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Friday, October 29, 2010

Chocolate and Bacon? (Try Vosges chocolate).

2010 has been a great albeit odd year in music. Head over to Consequence of Sound for a rundown of some of the best, most interesting music collaborations of the year.

Strange Bedfellows

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Concert Review: LCD Soundsystem with Hot Chip 8.23.10

I put on my best dancing shoes and rolled 400 miles to St. Paul, Minnesota to see former DFA labelmates LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip perform. Both acts are reeling off of killer 2010 releases that they have been touring behind pretty hard. Here's a little rundown of what happened to my ears and face (it melted).

Hot Chip

Hot Chip's critics have always wondered how serious the band is. Originally seen as goofball dance-poppers, the band has with each subsequent record seemed to trade some of its cutesy,somewhat off-putting antics for sincerity. With 2010 release One Life Stand we get Hot Chip's best (arguably), most consistent record. If what you want out of the band is a banger on par with "Over and Over" or "Shake a Fist", or a single that can stand up to "Boy From School" or "Ready for the Floor", you might be disappointed, but the record is the Hot Chip record some of us have been waiting for, a combination of their affable tendencies, seriously humanizing dance tracks, and some serious love songs to boot.

Hot Chip have been touring hard behind their latest and I was able to catch them for the second time this year. Their set was identical to the one played at Lollapalooza with the addition of one song "Take It In", One Life Stand's closing track, which killed. They demonstrated a calculated spontaneity through their set that I had missed the first time, improvising just enough to keep things exciting while not straying too far from their formula. The synthesizers were big, and with Joe Goddard present (absent from Lolla with a new baby, congrats!) I got a slightly more complete spectacle. Hot Chip are live show veterans and each number of their set impresses, now if Alexis Taylor could only leave his yellow MC Hammer pants at home...

LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem have a routine and they know not to tamper with it. Their synths are monumental and frontman James Murphy croons, screams and improvs his way through a setlist built on one dance classic after another. With what James Murphy claims is LCD's last album, 2010'sThis Is Happening, we find Murphy rationalizing his cultural cache and feel him stumble (however, cooly) toward a breaking point. He is at the most vulnerable point in his career with this record, but at the same time he seems almost confident about it, satisfied with his unstable position. He nods again and again to his influences on the album (Bowie and Eno anyone?), carefully pointing but keeping it strictly his own with his studio work and innovation.

Opener "Dance Yrself Clean" slayed, highlighting each of the band-members skills while keeping the spotlight tightly focused on Murphy. His I-just-woke-up appearance tied in perfectly with the tunes, and when he unleashed his first scream of the night just after the synths dived, "Don't you want me to wake up? Then give me just a bit of your time", the crowd was forced into an unavoidable body rock. Song after song did oh so sweet damage to the crowds ears and before too long I found myself danced out and heading to the balcony. Looking from above put the band in perspective and for the first time I noticed how many people were there, none of them able to stand still. "Yeah (Crass Version)" was another highlight but looking back I find it hard to pick out my favorites from the set, no choice disappointed. Not meaning to speak in absolutes, but LCD Soundsystem is one of the best bands I have ever seen. Sad as it is to say it, maybe Murphy is smart calling it quits after this last album. It's hard to hold the cultural status he and his band have grasped for so long, and maybe dropping out on top isn't such a bad idea. Maybe some other bands should take cues from them, they haven't seemed to make and wrong moves yet.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Phoenix + Daft Punk

Yet another reason I would consider living in New York... Last night, as Phoenix's headlining set at Madison Square Garden was coming to a close, they were joined on stage by fellow Frenchies, and ....robots, Daft Punk. Check out the coverage and don't miss the videos over at Pitchfork. Click below. Wowwwwwww.

Phoenix + Daft Punk!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Seeing Local Natives.

Tragedy strikes. I will not be seeing the Local Natives, one of 2010's newest and coolest bands. In honor of their show tonight, and well, my absence, here are a few links to check out.

Local Natives official website (stream their awesome debut album Gorilla Manor here.

Itunes Exclusive video of Airplanes unplugged.

Local Native playing Wide Eyes at Bonnaroo.

Enjoy, and if you haven't picked up Gorilla Manor yet, something is wrong with you.