Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grrr...Its Springtime with Bishop Allen

NEW RELEASE TO FREE YOUR MOOD: Spring had officially arrived on the calendar...not that you could tell by the recent spate of winter weather here in Boston. However, crap weather aside, March has thankfully brought us Grrr..., the newest album from New York's Bishop Allen. The Brooklyn-based outfit has followed up their 2007 LP The Broken String with another collection of indie-pop guaranteed to brighten these raw, cloudy days.

MORE OF THE SAME IN THIS CASE IS A GOOD THING - Their latest CD doesn't stray too far from what you've heard from them before. There are a few more instruments here and there, and a heavier dose of xylophone and violin plucking. But overall, Bishop Allen has kept true to the light-hearted sound that has made them a favorite of the indie scene.

Some folks seem to be obsessing about the "cute" factor of their latest effort, but that strikes me as simple contrarianism or general bitchiness. These folks are clearly making solid indie pop, so to me, those comments are like criticizing country for having "twang".

NEW FAVORITES - Grrr... is not a perfect album, but its got more standouts than weak spots. Tracks such as "Dimmer", "The Lion and The Teacup", "The Ancient Commonsense of Things" and my favorite, "Rooftop Brawl" make it a very strong effort - and an album you should seek out. I also can't help but find myself bouncing along with "Oklahoma". A very fun song.

Bishop Allen

Photo by Sebastian Mylnarski

Bishop Allen - The Ancient Commonsense of Things
mp3 removed on demand

THE RETURN: Bishop Allen will be back in town on April 3, Downstairs at The Middle East. I still remember their Summer 07' downstairs show as one of the better of the season. Their performances have a great way of capturing the essence of their recordings, without being a slave to them. I highly recommend picking up tickets so you can see for yourself. No doubt this one will sell out.

Mar 26 Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court
Mar 27 Provo @ Velour
Mar 28 Denver @ Hi-Dive
Mar 29 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Saloon
Mar 30 Minneapolis @ Triple Rock (aa/5pm)
Mar 31 Chicago @ Subterranean (17+)
Apr 02 Northhampton @ Iron Horse
Apr 03 Cambridge @ Middle East [D] (18+)
Apr 04 Brooklyn @ Music Hall of W'burg (16+)
Apr 05 New York @ Bowery Ballroom (16+)
Apr 14 Amsterdam @ Paradiso
Apr 15 Groningen @ Vera
Apr 16 Ghent @ Voruit
Apr 17 Utrecht @ Ekko
Apr 18 Hamburg @ Knust
Apr 19 Berlin @ Live at Dot
Apr 20 Köln @ King Georg
Apr 21 Münster @ Gleis 22
Apr 22 Osnabrück @ Glanz und Gloria
Apr 23 Leipzig @ Ut Connewitz
Apr 24 Karlsruhe @ Substage
Apr 25 Freiburg @ Swamp
Apr 26 Offenbach @ Hafen
Apr 28 Heidelberg @ Teufel
Apr 29 Geneve @ L'Usine
Apr 30 Düdingen @ Bad Bonn
May 01 Konstanz @ Kulturladen
May 02 Wien @ Wuk
May 03 München @ Feierwerk
May 04 Colmar @ Le Grillen
May 05 Paris/Rouen @ TBA
May 06 Manchester @ Cafe Saki
May 07 London @ Bardens Boudoir
May 08 Cardiff @ Clwb
May 09 Reading @ Oakford
May 10 Brixton @ The Windmill

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