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Friday, August 11th, 2006

At The Soundless Dawn

Post-rock is a tricky genre. Practitioners are inevitably going to get likened to Godspeed You Exploding Mogwai In The Sky, and more often than not, the comparisons are apt. There’s only so many ways to spin the no vocal, spidery guitar, thundering drum, epic song length with explosive crescendo thing – but thankfully fans of the genre aren’t necessarily looking for anyone to reinvent the wheel, just give them the whole tension-release thing and do it well. It’s about the visceral response, not an intellectual one, and visceral is something Los Angeles’ Red Sparowes offers aplenty.

The band’s pedigree includes Isis, Neurosis and other such bands with great experience in heaviness, but Red Sparowes’ 2005 release At The Soundless Dawn is surprisingly not that heavy – it certainly gets heavy at points, see the aforementioned “explosive crescendo”, but it’s balanced out by quiet passages and some very tasteful pedal steel, particularly in “A Brief Moment Of Clarity Broke Through the Deafening Hum, But It Was Too Late”. Yes, the genre-requisite, super-long song titles are also present. Based on this record, they don’t break any barriers or redefine the style, but they’re good at it and they can/will definitely hurt you with sound. And really, isn’t that all we want out of life?

Red Sparowes are in town on August 19 for a show at Lee’s Palace with Philadelphia’s Versoma and Toronto’s Fjord Rowboat. I’m running a contest for passes to this show, so if you’re curious and want to take a shot at winning, click here. Otherwise tickets are $10 at the usual outlets.

MP3: Red Sparowes – “Alone And Unaware, The Landscape Was Transformed In Front Of Our Eyes”
MP3: Red Sparowes – “Like The Howling Glory Of The Darkest Winds, This Voice Was Thunderous And The Words Holy, Tangling Their Way Around Our Hearts And Clutching Our Innocent Awe”

Billboard reports that Aimee Mann’s next album One More Drifter In The Snow will be a Christmas album due out on Hallowe’en.

Well THAT only took 10 months. Nellie McKay’s Pretty Little Head will finally be coming out on October 10, courtesy of SpinArt – or at least that’s what Amazon would have us believe.

PopMatters eulogizes Arthur Lee by contemplating his greatest work, Forever Changes. I was thinking a bit about how I said the other day that I would take Forever Changes over Pet Sounds or Sgt Pepper’s, and was trying to reason out why. Best I can come up with? I hear blood in Forever Changes. Blood and snot. Take that as you will.

Pitchfork converses with Stephin Merritt about his pretty much universally reviled (by everyone I’ve talked to, anyway) Showtunes album.

The Toronto Star and Ann Arbor Free Press talk to Tim O’Reagan about stepping out from behind The Jayhawks’ kit for his first solo album. He’s in town for a free show at the Horseshoe on Tuesday, August 16 15.

Joseph Arthur is at the Mod Club on September 30. Billboard has the complete rundown on Arthur’s Fall schedule.

The New Music reminisces in list-form about Lollapalooza and points to this Spin piece about the closing day grudge match between Broken Social Scene and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

And one final Lolla note – MY PHOTOS ARE UP. Dear God, you have no idea how long these took me to process, but damn they look good if I do say so myself.

Dear eye – thanks for the shout-out, but re: “if you’re not so much into the twee”… what does that mean? Do I have to have a metal week for you? Cause I’ll do it. All Stryper, all the time.

Check out the trailer for Martin Scorcese’s The Departed, aka the Americanized Infernal Affairs, aka his latest love affair with Leonardo DiCaprio.

np – The Long Winters / Putting The Days To Bed

By : Frank Yang at 8:54 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Thierry says:

    Tim O’Reagan’s show is on the 15, not the 16.

  2. DW. says:

    > I was thinking a bit about how I said the other day that I would take Forever Changes over Pet Sounds or Sgt Pepper’s, and was trying to reason out why. Best I can come up with? I hear blood in Forever Changes. Blood and snot. Take that as you will.

    Word. First lines from "Live and Let Live": "Oh the snot has caked against my pants, it has turned into crystal."

  3. mjrc says:

    i just read the article in spin about bss vs. rhcp, and at first glance, i thought the top photo was of feist!