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Archive for September, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Radiohead Is Playing for Wall Street Protesters Today

The Occupy Wall Street protesters camped out in Lower Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park are buzzing over a big secret musical guest scheduled to play this afternoon at around 4pm. We hear that it’s Radiohead, who are in New York for a couple concerts.

It makes sense: Radiohead’s lead singer Thom Yorke has a history of lefty anti-globalization protest. What do you think: Are the millionaires from Radiohead authentic enough to be the bards of revolution? They’re certainly capable of mobilizing people: When their New York show sold out in minutes they almost caused a Twitter riot.

Update: It’s been confirmed by the official website of Occupy Wall Street. An Occupy Wall Street spokesman told me, they have no permit but the police are “aware” of the event.

Dierks Bentley ‘Wish You Were Here’ on ‘Fallon’

Country star Dierks Bentley took part in Late Night with Jimmy Fallon’s Pink Floyd week last night by performing a rendition of the band’s classic ballad “Wish You Were Here.” As expected, Bentley put a country spin on the tune with a bit of pedal steel and a light twang, but his performance was true to the melancholy spirit of the original.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

MGMT Cover Pink Floyd With Bradford Cox

Pink Floyd week on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon entered its third day in high psychedelic style Wednesday night, as MGMT performed with a surprise cameo by Deerhunter and Atlas Sound frontman Bradford Cox. Watch the video below.

MGMT played a song that would seem natural for the East Coast psych-rockers: “Lucifer Sam,” from 1967’s playful, acid-warped The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Joining the band with a reel-to-reel tape player was Cox, wearing what looked like the same Joey Ramone costume he donned during a recent Georgia show with the Black Lips. Ample amounts of bubbles and dry-ice fog accompanied the ensemble’s faithfully trippy performance

Fallon’s week-long tribute to Floyd continues Thursday, when country star Dierks Bentley will perform the title track from Wish You Were Here. Pearl Jam will cap the week Friday with The Walls “Mother.” The performances coincide with an enormous Pink Floyd reissues series, kicked off this week with a six-disc box set edition of The Dark Side of the Moon.

“Luficer Sam” isn’t the only psych-tinged song MGMT have covered recently. The band’s spaced-out version of Bauhaus’s “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” will appear on MGMT’s entry in the U.K. LateNightTales compilation series.

Cox’s Atlas Sound project releases its third proper album, Parallax, on November 8. Hear “Terra Incognita” here.

Watch: MGMT, “Lucifer Sam”

Band Of Horses start work on their fourth album

Band Of Horses start work on their fourth album Band also admit to being ‘really frustrated’ after support slot with Kings Of Leon was axed last month

Guitarist Tyler Ramsay says the band have been busy working on the follow-up to their 2010 LP ‘Infinite Arms’ despite the fact he’s been recording debut solo album ‘Valley Wind’.

He told It’s full on for the next record. We’re really trying to get it solidified and get it done.”

The band also admitted that they were “really frustrated” after their ill-fated tour with Kings Of Leon was recently cancelled. The Followills pulled the remaining dates of their North American tour last month, citing frontman Caleb Followill’s “vocal issues and exhaustion” as the reason for shelving the dates.

“‘Exhaustion’, yeah, I think it was the third show into what was supposed to be a seven-week tour,” Ramsay said. “It was really, really frustrating and quite maddening.

“We were in Tampa, Florida and we just sat there for three days wondering what was going to happen. Every 30 minutes there would be some weird update about booking shows here or there. We ended up going to El Paso and recording, doing some demo stuff in a studio there.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Foo Fighters Cover Pink Floyd With Roger Waters

Pink Floyd week continued Tuesday night on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, as Foo Fighters performed with the U.K. rock icons’ own Roger Waters. Watch the video below (via The Audio Perv).

Dave Grohl and Co. faithfully covered “In the Flesh?,” the opening track from 1979 rock opera The Wall, with Waters singing lead and playing bass. Foo Fighters and Waters — or “Roger and the Foos,” as host Jimmy Fallon called them — alternated with brawny, accomplished ease between the song’s trudging acid-rock riffs and its airy, soul-tinged verse.

Fallon also sat down with Waters for an interview. When not showing off his impression of staunchly traditionalist 1950s pop singer Pat Boone, the Pink Floyd founding member had some very complimentary words for the Shins, who covered The Dark Side of the Moon’s “Breathe” Monday night. “What a great singer that kid is,” Waters said of frontman James Mercer.

Fallon’s week-long tribute to Floyd continues Wednesday, when MGMT will cover “Lucifer Sam,” off The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Country star Dierks Bentley will perform the title track from Wish You Were Here on Thursday, and Pearl Jam will close out the week Friday with The Wall’s “Mother.” Pink Floyd kicked off a massive reissues series this week with a six-disc box set edition of The Dark Side of the Moon.

Watch: Foo Fighters (feat. Roger Waters), “In the Flesh”

Watch: Roger Waters interview on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Sly Stone is homeless (sort of)…

In his heyday, he lived at 783 Bel Air Road, a four-bedroom, 5,432-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion that once belonged to John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas. The Tudor-style house was tricked out in his signature funky black, white and red color scheme. Shag carpet. Tiffany lamps in every room. A round water bed in the master bedroom. There were parties where Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Miles Davis would drop by, where Etta James would break into “At Last” by the bar.

Just four years ago, he resided in a Napa Valley house so large it could only be described as a “compound,” with a vineyard out back and multiple cars in the driveway. But those days are gone.

Today, Sly Stone — one of the greatest figures in soul-music history — is homeless, his fortune stolen by a lethal combination of excess, substance abuse and financial mismanagement. He lays his head inside a white camper van ironically stamped with the words “Pleasure Way” on the side. The van is parked on a residential street in Crenshaw, the rough Los Angeles neighborhood where “Boyz n the Hood” was set. A retired couple makes sure he eats once a day, and Stone showers at their house. The couple’s son serves as his assistant and driver.
Inside the van, the former mastermind of Sly & the Family Stone, now 68, continues to record music with the help of a laptop computer. -[NY Post]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mastodon: The Hunter (Album Review)

The dictionary definition tells you this: ‘With roots in blues rock and psychedelic rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterised by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness.’

All the above is true of Mastodon, perhaps the best and brightest purveyor of the heavy stuff around, since their grimy and gruesome start as an uncompromising thrash outfit at the start of the last decade. Now major label 200,000-unit-shifting purveyors of the most progressive, aggressive yet surprisingly melodic metal you could hope to hear, the Atlanta, Georgia four-piece are back.

Many fans may have been hoping for another installment in the lineage of 2004’s Leviathan, 2006’s Blood Mountain and Crack the Skye in 2009 – the greatest concept-driven prog-metal trilogy since… well, since ever.

Instead, The Hunter is Mastodon with an edge of complexity removed. Songs run to five or six minutes, instead of nine or ten as previously (the average running time here is 3.89 minutes, almost half that of Skye, metal fact fans).

Previously, Mastodon tracks had three or four distinct sections within each song, often with different time signatures, making them “a bitch to play live” according to drummer extraordinaire and, increasingly, vocalist. Brann Dailor. Not so, The Hunter.

Opener ‘Black Tongue’ is a classic none-more-metal riff, invoking Slayer and early Metallica. ‘Blasteroid’, a minnow time-wise at 2.36, lives up to its title with uptempo explosion of positive energy and the memorable refrain: “I wanna drink some fucking blood! I wanna break some fucking glass!”

‘Stargasm’’s eerie synth lines and cheerful central motif almost recalls Zeppelin, while the bizarre ‘Octopus Has No Friends’ mixes vocoder vocals with melodic duelling guitars and an earth-shattering rhythm. Stupendous.

You may have heard lead single ‘Curl of the Burl’ – the dirtiest, funkiest sound in the Mastodon canon. Its Sabbath-esque riff could level trees and scare police horses. It’s completed by Ozzy-style vocals from fret-twiddler-in-chief Brent Hinds and, do my ears deceive me, handclaps? it’s the most ‘pop’ sound yet from a band variously accused of making sludgecore and math-metal (Hinds maintains the band simply makes “classic rock”, for the record).

Whereas previous albums were at least loosely conceptually based around Moby Dick, evil mythological creatures and the life of Rasputin (that last one really does take some explaining), the focus here is broader. Evil beasties and magical powers remain, of course, but this ain’t Tolkeinesque.

The album is dedicated to Brad Hinds, guitarist Brent’s brother (who was an avid hunter) who died during recording. “So we started coming up with all these really triumphant moments for the record. It was like, fist up in the air. Like fuck that – here we go,” Dailor has commented of the intention not to sink into despair.

So Hinds sings with real tenderness on the title track: “All the love I’ve shown / Given to the ones I’ve known / All the love I make / equal to the love I make”. In this genre only Mastodon could make it work and somehow they do, with an intricate, spooky riff and a searing Hinds solo reaching to the sky.

Despite the tragic inspiration, these songs are lighter in mood than anything in the Mastodon songbook. On ‘Creature Lives’, after a Pink Floyd intro of oscillating synths, it’s a justifiably epic, slow-burning, fist-in-the-air stadium rock moment. Album closer ‘the Sparrow’ is melancholic and other-worldly, with its ethereal vocals repeating, over and over.

And this from a band that used to write tunes called ‘Mother Puncher’.

The Hunter is a pitch for the mainstream – but it doesn’t compromise on Mastodon’s core ambition. They are still the most talented, surprising and impressive band making intelligent hard rock today. Now is their time.


Sub Pop:

These dudes just can’t catch a break it seems. As some of you probably recall, Mogwai had to cancel a series of shows earlier this year due to visa issues. Unfortunately their makeup dates have now been cancelled due to medical issues. We wish them a speedy recovery and please stay tuned for the makeup for the makeup dates to be announced.

Here’s the official word from the bands site:


It is with the utmost regret that for medical reasons we have to postpone our American shows this week and cancel the I’ll Be Your Mirror performance. We will announce new dates as soon as possible and apologise for the last minute nature of this announcement.

The Shins Kick Off Jimmy Fallon’s Pink Floyd Week With “Breathe”

It’s five nights of Pink Floyd covers over at the ever musically-minded Fallon program this week, which began last night with the Shins honest-to-Dark-ness take on “Breathe.” If you think James Mercer handles this cover well, it is because he has practice. Although, it is also because his voice is generally custom built for this particular brand of pensive throwback melancholy. True Moon heads will miss the subsequent three-and-a-half minute instrumental acid freakout “On The Run,” but it’s a little early in the morning for such shenanigans anyway. This is also a nice chance to check out the Shins new lineup in action, so consider that and check it below, along with a listing of the rest of the week’s schedule (MGMT, Pearl Jam, etc.):

Tonight it’s Foo Fighters and the man himself Roger Waters on “In The Flesh,” Wednesday it’s MGMT going in on “Lucifer Sam,” Thursday it’s country dude Dierks Bentley’s turn with “Wish You Were Here,” and the coup de grâce on this whole thing is Pearl Jam’s week-closing take on “Mother.” We will post exactly three of those four. 🙂

Monday, September 26, 2011

Radiohead live on SNL (videos)

Radiohead kicked off a busy trip to New York City tonight, joining host Alec Baldwin for the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live”; this marks their first appearance on the show since 2000.

Below, watch tonight’s performance of The King of Limbs cut “Lotus Flower”, as well as “Staircase”, a track the band premiered during their session for the Nigel Godrich-created performance series “From the Basement” (via the Audio Perv). Also watch the show promos Radiohead filmed with Baldwin and “SNL” cast member Fred Armisen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Listen to the Flaming Lips’ Six-Hour Song “I Found This Star on the Ground”

The Flaming Lips’ six-hour song has arrived. Remember, the one you could pay $100 a piece to get your name in, to benefit the Central Oklahoma Humane Society and the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma?

Yesterday, Wayne Coyne brought the marathon song, titled “I Found This Star on the Ground” and packaged with an accompanying toy called Strobo Trip to Jackpot Records, where the song is exclusively available for purchase. But if you’ve got the time, Flaming Lips fan message board Slow Nerve Action has uploaded a series of SoundCloud streams of the entire track, divided up into three parts. Listen here.

Thom Yorke confirms Radiohead will tour in 2012

Thom Yorke has confirmed that Radiohead will be touring in 2012.

The band, who announced two shows in New York yesterday (September 20), have so far only played one live show, which consisted of a secret show at Glastonbury, in support of their new album ‘The King Of Limbs’.

But speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Giles Peterson, Yorke confirmed that the band would be touring, saying: “The idea is to go out and play next year on and off during the year.”

The singer also indicated that Portishead’s Clive Deamer, who played with the band during their Glastonbury set, would be part of the touring band.

Yorke also spoke about his plans to release a new album as part of Atoms For Peace, his project with producer Nigel Godrich and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, revealing that he is “finishing the album” at the moment.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.E.M. breaks up

R.E.M., one of the great American rock bands of the last 30 years, announced it is breaking up.

A statement on the band’s Web site reads: “To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.”

The Athens, Ga.-bred band — vocalist Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills and, until 1997 drummer Bill Berry — became underground and college radio favorites in the 1980s on the strength of classic albums such as “Murmur,” “Reckoning” and “Document.” The ’90s saw them transition to chart-topping superstars thanks to hits such as “Losing My Religion” and “Everybody Hurts.” Even as their popularity declined, the band regularly released new material over the past decade, including its 15th album, “Collapse Into Now,” earlier this year.

Update, 2:29 p.m. EST Stipe comments on the breakup:

“A wise man once said–‘the skill in attending a party is knowing when it’s time to leave.’ We built something extraordinary together. We did this thing. And now we’re going to walk away from it.

“I hope our fans realize this wasn’t an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.

“We have to thank all the people who helped us be R.E.M. for these 31 years; our deepest gratitude to those who allowed us to do this. It’s been amazing.”

Best Coast, No Age, Dave Grohl, Ben Gibbard, More Join Bob Mould Tribute

Former Hüsker Dü/Sugar helmsman Bob Mould will round out a year of career introspection with a star-studded tribute show, “See a Little Light: A Celebration of the Music and Legacy of Bob Mould” in commemoration of his body of work.

On November 21 at Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, No Age, Best Coast, Dave Grohl, Ben Gibbard, Ryan Adams, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler, Margaret Cho, and Grant-Lee Phillips will gather to perform Mould’s music. Mould will also perform. The show takes its name from Mould’s memoir See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody, published earlier this year.

Below, watch Hüsker Dü’s video for “Makes No Sense at All”, off the 1985 album Flip Your Wig.



Based on interview snippets and a few quick conversations with band members, I had a sneaking suspicion this would be coming. The recently un-reunited Bee Thousand-era Guided By Voices will be releasing a new record. Let’s Go Eat the Factory will be out Jan. 1. Bam!

Let’s Go Eat the Factory track list
1. Laundry And Lasers
2. The Head
3. Doughnut For A Snowman
4. Spiderfighter
5. Hang Mr. Kite
6. God Loves Us
7. The Unsinkable Fats Domino
8. Who Invented The Sun
9. The Big Hat And Toy Show
10. Imperial Racehorsing
11. How I Met My Mother
12. Waves
13. My Europa
14. Chocolate Boy
15. The Things That Never Need
16. Either Nelson
17. Cyclone Utilities (Remember Your Birthday)
18. Old Bones
19. Go Rolling Home
20. The Room Taking Shape
21. We Won’t Apologize For The Human Race

Rolling Stone:

This particular lineup of the band, which includes frontman and songwriter Bob Pollard along with Mitch Mitchell, Tobin Sprout, Kevin Fennell and Greg Demos, have not recorded together since 1996’s Under the Bushes, Under the Stars. This will be the first new material credited to Guided by Voices since the band’s supposed final album, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, was released in 2004…