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Archive for June, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Jason Isbell- Southeastern (Album Review)

Jason Isbell has always been closely associated with the groups he’s been a part of: Drive-By Truckers and, more recently, The 400 Unit, with whom he’s released two albums. While members of the latter step in to back him up on Southeastern, for the first time since his 2007 solo debut, Sirens Of The Ditch, listeners are able to hear an unfiltered representation of this Alabamian prodigy, and the results are so stellar it’s not hyperbole to say that he could be his generation’s answer to Steve Earle.

Thankfully, unlike Earle, Isbell learned to face his demons relatively early, and that tone is immediately set via the opener “Cover Me Up,” an acoustic number that sees Isbell’s voice soaring above twangy flourishes as he confesses, “I sobered up and I swore off that stuff forever this time.” While most artists are scared that sobriety will hinder their writing, it seems as if it’s inspired Isbell to write some of his most personal songs to date. (Marrying Amanda Shires, who plays fiddle and sings on “Traveling Alone,” probably didn’t hurt, either.) It’s always been difficult to tell fact from the fiction with Isbell since his writing is steeped in so much Southern mythology. That tendency, which defines some his most popular DBT songs like “Decoration Day,” is continued on “Flying Over Water,” which sees him revisiting his roots to recount a story of “Daddy’s little empire / Built by hands and built by slaves.” Things may get sweaty when Isbell sings, “In the heat I saw you rising from the dirt,” but listeners can feel that burn when he rips a distortion-drenched guitar solo during the song’s climax. Country music is a genre where authenticity is paramount and there’s no question that when Isbell sings about topics that might be foreign to city dwellers, it comes from a place of experience. Even when the protagonist has a different name—like Andy on “Elephant,” a somber ballad that tells the story of his friendship with a terminally ill woman with sharecropper eyes—there’s something in Isbell’s voice that’s hauntingly honest when he sings about doing his best to “try to ignore the elephant somehow.” As a respite, these types of sentiments are broken up by the occasional fun honky-tonk like “Super 8,” but for the most part Southeastern is pretty serious business. Then again, so is life and the one that Isbell has lived thus far is certainly worth documenting, especially when the songs supporting it are this stunning.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kim Gordon’s Body/Head Announce New Album, Coming Apart, on Matador

With Sonic Youth broken up, Kim Gordon has been focusing on Body/Head, her noise guitar duo with Massachusetts artist Bill Nace. After a string of hard-to-find LPs in small pressings, they’ve now announced Coming Apart, their most widely distributed release yet. The 2xLP/CD is out September 10 via Matador in North America and September 16 in the UK/Europe. That’s the cover art, above.

Beginning as an instrumental project, Gordon now also sings in Body/Head. According to Matador, “They have even started writing and playing ‘songs’ now, compositionally distinct from their purely aleatory origins, but still featuring lots of built-in improvisational space.”

Body/Head have collaborated live with Ikue Mori of DNA and released a collaborative LP with the Dead C’s Michael Morley through Feeding Tube Records.

Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo have also released new albums through Matador since news broke that Sonic Youth was on pause (due to Moore and Gordon’s separation).

Watch Body/Head playing the recent Pitchfork showcase at Brooklyn’s Northside Fest:

R.I.P. Alan Myers, Drummer With Devo

Alan Myers, who drummed with Devo for a decade, has died, reports Slicing Up Eyeballs. “The Human Metronome” had been battling cancer. Myers joined the band in 1976, replacing Jim Mothersbaugh, and left in 1985, during the writing of 1988’s Total Devo. He was replaced by Sparks’ David Kendrick.

He also drummed on Devo’s 1978 debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo, 1979’s Duty Now for the Future, 1980’s Freedom of Choice, 1981’s New Traditionalists, 1982’s Oh, No! It’s Devo, and 1984’s Shout.

In a 1995 interview with Q Magazine (via Rocksbackpages), Myers explained his reasons for leaving the band– largely believed to be due to his frustration with the introduction of the Fairlight synthesizer and mechanized drum parts. “We weren’t moving more in line with the earlier, more unique material, with a variety of reasons.” After quitting Devo, a friend got him into construction, and Myers subsequently established his own electrical contractors, Skyline Electric, a name he also used for a late-period band. He had also got involved with meditation, citing it as “a form of [Devo’s theory of] de-evolution because it takes you from the physical to the conscious to the super-conscious. I’ve found that the purpose of having a body is to show that the physical world is an illusion.”

Founding Devo member Gerald Casale paid tribute to his former bandmate:

“In praise of Alan Myers, the most incredible drummer I had the privilege to play with for 10 years. Losing him was like losing an arm. RIP!! I begged him not to quit Devo. He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed. Alan, you were the best – a human metronome and then some. A once in a lifetime find thanks to Bob Mothersbaugh. U were born to drum Devo!”

Current member Josh Freese also paid his respects: “RIP Alan Myers. 1 of my all time favs. An underrated/brilliant drummer. Such an honor playing his parts w/Devo. Godspeed Human Metronome.”

Watch Devo’s video for “Jocko Homo”:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Arctic Monkeys Announce North American Tour

On the heels of their new album announcement– AM is out September 9 in the UK and September 10 in the U.S. via Domino– Arctic Monkeys have added a bushel of North American tour dates to their 2013 itinerary. Head below to scope those dates.
Arctic Monkeys:

06-25 Zagreb, Croatia – Inmusic Festival
06-28 Somerset, England – Glastonbury Festival
07-04 Gdynia, Poland – Open’er Festival
07-06 Moscow, Russia – Subbotnik Festival
07-10 Rome, Italy – Rock In Roma
07-11 Ferrara, Italy – Piazza Castello
07-13 Wiesen, Austria – Harvest of Art Festival
07-15 Carcassonne, France – Festival de la Cite
07-16 Six Fours, France – Les Voix Du Gaou
07-18 Alcantara, Portugal – Super Bock Super Rock
07-20 Benicassim, Spain – Benicassim
07-22 Vienne, France – Arenes de Vienne
07-24 Nyon, Switzerland – Paleo Festival
08-30 Zurich, Switzerland – Zurich Openair
09-01 Stradbally, Ireland – Electric Picnic Festival
09-15 Toronto, Ontario – Kool Haus
09-18 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center for Performing Arts
09-21 Atlanta, GA – Music Midtown Festival
09-23 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theater
09-27 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
09-29-30 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
10-04 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
10-05 Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre
10-07 Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
10-08 Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
10-09 Birmingham, AL – Iron City Birmingham
10-11 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
10-13 Mexico City, Mexico – Corona Capital Festival
11-07 Paris, France – Zenith
11-09 Brussels, Belgium – The Forest National
11-13 Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum


It seems everyone wants to put their spin on the new Daft Punk mega-hit. More from Rolling Stone:

For last night’s headlining show at their third annual Solid Sound Festival in North Adams, Massachusetts, Wilco played an entire set of all-request covers, as Gothamist reports. Obeying the wishes of fans over a span of 27 songs, the band hit tunes by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Thin Lizzy, Pavement and more. They were joined by Yo La Tengo for their cover of the band’s 1995 song “Tom Courtenay,” and Tommy Stinson sat in on their cover of the Replacements’ “Color Me Impressed.”

While most of the set skewed toward classic rock and indie stalwarts, Wilco got pretty contemporary with a fairly faithful rendition of Daft Punk’s recent single, “Get Lucky.” They play another set at the festival tonight.

Monday, June 24, 2013


If you want something in this world, all you have to do is ask. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have learned that secret of the universe and for their efforts have been rewarded the proud title of first band to make a music video on the top of one of New York City’s most iconic figures. More from the New York Times:

The group was recording the video for “Despair,” the second single off their new album, “Mosquito.” For logistical and creative reasons, the shoot was a well-kept secret. It began with a sort of cinematic preparty in a nearby Irish pub and ended with a helicopter buzzing the skyline. the full video will premiere on Monday on Noisey,’s online music channel. (VIEW PREVIEW CLIP) UPDATE: here is the video !!

It’s the first music video shot atop the Empire State Building. And to hear Anthony E. Malkin, the president of Malkin Holdings, operator of the Empire State Building, tell it, it’s about time. “The way I look at it is, why hadn’t this been done before?” he said. “Credit to them for having the gumption to ask.”


So, here’s all the Jay-Z/Samsung/Billboard news so far: Samsung bought 1 million copies of the new Jay-Z album Magna Carta Holy Grail to give away free to Samsung users – allegedly allowing the album to automatically go platinum. Billboard then came out in response, saying that the Samsung deal will not be factored into the potential platinum status of the album. Is Jay-Z getting cheated out of a platinum album? Via Hypebot:

While Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde laid out the magazine’s reasoning logically and thoughtfully, he also unknowingly reminded everyone that, despite some innovation, Billboard’s charts are relics of another era.

For while Billboard’s rules are Billboard’s rules, the success or failure of Jay’Z’s new album is far more about fan reaction and play counts, than it is about traditional sales.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kanye West- Yeezus (Album Review)

Leaked the day before he became a father, there’s a sense that Kanye West needed to get this brilliant nightmare of a record out of his system before the paparazzi began snatching soppy pictures of him snuggled up with his baby daughter and partner, reality TV star Kim Kardashian. Often angry and contradictory, always wildly narcissistic and control freakish, the producer and rapper confesses amid the violent, tormented, and XXX-rated rant of I’m in It: “Uh, got the kids and a wife life/ Uh, but can’t wake up from the nightlife.”

After the lavish, operatic detail of 2010s My Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the stadium crowd-pleasing of his Watch the Throne collaboration with Jay-Z, he’s stripped everything back for what he describes as a “super low-bit” sound that incorporates disorienting components of dance hall and techno along with his trademark chipmunk vocals, vintage soul samples and vocoder choruses.
Styles and genres smash into each other. At first listen it sounds messy, but the more you play it, the more inspired and essential each brutal interruption becomes. For example, on the first track On Sight West slams the breaks on an industrial-electro grind for a sudden, gloriously demented burst of the Holy Name of Mary Choral Family. Later on, it’s a kind of musical blasphemy to borrow Nina Simone’s incredible version of the 1939 anti-lynching song Strange Fruit, let alone breezily sing over it about how West can’t sit with his girlfriend at a basketball game. But he makes it work: addictively.

Throughout the tight, challenging 40 minutes of this album he samples everything from Brenda Lee to Marilyn Manson; Indian film scores to Hungarian rock. He was helped out by diverse producers from Rick Rubin to Daft Punk and guest appearances come from Frank Ocean and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.

Through the sonic maze created by the cool, clever brain of West-as-producer pelts the sweating, ranting, mammal-brained character of West-as-rapper, blurting out offensively violent and misogynistic then righteously political lyrics by turns. He screams (a lot), pants, appalls and skewers. New Slaves sees him tackling racism with a ferocious urgency, although its message also gets confusing.

And it’s hard to know how seriously to be shocked by the sexual violence: this is a guy who recently invited Twitter followers to participate in a thoughtful debate on the appropriate use of profanities.

As the most exciting album I’ve heard in a long time, I recommend that strong-stomached music fans buy it. Lay out a little psychological plastic sheeting first, and you’ll soon find yourself bizarrely comfortable amid the blood spatter.

Johnny Marr Says Label Blocked Smiths Rarities Set

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr tells NME that, in addition to the massive Smiths box set released in 2011, he wanted to put out another box set, collecting the band’s rarities and instrumental tracks. But that hasn’t seen the light of day because of “record label politics”, he says.

“When I started putting the Smiths box set together I discovered lots of different versions and instrumentals and different mixes that I wanted to put out. But I was stopped,” he said. “I think that stuff should come out properly but there were politics that stopped me so I just gave up trying.”

He added, “What I’m talking about is these bootlegs of instrumentals and alternative versions. I wanted them to come out properly. But someone, somewhere didn’t want it out. I think that’s a shame. I’m a fan and I like that stuff to be done properly. I really tried to protect the legacy.”

Watch Johnny Marr tell the story behind the Smiths song “Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now” and perform it for the first time in about 25 years:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

David Lynch to Direct Nine Inch Nails’ “Came Back Haunted” Video

The video for the new Nine Inch Nails single “Came Back Haunted” will be directed by none other than David Lynch. Trent Reznor just Tweeted the above image of himself with David Lynch. Reznor and Lynch previously collaborated on the soundtrack to Lynch’s 1997 film Lost Highway.

The new Nine Inch Nails album Hesitation Marks is out September 3 via Columbia; stream “Came Back Haunted” above. Their upcoming, massive North American tour will include dates with Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky.

The new David Lynch album The Big Dream is out July 15/16 via Sacred Bones/Sunday Best.

07-26 Niigata, Japan – Fuji Rocks Festival
07-28 Ansan, South Korea – Ansan Valley Festival
08-02-04 Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
08-09-11 San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
08-15 Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop
08-16 Biddinghuizen, Holland – Lowlands Festival
08-18 Hockenheim, Germany – Rock ‘n’ Heim
08-21 Belfast, Northern Ireland – Belsonic Festival
08-23 Leeds, England – Leeds Festival
08-24 Paris, France – Rock en Seine
08-25 Reading, England – Reading Festival
08-28 Milan, Italy – Mediolanum Forum
08-31-09-01 Philadelphia, PA – Made in America Festival
09-28 St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center *
09-30 Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center *
10-01 St. Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena *
10-03 Montreal, Quebec – Centre Bell *
10-04 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre *
10-05 Cleveland, OH – Wolstein Center *
10-07 Auburn Hill, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills *
10-08 Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center *
10-11 Boston, MA – TD Garden #
10-14 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center #
10-15 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center #
10-18 Washington, DC – Verizon Center #
10-19 University Park, PA – Bryce Jordan Center #
10-21 Raleigh, NC – PNC Arena #
10-22 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena #
10-24 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena #
10-25-27 Asheville, NC – Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit
10-30 Sunrise, FL – BB&T Center
10-31 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
11-01-03 New Orleans, LA – Voodoo Music Experience
11-05 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center *
11-08 Los Angeles, CA – Staples Center *
11-09 Phoenix, AZ – US Airways Center *
11-11 El Paso, TX – Don Haskins Center *
11-13 Broomfield, CO – 1st Bank Center *
11-15 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint *
11-16 Las Vegas, NV – The Joint *
11-18 Portland, OR – Rose Garden Arena *
11-19 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena *
11-21 Vancouver, British Columbia – Rogers Arena *
11-22 Seattle, WA – KeyArena *
11-24 Edmonton, Alberta – Rexall Place
11-25 Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Saddledome
* with Explosions in the Sky
# with Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Watch the video for “The Perfect Drug” from the Lost Highway soundtrack:


Yeezus may be miles away from Kanye’s College Dropout days, but it’s still Kanye – you know he’s using a boatload of samples. Babylon Cartel’s Gianni Lee and Mike Blud put together. It’s no new feat – they did the same thing for Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, M.A.D.D. City..

Yeezus: The Samples:
01 Intro (Prod By Gianni Lee)
02 Holy Name of Mary Choral Family: “He’ll Give Us What We Really Need (“On Sight”)
03 Marilyn Manson: “The Beautiful People” (“Black Skinhead”)
04 Capleton: “Forward Inna Dem Clothes” (“I Am A God”)
05 Omega, Omega: “Gyöngyhajú lány” (“New Slaves”)
06 Rahul Dev Burman, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey: “Are Zindagi Hai Khel” (“I Am A God”)
07 Kenny Lattimore: “Lately” (“I’m In It”)
08 Nina Simone: “Strange Fruit” (“Blood On The Leaves”)
09 TNGHT: “R U Ready” (“Blood On The Leaves”)
10 Snoop Dogg: “Down 4 My N’s: “(“Blood On The Leaves”)
11 Lords Of The Underground: “Chief Rocka” (“Guilt Trip”)
12 Pusha T ft Popcann Travis Scott: “Blocka” (“Guilt Trip”)
13 Beenie Man: “Memories” (“Send It Up”)
14 Wee: “Aeroplane (Reprise)” (“Bound 2”)
16 Ponderosa Twins Plus One: “Bound” (“Bound 2”)
17 Brenda Lee: “Sweet Nothin” (“Bound 2”)

Download it here and listen to the mix below.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Flaming Lips Extend Tour, Add Dates With Spiritualized

On July 23, Oklahoma City’s own Flaming Lips will perform at a Rock for Oklahoma beneft, to raise money for victims of this spring’s devastating Moore tornado. The concert takes place at the Chesapeake Energy Arena with Built to Spill, Jackson Browne, and Kings of Leon also on the bill. All proceeds will go to local charities and central Oklahoma community organizations to help with long-term issues from the tornado.4

Now the band has also expanded its summer tour schedule, including two dates with Spiritualized. Their new record, The Terror, came out in April.

The Flaming Lips:
07-11 Raleigh, NC – Time Warner Cable Pavilion *
07-12 Greenville, SC – Charter Amphitheatre *
07-13 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
07-15 Wallingford, CT Oakdale Theatre ^
07-16 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE Outdoors ^
07-17 Lewiston, NY – Artpark
07-25 Salt Lake City, UT – Twilight Concert Series, Pioneer Park
07-27 Troutdale, OR – McMenamins Edgefield
07-28 Seattle, WA – Capitol Hill Block Party
07-31 Costa Mesa, CA – The Pacific Amphitheatre
08-01 Las Vegas, NV – Bud Light Music First, House of Blues
08-17 Omaha, NE – Maha Maha Festival
09-06 Isle Of Wight, England – Bestival
09-07 Stekene, Belgium – Crammerock Festival
10-21 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10-22 Tokyo, Japan – Blitz
10-23 Osaka, Japan – Hatch
10-24 Nagoya, Japan – Club Diamond Hall
* with the Black Keys
^ with Spiritualized

Watch Kanye West’s American Psycho-Themed Short Film Starring Scott Disick and Jonathan Cheban

It’s here: The short film Kanye West made with E! stars and Kardashian affiliates Jonathan Cheban and Scott Disick has surfaced on It’s inspired by American Psycho– Disick plays Christian Bale’s character, and Cheban sits in for Jared Leto. Watch it below (via

Yeezus is out tomorrow available to purchase now on


If you happened to be watching game five of the NBA finals, then you saw the extended commercial featuring Jay-Z and other power players in the studio. At the end, Mr. Carter announced that his new album, Magna Carta Holy Grail would be coming out on July 4th. It will be released through an app on Samsung Galaxy phones – the sponsor of the spot – which will be available through Google Play on June 24th. Via Pitchfork:

It’s called Magna Carta Holy Grail, and if the commercial’s cameos are to be believed, it’ll feature collaborations from Pharrell, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, and Rick Rubin. Check out the commercial below.