Buffalo Tom on Tour, Hits Up NYC Next Week!


Indie legends Buffalo Tom are making the rounds on a short tour in the next few weeks, and if you missed their Record Store Day performance last weekend, you still have the chance to catch them in New York City amongst other places. The group will be hitting NYC by storm a week from today, Thursday, April 18th at the infamous Bowery Ballroom. The
trio is still supporting their newest release, Skins that hit stores early last month. You do not want to miss out on the chance to catch your new and old favorites on the road.

There are still some tickets left for the Bowery show so snatch them up while you can. You can get them HERE.

Check out the other tour dates below!

APRIL

Thu 28 New York, NY, USA – Bowery Ballroom

Fri 29 Philadelphia, PA, USA – M Room

Sat 30 Washington, D.C., USA – The Black Cat

MAY 2011
Tue 17 San Francisco, CA, USA – Slim’s

Wed 18 Los Angeles, CA, USA – Troubadour

Thu 19 Portland, OR, USA – Doug Fir

Fri 20 Seattle, WA, USA – Chop Suey

Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin/Two Door Cinema Club/Tokyo Police Club @ Terminal 5, NYC – January 21st, 2011


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!
-MM

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

Indie Christmas Music: Yay or Nay?

It’s past the midway point of December, and in some areas, the Christmas season has already been going on for almost two months (seriously, I thought it only started after Thanksgiving?). We’ve heard carols in the mall, and even here at Modern Mystery, we’ve passed on the holiday cheer with a little selection of the prime indie odes to Santa, his little helpers and the season’s spirit of giving.

Speaking of which, would we have been able to compile such a varied and long list of indie holiday songs a few years ago, in addition to our daily “Christmas Song of the Day” posts? Seeing unsigned YouTube sensations Pomplamousse appear on the TV commercial for a famous car brand covering “Jingle Bells” or finding that Bishop Allen, Best Coast and Wavves appear on a free Target christmas compilation has made me deeply aware and surprised that indie artists have been filling some of their songs with images of snowflakes and mistletoe much more frequently.

I asked Chris Richards, pop music critic of The Washington Post, about what he thought and he seemed to agree with me. “It’s an increasing trend. It signifies in my eyes that indie rock is becoming standardized,” he said. “Everyone, from pop artists to country artists are putting Christmas albums out. They’re money makers. The industry is finding new revenue streams with indie artists.”

So are indie artists “selling out” by treading the Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting’s ground? No, and in fact, it may be a well-appreciated breeze of fresh air. “Mariah Carey’s” ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You” is really the only recent stand out holiday classic, so it’s great that indie artists are injecting in new material. If it’s just Arcade Fire covering “Jingle Bell Rock,” it’s not that interesting.”

In the same spirit, Noel Kelly of The Hush Now, who have now released a Christmas single two years in a row, wrote jokingly in an e-mail interview, “I have all the reverence in the world for the classics, but it’s high time we stepped up and stopped hi-jacking another generation’s memories.”

Jof Owen of The Boy Least Likely To, who just released an entire album of holiday songs – covers and originals – called Christmas Special, sees the appeal of writing Christmas music elsewhere. “I suppose indie pop has always been built on an awareness of classic pop traditions, even if they recontextualize them,” he said. “so it’s only natural that the idea of a Christmas record would appeal.”

Not only is writing Christmas songs a new exercise because of how far it stands from the stereotype of the indie artist, it involves a complex songwriting exercise that consists in making your way through the conventions that surround them. Behind the holiday song’s light facade, “It still has to be a strong song.  There’s no room for fat,” Kelly said. “You have to get in fast, establish yourself and get people singing along by the end of the first listen.  That’s what the classics do.  And that’s not the easiest thing to do sometimes.”

In the end, even if you’re an indie artist, Christmas is a fascinating time that allows for reminiscence and reflection, which translates perfectly into song. “I like writing lyrics about Christmas because it seems to be a really magical time but at the same time there’s a lot of sadness in it too,” Owen said. “I often write about the way things change as you grow up and grow out of things, and it seems to be something that I’m always much more aware of at Christmas.”

What looking into this has made me think was that more than a “normalization” of indie rock, the weird element in this discussion is mostly my own surprise at seeing indie artists coming up with Christmas tunes. After all, it’s not because the genre is commercially popular that there is no room for originality. No musician should restrict themselves from touching on any subject in their music. And it seems The Hush Now are on that same wave length.

“We’re even throwing around the idea of doing a holidays album.  A different song for 10 different holidays.  That would be such a blast,” Kelly said. ” We have the Christmas and Halloween tunes down. What’s next…Secretaries’ day?”

U.S. Royalty to release “Mirrors”

usroyalty
Washington DC-based band US Royalty are finally ready to release their debut record after spending a year recording and writing the music as a band. The folk pop band has been compared to the likes of Local Natives and the Black Keys, but in reality, their inspiration is drawn from Kubrick and Ennio Morricone soundtracks.

The result is an electrifying single called “Equestrian”, which can be listened to here.

Make sure to pick up the promising “Mirrors” on January 25th, 2011.

Jonathan Boulet – “You’re A Animal”

Fans of Jonathan Boulet‘s self-titled début may be somewhat thrown upon first listen to “You’re A Animal.” The newest track from the Australian folk-pop artist offers a sneak peek at his forthcoming sophomore album (set to be released next year), and it indicates a significantly new direction in his sound. From the very first note, “You’re A Animal” announces itself as a martial anthem powered by a relentlessly pounding drum rhythm. With lyrics like “I will soldier on…and on, and on, and on!” being chanted over a soundfield of guitar and myriad indeterminate instruments, the song leaves no space for the sort of reflective rumination that pervades (most of) the first album. Gone is anything acoustic, and likewise any lines as meditative or somber as, for instance “March to the Poles and meet me there/ Leave all your wars and all your cares/ Find me and you, my name, but I can’t remember you/ Would you go?” (from “North to South East to You”).

But it would be flat out wrong to suggest that these almost defiant gestures of ceaseless energy – which are at once carnal and furious – have no precedent in Boulet’s prior work. Disappointed – or shocked – fans should note that they didn’t just appear from nowhere. Just give “Ones Who Fly Twos Who Die” another listen; though less of a full-fledged manic attack than “YAA,” the tune features the same “tribal” tympani sound and choral vocals. Both tunes seem to reveal a range of influences, from Animal Collective’s Water Curses EP to fellow-Aussie Xavier Rudd to, of all things, Chumbawumba (yeah, I went there… bet you didn’t see that one coming).

In short, there are continuities that shouldn’t be overlooked. And frankly, what Boulet is doing is technically more interesting than before. “YAA” contains atmosphere and confusion, and it brings to the listener an almost cinematic feeling of being chased through the forest. Some may lament the loss of the more personal voice that showed on the self-titled album, but I, for one, look forward to the next full-length release to see what the dizzying swirl of energy unveiled here yields.

The Morning Benders @ Webster Hall, NYC – November 18, 2010


The Morning Benders are a band I first encountered at The Market Place Hotel (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn supporting Surfer Blood (also that evening playing alongside bands such as Grooms, Turbo Fruits, and Beach Fossils) and I’ll admit at first I wasn’t impressed, but there was a certain charm their stage presence put out that has stuck with me. The band not only seemed incredibly young but ripe for the journey most aspiring musicians cannot even comprehend, fast forward to where we are today, the bands sophomore record Big Echo is destined to make many top 10 list, they have already supported Ra Ra Riot, White Rabbits, MGMT, Yeasayer, and The Black Keys, and after all of that the band have set out on their first headlining tour. Not bad for the four little guys who played Market Hotel earlier this year.

The bands performance really surprised me. Its unbelievable how much a band can change in the span of a year but The Morning Benders make it a feat to show that they’ve been doing nothing but learning. Chris Chu fronts the band with a relaxed talent but isn’t afraid to get into his tunes, while his brother Jon Chu backs him up with a rhythm guitar which could be named precision. After the third track Chris Chu proclaimed “Earlier this year we released an album called Big Echo! We’re going to play a lot of tracks from it to thank all of you for the year we had!” I was lucky enough to capture their show at Webster Hall (along with photos of opening act Twin Sister).

Photos from the show can be viewed here.