Modern Mystery’s Holiday Party Part One

Welcome friends! Come out of the cold and be intrigued once again this year by our Modern Mystery Holiday Party! This year we’re doing things a bit different. Posting several bands and artists at once for maximum, er, readage. That isn’t a word, we know, but we’ve been trying to pass ‘Radtacular’ as one for about a year now in hopes that it takes off. Maybe it will. Sigh.

Enjoy the first round of our Holiday Party. You never know who will drop in, and sometimes, neither do we!

Charlie Brand- The Miniature Tigers

Top 10 Albums of 2009:

Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
Dirty Projectors – Bitte Orca
Alvin Band – Mantis Preying
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
Neon Indian – Psychic Chasms
Animal Collective – Fall Be Kind EP
Micachu – Jewelry
Peter, Bjorn & John – Living Thing

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was touring for the first time. It’s been a life changing experience.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

The thing I love most about the holidays is the overall smell in the air. I guess you could even classify it as a vibe more than a smell. Very warm and cozy.

Alex Gerber- The Miniature Tigers

Top 2 of 2009:

Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear
Curse Your Branches by David Bazan
Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

Craziest thing to happen is that I joined Miniature Tigers.

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was touring for the first time. It’s been a life changing experience.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

What I love most about the holidays is family, warmth and love.

Will Currie-Will Currie and the Country French
 
Top 10 Albums of 2009:
 
Dan Mangan – Nice, Nice, Very Nice
Said The Whale – Islands Disappear
Arkells – Jackson Square
Wilco – Wilco (The Album)
Patrick Watson – Wooden Arms
Zeus – Sounds Like Zeus EP
Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus
Julian Casablancas – Phrazes For The Young
Hey Rosetta! – Into Your Lungs
Joel Plaskett & The Emergency – Three

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to me this year was probably the time that my girlfriend and I attempted to cross into the US without proper ID. We were just going into the states to buy some breakfast cereal that they no longer sell in Canada, i.e. Trix and Coco Pebbles, and we were planning on being there no more than half an hour. We told the border guard that and said “if you don’t let us in, it’s no big deal, we’ll just go another time.” and he just kept getting more and more mad, as if our nonchalance was offending him. Anyway, in the end Myself, my lovely girlfriend, and her Toyota Tercel were allowed to cross but we were marked as “Non-compliant” at the border, whatever that means. Sounds like we were bein tough. We crossed back into Canada a bit later. the Canadian Guard said “Whatcha get?” We said “Cereal!” He said “Neat!” and we went back to our lovely country. It was then that I thought “Whoa, that was crazy. The craziest thing that’s happened to me this year? Perhaps.”

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

What I love the most about the holidays is walking downtown Toronto and seeing everything lit up and everybody going crazy shopping in the evening and stuff like that. It makes me feel like I’m in a movie or something. Basically Yonge St. from Dundas down to Queen St. That’s all prime Christmas movie atmosphere. Also, the World Jr Hockey Tournament is an amazing part of the holidays. If you’re a Canadian it’s awesome, others may be disappointed though.
Ahmed Gallab-Sinkane, Caribou, Yeasayer
 
Favorite Record of 2009:
Sa-Ra Creative Partners are a group composed of Om’Mas Keith, Taz Arnold, and Shafiq Husayn. Their 2009 release “Nuclear Evolution: The Age of Love” is the the future of music as we know it.

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

– Playing in Caribou Vibration Ensemble with Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra
– Listening to Marshall Allen tell me about the Sun Ra Arkestra dancing on the Sphinx in Egypt.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Well, being Sudanese and growing up in The U.S. I have become very confused about the holiday season. My family doesn’t really celebrate the American holidays. I mean, we used to get a Christmas tree and make our parents buy us stuff. But we always picked out exactly what we wanted and wrapped the gifts ourselves. There wasn’t ever a surprise element involved. I guess we never really got the whole concept in the first place.

Anyway, I like hanging out my with my mom and dad a lot. Lately I’ve been having a lot of girl problems so I talk to them about it. The conversations usually go like this like this:

Me: Hey guys, I’m really down. I want a girlfriend
Mom: Get a job
Dad: Get a haircut

Playtime #2: The Miniature Tigers

The Miniature Tigers are no stranger to appearing on Modern Mystery. Recently the band did us the honor of performing a few songs at the 1st Park in lower Manhattan. The band manages to make their already perfect songs, outstanding with the acoustic, stripped down vibe. Is it too early to claim our favorite Playtime session of all time yet? Sit back, admire the giant golden frog, and enjoy!

Watch The Miniature Tigers perform “Dino Damage” and “Tell it to the Volcano”

The Miniature Tigers “Tell it to the Volcano” from melissa anne on Vimeo.

Alvin Band Releases ‘Mantis Preying’

Rick  Schaier is not only an amazing drummer and artist, but he is also an extremely talented singer and songwriter. Schaier who spends most of  his time playing drums in The Miniature Tigers has begun a new chapter in his book in the form of ‘Alvin Band.’ This week he released digitally, Mantis Preying that will be out in stores on September 22nd.

The record opens with the incredible track and first single, ‘Temple Pressure,’ which reflects Schaier’s amazing vocal abilities as he harmonizes with himself throughout the song. ‘Glowing Tree’ is a stellar track that blends a bit of 60’s vibe with an updated electronic sound that somehow is pulled off flawlessy.  ‘Billards,’ one of the most standout tunes on the album is reminiscent of Of Montreal era Satanic Panic in the Attic, though we must admit, Schaier manages to pull it off a little smoother.

Rick has also been taking his songs on the road recently, performing ‘Gazette Pitch’ live at Miniature Tigers show. This is one performance we can’t wait to see! Mantis Preying is sure to hit many top 10 lists this year. Alvin Band has our vote!

Check out Alvin Band’s video for ‘Temple Pressure’ HERE

Miniature Tigers Announce New Tour Dates, Release New Songs

Ah, summer is actually almost over and we’re already thinking about the fall a bit. What better way to start off the season with a few concert dates with one of our favorite new bands, The Miniature Tigers. The boys will be hitting the road again starting on September 8th with indie band Fun. Jump on these tickets fast as the shows are selling out quickly!

In other news, Charlie Brand has been posting some B-Sides from ‘Tell It To The Volcano’ on his twitter. Wow, can these guys possibly get any better?

Give these new tracks a listen ‘Roaring Twenties’ and ‘River of Blood’

Sep 8 2009 8:00P
 Kilby Court w/Fun Salt Lake City, Utah

Sep 9 2009 8:00P
 Club 156 @ U of Colorado Boulder w/Fun Boulder, Colorado

Sep 11 2009 8:00P
 The Shelter w/Fun Detroit, Michigan

Sep 12 2009 8:00P
 The Intersection w/Fun Grand Rapids, Michigan

Sep 13 2009 8:00P
 Club @ Water St. Music Hall w/Fun Rochester, New York

Sep 15 2009 8:00P
 North Star Bar w/Fun Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sep 16 2009 8:00P
 Great Scott w/Fun Boston, Massachusetts

Sep 17 2009 8:00P
 Mercury Lounge w/Fun New York, New York

Sep 18 2009 8:00P
 Jammin’ Java w/Fun Vienna, Virginia

Sep 20 2009 8:00P
 The Drunken Unicorn w/Fun Atlanta, Georgia

Sep 22 2009 8:00P
 Rocketown w/Fun Nashville, Tennessee

Sep 23 2009 8:00P
 The Firebird w/Fun St. Louis, Missouri

Sep 24 2009 8:00P
 Schubas Tavern w/Fun Chicago, Illinois

Sep 25 2009 8:00P
 Triple Rock Social Club w/Fun Minneapolis, Minnesota

Like or Like Like Fridays: Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band

Yes I know it is a Saturday, but lets pretend it is a Friday for now! This is a new column for the blog featuring the very talented Danielle Quebrado! It will give you the scoop on all the up and coming indie bands, and also the ones that have been around for a bit but you’ve been missing out on. Enjoy!

The gang of five, originating from Seattle, has come a long way from the rambunctious days of messing around with their instruments and blindly experimenting in attempts to discover their own sound. Rocky in some rounds, yes, but they are regally maturing with their Thin Lizzy similarities and while simultaneously retaining their uniqueness. The group produces alarming music. Upon listening, be prepared to sharpen up your reflexes as the striking and sudden tempos push you along their songs in a whip-like motion. The beats are impulsive and the rhythm is playful. Indeed, the songs are catchy and their performances are equally appealing. I caught up with these guys and gal on their last tour with Bishop Allen and The Miniature Tigers and they surprised the entire crowd. Like a typical band they have the usual the instruments such as guitar, drums, etc. Unlike an ordinary band, the group uses Jumbo Jingle Sticks which are used to emphasize the alarming beats. Keyboardist Traci Verdoes controls the two large sticks by violently thrusting them against the floor on every down beat, demanding your attention with the shock of each collision. A sight to see, the quintet aims to please the visual senses by covering themselves from head to toe in matching frocks defined by gold lining and floral designs. Like their sound, their history is one of a kind. You could say they are like “The Partridge Family” but with a twist. Singer/guitarist Benjamin Verdoes is happily married to Traci Verdoes, keyboardist and multi-percussion guru. Here’s the twist: the blond-haired couple have since come to adopt the drummer, 14 year-old Marshall Verdoes as their legal son, who previously was Benjamin’s adopted brother. The decision to start the group came after Benjamin promised young Marshall that they would start one, only if the youngster became competent in his drumming. Soon, Marshall became skilled and the band was born. In addition to this familial core are fellow friends: Matthew Dammer on guitar and Jared Price on bass. I thrive on bands such as this; who are musically capable and produce waves of energy on stage. Give them a try, Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band is sure to tickle of your eager senses and leave you plenty satisfied.

Check out their MySpace for their music and current tour dates.

Recommended singles: “Cheer for Fate” “En Fuego” “Going On A Hunt”

Watch the video for ‘Going on a Hunt’

The Morning Benders Prep New Album

Some lovely news this week from camp Morning Benders. The band is set to release their second full length titled ‘Big Echo.’  The album was recorded after the brief winter tour this year with Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor. ‘Wow’ to say the least. Though there is no official release date for the record, we are sure it will be out on +1 Records by the end of the year, by early next year (according to singer Chris Chu). The Morning Benders are also taking their show on the road for the first time to Europe this summer along with a handful of shows in the West Coast (even one with Beach House). The band will be playing a few festivals in the UK with Lily Allen, Wilco and Grizzly Bear, a lineup not to be missed!

Check out The Morning Benders track titled ‘Hand Me Downs’  on their MYSPACE

Tour Dates:

UK/Europe Dates:
Aug 11 2009   8:00P
Dublin Castle 
London

Aug 12 2009  8:00P
Old Blue Last 
London

Aug 13 2009  8:00P
The Boogaloo 
London

Aug 14 2009  12:00P
Way Out West 
Göteborg, Sweden
http://www.wayoutwest.se/

Aug 15 2009  12:00P
Oya Festival (John Dee) 
Oslo, Norway
http://oyafestivalen.com/

Aug 30 2009  12:00P
SF Outside Lands 
San Francisco, CA

Sep 19 2009  8:00P
MusicfestNW Berbati’s Pan (w/ Beach House!) 
Portland, Oregon