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Archive for June, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012


Led Zeppelin boasts one of the most impressive — and successful — discographies of the rock era. But the songs that made it to their albums don’t necessarily tell the whole story, as evidenced by a feature in a recent issue of Classic Rock Magazine that traces the evolution of Jimmy Page‘s ‘Swan Song,’ which never appeared on a Zeppelin record — but came awfully close.

The ‘Swan Song’ story starts in 1974, when Page brought elements of what was meant to become a four-part suite about the seasons to the sessions for ‘Physical Graffiti.’ At the time, it was an instrumental featuring what Page is quoted as calling “a number of sections and orchestrated overdubs,” and while the band spent time developing it in the studio — you can find pieces from the sessions on YouTube — it was ultimately cast aside..

But as the article explains, the band’s decision to table ‘Swan Song’ had less to do with the quality of the song than the strength of the material they already had — and Page continued to return to it throughout the rest of Zeppelin’s career, incorporating some of its chord changes into live performances right up until their final tour in 1980…


Jesus Lizard fans who missed the alt-rockers’ 2008–2009 reunion tour probably won’t get another chance to see the band, and they shouldn’t hold their breath on hearing any new recordings. Guitarist Duane Denison tells Rolling Stone that, given his optimistic-turned-futile efforts to get the band back in the studio, the band is, for all intents and purposes, once again defunct. Jesus Lizard originally broke up in 1999.

“That reunion tour went so well – we kept it brief, and we didn’t extend it – that it just seemed natural to some of us to just go, ‘Well, let’s do an album. We all can still play, we get along, let’s do it,’” Denison says, explaining that “certain members” of the band started dragging their feet and hemming and hawing at how they lived too far apart and didn’t want to go the cliché route of a post-reunion LP. “Well, it’s a cliché only if you make it a cliché and you put out a shitty album,” Denison argues. Eventually, the guitarist gave up on trying to lure his bandmates back to the studio, a prospect for which he had started writing material for after the reunion tour.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Flaming Lips’ ‘Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’ (Album Review)

It’s great that the Flaming Lips, 30 years into their life as a band, can still surprise not only their fan base but, presumably, their record label Warner Bros., with such a strange, tripped-out excursion as the Oklahoma City band’s new album, “Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends.” In fact, on this, their 14th studio album, they go deeper and further down the experimental abyss on a full-length album than they have in a decade, and seem to have busted out a bunch of distortion pedals that they haven’t used since they were discovering LSD and making seminal (if youthfully naive), psychedelic punk masterpieces like “Hear It Is.” So kudos to Wayne Coyne and company for their spirit of creative abandon.

But said abandon on “Heady Fwends” is often of the reckless kind, the sound of a band and a bunch of heady friends indulging themselves in the studio. The aforementioned “Heady Fwends” include, among others, Bon Iver, Kesha, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Yoko Ono, Erykah Badu, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Nick Cave and others, each of whom offers vocals on select tracks.

The Lips have long been the purveyors of beautiful chaos, the kind that harnessed Beatle-esque melodies and teamed it with distortion. For its part, “Heady Fwends” often sounds like the last minute of “Helter Skelter,” right before Ringo Starr screams, “I’ve got blisters on me fingers!”

Which isn’t a bad thing at all. This is noise rock, and the collaborators who fare best harness it to the greatest advantage. Pop star Kesha, in a weird non-sequitur collaboration with Biz Markie and the Flaming Lips, opens the record with the abrasive “2012 (You Must Be Upgraded),” and with it blows apart any question that she’s the most open-minded of the new batch of female pop vocalists. Rhode Island duo Lightning Bolt teams with the Lips for the psychedelic “I’m Working With NASA on Acid,” a title which accurately conveys the music’s essence.

There’s little beauty within this particular collection of noise; it’s often the staticky, abrasive, treble-heavy noise, the kind that actually annoys the ear drums. Which would be fine if “Heady Fwends” didn’t feel so cobbled together; it seldom gathers enough momentum, and doesn’t feel the least bit cohesive. There’s a fine line between “cobbled together” and “improvised,” and though the Lips should never be criticized for their occasional indulgences, that doesn’t mean all of them are equally worthy of attention.

New Big Boi: “Gossip” [ft. UGK and Big K.R.I.T.]

“No introductions needed,” Big Boi begins on the latest track to surface from the OutKast-half-not-just-doing-commercials-and-Hendrix-biopics’ upcoming Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (currently set for November 13 on Def Jam), but it’s hard to get past the impressive artist lineup on no-nonsense posse cut “Gossip.” Particularly considering the track, which premiered on Atlanta radio DJ Greg Street’s show last night, contains verses from both halves of Texas gangsta-rap heavyweights UGK, including Pimp C, who died four-and-a-half years ago. Throw in Big K.R.I.T., the Mississippi up-and-comer who rocked Conan’s TV show just a night earlier, and you have a generation-spanning array of Southern hip-hop greatness.

The track itself, ostensibly a tirade against haters who talk too much, is hard-charging and lyrically deft, with old-school production relying on chopped-up guitars and banging drum machines. All in all, a fine change-up after stripper-friendly “She Said OK,” which Street also spun last night. Boi is as nimble as ever, rhyming about Coca-Cola and cockatoos, while the laid-back Big K.R.I.T. (“I had you trippin’ like you smokin’ furl”), sneering Bun B (“Ain’t nobody body trippin’ ’cause the money already made”), and booming Pimp C (whose posthumous verse trips up on a dated “no homo” aside that gives away its inevitable age). Still, as hard as it is to judge by tagged-up radio rips, the track isn’t as instantly thrilling as its roster — nor as the untouchable procession of singles that led to Sir Lucious Left Foot.

Stream it below while it lasts

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beauty Is Embarrassing (Movie Trailer)

One lesser discussed fact surrounding the 1980s cult-favorite kid show Pee-wee’s Playhouse is that its whimsical set, puppets, and assorted other oddities were dreamt up by a few avant-garde artists. Namely, late-’70s punk veteran Gary Panter, Ric Heitzman and Wayne White provided the surrealist environment where Paul Reubens’ character let his imagination run amok. While all three went on to have further influence on the world of art and music, White’s post-Pee-wee work reached an even wider audience when he designed two classic animated music videos: the Smashing Pumpkins’ unforgettable Georges Méliès-inspired “Tonight Tonight” and Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time.” White is also a childhood friend of singer-songwriter Kurt Wagner, for whom he’s created numerous Lambchop album covers.

Now — as Yewknee points out — an inspiring new documentary about his career in art, Beauty Is Embarrassing, is hoping to fund nationwide distribution after earning loads of critical praise at recent festivals. Based on this preview, which features interviews by Panter, Simpsons creator Matt Groening, and composer Mark Mothersbaugh, the film looks like a must-see for anyone looking to fuel their muse. Check out the trailer below..

(via 24bit)

Jack White Producing Next Rolling Stones Album? Maybe, Says Keith Richards

Having already logged studio time with buddy Keith Richards, Jack White would be a natural to produce the next Rolling Stones album, should the rock legends celebrate their 50th anniversary by heading back into the studio. Keef evidently agrees, and in a recent interview with — who else? — Rolling Stone, he talked up a possible collaboration.

“That’s always a possibility,” Richards told the magazine, adding that the band plans to meet in July to discuss its future plans. “The door is wide open.”

White teamed up with the iconic Stones guitarist in 2009, and while the results of those sessions have yet to be released, Richards is game for putting them out.

“I don’t know if [Jack] ever considered that it was actually, like, master cuts,” Richards now says. “But at the same time if Jack wanted to do it, I’d probably say, ‘Yeah.'”

The two clearly have a good rapport, and as if the prospect of White working with (arguably) the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time weren’t exciting enough, consider this: The former White Stripe and sometime Raconteur cites “Undercover of the Night” as his favorite Stones track. What the world needs now is a flashy, political disco-rock anthem, and White may be just the man to deliver.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bowie split Spiders from Mars after sports car chat led to fight

David Bowie split the Spiders from Mars after tensions exploded following a conversation about a sports car, says drummer Woody Woodmansey.

He reveals how a chance conversation took place on a plane during the band’s 1972 US tour, which broke Bowie in America but led to him killing off his Ziggy Stardust character.

Woodmansey was sitting with newly-added keyboardist Mike Garson on the flight. The drummer tells the BBC: “I was reading a magazine and there was a Lambourghini in it. I said, ‘Oh, that’s nice,’ and Mike said, ‘Well, why don’t you buy one?’ I said, ‘I wish.’”

Garson persisted, believing Woodmansey could easily afford the car, and it led to a discussion about wages. “I went, ‘What do you think I get?’ He went, ‘Well, I know what I get,’ and he told me – and it was three times what I got.”

The keyboardist explains: “I was getting a salary that seemed fair, and I just assumed the other guys were getting more because they’d been there several years.”

The conversation led to Woodmansey, along with guitarist Mick Ronson and bassist Trevor Bolder, confronting Bowie and manager Tony Defries. The three musicians threatened to leave the tour and go home.

“The final straw was Defries saying to us: ‘I would rather pay the road crew more than you,’” Woodmansey says, “I thought, ‘There’s no game here.’”

The Spiders were able to negotiate a new deal and the tour continued – but the fight permanently damaged relations between them. Along with Bowie’s desire to distance himself from his Ziggy character, the disagreement contributed to the band’s split when, in July 1973, the singer announced at London’s Hammersmith Odeon: “Of all the shows on the tour this particular show will remain with us the longest, because not only is it the last show of the tour – it’s the last show we’ll ever do.”

Ronson’s widow Suzi says Woodmansey and Bolder were the only people in Bowie’s organisation who didn’t know what was to happen that night. She says: “It was decided in Japan. Mick was sworn to secrecy and told, ‘If you do this for us you’ll be the next star, you’ll be doing the next thing – but you mustn’t tell the boys.’

“Everybody knew except Woody and Trevor. I knew, the sound guy knew. I think it was horrific to have done that to them.”

Garson, who continued to work with Bowie, comments: “It wasn’t a big deal to me. David was done with it, and any artist at any time is entitled to be done with something.”
(via: Classic Rock Magazine.)


Spotify is apparently far behind digital sales, but ahead of physical sales… Full story at Business Insider:

Spotify is now the No. 2 revenue source for the major music labels, a source close to the company tells us.

The No. 1 revenue source for labels is Apple’s iTunes.

The gap between Apple and Spotify remains extremely large, our source tells us.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bloc Party reveal tracklisting for new album ‘Four’

Bloc Party have revealed the tracklisting for their new album ‘Four’.

The album, which is the follow up to their 2008 LP ‘Intimacy’, will be released on August 20 and has been produced by Death Cab For Cutie/The Mars Volta knob twiddler Alex Newport.

The record will contain a total of 12 tracks, with a single ‘Octopus’ preceding the record on July 3. The quartet have also released a video trailer for ‘Four’, which you can see by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking.

The band have previewed a number of songs from ‘Four’ during a recent intimate UK tour.

Bloc Party tour the UK in October, playing a total of eight shows. The dates kick off at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on October 12 and run until October 20, when the band headline Cambridge Corn Exchange. The run also includes gigs in Leeds, Glasgow, Southampton, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

The tracklisting for ‘Four’ is as follows:

‘So He Begins To Lie’
‘Real Talk’
‘Day 4’
‘Team A’
‘The Healing’
‘We’re Not Good People’

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Return With New Album, Tour, Offer New Track “Black Mold”

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion return with Meat and Bone, their first album of new material since 2004, which follows their 2010 reissue campaign. It’s out September 18 via Boombox/Mom + Pop. Check out album opener “Black Mold” above– it’s also available for download in the widget below. They’ve also plotted a North American tour for this fall, after summer festivals in Europe.
Meat and Bone:

01 Black Mold
02 Bag of Bones
03 Boot Cut
04 Get Your Pants Off
05 Ice Cream Killer
06 Strange Baby
07 Bottle Baby
08 Danger
09 Black Thoughts
10 Unclear
11 Bear Trap
12 Zimgar

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion:
07-07 Liege, Belgium – Liege Les Ardentes Festival
07-08 Lille, Belgium – SJOCK Fest
07-09 Bordeaux, France – Le Rocher De Palmer
07-10 Perpignan, France – Deferlantes Festival
07-12 Bilbao, Spain – BBK Live Festival
07-13 Milano, Italy – Magnolia Open Air Park
07-14 Ancona, Italy – Lazaretto
07-15 Martigny, Switzerland – Caves du Manoir
07-16 Stuttgart, Germany – Schocken
08-09 Sibenik, Croatia – Terraneo Festival
10-06 Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
10-13 Pawtucket, RI – German American Music Hall
10-16 South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Lounge
10-18 Toronto, Ontario – Horseshoe Tavern
10-19 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
10-20 Indianapolis, IN – Earth House
10-21 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
10-22 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock Social Club
10-23 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
10-24 Columbus, OH – The Basement
10-25 Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater
11-03 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
11-08 San Diego, CA – Casbah
11-09 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre
11-10 San Francisco, CA – Great American Music Hall
11-12 Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11-13 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
11-14 Vancouver, British Columbia – Biltmore Cabaret


Full story from Bloomberg (via SPIN):

The Black Keys sued Home Depot Inc. (HD) and Yum Brands Inc. (YUM)’s Pizza Hut, alleging the companies used the rock duo’s songs in commercials without authorization.

The group said Pizza Hut and its ad agency created a commercial for a product called Cheesy Bites Pizza that “prominently features significant portions” of “Gold on the Ceiling.” Home Depot ran a commercial for its Ryobi brand of power tools that uses parts of “Lonely Boy,” the band said.

The use of the songs was “a brazen and improper effort to capitalize on plaintiffs’ hard-earned success,” lawyers for the Black Keys said in the complaints.

Here is the offending Pizza Hut ad:

Friday, June 22, 2012


Radiohead have released a statement detailing how the band will proceed following the stage collapse that killed drum technician Scott Johnson before a show in Toronto last weekend. Because the collapse damaged the band’s light show and stage setup, a group of Radiohead’s tour dates must be rescheduled.

From the statement:

Hello everyone,
As you will probably have heard the roof over the stage collapsed at our show in Toronto killing crew member Scott Johnson and injuring three other crew members. The collapse also destroyed the light show – this show was unique and will take many weeks to replace. The collapse also caused serious damage to our backline, some elements of which are decades old and therefore hard to replace.

Whilst we all are dealing with the grief and shock ensuing from this terrible accident there are also many practical considerations to deal with & consequently we have to try and reschedule the following shows…

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Danny!- Goodbye Love (Music Video)

Potholes Music‘s own Danny! just dropped some nostalgia-heavy visuals for Payback bonus cut “Goodbye Love“. The video features plenty of shots from the track’s sample source — Tevin Campbell’s “Goodbye” — along with clips of Yelawolf, Das Racist, Full House, and much more. It all makes for a pretty hilarious watch and just further cements why Danny! is Jay-Z’s new favorite rapper. Watch the video below.

Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner Share Debut Single as Divine Fits

That brief snippet of music from the Spoon/Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs project Divine Fits turns out to have been taken from their debut single, “My Love Is Real”. Merge will release the single on July 31, backed by the B-side “I Was Born in a Laundromat”.

In order to stream the new song, listeners must “like” Divine Fits on Facebook.

Watch a teaser for the upcoming Divine Fits album:

(via pitchfork)

Yoko Ono, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore to release mini album

Yoko Ono and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore are set to release a mini-album, entitled ‘YOKOKIMTHURSTON’.

The six track album will be released on September 24 and will feature the 14 minute long single, ‘Early In The Morning’, reports Rolling Stone.

In October last year Gordon and Moore announced their split. The rock couple released a statement through their label Matador Records revealing that they were separating after 27 years of marriage.

The announcement raised doubts over the future of Sonic Youth after Matador revealed that plans for the band remained “uncertain”, even though they had previously hinted they would record new material in 2011. The statement read: “Musicians Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, married in 1984, are announcing that they have separated. Sonic Youth, with both Kim and Thurston involved, will proceed with its South American tour dates in November. Plans beyond that tour are uncertain.”

Sonic Youth released their sixteenth studio album ‘The Eternal’ in 2009, while Moore’s third solo album, ‘Demolished Thoughts’, came out in May 2011.

Yoko Ono features on a track called ‘Do It!’ on the forthcoming collaborative Flaming Lips album, ‘The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends’, which also features Bon Iver and Nick Cave.