Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Broken Dreams

Today I am going to talk about a band formed in North Texas who now reside in Brooklyn, NY that go by the name of Calla. The band met in Texas and played under the name The Factory Press. Moving to New York and splitting up in 1997 the band came back together as Calla and recorded a demo which was released in 1999. Their live shows influenced their sound a lot as they were able to take the experimentation and translate it to record. They have 5 studio albums including Calla, Scavengers, Televise, Collisions and Strength In Numbers. A very unique, sparse sound that keeps the band from sounding like anybody else. Take a glimpse:

"Fear of Fireflies"




"It Dawned On Me"



Monday, October 18, 2010

The Boy With The Arab Strap

A group that was very prominent in the Scottish music scene over the years was Arab Strap. Consisting of Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton they formed the band after growing up in Falkirk and sharing a mutual love of Smog and Will Oldham (Palace Brothers). Belle and Sebastian even named their album Boy With The Arab Strap after the group. Aidan Moffat's lyrics are often in reference to nights of drinking, drugs, sex and general debauchery. They released 10 albums in their 10 years together including The Weekend Never Starts Round Here, Philophobia, Elephant Shoe, The Red Thread, Monday At The Hug & Pint and The Last Romance, along with 3 live CD's. Both members have gone onto successful solo releases after breaking up Arab Strap in 2006 with Malcolm Middleton going under his own name while Aidan Moffat first chose Lucky Pierre then Aidan Moffat & The Best-Of's. Slip into something more comfortable:

"The First Big Weekend"

"Here We Go"

"(Afternoon) Soaps"

"Love Detective"


"The Shy Retirer"

"Dream Sequence"


"There Is No Ending"

Overall a great band to listen to for a variety of emotions whether wanting to celebrate or drown your sorrows...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take The Long Road

Another band in the series this week is The Music from Leeds who have been around for some time. You might remember them from their big hit "Take The Long Road And Walk It" in 2001 that garnered them a lot of attention from the music press. 2002 saw them release their self titled debut album and in 2004 they released their follow up album, Welcome To The North. They toured extensively for both albums and then came a lull which was later explained by lead singer Robert Harvey on the bands website as being due to drugs "the addiction began to sit into its groove. At first it was a joy then later became a habit and a way of escaping". He gave up drugs but then turned to alcohol stating "Drinking became the place to hide. I'd have a bottle of wine before 7pm, then go out and make a fool of myself. The next day was always panic and more questions it took a close friend to say to me 'Robert, you are depressed'". He sought help and the band returned in 2008 with the album Strength In Numbers. A distinctive sound and voice that they will continue to carry onto album number 4 which is due out next year. Welcome to The Music:

"Take The Long Road And Walk It"

"The People"


"The Truth Is No Words"

"Welcome To The North"

"Freedom Fighters"


"Bleed From Within"

"Strength In Numbers"

"The Spike"

Let the music speak to you...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Only Cure Is More Cowbell

A band that came and went almost without notice was The Fever from New York. Most of the bands seem to have a NY connection as this may be the epicenter of the scene. The Fever were formed by Geremy Jasper and Chris Sanchez. Geremy was also responsible for all the artwork that appeared on the band's CD's. They released 2 full length albums Red Bedroom and In The City Of Sleep before disbanding in 2006. A punky, brash, dancey sound that definitely made you move your feet. Sadly we didn't get to hear more from them but hopefully the members will continue to put out great music in one way or another. Get on down:

"Gray Ghost"


"Waiting For The Centipede"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Save Our City

Another band in this week's focus on dance oriented bands is Radio 4. Now not to say that any of these bands are without their rock n roll roots but there's just an element of dance to their music. They are from Brooklyn and formed in 1999 with originally 3 members but expanded to a five piece later on. Their sound is a mix of punk/dance and the band cites Gang of Four & Primal Scream as some of their influences. They have released 4 albums to date including The New Song & Dance, Gotham, Stealing of a Nation and Enemies Like This. Their last album was released in 2006 but the band was quiet for some time. There was a one off download of new song "Quit Hiding" put out last year to precede their online only EP. Move along to the new song & dance:

"Dance To The Underground"

"Party Crashers"

"State Of Alert"

"Enemies Like This"

"Too Much To Ask For"

"Packing Things Up On The Scene"

"As Far As The Eye Can See"

There's 2 more bands that I will talk about in this series but I am sure I will come back to more in the future. Until then let's dance...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dance To The Underground

Today's band on the topic of bands with a dance oriented sound is The Sunshine Underground from Leeds, England. They have a sound that covers a variety of genres. They name is derived from a song on "Surrender" by The Chemical Brothers. They released their first album Raise The Alarm in 2006 and their newest album Nobody's Coming To Save You in 2010. This band makes it near impossible not to want to move to their music with catchy tunes like "Put You In Your Place" and "Spell It Out". Sounding like a mix between The Music and The Rapture they have carved out a huge following in the UK. Get on your dancing shoes:


"I Ain't Losing Any Sleep"

"Commercial Breakdown"

"What You Like"

"Put You In Your Place"

"Coming To Save You"

"Spell It Out"

Try putting them on before going out to get you pumped up or if you're just in the mood for something upbeat

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shake, Shake, Shake....

The first band in the next couple of posts focusing on bands with a dance oriented sound is The Rapture from New York City. Using a varied array of music to pull their sound from the band was something new when Echoes brought them to the attention of the music press and fans in 2003. When they first burst upon the music scene there were magazines calling them "nu-rave". Now with so many bands following in their footsteps they are now the "godfathers of nu-rave". Releasing their first album Mirror in 1999 then followed with Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks EP in 2001, Echoes in 2003 and Pieces of the People We Love in 2006. They haven't released a wealth of material but did release "No Sex For Ben" for the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack but that was only as teaser as no new material has been released since then. Matthew Safer (bassist) left the band in 2009 and there are reports saying the band has been in the studio recording music for their 4th album. Groove along to The Rapture:

"Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks"

"House Of Jealous Lovers"

"Sister Saviour"

"Get Myself Into It"

"Whoo!Alright, Yeah...Uh Huh"

"No Sex For Ben"