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Monday, October 19, 2015

Wand – 1000 Days (Album Review)

Three albums in thirteen months is a huge ask for any band – but for Wand it seems like they’re already ready for their fourth. Over the course of ‘ganglion relief’ and ‘golem’ they set out their prototype – picking up the sound that Black Sabbath and the likes made popular and sticking it out in the desert. The riffs were there, but they were given space; the proto metal was there but in distinctly blown out all American scenery. It’s a killer sound that a band could forge a career on, but Wand have different ideas.

1000 Days almost sounds like a retrospective; the genres and styles bridged here feel like the best picks of a creative band over the course of five years – from the stuttering, Magazine checking ‘Stolen Footsteps’ to the psychedelic folk of the title track, to possibly one of the standout tracks of the year so far in the bizarre percussive zombie groove of ‘Dovetail’, this feels like a band overflowing with ideas in a productive way.

That’s perhaps the only criticism of the album here – it feels like here there are three or four seeds to some really incredible albums that will never exist because they can’t stay interested for long enough. An entire album that expands on ‘Dovetail’ would be phenomenal, and there’s no question that they’re capable of it, but it feels like they’re already done with it. (For possibly the first time, I’d hugely appreciate self-indulgent expanded version of an album – the offcuts from this album must have been brilliant to leave this many incredible tracks.)

This is undoubtedly one of the albums of the year, possibly even surpassing Golem. And, at this rate, we’ll have one even better by Christmas.

Friday, October 16, 2015


Now 10 years into their lifespan, it’s fair to say Deerhunter have skated from sound to sound, with their last album, 2013’s Monomania, taking a roughly hewn garage as its loose core.

But a wonderful balance seems restored on Fading Frontier, on which texture and a lightness of touch is evident and resplendent throughout. Even on the dirtier – and, dare we say it, groovier – tracks, particularly lead single Snakeskin, or the delicious, slow plod of Leather And Wood, there’s a clarity that even the tape loops of Broadcast’s James Cargill, or the harpsichord of Stereolab’s Tim Gane can’t obscure.

Lofty frontman Bradford Cox hovers above proceedings, his clipped, lip-smacking vocals as alluring as ever. As he repeatedly slurs the title of Living My Life, there’s a sense of optimism in his voice that makes for a welcome addition to the band’s sound. Maybe he’s taking the piss, or perhaps sarcasm’s at play, but Fading Frontier seems to be Deerhunter’s most crystal-clear record to date. Nine times out of 10, it’s precisely this clarity that allows their miasma of messages to hit home the hardest.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Public Image Ltd – ‘What The World Needs Now…’ (Album Review)

There is a song on ‘What The World Needs Now…’ called ‘I’m Not Satisfied’. Coming, as this sentiment does, from the former Johnny Rotten, the fact hardly needs to be plainly stated. But if John Lydon – one-time Sex Pistol, occasional butter salesman, eternal malcontent – hasn’t exactly mellowed in his old age, we can at least determine a few things that he loves.

Public Image Ltd, for instance. Lydon used Country Life to get his post-Pistols group back in the recording studio, and aged 59, when many creaky old rockers are topping up their retirement fund, he’s making obstreperous, cantankerous, often quite silly music that caters to no-one but himself. As an illustration of this, PiL’s 11th album kicks off with a track, ‘Double Trouble’, on which Lydon delivers a monologue about a broken toilet. For a moment, you wonder if Lydon is trying to outdo spiritual heirs Sleaford Mods on the scatological front. But then, a sweetly intoned “Domestos is/domestic bliss” reminds you this man is charismatic enough to sell the nation dairy produce if that’s what it takes to keep the PiL show on the road.

‘What The World Needs Now…’ sounds much the same as PiL’s last album, 2012’s ‘This Is PiL’ – a mite scuzzier, perhaps, and with added bloopy synthesizer, but broadly conforming to the same formula. Lu Edmonds fires off glassy shards of guitar, Scott Firth supplies weaving dub bass, and Lydon holds forth on whatever takes his fancy. At times it gets a little saucy. ‘Bettie Page’ is a surf-tinged tribute to the ‘50s S&M pin-up that slinks along like a pair of snakeskin creepers, while ‘Spice Of Choice’ finds Lydon gleefully rhyming “master plan” with “masturbation”.

Still, the overriding feel here is one of reflection. Burly rockers like ‘Know Now’ feel a bit hackneyed, but when PiL dial it back to an atmospheric, twilit dub, as on extinction anthem ‘C’est La Vie’ or the clanking, mechanical ‘Corporate’ – a plea for community in an increasingly dystopian 21st Century – they still sound vital. Yes, PiL have made better records. But it’s nice to know John Lydon still cares enough to rage. “What the world needs now/Is another ‘Fuck off’!” he bellows on the closing ‘Shoom’. But this bitter PiL remains easy to swallow.

Arcade Fire Record “Afterlife” With James Murphy in The Reflektor Tapes Preview

The Reflektor Tapes is the forthcoming Arcade Fire film directed by Kahlil Joseph that follows the band as they record 2013’s Reflektor and tour the world. Last month, they released a series of trailers for the film.

Today, they shared another preview for the movie, in which the band is shown working on “Afterlife” with James Murphy. It also features some performance footage. Watch it below, via Arcade Fire Tube.

The Reflektor Tapes comes to theaters on September 23.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Download Toro Y Moi’s Surprise Mixtape Samantha

Toro Y Moi just put out a new mixtape called Samantha via a Dropbox link the 20-track release features contributions from Washed Out, Kool A.D., Rome Fortune, and Nosaj Thing. The tracklist contains a number of the loose tracks Chaz Bundick has been dropping over the last few months, including “Room For 1zone,” “2Late,” and “Pitch Black.”

Motörhead” ‘Bad Magic’ (Album Review)

Time flies when you realize this is Motörhead ’s 22d studio album over a slam-bam, no-surrender 40 years. Stubborn frontman Lemmy Kilmister, now 69, has endured some serious health issues in recent years, including having a defibrillator put in his chest to combat an irregular heartbeat. But he gets the last laugh here: This is a supersonic blast-furnace set of metal-punk that not only will happily surprise Motörhead fans, but also serves notice to wannabes that Lemmy & Co. are not done yet. Kilmister is in vintage form on the surging “Electricity” (“Don’t tell me who I am, I don’t give a damn!” he barks), and on a rare power ballad, “Till the End,” which includes the snarling line, “Don’t tell me what to do, my friend.” Guitarist Phil Campbell steps up on the AC/DC-like “Fire Storm Hotel,” while drummer Mikkey Dee shines on an unexpected cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” That efficient if unspectacular borrowing aside, this potent record ranks among the year’s best.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



Deerhunter Announce Tour With Atlas Sound

Deerhunter have announced a world tour in support of their upcoming album, Fading Frontier. Find the dates below. Bradford Cox’s solo project Atlas Sound will be opening many of the shows.
Fading Frontier is out October 16 via 4AD.

10-17 Los Angeles, CA – The Regent Theatre *
10-17-18 San Francisco, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival
10-20 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom *
10-21 Seattle, WA – The Showbox *
10-29 Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
10-30 Brighton, England – All Saints Church *
10-31 Liverpool, England – Liverpool Music Week
11-01 Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory *
11-03 Glasgow, Scotland – SWG3 *
11-04 Leeds, England – Brudenell Social Club *
11-06 Manchester, England – Gorilla *
11-07 London, England – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire *
11-09 Tourcoing, France – Le Grand Mix *
11-10 Reims, France – La Cartonnerie *
11-11 Nimes, France – Paloma *
11-12 Milan, Italy – Magnolia *
11-13 Ravenna, Italy – Bronson *
11-14 Geneve, Switzerland – L’usine *
11-15 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik *
11-16 Heidelberg, Germany – Kulturhaus Karlstorbahnof *
11-18 Berlin, Germany – Lido *
11-19 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega *
11-21 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique Orangerie *
11-22 Utrecht, Netherlands – Le Guess Who Festival
12-04 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel *
12-05 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
12-06 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
12-08 New York, NY – Irving Plaza *
12-09 Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw *
12-10 Boston, MA – Royale *
12-12 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre *
12-13 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall *
12-14 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue *
12-15 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre *
12-17 Columbus, OH – Skully’s Music Diner *
01-08 Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
01-09 Athens, GA – Georgia Theatre
* with Atlas Sound

Watch the video for “Snakeskin”:

Monday, August 24, 2015

Watch Pearl Jam, Mad Season, GNR & Mudhoney Members’ Stooges Tribute for KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle

Mike McCready (Pearl Jam/Mad Season), Barrett Martin (Mad Season/Screaming Trees), Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver), and Mark Arm (Mudhoney/Green River) performed songs from the catalog of punk pioneer Iggy Pop and his genre-defining band the Stooges on the Pike Place Market rooftop in Seattle yesterday for the Raw Power: A Tribute To The Stooges concert.

Little Doll
T.V. Eye
I Got A Right
I Need Somebody
Down on the Street
Search & Destroy

Last week, KEXP posted articles spotlighting the performers for Raw Power KEXP, Below are excerpts from their short interviews with Mike McCready (Pearl Jam/Mad Season), Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees/Mad Season), and Duff McKagan (Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver).

Mike McCready:

“I first discovered Iggy and the Stooges around 1982 when I was at a party in the U District that members of Shadow, Green River, and Overlord were all at.

I was aware of Iggy because of my love of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper. That party was the first time I heard the first side of Raw Power. Its angry guitars and awesome vocals immediately caught my attention. The energy was undeniable as was the feeling of freedom in their sound.”

Mark Arm:

“I got into The Stooges shortly after I immersed myself in punk rock. I was trying to figure out where this exciting new music came from and all roads led back to The Stooges.”

Duff McKagan:

“In 1979, Kim Warnick of The Fastbacks turned me onto The Stooges. A few nights later, I had a dream I was Iggy, and I was playing a show in a church basement… rolling around in broken glass and totally immersed in the moment of noise and chaos. I still reference that dream before gigs to this day.

Barrett Martin:

“I discovered the Stooges when I was a kid in the ‘70s because my aunt (the rock & roll aunt everyone should have) was playing me records by The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Elton John, and The Stooges got mixed in there, too. I liked the rawness of The Stooges the best, although no one called it punk rock back then, it was too early for that term.”

From KEXP:
Music lovers will soon be able to enjoy year-round, exclusive live performances both inside and outdoors at KEXP’s New Home at Seattle Center — but we’re still building it. In anticipation of the extraordinary shows to come in the New Home, on Sunday, August 23 at 7:00 p.m., KEXP hosts RAW POWER KEXP, a one-of-a-kind FREE concert at another local landmark: Pike Place Market.

About the Campaign for KEXP’s New Home:

A shared passion for “music that matters” has inspired the listeners, artists, and curators of the KEXP Community for more than 40 years. Now, in order to increase that impact, we need to grow physically, too. KEXP’s New Home is designed specifically to reach more music lovers, break down barriers between listeners and their favorite artists, and make it even easier to share new music and experiences with KEXP Community members all over the world. More info at NEWHOME.KEXP.ORG

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Public Image Ltd Announces North American Tour

Public Image Ltd., the British alternative band fronted by former Sex Pistol singer John Lydon (better known as Johnny Rotten), have announced a North American tour. The trek will kick off at the Coachella Music & Arts Festival on April 16, which will mark the group’s first U.S. show in 18 years.

Lydon formed Public Image Ltd (PiL) after the Sex Pistols disbanded in 1978. The band was largely inactive after 1992, but returned in 2009 with a string of concerts in the United Kingdom. PiL’s North American tour will span 15 U.S. and Canadian cities before wrapping up on May 18 at New York City’s Terminal 5.

2010 marks the 30th anniversary of PiL’s first U.S. tour and American television debut, when the band appeared on “American Bandstand” in 1980 with then-host Dick Clark.

Here are Public Image Ltd’s tour dates:

Apr. 16: Indio, Calif. (Coachella/Empire Polo Field)
Apr. 17: San Francisco, Calif. (Grand Ballroom @ Regency Center)
Apr. 20: Seattle, Wash. (Showbox at the Market)
Apr. 21: Portland, Ore. (Crystal Ballroom)
Apr. 23: Salt Lake City, Utah (The Depot)
Apr. 24: Denver, Col. (Ogden Theatre)
Apr. 26: Kansas City, Mo. (Midland Theatre)
May 2: Chicago, Ill. (House of Blues)
May 4: Boston, Mass. (Royale Boston)
May 5: Boston, Mass. (Royale Boston)
May 7: Toronto, Ontario (Kool Haus)
May 8: Montreal, Quebec (Theatre L’Olympia de Montreal)
May 11: Baltimore, Md. (Rams Head Live)
May 12: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
May 14: Pittsburgh, Pa. (Club Zoo)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kim Gordon Beats Peaches Into Shape in Their Wild, Wrestling-Themed ‘Close Up’ Video

Peaches has shared an insane video for “Close Up”, the Kim Gordon collaboration hinted earlier this year.

In the clip (directed by Vice Cooler), Peaches hires a disinterested Gordon to become her wrestling coach.

Gordon plays the singer’s wrestling coach after Peaches shoves a wad of bills into her hands, and things only spiral more out of control from there.

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Dead Weather Share “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” Video, New Album Tracklist

Jack White and the Kills’ Alison Mosshart’s band the Dead Weather will soon return with Dodge and Burn, their first new album since 2010’s Sea of Cowards. Today, they’ve shared the video for “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)”, which premiered on Tidal but can be previewed below. It’s directed by Ian & Cooper. Update 8/17 3:11 p.m.: Now you can hear “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” in full, without a Tidal subscription, thanks to Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. Listen below.

Dodge and Burn is out September 25. They’ve also revealed the tracklist; check it out below.

The band will not tour in support of the LP.

Dodge & Burn:

01 I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)
02 Buzzkill(er)
03 Let Me Through
04 Three Dollar Hat
05 Lose The Right
06 Rough Detective
07 Open Up
08 Be Still
09 Mile Markers
10 Cop and Go
11 Too Bad
12 Impossible Winner

Deerhunter Announce New Album Fading Frontier, Share “Snakeskin”

The countdown is over, and Deerhunter have announced a new album. Fading Frontier, the follow-up to 2013’s Monomania, is out October 16 via 4AD. Watch the trippy clip for “Snakeskin” below, along with the tracklisting as seen on iTunes and the band’s upcoming tour dates The album was produced by the band and Ben H. Allen III, and features members of Broadcast and Stereolab, according to a press release. (Check the detailed tracklist below.) The song “Breaker”, a duet between Bradford Cox and Lockett Pundt, is a first for the band.

Fading Frontier:
01 All The Same
02 Living My Life
03 Breaker
04 Duplex Planet (ft. Tim Gane of Stereolab on Electronic Harpsichord)
05 Take Care (ft. James Cargill of Broadcast on Synthesisers and Tapes)
06 Leather and Wood
07 Snakeskin (ft. Zumi Rosow on Treated Alto Saxophone)
08 Ad Astra
09 Carrion

10-29 Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
10-30 Brighton, England – All Saints Church
10-31 Liverpool, England – Liverpool Music Week
11-01 Dublin, Ireland – Button Factory D
11-03 Glasgow, Scotland – SWG3
11-04 Leeds, England – Brudenell
11-06 Manchester, England – Gorilla
11-07 London, England – Shepherds Bush Empire
11-09 Tourcoing, France – La Mix
11-10 Reims, France – La Cartonerrie
11-11 Nimes, France – Paloma
11-12 Milan, Italy – Magnolia
11-13 Bologna Italy – Bronson
11-14 Geneva, Switzerland – L’usine
11-15 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik
11-16 Heidelberg, Germany – Kulturhaus Karlstorbahnhof
11-18 Berlin, Germany – Lido
11-19 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
11-21 Brussels, Belgium – Botanique Orangerie
11-22 Utrecht, The Netherlands – Le Guess Who Festival

Tame Impala Take You on a Terrifying Plane Ride in the “Let it Happen” Video

Tame Impala have released a video for Currents cut “Let it Happen”. In the video, a man freaks out in an airport and then hallucinates throughout a plane ride, imagining that his sandwich is talking to him, before the flight takes a terrifying twist.

They’ve also announced a handful of tour dates; find those below, too.

Tame Impala:
10-02 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-05 Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
10-06 New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
10-07 New York, NY – Terminal 5
10-09 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mac DeMarco: Another One (Album Review)

At the end of Mac DeMarco’s latest studio album, the aptly titled mini-effort Another One, the gap-toothed, Canadian rock’n’roll ex-pat lists out his new address in Arverne, Queens (6802 Bayfield Avenue, for all you stalkers out there) and invites the listener to come over and have a cup of coffee with him sometime. It’s a fitting close to DeMarco’s most intimate album to date.

Compared to last year’s dazzling collection of lo-fi pop songs — Salad Days, which was recorded in his shithole apartment in Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighbourhood — Another One feels like, at least thematically speaking, the first album of his that is entirely a product of its surroundings.

Recorded at his new home in between tours, Another One finds DeMarco testing out the space of his new studio and gear (he’s moved on, at least partially, from his old pawnshop guitar to classic Fender Stratocasters), and it shows. From opening track “The Way You’d Love Her” to instrumental album closer “My House By the Water,” there’s a subtle but striking shift here in his approach to writing and recording, with each of his perfectly placed riffs and dad rock chords sounding somehow cleaner and clearer than ever before.

That sense of space finds it way into the lyrics, a combination of unrequited love-meets-anxious wondering about love lost that will make hardcore fans of his question whether or not this is, in some ways, a near-breakup album, or at least a reflection of him dealing with and fearing for his relationship while on the road.

DeMarco’s persona seems too playful to ever admit that, but repeated listening makes it hard not to see the album as some sort of quasi-confessional mini-masterpiece, and if not that, at least another example of his increasing strength as a songwriter.