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Live Review: Youth Lagoon, Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab For Cutie live at the Fox Theater Oakland
Youth Lagoon and Death Cab for Cutie with Magik Magik Orchestra [at Fox Theater, May 8th, 2012]



Despite arriving late, I managed to catch the end of “Cannons” and my favorite (and Sunset in the Rearview “Best of 2011”) Youth Lagoonsong, “17”. My heart started pounding (slowly) when the lights and guitar went up during the chorus of “17”. Like the hazy lights on stage, Youth Lagoon’s sound is predicated on a thin layer of distortion that doesn’t conceal his talent. For two guys on stage with a guitar, keyboard, and synth on an otherwise bare stage, they were powerful. I came in thinking they’d be drowned out by the size and emptiness of the Fox Theater, but they filled it quite nicely. Youth Lagoon closed with 2011 media favorite “July”, ending on an entirely appropriate note for Death Cab.

MP3: “17” – Youth Lagoon


Magik Magik Orchestra started the Death Cab for Cutie portion of the show, playing the opening notes of “Passenger Seat” as Ben Gibbard quietly slid out on stage. The rest of the band joined him during “Different Names for the Same Thing”. The ornate nature of the Fox Theater was in stark but lovely contrast to the understated set up of the show and stage. All members of the band were clad entirely in black and the Magik Magik Orchestra members wore black and white. The light show was minimal, serving its purpose of playing up the mood of each song, nothing more. The focus was definitely on the music, appropriately somber with the orchestral accompaniment. There were some light moments and jokes, but this was definitely the most serious and most beautiful Death Cab concert I’ve seen.

Hit the jump to see the full Death Cab for Cutie set list.

-Written by Debbie Liu

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Tennis Live in San Francisco 4/30/12 [Live Review]

Tennis Live at The Independent San Francisco 4/30/12

Tennis isn’t how I’d blow off steam at on a Friday night – but they are the perfect Monday night date. Shortly after Wild Belle closed their smoky, jazzy set with a sultry rendition of “Keep You”, Tennis singer Alaina bounced onstage in floral-printed denim, a sheer white blouse, and an acid-washed denim jacket, followed by guitarist Patrick Riley in a plaid shirt and white pants. Looking like the American dream circa 1986. Tennis’s show was reminiscent of more innocent times and they made the crowd feel like family – I’ve never seen a nicer crowd at a concert. People tapped each other on the shoulder and asked politely if they could peer around them to get better views. While The Independent was packed before Wild Belle even finished, I don’t think I was pushed once. The kicker was when Alaina (prefacing with “I never do this, but…”) asked nicely for a beer and engaged in a friendly exchange with the crowd (“If I get roofied, you know who’s responsible. That guy!”).

MP3: “Petition” – Tennis

On to the actual music, because that is presumably why I went. Alaina’s voice is sweet and clear. Thankfully, she’s also very consistent and controlled, which keep her from sounding whiny. She sings high without being piercing, definitely the signature of Tennis’s sound. Tennis doesn’t rock hard, but they’re into what they do, and it’s pleasant. Their set included “Marathon”, which included some cute bopping/dancing around by the band members at their respective instruments, “Pigeon”, “Never to Part”, “Petition”, and “Origins”. “Petition” seemed to be the crowd favorite and the closest that we came to a dance party. I don’t think I was ever completely still during the show, but I never broke out in full dance glory, either. At one point, Alanna asked if we brought our dancing shoes – I wanted so badly to be dancing as much as she was, but the energy wasn’t quite infectious from a crowd’s-eye point of view. The effect was still delightful to watch, though. The interactions between lead singer Alaina and her guitarist-husband Patrick were particularly endearing – their dynamic and rhythm are perfectly in sync, but they’ve got this plaintively-looking-at-each-other-but-never-quite-catching-each-other thing down. Suits the Tennis sound well. Speaking of which, they’ve got a generally appealing enough sound and a charming feel that probably makes them a great first/second/third date activity.

Not that this is a fashion review, but the t-shirts and sweatshirts Tennis sold completed their retro appeal with a sweet take on a vintage Denver Nuggets logo. Definitely bought myself an oversized sweatshirt, meaning I now find myself explaining to my coworkers that I don’t actually play the kind of tennis that involves a ball and that I would be a terrible doubles partner.

Tennis is the type of concert where we all had a good time, but everyone in my party left in a state that made getting to work on time and hangover-free the next day easy. Not the kind of show that pumps you up in a way where you don’t want the night to end, but I might be old enough (and employed enough) that I should reserve those for weekends, anyways. In summary, Tennis is a perfect weeknight activity. Go see them sometime, you’ll enjoy yourself.

-Written by Debbie Liu

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[Guest Post] Four Steps To Falling In Love With Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe by Chris Phelps

My name is Nikki Wood and I’m a student at Concordia College. I discovered Sunset in the Rearview through another music blog and fell in love. It would be nearly impossible for me to choose my favorite artists. I’ve been listening to a lot of Himanshu, Perfume Genius, and Oliver Tank lately.

Sarah Jaffe: Fan or acquaintance? I’m going to make you fall in love.

Step One: Watch this. An effective method to becoming abnormally excited for something always begins with a mysterious, vague teaser that leaves you wondering, “What did I just watch….?!” Well usually those are called movie trailers, but movies are not exclusive to this method. Here is the promo video for Sarah Jaffe’s new album The Body Wins with “Talk.”

Step Two: Good, yeah? Now that I have you attention and you want more Jaffe, I have great news. She will be releasing the single “Glorified High” off The Body Win on March 6th. Now I have searched the web diligently in attempt to find a copy of this single with no such luck. I am practically sitting on my hands awaiting this date, thankfully it is rapidly approaching. Here’s the link for “Glorified High” on Amazon.

Step Three: Maybe you’re not convinced just yet. This 26 year old Texan has toured with Norah Jones and has a few tour dates this spring. Her sound began with a soulful, folk sound that was just her voice and guitar, and it has since transformed into a promising electro-indie sound. Her music varies and can head in any direction, which keeps it exciting for us. Jaffe says she never wants to stay in a box of what fans expect from her; she wants to keep moving creatively and doing what is honest to her and what she loves. Sounds good to me!

“She’s got a knack for reflecting on the past with the benefit of a clear hindsight.” –NPR

Step Four: Her sophomore album, The Body Wins, drops April 24th from Kirtland records. Be sure to get yourself a copy.

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Guest Post: My Day Today if I Were in the Movie ‘Drive’

Drawing from Drive Charlotte Wilder

I recently watched Drive. It’s the type of movie that will make you cooler just by watching it. I mean, really. The movie made the font Mistral in hot pink cool. This is it for Mistral. This is Mistral’s peak, and it’s a high one. I genuinely think this movie is an instant classic. I think the movie poster will be iconic. I also think the scorpion jacket (which you can purchase here) and even the driving gloves (purchase here) will be iconic accessories that will be donned by hipsters on Halloween for years to come.

If you haven’t seen Drive yet, you really should. It’s gritty and artsy at the same time, and the soundtrack is so perfect for the atmosphere of the movie that parts of it look like a music video: a long, gory music video…that stars Ryan Gosling. Anyway, this (hilarious) post was written by Charlotte, who runs a blog called The Wilder Things and also loves Drive. You may remember Charlotte from her awesome guest post about 5 Forgotten Songs from 2005-2007. Throughout her post below, I have embedded my favorite tracks from the excellent Drive soundtrack. These songs can only be listened to while doing cool things, such as driving or reading this post.  -Arjun

8am: I wake up wearing my favorite jacket, the one with the scorpion on it. My hair is perfect, even though I just got out of bed. I pause at the window and stare out at the woods. My dog bounds around my ankles trying to get me to take her out to pee. I stare at her, look back towards the window, grab her leash, and walk her outside.

8:30am: Breakfast time. I live with my mother and father, and they are having toast, exclaiming over the paper at Jeremy Lin’s latest success. I stare at the front page, grab a few grapes, and put on the perforated leather driving gloves I got from my grandmother’s attic. I leave without saying anything.

10am: I get in my Jeep to go pick up some toothpaste, as I’ve just run out. Music beats in my ears; a a woman crooning “a reeeeaaaal human being” over and over. I don’t know where the music is coming from because I didn’t turn the radio on, but I betray no signs of confusion and instead keep my chin at a ninety-degree angle, hoping my profile is backlit. It is, even though it’s daytime.

MP3: “A Real Hero (feat. Electric Youth)” – College

10:30am: I buy the toothpaste. The store clerk looks at the blood-like stain on my Scorpion jacket. I don’t tell her it’s pomegranate juice from Whole Foods that I spilled on myself while driving. I also don’t tell her that my mom has been nagging me to take it to the cleaners. In fact, I say nothing, just hand her a few ones and stalk back outside.

1pm: I go to the gym to work out with my mom and her personal trainer, Hank. I stare at Hank for at least fifty seconds when he asks me, “any kinks in the bod today, Char?” and finally shake my head. I think about telling him I no longer have a name and simply go by Driver or Kid if I must be referred to, but that would require too many words, so I say nothing. We lift kettle-bells and do burpees. The scorpion jacket is too hot and I’m sweating but I don’t take it off. A woman runs to get on the elliptical machine I’m headed for before I do. I contemplate bashing her head in with a dumb-bell to show the world of what I’m capable. Instead, I give her the nastiest look I can muster and say nothing.

2:30pm: Home after the gym, I try to write a post for my blog. But it’s difficult to communicate with words when you make such a point of never using them. Meaningful looks don’t translate well in a Word document. I give up and get in my Jeep. Again the music comes on out of nowhere. Again I keep my chin up. Again I drive.

MP3: “Under Your Spell” – Desire

6:30pm. I meet my boyfriend for dinner. He asks why I still haven’t gotten my jacket cleaned, and why I’m wearing such a masculine jacket with a scorpion on the back in the first place. I stare at him. He asks why I’m staring at him. I get annoyed that he isn’t staring back with meaning, but say nothing. He rolls his eyes. Our food comes. We eat.

7:15pm: I take out my wallet and leave a hundred dollar bill on the table and get up. My boyfriend looks at me with a raised eyebrow, hands me the bill back, and takes out his debit card. “It was a twenty-five dollar meal at an Indian restaurant, Char. I don’t think this hundred is necessary. And why do you have a hundred dollar bill? Also, you spilled tikka-masala on your jacket.” I leave the restaurant; he catches up to me on the sidewalk. I stare at him. He tells me I’m being weird. I drive him home.

MP3: “Nightcall (feat. Lovefoxxx)” – Kavinsky

9pm: Back at my parents’ house, the dog has to go out again. I put her on the leash and in the car, where the music has magically come on again. I drive twenty yards, take her out of the car, let her pee, and put her back in. We drive twenty yards back. I take her out. The music stops.

10:45pm: I climb into bed with my scorpion jacket on. My mom yells from my parents’ bedroom, “I hope you’re not sleeping in the scorpion jacket again.” The day closes as I close my eyes, wondering whether my profile is once again perfectly backlit. It is.

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5 Forgotten Songs From 2005-2007 (Guest Post)

The Wilder Things for Sunset In The Rearview

Every now and then, we receive requests for guests posts on Sunset. I’m always open to letting others give it a swing, though I will say that there’s a screening process before it gets accepted. Basically I ask for a drug test, do a background check, pull a credit report, and call your grandmother. But on days when I’m not feeling like I have a stick up my ass, I let just about anybody send me a guest post.

This time, though, it’s a guest post from somebody who turns out to be a family friend, but when she got in touch with me, she hadn’t yet made the connection that I was the Lydia who lives down the street from her. She told me she had been following Sunset for years. Small world, huh? Anyway, here’s a post from The Wilder Things on 5 Forgotten Songs From 2005-2007.

It was the end of high school and beginning of college, a time when I was desperately trying to prove that I was cool and plugged into the music scene. A time when I was ready at a moment’s notice to provide unknown and mind-blowing songs to any potential crush who might be worthy of a mixed CD. Yes, friends, it was 2005-2007, an era I like to refer to as my Musical Awakening. I’ve picked 5 of the best songs from that time to bring back into the limelight for you Sunset readers. Enjoy.

Also, be sure to check out my site,, for daily posts about music, photography, and style.

1. MP3: “Purple Kush” – Living Legends, 2006

With its synth-driven melody and its steady beat, this song was perfect for driving around the suburbs of Boston looking for something to do. My friends and I would turn the bass up all the way in my Jeep and rap along with the song; it usually ended up being the best and most eventful part of the night.

2. MP3: “Forever For Her (Is Over For Me)” – The White Stripes, 2005

The White Stripes were the first “alternative” band I really loved. I remember when Get Behind Me Satan came out—I bought it on iTunes and listened to it on repeat for days. “Forever For Her” has a great rhythm; I love the build-ups of sound followed by sparse riffs. It makes me feel like Jack White is taking me along for a ride.

3. MP3: “Apricot Jam” – Filligar, 2006

This song reminds me of my first college years. My whole school was obsessed with this song because a student at the time grew up with the band in Chicago. Filligar came to play at a formal, and I believe I got up on stage with them and ended up free-styling about college as they played me a beat. But I digress—this song is a great jam with great lyrics that I dare you not to dance to.

4. MP3: “Why (What’s Goin’ On?)” – The Roots, 2005

I spent my summers in Maine growing up, and some of my best friends and I managed to rig up a stereo system on an electricity-less island off the coast using a car battery. We’d play this as loud as the thing would go underneath the black, star-studded sky.

5. MP3: “Traffic Jam” – Stephen Marley
I first heard this song on my way to go surfing for the first time. My friend ended up getting hit with a surfboard and suffered a concussion, we got caught in a downpour, and I haven’t been tried the sport since. But I did get this song out of it—a great beat-box infused track from the son of the reggae master.

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The C90’s – Shine a Light (Flight Facilities Remix)

I have a little light, I’m gonna let it shine. I’m also going to lay down in an ocean of lotion and listen to The C90s for a month of Sundays. Listening to this song is like getting permission to unwrap one present on Christmas Eve and having that present contain:

  • your best friend
  • warm brownies
  • and a handwritten “I love you” note from God

MP3“Shine a Light” (Flight Facilities Remix) – The C90s


Check out the C90s Soundcloud for their remixes and chart mixes. Phenomenal!

The C90s || Facebook || Twitter


source: Night Drive Miami

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Ghost Beach – First Time

With a touch of Faded Paper Figures and a misting of Holy Ghost, Ghost Beach brings the party to the ephemeral shoreline in a big way. Check out their website for some free downloads, “Like” them on Facebook… do whatever you have to do, just make sure you keep an eye out for big things from this NYC duo.

MP3“First Time” – Ghost Beach


Ghost Beach || Website || Facebook || Twitter

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Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans (Penguin Prison Remix)

Some penguins, when threatened with a trip to Penguin Prison, flipper out and go on a 24-hour crime spree. Others take off their tuxedos and blend in with the surrounding fauna by becoming baby snowmen.

MP3“Blue Jeans” (Penguin Prison Remix) – Lana Del Rey

Not these penguins. These penguins love beatings; both giving and receiving. They marched straight to prison and became resident resonance chefs. Then they took a suasive song by a succulent woman and make a miso-happy soup out of it. Throw in a dash of salt and a pinch of nipple, and suddenly you have something even your mom’s ears wouldn’t mind eating.

Twitter || Lana Del Rey || Penguin Prison 

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Kelly Clarkson – “Mr. Know It All” (Lenno Remix)

I can’t. I won’t. I shouldn’t. I might. I will.

Holy hell, I just did. I posted a Kelly Clarkson song. According to my uncle’s will that means I’m no longer eligible to receive his collection of Third Eye Blind CDs when he dies.  But once I heard the song, I couldn’t help but share it! It’s got everything I need: sin, synth, and synthetic emotion. If you’re looking for lyrics, look elsewhere; if you want to feel good for a few minutes, press play.

MP3“Mr. Know It All” (Lenno Remix) – Kelly Clarkson

Lenno, the generous genius behind this MP3 gift, is a mere 16 years of age and hails from Finland. From his SoundCloud: “I make disco. I play disco. I am sixteen.” I like 3 word sentences too, Lenno, and I love this song.

Lenno || Soundcloud || Twitter

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Rebecca & Fiona – Dance

Rebecca and Fiona; innocent enough in the name department. Nothing to see here, move along now.

But wait, just as innocence has the propensity to melt in the club and not in your mouth, so does this duo have the chance to melt their name into the ears of anybody willing to listen. This track, Dance, is less a song about dancing and more a song about making love to the floor with your feet and, by extension, your body.

MP3: “Dance” – Rebecca & Fiona

Start looking around for their names outside the underground part of town, they are gaining popularity after being featured in “Turn it Down” by Kaskade.

Rebecca & Fiona || Facebook || Soundcloud || Twitter


Kaskade – Turn It Down (Le Castle Vania Remix) **Preview** by Le Castle Vania


” Dance” Source

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Monday Morning Music

Here’s a pick-me-up quick mix for your first Monday after the famous Thanksgiving of 2011. You’ve set aside the turkeys stuffed with ham stuffed with chicken strips; it’s time to get back to work, school, school work or work school.

Get ready to get ready!

MP3: “Mother Protect” (Goldroom Remix) – Niki & The Dove

MP3: “Heretics” – Andrew Bird

MP3: “Hit that Jive” (Original Mix) – Gramatik


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Tiga – You Gonna Want Me (Hey Today! Remix)

You Gonna Want Me - Tiga

I’m in a rush, only minutes to spare, but I’ve got to get this to you for your Friday night. Well, wait, it’s Saturday. Fuck.

While getting ready for a Hipster party I wasn’t invited to (ironically), this Hey Today! remix showed up on my earstep. It’s got mass appeal, ass reveal, and baby seal… in that order. Enjoy!

MP3“You Gonna Want Me” (Hey Today! Remix) – Tiga

Tiga Twitter || Hey Today! Twitter


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