November 25, 2009

Tonight, you take a part of my life :: The Big Pink slay Denver

big pink larimer 1

The Big Pink was absolutely astounding on Monday night at the Larimer. The show was loud, loud, very loud, all smoke machines and strobes. The original duo of the band is fleshed out on this tour by an immensely enjoyable female drummer (badass Akiko Matsuura) and bassist Leopold Ross in a shirt that read, “Safe in Heaven, Dead.” The wiry energy packed into the small muscular frame of singer/guitarist Robbie Furze was magnetic to watch, while Milo Cordell hunched over his keyboards and synthesizer knobs, hands flying back and forth.

The show felt epic and monumental, like it should have happened in some cool era 25 years ago in a tiny London basement club, and then years later people would whisper to each other in hushed tones, “You were THERE for that?”

What The Big Pink is doing with their music feels important and substantial, and the songs from their debut album A Brief History of Love explode and grow to fill the space they rock in. I love the album; I loved the live set even more. They press a fresh blend of sounds from the past over their crisp electronic base. It reminded me of the ragged mix of electric guitar and huge beats of the Handsome Furs show back this summer. Between those two, I found my two favorite shows of the year. Absolutely, absolutely go see the Big Pink when they come through town.

The Clash-meets-New Order vibe of this song was my personal highlight of their set (other than the huge cheers that greeted “Velvet,” and their massive marvelous closer of “Dominoes”). If this doesn’t make you dance and do the hipster flail, your dancer-thing is broken.

Tonight - The Big Pink
(imagine it eighteen times louder, shaking loose the crud of the day)

big pink larimer 2

[See all pictures here]

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November 23, 2009

As soon as I love her it’s been too long

Tonight I am going to be arguably cooler than I usually am on most Monday nights, and go listen to the dramatic and addictive sounds of The Big Pink at Denver’s Larimer Lounge. This duo from London (touring now with a rad female drummer) won NME’s influential Philip Hall Radar Award at the Shockwaves NME Awards in February (for best new group) and have been slowly conquering the world since. With songs like this, I think it’s easy to see why.

Dominoes – The Big Pink

As I’ve listened to their music, I can’t miss the way I hear the second coming of the Stone Roses on lots of their songs (well, I guess third coming since the Stone Roses already did the second one), or those wrenching Verve ballads, blended so pleasingly with this new-wave streak of ice blue cool and massive drumbeats.

big pinkJust off tour with Muse and the Pixies in the UK, The Big Pink are on American soil in support of their album A Brief History Of Love, out on the 4AD label (The National, Mountain Goats, Department of Eagles).

See full tour dates below.

Listening to The Big Pink all week in prep for the show has got me thinking about this perfect triumvirate that I’d love to see booked to play together, because I catch a wonderfully complementary energy from: The Big Pink, NYC’s Violens, and The xx. I’d put them on a bill together because they all blend facets of a retro aesthetic and classic pop song structure, deep under layers of sonic bliss.

So after you listen to The Big Pink, do like I do and enjoy a free Winter Mixtape from the crunchy-sleek icy sounds of Violens, assembled to tide us over while we wait for their full-length debut.

Fullscreen capture 11202009 40006 PMThe band writes, “Violens wanted to help new fans piece together a complete picture of their diverse influences from 60’s pop psychedelia to the slick studio production of 80’s new wave, from punk and metal to the dance club bass they were raised on in Miami… The result is the Winter Mixtape, and it is available for free.” And it’s great.

These two tracks are woven into the free mix:

Lighting Lightning – Violens

Doomed (MGMT remix) – Violens

xxThen –then!!– I am still thoroughly in love with The xx, one of my favorite albums of 2009, so then click over and enjoy this remix they recently did. See! It’s like neapolitan ice cream, all three flavors blend perfectly together.

You’ve Got The Love (XX remix) – Florence And The Machine

Just to be clear, Big Pink is not touring with either The xx or Violens; that is only occurring deep within my imagination, or in yours if you play all the delicious songs in this post and close your eyes, maybe spill a beer on yourself.

Nov 23 – Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
(come early for the DJ set at Twist & Shout!)
Nov 25 – 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN (DJ set at Transmission beforehand)
Nov 27 – Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Nov 28 – Magic Stick, Detroit, MI
Nov 29 – Lee’s Palace, Toronto, ON
Nov 30 – La Salsa Rosa, Montreal, QUE
Dec 1 – Paradise, Boston, MA
(DJ set at Newbury Comics beforehand)
Dec 3 – Bowery Ballroom, NYC, NY
Dec 4 – Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Dec 5 – Black Cat, Washington, DC
Dec 6 – Johnny Brenda’s, Philadelphia, PA

(other European tour dates here)

19th Nov – Brixton Academy, London
21st Nov – London Calling Festival, Amsterdam
22nd Nov – Academy, Leeds
23rd Nov – UEA, Norwich
24th Nov – Academy, Sheffield
25th Nov – Rock City, Nottingham
27th Nov – Apollo, Manchester
28th Nov – Academy, Glasgow
29th Nov – Academy, Newcastle
1st Dec – Guildhall, Portsmouth
2nd Dec – Academy, Bristol
4th Dec – University, Cardiff
5th Dec – Academy, Birmingham
9th Dec – Mercury Lounge, NYC

Nov 23 Independent – San Francisco, California
Nov 24 State University – Sacramento, California
Nov 25 Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, Oregon
Nov 26 Richard’s – Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 27 Neumos – Seattle, Washington
Nov 30 Triple Rock – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dec 1 Bottom Lounge – Chicago, Illinois
Dec 2 Mod Club – Toronto, Ontario
Dec 3 Le National – Montreal, Quebec
Dec 4 Paradise – Boston, Massachusetts
Dec 5 Webster Hall – New York

(Many other worldwide dates here)

September 18, 2009

these girls fall like dominoes


This is definitely one of my most-listened-to songs of the moment, all its crunchy dirty layers and blissed-out beats. The Big Pink first ricocheted sparklingly off my eardrums back in July via a mix CD of goodness from the California coast, with their shimmering, spacey, massive music that I am still not tired of aurally deconstructing. My bangs are getting really long, and music like this makes me want to grow them even longer and swoopy so they can hang over one eye and I can start wearing eyeliner more often, and borrow your ratty Smiths t-shirt from 1986.

Even though the story goes that they are named after The Band’s first album, The Big Pink is neck-and-neck in the running with Girl Talk for “Band Most Likely To Be Mistaken For A Slumber Party Game For 11-Year-Olds.” This duo from London (“two old friends in love with digital hardcore and the narcotic effects of blissed out electronic music”) are having a banner year. They were chosen by NME as a best new act in February, and have just been tapped to support Muse and play with the Pixies in the UK. Their album A Brief History Of Love is out this week on the superb 4AD label (Mountain Goats, The National, Department of Eagles). You can stream the full album via Spinner.

This song has been posted on everyone’s music blog it seems, including that girl from the art gallery, your aunt, that weird seventeen year-old kid down the street, and probably your boss — with good reason. I adore it. Not tired of it yet, not even close.

“As soon as I love her, it’s been too long,” as they say.

Dominoes – The Big Pink

(that video reminds me of the awesomeness of this one)

BIG PINK ON TOUR (UK/Europe dates here)
11-17 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
11-18 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey
11-20 Costa Mesa, CA – Detroit Bar
11-21 San Diego, CA – Casbah
11-23 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
11-25 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry
11-27 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
11-28 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
11-29 Toronto, Ontario – Lee’s Palace
11-30 Montreal, Quebec – La Sala Rossa
12-01 Boston, MA – Paradise
12-03 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
12-04 Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall Of Williamsburg
12-05 Washington, DC – Black Cat
12-06 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brendas

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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