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Friday, September 19, 2014

Goat: Commune (Album Review)

What intrigues about Goat is how they manage to impress and startle, rather than offend. After all, the notion of a bunch of Swedes taking African-styled guitar melodies and welding them on to droning psychedelia could easily be taken for cultural appropriation.

But then Goat, with their masked players on stage, are reliant upon appropriation for their exotic sense of otherness, which is key to their appeal. What saves them is their thrillingly unconstrained music, which doesn’t sound contrived or calculated, but like an explosion of expression. This time the guitars are less west African than Saharan, spiralling away hypnotically. You might say the female vocalist (Goat keep almost all identities secret) has a voice of only one tone, an expressionless and full‑throated yell. But that’s countered by the fact that it contributes to the sense that Goat are less a band than some sort of cult ritual. Commune sounds like the soundtrack to an imaginary early 70s horror film, and it’s wonderful.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Karen O: Crush Songs (Album Review)

Each track on Karen O’s long-awaited debut solo album is as short and fleeting as the summer flings she sings about. O wrote this collection of lo-fi ditties back in 2006 and 2007, after the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman split from filmmaker Spike Jonze – a period, she says, when she felt like she’d never fall in love again.

The 15 songs sound more like demos than final recordings – most don’t even reach the two-minute mark – and feature O’s vulnerable, trembling vocals over a lilting guitar and maybe the soft bleeps of a drum machine or piano. Just when a song feels like it’s reaching an emotional climax, her voice fades and the magic is over. (The worst offender is NYC Baby, a beautiful but criminally short 58-second “song.”) While it’s refreshing to hear O sing so delicately – a contrast to the over-the-top persona of her slick main gig – we wish she’d let the heartbreak linger a few moments longer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interpol Hit the Gym With “Twice as Hard” Video

nterpol have shared the video for “Twice as Hard”, from the newly released El Pintor. It’s directed by the band’s Paul Banks, and shows a number of boxers training and sparring in the gym. Watch it below, via Boing Boing.

Kendrick Lamar Announces “i”, First Single From New Album

Kendrick Lamar has announced “i”, the first single off the follow up album to 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. That’s the single art, which he shared on Twitter. It’s rumored to be coming out on September 23, according to Rap-Up. Rap-Up also reports that it features an Isley Brothers sample. Other sources report that the single is titled “I (Love Myself)”. Update: It’s been confirmed that the song is, in fact, titled “i”.

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