Sunday, December 5, 2010

Esben and the Witch, Goth is going to be big in 2011

Esben and the Witch is a indie rock band out of Brighton, England. They formed in 2008, self released an EP in 2009 and released a limited edition 7 inch in 2010. They have been nominated by Q magazine as the "next big thing" and recently signed to Matador records. Their first album Violent Cries will be released in the US on February 8th. They have been praised by NME, The Guardian and Pitchfork Media. I am really excited for this album. They have already supported Wild Beasts and The XX on tour. They fall in the same crowd with Zola Jesus, Warpaint, etc. Their haunting sound and powerful female vocals will make them one to watch next year. Here are two versions of their first release on Matador, Marching Song. It is the official video and the live version. This bands looks pretty amazing live.


Amazing videos from 2010: Best Coast, Zola Jesus, Yeasayer

Here are a few videos from some of my favorite albums this year. Best Coast is one of my favorite albums this year. It is sure to be in my top albums of the year. Zola Jesus was a new discovery for me and really brought out my old inner goth. Yeasayer came out with an album this year that was just as creative as the first but had more pop elements. Here are videos from the great albums these artists released this year.

Best Coast: When I'm with you
Zola Jesus: Sea Talk
Yeasayer: O.N.E

More info on PJ Harvey's new album and new song

PJ Harvey is releasing her new album, Let England Shake, on February 14th. A few blog entries ago I posted two new songs from PJ. Those two songs are indeed on the album song list. She has now released another song on her website at pjharvey.net
The new song is Written on the Forehead. Harvey has said that this album is more about her looking outward as opposed to inward. This seems to have resulted in many samples used in the recording of the album. This is a new approach for Harvey. PJ told NME that the album is, "full of energy and quite uplifting." This will be Harvey's first album since 2007's White Chalk. White Chalk was a quiet and haunting while this new album seems to be the exact opposite. Listen for yourself. Here is the newest peak at the album, Written on the Forehead.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Laura Marling is named #1 on NME annual cool list

Laura Marling is an artist that I am still getting familiar with, but am looking forward to the listen. NME, the UK music magazine, has just named her the #1 Cool musician of the moment. She beat out other cool acts such as Janelle Monae, Best Coast and even Kanye West. Laura released albums in 2008 and 2010. She has been labeled as Nu-folk. She is barely 20 but already getting tons of press and praise from critics. Her voice has a depth and age to it that is far beyond her years. This is one of those artists that I will need to double back and take a listen, because if NME says she is #1, then their must be something good there. Here is track from her latest album, Rambling Man.



The Secret Sisters, The newest old Country

The Secret Sisters are two actual siblings from Alabama. Laura and Lydia Rogers are "old school" Country artists, no 'alt-' label here. These sisters are channeling Loretta Lynn, The Carter Family as well as some touches of soul music like Mickey and Sylvia. Their debut album is produced by T Bone Burnett and they have already cut a 7 inch with Jack White for Third Man Records. Their beautiful harmonizing voices have everyone noticing. The Sisters next step will be opening on tour for legends such as Willie Nelson and Loretta Lynn. Google their website, look up the tour dates and don't miss these two. Their tour is focused on the South, which is sad for us Northerners. Here is a taste of the Sisters talking about the making of their album and samples of the few of the tracks. This is the best classic Country I'ver heard in a long time!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Portishead please

I know it will be 10 years before we see a new Portishead album, but hopefully not. They were on my mind today, so I thought I would post this great song from the second album. Portishead is one of those bands that every song on every album is just good.

I miss Cibo Matto

Cibo Matto were one of my favorite indie bands of the 90's. They had two solid full length albums, Viva La Woman and Stereo Type A. Cibo Matto was Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori. The group broke up after the second album, but both went on to do great things. Miho went on to form a brazilian music band with a friend titled Smokey and Miho and then also was Noodle on the first Gorillaz album. She also has since put out solo work. Yuka went on to do solo work as well. Here is a clip of them talking about their work.




Cat Power will have a new record in 2011

Cat Power will release a new record in 2011. This one is going to be a return to form for Chan Marshall. She has recently said that she is planning on playing all the instruments on the new album. Her last album of original work was in 2006 with The Greatest. This was the beginning of will most likely be known as her Memphis phase. Both the original album The Greatest and her follow up of covers Jukebox, were blues bases with the Memphis blues sound. Very Dusty Springfield. In honor of Chan returning to her singer/songwriter/musician roots, here is the classic Nude As The News.



New album for PJ Harvey in Spring/Listen to new songs



PJ Harvey has been hard at work on a new album to be released in Spring 2011. Mick Harvey said on myspace that it could be here as soon as February. I have dug up a couple Youtube clips of at least two new songs that she performed last year. The first one, Let England Shake is a little wacky with samples and auto harp. The second song seems to have some great potential. I love PJ, all her releases are at little, interesting and at most, amazing! My favorite albums by her are To Bring You My Love and Is This Desire, by far her two darkest works. I loved the last album, White Chalk, due to its eerie Victorian influence. I am anxious for the new album and see what new direction she is taking, no two albums are ever alike. PJ has already announced European tour dates for early next year too. Hopefully some US dates will soon follow.
Check out the two new clips:

Let England Shake:

The Last Living Rose:


2011 Tour dates:

*All tickets sales begin at 9am on Friday, October 15

February 18 - Brussels, Cirque Royale
Tel: +32 34 0000 34 or www.livenation.be

February 21 - Berlin, Admiralspalast
Tel: +49 1805 853 653 or www.fkpscorpio.com

February 24 - Paris, Olympia
Tel: +33 1 41 57 32 28 or www.rodrigue.fr

February 27 - London, Troxy
Tel: 0871 230 0010 / 020 7734 8932 / 0844 811 0051 or www.gigsandtours.com

*The 27th has sold out but a 2nd show on the 28th has been added!

Friday, October 8, 2010

I finally like Black Mountain

Many, many of my friends love Black Mountain. It seems everyone has seen them live and everyone talks about how they are one of their favorite bands. Well, I always thought they were OK, but did not really take a good listen. I just figured they were a really great 60/70's, psychedelic throwback band and well, that's never really been my thing. I was wrong. Listening to the new album Wilderness Heart has made me a believer in the driving, heavy metal, but also often earthy and bluesy sound. Anyone that knows me, knows I'm a sucker for a strong female voice and Amber Webber is pretty awesome. Her vocals layered with lead singer Stephen McBean, its pretty much a 1-2 punch. Some of my favorites on this new album are The Hair Song, Buried by the Blues, Sadie and title track Wilderness Heart. So, even if you were like me and was not convinced with their first two albums, do yourself a favor and listen to this new amazing album. You might change your mind too. Here is a video from the new album, its for the single The Hair Song.


Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone

I am not a religious person but I do enjoy the sound of Gospel music. Gospel music has some of the most powerful voices and one of the best is Mavis Staples. She has recently been making a comeback these last couple of years and she continues that with her new project You Are Not Alone. It is produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco. It has a couple original songs, including the title, as well as classic Gospel covers. This is true Sunday morning music, coffee in hand just relaxing and inspiring. Here is a video about the making of the album.

Jenny and Johnny, just two kids having fun

Jenny and Johnny is the newest project by Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley and singer/songwriter Jonathan Rice. Jonathan was a big part of Jenny's last solo outing, Acid Tongue. I think they had so much fun they decided to take it all the way with this all album titled, I'm Having Fun Now. I think that pretty much says it all. The album has a fun, goofy yet rock feel to it. I got it on vinyl and listen to it all the time. The album artwork is pretty amazing too, another reason to grab it on vinyl. They are currently doing opening gigs for Band of Horses along with a few solo shows here and there. Here is a track from the album, Scissor Runner:

Check out Warpaint

Warpaint is a LA band that is currently touring with The XX as well as Zola Jesus. I decided to check them out just based on this line up and I was not disappointed. Their new album The Fool is released later this month on October 26th. This is a track from their last album Exquisite Corpse titled Elephants.

The XX cover Robin S and why the hell did I miss this tour?

The XX is one of my favorite bands of recent years. Their quite, intimate sound is unique and compelling. I wondered what they would be like live but admit not curious enough to drive 4 or 5 hours to see their show. What a mistake. They recently have been on tour with both Warpaint and Zola Jesus, two of my new favorite acts. If this tour had come to Detroit, no doubt I would have attended, but skipping us and and going to Chicago and other cities, I did not make an effort. Well, this will go on to my list of best tours I missed along with PJ Harvey/Tricky tour, Nina Simone last tour and others.
Here is one example why, this is The XX covering the 90's dance hit "Show me Love" by Robin S. I totally loved this song in the 90's and I love that they are doing it. They mix it in after their song Shelter. The cover starts at about 3:20. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My new love is Zola Jesus

Zola Jesus is my new favorite spooky lady. Zola Jesus is 21 year old Nika Roza Danilova. She has been the talk of the town in NME, The Guardian, Nylon and Paste. She has a Siouxsie sort of voice backed by haunting synthes. Nika is spending September as the opening act for no less than Fever Ray. Karin hand picked Zola Jesus for her short European tour. Most of the buzz is based on a EP from earlier this year called Stridulum. I must say, I am truly in love with this artist and I'm a little embarrassed that I missed her up until now. Like all great experimental artists, I have a feeling Zola Jesus will become much bigger in the UK. I am glad that I am finding her now though since she is performing in Detroit at the end of September at the CAID. In August she released a full length album in the UK titled Stridulum II. It is basically an extension of the EP. Looks like the next thing here in the US we will see is another EP called Valusia. Here is a video for Night, a song from Stridulum. It has a Italian horror movie feel to it. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

25 years of Purple Rain!!!

Purple Rain turns 25 this year. It seems incredible that it is hitting such a milestone. So many people, including myself, still listen to this album. I remember dancing to this album in my basement when I was a kid, literally going crazy to Lets Go Crazy. I watched the movie over and over learning the hand gestures to I Would Die 4 You. To a 12 year old kid, Darling Nicki was maybe the dirtiest thing I had ever heard and I loved it. Above all of this though was the track When Doves Cry and the video that went with it. Perhaps Princes most Iconic song. This was a true album, every track chosen carefully for a extremely cohesive record. Wendy and Lisa were perhaps the coolest ladies ever, sounding dark and strange on Computer Blues. Around this time I became obsessed with the Prince knock offs as well. Sheila E, Vanity, Appolonia, all of them were so sexy and amazing. This is truly an album that everyone should own. I recently picked it up again on vinyl. It stands the test of time, is a classic and is still current 25 years later.

Aimee Mann does fall tour and I'm going

I, like many people, became a fan of Aimee Mann after her soundtrack for Magnolia. I was familiar with a few Til' Tuesday tracks from my youth in the 80's, but it was not until I fell in love with the grand film and the music in it, that I grew a love for her. I have picked up every album since then, The Forgotten Arm being my favorite. I hear that she is lovely in concert and I will finally get my chance to experience it on September 21st. Aimee will be playing The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI. The Ark is a VERY small venue, so I feel very lucky to be seeing her there for my first show with her. Here are the other dates so you can catch her too. Below is info directly from her own site.

AIMEE FALL TOUR!

JUNE 22, 2010

AIMEE MANN FALL 2010
Aimee is hitting the road this September! She'll be cruising through the The Twin Cities, The Windy City, Steel City, Music City, Marble City, The Druid City, and the City by the Bay (with side trips to River City, Fat City, Sim City, as well as Brockway, Ogdenville and North Haverbrook, if time permits.)

September 13-15, 2010 The Dakota Minneapolis, MN (TIX TBA)
September 17, 2010 Prairie Center for the Arts Schaumburg, IL (TIX TBA)
September 18 - 19, 2010 Old Town School of Folk Music Chicago, IL (Pre-sale starts 7/23)
September 21, 2010 The Ark, MI (TIX ON SALE)
September 22, 2010 Hazlett Theater Pittsburgh, PA (TIX PRE-SALE)
September 24, 2010 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC (TIX TBA)
September 25, 2010 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA (TIX PRE-SALE)
September 26, 2010 Bijou Theatre Knoxville, TN (TIX TBA)
September 29, 2010 The Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL (TIX PRE-SALE)
October 7 - 9, 2010 Yoshi's San Francisco, CA
October 10, 2010 The Uptown Theatre Napa, CA (TIX TBA)

All dates subject to change. Check local listings.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hearing some great things about Best Coast

If you are a music nerd like I am, chances are you have already heard of Best Coast. She has had Internet buzz for the past year as we all await her first album. she put out an EP to high critical claim and many people are awaiting the full LP. I myself have not gotten the EP yet and have only briefly listened to a couple tracks. It is the surf rock/60's girl groups/wall of sound music that has been so popular in the last couple of years. Bands such as Vivian girls, Ravonettes, Dum Dum Girls and Hot Lava have already been doing it for awhile. This seems to be a bit better though. We will see if she lives up to the hype and I will report later once I have had a chance to review the album fully. The album releases July 27th.

New Scissor Sisters album is the best yet for them!

The new Scissor Sister album Night Work lives up to all the praise is has received in most reviews. It is all dance, sex, sweat and fun! This an album for the the afterbars, basement dance parties and driving in your car at 3am. The first single off the album is Fire with Fire, which is perhaps the most radio friendly and mainstream. In comparison, it is the track that fits in the least, but is still enjoyable. One of my favorites is Any Which Way, which has Jake Shears doing his best falsetto Bee Gee's dance voice and a great Ana Matronic interlude in the middle sounding very much like Ann Magnuson. Sex and Violence was another great track for me. It reminds me slightly of the eighties sound of a darker Bronski Beat. Ana's contribution to the album is the track Skin this Cat. It is good and fun but does not quite live up to past work such as Tits on the Radio. The album's closer Invisible light is brilliant. It features Ian Mckellan in a spoken word performance. It gives the amazing feeling of the sun rising at the end of a dance party full of dirty deeds. This is by far the Sisters best work to date.

Here is the performance of Any Which Way

New Schoold of Seven Bells: Disconnect from Desire is pretty amazing

School of Seven Bells has finally released their sophomore album Disconnect From Desire, but it was well worth the wait. The album has all the familiar parts that made me love them with the first album but have built on the sound with darker electronic dance elements that gives them a new depth and a few surprises to the fans. The opener, Windstorm, will be a familiar sound to the fans. It is very much like their last album. The second track Heart is Strange is where the surprises begin. It has an amazing driving dance beat that is such a nice addition to the bands already different sound. The blippy, computery beats extend onto the third song Dust Devil. The album has other highlights such as Camarilla. If you liked the first album, you will LOVE the second. If you have not heard them, I think the second album is slightly more accessible because of the drum machines and dark beats. Take a listen, you will not be disappointed.

Here is a full preview of the album. Pay no attention to the release date listed. It is available now on Itunes and CD. LP is released in early August.

I hate to say it, but I bought the Twilight: Eclipse soundtrack


Yes, its true I bought the Soundtrack to the new teeny bopper vampire flick. This is following a year ago when one of my good friends gave me a burn copy of the New Moon Soundtrack. Say what you will, the books are trashy, the movies cheezy, but the soundtracks hold some good material. Thom Yorke contributed a song to the New Moon Soundtrack, which pretty allowed the rest of us to see the films as an ironic "guilty pleasure" and just enjoy the music. Well, the new soundtrack is no exception. But I will only really speak to two songs on the new Eclipse Soundtrack. Two of my musical obsessions gave tracks to this new soundtrack, Florence and the Machine as well as a duet between Bat for Lashes Natasha Kahn and Beck. I tried to just buy these two tracks off Itunes, but of coarse you had to buy the full album. I just ended up picking it up at Target on a whim. Both of these tracks are amazing, not your normal artist reject tracks that end up on soundtracks. The Natasha Kahn and Beck duet is haunting, beautiful and features a different side to Natasha's voice. She has received comparisons to Kate Bush previously, but this time it is well deserved. Her voice has a much higher mystic quality that lives up to the Kate comments about her. Beck is consistent as always on this track but offers no surprises. I hear that Natasha got along so well with him, he may pop up on her next album. Not sure how I feel about that. Florence's track on the album is equally as good. On this new track she drops the harps in favor of a more sparse industrial sound with heavy drums and beats. It is dark and wonderful. It suites her deep voice quite nicely. If you have a love for these two artists it is well worth picking up the album, even if you do need to hide it in the check out stand.

Here is the Bat for Lashes/Beck Duet "Lets get Lost"

The Mynabirds



The Mynabirds is the new band formed by Laura Burhenn. The album is entitled What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood and its on Saddle Creek records. It has a little country, a little gospel, a little Carole King and a dash of Dusty Springfield. Stand outs on the album are Numbers Don't Lie, Ways of Looking and the title track. Once in awhile on certain tracks you get hints of Fiona Apple due to Laura's deep voice and use of the piano, but to some people that might not be a bad thing. Overall it is a strong album that's great for a Sunday drive, rainy day or just relaxing at home.

Hole show review



Hole Show: July 11th 2010 at The Fillmore Detroit


When I went to see Hole in Detroit on July 11th I expected to see drama, a mess, maybe boring and possibly tedious, but instead I got a tight, confident rock performer who knew how to interact with her audience and have a good time. I was very surprised. I got to see the show that I wanted to see. I think for the first time in a long time I think that Courtney Love may actually be clean. She gave us a great show that lasted at least an hour and a half despite rumors of previous shows MAYBE lasting one hour. She opened with Pretty On The Inside from the first Hole album and then moved on to a pretty great cover of Sympathy for the Devil. Her third song was Skinny Little Bitch which is the first single of her new album Nobody's Daughter. Through out the show she played favorites such as Doll Parts, Miss World, Celebrity Skin and Malibu. My favorite song performed was Asking for It from Live Through This. Courtney was amused by all the panties and bras that were thrown on stage to her. Twice she held up two pairs of what she called "granny panties" but then went into comments on how she loved big girls, etc. She called all this fan love her "lingerie shopping across America", so apparently this happens a lot. It was a good show, solid but with a bit more drama it could have been a great show. Overall, I was happy to see that Courtney can still rock.

Janelle Monae pt 2: The video for Tightrope featuring Big Boi

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Janelle Monae: Futuristic Soul with a story

Janelle Monae jumped onto my radar lately because of two stellar reviews from the guys at Sound Opinions as well as a 8.5 rating from Pitchfork.com. I had heard a couple of the songs showcased on Sound Opinions, but was not sure. After all the glowing reviews I decided to pick it up. I was pleasantly surprised how much I really did love it. It is such a combination of so many styles of music as well as epic in its story telling. In a nutshell it is about a singer that goes back in time but is replaced by an Archandroid, thus the title of the album. It is much more complicated than that, but I'll let you discover that for yourself in the liner notes. Needless to say, I highly recommend it. My favorite songs are Faster, Cold War, Wondaland and the cool robotic rap of Neon Valley Street. This will definitely be on a lot of peoples top ten lists for the year. It is a creative work of Pop music that takes a while to digest and is that not the best kind?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Goldfrapp video for "Alive". Devils, vampires and aerobics..oh my!

This video is simply amazing. It is Olivia Newton-John's Physical but with pentagrams and vampires. So cool!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Do you know Bettye Lavette?


Bettye is one of the many Detroit legends that fell off the maps more than 20 years ago. She came back onto the seen in 2005 with a record titled, "I've got my own hell to raise", a lyric taken from Fiona Apple. This was an album of wonderful covers recorded in Bettye's blues style. Songs from Sinead O' Conner, Dolly Parton and Fiona Apple are all featured. But these are not simple covers, she breathes new life into them and makes them her own.
In 2007 she returned with her backing band, The Drive by Truckers with the album "Scene of the Crime".
Bettye is a force of nature live. She not only has one of the most amazing voices in modern day alternative blues, but she also is funny and energetic. If you have a chance, make sure you catch her on tour.

Here is Bettye covering The Who, "Love Reign o'er Me."

Third Man Records pt 3: Karen Elson

Karen Elson: The Ghost Who Walks
*Karen is a former model as well as Jack Whites wife. I think many were skeptical when they heard she would be recording an album with her husband as producer. the first single is actually good, if not great. Great voice, haunting lyrics and cool image. Although I will say, with her country dresses and big red hair, she does remind me an awful lot of Tracey Lee Miller from the Detroit band Blanche. I really look forward to the album. Check out the video below.




Third Man Records pt2: The Black Belles

The Black Belles:What Can I Do
*This all girl garage band sounds like they have a lot of potential. Check out their Jack White Directed video.




Third Man Records-Ok Jack, you got some good stuff

I have been taking a closer look at Third Man Studios lately. This is Jack Whites new record store/performance space/record label. It is located in Jacks home of Nashville. There are a few acts on the label that I think I will be purchasing once the full albums are released. The interesting thing about Third Man is that releases are vinyl or digital only. No plastic cds allowed.

Wanda Jackson: You know I'm no good(Amy Winehouse cover)
*Wanda is a legendary rock-a-billy queen. She has been making music for 50 years and at over 70 years old, she is still working. She is also famous for being a girl friend of the late, great Elvis. Check out this clip of her Jack White produced Amy Winehouse cover.








Friday, April 23, 2010

Tours: MGMT, Goldfrapp, Midlake

Goldfrapp World Tour

06-07 Oxford, England - O2 Academy
06-08 Leamington Spa, England - The Assembly
06-21 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
06-23 New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom
06-26 Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
06-27 Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl
07-09 Naas, Ireland - Oxegen
07-11 Kinross, Scotland - T in the Park
07-18 Grafenhainichen, Germany - Melt
08-19 Hasselt, Belgium - Pukkelpop
08-21 Shropshire, England - Weston Park (V Festival)
08-22 Writtle, England - Hylands Park (V Festival)


MIDLAKE World tour

03-31 Birmingham, AL - WorkPlay Theatre
04-01 Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
04-02 Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse
04-03 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
04-04 Washington, DC - Black Cat
04-05 Pittsburgh, PA - Diesel
04-07 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04-08 New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
04-09 Boston, MA - Paradise
04-10 Philadelphia, PA - Theater of the Living Arts
04-14 Rennes, France - Antipode
04-15 Lille, France - Grand Mix
04-16 Bourges, France - Auditorium
04-17 Lyon, France - Epicerie Moderne
04-19 Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli
04-20 Paris, France - Bataclan
04-21 Rheims, France - La Cartonnerie
04-22 Strasbourg, France - Festival Artefact
04-23 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
04-24 Hyeres, France - Festival Faveur de Printemps
04-26 Rotterdam, Netherlands - Watt
04-27 Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doonroosje
04-28 Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
05-14 Columbia, MO - The Blue Note
05-15 St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House
05-16 Newport, KY - The Southgate House
05-17 Columbus, OH - Wexner Center for the Arts (OSU)
05-18 Ithaca, NY - Castaways
05-20 Montreal, Quebec - Le National
05-21 Toronto, Ontario - The Mod Club
05-22 Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
05-23 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall
05-24 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall
05-25 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
05-27 Bozeman, MT - The Filling Station
05-28 Missoula, MT - The Badlander
05-30 George, WA - Sasquatch Music Festival
06-01 Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen
06-02 Santa Fe, NM - Santa Fe Brewing Co.
06-03 Lubbock, TX - The Foundation
06-04 Austin, TX - Antone's
06-05 Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
06-25 Cork, Ireland - Live at The Marquee
06-28 Liverpool, England - Academy
06-29 Sheffield, England - Leadmill
06-30 Portsmouth, England - Pyramids
07-07 Hultsfred, Sweden - Hultsfredsfestivalen
07-09 Cologne, Germany - Classic Rocknacht
07-15 Beccles, England - Henham Park
07-16 Ferropolis, Denmark - Melt! Festival
07-18 Southwold, England - Latitude Festival
11-02 London, England - Roundhouse

MGMT World Tour

4-17 Indio, California - Coachella
04-29 Toronto, Ontario - The Mod Club
04-30 Durham, NH - University of New Hampshire
05-02 East Rutherford, NJ - Bamboozle
05-28 San Luis Obispo, CA - Avila Beach Bowl
05-29 Santa Cruz, CA - Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
05-31 George, WA - Sasquatch Festival
06-01 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
06-02 Portland, OR - Crystal Ballroom
06-04 Salt Lake City, UT - In the Venue
06-06 Austin, TX - Stubb's
06-07 Houston, TX - House of Blues
06-08 Dallas, TX - House of Blues
06-11 Morrison, CO - Red Rocks
06-13 Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theatre
06-14 Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue
06-15 Columbus, OH - LC Pavilion
06-16 Detroit, MI - Fillmore
06-18 Chicago, IL - Rivera Theatre
06-20 Milwaukee, WI - Riverside Theatre
08-08 Chicago, IL - Lollapalooza
09-16 Dublin, Ireland - Olympia
09-20 Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland Ballroom
09-23 Birmingham, England - O2 Academy
09-24 Bournemouth, England - O2 Academy
09-26 Manchester, England - Manchester Apollo
09-29-10-01 London, England - O2 Academy
10-03 Brussels, Belgium - AB Café / Resto
10-04 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
10-07 Paris, France - Bataclan
10-08 Paris, France - Bataclan
11-29 Dusseldorf, Germany - Stahlwerk
11-30 Hamburg, Germany - Docks
12-02 Oslo, Norway - Sentrum Scene
12-03 Stockholm, Sweden - Berns
12-04 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega
12-06 Berlin, Germany - Columbiahalle
12-07 Munich, Germany - Tonhalle
12-08 Vienna, Austria - Gasometer
12-10 Prague, Czech Republic - Archa Theatre
12-12 Milan, Italy - Alcatraz
12-13 Zurich, Switzerland - Maag Hall
12-14 Lyon, France - Le Transbordeur
12-16 Barcelona, Spain - Razzmatazz
12-17 Madrid, Spain - La Riviera
12-18 Lisbon, Portugal - Campo Pequeno

Hear the new Hole album Nobody's Daughter in full

You can now go to Spin Magazines official Facebook page to hear the full album to be released April 27th. It actually sounds pretty amazing and is already getting good reviews.

http://www.facebook.com/Hole?v=app_115757615115741

My favorite music website sources

I just thought I would take a moment and share my favorite music sources from the net. They are well known and well respected, so nothing "underground" about this, but you should check them out when you get a chance for a wider selection in music news then a I post here.

www.spinner.com

www.pitchfork.com

www.prefixmag.com

www.npr.org/music/

M.I.A. is back with 3rd album on June 29th

M.I.A. is back for a 3rd album this summer. I have no idea why musicians ever announce a "retirement", cause it never sticks. The new track 'Born Free' is getting much hype amongst the music blogs and websites. It's actually the most abrasive track I think I have ever heard from her. It has a driving baseline that is actually very rock and roll or punk. However the album turns out, I'm sure it will be incredibly creative and have a new twist. Here is the new track;

PJ Harvey does literature with Francis Ford Coppola

PJ Harvey has a new release this summer but unfortunately it is not a new album, instead she is partnering with Francis Ford Coppola to design an issue of his literary magazine Zoetrope:All Story. Spinner.com reports that there will most likely not be any written work by Polly but there may be some never-before-seen artwork, sculpture or drawings. Previous musicians to take the helm were David Bowie, Tom Waits and David Byrne.

Natalie Merchant releases an album of Poetry to music

I have long been a Natalie Merchant fan. I think most people would agree that 10,000 Maniacs was the best period of her career, but she did have strong solo material with Tigerlily and Ophelia. I think many fans started to fall off and drift away with the albums such as Motherland, etc. Well Natalie has come back with a 2 cd set of songs based on the work of many, many poets titled 'Leave your Sleep'. She did most of the work on her own in Garageband at home. Once the poems and the basic music structure was down, she went into the studio with too many bands and musicians to name. The result is quite interesting. I feel like the sheer volume of songs is a little excessive, but there are quite a few gems in the album. She makes use of may types of music such as Appalachian, jazz, reggae as well as a standard songwriter pop format. If you are a dedicated fan, it is a must buy. If you are a fleeting fan, then there are definitely tracks to pick and choose through download. Since I am still exploring the album I am hesitant to suggest any specific tracks. Go on over to Amazon.com where you can sample all the songs quite easily. Here is the link:
http://www.amazon.com/Leave-Your-Sleep-Natalie-Merchant/dp/B002ZCDR88/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1272049316&sr=8-1

All of this considered though, it really made me pull up on the old 10,000 Maniacs catalog on the Ipod and catch up on the classic music they created together. Here is a great track:

Scissor sisters reveal new album Night Work

Scissor sisters have released details about their new album Night Work set to drop on June 28 in the UK and the 29th state side. The album work above was chosen by lead singer Jake Shears. Apparently it took some convincing to get the support of Babydaddy and the band for the photo. The photo was taken by Robert Mapplethorpe in the mid eighties, so no, it is not Jake's backside. The album is front to back a dance record. Jake has said that it is the sexiest album they have made to date and was influenced by night club life. The first track released is the last track on the album and it is titled 'Invisible Light'. It has a spoken word portion of the song that is done by none other that Sir Ian Mckellen. It is very reminiscent of Vincent Price at the end of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Here is the new track taken from youtube.com. Also check out the bands website for updates on touring, etc at www.scissorsisters.com


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blitzen Trapper: New album Destroyer of the Void due June 8th

Blitzen Trapper is a band out of the Northwest US(Portland, I believe). There last album Furr received a lot of critical praise for its forest-pop, woodsy feel. They are in with bands such as Fleet Foxes and Midlake. They are back with a new album on June 8th. If you have not checked them out yet, then you must. Here is the official video of Black River Killer, a single off their last album:



The Dead Weather: New video teaser looks creepy amazing!

The Dead Weather's new album Sea of Cowards is out May 11th. The new single Die by the Drop is out April 6th. Looks like this time around they are taking their creepiness to the next level. For being a fan of Jack White and Alison Mosshart, I was not really that into the first album and I'm not sure I"ll be into this one either, but I think I will like the video. Check out the video teaser as well as the new song:

Video Teaser:


New Single:

New Music Discovery: Memoryhouse

Memoryhouse is a new band I discovered on Spinner.com today. They are dream-pop in the same vein as Beach House. The guy does the music, the girl does the vocals and what they are creating has an even more dream like quality than Beach House and the bands like them. The sound is a washed out electronic sound, keyboards, synths, etc that has the warmth of a vinyl record. Parts of their new EP The Years even have a 'sound of the surf' quality because of the staticy, hushed white noise in the songs. Their full length album is out this spring, but you can download their new EP for free, compliments of Spinner here:
http://www.spinner.com/2010/03/26/memoryhouse-the-years-ep-free-mp3/

Saturday, March 20, 2010

One of my favorites: Alison Mosshart

Alison Mosshart has been one of my favorite musicians since her second album with The Kills. She has been with 3 bands so far: Discount, The Kills and The Dead Weather. Discount was a punk band from Florida that she fronted for a few years before a break up in 2000. In that same year she moved to London and struck up a friendship Jamie Hence, who became her band mate in The Kills. The Kills have put out 3 albums between 2003 and 2008, Keep on your Mean Side, No Wow, and Midnight Boom. I was aware of The Kills with the first album but really became of true fan with their second release, No Wow. The music had a stripped down, driving blues quality that still made you want to move. Going to see The Kills live is a true rock and roll dance party. Alison commands the stage, pacing, kicking, punching her band and falling on the ground-all while growling out the lyrics. Its pretty amazing.
With Midnight Boom, they pushed the beats further and created an even more rock/dance album with tracks like Cheap and Cheerful. Around the time of this album, Alison became something of a fashion icon as well. She was featured in many fashion/culture magazines such as Nylon. She has a dirty, gritty style featuring tight jeans, leather or leopard jackets and straight mop hair cut that normally covers her eyes, giving her a dark and brooding look.
In 2009, Alison created a side project with Jack White called The Dead Weather. They recorded an album in 3 weeks, put in out there and then through together a tour. The album and tour were extremely successful, just like anything Jack white touches, but it has a rawness and spontaneity that I did not care for as much as The Kills. The first single, Hang You From the Heavens, was the one track I really liked and Alison co-wrote it.
The Dead Weather have another album out in 2010, just a year later. Alison has been working on a new Kills album as well.
If you have not given her a chance, check out these videos with The Kills and The Dead Weather:

The Kills: Last Days of Magic



The Dead Weather: Hang you from the heavens

Grace Slick, one of the most powerful voices in rock

Grace Slick is one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in rock. She was a model turned musician in the 1060's. She most famously fronted the band Jefferson Airplane. She represented a new powerful female voice in psychodelic rock music. Along with Janis Joplin, they proved the women could hang with the men, drinking, doing drugs and blazing their way through the decade. She is remembered most for songs like Somebody to Love and White Rabbit, first with the band The Great Society and then with Jefferson Airplane. Grace was in the music industry for 30 years. She was the lead singer is such bands as The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship and solo work as well. She is now 70 years old and a painter in Mailbu, CA.
Check out this performance of White Rabbit:

Erykah Badu new album cover-It's some weird shit, but in a good way.

Erykah always has interesting cover art, not always my taste, but I love that she is such an individual. Check out her website for a listen to two new songs from the album. 10 days left before release:

www.erykahbadu.com

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2010 is going to be a good year for live music

I have recently bought tickets to 3 more live shows. I'm going kind of nuts, but there are so many acts coming that I have wanted to see for a long time. I was lucky enough to see Patti Smith a few weeks ago and she lived up to every expectation I had. Now I have purchased tickets to Beach House, Cyndi Lauper and She and Him. Beach House is a new obscession for me. Their Teen Dream album really won me over and I hear they give a great show even though their music is melodic and moody. I have been a fan of Cyndi Lauper since childhood. If you grew up in the eighties, chances are, you love Cyndi. I had a chance to see her do a small set a couple years ago and was amazed at her energy, love of her fans and how much she really gave to the crowd! This will be the first time I have seen her on her own. She and Him is indie rocker M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel. They have an AM Gold, alt country, 70's vibe to them, and I love it. It is wonderful, lazy summer music.
Here are the dates, venues and a live clip of each act.

Beach House
April 1st-Crofoot ballroom, Pontiac MI


She and Him
June 6th-Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak MI


Cyndi Lauper
July 1st-Motor City Casino, Detroit MI