High Voltage Magazine

"Don't Shoot Me Santa"

posted by High Voltage Staff | Thursday, November 29, 2007 | 9:51 PM

For a band that kills for a living, they sure have a lot of holiday cheer. "Don't Shoot Me Santa" is The Killers' second holiday single and now available for your downloading pleasure on iTunes. All proceeds from the song benefit the (RED) Campaign. So ... it's a good thing. Download that sucker! Help make the world a better place. And please enjoy the video.

Official Site | MySpace | (RED)

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The Killers - Sawdust

posted by High Voltage Staff | Tuesday, November 13, 2007 | 9:43 PM

With just two full lengths tucked under their shiny belts, The Killers still manage to release new material. Their latest, Sawdust, consists of previously unreleased session tracks, B-sides and rarities. Sawdust was completed by the band at a recording studio in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, where they worked with Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Lou Reed.

In addition to “Shadowplay” and “Tranquilize,” the Killers will be all over the radio and Internet this season with “Don’t Shoot Me Santa,” their second Christmas single. And like last year's “A Great Big Sled”, the single will turn (RED), with 100% of the proceeds going to the Global Fund to invest in African AIDS programs. “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” will be available for your requesting radio listening pleasures on Monday, November 26, and released for digital download the next day. On December 1st (Saturday) the single and video will debut as part of RED’s World Aids Day activities. The following Tuesday, December 4th, the “Don’t Shoot Me Santa” single package will be available in stores.

The 17-track Sawdust includes “Under the Gun” (the B-side of 2004’s “Somebody Told Me”); “Move Away” (from the Spiderman 3 soundtrack); and “Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll” (from their Hot Fuss debut album). Two notable cover versions are: Kenny Rogers & the First Edition’s “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” (B-side of 2005’s “Smile Like You Mean It”) and Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” (B-side of 2007’s “For Reasons Unknown” from their second album Sam’s Town, released a little over a year ago. And previously unreleased tracks including: “Leave the Bourbon On the Shelf” (from the Hot Fuss sessions) and “Sweet Talk” (from the Sam’s Town sessions). The perfect stocking stuffer for the Killers fan in your family!

VIDEO: "Tranquilize" f/ Lou Reed

These boys sure stay busy.

MySpace | Official Site | (RED)


The Warlocks - Heavy Deavy Skull Lover

The Warlocks
Heavy Deavy Skull Lover
(Tee Pee Records)

Apparently dull really is hip. It’s hard to question the hipness of a band born out of Brian Jonestown Massacre, but The Warlocks’ latest release, Heavy Deavy Skull Lover is about as exciting as cutting-room-floor excerpts of Saw 17. Of course, any knowledgeable consumer of music could foresee this before purchasing a full-length release with only 8 tracks.

What made The Warlocks arguably the most interesting of the incestuous PDX/San Francisco scene queens (Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Dandy Warhols, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) was their melding of such extreme sounds, from Goth to Psychedelic to Shoegaze to Brit Pop and Punk. Well, all comparisons to The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Velvet Underground, and Sisters of Mercy can be forgotten, as the band has focused exclusively on the Spaceman-3-and-Dead-Meadow-inspired aspects of their sound. While the sprawling album comes to an end at just over 50 minutes, without the help of certain psychedelic chemicals, the experience of listening will have you feeling like you’re stranded in the desert with a half-asleep Thurston Moore. The album’s most painful track is certainly “Moving Mountains” which drones on seemingly without purpose for almost eleven minutes. While “So Paranoid” is reminiscent of some of the band’s more impressive ballads and “Zombie Like Lovers” wouldn’t be out of place in the group’s back catalogue or any indie dance party, these two tracks are far from enough to keep Heavy Deavy Skull Lover listenable for anyone aside from people who wear hemp jewelry and those who are willing to brave any circumstances, climate, or pretentious, nearly-instrumental bore released on Tee Pee Records to keep from smudging their scene credibility. — Izzy Cihak

MySpace | Official Site | Tee Pee Records

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HYMNS - "I Can’t Be What U Want"

posted by High Voltage Staff | Monday, November 12, 2007 | 7:55 PM
Rock / Indie / Folk Rock

After a year of relentless touring with Ben Kweller & Sam Roberts Band; 4 SXSW parties; DFest with The Flaming Lips; a change in band members and countless shows with other talented musicians, HYMNS finally entered the studio again. A month later they emerged with new music showcasing their talents as musicians. The band HYMNS have been featured in High Voltage before but another shout out to them seems appropriate. They just released their new single, "I Can’t Be What U Want" from their forthcoming album, Travel in Herds. The album is slated for release March 2008 on Blackland Records. While most bands suffer a sophomore slump, HYMNS have truly outdone themselves with their soon-to-be sophomore release. "I Can’t Be What U Want" is catchy and robust new single and is one of the strongest songs I’ve heard come out of HYMNS. The trumpet and banjo add an extra layer, setting the song at a faster pace than most fans are used to hearing from the band. This song takes you on a journey through heartbreak. Musically, there is a beginning, a climax, and an end that leaves the listener wanting more. The guitar solo by Jason Roberts near the end of the song truly showcases his skill and talent as a guitar player. I hope there will be many more of these on the forthcoming album. &mdash Mai Huynh

Listen to "I Can’t Be What U Want" on their MySpace page: MySpace.com/hymnsband

Photo credit: etwphoto.carbonmade.com

MySpace | Official Site | Blackland Records

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Live: Smashing Pumpkins

posted by High Voltage Staff | Wednesday, November 7, 2007 | 7:33 PM
Smashing Pumpkins
Tower Theater (Upper Darby, PA)
October 19, 2007

If there’s any question as to whether Billy Corgan still has balls, it was answered when his band opened an evening at the Tower Theater with “Superchrist,” an unreleased epic whose lyrics can’t be found in even the deepest depths of Google. Ever since Billy and Jimmy Chamberlin reformed the Smashing Pumpkins, there has been the worry that they’ve plunged into the world of Dinosaur Rock Bands who haven’t done anything relevant in 20 years. Well, their latest album, Zeitgeist, has proved to be one of the best Rock albums of the year and after their October 19th performance in Upper Darby, PA, it’s safe to say that it will be a few more years before you hear the Pumpkins in your dentist's office.

Although the current filling out of the Pumpkins’ lineup isn’t official, the touring band surprisingly managed to hold their own. Competently, but not comparably, filling in for James Iha on guitar is Jeff Schroeder, a veteran of the Shoegaze scene. Former Halo Friendlie and Laguna Beach composer Ginger Reyes proved to be the Pumpkins not only hottest, but most impressive bassist yet. Rounding out the lineup is Jazz pianist Lisa Harriton on keys who provides nearly all of the synthetic musicality that keeps the band from sounding akin to any of the other veterans of 90’s Alt. Rock.

The biggest problems of the evening were not musical, but visual. Billy was decked out in a white button-down shirt and white shorts over top of what seemed to be a striped body suit. It’s hard to decide whether the outfit was more reminiscent of a scrubs Halloween costume or mental-patient-themed pajamas. The band also could’ve used some help on their stage set. Consisting of a dozen large triangles made of beams of light that sat on the floor and were suspended from the ceiling, it looked like a cross between Trent Reznor visually commenting on the mind-controlling effects of electronic media and Laser Floyd. Putting these stylistic problems aside, the Pumpkins still managed to put on a more-than-impressive show, considering that they hit their prime 14 years ago.

The band’s set was mostly divided between their super hits, which no one in attendance had heard less than 600 times, yet still screamed the loudest for, and material from their latest album. Although these newer songs came out sounding better, they barely fazed the audience. “Pomp and Circumstances,” a perfectly crafted ballad, failed to tug on any heart strings and some of the hardest songs the band has put out to date, like “Doomsday Clock” and “Bring the Light” made no heads bang. The album’s singles seemed to be the only new songs that didn’t inspire beer runs and bathroom breaks.

The middle of the performance included a tried-and-true Arena Rock tradition that generally comes off as deep and powerful as Nickleback’s latest power ballad: the acoustic mini-set. Fortunately, this wasn’t the case and the set turned out to be one of the high points of the evening. “It could’ve been Phillies-Cubs. Right now Ryan Howard is somewhere listening to his iPod and thinking about what could’ve been,” Billy proclaimed, appealing to the fellow baseball fans in attendance, before delving into a solo version of the bittersweet “1979.” Jimmy Chamberlin then joined his “life partner,” (as they so affectionately refer to themselves) onstage to bang a tambourine during “Perfect.” Okay, maybe the tambourine was a little cheesy.

A few of the set’s highlights came in the form of Pumpkins classics, rearranged and revamped so the set wouldn’t sound like a Hits of Alternative Radio compilation. For “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” the band turned up the keys, turned down the guitar, and mellowed the chorus to keep it from sounding so MTV-friendly. The new “Heavy Metal Machine” sounds like a dance club remix by Marilyn Manson and far superior to the album version. Of course, all of these rearrangements didn’t turn out so well. “Glass and the Ghost Children” was transformed into a 10+-minute-snoozefest that bounced back and forth between a hippie jam and coffee house Spoken Word.

The new Pumpkins ended the night in as wonderfully pretentious fashion as it had begun, with a track only to be found on an LP limited to a pressing of 25 copies. Although the beautiful ballad, “Let Me Give the World to You,” may have not produced the most exciting moment of the evening, it was worth it just to see a sea of faces dumbfoundingly trying to think of what this song could possibly be, so they wouldn’t lose their cred. as a fan. Even if the fans never found their cred., such a stylishly pompous decision on the band’s behalf ensured that they still had theirs. — Izzy Cihak

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I Took The Walk

posted by CHELSEA | Tuesday, November 6, 2007 | 6:51 PM
We posted previously about Hanson taking one mile walks in every city of their tour (their taking action and raising awareness about the kids in Africa), but this time we're here to tell you about The Walk. That's right, I took the walk today here in Los Angeles - barefoot on the streets of Hollywood. The turn out was great and we gained more people along the way. You see the idea is to take a walk in someone elses shoes; someone who doesn't have shoes.

Here's a little photo/video blog...

Visit Hanson.net for more information on future walks or ways you can help. Also, make sure to buy a pair of Toms Shoes. For every pair of shoes bought from Tom Shoes they will donate one pair to someone whose currently without shoes.

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