All posts tagged Fitz & the Tantrums

Indie Dispatches: CHL’s year-end accolades & a peak at what’s to come in 2012

From the melodic pop of Real Estate to the undeniably retro fuzz of Yuck, the distorted dreamy noise of I Break Horses and the lo- fi meandering of Youth Lagoon, 2011 has been an excellent year for music. Read more…

Indie Dispatches: All The News That’s Fit to…

UK's Yuck, among bright spots of 2011 so far

Surprise!! After been closeted away down the rabbit hole, toiling away turning the wheels of industry, figures it was time to pop up again into the world and find out just what we have missed. And what better day to choose, than April 1st? So just what has been going on these past few months?

* Domino blasted out of the annual SXSW fiesta on a definite high with everyone raving about their new signing, Austra. The band’s debut album Feel it Break drops May 17. The label also has a schedule of highly rated new releases from Cass McCombs, Anna Calvi and of course the long awaited re-issue of the Queens of the Stone Age classic debut album. Oh yeah, there’s also a new album, Blood Pressure, from our favorite rock duo, The Kills about to drop any day. Bets on ‘best of 2011 list’ anyone?
* A band on an indie won a Grammy for best album or something. More exciting was that their label, Merge Records, released the stunning new album, Civilian from Baltimore’s Wye Oak.
* A new UK combo with inauspicous beginnings (formed from the ashes of Cajun Dance Party) and a terrible name – Yuck – put on some shows and released an album that was far from terrible or inauspicious. Combining a dose of classic 90′s Sonic Youth & Dinosaur Jr the UK group stands as a definite bright spark in early 2011.
* After 20 years in business, our favorite Bay Area operation, Slumberland Records, suddenly became a ‘label to watch’ with new records from Pains of Being Pure at Heart and new noise group, Weekend.
* Sub Pop signed a new band. Or two. Or ten it seems. But seriously though, can they have any more? Still Corners, Memory House, Niki & the Dove… the list of newbies goes on. How many is too many? When you factor in their sub-label Hardly Art, the Seattle indie seems to have an active roster the size of a major label.
* Sharon Van Etten toured. And made even more fans. Swooooooooon.
* Radiohead suddenly dropped a new record on the world to much fanfare. An album which even their fans weren’t sure they really liked.
* The 2 piece is still in vogue despite the demise of the White Stripes in the guise of Hanni El Khatib.
* It became clearly evident that just because the bloggers love you and the press file is big and thick, it doesn’t mean you sell a massive number of records in 2011. Looking at you Dum Dum Girls. And Deerhoof.
* Bright Eyes released an excellent new album, ‘The People’s Key’, which may have been the most lavishly packaged release to hit the top echelons of the charts.
* Sebadoh toured to support the release of a t-shirt because the US label organizing the reissue of their classic Bakesale, release didn’t come close to getting the album out on time.
* The Radio Dept finally toured North America and released a double CD of singles and oddities. Peter Bjorn and John released a new record. Yay Sweden!
* Portishead sent a welcome message that they are happy to buck the system. And you know they will still have fans. And will still sell records.
* Sasquatch Festival once again looked like more fun than spending 3 days in the desert
* Wilco became an indie band. Rah!
* The neo-soul movement became even stronger, with the continuing charge of Fitz and the Tantrums, as they took over SXSW, and seemingly now, the world. Then there is that old dude (62!) Charles Bradley showing a) its never too late to start your recording career (ageism be damned!) and b) THIS is how you make a great soul record. He may not be Otis Redding but he is a fine substitute!

My, this has been fun. But wait – there’s more we’re sure! Maybe we’ll just have to be back next week too fill in some holes that have undoubtedly been missed…

- Cool Hand Luke

Indie Dispatches: Ten Most Enjoyed Albums of 2010 (And Then Some)…

Sharon Van Etten, Epic, indeed

The torrent of those year-end lists is still coming thick and fast from all corners of the media, with some of the latest being Amazon‘s best of, Rhapsody‘s picks, Drowned In Sound and Stereogum‘s top 50. Scanning through many of the lists, the big question doesn’t seem to be, “How many places will pick Kanye West as album of the year?” but more likely “How many places won’t?” Well, I can tell you, as much as Indie Dispatches appreciates the record, and definitely got our money’s worth buying the digital album for 99 cents on, it’s (not so) sad to say the opus didnt make our short list. Instead here are ten picks we enjoyed an awful lot during 2010 – some you may have listened to and others you may well have not…

Sharon Van EttenEpic (Ba Da Bing) – One of those ‘word-of-mouth’ records that has benefitted from the new frontier of the internet and the marvels of social media. Friends espousing their love of this Brooklyn artist on Facebook, an album purchase, and instant love. Further posting on Facebook about the glorious nature of this album – its engaging songwriting and classic feel – and the word spreads. Pure magic.

Gold PandaLucky Shiner (Ghostly International) – Ah, the joys of laptop electronica. This record seemingly came out of nowhere and set itself apart from its contemporaries (such as Four Tet, Baths, etc) with its progressive sounds, catchy melodies and infectious beats.

Avi BuffaloAvi Buffalo (Sub Pop) – A bunch of teenagers from LBC form a band, make a record, sign to one of the coolest labels around and capture the attention of music fans across the world, all led by a diminutive (and naive) guitar meastro after whom the combo is named. The lyrics express (at times in a raw fashion) the angst of being a teen, but the songs are for the ages.

Sally SeltmannHeart That’s Pounding (Arts & Crafts) – I recently rediscovered this album, marvelling at its brilliance all over again, and ended up listening to it 10 times in a row. As great as some of the much praised artists in this ‘girl singer over electro beats’ genre (read Annie, Saint Etienne), I have a feeling the sales were terrible (probably the ‘best, worst selling record of 2010′), which is criminal, despite Seltmann being the spouse of a member of Avalanches and the writer of Feist‘s monster hit.

VillagersBecoming a Jackal (Domino) – See SVE… but from Dublin, Ireland. People who ‘got’ this record fell in love and were enthralled by its majesty. Some of the best lyrics around, and coming from a country that is known for its A-grade balladeers. And whether it was just leader Conor O’Brien on stage solo, or with his band, the live shows were jaw dropping.

Dylan LeBlancPauper’s Field (Rough Trade) –  Alas, I think this release was lost amongst the blogger frenzy for label mates Warpaint and Morning Benders, which was a crying shame. LeBlanc is steeped in the whole country-soul canon with personal ties to the Muscle Shoals/Fame recordings family of musicians, which set him apart on this album from the rest of his singer-songwriter contemporaries.

SuperchunkMajesty Shredding (Merge) – A bunch of old(er) folk make their first album in nine years, and at the same time, show all the youthful pretenders half their age how it is done. Great energy, super songs and reminding the world why Superchunk was one of the best bands in the 90′s (and still are). Come back of the year and a record that more than holds its own with anything in 2010.

Best CoastCrazy Like You (Mexican Summer) – 2010 was a bleak year to be an American, with high unemployment, economic troubles, housing traumas, political turmoil… what better time would there be to throw all the cares away with an album of summery beach pop. Pure escapism, and quintessentially Californian.

PhantogramEyelid Movies (Barsuk) – An album that might have been more at home on Warp or Modular, rather than the house that Death Cab for Cutie built, but it’s 2010, so who’s discriminating. See Gold Panda… with vocals.

Holly MirandaThe Magician’s Private Library (XL) –  Who knew that the mantle of Jeff Buckley would be taken up by the former singer of a relatively average NY indie rock band, with help from a member of TVOTR? The album got made and sat in limbo for an age, before XL Recordings stepped in (thank goodness)… Anchored by Miranda’s entrancing vocals, seemingly swooping down from heaven.

And worthy of notable mention for providing great listening pleasure at various times during 2010, in no particular order… Fences Fences , Fitz & The Tantrums Picking Up the Pieces, Glasser Ring, The Head and the Heart The Head and the Heart, Surf City Kudos, Owen Pallett Heartland, Magic Kids Memphis , Local Natives Gorilla Manor, Surfer Blood Astro Coast.

- Cool Hand Luke

File Under: Stuff We Like

Alex Winston @ Bowery Electric (NYC) Thurs. 11/18

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Weekend Spotlight: New Noise Santa Barbara & Ocean is Theory

As southern California bakes in unseasonably warm weather, it’s just another reason many folks are excited to spend the weekend up in Santa Barbara for the 2010 New Noise Music Conference & Festival… The 2nd annual installment of the event once again has a solid line-up of artists performing and industry pros speaking.  Dr. Drew (of Celebrity Rehab/Loveline) kicked things off last night, while industry panels start up today, followed by a string of showcases at local SB venues… Tonight’s highlights include Voxhaul Broadcast, Dead Country, The Silent Comedy and Honeychild at Whiskey Richards, meanwhile The White Buffalo and Meiko perform at SOHO.  Saturday night has ASCAP presenting Fitz & the Tantrums, Honey Honey and more at Velvet Jones, while back at SOHO Saint Motel, Imagine Dragons and He’s My Brother She’s My Sister will take the stage. Get the full schedule of showcases here, and you can check out this year’s panels here… Back in Hollywood on Sunday night, catch new Razor & Tie signing Ocean is Theory for a special performance at Cinespace. The Atlanta band has been in the studio recording the full-length follow up to their previous two self-released EP’s which moved over 6000 copies. The four-piece is working with the production team of American Hi-Fi vocalist Stacy Jones (Plain White T’s, The Strays, Ingrid Michaelson) and Bill Lefler (Dashboard Confessional, Gym Class Heroes, Cary Brothers)…

Tuesday Bits & Pieces

Fitz & the Tantrums join Dangerbird Records Roster

Following up on last week’s A&R report, congrats to Fitz and the Tantrums who have inked a deal with L.A.-based Dangerbird Records. The band heads out on tour with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings in May and has an eastside residency at Spaceland in June… Sweethead, the new project from Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, will be playing Monday nights in May at Spaceland. Their new self-titled album comes out May 11th via The End Records… Expect to see plenty of label and publishing folks out tonight for Burn Down the Mission at Hotel Cafe. We hear the band has been busy fielding more calls to showcase for labels on both coasts… Stay tuned.

Our post-Coachella-Monday hangover A&R Report?

Sick of Sarah @ The Roxy, Friday 4/23

As quickly as it came, the annual rock n’ roll oasis in the desert known as Coachella is over. So while you tend to that lingering sunburn and exercise the last of those acid-demons, let’s play catch-up on some new signings and stories we’ve been following… Los Angeles indie-label Dangerbird Records, who has been on a recent signing-spree stocking their coffers with a wide spectrum of artists, has put paper to Fitz & the Tantrums and we hear negotiations are in motion. FATT opened for The Specials last week at Club Nokia and will be joining Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings on tour in May… We hear Epic Records is finalizing a deal with Denver’s Joel Jorgenson. The singer is managed by Michael Goldberg and Isaac Hayes for 108 Management (we’ve also confirmed that 108 does not stand for their combined IQs)… Momentum continues to build for Las Vegas-act Imagine Dragons, who played to a sold-out room last Wednesday for the BMI/KROQ-presented show at The Viper Room. Having only played a handful of L.A. dates, it was impressive to see industry take a literal back seat to a sweaty crowd of fans singing along to the band’s late-night set. With a growing regional fan base and an impressive live show, labels seem to be closing in – we hear an East Coast major is looking to shut it down early, while publishers and booking agents have joined the scrimmage too… Radio continues to build for L.A. locals Dead Country with adds at Santa Barbara’s KJEE and KROX in Austin, as well as spikes at Live 105KNRK in Portland and Denver’s modern rock KTCL; spins are also continuing in their hometown on KROQ. Could there be outside forces at work here? The band just finished a tour with The Bronx and will be supporting Far on a series of upcoming dates. Their self-titled EP is out now… And if you slept on the radio action on South Carolina’s Villanova, it looks like the band is now off the market. We hear an East Coast major is finalizing paperwork to close the act who are getting serious spins on influential modern rock station WARQ… Look for Steve Greenberg’s S-Curve Records to release new albums from Seinking Ships and The Belles on June 8th. Eric Matthews, formerly on Sub Pop, collaborated with Ohio musician Christopher Seink to record the new full-length Museum Quality Capture, while Lawrence, KS combo The Belles will release their sophomore album Times Flies When You’re Losing Your Mind… It certainly does… Finally, catch Minneapolis’ Sick of Sarah tomorrow night in L.A. for the early show at The Roxy. The band, who has been compared to Sleater-Kinney and The Breeders, is building a big following in the mid-west and is one of two artists featured during the month of April in Journeys stores nation-wide…

IN THE MIX: Jay Lewis, Purevolume, Ben Roethlisberger

More Post-SXSW Bits & Pieces

Jaguar Love @ RM64 Dirty Dog Party 3/19

Like ours, your inbox has probably been piling up with post-SXSW coverage emails. To help with the clutter, here’s a look at a few post-festival reviews and interviews from some of this year’s standout artists… Live4ever catches up with the UK’s Band of Skulls on their blitz through Austin and Townshend-like amp wreckage… Buzzbands has video of locals Shadow Shadow Shade from the IFC Crossroads HouseSpinner reviews Dawes‘ “career-making” performances in Austin… Gordon Voidwell and Fitz & the Tantrums were a gear-nerds dream, Keyboard Magazine has all the synthillating details… Fader gets intimate with David Vandervelde and Vevo interviews Glasgow’s Twin Atlantic… And if you missed it, you can read our wrap-up post here

File Under: Stuff We Like

Portland, Oregon's Baby Monster @ Cinespace Tuesday, March 30th

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