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Archive for August, 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

Big Boi- “She Said OK” (Music Video)

Big Boi’s much-anticipated followup to 2010’s Sir Lucious Left Foot, titled Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, is apparently out November 13. He’s now shared the video for “She Said OK”, featuring Theophilus London and Tre Luce, via WorldStar. Directed by Alexi Papalexopoulos.

Afghan Whigs: Are they sticking around?

Although there are a couple of freshly recorded covers floating around and a new original song in the set, Greg Dulli remains non-committal about whether the reunited Afghan Whigs will be a going concern after the group’s current U.S. tour wraps up in early November.

“The group is a going concern as it’s going,” Dulli said. “I am being utterly honest when I tell you we haven’t really talked about anything other than what we’re doing right now. It’s kind of cool that it’s happened that way because it’s very much in the moment, and appreciating the moment is something that sometimes gets lost in everyday life. Everything that’s happening now is happening in its own inimitable, organic way. So right now I’m surfing this wave. If the way continues on I’ll know it, and if it’s time to hop off the wave, I’ll know that, too. But I don’t know the answer yet.”

Dulli and company hopped into the studio for a pair of covers — Mary “Queenie” Lyons’ “See and Don’t See” and Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrime” — that it’s distributed for free via the Internet. Dulli says the band has also “recorded a couple more things. We’ll see if they pop out at an appropriate time.” Meanwhile, Afghan Whigs have one brand new song in the set, “Into the Floor,” but Dulli says distributing it now would be premature..

“It’s not available because the words change to it every night,” he explains. “(The song) just sort of started happening and started to evolve, and then we honed it in the sound checks. Now it’s got a couple different ways it’s played — that’s mostly between me and the drummer (Cully Symington). I have signals that indicate which version of the song we’re gonna play so the drummer knows which version of the song is going to happen.”

On the whole, Dulli says he’s happy he decided to put the group back together for this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festivals in London and New Jersey, and that it decided to add more shows in both Europe and the U.S. “I’m not going to put a band together for two gigs, especially five months apart,” Dulli explains. “So I turned loose the booking agents, and I’m glad I did. It’s been really fun to play and see everything. It’s a great rock band, great rock songs. As a rock ‘n’ roller, that’s kind of what you want to have when you get up on stage — good people to play with, good songs to play.”

He adds that Afghan Whigs “drove (the band) ’til the wheels fell off” leading up to its 2001 breakup, but he never believed the group was over and done with. “As soon as you break up or as soon as you stop doing something, everybody wants to know when you’re going to do it again,” he says. “So the easiest way to handle that was to completely set it down, (and say it’s) never going to happen — maybe I believed that for a time, but here we are.”

Dulli adds that he’s focused on nothing but Afghan Whigs until the tour winds down Nov. 10 in Los Angeles, so his other projects — including the Twilight Singers (whose lineup has featured current Whigs members Dave Rosser and Rick Nelson) and the Gutter Twins (who Symington plays for) — are on hold. “Right now I’m sort of playing everything by ear,” Dulli says. “I have no idea what’s going to happen next. And I like that.”
by Taboola

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dan Deacon- America (Album Review)

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to make of Dan Deacon. There’s a youthful, unfettered exuberance throughout his catalogue that makes itself known via repetitive and chaotic but extremely tightly composed excursions of percussion and electronic tones. But just what is it? Is it pop, electronic, punk, post-rock, drone-wave, or maybe all of the above? Deacon’s occasionally lengthy songs often unfold like post-punk gamelan compositions, with multiple tones, rhythmic patterns, repeating melody lines, and vocals clashing and colliding, but resulting in some very listenable experimental rock. His latest release, America, is the most fully formed and thought-out of his albums, perfectly joining his concept of a free-form punk mentality with classically influenced structure and arrangement.

America is divided into two parts. The first part consists of several individual songs, the best of which is the lush “True Thrush,” a track formed by whirling guitars and drum patterns and glued together by Deacon’s actually very well sung vocals, backed by an epic chorus of “ah’s” and “oh’s.” “Lots” is a harsh and abrasive tune, awash in fuzz that coats vocals and instruments alike. Deacon settles down for some appealing, tinkling ambient-style drones on the aptly titled “Prettyboy,” a track that offers a moment of clarity before the driving “Crash Jam.” The second part of the album is a song in four movements called “USA,” which references the band USAISAMONSTER. It is tempting to dismiss this as grandiose overreaching for undeserved importance, but Deacon has a well-formulated plan here. The movements segue into each other and range from inspiring horn and string heralding to electronic dance-floor bumping to meandering blips, bleeps and static. This section of the album is best listened to as a whole in order to really get the full picture of Deacon’s unconventional musical vision.

Deacon is clearly full of ideas jostling around in his bearded head, and America seems to be a fine way to work them all out. At times the songs drag and seem to over extend their welcome, but those moments are infrequent. Mostly Deacon knows when to quit and when to change a tempo or add a new sound to the mix. Though at times his music may be difficult to sink your teeth into, it only takes a few listens to hear that, despite his unorthodox approach, Deacon is creating experimental music that is actually based on some basic pop principles….

The Rolling Stones to release new film ‘Crossfire Hurricane’

The Rolling Stones have announced details of a new documentary titled Crossfire Hurricane.

Directed by Brett Morgen, the film documents the band’s career from their early road trips and gigs in the 1960s, via the release of 1972’s seminal ‘Exile On Main Street’ right up to present day.

It will also feature stacks of unseen footage of the band, including commentaries from Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and former Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor. In one early interview when asked what sets the Rolling Stones apart from other bands, Jagger says: ” A chemical reaction seems to have happened”. Richards added: ” You can’t really stop the Rolling Stones, you know when that sort of avalanche is facing you, you just get out of the way”.

Director Brett Morgen said: “Crossfire Hurricane invites the audience to experience firsthand the Stones’ nearly mythical journey from outsiders to rock and roll royalty. This is not an academic history lesson. Crossfire Hurricane allows the viewer to experience the Stones’ journey from a unique vantage point. It’s an aural and visual roller coaster ride.”

‘Crossfile Hurricane’ will premiere in cinemas in October and will go on general release in November.

Earlier Mick Jagger revealed that The Rolling Stones have been back in the studio in Paris..

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Full story at The Wrap:

Seth MacFarlane will host the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live” as it begins its 38th season Sept. 15, while Frank Ocean will be the musical guest..

Divine Fits: A Thing Called Divine Fits (Music Review)

A trio comprised of Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner and Sam Brown of the New Bomb Turks could hardly be called a supergroup, even by indie rock standards. But the threesome, along with veteran ’80s producer Nick Launay, have crafted a recording that is certainly super and one of the few meetings of the minds that finds all the members at the peak of their musical powers. Launay brings a full, crisp but never slick sound along with a slight retro approach wholly in keeping with the band’s edgy pop. Brown’s thumping drums create a firm bottom, providing a throbbing heartbeat for melodies that are slightly skewed but always hummable. There are no guitar solos to interrupt the song based vibe that ranges from the occasional acoustic moment on “Civilian Stripes” to the pulsating beats and synth washes of the following “For Your Heart.” Oldsters will hear echoes of Roxy Music’s romantic glam along with flashes of the Church, Talking Heads and INXS (the latter three are previous Launay clients), but this is a striking, exciting debut crafted with a confident, crackling urgency that makes this music leap out of the speakers..
(Review by H.H.)

Pop music has become more depressing, claims study

Pop music has become more depressing over the last over the last five decades, according to a new scientific study.

Shortly after scientists claimed to have proved that modern music is louder and more boring than it was 50 years ago, a new study published in the Psychology Of Aesthetics, Creativity, And The Arts journal suggests that songs have become increasingly sadder and more melancholy.

According to The AV Club the study, which was conducted by Glenn Schellenberg and Christian von Scheve, analysed the tempo and mode of the most popular 1,010 songs from between 1965 and 2009 taken from Billboard’s annual Top 40 lists of each year’s best tracks. They claim that happy sounding songs are usually fast in tempo and in major mode, while sadder tracks are slower and use minor modes.

According to their findings, the number of songs recorded in minor-mode has almost doubled over the last 50 years, while the number of slower tracks has also increased after reaching a peak in the ’90s. They also claim that in addition to a drop in the number of happy, fast-mode songs as well as a rise in the number of emotionally ambiguous tracks, pop songs have become longer and there has been an increase in the number of compositions from female artists..

Writing in their study, the pair state: “We examined whether emotional cues in American popular music have changed over time, predicting that music has become progressively more sad-sounding and emotionally ambiguous. Our sample comprised over 1,000 Top 40 recordings from 25 years spanning five decades.” He added:Over the years, popular recordings became longer in duration and the proportion of female artists increased,” they continue. “In line with our principal hypotheses, there was also an increase in the use of minor mode and a decrease in average tempo, confirming that popular music became more sad-sounding over time. Decreases in tempo were also more pronounced for songs in major than in minor mode, highlighting a progressive increase of mixed emotional cues in popular music.Schellenberg and von Scheve also propose several theories as to why pop music has become sadder, citing increasing consumerism and cultural individualism which “produces a demand for more choice”. They also suggest that consumers are more eager to show-off the “sophistication in their taste”, ensuing that traditionally jovial songs such as Abba’s ‘Waterloo’ have fallen out of fashion for sounding “naïve and slightly juvenile”.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sleigh Bells: “End of the Line” (Music Video)

Sleigh Bells’ “End of the Line” from Reign of Terror has an appropriately melancholy music video, directed by the band’s Derek Miller along with Gregory Kohn. In it, moody footage of Alexis Krauss is juxtaposed with clips of she and Miller riding bikes..

Tom Waits to appear on The Simpsons

Tom Waits is set to appear on The Simpsons. The wry, croaky singer will play himself on an upcoming episode, introducing Homer to a group of survivalists who are preparing for a technological apocalypse.

Airing in December, Homer Goes to Prep School follows The Simpsons patriarch as he encounters a group of so-called “preppers”. These are people “convinced that some horrible catastrophe – like an electromagnetic pulse – is going to occur, and that [they] will have to survive without the grid,” executive producer Al Jean told TV Line. Inevitably, Homer becomes a prepper”.

Waits is apparently the person who introduces Homer to the preppers. Although he doesn’t sing in the episode, fans will recognise the musician’s voice “in a second”, Jean said. Waits, who is well-known as an actor, has previously lent his growl to the CGI short The Monster of Nix, playing a “terrifying swallow”. He is notoriously protective of his voice and singing style, suing several advertisers who have mimicked the gravelly croon. “It’s part of an artist’s odyssey, discovering your own voice and struggling to find the combination of qualities that makes you unique,” he told the New York Times in 2006. “It’s kind of like your face, your identity. Now I’ve got these unscrupulous doppelgängers out there – my evil twin who is undermining every move I make.”

Justin Bieber, Zooey Deschanel and Benedict Cumberbatch will also voice characters on upcoming episodes of The Simpsons. The animated series begins its 24th season on 30 September..

Monday, August 27, 2012


Probably a smart move. Full story at the Guardian:

Two members of Russia’s anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have fled the country to avoid prosecution for staging a protest against Vladimir Putin at a church altar, the band said on Sunday.

“In regard to the pursuit, two of our members have successfully fled the country! They are recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new actions!,” a Twitter account called Pussy Riot Group said…

Flaming Lips and Amanda Palmer’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (NSFW Music Video)

Blood Red Shoes – In Time To Voices (Album Review)

Blood Red Shoes have always been something of a conflicted band. Over the course of their 2008 debut Box Of Secrets and 2010’s follow up Fire Like This the duo of guitarist Laura-Mary Carter and drummer Steven Ansell have appeared torn between the desire to make heavy and uncompromising rock and their inherent ability to write hook filled pop melodies. Third album In Time To Voices sees them abandoning such conflicts and delivering their most focused and developed set of songs yet, while clearly progressing and evolving their sound.

The Brighton based duo have stated that they intended to make this album their most ambitious record and it is immediately clear that on In Time To Voices they are working from a far broader musical palette. The opening title track has a nervy, icy pulse uncommon with their earlier work with Laura Mary Carter’s voice floatingly wispily over the top; it is a taut, strident sound that exemplifies the groups more musically dextrous developments. Cold is the albums lead single and it is perhaps the most striking track here. In Time To Voices is the first Blood Red Shoes album to really have a sense of the dance floor and Cold’s off beat, almost hip hop style groove gives it a thrilling rhythmic dynamic. Ansell’s gloriously inventive drums combine with Carter’s crunching guitar riff to perfect effect and, coupled with a growled chorus; it makes for a truly powerful single. A perfect mix of a heavy sound and a sexy danceable groove.

Blood Red Shoes appear to have moved their sound forward by stripping things back. Excesses are eschewed completely on an album free of any stodge. The songwriting as a result is much more lucid and focused and Silence And The Drones and the appositely named lullaby like Night Light are excellent pieces of melodic rock. The duo have finally grasped and worked out the perfect balance between quiet and loud. There are, however, welcome blasts of their old punk rock aggression namely on the 90-second punk thrash Je Me Perds.

The album was co-produced by the duo and Mike Crossey and sonically it is certainly their most accomplished album. Each defined instrument and sound is clear and direct and their ambition shines through throughout. Stop Kicking is surely a candidate for a future single and is probably the albums best melody, treading just on the right line of anthemic rock it is a lovely piece of yearning guitar pop.

Down Here In The Dark is a perfect companion piece to Cold and it is another track that shows the duo’s development. Again taking its cues from a hip hop beat it is carried along on some gloriously detached and insouciant Oh, Oh, Oh, Ohs. It is another track that swings rather than rocks and the heaviness of the guitars complements its grinding beat. A real step forward.

The album ends with the hypnotic new wavey 7 Years, and it is a track that you could not imagine the duo making previously. A wonderful lightness prevails here and it is a widescreen sweeping sound that suits them. There is no need to embellish the song with extra crunching guitars; they are instead content to let the melodies seep through. An approach which has served them very well throughout a record that frequently surprises and enthrals.

It is always refreshing when a band show a real desire to progress and attempt to do something a little different. Blood Red Shoes have shown that they are more than a rock band with a few good pop melodies, and have developed into a band of real ambition and invention. In Time To Voices is an extremely impressive and clever modern rock record.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Watch Reunited Quicksand Play Fallon

Back in June, New York post-hardcore warriors Quicksand, broken up since 1999, played staged a surprise reunion at the Revelation Records 25th anniversary show. They’ve got some more reunion shows coming up, and last night, they appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Between the show itself and the online-bonus portion, they played two songs from their 1993 debut Slip, “Fazer” and “Omission.” And on both, they sound absolutely locked in, plugging right back into their furious groove-chemistry. Watch both below…

Watch Sleigh Bells on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”

Sleigh Bells are the latest musical guests to guest on Anthony Bourdain’s traveling food show “No Reservations”. Bourdain joins them at their rented SXSW home in Austin, where he roasts a pig, drinks avocado margaritas and gets a tattoo (!) from the band’s touring guitarist Jason Boyer. They appear to have a supremely fun time together.
The episode– which kicks off a new season of the show– airs on September 3 on the Travel Channel. Watch a two-minute episode teaser below…

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Kinks- The Kinks at the BBC (Album Review)

Available as both a limited-edition six-disc box set and a two-CD collection (listed, left), this ambitious undertaking traces the marriage of two great British institutions over the space of 30 years.

Expanding upon studio sessions and live recordings previously available on BBC Sessions: 1964-77 and the epic Picture Book box set, it’s the first time that every surviving Kinks performance has been officially compiled from the BBC archive..

Discs one and two, which chronicle their evolution from raucous proto-punks to sly social satirists, also provide fascinating insight into the rapid maturation, not only of Ray Davies’ remarkable craft, but also of pop as it was in the process of inventing itself.

The sheer number of sessions and – by turn stilted and hilarious – studio interviews with the likes of genial Saturday Club host Brian Matthew illustrate the astonishing, non-stop pressure that the biggest 60s bands were under. This was era when, if you hadn’t had a hit in six months, you were considered passé. No wonder Ray sounds exhausted.

Discs three and four focus on their unfairly overlooked 70s work, when the hits had indeed dried up, but their cult remained healthy. Compiling John Peel sessions and two rapturously received live performances (one, for The Old Grey Whistle Test, can also be viewed on the stellar bonus DVD), they provide vital evidence of a band that never lost confidence in their unique, eccentric character, despite wider indifference.

The 80s are represented on the DVD only (their final Top of the Pops appearance, performing freak hit Come Dancing), leaving disc five to mop up one last BBC session from 1994, and a slew of unnecessary off-air bootleg recordings of dubious quality.

Nevertheless, this is a completist’s dream, sharply remastered by redoubtable reissue producer Andrew Sandoval, and beautifully packaged in the style of a vintage issue of Radio Times, complete with illustrated hard-bound booklet and informative liner notes from music journalist and author Peter Doggett.

It’s a vast, revealing monument to the genius of Ray Davies and one of the greatest British bands of all time.