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Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Running Out

Oh, Mates Of State, if only we could bottle your energy and pep and sell it to the masses. Well until someone comes up with a way for us to mainline Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel, we’ll have to settle for aural fixes. Though on paper there’s many angles from which to apply the gimmick tag to the drum-and-keyboard duo (They’re married! They have no guitars! They’re as cute as kittens riding puppies!), the bottom line with them is they make some unbelievably hooky pop records and their latest Bring It Back may well be their best one yet.

What I’d heard of Mates Of State in the past was undeniably fun and catchy, but was always a bit too much on the saccharine side for safe prolonged exposures. Something about the new record is different though – while all they’ve still got all the exuberance, there are some laugh lines showing, a little bit of weariness. It’s subtle, oh so subtle, but I hear it and it gives things a little more emotional heft. There’s some newfound sonic heft as well, the arrangements being unbelievably full for just a two-piece act.

But the husband-wife angle does make for some entertaining interview dynamics. Nerve asked the duo about their porn habits and groupie action (of course they did), Suicide Girls wants to talk about their daughter and Indieinterviews does the podcast thing with the band.

The band has material new and old available on their MySpace page while new label Barsuk has put together an eCard for the new album with a bunch of songs streaming as well as the video for the single “Fraud In The 80s”, which you can download below:

MP3: Mates Of State – “Fraud In The 80s”
Video: Mates Of State – “Fraud In The 80s” (MOV)

NME has the whole of Howling Bells’ self-titled debut album available to stream right now. The record is officially out in the UK on Monday, but pre-orders were sent out in advance – I’ve had mine since Tuesday and it’s good. Go listen.

And more previews – the Golden Smog MySpace page has got one complete track and three teasers from their new album, Another Fine Day, out July 18. Smogger Gary Louris tells The San Francisco Chronicle that despite all the “yes we’re broken up no we’re not” back-and-forth last year, The Jayhawks are basically done.

And a Louris segue – Billboard finally has info on the all-star (including Gary) live Sadies album recorded at Lee’s Palace back in February. It’s a 41-track (!) double-disc set called In Concert Volume One and will be out August 8. Yep Roc has the official release.

NOW and The Toronto Sun preview the Over The Top Fest, happening right now. As we speak. This very second.

And on the concert tip – The Concretes will be performing an instore at Soundscapes tonight at 7 before their headlining show at the Horseshoe later this evening. Pitchfork previews the tour. Tap-tacular sugar buzz Tilly & The Wall will be at the Mod Club June 11 (tickets $13.50) to celebrate their new album Bottom Of Barrels, out May 23, and alt.country veterans The Bottle Rockets are at Lee’s June 12 ($10.50). Their new album Zoysia is out June 6. July 26 sees The Futureheads, whose News And Tributes is out June 13, along with new XL Recordings signees and blogosphere darlings Tapes N Tapes at the Phoenix.

Some of the festivals taking place at Harbourfront this Summer are getting announced. Some highlights – The Dears and Jason Collett as part of Power of Place, happening over Canada Day weekend, Konono No 1 and Jamie Lidell with Beats, Breaks & Culture the following weekend while The Weakerthans headline rom the Peg!, a salute to the music of Winnipeg, July 28, 29 and 30.

The AV Club’s rundown of this summer’s movie crop is almost certainly more entertaining than most of the films coming out between now and September.

np – Wilco / A Ghost Is Born

By : Frank Yang at 8:50 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. kathryn says:

    From what I’ve read they actually strayed from the organ-drums thing and allowed the occasional guitar and bass on the album.

    Also moving to New Haven, CT, away from any discernible music "scene" and having a baby probably helped in the emotional heft.

    I really like Bring it Back, but many of their older fans don’t like the new direction.

  2. matthew says:

    I only discovered Mates of State with this album, so I don’t have anything to compare it to…I absolutely love it.