“Make Sure It Hurts” - Bethpage Black
Claire wrote, “[Bethpage Black’s] vocalist, Matt Carmichael, was impressive: he owned the stage and had the powerful voice necessary to front a heavy-rock band. He reminded me of a line from Almost Famous, where the lead singer, Jeff Bebe, is talking to Russell Hammond, the guitarist, and says, “I work just as hard or harder than anybody on that stage. You know what I do? I connect. I get people off. I look for the guy who isn't getting off, and I make him get off.” This is all I could think of watching this front-man making wonderful, terrifying eye contact with each individual in the crowd, sweating and writhing and craning his neck to meet the microphone and belting out lines and lyrics.”
Read the rest of Claire’s review here.
“One More Time (Video Version)” - Los Einstein
Laurel wrote, “It's obvious that Los Einstein is sticking to their vow by the way the band is able to showcase each member's individual talent and contribution to the group. I love hearing a great bassist roam wild and free, able to work with the drummer but also being recognized as a separate and equal unit. [...] They really knew how to keep the audience's interest piqued with their song writing, though they were very stylish performance-wise as well.”
Read the rest of Laurel’s review here.
“Babies” - Via Audio
"Babies" was voted Best Song of 2010, so BestNewBands.com got Via Audio’s Tom Deis to explain the meaning behind the song.
Tom said, “The demo for ‘Babies’ was born in the summer of 2007 after I had been listening to plenty of Justin Timberlake. My brain suddenly wanted to make something really dance-y. The whole chorus section of the song came to me in a waking vision... lyrics, bass line, key, everything all at once. It was improvised by my subconscious. I then wrote the verses and bridge section in a way that I thought made sense with the chorus. The lyrics are written sort of from a perspective that's a bit estranged from the whole world of hip language in main stream pop music, which makes sense, because I do think of myself as a bit of a stranger to modern mainstream pop music. I wanted to fuse the feeling of being a stranger and feeling joyful... sort of like making a new friend.”
Read the rest of Via Audio’s Backstory here.
“Static Waves” - Andrew Belle
In one of this week’s numerous BackStory installments, Andrew Belle gave us the low-down on his single, “Static Waves.”
Andrew said, “‘Static Waves’ was really an accident that happened while we were in the middle of making 'The Ladder' two years ago. We had just begun production on an up-tempo version of a song from the record called 'Oh My Stars' when I realized that I pretty much hated what was being created, haha. It lost all of the thoughtfulness and integrity of the slower version when we sped it up and added a band so I decided to scrap the whole track. [...] Looking back, I am so incredibly thankful that the song happened the way that it did - the record certainly wouldn't be the same without it.”
Read the rest of Andrew Belle’s BackStory, and watch the video for “Static Waves,” here.
“Hate Is The New Love” - Sam Humans
Liz wrote, “Sam Humans, formerly Modernstate, opens the EP with ‘Hate Is The New Love.’ Singing/talking in an authoritative tone, Sam Humans delivers a sermon of semi-depressing lyrics interlaced with synthesizer melodies and electric guitar. The song grew on me, to be honest. Sam Humans has something to say, and he says it with a gravelly-voiced intensity I really like. [...] My favorite song of all on the EP is ‘Boil Over’ by the Heliogoats. They definitely saved the best for last. The song is jaunty, desperate and a little bit angry all at once. I love the mixture of emotions in the lyrics and music. It’s beautiful!”
Read the rest of Liz’s album review here.
“Colours” - Grouplove
LN: You guys have a very unique story about how you met, on the beach in Greece of all places- how did you come up with the name Grouplove?
SG: I guess what the story is, is we were called Group and we had to change it because Group was an impossible name to keep! We always liked the name Grouplove as well, and we thought it was different, and it's a name people remember. And, it kind of explains us guys because how we met because we all just come from different places and different backgrounds and we all just kind of met in Greece, and we really enjoyed hanging out. And the name does have some funny connotations, but I think it just explains the band and our dynamic, and how we feel about each other.
LN: What would you say are some main musical influences for your group as a whole?
SG: I guess we all listen to different stuff, which is interesting. We are always arguing on the tour bus about what we listen to. People always say we sound like a modern day '90s band- which is kind of true, we have some '90s influences, but we listen to classic music too- the Beatles, the Stones- but we listen to modern music as well- we try and stay relevant. It's always a tough one when someone asks your influences!
LN: I can't even imagine- I wouldn't be able to choose!
Read the rest of Lauren’s interview here.
“International Profile” - Ana Sia
Monica Christoffels offered a sneak peek of Ana Sia’s upcoming, cross-country tour during her recent stop at The WOW Hall in Eugene.
Monica wrote, “The San Francisco-based DJ mixes “grimey glitch and dirty dubstep,” as her Facebook states, into a fresh, unique sound that’ll transport your mind to the far-reaching and hard-partying corners of the globe. [...] Her heavy hip-hop bassline and occasional lyrics make you feel like you’re in the heart of Chicago or St. Louis, and then the music changes to fast, techno trances reminiscent of European discotheques. A few minutes later, you’re in the drum-heavy dancehalls of Rio de Janeiro before the music adds in the familiar dub-step glitches, making you feel at home once again.”
Read the rest of Monica’s tour preview here.
“Mexican Mavis” - Boy & Bear
Kristina Villarini recently interviewed the Sydney, Australia band. Here’s a little of her conversation with lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Hosking.
KV: Who are the artists that inspired you?
DH: Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor, Neil Young. My dad played guitar and my family is very musical. At around age 13, I started listening to John Mayer, and it definitely affected me. It was really indie music that really changed everything, three years ago, things like Sigur Ros and Fleet Foxes. Arcade Fire is just a band that, you really have a sense of them, aesthetically. I love the concept of really knowing a band, and then, The Suburbs was such a spectacular record. So that's what I want to do, as a band.
KV: Is that your small obsession?
DH: To create a sound that is completely ours? [Laughs] Yeah, it is.
KV: How would you describe your sound to people who have never heard a Boy & Bear song before?
DH: It's really driven, with big harmonies and big drums. It's indie-folk. But I'd say just listen to the EP to get a better indication.
Read the rest of Kristina’s interview here.
“The Hour Glass” and “It’ll Catch Like Fire” - Thurlow
Laurel wrote, “‘The Hour Glass’ was recently chosen for the compilation To Haiti With Love with all proceeds going to an orphanage in Haiti. It's the track that first got me interested in the band, and it's now available to listeners below. I love the way it morphs from polite and quirky electro-acoustic pop to blown out rock angst during the chorus without losing any of its charm. [...] The musical textures were as unique as their vocals, with Augustus playing blues and grunge rock guitar licks against Jacqueline's blues and pop rock organ and keyboard chords.”
Read the rest of Laurel’s review here.
“The Original Mark” - The Details
Lauren Novik interviewed Sean Vidal, guitarist/vocalist of The Details. Here’s a little of their conversation:
LN: How'd Details form?
SV: All of us have played in various bands in the city over the years. The Details sort of formed out of the remnants of a couple different projects.
LN: Main musical influences?
SV: It really varies. When we're working out a new song there doesn't seem to be any reference too random. I'm pretty sure we've borrowed ideas from Enya.
LN: What's up for the Details in twenty-eleven, touring, shows, cds?
SV: This is shaping up to be a busy year for us. The Original Mark EP just came out, so there will be some touring for that. The new album will be out in spring so there will be a couple cross country tours in its support. We'll also be at SXSW in March.
Read the rest of Lauren’s interview here.
“Hard As Nails” and “Crutch Cane” - Peter Wolf Crier
Kelly wrote, “Headlining the show is Peter Wolf Crier, a lo-fi folk duo from Minneapolis that was created after Peter Pisano spontaneously shared a few songs with friend Brian Moen. Those few songs eventually developed into the band's debut album, Inter-Be, on the Jagjaguwar label. The songs of Peter Wolf Crier are softly hewn from bits and pieces of folk and modern indie rock. The patchwork sound of the duo seems relaxed and unconcerned with being polished. The songs are quite happy sounding a little rough around the edges, just the way they should be.”
Read the rest of Kelly’s concert preview here.