Friday, March 26, 2010

Footage from Alcest's first live show has surfaced

Alcest just played their first live show this week, and footage from the event has shown up on the youtubes. The band sounds great, guitars shimmering everywhere and the vocal harmonies are tight as hell. I'm also blown away by the atmosphere of the venue. The candelabras on stage are very cool, and the chandeliers are stunning. I'm pretty jealous of Romania, since Reggie's is a shithole with fake graffiti everywhere. Definitely good to see that Alcest can pull their songs off live, as I was a little concerned about this being their first tour, and how expensive tickets were. Pretty stoked for April now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Against Me! - We're Breaking Up

Dear Against Me!,
1984's Bruce Springsteen called. He wants his keyboards back.

Also, he wonders if perhaps he didn't already write this song.(I think he called it "Bobby Jean".)

Our City is Burning

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Gila Bend - S/T 7-in

I went record shopping yesterday, and stopped in at Laurie's Planet of Sound to peruse their used 7-in section. They usually have some gems buried among the piles of old 45's, and I happened across a bunch of emo/punk 7-inches from the middle nineties. I wasn't familiar with any of them, but they were a dollar each, so I grabbed 'em, and took them home. I was very impressed with my luck. The vast majority of them were fucking great, but this Gila Bend band impressed me the most. Gila Bend was apparently a Chicago-area emo/punk band from the mid-nineties, and I'm shocked they're not more well known. Their packaging is gorgeously screen-printed, and expansive. The record came swaddled in a book, with each song getting a page of lyrics(gold print on black paper, absolutely stunning). The music reminds me of early Hot Water Music to a degree, but with more 90's-emo twinkly guitar. The vocals are hoarse, filled with emotion and sometimes sung, sometimes screamed. This just sounds like the kind of music people make when they can't hold it in any longer. It's a vibrant release in every aspect. It's out of print, and probably not that easy to find, so I have provided a download link to the 7-in in question, and a collection of their tracks on various compilations.

Gila Bend - A Falling Star

Note: I found these links on the intarwebs, neither one are my uploads.

Gila Bend - S/T(Liberty Park Recordings, 1995)

Gila Bend - Compilation Tracks

Vinyl Junkie has this 7-in for sale currently. Buy it here.

The Cassettes - 43% Burnt

File this under shit I never thought would work: An acoustic steampunk version of the seminal tech-metal masterpiece "43% Burnt"(Originally by the Dillinger Escape Plan). It works fantastically, though, and is well worth your time. The Cassettes are a four-piece from DC, lead by the lead singer of Frodus, Shelby Cinca. Christina Frances provides the female vocals, but is not strictly part of the band.

The cover comes from their recent digital release of " Writing Analog Letters (A Collection)". It's a bunch of odds and ends from their career, mostly leftovers from their first album "'Neath The Pale Moon". You can stream all of their releases at their bandcamp. Each release is only $5 for high-quality MP3s or FLACs.

disclosure: I found out about this from BrooklynVegan.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Landmine Marathon - Sovereign Descent

Metal Sucks have posted a full stream of the new album by Landmine Marathon. You can check it out here. I've only heard the first couple of songs, but what I've heard is killer. Landmine Marathon play straight ahead thrash-influenced death metal, with just the right amount of mean and ugly. Bolt Thrower would be proud.

The National - Terrible Love

Last night, The National played the opening track from their upcoming album, "High Violet", on Jimmy Fallon Live. The song is entitled "Terrible Love", and doesn't seem to range too far from the sound they established on "Boxer", and "Alligator", but also doesn't sound like a B-side from either of those albums. It starts softly and languid, and all of a sudden the rhythm picks up and the guitars get noiser, and the horns creep in, and the whole song swells. I'm really digging the horns and the vocal harmonies on this one. "High Violet" comes out May 11th.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Springtime interlude

It's 60 degrees in Chicago. I bought "A Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer" on vinyl today(along with "Pat Paulson for President." My love for old, clever comedy is unbounded.).

Go outside.

New Music from Wormed, Trap Them, imadethismistake, and Starkweather

It's been an exciting couple of days. Here are some new songs for you!

Wormed have just released their first songs in seven years. Wormed is a grind/death metal band from Spain that boasts the distinction of the most inhuman growled vocals I've ever heard. The two songs on display on this CD/Digital single provide a marriage between Gorguts-style technical death metal and grindcore's brutality with again, the most terrifying growled vocals ever. The recording quality is better than their earlier work, providing a clearer look at the gears at work in these war-constructions. Brutal. You can hear the two songs at their website, or here.

Trap Them posted a new song from their upcoming release for Southern Lord Records on their myspace. It's called "Carnage Incarnate", and sounds as furious and pissed off as anything on "Seizures In Barren Praise." The guitar riffs recall "Guignol Serene" off that same album, squirming and writhing across the pounding bass and drums. Ryan Mckenney is the angriest man alive, his vitriol pours out your speakers and oozes like the malevolent cousin of that shit from Ghostbusters 2. I'm really looking forward to this EP.

imadethismistake is gearing up to release a new album this year entitled "bows and arrows". they've released a music video showcasing "Billboards", one of the songs from said release. It's a more aggressive version of the sort of "Midwest by way of Gainsville" sound they had, with some shouted gang vocals. you can check it out here, and they have another song called "Stateside" posted on their myspace. If you're looking for more songs check out the recent article about imadethismistake at the 1st Five. They posted side A from their recent "Different Ghosts" cassette tape.

The new track Starkweather posted might be the most exciting thing here, though. Starkweather's last release, "Croation" was a fucking masterpiece, and I was on edge, waiting to see if they'd be able to follow it up. "Broken From Inside" entirely relieves me of that tension. The song is chilling, evoking with equal measures Celtic Frost and Converge, with bits of Integrity and Swans floating on the rim(Despite the use of guideposts, I must emphasize that at all times, Starkweather sounds like fuckin' Starkweather. I'm just trying to map out, to roughly outline their sound for those unfamiliar.) Eternal winter conceptualized, and poured out in nine minutes time. Deathwish is releasing this beast, and I am so so so excited.

Good Luck - Novel Figure

Good Luck has released a new song, and it's a fucking good day already.
Ginger's bass playing is as fluid, and hooky, and stunning as always, and I absolutely love Matty's weird noodly guitar playing. Mike Harpring Jr. is also a great drummer! In short, this band is wonderful, and this new song is really good.

Here's a live version:

Here's the recorded version:

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Alone(ex-Høst)

While checking in on old favorites, I discovered that the main man behind Høst(or Hennes Siste Høst) has joined a new band with members of Twlight, the Atlas Moth, and Samothrace. They're called The Alone, and so far they only seem to have a rough recording of one song, though a proper recording is promised in April. Unfortunately, their song is only up at their facebook page, not their myspace page, so you can hear the untitled jam here. The Alone sounds similar to the work of Neige, with a heavy post-punk/darkwave vibe. Zander's paint-stripping black metal vocals are instantly recognizable, however, lending it a more ferocious vibe than Amesoeurs. I'm excited to see where these guys go, and will be keeping a close eye on their web presence.

Chicago Marches On!

Here's what you should be doing this March:

March 7th - The Heligoats @ Schuba's
March 13th - Harvey Milk, Coalesce, The Atlas Moth @ Subterranean
March 13th - Angel Eyes @ Summer Camp
March 15th - White Mice, Liturgy, Tinsel Teeth @ The Mopery
March 16th - Racebannon, Rollo Tomasi, Thank God, Reptoids @ The Beat Kitchen
March 16th - Black Dahlia Murder, Obscura @ Reggie's
March 18th - Locrian, Sun Splitter, Anatomy of Habit, Harpoon @ The Abbey Pub
March 20th - Chinese Telephones @ Ronny's
March 31st - The Gunshy, Cheap Girls, The Riot Before @ Ronny's

Stand-out shows are obviously the Harvey Milk/Coalesce and Liturgy/White Mice shows. Heligoats are the nom-de-plume of the lead singer of the defunct band Troubled Hubble, and he's touring on the strength of a new album which is stunningly catchy, not nearly as disappointing as his first release under the name. Obscura is pretty mind-blowing technical metal, it's a shame they're shackled opening for Black Dalhia Murder who I find dreadfully boring. Locrian is playing a record release show for their latest effort with local standouts Anatomy of Habit. Expect beautiful darkness all night long. Chinese Telephones are playing a reunion show at Ronny's which is worth checking out for all you sloppy pop-punk fans. I'm excited, they always stood above most of the rest of the bands playing in that style, and never really got their due. Finally, ending the month is The Gunshy and The Riot Before at Ronny's. The Riot Before are tremendous live, think Against Me! pre-sellout. Their recordings never have really captured the passion of their live show, so, yeah, get psyched.(Though their latest is recorded by J. Robbins, so I may be speaking too soon.) Cheap Girls are also great, in that jangly 90's indie punk way.

It's a good month to live in this city.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Liturgy in Chicago!

Liturgy is one of our favorite bands here at Our City is Burning, and we couldn't be more stoked that they are coming to Chicago soon. The truly lucky among us might catch them at Scion Rock fest two days before, but for us carless folk, they'll be playing the Mopery(2734 N. Milwaukee Ave, right by the Logan Square blue line stop) on Monday, March 15th. They're playing with White Mice, and Tinsel Teeth.

Hunter Hunt-Hendrix(singer/guitarist from Liturgy) recently did an intriguing interview over at Ampeater. If you're interested in the conceptual motivation for the band, check it out here. He briefly discusses plans for a new record, which will incorporate "Aka Pygmy chanting". Stoked!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Alcest in Chicago!

The more astute readers of Our City is Burning may remember a previous post here where I discussed with much joy the prospect of a Have a Nice Life/Alcest tour this year.

Unfortunately, it looks like this isn't happening. However, rumors of an east-coast only Alcest tour appear to be false, as they have announced a short string of North American dates, including, most importantly, CHICAGO. I already have my ticket purchased. I believe this will be Alcest's first American show. Tremendously exciting stuff, though I wish a better venue than Reggie's could have been found, the sound there is never as clear as I want it to be.

Here are the dates(stolen from Alcest's myspace):

Apr 22, 2010 Bar Octobre Québec, Quebec
Apr 23, 2010 Hard Luck Bar Toronto, Ontario
Apr 24, 2010 Reggie’s Rock Club Chicago, Illinois
Apr 25, 2010 To be announced To be announced, Indiana
Apr 26, 2010 The Rex Theater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Apr 27, 2010 Kung Fu Necktie Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Apr 28, 2010 Cafe Nine New Haven, Connecticut
Apr 29, 2010 The Studio At Webster Hall New York, New York
Apr 30, 2010 Underworld Montreal, Quebec
May 1, 2010 Unit Boston, Massachusetts