What I hoped that Hold Steady band might sound like...

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What I hoped that Hold Steady band might sound like...

Postby Lep » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:39 pm

...but every time I tried I was bored. I imagined they'd sound more like Titus Andronicus's "A More Perfect Union," which I've just listened to thanks to Aquarium Drunkard.

Who's a fan? Is this song a fluke, or is the rest as good?

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Postby Jake » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:26 pm

"Tramps like us, baby we were born to die!"

That's pretty good. I dig the fuzz tone guitars too. Dude's voice kinda sounds kinda like Westerberg with the waver of Conor Oberst...which is odd. Haven't listened to the whole album yet, but that's the song XL/Beggars is giving as a promo:

MP3: Titus Andronicus - "A More Perfect Union"

Seven minutes long. Doesn't feel quite that long. I like it when the riff comes back in at the end. Gonna have to check out the album. Maybe even read the one-sheet...

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Postby Jake » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:36 pm

MP3: Titus Andronicus - "Four Score And Seven" part one, part two (The full song is 8:39 minutes long, but it's been split into 2 parts)

Direct from the band:

Dear distinguished members of the press,

The New Jersey indie rock band Titus Andronicus has recorded a new album, a follow-up to our 2008 (2009?) release, The Airing of Grievances. This new album, The Monitor, will see release thanks to our friends at XL Recordings on March 9th, 2010, the 148th anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads, wherein the U.S.S. Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia entered into their epic struggle off the coast of Virginia.

The Monitor is more or less a "concept album" – that is to say, it uses the American Civil War of 1861-1865 as an extended metaphor for the concerns addressed in a somewhat linear narrative. In said narrative, our hero leaves his humble birthplace of New Jersey - the oppressive and stifling qualities of which were discussed ad nauseam about one album ago – for the greener pastures of Boston, Massachusetts. His thesis – "the enemy is everywhere" – is put to the ultimate test as he pontificates on the topics of regional identity, emotional anesthetization, and the heavy yoke of trying to live decently in indecent times. All the while, he is forced to wonder whether said American Civil War was truly won or lost, or even completed. Will he find the supportive environment and like-minded compatriots he dreams of? Or will he be forced to leave his newly adopted home in ideological disgrace? What does it mean to be an American in 2009 anyway? Who are our so-called "friends" and how actually friendly are they? Is it necessary, or even a good idea, for an indie rock album to ask these sorts of questions? The Dark Knight, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Taming of the Shrew also fit in there somewhere.

The Monitor was recorded during August of 2009, under the watchful eye of producer and engineer Kevin McMahon (who oversaw our first album, as well as Pussy Cats by the Walkmen, Son of the Tiger by the Big Sleep, and Promises Promises by Die! Die! Die! among others), at his studio - Marcata Recording - in New Paltz, NY. The usual suspects from the world of Titus Andronicus were all in attendance, as well as an all-star cast of luminous friends (members of Ponytail, Wye Oak, Vivian Girls, Hold Steady, etc.) and a generous assortment of colorful New Paltz locals. The aforementioned Kevin McMahon also did the mixing during September and October, and Greg Calbi did the mastering (so chosen because he is the only person alive who can claim involvement in both The Chemistry of Common Life by Fucked Up and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell by Meat Loaf) in early November.

So what does all this sound like? It has long passages of ambient drones, blazing saxophone, pianos homages to "A Charlie Brown Christmas," complete marching drumlines, Thunder Tube solos, fourteen-minute Billy Bragg knock-offs, backwards liturgical pieces, bombastic country duets, garbage cans hit with tambourines, choirs of angels with bromantic faces, probably too many spoken word interludes lifted from cassette tapes, and, of course, the hissy-fit punk songs and off-key warbling we have come to expect from Titus Andronicus. Did I mention that this record is sixty-five minutes long? Because that's kind of important. Through and through, it is a wholehearted and potentially ill-advised grab for some sort of imaginary brass ring, the sound of a band desperate for success and defiantly unafraid of failure. That was the idea, at least.

Blah blah blah Springsteen blah blah blah beer blah blah blah beard blah blah blah Shakespeare yadda yadda yadda Seinfeild blah blah blah Conor Oberst in a vat of acid blah blah blah books.

The Monitor will be available as a compact disc or as a double vinyl LP, both with gorgeous artwork by Nolen Strals, vocalist of Double Dagger and co-author of the recently published textbook, Lettering and Type, or in regular old MP3 format, featuring no gorgeous artwork at all.

It is our dearest hope that you will find favor in our latest effort, and that the next year will find us the toast of the indie rock world. If not, well, that is okay, too, for we punks believe that the tree falling in the forest does make a noise, and of all those unheralded falling trees, we want to be the loudest. Hear us, or don't, at yr discretion and/or own peril.

Yr friend,


Mar 6 Record release show @ Bowery Ballroom w/ Parts and Labor, the Babies (16+) New York, New York
Mar 8 Vintage Vinyl (in-store performance) Fords, New Jersey
Mar 9 My Mind’s Eye (in-store performance) Lakewood, Ohio
Mar 10 Used Kids (in-store performance) Columbus, Ohio
Mar 11 Ohio University Athens, Ohio
Mar 12 Ear X-Tacy (in-store performance) Louisville, Kentucky
Mar 13 Reckless Records (in-store performance) Chicago, Illinois
Mar 14 Vintage Vinyl (in-store performance) St Louis, Missouri
Mar 15 Eclipse Cultural House Tulsa, Oklahoma
Mar 16 Good Records (in-store performance) Dallas, Texas
Mar 20 Fucked Up Saves Music showcase @ Red 7 Patio w/ Fucked Up, J Mascis (SXSW) Austin, Texas
Mar 21 Black Market w/ Let’s Wrestle EL PASO, Texas
Mar 22 Chyro Arts w/ Let’s Wrestle Phoenix, Arizona
Mar 23 Bootleg Theater w/ Let’s Wrestle LOS ANGELES, California
Mar 24 Club Mercy w/ Ted Leo/RX Santa Barbara, California
Mar 25 SLO Arts Center w/ Let’s Wrestle San Luis Obispo, California
Mar 26 Cellar Door w/ Let’s Wrestle Visalia, California
Mar 27 Luigi’s Fungarden w/ Let’s Wrestle Sacramento, California
Mar 28 Slim’s w/ Let’s Wrestle SAN FRANCISCO, California
Mar 30 Vera Project w/ Let’s Wrestle SEATTLE, Washington
Mar 31 Mississippi Studios w/ Let’s Wrestle PORTLAND, Oregon
Apr 1 Cobalt w/ Let’s Wrestle Vancouver, British Columbia
Apr 2 The Palace MISSOULA, Montana
Apr 4 The Aquarium FARGO, North Dakota
Apr 5 7th St Entry MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota
Apr 6 Project Lodge Madison, Wisconsin
Apr 7 Bottom Lounge CHICAGO, Illinois
Apr 8 Majestic Café DETROIT, Michigan
Apr 9 Sneaky Dee’s Toronto, Ontario
Apr 10 Green Room Montreal, Quebec
Apr 11 Men Can Stop Rape Benefit @ Red Hook High School [early show] Red Hook, New York
Apr 11 Lily Pad/Toad’s Place Upstairs w/ The Babies [late show] New Haven, Connecticut
Apr 12 Great Scott w/ The Babies, Hallelujah the Hills ALLSTON, Massachusetts
Apr 13 Rodrigues Coffee House @ Fordham University w/ The Babies Bronx, New York
Apr 14 SUNY Purchase Student Center w/ The Babies PURCHASE, New York
Apr 15 The Barbary w/ The Babies PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania
Apr 16 St. Steven’s Church / Positive Force DC Washington, DC, Washington DC
Apr 17 Random Row CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia
Apr 18 Local 506 CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina
Apr 19 529 ATLANTA, Georgia
Apr 20 Radio Radio INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana
Apr 22 Summit COLUMBUS, Ohio
Apr 23 Abbey Bar HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania
Apr 24 Maxwell’s w/ Harlem HOBOKEN, New Jersey

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Postby creepy » Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:04 pm

They're doing an in-store here in Dallas tomorrow. I'mma go...

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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:15 pm

Jake wrote:"Tramps like us, baby we were born to die!"...

I like The Hold Steady's take on this more better...
"Tramps like us and we like tramps. Charlemagne's got somethin' in his sweatpants."

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Postby jonas » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:17 pm

I love this song, and Metacritic says critics love the album. I'll definitely have to check this out, and thanks for the post.

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Postby Jake » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:38 pm

Yeah, I'm going to step in and defend the Hold Steady too. It took me a long time to get into them. I think the moment it finally really clicked was at some Lollapalooza, which happened to be the second or third outdoor festival I saw them at, after sampling the free mp3s from their site. "Your Hoodrat Friend" finally got to me, and now I can't understand how I didn't get them before.


Postby Guest » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:29 am

I live in Glen Rock, NJ, where some (all?) of the guys in Titus are from, and one of the dudes used to live on my block and we talked about music a few times. I would take my young daughter for a walk up the block every night, and we would hear him practicing sometimes, or see him riding his bike back from band practice.

He seemed like a nice kid. Pretty funny to see them getting all this coverage now...

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