Kingblind.com news that you can use
Thom Yorke’s album leaks online
Archive for May, 2006
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Kingblind.com news that you can use
Shapes and Sizes:: Wilderness
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Sufjan Stevens:: The Henney Buggy Band
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Camera Obscura:: Let’s Get Out Of This Country
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Black Heart Procession:: Not Just Words
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The Charlatans UK:: Blackened Blue Eyes
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Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Twilight Singer:: Powder Burns (Album Review)
Addiction, as Greg Dulli knows, is an all-consuming occupation. Finding your next fix is what drives every move, every breathe, every word. It is your devil and it is your god, your sickness and your well-being. It is, in short, your entire life. And so the fact that Dulli sobered up in the time between the Twilight Singers’ previous album, She Loves You, and Powder Burns doesn’t make it surprising that this latest release is about that disease. But Dulli’s too smart — and was too intimately involved with drugs — to make a nice, clean record with easy, straightforward statements that float like bubbles into his audience’s outstretched, pudgy fingers. Instead, he spits and growls and coughs questions into our thin, gaping faces, questions that he knows have no answers, and that even if they did, he wouldn’t want to hear them anyway. Because Powder Burns is too personal. It’s a debate within Dulli himself, an argument that twists and wrenches itself through 11 different conversations and ends up with nothing more than a sigh and a wistful prayer for salvation. Musically, the album is as hard as the group has ever gotten. From the intense, driving opener that crashes into “I’m Ready” like a wall of water, to the hedonistic snarl in “My Time (Has Come),” Dulli is pure carnal emotion. Even in the slower songs, with the slinking drums of “Candy Cane Crawl,” or the greasy, nasally promises he offers in “Forty Dollars,” it’s nothing but his own blood that’s pushing the music along, pulsing with the beat itself. Though he’s singing from different perspectives, trying to take on other personas, it’s obvious that everything he’s saying is about him, his own problems, his own story. The songs reference each other, reference other songs and literary works, bite into one another like a pack of hungry dogs and leave blood and patches of hair wherever they’ve been, but continue to limp down that smudged path that separates pleasure from pain. And Dulli’s a genius at straddling that line, sliding into that muddy spot between sobriety and being high (“daylight is creeping, I feel it burn my face,” he moans), that dangerous place between the flame and the coals, where he crouches, the hair on the back of his hands singed, hoping that maybe somehow he’ll be able to get out successfully. If Powder Burns is any indication of his strength and cunning, he’s already found an escape. (by Marisa Brown)
The Kinks – *British Biscuit* [Live Soap Opera] excellent (ex) quality FM broadcast, 1975
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Johnny Cash:: Hurt (Video)
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Bettye LaVette “Let Me Down Easy” (video)
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The Clash – Chaos in New York (Live @ Bonds International Casino, June ’81)
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Monday, May 29, 2006
Neil Young:: Living with War (Album Review)
May 4th, 1970: The National Guard attempts to restore order at Kent State University by killing its students. After days of protests (sparked by the discovery of the Nixon Administration’s illegal bombing of Laos and Cambodia, expanding the parameters of the War in Vietnam) that saw the burning of the school’s ROTC building, the Guard decided to show who was in charge. Amid a hail of rocks, the unit retreated to higher elevation. They then made an about face, in unison (clearly following an order), and opened live fire. Four students were killed and nine wounded, including at least one who had nothing to do with the protests 700 feet away. No one was ever prosecuted.
The Kent State Massacre was the turning point in the anti-war movement, because it made its participants face up to reality. The debate that followed it wasn’t whether the Guard’s actions were defensive (since no serious person can look at photographic evidence and argue so) but whether they were meritorious in the face of unpatriotic and ungrateful youth, and the prevailing answer by the silent majority was “yes.” Power was show its ugly, brutal face that day, and the Decent People of America had backed it, none tougher than they. Suddenly there was no time for sentimentality; suddenly it was serious, and stakes were even higher for them than previously thought. They were, finally, on their own.
David Crosby was the group’s outspoken politico, but only Neil Young could’ve written “Ohio” for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. No one else had the spook, for one thing, to come up with the dread, anger and sheer confusion of the song’s opening riff. But Young had the instincts to leave well enough alone, to simply present Points A and B as fait accompli. It was connecting dots without giving the connectors, sheer juxtaposition. “Tin soldiers and Nixon’s coming / we’re finally on our own.” “Soldiers are gunning us down / shoulda been done long ago.” There’s not even a second verse; where one would appear is just a cruel parody, harmonies that are barked and not sung. And why not? “Ohio” wasn’t for the kids, it was for Nixon: they were singing to dogs. This wasn’t “We Shall Overcome,” but “Fuck You, You Monster.” That’s why “Ohio” is probably the best thing CSNY ever did, because it’s the point on record where it has something to lose, where something matters.
It’s hard to judge whether the stakes are there during Living With War, appearing almost thirty-six years to the day of Kent State. One would think so: one found in the floodwaters of New Orleans a mirror to the moral bankruptcy in the Bush administration impossible to spin away, to say nothing of an illegal invasion of Iraq and a now threatened nuclear war with Iran. “The news is not for a sick man,” James Baldwin wrote in one of his novels. “It’s not for a well man, either.” So why does the music Young wrote for this project sound pastoral; why does it sound like a party? He enlists a 100 piece choir to help him with a few melodies, and for his part he gives them very strong ones, stronger than anything on his last three records (more like ten). Save for the ragged “Shock and Awe,” everything on here sounds like coffeehouse bonhomie, “We Shall Overcome” and no “Fuck You Monster.” (Although there is a ditty called “Here’s a Pie in Your Face, Lying Monster,” since retitled “Let’s Impeach the President.” It’s stupid, broad-stroked fun, but it is fun, doubtless because it’s pinching the melody from “The City of New Orleans,” but so what? Folk music and rock n’ roll have rampant plagiarism in common, and good thing. Besides, the president did lie, and he should be impeached.)
Of course the stakes are still there, but the parameters are different. For one thing, today we have an all-volunteer army fighting an unpopular war (the poverty draft notwithstanding). Another, the right wing is now far more organized than the left ever was, to the point where even the sneak attack of Living With War was met with coordinated anti-Canadian talking points. So the audience has changed, and like “Ohio,” this album is written for that audience, the one that doesn’t see itself as exceptionally radical but clings to a forgotten sense of outrage and parade.
That audience sees these things as patriotic, hence the allusions to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the closing “America the Beautiful.” This is a loaded gesture and deeply unsatisfactory in a protest record, because it’s primarily defensive. I say it’s a loaded gesture because patriotism is the rug under which crimes are swept, and it’s defensive for that same reason. You’re saying that just because I criticize my country’s policy actions doesn’t mean I don’t love my country, elementary to the point of obvious everywhere else but here. But in attempting to give lie to criminals wrapping themselves in the flag, one instead gives recognition to the fallacy that the flag is somehow bulletproof. Young seems to recognize this elsewhere on the record: on “Flags of Freedom,” he muses on soldiers marching past American Flags to their deaths, asking if you believe in yours or theirs. He talks about coffins wrapped in flags (flags as a weapon of obscurity, as a mask of the death of the young, the world’s ultimate crime) in no less than two songs. This means either he wants it both ways or that, again, he’s singing for his audience, who recognizes that they have no truck with egghead theorists anymore than the scum who inhabits their capital.
And I’m fine with that, especially since Living at War is, really, Young’s best record since at least Mirror Ball and probably Ragged Glory. I think this has less to do with his outrage over the present administration as much as he’s in his best mode: moving quickly. This is the one thing good rock n’ roll has in common with revolutionary politics: these things represent youth, and so they have to happen immediately, as soon as possible, because they represent both the impatient tendencies of youth and the movement, the vitality of things that are wildly and irrepressibly alive. That doesn’t leave enough time for nuance, but that’s partially the point, because you have the force of the wave behind you, poised to crash and wash it all away. I’ve no idea whether it will change a damn thing about American politics or just make life harder on Young with immigration, but if there’s ever going to be another time like the sixties of youth, outrage and culture, it needs to happen the way he’s just prescribed it. (Review by-Christopher Alexander)
Friday, May 26, 2006
Desmond Dekker Dies Of Heart Attack
* Jamaican reggae pioneer Desmond Dekker, famed for the genre’s first worldwide hit with “Israelites,” has died of a heart attack at his home in England, the Jamaica Observer reported on Friday (May 26).
* The newspaper said the singer/songwriter, whose 1960s fame was eclipsed the following decade by Bob Marley, died on Wednesday.
* In 1969, he enjoyed his biggest success with the propulsive reggae classic “Israelites,” four years before Marley truly brought reggae into the mainstream.
Desmond Dekker:: Rude Boy Train [MP3]
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Snow Patrol “Eyes Open” (Album Review)
The best thing that Snow Patrol have ever done is the beautifully maudlin break-through epic single ‘Run’. This is no idle statement but more of an identifiable factor to what the band can achieve if they really put their heart into it. Snow Patrol’s other most successful knack is to write catchy yet simple songs that are easily hummable, uplifting and radio-friendly. Whilst their first two albums (1998’s “Song For Polarbears” and 2001’s “When It’s All Over We Still Have To Clear Up”) didn’t really gain themselves more than a small but rabidly loyal fan-base, the sophomore release of the 2004 album “Final Straw” pushed them, over the course of a couple of months, into the mainstream. The album was a huge turning point for the band: their success brought them a busy headline tour, a support slot for U2, and even an all-too-short appearance at Live8 last summer.
The band’s formula of hands-aloft sing-a-longs (designed to lift the roof of concert arena’s round the world) saw both the album and band charmingly poke their way into the collective consciousness. Whilst Radiohead (or, to a lesser extent, Blur) have experimented heavily in the studio, distancing themselves from former glories instead of trading on them (yes Oasis, I’m looking at you), Snow Patrol – like Coldplay last year – use the old adage of “if it ain’t broke…” Without going down the risky road of trying to discover a new/different sound/genre, Snow Patrol instead get down to what they do best: songs that don’t just tug on the heartstrings, but instead swing from them proclaiming how hard life can be. Ironically, their greatest asset (like Oasis back in their own glory days) is to see the good in everything: they make even the most depressing situation have an upbeat and positive side – “every cloud has a silver lining…” and other Hallmark clichés – and this lack of negativity is somewhat appealing.
The album starts with the cheery swirling jingle-jangle of lead single ‘You’re All I Have’ (in America, ‘Hands Open’ is the first single released from “Eyes Open” instead), which shimmies its way into your brain, in the same infectious way that ‘Chocolate’ did two summers previously. In fact, the vast majority of the tracks on this album have a light and sunny vibe to them, but with darker lyrics. For instance, the aforementioned ‘Hands Open’ couples stompy guitar with angst-ridden (as usual) lyrics like “Why Would I sabotage / the best thing that I have?” Gary Lightbody makes intimate relationships (and the impending break-up or fall-out) sound as if the listener is welcome in such a voyeuristic intrusion. The songs on this album seem specifically designed to lift the spirits with beefy sing-a-longs, and ‘Hands Open’ is a perfect example: just imagine, with lighters aloft and flags waving everywhere, the words “Hands Open and my eyes open / I just keep hoping that your heart opens” sung out to you. Deliciously heart-warming isn’t it?! If you like that sort of thing naturally.
The obvious album stand-out (and perhaps most ‘Run’-esque song of the bunch) is the utterly glorious ‘Make This Go On Forever’. Over a simple and quietly understated piano intro, Lightbody implores: ‘Please don’t let this turn into something it’s not / I can only give you everything I’ve got’. As the guitar begins its gentle strumming and the background vocals and orchestra swell, the song hits a Phil Spector wall-of-sound choir that, fittingly, you wish WOULD go on forever. Although I’m cynical of emotion-by-numbers dirge, you cannot help but feel this song naturally wash over you, all the while cursing yourself for falling victim to yet another slow-burning ballad – all the way to its begging “please just save me from this darkness” outro. If ‘Run’ was Snow Patrol’s ‘The Scientist’, then ‘Make This Go On Forever’ is their ‘Fix You’. As an extension to this, “Eyes Open” is a front-runner to challenge Coldplay’s overplayed and strangely barren “X&Y”.
By J. M. Ross.
Dr Octagon Decipher Series Week 4 of 8
3 AM, A wet, but warm late night, or should we say early morn, in the Bronx. Def Jukie Rob Sonic finds himself, as he has many times, at his favorite joint, The Telicatessen. His head in his hands, elbows on the table, over a cup of the blackest cup of Joe this side of 110th Street, he recounts the events to the evening.
Earlier That Night:
A blowout party downtown was taking place in the honor of slain sucker MCs. Rob place at the bar was firmly in place when a hand drops on his left shoulder. As he turns to find no one there he returns face forward to a small box on the bar. “What the … “
The box reads “for your eyes only.” He expects it’s a joke played on him and decides to pause on the opening.
Back at The Telicatessen:
A strange headache has descended on Rob by this point and the short stack with sausage hasn’t helped the cause. A solid stroke of the cloth napkin to clean his lips and leaves his staring back at the mysterious box. “Screw it …” he mumbles to himself as he grabs the knife beside him, gives the box a shake and digs in. The contents reveal two things; a CD burn labeled “Dr Octagon” with a sharpie and a note from OCD saying:
“This is what I wanted you to hear.”
“What ever…” He says to himself as he drops two Lincolns on the table face down and nods to the cute waitress behind the counter.
As Rob looks up and head to the door he swears he see from the corner of his eye two beady eyes glowing green through the window. But it’s late and he plays it off to exhaustion.
On the way to the car an eerie feeling of being followed consumes him. Nothing but shadows behind him yet still the feeling persists. His pace quickens… Movement to his right… Shuffles heard to the left … and a strange musty smell floats in the air. He darts to the car and locks the door with a feeling of momentary safety.
The disc still in hand, he slips it in the player and kicks on the ignition. The track begins, the gas peddle descends and he pulls off. Soon after Rob feels a sharp shock as his car is bumped from behind. Looking in the rearview mirrors, he sees a green pick up truck, just inches behind him. A large, dark, muscle-bound figure is behind the wheels. The pickup drops back and smashes them again. This time, a tail light is broken off. Rob expels expletives “What the F#@k!”
Rob accelerates, pushing 70 mph, trying to escape this madman insisting on a dangerous high-speed chase. The truck changes left, then right, then back again trying to overtake Rob’s vehicle. Rob glances at the gas tank gauge on his dashboard – It’s getting close to empty. Rob is surprised; he distinctly remembers filling up just earlier that day. Rob searches for a truck stop but there doesn’t seem to be any in sight. Bam! The truck hits him again.
He turns back…
“ What The …!? Is that a gorilla?”
The rest unfolds …as such.
“A Gorilla Driving A Pick-Up Truck” – Rob Sonic Road Rage Remix MP3
The Return Of Dr Octagon hits stores June 27th
For More on Rob Sonic
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Wolfmother “Woman (Avalanches Millstream Remix)
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Them Two:: Am I a Good Man (Great soul track)
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Elf Power:: Back to the web (Album Review)
I’m sitting in my room at the Howard Johnson in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Half drunk, completely out of my mind on a rainbow of prescriptions, my eyes focus through the window, looking out on Chocolate Lake. In a few hours the sun will rise and I will be enjoying the Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast: Cereal, juice, milk, doughnuts, bagels and other assorted random breakfast goodies. You all more than likely know the drill. I have spent most of the evening in the company of two female art students from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, drinking, discussing the sad state of Canadian baseball and partaking in what we in my imaginary world of amateur journalism call “Hand to Hand Combat.”
Management has been here 3 times to ask me to quiet down. I’m told if they have to come back to my room for a fourth time the police won’t be too far behind. Now this is where a reasonable man would throw caution to the wind. Pfft!!! Fat chance! Besides, I got work to do.
First, let me be honest, I was not very familiar with the work of Elf Power. I’ve seen the name thrown around in the blogosphere, heard a few songs, stuck my foot in to check the water so to speak. Hailing from Athens, Georgia and associated with the Elephant 6 Collective, which includes bands such as Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, Of Montreal and Apples In Stereo, I wasn’t exactly sure what was in store for me.
This record grabbed me right away. The opener, “Come Lie Down With Me (And Sing My Song)” is grainy, like an old silent film.I picture a sad group of musicians dressed in rags playing some forgotten mountain song. But before you really have time to soak it in, track two bursts forward with a pounding war cry of drums. I cringe saying this, but “An Old Familiar Scene” is Decemberistsesque. The Decemberists comparison isn’t a bad thing though. I like the Decemberists, and perhaps in my not knowing enough of this band’s history that could be seen as foolish. But, the difference being, in my opinion, is that Andrew Rieger’s singing is easier on my ears than Colin Meloy’s. In fact, I really like Andrew Rieger’s voice a lot. It’s warm and so full of emotion. You can hear that he is confident in his writing and singing
> From an email of information I received, courtesy of trusted
informer/enforcer mblind, Rieger is quoted as saying, “I was listening to a lot of middle eastern folk and gypsy music when I started writing these songs and I tried to emulate some of those sounds by combining 12 string acoustic guitar with violin and accordion. Our last album was more of a straight ahead rock record, so in reaction this one came out as more of a dark, orchestrated folk rock album.”
I can hear these influences in the music, especially on “Somewhere Down The River.” The first 32 seconds are some indecipherable chanting buried under a mix of middle eastern sounding horns and drums. Then the guitar jangles in and the spiral downward begins. In the middle of the song the organ joins and I recall the wild dancing girl/organ scene at the meat locker party from “Ed Wood” where Sarah Jessica Parker’s character leaves Johnny Depp afterwards. Now maybe I’m not remembering it exactly clearly, but damn it, that’s how I see it in my head. Anyways, moving on.
The musicians are amazing. I hear the violin, mandolin, accordion and acoustic guitars played with such beauty that it’s hard to believe that I’m not hearing this in an elevator in Heaven. The only song I didn’t find to fit the overall feel of this record was “All The World Is Waiting.” It’s a great song though, in a cast off 70′s Rolling Stones outtake kinda way. The album closes with “Back To The Web.” Which is the perfect ending for this record. “Come back to the web” calls Rieger. What exactly the web is, I’m not sure. It could be a metaphor for the band returning to it’s past, or maybe the second coming of that tangled web of lies we call human existance. Who knows? I sure don’t.
Only one man truly does, and he wants you to explore his world fully to try to find your own meaning. Most of the songs are in the same vein, mid-tempo and swirling with beautiful imagery drawn from Andrew Rieger’s words.
Another thing I enjoyed about this record was the length of the songs. They aren’t really that long, so I don’t lose interest easily. Most songs clock in about or under three and a half minutes, making this a relatively short record. Usually I might gripe about this, but this one didn’t bother me. I liked this record. I suggest you get this record if you don’t have it already. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with Elf power and their past work, check into that as well.
The Complimentary Deluxe Continental Breakfast has come and gone. Management has confiscated my boombox I bought so I could listen to this record because I brought it to their so-called community dining area. It was either that or this time they were calling the cops for real. Now I’m forced to listen to it through headphones on my laptop. Bastards. I hope they at least enjoy their newfound boombox and record for the time being, because when I wake up later today I will cause an international incident if I don’t get my stuff back. (Review by: Casey Schroeder)
Kanye, YYYs, Modest Mouse Play San Diego Street Scene
San Diego’s Street Scene festival will soon show California’s (legal) drinkers up with a party not even “My Super Sweet Sixteen” has a shot at topping. Since the fest features delicious food, fire dancers, aerial acrobatics, a burlesque act, a drag show, a drum circle, carnival rides, arts and crafts, and of course, a recently revealed list of live musical acts, the RSVPs must be rolling in.
This year’s event, scheduled to take place August 4 and 5 outside of the city’s Qualcomm Stadium, will feature performances from the sizable (Kanye West, Tool, Social Distortion, Snoop Dogg, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Wu Tang Clan), the spirited (The Futureheads, Bloc Party, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Editors), and the slightly stupid (Slightly Stoopid). The lineup, not yet finalized, is as follows:
Tool, Kanye West, Sean Paul, Social Distortion, Snoop Dogg, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse, Queens of the Stone Age, Wu Tang Clan, the Futureheads, My Chemical Romance, Lupe Fiasco, Tapes ‘n Tapes, Bloc Party, the Subways, Editors, Dirty on Purpose, AFI, Bad Religion, G. Love & Special Sauce, Tricky, Particle, Yellowcard, Steel Pulse, Slightly Stoopid, Matchbook Romance, Donavon Frankenreiter, Rock Kills Kid, Bedouin Soundclash, West Indian Girl, Thomas Mapfumo & the Blacks Unlimited, Ska Cubano, What Made Milwaukee Famous, the Shys, Cheb I Sabbah & 1002 Nights, Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s, the Colour, Mutaytor, Lydia, the Amazing Yard Dogs Road Show, more