Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Next Tuesday marks the release of the much anticipated album, Tripper, from math rock titans Hella. In celebration, give their track “Yubacore” a spin below alongside many other tunes that have captured my interest in this week’s new track rundown. Two of my favorite modern songwriters, Jens Lekman and Richard Swift, have teased fans with new material and they are both still on top of their game. I hadn’t heard much from Gauntlet Hair but their single “Top Bunk” is very impressive with its reverb-drenched breezy sound and has me anxiously awaiting their self-titled debut. One of the best band name changes in history, Born Gold used to be known as Gobble Gobble and although they sport a different moniker, the electropop band still retains the feel-good, party-ready sound that fans have come to love. We also have the pleasure of hearing the first track from the obviously awesome collaboration between Doom and Ghostface Killah under the name Doomstarks. To round things out is an amazing remix of one of the year’s best singles (SBTRKT – “Wildfire”) featuring the unstoppable hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces and another new track from Zammuto (Nick Zammuto of The Books).
Monday, August 22, 2011
Alabama Shakes (formally The Shakes) play a rare breed of music that can instantly move you. They take the soul revivalist movement to the next level showing that have their ears deep in the roots of genuine blues and the most sincere soul. This is the sound of raw emotion being projected from your stereo. The swampy guitars and heartwrenching vocals of Brittany Howard are the driving force of the group. The easiest comparison would be to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings but the band definitely stand out with their own panache. If you are a fan of classic R&B and soul, the five tracks below are going to have you absolutely melting. The pure unadulterated talent kind of makes you feel silly for listening to most other modern music.
Last week, Doomstar! quietly played their last show ever much to my dismay. One of Boston’s most explosive and energetic live bands, Doomstar! will be missed and I am saddened by the fact that I will never get to see them live again. I still can’t listen to their song “Lily Face” without picturing the band freaking out during the bridge. They have released some of my favorite music in recent memory and have put on several very memorable shows I have attended. With that said, I'm glad the band called it quits when they felt it necessary instead of going through the motions and letting the music go stale. I look forward to hearing future efforts by members of the group. The band has left us with a video of "Sea Gull" performed during their last show at the Middlesex Lounge via The Boston Phoenix. Watch the video below and stream Rainbow Bloodsucker, one of last year's best releases.
Teen Jamz is the debut EP from 90s revivalist Sam McGarrigle who records under the moniker Gross Magic. Gross Magic has been a frequent addition to my new track rundown segments due to the unique mixture of 90s influences the band successfully employs. Start with a dose of lo-fi singer/songwriter, add a dash of Beck, sprinkle in some grungy riffs, and you have Gross Magic. Listen to the five catchy and unique tracks that comprise Teen Jamz below.
Danny Brown has been making huge waves in the hip-hop world as of late. It's easy to see why with his latest release XXX. The rapper’s nasally vocals and unique flow make XXX an intriguing breath of fresh air. From fuzzy electronic beats (“Monopoly”) to spaced out jams (“DNA”), the album does not tire from track to track. The title is more of a reference to Brown turning thirty than it is a statement about the content. He has a lot to say on this release and isn’t afraid to get personal while referencing everything from 2Pac to Nintendo. Mtv has a great piece on the buzz-worthy rapper that covers the trials Brown faced including drug addiction and a failed G-Unit deal that fell through because he didn't fit their look. The album is available for free courtesy of Fool's Gold and can also be streamed after the jump.
In case you missed it, Radiohead gave the world another free gift last week in the form of a live performance streaming in it's entirety on YouTube. It features the band playing all eight tracks from the underrated [I never thought I would be saying that about a Radiohead album] The King of Limbs as well as "Staircase" and "The Daily Mail". The performance is available for a limited time so don't miss out! Watch it after the jump.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Holy smokes! Since, the last time we ran through the internet’s latest tracks, there has been a buffet of jams released from my most anticipated albums. Through a clever tweeting campaign, St. Vincent has launched the first single from Strange Mercy, “Surgeon”, into the blogosphere. Girls show that they will not shy away from their Pink Floyd influence on the sprawling “Vomit”. The biggest story, however, might be the addictive “Midnight City”, the first single from M83’s upcoming record, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Dum Dum Girls' epic slow jam “Coming Down” has me speechless as far as a band progressing and maturing in a short amount of time. The Drums continue their streak of writing irresistible pop gems with “Money”. “Rifle Eyesite” is apparently the album opener from Cymbals Eat Guitars latest, Lenses Alien. That is one hell of a way to open an album! Scotland’s We Were Promised Jetpacks display their penchant for epic songwriting brimming with emotion on “Act on Impulse”. To close things out are The Shakes with “You Ain’t Alone”. A big shout out goes to Aquarium Drunkard for discovering that one. It is one of the finest soul/R&B revival songs I have ever heard. All these can be found below alongside a whole heap of other great tunes.
There was a period of time last year where I was going to a basement show at least once a week. One of my favorite DIY venues was Wadzilla Mansion. It was subsequently shutdown since it was operating as a venue without the necessary permits. On July 23, 2011, I had the chance to once again experience an intimate performance at the excellent DIY spot when Grass is Green and Hammer No More the Fingers treated the crowd to some mathy alternative jams.
I feel like solid metal shows are getting fewer and fewer in Boston these days. That’s why I jumped on the opportunity to see Helms Alee, Big Business, and Torche when they came to the Middle East in Cambridge, MA on July 21, 2010. All three bands are all signed to Hydra Head, a label that has a never-ending streak of releasing the most creative records in heavy music. I have written about Torche on this website numerous times and they never disappoint. Helms Alee and Big Business both have new releases that have more than exceeded my expectations. Together, these bands put on a memorable show of earsplitting goodness.
Moonface’s album Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped is extremely hit or miss. An album comprised of vocals, drum machines, and synth isn’t exactly most peoples’ thing. I am a fan of the weird, the strange, the peculiar and thus had no probably being immersed in the rich organ-centric sound. I also never miss a chance to see a Spencer Krug project (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown) when it comes to town. On July 19, 2011, I had my first Moonface experience at Great Scott in Boston, MA and it was quite a memorable one.