Friday, June 19, 2009

SPIN Magazine to release Prince tribute album

This doesn't look terribly exciting, but they got some good bands on the album (of Montreal, Sharon Jones) so it might be worth checking out.


Coming June 23:

SPIN's tribute to the 25th Anniversary of Purple Rain

A copy of the July issue of SPIN will be your key to download the album, so pick one up today! Then, check beginning June 23 for details on how to download Purplish Rain!Track listing:

3. "The Beautiful Ones" FOL CHEN
4. "Computer Blue" OF MONTREAL
5. "Darling Nikki" CHAIRLIFT
7. "I Would Die 4 U" MARIACHI EL BRONX
8. "Baby I'm a Star" CRAIG WEDREN

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Beck is one sweet dude

From his website:

We've been working on changes to the website for the last few months. We'll be adding new sections as they're ready. The first one to be added is called Record Club, an informal meeting of various people to record an album in a day. An album will be chosen to be reinterpreted and used as a framework. Nothing rehearsed or arranged ahead of time. A track will be uploaded once a week on as well as through the web sites of those involved with the project.

For this first edition, after lengthy deliberation and coming close to covering Digital Underground's Sex Packets, all present voted in favor of the 'other' Underground's The Velvet Underground & Nico. Participants included this time around are Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker, Brian Lebarton, Bram Inscore, Yo, Giovanni Ribisi, Chris Holmes, and from Iceland, special guest Thorunn Magnusdottir, and myself. Thanks to everyone who helped put this together, and to all of you for indulging in this experiment. More soon.

Check out his first song, the Velvet Underground's "Sunday Morning" here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

[ROUNDUP] June 8-15: What I've Been Listening To

Here's what I've been listening to this past week, was a bit slow since I had finals and then had to move again, but here's what I got:

Grizzly Bear (29 plays)
After seeing these guys in Milwaukee, I went back and found even more levels of appreciation for their studio work. If you haven't found a way to listen to Veckatimest yet, do it. Trust me.

of Montreal (22 plays)
Same as last week, but this week was focused on the Icons, Abstract Thee EP that came out after Hissing Fauna. The last song on the disc, "No Conclusion," is nine and a half minutes long, but it is worth every second. The last couple minutes is made up of one of the best-sounding string sections I've ever heard. It just sounds so nice and creamy.

David Bowie (9 plays)
Not much to say here, been listening to lots of Ziggy Stardust. "Moonage Daydream" is my favorite.

Dirty Projectors (6 plays)
Bitte Orca is definitely going to be in the top three of my favorite albums from 2009. Every time I listen it gets better.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Fiery Furnaces - "The End is Near"

The Fiery Furnaces have released the first single from their upcoming album, I'm Going Away. I've always been an on-and-off fan of the Fiery Furnaces, but this song is quickly growing on me. It's a lot more poppy than a lot of their old stuff, maybe they're going the same way of the Dirty Projectors by releasing a more mainstream pop song for the first single ("Stillness is the Move"). Let's only hope that I'm Going Away has half of the brilliance of Bitte Orca and we'll still be in for a treat.

MP3: "The End is Near"

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

[LIVE REVIEW] Grizzly Bear in Milwaukee 6/8

I'm conflicted about my opinion of last night's Grizzly Bear show. On the one hand, and probably the more important hand, the music was impeccable, the band showcased an amazing level of musicianship and talent, and I was blown away by the sounds coming out of the speaker. On the other hand, the show itself wasn't that memorable; the guys smiled maybe twice, there was little to no movement on stage, and they just didn't seem that into it. But we'll start with the first hand:

The setlist was heavy on songs from recently-released Veckatimest, and it was a smart choice, as tracks like "Ready, Able," "Southern Point" and the impeccable "Two Weeks" were outstanding in the live setting. Grizzly Bear does an outstanding job recreating the album in a live setting, with all the dense textures and layers that come with it.

Chris Bear was especially notable on drums, I just couldn't stop watching him all night. Same goes with Daniel Rossen and his guitar work. Beautiful tone.

Now to the other hand. I think this quote from another review says a lot:

"(Grizzly Bear) leaves almost nothing to chance—at this point, the New York quartet is so practiced and disciplined it can probably go days or even weeks on the road without being thrown off script." - Express Milwaukee

I know this may not be a popular opinion, but this is what kind of disappointed me about the show. When I go to a concert I want to see something special, something unique to that night that came out of spontaneity and chance. The only time that happened last night was when someone yelled "Fuck yeah!" during show closer "He Hit Me" and the band broke into smiles. Everything was just a little too pre-planned for my taste, and they went about it in such a business-like manner, without much excitement or energy, that I just left feeling a little underwhelmed.

But I shouldn't complain, seeing a band perform songs from my favorite album of the year, and perform them with such talent, is a rare opportunity and I'm glad I was there. Thoughts?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jack White to record new solo album

Yes, that's right. The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather (whose album hasn't even come out yet), and now Jack White says he's planning on recording a solo album this later this year. Is this bad news for White Stripes fans? Time will tell I suppose. Read more here.

[ROUNDUP] June 1-7: What I've Been Listening To

Here's what I was listening to this past week:

Radiohead (145 plays)
I know that Radiohead will never leave my music library, but this past week I dusted off "In Rainbows" again, rediscovering the beauty like it was the first time. I've been working on a few of the IR songs in my guitar lessons, and it's really made me appreciate how deceptively complex some of these songs are. That's the thing about Radiohead, they can write seemingly simple chord progressions but turn it into so much more than it seems on paper.

of Montreal (91 listens)
Kevin Barnes is just an undeniable genius. "Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?" has slowly become one of my all-time favorite albums, and I've been listening to a lot more of "Skeletal Lamping" as well, which isn't as solid as "Hissing Fauna" but it's a grower.

Spiritualized (80 listens)
Unlike the first two, this band is a new one for me. I listened to a little of "Songs in A&E" back when it was released, but nothing really caught. But last week I got a hold of "Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space" and I was hooked. He has a great way of combining folk, drone, spirituals, rock, and ambience, as well as a knack for idiomatic sounds/effects, like the respirator/breathing effect in "Death Take Your Fiddle." Great stuff.

The Decemberists (27 listens)
After seeing these guys put on one of my favorite concerts ever, I've been spinning Hazards of Love ever since.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

[VIDEO] Drunken Ed Droste crashes of Montreal interview

I've been on Youtube all day, watching interviews of Kevin Barnes/of Montreal, and I just found this goldmine -- filmed back in 2007 at the Iceland Airwaves Festival, this features a cameo from Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, very drunk, talking about shark fins. Enjoy.

[NEWS] Update on Major Organ and the Adding Machine

Thanks to Pitchfork for this -- they just posted an updated story on the long-awaited release of the Major Organ and the Adding Machine DVD, now set to come out early this fall. It features Elephant Six heavyweights like NMH's Jeff Mangum (yeah, Jeff Mangum) and Julian Koster, of Montreal's Kevin Barnes and OTC/Circulatory System's Will Hart.

Official trailer:

The CD will also see a re-release with seven unreleased tracks. If nothing else, you have to be excited about an album/movie that has both Jeff Mangum and Kevin Barnes on it, two of my biggest musical heroes. While it leans a bit on the whimsical/experimental side of E6, the album is still one of my favorite of the E6 outputs, it's worth checking out.