My favorite band covers a song from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ third album.
I think they’re buying time while they’re working on their follow up to Feel Your Feelings, Fool. They played one new song (“Red Light”) in September at Riot Fest and shortly thereafter posted a video snippet of themselves working on it in the studio. It sounds great. More of that, please!
The fine folks at the Fork have been uncovering all kinds of new music for you to check out. It’s hard for anybody to listen to everything. We try to pick out the stuff we think might appeal to the typical GLONO reader…whatever that means. Listen for yourself and let us know what you think.
Here’s our latest roundup of the good stuff that Pitchfork has given up recently on their Forkcast:
This was my first trip back to Chicago since moving to Portland, Oregon in December 2008. As much as I love Portland, there is a large piece of my heart in that city by the lake. It’s where I was born, it’s where I formed my favorite band, and it’s where my son was born. It’s still my city.
So it was with great excitement and anticipation that I returned to see friends, drink a lot of beer and catch some live rock and fucking roll. I’d been planning and thinking of this trip since before we even moved so you’d think I’d have had all the details ironed out like the Arctic Monkeys‘ fitted shirts. You don’t know me well and the Monkeys no longer wear Fred Perry, but more on that later…
I was somewhere around Indio, in the apex of the desert, when Tommy Lee kicked in. As I walked through the manicured grass, happily eating corn on the cob, the thin and dust-caked Motley Crue drummer ran up to me, weaving his arms and torso in a spastic model of the Axl Rose snake dance. I continued gnawing on the corn, and flicked my eyes upward in annoyance. He chuckled and regrouped with his bleached-blonde entourage to continue down the field, toward the throbbing bass of Daft Punk.
Even without the icky hair-metal run-ins, this year’s Coachella Festival still would have been the strangest one yet. The cultural oasis of the Colorado Desert (held May 29-30) featured a predictably strong lineup of eclectic indie artists but, pivotally, an additional interest in capturing the mainstream crowd. From Kanye West’s shining ego on Saturday to Madonna’s short-and-skanky dance tent appearance Sunday, the indie snob’s once-safe haven was taken over by squealing strangers – and two sold-out days later, it’s hard to tell whether Coachella will continue down the beaten pop path.
Whatever. For the most part, Coachella still retained its joyous communal atmosphere, a kaleidoscopic place where alternative art reigns and nobody knows your name. (And there are celebrities under every rock.) For me, it was The End: the final fling before graduation, the last irresponsible trip with my best friends. But it was also the beginning, as I discovered thanks to some artists, some new opportunities, and a chance meeting with my very own Yoda, though taller and with some ketchup in his beard.
Do they rock? Yeah. Do they roll? Yeah. Are they contagious? Yeah!
This coming from the band that you were just waiting to see crash, burn, and eventually show up on the soundtrack for “American Pie 12.” It’s okay—you weren’t alone. The hype surrounding the Noo Yawk trio must have turned the Vines tomato-red with jealousy; the Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a bidding war, the undiluted adoration of college radio, and a singer who poured beer on herself while screaming out double-take bedroom couplets. But the more the “hip” magazines gushed, the more the assembling backlash pulsated in anticipation. The Yeahs did not seem built to last.
The joke was on you, me, and everyone but them. Fever To Tell is a party, a hangover, a raunchy limerick, a punk rock sonnet. The album is split in the night and day, between feeling no limitations and knowing the bright lights are closing in. Much like any East Village night, the first half goes by far too fast—forget “Pirates of the Caribbean,” this is the most fun you’ll have all summer. (Or had in spring, if you caught its April release.) The formula doesn’t stray far from their debut EP: ribbons of shrieks and whimpers for Karen O., frenetic bar chords for Nick Zinner, and bass-and-cymbals drum heaven for Brian Chase. No one likes the nightlife like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; the first seven tracks capture the enthusiasm of getting thrills and having plain fun in a way no current jaded, shaggy boy band dares to. Karen also expertly captures the libidos of ironic t-shirt-wearing boys everywhere with promises to “sex you” and lurid recollections of taking boys “standing up”… and that’s the tamer stuff. Hearing a cd of this shimmering energy and youth is better than Oil of Olay—it won’t make you look sixteen, but you’ll feel it.
The second half does an about-face. It exposes the depth purposely bypassed in the first songs; it’s Karen showing you her morning after, the kind of lovelorn despair that qualifies as the real ninth circle of hell. And she knows you’ve been there. She begs you not to go, that the open road is an empty volley from her arms. Her punk trills give way to more melodic belting, and such a drastic change in direction is a fairly easy pill to swallow because the musicianship doesn’t lose intensity and Karen’s vocals retain their unadorned simplicity. She and the boys carry a raucous album into one that explores the vacant grandeur of romance and leaves everyone concerned pining for it nonetheless.
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ simple truth is their beauty. The contradiction of the light and dark in their art is what makes it compelling beyond the afterparty. No other album this year will make you want to dance as much or sigh as deeply—or be as glad you did both.