Feb 27, 2010

The Monitor Trailer

March 9 will see the release of the second album from New Jersey's Titus Andronicus on XL Recordings. "The Monitor" is a sprawling epic based loosely on the American Civil War. This album is overflowing with intestinal fortitude and a fierce intelligence.

MP3: A More Perfect Union-Titus Andronicus

Feb 25, 2010


Spoon are a much acclaimed band. Critics and fans give them much love upon each and every release. But paradoxically they are in someways under rated. How so? Well, it seems to me lately that the idea has been floated that Spoon are good at producing unsurprising, solid music. Enjoyable but not revolutionary music. Now I would agree that this band's music is certainly not revolutionary. But I would also contend that it is nearly always excellent and full of substance, character and much flavour. Their music is definitely and defiantly different. Distinctive, I would say. Those sparse guitars, crisp melodies and authentic Daniel vocals float over the airwaves and you know you can only be listening to one band and that band is Spoon. Many, many bands would kill for the repertoire that this band has created. Their knack for producing unique, transluscent rhythms and melodies should never, ever be undersold. So, we now come to "Transference", their latest opus. I can inform you that, in my opinion, it is great. Impressive, outstanding. Maybe a slither of a notch below their previous masterworks. But only a slither. It delights and tranfixes. Damn you Spoon, you have done it again.

"Transference" represents the first record that Spoon have made without a producer. The band orchestrated the music themselves and it certainly is reflected in the sound. Apparently they aimed for a somewhat more immediate effect. Rawer, less compromised. It's certainly there, with the overall sound having a barer, more stripped back feel. Exhibit one is the opener "Before Destruction" which quietly starts with a spare snare drum before opening up with a Daniel vocal that is sparse and plaintive. Guitar work here is dramatic and scant, delicate with effect. The short and sharp "Is Love Forever?" opens things up a bit with its punchy back and forth. But then "The Mystery Zone" continues the path of slender musings with its meandering and slightly ominous tone. This is a song that caresses and clinches the listener. If "Who Makes Your Money" is a slight misstep, then "Written In Reverse" picks up the baton again. This song is raw and bruised, its woozy piano line ably backing up an uncooked and bloody vocal by Britt Daniel. It also features some killer guitar line. As does my favourite cut on the album in "I Saw The Light". This song rumbles and tumbles, building momentum with impressive force. A tour de force you could say. "Out Go The Lights" is a highlight as well, considered and ingrained with that inimitable Spoon sound. The sound of instruments to the fore, each one with an uncommon voice. Backing that begrimed, world weary voice of the best dressed man in rock and roll. The album finishes with the buzz saw cut of "Got Nuffin" and the almost funky "Nobody Gets Me But You", giving us the full Spoon spectrum. Yes, once again this band has delivered. They have sent us music that is rough around the edges, but pulsating with the stuff of life. Heart and soul.

Feb 24, 2010

The Hold Steady Are Back!

This should warm the cockles of every music lover's heart. The Hold Steady are set to release a new album upon the world on May 4. "Heaven Is Whenever" will be the band's first without recently departed keyboardist Franz Nicolay and it contains 10 slices of sure to be irresistible goodness. Mark this date in your diary!

Heaven Is Whenever Track Listing
1 The Sweet Part of the City
2 Soft in the Center
3 The Weekenders
4 The Smidge
5 Rock Problems
6 We Can Get Together
7 Hurricane J
8 Barely Breathing
9 Our Whole Lives
10 A Slight Discomfort

Feb 23, 2010

Your Hands (Together)-The New Pornogrpahers

Here we have the first song to be released from the upcoming New Pornographers album. "Together" will be released on May 4 on Matador and this song, the quasi title track, is packed full of power and fun. Augurs well for the new album.

MP3: Your Hands (Together) -The New Pornographers

Feb 21, 2010

Daisy-Fang Island

In a nutshell, this is a great song. "Daisy" from the self titled debut from Fang Island that is released in this coming week on Sargeant House. This song absolutely rollicks along, dishing out glee in large portions. The band are from Brooklyn and number five. Highly recommended.

Feb 20, 2010

Broken Social Scene Reveal New Album

Are you salivating? Are you excited? Well, I am. Truly. May 4 sees the release of a new Broken Social Scene album, the first in five years. "Forgiveness Rock Record" is the name and it was recorded in Toronto and produced by the band and John McEntire in Chicago. Naturally Arts & Crafts will give us the goods and you can go to their site right now and get a free download of the first song released.
"World Sick" is orgasmically good!

Feb 18, 2010

Bruce Peninsula Gets Australian Release

One of the most enjoyable and surprising releases of 2009 was "A Mountain Is A Month" by Canadian collective Bruce Peninsula. It was earthy, strident, invigorating and completely delectable. Now we have good news for those that missed out. This wonderful album has just been released in Australia on Sensory Projects. I thoroughly recommend you track it down and give it a listen. It's an exciting amalgam and mesh of sounds with great harmonies and thrusting instrumentation. Hopefully we might get the band to visit us too if we get behind them!

MP3: Steamroller-Bruce Peninsula

Feb 16, 2010

New Music From The Crown Vandals

A little while back I wrote about an exciting new act by the name of The Crown Vandals. This duo is based in Montreal and comprises of Tim from Montreal and Tim from Melbourne. This unsigned band released a wonderful EP in 2009 named "Guenevere" that you can download for free at their MySpace page. Now the band have given me a new track, yet to be released, that they recently wrote in their respective hometowns. It's named "Coleander" and its pretty damn wonderful. Its many layers delight and unfold with each and every listen. Highly recommended. Watch this space for more developments!

MP3: Coleander-The Crown Vandals

Feb 14, 2010

The Dodos @ Oxford Art Factory

The Dodos possess a vitality that is admirable. That is infectious to be sure. They feel and are fresh. Their music seems basic, but upon further inspection it is intricate and layered. Complex even. Saturday night at the Oxford Art Factory was an exercise in frizzled melody and skewered instrumentation. Sailing on a knife's edge, their music pushed forward and outward, all the time expressing movement. Filling the room with rhythms and sounds that were impossible to resist.

This San Francisco trio were here just over 12 months ago as a player at Falls Festival and as a support act for Fleet Foxes. Now in 2010, armed with a new album, they returned for a short tour. Short but oh so sweet. Firstly, on this night, there was to be no set list. No boundaries, providing a fluid and flowing full experience. Also the night was to be "Visiter" heavy, which meant no complaints here. Although I was half expecting more songs drawn from "Time To Die". In fact they opened with perhaps their best known song in "Fools" which began with a long intro with Keaton Snyder and Meric Long plying violin bows on Snyder's vibraphone, giving an eerie effect before the song launched into its melodic bounce. The band then followed up with a withering version of "The Season", which teetered for long periods on the edge before plunging in to its bombastic finale. Catching our breaths we waited for more. And more definitely came. Whether it was the lithe melody of "Ashley" or the pounding rhythms of "Joe's Waltz" or the driving "Paint The Rust" it was all pretty fantastic. Through out the night I was greatly impressed by the experimental nature of this seemingly basic set up. Meric Long is an instinctive and intuitive guitarist, whether on the electric or his Gibson acoustic. Newish member Snyder adds huge chunks to the life of this band with his work on the vibraphone, whilst drummer Logan Kroeber is a man of extraordinary talents. His drumming, with no bass and often tapping on the rims, sways expertly between subtle and ferocious. All three combine to produce a sound that is original and quite superb. As an added bonus we received a great rendition of "Troll Nacht" in the encore. Ensuring smiles all round.

Set List
The Season
Joe's Waltz
Paint The Rust

Troll Nacht
Red And Purple

Feb 12, 2010

The Motion Makes Me Last-Eluvium

Brand new video from Eluvium. This is "The Motion Makes Me Last" from his upcoming new album "Similes". Out February 16 on Temporary Residence.

Feb 10, 2010

Horse Feathers To Release New Album In April

April 20 will see the release of the third album from Portland, Oregon's very own Horse Feathers. This will be their second album released on Kill Rock Stars, following on from 2008's excellent "House With No Home". This album also sees the first from the band that doesn't feature Peter Broderick. Horse Feathers lineup is now songwriter and lead man Justin Ringle, violinist Nathan Crockett, cellist Catherine Odell and multi-instrumentalist Sam Cooper. "Thistled Spring" contains ten tracks and is definitely an album that I am looking forward to hearing upon its release.

Thistled Spring Track Listing
1 Thistled Spring
2 Starving Robins
3 Belly Of June
4 Cascades
5 This Bed
6 The Drought
7 Vernonia Blues
8 As A Ghost
9 The Widower
10 Heaven's No Place

Feb 8, 2010

Airplanes-Local Natives

Great song from "Gorilla Manor", by Local Natives.

Feb 5, 2010

Spoon Tour Australia

There is little doubt that Spoon are truly one of the best bands in the world. Album after album is pure gold and their live shows are always totally tight and thoroughly entertaining. So, a return visit in May is not to be sneezed at. The Austin band are coming to our shores for Groovin' The Moo and thankfully they are playing a few sideshows around the country.
Don't miss this band!

Spoon Tour Dates
April 30, Melbourne Billboard
May 1, Bendigo Groovin' The Moo
May 2, Townsville Groovin' The Moo
May 5, Brisbane The HiFi
May 6, Coolangatta The Cooly
May 7, Sydney The Forum
May 8, Maitland Groovin' The Moo
May 9, Canberra Groovin' The Moon
May 13, Adelaide Fowlers Live
May 14, Perth Astor Theatre
May 15, Bunbury Groovin' The Moo

Feb 4, 2010

Frightened Rabbit @ Beach Road Hotel

"Snake hips, red city kiss and your black eyes roll back", so sang the man. The man with sweat dripping from every pore. The man bursting blood vessels just to make us smile. The man that speaks from the heart. The soul. The bones of his body. In a small, sweaty, hot room Frightened Rabbit thrilled us all for an hour. On their only Australian sideshow the lads from Selkirk, Scotland proved once again that there is no substitute for heart, intelligence and a dedicated willingness to write songs of great melody and power.

Let me say firstly that the whole show was great. Great, great, great. But it's that moment during the closing song that things get a little combustible. It's that moment in "Keep Yourself Warm" when the whole world comes crashing down, when chills are racing up and down everyone's spine. It's when manic drummer Grant Hutchison destroys his drum kit and the chiming guitars surge and crash that my heart skips a beat. All I can say is wow. But, as said, the rest was pretty great. Whether it was the humming "Old Old Fashioned", the thrusting "The Twist", the sad "My Backwards Walk" or the soul crunching "Fast Blood" it all added up to smiles and hugs all round. A special mention should also be made to the live staple "Square 9", a track that wreaks havoc with its surging momentum. This song is power wrapped tightly inside a whirlwind. This night also proved that this band needs to play a proper tour in Australia, bigger rooms with better sound and lighting. The crowd that gathered was bursting with voice on each and every song. They sang with gusto and somewhere silently deep inside their hearts I am sure they were wishing one thing.

Set List
The Modern Leper
Nothing Like You
Old Old Fashioned
I Feel Better
Good Arms Vs. Bad Arms
The Twist
Fast Blood
Swim Until You Can't See Land
My Backwards Walk
Head Rolls Off
Square 9
Keep Yourself Warm

I would also like to mention the support act in Cabins. This Sydney four piece was fantastic, showing that a basic set up of three guitars and drums can still surprise you if they can write a good tune and apply a little inventiveness. I was really impressed by this band's ability to create driving rhythms that matched perfectly with great melodies.

Feb 3, 2010

Frog Eyes Sign With Dead Oceans; New Album Due In April

Carey Mercer is a living treasure. A songwriter of huge powers and abilities. So, it is with great delight that I can reveal a new Frog Eyes album is on the way. "Paul's Tomb: A Triumph" is to be released on April 27. This release will also be the band's first for Dead Oceans. Have a listen to "A Flower in a Glove" and marvel at the genius.

Paul's Tomb: A Triumph Track Listing
1 A Flower in a Glove
2 The Sensitive Girls
3 Odetta's War
4 Rebel Horns
5 Lear, in the Park
6 Styled by Dr. Roberts
7 Lear in Love
8 Violent Psalms
9 Paul's Tomb

MP3: A Flower in a Glove-Frog Eyes

Feb 2, 2010

Joanna Newsom Cover