There is always room for false starts, and Kurt Vile's Matador debut Childish Prodigy was unquestionably that. While it certainly wasn't a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, it didn't hold a candle to 2009's brilliant ...And God Is Saying This To You. It lacked much of the depth of that record, and failed to capture the gentle darkness that so perfectly balances Vile's more rock and roll tendencies. In the time between, Vile delivered The Hunchback EP, which seemed to be more in the right direction, and left us with a gut feeling that that Childish Prodigy was nowhere near the end of the road for the Philadelphia songwriter. Thankfully, we were very, very right.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Yes, we love Ryan Adams. And yes, we've been obsessing over the lovely III/IV for the past few months. So it was that we were perusing videos on the internets and discovered some "vintage" footage from 2006 featuring some tunes off of his most recent record. While it's somewhat incredible that it took four years for studio versions of the tunes to see the light of day, it's not exactly surprising. The notoriously prolific Adams has always had to self edit, and apparently more than a few songs have had to do their time in the waiting queue. Regardless, we think you'll enjoy these live versions of "Breakdown Into The Resolve" and "Typecast" quite a bit - certainly not a bad way to spend your rainy Friday afternoon.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
It's been a little bit of a while since we fell head over heels for Handsome Furs' second record Face Control. As such, we were completely stoked to hear that the band not only has a third record on tap for this year, but has set up a small east coast tour for this spring. The band will be making a one week jaunt up and down the coast, including an April 14th date at Bell House in Brooklyn. Will we see you there? Yes, yes we will.
Handsome Furs Spring 2011 Dates:
04-13 Boston, MA - Great Scott
04-14 Brooklyn, NY - Bell House
04-15 Richmond, VA - Gallery 5
04-16 Clemson, SC - Clemson University
04-17 Raleigh, NC - King's Barcade
04-18 Philadelphia, PA - Kung Fu Necktie
It goes without saying that we love bands on our own label. It's one of those things: you don't tend to sign someone to release their records unless you really, really, love their records. Which is why we were stoked when Grand Lake came out of hibernation and told us that they had recorded a new record over the winter entitled Leaves Ellipse!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Last night while we were enjoying a few beverages at the always-lovely Rusty Knot, their DJ-slash-doorman played this killer track, and it just about blew our minds. It's semi-common knowledge that Willie Nelson wrote the Patsy Cline classic "Crazy", but this took things one step further: This is Willie's own 1961 demo of the very same track.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Henry Jacobs - Dead Air
Years ago an old friend played this on his radio show on KDVS, and I only remembered it recently. An American born in Chicago, Henry Jacobs first appeared on the radio via XEW in Mexico in the 50s. He gained a cult following in the Bay Area while producing numerous “word jazz” pieces, experimenting with improvisational interviews, sound, and humor. In 1972 KQED aired Jacobs’ “The Fine Art of Goofing Off” of which “Dead Air” is clip—and I think probably one of the funniest things I’ve heard in my short life.
Swimming - Beat Beat of Your Heart Beat
Hailing from the “British Midlands” (wherever the hell that is) Swimming has officially released nothing to date and have no tour plans outside of the UK for this year. Nonetheless, the little that they have released make me think I’m either crazy or that this could be one of the big acts to look for in the coming decade. Their first single to be released in March, “Sun in the Island,” has huge hooks and confounds genres. They could also be the next The Who: “Want to go see Swimming?” “No thanks, I didn’t bring my speedo.” “No, I said, do you want to SEE Swimming?” “Is it Summer Olympics already?” “Uhh… actually, yes it is! Let’s go smoke pot with Michael Phelps!”
Crystal Fighters - At Home
Unlike the other bands with names also starting with “Crystal,” Crystal Fighters feature pop tunes with a sing-along chorus, especially this one, “At Home.” The group mesh folk and funk like you’ve never heard it before: yes, that means playing txalapartas—a percussive Basque instrument made of wood or stone, which mimics the sound of a horse trot—with big house beats.
Gorillaz - Empire Ants (Miami Horror remix)
The Gorillaz: you’ve heard of them right? Have you heard of Yukimi Nagano, the singer from Little Dragon? What about Miami Horror from Australia? Oh god, it’s too much to keep track of! Bottom line: Miami Horror continues to be that electro-pop producer slash DJ slash band underappreciated in America, but who nonetheless has proven himself once again with this remix of “Empire Ants.”
Alice Smith - Love Endeavor (Maurice Fulton remix)
I hadn’t heard of Alice Smith or Maurice Fulton before I heard this track, but it’s not surprising since Smith focuses more on jazz and R&B style singing and Fulton only seems to be coming to the fore now. The kick drums and bass line kill me! And I love how it builds up with Smith’s singing as the payoff.
Matias Aguayo - Rollerskate
Like Timbaland’s work with Justin Timberlake, Matias Aguayo substitutes the human voice for most of his instruments to amazing effects. His “Ay Ay Ay” released a couple of years ago was a huge departure from the genre he had hitherto clung to: minimalism. Still, for a song that sounds unlike anything I’ve ever heard, it’s surprising that we haven’t heard more of Aguayo.
Braids - Lemonade (Green Go remix)
Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love (The Pinker Tones remix)
Yeah, you love this song, and if you don’t, we categorize you along with people who don’t like dolphins. But The Pinker Tones give “Genius of Love” a facelift and I think it works well.
Breakbot - Shades of Black
Riding the subway the other day, I found myself wishing Breakbot would at some point come stateward. Has he? If you haven’t heard of Breakbot, please research him! He’s French and he’s tied in with that group that used to be big, what’s their name—Justice? But Breakbot is still hard at work and—I swear to god—everything he touches turns to big fat ice cream cones.
Bag Raiders - Snake Charmer
Bag Raiders lend themselves to the amazing sounds coming out of Australia. Their latest endeavor, “Snake Charmer,” reminds me a bit of my favorite part of that Jay-Z song. The duo has made waves in Australia, but I guess they were having some trouble with customs when coming to the US. Don’t let this one go under the radar!
Gil Scott-Heron - I'll Take Care of U (Jamie XX remix)
Um, hello? Jamie Smith of the xx remixes the full album “I’m New Here” by Gil Scott-Heron? It’s being labeled as Jamie XX versus Gil Scott-Heron, which will be the biggest boxing match since Andy Warhol and Basquiat entered the ring. The album drops February 22 and might make some people be all like, “Radiohead who?”
I Never Dance - I Never Dance
It’s a song called “I Never Dance” by a dj called I Never Dance. With its you-can’t-help-but-thinking-she-failed-her-English-classes-in-high-school singer, its hooks which draw from the Italo Disco scene, and crescendos from the canon of indie dance, guess what? You will dance!
Trash 80 - Missing You
If you’re anything like me, you’re still a little cautious about getting into 8-bit music. Well, if you’re like me you also make the best pasta al pomodoro this side of the Milky Way, so congrats. Oh yeah, and also if you’re like me, Trash80’s “Missing You” pretty much changed your entire outlook on 8-bit altogether.
Dominant Legs - Clawing Out At the Walls (Altair Nouveau remix)
Minimal Elvis - Minimal Elvis
Minimal Elvis was released sometime last year, and, to my knowledge, the artist still remains unknown. He was last seen working also on a song called Maximal Michael. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of this human or computer, please contact us immediately. We need more!
Check out Nabocough's Mix Page here.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Well kids, welcome to the future. Officially gone are the days of record release cycles, advances, or any other kind of requirements for a band who wants to put out a record. What are we talking about? Well, out of thin air, Radiohead has announced that their latest record The King Of Limbs (cover above) will be available from their website for download starting this Saturday, February 19th. Yup, just like that.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
At least, that is, if the first single is any indicator. We gave you a taste on Monday, and now the full track is here. It far surpasses all of our expectations, and is a totally awesome mix of the garagey goodness of Is This It, combined with the searing guitars of First Impressions Of Earth. In other words, it's all the best bits of The Strokes mixed into one happy sum, and we love it. Enjoy.
5/7 - RENO, NV GRAND SIERRA THEATRE (on sale 02/12)
5/8 - OAKLAND, CA THE FOX (on sale 02/13)
5/9 - OAKLAND, CA THE FOX (on sale 02/13)
5/11 - LOS ANGELES, CA THE WILTERN (on sale 02/11)
5/15 - CHICAGO, IL CHICAGO THEATRE (on sale 02/05)
5/18 - MONTCLAIR, NJ WELLMONT THEATRE (on sale 02/11)
5/19 - UPPER DARBY, PA TOWER THEATRE (on sale 02/12)
5/20 - BOSTON, MA WANG THEATRE (on sale 02/11)
5/22 - NEW YORK, NY BEACON THEATRE (on sale TBA)
5/23 - NEW YORK, NY BEACON THEATRE (on sale TBA)
Monday, February 7, 2011
If you're anything like us, most of your web surfing happens during the week, and it's seldom that you spend a Saturday night catching up on the latest web leaks and music availability issues. That being said, when a friend emailed us that a sample of The Strokes first single in 5 years, "Under Cover Of Darkness", had hit the web, we threw on our headphones and ignored the party for the next 30 seconds.
Friday, February 4, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
What's that? The video we took at Mercury Lounge hasn't been enough to tide over your Toro Y Moi appetite? Never fear: the band just delivered another sweet vid, this time for "New Beat", that's loaded to the top with all the stop-motion goodness your heart could desire.