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Keepaway

Keepaway

The possibility in our electronic age is huge.

That’s what the bio for Keepaway says on Lefse Records.  And it’s true.

So many of these electro bands can manipulate music in such a way that you never thought these sounds would be possible, and you never would have thought to create them.  But someone has.  And today we’re talking about Keepaway.

The Brooklyn-based trio is Mike Burakoff (“the sampling one”), Frank Lyon (drums) and Nick Nauman (guitar).  They all like to sing.  And they bring fresh sounds to samples, creating psychedelic “future pop” with big beats and catchy hooks that you can’t help but dance to.

The thing about these electro acts is – do they hold up live?  In terms of Keepaway, I’ve heard they bring as much power and pop to their performances as they do in the album versions of their songs, so I’ll definitely be checking them out in the next month or so.  They are playing Glasslands on April 30th with Tanlines and their EP release party is slated for May 18th at Mercury Lounge.

Take a listen to “Yellow Wings” on their debut EP Baby Style

Keepaway – Yellow Wings

As The Stars Fall…

Play this record as frequently as possible.  Then, as it becomes easier for you, play the record once a day, or as needed.

As The Stars Fall is an avant-garde musical journey through the mediums of art, photography and film.  At least that’s what I think, and I love it.

I stumbled upon the band’s MySpace page, and immediately fell in love with the songs and the accompanying visuals, which seem to be as important a part of the auditory experience as the music itself.  Watch and listen to the video above for the track “Untitled,” and check out the As The Stars Fall blog here.

Maybe because they are based in Paris, so most of what’s been written about them is in French, but I haven’t been able to find a lot on what seems to be an elusive project, citing influences including Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Portishead, Bjork, Efterklang, The Radio Dept., Radiohead, Gus Van Sant and Bat for Lashes – all forthebeat favorites.

In an interview with Cat on the Wall, As The Stars Fall introduce themselves as Remi and Steve, two composers/photographers/graphic designers, who began working together in 2001 as a hip hop outfit (perhaps why some have dubbed them as “trip-hop”), but have evolved and will release their first EP Tempus Fugit on April 26th, followed by another EP, live shows and art exhibitions.

Below is their official bio, and hop on their site to download the track “Alone” here.

As The Stars Fall is a black and white photography of a glowing light slowly fading out in the night, a disenchanted glance at the world, the soundtrack of tormented life, that could have been written by Hubert Selby Jr, some frozen memories, a bitter melancholy…Throbbing melodies talking to your soul, light and aerial like a Sigur Ros song, tragic like a Clint Mansell composing.  As The Stars Fall is a touch of desperation, the end of a sad story…

UPDATE: Just got our hands on two tracks, listen –

As The Stars Fall – Untitled

As The Stars Fall – Alone

Apollo Sunshine

Apollo Sunshine

I will always associate Apollo Sunshine with my first winter in New York, especially their 2008 album Shall Noise Upon Noise.  It’s not that I listened to it a ton, though this was not for the lack of effort of a friend who tirelessly promoted this band to me, but more because they sounded so opposite of the bleak winter landscape outside.  Apollo Sunshine, alas, is a very appropriate name for this band, and they were nearly able to thaw me out in 2009.

Though not supporting a new album, they recently embarked on a mini-tour, playing a Brooklyn date at Park Slope’s Southpaw.  Aside from a consistently, well, sunny sound, Apollo Sunshine is almost too eclectic to characterize.  I heard comparisons made to everyone from Ben Folds to ZZ Top to Akron/Family.  They sound nothing like any of those bands, by the way, at least not for longer than a song.  Wild eclecticism can sound unfocused and overly reliant on influences.  Somehow, Apollo Sunshine always manages to sound like themselves despite their stylistic variability through a mix of earnestness, confidence in their craft, and musical prowess.

Their stage show is something of a joy, too, independent of the music.  The foursome appear to be having a genuinely great time on stage whether jamming, harmonizing over a simple power pop song, or cracking jokes between songs.  They clearly love to simply rock out and make the crowd lose themselves.  They succeeded.  And yes, I realize that this sounds a bit idealistic and cheesy, but that’s how Apollo Sunshine makes you feel.  Or me, rather.  But probably you, too.

Apollo Sunshine – 666: The Coming of the New World Government

Oh Make Me Over: Hole

hole

Hole played the Spin Magazine show at sxsw, and forthebeat ran to the front to see the amazingness that is Courtney Love and her seemingly normal band (minus the new guitarist, who, in her words, is “the biggest fuck up shes ever met.” And yea he looked pretty weird/fucked up, we were into it).

She is a legend. She is a mess. And we loved every minute of it. When “And the sky was made of amethyst…” came on, forthebeat and our posse nearly lost it. We tried to start a mosh pit but were unsuccessful, but we jumped up and down and screamed the lyrics thrashing our hair until “Violet” came to a close. It was an absolute epic occasion and thank you Spin Magazine for being so awesome and giving us passes.

“I never wanted to be the person you see … I never wanted to be some sort of comic relief. I don’t know who I am,” was one of the more poignant moments of the show, a new song called “Letter to God.” When Love finished,  she said to the crowd, “Thank you,” visibly upset, pulling her hair back from her face, she continued, “That took a lot out of me.”

While she played a few legendary tracks, she also played 6 new ones including her new single “Skinny Little Bitch,” listen here:

Hole – Skinny Little Bitch

You can also hear a live version of “Violet” from a festival in Sydney in 1999 I found on Licorice Pizza:

Hole – Violet (Live)

More lyrics from new track “Letter to God”:

I lie awake conducting this symphony,
that you have gifted to me, I can't ever sleep,
don't get mad, but I get weak inside,
and I start to fall apart, cause I feel nothing,
I never wanted to be, some kind of comic relief,
please show me who I am

forthebeat favorite: DELOREAN

delorean

Hands down, this is forthebeat’s most anticipated album of 2010.

We first discovered Delorean after stumbling upon their amazing remix of Glasser’s “Glad.”  We were hooked.  We listened to everything we could get our hands on.  We saw them at Market Hotel.  And despite being the worst venue ever (the stage flooded and the electricity went out three times during the four song set), Delorean’s infectious synthpop tunes and energetic presence made us feel that the small venue was actually a giant festival and we were front and center rocking out to our favorite songs.

That was the night we fell in love with Delorean.

forthebeat just caught them again at SXSW last week, where the band played all new material.  And yesterday, forthcoming album opener “Stay Close” hit the blogs.

Listen here and fall in love.

Delorean – Stay Close

The Barcelona-based foursome are currently on tour with Miike Snow (we’re catching them at Bowery Ballroom this Sunday night).  And dates are sprinkled here and there with Lemonade, Brahms, jj and a few others.  If you have a chance to see them, GO.  Prepare yourself with their EP Ayrton Senna and mark your calendar for their upcoming album Subiza, out on Matador’s sub-label True Panther on June 8th.

fool’s gold kept us warm

fool's gold

It was a cold and dreary day as we venture out into Austin for our last few shows of SXSW this past Saturday.  First, we stopped off at Iron Works BBQ, where we devoured 4 pounds – that’s right 4 pounds – of brisket and ribs.  (Fine, we didn’t finish it and there was a boy with us, I SWEAR.)

After catching a few sets including Memory Tapes, Dead Confederate, Twin Tigers and running into one of our faves Millionyoung, we ended up at the Mess With Texas outdoor stage for Fool’s Gold.

Armed with Sailor Jerry’s rum and coffee, we braved the cold and the whole crowd gathered in close to watch the LA-based band.  They were cold too.  Bundled up in hooded parkas and sunglasses, they looked like a little band of bongo playing, incognito eskimos and declared this past Saturday “National Shrinkage Day.”

Their humor along with catchy pop infused with African beats and melodies kind of made you forget about the weather and picture yourself dancing on some island somewhere to sunny, infectious tunes.

After warming up the crowd, the second song on the band’s debut album “Surprise Hotel” had us hooked.  You love the album version as much as you love the live version because most of the songs on the self-titled album were recorded live in 2008 and completed in 2009.  Take a listen…

Fool’s Gold – Surprise Hotel

new forthebeat favorite: Warpaint

warpaint

There was a ton of sxsw gold this year.  Warpaint was among the shiners and a definite stand-out.  forthebeat caught two Warpaint shows, the first being an outdoor afternoon concert at Eastbound and Found on Thursday, March 18th, followed by The Morning Benders (double excellence).

The second Warpaint show we caught was an early one on Friday morning at the Windish/Pitchfork showcase on the main sxsw strip at Emo’s.  It was a bit rough waking up that early, but completely worth it and perhaps my favorite of the entire week.  It was early, it was dark, and the girls seemed to have just woken up but nevertheless mesmerized the entire crowd from start to finish.

Warpaint is Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman on vocals and guitar, Jenny Lee Lindberg on vocals and bass and Stella Mozgawa on drums (Lindberg’s sister Shannyn Sossamon used to be the drummer).  The four girls have an amazing stage presence.  I had heard their EP prior to seeing them and was intrigued but seeing them live took it to a whole other level.

Favorites: Stars, Elephants, Beetles:

Warpaint – Beetles

SXSW Bound…

SXSW

forthebeat is heading to SXSW!

We’ll be dark for a few days, but follow us on Twitter or Facebook (look to the right) to keep up with our whereabouts.  We’ll have lots of good stuff for you when we get back.

Meanwhile, here’s a little taste of things we’re excited to see in the coming days…

Hole – Doll Parts

Japandroids – Wet Hair

Holy Ghost! – Hold On

Tanlines – Z

Delorean – Deli

Memory Tapes – Bicycle

Warpaint – Elephants

jj – Ecstacy

the morning benders – excuses

The Morning Benders

If I went to prom in the 1950s, this would be my slow dance jam…

The Morning Bender’s song “Excuses” is the first track on the San Francisco band’s new album Big Echo.  Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor co-produced the band’s second album, which debuted last week to a bit of a media frenzy (mark this for your 2010 albums of the year lists, along with my pick so far – Beach House.)

I’m a little sad we missed the release party at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn last week (we were enjoying an epic night in the city with Washed Out, Small Black, PICTUREPLANE <3 and Millionyoung).

The Morning Benders will be back in New York at Mercury Lounge on April 22nd.  If you can’t wait that long, check out a video of the band performing live with all of their friends from San Fran helping out, just prior to the release of their album here.  The video is as sweet and atmospheric as the song.  Also, our friend Chris Grunder captured “Excuses” from the release party at Cameo here.  Enjoy!

The Morning Benders – Excuses

New Video: Fabian’s Heatwave

mp

It’s Monday. Gross.

Fabian’s Heatwave is electrifyingly awesome. It’s the first thing I turn on in the morning and really gets me going, in an 80′s nightclub, spandex, dance floor kind of way. When I first found this video by TNUC, I couldn’t believe how amazing it was. If I tried to put it into words, I  wouldn’t be able to do it justice. Luckily, the man behind the creation did, and here are his intro words to the video:

TNUC on the video he made recently for Fabian’s new single Heatwave: “If  fast cars, fast women, leisure suits, cocaine, shade-tipping meatheads, disco, hardbodies, epic sunsets and Patrick Swayze are some of the things you hold dear to your heart, then book your first class ticket to Bogota to enter a pelvic-thrusting HEATWAVE.”

Enjoy:


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