Monthly Archives: September 2006

The Whigs

“If you’re on the 118, I’ll find you on the 118.”

You’ve never heard of the Whigs? That’s fine, because I jumped on this train a bit late myself. The band has been a favorite down in Atlanta for awhile now, but only since being signed to Dave Matthews’ ATO Records have I really started paying attention. They’ve got a wonderfully inviting, organic feel to most of the tracks on their debut album entitled Give ‘Em All A Big Fat Lip. Even our beloved (or in some cases not so beloved) Rolling Stone has touted the band as one of ten to watch in 2006. I’m watching, I’m listening, and I’m certainly enjoying.

The Whigs – Written Invitation
The Whigs – Don’t Talk Anymore

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Halloween, Alaska

“Don’t mean to offend other citizens, but I kick my volume way past 10.”
Hometown heroes Halloween, Alaska have been getting, much to my delight, some well deserved coverage by some pretty esteemed publications both near and far. Internationally, they’ve made quite a big splash over in the UK. Mojo and the Sunday Times both had some pretty colorful things to say about these boys from Minneapolis. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that the local critics are nuts about them as well. Even I trip over myself in excitement when I think about the kinds of things the future holds for HA. I highlighted one track from each of their two releases. The first, which is an LL Cool J cover from their most recent effort, is spectacular. The second track features both the lyrical and vocal prowess of songwriter James Diers, and is perhaps one of my all-time favorite songs. Note: I featured the Love-Cars, which is another project of two of the band members, ages ago. Be sure to look into them as well as they’re also pretty phenomenal.

Halloween, Alaska – I Can’t Live Without My Radio
Halloween, Alaska – You’re It

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Matt Pond PA

“I heard it’s modern to be stupid, you don’t need to talk to look good.”

Recently, I’ve been inundated with bands sending stuff in the mail looking for a bit of promotion. All is well and good – that is why I started doing this, to shed light on deserving bands and hopefully gain them a few new pairs of ears in the process. Today, I wanted to post on a band who doesn’t necessarily need my “help.” Hopefully most of you by now have at least heard of Matt Pond PA, because he is absolutely phenomenal. It looks like I’ll have the chance to do an in-person interview in a few weeks when he rolls through Minneapolis (Fine Line, Oct 16 – for all you locals) with Gomez. I’m practically falling over myself with excitement. This entire album (Several Arrows Later) is wonderfully engaging and essentially…perfect. It’s right up my alley. I don’t even need to say anymore.

Matt Pond PA – Halloween
Matt Pond PA – So Much Trouble

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Strada

“You’re going to make it, I know.”

Oh, Canada. You’ve done right by me yet again. This band is germane to everything you’ve been hearing on alternative radio these days, but they certainly merit a good deal more of attention and praise. I was under the impression that Strada, formerly known as Tourist, was already established under a label, and just simply hadn’t hit my radar yet. My assumptions were wrong (they usually are). They’re unsigned, but by the way they’re sounding, they’ve got some good things coming their way.

Strada – Walk Away
Strada – Can This Be?

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Princeton

“All we need? Dreams to keep us warm.”

Indie-pop is the new pink. Seriously, we can’t seem to get enough of it. I myself can pass on much of what I hear these days, for most of it is just far too extravagant and idiosyncratic. California natives Princeton didn’t strike me quite the same way. They certainly don’t lay it on too thick, which is my opinion, is much to their advantage. As a result of the band’s folk leanings, we don’t become too overwhelmed with any indie-pop eccentricities. Less is more, you know? The band has a couple more tracks posted on their myspace and official pages, so be sure to venture over there if you’re so inclined.

Princeton – The Indifference Curve
Princeton – Blackbeard

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double feature

“That’s when you run just as fast as you can.”

Los Angeles area band the Echo Division brings to you their brand of polished, melodic pop music. They’ve got this placid demeanor that, for the most part, seems to carry itself throughout the rest of the album. Between all the members, they’ve got quite a bit of experience amongst them seeing as though this band was the seed of numerous other projects.

The Echo Division – Run

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“Your loss is such a tragedy, I’m sure, I mean it most sincerely.”

…And on a completely different note, let’s talk about the King Left. By way of Brooklyn, these guys play over the top, erratic indie rock. The irregular tempo changes teamed with singer Corey Oliver’s outlandish vocal stylings make for a rather interesting listen. With the help of some friends, members of NYC’s Nightmare of You and Rival Schools, the King Left was able to record and release their first EP and is already in the process of working on their second.

The King Left – I Have To Let You Win (Stop Trying)
The King Left – Like You’re Not My Trophy

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Cerulean

“…and i am still waiting outside when you wake up.”

I don’t know how this seemingly first-rate band has gone essentially unnoticed, at least on my part, for so long. Cerulean creates timeless, understated alt-rock that is akin to 90’s super bands like Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. Though radio hits aren’t exactly their specialty, this band has got a bit more to offer. In fact, their name even evokes certain sentiments that seem to match very closely that of the music they create. Deep, rich guitar instrumentation carries most the album while a fair amount of experimentation set the disc apart from other conventional modern radio-rock albums.

Cerulean – Quiet Release
Cerulean – Keep Repeating

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