Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Night: The Ting Tings at Popscene + Bonus Interview with DJ Aaron Axelson

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 1:15 PM


Last Night: The Ting Tings at Popscene

Popscene (330 Ritch St.)

June 12, 2008

Review and Photos by Edward Paik

Last night, the British indie-pop duo of Jules De Martino and Katie White gave the crowd at Popscene a fresh take on an overplayed foreign sound. Standing atop a mat composed of signed copies of their debut album (held together by blue masking tape), The Ting Tings alternated between keyboard, drums, a guitar and cowbell over the span of an hour - producing a sound that one can perhaps describe as "British rock meets the White Stripes."

Though the event itself covered only nine songs (the pair went on without an opening band) every song from their latest album with the exception of “Impacilla Carisung” had a place on the set list.



The Popscene crowd was perhaps most familiar with “Great DJ,” which has been getting airtime on local alternative stations, and the band’s first U.S. single, “Shut Up and Let Me Go” of iTunes commercial fame, which isn’t a break up song, but a song influenced by White’s departure from a record label, played with cowbell solo.



Despite the originality of primary vocalist White and drummer De Martino, the two could still learn a bit of staging a performance between the sets. After the fourth “Thank you,” the crowd understood the band’s gratitude, but perhaps some colorful anecdotes would have been a little more appropriate.



Set List:

We Walk

Great DJ

Fruit Machine

Keep Your Head

Traffic Light

Shut Up and Let Me Go

Be The One

That’s Not My Name

We Started Nothing


Critic’s Notebook:

Personal Bias: Always been into British alternative.

Random Detail: Halfway through the show, the set list below Katie White’s feet was torn till the point that it wasn’t recognizable.

By the Way: Popscene hosts a new indie band every Thursday at 10 p.m. June 19 will feature indie-U.K. band These New Puritans.

Bonus Interview: Aaron Axelson, music director of Live105 and Popscene's resident DJ

How long have you working with Popscene?

I started Popscene in 1996 with a couple of DJ friends of mine. When we started the club we felt like we wanted to provide an outlet for the kind of music that we liked. At the time there wasn’t this kind of indie-rock club so we wanted to provide an outlet to play our favorite kind of music and to bring in bands that we really liked.

So what kind of music do you like? What brought you together?

We all met at a My Bloody Valentine’s show at Slim's, all of us, and we kind of all grew up in the early days of Brit-pop: Blur and Ride and Shoegazing and Supergrass. The indie buyer at Motown Records, we told him, “Oh, we’re gong to start Popscene.” So I thought it was cool to create a scene where we could play The Smiths and Blur and Velvet Underground and make a dance club for indie rockers.

What about The Ting Tings made you book them tonight?

I’ve always been a big fan for the Manchester music scene, from The Smiths to Joy Divison to Stone Roses. So I’ve always had a special heart for Manchester music. I first read about [The Ting Tings] in the Anemic Magazine, and they had a focus on Manchester bands. I looked them up online and I loved it, e-mailed the band in the U.K. and they sent me some tracks, and I started playing them on Soundcheck. They’re on MTV now, but it’s good though, they’re a great band.

As an indie-band, what kind of potential did you see in them?

[The Ting Tings] have the potential to transcend beyond the underground indie scene. They have the potential to be a pop band. I could see fans of the Spice Girls being fans of The Ting Tings. I think they have potential not only to be bigger from the scene, but stronger.

Was there anything you saw in their performance tonight that you didn’t expect?

What I loved about tonight’s show, what made it really special, was the crowd. Their reaction to the show tonight was spectacular. You can see the band playing in a lot of small markets, you know what I mean, in the Salt Lakes and Portlands, and they came here and the Popscene crowd is so great that it’s full of that insatiable hungry new music tastemakers. They’re passionate about the music, and not posturing about indie. Everyone was dancing and the crowd feed off that. You could see the band evolved, feeding off that energy, and they were looking at each other going, “Man, I love that.” That’s the specialness of Popscene. It’s the crowd.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Janine Kahn


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.