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Friday, January 30, 2009

DEPECHE MODE Reveal Details on
Sounds of the Universe

Depeche Mode will release their 12th studio album Sounds of the Universe on April 21st. An insider told me the band were keen on vintage electronic equipment during the recording of the new LP. I'm very intrigued. The first single "Wrong" hits the monetary world on March 9th. The band will hit the road May 10th, kicking off a world tour in Tel Aviv, with a North American trek to follow.

[EDIT: It has been brought to my attention that DM are not using vintage equipment, but rather brand new, state of the art equipment.  Sorry for the mistake.]

Sounds of the Universe tracklist:

In Chains
Hole To Feed
Fragile Tension
Little Soul
In Sympathy
Come Back
Miles Away/The Truth Is

Coachella Announces Line-up

Goldenvoice surprised music-lovers in the middle of the night with the unveiling of the 2009 Coachella Music & Arts Festival line-up, the three- day music gathering in April that will mark its 10th anniversary at the Empire Polo Fields in Indio, CA.

I'll be honest with you, the headliners are a snoozefest - Paul McCartney (who I actually would not mind seeing), The Killers, and The Cure.  These acts don't scream exciting to me at all.   But the second tier is definitely appealing - Morrissey, Amy Winehouse (really?), and especially My Bloody Valentine and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  Though, Leonard Cohen is by far the selling point for me.

Other acts sprinkled throughout the massive line-up include Public Enemy, TV on the Radio, Antony & the Johnsons, Glass Candy, Throbbing Gristle, Liars, Hercules & Love Affair, Beirut, Lykke Li, The Kills, No Age, Vivian Girls, Fleet Foxes, Girl Talk, Paul Weller, X, Junior Boys, Sebastien Tellier, Roni Size, Gang Gang Dance, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, A Place to Bury Strangers, Felix Da Housecat, and Groove Armada.

Should I got to this or South by Southwest?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

WAVVES - Wavvves

[EDIT: This review is based on a very early promo copy. As it turns out, the actual release has a very different tracklist, including the new single "California Goth". I may re-review the disc, for now please take this info in consideration when reading this review.]

In less than 30 minutes, Nathan Daniel Williams (aka Wavves) takes you on a mind-bending ride through layers and layers of deep distortion and nihilistic doom on his second LP, aptly titled Wavvves. Carrying on with the recent trend of Southern California nu-punk outfits (No Age, Health, Crystal Antlers), Wavves challenges the boundaries of this exploding genre, infusing it with a twisted intellectualism that directly contradicts itself.

This shotgun of an album gets started with the disorienting ambience of instrumental prelude “Rainbow Everywhere”, a fitting opening for the controlled chaos that ensues. “Sun Opens My Eyes” follows with jangly percussion and psychedelic melodies, further accentuated by a heroin-tinged guitar solo. But the fire really gets unleashed on the rocket-fueled “Get In the Sun”, on which Williams sings…

“I’m just a boy with nothing to say,
I’m just a boy with nothing to do”

All the finer talents at work here really come together on this track. With its catchy riffs and toe-tapping sing-song delivery, the track perfectly captures the “going-nowhere” attitude and theme of the album. The same can also be said of “No Hope Kids” and “So Bored”, a pair of (not-so) timely anthems for an uninspired generation. Sure, these songs were recorded before the new hope of Obama arrived, but with all we’ve endured over the last eight years, we can surely relate.

That said, some tracks here are like experimentations gone wrong and, unfortunately, they really stand in the way of making this an amazing album. The warped and demonic “More Fur” completely lost me. Experimental is one thing, but this track goes way too far and sinks annoyingly into the background. As well, “Summer Goth 2” and “Ghost Ramp 4” sound too much like bedroom demos rather than fully realized songs.

Wavvves aims to capture the cry of a young generation at a loss for dreams and ultimately, any solid future. The album may not be a full-fledged tsunami, but it definitely grabs your attention and stays lodged in your memory. I have a feeling the big one will hit before we’ve had time to prepare.

-Scot Bowman
Originally published at

The Sky Report in Bushwick

I'll be playing some of my favorite new (and old) tracks at Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick this Saturday night, starting at around 10:00 pm. The venue is up and coming, but has occasional DJ sets by Patrick Wimberly of Chairlift (02/14) and the much hyped electronic artist Eliot Lipp.

The Kingdom also features an amazing menu, but if you just want to drink, head down to the den for cheap beer and chalkboard wines. Admission is free and the gig is conveniently located at the Jefferson L stop. If you can brave the cold I'd love to see you!

New ASOBI SEKSU Video - "Me and Mary"

Blending shoegaze distortion with melodic pop hooks, Asobi Seksu offer up a new video for the first single from the upcoming LP Hush, due February 17th on Polyvinyl. I have a soft spot for this band, stemming from their previous album Citrus. I only hope the new release will be half as good as its predecessor.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New PJ HARVEY on the Way

PJ Harvey will release the follow-up to her collaboration with John Parish, 1996's Dance Hall at Louse Point with the new LP A Woman A Man Walked By, due for release on March 30th (UK) via Island. The tracklist is in (see below) and a full European tour is scheduled. I'm really excited about this album, but still I can't help but long for a return to form from Miss Harvey, one of my all-time favorite artists. 2007's piano-laden White Chalk still grabs my attention on lonely nights, but when will she rock our world again?

In related news, I recently saw the new Broadway revival of Hedda Gabler, starring Mary Louise Parker, Michael Cerveris (Hedwig), and Peter Stormare (Fargo/The Big Lebowski). It was a great adaptation (Christopher Shinn) of the classic Ibsen play, but most surprising to me was the fact that Polly Jean provided the original music, largely from reconstructions of White Chalk tracks. Harvey is a true artist and it only made this theatre experience more enriching.

Check out this video for "That Was My Veil", taken from Dance Hall... (1996). And this exceptional live version of "Taut" from her Uh-Huh Her Tour in 2004.

PJ Harvey ( John Parish) - Taut (live)

PJ Harvey and John Parish - A Woman a Man Walked By tracklist:

01 Black Hearted Love
02 Sixteen, Fifteen, Fourteen
03 Leaving California
04 The Chair
05 April
06 A Woman a Man Walked By / The Crow Knows Where All the Little Children Go
07 The Soldier
08 Pig Will Not
09 Passionless, Pointless
10 Cracks in the Canvas

CFCF - "Crystal Mines"

I admit, I don't know much about Montreal's CFCF, but I love zombie movies and I'm really digging on this track. Mike Silver is the man behind the music, with confessed influences as wide-ranging as Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Vangelis, and The Boredoms. Here's some more background for you...

"Having first caught tastemakers’ attention with his contest winning remix of Crystal Castles “Air War,” CFCF has gone on to produce official remixes for talents such as Sally Shapiro, The Presets, HEALTH, The Teenagers and Hearts Revolution among many others."

"Crystal Mines" is the lead-off track on the new ep Panesian Nights, released earlier this week on Paper Bag Records. Check out the zombified video below, which reportedly uses footage from Nuits Rouges, some 1974 French film.

CFCF – Panesian Nights (tracklist)

1. Crystal Mines
2. Call Girl
3. The Explorers
4. Arctic
5. Sogni Rossi
6. Goodbye
7. Color Dreams

Thursday, January 22, 2009

"My Girls"

Awesome! A video for my second favorite track on Merriweather Post Pavillion, out now on Domino.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

FOL CHEN - "The Believers"

by Matthew Dunehoo, contributor

From the cutthroat economic battlefield of the LA suburbs come Fol Chen, whose mechanical music style and vocal intimations are as cryptic as the images included in the beautifully eerie video for their brand new single "The Believers," directed by the accomplished collage animationist, Kelly Sears. This track seems to portray the dark Fol Chen. Asthmatic Kitty will release the band's debut album on February 17th.

Fol Chen - The Believers (mp3)
Fol Chen - The Believers (Clifford Lidell remix) (mp3)

"Epilepsy is Dancing"

In conjunction with yesterday's release of “The Crying Light” LP, Antony and the Johnsons also serve up this spectacular new video for the track "Epilepsy is Dancing".  For lack of better phrasing, here's this...

"Antony asked his friends the Wachowski Brothers to work with him on a video for his new single "Epilepsy is Dancing". They in turn invited painters Tino Rodriguez and Virgo Paradiso to create costumes and a mystical environment and choreographer Sean Dorsey and his dancers to bring the dream sequence to life. Antony's artistic partner Johanna Constantine stars as herself in the role of "Deer Monster". The video was lit and shot by the up-and-coming directors of photography, Chris Blasingame and Banker White, and produced by Jim Jerome. The production team collectively named themselves AFAS. Please enjoy the fruits of their San Francisco art party."

The Crying Light is available now via Secretly Canadian.

Friday, January 16, 2009

TELEPATHE - "Devil's Trident (Mi Ami remix)"

Brooklyn's Telepathe have been given the remix treatment quite a lot lately, but this new Mi Ami remix of "Devil's Trident" takes their sound in a whole new direction. Stripping away all of the vocals, San Francisco's Mi Ami turn the track into a throbbing chill out jam reminiscent of something The Orb would have done in the mid 90's.

Filmmaker Dan Nixon (Glass Candy/Chromatics) has directed a gorgeous video for the remix, set in the woods of East Sussex. I love how the light pulsates to the beat of the track.

New BEIRUT - March of the Zapotec

Beirut is on the verge of releasing the new two EP package of March of the Zapotec and Holland, two sonically diverse discs that display the range of Zach Condon's varying musical styles. The first disc (Zapotec) was recorded in Oaxaca, Mexico with a 19-piece band. The second disc (Holland) is credited to Condon's other monikor Realpeople, an electronic counterpoint to Beirut. Holland also features an old Condon favorite, the beautiful and lush "Venice".

The double ep is released February 17th via Ba Da Bing! Check out the new video for the track "La Llorona"...


Beirut: March of the Zapotec:

01 El Zocalo
02 La Llorona
03 My Wife
04 The Akara
05 On a Bayonet
06 The Shrew

Realpeople: Holland:

01 My Night With a Prostitute From Marseille
02 My Wife, Lost in the Wild
03 Venice
04 The Concubine
05 No Dice

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New NEKO CASE - "People Got A Lotta Nerve"

I reported on the upcoming Neko Case album a few weeks ago and now we have the first single. "People Got A Lotta Nerve" is classic Neko - dreamy alt-country, with clever lyrics and a gorgeous voice. Simply by offering you this free track, Neko and her label Anti- are donating money to Best Friends Animal Society. Pretty awesome. Enjoy the single below.

Neko's new album Middle Cyclone hits stores March 3rd.

DOWNLOAD Neko Case - People Got A Lotta Nerve (mp3)

You can also stream this track and older ones over at Neko's myspace.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - Believe the Hype

I've finally had a chance to delve into the new Animal Collective LP Merriweather Post Pavilion, and I have to say it is worthy of the overwhelming buzz surrounding it. At times it sounds like euphoric rave music, executed with real instruments in the psych-rock nature that AC have previously perfected. Check out the Beach Boys-esque standout track "My Girls", now streaming at myspace...

STREAM Animal Collective - My Girls

Also, check out an awesome mash-up of the track with Frankie Knuckles' Chicago House classic "Your Love" over at Gorilla vs. Bear.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is out now on vinyl and will be released on CD and digitally January 20 (Inauguration Day!) via Domino Records.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

FEVER RAY - 'If I Had A Heart'

Fever Ray is the new project by Karin Dreijer of The Knife. The debut album is being released in the US on March 24th via Mute.  Not unlike The Knife, Fever Ray sounds like Satan singing torch ballads in a post-apocalyptic cabaret.  The result is haunting, sinister, and epic.  
Here is the creepy video for the new single 'If I Had A Heart', directed by Andreas Nilsson, known for his elaborate videos for Jose Gonzales and The Knife...