I can remember quite vividly sitting in my car and listening to the radio when something magical happened. I was tuned in to KURE-Iowa State University’s college station, when a dizzying disco jam made its way into my ears. I was elated by the sounds hitting me from the front and back-the 2003 Hyundai Sonata GLS had a more than adequate stock stereo system, and … Continue reading Belle And Sebastian-Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
Back in March I saw We Were Promised Jetpacks for the third time. I’m always impressed when I catch their live show, but I was doubly impressed with some of the new stuff they were playing. There was a joy to it that you don’t find in their first two records. The beats were very nearly danceable, and I was immediately excited for what was to come on their next record. That release comes out this week, and it does not disappoint.
There’s still a lot of dark brooding all over Unravelling, but it isn’t as straightforward as In The Pit Of The Stomach or These Four Walls. As much as I love those records (so dear to me, honestly), they are a bit redundant. The new album blasts off into directions you probably never thought We Were Promised Jetpacks would ever attempt to go, and they succeed at every turn. This is their finest album and it isn’t close. Continue reading “We Were Promised Jetpacks-Unravelling”
The newly renovated Thalia Hall located in the Pilsen neighborhood is a spacious, beautiful venue that feels more intimate than it’s size would make you think. It was the first time I had made it out to the space, and it lived up to all the good things I’d been hearing over the past couple months. Making the night even better was the fact that Camera … Continue reading Camera Obscura at Thalia Hall 7/25/2014
I first heard the Glaswegian rock duo Honeyblood when they opened up for fellow Scots We Were Promised Jetpacks at Lincoln Hall back in March. By the time they finished their first song, I was sold. I’m always skeptical when it comes to guitar and drum groups-the biggest downside to the rise of groups like The White Stripes and The Black Keys is that any … Continue reading Honeyblood-Honeyblood
It’s been a while since I thought about We Were Promised Jetpacks in any kind of serious way. About five years ago I got a copy of These Four Walls before it was released here in the States, and I fell in love with it. There was something completely different about it, nothing else I was listening to had the subtle complexity that a song like “It’s Thunder And It’s Lightning” contains. I listened to that record pretty much constantly for a long time. I kept listening to it after In The Pit Of The Stomach came out, and eventually I guess it ran its course and I stopped and haven’t really returned to it since. I think that made last night even more special for me, because my love affair with We Were Promised Jetpacks has been rekindled one hundred percent.
I showed up early because I had heard good things about the opening group Honeyblood. I knew literally nothing about them other than they were from Scotland like WWPJ. I got right up front and was blown away by their mix of bubblegum pop and dirty grunge. When Stina Tweeddale and Shona McVicar came to the stage and I saw it was a female drum and guitar duo, I wasn’t really sure what to think. Any drum and guitar duo immediately has me skeptical, but I kept and open mind and was rewarded for it. They played a longer set than I expected, including this rocker they just released from their forthcoming self-titled album.
With the crowd sufficiently warmed and a buzz of anticipation in the air, the lights went down and WWPJ took the stage just after 9pm. I was posted up in front of guitarist Michael Palmer, and the setlist he had taped in front of him made absolutely no sense to me. They must have code names for the songs or something. I’m glad I ended up where I was, because I learned a thing or two-a lot of the guitar riffs that I attributed to lead singer Adam Thompson are actually the work of Palmer. He dazzled me all night with different tricks and pedal combinations that made all those wonderful songs come to life.