SOME STUFFS: ESP know you’ll want to “Serenade” to their sounds

Alexandra Pelly directed the brand new video for ESP‘s “Serenade”, and if this video doesn’t make you itchy in order to make you dance furiously in order to get rid of the itch, you must be numb. Don’t be numb.

The song is from the group’s self-titled (and self-released) EP which will be released tomorrow (August 28th). If you are reading this on Monday (August 27th) and are in Los Angeles, you’ll be able to see them perform tonight. Reason? Shows:

August 27 Los Angeles, CA – School Night at Bardot
August 30 Santa Barbara, CA – Soho *%
August 31 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall *%
September 1 Big Sur, CA – Fernwood *
September 10 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex @

* = w/ UFO
% = w/ AA Bondy
@ = w/ Big Sir, Softness, Blackbush

The EP can be purchased as a “pay-as-you-want” deal, so stream it in full and if you enjoy it, download it and pay what you feel is right.

SOME STUFFS: Big Sir to release album, and when they do… tour they go

Two California dates, a 6-week time-out, and then they head to Europe? Get ready, as Big Sir are taking their music to the streets. Big Sir are going on tour in support of Before Gardens After Gardens, which will be released on February 7th (my review of which you can read here),

February 19… Hollywood, CA @ Hemingway’s *
February 20… Long Beach, CA @ Harvelle’s *
April 9… Hamburg, GER @ Hafenklang
April 11… Leipzig, GER @ Ilses Erika
April 13… Innsbruck, AUS @ Los Gurkos
April 14… Bolzano, IT @ TBA
April 17… Rome, IT @ Ausgang / Locanda Atlantide
April 19… Trieste, IT @ Etnoblog
April 20… Rimini, IT @ Velvet
April 21… Livorno, IT @ Cage
April 22… Genova, IT @ La Claque
April 24… Birmingham, UK @ The Ballroom/The End
April 25… Manchester, UK @ Sound Control
April 26… Swansea, UK @ 22 Project Promotion/The Garage
April 27… Bristol, UK @ The Croft
April 28… London, UK @ The Old Blue Last (Binnacle Festival)

* w/ Eureka The Butcher+Sadah Luna (Marcel Rodriguez Lopez from Zechs Marquise)

REVIEW: Big Sir’s “Before Gardens After Gardens”

Photobucket Before Gardens After Gardens (Sargent House) is the new album by Big Sir, and off the top I’m going to tell what I don’t like. I think the pacing of the songs as an album is a bit uneven, and I wished they would’ve put two stronger songs at the top. To my ears, things sound a bit lopsided and I think it would’ve been stronger had it been configured differently. Then again, we live in a time of playlists where anyone can create their own playlists, so while you the reader are able to hear the album from song 11 to song 1, or randomize it, I want to be able to enjoy the album as it was presented to me by the band. Is this what they approved of? Then show me what you can do, the album is representative of you as a group, this is your show, give it to me.

With that said, Before Gardens After Gardens is an album by a Los Angeles duo who are very sure about what they want and how to do it, and the first thing that pulls you in is Lisa Papineau‘s voice. She has that kind of delightful, sexy, and seductive whisper of a voice where it sounds like she’s not giving it her all but you know it’s deliberate. It sounds alluring, but that only makes you want to hear the lyrics, as is the case with tracks like “The Kindest Hour”, “1 Thousand Petals”, or “Our Pleasant Home”. While these are pop-friendly, in that they have the means to become pop hits, these are not written with a pop mindset. There’s a slight darkness in her words, almost sounding like someone who wants to go into a fetus position and hide away from the world, but within that are songs of dreams, inspirations, and strength. Papineau doesn’t only sing one way, I love it when she digs deep and vocalizes in a lower register, and I wish I could hear more of that, or wishing she’d use it in parts of songs where she sings at a higher octave. When you hear both of her styles at once, it rocks.

At times, things are uneven because I’d like to hear the songs programmed differently, or I wished her vocals were arranged to my personal preference, but I’m not the producer. Without playing the role of a producer, I hear a group that could easily tear the heartstrings of everyone who listens because of the emotional impact they deliver. It’s not a perfect banger, but it’s getting there.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Big Sir’s “Ready On The Line”

Third time… charming? It might be for Lisa Papineau and Juan Alderete who, as Big Sir, will be releasing their third album in February called Before Gardens After Gardens (Rodriguez Lopez Productions), and the album will feature contributions from “Money Mark” Ramos-Nishita (longtime keyboardist with Beastie Boys and a respected artist in his own right), Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta, and bassist Jonathan Hischke of Le Butcherettes.

You can download a track called “Ready On The Line” for free from this link here (6.61mb).