Austra Live at MFNW Portland “Lose It”

Never tire of hearing or seeing Austra perform this song, or any song for that matter, check out the full performance over at KEXP.


Down the Rabbit Hole with The Youth Group (Aussie YG Take Hiatus)

Yes, the news came out in October, same month Wolfmother called it quits last year.. Rocktober in Oz…. tough month!

From YG:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Youth Group are going to have a break from being Youth Group.
We are drawing a line through 2010, and plan to reconvene in 2011.

The band has been our lives for the last five years. Pretty much from the release of Skeleton Jar, through the recording/release of Casino Twilight Dogs and The Night Is Ours, to the accompanying tours it has been our furious, intense and fulfilling job.

We poured everything we had into The Night Is Ours. Maybe it wasn’t exhausting, but it was exhaustive and we are just not ready to venture into that again in a hurry. We’re a band that has always valued the process of making a record as much as the end product. We need some time before the next one.

And well, we are just looking forward to having a good slice of time to do other, non Youth Group things with our lives.

We would like to thank all those that have been to a show, bought a record, bought us a drink, shared their couches, floors and lives with us. Until the next chapter…

…an epilogue: those in New York have one more chance to see us play before the break. We are playing at Littlefields, Park Slope, on Sunday 25th October. Goodbye Brooklyn. Someone will cry.

Toby, Danny, Cam and Pat

We were able to not only catch them at MFNW this past September but Indy partied with them at the INCREDIBLE  Black Francis gig that weekend – it made a huge impression on the YG and Indy… as well they all went out to celebrate after the show at Portland’s infamous ‘Voodoo Donut’ shop (see photo)

We were all so impressed with Frank Black’s gig we were walking on a cloud afterwards.. or was it all the sugar in the Voodoos!!

Here’s some artwork and comment about the show from YG, click on their artwork below

Frank Black (Pixes) aka "Black Francis" @ Dantes Portland Oregon MFNW

We will miss them dearly and their music. Thanks for all the love guys and for covering “Forever Young” – the best cover ever!!!

Black Francis – Threshold Apprehension

Youth Group – Forever Young

YG @ Voodoo Donut Portland Oregon

and so that is how we rolled, first we were taken down the rabbit hole by the incredible set of Black Francis, totally out of body experience, and then, filled with all that Voodoo goodness, and, as the saying goes, The Magic is In the Hole… ”

Cheers to Cam, Phoebe and the YG!!!!!

Youth Group – Daisychains

Youth Group – Shadowland

more photos courtesy of YATM here

The Thermals Laundromat Session

MOKB and The Laundromat have posted The Thermals performing an acoustic set at Monolith this past summer. The Thermals are back in town after touring all summer long with their fourth and latest album, Now We Can See, was released this past April through new label, Kill Rock Stars.

The Thermals – You Dissolve (demo)

Last summer we caught with the Thermals at Jackpot Records In Store as well as met Hutch and Kathy at the MFNW in the Nike Lounge while interviewing Damien Abraham from Fucked Up.

inteview from Dirty Laundry

buy album

The Bronx Debut New Vid “Inveigh”

THE BRONX just released their video for the single, “INVEIGH”, and recently performed at the MFNW here in Portland at the Nike Sportswear sessions. YATM covered the gig (See Photos).

The Bronx-Inveigh


The Bronx- MFNW 09

The Bronx- MFNW 09

the bronx ...

el mariachi2

the bronx

el mariach3

el mariachi

Mariachi El Bronx-Cell Mates


Interview: Fucked Up @ MFNW – Polaris Prize Winners

Fucked Up band members courtesy of the Canadian Press

Fucked Up band members courtesy of the Canadian Press

Over the 3 days of the MFNW (Music Fest Northwest) in Portland, Oregon last week, I was given access to behind the scenes,(thanks Nike and MOG) and was able to meet the band Fucked Up, a Canadian based Hardcore/Punk/Experimental Rock group whose lead vocalist and front man Damian Abraham (aka Mr. Damian, aka Pink Eyes), took the time to meet with me for a very relaxed discussion about the band, the music industry, as well as some of his views and opinions in general.

INDY: With the growing popularity of the band is there any influence to change or conform to reach an even broader audience? For example, changing the name of the band or changing your onstage antics?

Mr. Damian: When the band first started we never dreamed that we would have to worry about how we would have to say our name on TV or the Radio. That was not even in the realm of possibility. We are the band that are going to be playing basement shows so when people ask us if we are worried our name is going to hold us back we are like, well no none of this is suppose to happen to us. Although our hometown of Toronto is a big city, up until recently, hardcore and punk rock was a very marginal scene. It (hardcore/punk rock) was just growing up at the time and a huge show would be like an American band would come through and there were be like 300-500 kids there but then a local show, there would be like 25-30 people there. So, it was never considered by the band that we would have any mainstream attention. We don’t feel that our name is holding us back because none of this is suppose to happen so everything we are doing, by extension, is a gift. That being said, we are playing the Polaris Prize Award 2009 this Monday, which is like the Canadian Mercury Prize, and we have a really bad reputation with the sponsor of the show, MTV in Canada.

INDY: Was that reputation due to the MTV Live Bathroom experience that was posted to MOG some months back (by me actually) but has now been removed from the net?

Mr. Damian:: Yes, the video and the band were banned from the media via MTV Canada. There were interests within MTV Canada that saw that they could exploit the energy of the kids there and it would make good television. Well, it went too far on that particular show in their opinion. We were fined for the behaviour that occurred on that set and banned. However, the upcoming Polaris Prize awards are taking place at MTV Canada. They have had to lift the ban in order to allow us to play in the show as well as we are a nominee for the Polaris Prize Award. So they want us to come back and play and have a police escort the whole time to make sure we don’t do anything….

INDY: So, is there anything new coming up tonight? (for MFNW) and are you working on any new material?

Mr. Damian: No, its going to be all about the last record as this is the tail end of it. We are working on new material. We are doing a song with Chism from the Wu-Tang Clan. We are writing a song for them. We are doing a song with a split with King Khan and BBQ.

INDY: We hear the band has a manager that never comes to the shows?

Mr. Damian: Oh yes, David Elliad. He may or may not be real. We lucked out early on and realized it’s good to have someone to make the tough decisions even if that person is not real. So, when someone calls to ask you to do something, its not you that says “No”, it’s David Elliad.

INDY: What do you think of the changing music industry?, ie many
bands are now self managing and albums are free or dirt cheap.

Mr. Damian: Yes, many bands in Canada, for instance, will sign to a label in America, and then they just do a distribution deal with another label in Canada but they start their own imprint. Ya, its like its really changed, for a band like us, the music industry, although not shrinking, but things are getting smaller as far as sales and how big a band can be. And, because of that, smaller bands like us, are starting to appear slightly bigger. We have definitely benefited by that contraction in the industry. I don’t think we would have ever received the same amount of attention if it wasn’t for that. I mean I am 30 years old and I lack all musical ability. If you put a gun to my head and told me to play “Smoke on the Water” on that guitar you’d have to blow my brains out because I do not know how to do that. I can not do the simplest thing (musically) but I can be in a band. I’m living proof you do not need any ability to play in a band.

INDY: So, you were not the front man originally in this band?

Mr. Damian:No, Josh our guitarist was. He played two shows, then he decided to do some train hopping across America and during that time I was asked to fill in for him for two shows and it worked out. Josh came back and he was asked to play guitar. We’ve done shows without every member of Fucked Up, we can exist without someone not being there but if someone left the band we would fall apart. We don’t get along. We know each other but we certainly don’t hang out with each other. Jonah and I, and the band were talking one time, and you have these bands like the Clash and the Rolling Stones who say they are a gang, you know, this gang mentality in a band. We’re not. We’re “conscripted soldiers”. We don’t want to be here, we want to be at home, but we have been called into battle, so we are going to fight this war.

INDY: Can you describe your music for me? Would you say that it’s hardcore with classical undertones using instruments like the violin?

Mr. Damian:I believe it is definitely still Punk, sonically there are elements of hardcore. Hardcore is one of those things that is defined by others. You are “other-ed” into hardcore. I think we are still a hardcore band, I love hardcore. I think the band stands the way it is today is because it is six people that have very different tastes in music all trying to make the same band work. So that means that someone who is into Techno brings a different approach then someone like me who is into like the Circle Jerks or Jonah who is into like some obscure 60’s band.

INDY: So, any bands in the MFNW you have seen or would like to see?

Mr. Damian: Well, we just flew in (this was Saturday – festival started on Wed night) so we haven’t been able to see any yet but right off the top of my head, there’s this band, Despise You playing and they have done only six or seven shows ever and I have been a big fan, I remember buying their Discography CD, in 1998. I probably got their first record in 1996 so that is like thirteen years and I’m finally going to get to see them tonight. I remember reading about them and pouring over their lyrics. I’ve always thought they have has such a cool aesthetic. I never thought I’d see them and here I am in Portland thirteen years later getting to see them. I also want to see Team Dresch tonight, Trash Talk, who are friends of ours I’d like to see tonight. Actually, El Mariachi Bronx, I want to see tonight. I really like the record and really want to see them play. I’ve never seen them play live. Titus Andronicus, I’d really like to see, and Riverboat Gamblers, and Effect Defect.

INDY: Those are bands that were not on my “dream schedule” but hey, they might be ones I’d like? I went to see Sunny Day Real Estate, and before last night, I didn’t know much about them. They were a big discovery for me.

Mr. Damian:Ye, the drummer from SDRE, used to play in a band called Brotherhood. Also, the dude from Foo Fighters (SDRE bass guitarist), was in Brotherhood. Brotherhood broke up and these two guys started SDRE. But Brotherhood was such a huge influence on me when I was a kid in high school. I wish I could of gotten to meet them. That’s the thing about these types of festivals, there are millions of different types of bands and there are millions of different types of people. And every single band here has a person who thinks, this is my favorite band. Last night I would have loved to see Mudhoney, Pink Mountaintops, the Zero’s, Softpack, Bad Brains, Japanther, or The Arctic Monkeys. It’s great when you play at festivals like this but it’s bitter sweet that there is so many bands you want to see but you know you’re going to miss seeing some of them.

INDY: I am really looking forward to seeing you tonight and was hoping to take some photos, will that be an issue?

Mr. Damian:No not at all, I think bands should help people love them. So many bands seem to get in the way of liking the band. It’s ridiculous. Talk about David Elliad, our manager, bands deliberately put people up as obstacles to separate the band from the people who like the band and I don’t think it should be like that. The band is the kid watching the show, and that kid watching the show could be in the band the next week, you know? That’s the one thing that came out of Punk that I believe should carry over to all music. Maybe not sonically, I mean I don’t think every band should sound like Punk, but I think that ideology that its cheap, its easy, go start your own band- I think ‘that’ can be applied to any form of music from heavy metal to rap to soul music.

INDY: Personally, growing up in the 70’s I liked bands like The Who but you would never think that you could approach them they were like Gods, this incredible mystique surrounded them.

Mr. Damian:As much as I like the rock and roll bands musically during that time, that path that rock and roll took during that time drives me nuts, that was kinda the birth of the superstar. The rock star is God, the “Kiss” mentality and I hate that. What got me into music and what I prefer is to be able to meet the band being like a normal person that wanted to make some noise and that is what music should be. I think it should be anyone and everyone should do it, or rather can do it ya know?

INDY: I know exactly what you mean. In my experience as primary blogger on You Are the Music (YATM) blog we seek out those type of bands who have passion, no matter what type of band, or what they are called, or what genre they fall into or don’t, what matters is their passion and intensity, and how they connect with their audiences.

Mr. Damian:Yes, and I think so much of music industry is about stripping that passion away and turning it into this antiseptic, boring thing. It’s like the band’s managers and agents, etc. think, well, if the band does the same performance every night, we know they will be consistently average. And granted, if a band doesn’t do that, some nights they might be bad, but at least they will be honestly bad, and some nights it will be “unbelievable”. It seems that they try to make them, the bands, not human, but an industry unto itself. When that happens, it loses its excitement.

INDY: Well, I see the you are about to go onstage. I’d like to thank you for your generosity and time and for sharing your thoughts, insights, and ideas about music and the band, Fucked Up.

Update (9/21/09) As Damian mentioned in our discussion, the ban from MTV Canada was lifted and his band got the opportunity to perform at the 2009 Polaris Prize ceremonies at MTV Canada’s studio.
Not only did they play, they walked off with the 2009 Polaris Prize!
Well Done Fucked Up

Fucked Up – The Chemistry of Common Life

Damien Abraham, Fucked Up Frontman, @ MFNW Nike Lounge prior to the band's performance

Damian Abraham, Fucked Up Frontman, @ MFNW Nike Lounge prior to the band's performance

Front man for Fucked Up claims he has no musical abilities

Front man for Fucked Up claims he has no musical abilities

Fucked Up @ MFNW Sat 9/19/09

Fucked Up @ MFNW Sat 9/19/09

Damian, right after the interview, getting into his groove with the audience

Damien, getting into his groove with the audience

Arctic Monkey’s Cover of “Diamonds Are Forever”

MFNW -010

Arctic Monkeys – Diamonds Are Forever

The Arctic Monkeys are in town for the Nike Sportswear set at the Wonder Ballroom for the MFNW this weekend. They will, no doubt, hit the ground running with their songs off their latest release, Humbug, and perhaps a few like this cover they play live at some of their shows.

Kudos to the folks at we all want someone to shout for blog for the tip as well as their posting of the Monsters of Folk songs today.. check them out here.