Yesterday, BBC News reported that Japan’s whaling fleet had returned to port with about half the number of whales that they had “expected” to catch (whatever that means), meaning that the aggressive tactics of the anti-whaling Sea Shepherd Conservation Society had paid off. It seems crazy that even though, as the article notes, “commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986,” Japan’s whalers can try to justify catching 1,000 whales for “scientific purposes” when it is pretty clear that most of that whale meat just ends up in restaurants (like this one in Santa Monica that was recently shut down). But just to wrap up this abundance of whale news with something less somber, I recommend checking out Matt Kish’s project of making one drawing for every page of Moby Dick.
Speaking of whales (seriously?), Freelance Whales played a sold out show last night at Bowery Ballroom, along with the Shout Out Louds and one of our new favorite bands, Sherlock’s Daughter (our interview with the charming Aussies will be posted shortly). Even though they’ve obviously been touched musicall by the Postal Service as much as, say, Owl City, and further have also appropriated Ben Gibbard’s penchant for vocalizing even the most mundane details, there are moments when the band really shines on their first LP, Weathervanes, which came out yesterday on Frenchkiss Records. This guy’s review of the record is pretty spot-on, and I agree that “Hannah” and “The Great Estates” are probably the hottest offerings on the record. So have a listen to Jam of the Day “Hannah” (no video yet).
Freelance Whales – Hannah:
But definitely the most interesting discovery I made while reading up on the band today was a video created by this Vimeo user Austin Conroy, which captures the Freelance Whales performing like a 20 minute set on the Bedford Ave. L platform. The guy walks off the train already filming so I’m guessing he knew it was going on ahead of time (and there are a lot of people with cameras already there). Watch out for the early near-collision of the two women at the beginning (it looks like they’re about to have a “Get the fuck out of my way,” “No, you get the fuck out of the way” kind of conversation until they see the camera), as well as the cops telling the band they need to move because playing music on the platform is “too dangerous.” Once the cameraman actually gets situated, the band sounds pretty great. If you only have time to listen to one track from this, I’d recommend jumping ahead to about 15 minutes 30 seconds in the video for the subway-track version of “The Great Estates.”