Monday, 31 May 2010

CLASSIC SCENES: Spirited Away (2001)

Beautiful scene. IMDB. Like the song? Listen to some more Joe Hisaishi here.

VIDEO: Flamin' Groovies - Slow Death (Live 1972)

Thursday, 27 May 2010

VIDEO: Albert Hammond - It Never Rains In Southern California

I watched Noah Baumbach's new film, 'Greenberg', last night and was very impressed. The soundtrack was mainly made up of songs written and performed by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, but it also had a few other excellent inclusions. One of them was Albert Hammond's classic, 'It Never Rains In Southern California.' The song was the title tracks on his debut album back in 1972. The soundtrack also includes songs from The Sonics, Duran Duran, the Steve Miller Band, Nite Jewel and Galaxie 500.

Listen to the 'Greenberg' soundtrack on Spotify here.

Federale - Devil In A Boot (2010)

Like Ennio Morricone?  Be sure to give these guys a listen! The band features Colin Hegna from BJM and they released their second album, 'Devil In A Boot' towards the end of 2009, which "tells the story of Jack, whose home and family is stolen from him as a child by a ruthless railroad baron. Ultimately, Jack exacts his revenge."

Listen here.

The band list their influences as:
"Ennio Morricone, Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Lynch, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Bernard Hermann, the Spaghetti Western Genre, Bronson, Eastwood, Van Cleef, Kinski, Fonda, Ligetti, Lutoslawski, Badalamenti, Lee Hazelwood, The Ventures, The Shadows, Nick Cave, Joe Meek, Italian Cinema in General, Hitchcock."

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

VIDEO: Flying Lotus - Heave(n)

“I forgot to give you this…"  Flying Lotus on Twitter

NEW TRACK: Madvillain - Papermill

Download the first release from the upcoming Madvillain album here. Also make sure you check out the two Madlib videos on the same page!

Ty Segall - Melted (2010)

Ty Segall released 'Melted', his 4th solo album on Monday and although I've only heard the 'Caesar' single on Spotify and 'Girlfriend' (over on RStB), this is definitely on my wishlist. I enjoyed his previous 2 efforts and if you need some carefree fuzzy sing alongs now that the sun has returned, make sure you check him out!
"San Francisco psych wunderkind Ty Segall continues a tireless musical assault on ears and minds with his third album, Melted. Segall says it sounds like "cherry cola, Sno-Cones and taffy." Indeed! Over the past two years he's released records more often than most people do laundry, but somehow there is still a heap of anticipation for this new album on Goner packed full of truly psychedelic pop songs with great vocals and exciting arrangements.
On the heels of two critically acclaimed solo albums, Segall holed up in a basement studio in late 2009 to begin recording Melted. Friends occasionally dropped by to hang out and help--including Mike Donovan (Sic Alps), John Dwyer (Thee Oh-Sees) and Eric Bauer (Crack W.A.R.). The result is a carefree yet precise balance of acoustic and electric elements. Distorted echo and thunder mix together with enough clean guitar lines and addictive choruses to deliver an album that recalls the '60s without sounding like anything created during that decade. Time melts away, vision melts away, minds melt away. Get Melted!"    
Goner Records
 Listen to 'Caesar'/'Bullet Proof Nothing' and Ty's last 2 albums on Spotify here.

Ty Segall - Caesar

Dead Meadow - Three Kings (2010)

Dead Meadow have recently released their latest album (read project), 'Three Kings.' The band have made a concert film that combines live band footage with fantasy sequences of them as the 'Three Kings' and also includes a separate soundtrack on CD/LP. Be sure to check out the clips below from the film.

"A stunning mix of fantasy film and multi-camera live concert footage, The Three Kings overlays the transcendental experience of the band's music with film vignettes of The Three Kings at work.  The Kings look into our mortal world where each of the three human characters we play are tempted by the dark side of things and each react differently. The package consists of an album that stands alone with live material and FIVE new studio tracks and soon to be classic concert DVD."

Never heard Dead Meadow? Listen to them on Spotify here.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

VIDEO: The Fugs (Stockholm 1968)

"...lesbian dwarves and their tomato orgys"

FREE DOWNLOAD: Kurt Vile - Square Shells EP (2010)

Download the excellent Kurt Vile's new EP for free here! It'll only be there for 24 hours or so, so be quick! Thanks Matador!

Kurt Vile - Invisibility : Nonexistent

Reflection Eternal - Revolutions Per Minute (2010)

'Train of Thought' is a classic and one of my favourite hip-hop albums of all-time and after 10 years, Hi-Tek and Talib Kweli are back with their new effort, 'Revolutions Per Minute.' Good to hear some real hip-hop in 2010.

Listen in Spotify

Monday, 24 May 2010

FREE DOWNLOAD: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Mixtape

FACT have just posted up a free mixtape compiled by Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, which you can listen to or download below! Nice to see Bobb Trimble on it!

Download/Play here

01. НИИ Косметики “unknown”
02. Samsimar “Indang Pariaman”
03. Warfield Spillers “Daddy’s Little Girl”
04. Vahag Sekadean “VS”
05. Chuck Edwards “Oh La La La”
06. FX “Les Choces Ne Sont Pas Ce Quelles Semblant”
07. Aarow “Paris Now”
08. Europeans “Europeans”
09. Dirt Wizard “Kill The Wizard”
10. Softboiled Eggies “Shower In The Rain”
11. Devo “Bottled Up”
12. Prince “When You Were Mine”
13. t.o.l.l. “Milzbrand (edit)”
14. Bobb Trimble “One Mile From Heaven”

NEW: The Alps - Le Voyage (2010)

RStB just posted up a couple of tracks off the new album, 'Le Voyage' from The Alps and I look forward to hearing more! The album is the follow-up to 2008s awesome 'III' and looks to continue in similar fashion. As I type this, I just realised that the band have posted up most of the album's 10 tracks on their myspace! I first got into these guys after Piccadilly Records (Manchester!!) included 'III' on their end of year list for 2008 and they had this to say on the new album:
"Still comprised of the core threesome of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (Tarentel), Alexis Georgopoulos (ARP) and Scott Hewicker (Troll), The Alps return to Type in full force for their fourth sprawling long player. Buoyed by the praise lavished upon its predecessor "III", the band were adamant that "Le Voyage" would be bigger, brighter and better than anything in their catalogue to date, and we can report that they have been successful in their quest.

With propulsive, break heavy rhythms sure to appeal to any diggers out there and a blissful, sunny outlook to wipe the frown from the faces of all you dour experimental types, "Le Voyage" is a crack of light in a dark room. A mysterious record, it is punctuated by the same energy that gave us space rock and psychedelia, and while the band are quick to demonstrate their wide-ranging musical knowledge, there is something incredibly unique about their sound. This is not a lazy soundtrack to a film which might never be made, rather "Le Voyage" is a journey for the listener and one you will want to take over and over again.

The sun-bleached movie soundtrack sentiment that underpinned their previous records is still here in full force, but it comes rolled up in something defiantly more psychedelic, and in turn more unpredictable. Sewn together by vignettes which bring to mind everything from Popol Vuh to Delia Derbyshire's Radiophonic hiccups or Luc Ferrari's tape collage, the band have put together an album which genuinely takes you on a journey. Surely it can't be a mistake calling the album "Le Voyage" then, a title which simultaneously brings to mind the work of Serge Gainsbourg and Alejandro Jordorowsky - something deep visual but effortlessly beautiful."

COMING SOON: A Tribe Called Quest Documentary

A Tribe Called Quest were one of my first loves in music and I still never tire of hearing classic albums like 'Midnight Marauders' and 'The Low End Theory', so it's fair to say I'm looking forward to this quite a bit!

Sunday, 23 May 2010

VIDEO: The Byrds - Eight Miles High (Live at The Fillmore East 1970)

Sun Araw - On Patrol (2010)

"On Patrol is a double album in two parts, and the 4th full length album from Sun Araw, following 2009’s Heavy Deeds. An album for heavy-steamin' late nights in the city, inter- dimensional back alleys, ghost cabs, and midnight-sweat locker rooms, it creeps and tunes in on a much darker, sparser, and more classically minded channel than its predecessors: dark and deep steam-vent ruminations on Philip Cohran, lenticular objects, and fried Hot 92.3 R&B slow-jams. Eschewing liner notes, Sun Araw has subtitled each track to let the listener know exactly where they are in hopes of recruiting more explorers as would-be enforcers. WATCH YOURSELF, GET ON PATROL."
Sun Araw - Dimension Alley from Steph D on Vimeo.

DEEP COVER - SUN ARAW from CatCakes on Vimeo.

Available at Not Not Fun.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

NEW: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs/Month of May 12"

Arcade Fire have just posted up 2 incredibly short clips of two new songs, 'The Surburbs' and 'Month of May.' They're both annoyingly short, but they did their job and have left me wanting more!

Listen here

NEW SINGLE: The Roots - Dear God 2.0

The Roots will release their new album, 'How I Got Over', on June 22nd and this is the lead single from it. If you're not familiar with Monsters of Folk, this is a reworking of their song off their self-titled debut from last year. I've included their original below. You can listen to their album in Spotify here.

Friday, 21 May 2010

COMING SOON: Jack Rose With D. Charles Speer & The Helix - Ragged and Right (2010)

Jack Rose with D. Charles Speer & The Helix - Prison Song by aeunited

"This slab of gripping sound was brought about by Jack Rose's exuberant love of lowdown music. Inspired by the Mordecai Jones/Link Wray 3 Track Shack sessions, the idea for this collaboration was germinated while Rose was traveling through the heartland on a tour with D. Charles Speer & the Helix in spring 2008. Musicians used to the road are familiar with the phenomenon wherein a certain tape or recording becomes the thematic soundtrack to the tour at hand. In this case, daily doses of "Scorpio Woman" and "In the Pines" as performed by Link Wray became the touchstones for their travels together. Jack got so excited by the vibes emanating from these songs that he thought to break with his usual acoustic approach and get some electricity in his life again. So he enlisted the Speer band to join in some unhinged and unrepentant fun in the studio. Recorded using an all live, no overdub approach, the resultant session was deemed an all time favorite experience by everyone lucky enough to partake in it. A gleaming bottle of Buffalo Trace helped shepherd us through the dark hours of the night, and in turn that spirit animal adorns the front cover of the record. As producer, Jason Meagher was able to capture the visceral rough and tumble feel that invigorated his Black Dirt Studio in the dog days of August 2008. Featuring the original lineup of D. Charles Speer & the Helix in peak form and rare lap steel and Telecaster stylings from Rose, Ragged and Right displays a vibrancy and depth of feeling that is striking and unforgettable."
The album is out on the 15th June. Read more here.


I've put a load of the best albums from this year so far into a Spotify playlist for any one with an account! I haven't had chance to listen to everything yet, but the albums on there have all received solid reviews. The first list excludes hip-hop and the second is hip-hop only.

Let me know if there's anything I missed!

2010 (No Hip-Hop)

2010 Hip-Hop

Also be sure to look at the latest 2010 RYM lists!

RYM Best Albums 2010

RYM Best Hip-hop 2010

Thursday, 20 May 2010

FREE STREAM: The Whitehaus Family Record

 "The Whitehaus is a community of people in Jamaica Plain, MA who make music, poetry, art and happenings. The Whitehaus Family Record is a record of some happenings which have happened."
I'm only on my first listen, but there really are some great tracks on here and it never gets boring, as the record is constantly jumping between different styles. The record will without doubt leave you wanting more from some of the artists included on here and with 27 tracks, you're bound to find a new favourite!

Read more about the Family here.

Stream the album for free here

VIDEO: Gang Starr Video Mix by DJ 33 1/3

Check out this awesome video tribute to Guru/Gang Starr. Stick the kettle on, sit back, relax and enjoy.

The whole thing can also be downloaded here:

Dj 33 1/3 Tribute to Guru (Video Mix) from Dj 33 1/3 on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

VIDEO: The Tallest Man on Earth - live at NPR

Probably the greatest musical talent to come out of Sweden.

VIDEO: Lonnie Johnson - Another Night to Cry

Like this? Listen to more here (Spotify).

CLASSIC SCENES: Apocalypse Now (1979)

One of the greatest films ever. One of the greatest songs ever. Doesn't really need any explaination!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

COMING SOON: Julian Lynch - Mare (2010)

Julian Lynch will release 'Mare', his follow-up to 'Orange You Glad' sometime this year on Olde English Spelling Bee. Lynch and friends really are turning into favourites of mine and so far I have been a fan of everything they've touched. If you're not sure who these guys are, be sure to check out Ducktails, Alex Bleeker & The Freaks, Alex Bleeker's solo work, Real Estate and anyone on Underwater Peoples.

You can listen to two of the new songs below. I've also posted a couple of videos of songs off his previous effort ('Seed') and one off the Ducktails/Julian Lynch split 7" ('Garden 2').

Listen to the title track here.
Julian Lynch - Just Enough

* mp3 courtesy of Stereogum

NEW DISCOVERY: The Young Sinclairs

The Young Sinclairs apparently already have 4 LPs and 2 EPs behind them, although mostly on CD-R and tape from what I've read. Last year they released a vinyl only compilation entitled 'The Songs of the Young Sinclairs' of the best bits from their previous efforts and some new material (available on Kindercore). The band are also about to embark on a mini tour with my favourite band of all time, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. I hit play on their myspace and turned on shuffle and was transported back to the mid-60s, when The Byrds were at their jangliest. With songs this good I'm amazed they've managed to remain so underground for so long! The band are part of a collective known as The Magic Twig Community, a group of friends who share equipment, jam together etc. Be sure to check out the other bands on there too!

I just came across a recent post about the band on GvB too, which mentions 3 upcoming summer releases for the band. Read it here.

The Young Sinclairs - Darling

The Young Sinclairs - Help You Decide

* mp3s courtesy of Weekly Tape Deck

The Young Sinclairs - Tribe

The Young Sinclairs - Engineer Man

* mp3s courtesy of Magnet Magazine

NEW DISCOVERY: Nathaniel Rateliff

Aquarium Drunkard never fail to bring awesome people I've never heard of to my attention and after watching the video they just posted of Nathaniel Rateliff and friends performing it doesn't look like they're going to stop anytime soon. This song is apparently unreleased, but Nathaniel recently released 'In Memory of Loss', which has been compared to the work of Cave, Young, Diamond and Parsons by one reviewer. He apparently went by the name The Wheel before and is also in Born in the Flood. He's also currently touring the US with MWW Favourite The Tallest Man on Earth. Watch the videos below, then check out the songs on his myspace and see what you think.

Nathaniel Rateliff "Laughing" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Nathaniel Rateliff "Boil & Fight" from Yours Truly on Vimeo.

Avi Buffalo - Avi Buffalo (2010)

The Shins. The Byrds. Neil Young. Band of Horses. Daniel Johnston. Mark Linkous. Johnny Marr. Tortoise. Fleet Foxes. Mercury Rev. Flaming Lips. Love. Syd Barrett. Beach Boys. Weezer. Joanna Newsom. Wilco. Built to Spill. Deerhoof.

I'm just over half way through my first listen of Avi Buffalo's deut album for Sub Pop and was reading through a number of reviews I found through metacritic and thought I'd compile a list of artists mentioned during the reviews. Avi Buffalo don't necessarily sound exactly like any of the above bands, but take various elements from each and you've got Avi Buffalo. Whatever the comparisons may be, this is a summer album and is full of sweet melodies and sunshine guitar licks and makes me wish I was in California, kicking back with a Corona. I'm still only on my first listen and whether or not it'll be a favourite of the year, it's probably too early to say, but I do know this will get some serious playtime over the coming weeks. RYM has it at 3.27, whilst the critics have been much more generous, with a score of 81 on metacritic. The obvious stand out for me is the insanely catchy 'What's In It For?', which you can watch the video for and download below, as well as 'Remember Last Time.'

Avi Buffalo - Remember Last Time

Avi Buffalo - What's In It For?

Monday, 17 May 2010

COMING SOON: Curren$y - Pilot Talk (2010)

I haven't really heard any of Curren$y's work before, but have heard his name before. He's due to release what will be his third official studio album on June 12th. Well I think it will be his third, judging from his RYM list of releases. He also appears on 3 tracks off the upcoming (will it ever be released!?) '24 Hour Karate School' from Ski Beatz (see the video for 'Go' below). Anyway, this album will be his first official release on Dame Dash's Blu Roc, which i think is the new resurrected Roc-A-Fella (if I'm wrong please comment below!). You can watch the videos for the Mos Def produced 'Breakfast', the Ski Beatz (I think so anyway!) produced 'King Kong', 'Life Under the Scope' below. Mos's effort is my favourite of the 3, but the other 2 are definite growers. The 'Go' beat is still a beast. This post was full of a lot of I thinks.

CURREN$Y - BREAKFAST from Creative Control on Vimeo.

Curren$y - King Kong from Creative Control on Vimeo.

Life Under the Scope - Curren$y from Jayuan V on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Alex Bleeker - Getting By (live at SXSW)

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks- "Getting By"- Live- Micro-Pixel-Rites BBQ- SXSW- Austin, TX- March 18, 2010 from Samantha Cornwell on Vimeo.

One of my songs of the year so far! AMAZING! A perfect song. The song is off Alex Bleeker's 'These Days' 7" and the Freaks join him here in this performance.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Kon & Amir Present: The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Samples of All-Time

Check out the list here.

If you're new to Kon & Amir, be sure to check out their various samples based mix series, 'On Track'. There are 6 volumes and each is just as essential as the other. Also be sure to check out their more recent 'Off Track' series.

Kon & Amir on RYM

Friday, 14 May 2010

COMING SOON: Capone-N-Noreaga - The War Report 2: Report The War

I remember getting a copy of  'The War Report' off a friend, complete with covers, back in 1997. I was 14years old. Now CNN are back with the sequel, 'The War Report 2: Report The War', which will be released on July the 13th. The album features guests including Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, The L.O.X., Nas and Faith Evans and the the few tracks I've heard off it so far sound pretty promising. Raekwon's follow-up to OB4CL last year set the bar high for sequels, but I'm not setting the bar too high for this one. After a fairly slow start to the year, any half decent hip-hop is more than welcome.

FREE STREAM: Band of Horses - Infinite Arms (2010)

Stream the new album here.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

VIDEO: The Roots & Bob Weir - Dancing in the Streets (live 2010)

Check out this awesome collaboration between The Roots and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead! They performed Martha & the Vandella's 'Dancing in the Street', a Dead live favourite, at the Earth Day Climate Rally in Washington, DC. Also be sure to check out the numerous amazing live versions of this classic by the Dead over the years. Here's a best of list of performances if you're not sure where to start! You can listen to most of the shows for free here.

VIDEO: Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - 4AD Sessions

4AD have posted up an Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti session which was filmed ahead of the official release of 'Before Today', which is one of my favourite albums this year by a mile. The album is also currently lying in 10th place over on RYM's top albums for 2010 thus far. You can watch the video for 'Menopause Man' below or the entire session in one go here. The session includes:

1. Menopause Man
2. Spires In The Snow
3. Little Wig
4. Flashback
5. L'Estat (According to the Widow's Maid)

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

NEW SINGLE: Jay Electronica - The Ghost of Christopher Wallace

Too much Diddy, not enough Jay? Perhaps, but the track still leaves me wanting more Jay.
"The game ain’t been the same since B.I.G died
and Wu swarmed on New York from out that beehive
Don’t talk to me bout MC’s got skill
Don’t talk to me bout whose the king of the hill
Don’t talk to me bout whose the best alive or whose in your top 5
Cause he’s not ill
Real recognize real, stick to your deal
Try to make a cool mill off the single
With that ringtone appeal
In 3 years, you’ll be nil

*mp3 courtesy of Rappers I Know

FREE STREAM - The Black Keys - Brothers (2010)

NPR now have the new album from The Black Keys available to stream up until the album's official release next week. Enjoy!

Listen here!

Brothers on RYM

NEW VIDEO: Local Natives - World News

Local Natives "World News" from Monte Lomax on Vimeo.

COVERED: Buffy Saint-Marie - Codine (1963)

This song was originally written by Buffy Saint-Marie in 1963, after becoming addicted to codeine whilst recovering from a throat infection. The song became a classic of the era and was covered by The Byrds, The Charlatans (US 60s), Donovan, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Janis Joplin and Gram Parsons among others. A great song, with so many great covers.


Film: Spun (2002)
Song: Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan

Monday, 10 May 2010

VIDEO: Pill Wonder - Wishing Whale/What We Know

wishing whale - pill wonder from Martin Anderson on Vimeo.

Pill Wonder's debut album is available now over at

NEW TRACK: Mountain Man - Soft Skin

Mountain Man are due to release their debut album, 'Made the Harbor', on June 11th on Bella Union and have just posted up a free track on Sound Cloud for your listening pleasure (listen below!). If you've never heard of them before, be sure to give 'Animal Tracks' a listen too, which was also covered by Alex Bleeker & The Freaks on their self-titled debut album last year. 'Animal Tracks' was off last years self-titled EP on Underwater Peoples and can be streamed in it's entirety here.

  Mountain Man - Soft Skin by Bella Union

CLASSIC SCENES: Mean Streets (1973)

I decided I'd start a weekly (read: whenever I feel like it!) entry on my blog of classic film scenes involving music. The first entry is going to be 2 scenes from Mean Streets, both involving songs by The Rolling Stones. Both scenes also involve entrances into bars and are too cool for words. If you've never seen the film, go buy it now! It's a must for De Niro fans, a must for Scorsese fans and a must for any fans of the 70s.

The soundtrack is also well worth checking out and contains some excellent choices.


I've just finished reading Thoreau's 'Walden: Or, Life in the Woods' and came across an mp3 in my iTunes by Amen Dunes that I don't remember downloading. It turned out to be 'By the Bridal', a wonky 5minute psychedlic acoustic-based track not to far from something off a Syd Barrett or Skip Spence album. 

"A lot of crazy shit can happen to a man when he goes solitary in a ramshackle Catskill Mountain home for an extended stretch of time-especially for a city kind of guy. But if Amen Dunes's 12 tracker Dia is one possible outcome of the guy alone-in-a-cabin- story, then a little tape saturated brain frying is something we should all live comfortably with because this is a batch of seriously raw & inspired loner psych grit that owes a debt to the diy soundz of the George Brigman s of the world.

That was 2006. These days the lone wolf behind Amen Dunes -Damon McMahon calls a small two room apartment overlooking the Temple of Earth in North-Central Beijing home, where he watches old men fly kites and sing opera every morning. Who knows what'll come out of that."   Locust Music
You've heard the story before, but there's just something about the idea of a lone man out there in the woods that never gets boring to me. Whether it's Thoreau, Dick Proenneke or Bon Iver, I always seem to be sucked into their world. I've managed to listen to a few other tracks off the album and from what reviews I've read the album is split in two halves. The first contains "reverb-drenched melting psychedelia," and on the second half "he breaks into some incredible acoustic gems that will have you convinced this is some long lost record from the late 60's." (ongakubaka).

Amen Dunes - Amen Dunes

*MP3s courtesy of The Decibel Tolls

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Grizzly Bear x Brian Eno x Chance

A friend just posted this link on my facebook page! Press play on one song and then press play on the other and see what you can come up with! Pretty cool idea! I might try and do a weekly post using different combinations!

Check it out!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

NEW DISCOVERY: Tonstartssbandht

I've seen their name dotted around various blogs before, but it wasn't until I read that they'd released a c20 that features covers of songs by a Swedish prog band that I finally decided to check them out. It features covers of 3 songs by Pärson Sound ("Sov Gott Rose Marie", "Tio Minuter" and "Beautiful Crystal") and also a cover of  "It's Only Love" by Pärson Sound in a later incarnation & continuation as International Harvester. Three of the four songs that were covered are also available on Spotify in their original format.

Tonstartssbandht - It's Only Love/Sov Gott Rose Marie

Listen to Pärson Sound on Spotify

Listen to Interntational Harvester on Spotify

There are also a few songs on their Myspace which are well worth a listen and I've included the video for the amazing 'Black Country' below. The song takes the guitar break from Big Country's 1983 hit, 'In Big Country' and fuzzes it up into something completely new. Hopefully you'll hear something you like on here and go check them out yourself, just as I'm going to delve deeper into their music! If you need something to entice you even further, take a read of Dusted Magazine's review of their album, 'An When'. Also make sure you take a listen to Pärson Sound and International Harvester on Spotify! Not to be missed!

Tonstartssbandht "Black Country" from Con Artists on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: This Is Head - 0001 (2010)

I got back from a mini tour with Swedish band This Is Head on Sunday night, after playing shows in Oslo, Gothenburg and Jönköping (at Popadelica) and have obviously by now heard the band quite a bit. Their album has been one of the best received new releases of 2010 here in Sweden (See here) and the band have been compared with everyone from early-U2 to Ennio Morricone. Critics have placed them somewhere between Manchester's Factory Records (e.g. New Order's Ceremony),  the krautrock scene of the 70s and the recent influx of balearic inspired pop. And this is one of the reasons the album is such an enjoyable listen and so complete. Each song sounds like it belongs on the album, yet the band is able to fully incorporate all their influences without the album seeming uneven. They sound like U2 one second (0007), the next Ennio Morricone/Pink Floyd/Joy Division (0012), the next The Cure (0013)...
"The masterful centrepiece ‘0003′ sprawls like a startled behemoth. Slowly awakening and brooding before breaking free of its ambient, and Vangelis echoing, beginnings and ripping a hole in the entire track with a crash of guitars. This turns the track into something not unlike King Crimson at their most open minded. However, when opener ‘0009′ kicks off, you’d be hard pressed to believe what lay ahead. Its bouncing pop beats and chiming guitars is the love child of New Order and The Cure on their way to Top of the Pops. This Is Head are mixing a massive palette of influences, distilling the best bits and forcing them into something new and wonderful." TLOBF
The album is mostly instrumental, but every song is so well structured that there's never a dull moment. I'm not one for writing long reviews, so check out the bands Myspace, watch the videos below and if you have Spotify, listen to the album on there; if you ever get the chance to catch these guys live, go to see them, as these songs are even more powerful live!

Monday, 3 May 2010

NEW: John Grant - Queen of Denmark (2010)

One of my favourite things about music is when suddenly out of nowhere you come across an album you didn't even know existed or was about to come into existence and instantly know it's going to be a favourite. This album falls firmly into this category and was released last month on Bella Union. John Grant is also the lead singer of Denver band The Czars, whom I must admit have never listened to, but I'm sure that will change over this coming week. But this isn't just a John Grant record and probably wouldn't have come into existence were it not for Midlake's love of his work.

"After The Czars, he says, “I basically gave up.” On music that is. Instead, Grant moved to New York, studied for his certificate in Russian medical interpreting (he’s a gifted linguist, speaking German and Spanish as well as Russian) while waiting tables - and rarely performing live, though supports to Midlake were among them. And that was how he began to contemplate another record."
"“We first heard The Czars on our first trip to London,” recalls Midlake bassist Paul Alexander. “His voice was the first thing I noticed - John has such this incredible baritone. But we didn’t go crazy over him until we saw him live, and we then got him to support us on the Van Occupanther tour in the US. At the end, we said he had to come to Denton and make an album.”"

If you're a fan of Midlake, then this is a must, as it has Midlake's sound all over it and if you preferred Van Occupanther to their latest release, you'll be happy to know this is more Van Occupanther. If you're a fan of 70s soft rock such as Bread or singer-songwriters such as Elton John and Clifford T. Ward, then this is for you. If you liked The Duke & The King's debut album from last year, then I think you'll definitely enjoy this.

"It’s a record of gravitas and grace, of FM melody magic laced with raw emotional bleeding. It asks why relationships are roulette and love is hell in a last-ditch attempt at self-improvement and atonement after a decade of alcohol and cocaine dependency.
And on top, to further the album’s brilliance, Grant’s backing band on the album are Denton, Texas’ mightiest – MIDLAKE - contributing their most empathic ‘70s-style soft-rock know-how. Put simply, Queen Of Denmark is the record Grant’s been waiting his whole life to make."   Bella Union

Be sure to read the great article on the 'Queen of Denmark' over at Bella Union.

UPDATE: This Is Head, The Black Keys & Top RYM Albums of 2010!

I've been away on tour with the excellent This Is Head and will post up something on the tour and the band as soon as I have the energy! For now though, go give their incredible debut album a listen on Spotify. For fans of krautrock, early U2, New Order, Ennio Morricone and everything in between!

Whilst I've been gone, The Black Keys released their unofficial official video for the next single off their upcoming album, 'Brothers':

I've also just been looking at the latest 2010 rankings on RYM and think it's shaping up pretty nicely! Although RYM lists often features a few too many metal albums for my liking, this list is pretty damn varied and includes Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti (which I've been listening to a lot this past week!), The Tallest Man On Earth, The National, Beach House and LCD Soundsystem in the top 20.

That's all for now, but look out for the This Is Head post!
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