How did you initially come up with your band’s name?
Not to going to go into detail, but my life has never been busier. Still, I decided this year I would let it affect my CMJ time as little as possible. Sure, for these first few days, that means no day parties for me, but hey, there’s plenty for me to see at night. So here’s a little run through of last night:
1. Pujol at Santos Party House
After almost going in the wrong entrance–two shows were happening at the same time–I make it inside Santos while the members of the band are finishing up their mic checks. Not to be stereotypical but Pujol‘s garage rock is not necessarily the type of music you’d necessarily expect to hear out of Nashville, TN. The club was at that point where there are quite a few people around but it’s not so full that you are squished into everyone so the vibe was welcoming but it was maybe still a bit early for a rager. Nonetheless, Pujol brought it: the bass made the ground under my feet shake and I caught myself checking if someone was texting me because the waves of sound were making my jacket vibrate. Cute note: Daniel Pujol ended the set mentioning that it was his sister’s birthday. It didn’t seem like she was in the audience but if I had had that set dedicated to me, I’d be pretty happy.
Next stop was Pianos. On the train over, I saw a contestant from the dance competition So You Think You Can Dance. It felt like an odd intrusion of the mainstream into my evening of indie takeover.
2. Cloud Nothings and Exitmusic at Pianos
Going from Pujol to Cloud Nothings (if you subtract the subway ride from Santos to Pianos) made for a fairly seamless transition, although the Cleveland outfit could have used the clarity of sound Pujol enjoyed at Santos. Needless to say, my ears might not really ever function the same again but that didn’t ruin their performance per se. In fact, there was something kind of pleasant in the way the songs sounded and the flow of the band’s set. From one track to the next, I felt like I was going back through all the various stages of adolescence: the pop-punk “rebel” phase, followed by the angsty, more “hard rock” one and the more exploratory one, represented by more experimental and noisy sounds. Since these days I live running from place to place without much breathing time, that little bit of nostalgic energy was pretty comforting. But next time, I’ll be careful not to stay as close to the speakers.
The second Exitmusic started playing, the pace changed immediately. While the music I’d heard until then was immediate and very raw, this was carefully calculated and orchestrated. It was obvious from the moment the band stepped on stage; their polished appearance was a long way away from the torn t-shirts and plain old jeans of the previous bands. In some way, it was almost a little intimidating to see how attractive everyone was in the band but bit by bit, that feeling faded away as the music and Aleksa Palladino’s haunting vocals shrouded the room. As the set built up, it was like we were all suspended mid-air, as if carried by the lofty guitars. And then Cold War Kids’ “Hang Me Up To Dry” started playing as they took off their instruments and it was back to reality where class the next day meant no more shows for that night.
The beauty of CMJ is just the astounding amount of bands that end up playing there. The Norwegians from Casiokids were not about to miss the party and we were not about to miss out on the chance of chatting with them while they were here, especially since their newest album, Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen, just came out on Polyvinyl! We spoke to two members of the band, Ketil Kinden Endresen and Omar Johnsen, in a hallway at Pianos last night and here’s how it went!
Modern Mystery: How many times have you been part of the CMJ line-up? How do you like it?
Ketil Kinden Endresen: This is our second time here, we last came in 2008. It was also our first show in New York, at Cake Shop. But we’ve been in New York many times since then. I think this is our 10th mini tour in the U.S. Playing in New York is definitely one of my favourites.
Omar Johnsen: It’s nice when we’re playing things like CMJ or South by South West, you can stay in one town too. It’s so much easier.
KKE: It gives you time to enjoy the city as well.
MM: So where do you like to hang out in New York?
KKE: We spend a lot of time in Williamsburg. We try to go see museums, go to Central Park and roam around Manhattan.
MM: So your songs are in Norwegian, which can’t be easy for everyone to pronounce. Which place had the oddest pronunciation of Norwegian?
KKE: Probably Russia.
OJ: In a way it was the best and the worst [laughs]. They were very into it but it did not sound like Norwegian!
KKE: Still it was pretty special, they were very passionate. But mostly outside of Scandinavia, there is more dancing than singing along. In Scandinavia, they sing more.
MM: What is your biggest musical influence?
OJ: It’s hard to pin down because everyone is from different places. There is some overlap but I think it comes out through our music. It’s like a pot of stew.
KKE: Well, there is this Swedish band called Bobhund that we all like. There’s also electronic pop like New Order, Kraftwerk, Cornelius…
OJ: I guess also krautrock like Neu… Everyone likes these bands at least [laughs].
MM: Anyone you’re excited to see here at CMJ this year?
KKE: I haven’t really looked at the program to be honest but generally I like to rely on luck. Like tonight we got here and then went upstairs and realized our friend was playing!
MM: So your new album, Aabenbaringen Over Aaskammen, just came out. How would you describe to someone who’s never heard your music?
KKE: It was inspired by the story of Dr. Tarzan Monsoon and his discovery of a secret rainforest. It’s quite varied and with electro and dance rhythms. Our stories are in Norwegian and we use a lot of harmonies in our vocals.
OJ: It was also made differently from our past albums. Before, the albums were more like compilations of singles. It’s quite diverse but it’s still a sound that sounds like us. It’s also better produced; we have our own studio so over the years, we’ve learned more and got better.
MM: I hear you’re going to Japan next month! What are you most excited about?
KKE: Yes, on November 6th! I’m excited about the food. Japanese food has to be my favourite food in the world.
OJ: I want to discover the culture, I find it very inspiring. Maybe it’s because I’m half-asian so I have a special attraction.
MM: Do you know when you’ll be back in New York after CMJ?
KKE: Not yet. But we’ll definitely be back sometime in the spring.
Catch Casiokids during the rest of CMJ here:
21.10.11: Spike Hill
22.10.11: AAM Inc party 14:30 @ Knitting Factory
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin can write a good song but they can also pull a good stunt, as shown in their latest video “Critical Drain,” which just premiered on the MTVu website. The video, directed by the band’s friend Brook Linder and filmed in the band’s hometown, features some standard performance shots but mostly shows the band members dragged around on the ground. They even get splashed with paint in the process! Although they did their own stunts and didn’t get hurt, I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home. Watch the video HERE.
And because the band just released, via Polyvinyl, the album Tape Club, which compiles all the best of what they’ve discarded over the years, they’re also touring! Are they coming near you? Check it out below.
Here are their upcoming tour dates:
9/24 – Polyvinyl’s 15 Year Anniversary @ Pygmalion Festival, CHAMPAIGN, IL w/ Braid, Deerhoof, Japandroids, and more
10/26 – Firehouse Pizza & Pub, NORMAL, IL
10/27 – MOTR, CINCINNATI, OH
10/28 – The Current, RICHMOND, VA
10/29 – Tremont Music Hall, CHARLOTTE, NC
10/30 – Local 506, CHAPEL HILL, NC
10/31 – The End, NASHVILLE, TN
11/04 – Firebird, ST. LOUIS, MO
11/05 – Mojo’s, COLUMBIA, MO
11/30 – Hi Dive, DENVER, CO
12/1 – Urban Lounge, SALT LAKE CITY, UT
12/2 – Neurolux, BOISE, ID
12/3 – Tractor Tavern, SEATTLE, WA
12/5 – Biltmore Cabaret, VANCOUVER, CANADA
12/6 – Mississippi Studios, PORTLAND, OR
12/8 – Hotel Utah, SAN FRANCISCO, CA
12/9 – Bootleg Theater, LOS ANGELES, CA
12/10 – Soda Bar, SAN DIEGO, CA
Brad Oberhofer is on a roll. Recently signed with Glassnote Records, Oberhofer will be releasing their debut album in the early months of next year. While we wait for that, he just premiered on Pitchfork the single “Gotta Go,” which will be released through White Iris and will come out physically on October 4th. You can get “Gotta Go” HERE.
On top of that, the band will be joining Les Savy Fav on stage on September 6th at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg in New York after a year touring with bands like Twin Sister, Sleigh Bells, Neon Indian and Bear In Heaven. Needless to say, the Tacoma native has the indie music scene at his feet.
Detroit’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. may have just finished a national headlining tour supporting their debut album, It’s A Corporate World, but they’re not done touring yet. They’re gearing up for another trip on the road starting on August 5th through September. During that time, they’ll be appearing at music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, and Philadelphia’s Popped! Festival as well.
Here are their upcoming tour dates:
9/12 – Las Vegas, NV – Book & Stage at Cosmopolitan
9/13 – Las Vegas, NV – Book & Stage at Cosmopolitan
9/14 – Las Vegas, NV – Book & Stage at Cosmopolitan
9/18 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
9/20 – Atlanta, GA – Drunken Unicorn
9/21 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
9/22 – Washington, D.C. – The Red Palace
9/23 – Philadelphia, PA – Popped! Festival
9/24 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom