Friday, May 29, 2009

#27 (I've Got the SPIRIT Edition)

Spritely Spirits Skip Swiftly in Sanguine Summertime, said Solomon sans subtlety.

DELTA SPIRIT comes from San Diego and produces a shimmering Americana soul-rock with twinkle, bounce, pep, and other nouns that sound like detergents. Their 2008 self-produced debut Ode to Sunshine delivered short, explosive pop gems with rootsy n' rustic production. Since the album's release, the band has hit the road with the likes of The Shins, Dr. Dog, and Cold War Kids. They will continue with The Shins this summer before hitting the festival circuit. Their live set has been acclaimed as one of those that simply must be seen to believe. No place on Ode to Sunshine does the spiritsplosion occur more dramatically than on the 2:36 "Trashcan."

That awesome tinny beat that pervades the song is in fact intoned on a trashcan lid. The parallel bass line (in the right ear), and the electric guitar (in the left ear), along with the toy piano call and response hook, drive this propulsion force forward. Singer Matt Vasquez mixes some real dirt and grit into his vocal stylings. The result is a perfect summer song, upbeat in its power.

Enjoy, please. And as a bonus, another Delta Spirit treat off Ode to Sunshine.

This post represents episode 3 of publishing only on bands playing at Bonnaroo, leading up to the festival June 11-15, 2009. Delta Spirit plays Thursday, June 11th. For those interested, I will be tweeting reactions and reviews live from the festival at @nickofcarlo.

Friday, May 22, 2009

#26 (What the Puck Edition)

Put it on ice, friends.

Hockey is a fun up and comer that has more buzz than material. The four-piece puts dance and some 'tude in their step while offering throaty vocals (not Tom Waits throaty. Maybe raspy). Without a full-length at the moment, the band is building up to their first release, Mind Chaos, late in 2009. They play a slew of summer festivals including making a stop on the farm at Bonnaroo.

This post represents episode 2 of publishing only on bands playing at Bonnaroo, leading up to the festival June 11-15, 2009. For those interested, I will be tweeting reactions and reviews live from the festival at @nickofcarlo.

Have a loungey and languid long weekend,

Friday, May 15, 2009

#25 (Look At Me Edition)

We're making moves, ladies and gentlestuffs!

Congratulations to Passion Pit for being the first band to be featured on And If Glory Had a Baby twice. The young men from Massachusetts follow up their debut EP Chunk of Change with their first full-length album entitled Manners. Sure to be a full-on dancer, the album has all the bass and bravado to get the kids up and out their chairs. Their first single "The Reeler" has the requisite snare snap to go with some digi-horns and another killer high-pitched chorus. The bass tone owns more fuzz than these youngsters' faces. Saccharine? Perhaps. Appealing to your sweetest tooth? Absolutely. Enjoy.

In a countdown to this year's Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, this week marks the first post in which I will feature only Bonnaroo artists from now through the event. Passion Pit has nabbed a coveted spot in the schedule, as the last band to play on Thursday June 11th's opening night.

For those interested, I will be live Tweeting updates and recommendations from Bonnaroo (June 11-15) at @nickofcarlo:

Friday, May 8, 2009

#24 (The Fierce Urgency of Nice Edition)

The Rest are a seven piece ensemble (pronounced "onsombluh" though not from Quebec) from Ontario. The band just released its second full length, "Everyone All At Once" to little notice--thus far--in the US. Their bombastix, theatrix, and maple-leaf fountainhead(atrix) attract Arcade Fire references aplenty. There's something there. The guitar chug anthemix, the desparate urgency in the singer's voice, and both bands' penchant for parenthetical titles makes for a good comparison. The Rest plays with nontraditional forms. Please listen to their song "Walk On Water (auspicious beginnings)." They build gradually throughought the song to an apparent crescendo but then... woah... 2:09... CURVEBALL! Fear not, crescendo aficionados. Your time will come. And it does, it's just postponed by some fun island lightheartedness. 3:40 allows for a brief, emotional respite, then BLAM TO YOUR FACE for some concentrated G-G-Guitar Chug. Notice us, Americans, they plead. I have. Maybe the rest of us will soon, too.
Willfully Walking on Water,

Walk on Water (auspcious beginnings) - The Rest