! = recommended
* = all-ages
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The Drums - Portamento: Look, it's no secret that I've been in love with The Drums since I heard "Let's Go Surfing", but I wasn't prepared to be as blown away by their sophomore album as I was. I mean, seriously. From track 1 (the super-catchy "Book of Revelation") to track 12, this CD is pure perfection with the same bouncy, poppy beats of their self-titled debut -- somehow sounding familiar and brand new at the same time. Standouts: "Hard to Love", "Please Don't Leave" and "I Need a Doctor". Oh yeah, and they're playing October 12 at The Crocodile! (Guess who'll be in the front row?)
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the Nashville punk band Be Your Own Pet was the only band I listened to in 2008 – the log from iTunes for what’s played on my iPod confirm they were certainly the band I listened to the most last year. Their album, Get Awkward, was a blast of youthful energy from a band that sounded like they were getting in trouble when they weren’t rocking. The best part of the band, though, was their lead singer Jemina Pearl, who is every bit the badass Avril Lavigne pretends to be.
Be Your Own Pet broke up in the summer of 2008 and Pearl and BYOP guitarist John Eatherly moved to New York and recorded a fantastic and edgy pop record called Break it Up, which was just released last week. The album boasts an impressive roster of artists with appearances by Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth (who has long been a supporter of BYOP) and Iggy Pop and was produced by Dave Sitek, an in-demand producer and member of TV on the Radio.
Jemina Pearl is currently touring the US while opening for Canadian indie rock band Islands. This tour includes a stop at Chop Suey on Monday, October 19. I spoke with Pearl by phone about a week into the tour and thought she was very friendly and easy to talk to.
Last year, I spent a disproportionate ammount of time listening to Be Your Own Pet's second LP, Get Awkward. It was my favorite album of 2008 and even today has three of the top five spots on my Top 25 most played songs list on iTunes. It was this great teenage punk album made by some Nashville kids who spend their free time eating pizza, watching zombie movies and seeing what kind of trouble they can get into at the mall. It both deflates and confirms the worst suspicions adults had of their generation but just before the economy had its bottom yanked out from underneath itself, you could hardly fault anyone for being apathetic if they were dealt a hand that included growing up young in George Bush's America.
Innerpartysystem is releasing a 7" of their single "Don't Stop" in the UK, and it's on chocolate and fully functional! The Pennsylvanian group will become the first band to ever release their single on chocolate, and have limited the run to 100 copies.
The band said that they'd try to release an EP with the censored songs on them. I was skeptical but optimistic.
For fuck's sake.
Here's a story we all know too well: about three weeks ago, Fluxblog posted a song that I fell in love with. I've listened to the song over and over again and bought the album it was to be on the week it was released, when I got home and uploaded it to my iPod I realized my song just wasn't there. "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?" I wondered. Now I have the answer and you have no idea just how much it pisses me off.