Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Pistol Grip

I’ve always wondered about the logistics of the garage band. I don’t know about you, but growing up, my garage had cars in it. And a lawnmower. And boxes of various shapes and sizes containing stuff we’d never need again but couldn’t bear to throw out. But certainly nothing inspirational and most months of the year, pretty cold.

The childhood garages of the two brothers and one non-sibling that form The Blakes, on the other hand, must have housed not only the rudimentary implements of a rock band but crates of old records spanning the history of rock from the UK of the ’60s through New York City in the ’70s (via Detroit), Minneapolis in the ’80s and their native Seattle in the 1990s. Their self-titled debut bristles with raw, Nuggets-y energy with the requisite amounts of slop and snot but also an impressively sophisticated pop sensibility and enough stylistic left turns to avoid any pigeonhole you might try to set in front of them (and getting more than a little dizzy in the process). Deceptively simple on first listen, further listens hint that their garages may have housed a few cases of Guided By Voices’ empties, The Strokes’ tight jeans and some of The Cure’s leftover mascara. And there’s probably still more treasures waiting to be unearthed.

The Blakes are in town Monday night for a show at the Silver Dollar, unfortunately opposite my date with Neil Young at Massey Hall. NPR is streaming a session recorded for KEXP during CMJ last month. NOW has a feature. And, courtesy of Outside Music, I’ve got some copies of The Blakes to give away – one grand prize winner will get the CD also get a copy of a limited-edition EP while two other winners will get a copy of the CD. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I Want The Blakes” in the subject line and your mailing address in the body. Contest will close at midnight, November 24, Canadians only please.

MP3: The Blakes – “Pistol Grip”
MP3: The Blakes – “Don’t Bother Me”

Pitchfork brings tidings of the new Mountain Goats record! It’s called Heretic Pride, will be out February 19 and feature a bevy of guest stars, including St Vincent’s Annie Clark and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster.

The ‘Fork also directs us to this video for Okkervil River’s “Girl In Port” which is apparently as official a video as there’s going to be for the song. It features Will Sheff playing the song solo and acoustic beside a castle in front of a beautiful Italian sunset intercut with footage of the band’s holiday videos from Italy. For real.

Video: Okkervil River – “Girl In Port” (YouTube)

Relix talks to Josh Ritter.

Zach Condon of Beirut talks to Drowned In Sound while MSNBC discusses the Flying Club Cup video project with both he and the Blogotheque folks who put it together.

For The Records points out that Jenn Grant will be back in town on December 28 for a show at the Drake. It appears that this year, just like last, I’ll be spending a lot of the end of December at the Drake.

NPR is streaming all two hours and thirty-two seconds of Kevin Drew’s show in DC from this weekend as well as a thirteen minute and forty-two second interview. Relix also has a short interview – it will last as long as it takes you to read.

I’m Not There is out in the US this week but not in Canada till next Wednesday, apparently. Oregon Daily and The AV Club both talk to director Todd Haynes.

By : Frank Yang at 8:23 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Adam D. Miller says:

    Actually the Wednesday opening in the U.S. for I’m Not There is because of Thanksgiving weekend. We don’t get it until Friday, November 30th according to the ads that have been printed in NOW and EYE recently.

  2. Frank says:

    IMDB lied to me. I’ll never trust again.