All posts by chris maroulakos

The Silent Comedy – The Silent Comedy (Review)

For a band whose live performances are marked by their theatricality and infectious intensity, The Silent Comedy’s recordings can be surprisingly intimate affairs. Their debut full-length, Sunset Stables, emphasized narrative and restraint over whiskey drinking and foot stomping, and now, on their self-titled EP, they pick up where that record left off.

From the opening moments of maudlin country ballad “Daisy”, The Silent Comedy draws you into a rich world of broken bottles and shattered hearts. The song nimbly swells, retreats, then swells again, a ribcage barely containing the heart within. J. John’s vocals intertwine in a tender duet with I. Forbes’ gorgeous violin, and when he begs, “Break me, Daisy”, it’s hard to believe that she hasn’t done so already.

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Review: The Kills; May 19, 2008 at The Casbah; San Diego

The Kills - May 19, 2008

A fever descended upon the sold-out Casbah as the Kills took the stage, seducing the crowd with their unique blend of blues, punk, and sex. The band drew mainly from their new album Midnight Boom, tearing into renditions of “U.R.A. Fever,” “Tape Song,” and “Sour Cherry,” but still touched upon old favorites like “Fried My Little Brains,” “Wait,” and “Love Is A Deserter.”

Backed only by a drum machine, Alison “VV” Mosshart and Jamie “Hotel” Hince shared vocal duties, with Hotel playing the lion’s share of guitar. The songs dripped with danger and excitement, such as on “No Wow,” where the pair used their palpable on-stage chemistry to carry the song from its ominous, simmering beginning to an explosive conclusion that was equal parts sexual tension and musical release.

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Album Review: Scarlett Johansson – Anywhere I Lay My Head

I must admit that, like many, I approached the concept of a Scarlett Johansson album of Tom Waits covers as one might approach a dollar bill dangling from a shark’s mouth. I wanted to disregard it, pretend it didn’t exist, scoff at anyone so foolish as to go near it expecting anything but an unhappy ending.

But in the secret recesses of my mind, I quietly hoped that, despite the odds, the album could actually be good and not tarnish the name of Mr. Waits—my favorite musical artist and one of the most important contributors to the great sloshing pool of noise we call music. Having finally listened to the album in all its uneven glory, I can say that the actual product is more complicated than either of my divergent expectations could have anticipated.

It’s clear from the instrumental first track that ScarJo is not the one running this show. That credit belongs to David Sitek, the album’s producer (better known as the guitarist for TV On The Radio and producer for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Sitek infuses the album with that sleepy, sexy, post-modern urban ambiance that fans of TVOTR know quite well. But while TVOTR singer Tunde Adebimpe can turn a detached vocal delivery into a sharpened weapon, Johansson’s disembodied vocals sound more asleep-at-the-wheel than calm-and-cool, and it is this detachment that plagues the entire album, frequently dragging it through the mud just when it tries to soar.

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Interview: Ryan Kattner of Man Man

Owl&Bear: Can you tell us a little bit about Man Man‘s musical beginnings? How’d you get into music in the first place?

Ryan Kattner: The band as a whole—everyone in the band has been playing music forever. They’re all really accomplished musicians. They have backgrounds in hardcore and punk rock and heavy metal and jazz. Me personally, it’s funny: I learned by banging my head on a keyboard and not touching a piano again until my twenties, and then, you know, banging my head on a keyboard (laughs).

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