Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Bon Iver ended up being one of my favorites of 2011, as did it's strummy, country-tinged "Towers". NABIL takes the directing duties for it's corresponding video and paints a beautiful, yet ominous living picture of an old man who makes his way out to sea only to watch his towers crumble into it. It's a masterpiece, but anything associated with Justin Vernon just about qualifies as such nowadays.
Bon Iver - Towers (Official Music Video) from Bon Iver on Vimeo.
Ernest Greene thoroughly introduced us to the infinite sunny possibilities of chillwave with his stunning debut Within and Without. On his sessions with Daytrotter (via Ashville, North Carolina's Echo Mountain Recording) however, he launches far more into a more somber, piano-driven take on popular b-sides that would resonate more with the gloomy chamber pop kids than the stoned surfers smoking joints in Bali.
Download: Washed Out - Daytrotter Sessions (2/22/12)
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Jazz Cartier took the blogosphere and hip-hop heads alike by storm when he dropped his impressive debut mixtape Losing Elizabeth at the tender age of 17. The Toronto native has since taken some time off to finish up high school, but dropped a fresh new single "Jet Plane" that is largely powered by a sample of Angus & Julia Stone's "Big Jet Plane" that perfectly fits his laid back vibe. Even better is the fact that the song will come off a forthcoming mixtape Maruading in Paradise. Glad to see the kid is still making moves. Stay on the look out.
Download: Jazz Cartier - "Jet Plane"
Monday, February 27, 2012
The Love IV: Diary of a Madman is less than a month away so The-Dream decided to let another album track go as a reminder. The six-minute slow jam epic is sure to work in Mr. Nash's grandiose production, vocal theatrics, while still keeping a spot open for his own protege Casha. Between this and "ROC", Love IV is shaping up quite nicely.
Download: The-Dream - "Kill The Lights" (feat. Casha)
Christopher Owen's billowing ode to his mother gets beautiful video treatment thanks to the direction of Focus Creeps and a plug from Team Coco as a recluse former actress reflects on her life and attempts to prove to herself she still got some chops. Father, Son, Holy Ghost got a lot of love in 2011 from the in-the-know indie kids, so if you were late to the party like I was, check the video below and be sure to give the album a listen.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Terius Nash marked his return to The-Dream moniker after wowing the blogosphere with his 1977 mixtape by dropping "ROC" back in January. Nearly two months later, the quirky single from the forthcoming The Love, IV: Diary of a Madman sees the Radio Killa going all The Weeknd (without the ecstasy and despair, of course) and hosting a house of, well, balloons and a pretty sweet pool.
Not to go all #firstworldproblems, cuz that shit is played out, but I'm glad that The Shins decided to post their new video for "Simple Song" on VEVO as opposed to it's iTunes debut that fucks up your format because it's totally worth watching. James Mercer's family from the future is watching his videotaped will, which in true hipster fashion, sends them on a scavenger hunt to find their inheritance. It's kind of like Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but without the whole profiting off a terrorist attack thing. When they finally do put the pieces together, it's legitimately hilarious. Dead James Mercer is a dick.
Port of Morrow is out March 20th.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Jermaine has gone in over some serious soul samples before (see: "Villematic") but it's always a pleasure to hear him rip up something that is already screaming "Hallelujah". His chooses David Ruffin's "The Double Cross" this time and drops gems which include him calling "bitches with few goals" a "hat-trick". Now all we need is a whole album's worth of this ish.
Download: J. Cole - "Grew Up Fast"
When I saw Ryan Adams at an intimate acoustic show at Strathmore outside D.C. (which I maintain was one of the greatest live show I've ever seen) he made a sly comment about having the sheet music for Dio's timeless "Holy Diver" while leafing through his material. Well apparently he wasn't joking and here is the video evidence. It only makes it better that this took place at a concert hall named after Walt Disney, a fact he hilariously points out during his trademarked pre-song shtick. C'mon, who could hate this guy?
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
I was a huge fan of the first installment in North Korea's (ex-Envy on the Coast, ex-Dillinger Escape Plan) Basement Tapes, but they may has outdone themselves in Vol. 2. Dialing back the funk-metal aspect in favor of a moodier grunge influence results in an excellent sound that can only be described as if Incubus' Brandon Boyd was the lead singer for Pearl Jam. Bravo gentleman. Go "like" their Facebook page for a free download.
Download: North Korea - Basement Tapes Vol. 2
We've been lucky enough to hear "Calling Me Names" and "It Hurts Every Time" before Come Back as Rain's March 6th release date and now Consequence of Sound has the exclusive goods on a third in the free-wheeling "Can't Go Home". I just learned that the album, which lead vocalist Keith Goodwind described as "stemming from that longing for home that happens when you’re away all the time," was recorded in frequent Bright Eyes contributor Mike Mogis' studio, an influence fully exposed in the song's full-bodied nature.
Download: Good Old War - "Can't Go Home"
Monday, February 20, 2012
fun. were nice enough to stop by iHeartRadio's balloon-filled set (seriously, wtf) to perform smash single "We Are Young" and the uplifting "Carry On" acoustically. I'm sure Some Nights--which drops tomorrow, ya'll--will be good and all, but I'd be considerably more excited for it if it were to sound like this rather than the electronically pumped up studio versions that have leaked so far. Nonetheless, good shit.
Here's the Chris Brown--yes, that Chris Brown--directed video for one of the only solid songs off Ambition, thanks in large part to Big Sean's fire verse and Diplo's spazzy production. The latter fails to make an appearance in the video, but you just can feel his influence in the crazy graffiti, twerking ladies, and quick cuts. Work, work, work, work.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Fresh off his Grammy win for Best New Artist, Justin Vernon hit Air Studios with collaborator/labelmate S. Carey to showcase tunes from Bon Iver and his Blood Bank EP, as well as a cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me", with their pianos and voices as the only aid. The performances were captured in high-high-high definition and posted below for your viewing pleasure. This still can't top his jam session with The Roots on "Perth" last week, but it comes pretty fucking close.
01 “Hinnom, TX”
03 “I Can’t Make You Love Me”
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The Shins have gotten plenty of well deserved attention during the lead up to Port of Morrow, their first studio LP since 2007's Wincing the Night Away. Why not keep the ball rolling with footage of James Mercer giving a twangy essence to the fluttering "September" during an acoustic performance at 101.9 KINK FM in Portland? Exacttttttly.
Chuck Inglish and Mikey Rocks decided to see what happens when you slip acid into a music video's beer. The resulting action has the Chi-Town duo riding around their hood, hanging in elevators, and performing a show while their surroundings slips between the real world and a psychedelically animated one.
For some reason I no can haz When Fish Ride Bicycles. Changing that now.
While we've heard from Major Lazer here and there, it's nice to get some quality Diplo time. Tomorrow he will release new single "Express Yourself", a frantic dancehall jam that would be right at home at a club for Transformers. You can hear it now at Spin, but not before you also check out Mr. Pentz's pulsing Usher collab "Climax" that plunges R&B into it's most cerebral depths.
Diplo - "Climax" (feat. Usher)
Hear: Diplo - "Express Yourself" (feat. Nicky Da B)
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
All you prog rock fans, the good news is not over! Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López's decision to reunite with At The Drive-In for Coachella stops and a tour,--a decision I have absolutely zero qualms with--cast speculation onto whether The Mars Volta were dead. That question was promptly answered with a defiant "fuck no!". The band announced they will release Noctourniquet on March 27th and revealed it's jazzy and pyschedelic single "The Malkin Jewel" which sees Mr. Bixler-Zavala's vocals at their most manic.
Let's do a little recap of Co&Co's recent history:
-The Year of the Black Rainbow, one of the biggest let-downs in recent memory, was released.
-On-again-off-again bassist/recovering heroin addict Michael Todd was arrested for robbing a Walgreens in July.
-Drummer Chris Pennie, citing creative differences, left the band in November.
-Original drummer Josh Eppard rejoins the band.
-They begin recording sixth studio LP of which Claudio Sanchez said: "We will be staying within the world of the Amory Wars and go further into the past. Fans should be excited who of the characters we have picked to follow in this prequel saga..I will say that it will hint and influence the pre-existing saga, and that it is all related."
-A video of Claudio performing an acoustic version of an epic new song "Sentry the Defiant", propelled by insane riffing right out of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, is posted on the band's website along with a link for a free download.
Which year looks most promising? Don't call it a comeback.
Download: Coheed and Cambria - "Sentry the Defiant" (Acoustic)
Ex-Envy on the Coast vocalist Ryan Hunter and Dillinger Escape Plan drummer Bill Rymer, alongside Brian Byrne and Michael Saids, unveiled their metal-funk project North Korea last year with a four-song freEP Basement Tapes Vol. 1. The next installment will drop next Tuesday--surprisingly titled Basement Tapes Vol. 2.--a tidbit announced via a teaser video you can view below. It includes just about everything you would associate with the band: lines of shots, a slow-motion ass slap, and some absolutely sledgehammering tunes.
NORTH KOREA | BASEMENT TAPES VOL. 2 [ALBUM PROMO] from Chain Gang Productions on Vimeo.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
After having "We Are Young" skyrocket to iTunes Top 10 singles following it's inclusion in an episode of Glee and appearance in Chevy's Super Bowl ad, fun. is on the grid motherfuckers. Their newest album and second studio LP Some Nights is up for streaming on soundcloud. Go check it out and see if you adore/loathe it. I have a feeling with this one's going be on one end or the other.
Some Nights will drop for realz on February 21st.
Stream: fun. - Some Nights
Judging from the two songs we've already heard off it--"Simple Song" and "September"--Port of Morrow on March 20th is going to prove James Mercer's return to The Shins moniker a wise decision. The only weakness really identifiable in them is that they where perhaps a bit too minimalistic or restrained. Now add the lush thumping of "The Rifle's Spiral" to the arsenal (no pun intended,) and it immediately buffs up the album's ability to boast a well-rounded sound. An end of the year list candidate already? Damn.
Shouts to Etcetra for the stream.
Hear: The Shins - "The Rifle's Spiral"
Jack White took directorial duties on the visuals for "Love Interruption" and delivers a pretty tame, performance-based concept that sees our ever-ghostly protagonist dueting with Ruby Amanfu and his backing band. For a song with such visceral lyrics, it's a surprisingly understated video.
Blunderbuss is out April 24th.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Ye and Jay official video for "Niggas in Paris" is predictably unconventional. The duo uses live footage and audio from their L.A. stop on the Throne Tour to provide a kaleidoscopic view of the action that needs a warning slide inserted before it's introduction. What you got against epileptics, Mr. West?
Friday, February 10, 2012
Good Old War sent the anticipation for their third album Come Back As Rain skyrocketing after debuting their sublimely sunny single "Calling Me Names". They've posted another song off the record--the down-home lamenting "It Hurts Every Time"--for free on their bandcamp, and it's equally impressive. Someone seems to be doing the dip on our harmonizing threesome, but if it keeps birthing these excellent songs, I'm hard press to take issue.
Come Back As Rain is out March 6th.
Download: Good Old War - "It Hurts Every Time"
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Beach Fossil's debuted "Shallow", the a-side of the 7" they will release on Feb. 21st, last week and evidently decided not to leave us waiting for the b-side. "Lessons" follows in the vein of it's couterpart, proving that a progression away from the safe confines of lo-fi can reveal you don't actually have to completely drench your songs in reverb for them to be needling and dreamy.
Download: Beach Fossils - "Lesson"
Cult's mournful doo-wop cut "You Know What I Mean" takes on an even darker tone thanks to it's accompanying video. Brian Oblivion takes on the role of a stuntman who is horribly scarred after his assistant rigs a fire stunt to blow out of jealousy. He still gets the girl--played by frontwoman Madeline Follin, looking a hell of a lot like Boardwalk Empire's Kelly Macdonald--and attempts another triumphant high jump for good measure. Is there a more fun/terrifying job in the world than being a stunt double? Doubtful.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Jack White introduced his forthcoming solo album Blunderbuss with the sinister single "Love Interruption" a few days ago. The 7" is now available through White's label Third Man Records and it's b-side, the switchblade-sharp barroom bluesy "Machine Gun Silhouette", is also up for streaming. Who knows how long it'll be available for so all you curious georges better get on it.
The Black Keys picked "Gold on the Ceiling" as their second single off El Camino, which is not that surprising considering how frequently they've broken it out on the late night talk circuit. What is kind of surprising is that the song's video is a montage mainly comprised of tour footage--both on and off stage. Somewhat mailed in if you ask me, but it's so hard to take anything away from the sheer perfection of the fuzzed-out blues cut. And sorry, no random dances moves from "Lonely Boy" star Derrick Tuggle either.
Although Thrice have entered the dreaded "indefinite hiatus" territory, Dustin Kensrue isn't leaving the music world anytime soon. He'll have his second solo LP out sometime this year and performed a soaring new song "Of Crows and Crowns" during his almost-hometown show at popular West Hollywood venue The Troubadour. Head below to see the video and hit it here to download an entire set from his show at House of Blues in San Diego, courtesy Absolutepunk.
Remember back in December when Bruce Springsteen joined The Gaslight Anthem for "American Slang" at their holiday show in Ashbury Park? Well now another, higher-quality video has dropped from the same show. This time it's of the band's closing with their chugging cover of The Who/CSI NY's classic "Baba O'Riley." So to recap: The Gaslight Anthem, Bruce Springsteen, Ashbury Park, Baba O'Riley. Holidays, indeed. Enjoy.
Monday, February 6, 2012
The Shins will release their recently debuted "Simple Song" as a single next week. On the b-side resides "September", a bobbing bossa nova ditty that you can hear via this amazing lyric video. Yes, apparently lyric videos can be amazing.
Port of Morrow is slated to drop in March. Tour dates can be found here.
The Shins: “September” (b-side of “Simple Song” 7”) from Record Store Day on Vimeo.
Absolutepunk is celebrating the impending release of a 7" split between Weatherbox and Person L with an exclusive stream of one of the San Diego natives contributions. "Kickflips For Weeks" sees the band fleshing out their traditionally jerky compositions with sound dynamics that fluctuate like the Tower of Terror and sugary melodies taken straight from Tokyo Police Club's songbook.
The split will be available digitally through Amazon MP3 on Feburary 7th so be on the lookout.
Hear: Weatherbox - "Kickflips For Weeks"
While Justin Vernon isn't as cool with The Grammys, he was more than happy to take over SNL's stage this past weekend. He brought along about a million backing musicians to perform expansively serene takes on "Holocene" and "Beth/Rest" off the highly acclaimed Bon Iver. And for the ladies, Channing Tatum.
Friday, February 3, 2012
I clearly did not listen to Mylo Xyloto as closely as I thought. I doubted any song off the record could enter into Coldplay's pantheon of epic arena-filling anthems, with the slight exception of "Paradise". Now I have to put this stratospheric gem up there too. As expertly identified by Grizzly at weworemasks, the visuals practically enter you into an episode of popular UK teen-soap opera Skins featuring a young couple that uses parkour and grand theft auto to meet up at one of Chris Martin's glow-in-the-dark paint splattering parties.
Jimmy Fallon took his show on the road and headed west to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl this week. In lieu of the occasion, he also saw it fit to up the quality of the musical guest, pairing Nasty Nas with The Roots for a take on his latest single, the former leaving little doubt who he'll be rooting for come Sunday.
As for me: Go Pats. Love Redskins fan.
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Thursday, February 2, 2012
Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter this morning, so naturally Beach Fossils poked out their heads to counteract the prediction with their sunny stylings. We haven't heard from the Brooklyn-based chillwave dudes since they released their What a Pleasure EP back in June, but the tumbling "Shallow" is presumably the lead single off their second LP due out sometime in 2012.
Download: Beach Fossils - "Shallow"
This was a solid performance and it's always great to hear Questlove knock out this kind of beat, but can we get a new single plz?
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Jack White has ventured off into other groups--see: The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather--since branching off from The White Stripes in 2007. But Blunderbuss, set for an April 23rd release, will mark his first official solo album. Hit the link below to check out the single "Love Interruption": a strumming Southern gospel number smeared with sinister lyrics that are kicked off by "I want love to/roll me over slowly/stick a knife inside me/and twist it all around." Sounds like the man is in rare form.
Hear: Jack White - "Love Interruption"
Australian radio station 94.5 FBi hooked up a Young Turks Takeover and toasted the occasion with a world exclusive of a new Jamie xx song. Once you get past the minor annoyance of fast-forwarding to the 49 minute mark, you're free to enjoy a wonderfully minimalistic dance-floor track who's steel drum propulsion immediately transports you to a late-night beach bonfire somewhere in the Caribbean.
Hear: Jamie xx - 'Touch Me"