It takes either serious swagger or buckets of talent to riff your album’s name off of the Kinks, without being laughed out of the room. Luckily for the Kooks, it’s the latter. The British pop band’s latest album, Konk, was named after the studio in which it was recorded, which just happens to be where the Kinks originally laid down tracks. Thus, we went to Terminal 5 last night with high expectations. And the Kooks, suprisingly, having just come from a private rooftop performance at the EMI Building, exceeded them by providing an altogether electric performance. Lead singer and guitarist, Luke Pritchard, commanded the stage with a humble elegance, as though unaware of the several indie-beauties gawking at his altar. Take a look after the jump.
Seattle has long flirted with producing some of the most influential bands in alternative music history. Just down the road, however, Portland has been catching up. We know because we checked and, um, there’s a website called PortlandBands.com (which we didn’t link to because it’s horrible). Other Oregon natives include M. Ward, Pink Martini, and Chris Walla. Brightest among this group, however, is Portland-based emotronic folk band, Lackthereof, who are set to release their ninth album, Your Anchor, this summer.
Lackthereof incorporates finely-tuned electro beats to boost lethargic vocals into harmonic climaxes. It’s astonishing that lead singer Danny Seim waited nearly seven years to share his music with the world (or, Oregonians, Oregonites?). Seim, who is also the drummer of Menomena, began self-recording and distributing Lackthereof in 1997 but was too self-conscious as a singer-songwriter to let his music travel further than the hands of friends. In 2004, Seim paired with indie label FILMguerrero and released Christian the Christian. Lackthereof’s third studio album, Your Anchor, out on Barsuk records, is most certainly worth a listen or 50. Pink Martini Tickets
While Yves Saint Laurent may be gone, his legacy and memory remains. To many people, Saint Laurent was more than a designer. The fashion revolutionary, who died Sunday of a brain tumor, was responsible for creating iconic designs for over 48 years. In his own words, Saint Laurent aimed “to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves.” And he did just that. Saint Laurent not only crossed traditional female fashion constraints by creating androgynous designs for women in the modern world, but he also traversed social and racial boundaries within the industry. In a tearful interview with Britain’s Channel 4 News, Naomi Campbell attributed Saint Laurent with propelling black models onto the runway. “My first Vogue cover ever was because of this man,” Campbell said.
“When I said to him ‘Yves, they won’t give me a French Vogue cover, they won’t put a black girl on the cover,’ he was like, ‘I’ll take care of that,’ and he did. He was the king of fashion.” Saint Laurent’s long-time partner Pierre Bergé credited the designer’s work with Coco Chanel for giving women freedom. “Yves Saint Laurent gave them power,” Bergé said. He also admired Saint Laurent’s character. “His strength meant I could rest on him when I was out of breath.” Perhaps this strength came from his attention to detail and his unconventional wisdom. When Saint Laurent retired in 2002, he said, “I tell myself that I created the wardrobe of the contemporary woman, that I participated in the transformation of my times.”
The sweltering heat that comes from “summering” in New York—suck it, Easthampton—may be oppressive, but nobody does SummerStage the way we do. Well, nobody else does SummerStage at all. The free show showcases some of the best emerging local, national, and international artists. The 23rd season of the Central Park SummerStage concert series, which runs June 13 until August 17, seeks to offer music lovers a feral music experience. Yep, feral. This year’s line-up boasts local acts like Battles, Santogold, and Vampire Weekend. It also features out-of-towners, and an assortment of DJ acts like Diplo and A-Trak. Bottom line: Never Mind the Sunburn.