Saturday, August 22, 2009

Snob's Music

Snob's Music

Link to Snob's Music

Ingrid Michaelson: hear new tracks here daily

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 08:01 AM PDT

Tristan Clopet: "Duende" EP review

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 07:06 AM PDT

Introducing: The Library

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 05:20 AM PDT

Whatever happened to: Kay Hanley?

Posted: 21 Aug 2009 10:04 PM PDT

popwreckoning updates

popwreckoning updates

Link to popwreckoning

Phenomenal Handclap Band @ Liberation Dance Party, DC9, Washington DC

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 02:56 PM PDT

h-PhenomenalHCB9DC9 is one of several smallish clubs in Washington that can be deemed as “intimate.” The Phenomenal Handclap Band, whose members hail from both Brooklyn and Manhattan, played to a perspiring and dance-ready crowd at the club’s . This dance goes on every Friday night, with the club spinning current dance, rock, and electronic faves (and from what I could tell, mostly from Britain – just my scene!) and playing the videos that go with these songs on monitors. Think Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand, and Hot Chip. I broke out into a knowing smile when just minutes before the band were due on stage at 11 PM, I looked up at the screen to see Friendly Fires’s silly and fun “On Board” video, then looked around and saw people waving their arms about and moving to the beat. Merely coincidence that the club decided to play a video by the Phenomenal Handclap Band’s current touring mates? I like to think there was more to it. By the time you read this, the band will be out in California gearing up to play a support slot for the Fires.

But everyone here this night was here for the Phenomenal Handclap Band (who will be henceforth referred to as “PHB” in this article, as personally instructed by band cofounder Daniel Collas, who told me, “if you ever refer to our band, don’t use ‘PHCB’, it sounds like a bank”). I was glad to see a varied mix of gig-goers, some who had no doubt found the band’s material on the web and knew the grooves already, and some who were tipped off about the gig through a feature on The Washington Post. PHB the live experience is different from what coproducers Collas and Sean Marquand envisioned when they recorded the band’s debut album – obviously it’s not feasible to have all 20+ people who contributed to the album as a touring unit. So instead they have a tight eight-piece group assembled, just right for touring.

The band started things off right with “You’ll Disappear” (above), which descends to earth first instrumentally, tambourines flying, guitars and percussion banging away, synths whining. Then Laura Marin and , the two female singers, take the song to a whole ‘nother level, with their angelic voices soaring above the harmonious pandemonium around them, turning into surely the world’s best, latest disco anthem. Gorgeous. The next song, “Journey to Serra da Estrela,” is an instrumental wonder in itself and I’m so glad I got a chance to hear it live finally. By this time, people were all over the place dancing, some of them even getting up on chairs and tables to shake it up.

g-PhenomenalHCB8 I always like it when bands mix things up and show their versatility – in PHB’s case, band members swapped vocal duties throughout their set, and most of them sing back-up when they’re not the main vocalist. Guitarist Luke O’Malley took lead vocals for “All of the Above,” along with providing some wicked guitar lines. Collas’s almost falsetto is the star of “The Martyr,” with the repeated refrain of “don’t make the same mistakes I did” bolstered by the rest of the band’s background vocals. “15 to 20,” the first PHB song I ever heard, is still my favorite for Marin and Tick’s sassy vocal delivery, propelled by the band’s contagious backbeats.

The band’s relatively short set left everyone in the club wanting more. I’d brought several friends to this show and they were all blown away. Bill Spieler, master of ceremonies at Liberation, got up onstage to thank the band for the amazing show, and said the next time they’d be back in town, it’d be at the 9:30 Club. And I think he’s right. I love the confidence of this band. They played several European music festivals this summer already but not much in America yet, so it was a really special treat to have them play for us in D.C., before they hit the big time across America and the world.

Set List:
You’ll Disappear
The Journal to Serra da Estrela
All of the Above
The Martyr
15 to 20
I Been Born Again

Phenomenal Handclap Band: website | myspace | @ le poisson rouge

Related Posts

Weekend Remix: O’Spada “Time”

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 11:45 AM PDT

ospadaSweden’s emerging electronica act O’Spada, who seemingly came out of nowhere in June with their synth-laden track “Time,” are happy to present eleven remixes resulting from a remix competition they host for the track with their label, Despotz Records. O’Spada is a side project for Swedish songbird Julia Spada, who is joined by Samuel Lindberg on drums, Johan Ivansson on bass, Christopher on the keys and Karl Annmo on guitar.

The mix-tracks off “Time” were available for free download and fans were able to submit their best remixes for the song. This week, “Time” had it’s official release on iTunes along with two of the top 3 remixes. The winning remix is available for free at The FADER.

Rather than limiting fans to only being able to get the top 3 remixes, Despotz and O’Spada have made the remaining Top 10 favorites available and we’ve got them for you here! So, now, turn up your speakers and dig in!

Check out the video for “Time” in its original form:

An inspirational cut, Julia asserts her aggressive way of life singing, “Don’t try and tie me to the ground. / Can’t you see I’d rather be flying higher than any other other bird  / as I reach for immortality,” as the band provides a slick dance track straight from the 80s. Lindberg’s beats and Christopher’s melodies musically support Julia’s assertions that she can’t slow down.

01. “Time” (Suck Shaft remix) | @ THE FADER
Suck Shaft, whose name I’m not sure I’m down with, introduces “Time” with synths that almost sound like a goose honking with Julia’s vocals building around them. It then abruptly switches into a remix that seems too safe to have won a contest; funky bass, definite disco feel. It’s a great remix, but I definitely would have gone with something more exciting.

02. “Time” (Naiv remix) | @ iTunes
Naiv focuses on pumping up the bass for that classic 80s disco with a soulful twist.

03. “Time” (Montauk remix) | @ iTunes
This light remix combines airy keys with heavy downbeats ignores any vocals for almost the first minute. It twinkles and slows down Julia’s vocals, though keeps them shining in the forefront atop the most mellow of all the remixes.

04. “Time” (Elan remix)
Elan’s remix leaves the song mostly in tact, providing harder, pulsing beats and a slight fuzzy static overlay.

05. “Time” (Andy Crough remix)
On this remix, Andy Crough kicks the song off with an airy opening, introducing Julia’s voice in broken up spurts. He eliminates the bass and drums for the first minute, speeding up Julia’s vocals over ambient keys. Rhythm comes back in a big way as the tempo is sped up, drums pounding and cymbals tinking atop dreamy keys. Not my favorite, but not bad.

06. “Time” (LA Rush remix)
A muted pulsing bass throbs beneath Julia’s scrambled vocals and fast paced keys. LA Rush’s take on “Time” is definitely destined for discotheques worldwide.

07. “Time” (Conny G remix)
Again with broken up bits of vocals, but Conny G layers them with slick and slightly funky synths.

08. “Time” (Extra Cheese remix)
A palpitating beat marks Extra Cheese’s “Time” remix.

09. “Time” (Superhumans In Real Time remix)
Definitely my favorite of the bunch. Superhumans In Real Time really deconstruct the song, add their own fresh elements, and make the song their own. A solid hip hop beat opens the cut, dotted with vocals totally unrelated to “Time,” before bits of Julia’s words break through interlaced with male vocals, answering Julia’s words. Spacey sound effects punctuate the remix throughout and the layered vocals make this a stand out.

10. “Time” (35 Bag remix)
35 Bag creates a slightly Latin feel with the music favoring of a guitar heavy yet bubbly soundscape.

Honorable Mention, a favorite of the band that came in late:
“Time” (Coco Productions & Alvaro Villalobos remix)
This sped up version incorporates wicked beats, looped vocals and a lot of fun.

O’Spada’s  next single, “Ten Strikes,” will be released this Fall and their full length debut album will hit stores in February 2010.

O’Spada: website | myspace
Despotz: website

Related Posts

Brendan Benson performs “A Whole Lot Better” on Letterman

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 10:05 AM PDT

If you missed Brendan Benson’s performance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” last night, fear not — you can watch it right here!

Brendan Benson: website | myspace | My Old, Familiar Friend review

Related Posts

Warped Tour Photo Essay

Posted: 22 Aug 2009 08:43 AM PDT

As a sort of hot, sweaty camp for musicians and fans, no summer is complete without the annual Warped Tour coming to town. Photographer Scott Spychalski made it to the Kansas City stop of Warped and brings you these photos chronicling the traveling festival:

Warped Tour: website

Related Posts