Saturday, April 30, 2011

Thought Thieves EP release party

Last night at Ground Zero was Thought Thieves' EP release party for their new EP Krista. Of course I went to the show because: A) I totally dig Thought Thieves, B) Doubleplusten's debut live performance (this is ex-Heliosphere member Andrew Davies' new project), and C) my favorite local band Pop Incorporated. I had a ton of fun. Of course I took some photos and shot some video footage.

When I got to the show, I got a free copy of Krista (as did a lot of the clubgoers, if not all). It is pretty gutsy I say for a band like Thought Thieves to give their music out for free. I will review their EP here for another time but all I can say is that it is very good.

All of the bands sounded awesome. I was really impressed by Doubleplusten. I am totally looking forward to seeing Andrew's new project live in the future. His music was more in the vein of say Rotersand unlike his former band whose style of music would be considered aggrotech. Of course I was really impressed with Pop Inc who never ceases to disappoint me. Last night they had added a few more people to the group like Ollie from The Trapezoids and Ficshe. They also included a guitarist which added a whole 'nother dimension to their brand of infectious new wave/punk music. Finally Thought Thieves went on and put on as always a really great set featuring both old and new songs. I ended up leaving the show with a copy of Brooke Aldridge's other project Lolly Pop (which I really like) and a Pop Inc t-shirt (given to me as a gift for the video I shot of them performing in 2010 at Ground Zero). All in all it was a fabulous night. The headache I had from my drinks not so much. LOL!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What I am currently listening to

I am back! After a hellish debacle with Qwest over my internet service, I am finally online at my new crib. While I was away, I did get some new music. Most of I got I like, there was one cd I didn't particularly care for which I will most likely put it up for auction on ebay.

My top favorite cd at the moment is Heroes Secrets by Bio. Bio is this really rad Russian synthpop band. I ordered their cd after I got my weekly email from A Different Drum Records. The description of their music had me right from the get go so I bought it. Heroes Secrets is sung entirely in Russian. I absolutely love the album. The music emits a warmth and full of emotions that is rarely heard in electronic music where often is cold and emotionless.

The Echoing Green: In Scarlet and Vile

When I ordered the Bio cd, I had tried to order one of The Echoing Green's older albums but apparently they were out and in its place I got their new album In Scarlet and Vile. I hate saying this but I didn't care for the album. I liked maybe 2-3 songs but the rest was pretty forgettable. I felt the songs did not have very strong pop hooks. Even on my favorite aggrotech albums the bands manages to incorporate some memorable pop hooks into their aggressive music.

Angels on Acid: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Angels on Acid is one of my favorite aggrotech bands in the last couple of years. Their live shows ia fabulous. Very energetic. I finally got around to buying the band's 2nd album Blood, Sweat, and Tears. I was not disappointed with their latest album. I was often reminded of their previous album Eyes Behind the Curtain. The music is good old fashioned stompy EBM music. The music is both aggressive and melodic, never repetitive.

Hot Chip: One Life Stand

Last month I caught the video for one of the songs off this HC album at a concert before the show started, and just fell in love with the song (and video). I was fortunate to get a copy from the library. I am normally not into house music but this is really good music in my personal opinion. The beats are never overwhelming which is why I don't particularly care for house music nowadays. The falsetto vocals is also a big drawing point for me.

Zola Jesus: Valusia

It is really hard for me to categorize Zola Jesus's music. I think I will just let her music speak for itself in this clip for Sea Talk. I really dig her sound.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Updated flyers

This is going to be my last post before my move. I hope to get my internet up and running by the end of next week. Until then, here are some updated flyers for the next three KFK shows.

All of the shows are now available online through Brown Paper Tickets.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Front Line Assembly Improvised Electronic Device tour VIP package

FLA Improvised Electronic Device tour VIP package deal

$40 plus an additional $15-$20 (depending on the venue/location). Tickets to the show are sold separately for some odd reason. Frankly why not include ticket costs? Combichrist and Unter Null did that when I did the VIP package deal for their shows last year. It would make things a lot more easier for the concertgoer. I'm not sure if I want to do it or not. It is tempting though. I would love to get a photo taken with FLA.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some (new) artists to check out

In the last few weeks I have found a few new artists/bands that I thought was worth sharing with the public.

Sataray - I recently discovered Sataray this week via Facebook in the Shinto Records group. So I quickly went to Sataray's ReverbNation page and checked out her music. Sataray is the latest signing to Shinto Records. Katrina Ellison is the woman behind Sataray. I think I will let the music speak for itself. Unfortunately the samples of her music are only 30 seconds long but it really didn't take me very long to take to her music. Katrina really adds a whole new flavor to the whole darkwave/ambient scene with her Hindu influences. After my move, I am so ordering her album Mata Utara. As someone who tends to prefer synthpop and EBM, I completely dig Sataray's sound. Almost reminds me of Protea with an Indian influence instead of Egyptian.

Static Image - Static Image is a new local band that was brought to my attention a few weeks ago just prior to the Legends of Synthpop Tour back in March. I got a chance to listen to their promotional cd which I have been enjoying a lot lately. The music is aggressive yet melodic. The band is currently working on their album and do plan on some shows in the summer.

Casket Parade - Casket Parade is another new local industrial act in the Twin Cities. The music is more in the vein of say Unter Null,  and Suicide Commando. It is great to see that in the local music scene in the Twin Cities isn't totally on life support or at least the electronic scene.

The Rope - I discovered these guys back in February at a fashion show at Ground Zero. I'm normally not into the post-punk scene but I really liked what I heard from The Rope. They certainly don't sound like a lot of indie rock bands in the Twin Cities which I for the most part cannot stand. They will be performing live next week at The Fine Line for their EP release party.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Freezepop - Tuesday June 7

With The Trapezoids & TBD

Doors 7pm, Show 7:30pm, 18+

Tickets $12 adv via Brown Paper Tickets, $15 at the door

Venue Info:
Ground Zero
15th 4th St Ne
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I am currently listening to

Got some new music in the last couple of weeks so here are my $0.02 on my most recent acquisitions.

Kate Bush: The Sensual World

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up to hear a song off The Sensual World by Kate Bush and just loving it. I believe it was "Walk Straight Down the Middle". A couple of days later I found a cheap used copy of the ablum at the Electric Fetus and of course, I bought it for that song. I can't say I am a diehard Kate Bush fan but I certainly appreciate her for her talents as a singer. I am enjoying The Sensual World quite a bit but I have to be in the mood to really want to enjoy it.
Leftfield: Leftism

While at the Fetus when I bought the Kate Bush album, I also found a copy of Leftfield's Leftism cd. I missed owning a copy of that cd. It was one of my favorite dance albums from the 90s. My former roommate introduced me to Leftism prior to returning to the Twin Cities and I was hooked. Of course the album features one of my all time favorite singers ex-Curve singer Toni Halliday on the song "Original". Great song. I also love the kickass dance track "Open Up".

This Ascension: Tears in Rain

Every time I have gone to the Fetus, I would always see this cd in the used discount bins. I finally decided to check it out. This Ascension kinda reminds me of a harder edged Lycia and maybe Black Tape for a Blue Girl. Groovy stuff.

Iris: Black Light

While at the Legends of Synthpop concert last week, I decided to pick up a copy of Iris' latest album Black Light. It's pretty good stuff. Granted their brand of synthpop isn't nearly as good as my personal favorites Minerve or Colony 5 but I liked what I heard, and I certainly plan on checking out their albums later down the road.

Lights of Euphoria: Krieg Gegen Die Maschinen

I always wanted to check out Lights of Euphoria in the last year or two.  I finally got to LoE recently and ordered online Krieg Gegen Die Maschinen because I love the song "True Life". I like the album but it definitely could have been better. I really wasn't fond of the harsher sounding tracks on "Dyskonnect" and "Interface III". The album has an uneven sound and I don't think the Lights of Euphoria knew how they wanted their sound to be at the time of this album. I will say I just LOVE the song "Nothing At All". That song kicks ass. I am constantly listening to it repeatedly.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My thoughts on the current state of music

Last night I was briefly chatting on FB with one of my friends and how unimpressed we have been with Metropolis Records' recent releases/signings. I thought I would put my thoughts down in writing on my blog. I should note that I only speak for myself and no one else so my views on this topic is strictly my own and may possibly irk some who are diehard fans of Metropolis Records.

I don't think I even bought or ordered online anything that was released on Metropolis Records in 2010. That's a telling sign of my growing cynicism to one of my once favorite record labels. Most of the stuff I have been buying online is either via A Different Drum records, ebay, CDBaby,  at concerts, local record stores, or through an actual artist. As I am looking at the current list of upcoming and new releases from Metropolis Records, all my mind can think of is "does the public really need a new Clan of Xymox album?" The band just released an album last year. Then there is KMFDM who keeps regurgitating, er, churning out the same old stuff. I forgot the last time KMFDM really blew me away, and they do truly suck. The only album I see on the list I do plan on acquiring is the new And One album Tanzomat, but even that can't make me feel all giddy like I used to when I started getting into the industrial/synthpop scenes.

I can almost say the same about Alfa Matrix. Almost. At least they aren't flooding the market with subpar music that is predictable and safe. I am so looking forward to the next Stray album sometime this year. When? It is anybody's guess. And I am hoping that Diffuzion will be putting out a new album this year as well. I have heard one new track from them and I totally dug what I had heard. I am still waiting for the Philadelphia band Syrenn to put out a full length album but since their split from machineKUNT records, that may be awhile. The last I heard from Angie Maddox and company is that they are in the recording studio. I think they would be a good fit on Alfa Matrix or maybe even Shinto Records.

At the moment right now smaller record labels like A Different Drum, Shinto, Radio-Active-Music really seems to be more interested in putting out good, quality music in smaller numbers than mass production.  I am finding that bands like Sensuous Enemy, Cylab, Psyborg Corp, Angels on Acid, Silent Auction, and Phantoms of the SS and their music to be much more engaging and fun to listen to than say the more familiar names that can be found on Metropolis Records and Alfa Matrix. The older I get, the more cynical I become thus tonight's blog topic.I still enjoy the sounds of VNV Nation, Combichrist, De/Vision, ect...ect... but I find myself thinking that limiting one's view of our genre to certain records labels is rather dreary. God bless youtube. I am always finding something new and interesting.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Legends of Synthpop tour review

I am a little late with my review. I have been getting ready for my impending move to downtown Minneapolis later this month.

This past Thursday night was the first show for the Legends of Synthpop tour featuring Iris, De/Vision, and Mesh with Milwaukee synthpop band Somegirl opening up the show. The show was a collaboration between Lana's Promotions and Kilted Farmer Koncerts. Gotta give credit to both Svitlana Moore and Trace Tumbleson for putting on the show.

Somegirl began the show with a short set of their brand of synthpop. Good stuff. I have been a fan since my days as a music reviewer for The first time I had seen Somegirl was in 2009 as opening act for Freezepop at the Triple Rock. Fast forward 2 years later, the group has expanded to four members with another keyboardist and vocalist. Most of the songs they performed was from their 2007 album The Velvet Hour with a couple of older tracks thrown in.

After Somegirl, was fellow A Different Drum synthpop band Iris. This was my first time seeing them live. I liked what I heard from the band. I am not really familiar with most of Iris's music but I liked what I heard from them that night. Before the concert started I bought their latest album Black Light. I am enjoying it immensely. I recorded some live footage of Iris but I have yet to upload it on to youtube yet. And I certainly will have to check out the band's other albums too.I have managed to upload 2 clips featuring De/Vision and Mesh which I will post soon.

De/Vision was the second act on the show. To be honest, they were the band that I came to see that night. That was my third time seeing De/Vision. I was not disappointed. They played quite a few songs of their 2010 album Popgefahr with a couple of Noob and an older track here and there. I was very pleased to see them perform 2 of my favorite songs off their latest album "Plastic Heart" and "Flash of Life".

Mesh was the last to go on. To be perfectly honest, I was not impressed. I like a few Mesh songs here and there but their music didn't do much for me. My personaly problem with Mesh is a lack of a memorable pop hook in a lot of the music that they write. I ended up leaving GZ early because their music (and lack of a decent melody) got on my nerves, plus I had to work the following day. Of course I will say they were much improvement over Angelspit whose music I really don't like. At least Mesh has a few songs that I like but otherwise, gimme bands like Minerve and Blume who really knows how to compose a song with a memorable pop hook.

Before I forget, here are my video clips of Mesh and De/Vision. I will try to post the other 2 clips of De\Vision and Iris sometime in the next couple of days.