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Archive for February, 2006

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Arab Strap:: The Last Romance (Album Review)

While the biggest band of the mid-90s have been quite content to re-emerge this year with a record unthrillingly unswerving from their long-established template, aggrandizing their own idleness in the process, a number of the bands that emerged in that fertile era have suddenly shown a trifle more imagination. Hence, 2005′s seen a troubled Low rocketing away from their slowcore shackles, and given us the Stereophonics finally leaving the pub after all these years for the more exotic climes of ‘Dakota’. And now, in a manoeuvre even more unexpected than the aforementioned, it’s thrown up an Arab Strap album that, while unlikely to be mistaken for the new Rachel Stevens set by anyone at all, is the pair’s Outstanding Pop Statement. Honestly.

Clearly, working apart – an endeavour that’s borne most fruit on the ceaselessly amazing ‘Into The Woods’ – has done both Malcolm Middleton and Aidan Moffat a power of good. They’ve resumed their partnership suitably galvanised and, while the Strap hadn’t yet begun to sound tired as it is, there’s a lot more life to this than we’ve heard from them before. ‘The Last Romance’ is decidedly brisk, clocking in at around 36 minutes, but is filled with many of the most singalong tracks they’ve ever recorded – and, yes, Aidan really can sing these days, in something of a dark croon, admittedly, and perhaps a slightly acquired taste, but a real leap onwards from the bleak beat poetry of previous recordings. It also includes a number of songs that wouldn’t sound out of place in today’s indie-friendlier fab 40, such as the recent ‘Dream Sequence’ single, with its lovely piano cascades, or ‘(If There’s) No Hope For Us’, which bears an uncommon resemblance to the Kaiser Chiefs’ ‘Modern Way’ and is one of the first of their numbers that could ever finds itself in the same sentence as the words “naggingly infectious” without that being a reference to thrush or somesuch.

Most significantly of all, perhaps, is the strong female presence on this album. It’s entirely explicit on the aforementioned ‘…No Hope…’ and ‘Come Round And Love Me’ with their inclusion of infuriatingly uncredited (on PlayLouder’s copy, at least) guest vocals, but, furthermore, after years of thwarted relationships it finally sounds in many cases here as if Moffat has turned a corner; ‘Stink’ admits to an unwillingness to settle for a seamier way of life in the long run, while ‘Fine Tuning’ is a touching take on a very committed coupling, with even parenthood being very seriously considered. Standout track ‘Speed-Date’, meanwhile, is joyously, unanticipatedly dismissive of swinging, cheap sex and familiar grubbiness in favour of – blimey! – a sense-of-wonder-filled love of monogamy. There’s still plenty to appeal to hardcore Strapophiles, of course, like the blurrily avant-garde stylings of ‘Confessions Of A Big Brother’ and the uniquely dazzling accordion-and-sung and spoken-vocals-fest that is ‘Chat In Amsterdam, Winter 2003′, but there’s no denying the more fundamental impact of this record: with ‘The Last Romance’, a whole lot of people are at last going to fall in love with Arab Strap for the very first time.
(Iain Moffat)

Kingblind Downloads

The Slits:: Cut
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Liars: Drum’s Not Dead
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TORTOISE – TNT
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Kingblind.com:: News that you can use

Spin Magazine expected to finalize sale to San Francisco publisher today
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Beastie Boys, Morrissey highlight SXSW additions
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Pete Doherty arrested on suspicion of stealing a car and drug possession
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The Who announce tour and new studio album
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The Walkmen to release new album ‘A Hundred Miles Off’ on May 23rd

The Walkmen will release their third studio album, A Hundred Miles Off, on Record Collection May 23rd.

The follow up to 2004′s critically acclaimed Bows & Arrows was recorded over the course of two years at the band’s Marcata Studios in New York and Inner Ear Studios near Washington, D.C.

“A Hundred Miles Off is without a doubt our most solid effort yet,” says singer/guitarist Hamilton Leithauser, “After touring for so long, we couldn’t write songs for the longest time. We went back to Inner Ear Studios in DC where I used to work and worked with our old friend Don Zientara (Bad Brains, Nation of Ulysses, Fugazi). We really got things going last summer, and we spent all fall and the holidays writing, recording and traveling between DC and NY. We finished it up at Marcata–our place in Harlem–this January. We’re all sure it’s the best record we’ve done so far.”

Upon completing the album, the band — along with several friends — spent January and the better part of February recording a song for song cover of Harry Nilsson’s album Pussy Cats (1974) which will be released on Record Collection late 2006 and will be called Pussycats Starring the Walkmen.

The Walkmen will perform at Coachella in April, followed by a UK tour in May and a full US tour in June.

THE WALKMEN
A Hundred Miles Off

1. Louisiana
2. Danny’s At The Wedding
3. Good For You’s Good For Me
4. Emma, Get Me A Lemon
5. All Hands And The Cook
6. Lost In Boston
7. Don’t Get Me Down (Come On Over Here)
8. Tenley Town
9. This Job Is Killing Me
10. Brandy Alexander
11. Always After You (‘Til You Started After Me)
12. Another One Goes By
(via prefix)

Monday, February 27, 2006

Yeah Yeah Yeahs Announce Tour Tour Tour

New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced a tour of North America which will begin in April. The tour will follow the release of the band’s eagerly anticipated sophomore effort Show Your Bones, to be released March 28. Show Your Bones follows by three years the group’s debut Fever To Tell. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are currently in the midst of a series of sold out warm up shows, previewing their new material, which includes the lead off single “Gold Lion.”

After the April North American tour, which concludes at the Coachella Arts and Music Festival in California, the band will take part in the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in England. The festival allows artists to curate one day of the festival, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ day will feature Liars, TV On The Radio, The Blood Brothers, Magik Markers, and others.

Guitarist Imaad Wasif, who recently joined the band as a fourth touring member, will release his debut solo album April 11 through Kill Rock Stars.

Noises off:

02.23.06 – Hoboken, NJ – Maxwell’s
02.24.06 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
02.25.06 – New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
02.27.06 – Chicago, IL – Logan Square Auditorium
03.01.06 – San Francisco, CA Bimbo’s 365 Club
03.02.06 – San Francisco, CA – Bimbo’s 365 Club
03.04.06 – Hollywood, CA – Troubadour West
03.05.06 – Hollywood, CA – Troubadour West
04.03.06 – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
04.05.06 – Philadelphia,PA – Trocadero
04.07.06 – Boston, MA Orpheum Theatre
04.10.06 – Toronto, ONT -Kool Haus
04.11.06 – Royal Oak, MI, Royal Oak Music Theatre
04.12.06 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
04.14.06 – Chicago, IL Riviera
04.15.06 – Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre
04.16.06 – Minneapolis, MN- First Avenue
04.18.06 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
04.19.06 – St. Louis, MO – the Pageant
04.21.06 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium
04.22.06 – Salt Lake City, UT – University of Utah
04.24.06 – Vancouver, BC Orpheum Theatre
04.25.06 – Seattle, WA – Paramount
04.26.06 – Portland, OR – Roseland Ballroom
04.28.06 – San Francisco, CA – The Warfield
04.30.06 – Indio, CA – Coachella Music and Arts Festival
05.02.06 – New York, NY -Roseland
05.13.06 – Camber, UK – Camber Sands Holiday Centre (All Tomorrow’s Parties)
05.16.06 – London, UK – The Forum
05.17.06 – London, UK – The Forum
05.19.06 – Glasgow, UK – Barrowlands
05.20.06 – Manchester, UK -Academy
05.21.06 – Birmingham, UK – Academy

Kingblind Downloads

Matisyahu – Live At Stubbs
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Bob Dylan:: Blood on the tracks
Bob Dylan:: Blood on the tracks

Tom Waits:: Real Gone
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Friday, February 24, 2006

Kingblind Downloads

ROBERT FRIPP & BRIAN ENO:: John Peel’s Top Gear November 1973
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Stereolab:: Emperor Tomato Ketchup
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Hip Hop – The Original & The Best (Rare EP from 1984)
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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Kingblind Downloads

The Shins, live at the Mudd Club in Berlin,Germany, April 09, 2004
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Sufjan Stevens:: Live at the Triple Door
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Various Artists – Do the Pop! The Australian Garage Rock Sound 1976-1987
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Kinks to Re-Unite?

Kinks legend Ray Davies released his long-awaited debut solo album this week, and hinted he hasn’t ruled out a Kinks reunion.

Other People’s Lives was written, produced and arranged by the veteran musician, and recorded at London’s Konk Studios.

Speaking to Radio 4′s Front Row, Ray told them it’s not easy recording as a solo artist – especially after being part of such a legendary group:

“It’s finding a voice after spending most of my life in a band called The Kinks, a wonderful band, I love all the work I’ve done with them, I hope to do more one day, who knows.”

I love all the work I’ve done with them, I hope to do more one day.

He continued: “I’m not sure, but I did have to find a voice because of being part of that machinery, the technology, the sound, I was part of the sound.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Kingblind.com (what is rockin’ the iPod)

Robert Pollard:: From a compound eye
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Mogwai:: Mr. Beast
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Flaming Lips:: At war with the mystics
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Ladytron:: The witching hour
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Sufjan Stevens:: Illinois
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DESTROYER:: Destroyer’s Rubies (Album Review)

Destroyer isn’t a band people review; it’s a band about which elitist critics and fanatic music obsessives write theses and treatises. That’s exactly how Dan Bejar likes it; the New Pornographers’ elusive beardo revels in penning twisted multivalent tunes that take 20 times their length to unravel. Pore over the liner notes of Destroyer’s Rubies and you’ll uncover veiled jabs at rock critics, endless references to previous Destroyer discs, Bejar’s customary harem of girls real and imagined and allusions to other artists. While the sheer density of Bejar’s writing can be overwhelming, Destroyer’s Rubies is, on a musical level, the most ‘accessible’ disc he’s released in years. Departing from the synthetic operettas and baroque dissonance of 2004′s Your Blues, Bejar and his band of West Coast aces deliver songs based in conventional rock paradigms. They’re an easier, more digestibly melodic listen, yet the most intriguing part of the songs on Destroyer’s Rubies is their meta-ness — every track contains sonic references to different moments in 20th-century rock, from the Hendrix-Dylan mash-up on Sick Priest Learns To Last Forever to the Pixies echoes on 3000 Flowers. (Sarah Liss)

Kingblind Downloads

Jose Gonzales:: Veneer

Sex Pistols – Live at Chelmsford Prison PASSWORD: SFRP

Sam Cooke:: Live at the copa

Mudhoney:: Blind Spots (NEW SINGLE)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Kingblind Downloads

The Village Green:: Under the covers

The Whigs:: Violet Furs

Of Montreal:: Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games

Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds

THE 2006 SASQUATCH! MUSIC FESTIVAL LINE-UP is as follows:

The Sasquatch! Music Festival in its fifth and best year yet will take place Memorial Day Weekend. Already the official opener to summer for music fans, The Sasquatch! Music Festival is becoming a certified monster of a musical event: this year features a bigger band line-up, more sought-after artists, and more days of rock than ever before. The festival has evolved its unique laid-back, homegrown, regionally known, camp-out, chill out and rock out style into a full blown three day rock n roll extravaganza, complete with camp-outs, canyons, sunsets and three stages. This year’s kick-off to the summer tour season features over 40 bands — all set against the landscape of the majestic and magnificent natural wonder and grandeur of the Gorge Amphitheatre along the canyons of the Columbia River in Washington State.

FRIDAY, MAY 26: ONE STAGE 4PM START / GATES AT 1PM
Nine Inch Nails, (Surprise Band- to be announced Mars Volta?), HIM, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Wolfmother

SATURDAY, MAY 27: 3 STAGES / GATES AT 11AM
Ben Harper, The Flaming Lips, The Shins, The Tragically Hip, Neko Case, Iron & Wine
Sufjan Stevens, Gomez, Rogue Wave, Architecture In Helsinki, Sam Roberts, Constantines, The Brunettes, Matt Costa, Bedouin Soundclash, Tim Seely, Korby Lenker, Common Market

SUNDAY, MAY 28: 3 STAGES / GATES AT 11AM
Beck, Death Cab for Cutie, Queens of the Stone Age, Matisyahu, The Decemberists, Nada Surf, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Blue Scholars, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arctic Monkeys, We Are Scientists, Chad VanGaalen, The Heavenly States, Rocky Votolato, Laura Viers, The Village Green, Mercir

***More Artists To Be Announced! ***
OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Monday, February 20, 2006

Aceyalone/RJD2:: Magnifcent City (Album Review)

A fixture of the underground hip-hop scene for well over a decade (All Balls Don’t Bounce, his first solo project after the dissolution of Freestyle Fellowship, was released back in 1995), Aceyalone has never developed the commercial clout that his talent truly demands. Magnificent City stands as perhaps more likely than any of his past albums to break him to a larger audience, since it’s a full-length collaboration with one of hip-hop’s trendiest producers, RJD2. It’s somewhat unusual for a single producer to helm an entire, start-to-finish rap album, which only makes Magnificent City all the more distinctive as a showcase for both men.

Acey’s trademark is his hyperliterate flow, incorporating both tongue-twisting polysyllabic words and perfectly-timed pauses into his rhymes in a manner that reflects an unparalleled grasp of rhythm, even by the standards of a genre that lives or dies by precisely such an understanding. When, on ’70s funk throwback “Fire,” he says, “There’s something wrong with my radio dial/Some of these fools ain’t got no style,” it’s more than the typical MC posturing: there’s a swagger to it, sure, but it’s borne of the knowledge that his rapping is many things, but, above all else, it’s stylish. And what works best about Magnificent City is that interplay between Aceyalone’s self-awareness and what emerges, on songs like “Supahero” and “Solomon Jones,” as a sharply observed send-up of the swinging-dick machismo that drives much of commercial hip-hop.

It’s a testament both to Aceyalone’s undeniable skill and to RJD2′s production that the album never once threatens to become as heavy-handed a statement as, to pick the example of the most Biblical proportions, Kanye West’s Late Registration. In terms of sheer creativity, RJD2 matches Aceyalone at every turn, constructing his beats and enormous hooks from disparate elements—the magnificent horn sample on opener “All For U,” the aggressive percussion line on “Cornbread, Eddy And Me” that hints at Rick Rubin’s production on Jay-Z’s “99 Problems”—and layering them in ways that, upon repeated listens, reveal an overall vision for the album that wouldn’t have been possible with multiple producers working the mixing board.

Taken in isolation, “Fire” and “Mooore,” all nervous energy derived from a bubbling electronic loop, sound like they could’ve come from two separate albums; sequenced with “Cornbread” in between them, though, and it’s to RJD2′s credit that such a quick turnaround from retro to ultramodern comes off as a seamless transition. For an album that trades in style, such refined attention to detail gives Magnificent City the kind of structural awareness that distinguishes exceptional records from merely great ones. With Aceyalone and RJD2 each at the peak of his craft, Magnificent City stands as a testament both to the relevance and vitality of independent hip-hop and, like Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, to the productive, fascinating territory to be mined from the truest of collaborative efforts. (Jonathan Keefe via Slant)