Death Cab for Franz Ferdinand

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time comes from a quickly uttered line in the 80's classic 'Say Anything':

"You probably got it all figured out, Corey. If you start out depressed everything's kind of a pleasant surprise. " - Lloyd Dobbler

Such is my general outlook on life... if you start off jaded you won't be disappointed by whatever gets tossed at you. This was the state that I walked into The Aragon Ballroom last night to see the indie-hype-package-tour of Death Cab For Cutie, Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs. I make no qualms about being an indie elitist bastard (except the qualm that the tag is entirely unfair as I'm not really an elitist as I want the world to share in my musical joys) but man, did I feel like the ultimate music snob last night.


Hidden Cameras - 07/13/05 Cambridge, MA

The Hidden Cameras were fucking STUNNING last night.

Now, I've seen em 9 times and they've never been anything less than spectacular, but something about last night's show pushed it to the next level.

Maybe it was the set list. The mix of brand spankin new songs, kinda new songs, and the right mix of oldies - including a few from "Smell of Our Own" that I haven't seen aired in a while - that just hit the crowd right. Maybe it was the crowd - from the word go, everyone was dancing and singing along having a grand ol' time. Maybe it was the energy level of the band themselves - they had travelled from Toronto to Boston that day and encountered all kinds of troubles, so they were playing to make the show worth it, dammit. And boy, was it ever.


Rouge Wave - Portland, OR - 02/22/05

Rogue Wave
February 22, 2005
Doug Fir Lounge, Portland, OR

There is a certain satisfaction that I get from seeing a great live show. It starts with discovering a band that is intriguing. Oakland's Rogue Wave is one such band. I first got word of their existence through the Sub Pop newsletters. What, I say, a new pseudo psychedelic indie rock band. Well count me in. Their album didn't take long to find its way into heavy rotation at my house. Their music was The Association, crossed with the Shins. Theirs is a beautiful blend of baroque pop and indie rock.


The Magic Numbers - My Pick for SxSW 2005

London, March 2004: You have just seen an entirely too screechy Welsh band whose name you can't be bothered to remember at a hole-in-the-wall London club and have hopped on a Double Decker to a new (and you're praying better) venue. You live for these rare excursions to foreign countries and seeking out of new music. Your bus comes to a roll at Kings Cross and you hop out... look about until you find it... Water Rats. You've heard there's something vaguely poppish going on tonight. You pay the cover, grab a cider and head for the music room in the back. You slowly, politely push people out the way and shove open the door....

The Magic Numbers are slowly becoming London's hottest tip of the year. After sold out headlining shows and opening slots for bands like The Doves, Athlete, Travis and Ed Harcourt they're coming to the front of the It-Bands-Of-The-Moment-Clique to the adoring the attention of British music fans and the press alike. We hear the hype on a daily basis. We ignore it or feed into it as bands like Bloc Party, Kasabian and The Kaiser Chiefs become the next big thing to throngs of indiekids. What we haven't really heard about is The Magic Numbers. Despite the sold out shows and fans who sing along at a polite volume at sold out clubs around England... they haven't hit "It" yet. Yet.


PopKIDS Fall/Winter 2004

Another lovely school year is under way in Brooklyn and the kids, as always, have a lot to say about music.

In this fall's adventures, first graders ponder Australians, Sufjan Stevens reduces second graders to tears, and Flin Flon scares a sweet kindergartner to the point of near-destruction.

~Sarah Allen


Devendra Banhart - Portland, OR - 11/17/04

Devendra Banhart
Berbati's Pan Portland, OR
November 17,2004

I had a few preconceived notions going in to this show. One was that it was going to be a very quiet affair; the other was that there was not going to be a lot of energy, both from the stage and from the crowd. By the time I stepped back out into the rainy NW night, both of those notions were destroyed.


Comets On Fire - Blue Cathedral

Comets on FireFor those who feel that music never really improved this side of 1971, here is a band for you. For those who feel that for their money, it never got any better than MC5, or the Stooges, COMETS ON FIRE is sure to please. Blue Cathedral, the Bay Area bands 3rd album has been released by Sub Pop Records. Earlier albums found themselves closer in nature to full psychedelia, but this one is a bit different.


Trashcan Sinatras - Philadelphia - 09/19/04

Trashcan Sinatras
Philadelphia, The Trocadero
Sunday September 19, 2004

The thing that struck me immediately when walking into the Trocadero the night that the Trashcan Sinatras played was the posters of the cover art for Weightlifting with the words "Welcome back..." written on the bottom. There was a tangible sense that the TCS were returning to finally make right all the wrong that they have endured in the past several years. With a new, gorgeous album, their "classic TCS lineup" in place (with Davie Hughes on bass), I was hoping I would get to see the band in top form and I did.


Fancey - Fancey

Fancey Sure to Put Some Sunshine into Those Cold Autumn Days
March Records

FanceyWhoever designed the front-cover artwork for Fancey's self-titled debut must have had the lead-off track, "Carry Me," on repeat.

The brightly-colored orange (yes, the fruit), topped by the retro-style "Fancey" logo, screams "sweet, sunny pop inside" and that's just what "Carry Me" is. Although the song starts off with very subtle, emotive organ for the first few bars, it soon blooms into a full-blown summertime indie-pop anthem that will make you want to run through the sprinklers with all your friends.


Rogue Wave - Rogue Wave

Rogue WaveSometimes losing your job is a good thing. You can refocus your energy, do some soul searching and figure out what you really want in life.

Back in 2002, San Francisco resident Zach Rogue lost his job and decided it was time to make a change. He bought a one-way ticket to New York City, leaving the Bay Area and his old band, Desoto Reds, far behind. His initial intention was to record just a couple songs "in an effort to exorcise his demons both artistically and personally," but instead he ended up recording most of what would become Rogue Wave's debut album, Out of the Shadow.