Posts Tagged ‘Now Now Every Children’

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Not One, But Two

Review of Now, Now Every Children's Cars

Photo By Melissa HesseMelissa HesseSeeing as how Minneapolis’ Now, Now Every Children is just a two-piece, trying to distill the appeal of their debut Cars down to even simpler components might seem like folly but it’s not only possible, it’s easy – it’s Cacie Dalager’s voice. Sure, you could say that the lead singer’s voice is the most obvious make or break thing for any pop band, but for NNEC, it’s much more than that.

It’s not an especially powerful instrument, at least as far as strength and range goes, but it does seem to reside in that magical frequency where innocence, experience, hope and cynicism intersect – her timbre and phrasing managing to evoke all of the above at various points throughout the record, often simultaneously. It has a natural sleepy sweetness but when used to deliver sentiments of feisty defiance as it does on Cars, it’s a potent combination.

But even for all the praise I lay at the base of Dalager’s throat, it does not stand alone. That would be gross. Now, Now Every Children’s musical accouterments are not many, but they are well-chosen and effective. All the sounds on Cars were created by Dalager and co-conspirator Bradley Hale – chugging electric guitar, friendly synth lines and organ drones courtesy of the former and clattering percussion from the latter, all placed exactly so to give the songs heft whilst keeping them lean. It’s a real accomplishment that Cars sounds so vibrantly live off the floor, considering its decidedly studio origins, and also how it melds hummable, sing-songy melodies with a raw sonic attack. It’s certainly not a new idea, but Now, Now Every Children do it in a way that sounds fresh, even to jaded ears.

Now, Now Every Children are currently on the road and will be in Toronto on August 2 for a date at the El Mocambo. Locals who aren’t out of town getting their Simcoe Day on are heartily encouraged to attend. There’s interviews with the band at Decider and Interview.

MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Everyone You Know”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Sleep Through Summer”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Cars”
Video: Now, Now Every Children – “Friends With My Sister”

Also on that tour (and thus at the El Mo on August 2) is another duo from the midwest, Cincinnati’s Bad Veins. They’re releasing their debut self-titled album tomorrow and are the subject of a feature at Filter and a session at Ardent Sessions. The album is also streaming at Spinner.

MP3: Bad Veins – “Gold And Warm”
Video: Bad Veins – “Gold And Warm”
Stream: Bad Veins / Bad Veins

PitchforkTV is streaming a Yeah Yeah Yeahs featurette for one week only – well, the rest of this week anyways. It was originally released as a teaser for this year’s release of It’s Blitz!. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are playing two shows at the Kool Haus on August 4 and 5.

Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Snakesweat

Spinner has an Interface session and San Diego City Beat with Ida Maria.

MPR is streaming a radio session with The Jayhawks.

The Jim James/M Ward/Conor Oberst/Mike Mogis-powered supergroup Monsters Of Folk are giving away an MP3 from their upcoming self-titled debut, out September 22, in exchange for your politeness. Grab it off their website, read some comments on the project from band members at Spinner and NME and keep an eye out for tour dates for this Fall.

Interestingly, Jim James is credited on the Monsters Of Folk website as “Yim Yames”, his solo alter ego. Tribute To, his George Harrison tribute EP, will be out on August 4 and a full-length solo record is in the works. Billboard talks to James/Yames about the Harrison EP, a song from which is available to download on his website.

LexGo and Pantagraph talk to Neko Case.

Director Bruce MacDonald explains his plans for the Broken Social Scene-powered film This Movie Is Broken to The Globe & Mail. They’re aiming for a release something early next year.

Pitchfork salutes Merge Records on the occasion of its 20th anniversary by talking to some of the label’s marquee artists, including Arcade Fire, Spoon and M Ward.

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Imaginary Friend

Review of Telekinesis' self-titled debut

Photo By Jenny JimenezJenny JimenezAs I’ve been complaining to anyone who’ll listen, the fact that it was the first of June yesterday – less than three weeks to Summer – and only ten degrees centigrade on my bike ride to work (that’s 50 Fahrenheit for you residing in non-metric backwaters) was simply unacceptable.

But maybe it’s the result of some sort of climatological karmic balancing act to make up for one of the Summeriest records of the year so far, the almost self-titled debut (the record title has an “!” tacked on) from Seattle’s Telekinesis, being released in the dead of Winter back in February. The brain-child of Michael Lerner, Telekinesis is a delicious glob of chewy power-pop goodness that has moments as infectious as anything you’ve heard this year – hear the chorus to “Tokyo” just once and you’ll be ready to sing right along by the time it comes around again. The record strays from the recipe enough to offer sufficient variety over its barely-half an hour running time to establish that they’ve got range beyond just peppy hooks – there’s some quieter, melancholic moments and slightly more ragged rockers – but all share the most important ingredients, namely Lerner’s unaffected vocals, the unfussy and effective arrangements, and an unerring sense of melody. There’s not much new here, but complaining about that is like complaining your cold drink on a sunny afternoon is like your last cold drink on a sunny afternoon. Shut up and enjoy.

Telekinesis, who gear up as a full band for live performances, are currently on the road and will be in town next Wednesday, June 10, for a show at the Horseshoe. God willing, it’ll have warmed up some and feel a bit more like Spring, never mind Summer, by then. Decider interviews Lerner and Rolling Stone has a profile of the band, and another one on Aussies An Horse, who are also on the bill with locals Oh No Forest Fires. This will be an excellent show.

MP3: Telekinesis – “Coast Of Carolina”
MP3: Telekinesis – “I Saw Lightning”
Video: Telekinesis – “Tokyo”
Video: Telekinesis – “Awkward Kisser”

Daytrotter has The Submarines in for a session.

Clash and MusicOhm have interviews and Spinner’s Interface a session with Grizzly Bear. And Drowned In Sound has basically gone Grizzly-crazy the last week and a bit. The Grizz are at the Phoenix on June 5.

Stereogum gets a status report on Heartland from Final Fantasy – look for it before the year is out, but no further specifics were forthcoming.

Pitchfork reports that Sigur Ros are working on a new album with an eye towards an early 2010 release.

Son Volt have a new album in the can called American Central Dust and will be releasing it on July 7.

MP3: Son Volt – “Down To The Wire”

Exclaim has the official announcement of Ohbijou as the newest signing to Last Gang Records. Which makes perfect sense, as I’d always thought they would be the perfect labelmates to Crystal Castles. Beacons is out now in the UK and here digitally and will get a physical release June 16 – there’s a release party at the Opera House on June 25.

VIMBY has a backyard performance and video interview with Great Lake Swimmers’ Tony Dekker. Paste also has a video performance, but they stay indoors.

Two Hours Traffic tell CBC Radio 3 that they’ve completed work on their sophomore effort and will be releasing Territory on or around September 8. More endless touring to follow.

Sprung from the ashes of Mclusky, Wales’ Future Of The Left are staging a North American tour this Summer in support of their new album Travels With Myself And Another, out June 23, and will be at the El Mocambo on July 15, tickets $10. The Washington Post and Clash have interviews with the band’s Andy Falkous.

MP3: Future Of The Left – “Arming Eritrea”
Video: Future Of The Left – “The Hope That House Built”

Minnesota’s Now Now Every Children have a date at the El Mocambo on August 2 with Bad Veins. Their new album Cars has been on fairly heavy rotation all this past weekend – there’ll be a proper review sometime in the future – but for now I’ll just say I’m very much looking forward to this show.

MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Everyone You Know”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Sleep Through Summer”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Cars”
MP3: Bad Veins – “Gold And Warm”

The Weakerthans are returning this Fall for a gig decidedly more intimate than their April Phoenix gigs – look for them at the Mod Club on September 23. Via NXEW.

And if you think late September is way too far into the future to start blocking off time, you may not want to know about the Destroyer date just announced for the Horseshoe on October 3, or the fact that tickets will be $13.50. There’s no new album news to report but there will be a new vinyl/digital EP released on August 18 with the epic-length “ambient disco” track “Bay of Pigs” as the a-side. In the meantime, here’s some stuff from his last excellent full-length, Trouble In Dreams.

MP3: Destroyer – “Dark Leaves Form A Thread”
MP3: Destroyer – “Foam Hands”