Wonder Ballroom

HAWT off the press (literally debuted hours ago live on BBC Radio1) James Blake hits us with this new beauty. Retrograde is the first single off of his new album, Overgrown, set to be released on April 8.

For those who don’t know, James Blake is an electronic music producer and singer-songwriter from London who has been deemed the ‘King of Post-Dubstep’….yup, post-dubstep…In the interest of full disclosure, I had no idea what this genre really encompassed so I did a little reading. What I gathered, and I’m going to put in my own words, is that this style of music has those bass-heavy beats with a dance music feel (often including audio samples of band saws, dental drills, and screaming cats) but post-dubstep is much warmer and less aggressive then the dubstep the bros are poppin’ collars to in da club. Note: I’m not opposed to “brostep” and seeing Skrillex‘s seizure-inducing live show this summer at Bumbershoot was a real treat but James Blake is more my steez.

Blake has released a number of EPs since 2009 but he dropped an amazing self-titled debut studio album a year ago (cop that); Mad blog cred, nominations, and awards followed and we, the people, have been anxiously awaiting some new jams ever since. If he’s new to your ears, YAY! Wait And Scene has done what it set out to do.

In my usual obsessive music tendencies, I listened to this track five+ times in a row as soon as I saw it was available. Do you ever feel like a song was meant for you to hear at a specific time of your life? That’s how I feel about this one (Whoa deep stuff, Jenna).

You’re on your own in a world you’ve grown
Few more years to go,
Don’t let the hurdle fall
So be the girl you loved,
Be the girl you loved

Powerful. Perfect. I will be that girl, James Blake.

P.s. Tour dates have been announced (here) and clearly WAS will be at the Wonder Ballroom in Portland on April 24th. I have so much to look forward in the next few months. ALL OF THE SHOWS.

P.p.s. Here is JB breakin’ hearts with that Joni Mitchell cover.

1 COMMENT

There is no song that could have been more perfect for today. Mondays are always tough but this one especially so because it was my first day back to the daily grind after a two-week vacation.

I mostly feel I had a good day… It wasn’t that GREAT.

Naw, it was fine. I have one of the best jobs ever but I really REALLY like vacations; it’s one shocking trait that makes me unique from everyone else in the world. Today I needed a new upbeat track to remind me that, despite the necessity of a full-time job to support my music addiction, life is pretty great. These guys delivered!

I’ve been listening to New York indie Ra Ra Riot for ye ye years…weak, Jenna, weak. I was one of the lucky (read: super hip) ones that got their first self-titled EP (cop this) back in ’07. Dying Is Fine and Ghost Under Rocks continue to be a couple of their best tracks and their cover of Kate Bush’s hit Suspended in Gaffa on the 2008 debut LP The Rhumb Line (cop that) is still so beautiful…I say that as if music gets progressively ugly over time. (“Yikes! Looking rough, Pachelbel’s Canon, you haven’t aged well.”… “Pssst, I think Symphony #5 had some work done.”)

See, it’s still purrdy..

Ra Ra Riot’s new LP Beta Love comes out on January 22 through Barsuk Records. They’ve been releasing tracks over the last couple months to let us know what we’re supposed to know about the album in a couple week’s time…because bands are really bad at keeping secrets. First we heard the title track Beta Love, then we heard When I dream, and now we’re hearing the opening track Dance With Me. They all sound great but so far this upbeat, dancy track is my fav.

They’re going on tour in support of the new stuff right after the album release. Check out the tour dates here. Wait And Scene will be at the Portland show on February 9th at the Wonder Ballroom. Will you? If your answer is yes, come and dance with me pretty, sweet fool, I wanna be your…toy?…wait…that got creepy real fast. Anywhoooo….

Voici.

0 Comments

I think the proper British term for how I was feeling on Saturday night would be absobloodylutely gobsmacked! alt-J are truly the dog’s bollocks!

…that last slang felt awkward, but I dare you to use it on a regular basis. If people think you’re a wanker, you can tell them I dared you and direct them towards this article. It’s sly blog networking, people!

A Little Background

alt-J  a.k.a. (how very Prince-eque!) are a British quartet that don’t really fit into one genre. Are they alternative? Indie? Rock? Folk? Electronic? Hip-hop? Pop? Experimental? Unique? I like to think they’re a dash of everything. The delta sign is created when you hold down the alt key on your keyboard and press j on a Mac computer. The band reported that, just as it does in mathematical equations, the delta is used to represent change. It’s the most hipster and bad-ass of all band names! Their debut album An Awesome Wave (cop it) was released at the end of May 2012 in the UK and us sorry North American’s didn’t get see it released until September. I think we can all agree, 1. Thank (deity of choice) for the internet and 2. It was worth the wait.

alt-j

Gus Unger-Hamilton, Joe Newman, and Gwil Sainsbury. Not pictured: Thom Green on drums

About The Magic That Was Their Live Show

My live music bender continues…

My friends and I arrived at the Star Theater a bit before show time and secured some spots really close to the stage. The venue is small but it has a lot of character and the acoustics are always on point. I’d never been to a sold-out show at this venue and let me say that I was happy that we turned up early. By the time alt-J hit the stage, the place was packed to red velvet draped rafters but I think the tight quarters had a lot to do with the utter awe that I felt Saturday night; we got to see a big band in a small venue and few things are as special as that.

» Click for full post…

1 COMMENT

Japandroids came to Portland last night to play a show at the Wonder Ballroom. I put on a dress and heels and headed out on a Tuesday night to see them despite my ridiculous backlog of work *yawn* and the knowledge that making such a decision would only allow me three hours of sleep before my next work day began….but hey, that’s what rock stars do and I couldn’t be happier with my irresponsible decision. Before I talk about last nights show, let me give you the back-story.

The first time I saw Japandroids live was September 2009, just a few months after this Canadian rock duo signed to Polyvinyl and released Post-Nothing (cop this). The show was at one of my favorite music venues in the world (seriously), The Aquarium in Fargo, North Dakota. Oh fer shaaar, Fargo’s EXACTLY like the movie. Moving on…The Aquarium is a small venue with a capacity of 300 (broken down, I’d say max of about 200 skinny Midwest hipsters and 100 beefy NDSU jocks) but it has more character than most big city venues and it gets a lot of the up-and-coming bands that will later allow you to brag about how next level you are for seeing them before they were famous. Anyways, their show in ND blasted my face clear off. Two guys on stage, a wind-machine, and pure, unadulterated rock. Sure, I was a fan of Brian King and David Prowse before the show but I was a forever fan about three songs into their live performance.

With the release of their newest album, Celebration Rock (cop that), I was a little concerned about their rapidly rising fame. Okay fine, I was very happy for them but selfishly concerned about the size of venues that they’d be playing and the mainstream personas they’d take on. My fears were put to rest when I got to re-live that same small-venue feeling a few months ago here in Portland at the Doug Fir lounge; nothing had changed except that their catalog of songs was now double the size, they had a sweet light show to accompany the wind, and Brian had a few more holes in his t-shirt. If I’m going to be real with you, it was basically just a few strips of cloth clinging on for dear life. This made me so happy, not his t-shirt being so holey, but the fact that they hadn’t changed.

Soon after the Fir show, it was announced that the boys would be back in town just five months later at Wonder Ballroom; of course I was going to be there. The Wonder holds over two and a half times the capacity of the venues I’d seen them play in before but I knew they could fill it up. Last night, I walked into the spot and immediately noticed a sea of men. The ratio of males to females had to be 100:1 but my friend and I weren’t mad about it, even though it smelled like stinky socks. The show started and everyone went totally crazy. Brian stopped after the first song and told the crowd that this was the wildest he’d ever seen Portland get. In his words:

Portland, your stock is rising.

I tried to take notes so I would remember their set list but this is what I have in my phone, ‘Adenejine nighsguf fures highways boyd v ack in town’….so yeah, I can only tell you what the first three songs were. Some blogger, I am. The show was just as amazing as I’d hoped. They played for over an hour and a half chock-full of crazy riffs, drum solos, and so much quality noise. It should be noted that 700+ men jumping around and banging into each other (boys are so strange) for an hour and a half created the ambiance of a Russian bath house. The guy in front of me, once clad in a classy sweater and scarf combo, was now wearing a white T-shirt sheer from all the sweat and the other guys around us, who thought they were prepared wearing only light tees, were just as drenched.

…Speaking of Russia…during World War II (smoooth), I present to you the video for The House That Heaven Built featuring my real-life friends blood Hitler (as they call him in the YouTube comments) and a blonde, bearded Stalin; that last one’s a stretch but it’s pretty cool that two of my friends in Toronto are getting crazy in this video. Last night looked just like this.

Japandroids are meant to perform, rile up crowds, and somehow be small-town-boy likeable while being totally bad-ass rock stars.  If you have a chance to see them live, GO!  Tell them Jenna from Wait And Scene says, “What’s up?” (This will mean nothing to them, but I’d appreciate the plug).

Until next time, that was Wait And Scene going to ALL OF THE SHOWS so you don’t have to.

1 COMMENT