Hey whoa look at us already in August! Wow time flies. Before you know it, it will be September 13th (never forget?) and Future Islands, Bear Hands, Sun Club, Haerts, and other great bands will be playing the All Things Go Fall Classic, which you can get tickets for here.
And to make up for that shameless marketing plug, here’s a video of Chris Pratt knowing every single word to Eminem’s verse to “Forgot About Dre,” like any suburban white boy should:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqfR0wRTbI#t=45s
So great that I’m going to slip in one more shameless plug to follow the Tunes You Should Know in 2014 Spotify Playlist.
- St. Paul and the Broken Bones – Half The City
I have been itching to write about these guys since Bonnaroo when I first discovered them, but lay led onto way and now it’s been like 7 weeks and my bad guys. To be fair though, much like when I first wrote about King Krule and didn’t want to spoil that the man behind that voice was actually a boy that looks like a member of the Weasley family, there’s a slight visual wrinkle to St. Paul and the Broken Bones…
But while I saved the visual surprise of King Krule until the end of the column, I feel like it’s only right you experience said Saint and his Bones the way I did, by watching that voice come out of lead singer Paul Janeway’s mouth with all the glorious power and resolution of a man on fire, thus you’re watching a video of them live on KEXP to get the full St. Paul and the Broken Bones experience.
It’s a funky, soulful, experience and it’s wonderful.
Coming from Birmingham, Alabama because it couldn’t get anymore perfect, these guys (whose frontman was raised on almost strictly gospel music because of the perfection thing) self-released a four-song EP in 2012 called Greetings From St. Paul and the Broken Bones, but they’re now promoting a full LP called Half The City which is fantastic even without seeing Janeway’s iconic face belting out the words. In terms of instrumentation, it’s amazing that this is the band’s first real record; they have a natural rapport and exude a perfect mix of technical proficiency and joie de vivre.
- Mesita – “Phoenix Deluxe” and “The Villain”
#MESITAWATCH2014 sirens are a blarin’. Two days ago, I got an email from James Cooley aka the endlessly talented Mesita letting me know that he’s put out another one-off single (his first post-LP release, “The Villain,” came out about a month ago) and that this one is called “Phoenix Deluxe.”
It’s one of the more downtempo songs in Mesita’s arsenal, but his emotive croon does ballads pretty damn well (in fact it was his early ballad, “For The Best” that first hooked me), and the chorus’ brighter R&B sound uplifts the whole song, making it not feel like too much of a downer in the end. Juxtaposed against the harsher, brasher “The Villain,” it’s a nice flash of the other edge of the sword.
In other Mesita news, unfortunately for all Chicago residents (sorry Vic Mensa), James also told me he’s on his way back to his home residence of Colorado in the near future, but fortunately for us, he assures me that means he’ll be able to focus on another formal release, possibly even a follow up to his debut LP Future Proof.
I can smell #MESITAWATCH2014 starting to trend on Twitter now…
- Twin Peaks – White Onion
I’m sure the wonderful Twin Peaks’ music could sell itself, but in a way a similar to St. Paul and the Broken Bones, part of “getting” Twin Peaks is seeing just who is behind that nostalgic pop rock sound. I mean, just look at them! They’re so god damn charming! A perfect mix of wide-eyed naiveté and confidence in the power of their own rock and roll.
And fortunately for them, they’ve got the support of the internet hype machine backing them. And I mean that literally; Hype Machine debuted their first album back in July of 2013 after having them play a well-reviewed set at the Hype Hotel. That album, Sunken, was a lo-fi bit of garage pop rock and it is perfectly adequate for what it is, if not a little overhyped in hindsight thanks to an over-appreciation of the narrative that these kids dropped out college to chase their rock dream and a bit of an “Emperor’s New Clothes” kind of thing going on with music bloggers.
But with White Onion, their newly-released sophomore album (which is out only a year after their first album, so props for prolificness), they’ve found a way to keep the spirit of their rock intact while raising the quality of the sound, creating songs that just scream influences like the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, or (and I mean this in the best way possible) KISS. It’s punchy but bluesy. It swings but it rocks. And it does it all with the unabashed enjoyment that only people who really love rock and roll can exude.
On top of all that, they’ll be playing with our district’s very own The Sea Life (who have a new single out) on Sunday at DC9. Get tickets here. I’m coming back on an early bus the morning after a Modest Mouse/Brand New show in Queens. That’s how excited I am to see kids who are almost 10 years younger than I am.
- Paperhaus – “Cairo”
So it seems like In It Together Fest/INFest was a rousing success, and that gives me a chance to include Paperhaus, a band I shoehorned into the INFest preview last week with some of their older material, back into the column for realzies to help promote their it’s-about-damn-time new single “Cairo.”
It feels as if the entire DC music scene has been waiting on new recorded material from Alex and his crew, and “Cairo,” sprawling well over 6 minutes, is a great sonic homecoming for the group. Now the next big step is everyone getting to hear this (and other new material?) live. Fortunately, they’ll be hitting up Comet Ping Pong on September 13th, with other locals The Sea Life and BRNDA, and you can find all the details you need to know about it here.
Welcome back Paperhaus!