Archive | June, 2010

Dirtbag Debut : The Books – A Cold Freezin’ Night

30 Jun

A Cold Freezin’ Night(via Pitchfork)

Kids say the darndest things, don’t they ? Bedroom pop duo, The Books seem to think so. This new clip is for the first single of their new record, The Way Out and it’s pretty fucking good. Check it out!

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Interview : The Gin Riots

30 Jun

After playing jam-packed shows at El Mocambo, The Garrison and Wrongbar during this year’s NXNE Festival, London’s The Gin Riots are finally on the receiving end of long overdue North American attention as they gear up to release their EP, Sin + Sinew this July.  Having begun as a two-person folk outfit, Guy Stevenson and Cilian Logue were joined by Tim Burton and Taan Parker, and the band eventually evolved into a genre-straddling four-piece, earning accolades from audiences and critics for their enthusiastic performances and fearless and refreshing sound.  Prior to their energetic and highly acclaimed NXNE sets, Dirtbag caught up with The Gin Riots at the Hyatt to talk about why energy’s become a novelty, their new EP and why they don’t consider themselves a political band.

Dirtbag Journalism: After this year’s SXSW and your last appearance at NXNE, you got a lot of attention for being very energetic and exuberant during your live performances.  Why do you think it’s become almost a novelty for artists to be energetic and seem enthused onstage?

Guy Stevenson: It’s definitely become a big part of our identity as a band – getting into the shows and being active onstage.

Tim Burton: It’s also what we want the crowd to be like as well, so we have to set an example.  We don’t want people to just stand there and watch – we want people to move and dance.

GS: I mean a lot of our tunes have a swing beat to them, and looking back to old swing tunes and stuff, quite often you get a lot of people just jumping around.  I don’t know – is it a novelty for other bands to move around and stuff?

DJ: I think it can be a novelty for both the bands and the audiences sometimes.  There are a lot of times the audience doesn’t interact, and you’ve been cited as being a very interactive band, where with other bands there can be that wall.

GS: Well I think a lot of the bands that influenced us like The Pogues and The Cure – those bands are all about dancing and getting the audience going and letting go, I guess.  That’s the reason we like playing out here – there’s a lot less cynicism, I think.  People get into it, and they’re less afraid to let go and get into the music where in London they’re kind of standoff-ish.

Cilian Logue: Everybody’s too cool for school in London as well.  You can’t ever show that you like someone because it will make you uncool to profess who you like.

GS: I guess it depends on the scene.

DJ:  Is there a genre you feel you align yourselves with the best?

GS: Folk is a big influence.  Folk punk is how it started out – indie folk punk.  Then a little darker and a little more introspective.  There was a quote, “get drunk to make music to get drunk to”, and at the beginning that’s how it started.  But I think over the last couple years it’s just developed – you can’t only make music to get drunk to, there’s more depth to it now.

DJ: I just saw your video for The Polka, and it seems to be a commentary on the superficiality and the seediness of the night life.  Do you use your music intentionally to comment on social issues or is it something that just happens?

GS: I don’t think I aim to write lyrics that do that.  I hate socially conscious bands, I think it quite often backfires.

CL:  For every one Rage Against the Machine there’s ten Coldplays wearing a bracelet.

GS: I don’t think you start off writing a tune with political and social intention.  Maybe there’s some commentary in there, but it’s not a manifesto.

DJ: Well, The Gin Riots started off as a two-person folk band.  How did it evolve into a four-piece? Was it an organic thing?

CL:  No, we actually had a fairytale crystal moment where we thought, “screw this, let’s just go to London and start a band”, and that’s what happened.

GS: We met playing Nick Drake tunes, covers originally and then started writing our own tunes through that, played through the acoustic scene in Bristol, then decided –

CL: Well it was kind of the crunch point and we thought, “what are we going to do next?”

GS: And I think it was a question of wanting to move on and develop as a band and as I said before, The Pogues and The Cure were the two biggest influences of the music sort.

DJ: Which is interesting because they’re very different bands.

GS: Yeah, they are.  So you’ve got the sweetness of The Cure and the harshness of The Pogues.  Dirty Hotel and stuff like that.  So yeah, I think it was just in the name of wanting to progress.

CL: It was definitely not wanting to get proper jobs as well.  That was definitely in there as well.

DJ: And speaking of different bands and genres – and you being a band that encompasses a lot of genres – your digital EP is coming out in July.  Would you consider this a brand new instalment or a continuation of your past work?

CL: We’re almost trying to go for the three songs that are so wide that they contain everything in between, you know what I mean?  So In the Bedroom’s got a dark side to it, and then A Million Promises is very light and fancy.

GS: I think it’s what we were talking about before, too, where I said we started playing fun music, and these songs have more depth to them.  Actually, there’s one tune that’s got a country feel to it and there’s another one that’s got kind of quite a seedy. Quite dark feel, like The Pogues, but it doesn’t have the folk element so much.

DJ: Is there something you’re most excited about with this EP?

CS: I think the country song – I love Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, and stuff that’s got a really good beat underneath it.  So that’s what I’m most excited about playing.  You know yourself when you have a good time playing a song, you know it’s a good song.  You’re your own worst critic as well, so if you like playing it then you know it’s gotta be a half-decent song.  And this song, whenever we play it, it puts a smile on all of our faces.

GS: A lot of the tunes we played before we played for so long that –

CS: It’s got that Radiohead Creep factor.  You’re just trying to get through.

Posted by : Anne T. Donahue

Dirtbag Debut : Tobacco – Super Gum

24 Jun

Super Gum(via Pitchfork)

An alien invades earth and proceeds to get insane amounts of action in this new clip by Tobacco. Probably one of the creepiest music videos of the year. Maniac Meat is in stores now.

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Dirtbag Debut : Interpol – Lights

22 Jun

Lights(via Stereogum)

One hour ago on NME, Interpol announced that they’ve rescheduled their North American tour. If that wasn’t enough; the visually stunning first video for their single, Lights debut on Stereogum. Directed by Charlie White, this video takes Interpol to places they have never ventured in their previous videos. If you want to have this video to watch on repeat(which you may end up doing); you can download it on the bands website.

Interpol’s new tour dates include a Toronto show at the Kool Haus on August 10th. No word on when tickets will be on sale.

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Bat For Lashes Twilight Single Streaming On Her Website

22 Jun

Bat For Lashes and Beck joined forces for the Twilight Eclispe Soundtrack and Natasha is letting everyone get a taste of the single on her websiteAs we reported earlier this month; Bat For Lashes in the beginning stages of her third LP and there is talks of another Beck collaboration. After this amazing single we’d like to hope that this happens. The Twilight soundtrack is in stores now.

Posted by : Max Mohenu

Dirtbag Debut : The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Say No To Love

22 Jun

New York indie rock band, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart have really made a name for themselves in the last year. After receiving many favorable reviews for their self-titled LP; the band is gearing up for the release of their new B-side single ‘Say Not To Love/Lost Saint‘, which comes out on July 5th on  Fortuna Pop! Their new video for the single, Say No To Love can be found below :

The band will be touring Europe this summer. Here are the dates :

18/7 – Suffolk, Latitude Festival
23/7 – Spain, Contempopranea Festival
24/7 – Spain, San Sebastian Festival
25/7 – Derbyshire, Indietracks Festival
28/7 – Brighton, Concorde 2
29/7 – London, Heaven
31/7 – Stirling, U18s Festival

Posted by : Max Mohenu

You Say Party! We Say Die! Announce New Name And Lineup Change

22 Jun

After the tragic loss of their friend/drummer Devon Clifford back in April; You Say Party! We Say Die! have announced they will be dropping half of their band name out of respect for Devon and the “evolution of life”. Drowned In Sound reports that the band is now called You Say Party!. The full statement can be found on their website.

Founding member Krista Loewen has decided to leave the band. This Is Fake D.I.Y reports that Krista chose to leave the band because “she no longer desires the long drives, poor sleeps and revolting selection of road food”.

Good friend/tourmates Gang Violence‘s Robert Andow and Bobby Siadat will play keyboard and drums in replacement of Krista and Devon.

The European tour that was cancelled is in the process of being rescheduled. The band have announced that the first North American single of the new record will be “There Is XXXX (Within My Heart)”. Good luck and best wishes guys!

Posted by : Max Mohenu