Recent Posts in new releases
May 29, 2012
Swans at Music Hall of Williamsburg (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Swans are back with a new double album, The Seer, due via Young God Records on August 28. The new effort features appearances from Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), former bandmate Jarboe, Bruce Lamont, Ben Frost, members of Akron/Family ( who served with him in Angels of Light) and members of Low. Gira comments:
The Seer took 30 years to make. It's the culmination of every previous Swans album as well as any other music I've ever made, been involved in or imagined. But it's unfinished, like the songs themselves. It's one frame in a reel. The frames blur, blend and will eventually fade.While you're waiting for August 28 to roll around, you can check out a trailer for the DVD portion of The Seer and all listed Swans tour dates (Nothing for NYC yet).
The songs began on an acoustic guitar, then were fleshed out with (invaluable) help from my friends, then were further tortured and seduced in rehearsals, live and in the studio, and now they await further cannibalism and force-feeding as we prepare to perform some of them live, at which point they'll mutate further, endlessly, or perhaps be discarded for a while.
Despite what you might have heard or presumed, my quest is to spread light and joy through the world. My friends in Swans are all stellar men. Without them I'm a kitten, an infant. Our goal is the same: ecstasy!
February 23, 2012
By Bill Pearis
Blur are not the only Britpoppers with a new album in the works. Saint Etienne will release their eighth studio album, Words & Music, on May 21 in the UK. (They're still working out US distribution.) It's the trio's first since 2005's Tales from Turnpike House. In addition to production work by longtime SE cohort Ian Catt, the album features collaborations with hitmakers Richard X (Kelis, Rachel Stevens, Annie) and Xenomania's Tim Powell and Nick Coler (Sugababes, Girls Aloud). What to expect, besides regal, expertly crafted dance music? Saint Etienne sent out this statement:
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC?You can watch the video to the first single, "Tonight," which was directed by Paul Kelly who made that Lawrence documentary. There were rumors that Saint Etienne might play this year's NYC Popfest (May 17 - 20), but as they're touring Europe in May I guess that's not going to happen. They last played New York in 2006.
Do you remember that special alchemy that transforms even the most mundane of experiences - walking home with the headphones on at night, sitting in a bedroom with your friends in the day, getting ready to go out on the weekend - into a lingering moment of seamless enchantment, one that resonates for the rest of your life?
Our new album, Words and Music by Saint Etienne, is about that.
About how music affects your life.
How it defines the way you see the world as a child.
How it can get you through bad times in unexpected ways.
How songs you've known all your life can suddenly develop a new attachment and hurt every time you hear them.
More than how it affects and reflects your life though, the album is about believing in music, living your life by its rules.
The new album will be available in CD, double-CD and vinyl box set versions. You can check out the cover art for Words & Music which at first looks like just a city map, but is filled with famous music streets and locales. And in addition to the "Tonight" video, you can also watch some other classic Saint Etienne clips as well.
January 30, 2012
Let's be honest, some may claim The White Stripes were basically the Jack White show in disguise (despite shared song credits). With the band in the rearview, Jack White has made it official. He'll release a solo LP via Third Man Records/Columbia on April 24.
Produced by White and recorded at his own Third Man Studio in Nashville, Blunderbuss has been described by White as "an album I couldn't have released until now. I've put off making records under my own name for a long time but these songs feel like they could only be presented under my name. These songs were written from scratch, had nothing to do with anyone or anything else but my own expression, my own colors on my own canvas."But first comes a preview in the form of a 7" from the Raconteurs/Dead Weather member which is on sale digitally TONIGHT (1/30) at midnight EST (technically 1/31 unless you're out west). The actual record is out on 2/7. The song, "Love Interruption" 7" (which will be accompanied by a non-LP B-Side of "Machine Gun Silhouette"), can also be streamed NOW, below...
January 4, 2012
by Bill Pearis
An exciting double bill for indiepop fans in coming this spring: UK groups Allo Darlin' and The Wave Pictures are going on a US tour which kicks off at Mercury Lounge on April 24. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale this Friday (1/6) at noon. The tour which winds across North America and back through May (currently ending at Cafe Nine in New Haven, CT). All dates are at the bottom of this post.
Both Allo Darlin and The Wave Pictures will have new albums out in time for these shows. Allo Darlin's second LP, Europe, will be out on April 17 via Slumberland Records (or via Fortuna POP! if you're in Europe), as will the album's first single, "Capricornia" which is premiering in this post. Listen to the stream at the bottom of this post. Look for the single on March 6.
Says singer-songwriter Elizabeth Morris about "Capricornia":
Capricornia is the area in Queensland that I'm from. It has imaginary state lines, roughly around the Tropic of Capricorn, which runs directly through my hometown. There's a nice 70s monument that marks the spot where the line passes, out on a lonely dirt road where all the kids learn how to drive. My family have lived in this area for over 6 generations but none of my generation remain. It's a beautiful place.As to the rest of Europe:
Musically, when we first discussed the album with our producer, I suggested that the feel of Europe should be somewhere between "A New England" by Kirsty Macoll and "Cattle and Cane" by The Go-Betweens. I think this song is the closest to that.
I wanted to make beautiful songs and end up with a beautiful album, not necessarily an album of three minute pop songs... I suppose the songs have an awareness of a darker place but end up coming out the other side. We wanted to make the best album we possibly could and I think we've ended up with that.Scroll further down this post for a teaser video for the album, which includes new song "Tallulah." You can also stream Allo Darlin's 2011 single "Darren" which is a tribute to onetime Hefner frontman Darren Hayman.
As for The Wave Pictures, their new album, Long Black Cars, will be out via Moshi Moshi in March. The band's last album, A Beer in the Breakers, came out last May.
In other news, Allo Darlin' have posted a letter on their website regarding the tragic death of Esme Barrera, including a link to the benefit show in Brooklyn and another to donate to Esme's funeral fund.
Click below for the stream of "Capricornia," plus that Allo Darlin' album teaser, "Capricornia" cover art and the "Darren" single stream, as well a couple recent live Wave Pictures videos (including the new album's title track), and all dates...
December 21, 2011
Much like Jex Thoth, Witch Mountain, Sabbath Assembly or Windhand, Uzala's doom takes advantage of soaring and sorrowful female vocals to reach back to doom metal's roots in the blues. While guitarist/vocalist Darcy Nutt's haunting vocals and melodicism are compelling enough to keep Uzala's new-vintage sound interesting, the band throws a wrench into the preceedings by counter-balancing those vocals with the death-grunts of guitarist Chad Remains. Simple yet well-executed songwriting and riffs keep the band's debut in a fresh Sabbath-ian light, never retreading well-travelled paths or falling into self-parody.
Uzala's self-titled debut features the knob-twiddling skills of Blake Green (Wolvserpent) and you can stream all of it for the first time below...
December 14, 2011
The Men at Bowery Ballroom (more by BBG)
The Men have announced the follow-up to their amazing Leave Home. Open Your Heart is due via Sacred Bones on March 6th. The day after its release, look for the Brooklyn four-piece to hit the road for a string of dates on their way to SXSW which will include 285 Kent on March 7th with Nude Beach. All tour dates, the album art and tracklisting is below.
UPDATE: The Men are ALSO scheduled to play Union Pool on 1/13 with Pygmy Shrews, Organs, and Call of The Wild (ex-Awesome Color).
In related and more imminent news, Sacred Bones will release the new LP from the great Pop 1280 entitled The Horror on Jan 24th. The album features "Bodies In The Dunes" which is downloadable above/streamable below. Look for Pop 1280 to play a set of dates of their own as well, including a Record Release party (details forthcoming).
All tour dates, album info for both records and a Pop 1280 stream, alongside a live video of The Men playing the title track from the new LP, below...
December 12, 2011
By Bill Pearis
One could argue (and we did, in our story on the band in the January-February issue!) that Fucked Up's rock opera David Comes to Life was uniquely resonant upon its June release because of the emotional synchronicity between an album that spilled forth with such an appropriately chaotic narrative and a year in which tumultuous disarray became the norm. But good lord, David Comes to Life could've been sung in backwards Tagalog and it still would've made perfect sense in 2011. That's the power of a gang of punks playing with Olympian levels of passion and purpose. [SPIN]SPIN publishes it's year-end issue next week, naming Fucked Up's David Comes to Life as 2011's best album. The top ten also includes EMA, Wild Flag, PJ Harvey, Lykke Li and more. The entire SPIN Top 50 Albums of 2011 is at the bottom of this post.
As you hopefully know, Fucked Up will be performing this Friday (12/16) at the BV-curated night of this weekend's Brooklyn Night Bazaar, a full evening of music that also includes Dom, Big Troubles, Caged Animals, Radical Dads, as well as Frankie Rose spinning tunes. Tickets are only $10 and still available.
There's a lot more Fucked Up news actually. Tonight (11/12) the band will be guests on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Holiday Special, which also features Christoper Walken, Norah Jones and a lot of extremely non-vegan cooking (though the Vegan Black Metal Chef is also a guest). Maybe Fucked Up will play in Bourdain's fridge, like Das Racist did on last year's Holiday Special.
Next Tuesday (12/20) in the band's hometown of Toronto, Fucked Up will perform David Comes to Life in its entirety, with proceeds going to charity. (PS I Love You, The Sadies and Quest for Fire also perform.)
Fucked Up are also releasing a split Christmas single with Sloan, with proceeds benefiting the COUNTERfit Harm Reduction Program and the Barriere Lake Legal Defense Fund. Fucked Up's side is their take on "Jingle Bells," while Sloan tackle "The 12 Days of Christmas" (which is streamable below). Only 500 are being printed -- maybe they'll be some at the merch table this Friday?
The band have also announced the release of 2012's annual Chinese New Year single, "Year of the Tiger," which is out February 21. The 15-minute track features guest vocals from Austra, Duchess Says' Annie-Claude and Jim Jarmusch, which Matador claims is "MAYBE THE BEST THING FUCKED UP HAVE EVER RECORDED" but being their record label they're prone to such proclamations. But maybe it is.
Click through for a just-released video of "Turn the Season" plus video of the band performing "The Other Shoe" on Canada's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight show, as well as the entire rundown of SPIN mag's Top 50 Albums of 2011...
November 3, 2011
We typically don't like covers. And as much as we love Joy Division, we think the JD influence is overdone. Despite those two incredibly thwarting factors, the brutal reality here is that out of real life tragedy was born the most honest collection of covers we have heard. Crooked Necks leaves the spirit of Joy Division completely intact, while running it through their own highly innovative filter. -[Handmade Birds]Though Crooked Necks contains Lurker, alumnus of a zillion bands of the blackened ilk, CN only utilizes that brooding atmosphere on their drug-hazed goth/shoegaze/post-punk/slowcore LP Alright is Exactly What It Isn't which is out now. Listen to "Taste The Sounds" from that album below.
Crooked Necks takes the same approach on the above-referenced Joy Divison covers EP entitled Something Must Break. It's five covers of classics by the UK post-punk godfathers that expand on the impending dread that marked the releases of the ultimately doomed band. The fascinating reimagination was quickly snapped up when released on limited cassette, but is now available on vinyl for the first time. Stream it in full below, and order your copy of the LP and the EP at Handmade Birds. While you're at it, check out their split with the eclectic (and awesome) Circle of Ouroboros as well.
Those songs and more below...
October 5, 2009
The new Mountain Goats album, Life of the World to Come is in stores tomorrow. I often state that John Darnielle is my favorite songwriter working today, but what continues to amaze me is the continual growth in his songwriting. This may be his finest work yet.
On Sunday, John stopped by Housing Works in NYC to answer some questions after a screening of a new concert film that he is featured in. How was that?
This week's release list is filled with noteworthy albums, many of which will find their way on end of year best albums lists. A few of the week's outstanding releases I can recommend are Alela Diane's Alela and Alina, Built To Spill's There Is No Enemy, Daniel Johnston's Is and Always Was, Mission of Burma's The Sound The Speed The Light, The Raveonettes' In and Out of Control, and especially The Xx's Xx.
Built to Spill's entire new album is streaming at MySpace.
Reisuues of note this week include three remastered Black Sabbath albums (Black Sabbath, Vol. 4, Never Say Die!, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath), four remastered Kraftwerk albums (Autobahn, The Man-Machine, Radio-Activity, Trans Europa Express), and five remastered Jesus Lizard albums, each with bonus tracks (Down, Goat, Head, Liar, Pure).
What new music can you recommend this week? What's on your shopping list?
September 28, 2009
7 Worlds Collide's Sun Came Out is a unique album, a project by Neil Finn with original songs written and performed by Finn, Jeff Tweedy, Johnny Marr, KT Tunstall and others.
The Avett Brothers' I and Love and You is one of the year's musical highlights for me, I can't recommend this disc enough.
Other releases I can recommend this week include Cymbals Eat Guitars' Why There Are Mountains (which finally gets a label release), Ghostface Killah's Ghostdini the Wizard of Poetry, Hope Sandoval's Through The Devil Softly, Karen O's Where The Wild Things Are Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Original Songs By Karen O And The Kids, Langhorne Slim's Be Set Free, Princeton's Cocoon of Love, and Richmond Fontaine's We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River.
Genesis Live 1973-2007 is an 8-CD, 3-DVD box set that collects the four (now remastered) live albums the band put out in that period, each with bonus tracks.
Aside from the Genesis live box set, the only reissues worth mentioning this week are two from The Brian Jonestown Massacre (Love EP and This Is Why You Love Me EP) and Matthew Friedberger's 2006 double solo album, Winter Women/ Holy Ghost Language School.
What new music can you recommend this week? What's on your shopping list?