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TAS In Session: Flashback 2011, Part 1

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Over the past twelve months, The Alternate Side, alongside our sister station WFUV,  has hosted dozens of live sessions in our studio with a vivid, inspiriting array of musicians and bands. We've had the chance to shift from The Antlers' luminous introspections to the muscular, shambolic rock of Man Man and end up at the gentle-but-lethal songwriting of Laura Marling.

We wanted to revisit some of our favorite performances from many of those sessions, like The Naked and Famous' stirring "Young Blood" or Beirut's accordion-spurred anthem "Santa Fe," and give you updates on what's coming up in 2012 for many of these artists and bands.

Plus, you can hear a generous handful of these exclusive live sessions, featuring music from James Blake, Okkervil River, The Naked and Famous, The Vaccines and many more, on our Live From The Alternate Side CD. For just $35 you'll not only support The Alternate Side, but we'll send you this exclusive 9-track CD as a thank you gift. Find out more about how you can own Live From The Alternate Side here.

Beirut, "Santa Fe," from a session posted on October 18, 2011

Beirut's Zach Condon and his bandmates just wrapped a December tour in the States with Perfume Genius and are preparing to head down to Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Korea for a month's tour, kicking off December 29 in Melbourne. They're also plotting their summer in the northern hemisphere, with a gig already booked at Field Day in the UK on June 2.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6z6IKJ-Tzg]

Cymbals Eat Guitars, "Definite Darkness,"  from a session posted on September 15, 2011

New York's own Cymbals Eat Guitars are still supporting their sophomore album Lenses Alien, releasing a new video for "Keep Me Waiting" last month. They launch a UK and European tour on January 5 in London.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGpMoKrzZpU]

The Raveonettes, "Forget That You're Young," from a session posted on May 10, 2011

Releasing their fans-only Rarities/B-Sides compilation just last week, The Raveonettes also unleashed a third single and video from 2011's Raven In The Grave — the spare, reverb-lush track "Let Me On Out" — back in November. Unfortunately, no tour dates are posted yet for 2012, but if you want Rarities/B-Sides, move fast. Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo are only distributing 1000 copies of the 27-track album, available only on CD or vinyl.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSvCmR7GpKQ]

The Naked and Famous, "Young Blood," from a session posted on June 20, 2011

Tireless road warriors The Naked and Famous literally lived on the road in 2011; they wrap their current swing through the States tonight, December 19, in San Francisco. Don't expect the band to rest much in 2012 either — they'll spend much of the winter touring Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Thailand before returning to the States by March for gigs in Los Angeles and at SXSW. A full North American tour follows with The Naked and Famous returning to New York to play Terminal 5 on April 4.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLW0x2ZDJvk]

The Drums, "How It Ended," from a session posted on October 31, 2011

The Drums' sophomore record Portamento was a more somber release for the band, which underwent significant lineup changes between their first and second albums. Back in August, The Drums began their own weekly video series, called Visiomento, a look at the band int he studio and beyond (they're calling it their "private CCTV network."). Perhaps rivaling "Globe Trekker," given their now-televised adventures, they'll launch an Australian tour on January 28 before heading back north for a trip through the UK and Europe, beginning in late February. 

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VrhXUGXUcM]

The Vaccines, "If You Wanna," from a session posted on March 14, 2011

It was a rough year for The Vaccines who triumphantly released their debut album, but were plagued with singer Justin Young's ongoing vocal problems, resulting in a tour cancellation and surgery. Young is on the mend, thankfully, and The Vaccines are back on the road, finishing a European tour this week and kicking off 2012 with a string of festivals in Australia and New Zealand, beginning with Auckland's Big Day Out on January 20. The Vaccines' latest single, "Tiger Blood," dropped last month.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmXo3EpHmZc]

Man Man, "Haute Tropique," from a session posted on October 24, 2011

Man Man's Life Fantastic could describe the band's pretty stellar year; the Philly rockers received some of the best reviews of their career for their fourth album. While frontman Honus Honus juggled his indie "supergroup" Mister Heavenly, Man Man was briefly sidelined, but they've already slotted a Philadelphia show for January 21 and additional dates could follow ... we hope.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHydK-GyXU4]

The Antlers, "Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out," from a session posted on May 23, 2011

Thanks to their gorgeous fourth album Burst Apart, The Antlers toured relentlessly in 2011, seeing little of their own Brooklyn digs. They released a new EP, Free (Together), in late November and marked the occasion a sold-out, homecoming gig at Webster Hall earlier this month.  The trio is taking some time out for the holidays before donning iifejackets and getting aboard the weird and wonderful Weezer cruise, from Miami, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico, in mid-January.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJGH0Cax9eE]

Laura Marling, "Don't Ask Me Why" and "Salinas," from a session posted on September 12, 2011

Not content just touring the usual array of venues to support her masterful third album, A Creature I Don't Know, this past year, Laura Marling also chose to play cathedrals throughout the UK this year. The road trip was christened "For Whom The Bell Tolls" — quite funny given the tempestuous narrative of her most recent record. Marling's next string of 2012 dates, including North American support dates for Andrew Bird beginning in April, will be in more traditional music clubs and concert halls.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2HpbJveBg0]

Real Estate, "It's Real," from a session posted on November 14, 2011

Still in the early stages of touring for their second album Days, which dropped in October, dreamy rockers Real Estate  will join Girls for a one-off date at New York's Terminal 5 on January 14 before setting off on their own North American trek through January 22. They'll hit Europe — including a gig in Istanbul, Turkey — in February.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3EzA2eAyDY]

Cults, "You Know What I Mean," from a session posted on August 1, 2011

Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin finished out 2011 with some great gigs, including the ATP's "Nightmare Before Christmas," curated by Battles, in Minehead, England earlier this month.  Cults won't be idle in 2012; after playing a New Year's Eve show at The Standard in Los Angeles, they'll begin touring again mid-January, playing Webster Hall on January 19. A warm weather journey to Australia and Asia follows in late January, but Cults will be back to North America by early March with another New York area show at Maxwell's in Hoboken on March 2.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ-eeTLwnRQ]

The Radio Dept., "Heaven's On Fire," from a session posted on March 28, 2011

The Radio Dept. visited our studios last winter, supporting their rarities compilation, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010. Although the usually reclusive Swedes toured North America more frequently this year, even playing the Sasquatch! Festival in May, The Radio Dept. were forced to cancel their fall 2011 tour of the States in October due to what they cited as"family-related matters" on their Facebook page.  No rescheduled dates have been announced yet for 2012.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmjyZXYxkEw]

Next week on TAS In Session: Flashback 2011 Part 2, we'll feature James Blake, Elbow, The Shivers, Twin Sister, Milagres, Megafaun, Art Brut, EMA, Fool's Gold and more