04 January 2008

Don't You (Forget About Me)

Catching up with the bands that have been featured on EAR FARM is a task that's long overdue. So we'll get to it in one second; but first, a note to all artists/bands out there who would like to send music to EAR FARM for consideration - DO IT. There are even more ears here now, listening and waiting for excellent music to write about. As a result, we'd like to again extend an invitation for any/all of everyone to send music our way. Even if you've sent things to EAR FARM in the past, please feel free to do so again. You can get in touch via MySpace or email or you can send physical packages to us too - just write and ask for the address.

Shall we then? What you'll see below is a list that covers all of the artists/bands featured on EAR FARM (since the last time one of these was posted) through the end of December 2007. This excludes the weekly features (such as Three For Free, 8+) and is more about bands that have gotten a band-specific write-up on EF. The quotes are from EAR FARM write-ups about the band and should help give you a mini-notion of what each artist is all about and should also clue you in as to why they've been featured on this site. Click the (+) to visit a previous EF posting about any of these bands and click the band name to go to their site.

New York based bands:
Department of Eagles (+) - very schizophrenic in its stylistic choices. Somehow, though, it's crafted in a very seamless way, perhaps due to the consistently casual and playful tone and hazy lo-fidelity production that meanders throughout the album.
The Forms (+) - Angular, tight, and yet soaring all at the same time.
Grizzly Bear (+) - every headphone-straining nuance of every song popped through the cathedral's sound system with clarity, urgency and confidence, most impressive among these being the band's ethereal vocal harmonies. These guys can sing. Each one of them.
Jaguar Club (+) - for certain they've spent time with Echo and with Morrissey and with early New Order and probably all of the others from this era/sub-genre as well...The Jaguar Club succeeds largely due to their dance inducing infectious energy.
Super Volcano (+) - they mix in elements of Beatles-esque harmony/arrangements (think of a garage-pop version of XTC) with the urgency, fire, and desperation found in certain songs by The Unicorns or They Might Be Giants.
The Walkmen (+) - Watching them on Wendesday, I remembered how perfectly their sound captured (and still does) the essence of stumbling wide-eyed around dark city streets clamoring to soak everything in at once.
White Rabbits (+) - a staggering wall of sound that is somehow both intricately woven while recklessly delivered. In other words, as a live band White Rabbits are the intriguing nexus between the ethereal sound of the Walkmen and the raucous attack of Man Man.
Yeasayer (+) - their group charisma (highlighted at each performance by lead singer Chris Keating's ability to explode as if inhabited by the spirit of Ian Curtis at one moment and then calmly sustain a beautiful vocal moment the next) cuts like a lighthouse beacon through the fog of doubtful NY concert goers, converting the stoic arm-folders and leaving everyone equally impressed.

Bands from elsewhere:
Arizona (+) - a band who is poised to join Okkervil River, My Morning Jacket and Wilco as the torchbearers of kickass American rock 'n roll music.
Bang Lime (+) - a raw, blues infused, '60s garage stomp that'll remind some of The White Stripes but had me thinking of how well they'd have fit in at CBGB in the '70s.
Black Kids (+) - an embryonic band unsure of how to deliver on the hype swirling about them...one notch above awful. A 1.7 on the Pitchfork scale.
The Captains (+) - Some of their songs come across as ready for tweenie TV show fame, some as Bling Kong-esque cheer-a-longs, some as guitar based pop-rock burners, and some as prime candidates for silly drunken karaoke.
Cut Off Your Hands! (+) - simple angular tunes that were derivative and uninteresting.
Graveyard (+) - This is riff rock ladies and gents, thunderous, cavernous RIFFS that get into your skull and make you do that annoying upper-lip curl when listening to it.
Helvetia (+) - Alternately aggressively wah-drenched and peppered with deft jazz voicings and delicate flourishes, this is the sort of album that makes me wish it was standard practice to list effects pedals and setups in liner notes.
Juiced Elfers (+) - a four piece partyfuntime '60s dance music inspired band that includes Nicolas Thorburn and Jamie Thompson of Unicorns/Islands fame.
Le Loup (+) - I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by them and the sheer size and gravitas of their sound.
Little Name (+) - delicate dream-pop, heavy on the '60s French/Bacharach sound, that's perhaps more closely aligned with St. Etienne and Camera Obscura
Megadeth (+) - one of the four great/original American thrash metal bands...extremely tight, professional, and awesome. Take no prisoners... take no shit!
Menomena (+) - a wholly original entity, forging a sound entirely their own through dynamic arrangements, innovative instrumentation, and a mastery of loops and samples that feels both playful and organic.
Nyles Lannon (+) - laptop pop - think Grandaddy and Postal Service, but from a place more similar to where Eilliot Smith and Simon & Garfunkel were coming from.
Pale Young Gentlemen (+) - Obvious references can be (and were) made to Beirut and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and such comparisons are definitely warranted and accurate. Their songwriting and arrangements also recall a more frenetic Die Romantik, and there's a charmingly ramshackle feel to these burlesque orchestral arrangements that are able to transcend their own playfulness...
Screaming Tea Party (+) - The aural equivalent is like shuffling between a sunshine-sweet children's song informed by Pachelbel's "Canon" and a B-side from In Utero. In other words, completely worth your time.
Stardeath and White Dwarfs (+) - Their sound in a live setting was a mixture of shoegaze, prog, and elements of fellow Oklahomans Evangelicals. For the first two songs I thought "yesss" and then by the fourth song I was ready for them to leave the stage.

To see the entire list of over 175 bands/artists that have been featured on EAR FARM click HERE.
--
As a special gift to all of the people who find this post by searching "who sings that Don't You Forget About Me song on Google", I'm going to answer your question for you with a song.

Listen:
"Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

i think black kids actually got an 8.4 on the pitchfork scale. i think.

Anonymous said...

i think that 1.7 is supposed to be EF's rating of Black Kids based upon the 1-10 Pfork scale...and it's generous if you ask me. if you ask me they're more like a 0.7 on the Pfork scale. i think. i think? i know.

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