Gainesville Common Grounds
November 27, 2007
It's nice that Black Kids are getting so much exposure. They're from Jacksonville, about two hours away from here, and so it means that my housemate and other friends know the guys from the band. It also means that at the end of their set, people were shouting "DUUUVAAAL!" at them, which you have to be from Florida to understand. After giving the world Limp Bizkit, it's nice to have something a little more credible to call our local band.
The downside of the massive hype machine already behind them is that they only have, like, ten songs, and so it's too soon to speak of them as the next saviours of music. Other people can debate the hype all they want. It's weird, though, that the band has played more shows in New York than in Florida (outside of Jacksonville), and next week have like six London dates lined up. Remember, they have ten songs.
But ignoring all that, we went to check 'em on Tuesday and they were pretty solid. Not spectacular, but really good. The band knows how to get people dancing, recalling in parts The Cure (Reggie has a Smith-like voice) and the Killers, with their twin synth onslaught. Also, if UK readers remember the band Younger Younger 28s, there's a touch of them in there too. I never, ever thought I'd bring up YY28s on this website. Just the two girls, one bloke approach on vocals, that's about it.
They opened really well and finished really well, with a bit of a lull in the middle. What are these guys? 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not'? (I've been meaning to make that joke ever since the show a few nights ago).
People only know four of their songs, and they threw out the best known, 'I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You' very early, but others like 'Hurricane Jane' and the last one they played show that they've got some good ideas under that Afro. If you see them, expect nothing more than a good dance and you'll be golden. Also, throw shapes!
[download the 'Wizard of Ahhs' EP from their official site]
Thanks to Sarah for the pic - see her full set on Flickr.
I've got exams coming up very soon, so I'll either post a lot more in here, or even less than I already have been. In lieu of real content, here are some links that you should click, open, and subsequently read.
- The Kid begins his quest to review every Bond film. [Scharpling and Wurster]
- Bradley's Almanac offers two really great (new) live sets - The National(s) in a pub, and even better, Spiritualized in a museum. [Bradley's Almanac]
- Oh, so that's why we lost to Croatia. [BBC News]
- Last.fm is trying to make Lucky Soul the Christmas number one. Good luck with that. [Last.fm]
- Crispin Glover gets some props. Not mentioned: His eyeball collection. [Guardian Unlimited]
Less Than Jake/Pepper
Gainesville Flavet Field
November 12, 2007
Not long ago, my housemate and I were talking about the band Bloodhound Gang, and about how their brand of juvenile, aimed-at-high-schoolers-and-frat-guys music is inoffensive enough, but are they really going to still play the same songs when they're in their 40s? When dudes are a lot older than their audience, and are singing about sex and drugs and booze, it gets a little embarrassing. Enter the evocatively-named Pepper, a band from Hawaii, who know their audience very well, and accordingly play a really dull brand of lightweight ska-rock which all sounds the same, and only talk about how they love getting drunk/high and getting girls to take their tops off and such. Also, they had a song called 'Dirty Hot Sex' (sample lyric: "get down on your knees, and don't forget the balls"). Maybe it's because, at 24, I was older than most of the people in the audience (it was a free show at a college campus), but I just didn't like it at all. Nicest thing to say about Pepper? One dude looked like the main trapper (on the right) from 'Cannibal: The Musical'.
Less Than Jake are pretty juvenile, too - they get people to make out on stage, talk about drinking an awful lot - but at least they know how to have fun. Again, I only vaguely know a couple of their songs and went along because it was free and close to my house and some friends were going, but I had a good time. I didn't quite get the skanking right - my elbows weren't quite hitting my knees - but it was fun regardless. They mentioned a few times that they are from Gainesville, and how they haven't played on the UF campus in twelve years. They went down very well, but like Tom Petty or Chris Leak, they could shit in a trombone and people in Gainesville would go nuts. They threw out lots of t-shirts and other merch from the stage, which is cool I suppose, and they finished, of course, with a massive singalong to their most a propos jam. A nice way to not study on a Monday night, don't know if I'd have gone if it had required any effort on my part, but certainly check them out if you're at a festival and there are no conflicts with bands you'd rather see.
[download Less Than Jake - Gainesville Rock City]
Slow Down Ronnie - Mark E. babbles about snooker champ Ronnie O'Sullivan in a manner that is comprehensible only to Mark E.
Jamie Thomas - Camden's favourite son sings about a skateboarder. Good tune for a quick spaz out.
Tony Adams - One legend's tribute to another legend.
Mr. Carbohydrate - "Have you heard of Matthew Maynard? He's my favourite cricketer. I'd rather watch him play, than pick up my guitar".
Bonus: Post Match Analysis - A nice companion piece to 'Tony Adams'. Alas, there are no songs I can think of about Dixon, Winterburn or Bould.
[download Von Sudenfed - Slow Down Ronnie]
[download Graham Coxon - Jamie Thomas]
[download Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - Tony Adams]
[download Manic Street Preachers - Mr. Carbohydrate]
[download Blak Twang - Post Match Analysis]
Here are things on the Internet that I think are good.
- The last three episodes of Music Weekly have featured Ray Davies, King Creosote and Steve Mason - that's a pretty solid track record. The latest one, with Steve using the phrase "like Beelzebub in hotpants" is available here.
- Speaking of Steve Mason, you can download the single from his new project Black Affair for free from their website. It's electro-pop goodness.
- Neko Case is offering a new song on her site - it's a demo from the 'Fox Confessor Brings the Flood' days, but it sounds very robust and more developed than yer average demo. It's ace, of course.
- [download Neko Case - Behind the House (demo)]
- "I can't believe I'm skipping Gossip Girl for this shit." SAH liveblogs the Country Music Awards.
- Carrie from Sleater Kinney has a blog and it's great and you should read it. Lest you've forgotten:
- [download Sleater-Kinney - Entertain]
- Finally, I know I've not been posting much lately, but I've some good news: I've discovered what I'm going to do after I get my law degree:
I can't explain it.
I really like the band Thursday. Have done for years.
I don't like any of the bands that they're often lumped in with, nor do I like much else that sounds like them. I don't know what makes them so special, but I've dug two of their albums - 'Full Collapse' and 'War All the Time' - a whole lot. The latest one, 'A City by the Light Divided' I could take or leave, but I still care enough to have bought their new rarities set 'Kill the House Lights' [buy].
As with most compilations, it's a little hit-or-miss. There's a handful of new songs - lead track 'Ladies and Gentlemen - My Brother, The Failure' (listen at myspace) is probably the most interesting, because it features backing from Tim Kasher out of Cursive. There are some demos, a couple of interludes which I could do without, and a version of 'How Long is the Night' with an extended intro, which again is a little redundant. I bought it over iTunes, so I don't get the DVD with live performances and documentary, so I feel dumb about that. This band are terrific live.
Here's the original, album version of 'How Long is the Night', listen to it!
[download Thursday - How Long is the Night]
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