Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Foals, Freelance Whales and The Naked & Famous at The Commodore

This will not be a concert review of Foals, Freelance Whales and The Naked & Famous.

It's good to be back, Vancouver! I've been on a break, and I was going to return the other night with a (hopefully) fantastic review of one of the Commodore Ballroom's best lineup s this year: Foals, Freelance Whales and The Naked & Famous. But, the night before the show, I was informed that the people organizing the show had cut the entire guestlist. They gave me no explanation, so I imagine they had somehow determined that insulting the press was worth a few extra ticket sales. So, I got to miss one of my most anticipated shows of the year, while my friends, who bought tickets after I introduced them to the bands, went to the show without me. Them's the breaks when you're dealing with the jerks who run the music business. (Except publicists! I love publicists. Their job is literally to make everyone happy; bands, fans, record execs and journalists.)

Now that you know why I don't have a live review for you, there are still three bands that deserve your attention, so I'm going to give them some track reviews instead.

The Naked & Famous - Girls Like You (YSI)
I really should be introducing you to this Kiwi indie rock band with “Punching in a Dream” or “Young Blood”, the two songs that earned them many fond comparisons to MGMT. But, I have played those songs to death, so here's one with a little less radio flavour and a little more beauty. “Girls Like You” builds slowly over three verses before it hits the epic chorus of Thom and Alisa harmonizing with “Don't you know people write songs about girls like you?”

And, here's the really random, low-budget video they made for “Punching in a Dream”.

Freelance Whales - Generator ^ First Floor (YSI)
This band has a lot of variety, blending each song into a different ratio of electropop, indie synth-rock and folk. I suppose I would call them baroque pop—a rock band that likes to use tingly synths and folk instruments like a banjo, a harmonium and a glockenspiel. This song is famous from a Starbucks commercial, so not much more needs to be said. It's unique and it will stick in your head.

The sequel, “Generator ^ 2nd Floor” has a strange and enchanting video. Check it out.

Foals - Miami (YSI)
I still have no clue what "math rock" means, but I'll speculate that the geniuses of Foals devised a secret formula for creating a raw, sexy beat. The “Miami” video is less than sexy, but in a cheeky way. But, I can't show you the video here, due to the bumbling executives at Warner Music Group, so you'll have to find it on your own.


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