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Friday, September 12, 2014


Jack White is pleased to unveil the latest video offering from his critically-lauded second LP, Lazaretto (Third Man Records/Columbia). The video for “Would You Fight For My Love?” was directed by Robert Hales and filmed in the historic Cruise Room, Denver’s original post-prohibition bar, located in the Oxford Hotel. The video also stars musician and photographer Scout Pare-Phillips and many other musical members of the Third Man Records family.

Continuing Jack’s tradition of innovation and – having released the World’s Fastest Record earlier this year – penchant for quick turnarounds, “Would You Fight For My Love?” was conceptualized, produced and shot within a 24 hour period. The six-hour shoot came together on less than 12 hours notice.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Death From Above 1979 – Trainwreck 1979 (Music Video)

DFA 1979

Tour Dates:

European dates:
9/12 Laval, Canada @ MRCY Block Party
10/7 Koln, Germany @ Luxor
10/8 Paris, France @ adaboum
10/9-10 Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique
10/11 Amsterdam, Holland @ Melkweg
10/12 Hamburg, Germany @ Hafenklang
10/13-14 Berlin, Germany @ Cassiopeia
10/15 Vienna, Austria @ Flex
10/16 Munich, Germany @ Orangehouse
10/18-19 Zurich, Switzerland @ Mascotte
10/20 London, UK @ Electric Ballroom
10/21 Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
10/22 Glasgow, UK @ The Garage

North American dates:
11/01 New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music + Arts Experience
11/03 Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
11/04 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
11/06 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live
11/07 Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun
11/08 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
11/10 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre
11/12 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
11/13 Santa Ana, CA @ Observatory
11/15 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
11/17 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
11/18 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
11/19 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
11/21 Salt Lake City, UT @ In The Venue
11/22 Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
11/24 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
11/25 Chicago, IL @ Rivera Theatre
11/26 Detroit, MI @ Crofoot
11/28 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
11/29 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
12/01 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
12/02 Boston, MA @ House of Blues

Death from Above 1979: The Physical World (Album Review)

This is Toronto duo Death from Above 1979’s followup to their 2004 debut You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine. It has been a long wait – multi-instrumentalist Jesse Keeler and singer and drummer Sebastien Grainger split in 2005 before reconvening for some live shows in 2011 – but admirers of their full-on assault won’t be disappointed by The Physical World. Government Trash typifies DFA 1979’s approach: pummelling riffs played with big, ugly guitars overloaded with distortion, thundering drums and brattish vocals. Better still is Gemini, which adds electronic squawks to the mix. True, there are signs of maturity: DFA 1979’s earlier songs often had endearingly daft titles, whereas the only one here that does is Right On, Frankenstein!. But like its predecessor, The Physical World is crammed with loud, fast, short songs: It even has a similar cover, an unsettling image of Keeler and Grainger with elephant trunks for noses. exhausting, but great fun.

Since the split, they‘ve tinkered away on their own projects – Grainger with his power-pop band The Mountains and later a new wave-inspired solo album ‘Yours To Discover’, Keeler with his electro duo MSTRKRFT – but it wasn’t the same. And even when they announced their reformation in 2011, one question remained: could they put their differences aside and write new music?

Good news: ‘The Physical World’ is magnificent. Hulking opener ‘Cheap Talk’ is vintage DFA 1979. They clearly haven’t forgotten the pounding thrash that made them great, but it’s not all cheap thrills and weighty beats. What makes it such a rewarding repeat listen are the layers of meaning that emerge like Renaissance paintings appearing in television static. Taken together, the songs on this record are hymns to lost innocence – both for us as individuals navigating adolescence and sexual politics (‘Virgins’, ‘Nothin’ Left’) and for society as it slides irreversibly into the digital age, losing touch with the physical world of the title. Most pointedly, the lyrics of ‘Always On’ reincarnate Kurt Cobain into a world of Facebook likes, YouTube-dictated radio playlists and Spotify-driven charts and assume he’ll top himself before sundown. “If we brought Kurt back to life, there’s no way he would survive,” Grainger sings. “No way, not a day.”

‘White Is Red’ – a rare ballad that combines a Springsteen-style road story about a heartbreaker named Frankie with a Sonic Youth squall of noise – is the album’s best song, and somehow lives up to both of those high-water marks. It’s also the record’s most accessible, straightforward moment, which could, if the band wanted it to, turn into a big Killers-style sing-along stadium anthem. Lead single ‘Trainwreck 1979’, ‘Nothin’ Left’ and the meat-tenderiser beat of ‘Government Trash’ pick up the pace again in the album’s second half. It’s all kept tight and succinct, with only a few tracks straying over the three-minute mark.

The 10-year break has obviously served DFA 1979 well. They have returned hungry and wired to shake us out of our digital comas. Put down your fucking phone for one minute and give yourself over to the visceral power of their music. There’s a big, bad planet out there, and it’s all the better for having ‘The Physical World’ in it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Watch Spoon Turn ‘Letterman’ ‘Inside Out’

Spoon dropped in on David Letterman to promote their fantastic eighth album, They Want My Soul. Fresh off of a gig at Boston Calling Musical Festival, Britt Daniel and co. took the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater to perform “Inside Out,” easily the new record’s prettiest highpoint. The glimmering ballad stands not only as one of the finest songs in the Austin-bred band’s entire catalog — it’s also one reason this past summer didn’t suck as bad as you thought. Watch the dimly lit performance above.

Interpol Do “All the Rage Back Home” on “Letterman”

While the Replacements revisited 30 Rock, the Ed Sullivan Theater and “Late Show with David Letterman” played host to Interpol. They did their El Pintor track “All the Rage Back Home”.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Flaming Lips’ Sgt. Pepper’s Tribute Tracklist Revealed: My Morning Jacket, MGMT, Miley Cyrus, Tegan And Sara, J Mascis, More

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 3.14.19 PM

The Flaming Lips already announced the impending release of With A Little Help From My Fwends, their guest-heavy full-length tribute to the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album will include covers of every single song on the Beatles’ original album, and we already knew that it would feature guests like Miley Cyrus, Moby, Electric Würms, and MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden. As it turns out, that was just the tip of the collaborative iceberg. Frontman Wayne Coyne posted the tracklist sprawl on Instagram (see above), and it seems to indicate that the album will also feature contributions from My Morning Jacket, Tegan And Sara, J Mascis, Foxygen, Phantogram, Julianna Barwick, Dr. Dog, the Cool Kids’ Chuck Inglish, Lightning Bolt side project Black Pus, Wilco side project the Autumn Defense, Grace Potter, and Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan. At this point, it’s hard to even imagine what this thing will sound like. But there you have it: It’s happening. It’s out 10/28 on Warner Bros. Here’s the tracklist…

01 My Morning Jacket, Fever The Ghost, J Mascis – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”
02 The Flaming Lips, Black Pus, The Autumn Defense – “With A Little Help From My Friends”
03 Miley Cyrus, Moby, The Flaming Lips – “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”
04 Dr. Dog, Chuck Inglish – “Getting Better”
05 Electric Würms – “Fixing A Hole”
06 Phantogram, Juliana Barwick – “She’s Leaving Home”
07 The Flaming Lips, Maynard James Keenan, Sunbears – “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”
08 Birdflower, Morgan Delt – “Within You Without You”
09 The Flaming Lips, Pitchwafuzz, Def Rain – “When I’m Sixty-Four”
10 Tegan And Sara, Stardeath And White Dwarves – “Lovely Rita”
11 Zorch, Grace Potter, Treasure MammaL – “Good Morning Good Morning”
12 Foxygen, MGMT – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”
13 The Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus – “A Day In The Life”

Thursday, September 4, 2014


La Blogotheque have today premiered a unique Jack White live performance. Filmed at the historic Saint-Saturnin Chapel at the Château de Fontainebleau on the outskirts of Paris, the film sees White performing “The Same Boy You’ve Always Known” (from The White Stripes’ White Blood Cells) and “Entitlement” (from White’s recent Lazaretto album), backed by band members Lillie Mae Rische, Dominic Davis and Fats Kaplin.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Drive Like Jehu Play Sole Reunion Show: Video

Last night, Drive Like Jehu reunited for a free concert at San Diego’s Balboa Park accompanied by civic organist Dr. Carol Williams. According to John Reis, there aren’t currently plans for them to tour beyond the one show. Now, footage has surfaced of the five-song set. Watch it below.

Reis said the show wasn’t a warm up for future reunion gigs. They reunited for the opportunity to perform with the giant Balboa Park organ. “I’ve been going to the organ concerts in the park there for years,” he said.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Martin Scorsese to Direct Ramones Film

With Tommy Ramone’s death last month, every founding member of the Ramones is now gone. Still, it looks like the future holds a lot of treats for the band’s fans. In an interview with Billboard, Jeff Jampol, who co-manages the band’s estate with Dave Frey, revealed plans for a new film that’s set to be helmed by Martin Scorsese.

In addition, Jampol says they’re planning a new documentary, which will feature never-before-seen footage. He also hints at a forthcoming book, play, some remastered music, and more that will mark the 40th anniversary of Ramones’ debut album.

Previously, Scorsese has tackled films about Bob Dylan, George Harrison, the Rolling Stones, and the Band.

James Murphy and IBM Transforming U.S. Open Tennis Data Into 400 Hours of Music

Between his score for Noah Baumbach’s forthcoming movie While We’re Young, his musical renovations for the New York City MTA, and his signature coffee, James Murphy has been keeping pretty busy lately. Now, the LCD Soundsystem mastermind has announced another project, this time in partnership with IBM and the U.S. Open, which is happening now. As Self-Titled reports, Murphy and the tech giant plan to use the raw data from tennis matches to generate an algorithm that will transform each match into a unique song. By the time the tournament ends, they estimate that they’ll have amassed have almost 400 hours of music. Isn’t technology amazing? IBM has shared a trailer for the project; check it out below.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Broken Bells have unveiled the accompanying video for their new single “Control” from After the Disco (Columbia). Join Brian Burton and James Mercer on an alien adventure through space and time. The video, as is true with the band’s previous visual pieces, features the omnipresent, extraterrestrial pink orb.

Broken Bells return to the North American highways and byways in support of After the Disco this fall. The tour kicks off in New York on September 26 and will stop at the Austin City Limits Music Festival before making its way to the West Coast. For tickets and further information, visit

2014 TOUR

09/26/14 – New York, NY – Rumsey Playfield
09/27/14 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
09/28/14 – Richmond, VA – The National
09/29/14 – Nashville, TN – Ryman Auditorium
10/01/14 – Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
10/02/14 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City
10/04/14 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/05/14 – San Antonio, TX – The Aztec Theater
10/07/14 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
10/08/14 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theater
10/11/14 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/24-25/14 – Los Angeles, CA – Orpheum Theatre
10/24-26/14 – Las Vegas, NV – Life Is Beautiful Festival
10/28/14 – San Francisco, CA – The Masonic Auditorium

J Mascis’ Video For “Every Morning” Features Fred Armisen and The Shins’ James Mercer

J. Mascis has shared a new video for “Every Morning” in which a fictional religious cult called “The Space Children Of The Forest” mysteriously disappears. The Funny or Die-helmed video takes place in 1974 and features the Shins’ James Mercer as a loyal, egg-loving devotee to Mascis, who plays a Jesus-like figure. Fred Armisen, meanwhile, plays his hilariously-outfitted nemesis. Watch the video below.

J Mascis – "Every Morning" from Funny Or Die

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers (Album Review)

For me, at least, The New Pornographers continue to stand out as one of the oddities of indie rock’s recent history; like their compatriots Broken Social Scene, the Canadian group is comprised of members who remain engaged in other projects at the same time, with a core songwriting duo putting songs aside for the Pornographers and only deciding later who should play what on each one. It’s almost like an inversion of the classic concept of the supergroup, but it’s certainly proved an effective one thus far; the band’s five full-lengths to date have been consistent in their excellence, and the relative sparsity of their releases – this album is their first in four years – making each new record feel like a real treat.

Brill Bruisers has been described as celebratory by frontman Carl Newman; it’s not that their last album, Together, was especially downbeat, but it was certainly reserved in places, and that’s something that’s been eschewed this time around; this is a consistently boisterous record. The positivity of the album is evident partly just in the way it sounds; Newman and fellow songwriter Dan Bejar have played with a light, airy palette, making Brill Bruisers a record that instrumentally sounds very open – it has its eyes fixed on the sky, as it were, rather than its feet. The title track, in opening proceedings, is a fine example; the percussion is bouncy, but lightly delivered, allowing a sing-song backing vocal line to back up a genuinely triumphant turn from Newman.

It’s actually Newman who’s written the lion’s share of this record, and it shows; “Champions of Red Wine”, lyrically playful, is driven by twinkling synths and a smooth vocal turn from Kathryn Calder, whilst she and Newman combine to stirring effect on the spaced-out “Backstairs”, which veers between straightforward, guitar-driven passages and hazy, electronic digressions – it’s an experimentation that shouldn’t work, but comes off smartly in Newman’s hands. Generally speaking, he’s pitched the delicate balance between meshing guitars and synths intelligently; on “Dancehall Domine”, for instance, there’s all the hallmarks of the classic Pornographers sound – stacked harmonies, steady builds in the guitars from verse to chorus – but they’ve been reinterpreted in a way that allows for the genuine buzzsaw of the track’s riffs to make room for some wavering keyboard backing throughout.

There’s some mis-steps, too, as always seems inevitable when you’re working as experimentally, with as diffuse a lineup of musicians, as The New Pornographers do; the inclusion of “Spidyr” late on is a jarring one, with Bejar’s hushed, half-spoken vocal delivery placed incongruously over the top of a garish mix of harmonica and juddering keys, whilst “War on the East Coast” does similarly in its instrumental breakdowns, with a mouth organ solo that sounds as if it’s trying to mimic the effect of a string section, and not quite pulling it off.

Overall, though, it’s hard to pick too many faults with a record that sees a band that previously have always sought to temper the upbeat nature of their own brand of indie rock in one way or another instead just casting off the shackles and making a brilliantly boisterous LP; the electronic elements probably won’t quite be to everybody’s tastes, but even then, the energy with which they’re delivered should be enough to make up for it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cloud Nothings Announce Tour Share Live Sessions From Spotify and KEXP

Cloud Nothings have announced plans for a brand new leg of shows behind their latest LP, Here and Nowhere Else. Closing out the year with dates in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, the upcoming tour will kick in Pittsburgh at the end of the September.

In addition to the tour, the band has shared a pair of live performance sessions for Spotify and radio station KEXP. Scroll down to listen and watch the sets, and view the full itinerary of concerts.

Cloud Nothings Tour Dates:

09/26 Pittsburgh, PA – William Pitt Union
09/27 Cleveland, OH – NEOCycle Music Festival
09/30 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10/01 Newport, KY – Southgate House Revival Room
10/02 Bowling Green, OH – Clazel Theatre
10/03 Columbus, OH – Double Happiness
10/04 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
10/05 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10/07 New York, NY – Irving Plaza
10/08 Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/09 Syracuse, NY – The Lost Horizon
10/10 Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
10/14 San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
10/17 Los Angeles, CA – Culture Collide Festival
11/19 Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hounds
11/20 Brighton, UK – Sticky Mick’s Frog Bar
11/22 Utrecht, NE – Le Guess Who? Festival
11/24 Tourcoing, FR – Grand Mix
11/25 Nantes, FR – Le Férailleur
11/26 Paris, FR – La Maroquinerie
11/27 Antwerp, BE – Trix
12/01 London, UK – Electric Ballroom
12/10 Sydney, AUS – Oxford Art Factory
12/11 Melbourne, AUS – Corner Hotel
12/13 Meredith, AUS – Meredith Music Festival
12/14 Brisbane, AUS – The Zoo


Ty Segall: Manipulator (Album Review)

Rock is replete with musicians who toil away in multiple guises, releasing album after album with confounding frequency. If, every so often, a Jack White might leap from regional obscurity to international superstardom and friend of the legends, seemingly despite not altering his modus operandi from that which made him a staple of Detroit bars for several years, it’s more common for these musicians to remain no more than beloved cults. Many, too, seem to share a dogged devotion to a form of musical conservation: think of Nick Salomon, who as the Bevis Frond has devoted decades to psychedelia and its variants, or Robert Pollard, who, whether with Guided by Voices, as a solo artist or with enough other bands to fill a substantial festival bill, has released what appears to be a total of 82 albums of what he calls “the four Ps” – pop, punk, prog and psychedelia. By way of contrast, it’s rare to find a cult artist on an indie label releasing half a dozen albums a year, under assorted names, dedicated to their love of, say, contemporary Scandinavian cosmic disco

The latest in this lineage is California’s Ty Segall. Manipulator is merely his seventh official solo studio album since 2008, which seems positively parsimonious until you consider the 17 other albums released in various guises, as well as countless singles and EPs with the likes of Epsilons, Party Fowl, the Traditional Fools, the Perverts, Sic Alps and Fuzz. Whatever else one might say about Segall, there’s no doubting his work ethic. And, like Pollard, the four Ps loom large in his life – this is a man, Wikipedia tells us, whose “main and sometimes only pedal is a Death by Audio Fuzz War pedal”. With Fuzz, for whom he drummed, he took care of the prog by covering King Crimson; the punk has tended to be of the garage variety; the pop takes a definition from the mid-60s rather than the mid-noughties, and the psychedelia is all over the discography. If you were being unkind, you might suggest his music runs the gamut of styles from the Yardbirds to Led Zeppelin, but he’s managed to prove there’s a lot of ground between those two points to be farmed before the fields fall fallow.

With such profligacy comes the issue of quality control. Even the most committed Robert Pollard fan might concede their hero appeared to be releasing records for the sake of it when he put out an album of his stage banter entitled Relaxation of the Asshole, and the very best GBV albums contained songs it was a struggle to listen to twice. Which brings us to Ty Segall. One might suspect that an album nearly an hour long from a musician who views a day without a new release to be wasted could well contain longueurs, but Manipulator is an unadulterated joy from start to finish, perhaps because, rather than bashing it out in a couple of weeks, he took a year writing its 17 songs and then a month – nothing to Coldplay, but an eternity in the garage punk underground – recording it, with the aim of producing what he has called “a Tony Visconti kind of record”.

Visconti, who produced David Bowie’s great 70s records, as well as T Rex, Iggy Pop and others, is a good reference point. Not only because of the glam stomp that appears on tracks such as The Faker, or because of the twin guitar lines, reminiscent of Thin Lizzy– another Visconti client – that occur throughout the record, but also because of the cleanliness of the production: Manipulator sounds like a 70s record in that every element is always audible; there’s no mastering everything louder than everything else. Every instrument has its place, and every instrument does its job: there’s nothing sloppy about Manipulator; it’s precise.

Best of all, the songs are almost uniformly fantastic, and extraordinarily well sequenced. The Clock has an intricate, spiralling acoustic lead guitar line and a string-drenched chorus, but still has a feeling of aggression and attack: it might have fitted comfortably on Love’s Forever Changes. That cuts straight into Green Belly, with a lazy, loping, spacious, Stonesy riff, which in turn gives way to The Connection Man, on which Segall revisits the garage, with a fuzztoned bassline and wailing guitar solos. It’s a limited stylistic span, but the order emphasises the differences between the songs, not their similarities.

From its title track onwards – a delicious descending organ riff, joined by a perfectly constructed guitar line that doubles up on itself – Manipulator feels like a statement album, as if Segall has had enough of being hailed as a god by three dozen people in tiny clubs with extensive record collections drawn entirely from labels like In the Red and Sympathy for the Record Industry. It feels like the work of a man who’s looked at his predecessors and decided he’d rather be Jack White than Robert Pollard.