Monday, October 26, 2009

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Springsteen cancels KC show due to death in family

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 05:04 PM PDT

Hot off the wires: bad news for KC, but our thoughts are with Bruce: bruce

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Bruce Springsteen canceled a performance scheduled for Monday night in Kansas City due to what the Sprint Center calls a death in his “immediate” family.

The cancellation was announced in a statement less than two hours before Springsteen and the E Street Band were to take the stage at the downtown arena.

No further information was released, and the Sprint Center said all tickets would be refunded.

Springsteen and the band performed Sunday night at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis as part of the 25-city “Workin’ on a Dream” tour.

Bruce Springsteen: website

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Remix Monday: Walter Meego ‘Forever’

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 11:00 AM PDT

Walter Meego is a band from Chicago, Illinois. They’ve had a few EPs and singles out as well as their first album, Voyager, released last year. The first song off of that album is “Forever,” one of my favorites. meego

.Walter Meego – “Forever”
“Forever” is a sweet pop song, delivered with a soft sincerity through the vocal chords of lead singer, Justin Sconza. The track has elements of electronic music, but in a much simpler fashion. ‘Forever’ is very reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Digital Love” – a ballad designed for a little dancing.

. Remix
The remix has no similarity to the original. At least I can’t make out any similarities. This is a pure instrumental piece, all the vocals stripped and thrown away. The song is edgier, faster and focuses a throbbing percussion beat spiked with electric guitars. It diversifies itself in the middle by featuring a solo of the thick and heavy bass guitar riff.

. Remix
The sweet, love filled ballad is transformed into a fast, electronic swiveling tune, sprinkled with sparkles of synthesizers. The vocals are left in tact, but feel forced around the new music of the mix. makes the tune harsher as well, which can be slightly jarring at times. But it does feature beautiful, orchestral melodies at specific intervals.

Walter Meego: website | myspace

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Them Crooked Vultures Reveal Tracklisting of Debut Album

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 09:00 AM PDT

Them Crooked Vultures – the superheroes of rock trio of (ex-Nirvana, Foo Fighters), (, Eagles of Deatvulturesh Metal), and (ex-) – have released details of their forthcoming self-titled debut album, due out in mid-November, on their official website. The band plans to tour in support of the new album, with December dates in the UK and Europe and a trip out to Australia and New Zealand in January 2010 trip planned.

You can pre-order the album at their official website.

The tracklisting will be as follows:
01. No One Loves Me & Neither Do I
02. Mind Eraser, No Chaser
03. New Fang
04. Dead End Friends
05. Elephants
06. Scumbag Blues
07. Bandoliers
08. Reptiles
09. Interlude With Ludes
10. Warsaw or The First Breath You Take After You Give Up
11. Caligulove
12. Gunman
13. Spinning In Daffodils

Them Crooked Vultures drops in the U.S. on November 17.

Them Crooked Vultures: website | myspace | Them Crooked Vultures @ Austin City Limits 2009 | Austin City Limits – Day 1 in Review

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Tegan and Sara – Sainthood

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 08:00 AM PDT

I'm not even going to try to pretend that I am some sort of casual "Yeah, I like that ‘Walking with A Ghost song’" kind of fan or an impartial stringer  sainthoodcovering the events of yet another album release. I've been a junkie for T&S ever since I stumbled upon The Con via Chris Walla via about a year ago. After devouring the 2007 critical-darling and its feast of dark confessional lullabies and musings on the mythos of love, I needed more. I remember listening and thinking that I had never heard voices like that or been so deeply taken with music before, better yet, as my little cousin and Greek mini-me put it, "How do they know the inner workings of my emotional being?" Over the past year, I've worn-out the B-sides. I find myself regularly browsing YouTube for the latest concert footage meticulously documented by die-hards, and have been known to, you know, lurk the message boards on a lonely night. What?

The release of Sainthood (Vapor/Sire) on October 27th will be 's 6th full-length studio album produced once again by Chris Walla and . It's the first time we've heard new music from the sisters in two years. It's a very exciting week to say the least. Rest assured, PopWreckoning has got this covered for you from every angle. Let this review serve as a teaser leading up to our exclusive three-way interview with Tegan, PW contributor Dese'Rae Stage, and I. Oh, and did I mention an upcoming in-person with Sara as well as full concert coverage of the twins' two sold out shows at New York's historic Town Hall on Halloween weekend? Tegan's a fan of PW. She said so when we spoke. We're cool like that.

Without further ado, I give you my humble thoughts on Sainthood.

The album, inspired by 's wrist-cutting ode to unrequited love, "Came so Far for Beauty" plays with the notion of romantic idealism, devotion, and the risk inherent in loving another. In the words of themselves, "Inspired by emotional longing and the quiet actions we hope may be noticed by the objects of our affection, Sainthood is about obsession with romantic ideals. We practice our sainthood in the hope that we will be rewarded with adoration." Throughout the album we learn that this act of loving according to the twins is analytical, fragile, neurotic, unforgiving, and is ultimately in pursuit of truth.

I will say at the outset that it's a grower, but after two listens, you won't be spinning anything else in your pods. Sainthood is different than anything have done in the past. There's no "Call it Off" here. Some tracks push at breakneck speed while others hold back and are more complex and layered. It's got a gruff exterior, but underneath, it's classic . There's even an exotic, slick samba-esque dance track, “Alligator” that's all keys. It may be different than what we've heard in the past from the Canadian twins, but Sainthood is in my opinion, some of the most electrifying stuff the girls have ever done. You can feel them pushing themselves on this album, playing with and juxtaposing themes such as love, truth, idolatry, authenticity, and the imagined.

On the opener, “Arrow,” a sharp-shooting, synthy surge, Sara Quin, soul mate, sultan of cool, and the twin known for bringing us the more complicated musical arrangements and quirkier sound compared to Tegan's hookier, hard-driving half, jumps into the ring, gloves on and asks, "Would you take a straight and narrow, critical look at me?" alongside buff guitar jabs and electronic punchiness. The girls took a different approach to the process as well, recording with a live band in the studio, the result yielding a fuller, more in-the-thick-of-it kind of fever. Sainthood also marks the first time in the twins' lengthy career that they penned tracks together. While only one song, “Paperback Head,” ended up on the album, the fleshy thrill of experimentation is noticeable throughout. Their distinctive singing voices are even different on a lot of the tracks, and we find different stories and characters uncovered in the tonal and tempo changes to their signature tweets. On “Red Belt,” my favorite, a track Sara says was inspired by a David Mamet film of the same name, we're introduced to a rich, golden, slow-to-boil tenor with an almost sci-fi trance to it, complete with a bell toll and lyrics that have you believing in fiction, "Slow down, you have a tendency to rush back into your past, slow down, you transfer all your weight and disappear…you kneel, to condition all the feelings that you feel." On “Hell,” the album's first single and tracks like “The Cure” and “Northshore,” Tegan toys with the best of post-punk intentions with an accelerated pace, lyrical rawness, and synthetic undertow.

The twins, who have never been shy musically, waxing sophisticated pop tracks for ten years now that fearlessly document the depths of their emotional experience and puzzling through their unique coming of age, continue to offer a stark reflection of themselves and the contours of their hardworking hearts on Sainthood. While the momentum of the album may be escalated compared to past T&S, the process shaken up a bit, the cuts more genre-fusing and risky, the lyrics more cryptic at points, the perspective tossed around, the surface a little steely, Sara's still not afraid to ask, "Would you take a calm and tender, terminal kind of care? Would you wage an intimate fight for me?" and in this sense stays true to the vulnerability and romanticism that the girls have come to be known for. It's truly rare to find artists as prolific as at such a young age, who have skillfully navigated the challenges of the music industry on their own terms while continuing to produce work that is relevant and that pushes their talent and ideas in new directions. Sainthood secures 's spot among the few.

Sainthood comes out tomorrow, October 27. Preview the album now, for FREE at

01. Arrow
02. Don’t Rush
03. Hell
04. On Directing
05. Red Belt
06. The Cure
07. Northshore
08. Night Watch
09. Alligator
10. Paperback Head
11. The Ocean
12. Sentimental Tune
13. Someday

: website | myspace | interview with: Tegan pt. 1, pt. 2 | @ terminal 5

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Interview with: The Bridges

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 07:00 AM PDT

Though they started in 2002, it would be nearly six years before the world would learn of the beautiful harmonies made this family of musicians. Joshua caught up with The Bridges to see how their debut album Limits of the Sky came about and what’s next in their future.

Joshua, PopWreckoning: You all started with just Brittany, Natalie and . Why and how did you decide to get Jeremy and Issaca involved?
Brittany, The Bridges (vox): I got Jeremy involved and the other family members wanted to get involved.
, The Bridges (guitar): It started out with just me Natalie, and Brittany. We were together for three years, but then we were stuck in this area where we only play really small venues or coffee shops. We always had this vision of being on bigger stages. So we said, if we're going to do this, we need a band, because you can only get so far playing in a coffee shop. So we got some guys that backed us up for awhile and it totally did not work out. So Issaca and Jeremy, well not totally, they're great guys, it just didn't work out, but Issaca and Jeremy kind of, Jeremy was already playing drums.
Jeremy, The Bridges (drums): I thought they already wanted me to play in the first place. Then they didn't and I was like, “Woah. Thanks.”
: So Jeremy was playing with another band and Issaca was picking up the mandolin and random other instruments. She was like 14 or 15 and finally we were like maybe Issaca can play the bass and Jeremy can play the drums. It took us awhile before we were all set. bridges
Jeremy: It took us a really long time just to play a whole entire set.
: We kind of just spent a whole year where we went into a basement and just had to rewrite all of our old songs and write all of our new songs. So finally, a year later, we came out of our basement. I felt like we were hermits. And we were like maybe we should play a real show? So it just clicked. It was so right for us and we had no idea and it was there the whole time. It was really awesome when they joined the band. In depth sorry.
PW: That's how we like it. We've had so many strings of interviews where people are like, yeah I like music. I can work with that.
: We just really like music.

PW: When did you all start playing your instruments? I think you just went into that. So next, does being a musician run in the family? Are your parents musicians?
Natalie, The Bridges (keys): My dad is a really great pianist and he did praise and worship for our church at home where he is the pastor. My mom plays piano and guitar and she did kind of that hippie thing with Britney's dad. They sang. There are pictures of them doing little festivals in little towns and stuff. So yeah it is. They all started with worship in the same church and then branched off. I remember the first songs where we learned with my mom sitting at guitar and piano-folk songs. And my mom saying why don't you play this chord on the guitar or you play the harmony and so that's how we learned. With our parents.
PW: Remember that time where I dropped the f bomb like four times before we even started and now I felt bad after that answer?
Natalie: Haha, no worries. I thought we should say, can we order f bombs here because I want a drink.

PW: Limits of the Sky came out in 2008, but you formed in 2002. In the six years before releasing an album, how has the band changed?
: Argh. That's a hard one. It's changed.
Jeremy: Well they added two members.
Brittany: We added two members and we had to start writing and we had to throw out all our old songs. We threw them all away. We found out who are influences were, we listened together, this is our sound. It happened naturally. We felt them on a same level. We listened to what our parents were saying, we know these great bands from back in the day, and all of a sudden it started changing and it was huge, the influences from the 60s and the 70s and how we wrote. It set it for Limits in the Sky.
: We wrote a lot of the songs while we were in the studio. We either wrote them or recorded them while we were in the studio and that was in dec or jan of last year.
Brittany: February.
: I don't know. It's been several months and it has changed a little bit. Not drastically. We are still about sounding pretty and what not.
Natalie: here's the deal. The more you're in the business, the more you're going to have things build up and you'll be like wait a minute. I'm upset right now. Then it's not about the influences and more about your own feelings. And how hard it is right now. It has.

PW: How has the transition from indie to major been?
Brittany: Well, first of all, it is really helpful that there are people there that believe in you and you have to generate belief in a band between five people and parents. It is totally different when you have a label behind you and you're like wow this is somebody that doesn't have to love me. They did. And if they drop you then you're like oh my. I'm unemployed. I need this partnership. I need to work for a living. That's kind of another thing that we dealt with on this tour.
Natalie: It doesn't matter if you're in the mood to play a song or not. You're signed on for it. It isn't a hobby.
Issaca: You kind of become a little questioner-is this really what I want to do? Then you're like yes. It is a decision you finally have to make.
Jeremy: Let's play rock and roll.

PW: This isn't on my sheet, but how was the process with recording with Matthew Sweet?
Natalie: We were just asked this the other day and I just messed up this question.
Brittany: Matthew was great. He totally went where we wanted him to go with our own songs and he is a musician himself so he didn't want to step on anybody's toes. It was the most welcoming atmosphere.
: We did it at his home.
Brittany: He had a home studio. It was our first time in LA, so that was an experience in itself. We got there and he was just so open to all of our ideas and he didn't push us or not. We're still trying to figure out if that was a good thing or not because now after the album we're like, should he have pushed us harder? Should we have pushed us harder?
Jeremy: I liked to work with him, but you always wonder if you could have done better.
PW: Your album is incredible. Very good.
Natalie: Thanks.
: I love it, but I can't imagine an artist going back and saying I'm happy with absolutely everything I hear. We are not that. We are like, I want to change this and this and this. And that's ok. It's the mood we were in.
PW: That's true. It gives you a drive.
Natalie: You wouldn't know what to do if you were completely content already.
Jeremy: You may not want to make another record. Nope, that was perfect.
: We were happy with Matthew. All of his stuff with harmonies and pop forms, they were good for us. He had a good understanding what we wanted to do pop wise.
Brittany: We love pop music, but he had a good understanding of where we wanted to go, but not too extreme.

PW: We bumped you sort of into the Laurel Canyon movement. It is where the artists that were previously pop-oriented sort of switch into a kind of country mode.
: Yeah. Our whole influences came out of the Mamas and the Papas and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young harmonies. Stuff like that. Hotel California. We read about that while we were recording. That's exactly what I love. The musicians I love. Like Emily Harris and Linda Rostandt. So we love that influence.
Jeremy: I think it is coming back.
PW: I think a lot of it has to do with the industry dying.
Brittany: You have to do it. You have to be diverse and mature.
: The whole movement, when it was big in the 90s, then it was pop, and now it has been broken down and is coming back up. You have to go back to basics with music and lyrics. I'm excited to meet other bands that have the same outlook. The feeling that I want to write a good song. I don't care who signs me.
PW: Music has become so self-promoting. You don't have to be signed. I found you before you ever signed to anyone.
Brittany: That's awesome.
Natalie: Label or no label, you're still working really hard for yourself and you have to make sure that you still get out there.

PW: Ok. One more and it's pretty. What can we expect in the future from you guys?
: Just more music that hopefully you guys want to hear. All we want to do is make albums and aside from that we don't really care about anything else. We just want to play in front of people and make albums. We want to evolve.
Natalie: I want to do more rock and roll and folksy stuff.
Jeremy: Rock and roll and blood.
Natalie: Jeremy wants music-rock and roll and blood. Brit, what do you want?
Brittany: I want to learn. I am really listening to a lot of bands now. I just want to listen to a lot more people to bring in other influences. I like an edgier vibe for us and our album foreshadows a lot of that. Good taste. Just more fun. Rock and roll that's it, but I don't want to say typical rock and roll. Our music will be about actual stuff with our experiences and actual feelings and hopefully people will recognize the difference.

The Bridges: website | myspace

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Gogol Bordello w/Apostle of Hustle @ Liberty Hall, Lawrence, KS

Posted: 26 Oct 2009 06:00 AM PDT

Although Lawrence has this great reputation as being a center of indie music culture, the audiences can be less than welcoming and rather apathetic. It takes a rare breed of band to get the crowds moving and singing, so you know you're at a special show when there is an interaction between the artist and crowd. was one such show.

Apostle of Hustle opened up with what sounded like space age salsa music. The touring duo used a pre-recorded voice to give song introductions and what I dubbed their "space age" vibe before jumping into the latin-laced tunes, which was unique considering the bands ties to the States' northern neighbors, not southern.

The drumming definitely dominated as Dean Stone alternated from mallets to beating with his bare hands. Singer Julian Brown played guitar, but it was his vocals that really resonated with the crowd. The band had a few moments that left the audience divided. It was pretty 50/50 on who cheered after a big presentation of several flags and a sign that said, "Who else is high?" and who was simply left scratching heads. At another point during the show, the singer made a bring presentation, and told a little anecdote: "We bring you this song all the way from Canada. It is about the great poet who ever lived…in California." As they played what became my favorite song of the set, “Eazy Speaks,” I couldn't help, but chuckle if Apostle of Hustle was implying that Eazy was the greatest poet ever and just happened to live in California or if Eazy was only a great poet as far as Californians go. This band's live show holds up better than their recordings, so catch a performance if you can.

Gypsy punk rockers made Lawrence wait about 40 minutes for their performance, but it was worth it when one by one they ran out: drums then fiddle then accordion and the rest of the crew. Once they started, it was a raucous party. Whether people knew the words or not, nobody had trouble joining in on shouts and dancing. Oh boy was there dancing. even has members whose sole purpose is to dance (although they also add some backing vocals).

My friend told me I didn't properly prepare him for what this show was, but really the only way to be ready for Gogol show is to watch Gogol. It really is like no other performance you've ever seen. The closest would be seeing some of the Irish punk bands like Dropkick Murphys or , yet Gogol is even wilder than either of those. Gogol is just as much about the music as they are the show and within the first song, the band was dripping from sweat from pouring tons of energy into their performance. You can listen to this band's recordings, you can watch them on YouTube, and all that is fine and dandy, but do yourself a favor and get yourself to one of their shows.

Apostle of Hustle: website | myspace
: website | myspace | @ popped! | @ lollapalooza | @ virgin mobile

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Portugal. The Man and Drug Rug @ Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia

Posted: 25 Oct 2009 07:20 PM PDT

Johnny Brenda's in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia has gained a legendary reputation for hosting great live music and on October 22nd, 2009 the second floor of the venue delivered all that and more. , a lo-fi indie folk band from Cambridge, Massachusetts opened the show. Upon entering the stage, they were greeted with a respectful applause but it seemed obvious most people were not familiar with this band. During their set, the musicians showcased their talents by trading off instruments and proceeding to play some spectacular indie rock tunes. By the end of their set, they had won over the audience and proved to be worthy openers for the incredible performance that was to follow.

Drug Rug1

Portugal. The Man headlined the show in front of a sold out crowd of eager twentysomethings. While most shows these days seem to consist of more waiting than watching, Portugal. The Man were up on stage and playing without much delay, keeping the audience fresh and lively and ready for another intensely satisfying set. Front man, , entertained the sea of onlookers with his enthusiasm and relentless energy for almost an hour. They played a variety of songs in their set since their music has shifted over the years from progressive pop/rock to the epitome of an indie rock band. While they seemed to be widely categorized in this genre, they are far from your average band. These guys played with a laid back attitude but an intense vibe. Most of the songs played were in support of the latest record, The Satanic Satanist. However, the primary hits from previous albums were also covered like the crowd favorite "Church Mouth." At one point Portugal. The Man covered David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" followed by a well-greeted song.


The flashing lights and smoke on stage were a perfect blend to the band's somewhat abstract and experimental sound. A constantly changing light show highlighted the bands enjoyable movements on stage while racking up points for the hip venue. Johnny Brenda's was a perfect match for this lively band and equally fun crowd. In addition to the music, Gourley deserves some serious recognition for the mustache and long mane he was sporting. I'm betting this native Alaskan definitely had that style going long before it was hip.


After the set had finished, encore chants began and as sure as the day follows the night Portugal. The Man was back on stage for two more songs. It was an awesome night with some awesome tunes, and those of you that missed out on the sold out show, well, you better buy your tickets in advance next time this quartet comes around.


Set List:
And I
People Say
AKA M80 The Wolf
The Sun
Work All Day
Church Mouth
Do You
Everyone is Golden
Moonage Daydream-
New Orleans
The Woods
My Mind


Portugal. The Man: website | myspace | Censored Colors review | @ bonnaroo 2009

Words: Steve Bistline and Victoria May
Photos: Victoria May

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