I’m intrigued: Candie Payne, retro british orchestral pop

July 31st, 2007

I have a secret weapon. (I have many secret weapons, actually.) His name is Gordon, a long-time reader (going back to my other blog, even) from the U.K. and he tells me about bands, especially those from the British Isles. He told me about Fionn Regan last August and I’ve been pretty obsessed and evangelical since. (Fionn’s playing this Saturday at Cafe du Nord! Go see him!) He also told me about Bat for Lashes months ago. Though I wasn’t as enthralled, I did have a little twinkle in my eye a few months later when the US blogs started talking about her because that was so yesterday to me. (Gordon recently urged me to listen to her album, which releases this week and is streaming in its entirety at spinner.)

In the latest batch of recommendations he recommended Candie Payne (myspace), knowing my predilection for Motown and its ilk. I am pretty intrigued, though this is still pretty premature.


source: promo shot

More than Motown, I’d compare this to things like Nancy Sinatra and stuff you may hear in an Austin Powers sound track. The only thing I can understand in this dutch review is something I was thinking anyway: like something from a James Bond soundtrack. Big, orchestra pop. The sound, though. I didn’t realize people remembered how to make songs that sound like this. Give one of these songs a listen and tell me if you’ve heard any music made in the last twenty years that has production and orchestration like this.

She even has some obscure indie band connection with her brothers involved in various indie bands.

“By Tomorrow” is a rollicking 60s-like girl group number, complete with sweet horn lines. It has plenty of quirks to it.

Candie Payne – By Tomorrow (mp3)

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“One More Chance” is a fun and upbeat number, that has a bit of twee (Belle & Sebastian at the very least) in it. I like the vocal melody and the backing vocals.

Candie Payne – One More Chance (mp3)

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You can listne to her album on her website.

Looks like it does have a stateside release or amazon’s selling the import for relatively cheap. [Update: the relatively cheap thing is actually an CD single.]

port o’brien “album” out

July 30th, 2007

Oakland-band (9 months out of the year) Port O’brien (myspace), who I’ve previously posted about (and been obsessed with) have an album out tomorrow on the American Dust record label. Actually the band calls it more of a collection of songs from their two EPs.

I’ll probably be ordering it soon as I’ve been meaning to pick up some of their stuff and one of their EPs is sold out.

One thing that’s always mentioned about them is that during the summers they work in the Alaska fishing industry. If you like their stuff or not, you should check out their Alaska blog. It’s a pretty interesting inside look into the industry and has some pretty spectacular photos. Also, getting letters in Alaska is “the best feeling in the world”, so you can write them letters.

Port O’brien – I Woke Up Today (mp3)

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bands on streets

July 30th, 2007

I don’t have too many examples, but maybe people can add other if they know them. Some bands are named after streets.

Bishop Allen (myspace) was named after Bishop Allen Dr. in Cambridge, MA. This is confirmed in a number of sources including the liner notes to the August EP. I remember walking past this street on the way to a friend’s house in Inman Square before I even knew about this band (quite possibly before the band even existed, or was just forming).

Beulah, I think, is named after Beulah St. in San Francisco. They’re an SF band and Beulah’s about 2 blocks from Amoeba so you’re bound to run across it if you like music and live in the City.

Anyone know of any other bands that are named after streets?? For instance, is the E Street Band named after an actual street? I’m not seeing an E Street in Ashbury Park. Any others?

While I’m talking about both bands, Bishop Allen is actually playing The Independent this Wednesday and I’m definitely going. The Broken String doesn’t hit a sour note. It’s consistently good from song-to-song. (You can do that when you’re picking 10 of the songs from 45 songs (the twelve month EPs from 2006)—you can really weed out the best.)

Miles Kurosky of Beulah had some major shoulder surgery and has been working on a solo album. Latest report was that it was about 70% done. I’m really interested to hear how it sounds.

quick show

July 29th, 2007

I did a brief radio show today because another DJ was late. I used it to play some great new stuff and try to sway this week’s KZSU airplay charts in favor of bands like Or, the Whale; John Vanderslice, Bishop Allen, the Morning Benders, the Finches and others. Yup, I’m shameless.

bay area music bloggers go to a ball game (live blogging)

July 28th, 2007

I came up with an idea a couple weeks ago to go to a ball game with some of the other music bloggers from the bay area. Tonight’s 6:05pm Florida Marlins @ SF Giants game will be it. We have Adrian (me!) from ipickmynose, Christian and Ben from The Bay Bridged, Emily and Avery from the Deli SF, Will from New & Used Records and Oz from HearYa. Not all the music bloggers could make it, but we have a decent crew going.

I’ll be live-blogging the game so check back in and hit refresh to catch all the excitement! Bonds is one away from tying Aaron’s home run record, so maybe it’ll be historic.

6:05pm first pitch. foul

7:10pm bonds struck out and he fouled out in his first two at bats.

7:15pm they’re playing ‘young folks’. you can’t away from that song.

7:16pm also american analog set. wow!

7:46 and now ‘pour some sugar on me’! they’re all over the place with the music.

7:48pm barry’s up. the cameras are going nuts! the count’s 3-1. he walked. everyone’s boohing

8:12pm the wave! I love the wave. wooooo.

8:16pm bonds is up again. again with the cameras. he’s twice the size of any of any other player. he pops up right to the catcher on the first pitch.

8:18pm everyone’s making fun/ jealous of me for blogging right now. that’s right: I’m a pariah in a group of bloggers. new low.

8:26pm it’s a sold out game. 43,001. Christian claims he’s the one over 43k. I do not believe him.

8:39pm longest kiss cam of all time. one guy coopted the camera and smooched another guy.

8:42pm Will is working on a sitcom. Very cool.

8:43pm fog is pouring over the edge of the stadium.

8:47pm they’re showing the ‘rally pumpkin’ on the jumbotron. what do pumpkins have to do with rallies?

8:53pm Sweeney’s in to pinch hit. this guy a couple rows down is the world’s biggest sweeney fan.

8:56pm dave roberts is still really fast, scoring on a double from second to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th.

9:04pm come from behind win on durham’s rbi single. pretty exciting. 4-3 giants final score. maybe rally pumpkins really do work.

9:28pm leaving, I see a guy with a giants jersey that has “DMB” 44 on the back. who likes Dave Matthews Band and the Giants that much?

last weeks radio show (“I once was Canadian”) playlist

July 28th, 2007

With all the hubbub surrounding John Vanderslice’s appearance on KZSU on Wednesday, I didn’t want to distract everyone with my radio show playlist.

I played a few new tunes but then I had a nice hour and change of oldies songs, heavy on the Motown and girl groups. I haven’t had the chance to play any oldies for a while, so it was nice. Initially I didn’t intend to play so much oldies but once I started, it made me happy so I just kept going.

song obsession friday! (for the week ending July 26)

July 27th, 2007

Song obsessions are those songs that we listen to on repeat. I noticed that my obsessions are often a week long. I also thought that other people might have similar obsessions. I’ve collected a panel of a few like-minded individuals and gotten their “song obsessions of the week.” Quite often it’s easy to explain why the song is good; it’s much hard to explain why we’re obsessed. Maybe you’ll become obsessed with one of these.

Adrian (me): John Vanderslice – Numbered Lithograph (mp3) (buy)

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With him coming down do an in-studio with me this week, there was a lot of listening to Vanderslice’s new album, both because it was new, good and exciting and for “preparation”. I was liking the shear weirdness of the sounds on this one anyway, but he also played it live and I got to hear it stripped down; the songwriting is solid on it as well. f

Scott:
Abe Vigoda – Animal Ghosts (mp3) (buy)

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nice, bittersweet tropical punk (no, not ska…). they’re playing at ATA in the mission on sunday, and i’m trying my best to go.

Oz:
Cracklin Moth – Eulogy for Bashu (mp3) (exclusive at HearYa)

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Thanks to Adrian, I’m actually obsessed with Or, the Whale right now,. Over at HearYa, however, we recently recorded a live session in Chicago with a band called Cracklin Moth. They’ve released two EP’s and have a unique alt-country sound, thanks to Matt Ammerman’s vocals and Rocco Labriola’s pedal steel. “Eulogy for Bashu” is a previously unreleased track that is glued to my ears.

Keith:
Steven Jesse Bernstein – Man Upstairs (mp3) (buy)

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Steven Jesse Bernstein’s overly precise style promotes obsession. This tale is narrated by a man who has divorced himself from life’s social obligations, yet still intensely focuses on those few interactions he can passively observe. The repetitive description of this daily existence immerses us into his routine. Eventually we become as observant and focused as he is, unconsciously becoming the characters in the story. Attentive repeat spins create as many questions as they answer, as seemingly random details are divulged like bait for a too curious prey.

Dave:
Band of Horses – Funeral (mp3) (buy)

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I wasn’t necessarily obsessed with a song this week, but this one always seems to find its way back into heavy rotation for me, whenever I hear it I have to listen to it at least twice. I love the way it basically explodes out of the quiet parts, making me want to air-drum. The breakdown at the end adds a lot as well. It doesn’t waste any time building, which I usually like, but the suddenness of it works here.

Andy:
Geoff Farina – Femme Damnees (mp3) (buy)

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Titled after a Philip Larkin poem, this is one of Geoff Farina’s gems. Simple and short, I often find myself listening to it repeatedly. Often, I’ll throw this 10-minute/4 song EP into my car CD player, and not get to any of the other tracks before I get to where I’m going.

Woo! End of July! Fun!

link round up

July 26th, 2007

Spinner has the full album stream of The Con by Tegan and Sara. It’s produced by the fantastic Chris Walla. It sounds really good and some of the songs are pretty catchy.

Will Oldham (and Zach Galifianakis) star in the new (and hilarious) video for Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”. It makes me so happy this is official. Stereogum has more background from Zach’s point of view.

Stereogum also has a new (and weird) One AM Radio video for “In The Time We’ve Got”. I never thought I’d see the One AM Radio on stereogum. I do think the kickball=>love video for “Witness” that the One AM Radio put out a couple years ago is better.

The National played Fake Empires on Letterman. That is a very good trumpet player.

John Vanderslice at KZSU, recap, photos, exclusive mp3s, set list, lyric/ chord sheets

July 26th, 2007

As I mentioned earlier, I had an hour yesterday with John Vanderslice on KZSU during which he did a few songs and we chatted a bit. I asked him about the blog videos and the title of “nicest guy in indie rock”. I’m not sure how interesting an interview it was for everyone else—it felt more like JV and I were just talking and it happened to be over the radio than anything else—but I sure had fun.

I’ve know JV for a while, going back to his last appearance on KZSU and we hang out enough that we’re friends, but I didn’t expect him to pull out so many stops as far as the music goes. I’d talked to him just a few hours earlier and had some requests for songs, some of them he hardly ever plays. He seemed reluctant on a couple because he didn’t know how to play them and I told him I understood.

Well, by the time he got down to the studio (literally about 5 hours later) he’d learned both “Peacocks in the Video Rain” and “Dead Slate Pacific”, writing the chords out on his lyric sheets (which is what those links go to). I had asked for “Pale Horse” because I love that song, especially when he does it live with people clapping along, and he brought a never-before-played b-side from Emerald City. (We were walking into the station. “Hey, I brought this Emerald b-side. Would you want to play it?” “YES!”)

Here’s what he played:

All of these tracks were engineered by Smurph, so thanks to him for that.


JV pretending to play guitar for the camera

And one photo from Jin: here is on with the clappers on “Pale Horse”; check out Jin’s photo set for more great photos.

Stay tuned for a transcription of the interview portion!

All of JV’s releases, including Emerald City available at Barsuk.

[1] The KZSU Clapping Ensemble included me, Isa (John’s girlfriend), Scott and two of Scott’s friends that came down to the studio to watch the in-studio performance called Stuart and Dan.

on sale soon, 7.26.07 edition

July 26th, 2007

Posted every Thursday On Sale Soon is a weekly series of the tickets going on sale that weekend.

Where to get tickets: The Independent, Great American Music Hall, Slim’s, Fillmore, Warfield, and other Livenation venues. Another Planet booked venues like Greek Theatre @ Berkeley, Palace of Fine Arts, etc. Bimbo’s.

Big ones for this week include the National/ St. Vincent, Pinback, and Ted Leo.

On sale Thursday, July 26:
9/29 The National, St. Vincent @ The Grand

Pre sale Saturday, July 28:
9/14 Guster @ the Warfield

On sale Sunday, July 29:
9/6 Clipse @ the Independent
9/7 Blue Turtle Seduction@ the Independent
9/7 Butch Walker & the Let’s Go Out Tonites @ Great American
9/14 Guster @ the Warfield
9/21 Hepcat @ Great American
9/23 James Blunt with Joss Stone, Gin Blossoms @ Sharon Meadows in Golden Gate Park
9/27 Arctic Monkeys @ Bill Graham Civic

10/5 Nick Lowe @ Great American
10/6 Frankie Valli &The Four Seasons, Stewie Stone @ Nob Hill Masonic Auditorium
10/8 Turbonegro @ Slim’s
10/13 AC/DShe @ Slim’s
10/24 Josh Ritter @ Bimbo’s
10/25 & 10/26 Pinback @ Bimbo’s
10/26 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists @ Great American

11/4 Tiger Army @ the Fillmore
11/6/ Henry Rollins @ Herbst Theatre