Friday, November 13, 2009

tonight in melbourne!

So if you happen to be hanging around Melbourne and you're contemplating just what you're intending to do on this spooky Friday the 13th, contemplate no more! As tempting as it may be to stay in and watch A Night At The Museum, you should come along to the best indie pop show this side of the Slumberland 20th anniversary shows.

Yup, Melbourne's finest, Summer Cats, finally launch their album Songs For Tuesdays locally! In for the party are The Zebras, The Motifs and, with much anticipation, Bart from The Cat's Miaow will be playing solo! Wahoo! Stick around and dance the night away to the best pop jukebox in town, courtesy of the Long Division DJ team (being yours truly and the super-talented Catherine Insch). 

Sure, we'd all love to be at the Black Cat in DC to dance the night away with Pants Yell!, Brown Recluse, The Ropers and more, but the Slumberland celebrations will more than be kicking on in the antipodes!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

pants yell! - received pronunciation

I've recently arrived back in Australia, and have been confronted by searing 35 degree days and beautiful warming sunshine upon my return. In some ways I miss the chill of the air and the changing leaves that autumn (or fall) brought in the United States, but I'm able to capture the mood with the fifth (and final) album by Boston's Pants Yell!Received Pronunciation.

As one of my favourite bands of recent years, it's an absolute delight to listen to a new record by this trio, whose storytelling lyrics (courtesy of Andrew Churchman), coupled with clean, simple melodies, are at the pinnacle of modern pop. While the album might lack the soaring majesty that strings added to their last record, Alison Statton, there's a certain maturity and all round elegance that embraces this record. I love the simple drumbeat that kicks the record off, on "Frank and Sandy", which to me sounds like it's about parents, rather than hangovers. And it's this crypticism that lives in Andrew's lyrics that makes the band much more endearing - isn't it a much richer experience to listen to the lyrics when they have something to say and comprehend?

Elsewhere, there's scratchy guitars and stop-start rhythms on "Got to Stop", which combines angsty lyrics with some damn fine jangle, and a brilliant shimmer of cymbals across "Someone Loves You". Overall, though, Received Pronunciation might not capture your consciousness from the first listen, but rest assured, like with most good things in the world, time and patience will reward you with more riches than you could imagine. Best of all, buy this record and score yourself the coolest obi strip! 

Buy yourself a copy of Received Pronunciation from our dear friends at Slumberland!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Brooklyn

Well, it's been quite a while since I last managed to compose a post, but as I sit here in my hotel room in Brooklyn, I felt it due time for some form of catch-up. I've been in New York for almost two weeks and it's been a whirlwind of crazy fun shows, amazing shopping and the best Halloween party ever. I'm unable to upload photos at the moment, but here's a rundown of highlights thus far:

* The Smith Westerns - four guys in their late teens/early 20s from Chicago - blew me away with their ramshackle noisy pop and declaration that: "all these songs are about love". Even with broken strings and blinding fringes, these guys pulled together one of the most fun sets I've seen in a while.

* At the same show, Still Flyin' brought the hammjamms once again, complete with one Marky Lucksmith on bass. It was interesting to see them outside Australia, but thankfully everyone got dancing as they once again brought the parties. I don't know how people can't have fun at their shows!!

* The following night, My Teenage Stride reincarnated The Wedding Present with their live set at Delancey's - Jed's stage banter was obnoxiously hilarious, and the keyboard player's enthusiasm made me want to dance even more to join in the enjoyment. 

* For Halloween, I dressed as a French mime and danced the night away at Mondo's spooky pop dance party. Singing along to songs when you're supposed to be silent and miming threw a few people off, but I had a killer night on the dancefloor!

I've also been to Boston, Washington DC and Philadelphia, and even won myself $300 on the roulette table in Atlantic City. How's that for luck, eh?!

More to come upon my return to Melbourne, as well as some updates from the past few months. Let me just say, I think El Perro Del Mar has stolen my heart...