Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hot Club de Paris to release new EP

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I mentioned in an older post that Hot Club de Paris was currently working on an EP for a May release and earlier this week the band official announced it. The 6 track EP titled The Rise and inevitable Fall of The High School Suicide Cluster Band will be on hand number 10" vinyl of which only 500 will be made. Hot Club is also a part of Moshi Moshi's lifetime subscription giveaway in which a gold record gives you free Moshi Moshi releases for life. The album is now available for preorder and if you were thinking about getting it, I'd hurry as not only is it a good opportunity to stock up on some good tunes but also the chance for a lucky five purchasers to win free Moshi Moshi releases.

You can preorder the EP here:

Pitstop: Major Seven & The Minors

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Major Seven & The Minors is the moniker of Norwegian producer/musician Kato Adland though before becoming Major Seven, Adland was a member of Sondre Lerche's backing band The Faces Down and still assists Lerche as an occasional producer. The result of many late nights locked in studio after work, Adland has released two albums so far Music to Watch Nerds By, and The Laziest Man on Mars in late 2008 which features a retro-rock sound with wonderfully crafted string arrangements, as well as an overall link in sound that makes the albums seem like little suites generously bequeathed to the listener. Unfortunately, these little gifts in the form of albums will probably be the only way you enjoy Major Seven and the Minors as there have been no announcements to tour or even play shows. Here's hoping that changes soon as Adland's music is simply too good not to be shared.

Give Major Seven and the Minors a listen on their myspace here:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pitstop: Marit Larsen

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Meet Marit Larsen. You might remember her as one half of the Norwegian pop duo M2M but don't let that jade you. Since the duo called in quits in the early 2000s, Larsen took a bit of a siesta from music only to return as solo artist with a much more refined and mature sound. Releasing her debut solo album Under the Surface in 2006 and more recently sophomore release The Chase in 2008, Marit Larsen blends pop and folk to spin sentimental tales of love loss that are surprisingly hopefully. It's obvious with the first listen that Larsen has overcome her pop star days to become an accomplished singer/songwriter and here's hoping she continues to craft her pop folk ditties.

Get a taste with her single "If a Song Can Get Me You" off The Chase:

Regina Spektor covers Radiohead for charity

Regina Spektor, the Russian-American anti-folk/pop siren has almost always contributed to help those less fortunate just last month she played a Haiti Benefit show in NYC, now she's back performing a cover of Radiohead's "No Surprises" to raise money for Doctors without Borders. 100% of the proceeds will go toward helping those in the victims of the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. You can listen to the track at the link provided below and if you like it, why not shoot on over iTunes and purchase it. It's for a good cause!

Listen to Regina Spektor cover No Surprises by Radiohead here:

Now Streaming: The New Pornographers - Together

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The New Pornographers, the Canadian powerpop supergroup from Vancouver, are releasing their fifth album Together on May 4th. To help ease the wait, fans can stream the whole album in its entirety on NPR's First Listen here:

In addition to it's almost claustophobia-inducing amount of musicians, Together also features Beirut's Zach Condon, Okkervill River's Will Shelf, St. Vincent's Annie Clark, and the horn section from Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. Give it an listen as it's sure to be an enlightening experience.

Sondre Lerche to open for a-ha in farewell tour US dates

Norwegian pop rock band a-ha are calling it quits after nearly 30 years. The band is most known for "Take On Me" from their debut album Hunting High and Low, but has released eight studio albums in their career, the last one released late last year. This tidbit is pretty old news. However the new news is that Sondre Lerche, the Norwegian pop rock crooner, will be opening for the band at their last couple shows in New York City at the Nokia Theater. It's oddly poetic as a-ha was Sondre Lerche's favorite band growing up (almost to the point of obsession) and he opened for them after his first album Faces Down went big, now he gets the proud honor of seeing his heroes off by opening for them during their farewell tour. It's bound to be an amazing experience so if you're in the area, go!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Watch: Left with Pictures - "River Avon"

April's almost over which means British chamber pop band Left with Pictures is dishing out another addition to their In Time project. Their fourth venture is called "River Avon" and was created by Mikail Chowdhury and the band's own Toby Knowles.

The video features Knowles as a closet superhero costumed in pantyhose, a Left with Pictures cape, and pair of swim goggles by the name of Powerman waiting for some sort of sign from other hero to spring into action before giving up. The song itself is slow moving and melancholic and remiscient of the rainy days April is known for. Watch it here:

River Avon from left-with-pictures on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pitstop: Ida Maria

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Who says all indie artists have to write sentimental songs with limitless allusions and illumating moral dilemnas? Not Ida Maria. The Norwegian songstress' songs are of a crafty yet fun nature like "Louie" "and "Queen of the World" which are pretty much about partying it up, "Morning Light" about the after-effects, and in "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked", Ida Maria provides the best solution to social/romantic anxiety: Nudity. That's not to say all her songs are about getting drunk or other silly things (though most of them are). Those topics only cover about half the tracks of her debut album Fortress Round My Heart, the others spanning topics from just wanting to be loved, building up emotional walls, and "Stella" in which Ida Maria paints the unlikely scenario of God taking human form and falling in love with a prostitute. You won't find highly intellectual lyrics but then that's not the point. Ida Maria with her slight rasp provides music for enjoyment's sake that still manages to be well-written and well played. Her songs are short, simple, and sweet with a hard rock edge and catchy memorability.

Hear what she sounds like with this video for "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked":

Good Old War to release sophomore album

So I talked about the folk trio Good Old War and their debut album The Only Way to Be Alone not too long ago, well the trio's back with an upcoming self-titled sophomore release. Just yesterday the band made the album available for preorder in a variety of formats either CD, 12" vinyl, or in bundles where you get a shirt, eight buttons, and a poster in addition to either the vinyl or cd. Those interested can pre-order the album here:

The album is set to be released around May 21st so mark your calender or place your pre-order as the album certainly won't disappoint.

Here's a sneak peak of the album track "My Own Shinking Ship" available for streaming and free download:
<a href="">My Own Sinking Ship by Good Old War</a>

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Tallest Man on Earth - The Wild Hunt (2010)

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Swedish folk crooner Kristian Matsson aka The Tallest Man on Earth is back with his sophomore record The Wild Hunt continuing in the footsteps of its' predecessor Shallow Graves, it offers up more folky goodness. You won't find any heavily processed effects on this album, instead expect pure unadulterated folk in the form of Matsson's smokey voice and top-notch songwriting accompanied by guitar and occasional background instruments. The Wild Hunt marks a loss in some of the edge in Matsson's voice while still maintaining a bit of his trademark rasp. One of The Tallest Man on Earth's greatest influences is that of Bob Dylan but you won't find any faux-Dylan stylings here, rather than wearing his influences on his sleeve, Matsson channels them with into his own dynamic songs tinged with nostalgia and melancholy. That's not to say the album's composed of slow folk ballads -each track practically filled with energy regardless of tempo and packing a lyrical punch or two. The album is composed of little music moments that just might make your heart sing culminating in playful, swaggering "The King of Spain". Its guaranteed to be a welcome addition to any music lover's library, not just hardcore folk enthusiasts.

Enjoy this live video of title track "The Wild Hunt":

Friday, April 23, 2010

Eardrums Pop Compilation Out NOW!

This week saw the release of Kate Nash's sophomore album, Horse Feathers' third album, and on a smaller scale the release of Between the Waves, a collaborative compilation project by Scandinavian-based Eardrums Music blog. Between the Waves is the fourth in a series of free compilations released by Eardrums Music and its somewhat new net label Eardrums Pop, and is markedly different in that features several artists/bands coming together to create collaborative works under new names. Even one of the album arts (there are three) was a collaborative effort between two artists. Though several of the artists have created new names for their work together, many of the artists have been featured on previous Eardrums Pop releases like My Little Pony, Bubblegum Lemonade, Le Man Avec Les Lunettes, and Heart-Sick Groans)

The release is available for free download here:

For those of you needing a little convincing first enjoy this video for There is another sky by Olafachada:

Oláfachada - There is another sky from EardrumsPop, the label on Vimeo.

Want to sample it first? You can stream each album on the Eardrums Music blog here:

Now Streaming: Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record

So the lastest band to stream their album is none other than Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene. Their new album Forgiveness Rock Record marks their fourth studio album and one of the first of the three upcoming albums from Canadian supergroups to be released(others being The New Pornographers' Together also out May 4 and Stars' The Five Ghosts out June 22). In addition to the regular album they're also releasing a bonus EP. I saw them perform on Letterman last night and from what I saw, this album guarantees to be a good one.

You can listen for yourself here:

And enjoy this video of the band's performance of "Forced to Love" on Letterman:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

tUnE-yArDs - BiRd-BrAiNs (2009)

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Before beginning the review I should caution you not to listen to tUnE-yArDs' (the eyecatching moniker of singer/songwriter Merrill Garbus)debut album BiRd-BrAiNs if you want to listen to anything else. Infectiously catchy and astoundingly unique, it takes getting a song stuck in your head to a whole new level. After listening just once, don't be surprised if you find yourself humming one of the memorable melodies to yourself later. The result of Merrill Garbus' fascination and later study of African music, the album taps into something primal within it's listener. Garbus' goal is to move you whether that be from the dance-inspiring drumbeats in "Hatari" or heart-clenching and captivating "Fiya". Garbus' debut effort is a sumptuous blend of Afro-pop, folksy charm born from a ukelele, and technology in the form of a looping pedal into something that almost defies description. Even with the lo-fi DIY recording, the result of Garbus using a voice recorder in a basement and mixing with shareware mixing software, her voice still manages to explode from the speakers. You'll marvel at how Garbus manages to use layers to perfectly harmonize with herself and play the ukelele in ways you've never imagined. Listen at your own risk because once you do, you won't be able to stop.

As dazzling as the album is in all it's lo-fi splendor, the real magic of tUnE-yArDs can only be truly experienced live. Check out this live video of tUnE-yArDs' "Hatari":

Monday, April 19, 2010

Now Streaming: Minus the Bear - OMNI

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Oh the wonders of Twitter. That's where I found out that Minus the Bear's latest album OMNI to be released May 4th is now available for streaming at Give it a listen!:

Moshi Moshi goes Willy Wonka to promote Annual Subscription

British Indie label Moshi Moshi Records begins the promotion to end all promotions in the form of an annual digital subscription that entitles you to all their releases of the year recieved on the Friday before the official release date. The price? £25 (Roughly 39 Dollars American). It's a pretty good deal. In addition with the release of the next EP (Hot Club de Paris' I think) there will be five gold records a la Willy Wonka in which you win free Moshi Moshi releases for life! Those interested can check it out here:

Moshi Moshi boasts artists like indie pop duos Slow Club and Matt And Kim, surf rockers The Drums, pop rockers The Wave Pictures, quirkily loveable songtress Kate Nash, and many more.

Beck's Record Club No. 4

Beck's Record Club is a project he started in 2009 where Beck and other musician friends would get together to record a reinterpretation of an album in a day. Using the album of choice as a framework, the artists get together with no previous rehearsals or arrangments and create first-take videos. So far Beck has done three Record Club albums featuring artists such as MGMT, Feist, and Wilco to name a few. Just this March, Beck began his fourth Record Club recording of INXS' Kick with Liars, Annie Clark of St. Vincent, and several others. A new video is posted once every week and so far they've posted 4 songs so this is pretty much my attempt to catch up. The whole concept seems pretty cool: a bunch of musicians getting together to have fun, jam out, listen to music they like and then try to recreate it. Enjoy! I know I did!

Guns in the Sky

Record Club: INXS "Guns In The Sky" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

New Sensation

Record Club: INXS "New Sensation" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Devil Inside

Record Club: INXS "Devil Inside" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Need You Tonight

Record Club: INXS "Need You Tonight" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Mates of State to release cover album

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Seems like only yesterday that married indie pop duo and Kansas natives Mates of State released their last album Re-Arrange Us but it was almost two years ago. Now the band is gearing up for their newest release Crushes (The Covers Mixtape) slated for a summer release on Barsuk. The album marks the duo's first foray into self-recording and production and features cover songs from the vastly popular (Belle & Sebastian, Tom Waits, Fleetwood Mac) to the amazing but slightly obscure (Girls, Dear Nora). The band recently posted the complete tracklist for the record as well as some album art.

1. Laura (Girls)
2. Son et Lumiere (The Mars Volta)
3. Sleep the Clock Around (Belle & Sebastian)
4. Technicolor Girls (Death Cab for Cutie)
5. Long Way Home (Tom Waits)
6. Love Letter (Nick Cave)
7. Second Hand News (Fleetwood Mac)
8. 17 Pink Sugar Elephants (Vashti Bunyan)
9. Roller Coaster Ride (Dear Nora)
10. True Love Will Find You in the End (Daniel Johnston)

Their cover of Girls' Laura is available for stream and download on their website here:

Never heard of Mates of State? Get acquainted with this video for track "Get Better" off Re-Arrange Us:

Now Streaming: The Hold Steady - Heaven in Whenever

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Brooklyn based The Hold Steady are releasing their newest album Heaven in Whenever on May 4th and like all the cool kids are doing, they made their album available via stream. The band recently played two shows in NYC on Saturday night in support of the album and it's limited Record Store Day release and if, like me, you were unable to attend, you're in luck as it's on NPR's First Listen. Check it out here:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pitstop: tUnE-yArDs

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I first found out about tUnE-yArDs when reading an interview with Owen Pallett in Under the Radar magazine in which he stated his fascination with the stylistic name and the reasoning behind it being to get people to just slow down. Such a name certainly made an unforgetable impression on me and I set out to find out more. tUnE-yArDs is the moniker of New England native Merrill Garbus. Her debut album BiRd BrAiNs was released late last year on British 4AD Records but was recorded and produced by Merill Garbus herself. Even though she has a backing band at shows the album was a solo DIY effort made by Garbus with a voice recorder and shareware mixing software. Sometimes sounding RB-ish like Dirty Projectors' "Stillness is A Move" with around-the-world influences like M.I.A. and sometimes not, Garbus' sound is unique and interesting in only good ways. Check out tUnE-yArDs!

Hear what she sounds like here with the video for single "Real Live Flesh" released earlier this year:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hot Club de Paris release three new songs

This just in! Hot Club de Paris just uploaded three brand spanking songs to their myspace. The songs are: Free the Pteradayctl Three, I'm Not In Love And Neither Are You, and The White Town Express (Get High Stay Low). The songs will be on Hot Club de Paris upcoming May 24th release.

Listen to them here:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Specials on Jimmy Fallon

It's been reunion smorsgaboard with Blur releasing their first single in years in time for Record Store Day, Pavement reuniting to go on a world tour, Brit punk band The Buzzcocks reforming. Now Brit ska band The Specials are back in their first US gig in 30 years on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight. Don't miss it!

Here's the band performing "Little Bitch" exclusively for the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon site

Janelle Monae release trailer for new release

Eclectic Hip-Hop songtress Janelle Monae recently released a trailer for her upcoming sophomore release The Arch-Android and it's interesting in that in manages to build up anticipation without actually revealing anything about the new release. No movie trailer-esque snippets of the good parts here instead it features a rather epic orchestra arrangement and an aerial view of a futuristic city that might be Metropolis, the setting for the album. The aerial shot revolves around the city a couple times before expanding to reveal it as a part of Monae's crown.
The trailer while skimpy on the information does however reveal the release date of the new album as May 18 (this is the third date I've seen for it and hope it's the actual one). The album is available to pre-order now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Freelance Whales - Weathervanes (2010)

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Queens natives Freelance Whales released their debut album Weathervanes and it's nothing short of exquisitive. Each track slowly unfurls like the start of nice spring day blending seemless together while still maintaining their standalone quality. Lead track "Generator ^ 1st Floor" provides the first taste of what you can expect from the rest of the album. Evolving at a not-too slow pace, each instrument makes its presence known one after another, layered with tender love and care. The song gets halfway through before Judah Dadone vocals float over the dreamy haze to deliver the first definitive lyrics. "Hannah" shows off some of Dadone's songwriting prowess with him somehow slipping in the lyric "Please don't call me a playerhater" that'll have you marveling at how it fits there without drawing more attention to itself, distracting you from the rest of the song and is delivered in all seriousness. Clap-happy "Kilojoules" mixes love with chemistry and contains one of my favorite lyrics of the album: "I've arranged for your phobias to be performed by a string quartet". I have no idea what it means but it's delightfully poetic and the song is quite catchy. I could sit here and break down every song on the album for you but it's simply not necessary. The album function marvelously as whole and several of the songs are catchy enough to be popular in their own right.

Freelance Whales are true artists painting hypnotic musical trapestries with banjo, guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, glockenspiel, and whatever else they can probably get their hands on. Fans of well-crafted indie masterpieces shouldn't hesistate to add Weathervanes to their collections. It just might be the best decision you make all day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Cymbals Eat Guitars - Why There Are Mountains (2009)

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Staten Island indie rock quartet Cymbals Eat Guitars is a music critic's dream come true; not only defying labels like genre but so ruggedly individual in their overall approach that you'd have a tough time thinking of bands to compare them to. The band's debut album Why There Are Mountains is a hodgepodge of sounds and musical ideas achieved at a positively epic level. Six minute lead track "And the Hazy Sea" is an exercise in organized chaos beginning with a loud dizzying cluster of sounds before erupting into anthemic punky shout vocals. The track shifts dynamics to an almost startlingly unexpected degree connected by the vocals and a listless drifting feeling remiscient of being adrift at sea. The album's lead track brings you more places aurally than most artists do in the span of a whole record.
"Some Trees (Merritt Moon)" follows in a similar manner to the first track but in a much more controlled and less grandiose manner. "Indiana" and "Cold Spring" continue the album, stripping away some but not all of the fuzziness and intensity and adding extra instruments like strings to the core guitars, drums, and keyboard. "Share" sees the return of all the fuzziness in its full glory accompanying floating melancholic vocals and horns. Seven minutes long, the song slowly unfolds for the duration before reaching a groovy pop rocky climax.
"Wind Phoenix" sees the return of the horn section and serves as the album's most widely accessible and poppy track but that in no way takes away from the song's legitimacy or its role in the album's sojourn through wilds of nature and emotion.
Album-ender "Like Blood Does" grounds everything you just heard by starting anew, stripping down to the bare essentials of guitar and vocals, slowly building on the remains eventually incorporating every instrument and gaining more and more momentum until a wall of sound restarts all of the energy and the track drifts out.

Cymbals Eat Guitars may be their name but no one instrument outshines the other, instead working together to create a captivating unifed work of art that just might make this album and Cymbals Eat Guitars your new and most-listened-to favorites.

Give the album a listen and begin what sure to be a lengthy love affair here:

Pitstop: The Middle East

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One of the inevitable fates for a band is that they will eventually break up. Well, Aussie band The Middle East almost ended before they really began. Luckily after a short break up the band got together and has since endured an immense amount of renewed interest. Releasing their debut EP The Recordings of the Middle East in 2008 before splitting up, the band then reunited re-releasing an abridged version in 2009 leading to a massive surge in popularity. The band's genre is hard to describe, fusing together elements of ambience, folk, pop, and rock with haunting vocal harmonies and a vast array of instruments such as guitar, trumpet, glockenspiel, and various types of percussion. The band's sound is unique, emotionally invocative, and altogether charming. Here's hoping the band has another release in the works as I certainly can't wait to hear more from them.

The Middle East are opening for reunited Pavement on April 15 as well as embarking on a US tour with British folk rockers Mumford & Sons beginning in May. Stay tuned as this probably won't be the last you hear about the band.

Hear what they sound like with the track "Blood" from The Recordings of the Middle East and make sure you check back for tour dates:

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Record Store Day is April 17th!

This year's Record Store Day is April 17th. For those unaware, Record Store Day is the one day a year where artists and independent record stores come together to celebrate music. This is done by the release of limited special edition CDs and vinyl, in-store performances and meet and greets, even barbeques and parties.

Several released of note:
Beach House - Zebra 12"
Black Keys - Tighten Up/Howlin' For Soup 12"
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - Live at Hollywood High EP 7"
Fanfarlo - You Are One of The Few Outsiders Who Really Understand Us/What Makes You Think You're The One (Fleetwood Mac cover) 7"
Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs - Dark Side of the Moon (cover album) 7"
Joy Division - Box Set 12"
Julian Casablancas - 11th Dimension/Long Island Blues 7"
Pavement - Quarantine the Past: The Best of Pavement 12"
Ramones - Ramones Mania Double 12"
Sonic Youth - Hits Are Squares Double LP
Telekinesis - Dirty Thing/Non-toxic, The Drawback 7"
Weezer - Ratitude Happy Record Store Day

Record Store Day is your opportunity to get several exclusive releases as well as pre-releases of single and albums. So check the Record Store Day website for participating record stores near you and celebrate Record Store Day!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Against Me! releases new video

Against Me! are unequivocally one of the most punk-y of all the punk bands around today. And now after a recent drummer change, they're offering up some more of what they do oh so well. The video for single "Rapid Decompression" off their upcoming June 8th album White Crosses features the band playing in front of a bunch of rowdy youths before things break out into an all out mosh-fest. It's fast-paced, short, and hard-hitting, just like good punk music should be. Check it out:

Amanda Palmer releases free song

Amanda Palmer (of The Dresden Dolls fame) is free, free of her contract to Roadrunner Records and celebrating by offering fans a free download of her song "Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass". It's upbeat and all about doing whatever you want and you can totally hear the elation in her voice. Enjoy:

<a href="">Do You Swear To Tell The Truth The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth So Help Your Black Ass by Amanda Palmer</a>

Maps & Atlases reveal album and tour details

It's a good day for Maps & Atlases fans as they recently released a new track "Solid Ground" on their Myspace, revealed the release date of their debut full-length Perch Patchwork for June 26th,an announced a new US tour besides Scotland's Frightened Rabbit.

Hear the new track and check to see if their playing by you at their Myspace here:

Hear their two previous EPs to gear up for the latest release here:
<a href="">Everyplace Is A House by Maps &amp; Atlases</a>

<a href="">Witch by Maps &amp; Atlases</a>

Good Old War - Only Way To Be Alone (2008)

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It's no secret that I'm a sucker for artful, melody-driven folk and Good Old War delivers that with their debut album Only Way To Be Alone. The trio fits together almost perfectly, aptly showcasing Keith Goodwin's vocals that seem to practically burst with a raw honesty and sentimentally. The band achieves a level of combined musicianship that often takes tons of years to master and their three-part vocal harmonies are downright heavenly. Even when outside collaborators Anthony Green, Dave Davison, and Unlikely Cowboy's Alison Wadsworth are featured on tracks "Weak Man" and "Stay By My Side" you can hardly tell they're not members of the band. From the opening strains of "Coney Island" to the harmony-laden "Stay By My Side" the album is pure folksy goodness guaranteed to please.

You can preview the whole album at their bandcamp or here:
<a href="">Coney Island by Good Old War</a>

The band's sophomore album is currently in the works so keep your eyes open for news on that front and check out their tour schedule to see if you can make a show.

28 Costumes release new song and announce tracklist

Not too far back I mentioned 28 Costumes was going to release their new album this summer, well this Saturday a luck 100 concertgoers will get the chance to own the album before it's release date. For all the rest of us though 28 Costumes has put up a new song on their Myspace called "Liked Me After All?"

They also announced their tracklist which is as follows:
1. Inside/Outside
2. You Excite Me
3. This Band Has Eaten All Our Money
4. I Get Filled With Rage
5. Walking At Pace Uphill
6. Erika
7. Liked Me After All?
8. Blame
9. You Belong
10. I've Been Repeating Myself For A Long Time

Listen to it here:

Good Old War announce US Tour

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Philadelphia folk trio Good Old War just announced the dates for their upcoming headlining tour with Yukon Blonde and Audra Mae (whom I've never heard of but I'm sure are great) here's a list of their upcoming shows:

5/20 The Note - West Chester, Pennsylvania
5/24 Smiling Moose - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
5/25 The Grog Shop - Cleveland Heights, Ohio
5/26 Magic Stick - Detroit, Michigan
5/28 Beat Kitchen - Chicago, Illinois
5/29 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, Minnesota
5/30 Slow Down - Omaha, Nebraska
5/31 The Marquis Theater - Denver, Colorado
6/3 The Venue - Boise, Idaho
6/4 El Corazon - Seattle, Washington
6/5 Hawthorne Theater - Portland, Oregon
6/7 Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, California
6/9 SOMA - San Diego, California
6/11 Troubadour - Los Angeles, California
6/14 The Loft - Dallas, Texas
6/15 Zombies - San Antonio, Texas
6/19 Backbooth - Orlando, Florida
6/21 Masquerade - Atlanta, Georgia
6/22 Tremont Music Hall - Charlotte, North Carolina
6/23 Ottobar - Baltimore, Maryland
6/25 Maxwell's - Hoboken, New Jersey
6/26 The Studio at Webster Hall - New York, New York
6/27 The Middle East - Cambridge, Massachusetts

So if Good Old War is playing in a city near you, I strongly recommend you buy a ticket. You won't be disappointed. Never heard of them? Get a taste here:

You can also catch them at Bamboozle New Jersey on May 2nd along with great acts like Kevin Devine, Matt & Kim, MGMT, Minus the Bear, and OK Go.

Megafaun releases new song

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Freak folk rockers Megafaun have been pretty busy with the their first major headlining tour in support of their sophomore record Gather, Form, & Fly that I didn't expect to hear anything from them for some time. Well, the band recently put up a new song on their Myspace called "Volunteers". The extensive tour with serve to introduce fans to new songs off their mini-album Heretofore, to be released this summer. So check the new song out at their Myspace and if it's your cup of tea look for a Megafaun show near you:

Also the band plans on recording another album this fall so stay tuned for more info on that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pitstop: Elle s'appelle

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Meet Elle s'appelle. French for "She is called", the powerpop three piece is actually no more but in a fit of nostalgia I felt the need to mention them. Composed of Andy Donovan on bass, Lucy Blakely on keys, and Owen Cox on drums, the trio created energetic pieces they called "hyperactive nursery rhymes" probably called such for the lightning quickness and sing-a-long quality of their songs. The news of the bands break ocurred in August of 2008 with a post on their Myspace by Donovan stating that he was leaving to lend his guitar skills to fellow Liverpool band 28 Costumes and that the other members were moving on to other possibly not musical things and mentioned a possible Where Are They Now? type article (that I'm still waiting for). It was a sad day especially cause the band was hard at work on their debut album. The band had only one previous release for their single "Little Flame" released on Moshi Moshi Records. And so while fans wait for news of the bandmates happenings, fiend for album recordings to surface, and hold out for hope that the band will get back together, enjoy this video of the band playing a four song set on City Centre Social:

You can also hear music from the band on their myspace page:

Watch - Freelance Whales - "Generator 2nd Floor"

With an appearance at SXSW and an upcoming slot at Lollapalooza, it's pretty needless to say that Queens based Freelance Whales is an up and coming band to watch. About to release their debut album Weathervanes on April 13th, the band has recently uploaded their debut video on Myspace for the track "Generator Second Floor".

The video features the band members walking across a snowy wasteland dressed in Mexican skeleton masks, ponchos, and sombreros led by their lead singer/banjoist. The band encounters a girl lying on a blanket in a snowfree foresty area and awaken her by tying electical chords around her limbs and playing and in return she gives them a basket of apples and they proceed across the frozen landscape burying them in the snow followed by them turning into apple trees. It's very Johnny Appleseed meets Frankstein.

Watch it here:

Freelance Whales - Generator 2nd Floor

Freelance Whales | MySpace Music Videos

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pitstop: Hot Club de Paris

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Meet Hot Club de Paris. The Liverpool band consists of Paul Rafferty and brothers Alasdair and Matt Smith. The trio manages to combine catchy pop hooks and punky vocals with complex rhythms and technical clarity to create a more accessible type of math rock. Although I doubt that's what they call it because unlike math rock groups that set out to create dazzlingly complex songs, Hot Club de Paris does it pretty much cause they're tired of playing in 4. Releasing the With Days Like This As Cheap As Chewing Gum, Why Would Anyone Want to Work? EP earlier in February, the band is already at work recording another EP set for release at the end of May before beginning to work on a brand new album this summer. The new album will be their third after the 2006 Drop It 'til It Pops and 2008's Live at Dead Lake (which contrary to what it's title may suggest is not a live album). The band certainly is keeping busy as they're also playing a seemingly endless stream of UK shows in what looks like practically everyday of June. I certainly can't wait to hear more from them and hope they decide to do a US tour soon.

Hear what the band sounds like in their video for "Shipwreck" off their debut album Drop It 'til It Pops here:

And if you like what you hear you can check out more of their music on their Myspace:

The Lodger to release new album

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British indie pop rock outfit The Lodger is releasing their third album Flashbacks this April 26th and I for one couldn't be more excited. The band's last album Life is Sweet was released almost two years ago so it's about time the band offered up some new tunes. Hopefully the new album will be a continuance of their subtle and sweet poppy style but I'm sure any new-found change in direction probably wouldn't be frowned upon by fans.

Today the band releases their "Have a Little Faith in People" single on This is Fake DIY Records to ease the burden while fans wait for the album. Enjoy the video for Have a Little Faith in People":

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Slash's debut album available for streaming

So this was news to me. Apparently Slash of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver fame went solo. Found out this tidbit while on and thought it might be an April Fool's joke only to realize the article was published after April Fool's Day so that would make no sense. Not only that but he's releasing a solo album next week. The album brings in guest vocalists like Kid Rock, Dave Grohl, Iggy Pop, Ozzy Osbourne, and Fergie. The album is available to stream so give it a listen if it sounds like your cup of tea or if you just need to find out that this is real.

Listen to the steaming album here:

Justin Bieber to be on SNL

Saturday Night Live, the sketch comedy show is well watched and has had numerous musicians of high caliber on it, even helping to jumpstart the careers of some in the case of British jazz pop artist Adele. Widely popular but still tasteful artists like Beyonce, Rhianna, and Lady Gaga. Stellar musicians and singer/songwriters like Regina Spektor, Fleet Foxes, and Vampire Weekend. So imagine my surprise when I saw for Tina Fey's return episode on April 10th that her musical guest was Justin Bieber. Shock and appalled were only two of the emotions I felt. Especially after seeing Pearl Jam perform not moments before. This is only one example of the ongoing tween invasion as I saw Disney Channel star Demi Lovato on The Soup this past Friday. She didn't sing but the damage was done. As I watched as host Joel McHale let her promote her show on the Disney Channel I couldn't help but notice that my interest in the rest of the show drained. Don't get me wrong, I still finished watching the episode and I'm probably going going to watch that SNL because I love the show and consider them to be legitimate programs despite these small blemishes but chances are when it's time for Bieber to perform I'm going to either change the channel or leave the room. Nothing personal Biebs, I just don't think you're a legitimate musician and don't want to listen to you.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kate Nash to release sophomore album in April

I hadn't heard anything from her in awhile so I was excited and surprised to hear that Kate Nash is releasing a new album titled My Best Friend Is You on April 19th as well as embarking on a US tour in which several of the dates have already sold out.

The music video for first single "Do Wah Doo" is set aboard a plane in the 1950s and has Nash competing with a fellow stewardess for the love of another flight attendant along with random in the aisle choreography. See it here:

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Watch: Gin Wigmore - "Hey Ho"

Seems like it's new video week as on top of MGMT and Janelle Monae's new videos, Gin Wigmore celebrates her newfound residency in the US with the release of "Hey Ho" the third single from Holy Smoke with a video. The video features Wigmore traipsing about a desert in old school western dress with numerous objects of torture like whips, pistols, and even a shotgun accompanying by two reacting fat ladies, and a mariachi band. Don't worry it all kinda makes sense.

Watch: Janelle Monae - "Tightrope"

Janelle Monae released the "Tightrope" single earlier and fans have been eagerly awaiting the video from the quirky but lovable songstress. Now hey no longer have to wait. Monae released the video yesterday. The latest sojourn into Monae's Metropolis sees the revealing of an anti-dancing law and has the singer in a mental hospital called The Palace of Dogs. Monae had said that the new album The Arch-Android would have the heroine Cindi Mayweather acting a more of a rebel and this can be seen when she rallies the hospital patients (whose uniform are actually fancy unisex tuxes) into having a secret dance party before it is subdued by creepy mirror-faced guards. Big Boi of OutKast also features on his young protege's track. The track also features a funky brass section that both provide the music for the dance party and the track itself.
Watch it here:

Also Monae has moved up the release date of her album from the 25th to the 18th of May.