Posts Tagged ‘Parquet Courts’

Luppi’s follow up to his concept album about Rome is a concept album about Milan, but weirdly enough it could also be a tribute to some of the great bands that have come out of NYC. Featuring Karen O and the Parquet Courts’ member Andrew Savage, the songs tell tales of the misfits of that great Italian city but they come on sounding like Television, Talking Heads and James Chance, as well as later Yeah Yeah Yeah’s and the Courts themselves. A killer pop record on Dangermouse’s label.


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The songs on Thawing Dawn form a guided tour through the romantic environs of A. Savage’s mirrored mind. While some were written recently, other tunes were penned over the past decade. For one reason or another, these compositions didn’t land with any of Savage’s other groups, and instead are presented now as a distinct collection. Reflecting back, Savage says, “Once I realized I had a small body of work that didn’t fit anywhere else, I started to examine the commonalities: What’s the common denominator of all this and how I can expand on it?”

Savage is best known as the frontman for Parquet Courts, a duty split with fellow Texan Austin Brown. Their last record, Human Performance, delved into the emotional wreckage of a broken heart, to critical acclaim. But with Thawing Dawn, it’s clear that Savage has matured. While assembling the record, he fell in love. Now, for the first time, we hear songs about being on the inside of love. Rather than lamenting the end of a relationship, we hear a voice trying, in the moment, to make sense of love’s mysteries. “Part of this maturity,” he says, “is reflecting on something when it’s happening, not just when it’s gone.”

Thawing Dawn gives us honesty: We see the artist at home in bed, more singer-songwriter portrait than esoteric statement. Throughout his discography Savage has long abbreviated his first name as a kind of writerly gesture. He says, of the move, “I am an uncivilized member of modern civilization–I’m just a savage.”


“I always like it when records are good representations of communities,” Savage says, and this one succeeds in this regard. These ten songs were recorded between December 2016 and June 2017 by a cast of friends in Jarvis Taveniere’s Thump Studios in Brooklyn. Members of Woods, Ultimate Painting, PC Worship, EZTV, and Psychic TV all lend their talents. Savage’s voice, once shouted into mosh pits, now glides confidently above its backing band. Thawing Dawn marks the arrival point for Savage as a sensitive and skilled vocalist. A strain of rural inquiry tinges the soundscape, an ongoing trope in Savage’s writing most powerfully felt on Parkay Quart’s ballad “Uncast Shadow of a Southern Myth.” On this record it is stronger, with a healthy helping of pedal steel guitar, a chorus of female back-up vocals, four familiar chords, and maybe the truth, all layered throughout these songs. Their titles also steer us this way, but don’t fully convey the hidden intricacies. “Buffalo Calf Road Woman” opens the record in a burst of C&W energy. The staccato pop piano of “Eyeballs” lays crisply beneath a refrain of heartbreak. “Wild Wild Horses” finds him confessing inside a Talk Talk bubble of guitar static and organ. The build-up of “What Do I Do” yields a guitar freak out that Parquet Courts fans will recognize. You could two-step to the swing of “Phantom Limbo.” “Ladies from Houston” is a Leonard Cohen-like ramble through a party scene. Finally, the title track is a suite of three interwoven songs that closes the record in a beautifully cinematic style.

Throughout, A. Savage delivers one-off lines of razor-sharp observation that will stick in your brain, only to surface when you’re least prepared to handle their insights. When you put your copy of Thawing Dawn on your turntable and drop the needle, you’ll learn what A. Savage has to say about romance in our modern world. Keep your ears open it’s worth hearing.

Parquet Courts artist photo

Parquet Courts are an American punk rock band based in Brooklyn, NY that formed in late 2010. The band consists of Andrew Savage (lead vocals, guitar), Austin Brown (guitar), Sean Yeaton (bass), and Andrew’s brother Max Savage (drums).

The band released their debut album, American Specialties, on a limited cassette release (later released on LP by Play Pinball! Records). This was followed by the full length album Light Up Gold (2012), which was initially released on Savage’s Dull Tools label and later reissued on What’s Your Rupture? in 2013. Light Up Gold received acclaim in both the DIY underground and mainstream indie rock press.

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Feels like a long time ago now that we were blessed with Parquet Courts’ brilliant album Human Performance. Anyone with a brain loved it and has likely since enjoyed every single and video release, with their quirky and individual style permeating their output.

‘Outside’ fits the same sort of bill. Using live footage the band show not only their effortless stage performance but their warmth for their fans and humbleness at actually being allowed to play music for a living. The video is less than 2 minutes long but still manages to showcase their recent gig at the Knockdown Center in New York.

Frenzy and family, it always feels like if you’re part of the Parquet Courts gang then you’re there for life .


Parquet Courts  and their album called Content Nausea under their Parkay Quarts alias, their second LP of 2014 after Sunbathing Animal . And now, PCPC — the supergroup that brings together members of Parquet Courts and PC Worship — have released a new song. It’s called “Fell Into The Wrong Crowd,” and it’s a slow-building 11-minute lo-fi dirge. Impressively, the band manages some serious dynamic push and pull in what mostly amounts to a one-chord song. Considering Parquet Courts drew Strokes comparisons with “Stoned And Starving”  it’s kind of funny that PCPC is working the Julian Casablancas + The Voidz sound. “Fell Into The Wrong Crowd” is far superior to most of Tyranny, though.

Taken from Parquet Courts’ excellent  album ‘Human Performance’, out now on Rough Trade Records: The band have made themselves even more adored amongst music journalists as they have put out one of the best videos of the year for their recent song ‘Human Performance’.

Taken from the album of the same name the band use some slightly odd puppets to create a very odd visual to their brilliant song. It feels perfect as the distant between humans and their performance become blurred with every note. The heartfelt nature of the song feels eloquently placed in this video.

But it’s not all for fun the band “I was thinking about the track and how it paints a break-up both elliptically and with such devastating directness,” says the clip’s director, Phil Collins (nope). ”And I wondered what it would be like if this drama was enacted not through naturalism or authenticity but through its partners in crime, doubling and artificiality. So puppets seemed an obvious choice.

“A puppet is a complex beast, animated by a human but which also, conversely, brings the puppeteer to life. I thought this kind of dialectics could work well with Andrew’s lyrics, and also found it funny to give starring roles to puppets in a track called ‘Human Performance’.

A “Performing Human” 12″ is available to buy now from the Rough Trade Records

Thanks Far Out Magazine

Punk rock has always prided itself on speaking truth to power. Austin Brown, one of Parquet Courts’ two singer-guitarists is no different. It’s hard to explain exactly why Parquet Courts are so great, because on paper, they don’t sound that exciting. So it’s a testament to their immense talent that they really are that exciting. On Human Performance, they take all the anxiety and ennui of modern existence, add in a healthy dose of personal heartbreak, and turn it into whip-smart, hugely satisfying rock songs. Some of the ramshackle punk energy of Sunbathing Animal is gone, but it’s replaced by a world-weariness and a tight musicianship that can’t be beat, plus some of the most immediately appealing songs of their career

Parquet Courts — Human Performance

It is also an angry album. The song Two Dead Cops deals with an incident that happened in the Brooklyn neighbourhood Savage lives in, when two police officers were shot dead. “When shots are heard young lives are lost/ Nobody cries in the ghetto for two dead cops,” Savage sings. He is not being disrespectful, he says; it is completely appropriate that people do mourn the deaths of police officers, “but we don’t spend much time talking about the social sickness and relationship with violence we have, and how violence is so specifically directed at poor people and non-whites; and, living in Brooklyn, it’s something you can’t not notice.”

Bassist Sean Yeaton chips in: “My mom had plans to go to a movie with her boyfriend. I was on the phone with her, and asked how the movie was. She said she didn’t go because she was afraid of getting shot in the movie theatre. Not in a paranoid way; it was as if she was asking for a glass of water. As if the possibility was so great. It was so weird and dark.”

Two Dead Cops is a taut and thrilling song, the kind of burst of anger the underground has always thrived on. The kind of song that, once upon a time, set musical agendas.


Human Performance was released on Rough Trade on 8th April

The LUMINEERS  –  Cleopatra

The Colorado folk rockers follow-up their surprise hit debut—no pressure at all—in an attempt to either become the American Mumford & Sons or keep it at arm’s length. Four years have passed since The Lumineers released their debut self-titled album. They hit the alternative landscape with such a strong force, it’s a surprise how long it took for them to return. Now after that long wait, the second album, called ‘Cleopatra’ is released. Frontman Wesley Schultz and co-founder Jeremiah Fraites got back to basics when it came time to write for the 11-track collection. And while the raw, jangly guitars, parlor-room piano chords, and marching band snare rolls from the first record remain intact, ‘Cleopatra’ has a welcome, added heft.
LP – Housed in Gatefold Sleeve.

ELIZA and the BEAR  –  Eliza and the Bear

Just in time to soundtrack your summer and beyond, five-piece Eliza and the Bear unveil their debut album ‘Eliza and the Bear’ and the new single ‘It Gets Cold’. With its fist-in-the-air sensibility and hopeful urgency, the song is both epic and intimate in equal measure. For fans of Of Monsters and Men, Mumford and Sons and Phoenix.

Frightened Rabbit - Painting of a Panic Attack - Artwork

FRIGHTENED RABBIT  –  The Painting of a Panic Attack

The fifth release from this Scottish indie rock band has occasioned some less-than-glowing notices, which I don’t understand at all. Certainly Scott Hutchison’s songs of alienation and confusion sound cleaner than they ever have, but he’s still the same fucked up witness to life’s messy emotions and whiplash curveballs. If the pristine production—which they’ve been working towards since the get-go—is what brings them to the masses, I can live with that. And so can you

M83 - Junk - Artwork

M83   –   Junk

Along with Daft Punk and Air, Anthony Gonzalez has done more to make French pop palatable to the international market than anyone. There was a time, not so long ago dear readers, when the idea of French rock and pop stars was a joke. Who’s laughing now, silly Americans?

Parquet Courts - Human Performance - Artwork

PARQUET COURTS  –   Human Performance

Like everyone else, I was turned onto this Brooklyn-by-way-of-Texas quartet upon exposure to their sophomore release, Light Up Gold, and it’s smart neo-indie, especially—again like everyone else—when I heard “Stoned and Starving” for the first time and immediately made it 20, 30, etc. Subsequent releases—either as Parquet Courts or Parkay Quarts—have made progress in tiny increments. Human Performanceis a giant step—not necessarily in composition, they’ve always been good at their Velvet Underground-meets-The Strokes vibe, but in production (which means they spent some time in the studio instead of just bashing the tunes out). Don’t worry. They haven’t turned into Muse or whatnot; but they’ve given some love and attention to the process, kind of like when Hüsker Dü signed to Warner Bros.

TELEMAN    –   Brilliant Sanity

Yet another in a long line of eccentric, fey voiced English pop bands and, bless ‘em all, they continue to tickle and entertain me. These guys are up there with Dutch Uncles and Field Music, so if you know or like those you have no excuse not to get on this. Teleman return with their second album on Moshi Moshi which was recorded by Dan Carey at his South London studio. The art of songwriting has been the driving force behind Teleman’s second album ‘Brilliant Sanity’: the process of crafting of the immaculate pop song, the dogged pursuit of the perfect hook. The result is an album that appears fastidiously and impeccably made, but also charged with joy. ‘Brilliant Sanity’ shows Sanders as an accomplished and distinctive lyricist, with a passion for the music of words themselves and an eye for the singular image. You can see this preoccupation with strong imagery throughout ‘Brilliant Sanity’ – in the deftness of its song titles – ‘Tangerine’, for instance, or ‘Canvas Shoe’, in its recurrent references to devilry and fire, and in its most lingering lines – a reference to a ‘Chinese burn’ in ‘Glory Hallelujah’, for instance, or in the declaration “Every time I’m alone with you / The air gets heavy and drips like glue” of first single, ‘Fall in Time’.
LP – With Download.

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The DANDY WARHOLS  –   Distortland

The Dandy Warhols spent 2015 writing new music and the band closed out the year with a packed-to-capacity tour of the U.S. West Coast and South including a three-night stint at Los Angeles’ Teregram Ballroom. Signing to Dine Alone was another highlight of the year, not only for the band, but for label owner/founder,

Album 10 reminds us that when they are on their game they were a great link from glam to grunge.

The GOON SAX  –  Up To Anything

Chapter Music release ‘Up To Anything’, the debut album by Brisbane trio The Goon Sax. Louis Forster, James Harrison and Riley Jones are all 17-18 years old. They make pop music. They have refined tastes – they love the Pastels, Talking Heads, Galaxie 500, Bob Dylan and Arthur Russell. On ‘Up To Anything’ they pull off the almost impossible, capturing the awkwardness, self-doubt and visceral excitement of teenage life, while still in the thick of actually living it. Goon Sax songs are both immediately charming and deceptively deep – Sweaty Hands examines a point in a relationship where you’re seen at your worst, while Telephone addresses the heartbreaking realisation that nothing you offer your crush is enough.


Record Store Day 2016 Release. A follow up / companion piece to 2015’s well received ‘Out To Sea’ opus released on Agitated Records. 5 tracks of magick-karpet wreck’d psychedelic morass. The raft ran aground, you have to get your ears on and wander the deserted shores of this desolate isle (metaphorically speaking, but you get the ‘drift’ right?) Aim for the high ground, build a fire, look to the horizons and let it all flow. These tracks were from the same sessions that spawned ‘Out To Sea’, there’s a natural flow, a cohesion that makes the whole trip worth taking. Recorded / Engineered by Phil Manly / Lucky Cat studios.  5 tacks, cut at 45 rpm, lush transparent green vinyl in an edition of 600 Copies Only.


Parquet Courts - Human Performance

Parquet Courts are a band of sloppily-dressed white dudes who play pointed, angular guitar rock and whose sung-spoken lyrics are written from a wry, erudite, and sometimes detached point of view. So that means they will always have to deal with the Pavement comparison. It’s just a thing that happens. As someone who really likes Parquet Courts and can’t stand Pavement, And so their brand new album “Human Performance” is the moment that comparison finally goes away. It won’t, but it should. After all, Pavement, lyrically, were about referential inside-joke opacity. Parquet Courts, historically, have had some of that in them, too. But Human Performance is the moment where they jump to another level, where they find powerful and particular ways to express weirdly universal sentiments that you don’t often hear in music. For that reason alone, they’re already as close to, say, the Modern Lovers as they ever were to Pavement.  Consider, for example, Berlin Got Blurry,” the best of the early songs that the band released from the album and maybe just straight-up the best song on the album. It’s a song about wandering by yourself in a foreign country, seizing onto the weird little cultural differences rather than the big and obvious ones, feeling more alone that you’ve ever felt. Frontman Andrew Savage, in that flat and bored deadpan, sings the entire thing in second person, Bright Lights, Big City-style. And he nails the feeling of floating unmoored through the world: “Cell phone service, it’s not that expensive / But that takes commitment, and you just don’t have it / Feels so effortless to be a stranger / But feeling foreign’s such a lonely habit.” It’s a song about a specific circumstance I’ve never experienced; I’ve never even been to Berlin. But there’s a feeling it evokes.

It goes on from there. Parquet Courts’ great subject might be the way living in big late-capitalist cities can turn existential stress into straight-up dread, and that’s here: “Skull-shaking cadence of the J train rolls / The rhythm of defeat, repeating like a pulse.” There’s even one song, “Two Dead Cops,” about rabid distrust for police, about fantasies of finding evidence planted on you, and about not even feeling bad when they get murdered: “Nobody cries in the ghetto for two dead cops.” More than that, though, Human Performance seems to be a breakup album, an album about figuring out who you are when your life gets turned upside-down: “Ashtray is full, bottle is empty / No music plays and nothing moves without drifting into a memory.” This is a time-honored subject, but Parquet Courts consistently find fresh, sideways perspectives on it, even when it comes to something as simple as the physical discomfort that so often accompanies heartache and confusion: “My eyes feel like cigarette burns.”

But if there’s doubt and dread in the lyrics, there’s none in the music. Parquet Courts have always tended to knock their records out in a week or two, but they spent a full year on this one, recording in a few different studios in a few different states — including Wilco’s Chicago loft, where Jeff Tweedy added some extra guitar to a couple of songs. Still, this is the most effortless they’ve ever sounded. If you listen to Light Up Gold and Human Performance back-to-back, it’s almost enough to give you whiplash. They’ve toured hard, constantly, and they’ve got that road-honed sense of interplay. They pull off new tricks, like the twangy Duane Eddy guitar line on “Berlin Got Blurry,” content in the knowledge that they’re totally going to pull it off. They don’t sound like a young rock band anymore. They sound like a rock band who have figured out what the fuck they’re doing.

Taken from Parquet Courts’ new album ‘Human Performance’, out 8th April 2016 on Rough Trade Records

Parquet Courts have released “Berlin Got Blury,” the second upcoming single from their forthcoming album Human Performance. A tale of existential dread in a foreign city, it’s also one of the catchiest songs they’ve ever done. The song’s video, directed by Claes Nordwall, was shot in Berlin with singer Andrew Savage struggling with loneliness, German pay phones and giant shawarma. Savage says this about it:

“Berlin Got Blurry” is a song about saying goodbye to someone from the other side of the world and about feeling completely foreign to your environment; knowing you can’t go home, but not knowing where you belong. I wrote the song in Berlin, so it made sense to try to recreate my experience for the video. It was shot on 16mm by the wonderful, talented and patient Claes Nordwall, who was able to take my very loose concept and make it into something really beautiful.

Most videos these days seem like an afterthought but “Berlin Got Blurry” is worth your three minutes and change