I first heard of Yeasayer after they caused a commotion at SXSW 2007, so I jumped at the chance to see them at Lollapalooza in 2008, where they totally killed it. Now, after three long years, they’ve finally released their second album, and it was definitely worth the wait. Yeasayer is a Brooklyn-based band that is comprised of three main members, Chris Keating on lead vocals and keyboards, Anand Wilder on guitars, keyboards and backing vocals, and Ira Wolf Tuton on bass guitar and backing vocals, along with a multitude of guest musicians, not to mention an orchestra of samples and sound effects.

Odd Blood starts out kind of dark and moody with “The Children”, but overall this is a very upbeat album, even when discussing relationship troubles or sociopathic Medellin drug lords. It’s not quite as moody as their first album, All Hour Cymbals, having a much more pop feel to it, but still staying true to their experimental sound. While I love pretty much every song on the album (though I’m admittedly a tad burned out on the first single from the album, “Ambling Alp”), there are definitely some standouts. “Love Me Girl” is a perfect mix of chill and anthemic, plus the happy hardcore-esque keyboards make me grin from ear to ear. One of the slower songs, “I Remember” is beautiful and romantic, referred to by the band as a “four-and-a-half-minute-long mixtape love ballad”. I can’t describe it any better. My favorite song, though, is probably “Mondegreen”, with its irresistibly contagious rhythm. I can’t keep myself from tapping along on the steering wheel every time it comes on, and I think this would be amazing live.

This is an album that I think should have more broad appeal than their first. Even though it takes plenty of risks, it still remains accessible, plus it’s really fun to sing along to, which is a big plus for me. It just so happens that Yeasayer are playing at the State Theater in St Pete on Monday Oct 4 with Washed Out and local DJ’s The Soft Rock Renegades. They managed to put on a hell of a show in the middle of a Chicago heat wave in 2008, so I can’t begin to imagine how amazing they’re going to be in some AC with 3 more years of shows under their belts. Tickets are only $15 in advance, so check out the songs below and hope to see some of you there.

Yeasayer- Love Me Girl
Yeasayer- Mondegreen
Yeasayer- Rome

Buy tickets here

Yeasayer’s Official Website, Yeasayer on MySpace


As I speed-walked down 7th Ave I was a little stressed out.  My boyfriend and I had gotten distracted by the Skatepark show…and the vodka…at Czar and I thought for sure we had missed the opening bands, and possibly part of Dr. Dog.  I had seen them before, at Lollapalooza last year, and even on a little stage set way back from the crowd in the middle of an August afternoon they were amazing. Needless to say, I was stoked to find out that that were going to be in town at the Crowbar, a cool, unpretentious little local venue that they seem to have a liking for, having played there twice before.  Having been late to get on the Dog-wagon, I missed them the first couple times they came through Tampa so I was not going to miss them this time, damnit!  As we rounded the corner and headed down 17th I was instantly relieved to see a dog in a lab coat standing outside the club.  Actually it was a dude in a dog costume wearing a lab coat and a stethoscope.  Still, it clearly meant that Dr Dog was not on yet, so after getting some pictures (turns out the dog and his friends in scrubs and stethoscopes were doing some sort of class project), we headed in.

Turns out the first opener hadn’t even gone on yet.  This delay in starting things may have led to a crowd that was more restless than usual.  It also may have led to the first opener, local band Win Win Winter, being a little agitated.  Or both.  Either way the crowd was restless and bustling when this first band took the stage, so it was kind of understandable when lead singer Thomas asked the crowd to act like they were in a library and stop chatting…and equally understandable that not too many of the aforementioned chatters actually did. Still, they plugged along and I thought they were pretty good all things considered. The standout moment for me was a cover of the Beatles’ “Something in the Way She Moves”, which was enhanced even more by the fact that Thomas’ voice kept reminding me of Billy Corgan before he shaved his head.

Next up was Drug Rug from Massachusetts, a five piece that includes a boyfriend/girlfriend team on vocals that I thought were fantastic.  They did just what I want an opening band to do- introduce me to something new that I may like and get the crowd revved up for the main act.  Plus, I am an utter and complete sucker for sugary vocal harmonies and they delivered in spades.  As the wooden planks of the stage bowed and popped under the band bouncing through “For The Rest of Your Life” I decided that I had to remember to check these guys out when I got home.  A couple songs later I found myself singing along to a song I’d never even heard before.  These guys are good!

Finally, not too long after Drug Rug left it, Dr Dog took the stage to plug in their shit, did a quick sound check and then it was down to business.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  The whole damned thing.  They played every song like it was the encore, from “The Ark” through “My Old Ways”…17 songs of Blues Brothers-esque high stepping, unhinged-jaw belting out of lyrics, and sweating through little white towel after little white towel.  Which song was my favorite?  I can’t even tell you, I stopped taking notes about 30 seconds in and just sang along.  I can tell you, however, that I laughed my fucking ass off when the guy in the dog costume got invited up on stage and hung out for a whole song, dancing and jumping in that heavy, hot rental.  Note to Tampa readers…do not rent the costume in the above picture, it will never, ever be the same.  And I will never, ever miss Dr Dog @ The Crowbar again.

If you want to see more pictures from the show, you can check out the album here

Win Win Winter on MySpace

Drug Rug on MySpace

Dr Dog on MySpace

Dr Dog – Army of Ancients
Dr Dog – The Beach


PART 5: The Blakes

The eponymous album from this 3 man Seattle band is another great find for me and this little project.  No gimmicks, just good music with nice variety between the songs, yet still maintaining cohesiveness.

In looking for some info on them, I came across a story in the Seattle Times about how well they’ve been doing and one part particularly stood out.  Apparently, Iggy Pop heard the band at SXSW and asked, “Who’s this? This [stuff] is good!”  I can’t say it much better, this stuff is good, and The Blakes are at 9 out of 10 ponchos on my must-see scale…maybe 9 1/2.

The Blakes- Commit
The Blakes- Two Times

The Blakes on MySpace

PART 6: Black Kids

I had heard their song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You” before on an indie mix I’d downloaded, and while I liked it right away, I didn’t have the urge to check out their whole album.  I mean, it’s a fun song, but not very substantial, so I didn’t expect much from Wizard of Ahhhs.

The album turned out to have the same feel as that song, light, poppy, sing-song-y with a slight tendency to the annoying, in other words, it was pretty much just what I’d expected.  The songs are fun and clever and it’s nice to listen to and maybe sing along with on the drive home from work, but not the sort of thing I can imagine myself listening to much unless a song comes up on shuffle.  I’m going to give them 7 ponchos- I would like to see them, but not over many other bands that I also want to see there.

Black Kids- I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You
Black Kids- Hurricane Jane

Black Kids on MySpace

PART 7: Booka Shade

This German Duo electrohouse duo is another group that I had heard stuff from before but hadn’t gone so far as to get an album from.  Movement is total chillout room music, at first listen I kept thinking Deep Forest with more bounce.  When the schedule was released, I found it strange that they’re going to be on from 3:30-4:30p, as this is music I’d be more likely to listen to at sunrise, but for those to whom the time 10 minutes before the end of their set is meaningful, I guess their set time should be pretty perfect.

I give them 5 ponchos if I’m already feeling tired and don’t want to fall asleep, or 8 ponchos if I’m at the right level of awake and intoxicated to appreciate them.

Booka Shade- Darko
Booka Shade- Body Language (Interpretation)

Booka Shade on MySpace

PART 8: Brand New

I’m awful with genres, but according to their Wikipedia entry, Brand New is a a post-hardcore band.  There are at least one or two songs off of The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me being played on Sirius’ Alt Nation channel and I thought they were decent enough tunes, so I was interested in checking out the album.

Lead vocalist Jesse Lacey has a great voice, very strong and earnest, and combined with good percussion and strong guitars it should be a decent album.  However, while the music behind it all may be good, the lyrics are often juvenile and trite, and the album ends up slightly angsty with a touch of cheese.  The song that really killed it for me was “Jesus”, with lines like, “Well, Jesus Christ, I’m alone again. So what did you do those three days you were dead? Cause this problem’s gonna last more than the weekend.” and “I know you’re coming for the people like me, but we all got wood and nails and turned out a hate factory.”  Holy melodrama, Batman.

Overall, The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me is pretty easy to listen to, but even though I dig the music and the vocals, due to the cheese factor I’m gonna give them 5 ponchos.

Brand New- Sowing Season
Brand New- Degausser

Brand New on MySpace