(Editor’s Note: I have been writing a lot in the last couple of weeks– probably more than I’ve written in a long time– but not a lot for the blog. I’ve got some pretty cool interviews coming over the next week or two, however, and I’m really excited to share them with you. Until then, though, I’m lucky that I’ve got friends and family that love music the same way I do– and better than that, that they’ll write about it for me. Wade is a friend of Andy’s, and he has recommended countless awesome records to us. I’ll let Andy talk in more detail. Wanted to let you know I haven’t forsaken you, etc. etc. — KD)
“Younger Us” off the forthcoming Celebration Rock
I’ve known Wade Grimes (Wadelover) since we started college in 1993. We went to India together. We also went to New Orleans once. He’s good people. After graduating from college, Wadelover kept up with everyone for a while by offering a subscription based mix-CD service called Wadelover’s House of Velvet Style. They were ridiculously good mix CDs offered with Wade’s trademark irreverent hilarity. Then he had babies so he sort of stopped doing that, but now he wrote a sweet review of Japandroids and I feel like Wadelover’s House of Velvet Style is back in action and it makes me pretty happy. Maybe he’ll keep writing the occasional review for KDR. When I think of Wadelover, I picture him in a black Fishbone shirt. You should too.
Makin’ Up Junk About….
I typically spend my days fixing computer problems, listening to crappy bands like Angels and Airwaves and perfecting my fauxhawk. I like blueberry coffee from the Dunkin’ Donuts area in our local Wilco gas station. I drive a station wagon with black cloth seats. So how in the world did I find Japandroids…
The truth is, they found me. They’re on a mission to save the universe. Ok, well maybe just the world, but still…And even though you wouldn’t know it by their name, they’re not robots.
Aliens, posing as hipsters. Or slackers. Or something. I mean, they’re cuddling in flannel in the cover of the record, for goodness sake. (Ed. Note: The record is called Post-Nothing.)
Let’s examine a bit closer. This song, “Young Hearts Spark Fire’”–loaded with evidence that the Japandroids are aliens.
This song is a great Japandroid song… They’re loud, they have great backing vocals and do this fuzzy thing with their voices. They even find a way to make their instruments fuzzy sounding. Only aliens would have technology so advanced to fuzz up their voices and their guitars and their drums at the same time. So advanced, that alien technology. Amazing really.
But forget about the music, the instruments and the fuzz….The lyrics to the song are where the hidden evidence lurks:
“You can keep tomorrow, after tonight we’re not going to need it.” Who says that kind of stuff? Aliens.
“Two hearts beating. Oh Yeah, Oh Yeah!!” Who has two hearts? Aliens.
“I don’t wanna worry about dying. I just wanna worry about those sunshine girls.” What?!? Sunshine Girls? Girls that live on the sun? Who could possibly know about girls that live on the sun? Aliens.
(Just as an aside, I wish I had heard the song “Young Hearts on Fire” earlier in my life. I used to play loud, poppy punk records as loud as possible to help my twin girls to to sleep when they were babies. How much better would it have been to play songs about dreaming, death, young love, and sunshine than any random Sum 41 song.)
“Young Hearts Spark Fire” is a perfect song. The guitar and the drums are keenly fuzzed, the vocals are strong and in time, the words are well thought out, and the backing vocals scream in proper dystopian harmonics.
Next Song in question (from a different record with no cuddling on the cover): “The House that Heaven Built”. (Ed. Note: The album is also called The House that Heaven Built.)
Another great song. More loud, more fuzzy-ness, a tad bit more produced sound (indicative of the entire record? I don’t know. I only listened to this one song–isn’t that what what everyone does now?).
Let’s examine the lyric: …Nevermind. I have no idea what it means. ”Tell them all they’ll love in my shadow.” Just listen to the song again. Feel your life changing? Feel your world being saved?
Next Song (from a different record, lots of smiling on the cover (Ed. Note: Perhaps my favorite record title in a long time, this record is called No Singles)): “Darkness on the Edge of Gastown”. Homage to Springsteen? Maybe. Probably. But still–See, trying to save the world.
Ok, so this song is not my favorite. But then again, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” is not my favorite Springsteen record either. Coincidence? I think not (phrase coined).
BUT….going back to examine the lyric….more Alien evidence: ”She has too much neon. It’s hanging off the bone.” Neon, hanging off the bone? Alien for sure. ”Tell her that I can see the future. Tell her that her future is bleak.” Seeing into the future? Only aliens can do that.
Lastly…”Coma Complacency” (from same smiling cover record).
I absolutely love two chord songs. There are so few of them, but all two chord songs seem to have life and freedom in the simplicity. I tried to think of other two chord songs to reference here, but I can only think of ones that I wrote in college (I never had that certain guitar-talent necesary to write anything other than two chord songs…) and there’s no way that we need to go near there. Ok, so there are a few more chords in this song, but the vast majority of the song is sung to two strong, fuzzy chords. And the lyric:
“Hey hey hey heyheyheyhey”. Now THIS is a lyric well thought out. Massively impacting. Here to rescue the world. Japandoids. Listen to them. They’ll change your life.
Final verdict: Alien. Japandroids. They will find you.
Thanks Wade! And his review couldn’t come at a better time, as next week, Japandroids will be releasing Celebration Rock– a record that totals only about 35 minutes, featuring only 8 songs. (Guitarist Brian King wrote their bio, and in it, he points out that other popular records– Pet Sounds and Born to Run for starters– either have a similar run time or amount of songs. You can check out the bio here, or read King’s recent interview with Anthem magazine here.)
If you’re interested in discovering more about the upcoming Japandroids invasion and record, check out the records Wade mentions above, or find them online at:
Or catch them on tour:
6/11 Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
6/12 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
6/14 San Francisco, CA – The Independent
6/15 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
6/16 San Diego, CA – The Casbah
6/19 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
6/21 Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
6/22 Cleveland, OH – Grog Shop
6/23 Toronto, ON – Horseshoe Tavern
6/25/ Montreal, ON – La Salla Rossa
6/26 Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
6/27 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
6/29 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
6/30 Washington, DC – The Rock and Roll Hotel
7/3 Minneapolis, MN – 7th Street Entry
7/7 Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret