WBEZ | Sleigh Bells http://www.wbez.org/tags/sleigh-bells Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Album reviews: Sleigh Bells and Cloud Nothings http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-02-21/album-reviews-sleigh-bells-and-cloud-nothings-96595 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-22/sleigh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Wanna push this blogger’s buttons? A surefire winner always is the mix of indelible melodies with chaotic guitar noise, whatever the context and other elements at work. <a href="http://audio.soundopinions.org/streams/2010/06/sleighbellsreview.mp3">But while many critics were hailing <em>Treats</em></a>, the 2010, M.I.A.-endorsed debut by the Brooklyn duo Sleigh Bells, as a masterpiece in exactly that mould, to these ears, the major buzz drowned out the minor charms of the much-ballyhooed collaboration between songwriter and producer Derek Miller (ex-Poison the Well) and wispy vocalist Alexis Krauss (formerly of Rubyblue). And album number two is even more of disappointment.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-21/sleigh bells.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" title=""></p><p>The duo may aim to craft killer pop hooks, the better to offset Miller’s over-the-top dense and harsh wall-of-noise backings and generic electro-beats, but the melodies never grab you, as much because Krauss’s chirpy little-girl cooing annoys more than it seduces, as well as the fact that the melodies just aren’t very memorable or all that melodic. For that matter, Miller’s grooves and guitar-shredding are nothing special, either, while the lyrics—lots of talk of winning, losing and dying slapped on ironic (one assumes) hair-metal song titles such as “Born to Lose,” “Never Say Die,” and “Road to Hell”—are just plain inane.</p><p>“Push it, push it!” Krauss wails in “True Shred Guitar.” Yeah, well, if Sleigh Bells had pushed a little harder, and favored Slayer’s brand o’ shredding over Poison’s, maybe this band would not have been such a hollow hype.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-21/cloud nothings.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 300px;" title=""></p><p>Infinitely more successful in the sweet/sour, melody/noise sweepstakes and essentially inhabiting a whole different universe is Cleveland songwriter Dylan Baldi, whose Cloud Nothings have expanded from a one-man lo-fi bedroom project to a full-on four-piece band on <em>Attack on Memory, </em>its second proper album, recorded with all of his famous live-in-the-room verisimilitude and in-your-face wallop by Chicago’s Steve Albini.</p><p>Many and varied are the reference points invoked by the band’s fans, from old-school emo (Fugazi) to the more melodic mid-period Midwestern stuff (Get Up Kids), ’80s indie rock (Hüsker Dü) to ’90s alt royalty (Nirvana circa <em>In Utero</em>), vintage shoegaze (Ride) to modern art-punk conceptualists (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2011-07-05/album-review-fcked-%E2%80%98david-comes-life%E2%80%99-matador-88566">F*cked up</a>, with whom Cloud Nothings have toured). Debate the accuracy of any or all comparisons and how those jibe with the <em>carpe diem</em> lyrics and ahistoric album title if you will, but they matter not a whit, as this is no nostalgia trip. So potent are the juxtapositions of explosions of noise guitar and deceptively lulling interludes, million-dollar riffs and amelodic insanity, screams of desperation and rousing, sing-along choruses in unforgettable tunes such as “Our Plans,” “No Future/No Past,” “Fall In” and even the instrumental “Separation” that Cloud Nothings are another, very welcome contender for the only band that matters, and their latest indisputably is the hardest-hitting disc yet released in 2012.</p><p><strong>Sleigh Bells, “Reign of Terror” (Mom + Pop); rating on the four-star scale: 1 star.</strong></p><p><strong>Cloud Nothings, “Attack on Memory” (Carpark); rating on the four-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p></p> Tue, 21 Feb 2012 17:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/jim-derogatis/2012-02-21/album-reviews-sleigh-bells-and-cloud-nothings-96595 2010 year in music roundtable wrap-up http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2010-year-music-roundtable-wrap <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Kanye.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Alison Cuddy got a chance to review the year in music. She invited WBEZ's&nbsp;&quot;<a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m">Radio M</a>&quot; host <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wbez.org/staff/tony-sarabia">Tony Sarabia</a> and music critic and &quot;Eight Forty-Eight&quot; contributor Althea Legaspi in to talk about the highlights of 2010. <br /><br /><em><strong>Althea's Picks:</strong></em><br /><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;source=web&amp;cd=4&amp;ved=0CDQQFjAD&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FTreats-Sleigh-Bells%2Fdp%2FB003KT3NS4&amp;rct=j&amp;q=sleigh%20bells%20treats&amp;ei=0rsLTfaaMtKenwfdx8njDQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNFflObyiaFFR5iFlw_qTlLbadml4g&amp;sig2=u-PkVGe57GF40Nb6F4tWTg&amp;cad=rja">Sleigh Bells--Treats</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_25?url=search-alias%3Daps&amp;field-keywords=deerhunter+halcyon+digest&amp;sprefix=deerhunter+halcyon+digest">Robyn--Body Talk<br />Deerhunter--Halcyon Digest</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/This-Happening-LCD-Soundsystem/dp/B003BEE0F8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615264&amp;sr=8-1">Kanye West--My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy<br />Hot Chip--One Life Stand<br />LCD Soundsystem--This is Happening</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/Suburbs-Arcade-Fire/dp/B003O85W3A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615339&amp;sr=8-1">Arcade Fire--The Suburbs</a><br /><br /><em><strong>Tony's Picks:</strong></em><br /><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/The-Limi%C3%B1anas/dp/B004ATT5IU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615682&amp;sr=8-1">The Limiñanas</a><br /><a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/AfroCubism-Digital-Booklet/dp/B0047P1SX2/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1292615792&amp;sr=301-1">AfroCubism</a></p></p> Mon, 27 Dec 2010 07:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2010-year-music-roundtable-wrap Sound Opinions' annual Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot http://www.wbez.org/story/bettye-lavette/sound-opinions-annual-thanksgiving-turkey-shoot <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/turkeyshoot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It&rsquo;s time for the annual Sound Opinions Thanksgiving Turkey Shoot. It&rsquo;s the perfect way to say thanks&hellip;thanks that we never have to listen to the year&rsquo;s biggest musical turkeys again. There are plenty of lousy records released each year, but calling some of those out would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Since we&rsquo;re shooting turkeys here, Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot only pick out albums that they expected to be much better. Here are this year&rsquo;s biggest disappointments:</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong><span class="ds10">Jim</span></strong> <strong>DeRogatis</strong><br /> Tom Petty, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/238"><span class="ds7">Mojo</span></a><br /> Sleigh Bells,<span class="ds7"> <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/236">Treats</a></span><br /> Christina Aguilera, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/239"><span class="ds7">Bionic</span><br /> <br /> </a><strong><span class="ds10">Greg Kot</span></strong><br /> Kings of Leon, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/256" target="_blank"><span class="ds7">Come Around Sundown</span></a><br /> Bettye LaVette, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/235" target="_blank"><span class="ds7">Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook</span></a><br /> Peter Gabriel, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/223" target="_blank"><span class="ds7">Scratch My Back</span><br /> </a><br /> Jim and Greg next hand the rifles over to some of our listeners. They take down these turkeys:<br /> <br /> Kyle from Minneapolis, MN: Joanna Newsome, <a href="http://www.dragcity.com/products/have-one-on-me" target="_blank"><span class="ds7">Have One On Me</span></a><br /> Lynn from Alpharetta, GA: Katy Perry, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/249"><span class="ds7">Teenage Dream</span></a><br /> Corey from Adel, IA: Johnny Cash, <a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/cm/reviews/show/222"><span class="ds7">American VI: Ain&rsquo;t No Grave</span></a></p><p><span class="ds7">Songs featured include:</span></p><p>Clinic, &ldquo;Walking With Thee&rdquo; Walking With Thee, Domino, 2002<br /> Steve Earle, &ldquo;Guitar Town&rdquo; Guitar Town, MCA, 1986<br /> Ohio Players, &ldquo;Jive Turkey&rdquo; Skin Tight, Mercury, 1974<br /> Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, &ldquo;Jefferson Jericho Blues&rdquo; Mojo, Reprise, 2010<br /> Kings of Leon, &ldquo;Molly&rsquo;s Chambers&rdquo; Youth and Young Manhood, RCA, 2003<br /> Kings of Leon, &ldquo;Birthday&rdquo; Come Around Sundown, RCA, 2010<br /> Sleigh Bells, &ldquo;Riot Rhythm&rdquo; Treats, Mom + Pop/N.E.E.T., 2010<br /> The Soft Boys, &ldquo;Cold Turkey&rdquo; A Can of Bees, Two Crabs Universal, 1979<br /> XTC, &ldquo;The Disappointed&rdquo; Nonsuch, Virgin, 1992<br /> Joanna Newsom, &ldquo;&rsquo;81&rdquo; Have One On Me, Drag City, 2010<br /> Katy Perry &ldquo;Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)&rdquo; Teenage Dream, Capitol, 2010<br /> Johnny Cash, &ldquo;Ain&rsquo;t No Grave&rdquo; American VI: Ain&rsquo;t No Grave, American/Lost Highway, 2010<br /> Johnny Cash, &ldquo;Hurt&rdquo; American IV: The Man Comes Around, American/Universal, 2002<br /> Bettye Lavette, &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t Let Me Be Misunderstood&rdquo; Interpretations, Anti-, 2010<br /> Christina Aguilera, &ldquo;Not Myself Tonight&rdquo; Bionic, RCA, 2010<br /> Peter Gabriel, &ldquo;Heroes&rdquo; Scratch My Back, Real World/Virgin, 2010<br /> Bob Dylan, &ldquo;Turkey Chase&rdquo; Pat Garrett &amp; Billy the Kid, Columbia, 1973</p></p> Wed, 01 Dec 2010 16:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/bettye-lavette/sound-opinions-annual-thanksgiving-turkey-shoot