This Week in Live Music: Franz Ferdinand, GZA, Manchester Orchestra, and More
Apropos of nothing, we give you this absolutely surreal 1983 video of Prince & The Revolution performing various signature tracks before Prince had shown up on national radars. That's gotta be near the top of the Internet treasure trove list. OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming:
Has it really already been a decade since Franz Ferdinand took the world out on a first date and charmed the pants off lustful listeners. I guess we can finally call this a long-term relationship. The kind where you know what you’re going to get, and you don’t want anything else. The A.V. Club credits the band’s “expanding worldview” for their sustained success, particularly on their most recent album Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action. But the hyper-hook thrill-ride formula somehow seems more relevant for today’s shortening attention spans, and I wouldn’t bet against Franz Ferdinand today, tomorrow, or a decade from now.
Your internal monologue: It's so twee. So emo. So ‘80s. Must. Resist. But....ahhh! It's so damn catchy! To hell with it, why bother resisting fate? There’s an irresistible simplicity to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, plainly found in each of their winning albums — Belong (2011) and their 2009 self-titled debut. Alas, there’s more nostalgia-tinged pop punk on the way. TPOBPAH are set to release an album called Days of Abandon, and they’re already playing songs from said album on their tour-in-progress. Here’s one teaser from the new album, called “Until the Sun Explodes”:
(Warning, this paragraph will hurt your head) All this time we thought GZA named himself. WRONG. RZA supposedly named GZA, which RZA recently revealed in a Reddit AMA. In that same interview (and interestingly enough), RZA also mentioned he looked up to GZA as a young, promising emcee. RZA’s sentiments are a necessary reminder of GZA’s influence on the rap genre, and a reminder of why he should be celebrated with the same verve and appreciation that the Jay-Zs and Snoop Doggs of the world routinely receive.
You may know Diiv for the wrong reasons. Lead singer Zachary Cole Smith made news last year when he and pop-star girlfriend Sky Ferreira were found in possession of heroin and ecstasy by law enforcement authorities. Oops. So, Cole’s living the rock star life, but at least Diiv’s touring appears rather unobstructed by the extracurricular activities. The band’s 2012 album Oshin features one of that year’s best tracks, "Druun," required listening for any serious indie rock nerd.
In the theme of My Morning Jacket comes Manchester Orchestra, a howlin' electric rock band that embodies and embraces the Southern rock anthem spirit. Whereas MMJ typically paints a pastoral scene in their alt-country ditties, the Atlanta-based Manchester Orchestra favors an amped-up, anthemic, angsty version of country rock. The three-chord nature of these songs makes the band an easy target for critics, but the ridiculously fun yeehaaaw factor of a Manchester Orchestra jam makes up for all transgessions.
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