Entries tagged with: Destroyer
Merge Records have become one of the latest labels to join Bandcamp. Unfortunately the whole discography isn't there -- like no Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel or Spoon -- but still this is good news. You can now stream full albums by Superchunk, Seaweed, Ex Hex, Bob Mould, Titus Andronicus, The Mountain Goats, Destroyer, Polvo, Versus and more, and get digital downloads, often for cheaper than iTunes.
Stream some great Merge albums below...
Barcelona's Primavera Sound festival returns from June 1-5, and as always, the lineup is pretty amazing. They've got Radiohead, LCD Soundsystem, Sigur Ros, PJ Harvey, Tame Impala, The Last Shadow Puppets, Air, Brian Wilson (performing Pet Sounds), Beach House, Suede, Beirut, Animal Collective, Pusha T, Action Bronson, Explosions in the Sky, Moderat, John Carpenter, Vince Staples, Drive Like Jehu, Deerhunter, Dinosaur Jr, Richard Hawley, Kamasi Washington, Neon Indian, Battles, Ty Segall, Julia Holter, Destroyer, Thee Oh Sees, Titus Andronicus, Tortoise, Mudhoney, Boredoms, Royal Headache, Shellac, Dungen, Beach Slang, Venom, Unsane, The Chills, Holly Herndon, Psychic TV, Mbongwana Star, U.S. Girls, Protomartyr, Julien Baker, Sheer Mag, Downtown Boys and still so much more.
Tickets are on sale now. Full lineup below.
Radiohead, who haven't played live since 2012, were also announced to headline Portugal's Nos Alive and Switzerland's OpenAir St. Gallen. They recently released their unused Bond theme and a new album is rumored to be imminent.
You saw their songs and their honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2015 list is here. Like with the song list, "records released this year and records that made their greatest impact in 2015 were eligible," which allows for things like D'Angelo's late 2014 release.
As usual, you can't just guess what the list is going to be by looking at what got Best New Music this year. Some of those albums became honorable mentions, and some were left off the year-end lists entirely (like Baroness, Nao, and Aphex Twin). The scores don't necessarily dictate it either. Deafheaven was one of a few albums to get a 9.0 or higher, but it dropped to #26 while the others all cracked the top 10. And then there's Carly Rae Jepsen, whose hype Pitchfork seemed to react against by giving her a less-than positive review, but they ended up throwing her on their year-end list just like everybody else. What should surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can read their commentary here and check out the full list below...
Pitchfork have published their 100 Best Tracks of 2015 list. The criteria was "any track that was released in 2015 or had its greatest impact in the U.S. during this year was eligible," which allows for stuff like 2014 releases from Fetty Wap and D'Angelo to count. Including guest appearances, Kendrick Lamar shows up four times, two of which are in the top five. Drake, Grimes, Jamie xx and Future all show up three times each. It includes a few singles off 2016 albums, like David Bowie's "Blackstar," ANOHNI's "4 Degrees" and Savages' "The Answer," one-off collaborations like WOKE (aka Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Shabazz Palaces), last-minute 2015 releases like Jeremih's "Oui," and surprise comeback singles like Missy Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)." If you were wondering, Adele's "Hello" is here (ranked very high), and yes, so is Justin Bieber. There's also some representation from less commercial stuff like the hardcore band G.L.O.S.S..
Check out the whole list below...
Happy December! SPIN are celebrating the first day of the last month of the year by putting out their Top 50 Albums of 2015 list. It's a diverse list, with the top 10 ranging from DIY-indie (Alex G) to mainstream country (Kacey Musgraves) to leftfield major label rap (Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar). The list also has metal from Deafheaven and Krallice, electronic from RP Boo, Rabit, Oneohtrix Point Never and SOPHIE, R&B veteran Janet Jackson, and plenty more. Check out the whole thing below.
They also put out their 101 Best Songs of 2015 list, which is topped by Justin Bieber.
The new issue of UK music mag Uncut is out now, and it includes their Top 75 Albums of 2015 list. Like fellow UK mags MOJO and Q, they've got a lot of love for Julia Holter. They also have Sleaford Mods pretty high, lots of the 2015 year-end regulars in the top 10 (Kendrick, Sufjan, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett), and lots of older musicians throughout the list (Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Killing Joke, PiL, Paul Weller, Robert Forster, etc). Check out the full list below.
We're happy to announce that BrooklynVegan is part of Spotify's "In Residence" series where we'll not only curate a monthly playlist, but premium users can hear us talk about it too. Head to Spotify HERE now and click "follow" to make sure you never miss an episode.
For our first show, BV editors Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis and Dave sat down to talk about some of our favorite music of 2015 so far, and other digressions. We taped the show in late July, so keep that in mind if any of it sounds slightly dated. (A segment where Bill bets Dave a million dollars that Lush will never ever reform was cut.)
Anyone can listen, though you will need to be a Spotify Premium subscriber to hear our lovely speaking voices.
Other Spotify In Residence shows/hosts include former Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, dance act Jungle, and UK grime artist Big Narstie.
Stay tuned for a brand new BrooklynVegan episode in December. Meanwhile, listen to November's...
It's that time of year again when folks start publishing their End of Year Best-Of lists. Almost always first out of the gates is UK-based Rough Trade Shops who dropped their 100 Best Albums of 2015 list today. Coming in at #1 was Bjork's devastatingly personal Vulnicura. And here's their Top 20:
1) Bjork - VulnicuraYou can check out Rough Trade Shops full Top 100 Albums of 2015 list below...
2) Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
3) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
4) Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People
5) Max Richter - From Sleep
6) Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool
7) Kamasi Washington - The Epic
8) Royal Headache - High
9) Romare - Projections
10) Jamie XX - In Colour
11) John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
12) Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell
13) Tame Impala - Currents
14) Nadine Shah - Fast Food
15) Wand - Golem
16) Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
17) Django Django - Born Under Saturn
18) Tobias Jesso Jr - Goon
19) Georgia - S/T
20) Palma Violets - Danger in the Club
photos by Rachel Juarez-Carr
Kurt Vile / Thom Yorke / FJM / Health @ Pitchfork Paris 2015
Loosening his man-bun before losing himself to dance as he and producer and collaborator Nigel Godrich step out on stage before huge screens rushing through hypnotic visuals for 'The Clock', Yorke kicks off a flawlessly tight and mesmeric set - leaning heavily on Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, but adding a twitchier and more introverted mechanical menace to tracks from The Eraser and AMOK.Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2015 happened over Halloween Weekend (Oct 29-31) at the French capital's enormous Grande Halle de la Villette. Performers included Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, Kurt Vile, Run the Jewels, Father John Misty, Beach House, Deerhunter, Battles, HEALTH, Ariel Pink, Destroyer, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and more. Pictures from the weekend continue below...
As he jerks across the stage and howls into the vast Parisian venue, we realise that this is the most immersed and involved Yorke has been in a performance in quite some years. The intimate sounds of his solo work truly translate live, inspiring sheer hero worship throughout Pitchfork Music Festival Paris 2015. This shall be a talking point for years to come. - [Gigwise]
photos by P Squared; words by Bill Pearis
Destroyer @ Webster Hall,10/4/2015
Dressed in a rumpled, Colombo-style raincoat, Dan Bejar celebrated his birthday at Webster Hall on Sunday night (10/4) -- the NYC stop on their fall tour -- with some of the crowd singing "Happy Birthday" to him. But, really, the crowd was singing to him the whole night. Or with him, it should be said, as most of the audience seemed to know every word -- at least the key lines. With an big, multi-piece band, including trumpet player J.P. Carter (so key to the 2011 Kaputt tour), Bejar stuck mainly to new album Poison Season which sounded pretty great in the live setting. Like usual, Bejar spent time not singing crouched on the stage, swigging a beer, and taking in the sound of the band.
We also got four songs from Kaputt including its swooning title track, which along with Poison Season's "Dream Lover," closed out the main set. The band came back for "Girl in a Sling" from the new album and brought down the house with "Rubies." All good things must come to an end (the bad ones just go on forever), though, and so did the show. You can stream the whole NYC Taper-recorded show, plus check out lots more pictures (including ones of tourmate Jennifer Castle) and the setlist, below...
On his eleventh studio album, Poison Season, Destroyer's Dan Bejar has moved beyond the quiet confrontation of 2011's Kaputt and into a musical realm more orchestral and far-reaching. That's not to imply that the Canadian singer-songwriter and reluctant indie tastemaker has embraced a newfound love for tawdry composition. It certainly suggests, though, that Bejar's creative inclinations have rarely if ever remained fixated on any one path to the music. Having created music as Destroyer since 1995, Bejar is understandably averse to the attitude of pop culture immediacy that assumes impact is equal to investment in one's art form. In a way similar to that of his just as notably talented bandmates in indie pop supergroup The New Pornographers, Bejar is content to let the music go where it will, allowing him to be a sort of vehicle for whatever destination great or small it may lead. It's a topic he and I discussed at length in a recent conversation in anticipation of his current tour with Jennifer Castle that hits Webster Hall on October 4.
Poison Season is very much a departure from Kaputt just in terms of the instrumentation that's involved and the altogether broader sound. Was that shift something deliberate on your part?
I don't think it was a deliberate move, though I agree with your reading of what it sounds like. I think the main thing is that I've never tried to start from scratch. If you look inside the records you'll see that there are tons of overlaps as far as the actual music making goes and as far as my songwriting goes. I feel like it's kind of more etched in stone than probably 99% of other songs out there, I mean, to a fault. If anything, it's like: Oh fuck, this really stands out me being myself, or here's me being me again. I don't think that changes too much. I guess in the postproduction, which is pretty elastic, I agree that sonically speaking, Poison Season and Kaputt couldn't be more different, but that's just like a world of weaver plugins and EQs and a certain approach to compression, which just got ignored in favor of classic 70s hardware and fancy microphones and a fancy recording space and the sound of a bunch of people playing in a room together. I don't think we were lampooning anything at the time, but when you listen to it now, the record that I did that came out in 2004 called Your Blues - I don't know, you can see the seeds of it. Even its use of a bunch of midi orchestral sounds, which sound like an orchestra really to anyone but me. The general feel of it is basically like a carbon copy or a blueprint of what we sounded like on stage in 2012. That was really a hyped tour and like the one in 2011, which was more of a Kaputt cover band tour, played more into Destroyer sounds, I guess. But anyone who saw those shows is going to listen to Poison Season and not blink an eye. It's like, oh I see, you guys went out and made a record. I think the one thing was this approach to strings and maybe an approach to the woodwind arrangement, which is faster but also has kind of a classical American film score style arrangements or something like jazz arrangements as opposed to just having Joseph shred all over the record like he did for Kaputt. But the instincts in Poison Season, you could find them on being used on any of the Destroyer albums.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's "Times Square," the centerpiece track to new album Poison Season, has now been turned into a charmingly weird music video. Director Shayne Ehman says the video started with an ill-fated trip to New York. "We ended up just wandering around New York til 3am and the city seemed completely dead. We could have been anywhere, really," which then put them on a different track. "I needed to get outside and shoot in natural light in order to serve as a sort of conduit for those 'forces of nature in love...' which seem to rule the song. I let the sun do its thing and let the earth do it's thing and watched time unfold. I watched the clouds unfold and unpack and packup. I was at their mercy, completely."
There's the briefest of shots from the NYC tourist mecca, but most of the video takes place in the forrest where magical woodland beings smoke dope from a saxaphone, lick mushrooms and get weird. Also: a little Dan Bejar lip-synching. Watch it below.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's new album, Poison Season, is out next week via Merge and, like with Beach House's Depression Cherry, some of you out there may already have your leak-loving mitts on it. For those who don't do that sort of thing, the album is now streaming via NPR. While not as cohesive as 2011's Kaputt, here you get The Many Shades of Dan Bejar: the Bowie-esque rocker, the dive bar cabaret singer, even the cruise ship entertainer. Plus three distinctly different takes on "Times Square." Destroyer is always worth your time, listen below.
by Bill Pearis
The new Destroyer album, Poison Season, is out at the end of August and Merge Records has just shared another song from it, "Times Square." With acoustic guitars and prominent sax, it's Dan Bejar at his most Al Stewart, all wistful and dramatic. "You could follow a rose wherever it grows, or you could fall in love with Times Square." The NYC tourist hub isn't very lovable these days if you ask me but if anyone could make it romantic, it's Bejar. Listen below.
by Bill Pearis
Destroyer's new album, Poison Season, will be out August 28 via Merge. Where 2012's Kaputt was a unified front, sonically -- all neon-lit, rain-soaked streets, new romantic vibes and fire escape sax -- this one has many different moods. First single "Dream Lover" was a heartland rocker and now we get "Girl in a Sling," which finds Dan Bejar in mournful torch song mode. It comes with an equally dark video, directed by David Galloway who spoke a little about the vibe he was trying to achieve:
We wanted to make a video that dealt with central Destroyer themes: to some, Destroyer is a lech; to some, he is an arsonist; to some, he is a savior. To me, he is the consummate comedian, but he resists that role. So we decided to go the opposite way and make something sad, something tragic, something that fits the new record. The adage "comedy equals tragedy plus time" is attributed to Carol Burnett's mum. Or it might have been Steve Allen. Either way, I always want Dan to do physical comedy, but he resists. He's a natural, though. He's the Pacific Northwest's Buster Keaton, and I hope one day to share that with the world. One day. For now, though, there's just this sadness. This poison season.You can watch the "Girl in a Sling" video below.
In addition to the new album, Destroyer will also release a companion 12" single on August 28, featuring a remix of "Forces from Above" and "Times Square, This Poison Season" on the flip.
Victoria, BC's Frog Eyes will release new LP Pickpocket's Locket on August 28 via Paper Bag Records. The new LP's genesis was a little different than usual. Main main Carey Mercer explains:
My dad left me his acoustic guitar in his will; it was all he had to give, because he wasn't a rich man. I wrote ten songs on it, and I think that was the real gift he gave me: a love of music, not just the way you all love it (music lovers), but also a love of creating it, sowing myself, in some small way, into the story of music.The record features guest appearances by Spencer Krug, and violinist Jesse Zubot. You can listen to "Joe With The Jam" from the album, below.
I was holding the guitar a lot, kind of savoring it: a Martin D-18. I had been making records for a few years with a computer, piling tracks on tracks, writing words over guitar licks already recorded in a studio.
I came to think of an acoustic guitar as somehow akin to a computer, only in the sense that they are both tools of transmission, both effective in their own way.
An acoustic guitar is still, in 2015, a very effective way of transmitting one's songs. I made a deal with myself: write ten songs, write all the words before anyone gets to hear any of the songs, memorize the songs so that I become the hard-drive that the acoustic guitar accesses. I mostly, if not totally, kept to this deal, which is rare: I'm generally pretty easy on myself.
Frog Eyes will be touring this fall, including dates with Destroyer. They're not on the NYC date of the Destroyer tour (10/4 @ Webster Hall), unfortunately, but all are listed, along with Pickpocket's Locket artwork, tracklist and track stream, below.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Fabiola Carranza
Destroyer hasn't released a full length since 2011's excellent Kaputt, but he's finally ready to do that this year. He'll release Poison Season, a double album, on August 28 via Merge in the US and Dead Oceans in the UK. He just shared first single "Dream Lover," which is more of a swaggering upbeat rock song than the sophisti-pop of Kaputt, but still full of saxophones. Listen, and check out the album tracklist, below.
Dan Bejar & co. will also be touring internationally in support of the record for about two months from September to November. That tour hits NYC on October 4 at Webster Hall. That date and many others are with Jennifer Castle. Tickets for Webster are on sale now.
All dates are listed, with the new song and album tracklist, below...
by Bill Pearis
photo:::Hello, Blue Roses @ Glasslands, 2008 (more by Leia Jospe)
Back in 2008 Hello, Blue Roses, the musical and romantic pairing of Dan Bejar and artist Sydney Vermont, released The Portrait Is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty, an album steeped in '70s folk. (Some of you in NYC may have gone to see them at Glasslands as well.) Seven years later, HBR are back with Album #2, titled WZO. The record was produced by Dan's Swan Lake bandmate and Frog Eyes frontman Carey Mercer, who plays on the album as well. It's out now and you can stream the whole thing below.
Now if we can just get a new Destroyer album. Dan's other other band, The New Pornographers, are currently on tour with Operators.
photos by Chris La Putt; words by Bill Pearis
The New Pornographers @ The Brill Building 9/4/2014
"This is a throwback to those classic Brill Building basement shows...you know, like when Carol King would do Sonics' covers? It's in the book. That I'm going to write." Carl Newman, defacto leader of Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, was joking about the deserted Brill Building storefront (technically next door to the famous golden BB entrance) that was hastily converted into a venue for this record release party. Anyone there who bothered to look up could see up into the next floor via holes by the building supports. Same for the floor -- Newman warned "Please don't fall into the abyss!" This was closer in vibe -- and in un-AC'd temperature -- to 285 Kent than something you'd expect in Times Square. It was HOT in there but a cool nod to pop songwriting's past that clearly is an influence on The New Pornographers in general and their great new album, Brill Bruisers, specifically.
The show, which was presented by NPR and hosted by All Songs Considered's (and nonstop showgoer) Bob Boilen, featured The New Pornographers in full effect, with Neko Case and Dan Bejar both there, along with the rest of the band, including new touring member Coco Hames (of The Ettes). (NPR gave away tickets via Twitter.) The band sounded fantastic and they were all clearly having a blast, despite the sweatbox atmosphere. Drummer Kurt Dahle, in particular, seemed to be having a particularly good time, making faces while dropping crazy fills on new LP track, "Spidyr." (I think I spent half the show just watching him.)
The crowd was eased into the new album, starting with a couple oldies first -- "Moves" from Together then Bejar sauntered out for Challengers' nugget "Myriad Harbor." Then we got our first taste of Brill via the driving "Dancefloor Domine," which is a good showcase for the new arpeggiated-keys-ELO-ABBA vibe of the new album. We got about half of Brill Bruisers, including the title track which is much more a wall-of-sound force live than on record. (They played it on Letterman the night before, video below.) Bejar came back out for single "War on the East Coast" which was extra-energized by some crazy/effected guitar blasts by Newman.
Other older tracks included "The Laws Have Changed," "Twin Cinema," "Mass Romantic" (many cheers for that), and they finished the hourlong set with the "hey las" of Twin Cinema deep cut "The Bleeding Heart Show." I woulda personally liked a couple more from the new album -- specifically "Champions of Red Wine" and "Marching Orders" -- but it was a solid, leave 'em wanting more set and was easily the best New Pornographers show I've seen since the Electric Version tour.
The New Pornographers -- with Neko and Dan -- will be back in NYC when their fall tour hits Hammerstein Ballroom on November 17 with openers The Pains of Being Pure at Heart (tickets). More pics and setlist from the Brill Building show, plus the Letterman performance video, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...
Thee-day Oregon music festival Pickathon returns this year from August 1-3 in Happy Valley. The lineup includes Nickel Creek, X, Warpaint, The War on Drugs, Jonathan Richman, Mac DeMarco, Operators, Foxygen, Destroyer (solo), Courtney Barnett, Parquet Courts, Angel Olsen, Woods, Mikal Cronin, Julianna Barwick, The Men, Hiss Golden Messenger, Diarrhea Planet, Quilt and many more. Full lineup below. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
photos by Amanda Hatfield
Ex Hex @ Red 7, 3/15/14
As mentioned, Merge Records is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, including the four-day Merge 25 festival which happens July 23 - 26 in Carrboro, NC. Merge has released the initial line-up, which includes Wye Oak, The Clientele, Destroyer, Caribou, Lambchop (performing Nixon), Neutral Milk Hotel, The Rock*A*Teens, Ex Hex, and Bob Mould. While day schedules haven't been announced events will happen at the following venues:
July 23 Baldwin Auditorium, Duke University Campus, Durham, NCFull Festival Passes are $195 and will go on sale to the general public on Friday (3/21) at 11 am EST via the Cat's Cradle website. Individual tickets for the events in Carrboro will go on sale Wednesday, March 26 and the Duke University show goes on sale Tuesday, April 22.
July 24 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 25 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
July 26 Full Day Music Concert, outdoors, Carrboro, NC
Both Wye Oak and Ex Hex played our Saturday SXSW free day party this past weekend in Austin. Ex Hex (featuring Mary Timony of Helium and Wild Flag) put on a killer set of glammy powerpop. Pics from their performance are in this post and you can check out Wye Oak pics here. Ex Hex also have a new video for "Hot and Cold" that costars Ian Svenonius (Chain & the Gang, Make-Up, etc). You can watch that below.
More BV SXSW day party pics of Ex Hex, plus the new Ex Hex video, below...
Merge Records is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and they are planning a year-long celebration the culmination of which will be the Merge Festival which will happen July 23-26 in the label's hometown of Carrboro, NC. Line-up, tickets and other interesting details like those are still TBA, but you can watch a couple teaser videos below. (This will probably be one festival Outkast won't be at, but you never know!) They last celebrated back in 2009 with XX Merge.
Additionally, you can subscribe to Merge's "Or Thousands of Prizes" singles club where you get a new 7" on colored vinyl every month featuring 25 of the label's artists, including Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Mount Moriah, The Mountain Goats, The Clientele, Destroyer, King Khan & the Shrines, Lambchop, and more. Subscribers will also get a collector's box, t-shirt, a surprise bonus 12" single, new E-book version of The Merge Records Companion and first crack at Merge Fest tickets. You can still buy in.
There's also a Merge 25k road race on March 22 which runs from Chapel Hill to Durham and more fun stuff to be announced. They gave their website a nice redesign too. Looking good at a quarter century, Merge!
Merge Fest teaser videos below...
Festival Nrmal is back again for 2014 and has expanded to now include an all day concert in Mexico City on March 1 in addition to the multi-day fest in Monterrey (March 5 - 9). (That's right before SXSW.) Tickets are on sale now.
The Mexico City concert features Blood Orange, Silver Apples, Destroyer, Anika, Wolf Eyes, Merchandise, Pional and more.
The Monterrey line-up, as it stands, has Death, Pional, Perfect Pussy, Blue Hawaii, Pure X, Kelela, and more -- with more to be announced.
All announced bands and flyers below...
photos by PSquared Photography
Destroyer @ Bowery Ballroom
Destroyer's Five Spanish Songs EP will be in stores on Monday, but you can listen to it now via Hype Machine.Dan Bejar aka Destroyer brought his most recent tour to Bowery Ballroom in NYC on 11/10, and we have some pictures from that show in this post. More of them below...
Produced by JC/DC and recorded at their studio in Vancouver earlier this summer, Five Spanish Songs features musical contributions from Nicolas Bragg, David Carswell, John Collins, Stephen Hamm, and Josh Wells.