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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drive Like Jehu Reuniting for Free Concert This Month

The great San Diego post-hardcore outfit Drive Like Jehu haven’t been around since 1995—they disbanded shortly after the release of their 1994 LP Yank Crime. One week from Sunday, that changes: They’re reuniting for a free concert in their hometown.

The show takes place on August 31 at San Diego’s Balboa Park. It’s an all ages show, and it will feature civic organist Dr. Carol Williams. Find more info here.

Jehu’s John Reis was also the frontman of Rocket From the Crypt, who recently resurfaced for some reunion gigs. Rick Froberg and Reis later went on to form Hot Snakes. Drummer Mark Trombino went on to become a successful producer (Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World, Rilo Kiley), and Mike Kennedy reportedly retired from music.

Tame Impala Plagiarism Accusers Say They Were Joking, But Singer They Allegedly Ripped Off Is Considering Legal Action

On Monday, Tame Impala were accused of plagiarizing their song “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” from Argentinian singer Pablo Ruiz’s “Océano”. Now, the Chilean news site Rata, who made the original allegation, say they were just joking. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the site’s editors, Raúl Álvarez and Patricio Pérez, said they had no idea the charges would take off.

“It was a joke,” they said. “We were at a party and had that idea. Curiously, it was viralized pretty fast. We never thought we’d had this impact, and we’re very surprised about it.”

As it turns out, Ruiz didn’t find it so funny. Rolling Stone points out that in an interview with ESPN Radio Argentina, Ruiz said that he was consulting with his lawyers about the possibility of a lawsuit.

Álvarez and Pérez said, “Of course we think it’s funny, but we hope there are no charges against Tame Impala. We actually like them a lot.”

Reached for comment, Tame Impala frontman Kevin Parker told Rolling Stone, “This is a joke, right?”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tame Impala Accused Of Plagiarizing Their Biggest Hit From Argentine Pop Star

Pablo Ruiz is an Argentine pop singer who had his greatest success as a child star in the ’80s. He is not, shall we say, a person you’d imagine to be among the top influences of Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala. But a new YouTube video that’s making the rounds makes a case that Tame Impala ripped off Ruiz’s 1989 single “Oceano” for their Lonerism jam “Feels Like We Only Backwards,” which has essentially become their signature song. It seems like a coincidence, but Tame Impala will be in Argentina later this year, so maybe Ruiz can holler at them about it. Below, check out that video along with Kevin Parker’s first “FLWOGB” demo and some newly announced Tame Impala American tour dates.

Tour Dates:
11/09 New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre *
11/12 Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Auditorium *
11/13 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl *
11/15 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater *
11/20 Bogota, CO @ Royal Center
11/22 Santiago, CL @ Placina Espacio Broadway
11/24 Buenos Aires, AR @ BUE Fest
11/26 Rio de Janerio, BR @ Circo Voador
11/28 Sao Paolo, BR @ Popload Festival

* = w/ Delicate Steve


Death From Above played a warm-up show in Los Angeles last Thursday night, and the crowd received a surprise gift: CDs containing a new track from their forthcoming record The Physical World.

The show at LA’s Troubador precedes a world tour for the band, which starts next month in their home town of Toronto, Canada, and the song follows up on last month’s single, “Trainwreck”.

Friday, August 15, 2014

BENJAMIN BOOKER – S/T (Album Review)

Benjamin Booker starts off where Rough Trade label mates Alabama Shakes’ 2012 southern-blues extravaganza finished. Born in Virginia, Booker honed his craft in the southern states, moving to New Orleans and channelling the smorgasbord of musical culture that the area has to offer into his writing. What results is an album that is southern rock at its best, awash with bluesy Americana and Chuck Berry-esque 50’s rock and roll. Although Booker bares all these influences proudly for everyone to see, he pays homage to the greats rather than replicate them and in doing so allows himself to take all the good bits of the past and use them to create something new.

Opener ‘Violent Shiver’ is where the Berry-isms abound, with Booker seemingly pitching a convincing case for a name change to Johnny B. Goode. Colourful blues guitar flourishes intersperse thick, simple riffs in a track that keeps the exhilaration short and sweet, clocking in at less than 3 minutes. ‘Chippewa’ is another particular highlight. Chugging steam-roller bass riffs are bound to get even the most inanimate nodding their heads and tapping their feet, accompanied by a guitar solo that could easily be mistaken as the handiwork of one Jack White.

And then there’s Booker’s voice. Like Tom Waits after smoking three packs of Marlboro Reds before lunch, his rusty drawl and swampy guitar riffs go together like peas and carrots. It lends an air of authenticity to the genre that he peddles. It’s versatile too, sounding sensitive on the slower pace of ‘I Thought I Heard You Screaming’, and utterly ferocious on the blistering ‘Wicked Waters’. Another distinguishing factor of the record is that it often doesn’t even sound like a record at all, and more like a live set. ‘Have You Seen My Son?’ could easily finish at around the three-minute mark, but instead continues with another two of the type of guitar thrashing and cymbal crashing that you only really get at club gigs. It’s these little extras that make this self-titled debut stand-out, its writer deserving to be nudging shoulders with the likes of Jack White and the Black Keys in the upper echelons of contemporary blues rock.

Ty Segall Performs “Feel” on “Conan”

We’re just under two weeks away from the release of Ty Segall’s new album, Manipulator. Despite the nearing street date, we’ve only heard one track from the record: the fuzzy-yet-sunny “Susie Thumb”. That changed last night, however, as Segall appeared on Conan to premiere the rollicking anthem “Feel”. The performance certainly impressed Conan, and will you too. Consider Segall’s screeching guitar solos and manic stare a nice alternative to this morning’s cup of joe.

The 17-track Manipulator is due August 26th via Drag City Records. Segall has a string of tour dates lined up with Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moothart, and Emily Rose Epstein as his backing band. They’ll next play FYF Fest, followed by a four-night stint at LA’s Echo to close out August.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Arcade Fire – You Already Know (Music Video)

Official video for “You Already Know” from ‘Reflektor’

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chris Walla Quits Death Cab for Cutie

Chris Walla, the longtime guitarist in Death Cab for Cutie, has quit. “Short version: I’m leaving Death Cab for Cutie,” he wrote in a letter to The Stranger. “Longer version: I think I long for the unknown. It might be that simple.” Walla said he will depart after the band’s performance at the upcoming Rifflandia Festival in Victoria, British Columbia on September 13.

“I will miss being a quarter of this band, and will support whatever course Death Cab for Cutie chooses from here,” he wrote. “I am profoundly grateful to Ben, Nick, and Jason, for the experiences that define my adult life. Truly grateful, beyond words. Thank you.”

Death Cab have recently finished their eighth album, which was recorded with Rich Costey (Interpol, Fiona Apple). It will be released in early 2015.

He also hinted at his future toward the end of the letter. “Moving forward, my plans are simply to continue making music, producing records, and erring on the side of benevolence and beauty whenever possible,” he wrote. “Darkness may find me, but I shall never choose it.”

The rest of the band—Ben Gibbard, Nick Hammer, and Jason McGerr—released a statement acknowledging Walla’s departure. “We’ve had an incredible 17 years of making music with Chris and are very proud of what we’ve accomplished together, including our 8th studio album which we have just put the finishing touches on,” they wrote. “We will miss Chris and wish him all the best in the next chapter of his career. We’re excited about sharing new music, and seeing all of you very soon.”

The band’s most recent album was 2011′s Codes and Keys. Walla released a solo album, Field Manual, in 2008.

Below, check out a list of Death Cab’s upcoming performances.

Death Cab for Cutie:
08-15 Dallas, TX – KXT’s Summer Cut – The Happy Funtime Fest
08-16 Omaha, NE – Maha Music Festival
08-29 Edmonton, Alberta – Sonic Boom 2014
08-30 Calgary, Alberta – X-Fest 2014
09-05 Chicago, IL – The Hideout Block Party & Onion AV Fest
09-07 Toronto, Ontario – Riot Fest
09-13 Victoria, British Columbia – Rifflandia

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Wonderfully Bizarre Film from Bradley Beesley and Ben Steinbauer, and a kickstarter campaign to fund it!

Park Grubbs
What do filmmakers Bradley Beesley (Fearless Freaks, Okie Noodling, Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo) and Ben Steinbauer (Winnebago Man) have up their sleeves, or rather, in their cameras this time? Well, Park Grubbs, of course.

Before Jerky Boys, Jack Ass, Tom Green, Crank Yankers, Punk’d and all the other modern envelope pushing pranksters, Park Grubbs (G.R.U. double BS) was there in the forefront pranking on the prairie in Oklahoma, conducting backwoods experiments with a landline.

Pre-Park Grubbs, prank calls consisted of – “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?” and -“Is your refrigerator running?” Park Grubbs is to prank calls what Iggy Pop is to punk rock, or what John Waters is to independent film. A childish pastime turns into sordid high art. Baltimore informs Waters’ films. Ann Arbor and Detroit informs Pop’s punk. A small wealthy, somewhat naïve, Oklahoma oil town informs the Park Grubbs phone call tapes.

In the early 80s, Park Grubbs – made up more or less of a trio of teens who perfectly imitated crotchety old geezers – expressed their ennui with the status quo (AKA those who were rocking to Styx Paradise Theater and Foreigner 4) through riotous and more than a little disturbing prank phone calls. As their high school contemporaries were cruising McDonalds and the teen favorite Shane’s Games, Grubbs was talking to the unsuspecting about canoes and sexual devices and processes of which you make cheese.

Although these prank calls by Grubbs were often risqué to the point of being triple X, there was something innocent but daring about the caller that kept the pranked on the phone. Sometimes for almost 10 minutes, both prankster and pranked could escape from the tedium and unending television sameness of small town life talking about things as mundane as urine.7

Although these pranksters were conducting aforementioned backwoods experiments with a landline, they were not scientists or even professionals. At one point, during mid prank, Grubbs has to hang up because his mom comes home. Although it was a performance, they did not view it as so. This, to them, was nothing more than a way to ward away the boredom for a short time.

Not for posterity, but for the hell of it, one of the prankster teens decided to tape the calls. The calls were taped primitively with the medium of the time, the cassette tape. This cassette tape was copied and copied again. Then it made its way across the USA sometimes landing at college towns other times landing in artistically informed cities like New York, Los Angeles and Seattle molding the local vernacular among co-eds and hipsters. Phrases like ‘hotdogs and shindigs’ and ‘I want to fondle your member’ became part of the secret vernacular, code words that helped form friendships, build art slacker alliances.

Art-rock weirdoes The Flaming Lips took the tape and cleaned up the noise and debated releasing it as a piece of pop history. Ghost World’s Dan Clowes and Neat Stuff’s Peter Bagge have both used it as reference material.

Now, filmmakers Bradley Beesley (Fearless Freaks, Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo) and Ben Steinbauer (Winnebago Man) have a vision. Through reenactments (animated and non-animated), reconciliations (the pranksters meeting the pranked) and interviews with the pranksters, the victims, the influenced and the under the influenced; Park Grubbs for the first time ever is coming to life.

And, in full disclosure, I should add that I am involved in the film. Steven Drozd from the Flaming Lips and I will be doing the soundtrack with a little help from some friends and fiends. In as much, the filmmakers have asked me to produce the film, which is a first for me. This is because I would like to think of myself as a Park Grubbs archivist and historian. Personally, this film is incredibly important to me. (Tyson Meade)

As Park Grubbs once stated “What d’ya think I been talkin’ about all this time!”

Here is a link to the Kickstarter page:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Foo Fighters Detail New Album Sonic Highways

It’s been reported that Foo Fighters recorded their next album in eight studios in eight different cities. Now, full details have been shared about the band’s follow up to 2011′s Wasting Light. It’s called Sonic Highways, out November 10. The album is available in nine different covers: one for each of the cities it was recorded in, plus one “forever” cover. Check out all the covers here.

Dave Grohl also directed a new HBO documentary series called “Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways”, which focuses both on the making of the album and the studios in Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, DC, and New York where it was made. It premieres October 17.

See a trailer for the record and one for the series, after the tracklist.

Sonic Highways:
01 Something From Nothing
02 The Feast and the Famine
03 Congregation
04 What Did I Do?/God As My Witness
05 Outside
06 In the Clear
07 Subterranean
08 I Am a River

Fugazi’s First Demo to Be Released

Fugazi released their first EP in 1988. But, earlier that year, the band passed around its first demo cassette, which will be officially reissued this winter, as Dischord’s website notes. First Demo was recorded at Inner Ear Studio after Fugazi had only played 10 shows, according to Dischord.

The LP/CD/MP3 reissue will feature the 10 tracks from the original demo tape–including “In Defense of Humans”, which was released on 1989′s State of the Union comp—as well as an additional track from the session, “Turn Off Your Guns”.

According to the Dischord website, the release of First Demo also marks the end of the first phase of the Fugazi Live Series. The project has documented all of Fugazi 1,000+ performances since it launched in 2011.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Pulp Documentary A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets U.S. Screenings Announced


Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets is Florian Habicht’s documentary about Pulp’s 2012 hometown show in Sheffield, England. Today, Oscilloscope Laboratories has announced a series of U.S. screenings.

Tonight, Jarvis Cocker and Habicht are set to appear at the Los Angeles screening, and on Thursday in Brooklyn, Cocker will judge a Pulp karaoke contest at a screening. Find the dates and a new trailer for the film below; that’s a new poster for the movie up there.

Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets:

08-05 Los Angeles, CA – Ace Hotel *#
08-06 New York, NY – Film Society of Lincoln Center #
08-07 Brooklyn, NY – Rooftop Films *^
11-19 Boston, MA – Brattle Theatre
11-19 Washington, DC – Angelika Pop-Up
11-19 Fairfax, VA – Angelika Mosaic
11-19 Detroit, MI – Cinema Detroit
11-19 Columbus, OH – Gateway Film Center
11-19 Seattle, WA – Grand Illusion
11-19 Portland, OR – Hollywood Theatre
11-19 Dallas, TX – Angelika Dallas
11-19 Plano, TX – Angelika Plano
11-19 San Diego, CA – Reading Gaslamp
11-19 San Diego, CA – Reading Town Square
11-19 Sacramento, CA – Reading Tower
11-19 Honolulu, HI – Reading Kahala
11-26 Los Angeles, CA – Cinefamily

* with Jarvis Cocker
# with director Florian Habicht
^ with Pulp karaoke

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Reigning Sound- Shattered (Album Review)

Greg Cartwright has had a guiding hand in an almost unreasonable number of great garage-rock acts over the last couple of decades, among them the Oblivians, the Compulsive Gamblers, the Parting Gifts and perhaps greatest of all, Reigning Sound – whose early-noughties albums Time Bomb High School and Too Much Guitar both stand up as truly unimpeachable rock’n’roll-soul classics. The all-out blazing fuzz of that era is understandably less in evidence these days, but Cartwright’s extraordinary ear for heartbreaking melodies and artful arrangements is as keen as ever. Indeed, the exquisite, string-laden likes of Never Coming Home and the almost Bacharachesque Once More must be among the most swooningly gorgeous songs he’s ever written. He’s got a terrifically spry and skilful band at his back, too, who give the more uptempo songs here (North Cackalacky Girl, You Did Wrong) a snap and swing too often missing from this kind of endeavour. Shattered is a grown-up, repeat-listen rock record of rare quality, and a great addition to an already astoundingly good back catalogue.

Spoon Perform “Do You” on “The Tonight Show”

Sharing a bill with Helen Mirren and James Cameron, Spoon were guests on last night’s episode of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”. They did their single “Do You” from their great new album They Want My Soul.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Shabazz Palaces: Lese Majesty (Album Review)

A reverie, a DMT-fuelled wander through the subconscious of hip hop; whatever way you cut it, Lese Majesty is way out there. Shabazz Palaces’ sophomore release travels deep into the astral plane, fully armed with gelatinous synth globules, anomalous lyricism and untold confidence in their mission. The mission itself: shatter all preconceptions of what Shabazz Palaces are supposed to sound like while pandering to absolutely no one.

Lese Majesty has no hits to speak of, nothing you could easily extract and stick in a radio slot, which is kind of the essence of this album. It’s a piece, an installation of sound and thought. Each track drizzles into the next in a dreamlike fashion. “Forerunner Foray” is galactic grime that oozes into the poetic thumping of “They Come in Gold,” which then reforms as wistful synth interlude “Solemn Swears,” and so the album flows. Shabazz Palaces offer an ethereal conglomerate with a prophetic voice, a gutsy move that’s more than paid off here.