Thursday, June 30, 2011

Quick Notes: Fugazi, Radiohead, Tidal Arms + More

*[] Hip hop collective Doomtree have announced plans for a homage project entitled Wugazi (Fugazi mixed with Wu-Tang Clan). The project will be titled 13 Chambers and is scheduled to be released on July 13th. A track from the album, "Sleep Rules Everything Around Me" can be heard below.

Sleep Rules Everything Around Me by WUGAZI

*[] The second installment of Radiohead’s limited-edition four-part King Of Limbs 12″ Remix Series will feature electro head Nathan Fake, aka Border Community, taking on “Morning Mr. Magpie” and legendary Australian electro producer/DJ/etc Mark Pritchard doing two mixes of “Bloom,” one under his own name and one as his Harmonic 313 alias. Should be trippy. It’s out 7/14. Get more info at Phonica Records, though looks like they’ve already sold out over there.

*Tidal Arms have announced the following shows with East of the Wall...

10/25 Pittsburgh, PA
10/26 Cleveland/Columbus/Akron, OH
10/27 Indianapolis/Fort Wayne, IN
10/28 Chicago, IL

*The World Concave found themselves at a cabin with a one-eyed cat deep in the woods of Vernon, NJ this past weekend. For what you ask? A video shoot for a forthcoming new single called "Loom". The band, which features members of (Damn) This Desert Air, recorded the song at Nada Studio in New Windsor, NY with Dan Coutant, with the track slated for a forthcoming release on both a new artist compilation called "The Scene: You Just Need To Know Where To Look" on Pacific Ridge Records in the USA, as well as a digital single with bonus track to follow in the UK on Engineer Records, who released the group's previous mini-album, Harbor. The video was directed and shot by Matthew Novak and features interesting/eerie footage based around main character Jenni Bland. You can check out a photo album of the shoot by heading over to their Facebook page HERE.

*Guns Or Knives, the solo project of Shield Your Eyes' Stef Ketteringham, has launched a website in anticipation of his official debut album Can't Beat Him Can't Join Him being released by Function Records this summer. Guns or Knives will support the release with a tour of England & Ireland together with Silent Front in the Autumn. In the meantime, be sure to check out the website [link above] featuring a music player, videos, quite a lot of free downloads, and information on gigs and other stuff...

guns or knives by shield your eyes

Josh Homme, Modest Mouse, Steven Wilson + More on "Live From Nowhere Near You Vol II"

[] Between Rave on Buddy Holly and Red Hot + Rio 2, 2011 has brought some mighty fine compilation efforts. Now, Antiquiet points us to the record that just might take the cake. On July 19th, Greyday Records will release the second volume of Live From Nowhere Near You, a charity series put together by Kevin Moyer that seeks to benefit Outside In, a non-profit organization in Portland, OR focused on providing aid and counseling to homeless youth.

According to the label’s website, Moyer “went into his attic studio alone with an idea and emerged with an emotionally vibrant compilation full of life and found sounds. By collaborating street musicians with friends and music professionals, he tells a story of life on the streets and the roads leading to and from there.”

And what a story it should be, especially with Eddie Vedder, Josh Homme, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, The Shins’ James Mercer, Bright Eyes, The Decemberists’ Chris Funk and John Moen, and Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker being among the musical heavy weights who lent their talents to the compilation. In all, Live From Nowhere Near You Vol II features over 200 minutes of mostly exclusive music spanning three discs.

Right now, you can head to Antiquet to hear a taste of the record in the form of a take on the Marvin Gaye classic “Mercy Mercy Me”, featuring Vedder, Homme, and The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas and Fabrizio Moretti. After that, head to Greyday Record’s website to peep the full list of contributing artists. You can also pre-order the compilation for just $15.

EIS Highlights include:

*Modest Mouse
*Stone Gossard and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam
*Elliott Smith
*The Helio Sequence
*The Dandy Warhols
*Joshua Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures
*Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
*Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree

Madam Trashy Awaken Grunge on "Book of Dead"

Review by Michael Henaghan [also at Phantom Channel]

There’s a nice back story to this record that involves Madam Trashy surviving Jack Endino’s acid-test and landing the former Nirvana producer to mix their debut record. Cue the Kickstarter campaign to fund this excursion which ended up, to the band's astonishment, over-subscribed. This Williamsburg trio are completely worth it, however. It’s difficult to put a finger on their modus operandi, their sound is eclectic and unique, yet alluringly familiar. ’Book of Dead’ instantly rocks, yet takes more than a customary spin to digest. Their compositions segue from light to dark, sometimes in the space of mere seconds. While, there’s a certain finesse to their compositions too, yet they’re not afraid to let loose (check the frenzied end of ‘In The Dark’ for hard evidence). Madam Trashy are clearly a band of many contrasts.

Instrumentally, this outfit are a powerful unit, there’s a precision to their music that reminds of Queens of the Stone Age or, perhaps, ‘Badmotorfinger’ era Soundgarden, honed through over a decade of playing together. The guitars are cranked up, heavy as slab of marble and particularly satisfying, the bass work is skillful and surprisingly funky, while the syncopated drums take left-turns, hitting tricky time signatures when you least expect. The interplay between all three can be mesmerizing. Indeed, ‘Subterfuge’ displays telepathy rarely witnessed since The Mars Volta’sDe-Loused In The Comatorium’.

‘Tiny Hands’ is another definite highlight with its chunky riffs and anthemic chorus that soon gives way to a wandering guitar solo, that seems like it has a life of its own, over a muscular bass and drum exchange. ’In Sleep’ is irresistibly melodic and it’s simply a joy to behold to listen to a band like this in full flight on the Primus-like title track. Only the final acoustic-led track ‘Building Song’ feels like a let down, simply because it seems superfluous against the quality of the preceding six tracks.

Still Madam Trashy has made a bold statement here, announcing that they’re a force to be reckoned in the rock world. We’re surely going to be hearing much more from them. A band most definitely worth caring for.

A Perfect Circle Debut New Song "By and Down"

[] While it remains to be seen whether A Perfect Circle‘s reunion tour actually leads to a new full length album, the band does have at least one new song under its belt. Last night, Maynard James Keenan, Billy Howerdel, and the rest of the band debuted a track titled “By and Down” during their concert in Portland, Oregon. Below, you can find a decent quality YouTube recording of the sprawling cut.

A Perfect Circle 2011 Tour Dates:

06/30 – Kent, WA @ Showare Center
07/02 – Gibbons, AB @ Boonstock
07/04 – Winnipeg, MB @ Centennial Concert Hall
07/06 – St. Paul, MN @ Roy Wilkins Auditorium
07/08 – Detroit, MI @ Fox Theatre
07/09 – Toronto, ON @ Edgefest
07/10 – Ottawa, ON @ Ottawa Bluesfest
07/12 – Boston, MA @ Bank of America Pavilion
07/13 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
07/15 – New York, NY @ Beacon Theatre
07/16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Penn’s Landing
07/17 – Washington, DC @ Constitution Hall
07/19 – Charlotte, NC @ Time Warner Cable Uptown Amphitheatre
07/20 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
07/22 – San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum
07/23 – Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre
07/25 – Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
07/26 – San Diego, CA @ SDSU Open Air Theatre
07/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Gibson Amphitheater
07/29 – Sacramento, CA @ Memorial Auditorium
07/30 – Berkley, CA @ Greek Theatre
08/02 – Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
08/05 – Chicago, IL @ Lollapalooza
08/06 – Kansas City, KS @ Kanrocksas
08/09 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Quick Notes: A Perfect Circle, The Jesus Lizard, Jane's Addiction + More

*[] A Perfect Circle will be debuting a new song live tonight (June 29th) at their show at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, OR. Speaking via his Facebook band mastermind Billy Howerdel offered the following on that:

“First APC show in T-Minus 8 hours and 15 minutes. Might be a fopaux but I am psyched to play tonight and even more psyched to debut our new song called _y _n_ ___n. That”s all the clues you get for now.”

For now, band frontman Maynard James Keenan has posted the following behind the scenes footage from the groups rehearsals:

*[] The Jesus Lizard will be releasing a new live DVD titled Club on August 23, 2011. It was directed by Matthew Robison and features the band's reunion performance after reuniting in 2009 after a decade long breakup/hiatus. The DVD will feature the entirety of the band's performance and will include a free downloadable live album.

*[] Jane’s Addiction have released behind the scenes footage from the shoot for their recent “End To The Lies” music video through The song serves as the first single from the bands forthcoming offering “The Great Escape Artist“, which is due later this summer.

*[] Some brief behind the scenes looks at Mastodon‘s recently debuted music video for their track “Deathbound” can be found below:

*[] After Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann played the Tom Petty classic "American Girl" when she walked onstage at a rally this week, Petty immediately made a move to disassociate himself from her campaign. Petty's management team has sent the Bachmann campaign a cease and desist letter, asking them to stop using the song, according to a Rolling Stone report. This isn't the first time that a politician used a Petty song against his will. In 2000, he had to tell George W. Bush to stop using "I Won't Back Down" at rallies.

Nirvana's Legendary Set to Screen at Reading + Leeds Festivals

[] Nirvana's legendary headlining performance at Reading Festival in 1992 is to be screened at this year's Reading And Leeds Festivals.

Kurt Cobain and co will get the big screen treatment on the Alternative Stage on the opening night at Leeds and the closing evening at Reading at the August 26-28 event.

The gig, which was considered one of the grunge band's best, was notorious due to Cobain coming onstage in a wheelchair and wearing a white hospital robe for the duration of the set.

The 27-song set included covers of Boston's 'More Than A Feeling', Fang's 'The Money Will Roll Right In' and 'The Star Spangled Banner'.

Confirming the screening plans to NME, Arts Booker at organiser Festival Republic, Tania Harrison, explained that the original plan was to screen the gig in 3D. Although this idea has now been shelved she suggested it could be looked at again for the 20th anniversary of the set at next year's festival.

"It was such a legendary performance that so many people haven't seen - so we had to do it. It was one of those seminal moments that changed everything - which is what Reading's all about," she commented.

The gig was released on an official DVD titled 'Live At Reading' in 2009. The release was sanctioned by the remaining members of the band after an unofficial DVD of the show entitled 'Life Takes No Prisoners' was released in the same year.

Mariachi El Bronx Kick Off Summer Tour

[] Last night at Brooklyn Bowl, Sailor Jerry had Mariachi El Bronx open their Sailor Jerry Presents summer concert series. For the uninitiated, Mariachi is The Bronx (you know, the acclaimed L.A. hardcore band) playing traditional Mariachi music. With their own flair, of course.

Initially a “side project,” Mariachi El Bronx has blossomed into a full-on career, seeing the band support The Killers on tour, which is where they swiped their violinist. The band has an ability to take the music and vibe of Mariachi and pull it off sans gimmicks, even if the idea of a punk band in Mariachi suits screams “bullshit.”

The level of craftsmanship and no-bullshit sincerity is what makes Mariachi El Bronx work. And none of this was more evident last night than on the track “Holy”: Singer Matt Caughthran delivered a mournful croon while violins swelled and trumpet blasts soared over the Spanish guitars, taking everyone with them to a place that no longer felt like a posh bowling spot.

After their set, the band ducked into the custom Sailor Jerry airstream to escape the crowds outside and relax. It was getting crazy out there.

Mariachi El Bronx recently announced they would be opening up for Foo Fighters on that band's fall tour. Their second full-length release, Mariachi El Bronx (II), comes out in August, and they will be opening for Foo Fighters in September and October alongside Rise Against and Cage the Elephant.

Mariachi El Bronx Tour Dates:

2 Borlange, SWE Peace & Love Festival
10 Chicago, IL Lakeside/Dave Matthews Band Caravan

9 Nurnberg, GER Hirsch with Gogol Bordello
10 Luxembourg Den Atelier with Gogol Bordello
14 Budapest, HU Sziget Festival with Gogol Bordello
18 Gampel, GER Open Air Gampel Festival
26 Glasgow, UK Rock & Roll Damnation with The Bronx
27 Reading, UK Reading Festival
28 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival

18 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Music Festival

Saddle Creek Records Open Store in Omaha

[] Possibly taking cues from Jack White's Third Man Records, Saddle Creek has decided to open their own Saddle Creek Shop, or SHOP, in Omaha, NE.

SHOP is a classic 'brick and mortar' record store out of the back of a warehouse, adjacent to Slowdown, the music venue that Saddle Creek owner Robb Nansel opened with Jason Kulbel in 2007.

The shop will carry all of the in-print Vinyl and CD releases from Saddle Creek as well as hundreds of curated Vinyl titles from non-Saddle Creek artists. You can also grab Saddle Creek Tees, posters, buttons and stickers.

SHOP will also host a rotating inventory of album artwork, backstage passes, setlists, show posters, and other 'behind the scenes' items.

So if you happen to be in the Omaha, NE area, stop by! The SHOP will officially open on Saturday, July 9th.

Saddle Creek Shop
721 N. 14th Street
Omaha, NE 68102

Hours of Operation: M-F, 10AM-6PM

Get more info about the Saddle Creek Shop right here.

White Denim's "D" Reviewed on Pitchfork

[] White Denim telegraphed their entire new album via "Regina Holding Hands", from 2009's Fits. "Regina" sounded nothing like the skronky, speed-addled garage that had earned the Austin band a deal with RCRD LBL, and a lot more like a leftfield take on airy jazz rock. "Breezy" was the last adjective anyone was expecting to use for this band at that point, and the prospect of an full album of such tentative sap would've been enough to trigger the release of the dreaded "cheese" descriptor. Yet with their fourth album, D, White Denim double down on this very approach, and manage to make a pretty good LP out of it. How'd they do it?

By expanding. First, they grew to a quartet, adding second guitarist Austin Jenkins to their lineup. Second, they dropped some coin on better recording equipment, moving from a trailer to an actual studio. And D is easily White Denim's best-sounding effort yet: The band's trademark shape-shifting compositions now feature clean, interlocking guitar lines, and singer James Petralli's voice has smoothed out into a raspy howl. It's also their most consistent album: Rollicking opener "It's Him!" sets the groovy Texas psych template to which the rest of the record hews closely. Along the way, White Denim are able to stir in a new set of psychedelic flourishes-- see the flutes and hippie lyrical mysticism of "River to Consider"-- with the verve of a Fillmore West opening band. Even the post-Maharishi Beatles vibe of closer "Keys"-- complete with strings!-- feels like a perfect extension of a confident band willing to stretch a bit. Who knows: Maybe it's a teaser for the next album?

Personally, I'd prefer White Denim add a bit more choogle to their groove-- more oomph, a bit more low end to complement D's fresh focus on detail and lateral movement. They certainly have the rhythm section for it, and how great would it be for the album's opening triptych to stir in a little "Ramble Tamble"? For now though, this LP's more than good enough. White Denim's inherent restlessness means that all the band's releases feel transitional to a degree, but D's measured restraint points toward the best possible direction for them.

— Eric Harvey, June 29, 2011

City of Ships Debut New Single "Low Countries" + More

[press release] Avant-rock trio City of Ships have announced their much anticipated sophomore album, Minor World, which will be co-released by Translation Loss Records and Sound Study Recordings on July 19. Minor World is the follow-up to 2009's critically acclaimed debut full-length Look What God Did To Us. Check out the worldwide premiere of City of Ships’ debut song “Low Countries” streaming exclusively HERE.

Beginning today, Sound Study Recordings is offering fans the chance to pre-order Minor World on limited edition (500) 210 gram vinyl HERE and Translation Loss Records is offering a CD pre-order HERE.

On City of Ships’ follow up to Look What God Did To Us, one of Decibel Magazine’s Top Metal Albums of 2009, Eric Jernigan (guitar/vocals), Andrew Jernigan (bass) and Rob Motes (drums) set out to push the boundaries of their music farther than ever before. Expanding immensely upon 2009's heralded release, City of Ships meticulously weave post-metal and art-rock styles resulting in an intense yet completely accessible sound that's all their own and impossible to pigeonhole.

“We recorded with Andrew Schneider (Rosetta, Pelican) again, this time at his new studio in Brooklyn,” says Jernigan. “We had some meetings with Schneider ahead of our sessions and agreed we'd set no limits on the variety of timbre and texture on the record. To that end we used a wide range of unusual mics, multiple guitars, more than half a dozen amps, and even different drum tones in order to highlight the individuality of each track.”

After six months of writing and recording, their newfound vision paid off. Instead of re-creating Look What God Did To Us, City of Ships continue to challenge themselves, breathing new life into the band’s massive sound with each note.

“Without sacrificing our love of the almighty riff, we let melody guide the trajectory of Minor World,” adds Jernigan. “The song-writing is more fluid than anything in City of Ships history and vocals take center stage more frequently than they ever have.”

While Minor World’s title is a tongue-in-cheek nod to City of Ships’ self-described relative obscurity, there is nothing “minor” about the new album. Colossal guitars and roaring vocals meld seamlessly with mountainous sound-scapes of ambient melody and indie-rock fervor on tracks like "Subrosa," "Low Countries" and "Celestial Navigation" as City of Ships skillfully churn their way through the peaks and valleys of the 42 minute long Minor World.

City of Ships is currently trekking their way across Europe and will return for a US tour later this summer.

Minor World
Track Listing:

1. Clotilde
2. Subrosa
3. Low Countries
4. Tantric Engineer
5. Darkness at Noon
6. Easy Way / Hard Way
7. Celestial Navigation
8. Sweet Delirium
9. Chainman
10. Low Lives

City of Ships Tour Dates:

29.06 Poznań PL – Pod Minoga *
30.06 Warszawa PL – Radio Luxembourg *
01.07 Zduńska Wola PL – Club Variete *
02.07 Lublin PL – Tektura *
03.07 Łódź PL – Farbiarnia *
04.07 Košice SK – Tabacka Kulturfabrik *
05.07 Bratislava SK – Obluda *
06.07 Zagreb HR – AKC Medika *
07.07 Budapest HU – Tundergyar *
08.07 Wien AT – Escape *
09.07 Bolzano IT – Rock Im Ring * w/ Caliban, Terror, etc.
10.07 Milano IT – SGA (Arese) *
11.07 Clermont-Ferrand FR – Raymond’s *
12.07 Toulouse FR – Saint Des Seins *
13.07 Nantes FR – Le Ferrailleur *
14.07 Knokke-Heist BE – Ravelingen * w/ Maudlin
15.07 Utrecht NL – Ekko *
16.07 Tilburg NL – 013 *
17.07 Aachen DE – AZ *
18.07 Paris FR – Le Klub *
19.07 Bordeaux FR – Heretic Club *
20.07 Torino IT – Spazio 211 * w/ Neurosis
22.07 Luzern CH – Sedel * w/ Planks
23.07 Colmar FR – Le Grillen *
24.07 Rokycany CZ – Fluff Fest * w/ Ceremony, Polar Bear Club, Lemuria, etc.
12.08 Ieper BE – Ieper Fest (day/time TBA) w/ Meshuggah, Decapitated, Dillinger Escape Plan, Cro-Mags, etc.

* = w/ Rosetta

The Big Big Bucks Ready "Endless Bummer" + More

[press release] The Big Big Bucks have debuted their new track "Kick Rocks," from their upcoming EP Endless Bummer due out 7/24/11 via their official Bandcamp page [link above]. Download the lead single HERE (right click, save as)!

Earlier this year, the foursome of Chris Basso (guitar), Ian Gustafson (keys/guitar/vox), Joey McHugh (vox/bass), and Mike Tucker (drums) recorded six new tracks in Watertown. The music retains a burly-pop aesthetic found on last year's Crucial Schmooze LP, and the lyrics are sharp with tales of a failed band relocation to Maine ("Probable Slob"), begging girlfriends to stick around til records start selling ("Decent Dinner"), and more buckshit©.

"Kick Rocks" is the first song to emerge from those recordings, part of the Endless Bummer single, available starting today HERE. Yes, the title and cover are total Beach Boys references. Paired with "Kick Rocks" is "Tipp City", originally by The Amps, recorded by The Bucks during Crucial Schmooze and nearly left to die in the cold.

The band will be celebrating the release of "Kick Rocks" and putting "Tipp City" to rest with a release/funeral party shows in NYC and Boston.

July 23rd @ Pianos, NYC

Elliot & The Ghost
The Big Big Bucks (11pm)

21+, 9pm, $10

July 24th @ Middlesex Lounge, Boston

The Big Big Bucks
DJ sets by Kate from Pilgrims of Sound

21+, 9ish, $5
FB event

[Reminder] Truckfighters Set for First Ever US Tour!!

[press release] Örebro, Sweden fuzz frontrunners TRUCKFIGHTERS have announced their first ever U.S. tour dates in celebration of the band's tenth anniversary. The highly respected trio - recently called "the best band that's ever existed" by QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE frontman Josh Homme - will kick off the U.S. trek on July 13 in Providence, RI. The tour will hit NYC (July 15), Cleveland (July 18), Detroit (July 19), Chicago (July 20) and more showcasing TRUCKFIGHTERS incredibly fuzz-tastic and electric live performance.

Fuzz rock music fans have long been clamoring for TRUCKFIGHTERS to tour the U.S. and now the time is near! In advance of the tour and the release of the band's self-titled "fuzzumentary" (or documentary for those of you who don't speak "fuzz"), "Truckfighters", the band has released a short trailer for the film which features the aforementioned Homme and friends and rockers Nick Oliveri (of Kyuss Lives!), Eddie Glass (of Nebula) and members of Graveyard, Witchcraft, Valient Thorr and more. Check out the Truckfighters trailer now below.

Formed in 2001, TRUCKFIGHTERS' are already a well known name in Europe, having released three critically acclaimed LPs and performing over 300 live gigs across the continent. The group's music has been described as "classic desert rock" calling for comparison to fellow Swedes DOZER as well as U.S. legends such as the mighty Kyuss and Fu Manchu, the latter with whom TRUCKFIGHTERS toured extensively with in Europe. After releasing a pair of EPs and a split LP in the early 2000's, the group released their debut album Gravity X in 2005. The band's sophomore album Phi was released in 2007 and in 2009 TRUCKFIGHTERS released the LP Mania, which has become a "modern classic" in underground rock circles. The album featured the single and video "Con of Man" (view HERE) and garnered the trio a spotlight on the MTV Sweden show "Fuzz".

In conjunction with the U.S. tour, TRUCKFIGHTERS will release the limited edition colored vinyl LP Hidden Treasures of the Fuzz - The Anniversary of the Century, a collection of rare and unreleased recordings. The LP is available via the band's label Fuzzorama Records HERE. Additional information on the Truckfighters documentary film can be found HERE.

TRUCKFIGHTERS U.S. tour dates:

July 13 Providence, RI Firehouse 13
July 14 Worcester, MA Ralph's
July 15 New York City Cake Shop
July 16 Pittsburgh, PA 31st St. Pub
July 17 Columbus, OH Ruby Tuesday
July 18 Cleveland, OH The Grog Shop
July 19 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
July 20 Chicago, IL Reggie's
July 21 Dayton, OH Blind Bob's
July 22 Lexington, KY Green Lantern
July 23 Charleston, SC Jimbo's

TRUCKFIGHTERS features Ozo (Oskar Cedermalm; vocals and bass), Dango (Niklas Källgren; guitar) and Pezo (Oscar Johansson; drums).

"Truckfighters blast your ears with their unique take on modern rock" - METAL HAMMER

"the power and charm to make society grind to a halt..." - KERRANG!

"Putting more rock energy into a single performance than a good proportion of bands do into a career's worth of shows..." - TERRORIZER

Soundgarden Tour Starts This Weekend!

The wait is over... the Soundgarden summer tour starts Saturday. It's not too late to pickup tickets. Throughout the tour Soundgarden will be joined by very special guests Coheed and Cambria, The Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, and Meat Puppets.

Click HERE for detailed tour information

Soundgarden Tour Dates:

July 2 Toronto, ON On Sale Now
July 3 London, ON On Sale Now
July 5 Ottawa, ON On Sale Now
July 6 Uncasville, CT On Sale Now
July 8 Newark, NJ On Sale Now
July 9 Wantagh, NY On Sale Now
July 10 Mansfield, MA On Sale Now
July 12 Fairfax, VA On Sale Now
July 13 Philadelphia, PA On Sale Now
July 14 Atlantic City, NJ On Sale Now
July 16 Chicago, IL On Sale Now
July 18 Morrison, CO On Sale Now
July 21 San Francisco, CA On Sale Now
July 22 Inglewood, CA On Sale Now
July 23 Las Vegas, NV On Sale Now
July 27 Calgary, AB On Sale Now
July 29 Vancouver, BC On Sale Now
July 30 George, WA On Sale Now
Oct 30 New Orleans, LA On Sale Now

*All dates are subject to change check online for latest info. Be sure you're following Soundgarden on Facebook and Twitter for photos and updates from the road.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mastodon Release Adult Swin Single "Deathbound" + Music Video

*[] As promised, Mastodon have released both a digital single and music video for their previously unreleased “Crack The Skye” b-side, “Deathbound“. The song itself can be downloaded/streamed through, while the music video can be streamed below:

Middle Class Rut Release New Video + Tour Dates

[] New-rock duo Middle Class Rut has just released a new music video for their second single, "Busy Bein' Born." The debut album, No Name No Color, by Zack Lopez and Sean Stockham has been attracting a lot of attention, gaining them the title of "2011 Artist to Watch" by MTV, props from BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, and has a song featured in the upcoming Transformers video game. Nice. You can grab No Name No Color here.

Check out the new video below, along with Middle Class Rut's summer tour dates.

Tour Dates:

21 Camden, NJ - Susquehanna Bank Center
22 Burgettstown, PA - First Niagara Pavilion
23 Uniondale, NY - Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
24 Oceanport, NJ - Monmouth Park Racetrack
26 Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion
27 Virginia Beach, VA - Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach
28 Charlotte, NC - Charlotte Verizon Wireless
29 Orlando, FL - Firestone Amphitheatre
30 West Palm Beach, FL - Cruzan Amphitheatre
31 St. Petersburg, FL - Vinoy Park

1 Atlanta, GA - Lakewood Amphitheatre
2 Cincinnati, OH - Riverbend Music Center
3 Maryland Heights, MO - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
4 Omaha, NE - WestFair Amphitheatre
5 Denver, CO - Invesco Field at Mile High
6 Salt Lake City - Utah State Fairgrounds
7 Phoenix, AZ - Ashley Furniture Homestore Pavilion
9 Chula Vista - Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre
10 Los Angeles, CA - Home Depot Center
11 Wheatland, CA - Sleep Train Amphitheatre
12 Boise/Nampa, ID - Idaho Center Amphitheatre
13 George, WA - The Gorge Amphitheatre
14 Hillsboro, OR - Washington County Fairgrounds

Henry Rollins Discusses Dinosaur Jr's "Bug" Tour in Column

[] Of Rock and Dinosaurs [by Henry Rollins]

This may sound like a parsing of words, willful denial or sheer evasiveness but I don't believe in vacations. I am not saying one should not get out of town and see something else, lest one goes nuts. But the word itself smacks of surrender and defeat. I don't take vacations. I go adventuring into the territory. I want to come back sunburned, five pounds lighter and somehow malaria free yet one more time.

Weeks ago, I got one of the best offers from one of my favorite bands, Dinosaur Jr. The band asked me if I wanted to go on the road and interview them live onstage before they turned it up and played their breakout album Bug in its entirety. See Dinosaur Jr. play eight times in eight nights? This was working for me, like big, huge, colossal time, so of course I said yes. And that is where I am right now. Some may call this a vacation. I call it a really good time. I see this band up to five times per tour.

The band, Lou Barlow on bass, Murph on drums and J Mascis on guitar, made three albums in the eighties that had considerable impact in that time. The self-titled debut in 1985, You're Living All Over Me in 1987 and Bug in 1988. Then, the line-up parted ways. J went on without Lou and intermittently with Murph to record four excellent Dinosaur Jr. albums in the nineties: Green Mind, Where You Been, Without A Sound and Hand It Over. Not a bad one in the bunch.

And then, in this new century, the classic threesome got back together and by way of saying they were not extinct and quite alive, they released the Beyond album in 2007 and Farm in 2009. From that time up to now, they have been on the road, all over the world, fairly nonstop.

I get a lot of flak for this point of view but here goes. I think it is checking one's swing to rely on past achievements in music. Bands who go out every other summer and play the hits strike me as artistically timid. When I think of Mick Jagger still singing that he can't get any satisfaction in over forty years of being in the Rolling Stones, I have to conclude that he's either lying or not all that bright. This is however, the textbook definition of entertainment and there's nothing dishonorable about giving thousands of people a great time every night. It just strikes me as a little too easy and not risky enough to maintain your edge. The water in a river is going somewhere. The water in a swamp got there somehow and just sits around. I have always feared stagnation.


MonstrO Release "Anchors Up!" for FREE Download

*[] MonstrO (ex-Torche/bloodsimple.) have made their new song “Anchors Up!” available for download/streaming through their Facebook [link above]. The bands forthcoming self-titled debut, which was produced by Alice In Chains vocalist William DuVall, will arrive in stores on September 06th through Vagrant.

The track listing for it will run as follows:

01 – “Fantasma”
02 – “Anchors Up!”
03 – “Concertina”
04 – “Stallone”
05 – “Olympia”
06 – “Solar”
07 – “Elizabeth”
08 – “Helios”
09 – “Apollo”
10 – “April“

Ripple Music Celebrate First Anniversary with FREE Compilation

[press release] After exploding onto the scene June of last year, Ripple Music continues its path as one of the fastest growing Independent Record Labels in America!

Now, as Ripple Music moves into its second year, founders John Rancik and Todd Severin want to celebrate the enthusiasm of their music lovers (known as waveriders) with some Anniversary Specials. As a thank you to their fans and supporters who’ve allowed Ripple to strike out and bring independent music to the world, Ripple is releasing it's first ever free digital compilation album.

Featuring every band that has made the first year of Ripple Music such a success, Ripple's Anniversary album kicks off with Stone Axe, before heading down the Ripple highway of Poobah, JPT, Fen, and more. And as a special bonus, The Anniversary Album features the world's first sneak peeks at two new Ripple releases; Grifter's self-titled debut album, and the eagerly anticipated A Different Game, from underground legends, Scotland's Iron Claw. But the free compilation album may be available for only a limited time, so get over there quickly to get yours!

But wait, there's more. Over at the Ripple Store, everything is still 15% off until July 4th, and every waverider who places an order will get their name placed into a drawing for a very special, last-one-of-its-kind surprise Test Pressing.

It’s all just Ripple’s way of saying thank you for allowing them to keep doing what they love, bringing the best music your way and putting the guts back into rock and roll!

Monday, June 27, 2011

United Fruit's "Fault Lines" Reviewed on Phantom Channel

[] Review: United Fruit – ‘Fault Lines’ (UF Records)

99% of other reviews make a beeline for comparisons with At The Drive-In and …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead with this Glaswegian quartet, and this is certainly true of tracks such as ‘Go Away, Don’t Leave Me Alone’ and ‘Dust To Light’. I’m surprised that there’s very little mention of early Idlewild. Not since their 1998 ‘Captain EP’ has a Scottish band combined infectious energy and youthful exuberance in such a manner. United Fruit have a knack of melding their discordant music into something quite anthemic. Tracks such as ‘Wrecking Ball’ and ‘The Alarm’ portray this perfectly, shifting gears and winding the abrasive instrumentation into radio-friendly choruses, it’s an impressive trick, one that also reminds of the satisfying, ear-drum bursting dynamics of former Glaswegian Indie-Rock heroes AC Acoustics. As too is the whirlwind, overwhelming start to ‘Confuse Her Now’ which recalls Sonic Youth at their most raucous. Again there’s room for melody amidst the fiery, post-hardcore shouts, corkscrewing guitar interplay and breakneck speed instrumentation.

A muddy production mix means a lot of this LP loses its impact, however. You really want tracks such as ‘Kamikaze’ and ‘Red Letter’ to overcome this, but they don’t quite make it. The vocals can be difficult to decipher especially when the band are at full stride, while the drums could do with a good bit of oomph, instead of the damp, watery sound prevalent throughout– though they’re actually kind of reminiscent to that of Sonic Youth’s ‘Sister’, so perhaps the drum sound on ‘Fault Lines’ was intentional.. Production issues aside, this record is definitely worth investigating especially by those with even a passing interest in any of the bands mentioned above. As a start this record is noteworthy, but with a prestigious slot secured for the T Break Stage at this year’s T in the Park Festival, United Fruit seem destined to go onto bigger things.

RIBS Featured on Sleepover Shows

[] It’s fitting that we have Boston rock outfit RIBS for Sleepover Show’s 50th installment, considering the human body has fifty ribs. On an unrelated note, I failed high school biology. Actually, we’ve been fond of RIBS ever since one of us split some brisket with bassist Blake Fusilier at a Christmas party last year. Blake sadly was not present as we entered drummer Chris Oquist’s Cambridgeport apartment. Luckily singer/guitarist Keith Freund, guitarist Justin Tolan and the aforementioned Oquist were there with their instruments and ready to melt our faces.

RIBS has quickly become a powerhouse in the Boston rock scene since Freund and Fusillier moved up to Boston from Atlanta. Since joining up with Tolan and Oquist, they’ve drawn comparisons to everyone from Muse and Nine Inch Nails to Queens of the Stone Age and Brand New.

As we piled into Oquist’s bedroom we saw the RIBS command center: a white board at Oquist’s desk with band goals written on it. We’d divulge what business was written on the board, but we’ve been sworn to secrecy.

First up was an as yet unreleased song, Brighter Things: A shoegazey, ethereal number featuring a catchy little te-da-de-doo hook.

Next was a pair of songs from their record, British Brains: Even and Brains Out. Both of these performances are starkly different from the driving Rock and Roll of their EP. (It’s great driving music.) These versions, however, are more thoughtful and ominous than their studio counterparts. The lyrics and brooding tone connect with angst and emotion no matter you age.

We were glad to get RIBS captured on our little site and we hope that you find them as juicy and succulent as we did. You can check out their other tunes at their Bandcamp page.

Radiohead's Glastonbury Set Posted Online [Video]

[] Radiohead delivered their first performance in some 18 months during a surprise appearance at the Glastonbury Music Festival in Pilton, England earlier this weekend. The 75-minute, 14-song set marked the live premiere for many of the songs appearing on their recently released eighth LP, The King of Limbs, including set opener “Lotus Flower”, “Good Morning Mr. Magpie”, “Little By Little”, “Separator” and “Bloom”. “Staircase“, a track which the band debuted just last week, was also performed. Update: You can watch watch clips for eight songs below.

According to Spinner, fan reaction to the new songs was “as cool as the weather.” Yorke himself admitted “we’re all massively nervous about this,” though he said the band agreed to perform in exchange for tickets. “We’re here to get in free.”

Radiohead’s next scheduled performance will come in the form of the BBC program Radiohead – The King of Limbs: Live From The Basement, which will be distributed worldwide beginning July 1st.

Watch more videos HERE.

Dinosaur Jr Performance and Live in Concert Interview [Video]

[] Henry Rollins joined Dinosaur Jr on their brief “Bug” album tour to interview them before their set.

Below is the entire 18-minute interview from their New York City show on June 23. Check out the nine-minute mark for Rollins’ hilarious reaction to an audience member throwing his shoes at the stage.

Quick Notes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Crystal Antlers

*[] Up-and-coming rapper Kreayshawn has been tapped to direct the video for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' upcoming single "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie." MTV News reports that Kreayshawn (real name: Natassia Zolot) has been directing music videos for years, and has a film school background. She recently signed a contract with Columbia Records. The Peppers' new album, I'm With You, is due out August 30.

*We Were Promised Jetpacks have posted a short teaser for their HIGHLY anticipated sophomore album. Exploding In Sound couldn't be more excited for the release, and will have all the info as it comes in...

*Crystal Antlers have posted a video for their latest "Summer Solstice". The track comes from their upcoming sophomore full length Two-Way Mirror due out July 19th...

Drawing Mountains Release Full Length Debut "Sequential Patterns"

Michigan's own Drawing Mountains have released their new album Sequential Patterns via their official Bandcamp page. The eleven track effort picks up where the Ventures EP left off, in a storm of indie prog haze. The EP showed great promise, and Drawing Mountains are growing into that promise with a solid full length that will appeal to fans of ...Trail of Dead, Faraquet, Unwound, and Minus The Bear. Go ahead and check it out for yourselves...

Queens of the Stone Age Perform at Glastonbury [Video]

[] Professionally-filmed live footage of the Queens Of The Stone Age performing at yesterday’s (June 26th) annual “Glastonbury Festival” in England has been making the rounds online. You can find some highlights below:


Mastodon's "Adult Swin" Single Available Tomorrow

[] Mastodon have a new digital single and accompanying video due out tomorrow, June 28th, exclusively through The song will carry the title of “Deathbound” and is a previously unreleased track from the “Crack The Skye” recording sessions.

Mastodon have a new album by the name of “The Hunter” tentatively due out in October, while their current touring schedule runs as follows:

06/28 Haarlem, NET – Patronaat
06/29 Hengelo, NET – Metropol
07/01 Roskilde, DEN – Roskilde Festival
07/02 Helsinki, FIN – Sonisphere Festival
07/03 St. Petersburg, RUS – Glav Club
07/04 Moscow, RUS – Arena Moscow
07/06 Aschaffenburg, GER – Colos-Saal
07/08 Amneville, FRA – Sonisphere Festival
07/09 Stockholm, SWE – Sonisphere Festival
07/10 Knebworth, UK – Sonisphere Festival
07/12 Berlin, GER – C-Club
07/13 Tolmin, SLO – Metalcamp festival
07/14 Tokaj, HUN – Hegyalja Festival
07/16 Madrid, SPA – Sonisphere Festival
07/24 Toronto, ON – Heavy T.O. Festival
07/30 Seattle, WA – The Gorge (feat. Soundgarden, Meat Puppets)

Valley of the Sun Offer Blistering Desert Heat on Debut EP

EIS Review by Michael Henaghan [also at Phantom Channel]

Looking for technically superior Prog-Rock? Perhaps you're more in need of infectious Pop-Rock? Maybe you hanker for weedy, angular college Indie? Then you need not apply here, for Valley of the Sun are a straight-shooting, unpretentious band that prefers to summon the spirit of desert rock heroes Kyuss on this gutsy record, marrying it with elements from 60′s and 70′s hard-rock.

Though this Ohio-based outfit aren’t re-inventing the wheel there’s still much to respect on ‘The Sayings of the Seers’, their second release to date. From its groove-laden, mountain-sized riffs through to its tight, steadfast rhythm section. Guitarist/Vocalist Ryan Terrier has a soulful tone to his voice that undeniably recalls John Garcia (not a bad thing when you consider he is one of the greatest Rock vocalists of the last 20 years) but he’s also able to change things up during the more introspective moments of this record, with vague hints of Scott Weiland or Layne Stayley coming to mind. On the stomping ‘Aquarius’, Terrier flirts with these Garcia-style tones but the chorus is reserved for a melodious harmony that surely takes its cue from Cream.

This band likes to keep things varied, veering clear of stoner-rock stagnation, changing tempos and occasionally changing tact. The aforementioned ‘Aquarius’, for example, ends via some nice acoustic work that sounds natural rather than forced. Likewise, they understand when to let loose and when to reign things in within their classic guitar/bass/drums power-trio line-up. 'Mariner’s Tale’ divebombs into action with its fiery riffs and a robust, Bonham-esque rhythm but rather than continuing with pedal to the metal, the band segues this track into a hazy, tripped-out segment with the guitar taking command, the whole piece reminding of the tripped-out bliss via ferocious intensity of Karma To Burn. I’d wager this one goes down a storm around the clubs of their native Cincinnati.

This troupe refreshingly avoid the needless histrionics or show-boating that dogs certain bands in and around the Rock idiom, yet they’re far from workman-like too. Though a feeling lingers that their vision isn’t quite complete on this 5-track record, those who are willing to dismiss Valley of the Sun as mere copyists are missing the point. More importantly, they’re missing a fine, hard-rocking band. 'The Sayings of the Seers’ has more than enough in its locker to recruit those that missed the ride first time around.

Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock to Score "Queens of Country" featuring Maynard James Keenan

[press release] Isaac Brock, Modest Mouse front man and songwriter, will compose the score for the upcoming feature film Queens of Country.

Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke, the writing and directing team behind the film, are best known for their music documentaries including Blood Into Wine, The Heart Is A Drum Machine and Moog. The pair have placed an equal amount of importance on the scores to their films with both The Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd (The Heart Is A Drum Machine) and Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer (Blood Into Wine) having contributed to their films.

Queens of Country stars Lizzy Caplan (Party Down, Mean Girls) and Ron Livingston (Band of Brothers, Office Space) with supporting actors Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad, Pineapple Express) and Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle). The film centers on Caplan’s character Jolene and a lost iPod, which the obsessed country music fan is convinced belongs to her soul mate. Jolene quickly finds herself in a hilarious adventure of mistaken identities, line dancing competitions, time machines and doppelgangers.

Post-production recently wrapped on the film with an eye towards a 2012 release for both the film and score.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

HUM Tribute Album "Songs of Farewell and Departure" Set for Sep 6th Release

SONGS OF FARWELL AND DEPARTURE: A Tribute To HUM Announces Release Date Information

Pop Up Records and the entire Hum Tribute Team are thrilled to announce SONGS OF FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE: A TRIBUTE TO HUM, will be arriving in our stratosphere on September 6th 2011 in digital and CD formats. Digital will be available from all your favorite retailers such as iTunes, Amazon, etc. while the physical copies will be sold via and Pre-Orders begin July 11th, 2011 at so you can guarantee to be one of the first to witness the glory of HUM as provided by some of today’s top bands.

Pop Up Records has assembled a diverse cast of bands to pay tribute to one of the 90’s most beloved space rockers HUM, and there is good reason to be excited. The release will celebrate the Champaign, IL collective’s all too short career with astounding new takes of classic tracks from some of today’s brightest new and up-and-coming bands. SONGS OF FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE offers a brilliant look at the near decade long reign of HUM through the eyes of the musicians they influenced including Funeral For A Friend, Junius, The Felix Culpa, City of Ships, Solar Powered Sun Destroyer with J. Robbins (Jawbox/Burning Airlines), Stomacher, Kellii Scott (Failure) & Eric Gorfain (The Section Quartet), and much more.

Tracklisting :

1 - Arctic Sleep – The Scientists
2 - (Damn) This Desert Air – The Pod
3 - Solar Powered Sun Destroyer – Stars (feat. J Robbins)
4 - Bearhead - Ms. Lazarus
5 - Anakin – I’d Like Your Hair Long
6 - Junius - Firehead
7 - Constants – If You Are To Bloom
8 - City of Ships – I Hate It Too
9 – Actors & Actresses - Aphids
10 - Digicide – Comin’ Home
11 - The Esoteric – Iron Clad Lou
12 - TENT (Kellii Scott & Eric Gorfain) - Little Dipper
13 - Stomacher – Why I Like Robins
14 - The Felix Culpa – Puppets
15 - Funeral For A Friend – Green to Me

*DIGITAL ONLY BONUS TRACK: Alpha Stasis – Scraper

SONGS OF FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE: A TRIBUTE TO HUM is brought to you by a team of likeminded individuals including: Pop Up Records,, Chancellor Design, HOUSEWITHOUTWALLS Design, and Having all been influenced by HUM themselves, the team is dedicated to the project and all of the bands involved. Pop Up Records are no strangers to paying homage to the icons of the 90’s, as the label released the exceptional The Nurse Who Loved Me: A Tribute to Failure in late 2008.

For more news and info…

Brought to you by the Hum Tribute Team:

*Pop Up Records
*Exploding In Sound
*Housewithoutwalls Design
*Chancellor Design
*Escaping The Ordinary

Quick Notes: Mastodon, Mogwai, Dead Sands

*[] Mastodon have revealed yet another new track title for their upcoming album “The Hunter“. The latest to be revealed for the effort, which is expected out in October, is “Dry Bone Valley“. It joins the following already released track titles:

“The Octopus Has No Friends”
“Curl Of The Burl”
“All The Heavy Lifting”
“The Sparrow”
“The Ruiner“

*[] Mogwai have finished up mastering their new EP “Earth Division” and are aiming to release it this autumn. The effort is comprised of unused songs originally written during the sessions for their latest outing, “Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will

*Dead Sands, the new band featuring members of Midnight Masses and Borrowed Eyes, have posted a brand new song entitled "Rain Prayer" on their official SoundCloud page. Check it out below. The song comes from the band's debut EP Centuries I, the first in a four part set.

Rain Prayer by Dead Sands

Archers of Loaf Perform on Jimmy Fallon + Tour Dates

[] And the Archers of Loaf reunion bullet train continues forward. After the announcement of their first tour in 13 years and plans to reissue their first four LPs, the Chapel Hill, NC rockers hit up Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, where they played their 1992 single “Wrong”. A replay of the performance is posted below.

For a web exclusive, the band also performed their college radio hit “Harnessed in Slums”, from 1995′s Vee Vee, which you can watch below.

Like what you see? Well, here are some chances to catch them live and in person:

07/08 – Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
07/09 – Chicago, IL @ The Bottom Lounge
07/22 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
07/23 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
07/24 - Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
08/05 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
08/06 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
08/19 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
09/02 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
09/03 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
09/08– Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom (Musicfest NW)
09/09 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
12/09-11 – Minehead, UK @ ATP’s Nightmare Before Christmas


It's no secret [review] that we here at Exploding In Sound love Portland, OR's RED FANG. We are also very well aware that you, our wonderful readers, do too. To celebrate the mighty Red Fang and their terrific sophomore album Murder the Mountains, we've teamed up with the legendary Relapse Records to give away two (2) copies of the now OUT OF PRINT Red Fang - "Wires" 7" singles. Two lucky winners will have the opportunity to receive either a limited edition red or green vinyl single (color chosen at random) featuring one of the year's best songs and equally spectacular artwork.

How do you win yourself a copy?? Simple... send Exploding In Sound an e-mail with the subject "RED FANG OR BUST!!" containing the following information...

*Favorite track from Murder The Mountains?

*What are comedian Brian Posehn's parting words to the band in the hilarious "Wires" video?

*Favorite "Wires" video moment?

The contest will run until July 10th, and winners will be notified by email. Let the games begin...

Introducing: Widowspeak

[press release] To say that Widowspeak is a Northwest band is to tell a half-truth. After all they formed in a Brooklyn apartment thousands of miles to the east, and their guitarist has never even seen the Pacific Ocean. There are aspects of the band’s sound - abrasive guitar hooks, immediate drumming, and incessant codas-that speak to living in a big city. But there’s also a dreary sparseness, a David Lynch-esque darkness, culled from the other members’ native Washington.

Singer/songwriter Molly Hamilton grew up in an old house in Tacoma, drummer Michael Stasiak in nearby Lakewood. While grunge put Seattle on the map and Riot Grrl and the DIY aesthetic are synonymous with Olympia, Tacoma remains grittier, darker even. Infamous for the acrid smell of its paper mills, this blue-collar city somehow fosters a fertile music community - if few outsiders know about it. Michael and Molly first crossed paths in that tight-knit scene, both contributing to a local compilation label. The label lasted all of one summer before half its roster decamped for New York.

There, three summers later, Michael approached Molly about starting a new band. Molly’s crippling stage fright and inexperience with the electric guitar seemed good excuses to decline, but at Michael’s urging she bought a used Danelectro and put pen to paper. Soon after, Michael invited guitarist Robert Earl Thomas to a tentative first practice. Though Robert had to plug his guitar into the stereo, and Michael played only two drums, something was palpable in that first hour. They chose a name Molly had picked months before, and Widowspeak was born.

The band’s skeletal sound began to take shape, with Robert’s rust-belt guitar parts lending a restless, sinister edge to Molly’s subdued melodies and soft vocal style. Writing became a collaborative effort, and Widowspeak racked up an arsenal of songs. By fall the trio had recorded a six-track cassette using only a built-in laptop microphone and Garageband. The self-released October Tape, as it was called, fell into the hands of Brooklyn’s Captured Tracks. Weeks later, after only their sixth show, Widowspeak recorded the 7″ single, “Harsh Realm,” in anticipation of a full LP.

That album, recorded at Rear House with Jarvis Taveniere of Woods, documents Widowspeak’s inaugural year. In a relaxed studio setting songs born from those first jittery practices could breathe. The trio expanded their modest instrumentation while retaining a sparse aesthetic. The resulting record offers an eerie ambience, at times channeling 1950’s jukebox pop, at others, 1960’s psychedelia. While garnering comparisons to slow-moving 1990’s acts such as Mazzy Star or Cat Power, Widowspeak have defined a sound that’s earnestly nostalgic, and increasingly confident. Even so, these are songs about heartache. They are songs about homesickness, about longing for pine forests, reckless youth, and dark nights in strange cities.

Widowspeak: Widowspeak
(Captured Tracks)
Street date: Aug. 9, 2011

Harsh Realm
In the Pines
Gun Shy
Hard Times
Fir Coat
Half Awake
Ghost Boy

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Quick Notes: Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Radiohead + More

*[] According to the The Hollywood Reporter, Trent Reznor's long-in-the-works HBO/BBC miniseries "Year Zero" now has a writer. The miniseries, based on Nine Inch Nails' dystopic 2007 concept album, has been in development since last year and a subject of rumors for way longer than that. And now Jim Uhls, the man who wrote the Fight Club screenplay (as well as the incomprehensible teleportation thriller Jumper), will write the miniseries. Below, check out the video for the Year Zero track "Survivalism".

*[] Jeff sent me an email just a little while ago containing a link to the new Captain American trailer featuring "46 & 2" by Tool. Jeff points out that Joe Johnston who’s worked on the film, also worked with Adam Jones on Jurassic Park which may explain the connection. Enjoy!

*[] Radiohead played a 'surprise' show at Glastonbury festival tonight (June 24), billed as ‘special guests’ on The Park Stage.

Playing on the same stage frontman Thom Yorke and guitarist Johnny Greenwood performed an unannounced set on at the festival last year, the band were joined by an extra live member, musician Clive Deamer, who played as a second drummer.

The gig was Radiohead’s first full band show in the UK since 2009, and was only confirmed this morning. Thousands flocked to The Park for the show, forcing staff to cut off access to the area as it reached capacity.

*[] In the epic conclusion of Stephen Colbert’s “2011: A Rock Odyssey featuring Jack White, pt. 3,” Colbert debuts his Jack White-produced, Black Belles-featuring song “Charlene 2 (I’m Over You)”, the follow-up to 1980′s chart-adjacent hit “Charlene, I’m Right Behind You”, but not before Colbert tours Third Man HQ and dresses like Jack White circa 2003, and White curses out Rolling Stone. These guys need a sitcom together, like, yesterday.

Check out part three below; if you missed it, click HERE for part one and HERE for part two. Watching them in order is a necessity.

A 7″ version of “Charlene 2 (I’m Over You)” is now available via Third Man Record’s website. Also, if you’re in New York City, White and Colbert will be slinging vinyl at the High Line (W. 30th St & 10th Ave) on Friday at 11 AM EDT.

*[] Biffy Clyro played their first Pyramid Stage show at Glastonbury festival tonight (June 24), and had a stern warning for the weather. "Fuck the rain... with a big fat cock," said frontman Simon Neil before an acoustic version of 'Machines'.

Before the show bassist James Johnston spoke to NME about how the Scottish band had been "panicking" over their set, despite being festival veterans. "We've played here a few times now, but never on the main stage, so now we're just panicking over what's going to work and what's not going to work," he said. "It's all kick off when we take our tops off... we're basically a rock band and we're really proud to bring a rock show to Glastonbury."

*[] Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner has quashed rumors about the band possibly playing a secret show at Glastonbury this weekend (June 24-26).

Rumors about the Sheffield band possibly strapping on their instruments for a show at Worthy Farm flared up after the band members arrived on the festival site earlier in the day. Example complained about them stealing his tour bus parking space. But although the Monkeys were on site, Turner has now told NME that they won’t be playing a show there.

White Hills' "H–p1" Reviewed on Pitchfork

[] White Hills are a prolific, freewheeling sort of band. The New York space-rock explorers have stamped their name on more than a dozen releases from about half as many labels in the past six years. But they're at their best onstage, where they're loud, exhilarating, and unhinged, playing strings of songs as long as most bands' full sets. Though they're generally that way on record, too, I've never gotten the same feeling from White Hills through my own stereo speakers as I have through some bar's PA.

The same holds for H–p1, a 72-minute, nine-track album that's often invigorating but sometimes just seems endless. White Hills are at their best when they're at their busiest, as on the closing, 17-minute title track, with misanthropic lyrics, a jagged riff, and expansive solos. It's complicated and exhausting, but it succeeds through sheer momentum. Moments like these make the band's second album for Thrill Jockey worth at least one trip. Similarly, "The Condition of Nothing" is a moody anthem with a squealing, instrumental midsection; it's nasty and noisy, a passage that a band with less of a filter might have omitted. Meanwhile, "Monument" evokes claustrophobia through power electronics and stacked, broken rhythms. It's intensity is compelling.

But that lack of restraint cuts both ways. Elsewhere, White Hills include entire experimental sections that would have been better left in the practice room. Synthesizer study "Hand in Hand" is a jam with little movement, an exercise without an idea. "No Other Way" rumbles quickly to a doomy churn, with Ego Sensation's bulbous bass tone serving as ballast for Dave W.'s guitar and synthesizer builds, but then it spends its last three minutes whirring and droning through an Amon Düül II haze. It seems like an attempt to make an art-rock statement, but it mostly just thwarts the trio's thrust. Similar tones work much better during "Paradise", a krautrock heater (assisted by Oneida drummer Kid Millions) that lets up only in the last of its 13 minutes; by then, it's actually time for the band to exhale.