Thursday, January 28, 2010

The video Broken Bells first single "The High Road" will make you think a little.

Kevin Spacey is in the video for "The High Road," the first single from Broken Bells' self-titled debut. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the collaboration between Danger Mouse and Shins frontman James Mercer, but this video makes me want to dig in a bit more and figure it out. 

Oh, and Mercer steals a remote control car from a kid on a deserted highway in the video. It means something. I don't know what, but it means, um, something.

<font face="Verdana" size="1" color="#999999"><br/>The High Road<br/><br/>Broken Bells | MySpace Music Videos</font>

Broken Bells is out March 9. 

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

There's something wonderful about the noise of Clipd Beaks.

Between the bass groove and warbled vocals and noise and pounding drums, the band Clipd Beaks has hit upon something that screams out for attention. 

Their latest full length, To Realize, is out now on Lovepump United. It has 11 drone-tastic tracks that while not sounding terribly different from one another are almost otherworldly when listened to one after the other. 

Here's the video for "Visions," off that new album:


They take that and use it to just destroy an audience. Look at the crowd in this clip from way back in 2007. Look at what the aural choas does to them:


I am in awe and I've only listened to the album once.

Clipd Beaks on MySpace
Clipd Beaks on Hype Machine
Clipd Beaks on Amazon

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Hot Rats - (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)

You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party! by The Hot Rats  
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04 (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!).mp3 (6548 KB)

I'm not sure the world needs another covers band. But another superstar covers band? Now that's a different story. Especially when they've gone so far as to steal even their name from another band.

I may be going a bit far with using that "s" word up there, but there was a time that Supergrass was one of the best around. I guess it says something that two-thirds of the band makes up The Hot Rats, whose easy-to-listen-to debut, Turn Ons, comes out tomorrow.

Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey have some pitched up takes on "Damaged Goods" by Gang of Four, "Pump It Up" by Elvis Costello and an absolutely incendiary cover of David Bowie's classic "Queen Bitch." If that didn't give away my taste, I don't know what would.

But with the Beastie Boys classic, the song that introduced them to the world - and for much of the world, unfortunately, completely represents them - the Hot Rats go for broke by turning it into a song from The Who. The excessive drum fills and soft harmony on the verses giving way to bashing out the name of the song at the chorus, that's what made The Who into The Who. This could be on any of their records released pre-Who's Next.

This is a solidly rollicking set though and shows off why Supergrass was/is such a great band. Hopefully, the full threesome will come back with the strength they once had. In the meantime, at least they're jamming on some good shit and doing it well.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gorillaz storm the streets early with leak of great new single.

Stylo (Radio Edit) by Gorillaz  
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01 Stylo(radio edit).mp3 (7288 KB)

"Leaked" yesterday, "Stylo" is the first single off the forthcoming Gorillaz album Plastic Beach. It's good. Like, really really good. Whoever decided to let this one out a week early - and it doesn't matter who did it - has guaranteed that people will actually pay for it on January 26, the actual release day.

It's not just the presence of the great Bobby Womack though. The click-track groove is a perfect meeting place between the 70s soul and 80s pop music with a touch of hip hop that Gorillaz have been trying to hit for some time now. The Mos Def verse halfway through doesn't slide in so much as it slides into place. 

The full album will be out March 9 in the U.S. and includes more from both Mos Def and Bobby Womack. Also appearing on it are Lou Reed, De La Soul, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, and Snoop Dogg.

Could we be in for another huge album from the forgotten Gorillaz in the room? Reread the previous paragraph, cause based on that, and this first single, Plastic Beach will either be one of the biggest releases of 2010 or it'll be an awful train wreck that kills the band forever...

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Peter Gabriel has a covers album coming out. And it sucks.

Please sir, swallow your pride and rejoin Genesis (or start writing some damn music) because this is just awful and I don't know if I can listen to Scratch My Back enough to change my mind despite how many great songs are on there.

Seriously, check out this tracklist:

01. Heroes (David Bowie)
02. The Boy in the Bubble (Paul Simon)
03. Mirrorball (Elbow)
04. Flume (Bon Iver)
05. Listening Wind (Talking Heads)
06. The Power of the Heart (Lou Reed)
07. My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire)
08. The Book of Love (The Magnetic Fields)
09. I Think it’s Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman)
10. Apres Moi (Regina Spektor)
11. Philadelphia (Neil Young)
12. Street Spirit (Radiohead)

This thing should rule but, well, it bores the hell out of me and Peter Gabriel is way better than that. Boring is a word that has never applied.

Here, see for yourself: RS

For the record, Scratch My Back will be out on January 25.

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Could Teenage Bottlerocket be bigger than Kiss?

Only in the dreams of you and me. This song and video kick ass either way.

<font face="Verdana" size="1" color="#999999"><br/>Teenage Bottlerocket "Bigger Than Kiss"<br/><br/>Teenage Bottlerocket | MySpace Music Videos</font>

Praise be to Fat Mike for putting out the stellar They Came From The Shadows last year...

</object><div style="font-size: 9px; margin-top: 2px;">They Came From The Shadows - T...</div>

Posted via email from Stephen Feller

Monday, January 18, 2010

Orbital - Halcyon (live)

Halcyon (Live) by Orbital  
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05 Halcyon (Live).mp3 (10225 KB)

Life is about the build-up, right? Some cliched crap about slowly getting there I think. Which is fine and mostly true. When it comes to Orbital, a lot of the best stuff they did was build up.

For my money, the best 18-minute song in history - not 18-minute jam, or alternate take, but actual song - is The Decline, by NOFX. That thing is filled with peaks and valleys and all sorts ska and politics. When it comes to long form, in your headphones, just let it roll, though, there's nothing like a solid Orbital album.

I mention the NOFX track because the only song longer than that which I can listen to all the way through every single time I listen to it is the full 28-minute-long version of "The Box," Orbital's 1996 high water mark.

Cut into four parts, the track is really a lot more than build-up. There is melody, emotion, rhythm and, finally, vocals. In all truth, it's probably the pinnacle of electronic music. Orbital built their career on big, rolling beats and instrumentation about halfway between Victorian formality and clanging pots and pans. All of it, and I mean every single bit of it, lines up for the half-hour tantric orgasm that is "The Box."

Some versions of In Sides, which includes the first two sections of "The Box," included a bonus disc. That disc had two versions of the excellent guitar-driven track "Satan," two versions of their theme track to "The Saint," and a live version of "Halcyon."

"Halcyon" took on several forms over the course of Orbital's career: a rare original version; an album version on the self-titled "Brown" album; edited and remixed all over the place; and live.

The payoff to a haunting, beautiful, swirling thing like "Halcyon" comes on the live version. The whole thing is magic every time I listen to it.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Surfer Blood - Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks by Surfer Blood  
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06 Twin Peaks.mp3 (8602 KB)

There's a chance that two of the top ten albums in 2010 will be released next Tuesday. One of them, the latest album from Spoon, is expected - nay, commanded - to make those year-end lists. The other is probably way off most people's radar.

I've neglected to get this posted for about 10 days since I wrote it, so "way off most people's radar" is now limited to those who don't read any music blogs, Pitchfork, Stereogum or the South Florida alterna-weekly paper City Link. Thankfully, I know that group includes most people.

Surfer Blood is to puke out their debut album Astrocoast on Tuesday. Recorded in their dorm room at the University of Florida, the 10 songs on the album are feedback-laden, melodic, classic feeling songs the bring to mind the all manner of indie sounds from the mid-90s til now.

There is a palpable cross-section of Weezer-Pavement-Sloan to just about every track while managing to sound like the boys are aping none of them. Yes, they sing about girls, but they also sing about television, as in "Twin Peaks," included here. 

The first words on the album's first track beg somebody to "forget the second coming/I need you here right now." This album sounds like the second coming of the alternative nation, partially because so many of those mid-90s buzz bands are touched, even momentarily, on Astrocoast. For me, that's a good thing, because Surfer Blood doesn't really sound like any of them. Even the bands I mention above are only echoed because nothing specific is lifted from any of them.

It's not the second coming, but hot damn what a debut album Surfer Blood has served up.

Here's another track to check out... (You'll have to find the album yourself before next week.)

</object><div style="font-size: 9px; margin-top: 2px;">Swim (Single) - Surfer Blood</div>

Fyi, the Spoon album is guaranteed to be on those lists. Listen to the stream for yourself.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop