Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
Photo by Liam Henry
Before my recent trip to the UK, people were asking me what shows I was going to catch across the pond. As if the whole point of going on vacation was to continue doing what I do when I’m not on vacation. That said, I did have a couple things lined up, big and small. The former – Richard Hawley at the Royal Albert – went marvelously but my efforts to catch some British baby bands on their home turf didn’t go so well.
On my last full day in London, there was supposed to be a Drowned In Sound-sponsored free matinee at a Notting Hill community centre featuring a band that had been on my radar for a little while, Leeds-based outfit Sky Larkin, which I was actually rather excited about, but a little over a month before the trip they announced they’d pulled out of the show in order to go to New York City and record their debut album. I was disappointed, obviously, though it was probably for the best for two reasons. One, I ended up having an absolutely marvelous day without having to hoof it to the west end and two, the first sample of their efforts in New York is scorching.
It’s an immediate and visceral blend of pop and punk that manages to not be pop-punk that grabs me in a way that I don’t think I’ve been grabbed since I first heard Land Of Talk – in other words, in a very good way. Like their earlier recordings, it’s loud and brash but there’s an extra dimension of confidence (not to mention audio fidelity) that implies that the band have found the next level. It’s still a long way off before the still-untitled album is released – I’m told February 2009 – but it certainly gives something to look forward to.
In the meantime, check out a song they made available via RCRDLBL and an video of the song that initially caught my ear.
I had thought New York’s Longwave had called it a day, but the space-rock outfit are still at it and back with a new album called Secrets Are Sinister, due out November 11. They’re streaming a goodly portion of the new record at their MySpace.
Fans of The Stills may be interested to know that the band will be playing a free show at the Horseshoe on August 19 to mark the release of their new record Oceans Will Rise, out that same day. So if you were planning on heading down to see Dog Day, on just before them, be forewarned that the ‘Shoe will be a mite busier than usual that night. The Calgary Herald and Chart have interview with The Stills.
Video: The Stills – “Being Here”
The Irish Times and Sky News talk to Noah & The Whale and considers the current “anti-folk” scene in the UK, which has inadvertently began making up more and more of my current music rotation. Sneaky anti-folks!
September 9 is a good day to hit the record store with new releases from Okkervil River – The Stand-Ins – and Calexico – Carried To Dust. There’s a new MP3 available from the former and a new video from the latter.
They Shoot Music Don’t They films Saturday Looks Good To Me playing a couple songs in an abandoned cattle hall in Austria. Which is only just slightly less of a musical cliche than having your band photos taken beside railroad tracks. SLGTM’s Fred Thomas has also been blogging.