La Bodega

Tales and pictures from our little corner of the world.


Album Review: Lansing Dreiden - The Dividing Island

Here we go with the first album review on La Bodega. Lansing-Dreiden's new album, The Dividing Island, focuses on the best aspects of their initial release The Incomplete Triangle. Instead of trying to cover too much ground, they seem to focus more on the upbeat sunny pop from their EP and 80s new-wave sounds from the first album. Look to "A Line You Can Cross" and "Two Extremes" for the new wave influences. "Cement to Stone" and "Our Next Breath" could be included on a soundtrack to your summer with their upbeat, Beach Boys, like sound. The band does somewhat of a 180 on the closer "Dethroning the Optimyth" - an intense closer with a Slayer-like metal guitar riff. The track would not have worked anywhere else on the album aside from the finale. You can consider these guys pretentious if you would like (they do not pulicize any of the names from the band and haven't done any kind of tour even after 2 full albums and 1 ep), but if you look past all that and simply pay attention to the music, you will find something quite ambitious and unique.

My rating - 7.5/10


The Boy Least Likely To - 6/8/06 - Varsity Theater

I had won tickets to see The Boy Least Likely To thanks to the Onion. Probably not a show I would have paid to see, but being that it was free, and I did not have to get up for work the next morning, and it was at the Varsity Theater (which is becoming my favorite Minneapolis venue) we decided to check it out. Openers The Bicycles played songs in the same vein as TBLLT - playful catchy pop songs. They played for about 25 minutes. One song to remember was called Cuddley Toy. I believe you can DL it from their site. It is worth checking out.

The Boy Least Likely To then took the stage with a surprising large backdrop of the CD cover behind them. They played most everything from their only release "The Best Party Ever." While the show might not have have lived up to the title, it was better than most college parties I attended; they even did a faithful (ahem) cover of Faith by George Michael. They rolled on for about 45 min, and instead of leaving the stage and hope the audience would clap and cheer enough to warrent an encore, they simply stayed and declared the next couple songs to be their encore. I loved this tactic, as it reminded me of a Melvins show I attended in which the band simply stayed motionless on stage for 10 minutes while the crowd yelled for more. Anyway, the played a couple acoustic numbers and ended with the only song they could have, the ridiculously catchy Be Gentle With Me. The song was definitely the highlight of the night as the crowd sung along while bubbles were shot into the air giving the moment an almost euphoric feeling. All in all, it was a fun show and worth the free tickets.


The Walkmen - 6/3/06 - 400 Bar

Seeing anyone of my beloved bands at the 400 Bar (capacity of maybe 200) always excites me. So you can guess how much I was anticipating seeing the Walkmen, fresh of the release of their new album A Hundred Miles Off. Opening were Sybris and The Mazarin. I had not done any research on the first two bands so we were not in a hurry to get to the show. We missed Sybris and got there just in time to see the Mazarin. They were amped up and probably blew a few eardrums in the crowd. Straight up guitar rock/jam reminicent of Built to Spill. All of the vocals were drowned out, but discernable enough to tell the singer was attempting to channel Doug Matsch. After a thankfully brief 8 song set, the band left the stage and made way for the band everyone was there to see. A fairly short set change ensued and then Hamilton and co. took the stage. As I am not yet known on all of the new songs, I wasn't able to point out which songs were which, but they were all recognizable. They opened with All the Hands and the Cook from the new album. Throughout the set, they sprinkled some older favorites in such as Little House of Savages, Wake Up, Thinking of a Dream I Had, and the Freebird of all Walkmen Songs - The Rat. One girl even had the stones to yell out "Play The Rat again!" afterwards. Part of me didn't want them to play it just so the posers would be disappointed. Most of the set consisted of newer songs, however such as Lost in Boston and one of my favorites of the night Louisiana. They guys came back on stage twice for two encores to honor the cheers. We stopped by the merch table afterwards to see two of the members selling their own merch! Very honorable. We asked them about their shortened Lollapalooza set from the previous summer and snagged some stickers and a patch. Great night, great show, and my ears are still ringing!


This blog will be dedicated to reviews of new albums I come across and concerts I have been to. It will be the blog to end all blogs. Tell all your friends!!!