in my head there’s a city at night

Wolf Parade’s At Mount Zoomer is weird and nuanced and filled with bizarre energy. For the most part this works for them, but occasionally it works against.

At Mount Zoomer starts strong with the synth-accented 3/4 swirl of “Soldier’s Grin”, which builds to an impassioned release. The skipping piano march and hollowed-out vocals of “Call It A Ritual” continue to please. Zoomer also ends strong with the reigned-in 80s vibe of “Fine Young Cannibals” that would do Hall & Oates proud, and the grandiose epic that is “Kissing the Beehive”.

Though their quirkiness is part of their charm, Wolf Parade gets a bit too weird for the less-adventurous listener. Misplaced pop (“The Grey Estates”), a lengthly retro organ jam (“California Dreamer”), and an odd dance (“Bang Your Drum”) work together to make the middle of the album a little off-putting for the more sober among us.

This murky ground can be ignored, however, by the inclusion of “Language City” – a track that is earnest, stark at points, but still teeming with movement and warmth – and “An Animal in Your Care”, which begins relaxed and pretty but grows into a fierce declaration.

At Mount Zoomer dropped 06/17/08.
Get downloads and more from Wolf Parade’s Sub Pop page.

saturday nights in neon light

It’s been far too long since I’ve made a mix. Here’s one to kick off summer:

Saturday Nights In Neon Light
01| Stars – Take Me to the Riot
02| Alphabeat – Fascination
03| Jimmy Eat World – Here It Goes
04| Vampire Weekend – I Stand Corrected
05| She & Him – Sweet Darlin’
06| Head of Femur – Jetway Junior
07| The Fashion – Solo Impala
08| Hot Chip – Ready For the Floor
09| Kate Nash – Pumpkin Soup
10| Shout Out Louds – Tonight I Have to Leave It

one more week of being haunted

Owen (aka Mike Kinsella) returned to Madison on May 3, 2008 to play to a cozy crowd at Club 770. Kinsella was in good spirits, happily conversing with the crowd and cracking jokes.

“Sometimes I write a song and it sounds like Sheryl Crow, and I think, ‘This is awful.’ Then I write a song and it sounds like ‘Chocolate Rain’…”

After finishing up a set of his own material, Kinsella decided to throw down a few Fugazi songs, a preview of his upcoming benefit show for CAASE on June 19 at Beat Kitchen in Chicago.

At this show we decided to use the video option on our super-cheap camera and captured Owen performing “The Ghost of What Should Have Been” for your viewing and listening pleasure. Of course, we’re idiots and filmed it portrait style, not realizing we couldn’t rotate it in editing. Oops. Just crane your neck to the left and you won’t even notice.