Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick Notes: Trent Reznor, Radiohead, Jack White + More

*[] Charlie Sheen would be proud; Trent Reznor keeps on winning. Moments ago, the Nine Inch Nails figurehead and his longtime co-collaborator, Atticus Ross, were awarded Best Original Score at the 83rd annual Academy Awards for their soundtrack to The Social Network.

Their victory seemed a lock the moment they took home a Golden Globe, but an Oscar for Best Original score is nothing to take lightly. Reznor and Ross now join a winners circle that includes legendary composers like John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Alex North, and Alfred Newman, and judging from their upcoming calendar, it looks like the two will have plenty of work in the future. In fact, as previously reported, Reznor and Ross have already confirmed their next project: they’ll renew their collaboration with Social Network director David Fincher when they score the soundtrack for his forthcoming film, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, due for release December 21st, 2011...

*[] Less than 24 hours after winning the Oscar for Best Original Score, Trent Reznor is passing off the good vibes (yes, he is capable of feeling those) and giving his fans more reason to celebrate. In an interview with Billboard the day before his Oscar win at the Society of Composers & Lyricists’ annual pre-Oscar shindig, Reznor said that himself, collaborator Atticus Ross, and wife Mariqueen Maandig had recently finished the next How to Destroy Angels project. Reznor did not offer much in the way of specifics, but he did claim that it’d be out in the fall and the group would once again release everything online for free at a low bit rate while charging for higher quality recordings. The project should be available just before Reznor’s next score, The Girl With The Dragoin Tattoo, which hits theaters in December.

*[] Radiohead's "Give Up the Ghost", a highlight from The King of Limbs, is an evaporation song, one that seems to be exiting and entering your consciousness at the same moment. They have a knack for these songs -- "House of Cards" off In Rainbows, was another one. Like "House of Cards", "Ghost" is built on a patiently rocking, palm-muted guitar strum. It's a lulling sound, and it's made even more so by the white noise and bird calls that surround it. Over this luminous haze, Yorke softly repeats a primal sentiment-- "Don't hurt me." The phrase, an echo of a thought that most people carry around with them everywhere they go, slowly melts into the background of the track, becoming part of its heartbeat. A shimmering, reverberant choir of Thom Yorkes pours in, adding new shades to his bare plea-- "Gather up the pitiful/ In your arms." At the edges of the mix, Jonny Greenwood's little patterned finger-picking figures burble away quietly, and the whole song begins to slip subtly, beatifically, out of your grasp, like a conversation half-heard from a far room as you nod off. The second it has shimmered out of view, you lean forward to replay it, convinced that you were a little closer to unlocking its life-affirming point that time around.

*[] After The White Stripes decided to call it a day, Jack White later went on to say he wouldn’t be joining any new bands. But while most of us are getting caught up in the drama of life post-White Stripes, Mr. White himself is just doing what he does best: working on the most random projects imaginable. So, to better understand the man behind Third Man Records and three wildly popular rock bands, NPR is beginning a weekly series of interviews with White called The Flipside.

With the series, the public broadcasting giant hopes to highlight a few things that fans may not have been aware of in regards to their savior. In this week’s edition, along with the mention that he’d be restarting his Third Man Upholstery business he ran before he was famous, the charismatic frontman talked a whole lot about his recent 45 with auctioneer Jerry King. Head HERE to listen to the interview and to check out a transcript.

*[] Rival Schools have premiered their new music video for their track “Wring It Out” online below. A digital single for the track is was released on February 22nd; while their new album “Pedals” is set to arrive in stores through Photo Finish Records on March 08th...

*[] Here it is, the eagerly awaited new And So I Watch You From Afar single, “Search:Party:Animal”, available for free download via Soundcloud...

ASIWYFA - Search:Party:Animal by Richter Collective

*[] The mere name of Hooray For Earth threatens an exuberance that could conceivably be too much for some people to handle. They certainly played to type on their excellent first single, "True Loves", a reggae sunsplash of chippy major chords and nimble falsetto runs. Which raises a question: Are they capable of acknowledging gloom, let alone embracing it? At first glance, the wildly oscillating synth arpeggio recalls that of the Knife's "Silent Shout", a rare infiltration of pitch-blackness in popular indie circles, and as "Sails" lurches forward, the cavernous production hearkens back to Depeche Mode getting comfortable in arena settings. But the gothic spaciousness gets flipped on itself, fully employed in service of a positive tension that makes "Sails" such an effective anthem. The chorus moves in a manner as surely and powerfully as a cruise liner, total slow-release propulsion dwarfing the encroaching darkness and going ever onward and upward.

*[] You wonder if the twin brothers Blaze and Reid Bateh and their longtime friend William Brookshire decided to name their band after the beetle, the groundnut, or the ethnic group in Mali. Well however they were inspired to self-identify as Bambara, the group is certain to inspire some indie noise acts out there. “Dog Ear Days” is a manic EP of creepy compositions made up of feedback, distortion, beats, airiness and noise, and lots of delay. Thrilling and suspenseful, each song seems to build on the last further tightening their grasp around your entire body. While everyone else seems to focus first on melody and then build from the ground up, it seems as if Bambara’s approach is more visceral with an intelligent ear honed to crafting a cinematic and moody backdrop and then Lego-ing the various pieces together unlike most of their fellow Athens, Georgia based bands.

Muse To Hit Studio By Late 2011

[] Muse fans, fear not: The British arena rockers will start recording their sixth album in London this year. However, it may not see a release date until as late as 2013.

Speaking to BBC 6Music, Muse said the band is having "kind of a year off," with the goal of doing "one or two gigs to keep ourselves still active, and then we probably will start making an album towards the end of the year." Frontman Matt Bellamy said regarding a release date for the follow-up to 2009's "The Resistance," "I'd like 2012 if possible, but 2013 definitely."

The album's recording in London will mark the first time in 12 years that Muse's three members -- guitarist/vocalist Matt Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard -- have lived in the same location.

"We've actually never made a full album here [in London], it'll be nice to all be based in the same place, we can go out and socialize," Bellamy said, adding: "It also means we can make the album over a longer period of time without having to pressurize it into a three-week studio session."

The band, which recently won a Grammy for best rock album for "The Resistance" and performed at the Feb. 13 ceremony, will support U2 on upcoming South American dates. "We're trying to do a couple of gigs every month to keep ourselves fresh and keeps ourselves active, then we probably will start making the album towards the end of the year," Bellamy said.

Muse's most recent album, 2009's "The Resistance," debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and has spent 63 weeks on chart, with total sales reaching 644,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The Rural Alberta Advantage Featured on NPR

[] Stemming from rural Alberta, Canada, the three members of The Rural Alberta Advantage first met by hosting open stage nights at The Winchester. Jokingly stating that they were the reason the 120-year-old venue shut down, the trio — composed of Nils Edenloff, Amy Cole and Paul Banwatt — explores heartbreak through pop-tinged indie-folk.

The trio's musical recipe quickly became a favorite and after the release of Hometowns (2008), the band found itself playing at festivals like Pop Montreal, NXNW and SXSW. And did we mention that it's also the highest selling "eMusic Selects" artist in history?

The Rural Alberta Advantage will release its sophomore album, Departing, on Saddle Creek Records on March 1. Hear two tracks from the record a day before it hits stores HERE.

The World Concave's "Harbor" Reviewed on Room Thirteen

[] American ensemble The World Concave are setting sail on a new musical voyage, with "Harbor" the name of their vessel. This is an intriguing emotional excursion, but do be aware that this is unlikely to leave you with a brighter outlook on life and you will probably be glad to get home. This by no means an uneventful adventure, but the overall mood here is far from positive.

Setting the tone for the album, '4:44 A.M.' therapeutically massages the listener's ears and subtly builds with layer upon layer of reverb-soaked vocals. The reverse snare drum effect, however, treads a very fine line between being effective and distracting. Only personal taste will dictate whether it is the former or the latter. Despite a lengthy introduction, 'Jehovah's Witness Protection Program' proves to be one of the strongest tracks of the album. The heavy emphasis on rhythm adds substantial excitement, with the song also climaxing very effectively indeed. Traces of the previous track's spirited style seem to have leaked into 'I Sold My Life,' helping to sustain momentum. The ad-lib piano style works well and the reverse effects are managed impressively.

By the time the album reaches 'Personal Day,' the vehicle seems to have run dry of fuel. The electronic drum timbres added are at first refreshing, but the composition lacks ambition and there is ultimately little to write home about. Typical rock ballad 'Holiday' builds colourfully and the well-harmonised vocals of singer Craig Cirinelli particularly impress. The tones of the acoustic and electric guitars combine beautifully and the eventual addition of the drums feels very natural. The segue into 'Digging the Honest Dirt' is absolutely seamless, with the welcome return of guest pianist Bob McHugh also remaining very discreet. Rounding off the album is the drifting instrumental track 'The Farthest Reefs We Reach;' a relatively uneventful track with the exception of two unbefitting fills from drummer Dan Nolan that seem to spawn from nowhere. We all love a good drum solo and/or fill, but unfortunately this is not the right time or place.

At seven tracks in length, "Harbor" feels more like an EP than an album. However, extending the album unnecessarily could have had detrimental consequences and the 31 minute duration seems suitably restrained. The World Concave run the risk of being swept under the rug like so many implacable alternative acts, but if you approach "Harbor" with the appropriate mindset, this album could actually be of great appeal.

Track Listing:

01 - 4:44 A.M.
02 - Jehovah's Witness Protection Program
03 - I Sold My Life
04 - Personal Day
05 - Holiday
06 - Digging The Honest Dirt
07 - The Farthest Reefs We Reach

Obits Interviewed on Spinner

[] Rick Froberg has called Brooklyn home for more than a decade, but the Obits frontman cut his musical teeth in the San Diego scene of the early '90s, playing first with Pitchfork and later Drive Like Jehu -- bands whose dusty garage-influenced rock 'n' roll was the antithesis to the alt-rock and grunge then sweeping the rest of the nation. At the turn of the last century, Froberg reteamed with his old Pitchfork/Jehu bandmate John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt) for Hot Snakes, but it's Obits and the East Coast that keep him busy these days.

In addition to Froberg -- the singer, guitarist, and main songwriter -- Obits features guitarist and vocalist Shoran Habibion, bassist Greg Simpson and drummer Scott Gursky. In March, the band follows its 2009 Sub Pop debut, 'I Blame You,' with 'Moody, Standard and Poor,' a set of melodic blue-collar garage songs that add some West Coast surf and just a touch of rootsy twang. Froberg talked recently with Spinner about his long and winding rock 'n' roll road.

Why did you name the band Obits, and do you mean it in the sense of obituary?

Yes, it's short for obituary. Why? I don't know why. Well, my wife worked at a magazine, and she would frequently have to work on obits for people. She used the term quite a lot and it stuck in my head. It's short, and it's loaded.

Was there any particular moment when you knew music was going to be a large part of your life?

Yes, I've always felt that way. I've always wanted to be in a rock 'n' roll band. I just really love it. There's something about it that really engages me. I don't know why. I'm probably a fool.

Do you have any particular musical heroes?

There are so many greats; there are so many heroes. I can't just say, "Oh yeah, Bob Dylan is the guy." But, yeah, I love Bob Dylan. Sometimes they can be a hero for five minutes, sometimes they can be a hero for their entire career.

Has what influences your music changed over the years?

Definitely. You're in a different place in your life ,and you're playing with different people. So that changes the skill set you have to work with. Everything changes. You work with what you have. That always changes. I'm the same person, but I'm older and my taste and opinions have changed. I tend to take things as they come and work with what I've got.

Still, both Drive Like Jehu and Obits have a basic garage-rock influence that comes into play. It's all straight-up rock 'n' roll at heart.

Yeah, that's the kind of music I like. It's better than any other kind of music. That kind of music has always been what inspired me.

What would be your biggest influences?

That question would have been easier to answer 15 years ago, before the Internet, before you could hear so much music from all over. There's so many things, you have access to so much more. I don't tend to feel there's any seminal influence. I tend to go by the song or the piece of music more than going by the artist.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Nothing in particular. I never have a playlist. A lot of times, it's about what you don't like as much as what you do. When the group is all together, it's usually at a bar and someone is playing music, whether it's a DJ or a playlist. We all get together and agree on what sucks and what's good. That informs the band. Everything's an influence.

Anybody particularly sucking at the moment?

I have a policy of not shiting on other bands

Is that because of Karma?

Well, you never know when you'll have to deal with some people at some point. I don't have to like everything. As long as people aren't jerks or prima donnas, then it's all fine.

Manchester Orchestra Release New Single "Simple Math"

[press release] If you've been to over the past couple of days, you've noticed that the band has been releasing snippets of their new single, "Simple Math," via a drag and drop virtual puzzle. It has been receiving fantastic feedback and we highly recommend checking it out.

Today, February 28th, the final piece of the puzzle will be revealed, unlocking an embeddable stream of the song. But don't worry, if you prefer downloads, the band is also offering an instant download of "Simple Math" HERE. The song will be available for digital purchase tomorrow, March 1. And don't forget, Manchester Orchestra's third album, Simple Math, will be released May 10 via Columbia/Favorite Gentlemen.

Wait, we're not done yet!! Manchester Orchestra is also excited to share a brand new visual for their new single, "Simple Math." Think this is awesome? Wait until you see the official music video! Coming soon, stay tuned. Click below to view.

Big Scary Monsters Records Update: Tall Ships, Shoes And Socks Off + More

An update from Big Scary Monsters Recordshas gone out to everyone on their mailing list, our highlights include...

1. Tall Ships tour dates and single
2. Shoes And Socks Off still on tour
3. Exciting stuff coming in March

1. Tall Ships tour dates and single

Tall Ships set sail again this week, heading off for their second tour of Europe. Dates and details can be found HERE. Loads of new UK shows and festivals will be announced soon, and the band play a free headline show in London, curated by Huw Stephens at The Social on April 12th.

On April 4th, Plate Tectonics, taken from the bands second EP, 'There Is Nothing But Chemistry Here', will be re-released as a digital only single, with a number of exclusive remix b-sides. These will be available through all of the usual digital stores as well as the bands new Big Cartel with very limited edition screen prints going out to the first 25 to order. More info and pictures to follow next month. We'll also have details of another single, this time a brand new recording, set for release early this summer!

2. Shoes And Socks Off still on tour

Shoes And Socks Off is still in Europe on what feels like the never-ending Tubelord tour. They finally sneak back into the UK in just over a weeks time and will be playing a free show at the Old Blue Last in London together on 8th March.

During his time in Europe, Toby has been finishing writing his next studio album, tentatively set for release later this year. Look out for information on another SASO release, coming much sooner than that...

3. Exciting stuff coming in March

Keep an eye on our website and Twitter through March as we're going to be making a handful of BIG announcements. New releases from new bands, new releases from old bands, old releases from old bands, and something completely new to all.

Earthtone9 Confirm Tour Dates

A message from Earthtone9...

"Greetings! We wanted to let you know that we have taken the bull by the horns and announced out FIRST TOUR FOR NEARLY 10 YEARS!

Tickets are available from NOW and it would mean a huge amount to us if you jumped on over and bought some asap! Make us feel loved folks. And let's make this tour a PARTY! It's a SCUZZ presents event (LOVE Scuzz), and the lineup is awesome.

Oh, and did we mention that we have some new material for you...? Well, we have. And it will crush heads. Seriously." - karl, si, owen, dave and joe - Earthtone9

[press release] Just over 9 years after EARTHTONE9 said goodbye to a packed London Garage, they will return to round off FRICTION TOUR, their long-awaited comeback.

The band made tentative steps back into the live arena in the second half of 2010 with performances at the Sonisphere and Damnation festivals; the response, however, was anything but uncertain. The old fanbase was still very much alive alongside a new set of fans, all eager to see whether the old songs stood the test of time and whether this progressive outfit could still hold such an overused title. They didn't disappoint.

Where once EARTHTONE9 were the UK's torchlight battling through a tedious nu-metal fog, they now return to join a metal scene thriving with ingenuity and inventiveness, much of which had its way paved by the band's output around the turn of the millenium. The new material will only confirm why they are held in such high esteem. (Best of album still available FREE HERE).

THE OCEAN from Germany are confirmed admirers, and are themselves simply one of the most exciting heavy acts around, blending a multitude of genres in what was once a collective's creative cauldron. UK tours with the likes of Opeth, and most recently The Dillinger Escape Plan, have only confirmed their position in the live setting, and their two albums in 2010 via Metal Blade left critics from Terrorizer to Rock Sound in raptures.

MAYBESHEWILL bring their instrumental fusion of post-rock, metal and electronica, and an ethos that has seen them work tirelessly to secure a devoted group of followers. Drowned In Sound and Rock Sound are regular supporters of the band, and no doubt their new album will keep them moving positively in both regard and musical progression.

HUMANFLY will open the tour with a fleet of riffs at their disposal, and a UK scene finally waking up to what their home county of Yorkshire has known for a while: this band is incredible. Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Rock-a-Rolla and numerous other magazines loved their new album 'Darker, Later'; the band toy with layers of prog, touching on King Crimson and Pink Floyd, that groove effortlessly into ferocious hardcore and bleak slabs of metal. Make sure you get down early.

Now we really WILL see you on the road!

Ace Bushy Striptease Announce UK Tour

[press release] Birmingham's Ace Bushy Striptease and Bristol/Norwich's The Middle Ones will be on tour from 23rd April - 1st May to celebrate their friendship, new record releases and the royal wedding.

Ace Bushy Striptease and The Middle Ones are due to embark on a cross-country tour this Spring to help get their heads around the songs from their new records due out this summer. Ace Bushy Striptease are nearly Birmingham's greatest ramshackle slacker pop group having played Truck festival once and supported Kano amongst other dithering grime artists. The Middle Ones have wooed crowds at Indietracks and beyond with their easygoing melodic charm for more than one year now. Between them and the (we are assured) delightful acts joining them, the tour is bound to be worth catching at least a little bit.

You can catch the action at:

23rd April - Port Mahon, Oxford
24th April - Café Kino, Bristol - w/ Nan Turner
25th April - The Victoria, Birmingham - w/ Greg Bird & Flamingo Flame and No Plato
26th April - The New Adelphi, Hull
27th April - Fish Tank, Durham
28th April - Fox & Newt, Leeds
29th April - Royal Wedding Party, Manchester
30th April - Chameleon, Nottingham
1st May - Buffalo Lounge, Cardiff - free show

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Foo Fighters Play Secret London Club Show as White Limo

[] Foo Fighters concluded their week in London with a top secret intimate show in the capital tonight (February 26).

The band played the 500 capacity Dingwalls venue as a special fan show under the alias White Limo, following rumours that the band would be taking to the small Camden stage for a very special gig.

Just 24 hours after headlining the NME Big Gig at Wembley Arena the band continued their recent Los Angeles tradition of playing new album 'Wasting Light' in its entirety.

They then played a second show of hits, meaning the performance eventually clocked in at almost three hours.

Greeting the sweaty venue Dave Grohl, who picked up the Shockwaves NME Godlike Genius Award on Wednesday (February 23), shouted: "You remember me? This is not an arena rock show right here. This is something different. We're gonna be here a long time, so get comfortable.”

Foo Fighters played:

‘Bridge Burning’
‘Dear Rosemary’
‘White Limo’
‘These Days’
‘Back Forth’
‘A Matter Of Time’
‘Miss The Misery’
‘I Should Have Known’
‘All My Life’
‘My Hero’
‘Up In Arms’
‘Times Like These’
‘Stacked Actors’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Long Road To Ruin’
‘Big Me’
‘For All The Cows’
‘Monkey Wrench’
‘Darling Nikki’
‘This Is A Call’

Nick Reinhart Performs Live with Marnie Stern [Video]

Tera Melos' Nick Reinhart joined Marnie Stern on stage for a performance of her track "For Ash" in Scottsdale, AZ. What an amazing tour! Be sure to catch it when it comes to your town...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Portugal. The Man Announce Tour Dates

[] Portugal. The Man has announced some scattered tour dates throughout the next few months.

The band is currently wrapping up work on their Atlantic Records debut and follow-up to 2010's American Ghetto...

3/2 Eugene, OR WOW Hall
3/3 Boise, ID Neurolux
3/4 Salt Lake City, UT Club Sound
3/6 Vail Valley, CO Snowball Music Festival 2011
3/13 Denton, TX 35 Conferette
3/15 San Antonio, TX Sam's Burger Joint
3/17 Austin, TX (SXSW) Stubb's
3/19 Austin, TX (SXSW) Brush Square Park
4/29 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
4/30 Seattle, WA The Showbox At The Market
5/6 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
5/7 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
5/8 Scottsdale, AZ Martini Ranch
5/11 Colorado Springs, CO The Black Sheep
5/12 Fort Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
5/13-14 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater
5/17 Kansas City, MO Record Bar
5/19 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room
5/20 Dallas, TX Granada Theater
5/21 Houston, TX Fitzgerald's Upstairs
5/22 Gulf Shores, AL Hangout Music Festival
5/25 Columbus, OH Outland Live
5/26 Cleveland, OH House of Blues
5/27 Toronto, ON Lee's Palace
5/28 Syracuse, NY Westcott Theatre
5/29 Danbury, CT Festival Fields @ Western CT State University
5/30 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
6/3 New York, NY Webster Hall
6/4 Hunter Mountain, NY Mountain Jam Music Festival
6/7 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Small's Theatre
6/8 Baltimore, MD Ram's Head Live
6/9 Asheville, NC Orange Peel
TBD Manchester, TN Bonnaroo

The Morning After Girls' "Alone" Reviewed on Mxdwn

[] Australian psych-rockers The Morning After Girls continue to bring out their shoegaze sound on Alone, their third studio album. Hazy, distorted guitars and vocalist Sacha Lucashenko’s eerie croons blend and swirl through an ambient sonic landscape, leaving you adrift in the wash of noise.

“Best Explanation” brings you into a lulling, dreamy haze of spacey effects and static backed by an acoustic guitar. Alone is littered with minor tones, electro-acoustic ballads, and fuzzy guitars—”Part of Your Nature” and “Still Falling” sound fairly similar to “Best Explanation,” helping to create thematic unity through the album.

Another stylistic vein, one with energetic guitar riffs and waves of noise flowing through layers of instrumentation, courses through most of the remaining tracks on the album. “The General Public,” “To Be Your Loss,” and “Who is They” fall into this category, showing the band’s tendency toward mesmerizing shoegaze jam sessions. “Alone,” the album’s best (and first) moment, starts with a swaying, slightly fuzzy guitar part and leads into a dreamy waltz that lasts through the entire album.

“There’s a Taking” stands out from the rest of Alone. Lucaschenko’s ethereal voice chants above soft vibrato strings, accompanied by a high, floating female vocalist. It’s a brief encounter, but it highlights the band’s attention to sound beyond loud guitars and driving beats. “Tomorrow’s Time” has a similar feel, where echoing guitar tones create a sense of space in a slow, minimalist ballad.

Alone flows effortlessly between tracks, streaming through about 50 minutes of music. Its homogeneity, however, teeters on the edge of a flatline; many of the songs sound so alike, it’s difficult to tell if the album ever goes anywhere between the first and final tracks. The Morning After Girls’ talent keeps their momentum going, but just barely.

The Melvins Moving On After New Zealand Earthquake

[] Australia and New Zealand's busy summer touring season was temporarily halted by the recent earthquake that hit Christchurch, NZ. One band that was closer than most to the horrific event was The Melvins – they were actually in Christchurch when the earthquake struck.

"We were at the airport just seconds away from checking our bags when the first big rolling quake hit. If the building would have came down at that point we would have been crushed like dumb chickens," frontman Buzz Osborne tells Spinner. "As soon as that one was over, we grabbed all of our bags and passports and ran for the door. I'm a serious quake coward. [This one] was plenty big," he says emphatically, "as were the aftershocks. I stayed outside for the next five hours."

Being Los Angeles-based for a long time, Osborne is no stranger to earthquakes. "[It wasn't] as big as ones I've felt in California," he revealed. "The 1994 one in LA was way bigger, but [it was] big enough for all of us to be checking our shorts in the parking lot. I don't like earthquakes, or fires, or floods, or tornadoes, or hurricanes, or any natural disaster whatsoever. Big surprise."

As there seems to be no shortage of natural disasters, it must be worrying for a band that travels as much as the Melvins. Still, Osborne remains philosophical. "Natural disasters happen all the time," he says. "We are in a constant battle with Father Time and Mother Nature and both of them are undefeated. Touring is always a roll of the dice. Anything can happen."

And the tour did go on. "We pushed our last two shows back a day and after being stuck outside at the airport for five hours we managed to rent vans and drive another six hours to a ferry terminal, which we took the next day to Wellington and played our make-up show. Air New Zealand got us on emergency flights the next day to Auckland and we played our last show. [Then we] went to the airport at 6 a.m. and flew the hell out of there! Now we are doing a festival tour of Australia with lots of bands I've never heard of."

Drummers Release Debut Album for FREE DOWNLOAD

Boston, MA's Drummers have posted their entire debut album for FREE DOWNLOAD on their official Bandcamp page (linked above). Specializing in a post-hardcore / post-punk style, the band will be sure to spark interest from fans of At The Drive-In, Native, or Young Widows. You can stream the entire record below and download it for as much or little as you'd like. If you live in the Boston area, be sure to catch them live at The Middle East Upstairs when they open for the incredible Tera Melos and Marnie Stern on March 6th...

Quick Notes: Nine Inch Nails, Biffy Clyro, The Builders and The Butchers + More

*[] Harmonix has announced that a four-pack of songs from Nine Inch Nails’ classic album, Pretty Hate Machine (2010 Remaster), will be available beginning March 1 in the Rock Band 3 Music Store of downloadable content. The songs will be "Terrible Lie," "Head Like a Hole," "Sanctified" and "The Only Time."

*[] Mike Sullivan catches up with Simon Neil of Mercury Music Prize nominee Biffy Clyro...

*The Builders and The Butchers celebrated the release of their third album Dead Reckoning by launching an all day busking tour, performing on a different Portland, OR street corner every hour. Here is some awesome footage from one of their stops...

*UME are currently in the running to be featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, a contest in which the fans can decide. Today posted a "behind-the-scenes" tour video of the band on the road. Check out the video below, and head HERE to vote...

*Myty Konkeror have posted a video for their track "Cell Division". The song comes from last year's full length debut, I Miss The Future...

Black Books Featured on The Vinyl District

[] What started as an informal jam session between friends in Manor, Texas, has blossomed into a fully formed indie-pop outfit which celebrated the release of its four-song EP, An Introduction To, last Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Beerland. Signed worldwide to Shifting Sounds records, the fivepiece Black Books create lush soundscapes most easily (and lazily) compared to My Morning Jacket and Grandaddy.

The group features guitarist Kevin Butler who is a sound engineer at Test Tube Audio (where the EP was recorded), the dual keyboard attack of Meg and Clarke Curtis, Mike Parker on bass, and Rossco pulling double duty on drums and reverbed-out vocals a la Don Henley and Levon Helm. The EP is available on CD, iTunes, and the beautiful limited-edition-of-300 10″ green vinyl record.

Get the vinyl while it lasts at Waterloo Records, End of an Ear, BackSpin Records, and other fine retailers. I’m expecting big things for this outfit and you should expect to hear more about them right here on TVD Austin in the near future. Like they say on opener “The Big Idea,” “If you’re not sunburned, you’re not having fun.”

Head on over HERE for a listen.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Marnie Stern & Tera Melos Reviewed in Dallas

[] Marnie Stern stepped onto the small, half-circle stage at Sons of Hermann Hall, looking casual and cool with her hair braided down the side, wearing a cut-up Elvis Costello T-shirt that complemented her no-fuss style.

During the sound check before her set, it became apparent that she had a cough -- but she didn't seem deterred by this in the least.

"Are you OK?" an audience member asked her.

She just smiled in return.

Stern then broke into her set with loud, frantic guitar work. Both of her hands danced along the fretboard of the guitar in her trademark, finger-tapping method -- a technique that has gained her a lot of attention as an innovator in the indie rock genre.

But, with her guitar singing on its own, it was hard to pay attention to Stern's vocals, which were just as rushed and energetic as everything else, with Stern wailing and howling into the microphone with a sense of unmatched urgency.

At some points, the pace slowed down. Stern rocked back and forth with her eyes closed and her mouth formed into a small smirk, her singing a little softer and gentler than before, all the while still managing to keep up the groove she had established. By the end of her performance, though, the crowd was wired and high-strung -- no doubt a result of Stern's emotional and volatile act.

Co-headliner Tera Melos played an equally frantic and exciting set, starting off the night with a song that quickly took them into thrash mode. Watching Tera Melos perform was akin to watching a group of friends play for fun in their garage -- except, of course, that Tera Melos is a band with serious skill to back up the fun factor. Frontman Nick Reinhart showcased a proficiency with his guitar that rivaled Stern's, managing to hammer out notes in fast succession while simultaneously dancing like a severely malfunctioning robot.

Dance moves aside, the band's energy was staggering; each member was completely engaged in songs, the experimentally digital noises and thumping bass and guitar reaching new levels of intensity as the set progressed.

Both Stern and Tera Melos put on one heck of a show. And, as such, the crowd couldn't help but be severely disappointed when the night ended.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias: I hadn't listened to too much Marnie Stern before I went to the show, but after her performance I couldn't wait to hear her entire album.

By The Way: Stern is really funny. At one point during her set, when a bandmate handed her a bottle of water, she stopped and said, "I really don't understand water. It tastes like nothing."

Quick Notes: Graveyard & Lavinia

*[] A teaser for the upcoming music video for Graveyard‘s track “Hisingen Blues” has been released below. The song is the title track to the bands new album which is on course for an April 19th release date via Nuclear Blast.

*Check out a video from Lavinia's live debut last night in Boston at Great Scott. The band perform "Destroy Yourself" from their EP There Is Light Between Us...

Oceansize Call It Quits

Well... here's some of the worst music news I've heard in a very long time...

[] "Dear Friends, we regret to inform you that Oceansize have split up.

An explanation for this occurrence is neither forthcoming or indeed necessary. All that remains is to say THANK YOU for being there for us. It's been a very eventful and life-affirming 12 years. We'll miss you.

There will be more music from each of us as soon as possible. For more information follow:

Kong - - Heron/Hodson
British Theatre - - Vennart/Gambler
Mild Eyes - - Hodson
Hhaitch - - Vennart
Richard A Ingram - - Gambler
Chandelier Swing - - Hodson
Krem - - Heron
Shamefaced - - Heron

Night night."

Check out our interview with Oceansize from November 2009 HERE!

Deftones Reveal "Covers" Tracklist

[] The track listing has been revealed for the Deftones‘ upcoming ‘Record Store Day’ vinyl effort, “Covers“. Here is how the outing, which will be made available at participating independent retailers on April 16th, will run:

Side A:

01 – “Drive” (The Cars cover)
02 – “Caress” (Drive Like Jehu cover)
03 – “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” (The Smiths cover)
04 – “No Ordinary Love” (Sade cover)
05 – “Savory” (Jawbox cover)
06 – “Do You Believe” (The Cardigans cover)

Side B:

01 – “Simple Man” (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
02 – “Ghosts” (Japan cover)
03 – “The Chauffeur” (Duran Duran cover)
04 – “If Only Tonight We Could Sleep” (live) (The Cure cover)
05 – “Sleep Walk” (Santo & Johnny cover)

Blackfield Ready "Welcome To My DNA" + World Tour

[press release] Blackfield is the acclaimed collaboration between Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Israeli artist Aviv Geffen. The duo return with their third album Welcome To My DNA which is released on Kscope in March 2011. Formed after a meeting in 2000, the partnership blossomed into a cross-cultural collaboration that has already spawned two albums (2004’s Blackfield and 2007’s Blackfield II).

The duo will also be touring to support the release of the album with dates so far confirmed in UK, Holland, Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and France with an American tour following that (full tour dates below). These will be the first dates they have played together as Blackfield for over three years, due to both artists’ recent hectic schedules.

Porcupine Tree’s 2009 release, The Incident, is the band’s bestselling album to date, reaching the top 30 in both the UK and USA, and the band has continued to raise its profile around the world, recently playing sold out gigs at London’s Royal Albert Hall and New York’s Radio City Music Hall. In addition to Porcupine Tree and Blackfield, Steven also records as a solo artist and is a Grammy nominated producer and mixer, working with the likes of Opeth, King Crimson, and Yoko Ono. He also co-wrote and sang a song on the recent UK number one album by Pendulum.

In 2009, Aviv released his first English language solo album (produced by Trevor Horn) and has supported U2 and Placebo. The son of esteemed Israeli poet Yehonatan Geffen and the nephew of Moshe Dayan, Geffen is Israel’s leading counter-culture rock musician. A huge star in his native country, his records have been greeted with critical adulation, earning him a string of gold albums. An outspoken peace campaigner, he controversially refused to do compulsory military service, and his lyrics have been fiercely critical of the Israeli military and their actions.

Aviv has worked with various artists throughout his career, including Brett Anderson (Suede), Mercury Rev and Belle and Sebastian, but it has been his partnership with Steven that has proved the most fertile, and both artists have been keen to return to their work with Blackfield and have been working on the album for the last few months. Aviv explains, ‘we made the album together, it wasn’t an email album. Steven came to Israel and I came to London. We both had a great year, Steven with Porcupine Tree and me with my solo stuff but now it’s a Blackfield year and we are both ready for it.’

He goes onto describe Welcome To My DNA as ‘an album about loneliness and sadness. There are many songs about love, god... the same subjects that Blackfield have dealt with before.’ Musically the album builds on the established Blackfield sound, described by Clash as ‘a lush but soulful mix of separate cultures, deep sounds and touching lyrics,’ and the results have lead Aviv to state ‘I believe it’s our best work so far and I’m really excited about going on stage with this album.’

The digi-book and vinyl editions of the album are now available to pre-order on the Welcome To My DNA mini-site which is now online. The mini-site features album info, downloads and more along with the chance to download a free MP3 of the album’s opening track "Glass House" when signing up to the mailing list.

Tour dates are as follows:

6th Leamington Assembly ENGLAND
7th Manchester Academy 2 ENGLAND
8th London Shepherd’s Bush Empire ENGLAND
10th Amsterdam Paradiso NETHERLANDS
12th Hamburg Markthalle GERMANY
13th Berlin C-Club GERMANY
14th Warsaw, Progresja Club POLAND
15th Krakow, Studio Club POLAND
17th Munich Ampere GERMANY
18th Pratelln, Z7 SWITZERLAND
19th Milan, Magazzini Generali ITALY
20th Rome, Alpheus ITALY
21st Treviso, New Age ITALY
23rd Karlsruhe New Substage GERMANY
24th Frankfurt Batschkapp GERMANY
25th Bochum Matrix GERMANY
26th Cologne Stollwerck GERMANY
28th Antwerp Trix Hall BELGIUM
29th Trianon Paris FRANCE

18th Washington, DC USA
19th Philadelphia, PA, Theater of the Living Arts USA
20th New York, NY, Irving Plaza USA
21st Boston, MA, Royale Boston USA
23rd Montreal, QC, Le National CANADA
25th Cleveland, OH, House of Blues USA
26th Detroit, MA, St Andrew's Hall USA
27th Chicago, IL, Park West USA27th
31st Seattle, WA, Studio Seven USA

1st Portland, OR, Aladdin Theater USA
3rd San Francisco, CA, Slim's USA
4th Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre USA
6th Mexico City, MEX, Metropolitan Theater MEXICO

15th Colours of Ostrava CZECH REPUBLIC

Eksi Ekso's "Brown Shark, Red Lion" Available for Pre-Order

Mylene Sheath Records have begun taking pre-orders for Eksi Ekso's long awaited sophomore album. Here what's they had to say about it...

"Time to get pre-orders in for the new full length by Boston, MA's EKSI EKSO - finally! "Brown Shark, Red Lion" is a thought provoking mammoth of an album which is incredibly hard to classify or explain, so we're not going to try making up a genre name for it, that will happen naturally over the next few months. We're also not going to bore you with a long intro to this pre-order, all the necessary information is listed below, along with tidbits of info regarding the story of the album and it's release. Read on!

The wait is nearly over! The CD and digital will drop officially in stores and online like lightning from the heavens on March 15th. Followed shortly after by the 2xLP vinyl version. So lets talk about the album a bit...

The CD version is a 28 page illustrated book telling the tale of album and housing the actual CD... to comprehend the sheer awesomeness of what that means, see HERE.

We said some of this in the February newsletter when we announced the pre-order date, but we're going to reuse some of that material to explain our elaborate choice of CD packaging: We simply figured with CD sales worldwide approaching an all time low and some record labels not even pressing them anymore, what better time to press the most ambitious and pricey one we've ever released =) But in all seriousness, the scope of this project is massive from beginning to end and we want the packaging of the project to embody the work that went into the music itself. It should blow minds, to put it delicately.

Now, in a perfect world we could have replicated the CD packaging for vinyl as a 28 page book 2xLP edition, but this world is not perfect and the expensive manufacturing costs of vinyl are simply incomparable to the "relatively" inexpensive CD manufacturing costs and it just wouldn't be possible to do. But, that being said, we would obviously never short-change the vinyl treatment on one of our beloved releases, there's just something in our record collecting brains that won't allow us to! So here's the sweet deal with the 2xLP version - it's going to be laid out similar to the last Eksi Ekso 2xLP we put out in 2008 "I Am Your Bastard Wings" (which is available HERE). It will have the full color, super thick / heavy / sturdy 18pt stock, 5mm spine, side-loading jackets with two full color printed inner sleeves housing the vinyl itself. It'll spin at 45rpm for maximum fidelity, talkin' audiophile sound quality here baby!!!

Peep all the deals on the pre-order page of the website, hit it up HERE!

Now lets give you a little background info on the story of the album (courtesy of, read the entire piece HERE):

"Brown Shark, Red Lion is a story that manifested itself out of a conversation Korkidis had with his late grandmother about the disappearance of two family acquaintances - one in the late 1800's, and one later in the mid 1900's. With little more than that, the idea was to create a story around a protagonist who truly was a commercial photographer and amateur astronomer that existed in Eastern Turkey around the mid-late 1800's; fully embracing the first instant photography development system known as collodion or wet plate method. With the exception of some found photographs, the real story of the disappearance was scant at best so a story was devised in which "Lev" (the protagonist) found himself stumbling upon what he thought to be the workings of parasitic angels and demons in his life; slowly sliding from the background to the foreground of his photographs; later entering his own life with a proposition that many men have succumbed to since the advent of our existence: a trade up. Each song on the record follows a linear narrative arc that simultaneously deals with photography (the collodion method and photo trading), astronomy, these earth bound parasitic gods (based loosely on some of the half baked ideas of aliens proposed by Bob Frissell and Erich von Daniken), and a family relative named "Bedia" who sought out the truth of his disappearance nearly a generation later and also later went missing."

Stream some tracks from the album on the bands Bandcamp page HERE!

There you go! That's it! Now get ta hustlin'!! All pre-orders that only include the CD version will ship in early March. All pre-orders that include the vinyl version in any way will ship in early April."

Gods Are Ghosts Release "A Violent Grace" For FREE Download!

Austin prog/space rockers Gods Are Ghosts have released their sophomore EP A Violent Grace as a FREE download from their Bandcamp page. Much like their debut, the album was once again produced, mixed, and recorded by the phenomenal Kevin Butler (Black Books, Exeter, etc) at Test Tube Audio. Without further ado, we bring you A Violent Grace...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick Notes: Primus, The Twilight Singers, Red Fang + More

*[press release] Influential alternative rock icons Primus have announced an intimate club date on Friday, May 18th at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA as a benefit to support Les Claypool's nephew Matthew. Matthew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at 2 months old and was admitted into the hospital, undergoing rigorous chemotherapy treatment which is expected to last a minimum of three years. All proceeds from this show will go towards Matthew's medical bills.

The show is being presented by Green Gopher Garden Supply, which is owned and operated by Matthew's father Ron. In a letter to his fans about his nephew's health, Les said "this has been a gut wrenching experience for all of us and as the big brother, it breaks my heart to watch Ron and his wife Amy go through the torment of seeing their little boy suffer."

Tickets will go on sale on Friday, February 25th HERE. If you cannot attend the show but would still like to support baby Matthew and his family, please visit HERE to make a donation.

*[] Last night Greg Dulli & Co. put their backs into “On The Corner,” one of a number of rockers from the new Twilight Singers album Dynamite Steps. Dulli’s voice remains a ragged force. Maybe more importantly, the man can still wear sunglasses in the dark and not look like a douche...

*[] The Ocean, Intronaut, Red Fang and Earthship are currently prepping a European tour together which will run from May 29th – June 14th. More details are expected in the coming weeks.

*[press release] BIG NEWS! Middle Brother, the band featuring Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes, John McCauley of Deer Tick and Matthew Vasquez of Delta Spirit, is now streaming its self-titled debut offering exclusively through their iPhone app. As an innovative destination for exclusive news, video, photos, fan interaction and more, the app is currently available for FREE and now contains a full stream of the highly anticipated album as well as five new videos from the band. This is the only place to hear the album before its release on March 1, 2011!

Download the free Middle Brother iPhone app and stream the record in its entirety HERE. Enjoy!

*Bunny's A Swine recently performed a live session on WMUA radio, and now you can check out a track from the set, "Clint"...

Clint (Live on WMUA) by 20 Lasell Records

*[] We found Austin's Black Books on another BandCamp expedition. The four track EP, An Introduction To... was released on 2/15. The five piece band have already gained a solid local following, and this release could definitely propel them further. Masterly produced, this neo-psych indie rock debut is remarkable, well worth the price of admission. We really look forward to hearing more from these guys.

Cults: First Impressions from Filter Magazine

[] First Impressions:

- After signing to Columbia last fall, the much-buzzed-about Cults are ready to make their full-length debut with Cults. Produced by Shane Stoneback (Sleigh Bells), the New York duo's self-titled album is set for release May 3rd and they will begin a U.S. tour in March.

- It's not hard to hear why "Go Outside" is one of the tunes that got people talking about Cults before they had released anything. With the tinkling of bells that seeps through the entire track and the laid-back beat that bumps it along, it's one of those songs you can't help but sing along to—even if you don't necessarily know the lyrics.

- Throughout the record, the band does a good job of keeping things catchy while also taking moments to slow it all down ("You Know What I Mean," "Rave On"). But they don't stray very far from that leisurely tempo, with the exception of opener "Abducted," which makes it obvious that the moments where they kick it up are few.

- With hand-claps, actual piano (or at least "piano mode" on a keyboard) and Madeline Follin's vocals at the forefront of "Bad Things," its narrower focus makes it stand out among the other tracks.

- This self-titled debut truly feels like an introduction to Cults; when it's over you've got a good feel for them and it leaves you wondering what direction they will go in next.

Key Tracks:

"Abducted," "Go Outside," "Most Wanted," "Never Heal Myself"


There is no denying that Cults know what they're doing when it comes to crafting appealing melodies. While they've already got people hanging on with "Go Outside," they will more than likely hook themselves quite a fan base with their debut.


1. Abducted
2. Go Outside
3. You Know What I Mean
4. Most Wanted
5. Walk at Night
6. Never Heal Myself
7. Oh My God
8. Never Saw The Point
9. Bad Things
10. Bumper
11. Rave On

Radiohead's "The King of Limbs" Reviewed on Pitchfork

[] Now that the music on In Rainbows has had four years to outshine its launch mechanism, it's easy to forget that the album originally came bundled with an honest attempt to solve a business problem. The pay-what you-think-is-fair system wasn't just Radiohead being magnanimous, it was using their popularity and their newly won independence to ask what might have been the single most important question facing a shaken music industry: What is an album in the download era actually worth to fans?

Announced on Monday of last week and then chucked out to rabid fans like flank steak a day ahead of schedule, the band's eighth album dispenses with the honesty-box pricing model but still finds them using their influence to interrogate the terms around how we consume and relate to music. Containing a slight eight tracks across 37 minutes, The King of Limbs is Radiohead's first album to clock in under the 40-minute mark, falling into that limbo between a modern full-length and an EP. What's more, it feels like it stops short intentionally, almost confrontationally, as if Radiohead are trying to ask a new kind of question about their music.

"None of us want to get into that creative hoo-ha of a long-play record again," Thom Yorke told The Believer in August 2009. "It's just become a real drag. It worked with In Rainbows because we had a real fixed idea about where we were going. But we've all said that we can't possibly dive into that again. It'll kill us." This wouldn't be the first time that a member of Radiohead publicly fantasized about disowning the album format, but it might have been the most convincing. How better to unburden themselves of the stress of making more records in the mold of The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, Amnesiac, and In Rainbows than by simply changing the terms of their engagement?

Radiohead's eighth record, The King of Limbs, represents a marked attempt to create a considered and cohesive unit of music that nonetheless sits somewhere outside of the spectrum of their previous full-length discography. And that's not to say that it doesn't ripple with the dazzling sonics or scenery that have become the band's stock in trade, but just that, unlike so many of their milestones, there's no abiding sense of a band defying all expectations in order to establish new precedents.

Instead, we get eight songs that feel mostly like small but natural evolutions of previously explored directions. Opener "Bloom" announces Radiohead's return with a scattershot sequence of chewed-up drum loops and peeling horns that dissolve into a rhythmic tangle. "Morning Mr. Magpie" re-casts an old live acoustic ballad in a more anxious light, its once-sunny disposition frozen into an icy glare. With its crumbling guitar shapes and clattering, fizzing percussion work, "Little By Little" sounds dilapidated and rundown. Meanwhile, "Feral" contorts Yorke's voice into a reverb-infused, James Blake-like wriggle that pings around the stereo channel against a mulched up drum pattern that sounds sharper than glass.


Me You Us Them + Bloody Knives Split Reviewed on New Artillery

[] Whether the gateway drug function of split seven-inches has been diminished by file-sharing and streaming media is up for debate, but even if it’s no longer the easiest way to encounter a few new bands, the format can still work. Consider this split between Brooklyn’s Me You Us Them and Austin’s Bloody Knives, which has already prompted me to track down their respective 2010 full-lengths.* Both bands have been lumped in with the shoegaze revival, which fits Bloody Knives better than Me You Us Them, but neither band should be discounted as a stock “Fender Jaguar + Boss PN-2 Tremolo Pan Pedal = Shoegaze!” act. That alone should pique your interest, but an interesting bait and switch on the part of Me You Us Them should maintain it.

Bloody Knives pull off a neat trick with “I Was Talking to Your Ghost”—as the drums, guitar fuzz, and especially bass speed along, Preston Maddox’s vocals float calmly overhead, seemingly disinterested by the racing pulse below. It’s not far off from Oliver Ackermann’s approach in A Place to Bury Strangers, but the lack of gothic overtones to Maddox’s vocals is refreshing. Bloody Knives’ 2010 LP Burn It All Down offers a bit more variety, hitting on the drum-machine dream-pop of early Cocteau Twins, the aggression of APTBS, and the 8-bit textures and bright melodies of the sadly departed Depreciation Guild. Burn It All Down is available for free download from Bandcamp right now. Keep an eye out for their upcoming remix album, Burn It All Up, which should be available from Killredrocket Records in the near future.

No shoegaze touchstones are needed for Me You Us Them's "Research." If you’d told me in January that I’d make a positive comparison to ’90s Amphetamine Reptile outfit Calvin Krime in a 2011 review, I’d assume that either Sean Tillman came out with an atypically aggressive Sean Na Na or Har Mar Superstar single, not that an unfamiliar band was mining similar territory. But the combination of abrasive screaming, driving three-piece rock, and a pressure-relieving melodic chorus recalls the Calvin Krime playbook. It’s hard to tell if the melodic lead is treated guitar or fuzzy synth, but either way, it’s been floating through my head the past few days. I don’t mean to sell MYUT short with the Calvin Krime comparison, especially since that band might not have pulled off this song’s bass-driven bridge or the buried vocals of “Will we ever wake up?” building into screams in the outro as deftly, but I appreciate revisiting the sound.

Here’s the real shocker: “Research” is an outlier in Me You Us Them’s catalog. I missed the boat on their 2010 Post-Data full-length, but it offers a striking mix of Polvo’s woozy riffage, Paik’s early guitar textures (especially Hugo Strange), and the Swirlies’ off-kilter melodies with a touch of punk aggression. In other words, it fits into a fine tradition of using shoegaze impulses in more muscular, less ethereal song structures. “As of Now” is a good starting point.

Considering that I’ve checked out both band’s albums and am particularly keen on spending more time with Me You Us Them’s Post-Data, you can easily chalk this split up as a rousing success. You can stream both songs over at Bandcamp [below] and order the 7” from Triple Down Records or Killredrocket Records.

* The ability to quickly follow up on each of these bands is a welcome departure from the old routine of split singles, when I’d hear a great new band only to learn that their only other released tracks are on an out-of-print local compilation, their albums are only available in Denmark, or they’d split up before recording a full-length.

And So I Watch You From Afar Release "Search:Party:Animal"

As posted on And So I Watch You From Afar's Myspace page...

"Hi All! The new single ‘Search:Party:Animal’ will be available as a FREE Digital Download from Monday Feb 28th at and will be released as a 7” Vinyl on April 04th 2011, available free with the digital single is a ‘Stem’ version which YOU can download freely and remix.

As part of the FREE digital download single release ASIWYFA are running a competition on the band and labels Facebook for fans to enter.

1. Fans are invited to create the artwork for this single ‘Search:Party:Animal’ which will be used for the physical release

2. Fans are invited to send in their mix of the single ‘Search:Party:Animal’ and the winning mix will become the B Side to the 7 inch vinyl release.

This competition will be open for 1 week starting Monday Feb 28th. Good luck Y'all."

Glassjaw's "Coloring Book" Reviewed on The PRP

[] Let’s face it, fan outcry has practically become synonymous with Glassjaw in recent years. A much rumored acrimonious, and simultaneously protracted, departure from Warner Bros. Records saw new material from the group delayed to near “Chinese Democracy” proportions.

A series of extremely limited edition 7″ releases from the band were likely intended to ease concerns, but instead caused more uproar with many proclaiming them to be a nickel and dime tactic.

Eventually the material from the 7″ outings was compiled into a digital EP and most figured that would be the end of it until the now near-mythical (to the fanboys at least) new album from the group finally surfaced – that is of course until they decided to give away this, an all-new six song EP as a bonus to those who attended their early 2011 headlining tour.

Although many of the included tracks had been performed live prior, these studio recordings are easily the best representation of what Glassjaw have now become. For “Coloring Book” is a bold step forward, one that sees the band emerge from their scrappy, antagonistic post hardcore roots and blossom into a different beast altogether.

Much like the Deftones before them, Glassjaw now seem more intent on exploring musical texture, open space and sublime melancholy. The group achieve this through a number of haunting tones, subtle instrumental augmentation and oddly enough, a heavy dub influence manifested through the ever-intoxicating basslines of Manny Carrero.

To be sure Glassjaw are no longer the wounded animal that would aggressively lash out at every turn. Band frontman Daryl Palumbo readily illustrates this newfound zen with a highly melodic, almost scream-free performance. But as odd as it may be for a group who once thrived on chaos, it is this stability and focus that allows them to flourish and express themselves through a much broader range of color and influences.

Whether it be the shrill guitar tones that recall some of the more adventurous outfits of the early 80′s British pop movement (the solo on “Stations Of The New Cross” being a prime example.) Or the sonic entanglement wrought by the The Mars Volta on horse tranquilizers-like “Vanilla Poltergeist Snake“; “Coloring Book” exhibits the most expansive spectrum of musical experimentation from the band to date.

What really sets this EP apart from their previous work though is the depth of the songs. There’s been considerable thought invested in structuring and aural accentuation. Each fill, riff or haunting key embellishment all seems to have been planned out in great detail prior. Surprising it is then that the end result almost always maintains an organic flair flush with heartfelt sentiment, despite the more layered approach.

An impressive growth spurt that has seen them emerge more mature and capable than ever before, “Coloring Book” finds Glassjaw representing themselves with an impressively revised palette. One that looks fully equipped to help them paint an entirely new masterpiece altogether.

4.5 / 5

CKY Ready "B-Sides & Rarities" Collection + Tour Dates

[] CKY are set to release a new collection of b-sides and rarities on March 22nd through Mighty Loud Entertainment. The effort, which is simply titled “B-Sides & Rarities“, will feature the following 12 songs:

01 – “Afterworld”
02 – “Rio Bravo” (radio session)
03 – “Shippensburg”
04 – “Halfway House”
05 – “Chad’s In Hi-Fi”
06 – “Santa’s Coming”
07 – “Fat Fuck”
08 – “The Deepest Depths”
09 – “Rio Bravo” (Remix)
10 – “Don’t Hold Your Breath” (acoustic)
11 – “Halfway House” (original version)
12 – “To All of You” (acoustic)

Speaking on the selections band drummer Jess Margera offered the following:

“We picked a lot of the songs based on our fans’ wishes. For instance, at CKY shows over the years, one of the most shouted-out requests has been ‘Shippensburg,’ which is a song we recorded in 1997 for a skateboarding video. And by far the most requested songs on the Internet over the years have been ‘To All of You,’ the acoustic version and the heavy recording of ‘Halfway House’. We wanted to properly mix and master these out-of-print songs and get them back out there and also record some of the stuff people have been asking us to do for over a decade.”

The band will support the release with the following series of shows:

03/02 West Hollywood, CA – Viper Room
03/03 Las Vegas, NV – Beauty Bar
03/04 Costa Mesa, CA – Musink Orange County Fairgrounds
03/17 Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club
03/18 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of the Living Arts
03/19 New York, NY – Gramercy
03/21 Hartford, CT – Webster
03/22 Allston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
03/24 Asbury Park, NJ – Stone Pony
03/25 Morgantown, WV – 123 Pleasant St.
03/26 Buffalo, NY – Mohawk
03/27 Baltimore, MD – Bourbon Street
03/28 Richmond, VA – Canal Club