Monday, February 9th, 2009

Submarine Symphonika

Review of The Submarines' Honeysuckle Weeks and concert giveaway

Photo By Jon BergmanJon BergmanThe story surrounding The Submarines’ debut album Declare A New State was the stuff of romantic-comedy writer fantasy – boy musician meets girl musician, boy joins girl’s band, girl joins boy’s band. Boy and girl lose each other. Boy and girl write songs about each other. Boy and girl record songs together. Boy and girl get back together. Brings a tear to the eye, does it not?

The fact that State was also a sublime bit of pop that managed to capture and convey all the emotions surrounding its genesis just made it all that sweeter. But it also raised the question of how John Dragonetti and Blake Hazard (the aforementioned boy and girl, respectively) would follow it up? You certainly couldn’t ask them to go back to the creative wellspring that fueled the first record. There’s a reason rom-coms rarely have sequels. As it happens, The Submarines didn’t have too much trouble with the question, returning last year with Honeysuckle Weeks.

Though the backstory no doubt informed the specialness of State, one musn’t forget that both Dragonetti and Hazard were (and are) also seasoned songsmiths and were cranking out records before coming together as The Submarines and though the forlorn tenor of the debut is appropriately dialed down on Weeks, the pop smarts are certainly not. Beautifully overcast heartbreak has given way to a sprightlier approach, a broader, more colourful sonic palette, though it’d be going to far to say that things have gotten sunny. While The Submarines’ songs may have the spring in their step of those who’ve known love, they also tread with the caution of those who’ve lost it.

The Submarines are on tour alongside The Morning Benders and play the Drake Underground this coming Sunday, February 15 and even though it’s technically the day after Valentine’s Day, expect it to still be a heart-melting affair. And courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got a pair of passes to the sold-out show to give away. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want The Submarines to be my Valentine” in the subject line with your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, February 12.

The OC Register and The Washington Post have features on the band.

MP3: The Submarines – “You, Me And The Bourgeoisie”
Video: The Submarines – “You, Me And The Bourgeoisie”
MySpace: The Submarines

There’s a new video from Fleet Foxes taken from their Sun Giant EP.

Video: Fleet Foxes – “Mykonos”

Ra Ra Riot have also released a new clip from The Rhumb Line. The Smith College Sophian has an interview with guitarist Milo Bonacci and bassist Matt Santos.

Video: Ra Ra Riot – “Can You Tell?”

The new Sloan video features the band frolicking in the snow with pretty girls. But not in the way you might think. They appear to be playing two nights at the Mod Club on March 11 and 12 as part of CMW.

Video: Sloan – “Witch’s Wand”

Blurt profiles Mercury Rev.

NPR has an interview with Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on February 17.

Scotland On Sunday talks to Asobi Seksu’s Yuki Cikudate about their forthcoming album Hush, due out next Tuesday. They play the El Mocambo on March 3.

Le Blogotheque discusses inspiration with Zach Condon of Beirut. Billboard also have an interview. Their March Of the Zapotec/Holland double-EP set is out on February 17.

Billboard reports that the forthcoming Wilco live DVD Ashes Of American Flags will get its release on April 18 to coincide with this year’s edition of Record Store Day, but only be available at independent retailers. Corporate outlets won’t get it until two weeks later.

Pitchfork interviews Stephen Malkmus.

MPR welcomes Mark Olson & Gary Louris to their studios for a session. The Boston Globe also has an interview.

Kind of an awful concept for a site, but Rock’N’Roll Dating redeems itself with a good interview with Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, where they talk about everything including his forthcoming solo EP and musical (!) but not dating, rock’n’roll or otherwise.

eMusic, however, has polled a great number of musicians about their first crushes. Extensive, sweet and kind of hilarious.

By : Frank Yang at 8:05 am
Category: Contests

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  1. Battery In Your Leg » Monday Morning Roundup says:

    […] Chromewaves has a nice review of one of my favorite records of 2008 up – The Submarines’ Honeysuckle Weeks. He’s also running a giveaway for the Canadian among you, featuring a pair of passes to the band’s upcoming show on Feb 15th. [Chromewaves] […]