Check out Braids. The wonderful, artsy and dreamy shoegazers from Calgary (now Montreal, I guess) released their debut LP Native Tongues last month.
Special heads up to you folks in Seattle: Braids play @ Chop Suey on March 1.
I’ve included the video for “Plath Heart”. Also, below, I tacked on an embed of the debut single “Lemonade” (sorry, no video). Amazing. I can’t get enough of that song.
Vancouver - heads up. My buddy Chad “@Hillydilly” Hillard has a show lined up this Saturday night that you hiphop fans won’t want to miss. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are making the trip up from our lovely sister city of Seattle. Perhaps a relative unknown on our side of the line (at least for now, just you wait), Macklemore is becoming one of the frontrunners in Seattle’s burgeoning hiphop scene, backed by the production of Ryan Lewis.
Here are a few samples that you’ll like. The first is “My Oh My”, a 2011 single dedicated to the late Dave Niehaus, longtime broadcaster and voice of the Seattle Mariners. Not being a Seattle resident myself, I was unfamiliar with Dave Niehaus, and how tightly knit he was into the fabric of the city. It wasn’t until I attended a Seattle Seahawks football game, late in 2010, where I learned of his importance. During halftime a lengthy video montage was put together to pay respect to the passing of the famed broadcaster, and the stadium erupted with wistful nostalgia. Macklemore’s piece has since been cherished by the city.
Second, you better check out “The Town”, found on the 2009 LP The Unplanned Mixtape. This track shows love for the community of Seattle. You’ll feel it.
Again, this show is Saturday night w/ Grieves and Budo. It’s an early show, at Five Sixty Seymour. I’m serious about it being early. Doors open at 7, and the opening set starts at 7:30. Nab some of the few remaining tickets for only $20 - here. For more info from Hillydily, visit his blog - hillydilly.com. He’s going throwback and representing Arrested Development’s 2004 LP right now. Gotta love that.
No more talking. Here’s the music.
My Oh My:
I’m too Busy for Tumblr right now, but this is an emergency. Biggest music news of the week = NEW RADIOHEAD.
England’s alt-rock institution has done it again. Yesterday, they digitally released their latest work, The King of Limbs LP. In case you haven’t been following, Radiohead has gone independent, and as was with In Rainbows in 2007, this album is self-released. They’re releasing hard copies in March, and a special edition “newspaper album” in May, which is said to include over 600 small pieces of artwork, 2 vinyls, a CD, etc. Lots of loot for the superfans.
Here’s the video for the first single, “Lotus Flower”. Enjoy Thom Yorke giving his best weird-looking-and-mind-altered-Buster-Keaton.
Oh, hi Tumblr. Long time no see. Things have been busy. Thought I’d give you the heads up on Best Coast, a band from LA, fronted by the talented and lovely Bethany Cosentino. If you’re into floating summertime sounds of retro indie garage rock, you may like this single, “When I’m with You”, released as a 7” in 2009.
Best Coast has since received praise and exposure for their 2010 LP, Crazy For You. Feel free to give that a listen, too. But I think this is my favourite song so far.
This post is a little late, as Best Coast just played in Victoria last night (and I don’t think it sold out, either). You folks down in Portland can catch them tonight though, I believe. Enjoy.
Okay, okay, okay. I’ve been getting tweets, texts and emails asking about my thoughts on the announced lineup. I figured I’d get something up for all of you rabid Pacific Northwest music nerds. Sasquatch Launch Party went down in Seattle on Sunday night, and their big expanded 10th birthday bash is hurtling toward us at the speed of sound.
You get your tickets yet? Me neither. But I will! I promise. This will be my 3rd Sasquatch trip. I didn’t feel 2010 was as strong as my first Sasquatch experience in 2009, but perhaps that has a lot to do with the novelty of my first time at the Gorge, how many more people joined us on the trip, etc. The festival was pretty tough to beat though, with TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, Mos Def, St. Vincent, Erykah Badu, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santogold, Grizzly Bear, King Khan and the Shrines, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (now Brite Futures)… Zach Galifianakis… I could go on and on. :) But to be fair, 2010 was great too, and this looks to be great again in 2011. Nothing “TV-on-the-Radio-great”, but good.
It looks like the comedy aspect of the festival seems to still have holes in it. At least I hope that’s the case. Trailer Park Boys? Meh.
Before I get too gung-ho (am I supposed to hyphenate that?) on who’s my favourite, and who’s not, let me give you a link to the full lineup. Go to the official Sasquatch Festival site.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about who I can’t wait to see. This is a long list:
- Bright Eyes
- Local Natives
- Wolf Parade
- Aloe Blacc
- Modest Mouse
- Death From Above 1979
- Major Lazer
- Cold War Kids
- Matt & Kim
- White Denim
- The Antlers
- The Bronx
- Washed Out
- Basia Bulat
- Best Coast
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Second, how about who I can’t wait to see AGAIN:
- Black Mountain
- The Flaming Lips
- Death Cab for Cutie
- Surfer Blood
- Beach House
- The Drums
- Sleigh Bells
Artists I’ve heard good things about, but haven’t listened to much of yet:
- Flying Lotus
- Tokyo Police Club
- Mad Rad
- Twin Shadow
- Gold Panda
Who I’m not super keen on, but we’ll see:
- Foo Fighters (not sure they fit the feel of the festival, and do they still bring it?)
- K-os (seen him 3x already, and I haven’t really gotten behind his new stuff)
- Sam Roberts Band (saw him twice at festivals, not my favourite)
- The Decemberists (the new album is mediocre at best)
- City and Colour (girls seem to get this more than I do)
- Iron & Wine (see above - though I’ve only heard a couple songs, years ago)
- Das Racist (I have Sit Down, Man.. just never seem to get into it)
- Flogging Molly (another odd pick that doesn’t really fit in my mind)
- Bassnectar (not my scene)
Artists I realistically wish were on the roster (are you listening, Rifflandia? haha):
- Janelle Monae
- Lupe Fiasco
- Lauryn Hill
- The Cave Singers
- Darwin Deez
- The Knife
- Blue Scholars
- Lightning Dust
- Common Market
- Toro Y Moi
- Cut Copy
- Beach Fossils
- Small Black
- Little Dragon
- Omar Rodruiguez-Lopez
- Future Islands
If I haven’t mentioned a band, it’s likely because I haven’t heard much of them yet. I’m doing my best to get caught up. There you have it, an average read about an above average weekend.
If you’re in Vancouver, you should absolutely go see Tennis play tonight at the Media Club. @SalutAdam has his act together and he’s going. You should too.
Tennis is a trio (I think, sounds like a trio at least), though the focus of the group is husband and wife Patrick Riley and Alania Moore, at least from the interviews I’ve seen. They seem to be Tennis’ driving creative force. Their new LP, Cape Dory, features a foxed up Alania Moore on the cover, putting the vibe out.
The video for the single of the same name, (“Cape Dory”, for those not paying attention). Is a fun, lighthearted and whimsical track. The washed out retro imagery of the video is great too… has the feel of old California family movies, or something. Which is a little surprising, as the group is from Denver. Anyway, enjoy.
This album is great. Darwin Deez (actually Darwin Smith, but hey) is the lead of a New York indie rock group that has started making waves on their West Coast tour. They recently played dates in both Vancouver and Seattle with Fol Chen. If you made it to the show, nice work. I wish I could have joined.
Darwin Deez reminds me of the folk side of Beck… the guitar/drums reminds me of the Strokes a little, mildly reminiscent of Ben Folds lyrically (especially on “Bad Day”), and I’m not sure what else I’m recognizing or feeling when I hear the album, but it’s good… whatever it is. I’m going to share a couple tracks from the album. And yes, Darwin Deez looks the way he looks. I’m not sure what to say about it. Sorry? Haha.
Constellations (official video):
Radar Detector (official video):
Bad Day (live in studio for BreakThruRadio):
This post is a little behind schedule (as is my upcoming Darwin Deez entry), as I was intending to get word out on these artists before they passed through Vancouver/Seattle last week. They were on tour together, and the shows would have been good to see - I’m sure of it.
Fol Chen is an LA group that debuted in 2009. This song, “In Ruins”, is found on their 2010 LP Part II: The New December. I first heard of them on Seattle’s Vera Project website of all places, as I was curious about what was on the horizon for Seattle music. I could write more, but I’d prefer it if you just listened to the song already.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of Sleigh Bells or not. They’re a distorted, loud pop duo from Brooklyn, who made late 2009 noise (literally) with their indie demotape single “Crown on the Ground.” Pitchfork and other major outlets gave it love, and they ended up getting signed by MIA’s label. I think I first caught wind of them on Twitter from @MrDonaldGlover (no, not Danny Glover), though I can’t be sure.
I also got a chance to see them play last year in Vancouver at the Commodore - they opened for Yeasayer (click for a blurb I wrote on them). Excellent show, for sure.
They’ve finally released the song “Rill Rill” as a single. It was on their 2010 LP Treats, and has always been my favourite song of theirs to date. Long overdue, in my mind. I’ve included the video below for your listening/viewing pleasure. I must confess something though, for the longest time I thought this song was called “Ring, Ring”… thought wrong.
Before we get to that though, I’d like to point out that the centerpiece of this song is a sample from Funkadelic’s “Can You Get To That”, found on their 1971 classic LP Maggot Brain. This same album also happens to have one of my favourite album covers of all time. I’ve also embedded this, below, so you can listen and compare. Takes away from the magic of Sleigh Bells, a lot.
Sleigh Bells: “Rill Rill”:
Funkadelic: “Can You Get to That”:
One of the many artists I’ve been meaning to get on here and talk about is a band from the Baltimore area called Future Islands. They released an LP last year called In Evening Air, and it is something I keep making my way back to. If you’ve never heard of these guys, check them out. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to be miffed by the vocals at first, especially on “Tin Man”. But give it time and let it take shape. I have a hunch you’ll really dig it. I’m going to start by embedding the video for “Long Flight”, my favourite song on the disc, but unfortunately there isn’t an official video I can find. Nothing in studio or anything. Oh well. There is an official vid for “Tin Man”. Enjoy.
“Long Flight” (no official video, but this is hilarious):
“Tin Man” (official video):
Well, tomorrow’s Friday, and I’m doing the same thing all of you are probably doing - going to the Ukrainian Cultural Center for their world famous “Ukrainian Supper”, then heading down to Lucky Bar to see Top Less Gay Love Tekno Party.
First thing’s first… the dinner. What’s it all about, you ask? Well, it’s a beastly cafeteria-style pierogie dinner. It’s insanely busy, parking is impossible, the waits are long, seating is scarce, it isn’t cheap, and the food is average, sure. But who cares? It’s dynamite.
Then, mega funtimes. TLGLTP is for real, get out and see them. I’m not even sure if you can buy recordings of their music anywhere… they did have an EP at one point, and I heard things of an LP to be recorded, but I haven’t seen much of either online. But maybe that’s on purpose, as there’s no substitute for seeing these characters put on a show in person. It’s something from a dream. Like, if David Bowie’s “Starman”, after wanting to meet us for all these years but fearing he’d blow our minds, finally just gave in and rocked our shoes and socks off.
Here’s a sample of what you’re in for:
This is not a very accurate representation of their live set at all (aside from their getup), but it does show how good they are:
Tickets are $17 at Ditch. Go already.
Or, you could just stay in and rent A League of Their Own. “May our balls be plentiful.”
Still reading? Geez. Well, if you have a minute, go check out their Wikipedia page. Ridiculous. According to Wikipedia, they’ve received shout-outs from the Wall Street Journal, and their band’s featured instrument is the “skin flute”. Nice, guys. Real nice.
Guys, here’s another free track you gotta get off your butt and go get. For real. Go.
MNDR, or Amanda Warner, is not only vocally amazing, she’s also a nerdy melodic synth jam party hero. If you haven’t heard this track of hers - “Bang Bang Bang” - found on the 2010 LP Record Collection by Mark Ronson & The Business International, and featuring Q-Tip… you need to get your act together.
She can’t be given all the credit though. Her awesomeness is polished nicely by the fit and finish of producer Peter Wade.
Anyway, this new single is free to download. Go get it,over here at greenlabelsound.com (see the download link, lower right? Yep).
Here’s some discussion about the track and the composition process:
The song in all its glory:
So, the Coachella 2011 lineup was announced. Unless this is your very first web experience since the weekend, you’re probably well aware of this. If not, go to Coachella.com and admire it. Pretty amazing roster. I’m not going to go into too much detail about how I feel about it, but feel free to read my tweets on the topic:
And, here’s a reply tweet addressing criticism of not listing Interpol… if you feel so inclined.
So, I’ve kind of gone off track a bit here, let me right the ship. It seems the web has been abuzz with the idea that Death from Above 1979 is back, and playing Coachella. Is that something that warrants buzz? Sure it is. But the thing I can’t help but be excited about is the fact that Lauryn Hill might actually be back too, hopefully for good. She was at Rock the Bells and involved in varioius other projects last year, yes, but she has seemed to emerge a few times since her disappearance from the limelight at the turn of the century. Each time, only briefly, and usually only long enough to stir up controversy. I certainly hope she’s back to stay.
Not only is Lauryn Hill one of the centerpieces of the neo-soul movement, but as far as hiphop goes, I can honestly say she is one of my favourite emcees. Who can forget her 1998 LP The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Not I. Not you, either, if you’re one of the 18 million people that bought the album. It was a landmark. She became the first female musician ever to be nominated for 10 Grammy awards in a single year. And, the first female musician ever to win 5 in one night. First woman ever to do either of those things, and to do them both at once. Take a moment to think about all of the amazing women of music over the years, and understand just how profound that is.
So, for this reason, the prospect of a Lauryn Hill comeback has me much more interested than a Death from Above 1979 reformation. I’ll leave you with her classic, “Doo Wop (That Thing). I love everything about this song.
Fun Fact: though Hill was a Fugee, she wasn’t a ‘fugee. She’s from Jersey.
Free EP. Go download this. Yes, free. Sabzi is the brains behind the production of the Blue Scholars and Common Market, and has done some collaboration with Cali/Philly vocalist Kelsey Bulkin. Together, they have put together the EP Winter Pigeons (songs to raise your dead spirits).
The lead track, titled “Skylark Interabang?!” samples the lovely piano piece that leads Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise LP, on the song “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois.” Rather than building from piano to the fluttering woodwinds, Sabzi layers on some light percussions, then Kelsey’s voice takes center stage. It’s beautiful. Give it a listen. The following track, “All of the Places”, picks up right where the first leaves off. So good. Did I mention this was a FREE EP?! Free. Yeah. Free. Go get it. Click here to download (see the big, blue “Free Download” link? That’s the one).
Big thanks to Chad over at Hillydilly for giving me a heads up on this project. I know he’s a huge Sabzi/Blue Scholars fan too, and if he didn’t speak up on this project I may have never heard it. Thanks buddy.
British alt-rockers The Longcut are a pretty interesting listen. They spent most of their early work as instrumental band (as their singer had left early on), known around the UK for their melodic and experimental material, and the energy of their shows.
Their drummer eventually took over the vocals, and when they pressed their first EP in 2004, Transition, it blew up almost instantly. The limited run sold out, and they found themselves playing at SXSW (Austin, TX super-festival), and getting to work on an LP to be released later in 2006, called A Call and Response. The record was produced by Andrew Sitek of one of my favourite groups, TV on the Radio.
Here’s the track that took off on their debut EP. “Transition.” Enjoy.