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January 7, 2016
2015 was one of the greatest years for new music in a while. Even if you're obsessive, you probably still have some catching up to do. We can try to help. Within the first two episodes of BrooklynVegan's new Spotify show (here and here), you'll hear some of our favorite music of the year. You'll find even more in our Favorite Albums of 2015 list, and browse our Best of 2015 tag for even more lists.
Probably not too surprisingly, BrooklynVegan lists didn't include any Ed Sheeran or Maroon 5, but also probably not surprising that those were two of the five most listened-to artists on Spotify in 2015. The other three were Kanye West, The Weeknd and Drake (the latter of which made our favorite albums list). That data and much more like it is what you'll find at Spotify Year in Music.
The Spotify Year In Music recap also pointed out that the year had some big comebacks. Missy Elliott was popular after guest starring at Katy Perry's Superbowl halftime show and finally releasing a new single. Streams of Amy Winehouse's music spiked 70% after the release of Amy. And people were glad to finally have D'Angelo back too.
Rap was extremely popular on Spotify this year, with all five of the top five albums and seven of the top ten coming from rappers. That's consistent with our recent suggestion that major label rap hit a massive peak in 2015. The most loyal fans of the year though, according to Spotify's data, were metal fans.
To see all of the Spotify Year In Music, or to get your own Year in Music based on your profile, visit the site here. Interested in finding out how popular a specific artist was? They have a page for that too.
Don't have a premium Spotify account yet? We've also got a giveaway package from Spotify, that includes a one-year premium subscription, one pair of Bose in-ear headphones, one Soundwave Canvas, and one $50 TicketMaster gift card. Head below to enter for a chance to win. Winners must be 18 years or older and live in the U.S..
December 14, 2015
photo: Gogol Bordello at FFF 2015 (more)
Gogol Bordello frontman Eugene Hutz will perform an "exclusive and first-time collaboration" with Gypsy brass band Fanfare Ciocārlia at NYC's Town Hall on April 22. Tickets are on sale now. Via the show description:
Fanfare Ciocārlia are a 24-legged brass beast whose eastern funk groove has torn up halls and festivals across the planet. Their energy and ingenuity having won them fans from Melbourne to Memphis, Tokyo to Toulouse. Having learnt their craft at the feet of their fathers and grandfathers Fanfare's members proudly approach every concert as a challenge to both entertain audiences and keep the true spirit of Gypsy music alive.Before that, Gogol Bordello are wrapping up their Gypsy Punks 10th anniversary tour, including New Year's Eve and 12/30 at Terminal 5 in NYC. NYE is a Gypsy Punks show, but 12/30 is a regular set. Tickets are still available, and we're also giving away a pair to the date of your choice. Enter to win, below.
December 1, 2015
photo: Deer Tick at Forest Hills Stadium in 2014 (more by PSquared)
The Ground Control Touring 15th anniversary show at NYC's Webster Hall happens this Wednesday (12/2) with "short sets, collaborations, covers and surprises" from a very impressive lineup. That lineup now also includes Deer Tick, and other artists that were added since we last spoke are Screaming Females, Lee Ranaldo, Perfect Pussy and Woods.
Those additions join the initial lineup of Superchunk, Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Steve Gunn, Parquet Courts, The Felice Brothers, Rainer Maria, Torres, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Speedy Ortiz, Hop Along, Porches and Frankie Cosmos. (Conor Oberst dropped off.)
Also below is the flyer with set times...
November 6, 2015
Public Image Ltd have a new video, "Bettie Page," the current single from the band's 10th album, What the World Needs Now, that was released back in September. The video was shot by Lydon's manager, John Rambo Stevens, while PiL were recording the new album. Check it out, and stream the album via Spotify, below.
PiL's North American tour is underway and hits NYC on November 16 at Playstation Theater (formerly Best Buy Theater). It's billed as "An Evening with Public Image Ltd" (aka no openers) and tickets are still available, and we're giving away a pair. Contest entry form, and a list of remaining PiL tour dates, below...
November 3, 2015
San Fermin are playing three consecutive nights at Bowery Ballroom on their upcoming North American tour and the final of those shows (12/19) will be rather unique, featuring a number of special guest collaborators joining the band on stage:
Aaron Livingston of Son Little (guitar and vocals)The December 19 show also has tourmate Sam Amidon as opener. Tickets are still available for that show but if you'd like to go for free, we're giving a pair away as part of a San Fermin prize pack that includes a signed vinyl test pressing and a tote bag. Enter our contest below.
Nanna Fabricius of Oh Land (vocals)
Mike Wilbur of Moon Hooch (saxophone)
Young Jean Lee (vocals)
Casey Dienel of White Hinterland (vocals)
Kristin Slipp of Cuddle Magic (vocals)
Sean Hutchinson of Bleachers (drums)
Eliza Bagg and Oliver Hill of Pavo Pavo (vocals, violin, and guitars)
San Fermin's other two Bowery Ballroom shows happen December 17 (with Sam Amidon) and December 18 (with Holly Miranda and Alex Edelman). Tickets for those shows are also still available.
Updated tour dates are listed, along with contest entry form and a stream of San Fermin's current single "No Devil," below...
October 23, 2015
by Tatiana Tenreyro
Warpaint's Jenny Lee Lindberg announced last month that she's releasing her solo album, right on! as jennylee, which is coming out on December 11 via Rough Trade. She accompanied the announcement with a trailer featuring three clips of the videos from her album's tracks, "never," "boom boom," and "he fresh." The video for single "never" is available to watch now. Lindberg co-directed it with Mia Kirby and features some in-studio live performance footage as well as her dancing around at home. The track itself is reminiscent of English '80s new wave, and a bit heavier than Warpaint's sound yet should still appeal to fans.
Jenny Lee is currently on tour and will be stopping by NY's Baby's All Right on November 11 with Young Magic. Tickets for that show are still available but if you'd like to go for free, we're giving a pair away. To enter to win, below.
In other Warpaint news, Theresa Wayman is working on a new solo album that will be produced by Dan Carey, who previously produced albums for Bat for Lashes, Hot Chip, Kate Tempest, and more. Wayman is also releasing a 7" with BOSS, her new band comprised of Guro Gikling of All We Are and Sarah Jones of Hot Chip/NZCA Lines , featuring tracks "I'm Down With That" and "Mr. Dan's I'm Dub With That." The single will be released on November 27 via Speedy Wunderground.
All jennylee tour dates are listed, along with the video for "never," BOSS streams and ticket contest form, below...
October 9, 2015
by Bill Pearis
Montreal synthpop act Seoul are currently on tour and will be in NYC on Saturday (10/10) at Rough Trade with tourmates Young Ejecta, as well as Lightning Bug. Tickets are still available but if you'd like to go for free we're giving a pair away. Details, and the list of all remaining tour dates, below.
Meanwhile, Seoul have handed over their single "The Line" to NYC producer Baile who takes the bouncy original and chills it down to late night comedown territory. The remix premieres in this post and you can stream it, along with the original, below.
September 29, 2015
by Andrew Sacher
Short-lived but influential '90s emo band Boys Life reunited this year and signed to Topshelf for a reissue of their 1996 album, Departures and Landfalls. The reissued album is out now and includes three previously unreleased songs. You can pick up a copy here.
As previously mentioned, the band is also going on a tour, which includes a few shows with other veteran emo musicians. One of those is Chicago's Bottom Lounge on 10/17 with Bob Nanna's band The City on Film and another is NYC's Music Hall of Williamsburg on 10/21 with The Anniversary's Josh Berwanger. We're giving away tickets to both of those shows. Enter below.
In other Topshelf news, the label announced its annual FREE CMJ showcase, for October 15 at Shea Stadium. The lineup looks like this:
7:30 - Lizard KissesYou can listen to a Soundcloud playlist Topshelf put together of the lineup (along with a separate album stream from Clique, since they aren't on Soundcloud), below...
8:15 - Infinity Girl
9:00 - Clique
9:45 - Solids
10:30 - Wildhoney
11:15 - Donovan Wolfington
12:00 - Nai Harvest
September 28, 2015
The New Yorker Festival returns this year from Friday, October 2 through Sunday, October 4. As always, "illustrious writers, creative thinkers, and artists from many disciplines will explore the cutting edge of culture, music, science, and technology." We've got a promo code -- NYERFEST20 -- to get 20% off tickets for select events, including the following:
Pop rock band Haim will give a talk with Kelefa Sanneh and an intimate performance on 10/21 at Gramercy Theatre at 7 PM (tickets).
Later that night, Gramercy hosts 'The New R&B,' which features performances from forward-thinking R&B artists including Azekel, Bilal, The 20/20 Experience co-writer James Fauntleroy, and Kelela. They'll also talk with Andrew Marantz. That starts at 10 PM (tickets).
The reunited Sleater-Kinney talk with Dana Goodyear on 10/3 at Directors Guild Theater (110 W 57th St) at 4 PM (tickets).
Comedian/musician Reggie Watts talks with Emma Allen at One World Trade Center on 10/3 at 10 PM (tickets).
Genre-crossing producer Mark Ronson, who's bigger than ever now thanks to his Bruno Mars collaboration "Uptown Funk," talks with John Seabrook, whose book on pop music The Song Machine is out now, on 10/3 at Gramercy at 10 PM. Mark also performs with Jeff Bhasker, Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt, Jay Bratten and Chris Vatalaro (tickets). It's his only live North American performance for the Uptown Special album cycle (his only others have been in TV studios).
At that same time at SIR Stage37 there's a Cuba event with journalist Elaine Diaz Rodriguez, science fiction author/heavy metal musician Yoss, and musician Pedrito Martinez discussing the future of their country with Jon Lee Anderson (tickets).
One last coupon: use the code SOUNDCLOUD35 to get a discount for the Soundcloud Lounge event on 10/2 at One World Trade Center at 8 PM with performances from NYC electronic duo Blondes and Chance the Rapper associate Towkio. John Seabrook is at this one too, talking with Soundcloud founder and CEO Alexander Ljung (tickets).
Algiers have just released a video for "And When You Fall" which is from this year's self-titled debut and typifies the band's sound (part post-punk synth and part gospel, the latter coming from the powerhouse vocals of frontman Franklin James Fisher). The video was directed by Lamb & Sea and bassist Ryan Mahan tells us a little about it and the song:
For me, Franklin's lyrics in 'And When You Fall' transcend the traditional contours of revenge narratives, promising instead a collective revolutionary justice awaiting all oppressors. The video Sam has created excels in representing how this demand for substantive justice and collective consciousness is distorted and disembodied in modern times, partially through the incessant flow of capital and information."And When You Fall" makes its premiere in this post and you can check it out below.
The song also owes a debt to early Mute recordings, most notably The Normal. The video lays bare this influence by referencing Cabaret Voltaire's 'Kino', and repurposing the early synth pioneers', from Fad Gadget to Throbbing Gristle, interest in J.G. Ballard and the politics of post-industrialism.
The band's North American tour is underway as we speak and will hit NYC on October 11 at Rough Trade (that show was moved from originally-announced venue Music Hall of Williamsburg). Tickets are still available but if you'd like to go for free we're giving a pair away. Enter to win, below.
All Algiers tour dates are listed below.