Thursday, November 5, 2009

popwreckoning updates

popwreckoning updates

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La Roux Announces Winter 2010 Tour of North America

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 12:00 PM PST

la rouxEnglish synthpop duo La Roux featuring the vocals of Londoner have announced a North American tour for 2010 to begin January 31 in Boston. Catch the act responsible for “Quicksand,” “In For the Kill” and “Bulletproof” in a venue near you.

Tour dates
Jan 31 – Paradise / Boston (rescheduled from cancelled October date)
Feb 02 – Lincoln Hall / Chicago (rescheduled from cancelled October date)
Feb 03 – Imperial Du Quebec / Quebec City
Feb 05 - Metropolis / Montreal
Feb 06 – Capital Music Hall / Ottawa
Feb 09 – Voyeur / Philadelphia
Feb 10 – 9:30 Club / Washington, DC
Feb 11 – Webster Hall / New York City

“I’m Not Your Toy”, La Roux’s latest single, was released on September 28 in the UK on Polydor Records. Check out the promo video below.

La Roux: website | myspace

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Priscilla Renea covers ‘Fireflies’ & ‘I Can Transform Ya’

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 11:00 AM PST

Who doesn’t love a good mash up? In this one, does an acoustic rendition of ’s “I Can Transform Ya” and ’s “Fireflies.”

It sounds pretty different when you take all the electronic stuff out of those tunes, but that’s what makes her cover so awesome.

She’s currently featured on MTV’s Discover and Download.

: website | myspace

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Blitzen Trapper @ Austin City Limits

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 10:15 AM PST

Where’s the Band Tour Hits the West Coast in January

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 10:06 AM PST

Where’s The Band? is a tour featuring solo acoustic performances by four frontmen of successful groups. of Thrice, Matt Pryor of  The Get Up Kids and New Amsterdams, Chris Conley of Saves the Day and and of Bayside will bring Where’s The Band? to the West Coast for the first time in January, performing in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Anaheim.

Tour Dates:
Jan. 7, 2010 – The Troubadour / West Hollywood, CA
Jan. 8, 2010 – House of Blues / San Diego, CA
Jan. 9, 2010 – House of Blues / Anaheim, CA
Jan. 10, 2010 – Bottom of the Hill / San Francisco, CA

The inaugural Where’s The Band? tour in January 2009 included 10 dates in the Midwest, all of which sold out. The four singers sat in during each other’s sets, creating a unique and special event for fans.

A limited number of tickets have been held for Where’s The Band? fans and will be available through an exclusive Ducat King presale that begins today, Thursday, November 5, 2009. General public onsale is the following Thursday, November 12.

Buy tickets at

Where’s the Band: myspace

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Nurses @ Doug Fir, Portland

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 09:00 AM PST

I first saw play at PDX Pop Now! While they played a great set to a packed and enthusiasticnursese crowd, Rotture isn’t the best venue to see or hear a band. The acoustics in the Doug Fir, on the other hand, make it a great place to hear ’ shambling indie rock. And they sounded great, especially the harmonies. The vocals were clear and sharp in all their quirky splendor. are just three guys, with Aaron Chapman on lead vocals and guitar, James Mitchell on drums, on keyboards and electronics. The songs sound like the band pieced together catchy fragments – vocal warm-ups, rhythms, and tinkling piano – to create a casually psychedelic music that feels both imaginative and intimate.

The table of electronics set out in the middle of the stage explains why I couldn’t quite identify all the noises I heard on the album. Throughout the show, Bowers twiddled nobs, tinkled on keyboards and added the occasional vocal harmony. The biggest surprise was that the whistles on “Caterpillar Playground” were actually played on a keyboard. Like on the album, “Manatarms” lurched forward with the layered vocals and a percussive piano, while “Technicolor” shimmered over almost ambient taps and gurgles. Every song sounded playful and deceptively loose and off the cuff, while it was clear from the precision of their playing that the band was a tight and cohesive unit. Although the album is fantastic, I really enjoyed seeing the band pull together all desperate pieces into rich texture-filled songs.

: website | myspace

Photo by Josh Lovseth

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Interview with Sara Quin @ Warner Music in NYC

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 08:00 AM PST

Canadian twins Tegan and Sara have been making innovative power-pop music for ten plus years, and they've been doing so on their own terms: navigating the challenges of the music business and following their fearless hearts with grace and conviction. The following interview marks a personal milestone for me in my fledgling career as a music journalist. Tegan and Sara are what got me writing about music in the first place, a secret dream of mine since high school. Their gutsy, heart-heavy music, hilarious stories, and devotion to what they believe in is what inspired me to pick up my pen, or rather, dust off my keyboard and camera and start making art again.

When I found out that PopWreckoning contributor Dese'Rae Stage and I were set to interview Sara Quin, the notoriously shy, enigmatic, hard-to-get half of the duo…uh, in person, you can imagine that my ticker just about plummeted to the bottom of my gut. I was going to meet my muse. We sat down with Sara, in a very slick studio at the Warner Music offices in New York City just a few days after Sainthood, the twins' sixth studio album was released, and the day before the twins played two sold out shows at New York's legendary Town Hall theater. We talked about everything from how the girls spent a very busy album release day to the potential difference between an alligator and a crocodile. Needless to say, it was the best nine minutes ever.

Reni Papananias, PopWreckoning: First of all, congratulations on the album.
Sara Quin: Thank you. It's like having a baby when you put a record out, everyone's like, "Congratulations!" And I'm like, "Thank You."
RP: It is a baby…it's your art baby.
SQ: Yeah…(giggles)

RP: So, tell me about album release day?
SQ: You know, it was great. We had a really early morning. We did a five-hour thing at AOL, where we did like all these skits. We've been on all week so we had to do some more skits where we were like acting, and we set up and played four songs, so they can play them on the website, and then we did a little bit more press, and then we did a four and a half hour signing at a bookstore where we saw about five hundred kids, which was great, and then we had a big dinner with the label and the band and then I fell into bed at like two a.m. and I was…beat. It was a long day, but it was great. It feels really exciting. We've always had really great release days. It's really celebratory. There's a cake involved. I actually had been waiting for this moment for like four months and I was really happy that it had come. It was great. We were charting all day, which was exciting. We feel like there's a lot of momentum and excitement around the record. I'm just happy. There's a lot of gratitude.

RP: How was it different from when The Con came out? How have things changed for you this time around?
SQ: You know, it wasn't remarkably different. When The Con came out we were in Los Angeles, which is where we were this time. We played at Amoeba and literally a thousand people showed up. Literally it was their biggest in-store ever, and it was bananas. It was so exciting and we played and we signed for hours and we basically took over the store for the entire day and it was super fun. There's nobody else you'd want to spend a release day with than who you're releasing the album to. So that's why we always try to do a fan-related thing.

RP: You and Tegan definitely do a lot to stay in connected with your fans. We were curious, in relation to social networking, Twitter in specific, if you feel pressure to engage in that way as artists?
SQ: I mean, I'm not on Twitter, so Tegan, and I am totally talking for her, but my understanding is that she definitely started Twitter when we were sort of done touring and it was more of a personal Twitter and now it's become totally a band Twitter where she pimps what we're doing during the day and that sort of thing. We never feel forced into it. The truth is that when we released our first album and we first started touring it was like 1999…2000. The Internet was really just getting going. We were not in any way a buzz band, we had signed a record deal, it was a very small deal, and we were touring and we kept using the word "organic." "We're organic. We're going to organically build a fan base," and all of these things, but we really had no press or support from television or radio and the internet was truly social networking and the internet was the way that we started to build an audience one by one. And so, we still have a lot of connection to it, just because it's a way for us to make that connection, and to be as authentic and genuine as we want to be or don't want to be. When you’re doing television or radio or interviews, you're really through the filter and the mind of the person interviewing you and there's something about knowing that our fans want to tap directly in and I'm completely okay with that. After ten years you sort of figure out how to keep what's for you, for you, and what's for them, for them. You're very in control of what message you’re putting out there.
RP: Right.

Dese'Rae Stage, PopWreckoning: I guess that sort of answers that other question we had about where your borders are in relation to your fans.
RP: Right, some artists kind of take it to the extreme when it comes to connecting online…like hosting online Friday night Twitter parties and stuff like that.
SQ: You know, I think each person is looking for something different in the connection they have with the public. For Tegan and I, we've always been performers and we've always loved to be onstage and entertaining people, but there's also a part of us that's really private and I know certainly for me, I don't have any desire to knock down every wall between me and the person that's in front of me. And the reality is, it's not even possible at this point. There's just too many people. How on Earth could you do it? I mean, I think it depends too on what your personal life is like. I have a huge family, I'm still best friends with the kids I went to junior high school with and I have so many people from my early life that I'm still so connected to. It sounds strange but I'm over capacitated already in my life. Like, I can't even imagine taking on those kinds of connections, those kinds of intimate connections with strangers, you know? What we do on stage is real and authentic, but it's done in this way where we truly are performers projecting out onto people. It's reciprocated in this strange energy way but it's like…how could I possibly connect to 2,000 people every night? I just can't. Even at that in-store that we did on release day, I mean, the information people will tell you in thirty seconds is profound…to have someone walk up to you and tell you about a death in the family or something that happened to them when they were a little kid…you…I couldn't do that every day. I can do it like once a year. (Laughs) I'm like, oh my God…it's too much.

RP: Well, your music means a lot to people. I mean, people are really connected to it. What do you think it is about you and Tegan that people feel so intimately connected to?
SQ: You know, I'm not always sure. I think society, what we project on television, and on film and on billboards and those things, I think in a strange way is how we want to see ourselves, is how we think we see ourselves or even how we don't think we see ourselves and I think Tegan and I are, you know, an alternative version of what's projected out constantly. I think, we, for a lot of women, for a lot of queer people, there's something nice about, or there's something calming about, or something refreshing about seeing something that isn't always in the media or whatever, but then on the other hand, I can only speak from my own experience, from when I was a kid, what resonated with me, was intense for me, like and the or whatever, what made me feel more connected to them over other bands, sometimes it's hard to say. Sometimes it's just because…it's just because it's the right time and the right words and the right melody. I think Tegan and I have that combination of maybe the music part and the personal side.

RP: Right. Okay, this is sort of a silly question…I really love "Alligator."
SQ: Cool.
RP: It's a really hot track. We were wondering if alligator tears are the same as crocodile tears?
SQ: Yeah, that's what I actually meant, but I thought the phrase was alligator tears and then very early on, when I sent it to someone, they were like "I think what you mean is crocodile tears" and I was like, crocodile tears doesn't have the same…
RP: Well, I think it adds to the mystery of the song.
SQ: Yeah. I mean, I think, just phonetically, it didn't make as much sense to me as alligator. Alligator just fit better and I wanted it to be sort of an R&B type track and alligator the word just was better.
RP: I like it and I think it's different. I think people are really responding to it.
SQ: Yeah, the response has been terrific. Originally, when we sent all the demos out it wasn't on the original list, but both Tegan and I were like, "There's just something about this song." It kind of hovered in the "B" list area for a while and then when we started recording the album, I was like, "You know, I think we should try this."

RP: You guys wrote together for the first time when putting Sainthood together. What did you learn from each other during that experience?
SQ: You know, Tegan and I both, and we've acknowledged this a lot, but I think we almost have a reverse style or process when we go into the recording kind of…headspace. Tegan is really lyrical, she loves to put together words and ideas and then she'll sort of build music after that and I'm like, completely the opposite. I will get almost 100 percent done with the instrumental before I even begin to think about melodies and once I've sort of figured out melodies, then I'll do lyrics. So it's the absolute last thing that I do. So, when we were in the writing process that was kind of awkward. Tegan's natural instincts…suddenly she was being held back and when we would try to do it her way, I would feel really off balance, and it ended up kind of working to our advantage. I think the music is really interesting and super cool but I wouldn't want to always write like that. I think there's something truly satisfying about just working the way you want to work. I wouldn't want to convert her. I think what she does is great and she should keep doing it.

Insert here a wide, adorable smile and a dulcet giggle, and the best ten minutes ever comes to a close.

DS: Love it.

Tegan and Sara: website | myspace | interview with: Tegan pt. 1, pt. 2 | @ terminal 5 | @ town hall | Sainthood review

Interview by Reni Papananias.
Photo by Dese’Rae L. Stage.

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Austin City Limits: Day 2 in Review

Posted: 05 Nov 2009 07:00 AM PST

What is there to say about Day 2 of ACL? After such a beautiful Day 1, the rain came and stuck around for the most part of Day 2. When I realized this rain was not going to pass anytime soon, I invested in a poncho. The beautiful Zilker Park was left a muddy mess in mere hours, but festival goers embraced the rain and mud, most opting for bare foot and whatever plastic they could find to shield themselves from the elements. Dave Matthews Band-5

Starting off my day was Deer Tick who I had heard such good things from coworkers, but I was left underwhelmed, perhaps due to the dreary weather. I made my way to the Livestrong stage to see Alberta Cross (who later received a shout out from Mr. Dave Matthews during his headlining set). The rained eased up as they made their way through their bluesy set, but I had other places to be so I made my way to the Felice Brothers to get a good spot for as well and that's unfortunately when the skies opened and the downpour began. pushed themselves rather far back in the stage and didn't move or interact all that much. So while I appreciate the songs, I left feeling a little mixed on their set.

With a quick jaunt to the media to load up on free snacks on my mind, I made my way back in the rain. Once I was full of Coca Cola and all natural snacks, I braved the elements to see my personal highlight of the day and that was Bon Iver. I had not heard much about his shows, but I was floored at his soulful vocals and haunting harmonies with his backing band, making the rain feel insignificant. After 's wonderful set on steel guitar, I made my way through the mud to Mos Def. While I was initially disappointed by his tardiness and hiding behind a drum kit for the first two songs, the showman Mos Def I have come to love and respect graced the front of the stage mic in hand working the rain shocked crowd into a frenzy.

After enjoying the wonderful catered BBQ in the media area, I made my way to Dave Matthews Band. Now while I'm not what I'd consider a fan, I do have an appreciation for the sheer musicianship Matthews and gang demonstrate on a nightly basis; I also have to appreciate a cover of "Burning Down The House" While nothing can live up to David Bryne's vocals on the track, DMB's version was rather lively and Dave's dance moves worked the mud-covered fans into hysteria. After their set, I decided to call it a night and waited for my free shuttle back to my hotel to rest up, clean off my shoes (remember, ALWAYS pack more than one pair of shoes) and rest up for Day 3.

Austin City Limits: website | day 1

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The Walkmen @ Austin City Limits 2009

Posted: 04 Nov 2009 06:40 PM PST

East Coasters The Walkmen made their way to this year’s and delivered a rip roaring set that got the crowd roaring on the festival’s first day.

The Walkmen: website | myspace

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