Creating Beats with Krista Loewen of You Say Party! We Say Die!

Vancouver’s ownYou  Say Party! We Say Die! has certainly been gaining attention ever since their first release, Hit the Floor (Sound Document) graced audience’s ears in 2005. The band has been on the rise from day one and recently released their newest and third record titled XXXX (Paper Bag Records). This has proven to be a charming album filled with infectious vocals, and dance beats that will only leave you wanting more. We had the chance to talk to keyboardist Krista Loewen who just got back from playing her first Olympics show. Here’s what she had to say….

Modern Mystery: From the start, the band has gained a good deal of attention. Did you ever think you would take off as quickly as you did?

Krista Loewen: It took us all by surprise quite a bit. The reason for starting the band was finding something to do in a boring suburb. Our goal was to get a show in Vancouver. We thank and praise our fans all the time.

MM: You’re about to head out on a lengthy tour. What is your favorite part about being on the road? Are you excited to get out there?

Loewen: I’m looking forward to coming back to the states. It’s been several years since we’ve been there. I do enjoy it and I love spending time with the band, enjoying their company. You wouldn’t think we’d enjoy each other’s company after being in a van for so long. Also meeting people and our fans while on the road is the best!

MM: What’s your favorite city to play a show in?

Loewen: I have a lot of favorite cities, I can’t just pick one. I cant have a favorite if it’s several, right?! In Canada I like Winnipeg, Montreal, and Halifax a lot. In the states I don’t have enough of a reference since it’s been several years since we’ve been there. We didn’t spend much time in the first place. I want to spend more time in nyc. The first time we played there we in and out for the show. We didn’t get a chance to look around.

MM:  What is the main inspiration behind the songs on XXXX?Loewen: The five of us coming to a new place in our friendship, and our love for our music after running ourself ragged. Mostly the renewed love of those two things.

MM: Do you find it hard to bring to the stage what you created in the studio?

Loewen: In some elements, yes. There’s certain types of gear you can’t take on stage. I can’t bring my Hammond organ on tour. It’s too big. There’s certain elements in the studio that we find it hard to do live. We don’t make the live show like the recording, we make it a different experience. We’re a different kind of animal than we are on the albuim . We embrace it and go with it.

MM: What is your favorite song to play live and why?

Loewen: It’s consistently changing especially when you’re on tour every night. ”There Is Love (Within My Heart)” is my favorite right now. We’ve been starting our set with that song and it puts me in the perfect headspace to play. It’s a g ood starting song. It’s also the first song on the new record.

MM: When you’re not touring and recording, what do you spend your time doing?

Loewen: Working! Especially when we’re not on the road. I live in a house with a bunch of other women in Vancouver. It’s a whole house, with five of us living there with a bunch of animals. I like to hang out in the beach in Vancouver, and I like to garden. I’m not sure what to do for work when I come back. I just quit my job to go on tour. Luckily we’re on the road for a while!

MM: How did you get involved with playing the Olympic shows?

Loewen: We actually did one this morning! We played this morning at the ladies ski event at Cypress Mountain between the finals. Its been interesting! A lot of local bands were asked to take parts in the events. They have quite an extensive, cultural side Olympics. It’s a big CanCon festival.

MM:  How have fans embraced the songs on the new record? What has their overall reaction been?

Loewen: Overall the reaction is pretty positive. There’s always going to be people who like the older stuff better. It’s been a pretty well received album. We definetly get a lot of good feedback from a lot of our fans.

MM: How does the songwriting process occur for the band?
It’s fairly collaborative. It usually happens when someone develops a song on their own and it evolves in the group. Sometimes someone comes in with a whole thing and tells us what to play. We spend a lot of hours down in the jam space. We have a rehearsal space/mini storage in downtown Vancouver.

MM:  Who inspired you to play music?

Loewen: It goes back to when I’m younger and I was really inspired by Blondie, The Go-Gos, and Joan Jett. I got into a lot of those bands in high school. Especially Debbie and Joan Jett…I loved them to pieces when I was 16 and 17years old. I still do but not in the same way.

MM: Are the The Smoking Spokes still around? If not, do you plan on ever reuniting them?

Loewen: Stephen actually posted on our Twitter yesterday something about going out for a bike ride and that “The Smoking Spokes Ride Again!” We had some fun times with it. Its another thing we did to get away from being bored in the suburbs. We actually talked about getting a bike rack on the back of the van, but 6 or7 bikes wouldn’t really work.

Check out the offical new video for “There is XXXX (Within My Heart”

You Say Party! We Say Die! Tour Dates

24-Feb – Cypress Mountain, British Columbia – Olympic Show
27-Feb – Surrey, British Columbia – Olympic 2010 Celebration Site/Holland Park (w/ Tokyo Police Club)
09-Mar – Seattle, WA – Chop Suey
10-Mar – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
12-Mar – San Fran, CA – Bottom Of the Hill
13-Mar – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
15-Mar – Phoenix, AZ – Rhythm Room
17-Mar – Austin, TX – Canadian Blast Party @ SXSW
17-Mar – Austin, TX – Pure Volume Showcase @ SXSW
18-Mar – Austin, TX – Casablanca Publishing / Maggie Mae’s @ SXSW
18-Mar – Austin, TX – Paper Bag Records Party / Speakeasy @ SXSW
19-Mar – Austin, TX – Consequence of Sound Party / Black Sheep Lodge @ SXSW
19-Mar – Austin, TX – Lose Control 2010 Party / Vice @ SXSW
21-Mar – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
22-Mar – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
23-Mar – Charlotte, NC – Snug Harbor
24-Mar – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
26-Mar – New York, NY – Knitting Factory
27-Mar – Boston, MA – TT The Bears
29-Mar – New York, NY – Piano’s
30-Mar – Detroit, MI – Pike Room
31-Mar – Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle


Vampire Weekend to Play NYC in September!

This afternoon it was just announced that indie’s wiz kids, Vampire Weekend, are slated to play a show at the famed Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The band will take to the stage at this very special performance on September 15th. The guys have been gaining much acclaim with their newest release Contra and are getting bigger by the second. If you missed Vampire Weekend during their three nights of shows last month, be sure to snag your tickets this time around.

The presale for Amercian Express cardholders starts tomorrow, Wednesday, at noon. General sale for the show starts Friday at noon. The tickets run at $39.50, but for anyone who has ever seen Vampire Weekend live knows you’ll get every penny’s worth.

Rufus Wainwright Announces New Album


It’s been nearly three years since Canadian piano pop Godfather, Rufus Wainwright, put out his last record Release the Stars. Now, Wainwright is back in full form and prepared to put out his sixth studio album titled All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu. Though not much has leaked from the album, we do know there will be twelve new tracks in store for us. Wainwright has also released the cover art for the record, which is the closeup of someone’s eye. Perhaps his own. One thing we know for sure is that this album will blow you out of the water. His records always due. Lulu is out in the U.S. on April 20th.

Secondhand Sunday: The Raveonettes “Attack of the Ghost Riders”

Today’s Secondhand Sunday is truly a blast from the past for me. Take a peak at one of the first videos by the dark folks in The Raveonettes titled “Attack of the Ghost Riders.” When I worked in a record store when the EP for Whip It On
first came out, it was all the rage. Haunting, thrilling, brilliant, all in the key of Bb minor. It still sends chills down my spine. Check it out!

Listen to the New Single “Excuses” by The Morning Benders!

Earlier this we showed you the new video by The Morning Benders, called “Excuses,” off of their upcoming record, Big Echo (Roughtrade) due out March 9th. Today the band put up on their website the new song to download. The studio version of the track is even more beautiful than the one in the video. The Morning Benders have always been a great band, and it’s nice to see they are finally gaining some recognition. Stream “Excuses” on Modern Mystery below!

Morning Benders Excuses by melissa-2

Sound Through Sight Benefit Show Tomorrow Night!

Our friends at Sound Through Sight are putting on one hell-of-a-show tomorrow, Friday night at Newsonic Loft in Brooklyn, NY. The concert will be a benefit to get their new book up and running. Titled Sound Through Sight: A Gonzo Road Trip To Understand Music In 2010, the project run by writer Tom Williams, photographer Sarah Mulligan and filmaker Rahawa Haile will document the group on a four week long roadtrip across North America and Mexico next month talking to bands large and small, venue owners, record store clerks, label managers, and music fans of all types to gain their insight on the state of music. This is certainly going to be an amazing project to see come to fruitation.

This is where you the fans come in. Help out Sound Through Sight by donating HERE or checking out the even tomorrow night. Details are below!

Sound Through Sight Benefit Show
Newsonic Loft
76 Rutledge Street
South Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Doors 9pm

*Cheap Drinks or BYOB*

10pm – Common Prayer – the fantastic new project from Jason Russo, the lead man of Hopewell and former touring member of Mercury Rev.
11pm – mynameisjohnmichael – from New Orleans, Metro named mnijm one of the top 5 bands of CMJ last year (along with the xx and Surfer Blood!)
12am – Miracles of Modern Science – named by Spin Magazine as one of the Top 25 Bands to Watch at CMJ 2009.
12:45 – Dynasty Electric – recently signed to Damon Dash’s Blu Rock label