Rilo Kiley - FILTER Magazine


Rilo Kiley - FILTER Magazine
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
# of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
the week before for.
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
The Restless Adventures of
Rilo Kiley
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentwary audience, which promptly booed, ripped down
posters and demanded refunds. A few days before,
Slim-Fast dropped Whoopi Goldberg from its celebrity
roster because of jokes, albeit questionable vagina
jokes, she made about Bush at a Democratic fundraiser
the week before for.
The Polyphonic Spree
Soviet Kitsch
Sire Records
During a casino performance in Vegas recently, Linda
Ronstadt was booted from the venue after dedicating a
cover of the Eagles’ “Desperado” to Michael Moore and
thereby igniting the wrath of her pro-Bush, dissentFILTER mini 1
We Love You...Digitally
HELLO AND WELCOME to the interactive version of Filter Mini U.K.We’re best viewed in full-screen
mode, so if you can still the top of the window, please click on the Window menu and select Full
Screen View (or press Ctrl+L). There you go—that’s much better isn’t it? [Mini U.K. stretches,
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page; if you forget, you can always right-click to go back one. And if all else fails, intrepid traveler,
press the Esc key to exit full-screen and return to a life more humble.
Keep an eye on your cursor.While reading Mini U.K. online, you will notice that there are links on
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find the H-O-T-T hotlinks, click ’em, and find yourself at the websites of the artists we cover, the sponsors who help make this happen, and all of the fine places to go to purchase the records you read about
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Alan Miller & Alan Sartirana
Dear Reader,
Chris Martins
Eric Almendral, Heidi Fikstad
Staring at THE SUN (And Other Ways to Go Blind)
The Restless Adventures of RILO KILEY
Dressing Up the Counterculture With BRMC
Lesley Bargar
Catherine Adcock, Lesley Bargar,
Todd Berger, Erin Broadley,
CHZA, Benjy Eisen, Matt Epler,
Paul Gaita, David Iskra,
Patrick James, Nevin Martell,
Jack McGrue, Pat McGuire,
Mark Mueller, Bernardo Rondeau,
Nala Sart,Tristan Staddon,
Michael Suter, Chi Tung
Helen Barrass
It was Sir Winston Churchill who once said, “All great things are simple, and many can be expressed in single
words: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” In a time when we of the Western World are finding out just
how complex these great simplicities can be, the progressive minds here at the Filter offices in Los Angeles, Cal.,
are working around the clock to provide healthy, bare-bones alternatives in Spartan cleanliness. And with politics
not being our finest of exports at the moment, we thought we’d invest in paper. So welcome, dear Anglo reader,
to the first official, undersized import edition of Filter Magazine.Thusly, to that fine aforementioned list, we’d like
to add a single, simple, irreverent four-letter word: Mini.
If you don’t already know the best independent music magazine in the U.S., well, that’s what Filter Magazine is:
a Stateside coffee-table staple chock-full of Good Music and noticeably free of bullshit. Filter Mini is the mag’s little brother: shorter, cuter in a chubby-cheeked kind of way, a bit pissy when it comes to whose band is whose, but
just as devoted to the best sounds we can find, whether they be in our back yard or yours. Now, with the U.K.
edition (the one in your hands—stay focused here), we have an opportunity to present to the world our favorite
new home-brewed music.These are American bands with a far-reaching sound—the kind of stuff you’ll hear about
six months or a year from now. But why wait?
We know what you’re thinking, with all your babies in shambles and your bloc parties being overrun by hordes
of art brutes and your who hit so-and-so with a guitar neck this week before declaring that “Keane are shite” and
landing face-first in a pool of vomit (possibly their own, probably not), do you really need more? Fucking hell you
do. Because a wise man over here once said, “In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey,” and he was no loser,
baby. Beck and Winnie agree: Simple = Good. Mini = Simple. You do the math. Invite Filter Mini UK into your
life. Just hide the crumpets.
A Mini Introduction to ROCK KILLS KID
THE REDWALLS’ Guide to Chicago, IL
THE FILMS Got to the Movies
On the Road with FRANK BLACK
Filter’s latest venture into the great beyond
finds us landing on “Planet Coldplay,” high
above the Windy City, plotting world domination with four blokes actually poised to do it.
With X&Y currently finding its way into every
household (yours, your mother’s, your mother’s father’s) and the
band conquering arenas on both sides of the pond, Filter Magazine
proudly features Coldplay. Also not to be missed are Oasis, the Jesus
and Mary Chain, Devendra Banhart, Harmony Korine & Kim
Gordon, Judd Apatow (Freaks and Geeks) & Steve Carell (The Office),
Foo Fighters, Feist, the Duke Spirit and much, much more.
After years of covert research, we’ve
gotten ahold of the blueprints for
something the Germans call ze
Internet and created our own facsimile.We call it the “World Wide Web,”
and smack-dab in the center is, the most important “Web
Site” you’ll ever know. Exclusive stories with your favorite bands.Weekly
album picks from our expert tastemakers. Breaking music news. Streaming
media.Awesome contests. Snarky reviews. More Filter is more better.
[email protected] or 5908 Barton Ave., L.A., CA 90038, U.S.A.
Danielle Allaire, Mike Bell,
Bryan Chenault, Penny Hewson,
Pat McGuire, Mark Mueller,
Gur Rashal, Eli Thomas
Heather Bleemers, John Brown, Rene Carranza,
Steven Dewall, Charles Fleming, Eric Frederic,
Joseph Johnson, the Leckarts, Mikel Jollett,
Gregg Lagambina, Rich and Diana Martins, the
Oakland Bay Area, Baillie Parker, Stephen
Randall, Sam Roundman, Yoni Wolf, Dave
Holmes, Darin Harmon, Parkes, Erik Bedard,
Darrin Sproles, Wendy Kayland-Sartirana,
Momma Sartirana, the Ragsdales, UK/PR
Sartiranas, the Masons, Dana Dynamite, Mike
Williams, Lisa O'Hara, the Bargar Fam, Rick
Gershon, Adam Leff, Michael Suter, Noelle
Kenney, Paul Craig, James Sardom and Rob
Gordon, Brant Weil, Perry Watts-Russell, Lisa
Nupoff, Dave Earnshaw, Gary Mandel, Sean
Devine, Sarah Western, Barry Hogan, Deborah
Kee Higgins, The Marquee, APoF, Jered
Standing... and a special thanks to Tom Manning.
— Chris Martins,Editor-in-Chief
5908 Barton Ave.
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Filter Mini U.K. Magazine is published by Filter
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2005. Filter Mini U.K. Magazine is not responsible
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FILTER mini 3
Orenda Fink
by Pat McGuire
by Mark Mueller
Perhaps it’s fitting that the first time we drunkenly bumped into Silversun Pickups, they too
were…slightly abuzz. The band shares its name
with one of our favorite L.A. stops for booze pickups, Silversun Liquor. But let us not overlook the
music for the medium—there’s a raw fuzziness to
this foursome’s sound that rivals even the best
hangover. And like their fellow Ship Collective
’mates Earlimart and Irving, S.S.P.U. (a stinky ship
that would be!) have developed a keen ear for balancing the bombastic with the brittle. On their
official debut, the Pikul EP, there’s the splendidly
subtle vocals of bassist Nikki Monninger mixed
with guitarist Brian Aubert’s sandpaper croon,
and more delicate moments courtesy of cellist
Tanya Haden. It’s a loud/quiet dynamic you wish
wouldn’t end. Liquor or not, this band shines.
You’ve heard this one before: 1) Form a band. 2)
Pen a Buzz Bin hit single in the mid ’90s; achieve
brief, intense, wide—ahem—popularity. 3)
Release forgettable second album; experience
brief acclaim in Europe; semi-disappear. But here’s
where Nada Surf’s story gets interesting: 4) Come
back with an unpressured sweeping change-up of a
third album hailed as an instant classic of the venerated pop-rock variety; reap Brian Wilson comparisons.What the deuce?!?
Now, three years after Let(ting) Go, Matthew
Caws (vocals/guitar), Daniel Lorca (bass) and Ira
Elliot (drums) are back with The Weight is a Gift, a
continuation of the New York trio’s strum-shine,
earnest pop melancholia. “We were aware that we
were expected to break up,” says Caws, “but internally, there was no reason to stop.” Thankfully they
didn’t, as their 21st Century output is cementing
them as beloved sing-along tunesmiths with a real
appreciation of where they are. “A crowd that’s
there to hear a whole album or two’s worth of
songs is much more pleasant to play in front of
than a crowd there to hear just one song.” Now that
(like you didn’t see it coming) is popular.
by Erin Broadley
Love hurts, so the saying goes…and it’s always low
on Band-Aids and Neosporin. Azure Ray’s singersongwriter duet, Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor,
have been working on a cure for the brokenhearted since, um, forever.A Nobel Prize is unlikely, but
a hit record was unquestionable with 2003’s sepiatoned antidote Hold On Love. With Invisible Ones,
Fink officially begins her foray into solo territory.
And though she’s still singing about love, today she
muses less about getting dumped and more about
“finding people who are willing to invest in a
higher truth.” Her new album is the heartbroken
woman who leaves her lover, travels the world
and returns insightful about the greater human
condition. Fink’s goal? “To take everyone tragically
misunderstood in my arms and apologize for the
world.” Alfred N. would be proud.
by Nevin Martell
“On my first record I didn’t know what I was all
about,” admits former eels-bassist-turned-soloist
Tommy Walter, the creative force behind
Abandoned Pools. “It was almost academic; I’d
hear a song and wonder, ‘Can I do something like
that?’” On his sophomore full-lengther, Armed to
the Teeth, the über-talented multi-instrumentalist
has deftly honed his own sound, crafting a dozen
compelling anthems-in-waiting that don’t so much
borrow from their influences as they build on
them; there are the dynamics of Doves, the
urgency of Interpol, the swooping and soaring of
the Smashing Pumpkins and the sonic skullduggery of Radiohead. Lyrically inspired by a recent
break-up and the sadly fucked up state of the
world, Tommy makes a persuasive argument that
broken hearts and tyrannically misguided governments aren’t entirely bad things, if only because
they provoke music this good.
Marjorie Fair
by Todd Berger
A snooty British botanical handbook describes the
Marjorie Fair rose as a flower of “intense color, sharp
thorns, and a deep and heavy scent.” Evan Slamka—
singer for the California indie-pop quartet of the same
name—has a less floral vision. “We are mostly rather
pale and our thorns have been broken off. However,
our scent is indeed deep and heavy.” We hope he
means that in a good way. Other snooty Brits of the
literary variety have praised the band’s debut, SelfHelp Serenade, as dreamily psychedelic and unusually
lush. And the transient denizens of Los Angeles’ skid
row (the album was recorded in a downtown warehouse) seem to agree, comparing the band to, “like,
Pink Floyd [drool]”. Still, we recommend stopping to
smell the roses for yourself. F
FILTER mini 4
The Redwalls’ Guide to Chicago, IL
by Nevin Martell
The Redwalls have been playing the dives, bars, clubs and dive bar clubs around the Chicago area since before they
could legally drink. (And in fact, half of them still can’t buy a round.) Made up of brothers Justin (bass/vocals)
and Logan Baren (guitar/vocals), guitarist/singer Andrew Langer and drummer Ben Greeno, the foursome revels
in the Windy City’s working class appreciation for good old fashioned rock and roll—a rough-but-tender love
hewn out of admiration for the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan. “The people here are just into rock and roll
music,” Justin says. “It’s not like New York, where it’s real artsy and they’re trying to get some crazy idea across.
In Chicago, they don’t want you to screw around; they don’t want any bullshit.” The Redwalls’ major label debut,
De Nova, is decidedly bullshit free and will undoubtedly make them local heroes around their old, boozy gig circuit.When they aren’t plying hometown crowds with ’60s-minded tunes, here’s how these Second City boys spend
their days and nights.
A Mini Introduction
to Rock Kills Kid
by Benjy Eisen
make that great record come across live. And for us, as
a band and as musicians, we want to be that great live
band.You look at the best rock and roll bands throughout time—bands like Radiohead, U2, Rolling Stones,
R.E.M.—and they’re always really, really good live
Those bands have also all undergone their own musical transformations along the way. But why the change
of heart for Rock Kills Kid? Whereas they once called
Fearless Records (an independent punk-pop label)
home, now the band seems a better fit for that postglam/retro-modern weirdness that’s been building
steam ever since the demise of, well, punk-pop. Songs
like “Hideaway” and “Midnight” could’ve come straight
from the English dance floors of the late ’80s, while
punchier tracks like “Paralyzed” could make friends,
now, with the Killers or Franz Ferdinand. And there’s
even some Flock of Seagulls in there. It’s as if, during
Tucker’s hermit days of reinvention, the ’90s were
deleted altogether and the music has picked up where
New Wave left off.
Tucker is quick to defend his intentions. “I don’t
know,” he says, “I was just writing for me and not for
anyone else. I’m definitely not influenced by bands
today, because…yeah…I don’t really listen to bands
One of his bandmates chides, “You’re not that hip.”
“No,” laughs Tucker. “I’m not that hip at all,
actually.” F
ze Best...........................................................................................................
…late night bite to eat?
it’s heavy on the Sapphic selection (read: lesbian lit),
there’s a wide selection of cool stuff. Plus, anything they
don’t have shelved, they’ll deliver in only a couple of days.
The lads agree that it’s a three-way toss-up between
Calo’s (“That’s some fine Italian,” says Logan), the
Weiner’s Circle (a funny name, we think, because it has
the word ‘weiner’ in the title, but it’s also a halfway
clever play on the phrase ‘winner’s circle’) and Clark’s,
which is where every local hipster who’s anybody who
knows somebody gets his or her fill of calories, people
watching and ironic quips.
“The Hideout. It’s in this industrial yard, where they
keep the salt trucks,” Greeno says. “A lot of hip bands
play there—they get some really neat stuff. It’s not like
it’s a small shithole.” “Well, it is a small shithole,” Justin
chimes in, “but it’s a tastemaking shithole.”
…java joint?
…deep dish pizza pie?
Far and away (this one was unanimous), Kopi—A
Traveler’s Cafe on North Clark Avenue. Low tables, silk
pillows, a tuna melt to die for, and a jumble of clocks
telling time around the world. Ever wanted to know
when tea time is in Kyoto? Probably not, but the atmosphere can’t be beat.
Gino’s or Gino’s East.They’re owned by the same people, so you’re guaranteed a happy ending to your search
for the ultimate slice at either location.
…vintage clothing racks?
You’ve heard this before. A young band suddenly shifts
its sound from being caught in the undertow of an
expired trend to riding the crest of a new wave (pun
not exactly intentional). And you’ve heard that young
band say that the change was accidental, sincere, even
But you haven’t heard Rock Kills Kid. They were,
originally, a punk-pop band from Orange County,
California (home of the very un-punk O.C. aesthetic
that’s ever-so-popular with Teen America). They’re
now, officially, an indie-pop band with dance beats,
swooning vocals, and sweeping melodies. And—get
this, ladies and gents—they maintain that the change
was accidental, sincere, even unconscious.
Following the disintegration of the original Rock
Kills Kid, lead singer Jeff Tucker, the band’s founder and
principle songwriter, holed himself up in a suburban
California practice space for a year and a half and,
according to guitarist Sean Stopnik, “went ballistic with
Emerging with a fresh set of songs, a different musical direction, and a new line-up (“This is kind of like a
new band but with the same name,” admits Tucker),
Rock Kills Kid has spent much of 2005 beta testing
their upgraded version in hotspot venues around their
home turf—namely, the Key Club and Viper Room in
Hollywood. So far, it’s all going according to plan.
“I think it’s so easy to go into a studio and make a
great record,” says Stopnik. “But it’s much harder to
“I like Village Discount,” says Greeno, “and there’s a
bunch of them all over the city.” Hollywood Mirror’s
reputation precedes it amongst serious clothes hounds,
but it will cost slightly more than your average trip to
the Salvation Army.
“Women and Children First,” according to Justin.Though
…place to see a band?
…mom-and-pop record shop?
Reckless Records. This choice begs no arguments—
even non-Chicagoan music fiends have heard of
Reckless. L.A. types should think of it as the Windy
City equivalent of Amoeba Records. Everybody else
should just think of it as a far off oasis of fantastic taste.
…dive bar?
Either Left Foot or Danny’s, which is a hip lounge with
a great beer selection and good DJs. Both watering
holes are fine places to start or end a liver-wrecking
evening of wanton hedonism. F
FILTER mini 5
On the Road with Frank Black
by Pat McGuire
Frank Black has been around. When he’s not being Ferry-ied about to five star digs (read on for the reference),
or holing up with Kim Deal on the latest Pixies reunion tour, you’ll find the man tubin’ solo through the Best
Westerns of Europe, leafing through the papers to find his gig. For his latest solo effort, the sublime Honeycomb,
he enlisted the help of some spry Nashville session legends. Perhaps only the promise of some youthful cheerleaders can get the grand ol’ greats to saddle up with our Frankie…
The Films Go to the Movies
by Matt Epler
Who says youth is wasted on the young? The Films are still green, but their sound is youthful in all the right ways:
a playful and peculiar brand of indie pop-rock run through with power chords, curled lips, syncopation, and lifeon-the-road rawness.Two years ago, the Films graduated from the Colorado high school garage band scene (who
knew?) and relocated to Charleston, South Carolina. Ever since, they’ve been touring the American Southeast in
a fat and shiny van they lovingly call Elvis, subsisting on gas station hot dogs and selling out shows with nary a
record to hock (their debut EP is finally on the way). Taking full advantage of the band’s sense of humor (and no
shame in our own creative methods), Mini took the opportunity to ask the Films about—drum roll, please—films.
The band’s list of their least favorite flicks may lack historical depth, but if nothing else, here’s hope for a little
something more from Hollywood. Charleston’s doing just fine.
Air BudWalt Disney Pictures, 1997
Mini: Air Bud—really? Have you no
Michael: I may have teared up, but
that doesn’t make it a good movie.
For Love of the Game Universal
Pictures, 1999
Kenny: I have a theory about Kevin Costner. I think all
he wanted in life was to play baseball and couldn’t hack
it, so he spends the rest of his life pretending to be one
So tell me a good story from the road.
We pulled into a truck stop in the tour bus once and
there was a whole squad of teenage cheerleaders. They
were traveling across the state to a competition, and just
because we were stars (who they’d never heard of, of
course), they decided to show off.About 40 of these gals
all lined up in front of the bus and did their whole routine, jumping on each other’s shoulders… It wasn’t a
sexual thing at all, it was just kinda sweet. “Oh hi, you
guys are in a band? Hey, we’re cheerleaders. Hit it, gals!”
It was just really surreal—rolling out of a tour bus, going
in to look for my bag of Doritos, and suddenly there’s a
whole cheerleader squad doing their routine for me!
Xanadu Universal Pictures, 1980
Kenny Harris (guitar, keys,
vox): I’m into the weird stuff as
much as the next guy, but there are
simply not enough drugs in the
world for me to see the true vision
of Xanadu.
Mini: Even with Olivia Newton
Kenny: I’m into glitz and glamour, don’t get me
wrong…but no.
Saw Lion’s Gate Films, 2004
Jake: I’m a screamer when it comes
to scary movies, but this didn’t do
anything for me.
Mini: Maybe we’re missing the
whole “So Bad It’s Good” category
Jake: Like Jewel opening for Def Leppard?
Hitch Columbia Pictures, 2005
Kenny: I actually liked Hitch.
Rest of band and Mini: [Silence]. F
You Got Served Screen Gems, 2004
Jake Sinclair (bass, vox):The whole thing was about
dancing—battle dancing to be exact. That scene just
doesn’t make any sense to me. I can understand dancing with a girl because you like her, but then fighting
with her? That sucks.
Missing their grandchildren…
Or their 35 year-old girlfriends.
in movies. When he strays and does something like
Waterworld, it’s even crappier.
Red Eye Dreamworks SKG, 2005
Michael Trent (vox, guitar):
Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. I like
being scared and this was just lame.
I really felt something for that guy
from 28 Days Later [Cillian Murphy],
but I don’t think he’s going recover
from this one.
So I hear you’re trying to drag the old guys on
tour with you.
All of those guys have expressed interest, but there
are some logistical things to work out. In the case of
Spooner [Oldham, keyboards] for example, I’m competing with Neil Young! And now they’re at that retiring age, so I’m sure their first reaction is a grit-yourteeth hesitation.
Have you done anything odd to break from the
touring rut?
The last time I was touring with the Catholics in
Europe, I left the touring party and bought a train ticket. I didn’t make any reservations, I didn’t bring my
itinerary, didn’t even know where I was going, except
that I knew what town I had to be in the next day. I
would just go to the train station and buy my ticket and
my copy of the newspaper and an espresso. I’d arrive at
the next city, find the closest hotel, get a room, and
when it got time to go down to the club, I would scan
for flyers or ads in the local arts section for my concert,
figure out where I was playing, and go.
Did you make every show?
Oh yeah, without a problem. But it was always a little
edgy. Those train station businessman hotels—they’re
just a little alcohol fueled. I was looking at a NewYorker
magazine the other day and there was an ad for a
hotel—a big color photograph of Bryan Ferry walking
through the park in his shiny shoes and his unkempt tie,
looking like he’d just rolled out of bed, but also looking
like a million bucks—and I was so impressed, like, “Oh
my god, Bryan Ferry loves it there. He’s a fan. I must
stay there.” But I don’t mind staying at the budget
hotels. I’ll be in the ad for the Rancho Grande Best
Western in Casper,Wyoming. “Frank Black, he’s a fan.”
Is the hotel that important a part of a tour? It
sounds like you’ve done a lot of research.
It’s research by osmosis—years and years of staying in
hotels…you begin to have a sixth sense about them.You
just walk in and you can tell if the staff knows what
they’re doing. For this Pixies reunion tour, 90 percent
of the time we’re in very nice hotels. Kim Deal and I
don’t actually leave the hotel. She might not even leave
her room, except to go to Starbucks.
So what do you do?
You walk around the hotel and you just go, “Yeah, I
don’t have to go anywhere.” You meet people on the
road with these naïve notions about your time. Like
you’re in Cleveland and you just played a gig and you
meet this guy in the parking lot and he’s like, “So, that
was great. Now what’re you gonna do in Cleveland?”
And you’re like, “Well, I’m gonna smoke a cigarette and
then I’m gonna get on the bus and then we’re gonna get
the hell out of Cleveland!” F
minimini6 6
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FOX: Tech
Cardigan, $7
intage Argyle d
Macys West
available at
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FILTER mini 7
ulated and the flag covered everything up. It was one of
those things that seems like a bigger deal when it’s written about after the fact than it does at the time.
I’ve read Chris say that, these days, bands have
to be very Communist in the way they create
art.What do you suppose he means by that?
At our level, we’ll share one hotel together, we’re in the
van together, and we eat together.There’s no independence from each other. We’ve got to get to the next
town—you can’t do anything individually because you
have to get there together.You don’t really see the country the way, say, a tourist would.
Any good Communist cell requires a firm
leader.Who is it in the Sun?
It’s hard to say. Chris is sort of the leader, but Sam is the
more experienced, been-there kind of guy. Chris is the
frontman, so I guess he’s the leader.
Does he rule with an iron fist?
No, I wouldn’t say that. I think we kind of finished with
the Communist thing a while ago. F
Staring at the Sun
(And Other Ways to Go Blind)
by Tristan Staddon
Considering how overrun autumn lines are with earth tones, it’s hardly surprising that it takes a solar
shout-out to shake things up. Witness the ascent of Columbus, Ohio’s the Sun. After paying their dues for a
few hours, and subsequently signing on the dotted line with Warner after their very first live performance,
the Sun—frontman Chris Burney, guitarists Bryan Ardnet and Brad Caulkins, bassist Brad Forsblom and
drummer Sam Brown—spent the next three years stripping every masturbatory excess from their music only
to recycle said sinfulness into their videos and onstage antics. More on that later. For now, their new album,
Blame It on theYouth, presents the band’s deftly-articulated personal politics as a challenge to conventional pop,
albeit one that should land at least one of them a pouty-lipped celebrity girlfriend. But because of the disc’s
irregular format (Youth is being marketed as the world’s first DVD album—a video for each song) the record
won’t be spinning in your CD player.What does that mean exactly? And what of the unresolved masturbation
matter? Mini caught up with Ardnet to find out.
This record is unique in that it comes in the form
of an MP3-compatible DVD album. How did this
concept develop?
We had the recordings for the album done last year, but
they don’t usually release new bands in the winter, so we
started working on videos. We started out with three or
four, then five or six, and eventually the record company
offered us enough time and support to make videos for all
of them.
So I don’t think we’re going to sell less records because we
put it out on DVD. It seems real simple and, at the major
level, CDs aren’t even what’s going big these days.
Particularly as a new band, does it worry you
that your music could be unnecessarily difficult
to access?
It does a little bit, but all of the music we buy is on vinyl
or DVD. CDs just don’t hit our radar for whatever reason.
The video for “Back in the Summer of ’72”, from
your Love & Death EP, was banned in the U.K.
and now the video for “Romantic Death” is
attracting a lot of attention for its similarly racy
content. [The video features still camera head-
That may be—but what about someone who
wants to listen to it in their car?
That’s actually the one example we’ve thought about a lot.
People can’t listen to it in their cars unless they have the
technology. I don’t know how that’s going to affect us.
The Good Sun
shots of people masturbating, gleaned from].What is it about sexuality that the Sun would like us to consider?
I think it’s the classic “Sex Sells.” But, instead of doing it to
exploit women, we wanted to do something different.
When we found that website and the edits started to pile
up, it really fit with the song.
Do the people in the video know you’re featuring
Yeah, we actually got them all to sign off on it.We got in
touch with the webmaster and contacted everyone. The
website’s actually based in Australia, so that took a long
time to track everyone down. We only had to take out a
couple of them.
I understand that a friend of the band once, well,
performed the same act onstage—draped in an
American flag and humming the national
anthem, no less.True?
[Laughs] Yeah, I had forgotten about that.We were playing
a show in St. Louis—I think we were opening for the
Brian Jonestown Massacre—and Chris’ friend from high
school, Paul, told us he had done that before. I think a
string broke and there was a lull in the set, so he just went
through the motions.
Bryan Ardnet’s favorite
audio-video selections.
Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (Sire,
“I remember seeing it at this party at
like 2:00 in the morning. It just blew
my mind.”
The Beatles – All You Need Is
Love (Capitol, 1967)
“When I was a kid they did that
TV show [the BBC’s Our World].
Seeing this always reminds me of my childhood.”
Pink Floyd – Live At Pompeii
(Polygram, 1981)
“Before we recorded the record, Chris
and I sat down and watched this. It’s so
weird seeing them all alone.”
Radiohead – Meeting People Is Easy
(Capitol, 1999)
“I remember thinking that they were a
lot like Guns N’Roses—a big rock band
that was reluctant about accepting it—
Fine choice of words.
but like, the polar opposite of everyWell, I don’t think he actually did the deed. It was sim- thing Guns N’ Roses.”
FILTER mini 8
The Restless
Adventures of
Rilo Kiley
by Lesley Bargar, photography by Michael R.Williams
THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES we pass through
many people and places in an attempt to test out
who we are.Your neighbor knew how to roll joints,
so you became a ska-loving stoner in early high
school, and then again for that summer in college,
and still occasionally on long weekends. Somewhere
in between, you met a girl who inspired you to start
reading a lot and doing yoga. But then there were
those four months in Europe where you met some
crazy Swedes on a train who had you clubbing seven
nights a week, thoroughly convinced that techno
was the new punk rock. And it all kept going and
shifting until you reached now, which is likely just
the next signpost on that meandering road. And
none of this means we’re shallow or indecisive; all it
really means is that we’re open. And growing. And
understanding that raver pants are impractical. And
that maybe part of us is still searching for some
intangible something that we just don’t have.
Rilo Kiley, like the rest of us, are doing the same.
“We just never really found it in Los Angeles,”
says Jenny Lewis, the strikingly bashful, redheaded frontwoman of Silver Lake’s melancholy indie-
pop exports. “I don’t think we ever really felt a
part of anything.”
Jenny still can’t pinpoint exactly what the “it”
was she didn’t find in her hometown. But she and
her band (guitarist/singer Blake Sennet, drummer
Jason Boesel, bassist Pierre “Duke” de Reeder, plus
a rotating slew of contributors) have spent the
whole of their eight-year career sifting through
labels and producers, states and success levels to
find it. However, unlike many of us, Rilo Kiley
haven’t morphed into a different entity with each
new encounter. Rather, they’ve maintained a surprisingly consistent sense of identity throughout
the sometimes-frantic coming and going of time
and influences.
“We wrote songs immediately,” says Jenny of her
partnership with Kiley’s thinly-moustached cofrontperson, Blake Sennet. “I think the first day we
met.” And the songs they put out then are the same
melodic, bittersweet, country-tinged, desperate
rock songs that their self-described tumultuous creative relationship are pumping out today. The only
difference: now they’re doing it as members of
(or Free to be More Adventurous, at last)
FILTER mini 9
unfortunate reality that if you’re a band, you need to
pimp. And the stronger the pimp, the better.”
With mega-label Warner Brothers wearing the gold
chains, as it were, many expected that the band
wouldn’t survive—that
after leaving the Saddle
Creek family, Rilo would
just fade away. Or “sell
out.” Or, frankly, suck.
Shit, people almost wanted it. But isn’t the term
“selling out” just a selfish
holdover from the days of
musical civil war past?
Today’s atmosphere is one
where a band can truly
maintain their DIY aesthetic through the presumed paradigm shift of a label
change. Interpol sell out arenas. Modest Mouse get
played at frat parties. Franz Ferdinand are everywhere. And yet, what’s changed? Jenny still alters her
own dresses and Blake still…sports a moustache, and
together they both keep writing their sweetly tortured songs.
“I think the tendency in life is to want to experience
different things,” Blake says. “I can’t explain it, but even
people who are in the happiest marriage still look
around sometimes. Like,‘What if I married that dude?’
And maybe in a band you actually have the opportunity to do that.”
And even now with a rich sugar-daddy of a husband,
Kiley’s still got a wandering eye. As if just to
prove to everyone that
they’re still (and always
will be) the rolling
stone of a band we fell
in love with, Blake and
Jenny are both currently
immersed in their own
p r o j e c t s — B l a k e ’s
mastering the second
album from his Sub
Pop side-band, the
Elected, and Jenny just finished her first solo record.
“I’ve only ever made music with Blake,” says Jenny.
“So it’s nice to know that it’s possible to do something
on your own.” And Blake agrees.
“We have to go and do our solo records and get a
fresh perspective,” he says. “So when we make our next
record we’ll figure it out from there. It’s weird, you
know—it gets redefined every day. We shall see what
will become of us.”
And so will the rest of us, right along with them.F
“It’s just the unfortunate
reality that if you’re a band,
you need to pimp.
And the stronger the
pimp, the better.”
indie royalty, with three full-lengths, several international headlining tours, their own label, and a gig
opening for Coldplay sitting in their lap.
But first, like Jenny said, there was something missing in L.A. It’s a city (perhaps accurately) reputed for
its scattershot music scene. No center, no movement,
no family. Just a bunch of bands competing for billing
at the handful of good and/or sleazy clubs that dot the
city’s huge expanse.
So they looked. They looked at Barsuk—original
home to Death Cab for Cutie and a closeknit collective
of Pacific Northwest musicians—to find what Blake
calls “that family dynamic.” And they looked at Saddle
Creek—home to Bright Eyes, Cursive, the Faint, wunder-producer Mike Mogis and his Presto! Studio. Rilo
Kiley became the first band of Omaha outsiders to join
the intimate clique, and here they gained the indie cred
and obsessive fanbase that S.C. acts typically carry
(next to their half-empty wine bottles).
And in the midst of all that unrest, Rilo Kiley man10 FILTER
aged to release two very settled full-lengths: 2001’s
Take-Offs and Landings and 2002’s The Execution of All
Things. Both are impressive collections of beautiful,
tragic songs with strings, organs, guitars, electronic
swirls and Jenny’s hyper-sweet voice on top of it all,
always sounding like longing. (“I don’t know if I necessarily want to create a desperate sound for myself,” says
Jenny. “Cool, calm and collected would be nice, but I
guess I just can’t quite shake it.”)
Still, while supportive hugs from Conor Oberst feel
real sweet, they can’t get a band things like large international distribution and radio play, or a certain standard
of living that a move to a major—or in their case, forming their own Warner-backed label (Brute/Beaute) to
release their most recent full-length More Adventurous—
could provide.
“I think at a certain point as a band, you kind of have
to step it up,” says Blake. “All my favorite bands and
songwriters have been associated with major labels:
David Bowie, the Beatles, Dylan, the Band. It’s just the
FILTER mini 10
Do you have a favorite song on Howl?
Only by default. I’m really proud of all of them, but
“Complicated Situation” is the oldest one there and the
inspiration for making an album like this.
Despite problems with labels and internal
struggles, you’ve continued to tour your asses
off. Do you consider that to be more your livelihood than the studio work?
I’ve kind of learned to separate them more, actually.
With this record, we kind of threw the concerns of
playing it live out the window. We knew we could play
the songs live acoustically by ourselves, but playing as a
band was another thing and that turned into a problem.
But we sorted that out. Mostly technical crap. There’s
no way to make the music sound big live with just one
acoustic guitar, so we have a guy on stage helping us out
for a couple of songs.
How much of the image—the leather, the
motorcycles—is you guys, and how much of it
is fashion consultants and trend specialists?
All that stuff is kind of funny to me. But at the same
time, it’s not. Because it really gets in the way of music.
Even the fashion of being moody. We came in wearing
black pants, black shirts, leather boots so I guess we
kind of did it to ourselves. But I don’t want to be an
advertisement; I want to be a blank [or, may we suggest,
black?] canvas. It always becomes a big deal when people don’t hear anything else coming from the band.
Dressing Up the
with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
I understand the Beat Generation has had a bit
of an impact on you guys…
I just like the idea of a counterculture and they seemed
to have one then.And well, they wore black.They probably got a lot of fashion crap about it at the time and
probably really fucking hated it. I feel a little bit of kinship to them. They probably meant it the same way—
wearing black, making the statement of being against
fashion, against all that. But yeah, counterculture…
where is it now?
by Chi Tung
The name Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a bit misleading.You see, they’re not a band of bikers at all (no!), but
simply a trio of white, leather-clad musicians who play what they like, and like what they play. Sometimes it happens to be rock and roll. Other times it’s honky-tonk blues, or soul, or folk, or spoken word. Okay, to our knowledge, only frontman Peter Hayes recites poetry in his free time (and in interviews, apparently—read on), but we’re
guessing the hobby would be a conflict of interest for Hell’s Angels HR. On the eve of the release of an album that
almost never happened, Mini spoke with Pete about the group’s third LP Howl (named after the infamous Ginsburg
novel), the conspiracy of silence, and lest we forget, his three favorite rebels, black or otherwise.
Do you think this record took more focus in
comparison to your earlier stuff?
Definitely. It took more of an open mind.We took a lot of
chances that we hadn’t considered taking in a long while.
Playing instruments we don’t know how to play, for example. But that was also the most fun about it too.There were
a bunch of mistakes, and part of me really wanted to go
back and fix them all, but we ended up just leaving them.
Rumor has it that BRMC almost bit the motorcycle dust, as it were. Was there ever a point
where you seriously considered walking away
from it all?
There was a point where I wasn’t sure what I wanted to
do, as far as if there should be a band anymore. But no,
not really. It’s always there in the background—melting
into the woodwork somewhere. No more than that.
Why is the U.K. scene such a major influence on
your sound?
I guess I enjoyed those bands more than any other
American bands. I didn’t get into what was offered
here.There just wasn’t a whole lot to be inspired by.
Do you still feel that way?
No, I think it’s getting better. I think.There’s the station
that opened up here in L.A.—103.1. And KCRW. As far
as the mainstream goes, it’s a good sign that bands like
the White Stripes get play—it’s something different. It
hasn’t really opened up the doors for us, but it’s better
than what it was before.The door was closed extra tight.
Has the whole process—from being an “it”
band to yesterday’s news to being thrust back
in the limelight again—made you hungrier or
more jaded?
We’ve always been a bit jaded by it.We’ve never wanted to let the business get in the way of the art. No one
should let that happen. I believe that if we can get
enough people working together, there can be change.
Let me read you something I wrote. [Pauses. Shuffles
papers. Clears throat.] “What use is the cynic? Who
comes here unintrigued and strives to leave unobtained
with little cause or intent.And I’m worried now of who
will come see what we saw with past invasions of our
own thoughts, leaving no room.” We don’t want to be
cynical about it because that’s part of the problem. If
anybody else is thinking the same thing, that’s great, but
keeping our mouths shut about it doesn’t help. Like the
conspiracy of silence: I really don’t wanna be a part of
that.We have to talk about it. F
ze Motorcycle Club’s Favorite Black
Rebels (or rebels who wore black)...........
Peter picks ’em, Mini checks the credentials.
Edith Piaf
Mom abandoned her,
pops was an alcoholic acrobat,
grandma was a pimp and the girl
was blind from age 3 to age 7.
This calamity’s child went on to
become the voice of France.
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Martin Luther King, Jr.
He realized Thoreau’s theory of civil disobedience,
Washington, and delivered over
2,500 speeches on the injustice
of White America. MLK had a
rebel yell that’s still ringing today.
Johnny Cash
The man turned his
back to Nashville to cut his own
black cloth out of the best of the
mid-century American music lexicon. Johnny’s sound was dark,
honest and goddamned, fuck-all
rebellious. And he once shot a man
in Reno, just to watch him die.
FILTER mini 11
A miniature take on selected Filter Magazine reviews
(Go to or pick up Filter Magazine’s Summer Issue for full reviews.)
Brian Eno
Another Day on Earth
More ingenious etherealisms from a man
with reasonable claim to the “best producer in the history of all time ever” crown.
Sanddollars EP
Odd-hop collagist finds band and flirts
coyly with pop respectability; think “good” before “weird.”
DJ Shadow
Endtroducing (Deluxe Edition)
As in 91% of cool 9-year-olds were conceived to this; 15 years from now, they’ll be stoked.
pastiest country on planet (hint: rhymes with “Fate
At the Drive-In
This Station is
Watching a band evolve to world prog domination has
never been so collectable. Now how ’bout that Mars
ze Wingdale Community Singers
The Wingdale
Community Singers
Plain Recordings
What would happen if like, a Jeff Mangum-type married some husky, organic soap, granola chick?
Oh…this. Cool.
Thor impregnates a fjord, raises the offspring in Valhalla, and teaches her the best bits of Kylie
Minogue. Norway rules.
Out West
Double live disc engineered to satisfy the
following pre-approved adjectives: “bluesy,” “versatile,”
“psychedelic” and “ambitious.”
The Understanding
Wall of Sound
Damn, how come Europe gets this haunting,
shimmery, vodka-soaked dance culture and we get Haddaway?
There’s a Fire
Yep, there’s a warm, glowing fire, and we’re
roasting a bunch of U2-flavored marshmallows right on
top of it. Now who’s got the grahams?
Drag City
Sure you worked with Slint, Tortoise
and…Zwan, but it don’t mean shit if you can’t funk the
folk. Boo-ya!
ze White Stripes
Get Behind Me Satan
Ditching the electric guitar for fiddle,
marimba and “the ideal of truth” takes balls, but balls
can suck too.
Bob Mould
Body of Song
Yep Roc
Guitar pop with dance flourishes; in bacteria
terms, surpasses cheese mould, but falls short of penicillin.
ze Coral
Invisible Invasion
Sixties summertime whimsy from the
Make Believe
A case of the dorks is like Alzheimer’s: it
ain’t contagious, but it gets worse with age.
Be bold but not brazen,bald but bearded,bardlike rather than banal, boisterous but—oh fuck it, just Be.
Below 60%
¬ a great album
¬ above par, below genius
¬ respectable, but flawed
¬ not in my CD player
¬ please God, tell us why
FILTER mini 12
Ta Det Lugnt
Gustav Ejstes is a one-man axis as bold as
love. On Ta Det Lugnt—his third album as Dungen and
first to land Stateside without a hefty import mark-up—
he chases his absinthe with coffee.This Swedish strange
brew fizzes with maggot-brained licks, tinny piano
melodies, spaced-out sax, grassy harmonies and Creamy fuzz. Summer hasn't been this psychedelic in years.
And for the frugal among you who sat on your wallets,
Kemado rewards with a second-disc of bonus cuts.
Windsor for the Derby
Giving Up the Ghost
Secretly Canadian
When you write out Windsor For the
Derby as an anagram, doesn’t it look like one of those
handicraft Jesus bracelets? WFTD have been around for
about a decade, and much like a 10-year-old in Sunday
School, their newest effort is dreamy, hushed and kicks
a little bit to stay awake. So the next time you find yourself needing to make a sparse folktronica record, just
ask yourself WWWFTDD and then do one better and
you’ll be sittin’ pretty in J.C.’s eyes.
Weird Tales of the Ramones
Yeah, another Ramones compilation, and
quit bitching about it. If it wasn’t for
them, we’d be listening to Leo Sayer and
the Starland Vocal Band 24/7. Shit, you wouldn’t be
reading this magazine. This four-disc set includes 85
tunes, a DVD of promo videos and performances, and
a comic book by the twisted folks behind the Garbage
Pail Kids. Already got every Ramones CD? Pass Weird
Tales along to that neighbor kid who loves Good
Charlotte and save a life before it’s too late.
Jack’s Mannequin
Everything in Transit
A lot of kids play little league solely
because their parents need the vicarious competitive
thrill. Like those spry little hubris-conduits, Andrew
McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin (and yes, Something
Corporate) volunteers for popular sport just to appease
the folks. Sure it’s piano-driven power-pop, insanely
catchy and fun in a radio-friendly way, but the clever
and biting lyrics hint that McMahon really wants to be
under the bleachers smoking cigarettes and rolling dice.
Giant Drag
Hearts and Unicorns
Kickball Records
There are two kinds of fuzz: the kind
that covers a juicy peach, and the kind you find growing on a week-old ham sandwich. Giant Drag’s first
full-length manages to have a little bit of both—consider it a Moldy Peach, if you will. Haunting guitar
melodies smudged together into a dark, MBV,
meat/mayo/bread-y mess, juicy poptronic punches,
and a smooth serving of Annie Hardy’s aloof,
Sandovallian songstressing…shit, grab me a napkin
and a canister of bactine. It’s lunchtime.
West Oaktown
So what if it took a 7-foot Englishman to
paint a striking picture of Oakland out of time? If you
threw a good limp in there, Charlie “Colossus” Tate
would make a dapper-ass pimp. Scat-rapping, laid back
funk, shimmering speakeasy jazz, crispy slow-gaited
percussion… It’s like the Roots remaking Organix, but
with actual chops this time. Or Yesterday’s New
Quintet playing only the Bluest Notes from the most
Digable Planets. Stones Throw is kicking themselves in
the wolf mask for missing this.
Ric Ocasek
“Ric, STOP!” somebody shrieks, as Ric
Ocasek raises his crowbar to strike the haunches of a
fallen horse. “For heaven’s sake, it’s already dead!” But
Ric just winks, and continues to beat the dead animal.
Blow, after blow, after blow, it truly sucks for the
onlooker. It’s not as if the beating isn’t a “well-done”
beating. I mean, he did kill the animal after all. But
we’ve seen this behavior too often from our classic
artists. The horse is fucking dead—I don’t care, and
frankly, neither does Ric.
ze Stooges
The Stooges
Ain’t a whole lot I can add to the oceans
of ink that’s been spilled about the Stooges’ thermonuclear roundhouse punch of a debut album—its
inescapable influence on punk, metal, indie rock and
every dirtbag with a guitar around the world is, well,
inescapable—so I’m just gonna say that if you don’t
have The Stooges by now, Rhino’s giving you a shot at
rock and roll redemption. Included is John Cale’s original album mix, which got the gasface for being too
“arty.” Get it, get it, get it.
A Son Unique
Island/Def Jam
I miss my Dirt-Dog just as much as the
next Wu-Tang-4-lifer, but if live and uncut is how I
remember him best, then live and uncut should he
remain on his parting shot, A Son Unique. When surrounded by his brethren—RZA and Ghostface put their
best Timbo’d feet forward for the rainy-day majesty of
“Back in the Air,” Meth and Raekwon party hardy on
“Intoxicated”—he still sounds rawer than ever. When
he’s not—well, you get Missy Elliott with bad teeth and
a lazy eye.
Quit +/or Fight
Sub Pop
Today you may know Holopaw’s John
Orth as that guy who helped with Isaac Brock’s Ugly
Casanova project, but after Quit +/or Fight you’ll simply
know him as that guy from Holopaw. This is the second
full-length from this Floridian five piece—a full-band
affair complete with synthy keyboards, real strings and
thrift store furniture-as-instruments—but it’s Orth’s
wispy voice and arrangements that will carry you through
those sticky-hot, midsummer, wine-bottle nights.
ze Sun
Blame it on the Youth
Fortunately, the Sun don’t have the same
relationship that I do with the ’90s garage rock revolution that scored my tumultuous teenage years. They
moved past their Collective Soul fixation far enough to
pull some good out of the era. By tinkering with a
skuzzier model of Surfer Rosa as interpreted by a quirkier Built to Spill, the band bests their (post-)grungy
predecessors, and thank God. One more Blind Melon
flashback and I might compulsively start writing hack
poetry and stealing cigarettes again.
Diamond Nights
Ever wonder what might have happened
if Thin Lizzy, the Cars, Queens of the Stone Age, Vince
Neil, Black Sabbath, the Knack and Billy Idol got into an
Ultimate Fighting Championship cage match, only to
resolve the conflict by means of a whiskey-soaked,
cocaine-fueled collaborative effort? Me neither. And
yet, isn’t it high time that the online effort to “bring
back the Camaro” had a soundtrack? Finally, cock rock
has thrust itself back into my parents’ basement.
Facing New York
Facing New York
Five One Inc.
Ahh the glamorous life of the working
artist. So much in common with the freshly minted college grad: the world is your oyster, and the sea is yours
to drown in. On their debut full-length, Bay Area bohoruffians Facing New York score the quarter-life crisis
with all the Baroque flourish of Vatican City on a cloudy
day (think Dismemberment Plan meets Zep and the
Police). Dense, dark, nervy, and at times downright
sexy, this is music to drink absinthe, fuck, paint or cry
to. Preferably all at once.
Syd Matters
Someday We Will
Foresee Obstacles
Imagine Nick Drake pulling a Tupac by releasing a posthumous double album with Four Tet at the helm instead of
Eminem. Replace the gangsta beats with melancholy
French electronica, and the lyrics about bitches ‘n’ gats
with folksy musings. Set up a chaise lounge next to the
swimming pool, break out the Freezy-Pops and strap on
your headphones.You’ve now got a good gauge on the last
two hours of my life. Unless you hate Nick Drake, bitches and icy treats, Syd Matters indeed.
A Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005
When Canada is the center of the music
scene, not only do we start worrying about losing to a
country with pony-riding police, but we’re reminded of
all the other cult Canadian bands we’ve almost forgotten. And when Sloan releases a near-perfect singles collection in the U.S.—showcasing the best of their timeless, kitschy, indie-pop purity—the fans pull down
their furry parka hoods to reveal that the so-called
American cult is much more a sensation.
Prefuse 73
A Band of Bees
Free the Bees
Man, it was freaky. I was sitting in my
comfortable porch swing, wearing a puffy
vest, and this crazy old dude with a shock of white hair
rolled up in a Delorean and told me to get in. He threw
in this CD by A Band of Bees, but he wasn’t sure if he
got it in 1955 or 2005. I told him it sounded like
Revolver, and he said it sounded like Sam & Dave, and
when I said that I love Van Halen, he pushed me out of
the Delorean.What a dick.
Take London
Ninja Tune
If you thought trip-hop and breakbeats
died with Shadow, you haven’t heard the Herbaliser. If
you thought the art of femcee’ing perished with MC
Lyte, the only Jean Grae memorabilia you own is an XMen comic.This is a wake-up call for both; its production alludes to blaxpoitation-era funk, ’60s lounge-pop
and yes, Shadow. And then there’s Jean, taking London
by storm as she growls, spits and pummels her way
through four of the album’s strongest cuts. Cyclops
Shout Out Louds
All the Stars and Boulevards
Let’s play a game. Close your eyes and
imagine it’s the summer of ’95. You’re cruising
down the highway in your brand new Saturn on the
way to see that adorable Sandra Bullock in While You
Were Sleeping. The Goo Goo Dolls and Sponge blare
from a mix tape and you’re getting super stoked
for the big Gin Blossoms show this weekend. Now
open your eyes. Was that fun? Well, about as much
as All the Stars and Boulevards. Nostalgia’s got its
Prefuse 73 Reads the Books
Prefuse 73 Reads the Books, interpreted for
both musicologist and hip-hopper:This EP is a brilliant
collision of organic and electronic. [Damn yo, the banjo
never sounded so crunk.] It’s spun glass meets woven
wicker [nod your head to the cello, money—shit is mad
ill], as Prefuse gives the Books’ material the old postmodern treatment. [Oh snaps! Did you hear that beat?
Dripping water and shit.] The two collagists form an
alliance the likes of which hasn’t been seen since Eno
and Byrne. [Yeeeaaah boyeeeeeee!]
ze Herbaliser
ze Redwalls
De Nova
If it sounds like the Beatles, talks like the
Beatles…it isn’t always the Beatles. True,
the Redwalls have the whole effervescent-harmonything down pat, and if they sound a little too in love
with the idea of being in love, well, that might be
because “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is such an ideal template. Lyrically though, these young gunz could stand to
use more later-Beatles nuance—sounds like the
Beatles, but reads a little more like the Wonders.
Howl Howl Gaff Gaff
It takes a certain skill to sound apathetic
about rocking someone’s face off.As if you just noticed
you were in front of a microphone and holding a guitar. “What? Am I supposed to play this or something?
Fine, whatever.” Shout Out Louds have mastered this
skill, belting out enjoyably somber indie-pop tunes
over the course of their debut LP and never breaking
a sweat. “What? You want more rocking? Okay, I
Elgin Avenue Breakdown
Never mind any of that I-can-totally-seethe-future-of-the-Clash-here stuff. That’s
just wankery. Joe Strummer’s pre-Clash band stands tall
without the name check—swaggering around all bluesrock-like, with Joe Strummer’s inimitable vocals and
protopunk sounds marking the twists and turns. It’s
exactly the record you would make if you grew up listening to Chuck Berry but were really angry. On the
intro to “Gloria” a strained voice yells, “Fuck the discos!” Fuck the discos, indeed.
FILTER mini 14
ze Stooges
Fun House (Deluxe Edition)
And I quote: “UH!” Out the door went
the psychadoozik riffs and in came a leaner, deadlier
combo of serrated-edge street blues and the dirtiest-ass
Midwest funk this side of the Funkadelic tour bus bathroom. The result: a monolith in the cock-rock pantheon, the stanky Tigris and Euphrates from which
every band of dangerous creeps with guitars from
Motörhead to the Black Halos can trace their leatherlined roots. Rhino’s double-disc reissue includes a full
slab of alternate takes and demos, so stick it deep
inside, baby.
Imagine if a time traveler invited you to a
party in 2099.You show up and it’s not quite what you
expected—mostly dudes sitting around playing
Playstation 37 and talking about Star Wars: Episode 12.
Jamiroquai’s Dynamite is the soundtrack to this 22nd
century sausage-fest. While the futuristic, funkadelic
sounds are groovy and danceable, the nancy-boy
smoothness of singer Jay Kay’s voice keeps the album
held down on the R&B earth instead of hovering in the
rock/electronic stratosphere where it truly belongs.
Richard Hawley
Cole’s Corner
On his third solo disc, Pulp associate and
Spector-for-hire Richard Hawley offers up another
platter of smoking balladry and smoldering torch
songs. Crooning in his barroom baritone over weeping
strings and his own supple six-string, Hawley paints
Cole’s Corner in a hue darker than 2003’s Lowedges. In
particular, he trades one kind of frontier image for
another: instead of motorcycle solitude, he sings here
of falling rain and seashores. If Lee Hazlewood thought
Trouble was a lonesome town, he’s never been to
Lake Trout
Not Them,You
For seven years Lake Trout were tragically underrated and ignored, perhaps in part because
they got their start in the jam-band scene as (ph)ish
out of water. After floundering on the frontlines of
livetronica, then snagging Radiohead-rock by its tail,
the band hooks the right time and place with Not
Them,You, a thrilling and dense ride through “post”
just-about-everything. Lake Trout are finally becoming the hipster commodity they always should’ve
been.The hottest thing since that whole Swedish herring explosion.
Sarah Blasko
The Overture & the Underscore
Low Altitude
Here’s the Overture: the first verse of
the first song from Sarah Blasko’s debut may recall the
dirty strumming and droney vocals of a certain Miss
Harvey on her first, Dry. But what a place to start (it
beats an English sheep farm in any case). The
Underscore: venturing onward through the neatly
smeared layers of beats, guitars and sweeping croons
reveals something nightmarish-yet-sweet (think Beth
Gibbons fronting the Sundays). It’s pop without perfection, and proof positive that Blasko isn’t just another PJ playactor.
c 2005 Universal Records, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
June Carter Cash
Keep On the Sunny Side:
Her Life and Music
June Carter Cash preserved the history of country
music as a member of the legendary Carter Family, cut
foot-stomping rockabilly and honky-tonk music as a
teen, co-wrote “Ring of Fire” and saved her husband
Johnny Cash from hell. A long-overdue tribute to an
astonishing life in music, Keep on the Sunny Side cherrypicks the best material from a 60 year career, from
singing with her family on border radio in ’39 to her
final album in ’03.What did you do today, Faith Hill?
Dirty On Purpose
Sleep Late For A Better
North Street
Keep the beat simple, find the melody and don’t overthink it. Let the guitars wander and play a bit in their
fuzz, inhale deeply, and listen lightly as you stare straight
ahead into the wild blue yonder…or your faux stucco
ceiling. Dirty on Purpose evokes an early Yo La Tengo
with more room for reverb. Best enjoyed with a soft
couch and a smoke, toes bobbing to the hazy rhythm.
The Debut Album
August 30, 2005
radio singles chart
The Filter Recommended Radio Chart is Filter’s compilation of our favorite college,
indie, modern rock and adult album alternative stations around the country that we know will
always bring you what Filter loves best: Good Music. This list of top-20 singles of the week is
made up of the most played songs of our select stations. Read on, and check
every week to see what Filter and the in-the-know programmers across the country deem best.
1: FRANZ FERDINAND “Do You Want To” (Domino/Epic/Sony BMG)
2: DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE “Soul Meets Body” (Barsuk/Atlantic)
(Abstract Dragon/RCA)
4:THE WHITE STRIPES “My Doorbell” (Third Man/V2)
(Mint/Matador/Beggars Group)
6:THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS “Sing Me Spanish Techno”
(Mint/Matador/Beggars Group)
7: NEIL YOUNG “The Painter” (Reprise)
8: RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS “The Hardest Part” (Lost
9:THE DANDY WARHOLS “All The Money Or The Simple Life Honey”
10: BECK “Girl” (Interscope)
12: COLDPLAY “Fix You” (Capitol)
13:THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS “Use It” (Mint/Matador/Beggars
14: SONS AND DAUGHTERS “Dance Me In” (Domino)
15: SUFJAN STEVENS “Chicago” (Asthmatic Kitty)
16: NADA SURF “Always Love” (Barsuk)
17: FEIST “Mushaboom” (Cherry Tree/Interscope)
18: GORILLAZ “Feel Good Inc.” (Virgin)
19: JOHN VANDERSLICE “Exodus Damage” (Barsuk)
20: LAURA VEIRS “Secret Someones” (Nonesuch )
Chart based on electronically monitored airplay data of the week of September 5th 2005 provided by for the following commercial and non-commercial radio stations: KCRW - Los Angeles, CA,
KDHX - St. Louis, MO, KDLE/KDLD - Newport Beach/Santa Monica, CA, KEXP - Seattle,WA, KITS - San Francisco,
CA, KOOP/KVRX - Hornsby/Austin,TX, KXLU - Los Angeles, CA, WAWL - Chattanooga,TN,WDBM - East Lansing,
MI, WDET - Detroit, MI, WFMU - East Orange, NJ, WFPK - Louisville, KY, WFUV - New York, NY, WKNC - Raleigh,
NC, WKQX - Chicago, IL, WRAS - Atlanta, GA, WRGP - Homestead, FL, WRVU - Nashville,TN, WTMD - Townson,
MD, WXPN - Philadelphia, PA, WYEP - Pittsburgh, PA.