Jul 29, 2011

Tongue Tied-Grouplove

You’re watching Tongue Tied. See the Web's top videos on AOL Video

Next week we are seeing Grouplove at the Oxford Art Factory. Very excited about that! On September 13 the band will release their debut album in "Never Trust a Happy Song". Here now is a brand new song and video from the album. Enjoy!

Jul 26, 2011

Modest Mouse @ Enmore Theatre

Isaac Brock is an angry man! Fierce. Obstinate. Passionate. Sometimes even boorish. He fronts a band named Modest Mouse. Perhaps you have heard of them, they are pretty good. Strike that, they are great. Awesome even. Monday night they played the Enmore Theatre. Their third visit to Sydney. I hope they keep coming back. They tore the place apart in a ferocious, if somewhat short, set. Isaac Brock had the banjo in hand for the first song, "Satin In A Coffin" and it fairly tore a hole in the roof. Great start to a great show.

The highlight probably came however with the arrival of the second song. "The View" was fifty different types of bouncing melody. Smiles everywhere. Then "Dramamine" slew us. This classic number from the first album was extended into a heavy 10 minute jam. They did the same with "I Came As a Rat", both songs showing off the heavy stylings of the band. Which were very fine. Two drummers were explosive and intense, whilst the guitar work was exemplary. It was the first time Australia has seen Jim Fairchild, ex Grandaddy, since he replaced Johnny Marr and Jamey Robinson (Man Man) was filling in on bass for Eric Judy. I believe Eric wasn't on tour because he wanted to spend more time with his son. Of course the main axe wielder is Mr Brock. His signature riffs are played with ferocity and intent, ringing through the venue. This was ably demonstrated on monster songs like "King Rat" and "The Whale Song". He can also display a gentler side on songs like "Blame It On the Tetons" and the encore opener "Bukowski". Brock is a magnetic stage presence. He goes from angry to happy in the blink of an eye. Maniacally staring into space and sucking on cigarettes are all part of his night. He didn't say much, well except for a ten minute monologue on his phobia of water disappearing and crummy summers in Portland and the lowlife (his words) that inhabit his local park. But he doesn't have to. He just needs to bring the songs. The songs have bewildered and assaulted us for over a decade.

Set List
Satin In A Coffin
The View
Fire It Up
I Came As A Rat
Paper Thin Walls
Blame It On The Tetons
Dance Hall
King Rat
Gravity Rides Everything
Poison The Well
Float On

The Whale Song
Wild Packs Of Family Dogs

Jul 24, 2011

Harvest-A Civilised Gathering

A new festival for Australia was announced on Friday and it's very exciting. The line-up is huge! Harvest will take place in November in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane only. One day in each city. There are more acts to be announced, but it's a pretty good start!

The Flaming Lips
Bright Eyes
The National
Mercury Rev
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Family Stone
Holy Fuck
Death In Vegas
The Walkmen
Dappled Cities
This Town Needs Guns
Foxy Shazam
The Holidays
Kormac’s Big Band

12 November, Werribee Park, Melbourne
13 November, Parramatta Park, Sydney
19 November, Botanical Gardens, Brisbane

Tickets go on sale August 4

Jul 23, 2011


James at Pop Headwound always has good music to recommend. Recently he wrote about Antiques and I am very glad he did. I have been listening to their recently released album "JWNS" and it is pretty damn great. From what I can gather the band has been around for the best part of a decade, under different names and members, releasing 4 albums. Now in June, 2011 they release "JWNS". I could describe it as a cosmic collision of Teenage Fanclub and Guided By Voices to give you some idea. It's crunchy, slightly lo-fi and incredibly melodic. The songs are both fun and full of intent and meaning.

If you go here, you can actually download the album for free. Or you can order the CD if you wish to own a physical copy. Highly recommended.


Jul 19, 2011

New Richmond Fontaine Album Coming

Which is great news! I don't have many other details, except that the album will be released sometime in September. But I have a track from the album that is pretty damn great!
TA708 Richmond Fontaine - Lost in the Trees by Trash Aesthetics

Jul 14, 2011

American Goldwing-It's Coming!

More joy! Blitzen Trapper will be releasing their newest album on Sub Pop on September 13. "American Goldwing" is album number 6 and singer Eric Earley explains "It’s us letting our loves, our early influences hang out for all to see. Entering into the sounds we grew up with, the hard guitar rock and country picking of our younger years mixes with glimmers of our usual space-aging technology and pawn shop Casio aplomb."

American Goldwing Track Listing
1 Might Find It Cheap
2 Fletcher
3 Love the Way You Walk Away
4 Your Crying Eyes
5 My Home Town
6 Girl In a Coat
7 American Goldwing
8 Astronaut
9 Taking It Easy Too Long
10 Street Fighting Sun
11 Stranger In a Strange Land

Jul 12, 2011

New Megafaun Album Due In September

Megafaun from Hometapes on Vimeo.

Great News! The wonderful Megafaun will be releasing a new album on Hometapes on September 20. The album, self titled, was recorded in rural North Carolina, with some help from Balinese field recordings. Excited!

Megafaun Track Listing
1 Real Slow
2 These Words
3 Get Right
4 Hope You Know
5 Isadora
6 Second Friend
7 Resurrection
8 Kill The Horns
9 Scorned
10 Serene Return
11 You Are The Light
12 State/Meant
13 postscript
14 Everything

Megafaun "These Words" by Hometapes

Jul 9, 2011

2011 (A Review So Far)

Each year brings expectation. Hope. Hope that new experiences will bring new delight. Sometimes there will be disappointment, sometimes joy. There will be new discoveries and the return of old friends. So what has 2011 delivered. Plenty I would think. Plenty to absorb and digest. Sometimes too much it would seem. So this list is somewhat incomplete. Albums by the following artists are not included here. Handsome Furs, Woods, Gillian Welch, Shabazz Palaces, WU LYF. All have produced work that I have listened to and enjoyed, but to be perfectly honest I haven't had the time to take them in completely. Give them their full deserved attention. No doubt, most of these (especially Handsome Furs), will make their make onto my end of year list. Given time. Time, oh time. Where does it go? I sometimes feel that the year is whizzing past me and I don't have the time to listen to all the new music produced, let alone write about it. Still there has been plenty to enjoy. Then, there is the live scene. I was thrilled by the first time visit of Menomena, charmed by the subtlety of The Books, bewildered by the heavenly Sufjan Stevens, blown away by the incredible The National and depth charged by the explosive Grinderman.
So yeah, it's all been pretty good, hey?

Top Ten Albums of 2011 (So Far)
1-Helplessness Blues-Fleet Foxes
No second album blues here. Just sublime and incredibly beautiful music. In fact, I think they have bettered their astounding debut. Joyous.

2-S/T II:The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT-Akron/Family
A feast, a cornucopia. A smorgasbord of unending delight. This three piece continue to serve up music that is directly emotional and creative.

3-Take Care, Take Care, Take Care-Explosions in the Sky
They return again. Nothing too much changes.. Only one constant. Music that is serene and emotional. Superb and unique. Don't ever change.

4-Burst Apart-The Antlers
2011 has seen me come to love this band. I love this album too. Hospice was great and this is just as good. Searing and intense.

5-I Am Very Far-Okkervil River
A return to the more directly emotional for this band. It's full on though. Lyrically and musically. A thunderstorm of sounds of ideas.

6-Bon Iver-Bon Iver
This could rise in time as I am still getting to know the beauty of Justin Vernon and his music. I think an even better effort then his stellar debut.

7-No Color-The Dodos
If their previous album was a slight letdown, this is pretty damn fine. Great melodies, great drumming add up to a musical feast.

8-Tomboy-Panda Bear
We waited a long time seemingly. But it was worth it. Even though it was near impossible to top Person Pitch, Noah has given us plenty to like here.

9-Degeneration Street-The Dears
I really don't understand the negative reviews. Sure, it's bombastic, over the top. But that's why I love it. The songs are super catchy as well.

10-Smoke Ring For My Halo-Kurt Vile
Kurt Vile has made his best album yet. An intoxicating, unique blend of sounds of vocals. Shining guitar work makes this a consistent delight.

Honourable Mentions
Apocalypse-Bill Callahan
New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges-Colin Stetson
Celebration,Florida-The Felice Brothers
Departing-The Rural Alberta Advantage
I Want That You Are Always Happy-The Middle East
Strange Hearts-Secret Cities
The King Is Dead-The Decemberists
Codes And Keys-Death Cab For Cutie
Nine Types Of Light-TV On The Radio
Canary-Southeast Engine
White Wilderness-John Vanderslice
Dye It Blonde-Smith Westerns
Civilian-Wye Oak
Circuital-My Morning Jacket
Tamer Animals-Other Lives
Diaper Island-Chad VanGaalen

Music To Anticipate...
Last Summer-Eleanor Friedberger
In The Mountain In The Cloud-Portugal. The Man
Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I'd Hoped-Moonface
Out Of Love-Mister Heavenly
Slave Ambient-The War On Drugs
Still Living-Ganglians
Mirror Traffic-Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
The Rip Tide-Beirut
American Goldwing-Blitzen Trapper
Dreams Come True-CANT
Lenses Alien-Cymbals Eat Guitars
A Creature I Don't Know-Laura Marling
Wild Flag-Wild Flag
Hysterical-Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Whole Love-Wilco
The Year Of Hibernation-Youth Lagoon

Jul 7, 2011

The Tree Of Life

The Tree Of Life is not a film. At least as we know it. It is an experience. A revelation. A cosmic delivery. A hurricane of fresh air in the bloated and tired 21st century. Leave your perceptions at the theatre door and be prepared for the ride of your life. Terrence Malick is the most singular of film makers. He is stunningly ambitious in his efforts to create a vision that is both sublime and moving. He doesn't make many films, but when he does they are well worth the wait.

This wondrous film is set in 1950s Texas, for the most part, and concerns the O'Brien family. The father (Brad Pitt) is stern and authoritarian. The mother (Jessica Chastain) is loving and almost childlike. They have 3 boys, Jack, R.L. and Steve. We see the boys grow from infants to thriving young boys, experiencing the wonder and despair of growing up. Later we flash forward to Jack as a man (Sean Penn), who seemingly lives and works in gleaming towers devoid of soul and hope. The film, in its infancy, also includes a breath taking sequence that attempts to display the creation of life on earth. From micro organisms to dinosaurs! This was brave and could have failed, but it doesn't. Instead it lends weight to the purpose of the film. That is, that we live in a unique and awe inspiring world that is confusing and bewildering from the smallest detail to the largest concept. This film has ambition like few others, if any. It is a meditation, a treatise, almost a sermon on life. It is concerned with the minutia of life and also the enormous complexity. There is barely any plot, let alone narrative. These are trivial matters in the hands of Malick. He wants us to feel. To see. I doubt he wants us to understand. I don't really. But the images, the feelings, the gravity. It is sublime, almost perfect. It is certainly the most beautiful film that I have ever seen. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki captures natural light with inspiring grace. Millions of images tumble into each other, barely living before expiring. They hold our gaze, before we devour the next. The Tree Of Life is also as good a film that I ever seen that captures burgeoning adolescence. It captures the wonder, the exploration, the hurt, the deliberate destruction. We see the man before us, before he grows old and cynical. The Tree Of Life moves slowly, maybe too slowly for some. But it is richly rewarding. It is a kaleidoscope of unparalleled beauty. It is greatness untouched.

Jul 6, 2011

America!-Bill Callahan

Snazzy! The rad new video from Bill Callahan.

Jul 4, 2011

Last Known Surroundings-Explosions In The Sky