Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Avett Brothers - "Live and Die"

The Avett Brothers will return with the Rick Rubin-produced The Carpenter on September 11th and it's lead single "Live and Die" leaked yesterday. Beginning as a banjo-propelled lullaby, the song builds it's folky elements on top of one another until the massively rewarding square dance breakout of a climax. NPR has the goods on it, so hit the link below to check it out.

Hear: The Avett Brothers - "Live and Die"

Video: John Mayer - "Queen of California" (Acoustic In-Studio)

Prior to complications with his throat granuloma, John Mayer recorded an in-studio video of himself performing Born and Raised's opener "Queen of California" acoustically. Watching Mayer breeze through this front porch-ready alternate arrangement--sounding almost like a completely different song than the album version--serves as a pointed reminder that the guy's got immense talent hiding behind his occasional asshole tendencies, which according to the latest issue of Rolling Stone are firmly cemented in the past. Born and Raised is in stores now, so go get at it.

Video: Big K.R.I.T - "I Got This" (Live on Conan)

An amped up Big K.R.I.T. took Live From the Underground's lead single "I Got This" to Conan's stage, accenting his already energetic performance with an equally enthusiastic hype man and a DJ who actually scratched during the song. If you liked what you saw, catch the Mississippi rapper on his national tour, which kicks off July 11th in Detroit.

Video: Jazz Cartier - "Ataraxia"

Aside from the Angus & Julia Stone-sampling "Jet Plane", we haven't heard much from Jazz Cartier since his impressive debut Losing Elizabeth. After much delay, the second song off his upcoming project, tenetively titled Maruading in Paradise, is out with a corresponding video, marking the first time I think I've actually seen Jazz in the flesh. "Ataraxia" showcases his aggressively disarming lyrical abilities, an interesting contrast given the song title's is a reference to a lucid state, characterized by freedom from worry or any other preoccupation. Watch it below.

Video: The Dangerous Summer - "No One's Gonna Need You More"

Since the Dangerous Summer's video for "No One's Gonna Need You More" is all clean live footage from a show in Des Moines, it's hard to tell whether this is an official video or not. Either way, the song is one of the best off War Paint, so any excuse to give it another listen is a good one for me. Watch it below.

Lupe Fiasco - "Bitch Bad"

Lupe Fiasco has a lot of work to do to recapture the massive amount of credibility he lost after he forewent his creatively conscious stylings to hop on the club banger hype train on LASERS. "Bitch Bad" is a good first step, though. Breaking down the etymology of "bitch", Wasalu calls out his peers for their misogynist ways in perfect tongue-and-cheek fashion, punctuated with thick 808 drops. Still not sold on Food & Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album, Pt. 1, mostly because it's title alone hints Lupe isn't totally past the overblown self-importance thing, but it's a long way until September 25th. Stream the song below and head over to Your Music Fix to grab a free download.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Circa Survive - "Suitcase"

So I jumped the gun a bit assuming the live video of "Sharp Practice" was the big announcement Circa Survive hinted they'd make today. The real one has arrived and thankfully it includes a studio version of a new song. The band took to their official website with pre-order information for Violent Waves, a statement explaining their decision to self-release the record, and a free download of the mesmerizingly swaying "Suitcase". Hit the link below to get all the goods.

Download: Circa Survive - "Suitcase"

Video: Circa Survive - "Sharp Practice" (Live Acoustic)

Circa Survive stopped by Philly's Radio 104.5 to perform a live acoustic version of a new song set to appear on their forthcoming LP Violent Waves. Noticeably meandering and laid-back, the song seems way more restrained than the usual aggression both evident in their past and via the album's title. At least Anthony is still as goofy as ever. Watch it below.

Nas - "Accident Murderers" (feat. Rick Ross)

With Life is Good less than a month away, Nas let go of the fourth song from the record. Reuniting with Rick Ross for the first time since their Tower Heist soundtrack, Nas continues the unrestrained verbal assault from "The Don" and "Nasty" over fire-and-brimstone church organs. Stream the song below and check out the tracklisting for the album, due out July 17th, here.

Video: The Shins - "No Way Down"

In preparation for their upcoming world tour, The Shins holed up in their recording space in Portland and shot a live rehearsal video for "No Way Down" off the stellar Port of Morrow. The cinematography is excellent, as per usual with the band. Let's hope there are more of these to come. Watch it below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Dangerous Summer - "Siren" (Acoustic)

The Dangerous Summer contributed an acoustic version of "Siren"to Alternative Press and Hopeless Records' joint compilation Another Hopeless Summer, which hit stores today. Maybe it's the Maryland bias, but Warpaint still gets pretty regular spins, an occurrence that will only increase now that summer is here. Follow the link below to stream the track and view the rest of the comp's tracklisting.

Hear: The Dangerous Summer - "Siren" (Acoustic)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Video: The xx -"Friction" (Live)

Since announcing their new "club music-inspired" LP Coexist will be released on September 11th, The xx have been less and less shy about debuting new material live, not that they've ever been that opposed to it in general. During a performance at Primavera in Barcelona last week they trotted out a hypnotically sultry new jam "Friction"and, thankfully, an audience member got high quality audio/video. Watch it below.

Starshell - "Superluva" (Remix) (feat. Kanye West & Big Sean)

Leneah Menzies a.k.a. Starshell broke onto the music scene in 2008 when she helped co-write "Love Lockdown" with Kanye West. It's almost four years later, but Yeezy made good and returned the favor, hoping on a remix of her single "Superluva"along with his BFF of late Big Sean. Download the song in all it's spazzy dancefloor glory below.

Download: Starshell - "Superluva" (Remix) (feat. Kanye West & Big Sean)

Video: Japandroids - "Fire's Highway"/"The House That Heaven Built" (Live on Fallon)

Vancouver garage rockers Japandroids returned to Fallon in support of their awesome new record Celebration Rock and performed "Fire's Highway" and "The House That Heaven Built"--the latter with the help of The Roots' guitarist "Captain" Kirk Douglas--as loud as fucking possible. Would you expect anything else from them? Watch it below.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Frank Ocean - "Pyramids"

Today was a big day for Frank Ocean. Not only did he announce that his new LP Channel Orange will drop July 17th via this mysterious trailer, but hours later he also leaked the album's first single. Clocking it just under 10 minutes, "Pyramids" is a futuristic, multi-part effort that even features a guitar solo from the song's co-writer John Mayer. The song is a perfect showcase of Frank Ocean's ability to take a modern R&B song, beef it up with several experimental methods, and kick out a unique and undoubted banger. Download the song below via his SoundCloud page. Very excited to see what Channel Orange has in store for us.

Video: Kevin Devine - "Between the Concrete and the Clouds" (Acoustic)

With the help of UK music blog Already Heard, Kevin Devine grabbed his acoustic guitar and performed an excellent rendition of the title track from his most recent LP Between the Concrete and the Clouds, an album that hasn't gotten the listen it deserves from me. Watch it below.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Video: The Gaslight Anthem - Making of Handwritten

With the release of the "45" video yesterday, the anticipation for The Gaslight Anthem's upcoming LP Handwritten is reaching unbearable status. If you're of the collective who just can't take it anymore, this Making of Handwritten video isn't going to ease your anxiety. The video features in-studio footage, interviews, and clips of new songs such as "Handwritten", "Here Comes My Man" and "Too Much Blood". While you'll have to translate the link below from German and log in--either via Facebook or using the username/password combo this wonderful Absolutepunk user kindly created--it's well worth the trouble.

Handwritten will drop July 24th. Pre-order the vinyl now here.

Watch: The Gaslight Anthem - Making of Handwritten

Video: Doomtree - "Beacon"

Minnesota rap collective Doomtree's second video off No Kings is in stark contrast to the playful karaoke battle the group had with Har Mar Superstar in the "Bangarang" video. Full of steam, candles, and heavy machinery, which matchs the song's dark, industrial tones, the affair is somewhat of a Great Depression remake of Frankenstein, only with a pretty Victorian girl in the monster's place. Watch it below, courtesy MTVU.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Video: The Gaslight Anthem - "45"

Remember the Gaslight Anthem video I promised yesterday? Here it is. Shot during a show at the iconic Stone Pony in Asbury Park, the hi-res/slow-mo footage watches like a key scene from the band's Cameron Crowe-directed biopic, starring a noticeably grizzly Brian Fallon. Wouldn't that be cool to see one day? Watch it below and be sure to pick up Handwritten on July 24th. I personally can't wait.

Video: Beach House - "Lazuli"

In Beach House's new video for "Lazuli", you get to see what happens when Victoria LeGrand, a curious young boy, and an old drunk enter a second dimension. It's kinda like if Poltergeist, Tron, and Lost were rolled up into one super trippy burrito. Watch it below. Bloom is out now.

Trailer - Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino has an affinity for taking historical events and flipping them on their head in outlandish fashion. If Inglorious Basterds wasn't proof enough, check out the premise for his newest film Django Unchained: Former dentist, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz, who won the Oscar's Best Actor for his brillant portrayal of Col. Hans Landa in Basterds), buys the freedom of a slave, Django (Jamie Foxx), and trains him with the intent to make him his deputy bounty hunter. Schultz promises that, in exchange for his services, Django will be reconnected with his wife, who is under the hands of ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). With lines like "Kill white folks and they pay you for it? What's not to like," chances are that it's going to be another classic.

Django Unchained hits theaters Christmas 2012. Watch the trailer below.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Video: Kanye West - "Mercy" (feat. Big Sean, Pusha T & 2 Chainz)

Kanye West dropped off an official video for the G.O.O.D. posse cut "Mercy" this afternoon and it's definitely got Yeezy written all over it. An optical illusion of sorts, the black-and-white clip features the rappers sauntering around an empty parking garage. The catch is they can teleporting from side-to-side and spawn multiple versions of the self à la Pyat Pree, the blue-lipped warlock from Game of Thrones. Predictably, there is a Lamborghini involved, as there is a dancing Cudi. Nabil, who helmed the stunning "Towers" video for Bon Iver, directs and is certainly making a name for himself. Check it out below.

Video: Sigur Rós - "Varúð"

Welcome to Sigur Rós' Mystery Film Experience. The Icelandic post-rockers have decided to enlist 12 guest directors to create videos for songs off their new album Valtari. Ragnar Kjartansson got first dibs with his unconventional recreation of "Ég Anda". The second installment debuted today with Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, sister of Sigur Rós' leader Jonsi and designer of the Valtari album art, at the helm. Head below to see her visual interpretation of "Varúð", which inclue shadowy figures signaling each other across the craggy, frigidly barren landscape.

Video: The Gaslight Anthem - "45"/"American Slang" (Live Acoustic)

The Gaslight Anthem announced that they will release the official video for "45", the brillant lead single off their forthcoming LP Handwritten, early tomorrow morning. Great news, but as Tom Petty so iconically said, "the waiting is the hardest part." Fortunately, footage of Brian Fallon performing somber versions of the song and "American Slang" during a stop at a Nashville radio station also found it's way onto the internet today to tide us over for the next 24 hours. See those below and be sure to check back tomorrow for the "45" video.

Blonds - "Run"

Florida natives Blonds are on of those indie-rock bands that turned their cutesy courtship into a musical partnership. Cari Rae and Jordy Asher are our two main players here, but as evident on their newest jam "Run", they are far more interested in a swampy, sinister sound (True Blood theme anyone) than in cooing doe-eyed back-and-forth. Their debut LP The Bad Ones hit stores Aug. 8th. Grab the song below.

Download: Blonds - "Run"

The-Dream - "Dope Bitch" (feat. Pusha T)

When The-Dream and Pusha T linked up last for "Exodus 21:3", the result was anything but friendly. The two apparently also collaborated on a more light-hearted track, the breezy "Dope Bitch", for The-Dream's forthcoming LP The Love IV: Diary of a Mad Man (out Aug. 18th.) The contrasting styles have their merits, but I got to admit, it's nice to hear Pusha showering doting--at least, as doting as he can be--words towards a pretty lady instead of threatening to end Drake's life. Hear the cut below via Fader.

Hear: The-Dream - "Dope Bitch" (feat. Pusha T)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Grizzly Bear - "Sleeping Ute"

Grizzly Bear unleashed a slew of world tour dates for this summer earlier today and, as an added bonus, also let go of "Sleeping Ute", the opening track off their currently untitled follow-up to 2009's Veckatimest. The song's vast, psychedelic nature is only enhanced by it's odd time signature, Ed Droste's throwback R&B vocals, and the string-aided tumbling descent it takes around the three-minute mark.

Tour dates and tracklisting for the new album, due out Sept. 18th, can be viewed here. Head below to stream the song.

Usher - "Hot Thing" (feat. A$AP Rocky)/"What Happened To U" (Prod. Noah "40" Shebib)

Set to hit stores next week, Usher's forthcoming Looking 4 Myself got a favorable introduction via the beautifully aquatic, Diplo-assisted single "Climax". After two more cuts leaked from the album today, the feeling that that Mr. Raymond's got something cooking is only getting stronger. The bonus track "Hot Thing"is a bouncy party track with production from The Neptunes and a predictably strong guest spot from the current hip-hop It-boy A$AP Rocky, while "What Happened To U" is vintage slow jam Usher that gets an adrenaline shot from Drake's go-to beatmaker Noah "40" Shebib. Stream both below.

Hear: Usher - "Hot Thing"(feat. A$AP Rocky) / Usher - "What Happened To U" (Prod. Noah "40" Shebib)

Free EP: Anthony Green - Beautiful Spring

Anthony Green is gearing up to hit the road for the second leg of his spring solo tour in two weeks. In order to stir up even more excitement, Ant partnered with The Dear Hunter's Casey Crescenzo to mix a live EP Beautiful Spring from the tour's first half. Largely taken from shows in Portland and Seattle, the performances include songs from both Avalon ("Stonehearted Man", "Baby Girl") and Beautiful Things ("Get Yours While You Can", "When I'm On Pills", "Moon Song"), as well as a rendition of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" for Anthony's now one-year-old son James. The EP is available in a pay-what-you-want format on his website with the corresponding message:

Good deal.

Download: Anthony Green - Beautiful Spring

Mixtape: Clams Casino - Instrumental Mixtape 2

Mike Volpe took to Twitter last night to post a download link for the follow-up to his critically acclaimed Instrumental Mixtape, which made Pitchfork's Top 50 Records of 2011. The tape features a wide collection of tracks: some he produced for the likes of Lil' B, Mac Miller, and The Weeknd; original beats for A$AP Rocky ("Palace", "Wassup", "Bass") that ended up on the Harlem MC's breakthrough LiveLoveA$AP; and hazy remixes of songs by indie darlings Washed Out and Lana Del Ray. Hit the link below to grab it.

Download: Clams Casino - Instrumental Mixtape 2

Free EP: Gates - You Are All You Have Left to Fear

In the world of hybrid genres, post-rock/post-hardcore is one of my favorites. Bands such as Moving Mountains, and The Appleseed Cast before them, have been writing epic, sprawling songs that blend ferocious vocals with delicate, ambient instrumentation. New Brunswick's Gates is one of the relative newcomers to the scenes and, with their six-song freEP You Are All You Have Left to Fear, one taste of their rippling guitar work is enough. Choose your own price to download it below and be sure to grab the previously released The Sun Will Rise and Lead Me Home if you like what you hear.

Download: Gates - You Are All You Have Left to Fear

Monday, June 4, 2012

Video: fun. - "Some Nights"

In their big budget video for the title track off Some Nights, fun. take the line "this is it boys/this is war" literally and stage and entire Civil War reenactment. There's not a whole lot of correlation between song and video outside that, but when the marching percussion and "woah-ohs" hit, it's hard to find issue. Simply songwise, "Some Nights" > "We Are Young", IMHO. Watch the video via MTV below.

Video: A$AP Rocky - "Brand New Guy" (feat. Schoolboy Q)

A$AP Rocky has bigger things cooking in the form of his debut LP LongLiveA$AP, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have time to give love to the songs that broke him. Hence, the official video for LiveLoveA$AP's "Brand New Guy", which is as hard-edged and in-your-face as the man himself. Nod your head along with it below.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Video: Coldplay - "Princess of China" (feat. Rihanna)

The video for the third single off Mylo Xyloto is a mock movie trailer for an Eastern love story in which Chris Martin marches into the pagoda of the Princess of China to stake his claim to the ever fiery Rihanna. Plenty of slow-mo, Ang Lee-style fight sequences follow, as does enough heavy petting to make one wonder if Gwyneth Paltrow is cool with Ri-Ri's wandering hands. Watch it below.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Video: Silversun Pickups - "Blood Mary (Nerve Endings)"

Silversun Pickups shot a video for "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)", the lead single off their recently released third studio LP Neck of the Woods. In the kaleidoscopic video, the band performs in an array of vast, uninhabited spaces, while a frightened red head seeks refuge from the evil spirits chasing her. The opening shots of the desert at night are as equally breathtaking as they are symbolic of to the nocturnal sound the LA quartet has perfected over their career. Watch it below.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lil' Wayne - "My Homies Still" (feat. Big Sean"

In his first single from the forthcoming I Am Not A Human Being 2, Lil' Wayne reinvents the beat from"A$$", with a little help from producers StreetRunner &amp Sarom, and invites Big Sean along for the ride. It's interesting that Weezy decided to partner up with someone from G.O.O.D. Music after firing shots at it's label member Pusha T in the exchange of pleasantries that followed "Exodus 23:1". Also, considering Sean's verse dominates the track, the lining should probably be flipped. Hear it below, courtesy XClusiveZone.

Hear: Lil' Wayne - "My Homies Still" (feat. Big Sean)

Video: The Black Keys - "Gold On The Ceiling" (Dir. Harmony Korine)

The Black Key's already shot a live performance-based video for their splendidly chugging, cock-rock anthem "Gold On The Ceiling", but decided to team up with legendary oddball director Harmony Korine to shoot one of the strangest things you'll ever see. Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, dressed in baby costumes, are carried around by balloon-toting wax figures of themselves as the song cuts in and out. There's even an outro that introduces us to the creepy, gold-eating "ATL Twinz". You can read the in-depth story behind the idea here. I'm still not entirely sure what's going on, but I love me some Black Keys, so I'll give it a pass. Watch it below.