What do you get when you mix Euro-electro pop, punk, and the inevitable angst and energy of two teenagers? You get Carbon Airways.
I first heard Carbon Airways when I got an email from their label, Bad Life, about the release of their Razor Edge EP. I was completely enthralled by the French teenage brother and sister combo of Enguérand and Éléonore Fernese. The frenetic energy bleeds through your speakers and permeates your mind. I can imagine that seeing this act live would be a psyche altering event.
This “preview” video below of “Atomic Is In My Mind” showcases exactly what I’m talking about.
Michael Weybret recut his short film “An Early Autumn’s Hope” into a music video for the song that helped inspire the story. Just so happens to be “Hold Me Closer” by Froglix favourite Small City Calling. Check out the video below.
To end Australia Week let us ask a question. Where would the world be without the music coming from Down Under? Consider the cultural impact made by these bands and artists: AC/DC, Midnight Oil, INXS, The Vines, Hoodoo Gurus, The Church, Natalie Imbruglia, Nick Cave, Counting Crows and so so many others. And don’t deny the guilty pleasures of The Bee Gees, Savage Garden and Air Supply. You know you sing along at the top of your lungs to “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All” when you’re alone in the car.
Australia’s most important export may be its culture. And in truth, wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all had a little Aussie in us?
For the finale of Australia Week let’s do a flashback to one of my all-time favourite bands from the Land of Oz, Men At Work. Can’t you hear the thunder?
So far Australia Week has taken us to Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane. And today our tour of Australia takes us to Melbourne. We’ve covered goodbyemotel a couple of times on here already. And they continue to impress. Check out the video for “Graham Calender”. This was the first single released off their latest EP released in September 2012 entitled People.
Projects akin to Sounds Like Brisbane provide an invaluable service to the indie music lover. It gives an opportunity to check out a bunch of pre-vetted bands quickly and at no risk. Who wants to lay down hard cash on some obscure band you’ve never heard before? For me, a similar project in 2005 called the Labrador Summer Sampler from Labrador Records totally opened my ears to a whole new world of music. I found bands I still follow today. SLB has done the same thing.
So, what exactly does Brisbane sound like? If you judge by the electic mix of artists on the Sounds Like Brisbane sampler…well, Brisbane sounds like anything the hell you want it to. Punk, folk, pop, rock, rap, whatever. From SLB Froglix has made mention, reviewed or played DZ Deathrays, I Heart Hiroshima, The Medics, Carry Nation, Texas Tea, Undead Apes, and more.
Today I introduce Regurgitator. This is not my usual cup of tea; but, their difference to what we’ve covered on here before is precisely what showcases the musical diversity of this city. And besides, I find the video for “All Fake Everything” incredibly amusing.
On the first day of Australia Week we are looking back to two bands that made their appearances in our inaugural year of 2009. And unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything from either of these guys since. Black Knight and Highway Blonde (formerly Smart Artists) are both solidly in the rock genre. Highway Blonde is a bit more modern rock while Black Knight is a bit more on the post-punk side of things. Over the years I’ve found myself humming a tune or two from these guys. It’s always a testament to me whether a band is good or not if one of their songs can find their way into your head just out of the blue.
So, without anything new since 2009 from either, check out a couple of videos from their glorious pasts….
A few months ago I came across “Raconte-Moi Une Historie” from M83 and at the time I thought this was a perfect soundtrack for Froglix Radio! Then a few weeks ago I came across this apropos slideshow to accompany the song. Too good to not share.
By the way, if you aren’t familiar with M83, perhaps you should know more about this musical project led by Anthony Gonzalez. Hailing from the coastal town of Antibes France, their better known tracks include “Midnight City” and “We Own The Sky”. And perhaps my favourite is “Reunion”. The opening has a bit of a nostalgic feeling to it… maybe Howard Jones-ish? There’s probably a better match but that’s what came to mind first. Either way, if you like the ethereal side of music then you’ll enjoy the lush synth strings and layered textures offered by M83.
Arguably, one of the most underrated alt-rock bands of the 80’s & 90’s, The Smithereens, to this day goes down as one of my all-time favs as I quite literally have every album and know most every song, even the deep tracks, by heart. So, naturally, when they came to the Northern Virginia’s State Theatre a while back I just had to go. Some may say that the band has long since passed their prime…and they’d be right. However, these cats still rock out loud. They are not even the least bit pretentious. In fact, they are far from it. While most of the alt-rock veterans would rather play their “brand new” stuff (that nobody cares about) the Smithereens plastered the filled to capacity crowd with their most notable tracks from every album in their arsenal. It was epic.
I was fortunate enough to actually meet and hang out with the band a little bit after the show (that’s me with drummer Dennis Diken) and they were the epitome of cool. In fact, I talked with bassist Severo “The Thrilla” Jornacion about playing the bass line to “Blood and Roses” featured above. His response? “The first time I played it I thought I my fingers would bleed…it is such an honor to play that song.” With all the nit-picking in the music industry today it’s somewhat refreshing to hear someone give deference to their predecessor, in this case, former bassist Mike Mesaros.
We could have picked any number of tunes from The Smithereens catalog…“A Girl Like You” or “Only A Memory” would have been the more than obvious choices…but “Blood and Roses” was one of the tunes that was instrumental in my alt-rock conversion. Thusly, I pay homage to the song and the band today on the Friday Flashback. Enjoy my friends
Check out all the stuff by The Smithereens on [itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/the-smithereens/id529246?uo=4″ title=”Smithereens on iTunes”] !
The very first line from the bio on their own web sites goes, “Out Like Pluto is not here to revolutionize music, but they do want to make you dance.” And to that I say, “Thank you!” We all know fun music when we hear it. We want to sing along to our music. We want to tap our feet. We DO NOT want to have to think about it to appreciate it. With a couple years of writing music reviews under my belt, I’ve decided that whenever somebody describes their music as “experimental” what they mean to say is, “Here is some crap for you to waste five minutes of your life listening to.” No thank you! Out Like Pluto is NOT experimental. As they self-describe themselves, they deliver on the tried-and-true. It’s foot-tapping, catchy, but super strong alt-rock. From watching some clips on YouTube of them performing live, you can tell they are just having fun, and it’s contagious. And there is nothing wrong with music just being fun. In fact, it’s what makes me like these guys so much.
The latest album Take Cover came out last January from this Seattle five-piece. First formed by Andy (drums) and Kari (vox), the Out Like Pluto lineup is flushed out with Mike and Ben (guitar) and Jeremy (bass). The first single off the album, “Bridge”, is featured in the video above. My other favorites include “Placebo (Turn Me On)” and “Starring John Stamos”. “Papercut” also stands out as it showcases a softer side of Kari’s voice accompanied by strings, and in the process shows just how strong her singing really is. Every track on the album will make you feel good though. So, yeah, it’s nothing earth-shattering, and it’s very nostalgic of alt-rock from the 90’s…. but we all love the alt-rock from the 90’s, and besides, feeling good is exactly what I want in 2012.
I usually like to compare a band to other, often better known, bands. Doing so for Circle doesn’t seem fair though. Perhaps you will catch a glimpse of something like Death Cab For Cutie in a track or two, then others are reminiscent of Swedish bands The Legends or Acid House Kings. Sometimes the taste was something a bit like The Cocteau Twins. But Circle isn’t really any of those other bands. What they are is yet another brilliant alternative band from Australia delivering some of the best alternative/electro pop/indie rock (or whatever you want to call it) music I’ve heard in awhile. Seriously, what’s in the water there?
Although the band has been playing in some form since 2005, The Middle is first studio album from Circle. The wait is worth it though because Radi Safi, Dan Shaw, and Rebecca Shave surely have created a masterpiece here. It’s not often I listen to a brand new album on my morning commute and then find myself throughout the day singing to myself multiple tunes off of it. The album really kicks off, for me, with track two’s “Fashion Me a Drum”. The pulsating beating intro, layered a moment later with synth chords, then finally the slightly airy but understated Radi vocals draw you into the song immediately. The sucking in continues when Rebecca joins in on the chorus, but the coup de grâce is when Rebecca’s solo kicks in. When I find myself singing along “I will follow the beat, I will follow the drum, I will follow the sound… the sound that made me love you”, I really really mean it.
Other tracks along the lines of “Fashion Me A Drum” are “Half Race Girls” and “Brothers”. Both are incredibly accessible, having all the hooks you’d ever want and will have you singing along in no time at all. (I hear my 4 year old son singing the melody of the “ooooh ooooh ooooh”s from “Half Race Girls” all the time.) The tracks “Gorgeous”, “All The People”, and “Hold” are what gave me the glimpses of The Sundays and The Cocteau Twins I mentioned earlier. Ephemeral, melodic, hypnotic…brilliant.
P.S. Tell me this video isn’t the most hipster thing you’ve ever seen…