Robbers on High Street Release New Single, “Electric Eye.” Prep New Album and Mini Tour

Robbers on High Street are a New York staple. Anyone who’s anyone knows the name. The Brooklyn band first hit the scene a few years ago with their debut album Tree City, and then with Grand Animals, that was released nearly 3 years ago.

Robbers are back in full action now, prepping a new album in which the name has not been released yet. The band has been playing new songs from the record since the Summer of last year, and when I talked to them last July, they seemed to be really excited to get started on it. The result that we’ve heard so far, seems to show a more mature side of the band and one that draws a bit more from their 70’s influences. This is going to be one of the lookout records for 2010.

Robbers on High Street have just released the first single from the record called “Electric Eye,” which seems to bring out the spirit of the new songs. Singer Ben Trokan’s voice is better than ever, envoking such passion, and doing it smoothly. Robbers on High Street are one of the greatest rock and roll bands of our generation, there is no doubt about that.

The single for “Electric Eye” will be released on vinyl tomorrow, with the digital single being released on June 22nd. The B-side will be another new tune titled “Face the Fog.”

In celebration of the new album, Robbers will be going out on a few dates this week in support of the new single. They’re bringing labelmates The Bloodsugars along with them. If you’re in New York, they’ll be playing the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on Saturday night. Don’t miss out on this show. It’s going to be incredible (like always!)

Download and Stream “Electric Eye”
Robbers on High Street – “Electric Eye” by modernmysteryblog

Robbers on High Street Tour Dates

June 10 – Philadelphia, PA – The M Room – 9pm – w/ The Bloodsugars, The Fleeting End

June 11 – Washington, DC – Velvet Lounge – 9pm – w/ The Bloodsugars, Kaiser Cartel

June 12 – Brooklyn, NY – The Knitting Factory – 8pm – w/ The Bloodsugars, Israel Darling

June 13 – Boston, MA – TT The Bears – 8:30pm – w/ The Bloodsugars, Israel Darling


SURFER BLOOD + Interview + Remix = Freakin’ Awesome

Surfer Blood. Ah. We can’t seem to get enough of them here at Modern Mystery, but really, who can? The band just finished up a ton of successful shows at SXSW and are still on their forever extensive tour that tickets are becoming harder and harder to get (Oh I’m having Vampire Weekend flashbacks all over again!).

We first met Surfer Blood at CMJ 2009. They were a little late for our interview, and quite frankily we weren’t even 100% sure what these boys looked like. From the back of a van we conducted their first interview EVER. Five bright eyed guys who said they were worried about getting one CMJ show and somehow ended up with nine. From the first moment we saw them live with a handful of people at Santo’s Party House, every CMJ show seemed to get bigger and bigger. It was only the beginning and we knew they were going to be huge.

Today in our system we came across the Surfer Blood Remix of “Swim,” (Alpaca Remix by Allen Blickle of Baroness) and remembered how rad it is. For your listening pleasure it’s down below.

Also, here is the previously mentioned INTERVIEW with Surfer Blood.

Surfer Blood – Swim (Alpaca Remix by Allen Blickle of Baroness)  by  modernmysteryblog

Bear Hands Clawed Their Way Through CMJ, Now Preps for Upcoming Release of Debut LP, “Paper”

You hear a name like Bear Hands and you think what? Cute and cuddly? Or has the ability to gnaw your face off and rip you in two? Well with this particular band, you’re half right on both ends.

            Punk-alt quartet Bear Hands make the nightly New York rounds, finding new venues to rock and new fans to woo. But it all started in 2006, just a couple of Metro North rides away, when singer Dylan Rau, bassist Val Loper, guitarist Ted Feldman, and drummer TJ Orscher decided to birth the band that is Bear Hands. Rau, Orscher, and Loper were well-versed in the punk-angst ways fashioned by Connecticut school boys, but when Rau graduated to the Wesleyan University music scene, he met fellow co-ed, guitarist Ted Feldman, and decided to refine his personal punk flare with the help of his cohorts’ musical inclinations. “I’m trying to rid myself of my more punk tendencies,” Rau says. Rau writes all of the group’s songs and remembers, rather shamefully, the first song he ever wrote when he was 13. A pre-teen emo anthem, I wonder? “Yeah, I’m sure,” he scoffs, rolling his eyes. But even in the group’s four-track outing, Golden EP, you can’t help but get sucked into Bear Hand’s brand of post-punk, laced with dynamic instrumental breaks and Rau’s ‘tudish cadence.

            Rau’s voice does usher the band on stage, but in person he’s quite stoic, low key. In a pleasant way, not in an I’m-too-cool-for-this-interview sort of way. He’s thin, and the presence of his mangled bun atop his head gives him a towering feel. But when we sit on the top floor terrace at The Delancey, he hunches, coils himself into the chair. Cross-legged. Doe-eyed. Already in a humbled position, he states, “I’m really terrible at guitar.” Rau, who shares guitar responsibility with Feldman, has never taken a guitar lesson. “I’m trying to play the guitar less,” he says. This strikes me as ambitionless. “Oh, I have ambition. Just not to get better at guitar,” he quips.

            The band recently flooded CMJ, playing the NME showcase with The Antlers and The xx—of which Rau is a big fan—The Mercury Lounge, and The Bowery Electric. Although they only played five songs, they stole the show from The Antlers, leaving everything on the stage, particularly during “Sickly Brunette,” a track so seeped in badassitude, it begs to be listened to on repeat to get your ass out of bed in the morning. They’re currently putting the finishing touches on their debut full-length LP, Paper (release date TBA), which Rau says is “85 percent done.”

Although Bear Hands remains unsigned, gigs keep popping up all over the globe. The band recently came back from a stint in the UK and around Europe. “We do pretty good in the UK. But Paris, that was a really great show.”  The guys also recently played a November show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Chairlift and Telepathe. And you can bet they had fun, because in the end, Bear Hands is about fun. It’s about head banging till it hurts and reveling in how good it can be to just be. And that’s where the dichotomy exists. They shred on stage, tats ablaze, faces contorted. But when it comes down to it, they’re just a couple of nice kids from Connecticut that decided to extend their pipe dream. And now, Bushwick-based and Brazil-bound, it all seems possible. Inevitable, even.

Paola Capó-García

Bang Bang Eche – Piano’s, NYC CMJ 2009

There’s not that many bands that I wait all year long to see, but these guys I did. The last time BBE was in the states to play shows, our new president won. It was a crazy night in NYC. I had their self titled ep and those tracks made me want to see them live. Now, it’s October 2009 a year later, and the band BANG BANG ECHE is ready to rock the crowd at Piano’s for one of many of their gigs during the CMJ Music Marathon going on in NYC. Forget the fact that there two hundred or so other bands I could go see during CMJ. This is the band I have been waiting to see.. There seems to be alot of buzz around the crowd… The show is about to start and the room is to full capacity. With a NEW four song EP about to drop to the college radio crowd, they play new songs like “fist full of dollars” and the song “dirt in the water” which has vocals similar to Aphex Twin and crazy guitar playing. This band is tight.. I mean..jumping around on stage.. one of their most energetic songs is called “Fingers in the Till”..this is when Zach is singing and Charlie rips on the guitar and then all of a sudden they jump off the stage and play to the crowd like they did at Piano’s.

 They also rocked out tunes from their 1st EP like “Time Mismanagement” and “4 to the Floor” Oh, did I forget to say they are from all the way around the world. Yes, they hail from New Zealand. How cool is that? The thing I like about Zach great vocals with his accent is that when he plays certain songs, he has what alot of club DJ’s use for effects. The Kaoss Pad.. oh man, does this come in very handy and sounds so good with his vocals and the way he makes it sound when they are playing live. the Band is headed off to Europe for now, but they will back in the states in the Sping, make sure you make it out to see them live.
-Joe Madonna

Check out Bang Bang Eche on their Myspace

Check out Bang Bang Eche’s Live CMJ Performances!

“Time Mismanagement”

 New Song!
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Spreading the Love with Savoir Adore!


Savoir Adore might make little to no sense when translated from French, but this New York based band has been doing the complete opposite. While gaining an immense amount of recognition in the indie-rock industry, Savoir Adore plans on gradually expanding its music not only domestically but internationally.The group’s mates Deidre Muro, Paul Hammer and David Perlick-Molinari expose the details of Savoir Adore’s debut album In the Wooded Forest and share their experience of their second year at the CMJ.

What is the translation and meaning of your band’s name?

Deidre:We just sort of jammed together and we had never played together before. We literally made one mp3 recording and wanted to share it with people on Myspace. So, we made a name on the spot to share that mp3, that’s how it started but we found more meaning in it on the way.

Paul: We had just been talking about the French language and Deidre recorded a song with several French words in it and our name roughly translates as to know love, or adoration. Savoir Adore is actually two verbs so it doesn’t literally make sense, but maybe a hundred years from now it will be accepted as a phrase.

The news are that you guys have a new album, what sets it apart from the previous recordings you’ve worked on?

Deidre: We only had one album before this one. It was recorded in one weekend, so we kind of challenged ourselves. As for the new album, we had a more extended approach, we definitely spent more time with it, I guess that’s the main difference.

Are you pleased with the outcome?

Paul: It’s sort of unavoidable, as you record the new songs, it’s unavoidable to discover the new recording methods. We learned a lot through the process. I’m definitely happy with how it turned out, but also now we’re separated from it and we’re recording new stuff.


Can you describe your music-making process?

Deidre: We have a couple of different methods. We’ll be in the same room, Paul will be on the drums while I’m jamming on something else and we sort of hit record and jam.Afterwards, we’ll listen back and pick out different parts. Sometimes, one of us will start an mp3 and forward it to someone else and take it from there.

Paul: Another way to describe the process is to tell you what we don’t do. That being is that we never get together and write a song straight through. The project itself has to do a lot with experimenting with both song writing and recording processes. The EP was basically all the sounds you hear was the first time we ever played them. Everything was written in the room. As for the new album is was more developed; we sent a few tracks back and forth and built upon music we had recorded. As we develop, we’re discovering what works the best. 

Who mostly contributes to the song-writing?

Paul: The song-writing is pretty even. We find ourselves swapping material. Deidre tends to write more lyrics, I tend to write more of the rhythms, and David contributes with melodies.

Do you have any favorite songs from your own recordings?

Deidre: I would say “We Talk like Machines”. 

Paul: I agree.It has become our favorite song on the album. For some reason every time we play it live, it always feels new and refreshing every time.

What bands have you been listening to?

Paul: We both have been listening to Phoenix nonstop.


Aside from the band and the music, what do you spend your time on?

Deidre: I love this question! We both enjoy cooking and eating, I like discovering new recipes and I cook for David all the time.

Paul: I’m more of a meat person. I like roasting meat…None of you guys are vegetarian, right?

 Well, I’m actually a vegetarian.

Paul: I guess I have to rephrase that now(laughs). I definitely enjoy cooking though.

Was there a turning point for Savoir Adore?

Deidre: We didn’t start out as a band, it was very gradual. There was not really a turning point, and I don’t even know if it’s that way now. I mean, we both have left day jobs, but we still do freelance, It’s just a different lifestyle.

 How has your music developed and changed over time?

Deidre: I think it’s a time reflection what we’re currently influenced by. We absorb what we’re into in the moment and incorporate it into music.

Paul: The last two years we’ve learned a lot about playing together. It was interesting to see that the way we recorded and discovered what works for us and what doesn’t. Much of what we have done so far is experimentation. Now we want to approach things more critically, realizing the need for more harmonies.As you work on a project you sort of realized the strengths and weaknesses.

This being your second time playing at the CMJ, would you say you like it? 

Paul: We haven’t been able to see a lot of bands because our schedule revolves around performances. I think it’s been great both years.Every weekend in New York is sort of a mini CMJ. We’re hoping for booking agents to discover our music through our shows.

 Do you have a favorite venue to play at?

 Paul: Music Hall by far! They treat you well, the sound is incredible, and you’re in the middle of Williamsburg.

What’s the band’s next mission?

Deidre: Definitely writing.

Paul: We’re planning on going back to the studio, we’re hoping to expand on where we’ve been releasing our music. Touring is definitely on the agenda, but we want to do it right. This meaning support and someone setting up shows for us. Recording, releasing music in the UK and hopefully going to Europe eventually. I think the world is ready (laughs)!

-Viktorsha Uliyanova

múm’s The Word


Close your eyes and you’ll see black. Maybe some sparks, some flecks and non-descript shapes. But when members of múm close their eyes they see two-headed talking goats, whimsical planets made of ice, and prancing forest nymphs. They see their music take shape into wondrous things. múm has long been part of the Icelandic ethereal elite (alongside Björk and Sigur Rós), producing beautiful epic noise that matches the mystique of their native land. It’s the sound a haiku would make if it could talk. And in the past 10 years, múm has toured extensively around the world, spreading the joy and sadness of their five albums, countless EPs, and compilation discs. Now they’re embarking on a European tour off the heels of a North American stint, and luckily, we got to talk to founding member Gunnar Örn Tynes prior to playing a show in San Francisco. Here he talks about his band, his roots, and the music you shouldn’t be surprised he listens to.

Modern Mystery: How different is Sing Along to Songs You Don’t Know from múm’s other albums?

Gunnar Örn Tynes: I think we always been open to doing different things because we don’t want to get stuck in a groove. But then again, we are always creating music. [Sing Along] is a lot more simple maybe. I think it’s such a linear thing for me, I’m really excited about it and the music we’re doing now.

Out of all the albums spanning your career, would you say one of them is quintessentially múm?

I wouldn’t want to say one is more than the other, it’s very hard to pick your favorite children. But I think we have the same approach to music now, [it’s] just [that] we are very different people.

You tend to have two or three-year gaps between albums, is there a reason for that?

Two years is not really a long time when you think about it. We do an album and then we do all the touring, that usually takes almost a year and then we have a little break. It’s a natural cycle.

 Are you ever not doing music then?

No, not really. I’m constantly working. I do a lot of production and engineering for other people when I’m not working on my own stuff. I’m usually with somebody else in the studio or I kick back and relax. I’m actually reading a very funny Swedish criminal story. I read a lot of different stuff, whatever people recommend.

What kind of music do you listen to? Anything people might be surprised about? 

I hope not. I think it’s very strange when people only like one type of music, when people only like one type of food. I can’t put any limit on what music I like. I listen to classical music, rock and roll, R&B, hip hop, it’s music! I have friends who really like Britney Spears songs, but they can’t acknowledge it because it’s not correct or whatever. I think it’s wrong, suppressing your own feelings.

Are there certain cities you love to play?

We just played in Japan a couple months ago, it’s amazing. It’s a great place to go play and spend some time, very different from anything else. But I just think it’s very nice going around. The interesting thing is meeting the people. People are generally interesting wherever you go.

It’s interesting, you’re fascinated by other cultures, yet Icelandic culture itself is so fascinating, especially because people don’t know very much about it. What was your upbringing like and how did Icelandic culture play a part in your music?

My parents were both working for an airline company. My dad was a captain and my mom was a stewardess, so I was off along with them all around the world on trips. Great fun for me, of course. But in Icelandic culture, [there’s] a lot of music in the traditional culture, a lot of spoken word or rhyme. There’s always been a movement, playing music not to try to make a band that’s going to be next big thing, but it’s always been a very common activity for a lot of people. It’s very collaborative in Iceland.

2009_1024CMJ0317 by you.

When did you discover music?

 Very early, I was maybe 10. I started messing around with cassette tapes and doing strange music. I never learned how to play any instruments, I’ve always been more like playing with sounds, or doing something unexpected, like an experiment. Soon after I started doing things on the computer, from there I picked up a new instrument every two years.

You call it “playing with sounds,” and that’s true about múm’s music. It’s very playful, but there’s an inherent sadness. Is that dependent on your mood?

 It’s hard to break down what feelings there are in a song, because there’s usually a lot of everything. It’s a very emotional thing to do. There are aspects of music that can elevate your moods, whichever way you go. I used to love The Cure, for example, and that music is very much sad and it’s up to you to interpret it.

What do you think you’d be if you weren’t a musician?

[It’s] very hard for me to think about it. I would probably be working with sound in one way or the other. If not I might just be a school teacher. But it wouldn’t be a glamorous business. I couldn’t.

múm has been together for over 10 years now. In what direction are you looking to take the band for the next 10 years?

Ten years is a very long time. Anything could happen. Next album could be a hip hop album, I don’t know! I look forward to seeing where the music takes me.

 -Paola Capo-Garcia

Check out Live Photos from múm’s CMJ Show After the Jump