Monday, July 10, 2006

It List: Monday 7/10/06

Been a bit slow around WSJR HQ for the past few days, but we've got some good stuff for you this week, including some MP3s, interviews with local bands you might care about, interviews with touring acts you may care about, and um, probably some other shit too. Wait and see.


Fra Pandolf/ North/ Notes(J&Js- Denton): We were going to tell you to go see the off the fucking hook live spectacle of Notes from Underground, but they aren't actually playing this show. What we thought was a new cool slang name for Notes from Underground was actually meant as an indication that Tucson's Notes is playing this show. Notes does a pretty low key southwest neofolk influenced ambient electronica, and seem to be pretty effective in their attempt at putting across a creepy, isolated front to serve as a thin veil for underlying layers of fairly warm textures and melodies. It might be kind of "head scratcher," to borrow a phrase from one of the other WSJR crew members, but very good atmospheric stuff. They will also be joined by North, which leans more to the metal atmospherics, although they stay far away from the drone of bands like Sunn0))). Its kind of boring, but might be a different deal in a live setting... and there are certainly some very strong peaks and valleys on the recorded stuff. And I bet you thought all Tucson bands sounded like Calexico, didn't you?

And I'm just not sure what all the mini buzz (consisting of two Observer staff writers) is surrounding Comrade, who plays tonight at the Cavern with Seattle's Unwed Sailor (perhaps a bit similar in sound but MUCH more interesting). Now don't get me wrong, I would certainly say that they are quite a bit better than the average ready for KDGE Dallas "Indie" group, but I'm just not sure why we are supposed to be excited about a Travisesque post-Radiohead band that isn't actually from the U.K. They've got a diverse and technically strong singer, and they sound like they know how to play their instruments, but it doesn't make up for the same old same old song structures, trite lyrics, and rehashing of everything that Nic Harcourt thought was cool in 2001. And although comparisons to Pleasant Grove are understandable, I just don't think they have the emotional unsteadiness, intensity or inventiveness of most of Pleasant Grove's strongest material. Again its not terrible, but nowhere near great. If you're planning on going, be prepared to sort of enjoy it.


Blogger Sam Machkovech said...

Misleading--they really only have that one Brit-poppy song. The rest on their EP is much more in line with PG/Bedheady texture, try the songs other than "Make/Break" to see what I mean. And Chao's opening...bring on the backlash!

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Gary P. Anonymous with an "f" said...

AGREED Stoned Ranger. PG bottles a little bit of chaos in their stuff too.. don't hear anything like that in this stuff.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous justin said...

unwed sailor should be a good show. jonathon is an excellent performer. i'll provide some sort of report on comrade if anyone cares.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous said...

Boy do I feel like an idiot. I've seen Notes listed at a few sketchy all-ages shows here in Tucson, but havent't seen them live yet or knew what the hell they sounded like.

I think they're too young to play in bars or something. And I have a feeling they aren't shameless self-promoters, like another electronic act here, Bark Bark Bark.

Enjoy the show!


5:10 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

well, in the interest of fairness I did listen to several (about five) songs all the way through a couple of times because you and Weedemon had me interested to hear what they sound like. And I stick by my statement.

5:10 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

yeah james, did you like my Calexico joke? That one was for you.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Sam Machkovech said...

In that case...well...why you be trippin.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous said...

Good one! Yeah, it's a pretty diverse scene, otherwise I wouldn't have shit to write about. Not that I don't write a lot of useless shit...Hell, next summer people could be calling us that town with the fucking Killers rip-off band called The Year.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Carlin said...

The Slow Signal Fade, Silk Stocking & J Versus K tonight at Club Dada for $5.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everything reminds sam of bedhead.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think he must be sleeeeeeeeeepy

6:02 PM  
Anonymous mc said...

Slow Signal Fade fucking sucks. Tucson is a great town. At least it is while driving through town at 4am listening to Calexico ... those two bands sound wicked interesting though. I wish I lived in Denton. tucsonscene-dude .... does that desert-ambient scene (Roach, Stearns & compadres) still exist in any form?

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In that case...well...why you be trippin."

That calls for a question mark not a period, EDITOR.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

maybe it was an exclamation? "Why, you be trippin!"

6:40 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Sam, I still hear more Britpop than Pleasant Grove in Comrade (which is fine by me). I'll be interested to see what kind of live show they manage - with particular attention on how much they play toward the crowd and how much they'll be involved with their own shit. I've only seen them once, but PG seems to give a pretty introspective live set. Audience seems to be watching/peering rather than participating.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't go to J&J's. The show was cancelled weeks ago. Seriously.

7:01 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

yeah, although I haven't seen Comrade live, i would agree that you can hear such a difference even in the recorded material (which might have something to do with the fact that I didn't even really like PG until I saw them live). PG sounds a little more strange and spacey to me.

And for the record, I have no problem with Britpop, and I actually like a lot of that first wave (Blur, Pulp, Oasis). I just get annoyed with what I consider to be the post Radiohead brit stuff like Coldplay and Travis.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous said...

mc--Yeah, look at . Some have accused him of ripping off Howe Gelb, but that's a compliment, in reality. Another Calexico collaborater is Naim Amor. again, .../naimamor.Is that what you meant?

Oh, and I second that comment on Slow Signal Fade. God, they're trying so hard to please everyone, and it just sounds so plastic. Typical LA band with too much talent, effects boxes, and no heart whatsoever. I tore them a new one on a review a while back, thought I didn't feel very good about it. The lead singer is pretty cute and seems harmless otherwise. They're playing with Tuba and Bass here Friday. Weird bill. Each band is sure to piss off the other band's fans.


7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

graham coxon's live at the zodiac is certainly worth the effort, i must say. andrea, you're funny occasionally. sam, you never are and, in all likelihood, never will be. and just when i was beginning to like grimes. poor girl...

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's so funny I did think all Tucson bands sounded like Colexico!!! oh my god!!!!

12:18 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

awesome! Thanks for the laughs!

12:32 AM  
Anonymous delmore said...

friends of mine swear by calexico but i coudlnt get through it.. the whole way through i had to just stand there holding my jacket... theres so much going on yet so little to pay attention to... i was almost blinded by the silver polish of the cd itself and dropped the plastic case six times it was so slippery

1:04 AM  
Anonymous mc said...

Tucson James: does Tuba and Bass have any relation to Drums and Tuba?

Yeah I know about AmorBelhom .. I was wondering about the ambient scene though ... you do know who Steve Roach is?? If not I will enlighten you rather than belittle. Coz some of us are cool like that.

Slow Signal Fade has a very persistent PR person, and that is another great reason to hate them. It's like smearing poop across the landscape.

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

since no one has said it on here. peace out, syd barrett.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous bub said...

me too. RIP .

3:16 PM  
Anonymous said...

Jesus...I should stop writing this shit off the top of my head while I'm busy at work. Yeah, I meant Drums and Tuba. I got it right on my website, at least.

Oh, and I missed the Steve Roach ref. A girl I know has a bunch of his stuff on her laptop...I'll get her to burn some...Thanks for the heads-up!

Smearing poop. Good one. I have a bad feeling a booker here is doing their tour. He was asking me about some shitty LA band we were watching at his club and I sorta ripped into them, not knowing his relationship with the band. At least he SAID he appreciated my honesty...

4:33 PM  

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