Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Street Sweeper Social Club

I swear, I have like 6 posts that are saved as drafts right now. Several reviews and other posts coming soon. In the mean time...

Street Sweeper Social Club just announced a new E.P., The Ghetto Blaster, to be released Tuesday, August 10th. You can pre-order it here and you can also listen to their cover of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes" right here.

They've been playing "Paper Planes" live for awhile now. I saw it back when they opened for NIN and Jane's Addiction. The song, performed live, is pretty awesome. Super loud and pretty heavy. But for some reason this studio version sounds pretty flat. Boring almost. Zack's pissed off vocals always kept RATM's rap-rock sound from sounding tame and dry. I mean, what happens to hip-hop if you strip the booming bass and replace it with guitar? Well, as long as you have a vocalist who raps like a madman, you'll still come out with something heavy. But if you have a vocalist who sounds happy, it kills the metal and you're left with almost nothing. Hopefully the E.P. rocks harder than this teaser track. I'm actually pretty angry about this because I really hoped they'd record it and capture the same sound they had live.

Friday, July 16, 2010

RATM tix on sale Monday

According to ticketmaster, tickets for the Palladium show (next Friday) go on sale this Monday at 10am. It also states that tickets are $50.

Probably worth it as this promises to be a pissed off and eventful show.

Good luck.

Deerhunter, new album, Sept 28

Good Morning.

Saw this on Pitchfork this morning... looks like Deerhunter has a new album, titled Halcyon Digest, that will be out Sept. 28.

If you head over to their website, there is a poster you can print out. They want you to hang it around your town to promote the new album and, if you do, you can apparently send in photographic evidence to to ensure that you hear the single first.

Not sure if that's worth the effort, or the ink, but I'm all for supporting this noise-rock/ambient-rock band. I say noise-rock/ambient-rock because that's the easiest (not most accurate) way to classify the type of work they've done so far. Their debut was total Liars, noise, anger style rock. Their follow-ups have been much prettier, soothing, and more ambient-rock than noise-rock***. During an interview in 2005, lead vocalist and frontman Bradford Cox said:

The first album is influenced by all these chaotic things that were happening at the time. Our original bass player passed away in a skateboarding accident. He was a very big influence on us as a person and as a friend. He was a very positive person. So I would say, if anything, that the album was the result of a lot of negativity. It was a final statement for that set of feelings, I guess. Once it was done, I said, "OK, I don't ever want to make this album again."

While I'm super happy for the band to have seemingly migrated away from all of the negativity, I'm a little bummed that their music has been so different from what I feel was an amazing debut. Anyways, it's a bit pricey to purchase the debut and it's not really on myspace or (only 1 song), so torrent it if you're really curious. If you're interested in their later work though, well, that's all over the place.

***I think I need to work on a word for what I typically call "noise." More on this later...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Almost forgot... Best Coast streaming

Go here, right now, and stream Best Coast's upcoming album. Comes out on the 27th.

Zack de la Rocha & RATM

A couple things are going on with our favorite musician/activist.

  • One Day As A Lion (Zack from RATM and Jon Theodore from Mars Volta) are playing 2 L.A. shows all of the sudden. Tickets went on sale yesterday and, from the looks of it, they're no longer available online. Luckily, you can still grab them in some record stores. Here are the deets...
  1. July 17 - Pomona - Tickets available at Fingerprints Music, Long Beach or The Glasshouse Record Store, Pomona.
  2. July 18 - Los Angeles - Tickets available at Origami Vinyl, Los Angeles.
  • Also! ... It looks like Rage Against The Machine will be playing in Los Angeles (which they haven't done in like 10 years). It's strictly a protest/benefit type show regarding the AZ nonsense and will be at the Palladium on July 23. Check the above link for the official press release.
In short, this is all happening very fast so get to work if you wanna see Zack/Rage.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I was spending a few days in the Stone Age (Winters, CA). Anyways, I've had the chance to listen to /\/\ /\ Y /\ a few times now and I've got a few thoughts on the album.

Overall, it's solid work that doesn't stray too far from what M.I.A. has done in her previous efforts (and I think that's a good thing). She continues to combine pop, electronica, rap, reggae, noisy guitars, lots of bass, chanting, etc. to create coherent tracks that range from pick-me-up songs like "It Takes a Muscle" to bitter and angry loudness like "Born Free." (BTW, if you never watched the super-intense, not-work-appropriate video for "Born Free," watch it now. At least get through the 6:51 mark.)

It seems that M.IA. has allowed herself a little more freedom in terms of embracing noise. She's got a slightly more industrial vibe (most blatantly, the drills in "Steppin Up") with this album that I'm totally digging. And she pushes the echo, reverb, and distortion on her vocals a little further than in the past.

Pair that up with political themes throughout and the overall effect is kinda like Mickey Mouse fighting the forces of evil during Fantasmic (note: I frikkin love Mickey so that comparison holds a lot of weight). Maya is standing there, orchestrating a whole lot of chaos into a controlled harmony to battle those who won't tell the complete story of what's happening around the world. Even if it means she has to deal with death threats directed at her kid.

Once again (I already posted this), most of the album is streaming here.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Outside Lands and Treasure Island

It was recently brought to my attention by my younger brother that the Outside Lands Music Festival lineup was recently announced. More importantly, it was brought to my attention that Cat Power will be there. :D

August 14-15. Single day passes are $75, 2-day passes are $140. Other exciting artists include Phoenix, The Temper Trap, & The Strokes, to name a few. Honestly, I'm not overwhelmingly impressed by the lineup, but Cat Power (who doesn't perform very much) might be able to squeeze a single day pass out of my wallet.

Also, I figured I'd check the other big Bay Area festival coming up soon (Oct 16-17), Treasure Island Music Festival. Looks like the lineup comes out on Monday! Dear God I hope these predictions are correct...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Most of M.I.A.'s New Album on Myspace

If you're dying to hear the new album, /\/\ /\ Y /\, head over to M.I.A.'s Myspace. Pitchfork reported this a few hours ago, saying the "entire" album was out. And, well, most of it is.

Unfortunately, we're still waiting for the track "Lovalot", which one Spin reviewer stated was her "riskiest gambit yet." Cool news, nonetheless!

I'll definitely be back to post my full feelings on the album, but for now, go listen!

The Happy Hollows

Earlier this year, during the chaos and disappointment of Coachella no longer selling single day passes, several sweet bands from around the area played a free show (No-Chella) on the Pomona College campus.

Among the bands were a trio known as The Happy Hollows. The singer/guitarist Sarah Negahdari definitely MAKES the band for me. With a Karen-O-esque voice and a powerful strumming hand that rips out super-sick guitar riffs... I'd totally pay to see her strumpunching someone.

Anyways, I've been wanting to see them again and I just ran across a new opportunity (read: free show) to do so. The Hammer Museum at UCLA is putting on a series of free shows this month to promote a few burgeoning bands. KCRW is helping to put this on and it looks like the plan is two bands, with a KCRW DJ filling in the breaks, every Thursday night till July 22. This Thursday, July 8th, The Happy Hollows and Admiral Radley are playing at 8pm. Check out the above link for more info.

You can stream The Happy Hollows album Spells here and you can download the B-sides here for any price you wish to pay (or for free). I particularly enjoy the track Lieutenant, so maybe check that one out AT LEAST. :D*

Friday, July 2, 2010

Music for the week...

Since I get bored just posting news and reviews, I'm going to throw weekly updates of "what I'm listening to" (or, actually, what I listened to for the last week). Let's see if this revives my dependence on or what! This first list is probably covering the last ~2 weeks. And it certainly leaves out random songs and short plays of random albums. This is what I have been purposefully listening to. Anyways, here goes...

  • Christina Aguilera's Bionic - Aguilera has returned... from the future lol. She's done your basic pop, and was great at it. She did old-school (by old school, I mean old-school blues, soul, and all that jazz), and I really dug it. Now, she's doing bass heavy pop that's electronic-influenced. Good stuff.
  • HEALTH's ::DISCO2 - Remixes of Get Color by the likes of Crystal Castles, Pictureplane, Gold Panda, ... .
  • Owl City's Ocean Eyes - Doing this to maintain cultural awareness. At least, that's what I tell myself.
  • Uffie's Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans - I heard this was bad (and it is). But I look at the sun sometimes too.
  • Devo's Something for Everybody - Fun in concentrated form.
  • Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster - This has owned my car's stereo for awhile now.
  • Best Coast (no particular album, just whatever I can find online)
  • The Sea and Cake's Everybody - These guys are going to be with Broken Social Scene in the fall.
  • The Like's Release Me - Already told you about this...
  • Sleigh Bells' Treats - Jackie's wake up music.
  • Kele's The Boxer - Solid club music.

And some oldies but goodies...

Ramones' The Ramones, The Clash's The Clash, and David Bowie's David Bowie. Self-titled albums rule.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Update from Trent Reznor!

It looks like Trent and Atticus Ross put together the score for David Fincher's "The Social Network."

Check out the full story here.

Two new MIA songs

Head over to MIA's Myspace to check out her two new songs, Tegkilla and a remix of XXXO by Various.

I'm pretty stoked for her new album, / \ / \ / \ Y / \, which comes out July 13th.