Tag Archives: sleigh bells

i was there: sleigh bells at the 930 club, 3.28.12

29 Mar

Not wearing earplugs last night was a supremely poor life decision.

Sleigh Bells. The loudest band around. The only one that can make bang your head, shake your groove thing,  pump your fist, and cover your ears in pain/pleasure, all in a 49-minute sprint of a show.

Tuesday was my third time seeing the Bells, but the first since they released their second album Reign of Terror. My expectations for a Sleigh Bells show are always incredibly high, but I always come away with the same conclusion: so damn good. Too damn short.

These whippity quick sets were easier to justify when the Bells had only released one album- they somehow toured for over two years on just 32 minutes of recorded material(!!!). Now with two albums under their belt, I expected more longevity during this tour. But, true to form, the Bells stormed the stage for 49 minutes that passed in a snap. However, given the bone-crushing energy that the New York duo pour into each and every song they perform, I can forgive it.

The biggest thing that struck me about the Bells’ performance on Tuesday is just how much they have, despite their best efforts to hide it, matured. Sure, bad ass frontwoman Alexis Krauss still howls like a werewolf at opportune moments. Also, for the first half of the show, I thought she was wearing sunglasses- nope, just layers upon layers of dark eye makeup. The basic formula of the Bells’ show remains the same: they thrash and scream and the audience moshes and it’s a big sweaty mess. But now, it feels a bit more professional.

Most importantly, the Sleigh Bells I saw on Tuesday convinced me that I actually like their new album. When I first listened, I was intrigued by the direction they took with their softer tunes like “Crush” and “Leader of the Pack.” But the album as a whole felt a little disjointed, and I wasn’t confident it would work live.

Fortunately, I was wrong. The Bells have fine-tuned their craft and know exactly how to weave the hard and fast with dance-y and soft and everything in between. They commanded that show like expert puppet masters who understood what each song would do to the audience. They brought us up and down and threw us all around, but the entire show felt perfectly balanced. They seamlessly wove all of their disparate sounds into a very cohesive show that displayed the best of everything Sleigh Bells does well.

Third time was a charm, but here’s hoping the fourth and fifth times are just as swell.

Sleigh Bells, from Reign of Terror

on my boombox: an internet round-up

8 Mar

Alright friends, I have a lot of random music that’s exciting me lately, including some artists conveniently playing in DC this week, and I just want to share it all with you. So, in no particular order: the tunes I’m streaming over and over on Soundcloud this week.

First, let’s talk about Beach House. In 2010, Beach House helped popularize the ambient, blurry, dream-pop sound that now saturates indie music with their nearly perfect third album, Teen Dream. The tunes were sad, pensive, and oh-so-pretty, tailor made for nighttime walks and the soundtrack of a Zooey Deschanel movie.

After a two year hiatus, murmurs of a new album started circulating in recent weeks. True to form, the group reentered the game in achingly subtle fashion, simply tweeting “Hello again” with a link to their new single, “Myth.”  Welcome to your makeout anthem of spring 2012:

Beach House, “Myth” 

Next up: Niki and the Dove. This Swedish duo has been rocking my world with all of their drama and witchiness and storytelling since October 2011 when they dropped The Drummer EP. The  video for their single “The Fox” perfectly illustrates their intrigue–it’s a fantasy sci-fi synthesizer head trip, and I can’t get enough.

DC residents, how lucky are we? Niki and the Dove are in town tomorrow night for All Things Gold 008 at U Street Music Hall, along with Gordon Voidwell and Lightwaves. Happy Thursday!

Niki and the Dove, “The Fox”

Lastly, a cover involving two artists I love so much I nearly screamed when I found this. I’m sorry guys, I can’t hype this- it’s too much awesome already.    

Sleigh Bells, “Irreplaceable” (Beyonce cover)