Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Rotten Love

Saturday night was a double-header – first was the Eels/Smoosh show at the Mod Club and then it was on the bike to zip down to the Drake Underground to catch killthelights and Levy, in all the way from New York City. Toronto’s Two Koreas were also on the bill but I didn’t stick around – sorry Stuart, long night. I’ve already written about both killthelights and Levy in the past week, so I won’t go over recently covered ground again – read the reviews.

killthelights had impressed me during NxNE at The Boat but this time they were playing to a much larger room and a much smaller and less worked-up crowd, so comparatively speaking they were already behind the 8-ball. Then their bassist broke a string early on in the set and that pretty much killed any momentum they’d built, forcing the rest of the band to jam aimlessly while he tuned up a loaner bass from Levy. They gamely tried to get back on track after that, but couldn’t quite do it in the time remaining. A pity, but I won’t hold it against them – what I’d seen and heard before Saturday night still has me impressed and everyone is allowed an off night. I mean, who breaks bass strings during a gig? Almost no one. And I figured it out. Singer Alex Hackett looks like Scott Bakula. A lot. But that’s cool, I like Scott Bakula.

Levy, on the other hand, didn’t impress at all. They seemed detached and disinterested in even being there, singer/guitarist James Levy opting to make clicking noises into the mic rather than speak to the audience and just generally conveying an off-putting smugness. The songs themselves also came across lacklustre – I’m pretty familiar with their album and didn’t hear any of the traits that made it an enjoyable if somewhat disposable listen. Sorry guys, but a couple of strong songs in a decidedly unoriginal style doesn’t get you enough capital to cop rock star attitudes. Update: If you think my reaction is strong, check this out. Wow.

Overall, a generally underwhelming bottom half to a Saturday night double-header. But still, photos were taken and the Smoosh/Eels show earlier in the evening did even out the net balance on the night.

MP3: Levy – “Rotten Love”
MP3: Levy – “On The Dance Floor”
MP3: killthelights – “Skinny White Girls”
MP3: killthelights – “Orestes”
MySpace: Levy
MySpace: killthelights

Remember Portishead? Yeah, they barely remember themselves. But it turns out they’ve not only been hard at work at album #3, but they’ve even got something to show for it! Tripwire points to this MySpace blog post which hints that progress is being made, but more importantly, there’s a track to be downloaded. So do so:

MP3: Portishead – “Key Bored 299 33”

Though not released officially till next week month, you’ll be able to stream the whole of The Avalanche, Sufjan Stevens’ alternate universe Illinois album from Asthmatic Kitty, as the week calendar progresses. They’re putting more of the album online every day until the record’s official release date on July 11th and there’s still the one track available for downloading. I posted my thoughts on the record last month.

Stream: Sufjan Stevens – The Avalanche (MOV)
MP3: Sufjan Stevens – “The Henney Buggy Band”

Comets On Fire are at Lee’s Palace September 5. And For The Records has been doing some detective work as to the mysterious “V Festival” at Olympic Island the weekend of September 9 and 10. I won’t recap his work save to summarize that what appears confirmed are Gnarls Barkley and Zero 7 and I keep hearing the words “Flaming” and “Lips”. More gossip as it develops. Update: I’ve been told that the official announcement will come on June 30. But until then, way-out conspiracy theories are welcome and encouraged.

PopMatters says “Boy howdy” to Centro-Matic’s Will Johnson. Okay, the words “boy howdy” are never actually uttered, but they’re implied.

Pitchfork gives The Best Of Luna a very solid review and Entertainment Weekly talks to Dean Wareham about Tell Me Do You Miss Me (via Largehearted Boy). Best line?

Did anything in the movie surprise you?
I was surprised by how bad my hair was. Why didn’t they tell me?

And iTunes has Lunafied. Even though I have most of this material, I felt compelled to buy it still. Tangent – Head Full Of Wishes has uploaded a load of Galaxie 500/Luna-related video content. Go watch.

np – M Ward / Transistor Radio

By : Frank Yang at 8:56 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. matthew says:

    You have a typo in your Sufjan paragraph…in the first sentence you say the album is being released next week, then later in the paragraph you say next month. Just thought I’d let you know!

  2. Frank says:

    no, I said that I wrote my thoughts on the album last month. And since I invented my time machine, I’m all chronologically discombobulated anyways.

  3. matthew says:

    No, but the album’s not out next week…and as you say a few sentences later, it’s out on the 11th!

    Dang time machines…did you at least get to enjoy Canada Day?

  4. Frank says:

    wait. wait, what day is it?


  5. matthew says:

    Sorry. :P

  6. nic says:

    You can actually download the whole album off of soulseek already. Your meager offerings are obsolete! :P <3 interwebs

  7. Jerad says:

    Wow, that was a bit too trippy for me. I opened both the Portishead MP3 and levysucks page in different windows at the same time. It took me a minute to realize that Portishead hadn’t gone completely off the deep end with some weird conversation clips over their music. Anyhow, thanks for both!

  8. Levy fan, of course... says:

    Levy rules all! Conform, you!