100 reasons to love Finnish indie band Teini-Pää

Finnish indie pop band Teini-Pää has just released its second album

Let’s continue this weekend’s exploration of Nordic indie pop with the February album Sata syytä aloittaa by Helsinki’s Teini-Pää. The band Teini-Pää play divine 2 minute guitar pop gems just as catchy as 2022 darlings Alvvays. Now BEFORE YOU STOP READING because the vocals aren’t sung in American, take 2:18 to see if the song “Ydintyttö” persuades you that you need to know more.

That’s one extraordinary blast of power pop right?! Whatever tongue you speak…Finnish, Swedish, Spanish…we all understand the International Language of rock. Before getting into any background, I want to be sure you’re fully on board. If not, begone!

The guitars get a little scuzzier on Teini-Pää‘s “4567.” This isn’t your mother’s Finnish bubblegum pop. Just a 3 minute blast of guitars and harmonies from an alternate indie pop universe called Northern Europe.

Band Teini-Pää hits its stride with 2nd album Sata syytä aloittaa

Fans off Alvvays and Wet Leg:  Listen to the album Sata syytä Teini-Pää by Finland's Teini-Pää!

Like me, you probably didn’t know about this remarkable Helsinki indie pop band that is one EP and two albums into its career. Teini-Pää (“Teenage Head”) has been releasing music for about four years. Here is early single, “L​ä​htisitkö.” (“Would You Go”)

The quintet seems to tour between Helsinki and Turku, in far SW Finland across the Baltic from Stockholm. They have a website with fun facts about each member, including what appears to be a mutual fondness for vissy (sparkling water?), The Go-Go’s and yoga. I’ve conveniently linked an English translation of the band’s website for you here.

If you haven’t heard Denmark’s Appleseeds! what are you even doing?!

100 reasons to love Helsinki’s Teini-Pää

February’s Sata syytä aloittaa (“100 Hundred Reasons to Start”), published by Finland’s Soit Se Silti is a blast from start to finish. Google translates Teini-Pää’s own description of their band from its website as “puff pop.” It may just be a bad translation? The 90 seconds of “Aamulla” sounds like power pop to me!

You can buy a digital copy of album Sata syytä aloittaa from Bandcamp.

Impress all your indie music friends with the band Appleseeds!

The band Appleseeds! should be your newest jangle pop obsession

The band Appleseeds! are a Copenhagen indie-pop duo that released the bright and delightful indie pop æblefrø one month ago. The melodies of Kasper Clemmensen and bandmate Ditte Duus are as catchy as the enchanting packaging and internal illustrations.

Duo share lead vocals on the band Appleseeds! debut

Appleseeds! started releasing songs for æblefrø last spring. Appropriately, the earliest tunes that became album closers “Someone to Talk To” and “Spinning ‘Round” featured each singer on lead vocals.

As you listen to each simple, ever-so-jangly number — most barely two minutes — you can’t help but create a column of “Kasper songs” and “Ditte songs” depending on the singer. Both have the same throaty, desultory delivery. Here is Kasper on “Hungry Mouth,” with Ditte’s backing Ahhh’s!

…and let’s show off one more with Kasper on lead, since he voices the majority of the songs. He’s also credited with all the songwriting. I love this guitar line and the pregnant pauses in “Nightmares.”

Ditte Duus the perfect complement in the band Appleseeds!

Appleseeds! have been churning out indie pop singles for a year

When Ditte takes the mic she reflects the same innocence and sensibility as Kasper. Breathy and light, she offers the perfect complement on tracks like “The Reach” and original single “Someone to Talk To”

Appleseeds! started as foodie band Tampopo

The band Appleseeds! started as Tampopo, who for whatever reason only sang about food

For the five years or so before launching the band Appleseeds! Danish* duo Kasper Clemmensen and Ditte Duus helmed Tampopo, a band conceived to write and sing mostly about food products. I’m not entirely clear why.

Multiple releases since 2017 included songs like “Pancake Tuesday,” “Swordfish! (What do You Eat?),” “Soft as a Muffin” and the catchy (heh) “Ketchup.”

To be fair, as the years went on, Tampopo appeared to write fewer songs with titles like “Milkshake Zombie” and more tracks that transitioned closer to non-food subjects and the sound Appleseeds! displays on æblefrø.

*Googles “Are people from Denmark called Danish or Dutch?”

Love yourself some Nordic pop?! Check out Finland’s Teini-Pää!

Gorgeous packaging of æblefrø by Appleseeds!

I can’t talk about the band Appleseeds! without promoting the CD illustrations that bring you to a complete stop as you leaf through the pages of æblefrø.

Each song is accompanied by its own painting by renowned Japanese artist Mamoru Yamamoto. You should really learn more about Yamamoto at the artist’s website. The tender artwork is both engrossing and also a perfect visual representation of the band Appleseeds!

For this reason, if you are in the habit of buying digital media, I encourage you to instead purchase the limited edition compact disc available from French label Too Good to be True Records. It does not appear to be available in larger, vinyl packaging which would be positively a collector’s item.

As I finished writing this, it occurred to me the band Appleseeds! retained their foodie origins in their new name. Cheers to foodie and jangle pop music alike!

Spoon and Weezer SLC ticket cost and info. Hint: consider a second mortgage

Spoon, Weezer SLC concert will be on August 27

Weezer and Spoon (or more properly, Spoon and Weezer) announced a summer concert today at The Great Saltair. The Spoon and Weezer SLC show is on a Sunday night, August 27. It is part of what’s billed as the Weezer Indie Rock Road Trip. What a great wrap to the summer!

Ticket info for Spoon, Weezer SLC show

You can see the Spoon and Weezer SLC show on August 27 at the Great Saltair

The first tickets go on sale for Salt Air fan club members and VIP tickets Wednesday at 10AM. Live Nation sales start Thursday and general admission on Friday. This is a spendy date.

General lawn seats are $65… so you’re close to $90 with taxes and fees just to sit in the grass with the great unwashed. Unfortunately the next step up is a VIP ticket with a premium seat and unknown “merch” (chip clip? refrigerator magnet?). VIP tix cost close to $200 all in.

If you’re not a wild-eyed superfan, I can’t recommend the mostly vague VIP options.

I’m a little lost on better guidance for seating — I have never been to Saltair. The truth is: I didn’t know Saltair was still booking acts on the south shore of the Great Salt Lake. Some coming attractions include the Thrones of Blood US tour (March 25), Kayzo – Unleashed XL (April 7), NGHTMRE (April 21) and Seven Lions: Beyond the Veil (June 9).

Not clear if these are bands or Dungeons & Dragons conventions.

Hey stop! Have you seen the daily schedule for the Kilby Block Party in May? They’re right here:

Spoon and Weezer SLC concert at end of nationwide tour

From June until the middle of September, Weezer is touring with Spoon, Modest Mouse and Future Islands. I think we are just fortunate that the Western US leg of the tour in August includes this Spoon, Weezer SLC combo. Here is the current itinerary:

  • 03-18 Tampa, FL – Innings Festival Florida

  • 06-03 Lexington, KY – Railbird Music Festival
  • 06-04 Huntsville, AL – The Orion Amphitheater $@
  • 06-06 Irving, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory $@
  • 06-08 Austin, TX Germania Insurance Amphitheater  $@
  • 06-10 Oklahoma City, OK – Zoo Amphitheatre $@
  • 06-11 Bonner Springs, KS – Azura Amphitheater $@
  • 06-13 Minneapolis, MN – The Armory $@
  • 06-14 Madison, WI – Breese Stevens Field $@
  • 06-16 Cuyahoga Falls, OH – Blossom Music Center $@
  • 06-17-18 Indianapolis, IN – Wonderroad Festival
  • 06-18 Clarkston, MI – Pine Knob Music Theatre $@
  • 06-23 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion &%
  • 06-24 Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion &%
  • 06-25 Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre &%
  • 06-27 Philadelphia, PA – TD Pavilion at the Mann &%
  • 06-28 Bridgeport, CT – Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater &%
  • 06-30 Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheater &%

  • 07-01 Worcester, MA – The Palladium Outdoors &%
  • 07-03 Canandaigua, NY – CMAC &%
  • 07-04 Toronto, Ontario – Budweiser Stage &%
  • 07-09 Gary, IN – Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana – Hard Rock Live %
  • 07-11 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE &%
  • 07-13 Queens, NY – Forest Hills Stadium &%
  • 07-28-07-30 Naeba, Japan – Fuji Rock Festival

Weezer Indie Rock Tour heads west in August

  • 08-22 Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater *^
  • 08-24 Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre *^
  • 08-27 Magna, UT – The Great Saltair – Outdoor Pavilion *^
  • 08-28 Greenwood Village, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre *^
  • 08-30 Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre *^

  • 09-01 Las Vegas, NV – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood *^
  • 09-02 Irvine, CA – Fivepoint Amphitheatre *^
  • 09-03 San Diego, CA – Sycuan Stage at Gallagher Square Petco Park *^
  • 09-17 Asbury Park, NJ – Sea.Hear.Now Festival

$ with Modest Mouse
@ with Momma
* with Spoon
^ with White Reaper
& with Future Islands
% with Joyce Manor

Get ready for the Weezer Indie Rock Roadtrip

Weezer and Spoon were both very active in 2022. Weezer released four seasonal EP’s in 2022, like the Gilmore Girls reboot. SZNZ: Spring came out in March 2022 and the subsequent three EP’s for each season by December. All of this and more at Weezerpedia, which is an actual site on the interwebs. Spoon toured on the acclaimed Lucifer on the Sofa throughout 2022, including in Salt Lake City in May.

Here’s the reveal video for the Weezer Indie Rock Roadtrip. See you at The Great Saltair!

Breaking Semiwestern news! The band Semiwestern releasing full length

The band Semiwestern is about to release a full length LP!  Listen to single "Velvet Sea" here

Attention music lovers, the best possible news: The band Semiwestern is releasing a debut LP this year, with singles to come this spring!

Who is this band Semiwestern you speak of?

In November 2022, like a delicate shot across the bow, California’s redoubtable Spirit Goth Records released “Velvet Sea.” I naturally believed this was new music. It was, in fact, a remix of a song recorded by Semiwestern’s members ten years earlier as The Vliets.

Before we go any further, listen to the updated “Velvet Sea” to understand how I swooned over this atmospheric, Luna-inflected recording. It was my #1 or #2 favorite song of the entire year. Since, then, I have listened to “Velvet Sea” approximately one billion times.

I’ll be honest, there’s not a ton of information on the world wide interwebs about either The Vliets or Semiwestern. But here’s what I can tell you.

Semiwestern, formerly The Vliets, reappear a decade later

A brief history of the world. The band Semiwestern emerged from Austin’s The Vliets (pronounced VLEETS), who were active about ten years ago. The Vliets, lead by singer Ty Bohrnstedt, released The Vliets EP in 2011 and God’s Drug EP in 2012. God’s Drug included the original “Velvet Sea.”

These early EP’s by The Vliets are more traditionally alternative. Here is “Pale Solar Stream” from 2012’s God’s Drug EP. You can hear just an echo of what Ty would mix in 2022.

In 2018, The Vliets released the Semiwestern EP, seemingly leading to the band’s current moniker. You can buy all three EP’s from The Vliets/Semiwestern Bandcamp page.

The band Semiwestern plans full release

The band Semiwestern released their transcendent remix of "Velvet Sea" on Spirit Goth Records in November.  Listen to it here!

I was so smitten by the band Semiwestern’s remix of “Velvet Sea” that I inquired with both Spirit Goth and Semiwestern about a new album. Was I a wee bit stalker-y? Possibly, but not completely psycho.

Ty says “a full length album (is) coming. It’s finished but we have to shoot a few music videos and tie up a few loose ends before we set release dates. My best guess is we’ll start putting the singles out around April or so.”

That means we could be six weeks out from new Semiwestern material and I couldn’t be more excited. Will it be consistent with The Vliets indie-centric back catalogue? Or more of the California dream pop like “Velvet Sea?” We will find out!

One more platform for the single, here is the video for the updated “Velvet Sea.”

Is Kilby Court Cuco for cocoa puffs? Listen to singer Cuco from Kilby block party Friday lineup

Go cuckoo for cocoa puffs: Hear the singer who goes by "cocopuffs" on Instagram!

I hope you get to see the Kilby Court Cuco show opening the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup. He’s so good, I could have included him in my 2022 Top 20 albums. Here’s what you need to know about the bedroom pop singer Cuco + a couple of songs from 2022’s entrancing Fantasy Gateway.

Kilby Court Cuco concert a nice start to Kilby Block Party Friday lineup

The singer Cucohe uses the handle cucopuffs on the Insta — got his pet name from his mother while growing up in Hawthorne, California. Omar Banos has written lyrics both in English and Spanish since his early releases, Wannabewithu (2016) and Songs4u (2017) as a budding songwriter and Spotify phenom. His bedroom pop full length debut was 2019’s Para Mi.

By 2022, Banos was incorporating more elaborate orchestration on Fantasy Gateway as he felt his way into new territory. You can hear why the Kilby Court Cuco appearance came together. I’m not posturing — this was a favorite album of mine last year.

The intimate “Time Machine” has such a pure singer-songwriter inside that you can’t help but fall in love with the kid.

“Time Machine” – Cuco (Fantasy Gateway)

Sing along Kilby Court Cuco show in Spanish. Singer Cuco is bilingual pop star

One of the reasons I was taken aback by Fantasy Gateway was the sophisticated lyricism you’ll hear at the Kilby Court Cuco show. Sure there are the ridic catchy samples and chorus on last April’s “Caution” … then he steps into a mix of English and Spanish on the smooth R&B-via-soft 70’s “Aura.”

Here is the Spanish verse:

Ves que me causan celos cuando te habla alguien más
Nunca te quiero lejos, la distancia me hace mal
Eres siempre el tema del que quiero platicar
Hechamos fiesta solos, nos ponemos a bailar

…in which the singer Cuco is singing:

You see that they make me jealous when someone else talks to you
I never want you away, the distance hurts me
You are always the topic I want to talk about
We party alone, we start to dance

I expect most of the Kilby Court Cuco show at the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup will be in English. But Utah has plenty of Spanish speakers and returned missionaries to go cukoo for cocoa puffs. I’m looking forward to hearing fully Spanish numbers from the singer Cuco, like the gorgeous “Fin Del Mundo” (“End of the World”).

“Fin Del Mundo” – Cuco (Fantasy Gateway)

Be at the Kilby Court Cuco concert. You’ll go cukoo for cocoa puffs

Kilby Court Cuco appearance in Salt Lake City during the Kilby Court Block Party Friday lineup

Final note, whether you’re a 19-year-old kid reading this on the Insta or a jaded 50-something like me listening to bedroom pop singer Cuco for the first time…get to the Kilby Block Party on Friday. I recommend Fantasy Gateway without reservation and can’t wait to see him kickstart the Kilby Block Party Friday lineup!

Grab yourself a tshirt, an album or CD of Fantasy Gateway from Cuco’s website.