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Interview: Eddie Argos of Art Brut

 
By on Friday, 23rd October 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

eddie argos interview photoEddie Argos, lead vocalist and lyricist of art rock band Art Brut, was kind enough to sit down and chat with me before his band’s show at the Black Cat this past weekend. Eddie’s love of comics and milkshakes have now been immortalised in song (in Art Brut’s ‘DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake’, a track from the band’s most recent album-length offering, ‘Art Brut vs. Satan’), so I just had to ask him about both. I also learned that he really likes playing at the Black Cat (score! [also detailed in his blog]) and Washington (score again!), and he and the band are raring to go on their month-long jaunt around this great land of ours. He is also a very frank and funny man – no surprise there. Have a listen.

**To save disk space, the audio file that originally went with this post has been removed.

‘Art Brut vs. Satan’, Art Brut’s third and latest album, was released in April and is available now from Cooking Vinyl in the UK and Downtown Records in America.

 

MP3 of the Day #112: UltraChorus

 
By on Friday, 23rd October 2009 at 10:00 am
 

I resist most hip hop songs that feature auto-tuned vocals (Kanye West, anyone?) But I will make an exception for this duo, primarily on the basis of the enjoyable, layered sound in ‘Scarlet Eyes’ that clearly was a labour of love to make.

Minneapolis UltraChorus is the collaboration between Chris Heidman and Jeff Lorentzen, and the music they make is realised in a heady, lush, futuristic electropop sound and happy, poppy-boppy vocals. This is one slick production number. I’d take these guys over Kanye any day. Pop it and lock it, peeps.

MP3: UltraChorus – Scarlet Eyes

UltraChorus’s debut album, Ultra-Def, was released on 13 October in America on the band’s own label, So TM.

 

Live Review: Art Brut with Princeton at Black Cat, Washington DC – 18 October 2009

 
By on Tuesday, 20th October 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

On a chilly Washington Sunday night I, warmed by the beckoning Black Cat on 14th Street, was armed with the knowledge that something fantastic was about to happen. And that something fantastic was English/German band Art Brut.

b-princeton2But before we could get “Brut-alised“, we were entertained by a four-piece from Los Angeles, Princeton. If you like the Drums, I imagine you will also like the chirpy rock/pop sound that this quartet makes. Songs like the Beach Boys-esque ‘Martina and Clive Krantz’ and the surprisingly upbeat ‘I Left My Love in Nagasaki’ will make you smile. Very interestingly, their web site says that the band started when three of them were living in London in 2005. (I maintain to this day that there must be something in the Thames that causes the inner rocker in people to rise up and form bands.)

Cute as heck twin brothers Jesse and Matt Kivel traded off lead vocal and guitar duties effortlessly, and keys from Ben Usen and the backbeat provided by David Kitz complete the band’s sound. The brothers’ self-deprecating banter between songs charmed the crowd by the end of the set. And seriously, when was the last time you were asked by a band to clap along not just to one, but several songs in a band’s set and you did so without reservation?

h-artbrut3I had been recommended to see Art Brut by several friends on the Continent who insisted “Eddie Argos is a legend!” and “Art Brut are amazing live!” I was already interested in the band through their recent single ‘DC Comics and Chocolate Milkshake’, a celebration of the best things in life from Argos’s point of view. The song is from their latest album, ‘Art Brut vs. Satan’, released on Cooking Vinyl in April. I have a yet-to-be-shaken axiom that if a band is having a great time on stage playing their songs, it follows that the audience watching them will also have a great time being entertained by them. The Art Brut gig was further evidence for this. Jasper Future and Ian Catskillkin on guitars, Freddy Feedback on bass, and Mikey Breyer on drums were all having the time of their lives, playing with so much passion that at times I was worried their respective instruments might fly out of their hands. In particular, Future pulls these hilarious faces when he sings backing vocals; then he’ll stare out at the crowd as if waiting for a reaction. Comical!

g-artbrut2And then there was Eddie Argos. He had told me earlier (after an exclusive interview I did with him, forthcoming on TGTF) that he is a show-off and likes to be the centre of attention. However, nothing could have prepared me for what can only be described as stage shenanigans. During the third song, ‘Summer Job’, Argos skipped rope with the microphone cord; I think he broke it because then the roadies had to quickly set up another microphone for him. He introduced ‘Rusted Gun of Milan’ humorously with “let’s glamourise bad sex!” Completely randomly in the middle of the song, he jumped into the crowd, the microphone cord narrowly hitting my friend and me in the face. He then went on to describe to bemused concertgoers on the floor where the glass elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory leads to: “the Bat Cave. And this is all entirely true“. What did he do next? He started pogo-ing, which of course led to everyone in the club following his lead. He detailed his disappointment finding out that Iggy Pop‘s song ‘The Passenger’ was not about riding on buses but taking heroin in the backseat of a limousine, and how he decided then that Art Brut would have to write a much better song about the joys of traveling on buses and trains around Britain. If that isn’t adorable, I don’t know what is.

Later on in the set, Argos explained that when playing ‘Alcoholics Unanimous’ (the first single from ‘Art Brut vs. Satan’) live, the band will play an extended outro so that he can nip off for a drink. It should also be noted that this is the same song that has the brilliant raucous chorus of “bring me tea! Bring me coffee!” So is it any surprise that one of the best-selling pieces of Art Brut merchandise was a mug with these words emblazoned on it in large letters? No, not at all. And this is all entirely true.

After the cut: photos and set list.

l-artbrut7

Continue reading Live Review: Art Brut with Princeton at Black Cat, Washington DC – 18 October 2009

 

Video of the Moment #160: Little Boots

 
By on Tuesday, 20th October 2009 at 10:00 am
 

Victoria Christina Hesketh, aka Little Boots, has a new video out for another song, ‘Earthquake’, from her debut album ‘Hands’ released in the UK in June. Directed by David Wilson, the Little one is sat with her synth in her lap, and she is set off by a brilliantly glowing moon and some rad sky special effects, and pulsating internal body parts. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeJBd746-4w
 

Video of the Moment #157: Ladyhawke

 
By on Friday, 16th October 2009 at 6:00 pm
 

Today being Friday, we have something very special for you to get you ready for the weekend. The nice folks at SPIN Earth alerted us to this great, no-holds-barred, live, in-studio video of certainly one of TGTF’s favourite Kiwis, Ladyhawke. In this, Pip Brown with her flowing blonde locks is shown at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London, England, and doing her thing: singing, drumming, playing guitar, banging at a cowbell, shaking maracas, and displaying jazz hands and generally being her humourous self. And even attempts to pay homage to ‘Star Wars’ on the drum kit.

But what is she doing in this video exactly? Covering the Johnny Cash classic ‘Get Rhythm’. This optimistic toe-tapper is one of my absolute favourites from ‘the Man in Black’ and I think it’s brill that Ladyhawke decided to try doing her take on the song.

 

MP3 of the Day #111: Jack Peñate

 
By on Friday, 16th October 2009 at 10:00 am
 

Jack Penate has been on my mind the last couple of weeks, after having spoken to the extremely thoughtful Londoner last month and coming away with the warm, fuzzy feeling of, “you know what? Here is a guy who really enjoys making music“.

Just as much as Jack enjoys making music for us, we here at TGTF like to spread the music love. If you haven’t heard Jack’s latest album Everything is New yet, boy…do we have a treat for you. Follow this link to a blog on his MySpace and you can stream the album for free. So how does the ‘MP3 of the Day’ feature come in? Well, for a limited time, Jack is offering a free download of ‘Body Down’ from that same blog entry. I loved it live, and I think you’ll love it too.

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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