Over the past twelve months, The Alternate Side has hosted dozens of live sessions in our studio with an eclectic array of musicians and bands, segueing from the cheeky groove of Yeasayer to The Joy Formidable's dense wall of sound to School of Seven Bells' dreamy strolls. We wanted to revisit some of our favorite tracks from many of those sessions, like Kele's muscular, acoustic take on "Tenderoni" or Phantogram's hopelessly pretty "Mouth Full of Diamonds," and give you updates on what's coming up in 2011 for many of these artists and bands.
The trio wrap up their long trek through North America, Europe and the globe with two shows at Chicago's Metro on December 30 and New Year's Eve. They take a breather for a month and then embark on a two-week Australian and New Zealand tour at the end of January. Yeasayer also posted on their blog earlier this month that they're back in the studio, fiddling around.
Beach House, "Walk In The Park" (from a session posted in February 2010)
The duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally will embark on their final U.S. tour supporting 2010's Teen Dream this February and if you visit their website, you can even pick up a special sweatshirt they've designed for ticket buyers. Plus, we're giving away tickets to the duo's Webster Hall show on The Alternate Side.
The Joy Formidable, "Magnifying Glass" (from a session posted in March 2010)
Welsh/English trio The Joy Formidable release their debut album The Big Roar on March 15, but back on an ice-cold day in January the trio of Ritzy Bryan, Rhydian Dafydd and Matt Thomas dropped by The Alternate Side and gave us a sneak peek of a new song that will be on that blistering new record, "Magnifying Glass."
School of Seven Bells, "I L U" (from a session posted in October 2010)
The session that School of Seven Bells played for us in late summer marked one of their last as a trio; Claudia Deheza quit the band in October, leaving her sister Alejandra and guitarist Benjamin Curtis to continue as a duo. The change hasn't affected the group's momentum; School of Seven Bells will open for Interpol on their North American tour this winter, kicking off January 27 in Vancouver.
Kele, "Tenderoni" (from a session posted in July 2010)
Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke used his band's long hiatus to his advantage, releasing a propulsive, club-friendly solo debut called The Boxer this year. An avid blogger, Kele toured the UK and Europe this fall and he guests on the upcoming Hercules & Love Affair album, Blue Songs, which drops in the UK in January (a U.S. date is still undetermined).
The Drums, "Make You Mine" (from a session posted in March 2010)
The Drums had a good and not-so-good year, losing guitarist Adam Kessler in September, soldiering through a sometimes rocky fall tour in the UK (a cancelled Newcastle gig and a pulled fire alarm), but the now-trio is working on a sophomore album and believe they're writing their best songs to date. They return to New York on January 19 to play Webster Hall. Plus, if you travel to The Drums' site, you can buy their new 12-inch single "Me and The Moon" which includes remixes from Matthew Dear, Twin Shadow and more.
Two Door Cinema Club, "I Can Talk" (from a session posted in June 2010)
Northern Ireland's pop rockers, who've served up a little Christmas pudding for fans of TDCC's year-that-was highlights on their website, kick off 2011 with a two-week North American tour, co-headlining with Tokyo Police Club and landing at New York's Terminal 5 on January 21. The trio, who released their debut album Tourist History back in March, are working on a second album and hope to get back into a studio to record it by mid-2011.
Delphic, "Doubt" (from a session posted in August 2010)
The much buzzed-over Manchester trio toured the globe, including a U.S. stint with The Temper Trap this fall, and were nominated for an MTV Europe award for Best New UK or Irish act. They're currently holed up in snowy England, working on a second album.
Phantogram, "Mouth Full of Diamonds" (from a session posted in June 2010)
One of the many boy/girl pairs making a big impact in 2010, the Saratoga Springs duo of Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel crisscrossed the States multiple times this year, accompanying the likes of the xx, The Antlers, Twin Shadow and Ra Ra Riot, and added a third member along the way, Tim Oakley of The Mathematicians on drums. According to their Facebook page, the band is recording new songs for their next album.
Villagers, "Set The Tigers Free" (from a session posted in August 2010)
Conor J. O'Brien has been touring the UK, Ireland and Europe with a full band over the last couple of months, wrapping on December 22 in Dublin. In fact, The Alternate Side caught an exceptional, raucous Villagers gig at Manchester Academy in November, where O'Brien played two new songs not on Villagers' debut, Becoming A Jackal, one being the riveting "Memoir." Back when O'Brien visited TAS and WFUV, O'Brien was solo and armed with an acoustic guitar, but it didn't matter; his version of "Set The Tigers Free" startled us, it was so good.
Phosphorescent, "It's Hard To Be Humble (When You're From Alabama) (from a session posted in September 2010)
Like Villagers and The Antlers, Phosphorescent began as the canvas of one man - Matthew Houck - but it has since evolved into a full group. One of the breakout bands of 2010 (their album Here's To Taking It Easy made the top ten in plenty of critics' polls this year), the Brooklyn road warriors wrapped up an exhausting 200-day tour schedule with a December appearance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and a big show at Bowery Ballroom. And no rest for the weary; the band has already booked themselves into the Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California this April.
The Seattle orchestral pop septet quietly rereleased their beautiful album To Travels & Trunks for national distribution and finally hit the road for their first spate of dates outside of the Pacific Northwest. Although seemingly shy, they do like to tweet and the kinetic rendition of "Rio" that they did in Studio A might go down as the most athletic performance by a band at The Alternate Side (as you can tell, as our cameraman tried his best to follow seven guys swapping instruments).
Autolux, "The Science of Imaginary Solutions" (from a session posted in November 2010)
Talk about a hiatus. We were pretty excited with Autolux made their long-awaited return, releasing their second album Transit, Transit after a six-year gap and quite happy that they made their way to the Bronx for a very special live session. Eugene Goreshter, Greg Edwards and Carla Azar, who just wrapped a late fall tour in Europe and the UK, will be playing New Year's Eve in Los Angeles with The Raveonettes and are beginning to book some dates for 2011, including gigs in L.A. and Tokyo.
The Antlers, "Sylvia" (from a session posted in March 2010)
The Antlers' slow-burning, somber 2009 album Hospice took the band on an even further journey in 2010, landing them a tour with The National and gigs at major festivals like Lollapalooza and Primavera in Spain. Peter Silberman and his compadres, who played a string of East Coast dates earlier this month, will be supporting Local Natives in Japan in January and early February and heading to Australia on their own for the balance of February. Plus, they spent the fall recording their next album, which Peter said was going "swimmingly" on their blog.