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Archive for February, 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Trent Reznor Wins Oscar for ‘The Social Network’ Score

Trent Reznor is having a highly successful year thus far. After earning a Golden Globe last month, the Nine Inch Nails frontman, along with collaborator Atticus Ross, took home the Academy Award for Best Original Score Sunday night (Feb. 27) for their work on David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network,’ which was also up for seven other Oscars.

After beating out composers John Powell for ‘How to Train Your Dragon,’ Hans Zimmer for ‘Inception,’ Alexandre Desplat for ‘The King’s Speech’ and A.R. Rahman for ‘127 Hours,’ the musician posted a note on Twitter similar to the one he made after landing a Golden Glob win. “HOLY S[—] doesn’t seem enough…” he tweeted.

Reznor’s win comes on the heels of landing another high-profile scoring gig. The 45-year-old Pennsylvania native is writing and recording the music for ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ based on the best-selling novel by Stieg Larsson. The film is also directed by David Fincher and is scheduled for release in December.

Queen Exhibit Spotlights Group From Early to Mid-’70s

Queen’s years from the band’s arrival in the early ’70s to the middle of that decade were the focus of a new exhibit, ‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos,’ which debuted Thursday evening (Feb. 24) at London’s Truman Brewery. Surviving Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor attended the event with guests such as Ronnie Wood, Mika and the Foo Fighters.

“It’s quite shocking for us to suddenly bring back what happened all those years ago in such vivid detail,” said Taylor, as reported by BBC News.

‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’–which is on view through March 12–covers the band’s beginnings through 1976 and features photographs and other items from that era. There are also drawings by Queen’s late singer Freddie Mercury when he was an Ealing College student.

“Once you come into this exhibition you realize that we were just boys and we got together with a dream,” May told BBC News. “We worked night and day for many years and we were very lucky.”

According to Queen’s Web site, a 90-second snippet of the famous “Bohemian Rhapsody” video rendered in 3-D was also presented at the exhibit.

The band had announced their imminent single, ‘Stormtroopers in Stillettos,’ which is an alternate take of ‘Keep Yourself Alive,’ originally on Queen’s 1973 debut record, and a remastered version of ‘Stone Cold Crazy,’ from 1974’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ album. May told the BBC: “These are tracks recorded before we even had a recording deal, just the four of us and an engineer at De Lane Lea studios.”

‘Stormtroopers in Stilettos’ arrives as Queen celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. Next month, the band’s albums from 1973 to 1976–‘Queen,’ ‘Queen II,’ ‘Sheer Heart Attack,’ ‘A Night at the Opera’ and ‘A Day the Races’–will be re-released with additional songs. Also in the 40th anniversary year is a new film being produced about Freddie Mercury, who will be portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen.

On Thursday, the band’s musical, ‘We Will Rock You,’ was issued on a British postage stamp as part of Royal Mail’s ‘Musicals’ set, along with ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’ and Billy ‘Elliot.’

Friday, February 25, 2011

Battles Announce New Album

It’s been nearly four years since post-rock animals Battles released Mirrored, their beloved debut album. And after plenty of speculation and intra-band drama, the band is finally set to release follow-up Gloss Drop on June 7 in North America and a day earlier in the rest of the world via Warp.

It’s Battles’ first album as a trio, following the departure of big-haired multi-instrumentalist Tyondai Braxton last year. And, this time around, they’ve recruited a few guests to fill in on vocals: synthpop hero Gary Numan, Boredoms cult leader Yamantaka Eye, Blonde Redhead singer Kazu Makino, and Kompakt Records disco dude Matias Aguayo. The Gloss Drop tracklist is below:

Gloss Drop:

01 Africastle
02 Ice Cream [ft. Matias Aguayo]
03 Futura
04 Inchworm
05 Wall Street
06 My Machines [ft. Gary Numan]
07 Dominican Fade
08 Sweetie & Shag [ft. Kazu Makino]
09 Toddler
10.Rolls Bayce
11 White Electric
12 Sundome [ft. Yamantaka Eye]

Beastie Boys releasing ‘Hot Sauce…’ album in April

Beastie Boys have finally set a release date for their ‘Hot Sauce Committee Pt 2’ album.

The record will come out in the US on April 19, suggesting the UK release date will most likely be April 18.

The album, originally named ‘Hot Sauce Committee Pt 1’, was supposed to come out in September 2009 but was delayed while rapper Adam Yauch was treated for cancer.

Nas and Santigold are among the acts who have recorded guest spots on the album.

Last month band member Mike D said the band are “open” to touring the new record, although he added: “We’re still going to have to see how he’s [Yauch] doing.”

Thursday, February 24, 2011

X-Ray Spex’s Poly Styrene reveals cancer battle

X-Ray Spex singer Poly Styrene has revealed that she has been diagnosed with cancer.

The punk icon, real name Marian Joan Elliott-Said, made the announcement via her official website,

A message on the site explained that the she was undergoing treatment for the illness and as such couldn’t commit to playing live this year. She is set to release a new solo album, ‘Generation Indigo’, next month.

A message on the site read: “She is devastated that she cannot commit to any live dates at this stage, but her album remains a very positive force in her current journey.”

The singer left a personal note to fans on the site too. “It’s been a bit of a battle fighting this cancer but hey ho I’m still alive,” she wrote. “Luv Poly.”


Following a successful collaboration with Mika in 2010, soft drink giant Coca-Cola partners up with another major act in 2011 as they introduce the Daft Punk x Coca-Cola “Club Coke”. Produced in two distinctive colorways, mimicking the helmets worn by the French duo, the gold and silver bottles will see a limited production run beginning in March 2011…

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Radiohead, ‘The King of Limbs’ and Music Business Acumen in 2011

Serious Fans First
— The new music business model axiom says access over ownership…except in this case. If you want Radiohead’s “The King of Limbs” you’ll have to legally or illegally download it. None of the subscription services, from Spotify to MOG, will have the album until its commercial release on March 29.

This is a hint of things to come. Over time more artists will decide to self-release music in this fashion, thus creating long, staggered release windows that place serious fans first and more casual fans further back in line. Traditional retail must wait in line, too. That means service companies that provide the tools and expertise for the online self-release of albums will benefit from this self-release strategy while the second wave of consumers are left to retailers.

Beating The Pirates
— Did you notice that “The King of Limbs” — as well as its predecessor “In Rainbows” — did not suffer from pre-release leaks? The traditional marketing and promotional effort for a label release is inherently leaky. Promotional and advance copies are everywhere.

Self-released Radiohead albums, on the other hand, are not heard before they are legally downloaded by the first eager fans. In fact, word of the February 14th pre-order didn’t even leak. That’s golden for an artist who wants to stick to a release strategy. Turns out the best way to stop leaks is to leave your record label.

Interesting, too, that “King of Limbs” went out a day ahead of its originally-announced release dates keeping fans, press and especially pirates on their heels.

Social Media Surge
— With Radiohead’s latest announcement and album release, the band got Grammy-like social media buzz comparable to Lady Gaga or Arcade Fire. Their social activity surged after they announced “The King of Limbs”‘s Feb. 14 pre-release.

Its total number of social media followers rose 105% in the week ending Feb. 19, according to Next Big Sound. The band’s weekly Facebook friend additions rose 55%, new Twitter followers rose 643%, new YouTube channel subscribers jumped 1,242% (helped by the concurrent release of a video) and new MySpace friends rose 34%. In all, the band added 125,000 fans (compared to 56,000 the previous week).

Radiohead’s social media gains were comparable to those of Lady Gaga and Arcade Fire in the week after their Grammys appearances. In the week ending Feb. 19, Lady Gaga’s new social media followers jumped 42% while Arcade Fire’s jumped 299%.

All This For Just 8 Songs?
— Would people have pre-ordered the album if they knew it had just eight songs? Most buyers probably would have, but maybe not everyone. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an eight-song album. Quality over quantity, right? “The King of Limbs” does deliver quality. But these days it’s hard to find an album that doesn’t have at least ten songs. Eight songs is a long EP (even if it does run nearly 38 minutes). It all comes down to this: the fact that (an unknown number of) people would pre-order the album with no knowledge of its contents speaks to the high level of trust the band commands with its fans.
(via billboard)


Today’s devastating magnitude 6.3 earthquake in Christchurch has disrupted the tours of visiting international bands and artists.

American hard rockers Queens of The Stone Age were forced to postpone today’s sold out show at Wellington’s Town Hall after being stranded at Auckland airport. The show will go ahead tomorrow and all tickets remain valid. Their Christchurch show, scheduled for Thursday, has been cancelled.

US rockers The Melvins and High On Fire were in Christchurch when the earthquake hit and are unharmed.

“The Melvins and High On Fire tour party were one minute into checking in for our flight to Wellington when the earthquake struck,” their manager said.

They have tried to get to Wellington but were unsuccessful as all domestic flights are stopped and the bands now face spending the night at Christchurch airport, he said.

He was trying to re-schedule Wellington’s show for tomorrow and Auckland’s for Thursday, but couldn’t confirm anything at this point.

US singer Amanda Palmer was scheduled to play in Christchurch tonight but had to cancel her show after being stuck at Napier airport when the earthquake struck. Her Auckland show tomorrow night is going ahead.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Black Keys Announce Summer Tour

Riding high off of last year’s surprisingly successful LP Brothers (as well as their recent Grammy grabs), the Black Keys are gearing up for a month-long North American tour. It will kick off in June, following the band’s scheduled Coachella and Bonnaroo appearances. We’ve got the dates for you below, as well as the funny (and violent) clip for the band’s Brothers single “Tighten Up”.

The Black Keys:

03-15 Paris, France – Olympia
03-16 Nantes, France – L’Olympic
03-18 Amsterdam, Holland – Heineken Music Hall
03-19 Cologne, Germany – Essigfabrik
03-20 Hamburg, Germany – Grunspan
03-22 Berlin, Germany – Astra
03-23 Munich, Germany – Backstage Werk
03-24 Zurich, Switzerland – Rote Fabrik – Aktionshalle
03-25 Lille, France – L’Aeronef
04-14 Mesa, AZ – Mesa Amphitheatre &
04-15 Indio, CA – Coachella
05-22 Mobile, AL – The Hangout Festival
06-10 Indianapolis, IN – The Lawn at White River State Park †
06-11 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
06-27 Vancouver, British Columbia – Deer Lake Park &
06-28 Calgary, Alberta – Stampede Corral &
06-29 Edmonton, Alberta – Rexall Place &
06-30 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan – TCU Place &
07-02 Winnipeg, Manitoba – MTS Centre &
07-03 Minneapolis, MN – Roy Wilkins Auditorium &
07-05 Council Bluffs, IA – Stir Cove Amphitheatre &
07-07 Toronto, Ontario – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre &
07-10 Quebec City, Quebec – Festival D’Ete &
07-11 Montreal, Quebec – Bell Centre &
07-12 London, Ontario – John Labatt Centre &
07-13 Buffalo, NY – Artpark &

& with Cage The Elephant
† with Booker T. Jones, Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea

Jack White’s Third Man Records Announces New Singles for ‘Blue Series’

Jack White is expanding the Third Man Records family with the addition of up-and-comers Pokey and the South City Three and We Are Hex to the fold.

White will release singles from both groups in March as part of the label’s ‘Blue Series,’ a move which should cheer up fans still upset about the White Stripes’ official demise.

According to Third Man Records’ site, “everything from jazz, string ragtime, country blues, and western swing” is promised from St. Louis’ Pokey and the South City Three, which is led by 26-year-old songwriter Pokey LaFerge, heralded by the label as “a traditional American music purist.”

The single, which was produced by White, features the tracks: ‘Chittlin’ Cookin’ Time in Cheatham County’ and ‘Pack It Up.’

As for the seven-inch on the way from Indianapolis’ We Are Hex, the label describes their sound as “refreshingly raw, honest and urgent.”

Featuring ‘Twist the Witch’s Titty’ and ‘Through the Doldrums to the Dum Dums,’ We Are Hex’s single also has the distinction of having “perhaps the best song titles on Third Man so far,” according to the label.

Third Man has posted 30-second teasers from both of the singles on its site. Limited-edition tri-colour versions of each record will be available.

As suggested by the folks at Exclaim, if you happen to visit Third Man headquarters in Nashville, TN, you can preview these new tracks as performed by the Third Man Monkey Band.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Radiohead- Lotus Flower & Video Mashup (Music Video)

And of course thanks to the internet. Thom Yorke and been remixed to boogie to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’

Yorke’s B&W gyrating and Bob Fosse-esque bowler hat take on a whole different feel. We like it, and we’d totally put a ring on it.

Arcade Fire Announce World Tour

Less than a week after they unexpectedly, awesomely took home the Grammy for Album of the Year, Arcade Fire have announced a massive world tour. Along the way, they’ll play a few giant festivals, as well as their own headlining shows with some choice openers: the National, Explosions in the Sky, Local Natives, Okkervil River. When that’s done, they’ll hit Europe, head back to Canada for one show with U2, and wrap it with two more gigs in the UK. We’ve got the dates below.

Arcade Fire:

04-09 Broomfield, CO – 1st Bank Center ^
04-11 Orem, UT – The UCCU Center ^
04-13 Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre ^
04-14 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel ^
04-16 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-18 Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Convention Center
04-20 Kansas City, MO – Starlight Amphitheatre *
04-22 Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion *
04-24 Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion *
04-25 Chicago, IL – UIC Pavilion *
04-27 Indianapolis, IN – The Lawn at White River State Park *
04-28 Memphis, TN – Orpheum Theatre
04-30 Dallas, TX – Gexa Energy Pavilion #
05-03 Austin, TX – The Backyard %
05-04 The Woodlands, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion %
05-06 New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
06-09-12 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo Festival
06-17 Scheesel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
06-18 Neuhausen, Germany – Southside Festival
06-21 Zagreb, Croatia – T Mobile InMusic Festival
06-22 Burgenland, Austria – Festivalgelände Wiesen
06-26 Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Rock-A-Field Festival
06-30 London, England – Hyde Park
07-02 Arras, France – Main Square Festival
07-03 Belfort, France – Les Eurockeenes
07-05 Milan, Italy – Milano Jazzin’ Festival
07-07 Novi Sad, Serbia – Exit Festival
07-09 Lucca, Italy – Lucca Summer Festival
07-15 Lisbon, Portugal – Super Bock Super Rock Festival
07-17 Bennicassim, Spain – Benicassim Festival
07-30 Moncton, New Brunswick – Magnetic Hill @
08-31 Manchester, England – MEN Arena
09-01 Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Castle

^ with Local Natives
* with the National
# with Okkevil River
% with Explosions in the Sky
@ with U2

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Soft Pack – Answer to Yourself (Live on Letterman-video)

Amazing performance from So. Cal based “The Soft Pack” from last year.. So good!

Spotify Signs On EMI for U.S. Launch. At Least One More to Go…

It’s getting closer: Spotify has finalized a U.S. distribution deal with EMI Music, multiple sources tell me.

Both EMI and Spotify declined to comment.

Coupled with last month’s Sony deal, Spotify now has the approval from two of the four major music labels for an American launch. But that still doesn’t guarantee you’ll see the streaming music subscription service in America anytime soon.

In order to make a credible offer to U.S. users, Spotify will need to at least get Universal Music Group, the world’s biggest label, on board, and it’s not there yet.

It would also be nice if Spotify could land Warner Music Group, which now seems more doable than in the past, given Warner CEO Edgar Bronfman’s increasingly positive comments about the company.

If and/or when Spotify does come to the U.S., it will also have to contend with new rules from Apple, which will require a 30 percent cut of any subscriptions the service sells through Apple’s iTunes platform. That tariff is going to be a significant problem for many of Spotify’s peers, who are working on slim margins to begin with; I don’t know how Spotify plans to address this one.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Radiohead tweet mysterious Tokyo location ahead of new album release

Radiohead have tweeted details of a mysterious Tokyo location and time ahead of the release of their new album on Saturday (February 19).

The band posted the message in Japanese on their official page,, this morning (17).

It roughly translates as: “Hachiko Square Shibuya, 59 minutes at 18 Friday”. The square is one of the notoriously busy ‘pedestrian roads’ in Tokyo.

Fans are now speculating that the band may appear at the square at 18:59 (JST) tomorrow, which would be 4:59am UK time on Saturday morning. Radiohead have so far not elaborated on what the message means, and their spokesperson said they would not be commenting on the tweet.

Their new album ‘The King Of Limbs’ is tipped to feature eight songs, although the band have said that they will not release tracklisting details ahead of its release.