Trials + Tribulations

Active Child / Com Truise Show Review
September 2, 2011, 11:06 am
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I'm not big on photographing shows so this iPhone pic will have to suffice.

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing Com Truise and Active Child play in Dallas at the Prophet Bar. Both artists are relatively new to the scene and I think it was their first date in Dallas for both (I could/might be wrong). Both have new albums this year, so I was interested in seeing how these new artists were as live performers. Needless to say there’s room to grow for both, but they’re off to an impressive start.

Com Truise reviews (rhyming) frequently refer to his music as being throwback, synthesizer-obsessed video game music. And to that I say, they definitely have a point. There’s a long line of nostalgia-based artists like Neon Indian and Ford & Lopatin that love the 80s synths, and Com Truise admitted last night that he too really loves synths. Live though, the bass kind’ve takes over the noise. There are a lot of electronic noises that brought to mind failing computer noises, blue screens of death and “game over” screens. The audience really ate it up, whooping and clapping various times throughout the songs. While there wasn’t a lot of outright dancing, there were a lot of hips swaying.

Active Child’s new album All I See is You covers a lot of territory and sounds, but the real star is Pat Grossi’s choirboy-trained voice. It sounds downright out-of-this-world. Paired with his harp-playing there are some definite beautiful songs. Two Internet favorites, “Hanging On” and “Playing House” felt the most fleshed-out of his set. They were passionate and beautiful and in those moments Grossi had the audience captivated. While his other songs may not be as catchy or involving, the atmosphere was beautiful and serene. Taking the stage after Com Truise Grossi said the audience was worked up and he wanted to “get dreamy.” Mission accomplished.

Thanks to Chris with Big Hassle for getting me into the show. Last night was the first night Com Truise and Active Child played together, so catch them when they come to your town.

9/2 Austin, TX @ Emo’s Inside*
9/3 Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s*
9/5 Atlanta, GA @ Earl*
9/6 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506*
9/7 Washington, D.C. @ Black Cat*
9/8 Philadelphia, PA @ First Chapel Unitarian*
9/10 New York City, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*
9/12 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*^
9/13 Montreal @ Blue Skies*^
9/14 Toronto @ Garrison^
9/15 Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern^
9/16 Chicago, IL @ Schubas^
9/17 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry^
9/19 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive^
9/20 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge^
9/21 Boise, ID @ Neurolux^
9/23 Seattle, WA @ Crocodile^
9/24 Vancouver @ Electric Owl^
9/25 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge^
9/28 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill^

*With Com Truise
^With Chad Valley

Wild Flag
August 1, 2011, 3:44 pm
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Here’s a trailer for one of the season’s most anticipated albums (by me, at least). Wild Flag’s self-titled album is out September 17th on Merge Records. You can preorder it right now!

Wild Flag – Romance

They’ll also be on tour throughout the fall, sharing the stage on same dates with Eleanor Friedberger (sadly not in Dallas). Tour dates below.

Continue reading

June 27, 2011, 8:45 am
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Pictureplane’s new album Thee Physical is out soon, but here’s a taste of one of the album’s finer cuts, a duet with sing Zola Jesus. The album’s a fantastic raved-out listen from start to finish, one you should definitely keep on your radar.

[audio|leftbg=fffc05|lefticon=333333]Pictureplane – Trancegender

He’s going on tour with Teengirl Fantasy this summer, so be sure and see them if they’re coming to your town if you wanna dance.

07/20 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
07/21 – Philadelphia, PA @ Voyeur
07/22 – New York, NY @ TBD
07/23 – Brooklyn, NY @ CoCo66
07/24 – Baltimore, MD @ Club Hippo
07/25 – Washington, DC @ Subterranean A
07/26 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Belvedere’s
07/27 – Cleveland, OH @ B-Side
07/28 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
07/29 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
07/30 – Columbus, OH @ Double Happiness
07/31 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk

Every Time We Touch
June 14, 2011, 4:21 pm
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Architecture in Helsinki’s album Moment Bends has been out for awhile now, but this week they’re bringing their party to American shores to share with us. In celebration, they’ve released a new drugged out remix of the lead single “Contact High” by Bjorn Yttling (the Bjorn of Peter Bjorn & John), and a track-by-track run-through of their album. All that below!

Contact High (Bjorn Yttling Remix)

06/15:  Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
06/16:  New York, NY @ Webster Hall
06/17:  Washington, DC @ Black Cat
06/18:  Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

May 29, 2011, 10:21 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Here’s the new video for Architecture in Helsinki’s single “Escapee.”

They’re coming to our American shores next week so go see them if you have the chance.

06/01:  Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater
06/02:  San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
06/03:  San Francisco, CA @ Slims
06/04:  Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
06/05:  Vancouver, BC @ Venur
06/06:  Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
06/09:  Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater
06/10:  Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
06/11:  Toronto, ON @ Mod Club
06/12:  Montreal, QC @ Le Tulipe
06/13:  Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
06/15:  Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
06/16:  New York, NY @ Webster Hall
06/17:  Washington, DC @ Black Cat
06/18:  Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

Skin Like Fire
April 25, 2011, 11:19 am
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It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

I mean since we’ve heard anything new from Portland’s Reporter. 2010’s Time Incredible was a great debut, with sexy Italo-disco songs along the lines of Italians Do it Better’s output. They’re back with a new single, and ready to hit the western roads this next week so if they come to town, I’ve heard their live show is not to be missed.

♫ Skin Like Fire

April 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ Belasco
April 26 – San Diego, CA @ Tin Can Alehouse
April 28 – Tucson @ Hotel Congress
April 30 – Los Angeles @ Killing Spree at Showcave
May 1 – Santa Ana, CA @ Proof Bar
May 2 – San Francisco @ Engine Works

New Love
September 24, 2010, 9:51 am
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Last year saw the formation of Former Ghosts (Freddy Rupert, formerly of This Song is a Mess But So Am I, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu and Nika Roza Danilova aka Zola Jesus) and the release of their excellent debut Fleurs. This fall they’re releasing a second album of tortured yet vaguely danceable tracks entitled New Love. I’ve been in love with the following song since I heard the demo version, and still am.

Former Ghosts – New Orleans

Check out the video for the song over at

New Love is out October 18th on Upset the Rhythm. The band is also going on tour with Xiu Xiu and Zola Jesus in Europe this fall.

Oct 28 – Dijon – Novosonic Festival
Oct 29 – Dublin – Darklight Festival
Oct 30 – Bristol – Arnolfini
Oct 31 – Leeds – Brundenell Social Club
Nov 01 – London – XOYO*
Nov 02 – Kortrijk – De Kreun*
Nov 03 – Groningen – Vera*
Nov 04 – Hamburg – Kampnagel*
Nov 05 – Malmo – Debaser*
Nov 06 – Stockholm – Fritz Corner at Debaser*
Nov 07 – Oslo – Cafe Mono*
Nov 08 – Copenhagen – TBA*
Nov 09 – Berlin – Festsaal Kreuzberg*
Nov 10 – Prague – Club Matrix*
Nov 11 – Munich – Rote Sonne*
Nov 12 – St Gallen – Palace*
Nov 13 – Vavey – Rocking Chair*
Nov 14 – Schorndorf – Club Manufaktur*
Nov 15 – Milan – Tunnel*
Nov 17 – Lyon – Grrnd Zero*
Nov 18 – Paris – Fondation Center*
Nov 19 – Luxembourg – Exit07*
Nov 20 – Amsterdam – Paradiso*

* w/ Xiu Xiu and Zola Jesus