Saturday, February 28, 2009

Tim Exile - Listening Tree


01. Don't Think We're One
02. Family Galaxy
03. Fortress
04. There's Nothing Left Of Me But Her And This
05. Pay Tomorrow
06. Bad Dust
07. Carouselle
08. When Every Day's A Number
09. Listening Tree
10. I Saw The Weak Hand Fall


Tim Exile is set to release his second album, Listening Tree, through Planet Mu and Warp later in the year.

Exile began his musical career in 2000, releasing drum & bass on labels such as Beta and Moving Shadow, but as the years progressed, his sound started to become more complicated and abstract. This was mostly due to his obsession with the Reaktor software, which enabled him to spend much of his time creating new and interesting sounds from scratch. His debut full-length, 2006's Pro Agonist, saw him add elements of breakcore to his constantly mutating hyper-breakbeats, but that gradual change in style is nothing compared to the total departure that he's taken onListening Tree.

Long-term fans may be shocked to know that Listening Tree is peppered with Exile's own vocal tracks, as he tackles issues such as Britain's buy-now-pay-later culture, and even the dynamic nature of the universe on "Family Galaxy," the first single. "'Family Galaxy' is about the constant process of change that underpins everything," explains Exile. "It's a tale from a thingless world where nothing stays the same. As 'now' shines its shifting shades on 'then,' so our ideas of what we have done and will do continually morph."

The result is an eccentric electro-pop album that is just as likely to appeal to fans ofHot Chip as it is Otto Von Schirach...www.residentadvisor.net

Tokyo Black Star - Black Ships


01. Powder Dreams
02. Caballero
03. Violent Rush
04. Black Star feat. Rich Medina
05. Reincarnation
06. Still Sequence
07. Deep Sea
08. Kagura
09. Game Over
10. Midnight Emperor
11. Intermission
12. AES-S3
13. Sepiaphone
14. Blade Dancer Beatless

Innervisions has announced that they will release the debut full-length of home-listening act Tokyo Black Star in March.

For listeners familiar with the lead single from the album, "Game Over," Black Shipsshould come as little surprise. The focus here is on worlds of sound that employ analogue synthesizers and warm, rounded drums. It's not exactly chill-out, as there are beats to be had throughout, but it isn't exactly peak-time fodder either. (Although "Caballero" comes close by its end.) The press release puts it thusly: "At once a nonfiction travel diary, and at the same time a supreme fiction of traveling through the world of imagination, Black Ships comes just in time to transport you beyond our fragile planet."...www.residentadvisor.net

Emeralds - What Happened


1.   Alive In The Sea Of Information                   
2.   Damaged Kids                                    
3.   Up In The Air                                      
4.   Living Room                                      
5.   Disappearing Ink   

I expected something different from Emeralds. The name suggests a music at once multi-faceted, brightly shimmering and hard to the core. But the image, of three neo-grunge dudes slumped anonymously over samplers and synths suggests something altogether sleazier; low-rent. Maybe a poor man’s Wolf Eyes. Or, dare we utter it, a bit like Sightings circa 2004?

 

Thankfully, the latter is not the case. Nor the former, though Wolf Eyes themselves are a fine combo. The album is split into five slices, two brief (in other words, under ten minutes) and three temporally solid entries. ‘Alive in the Sea of Information’ – a snip at eight minutes – opens What Happened in quite pleasant style. Jetson-futurist sparkles dance across the stereo image over black synth gurgle, while super-slow pitch-bend recalls the Plaid-in-molasses of ‘Kid A’. Then a beast of a note invades the serenity, consuming all in its path. An uneasy equilibrium is reached, where neither side truly wins. It is at this point that a stretched-out human note joins the fray. The disembodied voice of God, taking no sides in this eternal struggle between light and shade. 

 

This theme of ugly clashing with beautiful recurs throughout What Happened. ‘Damaged Kids’ spends an eternity bound in a chrysalis composed of oscillation and delay. Once it breaks through, it takes flight into the night on silken wings of effected guitar strings in a Beautiful Place out in the Country. But beyond the Boards it treads, strumming, thrumming guitars bring the dread, turning out the stars like lights as their clattering volume increases. 

 

After the brevity of ‘Up in the Air’, we get an electro take on Boris’ Flood, in the disarmingly named ‘Living Room’. Steady drip-drip guitar-picking slowly pools on the sonic floor as a fat synth-bass note lurks in the shadows. This fuzz tone builds and shapes, steadily, into an electronic scythe. The scythe then slices clean through the skull of the mix. Pink flowers nervously blossom on the brain stem, their radiance refracting shards of light on the murky underworld of Kevin Drumm’s fantastic Imperial Distortion. The flowers flourish and tangle with the handle of the scythe, both competing and complementing in the kinetic melee. Then it ends, abruptly.

 

Final track ‘Disappearing Ink’ is a victory in motionless dynamics. Those pink flowers reverse-engineer into trees, while bees attempt to go about their nectar harvesting business even as amber hardens around their feet. This is music of paradox: slow waves of melody and texture swarm upward in spirals. Ghosts of song haunt, but are confined to one space, doomed to eternally repeat their one pattern. This is a restless catatonia, where it all happens while time stands still...www.factmagazine.co.uk

The Qemists - Join The Q


01. Stompbox
02. Lost Weekend (Feat. Mike Patton) 
03. On The Run (Feat. Jenna G) 
04. Dem Na Like Me (Feat. Wiley)
05. S.W.A.G. (Intro) 
06. S.W.A.G. (Feat. Devlin Love)
07. Drop Audio (Feat. MC ID) 
08. When Ur Lonely 
09. Soundface (Feat. Beardyman)
10. Got One Life (Feat. MC Navigator)
11. The Perfect High 

JOIN The Q, the debut album by The Qemists, meshes the high energy of drum’n‘bass and rock with a wide-ranging set of sounds that betray the fact that the mysterious trio were a band before they took to the decks.

We’re talking dancehall, metal, electro, grime and hip hop with a smattering of respected guest vocalists.

But while they’re certainly at the top end of the drum ‘n’ bass revival (easily surpassing the likes of Pendulum and even some of The Prodigy’s more recent material), it does threaten to outstay its welcome on occasion.

Album opener Stompbox, for example, is an unrelenting distortion of drum ‘n’ bass sound that could just as easily leave you reaching to turn it off.

Even Lost Weekend flirts with being too one-note and is saved only by an emphatic rock vocal from Faith No More’s Mike Patton, which give it extra bite.

Hats off to The Qemists, then, for at least trying to mix things up at regular points and keeping things interesting and of wider appeal than the early tracks suggest.

Dem Na Like Me, for instance, finds Wiley adding some grime and Brit-pop to the mix for an invigorating workout that deservedly became a recent single, while Alabama 3’s Zoe Devlin Love adds some sultry soul to S.W.A.G, which unfolds over the course of two tracks and surely represents the album at its most sonically ambitious.

There’s a distinctly Nine Inch Nails feel to the industrial rock and drum ‘n’ bass mix that is the pumped up Drop Audio, featuring MC ID, and they even draw on house and pop for Got One Life, which namechecks south London and features another useful guest vocal from MC Navigator – not to mention a famous classical sample weaving its way in and out to appealing effect.

They end with a flourish, too… The Perfect High referencing the voiceover on Michael Jackson’s Thriller for opening effect, before dropping an utterly pulsating collision of orchestra, electronica and drum ‘n’ bass beats to, quite literally, finish things off in breathless, sweaty style.

It’s just a shame that Join The Q can’t quite maintain the high standards of its best tracks. If drum ‘n’ bass is your main music scene, you’ll be riveted. But for an album that threatened so much crossover appeal, it’s not nearly as accessible (or enjoyable) as it might have been.

Cougar - Patriot


01  Stay Famous
02  Florida Logic
03  Rhinelander
04  Pelourinho
05  Thundersnow
06  Heavy Into Jeff
07  Endings
08  This Is An Affidavit
09  Appomattox
10  Daunte v. Armada
11  Absaroka

Cougar finally have someone to release their second album. London-based independent labelNinja Tune, home to an eclectic roster of hip-hop and electronic artists such as Kid Koalaand Daedelus, is slated to release the Madison-formed band's new full-length, Patriot, later this year. The fit is appropriate: Cougar's 2006 album Law is a great instrumental-rock record, but Patriot, recorded with band members spread out around the country, deliberately sounds like less of a "band" record and ventures further into the creatively booming territories of instrumental electronica and left-field hip-hop—though without losing sight of Law's graceful, powerful foundation.

Pascal - Galgberget


01 Stort Och Vackert
02 Langtar Efter Dig
03 Jag Vill Ha Allt
04 Cadillac
05 Oslo
06 Alska Mig/Skjut Mig
07 Kom Ner
08 Rodlatta Man
09 Okenryttaren
10 Smartstillande
11 Min Enda Van
12 Galgberget


Pascal are back with their sophomore album called Galgberget and what a follow up it is. They have fine tuned their cave rock and are both heavier and noisier than ever. More anger and bitterness. More hate, longing and much much more love. Just as Pascal likes it.

It's still as raw and unpolished as before but with an added heaviness which gives them much more punch. Their talent for melodies and hooks that stick like gum are still intact. The first single & L'ngtar efter dig' (Longing for you) breaths much of the late eighties. And sure, much of their influences come from that era and the post punk scene but Elvis, Bruce Springsteen and Judas Priest. This is also what makes them truly unique, all their wide ranging personal influences mixed down to become Pascal.

Moderat - Moderat


01. A New Error
02. Rusty Nails
03. Seamonkey
04. Slow Match (feat. Paul St. Hilaire)
05. 3 Minutes Of
06. Nasty Silence
07. Sick With It (feat. Dellé aka Eased from Seeed)
08. Porc # 1
09. Porc # 2
10. No. 22
11. Out Of Sight

In recording Moderat’s self-titled album, the three men began by renting studio space at the legendary Berlin Hansa Studios in order to record the album in analog with the help of the studio’s vintage tube technology and an old EMI console from 1972, restored especially for Moderat. American software designer, Joshua Kit Clayton, was hired to program a superb reverb algorithm specifically for the recording process of this album. This exquisite sound design is one of the reasons why the promotional copies can be listened to only in mono. Finished copies will, of course, be in full stereo.

Additionally, during the first phases of recording the Moderat , Szary and Bronsert bought an EMT Model 140 Plate Reverb on an Internet auction and had to travel to Los Angeles to pick it up. While there, they met the Californian rapper Busdriver and the groundwork for “BeatsWaySick” was laid. Moderat continued to work on this with Busdriver from their respective continents. Unfortunately due to legal issues at the time of manufacturing, this track will be released as an exclusive download in the near future.

Back in the studio, the Berlin vocalist Delle (aka Eased) from leading German act Seeed found himself in Moderat’s studio room while on a quest to find a bottle opener. There on the spot, the three gents of Moderat finally waved good-bye to the concept of a mere instrumental album and said hello to vocal recordings and the song “Sick With It”. Coincidentally, they found older vocal recordings of Paul St. Hilaire that had been recorded by Szary and Bronsert way back on low-noise 1/4″ analog tape. Those recordings are what led to “Slow Match”. All this encouraged Szary and Bronsert to convince Ring it was time for him to contribute vocals, which can be heard on “Rusty Nails” and “Out Of Sight”. “Rusty Nails” is the first single, which will feature remixes by Shackleton and Booka Shade.

Maria Taylor - Ladyluck




1. LadyLuck
2. Time Lapse Lifeline
3. It's Time
4. My Favorite Love
5. 100,000 Times
6. Green Butterflies
7. Broad Daylight
8. A Chance
9. Orchids
10. Cartoons and Forever Plans

Maria Taylor is set to release her third solo album titled Ladyluck on April 7. Teaming up with producer friends Andy LeMaster (Bright Eyes, Azure Ray and a host of Saddle Creek label mates), Mike Mogis and Lukas Burton and featuring collaborations with Michael Stipe, Nate Walcott of Bright Eyes and Mckenzie Smith of Midlake, LadyLuck showcases Taylor's ability to pull at your heart strings while proving she's not a woman down on her luck.

Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did with Your Day



01. Life Of Dreams
02. Spill Yer Lungs
03. Lovers Of The World
04. Tailor
05. Heavy Snow
06. Nice To Come Home
07. Consolation Prize
08. Je Le Savais
09. When Brakes Get Wet
10. Borrowed Minivans
11. Blue
12. Glad To Be Alive

Over the last few years, it’s become increasingly easy to picture Julie Doiron writing songs from the comfort of her Sackville kitchen. Her sonic preferences have evolved from sludge and lo-fi melodies to tender tracks that expose hints of sadness delivered by a subdued voice and her emotions are spiked with the drama of a slowed down life filled with memories and dreams instead of the insecurities of youth. And while there’s no doubt that Doiron is incredibly successful writing in this style (Woke Myself Up earned a Polaris short-list nomination), for me it’s hard not to pine for the noise and energy that she and the other Tripper’s created in the 90’s. It’s obvious, even after working with her former band mates on Woke Myself Up, that Doiron is never going to fully return to that style, but I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day blends her past and present nicely...www.herohill.com

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware


01 Beware Your Only Friend
02 You Can't Hurt Me Now 
03 My Life's Work 
04 Death Final 
05 Heart's Arms 
06 You Don't Love Me 
07 You Are Lost 
08 I Won't Ask Again 
09 I Don't Belong to Anyone 
10 There Is Something I Have to Say 
11 I Am Goodbye 
12 Without Work, You Have Nothing 
13 Afraid Ain't Me

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy will release his “biggest and most ambitious album,” Beware on March 16th via Domino Records. “Though Beware shares spit with its immediate predecessor released this past summer, Lie Down in the Light, it’s reach is longer and stronger, more grandiose. Where fiddle and steel contribute their rustic timbre alongside guitars and voices, a thickening thud of low tone rolls beneath, giving the record a bottom that’s fun to watch bounce in new clothes”...www.muzzleofbees.com

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

O! The Joy - Zen Mode


1. Conceivable Test Tube Baby
2. There Is No Such Thing As "Organized Crime"
3. This Fault Is Not Mine
4. Under The Radar
5. 22435
6. The Man And The Secrets
7. We Write The Next Chapter
8. I Just Didn' t Tell You
9. Guiding Role
10. Zen Mode

"If Built to Spill and The Mars Volta spawned a child, it might sound something along the lines of Sacramento's O! The Joy, but never long enough to get too caught up in the aforementioned names. Then again, there is ample evidence O! The Joy have explored the kosmische scene as well on their new record Zen Mob, here & there philosophically echoing Faust's manner of carrying rare tangents to fruition. Having said that, maybe I'm just high, but my favorite tune on the record, "Under The Radar," really reminds me of Joe Jackson, especially on the expansive slow punch of the chorus. Zen Mode shows a seamless weaving of genres, transferring from melodically intense passages to drugged out guitar mania splattering color."

Diplo & Blaqstarr - Get Off


01. Get Off
02. Get Off (DJ Rob 3 Remix)
03. Get Off (Bonus Beats)

Diplo hooks up with his dancing buddy Blaqstarr for the latest Mad Decent outing with a wickedly cool nasty-house cut backed with a Rob 3 remix on pink vinyl and loaded with an exclusive side for use by the Serato heads. The pair's original version of 'Get Off' is a sexy neon flavoured hip-houser with serious early 90's attitude kinda similar to Radioslave's Cabana trax series but more poppy. Rob 3 revises the cut for the Bmore crowd with the standard breaks splattered with Bassline style warps and rave stabs for the party. We've only got a limited number of these bad boys and you know they're gonna fly...www.boomkat.com

dBridge - The Gemini Principle



01. Seven Year Glitch
02. Blush Response (Feat. Instra:mental)
03. A Lost Cause
04. Ponderosa (Feat. Calibre)
05. Creatures Of Habit
06. Mr. Malcontent
07. The Question
08. Desire Line (Interlude)
09. Pure Elegance
10. Cast A Cold Eye
11. The Yearning
12. Mourning Dawn
13. Mana's Lamen (Outro)

What's going on? Two utterly sick D'nB releases in one week! With the sort of credentials some producers would kill for including releases for everyone from Trouble on Vinyl to Soul:r, the man like D-Bridge counts none other than Burial amongst his biggest fans and it's clear to see why when you've listened to this album. Initiating itself as the best D'n'B album since Breakage's 'This too shall pass', 'The Gemini principle' comes laden with eight cuts and not a duffer in sight, certainly a hell of a lot more than we could say for a recent comeback album from a certain celebrity jungle producer. The mood is brilliantly uncompromised by any commercial factors here, instead just cutting straight to the chase with a selection of certified dancefloor heaters sounding like the best of a massive range of our favourite hardcore/jungle/D'n'B heads from Paradox and Dillinja, to Breakage or Foul Play, but never once slipping into feeble imitation or homage and instead forging a headstrong and highly effective sound. Fans of any of the aforementioned producers must check this out, it's proper corker. Essential Purchase...www.boomkat.com

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hatakeyama Chihei - Dedication


1. white mountain 
2 .bird above the ocean 
3. chair and acoustic guitar 
4. light of the sun 
5. illusion of memory I 
6. illusion of memory II 
7. illusion of memory III 
8. quiet morning 
9. dedication

Continuing his tradition for his second album, Chihei Hatakeyama does not use any synthesizers in making his music. All tracks were created by real musical instruments. In addition to using a guitar, accordion, calimba, violin, Shamisen, and vibraphone, he also used abstract noises such as the sound of air filling a bicycle tire. This album flows at the pace of a glacier and is mean to relax and weave your soul through the fabrics of nature and beauty. Dedication is the perfect album for deep thought, meditation or atmospheric music for a new age location.

Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets - Native Korean Rock & The Fishnets


01. OOO
02. Visits
03. Rapt
04. Sunset Sun
05. Day Go By (live)
06. Indian Summer
07. Indian Summer (live)

Native Of korean Of rock of & The Of fishnets - the project of Karen (Karen O) - [vokalistki] of the group Of yeah Of yeah Of yeahs. On the newly-made command (first concert it was played this summer) of information from nose, it is known only that its participants - New York friends of Karen and that fulfills it, on its own words, “amorous songs, written in last two years”. With the production of valuable plate or at least EP, the discussion thus far does not deal; everything that there are in the presence - several studio Low- Faye of tracks, and also audio and video recording from the concert, played on July 21 this year in the Brooklyn club “Of union Of pool”. The taken place performance can be there described as “sincere in the whimsical decorations”: on the scene fake boat with the Korean flag, musicians in the suit of seamen and Karen o- improbably pacified, dear and serene. Well matched with the new means and the usable by it songs: simply comfortable, upright and touching in their simplicity sketchings, by tenderness and by bright melancholy. Such sensation, that it fell in love itself: perhaps, into the man, and can, the object of its feelings - the entire world. In of concert, besides the songs of its own composition, counts sincere - version of the song Of the Of doors - “Indian Of summer”, whose original sounding is augmented by the party of violin. P.S. in the network the Internet arose small confusion with the name of the group: on the page Of mySpace it is registered as Native Of korean Of rock, in a number of other sources, including official YYY, figures version with the addition of the word “Of the Of fishnets”. How is explained this difference, it is authentically unknown, it is possible only to assume that in the composition Of the Of fishnets - additional sessional musicians. P.P.S. the lined archive, besides the audio- records, includes the second part of the concert in Brooklyn with duration about 10 minutes (by video from YouTube and converted from the size of flv into avi). The first part can be looked according to this reference.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It’s Blitz


1. Zero
2. Heads Will Roll
3. Soft Shock
4. Skeletons
5. Dull Life
6. Shame and Fortune
7. Runaway
8. Dragon Queen
9. Hysteric
10. Little Shadow

One of New York’s finest rock trios, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, are returning in April with a new album called It’s Blitz — and Rolling Stone has the scoop with an in the studio story in the next issue (on newsstands this week!). “We’re always going to have Yeah Yeah Yeahs hooks and energy,” Karen O tells us. “But we came up with something new that we’ve never heard before from ourselves. Less angst and more positivity, man!”

It’s Blitz, the follow-up to 2006’s Show Your Bones, was produced by Nick Launay (who oversaw the band’s 2007 EP Is Is) and TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek. Recording went down in the band’s native Brooklyn and in Texas where — no joke — the crew lived on a pecan orchard. It was certainly a far cry from the sessions that produced the trio’s raw 2003 debut Fever to Tell.

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are already booked for two of the year’s biggest festivals, Coachella and Bonnaroo, where they’ll certainly be road-testing their newest tunes. The last time the Yeahs rocked New York City (an August ‘07 gig at Webster Hall) they tested out a new song and brought one of their sweatiest, passionate performances yet. Before the set ended with “Maps,” Karen O gave fans a little preview of this newfound positivity: “This brings us to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs love song,” she wailed as her parents looked on. “Love is real and this is for each and every one of you!”...www.rollingstone.com

The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground


1. Saddle Up
2. A Balloon On A Broken String
3. When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade
4. I Box Up All The Butterflies
5. The Boy With Two Hearts
6. Stringing Up Conkers
7. The Boy Least LIkely To Is A Machine
8. Whiskers
9. Every Goliath Has Its David
10. The Nature Of The Boy Least Likely To
11. I Keep Myself To Myself
12. The Worm Forgives The Plough
13. A Fairy Tale Ending

"This record should have been released sooner," admits a press release for the Boy Least Likely To's forthcoming sophomore album, The Law of the Playground. Unfortunately, the album got tangled up in label drama, but it will finally see release March 3 via the English duo's own Too Young to Die label in the UK and in North America via +1.

Contrary to a previous report, the follow-up to 2005's The Best Party Ever will not include recently Forkcasted holiday single "The First Snowflake". It will, however, include not-so-recently Forkcasted ditties "I Box Up All the Butterflies" and"Balloon on a Broken String"."The First Snowflake" will be released as a download-only single on December 15, and that will be the only way to get it until the Boy Least Likely To release a greatest hits/B-sides and rarities/holiday album, of course.The Boy Least Likely To's only show scheduled right now is an appearance at a Christmas party at London's Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen on December 15, the same day as the single's release...www.pitchforkmedia.com

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Martyn - Great Lengths


1. The Only Choice
2. Kdrl-t-grv
3. Right Star!
4. Seventy Four
5. Little Things
6. Vancouver
7. These Words feat. dBridge
8. Bridge
9. Elden St
10.Far Away
11.Hear Me
12.Is This Insanity? feat. Spaceape
13.Briliant Orange
14.Natural Selection

Martijn Deykers been making waves in both the techno and dubstep communities with his previous releases as Martyn, impressing Francois K so much, for instance, that he was invited to take over his Deep Space party in New York for the entire night. However you might classify the music that he produces, Martijn is keen to avoid pigeonholing his own material. "I think what makes music interesting is when an artist incorporates his/her influences and translates it into a unique sounding style," he explains. "Although it might sound a tad arrogant, I'd like to think of my music as 'Martyn music.' I try not to think of it as dubstep or techno, or house or drum & bass—it's not about genres, it's about music. This way I feel more freedom to make the music I want to make."

Indeed, the hallmarks that made his previous records stand out so much are all present here: the floating Detroit-esque pads, stuttering broken beats and dubwise basslines—but there are a few surprises. "Little Things" chugs along at a casual 117 BPM, whilst Martijn indulges himself with an epic beatless synth workout on "Brilliant Orange." There's even a solo piano piece breaking up the album, as well as two vocal contributions from dBridge and Kode9's right hand man, Spaceape.

As with all of the previous releases on his 3024 label, the artwork has been done by Martijn's old friend from Eindhoven, Erosie. Martijn is keen to emphasise their co-ownership of the work, explaining that "because it's an album, people will focus on the music, but the artwork means just as much as the music does. Erosie's unique graphic style is 3024, and the music is 3024: Great Lengths represents music for the ears as well as for the eyes."...www.residentadvisor.net

Friday, February 20, 2009

Justin Townes Earle - Midnight At The Movies



1. Midnight at the Movies 
2. What I Mean to You 
3. They Killed John Henry 
4. Mama's Eyes 
5. Dirty Rag 
6. Can't Hardly Wait 
7. Black Eyed Suzy 
8. Poor Fool 
9. Halfway to Jackson 
10. Someday I'll Be Forgiven for This 
11. Walk Out 
12. Here We Go Again 

If being the son of one of America’s greatest songwriters isn’t a hard enough burden to carry on your shoulders, how about sharing the name with one of American’s forgotten legends. Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve Earle and name adoptee of the late Townes Van Zandt has not only been busy at work carving his own niche in the Americana world, but stepping outside of the shadow that people like Jakob Dylan could never have achieved. After honing his chops in the Nashville area, The Good Life was his humble introduction to the world at large. Midnight at the Movies is a record that tests the endurance of a rising star in the south, and carries the potential to shoot him out of the bar and into the Ryman Auditorium

Blind Pilot - 3 Rounds And A Sound


1. Oviedo 
2. The Story I Heard 
3. Paint or Pollen 
4. Poor Boy 
5. One Red Thread 
6. Go On, Say It 
7. Two Towns from Me
8. I Buried a Bone 
9. Things I Cannot Recall 
10. The Bitter End 
11. 3 Rounds and a Sound

Frontman Israel Nebeker sings of loss and wonder with a voice smooth enough for anyone to enjoy, and every single song on this album is wonderful. Possibly more energetic than fellow Portland-ites Horse Feathers, 3 Rounds and A Sound is also quite relaxing. Songs like “The Story I Heard”, “Poor Boy”, and “3 Rounds and A Sound”, are all beautifully sang and appropriately subdued with instrumentation ranging from subtle horn lines to marimba. The smoothness of this album is incredible!

That being said, this reviewer would enjoy a little more in the way of dynamics, 3 Rounds can be listened straight through without anything really sticking out other than the fluidity of the melodies coming from Nebeker’s voice.

Another aspect I find particularly interesting about Blind Pilot is their love of the bike tour. The band’s website makes this abundantly clear, and I find it only so appropriate that a band that feels so much like the Pacific Northwest should make this a conscious effort in their music.

Israel Nebeker and Ryan Dobrowski prove in 3 Rounds and A Sound that they can produce an album that will turn no one away and provides a message about being who you really are, unabashedly true to yourself...www.myspace.com

Cantaloup - On A Hill Not Far Away


01. Wake Up Call
02. Fireworks
03. When My Girl Walks Through This Garden
04. Last Song
05. Day By Day
06. My Discurse With Mr. Lloyd
07. Wake Up Call (Hoodwink remix)
08. Crooked Rain (feat. Hoodwink) 

Thomas Peter’s brainchild Cantaloup offers a vibrant and enduring stimulus with the distinctive release, On A Hill Not Far Away; it is a record engorged with antiquity, and sounding like voices in the background of a beautiful European mountain. For anyone under the impression that Germany only breeds strange techno/metal artists, you are in for a rude awakening with this one.“Fireworks” is a well oriented distribution of kindness and despair. While “Last Song” serves up a delicious plate of instrumentals with a hint of ambiance. But the brightest star on the hill would have to be the almost frightening melody in “Day By Day”. With echoing vocals, and transparent piano keys, this definitely is a worthwhile six and a half minutes.It’s not that easy to completely comprehend what exactly Peters is getting at with Cantaloup. But, it is obvious that he is riding a musical boxcar all his own. The artistic ingenuity of this album is almost un-comparable to anything created in the experimental...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

War Child presents Heroes


1. Beck - Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat (Bob Dylan cover)
2. The Kooks - Victoria (The Kinks cover)
3. The Hold Steady - Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen cover)
4. Hot Chip - Transmission (Joy Division cover) 
5. Lily Allen feat. Mick Jones - Straight To Hell (The Clash cover)
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (The Ramones cover)
7. Franz Ferdinand - Call Me (Blondie cover)
8. Duffy - Live And Let Die (Paul McCartney cover)
9. Estelle - Superstition (Stevie Wonder cover)
10. Rufus Wainwright - Wonderful & Song For Children (Brian Wilson cover)
11. Scissor Sisters - Do The Strand (Roxy Music cover)
12. Peaches -  Search And Destroy (Iggy Pop cover)
13. Adam Cohen-  Take This Waltz (Leonard Cohen cover)
14. Elbow - Running To Stand Still (U2 cover)
15. The Like - You Belong To Me (Elvis Costello cover)
16. TV On The Radio - Heroes (David Bowie cover)


So, The War Child International charity asked Bruce Springsteen to pick any song of his and then pick the artist to cover it. Who wants to hear The Hold Steady do “Atlantic City?”I do. The album is called Heroes, it comes out February 24, and has some other things you might wanna hear; Duffy doing “Live and Let Die,” Estelle doing “Superstition,” Hot Chip doing “Transmission,” and TV on the Radio doing Bowie’s “Hereos” to give it the title track...www.mypoprocks.com

Neko Case - Middle Cyclone




01. This Tornado Loves You
02. The Next Time You Say Forever
03. People Got A Lotta Nerve
04. Polar Nettles
05. Vengeance Is Sleeping
06. Never Turn Your Back On Mother Earth
07. Middle Cyclone
08. Fever
09. Magpie To The Morning
10. I'm An Animal
11. Prison Girls
12. Don't Forget Me
13. The Pharaohs
14. Red Tide
15. Marais La Nuit
On March 3, 2009, Anti- Records will release the eagerly awaited new Neko Case album Middle Cyclone. The fifteen-track collection is Case's first release since 2006's Fox Confessor Brings The Flood, the best-reviewed and best-selling album of her career.Middle Cyclone was produced by Case with Darryl Neudorf and recorded in Tucson, Brooklyn, Toronto, and Vermont. It features Case backed by her core band - guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse, and drummer Barry Mirochnick - along with numerous guests including M. Ward, Garth Hudson, Sarah Harmer, and members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos, Calexico, The Sadies, Visqueen, The Lilys, and Giant Sand, among others. In addition to twelve new songs written by Case, Middle Cyclone includes covers of 'Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth' by Sparks, and "Don't Forget Me" by Harry Nilsson. In 2006, SPIN Magazine called Case "one of pop music's best" voices, and Interview Magazine hailed her album Fox Confessor Brings The Flood as "one of the most original, beguiling, honest records of the year." The album also earned Case Female Artist of the Year honors from the PLUG Independent Music Awards, and a Top 10 placement in the Village Voice's annual Pazz and Jop Critics Poll of the year's best releases. Fox Confessor was Case's first album to debut in the Billboard Top 100, and has sold nearly 200,000 copies in the U.S. alone...www.anti.com