Fu Manchu rode the stoner rock wave about a decade ago as Queens of the Stone Age was just getting notice. Electric Frankenstein, a scuzzy hard rock/punk kind of band, has been around for a long time and put out a number of albums. But like Fu Manchu, the band has little more than a cult following.
Ted Leo says on his Web site he began mixing songs for his new album last month. He also put out a demo, “Last Days,” which sounds pretty good. Now on Matador Records, he plans a spring release of the full album.
Wilco wrapped up its North American tour this week, playing a pair of shows at UIC. I saw Monday night’s show, which went for more than two hours and dug deep into the catalog. The only albums not represented were either of the “Mermaid” releases.
The new songs worked in well with the older stuff. The guys opened (appropriately) with “Via Chicago” followed with new song “Bull Black Nova” and “A Shot In the Arm.”
“Yankee” and “Summerteeth” were well represented. Old songs like “Casino Queen” sounded a lot fuller with the current lineup. Great show overall. Since it wasn’t sold out, I was able to walk up close to the stage. And, yes, I was very excited.
Frightened Rabbit released its new video for the single “Swim Until You Can’t See the Land.” I’m looking forward to the new album from these guys.
There’s really interesting music coming out of Portland. Two of the bands responsible — Hockey and Portugal. The Man — are playing a pair of shows at Schubas this weekend. Portugal. The Man has a throwback sound that reminds me of the ’70s. Its single, “People Say,” is one of my favorite songs this year.
Hockey has a fun, pop sound and may be destined for (gasp) commercial radio play. Amid an onslaught of new releases this past week, Hockey put out its debut album “Mind Chaos” on a major label.
Speaking of new releases, a couple of artists with new ones featured in a post earlier this week are playing over the next few days.
Chicago’s very own Califone just put out “All My Friends Are Funeral Singers.” The band plays two nights at the Museum of Contemporary Art. And Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile, who released “Childish Prodigy” last week, plays Empty Bottle Tuesday.
There aren’t a ton of great albums that really rock this year. One exception is Japandroids’ debut “Post-Nothing.” By now, you may have heard the spiel about two guys trying to sound like five guys but it’s true. They have a big sound.
“It’s a lot of fun to have the freedom to really go off without having to sync up with a bass line or get in the way of two guitar melodies or whatever,” drummer-vocalist David Prowse tells the Sun-Times.
The band plays Schubas tonight and does an all-ages gig tomorrow afternoon.
Big news this week about Pavement: The reunited band will curate and play All Tomorrow’s Parties in England next May. That’s in addition to a four-night stand in Central Park next September. Obviously, there’s tons of speculation about possible tour dates between. No word on a Chicago show yet.
It was such a big day for album releases, I couldn’t cram everything into one post (though I see some blogs handled it just fine). As one of my blogger brothers said, there are probably a number of new albums out today that will end up on year-end, best-of lists. Way too much to absorb in one week.
I’ve spent the most time with Built To Spill’s “There Is No Enemy,” which I really like (and I’m not a huge fan of these guys).
Mission of Burma’s “The Sound The Speed The Light” has a cool, heavy sound that recalls the band’s short-lived ’80s heyday (at least in parts). But to be honest, I haven’t fully processed this one yet.
Check out Largehearted Boy for a full list of notable releases.
No Wave was a pretty short musical movement in the late ’70s that fell somewhere between experimental and punk. It was often more grating than influential but artists like Lydia Lunch and Glenn Branca inspired Sonic Youth. So we can be grateful for that.
So what to do about a video? How about a drummer named Runar motoring down the road until he meets up with a tribe of loincloth-wearing screamers who form a drum circle? I’m not going to try to deconstruct this video.