fun.‘s second album Some Nights will be released on Fueled By Ramen on February 21st. Until then, you can head over to iTunes and hear previews of each horribly butchered and overproduced song. Alright, I’ll retain my final judgement of the album for when I hear it in full, but I’ve already begun writing the negative review in my head. My skepticism about this record has always had more to do with production choices than a lack of confidence in the songs, and hearing the live versions proves this point. Until now, I’ve held off on listening to the new songs, as I prefer having a fresh listen of an album. But I’ve heard enough to solidify the disappointment, so I wanted to know what the songs sounded like minus the terrible production. Perhaps more frustratingly, they sound great, many of them right up there with the best fun./Format output. It’s just so tragic when production kills an album.
I’ve compiled live performances of the first nine songs off Some Nights–remaining tracks “Stars” and “Out on the Town” do not appear to have been performed live yet. If you’re a glutton for disappointment, listen to these before you listen to the final product.
1. Some Nights (Intro)
2. Some Nights
3. We Are Young
4. Carry On
5. It Gets Better
6. Why Am I The One
7. All Alone
8. All Alright
9. One Foot
This should also serve as a testament to how great this band is live. I’d very much recommend seeing them play instead of bothering with the new album.
Fun fact: The Minders’ Hooray for Tuesday was recorded at Pet Sounds the same time as In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. As such, it is also approaching its fourteenth anniversary.* Definitely worthy of a listen if you enjoy a good pop record.
*Jeff Mangum’s upcoming February 10th-11th shows at the 40 Watt will coincide with this anniversary, making the homecoming even more special.
In just less than a month, fun. will release their sophomore album Some Nights on their new label, Fueled By Ramen. I’ll reserve my judgement until I hear it (I remain skeptical), but in the meantime, here’s an old hometown set from Nate’s old band The Format. This is a rare soundboard recording from the band’s early days, shortly after the release of Interventions + Lullabies and on a stint opening for Yellowcard and Something Corporate. Ah, 00s pop-punk.
I’ve always liked what Nate has to say before “Give it Up”: “This next song’s about graduating from high school and kind of losing touch with people, which for the most part you should, ’cause high school’s kind of a waste.” A fitting theme for the year after I graduated from high school, and a fitting time to mention that my ten-year reunion is coming up this year. I have lost touch with all those people, with no regrets. College is another story. So, I don’t intend to go. I already see how much more successful those people are than myself on Facebook.
Enjoy the recording.
The Format – Live at Mesa Amphitheater – Mesa, AZ – 3/20/04
I’m still mad at Wye Oak. Wye, you ask? Well, I had planned to see them back in March at The Earl, but the gig was cancelled at the last minute. The reason was forgivable…I guess. (Jenn was sick.) But I still wish I could have seen them on their only scheduled headlining date in Georgia this year. (The opening slots for Okkervil River and Explosions in the Sky, respectively, were surely great too.)
Their record Civilian is one of my favorites of 2011. I like to think of them as a folky My Bloody Valentine, but with only two members (Andy Stack on drums and keyboard simultaneously, and Jenn Wasner on guitar and gorgeous vocals), they have to work a lot harder to create that level of noise in the live setting. And they pull it off with a surprising amount of grace.
1. The Alter
2. That I Do
4. My Neighbor
5. [banter 2]
6. [Emmylou - not posted]
7. My Creator
8. [banter 3]
9. Holy Holy
10. [banter 4]
12. [banter 5]
14. [banter 6]
15. Hot as Day
16. I Hope You Die
17. [encore break]
18. If Children Were Wishes
19. For Prayer
Couple things; I’ll go ahead and mention this first because I have to. Jeff Mangum recently announced his Winter 2012 tour dates, and as promised, this includes the 40 Watt here in Athens. He’ll be playing not just one but two nights! Also announced was an Atlanta date at the Variety Playhouse, so he’s finally giving his E6 hometown/state some love, which I’m ecstatic about. The fact that he’s still sticking to intimate venues, like clubs, midsize theatres, and churches is also pretty great, despite how hard that makes it to obtain tickets. (On that note, I had to say no to Radiohead at Philips Arena, which went on sale the same week–why the big corporate venues and $70 tickets? Of course, it still sold out quickly.)
I knew how fast Toronto sold out, so I had to be on it if I wanted the tickets. I didn’t want to risk depending on a website if I didn’t have to, so I scoped out Wuxtry on Friday morning, where tickets went on sale at noon. Pretty pleasant experience compared to fighting an error-laden website–I got in line at 11, talked to some other nice folks who were waiting, and I had tickets in my hand by 12:15:
So there’s that. Also, I think I’ve found my movie of the year: 50/50. I caught it at Ciné a couple weeks ago (it’s more mainstream than what they normally play), and it’s a fantastic movie that pretty much everyone should see. A lot about it has stuck with me, including the music. I found most of the songs on Spotify and made my own soundtrack, since an official soundtrack doesn’t exist…and I recommend you do the same, whether you’ve seen the movie or not. Here’s the soundtrack, from top to bottom:
1. Cut Copy – Where I’m Going
2. Jacuzzi Boys – Brick or Coconuts
3. The Walkmen – New Country
4. Radiohead – High and Dry
5. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes – Carries On
6. Bee Gees – To Love Somebody
7. The Aggrolites – Work to Do
8. autoKratz – Stay the Same
9. Diplomats of Solid Sound – Soul Connection
10. Shapes and Sizes – Too Late for Dancing
11. Gerry Rafferty – Days Gone Down
12. Roy Orbison – Crying
13. Liars – The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack
14. Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter
Don’t put “MP3″ in your post if you aren’t going to link to an MP3. Streams aren’t MP3s.
It’s becoming more and more evident that the 90s never really went anywhere. A lot of kids these days are still into the same bands I was into in middle school (to name a few: Green Day, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and even Third Eye Blind is making a resurgence despite the fact that they don’t do anything). Hip-hop has remained relatively unchanged since 1998. And several bands from that era who were absent for a while are returning to the scene. (I feel a Neutral Milk Hotel reunion is imminent.)
One of these is Mazzy Star, whose last album Among My Swan was released in 1996–just before my eighth-grade year, when I started actually paying attention to music. Admittedly then, I didn’t know them until much later. And it seems I was just in time, as they’ve just released two new songs with plans for a full album and tour.
Evidently, this isn’t going to be out until Halloween, which explains why I could only find streams. So I made my own MP3s. If you’re like me and you love it so much that you want to put it on your portable music device and listen to it all the time, here you go.
One more post today for good measure. I saw The Antlers play at the new Georgia Theatre about a month ago, and I have to mention what a beautiful place they’ve turned it into. Grand opening was back in July, but this was my first time going since before the fire, and I was very impressed. It looks and sounds fantastic. There’s enough room on the floor for a good crowd, and above that, they have a balcony with limited seating (stools). There are also other viewing areas throughout the theatre, and my favorite thing they’ve added is the rooftop bar, where you can eat and drink with most of downtown Athens below you. I believe they also have TVs up there, so you can still watch the show while you’re on the roof. During the day and late into the night (whether there’s a show or not), the rooftop stays open as a restaurant and bar.
Oh yeah, and they have great air conditioning. I was actually a bit cold, which I appreciated, because a good show will make you sweat. It’s a midsize venue, but larger than the 40 Watt, which means slightly bigger acts are coming to Athens, and I couldn’t be happier about it. (Except the dubstep…meh.)
Anyway, about The Antlers. Burst Apart is my favorite album of 2011, so I was very excited that they came to Athens. The crowd was disappointing, though–the floor was nowhere near close to being full. I blame the fact that they were playing Atlanta the next night. Your loss, Atliens who didn’t want to see this band at the best venue in the state.
Once again, YouTube user MetabolicalFor recorded the whole thing in “pristine HD.” He’s the same one who recorded the Bon Iver show in Atlanta a few months ago–the one that came out beautifully. Needless to say, if you have similar taste in music and see a lot of shows in the Atlanta area, watch his channel.
Here’s one of my favorite songs from Burst Apart, “No Widows.”
I saw this ad for CougarLife.com, and I knew the song sounded familiar. It didn’t take me long to figure it out, as Fantasies is one of my favorite albums from the past few years. The song in the ad is a complete rip-off of “Stadium Love” by Metric. Take a listen and compare…
Band of Horses is one of those bands that, in my eyes, blew up out of nowhere. But I guess I was late on the Band of Horses carriage (see what I did there?) My first time giving them a listen was summer 2010, with Everything All the Time, and then I really fell in love with their music with Cease to Begin. They served as two out of a handful of albums that defined that amazing summer for me. Of course, I give credit to Stephanie for introducing me, and later that summer, we went to Nashville to see them following a failure of a camping trip in Helen. (It rained and we put up the tent wrong. But I wouldn’t change a thing about it.)
Infinite Arms is great too, but I’ve been slow getting into that one–only these past couple of weeks have I been giving it a fair listen. And it’s a wonderful fall record. Chill, but not too chill.
At any rate, our first date could have very well been at their 40 Watt show last April…if it wasn’t sold out. Then they came back and played the Fox Theatre, then with Kings of Leon…eh. I didn’t think we’d get the chance to ever see them here in Athens, at least not at the Watt, but surprise surprise–they’re playing at the 40 Watt again this Thursday. It’s sold out, of course, but we managed to get tickets this time. Super excited.
Here’s a little soundboard recording from a show they did at Amoeba Records, on the heels of Cease to Begin‘s release.
Band of Horses Live at Amoeba Records – Hollywood, CA – 10/12/07
2. Is There a Ghost
3. The Great Salt Lake
4. Island on the Coast
5. Ode to LRC
6. The Funeral
7. Wicked Gil
8. No One’s Gonna Love You
9. Marry Song
10. Stage Banter
11. The General Specific
12. Am I a Good Man?
A couple days old, but still the coolest thing anyone’s ever done in the history of everything.
The world is so much better when Jeff Mangum is active. And how awesome is it that people are finally realizing who the real people to blame are? This isn’t a left/right issue, and anyone who tries to make it such is just trying to divide us further apart. I’d say more about it, but…I’m headed out the door. I just admire these people.
I do have some non-Mangum related posts coming soon, though.
EDIT: It appears that the performance has been taken down. Sucks majorly. Anyone know if there’s a mirror? Also, I’ve developed mixed feelings about the Occupy movement–I agree with their ideals, but I’m not sure how productive it all is. I’m rooting for them, though.
EDIT 2: Updated with the YouTube video. Much better.