Our Modern Mystery favorites, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin took the stage on Friday night at Terminal 5 which was their first time being an opening band in a long time. They knew they had something to prove and they did it well. Starting with Phil Dickey on vocals for the night, the band blew the crowd away and really got the show started. Performing tracks off their new album Let It Sway their catchy indie pop hooks filled the room and had everyone in good spirits. This is a major tour for the boys and we’re proud of them!
It’s going to sound highly smug of me to say but it has to be said: I was the first person to say Two Door Cinema Club and Tokyo Police Club should tour together. In all honesty I’m not. After seeing Tokyo perform past summer with Passion Pit I (drunkenly) cornered their guitarist/keyboardist Graham Wright and demanded that they toured with Two Door Cinema Club to which he replied “Fuck! You’re the 8th person who’s told me that today!”
Fast forward to January 21st and what would you know? It actually has happened! The two acts are going on a lengthy co-headlining tour around the US and selling out shows effortlessly. To celebrate they even released a mash up of two of their tracks which can be downloaded here
The venue was packed! People of all ages and varieties. A grand highlight of the night was being in the photographers pit and looking at all the young faces. When I was younger I remember music was something you’d use as an escape and the fact these kids would call Two Door Cinema Club an escape was quite something. I personally love Northern Irish music and seeing this band do so well here in the states hit a chord with me (no pun intended). Everyone danced the night away and the band received the most cheer when they played their latest single “What You Know”
For a whole gallery of photos from the entire show be sure to go here
The time is finally here where we announce our favorite albums of the year. Yes, it took a whole lot of thinking and a whole lot of relistening, but in the end we figured it out. Trust us, it was no easy task this year. Take a peek at what kept our interest in 2010.
1. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – “Let It Sway”
This will forever be known as the album where SSLYBY fully matured. Working with Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, the band produced a stunning record full of pop hooks and catchy lyrics. The result, Let It Sway (Polyvinyl), one of the greatest pieces of work our ears have heard by any indie band in a long time. We loved it so much we made a tribute video celebrating the record which you can watch below. Congrats SSLYBY!
2. Vampire Weekend – “Contra”
A nearly flawless album, the VW boys started off 2010 with a burst of energy that continued througout the year. Neck in neck with the Yeltsins, Contra (XL) also shared the tale of a too-good-to-be-true indie band growing up in the public eye.
3. The Morning Benders – “Big Echo”
Another record that was running with the big boys on this list, The Morning Benders released Big Echo (Kanine) early in the year and exploded like no one could ever have imagined. It’s ab out time. They deserve it. This is one of the catchiest albums we heard this year and it never gets old.
4. Of Montreal – “False Priest”
Of Montreal are always evolving. That is what we love most about the band. False Priest (Polyvinyl) takes them to a whole new level, dabbling in R&B and dueting with Solange Knowles. We may have been skeptical at first but it quickly won over our hearts and the dance floor.
5. Surfer Blood – “Astrocoast”
Everyone’s favorite “IT” band of the year produced a promising debut album called Astrocoast (Kanine). We followed the boys around CMJ 2009 and knew they were about to blew up huge. We were right, and now Surfer Blood has taken over the world.
6. Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – “Before Today”
A chilling record filled with reverb and haunting vocals proved to be just the thing for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti. Before Today (4AD) stunned the indie music world and makes us wonder what the next Ariel Pink chapter has to hold.
7. Jukebox the Ghost – “Everything Under the Sun”
A thriving piano backed by a guitar and drums made an unexpected assault in the indie world this year. Everything Under the Sun (Yep Roc) dropped jaws quickly this year and had Jukebox the Ghost playing with big name bands and appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman.
8. The Love Language – “Libraries”
Much different from their first record, The Love Language stunned us with a near perfect record, Libraries (Merge) this year. There was a lot of buzz about this album and as the tracks leaked, we could feel the greatness building up. We were right.
9. We Are Scientists – “Barbara”
Without a record label in the U.S., We Are Scientists broke through this year with Barbara. They haven’t changed too much since the last time we heard from them, which is a good thing. They still have their driving 80’s vibe, W.A.S. charm and brilliant tunes.
10. Magic Kids – “Memphis”
This was an unexpected treat this year that had us putting Magic Kids on repeat. Memphis (Goner/True Panther) often has a lo-fi and retro vibe, and that is what really makes it special.
The rest of the list….
11. Miniature Tigers – “Fortress”
12. Matt Pond PA – “The Dark Leaves”
13. Wavves – “King of the Beach”
14. Sufjan Stevens -“Age of the Adz”
15. Arcade Fire – “The Suburbs”
16. Free Energy – “Stuck on Nothing”
17. Javelin – “No Mas”
18. Best Coast – “Crazy for You”
19. The Drums – “The Drums”
20. Tokyo Police Club – “Champ”
21. The New Pornographers – “Together”
22. Spoon – “Transference”
23. Hot Hot Heat – “Future Breeds”
24. Kids of 88 – “Sugar Pills”
25. MGMT – “Congratulations”
26. Harlem – “Hippies”
27. Broken Social Scene – “Forgiveness Rock Record”
Ontario quartet, Tokyo Police Club, have good news for us Yanks, more dates. In support of their sophomore album Champ, the foursome will hit the road with and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and Two Door Cinema Club through most of January before going it alone. The album, produced by Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith), has garnered serious critical acclaim for the boys’ brand of high octane, gritty pop. Everyone from NPR, The New York Times, Alternative Press, Pitchfork and Paste have given high marks to Champ.
Be sure to catch them in your town.
1/17/11 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met ^ *
1/19/11 – Boston, MA @ Paradise ^ *
1/20/11 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club ^ *
1/21/11 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 ^ *
1/22/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero ^ *
1/23/11 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall ^ *
1/25/11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade ^ *
1/26/11 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar ^ *
1/27/11 – Orlando, FL @ The Social ^ *
1/28/11 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Culture Room *
1/29/11 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbit’s *
1/31/11 – Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon *
2/1/11 – Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater *
2/2/11 – Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa *
2/3/11 – Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live *
2/5/11 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In *
2/7/11 – Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note *
2/8/11 – Columbia, MO @ Firebird *
2/10/11 – Covington, KY @ The Mad Hatter *
* w/ Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
^ w/ Two Door Cinema Club
Tokyo Police Club have premiered a new remix of the Champ album track, “Favourite Colour” by Brooklyn-based DJs PUNCHES, now available for downloading on RCRDLBL.com . PUNCHES is the Brooklyn-based disco project of twin brothers Greg and Darin Bresnitz-who can be found tearing up the dance floor as DJ duo Finger on the Pulse and nightlife pioneer Alan Astor. After iterating the original track’s piano lick, PUNCHES takes over with heavy beats and synth, adding even more energy to TPC’s material.
Tokyo Police Club just announced additional dates to their Winter tour, kicking off January 13 in Ottawa, and taking them through their native Canada and most of the U.S. by mid-February. Also, Champ just made Myspace.com’s “Year In Music”, landing at #31 – “In the end, this is TPC’s most “mature” effort, but the fact that they managed to create it without losing their sense of youth or spirit is what makes it such a rare, unlikely joy.”
Check out the remix, as well as the full list of tour dates below:
Last week, I had the pleasure of talking to Tokyo Police Club singer, Dave Monks, about their upcoming record Champ due out on Mom and Pop Records on June 8th. Filled with amazing tracks, trust us, this is TPC’s best album yet.
Modern Mystery:All of your albums have been successful, what kind of pressure did you have going into the studio to make Champ ?
Dave Monks: Not that much, going into Elephant Shell (Saddle Creek) we had a lot of pressure. This time when we were writing we didn’t even feel like we were writing a record. It was way more relaxed. I’m not sure if we turned it off but there wasn’t as much pressure.
MM: What inspires you to write a song? Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Monks: It can come from a many number of things. You have something planned conceptually and musically. Usually girls and stuff…ah that sounds so lame (laughs). There seems to be more light stuff on this record, going out, doing stuff.
MM: Your new record is being released on Mom and Pop Records. How come you decided to split from Saddle Creek?
Monks: Saddle Creek was awesome, and we were trying to gauge our feeling for every record with a fitting label. With Mom and Pop, their ceiling is much higher. When we worked with Saddle Creek there wasn’t a lot of options for us. Mom and Ppo is a good mix of both worlds of indie and major.
MM: You’re starting a contest that is challenging fans to go up in competition with you involving anything. Are you guys really game for the crazy ideas that may be thrown at you?
Monks: Oh absolutely! We’re really excited about the contest. Send in whatever, we’ll do it. I think since the record is called Champ, we thought the champ of what? We decided to find out. If it was called macaroni it would have been totally different.
MM: Will the competitions go up online for fans to see, as in will they be filmed?
Monks: We’re going to film them, then you’ll see how super fun they are and people can submit their ideas.
MM: How long did it take to record Champ? From songwriting to the end of the mastering process?
Monks: “Breakneck Speed” was written in January 2008 but it was definitely three months recording the record. We did six months of actual solid writing time
MM: What is your favorite part about going on tour and playing live?
Monks: When a show goes really well and a crowd reacts, it s a really cool feeling. It’s what you strive for. To be able to connect like that. And the food!
MM: How does the band write songs? Is it a collaboration? Does everyone bring in their own pieces?
Monks: It starts out as kind of…I’ll have a bunch of ideas about the skeleton or the ideas for the song, then the melody comes in. It starts out as it usually starts with me, then halfway through the process we all try to map it out. That’s where all the good stuff comes from.
MM: You guys blog a lot on your website. How important do you think it is to keep that connection with your fans?
Monks: It’s crazy that we can actually do that. For 300 dollars we got flip cams, and we edit the videos in no time, and they get really good response. If that gets fans excited and makes them feel more connected to the songs, that‘s great. Maybe they don’t like the songs and think we’re stupid. We like it and are going to keep doing it.
MM: What is your favorite song off of Champ and why?
Monks: I really like “Big Difference,” which is track 9 I believe. Something really unique came out of it. I don’t know how the song came about entirely but it came out from a chemistry I couldn’t tell you how to get.
MM: What musicians and bands inspired you to play music?
Monks: Definitely Radiohead, Wilco, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, Apples in Stereo. I don’t know, so many bands. When we were in high school there was an amazing amount.
MM: If you weren’t in Tokyo Police Club, what would you be doing?
Monks: Probably be graduated with a B.A. and looking for work. I don’t know. I was in school and it was pretty aimless. I might be out of work (laughs).