Charlottetown, Canada's biggest little band played its debut US show last week at Piano's. Let me tell you, the live Two Hours Traffic experience is just as good...if not better...than the Polaris Prize nominated Little Jabs album. As you know, I really dig that album...so much so I was a little afraid the set wouldn't live up to my expectations. It did (whew!). The three new tracks they played sounded good too. The winner of the award will be announced in a ceremony in Toronto tonight.
It’s title is loaded – simultaneously ambiguous, intimate, troubled, and peaceful. It evokes the power with which romance is able to eclipse everything that conspires to destroy it, and also the residue of sadness that remains in the calm aftermath of conflict. In Our Bedroom After the War, the name of Stars’ fourth, newest – and, without question, best – full-length album, is mysterious, grand, and multi-faceted. Which is fitting, because the 13 marvelous songs collected under that name are as well. Each and every one of them. “What is the darkest possible situation that I could try to turn into a beautiful pop song?” Stars frontman Torquil Campbell asks. “That was sort of my mission with this record. If you could make horror movies that were like love stories, that would be my ultimate genre.” Which isn’t to say that Bedroom is dark or difficult music. On the contrary, it may be the most nakedly euphoric-sounding collection the band has made yet. And it was made, last spring at Vancouver’s Warehouse recording studio, amidst an atmosphere of unprecedented synergy and self-belief. (Stars)
This is a good album but not amazing. It is very lopsided...starting out very solid with "Night Starts Here," "Take Me To The Riot," and "Midnight Coward." A few mediocre tracks to follow before you find delight in "Bitches In Tokyo," a drive fast in my Toyota Corolla kinda song. Overall, I do not think this album will finish top of the list when the Polaris Prize is announced.
Bloc Party played a free show in NYC last night. The show, put on by imeem.com, celebrated the upcoming US release of their third album, Intimacy (out physically Oct 28th). Roseland was packed and the band was good. Not amazingly amazing good but very solid...and good. I kid. They were great. Video footage should be on imeem relatively soon.
Mountain Dew Green Label Sound threw a party at new venue (le) Poisson Rouge Tuesday night. On the bill were some cool kids...erm...Chitown's Flosstradamus and Cool Kids and Brooklyn's coolest duo, Matt & Kim. The party was all kinds of cool. I heard free drinks were there but the bar was packed and I didn't feel like fighting it. I took a spot at the stage right before 80s throwback rap duo Cool Kids began their short set.
Sometimes I have to take some time away from the blog. I don't do it on purpose - life just asks me to focus on it occasionally. A while back I made promise to review all finalists for the 2008 Polaris Prize. I have slacked. Good thing the winner isn't announced until the 29th of September. Time to get back on the review train starting with Little Jabs, the amazing album by Two Hours Traffic.
I'm not really sure how to properly relate my love for this album in the right way. Little Jabs has become one of my go-to discs. I listen to it all the time. Every song is good - lyrically, its smart. Sonically, it is perfect indie pop. Peep these tracks:
It has been a few years since I have seen DMB live. Since the news about saxophonist LeRoi Moore's passing I have been getting back into the many live shows I saw in the late 90s. Lots of great memories. I had no idea the band was playing this week in the city....in fact I had no clue until I was offered tix (thx JS) for the show on Wednesday at MSG. The wife and I ended up with third row stage left (right in front of where LeRoi would have stood). Sweet.
I thought the show was good. It was a charity benefit for Stand Up For A Cure. I missed opener Ingrid Michaelson though she came out during DMB's set for "Spoon" (doing Alanis Morrissette's harmony part). The full set list:
Don’t Drink the Water * Proudest Monkey * Satellite * So Damn Lucky * Corn Bread * Burning Down The House * Spoon *+ Stay Or Leave * Eh Hee * Water Into Wine * #41 * Louisiana Bayou * Sledgehammer * Crash Into Me * Two Step * Anyone Seen The Bridge * Too Much Intro * Ants Marching * __________________