All in the Family

Thomas Mars, Phoenix's frontman, is set to write some or all of the score for Sofia Coppola's new film Somewhere. (They're life partners, have a baby together and are probably the coolest celebrity couple ever.)

The film is slated for 2010 and stars Benicio Del Toro, Stephen Dorff, Elle Fanning, and Robert Schwartzman (Rooney frontman, brother to Coconut Records’ Jason Schwartzman, and cousin to Coppola).

Columbus'd the Whim LP

Need some background internet surfing music?
This album will fill the void.

Holiday Shores

Holiday Shores are a band from Florida.
They're coming to play their pleasantly floaty indie at the CMJ Music Festival here in New York, which is a pretty big accomplishment/deal for little groups like these guys.

Try Phones Don't Feud:

The Coast

Bands with the word 'coast' involved in their name often get lost in the shuffle (Best Coast, Envy on the Coast, Ruby Coast, Right Coast, The C.O.A.S.T., etc...)

So naturally a band with the most stripped down version of coast, The Coast, would get noted but passed up. But these Toronto natives shouldn't go by the fan of Canadian indie pop rock.

Listen for yourself on their myspace.
Try Tightrope and Killing Off Our Friends.

Last Night: Phoenix + Passion Pit!

Phoenix capped off another killer set last night in Central Park.
Absolutley fantastic...their shows are addicting.

But this was was a pretty different gig. I snuck my SLR and telephoto lens into the park, so the pictures were a lot better and closer (the gap between the stage and crowd is bigger at outdoor shows). Most were fuzzy albeit the ISO 1600 setting.
Ok ok..before this turns into a photography blog:

Passion Pit.
They sound so much better recorded, simply because their music depends so much on elaborate studio enhancements and perfect sounding synth. But they did their job warming up the crowd and had great energy.

Then, Phoenix! A long set, huge amounts of energy. They never missed a beat or lost momentum. Frontman Thomas Mars still jumps into the crowd, comes to the very edge of the stage and climbs amps which makes for a sort of interactive and interesting experience. As for the others, they never stop moving (which makes for a difficult photography event)
Nevertheless they might be one of the best live indie pop bands out there.

I'm really proud of this one.

The first part of the encore was just Christian Mazzalai (lead guitar) and Thomas for an acoustic/unplugged 2 song set, including a slow version that the crowd sang along to of Everything is Everything and Playground Love (!) The song they scored for Sofia Coppola's film The Virgin Suicides. I captured a little bit of it, video below:

And then the full group finale (If I Ever Feel Better & 1901)
Literally everyone in the band was climbing on a monitor or an amp!

So much fun. It was an awesome night.
Read about the other times I've seen Phoenix

Phoenix on Jimmy

Just in case anyone hasn't heard 1901 or Lisztomania on national network television yet, they've got another chance! Catch the French alt-popsters Phoenix on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight, starting at 12:37pm New York time.

And get ready for another gig review: I've got tickets for one of their two Rumsey Playfield shows in Central Park this weekend.


Peter Silberman pulled a Brian Wilson on us, writing Hospice during a period of "social isolation" and then recording it in his bedroom with the help of two musicians: Michael Lerner (drums) and Darby Cicci (versatile). They ended up becoming permanent members of the group and went on to self-release Hospice. Propelled by NPR, the first pressing was sold out and the group was picked up by indie label Frenchkiss.

Brilliant and sad lyrics run throughout on top of mellow, catchy and rolling melodies. It's really a fantastic album.

Give one of the singles, Bear, a listen:

Last Night: Meligrove Band, The Acorn and Born Ruffians (Toronto)

I've made no attempts on this page to hide the fact that Born Ruffians are one of my absolute favorite bands, so it was incredibly coincidental and lucky that one of their concerts would fall right in the middle of this past weekend's long standing plans to travel to their hometown of Toronto for family and school visits.

The band coins the show as one of their best, and I would have to agree. They played for a very enthusiastic (ok, crazy mosh pitting) crowd of all-agers last Satuday, September 19 at the Opera House.

Meligrove Band opened, they were unremarkable.
The venue confiscated my SLR, which would explain the noisy/terrible shots:

Second on the bill, The Acorn. I highly recommend these guys, they really stole the show for the first part of the night. They sound a lot like a poppier and more accessible version of Akron/Family and a little bit like Fruit Bats. Great live performers, really humble guys. They seemed genuinely surprised that people were getting into their set!

They stung lights across the stage.

And finally, Born Ruffians! This was the 6th show I've seen them play, and like all the others, unsuccessful pictures but really a lot of fun. This was also the first full-on set I've seen them headline, and there's really a noticeable difference from their opening slot performances (they were all great, but the home town enthusiasm makes the difference here).

These guys need to stop being so humble about their achievements!
They really deserve all they've worked up to so far.
innovation + fantastic live shows = success.
It's just that simple.

The single from Julian Casablancas' solo album Phrazes for the Young (RCA;10/20)
11th Dimension:

Enjoy the modernization of 80s synth pop.

Rumor has it that The Strokes' rhythm guitarist Albert has been checked into rehab, putting a stop to the fourth album, which is very unfortunate..get well soon, Hammond Jr.

Vampire Weekend Sophomore Album Revealed

There they are! The album art and tracklisting for Contra, the
Vamp's follow-up LP.

It's slated for January 12, 2010.

Exciting tweet from Nikolai, The Strokes' bassist, dated September 9.
It's all happening!

VIDEO: Kanye Clashes with Taylor at the VMAs

Incredibly tasteless...especially if it was staged.

Desolation Wilderness

Washington state's shoegazers Desolation Wilderness bring a blend of dreampop and psychedelia to the table. Their recent release New Universe is full of "languid, dreamy melodies, with guitar flourishes that ebb in and out." (BKV)


Last Night: MTV VMA Party + Lifebeat - Kid Cudi & Phoenix

Yesterday Phoenix offered a half price ticket for their appearance at Terminal 5 for the MTV VMAs kick-off party / Lifebeat (Music industry against HIV/AIDS charity) benefit show / Beatles Rock Band plug event. The whole thing was documented on film and video.
Kid Cudi opened for a wild crowd:

You're looking at the rapper who intentionally puts feedback on his vocals.
The performance was alright, he was pretty good but really nothing more than an 'average' rapper- however, I'm not sure if I'm the most qualified to judge, since I'm really not a hip hop/rap fan at all.

Then Phoenix took the stage for a very short set (Kid Cudi ran over and they had to stop at midnight). Apologies for the repeat/poor pictures, as I was standing in pretty much the exact same place as their show at the same venue in June, it was darker than usual, and the band's got their show down to a science. They must be bored of their catalog after circling most of the world twice this year. Nevertheless, it was a great set and a lot of fun.

There was no bag check, so it was a little frustrating that there could have been some nicer SLR pictures, but stay tuned, because I've got tickets for one of their two Central Park shows and they allow larger cameras.

More Phoenix things: the drumstick from the June show and Mazzalai's guitar pick from last night! Now if only there was a setlist..

Creepy Empire State lights on the low clouds heading home.


Catch them play Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on September 24.

VIDEO: Born Ruffians - New Song

Born Ruffians play a new song at Le Poisson Rouge in New York.
This was for WARP Records' 20th birthday party, and was the culmination of several events all weekend around the city. Hundred in the Hands and Jamie Lidell also preformed.

Sounds great, the prospects of their new album are very exciting...

Philanthropic Phoenix

Phoenix has partnered with Life Beat, an HIV/AIDS Foundation.
They're playing a playing a benefit at Terminal 5, as well as hosting three bid-to-win meet-and-greet sessions at both Central Park New York shows (September 25 and 26th) and at the Greek in LA. A great band for a great cause. It probably wasn't a bad business decision for them either.

Literally Beck

A literal version of Beck's Loser video, courtesy of Funny or Die.
Speaking of Beck, Record Club is back at it this week with their take on Leonard Cohen's noted debut Songs of Leonard Cohen.

Old and New Voxtrot

[MP3] Voxtrot- The Start of Something
If you havn't heard this song yet, be warned you might get a stomach ache from how sweet it is. This is probably their most popular song, from 2005's Raised by Wolves EP

[MP3] Voxtrot- Berlin, Without Return
And the new. While the familiar-sounding Vox signature sound is still there, it's a little more alternative, heavier and less summer-jam-y.
The full length should be coming up soon.