Weekend Playlist – March 11, 2011

Start your weekend off right with a selection of tunes from this week’s featured artists on BestNewBands.com.

portugal the man

“The Dead Dog” – Portugal. The Man

Monica Christoffels previewed Portugal. The Man’s set at the Snowball Music Festival in Colorado last weekend.

Monica wrote, “Since forming PTM in 2004, and having lost and gained some band members in the process, the band has released six albums, five EPs and multiple accolades, including Gourley’s ‘Best Vocalist of the Year’ award from AP in 2008. Last April, PTM signed on to Atlantic Records – they’ve officially ‘made it’ in the music world.

American Ghetto, Portugal. The Man’s latest album, is chock full of political commentary, from connotations of corporate chastising in the opening track ‘The Dead Dog’ to my favorite, the closing ‘When The War Ends,’ in which Gourley croons, ‘I’ve got soulful days to counter evil ways / when the war ends / we’ll wonder what it was about…’ That’s a message this progressive/liberal/hippie/idealist can certainly get behind.”

Read the rest of Monica’s post here.

“Arena” – The Suuns

“Celestica (Alcala Rmx)” – Crystal Castles

Collin Elwyn reviewed The Suuns’ and Crystal Castles’ show at Portland’s Roseland Theater on Monday.

Collin wrote, “Surrounded on stage by flashing lights, and illuminated only in a vibrant green, [The Suuns] got things going with ‘Arena,’ a pulse-raising, elctro-infused jam that caught the attention of the sold-out Roseland Theater in a way that opening bands often struggle to do. Wrapping up the song with a fiery guitar solo by frontman Ben Shemie, Suuns had the audience in their pocket form there on out.

“[Crystal Castles] launched into ‘Fainting Spells’ while still nearly invisible, letting the song build for a bit before turning a high-power strobelight on the audience that was present in various forms for the rest of the night. Fluid motion was no where to be seen, as the strobe’s heavy blast made still photographs out of the crowd’s boisterous movements and vocalist Alice Glass’ larger-than-life performance. Though her voice was often hard to hear, and even more frequently warped through all kinds of machines, Glass remained the star of the show, climbing up on amps or leaning into the crowd depending on the moment. … The group cruised through their set, receiving special boosts in crowd energy while playing both ‘Untrust Us’ and ‘Celestica.’”

Read the rest of Collin’s review here.


“Puzzle Pieces” – Saint Motel

Lauren Novik introduced us to a brand, spankin’ new (and free) tune from the Los Angeles band.

Lauren wrote, “So it’s Tuesday, you’re counting the minutes left in the day, let alone the week and if Friday had a phone number you’d be sexting it. Thankfully, Saint Motel is here to answer your prayers with a little mid-week gift in the form of auditory awesomeness. The four boys are sending you one-way ticket style straight into spring with their track ‘Puzzle Pieces,’ which coincidentally, will fit perfectly in your iTunes collection. … don’t miss out on the dance party.  (When I say dance party, I mean dance party. I’ve been dancing around my room for like an hour with it on repeat. I may or may not be getting evicted for disturbing the peace. I also may or may not need to be forcefully removed from my iTunes’ vicinity.)”

Read the rest of Lauren’s post here.

“Saké” – Jupiter

Monica Christoffels reviewed Parisien, the latest compilation from international fashion house and music label Kitsuné.

Monica wrote, “Together, the dynamic duo [of Kitsuné] has released more than 23 albums/compilations, and probably double that number in singles and EPs. Some international artists who’ve previously been featured in Kitsuné compilations include Wolfmother, La Roux, Crystal Castles and Simian Mobile Disco.

“Of the 12 tracks on Parisien, only a handful are in English. However, just because I couldn’t understand most of the album doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. In fact, my reaction to the international techno-pop was very positive – in Parisien, innovative beats and catchy hooks need no translation. My favorite tracks include the bouncy remix of Housse de Racket’s ‘Château’ and the funky, bass-laden sound of Jupiter’s ‘Saké.’ If Parisien is the latest French export, I predict it’ll be flying off the shelves faster than you can say avant-garde. American musicians, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do…”

Read the rest of Monica’s review here.


“Pollen Path” – Living Things

To kick off Living Things’ satellite residency this month, Lauren Novik interviewed bassist Yves Berlin shortly before the band’s set at Silverlake Lounge last week. Here’s some of their conversation:

LN:  So what’s YOUR fave track off the [new] mixtape [Malocchio, which can be downloaded here ]?

YB:  My fave track would probably be “Pollen Path,” the first song.

LN:  Well you guys did a great job – every track kind of bleeds into the next!

YB:  This is all kind of new – I mean we literally finished making it less than 24 hours ago!  So it’s hot off the press – I don’t even think I’ve completely digested what we’ve done!  So I’m going to have to listen to it a few more times to even understand wtf we just did!   The time just felt right to release something fresh – AND, today’s date are my three lucky numbers three, seven, and eleven!

LN:  Let’s talk SXSW since it’s pretty much all I can think about…showcases?

YB:  Saturday night we’re playing our official show at Rusty Spurs, playing a party on Thursday afternoon, and then a house party after hours thing on Friday at some warehouse.

Read the rest of Lauren’s interview here.

“Furniture” – The Albertans

Claire Gallagher received the Canadian band’s second album, New Age.

Claire wrote, “[The Albertans] bring a sound more rock than pop, but still catches you off guard with pop-rooted-body-moving guitar riffs.  Mixed in there are well timed build-ups and etherial repetitions; there are complementing male/female vocals and earnest longings; there are surprising lyrics (‘I’d like to swallow those pills you’ve got, hold on’ from ‘The Wake’) and chuckle-worthy lyrics(‘I have a twin/she looks just like a fatter type of me’ from ‘Furniture’). Moments of Jenny Lewis simplicity rear their blushing heads (see: ‘May’), and the recent indie musical craze–whistling (we’re looking at you, PB&J)–finds its whimsical, foresty place on the album (see: ‘People Don’t Go’).

“Comprised of catchy, clever upbeat sing-a-longs next to trembling, winding slow songs, The Albertans’ New Age is influenced by a wide range of indie-giants–from The Smiths, to Sufjan Stevens, to Radiohead, to Rilo Kiley, to The Shins, to Iron & Wine–making a dynamic, oddly-invigorating album that leaves the listener wanting to go outside dance and run and breathe and live.”

Read the rest of Claire’s review here.


“I’m Good” – ScHoolboy Q

Rebecca Haithcoat previewed the Cali rapper’s show at The Key Club tonight.

Rebecca said, “An anthem like ‘#BETiGOTSUMWEED,’ from a California rapper nonetheless, invites assumption. But despite the drawn-out vowels billowing throughout, ScHoolboy Q still manages to keep the smoke out of his eyes, and his lyrics. Q’s got a knack for anthems, … and his show, a taste of which I got at Kendrick Lamar’s last month, is guaranteed to be funny, interactive, and as engaging a show as any I’ve seen in the past few months. His latest album, Setbacks, finds him stylistically somewhere between TopDawg Entertainment labelmates Jay Rock’s gangsta and Kendrick Lamar’s vulnerability. Lying in wait while they created a stir on the national hip-hop scene, he’s obviously been plotting his own entrance onto that same stage.”

Read the rest of Rebecca’s preview here.