Friday, December 31, 2010

Meat Puppets' Cris Kirkwood Featured on Daytrotter has posted a recent session of their daily live studio recording series (always available for FREE download) with Cris Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets! Listen and download HERE. Check out what Daytrotter had to say...

"The night that the Meat Puppets were last in Rock Island, Illinois (and if you're reading this essay on the final day of two thousand and ten, they've returned to the city for the first time since then) adds significantly to the folklore of this Tempe, Arizona band that Kurt Cobain and hard drugs loved so much. We became personally acquainted with the Puppets two years ago down in Austin, during the SXSW festival as they were mounting a comeback and releasing a new record for the first time in a long while. One of the most beautiful moments of that initial meeting was afterward, when they were killing time outside in the sun, following the taping. They were smoking cigarettes the way they compulsively do and cracking into the first Tecate of the day, still before the noon hour, when Tricky's bus rolled up and to a stop and, like one homeless-looking man to another, Tricky stumbles off his bus - drunk and in sporty rubber sandals, with his black tube socks on - wanders right over to Cris and Curt Kirkwood and asks if he can bum a smoke. A good handful of months later, they were here for a gig and the day was getting away from them. Tour had been grueling and they'd arrived in town later than they'd hoped and Curt fell asleep at the hotel. We'd been planning on the full band coming by the Horseshack for an encore session and as we got to the prearranged time, it came and it went. The band and their manager were not answering their phones, but we finally heard from them an hour or so later, as the show was just two hours out. It was the band's manager, Dennis, and he said that the band was exhausted but Cris really wanted to come up and do something. Now, Cris is a bass player for the Meat Puppets, but he doesn't do any of that here. Cris is not a piano player, never has been, but he is here. He sings here. This is also out of the ordinary. What it all amounts to is one of the most amazing and easily the oddest session we've ever been lucky enough to tape. We kept tape rolling as Cris plinked through some of his favorite songs (you've never heard "Unchained Melody" like you hear it here), lovingly butchering, then tightening them up as much as he was going to be able to and ultimately leaving it all in the final cut. You will hear the entire thing, all of it and it's engrossing."

Roger Waters Planning "The Wall Tour" Concert Film

[] When it’s all said and done, Roger Waters’ “Wall” tour will have spanned eight months and 20 countries. But if you live in, say, Boise, or fell victim to surcharges, here’s some good news: a live concert film may be on the way.

Though there’s no official confirmation of a forthcoming release, Waters has announced that he will be filming and recording all six shows at The O2 Arena in London in May, reports “For these shows, photographs are permitted but we must insist on NO Flash photography. Flash wipes out the images projected on the Wall, which are the most important part of the show. Any person who uses Flash will have their camera confiscated and could be removed from the Arena,” the official statement notes.

Of course, conspiracy theorists (like myself) will note that the gigs would serve as a perfect platform for Water’s promised one-off reunion with ex-bandmate David Gilmour. After all, nothing sells DVDs like a Pink Floyd reunion.

Those who’d rather attend the performances in person can still pick up tickets via Ticketmaster. Find all of Waters’ forthcoming tour dates below.

03/21 – Lisbon, PT @ Atlantico Pavillion
03/22 – Lisbon, PT @ Atlantico Pavillion
03/25 – Madrid, ES @ Mediolanum de Deportes
03/26 – Madrid, ES @ Mediolanum de Deportes
03/29 – Barcelona, ES @ Palau Sant Jordi
03/30 – Barcelona, ES @ Palau Sant Jordi
04/01 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
04/02 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
04/04 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
04/05 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
04/08 – Arnhem, NL @ Gelredome
04/09 – Arnhem, NL @ Gelredome
04/11 – Arnhem, NL @ Gelredome
04/12 – Zagreb, HU @ Sports Arena
04/15 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
04/16 – Prague, CZ @ O2 Arena
04/18 – Lodz, PL @ Atlas Arena
04/19 – Lodz, PL @ Atlas Arena
04/23 – Moscow, RU @ Olympiski
04/25 – St. Petersburg, RU @ SKK Arena
04/27 – Helsinki, FI @ Hartwall Arena
04/28 – Helsinki, FI @ Hartwall Arena
04/30 – Fornebu, NO @ Telenor Arena
05/01 – Fornebu, NO @ Telenor Arena
05/04 – Stockholm, SE @ Ericsson Globe
05/05 – Stockholm, SE @ Ericsson Globe
05/07 – Copenhagen, DK @ Parken Stadium
05/11 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/12 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/14 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/15 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/17 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/18 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
05/20 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena
05/21 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena
05/23 – Dublin, IE @ O2 Arena
05/24 – Dublin, IE @ O2 Arena
05/27 – Antwerp, BE @ Sportspaleis
05/28 – Antwerp, BE @ Sportspaleis
05/30 – Paris, FR @ Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
05/31 – Paris, FR @ Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
06/03 – Mannheim, DE @ SAP Arena
06/04 – Mannheim, DE @ SAP Arena
06/06 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
06/07 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
06/10 – Hamburg, DE @ O2 World Hamburg
06/11 – Hamburg, DE @ O2 World Hamburg
06/13 – Herning, DK @ MCH Multiarena
06/15 – Berlin, DE @ O2 Arena
06/16 – Berlin, DE @ O2 Arena
06/18 – Düsseldorf, DE @ Esprit Arena
06/20 – Munich, DE @ Olympiahalle
06/22 – Zagreb, HU @ Sports Arena
06/24 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
06/25 – Zurich, CH @ Hallenstadion
06/27 – Birmingham, UK @ National Indoor Arena
06/28 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Evening News Arena
06/30 – Paris, FR @ Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy
07/06 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
07/07 – Assago, IT @ Mediolanum Forum

Flaming Lips Streaming New Year's Eve Concert Live

[] Hopefully you don’t have plans for New Year’s Eve yet, because here’s something better than most options: watch The Flaming Lips’ New Year’s Eve concert from the comfort of your couch. I mean, champagne, pillows, and Wayne Coyne… what could be better?

As previously reported, the band will ring in 2k11 by playing their 1k99 classic, The Soft Bulletin, in its entirety at the Cox Convention Center in their hometown of Oklahoma City. For those who can’t attend, The Lips have teamed up with and iClips to stream the performance live online. The fun will begin at 10pm EST, and in case you already have other plans, the webcast will also be re-broadcast on Sunday, January 2nd at 9pm EST.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Amplifier's "The Octopus" Reviewed on What Is Music?

Our friends over at What Is Music?, a great blog based out of the UK, have written a review of Amplifier's new opus The Octopus. The band worked on the two disc set for years, and it has finally arrived, blowing away all expectations I previously had, constantly striking me as their Dark Side of the Moon. Check out the What Is Music? review...

[] So it's finally here. The Octopus. Two hours and five minutes of music. Dear God.

It's pretty difficult to marshall words, such is the scope of this record; it's quite simply massive, both musically and conceptually. Along with the album comes a comic of the story, which ends simply with the words 'the beginning is important in all things', as well as a block of text explaining the concept of the record. By iterating and replacing letters with symbols, gradually the text dissolves into nonsense, and only ends with the credits page. I think it's about entropy, but it could equally be about the evolution of mind; I'm not really sure, but either way it's just the kind of high-minded conceptual art that is a breath of fresh air after years of vapid electro-indie.

The songs themselves are a mixed bag; “well ha, fucking ha!” mocks Sel in 'Golden Ratio', a track beholden to Amp's early period, while 'Fall of the Empire', and the title track are a darker, heavier evolution of their earlier records. Cuts like 'The Emperor' are equally similar to the mood and style of Insider, but the newer, heavier Amplifier definitely predominates. The riffs will be familiar to long-time fans, but the orchestral grandeur and huge harmonies are largely a new phenomenon. In any case, it's very welcome to have sprawling space-rock tracks like 'Interstellar' and the massive closer, 'Forever and More' in the mix, for they add the textural diversity that was perhaps found wanting on Insider compared to their début.

Between the two discs there's a change in feel too; Disc One, for the most part is the more 'classic' Amplifier sound- 'Planet of Insects' in particular sounds like nothing so much as an Amplifier track. Most of the songs reflecting pretty much how Amplifier have been sounding live for the last two years; there's even a piano coda after 'White Horses at Sea' by live keyboard player Charlie Barnes to illustrate this fact. It's all just as atmospheric as before, but if anything rather more driving and perhaps a little less psychedelic. There's less of that Gilmour-esque reverb-fuzz-wah combination and I'd hazard that the bass has come up in the mix somewhat, no bad thing.

Disc Two, on the other hand kicks off with the scratchy and strange 'Sick Rose', a marked change from 'Trading Dark Matter on the Stock Exchange', which in its most Soundgarden-y moment (think 'Just Like Suicide') even includes a power-stance ready shred passage, stylishly executed. To suddenly emerge into a drifting web of heavily effected guitar textures is somewhat disorientating. The disc continues this general theme of wrong-footing the listener, and there's even an acoustic guitar taking the lead (shock horror) on 'Oscar Night' (no relation to Oceansize's recent 'Oscar Acceptance Speech'), to my mind the first time since 'Scarecrows' from The Astronaut Dismantles Hal. On 'Bloodtest' a brilliantly nuts drumbeat drills its way into your forehead while stereo guitar nonsense ensues, and though the average length of songs on the second disc is longer than those on the first, to my surprise it passed a lot more effortlessly.

These are of course, after four days of listening, only really first impressions; nevertheless, what emerges clear as day is the fact that this is the best album Amplifier have yet made, and that the listener who cares to (or, indeed has the patience to) untangle its substance will be rewarded. Whatever it is or isn't about, it's fantastic. What's even more amazing about the whole thing is that whilst it was created without any label support, entirely in a DIY manner, it's still so perfectly-formed and fully realised. There's not a note or cymbal crash out of place, and they should be proud of just how accomplished this album is. Absolutely bloody brilliant, there's no two ways about it.

Rating: 5/5

Maps & Atlases weave beauty on "Perch Patchwork"

Please welcome Exploding In Sound's newest contributor, Cody Nelson, reviewing one of EIS' favorite albums of the year...

In the first few seconds of listening, Maps & Atlases first full-length album may seem like a 1950s experiment with the new technology of tape audio recording. The vintage sound of Perch Patchwork will catch some people off guard initially, which is expected in an age where digital, polished recordings shine. However, the art created on the album makes it stand out more. It is honest and emotionally moving, making it an enjoyable listen for many.

In addition to being Maps & Atlases first full length album, Perch Patchwork is also the band's first release for their new label, Chris Walla's Barsuk Records. The band has previously released multiple EPs, both independently and through Sargent House Records, while growing a devoted fan base and gaining copious amounts of experience. Their decision to put off a full-length until five years into their career paid off tenfold. They made a departure from their stereotypical math-rock roots and created a truly unique sound. The jittery guitars and unconventional song structures from their earlier efforts are still present, but are used less often and in far more potent ways. This time around, songwriting is favored over technical prowess. "The Charm" begins with the simple plucking of two notes on an acoustic guitar. Over the next three minutes, vocals, electric guitars, and percussion are added onto the same two note progression until the song climaxes with driving drums and vocalist David Davison trilling about lost love. This seemingly simple construction creates one of the most powerful and driving moments in all twelve tracks.

David Davison's vocals are truly inspiring throughout Perch Patchwork. From simple humming to four-part harmonies, he conveys feelings perfectly and keeps the album moving along well. At times, he sounds like an indie Cee Lo Green. Bad comparison aside, Davison proves himself as a uniquely talented singer and songwriter. The album is crowded with abstract lyrics and great metaphors. Oddly interesting lines like "I slept on the solid ground near your house/and it felt just like a barbell wrapped in a shirt" fill the album. Although the lyrics can even be incomprehensible on occasion, nobody will find themselves complaining. Not many singers can touch the captivating melodies that Davison creates. An appearance by the guys from Good Old War on "Israeli Caves" adds another element to the album and gives a reprieve from having only Davison's vocals on the rest of the album, as if we needed a break.

For Perch Patchwork, the band enlisted producer Jason Cupp to help bassist Shiraz Dada, who produced and engineered the band's previous efforts by himself. The two of them crafted a very organic sounding album, which is what these songs needed. You won't find any electric drums or auto-tune here, but you will hear imperfect takes and sounds that make the album all the more enjoyable. To give the album something other than just the typical guitar/bass/drums sound, Dada and company call on some other instrumentalists to add more texture. "Pigeon" has the band adding horns to a fluttery guitar riff that results in a sophisticated sounding folk-pop song. The highest point on the album, however, comes on the final track. Orchestral instruments and some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard make "Perch Patchwork" the best track on the album. It uses gentle instruments in such an intelligent, effective way that it still hits like a truck. It isn't heavy or aggressive; it is simply powerful and effective in its own right. The elements that make this track so good - unique instrumentation, clever riffs, and beautiful melodies - are a good summary of what makes Perch Patchwork the great and distinctive album that it is.

-Cody Nelson
December 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Office of Future Plans (J. Robbins) Launch Kickstarter Campaign

Office of Future Plans is the new project from Jawbox/Burning Airlines/Channels frontman J. Robbins.

After playing shows in the Baltimore/DC area for the past year, we're excited to finally have material recorded. To start, we're self-releasing our debut 7", but we need your help! We'd like to release it the same week we open for The Dismemberment Plan (1/23). That's a tight timeframe, but we're confident it's possible!

Your pre-order will help pay for the following:

* vinyl manufacturing (initially limited to 500 copies)
* printing costs (beautiful folder sleeve designed by Zach Barocas)
* mastering (Bob Weston!)
* shipping/postage
* stickers
* a portion of a run of t-shirts

Track listing:

Side A: Harden Your Heart
Side B: Everybody Loves You When You're Dead (Stranglers cover)

As a Kickstarter pledger, you'll get a special download of the 7" songs several days before the official release. Streaming may be available sooner on BandCamp, but you'll be the first to have it on your iPods.

And now, the reward levels...

* $1 and greater - a thank-you mention on our BandCamp site.
* $7 - the 7" (w/ free shipping in the US) + stickers (non-US pledgers - please pledge at least $10 to cover the extra shipping costs)
* $25 - the 7", stickers, and a t-shirt (w/ free shipping in the US)
* $45 - 2 copies of the 7", 2 t-shirts, and stickers (w/ free shipping in the US)
* $100 (Option 1) - the 7", stickers, a t-shirt, and cello tracks on a song of your choice, recorded by OFP cellist Gordon Withers at his home (great for musicians or friends-of-musicians!)
* $100 (Option 2) - the 7", stickers, a t-shirt, and a complete guitar setup at Brooks's Big Crunch amp & guitar repair shop. (Limit of 3, and pledger must be local to the Baltimore/DC area)
* $100 (Option 3) - the 7", stickers, a t-shirt, and Darren will give you a free drum lesson! (Limit of 5, and pledger must be local to the Baltimore/DC area)
* $500 - the 7", stickers, a t-shirt, and a studio day at J's Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore. You also get your choice of any additional OFP band member (Darren, Brooks, or Gordon) to sit in on your session for a few hours.
* $1000 - all of the above, including the studio day, plus OFP will arrange and record a cover song of your choice.

The studio day and cover song rewards are subject to logistical constraints. You are responsible for your own transportation, lodging, etc. We'll do everything possible to accommodate your availability, within reason. Additionally, the cover song is subject to negotiation. We're open to most anything, but we won't be re-arranging an hour-long piece for gamelan orchestra, for instance.

Thank you so much for pledging, and please share this project with all of your friends!


For more from Office of Future Plans:



Doomriders Announce New Drummer

[] Doomriders have bolstered their ranks with the addition of new permanent drummer Q (ex-Clouds.) He officially fills the slot originally vacated by John-Robert Conners, who left the band to focus on his family life and the reactivated Cave In. Doomriders announced Q‘s addition with the following statement:

“We are proud and excited to announce that we have filled the drum throne with none other than our good friend Q. Some of you may know him from his kick ass drumming in the great but now defunct Clouds. He’s a perfect fit and we couldn’t be more happy! Come see his first show with us February 5th at Ralph’s in Worcester!!!!”

At the moment the band have the following shows booked:

02/05 Worcester, MA – Ralph’s Rock Diner
02/12 Brooklyn, NY – Union Pool (feat. Sweet Cobra)
02/13 Boston, MA – Great Scott (feat. Sweet Cobra, Ramming Speed, Lunglust)

Dogs Without Borders Release "We're All Really Worried About You" EP as Free Download

Dogs Without Borders, the Maryland/Boston post-punk quartet, have released their debut EP We're All Really Worried About You for FREE download via the band's official Bandcamp page HERE. The band, comprised of members of Grass Is Green and Two Inch Astronaut, among others, had this to say about the record...

"This album was recorded in the summer of 2010 by Michael Thomas at a practice space and apartment in Boston, Mass. It was mastered by Devin Ocampo. It is composed of 5 songs written by a now geographically dissevered band.

Despite our physical disconnect, we felt that it was vital to express collective concern for our listeners (however few and far between). Once in a while, one of us would get a stitch in his side and a horrible feeling that one of you was in trouble. He would subsequently call on his band members to create the aural equivalent of heedfulness and loving care. This is the sound of a band that however far apart is still REALLY WORRIED ABOUT YOU."

Dogs Without Borders are:

Devin Mcknight - guitars
Andy Chervenak - guitars, bass, throat
Sam Rosenberg - guitars, throat
Brendan Bessel - drums

It's nice to know the band cares! Show you care by downloading their stunning EP and telling everyone you know to do the same...

Declan de Barra (ex Clann Zu) Posts Update

An update from former Clann Zu frontman Declan de Barra has been posted on his official site. For those unfamiliar with his solo work, you can stream both of his solo albums via his official bandcamp page! Check out the first track "Call to Arms" HERE, from his upcoming release Fragments, Footprints, and the Forgotten due out in February.

"What have I been up to in the last 5 months of silence? Well lots really… I finished a tour, dealt with family illness, recorded an album, moved to Los Angeles, sold a TV show I co created, wrote some TV episodes for other people and got married. I will fill you in on all the music parts now and fill you in on all the other happenings in another blog lest you starve to death while reading this post.

So… the last show I played was in Vancouver in August and I am itching to play again. It looks like I will be in Europe for a month or so in March/April and will hopefully be back there again later in the year. Since I am in the States I will probably play a bunch of shows here too next year. I don’t quite know how that will work but we will see soon. I may even do a tour of house shows at fans places. Should be a lot of fun and I am looking forward to meeting everyone in person after years of seeing everyone online.

I finished recording and mixing album number 3 “Fragments, Footprints and the Forgotten” in Dublin just before heading to Canada in August. It was recorded in the same room as the last two albums over the course of two weeks. This time there were no guests, everything you here on there is me playing or singing. I didn’t over analyze anything, most songs were recorded in one or two takes, I left most of the warts in. It is different to the other two, a progression I hope. I didn’t want to make exactly the same record. The next one will be different again I hope. I make these things to satisfy myself, and I am always honored, surprised and very glad when people say they enjoy listening to them and come along to the shows. I know one day it will probably stop and people will move on, but I will continue to make music one way or the other.

It is tough out there in music land. Unless you are prepared to tour all year it is hard to make ends meet. I have way more listeners and it grows constantly but the numbers of records sold don’t. Anyone in the indie world hoping to make ends meet on records sold alone is dreaming. Buying music digital or physical is largely a dodo. That’s just the way things are and there is no use whining like a spoiled pup about it. If you want to make enough to eat and pay rent you have got to have your arse out on the road and sell merchandise. That is the hard truth. This obviously is harder on people who have kids or a relationship. Who the fuck wants to be involved with someone you see for a few months of the year?

Tough especially for new bands or artists starting out. It’s okay for myself because I already have a small and loyal audience that allows me to tour. Saying that, EVERYBODY now has to be out on the road working it and EVERYBODY is competing for shows at venues. A nice side effect of this has been the rise of DIY house shows. It may be the only alternative for bands and musicians starting up now. DIY to the max. Musicians now are going to be tougher that’s for sure. More power to them.

So I think you will see music change, there will be a lot more part time musos and maybe less bands. I survive by keeping overheads low, If i can’t carry it I don’t play it. It’s all in a state of flux with music at the moment. Interesting times. Anyone who tells you they know how it will all work out is full of shit. No one knows. It’s kind of cool and exciting in a way. I like things being broken down and rebuilt. A big fan.

As the final days of the record “Industry” gasp and rattle their death breaths I don’t really give a fuck. I never expected, creating the kind of music I do, to be part of that system to a large degree. The ability to make music and create full time was all I ever wanted to do. Anything else was a bonus. And the internet allowed me to do it. I would not be doing what I am doing now with out it. Without blogs, word of mouth, torrents and downloads. Without you lads and lassies. Thank you.

All that being said, the new album will be coming out for sale in a physical format. Cd and limited edition vinyl. 300 copies. I’m very fucking excited about the Vinyl.

There will be a pay what you want for digital downloads via Bandcamp and 25% of all digital sales will go to charity, probably Amnesty or Doctors without borders, I have to decide yet. Suggestions welcome. It will also be available on the usual suspects Amazon and Itunes etc.

The physical release of the record will be through my good friend Emil’s label, Black Star Foundation. They are also behind most of the shows for Europe this year. I can’t thank the man enough. A smart fucker and a good soul. My favourite label I have ever worked with. It will be distributed by the good people at Cargo.

I finished the artwork a few weeks ago and everything is out at the printers as I type. Thanks for reading. Have a brilliant new year." - Declan

Dean Fertita Discusses Hello=Fire, Queens of the Stone Age, + Dead Weather

[] Dean Fertita likes making his own music, but not necessarily under his own name.

The Queens of the Stone Age and Dead Weather guitarist-keyboardist recently released "Hello=Fire," a title that serves as both the name of the 12-track album and of the entity that recorded it. And while he acknowledges that using his own name would "probably be a wise approach," Fertita tells that he's more comfortable operating under a band name.

"Just for me as a fan of music and everything, I always gravitated towards a band idea," Fertita explains. "I'm a fan of the band concept. I like the interaction with other people in writing and performing, so that's probably something I'll always keep to."

Fertita started making "Hello=Fire" two years ago with Brendan Benson in their native Detroit and continued recording "on days off" from duties with is other bands, including a stint as a utility player on the Raconteurs' first tour. He used a half-dozen studios in locales such as London, Los Angeles and Nashville, joined by Benson, QOTSA bandmates Joey Castillo, Troy Van Leeuwen and Michael Schuman, and the Afghan Whigs' Michael Horrigan.

"I was surprised at the end of the whole thing that it sounded as cohesive as it did," Fertita admits. "I think I was lucky in the fact that I was able to do most of the recording with guys that I've been plying with for awhile; whoever was around and felt like going in the studio for a day and making some music, that's who played on the record. There wasn't anything pre-conceived about it; the mood of everybody who was in the room that day is kind of where this went. It was a really simplified approach."

Fertita has played only one Hello=Fire concert, at Spaceland in Los Angeles, but he hopes to more when time allows. Currently his "number one priority" is the new QOTSA album, which the group will start recording in January. "Everybody seems excited and ready to go," Fertita reports. "We've got so many ideas started already; I guess we'll see what turns out to be everybody's favorite. It's very much still Josh Homme's band, but I think all of us really feel like we've found our space in it and can contribute to it as well."

The Dead Weather, meanwhile, is currently off duty, though Fertita is confident it will make more music in the future as well. "Everything seems to happen by accident with that band," he notes, "so who knows -- maybe we'll have a record together in another two weeks. I think we all love the way it works, so I don't see any reason why we wouldn't try to keep it going at some point."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Quick Notes: Cage The Elephant, City of Ships, Dinosaur Pile-Up

*A message from Cage The Elephant... "A couple people have caught on to our sneaky Christmas surprise, so I’m just going to have to put it out there!! We have released “Around My Head” from the new album, Thank You Happy Birthday, for free on iTunes!!! It will be the single of the week starting today!!

You can also get "Aberdeen," "Shake Me Down," and "2024" instantly when you pre-order from and get your hands on some other exclusive goodies!!! Thank You Happy Birthday hits stores on 1/11/11.

*[] Rosetta and City Of Ships are plotting another European tour together. The trek is expected to kick off on June 22nd and run through to July 15th with dates and venues currently being booked.

*As a special Christmas gift from Dinosaur Pile-Up, here’s an old, old cover of an even older song. Here’s what Matt had to say about it:

“This is one of my favorite Beatles tracks, mainly because its fun. Sure the original version is sweets, its beautiful and fun, classic Beatles I guess - but it wasn’t heavy! Its not KICKING! I’d listen to it and be like “Aw I wish those drums were fucking slamming!” And originally its so ‘nice’ you know!? I wanted to show a little more of the other side of love in the cover that the original side didn’t have - the Heavy side! We played this live when were playing with the Pixies through Europe. Everyone thought it was ours and not the Beatles!! I was like “Holy Shit No!! John Lennon wrote this!!” I recorded this at my mums house.”

Dinosaur Pile-Up - Please Please Me (Beatles Cover) by FriendsVsRecords

Flaming Lips Promising "Out of Control" New Year's Eve Show

[] When Flaming Lips take the stage Friday for their fourth annual New Year's Eve Freakout concert, fans will be barraged with "20 times more balloons and confetti" than at regular shows, lead singer Wayne Coyne tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Coyne says the group is forced to up the ante on the Dec. 31 date because of the high standard of wackiness he and his bandmates have already set for themselves, "Our show is kind of like a New Year's Eve show when it's not fucking New Year's Eve. So when we do a New Year's Eve show, it's out of control."

He continues, "The audience, I think, want that. They're on acid and they're on mushrooms and on DMT and they want this over the top experience."

Stardeath and White Dwarves, a band fronted by Coyne's nephew Dennis, opens the show, taking place at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.

Flaming Lips will play their seminal 1999 album, "The Soft Bulletin," in its entirety after midnight.

Deerhunter Live Video Featured on Big Ass Lens

[] One of the most talked about and universally praised bands these days, Deerhunter, played a show in New York last night and we made sure not to miss it. We here at BAL have been up on Deerhunter since their Kranky debut, Crytpograms. Their breakthrough follow-up Microcastle/Weird Era Cont. came shortly after and we've been hooked ever since. With each passing EP/LP, they seem poised to take on greater musical challenges, unafraid to take shift stylistically and grow on their already dense and atmospheric sound. Their latest work, Halcyon Digest, displays the band’s sunny and bouncier side, with pop numbers like “Revival” and “Memory Boy” bringing much appreciated pep to the mix. Other tracks, like the harpsicord infused “Helicopter” or the sweetly sentimental “He Would Have Laughed” follow and build on the emotional qualities so omnipresent in their earlier albums. Halycon's critical success was truly deserved by this band that has so consistently delivered quality, serious music.

As you’ll see, the band played with control and ease, tearing through a 15 song set with hardly a pause but to maybe take a sip of beer, or in bassist Joshua Fauver’s case, pop in a fresh stick of bubble gum. The band were not afraid to delve into extended alternating periods of caterwauling noise and effervescent bliss. Take for example the coda to “Don’t Cry”, a simple repetition of the words “Your mansions are fading out...” over a gently strumming guitar, a segment that takes up all of 30 seconds on Halcyon, yet drawn out and magnified for over 2 minutes during their live set. A truly gorgeous and memorable experience all around.

Deerhunter - Memory Boy / Rainwater Cassette Exchange / Don't Cry (Live in NYC) from Big Ass Lens on Vimeo.

Our videos consist of the first 6 songs from the show, and includes a wide variety of tracks spanning three of their records. The full set list below:

1. Desire Lines
2. Hazel Street
3. Never Stops
4. Memory Boy
5. Rainwater Cassette Exchange
6. Don't Cry
7. Revival
8. Little Kids
9. Fountain Stairs
10. Nothing Ever Happened
11. Helicopter
12. He Would Have Laughed
13. Basement Scene
14. Spring Hall Convert
15. Fluorescent Grey

SPIN Post Footage from FREE Radiohead Approved DVD

[] Chances are the rock gods didn't hit eBay or Craigslist to buy you one of the $1,500-plus tickets to Radiohead's Haiti benefit show last January at Los Angeles' 863-person capacity Music Box Theatre -- surely one of the Oxford band's most intimate gigs this decade. But, now you can have the next best thing: fan footage of the two-hour, 24-song set, edited into a DVD-length film and sanctioned by the band. Watch below!

The show, one of SPIN's best concerts of 2010, was full of an "ebullience that made the floorboards seem miles beneath the whole production," wrote SPIN's Chris Martins. An A-list crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel, and comedian Aziz Ansari all gathered for the gig, the proceeds from which were donated to Oxfam. The grand total? As Yorke announced with an astonished, "Fuck me!" – a cool $572,754.

You can watch the concert below, or download it for keeps at Inez4Bears -- you can grab both the video and audio from the concert. If you decide to download, Radiohead is encouraging fans to get into the holiday spirit and donate to Oxfam to help with the continuing relief effort in Haiti.

The Melvins' Buzz Osborne Interviewed on Ford Models

[] Considering the Ford Models Blog conducted this interview in June the only compelling explanation to possibly offer for its late December appearance is that we’re in charitable mood. So this is merry Christmas, world, and to you we give this very special interview with Buzz Osborne of the Melvins — hopefully it’s the right color and fit. If you’re scratching your head wondering just what this gift is you’ve unwrapped, then please allow us. The occasion of the interview was a pair of New York shows this past summer that the Melvins played with Ipecac Records label mates Isis on the latter’s farewell tour. Rather than needlessly recount Buzz’s biography we’ll instead somewhat cautiously highlight a solitary point in the larger constellation of the Melvins mythology: Kurt Cobain was a huge fan. Although that is perhaps the least interesting footnote to their extensive history (hence our caution), it does suggest how far back the Melvins legacy and influence stretches. The Melvins story, however does not end in the early 1990s in a two-headed puppy-shaped coda (apols. Frank Kozik). In fact it hasn’t ended at all — like clockwork they’re still writing music, recording albums, and touring.

“We want to be contemporary,” levels Buzz during the interview at the Ford Models Fifth Avenue offices, “I have no interest in dwelling in the past.” With an extensive back catalog — twenty studio albums since 1987 — the Melvins could certainly be forgiven for milking their history, even slightly. That isn’t the case, however. In 2005 Buzz admits to he and drummer Dale Crover having been unhappy with their lot. Having parted ways with their bassist of the previous six albums, Kevin Rutmanis, they wanted to completely reinvent the band. To that end Buzz and Dale made a successful approach to the two-piece outfit Big Business and thus enlisted its members, bassist Jared Warren and drummer Coady Willis, into the Melvins proper. With two drummers, a guitarist, and bassist to the good, the Melvins were reinvigorated and raring to go. Three studio albums including their latest, The Bride Screamed Murder, and several tours later the newest charges have bedded in well, which hopefully for Jared and Coady isn’t an ominous sign given Buzz’s penchant for change. This latest lineup reshuffle and others over the years, Buzz insists, have been purely coincidental. But, at the same time, these changes haven’t exactly arrested the band’s development or their ability to release new records every 12 to 18 months.

At the heart of Buzz’s involvement with the Melvins, then, is an insatiable need to write songs. Plain and simple, it’s all about songs. It is his passion and one which he has had the luxury to pursue professionally without having to hold a day job since the 1980s. That he has been happily married for sixteen years to his wife and collaborator, Mackie Osborne (she’s the graphic designer behind the Melvins visual aesthetic), maintains a rigid daily schedule waking before dawn and going to bed early, and doesn’t use alcohol or drugs definitely provides the man more than a modicum of stability to make music. And make music Buzz Osborne certainly will as he has steadily done since the early 1980s. Prolificacy is one thing, but that he and the Melvins have done it at such a high level for so many years is virtually unheard of in music today and thus what makes this interview special that we bring you today. Merry Christmas, etc and so on.

The Melvins will be performing a different set every Friday in January 2011 at Club Spaceland in Silver Lake, California as a part of a special residency. For more information please visit Spaceland online.

Ty Segall Featured on Daytrotter has posted a recent session of their daily live studio recording series (always available for FREE download) with Ty Segall! LISTEN AND DOWNLOAD HERE. Check out what Daytrotter had to say...

"Ty Segall is fantastically content to be that yapping dog, tied to a chain out in a neighbor's back yard, expressing his discontent at all hours of the day, piercing the world with his shrieks and howling vigor. He sounds wronged or fed up, or some of both and it seems that there is a good chance he's going to get off that chain, but only conceptually, for the actuality of such a thing would ruin the story and all that wonderful rancor. It's already curdled and bristling, that rancor. It spits and it digs. It bites with a passion that could only come from someone or some thing with its back paw caught in a steel trap and, against any sort of judgment, that someone or some thing is craning its neck down to the paw and it's preparing to sink its teeth in to chew the bone off, just to get free. We realize that we could have it all wrong because even going through with such an operation will not then solve those woes. The predicament might be over, but it's just the beginning of the cancerous feelings and the contempt - either despising the self for getting into such a mess or hatred for those who set the traps. Segall could very well be coming from the perspective, not of someone who needs to get his jaw down to a trapped body part for an amputation, but from the perspective of someone who's already done such a deed and now has a stump where that paw used to be and he's angrier than he's ever been - his pissiness responding to this new disfigurement. The San Francisco songwriter has an irritation that matches that of Ben Weasel, but he enhances it with the added quality of having the blood burst from the back of his throat and trickle down it as he gurgles out his issues. Segall paints the walls with the splatterings of his hissy fits and he gives us his angst in trashy scribbles, short bursts of fuck yous and "this is just the guy I ams," daring anyone to try and change him or get him to smile for the camera. We shant hypothesize upon what actually sparks his ire because it seems as if it comes from a pure place and we'd just loathe knowing such a thing."

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shoes And Socks Off "Robin Hood" Does More With Less

Tobias Hayes has been making noise in the UK post-punk scene since the beginning of the last decade as a member of essential bands Meet Me In St. Louis and Shield Your Eyes. Since 2008 however, Hayes has been performing solo under the guise of Shoes And Socks Off, an outlet for his hauntingly personal songwriting. His solo work may be significantly less noisy, as the majority of his SASO work has been primarily acoustic, but his voice and passion are just as impactful as ever. Make no mistake, this is not your typical singer/songwriter fare, Shoes and Socks Off is able to accomplish far more with vocals and an acoustic guitar than you would expect thanks to his soulful voice and simplistic sound design. As Robin Hood Waiter Champion Have-Not unfolds however, the rhythms seem to get progressively more complicated and the sonic backdrop more expansive, unveiling strange time signatures and a growing range of electric instruments. The personal charm of the record is not lost in the music, as Hayes’ recording technique is exceptionally lo-fi, sounding almost as if it was recorded in his bedroom. The honesty of this record is fantastically jarring, leaving listeners hanging on each word being sung from one of the UK’s strongest vocalists.

“Spit/Shake” opens the record with a gentle lullaby of a chord progression, as Hayes softly sings with his gorgeous tone and thick English accent. His story telling ability is unique as his melodic choices seem to counter his actual lyrical subject matter. It’s this quality that makes the songs ever so repeatable, as you piece together his lyrical wit with the beauty of his guitar melodies. “Smithereens” begins with the line, “Truth be told, I crapped myself, same as everybody else,” a stinging opener delivered with woozy abandonment before later singing “stiff upper lip, and all the shit” with complete emotional disparity. “Psychological Tinnitus” picks up the intensity as Hayes’ vocals are belted out with a loose and infectious energy. Forgoing all things gentle, his voice really opens and expands, remaining gorgeous but significantly unrestrained. “I Hope You Know What You’re Doing,” continues with the loose passionate warble, led by an intricate finger picked guitar line and enormous acoustic bass accompaniment that nearly recalls something from Radiohead’s back catalog.

“CYF” begins with a scathing minor chord progression that could be considered grunge if it weren’t for its clean and acoustic delivery. Hayes’ guitar playing is exceptional throughout, opening into new fast paced territory if only momentarily after he wails, “if no one’s looking, can we get some skin contact?” during the song’s emotionally hopeless refrain. Shoes and Socks Off’s biggest strength could very well be his ability to make beautiful and emotional music without ever sounding contrived or soft. Where the dreaded “emo” of the past decade had a general whininess and pathetic nature to it, SASO escape that all together, sounding stripped yet raw and fairly badass in its melancholy. “Sit Down, Shut Up” continues with the increased aggression in his Hayes’ vocal tone and delivery, offering a sense of coming apart at the seams as the record progresses further into madness. The shift is incredible and well defined, as each track pushes it slightly further. “Here’s My Head on a Plate” finds his guitar joined by some extremely lo-fi disjointed drum patterns that snap and crack before leading into the album’s first electric moment of bass, guitars, and a full drum kit for a monumental texture shift of a crescendo.

From this point forward, the record rears its other head, continuing with the full on electric assault. While the songwriting is still dripping in low fidelity, Hayes has swapped his acoustic for electric guitar, bass, and tasteful drums on “A Massive Excavation”. The tone is gorgeous and apocalyptic, billowing with sludgy distortion and grungy feedback, while the vocals still remain the centralized focal point. “Throwing Opinions at Walls” has an epic stop/start riff joined by a twinkling violin as Hayes belts “Although you feel a pulse, I just see a wallet,” in emotional splendor with undeniable strength amid the sadness. The song pounds out with a serene post-rock clarity and a delicately blistering sonic wall. “No Fighting in C101” closes the album with its strongest offering, bending the rhythmic structure in every direction with mesmerizing time signature manipulation. Hayes voice sits comfortably above the manic finger tapped exploration as he poetically sings “There’s something about you, I can’t put my finger on it. It’s like I’ve always known you, and there’s no telling what could happen if you want to listen in, we won’t lose sight of this. Paper boats that never sink, what must everybody think?” before the haunting repetition of “fingers and embers” ‘til the album unfortunately screeches to a halt.

Shoes and Socks Off have created a stunning album like a candle flickering in the wind. The record draws equally from beauty and danger, developing with a necessary patient restraint, gently building in force, and eventually achieving its full triumphant glow. There’s really no telling what will come next from the enigmatic Hayes, but rest assured, it will be well worth listening to.

You can watch videos for every song on the album via Big Scary Monsters YouTube page HERE.

Zach Hill + Carson McWhirter Post "Jamaican Fitness"

Maynard James Keenan (TOOL/APC) Interviewed in Junior

[] Andrew McMillen from Australian magazine Junior recently interviewed Maynard James Keenan. Maynard speaks about a range of issues including Tool, A Perfect Circle, Blood Into Wine and more. For those of us unable to pickup a copy of this magazine (it’s a free street press type thing) Andrew has published the full transcript HERE. Check out an excerpt:

McMillen: I saw the Smashing Pumpkins recently. It felt like Billy [Corgan] was rushing to get some of his more well-known songs out of the way so he could play the new stuff. Can you relate to that kind of feeling?

MJK: No, no. I mean, especially since James Iha’s not in the band, I can’t really relate to the fact that Smashing Pumpkins are out there.

Nothing really notable as far as Tool or APC news goes, but a good insightful interview none the less.

The Dismemberment Plan Featured on SPIN's "Name That Band"

[] Welcome to the weekly feature "Name That Band!" in which we get the inside stories behind the mysterious monikers of some of our favorite artists.

This week: Beloved Washington, D.C., quartet the Dismemberment Plan, who in January will reunite for their first tour in seven years to support the vinyl reissue of their indie 1999 classic Emergency & I.

Why Dismemberment Plan: "The [1993] movie Groundhog Day was out when we were just starting to play together," recalls singer-guitarist Travis Morrison. "Like most young bands we had about 75,000 possible names written on a piece of paper, but I remember going to see that movie in Williamsburg, Virginia, and there’s a part where an insurance salesman is talking to Bill Murray's character and mentions the death and dismemberment plan. I walked out of the theater after the movie was over and asked the friends I was with if they thought the Dismemberment Plan was a good name for a band. They were like, 'No!' Then later I asked the other guys in the band and they were like, 'No!' But I ended up making an executive decision -- I just liked the name so much. A funny addition to that is after we recorded our first record, [Fugazi's] Ian MacKaye said we should change our name. He was a Negative Nelly. I want the world to know that."

Previously Rejected Names: "We had a bunch of names that were pejorative terms for white people. There was Cracker, which we couldn't use because David Lowery from Camper Van Beethoven named his band that first. We also had Whitey. I guess I have a lot of racial anger! But I also remember that we were thinking of calling the band Number One Cool Guy."

Best Band Names Ever: "I've always loved the Slits. It's an incredible band name. Maybe I'm just making this jump thematically, but I also always thought Bikini Kill was a great name. So is the Rolling Stones."

Worst Band Name Ever: "The greatest band in rock history had the worst band name in rock history: The Beatles. It's a pun, get it?!"

Marnie Stern Featured in The New Yorker

Marnie Stern, a virtuosic guitar player who favors the finger-tapping technique associated with male players like Eddie Van Halen, was a late bloomer. Her interest in the instrument began in her teens, but music did not become a profession until well into her twenties. Over three albums, her work has passed through the indie and punk canons, becoming marginally more refined. It’s still as chaotic and lumpy as it is mathematical, but on “Marnie Stern,” her new record, her ability to write songs matches her instrumental dexterity. The album feels like a single emotional eruption, even when melodic lines pile up in dizzying aggregate, like film spooling onto the floor.

Stern’s music is part of a continuum that began in the late sixties with progressive-rock bands like King Crimson (whose continuing influence might surprise even their deeply confident leader, the guitarist Robert Fripp). The simplest way to characterize the movement is people playing a lot of notes all at once. The impulse to marry the force of rock with advanced technique brought about many variations, including some less critically popular acts, like the mock-classical Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

With the advent of punk, epic, virtuosic music was seen as both formally pompous and politically élitist. But instrumental prowess is no more or less primal than a three-chord crunch. Stern and her inspirations, like the drums-and-guitar cascade of the nineties indie-rock band Don Caballero, have rescued the exuberant excess of progressive rock by filtering it through punk’s dissonance and speed. It was an elegant leapfrog—now bands like King Crimson are more relevant and widely referenced (by musicians as unlikely as Kanye West, who sampled Crimson on “Power”) than formerly dominant post-punk figures such as Elvis Costello and Paul Weller.

Stern’s work and her background have a narrow focus. She grew up in New York, attended New York University, and now lives on the Upper East Side, with a small, loud dog. There isn’t a voracious, synthetic quality to her music or her interests: many of her inspirations are musicians of the past decade of indie rock, some of whom she now plays with. For another musician, this insular quality might represent a lack of curiosity and range. For Stern, it only helps explain the intensity of her work. Her biggest musical influence, you could say, is herself.

She learned her finger-tapping technique, in which both hands hit notes on the fretboard, instead of leaving one free to strum, not from the better-known big-haired heroes of the eighties but from Don Caballero’s original guitarist, Ian Williams. “Tapping is actually a way of cheating, since you’re using both hands,” she told me. “It makes things a lot easier!”

Stern’s main collaborator has been the gifted drummer Zach Hill, who has appeared on all of her albums, though he doesn’t generally tour with her. Hill’s playing often feels like two drummers working together to destroy the concept of dull and obvious time signatures.

One of the songs on “Marnie Stern” is called “Female Guitar Players Are the New Black,” which Stern describes as a tongue-in-cheek response to the question “What’s it like being a girl playing the guitar?” She was likely anticipating that many articles about her would mention peers like Marissa Paternoster and Annie Clark. Women who play indie rock do seem more invested now in pushing the bounds of their instrument than do their male counterparts (who seem preoccupied with samplers), but that tendency surfaces in divergent ways. Paternoster, of Screaming Females, plays rapid, woolly solos so familiar that I don’t know what to call it other than Rock Soloing. Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent, studied composition. Her guitar parts are delicate and interlocking, and she has performed in ensembles with as many as twelve members. By contrast, Stern is a self-taught player who sings in a high, sharp voice, works largely inside a trio format, and tends toward surges of volume and chanting to punctuate her songs.

The three main elements of Stern’s songs are typically her rippling, quick guitar lines, her barking vocals, and the overwhelming thrum of Hill’s drums. The combination produces a racket. Like Stern, who is prone to bouts of insomnia, the music seems anxious, as if it contains an urgent message that will expire before a certain date. That nervy quality makes her technically accomplished music seem unusually accessible. If Stern’s songs are frantic, it rarely seems to be in order to dazzle her listeners with tricks, or even to entertain them. Her music pulses with the energy of a mind and a soul that won’t leave well enough alone. “The idea of potential and possibility is the only thing that drives me to keep going with music,” she told me.

One song on “Marnie Stern” was inspired by the death of an old love, another by a recent breakup. This would appear to make the album more emotionally direct than her début, “In Advance of the Broken Arm,” whose title was inspired by a readymade snow shovel by Marcel Duchamp, and her second album, “This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That,” a phrase borrowed from the British philosopher Alan Watts. But in Stern’s music, her voice is subordinate to her power chords and her finger tapping. That isn’t to say the lyrics don’t matter, but even though the vocals are almost always double-tracked they are set way below the guitars, the sound of which you will likely remember long after the scraps of language that emerge from the noise.


REMINDER: Caspian Set to Headline "Last Night on Earth" Concert in Boston

Just in case the world ends this New Year's Eve, Extinguish Boston and Radar Recordings are back for the eighth annual "Last Night on Earth" concert held every November 30th in Boston, MA. The line-up of CASPIAN, CONSTANTS, IREPRESS, and MOVING MOUNTAINS is amazing, so if you are in Boston I sincerely hope to see you there. Check out the official press release...

[press release] In its 8th year, the annual “Last Night on Earth” tradition continues on December 30th, 2010 at the Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA). Presented by Radar Recordings and Extinguish, this year’s line-up boasts one of the best to date: Locals Caspian, Constants and Irepress are fresh off from their respective fall European tours, and recent Triple Crown Records signees Moving Mountains (NY) open up the night with their first Boston show since last winter.

The Bands:

CASPIAN (The Mylene Sheath)

"Tertia" is just as effective when it sparkles as when it storms. Caspian has the instrumental firepower to make a big noise when it feels like it. But the melodies, timbres and harmonics are so fully realized that "Tertia" would be mighty, even without its climaxes."
CONSTANTS (Science of Silence Records)

"The beauty in Constants' powerful music has always been about timing. The explosive Boston-based post-rock trio know when to bludgeon you with metal riffage and guttural lightning-bolt screams and also when to pull back the forceful sonic coating and pace themselves in a lead-footed thunderous pummel" - Boston Pheonix

IREPRESS (Translation Loss Records)

“Irepress are a five piece post-metal/progressive band from Massachusetts. To pin down an exact sound would be impossible. There is a definite sludge metal influence, in the same vein of Isis and Pelican, but a sudden outburst of jazz or techno throws the comparisons out the window” – Sputnikmusic

MOVING MOUNTAINS (Triple Crown Records)

“By writing lyrics in this inquisitive, what-if style, Moving Mountains effectively counterbalance a search for universal truth with the certainty of their musical movements. Here, warbling guitars and a powerful bass drum seem to represent a band that knows exactly where its place is in this world.” –


December 30th, 2010 – The Middle East Downstairs (480 MASS AVE, Cambridge, MA)

Tickets available at - $12 advance / $15 door

Doors at 8 PM, show is 18+

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Introducing: DOUBLE DAGGER

From Thrill Jockey Records website [just look at the ridiculous compared to section, hah]...

"Double Dagger does not make “background music.” The Baltimore trio’s songs are meant to be experienced, rather than just listened to—either at one of their intense performances or with the volume turned up loud enough to feel it in your gut. Double Dagger embodies the contradictions of the fair-yet-blighted city they call home—visceral, raw, cacophonously loud, yet with unexpected moments of clarity, humor, and revelation. Live, Double Dagger’s stripped-down musical line-up, consisting solely of bass, drums, and vocals, somehow manages to sound like a stage-full of musicians. Drummer Denny Bowen hammers the drums with such force that bassist Bruce Willen must employ four amps to match his volume. Singer Nolen Strals wades into, out of, and sometimes on top of the audience, channeling a dynamic energy that often has the three musicians dripping with sweat by the second song.

Music reviewers have compared Double Dagger to (in alphabetical order) Antelope, At The Drive In, Big Black, Black Dice, Black Eyes, Black Flag, Broken Social Scene, Butthole Surfers, The Buzzcocks, Cop Shoot Cop, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, Death From Above, The Death Set, Dischord Records, The Dismemberment Plan, Dylan Thomas, Explosions In The Sky, The Fall, The For Carnation, Fucked Up, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Green Day, Happy Mondays, Health, Henry Rollins, The Hold Steady, Hüsker Dü, Japandroids, Japanther, Jesus Lizard, Joy Division, June of ’44, Karp, Led Zeppelin, Les Savy Fav, Liars, Lightning Bolt, Lungfish, Manic Street Preachers, Mika Miko, Minor Threat, The Minutemen, Mission Of Burma, Mudhoney, The New Flesh, New Order, Nirvana, No Age, No Trend, Parts & Labor, Pavement, The Pixies, Ponytail, Presidents of the United States of America, Q And Not U, The Ramones, Rites of Spring, Sebadoh, Shellac, Six Finger Satellite, Sonic Youth, Steve Reich, Stiff Little Fingers, Suicidal Tendencies, Swell Maps, The Talking Heads, Unwound, Volcano Suns, Weezer, The White Stripes, Wilderness, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others.

While this description is generally apt, Double Dagger continues to push the boundaries of what some critics have dubbed agit punk, angry pop, art punk, art rock, DIY, future shock, genre bending, genre defying, grunge, hardcore, heavy metal, In Utero-era noise, indie, indie rock, left field rock-n-roll, math-rock, metal, metallic funk, minimalist punk, minimalism, no wave, noise, noisy pop, political pop, political punk, pop punk, pop/punk, post-grunge, post-hardcore, post-pop, postpunk, post-punk, post-rock, punk rock in the purist form, punk, quasi-punk, rock, thrash, unclassifiable, or underground music.

Double Dagger’s new EP, Masks, continues in this vein, taking up where their acclaimed 2009 full length, More, left off. Masks presents a series of vignettes, ranging from acerbic to facetious to self-reflective, on the facades we build within our lives. Masks contains some of Double Dagger’s most catchy songs to date, yet characteristically the tone of the album encompasses the abrasive and sarcastic as well as the upbeat and closes with a surprisingly delicate instrumental. The EP was recorded by the band using a necessarily DIY setup, and like More, manages to capture the loudness and energy of Double Dagger’s explosive live performances.

The Masks CD and LP both feature limited edition packaging designed by Strals and Willen’s design studio Post Typography. The LP and CD each come in three different covers, all with custom die-cut jackets printed as different mask drawings with “eyes” that change color depending on the orientation of the CD or LP sleeve."

Mariachi El Bronx Ready Sophomore Album

[] Los Angeles punk act The Bronx have launched a new website promoting their alter-egos Mariachi El Bronx at The band is giving away their Christmas song "Lady Rosales" to fans who sign up for their mailing list this week only. The second Mariachi El Bronx record is currently in the works and photos from the recording sessions can also be found at the new website.

The last proper Bronx full length (their third self-titled) arrived in 2008 via the band's White Drugs imprint. The first Mariachi El Bronx record was released a year later.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Dirty Dishes Post Video From the Studio

The Dirty Dishes have posted footage of the band recording at Wooly Mammoth Studio in Boston, MA. Filmed by Tricky Gonzalez...

Dirty Dishes - Studio Update #1 from G-House on Vimeo.

Dad Rocks! 2010 Recap

"Wow. What a year. The first one in the history of Dad Rocks! and it’s been amazing. A lot of people deserve a big thank you for making all this possible. I’m gonna try and remember what actually went down.

All of this started with a couple of songs I wrote and demoed early 2010, which I sent to my good friend Martin. I wasn’t really aware of it but he and his friends Kasper and Kristoffer were starting up a new label called Kanel Records. Martin told me that they all had listened to the tunes and really wanted to release them if I decided to actually make some decent sounding recordings. So I called them up and said hell yes. They suggested going to a small town called Harlev in the middle of no-where, where they had some really nice analogue gear. We then recorded a little EP called ’Digital Age’, which you might know. We had loads of fun in the studio, and watched Leslie Nielsen (R.I.P.) movies.

Kanel Records then released the EP in Denmark in April, and we got some really nice mentions along the way. The 405 gave it 9/10 and Geiger wrote a beautiful review of it. I was generally surprised by the attention the release was getting. The EP was released in a beautiful eco-friendly sleeve, and loads of you guys have bought it, as there are only a few copies left.

The Kanel team, Dad Rocks! and my awesome friend Andreas Sørensen then later hired a small gym to record this little video for a song called "Nothing Keeps Up". The ingredients? Well: bearded dad, guitar, camera, darth vader mask, loads of fake moustaches, one real one, a crown, Christmas lights, 500 balloons, toy piano, a bunch of dancing kids and… a flare! A crazy video was the result of this, and we were lucky enough to get it featured on the NME. Snap.

Kanel and I were lucky enough to get "Nothing Keeps Up" on national radio station P3. My first time on rotation ever. Absurd.

My awesome friend Nikolaj Skjold joined the live version of Dad Rocks! and we’ve done a handful of gigs together, and although some have still been completely solo, it’s been so wonderful to have him along. One ambition I have for 2011 is assembling a complete band for live performances. Should be awesome!

In June I was contacted by the amazing Kevin Douch of Big Scary Monsters Records, who apparently had fallen in love with Dad Rocks!. Normally he releases my other band Mimas, but I had not imagined getting signed to BSM with the very limited profile I had. It didn’t take long to see that this was a great opportunity for me, and days later we had a signed agreement. The CD was released in the UK in August and came in this notorious packaging made by the incredible ACDsleeve. And… it’s almost sold out. Want a copy before it’s too late? Go get.

Later that summer I went to the studio once again with my best mates in Kanel and recorded the song ’Take Care’ along with a cover of ’These Days’ made famous by the wonderful Nico. "Take Care" has been released and is available on a 7” split with the amazing Heister, who also recently signed to Kanel Records. If you collect vinyl, this might be something you’d want to get your hands on! Oh... and we also took the time to create this incredible ’Cribs’ video. This is the real Dad Rocks!

Speaking of videos. I became good friends with the very lovely people and musicians Ben + Vesper. Ben also works with movies and documentaries. He created a beautiful, slow paced video for "Senior Home," which I really love. If you have any spare time between Christmas and new years eve, please check out their music!

In October I went on my first tour to the UK which included gigs in Cardiff (Swn Festival), two London gigs, Sheffield and Leeds (Brainwash Festival). Before hitting the road I had a couple of days in London which were spent doing a handful of videos with the help of Kev of BSM, Maryam, the 405 and ’This is Fake DIY’. Big love goes out to Oli and Will for all their help.

I also released the Big Scary Covers EP on BSM in October, featuring covers of Kevin Devine, Tall Ships, Shoes and Socks Off and Colour. It’s friggin free, so if you havn’t downloaded it... do it.

So… all this has happened in the last 9 months. Three releases (excluding the 2nd album from Mimas), a UK tour, 20 gigs in total and three videos. Earlier in December I also started recording my debut album, and will keep you guys updated. Can’t wait to show you guys the results!

Special thanks go out to: Martin, Kasper, Kristoffer, Lise, Elva, Mimas, family, friends, Kevin, Andreas, Nikolaj, Kenn, Oli, Will and all of you for listening. Much love!

Merry Christmas everyone!" - Dad Rocks!

Radiohead Concert Film Available for Download

[] Santa has already been extra good to us this year, but here’s something for the Radiohead fan in your life. As you may remember, Thom Yorke and friends played a charity one-off in Los Angeles last January to benefit victims of the Haiti earthquake. You may also remember that attendance was limited to 1,400, which meant you probably didn’t go. However, thanks to a group of dedicated fans, a band-authorized DVD featuring footage from the performance is now available for download.

The collection was put together to further benefit the ravaged country, and not only did Radiohead officially approve the project, but they also chose the charity to which those who download the film are encouraged to donate — Oxfam. What’s more, Kii Arens, the author of the original ‘bandaid’ poster for the show, contributed artwork for the DVD.

The DVD’s content features contributions from 14 video tapers and four audio tapers. All 24 songs played that evening are included, and the package can be downloaded as a 2-disc DVD with four alternate audio tracks, as well as a HD 1280×720 mp4 movie. You can find all the necessary links HERE. Those who download are asked to donate to Oxfam. Hat tip to At Ease for the link…

Faust Arp
Fake Plastic Trees
Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
National Anthem
Karma Police
Kid A
Morning Bell
How To Disappear Completely
Wolf at the Door
The Bends
Body Snatchers
Dollars & Cents
Exit Music (For a Film)

Encore #1:
Everything In Its Right Place
You and Whose Army?
Pyramid Song
All I Need

Encore #2:
Lotus Flower
Paranoid Android
Street Spirit