Deerhoof

Over the Weekend (Feb. 2 Edition)

Videos, news, and other fun stuff as you recover from the worst playcall of all-time…

The coffee in Seattle probably tastes extra bitter today after yesterday’s Super Bowl loss, but the weekend wasn’t a total bummer for them since Friday night saw the “reunion” of supergroup Mad Season for a special event.  Blabbermouth has videos of the show which featured original members Mike McCready and Barrett Martin joining the Seattle Symphony to perform a trio of the group’s songs.  The evening also featured guest appearances from other Seattle grunge superstars like Chris Cornell, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Matt Cameron, as well as native Seattleite Duff McKagan.  As an added bonus, the stars also performed a couple of songs from the classic Temple of the Dog tribute album.

Back on the other coast, there was an epic Jack White concert that included a special appearance from Q-Tip, as well as openers Run The Jewels performing with Zach de la Rocha on the fantastic “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)”.  Consequence of Sound has videos of both performances because in all likelihood, you weren’t there.  Elsewhere in the city at a fall smaller venue, Hamilton Leithauser was performing, and with guitarist Paul Maroon debuted a few new songs that may be released in the future.  Considering how much we loved his solo debut, our excitement level is pretty high.

That said, you still had the chance to watch some excellent live performances from your couch this weekend, but if you missed out, we got you covered.  D’Angelo made his Saturday Night Live debut with songs from his new album Black Messiah, and The Black Keys went through a quick set on Austin City Limits featuring mostly recent material.  Stereogum has the links to the appropriate videos.

We also have a couple of new music videos this week.  First, Deerhoof released the video for “Black Pitch” from La Isla Bonita, and it revolves around singer Satomi Matsuzak enjoying the coastal scenery despite the cold temperature outside.

Then we have Run The Jewels’s second appearance in today’s linkfest, since they just put out a video for “Lie, Cheat, Steal”.

If you’re in the mood for lists which prominently feature the Pixies, we have a couple for you.  First, there’s PASTE ranking the 80 Best Albums of the 80’s, and then there’s Consequence of Sound looking at the Top 10 4AD albums for that record label’s thirty-fifth anniversary.

Have some fun thinking about the fact that Rick Rubin is now doing annotations for Genius, and then hurrying over to see what the guru has to say about the great songs that he worked on (and his thoughts on songs he did not).

Finally, spend the day listening to albums from the one holiday-appropriate band that there is for February 2.  We’ll help get you started.

Deerhoof, Live at the Doug Fir

It is difficult to capture what makes Deerhoof such a unique and amazing live experience with mere words.  They combine the explosive anarchy of punk with the precise timing and sophisticated musicality of jazz, topping off the combination with the innocently sweet vocals of Satomi Matsuzaki, and it can be a lot to take in at once for the novice.  The effect is a spectacle that is unmatched in music today, and the crowd at the Doug Fir on Thursday night had a blast seeing it live at the best venue in Portland.

A view of the band in the intimate confines of the Doug Fir

A view of the band in the intimate confines of the Doug Fir

The band kicked off their set with a run of songs from their latest album, La Isla Bonita; I often have trouble distinguishing a good portion of their catalog, but was able to pick out the early single “Paradise Girls” and the fiery “Exit Only”, which received a hearty applause.  Though the record was only released a few weeks ago, it seemed that most people in the audience were already familiar with its songs–either that, or they did a really good job of faking like they knew what was going on.  Deerhoof kept the energy up throughout their performance, with Greg Saunier’s insane drumming a definite highlight.  Saunier is able to come up with a variety of sounds and textures using a fairly rudimentary kit, and no matter what insanity was going on around him melodically, the audience could tether themselves to his intricate rhythms to keep bouncing around in perfect time.

Greg Saunier bringing a halt to the set to deliver a trademark rambling talk to the audience

Greg Saunier bringing a halt to the set to deliver a trademark rambling talk to the audience

Deerhoof has a fairly extensive (and consistent) discography at this point in their career, and their setlist reflected that–though La Isla Bonita was represented with numerous selections, the band also selected songs from several of their other releases from this past decade.  A boisterous version of “The Perfect Me” from Friend Opportunity was a personal highlight, which despite the lack of keyboards lost none of its charm; another great moment was when Greg and Satomi traded instruments for a song, though it was preceded by Satomi passing around handmade Deerhoof stickers from a devoted fan while using her newly-acquired drumsticks as chopsticks.  Guitarists John Dieterich and Ed Rodriguez traded angular and complex guitar parts all night, and Satomi was a constant delight whether she was playing her bass or dancing around with a jam block; her moves varied widely from specific hand gestures that were reminiscent of hula in their apparent hidden meaning to recreating ninja moves with various bouncing kicks.

The show’s encore included a song featuring opener Busdriver, whose incredible delivery and innovative beats made for a compelling opening set in and of itself, but his lightning-quick rapping over a Deerhoof track probably inspired more than a few fans to wonder what a full-length collaboration would sound like.  The finale was the pleasantly ridiculous “Come See the Duck”, and that pretty much summed up the whole night in a nutshell.  Deerhoof is not for everyone, but for those that are willing to step outside of their normal comfort zone, they are as good a live experience as you can find.

Over the Weekend (Nov. 17 Edition)

New videos and other fun stuff to get your mind off the biting cold that has descended upon us…

Deerhoof recently came out with a new album (La Isla Bonita) that we’ve unfortunately neglected to cover.  That’s likely to change, since they’re coming to Portland’s Doug Fir Lounge on Thursday, but hopefully we can make up for it by sharing their latest music video.  “Exit Only” features actor Michael Shannon interrogating himself and engaging in all sorts of crazy behavior–in other words, what it’s probably like hanging around Michael Shannon on a regular basis.

Kendrick Lamar gave a thrilling performance on the Saturday Night Live stage this past weekend and I highly recommend watching it.  If you were disappointed by the initial single “i” (those ranks do not include myself, but I know the buzz was lacking when it first was leaked), then you definitely need to see it done live.

It’s been our duty to keep informing you about Radiohead drummer Philip Selway’s solo career, and as such, we’re sharing the fantastic, mind-bending video he did for “Around Again” from Weatherhouse.

It reminds me of another fantastic recent music video that we didn’t share when it first came out, but we’ll rectify that immediately.  “Inside Out” from clipping. also uses the concept of following a protagonist’s circular journey around the camera, except this time the character’s face is used to illustrate particular lyrics.  Pretty cool.

Death From Above 1979 would have to be among the last bands that you would imagine sitting down for an acoustic set, but they recently stopped by for such a performance thanks to 102.9 the Buzz in Nashville.  Not only did they perform “Crystal Ball”, “White Is Red”, and “Trainwreck 1979” off their fantastic new album, The Physical World, but they also sat down for an amusing interview, covering such things as proposed alternate band names and how much they listen to Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age.

And finally, leave it to The Onion to cut to the chase when it comes to the standard indie rock career cycle.