My Morning Download: “Buried Plans” by Minor Alps (Juliana Hatfield and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf; playing World Cafe Live 11/22)

minoralps Minor Alps is a new collaboration between Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies, Lemonheads) and Matthew Caws of Nada Surf.  They release their debut, Get There, on October 29th.  The first single, “Buried Plans” is a mellow affair, featuring the two harmonizing over a quiet acoustic guitar and some atmospheric drums. Download the song below. They play World Cafe Live on Friday, November 22nd. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Eternal Summers at the First Unitarian Church, Cold Fronts at Kung Fu Necktie, Thurston Moore at Space 1026

Photo by Brian Hamelman
Roanoke, VA trio Eternal Summers open for Nada Surf tonight at the First Unitarian Church.  The indie dream-pop/”who-cares-rock” band released their second full-length record earlier this year called Correct Behavior through Kanine Records, with the opening song “Millions” earning a Best New Track rating on Pitchfork.  Tickets and information for tonight’s intimate show with Nada Surf and It’s a King Thing can be found here.  Below, watch Eternal Summer’s video for “Good As You.”

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Watch a new video for “Good as You” by Eternal Summers (playing the First Unitarian Church on 12/12)

Richmond, Virginia indie trio Eternal Summers are still riding high on the spring release of their sophomore album, Correct Behavior, and today premiered a fourth video from the record. “Good as You” is a pretty, mid-tempo strummer with an explosive build and longing lyrics. Frontwoman Nicole Yun joked on Facebook about this video being her “acting debut,” and there’s certainly a lot of drama as we see vignettes of the band in an abandoned hospital, done up in medical garb, wrestling down belligerent inmates and lacing up straightjackets. For her part, Yun sits forlorn in a stool, singing the song to patients up and down the dusty hallway. There’s no forced dialogue or anything overly conceptual – so don’t let “acting” scare you – it’s just a creative staging of a thoughtful song. Eternal Summers is currently on tour in support of Nada Surf, and they play the First Unitarian Church on December 12. Tickets and more information can be found here.


Nada Surf, AC Newman announce shows at the First Unitarian Church

Two new shows have been announced and added to the R5 Productions calendar for shows at the First Unitarian Cburch. Nada Surf play the Church on December 12th. AC Newman performs Thursday, October 25th. Tickets to both shows go on sale this Friday, July 27th at Noon. Nada Surf released The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy last January. Below, listen to one of our favorite all time songs from their 2003 release, Let Go, “Blonde On Blonde.” In case you missed Nada Surf’s performance at WXPN’s Non-Comm music conference at World Cafe Live last May, you can listen to it here.


WXPN broadcasting Non-Commvention shows with Grace Potter, War On Drugs, Willie Nelson, Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Polica, Norah Jones and more

Next Wednesday, May 16th through Saturday, May 17th WXPN’s annual music conference, the Non-Commvention, rolls in to World Cafe Live and WXPN. This is the 12th year for the industry conference started by WXPN’s Dan Reed when he worked at WFPK in Louisville, Kentucky. Hundreds of music industry personnel will be in town from various radio stations across the country alongside industry publicists, labels representatives, digital media folks, managers, and listeners and members of WXPN. The lineup for this year’s Non-Comm includes dozens of bands who will be performing at World Cafe Live Wednesday through Friday night, and a listener appreciation Free At Noon on Saturday at Penn Park. WXPN will be broadcasting and webcasting the following sets live:

Wednesday, May 16
8:00 PM – The Key Studio Sessions Live with Graham Alexander, Find Vienna
10:00 – Grace Potter & the Nocturnals

Thursday, May 17 Free At Noon
Noon – Joseph Arthur
12:30 – Citizen Cope

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Father John Misty
9:35-10:05 – Beth Orton
10:45-11:25 – The War On Drugs
12:05-12:45 – Polica

Friday, May 18 Free At Noon with Brandi Carlile, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson

The NPR Music Stage
8:30-9 – Diego Garcia
9:35-10 – Nada Surf
10:40-11:10 – Good Old War
11:50-12:30 – J.C. Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Saturday, May 19 – Listener Appreciation Free At Noon from Penn Park:
12-12:20 – Dex Romweber Duo
12:25-1:05 – Rufus Wainwright
1:15-1:45 – Sons of Fathers
1:55-2:25 – Elle King
2:30-3 – Nick Waterhouse


Recap: Nada Surf at Theatre Of Living Arts (4/9/12)

Photo by Naomi Shavin

Who plays a full set without even mentioning their number-one mega-hit? Plenty of bands; in particular, bands trying to scrap a reputation as a one-hit-wonder. So, who plays a 22-song set and skips several of their most beloved tracks, including their one and only mega-hit (which was requested repeatedly throughout night)? Nada Surf. As an audience member, you have to wonder at a certain point what exactly you’re paying for at a live show, if not to hear your favorite songs live. In the case of Nada Surf’s show last night, it all depended on what era of Nada Surf you were a fan of. If you came to TLA on a Monday night in the hopes of hearing “Popular,” or “Electrocution,” or “Fruit Fly” (or at least “La Pour Ca”), you likely left disappointed.

Longtime fans were easy to spot. They were mostly older males sporting beards and glasses, some of which brought their wives and young kids in tow. (That probably explains why, at the band’s merch table, you could find black onesies with “Nada Surf” written on them in cute silver lettering.) They are the fans from 1995, the pre-“Popular” era—before Nada Surf had released a full-length album or been featured on The O.C. They knew every word to every song and seemed completely content with the set list (though hearing “The Fox” probably would have been nice). Their numbers also included one particularly devoted fan: a guy who claimed to have attended Nada Surf’s first show (or possibly first show in Philly; it was unclear). These audience members were there because they love Nada Surf’s earnest, messy, platitude-packed rock albums. They know that when Nada Surf is on—such as with “Inside Of Love” (off 2003′s Let Go) or “Jules and Jim” (off this year’s The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy)—the newer material holds its own against the band’s older, more well-known fare.

The most visibly disappointed fans of the evening were listeners who came to know Nada Surf first through “Popular,” enthusiastically explored the band’s secondary hits, and had a vague familiarity with the band’s complete discography, but hadn’t really given the new album much of a chance. These fans impatiently toe-tapped through the slower moments (like an extended rendition of “Paper Boats” 15 songs into the set). They seemed relieved when they recognized  a song (such as “See These Bones”); they got beers or used the bathroom during the hard-rock moments that Nada Surf busted out from their new album. (These moments, by the way, completely validated the band’s decision to pull in guitarist Doug Gillard from Guided By Voices.) These fans also seemed confused when Martin Wenk (who was also added for the tour and has recorded with virtually everyone from Wilco to Arcade Fire), played theremin during “Hi-Speed Soul.” They were the ones shouting for “Popular” too early and begging for a second encore too late.

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Tonight: XPN Welcomes Nada Surf + An Horse, Wigwams at Theatre Of Living Arts

Nada Surf is finally getting around to rewarding long-time fans with a slew of new material. The NY-based rock trio released The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy in January, following two years without a release, and four years without putting out original material. (2010’s If I Had a Hi-Fi was all covers.) The new album is available in a deluxe addition, which features acoustic versions of five tracks; that set of acoustic tracks was recently made available as an EP, recorded live in England. In addition, the band is keeping a photo blog with tour-mates An Horse called “Nada Horse.” Yet, perhaps the most exciting news for fans of the trio is how well received The Stars has been. Every week, it seems another critic blogs that Nada Surf turned out to be more than just a one-hit-wonder. It must be nice to see that the trio is so, ahem…popular again. Nada Surf performs with An Horse and Wigwams at 7 p.m.; tickets to the all-ages show are $20. —Naomi Shavin