March 26, 2013

Sigur Rós played Madison Square Garden

Emerging to the stage masked in a rippling curtain, Sigur Rós brought a high impact show to their largest headlining performance in New York. Backlit, the band appeared as giants overlooking the monstrous Garden before the curtain fell during a thunderous "Ny Batteri". Abstract impressions with deep vivid colors were projected on a giant screen behind the band with each song getting its own unique display and rows of lights ebbed and flowed with the surge and force from the Icelandic powerhouse. Sigur Rós have often been called "a great band to listen to while taking a nap" each song slowly shifting and building to grand heights, however their earth-shaking live renditions did everything to squash that notion. While the band's latest album Valtari felt stalled and left many thinking that the band was unsure of their next move, a message and announcement of a new album Kveikur promised a more aggressive and heavy sound which is exactly what you get from first single "Brennisteinn". Performing as officially a trio for the first time, the band still sounded sharp and on-point, never missing a moment to make their music feel as epic as ever. Fan favorite "Hoppipolla" received a staggering ovation that brought the arena to it's feet. In the weeks leading up to the show, the band sent emails to their fans about their excitement of playing the famed venue and how their career had been building to this moment. It still is hard to believe that a band whose music you'd easily believe was something actually born out of the elements is capable of playing Madison Square Garden, but each song was a nail in the coffin of doubt as the band proved not only their breath-taking ability to produce these songs live, but they can dazzle and create a spectacle as magical as anyone who has played the world's most famous arena.

March 24, 2013

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

It's been a long eight years since we've heard new material from French electronic wizards Daft Punk, but that will change on May 21 when the duo will release their new studio album Random Access Memory. That's the album artwork above and below catch another brief teaser of new material.

March 13, 2013

The Appleseed Cast - "Great Lake Derelict"

Emo / post-rock veterans the Appleseed Cast will return on April 23rd with their eight record, Illumination Ritual. Check out the closing track "Great Lake Derelict" below:

March 8, 2013

The Men played Bowery Ballroom

To celebrate the release of their latest effort, New Moon, Brooklyn hot rods Parquet Courts and Nude Beach supported the Men through a blistering night of surging rock and roll. A year ago to the date, the Men were unleashing their breakthrough record Open Your Heart at 285 Kent and while that show saw the band shift from the dark tones of Leave Home to a more structured sound, tonight the band continued their evolving dynamic. The past three years have seen 3 releases from these Brooklyn rockers and the progress unveiled is enough to make most bands jealous. In 2011, it would have been seemed as if these dudes could rule the post-hardcore drone scene and now I wouldn't be shocked if I learned that the band just covered some lost Crazy Horse demos. This is a not necessarily a bad thing. Despite the looser arrangements becoming even more exaggerated in a live setting allow feedback to swallow the stage for some dense noise jams, new stunner "Electric" still packs a Husker Du / Dinosaur Jr. punch and makes great company for solid jams "Open Your Heart" and "Turn It Around". These guys can still rock when push comes to shove and the pacing of the show did a great job of reminding you of that. "I Saw Her Face" can feel a little flat on the record, but it exploded on stage evoking Cortez moments and serious guitar sways. The Men aren't known for being a well-oiled machine and their crusty punk aesthetic still shines through on both their lo-fi recordings and fuzzed out performances and perhaps that spills over onto their records. Their almost frightening ability to shift sonic landscapes in only a matter of years could lead to some isolation or shake off some potential success, but the Men don't seem to care. Their 'don't give a fuck' attitude has been a motif from the beginning and even with acoustic guitars thrown to the front of the mix, the attitude remains the same. The band doesn't harmonize, but rather four of them just sing at the same time. It's rough, dirty and in your face. It is grungy-Americana at its best.