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.
Morrissey picks his 13 favourite albums to mark ‘Friday the 13th’
Morrissey has named his 13 favourite records of all-time to mark today’s unluck date of Friday 13th.
The former Smiths frontman has chosen albums for Thequietus.com by the likes of Jeff Buckley, The Velvet Underground, Patti Smith and the Ramones.
Iggy And The Stooges’ ‘Raw Power’, Roxy Music’s ‘For Your Pleasure’ and The Smoking Popes’ ‘Born To Quit’ were also among his choices with Morrissey saying of the latter: “Did you ever hear ‘Born To Quit’? It’s by The Smoking Popes. I thought that album was extraordinary, the most loveable thing I’d heard in years.”
Morrissey’s favourite 13 albums of all time are:
Jobriath – ‘Jobriath’
Jeff Buckley – ‘Grace’
The Smoking Popes – ‘Born To Quit’
Damien Dempsey – ‘Seize The Day’
Roxy Music – ‘For Your Pleasure’
The Velvet Underground – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’
The Velvet Underground – ‘White Light/White Heat’
Sparks – ‘Kimono My House’
Iggy & The Stooges – ‘Raw Power’
Nico – ‘Chelsea Girl’
Patti Smith – ‘Horses’
Ramones – ‘Ramones’
New York Dolls – ‘New York Dolls’
HAPPY 133RD BIRTHDAY PHONOGRAPH! (ARCADE FIRE THANKS YOU FOR 6,100 IN VINYL SALES)…
Thomas Edison and the First Phonograph
August 12, 1877
The next time you listen to a favorite album, you can thank Thomas Edison for discovering the secret to recording sound. Before there were CD players and tape decks, there was the phonograph. August 12, 1877 is the date popularly given for Thomas Edison’s completion of the model for the first phonograph.
Edison was trying to improve the telegraph transmitter when he noticed that the movement of the paper tape through the machine produced a noise resembling spoken words when played at a high speed. Experimenting with a stylus (hard-pointed instrument like a large needle) on a tinfoil cylinder, Edison spoke into the machine. Do you know the first words ever recorded?
To Edison’s surprise, the cylinder recorded his message, “Mary had a little lamb.” People had a hard time believing his discovery at first, but soon doubt turned into awe as Edison became known as “The Wizard of Menlo Park,” after the name of the city in New Jersey where he did his work. Sound recording was rapidly becoming an American industry.
Arcade Fire’s Vinyl Success
—Lost in the media hoopla over Arcade Fire’s success with “The Suburbs” is the incredible success of the vinyl format. First week sales of the vinyl LP totaled 6,100, according to Nielsen SoundScan, or 4% of sales. Vinyl sales alone would have put “The Suburbs” at #67 on the Billboard album chart. In comparison, Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” did a “mere” 3,300 units of vinyl LP in its first week of release – 2.7% of its 124,000 first-week sales.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Tricky – Murder Weapon (Music Video)
“Murder Weapon” is a reworking of the classic dancehall hit from Jamaican-born Echo Minott, originally released in the early ’90s. Tricky fell in love with the track and was determined to hear how it would sound with a female vocalist (in a similar fashion to his reworking of “Black Steel” with Martina Topley-Bird).
Tricky here enrolls Irish-Italian Franky Riley, who has toured as Tricky’s vocalist for two years and makes her recording debut on his new album “Mixed Race”.
Directed by Fleur & Manu.
ARCADE FIRE FALL NORTH AMERICAN DATES ANNOUNCED
In the wake of The Suburbs’ #1 chart debut, Arcade Fire has confirmed another leg of dates stretching from Minnesota to Mexico.
The next installation of North American dates will begin September 22 at the Roy Wilkins Arena in St. Paul MN, swinging through western Canada, the pacific northwestern U.S., and California before concluding October 12 at Monterrey, Mexico’s Banamex Theater.
The September-October shows will follow a current run of dates including a recent two-night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden, a headline set at Lollapalooza and an upcoming August 14 headline at Toronto’s Olympic Island. Following that and prior to the band’s return to North America, Arcade Fire will make a select number of UK and European appearances, including headline stands at the Reading and Leeds festivals in the UK.
See below for a full listing of dates and check back at arcadefire.com for information re: on sales, additional dates, support, etc.
ARCADE FIRE ON TOUR FALL 2010:
WED – 9/22/2010 – St. Paul, MN – Roy Wilkins Arena
THU – 9/23/2010 – Winnipeg, MB – MTS Centre
SAT – 9/25/2010 – Saskatoon, SK – Credit Union Centre
SUN – 9/26/2010 – Calgary, AB – Stampede Corral
TUE – 9/28/2010 – Vancouver, BC – Pacific Coliseum
WED – 9/29/2010 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
THU – 9/30/2010 – Portland, OR – Memorial Coliseum
SAT – 10/2/2010 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre
TUE – 10/5/2010 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Library
THU – 10/7/2010 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium
FRI – 10/8/2010 – Los Angeles, CA – Shrine Auditorium
SUN – 10/10/2010 – Mexico City (MX) – Palacio de los Deportes
TUE – 10/12/2010 – Monterrey (MX) – Banamex Theater
M.I.A.- XXXO (Music Video)
Merge Co-Founder Discusses Arcade Fire’s Success
It took only 21 years, but Merge Records finally accomplished something label co-founder Laura Ballance never thought was possible: A No. 1 record on the U.S. pop charts. Yet after a modest, do-it-yourself beginning in the late ’80s in Chapel Hill, N.C. — running the label while performing to nearly empty clubs with her band Superchunk — Ballance is definitely not one who’s going to gloat.
“The whole chart thing is kind of like sports,” she said Wednesday. “The need to have a ranking is kind of meaningless. I’m more like, ‘It did good? That’s great.’ ”
The third effort from orchestral pop outfit the Arcade Fire sold 156,000 copies to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s pop chart, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The figure builds upon the start of the band’s last effort, 2007′s “Neon Bible,” which bowed at No. 2 with 92,000 sold. At a time when the close of each year brings another double-digit decline in CD sales, the Arcade Fire is one of the rare bands that continues to expand its audience, and is doing so with complex and thematic albums.
Yet the Arcade Fire is also a band that tours rarely, and has little interest in self-promotion. For instance, Merge and the band are selling a download of “The Suburbs,” bundling the digital release with an interactive digital picture book. Artwork and lyrics were synchronized to each individual song, and clicking on the images will take users to links connected to each track, be it the Wikipedia pages of suburban Texas towns or YouTube music videos. Users can learn, for instance, which Arcade Fire song was influenced by Foreigner.
With labels and artists trying to find inventive ways to bolster album sales, such an unique approach to packaging a digital album would seem tailor-made for a marketing campaign. Merge, however, made zero attempt to promote the innovation outside its website.
“Nobody knew about it,” Ballance admits.”The band are fans of doing things under the radar and letting people discover it. We did not promote it as a feature. I think it’s cool. It’s even awesome for a little karaoke.”
But “The Suburbs” certainly raked in the digital sales. Although SoundScan doesn’t break down digital sales by retailer, a whopping 97,000 digital copies of “The Suburbs” were purchased. Many will certainly draw the same conclusion as Billboard, noting that “The Suburbs” surely benefited from a week-long promotion at Amazon.com, which sold the album for $3.99. Such low-priced offers are nothing new for Amazon, and acts as big as U2 have been sold by the online retailer at that price point.
“Unfortunately, that’s not up to us,” Ballance said of Amazon’s decision to lowball the price of “The Suburbs.” Yet it certainly raises concerns about the value of the album, and what consumers will view as a reasonable price.
“Devaluing music is something that concerns me greatly,” Ballance said. “But it’s hard to draw a hard line on it. At this point, people can download music for free if they really want to. If you’re trying to get people to buy music, people who wouldn’t otherwise, maybe that’s the way to do it. Just to make it so cheap that it tips the scale.
“It’s tricky,” Ballance continued.”I find the resistance I had five years ago to music getting cheap is being broken down over the years by relentless pressure. People want to pay less.”
Amazon has since raised the price to $7.99, and Apple’s iTunes store continues to sell the album at its standard $9.99 price. Sales of digital albums remain one of the industry’s growth sectors. For the first half of 2010, downloadable album sales were up 13.7% compared to the same period last year.
No matter the price, the Arcade Fire manages to turn the release of each album into an event. Like Radiohead, fan anticipation for the act seems to build when the Arcade Fire is dormant.
Los Angeles audiences may still have to wait a bit to sing along to the Arcade Fire in person. The band recently performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago, but has not yet unveiled a full U.S. tour. For much of September, the band will be in Europe.
“They’re in a luxurious position,” Ballance said. “When I think about the struggles Superchunk has been through, going across the county over and over in a van and playing to 50 people, it’s a big contrast. You have to hit towns more often when you don’t have the impact that the Arcade Fire do.”
Merge is definitely making an impression in 2010. The label has had four top 10 albums in its 21-year history, three of which have been released this year. The Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” joins Spoon’s “Transference” and She & Him’s “Volume 2″ as some of the label’s hottest-selling efforts.
What to make of the sudden success? “It’s insane. Something has been upset,” Ballance said.
Ballance’s Superchunk, in which label co-owner Mac McCaughan is the lead singer, will release a new album, “Majesty Shredding,” on Sept. 14. It’s the act’s first effort since 2001, and Ballance said today’s market is making it nearly impossible to anticipate how the album will sell.
“Things are so different now.” she said. “I cannot even begin to imagine how many Superchunk records we’ll sell. It could be nobody cares because we’re an old band, or it could be that indie rock is now the new-whatever.”
(via LA Times)
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Brendan Benson: ‘Raconteurs will return after The Greenhornes reunion’
The Raconteurs are likely to make more records together, according to co-frontman Brendan Benson, but only after the rhythm section’s cult band The Greenhornes reform.
Speaking in an interview, the singer explained that all the members of The Raconteurs were keen to do more, but they were excited that drummer Patrick Keeler and bassist ‘Little’ Jack Lawrence were reforming their first group, who went on hiatus as The Raconteurs formed.
The Greenhornes, completed by frontman Craig Fox, formed in 1996 in Cincinnati. Their music – and particularly their collaboration with Holly Golightly, ‘There Is An End’ – featured prominently in Jim Jarmusch’s 2005 movie Broken Flowers.
“We’re all busy,” explained Benson. “Patrick and LJ are starting The Greenhornes again, putting that back together and I think they’re touring, which is great news because that’s been a long time coming.
“They had a record that they sat on forever during The Raconteurs, so that’s finally coming out and, of course, Jack [White] has The Dead Weather and all that.”
However, the singer suggested there will be more to come from The Raconteurs.
“We haven’t talked about it, but [doing more]‘s not out of the question. The Raconteurs is a band that was founded on this impulsive basis,” he explained. “It was always spontaneous for us and we want to keep it that way. So when the time is right and everyone converges we’ll do it.”
Why Carlos left Interpol..
For nearly 10 years, the four members of New York City post-punk outfit Interpol boasted such strong, distinct personalities, it was easy to think of their lineup as four sides of a square.
As he lazingly smoked a cigarette on the tour bus before tonight’s Kool Haus gig, Interpol drummer Sam Fogarino revealed that the band aren’t on speaking terms with their moustachioed former collaborator.
“I haven’t spoken to him in ages,” Fogarino says. “I think it’s kind of understandable. If you relate it to a romantic relationship — when you spend 10 years together and you finally break up, you’re not gonna be on the phone every day…
“I think it has a lot to do with the phase that we’re in. We’re on tour, and I don’t think he wants to hear about it. [If I said], ‘Hey Carlos, I’m at the Kool Haus in Toronto! You remember that place? I’m on the back of the tour bus.’ He’d probably go, ‘Ughhhh!’”…
Fogarino blames the rigors of touring for the timing of Carlos D’s exit (“Touring’s a bitch — he didn’t like it”), but he also claims that, as Interpol’s primary arranger, Carlos D had greater musical aspirations than simply picking up the low end.
“Carlos really doesn’t like playing the bass guitar. How integral is the bass to Interpol music? I mean, it’s huge. It’s a total harmonic component. It’s hook-laden. But he really, really didn’t like the bass. It’s not his instrument of choice, and it definitely wasn’t his first instrument.”
Arcade Fire has the #1 album in the country!
Let the record reflect that Merge Records is the NUMBER ONE LABEL IN THE USA! Here’s to Arcade Fire and Merge: #1—156k copies sold
Congratulations to @arcadefire for having the # 1 record in the country! Thanks everyone for supporting the band and us!
Pop & Hiss:
The weekly numbers from Nielsen SoundScan aren’t given the official unveiling until Wednesday morning, but perhaps Chapel Hill, N.C.‘s Merge Records can be forgiven for not being totally hip to music industry embargoes. After all, it’s not often the indie label founded by Superchunk’s Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan has the No. 1 album in the U.S. Heck, never mind often—the label has never topped the U.S. pop charts before.
SPOON_ARCADE_FIRE_SALES But despite a valiant effort from Eminem, the adventurous orchestral pop act Arcade Fire will find itself at No. 1 first thing Wednesday morning—errrr, probably, and most assuredly definitely, but Nielsen SoundScan isn’t talking.
Yet if Merge and its close-knit family of bands is to be believed, the Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs” sold 156,000 copies in the U.S., according to Spoon’s official Twitter page. Yes, Spoon, the Austin, Texas-bred minimalist art-rockers, are the ones who broke the news of Arcade Fire’s first-week sales.
The 156,000 number—should it hold—rockets passed the first-week sales of the band’s “Neon Bible,” which bowed with 92,000 copies sold back in March of 2007. “Neon Bible” missed the No. 1 spot, albeit narrowly. The top-selling album that week was Notorious B.I.G.‘s “Greatest Hits,” which opened with 99,000 copies sold.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Menomena- Mines (Album Review)
Drifting between order and disarray, Menomena’s fourth album is like an exercise in controlled chaos. While Menomena are still working in layers of fractured harmony, Mines feels like one of their more focused efforts to date. Given the density of the songs here, reining themselves in couldn’t have been a small feat, and the album probably owes a lot to its relatively downtempo feeling. The careful, plodding pace of songs like “Lunchmeat” and “Tithe” gives Menomena plenty of time to find their way around the songs, patiently adding and removing layer upon layer to the songs until listeners suddenly find themselves amidst a swirling maelstrom of melody. This kind of control gives Mines a roller coaster feeling, with slow buildups leading to a frenzy of activity, with the whole thing giving the impression that it could go off the rails at any time when in reality you’re safe and secure, with the album only offering the promise of danger when in reality the chances of things getting out of control are slim. It’s that slight promise of danger, however, that makes Mines an exciting listen. Track after track, Menomena perform this kind of complicated juggling act, adding more and more balls to the mix, and just when it seems that things are about to drop, the band reels it all back in, takes a bow, and does the whole thing over again. What’s surprising, though, is that despite its density, Mines is a thoroughly accessible album from start to finish, meaning fans both old and new will have no trouble diving into its easygoing rhythms, and if they stick around to fully explore its depths, they’ll find that there’s plenty to like.
New Pornographers announce tour dates
Power-pop all-stars the New Pornographers have already spent a good chunk of their 2010 touring behind Together, their new album, and they’ll stay on the road for the rest of the year. In the months ahead, they’ll play a ton of shows in North America and the U.S., and we’ve got all their upcoming dates listed below.
The New Pornographers:
08-27 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
08-28 Canandaigua, NY – CMAC #
08-29 Kingston, Ontario – The Ale House
09-05 Stradbally, Ireland – Electric Picnic Festival
09-07 Glasgow, Scotland – Oran Mor
09-08 Manchester, England – Ruby Lounge
09-09 Brighton, England – Concorde 2
09-10-12 Dorset, England – End of the Road Festival
09-12 Helsinki, Finland – Tavastia
09-14 Stockholm, Sweden – Strand
09-15 Oslo, Norway – Parkteatret
09-16 Copenhagen, Denmark – Loppen
09-18 Miranda del Ebro, Spain – Pabellon Multifuncional del Bayas Festival Ebrovision
09-19 Madrid, Spain – Joy Eslava
10-01-03 Las Vegas, NV – Matador at 21
10-13 Bloomington, IN – Buskirk-Chumley Theatre +
10-14 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
10-15 Grand Rapids, MI – Calvin College Chapel
10-16 Baltimore, MD – Ram’s Head Live *
10-17 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
10-18 Richmond, VA – The National *
10-19 Cheswick, PA – Ches Arena *
10-20 Halifax, Nova Scotia – Halifax Forum *
12-09 London, England – Shepherds Bush Empire
12-10-12 Minehead, England – Bowlie 2
# with My Morning Jacket
+ with My Gold Mask
* with Tokyo Police Club
Gary Numan to Play Classic Album on U.S. Tour
New Wave godfather Gary Numan will cross the Atlantic this fall to perform his 1979 album The Pleasure Principle in its entirety — replete with its iconic single, “Cars” — on a slew of North American tour dates. See the full schedule below!
Numan is celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Pleasure Principle, which SPIN dubbed “a study in droll futurism,” calling “Cars” “a Beach Boys song idling on Kraftwerk’s Autobahn.” A deluxe anniversary edition of the album was released in September 2009.
..While it’s been four years since Numan’s last proper U.S. gigs, he joined Nine Inch Nails (and avowed Numan enthusiast Trent Reznor) onstage during several of their last-ever concerts. See video here. Numan was set to play this year’s Coachella festival, but had to withdraw after European air traffic was frozen in the wake of the Icelandic volcano eruption.
Numan will also use the tour to unveil new songs from Splinter, his currently-in-production album.
Gary Numan Tour Dates:
10/17, Orlando, FL (The Firestone)
10/18, Atlanta, GA (Masquerade)
10/20, Washington, DC (Black Cat)
10/21, Philadelphia, PA (Trocadero)
10/22, Boston, MA (Paradise)
10/23, New York, NY (Nokia Theatre)
10/24, Toronto, ON (Opera House)
10/26, Chicago, IL (Metro)
10/27, Pontiac, MI (The Crofoot Ballroom)
10/28, Denver, CO (Gothic Theatre)
10/31, Seattle, WA (Neumos)
11/1, Portland, OR (Roseland Theatre)
11/2, San Francisco, CA (Fillmore)
11/3, Los Angeles, CA (El Rey)
11/4, Los Angeles, CA (El Rey)
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Grinderman: “Heathen Child” (Video)
Enjoy the new video for Heathen Child, the lead track from the forthcoming Grinderman 2 by Nick Cave’s wonderfully entertaining side project, Grinderman.
Ronnie Wood Wants to Publish Teenage Diary
Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has stumbled across a diary he kept as a young man in the 60s — and he wants to publish it.
The Daily Telegraph reports that the diary covers a period when Wood was 18 years old and playing in London R&B band the Birds, the group that initially launched him before his time in the Faces and eventually the Rolling Stones
Wood said, “I’d been rifling through some old stuff I had in the house and I found this diary that I kept in 1965. There were still installments all the way up to December – I don’t know how I kept it going all the way through the year.”
The 63-year-old added, “Some of it is just astonishing – I reckon I could publish the thing as it is. It’s my personal diary so it is very honest.”
With Keith Richards soon to publish what promises to be a fascinating autobiography in ‘Life,’ Wood believes his diaries might rival his bandmate’s tome.
“Keith’s book will do well, I’m sure,” said Wood. “I mean, he is a very eloquent man. But my diary is interesting too though.”
Battles Is Still Battles… Tyondai Braxton’s Statement…
Tyondai Braxton, via Warp:
“At this time, Battles and I have decided to amicably part ways. Suffice to say I am leaving a group that is responsible for some of the most defining experiences in my life.
Aside from making great music for 8 years together John, Ian, Dave and I have been family. We have experienced together what it’s like to start a band and have it blossom into something beyond our wildest dreams and I’m incredibly proud of all we have accomplished.
I know for a fact that this is just a new beginning for Battles. Our model has always had a controlled shapelessness to it and I know John, Ian and Dave are looking forward sculpting an even better way forward.
I look forward to be able to continue my music and am very excited at the prospect of being able to dig deeper in my own work.
To the fans let me say that I cannot begin to express my thanks and love to you all for your support and enthusiasm. All that Battles and I can do to honor that is continue to create art that we love with a passion and depth worthy of your inspection.”
“Battles and Tyondai would like to let their fans know they have chosen to follow their own musical paths.
Due to Battles’ ambitions of finishing their second studio album followed by commitments to a full touring schedule in 2011, and Tyondai’s own commitments as a solo artist and his desire not to tour, both Battles and Tyondai have decided to move on without each other.
It is a sad but amicable split.
Battles wishes Tyondai all the best”
Monday, August 9, 2010
Jack White labels New York celebrity crowd ‘motherfuckers’ for not ‘rocking the fuck out’
Jack White laid into the celebrity-filled audience at The Dead Weather’s gig at Don Hill’s in New York on Wednesday (August 4), labelling them “hip motherfuckers”.
The band were playing a secret show at the relaunch party of Don Hill’s to an audience who included the likes of Sean Lennon, Liv Tyler, Alexa Chung and Mary-Kate Olsen.
According to New York Daily News, White is said to have taken offence at the less-than-enthusiastic crowd.
“Fuck you, you hip motherfuckers!” he told the audience at one point. “Why don’t you rock the fuck out? Maybe I should go grab those free drinks and shove them down your throats, you hip motherfuckers!”
White is also said to have stopped the gig midway through to have an audience member in the front row thrown out because he was taking photos of the band.
However, towards the end of the bands set White did make an apology to the crowd.
“I’m sorry I blew up at you guys earlier,” he said, adding: “Thanks for coming out.”
Mogwai to release ‘interesting’ new album in February 2011
Mogwai have revealed that they will release their next album in February 2011.
Set to be the group’s seventh studio album, guitarist Stuart Braithwaite has admitted the as-yet untitled LP will be “interesting”.
“I think it’s going to be an interesting record,” Braithwaite said. “Quite often, when we go into the studio our songs are nearly written. There’s almost a tone of a song, but as the whole band, you haven’t realized where it’s going.”
As previously reported, the band will be working on the follow-up to 2008′s ‘The Hawk Is Howling’ with drummer Paul Savage, who also worked on the group’s 1997 debut ‘Mogwai Young Team’.
Meanwhile, the Scottish five-piece will release their first live album, ‘Special Moves’ on August 23.
Sub Pop’s Considering Selling Band Merch and Giving the Music Away For Free
Sub Pop art director Jeff Kleinsmith talked earlier this week about ideas the label is kicking around about selling physical products (like concert posters and T-shirts) that come with digital downloads of albums as a new way of giving fans a physical item to go along with their digital purchase, beyond the common practice of including a download code along with vinyl sales. Today, Sub Pop’s general manager, Megan Jasper, sent a statement with more on the ideas that are swirling around the label’s offices.
“Although Sub Pop is primarily known for its many fine artists and their really very fine recordings (also grunge), we’re not at all opposed to expanding into the fine world of t-shirts, hats, beer cozies, and key chains,” Jaspers says. “We used to give many of these tchotchke items away for free in an effort to entice people to pay for the music, but we’re considering flipping our strategy so that people pay for the toy and receive the music for free. Just a thought.”
It’s certainly an interesting idea. Like Kleinsmith and I discussed earlier this week, album art has been a source of inspiration and entertainment from day one, and digital downloading is cannibalizing the visual and physical experience of the purchase, if folks purchase the album at all. A companion booklet or poster could help get a few more people in the habit of paying for music, or at least the limited-edition sweatband.
SLY STONE SUED OVER COACHELLA COMMENTS…
The founder of the funk-rock group Sly & the Family Stone lost a round in court today when a judge ruled a defamation claim within a countersuit by his former manager can move forward.
Gerald Goldstein maintains Sylvester Stewart implied he was a thief when he told fans at the Cochella Music and Arts Festival on April 18, “F—- slander. The white boy’s name is Jerry Goldstein. He’s part of it. What he did was he stole so much money; at the same time, I made so much money that I didn’t know I was being stolen from.’’
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney denied a motion by Stewart’s lawyers to dismiss the claim. They said the comments were protected free speech, but Mooney said that Goldstein’s attorneys had presented a case for defamation that on its face is enough to move forward.
“I’m not saying that you may not ultimately prevail,’’ the judge told Stewart’s lawyers.
The other causes of action within the countersuit were not part of today’s motion.
Stewart, 67, a.k.a. Sly Stone, began the legal battle when he sued Goldstein Jan. 28, alleging fraud, breach of contract and the diversion and misappropriation of the singer’s royalties and assets for more than 20 years.
The suit asks for an accounting from royalty collection companies to determine actual amounts taken, which it estimates to be $20 million to $30 million.
The suit also seeks punitive damages.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Watch: Clips and Behind-the-Scenes of Arcade Fire, Terry Gilliam at Madison Square Garden…
The Arcade Fire- The Suburbs (Album Review)
It’s common for heavily hyped albums to fall flat, but Arcade Fire’s long-anticipated third LP hits with the satisfied thud of met potential. Ironic, then, that its conceptual crux is the frustrated expectations of youth. Ambitious as always, the Montreal indie heavyweights explore everything from identity formation to the soullessness of modern culture over the 16 genre-spanning tracks (and 8 different album covers). Some might argue that the album is bloated and overlong, but it’s the denseness that makes it feel like such a Statement Record. Reflecting the concept’s expansive scope, the band’s stylistic repertoire stretches from the jaunty classic rockisms of the title track to the unexpected synth pop of Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains). And while the stripped-down Month Of May displays a newfound directness, expect high-flying tracks like Rococo and We Used To Wait to inspire the same hands-in-the-air histrionics of Funeral’s Wake Up and Rebellion (Lies).
The Dead Weather: “Blue Blood Blues” (Live On Letterman) (Video)
Kings Of Leon confirm new album title and October release
Kings Of Leon have announced the title and release date of their new album.
The band have named their fifth record ‘Come Around Sundown’. They will release it on October 18 in the UK and October 19 in the US.
Sessions for the album took place at New York’s Avatar Studios, with the band once again teaming up with producers Angelo Petraglia and Jacquire King.
‘Come Around Sundown’ will be the follow-up to 2008′s big-selling ‘Only By The Night’.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
R.E.M. recording very “old school” album. Due next year
The Posies’ frontman Ken Stringfellow has said that REM are recording an “old school”-style album.
The singer,/guitarist who in the past has toured and worked with the Georgia band, recently met up with bassist Mike Mills in his current home city of Paris, where he heard the rough recordings of the proposed follow-up to 2008′s ‘Accelerate’.
“It’s sounding really great, very old school,” Stringfellow said. “The first track had vocals which were mixed super low which I couldn’t understand and I was like, ‘Yes, a return to form.’ Mike was on about pushing the vocals up and I was like, ‘No, don’t do it.’”
REM have recorded their 15th as-yet-untitled studio album with producer Jacknife Lee, who also worked on ‘Accelerate’.
“What’s cool about classic REM is that you have an electric and acoustic guitar coming along like The Byrds,” Stringfellow said. “There’s a lot of that in there, there’s some piano songs too, but I didn’t hear a lot of crazy, freaky keyboards and vintage drum machines in there like the period when I was with them.”
He added: “It had a very live feel. It’s really quite beautiful, some of the recordings were a little bit dark and had just the kind of murk that you would hear on an old REM record. I thought that was a great thing to bring back.”
The album is expected to be released next year.
Wyclef Jean to Announce Haitian Presidential Bid This Week
Wyclef Jean has been rallying to rebuild Haiti since the massive earthquake that hit in January, but it looks like he may be taking his efforts a little bit further. The Haitian-American artist and producer will announce his candidacy for president of Haiti this week, former head of Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies Pierre Eric Jean-Jacques told the Associated Press.
According to Jean-Jacques, the former Fugees member will be a part of a new coalition called Ansanm Nou Fo, which means “together we are strong” in Creole. However, Jean-Jacques did not elaborate on what exactly Jean’s role in the coalition. Meanwhile, Jean’s spokesperson Cindy Tanenbaum declined to confirm anything but said Jean would be making an announcement in Haiti on Thursday night.
This isn’t the first time anyone’s heard about Jean’s intent to run for president of the country, as he’s been careful not to rule out the idea. However, if Jean actually does decide to run, the country still needs to make sure he qualifies. The Haitian-born and Brooklyn-raised singer needs to “prove he has resided in Haiti for five consecutive years, own property in the country and have no other citizenship but Haitian.”
Jean, who would be competing against his uncle who’s a Haitian ambassador in Washington, D.C., will also need to confirm his candidacy and register by Aug. 7. Stay tuned to see how this story unfolds.
RIAA ‘Protects’ Radiohead’s In Rainbows
In 2007 Radiohead sent a shockwave through the music industry by allowing fans to download their new ‘self-released’ album ‘In Rainbows’ for whatever price they wanted to pay, including nothing. Fast-forward three years and the RIAA and IFPI are sending takedown notices to people who share that album online. What happened?
After sitting out their contact with EMI, Radiohead self-released their latest album ‘In Rainbows’ and gave fans the option to download it for the price they felt comfortable paying. Not only was this one of the best promotional campaigns of the last decade, it also brought in serious money.
Radiohead said that the scheme made more money online than all of their other albums combined. The band was obviously proud that they had bypassed the major labels successfully. In the years that followed the band members lobbied for more rights for artists, and less power for the labels.
Last year, Radiohead and several other well known artists formed a lobby group with the aim of ending the extortion-like practices of record labels and allowing artists to gain more control over their own work. The artists were unhappy with the fact that the labels, represented by lobby groups such as the RIAA and IFPI, push their anti-piracy agenda without consulting the artists they claim to represent.
Going after fans is not the solution to the problems the industry is facing, they argued.
Considering the above, it came as a surprise to us when we found out that the RIAA and IFPI are still taking anti-piracy measures on behalf of Radiohead. Both the RIAA and IFPI have been sending out takedown notices to Google (RIAA, IFPI), urging it to disable blogger accounts and filter search results where Radiohead’s ‘In Rainbows’ is offered for free. What went wrong here?
Although some people think that the ‘In Rainbows’ album is still available for free, the free offer really only lasted a few months. After that, the revolutionary ‘pay-what-you-want’ model was traded in for traditional licensing schemes with major labels.
In Rainbows was once ‘free’
The download versions of the album are still self-released, but for the physical copies Radiohead teamed up with record labels such as Warner and Sony. Because of these deals, major record labels now have the ‘rights’ to a piece of ‘In Rainbows’ and they are using this power to take down copies that are distributed online without their authorization.
It is of course ironic that an album that was once seen as the next step towards a new business model in the music industry, is now heavily protected by industry anti-piracy bodies. On the other hand, it is doubtful if the takedown requests are actually legitimate because the labels have the rights to physical distribution, not digital.
TorrentFreak contacted a Radiohead representative to discuss RIAA and IFPI practices but they declined to comment. Still, with all the sensible comments the band’s members have made about sharing in the past, we assume that they don’t approve of the tactics employed by the RIAA and IFPI. Or do they?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Arcade Fire Cover Jay Reatard live in Philly
Last night at a show at Philadelphia’s Mann Center, Arcade Fire took Jay Reatard’s snot-flinging punk scorcher “Oh It’s Such a Shame” and turned it into a stadium-ready, harmony-laden anthem. This band is pretty good at stadium-ready, harmony-laden anthems.
Daft Punk’s Leaked ‘Tron: Legacy’ Soundtrack Songs Fake, Says Band
Daft Punk have confirmed that new songs supposedly from their soundtrack to the forthcoming ‘Tron’ sequel are fakes.
A number of tunes seemingly made by the ‘Da Funk’ hitmakers for ‘Tron: Legacy’ surfaced online last week to the excitement of fans.
But a spokesperson for the duo said that the recordings are actually phoney.
Disney, the studio behind ‘Tron: Legacy,’ previously pulled actual leaked music from the album posted by Seattle radio station The End.
The film, starring Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges, is due out on Dec. 17 in the US, with the soundtrack due for release around the same time.
It’s the sequel to the groundbreaking 1982 movie and opens on Boxing Day in the UK.
Daft Punk’s soundtrack to the movie, meanwhile, will be the French duo’s first studio album since 2005′s ‘Human After All.’
Beck Releasing New Album, Collaborates With Stephen Malkmus
Beck fans can expect new music soon, possibly in the next few weeks, according to a new interview with Pitchfork. While promoting his involvement on the soundtrack to ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World,’ the prolific artist revealed he has a completed album, recorded back in the fall of 2008, which is nearly ready for release.
“There’s not anything stopping it,” Beck — who has been without a record deal for two years by choice — said of his ability to put out new music via his website. “I think there’ll be something coming out by the end of summer, even if it’s just a song or two. Maybe it’s a good idea to just get it out there.”
“It’s the kind of thing where I turn around and two years have gone by and it starts to get less relevant to what’s happening at large,” the musical chameleon said of the proper follow-up to ‘Modern Guilt.’ “At this point, five other bands may have done something that felt really exciting and new two years ago. Like, the title of the record was going to be ‘Rococo’ and now Arcade Fire have a song called ‘Rococo’ … I’m going to try and finish them this summer. It’s just a matter of the songs being good enough and not embarrassing.”
Beck also revealed that he helped Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus with his next disc. “Within the first two days we had 90 percent of the album recorded,” hes aid. “We just put it down live. I just talked to Steve, actually. We’re going to finish it up when he’s done touring.”
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
LCD SOUNDSYSTEM announce new tour dates
Fresh off triumphant appearances at the Sasquatch, Bonnaroo and Pitchfork festivals, sold out multiple headline dates in New York, Paris, Dublin and more, and stops in Japan, Australia, Korea and beyond, LCD Soundsystem has confirmed dates of its extensive U.S. fall tour. This next U.S. leg will commence September 24 at Philadelphia’s Naval Cruise Terminal and will include LCD’s first ever headline engagement at Los Angeles’ legendary Hollywood Bowl on October 15, as well as sets at the Austin City Limits and V festivals, among others.
Special guests Sleigh Bells will appear on the September 24-October 8 dates, after which Hot Chip will occupy the special guest slot from October 13 on. Both Hot Chip and Sleigh Bells will appear at the Hollywood Bowl show.
The newly announced dates are the latest in LCD Soundsystem’s ongoing world tour in support of its third album, This Is Happening, which was released May 18 in the U.S. on DFA/Virgin. The first LCD record to debut in the U.S. Top 10, This Is Happening and attendant LCD live experience have been garnering unanimous acclaim, most recently including a #5 showing in NPR’s mid-year best music of 2010 so far listeners poll and Spin naming the band’s performance “Best Moment Everyone Expected To Be Great” at the recent Pitchfork festival.
On the forthcoming dates LCD Soundsystem constant James Murphy will be joined by core members Nancy Whang (keyboards, vocals) and Pat Mahoney (drums), as well as Al Doyle of Hot Chip (bass), Gavin Russom (keyboards), David Scott Stone (guitar) and Matt Thornley (percussion).
Fri-Sep-24-10 – Philadelphia – Making Time @ Philadelphia Naval Cruise Terminal (with Sleigh Bells)
Sat-Sep-25-10 – Columbia MD – V Festival @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
Mon-Sep-27-10 – Burlington VT- Memorial Auditorium (with Sleigh Bells)
Tue-Sep-28-10 – Boston – Orpheum (with Sleigh Bells)
Fri-Oct-01-10 – Clinton, NY – Hamilton College (with Sleigh Bells)
Mon-Oct-04-10 – Atlanta – Tabernacle (with Sleigh Bells)
Tue-Oct-05-10 – Orlando – Hard Rock (with Sleigh Bells)
Wed-Oct-06-10 – Miami – Fillmore (with Sleigh Bells)
Fri-Oct-08-10 – Houston – Verizon Amphitheater (with Sleigh Bells)
Sat-Oct-09-10 – Austin City Limits Festival
Wed-Oct-13-10 – San Diego – RIMAC Arena (with Hot Chip)
Fri-Oct-15-10 – Los Angeles – Hollywood Bowl (with Hot Chip and Sleigh Bells)
Sat-Oct-16-10 – San Francisco – Treasure Island
Tue-Oct-19-10 – Salt Lake City – The Complex (with Hot Chip)
Wed-Oct-20-10 – Denver – Fillmore Auditorium (with Hot Chip)
Fri-Oct-22-10 – Milwaukee – Eagles Ballroom (with Hot Chip)
Sat-Oct-23-10 – Saint Paul – Roy Wilkins (with Hot Chip)
Best Coast- Crazy for You (Album Review)
The simplicity that Best Coast have cultivated on a handful of ’60s-inspired, surfside fuzz-pop EPs and singles over the past year or so has created an easy opening for the band to deliver on the blog cred they’ve racked up in the same time frame. And they’ve nailed it.
Crazy for You, a more slickly produced version of what we’ve already heard, seems an effortless collection of songs built on throwback pop sensibilities and uncomplicated melodies as powerful and golden as the California rays whence they came. The debut full-length’s straightforward sound is mirrored by an overarching sentiment: for someone whose world revolves around her next Bud Light and the whims of a cat named Snacks, frontwoman Bethany Cosentino is consistently lovesick.
Debilitating infatuation, manic longing, neediness — all the stuff we’re obliged to stow away lest we become real-life versions of Ginnifer Goodwin’s character from He’s Just Not That into You — are as constant in her lyrics as the reverb in her riffs. The good news is, this album is going to garner a dozen swoons in her direction for each romantic woe she professes on it.
Derf Scratch, Original Bassist for Fear, Dead
Derf Scratch, original bassist for Los Angeles punk band Fear, passed away on July 28 due to complications from an unknown illness, the OC Weekly reports. Although Fear continues to work today under original guitarist/vocalist Lee Ving, the band underwent numerous lineup changes over the last 30-plus years, with Scratch playing in the band’s most fruitful period, 1977-1982.
Born Frederick Milner, Scratch helped raise Fear’s profile in the late ’70s and early ’80s by befriending punk rock fan John Belushi. The actor became such a supporter of the band, he secured them as a musical guest on the 1981 Halloween episode of ‘Saturday Night Live.’ One of the more notorious performances in ‘SNL’ history, Fear and their crowd of moshing, brawling fans, which included Belushi and Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye, caused $20,000 worth of damage.
Ving eventually fired Scratch from the band a short time after their 1982 debut album, ‘The Record,’ was released. In a 2004 interview with Mark Prindle, Scratch revealed his post Fear career included a band called Scratch and another later band called Derf Scratch and Friends. In 2006, he was in a bad car accident following a gig of another new act he was playing with called the Werewolfs.
Check out Fear antagonizing a crowd in 1980 below.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Beck: “Acroyali/Standing In Motion” featuring Thurston Moore & Tortoise (Yanni Cover) (Music Video)
Beck, Tortoise and Thurston Moore’s cover of Yanni’s Live at the Acropolis
Nick Cave to Rewrite ‘The Crow’ Remake
The last we heard about Relativity Media’s remake of “The Crow,” producer Ed Pressman told MTV that an offer was out to a “major actor” and director Stephen Norrington (“Blade”) had finished a “terrific” screenplay that would be set in two locations: “the southwest — the Mexico/Arizona area — and an urban [setting] — Detroit or Pittsburgh or something like that.”
Well apparently Norrington’s take wasn’t quite “terrific” enough, as Pressman recently said that none other than iconic musician and acclaimed screenwriter Nick Cave has come on to rewrite the script.
Hiring Cave to rewrite Norrington’s script is a bold move, but it may prove to be worth it in the long run, as Cave may be the perfect choice to help resurrect the fading franchise.
He made his screenwriting debut with John Hillcoat’s 1988 prison drama “Ghosts … of the Civil Dead,” but what really has this lifelong “Crow” fan excited is Cave’s impressive work on Hillcoat’s gritty Australian Western “The Proposition,” which was awesome.
While Cave’s record label may not like to publicize his other career as a successful screenwriter, there’s no doubt that he is in major demand, especially after having been named one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch in 2006.
Last year, it was announced that Cave had written “The Promised Land,” an adaptation of Matt Bondurant’s bootlegging novel “The Wettest County in the World.” Hillcoat would once again direct, and Shia LaBeouf was attached to star. There were reports that the project had “fallen apart” earlier this year but it seems like the film is still in development at Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher’s Red Wagon Entertainment.
Kavanaugh Buys Overture Marketing, Distribution Arms
More recently, actor Andy Serkis revealed that he and Cave are planning a motion-capture version of “The Threepenny Opera.” Although it’s unclear whether Cave will be writing the screenplay or simply contributing music for the feature adaptation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s classic 1928 musical/operetta, it’s nonetheless an ambitious project that shows what kind of material Cave is interested in.
Several years ago, Variety reported that Cave and Hillcoat were collaborating on “Death of a Ladies’ Man,” an English tragicomedy named after the Leonard Cohen song that was set to star “The Proposition’s” Ray Winstone as a sex addicted salesman who is forced to take his young son on the road with him after his wife commits suicide.
And before that, Russell Crowe asked Cave to write a sequel to “Gladiator,” which would have ended with “a 20-minute war sequence that ended up in Vietnam, and then in a toilet in the Pentagon, with [Crowe] as this rage-fueled eternal warrior.” Unfortunately, the studio rejected the script, as it proved impossible to finance.
Expect an announcement in the coming weeks about who will land the coveted role of Eric Draven in the reconceptualized remake of “The Crow,” which will feature the titular bird as more of a full-fledged character than in Alex Proyas’ 1994 original.
SPOTIFY’S US LAUNCH LOOKS UNLIKELY…
Spotify’s licensing negotiations with the major music labels have reverted back to square one, Billboard.biz has learned from multiple sources.
Having failed to persuade the major record labels to go along with its vision for a U.S. version of the popular European service, Spotify in the last month has approached the labels with a clean slate to determine what type of service would be possible to launch before the end of the year.
Spotify has been eying a U.S. launch for almost two years, originally expecting to go live in this market in 2009. But some labels, most notably Warner Music Group, have gone on record stating their displeasure with the “freemium” model that Spotify champions, which offers unlimited streaming for free under an ad supported model designed to drive users to a premium paid tier that eliminates ads and offer mobile access.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has insisted he wants to offer Spotify in the U.S. under a similar sort of model, with perhaps some changes to the length of time that the free tier would be available. But so far the four majors have not agreed on any common ground…
Digital Music News:
What was that about a launch in the fall? Spotify’s US-focused label negotiations appear to be going nowhere fast, according to information surfacing late Thursday.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, Antony Bruno at Billboard noted that Spotify is “reverting to square one” in its major label talks, and approaching the matter “with a clean slate” to create something workable for the US.
It seems fairly certain at this stage that a European translation of the service into the US is off the table. Warner Music Group is a major roadblock, though others seem to lack the appetite for another freemium free-for-all…