Archive for October, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie made a triumphant return to their native area when the band performed at Seattle’s Key Arena on Saturday. Lead singer Ben Gibbard made sure to let the crowd know that the band was, in fact, from the Seattle area by repeatedly stating “It’s good to be home.” or “We’re from here.” While Gibbard isn’t the best at on-stage banter between songs, he is deft at crowd pleasing. The set list was chock full of Death Cab’s hits, but also featured several songs from early releases like We Have the Facts and We Are Voting Yes and The Photo Album. I’ve seen Death Cab For Cutie a handful of times over the last 4 years, and they are extremely consistent live. They get more into their on-stage jam sessions each time I see them, and they’re near-lullaby songs are heavier when performed live. Which makes Gibbard’s comparison to Led Zeppelin (because Zepp played in arenas like DCFC did this night) more understandable than if they kept their music as toned down as it is on their albums.

With a “What’s up, Seattle?” when the band members first walked on stage, Gibbard whipped the already roaring crowd into frenzy, which seemed to crescendo with the first few bass notes of “I Will Possess Your Heart,” the song that kicked off the more than two hours of music to come. With Gibbard and guitarist/keyboardist Chris Walla frequently making trips to the keyboard set up on stage, the band kept from being stagnant on stage, and Nick Harmer always manages to find his way around stage, as well. And though Gibbard may not be the best at banter, he was successful in riling the 8,000 or so people in the Key Arena into a screaming mass several times with simple dedications to the opener the Head and the Heart, or a seemingly benign “Thank you.”

With the crowd fully engaged with the band, the four former Western Washington University students delivered an energized set that spanned nearly their entire catalog, and featured many great deep tracks for balance with the bands ever growing hit list. With swirling guitars, layered keys, thick bass and banging drums the four members work off each other and create many memorable moments in their long set.

Perhaps the highlight of the show was when a small drum kit was set up on stage near Harmer. While the band began to jam together, Gibbard sat at the kit with his back to audience and began hitting the drums with conviction as he and Jason McGerr synced for a tandem drum solo that led into “We Looked Like Giants.” While the band is currently tour in support of this year’s Codes & Keys, they played as many songs from Transatlanticism and Plans, and only one fewer from Narrow Stairs, illustrating the well balanced set list.

Death Cab For Cutie is a great live band, and I’ll continue to see them whenever I have the chance because they are consistent, among many other reasons. I have never seen an off show from this group, and they are exceptionally good at playing their brand of piano-tinged indie-rock.

The band now heads to Europe for a string of dates (mostly in the United Kingdom), before returning for an already sold out show in Portland on December 8. There are rumors that they’ll play another show in Seattle this fall/winter. They’ll release a remix EP, Keys & Codes, November 22 on Atlantic Records.

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Lou Reed and Metallica will release Lulu November 1st. I had been rather excited to hear this album until I watched the trailer above. Metallica’s music comes off really generic and Reed’s vocals are, shall we say, “meh.” Granted, it’s just one track, and only a snippet at that, but it sure doesn’t make me want to download a leak and track through the album.

What do you think?

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King Niko is a band in Salt Lake City that makes some really good synth-pop. This is one of my favorite songs from the group. Damn, I miss getting drunk with these guys!

The band will be performing at this weekend’s X96 Big Ass Show at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake. Tickets available through smithstix.com and Graywhale locations.

Follow King Niko on Facebook and Twitter. You can find a lot of their music on SoundCloud.

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The October 5 pic shows the “sidewalk” in my neighborhood. I walk this to and from the bus stop each morning and afternoon. It’s feels very safe when I’m walking along the street. There’s a lot of sarcasm in this post.

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The October 4 pic is the tickets for the Arizona State University at Oregon game on October 15. The Sun Devils are on the road for a big test next weekend, and I’m going to be wearing maroon and sitting in the ASU section with all my fellow alumni. I’m really stoked to go to this game. I haven’t been to an ASU football game in four or five years, and I’ve never been to Autzen Stadium.

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Wanna watch three minutes of deer set to the sweet, sweet sounds of Metronomy with vocals by Roxanne Clifford of Veronica Falls? Well, it’s your lucky day! The English electropop quartet have released one of the year’s best albums in The English Riviera, which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize, and now they’ve released a video for what is perhaps my favorite song on their latest album. [via SKoA]

You can find their latest release on Amazon and iTunes.

The band comes stateside later this month for a string of dates:

10/11 Seattle, WA, Neumo’s
10/12 Vancouver, BC, Electric Owl
10/13 Portland, OR, Mississippi Studios
10/14 San Fransico, CA, Rickshaw Stop
10/15 Los Angelas, CA, Troubadour
10/16 Costa Mesa, CA, Detroit Bar
10/18 San Diego, CA, Voyeur
10/20 Brooklyn, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
10/21 Philadelphia, PA, Voyeur
10/22 Washington, DC, Rock N Roll Hotel
10/24 Boston, MA, Brighton Music Hall
10/25 Montreal, PQ, SAT
10/26 Toronto, ON, Mod Club
10/27 Chicago, IL, Lincoln Hall

See all their dates, including international shows, on the band’s website.

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Holy Ghost!, who released their debut, self-titled album earlier this year (which is awesome, btw), have put out another video. This for their new single. It’s a lot of still pictures interspersed with live footage. If you look closely, you’ll see DFA Records co-founder and LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy in the video. You can view the video for their previous single, “Wait & See,” on the band’s website.

You get Holy Ghost! now on Amazon and iTunes.

Catch the band this fall on their US tour:

10-29 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
10-30 Orono, ME – University of Maine
10-31 Montreal, Quebec – Belmont on the Boulevard
11-01 Toronto, Ontario – 69 Bathurst
11-03 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
11-04 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
11-05 Chicago, IL – Double Door
11-08 Vancouver, British Columbia – Fortune Sound Club
11-09 Portland, OR – Holocene
11-10 San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
11-11 Los Angeles, CA – Music Box
11-13 San Diego, CA – Voyeur Night Club
11-16 Dallas, TX – Prophet Bar
11-17 Austin, TX – The Parish
11-18 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
11-19 New Orleans, LA – Parish at House of Blues
11-21 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
11-23 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
11-25 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
11-26 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg

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