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New Dirty Projectors: "Gun Has No Trigger"

March 30, 2012

Angel Coffman of Dirty Projectors @ NYCJelly's Pool Parties - New York, NY - July 19, 2009 - Photo by Amanda Hatfield

Here is exciting news that is sure to make your Friday even better: Dirty Projectors have released a new song. We are all well familiar with the tale of their rise to indie stardom in 2009, when their album Bitte Orca was declared a huge critical hit, cited by many as the best album of 2009. We at rockscope thoroughly documented the group's year of glory (including their excellent performance at NYCJelly's Pool Parties '09), and we are now excited to bring you the new single off their new LP, "Gun Has No Trigger."

Will this new album earn them as equally glowing accolades as Bitte Orca? Only time will tell, but if this song is any indication, my instinct is to say "yes." Have a listen below.

Dr. Dog @ Regency Center Grand Ballroom

February 14, 2012 - San Francisco, CA

by Amoreena Lucero

Dr. Dog @ Regency Center Grand Ballroom - San Francisco, CA - February 11, 2012 - by Amoreena Lucero

Dr. Dog recently embarked on a tour in support of their sixth full-length release Be the Void, which came out just a week ago. One of our photographers, Amoreena Lucero, was at their San Francisco show this past Saturday to take some great photos of the band!

Click here to check out the pictures!

Real Estate Announces Spring Tour Dates

February 2, 2012

Although they've just wrapped up a short East Coast tour, Real Estate is ready to hit the road in continued support of their sophomore release Days. The trio is hitting cities across the US as well as a few select Australian and New Zealand locations.

Unfortunately for LA fans, you'll only get a chance to see 'em if you're willing to drive many hours to Northern California or somehow managed to score tickets to Coachella. Better start crafting a way to sneak into the festival if not!

Click here to view Real Estate's spring tour dates!

Video: Eleanor Friedberger - "Heaven"

February 1, 2012

Eleanor Friedberger, who broke free from her long-time duo The Fiery Furnaces to release a solo effort last year, has a new video for "Heaven" off the LP, Last Summer. Check out the entertaining clip for the tune at The Awl here!

Eleanor will also be hitting the road soon, both solo and as a special guest of the Portlandia tour. Don't miss it!

Tour Dates:
Feb 2 - San Diego, CA Casbah
Feb 3 - Los Angeles, CA Troubadour
Feb 4 - San Francisco, CA The Independent
Feb 7 - Portland, OR Mississippi Studios
Feb 9 - Seattle, WA The Crocodile
Feb 19 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero*
Feb 20 Boston, MA Berklee Performing Arts Center*
Feb 21 Washington, DC 9:30 Club*
Feb 22 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre*
Feb 23 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse*
Feb 24 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works*

* = as "Special Guest Musician" on Portlandia tour

The National @ Beacon Theatre

December 21, 2011 - New York, NY

by Jane Hu

The National @ Beacon Theatre - New York, NY - December 16, 2011 - Photos and review by Jane Hu

As long-time fans of the Brooklyn-based five-piece are well aware, The National has more than earned this past week's six-night residency at the Beacon Theatre in New York. The sold-out Beacon shows mark the final dates in support of High Violet, the May 2010 album whose growing success has seen the band touring nonstop for the past year and a half. Add to that the nine years, four albums, and two EPs before this, and it becomes slightly easier to spot the tireless footsteps that trail the band's patient but steady rise.

As someone who has seen six (!) High Violet shows (and I won't even give the number of National shows in total), I'll spare you all the effusive and difficult task of trying to describe their music and instead take the liberty of listing The Good and The Bad of the last two nights' shows.

The Visuals. Michael Brown's visuals were by far my favorite addition to the production, a subtle repetition of images and colors designed to evoke the exact mood(iness) of The National's music, whether that's a lazy evening floating on a rowboat in the swamp or looking out at the bokeh kaleidoscope of lights from the back of a New York taxi at 4am.

The rest of the time, the projection didn't consist of pre-recorded images but rather a visually-filtered livestream of the concert itself from the perspective of the band members. Three minutes before they came on, there was the feed of the band getting ready in the green room and walking down the flights of stairs to the stage level. Towards the end of the show, there was the b&w almost-UV-like mirror projection of how the audience would look from the stage's perspective - kind of trippy. But the highlight for me was the superimposed closeup livestreams of each of the many talented musicians on that stage, a visual representation of the layers that make up The National's complex music. That and the Bryan Devendorf-cam -- that man sure can drum.

The Changing Setlist. The good thing about playing the same venue for six nights in a row is that you get the time and stability to change up your setlist. And when you have a back catalog as strong as The National's, that's the least you can do for your fans. IMHO, Saturday's setlist was significantly stronger than Friday's, with both of Alligator's beautiful "Geese of Beverly Road" and "Daughters of the Soho Riots".

The Guests. Friday's show got Saturday's beat here. Trey Anastasio (Phish), Richard Perry (Arcade Fire), opener Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and others shared the stage at various points Friday. Not to mention an entire brass and string section. As much as I love horns, the brass was - at times - a little distracting. The strings were generally gorgeous, especially the guest violinist on new song "I Need My Girl". You'd have a cold heart not to swoon a little during that.

The Encore. Definitely a few songs longer than the encores in past shows, the band peppered these with crowd favorites "Terrible Love" and "Mr. November" (though Berninger skipped the crowd jumping on Friday, presumably to save energy for Saturday). Final surprise and highlight was an acoustic free-for-all version of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks", which hadn't been a notable track for me before hearing it just belted from the lungs of 3,000 adoring fans, accompanied by some solo horns and light acoustic instrumentation.

Click here to continue viewing!

St. Vincent @ The Music Box

October 19, 2011 - Los Angeles, CA

by Liz Caruso

St. Vincent @ The Music Box - Los Angeles, CA - October 19, 2011 - Photos by Liz Caruso

St. Vincent, with her explosive performance Tuesday night at The Music Box in LA, had a reason to be smiling. Fan upon fan screamed, "I love you Annie!" throughout the night to the point where it was almost obscene. But if you've ever been witness to one of her awe-inspiring live shows, you'll understand why and perhaps feel compelled to loudly profess your fervor as well.

I love you Annie Clark! There, I said it.

Click here to check out the photos from the show!

The Drums / Io Echo @ The Independent

October 17, 2011 - San Francisco, CA

by Amoreena Lucero

The Drums @ The Independent - San Francisco, CA - October 14, 2011 - Photos by Amoreena Lucero

Stepping into the Independent at show time, I've never seen so many punctual people waiting for a gig to start. Countless fans were lined up by the stage, all anxious to start dancing.

Since playing the same venue almost exactly a year ago, The Drums has not only released their second full-length Portamento, but has also expanded their line-up to include bassist Myles Matheny and drummer Danny Lee Allen. With the new material, the group hasn't strayed from the catchy indie pop melodies of their old songs, continuing to captivate new and old fans alike.

The Drums kicked off their set with "What You Were" off their new album, a tune that immediately set the crowd into motion. Continuing on, they indulged the audience with renditions of two favorites from their debut, "Best Friend" and "Me and the Moon".

This time around, the ensemble seemed to be chattier, which was a pleasant change of pace until an amusing blunder occurred. At one point, Jonathan Pierce yelled out, "Seattle!" to audience members before quickly laughing it off and assuring everyone he knew where he was. San Francisco has pride, but how can one not forgive a man with such dance skills and on-stage charisma?

Opening for The Drums was Io Echo, a Los Angeles based band who always puts on a great live show. Lead singer Ioanna is a performer with big stage presence, wildly flipping her hair around in dramatic stage lights. The group has had many successful stints opening for other stellar bands, including Florence and the Machine and La Roux, but it shouldn't be long before they start headlining big shows of their own.

Click here for more photos from the show!

Dum Dum Girls / Crocodiles @ Great American Music Hall

October 12, 2011 - San Francisco, CA

by Amoreena Lucero

Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls with Crocodiles @ Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA - October 4, 2011 - Photos by Amoreena Lucero

In promotion of their expectation surpassing second LP Only in Dreams, Dum Dum Girls have been hitting venues all across the states. Among their supporting acts includes a familiar touring partner, Crocodiles, and during the San Francisco date last week, Dee Dee made a surprise appearance during their set for a song with her beau Brandon Welchez. Our photographer Amoreena Lucero snapped some great shots of both sets!

Click here for more photos!

Lana Del Rey Performs "Video Games" on Jools Holland

October 12, 2011

If you haven't caught wind of the love/hate hype Lana Del Rey has recently stirred (with only one single out so far, no less), you must have been hiding under a rock. My personal stance? Like her. (So far.)

The 24 year-old songstress made her TV debut last night and surprise, surprise! It wasn't on US television. (Those sneaky Brits are always one step ahead of us.) Here on Jools Holland she performs "Video Games", the song that initially started the Lana Del Rey buzz. Although it's a noticeably shaky rendition, there's no denying her enchanting voice; the clip just fuels my fire to see her live. And with the rate her gigs have all sold out, only a lucky few will be able to do so! Check out the upcoming dates below nonetheless.

Tour Dates:
11/ 4 - Manchester, UK @ Ruby Lounge
11/5 - Glasgow, UK @ Oran Moir
11/7 - Paris, France @ Nouveau Casino
11/10 - Amsterdam, Holland @ Upstairs at Paradiso
11/12 - Cologne, Germany @ Gebauede 9
11/14 - Berlin, Germany @ Roter Salon
11/16 - London, UK @ Scala
11/17 - Birmingham, UK @ HMV Institute
11/30 - Toronto, Canada @ Mod Club
12/05 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/07 - Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour

Video: CSS - Hits Me Like a Rock

September 27, 2011

Liz caruso

Don't know how to dance without looking like an idiot and/or dislocating a kneecap? CSS has got you covered. Just watch the recently released clip for "Hits Me Like a Rock" off their latest album (La Liberación), and let the magical learning process begin. Now if only lead singer Lovefoxxx would teach me how to rock a black lipstick color.

Cate Le Bon releases "Puts Me to Work," tours with St. Vincent this fall

September 27, 2011

Liz caruso

Cate Le Bon, a singer/songwriter from Wales, is preparing for the release of her second album after touring extensively in 2010 in support of the debut effort, Me Oh My. The first single, "Puts Me to Work" pairs a classic melody, sung in Le Bon's hazy, layered voice with a twanging guitar and syncopated drums. Have a listen below.

The LP is due to drop in early 2012, so we've got a while to wait before more information is revealed. However, us lucky US residents will all have a chance to see her live with the always incredible St. Vincent. Check the dates below - you won't want to miss these shows!

Cate Le Bon "Puts Me To Work" by Controlgroupco

Tour Dates:
10/02 - Minneapolis, MN @ McGuire Theatre (2 shows)
10/03 - Milwaukee, WI @ Pabst Theater
10/05 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
10/06 - St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
10/07 - Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall
10/08 - Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
10/10 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
10/12 - Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
10/13 - Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre
10/14 - Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
10/18 - Los Angeles, CA @ Music Box
10/20 - Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
10/22 - Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater
10/23 - Dallas, TX @ Kessler Theater
10/24 - Austin, TX @ Moody Theater at ACL Live
10/25 - Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald's
10/26 - New Orleans, LA @ Tiptina's
10/28 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
10/30 - Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
11/01 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
11/02 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
11/03 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
11/04 - Boston, MA @ Royale

Video: Veronica Falls - Bad Feeling

September 1, 2011

Veronica Falls, the four-piece outfit from the UK who hypnotized my eardrums with last year's "Beachy Head" will soon release their debut LP after a string of successful singles (including the moody "Found Love in a Graveyard") They're also continuing their streak of well-shot music videos with this clip for "Bad Feeling", the lead-in single to the new release. The eponymous debut Veronica Falls comes out on Slumberland September 20th.

The band is also making their rounds across the USA, including dates with The Drums (another Rockscope favorite). See if they'll be passing through your city below!

Tour Dates:
09/21 San Francisco, CA Brick and Mortar Music Hall #!
09/23 San Diego, CA Til Two Club
09/25 Los Angeles, CA The Echo / Part Time Punks %&
09/27 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands $
09/28 New York, NY Pianos +
09/29 Boston, MA Brighton Music Hall *
09/30 Montreal, QC Il Motore *
10/01 Toronto, ON The Mod Club *
10/03 Cleveland, OH Grog Shop *
10/04 Chicago, IL Subterranean *
10/05 Minneapolis, MN 7th St. Entry *
10/06 Des Moines, IA Vaudeville Mews *
10/10 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge *
10/11 Vancouver, BC Venue *
10/12 Seattle, WA The Crocodile *

* = w/ The Drums
# = w/ Brilliant Colors
! = w/ The Mantles
% = w/ Sea Lions
& = w/ Neverever
$ = w/ German Measles, Darlings, Tanks Amigo
+ = w/ McDonalds, The Hairs

Deidre - Don't Blame Me Now

August 9, 2011

The tale behind Deidre (of Savoir Adore)'s debut solo EP, Curious Parcel, is as intriguing and mysterious as her wide-eyed gaze projected on the release's cover (pictured above). Imagine: a severely weathered old package with forwarding addresses that range from Europe to the deep South, with dates that pass from the turn of the 20th century till 1966 inexplicably arrives on your doorstep. What would you do?

If you're Deidre, you ignore the requests of the National Security Agency to willfully relinquish the parcel, and instead cultivate a collection of songs inspired by the secrets contained within.
"'Don't Blame Me Now' is a story about a calendar pin-up girl who falls in love with the man who's desk she overlooks during her month of December," Deidre tells Spinner. "An improbable relationship that blossoms -- channeling that vulnerable moment of young love where precaution disappears and, with a smile, you run head-on into the risky mystery."
Go have a listen to the track on Spinner. Curious Parcel is out digitally now!

Video: Dominant Legs - Hoop of Love

August 8, 2011

It's been a while since we've checked in with 2010's most promising up and coming acts, hasn't it? San Francisco's Dominant Legs grabbed my attention last summer, and since our last feature, there's been plenty progression for the duo. Oh yeah, like the fact that they are no longer a duo; bassist Andrew Connors, guitarist Garett Goddard and drummer Rene Solomon joined to flesh out Dominant Legs into a full-fledged band.

Another change - both sad and fortunate - is vocalist Ryan Lynch's haircuit. Sad because Ryan and fellow vocalist Hannah Hunt no longer have matching, flowing hippie-esque locks. Fortunate because his new 'do does make him look quite suave.

The most important bit is probably that they've been working hard on a debut LP, huh? So grab your denim jackets, the fruit of your choice, whatever else might remind you of summer and dive into their new video for "Hoop of Love," the first single off Invitation. If the sugary fresh produce you're munching on doesn't manage to give you a cavity, the sweetness of this indie pop groove might.

Invitation is out September 27th on Lefse Records.

New Music: Yourself and the Air - Trampolines

June 1, 2011

A shameful secret: I loathe summer. Where most dream of days spent basking in the sun, I cringe at the thought of the upcoming season. To me, nothing is less appealing than sunburns, sand tangled up in your hair, and sweating every time you step out for a few moments. I'm the grinch of summertime.

Then, I hear a sunny song like Yourself and the Air's "Trampolines" and my bias against summer is cured, if only throughout the duration of the tune. Its upbeat pop melody is paired with building, cyclical guitar lines and enough experimental edge to keep it fresh while still accessible. A medley of ooh's at the end close it up like the cherry every ice cream sundae requires on top.

My final point? Simply that you should listen to this song. Go grab it below!

Yourself and the Air - Trampolines.mp3