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Archive for February, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mogwai – Les Revenants- OST (Album Review)

To get a job for French television, it helps when you’ve written the soundtrack to a seminal documentary on the country’s greatest footballer, Zinédine Zidane. Indeed, this secured Mogwai’s chance to switch to the smaller screen and provide the soundtrack for Canal Plus’ new zombie thriller, Les Revenants (or ‘Ghosts’).

While nowadays one cannot move without something to do with zombies or supernatural beings being shown on screen, Les Revenants sounds much more interesting and original: a cross between Village Of The Damned, Twin Peaks and Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. Couple that with Stuart Braithwaite’s support of the series’ director, Fabrice Gobert, and it makes Mogwai the ideal choice for something that, in all probability, could end up on BBC Four: critically popular, yet suitably art house and ‘cultured’ enough.

What made Mogwai’s soundtrack to Zidane, A 21st Century Portrait a success is how perfectly it helped illustrate the mercurial nature of Zidane: at times delicate, subtle and minimal (for example Terrific Speech 2), while at others majestic, unpredictable and unstable (Wake Up And Go Berserk). In this sense, Zidane was the perfect post-rock subject. Indeed, delicate, subtle and minimal aren’t aspects you often associate with post-rock, as the most recent Godspeed You! Black Emperor album demonstrated.

But contrary – and somewhat lazily – to what many have said, Mogwai have always done this well, even going as far back as 1997′s studio debut Young Team. Yet Mogwai have taken this further with Les Revenants: the first thing you notice is how short the tracks are, with just one – What Are They Doing in Heaven – over five minutes long, while nine of the fourteen tracks clock in at under four minutes. Post-rock pieces at pop song length is certainly a rarity.

Opener Hungry Face is a rather befitting title for something zombie-related, but it doesn’t sound entirely apocalyptic, zombie-like or daunting: haunting yes, largely due to the cello and Martin Bulloch’s thunderous drumming, but the glinting glockenspiel brings a tint of the heavenly. Meanwhile, following track Jaguar elicit typical ghost-like, chilling images thanks to echoic yet minimal piano and chilling violin.

In the case of both tracks, both just over two minutes long, the brevity works. As a soundtrack, the music would no doubt support and heighten the image and plot on screen; as an album, the imagination is allowed to briefly roam, something a post-rock track, usually due to sheer length or sound, can often prevent: this provokes the senses rather than inflicting them.

This theme of evoking one’s imagination is carried throughout the record: the longer This Messiah Needs Watching carries more menace with its distorted guitar and bass, yet contrasts with the serene sounding keyboard; while the 1:40 long Whiskey Time is placid and relaxed, this time marrying song title with content. Meanwhile, Special N is a particular standout, with keyboards, violins and Bulloch’s drums all combining in a meditative yet softly anthemic fashion, leaving you wanting more. Yes, brevity works here.

All this delicateness and subtlety means that when the beefier tracks arrive, they provide a satisfying contrast. Portugal’s heavily distorted guitar with a backdrop of strings and album closer Wizard Motor, with its heavy build-up of organ before launching into an assault of layered guitar and highly-tuned piano in the background, are more ‘traditionally’ post-rock – inflicting the senses rather than provoking them.

However, falling between these two is What Are They Doing in Heaven Today – a beautiful track, which sees Mogwai do late Spiritualized and Braithwaite take on the air of Jason Pierce. The lyrics (“What are they doing in Heaven, today? The sun, the sorrow, are all done away”) could easily have featured on Songs in A&E or Sweet Heart Sweet Light, although that’s certainly not to suggest that this is an imitation – this is in keeping with the album’s at times minimal nature, with just piano, touches of bass and the vocal helping propel the track. A treat – and a sign for things to come?

Ultimately, to fully appreciate Les Revenants, one obviously needs to see how it works as a soundtrack within the series itself – in fact, the soundtrack could well act as a driver for those on this side of the Channel to give this a watch: there’s no sense of stereotypical blood and gore evoked here.

Nevertheless, like British Sea Power have recently done with Man of Aran and From the Land to the Sea Beyond, Mogwai have again produced a soundtrack that stands up as an album in its own right. For those newly discovering Mogwai, perhaps thanks to the series, it’s a very promising place to begin; for more long-standing fans, it’s another successful addition to their catalogue.
(review by: lee d.)

Watch Thom Yorke Dance in Atoms for Peace’s Video for “Ingenue”

Ready your .gif-makers: Thom Yorke dances once again in the video for Atoms for Peace’s “Ingenue”, taken from the supergroup’s debut album, Amok. Yorke does a wild, conceptual routine with contemporary dancer Fukiko Takase.

It was directed and choreographed by the same team as Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower”, Garth Jennings (who as part of Hammer & Tongs directed Blur’s “Coffee and TV” clip, among other iconic videos), and choreographed by Wayne McGregor. Watch the video below.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The resting place for Queen’s Freddie Mercury has been found

Queen fans in London may have discovered Freddie Mercury’s final resting place. Mercury was cremated at London’s Kensal Green Cemetery in 1991, but the location of his ashes has long been a secret.

Recently, a group of fans stumbled across a tall monument in the cemetery baring Mercury’s birth name, “Farrrokh Bulsara.” Via The Mirror:

It reads: “In Loving Memory of Farrokh Bulsara”, adding in French: “Pour Etre Toujours Pres De Toi Avec Tout Mon Amour”.

This translates to “Always To Be Close To You With All My Love” – and is marked “M”.

Farrokh Bulsara was the star’s real name. He changed it after forming Queen in 1971.

Fans suspect “M” could be his ex-lover Mary Austin, who inherited his £10million home, Garden Lodge.

Freddie’s ashes are believed to have been given to her after his cremation, but she has never revealed what became of them. Yesterday a spokesman for Freddie’s estate declined to comment.

It’s not clear when the plaque – fixed with others to a tall plinth – was put in place. Cemetery workers had no idea the dates and name matched the late Queen star.

Mercury’s former boyfriend Jim Hutton said in 1994 that he suspected Mercury’s ashes were at a different London cemetery, Garden Lodge. His ashes have also been rumoured to be Zanzibar, where he was born, and Montreaux, Switzerland, where he had a flat.

Recorded Music Industry Experiences First Growth Since ’99.

Still prepping for doomsday? Desperately looking for signs of the apocalypse? Look no further than two studies released today that are either signaling that the end of days is upon us or that we’re all trapped in some Bermuda-esque time warp. The recorded music industry has posted the first growth of revenue in 13 years. Also, illegal file-sharing is down significantly. What’s going on? Are Carly Rae Jepsen, Adele, and Spotify combining powers like some unholy trinity? Via The Hollywood Reporter:

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry reports that global revenue rose 0.3 percent last year to $16.5 billion. Although the revenue bump was modest, the IFPI says that it was the first sign of industry growth since 1999.

Digital income is fueling the economic improvement. Revenue from downloads, subscription and advertising-supported ventures grew 9 percent to $5.6 billion in 2012. The IFPI also reports that the number of people paying to use subscription services leapt 44 percent to 20 million worldwide.

As expected, 2012’s big winners were…
Carly Rae Jepsen topped the 2012 global singles chart with “Call Me Maybe,” which moved 12.5 million units. On the album front, Adele proved her staying power with 21, which was the year’s biggest seller at 8.3 million units sold despite being released in early 2011, comfortably ahead of Taylor Swift’s Red at 5.2 million.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Watch Japandroids on Conan

Japandroids hit “Conan” last night, performing “The Nights of Wine and Roses” from Celebration Rock. The duo have also announced a lengthy tour, which includes dates with Cloud Nothings and stops at Coachella, Sasquatch, Governors Ball, and Bonnaroo. Check out the video and the dates below.

03-08 New Orleans, LA – BUKU Music & Art Project
03-09 Winter Park, CO – Snowball Festival
03-15 Mexico City, Mexico – Vive Latino Festival
03-21 Bristol, England – Bristol Academy *
03-22 Bristol, England – Bristol Academy *
03-23 Leeds, England – Leeds Academy *
03-24 Glasgow, Scotland – Glasgow Academy *
03-25 Glasgow, Scotland – Glasgow Academy *
03-27 Manchester, England – Manchester Academy *
03-28 Manchester, England – Manchester Academy *
03-29 London, England – Troxy *
03-30 London, England – Troxy *
04-01 Dusseldorf, Germany – Mitsibishi Hall *
04-03 Copenhagen, Denmark – Store Vega *
04-04 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller *
04-05 Stockholm, Sweden – Berns *
04-06 Gothenburg, Sweden – Tragarn *
04-12 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-15 Santa Barbara, CA – Velvet Jones ^
04-16 Oakland, CA – New Parish ^
04-17 Oakland, CA – New Parish ^
04-19 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-22 Pomono, CA – Glasshouse ^
05-24 George, WA – Sasquatch Festival
06-08 New York, NY – Governors Ball
06-13 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
06-22 Dover, DE – Firefly Festival
* with The Gaslight Anthem
^ with Cloud Nothings


David Bowie has released the music video for “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).” The clip is directed by Floria Sigismondi and stars Tilda Swinton alongside Bowie. The weird, tongue-in-cheek video casts Bowie and Swinton as a pleasant couple whose world is turned upside down by a scandalous celebrity duo. Via Pitchfork:

The song will go up on iTunes at midnight EST tonight and will be the A-side of an exclusive Record Store Day single on April 20. Check out the lyrics to the track via Bowie’s Facebook.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Iggy and the Stooges return with new album and video teaser.

“a real fucking group… they also make fucking records. They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money”–Iggy Pop

Better 40 years later than never: The follow-up to the first record ever to bear the Iggy and the Stooges logo–the immortal proto-punk masterpiece Raw Power–will finally be out April 30, when Fat Possum Records releases the all-new Iggy and the Stooges studio album, Ready To Die.

Ready To Die finds Iggy Pop, guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton reunited for a full album of all-new material for the first time since the legendary Raw Power sessions, with Mike Watt filling in for the late Ron Asheton on bass. The results are the closest thing to a time capsule to 1973–or at least to Iggy’s subsequent efforts with Williamson, including 1977’s Kill City and 1979’s New Values–that rock ‘n’ roll is likely to proffer in this millennium. The new album’s opening one-two of “Burn” and “Sex & Money” pair sublimely blunt and self-explanatory subject matter with back alley razor-blade guitars and a troglodytic rhythmic stomp as intensely single-minded as Iggy’s lyrical statements of intent. Elsewhere on the album, anthems abound in the form of the most dead-on rallying cry for the lower-working-class dispossessed to date–the succinctly and aptly titled “Job”–as well as a title track that mixes a signature Iggy Pop mission statement of angry desperation with guitar pyrotechnics that recall those halcyon opening salvos of “Search & Destroy.”

Just as Iggy exhumed the original Stooges name when he reunited in 2003 with the Asheton brothers, the revival of the Iggy and the Stooges moniker that first appeared on the cover of Raw Power heralded the return of guitarist James Williamson to the fold in 2009, or as Iggy put it then “although ‘the Stooges’ died with Ron Asheton, there is still ‘Iggy and the Stooges’.” As far as the decision to record and release a new Iggy and the Stooges album for the first time since 1973, Iggy recently commented:

“My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal. It’s just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group when they’re an older group they also make fucking records. They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money…”

Iggy and the Stooges Scarecrow from Fat Possum Records on Vimeo.


During Nine Inch Nails’ “Wave Goodbye” tour, Trent Reznor noted that the project wasn’t coming to an end, but going through a period of reinvention. Now, NIN is back with a brand new line-up and plans to tour extensively in 2013 and 2014. Via Pitchfork:

The lineup will include Reznor, Eric Avery of Jane’s Addiction, Adrian Belew of King Crimson, and Josh Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv, as well as previous NIN collaborators Alessandro Cortini and Ilan Rubin.

Read the stament from Reznor below.

Nine Inch Nails are touring this year.

I was working with Adrian Belew on some musical ideas, which led to some discussion on performing, which led to some beard-scratching, which (many steps later) led to the decision to re-think the idea of what Nine Inch Nails could be, and the idea of playing a show. Calls were made to some friends, lots of new ideas were discussed, and a show was booked – which led to another, which somehow led to a lot of shows.

The band is reinventing itself from scratch and will be comprised of Eric Avery, Adrian Belew, Alessandro Cortini, Josh Eustis, Ilan Rubin, and me. The first shows will begin this summer, followed by a full-on arena tour of the US this fall, and lots of other dates worldwide to follow through 2014.

Lots of details and dates to come. See you soon.


Atoms For Peace – Amok (Album Review)

When word filtered through that Thom Yorke would be making a record with Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers, the mind raced. Would Thom be swapping jittery, experimental rock for a funky extravangza about life in California? Would Flea be told to put down that bass guitar and concentrate on programming a synth pattern instead? Would we be subject to the sight of Thom Yorke wearing a sock where it really should never be worn?

Unsurprisingly, the answer to all of the above is ‘no’. Although Atoms For Peace inevitably come hampered with the moniker of a ‘supergroup’ (as well as Yorke and Flea, the other band members are long-term Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Beck and REM collaborator Joey Waronker and Brazilian percussionist Mauro Refosco), the closest template for Amok is that of Thom Yorke’s solo project The Eraser – even the band’s name comes from a track on that very solo album. So, we have nine tracks of glitchy electronica, dominated by Yorke’s unmistakable mournful wail of a voice.

Reportedly recorded over three days when jamming in the studio, and then pieced together on laptops by Yorke and Godrich, Atoms For Peace obviously won’t appeal to those who still get upset that Radiohead haven’t remade The Bends. In fact, there’s barely a guitar riff to be heard at all on Amok – instead it’s the scattered beats and eerie soundscapes that have been Radiohead’s trademark since 2000 that are all-pervading.

There’s not even much hint of where Flea fits into all this – there is the odd noticeable bassline, but this is far from the slap-happy flamboyant rhythmic machine of the Chili Peppers. In fact, what’s noticeable is how quiet – almost ghostly, in fact – most of the album feels. Also, where there was an understated anger flowing through The Eraser (fuelled by the death of Dr David Kelly), the lyrics this time round are far more abstract, with only the plaintive cry of “just tell us where the money is” during Stuck Together Pieces hinting at Yorke’s political mindset.

Opening track Before Your Very Eyes sets the tone well – a twitchy, percussive heavy track that seems to bestow an air of claustrophobia and paranoia which runs through the album. While most of the songs on Amok seem to have a free-form air about them, the following Default is about the closest that the album comes to having a catchy melody: Yorke bemoaning that he’s “made my bed, I’ll lie in it” and “the will is strong but the flesh is weak” over some portentous keyboard chords.

You can imagine Yorke’s much vaunted dance moves making an appearance on several tracks on Amok, with the brilliant Unless having the most explicit techno influence, and Reverse Running having an almost funky edge to it. It’s Ingenue and Judge Jury & Executioner that are the standout tracks though: the former sounding magnificantly spooky and sparse, while the latter is perhaps the closest we get to Yorke’s day job: a ghostly choir of backing vocals providing the framework for more scattered beats and handclaps.

While Atoms For Peace inevitably doesn’t display that unique chemistry which is evident in spades when Mssrs Selway, Greenwood et al join the party, it remains an intriguing, if at times uneasy listen. And, of course, it makes for a fine cure for withdrawal symptons for all those Radiohead fans awaiting the follow-up to The King Of Limbs.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


A rare Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ live stream performance from the Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles TONIGHT will be hosted on the newly launched Rockfeedback Youtube channel. This exclusive sold out show marks this weeks release of the new album ‘Push The Sky Away’ worldwide. This will be the only show of it’s kind in North America. RFB’s stream will be syndicated globally via a series of media partners, bringing the experience direct to fans across the globe as it happens.

Watch the Trailer

Watch the Live Stream HERE

UPDATE: Here is the video from last night’s show, Enjoy.

Phoenix – “Entertainment” (LISTEN TO THE NEW SINGLE !!)

Phoenix’s Bankrupt! is one of our most anticipated releases of this year. We’ve already seen the peachy album art and tracklist, but unless you were quick enough to scope the short-lived samples on their Amazon page, the only taste of music from the release has been this snippet of “Bourgeois” from the band’s album teaser. That changes today now that Zane Lowe debuted a full-length song on his BBC Radio show. “Entertainment” is a dependably ebullient, synth-driven cut that serves as the album’s first track and first single. It was mixed on the Thriller recording console, and you can check out the lyric video below.

Frank Ocean “10, 11 Songs Into” Next Album, Working With Pharrell and Danger Mouse

Yesterday, the typically media-shy Frank Ocean sat down with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe to chat about James Blake, his big Grammy night, his studio habits, and making “No Church in the Wild”, as well as field a number of listener questions. He also discussed his next album– or his “next thing,” as he described it– which sounds like it’s coming along nicely.

“I’m 10, 11 songs into this next thing,” he told Lowe. “It’s another cohesive thing, bordering on a concept record again. At the end of channelOrange, there’s “Golden Girl” and it’s this beach scene. And I kind of wanted to extend that feel into the next record altogether, kind of make it that theme.”

The way he’s planning to accomplish that? “I’m going to Bora Bora to work for a few weeks.” He also said he’s planning a tour this summer and talked about potential collaborators. He recently worked with Pharrell and has time booked with Danger Mouse soon. He also mentioned King Krule and Tame Impala as people he’d like to work with.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Late last year, Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus played Can’s Ege Bamyasi in its entirety during a show in Cologne, Germany. Now, he’s announced plans to release the live recording of that show as a special, limited edition LP. Via Exclaim:

Naturally titled Can’s Ege Bamyasi Played by Stephen Malkmus and Friends, the album will see a limited release on Record Store Day which, as you should all know by now, takes place on April 20.

The album will be released on green vinyl in Canada and the US, and on red vinyl in Europe.

Johnny Marr Breaks Solo Ground With ‘The Messenger’ – Full Album Stream !!

Johnny Marr has had quite a career with the Smiths, Modest Mouse, the Cribs, The The and more, but his solo debut has been a long time coming. On February 26th, the guitarist will release his first solo album, The Messenger; it’s filled with Brit-pop melodies and reverbed post-punk jangles. “European Me” shimmers with guitars and bobs with a swaying snare beat, and “Generate! Generate!” barrels through with luminous textures and Marr’s unstrained vocals. “New Town Velocity” slows things down in lush, meandering pop.

Marr also splatters sharp, aggressive riffing and neck-breakers throughout The Messenger, giving the album a varied pace and many different slices of Marr’s songwriting. “I Want the Heartbeat” burns with angular, scorching guitars, while “Sun and Moon” is a good ol’ garage-rocker that will loosen some screws.

“This record is a little more rooted in the New Wave shows I used to sneak in to see when I left school – not directly, but in terms of the energy, the shadow of the memory of that,” Marr told Rolling Stone in November. It may have taken awhile, but it’s never too late to release your first album – especially when you’re as good as Johnny Marr. (via RS)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stream the Atoms for Peace Album AMOK Now

After months of speculation, surprise performances, and leaked material, the Thom Yorke/Nigel Godrich/Flea/Joey Waronker/Mauro Refosco project Atoms for Peace’s debut album AMOK is finally available to hear. It’s out next week via XL Recordings. Listen to it below, via the Atoms for Peace website. The Atoms for Peace website has a cool visualizer to go along with the stream. Any site that has the link posted automatically gets added to the visualizer, which cycles through the sites randomly.

In related news, during Yorke and Godrich’s Reddit AMA, they confirmed that Radiohead recorded two tracks with Jack White, one of which is the live favorite “Identikit.” The tracks are currently unfinished. “We work slower than him (understatement).”