With the recently unpredictable weather in Montreal, it wasn’t surprising to see grey skies over the Lachine canal this past Tuesday night. The weather has been abnormal for June, so planning an outdoor show, at a makeshift “venue,” for Foster The People may not have been ideal. Alas, while the wind blew and it rained throughout the opening acts, Mark Foster and company stepped onto the stage around 9 o’clock. The rain ceased to fall. Ponchos came off, inflatable sharks were sent into the crowd, and the screams of fangirls were louder than the actual show at some points.
MVRemix actually covered Foster The People’s show in Montreal last year, where they played to a sold out venue of about 700 people. Now, a good couple thousand braved the unpleasant forecast to get a final taste of the band’s tour on the debut Torches – and Foster did not disappoint. Opening up with “Miss You,” they had the crowd behind them from the start with its thunderous percussion lead by Mark Pontius. Lots of flashing lights, statues of caricatures from their album art, paper planes flying everywhere at some point in the set, and a big sun-shaped LED screen where a mascot emerged and blew bubbles – their trippy stage setup is already that of a developed headliner. Mark Foster even seems like a seasoned professionals, running all over the stage with a guitar or mic, sometimes banging on a drum, or sitting down and playing the keys – often all in one song. A bonafide headliner. And why wouldn’t they be just that?
“I think we’ve played about 280 shows in the past 14 months,” Foster remarked halfway through the set. “This is the last tour on Torches.” That’s one of the negatives: the band has a library of about 15 songs if you count all their bonus tracks – and they played all of them. Seriously. I don’t even have to tell you what specific songs they played. I mean, “Helena Beat” was energetic, “Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls)” was a huge crowd favorite, as well as “Call It What You Want,” and “Pumped Up Kicks” closed out the encore with a huge dance party and inflatable caricatures. Even bonus tracks like “Ruby,” which is a rather slow piano ballad, sounded spectacular. The whole album sounds either identical or better when performed live, and with very limited banter, the setlist was over before you knew it.
No, it wasn’t a sold out show. No, it wasn’t a very long show (running about an hour and twenty minutes). And no, they’re not the best band in the world. However, I can say that I was thoroughly impressed with their spectacle. I’m not a huge Foster The People fan, but it kind of helps that every song on their record seems to be a hit and I consequently know most of the words. I sincerely hope that this electro-alternative rock band isn’t a one album wonder, and they have success for years to come.
Aside from their two weekends at Coachella, it’s been a while since we’ve seen The Hives perform in North America. Those Swedish guys in suits and top hats will be hitting some of the major cities in the east this month. They’re touring on their latest album Lex Hives, and put on a heck of a show. Seriously, go check out their recent Coachella performance, and head out to your local venue to check these guys out in person. You know you want to!
MVRemix is hoping to cover the show in Montreal for you readers. If you’re down to rock out, for a rather good price, the promoter evenko is selling tickets on their website. All other dates are below:
6/19 – Washington, D.C. – 9:30 Club
6/20 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
6/22 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
6/23 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
6/25 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
6/26 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
6/27 – Pontiac, MI – Clutch Cargo’s
6/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Summerfest
6/30 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
Joe McKee’s Burning Boy doesn’t need much of an introduction from me. Actually, this is a much more different review for me than what I usually write. Let me explain this indie nightmare of a record:
With what seems to be an orchestral backing, “Lunar Sea” is what opens the record. It slowly but surely continues to build instrumentally, with McKee’s vocal stylings helping out. It’s really strange, and too obscure for my tastes – and I had a feeling the whole album may be like this. This isn’t entirely true, as there are no other tracks using a big orchestral backing, and instead make use of a couple guitar chords. I stress the word couple. This record gets repetitive and uninteresting rather quickly.
“Darling Hills” isn’t bad for a incredibly slow and airy track, and may be my favorite off the record – and even THAT isn’t saying much. “An Open Mine” even demonstrates something promising by adding in a percussion line towards the end of the song, but even that fails to hold my attention. There’s no drums. Ever. I think they’re present in the aforementioned song, and “A Double Life” – this annoys me. This whole album is so damn minimalist that it irritates me. Acoustic indie rock is acceptable in my mind compared to McKee’s music – and I dislike acoustic indie rock to a high degree.
I think there’s no denying that McKee has a great voice, as he should be praised for such a talent. The question here remains is if he’s using it the right way. I hate criticizing music and putting it down so much, because it’s someone art and creative expression. However, if it doesn’t hold my attention, and I just can’t enjoy it – I’ve gotta tell you to find some better music elsewhere. Too minimalist. Too stripped down. Too boring. Better luck next time, McKee.
Remember that one indie alt rock group that broke into the mainstream not so long ago? Did you know they have tour dates in a city near you? That’s right! Foster The People are back at it this summer, recently playing Bonnaroo and soon to be hitting up Leeds/Reading and Summer Sonic. But before they head halfway across the world, they’ll be playing some sold out venues for North American fans’ enjoyment. Still touring off of Torches, the boys show no signs of slowing down. Catch these guys before they start selling out Wembley Stadium, or something…
MVRemix hopes to be covering the Montreal date this upcoming Tuesday. If you’re in the Montreal area, snag your tickets here at evenko’s website. All other North American dates are listed below!
06/10 – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion *
06/14 – New York, NY @ Summerstage SOLD OUT
06/12 – Montreal, QC @ Lachine Canal #
06/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Mann Center #
06/15 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion # SOLD OUT
06/16 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore # SOLD OUT
06/19 – Toronto, ON @ Downsview Park #
06/20 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater # SOLD OUT
06/21 – Chicago, IL @ Congress Theater # SOLD OUT
06/22 – Minneapolis, MN @ US Bank Theater #
06/25 – Burnaby, BC @ Deer Lake Park ^
06/26 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theatre ^
06/27 – Portland, OR @ Edgefield ^ SOLD OUT
06/29 – Berkley, CA @ Greek Theatre ^ SOLD OUT
06/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Ampitheatre ^ SOLD OUT
07/01 – Los Angeles, CA @Gibson Ampitheatre ^ SOLD OUT
07/03 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Ampitheatre ^
07/05 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Great Salttair ^
07/06 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre ^
07/07 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Cosmopolitan ^ SOLD OUT
* = w/ The Kooks
# = w/ Tokyo Police Club
^ = w/ Mayer Hawthrone & The County
I’ve been looking for some music to hold me off until Passion Pit and The Temper Trap release their albums – as they’re really the only releases I’m looking forward to. So, British indie pop rock band Citizens! has rolled out a teaser EP for those of us who aren’t so ready to get their debut album (Here We Are), and want a few remix tracks to go along with it. Thus the Caroline EP is born. And it’s pretty decent for some London pop rockers.
Really well produced, and catchy as hell, “True Romance” is a really good way to open things up. It’s got such a happy electronic beat behind it, full of synths, and a solid vocal backing. The lyrics are simple, and a bit repetitive, but I still dig it. Gigamesh’s remix? Not too shabby either. “Reptile” is actually better, although simple in the lyrics department – but what are we to expect from pop rock? Similar in terms of style, but quicker and less synthy. Its acoustic counterpart – lackluster.
Finally, “Caroline.” Similar to the rest, despite being less electronic-reliant, and a little slower. But is it good, you ask? Yeah, in my opinion. I don’t see anything wrong with simple indie pop stuff like this. “We stopped making sense / We never made any sense,” says the vocalist of this Caroline and him. Simple. Fun. There’s nothing wrong with any of this. It makes perfect sense to me. Its accompanying remix is nothing to showboat about, though.
All in all, I’m enticed enough to listen to the rest of their album. I think you should too. Now, please excuse me while I return to my musical cave and await my anticipated summer releases and enjoy Citizens!’ at the same time.
Need a solid alt rock album to get those summer juices flowing? Well, it’s been a long time coming, but Garbage finally released their first full-length since 2005 with Not Your Kind of People. The Wisconsin alternative rock band is still lead by Shirley Manson with the vocals and Butch Vig on drums, and with this release shows that they’ve still got a lot to offer the music world.
“Automatic Systematic Habit” opens up the record with a big electronic riff, and sounds somewhat poppy. Manson even comes in with some heavily vocoded vocals towards the end of the tune, as she sings about a sociopathic liar. The lead single “Blood for Poppies” features an incredibly catchy chorus, but remains consistent with the band’s overall rock attitude. Vig stated that Garbage “wanted to make a record sound like something that we want to hear when we’re driving the car,” and I think they gain this accolade within the first few tracks.
Garbage hits a softer spot with the title track, taking a ballad-like approach with drawn-out keys, minimal percussion, and Manson’s voice coming through the speakers crisp and clear. “Sugar” is even more relaxed, with the accompanying instruments taking a backseat while Shirley takes over. If you’re not a fan of the slow stuff, no need to worry: “I Hate Love” is the most over-produced song on the album, with a heavy compilation synths among other electronic sounds. Add in some negativity towards romantic feelings, and you’ve got another great Garbage song. Want something even better? A little more rock? Look no further than “Man on a Wire.” Top notch guitar riffs, drums that pound, and a nearly electronic-free song (as far as I can tell).
In other words, whether you’re an old school Garbage fan, or if you’re just looking for something new to satisfy your musical taste buds, give this album a shot. It’s convinced me that I better catch Garbage when I head to Osheaga Music Festival come August. And if the band rolls around to your town, perhaps you should, too.
I need to be completely honest: I had never seen Thrice live in concert until just a few nights ago – and I could not be happier that I got the chance to do so. Despite a heavy storm hitting Montreal all day, flooding buildings all over town, the Metropolis venue stayed perfectly intact for a packed house to witness the departure of a post-hardcore band that has been going strong for fourteen years.
Despite the fact that Thrice is only going on hiatus, the guys were playing their hearts out all night long. “Yellow Belly” opened their set, shortly followed by the fan favorite “The Artist in the Ambulance.” I don’t think a single being in the house wasn’t singing along with Dustin Kensrue. They kept on powering through songs spanning their multiple releases: “In Exile,” “Under a Killing Moon,” “Kill Me Quickly,” “Promises,” “Come All You Weary” … The band was unstoppable.
“Everyone taking care of each other out there?” Dustin asked to the crowd, “You guys seem like you wanna hurt each other a lot less than Boston did.” It was the only real pause throughout the night, and Thrice was right back into their set, playing a total of 23 songs.
Softer songs like “Daedalus” and “Words in the Water” carried well, but I can’t help but think that these were far from the highlights of the show. The last songs of the initial set were. I stood at the back of the venue, staring in awe. “Firebreather” hit hard, “Red Sky” was loud and emotional, “Stare at the Sun” was even better, “Deadbolt” was loud and boisterous, and then “To Awake and Avenge the Dead” was even louder and amazing.
The band was absolutely unstoppable. Two encores ensued, and I’m sure the crowd would’ve stayed for more had the venue allowed it. “Phoenix Ignition” kicked everyone’s ass, and “T&C,” which had been retired until this tour, kicked everyone’s ass again.
No fancy lights. No stage gimmicks. Bare minimum in terms of everything. It was all about the music that night. I may not be an expert in Thrice’s live performances, but I have never been so in awe of a band since the first time I saw Green Day play a three-hour set. They were so musically tight as a band of fourteen years. It’s such a rarity to see the original members of a band perform nowadays, and what Montreal witnessed the other night was truly special. Farewell, Thrice. That was truly one of the best shows I’ve ever experienced in my short lifetime.
Setlist: Thrice @ Metropolis, May 29th 2012
Full Set of Photos: jakemullan’s flickr
I’ve never thought South America to be a hotbed for emerging artists. Argentina’s ZZK Records and LA based Waxploitation Records have come together to produce this compilation record of the best emerging artists from Buenos Aires: Future Sounds of Beunos Aires.
This compilation features a lot of electronic music is not the kind most North Americans have grown accustomed to for the past few years. Sure, there are a lot of similarities: synths, bass, and just pure garbled sci-fi sounds, but many of these tunes possess a unique Argentinean flair. It may be the sampling of Spanish vocals, or it may just be the whole beat of the song. Tremor’s “Malambo” falls under this category, with some heavily distorted bass – but it doesn’t force a fast beat down the listener’s ear canals. It allows the instruments used to speak for themselves. Frikstailer’s “Guacha” is the track that most resembles something from America. Less flair, and more of synth-fuelled track than anything.
One of the highlights of the album may be its most obscure track on the record: “Se Pixelo el Vinito” by Super Guachin sounds like something hauled from the days of Nintendo’s Entertainment System. Chiptuned with added percussion and vocoded vocals, this song is incredibly fun. Maybe I’m just a gamer at heart and I appreciate this tribute to our 8-bit past, but I think a lot of people will dig this.
However, some tracks do fall flat. Any compilation album will have its share of misses.”Cumbiatron” by King Coya is too lethargic, and maybe a little too worldly for my tastes. Same goes for La Yegros’ “Viene de Mi,” as it just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album’s rhythmic attitude.
That’s the problem with this album: half of it is some really great electronic music, but the other half is something completely different. It’s a nice experiment, and some tracks work well together. But overall – I’d suggest only purchasing what you really enjoy from the album, as it’s not worth a total purchase. Future Sounds has something special about it, but the vision isn’t fully realized.
When I first heard Silversun Pickups about two years ago, my first impression was, “Man, this vocalist has got some pipes!” And I also thought said vocalist was a woman because I neglected to look at their Wikipedia page. Rest assured, I’m still a fan of Brian Aubert’s unique vocal stylings. Now that I’m a little more educated, I’m lucky enough to give my take on the LA band’s new album Neck of the Woods.
“Skin Graph” opens the album with a thunderous roar of distorted guitars. If a band can nail the opening track like this one, they’ve got me hooked from the start. The vocals are as sharp as ever, too. Their style hasn’t changed much since the #1 alternative hit “Panic Switch,” and that’s most certainly not a negative aspect about this album. “Make Believe” is actually a really fun and fast track, but it doesn’t lose that dark and moody Silversun feeling. “Mean Spirits” has the same kind of vibe, as it’s exceptionally fast-paced. The guitar solos, when applicable, are all top notch in these tunes. It’s always been a big reason as to why I loved Silversun Pickups. The overall musicianship on this record – impressive, and you shouldn’t expect anything less.
Wanna hear a weak point? Their lead single, “Bloody Mary (Never Endings)” is actually one of the weaker tracks on the record. While it has a really cool synth track as an intro, there’s nothing to really capture the audience. It’s mediocre at best. “Here We Are (Chancer)” is a little too soft and flat for my liking, but it’s nice to have some variance within the record.
“Gun-Shy Sunshine” is the right way to do a somewhat softer song that the aforementioned couldn’t accomplish. It’s not exactly slow and mellow, but it sets the mood well. It’s very similar in structure to “Lazy Eye,” and I don’t think using a well-tested formula should be ridiculed.
If it works – so be it. I’m not complaining. Silversun Pickups doesn’t have to continuously evolve to remain relevant in alt-indie scene. They’re doing a bang up job with Neck of the Woods. Let’s see if they can keep it going for albums to come.
In case you haven’t heard, post-hardcore band Thrice is calling it quits with one last tour this spring. Their indefinite hiatus was announced last November after thirteen years as a band; a career that spanned six albums, including the four-piece concept album, “The Alchemy Index.” If you’re a fan and you haven’t seen them live yet, this is probably your last chance. Animals as Leaders will be providing support on these dates. Some of the dates have already sold out – we wouldn’t risk waiting to buy these tickets!
MVRemix.com hopes to be covering the Montreal date of the tour at Metropolis. In case any of our Montreal readers are interested, tickets are available through evenko right here.
Here are the tour dates:
05/13 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
05/15 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
05/16 – Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
05/18 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
05/19 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
05/20 – Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
05/22 – Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon
05/23 – Washington, DC @ The Howard Theatre
05/24 – New York, NY @ Best Buy Theatre Times Square
05/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
05/26 – Boston, MA @ Royale Night Club
05/27 – Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
05/29 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
05/30 – Toronto, ONT @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
06/01 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
06/02 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
06/03 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
06/05 – Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
06/06 – Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
06/07 – Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
06/09 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox @ The Market
06/10 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
06/12 – San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
06/13 – Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
06/14 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
06/15 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
06/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Club Nokia LA Live