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Cartoon Network Partners With Zune For Alternative Up-Front
Archive for April, 2007
Monday, April 30, 2007
Kingblind news that you can use
Bright Eyes:: Cassadaga (Album Review)
Conor Oberst’s simultaneously released 2005 albums – the acoustic I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and the electronic Digital Ash in a Digital Urn – suggested a career at a crossroads. However, the seventh Bright Eyes album demands the biggest stage. Named after a Florida psychic community, Cassadaga is quietly shadowed by religious matters and could be taken as a subtle assault on America’s religious right. However, the apocalyptic Four Winds rages with blistering imagery at wars being fought in the name of any belief system – “Bodies decomposing in containers” and a girl “standing in the ashes at the end of the world”. Oberst’s frequent comparisons to Bob Dylan won’t suffer, but he has also conjured up some of his best tunes, especially Hot Knives and If the Brakeman Turns My Way, with themes of alienation and self-medication. Musically, his palette blends Dylan, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello, but when Oberst fuses flutes and choirs for Make a Plan to Love Me – a simple, sweet love song – there seems no end to what the 27-year-old can do.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The White Stripes announce tour dates
As an attempt to visit every American state and Canadian province to commemorate their tenth year as a band, Jack and Meg are going to be making appearances in some out-there places. Iqaluit, Nunavit hello!
06-01 Nuerburgring, Germany – Rock Am Ring Festival
06-02 Nurnberg, Germany – Rock Im Park Festival
06-04 Vienna, Austria – Gasometer
06-06 Rome, Italy – Tenda Strisce
06-07 Milan, Italy – Idroscalo
06-09 Lisbon, Portugal – Alive Festival
06-11 Paris, France – Zenith
06-14 London, England – Hyde Park (O2 Wireless Festival)
06-15 Leeds, England – Harewood House (O2 Wireless Festival)
06-17 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
06-24 Burnaby, British Columbia – Deer Lake Park
06-25 Whitehorse, Yukon – Yukon Arts Centre
06-26 Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Shorty Brown Multiplex Arena
06-27 Iqaluit, Nunavut – Arctic Winter Games Arena
06-29 Calgary, Alberta – Pengrowth Saddledome
06-30 Edmonton, Alberta – Shaw Convention Center
07-01 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – TCU Place
07-02 Winnipeg, Manitoba – MTS Centre
07-03 Thunder Bay, Ontario – Community Auditorium
07-05 Toronto, Ontario – Molson Amphitheatre
07-06 Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre
07-07 London, Ontario – John Labatt Centre
07-08 Ottawa, Ontario – LeBreton Flats Park (Ottawa Bluesfest)
07-10 Moncton, New Brunswick – Moncton Coliseum Arena
07-11 Charlottetown, Price Edward Island – Charlottetown Civic Centre
07-13 Halifax, Nova Scotia – Cunard Centre
07-14 Glace Bay, Nova Scotia – Savoy Theatre
07-16 St. John’s, Newfoundland – Mile One Center
07-22 Portland, ME – Cumberland Civic Center
07-23 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena
07-24 New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
07-25 Wallingford, CT – Chevrolet Theater
07-27 Wilmington, DE – Grand Opera House
07-28 Fairfax, VA – Patriot Center
07-29 North Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
07-30 Birmingham, AL – Sloss Furnaces
07-31 Southaven, MS – Snowden Grove Park Amphitheater
Townshend’s ‘Method’ Finally Ready For Unveiling
Pete Townshend’s decades-old vision of creating musical portraits through technology has come to fruition. The Who guitarist today unveiled his music creation, now dubbed the Lifehouse Method, to a small gathering of journalists in London.
The Method is an Internet-based software program that enables the user — or “sitter” — to generate music from unique, inputted data. The sitter can upload four strands of personal information into the system, consisting of a digital photo, a rhythm, a sound and a voice.
“This is a step in doing something which is a true, authentic, elegant artist process, based on the incredible [software] system,” he said. “I love what this produces and my vision for it now is that I think, yes, we could have a gathering in some future time where we could share our music together.”
Townhend explained that the project was the culmination of an idea which had percolated since his art school days in the 1960s. The concept was first introduced in the early 1970s via music intended for the Townshend-penned “Lifehouse” song cycle and planned concept album, which eventually morphed into the Who’s “Who’s Next” album.
Music composed through the Method’s technology formed the basis of the track “Fragments” on the most recent Who album, “Endless Wire.” Today’s launch, Townshend noted, was an attempt “in essence, [to] close the book on the great lost project of Lifehouse, as a Who legendary non-event.”
The Method was developed by mathematician/composer Lawrence Ball and software developer Dave Snowdon, under the patronage of Townshend.
“What is produced by the program is music that generally Lawrence and I tend to like. Whether you like [it] is absolutely immaterial,” he quipped. “The composer is king, in this respect. What we are trying to do is to approach the truth.”
The service will accept registrations beginning May 1. The user will be entitled to three, free “portrait sittings” until July 31, after which time a subscription offer will roll out. “I’m hoping that further down the line there can be some commercial elaboration,” Townshend said, adding that copyright was an issue currently being looked at.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Nine Inch Nails:: Year Zero (Album Review)
If you miss the elaborate conspiracy theories of The X-Files, you’ll love Nine Inch Nails’ Year Zero. A sci-fi concept album whose end-of-days, paranoia-drenched story line has been disseminated via the Internet, it will appeal to every geek with Fox Mulder’s ”I Want to Believe” poster on their bedroom wall. (In fact, a key lyric finds NIN majordomo Trent Reznor proclaiming, ”I am trying to believe.”)
The good news is, it’s entirely possible — maybe even advisable — to enjoy Year Zero without trolling dozens of kooky websites. Mostly, this is Captain Trent doing what he’s always done: giving musical expression to torment, rage, sadness, lust, and impotence. As usual, he drives his messages home with his whisper-to-a-scream vocal melodrama and the most chaotically catchy tunes he and his arsenal of machines can generate.
Amid its carefully calibrated sonic assaults, Year Zero has a number of tracks that will stop you in yours. Sometimes, it’s a matter of dropping the volume, as on the muted feedback/piano interlude ”Another Version of the Truth.” Then there’s the element of surprise upon hearing the industrial-strength Middle Eastern melodic patterns of ”The Warning.” Even his use of electronics has shifted to a new level: ”Vessel” evokes nothing so much as a sentient, schizophrenic computer having a nervous breakdown. Is the truth in here? Dunno, but Reznor’s claim that ”I got my violence in high def ultra-realism” sounds like gospel to us.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
White Stripes single out Thursday, digitally
The White Stripes’ first single, ‘Icky Thump’, will be available exclusively online through the iTunes music stores (US and Canada only) starting at 12:01 am this Thursday, April 26th.
Third Man Records/XL Recordings will also be releasing CD and vinyl versions of the ‘Icky Thump’ single on June 11th in the UK. The formats and track listings are as follows:
White vinyl 7″ (companion to the NME distributed record that will be given away with copies of the magazine on stands June 6th)
A. Icky Thump
B. Etching (no audio)
A. Icky Thump
B. Baby Brother
1. Icky Thump
2. Catch Hell Blues
Next Modest Mouse album could be an odds and ends collection
Modest Mouse bassist Eric Judy tells Billboard that the band had batches of songs left over from the recording sessions for Good News for People Love Bad News and We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank that could be stitched together to form another album. He says the songs were very near completion but had to get left behind due to time constraints. Apparently one of the tunes, left off Ship, was central to that album’s nautical theme and would make its story more understandable. I for one hope the songs see the light of day at some point, as most of what Modest Mouse has put out over the years has been stellar.
Raconteurs recording new album
Say what you want about Jack White’s rock star omnipresence, but you can’t deny he’s a hardworking man. Just as Icky Thump gets ready to drop, with all the touring and other promotional requirements that will create for White, he’s trying to cram in the creation of the next Raconteurs album. White, Brendan Benson, and the rhythm section of Greenhorners Patrick Keeler and Jack Lawrence are currently laying down tracks at Nashville’s Blackbird Studio. That’s where Jack and Meg recorded Icky. For further similarities, the engineer of Icky, Joe Chicarelli (who’s also worked with Beck and the Shins) is in the studio with the Raconteurs. The band hopes to have the album out early next year.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Bulby loves Queens of the Stone Age
New Pornographers Title New Album
The New Pornographers have buckled down to work on their new album and are now eyeing August 21st as a possible release date. The album will be released on Matador Records and has been tentatively titled Challengers. Head-Pornographer Carl Newman told Billboard that the album will be “more epic” than its predecessor, the well-received Twin Cinema.
Morrissey:: Live on Jimmy Kimmel:: I Just Want To See The Boy Happy
Monday, April 23, 2007
Arctic Monkeys:: Favourite Worst Nightmare (Album Review)
It would be a natural impulse to dislike the Arctic Monkeys on principle. Their debut, last year’s Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, sold 360,000 copies its first week in England, based on one single, some Internet demos, and a deafening buzz. It became their country’s fastest-selling debut CD, making them ”one of the most important British bands of all time,” to quote one U.K. music writer — a breed known for using hyperbole the way Emeril does garlic.
So dismissing them as another overhyped British act would be understandable — but also wrongheaded, at least if you love loud, fast, witty rock songs. And while their second set, Favourite Worst Nightmare, may not be as revelatory as the first, it’s nearly as good, and suggests they may eventually live up to the most impassioned accolades. Still, they have some convincing to do Stateside: Despite ranking high on numerous 2006 best-of lists, Whatever’s first-year-plus sales haven’t even matched that first week in England.
Nightmare’s lead single, ”Brianstorm” — an oblique dis (or tribute?) to a ladies’ man — may not be the best transatlantic come-on lyrically, but it’s a musical thrill ride that seems engineered for coke-fired dance-clubbers, with its high-speed high hat, fuzzed-out bass line, explosive heavy-metal opening, and spectacular false ending. No doubt these lads, ranging in age from 20 to 21, can play their riffs, which are steeped (sometimes excessively) in those of grizzled ’00s vets like the Strokes and the Vines, with a few older echoes.
But their lyrics set them apart, with verses that can stand alongside those by Stephen Sondheim, Nas, and Dylan Thomas on Wikipedia’s internal rhyme page. ”Now the shaggers perform and the daggers are drawn,” frontman Alex Turner slurs on ”Balaclava.” The Monkeys grew up on hip-hop, and while they’re not rap-rockers, they know how playful poetics and regional flavor can be more pleasurable than mass-market lingua franca.
Whatever shone with details about working-class youth culture in the group’s hometown of Sheffield. Nightmare is less culturally specific — a minus. But on the best tracks, when Turner dreams of a distant lover (”…lying on your side, with your hands between your thighs”) or an unhappily reformed party girl (”You used to get it in your fishnets/Now you only get it in your nightdress”), it feels more intimate — a plus. The latter tune sounds like a mere insult until he casually addresses the subject as ”my love,” and you glimpse a hurt smart-ass counting down his own rabble-rousing days. It’s the sort of wisdom, and emotion, of which rock poet laureates are made.
Feist Teams With Grizzly Bear For June Tour
Canadian singer/songwriter Feist will spend three weeks on the road in North America in June, with support from Grizzly Bear. The trek begins June 8 in Northampton, Mass.; as previously reported, Feist’s second album, “The Reminder,” is due May 1 via Cherrytree/Interscope.
The artist is also set for a May 8 appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno,” with a “Jimmy Kimmel Live” booking in the works as well.
Feist’s extensive touring in support of her 2004 debut, “Let It Die,” was a major factor in how the new songs came to fruition. “The only way to really gauge where you’re at musically is by the set list,” she tells Billboard.com. “Every night, it was a mental photograph of where I was at and slowly, certain songs started to fly away. It’s from the gut; I don’t want to play that song tonight. The next step is, ‘Well, what do I want to sing?’ There was this really great lunge that started to happen.”
Here are Feist’s tour dates:
June 8: Northampton, Mass. (Calvin Theatre)
June 9: Boston (Berklee Performance Center)
June 11-12: New York (Town Hall)
June 13: Washington, D.C. (9:30 Club)
June 14: Greensboro, N.C. (Carolina Theatre)
June 15: Atlanta (Variety Playhouse)
June 17: Manchester, Tenn. (Bonnaroo)
June 19: Chicago (Vic Theatre)
June 20: Minneapolis (PantageS Theatre)
June 22: Boulder, Colo. (Boulder Theatre)
June 24: Seattle (Moore Theatre)
June 25: Portland, Ore. (TBA)
June 27: San Francisco (Fillmore)
June 29: Los Angeles (Wiltern Theatre)
June 30: Solana Beach, Calif. (Belly Up)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Heading off to a wedding in the dirty south. Posts will return on Monday. See you then.
LCD Soundsystem performs”North American Scum” on “The Late Show with David Letterman.
Kingblind news that you can use
Guitarist Uh, Shoe Designer… WTF?!
Shannon Wright:: Everybody’s Got Their Own Part To Play
New Single from her upcoming record “Let in the light” due 5/8/07 on Touch & Go / Quarterstick Records