Toro y Moi @ Glasslands, Brooklyn, NY -7/1/2010


I don’t know what’s to be said on a band’s live performance compared
to their album itself. It’s all personal preference, and I guess varies
from group to group. Toro y Moi played two shows in New York on July 1st and 2nd. One at the Glasslands Gallery in Williamsburg, and the other at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.

I was able to catch the Glasslands show, and it was the first time I got to see Toro Y Moi as a three piece band. They opened with “Blessa,” and while the crowd was ecstatic, the
tempo seemed awkwardly fast compared to the record. Even Chaz Bundick,the lead singer, bobbed like a human metronome to keep the beat. Every song was played at this accelerated pace that I was not expecting, and I’m assuming it was just a decision by the band. It did not live up to the “Chill wave” moniker this type of music has be labeled with, although when I had a brief chance to talk with the bassist and drummer they told me the name was a joke.

When they began to play “You Hid,” what I believe to be the chill anthem (there’s no better phrasing for it sorry) of the year, even that had a disappointingly fast beat to it.

That all being said, the venue was jam packed, and I still had a great
time. The music was still miles above most of what’s out there, and I’m
glad I got to see them before they headed off to Europe.

The band, for some reason, asked me not to talk about their clothes so
I’m gonna honor that.

Finally, on an awesome note, one of the band member’s parents were
there, and the mother informed me that she and her husband met through an ad in the Village voice. I thought that was cool.

-Joe Paolucci

Interview: A Little Bit with Elmor

Indie Brit band Elmor is a band you should love. The boys of Elmor intertwine delighful pop vocals with driving insturmentation to produce fun, “dance-y” and romantically charged rock n’ roll. I had the pleasure of interviewing the group before they embarked from England to LA to tour. Unfortunately this interview took place via Facebook chat due to the band’s location across the pond, but imagining the boys saying everything in a British accent made up for it.

Liv: Where’d you get your name?  I’m sure you know there’s an Elmore band and an Elmore D Band?

Andy: It’s our lead singer Luke’s mother’s maiden name (she’s Scottish) and a street he used to live on. Elmore band…? There’s one in London but we’re bigger than them so doesn’t matter! Although myself and Rich here are big jazz fans and love Elmore James [of the Elmore D Band]! Don’t forget we’re Elmor though!

Liv: How did the band form? Where are you all from?

Andy: Luke and I have been mates for about five years. After living in Vancouver I moved back here [London] and hooked up with him for some drinks. Luke said he had written some songs and wanted to get a band together. We started with a five piece line-up then. However things weren’t working and our original guitarist had to be fired after a year, so Tristan joined who we knew from the muso circle around here! We went through three other drummers before getting Richard who we found on the net….so 21st century!!

 Liv: What is muso?

 Andy: People in England who are musicians basically…! But it’s like more of a cool term for rockers.

 Liv: Ah, I like!

Andy: As a band we all have different influences though and so the sound we have is different than what it was when we began. The songs we did when it started three years ago? We don’t play any of them now!

 Liv: Describe Elmor’s sound to someone who has never heard your music before

Andy: Melodic rock; energetic rock sound with a commercial vibe…hang on we once had a review from a national paper which describes us well: “A face-off between the west coast of America indebted soaring melodies of the Thrills and the day-glo pop of the hirsute Magic Numbers, with a dash of stadium rock U2 and even industrial Editors-esque riffs” THE FLY “A lot of scope and expansiveness to the music, a certain kind of wind-swept romanticism” THE INDEPENDENT ”

Liv: If you weren’t in the band, what would you be doing?

Andy: Working in the industry; I’d probably go into management. I was doing that before the band. Luke would probably carry on – writing, doing solo stuff – and start a gardening business.

John: I’d be song writing and producing.

 Richard: Playing drums?! Typical drummer! Playing jazz though…

Liv: I’m glad you all would still be doing music stuff!! That’s refreshing.

Andy: The thing is we’ve never discuss that! We are part of the project and team and we don’t consider anything else.

Liv: What’s the song writing process? Song writing inspirations? Lyrical inspiration? Do you ever find it difficult to write a song?

Andy: When we wrote our current single it happened within an hour. Other songs have taken weeks! Sometimes the lyrics and melody are written first, sometimes another part is the basis. The songs can take weeks to tailor. “The Wedding Song” – which you won’t have heard; that shall be our next single – took about two months to get it how we wanted. Luke uses a lot of influences in his life for inspiration.

Liv: Yes, writing about what you know is always good! Do you have a favorite song to perform?

 Andy: A track called “Use It”. This was originally called “Everything and Everyone” but we’ve changed the latter to the album name. Because it’s the first song we wrote we wanted to incorporate it into the album title. John’s and Luke’s favorite is “One Step”

Richard: “Seven Years”

 Tristan: “Little Bit”

 Liv: Why these songs?

Andy: They are all different. Each one has its own elements. How we play them physically is different too. We get a different reaction to each one. I think our main basis is every song should be unique but encompassing our signature sound! There are too many bands – especially in this country – who have an album of “samey” songs…..also bands we’ve met touring. But then there are a couple who are special…

Liv: Like you?

Andy: We have been told we are! Haha!

 Liv: What song do you wish you had written?

Andy: “Be my baby”, The Ronettes. “Don’t Worry Baby”, The Beach Boys. Uum………. I know Luke would say Radiohead’s “Ok Computer”. For me: every album Muse has done!

Liv: Me too! I love Muse. Have you seen them live?

Andy: yeah last year!

Liv: Their keyboard player is fucking incredible.

Andy: Such a massive inspiration for me…

Liv: What’s your favorite thing about being on tour?

Andy: Making bets on how long it takes for Richard to fall asleep on the dance floor when we’re out! Oh, and tickling Tristan. He hates it!

Liv: Couldn’t you tickle him anytime?

Andy: Yes, but in a vehicle, he can’t escape! Meeting other bands is always fun. We come away from a tour having met loads of lovely people. Of course there are the obvious perks like trying different venues and crowds. England even though it’s small to you, you go an hour away and people/accents can be very different!

Listen to Elmor on their MYSPACE

Like or Like Like: Acid House Kings

The Acid House Kings have been pumping out music for quite some time now, yet few to little praise has been given to them as they remain in the backdrop of indie-rock.

Returning back to the earlier days of retro twee pop, The Acid House Kings turned out cheery tunes that mirrored a pseudo-brady bunch era in the early 90’s. Having formed in 1991, the Kings are recognized as one of the founders of swede pop and could have very well opened up gateways for later swede artists such as Lykke Li, Peter Bjorn and John, The Hives, Jose Gonzalez and many more.

Yet more than a decade later, The Acid House Kings remain in the shadows. Perhaps, the Kings are yet to be accepted by hipsters worldwide because their music surpasses a superficial idea of what indie-rock should be: edgy, hip, and a stray from the normative mainstream sugar pop, above other things.

The Kings’ sound falls in line with that of Camera Obscura and Belle and Sebastian. Yet, don’t let their squeaky-clean image deter you because the indie-rock factor that we all treasure is very much alive in their music.

Sadly, the group has not released any new music since 2005 but the band anticipates a new album release in 2009. To my despair, the time is running out and my anxiety is climbing for new music from the Acid House Kings but I’m still crossing my fingers.

On a happier note, if a band couldn’t be any cooler, the Kings produced their “This Heart Is A Stone” music video in Karaoke form so you can bust out in song right along with the crew. Take a look below.

Here’s the proof, this is definitely a group that you need to have in your music library.

Check out the Acid House Kings HERE

 Recommended tracks:

“Do What You Wanna Do”
“This Heart Is A Stone”
“Sunday Morning”

Watch the Acid House Kings ‘This Heart is a Stone’