Review: Peter Bjorn and John, live in Columbus

Peter Bjorn and John with Fujiya and Miyagi and Au Revoir Simone
Monday May 8th at The Wexner Center Performance Space, Columbus OH

Words by Eric Rottmayer
Photo by Kim Rottmayer

We arrived at 7:45pm and headed to the Wex Store for a special signing session with PB&J (John was mysteriously absent, apparently not part of the live band). They seemed in good spirits, signing the necks of young women and carousing about store with open containers (they are from Sweden). Then off to the actual performance where Au Revoir Simone would begin the evening.

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Aereogramme = done

The writing was probably on the wall earlier this year – only it was written in invisible ink – when Aereogramme cancelled a few U.S. tour dates with The Twilight Sad. Perhaps there really were some visa problems that prevented the Scottish noisemakers from playing all the dates on their spring tour, but with the recent announcement by the band that they are finished, one has to wonder.

With three full lengths to their credit, Aereogramme were like Mogwai’s louder, little brother and did something far more often than Mogwai ever did — included vocals, prominently, in their songs. I had the chance to witness a show in Columbus, Ohio on April 1, 2003 (I truly thought the concert announcement was an April Fool’s joke being played on me) and it was one of those shows that, after it was over, I was sure I had witnessed something special and something I’d be able to tell my kids about when they grew up (“Yes kids, I DID see Aereogramme play to just a handful of people in a nice, intimate setting and that’s why your old man can’t hear you so well, even this many years later. They were LOUD.”) Alas, it was not meant to be despite the fact that Aereogramme released one of my favorites of 2007, My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go, in February (read my review here).

In a note to fans, Aereogramme blames their death on “the never ending financial struggle coupled with an almost superhuman ability to dodge the zeitgeist”. The band will honor it’s touring commitments with a handful of shows between now and August in Scotland (supporting Biffy Clyro) and Germany.

If you never had the chance to see Aereogramme, this fantastic website called Fabchannel has a full 2005 Aereogramme show available for your viewing pleasure.

The Dollyrots

The DollyrotsThe Dollyrots show last night in Columbus, Ohio was just what I needed. Despite finding out it was a 5-band bill (advertised as a 2-band bill) and getting to the venue WAY too early, watching the fun set by L.A. pop-punk kids The Dollyrots was worth the late night. I was supposed to hook up with the band to interview them but it just didn’t work out … keep your eyes peeled, however, as I’ll be chatting with singer Kelly Ogden sometime next week.

The Dollyrots are touring in support of their second album, Because I’m Awesome, (Chip note: Yes, you are) which was released in March on Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records label. The trio has taken cues from their collective influences (and bands they’ve played shows with) and I think it’s fair to say that they sound a bit like The Muffs, The Randies, The Donnas and even Damone (though they don’t have the ’80s hair metal influence). The more you check out, the more you’ll discover that one of my weaknesses is female-fronted power-pop bands and The Dollyrots completely fill that bill to the point where I’m going to say that Because I’m Awesome is a serious contender for my favorite album of 2007.

The band doesn’t have any MP3s posted on their site so I invite you to sample their music on their PureVolume and MySpace pages.  And the band has a SHITLOAD of tour dates coming up. I’d strongly suggest you check The Dollyrots out if they are playing anywhere near you. (Tour dates after the jump)

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Contrast Podcast: Songs mentioning other songs, bands or artists

Tim’s put up the latest installment of Contrast Podcast. This week’s theme is “Songs mentioning other songs, bands or artists”.  These podcasts are definitely worth checking out, there’s always a wealth of songs that you’ve never before. My favorite from this week’s podcast is New Bad Things, “I Suck”. My contribution is The Damnwells “I’ve Got You” which namechecks a TON of songs (from “I Want You to Want Me” to “Kickstart My Heart”).

DOWNLOAD: Contrast Podcast – Songs mentioning other songs, bands or artists

Question of the Week: Will you buy Guns N’ Roses ‘Chinese Democracy’ if it ever comes out?

This week has seen another round of GN’R leaks from the new album. These songs sound a little more cleaned up than the ones that were leaked earlier this year but it’s the same batch of songs. It’s tough to tell where these songs are coming from and if they’ll even wind up on Chinese Democracy. Now, I’ve given Axl the benefit of the doubt and I actually am eagerly anticipating the release of the CD (I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for quite a few years at this point). You can argue that it’s not Guns N’ Roses if the original members are no longer part of the band but I say that as long as Axl has the name, it IS Guns N’ Roses. And for those bitching that the leaked material doesn’t sound any different than the stuff you hear on crappy hard rock radio stations by bands like Godsmack, I’d counter with the fact that the G N’R of 2007 is NOT going to sound like the G N’R of 1987 – you SHOULD expect a different sound and if it’s not the sleazy, L.A. gutter-metal sound you remember, at least give the new stuff a few listens before declaring it garbage.

So, the question of the week is: Will you buy Guns N’ Roses Chinese Democracy if it ever comes out?