Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007
Like I Do
Every year, I try to come away from SxSW with at least a couple of wholly new band discoveries – I’m talking above and beyond confirming or dismissing the quality of the acts heading into Austin already possessing a considerable amount of buzz. Just bands come across randomly either by club hopping or maybe from the MP3 mega-torrent who I’d never heard of previously. Past discoveries include Dirty On Purpose (random club hop), Decoder Ring (MP3 torrent) and The Oktober People (didn’t even see them – handed a free CD) and for 2007, you can add San Francisco’s Minipop to the list.
I caught them the first night of the fest and to recap – despite a set plagued with technical problems (how often do you blow a power circuit at one of these showcases?) and a generally crummy venue (sports bar!), I was won over by their winsome but not wimpy dream pop. The copy I got of their debut album A New Hope confirmed the potential on display before the power went out – Minipop are tapped into something special. Much of that comes from the pipes of lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist Tricia Kanne, which possess a weary sweetness that remind me of of The Sundays’ Harriet Wheeler – Sundays fans know that this is not a comparison to be made lightly, but I think it’s deserved. Her voice is that beguiling.
The band behind her does a fine job of adding weight and where necessary, rock, to the proceedings without ever becoming overwhelming and the songs range from solid to sublime. The opening one-two punch of “Fingerprints” and “Like I Do” should be enough to win over anyone but the rest of the record is hardly filler – it’s a remarkably solid and consistent collection of sparkling, melodic, dreamy pop, especially for a debut from a band just two years old. Even though their star deserves to rise high, I don’t expect that a cross-continental (to say nothing of international) tour will be in the offing anytime soon so I’ll be happy to have caught them, be it briefly and sort of calamitously, in Austin and be patient.
Performer has a nice feature/interview with the band. And note that the video below is for the version of “Fingerprints” on 2005’s The Precious EP – the version on A New Hope is different.
Pitchfork offers up an expansive interview with Jarvis Cocker, who releases Jarvis in North America today, and ironically the only working link I can find for it at a reasonable price is the import version. Eiter way, you can stream the whole thing at Spinner below:
Stream: Jarvis Cocker / Jarvis
Also on offer this week – the new one from Fountains Of Wayne.
Shots Ring Out talks to Scott Cudmore, director of the first video from Great Lake Swimmers’ new album Ongiara. Great Lake Swimmers are in town in a couple weeks for a double-header at the Church Of The Redeemer (April 14), but are currently out west, as evidenced by interviews with the University of Calgary’s Gauntlet and Edmonton’s Vue Weekly.
Things I’d Rather Be Doing has a terrific interview with Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg about the reissue of Palo Santo next Tuesday, including the best description of the Shearwater/Okkervil River relationship you’ll ever read. And for some Okkervil content, head over to NPR where they’ve got a session recorded for KEXP during SxSW available to download. The double-disc Black Sheep Boy: Definitive Edition is out now.
24: You want an update? How’s this – the question isn’t whether or not Jack finds the two remaining bombs before the day is up, it’s whether or not I can make it through the remainder of the season without gouging out my eyes as punishment for continuing to watch such an inane show. You’ve got a President who’s going to be hooked on trucker speed before the day is out and who just launched a nuclear strike to prove he’s a man, a hardass CTU agent who’s really just looking for spiritual fulfillment and a Russian traitor who’s willing to cut off his arm to… well, I’m not really sure what Gridenko’s plan was but I suspect that selling out his accomplice to a bunch of drunken bar patrons and then dying under the boardwalk wasn’t part of it. Eight more hours? Seriously? I suspect I’ll stick it out for the rest of this season but after that… we’re done.
And I don’t know if this is especially useful for anyone but I’ve tweaked my concert calendar to hyperlink to the websites of all the bands listed. Now since this is still just my own personal calendar of stuff I’m planning to attend, it’s only useful if you want to get a sample of what I’m going to see, but maybe you’ll discover something interesting. You never know.