Tag Archives: Titus Andronicus

Top 20 of 2012

Punch Brothers - Who's Feeling Young Now?

1. Punch Brothers – Who’s Feeling Young Now?
2. Japandroids – Celebration Rock 
3. Tropical Punk – Ends of the World 
4. John K. Samson – Provincial 
5. Flume – Flume
6. Frank Ocean – channel ORANGE 
7. Tame Impala – Lonerism 
8. Fiona Apple – The Idler Wheel…
9. Balmorhea – Stranger
10. The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business
12. Leonard Cohen – Old Ideas
13. The Men – Open Your Heart
14. The Avett Brothers – The Carpenter
15. Bob Dylan – Tempest
16. First Aid Kit – The Lion’s Roar
17. Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
18. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
19. St. Lucia – St. Lucia EP
20. Yeasayer – Fragrant World

Honorable Mentions: People Get Ready, Grizzly Bear, Lucero, Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Tallest Man on Earth


Top 20 of 2012: 11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business

11. Titus Andronicus – Local Business

Titus Andronicus - Local BusinessAfter 2010’s epic The Monitor, I was unsure of where Titus Andronicus would go next. The Civil War-themed epic rewrote the rules for punk, but the new songs they debuted at shows didn’t sound like pieces of another concept album.

Instead, on their third album, the New Jersey punks kept things simpler — conceptually, at least. The first single, “In a Big City,” is one of their most straight-forward songs ever, but it still packs a punch. “Food Fight!” is even simpler. Its only lyrics are “Food fight!,” but musically it’s one of their most adventurous, with piano and wailing harmonica that sound more like the Rolling Stones than punk.

Titus Andronicus aren’t abandoning everything they established on their last album. There are still a couple massive tracks (“My Eating Disorder” clocks in at eight minutes and “Tried to Quit Smoking” is almost 10), and even the shorter epics like “Still Life with Hot Deuce on Silver Platter” have song-within-a-song shifts and tempo changes.

Local Business is the perfect follow up to The Monitor because it’s not trying to follow it. Another concept album would’ve seemed forced, but instead, Titus Andronicus just focus on rocking.

Titus Andronicus – “Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter”

Titus Andronicus - Local BusinessTitus Andronicus just released another track from their upcoming third LP, Local Business. The band has been playing “Still Life with Hot Deuce and Silver Platter” live recently, but you can hear the studio version via another lyric video.

Clocking in at over five minutes, the new track seems to recapture a bit of the sprawling punk of The Monitor. Stream the new track below and check out the album’s first single, “In a Big City.”

Local Business is out October 22 via XL.

Titus Andronicus – “In a Big City”

Titus Andronicus - Local BusinessTitus Andronicus announced today they’ll be releasing their third LP, Local Business, this fall. In a blog post, frontman Patrick Stickles revealed the album’s title, cover art — created by the band’s friend Nolen Strals (Pure Junk, ex-Double Daggers) — release date, and first single, “In a Big City.”

Stream “In a Big City” below via a homemade lyric video. Local Business is out October 22 via XL.

Download: Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape Vol. 1

Titus Andronicus at Valentines in Albany on March 3Titus Andronicus just released a mixtape featuring their new single, “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus.” Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape Vol. 1 also features demos including the band’s very first recording, outtakes from The Monitor and a few covers.

Check out the tracklist after the jump and download Titus Andronicus LLC Mixtape Vol. 1 for free.

1. Intro

2. The Boys Are Back In Town (Thin Lizzy)
live at the Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ 3/4/2012, recorded by Tommy R the soundman

3. Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus
from the forthcoming split seven inch single with Diarrhea Planet, recorded 2/2012 by Kevin MacMahon at Marcata Recording, New Paltz, NY, featuring backing vocals by Alex Levine of the So So Glos

4. Arms Against Atrophy
The band’s very first recording, made summer 2005 at the Graetzer residence, Glen Rock, NJ

5. My Time Outside the Womb
Patrick’s acoustic demo, recorded at Ramapo College, Mahwah, NJ, sometime early 2006

6. Every Time I See The Light Part Two
From the live album “The Innocents Abroad,” recorded at the Hoxton Bar and Grill, London, England, 2/2009

7. Anxiety Block (Television Personalities)
Recorded by Kevin MacMahon at Marcata Recording, spring 2009

8. First Inaugural Address, take two
‘The Monitor’ outtake, words of Abraham Lincoln, 1861, spoken by Okey Canfield Chenoweth III at his home in Oakland, NJ summer 2009

9. A More Perfect Union

10. Titus Andronicus Forever

11. No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future
Four track demos for ‘The Monitor,’ recorded by Sarim Al-Rawi at the Graetzer residence, 6/2009

12. Four Score…
Four track demo for live violin arrangement, recorded at home

13. …And Seven (Remix)
‘The Monitor’ outtake, recorded by Patrick on four track at Marcata Recording, summer 2009

14. El Scorcho (Weezer)

15. Interlude

16. Undone [The Sweater Song] (Weezer)
From the Vice Halloween Party 2009, recorded by NYC Taper

17. I Fought The Law (Bobby Fueller)
Rehearsal for OWS benefit at Shea Stadium, 11/2011

18. Riot Squad (Cock Sparrer)
Live at that very benefit, recorded by Adam ‘Bomb’ Reich

19. Hot Pockets Theme (TV)
Rehearsal recording, autumn 2011

20. Heroin (Velvet Underground)
11-piece lineup live at the home of Sam Franklin, Ridgewood, NJ, 12/2005

21. Interlude

22. Waking Up Drunk (Spider Bags)
Live at Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ, Spring 2010, featuring Dan McGee of Spider Bags on lead vocals, recorded by NYC Taper

23. Treatment Bound (Replacements)
Rehearsing at Patrick’s home, spring 2011

Titus Andronicus at Valentine’s

Titus Andronicus headlined a show celebrating the 34th anniversary of WCDB, SUNY Albany’s college station, on March 3. The show took place at Valentine’s Music Hall and Beer Joint and featured two floors of live music.

Brian Dewan was set up on the downstairs stage, which was barely a stage — I don’t even think it was off the ground. I saw him open for the Music Tapes and Nana Grizol in Buffalo back in 2009, but the name didn’t ring a bell until I saw him play. Dewan, wearing his usual suit and tie, performed a few songs using a slide on a distorted autoharp before moving over to his zither. His homemade  instrument resembled an autoharp but has 88 strings and eight humbuckers. Dewan’s songs sound a lot like Daniel Johnston with a wild variety of instruments, and the small crowd downstairs seemed to really respond to him.

Dan Pardee of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned at Valentines in Albany on March 3, 2012

Next, Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned played upstairs. They were actually the perfect act to follow Dewan because they really resemble an Elephant 6 band. Sgt. Dunbar, a local band from Albany, had six members onstage, and all of them except for drummer Ryan Stewart switched instruments fairly frequently. Alex Muro and Tim Koch switched back and forth between guitar (and vocals) and bass; Dan Pardee alternated between singing saw, accordion, trombone and guitar; and Donna Baird and Louis Apicello took up a variety of horns — trombone, cornet, French horn, trumpet and flugel horn. They’re Donna Baird and Louis Apicello of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned at Valentines in Albany on March 3, 2012really the only band I’ve ever seen outside of the Elephant 6 Collective to pull it off so well. They came together perfectly on every song, and even instruments like the singing saw were never lost in the mix.

After Sgt. Dunbar, Titus Andronicus took the stage — a rare appearance as a four-piece. Despite being down a guitarist, the band still played with an unmatched intensity.

They opened with a ferocious cover of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town,” before launching into “Upon Viewing Bruegel’s ‘Landscape with the Fall of Icarus’.” Most of the set comprised songs from their debut, The Airing of Grievances, with handful of new songs, including “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detritus.” They also debuted what might be their most punk song ever, “I’m Going Insane,” which had violent guitar riffs and no lyrics other than “I’m going insane.”

Titus Andronicus at Valentines in Albany on March 3, 2012Frontman Patrick Stickles’ amp was so loud that it was almost unbearable to be in front of it. I couldn’t hear anything but his guitar. I stuck it out for a while before stepping back and was relieved to hear the whole band.

Songs from 2010’s The Monitor were strangely absent until way later in the set. They crammed “No Future Part Three: Escape from No Future,” “The Battle of Hampton Roads,” “A More Perfect Union,” and “Titus Andronicus Forever”/”…And Ever” into the end of the set. Running heavily on adrenaline, they skipped playing the slow “Four Score and Seven,” and opted to end the set with a cover of The Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner.”

Based on the songs they played, their third album should be just as good as The Airing of Grievances and The Monitor. While their records have always been great, their songs have always been best experienced live in a loud, sweaty room.

My Favorite Live Shows of 2010

I end up going to a lot of shows, but these were my 10 favorite of this year. The Hold Steady, Pavement and The Extra Lens/John Vanderslice link to bootlegs of the shows. If you have recordings of any of the others, I’d love to hear them.

The Hold Steady - Westcott Theater Poster

10. The Hold Steady with The Oranges Band – Westcott Theater – Syracuse, NY – April 10
The Hold Steady is always a great show. The speakers blare as singer Craig Finn drags his microphone stand back and forth across the sing. The crowd is always into it, and Syracuse was no exception, singing anthems like “Constructive Summer” and “Stevie Nix” at the top of their lungs.  The 24-song set is available for download at The Hold Steady Taped Show Archive.

9. Vampire Weekend with Beach House and Dum Dum Girls – Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY – September 10
The last time Vampire Weekend played in Rochester, they opened for Dirty Projectors and Yacht at the Bug Jar, which has a capacity of about 200. This year, they played Main Street Armory – which boasts a capacity of 6,500. I don’t think it sold out, but it was close. They put on a great, energetic show, but for my money, Beach House stole the show.

Pavement - Central Park Poster8. Pavement – Central Park Summerstage – New York, NY – September 23
Going to see the reunited Pavement in Central Park was a last-minute decision. My friend Zack had been mulling it over for a while, patrolling Craigslist for cheap tickets. He found some that, when you factor in overnighting them from Chicago, ended up being less than face value. Zack and I piled into his car with our friend Sam and made the six-hour drive to New York. We ended up being the first ones in the gate – front row, center. I left Central Park with a drum stick from drummer Steve West and “Gold Soundz” in my head for a week. You can download the show at nyctaper.

7. Gayngs with Glasser – Alfred University – Alfred, NY – October 1
Gayngs only played about 10 shows – ever. They played all the big cities – New York, Chicago, Boston… and Alfred, N.Y. Alfred was about a 20-minute drive from school, so I couldn’t pass up the chance to see Gayngs. The whole band dressed in white, played their whole album (plus a Sade cover) and did the strangest encore I’ve ever seen. After their last song, the band kept jamming, with members slowly trickling off stage, but a few even came back. I listened to “Relayted” nonstop for about a week after.

6. Titus Andronicus and Free Energy with Tropical Punk – Castaways – Ithaca, NY – August 25
This was the second time I saw Free Energy over the summer of 2010 – the first was with Mates of State. They were the real draw for me – catchy anthems like “Free Energy” and “Hope Child” – but I couldn’t help but get into Titus Andronicus after seeing their show. They played a blistering live set, starting with “A More Perfect Union.” Even though their songs are all pretty long, they never lost any steam.

5. The Extra Lens with John Vanderslice and Dan Mangan – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY – October 21
John Darnielle is both one of my favorite songwriters and one of my favorite performers for mostly the same reason – his gift with words. He tells the best stories – in song and on stage. If you listen to the recorded show, a good chunk of it is devoted to his musings between songs. His musical performance with Franklin Bruno as the Extra Lens was great, and his banter is some of the funniest I’ve ever heard.

Avett Brothers - State Theatre Poster

4. The Avett Brothers with The Low Anthem – State Theatre – Ithaca, NY – February 26
To get to this show, my girlfriend and I had to drive through a blizzard. In the two-and-a-half hour drive to Ithaca, we saw a car go off the road – and not much else besides snow. Even more stressful, the show was already sold out. I had requested tickets on the guest list (the perks of working as a music director) and was told they would be there – but that’s never a guarantee.  But we made it and the tickets were there. Both the Avett Brothers and the Low Anthem put on a great show. I’m already making plans to see the Avett Brothers when they play the Smith Opera House this February.

My Morning Jacket CMAC Poster3. My Morning Jacket and The New Pornographers – CMAC – Canandaigua, NY – August 28
Usually there aren’t many concerts close to where I live, but luckily CMAC in Canandaigua, N.Y. partnered with Bowery Presents to bring in some great shows. My Morning Jacket was one of the last shows of the summer concert season – I moved back to school a day late to see it. The New Pornographers (sans Neko Case, unfortunately) opened to a lukewarm crowd while the sun set. It was a good performance but seemed like the wrong setting. My Morning Jacket melted faces, though. The set was heavy, blurring the lines of psychedelic and folk rock. Even through the jams and extended guitar solos, the band was completely mesmerizing.

2. Of Montreal and Janelle Monae – Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY – September 19
This show was the second in a two-day stint the weekend before my twenty-first birthday – I had gone to see Ra Ra Riot in Geneva the night before. I was completely unprepared for this show, though. First, Janelle Monae delivered a fantastic performance – covering ground in funk, soul, pop and hip-hop. Then, Of Montreal completely floored me. They played most of the songs from their latest, False Priest, and a few old ones like “She’s a Rejector” and “The Party’s Crashing Us.” Their performance was filled with dancing, actors dressed as animals, monsters or any number of things, and a giant feather explosion at the end. They ended the party with an encore of Michael Jackson covers.

1. The Flaming Lips and the Black Keys – CMAC – Canandaigua, NY – July 23
Flaming Lips - CMACThis was an easy choice for my favorite concert of the year. If you’ve ever seen the Flaming Lips perform, you’ll know why. The band starts their performance with singer Wayne Coyne rolling over the crowd in a giant space bubble, and it only gets better from there. They couple their performance with psychedelic lights, confetti explosions, dancing monsters and bears, and giant balloons that explode with more confetti. The Black Keys were an outstanding opener too. The show was unforgettable and easily ranks among my favorite concerts of all time.