Entries in Cults (2)


Review: The Cults at The Independent, San Francisco CA 4.14.11

It's with great pleasure that I introduce Melissa, our first west coast contributor all the way from San Francisco.  Visible Voice is, and will always be, all about local live music - "local" just now extends beyond Boston and New England!

By Melissa Blaustein

How can you describe a live concert with psychedelic dream pop duo The Cults?  Well, to quote the band in question - "Oh. My. God".

A friend of mine once told me his sister puts on their debut single,“Go Outside” every morning before she gets into the shower. Ya, they’re just that kind of band.  The kind of music that you can not only wake up to, but that will wake you up.  Their combination of 50’s teen pop infused with 80’s retro makes it hard to not sing along, or at the very least crack a smile.

Cults - Go Outside

The pair is made up of two kids from San Diego California, Madeline Folli and Brian Oblivion, who were just messing around making music in their garage when they put some of it on band camp and realized a lot of people, (myself included) liked it.

When the friend I’d been planning to meet at the show bailed on me at the last minute, I considered skipping it. But unwilling to miss out on a band that had successfully put me in a good mood at least ten times in the last two weeks - I hopped a cab to the Independent and counted on the Cults to come through for that 11th time. I really didn’t want this to be another blog band that couldn’t cut it on a live stage.

The show did not disappoint.

To start things off two erupted in their latest release, “Abducted” and the hand clapping, bell ringing, finger snapping, hair flipping energy was contagious. I didn’t see a single person that wasn’t tapping their feet or swaying their hips. (Yes, that allusion to a 50’s concert hall was intentional).

That energy persisted through favorites like “Most Wanted,” and the mellower “You Know What I Mean” where Madeline assured us that she was turning the lights down because she was “gonna slow things down.”

Madeline is like Peggy Lee meets Jenny Lewis. She channels the sultry sound of Lee’s 50’s favorite “fever” and popy rilo kiley ballads like “breaking up” to create irresistible jams like “The Curse” and “Oh My God.” Brian and Madeline are a great match. Brian’s key work, guitar skills and baritone-esque vocals pair perfectly with Madeline’s retro style. When the two of them waved their hip length long hair in unison while rocking out, it only further solidified my belief that these two could successfully re-coin the term “blast from the past”

My only qualm with the show was its length. The band’s album is set to debut sometime in May 2011, so until then, they’ve only got about seven songs. But damn, can they ever play them.

When the show ended everyone in the audience waited for an encore, but Madeline assured us that the encore would be in July when they go back on tour – don’t miss it.


Visible Voice Spring 2011 Mixtape

The ground is starting to thaw and the air is getting back that moist smell of mud and life.  Spring is (almost) here.  We made it.  Now here are some tunes to help you shake off the lingering effects of hibernation...

My music listening habits tend to follow seasonal trends and, true to form, in Spring my musical palette expands to embrace the vibrancy of the season.  Lush pop sounds and grand statements are what I gravitate towards, and you'll see that reflected in the Spring Mixtape.  Following the arc of spring, Side A is alternately anthemic and introspective and Side B is a blast of pure summery fun. 

Comprised of almost all brand new or unreleased songs, there should be something new here for everyone.  Enjoy the tunes, let me know what you think in the comments and please share with friends! 

Side A

Southeast Engine - New Growth (from Canary, out 3/29 - preorder)
Apache Relay - Home Is Not Places (from American Nomad, out 4/12 - preorder)
The Leadership - Keep The Change (from Frontiers - buy)
The David Mayfield Parade - Blue Skies Again (from The David Mayfield Parade - buy)
Thousands - MTSES III (from The Sound Of Everything, out 3/21 - preview)
Daniel Lefkowitz - Death Is A Warm Bath (from Wilder Shores Of Love, self-released)

Side B
Cults - Go Outside (from Cults 7" - listen)
The Veils - The Stars Came Out Once The Light Went Out (from The Troubles of The Brain - listen)
Mean Creek - Sunlight (from Hemophiliac - buy)
Thick Shakes - Go Back To New York (from Why Buy the Cow 7" - free download)
We Can't Enjoy Ourselves - Put Your Blue Dress On (from One Belongs Here More Than You - free download)
Yuck - Get Away (from Yuck - buy)