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Monday, February 18, 2008

Rediscovered this Weekend, or Duh

posted by on February 18 at 13:42 PM

I went to see the Foals and Sleepy Eyes of Death at Chop Suey on Satruday night. They were both good, but the band in between them, the Heavenly States, not so much. A friend and I were talking about someone we know who would charitably describe even the worst record as having “a couple good songs.” Though their live show was a drag, the Heavenly States’ Delay isn’t the worst record everódespite the singer’s unfortunate tendency to split the difference between Art Alexakis and John Cougar Mellencampócharitably, it has “a couple good songs.” One of those songs is opener “Morning Excercise,” which finds the band recalling far superior touchstones. The circular, repetitious chorus is total Promise Ring, but the raw, emotional growl of the lines, “It hurts so bad/this goes on the record/this goes on the record, it hurts so bad,” reminded me a little (just a little) of Archers of Loaf’s awesome debut Icky Mettle

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I realized that I hadn’t listened to the record in years, save for hearing it by chance one night on the Redwood’s jukebox. Turns out, it’s still great, save for maybe the (plumb) line, “She’s an indie rocker/etc…” from “Plumb Line.” “Web in Front” may be one of the best kick offs to an indie rock record ever, with its inscrutable but catchy lyrics and its shaky guitar groove. “Toast” is bizarrely epic. “You and Me” is brutal. The whole album is the kind of tenuous combination of tough and tender that bands were pulling off in the 90s all the time, but that seems to have splintered into distinctly “wussy” and “macho” camps these days. I really wish I was more into Crooked Fingers.

RSS icon Comments

1

How the fuck did those dudes get on that bill?? Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.

Posted by Heavenly Waste | February 18, 2008 2:02 PM
2

Heavenly States was easily one of the worst bands I have ever had to sit through. Their ridiculously long pre set soundcheck (you're the second act in a free show, give up the prima donna act), the juvenile stage banter by the lead singer, and the hilariously bad lyrics all added up to a really bad set.

Sleepy Eyes and Foals were fantastic, however.

Posted by jason | February 18, 2008 2:11 PM
3

Ugh, that banter was terrible.

Posted by Eric Grandy | February 18, 2008 2:27 PM
4

Foals were fucking spot on. Great move by Sub Pop to beef up their mostly mellow roster. More please.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | February 18, 2008 3:24 PM
5

The Heavenly States kind of baffle me too -- although i was not at that show on Saturday I did share a stage with them on an early monday night bill at Nectar back in August.

Apparantly the Heavenly States had just played at the Gorge that weekend as part of the Download Festival (nada surf and modest mouse).

Upon seeing, meeting, and hearing them I couldnt stop asking myself a bunch of questions:
1-how did they get on a festival bill at the gorge?
2-why does cheryl watters love them so much?
3-why was cheryl watters at this show?
4-how come this is the only American band that's ever played a show in Libya?
5-considering that cheryl watters plays them on kexp and promoted the show during their live in-studio performance that weekend, why had only *literally* 5 people come to see this band when a no-name, new-to-playing-shows band was able to bring out considerably more people?

Seems to me that this band is a testament to the importance of having a few powerful friends/fans and having very good management.

It seems to me that too often the decision of who goes on what bill and who gets played on the radio do not seem to be merit-based decisions and I think the Heavenly States (nice people who play mediocre and derivative pop/rock) are a case study for the phenomenon of bands getting love from all the RIGHT PEOPLE but not from any REGULAR PEOPLE.

Posted by E | February 18, 2008 3:24 PM
6

The followup EP, Vs. The Greatest Of All Time, is equally stellar. What a fucking awesome band.

Posted by Michael | February 18, 2008 3:48 PM
7

Damn, I was just listening to (and loving) Icky Mettle for the first time this weekend. Pandora played me a track and I just had to hear the whole thing, right away. Sorry I missed the Foals, but after suffering through Heavenly States at Download, I just couldn't do it again.

Posted by rk | February 18, 2008 3:52 PM
8

E:

beautiful summary/observation.. ;)

Posted by Heavenly Waste | February 18, 2008 4:12 PM
9

Umm.. The Heavenly States seemed to have stirred up quite a little sh*t storm with you guys. I quite liked them. I'm not sure why your dissing Cheryl Waters though.

Posted by mabus | February 18, 2008 6:13 PM
10

Spoken like true Salieri's.

Posted by burnin down tha house | February 18, 2008 6:37 PM
11

true, "patron saint(s) of mediocrity" is quite relevant. Pun intended.

Posted by blandage | February 18, 2008 6:51 PM
12

Grandy's posts are a lot like the other stranger. The one where he sits on his hand til it's numb and then imagines someone else jacking him off.

Posted by the troof | February 18, 2008 7:34 PM
13

Grandy's posts are a lot like the other stranger. The one where he sits on his hand til it's numb and then imagines someone else jacking him off.

Posted by the troof | February 18, 2008 7:36 PM
14

DJ Fucking in the Streets needs to go back to fucking in the cul-de-sac.

Posted by totalcrash | February 18, 2008 7:58 PM
15

DJ Fucking in the Streets needs to go back to fucking in the cul-de-sac.

http://thedailybelmore.wordpress.com/2008/01/15/zwickel-out-at-the-stranger/

Posted by totalcrash | February 18, 2008 7:59 PM
16

Is Kelly still dating Dylan, naw I heard Brenda is...oh my gawd, what a biatch. I can't believe Donna was voted homecoming queen, I mean she's only popular because people feel sorry for her. Brandon is so hot!

ok now.

Basically the first band was like listening to someone play Double Dragon, The Heavenly States rocked it like Paul Westerberg and The Mats' ghosts from 1984 and The Foals kept it bumpin enough to get a smile outta Sir Mix a Lot.

Posted by james | February 18, 2008 8:16 PM
17

Is Kelly still dating Dylan, naw I heard Brenda is...oh my gawd, what a biatch. I can't believe Donna was voted homecoming queen, I mean she's only popular because people feel sorry for her. Brandon is so hot!

ok now.

Basically the first band was like listening to someone play Double Dragon, The Heavenly States rocked it like Paul Westerberg and The Mats' ghosts from 1984 and The Foals kept it bumpin enough to get a smile outta Sir Mix a Lot.

Posted by james | February 18, 2008 8:17 PM
18

why why dont dont you you guys guys stop stop double double posting posting?

Posted by rk | February 18, 2008 8:35 PM
19

i love archers of loaf

the best is whoever made the youtube video for white trash heroes and it's just dudes surfing tidal waves in slow motion

perfect

Posted by ndrwmtsn | February 18, 2008 10:40 PM
20

you know who scratches that tough/tender itch for me?

the constantines

Posted by ndrwmtsn | February 18, 2008 10:44 PM
21

E

lol @ you talking shit about heavenly states and double lol @ you talking shit about their crowd size. what, were they supposed to borrow your friends and family?

StayOnYourGrindNoHate
SOYGNH

Posted by ndrwmtsn | February 18, 2008 10:47 PM
22

I was there last night and I thought all three bands kicked ass.

I got to chit chat with some members from both The Foals and The Heavenly States and they were also all really nice.

good times, goo times....

-J

P.S. Eric Bachmann is the man!

Posted by jeff | February 19, 2008 12:16 AM
23

I read online that Lionel Ritchie also played Libya a year after The Heavenly States.

Maybe they should both be the curators for an All Tomorrow's Parties there!

Posted by Alicia | February 19, 2008 12:21 AM
24

20 - Good call on the Constantines!

Posted by bunnypuncher | February 19, 2008 2:51 AM
25

@9 - no diss on cheryl watters...just mentioned she was at the show (if saying i dont like the same band as her is a diss on her than...ooops!)

@21 - consider the grind "stayed on" - this ain't hate, just a story relevant to a discussion that was already going on. i definitely don't hate the heavenly states and they're nice people, like i said.

-yeah, the constantines are great, thanks for introducing them to me Andrew.

Posted by E | February 19, 2008 6:39 AM
26

my two cents
I just listened to THS "Morning Exercise" It's pretty cool. There's a piano line that flows through the whole tune kinda arcade fire meets the replacemants but I don't see how it sounds anything like Archers of Loaf.

Posted by tinybubble | February 19, 2008 8:04 AM
27

I can see The Archers of Loaf thing since both play jagged power pop. I can hear The Replacements too. I can't really say that I hear The Arcade Fire though, except for the fact they both have violinists? I don't have the album yet so maybe they sound more like them on that.

Posted by Toni | February 19, 2008 9:33 AM
28

I didn't make it for the first act but The Heavenly States reminded me of The Hold Steady and The Foals reminded me of Bloc Party.

Posted by carl | February 19, 2008 10:17 AM
29

I'm not sure The Heavenly States are nice people. I just heard a song on their myspace page and the chorus is "hey hey everybody's gonna die today". Whoa.

Posted by sav | February 19, 2008 10:35 AM
30

Here are some videos of the Foal's performance @ Chop Suey, Seattle, WA

http://www.jasongrimes.com/jg/default.asp?ID=900

Take care,

Jason

Posted by Jason Grimes | February 19, 2008 11:32 AM
31

Icky Mettle is definitely one of my most influential albums. So much so that my band is likely going to do a cover of 'Fat'.

Posted by Benji | February 20, 2008 12:43 AM
32

All Archers of Loaf ever did was rip off May Even. That's right, I said it!!!

Actually, I coincidentally just got that one out a few weeks ago, but I was kinda disappointed how badly it aged. And c'mon, Plumb Line is one of the better tracks on there... that and the one with the mandolin intro I still enjoyed.

Posted by Dougsf | February 20, 2008 3:48 PM
33

THS are a really good band. They sound nothing like archers of loaf or videogame soundtracks. people. c'mon.

Posted by greg | February 24, 2008 11:54 AM

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