Saturday, April 15th, 2006
An Old Familiar Scene
One of the few Elephant 6-affiliated bands to still be kicking it old-school is Athens’ Elf Power. While their psychedelic compatriots have taken hiatuses, broken up, reconfigured or simply gone mad, Andrew Rieger, Laura Carter and co. have plugged right on, turning out album after album of slightly fey, whimsical yet increasingly muscular indie pop. In fact, it seems with every record Elf Power has gotten darker, both musically and lyrically – maybe that’s inevitable as you get older and realize you’re still playing in a band called “Elf Power”. Maybe they should change their name to “Dark Elf Power” or “Drow Power”. Okay, I totally just outed myself as a former D&D geek, though maybe that’s cool now. Hmm. Moving on.
Their new album, Back To The Web, will be out April 25 and the band will be in town at the Horseshoe on May 3, with The Instruments and Lake Holiday opening. Funny – I remember seeing Elf Power some three-plus years ago and thinking that we (Lake Holiday) would be a perfectly-fit opening band for them. And now that I’m no longer with that band, we/they are. Go figure. Anyway, some of the band’s local media outlets have got interviews with Andrew Rieger – check out pieces from Flagpole and Red & Black. But question – now that the Power’s new label, Rykodisc, has been bought by Warner Bros, does that mean Elf Power is a major label band? Hmm. Ponder that while you listen to the first MP3 from the new disc:
It seems not so long ago they were cramming a dozen-plus members onto the stage at the Horseshoe, but now Bright Eyes have moved to bigger and posher things – witness their just-announced cross-Canada tour this Summer, which will culminate in a show at Massey Hall on June 14. Well, I suppose if Cake can play Massey Hall, then Bright Eyes can. Gruff Rhys, taking a break from all things Super Furry to promote his Yr Atal Genhedlaeth solo album, will open all dates.
Fresh off the resurrection of Son Volt, Jay Farrar tells Billboard he’s working on an album of traditional numbers called Gob Iron with Anders Parker, due out this Fall, as well as live DVD on May 23 called Live: 6 String Belief. But fear not – the Volt rests far from the back burner. They’re touring with Drive-By Truckers this Spring and will head back into the studio soon thereafter to record the second SVMk2 album, due out in Spring of ’07.
Harp reports on Neil Young’s forthcoming new album, which will be entitled Living With War. As you can imagine, it’s a protest album of sorts and judging from one of the song titles (“Impeach The President”), it’s a bit heavy-handed. Not surprisingly, even with Dubya’s microscopic approval ratings, his supporters are already getting their knives out for Neil – it’s bad enough that anyone would deign to criticze the president, let alone a Canadian? Thrasher’s Wheat has been following the online scuttlebutt closely.
np – Billy Bragg / The Internationale