Saturday, January 29, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! The Heartbreaks INTV!

There must be something in the water in the area that surrounds Manchester, England, for that city and suburbs of it have given us great music for nearly 40 years. For the seaside town of Morecombe, they are about to be put on the map due to a little band that is about to do big things. The Heartbreaks are bringing posh looks and catchy hooks back to rock and roll. Many critics back in their country have already compared them to The Smiths and Orange Juice, but The Heartbreaks, though inspired by those legends, offer something new to the table. While they are not as melodramatic as the songs Morrissey wrote, they have a similar sound but know how to crank up the tempo and have fun. Insipired by their small town and the sea, this Britpop meets surf rock band are about to make big waves in the music world on both sides of the Atlantic. In the band's very first American interview, drummer Joseph Kondras discusses the band's hometown, surf rock, their clothes and living up to a Manchester legacy. Take a look.

How did the band come together?

Matthew, Ryan and myself ambled through our adolescence together at school, playing in various bands, growing increasingly annoyed at the fact that we seemed to be the only people we knew who dressed the same way and loved Motown. Then we stumbled upon Young Deakins, he had tattoos of swallows on his arms, penny loafers on his feet and a knowledge of Postcard Records far greater than our own. We were star crossed lovers. The rest, as they say, is...

You formed in Lancashire then moved to Manchester, why the change? Has the change in cities influenced your work?

The town were we come from is called Morecambe, it is an old seaside resort, there's a sadness and charm to it that we cherish and has influenced us more than words can say. It's a small town and there are no really decent venues for young bands to play, only Irish pubs... We gained a reputation as being rather good in these pubs around Morecambe but in the grand scheme of things, that means very little. Manchester was the nearest big city and it was there for the taking, we seized the moment.

Manchester has always been deep-rooted in a rich musical history from Joy Division, Stone Roses, Smiths, Manic Street Preachers, Oasis and so on. Do you feel an obligation to live up to the musical legacy of that city?

I don't know about living up to their legacy... Bands such as The Smiths and The Roses created timeless music that will live forever but so did The Supremes and Orange Juice, the fact The Smiths and The Roses came from Manchester does not affect our obligation to create something timeless too.

Many critics have compared your music to the music of The Smiths. How do you respond to this? Are The Smiths a big influence on you?

It's frustrating as I feel we have a lot more to offer than simply "sounding like The Smiths". They are without doubt an influence but no more so than Elvis Costello and The Attractions or Orange Juice or Blondie or Northern Soul. We are a very young band and I think we will shake this Smiths tag. We're constantly developing and listening to different music. The next thing we put out will sound nothing like The Smiths, saying that I didn't think the last one did really.

You formed in 2009 and in just a little over a year there has been a massive buzz about your band from Manchester Evening News to Uproar to NME magazine. How do you respond to such high attention?

We don't really pay too much attention to it. We just continue to write and play and are appreciative that people are taking notice. I think the attention we've receive thus far is fully deserved. For some time now the press have been giving far too much time to insincere, bland, synthetic rubbish. We feel like we are needed right now. There is a void waiting to be filled and it seems the press have picked up on the possibility that maybe we are the band to fill it.

Major labels have been snooping around you since the NME article. Anyone’s you are interested in? In this day and age of music, is it worth it for a young band such as yourselves to sign to a major?

I don't know really, I like the idea of being on an indie. It's quite a romantic notion. We put I Didn't Think It Would Hurt To Think Of You out on an indie label called Fierce Panda and they are a great label who are in it for completely the right reasons. As far as major labels are concerned I'm not too sure. I've met different people from various majors and they've all been rather nice I suppose... One or two didn't seem to know very much about music though, which was slightly distressing. We've all been on the dole or working odd jobs cash in hand for the past year, we're skint as a flint, I'll probably get evicted soon so obviously the prospect of receiving an advance from a major label is a rather exciting one. However if it meant we had to compromise anything creatively I wouldn't be interested. I'm fine with dining on powdered betroot soup from the Polski Schlep just for now.

Is there a debut album in the works? If so, when can we expect it?

It is in the works in the respect that we are continually writing songs with a view to put them on the album. We're not going to wait forever to see what happens with labels, we'll do it ourselves if we have to. It'll be out some time next year God willing...

The style of your music is indie mixed with Motown mixed with romantic rock. What are your main influences and why?

In terms of sounds I'd say all of Phil Spectors work, The Shangri La's, Northern Soul, early 60's pop like Del Shannon and Billy Fury, Postcard Records, Billy Bragg, Blondie, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Buzzcocks... The list is endless. We take in all sorts of music, all I've listened to is The Pogues for the past three weeks. Lyrically our songs tend to stem from an actual happening within my life, they're not plucked from mid air. They're from the heart... Guilt and jealousy generally make for great songs.

There are so many young bands coming from the UK now and thanks to the internet they have been gaining global attention. Acts like yourself, Chapel Club, Strange Death of Liberal England, Two Door Cinema Club and so on. Do you think that British indie is surpassing what is coming from North America?
Do you feel that this is the next British invasion?

No not really. A British invasion would mean a string of bands coming over and really making an impact. I can't see any of the mentioned bands doing that. Purely because I can't connect with any of them. That's just me though.... I find it strange that for the past year or so all the new albums I have bought and really got in to have not been from these shores; Best Coast, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Vivian Girls, The Raveonettes, they've all produced albums that have really excited us as a band where as nothing from England has done so for quite some time.

What is also to be admired aside from your sound is your style. There is a certain look to the band that is very British. It’s Mod and dapper. Is appearance important to correspond to your music?

Yes, I think it's very important. It's who we are. It's one of the things that makes us all Heartbreaks. We look like what we sound like if that makes sense? It's natural, it's not contrived like The Drums. It is Mod, it is dapper it's also Rockabilly, it's fey football hooliganism, it's Northern Soul, it's Skinhead whilst I guess it's still slightly twee. We'd all dress this way even if we weren't in The Heartbreaks. Look is extremely important to us. We did a shoot for NME a couple of weeks ago with a few other bands from the Manchester "scene". We were the only boys there who really looked the part, the rest of them looked like scruffy little herberts. All my heroes looked the part; Weller, Terry Hall, Morrissey, Edwyn Collins, Pete Doherty. They all looked like rock stars. They didn't wear kaftans and grubby pumps.

It has been said that the seaside has influenced your music. How so and why?

Like the clothes, it's another thing that binds us all together, that makes us eternally Heartbreaks. We're small town hearts. We love Morecambe; it's beautiful, it's hilarious and it's heartbreaking. There is an unbeatable sadness to old English seaside towns, it's there in our music. People say it's a dead end town, my views vary on the place depending on what mood I'm in. It's not an especially hard place to grow up, more frustrating, especially being who we are. There were few people in Morecambe with the same passions as us, we felt isolated but from that isolation came The Heartbreaks.

When can we expect The Heartbreaks in the US?

As soon as we possibly can. I like to think we'll get over the pond sometime in the next year. Who knows? As I have already stated we try not to concern ourselves too much with anything other than the songs. There's more pressing matters to come in the near future before we think about America but it would be lovely...

I ask this to every foreign act I speak with, do you think it’s a big deal for a band from overseas to make it in the US?

Of course it is. It's a huge country, to make it there would require a great deal of playing, a great deal of work.It'd be quite an achievement. It's not particularly high on my agenda, I just want this band to fulfill it's potential and really mean something to people. For people to hold us in their hearts and if the kids in America are willing to do that, well that'd do me nicely.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The Decemberists The King is Dead
Portland’s favorite book worms return with a little help from REM’s Peter Buck on a few track and have crafted one of their finest albums. The King is Dead, unlike their last record, 2009’s Hazards of Love, is not a concept record, in fact it is probably the most introspective the band has ever been. Singer Colin Malloy’s jangling voice projects through and through and the songs are just so solid, that once the record is done, you will be hitting repeat. Just a few weeks into the year and The King is Dead is already a contender for the Top 10 of the year, if this is an indication as to what the rest of 2011 will look like, we will be in for a treat.

TennisCape Dory
The fun in the sun buzz band from the husband and wife duo of Patrick Rielly and Alaina Moore released their much anticipated debut record, Cape Dory. The story of Tennis is told through the band’s music and songs, a couple the refurbished a boat and sailed around the East Coast of the US for eight months is chronicled in their awesome debut. A record that plays for under a half hour, it is short and to the point but such a fun listen. This will be a record that will be near perfect for summertime.

Wanda JacksonThe Party Ain’t Over
The Queen of Rockabilly makes a comeback of covers produced by Jack White. Recorded probably using the same technology made to create her early work, Jackson maybe 73 but rocks hard and better than some of the young ones out there today.

Hercules and Love AffairBlue Songs
The electronic offspring of LCD Soundsystem return with their much anticipated second record and Blue Songs is an instant party starter. With the banging single “My House,” and Bloc Party’s Kele lending his vocal talents to “Step Up,” this is a record that will have you moving and shaking long after it finishes.

EulogiesTear the Fences Down
The passing of a loved one is a difficult thing for anyone to deal with, yet the passing of a loved one of a close friend and seeing your mate struggle could be even harder. For LA band Eulogies, their third record on Dangerbird Records is a stunning tribute to their young friend Pablo Castelaz (the son of Dangerbird co-founder Jeff Castelaz) who passed away in 2009 from a rare form of cancer at six years old. Eulogies make light of the situation as best they can for their friend Jeff and instead of dwelling on the past and what is lost, Eulogies show off a celebration of life.

Ari ShrineGhost Town Directory
With the recent autobiography Life by Kieth Richards, Richards praises rock and roll roots in skiffle rock, I hope Keef gets a copy of Ari Shrine’s Ghost Town Directory for the fact that skiffle rock is back and with Ari, it looks like it will be here to stay. Ari Shrine is a young singer – songwriter using old methods of early rock and roll and does it so well. A very slick and pleasurable album that shows that you should keep Ari on your radar.

AntillectualStart from Scratch
The Neatherlands is not known for pure punk, but that does not mean they can’t start doing it. The Dutch band Antillectual have been making music for a decade and it is their latest release, Start from Scratch that could gain them world wide attention. Pure furious punk from start to finish, this is a must listen for fans of Lagwagon, A Wilhelm Scream and Bars of Gold.

KissesThe Heart of Nightlife
Think the soundtrack to Grand Theft Auto – Vice City with songs all sung by Bernie Sumner of New Order or Alexis Turner of Hot Chip. A boyfriend – girlfriend duo out of LA is taking the New Wave sound of the 80’s and making a great end of the night record.

Iron and WineKiss Each Other Clean
Sam Beam takes his vulnerable vocals for a much more polished and sometimes, even poppier sound. The usually morose Iron and Wine get a bit happy on Kiss Each Other Clean and the result is something worth listening to a bit more. It is certainly an album that will grow on you more with each listen.

Talib KweliGutter Rainbows
One of Brooklyn’s finest returns with an album that is a lyrical mosaic of the people and culture around him. There is not too surprising here from Talib on Gutter Rainbows, more socially conscience and heartfelt lyrics and topics ripped right out of the headlines. Take a keen listen to his guests Jean Grey and Sean Price as they shine on the songs they are featured on.

Amos LeeMission Bell
The suave singer songwriter returns with another record of pure hits from the heart. Nothing too new here for fans of Amos Lee, still doing what he does best, just giving pure passion to what he does.

Social DistortionHard Times and Nursery Rhymes
After months of being pushed back and back, legendary SoCal punkers Social Distortion return with their latest and follow up to 2006’s epic Sex, Love and Rock and Roll. Anyone that has loved and followed Mike Ness and the boys through the years will find this is another addition to the collection, not too surprising or stand out from the new record, but always nice to hear something new from one of rock’s greatest bands.

Tapes N Tapes Outside
The Minneapolis indie darlings return with their third record and low and behold, it sounds like a Tapes N Tapes record. Much like Social D, nothing too shocking or surprising from this release, however, the opening track “Badaboom,” is certainly worth a listen, could be their finest song since “The Insister.”

White LiesRitual
The British electronic – rock heavy hitters return with a record that sounds exactly the same as their debut. If you heard White Lies 2009 debut, To Lose My Life, well you pretty much heard Ritual. Rather disappointing from a band that was poised to be rather promising.

Cold War Kids – Mine is Yours
Remember when Dashboard Confessional went from The Swiss Army Romance to A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar? It was the same name of the band but everything you liked about Chris Carrabba and his work was totally different. Well, that is how you can say Cold War Kids latest is. Everything you have loved about this band is taken and thrown out the window and created a generic sounding indie record that tries it hardest to be a pop-rock record. If you have been a long time fan of the band, this is a disappointment, if you never heard of them before and maybe heard a song or two you will like it, but this is not how you should get into this band.

Quick News

Kanye West is set to release another album this summer, so he said on Twitter this weekend. The unknown and untitled album will be his second release this year, just after his Watch The Throne collaboration with Jay-Z and his third album in less than 12 months.

Big Audio Dynamite, the band formed by former Clash members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon are reuniting! The band are playing the Coachella festival this summer and are planning a tour of the UK this summer.

Speaking of reunions, beloved Britpop icons Suede have reunited also and will be rereleasing their first five albums. Singer Brett Anderson tells XFM in UK about the idea of new material, he says "There's a possibility we could do some writing together but no-one ever knows about it. Nothing would see the light of day unless I was really, really excited about it."

Horror's front man Faris Badwin has started a new band called Cat's Eyes. Faris has teamed classically trained musician Rachel Zeffira and the band made their live debut recently at The Vatican, of all places

Rival Schools will be releasing their first album in a decade in March, Pedals. Take a look at the cover below.

Iron and Wine on Conan

Iron and Wine brought his beard and latest to Conan! Take a look!


Download the new track "Haile Selassie" from the forthcoming The People's Key!

Track Listings!

All has been quiet in the Manchester Orchestra camp for a bit, but the band finally announced that their third record, Simple Math will be out in May. Take a look at the track listing below:
‘God Is In The Wicked’
‘Simple Math’
‘Father's Sins’
‘Pale Black Eye’
‘Red Rancid’
‘April Fool’
‘Leave It Alone’
‘Last Remark’
‘Leaky Breaks’

They may have scrapped one album worth of material, but The Strokes have unleashed the track listing to their much anticipated, Angels. Take a look, Angels arrives March 21 in the UK and the following day in the US.
'Machu Picchu'
'Under Cover of Darkness'
'Two Kinds of Happiness'
'You’re So Right'
'Taken For A Fool'
'Call Me Back'
'Life Is Simple In The Moonlight'

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Late last summer a husband and wife duo released a few songs via their Myspace page under the name Tennis. Through word of mouth and blog posts, this band named after the popular sport, began to become one of the most talked about unsigned bands in the music industry. No one had ever seen them play, they had no album or EP but just some really catchy fun in the sun lo-fi surf rock songs. Through some investigating, information slowly began to leak out about the duo and their story is one for the ages. This Denver duo of Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore bought a sailboat, refurbished it and took an eight month voyage with some friends down the Atlantic coastline. Inspired by the world and adventure around them, they started crafting songs to document their journey and the result is something pretty extraordinary - simple, yet very effective and fun music. After all the hype and dust settled the band embarked into the studio to refine their songs and just released a great debut, Cape Dory, last week. In one of their first interviews since the albums release, get to know Patrick and Alaina as we discuss the band's creation, their journey and working together.

What prompted you to name the band after the sport?

Alaina: Our band name isn't all that meaningful to us. It's mostly based on a long-standing joke of ours, I used to tease Patrick for playing tennis competitively growing up. I grew up in a neighborhood where you wouldn't dream of picking up a tennis racket.

You have been playing music for less than a year and already there is a major buzz about you. How do you respond to the acclaim?

Alaina: We are constantly surprised. We had no expectations for Tennis. We both had good full-time jobs and graduate school aspirations. Tennis feels like this crazy side-step from our original life plans (yes, we have life plans.) and we feel honored to have the opportunity to pursue it.

Was it a pure organic thing how you and Patrick got to playing? What made you pick up instruments one day and try it out?

Alaina: We both played our respective instruments (keys/guitar) growing up but not seriously. I was the sing in church kind of girl. After sailing, we had trouble reconnecting to the lives we had left behind, music presented itself in a new way- as an escape, a way of processing our experiences while sailing in a way that communicated its significance.

The style and sound of the band seems to be lo-fi, fun in the sun – surf rock. There are a number of bands like Best Coast, Wavves, Surfer Blood, The Drums, Soft Pack, Male Bonding and dozens of others that are emerging making the same style of music. Do you feel this is the next wave, so to speak in genres? How does Tennis stand out apart from the other acts?

Alaina: I don't know about lo-fi surf rock ever being constituted so seriously as a genre, but I think it is an important contribution, and even a sort of playful reprieve, to the independent music scene. We only ever wanted to make music that was lighthearted, and made you wish you were outside, which was the sort of music that we listened to while we sailed. I think if music like ours can be both lighthearted and dreamy without being insubstantial then it will have more of a chance at longevity.

Your inspiration behind your music and the band is an inspiration to your readers. Eight months at sea inspired your music. Did you know anything about sailing before venturing out on the high seas?

Alaina: Not at all, just like we know nothing about being in a band or writing music. Patrick doesn't believe in waiting for something you want. We bought our boat as soon as we were able and learned through experience. Granted, we did ample research beforehand. We certainly don't endorse striking out onto the ocean with no knowledge whatsoever. We had a good balance between education, preparedness and a sense of adventure. We are trying to apply the same principles to playing music. Mostly, we want to live whatever life is most fulfilling, and that seems to include adventuring.

What promoted you to spend all that time out at sea? How were financially able to do it?

Alaina: Patrick had fantasized about sailing for most of his life. He started saving when he was in high school specifically for this purpose. Sailing somehow represented freedom. He convinced me that it would be a worthwhile endeavor and he was right. We made a lot of sacrifices just like anyone would. But once you have your boat, you can live rather inexpensively and it was easy to sustain ourselves after making that big initial purchase. There were sacrifices made to achieve this endeavor, most of our time on land saving up was without cable, internet, cell phones, etc. While we were actually sailing, we often went without electricity.

Did you record while sailing or after?

Alaina:We didn't start recording until months after the sailing trip had ended. But we knew exactly what kind of music we wanted to make, we had dreamed it all up while sailing.

Where did you go on the boat that caused you to sing about your experience? What was your favorite place?

Alaina: My favorite place was South Carolina. We were stormed in for days on this beautiful river that is part of the Intra-coastal waterway. I wanted to write about it instantly. The river was lined with towering cypress trees and even though it was summer, the cold front left behind a thick layer of fog that made it impossible to navigate. That is what I remember when I think of South Carolina.

Was it just you and your husband on the sailing trip, or were you with others and the collective experience led to the music?

Alaina: It was almost always the two of us. My sister sailed with us on the very last leg of our trip, but she was mostly there to vary the company. We had a few other visitors, including Patrick's parents who helped us on our Bahamas crossing.

Will you go back out at sea for further excursions? If so, where to next?

Patrick: We are in the middle of planning a quick trip to the Chesapeake bay where our boat is docked. She needs a lot of work so I am guessing we won't be doing that much sailing. Our next big trip is planned for next years sailing season; we're hoping to explore the Bahamas more and write songs about our past situations on land. And just a couple years down the road, we are going to cross an ocean; I'm sure this will result in some interesting music.

11) When working on your full length, how was it being recording? Your 7” had such a great DIY raw sound to it.

Patrick: Originally, we wrote a batch of songs that for us represent the story of our trip and the key places that we experienced. In a way, it is a documentary of our time at sea. Some of the songs appeared on a few 7"s out of context from the story. We want to make sure this album does a good job of presenting the story but, yes, we are trying to not have it sound entirely like a bedroom recording which it originally was.

Being in a band with your wife, is it a difficult thing? Being around each other all the time and now working and touring together, does it take a toll on the relationship?

Patrick: Far from it. We talk about this all the time, we rarely ever go a day without seeing each other. For some people opposites attract, for us, it's our similarities that have held us together for long periods of time. There were months on the boat where we literally hung out with each other exclusively without wishing for someone else's company. I'm basically married to a beautiful female version of myself...

What happens after its release?

Patrick: We have plans to tour until May which means we'll probably break up soon. (I think I'm kidding)

Today The Green Grass - The Jayhawks Reunite

Today the Green Grass.
The Jayhawks—The Greatest Band You’ve Never Heard—Reunite
By Bill Reese
The reunion tour is one of the staples of late-career rock and roll. Everyone’s done it, some have done it multiple times. Hardcore fans patiently, desperately await the day when Morrissey and Marr bury the hatchet for a Smith’s reunion—or when Page and Plant decide that Jason Bonham is good enough to take on tour with Led Zep—or when the corpse of Bradley Nowell rises from the dead, smites the legions of Sublime tribute acts, smokes a bowl, and re-takes the mic for the Long Beach ska legends.

But for The Jayhawks, the alt-country pioneers from the Land of Lakes, there was no headlining reunion slot at Coachella, no paparazzi-laden press conference, barely even a cough in the music press. The Jayhawks had been on indefinite hiatus since 2005 after nearly two decades of flying under the radars of the popular music zeitgeist. They slowly evolved from country revivalists to alternative-country stalwarts, to folk-pop futurists. Several Jayhawks sang lead vocals, and whenever one of them left the group, another stepped up to fill in the gap. With each LP released, The Jayhawks earned respect from the local scene, the critical press and college radio, but by the time they went their separate ways, most music fans only knew of the Jayhawks as the mascot from Kansas University.

The band formed in Minneapolis in the mid 1980s as the brain trust of acoustic guitarist Mark Olson and electric guitarist Gary Louris. The group’s early work was dominated by the country/folk influences of Olson, who was the majority songwriter of the group’s eponymous debut. Olson also took lead on 1989’s Blue Earth after Louris had left the band following a bad car crash. After overdubbing some vocals, he rejoined the group. Louris’s soulful tenor and Olsen’s ragged, twangy drawl complimented each other perfectly. Like Lennon and McCartney before them, the union of these voices allowed a pop sensibility to to creep into the Jayhawks sound, one that would eventually engulf the group.

Blue Earth managed to attract major label attention in the most unconventional of ways. It was playing in the background of a conference call between reps from Blue Earth’s label, Minneapolis indie Twin Tone, and reps from Def American, the label Rick Rubin formed after leaving Def Jam. The music caught the attention of the folks from Def American, and after an in-person listen, the group was signed to their first major label. Hollywood Town Hall was released on the newly re-named American Recordings in 1992. With Olson and Louris collaborating on just about every track, the group began to refine the sound they had been toying with for half a decade. The lead track “Waiting for the Sun” was the band’s first successful single, with Louris’ lead vocal riding the choppy clicks of his electric guitar.

They followed up Town Hall with 1995’s Tomorrow the Green Grass, the Jayhawks’ signature record. Opening with Olson’s masterpiece “Blue,” which cracked the Top 40 in Canada, the record is dominated by genius offerings from Olson, especially the shit-kickin’ country-rocker “Miss Williams Guitar” (named after Olson’s then-girlfriend Victoria Wilson), the melancholy “Ann Jane,” and “Blue’s” downbeat, somber counterpart, “Over My Shoulder.” Louris was no ghost on Green Grass, adding gorgeous harmonies to Olson’s songs, as well as lush compositions like “I’d Run Away” and “Nothing Left to Borrow.” Despite some success north of the border, the reaction stateside was lukewarm at best. The band had overspent on the recording of Green Grass and the CD receipts could not recoup the cost.

In the aftermath of Green Grass, Mark Olson left The Jayhawks to spend more time with Victoria Williams, who he would later marry (then divorce). Louris decided to keep the band intact, recruiting guitarist Kraig Johnson to fill in on guitar. Louris also recruited Tim O’Reagan on drums and voice. Louris became the group’s primary songwriting force, and the Olson-less songwriting sessions produced 1997’s Sound of Lies, a more straightforward rock record with pinches of psychedelia. Louris’ songwriting style had always had a flair for the dramatic, with slow-building verses and grand, sweeping choruses. Karen Grotberg, who’d joined the group for Green Grass is all over the record as well, adding harmony and sorrowful keys to the opener “The Man Who Loved Life,” the hope-rising “Trouble,” and Louris’ ironic rocker “Big Star.” O’Reagan and Grotberg’s harmonies make the record as gorgeous as it is, but the two of them did not compliment Louris’ pipes as much as the departed Olson.

With 2000’s Smile, Louris pushed the band’s pop sensibilities further than they had ever been before. He and producer Bob Ezrin used drum machines and some synths to add to the group’s sound. While this enraged some of the group’s hardcore fans, the resulting disc is Louris’ personal masterpiece. From the symphonic, swirling title track; the mandolin-strumming, foot-tapper “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me;” and the synth-pop anthem “Queen of the World;” to the bittersweet ballads “Mr. Wilson” and “Broken Harpoon;” Louris’ crafted a record that combined all of his musical influences on one disc. Despite its genius, the reviews were generally mixed. The New York Times review was titled “What If You Made a Masterpiece and No One Cared?”

The band’s final album, 2002’s Rainy Day Music, was a low-key, acoustic, return to the band’s roots. The stark arrangements, many with only Louris singing, highlighted the absence of Mark Olson, who had now appeared on only half of the band’s major recordings. In 2005, the group went on an indefinite hiatus.

In the end, Louris became as dominant a force in the late-era Jayhawks as Olson was in the early eras. By the time I discovered the band in the summer of 2000, I assumed that The Jayhawks were a purely Gary Louris project. It is exceedingly rare to see a group with two frontmen whose leadership passes gradually from one to the other over the life of the group, but that’s how The Jayhawks did it. Along the way, they released four records that were as phenomenal as they were unknown. Their style was unique, yet I hear pieces of it everywhere from Conor Oberst’s country opus I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning to The Minus 5’s latest, Killingsworth, to the new country-esque offering by The Decemberists.

Had The Jayhawks come around in the age of Napster or popular music blogs, they would never have flown under the radar for as long as they did. Everybody is always waiting to jump onto the next thing, and alt-country never had a chance in a pre-web world to build itself into a powerful underground movement. For reasons beyond their control, The Jayhawks were the most underrated band of the 1990s, though no one at either of this week’s sold out NYC shows will ever admit such a gross injustice.

Bill Reese is a contributing writer for Officially A Yuppie. He is also an editor at Playbill and has written the pieces "From the Muddy Banks of the Gowanus" and "The Gospel According to Craig Finn."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Live Review - Tokyo Police Club & Two Door Cinema Club @ Terminal 5

In a night that highlighted indie rock and all of its glory, the line up of Canada's Tokyo Police Club, Ireland's Two Door Cinema Club and Missouri's Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin arrived in New York to a sold out Terminal 5. The tour, which started earlier this month, has been showcasing these three bands to sold out crowds around North America, but it seems as if New York, thus far, has been the audience to truly embrace the ticket.

Starting the night off was Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, a band we just recently interviewed, came out swinging and punching and showing no mercy and was the perfect band to start the night. The bands sound of garage meets post-punk had fans getting excited and those that never heard the band before, began to take interest. As people were still waiting to get in, as they lined in the freezing cold due to Terminal 5's White House style security taking forever to let people through the door, the sounds of Boris Yeltsin was a nice welcoming to the massive club. As the band played for only a half hour, it was time well spent, as they showed what they were made of and turned on new fans.

After a 20 minute wait, the band that I predicted back in October - that when they return would be playing bigger venues after CMJ, already obliged to my prediction. Two Door Cinema Club arrived on stage and looked a bit nervous, as this may have been the biggest crowd in North America they have ever played to, but after three songs in, the band warmed up to the crowd and club's size and looked and played as if they were the house band. This show could have easy just had them and it would have been fine. Two Door Cinema Club are one of the best acts on the road and one of the best acts you may ever see. A band that knows how to have fun and make great music at the same time. As their electronic - dance rock struck through the audience, the sea of humanity on the floor of Terminal 5 looked like tidal wave as they were going nuts for these Irish lads. "New York, we fucking love you! This is the best city in the world! We were at Webster Hall in October and that was a great show, this is a better show!" Singer Alex Trimble shouted to the crowd as the response to the band was nothing but positive. The band stormed through their breakthrough release, Tourist History and included a few new songs never been played before. Two Door Cinema Club is a band that is going to rise and rise through the venue ranks, with their energy and showmanship and not to mention, great songs, it will be Terminal 5 they will own if not a bigger venue next time.

With Two Door Cinema Club's electric hour long set, I would pity and feel bad for any band or act that has to go on after them. Though the show was a co-headlining venture of the two Club bands, it was Tokyo Police Club that would go on last and unfortunately could not retain the energy left behind of Two Door Cinema Club. With a flashy light show and catchy songs, it was not enough to fully engage the crowd as the prior bands did. Die hard fans of Tokyo Police Club seemed to be really into the band's set and while their hands would wave in the air, some would stand and watch. The highlight of the band's set would come when all of the bands on the bill would arrive on stage with a cake and have the crowd sing "Happy Birthday" to bassist and singer Dave Monks. It was a delightful gesture that he seemed to love. Tokyo Police Club would end at midnight after an hour and 20 minute long set, though they were solid in performance, it was the boys from Ireland that stole the show.

Wanda Jackson w/ Jack White On Letterman

The legendary Wanda Jackson hit the Ed Sullivan Theater this week with her new producer, Jack White (yep, THAT Jack White). Take a look!

Quick News

Brian Fallon of the Gaslight Anthem is starting a side project while his main band gets some rest. The charismatic singer, along with his friend Ian Perkins are The Horrible Crowes. The band will display a darker side than what Gaslight fans are accustomed to, with more influence from Tom Waits and The National rather than The Clash or Social Distortion. The duo are working on a record now and may tour. Meanwhile, Gaslight are set to record their follow-up to last years American Slang in the fall for a 2012 release.

Pearl Jam have spoken to Rolling Stone about their 20th anniversary plans. The band, which are set to re-release Vs and Vitology, as well as a Cameron Crowe documentary about the band, are also going to be staging their own festival in the summer. Bassist Jeff Ahmet told the magazine that the festival will take place over a weekend and will feature the band headline both nights, with friends as the undercard. He says "We’ve played enough festivals that we know what makes them exciting." Ahmet then went on to discuss the sets "For me, personally, it starts to become a little bit of a nostalgia thing. I remember we once did Ten start to finish and it didn't work very well because it was kind of a little bit too down...I think we did a good enough job of mixing up the sets every night that we give people a taste of every record."No word as to when and where the festival will take place.

Crystal Castles main woman, Alice Glass had to be hospitalized in Tokyo this week. While doing a show in the city, she broke her ankle. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen the band, as Glass gets into the crowd and is a one woman wrecking ball. Despite the injury, Glass made it to Australia to play at Big Day Out Festival.

The directors behind Focus Creeps have tweeted a couple of photos of Arctic Monkeys working in the studio in LA. The band, who are recording their fourth album, may have hired Focus Creeps to shoot a video or documentary. Arctic Monkeys hope to have the new album out by summer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Live Review - The Vaccines @ Bowery Ballroom

No album, no EP’s, no singles, all buzz and they managed to sell out Bowery Ballroom on their US debut. Not only that, they have been together for less than a year, London’s biggest buzz band, The Vaccines arrived in the US with the fan fair of a platinum selling artist. The much hyped and praised British band took the stage for the first time in New York City and wowed the audience in a short but extremely sweet set and New York embraced the new band by begging for more.

In the stage that kick started the careers of Kings of Leon, The Cribs, Glasvegas, The Libertines and The Strokes, The Vaccines are the next big band to add to the list of the now infamous Bowery Ballroom showcase of talent that have graced that stage to begin their dreams. Arriving on stage at 10:30, singer Justin Young grabbed the mic and said “New York, wow! This is great, we are very happy to be here! This song is called Ra Ra Ra!” the band immediately jolted into the 1:23 length song “Wrecking Ball (Ra, Ra, Ra)” with the crowd chanting back and screaming the chorus as if it was an English Premiere Football match. The bands sound is cross between melodies of The Smiths meets the punching delivery of Gang of Four, no wonder they are all the rage back home, however, New York has been the biggest and most successful crowd they have ever played to. Those that were in attendance were in shock and awe and realized that this band not only lived up to hype, they exceeded it. England is about to give the world a new great garage rock band with The Vaccines. The tour de force set that included the songs “Post Break Up Sex,” “If You Wanna” and “Blow it Up,” had the crowd going nuts and the band fed off the energy. As they retreated to the wings for a very brief break before arriving back for an encore, Young said “thanks again for this, this is a song from The Standells but we really love the Minor Threat version, so here is our take!,” then kicking into “Good Guys Don’t Wear White,” with fans of Minor Threat smiling from ear to ear. By 11:10 the band was done for the night, it was 40 minutes to last a lifetime. As the house lights rose to signify the end of the night, the crowd was still beginning for more, in a situation most bands would beg to be in, The Vaccines are playing the situation very cool and most importantly, very good.

The Dismemberment Plan REUNITE on Fallon!

The Dismemberment Plan kicked off their reunion tour on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Playing the tracks "The City" and "What Do You Want Me To Say?" Take a look! Glad to have them back!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti House on Fallon

The popular and rather strange Ariel Pink's Graffiti House made their TV debut last night on Fallon, take a look!

Funeral For A Friend Cover & Track Listing

Funeral For a Friend are set to release their first album in three years. The follow up to 2008's Memory and Humanity will be out in March, the album Welcome Home Armageddon is the band's fifth album. Take a look at the cover (above) and the track listing (below):
'This Side Of Brightness'
'Old Hymns'
'Front Row Seats To The End Of The World'
'Spinning Over The Land'
'Man Alive'
'Owls (Are Watching)'
'Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don't'
'Broken Foundation'
'Welcome Home Armageddon'

Live Review - Fitz & The Tantrums @ Bowery Ballroom

Remember that scene in the 1997 Vince Vaughn comedy Swingers, were he, Jon Faverou and their group of friends go to the legendary Brown Derby club in LA and as soon as they walk in, the place is jumping to the music of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy? That is exactly what Bowery Ballroom looked like last night as LA’s newest sensations (and one of the 15 acts I tipped to break in 2011), Fitz and the Tantrums took the stage at the sold out venue. Led by the charismatic Michael Fitzpatrick aka Fitz and the beautiful and seductive Noelle Scaggs, Fitz and the Tantrums are on the road supporting their 2010 sophomore release, Pickin’ Up the Pieces. On a rather cold night, the hot LA band cranked up the heat for over an hour and had the place going upside down. The band’s soul meets swing sound is nothing short of extraordinary, they know how to have fun and they know how to work a room. Fitz himself has the swagger of Mick Jagger, while Noelle Scaggs, who was suffering with some vocal issues – yet you would never know, is just as powerful as Sharon Jones or Darlene Love. Meanwhile, The Tantrums are one hell of a band just utilizing bass, drums, piano and horns – no guitar, no trumpet, and just pure raw power.

Performing songs from their two records and even adding a few brand new songs including the instant classic, “6 AM,” Fitz and the Tantrums are showing why they are becoming one of the most talked about bands on the road right now. Even before taking the stage, former MTV VJ and local radio personality and all around music encyclopedia Matt Pinfield took the stage to announce the band, even he was gushing as to how brilliant they are on stage. It is full on good clean fun and they have perfected it. If this band does not headline larger venues in the coming months and years, there is something seriously wrong with the music industry. Check them out while they are on the road and you will understand why I tipped them to be one of this years “15 Artists to Watch” and you will thank me later.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Social Distortion on Conan

After making their TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live last month, the legendary SoCal punks, Social Distortion took to Conan on the day of their latest record, Hard Times and Nursery Ryhmes arrived.

Quick News

The Strokes have been speaking a lot lately about their latest record, Angels, which arrives on March 22. The band, spoke with Rolling Stone and gave some insight to the title and why they had to scrap an albums worth of material and rest on 10 brand new songs. Guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., tells the magazine that the title "It's what the record sounds like. It comes from five different people." This is the band's first album of new material since 2006's First Impression of Earth.

Soundgarden are set to release their first live record on March 22. The album, Live on I5 captures the band in their prime from a 1997 tour.

Blur are apparently "in touch," about getting back together this year. Speaking to NME, drummer Dave Rowentree says "But we've got nothing concrete and nothing formalised about doing anything." Stay tuned here as more info rolls in. Blur reunited last year.

The Icelandic princess Bjork has given some details about a new album. She tells the Icelandic magazine, Fréttablaðið that she is "halfway through" her follow up to 2007's Volta. The singer went on to say that she hopes to have it out before the end of the year.

After much waiting and anticipation, Lupe Fiasco has unleashed the cover of his forthcoming LASERS record. Take a look at the cover below:

Two Door Cinema Club on Fallon!

Two Door Cinema Club hit up Fallon last night and did what they do best, impress the hell out of everyone in front of them.


It's a new year and this is how we are banging the soundtrack to start 2011!

- Glasvegas - "The World is Yours"
- Beady Eye - "Bring the Light"
- The Wombats - "Jump into the Fog"
- The Housemartins - "Happy Hour"
- Bryan Ferry - "Alphaville"
- Kanye West - "Monster"
- New Order - "Ceremony"
- Jezebels - "Dark Storm"
- Oasis "Round Our Way"
- Mastodon - "I Am Ahab"
- Thom Yorke - "Cymbal Rush"
- Black Keys - "Brooklyn Bound"
- Portugal The Man - "Guns and Dogs"
- As Tall As Lions - "Acrobat"
- The Vaccines - "Blow it Up"
- Paul Weller - "7 + 1 (The Strikers Song)"
- Heartbreaks - "Liar, My Dear"
- Frankie and the Heartstrings - "Fragile"
- Glasser - "Apply"
- Paloma Faith - "Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful"
- Clare Maguire - "Ain't Nobody"
- The Buzzcocks - "Orgasm Addict"
- Blur - "Tender"
- Arcade Fire - "Sprawl II"
- Keith Richards - "Take it So Hard"

Sunday, January 16, 2011


When it comes to icons of the indie world, none get bigger and more credit than The Smiths. From their time together from 1982-1987, the band morphed the decade with their swagger, style and sound and still today, decades later, their musicstill continues to do the same. Though, through famous feuds and fights, the band has not played together since their famous split and fans have waited for them to reunite, though it looks as if it may never happen. However, since the fall of The Smiths, the members of the band have had very successful solo careers; as singer Morrissey has had a string of hits as a solo artist, guitarist Johnny Marr has released many solo projects as well as playing with bands such as Oasis, Modest Mouse and The Cribs, drummer Mike Joyce has played with many bands and artists such as Morrissey himself, Sinead O'Conner, Suede, Public Image LTD and Buzzcocks. Yet, bassist Andy Rourke has also played in various bands and projects such as Sinead O'Conner, Morrissey, The Pretenders, Badly Drawn Boy, these days he can be heard DJing on, various nightclubs, doing remixes for artists and enjoying his life to the max.

In an exclusive interview with Officially A Yuppie, Mr. Rourke opens up about his time in Manchester's iconic band, the 80's music scene, music today and his current endeavors. Take a look at our interview with the iconic Andy Rourke...

What was the Manchester music scene like when you were coming of age?

It was virtually non-existent! Apart from Sad Cafe & 10 cc, Thin Lizzy... luckily I liked all of these bands, I was learning guitar and bass, so I took all the good things I liked from these musicians, that is what makes music go round and around. Everybody takes their influences from their piers. It is perpetual.

Did you ever imagine you would have such an impact to the city you grew up in? Ever imagine that your legacy would be as big as it is?

It was strange; I never had an interest in school, because from an early age I knew the only thing I wanted to do was to play music! So I didn't feel so bad not going into school when I was supposed to be there, why do I need Latin, geography, physical education, etc.. and to get beaten on a daily basis ? When I went into school they beat me for not being there, my class mates would congratulate me for being the most beaten boy in the school without crying....I quit age 15 to concentrate on my music, Johnny Marr was not far behind me! We continued to work on our music... eventually The Smiths arrived, we knew we had something special... the rest is history

While in The Smiths, each of you were instantly put at the center of attention for your individual playing styles and formula. Was it hard fighting the egos in the room?

Luckily there was no fighting in the room, just positivity, we were very united and focused and exited about the sound we were creating, from it's creation to the performance, always solidarity.

How do you feel about the bands that are coming out of Manchester today? Have you heard of Heartbreaks, Everything Everything, The Whip?

I like all the bands above, I have been out of town for a couple of years you have to remember, I really liked The Whip, I hope they do well....It's really hard for me to keep up with local MCR bands when I'm not there but they can send me stuff to my radio show...east village if I like it me I will play it!! there is a band from UK called Riff Raff that I am doing a remix for right now, check them out..

You played in a slew of bands post The Smiths. From The Pretenders to Sinead O’Conner, Killing Joke, Badly Drawn Boy to even some of Morrissey’s solo material. Who was the most impressive to play with?

It's an impossible question... it has been a pleasure to play with all these artists, Pretenders was a real highlight, but also Damon AKA Badly Drawn Boy, Sinead..... Ian Brown ... all of these people I learn from and love to work with xxxx

Playing with these other acts, did you have to change your style of playing since it is someone else’s music?

Thankfully NO! They employed me to make my bass sound! Why else?

Is there anybody you would love to play with?

Sadly a lot are dead!! But there are a couple on my wish list.....but I can't tell!

Johnny has been playing with The Cribs and Modest Mouse, what do you think about his collaborations? Would you ever do something of that kind?

I think It's great what Johnny is doing, I saw him playing with The Cribs in NYC in the last 3 months, being a musician, if you find something you like you grab it!!!

You seem to be and have always been the closest with Johnny. Would you two ever do another musical project together?

I can say 100% me and Johnny don't have a problem working together, when it will happen it will happen.

Shifting gears for a second, you left England and moved to New York in 2009. Has the city influenced you? What do you think of New York’s music scene?

You can take whatever you want from any city. I've seen good bands ...bad bands!

You DJ now in New York at clubs and for online Radio station How much fun are you having playing your favorite music?

hmmmmm? on a scale from 1 to 10?.....10!!!!!

Remixing has always been a big thing in the DJ world, would you ever remix a band’s track and make it your own. Anyone band or song you would love to remix?

Doing a few remixes right now, and got a few under my belt. Did Tokyo Police Club remix with my music partner Ole Koretsky under the name of JETLAG doing one now for a great London band called Rif Raff .

Playing clubs and gigging around the world, what is it like to be doing it by yourself? How are the crowds for the DJ gigs similar/different your rock rooted gigs?

It's strange, I go all over the world, but I always meet nice people! I can't ask more than that from strangers!

From 2006-2008 you organized “Manchester Vs Cancer” concerts. Is it important to raise awareness and hold events like this? Make you feel like Bono at all?

I am really proud of what I have done for cancer awareness, but do I feel like Bono? No.

Be sure to catch Andy in action on every Monday from 2-4!

Fitz & the Tantrums on Kimmel!

Fitz and the Tantrums hit up Jimmy Kimmel Live this week and do what the do best, steal the show from everyone around them. Take a look!

Quick News

Perry Farrell is speaking to Rolling Stone about the latest Jane's Addiction record arriving this summer with David Sitek of TV on the Radio on Bass. Farrell says that the latest record is tentivley titled, The Great Escape Artist and says "It's a strange mixture of that post-punk Goth darkness that Jane's had with what's going on today with groups like Muse and Radiohead. As much as I want to appease fans and make old Jane's fans love me, I just can't help myself from moving forward."

In the world of things that make perfect sense, the 2007 hit film, Once is coming to Broadway. The film, which made Swell Season Oscar Winners and international superstars is set to hit the Great White Way this fall.

La Roux's Elly Jackson is giving some insight into the band's sophomore debut. She tells NME that she is working with an "Established" indie band. Though no more details emerged as to who the band are.

Surfer Blood have muscial ambitions for the new year. The band are reported to be ditching their lo-fi sound for their follow-up to last years fantastic, Astro Coast. Surfer Blood member JP Pitts also tells NME that "We never intended to be lo-fi anyway," Pitts explained. "Our songs are all quite big songs, it's just that they were recorded on shitty equipment, in my apartment. They were lo-fi by accident. The main difference next time around will be that I won't be recording the entire thing in my apartment." The album is due out later this year.

Speaking of changing sounds, The Big Pink are said to be going in more of a hip-hop direction for their second album.

Live Review - The Twees @ Studio @ Webster Hall

The Twees EP Release Party at Studio at Webster Hall 1/12/11
By: Leah Marchesano*

Getting into the city last night was a miracle to say the least. I woke up to a foot of snow mad the snowy trek into Manhattan. Why did I go through all that trouble? The Twees were having their EP release show at The Studio at Webster Hall. Needless to say, I was going to the show no matter what. The lineup of bands was very eclectic. First up, Jeff Jacobs, acoustic driven pop music. I feel like he wasn't the best opener for the night. He was very mellow, quiet. I found myself more looking at my watch rather then watching him play. Next up, Eytan and the Embassy. They were better, more upbeat, more energy, probably the only band I've ever seen to play The Studio who had a sax player in the band. If I was a couple years younger I would have enjoyed them more, I didn't really connect with their music. It just went in one ear and out the other, fun for the moment but that's it. Poofy and The Busboys were next and with a name like that I didn't know what to expect. Their myspace page labels them as 'Alternative/Hip-Hop' and I guess that is the best way to explain them. They did have the crowd going and even though I wasn't into their music I think they were something entertaining to watch. The next band to take the stage was Jangula. I can't even begin to describe how much I loved them. They were incredible. Their songs were super catchy and they got you moving. I didn't hear their music until that night and I was really blown away, I would definitely see them again. If it seemed like I was rushing through those first bands, it's because I was. Now for the main event, The Twees. If you never seen The Twees play before, you are seriously missing out. From the first song to the last song, they have you dancing. Their songs are as catchy as ever. One of those bands where you wished you knew all of the lyrics to each and every single song. If you didn't, it would make no difference. You instantly fall in love with them, it doesn't matter if you've seen them once or one hundred times, you hear them and you like what you hear. They are one of the most energetic live bands you can see. At one point they had the stage filled with kids from the audience, including me, which say's a lot because I don't dance on stage for just anybody. As I said, it was The Twees' EP release show. Their EP, 'These Girls', is a must hear. A 5 song disc of pure delight, each song more fun then the last. I listened to it on the way home and immediately wished to be transported back to The Studio to see them again. Yes, they left me wanting more. Waking up this morning was very bittersweet. How am I supposed to get through my day normally when all I want to do is go to another Twees show? For now 'These Girls' will suffice, but I am counting down the days until I can see The Twees blow me away yet again.

*Leah Marchesano is a contributing writer to Officially A Yuppie. She also manages New York City rockers, The Royal Chains.


Glasvegas have unleashed the Trailer, latest single and Track Listing for their forthcoming sophomore disc, Euphoric /// Heartbreak\\\, which is due April 4. Take a look!

The World Is Yours by glasvegas

'Pain Pain, Never Again'
'The World Is Yours'
'Shine Like Stars'
'Whatever Hurts You Through The Night'
'Stronger Than Dirt (Homosexuality pt.2)'
'Dream Dream Dreaming'
'I Feel Wrong (Homosexuality pt.1)'
'Euphoria, Take My Hand'
'Lots Sometimes'

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Peter Bjorn & John Cover & Tracklisting

Peter Bjorn and John are set to release their latest record in March. The album, Gimme Some is said to be a "pop" record, judging by the album's cover, it looks like it will be a ton of fun. Take a look!

01 Tomorrow Has to Wait
02 Dig a Little Deeper
03 Second Chance
04 Eyes
05 Breaker Breaker
06 May Seem Macabre
07 (Don't Let Them) Cool Off
08 Black Book
09 Down Like Me
10 Lies
11 I Know You Don't Love Me


Does It Offend You, Yeah?! are FINALLY releasing their much anticipated second album, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You on March 4. Take a look at the track listing below,

'We Are The Dead'
'John Hurt'
'Pull Out My Insides'
'The Monkeys Are Coming'
'Wrong Time Wrong Planet'
'The Knife'
'Broken Arms'

Exactly one month after Does It Offend You unleash their latest, The Kills will release their latest as well. The album, Blood Pressures will arrive in April and here is the track listing...

1. Future Starts Slow
2. Satellite
3. Heart Is A Beating Drum
4. Nail In My Coffin
5. Wild Charms
6. DNA
7. Baby Says
8. Last Goodbye
9. Damned If She Do
10. You Don't Own The Road
11. Pots and Pans

The Black Keys on Letterman!

The blues and garage greatness of The Black Keys came to Ed Sullivan Theater this week to perform, "Tighten Up," take a look!

Quick News

Glasvegas have announced the title of their forthcoming sophomore disc, the album EUPHORIC ///HEARTBREAK \\\ was recorded in LA and UK with producer Flood. It is set to be released this spring.

Nine Inch Nails main man Trent Reznor is up for a Golden Globe (AND HOPEFULLY WILL GET AN OSCAR NOM!) for his work to The Social Network score. Now, Social Network director and NIN video director, David Fincher has tapped Reznor to do the score for the American remakes of the Millennium Trilogy aka The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo films that Fincher is redoing.

Speaking of movie scores, crazy stage show man and beat maker Dan Deacon is scoring Franis Ford Coppola's latest film, Twixt Now and Sunrise which stars Val Kilmer and will be out later this year.

Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett has unveiled a new character to join the animated band, Hewlitt showed off The Evangelist. The band decided to run an online contest with fans as to who can come up with the new character, and this is what they picked.

Okkervil River on Fallon!

Literary rockers Okkervil River came out of hiding to perform a new song from their forthcoming album, I Am Very Far. The song, "Wake Up and Be Fine" was accompanied by AC Newman of New Pornographers and The Roots! I Am Very Far arrives in stores on May 10.


Our fantastic On The Road correspondent and Ingrid Michaelson drummer, Mr. Elliot Jacobson NEEDS YOUR VOTES!!

Modern Drummer magazine is having is annual readers poll contest and you can VOTE FOR ELLIOT in the BEST POP DRUMMER Category. Just click HERE for entry and info!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


LONDON IS CALLING! Why is this? Punk just got brutal and nasty again for the first time since the golden age of punk's prime. Over the years, bands have developed their own take on the magnificent genre, yet, here is one band that is not joking around. They obtain all of punk's attitudes and vices, they do not care if they offend you, they could care less about album sales and all they care about is being in your face from start to finish...please welcome, Flats! One of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2011," Flats demonstrate that in these turbulent times, we need to use the voices that are given to us and they will be as abrasive as they must in order for you to pay attention. One of the most talked about unsigned bands in all of London are now speaking to us in their first American interview, we chat with drummer Samir Eskanda and bassist Craig Pierce and discuss the band's development, hype and sound and trust me they have no problem expressing how they feel and hold nothing back. Take a look at their first American interview below..

2010 has been a big year for you and you have become a punk staple in London in less than a year. Are you surprised by how fast things have moved for you?

Samir: Not really. We thought the scene in London and everything around us was quite stagnant and we knew we would shake things up. There was no-one around that catered for what we wanted to hear.

NME magazine hailed you as one of the best new bands of the year, what was it like having them feature you and giving you this praise?

Samir: The NME's been better these last few months since they started writing about us.

How did Flats form?

Samir: Luke used to a run a chocolate shop in Bethnal Green. Dan would stand outside and stare through the window. Luke occasionally gave him some fudge. They became friends after Dan was hired by Luke to sell the chocolate on Stepney market. And then they ended up living together. Samir and Craig shared a quarters in the Navy. Once, they were on shore leave, walking down Bethnal Green road when Dan tried to sell them some chocolate. We all ended up back in the shop where we realised we all liked the same music and decided to form a band.

Where did the name come from?

Samir: Dan's friend Sam came up with it. It's the English equivalent of the name of a Japanese noise band called High-Rise.

England has been home to some of the most important acts in punk; Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks and more. Do you feel any pressure to try and live up to these acts or the reputation they built?

Samir: No, not at all. We're probably better than most of those bands.

Punk has been desensitized for a while and you are making it dirty and nasty again without being cliché. Is there a method to your madness or just straight up go and seek and destroy?

Samir: There's no ideology behind it. We want to make fast, heavy music.

Who are some of your influences?

Samir: Our influences are our own... We literally wear them on our collar, but we don't feel we want to be a band who namedrops other bands just to get a point across. We're basically influenced by the heaviest sound from the past and the present.

You call about a number of iconic British musicians in your songs such as Paul Weller and Pete Townshed. What do you have against them and why are they not important to you?

Samir: These men have been glorified and been put on a world stage in a way we don't agree with. Their achievements don't match their rewards. They make terrible fucking music.

One of my favorite things about your band is how you approach music; you just want it out as fast as possible and no looking back. You have called out acts that re-release material numerous times and have your reasons for it. Do you wish more bands adopted your philosophy? Or could you care less, this method works for you and maybe not for someone else?

Samir: YES we really do. Every band should churn it out, there's no point sitting on things just because it'll be better off left for the album... That's why modern bands die so quickly. Maybe we will too, but at least we'll have put out loads of records

Your live shows have gotten you so much praise and buzz, what is it about your gigs that has people talking?

Samir: Every other gig we go to we're surrounded by party people staring disinterestedly into space. We have fun playing and we hope that comes across. We're glad that people are responding well at our shows and if anything we want more people to realize that this is what they have been waiting for- something to go mental to.

Will you be making a trip to the US soon?

Samir: We will be doing SXSW in March and some East Coast dates.

Is it a big deal for you to break big in the US?

Samir: Yes. We'd like to be the biggest band in every country.

With Gallows on hiatus and Throats calling it quits, are you England's most dangerous band at the moment?

Craig: To be honest I don't think any of us are aware of these bands material. So much of what we listen too isn't 'current' it's hard to gauge what's going on around us. it's been a bit different i think for us as we haven't risen out of any kind of scene and so what different influences we try to bring to FLATS are pretty varied - some of which are a lot more 'dangerous' than we could ever be.. So if you mean 'dangerous' as some marker of guitar bands playing 'heavy' music id certainly say no - we ain't dangerous at all.

You are heading out on tour in March, what can fans expect? Will there be any surprises and changes to the show?

Craig: We're writing stuff at the moment which is cementing the ideas of what we want this band to be. So on this tour people will defiantly get a truer idea of where we are headed. if people at the shows are into it then they are going be into what the album will end up being, and that's going to pretty exciting for us.

Saying that I don't think there are going be any big 'surprises' or 'changes'... that's not what we're about. People know what to expect when they come and see us by now, and that's completely cool with us.

J Spaceman of Spirtiualized, Jamie Reynolds and Kevin Sheilds have all attended gigs of yours and are outspoken fans. How does this make you feel?

Craig: Of course flattered beyond belief but i don't know how much anyone should read into that. For a start the names of the luminaries on that list seem to change and i'd really have to check out someone's record collection before i could tell you how any admiration feels - whoever they are! But in all seriousness, it's cool when anyone has something nice to say about he band

What can fans expect from Flats in 2011?

Craig: Lot's of new music, pretty intense touring and a disregard for hearing loss...