Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hotline: Girlfriends score at Mid East Down

Hey there HOTLINE: Certainly the Japandroids show tonight at the Middle East Down is worth checking out for the noise-pop headliner alone, who I once dubbed the best duo to emerge from Vancouver since Pavel Bure and Alexander Mogilny suited up for the Canucks. But like the trade that brought Cam Neely to the Hub a few decades ago, Boston might have the upper hand on the Canadian city once again after opener Girlfriends take the stage.

Hotline has had Girlfriends' lo-fi backseat jangle-pop jam "Good To Be True" on repeat since Ampeater gave it away a few weeks ago along with the single's b-side, a cover of the Vaselines' "The Day I Was A Horse." Both tracks are still available for free download via Ampeater, but we also recommend picking up the band's limited-edition cassette release on Floating Garbage Continent Records. The plan is simple: show up for Japandroids, but roll up early for Girlfriends, who hit the stage around 9 p.m. Sweden's Love Is All fills the gap in between, making this show a garage-pop hat trick worthy of a Bure highlight reel. While we try to get Trevor Linden on Line 1, check out this Girlfriends live clip from the folks at Extraneous Noise...

Hotline: Instant party? Just add Viva Viva

Hotline all telling you what to do tonight: There are about eight billion cool, edgy and hip things going on tonight, from Japandroids/Love Is All/Girlfriends at the Mid East down (more on that madness later today), Miike Snow and Delorean at the Paradise RC (rightfully sold out-ed) and A Sunny Day in Stockholm/Pants Yell/Bearstronaut at Great Scott (crazy wool pop for the mind).

But never count out Viva Viva, the r&b rock n' roll party crew that never disappoints and seem to create an instant fun-time throwdown wherever they pop up. It also might be a good time to check out the psychedelic indie-shoegaze wash of rising local act Doomstar, who are starting to generate some buzz of their own. This all conveniently goes down at the Mid East's tidy upstairs room, so you can still run downstairs and catch Japandroids if the motivation strikes. Good times.

Let the pretty gal on the flier hammer home the point...

Kitsune Maison 9 promo vid: Ivy League

Well this is some hot shit for hump day. Kitsune Maison just dropped their latest promo video for "Petit Bateau Edition or the cotton Issue," their ninth compilation that drops April 26. Directed by Loïc Prigent & Fabien Constant, all clothes in the vid are taken from the new Autumn Winter 10 collection: "Kitsuné Ivy League." I'm not sure which of these two I enjoy watching more... Music by Silver Columns, Two Door Cinema Club, Crookers and Jamaica are all taken from the latest comp (full track listing after the visuals).

Pants on Dance on!

“Kitsuné Maison 9” Tracklisting
01: WASHED OUT “Belong”
02: GAMBLE & BURKE “Let’s Go Together”
03: PENGUIN PRISON “Animal Animal”
04: JAMAICA “Short and Entertaining”
05: CROOKERS feat. YELLE “Cooler Couleur”
06: JUPITER “Vox Populi (LIFELIKE treatment)”
07: YUKSEK “Supermenz (We’re Not)”
08: FENECH-SOLER “Stop And Stare”
09: TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB “Something Good Can Work (The Twelves remix)”
10: LOGO “La Vie Moderne”
11: SILVER COLUMNS “Brow Beaten”
12: HOLY GHOST! “Say My Name”
13: HURTS “Wonderful Life (ARTHUR BAKER remix KITSUNÉ edit)”
14: GYPSY & THE CAT “Time to Wander (JOAN OF ARC remix)”
15: FELDBERG “Dreamin’”
16: YOUR NATURE “Forward Motion”
17: THE GOOD NATURED “Your Body is a Machine (ZEBRA+SNAKE remix)”
18: MONARCHY “The Phoenix Alive (THE OCTANS edit)”

“Kitsuné Maison 9” will be released April 26, 2010 on Kitsuné. Pick it up on iTunes, Amazon, Beatport, eMusic, and other fine digital outlets.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Videodrome beats up Lady Gaga's 'Telephone'

So yes, I know, we're all psyched as shit for the new Gaga video "Telephone," a remarkable follow up to THE GREATEST SONG AND VIDEO OF ALL TIME, "BAD ROMANCE." But there is just one problem -- you can't dance ALL THE WAY through "Telephone's" mini-movie storyline of lesbianic prison cells, sinister cooking classes and Beyonce Beyonce Beyonce.

Enter DJ/VJ Craig MacNeil of Videodrome Discotheque fame, who supped up the breaks in the song with some Queen "Radio Gaga" (see what he did there) and a bit of "Cruising the Streets," a lost San Francisco hi-NRG early '80s gay disco classic from Boys Town Gang. This joint premiered over the weekend at the VD dance party at CommonGround in Allston. Fucking fierce.

Hotline: Bad Rabbits @ Karmaloop

Hotz serving it up: It was tough to find a SXSW recap that didn’t heap mounds of praise on the Boston-based hip-hop pop-soul fusion band known as Bad Rabbits. Listed in the Herald's "10 Bands To Watch in 2010" back in December, the cats formerly known as Eclectic Collective are described as “the swagger of Prince with the intensity of Bad Brains.” Anything that can live up to that billing is on to something mega.

But before Bad Rabbits’ mega-hyped homecoming show tonight at Great Scott with Cincinnati party people Foxy Shazam, the dudes fend off the wind and the rain at a pre-gig in-store appearance at Karmaloop on Newbury Street. After tonight they’ll be on the road with Foxy for 24 cross-country dates through April. This band is bound to explode on the national scene, so get in the 'Loop with them now. Rain don't hurt.

MGM's weird-ass 'Flash Delirium' vid

A Hotline extension of this "House of Yes"-on-Acid video: At 4:23 a.m., this video popped into the hungry hippo Hotline inbox, and the timing of it all seems too appropriate.

It's the new video for MGMT's only-controversial-because-no-one-knows-what's-going-on single "Flash Delirium," and well, the visuals are as strange as the sounds. In just a few short minutes we have ventriloquist dummies, an old lady playing that rad flute solo in the middle of the song and some dude pulling an eel (we guess?) out of Ben Goldwasser's singing neck. It might even get obscene from that point on but we have no idea.

Let's just spend the rainy day watching this over and over -- there's much to digest. Maybe a bit too much. All this for a gold coin.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tonight: Soft Pack surfs an Allston indie wave

More doubling up with my Hotline alter ego: Now that we’ve listened to Surfer Blood’s “Astro Coast” more times than ever thought possible, we need a new entry in the rising-tide “alt-bro” rock scene. Fitting the bill is raucous San Diego indie kids the Soft Pack (formerly called the Muslims), who hit Great Scott in Allston tonight for the 97th installment of the Fenway Recording Sessions. Yes folks, more noisy post-grunge pop n’ roll! We totes dig.

Press Here Publicity has the background deets on the Soft Pack, who recently relocated to Los Angeles in a Padre-like exodus from America’s Finest City: “The band just wrapped a raucous run of shows at SXSW 2010. A lot has happened since The Soft Pack last took the SXSW stage back in 2009 - They released their debut album to critical acclaim, were lauded as “Ones to watch in 2010” by SPIN, Paste, NME, Q, Mojo and the Los Angeles Times, played a marathon of 10 shows in one day in Los Angeles, and made their television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. After a European tour, including a show opening for Babyshambles in the UK, the California four-piece is back in the states and ready to take the US by storm with a coast to coast tour.”

Two Soft Pack jams really stand out – “Answer To Yourself” and “C’Mon.” Here’s a quick listen, the former from Letterman and the latter an official video passed along by Press Here:

the Libertines to reform for Leeds/Reading gigs

From Hotz: Because scoring more than $2 million for just two festival gigs could help put aside any musical difference that isn't centered around "Morrissey Vs Marr," it appears UK gutter-rock heroes the Libertines are reuniting this summer to play the Leeds and Reading fests.

Spinner has the details off various UK reports this morning, and the rest of the festival lineups are to be revealed later tonight. Whether or not this return will be a headlining appearance or not, it's great news seeing that front man Carl Barat -- who post-Libertines went on to form Dirty Pretty Things -- has put aside his differences with tabloid fodder guitarist Peter Doherty. The Libertines were pretty much a mess off the stage, but when on it they were one of the best bands of the era and essentially the UK's answer to the Strokes. Their gig at the Paradise around 2001 (late 2000?) was jaw-dropping, though Hotline remembers very little of it.

Maybe this can show the kids that Pete Doherty was once more than just a junkie punchline. And we can only hope these reunion gigs are more successful than the Stone Roses attempt to reclaim past glory at Reading back in 1996.

Leave a message on the Pulp cover

My favorite Pulp song ever, covered by one of my favorite people ever (despite being removed from her Cool Kids blof roll). Even stripped down, it's as striking as Pulp's long-lost original classic, callously placed on the "Second Class" bonus disc because its brilliance couldn't find a proper place on "Different Class'" standard release (a fate also befallen "Seconds"). This girl is a genius, but everyone knows I think that already...

Dirty Dishes on a rainy Monday

Well, this is how it's done. Send a cryptic email on a rainy morning with no text, just an image, and have the image linked to a 90-second video of awesome. Have the recipient watch the video, have him or her trace it back to a MySpace, and then sit back as "Deer in Headlights" captures his lush attention several times before the whole fucking package gets posted on a blog.

Dirty Dishes - "Thin Air" from Dirty Dishes on Vimeo.

Dirty Dishes, well played. Ace tunes, as well, and perfect for this morning. Now I'm bummed I arrived late to that Passion Pit show a few months ago, as I think this band opened (before Magic Magic). Next show is an April 10 matinee at the Mid Easy with Southern Belle. Sweet.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2nite: Provocateur @ le pill

Get fancy. xo

Passion Pit's 'Manners' gets re-released DELUX

Forever in bed with Hotline: When still with the Smiths, Morrissey once sang "Re-issue! Re-package! Re-package! / Re-evaluate the songs / Double-pack with a photograph / Extra Track (and a tacky badge)." I think of those lyrics from "Paint A Vulgar Picture" each time a favorite album of mine gets re-released.

But even the Mozzer has done it in recent years, and now it's (already) Passion Pit's turn. Our homegrown dance-pop lads will re-issue a delux version of "Manners" on April 13, complete with -- you guessed it -- new artwork and bonus tracks. Bring it on, as long as the tacky badge stays at home.

From The Deluxe edition will feature new artwork and exclusive bonus tracks including stripped down versions of "Sleepyhead" and "Moths Wings" and Cranberries cover "Dreams."

That Cranberries cover has been a staple of their live show for a while now, and nearly brought the house down at a sold-out House of Blues back in January. Here's the vinyl-hinting artwork, which Hotline kinda loves and digs more than the original:

Hotline: Freezepop's tasty matinee treat

Hotline repost: Boston synthpop heroes Freezepop were one of the first bands to really take advantage of this whole “music in video games,” so it was kind of a bum-out to see they weren’t a part of the PAX East gamer showcase taking over the city this weekend. Especially since it’s PAX’s first time here in the Hub, and Freezepop have been doing their blip-blop electronic thing way before everyone went out and bought keyboards with the money received for trading in their guitars at Mr Music.

But hey, evs city, right? Because they’re not the kind of band to be outdone by just about anything, the ‘Pop is taking over Café 939 near Berklee for a fun little matinee gig tomorrow, allowing PAX attendees from out of town to get a tasty treat from one of Boston’s finest. As an added bonus, Videodrome VJ/DJ Craig MacNeil adds his vintage sights and sounds before his party at Allston’s CommonGround gets rolling later that evening. Last time Freezepop played with the sun still shining, it was their 10th anniversary shows at Harper’s Ferry, so you know this day-lit rave-up is special. Here’s the word from the band’s Facebook invite:

Saturday, March 27 - Boston, at Cafe 939, 939 Boylston St. (right across the street from PAX!) with vintage VJ/DJ delights, courtesy of Videodrome! Doors at 4 pm. $10, all-ages! And it's a pretty small venue, so you might wanna think about getting advance tickets. (Also, not an official PAX event, meaning, a. you don't need a PAX badge to get in, and b. you can't use a PAX badge to get in.)

a lil' backstory for everyone who was like "OMG they're not at PAX, whaaaat?": the PAX folks juggle their lineup and rotate out bands every few years, and it's our turn to sit this one out. but then we started hearing from folks who were sad since they're going to be in town, but won't get to see us. and then we figured, hey, we live in boston, let's do something about that. we had an opportunity to play at cafe 939, which is actually a venue we've been interested in for a while, and bonus, it's right across the street from PAX! we're doing an afternoon show, so as not to conflict with the official PAX concert, and it's happening right after the music panel on saturday. it'll be a fun time, i am reasonably sure.

a lil' backstory for anyone who's like "what's PAX?": never mind, just come to our show. it'll be a fun time, i am reasonably sure.

20 seconds of insanity: Crystal Fighters

Already declared Crystal Fighters the best band I saw at SXSW, and this is a taste of the London electro rock band (I dunno what to call it) in action. I may have texted someone midway through their set at Phoenix stating this is "the future of music," something about a revelation seeing an indie dude singing over dubstep... I want more of THIS:

the pill 03.26.10 ::: Provocateur album release

From yesterday's pill mailer: Hey guys, miss us? Word on the street is DJ Jen and Paul Driscoll held shit down proper last week, and thanks to all who came out for a slightly different look at the pill. But DJ Ken and I are both back in town, and tomorrow night we pick back up with a fiery album release party with our electro-pop friends in Provocateur. Even the Weekly Dig (crazy!) got in on the love fest... xo Mv.

::: friday march 26 :::
: Provocateur :

'Bad Blood & Brushfire' album release dance party

Hey there doll, are you a Provocateur? Now that the soul-spark indie dust has settled from last week’s Takeover Nite at the pill - shout out to Driscoll & DJ Jen - we slide back into DJ Ken and Michael V’s drunkenly debauched sonic landscape this Friday night at Great Scott.

And we’re doing it with a sly neon wink cascading from the stage in a glittery shower of electro-pop as Boston-based quartet Provocateur join us to celebrate the release of their new album, “Bad Blood & Brushfire.” Formed through the unlikely alliance of jazz-folk singer Matthew Connor’s bathhouse purr and the electronic mental-wiring of mindFIELD’s Stacia Tucker, Provocateurusher in spring with an eroti-pocalyptic gush of synth-pop smarts and between-the-sheets substance burned bright by an army of ex-lovers’ former bedside delights.

Recently sharing the stage with the likes of Nitzer Ebb, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Freezepop, Provocateuris now ready to dance to their own headlining beat, and that glitch gauntlet gets thrown down in black this week at the pill.

Get caught in the act at the pill this Friday, but be prepared, boy scout - acquire some “Leave Her To Heaven” downloads (album cut! Remix! Acoustic!) over on the band’s SoundCloud.

Before and after the band, DJ Ken & Michael V spin the best in Britpop, Modern Indie and Beyond. Look sharp, act coy, and keep an ear to the ground for a downtown after-hours performance by Provocateur once the pill closes up Allston Dance City. xothepill.

the pill
friday, march 26 at great scott
1222 commonwealth ave in allston dance city
dj ken & michael v spin britpop, modern indie & beyond
with live guest PROVOCATEUR
10 p.m. * $5 * 21-plus * look sharp

Across the sea: Holiday playlists UK vs SXSW

As everyone knows, both DJ Ken and myself were vacant from the pill last week, marking the first time in the party's 12+ year history that both its residents were away doing something other than spinning the night.

We're back tonight, and in this week's mailing list -- which you can subscribe to here -- we both listed our holiday playlists. Mine is from SXSW (you may have noticed I was there) and his is from a week carousing in London. Fire walk with me...

Michael V's Top 5: SXSW Edition
1. Class Actress - "Careful What You Say"
2. Surfer Blood - "Swim"
3. Crystal Fighters - "Xtatic Truth"
4. Marina & the Diamonds - "Hollywood"
5. French Horn Rebellion - "What I Want"

DJ Ken's Top 5: London Edition
1. Ellie Goulding - "Guns & Horses"
2. Delphic - "Halcyon"
3. Reverend & the Makers - "Professor Pickles"
4. Two Door Cinema Club - "Kids"
5. Desire - "Under Your Spell"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Hotline: Weekend Flyer Roundup (the return)

Heyo, dropping a Black Sheep references in a Boston Herald weekend flyer roundup? Oh indeed. Here are my favs:

Cheaps: Thee Vicars, Harmonix & RoboCop

So dope nightlife action in today's Cheap Thrills column in le Herald, where I highlight tonight's Thee Vicars gig in Allston, the PAX East Harmonix band showcase on Saturday and a RoboCop screening Friday & Saturday just before midnight. I'm still bored being home, but things are looking up...

Thee Vicars at O’Brien’s Pub

Tonight at 9, 3 Harvard Ave., Allston; 21-plus, $7
Although in the past decade bands like the Strokes and Hives took the stripped-down rock ’n’ roll formula to sold-out arenas worldwide, every now and again we need a relative unknown to roll into town and blow the roof off a bar. Enter UK psychotic-beat garage rock quartet Thee Vicars, which blasts through tiny O’Brien’s tonight with a jangly throwback sound that’s equal part the Standells and Buzzcocks. Thee Vicars’ wild, adrenaline-fueled performances are nearly riotous, and the mod suits the band often rocks onstage show they clean up well, too. Headlining space-psych rockers Pirate Love from Oslo aim to prove there is more to Norwegian music than black metal and a-ha, and Boston-based garage trio Thick Shakes open things up with fuzz-beat local flavor. Prepare to get raw and lose it in motion.
Info:,, 617-782-6245

Harmonix music showcase

Saturday at 9 p.m., 472 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge; 18-plus, $10
If video killed the radio star in the ’80s, and the Internet killed the video star in the ’90s, video games are fast on their way to killing the Internet star in the 21st century. All we’re left with is cool hangs with alt-bros playing “Rock Band” in the living room. It’s not a bad deal. So while the brains at Harmonix have given us hours of shred-time by playing their revolutionary video games, those cats do rock out in real life, too. The PAX East 2010 video game conference is ready to take over Boston like a gang of angry minibosses this weekend, so naturally bands featuring Harmonix employees are primed to rock out nearby. This evening’s bill at the Middle East in Cambridge - a guitar chuck away from the Harmonix base - features the Main Drag, Anarchy Club, the Konks, That Handsome Devil and Death of the Cool. And no, you can’t take their guitars after the show and try to beat their best shreds.
Info:, 617-864-3278

“RoboCop” at the Coolidge Corner Theatre

Friday and Saturday at 11:55 p.m. both nights, 290 Harvard St., Brookline; all ages, $9.75
Ahh, “RoboCop” - part man, part machine, all cop. And he’s also a classic sci-fi character played by Peter Weller in this dystopian 1987 cult classic set in crime-ridden Detroit. Most people know the plot by now: a cop is murdered - a ruthless attack by the dad from “That ’70s Show” - and is pieced back together using steel and other things none of us understood as 7-year-olds at the time. Of course, watching “RoboCop” uphold the law and protect the innocent on the big screen is good as a weekend night activity, but the owners of nearby Regeneration Tattoo in Allston have raised the stakes: the Harvard Avenue ink shop is donating two $180 gift certificates to be raffled off each night. Cool right? Well, there’s a catch - the prizes are only redeemable for a “RoboCop”- or “Terminator”-themed tattoo. Want some awesome people-watching on a Friday or Saturday night? Pay attention to who enters this contest - they’re harder than “RoboCop” himself.
Info:, 617-734-2501

Dragonette get 'Easy,' announce mini-tour

(In sync with Hotline) When the Little Boots & Dragonette silver-lipped dance-fest super-tour slated for the Middle East in Cambridge next month got shelved, we here at Hotline HQ were wicked sad (and this was even before openers French Horn Rebellion blew our minds at SXSW).

There’s still no word on a rescheduling for UK electro-pop princess Little Boots (bet on the new show being at a larger venue than the Mid East Down). But Dragonette have picked up the pieces and whipped up a mini-tour of their own, hitting Great Scott in Allston on Tuesday, April 27, the day before their planned appearance in Central. Not a bad consolation prize.

The glitzy Canadian electronic rocket is celebrating this just announced mini-tour of the Northeast (yes, and DC) by releasing a new video for the new wave-ish ballad “Easy.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Dragonette singer Martina Sorbara is this generation’s Justine Frischmann (Elastica). Loves. Full tour dates after the video…

Dragonette is Hitting Your Town Soon!
March 25 @ Starlite in Waterloo, ON
March 26 @ Studio Theater at Hamilton Place in Hamilton, ON
March 28 @ Isaac's Pub/Brock University in St Catherine's, ON
March 31 @ Ale House in Kingston, ON
April 1 @ Babylon in Ottawa, ON
April 3 @ Call the Office in London, ON
April 23 @ DC9 in Washington, DC
April 25 @ Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY
April 27 @ Great Scott in Boston, MA

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hotline: Spirit Kid shines up Central Sq

Piggybacking off my post in le Herald dot com: Hotline has been a fan of the insanely likeable Emeen Z for years now, both as a person and a performer in the local circuit.

But his new project Spirit Kid – which hits the Middle East in Cambridge tonight – has taken his sunshine-soaked Kinks-flavored pop to a whole new level. The former member of the Sterns began Spirit Kid as a solo bedroom project, but recently rounded out the sound with the aid of players from the likes of the Main Drag, Daily Pravda, Mean Creek and others. After scoring some stash airplay last year on Showtime’s series “Weeds,” Spirit Kid’s relentlessly catchy ‘60s pop-assault is now turning heads around town.

The head-jerking continues tonight in Central Square along with Golden Spurs, Some Say Fire and The Novel Ideas. The folks who put the show together, Extraneous Noise, teamed up with Foundwaves and passed along some live footage from a recent Spirit Kid performance, which we think was from last month's Middle East gig but we don't know for sure. Either way, it rules.

Things tonight get started around 9 p.m. and forking over $9 will gain you access to maybe the next Boston breakout band… Check it out...

Spirit Kid - "Wrong Kind of Money" from Extraneous Noise on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tonight's Band Roulette: Reni Lane @ Great Scott

Back in Boston two nights, and already bored out of my mind. Going to play BAND ROULETTE tonight and see Reni Lane at Great Scott. No idea what to expect, but this song sounds cool. Evs, Tuesday, foo-kin-evs!

SXSW Final Recap: Shit I loved

ONE LAST SXSW ENTRY! This is a repost from my Hotline column, where I'm doubling up like a crackhead on Linden Street, but the point gets across

10 Bands that caught my attention at SXSW
Michael Marotta vs Michael V :: Herald vs Vanyaland

Yeah yeah yeah, a billion bands play SXSW, and each of the trillion people wandering around downtown Austin emerge back to the Real World with their own “best band ever” lists.

So here is mine. I skipped out on things like Muse at Stubbs BBQ or Nas at the Fader Fort or even Hole playing somewhere (didn’t even care enough to look!), instead having maybe a half-dozen bands I needed to check out (Marina & the Diamonds, Class Actress). The rest was all about flow, and if I missed something awesome a few blocks away, chances are it didn’t matter because I was having a blast exactly where I was.

From Wednesday afternoon to Sunday morning I caught maybe 60 bands, and here are 10 (in no real order past the first few) that lingered enough in my dome piece to still write about them after being back in Boston a few days…

Crystal Fighters
Typical SXSW story: Got the wrong time for Class Actress’ set at the Phoenix on Saturday and rolled up an hour early. Three unknown dudes take the stage and proceed to blow minds. Crystal Fighters’ blend of traditional Basque Country sounds and modern dubstep and electro seems an unlikely mix, but the UK band (normally a quintet, tonight a trio) is just rock n’ roll enough to start capturing hipster hearts. Yes, another “Crystal” band, so what? They rule. LISTEN:“Xtatic Truth”

Class Actress
After making the New York City coffeehouse rounds armed with an acoustic guitar, the sultry voice of Elizabeth Harper now fronts the carefully-paced, country-club synth pop disco of Class Actress. It’s electronic music with stunning depth, and Harper’s bedroom eyes are irresistible. A future superstar, this lady is, and she even got the “Brooklyn’s Madonna” tag by one publication. But that voice. My god that voice. LISTEN: “Careful What You Say”

Marina & the Diamonds
One of the few bands I had marked as a “must see” before arriving at Logan, Greek songstress Marina and her backing Diamonds seem poised for an American breakthrough. Chances are we won’t even mind the lyric that goes “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America.” She’s on to something, and even Perez Hilton reportedly knows every word to her songs. Think an indie-flavored Dersden Dolls without the punk cabaret stuff. LISTEN: “Obsessions,” “Hollywood”

Surfer Blood
If you waited more than 20 minutes for a daytime showcase gig, chances are Florida’s post-grunge pop kids Surfer Blood was playing. Must have seen them about a half-dozen times, and it never got old. Definitely one of the major success stories of this year’s SXSW, and “Take It Easy” might be one of the best songs about tacos, like, ever. LISTEN: “Take It Easy.”

Best Coast
Another favorite of the Fader Fort’s indie paradise on Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles’ Best Coast are another in a genre I’m dubbing “post-grunge surf-pop.” Bethany Cosentino adds a nice pin-up vocal flair to buzz, noise and pop all in one hearty ultra-hype milkshake. Music for the thrift store set. LISTEN: “When I’m With You”

Kid Sister
Full disclosure: I kinda love female rappers, from Amanda Blank to the ladies on VH-1’s “Miss Rap Supreme.” But Chicago’s Kid Sister takes things up another level, and was the undisputed highlight of my IHEARTCOMIX-Mad Decent “Carniville” experience. That’s no easy feat when there is a Gravitron on the premises. But tracks like “Right Hand Hi” and “Control” are insanely awesome summer anthems and I smell BBQ every time I hear them. How “Right Hand Hi” never became a mega-hit, I’ll never know. The LA Riots remix of “Control” never gets old, either. LISTEN: “Right Hand Hi.”

French Horn Rebellion
Until Saturday night at the Phoenix, I only knew French Horn Rebellion for their Magic Magic remix. Turns out, these blippy Brooklyn-Milwaukee dance-pop cats got their own original game material just as tight. They were supposed to open for Little Boots and Dragonette next month at their now-cancelled Middle East gig, making me even more bummed than I was before I knew they were on the bill as well. LISTEN: “Up All Night”

The Coathangers
Four bad-assed Atlanta grrrls throwing down some post-hardcore lo-fi punk at the Panache Showcase all while switching instruments before songs and putting a huge white sheet covering up sponsors logos behind the stage? Will happily take, forever ever. LISTEN: “Toomerhead”

Aa (Big A Little A)
Great Scott booking agent Carl Lavin personally tied to create his own trending topic on Twitter after realizing the new it-thing in bands is to have everyone play drums. And we thought they’d all be playing MicroKorgs? Brooklyn’s Aa (pronounced “Big A Little A”) create such a beautiful mess or drum beats and harmonies we kept forgetting we were outside in a tent. Well-crafted tribal rhythms by white dudes in v-necks can comfort in strange ways. LISTEN: “Thirteen.”

Acid Mothers Temple
Not really a new discovery, not even a time-honored favorite. But when you get a text message from an old friend you haven’t seen in years telling you that in 20 minutes Acid Mothers Temple is playing in an empty building lot at dusk and it’s BYOB and when you arrive someone you don’t even know hands you a flask of vodka and there is a dude in a rodeo clown suit roller skating as Japan’s psychedelic rock legends just tear it up in a space-aged freak-out on the pavement… well, that’s pretty much SXSW in a nutshell. LISTEN: “A Gastric Ulcer and the Prosta”

BONUS TRACKS... Honorable mention to Austin’s own Neon Indian, who brought their strobe-pop to a packed out Fader Fort Thursday and played a billion other “places to be.” ...Also a shout out to New York post-hardcore veterans Les Savy Fav, who put on an intensely killer show everywhere, the Saturday night Vice party in an empty office building on 6th Street was no exception... And props to all the DJs who killed – Le Casle Vania and Reid Speed at Barcelona, Toxic Avenger and Dances With White Girls at Beauty Bar, and Felix Cartal at Aces. Nothing like a well-timed electro dance party to break up the rock n’ roll show. ...Also cheers to NYC's Mr. Jonathan Toubin for laying down the soul at Vice, keeping kids dancing until sunrise.

VIDEO: Suede performing 'She' at London gig

So yeah, a resurrected Suede played a gig in London over the weekend, and Peter Riley from NYC synthpop act Le Dossier tweets the all-important question -- after where is Bernard Butler, of course: Might it be Brett Anderson finally got his "demon" back?

It appears so, but I've awoken to one too many New Mornings to really care. This band changed my life in 1995, sonically dominated it for the next decade, but now has left me colder than Anderson's tepid solo material. I just... sigh... I just don't care anymore. I can, start, to walk out, when I want. So it goes.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sights and sounds from SXSW: Saturday

Day 3 and the final day, essentially, of SXSW madness was fairly intense. My phone died just as I was kicked out of the Phoenix Club for throwing a drink at some yah-dude who booted us from some VIP both (yeah, I'm that guy) so I have no visual evidence of the Vice party (Les Savy Fav, some awesome Puerto Rican punk band, free red bull vodkas). But the shit leading up to that was fucking slayer.

I. Love. Class. Actress. April. 30. At. The. Pill. xoxoxooxsigh.

Not as good as his set at Barcelona a few days earlier, but Le Castle Vania remains my fav DJ all-time. This set ruled -- until I was thrown out...

Following Class Actress at Phoenix was French Horn Rebellion, whose electropop jams are as tight as the Magic Magic remix they did a few months ago.

Typical SXSW story: Class Actress says they're going on at 8:45. Get to the venue, they're on at 9:45. Turns out the band on at 8:45 was the at-the-time-unknown-to-me Crystal Fighters, from London. They ended up being the BEST band I saw the entire week. Fucking intense shit, indie dude singing over dubstep and Basque beats. Mind blowing gig.

Growlers filled in the time while talking shop with Ayad at Kung Fu; these dudes had the illest school/tour bus. I don't recall the music.

Ayad and Jeff from Passion Pit holding it down while bracing from the cold at Kung Fu....

Stumbled into Beauty Bar with an hour or so to kill, caught Icelandic DJ Steed Lord (pictured) then a devastating set by BK's Dances With White Girls... Kill the Noise, Felix Cartal, Treasure Fingers, Craze, Bird Peterson all followed. Whaaaa?!?! Epic lineup stack...

Hotline video: We Have Band's "Divisive"

Hotline repost because I am tired: Manchester electro-pop trio We Have Band, who brought the sweaty Sunday night dance slam to Great Scott a few months ago, today premiered a new video for new single “Divisive” through Pitchfork Media.

I haven’t even seen or heard it yet but I’m sure it rules so let’s get all social network-y and peep the goods together. We Have Band's “Divisive” EP drops May 11 on Naïve Records, and it features remixes by Carl Craig, Tom Starr and DJ Mujava.

Uniform presents 'Life After Denim'

Looks like I already have plans pre-Thee Vicars come Thursday. Uniform events are always a blast... RSVP to by March 24, kids.

Straight gangsta shit: Sleigh Bells

So much new shit found down in Texas, but one of the best finds was BK/Florida art-noise disko-duo Sleigh Bells, who fucking DESTROY. Hot. As. Fuck.

Thursday: Thee Vicars park O'Brien's garage

Thhis shit isn't until Thursday, but this flyer is so awesome I had to post it now. (Plus, it's nice to break up the SXSW blogasm.) Vice called UK garage rock mavens Thee Vicars “the most authentic garage-punk band this side of The Mummies,” and I love Vice again after bringing Les Savy Fav to some emptied out office space at SXSW for their Saturday night party, which with the help of free vodka I passed out in sometime around 4am before being awoken by a friendly organizer. GREAT TIMES!

So yeah, this shit is worth checking out...

Herald: Bay State reps SXSW

Did a recap of SXSW for the Herald, which ran today. Kinda a different look from what I submitted (on Friday, no less) but the gist remains. Kinda, a little bit. Evs.

Bay State bands share spotlight at SXSW shindig
By Michael Marotta
Monday, March 22, 2010 - Updated 17h ago
+ Recent Articles + Email + Bio

AUSTIN, Texas - South by Southwest (SXSW), this city’s annual music, film and interactive festival, closed out Sunday. With apologies to the festival’s cinema programming, the live music portion dominated the overstuffed week.

More than 2,000 bands filled 80 stages throughout downtown Austin during SXSW, which is essentially spring break for indie nerds eager to tweet about The Next Big Thing. Each day, showcases started around 11 a.m. and didn’t wrap until some 16 hours later. Numerous around-the-clock parties added a Mardi Gras vibe.

SXSW is mainly about seeing new bands and stumbling into a bar to find an unknown gem of an artist playing for a dozen people. Sure, you could catch Nas at the Fader Fort, Snoop Dogg at Perez Hilton’s party or Cheap Trick, which played a free show for 40,000 at Auditorium Shores.

Boston acts made an impressive showing, with Bad Rabbits, Yes Giantess, Magic Magic, Truman Peyote, Muck & the Mires, the Wandas, Leo Blais, Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents, Big Big Bucks, Acaro, McAllister Drive, Constants, Junius, the Downbeat 5, Thick Shakes, Girls Guns and Glory, Caspian, Erin Harpe all taking stages.

The Bad Rabbits’ hip-hop collective is most likely to return to the Hub with a spot on the national radar.

But plenty of up-and-comers from beyond the Hub were making a name.

Perez Hilton was reportedly seen at Neon Gold Record’s showcase mouthing every lyric to UK pop princess Marina & the Diamonds’ set. Other bands turning heads: the post-grunge pop of Florida’s Surfer Blood, Los Angeles alt-’90s surf-rock trio Best Coast, the Texas strobe-pop of Neon Indian, the art-noise dance-mosh of Brooklyn, N.Y.’s Sleigh Bells, and Chicago electro rapper Kid Sister.

“Even if (a band is) playing South by Southwest in the middle of the afternoon at Denny’s, there’s a chance a guy like me will be there and remember it,” said Kevin Hoskins, talent buyer for Cambridge’s Middle East. Hoskins is able to catch about 120 bands each year at SXSW.

“For any young band,” he said, “South by Southwest is great for the opportunity to get in front of people involved with music.”

Sunday, March 21, 2010

SXSW: Oh and I met Lights

Oh hai, I'm Michael V and I'm a 12 year old girl! "Nice to meet you, I'm Lights."


Yes, she asked me to go to her show later that night. No, I don't believe it was because she instantly fell in love with me right there. But I was certainly giddy for a few hours after this, and didn't mind trashing my half-eaten BBQ brisket bagel in order to approach her on 6th with my fat ass not stuffing my fat face. My personal obsession aside (which I hid remarkable well!) she's pretty much the nicest person ever.

Sights and sounds from SXSW: Friday

Hey look, more shit quality iPhone pics snapped three sheets to the wind by Mv! Yes! Evs, here's life through the lens from Friday's SXSW session... including a nice tourist shot of the Capital Building. Finally back home tonight, and dreading the Real World invading my fleeting bliss come morning. Say Lah...

Marina & the Diamonds at the Fader Fort mid-afternoon, maybe the most hyped performer of the day... Pop superstar in waiting...

Portland's Yacht holding shit down at the Billboard Bungalow; Claire Evans had the best deapan line(s) of the night: "Don't forget to blog!" and "We came here for the chill wave."

Quite a noise racket from Mexico's XYX at the Fader Fort. I thought she was Japanese. Carl not having it...

Chicago overlords the Windish Agency bringing the heat at its showcase...

Walking up 6th, walked into the end of Twin Tigers set. Decent enough...

Florida's Surfer Blood acting all "Band I Saw A Billion Times at SXSW"; here at the Windish thang at Emo's...

When future Michael V wifey Lights personally asks you to attend her electro-pop show at Prague, where she drops some RPG knowledge to a fanboy crowd, you listen...

Left the Panache showcase early to catch Vancouver DJ Felix Cartal (check out "Popular Music") at Aces on 6th, got LA Riots instead (before passing out)...

But saw enough of Panache to enjoy Atlanta's ladies the Coathangers at Beauty Bar...

Hey tourist, get out of the street...

SXSW: Twitter recap

Ahhh, laying in bed somewhere in downtown Austin, getting ready to leave SXSW. Last night included Class Actress, Crystal Fighters, Les Savy Fav, French Horn Rebellion, Le Castle Vania, Davila 666, Cheeseburger, Growlers, Passion Pit DJ set, Happy Birthday, Steed Lord, Dances With White Girls, other things. Shitty iPhone photos coming later, but here's a recap of SXSW Tweets... I recall maybe 30% of these.

vMichaelv That's you!

phone died as soon as i stumbled into the Vice party... prolly for the better. thank you sxsw
about 7 hours ago via web

Still trying to figure out life post crystal fighters class actress but daaayum French Horn Rebellion is tight.
about 13 hours ago via Echofon

In love with class actress
about 14 hours ago via Echofon

Oh shit Crystal FIGHTERS are no fycking joke!!!! #whywecum2sxsw
about 15 hours ago via Echofon

about 15 hours ago via Echofon

Waiting for Class Actress ... Mad notebooks out waiting for something called Crystal Fader. We'll see...
about 15 hours ago via Echofon

Drunks at beauty bar, steed lord djing supposedly
about 16 hours ago via Echofon

Lavin couldn't do it @outerworldy
about 17 hours ago via Echofon in reply to outerworldy

Boston rep
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

Growlers? I dunno where I am
about 18 hours ago via Echofon

Fading fast at the Pianos party (passion pit dj set??) but jolted by the news of a @classactress show in a few hours at the Phoenix #sxsw
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

Austin by day. More lines than Allston at night
about 19 hours ago via Echofon

maddecent AUSTIN PEEPS! @iheartcomix @maddecent @jellynewyork @veoba @carniville has been delayed until 2pm today due to the bummer weather. RT PLEASE
about 24 hours ago via Tweetie
Retweeted by you and 4 others

Debating seeing them tonight. Should I bother? @Julia_Rappaport ...listening to she & him...
12:23 PM Mar 20th via web

Wake up in the morning feeling like P Driscoll @thepillboston
11:42 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Yacht holding it down.. Mind on Felix Cartal at Aces around midnight
11:12 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Don't even know what do with myself after "The Lights Encounter 2010".
8:22 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Can't spell s x s w without g w a r
7:21 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Biggest band crush ever on Marina and the Diamonds #sxsw
7:17 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Keep it warm RT @Driscoll_P: Spinning The Pill at Great Scott tonight!
5:57 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Just took the bus for the third time ever. Let us never speak of this trauma again. #gross
4:38 PM Mar 19th via Echofon

Insanely anticipating @MarinasDiamonds set later today at the @LEVISFADERFORT #SXSW
2:01 PM Mar 19th via web

Muse tonight? Huh. #sxsw
12:43 PM Mar 19th via web

YES! RT @neongoldrecords Speaking of Perez, lineup for his party was just announced, inc @MarinasDiamonds followed by, um, SNOOP DOGG.
12:42 PM Mar 19th via web

11:59 AM Mar 19th via web

Longest Day 2 ever #sxsw But seeing New Collisions into Le Castle Vania into Dangerous Toys into Toxic Avenger. Oh my fuck. What.
4:29 AM Mar 19th via web

Reeeeeid Speeeeeeeeeed. Yesyesyesyes
12:24 AM Mar 19th via Echofon

NewCollz repping Boston
11:46 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Acid Mothers Temple in some sketch empty lot (Danny oneill with the too tall jones reach!!)
9:02 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Kid Sister turns me into a 12 year old girl up front hahaha
7:18 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Never walked this much in my life. Still got some Long Island in me... But hoofin it to the iheartcomix carniville was worth it #sxsw
6:57 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Kids love Neon Indian, but we learned that last week in Allston
4:49 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Best Coast like whoa
4:27 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Best Coast killing it, hearing them for the first time .... #sxswisforDrunks
4:26 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

Unlimited Mike's Hard Pom and some hot Surfer Blood action. #sxswis4lovers
2:53 PM Mar 18th via Echofon

sambot5k HEY BOSTON - go see @thejenaissance DJing at the pill tomorrow night! i'm out of town, but i wish i could be there!
1:08 PM Mar 18th via web
Retweeted by you

A hazy Day 2 at #sxsw. Trying to somewhat keep track of whereabouts at Something of a "review" in this weekend's BosHerald
11:49 AM Mar 18th via web

Male Bonding and SoCo rules my face #sxsw
6:39 PM Mar 17th via Echofon

Fader Fort making me earn this shit
5:51 PM Mar 17th via Echofon

I wear green on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside. Happy St Patrick's Day, my beloved Boston
10:28 AM Mar 17th via Echofon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sights and sounds from SXSW: Thursday

Been snapping random ass pics like whoa at SXSW, and here's some stuff from Thursday, Day 2. So bummed the iPhone died during Reid Speed's set at Barcelona, just straight up robbing me some fan-boy snaps of Le Castle Vania. Possibly a blessing. Here's some click juice from Austin...

Kid Sister gets her Right Hand Hi all over the IHEARTCOMIX Carniville...

Quite enjoyed LA alt-surf-pop Best Coast at Fader Fort...

The Neon Indian hype machine is in full effect. I'm coining the phrase strobe-pop!

Free Mike's Hard Lemonade and Surfer Blood off in the rocky distance...

New Collisions Thursday night showcase at the Music Lounge...

Reid Speed dubstepping the shit out of Austin...

Waiting... waiting... waiting for the Fader tag...

Acid Mother Temple getting all psych on us at dusk in an empty building lot...

Mural on 6th Street...