Tuesday, June 20th, 2006
Saturday night was a double-header – first was the Eels/Smoosh show at the Mod Club and then it was on the bike to zip down to the Drake Underground to catch killthelights and Levy, in all the way from New York City. Toronto’s Two Koreas were also on the bill but I didn’t stick around – sorry Stuart, long night. I’ve already written about both killthelights and Levy in the past week, so I won’t go over recently covered ground again – read the reviews.
killthelights had impressed me during NxNE at The Boat but this time they were playing to a much larger room and a much smaller and less worked-up crowd, so comparatively speaking they were already behind the 8-ball. Then their bassist broke a string early on in the set and that pretty much killed any momentum they’d built, forcing the rest of the band to jam aimlessly while he tuned up a loaner bass from Levy. They gamely tried to get back on track after that, but couldn’t quite do it in the time remaining. A pity, but I won’t hold it against them – what I’d seen and heard before Saturday night still has me impressed and everyone is allowed an off night. I mean, who breaks bass strings during a gig? Almost no one. And I figured it out. Singer Alex Hackett looks like Scott Bakula. A lot. But that’s cool, I like Scott Bakula.
Levy, on the other hand, didn’t impress at all. They seemed detached and disinterested in even being there, singer/guitarist James Levy opting to make clicking noises into the mic rather than speak to the audience and just generally conveying an off-putting smugness. The songs themselves also came across lacklustre – I’m pretty familiar with their album and didn’t hear any of the traits that made it an enjoyable if somewhat disposable listen. Sorry guys, but a couple of strong songs in a decidedly unoriginal style doesn’t get you enough capital to cop rock star attitudes. Update: If you think my reaction is strong, check this out. Wow.
Overall, a generally underwhelming bottom half to a Saturday night double-header. But still, photos were taken and the Smoosh/Eels show earlier in the evening did even out the net balance on the night.
Remember Portishead? Yeah, they barely remember themselves. But it turns out they’ve not only been hard at work at album #3, but they’ve even got something to show for it! Tripwire points to this MySpace blog post which hints that progress is being made, but more importantly, there’s a track to be downloaded. So do so:
Though not released officially till next
week month, you’ll be able to stream the whole of The Avalanche, Sufjan Stevens’ alternate universe Illinois album from Asthmatic Kitty, as the week calendar progresses. They’re putting more of the album online every day until the record’s official release date on July 11th and there’s still the one track available for downloading. I posted my thoughts on the record last month.
Comets On Fire are at Lee’s Palace September 5. And For The Records has been doing some detective work as to the mysterious “V Festival” at Olympic Island the weekend of September 9 and 10. I won’t recap his work save to summarize that what appears confirmed are Gnarls Barkley and Zero 7 and I keep hearing the words “Flaming” and “Lips”. More gossip as it develops. Update: I’ve been told that the official announcement will come on June 30. But until then, way-out conspiracy theories are welcome and encouraged.
Did anything in the movie surprise you?
I was surprised by how bad my hair was. Why didn’t they tell me?
And iTunes has Lunafied. Even though I have most of this material, I felt compelled to buy it still. Tangent – Head Full Of Wishes has uploaded a load of Galaxie 500/Luna-related video content. Go watch.
np – M Ward / Transistor Radio