Smith Westerns Set For Spring Tour

Smith Westerns’ self-recorded debut earned them critical praise and a record deal with Fat Possum. A myriad of tour dates with MGMT, Belle and Sebastian, Girls, and Passion Pit earned them adoration from the glam rock community. And, their sophomore record, Dye It Blonde, proved that they have staying power.

This spring they’re hitting the road again; this time with Wilco and Yeasayer for a tour that will take them across the pond to London and Amsterdam, up north to Canada and to numerous locations here in the US. Check out a full list of dates below.


Upcoming Tour Dates

04/11 London, England – Cargo
04/14 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
04/16 Paris, France – Fleche d’Or
04/25 New York, NY The Bowery Ballroom
04/26 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s
04/28 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
04/29 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
04/30 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
05/02 Montgomery, AL Montgomery Performing Arts Centre #
05/03 Mobile, AL Saenger Theatre Mobile #
05/04 Birmingham, AL Bottle Tree
05/05 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jack’s
05/06 Houston, TX Verizon Wireless Theater #
05/07 Denton, TX University of North Texas Main Auditorium #
05/08 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom #
05/11 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
05/21 Solana Beach, CA Belly Up Tavern ^
05/22 Pomona, CA The Glass House ^
05/23 Hollywood, CA The Music Box ^
05/24 Hollywood, CA The Music Box ^
05/25 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore ^
05/26 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore ^
05/27 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom ^
05/28 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom ^
05/29 Quincy, WA Sasquatch Festival
05/31 Aspen, CO Bell Up Aspen ^
06/01 Denver, CO Ogden Theatre ^
06/02 Lawrence, KS The Granda Theatre ^
06/03 Columbia, MO The Blue Note ^
06/04 Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
06/06 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre ^
06/07 Toronto, ON Phoenix Concert Theatre ^
06/08 Montreal, QC Club Soda ^
06/09 Boston, MA – Royale ^
06/10 Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
06/12 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

# = w/ Wilco
^ = w/ Yeasayer



The holidays are soon approaching and we here at Modern Mystery have just the right thing to get you into the Christmas spirit! Holiday music is one of the best things about the season and we hope you enjoy this little, well, er, big mix. It’s our second Mixmas and we went all out with 38 songs this year. Everyone from Matt Pond PA to Of Montreal, you have to check it out below to believe your little eyes. This is the one gift you can peek at this Christmas!

Dressy Bessy- All the Right Reasons
The Sixth Great Lake- Always After Christmas Boring
Asobi Seksu- Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)
Belle and Sebastian- O Little Town of Bethlehem
Blitzen Trapper- Christmas is Coming Soon
Bright Eyes- Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Casper and the Cookies- Kiss Me Beneath the Christmas Tree
Ladybug Transistor- Christmas Extravangza
My First Keyboard- Christmas is Only Good If You’re a Girl (Boy)
Of Montreal- Christmas Isn’t Safe for Animals
Essex Green- Deck the Halls
Denison Winter- A Christmas Song
Drive-By Truckers-Mrs. Claus’ Kimono
The Features- Christmas Wish Book
Felice Brothers- Murder by Mistletoe
The Music Tapes- Freeing Song for Reigndeer
Frightened Rabbit- It’s Xmas So We’ll Stop
Fun.- Believe in Me
Gentlemen Auction House- Don’t Want Another Christmas Like Last Christmas
Marbles- Gift for You
Fabulous Bird with Bill Doss-It’s Christmas Time Again
Long Winters- Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas
Low-Just Like Christmas
Matt Pond PA- Holiday Road
My Morning Jacket- Christmas Time is Here
Of Montreal- My Favorite Christmas (In a Hundred Words or Less)
Reigning Sound- If Christmas Can’t Bring You Home
Rilo Kiley- Xmas Cake
Robbers on High Street- Seasons Greetings
Ryan Adams- Hey Parker, It’s Christmas
Summer Hymns- Santa Couldn’t Fit You Under My Tree
Slow Club- Christmas TV
Sufjan Stevens- That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!
The Wedding Present- White Christmas
The Raveonettes- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
The Wombats- This is Christmas
The Damnwells- Xmas Eve
The Knife- Christmas Reindeer

Album Review: Belle and Sebastian – Write About Love


Belle and Sebastian’s forthcoming album, Write About Love, is a collection of good songs.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  And nothing to get excited about.  It’s their eighth studio album, and it’s just what you would expect from the indie-pop Scots.  I could never get into Belle and Sebastian, and I really wish I could.  I wish I could love them like so many people do. The only thing I love about them is their ability to successfully incorporate a recorder (as in, the woodwind instrument we learned “Hot Cross Buns” on in fifth grade) into a pretty great song (“The Boy With the Arab Strap”).

Despite my general indiffernce toward Belle and Sebastian, I listened to Write About Love with open ears and an open mind.  And after a good listen or two, I am, regretfully, still not a fan.  I emerged from the 43 minutes of of easy-going pop melodies with the same conclusion: Belle and Sebastian makes music I might enjoy listening to, but would never actively choose to listen to.

Listening to the album is definitely a pleasant experience.  Much of it is well-crafted, mild-mannered upbeat tunes.  For example, the album opener “I Didn’t See It Coming,” a calm and charming pop lullaby with sweet vocals over friendly music.  It sounds like staring out of a window on a rainy day.  “Come On Sister” is a more lively, synth-heavy tune, followed by the slower, sadder “Calculating Bimbo.”  I could go on and probably have similar things to say about the rest of the songs, but there are two in particular worth mentioning.  “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prohpet John” (which features Norah Jones) is slow, beautiful and completely out of place.  The adult contemporary singer adds lovely vocals over Stuart Murdoch’s modest murmurs, creating quite an interesting contrast.  It’s sad and pretty, but doesn’t seem to belong on the album.  “Write About Love” however, definitely belongs on the album (as it should, since it’s the title track). Actress Carey Mulligan’s vocals are well-suited for a Belle and Sebastian song.  Her smooth and understated declaration “I hate my job/I’m working way too much” creates the song’s too-true-to-be-cliché, catchy hook.  It’s an alluring contribution to one of the better tracks on the album.

I wish I could say that this album changed my mind about Belle and Sebastian.  However, my feelings remain unaltered.  The album seems to pick up where the last left off.  The songs are typical and safe.  They’re good, but not great.  If someone were to play the album, I would hardly object.  I might even hum along.  But ask me what I want to listen to, and this album would be far from my mind.

Belle And Sebastian Want To Write A Song About You. Yes, YOU.

If you’ve ever dreamt of having a song written about you or have ever foolishly convinced yourself that a song you love was written about you (it’s okay), then Belle and Sebastian are now offering to make your dreams come true.

In honor of their upcoming album Write About Love, due out on October 12th, the Scottish outfit is opening up the chance for its fans to win themselves a personalized song. The contest is based on an essay and may remind you of your high school years, but it should be nothing to deter the truly determined, especially since the winner will get to see their song released as a 7″ next year.

This is how it works:
Step 1: Purchase Write About Love from your local record store or your digital store of choice.
Step 2: Type in the code you received with your purchase onto the band’s website.
Step 3: Write about love in a 300-word essay.

Once this process is completed, the band will choose its favorite submission and Stuart Murdoch will head over to the winner’s home and spend a day with him or her to get inspired and write the coveted personalized song.

You can start to get your own creative juices flowing by watching this “Write about Love” video HERE.

Watch Magic Kids’ “Candy” Performed Live In Oakland

Magic Kids’ debut album Memphis, named after their hometown, out on True Panther Sounds came out in August and has led them to be compared to E.L.O, Belle and Sebastian, all with a Beach Boys influence. The video they have just premiered for the artsy music bloggers at Yours Truly is a record of their first venture out in the Bay area, where they performed at the Oakland’s Ghost Gallery on February 15th, 2010. During this rendition of “Candy,” the band was joined by Christopher and Garrett from Girls, Max from Smith Westerns, members of a weekend flute club, a string section and more friends for a touching and laid back performance.
Watch the video below:

If this intimate live performance caught your attention, you may want to catch Magic Kids on their tour, which currently has them running around Europe but will see them back in the US of A in November!

Here are their upcoming tour dates:
10/1 – London, UK @ Barfly
10/2 – London, UK @ Camden Proud Galleries
10/3 – Bruges, Belgium @ Botanique/Witloofbar
10/5 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso
10/6 – Tilburg, Holland @Tilburg 013/Batcave
10/7 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
10/8 – Helsingar, Denmark @ Musikhuset Elvaerket
10/9 – Oslom, Norway @ Café Mono
10/10 – Gothenburg, Sweden @ Pusterviksbaren
10/11 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Landet
10/12 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Lades
10/13 – Berlin, Germany @ Magnet
10/14 – Köln, Germany @ Werkstatt
10/15 – München, Germany @ Atomic Cafe
10/16 – Zurich, Switzerland @ Club Zukunft
10/17 – Milan, Italy Indierocket party @ Rocket (free entry)
10/18 – Paris, France @ Point Ephemere
10/19 – Oxford, UK @ Jercicho Tavern
10/21 – Bristolm UK @ Louisanna
10/22 – Bristol, UK @ The Social
10/23 – Cardiff, UK @ Swn Festival
10/24 – Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny
10/25 – Leeds, UK @ Nation of Shopkeepers
10/26 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds
10/27 – London, UK @ TBC
10/28 – London, UK @ Lexington
11/05 – Dallas, TX @ The Cavern (with Bosco Delrey)
11/07 – Houston, TX @ Numbers (with Bosco Delrey)
11/08 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon (with Bosco Delrey)
11/10 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 (with Bosco Delrey)
11/12 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge (with Bosco Delrey)
11/13 – Brooklyn, NY @ Silent Barn (with Bosco Delrey)
11/15 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern (with Bosco Delrey)
11/16 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle (with Bosco Delrey)
11/17 – St. Louis, MO @ Firebird (with Bosco Delrey)
11/18 – Nashville, TN @ The End (with Bosco Delrey)