Fresh Tunes – Something Soft, Something Hard

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Close to the Glass
The Notwist

The-Notwist-Close-To-The-Glass-608x608Anyone can make electronic music. Every necessary bit of hardware or software, every bit of knowledge, every tip or trick or tutorial is available to everyone now- and for relatively little money. And with that ubiquity of knowledge and access to all the necessary tools comes a sort of over-saturation, “If everybody knows all the tricks, it’s no more magic” says Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk. So the game has now become one of separation; of being absolutely and totally unique among thousands of new artists. The Notwist has fully realized this shift in the electronic music paradigm and has crafted something that genuinely separates them from other artists with their ninth and newest album.

During the first moments of Close to the Glass, one gets the impression that this could just be another head-nodding rip off of electro from the 90s; an arpeggiated synthesizer texture embellished with random rings and beeps and a skittering snare beat. But then the vocals enter. The voice is untreated: no vocoder, no auto-tune, calmly speaking about hideous signs and something about screaming. There’s some strange subtle terror waiting underneath these tracks, something unexpected or unnoticed, or combination of sounds that shouldn’t theoretically work together when discussed soberly.

And that really is the greatest strength of this album- its ability to defy expectation. “Kong,” the third song, for example, would almost seem completely out of place on this album were it not for its development into an absurd and oddly cohesive mash of orchestral layers, acoustic guitar, electronic glittering, and raucous bass. The marriage of these elements, electronic or otherwise, imbues Close to the Glass with the magic Thomas Bangalter feels is lacking in much of recent music. Anyone can make electronic music- but few can make it like this.

Guilty of Everything
Nothing

a3943802535_10There’s a hot, twisting frustration and rage in those who feel disconnected from or overwhelmed by reality. Everything moves too fast and too slow, there’s nobody to talk to, there isn’t enough time, there’s energy with nowhere to go. “I’m caught between a beggar’s teeth,” sings Domenic Palermo of the band Nothing. The newest album from the Philadelphia quartet seems- to us at least-to be exploration of that frustration with detachment from a world out of time with one’s own rhythm. From this exploration, Nothing has made something dark, loud, and beautiful.

The landscape of each track is very similar; the vocals are treated as a musical instrument fully engulfed by the haze of incredibly loud ambient guitars, bass, and drums. Instead of lyrics that are heard, Palermo’s singing is more of a texture that is felt. It draws one in, trying to decipher the already cryptic lyrics Nothing has buried under heavy, leaden sonic layers. But perhaps that’s the message itself, trying to make sense of something that would be easy were it just a bit different. The themes in Guilty of Everything, then, are embodied by the music itself, a masterful and nuanced act on Nothing’s part.

But despite whatever nuance one discovers in the way Nothing has orchestrated Guilty of Everything, it’s important to remember that this band is loud. The tender, ambient moments give way to hysterical paroxysms of dissonance and consonance. Nothing sounds like they are collectively exorcising whatever demons of the past that may still haunt them. Even in their liner notes the quote, “To all things we’ve ever hated. To all things we’ve ever loved. Thanks for making this possible,” punctuates pages of lyrics juxtaposed with black and white pictures of a prison shower, a junkie spiking his vein, and other-almost ominous- photographs recreating bleary-eyed memories and recollections. We still don’t know entirely what Nothing is trying to tell us, but we are entirely sure it is important.

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Shows of Note – Indie Accents

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Lately, The ‘Burg hasn’t been able to get enough of the British indie music scene. There must be something in the water overseas because a lot of our favorite indie acts come are from the U.K. One of these acts is Glasvegas. The four-piece band is from Glasgow, Scotland which is made apparent with the thick accent of lead singer, James Allan.

Glasvegas

Glasvegas

Glasvegas made their debut in 2008 with the release of their self-titled album which featured what is probably still their most popular single “Geraldine.” Since their self-titled album, Glasvegas has produced two more albums, Euphoric /// Heartbreak \\\ in 2011 and most recently Later…When the TV Turns to Static. The latter dropped in September of last year.

If” is the top single off of their recent release but we also recommend checking out “Neon Bedroom Blues” and “All I Want is My Baby.” Popmatters.com said this about the most recent Glasvegas album:

“The new album is technically proficient and features more than its fair share of impassioned crooning by lead vocalist James Allan and driving walls of indie-rock sound. However, the album overall fails to retain the interest of the listener. This is, in part, due to the fact that with a few sonic exceptions, the songs largely sound the same, with Allan crying out (often impressively) over his cousin Rab Allan’s driving lead guitar work or light, light piano on track after track after track with not much variation to make Later… When the TV Turns to Static a terribly challenging or engaging listen.”

Is Glasvegas’s new album too mechanical to listen to or is it a stroke of genius? You can decide for yourself because The ‘Burg is giving away tickets to see Glasvegas live in Seattle at the Columbia City Theater on Feb. 28. The band will also be playing in Portland on March 1 at The Ceremonies. Listen tonight between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to see them live in Seattle!

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Shows of Note – Canadian Covers

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Sometimes Canada really delivers. Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen aside, certain artists such as Tegan and Sara, Michael Buble and Walk Off the Earth make us give much props to our neighbors up north. Walk Off the Earth may not be as well known as some of the others we’ve listed but they certainly are worth your time.

Walk Off the Earth

Walk Off the Earth

Like Karmin, another artist we’ve recently featured, Walk Off the Earth’s rise to fame was thanks to YouTube. The five-person band got national attention when they’re cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know” got over 156 million views on the YouTube. The success of that video inspired fans to comb over their whole collection of previously recorded unique covers and accompanying music videos. Now, Walk Off the Earth has hundreds and hundreds of millions of YouTube views to their name. The band has five studio albums heavily laden with covers.

Walk Off the Earth’s most recent work, R.E.V.Ofeatures Walk Off the Earth’s hit single, “Red Hands” along with their “Somebody That I Used to Know” cover. Fans are calling the album, “upbeat and smooth, but edgy enough to keep you engaged.” Professional critics are giving the album mixed reviews but All Music Guide had this to say:

“A confident, delightfully quirky, and endlessly inventive band having fun and delivering a kind of lightly experimental sunshine pop for the 21st century, complete with huge choruses, xylophones and trinkets, maverick rhythms, and a charming, fun spirit of adventure.”

Walk Off the Earth will be in the northwest  Feb. 23 at The Knitting Factory in Spokane, Feb. 25 at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland and Feb. 26 at Showbox SoDo in Seattle. We’re giving away tickets to the Seattle show tomorrow (02/07) between noon and 1 p.m. so be sure to tune-in for your chance to win!

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Shows of Note – Post Punk Era

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We’ve come to love British imports here at the station. From the Arctic Monkeys to Franz Ferdinand, to The Wombats and Frightened Rabbit, we have to accept the Brits know how to make quality indie music. White Lies has become one of those indie bands we appreciate. A little darker than your average indie band, White Lies makes music for those with a love for a little more hard-hitting indie rock.

White Lies

White Lies

The trio of men that make up White Lies include Harry McVeigh (singer/guitarist), Charles Cave (Bassist) and Jack Lawrence-Brown (drummer/keyboardist). Originally from London, their debut album To Lose My Life was released in 2009. It’s obvious that White Lies draws heavy influence from the ‘80s English post-punk era and that has continued through the release of all their three albums and EP. Most recently, White Lies has experienced a great reception from fans and critics with the 2013 release of Big Tv.

Consequence of Sound saying this about Big Tv:

“…once you’ve heard it, it will haunt you. It’s full of pitch-perfect songs, but it will lead to digging for the real emotion, the heart buried somewhere at the center.”

White Lies will be performing in the northwest on February 7 in Seattle at The Showbox and February 8th at Roseland Theater in Portland. The ‘Burg is giving away tickets to White Lies tonight between 8 and 10 p.m. tonight (1/27) so tune-in for your chance to win!

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Shows of Note – Female Fronted Awesome

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It was only 2011 when Polica was founded, but the indie rock band out of Minneapolis, Minnesota has already received the praises of Bon Iver, NPR and others. Incorporating electronica and hip hop flavors into their music, Polica has successfully created a psychedelic indie sound.

 

Polica

Polica

Give You the Ghost is Polica’s debut album, released in 2011. The band has successfully followed their early success with the recent October release of Shulamith. The name Shulamith belongs to radical Canadian Feminist, Shulamith Firestone who was a founding member of various feminist groups including Redstockings and New York Radical Feminists. Female fronted Polica has devoted their second album to conveying a message of feminism that echoes Firestone’s message.

The album begins with what is perhaps the best song on the album “Chain My Name.” The song gets the listener ready for a record that is busier and more textured than polica’s previous work. We also recommend checking out “Trippin” and “Spilling Lines” off the Shulasmith album.

Polica will be performing in the Pacific Northwest Nov. 22 in Portland at the Wonder Ballroom and Nov. 23 in Seattle at Showbox at the Market. The ‘Burg will be giving away tickets to the Seattle show, today (11/11) between 1 and 3 p.m. and tomorrow (11/12) between 8 and 10 p.m. Tune-in for a chance to win!

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Shows of Note – Math Rock Animals

Minus the Bear

Here at The ‘Burg, we love promoting artists from all over the world, but it’s particularly sweet when we get to promote awesome musicians from right here in the Pacific Northwest. Minus the Bear, is a favorite among many DJ’s at the station and it just so happens the band is out of Seattle.

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Minus the Bear

Formed in 2001, Minus the Bear is an indie rock band that experiments in the electronic. The five-man group is comprised of Jake Snider (Vocals, guitar), Dave Knudson (guitar), Cory Murchy (bass) and Alex Rose (synths, voclas) and Erin Tate (drums). Most of the five were members of other Seattle bands of various genres before coming together to form Minus the Bear.

Infinity Overhead is the title of the band’s most recent album which dropped in August of last year. Infinity Overhead was a much anticipated follow-up to their 2010 released album Omni.

Absolutepunk.net gave the Infinity Overhead album an 8.5 out of 10 saying:

“ -auspicious early tracks exhibit the Seattle quintet’s taut melody-making skills in full effect, but in spite of their effortless way with mid-tempo gems, it’s when they venture into relatively uncharted territory for them– lush balladry– that Minus the Bear achieve Infinity Overhead’s defining moment.”

We recommend checking out “Diamond Lightning,” “Listing,” and “Lies and Eyes” off the Infinity Overhead album.

Minus the Bear will be performing in Seattle at Showbox at the Market on November 8th. Listen today (10/28) between 1 and 3 p.m and again between 6 and 8 p.m. for a chance to win one of two pairs of tickets we will be giving away!

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Shows of Note -The Singing Sidekicks

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Garfunkel and Oates is a duo made up of two of the most bad-ass women in comedy and music. The funny team made up of singer/actresses Riki Lindhome (Garfunkel) and Kate Micucci (Oates) writes and performs some of the dirtiest, cutest, catchiest indie music around.

Garfunkel and Oates

Garfunkel and Oates

Men usually dominate the musical-comedy scene with individuals such as Bo Burnham and Stephen Lynch or groups such as The Axis of Awesome setting the bar. Garfunkel and Oates changed that when they formed in 2007. The duo has been described as the “Female Flight of the Conchords” by the Wall Street Journal. Named after the sidekicks in Simon and Garfunkel and Hall and Oates, not only is Garfunkel and Oates probably the funniest female musical-comedy group in the business, they might be the only.

Riki Lindhome has acted in movies such as “Million Dollar Baby” while you might recognize Kate Micucci from her reoccurring role on “Scrubs” as Lawyer Ted’s love interest. Their most recent album, Slippery When Moist feature songs we love such as “Handjob, Blowjob, I Don’t Understand Job” and “My Apartment’s Very Clean Without You.”

The hilarious duo will be performing at The Neptune Theatre in Seattle on November 1st and The ‘Burg has all the hookups. Tune-in to Geek Speak tomorrow (10/25) between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m for a chance to win tickets to the Seattle show. We will also give a pair away Monday (10/28) between 3 and 6 p.m. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see this pretty, witty group!

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Shows of Note – Walk Me to the Moon

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It’s hard to find indie pop/rock more delicious than Walk the Moon. Out of Cincinatti, Ohio, the group formed in 2008. They exploded into the indie scene with their hit single “Anna Sun” and their debut self-titled album peaked at number eight on the Billboard Alternative Albums chart.

Walk the Moon

Walk the Moon

Riding their early success, Walk the Moon released their EP titled Tightrope in January of this year.  A review on Alternativeaddiction.com said this about the Tightrope EP:

“It’s different from the album—it’s not as polished—but it’s worth the same amount of attention.”

And attention is what the band is getting.  Walk the Moon has already been featured as Nylon Magazine’s Band Crush, as a Hot New Band by SPIN Magazine, as a New York Post band “You Must Know,” and in the Spotlight of “Last Call with Carson Daly.” In the midst of their fall tour, the band appears to keep fan satisfaction as their focus. In an interview with Elle Magazine, Eli Maiman, the band’s guitarist said this of the fall tour:

“We love meeting our fans and seeing their smiling faces sing along. We’re also really looking forward to debuting some of the new material at the shows. We’re doing our biggest, most colorful shows to date.”

Walk the Moon will be performing in the northwest on October 21st at the Roseland Theatre in Portland, October 23rd at Showbox SoDo in Seattle, and October 24th at the Knitting Factory in Boise.

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Fresh Tunes – Hidden Hospitals

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Hidden Hospitals

HIDDEN HOSPITALS–DAVE RAYMOND (Vocals/Guitar), JARED KARNS (Drums), STEVE DOWNS (Guitar) and JOHN SCOTT(Bass/Vocals)–has an innovative sound and a fierce dedication to developing it. Though this genre-defying quartet self-identifies as an “alternative rock” band, that title is a catch-all for a sound that is difficult to define. Before presenting themselves to the world, the band spent nearly a year writing and recording their first release, EP 001, while devoting themselves to perfecting a live performance that would do the record justice.

“While we love the writing and recording process, our main goal is to be the best live band we can be. Onstage is the ultimate destination for our songwriting process.” says RAYMOND. “The time we get to be onstage in front of an audience is a special thing, and we take that responsibility very seriously. We want the audience to leave each night knowing that we gave everything we had and didn’t take a minute of it for granted.”

In 2012, under the direction of Nashville producer/mixer J. HALL, the band independently released two 5-song recordings, EP 001 and EP 002. EP 002 has received critical acclaim, with PunkNews.org raving: “Hidden Hospitals knocked this five-tracker out the park… Raymond’s vocal delivery and dynamic songwriting is a key asset but the intricate guitar work, sleek bass lines and slick drumming all complement Raymond’s voice like a glove. They’ve honed their talent to near-perfection here…Definitely get this one.”

Source: msopr.com

hidden hospitals 001 + 002

Keep it locked on 88.1 The ‘Burg to hear brand new music from the latest Hidden Hospitals album, EP 001 + EP 002.

Click the titles below to hear our favorite tracks.

Atonement

The Absense of Emotion

 

 

 

 

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Must Have Shows

Two Door Cinema Club

Attending a good concert can change your life, change your music taste or just be an awesome night with friends you will never forget. Fortunately, the northwest does not disappoint when it comes to awesome shows. With venues like the Tacoma Dome, the Gorge Amphitheatre or smaller venues such as El Corazon, you are sure to find your concert niche whether you prefer  large venues or intimate ones.

Ticket sales started last week for the Cherry Poppin Daddies, The Naked and Famous and Carly Rae Jepsen. Those though shows are sure to be great, we are counting down the days till ticket sales go on sale for a couple other concerts this week.

 

James Blake

James Blake

James Blake is yet another British import we are more than happy to have in the U.S. Blake’s latest album Overgrown, is his second full-length album following his 2011 self-titled debut. A little more dramatic than his last album, Overgrown walks on the line between spectacular and ground breaking and mind-numbing. Blake’s roots are in dubstep, but he has become the poster child for experimental electronic music. Overgrown is what would happen if someone told Maxwell or Aaron Neville to make an electronic album. The title of the album was influenced by the Emily Dickinson poem “All Overgrown by Cunning Moss.”  The sentiments of the poem are a huge part of Blake’s album. Since his last album he has met his girlfriend and fallen in love, which also played a role in the way his new album developed.  Blake will be playing at Showbox SoDo on November 20; tickets went on sale last Friday (5/31).

 

Eagles

Eagles

Their Greatest Hits album is the number seven best-selling album of all making the Eagles one of the best-selling bands of all time. This is why we are stoked they will be performing at the Key Arena on Sept. 4 of this year. Their “History of the Eagles” tour kicks off in Kentucky in early July and will finish in St. Louis, Oct. 24. The Eagles album The Studio Albums 1972-1979 is available on iTunes for a pretty $50 but is a collection of six remastered albums from the ‘70s era. The Eagles are legendary so we don’t have to explain why we’re pumped for the tickets to go on sale. Just be sure you buy ‘em quick because they’re bound to sell quickly. Tickets went on sale last Monday (June 3).

Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club

From the Emerald Isle, Two Door Cinema Club exploded onto the scene with their 2010 release of Tourist History which included hit songs “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know.” The debut album was followed by last year’s Beacon which continued the band’s signature electro-alternative sound. The band was named Two Door Cinema Club when Sam Halliday, the band’s guitarist mispronounced the name of a cinema call Tudor Cinema. The trio will be playing at the Neptune Theatre Oct. 26. Tickets went on sale last week for the show and guesses are it will sell out.

These fall shows will sell out fast so be sure and get your tickets soon! Keep checking our blog for updates on when tickets go on sale and what shows you can’t afford to miss.

 

 

 

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