Wednesday, September 30, 2009

MNIJM, Generationals, Dr. Dog TONIGHT @ Howlin' Wolf

Fans of sun-drenched sixties pop, reverbed-out guitar riffs, girl-group harmonies, and oh, all that music of yesteryear, is there a show for you. Dr. Dog, The Generationals, and
MyNameIsJohnMichael are playing tonight at Howlin’ Wolf, starting at 9pm.

Local favorites MyNameIsJohnMichael will be kicking it off, and while their music is more tuned into Nebraska-era Springsteen than the sixties influences of the following bands, they still have plenty of ooh ooh ohs to sing along to. MNIJM is returning from a month-long tour of the Atlantic coast and we’re sure they’re happy to be back home again. (Or at least we’re happy to have them.) Generationals follows with more of that Sixties-Motown-by-indie sound we all love, and then the out-of-towners, Dr. Dog, will headline.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Open your ears to Sun Hotel . Now.

I develop a fondness for a lot of the bands in the scene. Caddywhompus is incredible and the loudest smallest band you'll ever see. Giant Cloud has that oh-so-good Peekers sound that I can't ever get enough of. And Loren Murrell, Silent Cinema, and MyNameIsJohnMichael always make me melt. But the band currently on my radar is one I plan on paying a lot more attention to.

Sun Hotel is definitely worth the listen. They are a local indie band with a lot of acoustic goodness, interesting and somewhat soothing vocal interludes and some catchy lyrics..... Please class them amongst the new and good in the local scene and start taking notice. 
Check them in space:

Check them out for real: Sunday, October 25 @ Allways Lounge/ Marigny Theatre in support of the NOLA Project's latest theatre production, Finer Noble Gases. NOIR Collective presents! Come support!

Pains of Being Pure / Cymbals Eat Guitars / Depreciation Guild

Checked out Cymbals Eat Guitars, Depreciation Guild, and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart last night at One Eyed Jack's. (Sorry for the crummy picture quality, the NOIR professional photography crew were tied up elsewhere.)

A really solid crowd showed up for the show, and people were excited from the start. Cymbals Eat Guitars kicked it off, a band I hadn't seen in concert yet. I'm really digging their album lately, but for whatever reason the sound didn't really connect live. The band seemed to be trying to add energy to their show by playing the everliving shit out of their instruments, and the muscle car approach to a live show added some excitement but for the most part just left me straining to hear what song they were playing. Again, I really like this band--I just wish someone would sit them down and tell them to let their songs speak for themselves. (All that being said, the average age in the band appeared to be like 17 years old, so I'm sure they have plenty of time to clean it up.)

I was really blown away by The Depreciation Guild, a two-man act out of Brookyln (they bring a drummer out for live shows.) I'd heard their music described as "Super Nintendo Shoegaze", which actually holds up pretty well. A video screen blasts blocky SNES color schemes in the background, the band is tight, the songs are good--it's all pretty overwhelming. Also, I soon learned that the lead singer in DG is the drummer for Pains of Being Pure, which who knew.

The most polished act (understandably) were the headliners. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, say what you will about them, know how to construct a 4 minute song, and their sound came through beautifully in the venue. They stuck mostly to songs from their self-titled debut LP, but played a few songs off their new EP as well. (EP songs seemed just as strong, worth checking out.) The revelation of the show (and best moment) came when the keyboardist for The Pains, Peggy Wang, revealed to the crowd that she grew up in New Orleans, had attended Newman School, and that her mom was at the show. As embarrassed that I was that I didn't do any research and had no idea about it, the information really pumped the crowd up and got everyone excited. Wang went on to ask if anyone from WTUL (Tulane radio station) was in the house, which elicited a huge response from a small group of kids. Wang confessed that WTUL had been her savior growing up for finding new music, and the WTUL kids went nuts, and the whole energy level of the show picked up.

A couple more songs followed, a strong encore, and that was that. It was great seeing everyone out.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

8 Questions with... Bionica

In the first installment of what will sure to be a long series of pithy and enjoyable little questionnaires, we asked local act Bionica eight questions. Their keytarist (no shit) James Westfall took the time to answer us, doing so in a much more earnest way than we could have ever expected. We appreciate him taking time out for us, and you should return the favor by catching him and the other members of Bionica tonight at a free show at Blue Nile.

1. In nine words, who are you and what is it that you do?

Bionica is a musical collective that explores all possibilities

2. What album have you been listening to for the past week?
The Rough Mixes of the soon to be released Bionica CD.

3. Favorite venue in NOLA and why?
Snug Harbor - Snug has a long history with the city and the city's musicians. Most of the band were close to the former club owner George Brumat. (who recently passed away in 2007) George was the type of human being that gave nothing but sacrifice and integrity to the musicians and employees of Snug Harbor. It is the venue that helped start most of our careers as individual artists. Fortunately, the club continues with that same respect and dignity that George gave.

4. Favorite venue outside of NOLA and why?
There is a venue in NYC called The Stone. It was created by John Zorn as a non profit performance venue where musicians receive 100%. It is booked through different artists getting the opportunity to curate the events for their allotted time. Though Bionica has never played their yet, we encourage this project and other projects that give artists the platform to be who they are with out the overhead of business.

5. What local band aren’t enough people listening to?
Nova Nola

6. Favorite piece of musical equipment?
The Keytar! ... (Though it just broke so the new one won't be in in time for tonight's show)

7. You hate it when people characterize your music as _____?
...No hate here.

8. Write us a haiku.

The few power many

Ron Paul was right

Man versus Machine through Bionica

Close enough with the haiku form, there. Again, Bionica performs tonight at Blue Nile with Caddywhompus and Giant Cloud.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Michael McDonald Sings Grizzly Bear

I'm sure most of you have heard this already, but for those of you who haven't: join me in listening to the most surreal moment in music this year. Michael McDonald singing "While You Wait for the Others", the second single off Grizzly Bear's luminous second LP, Veckatimest. (Yes, that Michael McDonald. The old guy with the white beard who used to rock out in Doobie Brothers and who sings like an insane person.)

I don't quite know what to do with this track. "While You Wait for the Others" was one of my top five favorite songs of the past year, and then the band brings in one of the most ridiculed singers alive to sing it for the B-side of their single. Are Grizzly Bear fans of McDonald? Or is this some joke? (If it is a joke, it's a pretty mean one. I think. Then again, McDonald could use the work, I guess.)

Basically, I've been scratching my head about this for a good week or two. Check it out.

The next month in NOLA

Hey all,

So, quietly, New Orleans has decided that over the next month the city is going to host upwards of a dozen really freaking awesome indie concerts, topped off by the ridiculous lineup Voodoo has promised. My little Google calendar, which I never figured out how to use until a week ago, has filled pretty quickly with shows I need to see over the next month.

There are consequences to this. For one, I am going to go broke. Like, really, painfully, sadly broke.

For two, these concerts have brought up huge scheduling issues. As I pointed out before, I have never had to keep a schedule, let alone had scheduling issues. I feel like Trump or someone. Tomorrow night there are two amazing shows, one at One Eyed Jack’s with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (low-fi treble pop from Brooklyn) and a great show of local favorites Giant Cloud, Caddywhompus, and Bionica at Blue Nile sponsored by, well, us. It’s been argued that Pains of Being Pure are only in town for one night, but I still feel the need to send an apology letter or something to the bands over at Blue Nile. (Is it weird that I feel I am neglecting a large group of people who have no idea who I am?)

Similar problems arise on September 30th. I’m open to people convincing me to see one show over another.

I’ve attached the little list I keep on my desk, but for a more comprehensive concert lineup (including information like where it is and what time it starts and everything else you’d want) check out our listings at

9/26 - Pains of being Pure at Heart
9/26 – Giant Cloud, Caddywhompus, Bionica
9/30 - My Name is John Michael & Dr. Dog
9/30 - The Walkmen + Cymbals Eat Guitars
10/1 - Phoenix
10/2 - Arctic Monkeys
10/4 - Blitzen Trapper
10/7 – Dan Deacon
10/8 - Wavves.
10/16 - Japandroids
10/21- Junior boys
10/23- Art brut
11/06 - Why?
11/18 - Camera Obscura + Papercuts