New Loose Fur

When you are a Wilco fan, you don’t just listen to Wilco, but you also follow all of the side projects. One of those is Loose Fur, which is composed of Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche (the Drummer) and Jim O’Rourke (Wilco-producer, but, of course, also plenty of other stuff).

They have a new album coming out soon, and you can already find a video to one of their new songs here.

Quite a cheapo video, I guess no TV channel would ever play Loose Fur anyway. The song doesn’t seem to be the most ambitious either…

New Impressions from The Strokes

When The Strokes appeared on the scene in 2001, I didn’t quite get all the excitement, because their music wasn’t all that new, even if I quite liked it. The Strokes certainly did not invent guitar-based rock music, but their success marked the beginning of the period (which hasn’t really ended yet) where rock music is cool again with young people and the media, which is ok with me, after all.
First Impressions Of Earth

After the amazing success of Is this It the second album Room on Fire was quite good, but didn t really measure up to it s predecessor. So the the question was really open, if The Strokes would continue to live of the formula of their initial success, or if they would be able to truly develop into a mature band.

It s maybe a little bit early to call The Strokes mature, but on First Impressions Of Earth they have effectively succeeded at developing their music. The most obvious change is that Julian Casablanca s voice no longer has the particular compressed/distorted sound which characterized the first the albums. But the music is also more dynamic with much more variety of sounds and atmospheres.

The Strokes have not abandoned the music that made us like them, but they have managed to introduce more variety. The off-beat guitar (I wouldn t go as far as calling it Reggae) on On the Other Side drives an extremely catchy tune and the backwards sounding sounds on Ask Me Anything creates an atmosphere The Strokes weren t known for.

In terms of influence, this time there is much more Television than Velvet Underground.

It s a great album and, it makes me think The Strokes might just be able to stay around for a while, which is just as well for me

PS: For all those who have illegally downloaded versions of the album, you might be relieved to know that Ize of The World does also have such an abrupt ending on the CD. I wonder if this was a trick to make downloaders think that they had a corrupted file

The Kevins

I’ve written about The Kevins before (here and here) and now it’s about time to write a review on the album…

According to their bio, The Kevins are two brothers and the album was recorded in Wichita, Kansas. I’m not sure this should be taken absolutely seriously, but it doesn’t really matter either. The music is sweet pop music, with clean guitars and vocals. Only one song (Crying Bitterly, Painfully) has drums, and even here it’s more irony than serious drumming… The lyrics are basically about the drama of being young and in love, which means that they are not very deep but definetly very cute. So, overall it’s Indie Pop with pretty melodies.

For some strange reason the first comparable group that came to my mind was Nic Dalton’s (ex-Lemonheads) Godstar ; a less obscure and more recent reference could be Adam Green, but really The Kevins have their own thing going, and even if it’s not really modern, it’s really quite good and they would deserve to be a little less obscure (like, how about a recording contract).

If you like the songs you’ve heard floating around on the Internet, I encourage you to order the album.

Coachella Line Up

The Coachella festival is the only US Rock Festitval, that I am aware of, that can compare with what goes on over here in Europe, although it’s only two days.

Quite often the bands that play at Coachella end up doing the festival circuit in Europe in the summer, so even if California is a little bit too far away from Paris for a week-end, it’s still interesting to knows who’s playing. They have just annouced the 2006 line-up. It’s not on their site yet, but you can read it on Pitchfork.

I am not really impressed, the headliners are on Saturday Depeche Mode, Franz Ferdinand and Sigur Ros, and on Sunday Tool, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Bloc Party. Further down the list there are actually quite a few names which I’ve never heard of but overall it doesn’t really get me excited.

Is this a sign for the end of the spell of great new rock music over the last years (since 2005) or am I just being pessimistic (or ignorant)?