last year was a hard year for such a long time,
this year is gonna be ours.

Review: The Dodos - "Time to Die"

The Dodos get a production team.

It is difficult to muster enough thought to review The Dodos' third studio effort Time to Die. In short, it was a huge disappointment. Seems that with each successive record, the band's original, stripped-down acoustic vibe is lost as they progress closer and closer to streamlined/pure studio indie modified pop. The thing was produced by the same guy who worked with The Shins, and boy does it show.

Their 2008 album Visiter was largely well-liked and a huge progression from the first full-on acoustic great Beware of the Maniacs. So I suppose in that sense, Time to Die is a fair extension from the second album. Although it is no secret the third studio effort had large shoes to fill, it just completely misses the mark and is unappealingly overproduced, especially for a group like The Dodos.

So clearly the album didn't come through on the first listen. Perhaps a second and third playthrough will clear the artistic intentions of the work up a bit. Maybe it's a grower. After all, the buried, familiar sounding guitar riffing reminds us that yes, this is the same Dodos that are capable of lovable, folksy pop genius.

[official] myspace

NOVELS EP Surfaces

In January, five of Toronto's most talented musicians went into the studio unrehearsed. They came out 16 hours later with NOVELS EP. And now, they're releasing it for free.

Read their Story & Download the EP!

VIDEO: Julian Casablancas - "I Wish It was Christmas Today"

Here's the video for Julian's performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last Monday.
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!

Jules on Jimmy

Watch Julian Casablancas perform tonight on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!
Episode starts at 12:37 pm, east coast time.

John Quits the Peppers

John Frusciante, of shirtless Red Hot Chili Peppers fame, has announced recently that he had quit the band about a year ago during their indefinite hiatus.

"I have changed, as a person and artist, to such a degree that to do further work along the lines I did with the band would be to go against my own nature," he explained, assuring that "there was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding."

It's rumored that the band has replaced him with their session guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer.

Something Good Can Work

Two Door Cinema Club are these fantastic, upbeat, indie sometimes-electro pop kids from the UK. They've been featured on a couple of Kitsuné Compilations, but only have a few small releases out. Never fear though! Many other tracks can be found on hypem.


Born Ruffians' Sophomore LP: "Say It"

A few days back a Stereogum article announced the title and meaning behind Born Ruffians' long-awaited follow up to 2008's LP debut Red, Yellow & Blue. The album's name is Say It , a reflection of the band's communication issues that drove drummer Steve, top left, to temporary cut ties with his bandmates last year. His replacement for their 2009 tours (winter '09 with Tokyo Police Club; Spring '09 supporting Franz Ferdinand) was New York's Sinkane (bottom left, in hat).

However, the Torontonians have since regrouped and recorded Say It this past fall with their new philosophy to "talk about things before they happen."

Look for the album early 2010.

Stereogum article / tumblr fansite / myspace

Last Night: Arctic Monkeys + Screaming Females; Alexa Chung

The bitter New York cold did not deter the Arctic Monkeys' (crazy) fans from packing up Terminal 5 in midtown west last night. In anticipation of this, I took to the second floor balcony, which was in direct line of the venue's curved speakers. Bad choice. Got blasted by supersaturated, muddy sound and a horrible mix.

Advance warning: all pictures are noisy and point-and-shooty. Venue does not allow SLRs. Although it turns out I could've easily gotten it in...

Arctic Monkeys

Above is the opener, Screaming Females, a New Jersey garage band. Pretty rough tunes. The lead singer is 5'2, the only girl in the three-piece, a pretty rad guitarist and a literal screaming female. She actually screeched. I don't even know how to describe it.


The Arctic Monkeys came on twenty minutes late. The floor looked absolutely insane. The most moshing I've ever seen. Five crowd surfers, several fallen moshers; a shoe, a shirt, a bra and a rolled poster thrown on stage.



The show itself was just alright. They got up and played their songs. The new stuff isn't danceable, but some of the old favorites (including Brainstorm, I Bet that You Look Good on the Dancefloor, This House is a Circus...) got everyone pretty riled up.

Oh and Alexa Chung:

Arctic Monkeys

The Setlist:

The Jeweller’s Hands
This House is a Circus
Still Take You Home
Potion Approaching
Red Right Hand (Nick Cave cover)
My Propeller
Crying Lightning
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
The View from the Afternon
If You Were There, Beware
Pretty Visitors
Do Me a Favour
Fluorescent Adolescent –> Last Christmas (cover) –> Fluorescent Adolescent

Secret Door

I'm really glad they closed with 505. It's one of my favorites.

Matt the drummer sang the Last Christmas cover:

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys

blog holiday

I'll be around sparingly until 12/12.
Until then, here are some links to tide you over:
/ hypem / hypem

Vampire Weekend - Contra video shorts

Around UC/Recent Oldies:

The Dodos' Long Form video + a chat in the comments section with its director
Fall Six Playlist (mp3 links)
Julian Casablancas' New York homecoming is January 14! Review of his album.

Phoenix Gets a GRAMMY Nod

(New York, NY), December 3, 2009 – Capping off an incredible year, Phoenix has been nominated for their first-ever Grammy Award in the category of Best Alternative Album for their acclaimed 2009 release,Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix[!] (Loyaute/Glassnote).

Phoenix - Lizstomania / One time too many - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque

VIDEO: The Dodos - "Long Form"

Somewhere in between a video ruining the song and being so boring that it's unnecessary falls The Dodos, their comforting low drum beats that tie their entire discography together and their video for Long Form, a track from the group's third studio effort "Time to Die".

Country Flip/News in Brief

The Strokes are making a comeback appearance as a full group next year in June at the Isle of Wight Festival in England!

SXSW 2010 initial band listing is up on Stereogum, which includes our friends from London, Good Shoes. Their new LP No Hope, No Future comes out next month.

Animal Collective's Fall Be Kind EP is up and out digitally. Standout track "What Would I Want? Sky" is really fantastic and pretty straightforward for AC. Great hooks and lyrics, as usual. They're just not as buried. [hypem]

On World AIDS Day, December 1, Live Nation will donate a portion of every ticket sold to its concerts in the United States to fight HIV/AIDS. All proceeds will benefit LIFEbeat, the music industry’s HIV/AIDS prevention charity in America."

Some new bands to try: Local Natives, The Hush Now, Thao with the Get Down...