Check out this new bass heavy, Danger Mouse produced-track from garage rockers, the Black Keys. “Tighten Up”: here.
Brothers, recorded mostly at the famed Muscle Schoals Alabama studio, will be released May 18 on Nonesuch Records.
Vampire Weekend’s second album hits stores January 12, but here are my initial thoughts on the album after a few listens.
When Ezra Koenig sings the line “Here comes the feeling you thought you’d forgotten” on the opening track “Horchata,” we are once again reminded that Vampire Weekend haven’t lost their knack at borrowing from the past and writing a bouncy pop melody.
Like their 2008 self-titled debut, Vampire Weekend sticks to its afro-pop cleanliness by clinging to finely orchestrated string arrangements, tribal drum beats, and accessible vocals that instantly leave the listener hitting repeat. This time around, VW knows what they are capable of and seem to have fun crafting their Graceland anthems with confidence. A sped-up rocker dashed with Auto-Tune like “California English” shows their willingness to branch out and experiment, but it is their tried and true that shines. “Cousins” is the first single off the album and is an unmistakable “A-Punk” rocker that’s probably going to get killed with airplay overplay.
“Diplomat’s Son,” opens with a simple care-free electronic beat, a background vocal sample from M.I.A. and a string ensemble, making way for an undeniably cool entrance for Koenig to rhyme. It slowly builds to a hook that dances brightly around a piano and drum backbeat. The song feels so relaxed and works well because nothing feels forced, out of place or over-produced.
It is without question that part of Vampire Weekend’s appeal is Koenig’s lyrical prowess–he rhymes the unthinkable and delivers with such confidence.
Despite the lack of consistent flow, after three listens (the album only clocks in at 37 minutes), I really like what I’ve heard so far: clean, smart pop-music.
The album can be streamed in full on NPR here.
Thom Yorke debuted his new solo band (which features Red Hot Chili Pepper’s bassist Flea) in Los Angeles this past weekend at the Orpheum (plus a rehearsal at the Echoplex nightclub), performing his 2006 solo album “The Eraser,” in its entirety, plus 7 new songs. One of those new songs–“Lotus Flower”–has already moved into Radiohead material territory. Now word has it that Yorke and crew will be reconvening at their Oxfordshire studio this winter to record sessions for a new Radiohead album. Guitarist Ed O’Brien told NME that the band would “definitely” have a record ready for release by next year. Despite their digital fascination, O’Brien insisted that the new record would be pressed to vinyl and CD, regardless if it came out digitally-ala “In Rainbows.”
Radiohead recently released a free download of the one-off track, “These are My Twisted Words,” which probably won’t appear on the album–according to O’Brien.
Click the link below to check out the first track off Vampire Weekend’s forthcoming album entitled “Contra.” The influences of Paul Simon and African-pop still permeate their sound strongly. Hear for yourself:
10/6 – Montreal, QC Le National
10/8 – Toronto, ON Horseshoe Tavern
10/15 – London, UK King’s College
10/22 – Paris, FR Nouveau Casino
11/02 – Long Beach, CA The Art Theater
11/05 – Pioneertown, CA Pappy and Harriet’s
11/07 – Lafayette, CA Town Hall Theatre
11/08 – Santa Cruz, CA Catalyst
11/09 – Visalia, CA The Cellar Door
11/10 – San Luis Obispo, CA Downtown Brew
11/12 – Bakersfield, CA Chencho’s
11/14 – Lomita, CA VFW Hall
11/17 – Tokyo, JAP Tokyo Unit
11/21 – Sydney, AUS Oxford Art Factory
On Sept. 30, Third Man Records made a post on their “vault” page announcing the release of their next round of limited-edition vinyl albums and goodies.
The meat of the release is a 2008 Raconteurs performance recorded in London, which is pressed to two 180-gram vinyl. Also being included in the package is a 7″ White Stripes single of alternate takes of”Let’s Shake Hands” and “Look Me Over Closely.” “Let’s Shake Hands” was the first 7″ single released by the Detroit duo back in March 1998 during a limited pressing of 1,000 red-clear vinyl. There were subsequent 1,000-copy pressings in 2002 (black vinyl) and 2008 (with stenciled cover art by original artist Dion Fischer.)
Lastly, the second installment package will include a Rob Jones-designed Dead Weather screen print. Also to the appeasement of many fans, Third Man Records will be overhauling their shipping practices after many fans complained of bent records from round one.
Your turntable still lives on.
Phish’s 14th studio album, “Joy,” released Sept. 12 debuted at #13 on the Billboard top 200 chart. The album was recorded in New York City and was produced by acclaimed producer, Steve Lillywhite.
Phish’s 1996 album, “Billy Breathes,” peaked at #7 on the Billboard 200. 1998’s “The Story of the Ghost” hit #8, and 2000’s “Farmhouse” hit #12.
The vinyl Gods have spoken: Icky Thump mixed in mono arrived in my mail box today–and what a treat Jack White III has given all those devotees who signed up for this Third Man Records platinum “record club.”
The initial offering also came with an exclusive “From the Vault” Dead Weather “Forever My Queen”/”Outside” 7″, as well as a Third Man Records t-shirt.
Icky Thump (except for a few of the raw power-blues tunes) is probably my least favorite of White Stripes albums, but side four on vinyl album sounds stellar, especially the acoustics of “Effect and Cause.”
In the same vain as the Sub-Pop Records singles club, copies of this mono mix are already showing up on ebay for $50 and upwards. The membership cost $60 for 3 months worth of exclusive vinyl goodies.
Like the company slogan says, “Your turntable is not Dead.”
|A1||Icky Thump (4:14)|
|A2||You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As Your Told) (3:54)|
|A3||300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues (5:28)|
|B2||Bone Broke (3:14)|
|B3||Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn (3:05)|
|B4||St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air) (1:49)|
|C1||Little Cream Soda (3:45)|
|C2||Rag And Bone (3:48)|
|C3||I’m Slowly Turning Into You (4:34)|
|D1||A Martyr For My Love For You (4:19)|
|D2||Catch Hell Blues (4:18)|
|D3||Effect And Cause (3:00)|
Bob Dylan, along with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp will embark on a minor league ball park tour (similar to Dylan’s 2004 summer baseball outing) beginning July 2 in Illinois and wrapping up August 15 in Calinfornia. Pre-sale tickets go onsale April 27 through bobdylan.com and are all priced at $67.50–most of which are general admission.
For a complete list of the dates and pre-sale information, visit bobdylan.com
Dylan’s newest record, “Together Through Life,” will be released Tuesday April 28.
I wrote about it on March 14, and today Phish.com has confirmed it! Phish will be playing Fenway Park on May 31. You can enter the ticket lottery here, which ends Sunday April 12 at midnight. Tickets will then go onsale to the general public beginning April 17. Tickets are $49.50.
For a special Fenway/Phish video honoring the announcement of the event go here.
In other news, opening day at Fenway today was a soggy mess and is postponed until tomorrow at 4.
Wilco’s upcoming concert film “Ashes of American Flags” was shot in Tulsa, Nashville, Washingon, D.C., and New Orleans during their 2008 tour. The DVD will be released April 18 and is now available for pre-order, but here’s a small glimpse of the film (directed and produced by the same duo that did Tweedy’s solo DVD “Sunken Treasure.”)
The film will also be screened in the following cities: Missoula, San Francisco, Chicago, East Lansing, Sarasota, Boulder, Seattle, Nashville and Columbus. For full details go here.
The film was show in HD and includes the following tracks: Ashes of American Flags / Side with the Seeds / Handshake Drugs / The Late Greats / Kingpin / Wishful Thinking / Impossible Germany / Via Chicago / Shot in the Arm / Monday / You Are My Face / Heavy Metal Drummer / War on War / I’m the Man Who Loves You / Airline to Heaven / It’s Just that Simple / At Least That’s What you Said / I am Trying to Break your Heart / Theologians / Hate it Here