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Archive for May, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Big Boi- “Shutterbugg” (Music Video)

Last month, Big Boi dropped the talkboxed funk jam “Shutterbugg”, from his finally-coming-out solo album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, on our collective asses. Now there’s a video for “Shutterbugg”, and it is as suitably, awesomely bonkers as the jam it accompanies.

Directed by Chris Robinson, the clip features Tron-styled dancers, a puppet-filled backing band, and Big Boi (literally) losing his head. We’d tell you more, but really, just watch the damn thing– it’s good

Damian Jurado- Saint Bartlett (Album Review)

An unexpectedly lush set of tunes from a determined minimalist, this ninth full-length by Damien Jurado paints delicately the indeterminate outlines of remembered love, broken connections and imagined release. Recorded more or less in isolation at producer Richard Swift’s Oregon studio, the album nonetheless is well populated, teeming in its understated way with translucent textures of strings, piano, acoustic and electric guitar, and scratchy found sounds. It suggests and evokes rather than delineates. From transcendental “Cloudy Shoes” on down, you are not always sure what is happening in a song, only that it is freighted with rumination, rue and fond remembrance. One gets the sense that the narrative – in story-ish songs like “Rachel and Cali” or album-stopping “Kansas City” – continues in the pauses, that what Jurado tells you is only a scrap or two of what he’s seeing, thinking, recalling.

The disc begins with “Cloudy Shoes,” dense and dramatic with Spectorish, wall-of-sound strings. Jurado’s worn voice sounds more vulnerable than ever within this glossy arrangement, tremulous and cracking slightly. His voice doubled, intercutting with itself, sounds like a rambling internal monologue that gets stuck on certain phrases or images and can’t quite let them go. This combination – of unexpected lavishness in the arrangements and starkly minimal singing – gives Saint Bartlett an eerie luminousness. It’s an aura that extends to its most carefree and rock conventional moments – the piano rolling, tin-pot tapping “Arkansas,” the electric Neil Young crunch and drone of “Wallingford.”

But takes its strongest form on “Kansas City.” This song, coming just past the halfway point, is the quiet climax of Saint Bartlett, its guitar patterns emerging with gentle reluctance out of a hiss of radio noise. Jurado sings with characteristic simplicity in the cut, almost breathing rather than singing its heart-sore lyrics. You can make out a story about a man whose father took off early, whose mother just died, making some sort of connection with the lost dad and finding it unsatisfactory. And yet, the ellipses yawn like canyons here, the meaning picks up and meanders off like errant tracks in the woods, maybe intentionally laid down, but maybe not. But even without knowing the contours of the story, you can absorb the mood, the atmosphere — almost the air and space. It’s immersive and mysterious at the same time, perhaps more affecting because of its open-endedness.

It’s in songs like “Kansas City” that the arrangements start to seem less of an externality than an essential element in the work; they establish mood in a diffuse, ambiguous sort of way that allows you to inhabit the songs without really knowing what they’re saying. Jurado may not be as concrete or direct as he has been in the past, but his ability to conjure emotion is still very, very strong.

Arcade Fire announce release date for new album ‘The Suburbs’

Arcade Fire have announced the release date of their new album ‘The Suburbs’.

Out on August 2, the Montreal group’s third studio effort was co-produced by the band and Markus Dravs, who has worked with the likes of Coldplay, James and Bjork.

Written, arranged and recorded over the past two years in Montreal and New York, the album is the follow-up to 2007’s ‘Neon Bible’.

As previously reported, the Canadian group have today (May 27) issued a 12-inch double A-side single ‘The Suburbs’/’Month Of May’, which had its radio premiere last night (May 26).

Apple’s Dominance Over Digital Musical Market Under Investigation

Investigations are apparently under way to discover whether Apple holds an unfair stranglehold over the digital music market.

As reported on Yahoo, the U.S Justice Department is examining Apple’s dominance over the market by speaking to record labels and digital music providers in exploratory talks.

Three people whose companies have been contacted by the department have come forward on the condition of anonymity to reveal that discussions are already ongoing.

One of the three people said that the discussions were “very preliminary,” whilst according to two of the sources, regulators questioned the companies about the nature of the digital music industry.

Apple have a market share of 70 percent in the US, and Amazon have the second largest share with less than 10 percent.

According to Reuters data, Apple ended the day with a market value of around $222 billion, beating Microsoft in the race to be the world’s largest technological company.

Recently, the infamous tussle between the iTunes, Apple’s massive online music store, and one of the world’s biggest bands, the Beatles, came to a head with Paul McCartney claiming that the party at fault for delaying their music being made available on iTunes was record label EMI.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tobacco- Maniac Meat (Album Review)

Black Moth Super Rainbow mastermind Tobacco lives in an electric fog. On his second Anticon solo disc, melted melotrons and tingly synths slither over tufts of vocoder fuzz and a slo-mo shuffle-thump. Not much has changed; it’s just been both fortified and demented, buzzsaw harsh and woozily intergalactic. Beck shows up twice—piecing together a jigsaw rap in the fleeting “Fresh Hex” and singing wispy incantations throughout “Grape Aerosmith”—but he barely registers. He doesn’t need to. Fantastic intergalatic electro psych rock jam.. Recommended.

The Dead Weather “Jawbreaker” (Live Video)

It seems like we’ve known them forever but the Dead Weather are just one year old as a band. Of course, that hasn’t stopped them from releasing two albums, landing on the covers of magazines, selling out venues around the world and even becoming a marquee attraction at major rock festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo.

And while it is true that the band was able to pull off two studio albums before their first birthday, this version of ‘Jawbreaker’ — a song from the more recent release ‘Sea of Cowards’ — was recorded live at the Wiltern in Los Angeles. A powerhouse performance, the video shows off the band’s true character, with famous frontman Jack White confined to the drum stool while the Kills’ Alison Mosshart commands out front. As you can see by watching the video, the Dead Weather pull of their live set as if they’ve been doing it together all their lives.

Paul Weller and the Jam’s Bruce Foxton Reunited Live

The Jam enjoyed a mini revival on Tuesday, May 25 in London as bassist Bruce Foxton joined Paul Weller onstage for the first time since 1982.

The 54-year-old played three songs with Weller at the Royal Albert Hall on the second day of the “Modfather”‘s five-night stint at the venue, reports

They opened the three-song salvo with ‘Fast Car/Slow Traffic,’ from Weller’s latest album, ‘Wake Up the Nation,’ before launching into two Jam songs, ‘Eton Rifles’ and ‘The Butterfly Collector’.

Weller called it “history in the making” as his bass playing buddy joined him at the sold-out gig.

Foxton had recorded bass and backing vocals on the studio version of ‘Fast Car/Slow Traffic’ — as well as ‘She Speaks’ — on ‘Wake Up The Nation,’ but it was the first time the duo have reconciled in the live environment.

‘Wake Up The Nation,’ released on April 19 this year, entered a UK chart battle with veteran Australian rockers AC/DC in a resurfacing of the Mods v Rockers struggle when both Weller’s effort and AC/DC’s ‘Iron Man 2’ were released on the same day. AC/DC were eventually crowned winners, with their greatest hits-of-sorts topping the European album charts too.

Gorillaz Confirmed to Replace U2 at Glastonbury

Gorillaz have been confirmed as the new Friday night headliners at this year’s Glastonbury festival after U2 were forced to pull the gig in light of singer Bono’s back injury.

Organiser Michael Eavis said in a statement on the festival’s official website, “This is going to be Gorilllaz’ only UK festival appearance, and it’ll be a massive audio visual spectacle which will really ignite the Pyramid on the Friday night, with Muse, then Stevie Wonder to follow.

“I’m very excited about Gorillaz’ show coming here because they’re so open to guests and collaborations. The alchemy of Friday’s show is going to be astonishing: a perfect, contemporary way to kick off the 40th anniversary celebrations. “I am so grateful for the enthusiasm of the media and the whole of the music industry for their willingness and eagerness to support us in what could have been a crisis.”

Murdoc from Gorillaz commented, “We’re like some great big horrible warship pulling in to the Bay of Glastonbury to save the day. It was us or the Beatles and they split up years ago.

“The previous soldiers got pulled from duty last minute so it’s up to my ‘Plastic Beach’ naval cavalry to sail in and sort the battlefield out. I can assure you though, I’m bringing extra troops. Loads of them. Glastonbury will be ours … cutlasses drawn, trumpets ready. We’re coming in …”

The Glastonbury festival will be held at Worthy Farm in Somerset from June 25 – 27.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Watch: LCD Soundsystem’s “Empire State of Mind” NYC Tribute

LCD Soundsystem just wrapped up a triumphant four-night stand at Manhattan’s Terminal 5 to officially kick off what is rumored to be their last tour ever. I went to a couple of the shows and they were totally epic and worth it and I’m beyond psyched to relive such sensations yet again when the band play this year’s Pitchfork Fest.

A nightly highlight was the finale, which worked a little bit of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ NYC anthem “Empire State of Mind” into LCD’s own Big Apple tribute, “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down”, resulting in an eight-minute musical love fest that all other cities can only dream of. Also, there was a balloon drop. Nobody can deny a balloon drop.

Watch the extra special version of “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” from Saturday’s show below– the “Empire State of Mind” duet between James Murphy and keyboardist Nancy Whang begins around the 5:40 mark (via The Awl):

BTW, LCD just put out an album we like a bunch called This Is Happening and they’re touring all over the earth this summer. Dates are below– do see them.

LCD Soundsystem:
05-24 Montreal, Quebec – Metropolis
05-25 Toronto, Ontario – Koolhaus
05-26 Chicago, IL – Metro
05-29 Portland, OR – Roseland
05-30 George, WA – Sasquatch Festival
05-31 Vancouver, British Columbia – Malkin Bowl
06-03 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore
06-08 Austin, TV – Stubb’s
06-09 Dallas, TX – Palladium
06-11 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
06-17 La Coruña, Spain – Sonar
06-18 Barcelona, Spain – Sonar
06-19 Neuhausen ob Eck, Germany – Southside Festival
06-20 Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
06-22 Zagreb, Croatia – InMusic Festival
06-24 Ferrara, Italy – Bands Apart Festival
06-25 St. Gallen, Switzerland – Open Air Festival
07-01 Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
07-03 London, England – Wireless Festival
07-08 Novi Sad, Serbia – Exit Festival
07-10 Lisbon, Portugal – Alive Festival
07-15-16 Mariaville, NY – Camp Bisco
07-17 Chicago, IL – Pitchfork Music Festival
08-12 Oslo, Norway – Oya Festival
08-13 Gotenberg, Sweden – Way Out West Festival
09-12 Isle of Wight, England – Bestival
(via Pitchfork)

Liam Gallagher reveals his post-Oasis band name

Liam Gallagher has announced that he has named his post-Oasis band Beady Eye.

As well as the frontman, the band features his ex-Oasis bandmates Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Chris Sharrock. They are recording their debut album with producer Steve Lillywhite (Peter Gabriel, The Rolling Stones, U2).

Last month Liam Gallagher said he was planning on releasing his new band’s first single in October, and play live shows around its release.

Oasis split in August last year when Noel Gallagher left the band after a bust-up with brother Liam in Paris.

The Strokes reunite for festival rehearsals

The Strokes have reunited to begin rehearsals their summer festival appearances.

Frontman Julian Casablancas revealed that the band were playing together again this morning (May 25) in a post via his Twitter account.

Posting up this camera phone picture, the singer revealed that all five band members are currently rehearsing as a band again. He simply captioned the photograph: “Boys of Summer”.

The Strokes headline the Isle Of Wight (June 12) and RockNess (13) festivals in the UK this summer, plus will make appearances in Europe, the US and Australia. The shows will be their first since October 2006.

Mastodon Cancel Summer Tour

While Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher’s pancreatitis forced the band to postpone a date and play one with Baroness members filling in for him last month, the show has, for the most part, gone on. The guitarist has been healthy enough to finish out the remainder of the tour, with reports from concertgoers saying the band sounds great. However, pancreatitis, even if treated, can have severe consequences, and as a result, the band has decided to take the Summer off, canceling their festival appearances at Europe’s Sonisphere shows. Warner Bros. has released a statement officially cancelling the tour:

Mastodon regret to inform their fans that their upcoming Summer tour of Europe originally set to begin June 5, in Germany and ending July 3, in Finland has been cancelled. Guitarist Bill Kelliher who has been diagnosed with Pancreatitis has been advised by doctors to continue further medical treatment. Bill’s medical team are optimistic and expect a full recovery in the weeks ahead as the band looks forward to being part of BlackDiamondSkye also featuring Alice In Chains, Deftones, slated to begin Sep. 16, in Chicago.

Whether it’s Kelliher’s medical problem or something else a little darker, it’s a good thing the band is taking a little time off to recharge their batteries. They’ve been touring nonstop for over a year, playing the same album in its entirety over and over again. If Kelliher’s condition is indeed caused (like pancreatitis can be) by drinking, then time off with his family might be exactly what he needs. I think we can all agree that there’s been enough illness and death in the metal community this past month. And while everyone in metal knows who Mastodon are at this point in time, the Deftones/Alice In Chains tour could bring them to a completely new audience, so to say that the Fall tour is important is an understatement. We wish the band the best.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kingblind’s favorite finds (free and legal mp3 downloads)

Enjoy our latest collection of free and legal mp3 downloads from our favorite new and upcoming releases.

David Cross – I Can’t Get Beer in Me (MP3)
from Bigger and Blackerer on Sub Pop

Corey Dargel – Touch Me Where It Counts (MP3)
from Someone Will Take Care of Me on New Amsterdam

Jamie Drake – Plumbline (MP3)
from When I Was Yours (self-released)

Elephant Stone – Strangers (MP3)
from The Glass Box EP on Elephants On Parade

Karen Elson – The Ghost Who Walks (MP3)
from The Ghost Who Walks on XL Recordings

Grovesnor – Taxi from the Airport (MP3)
from Soft Return on Lo Recordings

Junip – Rope & Summit (MP3)
from Rope & Summit EP on Mute

Damien Jurado – Cloudy Shoes (MP3)
from Saint Bartlett on Secretly Canadian

Bettye LaVette – All My Love (MP3)
from Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook on Anti-

Neverever – Young and Dumb (MP3)
from Angelic Swells on Slumberland Records

Peter Wolf Crier – Hard as Nails (MP3)
from Inter-Be on Jagjaguwar

Señor Coconut – Yellow Magic (Tong Poo) (MP3)
from Yellow Fever on Nacional Records

Solvent – Loss For Words (MP3)
from Subject To Shift on Ghostly International

DM Stith – Thanksgiving Moon (demo) (MP3)
from Heavy Ghost Appendices on Asthmatic Kitty

This Piano Plays Itself – Who We Were (MP3)
from As the House… on Stickfigure Recordings

Tobacco – Fresh Hex (featuring Beck) (MP3)
from Maniac Meat on Anticon

Kurt Vile – Invisibility: Nonexistent (MP3)
from Square Shells EP on Matador

Walking Sleep – Final Chapter (MP3)
from Measures (self-released)

Band Of Horses: Infinite Arms (Album Review)

Ben Bridwell’s Americana merchants Band Of Horses have always peddled a line in emotional, wide-eyed and heartfelt romanticism. Their first two albums, 2005’s Everything All The Time and particularly the follow up, Cease To Begin from 2007, were successful negotiations of the terrain between “mellow” and “dull”, and produced at least two gems, in the form of Funeral and Great Salt Lakes. Having now left Sub Pop for Columbia for their third release, it is time to see whether this balancing act can once again pay dividends.

More noticeable this time round is the extremity of the debt to the ’70s and ’80s that this band carries. This is the sound of radio-friendly AOR, and is most strongly exhibited on the amiable Dilly, and Trudy: a track so strongly reminiscent of REO Speedwagon in vocal and general inoffensive appeal that it could be a lost track from their 1980 hit album Hi Infidelity. There are also, erm, rumours of Fleetwood Mac in Compliments and Older, while Way Back Home’s vocal does the beatific Beach Boys-alike thing so many bands in recent years affect (see also: Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear et al).

A few tracks stand out. Opener Factory is a delight, the swell of strings and accompanying melody, coupled with regretful words describing how “it gets lonely” and the “some kind of sorry state” of the narrator evoking genuine emotions. Also nice are the harmonies of Way Back Home and Dilly, with its aforementioned amiability and slightly more uptempo feel. More prevalent, however, are the unmemorable tracks. Compliments, Laredo, Intimate Arms, Evening Kitchen and Bartles + James all share a curious failure to lodge in the listener’s memory, with a noticeable lack of decent hooks to cling to. Overall the sound is frustratingly levelled-out, untextured and overproduced.

In a similar way, the lyrics make reference to a kind of romanticised heartbreak, along the lines of “Oh my love, you don’t even call” (Laredo), “How could you smile and walk away?” (Blue Beard) and “Every house not a home” (Bartles + James) – sticking more to a generalised sense of malaise rather than telling any clearly discernable stories. The impression is that the same tale is being told on every track, just with slightly adapted words each time, and this too undoubtedly contributes to the sense of overall blandness with which this album is suffused.

Ultimately it seems that for whatever reason – the change of label, the personnel changes, the passage of time, who knows – this is a band who have begun to lose that delicate sense of balance with which they have previously negotiated the dividing line between moving, melodic balladry and a safe, harmonious but rather soulless form of songwriting. It is to be sincerely hoped that they find that balance again as when they get it just right, as on Factory but little else here, it results in some pretty wonderful music.

Sleigh Bells Ring In Brooklyn

If an air traffic controller at London’s Heathrow airport had been a little less diligent, Sleigh Bells’ success story would’ve been over before it started.

“We almost crash landed in London,” guitarist/programmer Derek Miller recalls from the safe confines of his hotel room in Amsterdam. “We were on the plane with the Fiery Furnaces, all of us talking about how weird it would be for it to end this way.”

Luckily, Sleigh Bells avoided triggering a day of mourning in Brooklyn and landed safely, set to conquer Europe in much the same way it has triumphed stateside in the last 10 months. After generating enough buzz to power a small city, the band’s debut album, “Treats,” lands at No. 39 on the Billboard 200 with 12,000 copies sold-not too shabby for a digital-only release (May 11) from a band that barely existed a year ago. The album’s physical release is June 1.

Part of Sleigh Bells’ success is due to the fact that the band stayed out of the spotlight while the hype rose around it. After posting some demos online, blogs began to pick up on the band. Then it became the toast of the CMJ New Music Marathon last fall. But rather than jumping in everyone’s faces, Miller and his bandmate, singer Alexis Krauss, adopted a cautious approach, playing select shows and heading to the studio in January to record “Treats.”

The pair worked on the collection of 11 lo-fi noise-pop jams up until the last second. “They finished it on Saturday night [May 8], and that Monday we got it to iTunes to post,” says Michael Goldstone, head of the band’s label, Mom + Pop Records. “We weren’t interested in doing long lead stuff and preorders. We just wanted to finish the album, get it out there and let the music speak for itself.”

If the music speaks for itself, it’s further amplified by the support of some well-known voices. While both Joe Jonas and Jessica Alba have tweeted about Sleigh Bells, its biggest supporter has been M.I.A., who joined the band onstage a few weeks ago at a small show in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint section. An early fan, M.I.A. mentored and signed the band to her N.E.E.T. Records imprint along with Mom + Pop.

The deal is similar to those signed by many hip-hop artists, in which a well-known rapper will lend his or her name and reputation to a project by giving it a personal stamp of approval. “M.I.A. has been very involved with the band from an artistic standpoint, really acting as a mentor to them,” Goldstone says. “Mom + Pop does all the marketing, promotion and logistics. We are the record label, and M.I.A. is the conscience.”

While “Treats” is a solid album garnering rave reviews-including a best new music nod from Pitchfork-Sleigh Bells’ strongest selling point is its live show. After playing a handful of New York dates around the album’s release, including an opening slot for Yeasayer and a sold-out show at the Ridgewood Masonic Temple in Bushwick, the band will spend the early part of the summer on the road in Europe before coming back to the United States for a headlining tour.

As for the fates that have befallen other heavily hyped bands (e.g., Black Kids), Miller is sanguine. “I can’t control it,” he says. “I think we made a good record, and good music sticks around. It’s not ‘Pet Sounds’ or anything, but I think it will have some staying power.”