The Music Warrior

Forcing Music down the throats of the unreceptive since 2006

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Silversun Pickups- Carnavas

For anyone who purchased or downloaded a copy of the Pikul EP last year, or even those that found the single "Kissing Familes" available as a free song download on a variety of music websites, you may already be familiar with this L.Al band's sound, as well as their general propensity towards awesomeness.

For those that haven't, familiarize yourselves by checking out the MP3s of this article, or going to the band's official website, where their EP is available streaming.

The first full length by Silversun Pickups, due out July 25th, is called Carnavas, and has successfully wormed its way into my head already, despite my acquisition of a leaked copy of the album just this weekend.

Mix the rock tendencies of early era Smashing Pumpkins with the shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine, and you get an album that, upon a few listens, causes you to think "these guys are gonna be HUGE."

Who knows if they will, but they've managed to take the sound of "Kissing Families" (which was the 2nd best song of last year, in my opinion), and stretch it over this 11 track solid album. There are no tracks that really miss, and those that hit hit you hard, fast, and with such an enthusiasm that you find yourself bouncing along to the heavy guitar and bass lines.

Leave it to the Silversun Pickups to make you wish it were late July now.

Silversun Pickups- Lazy Eye
Silversun Pickups- Common Reactor

Silversun Pickups- Dream at Tempo 119

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Lovely Feathers- Hind Hind Legs

It's been a while since I got so retarded about an album so fast as I have with the Lovely Feather's. Combining the frantic pop sensibilities of Man Man with the unique thematic approaches of The Unicorns, all wrapped up in an angular Indie Rock sound that screams of Wolf Parade, Hind Hind Legs marks the enterance of one of the newest, most exciting, and most importantly, fun band to hit the Indie Rock scene.

Hailing from Montreal, The Lovely Feathers mark their official debut with a largely strong showing of catchy and addictive rock/pop songs. While occasionally falling into the realm of overly-self-impressed- for example, the song "I Really Like You", which obviously tries to spark some sense of "its amazing because its so simple and its EXACTLY WHAT WE THINK LIKE" in its listener, but in the end, it rings more hollow. The song both recognizes and underestimates its fan base. I'm sure the lyric process of the song went something like this-

"Hey guys, okay, so who's listening to this CD? Okay, yeah, I know, Indie snobs, what else? What's their deal with women? Right! They're awkward and usually shy with them, right? Exactly! Hesistant, right, exactly. So, how about our chorus being 'I really really really really like you' really soft like? Then, the awkward indie kids will be like 'yeah, that's something I always want to say! This song represents my internal strife!'

The problem is that we can see through it, and the music isn't consistant enough to salvage the song fully.

But, that's just one song out of 13. And for every song that misses its mark, there are five more that work so damn well you play the song over and over until you get sick of it. And then, the next day, you're suddenly cured of your sickness, and you listen to them over and over again, and... you see where I'm going with this?

Songs like Pope John Paul, which revel in the band's hyperactive musical stylings, make this album worth listening to, while "Wrong Choice", which tries to appeal to its listener in every way as "I really like you" actually pulls it off, and appears as one of the stand out tracks on this overall amazing release.

Lovely Feathers- Pope John Paul

Lovely Feathers- Frantic
Lovely Feathers- Wrong Choice

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Live- Art Brut

Can you hear that, Chicago? Can you hear the Rock? I can!

Art Brut rocked out the Metro in their typical cockny rock-mocking style. Yes, it was magnificent.

After two entertaining, if somewhat confuddling, opening acts (a hardcore british punk band followed by an electro-synth-pop duo that, I think, was on Ecstacy, and who didn't like to keep their clothes on), Enter the Sandman. And by the Sandman, I mean Art Brut. Though, they did start "Formed a Band" with the riff from the afformentioned track.

The key to Art Brut live is that nothing sounds as it does on the album- there are added verses, switched up lines- if you can keep up with Eddie Argos' vocals, you can't help but laughing.

"Stay away from Pete Dougherty", he decrees as the guitars die down after his rendidtion of "My Little Brother", ends with the line "Stay off the crack". His pointed reference to the former member of The libertines, whose inability to stay clean eventually broke up his band. Argos continues- "He's a bad man. If he thinks he's so great, why can't he take his word, and take it straight?"

"This is our first show using a set list," a recently-mustached Argos sheepishly admits halfway through the show. "It's thrown us a bit off". They did seem a little unsure of themselves at times, especially compared to their near-flawless show at Schuba's last fall (Mp3s of that show are available in this post). But, compared to a live show of, say, Interpol, who simply play album-carbon-copies without any banter, Art Brut knows how to rock out.

Modern Art made Argos rock out... and off of the stage, as he ran around the audience as crowd members jostled and lept in approval. "Emily Kane" saw a complete stop in the song halfway through as Argos, putting on his serious face, while still yelling to the kids, says "this is the part of the song where I tell you that I actually got a call from Emily Kane. We talked about lots of things, like her new boyfriend, but I realized something. I wasn't in love with Emily Kane, I was in love with being 15 and being in love!" And suddenly, the instruments pick up all over again, and the song goes on as if nothing had happened.

The song leading to the encore, Bad Weekend, sparkles live, and also swells to almost 8 minutes, as Argos screams over the instrumental backdrop of the song his intent to find everyone at the pitchfork festival (Art Brut's appearance there was announced earlier that set), as he would ask us all if we've formed a band.

If we could all be as good as Art Brut, we all damn well should.

Art Brut- Formed a Band (Live)
Art Brut- Emily Kane (Live)

Art Brut- Bad Weekend (Live)

Monday, April 03, 2006

Live- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

It was a sunny, post-Daylight-Savings evening, and the Metro was abuzz. Everyone's favorite hype band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, were ready to rock a show that had sold out in less than half of a day. I looked to my left, and in front of me, and soon began to feel trapped. I was surrounded by... preppies.... at... an indie concert?

My hipster sense was tingling.

In the back, Thax Douglass stood by himself, passed by the vast throngs of North Face wearing, popped collared members of Sigma Chi. I talked to him briefly, and left with a tantilizing rumor (My Morning Jacket and The New Pornographers are playing at Northwestern on April 22??? Is that possible?) after wishing him good luck with his poem.

The Brunettes, hailing from New Zealand, warmed the crowd up with a high energy, multi instrumental feast for the eyes and the ears- their sound effectively melding Pet Sounds with Olivia Tremor Control. There was a saxaphone, a clarinet, a trumpet... and masks of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen circa 1993. On most of the members. As they sing about the partying of the afformentioned twin billionaires.

Then, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah were ready to go. Thax came out and read his poem (a very hobbity looking frat boy standing in front of me, unaware of the etiquette of an Indie show, yells "SANTA CLAUS!" as Thax takes the stage), and the band got ready to play.

There was no witty banter, and hardly any talking at all by the band members, which really was unfortunate. The music was good- it was very polished, and at times expanded or rocked out sections of various songs, but I was hoping that they'd mix things up a bit more.

Three new songs were played- the first was a bit-too-polished poppy track called something like "Summertime Love", which melded amazingly into "Is This Love" (one of the best transitions of the night). The second was slower, and sounded like a decent, if not alltogether different, version of "Details of the War".

The third and last "new" song they played was one that I was hoping they would, and it also exibited some of the best energy the band showed throughout the show. "Satan Said Dance" is spooky, quirky, and inventive- CYHSY at the top of their game. Remarkably heavy instrumentally, the song, which came just before "This Tidal Wave of Young Blood" ended their pre-encore set, was probably the bright spot of the concert.

The encore was fun, if predictable- "Clap Your Hands" (with a rocky twist) followed by "Heavy Metal", which confirmed to me that that particular song was, in fact, the one the band thought everyone would want to hear. They were right- we did want to hear it- it was fun and full of energy, but as I streamed past short, curly haired fraternity brothers with their arms around two women, wearing their stripped, button down shirts like douchebag badges, and I headed out into the night, I couldn't help but feel that something was missing.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah- Satan Said Dance (Live)

Friday, March 31, 2006


I don't know the story of this band. No one really does, outside of the fans the band may have had in Brooklyn. They basically released a single and an EP, and broke up. Google searches online reveal that, in fact, they may never have existed- their high energy, endearingly sloppy rock just a figment of my imagination- my own personal Schizophrenic rock experience (minus the electroshock therapy and medication).

Of course they did exist- members have splintered off into different groups, including Proton Proton, which, while not achieving the same degree of upbeat angular rock as Hominid, has achieved a similar degree of anonymity.

But, we're forgetting why we're here- just to look at the obscenely large, 8 song catelog of the band formerly existing as Hominid. The sound is catchy as hell- female vocals lead overpowering guitars with dance-trance-rock instrumentation. Imagined a strong dose of Metric meets the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Hominid represents how Karen O would sound in a perfect world- slightly punk, but the vocals are still sung, and the music makes you want to move.

Finding out about a band after its existance is always bitter-sweet. You love the music you can find, but you hate the fact that they'll never make another song. So, here's my gift to you- here are two mp3s by Hominid. If you like them, just email, and you'll get all the songs they've ever done. And it'll just make you thirsty for more. After that, though? Sorry, you're on your own. This band is done, unfortunately. All we can do is be thankful for the few songs they gave us before their self-destruction.

Hominid- Take It Like A
Hominid- Hi Zeus!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


According to the bio of local indie rock band "Sally" on the Schuba's website, the band began in 2003, when Charlie Deets convinced his ex girlfriend, Missy Niels (whom he had emotionally abused for the previous two years) to learn how to play the bass so they could form a band.

The story seems so over the top that it's probably not true, but since when have we let facts gets in the way of a kickass "how we formed a band" story.

But enough about the stories, fabricated or otherwise. Let's get to the music. It's punchy, it's upbeat, and I've honestly put on their CD on several occasions and led whoever's been listening with me to believe that I was playing a new Smashing Pumkins record.

Heavy (but not too complicated) basslines are the norm, complimented by some intriguing guitarplay, and Corrigan-like vocals, Sally's a band that's at least worth a look.

Sally- Thank God For Sunglasses

Sally- Watermelon

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Live Review- Of Montreal

What? What were you doing on Friday night? Drinking (my roommate)? Seeing The New Pornographers with Belle and Sebastian (all those kids that bought their tickets the fucking day they came out)?

How about The Metro? That's right, it was Of Montreal time, with all their fucked up, Kinks loving, Glam Rock epitomizing selves.

I entered, missing the first act, to a crowded, buzzing crowd. As the lightweight music fan that only had "The Gay Parade" and "The Bird That Continues To Eat The Rabbitt's Flower" as my Of Montreal repetoire, I was a bit intimidated by the jostling crowd (not really, but for drama's sake, we'll say I was).

But first, was Cloud Cult. Now, I kept my mouth shut about it, because everyone around me seemed to hate them, but I was diggin it. There was a cello, and, sure, every song started soft, and then built at a predictable point, but still.... The songs were usually really short, but they had some cool layered sonic scopes, and I'm a sucker for a good three person melody. And, again... cello?

Plus... okay, see this? Imagine that, only with there being two canvases, and with the paintings being really fucking crazy and abstract. And then, have the a standing up guitar, a pimped out bass, and a cello all there. Yeah, pretty fucking nuts, right? The panters just went nuts on their canvases (one drew an abstract cityscape, one did a weird angel giving a kid a rocket pack to heaven). Call me a sucker for a gimmick, but I was sold. Though, again, it seemed like I was in the minority...

Photo by Joe Cunningham

But, then, the band. Enter Kevin Barnes in a wedding dress, covered in glitter, saying "We're going to make love to you, Chicago. But we're old fashioned, so we're going to get married first. Will you marry us, Chicago?" before taking off the dress to put on a vest (this turned eventually to a gold frock and then to a orange plastic shirt).

Synchranized guitar moves, pantomimed bullets, a fucking story time section (apparently, Mr. Barnes was raised by progressive parents who let him do whatever he wanted, and he liked to harass old women, so he goes up to them, shakes them, and yells "your vaginas are useless! they do not produce fluid!")

Barnes, as he takes a swig of the bottle of champaign he entered with, stated, "mixing LSD and Champaign is a bad idea". The show was so fucked up I had no idea what was going on (in the best way possible). Plus, its a rare occasion where you hear shrieks of glee whenever a song is started, and you see the entire Metro swaing and jumping to the beats.

Yeah, I'm willing to allow it.