YOUNG THE GIANT STEP OUT
Two auspicious things have happened for the Irvine lads in the band formerly known as the Jakes. First, Young the Giant’s unbelievably catchy single “Cough Syrup” caught the ears of someone at CNN, making it into a montage about soccer; an iPod commercial can’t be far behind. Second, they’ve booked a national tour with melodic math-rock vets Minus the Bear. The nearest thing to a hometown show will come on May 21, when they play the Glass House. There, you might hear a fresh song or two from the act: The band’s tour announcement said they were in the studio for a new album. From a March 25 Heard Mentality post.
TOTAL SURFER BLOOD LIVE
A sign outside Detroit Bar on March 28 informed patrons that the evening’s performance was being filmed for Last Call With Carson Daly. It seemed that both Detroit Bar and Florida’s Surfer Blood—who have been riding a wave of buzz this year behind the beach-kegger anthems of their debut, Astro Coast—were due for some national attention. Fuzzy static guitars chimed in unison to open the show, as John Paul Pitts sang to the crowd they better “learn how to surf.” As for Daly’s cameramen, they were given plenty of room to operate in front of the stage. The crowd members, as laidback as the band they came to see, were happy to pack together at the back of the venue. From a March 29 post by Andrew Youssef.
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GETTING BENT WITH THE MORNING BENDERS
At the Morning Benders’ March 27 show at Detroit Bar, front man Andrew Chu cranked the crowd as if it were a wind-up toy, jumping around the stage, slick with sweat in his button-down blue oxford, tight black pants, white socks and black shoes. His handclapping grooves hummed throughout the room as the crowd sang along to “Wet Cement,” with its chorus of “wa-oh-oh-oh.” (It was pretty much the only thing you could hear from the song: Chu’s lyrics were often lost in the loud bass and heavy-riffing guitar.) The Morning Benders’ catchy melodies and bouncy bass lines couldn’t help but conjure late-’60s Kinks, but the hourlong show was really something quite different—especially when Chu and backup vocalist/bass player Tim Or traded vocals. The Morning Benders finished their set with a song about love, but not to be mistaken for a love song, “Excuses.” In the front row, a bearded man holding a tambourine played along while a couple waltzed to the beats. From a March 29 post by Danielle Bacher.
COACHELLA CAMPERS DESERTED?
Bad news if you’ve been planning on camping at Coachella but haven’t, um, actually planned. Space for on-site car and tent camping has been sold out. Good luck booking that hotel room or, as Coachella’s publicity people put it, “firming up plans for alternative lodging.” From a March 23 post by Wade Tatangelo.