Thursday, October 29, 2009

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Múm w/Sin Fang Bous @ Black Cat, Washington DC

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 01:00 PM PDT

Sindri Mar Sigfusson, aka Sin Fang Bous (or as he asked us to call him) looks like an even more baby-faced Beck and is just as cuddly. It’s a rare occasion that I check out a support act as I hate waiting around for the main act to come on (why do they insist on taking so long?), but Sing Fang Bous’ warm and fuzzy sounds were a pleasant welcome to the friendly space of the Black Cat. Low-key retro pop was the order of the day, and, while it wasn’t revolutionary, it was certainly enjoyable, with a refreshingly sparse and pure sound — no unnecessary quirks. Elements ranged from folky acoustic guitar with handclaps to sea shantyish organ sounds, the best tunes being the simpler ones. He ended with “Life,” a song in the epic-indie style, which I found the least engaging. The milder stuff was better, something I’d happily settle down with now that winter approaches and the nights get darker.

In contrast to the simpler pleasures of Sigfusson, are a multi-instrumental band of multi-instrumentalists, with a rotating string and guitar section, at least three dedicated singers, as well as bass, organ, trumpet, laptop, kazoos, mouth-organ, harmonica, and drummer, and some other stuff I don’t know the name of. They were suitably foreign, all wide eyes, cute phrases and smiles, funny clothes and haircuts, just the kind of thing an indie crowd laps up (though perhaps it wasn’t part of the act? Maybe their clothes and haircuts reflect the collapse of the Icelandic economy?). I went in to the show having heard some of the older stuff and expected some ethereal ambient female-led electronica with some good glitchy beats, a bit , a bit Bjork. What I ended up hearing was a little more down to earth and more along quirky indie lines, apparently a reflection of where the band is now, which is fair enough.

They started out very soothingly, to the point where I began to wonder if their choir-like sound worked well in a space like the Black Cat, with it’s low ceiling and basement vibe (though it’s actually on the top floor). Soft electric slide guitar and mournful trumpet carried on the warm tones from Sin Fang Bous on “If I Were a Fish.” Other early songs made use of the strings and voices supplied by Hildur Guðnadóttir and and the sound was quite experimental, with good use of the trumpet in particular. Gunnar Örn Tynes seemed to play the role of band leader and whipped out his mouth organ fairly often. He looked faintly ridiculous, but the toy-like sound fitted in well with the overall calming mood of the songs.

Later on things were more uptempo, ’s amazing rhythm section working as well as a drum machine to get people’s feet moving. Playground 8-bit beats were layered with shimmery guitar; a cowbell was heard while Guðnadóttir and Gisladottir added theatrical (and somewhat overemphasised) yelps; whale-like bass backed up what sounded like a heavy rock christmas carol. The Orb-like dub and skittery beats of “A Little Bit, Sometimes” were particularly impressive, the overlayed mouth-organ bringing Red Snapper to mind. The electronic side of is definitely impressive, but sadly there somewhat twee indie-rock side is less so — kazoo and harmonica orchestras are amusing, but an extended jam that seemed to last twenty minutes started to grate. Some of the latter dynamics were also predictable — loud-quiet, female-male, fast-slow. It’ll get most of the crowd going but it’s not particularly clever. Having said that “Sing Along” was scary and unhinged which seemed very apt for some reason. Live bird whistles were employed before the song vapourised into a rock lullaby echoing from the 50’s. The encore made up for the somewhat lagging final third of the show. “Green Grass of Tunnel” has that glacial vibe I was looking forward to, and the band stretch it out live into something far more filmic, with elements of the and (sorry) Bjork, and some glorious floor-shaking bass.

A bit of a mixed bag then, but something to satisfy most indie-rock fans and even some electronica ones, if they don’t mind their beats a little buried under the avant-garde.

: website | myspace

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Copeland Breaks Up

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 11:54 AM PDT

With sad news, we give you this message was posted on ’s website today: Copeland

Dear friends,

We have come to an extremely difficult decision. It has come time for us to move on from and follow other paths in our lives. We are absolutely grateful to have been able to make music for as long as we have. In the last 9 years we've been able to see parts of the world that we never dreamt we would see. We have shared the stage and built friendships with immensely talented artists. We've been afforded the opportunity to make 4 records that we're extremely proud of. Most of all, we feel honored that people have cared so much for our band and for our art. We appreciate every listener who has allowed our music to be a part of their lives. We want to offer our deepest thanks to every individual who has supported us on this ride. It has profoundly impacted our lives.

To put your minds at ease, we assure you this is not a bitter break up. We all individually feel has run its course in our lives and it's time for us to pursue what is next. We couldn't end things without a proper goodbye, so we are planning a final farewell tour in the US this coming Spring, as well as one final jaunt around the world to some of our favorite countries. We are really excited about seeing you all one more time, and we hope it turns out to be the best tour ever.

It has been discussed and we are not ruling out the possibility of recording one more album sometime in the future. However, this spring tour will be our last.

From the bottom of hearts, thank you for all of your love and support.

Aaron, Bryan, Jon & Stephen

: website | myspace | You Are My Sunshine review | interview with: Aaron Marsh | @ beaumont | @ slowdown

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Our Lady Peace ‘The End Is Where We Begin’ New Video

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 09:00 AM PDT

Check out this new video for “The End Is Where We Begin” then check them out on tour. They’re playing a special free show in Kansas City on Halloween.
Tour Dates:
Oct. 27 – Electric Cowboy / Johnson City, TN
Oct. 29 – Newport Music Hall / Columbus, OH
Oct. 30 – The Pageant / St. Louis, MO
Oct. 31 – Kansas City Power and Light / Kansas City, MO
Nov. 13 – Wild Bills Saloon / Banff – Alberta Canada
Dec. 3 – House of Blues / Lake Buena Vista, FL
Dec. 4 – Freebird Live / Jacksonville, FL
Dec. 5 – Cruzan Amphitheater / West Palm Beach, FL

: website | myspace | @ troubador | interview with: Jeremy Taggart

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Interview with: TJ of Broken Truth

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 08:04 AM PDT

Omaha’s rock pop group is doing something a little different and they’re hoping that with their difference, they can bring change not just to Omaha, but to all of the industry. Read on to learn about this piano rock group and their big plans:

Bethany, PopWreckoning: I'm kind of bummed…I used to live in Omaha and I missed out on you guys, I guess.
of : We've not been around publicly for very long, to be honest. We've been doing a lot of studio stuff first. That is probably what has kept us on the down low. We just released an album in January. We just recently got a weekly show at Nomad Lounge. I don't know if you were around to know that venue well when you were in Omaha. It is fairly new as well.

PW: How often do you guys play at Nomad? Is it once a week or several nights a week?
TJ: Yeah. It is once a week right now. Every Wednesday night at Nomad. We brokenwork with a guy named . He's another local, solo artist. He's a great person to work with. We've also got another dude that we're trying to get established with called . We're currently working out some details with those guys right now. What we're trying to accomplish is a kind of rising act type of experience where we can mix up the music, mix up the bands and we can all share each other's equipment so we can get the audience on the floor in on what's going on. We can switch it up on the fly. We've also tried to bring in some other acts like comedians or musicians even and try to make this kind of an old-fashioned night club experience for the modern world.

PW: Yeah, I know that Nomad kind of does theme nights. Do you get in on that action at all? Do you have to dress up and participate in their circus or whatever theme?
TJ: No. We've not done that yet. We would totally do something like that. We always have crazy people that end up at our shows, which I love. We have girls that bring hula hoops and they hula-hoop while we play. We have had drag queens come. We're a huge supporter of Omaha drag queens actually. We get a really diverse mix of audience where we perform, so that vaudevillian aspect could be why Nomad likes us so much.

PW: So why do you consider yourselves vaudevillian? Why do you feel you fit in so well with that?
TJ: I think it is more of our collective mantra. We all understand, and I speak for the rest of the band too when I say this, we all bring a unique ability and talent to the band. That unique ability together makes that collective sound and what you hear on the album. We could each go do our own solo projects and create something with the technology that would replace a band. We strive to keep the ability to keep the essence of what a band really is. We look to the groups like the and the and groups like those who understood that if you work together, you can create a great change with sound that can achieve the ability to be recognized as one of the great sounding artists for our time and the direction for sound itself. We're on the verge with the change that Obama has brought, we're going to see a great period of time that we're going to see artists like the that make the collective change for that to happen and places like Omaha and other places are going to make this time be that time if that makes any sense.

PW: Nah, it was a good answer and it makes it sound like you've been doing the music business longer than a fresh band.
TJ: You know, I used to run a marketing company before I did all this. I started a company with my aunt in San Diego and brought that to Omaha and in April, I was terminated due to a bunch of things, but mostly it was a strategic move on both of our parts because we had to cut some budgets. We were a small team, only 13 people, and wanted to create some spots. I wanted to focus on music anyways. So I left the company and have been doing this full force and been putting all of our energy and effort behind getting this music and sound out there to make sure I have the ability to afford my band.

PW: Now, how does having a stay in a club as opposed to touring around and doing a show in a different club every night compare? Do you have a preference or is this a really unique experience?
TJ: You know, I think, I love just to perform. It doesn't really matter the venue or the audience size or who they are really. As long as people have a good time, as an artist, that's really the most basic approach. With Nomad, specifically, what's great about this opportunity for us as a band is that it gives us the opportunity to create a spot where people can come and know that we'll be there weekly. The strategic relationship that we have here in Omaha, are other artists want to come and work with our strategic relationship and know that we can come and connect with what we're trying to accomplish locally. It is also a great way, and my goal this year, is to get sponsorship for this program. The owners of Nomad and I have been working this great concept of getting sponsorship for experiencial programs. For example, if we can get Sony computers and have that Sony brand and a local Omaha company, say proxy online bidding. Then on Wednesday nights, we can have the music and the auction all online. Then you can bid by proxy and have those brands cover the costs of bringing the artists that perform weekly. What we hope to do is to establish the ability in Omaha through this program to allow for the sponsorships to pay Omaha artists better. With the Omaha that are already and working in Omaha and trying to make this scene what it is, we can engage them and compensate them with competitive wages with a program like this and they'll know that they can make some money and continue their art.
PW: Interesting idea. I'm curious to see what can come out of that.
TJ: Yeah, I have this whole strategy if you're interested. Right now it is in its draft form and it is highly confidential, but I can show it to you if you like. It takes what I'm saying and is more comprehensive and is easier to follow.

PW: If it is confidential, I don't want to ruin anything. When you talk about Omaha artists, people often think Saddle Creek bands. What do you think of Saddle Creek and what advice to those Omaha artists that are trying to forge their own name when they're not Saddle Creek?
TJ: I really respect what the Saddle Creek guys are doing over there. That whole team, I know casually, I don't know very well, but they do make me as an artist aspire to do what they're able to do as a collective group of musicians and artists that are living and working in Omaha. I think it would be great to work with them, but I don't know if we're really the right sound for them. I think what limits them a little bit is that they do have what is known as that Saddle Creek sound and has become recognized nationally as the Omaha sound. I think that limitation could put them at risk from more growth as a label. If they were to open to the types of artistry that is happening in Omaha and foster and support that, I think they could see a bunch of directions that they could take their organizations and make it much larger than what it is.

PW: So what are some non-Saddle Creek or non-Saddle Creek sound bands in Omaha besides you guys?
TJ: Yes, there are. One of them, that I mentioned earlier and I just adore is . They are three female vocalists and they have a gentleman who does percussion and a gentleman who does guitar and they have this great folk sound and do some old stuff, but are writing some new stuff that is very much like a John Denver type of sound or type of sound, which is a little bit different than what Omaha has offered as a flavor for sound because it is a little bit more grass roots, blues grassy meets pop, which is really interesting. It is kind of what we've done. We have this bluesy, pop kind of approach to what we do as a group. They have this call back to the old 70s style with maybe a 40s or 50s mantra.

PW: Sweet. I'll have to check them out. To get back on you guys then, I was reading somewhere how tarot cards have kind of led you. What is that about?
TJ: Yeah. I think we all understand our own spirituality and I don't want to be known as a spiritual group or something like that, but tarot cards have always been something I've been interested in and I've always had that type of stuff around. I'll keep a deck on top of my piano that I play in the front room. I read them via a book that I bought at Barnes and Noble to understand what the cards mean. I enjoy going to a fortune teller from time to time and I don't let this direct my life, but I like to go in and see if there are any types of odd connections that happen in my life with conversation in these different types of mediums. So anyhow, I have the deck there and I have that interest. Occasionally, when I'm playing really hard, the cards will fall out. Or at crazy times, I'll walk by and the wind is blowing and the cards will have appeared on the bench of the piano and that will inspire me to sit down and write something. So every once in awhile I'll have a deck of cards and they have words on them, and that helps me to write some of the lyrics that I write. We have this joke that likes to channel through my cards on the piano and once in awhile that's half the energy, but it is me playing hard and the cards falling off and the words have writing. It is a sort of fun way of saying what songwriting really means, you know?
PW: Yeah, that's a fun way to look at it. It is cool to look at the connections. Like I read that you and met doing a song for an ecard and now you use cards to continue writing.
TJ: Yeah, that's an interesting way to look at it, for sure.

PW: So give me an example of something that it helped inspire to write.
TJ: One example that I have, is a song called "I Believe in Miracles." That's not the title just yet, it is still in progress. But the lyrics go, "I believe in miracles. I believe that they exist." How that came about was a stack of cards had fallen and "Believe," "Miracle" and "Exist" were the three cards had fallen from the deck. So I looked at that and added a couple of things that connected them. That's how I started the lyric. The rest of the song developed from there. I kept turning cards, which helped to write the verses. I didn't specifically use every word, but what helped to makes sense with the cards as I pulled them and what they were saying, I used that. It is one of the new songs that our audience asks for on a regular basis when we play at Nomad.
PW: That's really cool. That reminds of when I was listening to NPR and there was a sheep herder in England and he wrote words on his sheep and let them randomly move around in the pastures and the way that they moved he would write down into a poem. That just reminded me a lot of that story.
TJ: Oh yeah. If I had more room, I'd have sheep, but the cards seem to work.

PW: Haha. So you have that new song and you do have this debut album, so are you already looking toward putting out a new album?
TJ: We have enough material that we could definitely put out a new album now. We have enough that we could put an album out with the band and I could do a solo project, which I plan on doing. I am currently looking on getting something like that set up. Then if we can work it out with all the weekly performances that we've got, we're looking at something like a tour here in the next six to nine months. We're in the progress of getting all this great progress and momentum and launching our sound outside of the Omaha area.
PW: Yeah, I'd love to see you all here in KC.
TJ: Yeah, we'd like to come down. If you know any venues that would be interested in what we're trying to accomplish from a collaborative, collective spirit, let me know. I'd love to connect.

PW: Sure. I'll ask around. To wrap up, for a lot of people that haven't heard of you, is there one thing that you'd like to emphasize or have your band be known for or to just get out to the masses? One final statement.
TJ: Let's see here. I have to make this good. What I'd like for us to accomplish as a band, when people walk away, I'd like them to say is that we are what they thought we were. I think we are going to do so much or we're going to try to anyways to help connect communities or musicians or people through sound. That I think, if people can say when they come see us, is that it was that good. That's when we've accomplished what I hope we can accomplish.
PW: Good final statement. I will let you go on that.
TJ: Thank you.


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Hadituptohere – Wild City, Honest Dancing

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 07:00 AM PDT

"We're the 's and we've had it up to here with rock 'n roll." hadits

While this basic statement of love begins the 's live performances, it seems to also be the same idea that bore punk rock. Of course that idea has mutated.

Somewhere along the way punk rock was commandeered (you probably already knew…I blame Blink 182, but feel free to blame any other band that proclaims "pop punk"). Just a few short years ago Avril Lavigne opined in Rolling Stone that she was the first to blend punk with other sounds.

That is a false, weird statement.

Furthermore, why blend punk with anything?

The 's prove it was fine where it was. Their latest record, Wild City, Honest Dancing, being the most supreme example.

On the record the Hadits seemingly channel the spirits of any number of bands: The Stooges, , The Plugz, or any other band that could have/should have been on the Repo Man soundtrack.

This implies some sort of mimicry, which is unfair. You shouldn't necessarily like a band just because they remind you of other stuff you like. The Hadits channel these bands but turn it into something raucous and true.

“Party” may be the best of the 12 song album. (guitar and vocals) casually transitions between riffs while (bass) delivers an atypical flowing bass line. (drums and vocals) continues to be punk rock's Keith Moon.

Lyrically the songs delve into the social and emotional ("If I read the right books would that make me a scholar?/If I said the right words would that make me a prophet?") and the revelry created at their live shows ("And we'll dance till we get this town out of the gutter/Let's sing because it sounds so much better together").

Download Wild City, Honest Dancing here. A vinyl release will be upcoming. Want more information on the 's? Check their myspace.

01. Wild City
02. P’s & Q’s
03. The Stories
04. Windows
05. Heritage Hills
06. Shake Those Hips, Raise Those Hands
07. A Separate Place
08. Party
09. American Ship Building
10. In A Small Diner A Bit South Of The City
11. Keep It Together
12. Bag of Bricks/Honest Dancing

: myspace

Written by Adam Leroy

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