jarco weiss, who is actually a longtime goldzmine reader, sent me the first music video from his brand spanking new band, marie madeleine. the trio describes their sound as disco wave; like if ian curtis and donna summer went on a date in palm springs. weiss is on vocals, greg wagenheim on bass, synth by herr 2003 and pauline grethen (not the gal in the video) is featured singing the hypnotic chorus. marie madeleine just put out their ep and plans (fingers crossed) on touring through europe, asia and north america during the next year or so. i quite like this sound; the epic zeus-like vocals mixed in with the flirty girly “sinking, sinking, dying, diving” is buckets of fun.
as i’m preparing to leave for china, my curiosity for the chinese music scene peaked. you don’t hear much about said scene, but there’s got to be something going on amongst the enormous sea of people. through the push shove, a blog which documents chinese youth culture, i found a playlist of what was primarily chinese punk bands. PAIRS was indeed a standout from the bunch. a powerful noise band with some flipping catchy tracks; my favorite being ‘i want to die in the ocean’. their entire EP is up for download for free on their bandcamp.
the shanghai-based duo consists of xiao zhong, drummer originally from australia, and ‘f’ on guitar. xiao zhong explains that “the scene in shanghai is pretty active, but not as active as a city of 22 million could, or should be. lack of organized venues seems to be a big problem. a lot of bands here do a lot of DIY stuff, give out their CD’s for free at their launch, trying to do something different to get noticed/throw a nice party”.
why are you drawn to making the kind of music you make? “we make the music we make as it’s pretty much all we can make. f’s guitar playing style is pretty strange, and she is learning the guitar, so right now it’s all simple and fast as that’s her playing style. basic chords and cocksuckery, really.”
what other chinese bands should goldzmine readers check out? yantiao, the instigation, guijian, death to giants, hotter than teppanyaki, small train heart, your boyfriend sucks.
battles is a good way to kick off the summer. so upbeat you want to hop out of bed and eat chocolate a sundae for breakfast. this song and video are off their forthcoming album, gloss drop, which comes out on the 7th of june. im noticing a pattern, that everytime summer rolls around and im on a music hunt, new yorkers are always reliable. battles’ mathrock take on tropical sounds comes through most in wall street (mp3). whilst sundome (mp3) has a relaxing echo of island music.
Opposites attract, riiiight? Patrick, who came from a punk/noise/”terrible” musical background and Alaina who took the church choir route, come together to make up TENNIS! Riley describes it as a “middle-ground between the two of [their] styles”.
The two met junior year of college, both of them being philosophy majors, and I must say they seem (oh my god- cooties warning) so happily married and in love! Patrick gushes, “honestly, it’s the only way we could do it. I don’t know if i could be in a band right now and not have Alaina. After being on the boat together, we are so co-dependent, it’s kind of sickening! Alaina and I are the exact same person [...] more like best friends than anything. Like touring with your best friend.”
Just like the sailboat trip that inspired all of the songs they have written together, their music is easy breezy. The 10 songs tell their favourite of their 8 month adventure on a boat. Together they have grown so attached to sailing because in Patrick’s words “I don’t think you can ever conquer it [...] It’s an end you can strive towards but never attain. There is so much freedom with it, in every aspect.”
After eventually running out of funds, they were forced to come back to land. Patrick explains that “very shortly we found ourselves in the same old routine and we couldn’t really communicate our nostalgia for the sailing trip anymore, so pretty much every night when we would get home from work we’d just write songs, and we just kept working on them, and working on them until yeah! We just considered ourselves a band i guess.”
The two don’t listen to “too much new music” because it has become “a comfort item, rather than an investigative pursuit.”. So their favourites remain the likes of Brenda Lee, and the Zombies. Although, they do recommend we check out bands: Flight, and Dead Gaze, both of which are from Mississippi.
The Riley’s admit “it’s so hard to make a living in a band and we are barely, barely, barely getting by right now so if we take it too seriously [..] then we’ll be really depressed if we don’t make it work.”. So to cope, they take it seriously on “a different level” while not focusing too much on the money making and more on the having fun! I mean, things are looking good considering Pitchfork is clearly a mega-fan, why wouldn’t they be?
Tennis is currently on tour, and will be in Montreal on February the 26th (Il Motore). Patrick informed me that he and Alaina get real waify while busy on the road.. but “Alaina loves poutine”, so I’ll have to bring her a little surprise when they stop by! You can also check them out at SXSW- “I hear its crazy, we’re so excited!”. From here on, New Years resolutions will hopefully bring them weight GAIN as well as more music and sailing forever!
Tennis – Marathon (mp3)
The Suzan are a boundlessly energetic all-girl band from Japan, and director Pomp&Clout perfectly captures their colorful, kinectic approach to music with his kaleidoscopic video for “Home.”
out of character for me, but for the past few months, ive been relying on 4 music videos to keep me alive (this ^, golden isles, destinys child and france gall). this dreamy synth pop is so addictive, like no other. im obsessed with german too, so that only helps the matter. MIT’s myspace here- one you start, you wont stop. i really hope their stuff gets on itunes soon. they came out with their LP entitled ‘coda’, and i have a feeling they’ll be doing massive festivals in no time. i dont mind paying for music whatsoever- i just dont want to pay for 30 euro shipping. hey, christmas?
GOLDEN ISLES : I haven’t bothered to look into how many views this blogotheque video has.. but I know I am 90% of them. I’ve been watching this video on repeat for the past 3 days and it still isn’t get old. Then again blogotheque videos generally tend to suck me right in. I love how effortless the music seems; the harmonies and lyrics are really great/catchy as hell, and I dig the vibes the pack of six that is Adam Feingold (also from The Breezes), Kyle Salhany, Richard Wenger, Jonny Knowles, Matthew Salaciak, Emmanuel Thibau are throwing my way. I wish more people graced the juice aisles with a little sing song. Take it upon yourselves, people!
my jaw literally drops everytime i press play. from your ears to your toes, bonjay tickles all body parts. their low-fi dancehall commands you to move and is undeniably refreshing. together, pho and annie put on their chef hats and combine r&b, house and reggae creating an explosive recipe for disaster! after some hard work, their ep broughtupsy is coming out this fall! super excited to buy this one at their next show during pop montreal but you can also catch them in ottawa and toronto for some upcoming tour dates. by the way, news im super excited about, im now going to be a writer for pop montreal! check out their cover of a favorite, fever ray’s when i grow up here.