Thursday, January 26th, 2006

On & On

I declared over the weekend that it was time for musicians to stop fetishising the 80s post-punk/new-wave scene and start playing re-animator with the early 90s shoegazers. I’d now like to nominate an act to help music fans with that painful and awkward transition from one overdone scene into another – Film School.

The band is aptly named, as they strive for a big, cinematic sound that reminds me a bit of Bright Lights-era Interpol in the vocals and guitars (more than a few shades of The Chameleons and Bunnymen here), though overall there’s more groove and less tension, not to mention a healthy dollop of ‘gaze-approved fuzz and atmosphere. I’d also liken them to a less sleepy Calla. They’re obviously of a certain style, but are diverse and hooky enough to have a good shot at a wider audience. The San Francisco Chronicle are boosters, and have a piece talking up their local boys.

Film School’s eponymous new album came out this past Tuesday on Beggars Banquet, who have put together one of those E-Card dealies with some streaming music on it, or you can hit up their MySpace page to hear more. The Dark Stuff gives them a thumbs-up and has some streaming audio, and you can grab this preview MP3 to keep for your very own:

MP3: Film School – “Pitfalls”

One of the bands Film School get compared to in the Chronicle piece is New York’s Ambulance LTD, who have been quiet of late but will be releasing the New English EP in the near future, which will collect some rarities for a stopgap release before their next album. You can hear a couple tracks from the EP on their MySpace page.

You may recall that The American Analog Set was releasing a demo version of every track from Set Free last year – well they’re finally done, and for those of you (like me) who lost track and missed a few, they’ve conveniently compiled the whole batch into a .zip file for you to grab. That’s basically a free album they’re giving away, kids. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Harp gets a number of artists to bear witness to how the Iron & Wine and Calexico collaboration came about and bore fruit. rattles off a list of what it calls “seminal alternative albums”, their definition of alternative apparently referring to the early-mid 90s post-Nirvana period when anything and everything was being scooped up from college radio and thrown into the mainstream in hopes of scoring a left-field hit (which most of these records did, to some extent). This list could be subtitled “mandatory albums in everyone’s collection during my college years”, or “albums found en masse in the every used CD shop across the country two years later”. Via Largehearted Boy.

Some shows – Scout Niblett, who had to cancel her last scheduled show in town last year, will make it up on March 26 at the Horseshoe. The Brunettes will be opening Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s sold-out April 8 show at Lee’s Palace, though For The Records speculates a venue change may be in the offing. And the lineups for Wavelength 300 has been announced, and is as follows:

February 9 @ The Speakeasy – Anagram, Republic Of Safety, Kickers, Feuermusik
February 10 @ The Boat – LAND (Lullabye Arkestra + No Dynamics), Lenin I Shumov, The Bicycles, Castlemusic
February 11 @ The Music Gallery – The Hylozoists, Picastro, Ohbijou, Woodhands
February 12 @ Sneaky Dee’s – Henri Faberge And The Adorables, Ninja High School, The Secret Handshake, The Phonemes

Note the new contest banner up in the corner – this one’s a pretty cool promotion for online label/shop Check it out check it out check it out.

And oh yeah, I’m going to Amsterdam next month. IYou can follow along via the blog or you can wait for the film.

np – The American Analog Set / Set Free Demos

By : Frank Yang at 8:57 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Torr says:

    holy crap, I can’t believe you were one of the 25 bloggers picked for the free trip to Amsterdam. I’m so jealous.

  2. Ryan Waddell says:

    Lucky bastard! Although I was already a <a href="…">blogger in Amsterdam</a>, last year. :)

  3. Jerad says:

    Yes! Bring on the new shoegaze! Some of the bands I can recommend after seeing them last year are A Northern Chorus and Sianspheric (both from Canada) and local band Charlene. I’m pretty sure that you’ve heard all of them already. I’ll definintely check out Film School.

  4. Glenn says:

    Guess who’s playing the Melkweg in Amsterdam on 2/19? Clap Your Friggin’ Hands and Dr Dog.

  5. Frank says:

    Seriosuly? That’s hilarious. I wanna go.

  6. Glenn says:

    On a shoegazer note, I don’t know if you’ve written much about Words on Music. I recently bought The Meeting Places’ "Find Yourself Along the Way." It’s a pretty good album. I came to that album through the label’s reissue of Should’s "Feeds Like Fishes," which should be a part of any shoegaze collection.

  7. mike says:

    If that tip that Junkmedia got about Superchunk playing SXSW this year is true, are you gonna go see ’em? I’ll be so jealous. Also do you know if the Billy Bragg show’ll be a solo or band one?

  8. Glenn says:

    About The Clap/Dog show in Amersterdam…I’m hip to the idea of going. I’ve seen both bands before — in fact, I’m seen them on the same bill — but comparing/contrasting the shows/crowds of the same bands in two different counties could make for a good blog post.

  9. Po Boy 69 says:

    Instead of making love to the corpse of shoegazing, maybe people should find new territory and not bother the past?

    The Film School mp3 sounds like new wave with one or two shoegazey moments. I liked it, but it was vaguely embarassing