Destroyer – Chinatown


“Chinatown” is new from Dan Bejar’s band Destroyer. The track, which is going on our Tuesday Night 8:54 PM chillout mix, is as smooth as the Wednesday before T-Giving is long. Splashes of dreamy synth and sax float in the mix framing a vaguely Asian instrumental frame. Destroyer’s Kaputt is out in Jan on Merge.

Destroyer – Chinatown
Purchase / Info

Rating: 8.5


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Vhyce – Duran Duran (Feat. Yves Parquet)

Beamed straight from the wilds of Belgium through your speakers and into the zone of your bloodstream set to funk. “Duran Duran”, the latest from Vhyce (with an assist from Yves Parquet), adeptly juxtaposes moody synths, a hook-laden pop-destroyer melody, and a main groove that keeps things moving. “Listen to Duran Duran”.

Stream the best new songs in emerging music with our Top 12 of the Week playlist

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Culture Collide Festival Wrap: 2012

Photo by Jasmine Safaeian, Filter

Last week the Culture Collide music festival returned to Echo Park, Los Angeles. The third annual Filter Magazine event produced a four days of non-stop music by emerging talent from around the globe. Team-B3SCI were on the grounds making all the rounds to venues, parking lots, champaign rooms… you name it! Below is a collection of some favorite first-hand accounts from our troops on the ground.


THURSDAY October 4, 2012

Photo: Aida Daneshvar

Dean Wareham @ Methodist Church

I feel like a better music fan, and more specifically a better indie music fan, for having seen Dean Wareham at the Methodist Church. The cozy, intimate setting was dimly lit and provided the perfect setting for Wareham’s lo-fi aesthetic. The capacity of around 200 was nearly full, with casual listeners strolling in and out to catch the other acts during the time slot, namely Blood Red Shoes. Wareham is a true rock craftsman — I’m more a fan of his Luna project than Galaxie 500, and although the set was mainly Galaxie material, I found myself recognizing most of the cuts. At his preferred tempo, Wareham is hard to beat. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Andrew Slough

Blood Red Shoes @ The Champaign Room

I left Wareham early to catch the last three songs of Blood Red Shoes’ set. This Brighton duo pack more of a wallop than most three and four-piece groups, check our interview with drummer Steven back in 2k10 for more on their sound. Apparently I had missed some technical difficulties earlier in their set, but the three cuts I heard were raucous, euphoric, abrasive, fleeting, and all those other words which come to mind when thinking of the group. The Champaign Room at Taix was packed to the brim, with a healthy mosh of about 50 adding to the excitement. Unfortunately for this listener, Blood Red Shoes ended almost as soon as they began. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Monique Hernandez

Tribes @ The Champaign Room

I could not have been more pleased with Tribes’ set. They’ve been here in LA for the past couple months recording the follow up to February’s Baby, which btw is sure to land somewhere in my top ten at the end of the year. While the usual smattering of attendees relocated to another room for John Talbot, much of the crowd were engaged singing along, and genuinely pumped to see the Camden four-piece. While Tribes only played “Dancer” off the new album (great cut, similar in sound with a big chorus), the songs off Baby were spot-on. I was especially pleased to hear closer “Bad Apple”, which was left off when they played The Bootleg in March, and of course “Sappho” and “We Were Children”, two of the better power pop songs written since the mid-90s. By Chris Gedos


FRIDAY October 5, 2012

Photo: Monique Hernandez

The Balconies @ Taix Lounge

Every music fan hopes to catch a surprise discovery or two during any festival, and my most pleasant surprise at Culture Collide came with the first band I saw. The Balconies from Ottawa/Toronto are a hard rock trio with amazing energy and good melodies. Singer Jacquie Neville not only has all of the moves of a star front woman, but she is also the band’s guitar player. They were on the lips of many during the rest of the weekend. By Bruce Rave

Photo: Bruce Rave

The Royal Teeth

The Royal Teeth from New Orleans delivered a spot on set packed with some flawless harmonies and radio-ready songs. These guys have a band next door kind of vibe, and their “Wild” single has been gaining some traction on many radars. By Bruce Rave


SATURDAY October 6, 2012

Photo: Jake Giles Netter

Morning Parade @ Taix Lounge

UK and Morning Parade have seen a fair amount of radio success this year. It’s definitely worth noting that their strong live set helps backs up some of the buzz. By Bruce Rave

Photo: Brian Litwin

Moss @ Taix Lounge

While heading over from the a set at Echoplex, I bumped into the bass player of the next band I was heading to see. We talked over a cigarette about how Moss have enjoyed playing in the US and were going back to Amsterdam shortly after playing this festival. Not giving me much insight into the show I was about to take in, and by some suprise the dutch quartet blew away their small but captive audience. Their unique indie pop sound explores various influences with spot on harmonies and an overall musicianship, that would almost seem like they have been playing together for 20 years, culminating to an outstanding show. A definite highlight of the festival for me and a band worth taking note. By Brian Litwin

Photo: Jasmine Safaeian, FILTER

Ewert and the Dragons @ Echoplex

Ewert and the Dragons hail from Estonia, playing a blend of sweet melodies set in a sort of Mumford & Sons feel. More than just an A+ band name, these guys showed why they were one of the more buzzed-about bands at Culture Collide. By Bruce Rave

Photo: Brian Litwin

Gold Fields @ Echoplex

This show had everything from loads of energy, an injured lead singer, Aussie accents, radio ready songs and cowbell – lots of cowbell. Astralwerks backed Gold Fields had the Friday night Echoplex crowd moving. Playing songs off their 2011 self titled EP and closing with recent single “Dark Again (Lights Out)”. By Brian Litwin

Photo: Brian Litwin

Icona Pop @ Echoplex

Shortly after Gold Fields, the dancing continued for Swedish DJ duo Icona Pop. From the start, the twosome had control of the crowd. When they dropped blogger crazed “I Love It” featuring Charli XCX it sent the crowd into a frenzy, and during the whole performance it seemed the duo were taken aback by how responsive the crowd was. Look for the band’s sophomore showing The Iconic out on October 16th. By Brian Litwin


SUNDAY October 7, 2012

DIIV @ Block Party

DIIV (pronounced “dive”) is the perfect band for the Culture Collide crowd, on the vanguard of third or fourth gen shoegaze (depending on who you ask). This band do just about everything right— they play loud and they sound exactly how you would want them to sound live after listening to their acclaimed debut album, Oshin. The audience listened intently with little to no dancing— after all, shoegaze is a sub-genre meant to be listened to with a stoic objectivity. I’m certain that their follow-up show at the Echo on Tuesday night was near max capax and did not disappoint. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Chris Gedos

Tapioca and the Flea @ The Champaign Room

Tapioca and the Flea (top 20 coolest band name in history) played the Taix Champange room as a last-minute addition. Hopefully enough people saw their adroit and energetic set that they’ll be properly added to the bill for next year. They provided an interesting dynamic and can mix up tempos mid-song extremely well. With an aura never quite descending into Sugar Rat indie thanks to some Wayne Coyne lyrical coyness, the keyboardists’ contribution to the arrangements even reminded me of a 21st century Question Mark and The Mysterians. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Monique Hernandez

School of Seven Bells @ Block Party

School of Seven Bells can be slotted under the classification “Interpol-wave”, and in fact their band came to fruition opening for Banks and company. Their style is a refined and nuanced art-rock which held up rather well in front of the slaphappy West Coast crowd. Singer Alejandra Deheza has an enchanting presence, to say the least. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Bruce Rave

The Wombats @ Echoplex or Block Party

The Wombats are finally nearing the end of a long run supporting their album This Modern Glitch, which contains surprise US radio hit “Jump Into the Fog”. Most of the band’s set rejoiced from This Modern Glitch but their UK smash “Let’s Dance to Joy Division” recieved great reaction, and will always be a standard for them. The Wombats were one of the more fun bands at Culture Collide, which the crowd was happy to share. By Bruce Rave

Photo: Brian Litwin

Class Actress @ Block Party

Class Actress, an electro-pop duo, drew many festival goers away from the limited shady spots located near the hot and sunny main stage on the closing day. Fusing pop-friendly lyrics and heavy synth leads and instrumentals, lead singer Elizabeth Harper swayed side to side of the stage moving the crowd along. Playing mostly from their 2011 release Rapproacher, Class Actress set the stage nicely for the acts coming up. By Brian Litwin

Photo: Brian Litwin

Poolside @ Block Party

Brazilian trio Bonde do Role couldn’t make the show due to some Visa issues so festival producers had to scramble quickly to get a replacement band. They signed on LA’s own Poolside, which proved to be a very nice surprise. Laying down some daytime disco, the crowd started to really get into it. Grooving to songs like “Next to You” and “Kiss You Forever” the crowd didn’t mind that Bonde do Role couldn’t be there. Ironically enough, Poolside starts a fall tour in San Francisco today (October 10th) with Bonde do Role and headliner Com Truise. By Brian Litwin

Photo: Carl Pocket

Nikki and the Dove @ Block Party

Nikki and the Dove set the trippy stage for the Of Montreal out-of-this-world main course that would soon follow. As for numbers, Nikki and the Dove had nearly as many people in attendance as Of Montreal would anc their set was loud enough to reach other galaxies. I loved their stage presence, and while there’s a part of their musicianship eerily reminiscent of Prince, it’s debatable how much of their panache translates to CD. By Chris Gedos

Photo: Chris Gedos

Of Montreal @ Block Party

Of Montreal provided the perfect capstone to a weekend of great musical variety. Within the first few songs a fleet of aliens and a giant ghost (consisting of three performers)had already stormed the stage. Lead / musical virtuoso Kevin Barnes relished his moment as headliner and delivered a set of fitting distinction, one which touched upon the entirety of the band’s catalog, from its more traditionally quirky indie roots of Satanic Panic in the Attic and The Gay Parade, to the indie psych of Hissing Fauna, are you the Destroyer, to the neo-indie-soul of their most recent compositions. By Chris Gedos

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Although we’ve come to the end of the road, still Adele we can’t let you go. We’ve reached 2011’s closing hour and now it is time: b3sci presents it’s Top 50 Albums of 2011. No one’s even come close to having the year Adele’s had. The most albums sold in a single year since 2004, two of the biggest singles of the year, etc, a truly international breakthrough both commercially and critically on a level we haven’t seen in a long time. Adele, our girl, the crown is yours. 21 is b3sci’s Album of the year.

So where the fuck is Adele on many of these respected-indie-press-dude best of lists? That period between Nov 2010 when “Rolling in the Deep” first broke and the lead up to the album’s release in late January, Adele ruled the blogosphere, the fold was united. Then “RITD” got overplayed to the point of absurdity, your mom bought the record, probably your grandma bought it too; those bros that listen to Foo Fighters and Deadmau5 started bumping “Someone Like You” out their trunk. Soon, the “wrong people” liked 21 and Adele’s brief moment atop the indiesphere was over. Right.

Thanks for reading this year, y’all. We’ve got some big plans for 2012. Stay tuned. Much love.

01. Adele – 21 (Buy It) (Read)

02. The Weeknd – House of Balloons (Buy It) (Read)

03. Drake – Take Care (Buy It) (Read)

04. James Blake – James Blake (Buy It) (Read)

05. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 (Buy It) (Read)

06. Gil Scott-Heron & Jamie xx – We’re New Here (Buy It) (Read)

07. WU LYF – Go Tell Fire on the Mountain (Buy It) (Read)

08. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne (Buy It) (Read)

09. The Horrors – Skying (Buy It) (Read)

10. M83 – Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming (Buy It) (Read)

11. Wye Oak – Civilian (Buy It) (Read)

12. Girls – Father Son, Holy Ghost (Buy It) (Read)

13. Real Estate – Days (Buy It) (Read)

14. A$AP Rocky – Live Love A$AP (Buy It) (Read)

15. Sepalcure – Sepalcure (Buy It) (Read)

16. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake (Buy It) (Read)

17. The War on Drugs – Slave Ambient (Buy It) (Read)

18. Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming (Buy It) (Read)

19. Metronomy – The English Riviera (Buy It) (Read)

20. SBTRKT – SBTRKT (Buy It) (Read)

21. Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica (Buy It) (Read)

22. The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From the Vaccines (Buy It) (Read)

23. Destroyer – Kaputt (Buy It) (Read)

24. The Antlers – Burst Apart (Buy It) (Read)

25. tUnE-yArDs – w h o k i l l (Buy It) (Read)

26. Beyonce – 4 (Buy It) (Read)

27. Wild Flag – Wild Flag (Buy It) (Read)

28. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Buy It) (Read)

29. Big K.R.I.T. – Return of 4eva (Buy It) (Read)

30. Clams Casino – Instrumentals (Buy It) (Read)

31. Gillian Welch – The Harrow and the Harvest (Buy It) (Read)

32. Low Roar – Low Roar (Buy It) (Read)

33. AraabMUZIK – Electronic Dream (Buy It) (Read)

34. Active Child – You Are All I See (Buy It) (Read)

35. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues (Buy It) (Read)

36. Raphael Saadiq – Stone Rollin’ (Buy It) (Read)

37. Cults – Cults (Buy It) (Read)

38. Radiohead – The King of Limbs (Buy It) (Read)

39. Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials (Buy It) (Read)

40. Alex Clare – The Lateness of the Hour (Buy It) (Read)

41. Nicolas Jaar – Space Is Only Noise (Buy It) (Read)

42. Jhene Aiko – Sailing Soul(s) (Buy It) (Read)

43. The Stepkids – The Stepkids (Buy It) (Read)

44. Freddie Gibbs – Cold Day in Hell (Buy It) (Read)

45. Gardens & Villa – Gardens & Villa (Buy It) (Read)

46. Laura Marling – A Creature I Don’t Know (Buy It) (Read)

47. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo (Buy It) (Read)

48. Foster the People – Torches (Buy It) (Read)

49. Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (Buy It) (Read)

50. Friendly Fires – Pala (Buy It) (Read)

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LIVE SHOW REVIEW: The National / Sharon Van Etten @ Beacon Theatre, New York 12/13/11

Contributed by Erin Routson



Out of the week-long residency the National spent at the Beacon, this was the show I most wanted to be present for, in order to see Sharon Van Etten. (And, crossing my fingers that they’d bring her out to do “Think You Can Wait.”) Earlier in the day I tweeted about the over/under on me crying during the show, knowing that I was going to see two acts I really love by myself, a perfect set-up for tears.

I got to the Beacon early, even though it was assigned seating. The crowd was totally not what I expected, so many couples and so many pairs of bros. I don’t know what it is about the National; I have a very specific view of who I think listens to them, people who shop for well-tailored clothes, people whose interests tip toward the literary, people who find themselves unsatisfied with their white-collar jobs and drown it all in small-batch bourbon. I guess I’m wrong about that, or I guess that is a very small sect of an audience that, like I said, is full of bros.

There’s nothing wrong with bros, I guess, as long as they’re not committing sexual assault or objectifying me at a bar. Maybe I am a bro – two of the things I love the most are the NBA and this band. More or less, I was just surprised how many would come out of the woodwork to see a band that has less in common with OAR and more in common with T.S. Eliot, at least in my mind.

Sharon Van Etten took the stage to a not-full crowd (bros aren’t down with Sharon, yet) and opened with “Love More”; whoever bet that I would cry was right within a few minutes. At this point the people in the seats next to me hadn’t arrived, so I was free to let it all out to a woman’s voice that I find truly haunting and amazing. I’m a sucker for voices. Time and Temperature, Elephant Micah: their voices are two of my favorites and SVE is right up there with them. Moving through “One Day”, “Save Yourself” to “Don’t Do It”, what I’d consider one of the saddest songs ever written, the backing band laid the perfect groundwork for her powerful yet plaintive voice.

From there she shredded through “Peace Signs” and then into new material, Aaron Dessner joining her for an apprehensive and incisive version of “Serpents”, which definitely has a sound that borders on what the National do with their own work on High Violet. While its clear that performing still makes SVE a little nervous between songs as she awkwardly banters, she has no trouble fully immersing herself in performing her work. She knows how to feel what she is doing and it is one of the things that make her songs so easy to fall into. Those who got to the show too late to see this honestly missed something that I imagine will grow and only get better.

By the time the National’s pre-show music was going full-tilt, all of the bros and their girlfriends had arrived. I knew that any crying I would do publicly was over; I also knew that there are really only a handful of their songs that would get it out of me and most are never done live. The pictured screen went up during “Wild Boys” and for some reason I was convinced that it was the music they would take the stage to which I found really endearing. It wasn’t. Something else started up after it. Eventually the Ohio-bred gentlemen took the stage and opened up with “Start A War.”

The set was heavy on High Violet material, but “Boxer,” “Alligator,” “Cherry Tree” and new songs were all represented. For quite a few of the songs, Annie Clark (aka St. Vincent) took the stage to sing vocals and play some guitar. Friends who had attended Monday’s show with the War on Drugs said that wasn’t the case for them: Tuesday night bonus! While I’d love to outline each individual song, that would take forever; it was a long set, but one I could’ve stayed hours for.

“Bloodbuzz Ohio” is not my favorite off of High Violet, but it seems to be like “Float On” for Modest Mouse: it gets everyone going when it’s done live. The momentum of the song lends itself to live performance, and the bros do love a singalong. A difference between this and the last time I saw them was the projection screen and intense lighting that accompanied each song. They’ve also gone the route of video of the band from the stage, something that reminded me of what Radiohead began doing at their shows a few years ago.

Matt Berninger’s voice is why I got into the National in the first place. Years ago a friend and I were discussing music and I mentioned that I like “weird” voices, and he insisted I listen to Boxer. I’ve been hooked ever since. (Though Tom Waits has never melted my icy heart.) One thing I will never get used to, though, no matter how many times I see this band, is Berninger’s proclivity to bark some of his lyrics. It started in “Squalor Victoria” and of course carried through to “Mr. November.” Hearing it, to me, hurts, like a pack of Dobermans piercing your eardrums when provoked.

As I dreamed, Sharon Van Etten came out to do “Think You Can Wait”, but it wasn’t as powerful as I thought it would be for me live. Maybe it’s one that just belongs on my headphones late at night. “Anyone’s Ghost” ended up being the most memorable to me all night, which is one that had fallen off the radar for me; “Afraid of Everyone” and “Lemonworld” were in much heavier rotation when I was listening to High Violet non-stop. A pleasant, sad, neurotic surprise, nonetheless.

The encore consisted of the SVE performance, “Fake Empire” (live horns will never cease to bring a smile to my face), “Terrible Love” with Annie Clark, and an acoustic singalong version of “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” for which everyone, SVE and Annie Clark included, took the stage. Hearing the whole crowd join in to sing was a weird, wonderful summer camp moment, even in the fake-cold of December that was outside the walls. The melancholy of a song I’d never hesitate to call a soul-destroyer was broken up by some random dude entering early with his cry of “CHANDELIERS!”, sending everyone in the crowd into a short burst of giggling.

Bro vibes aside, the National’s lyrics end up sounding like an uneasy, dark reinterpretation of “Once In a Lifetime” paired with anxiety-threaded, pounding-like-a-nervous-heart instrumentation. I feel too close to what they are revealing, sometimes. I feel like they’re blowing my cover by broadcasting thoughts I have about achievement, love, and being from where I am. Maybe that bro was right to break up the tension and sadness of the encore with his outburst. Maybe it’s true – you have to laugh so you don’t cry.

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