This week’s shows (2/27/12-3/4/12)

Radiohead, Other Lives – Thursday (3/1), Philips Arena, $69.00. Sold Out.

Everything Radiohead does feels like an event.  Album announcements, release strategies, tour dates….they do nothing the conventional way, and it generates an extra layer of excitement around everything they do.  It’s been over a year since Radiohead quickly announced and released the polarizing The King of Limbs, but the band is just now getting around to touring behind the damn thing.  Thursday’s show at Philips Arena is one of only a handful of Southeastern tour dates, and they probably won’t make it back this way for at least a few more years, so seize the chance to catch the most acclaimed rock band of the last 15 years do their thing.

Heartless Bastards, The Fling, Tiger! Tiger! – Friday (3/2), The Earl, $15.

Heartless Bastards frontwoman and sole constant member Erika Wennerstrom is constantly tweaking, expanding, and redefining the basic blues rock sound established back in 2005 on the Bastards first full length album.  Each new record has found the band branching out into previously unexplored territory, with Wennerstrom’s staggering voice as the only constant.  The recently released Arrow sounds like her classic rock album, foregoing the combination of classic country and dense wall of guitars that marked 2009’s The Mountain in favor of something a little more streamlined.  They’re one of my favorite active live bands, so I strongly recommend catching them on Friday at The Earl.


Dr. Dog, Purling Hiss – Sunday (3/4), Buckhead Theatre, $19/$22.

Philadelphia road warriors Dr. Dog just released Be the Void, their seventh and possibly most representative album.  The production finds a middle ground between the lo-fi experimentation of their earlier releases and the sleeker, more modern sound they’ve presented on their last couple of records.  It’s a good fit, and probably the closest approximation of their live show the band has ever delivered.  But these guys still need to be seen live to be fully appreciated.  The albums are fine and all, but none of them capture the energy that has made them such a powerhouse live act.

More shows worth checking out after the jump.

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[STREAM] Halmos – “Datura”

Halmos’ debut EP is 5 tracks of blunt, thick sludge metal delivered with a stoner rock ethos.  The songs are centered around dense riffs generously stretched across mostly 5+ minute running times, with the tempos rarely rising above a crawl.  It’s stoner metal pared down to its most essential elements.  Lean, bruising opener “Datura” is the best of the lot.  Stream it below, and buy the whole thing for $5 over at Halmos’ Bandcamp.

The band is celebrating the release with a headlining show at The Masquerade tonight.  Order of the Owl, Demonaut, and Wolves and Jackals round out a solid as hell local metal lineup.  Admission is free, and the band will be selling a limited edition of 20 signed and numbered physical editions of the EP.

[MP3] The District Attorneys – “Confusion of Trust”

The first single from The District Attorneys’ forthcoming full length moves the band’s California country rock sound a little closer to classic power pop.  “Confusion of Trust” squeezes vocal harmonies and hand claps into a sun-drenched package that breezes by in a tidy 3 minutes.  When I wrote about the band’s last EP, I worried that too much studio time might take away from their characteristic warmth.  I had nothing to be concerned about; the added layer of polish just brightens the colors.  This is tight, economical songwriting, but there’s an off-the-cuff vibe here that lends the song an appealingly shaggy mood.

Download “Confusion of Trust” below.  Slowburner (the band’s full length debut) will be out on April 24th.  You can catch the band tomorrow night at The Masquerade opening for Moon Taxi and Apache Relay.

[MP3] The District Attorneys – “Confusion of Trust”

Valentine’s Day Pop Up Show at Mint Gallery

Flyer after the jump.

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This week’s shows (2/13/12-2/19/12)

Royal Baths, Abby Gogo, Spirits and the Melchizedek Children – Tuesday (2/14), 529, free.

San Francisco’s Royal Baths released Litanies back in late 2010, a nasty little collection of garage rock dirges that didn’t get nearly as much attention as it deserved.  I can’t say I’ve spent much time with followup Better Luck Next Life yet, but it’s definitely in the same vein.  Maybe a little less grimy, but still plenty of bite, the overcast counterpoint to the sunnier garage rock practiced by Bay Area contemporaries like The Fresh & Onlys.  It’s also nice to see Abby Gogo out of hiatus and playing shows again, and Spirits… are always worth a look.


The Togas, GG King, COPS – Thursday (2/16), The Earl, $10.

The Togas are a supergroup cover band formed specifically for this year’s Bruise Cruise Festival, which wraps up today in Miami.  The band features Ty Segall, along with members of Shannon & the Clams, Reigning Sound, and The Strange Boys, and their repertoire includes songs from Buddy Holly, Redd Kross, and The Temptations.  Kind of a novelty, sure, but it should still be fun.


Man Forever, Plasma Expander – Sunday (2/19), 529, free.

Kid Millions has been prolifically cranking out expansive psych/kraut explorations for over a decade as the drummer for Brooklyn vets Oneida, but he didn’t get around to putting out solo records until the last couple of years.  His solo efforts are released under the name Man Forever, and they consist almost entirely of manic drum freak outs.  There are touches of unidentified skronk every now and again, but it’s mostly all drums all the time, like a free jazz boombox trapped in a paint shaker.

More shows worth checking out after the jump.

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[STREAM] Shook Foil – “Little Significance”

Shook Foil are worth keeping an eye on.  The 5 songs on the Little Significance EP show a confident band finding room to breathe within the overworked boundaries of guitar/bass/drums indie rock.  This is slippery, dynamic guitar pop, packed with big, dynamic shifts and an excellent sense of restraint.  Their flexible jangle is paired with genuinely thoughtful lyrics that stick as strongly as the melodies.  It’s a little wordy at times, but most of the words are worth hearing.  Really promising stuff.

Stream the EP’s title track below, and the buy the whole thing here.

[STREAM] Nomen Novum – “Briar Hills”

The collision of caffeinated loops, bright guitar lines, and oddball lyrics produces some truly singular moments on If You Look For It, It’s There, the latest full length from local pop alchemist Nomen Novum. The songs are incredibly detailed, built brick by brick with sampled snatches of sound that add up to a shiny, dizzying whole. It always feels like there are thousands of gears spinning below the surface. Just listen to “Briar Hills,” which begins as something like idyllic glitch-folk before slowly melting into ambient sound collage in the final two minutes. Constantly shifting, always engaging.

Stream “Briar Hills” below, and get the whole album for free here.