Entries tagged with: At the Drive In
by Andrew Sacher
Title Fight at Europa in 2012 (more by Rebecca Reed)
"Emo is a style of rock music characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore" and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace." [Wikipedia]If you've been closely following along with the blogosphere lately, you've probably noticed talk, especially amongst the indie rock community, about an "emo revival." Some sites, like Stereogum and Buzzfeed, have directly written about the "revival," whereas others like Pitchfork -- a site which has previously derided even the most classic albums of the genre -- didn't explicitly call it a revival, but offered a valuable spotlight on the modern emo scene. NPR weighed in, asking, "Is Emo Back?," but still some, like Noisey, claim, "There's no emo revival, you just stopped paying attention." A writer at NYU Local agrees. Meanwhile, bloggers and local papers, like OC Weekly and Baltimore Sun, are running with this.
All of this attention is only doing the genre a service. As Chad Jewett points out on Half Cloth, "How did you find out about Diary, person born in 1988? Because you would have to have been preternaturally cool to have picked up on it in 1994 when it came out." In other words, maybe in 19 years someone will hear Is Survived By, and they'll thank their lucky stars for all these listicles and thinkpieces that pointed out that record and so many other great records. But does the increased attention for these bands (many of which have been around for years) in indie rock circles warrant calling it a revival? Maybe it's that people are realizing these "emo revival" bands have a lot more in common with indie rock bands than a lot of people thought.
For one reason or another (perhaps because kids who grew up on Drive-Thru Records comps are forming bands now), emo has been sneaking its way more and more into accepted indie rock. Nobody was screaming "emo revival" when Japandroids went from a well-liked indie rock band to one of the genre's most beloved with 2012's Celebration Rock, a record full of heart-wrenching lyrics, youthful spirit, and fast, catchy power chords -- all common descriptors of emo. (Not to mention it was released by Polyvinyl Records, home to such emo classics as Frame and Canvas, American Football, Look Now Look Again, and more.) Likewise, no one said it when Cloud Nothings' 2012 LP Attack On Memory got tons of love from indie rock critics upon its release and went on to appear in multiple year-end lists, including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, and more. It's an indie record, but one with a heavy resemblance to early Sunny Day Real Estate and similarly emo lyrical themes ("I miss you 'cause I like damage / I need something I can hurt").
Japandroids at Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
These records had all too much common with the great emo releases of that year, including Title Fight's Floral Green and Joyce Manor's Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired. Both of those albums embraced raw production, honest, innovative music, and were not geared towards a radio-pop fanbase, but yet were largely ignored in indie rock circles. It's essentially what indie rock is, and a far cry from what pop bands tagged as emo like Panic at the Disco, Hawthorne Heights, and Senses Fail were doing. Those pop-emo bands, and countless others, dominated rock radio, MTV, and a major part of the conversation on emo during the mid-2000s, scaring away many indie rock fans and critics from the genre all together. The two weren't always enemies. Emo kids and indie rock kids both hold equal claim to bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Cursive, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley, and others. Perhaps part of the split was because it was somehow cooler to look like this than like this.
Title Fight, who didn't appear on Pitchfork until the-year-of-the-revival despite notable album releases in 2011 & 2012, cited many of the same influences as modern indie rock bands for Floral Green, including Sebadoh, Hum, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth. And Joyce Manor did the same, namedropping Guided by Voices and Weezer's Pinkerton in interviews. It makes sense that fans who latched on to Japandroids/Cloud Nothings would gravitate towards Title Fight/Joyce Manor. So what makes them so different? Ian Cohen says in his 2013 Pitchfork review of the new Title Fight EP, "You're more likely to hear electro-pop or major-label bands such as Chvrches or Haim called "indie" more often than Title Fight. How is that? Is it because most of time, genre tags are used to described the perceived fanbase than the music itself?"
The question Ian poses in that review seems to be a huge factor in the need some have to cite an "emo revival." If Japandroids and Cloud Nothings are your kind of indie rock, or punkier indie-approved bands like Titus Andronicus and Fucked Up, or classic bands like Dinosaur Jr, Built To Spill, Superchunk, and Archers of Loaf, chances are you're going to (or already do) find a lot to like in Title Fight, Joyce Manor, Pity Sex (essentially a shoegaze band), Cloakroom (sludgy slowcore), Placeholder (fuzz rock/'90s-style indie/etc), and many more. And as certain people, like Jaded Punk Dan Ozzi in his Noisey article pointed out, these bands didn't come out of nowhere. This comparatively underground scene of emo has been co-existing with the mall-emo scene for years, and perhaps it's getting called a "revival" because of the sudden interest for it from a fanbase who, for the most part, previously ignored anything associated with that three-letter word.
I do think, to some extent, that at one point the "emo revival" tag meant something. Now-defunct bands like Algernon Cadwallader (who have a new band, Dogs On Acid, in the works and whose guitarist Joe Reinhart is now a sometimes-member of Hop Along) and Snowing/Street Smart Cyclist (whose singer John Galm now fronts the excellent garage punk band Slow Warm Death) revived a very specific type of emo in the late 2000s -- the math rock-influenced kind done (perhaps most notably) in the mid-'90s by Cap'n Jazz. That sound, which some people bafflingly call "twinklecore," can be heard in late-2000s bands Castevet, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), 1994!, and bands who rose more recently, including The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Dads, and Prawn. But that's only a small sect of the genre as a whole. I recently said that Brand New's 2006 LP The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is my favorite emo album since Diary, and Devil and God only came out two years before Algernon's first, 1994!'s first, and La Dispute's first. Thursday's final record, No Devolucion, came out in 2011 and in my opinion it's one of their best. The genre had a rough period as it entered the mainstream (but so did so many other genres) but it never vanished.
Touche Amore at Riot Fest 2013 (more by Kirstie Shanley)
Why is it all happening now though? Perhaps with "indie rock's tuneful death rattle" and "the decline of guitar rock" in effect, with artists like Haim, Chvrches, Icona Pop, The 1975, and Lorde currently dominating the indie rock discussion, there are still people yearning for raw, scrappy guitar rock with DIY ethics and an alternative mindset. And a lot of us are finding that those cravings are satisfied by this large, thriving group of "emo" bands. In his "indie rock death rattle" piece on Grantland, Steven Hyden welcomed indie turning pop as a natural progression, but did point out some may be seeking something less pleasant, which he finds in Touche Amore's latest LP, Is Survived By.
Touche's record, another getting extra attention now thanks to the "revival," is one of the finest releases of this year, and embodies so many of the key factors of "underground rock." Its aggression is raw and unpolished, but it's melodically and dynamically exploring new ground for rock music. Lyrically, the themes won't be unfamiliar to indie rockers, exploring existential uncertainties ("To swallow mortality is enough of a task / And leaving your mark is just too much to ask") that aren't too different from a band like Titus Andronicus ("Okay, I think by now we've established everything is inherently worthless / And there's nothing in the universe with any kind of objective purpose"). They also happen to be musically and communally connected to post-hardcore bands like Converge and Thursday who have influenced forward-thinking underground rock bands, just as Pavement and the Pixies have.
At The Drive-In at Coachella 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
It's not only newer bands though. Many now broken-up bands have been reuniting, and getting welcomed back very warmly. It's no surprise that the much-loved At the Drive-In caused excitement when they reunited, but in case there was any doubt how large that excitement would be in indie circles: They got huge spots on major indie rock festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella, and the reunion also got notable coverage on many indie sites, including Pitchfork, who weren't too kind to their classic Relationship of Command LP upon its release but scored it significantly higher upon its April 2013 reissue.
The fact that the idea of "indie rock" is so vague and encompasses so many things, many of which are not "indie" or "rock," is a great thing, but there are still kids who can't settle for Chvrches when a past generation got Fugazi. And luckily those kids won't have to worry. In addition to many of the bands mentioned above, there's Speedy Ortiz, Waxahatchee, Swearin', A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Courtesy Drop, Little Big League, Frameworks, Calculator, Iron Chic, Big Eyes, Single Mothers, Sundials, Aye Nako, Worriers, Caravels, Pianos Become the Teeth and so many more that all satisfy a similar craving, whether or not you call them "emo," "indie," or a "revival."
The Field at Pitchfork Fest 2012 (more by Chase Turner)
The Field (aka Stockholm electronic musician Alex Willner) is set to come over to North America for Montreal's Mutek festival this year, which he plays on May 29. Then, he'll stop in NYC for a show the next day at Glasslands (5/30) before heading to Austin for Chaos in Tejas on June 2. Tickets for the Glasslands show are on sale now. Those are his only North American dates that we're aware of at the moment, but he does also play the Yeah Yeah Yeahs-curated ATP in the UK on May 4.
The Field has been doing some interesting official remixes this year, including one of Tame Impala's "Mind Mischief," which is out now, and another less-expected one of At the Drive-In's "One Armed Scissor," which comes out on 12" vinyl on May 13 via Transgressive. You can stream both of those remixes below...
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Ex Cops DJing at Other Music, RSD 2012 (more)
We're about a week out from Record Store Day 2013. When it began in 2008, RSD was a celebration of brick-and-mortar stores in the face of digital downloads, offering up exclusive releases to get people out to stores. It's blown up considerably since then, with hundreds of RSD-only releases. (Many of which fall into the hands of folks who turn it around on Ebay that same day, but what can you do?) While it is a mob scene these days, there is no doubt it helps what record stores there are left -- though not enough, as Record Store Day will be the last day for Williamsburg's Sound Fix. Participating stores around the country are listed here.
There are always some pretty cool exclusives too, items that may have never seen the light of day without RSD. With that in mind we've gone through the list of North American RSD exclusives to highlight a few things to keep an eye out. This isn't comprehensive, just stuff we wanna get. What records are you trying to get this year?
The Mars Volta at ACL in 2008 (more by Kyle Dean Reinford)
The Mars Volta, who have been on hiatus since the release of 2012's Noctourniquet, have officially called it quits, Prefix reports. Cedric Bixler-Zavala dropped the news via a series of tweets , including "Thank u 2 all VOLTA fans u deserved more especially after the way u rooted for us on this album. I tried my hardest to keep it going But Bosnian Rainbows was what we all got instead. I can't sit here and pretend any more. I no longer am a member of Mars Volta."
Cedric has a solo release on the way, and as discussed his former partner in crime, Omar Rodriguez Lopez is working with his band, Bosnian Rainbows, who will have their debut album out this year and are going on a tour in February which hits NYC for the previously mentioned Highline Ballroom show on February 19 with Marriages. Tickets for that show are still available. Since we last spoke, the band revealed a track from their album, "Torn Maps," which you can stream below.
Cedric and Omar joined forces again last year to bring back their old band, At the Drive-In. That reunion never brought the band to NYC, but it did bring them to Austin, Coachella, Lollapalooza and other places.
In related news, At the Drive-In's other half, Sparta, have returned from their hiatus and are in the studio working on the followup to 2006's Threes.
Bosnian Rainbows song stream below...
photos by James Richards IV
At the Drive-In/Sigur Ros at Lollapalooza - 8/5/12
Jack White was one of the headliners on Saturday., We weren't able to get pictures this time (see Firefly instead), but you can check out his Lolla setlist HERE and pictures and video of a surprise in-store that took place at Chicago's Reckless Records earlier in the day HERE. Other bands on Sunday included the reunited At the Drive-In, Sigur Ros, The Walkmen, Justice, Polica, Toro y Moi, The Gaslight Anthem (setlist and a video of their entire set HERE) and many more.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
dolphin rider / Wild Flag / At the Drive-In
"Weekend one of Coachella 2012 not only confirmed rock fans' rabid appetite for live music but reminded the music industry that the past is a lot closer than it used to be. There were no rock acts from the 1960s or early '70s on the bill. The look back was dedicated to Coachella's continuing affection for reuniting British bands from the late '70s and early '80s--this year, it was Buzzcocks, James, Madness, Pulp and Squeeze. Other reuniting bands on the bill included American alt-rock bands Firehose, Mazzy Star and At the Drive-In; and Refused, a punk group from Sweden that hadn't been heard from since 1998. One could argue that the "appearance" by the late Shakur was an admission that to become a musical force again, West Coast rap needs a resurrection. Though the beats conceived and developed by Dr. Dre, Shakur, Snoop Dogg and others are now woven into rock and pop's vocabulary, rap had little presence at Coachella 2012, save for the ingenuity of the late Sunday-night oldies show.It's actually hard to believe that after all that went on over the weekend THE EXACT SAME COACHELLA IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN AGAIN. But back to last weekend for a second...
And if there was any doubt that electronic dance music is a dominating force, even if it's still underappreciated by the mainstream, Swedish House Mafia and Justice played the main stage. The big tent dedicated to dance music was rarely less than filled to a boisterous overflow." [Wall Street Journal]
You already saw pictures from Friday and Saturday, video of an idiot falling off a wooden structure, watched Frank Ocean's set, and Azealia Banks's. The Weeknd's too. You saw Refused's setlist and some videos. You already know what At The Drive-In played on Sunday, and streamed their set in full after you were done watching Real Estate's and M83's, not to mention parts of Bon Iver's and Andrew Bird's. You're already well aware that Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg and many special guests headlined on Sunday, and you even saw the pictures of them and watched the Tupac hologram video. Now here are the rest of the Sunday pictures, and they continue, below....
Lollapalooza (more by Grant MacAllister)
Chicago Sun Times reports:
Lollapalooza has revealed its official 2012 list of performers -- a typically wide-ranging smorgasbord of genres and styles topped by nearly a dozen mainstage headliners: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, freshly reunited bands Black Sabbath and At the Drive-In, the Black Keys, Jack White, Florence + The Machine, the Shins and Passion Pit, plus spotlighted electronic music including Swedish house titan Avicii, French dance duo Justice and DJ-producer Bassnectar.Check out the full list below...
The annual music festival is scheduled for Aug. 3-5 in Chicago's Grant Park.
Rumored lineups have circulated widely, as they usually do, and Lollapalooza itself stoked the speculation in recent weeks via a series of CTA and online advertisements that seemed to hint at who would be playing.
The ads featured lyrics from such acts as Sigur Ros, Santigold, Jack White, Kimbra, Twin Shadow, the Weeknd, Bloc Party and more -- all bands that wound up on the bill.
photos by Tim Griffin
Cedric Bixler-Zavala of At The Drive In @ RED 7 on 4/9
After an opening set by Zechs Marquise, At the Drive-In played their first show since 2001 (as it said on the show poster) at Red 7 in Austin last night (4/9). It was also the first in a series of pre-Coachella warm up shows that continue in Dallas (tonight) and then Marfa.Here's a second set of pictures. More below...
According to show promoter Transmission Entertainment, the surprise gig sold out in 11 minutes after being announced via Twitter the other day. In addition to all those packed inside, there were many listening from the alley outside. Though some complained that Omar Rodriguez Lopez seemed a bit out of it (update: his mother recently passed away), the band was generally high energy with Cedric hanging from the rafters of the newly refurbished club, and the crowd going insane.
photos by Tim Griffin
Cedric going wild @ Red 7 -- 4/9/2012
Radiohead @ Roseland Ballroom in 2011 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Coachella which is taking place over the course of two weekends this year (April 13-15 and 20-22) revealed their 2012 lineup. Last week, Azealia Banks was the first artist confirmed, and earlier today they confirmed The Weeknd (maybe he found a band?), and before that, Jimmy Cliff, Breakbot, and Housse De Racket. The reunited Pulp then announced itself. The full lineup also includes headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, not to mention, as predicted, the reunited At the Drive In and the reunited Mazzy Star (!), and Madness and Refused (!) and Jeff Mangum and many, many more that you can see below...
"ATTENTION! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN will be breaking their 11 year silence THIS STATION IS ...NOW...OPERATIONAL"That news was posted on a new official At The Drive-In website and has been confirmed by the band. No word on what exactly it means (dates, record, other projects, etc), but there have been reports of a show scheduled in Russia, and any way you slice it, excellent news! - BBG .
DOWNLOAD: Jim Ward - Take it Back (MP3)
Old 97 Rhett Miller, currently working on a new record, is going on a solo acoustic tour in October, but first you can catch him with his full band The Serial Lady Killers at a big headlining show at Highline Ballroom in NYC this Saturday night (9/24). Tickets are still on sale.
Jim Ward (of Sparta/At The Drive-In/Sleepercar), who is on a tour himself, opens the show (he'll be solo acoustic). Jim is out supporting his new solo LP called, wait for it... Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins & The Electric Six - released on August 8th via his own Tembloroso Recordings. "The album is a compilation of his acoustic solo EP trilogy - 2007's Quiet, 2009's In The Valley, On The Shores, 2011's The End Begins - paired with an additional disc of select tracks gone electric." Download the electrified "Take It Back" above. That's the cover art up there too.
A JW video and all tour dates below...
by BrooklynVegan Mike
DOWNLOAD: Duchess Says - Ccut Up (MP3)
Osheaga, the outdoor music festival in Montreal, celebrated its third birthday this weekend with a bevy of local acts, some emerging talent, and great live performers. Day one (Sunday August 3rd) of the festival was also one of the most hectic musical days in recent [Montreal] memory. The week long Francophone music festival, FrancoFolies, concluded the same day with a performance by former Osheaga artist Malajube, and Wolf Parade (another former Osheaga performer) finished a tour downtown with their first Montreal performance since the release of At Mount Zoomer....