GIVEAWAY: Tix to Of Montreal tonight at Trees

The guys over at Tactics Productions have offered Dallas Voice readers the chance to win tickets to tonight’s Of Montreal show at Trees in Deep Ellum. Did you miss them at the Granada? Chose Kylie over them at South Side Music Hall? Well, you get another chance to catch the alterna-popsters in major action tonight.

We have four pairs of tickets to tonight’s show, but how well do you know your Of Montreal? Well, if I were traveling to Norway, what two towns would the band recommend I visit? Hint: both answers are on one album. Email me here with your responses and full name and four winner with the right answers will be selected to see the band tonight.

And while you’re at it, give Tactics a like on Facebook. They’ve been quite generous to the community and DV readers.

Good luck!

 

—  Rich Lopez

Of Montreal tonight at Trees

Boys in the band

Of Montreal gets a little more intimate tonight performing at Trees, but that doesn’t mean Kevin Barnes and gang are going to lighten up their frenetic onstage antics. Tactics Productions presents the band tonight touring in support of its newest release Paralytic Stalks, which we reviewed here. Never a band to falter in its delivery of jittery dance beats and what-the-hell-are-they-talking-about lyrics, Of Montreal follows through with an explosive live show. In short, expect your ass to be kicked tonight and loving every minute of it.

DEETS: With Kishi Bashi. Trees, 2709 Elm St. Doors at 7 p.m. $15–$17. FrontGateTickets.com.

—  Rich Lopez

ALBUM REVIEW: Of Montreal, Seal, The Twilight Sad, Metallica, Ultra Dance 13

Pop falters while rock and folk ascend to strong releases

RICH LOPEZ  | Staff Writer
lopez@dallasvoice.com

Of Montreal
Paralytic Stalks
Polyvinyl Records

Kevin Barnes and company get off to a wobbly start with “Geld Ascent” in OM’s new release. If static and feedback had a child, this would be it. It feels more like a shock move to explode the opening, but they fall back into the more familiar sound with second track “Spiteful Intervention.”
I never know what OM sings about, but they know how to create a song that’s feel good in sound and yet it’s never, ever dumbed down. They don’t write lyrics as much as they create eclectic odes set to music in tracks like “We Will Commit Wolf Murder” or “Authentic Pyrrhic Remission.” I wanna ask what the hell that means, but then I’m entertained to the point of forgetting my complaint and just want to groove along.

The thing is, it’s nothing new. OM delivers the energy, just more of the same. Quirky lyrics, falsetto breaks and confetti like puffs of music are much like what they’ve done in 2010’s False Priest or 2008’s Skeletal Lamping. I don’t want them to change their personality, but they’ve gone so off the chart with obscurity, they sound like they’ve gotten stuck there.

Two and half stars (out of five).

Seal
Soul 2
Reprise Records

The former Mr. Heidi Klum proves his voice is topnotch as he revisits soul classics again.. His voice is complementary to the covering of tracks by predecessors such as Gaye, Green and Pendergrass. The real question is why?

Seal’s voice is like comfort food. It’s easy to relish in and this sound works for him, but for a set of soul classics, the album is on automatic pilot. There’s nothing quite wrong with his rendition of “Love T.K.O.,” but he never sounded present in it.
There was also an immediate safeness to the album. The track selections are obvious like “Let’s Stay Together” or “What’s Going On” that plays uninspired.

He’s basically following the Rod Stewart reinvention strategy, but I’d rather hear Seal get back to his original stuff that was always an edgy alternative to contemporary pop.

Two and half stars.

The Twilight Sad
No One Can Ever Know
Fatcat Records

In their third full-release (six overall), these Scottish indie rockers deliver a grand episode of shoegazing. Singer James Graham’s thick accent is a character in itself, but strangely inviting. They head into darker territory, but opener “Alphabet” sets an inviting tone off the bat.

The move to a slightly harder sound is a wise one. They thrive with pumped up energy but don’t neglect their folkish sensibilities. Instead, it’s smartly elevated with these additional layers of sound.

Titles like “Sick,” “Dead City” and “Kill it in the Morning” sound depressing, but there is a wealth of strongly structured tunes that are engaging and cohesive. Even when they veer into Smiths territory with the dreamy “Don’t Look at Me,” they keep a strong sense of self and pull off a killer album.

Three and half stars.

Metallica
Beyond Magnetic EP
Warner Bros. Records

Released as an accompaniment to their 30thh anniversary concerts, this EP is a set of four songs recorded during their 2008 album sessions for Death Magnetic and is intentionally released in a more session style rather than high production value.
With signature guitar and drum rampages, Metallica doesn’t falter with first track, “Hate Train,” and its force is like a fist to the face. That’s a good thing. Skip over the annoying repetition of “Just a Bullet Away” (or listen to it below), but soak in and worship the muscularity of their chord action in “Hell and Back.” If this song were on Scruff, he’d be a haggard-faced muscle daddy still worthy of a “woof.”

Final track “Rebel Babylon” closes out this small chapter with Herculean strength and Hetfield just pushes his gritty vocals to the max and the band lays down the rock that requires either a head banging or a fist pumping — or maybe both at the same time.

Three stars.

Various Artists
Ultra Dance 13
Ultra

The grooves are in overdrive in this 13th volume of the popular dance compilation. Big names like Gaga, Britney Spears and Pitbull are placed next to budding dance DJ/producer tracks by Avicii and Calvin Harris. However, it left me asking, “Where’s the party?”

Remixes of Jason Derulo’s “It Girl” and Lady Gaga’s “You and I” never find their right footing and Danny Verde’s Gaga mix of her ballad stuck her vocals in peanut butter while the beat has left it behind.

The label was good to leave Spears’ “Til the World Ends” alone as it has enough weight to be a great party song and that chant alone needs no help. Such restraint is barely held through the rest of the album — and there are 24 tracks. Alexandra Stan’s “Mr. Saxobeat” doesn’t suffer much from its extended mix and is a fine listen that doesn’t beat into your head like a jackhammer.

Steve Aoki’s “Earthquakey People (The Sequel)” is absolute torture without remix, but it’s also representative of the album — soulless and pumped up without reason.

The other barely saving grace for this bit is deadmau5’s entry at the very end. “Raise Your Weapon” doesn’t rape your ears with a sonic force. It calms the energy but still goes into erratic directions that are fascinating. Otherwise, create your own dance mix if you need a party.

One and half stars.

(NOTE:This is a slightly longer version of the mix than on the album.)

—  Rich Lopez

LISTEN: Of Montreal’s “Dour Percentage”

Following up their music counterparts Scissor Sisters, Of Montreal drops a peek of its new album Paralytic Streaks which is slated for an early February release. Pitchfork posted the preview song “Dour Percentage” and linked to an interview with singer (and sexually liberated) Kevin Barnes about the album.

The band also hits the road this year coming to Dallas to play at Trees on March. 13.

Spin analyzed the hell out of the song here, but I thought it was an admirable effort. I don’t see too much of a difference as Spin does save for a lack of high energy punch, but it has that certain motif OM is famous for.

of Montreal – “Dour Percentage” by Some Kind of Awesome

—  Rich Lopez

Kylie vs. Of Montreal tonight

Gay fans win either way

Kylie Minogue with DJ Erik Thoresen

When this show was announced, there was a collective squeal from the gays. Minogue has never been Madonna or Britney, but she’s built a following that rivals both. Her concerts have a reputation of being visual spectacles as well that apparently rival the likes of some Cirque du Soleil shows. That alone is worth the ticket. Station 4 DJ Erik Thoresen was tapped to be the opening entertainment so this big pop-stravaganza also has big time local ties.

DEETS: Verizon Theatre, 1001 Performance Place, Grand Prairie. May 18 at 8 p.m. $50–$125. Ticketmaster.com.

Of Montreal

While Of Montreal is too smart to be considered a party band, their brand of indie dance music is something more than infectious. The high energy and trippy lyrics get into your soul and skin and turn you into a dancing monster. OM is perfect for the mid-sized venue. Imagine a packed house and sweaty dancing bodies. Singer Kevin Barnes should put on quite a physical show.  We love when he gets all sexy and dirty, but we’re just sorry he has to compete with Kylie for attention. That’s like Sophie’s choice. No fair.

DEETS: With Painted Palms. South Side Music Hall, 1135 S. Lamar St. May 18. Doors at 7:30 p.m. $20. GilleysMusic.com

—  Rich Lopez

WATCH: Tuesday night’s performance by Of Montreal at the Granada Theater

It looks like Kevin Barnes and company didn’t disappoint with high energy and psychedelics at their concert on Tuesday. The band’s innovation shone in their “satellite broadcast” of “Casualty of You,” but Barnes’ rambling about aliens, homosexuals and hamburgers before diving into “Before Our Elegant Caste” probably made more sense if you were there. Even if it didn’t, who cares? The night looked like a usual OM show — which tends to be consistently kick-ass.

—  Rich Lopez

Your plans for tonight: of Montreal listening party at Good Records

Of Montreal fans who have been waiting with baited breath for tomorrow can get a sneak preview tonight of the new album. Good Records hosts a listening party for the upcoming False Priest, the band’s 10th full-length release, at 8 p.m. Although, I have some issue with frontman Kevin Barnes defiance of sexual labeling, the band whips out some pretty smart indie pop.

Good news for buyers. With every CD or LP purchase, Good Records will giveaway buttons and posters and more. But the best free item of all tonight? Um, the free beer.

And in case you didn’t know, of Montreal comes back to Dallas with the mega-cool Janelle Monae. They perform at the Granada Nov. 2.

—  Rich Lopez