Thursday, October 12th, 2006

Drown Them Out

Having been to over 60 shows this year, not counting festivals like SxSW, Lollapalooza, V Fest and Pop Montreal, you can understand why one of the great joys in life right now is watching the concert calendar over there on the left steadily shrink. So even though the tour has gotten the So Much Silence seal of approval, I’ve elected to give the Viva Voce/Silversun Pickups show at Lee’s Palace on Tuesday night a reluctant pass. There’s enough must-sees in the next few weeks that I’m going to be heading to that the idea of sitting at home watching Veronica Mars is a more appealing scenario than getting my ears blasted yet again.

I say “reluctant pass” because I’m actually rather enjoying Viva Voce’s latest, Get Yr Blood Sucked Out. It’s a very eclectic but consistently cohesive and listenable blend of psychedelic folk and heavy rock with dashes of bubblegum pop, classic rock moves and pretty much everything else you can think of and topped off with sweet boy-girl vocals and a knowing wink. I don’t think you can have a song called “We Do Not Fuck Around” be as poppy as it is and not deliver it with a wink. Consisting of a husband/drummer-and-wife/guitarist duo from Portland (though they tour with a bassist), Viva Voce have crafted a record that sounds timeless simply by virtue of sounding like every era of rock all mashed up into a tasty brownie. THAT kind of brownie.

Silversun Pickups’ debut full-length Carnavas I’m less enamoured with. On the whole, it’s better than their Pikul EP which I reviewed last year, with better songwriting and less grating vocals, but the slavish 90s-retro vibe isn’t especially appealing. That era doesn’t seem that long ago to me – I’m not necessarily ready to relive it again. And while there’s a definite fondness for some Big Muff Pi action, I don’t find the Smashing Pumpkins parallels, ubiquitously referenced in everything I’ve read about the band, that obvious – but then, all the Smashing Pumpkins make me think of are Billy Corgan’s awful, screeching voice and enormous bald melon. I’m pretty sure Brian Aubert still has his hair.

But anyways – just because I’m not going to the show doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Tickets are just $8.50 in advance and I don’t doubt that at least one of the bands on the bill (locals Nassau open) will turn your crank at least a little. Both bands have been maintaining a tour blog for Filter and Chart has an interview with the Pickups. They also recently did sessions for AOL Interface and WOXY.

MP3: Viva Voce – “When Planets Collide”
MP3: Viva Voce – “We Do Not Fuck Around”
MP3: Silversun Pickups – “Well Thought Out Twinkies”
Video: Viva Voce – “From The Devil Himself” (YouTube)
Video: Silversun Pickups – “Well Thought Out Twinkies” (MOV)
MySpace: Viva Voce
MySpace: Silversun Pickups

Broken Social Scene may be heading into a hiatus, but they’re not going quietly. There’s a large-scale US tour and they’ve churned out another video from Broken Social Scene – this one for the fast version of “Major Label Debut” (taken from the EP To Be You And Me bonus disc) and comprised of live tour footage taken from the past year and a half. It’s amazing how many of those shows I remember being at (well, three at least) and as a send-off/retrospective/clips episode, it’s a good one. Thanks, now go away for a little while please.

Video: Broken Social Scene – “Major Label Debut” (MOV)

NOW curiously places Grizzly Bear as hailing from Boston (Ed Droste is a Beantowner) even though they get their fan mail sent to Brooklyn. They’re at the Opera House tonight with TV On The Radio – Bear at 9PM, TVOTR at 10:15 if you were wondering.

Ottawa X-Press offers some phonetic guidance on how to pronounce, “Under Byen“, something I was struggling with all of this past weekend. Stereogum also has a quick interview with the Danes.

A couple shows just announced – Beach House, who just scored an 8.1/recommended from Pitchfork are at the Tranzac on November 4 with New Zealand’s Over The Atlantic, even though technically, to get anywhere they’d have to go over the Pacific. And on November 13, Lee’s Palace plays host to Annuals and Evangelicals. Can You See The Sunset From The South Side endorses Annuals’ music while BrooklynVegan endorses Annuals’ promo photos.

Slate has assembled a slideshow to detail exactly why they love Scott Pilgrim (though not The Infinite Sadness) and manage to strip all the fun and joy out of the comic in the process. Yikes. Via Largehearted Boy.

np – The National / Alligator

By : Frank Yang at 8:28 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. matthew says:

    as i was watching that new BSS vid yesterday i kept thinking that i recognized some of the shows strictly from your pictures

  2. Roland says:

    I saw half of Silversuns in an acoustic in-store last night. It was very good, but I’m probably going to have to pass on their show at the Bowery Ballroom tonight as well. It’s a shame that BSS isn’t coming to NYC this fall, but I’m sure there’ll be shows eventually. Sadly, TVOTR/Grizzly Bear are sold out.

    Oh, and a belated thanks for linking to me. Keep up the good work!

  3. kevin says:

    so excited for grizzly bear!

  4. jeremyw says:

    Was some of the footage from that free concert in downtown T.O., July 2005? Because it looked familiar…

  5. Frank says:

    yeah, I believe the footage that looks like it was shot in a beer tent is from the Dundas Square free show.