Concert Review: Iceage in Dallas 5/26/18

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Here is a review from the Iceage show at Club Dada in Dallas.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Iceage
RIYL: Old Artic Monkeys, LIFE, The Clash
Pseudo Genre: Punky Post Punk

1. No other type of show is quite as much fun as a lively punk show. Moshing and dancing and sweating without a care in the world, makes for a great evening.
2. Iceage has grown and matured as a band, and with a charismatic lead singer, are ready to take the next step...to wherever that entails.
3. Iceage utilized a violin player to provide fullness to their sound, which had been provided primary by horns on their albums. We learned that a well mic’d up violin sounds great at a punk show and fills in nicely for horns.
4. A stuffed monkey doesn’t seem completely out of place in a mosh pit. ”
5. With their well paced set list and tight performance, Iceage did not require stage banter to build a bond with the crowd. The energy given was the same as the energy received.

Below is a video of "Painkiller" live from the show.

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Album Review: Quiet Slang-Everything Matters But No one is Listening

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Everything Matters But No One is Listening is an album of reworked Philly punk band Beach Slang songs performed by lead singer, James Alex under the name Quiet Slang.

Our review format: The format is a straight forward expression of 5 separate thoughts. The best comparison would be to 5 text messages about a concert or album from your friend to you. Some messages may be only one or two words, some may be run-on sentences, and some may be paragraphs. We do promise not to ramble on and drift off topic like a text from your favorite grandparent.

Quiet Slang
RIYL: When Punk Bands play a ballad
Pseudo Genre: Chamber Punk

1. The original idea for this album started from an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Alex gained further inspiration from Stephin Merrit’s lyric: “Why do we Keep shrieking/ When we mean soft things?” from the song “100,000 Fireflies” by Magnetic Fields. Talking to fans, Alex realized there was an audience for a solo album driven more by lyrics than music.

2. The album is a reworking of punk songs. They are performed with a cello and piano as the only accompaniment.

3. If you love some great cello playing with emotional lyrics, and we at SWB sure do, then this is the album for you.

4. Some of our favorite Lyrics:
from “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”: “I've always felt stuck, alone, or ashamed/The gutter's too tough, the stars are too safe/ I'm always that kid always out of place”
From “Future Mixtape for Art Kids”: “We're not lost, we are dying in style/ We're not fucked, we are fucking alive”
and From “Warpaint”: "Splatter warpaint on your cheek/ Bear your heart without apology/ Hang your anger, cut it loose/ Make this stick: I won’t give up on you”

5. Sometimes our favorite albums are groundbreaking and revolutionary. Sometimes our favorite albums are just beautiful and entertaining. This is one of those albums

Here you can listen to “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Quiet Slang followed by “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas” by Beach Slang.

Friday Playlist: 5/18/18

We missed last Friday, but we are back this week with a new Friday Playlist.

We start off with a provocative video that was created to accompany a great song. Childish Gambino (Donald Glover)’s “This is America” is an in your face video and song. There is much symbolism and meaning behind this video, and a Google search and a bit of reading is sure to alter future viewings for you.

Frank Turner was one of our favorite SXSW 2018 performers. We posted a video we shot in the past, but this is the official video for “Make America Great Again”.

The Arctic Monkeys are back with a new album and a new sound that is much less The Birthday Party and much more Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

We had a chance to see Kendrick Lamar on the TDE Championship tour. Here is a video of part of his performance of “Element”.

G. Yamazawa has been busy recently and his latest video/song is “Violence”. There is some great dancing in the video. The song is meaningful and very much of the time.

Quiet Slang is the band for anyone that loves when a punk band plays a ballad. It is James Alex,the lead singer of Beach Slang, slowing down Beach Slang songs to create some beautiful tracks.

Frog Eyesare an experimental indie rock band that has reportedly just released their final album.

Scott Hutchinson of Frightened Rabbit left this world too soon after he lost his battle with depression. We have seen the band many times, in fact seeing them less than 14 hours apart on two separate occasions. This is a video from a performance we saw at Glastonbury 2016.

New LIFE song.

LIFE is a UK band that was one of our favorite discoveries this year at SXSW. Today they released a new song called “Grown Up”. You can listen below. This is their first song since they released their debut album.

The band is also on tour in the UK.

MAY

05 Live At Leeds

06 Glasgow, Stag & Dagger

18-19 Brighton, The Great Escape

20 Leeds, Gold Sounds Festival

27 Bearded Theory Festival

JUNE

02 Wakefield, Long Division

09 Hull, 53 Degrees North

14 London, Lexington (single launch)

15 Leicester, The Shed

16 Tunbridge Wells, Sussex Arms Basement

17 Brighton, Green Door Store

JULY

20 Sheffield, Tramlines

28 Leopalooza

AUGUST

31 Electric Fields

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New Friday Playlist for 4/20/18

This Friday list has some new music and a few Coachella videos.

We start our playlist with another new song by from one of the albums we are most looking forward to Janelle Monáe has another visual spectacle with the video for her new song, “PYNK”. Luckily, we do not have to wait too much longer as Dirty Computer will be out next Friday April 27.

The next video is animated and to one of Canadian punk band, METZ , new songs “Mr Plague”.

Gang of Four is a British band that has been around off and on since 1977. They are back with some social commentary with their new song “Ivanka (Things You Can’t Have)” which includes quotes from Trump’s favorite daughter.

Douglas Adams is one of our favorite authors, and we were excited to see a song title and video inspired by The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. Maynard James Keenan took a break from making wine in order to record a new record with A Perfect Circle called “So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish”.

We would be remiss to not post a Kendrick Lamar video after he won the Pulitzer Prize for DAMN. The first release, way back when, was his video for “HUMBLE.”

Beyoncé ruled the first weekend of Coachella and here is a video of when she came out.

It is no secret that Perfume Genius is one of our favorite musicians. Coachella put up this high quality live video of “Slip Away”.

Another of our favorite musicians, Vince Staples performed this past week in Indio, CA. Here is his breakthrough song “Norf Norf”. Also, if you have never seen it, be sure to check out the Christian Mom commentary video that is on Youtube (not to mention the hilarious Atlanta parody from season 2).

Vince Staples was joined by Kendrick Lamar At the end of his set for “Yeah Right”.

Our list ends with a new Father John Misty song, “Disappointing Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All”, from his upcoming album that is due June 1st.

Friday 4/13/18 Playlist

This Friday list has a couple of the videos we shot this week.

We start our playlist with a group that we never really appreciated until we saw them at Bonnaroo in 2015 Florence + The Machine are back with a new song, “Sky Full of Song”, that is a beautiful but restrained song , especially in comparison to their big hits.

We shot the next video at the King Krule show in Dallas this week. We posted up a video of “The Locomotive”

Titus Andronicus Played an interesting and enjoyable set here in Fort Worth, which included a Jeff Buckley cover.

Hinds returns to our Friday list with another new video. This week it is “Finally Floating”. Their new album is great, and you should check it out.

Jean Grae & Quelle Chris Put out an interesting hip-hop album. It is part satire, part comedy, part political comedy, and all throwback (in the best possible way). The video for “Gold Purple Orange” is set up like a cheesy Karaoke video with some great cameos.

Goat Girl returns to our list with a live version of one of their new album tracks, “The Man”.

Buzzy Lee is the nom de guerre for Sasha Spielberg. Yes, before you bother to ask, Steven is her daughter. She has created a great pop song with “Coolhand”, and will soon have a whole EP out.

Matt and Kim Are a late addition to our playlist and a great way to start your weekend. “Glad I Tried” is another positive party anthem from the duo. We are lucky and get to see them Saturday night here in Dallas.

Stairwell Baby Videos from SXSW 2018

Today we took some time to put together a playlist of videos that we shot from SXSW this year. It is just a sampling of some of the artists, but we think it will give a good exposure to the variety of performers and performance spaces. We also hope that it will turn you on to some great new musicians.

LIFE, our favorite discovery

Despite listening to over 650 SXSW artists prior to heading to Austin, we had no idea who LIFE was. This is in spite of their previous trip to SXSW. The showmanship, bombast, tight musicianship , and overall great attitude make a LIFE show a truly great experience. We will be discussing the band and sharing more photos and music in the future. For now, we wanted to share a high def video of "Rare Boots" which helps to illustrate what a LIFE show is all about. 

 

SXSW 2018 Day 1 Highlight: LIFE at the British Music Embassy

The band LIFE ended our first night at SXSW 2018, and it was a raucous yet tight 35 minute set. They are an amazing English punk band that recently released their debut album, Popular Music, in 2017.  

Here are a few pictures and a video from the show. Using every part of the bar and stage, Mez, was mesmerizing with his showmanship. The band kept pace tearing through song after song. The video below best embodies the set. 

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 Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Here is a video recording of "Rare Boots" if the video quality is not great, we will upgrade it to high def as soon as we get a chance. 

Life's great performance of "Rare Boots" at the British Music Embassy on 3/12/18. See more music, pictures and video at stairwellbaby.com