The Ballet

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Colin
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The Ballet

Post by Colin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:49

I'm shocked to see we don't have a thread for The Ballet. Here's one!

Great news from the Footstompers blog:
Image

Hooray! The Ballet are releasing their long-awaited second album, entitled BEAR LIFE, on November 21st.

Tracklist
01 Chinatown
02 Dangerous
03 The House on Fire
04 Teenage Medusa
05 Kitty
06 I'm Going Through a Personal Transformation
07 Rough Trade
08 You Call Me
09 Girlfriends
10 Never Go Home
11 Murder at the Discotheque
12 Expectations

Album art and packaging design by Daniel Barrow, featuring do-it-yourself animation.

The band will have a record release show at Union Hall in Brooklyn on November 21st.
Exciting! Wonder if we can get them back over to the UK?

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Re: The Ballet

Post by everard » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:04

had never knowingly heard this band, but i like the two songs on their myspace. very holiday/ house of tomorrow-era magnetic fields.

that is an absolutely excellent album cover. i really hope it's coming out as an lp, not just a cd -- artwork that good should be big.

what have this band released?

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Colin
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Re: The Ballet

Post by Colin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:08

So far, just one self-released album called Mattachine!. According to their website they're no longer selling hard copies, but it can still be downloaded from iTunes if that's your kind of thing. Which it's not, is it?

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Re: The Ballet

Post by islandhopper » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:10

They have another album called Mattachine. It's only available via download now, but is most definitely worth owning. It's one of the best of the last few years in my opinion. I've been lucky enough to see them twice this year and the new stuff has sounded great, so I'm really looking forward to this.

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Colin
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Re: The Ballet

Post by Colin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:12

islandhopper wrote:They have another album called Mattachine. It's only available via download now, but is most definitely worth owning. It's one of the best of the last few years in my opinion. I've been lucky enough to see them twice this year and the new stuff has sounded great, so I'm really looking forward to this.
It's hard to believe the Glasgow show was this year, don't you think? It feels like aeons ago.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by islandhopper » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:17

Yeah, it sure does. Back in the cold and dark of a Glasgow winter. What a great night it was though!

anders

Re: The Ballet

Post by anders » Sun Oct 11, 2009 13:48

It was a lovely lovely night, yes. Fantastic gig! - and I seem to remember there was some good dancing happening afterwards too...

Ah, new Ballet album! That's such great news. I haven't listened to Mattachine in a while now, but it must be one of the best indiepop records of the last couple of years/of this decade/ever. I remember back when it was released there were a couple of months I hardly listened to anything else.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by lynsosaurus » Sun Oct 11, 2009 15:00

yeah! i was listening to 'mattachine' a lot last week and remembering what an utterly amazing album it is. and there was definitely something quite special about that gig as well. new album! yeah!

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Re: The Ballet

Post by everard » Sun Oct 11, 2009 21:04

Colin wrote:So far, just one self-released album called Mattachine!. According to their website they're no longer selling hard copies, but it can still be downloaded from iTunes if that's your kind of thing. Which it's not, is it?
not really. i really hate finding out about bands when their records are already sold out, especially excellent queer bands (partly cos i fancy myself knowledgeable about these things!). but i downloaded it from mediafire, which sweetened the blow somewhat.

been listening to mattachine! all day, and indeed just felt prompted to send fanmail to the band. it's fucking great! one of those albums where on first listen you think 'ah, nice simple catchy songs' & 'oh, that's a good lyric' but not a lot more, then on subsequent listens new things reveal themselves, especially lyrically. i mean, i like simple, dumb punk or pop, but what's even better is the hidden depths that aren't needed for the songs to work, but suggest that any simplicity in sound is totally deliberate, working within a pop framework.

so, the bits that hit first (e.g. the opening lines to "personal" or the porn sample in "tell me how" or 'oh, this singer likes men in corduroy too' or 'is that linton singing?') end up being kind of distracting when one engages with the more subtle/ universal parts. i think it's a deceptively skilful album. "the movement" is my favourite song, probably because it seems like a mournful elegy for the mattachine society, but could also be about any kind of activist group ever. "in my head" is another favourite.

thanks for making this thread. i just found out that some of my friends saw them play at wotever in london, but didn't see fit to mention them to me as something to check out. so i'm glad to hear the band now, rather than when bear life is sold out as well!

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Re: The Ballet

Post by andyroo » Sun Oct 11, 2009 21:50

Haha, I'd completely forgotten about this lot until I stumbled across their CD today when looking for something else. And listened to it again, and still liked it. And the same day someone's started a thread on Anorak. How bizarre.
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Re: The Ballet

Post by Colin » Sun Oct 11, 2009 21:53

I can't embed it on Anorak, but there's a great video of them sitting around in a park and playing Clay here:

http://blogg.svt.se/psl/2007/09/10/musi ... he-ballet/

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Re: The Ballet

Post by everard » Sun Oct 11, 2009 23:06

"clay" is the one song on the album that's perhaps a little bit too magnetic fields-y; i like it but keep waiting for them to break into "love goes home to paris in the spring"

to be fair, with a reference to the wolfboy in the song "cordoroy", i don't think it's a similarity/ comparison that they're trying to escape.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by String Bean Jen » Mon Oct 12, 2009 14:05

everard wrote:"clay" is the one song on the album that's perhaps a little bit too magnetic fields-y; i like it but keep waiting for them to break into "love goes home to paris in the spring"

to be fair, with a reference to the wolfboy in the song "cordoroy", i don't think it's a similarity/ comparison that they're trying to escape.
Totally! :-) The Magnetic Fields similarity is one of the reasons I fell instantly for them just over three years ago when Mattachine! was released. They silk-screened plain yellow mailing envelopes with their CDs, which now sticks out of my rack all awkwardly and I like that.

I'm surprised you didn't know about them as well, everard, given your affinity for the Hidden Cameras! I think of the Ballet/HC/MF as a triumvirate of beautiful genius.

I still have not seen the Ballet live. I don't think they've ever traveled for shows in the U.S. outside the tri-state area. I did try to bring them to Chicago for 1 or 2 years but instead they came to the UK!

It's cute that Greg lists his home address on their web site. There's where you can send some gushing fan mail, everard!

And new album - with just over one month's notice - woo ha!
There's more than one use for every part

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Re: The Ballet

Post by everard » Mon Oct 12, 2009 18:38

well, i did see the address & think about writing a letter, but ended up emailing instead. letters are nicer, but the postal strikes and general backlog of mail is rather inconvenient. maybe the best thing to do is to write a letter, scan it and email it as a pdf with an email saying the attachment isn't spam or a virus, honest ... but that's what a spammer or virusser would say.

(don't want to tempt fate, but greg seems to think there's some chance he'll be able to hook me up with a copy of mattachine! so it was definitely worth writing)

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Re: The Ballet

Post by photojonny » Sat Oct 17, 2009 16:23

New song up on the MySpace!
One of god's stolen children

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Re: The Ballet

Post by Colin » Sat Nov 21, 2009 13:29

Reposting this from the 2010 foreshadowing thread in case anyone missed it - the new album's available to order now.
islandhopper wrote:
islandhopper wrote:There's a launch party for it tomorrow in NYC, but no information that I can see to get it otherwise.
But now you can go here and pay $17 in the US and $20 internationally for what I imagine will be a very lovely CD.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by lynsosaurus » Sat Nov 21, 2009 14:35

i have to say, i absolutely fucking LOVE the new songs on myspace (well, song and snippets). can't wait to hear the full album!

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Re: The Ballet

Post by gogogadgetpop » Sat Nov 21, 2009 19:27

I'm so excited about the new album! Their first release is one of my all time favorites, and the new songs sounded wonderful at NYC Popfest this year.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by everard » Sat Nov 28, 2009 15:12

my copy of bear life arrived today. the packaging is nice (those stumptown sleeves are snazzy) but the artwork is pretty genius. don't want to spoil the surprise for those that ordered, but the acetate part has magical properties ...

and the songs are fantastic as well. have been listening for a few days already because i convinced a friend with an itunes voucher to download it. it's a more complicated & less immediate album than mattachine!, i think (some of the songs are super-poppy, others are a bit harder-going) but overall a better one.

really strange to me that i've only been listening to this band for six weeks. they feel like a longtime favourite already.

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Re: The Ballet

Post by alongwalkhome » Sat Nov 28, 2009 23:39

I almost always think of every album as a grower, but I am digging this one right off the bat even though it's fairly different in many spots from mattachine!. I'm having a party in my livingroom. By myself. That's a good sign!
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