Mar 31, 2011

Grown Ocean-Fleet Foxes

Mar 30, 2011

Ben Sherman Big British Sound 2011

The Ben Sherman Big British Sound returns in 2011, with shows in Sydney and Melbourne. This event features a selection of young and upcoming Independent Australian talent. Their goal is to throw in one or two covers by British bands that influenced them in the past. The previous two years have seen such talents as Tame Impala, Whitley, Art Vs Science, Bertie Blackman, Deep Sea Arcade, Jonathan Boulet, Little Red, The Seabellies and Jack Ladder take part in the night. The lineup in Sydney this year will feature Ball Park Music, Strange Talk, Boy In A Box and Step-Panther. Plus DJs Swag and Sweetie from FBI.

Ben Sherman Big British Sound Dates
May 11 Corner Hotel, Melbourne
May 12 Gaelic Theatre, Sydney

Tickets on Sale April 4

Mar 28, 2011

The Felice Brothers

All sorts of Felice Brothers news here.
Firstly, the band will be releasing a new album on May 10. "Celebration, Florida" contains 11 tracks and was recorded in the gymnasium and theatre of Beacon, NY's old high school. It will be the band's fourth album.

Celebration, Florida Track Listing
1 Fire at the Pageant
2 Container Ship
3 Honda Civic
4 Oliver Stone
5 Ponzi
6 Back in the Dancehalls
7 Dallas
8 Cus's Catskill Gym
9 Refrain
10 Best I Ever Had
11 River Jordan

Secondly, they are here next month for a brief tour. I believe it is their first trip down under.

The Felice Brothers Tour Dates
April 20 Annandale Hotel, Sydney
April 21 The Prince, Melbourne
April 22 Boogie Fest, Tallarook
April 23 Town Hall, Meenyan

Mar 24, 2011

New Music From Bill Callahan

The great Bill Callahan will release a new album on Drag City on April 19. "Apocalypse" contains only 7 tracks, but judging by the song available for preview it is sure to be solid quality.

Apocalypse Track Listing
1 Drover
2 Baby's Breath
3 America!
4 Universal Applicant
5 Riding for the Feeling
6 Free's
7 One Fine Morning

MP3: Baby's Breath-Bill Callahan

Mar 21, 2011

Kaputt-Destroyer

In some eyes "Kaputt" would be seen as a masterpiece. Another vibrant and compelling chapter in the lifecycle of Destroyer. I can understand that point of view, as this album is surely grand, expansive and gracefully complex. It is ambitious and original. But, but I can't fall in love with it totally. Which is quite hurtful, as I regard, and still do, Dan Bejar as a true musical visionary. A prophet of melody and lyric. Truth. He has stated in interviews that he was rather bored with the Indie Rock idiom and wanted to explore. Which I find admirable and laudable. But his forays into 7os soft rock, complete with synth and saxophone don't always hit the right target. When they do, as in "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker, they are spectacular. But in others, such as "Blue Eyes", they are skip over material. I never thought I would ever hit skip on a Destroyer album. Only repeat. Maybe it's me. Maybe I just don't understand.

The two opening tracks on "Kaputt" are not overwhelming. "Chinatown" is a pleasant start, creating a soft and lilting groove. But it doesn't grab you by the neck. Basically it's the saxophone. I am just not a fan. No matter how hard I try the sound doesn't connect with me. In some cases the deeper range of a tenor sax can work OK, but any higher range I just find annoying. It worsens on "Blue Eyes", which combines sax, cheesy synth and the addition of female vocals which are actually quite off putting. But then the next two tracks are stellar and sublime. "Savage Night At The Opera" is bouncy and sleek and fairly pulses away, whilst "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker" is a veritable wonder stroke. A concoction of sublime proportions. "Poor In Love" follows the mood established with its wondrous melody and light touch. However the title track and "Downtown" represent a mixed bag of sorts. Sure, there are great elements in both songs but also moments when I feel distanced again. Strangely, or perhaps truthfully, the greatest song on the album is the one that was recorded originally for another session. "Bay Of Pigs (Detail)" was first brought to light as a 12" last year. It was magnificent then and it is still magnificent now, even though it actually feels slightly out of place. This sumptuous delight is entrancing and vital in its unique design. So, the album comes to an end. As said, it is brave and original. Truly one of a kind. But I can't love all of it. But what I do love, I do so with a passion. Bejar still leads the world in inscrutable melody and his detached vocals and cryptic lyrics are a major selling point. I just wish he didn't background it with instrumentation that sometimes draws me away from the flame. Still burning brightly.

Lyrical gems from the pen of Bejar
I stare at the sky so I know which way that
I drink my wine from a porcelain cup.
You're a permanent figure of jacked up sorrow.
All that slender-wristed white translucent business passes for love, these days...
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall...
Animals crawl towards death's embrace.
The world is black stones dressed up in the rain
with no place to go but home

Mar 20, 2011

Will Sheff @ SXSW



The great Will Sheff interviewed at SXSW 2011.

Mar 18, 2011

Meek's Cutoff Trailer



Meek's Cutoff is the latest film from Kelly Reichardt, director of Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy. Set in 19th century Oregon, it stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood and Shirley Henderson. Opens in the US in April, no word yet on an Australian release date.

Mar 17, 2011

Violent Psalms-Frog Eyes

Mar 15, 2011

Phil Cook and His Feat

If you love Megafaun, and you really should you know, then this might tickle your fancy. That band's lead man Phil Cook has a record coming out in May under his own name. Trekky Records will be releasing "Hungry Mother Blues" on May 10 and I am very excited to hear it. The album was recorded in a single day in the back room of Phil's house in North Carolina. The preview track (see below) is a golden slice of instrumental acoustic goodness. Augurs well for the new album. Can't wait!

Hungry Mother Blues Track Listing
1 Frazee, Minnesota
2 Waiting 'Round The Oven Buns
3 Juniper
4 Lament and Lullaby (For the Sloane Sisters)
5 Sparrowander
6 Ballad Of a Hungry Mother
7 The Last Steam Engine Train
8 The Jensens

MP3: Ballad Of a Hungry Mother

Mar 13, 2011

Taos-Menomena



Yes!

Mar 10, 2011

Taste Some New Explosions In The Sky

This is the album cover!
This is a song from the album!
This is genius!
This is intense!

MP3: Trembling Hands-Explosions in the Sky

"Take Care, Take Care, Take Care" will be available for pre-order on April 15 from Temporary Residence. It will be housed in a 10-panel quadruple gatefold cardboard jacket, with an enormous 18 panel colour double-sided poster and a full-colour double-sided postcard.

Mar 9, 2011

The Hold Steady @ Metro Theatre


A Hold Steady show isn't a concert. It's a celebration. It isn't a performance. It's a justification for music and life. It isn't just guitars and song. It's life. Blood and bone. Tuesday night at a less then full Metro (they aren't a buzz band anymore), everyone's favourite party band, The Hold Steady, rocked and rolled for over an hour and a half. They crammed a lot of music into that time, with nary a break between songs. It was ferocious, fun and satisfying. I don't think this band knows any other way to perform. But there was something slightly missing. Something that made this show less then perfect. I will get to this shortly.

The Hold Steady burst on stage to their acolytes and proceeded to tear into "Constructive Summer", followed without pause by "Hot Soft Light", a pretty damn good flying start. "Hurricane J" followed, which was pleasing as it is definitely my favourite song ffrom their somewhat disappointing latest album. We then received "Girls Like Status", which includes a shout out to The Mountain Goats. This pleased my girl no end. Soon we reached a slight plateau though. The pedestrian "Rock Problems" slowed the momentum a bit and "Magazines" didn't really help the situation. This made me reflect and I realised what was missing. Keyboards! Of course longtime piano man Franz Nicolay left the band in 2010 and I thought that it would be automatic that his role would be replaced. But the band recruited Steve Selvidge (Lucero) to fill the gap on guitar. No doubt he can wield the axe, but I don't really think this band needed more guitars. Keyboards were a major component of so many THS songs. They added nuance and light to the various melodies. Of course the songs still have great melodies and the masterful lyrics of Craig Finn, but I felt there was a thudding approach to many songs. Such as "First Night", which was awesome, but the midsection just cried out for piano. Tad Kubler played the part with mastery on guitar, but it just wasn't the same. The classic "Stevie Nix" was still a major highlight, but even it missed that little element. Not withstanding this, it was a strong finish to the night. "Chips Ahoy", "Stuck Between Stations", Sequestered In Memphis" and "Massive Nights" were all barn burners. I was hoping for "Slapped Actress" in the encore, but it was hard to complain with a closing great in "How A Resurection Really Feels". I have to emphasize this is a great band and this was a great show. The band are supremely tight and Craig Finn is a walking ball of energy and lives and breathes energy into each and every song. It was hard not to have fun. It's just that there was something slightly missing at its core. Something that was missed and not totally replaced.

Set List
Constructive Summer
Hot Soft Light
Hurricane J
Girls Like Status
The Swish
Rock Problems
Magazines
You Can Make Him Like You
Barfruit Blues
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Chips Ahoy!
Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night
Stuck Between Stations
Sequestered In Memphis
First Night
Southtown Girls
The Weekenders
Massive Nights
Stevie Nix
Most People Are DJs

Stay Positive
How A Resurrection Really Feels

Mar 7, 2011

New Music From Alela Diane

April 5 will see the release of a new album from Alela Diane, her first in two years. "Alela Diane & Wild Divine" is coming out on Rough Trade and was produced by Scott Litt in California. Apparently Alela is aiming for a different sound with this album, which is evidenced by the track that is available for preview below.

Alela Diane & Wild Divine Track Listing
1 To Begin
2 Elijah
3 Long Way Down
4 Suzanne
5 The Wind
6 Of Many Colors
7 Desire
8 Heartless Highway
9 White Horse
10 Rising Greatness

MP3: To Begin-Alela Diane

Mar 4, 2011

Haller Lake-The Cave Singers



"No Witch", the new album from The Cave Singers is pretty damn good. Here is a track from said album named "Haller Lake", that the band performed in Washington State last year.

Mar 3, 2011

New Animal



This is "Other Side", one of many great tracks from the debut album from New Animal. New Animal hail from Atlanta, Georgia and their names are Kris Hermstad and Derek Burdette. They describe their music as psychedelic indie pop. I say their music is glistening, shimmering and totally addictive. Their debut album is available for download for free at their bandcamp page. I recommend you go there right now!