With its Hawkwind-esque cover art and baffling sci-fi concept (something about an exiled archer’s quest to restore the balance of his home planet), you can’t accuse The Sword of pandering to the hipster-metal (shudder) demographic on this, their third full-length. On the contrary, ‘Warp Riders’ tones down the brazen Sabbath worship of old, instead plunging headlong into the realm of southern-fried hard rock – just check out strutting lead single ‘Tres Brujas’. Have no fear, though, as the riffs remain as ample and hard-hitting as ever, and with Matt Bayles (Isis, Mastodon) handling the production, The Sword have never sounded better.
Archive for August, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The Sword- Warp Riders (Album Review)
Arcade Fire and Google Release interactive film for Chrome browser
“We don’t know exactly what to call the online collaboration between Arcade Fire and Google that launched Monday morning, but it sure is neat.”–WIRED
“The Wilderness Downtown,” an interactive film by Chris Milk featuring “We Used To Wait” from Arcade Fire’s new album The Suburbs can be experienced now at http://thewildernessdowntown.com/
Taking its name from a lyric from the aforementioned song–”so when the lights cut out, I was lost, standing in the wilderness downtown”–”The Wilderness Downtown” exemplifies the Google “Chrome Experience” and HTML5 technology, cueing the opening of multiple browser windows, visually incorporating viewers’ childhood addresses (if they are available via Google Street View) , allowing the viewers to write and share messages to their younger selves and more.
John Lennon’s Toilet Sells for Over $15,000 at Auction
Unorthodox Beatles memorabilia has gone on the auction block for years. For instance, a wooden sculpture of a cupboard designed by John Lennon pulled down £28,200 (over $43,000 US) back in 2003. But the Fab Four memorabilia market really went to new extremes on Saturday when a fan flushed down a cool $15,500 for a toilet belonging to the late, great Lennon.
According to Jam! Showbiz, the commode had once been a part of Lennon’s Tittenhurst Park estate in Berkshire, England, which he bought in 1969. In 1972, the unique toilet, which had blue flowers painted on it, was given to a contractor by the musician during a renovation. Lennon purportedly told the contractor to “put some flowers in it.”
“The toilet might be worth something and it might not, but it is certainly one of the more unusual items we’ve sold,” auction organizer Steven Bailey told the Daily Telegraph in advance of its sale. Although it only expected to bring in $1,600, a bidding frenzy elevated the price to 10 times that amount when it ultimately went to a private overseas buyer.
Lennon’s porcelain hopper was among 303 lots auctioned off over the weekend at the 33rd annual Beatle Week Festival in Liverpool.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Interpol: “Barricade” (Video)
“Barricade,” from Interpol’s upcoming self-titled album (Flash Required)
Silicon Valley’s secret rock star
Offices are full of people with past lives — and for more than two decades James Williamson kept his a secret. Before retiring last year, Williamson was the vice president of technology standards at Sony Electronics, where he traveled around the world developing compatibility guidelines for products. Former colleagues describe him as calm and analytical. He looks the part of a Silicon Valley exec — short white hair, suit jacket — and enjoys vacationing in Hawaii and playing tennis. A few years ago he took up the ukulele and the slack-key guitar. It was his first time picking up an instrument, he says, since the 1970s, when he played guitar for the Stooges, one of the most famous punk-rock bands of all time. (That would be his secret.)
Williamson wasn’t ashamed of his rock-and-roll past — he just didn’t bring it up, he says, and his co-workers didn’t ask. Even the Stooges fans in the office would have been hard-pressed to make the connection between the strait-laced Sony (SNE) executive and the guitarist whose band members were known for violent antics like rolling in broken glass onstage and flashing the audience. So for years Williamson kept quiet, shunning interview requests until rumors of his new career began popping up on the Internet in the late ’90s. After he agreed to appear on a VH1 program about the Stooges, his colleagues began to ask, tentatively, whether he was the guy from the band.
“I was sitting across the table from our deputy general counsel, who’s a huge music fan, and he asked, ‘Are you James Williamson from the Stooges?’” says Williamson. “It blew his mind.” (The counsel, Christopher Ekren, says he always knew his co-worker’s secret.)
Others were more taken aback. “James doesn’t look like an entertainment guy,” says Toshimoto Mitomo, Sony’s senior vice president of intellectual property. “He looks better in a suit than anyone else.”
Raw Power: Iggy and Williamson in Detroit in 1973
Before Williamson was a tech-world bigwig or a famous musician, he was a rebellious kid in Michigan whose next-door neighbor taught him how to play the guitar. He joined his first band when he was 14, shortly before being sent to juvie for refusing to cut his hair (“I said to myself, What would Bob Dylan do?”). A few years later he met a local musician named Jim Osterberg, who also went by Iggy Pop. Iggy was impressed by Williamson’s muscular playing style — “He had more advanced skills than any of us,” he says — and invited him to join the Stooges. Some of the band members struggled with alcohol and drug abuse, and they went on hiatus until David Bowie got them a record deal. In 1972 they recorded Raw Power, an album that showcased Williamson’s aggressive riffs and songwriting.
While Raw Power is now seen as a milestone in punk rock, when it came out, critics and music fans didn’t know what to make of it. The fierce sounds and choppy song structures were wildly different from the glam rock that was popular in the early ’70s, and the album sold only a few thousand copies initially, by Williamson’s estimates. After finishing Raw Power, the Stooges toured for a couple of years, playing for small, rabid audiences until Iggy had a meltdown. The band broke up again, and Iggy made a couple of solo albums with Bowie that included hits like 1977′s “China Girl.” He asked Williamson to work with him again, but the duo clashed over aesthetics while collaborating on 1980′s Soldier and parted ways. They wouldn’t see each other for 20 years.
It was around that time that Williamson lost interest in playing the guitar and developed a passion for computers. “It was exciting in the way that rock and roll used to be for me,” he says. He enrolled in California State Polytechnic, where he studied electrical engineering. After graduating, he took a job at semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices. He got married, had kids, and worked his way up the corporate ladder, eventually landing at Sony in 1997.
Aside from the occasional query from his teenage son’s friends, Williamson rarely confronted his old identity; it remained in the past, surfacing only in gritty YouTube footage and Stooges retrospectives. Things might have stayed that way had he not decided in 2001 to watch Iggy play a solo concert in the Bay Area. Iggy remembers his backstage encounter with Williamson: “I thought, boy — he looks great. He looked clean-cut,” he says. “Before he left, he said to me, ‘Yes, Jim, it’s true: I’m a nerd.’”
They stayed in touch. Williamson told Iggy when he was named to the board of the IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and Iggy joked that the former guitarist was also on the board of the “IGGY.” The Stooges reunited in 2003 and toured until January 2009, when their original guitarist, Ron Asheton, died. Iggy called Williamson and asked whether he would consider rejoining the band to recreate the lineup from Raw Power. Williamson initially said no, but he kept thinking about the offer. “The band couldn’t do this without me,” he says. “They were running out of Stooges.” A couple of months later he decided to take an early retirement package from Sony and spent the next few months practicing with local musicians.
“The band couldn’t do this without me”: Williamson and Iggy Pop at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in May.
The guitarist, now 60 years old, hasn’t completely switched gears again; he still consults with Sony during the day and keeps in touch with his former colleagues, some of whom have attended Stooges shows. The band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last spring, now performs for arena-size crowds — a far cry from the cramped, jeering rooms they used to play in. Williamson is currently touring in Europe. He says his return to rock music, while somewhat belated, has been seamless. “I was like Rip Van Winkle,” he says. “I woke up, and it was a different time, but it was the same me.” Only this time, he adds, he wears a suit jacket onstage.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
KINGBLIND.COM PRESENTS: KINGS OF THE VINYL FRONTIER
This Saturday August 28th at Smarty Pants in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, WA. DJ Kingblind, DJ Teenage Rampage and DJ Self-Administered Beatdown will be spinning at our new DJ night…
It’s called: KINGS OF THE VINYL FRONTIER
Here are the details,
Kings of the Vinyl Frontier is a DJ night on the last Saturday of every month for vinyl lovers at Smarty Pants in the georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. ( That means we are playing nothing but vinyl.. No CD’s, No MP3′s and No Serato.. Just 100% vinyl )
Every month our theme for the night changes. This month’s theme is: (Decade night- 70’s Anything goes.. As long as it’s from the 70’s)
Cost: 100% free
Date: Saturday August 28th 2010
Time: 8pm till closing
Please check out the website for complete details and directions
Kings of the Vinyl Frontier (At Smarty Pants)
6017 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA. 98108
Monday, August 23, 2010
Kingblind vacation this week
We are on vacation this week.. Posts will return on Friday Aug 27th.. See ya’ at the end of the week..
Friday, August 20, 2010
Interpol: ‘Carlos D had his foot out the door in 2007′
Interpol have said that their former bassist Carlos Dengler had his “foot out the door” even when they were working on their 2007 album, ‘Our Love To Admire’.
Dengler left the band earlier this year after completing work on the band’s self-titled fourth album.
Drummer Sam Fogarino told NME that the move wasn’t a bolt from the blue. “Carlos had his foot out the door a long time ago,” he explained. “Even on the last record.”
He added: “His conflict rested in the fact that he enjoyed writing and recording music with the band. It’s doing interviews and the travelling roadshow that he didn’t want.”
‘Interpol’ is out on September 13.
The Antlers: “Sylvia” (Live On KEXP) (Video)
Big Boi Routes U.S. Tour
In support of one of our favorite albums of the year “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” Big Boi brings one of the best live hip hop shows around to the good ol’ US of A.. Don’t miss this kids
08-18 Miami, FL – Sobe Live
08-19 Salt Lake City, UT – Twilight Concert Series
08-26 Atlanta, GA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
09-02 Iowa City, IA – University of Iowa
09-04 Atlanta, GA – Heineken Red Star Soul
09-05 Atlantic City, NJ – Casbah
09-06 New York, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
09-17 Chicago, IL – Congress Theater
09-18 Providence, RI – Brown University
09-22 Arcata, CA – Arcata Community Center
09-23 San Francisco, CA – Regency at Grand Ballroom
09-24 Las Vegas, NV – The Palms Casino
09-25 Fontana, CA – Epicenter
09-28 Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
10-01 Bloomington, IN – Indiana University
10-08 Columbia, SC – University of South Carolina
10-15 San Diego, CA – UC of San Diego
10-23 Seattle, WA – Showbox Sodo
10-28 Charleston, SC – Charleston Visitors Center
10-29 Asheville, NC – Asheville Civic Center (Moogfest)
10-30 Houston, TX – Tom Bass Park Amphitheater
11-12 Chattanooga, TN – University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
11-18 Sydney, Australia – Fox Studios
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Watch: Cannibalistic New of Montreal Video: “Coquet Coquette”
Wyclef Jean in hiding after Haiti death threat
Wyclef Jean has gone into hiding after receiving alleged death threats in Haiti.
The former Fugees man is waiting to find out if his application to run to be president of the country has been accepted. He told the Associated Press he was hiding in a secret location following intimidating messages telling him to leave the country.
He did not reveal further details of the threat.
Jean is waiting to find out if he is eligible to run for the position. Under the country’s rules the musician, who was raised in Brooklyn, must have lived in Haiti for five years in a row.
He said: “We await the CEP [electoral commission] decision but the laws of the Haitian constitution must be respected.” The election is scheduled for November 28.
The 10 Worst Music Industry Deals in the last decade
(1) Terra Firma’s acquisition of EMI, $4.7 billion (2007)
Even Guy Hands admits he made a colossal mistake on this one. One of the last super-leveraged buyouts before the bust, EMI has now become a $4.7 billion-plus toxic mess for Terra Firma.
(2) CBS’ acquisition of Last.fm, $280 million (2007)
Scrobbling is cool and all – and this is still a very cool site – but few would “recommend” this deal today. Amidst predictable ad monetization challenges, the company has since switched to pay-only in certain European countries, outsourced full-length videos, and bid adieu to the original founders.
(3) Bertelsmann’s investments in Napster, $100 million (2000-onward)
In retrospect, Bertelsmann was the forward-thinking maverick. But in the moment, that stance created a legal sinkhole for the company, accused of facilitating widespread infringement by keeping the P2P alive. The in-fighting lasted years before expensive settlements torpedoed Bertelsmann with hundreds of millions in losses.
(4) MP3.com acquisition by Vivendi, $372 million (2001)
Before MySpace was even conceptualized, MP3.com was setting huge records for IPO valuations, label lawsuits, and band profiles. Problems quickly followed the inflated purchase, and the site was quickly dumped by Vivendi Universal in 2003.
(5) The Robbie Williams 360-Degree Deal, $160 million (2002)
Williams loves being able to walk the streets of Los Angeles without being recognized. EMI, which structured the pricey deal, is somehow less thrilled by that freedom.
(6) The Sony BMG Joint Venture (2004)
The 50-50 JV was like “tying two sinking rocks together,” according to one executive, and this seemed like a dead weight from the beginning. Bertelsmann walked away, and the combination was ultimately purchased by partner Sony Music Entertainment by 2008.
(7) WMG’s Investment in Imeem (2009)
“We do not intend to make more digital venture capital investments,” WMG chairman Edgar Bronfman told investors after suffering a $16 million write-off on Imeem in 2009. MySpace subsequently scooped the property for well under $1 million.
(8) WMG’s Purchase of Bulldog Entertainment, $16 million (2007)
Bulldog Entertainment Group was best known for coordinating tony concerts in the Hamptons. The company eventually cratered with estimated losses of $30 million.
(9) Any Deal Involving PlaysforSure…
This was a mistake that caused endless suffering, for music service (Yahoo Music, MTV Urge, Wal-Mart), player (Sony, SanDisk, Samsung), and consumer alike. In fact, even Microsoft bailed on its DRM-heavy solution with the launch of Zune.
(10) Best Buy’s Exclusive on Chinese Democracy…
Some comebacks are better than others, and Best Buy was left carrying a truckload of Guns N’ Roses CDs. That did little to kill the big box exclusive, however, as plenty of big-name artists have used the concept to shift serious tonnage.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Download Deerhunters live show from NYC’s Pier 54 (Including new songs)
Deerhunter played a load of new songs when they played at NYC’s Pier 54 last week. For those that missed it, NYCTaper was there to record the whole set, which is available for download now. Sweet!
01 Desire Lines *
02 Hazel Street
03 Revival *
04 Rainwater Cassette Exchange
05 Never Stops
06 Spring Hall Convert
07 Fountain Stairs *
08 Wash Off
09 Fluorescent Grey
10 Helicopter *
11 [encore break]
12 Cover Me (Slowly)
14 Nothing Ever Happened
* new songs
Pink Floyd withdraw classic albums online
Pink Floyd have pulled the plug on digital sales of some of their most famous albums following the expiration of their publication contract with EMI, according to reports.
It means for the time being that tracks like Roger Waters-era classics such as ‘The Wall,’ ‘Animals,’ ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The Final Cut’ are no longer available online. However representatives of the band are currently trying to negotiate a new deal that would see their entire back catalogue made available on the internet.
As reported by Spinner, the band won a high court battle with EMI in the spring over unpaid download royalties and the selling of their tracks individually, something the band has always seen as detrimental to their creative vision.
With their music still generating impressive numbers – sales of ‘The Wall’ amount to 1.5 million in the US alone since EMI took it on in 2000 – the band are likely to have no shortage of offers.
As EMI hold the licence for some of the band’s earlier output, the likes of ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ and ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ still remain available to download.
Radio, RIAA: mandatory FM radio in cell phones is the future
Music labels and radio broadcasters can’t agree on much, including whether radio should be forced to turn over hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the music it plays. But the two sides can agree on this: Congress should mandate that FM radio receivers be built into cell phones, PDAs, and other portable electronics.
The Consumer Electronics Association, whose members build the devices that would be affected by such a directive, is incandescent with rage. “The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity,” thundered CEA president Gary Shapiro. Such a move is “not in our national interest.”
“Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do.”
But the music and radio industries say it’s a consumer-focused proposition, one that would provide “more music choices.”
A grand bargain
Autumn, “that season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” approaches, and as Congress returns soon from recess, it will find its autumn agenda packed with supplicants who want the government to put its stamp on private negotiations. Google and Verizon famously released their own legislative framework on network neutrality earlier this month, and the broadcasters and music labels are nearing completion on a similar framework of their own.
In this case, the framework concerns public performance rights. Radio broadcasters and music labels are at each other’s throats over the question of whether radio ought to pay performance rights to labels or artists when it plays their music on the air (currently, only songwriters get paid, not artists or labels). A bill percolating in Congress, the Performance Rights Act, would rationalize performance rights in the US; satellite radio and webcasters currently pay full performance fees to labels or artists, but radio does not, thanks to a longstanding exemption in copyright law.
The bill has already passed out of committee in both the House and Senate, but it is vigorously opposed by the broadcasters; they argue that radio provides valuable promotion to artists and shouldn’t have to pay. Congress tried to force two of the main lobbying groups, the National Association of Broadcasters and musicFIRST (RIAA is a member), to hash out a solution last November. None was forthcoming, but talks have continued since then and are now close to completion.
The two sides hope to strike a grand bargain: radio would agree to pay around $100 million a year (less than it feared), but in return it would get access to a larger market through the mandated FM radio chips in portable devices.
“As regards the chip, this is a key issue for the radio industry,” musicFIRST told Ars today. “musicFIRST, too, likes FM chips in cell phones, PDAs, etc. It gives consumers access to more music choices.”
As the contours of this deal came into sight last week, the consumer electronics companies saw the prospect of a new government mandate, and one that was transparently about propping up a particular (and aging) business model.
“The performance royalty legislation voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee does not include this onerous and backward-looking radio requirement,” said the CEA’s Shapiro, and he wants to keep it that way.
The deal has not been finalized, we’re told. When it is, the two sides still need to convince Congress to go along, but they’re hopeful something can be wrapped up late this year or early in 2011.
Update: NAB stresses to us that no deal has been finalized. “However, if there is a decision made by the Board of Directors to go forward and seek legislation, including radio-enabled chips in mobile devices in possible legislation seems to us to be a reasonable idea,” says NAB’s Dennis Wharton.
As for the CEA criticism, “It’s no surprise that CEA opposes this, since trade associations generally always oppose new rules. CEA also opposed DTV tuners in digital television sets; the FCC decided that having DTV tuners in TV sets was a good thing, and passed a rule that gave consumers access to local TV stations on DTV sets.
“We would argue that having radio capability on cell phones and other mobile devices would be a great thing, particularly from a public safety perspective. There are few if any technologies that match the reliability of broadcast radio in terms of getting lifeline information to the masses.”
(via ARS Technica)
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Watch the Arcade Fire on the Daily Show
“Ready to Start”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Arcade Fire – Ready to Start|
“Month of May”
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Exclusive – Arcade Fire – Month of May|
The Vaselines: “Sex With An X” (Video)
Enjoy the new video from Scottish indie rock legends the Vaselines
Dennis Wilson Biopic Expected in 2011
A film about the life of Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, who drowned in Marina Del Rey in 1983, is reportedly in pre-production. According to WENN, director Randall Miller and writer Jody Savin — the creative force behind the 2008 Sundance Film Festival sensation ‘Bottle Shock’ — are working with the cooperation of Wilson’s family with plans to have the movie ready for a 2011 release.
“Dennis was a pained and tortured soul, yet brilliant and loved dearly by so many who knew him,” says Miller. “This film has the makings of a tour-de-force performance in the hands of the right actor. As a director, I search for stories that expose the soul of a character in new territories that excite me as a filmmaker.”
Savin will pen the screenplay for the biopic, which the pair will produce with Wilson’s daughter Jennifer. The film is expected to incorporate music from Wilson’s 1977 solo disc, ‘Pacific Ocean Blue,’ as well as previously unreleased tracks by the late performer, plus music from the Beach Boys. The movie’s release is expected to be timed with the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary next year.
Monday, August 16, 2010
EL-P: Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 (Album Review)
Not for nothing is Brooklyn leftfield hip hop impresario Jaime Meline otherwise known as, in extended alter ego terms, El-Producto. Schooled in groundbreaking crew Company Flow before honing his craft as a solo artist and brain behind scene-defining label Definitive Jux, his literate wiseass rhymes and shrewd business sense are far from the only weapons in his arsenal.
Noted beatsmith flair, effortlessly transcending rap microcosms, is where focus firmly lies on Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3, an instrumental set billed as a stopgap between 2007’s imperious I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead and its studio successor. Whereas the two preceding Weare… volumes mirrored the thrown together ethos of the series title, though, here El-P compresses mixtape methodology into a cohesive whole with the urgency of an attention deficit disorder-riddled jukebox.
The lion’s share of these wordless wonders clock in around the two-and-a-half minute mark, relative vignettes concentrating on moving the pace along before an idea bogs down. Evolving into the next movement rather than simply skipping to the next track, it’s a smart approach; even if, ultimately, the abundance of instant fix bite-sized snacks leaves you salivating for mealtime proper.
El-P’s sharp-tongued sense of humour and sharper eye for domestic nitty-gritty remain in track titles Whores: The Movie and He Hit Her So She Left. The former busts from the blocks, squelching along with ominous B movie soundtrack intent, the noise of a compressed orchestra attempting to digitise G-funk with space-age swagger. The latter packs fittingly thwacking punch, dodging categorisation en route.
Time Won’t Tell harks back to melodic poignancies that intersected I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead’s emotion-prodding peaks with all the edgy, paranoid beauty of riding a late-night subway. And it’s an atmosphere unexpectedly partially reprised in Young Jeezy refix I Got This (El-P Remix) Redux, expertly-inserted mournful guitar licks eventually bleeding into Jump Fence, Run, Live’s pogo stick-springy club bounce.
For any bootlegging rappers with cerebral ambitions, this could represent the greatest thinking man’s beat tape of all time. To mere listeners, it’s an enveloping temporary distraction, more than fulfilling its purpose of whetting anticipation for El-P’s mic-wielding return.