23 April 2011

[review] the raveonettes

The Raveonettes-0414

The Republic was thick with sound from wall to wall last week. The Raveonettes, the Danish duo that burst onto the music scene in 2003 with their first album Chain Gang of Love, returned to rock New Orleans hard and roll it home.

I stepped outside before the show to have a smoke and kill some time. As I stood on the sidewalk, a taxi pulled up to the corner—an event to which, naturally, I paid little attention. I nearly dropped my cigarette when I saw Sharin Foo (bass, guitar, vocals) exit the cab and strut past the bouncer into the venue.

Just in time for sound check. These guys are pure fucking rock and roll.

The Raveonettes-0314

Their distinct sound consists of a mixture of 50’s and 60’s rock and diverse instrumentation, as well as vocal harmonies that range from melancholy to ominous. The group finds its influences in groups such as the Velvet Underground and Jesus and the Mary Chain, and have in turn influenced acts such as Best Coast, Vivian Girls, and Dum Dum Girls.

In short, their style is something like a surf-rock noir genre—if I may take the liberty to coin such a phrase. Rest assured, these Danes really get you dancing.

Having accumulated nothing short of a cult following throughout the span of their career, it should go without saying that the energy in the crowd was phenomenal. They kicked off their set with “Recharge and Revolt,” the title track from their new album.

They made a point to play their earlier material as well as a polite nod to those in the crowd that have waited years to see them. I was especially excited when they played “Love In a Trashcan,” an aggressive track rife with sexual innuendo. If you listen hard enough, you can hear Martin Rev (of the 70’s electro-punk duo, Suicide) hypnotically hammering away on an old drum machine.

The duo switched back and forth between the guitar and bass, while two drummers added rhythm with electric kits. Every now and then they would hand over their instruments for one of the drummers to take over, freeing up their hands to add a little dramatic emphasis to their vocal performance. A system of thin, sleek lights flooded the stage and draped silhouettes over their instruments.

At the end of their show, the crowd goaded them back on stage for an encore performance. They left us dazzled with the song “Lust” from their 2007 album. Wistfully singing “I fell out of heaven, to be with you in hell,” they drew their set to a close.

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- Article by Euan Patrick Wallace
- Photographs by Joshua Brasted


20 April 2011

[show review & interview] Animal Collective/Sun Araw in Redway, CA

The drive through the Redwood Mountains is pretty spectacular. The air is so clean and the breezes never seem to end. After traveling 3 hours north of San Francisco on Hwy 101, you arrive in Redway. Driving through the forest is unreal, seeing local homes hanging off the sides of hills and at the mouths of valleys. The mountain ranges are gorgeous, just the kind of place I could see Animal Collective and Sun Araw performing. The venue was an auditorium in the Mateel Community Center. Definitely small and suiting for a personnel performance.

Sun Araw

Smoked-up jams and electronic grooviness are key when Cameron Stallones aka Sun Araw sits down to write tracks. Stallones, originally from Austin, but now calls California his home, favors guitar riffs and back noises that build on drone and blurriness. Lo-fi aspects give it the tranced out effect of tribal music. Last years On Patrol is a psych journey through what feels like space and time, slowed down. Vocals, when present, are mangled and usually serve as another layer of the sound. A good bit of his material is released in LP's and cassettes through Not Not Fun(Pocahaunted, Psychic Reality), and various other small labels. Stallones tunes transfer over great live, with a full(3 pc.) band killing it with intros/outros that seam together quite nicely. I heard recognizable tracks from On Patrol, as well as new material. There was a lot of improv and vibing. They played for a solid hour which felt like much longer. The lights gave that psychedelic visions feel with a glowing projector to boot.

Cameron Stallones

Sun Araw

This was my 3rd time seeing Animal Collective. The collaboration of these artists together is just really great to see. I never know what to expect, what the setlist might be like, or what they are wanting you to hear on that particular date. As a group of artists, they have always gradually matured in sound. From humble beginnings in Baltimore and NYC, shortened lineups, and a nice catalog of music, they are still playing exactly what they want.

Animal Collective

With the recent release of a cassette tape that contains one original track by each member of the band, a new full length is just around the corner. They started out playing an opener with samples and the usual drone and rolled into 8 brand new songs and remixed/revamped versions of Did You See the Words, Brothersport, Summertime Clothes, and We Tigers. Each succeeding one another back to back with very little pausing or words and more instrument tuning and tweaking. Noah was on full drums and various percussion the entire time, the screen behind him flickering with colors and flashing lights. The mannerisms portrayed by the members reveal strong musical bonds and the way they feed off each other with cues makes you wonder how much they actually improvise on their material.

Avey Tare

More than a few of the new songs are catchy, and almost cheerful, sometimes sounding like a practice session where they are just brainstorming as they perform. The set lasted well over and hour, with the encore, of course, being two additional brand new songs. I talked to Lennox and Deakin for a bit before the show about life and the music they create.

a/o: Hey, i'm looking forward to the show a good deal.

Lennox: Thank you so much, that's good to hear, thanks for coming out, I hope it will be worth the ride.

a/o: No problem, so what have you guys been up to? And what can I expect from you tonight?

Lennox: We've been working hard writing and making new material. You're going to hear a lot of that tonight.

a/o: That's great, what is your favorite venue, personally or as a band?

Lennox: I'd have to say the Bowery Ballroom in New York City.

a/o: What's after this small California tour and Coachella?

Lennox: After this, we're heading to Minehead for our curation of the ATP festival and then a European tour, followed by more US dates.

a/o: I'm really enjoying the Tomboy LP, how many 7" singles were released for that?

Lennox: I believe there were four released.

a/o: Awesome, what are your thoughts on the recent cassette tape release included with your shoes?

Lennox: I really enjoyed working on that, it was for a great cause and they came out good. I felt like it was the first time we released music where each band member had their own singular vision. And I like deakin's shoe design the best. i'll be wearing those the most (chuckles).

a/o: That's really interesting, you have several kids right?

Lennox: Yes, correct, I have two.

a/o: Is there anything in particular you can share that you've been listening to in the past months?

Deakin: To tell you the truth, not really. We have just been practicing all of our material and perfecting it. We haven't really been listening to anything.

a/o: Well thank you for chatting with me.

Lennox: No problem, thanks so much for coming out.

Noah Lennox and Deakin
Composed by: Justin Braud
Photos by: Justin Braud
Interview by: Justin Braud

Music this weekend...

There is lots of it! Here are the shows art/official will be at... dancing like its 1995 again!

First off: YACHT!


This show is going to be an early one! Come out to Tulane around 4:30pm to see YACHT perform live on campus. I brought out loads of moon bounces, free food, and many more surprises for you guys. It's going to be a blast. In case you haven't heard the new single "Dystopia," check it out below.

and later that night... Mary Anne Hobbs, Gonjasufi, Lorn, and The Gaslamp Killer! @ The Hookah - 12pm


Check out our show preview for this by clicking here!

Last up we have CUT COPY w/ Holy Ghost!! @ Republic


Who's excited to dance to cheesy 80s-esque pop music all night? THIS GUY! Check out a cool old surf video below while enjoying the single "Take Me Over." I especially sympathized with the short shorts in the video. Tan thighs are super in this summer.

Hope to see all your beautiful faces!

Lots of love,




Got an email from Neon Indian right at 4:20 P.M. this afternoon...weird, huh? Anyway, it was a nice little message about the sophomore album that the band has in store for us this fall. Here's a teaser video, and check out the message after that.

Neon Indian's Alan Palomo has had a busy Winter. He traveled to Helsinki to begin work on the 2nd Neon Indian album, which he's putting the finishing touches on now in New York. Upon his return from Helsinki he was whisked away by the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, resulting in the collaboration EP release The Flaming Lips with Neon Indian.

Today Neon Indian offers the first glimpse at the band's second LP, with a video clip that includes music from the new album. Titled after the first of a three-part instrumental movement excerpted from the upcoming LP, Heart: Attack gives us an initial glimpse into the subzero shores of Helsinki where Alan disappeared to over the winter months in the writing of this record. Shot and edited by Austin filmmaker Sean Lopez.

Currently the new Neon Indian LP has no confirmed title or label yet, but the band promises it will be released in the Fall of 2011.

Sounds great!

[new] Foster The People - "Pumped Up Kicks (The Knocks Speeding Bullet Remix)"

Happy 4/20, everybody! For a special treat to enjoy all day (and all summer) long, check out the first official remix of LA up-and-comers Foster The People's eternally catchy "Pumped Up Kicks" by the NYC electronic production duo The Knocks. Remixes are very hit-and-miss for me, but this one definitely hits — and hits hard. The intro and verses are atmosphericly disco-esque and quasi-psychedelic, but when the chorus hits, get ready to DANCE.

Stream & download here:

19 April 2011

[new] The National - "Exile Vilify"

Art/Official's favorite brood-rock masterminds, The National, have put out another b-side from their extraordinary 2010 album High Violet. It's called "Exile Vilify," and was released for the reputable video game Portal 2. This exceptional track is just further evidence that The National can do no wrong. Stream the slow-churning song below:

Mary Ann Hobbs, Gonjasufi, Lorn and The Gaslamp Killer at the Hookah on Thursday, April 21st

Have you ever been to Bassik? Or any other Dubstep show? Did you have a good time? You should thank Mary Ann Hobbs. Are you one of those guys or gals still brooding over what Rusko, Chase & Status and others did to “your scene?” Then you should throw your beer in Mary Ann Hobbs’ face. (Of course, you wouldn’t have a scene to cry about without her.)

Mary Anne Hobbs, seen here relaxing in her dining room.

Beneath the persona of DJ Mary Ann Hobbs is Ms. Hobbs the journalist. She is not only responsible—through her almost decade-and-a-half long stint as the captain of BBC Radio One’s experimental show—for bringing UK Dubstep over to America from Britain, but also for introducing the sounds of Gaslamp Killer, Lorn and others to a global audience.

It was not just what she played—though she was certainly one of the early DJs to give airplay to the sound—it was how she played it. Hearing her voice say the name of your music was, and largely still is, the best endorsement you could get. By featuring experimental and unheard of genres, she pretty much lifted an entire family of sounds up from the underground and left a huge crater in global sonic culture. The wubwubwubs of critical darlings James Blake and Drake-endorsed The Weeknd? Those belong to Mary Anne Hobbs.

She is playing Thursday at the Hookah (see the flyer to the right and above) and you can expect her to spin unreleased tracks from anyone from the Brostep titans to Brainfeeder’s B-team.

Gonjasufi or member of Das Racist? Am I being racist?

Joining Mary Anne Hobbs on her curated Road Warrior tour are Art/Official favorites Gonjasufi and Lorn, as well as a “Special Killer Guest.” (PROTIP: It’s The Gaslamp Killer).

Gonjasufi is singer and rapper—also a yoga instructor—who does his thing over trip-hoppy, jazzed up production from the likes of Mainframe, The Gaslamp Killer and Flying Lotus. The first time I heard his voice was on Flying Lotus’ sophomore effort Los Angeles, on the DMT-Jazz Club groove “Testament.” The track began what seems to be a long and fruitful relationship between the two.

If you like Flying Lotus and The Gaslamp Killer and think you might dig voice and message of someone who would name themselves “Gonjasufi,” then come to the show.

The “secret” act is The Gaslamp Killer, who is one scary motherfucker. In the era of “so-called DJs” he is almost a relic. He makes mixtapes of his friend’s music and he carries around crates of records. His production, which we mentioned above, varies from the Brainfeeder mold to crazy-ass world music and old-old school hip-hop.

We recently wrote about Lorn, who came to visit along with Teebs and Mono/Poly, here.

**Tickets for this show are going fast, so get yours today. Click here to secure your spot at this unreal event!

Article by Jeffrey Silberman

18 April 2011

Baby making beats are so in...

I am not sure what's going on, but I like it. R&B has begun making a serious come back. After How to Dress Well and Gayngs set a high standard for the next generation of baby making beats, comes critically acclaimed The Weeknd with their first mixtape House of Balloons. I won't even try to compete with the review Pitchfork gave the album, but for the love of god, listen to this song.

Starting with some sexy R&B vocals and a heavy beat, this song transitions to a dubstep-esque sound with hip-hop vocals that made me break half of my house dancing so hard last night. It seems like 80% of young producers feel the need to make dubstep nowadays. The same drops, womps, and beats have gotten incredibly boring for the most part. Then I heard this, and remembered why that infectious heavy bass won my heart years ago. As always please listen on a good soundsystem or headphones.

If you like what you heard, go grab the mixtape for free. Click here!

Lots of love,