Archive for March, 2011

Vaccines interview special tomorrow/last week’s playlist

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Chapel Club SXSW interview was featured last Friday

Tune in tomorrow for two hours of fresh, current indie music, including our Vaccines SXSW interview special.  The show runs 1-3p Pacific time on Fridays, 4-6p EDT, 9-11p GMT. To give you a flavor if you haven’t heard the show before, last week’s playlist is below. The program included an interview with Chapel Club. The entire Chapel Club interview can be heard on the interview page of the Go Deep website. I’m often asked how people can hear this show on demand. We’re working on that, so keep an eye on this space for archived shows.

Cage the Elephant – Aberdeen (More great vocals from singer Matt)
The Airborne Toxic Event – Numb (Just how everyone felt post=SXSW)
Brother – Darling Buds of May (Touring US in April)
Drawn From Bees – Stand Against the Storm (Prettiest 2011 SXSW harmonies)
Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stones (Grammy performance blew me away)
Lykke Li – Rick Kid Blues (She might be on way to getting rich)
Mona – Listen To Your Love (Great mainstream potential seen at SXSW)
Beady Eye – Beatles and Stones (Emerging as a consensus fave from album)
The Joy Formidable – Whirring (New single is my fave JF track so far)
Duran Duran – All You Need Is Now (Tltle track and single)
Foster the People – Helena Beat (Strong SXSW gigs)
The Vaccines – Norgaard (1:39 means we gotta play two)
The Vaccines – Wolf Pack (Entire album really strong)
Cloud Control – Gold Canary (Aussie band, nice vocals)
Elbow – High Ideals (Physical album out in April)
PJ Harvey – The Words that Maketh Murder (My fave song of hers to date)
Chapel Club – All the Eastern Girls (SXSW interview)
Chapel Club – Surfacing (Explains “Dream A Little Dream” lyric)
Chapel Club – After the Flood (Band to play UK dates next)
TV on the Radio – Caffeinated Consciousness (Second fine pre-release track)
The Black Angels – Telephone (Feels like The Dave Clark Five)
The Strokes – Call Me Back (Beautiful song)
The Temper Trap – Love Lost (Would have been a single on a weaker album)
Eliza Doolittle – Skinny Genes (Charming and talented. Strong live)
The Belle Brigade – Losers (A nice SXSW surprise)
Friendly Fires – Live Those Days Tonight (New single, new direction)

Strokes album/Sirius XM’s increasing influence/Chapel Club interview

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Really nice Strokes album but maybe not the raw passion you were hoping for

The StrokesAngles…There are two ways to look at this new Strokes album. As a recording, it’s more than solid. The melodies are there, and the arrangements go in some very unique directions. There’s a touch of ska, a bit of an electronic vibe, and a general feeling of freshness. If you’re looking for the passion of their first album, it’s not there. It was another era for these guys, and that early Strokes vibe is likely gone for good. The catchy first single “Under the Cover of Darkness” is one of two high-energy songs. Other track tips are the tuneful and tight “You’re So Right” and the beautiful “Call Me Back”.

It was interesting to note how often Sirius XM was mentioned at SXSW by indie label execs when giving reasons for the success of rising bands.  There was definitely more credit given this year than in the past. It’s been a slow climb for the channels, but hats off to the indie Sirius XMU, which I check out daily. I believe the forward-leaning Alternative Nation is that the format should be and what it will evolve into. Little Steven’s Underground Garage is a must-stop for many older garage, punk, girl group, and soul oldies we just don’t hear anywhere else. Let’s not forget that Sirius carries BBC Radio 1, which in my mind is the finest mainstream music station I’m aware of and probably the most influential as well. Sirius may have some of the worst customer service in my current world, but they make the travails of LA traffic far more bearable.

If you’re a fan of Chapel Club, you’ll want to catch our SXSW interview with the band. The guys were accommodating and articulate, and this is a band with huge long-term potential. My all new music show will run on Moheak Radio from 1-3p Pacific, 4-6 EDT, and 8-10p GMT. You’ll be able to follow the show track listing on the Go Deep site’s broadcast page. Stay tuned for details on the new Droid app, so that you can listen and hang with us while you’re on the go.




SXSW Day 4: The End

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Drawn From Bees soothed us with the prettiest harmonies I've heard in a long time

Most of us needed a quieter 4th day and that’s what I got. Australian band Drawn From Bees played a semi-acoustic set that was perfect for burnt-out people at 12:30 on a Southby Saturday afternoon. The songs are pretty, and their stunning, soothing harmonies were probably the nicest I’ve heard live in years. 6th Street passers-by stopped in their tracks to look in, and the club soon was full.

Saturday’s other major musical highlight for me was the British Eliza Doolittle. She’s charming, charismatic, and talented with some good songs, including “Skinny Jeans”. I encountered her earlier in the day as Mike from B3Sci and I were leaving the Fader Fort. Mike’s a skinny jeans kind of guy, and there was Eliza with a camera crew, asking dudes what they had on under their skinny jeans. Mike replied in a way that caused him to admit to her he probably gave her more than she needed to know. Nice one, Mike! Bet that makes the video.

It’s over. I predicted a quiet flight back to LA and it was even more so. I don’t recall any passengers in my section conversing between push-back and landing. It was sleep and/or headphones. We were all toast and pretty much over it. I don’t drink much at festivals because I want to pace myself, but I don’t sleep much either. Got home to wind and pouring rain LA. Trees are down, and I had to drag a decent-sized branch to the side of the road right near my house. It must have just fallen. My own bed will feel incredibly good tonight. I said early in the week that I’ll take SXSW over any weekend festival, and I’ll second that now.

SXSW Day 3 bands and an awesome panel

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Airborne Toxic Event are prepared for prime-time touring

It’s the day 4 morning now. People are getting in wrong elevators, leaving things in places, losing trains of thought, generally experiencing the South By senility, that creeps in as the week progresses. Even bartenders are confused by now. As one told me last night, “just one more 17-hour shift to go!” My hotel was “too busy” to inform me that a CD had been left for me at the front desk. Am I complaining? Hell no, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now. That Sunday flight back to LA is usually very, very quiet.

Before giving you my band highlights, I’ll mention a panel that stood out for me. I don’t attend many because I’m frankly more about the bands, but “Flying the Indie Flag” featured label leaders from Glassnote, Sub Pop, Matador, Merge, and Warp. All have experienced great success in the last couple of years and were happy to share some stories.  In terms of advice, Daniel Glass of Glassnote said it’s important for an artist to know when to say “no”. For example, getting their song on a commercial for the wrong brand, or on something that will be overexposed. That may make the artist money in the short run but damage their long-term career prospects. Panel moderator Karen Glauber of Hits Magazine said that mainstream alternative stations won’t even look at a new band until they exceed 20,000 in CD sales.

I’ve gotten consistently strong feedback on Black Angels gigs so it was good to finally catch them in the Convention Center. They were probably tired like the rest of us, but still strong. Fitz & the Tantrums followed on the same stage a couple hours later and left smiles on the faces of a few hundred new converts. It was pure fun hearing OMD play their old hits. I was surprised by the power of Telekinesis. They’ve got song-consistency as well, and it seems Merge is onto something with this band. The Airborne Toxic Event were joined by an ace string quartet and proved at Stubb’s that they’re ready for prime-time on this upcoming album of theirs. I only caught one Dum Dum Girls song as there was no getting close enough at their packed gig, but I liked the way they opened with personal fave “He Gets Me High”.

Caught up with Jamie and Suren of Bombay Bicycle Club before they played.  The band will move away somewhat from the riff-oriented approach of their debut album.  Full interview to be posted and aired soon. Hung around to see them again–another very solid show.

Haven’t gotten to see Matt & Kim or Smith Westerns this week, but I’m a fan and certainly know what they do. Lots more I’ve had hopes for as well, and we’ll see how today goes.

Woke up this morning to a text from Moheak Radio Program Director TK, saying that listenership and response to my new-music show has been really positive and growing. That meant a lot.  Thanks so much to anyone who has been supporting the show.  Tell your friends to check this week’s show out on demand from this blog, or live next Friday 1-3p Pacific. Speaking of Moheak, I had fun hitting the station SXSW parties yesterday and getting to hang with fellow-dj’s April and MJ. Check ’em out on the station. Have a great weekend and Rave On  : )

Go Deep Show, March 18 on Moheak Radio

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Below is the playlist for this week’s show, as recorded prior to my leaving for SXSW.  If you missed it, you can stream the show here:

Hour 1

Hour 2

Dum Dum Girls – He Gets Me High (Killer title track on EP)
Bright Eyes – Jejune Stars (Even stronger than “Shell Games”?)
Matt & Kim – Good For Great (Perfect live sing-along)
Cage the Elephant – Always Something (Their “Shake Me Down” #1 in national airplay)
Lykke Li – Youth Knows No Pain (My “Rave’s Fave of the Week”)
Tame Impala – Solitude Is Bliss (No SXSW but they’ll play Coachella)
Dropkick Murphys – Going Out in Style (Boston boys always up for a good time)
The Raveonettes – War In Heaven (5th album due this spring)
Taken For A Fool – The Strokes (More promise for a good album)
Smith Westerns – Weekend (Still my pick for a single)
The Dodos – Black Night (More accessible direction this time?)
Cut Copy – Blink and You’ll Miss A Revolution (Playing Coachella and Pitchfork)
Fujiya & Miyagi – Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue (Beginning of Hour 2)
Elbow – Neat Little Rows (Entire album is stellar)
Cat’s Eyes – Not A Friend (Singer from the band Horrors along with opera soprano. )
The Decemberists – Down By the Water (First heard track still my fave)
MEN – Who Am I to Feel So Free (Always gets strong response when played)
Gang Of Four – Never Pay For the Farm (First new album in 15 years)
Best Coast – Crazy For You (Bethany’s gorgeous voice)
Wavves – Baby Say Goodbye (Touring with Best Coast)
Tapes ‘n Tapes – Freak Out (Strong lead-in to new album)
Brother – Darling Buds of May (UK band reminds people of Oasis)
The Black Angels – Telephone (Feels like Dave Clark Five in a good way)
Arctic Monkeys – Brick By Brick (Hoping rest of album brings back some of their early vibe)
Wanda Jackson – Thunder On the Mountain (Jack White wins every time out)
Prima Donna – I Don’t Want You to Love Me (Feels like NY Dolls in their prime)
Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand (European dates. None in U.S. announced yet)
The Kills – D.N.A. (Sultry Kills almost pretty on this one)

SXSW Day 2

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Yup, Rafael is as good live as advertised

Another long but productive day.  I’m exhausted, exhilarated, inspired, and more educated.  Full sleep is out of the question.  Yesterday was St. Paddy’s Day, as if Austin needed that going on in addition to SXSW : )  The afternoon was spent at the Columbia Records party.  Cults played a mellow, pretty set.  The Vaccines were great but kept their set short to preserve singer Justin Young’s voice. They’re playing all week and are doing lots of interviews including one with us, that will be posted soon.  Great guys, and their brand new album just entered the UK charts at #2. Foster the People sounded great and showed us they are probably far more than a one-hit wonder. People rave about Rafael Saadiq live and my oh my, were they ever.  He and his band are off the hook and with renewed interest in more traditional r&b, the dude’s in the right place at the right time.  Rumor has it that 30,000 RSVP’d for this party. With only a fraction able to get in at any time, Cedar Street Courtyard was hot and packed. Perfect.

The punkish  Rubber City Rebels were a hoot at night  Their 80’s LA radio hit was “(She’s So) Young and Dumb” and the band called this their “fourth comeback”. They hadn’t played together for a few years but sounded great. Bombay Bicycle Club were winning UK awards for Best New Band a few years back, over the likes of Mumford and LaRoux. They’re tight and have great sense of melody. After an acoustic right turn on their follow-up album, the band has brought the electricity back for their upcoming album. There was plenty of power in last night’s set, and we’ll be speaking with them this evening for a future post and airing.

Keep an eye on this space for news on airings/postings of our Vaccines and Chapel Club interviews in addition to tonight’s Bombay Bicycle meeting.  My weekly new music show on Moheak Radio will run this afternoon 1-3 Pacific, 4-6 EDT, 8-10 GMT.  Keep an ear on the station later on today as well for SXSW updates including one from me.


SXSW Day 1

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

(Links and pics not working, but the story remains the same)

Weekend festivals can be awesome, but I’ll take SXSW any year.  Thousands of inspired industry people have devoted their professional lives to further a kind of music they believe in.  Most aren’t exactly doing it for the money.  There’s no way I can list every band that I’ll see these four days, but you’ll get the highlights. Brite Futures used to be Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head. I saw them on a lark a couple of years back here at SXSW.  Loved ’em then and still do.  They’re every bit as energetic and fun.  We’ll hopefully get an album from them later this year.

My Day 1 pick for a newer band is Mona from Nashville. They’ve got one leg on the indie side and one leg in mainstream. Energy is high, songs are strong, and they play great. I first heard of them about six months ago from Mike at B3Sci and the band is blowing up in England.  I’d heard of Belle Brigade but had never gotten them onto my radar. The have a folk feel with perfect harmonies. Lead singer Barbara Gruska is compelling and down to earth at the same time.

Having worked with Duran Duran in their early years and having seen them dozens of times I was going to skip their show in favor of bands I’ve never seen.  When here, I often skip fave bands I really want to see and that I’m fans of. It would have been a huge mistake to have missed this one. These guys are completely rejuvenated. Stubb’s was filled to the limit with a long line outside. People were singing and dancing along as the guys played most of their hits along with some newer tunes.

Interviewed Chapel Club along collaborator Mike from B3Sci. and it will be on my site next week sometime.  It will also be featured on my radio show along with some of the band’s songs. Really nice guys who are smart, talented, and articulate.  They’ve got ingredients that spell huge long-term potential.  Their show was good although the mix left lots to be desired.

Vaccines album, Tapes ‘n Tapes/Earnhardt Jr. Jr. live, SXSW

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The VaccinesWhat Did You Expect From the Vaccines…Perfect album title. Their buzz has been building for the past few months, and fans of guitar-oriented indie rock have been on the edge of their earbuds waiting for this one. Songs like UK hit “Post Break-Up Sex”, “Wreckin’ Bar”, and “If You Wanna” have been gotten fans excited and the good news is that the album is consistently strong in a Ramones kind of way. Rockin’ tracks like “Norgaard” and “Wolf Pack” come close as track tips. They’ll be all over SXSW this week and are working on a proper US tour to take place in the near future.

Tapes ‘n Tapes and Dale Earnardt Jr. Jr. filled The Troubadour last Saturday night.  The evening was solid with the main surprise being Earndardt’s energy level if people had only heard their Mc Cartney-esque “Simple Girl”. Tapes look like the guys next door, playing their songs in a straight forward way similar to what fans would hear on their recordings.

Look for my daily SXSW summaries Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings, with the final posting coming Sunday night or Monday. I’ll be tweeting as appropriate (or inappropriate as the case may be) throughout (BruceRave).  My Moheak show for this week has already been recorded and will run in its regular 1-3p Pacific 4-6 Eastern timeslot on Friday while I’m in Austin.

Go Deep playlist from last Friday, March 11

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

In case you missed the show, here’s what I played.  Go Deep is weekly on Moheak from 1-3p Pacific, 4-6p Eastern on Fridays.  Hope to have listen-on-demand beginning with this coming Friday’s program.  I’ll be at SXSW this week so keep an eye out for daily summaries right here and for tweets on my Bruce Rave account.

The Strokes – Taken For A Fool (Just surfaced yesterday. Like it.)
Bat for Lashes – Strangelove (Depeche Mode cover)
The Airborne Toxic Event – Numb (Like it better than their new single)
Arctic Monkeys – Brick by Brick (Their blusey style continuing?)
The Vaccines – If You Wanna (Album comes later this month)
Wavves – Idiot (Cool song I couldn’t play on FM)
Elbow – High Ideals (My Rave’s Fave of the Week)
Radiohead – Morning Mr. Magpie (Fave on this album)
Duran Duran – The Man Who Stole A Leopard (Never too late to follow the sound of “Rio”)
Mona – Listen To Your Love (Nashville band breaking in England)
Smith Westerns – Dance Away (More SW hooky indie-pop)
Lykke Li – Rick Kid Blues (60’s girl group vibe)
The Limousines – Internet Killed the Video Star (Just might become a hit)
The Gay Blades – Try to Understand (Two New York dudes)
Glasvegas – Euphoria, Take My Hand (New UK single)
The Strokes – Machu Picchu (Different tempo for them)
Beady Eye – Three Ring Circus (Liking about 6 tracks of theirs)
Fitz & the Tantrums – Breakin’ the Chains of Love (Opening track probably my fave)
Darlene Love – River Deep Mountain High (Crushed this song on Leno last week)
Foster the People – Helena Beat (More than a one-hit wonder)
Primma Donna – I Don’t Want You to Love Me (Hot LA punk-glam band)
Dum Dum Girls – There’s A Light That Never Goes Out (Smiths cover)
Cage the Elephant – 2024 (Too hard to be a single?)
Drawn From Bees – The East Wood Fox (Brisbane boys touring the US)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. – Simple Girl (Mc Cartney-esque)
Cults – Go Outside (Beauty from late last year)
Arcade Fire – Half Light II (Would a prime track for anyone else)
Fujiya & Miyagi – Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue (Consensus fave from this album)
The Joy Formidable – Whirring (Check out this video)
Elbow – Open Arms (Perfect show-ending anthem)

Magestic New Album From the Elegant Elbow

Friday, March 11th, 2011


I’m wasting no time on this prediction. Elbow’s “Build A Rocket Boys” album will be nominated as a finalist for the Mercury Prize in England, giving them a shot at a second win. They’ll never be a universally loved band, but they’ll continue to grow this time around. Unlike their last two albums, this effort is lower-key and less song-oriented. That would normally signal negatives on my end, but this album is simply beautiful. To me, this stage of Elbow takes up where Radiohead left off with “OK Computer.”  Almost every track works for me.  “High Ideals” is the current Rave’s Fave of the Week that I posted at BlahBlahBlahScience. The one harder song is “Neat Little Rows”. (Harder by their standards.) I’m also leaning toward the beautiful “Lippy Kids” and “Open Arms”.

I’ll be featuring them on my Moheak Radio show today, along with brand new songs by The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and Glasvegas. Tune in: 1-3p Pacific, 4-6 EST, 9-11 GMT.