We were down in D.C. over the weekend, and we were able to catch a pretty stellar show by Fruit Bats at the Black Cat on Saturday night.
Fruit Bats is an American folk rock band originally from Chicago, now based in Seattle, formed in 1999 by Eric Johnson, the band’s singer/songwriter who also plays guitar and piano. In early 2007, Eric Johnson joined Sub Pop Records label-mates and longtime friends The Shins, as a full-time, touring member. Johnson has continued working with Fruit Bats, however, and their fourth album The Ruminant Band was released in August of 2009. The top two songs from the album are, in my opinion, “When U Love Somebody” (best heard on their MySpace page) and today’s Jam, “My Unusual Friend.”
They are playing tonight at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC so brave the rain and check them out, they’re sure to put on a sunny show.
Fruit Bats – My Unusual Friend:
Earlier today, Broken Bells – a relatively new project from Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins – announced their first ever live performance, going down tonight at the Fold In Bootleg Theater in LA. Unfortunately, it looks like tickets were sold out as of 10:30 this morning.
But hopefully some sort of mini-tour will be announced soon to accompany the release of their self-titled debut Broken Bells, which is set to drop on March 9, 2010. You can pre-order the album now, and I believe that the first single, “The High Road,” is currently free to download as an iTunes single of the week. I’ve been listening to the record for a couple of weeks now and it is really dope. Apart from the single, which is also the opener, stand-out tracks include: the likely follow-up single “Vaporize” (hear the ending bass-line from Grizzly Bear’s “Ready/Able” in there?), which is up on their Myspace page; “Mongrel Heart,” which could be a lost Cure track or something; and “Your Head Is On Fire.” I don’t know whether it sounds more like a psychedelic-rock-meets-hip-hop-beats masterpiece or just a Shins record with better production and more basslines, but either way the whole thing just works. Definitely check it out. Here’s the video for the first single, “The High Road,” which premiered online January 27, 2010 and is directed by Sophie Muller.
Broken Bells – The High Road:
What is there to say about the current situation in Haiti? It’s horrible, unthinkable, and heart-breaking for New Yorkers with relatives there. Here is one way to help.
This mournful Jam comes from the Shins off of their 2001 album, Oh Inverted World. We hope the situation there improves dramatically soon, these people need all the help they can get.
The Shins – Caring is Creepy: