Entries tagged with: The Soundtrack of Our Lives
by Bill Pearis
Curtain Call for TSOOL, Stockholm 12/22/2012 (via @alfredoanazco)
You said, "My idea when we started this band was that we were going to peak around 2012." Did you really believe thatSweden's The Soundtrack of Our Lives played their last-ever show in their hometown of Stockholm right before Christmas (12/22). It marked the end of a 17-year career making riff-heavy psych-rock, and the band's history goes back even further to 1986 if you figure that many of the members played together in equally-awesome (and much punkier) Union Carbide Productions. The split was not amicable and the band spent the second half of 2012 on a farewell tour that also promoted the band's seventh and final album, the very good Throw it to the Universe, though that tour did not include North America (though they played here the year before).
Ebbot Lundberg: Yes, I always did.
Why did you say that?
EL: Because I knew it could happen. And it did. For The Soundtrack Of Our Lives is an alternative stargate to something more relevant than this specific era in our timeline.
[To Matthias] Ebbot said he thought the band would peak around 2012 - do you agree?
Mattias Bärjed: Yeah.
Why did he say that?
MB: I don't know. Maybe he always felt that it was a limited time for TSOOL as an active working band, and I totally agree on that. Maybe he had it all planned. Anyway, it's the right decision to call it a day. The music is still here and that's what counts. On this last ride I guess we all try to avoid all the bullshit that's been sucking a lot of energy out of this band during all the years. - [The Quietus]
TSOOL has played the U.S. many times, however, and anyone who saw them knows they were one of the best live bands of the '00s. I still remember seeing them at Bowery Ballroom in October 2001 when the band had just released their breakthrough (and best) album, Behind the Music, and being knocked back by their mastery of rock moves, showmanship and general badassery. (I also met Joe Strummer at that show, about two months before he died.) Even when touring one of their lesser albums, TSOOL always -- always -- put on a killer show. The band's final show in Stockholm was an epic, 33-song set that concluded with "Instant Repeater '99" from their 1996 debut, Welcome to the Infant Freebase and there's video of that below, along with the setlist.
As for what's next, TSOOL have one last record coming out, a five-song EP due out sometime this year. Meanwhile, guitarist Mattias Bärjed has a new band Free Fall who just released their debut single, "Power & Volume," which you can stream below, along with TSOOL's Throw it to the Universe.
by Bill Pearis
Love Inks @ SXSW (more)
Can you feel the love tonight? I can though mainly because we've got two bands with that in their name playing tonight. Though not in the same place. First is Austin's Love Inks who, as previously mentioned, are playing NYC for the first time. Tonight (6.2) they're at Glasslands with Rewards, Slowdance, and Celestial Shore. They'll also play Tuesday (6/7) at Pianos with Elastic Summer, Monokino and more.
Love Inks' debut, E.S.P., came out last month on City Slang and, as I wrote previously, it's a pretty little understated thing. Minimalist instrumentation -- guitar, bass, drum machine -- that doesn't get in the way of the band's main asset: singer Sherry LeBlanc's honeyed vocals. (In the same timbre as Beth Cosatino.) E.S.P. is what I like to call Sunday Morning music (Galaxie 500, Belle & Sebastian), and a fine example at that. You can check out "Blackeye" at the top of this post.
Tonight's Glasslands show is pretty solid all around. I've been wanting to check out Slowdance for some time. You can download two tracks from their website and both are pretty good: atmospheric rock that is, and yes, danceable. (Though maybe not slowdanceable.) Rewards, as you may remember, is Aaron Pfanning who was in Chairlift; and Celestial Shore are channeling some serious Brian Wilson vibes in a slightly mathy kind of way.
The other "love" band tonight is Portland trio Lovers (not to be confused with Lovvers), who are at Cake Shop with Household and Skeleton Head (They played last night at Union Hall...anybody go?). Lovers' most recent album, Dark Light, came out last fall on Badman Recordings and you can download "Figure 8" from it at the top of this post. It's a pretty good representation of the rest of the records: throbbing synths and big choruses. The BPMs are a little to slow to call it dance music, but it's definitely got a groove. Mood music you can move to.
You should get there early for local trio Household who I caught at Bruar Falls a couple weeks ago and really liked. They're in the Lilliput/Raincoats school of minimalist postpunk (or more recently Brilliant Colors or Yellowfever). No releases yet, but Household have a handful of streamable songs on their website which were produced by Andrew Raposo (who plays bass in various DFA-related bands). Definitely worth a listen.
Hospitality @ Pianos in Feb (more)
What else? After what seems like an awfully long time (two years plus), Hospitality are finally getting around to putting out an album. I think it's pretty much done, so hopefully we'll see that sooner than later. In the meantime, the trio are playing a whole bunch in June, starting Friday night (6/3) at Cake Shop where they'll share the bill with country folk act Numbers and Letters, and Edelweiss who kind of sound like first-album Foals and are not to be confused with the shortlived early '90s novelty act of the same name. The show is FREE.
Hospitality also play the final date of my Sound Bites series at the Fulton Stall Market on July 17. All upcoming shows are at the bottom of this post. More Fulton Stall Market (Seaport) shows are listed HERE.
TSOOL @ SXSW (more)
And last but certainly not least, the mighty Soundtrack of Our Lives arrive from Sweden this weekend, playing Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday (6/5) and The Bell House on Monday (6.6). If you enjoy '60s/'70s style rock, there are few bands that do it as well as TSOOL, and certainly not many who put on a better live show. I wrote of their 2009 show at Music Hall of Williamsburg:
A nearly two-hour show of guitar windmills, endless stick twirls, karate kicks, ponderous, psychedelic lyrics and massive riffs. You could watch The Soundtrack of Our Lives and spend the whole time picking apart the references: The Who, Stones, Pink Floyd, Love, Spirit, Faces, Beatles, etc. But to do so is to miss the point of TSOOL, who distill everything that is great about rock's classic late '60s / early '70s era into one incredible band. And an even better live show. Seriously, these guys knock it out of the park every time.The band have just released a best-of compilation, Golden Greats, which is a fine introduction to the band's catalogue to date (five albums, all doubles) and really showcases what this band does so well. But live is where they make you a believer. TSOOL are promising wildly different setlists for the two shows, and superfans can buy a discounted $35 ticket that gets you into both. These guys love to play, and usually do two-hour sets so... be prepared.
Opening the Le Poisson Rouge show are The Mommyheads ('90s era indie rockers who pop up now and again), and at The Bell House is Montreal's sitar-fueled Elephant Stone (an especially inspired pairing). TSOOL are also on Last Call With Carson Daly tonight (6/2).
That's the main stuff this week. A few more recommended shows, day-by-day, are below
THURSDAY, JUNE 2
Some of you may remember The Barracudas who led the UK surf-rock/garage revival in the early '80s. (If not, there's a video below.) Singer Jeremy Gluck has formed a new line-up of the group and they're playing Union Hall tonight. Don't be confused with Georgia's Barreracudas on the bill as well. We can only hope they'll hll play together as The Barrarerrarerracudadas.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives at SXSW 2011 (more by Bill Pearis)
The Soundtrack Of Our Lives's greatest hits compilation Golden Greats Vol.1 was released earlier this year, and the band celebrated with a trip to Austin to play SXSW. Now these psyche-poppy Swedes will make their return trek back to US soil for a short string of select dates that will include two in the NYC area: Le Poisson Rouge on June 5 and Bell House on June 6th. Tickets behind the links. All tour dates and some recent video is below.
by Bill Pearis
Wounded Lion @ Shangri La
After Wednedsay and Thursday... I spent most of Friday afternoon -- the hottest day of the fest, well into the '80s --at Sailor Jerry-sponsored East Side dive Shangri La where Chicago label Trouble in Mind was throwing a party in the back yard. Their party at Scoot Inn the year before was one of my favorites of SXSW2010 and I'd have to say the same the same of 2011. The label, run by husband and wife Bill & Lisa Roe (who are also in CoCoComa), is mostly a 7" label, releasing great singles from some of the best garage-pop artists around. Many of whom were there at Shangri La.
I got there as Seattle trio Night Beats were just starting. Never heard them before, but really dug their psych-garage sounds, and they definitely looked the part. They ended their set with a cover of The Count Five's classic "Psychotic Reaction," giving their version a little swing which made it their own. Look for Night Beats debut LP out on Trouble in Mind this summer.
While Cheap Time were playing, I noticed Lars Finberg milling about the yard...what was he doing here? The Intelligence were definitely not here, was his side-project Puberty playing and I didn't know it? No, he told me he was playing drums for L.A.'s Wounded Lion for their Austin shows. I was already looking forward to seeing WL, now even moreso.
I was getting a little antsy and decided to walk around the East Side a bit, stopping by Cheer Up Charlies where I caught a few songs by Norway's Tôg (who are in NYC as we speak) before heading back to the Trouble in Mind party to catch Nashville's The Paperhead. Looking a bit like Red Kross, the band -- all about 19 I think -- are trippier than anyone else on the bill. Their debut just came out on TiM.
Next up Wounded Lion, whose self-titled debut was one of last year's more underrated records. I think seeing them live would change naysayers opinion, they were one of the rockin'est, most fun shows of the week. Two singers: main man Brad Eberhard does the heavy lifting and guitar playing, while singer/percussionist Raffi Kalenderian is more in the Bob Nastanovich of the band, going apeshit with the tambourine and generally keeping things entertaining. There is much switching of instruments. They also let Lars Finberg take lead vocals for the Intelligence's "Turned to Puke." I really thought they'd do "Pony People," a Wounded Lion song that The Intelligence covered on Fake Surfers, but no. Great, great set.
I then Sprinted over to the BrooklynVegan party at Swan Dive for John Grant. Friday was hot and Swan Dive didn't seem to have AC or even ceiling fans and it was an oven in there, but it didn't matter. Another of my favorite shows of the week. I'd seen him play solo at Mercury Lounge, but this show was with Midlake, his backing band on last year's amazing Queen of Denmark. With the band, Grant's late-'70s leaning epics came to lush life. The drums sounded gigantic. So did Grant's voice. All that was missing was sequined clothing and glasses that made points of light look like starbursts. Highlights for me: power-ballad "Mars" and "Chicken Bones" which is some kind of sonic collision of Gordon Lightfoot and Harry Nilsson.
John Grant @ Swan Dive
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: El Perro Del Mar - Change of Heart (Rakamonie Remix) (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: Taken By Trees - Watch The Waves (MP3)
There's a double-dose of Swedes in town: El Perro Del Mar and Taken by Trees are playing together tonight (2/16) at Le Poisson Rouge and tomorrow (2/17) Knitting Factory and both have good, new-ish albums out. I loved El Perro Del Mar's debut EP but found her first album a bit drowning in dourness, as if it was an audition for Peter Gabriel or something. Her voice has a sad quality to it already, the music doesn't need to wallow too. Which is why I think last year's Love Is Not Pop works so much better. Working with the Balearic-loving guys of Studio, the record is both lighter and more mysterious-sounding, and some of it you could imagine being used in an '80s Michael Mann film.
The same could be said for Taken by Trees' second album, East of Eden, which was recorded in Pakistan (also with some Studio help) and is a little more rhythmic and engaging than Victoria Bergsman's first post-Concretes effort (which I also liked). I don't know if "fun" is the right word for it, but it's definitely more playful. And I think I might actually like "My Boys" better than Animal Collective's original. She also covered Guns n' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine" which became a modest UK hit.
More hot Swedish action tonight (2/16) at The Filmore at Irving Plaza with The Soundtrack of Our Lives who are one of my favorite live bands of the last ten years. Their latest CD, the double-disc Communion, is jam-packed with power chords, acid-rock, trippy ballads and psychobabble lyrics. Sure it's an amalgam of every great rock band from '67 - '73, but they do it so well and are so much fun to watch (windmills, stick-twirls, etc) that originality doesn't even enter the picture. If you've never seen them live, you should really check them out tonight.
If you can't make it to Irving Plaza because, say, you're home watching LOST but are free later, TSOOL are playing an acoustic set later at the official afterparty at Norwood Club in Chelsea. It's open to the public -- just print out this flyer. Doors are at 9:30 and Scary Mansion and Nico Vega are also on the bill. I'd imagine TSOOL will go on pretty late (more details below).
TSOOL will also be playing Noise Pop in San Francisco on Feb. 27 and we're giving away tickets here. Videos, flyers and dates below...
by Bill Pearis
Sweden's supreme masters of epic riff rock, baffling psychobable, and expertly executed Rock Moves, The Soundtrack of Our Lives are heading back to the United States in February -- including a stop at The Filmore at Irving Plaza on 2/16. Tickets are on sale. On February 27th they have a San Francisco show that is part of the 2010 Noise Pop Festival...
Event Producers, Noise Pop Industries, have announced the dates of the West Coast's premiere celebration of independent music, film and art - Noise Pop 2010. The 18th annual Noise Pop Festival will take place February 23rd through March 1, 2009 at venues throughout San Francisco, CA.TSOOL's most recent album, the double CD Communion, came out way back in January and has held up extremely well over the last 12 months. It's well worth seeking out if you haven't yet. And the band remain a live force to be reckoned with -- their show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last March was one of my favorites of 2009.
Early artist confirmations include Magnetic Fields, Mark Kozelek, Rogue Wave, Atlas Sound, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Four Tet, John Vanderslice, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Wallpaper, Zee Avi, The Limousines & Foreign Born. More shows will be announced in the coming weeks along with films, art shows, and more.
All TSOOL tour dates, plus some videos, are below...
TSOOL at MHOW last night (Bill Pearis)
today in NYC
* So Percussion @ Joe's Pub
* Monks of Doom reunion @ Europa
* Allman Brothers @ Beacon Theatre
* Eli Paperboy Reed @ The Bell House
* Chris Thile's Punch Brothers @ Living Room
* Extra Life, Mi Ami & Mirror Mirror @ Silent Barn
* N.A.S.A. & DJ Stretch Armstrong @ Le Poisson Rouge
* Franz Nicolay, Spoonboy & Emily Brodsky @ the Delancey
* Medications, Edie Sedgwick, Miracles & Gold Drum @ Cake Shop
* Propagandhi, Paint it Black & Gimme Drugs @ Highline Ballroom
* The Soundtrack of Our Lives & Lissy Trullie @ Bowery Ballroom
* Janeane Garofalo, Paul F. Tompkins, Morgan Murphy & more @ 92Y Tribeca
* Tall Firs, Holly Miranda, Meridians & Sharon Van Etten @ Zebulon
* Ringo Deathstarr, The Depreciation Guild & Grand Mal @ Death By Audio
* Woods, Let's Wrestle, caUSE co-MOTION! & Home Blitz @ Monster Island Basement
* Throwing Muses, Screaming Females & 50 Foot Wave @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* The Death Set, Team Robespierre, NinjaSonik, Totally Michael & Cerebral Ballzy @ The Shank
The Pogues were supposed to play tonight.
When I said Holly Miranda didn't have any shows between the other night at Mercury Lounge and the upcoming Bell House show with Nada Surf, I lied (well, actually her MySpace lied). She is scheduled to play tonight with Sharon Van Etten and the others listed above at Zebulon.
The Jesus Lizard are playing ATP NY.
Little Steven introduced TSOOL on state at MHOW last night. Lissy Trullie opens for them tonight.
Video of Billy Corgan testifying to congress, below...
photos by Lori Baily
Violens' self-titled debut EP will be available in stores March 17 (available digitally now)! Having already received critical praise and radio play from stations around the US and UK (BBC1, 2, 6Music, KEXP and XFM), the digipack re-release has been expanded to include forthcoming single "Doomed", preview the video below.The Soundtrack of our Lives kick off their 2-night NYC run at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn tonight (3/11). Violens open that show.
Peaches kicks off a tour that includes a live show at
Webster Hall in May. And this Saturday (3/14) Peaches will play DJ at a show at Tribeca Grand Hotel. Violens are playing that show too, and it's free with RSVP! (email@example.com). Flyer and all Violens dates (including some shows at SXSW) and videos and more pictures below...
by Bill Pearis
DOWNLOAD: The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Thrill Me (MP3)
Sweden's premiere psych-rockers The Soundtrack of Our Lives are in the U.S. this week, playing a few dates in support of their sixth album, Communion, which just came out on Yep Roc. This includes two NYC-area shows and both shows still have tickets -- Music Hall of Williamsburg on Wednesday (3/11) and Bowery Ballroom on Thursday (3/12).
A sprawling, 24-track epic, Communion is surprisingly filler-free and the best thing they've done since 2002's Behind the Music. (Amongst the original gems: a genuinely inspired cover of Nick Drake's "Fly.") You can listen to the whole shebang at Yep Roc's website and you can download the Stones-y "Thrill Me" above.
Apart from a NYC date in 2007 and SXSW, TSOOL haven't toured America since the release of Origin Vol. 1 in 2005. If you're never seen them before, TSOOL are masters of Rock Moves, from the windmill to the stick twirl but manage make it seem like they invented them. (Much like their sound, which is a condensation of the great rock bands of '68 - '73.) Easily one of my favorite live acts of the last 10 years.
Singer Ebbot Lundberg and guitarist Mattias Bärjed answered a few questions via email. And all U.S. tour dates are at the bottom of this post.
Communion seems to have an energy that maybe wasn't completely there on Origin Vol. 1. I know much of this was recorded quickly but what else was different this time?
Ebbot: You´re absolutely right about this. Origin 1 was a hasty compromise. I think we were a little bit too exhausted. That's why we decided to split it up in 2 parts because of deadlines and endless touring. Communion just came about very naturally because we (or anybody else) did not have any expectations. And everybody was relaxed during the recording process.
by Bill Pearis
Alabama's Thomas Function are in town this weekend for a trio of shows as part of trawl down the East Coast. Admission: I think I picked up Thomas Function's debut album, Celebration!, about four times last year thinking it was a LCD Soundsystem record -- singer Joshua Macero, whose mug graces the cover, looks a lot like James Murphy, at least when quickly flipping through CDs. After seeing so many times I finally got around to actually listening to it, and while absolutely nothing like the DFA head (not that I expected it to be), these Alabamians raise quite a ruckus with their spirited, organ-driven garage rock.
There's also come country and bluegrass in there too, as you might expect from a band living that far south but, really, Thomas Function grooves to their own beat. The band have also released a slew of 7" singles, most of which are now out of print or at least hard to find. Maybe they'll have some of them to sell at their shows. They play a free show at Other Music tonight (1/23), Cake Shop on Saturday (1/24) and Mercury Lounge on Sunday (1/25). Full tour dates and video at the bottom of this post.
The most interesting show of the weekend for me is Friday (1/23) at Death By Audio. Headlining are locals Golden Triangle, whose debut EP just came out on Kemado's vinyl-only imprint, Mexican Summer. (You can get it digitally from Emusic, though.) Some songs veer towards Vivian Girls/Fuzzbox/Slits territory, other songs remind me a lot of The Fall, and they cover Redd Kross' "Annette's Got the Hits." That's a one-two-three punch for me. (It's also the second band I've written about here to do a Redd Kross cover, the other being Box Elders.) The six-piece are about to head out on tour with King Khan & the Shrines so the rest of the country will get a chance to check them out too.
Also on the bill: Brazilian band Garotas Suecas, who will be compared to Os Mutantes because it's obvious and easy, but these kids are a little more straight up fun garage rock a la Mando Diao or The Fleshtones. I like what I've heard and it's the only NYC performance they have left (they also played Vassar last night). Plus, the lovely, downcast electric folk of NYC's Tall Firs; and hushed trio Metal Mountains that features Helen Rush, Samara Lubelski and Pat Gubler, all of whom spent time in Tower Recordings. So the night starts quiet and gets progressively louder and crazier.
I'd also like to (also) recommend the Valerie Collective show at Webster Hall tonight (1/23). Collective is a key term here. Many of the groups playing share members and the difference between Anoraak and College (my two favorites of the night), sonically, is minimal (one sings more than the other) but it's such a cool sound. It's big, lush, and retro, unabashedly '80s, and done to perfection. I have no idea if the groups will really translate to the live setting but if you're dancing you probably won't notice if they don't. Steve Moore's Lovelock is also on the bill.
The Week That Was
Lastly, SXSW will be upon us any minute and even if you aren't heading to Austin, New Yorkers are able to experience a little of the excitement as bands from the UK and Europe often make a pitstop here on their way to or from the festival. We already mentioned that Swedish rockers The Soundtrack of Our Lives are playing both Bowery and Music Hall of Williamsburg (tickets are on-sale today, 1/23) which I wholeheartedly recommend you check out, but I'm even more excited to see that The Week That Was are playing Mercury Lounge on March 9.
TWTW are one of the two splinter groups created when Sunderland, UK's Field Music decided to retire that moniker but still basically make music together. David Brewis released a phonetics-obsessed solo project under the name School of Language (which toured here last March). His brother Peter created The Week That Was, a concept album equally obsessed with (lyrically) The Media and (sonically) the Big '80s production style of Kate Bush and Trevor Horn. It's a brilliant album that made my Top Five of 2008. Both David Brewis and Field Music keyboardist Andrew Moore, plus about five others on percussion and strings. I'm not sure how many members strong they'll be at Mercury Lounge, but if they even come close to replicating the album's wall-of-sound, it will be worth attending. Tickets are on-sale today since Noon.
All tour dates, videos and flyers after the jump....
Swedish rock force The Soundtrack of Our Lives will release new studio album Communion on March 3rd, 2009.The new album is being put out by Yep Roc and, not long after its release, the band will visit the US to play a bunch of shows including Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 11th, and Bowery Ballroom the next day. Tickets for the NYC shows are on sale Friday.
Nearly four years since their last studio effort, power pop-psychedelicists The Soundtrack of Our Lives land the rock n' roll mother ship once again with the release of their 2 disc, 24-track opus Communion in early '09.
Caftan-sporting eccentric lead singer Ebbot Lundberg, guitarists Ian Person and Mattias Bärjed, bassist Kalle Gustafsson, keyboardist Martin Hederos and drummer Fredrik Sandsten experienced divine inspiration in the studio, completing basic tracks in a mere two weeks. "This was the easiest, most natural thing we've ever recorded," Lundberg notes, adding, "It really felt like the album created itself, like we had a dream of what the album was supposed to be and then the album became that."
After it became evident the band was taking a new musical direction, the members decided to abandon plans for a follow up to their last album Origin Vol. 1 and instead focus on a large scale mood piece based on the concepts of day and night-a song for each hour.
To quote Avi Roig, "TSOOL would have to be one of the finest, balls-out rock'n'roll acts I've ever had the pleasure of seeing. They haven't played the US in ages, so I wouldn't miss 'em." All dates below...
by Avi Roig
Ida Maria (SWE)
From Norway, operating out of Stockholm and currently making inroads in the UK - an international success waiting to happen. The thing that is winning 'em over? A fearless, unpredictable live show. The songs could be better, but I would not hesitate to see her get on stage and wreck shit.