Yeah Yeah Yeahs:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a New York City-based rock band. The band members include lead singer Karen O, drummer Brian Chase, and guitarist Nick Zinner. Their music is a mix of retro styles with heavy rock/punk guitars, synthetic sounds with rhythmic, melodic and bluesy vocals. They formed in 2000 as a trio, and were joined by second guitarist Imaad Wasif in 2006 for touring purposes.
In the brutally cold world of Big Rock Biz, there’s something very comforting about just knowing that a band like L.A.’s Silversun Pickups exists. That feeling derives from the group’s searingly sumptuous music, sure, but it has a lot to do with knowing their rather humble origins and super-admirable raison d’etre.
Silversun Pickups, you see, rather than being just another fiercely determined young band willing to claw and scrap their way to the top of the rock heap, genuinely appear to be far more like a gang of real, true friends who happened, quite fortuitously, to meet as a result of their mutual love of — shock horror! — music, and who seem to enjoy each other’s company as much as they like playing their own brand of ravishing rock noise.
And in fact, guitarist-singer Brian Aubert, bass player Nikki Monninger, drummer Christopher Guanlao and keyboardist Joe Lester are bona fide pals who’d played together or in mutual friends’ bands when they finally settled on a Silversun lineup and began playing shows at local clubs, which further broadened their innately formidable playing chops and established loving loyalties among a growing crop of seekers and sinners.
Silversun’s initial forays into live performance weren’t exactly stunning achievements in stage artistry, according to Aubert. “In the beginning, we were just trying to figure out what we wanted to do, didn’t even know if this was what we wanted to do. But we were playing clubs while we were learning – and I was learning to be a frontman all of a sudden.”
“But after a little while we started honing in on where things were going and what we liked and didn’t like,” says Aubert. “It was like trial by fire, playing on stage all the time. It was scary, but you learn fast that way.”
Their initially haphazard performances didn’t phase their growing core of devotees, who seemed to easily grasp the inner grace of Aubert’s plaintively savage songs about the whys and wherefores of love lost and found, wrecked loyalties and fear of genetically inherited failure genes. These fans didn’t mind that the band’s otherwise wickedly pretty tunes’ delivery was a bit rough-edged, or that Aubert was initially painfully shy in front of a mike; it was obvious that Aubert and co’s. desire knew no bounds.
The band lived to play, and play they did, at numerous dates at many of the most important L.A. clubs, which found their stage sets growing more confidently not cocky but in greater command of their playing prowess. Aubert’s guitar was a rapidly developing feral beast of tight chipchop splendor and near-Hendrixian fuzzy howl in songs that seemed to reference the spare, driving cool of Neu while injecting a barely constrained glee – something like youthful romance, in the more tormented My Bloody Valentine way – into great walls of shredding white noise and a big throbbing rhythm section. The interplay of Aubert’s guitar with Lester’s spidery/splintery keyboards on songs like “Three Seed” made their combined effect resemble an enormous shiny machine being launched into the farthest reaches of the solar system.
Ex-Pine Marten keyboardist Lester was an important addition to the band, says Aubert, “because a) he was family — we didn’t want anybody we didn’t know, like take out an ad in L.A. Weekly: ‘Must not wear cowboy hats.’ Joe is like having a guy who’s not a keyboard keyboard player -- not a scientist, but like an orchestrator. He does things that really trip out the guitar, like sample it and make sounds that you can’t really tell what it is.”
“Or we’ll use our voices with something from Joe, as just a sonic element,” says Monninger
Guanlao adds, “People come up to us and they’ll be like, ‘Dude, how’d you do that sound on the guitar?’ or ‘How’d you do that sound on the keyboard?’ and it’s like, ‘No, the guitar player wasn’t doing that, neither was the keyboardist.’”
Yet Silversun’s secret weapons are the achingly potent melodies of their songs, which poke their lovely, shy heads out and ultimately proclaim their power in rare shades of melancholic ardor. While so many bands oft-claim supreme melody as the underpinning of their noise, with the Pickups it can claim moral superiority: Silversun radiates palpably great melodies that – the real test – simply won’t leave you alone no matter how you try to shoo them away.
That melodic/toughness no doubt encouraged Dangerbird Records to sign Silversun Pickups for an EP, called Pikul (pronounced pie-kul), a six-song set crammed with polished versions of many live favorites such as the growlingly ethereal “Kissing Families” and “…All the Go Inbetweens.” These songs sealed in the love among Silversun Pickups’ L.A. fans and critics, and their subsequent mounting acclaim led the band to undertake an increasingly heavy touring schedule, which found them playing alongside Brendan Benson, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Dead Meadow and Two Gallants, and they returned home to record, Carnavas, their full-length debut for Dangerbird (July 25, 2006).
Produced by Dave Cooley (J Dilla, Rolling Blackouts), engineered by Tom Biller (Sean Lennon, Jon Brion) and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks, Belle and Sebastian), the album reveals the Pickups in a full flowering of their considerable melodic, textural and rhythmic gifts, with 11 dark/light songs about "Melatonin,” “Little Lover’s So Polite,” “Future Foe Scenarios” and “Well Thought Out Twinkles,” among other provocatively ambiguous themes. The album rages with a kind of mixed emotion well matched to those themes, a vibrating compound of feral cries amid tender harmony, resonating powerfully with heavily filtered guitar squawk, hovering keyboard clouds, and bass & drums that often seem to lurch their way into divinely propulsive beats.
For the new disc, Silversun Pickups got to play in the studio, which they’d never done before, and, at producer Cooley’s insistence, they got to take their time.
Says Aubert, “We wanted the EP and the record to be two different sort of things, and we knew that we didn’t want the same songs. Basically our live sound was so loud and big, and before we just sort of documented it -- Pikul didn’t sound like us live; even though we essentially recorded itlive.”
“We think of records and live shows being two different sorts of worlds,” he continues. “Ironically, in the studio, getting really specific about sounds -- how they cut through -- made us sound as big as it is onstage.”
Cooley proved an inspiring force for the band, sometimes if only to affirm their belief in doing things their own way.
Says Lester, “Sometimes he’d push and push, and sometimes suggest a bunch of different ideas, and all it did was steel our resolve. It was almost better that way, because it just reaffirmed what we know is the best way to do it.”
Aubert: “In pre-production meetings, we discussed the structure, for example, but he brought out ideas that were already clicking in our heads -- we would change things that we didn’t like and had been too lazy to change, or just hadn’t thought about. Or completely battle him and realize, wow, we really do mean this. Having someone who’s antagonizing you and you have to defend your choice, when you didn’t have to defend it before, you realize you actually really believe in that.”
Says Guanlao, “Before that experience, we were very organic about how we got a song going and finished; we would never really think about it too much, we did it how it felt. And then Dave came in and we really had to focus on things, just a measure or a little beat or whatever.
Aubert: “He’s amazing, because he’d push you and push you, but he’d be the first to pull the plug. I remember I’d been singing for days and days, trying to get a track right, and he’d say, ‘No, man, just stop. You’re tired.’ And I’m like ‘No, man, let me drink some more whiskey!’ And he’d be ‘Nope.’ He’d just push the stop button and say ‘It’s not right, it’s not working, it’s too job-like.’”
Not just the songs but their performance and their very sound were all critical factors in the album’s production. Says Lester: “Two measures in on a take, Tom would be like, ‘Snare’s out of tune.’ Stop everything, and we’re like, ‘Really, you can even hear that?’ And then we could hear it. It changed the vibe, and it sounds like the bass and drums are almost one thing. That made it seem way more solid.”
The proof’s in the pudding, and now all you need to do is listen. And all Silversun Pickups need to do is figure out how to transfer the album’s splendorous riot of beauty onto the concert stage — and deal with the acclaim that’ll inevitably follow. But that shouldn’t prove difficult for these dedicated friends, who’re happy to have found each other and make, almost like frosting on the cake, magnificent music together.
Bush brought the grunge world to its knees when they released their debut alternative album Sixteen Stone in 1994. Three more albums, hundreds of tour dates and concerts, and only seven years later Bush announced an indefinite hiatus. The members started side projects and families but after ten years they are ready to reunite! Bush is in the studio finishing their first album in nearly a decade and have scheduled tour dates. Don't miss a date on the Bush concert schedule 2011; Use Eventful as your source for Bush tour dates and concert tour information.
Inspired by Pearl Jam and Nirvana, Bush came to embody British alternative rock. Fronted by Gavin Rossdale, the band was signed to a deal with Hollywood Records in 1993 at the peak of American grunge music's popularity. They recorded their debut album soon after and released the single "Everything Zen". With the help of LA based radio station, KROQ, the single went into heavy rotation and gave Bush a hit single. They released their worldwide smash debut, Sixteen Stone, at the tail end of 1994 and it became a slow-burning success. The album scored Bush a total of five top #5 US Modern Rock hit singles on the Billboard charts and was eventually certified six times platinum in the US. Bush tour dates were scheduled on a headlining tour with label-mates and future superstars - No Doubt.
Bush was quick to record their follow-up and released their sophomore set, Razorblade Suitcase, in 1996. The album featured the lead single "Swallowed" which spent seven weeks at #1 on the Modern Rock tracks survey. The album also featured the hit track "Greedy Fly" and featured production by grunge impresario, Steve Albini. The album was also a multi-Platinum success and Bush toured in support of the album. Bush tour dates were scheduled as the headlining act on KROQ's Almost Acoustic Christmas in 1996, an event where they have performed four times. Bush then released a remix album featuring a techno infused remake of the single "Mouth", which was featured in the film American Werewolf in Paris.
After an extensive Bush concert schedule, Rossdale retreated to Dublin where he worked on material for the band's upcoming album The Science of Things. Following the massive success of Bush, a label war between indie imprint Trauma Records and major label Interscope over who owned the rights to Bush's new material ensued. After a resolution, the electronica infused disc was released and featured the modern rock hit "The Chemicals Between Us". The album was certified Platinum and Bush tour dates were scheduled with international concert performances. Bush released one more album, Golden State, and announced a breakup in 2002. Bush toured in support of the album, but couldn't attain previous record sales. A Best Of was released in 2005 followed by a live disc, Zen X Four, and the band was officially over.
Gavin Rossdale went solo and focused on his relationship with megastar Gwen Stefani before releasing his own solo acoustic material. Other bandmates focused on side projects, but none matched the chemistry of Bush, nor the success. By mid-2010, a Bush reunion was announced and a new album Everything Always New was confirmed for release in 2011. Bush is currently in the studio putting the final touches on their first album in a decade. While the release date is pending, Bush tour dates are scheduled throughout the US periodically. Bush remains as one of the few remaining grunge/alt acts of the '90s and is certainly one of the most successful. Don't miss a date on the Bush concert schedule 2011. Use Eventful as your source of Bush tour dates and concert tour information.
Cold War Kids:
Southern California indie rockers, Cold War Kids, burst into the mainstream with their debut album, Robbers & Cowards, in 2006. Since that time, their albums and concert schedules have become incredibly popular around the world, sparking international tour dates in 2011. Known for their narrative lyrics and lambasted by lines that can be misconstrued as religious, Cold War Kids' latest album, Mine Is Yours, features a more personal touch. Fans that enjoyed the album will go nuts over Cold War Kids' tour dates in 2011, which will cover Europe and the US.
Cold War Kids formed in 2004 and soon had two popular EPs released. Their debut album, Robbers & Cowards, broke into the top 5 of the Billboard Heatseekers chart and featured the hit singles "Hang Me Up to Dry" and "Hospital Beds." Cold War Kids played nearly two years worth of tour dates before the successful release of Loyalty to Loyalty, which was well received by magazines like Rolling Stone. The publicity allowed Cold War Kids to tour in support of Death Cab for Cutie.
Cold War Kids' latest album, Mine Is Yours has been praised as an evolution of the band's sound is undoubtedly their most ambitious release to date. Cold War Kids' increase in popularity has led to numerous tour dates in 2011, which are in Europe as of July. On August 3, Cold War Kids will take their concert schedule to the US, which includes festival appearances at Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits. To see a full list of Cold War Kids' tour dates in 2011, check their concert schedule on Eventful.