Friday, January 28, 2011

"480 Minutes" - New Cold Play Kids, Errr, I Mean Cold War Kids

The weather remains lovely here in San Francisco while the East Coast of the U.S. has been buried repeatedly under snow storm after snow storm. I feel for the folks back east, particular in Massachusetts -- friends there have posted photos online that reminded me of what my 12 winters in Boston were like. I do not miss that weather.

Now, as to that rude subject line...sorry Cold War Kids fans. I am a CWK fan and have been since before their debut album. I've always enjoyed seeing them live, although the most recent time, at The New Parish in Oakland, was the first time I heard new songs that were so clearly not of the same ilk as their predecessors.

Those first couple of CWK EPs were amazing. The first album was quality. The second album wasn't as good, but was far from the horrible disappointment so many sophomore full-lengths turn out to be. Mine Is Yours, however? A misstep. This third album is a textbook example of what happens when the excellent work of an excellent producer changes all the wrong things about a band and their music. Or when a band decides it's time to grow up and makes a conscious effort to do so. Or some combination thereof.

The album opens with a U2-esque intro and by the time we get to "Bulldozer," The Cold Play Kids joke writes itself.

That's not to say the whole album is useless. It has it's moments ("Louder Than Ever," "Flying Upside Down"), and had some other band made this album, a band for whom expectations were not quite so high, this would be more than passable. Unfortunately for CWK, they set a high bar for themselves in terms of interesting sounds and emotional heft, and this time they took the wrong route. You have been warned.

Now go buy it because it's still probably better than most of the music that will be released this year.

Due to some major computer issues this week, today's 480 Minutes includes just a select few new playlist additions. Our main work computer on which we rip/tag/edit/review all of the new music before adding it to the main library, died. It was out of commission for 36 hours. It was not dropped. Nothing was spilled on it. It just powered off while in use. It wouldn't power back up. Fortunately it was still covered under the 3-year AppleCare warranty, and even more fortunately, techs at the Apple Store were able to fix it. The cherry on top was that we didn't lose any data. (Yes, we are playing the lottery this week). We do weekly backups, so we would have only lost about 5 days of work, but still...

Any and all of you computer users out there: please back up your data. Regularly. You will be glad you did. Quality external hard drives are cheap, excellent backup software like Carbon Copy Cloner is shareware (pay what you like) and easy to use. By the way, today Newegg is having a 24-hour sale featuring 10% off all external hard drives.

Anyway, those select few new playlist additions include music by Cold War Kids (Long Beach, CA), Say Hi (Seattle, WA), Duke Garwood (London, England), David Lowery (Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker), Dinosaur Bones (Toronto, Canada), Benjamin Francis Leftwich (York, England), Deerhoof (San Francisco, CA), The Boxer Rebellion (London, England), Chikita Violenta (Mexico City, Mexico), Big Search (Los Angeles, CA), The Dears (Montreal, Canada), Apex Manor (Los Angeles, CA), I Was A King (Egersund, Norway), and John Vanderslice (San Francisco, CA). I guess it wasn't so few after all.

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BAGeL Radio Gig Photos ( Area Gig eList (upcoming shows of interest):

*MONOTONIX/ Ty Segall/ Nodzz @ Rickshaw Stop 1/28/11
Andy Clockwise/ TBA @ Hotel Utah 1/28/11
Fol Chen/ Darwin Deez/ Friends @ Hemlock Tavern 1/28/11
Deerhoof/ Nervous Cop/ Ben Butler and Mousepad @ Great American 1/28/11
Blow @ Great American 1/30/11
Daniel Lanois' Black Dub @ The Independent 1/30/11
Interpol/ School of Seven Bells @ The Warfield 1/31/11

Motorhead/ Clutch/ Valient Thor @ The Warfield 2/2
Olafur Arnalds @ Great American 2/3
Social Distortion/ Aggrolites/ Chuch Ragan @ The Warfield 2/3
The Church @ Great American 2/4
Dead Kennedys @ Oakland Metro Operahouse 2/4
Social Distortion/ Chuck Ragan/ Lucero @ The Warfield 2/4
The Frail/ Rykards Parasol/ Black Flamingo/ Fake Your Own Death @ Rickshaw Stop 2/4
Sarah McLachlan @ Paramount Theatre (Oakland) 2/6
Sebadoh @ Great American 2/8

**The Rumble SF (#36!) featuring Blackbird Blackbird/ Phantom Kicks/ Letting Up Despite Great Faults @ Milk Bar 2/9
RSVP here for free admission

(more upcoming shows at

* = We're there
** = We're DJing
# = win tickets during "480 Minutes"

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