There are lots of good shows this week but we're going to only highlight five of them. Because how many choices does a person need? This is something In-N-Out discovered long ago. And you like In-N-Out don't you? Of course you do! What kind of monster doesn't like In-N-Out?
Anyway, we're not here to talk about hamburgers. But if you want to meet up later and crush a 4 x 4 together, lemme know.
A turbulent band like Death Grips is just about the last group I would want playing at a place called The Glass House because they're liable to throw a bunch of stones and break that shit, assuming they show up at all. But, you know, punk rock and anarchy and all that. So let's hope this one goes off without too many hitches because when Death Grips are on they're ON.
It's not like King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard can't raise a ruckus either. Their live shows are all kinds of crazy in the very best way. Psych. Swirls. Sweat. Shrieks. Spit. Skin. You could get all of that if you head to The Echo tonight. It'll be a cosmic journey through space and time, man.
FYF FEST is this weekend and we have all the super important information for you. 2-day passes are still available for sale - you can buy them here. Kids under 10 get in for free with an adult, too, so bring the kids if you want.
There are also a ton of local club shows happening this week around the festival dates. Most of those are sold out already, but a few still have tickets available. See some big time names in a small sized club! Here's every show we've listed for FYF FEST week.
Don't forget to bring some $, some sunscreen and some earplugs (love your ears).
Toronto's Alvvays has been blovving up in the last year and vve're pretty sure it's all due to the vvonderfully positive press vve have dished out in generous doses right here on this very music blob (tee-hee!). The band's popularity might also be because they vvrite really good songs and goodness alvvays vvins in the end. Not sure. Anyvvay, and once again vve made all the Ws look like Vs because our copy goes the extra blob.
They've been such a solid band for so many years that it's easy to take their goodness for granted in a strange weird sort of way and then you see them play live again and you watch all the crazy technically precise shit they do and you take them for granted no more. Love Battles. Let's not fight about it.
Vocalist/bassist Harmony Tividad + vocalist/guitarist Cleo Tucker = Girlpool. No. They don't have a drummer. The two play singer/songwriter punk. Now, if you're going to pretend you don't know what I'm talking about when I say singer/songwriter punk, that's fine. It's your journey. You do you. But that's what this is. The songs are catchy and simple (not to be confused with simplistic) and honest. Many of these jams seem wrapped in some pain. I get that. We're all just trying to deal out here. Just trying to make it. "Go to hell. Drink my wine. Everything's fine."
Hop Along is a good band from Philadelphia. They make punk pop that's not pop punk. It's epic and cathartic and tortured and just a really good goddamn listen. Now, I don't like to use the word "awesome" unless I really mean it (i almost always reserve the term for sunsets and chicken pad thai). But I have to tell you something right quick. Frances Quinlan's voice is AWESOME. (and I hardly EVER make use of the CAPS LOCK so you know things just got Triple Dog Dare). Her vocals sound perfectly pleasant sometimes. That's where the pop comes in. And at other times, she sings like pitch perfect sandpaper. That's where the punk comes in. What a good goddamn band.
Joyce Manor is a punk pop band (not to be confused with pop punk - totally different sitch) from Torrance, CA (birthplace of the American Youth Soccer Organization and home to Bo Derek - wow! - thanks, Wikipedia!) who write strong and lamentable sing-songs that will leave you feeling like EMO ISN'T A DIRTY WORD. Listen to their album "Never Hungover Again" when you're hungover and/or sober. And definitely go see them play it live, man.
Sail away on this truth seeking pop sweetness. You may know Kevin Morby from his days in Woods and The Babies. He moved from Brooklyn (goodbye, wonderfully dark days) to Los Angeles (hello, pleasant isolation) and released his first solo album (on Woodsist). It's called "Harlem River." It's really good. You should try it. Ask a wise old river man to ferry you across to experience it (river men are around - you'll see them everywhere - once you start looking). Morby sings easy breezy songs about love and death, the road, god and the devil. So yeah. There's a weight to this. But the heaviness won't get you down. Because when Kevin sings, things sound more resigned than forlorn. "It is what it is so we might as well consider the chill." My words. Not his.
Lower Dens is a band out of Baltimore, but you may already be in love with their smoky, folk-y and psych-y singer. Her name is Jana Hunter. Yeah, I thought you would know that name. Hunter has been playing stripped-down, eccentro-folk to enchanted fans for a while now, and has released some critically acclaimed albums for friend Devendra Banhart's Gnomonsong record label. She's not huge, but the people that like her music REALLY like her music. Count me as one of them.
You might know San Francisco's Mikal Cronin if you're a fan of Ty Segall (which I am). He's played in the punk's band forever. Cronin also plays in the well-respected band, Moonhearts. But now Cronin's solo, and his self-titled debut album seems to be on almost everyone's year-end best album shortlist. Why? Because it's so damn catchy, that's why! This is just good old fuzzy garage rock that will leave no one in a worse mood after hearing it. There are so many hooks to this guy he might as well open a bait 'n tackle shop when his rock 'n roll days are behind him. That's good retirement living, right there.
Let's talk about the good shows this week. There are so many it kind of makes me want to cry. And I'm not sure if they're happy or sad tears. Oh, well. That's what happens when you run your own music blob.
FYF FEST is an abbreviation for Fuck Yeah Fest Fest. Kind of like when we say PIN number and ATM Machine we're really saying Personal Identification Number Number and Automated Teller Machine Machine. So that's fun. Anyway, this is going to be a big one. Some guy named Morrissey headlines and dozens of other good artists and bands are playing too. Check out the full lineup here. I'm going. So let me know if you want to hang out. We can talk about books and basketball.
Speaking of swear words, Fucked Up play Teragram. I have seen this Toronto hardcore goodness several times and it's always a 100% chill experience in that sweet noise shred sorta way. Out of a possible 5 stars I give this band all the tea in China.
Toronto's METZ are basically one of the best live bands playing the game today. Bet. See them at The Echo tonight or see them at FYF Fest later this week. I don't really care when/where you see them. I just care that you see them. Because I want the best of things for U. Also playing this show is RETOX and Obliterations. That's 3 for 3 if you're keeping score at home.
I listen to a lot of songs, man. A lot and a lot and a lot of songs. They come in all sorts of shapes and flavors. Some of them are good. Several stink. Many of them are fine. But sometimes I'll stumble across a song that harnesses the divine. I'm not being dramatic. I'd like to talk to you about one of those songs today, if I may be so bold.
The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die is a band that's been around since 2009. They formed in Connecticut and released some stuff over the years that I've never really listened to (I will change that). Maybe it was their audacious and borderline braggy name that kept me from getting into them. You're not afraid to die, are you? Most of humanity and I would sure like to know your secret to that. But regardless of real and imagined stumbling blocks, the band's brand new song (as of this writing it's brand new and all of this shit I'm writing is going to be almost immediately outdated soon after I finish this but I don't care because this is my music blob) is honest to goodness wonderful and it's one of those songs that make me glad I can still feel things when I listen to songs and maybe I'm not all washed up just yet.
The song is called “January 10th, 2014" and vocalist David David Bello says it's “a song about retaliation from predators. The character in the song, Diana, is based on the story of a woman from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico who avenged unprosecuted and largely ignored sexual assaults being committed by bus drivers on their routes." Lollipops and rainbows and whiskers on kittens, this subject matter is not. Evil is real. And sometimes evil must be hunted and fought and made to be afraid and ultimately destroyed using evil's own fucking shadow.
So that's what the song is about. How's it's executed is something else. Dueling male/female vocals soar over pretty melodies that (spoiler) soon shall explode. I'm not going to tell you when. Just wait for it. Wait for it all. There are so many moving parts to this song you're going to have to just see how it plays out and when it's all said and done I bet you feel something. And isn't it nice that songs can still make us do that? Even after all these years?
Our friends at Flavorpill and Perrier are putting on another great daytime dance party at Lure this Friday, August 21st. And while we have this filed under ticket giveaways, the great thing is that EVERYONE WINS.
NADASTROM will be spinning the tunes, you will be dancing on your lunch break, and when it's all over, you will be given a free bagged lunch to take back to the office! Sounds like a great way to start the weekend. Did we mention it's free?