Cut/Copy

January 27, 2011

Among the various indie outfits making danceable rock music over the last several years, Melbourne’s electro-synth-pop band Cut/Copy and their album, In Ghost Colours, immediately stood out from the increasingly populated crowd of LCD/Daft Punk proteges.

Dan Whitford et al return on Feb 8, with their third record, Zonoscope, which again aims to strike the perfect balance between band and DJ. Cut/Copy play NYC’s Terminal 5 April 1 and 2. They play the 9:30 Club in DC on March 29, and the Trocadero in Philadelphia on March 31.

Listen: “Need You Now” from Zonoscope, available from Modular Records

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Hercules & Love Affair

January 25, 2011

Blue Songs, the eagerly awaited sophomore album from discotheque champions Hercules & Love Affair is streaming at The Guardian.

Hercules leader Andrew Butler is the man who teamed up with Antony Hegarty and DFA Records to produce 2008’s “Blind,” the pinnacle of the recent electronic indie disco house phenomenon.

Listen: “My House” – from Blue Songs, available from Moshi Moshi Records on January 31

“My House” remixed by Stopmakingme

“My House” remixed by Hercules and Love Affair

Matt & Kim

January 23, 2011

The always lovable Matt & Kim have gone from food fights to fist fights with their latest video offering for “Cameras,” from their newest album Sidewalks. The video has everything one could ever want from MTV: fake blood, a kick drum pedal to the crotch shot, and people breaking through practice space walls via “Walk This Way.”

It’s an unconventional take on domestic conflict resolution that is sure to raise some eyebrows, though in the end a harmonious tag-team assault on some unsuspecting neighboring band wins the day.

Matt & Kim are on tour in Australia, and then in Europe through the spring. Sidewalks is out now on Fader Label.

Matt & Kim – Cameras (Mike D Remix)

Portlandia

January 23, 2011

Portland Dream of the 90’s

Indie-rock dynamic duo Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein have moved their hilarious ThunderAnt project forward to IFC with Portlandia, a sincere and comical celebration of Portland, “a city where young people go to retire.”

Armisen and Brownstein take us on a tour of 90’s nostalgia, a time when the Pacific Northwest was the epicenter of a musical movement in which Nirvana would displace Michael Jackson on the top of the Billboard charts and Alternative music would earn its own Grammy category.

During the millenium’s final throes, Armisen was playing insane drums in Chicago’s angular and spastic Trenchmouth, and Brownstein was doing riot grrl guitar windmills as a part of Olympia’s seminal Sleater-Kinney.

You can watch Trenchmouth perform “The Volcanic Action of My Soul” at Emo’s in Austin, and Sleater-Kinney perform “One More Hour” from 1997’s Dig Me Out, during an in-store Tower Records performance in SoHo. Proof actual record stores once existed.

So pull out the Case Logic and import your 90’s favorites records to your iTunes library. You can twitter about sharing them on a torrent via your smart phone. Just don’t forget your Doc Martens. LOL 🙂

Invisible Songs vol. 18

February 13, 2009

Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band

It’s your lucky day.
Some excellent music for your enjoyment…

1. Cymbals Eat Guitars – “Wind Phoenix

2. The Thermals – “Now We Can See
(Kill Rock Stars)

3. Bon Iver – “Blood Bank
(Jagjaguwar Records)

4. Vetiver – “Everyday
(Subpop Records)

5. Say Hi – “November was White, December was Grey
(Barsuk Records)

6. M Ward – “Never Had Nobody Like You
(Merge Records)

7. Mt St. Helens Vietnam Band – “Anchors Dropped
(Dead Oceans)

8. Throw Me The Statue – “Purpleface
(Secretly Canadian)

9. Crooked Fingers – “Phony Revolutions
(Constant Artists Inc./Red Pig)

10. Antony and the Johnsons – “Epilepsy is Dancing
(Secretly Canadian)

Gil Scott-Heron

February 12, 2009

The influential poet-musician, Gil Scott-Heron, performed updated versions of his now classic repertoire before an eclectic and enthused crowd Wednesday night at New York’s S.O.B’s. Mr. Scott-Heron is perhaps best known for his ground-breaking spoken-word, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which ignited a generation (or two) of aspiring slam-poets, and continues to inform the best music of the current hip-hop literati, such as Common Sense, Mos Def and Kanye West.

The evening began with Mr. Scott-Heron opening with a monologue about Black History month and his efforts to move the month to May, due to several comical complaints in dealing with February. Perhaps this was a light counter to his more somber lyrical content, though nothing can be taken too lightly coming from a man who, with Stevie Wonder, helped advance the creation of the national Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

Musically, Mr. Scott-Heron sounded a bit more gruff, (we might call this older and wiser) and has thusly surrounded himself with an array of top-notch performers as his band (particularly on keys and bass). His songs retained all of the potency and relevance as when they were written, their lyrical content ranging from war to substance abuse to being down across this country.

Despite the dark topics touched on by Mr. Scott-Heron’s set, which included new takes on the popular, “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” “Winter in America,” and “The Bottle,” each of these songs were presented with a more positive swing, perhaps owing a faster more up-beat tempo. The latter song, which closed the set, was even referred to as a celebration. Mr. Scott-Heron, who is well known for infusing his music with a political edge, reinforced the feel-good atmosphere with comments alluding to the change of seasons in America, though never mentioning our newly elected President by name.

Gil Scott-Heron and his band play S.O.B.’s again tonight. He reports having negotiated a new record deal with XL Recordings, which will feature both new and updated older songs.


The Bottle

Los Campesinos!

December 1, 2008

Not sure how the Welsh infiltrated my high school diary, but these fine young folks have made the emo album that played in my head through much of 1997. Who needs a Cap’n Jazz reunion, when you’ve got We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed? Los Campesinos! have the unique ability to make me feel vibrantly young and violently old at the same time.
(Er, thanks?)

Los Campesinos! – “International TweeXcore Underground”

Listen: “Miserabilia” from the new Los Campesinos! album, We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed, is out now on Arts and Crafts.