Posts Tagged ‘the hawk is howling’

new post-rock gems

28th Sep 08 (Sun) 3 comments

AristeiAHow to Kill a King -EP- :: This band from Portland caught me by storm like the warrior’s prowess that their Iliadic name suggests*.  This debut CD is truly great post-rock for fans of Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and others in that vein.  My favorite track is “Feedback King,” and it’s all-in-all a solid outing.  Their packaging of the CD is also quite unique… it’s a hand sewn golden pouch** with oversized liner cards and a paper sleeved CD.  It doesn’t fit nicely in my standard rack (between Argyle Park & Arrested Development); but it definitely stands out and shows that they put effort into their record as a whole, not just the music.  I’m excited about seeing them live in October when I’m up in Portland for work.  Check them out at:


TalkdemonicEyes at Half Mast :: Yet another band from Portland, but I got into them back when I lived in SW Ohio.  I finally got a chance to see them live (review link) in February.  They are a great two piece that is more on the subtler, gentler side of post-rock.  Perhaps “electro-acoustic chamber rock” is their subgenre. :)  Anyway, Eyes at Half Mast picks up where their past two records left off… nary a disappointment.  I’ve been waiting for this record since they mentioned it as “upcoming” at their show in Feb…


MogwaiThe Hawk is Howling :: Much more enjoyable to me than their recent tour (review link).  I can control the volume… yay!  I dig this record A LOT.  This Scottish band, or band from Scotland (so all three bands are from places that end in “land”), has put out some consistently great records.  This one bounces back from their mellower Zidane with more gusto, more power, yet still retaining the melody.  You know… the melody that gets drowned out in their live show (::rolleyes::).  Anyway, I think this record will stand up as one of the better releases in 2008.

2008 is a banner year for great instrumental music.  Every year I get more and more instrumental music, but this year is shaping up to be the first year ever where instrumental music beats out vocal music on CDs making their way on my shelves (and it’s by a landslide at this point).  These three records above are a good indication why I’m leaning towards the vocal-less preference lately.

~Dan – np: Ani DifrancoRed Letter Year

*– gotta love Wikipedia
**– though it is fraying a bit, they could have used some pinking shears***
***– gotta love Wikipedia


REVIEW: Mogwai @ Music Fest NW (Portland, OR – – 9/3/08)

3rd Sep 08 (Wed) 1 comment

Opener the Fuck Buttons were pretty good.  I’m bummed that I didn’t make it to the venue until 9:30pm and didn’t make it inside until about 9:40… as I only caught one of the FB’s set.  They were loud, but sort of an electronic post-rock duo.  Groove-oriented and somewhat repetitive, but the song I heard was enjoyable.

Mogwai hit the stage right around 10:30pm.  And they are quite possibly the loudest band on the planet (outside of perhaps Testament on the Demonic Tour).  Oy… I just don’t know why their live shows need to be so bloody loud.  It’s quite unbearable.  Their music suits a “normal” setting (unlike perhaps Testament).  I mean, what are Mogwai trying to prove by being so loud?  It wasn’t a one-time thing either… they were quite unbearably loud when I saw them in 2006 at the Wexner in Columbus, OH.

(from the Portland show)

I stayed for right about an hour.  I’m not going to bother with posting a set list, as… well… they’re a post-rock band, and it’s hard to remember their song titles.  Sorry, it was good, but I’ve got no song titles for y’all (UPDATE: setlist from fan photo).


  • Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home
  • The Precipice
  • Ithaca 27ø9
  • Thank You Space Expert
  • Friend of the Night
  • Scotland’s Shame
  • Hunted By A Freak
  • Ex-Cowboy
  • Kids Will Be Skeletons
  • I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead
  • I Love You, But I’m Going To Blow Up your School
  • 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong
  • Like Herod
  • Batcat

I’m looking forward to their upcoming album, The Hawk Is Howling, out in 3 weeks.  That way I can adjust the volume myself.

Luckily my hotel is literally 3 minutes away.  And my ringing ears shall be in bed soon.

The Appropriate Linkage:

No posts for a while (meaning a few days)… perhaps (I’ve been known to be a liar).  Moving stuff this weekend to our new house.  But look out… next week is God of Shamisen (9/11) and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (9/12) in Eugene.  Plus Ani DiFranco’s upright bassist, Todd Sickafoose, is in Eugene (unfortunately the same night as GOS – Thursday 9/11), but I may swing by Sam Bond’s to at least pick up his new CD, Tiny Resistors, before the GOS show.

~Dan – recently played: Sufjan StevensCome On Feel the Illinoise!

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