Jacobs: New bands can cure the annual spring break blues

By by Justin Jacobs

Some of us will spend spring break lounging on an exotic beach, perfecting our tans while… Some of us will spend spring break lounging on an exotic beach, perfecting our tans while sipping on drinks mixed with any assortment of alcohol. Some of us will spend spring break in the front seat of a friend’s car, arms hanging out the window on the way to an unknown destination. And some of us will spend spring break watching OnDemand reruns in our parents’ basement. For that third group, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. Sure, spending spring break at home seems fun at first, what with all the free home cooking and…well, really just the home cooking. But by Wednesday, a year’s worth of your mom’s awesome meatloaf couldn’t keep you from yearning to return to school. Your parents started asking you to, you know, do things (Chores!? What the hell?), and you’ve watched even the most uninteresting of what OnDemand has to offer (Check out the totally un-captivating ShalomTV). Plus, the beer is cheaper in Oakland and your nights don’t end with you sneaking into the house so as not to wake the folks ‘mdash; at midnight. Whatever shall you do to pass the time? Homework? That’s just silly talk. Prepare a nice family dinner before your parents return from work? Only if Pop’s bringing home a sixer of your favorite beer. Luckily, unfortunate soul, I’ve got you covered. Listed below are five bands that you’ve never heard of, unless you are a musical whiz or a big nerd like me. And if you have, then you don’t need my help to find some new, exciting music. Check out exactly one each day, beginning Monday, and by the time you’re listening to the last band on Friday, you’ll be so close to returning that you’ll be able to smell the Sorrento’s. Monday ‘mdash; Kiev: This Orange County, Calif., band is a perfect early-week pick-me-up. The percussion is propulsive, sending each post-rock shaker toward a satisfying end. Think Muse with less of an alternative rock feel, or Radiohead (The Bends-style) with a bit more of a punch, and you’ve got this co-ed crew’s sound. Check Kiev out at www.myspace.com/kiev. Tuesday ‘mdash; Apes and Androids: Replace ‘apes’ with ‘funk’ and you’ve got this New York band down pat. Decidedly non-Daft Punk robotic-melodies ordering everyone to ‘Get f****d up’ shoot like lasers over minimalist electro-funk beats. Find an astronaut suit, pop this band on at a costume party you throw at your house (you know at least Mom and Dad will show up!) and get ready to have a ball. It’s almost Wednesday. You’re going to make it. See www.myspace.com/apesandandroids for the tunes. Wednesday ‘mdash; Heartless Bastards: All right, so the middle of the week doesn’t feel quite as close to the end as you thought. Fear not, for the slow-chugging guitar blues of the Heartless Bastards will turn those sad thoughts into, well, sadder thoughts. But the good, introspective-but-not-bitter type of sad. And better yet, this Cincinnati, lady-fronted grit-machine will play Pittsburgh next month with Gaslight Anthem, so you can relive the excitement that was your spring break once again! Hear them at www.myspace.com/heartlessbastards. Thursday ‘mdash; Vetiver: You made it over hump day and it’s time to celebrate the nearing end of your time at home. But we’re not talking a big champagne bash with the folks ‘mdash; the sunshine-drenched, upbeat, acoustic folk of Devendra Banhart compatriots Vetiver will suffice perfectly. Tunes like the lovely and sublime ‘Everyday’ will remind you that there are greener pastures back at school. Greener pastures where you can get drunk when you want to get drunk, and you can dance through the streets freely instead of being confined to your hallways, where you risk breaking Mom’s piece of art she bought at a community crafts fair. Don’t open until Thursday ‘mdash; www.myspace.com/vetiverse. Friday ‘mdash; Dan Deacon: You’ve made it! Through trips to the mall with Mom, ‘We’re proud of you’ moments with Dad and more couch time than a coma patient, you’ve made it to the end of spring break. Congratulations, and some hot beats are in order. Blast some of Dan Deacon’s strobe-ready dance party jams and watch your folks freak out. Seriously, they’re having a seizure. Deacon jams will do that to the fragile and middle-aged: www.myspace.com/dandeacon. Well, there you go, homeward-bound students. I guarantee that the inclusion of these one-a-day bands will make your basement dwelling significantly less of a bummer. I’ll see you next week, after I get my wicked, tropical tan. Bored during spring break? We’ve got your back. Check out www.gravityrideseverythingblog.blogspot.com