I no being have any reason to write about Wolf Parade but it’s been a fort-year since I’ve written so tough titties!

Another cat here wrote a bit about sophomore* albums–he cuddled up to the new Black Angels record Directions to Seek a Ghost or whatever and took a dump all over the new Tapes ‘n Tapes record. So it’s my turn to cuddle/poop.

Wolf Parade. The new one. It’s good. Which we half expected seeing as how Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs both have been releasing good stuff during WP’s hiatus.

The new album is coming out soon, and it’s more than satisfactory. I’m was more keen on Dan’s songs than Spencer’s (though there is nothing better than “I’ll Believe in Anything”) on the last album, and that fact holds true for this album. But it’s still a two-headed beast of a motherfucker that compliments itself (compliments itself? what the hell am I saying?) well.

Suck on it.

Wolf Parade – Soldier’s Grin (removed at label’s request, but buy the album)

Wolf Parade – California Dreamer (removed at label’s request, but buy the album)

Her Space Holiday – I’ll Believe in Anything

Short and sweet: the new Cloudland Canyon album–Lie in Light–is fantastic. Drones, tones, bones, scones.

Look, here’s an album cover!

Anyway, recommended for those like outer space and Middle Earth. Err, highly recommended. Download these (for sampling purposes only, wink wink) if you aren’t too baked to find your mouse.

Cloudland Canyon – Krautwerk

Couldland Canyon – Heme

Ohhhhh looky, they have a MySpace page!

First, yes. Yes we have heard the new album. Is it as good as some people are saying it is? Depends, really. On its own merit, it’s an incredibly powerful piece of work–as personal as Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space–and some of Jason’s best songwriting. But compared to the rest of the catalog, it’s a bit different. Unlike the other albums, it actually sounds like it was written on Earth–sort of. A more accurate description would be “it sounds like it was written just as someone was leaving Earth.”

I tell my friends Songs in A+E sounds best if listened through the eyes of a man knocking on Death’s door. There are all sorts of themes related to death (and conversely, life) on the album, and it’s absolutely beautiful. Whether he’s pleading that he’s not ready to go yet or accepting of getting his wings and lyre (or horns and pitchfork), Jason Pierce takes a really long look at life and death and the result is brilliant.

There’s a fantastic (and ultra-fucking rare) interview with Jason from the middle of last month–a must read for Spiritualized fans–and he pretty much lays it out there when recalling his 2005 near-death experience with a rare form of pneumonia.

“Being in intensive care was actually OK for me. You just have to surrender yourself to the doctor. It’s hard to think about your own death so the concern is invested in the people around you, not your own kind of thing, ’cause you’re lying there thinking, ‘This is all right. Well, not all right but… I’ve been here before.’ In intensive care wards there’s five or six of you in the same room,’ he continues, ‘and everyone’s got optics and life support machines and they’re all bleeping at different times and different frequencies. The only things I can remember are the noises around me. The not-really-true memories, you forget all that kind of shit. One by one, everybody else in the room died and I remember thinking, ‘Well, somebody’s got to get out of here alive.'”

There’s a new BBC video with Jason talking about making the video for “Soul on Fire,” which was filmed in Iceland and–well why don’t you just watch him describe it himself.

Songs in A+E comes out in early June. Do yourself a favor and buy it.

Spiritualized–Soul on Fire (Acoustic Mainlines, San Francisco)
Spiritualized–Baby I’m Just a Fool (Acoustic Mainlines, San Francisco)

Web site–Spiritualized.com

Ye olde sophomore slump. We see it in sports, movies (in the form of sequels), television, and uhhhh college freshmen. Whatever. But in music, it’s a fucking doozy. You never know what you are going to get in a second album from up and coming bands–and the second album usually maps out a band’s future (there are definitely cases where third albums do bands in–The Shins come to mind immediately). Remember the second effort from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah? OUCH that thing sucked.

May sees the releases of sophomore albums from a pair of bands fairly highly touted by the Louder Pussycat staff: Tapes ‘n Tapes and The Black Angels. We’ve heard ’em. And it’s a prime example of what can go right and what can go wrong with album numero dos. Tapes ‘n Tapes released Walk it Off today, and The Black Angels release Directions To Seek a Ghost on May 13.

Tapes \'n Tapes

I know Walk it Off is technically Tapes’ third album, but for the sake of argument let’s ignore the self-titled self-released record. A follow-up album isn’t just a second album, it’s the follow-up to their breakout record. Some jackass here said The Loon (the aforementioned breakout album) was one of the best debut records of the last decade–and this jackass still firmly believes that. It was budding with potential, lo-fi-ish, and homegrown.

Not so much with Walk it Off. Where Tapesx2 took chances with The Loon and delivered indie pop with eccentricities, Walk it Off sounds like they mailed it in and wrote all the songs within a week or two. It’s such a safe album it pretty much throws everything that made Tapesx2 great in the first place. There’s nothing that compares to the blissful comedown that is Omaha, nothing weird and out there like Jakov’s Suite. Just a bunch of ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

Below are two songs that made The Loon great and two of the better songs from Walk it Off. Anyone else miss the redheaded bass player?
Old (my Loon files are mp4s and won’t play on your computer…sorry! Here are earlier songs):
Tapes ‘n Tapes–Icedbergs
Tapes ‘n Tapes–50’s Parking
Tapes ‘n Tapes–Le Ruse
Tapes ‘n Tapes–Hang Them All

The Black Angels. Looking all cool.

On the other side of things, The Black Angels roared out of the gate with Passover. Great psych-rock from Austin, Texas. Dark driving guitar-scapes with pounding drums…sure The Warlocks were doing the same thing, but The Black Angels added their own spice to the sound.

With Directions to Seek a Ghost, they’ve stayed very close to their formula but added two things I fucking love–more tripped-out effects and depth. The songs are a bit longer, which is absolutely perfect for their sound, and the eight-and-a-half-minute Never/Ever may be their best work to date. What’s more, it’s fully listenable front to back–no real filler at all.

By working on top of the foundation they laid on Passover, The Black Angels actually expanded their sound whereas Tapes stripped themselves down.
The Black Angels–Young Men Dead
The Black Angels–Black Grease
The Black Angels–Doves
The Black Angels–Never/Ever

Tapes ‘n Tapes are touring with White Denim, and The Black Angels are touring with The Warlocks.


Okee dokee. Where to start? Saw Spiritualized’s Acoustic Mainlines show in San Francisco on Sunday. It was spectacular… though I don’t know if that would hold true for everyone. I’m guessing most people liked it, as the two non-Spiritualized cats I went with certainly enjoyed it.


Sorry, inside pic taken with cell phone.

Bimbo’s was pretty much a perfect place for the show, the crew assembled round tables on the floor with six chairs per. Or Purr! Ha get it? Someone shoot me now! Hint: order Maker’s Mark on the rocks with a coke back. You get gigantic glasses of Maker’s Mark. And that is a goooood thing.

I managed to grab THE setlist from the show, and I say THE setlist because it was Jason’s setlist. Yes, our eyes feast on the same thing. Soundwave liked it, too.


I’m not really going to write any proper review for the show. It just doesn’t seem right to. Yes, it was awesome. Yes, it was different than a rock/electric Spiritualized show. Yes, it was nice to see Jason in that sort of atmosphere. Other than that, the “new” stuff (stuff I didn’t know) was great, especially Soul on Fire and Baby I’m Just a Fool.

But here’s the above picture with comments.


I’m still looking for the legendary Salford show in a format I can download, but in the meantime, you can hear an Acoustic Mainlines show from a festival here. In the meantime, here’s some stuff thats sort of relevant.

Ben Gibbard – “Hold On”
A pretty horrible live cover by the Death Cab frontman. Way to go, Ben. You big jerk.
Particle – “I Think I’m in Love”
Surprisingly good live cover. Keeping it true to the material.
The Electric Mainline – “All Too Much”
The Electric Mainline – “Let Me Drift Away”
These guys stole their name from Spiritualized and sometimes steal the sound too.
Spacemen 3 – “Hey Man”
From Sound of Confusion
Spiritualized – “So Hot (Wash Away All of My Tears)”
Live – 1993


No doubt massive heads ’round the nation want to know, what the hell is that song in the new LeBron James Nike ad? What ad say you? This ad:

Let’s just answer your question quickly. The song is from Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, and was written by Cliff Martinez. Martinez is one of Soderbergh’s go-to guys (along with another favorite of mine, David Holmes) and did the scores to Solaris and Traffic as well as some other films I don’t care to look up right now.

Here’s how the song and one other sounds in the film in nine-and-a-half of my favorite minutes in film history (and leaves me sobbing like a wee baby):

The song:
First Sleep

I’ll also include the reprise, which is also featured in the clip above, and one from Traffic.
Don’t Blow It
No Swinging the Club in the Car

Cliff Martinez is good. Steven Soderbergh is good. LeBron James, he’s not bad.


Spiritualized is coming back to the US.

Did you hear what I just said?


I’m usually one cool, calm, collected cat, but nuh-uh… not today. Yesterday I bought four tickets to the upcoming Acoustic Mainlines show on November 11 in San Francisco (also playing in LA the 12th and 13th – tix on sale in two days). It was one of the greatest days ever of my life (which happens to be life number 3 of 9).

In celebration of the show, I find it absolutely necessary to post this Acoustic Mainlines show from July at the Indian Summer Festival in Glasgow this past July.

I was very hesitant about the whole acoustic mainlines deal, as the live show is so damn good electricified, but I’m quickly turning the corner. Having not seen them with strings and a gospel choir for ten years (I was lucky enough to be at the Royal Albert Hall show), I’m eagerly anticipating this set.


Let’s all remember that Jason Pierce almost died a few years ago from a hard-to-explain illness and this is his first time back since that trying time. Jesus, that would have sucked.

The recording is so-so, but by far the best of the Acoustic Mainlines sets I’ve found (which honestly isn’t that many). Kind of interesting that you can hear the thump thump thump from a nearby dance tent during some of the really touching parts. That’s festival life for ya.

Spiritualized: Acoustic Mainlines
Indian Summer Festival in Glasgow
July 15, 2007

Sitting on Fire
Lord Let it Rain on Me
True Love Will Find You in the End
Cool Waves
Soul on Fire
Walking With Jesus
The Way I Feel
Feel So Sad
Anything More / Ladies and Gentleman We are Floating in Space
Broken Heart
I Think I’m in Love
Lord Can You Hear Me?
Oh Happy Day

Or hell, just download the whole thing with two clicks (limited):

Part One
Part Two