Purity Ring

April 27, 2011

Purity Ring is the duo of Megan James and Corin Roddick from Gobble Gobble; they have nothing to do with the Jonas Brothers. Their song “Ungirthed” is a hyper-addictive pop-dubstep sort of affair that sounds channeled from a sweetly futuristic broadcast originating lightyears away… a future in which actual purity rings have long been smelted away from memory.

The Ungirthed 7″ is out now on Transparent records.

A-side: Purity Ring – Ungirthed

B-side: Purity Ring – Lofticries

Purity Ring – Ungirthed (Christian AIDS Remix)

Wild Flag

April 18, 2011

Mary Timony (Helium), Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) and Rebecca Cole (The Minders) have combined forces to create Wild Flag. The four women have had various overlapping musical projects, tours and shows for quite some time (Brownstein + Timony = The Spells, Weiss + Cole = part of The Shadow Mortons).

Read Carrie’s All Songs Considered NPR Blog Post for a brief explanation of how the band came about here. Their album is slated to be released some time soon on Merge Records, and you can listen below to “Glass Tambourine” from a single recently released for Record Store Day.

Wild Flag – “Glass Tambourine”

Chain & The Gang

March 2, 2011

The latest iteration of the evolving persona of Ian Svenonius, the one time Sassy Magazine‘s “Sassiest Boy in America,” is Chain, of Chain & The Gang. Chain is currently spreading the word regarding the detrimental effects of liberty on civilization through a serious unserious, reverently irreverent version of the blues, complete with his charismatic spoken-sung lyrics and occasional Prince-like outbursts.

Svenonius, of course, is the always energetic, enigmatic and entertaining former singer of the late great Nation of Ulysses, as well as The Cupid Car Club, The Make Up and Weird War. (He is also the author of The Psychic Soviet and host of the online interview show, Soft Focus.) In reference to his previous projects, Chain & The Gang are most similar to The Make Up and their Gospel Yeh-Yeh Sound, and shares much of his former band’s appeal.

Svenonius seems at home fronting this new outfit: back on stage dressed in a retro-fit suit, his band members in old-fashioned prison stripes. His antics are as deadpan and convincing as ever, a testament to his unique brand of outsider ethos and his ability to remain in character (?) for two decades. (Too bad the critics at the NY Times don’t quite get it.) Chain & The Gang’s latest album, Music’s Not For Everyone, is out now on K Records.

Watch: Chain & The Gang – Youth Is Wasted/Living Rough

The New Pornographers

February 24, 2011

The REAL Pornographers

I am sure that Canadian super-group The New Pornographers have a tough time coordinating schedules. That’s the trouble with being ultra-productive and creative, I guess. Too many solo careers! Too many side projects!

So when it comes to shooting a video for new material, why not pick a bunch of other celebrities who aren’t actually in the band, but who also likely have insane schedules, and have them film a fake movie trailer for a made-up movie? (Complete with an additional fake promo for another fake movie?) Sure! Pure genius.

Watch Tom Scharpling’s clever take on The New Pornographers and “Moves,” from their latest offering, Together, out now on Matador Records. It features a laundry list of funny people cameos including: Jon Wurster, Julie Klausner, Kevin Corrigan, Wyatt Cenac, Horatio Sanz, Ted Leo, John Hodgman, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Todd Barry, Donald Glover, Esther Crowe, Michael Lisk, Gabe Delahaye, Max Silvestri, Jay Norton, David Rosenblatt, Terre T., Anna Copacabana, Rob Cuthill, Brian Turner, Alex Scordelis, Jonathan Fernandez, Therese Mahler, Candace Mills, Christina Stanley, Christine Tadler, Owinema Biu, Chris Spooner, and Jacob Wolk.

Watch: The New Pornographers – “Moves”

Then, read Pitchfork’s interview with director Tom Scharpling.

NB: Expectant Dads plot synopsis. Hilarious.

Kanye West

February 24, 2011

Love to hate him. Hate to love him. The talented and outspoken Kanye West’s most recent offering, My Dark Twisted Fantasy, has raised some eyebrows since its release with its cover, its perfect 10 rating on Pitchfork, and its accompanying long-form video for “Runaway.” Sure the whoopla has been next to nothing compared to past Presidential accusations or award show microphone stealing moments on national television, but nonetheless, random shit keeps public opinion divided on Kanye.

The latest in the mini-saga of stupidness happens to be the new video for the song, “All of the Lights.” The song itself is one of the standout tracks on the album, maybe bested only by “POWER.” The video in question is directed by Hype Williams, who apparently is a big Gaspar Noe fan.

And the controversies continue! As in: Can anyone actually hear all (any more than two) of the guest artists credited on the song? Does Enter the Void actually merit an homage in the first place, and if so, does this qualify? As you ponder away, searching for meaning in the machine, here’s a suggestion:

If you haven’t seen the original video, watch it here. (Though it seems to have been largely wiped from the free flowing internet at this point, you shouldn’t deny yourself your daily dose of Rihanna’s hotness). Then, I suggest playing the intro to Enter the Void on mute (below), with this handy-dandy sort of grime-dubstep-esque remix of “All of the Lights” playing along (way below). A perfect compromise for both lovers and haters.

Watch: Enter the Void (Gaspar Noe)… loop it twice.

Listen: “All of the Lights” (Dubstep remix)

TV on the Radio

February 23, 2011

Signs of life and creative good health from Brooklyn’s TV on the Radio: a new track from their newest album, Nine Types of Light. The new record will reportedly be out on April 12 via Interscope Records.

Listen: TV on the Radio – “Will Do”

PJ Harvey

February 21, 2011

PJ Harvey’s eighth record, Let England Shake, is out now. Hallelujah. It’s an eerily beautiful rumination on a world at war written over the last several years, reflecting both our current and past bloodied status as a civilization at large. One might file it under the category of an important work from an important artist. (Just a guess.)

Once again, Harvey is accompanied by her long-time compatriots John Parish and Mick Harvey, but on the record Harvey finds a new voice and affinity for autoharp among other things, which makes the record stand out from much of her already extraordinary catalogue. Listen and be moved.

Watch: “Let England Shake”

Watch: “The Words That Maketh Murder”