The Undercard

On Shuffle

0 notes

Bucket List Acts - Outkast
Earlier I wrote about my experience at Loufest over the summer.  I mentioned that the main reason I attended was to finally see Outkast live and in person with my own eyeballs. With the entire weekend’s events building up to one moment, it was amazing to see what happened when that moment finally arrived. As soon as Grouplove finished their set, the crowd pushed forward to get as close as possible to see the Atlanta duo; despite the fact they weren’t scheduled to go on for another hour and there were acts playing on the other three stages. And OutKast wasted no time getting right into the hits. After a symbolic reference to the recent happenings in nearby Ferguson, Kast blew the metaphoric roof off from the jump with “B.O.B” followed by “Gasoline Dreams”. As expected, the hits were there; “Ms. Jackson, “Rosa Parks”, “So Fresh, So Clean” all were performed. But the focus of the show as a whole matched why OutKast is even touring at all: the 20th anniversary of their debut albumSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The majority of the tracks performed were ones that came out before their “breakout” dual album, Speakerboxxx/Love Below.
 
Speaking of that album, I was very curious as to how they would perform those songs. And the answer to that is Andre 3000 “going to take a walk”, leaving Big Boi alone to play his side of the album. His first song set the tone for the rest of his set. Big Boi opened his portion of the performance not with something from Speakerboxxx, but with side group Purple Ribbon All-Stars’ ”Kryptonite”. The crowd went nuts and didn’t let up as he followed up with “Ghetto Musick” and the Sleepy Brown accompanied “The Way You Move”.
 
At this point, Andre 3000 returned from his walk to do his solo portion of the show. He led off with a mix of “Vibrate” and “She Lives In My Lap” followed by “Prototype”, a track I’ve long thought is underappreciated. After this, Andre invited some ladies up to the stage, and everyone knew what was coming… “ONE! TWO! THREE! UNH!!”. Andre 3000 belted out his familiar lead in to “Hey Ya!” and the crowd erupted in euphoric hysteria. Like it or not, this is what much of the crowd was here for. And while I’ve heard reports of Andre half-assing his performance of this song throughout the tour (and who could blame him), that was not the case that night.
 
The end of the solo sets was the beginning of the home stretch for the nearly 2 hour performance. But the duo still had a few tricks up their sleeves. Sleepy Brown returned to help Andre and Big Boi perform “Crumblin’ Erb”, much to this writer’s delight. They also brought out one of the few joint efforts in their later works with “Roses”. But the highlight of the tail end of the show was an out of nowhere performance of “International Player’s Anthem”, in honor of the late Pimp C who is featured on that track. ‘Kast closed out the show by informing the crowd that they “don’t make music for white people, black people, men, women.” But that they “make music for the whole world”, which led them into the final song of the night, “The Whole World”.
 
Seeing OutKast in person was an indescribable experience. My friends and I had quite a bit of walking to do following the show, I spent the entire time in a daze. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Everything about the set was perfect. Were there songs I wish I would have heard? Sure. But there aren’t many and I don’t think they would have added anything to the already well put together show. What impressed me the most is each members stage presence. I had already seen Big Boi perform as a solo act in Memphis last summer, and he was just as impressive now as he was then. He is the street side of the group. He stands and delivers his verses, only occasionally moving from one side of the stage to the other. And it’s because of this each line hits harder than the last. Andre 3000, in a vast understatement, is the more eccentric of the two. He spends his verses moving, almost wandering at times, around the stage. At one point during the show he did a slow motion run and tumble across the stage. During the performance of “Rosa Parks”, he delivered his entire verse while balancing on one foot. Actions like these make his verses and delivery seem effortless. Like he knows he’s such a good rapper (one of the best, to be honest), that he needs to find ways to challenge himself while performing. Put them together and they make one of the most complete groups in not just rap, but music history. Despite the endless rumors and years they’ve been both together and apart, they were still just Two Dope Boyz up on stage doing what they love. It was an absolute treat to see them perform. As I was walking away, processing everything I had just seen, there was a bit of sadness. I knew that that may be the only chance I ever get to see them live. I know that this tour could be it for the Atlanta duo. However, there is also hope. Hope that this tour will spark them to maybe hit the studio together again and put out what the whole world is waiting for: another OutKast album.

By - Kurtis Klay

Bucket List Acts - Outkast

Earlier I wrote about my experience at Loufest over the summer.  I mentioned that the main reason I attended was to finally see Outkast live and in person with my own eyeballs. With the entire weekend’s events building up to one moment, it was amazing to see what happened when that moment finally arrived. As soon as Grouplove finished their set, the crowd pushed forward to get as close as possible to see the Atlanta duo; despite the fact they weren’t scheduled to go on for another hour and there were acts playing on the other three stages. And OutKast wasted no time getting right into the hits. After a symbolic reference to the recent happenings in nearby Ferguson, Kast blew the metaphoric roof off from the jump with “B.O.B” followed by “Gasoline Dreams”. As expected, the hits were there; “Ms. Jackson, “Rosa Parks”, “So Fresh, So Clean” all were performed. But the focus of the show as a whole matched why OutKast is even touring at all: the 20th anniversary of their debut albumSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The majority of the tracks performed were ones that came out before their “breakout” dual album, Speakerboxxx/Love Below.
 
Speaking of that album, I was very curious as to how they would perform those songs. And the answer to that is Andre 3000 “going to take a walk”, leaving Big Boi alone to play his side of the album. His first song set the tone for the rest of his set. Big Boi opened his portion of the performance not with something from Speakerboxxx, but with side group Purple Ribbon All-Stars’ ”Kryptonite”. The crowd went nuts and didn’t let up as he followed up with “Ghetto Musick” and the Sleepy Brown accompanied “The Way You Move”.
 
At this point, Andre 3000 returned from his walk to do his solo portion of the show. He led off with a mix of “Vibrate” and “She Lives In My Lap” followed by “Prototype”, a track I’ve long thought is underappreciated. After this, Andre invited some ladies up to the stage, and everyone knew what was coming… “ONE! TWO! THREE! UNH!!”. Andre 3000 belted out his familiar lead in to “Hey Ya!” and the crowd erupted in euphoric hysteria. Like it or not, this is what much of the crowd was here for. And while I’ve heard reports of Andre half-assing his performance of this song throughout the tour (and who could blame him), that was not the case that night.
 
The end of the solo sets was the beginning of the home stretch for the nearly 2 hour performance. But the duo still had a few tricks up their sleeves. Sleepy Brown returned to help Andre and Big Boi perform “Crumblin’ Erb”, much to this writer’s delight. They also brought out one of the few joint efforts in their later works with “Roses”. But the highlight of the tail end of the show was an out of nowhere performance of “International Player’s Anthem”, in honor of the late Pimp C who is featured on that track. ‘Kast closed out the show by informing the crowd that they “don’t make music for white people, black people, men, women.” But that they “make music for the whole world”, which led them into the final song of the night, “The Whole World”.
 
Seeing OutKast in person was an indescribable experience. My friends and I had quite a bit of walking to do following the show, I spent the entire time in a daze. I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. Everything about the set was perfect. Were there songs I wish I would have heard? Sure. But there aren’t many and I don’t think they would have added anything to the already well put together show. What impressed me the most is each members stage presence. I had already seen Big Boi perform as a solo act in Memphis last summer, and he was just as impressive now as he was then. He is the street side of the group. He stands and delivers his verses, only occasionally moving from one side of the stage to the other. And it’s because of this each line hits harder than the last. Andre 3000, in a vast understatement, is the more eccentric of the two. He spends his verses moving, almost wandering at times, around the stage. At one point during the show he did a slow motion run and tumble across the stage. During the performance of “Rosa Parks”, he delivered his entire verse while balancing on one foot. Actions like these make his verses and delivery seem effortless. Like he knows he’s such a good rapper (one of the best, to be honest), that he needs to find ways to challenge himself while performing. Put them together and they make one of the most complete groups in not just rap, but music history. Despite the endless rumors and years they’ve been both together and apart, they were still just Two Dope Boyz up on stage doing what they love. It was an absolute treat to see them perform. As I was walking away, processing everything I had just seen, there was a bit of sadness. I knew that that may be the only chance I ever get to see them live. I know that this tour could be it for the Atlanta duo. However, there is also hope. Hope that this tour will spark them to maybe hit the studio together again and put out what the whole world is waiting for: another OutKast album.
By - Kurtis Klay

0 notes

Experiencing Loufest  
Let me take you back to the morning of May 13th…

I began my day the same way I always do: putting off getting out of bed to get ready for work. This usually involves laying in bed for about 30 mins, scrolling through the overnight tweets in my Twitter timeline. After getting through tweets about the west coast basketball/ baseball games that were still going on when I had gone to bed, Jay Bilas’ “I gotta go to work” Jeezy lyric, and updates on the Mizzou football recruiting trail, I saw a tweet that absolutely shocked me and woke me up immediately. I quickly texted two of my friends:

 ”OutKast is coming to Loufest!!!! OUTKAST IS COMING TO LOUFEST!!!!!”
(More on that in later)

I was beyond excited. After the announcement that ‘Kast was going to play more than just Coachella, I was hopeful they’d be close enough (and affordable enough) that I’d get a chance to see them. I definitely wasn’t expecting them to be just an hour and a half away at a two day, sub $100 festival. There was no way I was missing this show. 

Although the Atlanta duo was BY FAR the biggest draw of the weekend, the rest of the festival delivered with a pretty solid lineup. So here is my re-cap of the weekend:

The Disappointment- Cake
The weekend didn’t start off great. I’m not a huge Cake fan (I’m more of a pie fan…..sorry couldn’t resist….but it’s true), but I don’t dislike them either. I don’t know much beyond their most well known songs and am even more unfamiliar with their new stuff, outside of one or two songs. So since much of what they played was mostly more recent songs, that probably attributed greatly to me not enjoying their set all that much. I also was expecting a cover of a currently popular song, done in the style of Cake, but that never happened. They didn’t even play what is in my opinion one of the best covers ever in “I Will Survive”. They did have a pretty fun crowd call-and-answer portion during “Sick Of You”. But overall, I had no problem leaving the set early to get a good spot for Friday night’s headliner and next act. 

The Purists- Arctic Monkeys
Recently, it seems music festivals are moving towards incorporating more indie rock, electro pop, and EDM-type acts. Loufest is/was no different, carrying a mostly indie rock lineup. So it was good to see a band that goes out and rocks. The Arctic Monkeys are definitely that. Even with their most recent album being a little more toned down than previous works, they managed to put together a very high energy set. The driving rock sound they are known for was on full display, balancing tracks from their new album with older songs. They did a great job sandwiching their entire set with their two most notable songs from their latest album AM, leading off with “Do I Wanna Know?” and finishing with “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”. Also, they joined an elite list of “Acts I’ve seen more than once”, which now stands at 2 1/2. So congrats on that guys! It was a great way to close out the first day of the festival and set a high bar for day 2. Which, who am I kidding, was easily going to meet that expectation with just one act.

The Under Appreciated- Portugal. The Man
Our dedicated readers know (we have those, right??) that I have been a huge advocate for Portugal. The Man. I did a “Now Playing” feature on them in 2011 after hearing their song “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)”. Last year, I reviewed their album Evil Friends and named it my third best album of 2013 in my end of the year list. Well add “plays a kick ass live show” to reasons you really should be listening to this band. Unfortunately, people still haven’t caught on. They were given a mid-afternoon slot on Sunday, when they really should have been closer to the headliner. They still did have a pretty good sized crowd, but this could have been attributed to the fact they were the only band playing at the time. Despite this criminal act of disrespect, they delivered with one of the more entertaining sets of the weekend. They opened with Pink Floyd’s “Brick In The Wall” then went straight into their song “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue”. They also did a great cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger”. But maybe the biggest “OH MY GOD, THIS IS HAPPENING!!” moment is when they opened “So American” by playing The Day Man song from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. On top of all of that, band members were taking pulls off of what appeared to be a fifth of Jack Daniels that was ran out to them at random times, including mid-song, by a crew member. And at one point in the show, Zachary Carothers threw his bass a good 10-15 feet in the air. So, have I convinced you to check these guys out yet?

The Innovators- Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
 
With the lineup set up how it was on day 2, there was a need to take a seat and relax for a bit. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue’s set was that time for me and my friends. And that’s not a bad soundtrack to have to just relax to. TSOA mixes traditional New Orleans jazz with hip hop and R&B to create a unique and upbeat sound. So it was nice to be able to just sit back and appreciate the artistic blend and musicianship of the band. TSOA also did their fair share of cover songs. They sampled Green Day’s “Brainstew” and Big Tymers’ “Still Fly” in one song, and Nelly’s “Country Grammar” and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” in another.
 
 The Party Starters- Grouplove
 
A long day out at the festival required a pick me up as the day continued on. Grouplove provided just that. The band came out as A$AP Rocky’s “Wild For The Night” played over the sound system. This set the tone of the rest of their performance. The band has a catchy, upbeat sound, and that’s exactly what you get at their live show. They also continued the cover song theme of the weekend. In the middle of their set, out of nowhere, they performed an incredible cover of “Drunk In Love” that had the whole crowd singing. Then to close out their set, they were joined on stage by Portugal. The Man to perform The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”. Even though their sound isn’t all that similar, Grouplove set the tone perfectly for the next act

By - Kurtis Klay

Experiencing Loufest  

Let me take you back to the morning of May 13th

I began my day the same way I always do: putting off getting out of bed to get ready for work. This usually involves laying in bed for about 30 mins, scrolling through the overnight tweets in my Twitter timeline. After getting through tweets about the west coast basketball/ baseball games that were still going on when I had gone to bed, Jay Bilas’ “I gotta go to work” Jeezy lyric, and updates on the Mizzou football recruiting trail, I saw a tweet that absolutely shocked me and woke me up immediately. I quickly texted two of my friends:
 ”OutKast is coming to Loufest!!!! OUTKAST IS COMING TO LOUFEST!!!!!”
(More on that in later)
I was beyond excited. After the announcement that ‘Kast was going to play more than just Coachella, I was hopeful they’d be close enough (and affordable enough) that I’d get a chance to see them. I definitely wasn’t expecting them to be just an hour and a half away at a two day, sub $100 festival. There was no way I was missing this show. 
Although the Atlanta duo was BY FAR the biggest draw of the weekend, the rest of the festival delivered with a pretty solid lineup. So here is my re-cap of the weekend:
The Disappointment- Cake

The weekend didn’t start off great. I’m not a huge Cake fan (I’m more of a pie fan…..sorry couldn’t resist….but it’s true), but I don’t dislike them either. I don’t know much beyond their most well known songs and am even more unfamiliar with their new stuff, outside of one or two songs. So since much of what they played was mostly more recent songs, that probably attributed greatly to me not enjoying their set all that much. I also was expecting a cover of a currently popular song, done in the style of Cake, but that never happened. They didn’t even play what is in my opinion one of the best covers ever in “I Will Survive”. They did have a pretty fun crowd call-and-answer portion during “Sick Of You”. But overall, I had no problem leaving the set early to get a good spot for Friday night’s headliner and next act. 
The Purists- Arctic Monkeys

Recently, it seems music festivals are moving towards incorporating more indie rock, electro pop, and EDM-type acts. Loufest is/was no different, carrying a mostly indie rock lineup. So it was good to see a band that goes out and rocks. The Arctic Monkeys are definitely that. Even with their most recent album being a little more toned down than previous works, they managed to put together a very high energy set. The driving rock sound they are known for was on full display, balancing tracks from their new album with older songs. They did a great job sandwiching their entire set with their two most notable songs from their latest album AM, leading off with “Do I Wanna Know?” and finishing with “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?”. Also, they joined an elite list of “Acts I’ve seen more than once”, which now stands at 2 1/2. So congrats on that guys! It was a great way to close out the first day of the festival and set a high bar for day 2. Which, who am I kidding, was easily going to meet that expectation with just one act.
The Under Appreciated- Portugal. The Man

Our dedicated readers know (we have those, right??) that I have been a huge advocate for Portugal. The Man. I did a “Now Playing” feature on them in 2011 after hearing their song “Got It All (This Can’t Be Living Now)”. Last year, I reviewed their album Evil Friends and named it my third best album of 2013 in my end of the year list. Well add “plays a kick ass live show” to reasons you really should be listening to this band. Unfortunately, people still haven’t caught on. They were given a mid-afternoon slot on Sunday, when they really should have been closer to the headliner. They still did have a pretty good sized crowd, but this could have been attributed to the fact they were the only band playing at the time. Despite this criminal act of disrespect, they delivered with one of the more entertaining sets of the weekend. They opened with Pink Floyd’s “Brick In The Wall” then went straight into their song “Purple, Yellow, Red, and Blue”. They also did a great cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger”. But maybe the biggest “OH MY GOD, THIS IS HAPPENING!!” moment is when they opened “So American” by playing The Day Man song from “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”. On top of all of that, band members were taking pulls off of what appeared to be a fifth of Jack Daniels that was ran out to them at random times, including mid-song, by a crew member. And at one point in the show, Zachary Carothers threw his bass a good 10-15 feet in the air. So, have I convinced you to check these guys out yet?
The Innovators- Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
 
With the lineup set up how it was on day 2, there was a need to take a seat and relax for a bit. Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue’s set was that time for me and my friends. And that’s not a bad soundtrack to have to just relax to. TSOA mixes traditional New Orleans jazz with hip hop and R&B to create a unique and upbeat sound. So it was nice to be able to just sit back and appreciate the artistic blend and musicianship of the band. TSOA also did their fair share of cover songs. They sampled Green Day’s “Brainstew” and Big Tymers’ “Still Fly” in one song, and Nelly’s “Country Grammar” and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Give It Away” in another.
 
 The Party Starters- Grouplove
 
A long day out at the festival required a pick me up as the day continued on. Grouplove provided just that. The band came out as A$AP Rocky’s “Wild For The Night” played over the sound system. This set the tone of the rest of their performance. The band has a catchy, upbeat sound, and that’s exactly what you get at their live show. They also continued the cover song theme of the weekend. In the middle of their set, out of nowhere, they performed an incredible cover of “Drunk In Love” that had the whole crowd singing. Then to close out their set, they were joined on stage by Portugal. The Man to perform The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”. Even though their sound isn’t all that similar, Grouplove set the tone perfectly for the next act
By - Kurtis Klay

0 notes

 The Case for Late Registration

This past Saturday, Complex Magazine sent out a tweet commemorating the 9 year anniversary of the release of Kanye West’s second album, Late Registration. 
Despite much criticism from others (most notably from a certain writer on this blog), I have long maintained the Late Reg as my favorite Kanye album. I’ve even gone so far as to say it’s his best; an opinion I’ve gone back and forth on in recent years. 
However, there are some (again, above mentioned Undercard writer) that don’t share this opinion. Some even go so far as to say it’s his 6th best album (when including Watch The Throne). I find this to be offensively wrong. So allow me to make the case for Late Registration to be AT LEAST Kanye’s second best album.
Point #1: Quantity AND quality- Not counting the album intro and the 3 skits, Late Registration is a lengthy 16 tracks. Of those tracks, only one is skip worthy (more on that later). That’s just over an hour (63:50 to be exact) of really good music. 
Point #2: Hot out of the gates- How’s this for a list: “Heard ‘Em Say”, “Touch The Sky”, “Gold Digger”, “Drive Slow”, “My Way Home”, “Crack Music”, “Roses”. Those are the first 7 tracks (again, not counting the intro and skits) of the album before you get to the only sub par track of the album, “Bring Me Down”. That’s nearly half an hour into the album. Most artists would be thrilled to have that many quality tracks on an album, much less the first seven. 
Point #3: Notable tracks- First, a fact; Late Registration has what is UNARGUABLY West’s most popular song in “Golddigger”. Now for personal opinions. It also features his two most heartfelt songs: “Roses” is a song about his ailing grandmother in the hospital, and “Hey Mama” is a wonderful tribute to the most important person in his life. It has one of his most underrated songs in “Gone”, which also features one of his best verses (second one, after the instrumental break). “Drive Slow” is one of the coolest tracks he’s made, and holds up remarkably well despite the Houston sound that was all the rage at the time fading away over the years. Finally, it has what I think is West’s best all-around track (production, lyrics, lyrical content) in “Hey Mama”.
So there you have it. Now, go and listen to Late Registration and see how right I am. Feel free to let me know on twitter at @RunMizzou11. Go ahead, I’ll wait… 
By - Kurtis Klay

0 notes

Now Playing- Colony House and Young Rising Sons

  Every Tuesday night, I browse through the new releases on Spotify; looking for something to listen to while I relax at my house that night. Each week is kinda hit or miss. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a couple acts that enjoyed.
  First was Colony House. They just released debut album, titled When I Was Younger. Despite their Tennessee upbringing, they have kind of a West Coast sound. Most songs are upbeat, catchy, and kind of echo-y. While they’re not necessarily a band I’d make sure I saw live, they have a sound build for festival performances. Their first single, and lead track off the album, “Silhouettes” epitomizes the rest of the album. Except for one track, which happens to be my favorite. “2:20" is an electro-blues song that comes out of nowhere. It’s a shame its about as short as the title suggests.
Familiar Comparison: Young The Giant

  That same night I came across an LP from Young Rising Sons. The short, four track release is catchy and up beat. It straddles the line between mainstream and indie pop very well. It’s not like the cookie cutter stuff you hear on Top 40 radio, but still can appear to a wide audience. Young Rising Sons may just live up to their name thanks to some exposure on two major networks. ESPN is using “King of The World” in their college football promos, while MTV used “High” during it’s Video Music Awards broadcast. 
Familiar Comparison: Alt-J
By - Kurtis Klay

1 note

Chris Walla Leaves Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie and Guitarist Chris Walla have announced that he is leaving the band.  Death Cab For Cutie released a statement via their website (www.deathcabforcutie.com) saying that Walla will be joining the band for the remainder of their summer festival shows.
The rub of this whole thing is DCFC is finishing up their 8th studio album that is slated to be released in early 2015 and this is the first Death Cab album that was not produced by Chris Walla.  This yet-to-be-titled DCFC album is produced by Rich Costey and according to a statement from Walla working with Costey on the new album was “one of the greatest joys of my professional life.” 
Why is Chris Walla leaving a very successful band that he has been a member of for 17 years? According to Walla he reason is that he longs for the unknown.  In his own statement Walla outlines the next step “Moving forward my plans are simply to continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible.  Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it.”
I was a taken back by this news simply because you would think that Walla would pursue this other endeavors while still being an active member of DCFC.  Much like Ben Gibbard did when with The Postal Service and his own solo album.  Some people just long for a change in life and it appears that is where Chris Walla is in his life.  It will be very interesting to see what happens to the sound of Death Cab moving forward because for the last 17 years Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla were the two legs that helped Death Cab For Cutie stand.
Read the entire DCFC statement here http://www.deathcabforcutie.com/ and read Chris Walla’s statement here http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/music/
By - Craig A. Brenner

Chris Walla Leaves Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie and Guitarist Chris Walla have announced that he is leaving the band.  Death Cab For Cutie released a statement via their website (www.deathcabforcutie.com) saying that Walla will be joining the band for the remainder of their summer festival shows.

The rub of this whole thing is DCFC is finishing up their 8th studio album that is slated to be released in early 2015 and this is the first Death Cab album that was not produced by Chris Walla.  This yet-to-be-titled DCFC album is produced by Rich Costey and according to a statement from Walla working with Costey on the new album was “one of the greatest joys of my professional life.” 

Why is Chris Walla leaving a very successful band that he has been a member of for 17 years? According to Walla he reason is that he longs for the unknown.  In his own statement Walla outlines the next step “Moving forward my plans are simply to continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible.  Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it.”

I was a taken back by this news simply because you would think that Walla would pursue this other endeavors while still being an active member of DCFC.  Much like Ben Gibbard did when with The Postal Service and his own solo album.  Some people just long for a change in life and it appears that is where Chris Walla is in his life.  It will be very interesting to see what happens to the sound of Death Cab moving forward because for the last 17 years Ben Gibbard and Chris Walla were the two legs that helped Death Cab For Cutie stand.

Read the entire DCFC statement here http://www.deathcabforcutie.com/ and read Chris Walla’s statement here http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/music/

By - Craig A. Brenner

1 note

Watch Beck Performs “Loser” On Austin City Limits 

Beck is one of my bucket list acts to see live.  So count me as one of the people that can’t wait to watch his episode of Austin City Limits.  Video has surfaced of Beck performing one of his greatest hits of his career Loser.  If this video is any indication of what to expect from the episode then my excitement level for this episode just went ot 11. 

Beck’s episode will be the season premiere for Austin City Limits 40th season and will air on October 4th. 

By - Craig A. Brenner

0 notes

Vague Details Emerge For New She & Him Album “Classics”

Using the word ‘vague’ to describe the detail for the new She & Him album Classics is not an understatement.  Today new details for the album were released today and those details include such nuggets as the release date (sometime in the fall) and that a majority of the album was recorded live with a 20-piece orchestra.  That is all we know about She & Him’s 4th studio album of original material.  These album details are the antithesis of the ones we got from the Foo Fighters earlier this week.

Look for Classics to come out sometime during the months of September, October, or November via Columbia as you watch episodes of The New Girl on DVR.

By - Craig A. Brenner 

0 notes

Foo Fighters Announce Details For New Album Sonic Highways

We all need to take a few minutes and rejoice in the fact that there is going to be new Foo Fighters music very soon.  The band has announced many details for their 8th studio album Sonic Highways.  First off the new album will come out on November 10th.  Next piece of news about the album is that it will be 8 tracks and will clock in with a tidy running time of 44 minutes.  The full track listing goes as follows:

1. Something For Nothing

2. The Feast and The Famine

3. Congregation

4. What Did I Do?/God As My Witness

5. Outside

6. In The Clear

7. Subterranean

8. I am A River

In other Foo Fighters related news the original HBO series that shares the same name as the new album will debut on HBO on October 17th at 10pm cst.  You can watch a trailer for the show and pre-order the new album at www.foofighters.com

By - Craig A. Brenner

Filed under foo fighters

1 note

Interpol Announces North American Tour 
Now time for even more news about everyone’s favorite band…Interpol.  Today the band has announced dates and details for the 2014 North American tour in support of their upcoming album El Pintor.  The tour makes a stop in Kansas City area on September 29th at the Granada in Lawrence, KS.  For those wondering that is a Monday evening so make sure to plan accordingly.
For details on limited pre-sale that starts July 15th (tomorrow morning) at 10am check out www.interpolnyc.com.  The remainder of the tickets go on sale on Friday, July 18th.
By - Craig A. Brenner

Interpol Announces North American Tour 

Now time for even more news about everyone’s favorite band…Interpol.  Today the band has announced dates and details for the 2014 North American tour in support of their upcoming album El Pintor.  The tour makes a stop in Kansas City area on September 29th at the Granada in Lawrence, KS.  For those wondering that is a Monday evening so make sure to plan accordingly.

For details on limited pre-sale that starts July 15th (tomorrow morning) at 10am check out www.interpolnyc.com.  The remainder of the tickets go on sale on Friday, July 18th.

By - Craig A. Brenner

2 notes

Weezer Album “Everything Will Be Alright In The End” Finally Gets Release Date

It has finally happened.  On this “Weezer Wednesday” the band has finally given us the release date for the album they have been teasing for months.  Everything Will Be Alright In The End will grace us with its presences on September 30th, 2014.  The album will drop 25 days after Weezer plays the “Buzz Beach Ball" at Sporting Park in Kansas City (September 5th) 

If you have the time I highly suggest going back and listening to all of the previous “Weezer Wednesday” teaser clips.

By - Craig A. Brenner 

Filed under weezer

0 notes

New Video Alert: Interpol - All The Rage Back Home

*Disclaimer* 

I am a pretty big Interpol fan.  I remember when I first heard “Obstacle 1” and I was instantly hooked.  I loved the sharp sound of the guitars and the fuzziness of Paul Banks’ voice and how incomprehensible the lyrics were.  I tell you all of this so you know I am writing this from the point of view of someone who loved Interpol’s first two albums and was left underwhelmed by their last two albums.

For a few months Interpol has been teasing aspects of their upcoming album El Pintor and today we get our first “official” single and video from said album with “All The Rage Back Home.”  I use quotes because this is the actually the third single from El Pintor (the band previously released “Anywhere” and “My Desire”)

This song is in wheel house for Interpol fans.  It hits all of the right points for fans of the older Interpol albums so job well done in doing that guys.  As far as the actual video it is a pretty bland for my taste.  The only note worthy aspect of the video is that Paul Banks is playing bass guitar in it.  As many know Interpol is short a bass player since Carlos D left the band a while back.  I must say I was surprised to see Banks slappin’ da bass in the video because I was under the impression Interpol had outsourced someone to play bass and were going to continue as a four piece band.  

El Pintor hits stores and the internet on 9/9/14 via Matador Records.

By - Craig A. Brenner

Filed under interpol

2 notes

Review: Jack White - Lazaretto

Perfection is pretty difficult to achieve. Duplicating perfection is near impossible.

This was the task at hand for Jack White when putting together his latest album, Lazaretto. In 2012, the already well established White released his first solo project, entitled Blunderbuss. The result was what may have been the best album released that year (in a looaadded year, I may add). The album flows beautifully, mixing different times and tempos throughout. Every song is extremely well written. And, to top it off, you have White’s world-class talent on guitar. 

So, needless to say, the bar was set remarkably high for White’s follow up effort. And right out of the gate, it seems thatLazaretto is up to the task. The first two tracks, “Three Women” and “Lazaretto” pick up right where Blunderbuss left off. Three tracks later, we are given the instrumental “High Ball Stepper”, where White delivers riff after face melting riff. And “Black Bat Licorice” is a gritty masterpiece, with a dash of Cajun and bluegrass influences. 

 Where does this album “fall short”? I listened to the album several times in the process of writing this review and it’s tough to say Lazaretto does fall short. It’s unfair to compare this album to Blunderbuss, and it may be every bit as good as White’s last album. Comparatively, the slower tracks on Blunderbuss were a little better done than on Lazaretto, but that’s just nitpicking at that point. All in all, Lazaretto is a fantastic album and does not disappoint. Listening to it made me realize something I didn’t think was possible: Jack White is criminally underrated. With as much as he is involved in (White Stripes, Raconteurs, Dead Weather, etc.), it seems he should get a lot more notoriety than he does. 

Grade: A 

By - Kurtis Klay

Filed under jack white lazeretto

0 notes

The Roots - …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin 

When going through a band’s album catalog, it’s interesting to see how their sound evolves. Some bands stay in their wheelhouse throughout their career, while some bands change from album to album. The latter can be applied to The Roots, and can especially be heard on their latest album …and then you shoot your cousin. The Philly hip-hop group have transformed from underground legends to appearing on TV on a nightly basis. Their sound, however, has not followed the same mainstream path. The Roots’ last album, Undun, was a concept album masterpiece; following the life of a fictional character in reverse order. That album still stuck to, no pun intended, their roots of hip-hop beats created with a drum set, bass, and electric guitar. 

 …and then you shoot your cousin adopts a much different, more artistic feel. Many of the tracks, especially the middle of the album, has a slower, darker feel. The production is very drum and piano heavy. The upbeat, musically expansive sound heard in previous albums is noticeably absent; almost as if other Roots members weren’t available when this album was being recorded. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. With not as much going on in the production, it allows the listener to focus on the lyrics. And as usual, Black Thought delivers on that front. Above all, he shows his versatility rapping over the slower beats.
This album definitely takes some time and effort to really get into. My main issue with the album is it’s translation to a live show. As I’ve written on here before, The Roots put on one of the most fun live shows I’ve ever seen. The flow from song to song is unparalleled. But I just don’t see them being able to incorporate anything from this album in to that flow. But when you have a catalog and reputation like The Roots, you don’t have to make albums to support your live show. You can make the music you want to make, which I have to think was what they wanted when they were starting out in the Philadelphia underground. 
  Grade: B-
By - Kurtis Klay

1 note

Blondfire Interview

I had the pleasure of talking with Erica Driscoll and Steve Stout of Blondfire before they played the Boulevardia festival this past weekend in Kansas City.  We covered many topics including their current tour and the latest album Young Heart.  

By - Craig A. Brenner

Filed under Blondfire

0 notes

New Weezer Album Gets A Title - Everything Will Be Alright In The End

Yes………..We are that much closer to getting new Weezer album.  Yesterday the band announced the title for the album they have been teasing for months now.  The new album will be called Everything Will Be Alright In The End and considering the band this is an interesting album title.  First off it is a Weezer album that does not have a color scheme associated with it.  Secondly, this is a mouth full of an album title.  Other Weezer albums that were not self-titled color albums featured names like Pinkerton, Malardroit and, Make Believe.  Now I will say this album title is way better than Raditude and Hurley which, are some of the worst album titles ever and just happen to be the worst Weezer albums.

Still no word on when this new Weezer album will be available for purchase but it is safe to assume that info is right around the corner.  Either way lets rejoice because soon we will have some new Weezer music to digest.

By - Craig A. Brenner