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Album Review: White Rabbits – It’s Frightening (TBD)


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MP3: White Rabbits – Percussion Gun from the forthcoming LP It’s Frightening

White Rabbits have always been a concussion ensemble of vicious rhythms and unconventional minor compositions. With It’s Frightening (release May 19 2009), they take things in a different direction. Overall, It’s Frightening is not as danceable as their freshman effort, but has more intricate compositions and lush textures as well as a consistency that Fort Nightly (2007) lacked.

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Spoon, Colin Meloy: Reviews galore…

I am pulling heavy duty over at BYT this week. My review of this past Friday’s Spoon show just went up.

Review of Colin Meloy/Laura Gibson show is here.

Go on over and check em out. Great photos by Joel Didriksen.

This weekend-Spoon, White Rabbits, Colin Meloy, Ted Leo and more…

What seems to be the designated “big” show this month, is going down tonight at Sonar. Spoon (pictured left) supported by the Walkmen and the stellar, super-friendly White Rabbits (who we recently did an interview with).

I am actually on the BYT clock to cover the event, which got a strong endorsement from an envious Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) who is out of town touring this weekend and missing a chance to see her BFFs/label-mates Spoon in something smaller than a stadium-sized venue. So I will make the most of it, as should you. See if you can score something reasonable off Craig and get there, it’ll probably even be worth the $50 price-gouge. Do yourselves a favor and get to this however you can, whatever it takes.

If you don’t happen to be into Spooning…I may have your prescription. I have it on good information that Ted Leo (pictured right) is playing a free show at Goucher College during its G.I.G. festival today, Friday April 11.

Continuing the free show concept is Double Dagger with Thank You at UMBC, also on this jam-packed Friday.

And on Saturday, a day of rest. But Sunday, one of my all-time favorites, Colin Meloy is playing his solo gig at 9:30 Club in DC.

Get hyped. Here’s some morsels to get you started:

Spoon – Cherry Bomb Country (demo)

White Rabbits – March of the Camels

Ted Leo – Biomusicology

Colin Meloy – Barbara Allen (Shirley Collins cover)

The White Rabbits swap labels to TBD Records

So the focus of our inaugural content, the White Rabbits, has been signed to TBD Records. They are now label-mates with a little band called Radiohead. Congrats to the guys.

We will be checking in with them in a few weeks before they hit the area on their latest tour with Spoon and the Walkmen. Man these guys keep good company.

In the meantime, check out our interview with lead singer and keyboardist Steve Patterson as well of our reviews of their last show with the Walkmen at the Ottobar.


BAM (also known as Brooklyn Academy of Music) is holding their 2nd annual Brooklyn Next Fest from February 15-24. The festival is tasked with the unenviable job of celebrating that stagnant music scene up in Brooklyn (sarcasm).

Notable performers include the excellent White Rabbits, Tunde Adebimpe and Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio, epic heartbreakers the National, My Brightest Diamond, country-folk artist Laura Cantrell and a healthy dose of electronica from Excepter.

Check the official site here for more info.

And as usual, some vids/tunes after the jump for your perusal.


Excepter – “Rock Stepper”

The National – “Fake Empire”

White Rabbits Interview (w/ Steve Patterson)

Aural States chats with White Rabbits’ vocalist and pianist Steve Patterson. Full interview after the jump.

Photo Credit Karen Chan/Spin.com
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White Rabbits overload & more

To cement White Rabbits in the position of our first fanboyish artist obsession, I just finished an interview with vocalist/pianist Steve Patterson. Look for it later tonight/tomorrow morning.

UPDATE: Check out our exclusive interview with vocalist/pianist Steve Patterson of White Rabbits here!

Meanwhile, after the jump, podcasting Glass Candy and free White Rabbits songs…

Check out free White Rabbits, new songs from their daytrotter session here.

Click here for Taxlo’s podcast of Glass Candy Live from Baltimore, 01.18.08

White Rabbit. I need rising sound…

I remember thinking, “There are way too many instruments on this stage right now. They must be hiding something; no talent, bad musicianship… it only remains to be seen.” I have never been more wrong in my life. White Rabbits has a huge sound, carefully crafted and under control. I was reminded of Hunter S. Thompson quoting Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas:

White Rabbit. I need rising sound… And when it comes to that fantastic note where the rabbit bites its own head off, I want you to throw that fuckin’ radio into the tub with me!

I’d like to think that White Rabbits found some inspiration in these words.

Read Aural State’s post for a complete review of the show. I intend to focus a little more on White Rabbits and what made them stand out so much on stage. Opening things up for White Rabbits were The Subjects: the perfect band to warm the crowd up. They were well-rehearsed and enjoyable to listen too, especially when they let the drummer take a crack at singing. I want to dispel the myth that you have to be an emotional tenor with an ornamental guitar — a guitar is not a handbag, kids — to front a rock band.

I already mentioned that I initially thought there were too many instruments on stage. My preference is to find economy in all things, but I was fairly open to the idea of a big band rock group. As White Rabbits set up, I noted two trap sets, two guitars, bass, and keys. For those of you keeping count, that’s a hockey team right there. My curiosity was further piqued when the keyboard player dragged out a tack piano and a Nord Electro 2, the backup choice of Rhodes and Hammond B3 players the world over. The instrument is a mark of good taste (I have one in my living room right now). I had some high expectations for this player. While not revealing himself as a melodic player, he proved to have fantastically quick hands and excellent timing. Although I am not a fan of screaming, his vocals were generally spot on and I would say very authentic for the style of music.

Playing with two drummers on stage can prove to be rhythmically disastrous. White Rabbits pulled off the trick exceedingly well, however, proving how well-rehearsed they are as a group. Even though I was initially wary of the concept, I would now have to say that having two drummers is an essential part of this ensemble. On the other hand, I couldn’t see any justification for having two guitars in the group even though neither of them were at all shabby.

The glue that holds this many musicians together is endless hours of rehearsal and it shows that White Rabbits has put in the time. Each individual was absolutely comfortable throughout the show, moving effortlessly between instruments and movements. This careful rehearsal also shows up in the quality of the arrangements that start with a simple rhythmic or melodic idea and build to a level of excited tension and release.

It was refreshing to hear a band go after some sinister sounding music with gypsy minor keys and the unusual but tasteful calypso rhythm stylings. I would love to hear this band slow it down a little and take on something a little more sophisticated. The cover of “Maggie’s Farm” was a hit with the crowd, but I’d love to hear them try “All the Right Bullets” by Tom Waits. They could really stretch on that tune.

Review- Walkmen, White Rabbits, the Subjects @ the Ottobar, Baltimore

images.jpegIn short:

The Subjects sit at the intersection of Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand. Capably and entertainingly, but also forgettably unoriginal save a few surprise songs.

The Walkmen couldn’t stand up to the White Rabbits’ performance. Vocals were off, flat and uneven for almost the whole night. Also, they desperately needed to tune. Points for effort and stage presence, but they delivered a show that was maybe 50% as interesting and engaging as the Rabbits. The sound guys pumped up their levels to try and match the Rabbits’ sound, but amplifying something without dynamism doesn’t make it dynamic. Check out our blogosphere neighbor, Butterteam’s interview with the Walkmen regarding their newest material and label changes in their future right here.

The White Rabbits killed. Absolutely phenomenal set, and the best new opener I’ve seen in nigh on 3 years. Read the rest…