Erick Lee (left) with Andrew Sheron, Photo: Jake Seymour
Most of the guys that make up Modern Rivals met in the St. Louis, Missouri, area and recently moved to Brooklyn where indie bands are apt to thrive. Frontman Erick Lee continued his studies as a graduate student at New York University before joining husband Paul's team of composers at Big Foote Music + Sound. He was able to use the studios after hours to record the band's latest EP, Sea Legs, to achieve a crisp, professional sound for any bandcamp page. The songs have a strong, textural underpinning with vibrant melodies. At Mercury Lounge July 25, the group recreated the songs faithfully without the added benefit of any kind of stage show. Interactions between the musicians and any grooving going on was lost in the darkness, but perhaps in a different venue this interplay can be rightly appreciated by their willing fans. They will be paying The Studio at Webster Hall on August 25 and The Rock Shop on September 13 -- catch them if you can.
Official PopMatters write up here and another video from the show below.
Modern Rivals "Clocks vs. Darts" @ Mercury Lounge NYC 7/25/12
The movie Color Me Obsessedwas
recently part of the film screenings at the CBGB Festival with an informative
Q&A with filmmaker Gorman Bechard, and this Friday, July 27 it will be in New Haven, CT at Café 9. There will even
be a live tribute to the band and other regional musicians after the showing. See a complete listing of upcoming engagements here and for those interested,
there will be a DVD release before the end of the year.
Last year PopMatters declared
Color Me Obsessed one of the
Top 5 most anticipated music documentaries, and it is certainly worth seeing
for anyone who counts The Replacements part of their personal history or any others
that wish they could. Bechard made an
unusual creative decision not to include the band or its music going into the
project. It’d be similar to the Mats, to
use their nickname, in that things could have been so much easier for all if
everyone adhered to the rules. He found fans on Facebook and Craigslist eager
to tell the tale instead, with locales decided by where participants were
comfortable doing an interview. So the
story revolves around how many concerts people attended (for Bechard, the
number was fifteen) and which is their favorite album (Bechard’s is Tim).
It wasn’t until editing the final cut that Bechard decided to add a few
photos at the end, a heartbreaking effect after ending the film with the band’s breakup
The effect of not seeing them
or hearing their music makes the audience want to run home and listen to the
band as well as looking up online resources, especially the train wreck which
was their Saturday Night Live Performance.
(Gawker explores a few of them in a recent article with the backstory.) Bechard can be forgiven for
the slight of hand in the editing room with this labor of love, for example allotting
screen time to George Wendt comparing the song “Here Comes a Regular” to his
hit series Cheers. These indie rock
pioneers were a messy group of guys mixing classic rock with punk charged
energy and attitude, earning them a place in Rock and Roll history. The music scene simply hasn’t been the same
Summer is in full swing with plenty of new music heating
things up for the next playlist. A single from the much-anticipated Passion Pit
album starts things off with the venerable Hot Chip next in line. Newcomers Deep Sea Arcade, Teen Daze and
Stepdad are definitely worth a listen, while more music from Edward Sharpe
& The Magnetic Zeros, Pomegrantes are always welcome additions. Link to listen here, enjoy!
1. “Take A Walk” –
Boston area electropop band Passion Pit burst on the scene
with their debut album in 2009, with a youthful embrace of danceable songs and
Michael Angelakos’ soaring falsetto. This is the first single off the quintet’s
sophomore album, Gossamer,
introducing a serious approach to lyrics over the ever chugging beat.
2. “Night and Day” –
“Night and Day” is off the fifth studio album, In Our Heads, by the U.K. electropop
band Hot Chip. Alexis Taylor’s vocals
float amid a layered dance groove and call backs galore to bring this dance
frenzy to a close.
3. “Brains” – Lower
Lower Dens is a Baltimore based indie folk band formed in
2010. The quintet just released their
second album, Nootropics, with this psychedelic
tune providing an expanded, ethereal sound for the song list.
4. “Pass Away” –
Cincinnati band Pomegranates have stayed true to their indie
rock roots since 2006. This upbeat song
with whoops of fun is off their fourth album, Heaven.
5. “How Do I Know” –
Here We Go Magic
6. “Make Up Your
Mind” – Here We Go Magic
Here We Go Magic is an indie rock band based in Brooklyn,
New York. These two infectious songs are
off their fourth album, A Different
7. “Dreambeat” –
Wisconsin husband (Aaron Coyes) and wife (Indra Dunis) duo
Peaking Lights recorded their latest album Lucifer
in a professional studio, leaving behind the homemade tracks of last year’s
debut release. The experimental nature
of the music is fully intact, however, as “Dreambeat” proudly displays.
8. “Man On Fire” –
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
The Los Angeles band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros recently
convened to record their second album, Here. Singer Alex Ebert fronts this folksy troupe
of a dozen or so members, a fluid group befitting the casual nature of their
9. “Girls” – Deep Sea
Schoolmates Nic McKenzie and Mick Weaver formed Australian
band Deep Sea Arcade back in their teens.
The quintet’s sound is sun drenched indie pop, as this song off their
first album, Outlands, reveals.
10. “1997” – Saint
Saint Motel is an indie pop band based in L.A. with a
confident mantra utilizing plenty of outside influences for their first full length album, Voyeur. A/J Jackson’s smooth crooning
vocals lead the charge for this four-piece group.
11. “Must Land
Running” – Stepdad
“Must Land Running” is the audacious single off Stepdad’s
first album, Wildlife Pop. This
electronic pop quintet was formed by roommates ultramark and Ryan McCarthy in
their Chicago apartment in 2009, but are now based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
12. “Endless Flowers”
“Endless Flowers” is the title track of the third album by
this indie pop band from San Diego, California.
The wall of sound production brings a sunny vibe to the fuzzy rock
groove, with strumming guitars and a persistent percussive backbone.
13. “Gold Morning
Mend” – Ian McGlynn
Ian McGlynn is a singer/songwriter, producer and
multi-instrumentalist from New Jersey, who just released his third album, Now We’re Golden. The song showcases
McGlynn’s emotive vocals over an intricate indie pop sound.
14. “No. 1 Against
The Rush” – Liars
Liars is a Brooklyn based three-piece electronic dance punk band,
formed in 2000 by Californians Angus Andrew and Julian Gross. This multi-layered song is off their sixth
album, WIXIX (pronounced ‘wish you’).
Sunburn” – Teen Daze
16. “Hold” – Teen
Teen Daze is the solo project of music producer Jamison from
Vancouver, British Columbia. These synth
compositions are from his first album, All
of Us, Together, inspired by a book found in a thrift store called Utopian Visions.
There's a few tickets for movie theaters in the NYC area for Wednesday's one night showing of Shut Up and Play the Hits, The Final Days of LCD Soundsystem (official trailer below andlist with links here). Frontman James Murphy appeared on The Jimmy Fallon Showlast week, explaining that the movie will now play a few dates, since fans had a chance to "demand it" in their town. It does make it all seem more like an event, similar to the final concert at Madison Square Garden in April 2011. And similarly, the band added more dates at Terminal 5 during the week prior to this, which I was able to score tickets for and will surely be on my top ten concerts ever forever (write up here with "Dance Yrself Clean," the top video on our YouTube channel!) Murphy has been seen around town and elsewhere playing dj sets with drummer Pat Mahoney as Special Disco Version, in the studio with the Klaxons,Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Julie Ruin. He also almost had an acting role as well as a providing a musical score for HBO's adaptation of Jonathon Franzen's novel, "The Corrections." (According to The New York Times, Murphy's director friend Noah Bambach was ready to hand over the part of Gary before the project was pulled.) To quote one of my fave LCD songs, all I want is to have my beloved band back.
**Update: Loved the movie, lusting after the DVD, only cried three times.
It took just one listen to get caught up in the shiny synth
groove and pluck this song “Happy Home” for my Early Summer New Music Playist
on the sidebar here (new playlist coming next week!) Portland multi-instrumentalist
Dorian Duvall likes to call his personal musical genre “Disco-Hop,” after dabbling
in electro pop. He appears in the new video created by Andrew Sloan of monstrousmedia.com,
with some crafty use of Reynolds Wrap to begin a journey beyond space and
time. The song is off the debut release
due in September, Mirror Gazer. And those in the New York area can catch
Onuinu with Tycho this Saturday, July 14 at Webster Hall.
Most of NYC may have cleared out for the week, but after inviting over 300 artists to perform around town the CBGB Festival had plenty of people participating in programs throughout the day. It all began tastefully late after noon at the Landmark Cinemas, home of independent film in the city on East Houston Street. Krist Novoselic of Nirvana set the tone as the keynote speaker, providing a rich musical history with a call to get involved in the country's political process befitting his new role as activist and chairman of FairVote. Music panels followed on the business of getting noticed and all the new tools available, as well as a discussion of way things were in the original club. A film conference addressed the visual side of things simultaneously, and then there were film screenings along with the music showcases at night.
Krist Novoselic, another bass player!
The brand CBGB seemed alive and well, with opportunities to pick up T-shirts (like the festival staff already had on) everywhere. There was a nice, quirky but handy CBGB Club Etiquette Guide which filled the back page of the handouts listing the events -- see below. I'm old enough to have gone to the place, but certainly not in its hay day. But I know the music from those years well, as familiar songs from house bands such as Blondie, The Ramones and Joan Jett played before the presentations. As with the New Music Seminar, most of the speakers were of the male gender. The panel on stage for the "Music Industry: Today and the Future," were actually EX-record label guys, a statement in itself. And the next generation listened to it all, though usually while multitasking away (in the last panel on day two I was actually surrounded by people playing with their phones held high in full view!)
Subjects crossed into new territory, for example whether a music artist even wants a record label or not. And new music outlets in film and television were readily embraced for a infusion of cash and exposure. There was a slight tangent over an argument regarding Spotify, even though other free or nearly free online music outlets were hardly mentioned. And the old beef over the quality (or lack thereof) of mp3 files surfaced again -- as one who has fond memories of music discovery while listening alone in my room to an AM transistor radio or driving with a basic car radio I can't get crazy about this... besides, my ears just aren't that good to pick up on the all the nuances of fancier formats. Isn't that what musicians are here for in the first place? Make it sound as nice as possible and thanks for all that, but we music fans will listen how we please. Rock on!