Hard to believe that Austin rockers Explosions in the Sky have been making music together for ten years. If you haven’t heard 2007′s All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone, get thee to a record store! Better yet, get out and hear them this summer – tour dates below.
TOUR DATES AND SPECIAL GUESTS
6/27 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium with No Age and Eluvium
6/30 New York, NY @ Central Park Summer Stage with Constantines
7/2 Chicago, IL @ Congress Theatre with Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy)
7/4 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Waller Creek with The Octopus Project and The Wooden Birds
7/11 Toronto, ON @ Toronto Olympic Island with Broken Social Scene, Apostle of Hustle and Beach House, and more
9/9 Antwerp, Belgium @ Ampitheatre Riviernhof
9/11 Dorset, UK @ End of the Road Festival
For ticket information, visit these EITS links: http://www.explosionsinthesky.com / http://www.myspace.com/explosionsinthesky
MV & EE with the Golden Road
Matt Valentine and Erika Elder (professionally MV & EE) have a tellingly named publishing concern: Child of Microtones. While the duo’s latest recording with their band the Golden Road, Drone Trailer, does indeed include drones, the music never seems static. Rather, these children of microtonality create shimmering, slowly but constantly evolving soundscapes. Some of the compositions hew closer to bona fide songs of the alt-folk variety; “The Hungry Stones” puts the sonic experimentation on the edges of the proceedings and places Valentine’s gentle singing and acoustic guitar strumming front and center. On “Weatherhead Hollow,” the singing becomes more blurred, receding from the foreground into a tapestry of keening guitars, Fender Rhodes, and slowcore rhythms.
The title tune features a fetching introduction; drones swell, pedal steel swoons, and glissandi whirl about in the cracks between the notes. This yields to a countrified psych-folk song, in which trippy singing is distressed by layers of instrumental experimentation. The album closer, “Huna Cosm,” presents arcing guitars and lap steel over a sepulchral bass ostinato in a burnished, rustic valediction.
Mother of Curses
Best known for his work with U.S. Maple, Todd Rittman has formed a new band: D. Rider. Its debut release is filled with heady experimental rock signatures: explosive percussion, handmade instruments, alternately wailing and jangly guitars, and portentous bass-lines. The Chicagoan trio mixes this with Windy-city post-rock features; in particular, judicious use of cornet and saxophone and minimalist layerings.
Upon occasion, a balladic character inhabits Rittman’s cryptic, long-breathed vocals; crystal clear vocal harmonies also populate the most fetching portions of Mother of Curses. Indeed, the singing serves as a stark contrast to the often noise-laden character of the accompanying instruments. The whole doesn’t quite cogently cohere, but its spiky juxtapositions and somber-hued vamps take out rock in often fascinating directions.
Venice is Sinking
One Percent Press
Georgia collective Venice is Sinking releases a new CD, Azar, on March 31. It recalls some of the best elements of 90s ambient post-rock while breathing fresh energy into the genre. Sunny vocal harmonies and eclectic instrumentation blending rock and orchestral instruments create an inviting surface. At core a quintet, they are abetted by some wonderful trumpet lines from guest Colin Jones on “Okay;” one of their finest songs to date, it glides alongside the aesthetics of Shrimp Boat and Sea and Cake.
Cooing vocal harmonies halo Daniel Lawson’s lead vocal on “Wetlands Dancehall,” an affecting update of 50s pop stylings and progressions. “Young Master Sunshine” has the convivial feel, duet vocals, and slowcore pacing of Low. That said, a soaring trumpet solo puts it safely away from the dangers of troping. Several instrumental vignettes show off the group’s ensemble interaction and gift for nuance. Karolyn Troupe sings lead on a pleasingly enigmatic, episodic, and proggy “Sun Belt.” “Iron Range” invites listeners to bask in soaring, dream pop sonics. “Charm City” closes Azar with a slowly unfolding, well-arranged valediction. One hopes to revisit their considerably charming music often.