Tag Archives: the strokes

Poetic Memory: The Smart Brothers (List)

MP3: The Smart Brothers – “On My Own”

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love The Smart Brothers, and those who haven’t heard them yet. The Julian-based trio played last month’s Owl and Bear-programmed SoundDiego Live event and systematically converted every attendee into a fan.

The Smart Brothers spend most of their days on the road but, when they’re not busy touring, they find time to record. Their latest full-length, Make It Last, finds the band segueing from their folk beginnings to a more rock-oriented sound. From the poppy opener “Where Did Your Run To?” to the despondent, Strokes-y “On My Own,” Make It Last consolidates everything that has made the band a local favorite: exuberant pacing, unforgettable melodies, and timeless charm. You can buy it here.

All that touring and recording can take a lot out of you, so it’s crucial to have some good songs to wake up to. Singer/drummer Lou Smart was kind enough to share with us his “5 Good Wake Up Songs For Your Alarm Clock,” and now we’re kind enough to share them with you. You can check out the list, along with the band’s current tour dates, below. Continue reading…

Crank Up the Hot Hot Heat

This summer has been an unseasonably cool one for San Diego, but the mercury is finally about to rise. On Saturday, August 21, the chilliness will come to an abrupt halt when the Belly Up cranks up some Hot Hot Heat. Wordplay!

Hot Hot Heat are the Canadian party-pop band responsible for 2002’s Make Up the Breakdown and its marble-mouthed hit single, “Bandages.” Along with other popular bands of the era like The Strokes and The Vines, Hot Hot Heat were welcomed as rock saviors, come to make the airwaves safe for good music and rescue us from boy-band tyranny. Their intentions were noble, but you need only turn your radio dial to whichever Justin Bieber songs are playing right now to see that it didn’t work. Continue reading…

Poetic Memory: Oh Mercy (List)

Is Australia the new Canada? When its comes to up-and-coming young indie bands who pride themselves on intelligent lyrics and a multi-layered sound, it sure seems that way. First, I was stopped in my tracks by The Middle East, and now the next Aussie wave is Melbourne’s Oh Mercy.

They’ve gained a lot of attention lately with their album, Privileged Woes. It’s a quirky pop album with expressive vocals that draws inspiration from bands like The Velvet Underground and Dionne Warwick. That’s a large spectrum to cover, but singer Alex Gow explains it all below. Oh Mercy’s Poetic Memory is below. Continue reading…

Albert Hammond Jr. – ¿Cómo Te Llama? (Review)

When the extended vacation taken by his regular band left him feeling restless, Strokes rhythm guitarist Albert Hammond decided to go solo. His debut, last year’s Yours To Keep, was a refreshing and superb collection of breezy, idyllic pop, free of all the self-consciousness that had plagued the Strokes’ last two albums.

Hammond has never seemed bothered that the spotlight usually fixes on bandmate Julian Casablancas, and his decision to become a solo artist has never felt like an attention grab. The songs on Yours To Keep were casual and unpretentious, as if written by accident — the Strokes re-imagined as West Coast beach bums instead of East Coast bohemians. Little more than a year has passed since that record was released, but Hammond is already back with ¿Cómo Te Llama?, an album that attempts to increase the depth of emotion without losing the laid-back vibe. Continue reading