Monthly Archives: March 2011

MOVITS!

Coming straight outta Sweden, the band is made up of brothers Johan Jivin’ Rensfeldt (vocals), Anders Rensfeldt (multi-instrumentalist and DJ) and saxophonist Joakim Nilsson.

Their debut album Äppelknyckarjazz, literally translated as Apple swiper jazz (Isn’t that a dope title?), was released in November 2008, so it’s been out there for awhile. I admit that I found out about this band from my friend so I can’t take credit for this discovery. I’ve put this song on repeat for the past 30 minutes and I’ve been too busy tapping my foot and bobbing my head with the beat to stop to record all my thoughts. Here’s a quick review of what I think of their song Fel del av gården

1) I don’t understand what they are saying

2) The music is so good I won’t quibble with it.

  • Focus on the opening of the song, it clapping beats really set the tone
  • The singer just spits out his lyrics in a fast manner, I would hazard a guess that it in a rap like beat.
  • I can’t explain this music, but I’ll give it some heuristics for you: Swing, some rap, and most definitely Europe.

 

 


Boy & Bear – The Australian Fleet Foxes?

Being a regular performer at The Old Redmond Firehouse, I am a huge fan of Seattle’s own Fleet Foxes. From the Pacific Northwest, these guys honed their craft in Seattle’s clubs, like the OFH. Now, their almost-choral harmonies, folksy melodies, and absolutely incredible lyricism have endeared me and many others to them.

They even have some disciples, it seems, as the Australian band Boy & Bear does their best re-creating the choral parts Fleet Foxes became known for after their self-titled album in their intro to “Mexican Mavis”, before launching into a more 60s rock-influenced percussive folk sound reminiscent, but independent, of our favorite Foxes.

Boy & Bear, an Australian quintet formed in 2009 made up of frontmen from other Australian bands (plus a non-frontman, Jon Hart), is more famous internationally than here in America; they’ve toured with Mumford and Sons in Australia and Jack White’s new find Laura Marling in the UK. However, their recent gig at SXSW in Austin has amped up their hype in the states.

Personally, I find the harmonies and the percussive rock of Boy & Bear a nice twist on the lyrical folk formula brought into renaissance by the Fleet Foxes. Of course, the lyricism is not as wonderful as our favorite Foxes, but it works well, as “Mexican Mavis”, their only single available in the states from their EP With Emperor Antarctica, has some of the better lines I’ve heard in a while: “my lo-o-o-o-o-ove’s / not a limit”, and “the call for help / she’ll call for him” stand out in particular. The gradual crescendo throughout the song, particularly apt and swift changes in dynamics, helped by the excellent percussionist Tim Hart, and the final acoustic/vocal echoes: “the ca-all…for help” all indicate an emotion penetrating the song’s subtext. And that, my friends, is why Boy & Bear should be on your radar.

Right-Click to Download: Boy and Bear – Mexican Mavis


In Celebration of Spring, in Anticipation for Summer!

Good afternoon ladies and gents, I would just like to inform you all that today is the first day in which I saw cherry blossoms around my neighborhood. Fortunately it’s sunny up here in Washington, so my thoughts have drifted towards the end of school and what activities I plan to do. As a result, I am going to post about a band in which I really embodies the summer spirit, The Smiles, a  quartet from Southern California really establishes the beach-rock attitude with their opener Cala Cola. Anyone who has listened to ten seconds of “Cala Cola” may mistake it for an upbeat Vampire Weekend song, which isn’t a bad comparison at all.

The title of this 6-song EP, originates from the Southern California city where it was recorded: Hermosa Beach, CA. The band members intially met at USC (Which is where Dylan is going to college by the way!) in 2009 playing house parties at the campus.

If you suffer from seasonal depression, this upbeat and highly addictive indie-pop might be just what you need!

Here’s the link to download their EP. Cala Cola is a freebie, but the rest of the album can be downloaded for free too, just enter 0 for the price you want to pay for the songs (The Smile are quite open to such an action).

Recommeneded songs: Cala Cola

California Girls

Vpham


First Review: Something About Airplanes – Whoa! Dude! Dang!

2009

RIYL: Hit the Lights, New Found Glory, early All Time Low

Something About Airplanes are a 5-piece pop punk outfit from Portland, OR. Their self-released debut EP Whoa! Dude! Dang! delivers pretty standard pop punk very much in the vein of Hit The Lights. Everything is written in major keys, they flirt with breakdowns on occasion, and infectious melodies dominate throughout. This EP doesn’t really deliver anything you haven’t heard before in several other places, but fortunately the band does this sound very well. They’ve done their homework.

Perhaps comparing them to Hit The Lights is a bit of an understatement, though. If I didn’t know better I would think of this as some lost bridge EP between HTL’s “This Is A Stickup” and “Skip School, Start Fights.” The opening guitar lead on You Sunk My Battleship (the first track after the intro) sounds directly ripped from an HTL song, and the overall instrumental and songwriting approach is remarkably similar. However, the performances are all solid and enjoyable, if lacking a little originality. The drums are clean and thumpy, the guitars crunch in the lows and soar on highs, and vocalist Lee Parks does a dead-on impression of Hit The Lights’s original singer, Colin Ross. Technical showmanship takes a backseat to energetic songs, as is typical of the genre. The instrumentals are powerful for using staccato bursts of power to great effect but reining in during choruses to let the songs breathe.

Lyrically, Whoa! Dude! Dang! definitely leaves something to be desired in terms of depth. Lucky then that their positive attitude keeps things from getting unbearable. Most of the songs focus on melancholy-but-hopeful themes, like falling back on friends during a breakup or remembering the good times during the bad. There are some groan-worthy lines to be sure, such as “You’re my girl / I’m your guy / Forever!” (from the track You Sunk My Battleship), which unfortunately also sounds rather insincere. This prevents them from substituting heart for depth à la New Found Glory (who deliver such lines with enough integrity to save it) but they don’t ruin the album by any means. SAA does manage to throw in memorable choruses, such as The Bros and Cons: “I come up on my boys / And give them high fives / Cause the fun’s going down tonight / And that’s all I really need to forget our history.” It’s not deep but it strikes a chord with that freshly dumped adolescent in all of us.

If this record has something that shines above everything else, it’s the production. Everything sounds clean and tight, which is made all the more impressive by the fact that SAA are an unsigned group of kids. Somebody in this band must have access to a great studio, and really know their stuff when it comes to production. Specifically the drums sound absolutely perfect. Machine or Joey Sturgis may as well have recorded the percussion on here.

There isn’t a whole lot that distinguishes Something About Airplanes from the rest of the crowded pop-punk/hardcore/popmosh scene, but their saving grace is that they have become very good at delivering that sound early in their career. Brief spikes of hardcore are perfectly placed throughout the record, adding flavor and intensity to songs without turning them into meathead pits, peppy guitar leads dominate the mix, and there are some huge sing along choruses to be had. It’s a shame that they’ve been unable to find a replacement vocalist for Lee, because there’s real potential here given the recent underground burst of DIY pop-punk.

Star: 3/5

Drums – Chris Dini
Bass – Anthony Taylor
Guitar – Nick Berg
Guitar – Nick Sisouphanh
Vocals – Lee Parks (no longer a member)

http://www.myspace.com/somethingaboutairplanespdx

– David Cubine


This is Life After Nirvana

Welcome to the blog.

We love music.

Get the picture yet?

This blog is named Life After Nirvana. We’re all audiophiles, we all live in this post-Nirvana daze of a music scene, and we all love music. Hence the name. We are Chris, David, Dylan and Vincent for now, but we should be adding more later. We’ll go into more detail about ourselves in our posts, but hopefully the music speaks for itself.

While we all have our specialties, this blog is about many different kinds of music. This is a variety blog, and we hope you like something on it.

For the first song posted, I figured we’d have to go with something quintessentially Seattle, as all of us currently blogging are Seattleites. And Death Cab’s new single release today, here at home on 107.7 The End, just solidified it.

Death Cab For Cutie – You Are A Tourist (SoundCloud Link)

-Dylan

Life After Nirvana