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Quickdraw: Speedy Ortiz, Bop English, Eternal Summers, The Helio Sequence, Modest Mouse

March 5, 2015

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Music!  Enjoy.

:Speedy Oritz – The Graduates:  This is the second single from Speedy Ortiz‘s sophomore effort.  The LP is starting to look like it won’t be anything but off-kilter anthems, and that’s totally fine by me.  Look for Foil Deer on April 21 via Carpark Records.  The band will play Red 7 on May 15.

:Bop English – Sentimental Wilderness:  Just in case you missed this bit of info when I posted it a while back, Bop English is the solo moniker of White Denim’s James Petralli.  I think you’re going to love the playful but intricate arrangement that drives this song (I certainly do).  Constant Bop is due out April 14 via Downtown Records.

:Eternal Summers – Together Or Alone:  The Drop Beneath came out just last year, but Eternal Summers have already put together a follow-up.  Judging by this track, they’ve found a nice balance between the sheen of their recent work and the lo-fi ways of their earlier efforts.  Cool.  Gold And Stone is due out June 2 via Kanine Records.

:The Helio Sequence – Stoic Resemblance:  Indie stalwarts The Helio Sequence have readied their sixth full length.  As you’ve probably already guessed (since the duo are so amazingly consistent), everything about this track is as crisp as can be.  The band’s self titled album will be released on May 18 via Sub Pop.

:Modest Mouse – Of Course We Know:  I believe this heavy slow burner is the fifth song that has been set free in anticipation of Modest Mouse’s new album.  Not sure I can recall another time where a high profile release has had so many official “leaks.”  Strangers To Ourselves is due out March 17 via Epic.

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10 Artists You Need To See At Fun Fun Fun Fest

October 29, 2012

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Fun Fun Fun Fest takes over Auditorium Shores this weekend, and I’m pumped.  Like every year, the festival is packed with a large variety of acts that must been seen.  Refused, Santigold, Explosions In The Sky, Run DMC – these are just a few of the big names that will be delighting the masses.  As I noted, though, the lineup is stacked, and that means there will also be quite a bit of good music going on during the afternoon.  Below you’ll find the 10 bands that I think you should head out early to see.  Enjoy.

PS – Tickets are still available!  Also, the FFF Nites are going to be killer.  Check out the list of acts here.  The shows are free if you have a Fun Fun Fun Fest wristband.

Japandroids

Celebration Rock is quite possibly the best rock release of the year, and I know these two guys put on a great show.  Combine those two things with the rowdy attitude (from the artist and the crowd) that tends to come with the Black Stage, and it’s possible that the world will catch on fire.  I can’t wait to see what happens.

:Japandroids – The Nights Of Wine And Roses:

Japandroids play the Black Stage at 4:20pm on Sunday.

Icona Pop

This pop duo put out one of the year’s catchiest tracks, and they’re riding a fairly large wave of buzz.  Time to see if they’re worth all the attention.  I’m hoping they are, as it could make for a really entertaining show.

:Icona Pop – I Love It:

Icona Pop play the Blue Stage at 1:50pm on Friday.

Bleached

I saw this band at SXSW, and I came away fairly impressed.  Their sound is of the simple, straightforward retro pop variety, but they work it and put on an upbeat show that will surely play well amongst the chaos of Fun Fun Fun Fest.

:Bleached – Searching Through The Past:

Bleached play the Orange Stage at 2:10pm on Sunday.

Fidlar

This list isn’t in any particular order, but if it was I’d probably put Fidlar near the top of it.  They’ve released so many good songs in 2012, and I must hear them all live.  Or, if anything, I at least want to hold a drink high in the air as the band plays Cheap Beer.

:Fidlar – Cheap Beer:

Fidlar play the Black Stage at 1:05pm on Friday.

Baauer

To be honest, I don’t know much about this act.  I can only say that Harlem Shake is one hell of a banger, and I have to see how the crowd handles it.  I predict a dance party that will be spoken of for years to come.

:Baauer – Harlem Shake:

Baauer plays the Blue Stage at 1:45pm on Sunday.

Yellow Ostrich

This band has been mentioned so many times around here that I’m sure you already had plans to see them.  RIGHT?  If for some crazy reason you didn’t, be sure to go.  They have a large handful of stellar songs in their repertoire, and I always find their live sets to be very good.

:Yellow Ostrich – Marathon Runner:

Yellow Ostrich play the Orange Stage at 12:30pm on Friday.

Fang Island

I’ve been wanting to see these guys play for a long time.  Their recorded stuff is full of energy, and they seem like a band that will own the festival setting and do something fun.

:Fang Island – Asunder:

Fang Island play the Orange Stage at 1:35pm on Sunday.

The Helio Sequence

I imagine that many of you are already very aware of the Helio Sequence, but they’re playing so early in the day that I wanted to make sure to highlight them.  Also, their latest album, Negotiations, is a good one, and I can’t wait to hear the new songs live.

:The Helio Sequence – Hall Of Mirrors:

The Helio Sequence play the Orange Stage at 2:10pm on Saturday.

Astronautalis

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this guy twice, and both times I wanted to find him after his set and give him the best high five possible.  He’s an absolute blast, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out of Fun Fun Fun Fest with a new legion of fans.

:Astronautalis – Dimitri Mendeleev:

Astronautalis plays the Blue Stage at 4:55pm on Friday.

Torche

I’ve grown to like Torche because of their most recent album, Harmonicraft.  They do catchy, anthemic metal tunes that are fun to sing-a-long to, and I expect they’ll make for a nice change of pace on the Black Stage.

:Torche – Letting Go:

Torche play the Black Stage at 2:15pm on Friday.

HONORABLE MENTION – The Midgetmen

Because sometimes the world is just crazy enough that covering Weird Al’s Dare To Be Stupid will land you a spot at a large festival.  Nailed it!  I’m super excited for these local guys to be playing (and kicking off, actually) Fun Fun Fun Fest.  I’ve seem them do the aforementioned covers before, and they’re actually pretty good.

On a related note, tomorrow I’ll be premiering a downloadable track and a full stream of the Midgetmen’s cover of Dare To Be Stupid!  Be sure to drop by and check it out.

The Midgetmen play the Yellow Stage on Friday at 11:50am.

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The Helio Sequence

August 14, 2012

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Despite the fact that I’m really looking forward to The Helio Sequence’s new album (their first in four years), it took the arrival of a second track off of it to remind me that it’s about to be released.  I blame Obama.  In any case, Negotiations is due out on September 11th via the one and only Sub Pop.  Enjoy.

:The Helio Sequence – Hall Of Mirrors:  There isn’t necessarily a hook here to keep coming back to, but as is always the case with The Helio Sequence, they’ve crafted something that’s an absolute pleasure to listen to.  This song should make your day better.

Bonus Video:

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