Omnipresent at CMJ last fall were the xx and their white X monogram. They played the Today show, along with countless other showcases, were the critical darlings of NME, released a universally acclaimed eponymous debut record, xx, and licensing deals flourished, like the prominent 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games AT&T ad featuring Apollo Anton Ohno—a reference overheard several times as a packed Webster Hall waited for the young Londoners to commence their first American headlining tour. Their meteoric rise has been swift—possibly even overwhelming. Former fourth member Baria Qureshi left the group shortly after CMJ.
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Despite some turbulent years of late, which included changes to their label and lineup, it was “business as usual” for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (BRMC) at Chicago’s Metro Thursday night. And one could certainly infer from the sold-out venue that business is good. Touring in support of Beat the Devil’s Tattoo, released only a few weeks ago, BRMC wasted no time in rolling out the new material, opening with a throbbing rendition of “War Machine” and then quickly increasing the tempo for “Mama Taught Me Better”. The band, never one to shy away from the new or old in their catalog, followed with a pair, “Love Burns” and “Red Eyes & Tears”, from their very first record, B.R.M.C.. Ultimately, it was their new record that would be the foundation of the band’s two-hour long set.
About 50 people gathered within the small, half-bar half-concert space, venue to take in the warmth exuded by the Icelandic band, who only now were headlining their first North American tour.
In an era that has seen the internet render any life an open book, maintaining an air of mystery is an underrated and refreshing quality to possess. Awarding more attention to the less flamboyant types has no great risk of becoming the norm anytime soon, but it does allow a little extra praise to be set aside for more shadowy artists.
Following one of the catchiest albums of 2009 Miike Snow (Andrew Wyatt, and production team, Bloodshy & Avant) served up a stellar performance Saturday night at Webster Hall. Playing practically their entire catalog (minus my favorite, “Song For No One”), the band showed how a single album isn’t a hindrance to rocking a sold out party. Three sold out New York City parties to be exact—Saturday being night two.
// Moving Pixels
"Spirits of Xanadu wrings emotion and style out of its low fidelity graphics.READ the article