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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

FLYING LOTUS - "Los Angeles"

The last Flying Lotus video was way NSFW. And now they have a new one for the track "Los Angeles". Steven Ellis (aka Flying Lotus) is so hot right now. If you're going to Coachella, definitely check him out. (Ed. Sorry, video down. Will repost when it becomes available again.)

Flying Lotus - Los Angeles [Music Video - HD] from Brendan Sinnott on Vimeo.

Monday, March 30, 2009

ALL POINTS WEST Line-up Announced!

The 2nd annual All Points West Festival will return to Liberty State Park this summer. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 3 at noon.

Friday, July 31: Beastie Boys, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vampire Weekend, The National, Fleet Foxes, MSTRKRFT, Q-Tip, The Pharcyde, Organized Konfusion, The Knux, Ra Ra Riot, Seasick Steve, Telepathe, Shearwater, Heartless Bastards, Flying Lotus, College Humor Live, Arj Barker, Eugene Mirman and Bo Burnham.

Saturday, August 1: Tool, My Bloody Valentine, Gogol Bordello, Arctic Monkeys, Neko Case, The Ting Tings, Yelle, Crystal Castles, St. Vincent, Tokyo Police Club, The Cool Kids, Kool Keith, Cage the Elephant, Chairlift, White Rabbits, Electric Touch, The Postelles, Black Gold, College Humor Live, Tim & Eric, Judah Friedlander and Jim Jeffries.

Sunday, August 2: Coldplay, Echo & The Bunnymen, MGMT, The Black Keys, Elbow, Silversun Pickups, Mogwai, We Are Scientists, Ghostland Observatory, The Gaslight Anthem, Etienne De Crecy, Lykke Li, Akron/Family, Steel Train, Kitty, Daisy & Lewis, College Humor Live, Janeane Garofalo, Michael Showalter and Todd Barry.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Review in Short
MSTRKRFT - Fist of God

Fans of huge breakneck electro bangers should love the sophomore LP from MSTRKRFT. Fist of God is tailor made for the clubbing hipster. Thirty-eight minutes of high energy future dance, that more than overtly tips its hat to Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx. Of course, this duo never reaches the complexity and overall genius that is DP, but there are definitely moments of pure ear candy here. I particularly dig the big hard-hitting track "Click Click", "Heartbreaker", featuring John Legend, and the first single "Bounce". The album also features contributions from E-40, Ghostface Killah, Jamal, and more.

Fist of God has an overall slick production quality, resulting in a smooth and consistent sound. And I love how each track blends seamlessly into the next. But overall it feels like things could have gotten dirtier.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New CFCF - "You Hear Colours"

CFCF follow up the "Crystal Mines" single with "You Hear Colours".

""You Hear Colours" is taken from CFCF's double a-side single, the second release on Acephale Records. As we plan on doing for quite some time, the release is limited to 500 copies pressed on 7" white vinyl. As with SALEM, our first release, the single is almost sold out with around twenty copies left in our hands and more scattered around the globe in only the best record stores." Get yours while it's hot.

CFCF - You Hear Colours (mp3)

The track also has a really cool video by Tommyboy of the always awesome ARAWA.FM.

CFCF - You Hear Colours from tommy boy on Vimeo.


Celebration, the Baltimore band that regularly share company with TV on the Radio and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, are making the bold step of walking away from their record label and releasing all of their new music for free. Good for them for taking risks. The explanation is best described by the band themselves. You can read their statement here.

Here are the first two tracks to emerge.

Celebration - I Will Not Fall (mp3)
Celebration - What's This Magical (mp3)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I absolutely fell in love with Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic in Austin last week. The band is the side project of talented musician Luke Temple. The debut album was released in February. As an example of what they sound like, check out this tripped-out video for the track "Tunnelvision".

PJ HARVEY & JOHN PARISH - "Black Hearted Love"

PJ Harvey & John Parish release A Woman A Man Walked By next Tuesday. I haven't heard it yet and the reviews I've read are just okay, but I love all things PJ so here you have it. The new single "Black Hearted Love" now has a video. The clip features slow motion images of PJ jumping up and down in an inflatable kiddie bouncing gym. Don't know what it means, but it looks good. A Woman... picks up where the pair left off on their first collaborative album Dancehall at Louse Point. The track has that slow burning desert rock sound reminiscent of her work with Josh Homme's Desert Sessions projects. It's haunting tone has really grown on me.

Read about the duo's performance at SXSW last weekend here.

PJ Harvey & John Parish “Black Hearted Love” from Culture Bully on Vimeo.

Monday, March 23, 2009

SXSW - Day 4
Erykah Badu, Beach House, Jason Lytle, Vetiver, Asa Ransom, Bad Credit No Credit

-Jason Lytle

Saturday was the last and most bizarre day of SXSW for me. I started the day at Waterloo Park for the Mess With Texas party. Things started really mellow and relaxed, sitting under the trees for San Francisco band Vetiver and then former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle. With a full band, Lytle debuted three tracks from his forthcoming solo debut Yours Truly, the Commuter. Each track was beautiful and well-rounded live and in fact, they sound like new Grandaddy songs. The small crowd seemed to consist of die hard fans, whose minds were blown when he closed the set with "Jed the Humanoid", a classic Grandaddy track from their breakthrough album The Sophtware Slump. When fans chanted "One More Song!", Lytle simply replied, "Tell it to the birds." He may be a bit jaded, but his talent remains.

-Beach House

Later I walked across the river to Auditorium Shores and caught a lovely set by Beach House. Their music really works well in an outdoor setting, especially with the Austin skyline lingering in the background. This environment was far more enjoyable than the packed and sweaty house at Red 7 days earlier.

But the real reason I made the trek across the river was to see Erykah Badu with the Cannabanoids, a band consisting of live dj's, synths, and electronics. These dudes clearly have the skills, but they were forced to play a rather repetitive set over and over since Badu was running really, really late. The huge crowd grew increasingly agitated with the delay and then suddenly the music stopped. A voice came over the P.A. stating that she had travel issues. And that was that. It seemed over. The stunned masses started to wander around in confusion and then, without any warning at all, she was onstage. People freaked out. But the sound seemed to be mixed really low and she only played two songs. And though her talent was fully embodied within this pair of tracks, it seemed cruel to cut her off that quickly. I really regret wasting hours at this event, as it really put the rest of my night in a funk.

-Erykah Badu

After the debacle at Auditorium Shores I decided to hail a cab and go way north to the Carousel Lounge where some friends of mine were playing. Asa Ransom are a five-piece from Bushwick and let me tell you, they put on a great show. The band rifled through an all too brief four track set, challenging the room to a post-funk dance party. They really whipped the quiet venue into a sweaty, dizzy disco-punk frenzy. These guys are in the middle of a U.S. tour. Catch them if they come to town! You can also find their new album on iTunes.

-Bad Credit No Credit

Bad Credit No Credit also hail from Bushwick. Led by Carrie-Anne Murphy (vocals, sax, flute, & more), this eclectic group utilize more instruments onstage than you can possibly imagine. Added to the pot are clarinet, keyboards, bass, trumpet, euphonium, drums, percussion and kazoos. I'm sure I missed a few too! This all may sound like an everything but the kitchen sink situation, but this punk/marching band pulls it off. Murphy's theatrical voice recalls the high drama of Diamanda Galas and her stage presence has the wild and wacky individualism of early Cyndi Lauper. The debut ep Hey, Rube! is available now.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

SXSW - Day 3
Asobi Seksu, Cale Parks, City Center, The So So Glos, The Homosexuals, Japanther

-the van at Ms. Bea's

It was just another day at Todd P's stage on Friday, with crowd surfing, Vivian Girl sightings, and wasted kids in skinny jeans. This time I caught ferocious acts by Japanther and The Homosexuals. Japanther caused a near riot. Bearded indie hooligans were hanging from the gazebo (stage) top, boys and girls alike were chilling atop a van behind the stage, and crowd surfers took turns flying upside down over the packed and sweaty crowd. Things hit a climactic high when the band closed their set with a cover of The Ramones' "Do You Wanna Dance".

The Homosexuals worked the crowd into a tizzy with their asymmetrical post-punk. The lead singer spewed water at the frenzied fans and told stories of his drug-addled past. His presence was at once comical and intense - a true performer with gritty vitality.

-The So So Glos

I ran over to a party that included an outdoor roller rink. It was hysterical watching people trying to skate. The beer was free and the bands were awesome. I missed Telepathe and kind of caught Casiokids. But Brooklyn punk outfit The So So Glos demanded your attention with their rowdy punk rock. I was really impressed at how tight and old school these guys are. I'll definitely keep a watchful eye on them.

-City Center

Over at the Habana Calle9 Patio I discovered another really amazing electronic duo. City Center from Brooklyn make music sort of in the vein of Fuck Buttons, but way less dark. Warped vocals are meshed with hypnotic loops, distorted guitars and primal, yet minimalist percussion. I had never heard of these guys but they are definitely on my radar now.

-Cale Parks

Cale Parks is talented. But he has also got this spastic nervous energy that keeps you on edge. He became really distracted by the lack of audio coming from his monitor. I happened to be standing next to one of the speakers and he kept abruptly running at me, trying to hear the output. Maybe it was just this show, but his personal conflict with the sound issues really distracted me from the music. Once he finally let go of the problems, he found his equilibrium and sounded awesome.

-Asobi Seksu

Asobi Seksu played the same venue later in the night (after 1 AM to be specific). The shoegaze revivalists from Brooklyn sounded noisy and awesome as usual, though I found their setlist to be a little off. Nonetheless, they packed the patio and pleased the crowd with their noisy dreampop.

Another running theme for my Austin trip was how I had traveled all the way to Texas to see a bazillion Brooklyn bands. What can I say? Brooklyn is where it's at with music.

SXSW - Day 2
Ebony Bones, Rye Rye, Kid Cudi, Vivian Girls, Rosie and the Goldbug

-Ebony Bones

Ebony Bones made more than just a few new fans Thursday night when she commanded the stage with her bizarre and delicious blend of new wave afro-punk. Dressed garishly with oversized bracelets and giant fabric balls for sleeves, Ebony recalled the art drama of Grace Jones' live persona, but infused it with a much more high-energy dance charisma. She is rumored to be finishing her debut album and all I can say is when this one drops, watch your head! Hands down the best show I saw at SXSW this year.

M.I.A.'s new protege Rye Rye is riding a wave of hype, mostly because she is the debut artist on the star's new label N.E.E.T. The Baltimore rapper is crazy cute and mouths off a mean jam, backed by infectious techno-pop beats. Her debut drops this summer and will be insanely huge, no question. You can get her first single "Shake It To the Ground" on iTunes.

Kid Cudi gave the crowd a scare when he was nowhere to be found at show time. I think someone made an announcement that he might not show up, because a mild panic spread through the club and people started filing toward the exit. At about the same time, Cudi and his entourage stormed in through the main entrance, creating a brief frenzy. He immediately jumped up onto the stage and rambled a bit about how he is NOT retiring. I never heard that he was, but I don't stay up to date on the latest hip-hop drama. He launched into his set and all was good. Very talented guy.

-Rosie and the Goldbug

Earlier in the evening Rosie and the Goldbug of the UK played their very first US show. I had no idea who they were, but it's kinda of like what you would get if you mixed Karen O, Tori Amos, and New York Dolls. Outrageous and dancey; completely likable.

Then came Vivian Girls (yes, again) who played possibly one of their best shows to date. I have seen this band about five times now and this was by far the best one. They had charisma and humor, which is a totally new addition from my perspective. They announced they were about to play a cover song they had just learned an hour prior in a parking lot. It turned out to be Wavves' "So Bored". Later they asked the audience for requests. When no one came up with a suitable one, they launched into "So Bored" again! It was kind of fantastic. During the last song, all three girls played musical chairs in the middle of the track, changing off instruments.

No one represented SXSW for me like the Vivian Girls. It became increasingly funny how often I stumbled upon them over the course of the week. Whether it be one of their many shows or just hanging out in the background, they always seemed to be around.

Friday, March 20, 2009

SXSW - Day 2
Girls, Here We Go Magic, The Golden Filter, Nite Jewel, JDS and more


I started day two off at The Peacock for Gorilla vs. Bear's annual party, aptly titled Gorilla vs. Booze III. The scene was insanely crowded and unbearably hot, but it didn't stop anyone from jamming their way inside the venue to catch the amazing lineup. Brooklyn's Here We Go Magic are hands down the best new discovery I've made here in Austin. Their music is absolutely gorgeous and captivating. I think these guys will be huge really soon.

Girls played next, delivering a mostly hot & sweaty, rocked-out set, with the exception of the pain-ridden slow burner "Hellhole Ratrace". The crowd seemed to intensify when The Golden Filter took the stage. Their high energy dirty electro suited the sauna-like conditions well, but it was so packed I couldn't see a thing. Sounded fantastic though.


I kind of accidentally stumbled across a great pair of sets at Todd P's party, held in the dusty backyard of Ms. Bea's, a rather rundown local bar. The setting here is gritty, but really charming. It's a trip to watch the Hispanic locals intermix with the hipsters, but it's also beautiful to see this tiny bar get an overwhelming amount of business.


First, I caught JDS, an experimental violinist from Brooklyn who plays over tripped out samples and dramatic micro korg synthscapes. I was so taken with her music that I introduced myself to her afterwards. She was really lovely and explained how her parents owned the property, which led her to curate the "Day Into Night" portion of the Todd P event.

-Nite Jewel

Nite Jewel are an awesome new electro duo from Los Angeles. I've recently become increasingly addicted to their debut disc Good Evening and the lush sound translates perfectly live.

As the sun began to set, I headed back downtown for what turned out to be an incredible night. More on that later. Got to get back out there again!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SXSW - Day 1
Wavves, Vivian Girls, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and more


The first official day of SXSW was loaded with wonderful performances all over the place. I spent the daylight hours at the Forcefield/Terrorbird blow out at Red 7 and caught a really brief, but awesome set by Wavves. Backed with just a drummer, he lived up to the hype machine surrounding his new album. I was also really taken with his jovial stage presence and his frequent use of the word "psych".

The band Lake were a new discovery for me. Their adorable indie pop was perfectly suited to the early time slot on the outdoor stage. I also really enjoyed the Swiss electronic duo Larytta, as well as Shout Out Out Out Out, and Rainbow Arabia.

-Vivian Girls

A pair of Brooklyn darlings closed out the outdoor stage - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, followed by Vivian Girls. Both bands sounded really great live, particularly Pains..., who kicked off their set with the potent 1-2-punch of "This Love is Fucking Right" and "Young Adult Friction".

The Thermals really blew my mind. I'm not very familiar with their catalog of music, but their set was ferocious and captivating - short punk songs that nearly smashed into each other. I loved it!

Loney Dear and Fol Chen also played and sounded good, but their music isn't really my cup of tea.

-The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Beach House closed out the indoor stage, but it got so hot and crowded I only lasted about half a song. Their moody, dreamgaze sound would have put me into a heat coma and then bad things could have happened. Better safe than sorry!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Sky Report in Austin

The Sky Report will take on SXSW for the first time this week - totally rogue (no badges, no wristbands here). I hope to give a daily account of my adventures, though I have absolutely no idea what to expect. Though it seems I'll have had my fill of Vivian Girls and Wavves, as they are both playing just about every showcase I plan to attend. I'm also hoping to grab quick video interviews with a handful of up & coming Bushwick acts in Austin, such as Asa Ransom, Sharon Van Etten, and Bad Credit No Credit.

Stay tuned and wish me luck.

Monday, March 16, 2009

THE CITY AND HORSES - I Don't Want To Dream

by Matthew Dunehoo, contributor

The City and Horses, a Brooklyn band based out of songwriter/bandleader Marc Cantone’s brains, historical fascinations and affinities of The Smiths, have released an album of great pop songs on White Shoe Records. Eleven tunes here to give pleasure to you on your bicycle ride around the city this summer. Perhaps even on horseback?

This is erudite pop songcraft that’s comfortable without coming off as overbearingly scholarly or too cute to handle, hot potato. "Abigail Adams" is a most charming story about a B-side player in American history that I never knew I’d be moved to adore through song. Individual autobiographical neuroses and private torment regaled lovingly on "Russian Military Badges":

“She felt so nice I only washed my hands twice.”

Cantone’s projected his influences into indelibly lyrical guitar fidgetry, tasteful lush arrangements augmented very crisply by the sax, backing vocals and woodwind efforts of Domenica Fossati and Nicole Cotton. Bassist Joshua Siegel and drummer Chuck Palmer round out the core unit that’s become City and Horses most regular and talented lineup.

The production of the record breathes well with each song individually, meaning when the record rocks, as it certainly sometimes does, it’s not out of context. When it lilts, it’s right there on the tip of your nose like a milkweed.

Pastoral-punk may be the dominant feel. Nerdy-sexy-cool pop music; the likes of which there shall never be enough done like City and Horses have done it. A sincerity seems to pervade the album that in the end, on the meta-tip, may be the record’s most winning feature.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The Golden Filter are a couple of photographers who met in New York and became an electro duo. The first single "Solid Gold" is really sexy and fun - new video below. They play the Gorilla vs. Booze party in Austin next week. Check out more tunes here.

Solid Gold - The Golden Filter from golden filter on Vimeo.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

LOTUS PLAZA - The Floodlight Collective

Lotus Plaza is the side project of Deerhunter guitarist Lockett Pundt and he will release The Floodlight Collective on March 24th via Kranky Records. Check out the lead-off track "Red Oak Way"...

Red Oak Way - Lotus Plaza

The Floodlight Collective tracklist:

1. Red Oak Way
2. Quicksand
3. These Years
4. Different Mirrors
5. Whiteout
6. What Grows?
7. Sunday Night
8. Antoine
9. The Floodlight Collective
10. A Threaded Needle

Friday, March 13, 2009


Crystal Stilts will release the new 7" "Love is a Wave" on March 31st, backed with the new track "Sugar Baby".

Crystal Stilts - Love is a Wave (mp3)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart also have a new single. The incredibly catchy "Young Adult Friction" also comes out March 31st, backed with the track "Ramona".

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - Young Adult Friction (mp3)

Both Brooklyn bands will be playing a number of dates at SXSW next week. Expect to hear much more about them then.


Bat For Lashes - Daniel
Daniel - Bat For Lashes

Handsome Furs - I'm Confused

Handsome Furs "I'm Confused" from Sarah Marcus on Vimeo.

Deerhunter - Disappearing Ink

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Bat For Lashes will release Two Suns on April 7th via Astralwerks. The LP serves as the follow-up to her Mercury Music Prize nominated debut. I'm totally in love with the first single "Daniel". Listen to a stream of the new track here.

Also, here's a special preview of the new album, shot entirely in Joshua Tree, California.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Colors EP

Project Jenny, Project Jan will release The Colors EP on April 14th. The disc features an array of special guests, not least of which is TSR fave Fujiya & Miyagi, who turn up on the new single (video below), "Pins and Needles".

I first discovered Project Jenny, Project Jan when a friend included them on a mix cd that I later played on repeat while driving around the Big Island in Hawaii. I will never forget the terrifying experience of driving down into a canyon, doing 4WD in a red jeep while listening to these guys.

PJPJ play SXSW next week. I'm hoping to catch up with them there. More about the Brooklyn duo...

"Project Jenny, Project Jan spans a forthcoming surprising musical range, from the sinister beats of “320” to the feel good “Summertime”; from the singalong swing of “Brooklyn” to the expansive Bollywood feel of “The Dialogue.” One thing remains constant, however: Their kinetic energy, which inspired Billboard to call Project Jenny, Project Jan’s live show a “shockingly dynamic, danceable, and hilarious affair.”"

...and the song that got me into them in the first place, "320"...

THE BLACK LIPS' Crazy Adventure in India
Documented by Vice

The Black Lips recently ran into a bit of trouble on their bizarre tour of India. From scoring hash to public indecency to being chased by Indian police, the boys from Atlanta stir up more than a little chaos in this revealing footage of the band.

Watch the rest of the footage at ViceTV.

Oh, and here's the new Black Lips video for "Short Fuse".

200 Million Thousand is out now on Vice.

Monday, March 09, 2009

New YYY's Video

Karen O hits the streets of San Francisco...

It's Blitz! released digitally tomorrow!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Play Music, the awesome debut LP from Thieves Like Us, is finally getting an official release thanks to Shelflife Records. Thieves Like Us are two parts Sweden, one part New York, and all parts electro-pop bliss.

You may remember the track "Drugs in My Body", a global blog smash that was included on the Maison Kitsune 4 compilation in 2007. You may also remember the Tron-like video for "Program of the First Part" from last summer. Now we have the full-length LP, partially recorded in New York, Berlin, Vienna, London, Rio, and Stockholm. Check out the great new track "Your Heart Feels" and the video for "Drugs in My Body" below.

Play Music hits stores in the US on April 7th, but it will be available sooner at Shelflife.

Thieves Like Us - Your Heart Feels (mp3)

Full Stream

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are on fire! The new album is really amazing. Stream It's Blitz! in its entirety here.

It's Blitz! is released digitally on Tuesday, while physical discs hit stores on March 31st.

ZERO (music video preview)

Friday, March 06, 2009

PItchfork Music Festival - Preliminary Lineup

The fourth annual Pitchfork Music Festival goes down July 17-19 at Chicago's Union Park. Tickets go on sale March 13th. This year marks a small change in format, as Friday night's performances will be "Write the Night: Set Lists by Request". When you purchase your ticket you'll be given a link to vote for which songs you'd like to hear the band's play. The idea of an all-request Yo La Tengo show makes me giddy.

Here is the initial lineup, with many more to be announced soon.

Friday - "Write the Night: Set Lists by Request"
Built to Spill
The Jesus Lizard
Yo La Tengo

The National
Pharoahe Monch
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Grizzly Bear
The Walkmen
Vivian Girls

Thursday, March 05, 2009

METRIC Returns with Fantasies

Metric will follow up 2005's Live It Out with their fourth studio LP, titled Fantasies. Of the record, front woman Emily Haines says, "For me, the major influences on the record were the places we wrote it: Bear Creek, this utopian farmhouse studio, and then our own studio in Toronto, which definitely brought in the electro, dance and rock elements because the city feels so good right now and so many of our musician friends were around. And then for me, being in Buenos Aires, most of the songs I brought to this record came out of being in exile with just a piano and a guitar."

Listen to the new track "Help I'm Alive" below. Fantasies is released April 14th.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009


In direct contrast to our weather here in New York, French electro crooner Sebastien Tellier plays his grand piano on a sunny beach as feminine lips sing in the golden air around him. It's nice to have this new video as an escape to the snow mounds outside, but I still wonder...will winter never end?

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Sky Report Radio

I'd like to formally introduce The Sky Report Radio, now streaming 24/7 at The station is a joint venture with my fellow Bushwick music lover, Scott McGibney (yes, another Scott!) Stay tuned for live content in the near future. Check it out now...