Category Archives: Handsome Furs

The Handsome Furs Break Up

Sad news, from Facebook:

“With a heavy heart the time has come to let all of you know that Handsome Furs are no more.
The most important thing that needs to be said right now is how extremely grateful we are to all the fans all over the world that showered us with love and support over the years. Thank you for everything! It’s been an incredible 6 years and we owe it all to you.”

KLYAM was fortunate to attend a pair of Furs shows, check out the reviews:

2011 @ Brighton Music Hall
2009 @ Great Scott

I really was into their sound — it was totally unique to me at first listen seeing as I wasn’t too familiar with electro. Dan and Alexei crafted some extremely catchy songs and were a sight to see live. The music lives on, of course, so check it out if you haven’t.

Best Of 2011: Glen’s Favorite Songs

Rather than release a countdown or a numbered list, I’ve decided to try something different!!!!! Band and song. Keepin’ it simple. 

Arctic Monkeys- “Black Treacle
Atlas Sound – “Lightworks,” “Mona Lisa
Babies – “Meet Me In The City
Bass Drum of Death – “Get Found
Beets – “I Think I Might Have Built A Horse
Black Keys – “Lonely Boy
Black Lips – “Family Tree,” “Modern Art,” “Mr. Driver
Colleen Green – “Rabid Love
Diarrhea Planet – “Fauser
Dum Dum Girls – “Coming Down
Fat History Month – “Old Lady Smokers
Gaye Blades
 – “Don’t Get Married
– “Magic
Handsome Furs – “Repatriated
The Hussy – “Sexi Ladi
Mark Sultan – “Song In Grey,” “Graveyard Eyes
Mind Spiders – “Don’t Let Her Go
M-Tank – “Don’t Miss You
Natural Child – “Hard Workin’ Man
Night Beats – “Ain’t Dumbo
Orwells – “Lays At Rest,” “Halloween All Year
Panda Bear – “Last Night At The Jetty
Peach Kelli Pop – “Girls of Summer,” “Eenie Meenie Minie Moe
Shannon and the Clams – “Baby Don’t Do It
The Strokes – “Under Cover of Darkness
Thee Oh Sees – “I Need Seed,” “If I Stay Too Long
Those Darlins – “Be Your Bro
Ty Segall – “My Head Explodes,” “You Make The Sun Fry

Black Lips “The Lie” In Need For Speed: The Run

The soundtrack for Need For Speed: The Run, the long-running racing video game, has just been announced and most importantly it features some fine music (otherwise I wouldn’t have made this post). Black Lips‘ “The Lie” (Arabia Mountain, 2011, Vice) is in the game as is The Handsome Furs “Damage” (Sound Kapital, 2011, Sub Pop) and “Lonely Boy” (El Camino, 2011, Nonesuch) by Black Keys.

As I believe I’ve written before, video game soundtracks more or less were the forerunner to a pretty significant amount of music that I like presently. Musicians and bands like Jay Reatard, The Walkmen, Pixies, and Editors would hardly or doubtfully be among my favorites today if I hadn’t been exposed to them via video game back then. It’s encouraging to read about how my favorite band is going to be in a widely played game. The video game soundtrack is a great platform for exposure, especially when it reaches out to people who perhaps otherwise would never get a chance (or want a chance) to listen to Black Lips or Handsome Furs.

Check Out “The Lie”:

Concert Review: Handsome Furs & Earthquake Party @ Brighton Music Hall (8/17/11)

Artists: Handsome Furs, Earthquake Party
Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Venue: Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA
Act I: Earthquake Party– Wow, I have to say I was really impressed with this local trio. I am surprised that up until this point I have never heard of them, I suppose I am not the best at keeping up with local acts. In some ways, I wish I had know them before so I could get into the songs more, because I could tell they had some sweet songs beneath their electrifying showmanship. So, due to my unfamiliarity with their material I focused more on the sonic aspect of their performance, which was nothing short of pure, noisy entertainment. I mean noisy in the good sense, I felt like there was a nice wall of jostling noise. At the end of the day, despite my feelings of enjoyment,  I don’t know how much time I will devote to getting familiar with their work, but I will keep an eye out for their shows in the future. KLYAM recommend for sure.

Main Act: Handsome Furs-  Ahh yes the Handsome Furs, a longtime KLYAM favorite of sorts.  One of the first concerts we (meaning Glen, though both of us were in attendance) reviewed for this site (July 2009). And just like then, we were both greatly impressed with their set. In fact, this time around they were even better.  The Furs hit the stage and were gretted with an unprecedented amount of crowd response. The couple displayed immense apprecation for their audience’s enthusiasm; seriously I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much fan-performer love. In terms of the sound, it was one of the finest sonic experiences I’ve had at the Brighton Music Hall/Harpers Ferry. Since, I’m not a huge fan of the group (Glen is the big Furs KLYAM guy) I only knew  a few songs, but I enjoyed all of them. Classics that I recognized included 2009’s  Face Control cuts- “All We Want Baby Is Everything” and “Legal Tender.” As far as showmanship goes, the duo were outstanding. A great moment in particular came when Dan hopped intot he crowd and placed his arms around his many, excited fans, and pogoed- all involved singing along to the Furs’ pop magic. Dan can definitely get a crowd roaring, but Alexi is even better. The way she dances and thrusts with such force is nothing short of spectacular; if this was the 1950s, she would be executed as a Communist spy- God that’s so damn hot! But it’s truly a nice sight, and of course there’s a healthy amount of eroticism in the mix and when you mesh that with the dance rock/electronica of the Furs it just creates an all the more sensuous experience.   Speaking of erotic tendencies, there’s plenty of casual sexual play between Dan and Alexi, which teeters back and forth betwen a display of affection and unabashed steamy interactions. Don’t worry, nothing past PG-13 hahaha.  All in all, a fine performance, highly recommended.

Grade: 7/10- if I was a bigger fan, this would probably be an 8, so this is a real strong 7 fellas.

CD Review: Sound Kapital [2011]

 Handsome Furs
Release: 6/2011
Label: Sub Pop

1. “When I Get Back” – A-
2. “Damage” – B+
3. “Bury Me Standing” – B+
4. “Memories of the Future” – A-
5. “Serve the People” – B+
6. “What About Us? – B+
7. “Repatriated” – A-
8. “Cheap Music” – B+
9. “No Feelings” – B

Comments: If you’ve been listening to the Handsome Furs for the past couple of years (longer, even), you’ll notice that this record swims comfortably in a known sea. Sure, there is no known guitar recorded on this LP. I’d argue that some of the synths create a fuzz reminiscent of a Dan Boeckner guitar (“Cheap Music”), but let us not get caught up in this. “When I Get Back” is getting back to Face Control. Not that they ever departed from it. It’s luscious pop, dance-y, layered, and anthemic. It’s hard for the Furs to mess up their music. Their sound is habitually one of slickness and compactness. That’s why I love ’em. Sometimes they do border on recycled songwriting, principally in structure, but I’d be hard pressed not to say this isn’t common for a lot of bands. Repetitive song endings are Boeckner’s go-to-guys and as ubiquitous as they are (on Sound Kapital and in the past), they remain exciting. Case in point would be “Damage,” which doesn’t really get GOOD ’til the end. A tune like “Memories of the Future” is for sure one of their most electro-dominant. There are a bunch of subtle sounds, some very wobbly and bass heavy, others as delicate as the touch of a toy piano. There a couple of tracks that either overstay their welcome, or simply aren’t as memorable or deserving of multiple listens as others. I do give the band a lot of credit for cutting things off after nine songs. Smart decision. The dance party of Sound Kapital is one that people will remember for being consistently joyous. It’s not an earth shattering dance party nor is it one to elicit boredom.

Grade: B+ (88)

Handsome Furs play @ Brighton Music Hall on August 17. 

Show Alert: Handsome Furs @ Brighton Music Hall

Date: August 17 (Wednesday)

Comments: The Furs played at Great Scott on April 13. I’m going to go out on a limb and say they enjoy playing in Boston to come back again as part of a larger summer tour. We fans enjoy them and look forward to the release of their third album, Sound Kapital.

All Dates:

Show Recommendations: Wednesday, April 13

BOSTON: Handsome Furs @ Great Scott. The Handsome Furs, Dan Boeckner and wife Alexei put on an excellent show. Last time they were here (July 2009), a drunk fat guy made his way on stage: That wasn’t the highlight, though. “What About Us” off their upcoming album Sound Kapital (June, Sub Pop) was just released and you can check it out here:

RHODE ISLAND: Black Lips @ The Met, Pawtucket. Not much more needs to be said. I’m excited to hear some of the new Arabia Mountain songs live and just as excited to hear all the oldies that simply never get old. If you haven’t seen Black Lips and live in Rhode Island, Southern Mass, Central Mass, whatever…you have to go! You’ll be missing out big.