Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stone Darlings: Eagerly awaiting this LA bands debut

I just discovered this lovely band over on twentyfourbit.com site. Don't know much about the band yet except that the sound is right up my alley. 24bit recommended this for fans of Neko Case or Best Coast. I think the Neko comparison makes sense to me. Even more so, I would say a young Emmy Lou Harris. They only have a 7 inch vinyl released so far. The sound is 60's, a little country, a little dark and a lot of talent. They have my attention. Looking forward to a full album from this up and coming band.
Here is a taste, first single Angeline and b side I Stopped Missing You Today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Michel Gondry's new Bjork Video Crystalline

Bjork will soon be releasing her new album Biophilia. She is taking an album release to a new level with a multi platform media assault. She will be releasing it as a normal album but also as a series of IPad apps! Each app will coincide with each song from the album. The first track released has very much in common to her 3rd album Homgenic. It has the distorted sound scape's mixed with organic instruments. It even has some drum and base/Jungle thrown in. The video is pretty amazing and directed by her friend Michel Gondry. It will be very interesting to see if she tours with this project and how she chooses to present it live.
Check out the sweet video!

St. Vincent new song

St. Vincent, also known as Annie Clark, is one of the truly original musical artists in the last few years. She made her mark with her first album Marry Me and then followed it up with the critically acclaimed Actor. Actor placed her on many "best of" lists in 2009. I really loved Actor. Annie has a beautiful voice, but she backs that with such interesting arrangements that can only be described as her own. Her music can be pretty but also aggressive. She has a interesting way of creating juxtaposition in sounds.
Her new album is set to be released this September. It will be titled Strange Mercy and the first single from the record is titled Surgeon. The new single really shows how Annie is continuing to expand her sound with amazing synths. There is buzz that there will be guitar driven tracks that are more loud and judging by the experimental videos available as teasers, it will be interesting to see what we get.
Here is the first single Surgeon from St. Vincent.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Song from Bat For Lashes

Bat For Lashes debuted a new song at the Vivid Festival in Australia this week. It gives us a slight preview of the third LP. This is a record that I am in highly anticipating. By the sound of the new song, this next album will continue on with the great work that Natasha has put forth so far. I am also very interested in the look she presented. Much more polished than in previous performances. She is practically wearing a ball gown. I kind of love it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fleet Foxes continues their greatness with Helplessness Blues

Fleet Foxes is one of those buzz artist, critics darling, blogger obsession that actually deserve it. Their first album was one of my favorites of 2008. This band is the full package from voice to lyrics to carefully chosen album artwork. The music they present is so simple, yet so literary and poetic. Apparently, there was a almost a full album scrapped and a girlfriend lost through the making of this record. The sacrifice seems to have paid off. Anyway, could go on and on, but judge for yourself. Here are a couple great clips from the new album.

New Wild Beasts lives up to the last and then some.

I'm a little late on this posting. The new Wild Beasts album came out a few weeks ago and its pretty beautiful. This album really holds up to their last album Two Dancers. I really loved Two Dancers and was nervous about this follow up titled Smother. Well, no need for the nerves. They took everything that was great about the last album (the drums, the falsetto vocals, the sexual metaphors) and stripped it down a bit to create something more intimate. I do wish it had a couple more upbeat tracks, but really that is such a soft criticism for what they have given us. I have a feeling this album will unfold with more listens through out the year.
I had tickets to see them live for the last tour, but did not go. I had seen Patti Smith the night before and me and my hangover were not up to another show. I will not miss this next tour. With two great albums behind them now, the live show will be a must see. I also got news from friends in London that caught one of the first shows for the new tour and they reported that it was "beautiful".
Here is a couple samples from Wild Beasts new and third album Smother:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Austra: Dark wave electro pop out of Toronto

I just discovered Austra this week. There was an article about the band in OUT magazine of all places. Austra is led by lead singer Katie Stelmanis and based in Toronto. The band is somewhere between music by The Knife and some vocal similarity to Nika Roza of Zola Jesus. The beats and vocals are pretty infectious. I am just digging into their new album Feel It Break. So far, I'm loving it. Here is a sample:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lost classic: Bobbie Gentry

Bobbie Gentry is my favorite new "old" country artist. She had a number one single in the 1970's with Ode to Billie Joe. She had a couple more albums that did not quite live up to that first single, or so the critics said. I had a hard time finding one of her records(I think I'm not the only one rediscovering her right now), but once I did, I feel like she is just as good if not better than some of her contemporaries. She has the smoky sound of Dusty Springfield but with a bit more soul.
re soul.

Intrigued by EMA

EMA is a concept by Erika Anderson, formerly of a band called Gowns. Erika brings to the table influences as broad as Catpower and a touch of Patti Smith. But really, the rawness and imagery of the lyrics and vocal style bring an early Courtney Love crossed with Kim Gordon to mind. I'm kind of in love with this track called "Milkman".

The Ladies of Prince

As a child of the 1980's I was a huge Prince fan, I mean, who wasn't? Along with Prince, came the female versions of himself that he dated, created and produced. The best of these were Sheila E, Vanity, and Vanity's replacement Apollonia, and of coarse his band mates Wendy and Lisa. The Glamorous Life by Sheila E, I would argue, stands up against any of Princes greatest hits and well..... Vanity 6 and their debut single Nasty Girl is just as dirty as anything Prince himself would have created. Here are a few favorites from the ladies of Prince.

1960's Girl Groups, my new obsession

Recently, I have begun to be quite infatuated with the girl groups of the 1960's. It all started with picking up a re-issue of The Shangri-la's. Then I happened upon an old Shirelles record. Listening to Best Coast last summer is what triggered me to look backward to these amazing artists. I am now moving on to the classic Phil Spector groups of The Ronnettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and all the rest. If your a Best Coast, Dum Dum Girls or Ravenettes fan, go back to the source, nothing beats the originals. Here are a few for your listening pleasure.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Kills new song, "Baby Says"-I'm loving this one

Anyone that knows me or reads this blog, knows I'm a a fan of The Kills. Below is a video of s SXSW performance of one of The Kills new songs from their forthcoming album Blood Pressures to be released April 5th in the US. Baby Says is the 3rd song from the album that they have put out there(following DNA and Satellite). I have high hopes for this album and by the sound of this song, I have good reason to. The Kills are currently on tour, so check out the dates. They are hitting Detroit on Tuesday May 3rd. This will be the 4th or 5th time I've seen this band. Take my advice, get tickets! By far one of my favorite live bands, ever.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Info on "New" Kate Bush album Directors Cut

One of my favorite musical artist's is about to re-imagine some of her previous work. Kate Bush is getting ready to release Directors Cut in May. This will be a re-working of her albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes. I am especially interested in this project because I took the name of my blog from the song Love and Anger from the album The Sensual World. Kate is working on new material as well, but this will tide us over till that happens. Here is the info from the official press release on her Facebook page:
Kate Bush releases an unusual new album “Director’s Cut” on May 16 on her own label Fish People, in conjunction with EMI.

On “Directors Cut” Kate revisits a selection of tracks from her albums “The Sensual World” and “The Red Shoes”, a process that presents a fascinating portrait of an artist in a constant state of evolution. She has re-recorded some elements whilst keeping the best musical performances of each song – making it something of a director’s cut but in sound, not vision.

A new version of “Deeper Understanding” will be released as a single in April. Although written some twenty years ago, the song may be more relevant today than ever…

Kate is currently working on new material although no release date has been set for this.

“Director’s Cut” will be released in the following formats:

Digital Album, Standard CD in a case-bound book, Deluxe CD (three disc package, including Director’s Cut, The Sensual Word and re-mastered The Red Shoes) in a case-bound book and two-disc vinyl.

Other digital and vinyl formats will be made available on katebush.com. Details will be published shortly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Classic Dolly

There is nothing like a classic Dolly Parton song. You simply can't go wrong with Jolene, but the list of classics is pretty endless. I love Dolly for all the obvious reasons; her humor, her wisdom, her classic country music. I had the opportunity to see Dolly in concert a few years ago at a casino in the Nevada desert(not Vegas). She was as charming and funny as you picture her to be. Her voice sounded so great I actually questioned if she was lip syncing, but I was soon proven wrong, she was just that good. She is also a classic beauty, as you can see from the picture above. I can't think of one person who is a music lover, that does not love Dolly. The word legend gets thrown around a lot, but in this case, its the real deal. Here is one of my favorites from Dolly, that I think is a little lesser known. It's called The Carroll County Accident. It demonstrates one of Dolly's true gifts, how to tell a story.

New Fever Ray song on Red Riding Hood soundtrack

I love, love, love the new Fever Ray song, The Wolf, that is featured in the new film Red Riding Hood. It is the most tribal, spooky ass shit she has put out. Simply awesome.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Poor Lykke LI looks like GaGa

Nope, this is not the same person. Many people recently have mentioned the likeness of Lykke Li and Lady Gaga. Best Coast's Bethany Costa mentioned it on her Twitter feed last week and had to quickly make a posting that it was not a dis on either lady. The above photos have Gaga on top and Lykke on the bottom. Anyway, just thought I'd point it out. Kinda scary.

Bat For Lashes covers Depeche Mode

Natasha Kahn has already shown her chops for doing covers. She did a pretty amazing take on The Cure's A Forest and also did justice to Bruce Springsteen's classic I'm on Fire. This time she was tapped by Gucci to cover the Depeche Mode classic Strangelove for their new ad campaign. Not sure it is quite as successful as she has done in the past, but passable. I love Bats, so I kind of like it. Be warned though, if you are a die hard DP fan, chances are, you will not approve.

The Kills video for Satellite

Anyone that knows me, knows I love The Kills. I am in eager await of the new album and I'll have to say, from the sound of the first single Satellite, its going to be good. It has a bit of that dredging sound of URA Fever(which was the first single from the last album). I have a feeling the real rocking sound is yet to come. As usual, the video does not disappoint either. Nothing flashy, just cool images of the two tooling around in a rad Rolls Royce.

The Cave Singers, Seattle band with southern soul

The Cave Singers is a band I just kind of came across on Itunes. I was drawn to the name of the band as well as the title of their new album, No Witch. I took a couple short listens and picked it up at my local record store UHF. So glad I did. I am a sucker for that southern soul sound and if it has a bit of Appalachian banjo thrown in, well, I'm all in. The band is from Seattle and consists of members of a few other Seattle bands, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Hint Hint and others. I remember Pretty Girls Make Graves from when I lived in Seattle. PGMG was ok, but I think this band is way better. The sound of the Cave Singers has hints of that Northwest Fleet Foxes sound, but is much less woods and wilderness and much more jamming on the back porch of the shack. It has Folk, blues, bluegrass and even a little mystic feel on the song Outer Realms. This is their 3rd album, so I'm a little late to the party. I'll need to go back and see if I like the other two as much as I like this one. From what I read on Pitchfork(which gave it a 6.5), this is the darkest of their albums. Which is most likely why I love it so much. Here is one of the tracks Swim Club.

Tennis is a husband and wife team serving up bubblegum

Tennis is one of my new favorite bands. They are one of those husband and wife bands. From what I read, they got each other, got on a sailboat and wrote a record. The results are easy, fun and upbeat. It has shades of She and Him, 60's girl groups, surf rock and overall retro vibe. I don't know why I'm so obsessed with the 60's California/Girl groups sound. Must be all the snow this winter. Not much depth here, just good summertime jams. I picked it up on Vinyl and it sounds great, although the cover looks like an American Apparel ad. Here is a taste. It is a song called Marathon:

Here's a little listen:

Friday, January 28, 2011

My favorite new Pop track for 2011: Adele-Rolling in the Deep

Adele has a new album coming out on Feb 22nd in the US. This is her follow up album to her debut album two years ago, 19. The first single is Rolling in the Deep. It has been on many blogs and websites. People are loving it and frankly, so am I. I picked up the first album and really loved 2-3 of the songs, but the rest was just kind of O-K for me. I had a chance to see her live as well and I must say, she put on a great show. She really appreciated the audience and interacted with people between many songs. She is really very funny.
Truth be told, I love the English soul singers. Whether its good ole' Dusty Springfield or the new crop with Adele, Duffy, etc(Not Amy Winehouse though, not a fan) I'm pretty much a sucker for them.
Here is the new Single from Adele. Hope you love!

Beth Ditto Does solo EP with Simian Mobile Disco

Beth Ditto, of the amazing band Gossip, recently completed and released a solo EP with dance faves Simian Mobile Disco. This is definitely something different for this garage band southern soul singer. Seems this union came out of her providing guest vocals on one track for SMD's last album. With this new EP, they have taken it even further. It is pure future disco house! It is really cool to see Beth in this context. This is dance music for the clubs and pre-parties at home. It is 4 solid tracks and if your a fan of Beth, it's worth buying. Right now it is only available on beatport.com. You can find the link on Gossip's official website www.gossipyouth.com. It should be getting a wider release on vinyl and itunes in March.
Here is a sampling of the tracks.

Zola Jesus tours North America-New Music?

Zola Jesus is one of my favorite new voices in music. She came out with two EP's in the US in 2010 and has been called "one to watch" in 2011. She has recently made comments about writing new songs and new music for 2011. She has just released tour dates for a large North American tour. Maybe we will get a chance to hear some of this new music on the new tour?One can hope. This is her first headlining slot after supporting tours with The XX and Xiu Xiu last year. I will be catching her show here in Detroit on Monday April 18th at The Magic Stick(great venue!). This is one act that is worth staying up late for on a school night!
Here is the full list of dates:
Zola Jesus 2011 Tour Dates:
03/12 – Mexico City, MX @ Indie-O Festival
04/14 – St. Louis, MO @ Biliken Club *
04/15 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle *
04/18 – Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick *
04/19 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk *
04/20 – Toronto, ON @ The Garrison *
04/21 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore *
04/22 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music *
04/23 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom *
04/25 – Philedelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s ^
04/26 – Washington, DC @ Red Palace ^
04/27 – Grantham, PA @ Messiah College ^
04/29 – Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon ^
04/30 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry ^
05/03 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore ^
05/04 – Seattle, WA @ Crocodile Lounge ^
05/05 – Portland, OR @ Holocene ^
05/06 – San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw ^
05/07 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Satellite ^

The Kills new album and tour dates

One of my very favorite bands, The Kills, have a new album and a new tour! I have see this band live 3 times and they never disappoint. Allison and Jamie are full of it on stage. They often play off one another by pushing each other around, pacing and generally ruling the stage and the audience. Meg White is a friend to them and is always in attendance at the Detroit shows. If you have not seen them...well take some advice and do!
There are little details on the new album except that it is a fuller sound and they have a track listing. The album is titled Blood Pressures and will release in the US on April 5th(worldwide the day before). I can honestly say, this is the first album of 2011 that I am in eager anticipation for and I'm positive I will love it. Here is the track listing:
01 Future Starts Slow
02 Satellite
03 Heart Is A Beating Drum
04 Nail In My Coffin
05 Wild Charms
06 DNA
07 Baby Says
08 Last Goodbye
09 Damned If She Do
10 You Don’t Own The Road
11 Pots and Pans
Here is the currently listed tour dates!

03-16-20 Austin, TX - SXSW
03-29 Antwerp, Belgium - Trix
03-30 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Melkweg
03-31 London, England - Heaven
04-02 Milan, Italy - Tunnel
04-06 Paris, France - Le Bataclan
04-08 Berlin, Germany - Huxley's
04-15 San Diego, CA - House of Blues *
04-19 Dallas, TX - Granada Theatre ^
04-20 Austin, TX - La Zona Rosa ^
04-22 Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom ^
04-23 Atlanta, GA - Masquerade ^
04-24 Washington, DC - 9:30 Club ^
04-26 Boston, MA - Royale ^
04-27 Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of the Living Arts ^
04-29 New York, NY - Terminal 5 ^
04-30 Montreal, Quebec - L'Olympia ^
05-01 Toronto, Ontario - Sound Academy ^
05-03 Detroit, MI - Majestic Theatre ^
05-04 Chicago, IL - Vic Theatre ^
05-05 Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue ^
05-08 Vancouver, British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom ^
05-09 Seattle, WA - Showbox at the Market ^
05-10 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom ^
05-11 San Francisco, CA - The Fillmore ^

* with Foals
^ with Cold Cave, the Entrance Band

Rock and Roll Lingerie show-Beth Ditto, The Kills, Karen Elston

I came across this on Twentyfourbit's site. I'm not usually one for lingerie fashion shows but when it has live performances by Beth Ditto, The Kills, Karen Elston, Boy George, and Spankrock as a soundtrack, well, I'll totally watch that. Beth Ditto opens the show, The Kills are around the 5 minute mark and Karen Elston is near the end. It's worth watching the whole thing. Hope you enjoy...the music or the bra's. Whateves!

Best Coast covers Loretta Lynn

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino recently covered Fist City by Loretta Lynn. I love Loretta, I love this song and I do love me some Best Coast. Good to know they can do old country music just as well as California summer jams!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Record Store Shopping: Karen Dalton and The Shangri-la's

I went shopping at my favorite record store today, UHF, located in downtown Royal oak, MI-a suburb of Detroit. I was not really sure what I was looking for or what I wanted. There have not been that many new releases lately that have inspired me, so I was hoping to to find something old that's new to me. Often I will also pick up records that I've heard about for a long time but have actually neglected to listen to or buy. Well, I sure found two gems today. Karen Dalton and The Shangri-la's.

Karen Dalton
Karen only has two albums, one released in 1969 and the other in 1971. I was wandering through UHF Records and the cover of her album In My Own Time struck me. It shows her on a country road in a long angle black and white shot. Very country but very mysterious. What really convinced me to buy it was my friend Tommy, the owner of UHF. The fact that I had already looked at it and that then 30 minutes later, he is talking me into buying it can only be musical fate. Let me tell you, she is amazing! The only other people that I can remember that effected me in the same way when I heard their voices for the first time are Antony Hegarty and Nina Simone. Karen has a very similar vocal style and sound. If you like either of these, she is an absolute must for your record collection. I plan on going back to the record store tomorrow to buy her other album. Both of her albums have been reissued by Light in the Attic records. Yep, that's how good she is, see a sample below

The Shangri-la's
The Shangri-la's are a girl group that gets referenced so much by critics and music writers that it really was long overdue for me to pick up an album. The Shangri-la's was lead by a blonde 16 year old from Queens, NY named Mary Weiss. She was backed by her own sister Betty Weiss, as well as a set of twin sisters, Marge and Mary Ann Ganser. I found a reissue of their first album, even though the record store did have a good copy of the original(the reissue was $18, the original was $80)Everyone knows the big hit from the middle 60's Leader of the Pack, but it is really the rest of the album that is so amazing. If you like current acts like Best Coast, then look to The Shangri-la's for the girls that started it. These girls are just plain cool!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My favorite tracks of 2010

Here are some of my favorite tracks of 2010. These are tracks that were either the stand out of an album I had higher hopes for, were off sound tracks or from artists that are new or don't have proper albums.

Gossip-Heavy Cross
*This is off the album, Music for Men. I really wanted this album to be better. It was not bad, but Rick Rubin really took all the grit and soul out of Beth Ditto. A Hard thing to do I would imagine. This track was my favorite off the album.

*Goldfrapp decided to do a tribute to the 80's in this synth pop dance record. It was a little too candy coated for me. But I did think this song was pretty damn good, much better than lead off track Rocket.

Erykah Badu-Window Seat
*This was a really good album. It was a slow groove, slight throwback to the Baduism days. It was funky, cool and fun. Just wish it had a little more pop appeal like the first single. Also, this video had a controversy all its own because of the nudity and the fact that it was filmed at the sight of the JFK assassination.

Zola Jesus-Sea Talk
*Zola Jesus has been named "one to watch in 2011" on nearly every list of that kind. In the US she released to critically acclaimed EP's and she toured with The XX. It is hard to believe that this talent is only 21.

Most overhyped band of 2010-Sleigh Bells!

Sleigh Bells debut album Treats, is just not for me. It sounds like straight up noise with SOME pattern to it. I know many people with disagree with me and they are on many, many top album of 2010 lists. Not on mine though. I could not even bear to listen to it. I don't care that they were signed to M.I.A's label.
Judge for your self though, hype? or Creative indie music? You decide for yourself. Here is what I think to be the "best" track to sample:

My Favorite Albums of 2010!

Ok, so I'm not going to rank these albums because I love them all for different reasons. These 5 albums are what I listened to the most this year. As usual, 4 of the 5 have a female vocalist and the one lone male voice fills out the top 5. If you don't have these albums, you need to check them out, cause I have pretty good music taste:)

Beach House-Teen Dream
*This album really was my first favorite album of 2010. I had heard of Beach House and even taken a listen to their previous two albums, but it was this third album that really grabbed a hold of me. The strength of the first single Norway was the beginning of a year long love affair with this album. Of my top five listed, this is the only band I actually had the opportunity to see live. They were fantastic. For such a mellow, dreamy band, Victoria Legrand can really rock out and has excellent stage presence. I can't imagine anyone not liking this album. It has forced me to look back and re-evaluate what I thought of their previous work. Something I am still working on.

Best Coast-Crazy for you
*The hype on this album was large to say the least. Reading reviews and comments from critics that had heard promo copies, I did not really expect to like it. The key terms of Lo-Fi, reference to 60's girl groups and the indie cred, all felt like it was going to be another Vivian Girls or Dum Dum Girls, both of which are not really my cup of tea. I was very pleasantly surprised. Bethany Cosentino did something different than those other bands, she found the fun! Yeah, its Lo-Fi. Yeah, it sounds like 60's wall of sound girl groups. And yeah, it was an indie record, but it is just pure California fun. This album was made for sunny road trips. This was by far the best "Summer" album this year.

Yeasayer-Odd Blood
*Odd Blood is the second album by this Brooklyn band. Their first album All Hour Cymbals got many critics attention because of some of the afro-beat, world music, psychadelic influences. With this second album, they still have all of that, BUT they made it more pop and more accessible. I think this was a big win on their part. This album was full of great tracks, Ambling Alp, Madder Rose, O.N.E, and Love Me Girl. This was another album that came out just as Summer was about to hit and it made you celebrate. I really regret not seeing this band this past year, especially since they released a live album by download from their website on Xmas. I really love lead singer Chris Keating's voice. His voice has the distinctive quality of Damon Albarn or Richard Ashcroft. There is just something about it that makes it stand out to me. I really hope to catch this band live next time they hit Detroit.

Warpaint-The Fool
*Warpaint released their first proper album The Fool late in the fall. They came to my attention because of their slot opening on tour for The XX this year. That being said, I missed that tour too(I really missed some good shows this year, ugh). Before this album came out I bought their previous EP/Album Exquisite Corpse. I really loved that album and I still might like it better than The Fool. The Fool is full of sounds and soft vocals, driving at times, barely audible at others. I guess that mix is what gives it a mysterious, bedroom whisper, hypnotic quality. I have a feeling this will be one of those records that continues to have layers and grow on the listener.

Janelle Monae-The Archandroid
*This is by far the most ambitious album of the year. Janelle Monae crosses all boundaries-soul, rock, classical, funk, you name it! This larger than life full length debut album takes you into a Sci-Fi world of bounty hunters, android body doubles and time travel, all in the name of love. Sounds crazy and it totally is, the strangest thing is that it works. The entire album is fascinating and compelling. My favorite tracks are Dance or Die, Faster, Tightrope, Neon Valley Street and Wondaland. It was hard to pick favorites. More than anyone on this list, this is going to be an artist that will become big, really big!