 28 Cleveland OH – House of Blues w/ Perfume Genius
Nov 30 Milwaukee WI – Turner Hall w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 02 Minneapolis MN – First Avenue w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 04 Knoxville TN – Bijou w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 05 Asheville NC – Orange Peel w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 07 Athens GA – Georgia Theater w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 08 Carrboro NC – Cat’s Cradle w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 10 Pittsburgh PA – Alter Bar w/ Perfume Genius
Dec 13 Washington DC – 930 Club w/ Perfume Genius

tour dates

Biohazard Announce Release Date For Original Lineup New Album “Reborn In Defiance”And World Tour Dates


First Original Lineup Album In 18 Years Will Street January 20, 2012 Worldwide

Free Facebook giveaway of street track “Vengeance Is Mine”

“The laws of the universe only allowed Biohazard to get back together with the original four of us for a small window in time. In that time, we managed to come together and create something we are all truly proud of. This record comes straight from the heart.”
– Bobby Hambel, Biohazard

Reborn In Defiance, the long-awaited new studio album from New York hardcore metal legends Biohazard, has been confirmed for a January 20, 2012 release date. The album will be released via Nuclear Blast worldwide outside of North America, with a US label partner soon to be announced. The band will celebrate the launch with a record release party in their hometown of Brooklyn, New York before setting off on an extensive international tour.

Not only is Reborn In Defiance Biohazard’s first original lineup album in 18 years, but it also marks the last album recorded by the band before the departure of bassist and co-vocalist Evan Seinfeld. The album remains a testament to the four founding members (Billy Graziadei, Bobby Hambel, Evan Seinfeld and Danny Schuler) and their unique chemistry.

“Biohazard has always been a mixture of our personalities, passion, chaos and angst that makes us who we are,” says vocalist and guitarist Billy Graziadei. “It’s this energy that comes out of us when we’re together that is BIOHAZARD.”

Having last recorded and toured as the fundamental lineup with the release of “State Of The World Address” back in 1994, Biohazard reformed with all four original members back in 2008 to commemorate the band’s 20th anniversary. They went back out on the road together over the next two years, during which time inspiration struck.

“When we first got back together, we knew it would take us a while to figure out how to be a band again,” drummer Danny Schuler explains. “We toured the world over the next 18 months and were genuinely surprised when audiences everywhere reacted as positively as they did. So we started jamming, and we knew there was something there for us to build on. We wanted to take the live energy we were creating and capture it in the studio.”

The legendary Toby Wright (Alice In Chains, Metallica, Sevendust, Korn) was brought in to produce the 13-track Reborn In Defiance, which was recorded in Los Angeles. He turned out to be exactly what the band needed.

“Not only does Toby Wright have excellent music knowledge and engineering skills, but he knew exactly how to work with us on a personal level. He made us keep our attention on the music, and that focus was exactly what Biohazard needed, “explains Hambel. “Toby pushed each of us to bring out the best we have to offer, and we went beyond our comfort zone without ever losing sight of the general vision we all had for this record.”

Adds Schuler, “It was made in the same tradition of every album we’ve ever made together, a bunch of guys in a room, looking to move the world with our words and music. We’re very proud of what we’ve done on this record; it ties together everything about what made us unique in the past, with a new attitude and excitement towards the future.”

The band will embark on a massive world tour following their record release party in New York, with concerts in Europe, North America, Australia, Asia and South America planned. Dates and details will be announced shortly.
As a thank you for their loyal fans, Biohazard is giving away a free track titled “Vengeance Is Mine” from the new album. Fans can download the track from the band’s Facebook page.

Graziadei states, “There are three elements of creating an album: the album you want to make, the album you make and the album you wish you made. Reborn in Defiance is the first album for us that has hit all three, and we’re psyched to finally bring it to the masses.”