It sure seems like Yo La Tengo is getting a lot of attention lately. In fact, the band’s upcoming 14th album, “Popular Songs,” is getting the most serious promotion of any Yo La release that I can recall.
“Here To Fall” is a new song and video release from the longtime indie gods. It’s the second single out already for the September album. The new song “Periodically Double Or Triple” was released earlier. And Matador is doing one of its Buy Early Get Now promotions for “Popular Songs.”
Download: Here To Fall – Yo La Tengo
First, Lou Barlow, the godfather of lo-fi, is coming out with a new album this fall. He’s released “Gravitate” as the first single off “Goodnight Unknown” to be released in October. Those lo-fi young punks Times New Viking also put out a new song, “No Time, No Hope,” to promote “Born Again Revisited,” a September release.
Lou opens for and plays with Dinosaur Jr. at the Vic in October.
There’s no video for either song. So I’m including a real DIY video for an old Times New Viking song. Longtime readers of All the Young Punks know I like to feature fan-produced videos, so here you go.
OK. Portugal. The Man isn’t going to headline the big tilt in Grant Park. But I figure the suits that run Lollapalooza won’t promote these guys too much — so, I’ll give them a little plug. I like their cool, throwback sound. This video is brought to you by Snickers. Lolla is brought to you by Bud Light and Citibank.
Chicago music fans can find out this week if Jack White’s newest band, The Dead Weather, is the real deal. The band, which also features The Kills’ Alison Mosshart, plays The Vic Tuesday and Wednesday.
I’m not taking the night off. I’m leaving you in the capable hands of a professional dance instructor.
Also of interest: Chicago’s Smoking Pope’s play before Junior Boys on Sunday. The Night Marchers, the latest band from Rocket From the Crypt’s John Reis, plays Saturday. The fest also features some interesting electronica, like Toronto’s The New Deal. And it will cost you a recession-buster price of five bucks a day.
Modest Mouse’s short singles collection, “No One’s First and You’re Next,” will be out next month. Some of the songs have already been released on 7-inch vinyl. Included in the collection is “King Rat,” an outtake from “We Were Dead Before the Ship Ever Sank.” Interesting bit of trivia: Heath Ledger directed a video for the song, which was never released.
The band plays Aragon Aug. 25.
This is a little disappointing. After seeing Wilco play cool venues like Auditorium Theatre and Pritzker Pavilion, the big barn at UIC is a letdown. UIC sounds like one of those shitty, outdated arenas built 50 years ago. (It actually was built in the early ’80s, but it still sounds bad.) I guess Wilco graduated to arena rock.
The Beastie Boys canceled shows in Chicago and elsewhere due to Adam Yauch’s planned surgery for cancer. Fortunately, the cancer is believed to be treatable, Yauch says in a YouTube video posted on the Beasties’ Web site. The surgery will push back the release of an upcoming album and cancel a Lollapalooza appearance as well as an after show at the Congress Theater.
The National lived up to its headliner status Saturday night, drawing heavily from the band’s last album, “Boxer.” Why aren’t these guys more popular?
What was really cool about this year’s fest was the strength of the schedule during the day, from Saturday’s opener Cymbals Eat Guitars to early Sunday eve’s M83. Both days featured strong performances by Fucked Up, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Beirut, Doom, The Walkmen, Japandroids and others.
It wasn’t a flawless fest. Once again, there were sound issues and overcrowding (i.e. not enough bathrooms). But, overall, it was a good show.
Damian Abraham bit open beach balls, took off his shirt and planted himself in the audience to deliver a searing hardcore performance at Pitchfork Saturday. His band, Fucked Up, will never get any mainstream radio play but the 300-pound Abraham is one of the best showmen in indie rock today.
It didn’t take Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow long to establish himself Friday night. He took a running leap off stage into the crowd on the first song. Not bad for a guy in his late 40s. He even did a little comedy (see the video below).
The Jesus Lizard was the third and, by far, most entertaing act at the first night of Pitchfork. Yo La Tengo played a solid set just before Jesus Lizard, while opener Tortoise was just boring. The headliner Built to Spill was competent but not strong enough to follow Yow and company.
If you really don’t like the Flaming Lips, you should check out Pitchfork fest’s other Sunday night headliner, The Very Best. This is a fascinating collaboration between Esau Mwamwaya, a singer born in the East African country of Malawi, and London DJ duo Radioclit. They play an exciting mix of songs that sample, cover and collaborate with popular Western artists (like M.I.A).
Any festival that opens with Cymbals Eat Guitars and ends with The National is pretty awesome. But Pitchfork’s Saturday lineup gets even better. My additional top picks for the day: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Fucked Up, Bowerbirds, Beirut and Wavves. But there are a number of other really good bands to see. So take a chance on a band you don’t know.
The National has been working on a follow-up album to “Boxer” and playing new songs live. Cymbals Eat Guitars will headline its own show Saturday night at the Bottom Lounge. Watch the band on this cool installment of Pitchfork’s Don’t Look Down.
Built to Spill is Pitchfork fest’s headliner Friday, but Yo La Tengo is the band to see. Indie stalwarts for more than two decades, Yo La Tengo is releasing its umpteenth album, “Popular Songs,” in September.
Friday’s performers are participating in Write the Night, which means they’ll play songs requested by fans as determined by Web voting. (Sorry, polls are closed.) Hopefully, Yo La fans dug deep into the band’s catalog, and we’ll get to hear some new songs, too.
Both gigs are highly recommended.
Sad, sad songs. That’s what Magnolia Electric Co.’s Jason Molina sings. But, I tell you, he plays a great show and this is one of the best bets for live music in Chicago this weekend. Molina’s music reminds me a little of vintage Neil Young with a horn thrown in now and then. Magnolia Electric Co. headlines Schubas Saturday night and the Hideout on Sunday.
I was hooked on the Thermals from the first time I heard the 2006 song “Here’s Your Future”: God reached his hand down from the sky/ God asked Noah if he wanted to die/ He said, “No Sir, oh, no Sir!”/ God said, “Here’s your future: It’s gonna rain…”
So we packing our things/We’re building a boat/ We’re gonna create the new master race/ ‘Cause we’re so pure, oh Lord we’re so pure
Maybe the Thermals, who play Pitchfork next weekend, haven’t changed much in the past few years: punky pop, bratty, smart social commentary. But the formula is still pretty fun. Here’s a video for the band’s latest, “Now We Can See.”
Yeasayer’s Chris Keating is getting a lot of attention for singing on Simian Mobile Disco’s great new song “Audacity of Hope.” But Keating will be back with Yeasayer when he plays Chicago next weekend as part of the Pitchfork lineup.
Here’s an interesting fan-produced video for Yeasayer’s standout song “2080.”
Bloc Party’s new song, “One More Chance” got its video release recently. It’s pretty funny.
The song will be released officially Aug. 10, and, of course, it’s been remixed already.
Peter King, a Republican congressman from New York, caused a stir over the weekend after he declared the media spent too much time covering a “low-life” like Michael Jackson. He also called the King of Pop a “pervert” and “pedophile.”
The Walkmen are working on a follow-up album to the excellent 2008 release “You and Me.” No word yet on whether the new one is going continue the meloncholy approach of “You and Me.” The Walkmen, of course, can ratchet up the tempo. “The Rat” is probably still the band’s best-known song.