Sunday, December 21, 2014

Exclusive: Casa Del Mirto INTV

Italy has had a long love affair with dance music, it gave the world Italo Disco in the late 60's / early 70's before it was even a scene here in the U.S. Italians, like most Mediterraneans love to dance and love to have a good time, so it is no wonder that a band like Casa Del Mirto is causing an uproar in popularity and expectations. Founded by Marco Ricci in 2006 and after a variety of line-up changes, the band now has a solidified who and what will aid them in making themselves a global name in 2015 as they release their new album, Still, next month. We spoke to Ricci about the band, their music, and dancing across Italy.Take a look at our interview below:

The name of the band translates to “House of Spirits,” is that what you hope to project to the audience when you are playing live?

 Precisely the name of the band translates to “House of Myrtle”, Myrtle is a plant that grows up in Sardinia and, of course, it is used to made  liquors... so in a certain way you’re right! We just want that our audience enjoys listening to our live show dancing and having a lot of love, and of course it is even better if people have a bit of “Spirits” in their veins. And sure, in ours too!

Hailing from the North of Italy, the sound of the band reminds me of summers in the southern part of the country on the beaches and discothèques. How much has all of Italy influenced your work?

 Yes, our sound is not what you expected from a band that comes from the North, buried in the snow; but our sound comes out from our childhood memories, from our wishes, from the colours of the past. We’ve always been addicted to the sea and everything related to it, so there’s a lot of Italy in our work but not too much, our sound is not related to where we are but it’s related to where we would like to be, without borders.

Your new album is called “Still,” doing a dance-pop band, that is not something you want the audience to be! What does the title signify?

 Who comes to listen to us has to move his ass! :)

 “Still” is the state of mind we were into when we were recording the album, it represents the mood and the feeling of that moment. Still, like a quiet moment before the storm or a quiet moment soon after the storm. We were coming from a strange period and we needed to set up our lives. We still don’t know exactly if the storm has already passed away or if it’s still to come. It’s the same for the cover of the album: is the girl emerging from the sea or is she drowning? Up to you!

What did you do on this record that you have not done before?

In “Still” for the first time we put the voice and the melody more in evidence. In the previous works we used to hide them into the instrumental mix. We took our time to record the album, the “official” one is the fourth version of it; we’ve done a lot of research for the right sound and the right arrangement to catch the atmosphere we wanted for “Still”

The sound of the band was influenced by 90’s house and dance music, who were the artists that inspired you to start a band?

Underworld, Massive Attack, My Bloody Valentine and Radiohead.

When you hear your music, what do you think?

We usually think that the next time we should do a better job! We have mixed feeling about it, a little bit ashamed and a little bit proud, it changes by the mood of the day; our mood is like a wave, always changeling.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has not heard of you before?

Our sound is like a cocktail full of different emotions shaked in to an electronic way. Music that doesn’t need to scream because it is already inside your heart and your soul.

What has been the best thing about being in this band?

A lot of things, the most important is that we reached a sort of brotherhood and every member of the band became a part of a family. Being in Casa del Mirto and playing the music we love is like a therapy, a medicine that we use to understand ourselves and our feelings.

When can we expect to see you in America?

We’re working on it and we’d love to come to America but there are a lot of thing to manage and we need someone who’d help us in it, ‘cause we are too much scatterbrained!

2014 Best ReIssues

Each year massive box sets, reissues, and compilations emerge from top artists to celebrate an anniversary of a landmark record, highlight an artist's career, and simply see who is a casual fan and who is a die-hard fan on whether customers will buy one of these. In an effort to showcase what to spend some left over holiday money or how to use those pesky gift cards you may have gotten, we have broken down the best reissues and compilations of the year. Take a look!

Miles Davis - Miles at the Fillmore 
The third in a series of authorized bootlegs was recorded over a four night residency Davis had at the legendary Fillmore in June 1970. The four disc set features hardly any overlap and with his brilliant band of that era, Miles comes alive again. 

Orange Juice - You Can't Hide Your Love Forever / Rip It Up / Texas Forever / The Orange Juice
The influence indie Britrock band that paved the way for Oasis, Belle & Sebastian, Glasvegas, Stone Roses and countless others, had their first four albums remastered and rereleased via Domino and never sounded better.

Led Zeppelin - I / II / III / IV
Thanks to the vinyl craze some of the classic rock albums fans have found while crate digging have now been cleaned up and remastered and instead of hearing the hiss, cracks, and skips, of the original LP's, the Led Zeppelin reissues have by far been the best. Jimmy Page oversaw the entire project which also gave fans remastered demos and live cuts on the CD versions.

Soundgarden - Superunknown
The landmark Soundgarden record turned 20 this year and Superunknown, the grunge Gods biggest album never sounded better. Packed with B-sides, alternate mixes, demos and rehearsals, plus a Blueray featuring live performances, music videos, and documentaries.

Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Mobb Deep's 1994 breakthrough, The Infamous, wasn't the only landmark record that turned 20 this year but it was one of those records that still after all of these years sounds as fresh and as vibrant today as it did then. Also packed with this reissue are studio outtakes and demos that were never before heard until now.

Nas - Illmatic XX
The greatest hip-hop album of all time turned 20 and like Nas' Queensbridge neighbors, Mobb Deep, Illmatic's themes, discussions, and ideas sound as clear as day now as they did 20 years ago and prove why this album is not just classic but iconic. The CD reissue features remixes as well as Nas' infamous interview on The Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show in 1993.

R.E.M. - MTV Unplugged 1991 - 2001
Back in the 90's MTV's Unplugged was one of the most important and impactful programs on TV. It featured artists turn another cheek and audiences live in the studios saw their favorite bands and singers as musicians. It wasn't that they were going acoustic, it was showing what they could do with less. So many artists like Eric Clapton, Nirvana, Jay Z, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Oasis, LL Cool J, Bruce Springsteen, and countless others crafted such memorable performances they go down in music history as some of the best ever put to record. Another one of those artists, R.E.M., did it more than once and did it with such grace that this compilation of their Unplugged moments makes audiences long for the series to return to it's importance and not just show what is hot in pop culture now.

Oasis - Definitely Maybe / (What's the Story) Morning Glory?
The biggest Britrock band of the 90's reissued their classic and best albums to celebrate their debut's 20th anniversary. Following the death of grunge, no band captured the attention of the world such as Oasis, they had the rock and roll attitude that every person that starts a band want but also had the songs to back it up. While these records are timeless, it is the additional material packed in that showcases how fantastic they were and how good these records were that even so many amazing B-sides were left off.

Joy Division - An Ideal for Living
For the first time since it was released DIY in the late 70's, Joy Divisions debut EP was reprinted on wax from the original tapes and while fans have bootleged the original for decades, this 10" makes you remember that while Joy Division were known for ushering in post-punk, they were a punk band that had the chops to compete with everyone else in England's top flight. Repackaged without the original and controversial Hitler youth art, An Ideal For Living is the sound of an iconic band that many never expected to hear again.

The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen at 21
The Afghan Whigs had a huge 2014, with a phenomenal new album, fantastic live show, and return to form, it was time to celebrate the record that brought them all of their acclaim 21 years ago, Gentlemen. Fueled by the singles "Gentleman," and "Debonair," The Whigs took grunge and mixed it with R&B, classic rock, and funk. The reissues features fantastic live cuts and demos and takes you back that had this record not come during the height of the grunge era, this band could have been in the stratosphere.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Great Soundtrack: Millions

A Christmas film that features the music of Muse, Joe Strummer, The Clash, Elbosco, and Feeder? Well, Millions is not a typical Christmas film directed by Danny Boyle, as we know is not a typical filmmaker, and features not-so-typical songs you would associate with the holiday season, but only Boyle could make this work. The 2004 film was a sleeper with audiences, but has gained momentum on DVD and has been praised in the 10 years it has been released, yet, the music of the film and the not-so-Christmas tunes used is one of it's real stars.

Millions tells the tale of two tween brothers who stumble upon millions of British pounds and try and figure out what to do with it. One brother wants to spend it all, while the other wants to give it away. Yet, set in the backdrop of the festive season, the "What would you do with the money?"scenario plays with the audiences head. While that rings through the spirit of the crowd, the music rings through the audience's ears that one would never expect to associate with a film like this.

Recommended Reading: The Rose That Grew From Concrete

The music and words of Tupac Shakur have resonated more in recent weeks following grand jury decisions in both Missouri and New York to not indicate police officers involved in the killing of two unarmed African-American men. Tupac, who took the music world by storm from his debut album 1991's 2Pacalypse Now to his untimely death in 1996 at the age of 25. While his music altered hip-hop forever, the impact of his words are timeless and this was seen vividly in his book of poems, The Rose That Grew From Concrete. 

Tupac had been gone for three years until his estate opted to release the book of poems that showed that he was just as sensitive as he was a hard hitting rapper. While he may have had "Thug Life" tattooed across his belly, his heart was worn right on his sleeve without any ink and this book showcases that. In out troubled and volatile times, this book of his words means more now than ever before.

Darlene Love on Letterman

Every year before Letterman goes on Christmas break he invites the iconic voice of Darlene Love to sing her holiday classic, "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," now for the final time watch Love do her festive song.

Quick News

Sad news to report hip-hop pioneer and producer Larry Smith has passed away. Smith, who was 63, was instrumental in the sounds of Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, among others reportedly died after complications of a stroke he suffered in 2007. The "King of the Beats" will be missed. Our thoughts go to his friends, family, and colleagues.

HBO has given details on the long awaited drama based on the 1970's music business in New York City. The series, which will be produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger, and written by Terrance Winter will star Bobby Canavale, Andrew "Dice" Clay, Ray Romano, Olivia Wilde, and others. HBO says the show will be about the "drug and sex-fueled music business as punk and disco were breaking out." No word on when production will begin or when a premiere will happen.

HBO also ordered a series that David Fincher will directed about the music video boom and business of the 1980's. The series, Living on Video, will draw from Fincher's experiences as a music video director. 

The long in-development Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and Museum has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to try and raise $1 million to open its first-ever location and a Youth Media Education center in Harlem, New York.

School of Rock is coming to the Great White Way. A musical based around the Jack Black film, will be adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and come to Broadway next year.

Foo Fighters fans in Cesena, Italy, are hoping to get the band to play their town by gathering 1,000 Foo Fans to perform "Learn to Fly." If they succeed, the plan is to craft a video and send it to the band and hope they perform in the town.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Jenny Lewis & Ryan Adams on Kimmel

Watch Jenny Lewis and special guest Ryan Adams perform Lewis' songs "She's Not Me," and "One of the Guys" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Miguel Gives Away 3-Song EP

Miguel surprised fans with a free 3-song EP. Take a listen and download it from Soundcloud.

Foo Fighters on Fallon

Watch Foo Fighters perform "I Am A River" on The Tonight Show!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quick News

Incubus have just inked a deal with Island records. The band say they will release two EP's next year on their new label. The band's last album, If Not Now, When? came in 2011.

Are The Afghan Whigs working with Dennis Leary? Earlier this week, Whigs leader Greg Dulli posted a photo of him and Leary in the studio with the caption, "Yes that's Denis Leary of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. FX July." Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll is the title of Leary's new FX show, no word yet if Whigs are doing the theme song or will have a part in the series.

Band of Horses have confirmed they are working with Grandaddy's Jason Lytle on a new album which they hope to have out next year.

Pussy Riot's Nadya Tolokonnikova spoke to NME about how music is secondary to their message, saying, "We're not really musicians or from the music world. At that moment we just decided that we should do a punk band, and we got our friends together and tried to do a song. We did what we were able to. it wasn't brilliant, but it was enough for a political video. Our goal is not to make a political album, but the form of our statements is very important to us and the video clip form is one we like. Maybe at some point in the future we will do an album, but right now we want to make videos."

Also speaking to NME is RZA, who talked about Wu-Tang Clan's latest album, A Better Tomorrow, and said that the influential hip-hop group tried to get James Blake to work on the record. RZA said, "I tried to get James Blake to do a hook on 'A Better Tomorrow' but we couldn't make it happen in time." RZA worked with Blake on the British singer's sophomore album and 2013's best record, Overgrown.

Another person opening up to NME is Brandon Flowers who talked about the direction of his upcoming solo album. The Killers frontman said, "Even though I'm still young, you can start to get set in your ways. Change is good and there's always growth, I'm always looking for that. It's nice to steer the ship and that's what you'd think I’d do on my own album, but I'm letting Ariel take over every now and then. That's led to some really exciting things and sounds I would never have used. As I've gotten older I'm much more open to that – I'm much more open to peoples' strengths and really trying to utilise them – and that's where Ariel comes into the picture. He's really knowledgeable about every genre; it's pretty incredible what he's able to reference and pull out. It's definitely going to be different, but I'm still in the thick of it, hammering away."