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Saturday, September 27, 2008

TV ON THE RADIO - 'Dancing Choose'

TV on the Radio's latest album Dear Science is in serious contention for album of the year honors, and what better way to celebrate this stellar effort than by presenting the album's second video? "Dancing Choose" is the raucous, horn-laden third track on the spectacular third proper album from the Brooklyn collective.

I absolutely love this album and highly recommend it to anyone reading this. Expect Dear Science to appear on many, if not all year-end lists come December.

TV on the Radio - Dancing Choose (music video)

Friday, September 26, 2008

MOGWAI - The Hawk is Howling

Prior to listening to The Hawk is Howling, I heard “The Sun Smells Too Loud” for the first time and immediately got really excited. The track takes the band in a refreshing new direction, sprinkling sharp key changes and euphoric keyboards around their trademark epic rock sound. The result is a gorgeous and uplifting anthem of sorts; sun-drenched and glowing with a new promise. Mogwai have certainly dappled with the idea of electronic music in the past, but this experiment is the most exciting and captivating moment on the album. I just wish the track were more definitive of the rest of the disc as a whole.

With Hawk…, Mogwai re-team with early producer Andy Miller (Young Team) for the first time since 1998 and the results are intriguing. Completely instrumental, the album finds the band teetering between the familiar landscapes of their back catalog and a hesitant hint at what they might sound like in the future.

The album opens with the beautiful piano epic “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead”, thematically recalling 1999’s Come On Die Young tracks “Punk Rock/Puff Daddy/Antichrist” and “Punk Rock”, the latter of which sampled a notorious speech by Iggy Pop from the 70’s. Whether it be rock stars, cowboys, Satan, or even Jesus Christ, Mogwai seem obsessed with the idolatry of dramatic icons-a concept that works for them, as “Morrison” is one of the finer compositions here.

The blistering rocker “Batcat” follows with an aggressive vigilance, kicking the album into a compelling and highly promising first act. But things start sounding more and more familiar on tracks like the melancholic “Local Authority”, an ominous and complacent meditation, which again revisits the reminiscent tone of Come On Die Young. Tracks like “Danphe and The Brain” and “Kings Meadow”, while easy on the ear, come off as less interesting versions of older Mogwai songs and are ultimately forgettable.

The band fares much better with the languorous beauty of the humorously titled “I Love You, I’m Going To Blow Up Your School” and the searing urgency of “Scotland’s Shame”. The atmospheric “Thank You Space Expert” drifts along for nearly eight minutes in a lethargic haze, seamlessly capturing the essence of what it might feel like to float aimlessly in outer space. “The Precipice” serves as the album’s magnum opus closer. Mind-splitting guitars wage war against each other in a blazing, post-apocalyptic grande finale, something Mogwai have genuinely perfected and moderately improved upon over the years.

But despite a handful of inspired moments, The Hawk is Howling seems like another transitional album not unlike the prior effort, 2006’s Mr. Beast. Those expecting this to be the brilliant album in which Mogwai perfect the next logical step in their evolving sound might be mildly disappointed. While they respectfully remain a relevant force in the last decade of alternative music, it may be time for them to dive off of that comfortable “precipice”.

-Scot Bowman

Originally published at

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

DJs N' Rockstars - Supreme Trading Friday

-Awesome New Republic

DJs N' Rockstars is being presented by Scion and will feature a really hot lineup, including Miami electro-rock duo Awesome New Republic, as well as NY crunk stylists Murdertronics, Milwaukee electro-house duo The Glamour, and DJ sets by Klever, Cobra Krames and Will Roan of Amazing Baby. This is a free event at Supreme Trading in Williamsburg, Friday night 9pm - 4am. With all these awesome acts, this is guaranteed to be the hottest party in Brooklyn on Friday.

Set times:

9:00 PM - Will Roan of Amazing Baby (DJ Set)
10:30 PM - The Glamour
12:00 AM - Awesome New Republic
12:00 AM - Murdertronics (In the Bar Room)
12:30 AM - Klever
2:30 AM - Cobra Krames

Supreme Trading
213 N. 8th St.
Brooklyn, NY 11211


Last night Roseland Ballroom was the hottest place to be, not only in New York, but in the whole world. It is truly a Godsend that Kevin Shields reunited the original members of My Bloody Valentine for their first tour in 16 years. I feel especially lucky to have witnessed this epic return to the stage by one of the greatest bands of my lifetime. The 90 minute set (the first of two sold out nights at Roseland) was absolutely mesmerizing. From the captivating opener "I Only Said" to the mind-altering 20 minute wall-of-sound climax, this was an astounding show. Every song seemed to be a highlight, but some of those included ferocious and devastating renditions of classic tracks like "Only Shallow", "Soon", and "When You Sleep".

The previously mentioned wall-of-sound climax was unreal. With earplugs firmly intact, I felt like I was the guy at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey - traveling at light speed, trying to catch my breath and feeling the rumble of sound in every single part of my body, for twenty minutes. It was madness, like I was starting to lose my mind! Sensory overload in the most amazing way possible.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

ATP NY Underway, Live Radio Stream

All Tomorrow's Parties New York is well underway. For those of you (like me) who are sad you couldn't make it upstate for the weekend to catch the incredible lineup, you can still listen to many of the bands performances via a live stream at Expected highlights of the weekend include Harmonia, Low, Yo La Tengo, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Dinosaur Jr., Mogwai, Fuck Buttons, and of course My Bloody Valentine (who also play Roseland Ballroom in NYC on Monday night).

In related news...

Harmonia, the German krautrock supergroup that was formed in the 70's by Michael Rother (Kraftwerk/Neu!) and Hans-Joachim Roedelius/Dieter Mobius (Cluster), are playing (le) Poisson Rouge on Monday night. White Williams will open the show.

Yo La Tengo have released the new compilation They Shoot, We Score collects compositions made for four different films, including Junebug and Shortbus. You can purchase the compilation here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

THOSE DANCING DAYS - 'Home Sweet Home'

Swedish girl group Those Dancing Days are just the most adorable thing ever. TDD originally grabbed my attention upon the release of previous single "Hitten". Now, the debut LP In Our Space Hero Suits finally drops October 7th via Wichita Recordings, with the new single "Home Sweet Home" available September 30th.

Check out the really cute video for "Home Sweet Home"...

In Our Space Hero Suits track list:

1. Knights in Mountain Fox Jackets
2. Falling in Fall
3. I Know Where You Live
4. Run Run
5. Hitten
6. Actionman
7. Shuffle
8. Home Sweet Home
9. Duet Under Waters
10. Kids
11. Those Dancing Days
12. Spaceherosuits

New VIVIAN GIRLS Video - 'Tell the World'

For those of you who have wanted to get your hands on a copy of the Vivian Girls' sold out debut LP, you will finally get your chance. The album will be re-released September 30th via In the Red Records. In conjunction with the release, Vivian Girls have made an official video for the standout track "Tell the World". Very low budget and simple, the girls showcase their deadpan humor against a green screen, driving (and playing) their way into the woods.

BOAT - 'Topps'

Boat are an awesome indie band from Seattle who have garnered a devoted fanbase after two LP's. With a third album in the pipeline, Boat dropped the Topps 7" earlier this summer and I have grown quite fond of the adorable title track. You can grab it over at worms vs. birds.

More info on Boat here.


Heloise and the Savoir Faire are a super fun NYC based band with buckets of charisma to spare. Their official debut LP Trash, Rats & Microphones was released last spring on Elijah Wood's label Simian Records (a division of Yep Roc). Stream various tracks here.

The latest single "Illusions" also has an entertaining new music video. Check it out...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

TV ON THE RADIO - 'Golden Age'

"Golden Age" is the first single and video from TV on the Radio's latest album Dear Science, due September 22nd on Interscope. Various tracks from the album are now streaming here. On first listen I'm really digging it. Check out the brand new video via Spinner.

STUDIO - Yearbook 2

It would be natural to compare Yearbook 2 to its 2007 predecessor, Studio's debut release Yearbook 1. After all, the title does imply “sequel”. But rather, Yearbook 2 consists solely of seven remixes completed by the duo in the last year, resulting in a cohesive long-player that almost convinces you that it is actually an album of original material. In fact, these “remixes” are more like covers (or "versions" as the liner notes state).

Studio are Dan Lissvik and Rasmus Hagg from Gothenberg, Sweden, a region not typically associated with island sounds and tropical landscapes. But that is exactly what Yearbook 2 offers-Balearic seaside music, rich with gorgeous melodic guitars and unobtrusive disco beats.

The album kicks off with a radical interpretation of “Brown Piano” by London’s A Mountain of One. The track is transformed into a sprawling, space age, chill-flamenco opus and is nearly unrecognizable when played back to back with the original. The “Possible Remake” of Shout Out Louds’ “Impossible” maintains its pop origin, successfully layered with uplifting acoustic guitars and a more pronounced dance edge.

The gorgeous take on "Room Without a Key" by The Rubies is a dreamy, atmospheric meditation, perfectly suited for watching a sunset on a beautiful beach in the tropics. Things get darker on "Escape From Chinatown", originally by Brooklyn DJ Brennan Green. The track fuses a sinister synth crunch with the trademark Studio acoustic guitars and at times recalls the minimalist electronic sounds of Kraftwerk.

With Kylie Minogue’s “2 Hearts”, the grand glam-rock sound is stripped away completely, replaced (again) with acoustic guitars and a slowed-down, sultry beat. The reincarnation is remarkable, resulting in a sound far more Studio than Kylie and vastly more interesting than the original.

For a remix album, Yearbook 2 is hugely satisfying, constantly pushing the boundaries of modern remixing. Studio have infused their own sound and style into these reinterpretations, truly making each track all their own. I can’t wait to see what these guys come up with on their next proper LP.

Originally published at

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

EL GUINCHO - 'Palmitos Park'

Taken from the album Alegranaza!, El Guincho's "Palmitos Park" is the most refreshing end of summer track I've heard this year. And the new video suits the song so perfectly, I have fallen in love.

The album is slated to be re-issued by XL Recordings later this year, but for now I'll just keep streaming the assorted tracks now playing at El Guincho's Myspace page.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

LYKKE LI Played (le) Poisson Rouge

Lykke recently played the new Manhattan venue (le) Poisson Rouge, inspiring the small but crowded cabaret with her promising live presence. Commanding her way through tracks such as "Dance Dance Dance", "I'm Good, I'm Gone", "Little Bit", and "Breaking It Up", Lykke Li proved she is serious. Her music is the type that could be easily written off by music snobs as trite pop, but for real, she is a songstress, destined to be heard.

It has been pointed out that this would probably be the last time to see this talent in such a unique, tiny space. Did I mention it was also in the round? This just added to the special experience of this performance. Not to mention the fact that the setlist also included covers of Vampire Weekend and A Tribe Called Quest.


Dance, Dance, Dance
Let It Fall
I'm Good, I'm Gone
Hanging High
Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa
Little Bit
Complaint Department
Window Blues
Breaking It Up

Time Flies
Can I Kick It?

-all photos by Scot Bowman and Derek Morris 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008


Hot Chip - Wrestlers

CSS - Move

Benoit Pioulard - Idyll

Dr. Dog - The Ark

Foals - Olympic Airways

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night

Love is All have announced the long-awaited details of their sophomore LP, the follow-up to Nine Times That Same Song (2006). The new disc, titled A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night will see a November 11th release via What's Your Rupture.

A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night tracklist:

01 New Beginnings
02 Give It Back
03 Movie Romance
04 Last Choice
05 Sea Sick
06 Wishing Well
07 When Giants Fall
08 Rumors
09 Big Bangs, Black Holes, Meteorites
10 A More Uncertain Future
11 19 Floors

In conjunction with the new album, my favorite Swedes will return to the States for a brief Northeastern tour, including an opening slot for Of Montreal at Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan. The band will also join Of Montreal in Washington DC and Asheville, NC.

10-08 Asheville, NC - Orange Peel
10-09 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
10-10 New York, NY - Roseland
10-11 Philadelphia, PA - The Barbary
10-12 Purchase, NY - SUNY Purchase
10-13 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's

Love is All - Ageing Had Never Been His Friend
(live at Market Hotel, Bushwick - June 2008)

Monday, September 01, 2008

New 'Crimewaves' Video

Crystal Castles will headline a CMJ showcase at Webster Hall on October 23rd, with Fujiya & Miyagi, WhoMadeWho, and Lymbyc Systm in support. This will be a major highlight of the annual marathon, which descends on the city for five days October 21-25. You can still buy tickets here.

The controversial 8-bit duo play up their post-goth image with the new video for "Crimewaves", the robot-chic cover of HEALTH's modern apocalyptic classic.