Saturday, May 20th, 2006
San Francisco’s Film School were a little behind the eight-ball with me before last night’s show at the Horseshoe. A very long and rainy day/week combined with a late scheduled start time wasn’t exactly getting my gig-going heart aflutter, but I managed to haul my ass down to the ‘Shoe just in time for their midnight set (apologies to Uncut and The Anti-Q’s for missing their sets). And thank goodness I did.
I’ve seen them live and have been living with their self-titled full-length for a few months now, but somehow they managed to surprise the hell out of me with the intensity of their show. Compact, taut and powerful the five-piece tore through much of their album as well as a couple of older songs from their Alwaysnever EP and a new one to cap off the encore. The band may be insisting they’re not part of any shoegazer revival (at least that’s what they told The Boston Globe) but there’s little question what sort of audience their stuff appeals to. Take the drive and aggression of Swervedriver, who themselves never quite fit into the “shoegaze” tag, and the atmospherics and vocal traits of The Cure, throw in a touch of American hardcore and UK post-punk danceability and you’ve got a pretty damned good sound. The crowd was smallish for the band’s first Canadian show (and only one of the tour since the Montreal date for tonight has been cancelled) but seemed totally into it from my vantage point and were even dancing by the end. Dancing. In Toronto. Think about that.
Gig photos here. Got to try out my new Sigma 30mm f1.4 and am quite pleased with the results – hooray for more light! Check out one of the tracks from Film School and the new video for “11:11”. And there’s also the requisite MySpace account.
Starting Sunday night, Film School will be teaming up with Indianapolis’ Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s for what should be two weeks of a stupidly good bill. Coincidentally, I saw both Margot and Film School back to back at SxSW in March – of course, I had to run across halfway across downtown Austin between their sets, but whatever. Half of Margot recently stopped in at AOL Music for an acoustic session/podcast/Q&A/thingee.
Another band in the “we are NOT looking at our shoes!” genre are Norway’s Serena Maneesh – though rather than take Film School’s tense, tightly-wound approach they instead infuse it all with a healthy dose of glam. They’re offering a free MP3 of a remix of “Sapphire Eyes” which originally appeared on a limited-edition Insound-only split 7″, but you have to sign up to their official mailing list to get it. The band’s self-titled album came out domestically either two weeks ago or on this coming Tuesday, depending on who you ask. Either way, it’s available over here – if you’re looking. Check out some audio at their MySpace, download a track and watch a new video at Insound:
Sigur Ros tells The Independent about a recent close encounter of the Tom Cruise kind. And while you’d generally figure them to be one of the great, uncoverable bands – New York’s We Are Scientists (not We Are Scientologists) gave it a shot anyway with a rendition of “Hoppipolla” off of Takk. Stereogum’s got it and you know what? It’s… actually quite good. Huge props for trying and not failing – if you want my respect and admiration (for whatever it’s worth) by covering some Sigur Ros, I’ll send you here first. We Are Scientists will be in town June 17 at the Kool Haus supporting Arctic Monkeys.
Everyone wants to talk to Tom Verlaine. The New York Times (Bugmenot) gets a pretty good piece – The New York Post does not. Verlaine is in town as a keynote speaker the second weekend of June for NxNE and will saddle up with Television for a hugely anticipated show (by me) at the Phoenix June 9.
Elvis Costello is (almost) coming to town. He’ll be at the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls on July 7 and 8. A casino, Declan? I think you might be taking this namesake thing a little far. A line has been crossed. His new album with Allen Toussaint, The River In Reverse, will be out June 6.
np – The Like Young / Last Secrets