May 26th at the Granada - $15
With drummer Panda Bear fresh off his successful side-project album Person Pitch and founding member Avey Tare finished with his not quite-as-successful effort Pullhair Rubeye, Animal Collective appears to be ready to release their one millionth album of the 2000s. It?s less hyperbole than you?d think; the Collective have averaged at least an album a year since the decade began and don?t show any signs of slowing down. The band?s mixture of tribal rhythms, infectious harmonies, and fits of yelling lends itself quite well to the live setting, and with an upcoming date here at the Granada, you?ll have a chance to say goodbye to May through the joys of song and (flailing) dance. Expect a heavy dose of songs from their most recent album Feels, along with a number of new tracks they?ll be roadtesting.
May 31st at the Palladium Ballroom - $25
Our Love to Admire (Capitol) - July 10th
For local fans of New York?s well-dressed favorite sons, this summer stands to give you all the Interpol you could want. Notorious for being perfectionists on stage, expect a long sound-check and relatively short set when the band makes an appearance at the Palladium Ballroom on May 31, touring in support of their upcoming album Our Love to Admire. However, if recent shows have been any indication, Interpol seems to have gotten a little extra fire in their belly; their performance at Coachella showed lead vocalist Paul Banks and company punching up their old classics (if they don?t play ?Obstacle 1,? be very surprised) while debuting a set of new songs that hold quite a bit of potential.
If their Joy Division-heavy sound never did anything for you in the past, don?t expect anything to change. However, if, like me, you find their take on post-punk more than just derivative, you?d be a fool to forego either the show or the album.
The Clientele & Beach House
May 18th at Hailey's - $10
Existing in a sort of endless time-warp between the British Invasion and the 80?s arrival of dreampop, the Clientele staked out their claim on hazy summer sunsets with their debut The Violet Hour, cleaned up their sound with the more accessible follow-up Strange Geometry, and now, with the upcoming God Save the Clientele, appear ready to step out completely into the afternoon sunlight. New songs like ?Here Comes the Phantom? and especially first single ?Bookshop Casanova? reveal a band ready to stretch their muscles a bit more, increasing the tempo and brightening the production; they sound like the natural inheritors to the legacy the Zombies left behind with Odessey and Oracle.
They?ll be bringing their newly energized sound to Hailey?s on the 18th of May, which should make an excellent double-bill with Baltimore natives Beach House. The duo, whose debut last year won raves across the board for its spartan take on downtempo pop, build their songs around simple rhythms, echoing keyboards, and the wispy vocals of Victoria Legrand; all in all, it?s a cant-miss show for cheap.
Queens of the Stone Age
Era Vulgaris (Interscope) - June 12th
A few songs have already begun to trickle onto the Internet from this, the fifth full-length Queens album and the second since former bassist Nick Oliveri left the band over allegations of excessive drug use (which, for liberal drug users like QOTSA, indicates he must have been eating bricks of cocaine). Put simply, they sound like having your face thrown into the world?s angriest blender--which is exactly what Josh Homme and company have delivered since 1998. No popular rock band has either the chops or the guts of QOTSA, and Homme has turned into a damn good vocalist along with a hell-bent guitarist. Pray (or if you?re a truly dedicated fan, sacrifice a goat) that they come through Dallas soon, but if not, savor some riffs done right come June 12th.
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge) - July 10th
Yes, it might be the worst album title since Sigur Ros?s (Creative Looking Parentheses), if only for how anyone is going to talk about it to other people. (?Excuse me, can you tell me if Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is in stock today??) However, since it?s coming from the best currently existing American independent band, I?m inclined to give it more of a chance. It?ll be the ?Black and White Album.?
Since Britt Daniel figured out how to merge his influences with his distinctly minimal style of songwriting on A Series of Sneaks, Spoon hasn?t released anything less than a great album: the mature pop of Girls Can Tell, the bare-bones hooks of Kill the Moonlight, and Gimme Fiction?s anything-goes experimentation. Their only official release since then, the two-minute Beatles pop of ?The Book I Write,? indicates a shift of Daniel back toward concision; we?ll see if the album follows those lines or goes somewhere totally different.
July 20th at Hailey's - $12
It?s too bad these guys get so little press; then again, they haven?t released an album since 2002?s The Meadowlands, which was their first album in 6 years. Quantity doesn?t equal quality though, and you?d be hard-pressed to find better powerpop for a cheaper price. Both The Meadowlands and Seacaucus are packed to the brim with catchy melodies, mixed with the world-weariness of getting bumped off record label after record label. If they don?t play ?Built-In Girls,? yell until they do.
The White Stripes
Icky Thump (Warner Bros.) - June 19th
In terms of unlikely success stories, the White Stripes have to rank high among the most willfully bizarre groups to still achieve chart success. From a origin story based in incest (now proven to be simply husband and ex-wife) to a refusal to use any studio equipment made after 1970, Jack and Meg White have cut their own path through popular music, and it?s to the credit of Jack?s songwriting--and Meg?s, uh, assets?that Icky Thump remains one of the most anticipated albums of the summer.
So how do the Stripes treat this chance to return to the chart heights of ?Fell In Love With a Girl?? Simple: release as the first single one of the craziest singles in recent memory, a mashup between Zeppelin riffs and a synthesizer that sounds like demented bagpipes while Jack rap-sings about how ?you can?t be a pimp and a prostitute too.? If ?Icky Thump? the song is any indication of Icky Thump the album, we?re in for another surreal trip into the White minds.
The Hold Steady
June 9th at Hailey's - $12
Hailed as everything from the second coming of Bruce Springsteen to ?the only real rock n? roll band in America,? the Hold Steady have never aspired to anything more than playing really good music for dancing and getting drunk. As this sounds like the definition of ?an awesome summer night,? I?d be a fool to not recommend their show on June 9th up at Hailey?s in Denton. Lead singer Craig Finn spins Catholic guilt with universal growing pains, building stories around teenagers betting on horses while on drugs and Charlemagne on a road trip; the band responds with power chords and tinkling pianos. Go with your friends; you?ll be hugging them by night?s end.
May 30th - Price whatever Seal demands
"Kiss From A Rose"? "Don't Cry"? Other songs by Seal? Sounds like a whole lot like incredible to me.