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a little bit of BK in VA

Posts made in February 7th, 2008

HOT CHIP-“Made in the Dark”

Yes, Hot Chip’s “Made in the Dark” is on EMI, and I don’t generally post on major label outings. These days, being a major label seems to mean only that you’re willing to sue anyone for anything rather than change your business plan. But I must give credit where it’s due, and it’s due here. The labels took somewhat of a risk signing such an odd and clearly indie-sounding band. “The Warning” was quite good, and this new one is pretty much the same. If you liked the first two, you’ll like this one. Their sound has become more polished, but the themes are the same. Lots of neurotic bop, electronic bounce, and generally peppy dance music.

The album begins with “Out At The Pictures,” winding an electronic crank slowly, faster, faster, introducing the hook, stopping, starting, and then kicking in. It’s an excitement builder, a lead track, and it’s only the intro. After that comes “Shake a Fist,” which is the clear pick for first single. It’s got ridiculous lyrics, but the layered beats and pseudo-rap are everything that LCD Soundsystem’s last album should have been: Fun, silly, entrancing. It almost sounds like a mash up.

Take “Ready for the Floor,” a clubbing love song that sounds like an updated version of Blondie’s Tide is High disco work. This may be my favorite cut on the album. In fact, much of this record reminds me of Beats International’s first, great record, which, if it had been released today (in the days of the internet blogomonster), would have been a certified hype machine hit. And there’s the mechanical “Bendable Poseable,” which makes your body wanna pop, roll, and break.

The slow songs work, too, but not quite as well. “In the Privacy of Our Love” is pleasant, but it’s hard to think of it as more than background music. And some songs are so silly they descend to the intolerable (“Wrestlers,” which is actually about pro-wresting). But those are the few missteps on this otherwise highly enjoyable record.

From the album:

Bendable Posable

Remixes from the album:

Ready for the Floor (Soulwax Dub)

Ready For The Floor (Peter Dragontail Remix)

Ready For The Floor (Jesse Rose Remix)

Not from the album:

Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye cover)

Graceland (Paul Simon cover)

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JON McKIEL-“The Nature of Things”

Wednesday Records is pulling out all the stops to promote Canadian Jon McKiel’s new record, The Nature of Things, offering an eMusic pre-release (this week) and allowing listeners to stream the whole thing for free at Rhapsody next week. Why so much hype?

Maybe it’s because they’ve got a winner here. His music is on the dark side of shoegazer, featuring moody hooks and introspective themes. It’s reasonably accessible, but doesn’t bend over too far to grab your ears: There’s catchy stuff here, but most of it will make you concentrate a little too hard for me to call it indie pop. But I’d definitely call it indie. And I’d definitely call it worth a listen, too.

For fans of: The Stills, The Slip, The Diggs, Andrew Bird.

War on You

ON TOUR:

February 7 2008 – 8:00P, Pat’s Place, Antigonish, NS
February 8 2008 – 10:00P, ECMA Showcase, Fredericton, NB
February 9 2008 – 2:00P, Ski Ben Eoin, Sydney, NS
February 16 2008 – 8:00P, Rocky Saureen, Hamilton, ON
February 17 2008 – 8:00P, The Boat (solo show), Toronto, ON
February 18 2008 – 8:00P, The Boat (full band), Toronto, ON
February 19 2008 – 10:00P, The Albion, Guelph, ON
February 20 2008 – 8:00P, Trepid House, Waterloo, ON

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