Thursday, August 24, 2006

Elsinore, Shipwreck, Watery Domestic @ Courtyard Cafe

Ok, I'm not exactly sure of my readership at the moment, but I would be remisce not to mention the Elsinore, Shipwreck, and Watery Domestic show tonight at the U of I's Courtyard Cafe. Why, you ask? Because 1) it's free 2) there is likely something among one of those 3 bands that someone would enjoy (fans of rock/indie music, anyways) 3) it's at 9PM, so you can still hit the bars or house parties and not look like some lost freshman who's knocking on the door at 7PM looking for a cup. It's that simple, folks!

If you wanna myspace these guys and get a preview of the tunes, here are the links:

Watery Domestic

So, if you dig these bands, you can even download a few songs and blare them all out of your dorm window or hallway or your shitty apartment (don't worry I live in one, too). Meet a few new friends, head out to some shows, buy some CD's, and who knows what else...a little romance, perhaps? You'll never know unless you go.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pitchfork Reviews Headlights "Kill Them With Kindness"

Indie music's homepage,, has a review of the soon to be released Headlights album, "Kill Them With Kindness." Here's what they have to say:

Headlights "Kill Them With Kindness"
Rating 6.7

The Headlights' debut full-length begins strong with "Your Old Street": A lush string arrangement sets the mood, a thumping bass and wash of cymbals gather volume and tension, and vocalists Erin Fein and Tristan Wright sketch out the verse's melancholy melody. From there, "Your Old Street" shifts gears, transforming into an upbeat pop number with vibes twinkling over bubbly keys, completing the most intricate arrangement on Kill Them With Kindness. Sadly, the rest of the album fails to live up to that song's promise.

On one hand, such eclecticism makes for a rich album, as the band slips from sunny, straightforward pop into slower, less immediate material. There's a wealth of ideas between Fein and Wright-- the bouncy "TV" rubs elbows with the skewered rhythms and organ drone of "Songy Darko"-- but over the course of the album's 14 songs, the diversity undermines any sense of coherence. Instead of a singular aesthetic, Kill Them With Kindness splinters into genre exercises and referential production values. It's all too easy to hear Grandaddy in the slow, melodic building and arpeggiator flourishes of the outro to "Signs Point To Yes (But Outlook Not So Good)". And it sounds like the band had the New Pornographers stuck in their heads when the recorded the saccharine harmonies and predictable hooks of "Lions". Likewise, "Pity City" is every bit the emo anthem its title suggests. As Wright whines that he's "just a stupid boy who falls apart," it borders on parody.

When Kill Them With Kindness works it's because of Fein and Wright's keen attention to melody and the way their voices complement one another and inject these songs with warmth and emotion. Unfortunately, Kill Them With Kindness never follows the statement of purpose that opener "Your Old Street" assuredly outlines. Instead, the songs on Headlights' debut seem pulled in too many directions, often recalling the work of more accomplished indie rock contemporaries but rarely distinguishing the group itself.

-John Motley, August 21, 2006

Not a total slam, but not altogether complimentary, either. I have enjoyed the new songs at the recent shows and will definitely buy the album, which will be available tomorrow at Exile on Main St. I'm curious to see how others in and outside of the CU realm respond to this record. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the album, on this review, or with links to other reviews for it.

Todd Hunter - New Hub Music Editor

Local music writer and WEFT DJ, Todd Hunter, joins the staff of the Hub as the Music Editor. With Cassie Conner and Todd, The Hub has as knowledgeable a staff of local music and events writers of any paper in town. Kudos to them for recognizing that talent and putting it to work for us all to benefit from.

It will be interesting to see how Todd covers bands managed/booked by Seth over the coming weeks, in light of the big fallout on OpeningBands over $2. I imagine that if anyone asked, Margaret would have gladly loaned them the $2 for the show. That thread is easily the funniest thing I've read online in awhile, and simultaneously a very poor representation of the denizens of our local music scene. Nothing like the 'net for some good, unbridled shit-typing!

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