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Archive for May, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Black Moth Super Rainbow:: Eating Us (Album Review)

As a band trading in a specific and idiosyncratic brand of psychedelic, pastoral synth-porn, Black Moth Super Rainbow don’t seem to produce records so much as additional views into a doped-up, Katamari-like world. Eating Us doesn’t do anything tremendously different from their previous albums.

If you’re looking for more three-to-five-minute excerpts from a seemingly endless supply of mid-tempo funk with gorgeous synth, Mellotron, and fuzzy bass, topped off with vocoded vocals, this is the perfect (and probably only) place for you. BMSR have, however, gone for extra credit and studied up on their Free Design and David Axelrod; they may even have taken more quaaludes.

“Fields Are Breathing” and “Smile the Day After Today” clear off most of the dense oscillators and filters for acoustic guitars and fake strings, sass the tempo a bit, and let the sunshine pop in. Still, a few cinematic departures aside, it’s not long before the knobs start turning again and the drums get breakin’, just like old times. Most of these tracks would sound at home on their 2007 Dandelion Gum, but that just means the band have grown comfortable and fluent in their own language. Their job is to bring heaps of audio Play-Doh for us to mash around in our heads — and they’re good at their job.

Clash drummer raffles Mini Cooper for Strummerville

The Clash drummer Topper Headon is selling his prized Mini Cooper car in aid of the Strummerville charity.

The customised motor will be sold off in a raffle to raise funds for the organisation, which aims to give young musicians a leg-up, and was set up following the death of The Clash’s frontman Joe Strummer in 2002.

Tickets cost £10, and will be available from Strummerville.com from Saturday (May 30).

Headon said of the giveaway in a statement: “This car has been my pride and joy. I had it two-tone customised and it was the first car I drove when I got clean, so you can imagine I’ve been attached to it and have loved it a lot.

“But I so love the great work that Strummerville are doing, so am delighted to donate the car to be raffled. I hope it will make a fortune for the charity. Giving kids a chance is such a good cause.”

The raffle will be drawn on July 13.
(Via NME)

Prince: “Somewhere Here on Earth” (Live on Leno) (Video)
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Microsoft Confirms New Zune HD Portable Media Player and more!

Microsoft Corp. today announced the evolution of Zune, the company’s end-to-end music and entertainment service, to a new platform and new markets. Zune will extend its video service to Xbox LIVE internationally this fall. This marks an important development in the Zune strategy and brings the Zune brand to more than 17 million international Xbox LIVE subscribers. In addition, Microsoft confirmed the next generation of the Zune portable media player, Zune HD. Available in the U.S. this fall, Zune HD is the first portable media player that combines a built-in HD Radio receiver, high-definition (HD) video output capabilities, organic light-emitting diode (OLED) touch screen, Wi-Fi and an Internet browser.

“The Zune music player is an integral part of the overall Zune experience, and we’re proud to be growing and extending our offering beyond the device,” said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the Microsoft TV, Video and Music Business Group. “Delivering on Microsoft’s connected entertainment vision, this news marks a turning point for Zune as it brings cross-platform experiences and premium video content to living rooms around the world.”

Zune Service Expands to New Platform
Zune will be a premium partner in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, bringing an exciting catalog of TV and film to the platform. Zune will occupy the first slot within the Xbox user interface in the Xbox LIVE Video Marketplace, exposing the Zune brand experience to millions of new consumers for the first time. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) next week, attendees will see firsthand how Zune integrates into Xbox LIVE to create a game-changing entertainment experience.

Introducing Zune HD
Zune HD is the next iteration of the Zune device family and brings a new level of listening and viewing experiences to the portable media player category.

*Zune HD comes with a built-in HD Radio receiver so users can listen to higher-quality sound than traditional radio on the go. Users also will have access to the additional song and artist data broadcast by HD Radio stations as well as additional channels from their favorite stations multicasting in HD. If you don’t like the song playing on your station’s HD channel, switch to its HD2 or HD3 channels for additional programming.

*The bright OLED touch screen interface allows users to flip through music, movies and other content with ease, and the 16:9 widescreen format display (480×272 resolution) offers a premium viewing experience on the go.

*The HD-compatible output lets Zune HD customers playback supported HD video files from the device through a premium high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) audiovisual docking station (sold separately) direct to an HD TV in 720p.*

*Zune HD will include a full-screen Internet browser optimized for multitouch functionality.

*Zune HD is Wi-Fi enabled, allowing for instant streaming to the device from the more than 5 million-track Zune music store.

Get More infomation on the Zune HD here

Jay-Z Close To Epic Records Deal

Jay-Z is close to signing a deal that will bring his future recordings to Sony, sources confirm. The deal — which will link Jay-Z’s Roc Nation releases with Sony’s Epic Records for distribution — “is 95% complete” according to people familiar with the ongoing negotiations. A formal announcement is expected in the coming weeks.

Just last week, Jay-Z confirmed his departure from longtime label home Def Jam. His split from the Universal Music Group-owned label reportedly came with a $5 million price tag, but left the rap artist and label executive in control of his future master recordings. Jay-Z’s eleven solo records (including the live “Unplugged” album) and collaborations with Linkin Park and R. Kelly have sold more than 29 million units according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Last year, Jay-Z and Live Nation struck a wide-ranging deal that included touring, publishing and albums. The roughly $150 million pact includes a partnership in Roc Nation, as well as the rapper’s own recordings and tours for the next 10 years.

“He definitely didn’t want to release his album via Def Jam,” said a UMG source. “And given his close relationship with [Columbia Records Co-Chairman] Rick Rubin, it comes as no surprise that he’d make the switch.”

Speculation has intensified in the past week that a Sony deal is in the works. Sony CEO Howard Stringer and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation partner Jay Brown have been spotted meeting in Los Angeles and New York; Epic Records president Amanda Ghost is managed by Roc Nation and Brown; and Jay-Z’s wife, Beyonce, is a Sony artist on the Columbia Records label.

But despite Jay-Z’s close ties to Columbia, sources insist he and his wife will not be labelmates. “It will be a distribution deal, sort of like Star Trak is distributed by Interscope, and it will be on the Epic side, not Columbia,” a Billboard’s source said. Lawyers for both sides are currently hashing out the details.

If the deal goes through, Jay-Z highly-anticipated eleventh studio album, “The Blueprint 3,” will most likely be the first release on Roc Nation to be distributed by Epic.

Dan Auerbach: “Heartbroken in Disrepair” (Video)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Jay Reatard Album, Tour and new song download (mp3)

On August 18, Matador will be releasing the long-anticipated new LP/CD/digital album from Jay Reatard, ‘Watch Me Fall’. Excepting last year’s pair of singles comps for Matador and In The Red, this is Jay’s first album since 2006’s ‘Blood Visions’, and it’s a self-produced full-length that more than lives up to the sky-high standards previously set. Earlier this year, Jay described the making of ‘Watch Me Fall’ to labelmate Andrew Earles :

“This new album has been challenging. It’s the first time I’ve written and recorded an album specifically because a label wants to release it. I’ve never made a record for a record label. I’ve always finished my recordings and then a label is decided on. When I made ’Blood Visions’ I had no idea that it was going to see the light of day. And I’ve never made a record in which the label heard the songs, or anyone heard the songs, before the album was finished, so that’s kind of intense. That’s what singles are for; I always considered my singles as a glimpse between the albums. Labels always had the previous single as an example of where I was going at the time, or of what the next album might sound like. In this situation, people at the label are hearing the songs before the album has been finished, but I try not to let it distract me, I’m trying to go about this process in a way that’s the closest to how I would have done an album in the past. A lot of bands these days, they approach the making of an album like it’s collecting songs, they don’t think about how all of the songs are going to work together. They sequence their albums on iTunes, wondering what songs sound best next to each other rather than putting them together as they were written. That’s not an album.”

“It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” is the first MP3 from ‘Watch Me Fall’, and provides only the slightest hint of the album’s depth. A stronger hint = giving away the store, but you’ll be hearing the new songs this summer when Jay visits the following places :

* Thu May 28 – Barcelona @ Primavera Festival
* Thu June 11 – San Diego @ Casbah with The Oh Sees + Earthmen and Strangers
* Fri June 12 – Los Angeles @ The Echo with Thee Oh Sees + Earthmen and Strangers
* Sat June 13 – San Francisco @ The Independent with Thee Oh Sees + Earthmen and Stangers
* Mon June 15 – Seattle @ Crocodile Cafe with Thee Oh Sees
* Tue June 16 – Vancouver @ Biltmore
* Wed June 17 – Portland @ Dante’s with The Oh Sees + Nice Boys
* Fri June 19 – Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar with Digital Leather
* Fri June 26 – Chicago @ Bottom Lounge with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Sat June 27 – Detroit @ Magic Stick with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Sun June 28 – Cleveland @ Grog Shop with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Mon June 29 – Toronto @ Mod Club with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Tue June 30 – Montreal @ La Sala Rossa with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Wed July 1 – New York City @ Stuyvesant Oval, FREE
* Thu July 2 – Brooklyn @ Music Hall of Williamsburg with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Fri July 3 – Allston, MA @ Harper’s Ferry with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Sun July 5 – Washington DC @ Black Cat with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Tue July 7 – Asheville @ Orange Peel with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Wed July 8 – Knoxville @ Pilot Light with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Thu July 9 – Nashville @ The End with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Fri July 10 – Memphis @ Hi-Tone Café with TV Smith of the Adverts
* Sat July 11 – Oxford MS @ Proud Larry’s with TV Smith of the AdvertsIn addition, Jay will be making his first South American appearances on June 2 (TD Eventos, Sao Paulo, Brasil) and June 2 (Excursionistas Athletic Club).

Jarvis Cocker:: Futher Complications (Album Review)

Perhaps it was inevitable that Jarvis Cocker would find no peace in domesticity. It may have treated him well for a brief period, resulting in the quite brilliant mature pop of his 2006 solo debut, but no other pop star has been as singularly sex-obsessed as Jarvis, so it was just a matter of time before his attentions wandered elsewhere…and so they have on his wildly depraved second album, Further Complications. Right from the start with the thumping “Angela,” Jarvis has flesh on the mind, just as he did during the days of His ‘n’ Hers with its songs about sisters, virginity, and fetishes, but where those songs were underscored by the vague melancholy of somebody who has only glimpsed his fantasy and frets that he will never see it again, the songs here pulsate with perversion, a middle-aged man making damn sure that he’s going to get with a tight 23-year-old body yet again; it’s the sound of a fetishist turned sexual omnivore. Fittingly, the sound of the record is completely changed, with only the closing “You’re in My Eyes (Discosong)” echoing back to the louche, languid urban fantasies of “Deep Fried in Kelvin.” The rest is all gnarled, ugly hard rock, dredging up ghosts of the Stooges and the Spiders from Mars, dressing them in stylish second-hand clothes that are razored to ribbons by Steve Albini’s typically unflinching production. Under his cold glare, all the madness of Further Complications is pushed right to the surface — all the stuttering, slashing guitars, Steve Mackey’s wailing sax, Jarvis’ obsessive, compulsive carnality. If he has any regrets leaving the settled bohemian pop professor of Jarvis behind, it only surfaces on “Slush,” a dirgelike meditation on global warming overshadowed by the hedonistic riot of Further Complications at large, a record that does its best to live up to Cocker’s “never said I was deep, but I am profoundly shallow” proclamation. He’s denied his id for too long, so the dam bursts here and it’s impossible not to happily wallow in the flood of filth unleashed by Further Complications.

Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (Album Review)

And so this year’s nominees for the Fleet Foxes slot – a bit weird, a bit folky, but with crossover potential – bring their third album to the public. Fleet Foxes isn’t really a fair comparison: there’s less of the “Hello trees! Hello flowers!” about Grizzly Bear, who sound more focused, less ethereal. But there are similarities: both bands look to marry an American folk tradition to the audible influence of the Beach Boys. With Grizzly Bear, it’s not just in yearning, falsetto topline melodies and rich harmonies, but also in the “fat bass” that characterised Brian Wilson’s heyday – the Beach Boys influence runs through tracks such as Cheerleader, anchoring the group within a tradition of experimental American pop. That last word is the key one, though: this is never hard work, and never feels self-indulgent. The musical emphasis subtly shifts, from track to track and within tracks – witness opener Southern Point’s transition from swinging, Tim Buckleyesque folk-jazz to something altogether more urgent – to create something that feels rather greater than the sum of its parts.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

White Stripes Drummer Meg White Marries In Jack White’s Backyard

Talk about your friendly exes — not only do Jack and Meg White play amicably in the White Stripes, but frontman Jack opened up his Nashville home on Friday (May 22) to his ex-wife, Meg, 34, so that she could wed Jackson Smith. Smith, son of famed punk godmother Patti Smith and late MC5 guitarist Fred “Sonic” Smith, is a rock guitarist who has performed with his mother and in the Detroit band Back in Spades.

According to an announcement on the White Stripes’ Web site, White and Smith were married as part of a double ceremony that also celebrated the union of another of Jack’s bandmates, the Dead Weather/Raconteurs bassist “Little” Jack Lawrence, who married his girlfriend, Jo McCaughey.

The couples were married in the backyard of White’s Nashville home in front of “a small party of close friends and relatives.” Though calls to a spokesperson for the Stripes were not returned at press time, the officiant appears to have been Benjamin “Swank” Smith, former drummer for the Ohio band the Soledad Brothers, whose self-titled debut was engineered by Jack White (Swank’s former roommate) and featured percussion from Meg.

Jack White, born John Anthony Gillis, took new wife Meg’s last name when the two were married in September 1996. Though they divorced less than four years later, the pair have worked together as a musical couple since the White Stripes’ 1999 self-titled debut. In keeping with White’s many musical and personal eccentricities, at one point early in their career, he told reporters that he and Meg were not in fact divorced, but were brother and sister.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Heads Will Roll (New Video!)

Beastie Boys: “So What’cha Want” (Live on Fallon) (Video)
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New York, NY — May 26, 2009 — As announced by Mike D, Adrock and MCA themselves last night on NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the title for the upcoming new Beastie Boys album will be HOT SAUCE COMMITTEE. The band’s eighth album of all new original material will be out this fall, with an exact date to be confirmed shortly.

In related news, an extremely limited vinyl seven inch featuring HOT SAUCE COMMITTEE hardcore punk rave-up “Lee Majors Come Again” and an A Capella version of the new album’s “B Boys In The Cut” has been turning up golden ticket style in random copies of the recently released Check Your Head deluxe limited collectors vinyl edition. One copy was found selling for $105 on eBay–$25 above the list price of the original Check Your Head package in which it was included!

Additionally, the release date of the penultimate title in this summer’s deluxe remastered Beastie Boys series has been confirmed: Ill Communication will get the reissue treatment on July 14, with Beastieboys.com preorders beginning July 6.

Beastie Boys return to the road this summer, beginning with a June 12 appearance at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, TN. The band will then headline the July 31 opening night of this year’s All Points West festival at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park, play August 2 at the Osheaga festival in Montreal and August 8 at Lollapalooza in Chicago, and round out the summer with a return to SF’s Golden Gate Park, this time for an August 29 stand at the Outside Lands festival. Confirmed fall dates at present are a September 24 at the Hollywood Bowl and October 2 at the Austin City Limits festival. For ticket info visit www.beastieboys.com

The Dead Weather- “Treat Me Like Your Mother” (MP3 Download)

The Dead Weather, the band featuring Jack White and Alison Mosshart of the Kills, are offering the fuzzy and rushing “Treat Me Like Your Mother” for download.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Monday, May 25, 2009

Jay Bennett, Ex-Wilco Member, Dies At 45

Jay Bennett, the former Wilco multi-instrumentalist, passed away in his sleep on early Sunday morning (May 24) due to unknown causes. He was 45. Bennett was best known for his work with Wilco, the group for which he wrote and recorded on 1996′s “Being There,” 1999′s “Summerteeth” and 2002′s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” as well as the band’s Woody Guthrie themed albums with Billy Bragg, “Mermaid Avenue” and “Mermaid Avenue, Volume 2.”

The Chicago Sun-Times spoke with Bennett’s friend and frequent collaborator, Edward Burch, who simply stated “Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed. The family is in mourning and is unavailable for comment at this time.”

Wilco is currently touring in Spain and lead vocalist/guitarist Jeff Tweedy expressed his condolences in a statement released today. “We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him — as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band’s songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time.”

Bennett also released four albums of his own this decade, most recently 2008′s “Whatever Happened I Apologized” as a free download under a Creative Commons license via rockproper.com. He was currently living in Urbana, Illinois and working on his fifth album, “Kicking at the Perfumed Air.”

Bennett’s contentious departure from Wilco was a well-documented situation that played out in the public eye. Earlier this month, Bennett filed suit against Tweedy for “breach of contract” for alleged non-compensation for his appearance in the 2002 Wilco documentary, “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” as well as “unpaid royalties” for work throughout his tenure with the band. The suit was said to be for at least $50,000.

As seen in the film, Bennett and Tweedy’s disagreed over Wilco’s creative direction. After leaving the band, Bennett certainly had a tough time finding the levels of success he saw with Wilco. A recent post to his Myspace blog indicated that he was set to have hip replacement surgery but was currently uninsured and going to pay for it out of pocket.

“I began the arduous, or more accurately, extremely time consuming and endlessly frustrating, process of finding a surgeon and hospital that would perhaps ‘cut me a deal,’ be willing to bargain/barter a bit, or at least allow me to make installment payments,” he wrote on his Myspace blog in April 2009. “As it turns out, this /is/ possible, but also difficult to arrange, if you can not come up with a sizable down payment as a show good faith, etc. I have been saving as much money as possible ever since I made this new commitment to my health, my future, and my quality of life.”

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Memorial Day mp3′s from Kingblind.com (Free & Legal)

It’s long weekend time, So here are some new tunes to get your holiday off to a good start.. Enjoy!!

The High Strung: “Guilt Is How I’m Built”

Au Revoir Simone: “Shadows”

St. Vincent: “Actor Out of Work”

The Walkmen: WOXY Lounge Act session

The Features: “The Drawing Board “

Sharon van Etten: “For You”

Cursive: “From the Hips”