Thursday, June 25, 2009
Portugal. The Man's latest album The Satanic Satanist has leaked to the internet. In response, singer/guitarist John Baldwin Gourley has issued a statement about his feelings towards the early leak. This isn't your typical 'you are hurting the artist' rant. Quite the contrary, he asserts that he has always been a proponent of downloading but understands the complexity of the issue. The lengthy statement can be read here and I highly recommend it because the statement touches upon a lot of the aspects involving how much the interaction between fans and music has changed since downloading has become a norm.
The weather here in New England has been as bad as it gets. It's rained for almost two weeks straight with seemingly no end in sight and the effects can be seen everywhere. People are feeling depression set in, the streets have been empty, and the parks are dirty mud pits. Regardless, there is some news that will brighten the day (at least for fans of old school 90s emo music): Sunny Day Real Estate have announced that they will embark on a reunion tour with their original lineup; you know, the one responsible for creating the seminal 1994 record, Diary. To help celebrate, Sub Pop will also be reissuing re-mastered, bonus-tracked copies of Diary and LP2 on 9/15. Both will also include new liner notes. This might not be the best news in the world but it's certainly got me excited. I guess it is ironic being cheered up by emo music. Hopefully, there will be a sunny day here before the band comes to town. Dates below along with some videos of the band from the early 90s including the music videos for "Seven" and "In Circles", the first two songs on Diary. The songs have since become classics and were instrumental in the development of emo music. Also posted, a live version of "Seven" performed on the short lived Jon Stewart Show on Mtv as well as their perform of the song on 120 Minutes on the same network.
If you haven't heard the new Dinosaur Jr. album Farm, stop what you are doing and give it a listen. Don't worry if you have a very important report due this afternoon that your boss is all over you about. Listening to J. Mascis effortlessly blaze through scales on the guitar is much more important. The classic JLouMurph lineup is back with another timeless piece of grungy rock and they are taking it on the road. I can't stress enough how great their new album is and how amazed I am that they can retain the same energy that they had back in the 80s. They have solidified their position as the best aging rockers in music and the video for "Over It" also displays that they still know how to have fun as well. Below is the video, the tour dates, and standout track "I Want You to Know". Lou Barlow is doing double duty opening a number of these dates.
Being a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I thought I already hated the Dallas Cowboys as much as I possibly could. Well, it turns out that the Dallas Cowboys have concocted a plan to anger me even more. Apparently, three members of the team felt the need to test my love of music by starting a shitty nu-metal/pseudo-metalcore band called Free Reign. The group features Marc Colombo, Cory Procter, and Leonard Davis of the Dallas Cowboys who banded together to test the limits of what can be considered music (see: the laughable vocals on "All in Vain"). Now if this is a joke, my hat goes off to them. Unfortunately, it will probably just serve as another reason for bros to like "America's team".
This week there is a plethora of great albums coming out which will be blogged about endlessly all over the internet including The Mars Volta – Octahedron, Dinosaur Jr. – Farm, Alexisonfire – Old Crows/Young Cardinals, The Dear Hunter – Act III: Life and Death, and Sunset Rubdown – Dragonslayer. However, I am going to put the spotlight on one that has been flying well under the radar: Future of the Left – Travels with Myself and Another.
Although I consider myself a huge fan of Animal Collective, I was never really able to get into Spirit They're Gone, Spirit They've Vanished. When I saw them live on May 14, 2009 at the House of Blues in Boston, they came out for an encore and played an incredible rendition of "Chocolate Girl" from the aforementioned album. Every since then, I have been in love with the song. The static melody and joyful synths create a dreamlike feel as only Animal Collective can. Experience it for yourself:
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The suspiciously Pavement-esque indie rock buzz band Cymbals Eat Guitars are set to release a new 7" out on Transparent records in the UK on July 20 and sold exclusively through Pure Groove. The 7" contains the single "…And the Hazy Sea" as well as the b-side "Tunguska" which features some of their most creative songwriting. As an added bonus for purchasing the single, the first 300 buyers get a slap bracelet. You can also head over to their MySpace and download the track in exchange for your email address.
Anyone worried that Modest Mouse was going to stop writing weird epic songs can now rest easy. The band is streaming a new song called “The Whale Song” and it is a brooding tune featuring a sea of dissonant guitars. It comes from their upcoming release No One's First and You're Next due out in August.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Sunset Rubdown has always been my favorite of all the projects involving Spencer Krug. This is saying quite a bit seeing as he has consistently released amazing albums with Wolf Parade and Swan Lake as well. In fact, Swan Lake which also features Dan Bejar (Destroyer) and Carey Mercer (Frog Eyes) have released a highly underappreciated album, Enemy Mine, earlier this year. However, it is easily outshadowed by the incredible new Sunset Rubdown record, Dragonslayer, which is vying for a place as album of the year.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am a sucker for a beautiful girl with a guitar. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I am a fan of Jenny Lewis who is one of the most gorgeous and talented women in music today. I had the pleasure of seeing her at the House of Blues in Boston on June 10, 2009 and it was quite a performance. Jenny Lewis puts a lot of heart and soul into her indie folk and it translated beautifully to the live stage. Accompanied by an impressive ensemble of musicians, she got right into it with a lively performance of "See Fernando" from her latest album Acid Tongue.
On June 5, 2009, I had the pleasure of watching Isis destroy eardrums with their crushing riffs and hypnotize the audience through ambient jams at Paradise Rock Club in Boston. The set which lasted over 90 minutes included classics from their entire catalog but was heavy on tracks from Wavering Radiant, their excellent album released earlier this year. The band had outstanding chemistry as they dove headfirst into their signature mix of quiet and loud dynamics.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Nine Inch Nails mastermind Trent Reznor has announced that he is done operating under his infamous moniker. Fortunately, I was lucky to see Nine Inch Nails perform on June 3, 2009 at the Comcast Center in Mansfield, MA. It was incredible to see personal favorites such as "Somewhat Damaged", "March of the Pigs", and "Wish" performed with so much energy in a live setting. It's sad to think that this will be the last time I will see Nine Inch Nails but it was a fitting farewell either way. Mr. Reznor even made a heart wrenching speech before performing "La Mer" about how it was the only song he could write while alone in a Massachusetts home contemplating suicide. Then he announced that he was going to go back there and get married. It shows that he has come quite a long way from the angst ridden and depressing messages in Nine Inch Nails' music. It also provided some insight into why he is ready to throw in the towel along with his trouble with idiots on the internet. Jane's Addiction rounded the night off perfectly with a captivating set of old favorites. I have seen them once before and they have not lost a step in their powerful delivery of classic material. Below are the set lists for the show: