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Archive for May, 2014

Friday, May 30, 2014

Interpol Announce first tour in 3 years

Interpol are currently working on their first new LP since 2010’s self-titled album, which means it’s time to hit the road: They’ve announced their first U.S. tour in three years, which begins in June. It adds to a previously announced slate of festival dates. Check out the full schedule below.

06-03 New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
06-04 Providence, RI – Lupos
06-05 Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
06-07 Toronto, Ontario – Field Trip Festival
06-08 New York, NY – Governor’s Ball
06-20 Scheessel, Germany – Hurricane Festival
06-20 Neuhausen, Germany – Southside Festival
06-24 Paris, France – Alhambra
06-25 London, England – Electric Ballroom
06-27 Evreux, France – Rock Dans Tous Ses Etats
06-29 Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Rock A Field
07-01 Berlin, Germany – Postbahnhof
07-02 Gdynia, Poland – Open’er Festival
07-03 Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Fest
07-06 Werchter, Belgium – Rock Werchter
07-08 Nimes, France – Nimes Festival
07-10 Oeiras, Portugal – Optimus Alive
07-12 Keflavík, Iceland – All Tomorrow’s Parties Iceland
08-01 Chicago, IL – Lollapalooza
08-20 Tempe, AZ – The Marquee Theatre
08-21 Las Vegas, NV – The Pool at The Cosmopolitan
08-23 Los Angeles, CA – FYF Fest
10-03 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
10-10 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Festival
(via pitchfork)

Stream the Primavera Sound Festival

Primavera Sound Festival begins today and continues through Saturday. For those of you who didn’t make it to Europe, you’ll be able to stream some of the shows on two channels at Primavera’s website. It’s already started, but there’s plenty of festival left. Below, check out the schedule. (All times are EST.)

Friday, May 30

Channel 1
11:40 – León Benavente
12:30 – John Grant
1:40 – Sky Ferreira (Pre-recorded)
3:20 – Temples (Pre-recorded)
4:50 – Pixies
6:20 – The National
8:00 – !!! (chk chk chk)

Channel 2
11:00 – The Last 3 Lines
11:50 – Yamantaka / / Sonic Titan
12:40 – Drive-By Truckers
2:40 – Dr. John and The Nite Trippers
3:45 – Sharon Van Etten
5:55 – Slint

Saturday, May 31:

Channel 1
11:40 – Mishima
12:30 – Jonathan Wilson
2:00 – Él Mató a un policía motorizado (Pre-recorded)
3:50 – Volcano Choir
5:00 – Kendrick Lamar

Channel 2
11:00 – Jupiter Lion
11:40 – Hebronix
12:25 – Islands
1:20 – Superchunk
2:25 – Caetano Veloso
4:00 – Fira Fem (Pre-recorded)
5:55 – Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
7:00 – Mogwai
8:25 – Chromeo
9:30 – Cut Copy

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pixies: “Silver Snail” Video

Pixies have shared the video for “Silver Snail”, from this year’s Indie Cindy. Directed by Mount Emult, it’s a tale about some guys in masks who get up to something eerie near a wintry lake, coming off like Alejandro Jodorowsky’s take on Fargo

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Generally, the music industry is pretty receptive to new and emerging technologies, especially since it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the money flow while still using ancient business models. However, music charts have been a little slow to catch up with the times.

However, Billboard and Twitter are taking one giant leap forward with the introduction of their real-time social charts. The Trending 140 chart and the Emerging Artist chart will be the first offerings from Billboard and Twitter’s new collaboration. Via Billboard Biz:

The first of the real-time charts, the Billboard Trending 140, is an up to the minute ranking of songs shared in the U.S., measured by acceleration over the past hour. This chart can be filtered to present a real-time view of the most shared track in the U.S. over the past 24 hours, with a weekly summary presented as the Billboard Twitter Top Tracks chart on and in print in Billboard.

The Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists chart is a ranking of the most shared songs on Twitter in the U.S. by up-and-coming artists ranked by the number of times each song was shared over the past 24 hours. Billboard Twitter Emerging Artists is presented as a seven-day/weekly round up on and in print in Billboard.

Here’s how it works:

Song shares are tracked and incorporated into the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts by:

– the use of, or the inclusion, of a link to the song via music listening platforms, such as Spotify, Vevo and iTunes.

– the use of various track sharing notations, such as the hashtags “#nowplaying” or “#np,” along with song/artist name.

– the use of various terms associated with the song and song playing, such as “music,” “song,” “track,” “listen.”

How will this development further change the role of social media in the music business? Let us know your opinion in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sharon Van Etten – Are We There (Album Review)

Sharon Van Etten’s fourth studio album Are We There has an list of featured guests, and it serves as good context to the Brooklynite’s milieu and reputation: Mackenzie Scott of Torres; Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg; Jana Hunter of Lower Dens fame; the wonderful Peter Broderick. Hopes for the record have been high – does it represents a new milestone or just a check point on the young singer-songwriter’s already ambitious expedition?

Either way, the most obvious constant to Van Etten is her voice; slightly raspy, intimate, masterful (thanks to a childhood full of choirs and classical training) and rich with the trappings of tradition. She wields it with absolute precision to guide harmonies around her typically sparse instrumentation and it’s a consistent, variegated delight throughout the album. It sits somewhere between the gutsy versatility of Anna Calvi and the sheer, vibrato laden power of Zola Jesus.

Less tangible is her arguably more important talent; the ability to make these eleven songs sound like old, returning friends from the first moments you hear them. That’s not to say there’s no variation; there’s a distinct vector to the record, which in keeping with its lyrical and visual language, is very much evocative of ‘the journey’. Beginning with ballsy rock ballads (“Afraid of Nothing”, “Taking Chances” and the emphatic “Your Love is Killing Me”) Van Etten takes us off-road into the more melancholic, bluesy territory of “Our Love” and “Tarifa”. Then, the exquisite “I Love You But I’m Lost” and “You Know Me Well” direct us deeper down old roads marked by folk, and even country and western. The stylistic shift is so subtle and mediated so impressively by Van Etten’s distinctive ear for borderline jarring melodies.

Like 2010’s Epic and Tramp in 2012, Are We There still feels raw, confessional; like Van Etten is working steadily through a backlog of conflicted memories that have compounded to inspire her sound. However it’s also bolder than her previous works, more at home in its own skin and as a result seems to look forward, chin jutting out and head held high, rather than falling into introspection. The arrangements are still typically stripped back – an aura of organ, a quick flurry of strings – to let the rich, earthy flavours of her voice, her lyrics, the careful juxtapositions of styles, and those ever-present harmonies to shine through.

For sheer consistency and confidence Are We There is Van Etten’s best yet. It lacks some of the rawness of her earlier efforts (but then, that’s what they’re there for) and it’s both satisfying and necessary to see her latest get a few layers of polish. It’s an album full of resonance, one likely to sink deep into your bones, and it should most certainly soundtrack any kind of romantic road trip. And at least if you can’t get yourself out in the great wide open, Are We There will make sure to conjure it up and hold you rapt as you trundle through it together.

Neil Young: A letter home (Album Review)

Earlier this year, Neil Young unveiled Pono, a super-high-def audio service meant to deliver us from the sonic crimes of the earbud era. For his next act, he’s released an acoustic covers set recorded at Jack White’s Nashville music shop on a Voice-O-Graph–a super-low-def 1940s contraption that looks like a phone booth and sounds a few steps removed from a rusty tin can and some twine. If it’s meant as some kind of joke, here’s the punch line: In its perverse way, A Letter Home is one of the most enjoyable records Young has made this century.

The track list spans canonical folk songs (Bob Dylan’s “Girl From the North Country,” Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain”) and rarer jewels (Phil Ochs’ bittersweet “Changes,” Bert Jansch’s mournful “Needle of Death”). Young’s bare renditions – just his voice and an unplugged guitar or harmonica on most songs – have an unrehearsed sincerity that’s easy to imagine getting lost in a better studio. There are some head-scratchers, too: Of all Bruce Springsteen tunes, why pick a third-tier single like “My Hometown” for a solo acoustic session over literally anything from Nebraska? At its best, though, A Letter Home plays like a crackly field recording from a lost world.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Jack White Doesn’t Talk To Meg Anymore, Didn’t Get Enough High Fives From Her

Yesterday Rolling Stone released some snippets from its new cover story on Jack White, including the revelation that at one time wheels were in motion for collaborations with both Jay Z and Kanye West. The issue is on newsstands now, and CoS passed on some quotes from White about his relationship with ex-wife and ex-bandmate Meg White — that is, if you can even call it a relationship anymore. “I don’t think anyone talks to Meg,” Jack explains. “She’s always been a hermit. When we lived in Detroit, I’d have to drive over to her house if I wanted to talk to her, so now it’s almost never.”

Jack goes on to complain about Meg’s lack of enthusiasm about the White Stripes’ various triumphs:

She’s one of those people who won’t high five me when I get the touchdown. She viewed me that way of “Oh, big deal, you did it, so what?” Almost every single moment of the White Stripes was like that. We’d be working in the studio and something amazing would happen: I’m like, “Damn, we just broke into a new world right there!” And Meg’s sitting in silence. I remember hearing Ringo Starr say, “I always felt sorry for Elvis, because in the Beatles we had each other to talk about what it felt like. Elvis was by himself.” I was like, “Shit, try being in a two-piece where the other person doesn’t talk!”

But he also makes sure to sing Meg’s praises before the interview is over:

I would often look at her onstage and say, “I can’t believe she’s up there.” I don’t think she understood how important she was to the band, and to me and to music. She was the antithesis of a modern drummer. So childlike and incredible and inspiring. All the not-talking didn’t matter, because onstage? Nothing I do will top that.

I bet Patrick Carney gives Dan Auerbach high fives.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry Announces Solo LP Music For Heart And Breath

Arcade Fire member Richard Reed Parry just announced the release of a new solo album. Titled Music For Heart And Breath, the album features performances that are played in sync with the musicians’ own breathing and heartbeat, according to Parry’s website. The album will feature Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner and Aaron Dessner of the National, as well as the Kronos Quartet. No music has surfaced yet, but below you can read a message from Parry describing the concept behind the recordings.

A slow process of creating a new way of playing music.

Here is what it is: very soft, very quiet music, played utterly in synch with the heart rates and breathing rates of the musicians performing it. Every note you hear is either in synch with the heartbeat of the person playing it, the breathing of the person (or one of the surrounding persons) playing it.

So what you hear when this music plays is played precisely in time with someone’s quiet, internal rhythms. Brought to musical life by a handful of different ensembles. And now, at last, recorded in full, and coming out on Deutsche Grammophon in a few weeks from now.

It has been a joy to create this work, and even more of a joy to have it brought to life by such a fantastic cast of musical minds.

Music For Heart And Breath is out 6/9 via Deutsche Grammophon.


Bombshell: Jack White collaborated with Jay Z on a few unfinished tracks.

Bigger Bombshell: White doesn’t think Jay Z was down with it.

From Rolling Stone:

He’s a fan of more popular music — including Kanye West — than most fans would imagine.

White calls Daft Punk “amazing” and reveals he worked on several unfinished tracks with Jay Z (“I’m not sure he liked them”). Kanye West also asked him to collaborate on Yeezus, but never followed up — which bummed White out because he was so blown away by the MC’s arena tour last year. “That might have been the greatest show I’ve seen in my life,” he says. “It was more punk, more in-your-face than anything I’ve seen.”

What’s up with that, Jay?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Black Keys on Jack White Diss: “I Actually Feel Embarrassed for Him”

During Jack White’s custody battle with ex-wife Karen Elson last year, private emails between the two were obtained and published by TMZ. In the emails, White revealed his dislike for Black Keys member Dan Auerbach while attempting to have his and Elson’s children removed from the same private school as Auerbach’s children. “That’s a possible twelve fucking years I’m going to have to be sitting in kids chairs next to that asshole with other people trying to lump us in together,” he wrote. “He gets yet another free reign to follow me around and copy me and push himself into my world.”

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, both Auerbach and bandmate Patrick Carney talked about the incident. Although Carney says White “obviously sounds like an asshole”, he says, “I actually feel embarrassed for him.” He added, “I don’t hold grudges, man. I really don’t. We’ve all said fucked up shit in private, and divorce is hard.”

Auerbach was more guarded (“I don’t know him, so it’s extra-unexpected”), but Carney discussed the emails in the larger context of privacy and celebrity. “
Those e-mails that Jack White wrote that got leaked, as fucked up as that shit is, that was a private conversation, and it doesn’t register to me. You know how horrifying it would be if all of our private shit was aired? And people go sniffing around looking for this shit. And ultimately it’s no one’s business.” 

He also said, “I really think personal things are personal things. Like, TMZ? Honestly, they should be fucking ashamed of themselves, that they make a living dragging poor souls that have nothing, that aren’t famous, into this world.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story indicated that Carney called White “an asshole” in the Rolling Stone story. Rolling Stone’s website incorrectly transcribed a line from their print edition. Carney actually said that White “obviously sounds like an asshole.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Kingblind on mini vacation

see you in a week!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Tyson Meade: Tomorrow in Progess (Album Review)

“She likes the bad boy, he has a sweet side, she wants to study hard, he wants a double wide trailer bride…”

Full disclosure: Tyson is a close friend of mine. As both ghost writer for his not-yet-written autobiography (“Unforgettably Forgotten”) and fake bandmate in the imaginary Wheatfield Fairies, I hold him incredibly dear to my heart.

I say all of this, not to boast, but to give some perspective on how much I think I know about him. And how he surprises me, musically, every time.

This lovely album is a fever dream, an emotional travelogue, a slice of pop history that is also very NOW. Written in the wilds of Shanghai, the constraints of Saudi Arabia and the familiarity of Oklahoma, Tomorrow in Progress is simultaneously far reaching and still very close to the bone.

“And she wants to find a place, selling acid, gaining weight, a lovely interstate…”

There is a violin that haunts this entire record. Tyson crossed paths with Haffijy in China where he was teaching high school kids about the good old U.S. of A. using Van Halen I as a touchstone. Haffijy was one of those kids, a string prodigy and kindred spirit. That the not-very-rock-and-roll violin is weaved so effortlessly throughout the album is no mean feat. The other co-conspirators include Jimmy from the Smashing Pumpkins, Derek from the Flaming Lips, Matt from Stardeath & White Dwarfs, Jesse from Other Lives along with some crazy Texan prep school kids & a bunch of other talented folks. Fellow Chainsaw Kitten Trent Bell helped put all the pieces together.

There are so many high points here. The Sparks-ian opening track,” Nihilists Need Love Too”, immediately grabs your attention.” Kiss Me Arabia” is reminiscent of “Killing an Arab” if Robert Smith had read more Isherwood and less Kafka. But it is “Mao into Madame Mao into Marvin Gaye” where the genius spirit of both Brians (Eno & Wilson) meet with astonishing results. This track, much like the whole album, is a multi-layered masterpiece where the simplicity of hand claps & multi-tracked vocals are perfect touches reminiscent of a sparse “Heroes & Villains”.
“I don’t know what I’m doing here, or why I am a part of this, connected by some need, some kind of universal desperateness…”

Which brings us to “Jump Punks”, a song so simple, so gorgeous & so necessary. It paints a beautiful vision of a terrible scenario and calls to mind a melancholy rewrite of Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. Absolutely flawless.

“Winter Boys Cutting the Rug” is a haunted, lactose intolerant Bowie, coked out and crazed in Berlin, trying to find Luther Vandross but ending up chain smoking cigarettes with Terry & the Pirates. Which is like most of this album. Funny, sweet, poignant, like reading a book written by one of your smartest friends. It is full of beautiful language, obscure references and a kind of odd knowledge that you only get with experience.

And finally, “Buddy Dash”. The perfect closer. I first heard this song in a distracted state, weeks before I heard the entire album. I couldn’t pay attention to the lyrics but was thrilled that Tyson had chosen this as the album’s swan song. An alternative pop gem so shiny, I could imagine Katy Perry belting it out. And then I listened more closely. This is a meditation on our culture, a woeful, tuneful slice of poetry holding a mirror up to the masses. What I first heard as a chorus of “nothing can stop us” was actually the much more sinister drumbeat of “nothing has substance”. And once again, I am floored. Cancel that phone call to Ms. Perry.

So buy this record. Buy it because Tyson is a heckuva nice guy who deserves every ounce of fame he achieves. Buy it because you want to choose smart instead of safe. Buy it because not a lot of people are making music like this anymore. Buy it because of the details. The sigh. The handclap. The perfect pause. The language. The words. The uncontrived oddity. The heart.
Buy it because we need more music like this in our world.

(Review by Lisa Matson)

Tomorrow in Progress will be released on May 20th
You can order the album online at

Friday, May 9, 2014

Black Keys’ Patrick Carney Unleashes Fresh Batch of Justin Bieber Hate

In February 2013, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney accidentally walked into the (virtual) fight of his life, inflaming Beliebers — the many, devoted followers of Justin Bieber — when a TMZ cameraman outside L.A.’s Chateau Marmont asked him if the pop superstar should’ve felt snubbed by not scoring a Grammy nomination. Carney’s wife begged him to walk away, but instead he replied, “Grammys are for music, not for the money, and he’s making a lot of money. He should be happy.” A fairly harmless comment, but Bieber’s tweet the following day — “The Black Keys drummer should be slapped around haha” — declared war. “I really wanna kill you NOW” said one Belieber. “You are some one hit wonder. JB has been doing it for YEARS,” wrote another. Carney: “True.”

“Justin Bieber, like a fucking irresponsible asshole, sicced 40 million Twitter followers on me because I paid him a compliment he didn’t understand,growing a little defensive. How exactly was it a compliment? “I’m saying that he should be grateful that he has a fucking career in music. And he shouldn’t be fucking telling his followers to slap me, and then also be doing anti-bullying bullshit. It’s so irresponsible.”

Still, Carney engaged with dozens of Bieber’s fans over several weeks. “I just started getting called a faggot, you know? All these kids who don’t know what they’re saying are saying all of these things that are actually wildly inappropriate. And these kids are just dumbasses.

“I mean, Justin Bieber is a fucking moron,” Carney continues. “And that’s the gist of what I was saying. And then he goes and says I should be slapped? Honestly, I feel bad for him. Every single person who works with him should fucking be embarrassed that they don’t. . . No one is doing him any favors, you know? And honestly, I don’t dislike his music. I don’t listen to his music, but he needs to not conduct himself that way. Like, really, you make millions of dollars playing music, you should feel fucking lucky.”

The situation got Carney thinking about mind control (his friend Harmony Korine suggested he watch Michael Rubbo’s weird 1985 film The Peanut Butter Solution, about a teacher who kidnaps children and uses mind control to force them to make magic paintbrushes).

“If you’re a 34-year-old fucking loser like me, and you go on Justin Bieber’s Twitter account like a total pervert every time that he gets in trouble, you should look at his tweets the next day. It’s always like, ‘I love you guys so much, always believe, never stop believing.’ He’s feeding them the Kool-Aid more and more,” he says. “He pours it on heavy, though. It’s so manipulative! And whoever taught him that that was OK, whoever’s watching him and is like ‘that manipulation is acceptable,’ should be really ashamed of themselves.”

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Horrors- Luminous (Album Review)

For Britain’s the Horrors, the world is a less and less horrific place. As the title suggests, their fourth LP is the analog-obsessed five-piece’s brightest effort yet. They call it a dance album, but it owes more to producer Andrew Weatherall’s blend of psych and prog rock and the fizzy, feel-good vibes of Donna Summer’s Four Seasons Of Love than today’s aggressively rhythmic club music.

Luminous has even more beaming optimism than 2011’s heady Skying. Glowing with romantic sentiment, the songs are a succession of dizzying, epic builds that accrue layers of twinkling analog ephemera.

Singer Faris Badwan’s voice grows thinner the higher it goes, so the band smartly treat it as yet another instrument in their arsenal of vintage synths, giving him room to breathe only during the lilting verses of Change Your Mind.

After a while the tripped-out builds can feel formulaic, but the mind-altering textures and melodic flourishes are so gorgeously realized that Luminous’s feel-good charms become hard to resist.

Thee Oh Sees Playing With New Lineup

Brigid Dawson is taking a break from Thee Oh Sees so she can do other stuff like her artwork. But who is in The Oh Sees now? Now living in Los Angeles, frontman John Dwyer has an all-new live lineup of the band and it’s a trio, with Nick Murray on drums and Timothy Hellman on bass.

We will miss Petey and Mike and Brigid! Also a bit surprised The Intelligence’s Lars Finberg (who lives in LA too) isn’t a part of the program. (He has been a touring member before.) Anyway, we’re excited to see this slimmed-down Oh Sees on their current tour.