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Holiday wishes to all + (Holiday!) Video of the Moment #1078: She and Him

 
By on Friday, 21st December 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

In an appropriately seasonal offering, She and Him (the duetting duo of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward), Deschanel revisits her Elf film turn singing ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ not with Will Ferrell but her usual partner instead in this cutesy cartoon.

Happy holidays to you who is reading this post: we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. This year we’ve been honoured to cover SXSW, the Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City, Evolution Festival, Guernsey Festival, Standon Calling, Reading Festival, Jersey Live, Beacons Festival, Split Festival and even the 26th ARIAs (in Sydney!) And we hope to bring you even more great content next year, and of course the usual album, single and live reviews, new and freely available mp3s and brand spanking new videos you’ve come to expect from us.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who’s read what we had to say on the current state of music; all the hard-working bands that we can’t show our appreciation enough for but that we hope will continue to be successful; those bands to have gone out of their way to help and not hinder our attempts to bring you the best and brightest of new music; and of course everyone behind the bands and venues who aren’t given enough credit for what they do in our industry. We salute you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday, get exactly what you wanted this Christmas and have a fabulous, success-filled 2013! See you in the New Year!

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Single Review: The Good Natured – 5-HT

 
By on Friday, 21st December 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Although ‘5-HT’ is the first single from The Good Natured‘s debut album out next year on EMI/Parlophone (aka the Beatles’ label home), it doesn’t mean it’s the first bit we’ve ever posted on them. Far from it. Former editor Phil wrote a Bands to Watch feature on Sarah McIntosh’s then solo project in 2008 (read it here) that starred her gran’s Casio keyboard, narrowly rescued by McIntosh from the rubbish heap.

But the project has now evolved into a full-fledged three-piece electropop band, featuring McIntosh on lead vocals and keyboards, brother Hamish on bass and university mate George Hinson on drums. At first, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with what The Good Natured morphed into once they wer signed to EMI; I was so worried about Sara turning into a Britney or a Gaga, as her look became hyper-sexualised. Judging from the lyrics of this single however, this is electropop…with a difference. Maybe I’m too outspoken for a woman, but I’m sorry, I’m not a 50 Shades of Grey wimp, crippled by the need to be dominated by a man. If you’re going to be a woman and sexual, then don’t you dare be a Lana Del Rey type. Take ownership of it!

While not as immediate and animal as last year’s ‘Skeleton’, there’s a lot to love about ‘5-HT’. If you’re wondering where the name came from, I immediately knew what it was, because I’m just a massive biochemistry boffin underneath. 5-HT is shorthand for 5-hydroxytryptamine, also known as the neurotransmitter serotonin, linked to pleasurable activities. How does this fit into a pop song? If you liked the self-assured swagger of Roxy Music‘s ‘Love is the Drug’ metaphor, this is in the same vein. “I fall deep / you kill the pain, my opiate / 5-HT / rush to the brain”: it’s not exactly chat up lines at your local, but rather more impressively, what a scientist might say in a paradoxically clever statement. Opiates, like heroin and morphine, kill pain and generally lead people to sleep…so how can this be, if we’re still talking about the pleasure chemical? Consider the bridge:

And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running through my veins
And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running through my veins
And it’s ripping through my heart when you kiss me
Feel you beating in my heart and running

An ex once said to me after reading some of my poetry about the love I had for him, “I don’t want to ruin your artistic expression, but this is how I see it, so plainly. I don’t think it’s dirty, it’s beautiful.” The sentiment rings true in this case too.

8/10

‘5-HT’, the current single from the Good Natured, is available now. Their debut album will be out in early 2013 on EMI/Parlophone.

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Top Gigs of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 
By on Friday, 21st December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

Another year, and another top 5 gigs by bands that should not be missed live. How odd that three of them came one after another, but that’s the cool thing about Washington DC. Except for December through the beginning of February (the dead of winter) and June through August (festival season), there is always a reasonably good selection of bands coming through here. But that hasn’t always been the case.

I am often asked on my travels why I became a music blogger, and the simple answer has always been this: when I started covering shows in March 2009, I was getting increasingly upset about how many bands (American or international) would skip Washington entirely, either in favour of going to Philadelphia instead or would only consider New York, or maybe Boston, as the only cities worthy on the East Coast for a tour stop. I have had the opportunity to meet so many bands in the last 3+ years that Washington DC has now become considered on the list of cities bands sincerely wish to play in – or on the list that bands say they will definitely pass through on their next headline tours of North America. To know that I have been involved in making this paradigm shift a reality means so much. It means that I have done something for the city I’ve called home all these years and more importantly, have exposed thousands of music fans from varying walks of life who either work, go to school, or pass through our fine city to incredible music.

All five bands whose gigs landed them in my top 5 gigs of 2012 are worth every red cent you can put forward to go see them, either in their own gig or at a festival in 2013. Here’s the list…

5. Ash‘s 20th anniversary tour at DC9 (Thursday 15th November 2012) – what a surreal experience, finally seeing Ash live, in one of the smallest places to see bands in Washington. Even more surreal was after, when I actually got to talk to all of them and Tim Wheeler said I was a more appropriate panelist for Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable than he was. (This made me smile.) The set itself was brilliantly hard rocky, much more so than I ever would have imagined.

4. TGTF’s stage at Liverpool Sound City 2012, starring the Temper Trap, Clock Opera and Dear Prudence Liverpool Academy of Arts (Friday 18th May 2012) – maybe this is cheating, choosing our own stage at Liverpool. But this night couldn’t have been any better, starring our friends since I took over as Editor of this Web site, the Temper Trap, our new friends from SXSW, Clock Opera, and a band from Brighton destined to bigger things, Dear Prudence. All we can say is THANK YOU to all the bands for making it such a memorable night and THANK YOU Sound City for letting us host this amazing stage.

3. Husky at Red Palace (Friday 17th November 2012) – it’s a sad day in Washington, as Red Palace, similar in intimate size to DC9, will be closing its doors at the end of 2012. But before then, I managed to catch the Melbourne band we befriended at this year’s Great Escape. Just check out this video from the show of the band performing an a capella version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Lover Lover Lover’ and you’ll understand why they’re so good live.

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2. the Joy Formidable at St. Stephen’s Church (Saturday 10th November 2012) – the Welsh band have consistently placed in my top 5 gigs of the last 2 years; last year they were at #4 and in 2010, they were at #2. What made the difference and put them higher up this year? Seriously, how often do you see such a power house band in a space as small as a church’s rec room? (Well, it was a little bigger than that…but still.) Absolutely fabulous. And their new album ‘Wolf’s Law’ will be huge next year; just check out this live version of first single ‘Cholla’.

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1. Two Door Cinema Club at 9:30 Club (Tuesday 2nd October 2012) – I was having serious reservations about Two Door’s live show, or rather some of their less than nice fans, after seeing them in Baltimore in June and getting shoved – hard – out of our positions down the front. I almost swore I’d never see them again. But I’m glad I changed my mind.

What was the first date on the autumn 2012 North American tour to sell out? Washington DC, of course. There is still some confusion on whether or not Barack Obama is a fan, but one thing is clear: of all the bands that I’ve known and loved, I did right by Two Door Cinema Club – and helped them become the superstars that they’ve dreamt of being since they started as kids in grammar school. I used to be able to see them after shows and hang out with them, but even as those days are over, they’ve never forgotten me. They are true gents.

Honourable mentions:

St. Etienne at U Street Music Hall (Thursday 25th October 2012) – there’s something to be said for Sarah Cracknall, who may be over 40 but still rocks it out every night as if she was in her 20s.

Divine Fits at 9:30 Club (Thursday 18th October 2012) – it always feels incredibly validating when you see a ‘new’ band who hasn’t been touring much…and they turn out to be absolutely fantastic.

Keane with Mystery Jets at Strathmore Hall (Thursday 14th June 2012) – it’s effin’ Keane, for god’s sakes. And with Mystery Jets, who never tour in America! Win-win, really.

Paula and Karol at 93 Feet East in London (Tuesday 15th May 2012) – what do you do between music festivals? Go to a gig, of course. And at this one, I felt welcomed by the entire Polish population of London. What atmosphere.

First Aid Kit at Black Cat (Friday 30th March 2012) – this show was so spirited, the elder Soderberg lost her top right before the encore. Hardcore.

After the cut: the full list of all the gigs, in reverse chronological order, that I’ve been to in 2012 so you can have some idea how difficult my job was to choose favourites for the top 5 list. The runner-up gigs are also marked.
Continue reading Top Gigs of 2012: Editor’s Picks

 

(Holiday!) Video of the Moment #1077: Grizzly Bear

 
By on Thursday, 20th December 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Grizzly Bear, who released their latest album ‘Shields’ just a couple weeks ago, have redone a couple of songs from the new album, just in time for the holidays.

The ‘video’ is nothing more than a collection of ‘happy’ and ‘zen’-type photos – you know, photos of Earth from space, hot air balloons, dogs playing poker (what???) – that you get in your email as PowerPoint slide shows, usually set to classical music. (Or maybe it’s just me who gets these PowerPoints, sent to me by my mum). Either way, have a listen to these reworkings, done instrumentally and with prominent piano.

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Video of the Moment #1076: Esben and the Witch

 
By on Wednesday, 19th December 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Esben and the Witch‘s second album ‘Wash the Sins Not Only the Face’ will be released on the 21st of January 2013 on Matador. Here is the first taster of the new album, in the form of ‘Deathwaltz’. Despite its title, gone is the eerie, sinister feeling you got watching ‘Marching Song’ and ‘Warpath’. Watch the new video for ‘Deathwaltz’ below.

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Bands to Watch #261: Eyeshine

 
By on Wednesday, 19th December 2012 at 12:00 pm
 

Words by Josh Francis

Eyeshine are an unsigned band utilising every tool at their disposable to get themselves out there and have a member with a powerful background. (One of their members was a freakin’ Mighty Morphin Power Ranger but we’ll cover that later…)

Drummer Maurice Salmin explained what he thought the band had that was different to what else is out there, bar the whole Power Ranger thing. “We’d describe ourselves as edge rock. It’s in the vein of Jimmy Eat World, Taking Back Sunday and Dashboard Confessional. We call ourselves ‘edge rock’ because we asked friends, family and friends, what we sounded like and we got so many responses we thought we were pretty on the edge of something new.”

The band will play anywhere, already have globetrotted to New Zealand, Australia and Hawaii. Lead singer Johnny Yong Bosch talks about the highs and lows of the being in the band: “What was crazy good for us was going to Australia and New Zealand to play. It was fun because we got to go out of the country.

“Crazy bad would have been some gigs we played in Texas and Ohio, where there were zero to five people to play in front of. We’d scour the internet for competitions and shows and I found some work at conventions I go to. Also fans email us with gigs to go [play] to.”

If Johnny’s name sounds familiar, it probably means you watched an awful lot of kids’ TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, and he played Adam Park who was the black and green ranger. If you happened to block out those colourful heroes of the 90s, you may recognise his vocals from popular anime like Bleach, where he played fiery-tempered ginger Ichigo Kurosaki.

Johnny was written out of the Power Rangers’ franchise after starring in 3 seasons. Which leads right into how the band got started. Salmin says, “Johnny was in bad funk after he left Power Rangers. He had nothing but two garbage bags full of clothes, a broken cot and a guitar, and we staying with friends and was moving place to place. He decided he wanted to make music and he met me in church, learned how to play the guitar and we found other bands members and went from there.”

The current band consists of Johnny who is the lead singer, Maurice on drums, Polo (Mastaka Yazaki) on guitar and Ginny Eck on bass. But the band has been through a lot of changes: “As an unsigned band we’ve been through a lot together. We also have a documentary show on YouTube which [shows] the life of the unsigned band. Since it’s started though, we’ve lost three members.”

The band are also interested in playing in the UK after a huge response from their fans. “We got a lot of fans requesting us to come out there, but it’s just so difficult because it’s super expensive,” Johnny mentions. Maybe this Bands to Watch piece will change that?

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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music 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 idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

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