Right before the Holidays I was able to catch Parisian DJ's Justice road documentary A Cross the Universe. Take a look at the trailer clip above, it is a documentary taped while the band was on the road in the U.S. and plays out like Scarface meets The Odd Couple. Featuring gun packing road managers, Evangelical bus drivers, cameos from Diplo, Anthony Keidis, Kanye West and of course sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Here are five music buffs like yours truly, whose taste in music and knowledge of the art form and media I hold to high regard. Trust me I wouldn't give you lists of someone who does not know any better.
The first list comes from my long time musical companion, former writer of Good Times magazine and current writer for Skope and Editor of Playbill, Mr. Bill Reese.
1. Raconteurs Consulars of the Lonely
2. Dr. Dog Fate
3. The Hold Steady Stay Positive
4. TV on the Radio Dear Science,
5. R.E.M. Accellerate
6. Vampire Weekend
7. Death Cab for Cutie Narrow Stairs
8. Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago
9. Coldplay Viva La Vida or Death and All his Friends
10. Counting Crows Saturday Nights and Sunday Morningss
Ryan Adams Cardinology
Girl Talk Feed the Animals
Okkervil River The Stand ins
Q-Tip The Renaissance
Sigur Ros Med....
The Verve Forth
The next list comes from premiere New York City DJ and one of New York's true Renaissance men, DJ Rich D Smoov. Richie's list is a tad different as is not broken down numerically but but superlatives...
2.vampire weekend:indie album
3.girl talk:mash album
4.cut chemist and dj shadow:the hard sell.turntablisim album
5.krallice:black metal album
6.king khan:rock album
8.diplo vs santogold:dub/reggae mix cd
9.karl hector:afro latin funk album
10.jackson conti:brazilian album
12.justice:best live album
14.awesome color:retro rock album
15.mad villian2:best remix album
16.droppin science:bluenote best jazz compilation
17.leviathan: usbm album
19.one day as a lion:best ep
20.stones throw:best podcast
21.black moth super rainbow: best leftfield album
22.does it offend you yeah?!: best new comers
23.kon and amir:best disco/soul comp
24.glasvegas: best uk act
25.mr.thing:best breakbeats comp
26.portishead:comeback of the year
27.tv on the radio:best bklyn band
29.united nations:hardcore album
30.santogold:best female act
The next list comes from fellow online blogger (Hindsighting) and former WQAQ DJ, Mike Clancey.
1. Bayside - Shutter
2. Murder by Death - Red of Tooth and Claw
3. Jaymay - Autumn Fallin'
4. Rise Against - Appeal to Reason
5. Connor Oberst
6. Thrice - Alchemy Index: Air and Earth
7. Atmosphere - Strickly Leakage
8. Flogging Molly - Float
9. The Used - Shallow Believer EP
10. Islands - Arm's Way
Meaghan Smith - The Cricket's Quartet
The following list comes from another musical companion of mine and former WQAQ DJ, we call him Logo.
10. The Kooks-Konk!
9. She and Him-Volume 1
8. Kidz in the Hall- The In Crowd
7. Tokyo Police Club- Elephant Shell
6. Kings of Leon- Only by the Night
5. Coldplay- Viva La Vida or Death and all his Friends
4. The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
3. Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
2. The Cool Kids- The Bake Sale EP
1. Vampire Weekend
...and last but not least another musical companion, Mr PJ Sievering
1. Lil Wayne- Tha Carter 3
2. TV on Radio- Dear Science
3. Coldplay- Viva la Vida
4. My Morning Jacket-Evil Urges
5. Deathcab for Cutie- Narrow Stairs
6.The Hold Steady- Stay Positive
7. Kings of Leon- Only by the Light
8. Fleet Foxes
9. Beck-Modern Guilt
10. Vampire Weekend
Best "I used to hate you but now your cool again": R.E.M. Accelerate
Best Dance: Hot Chip Made in the Dark Tied with Girl Talk Feed the Animals
Best Sophomore Album: Okkervil River The Stand-Ins
So there are five much different takes on this past year and now we look on to the road ahead...Happy 2009!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
In other new album news, The National will head back into the studio in April to work on the follow up to their most successful album to date, Boxer. The record will probably be out at some point late next year or early 2010.
Thursday have released the track listing to their latest record, Common Existence. The album is due out in February and check out the track listing below...
'Resuscitation of A Dead Man'
'As He Climbed The Dark Mountain'
'Friends In the Armed Forces'
'Beyond the Visible Spectrum'
'Unintended Long Term Effects'
'Circuits Of Fever' 'Subway Funeral'
'Love Has Led Us Astray'
'You Were The Cancer'
The greatest living band today, the coolest band to ever walk the face of the Earth, the greatest live band of all time, one of my favorite bands of all time....HAVE SET A DATE FOR THEIR NEW ALBUM!!!!!
U2's 12th Studio Record No Line on the Horizon is due March 3 in the States! March 2 in Europe and rest of the world! The band had written 50-60 songs for this album, however all of the sessions with Rick Rubin from late 2006 / early 2007 have been scrapped. Yet the band enlisted their longtime heavy hitter producers Daniel Lenois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite to oversee the production of the album. No Line on the Horizon was written and recorded in Morocco, London, Dublin and New York.
Also in U2 news, the band was in London last week to shoot the video for the first single. We have no idea what the song is called, but I am sure it will be great!! 2009 is already shaping up to be a hell of a year!
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Opening the show was native New Yorker Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Adams, a musician I have always admired and respected, blew my mind with his band after seeing them. Coming on stage with psychedelic lighting and resembling Bob Dylan and his electric band at the Newport Folk Festival in the 60's, wearing all black and having curly afro's, Adams and the Cardinals soared high in their hometown. Another artist who lets the music do the talking, they gained a bigger fan after seeing them..me.
Oasis Setlist 12/17/08 MSG
Fucking in the Bushes
Rock 'n' Roll Star
The Shock Of The Lightning
Cigarettes & Alcohol
The Meaning Of Soul
To Be Where There's Life
Waiting For The Rapture
Ain't Got Nothin'
The Importance Of Being Idle
I'm Outta Time
Don't Look Back In Anger
I Am The Walrus
Ryan Adams and the Cardinals Setlist:
Crossed Out Name
Come Pick Me Up
Saturday, December 13, 2008
10- Forth - The Verve
9 - Tales of Love, Loss and Desperation - The Wombats
8 - You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into - Does it Offend You, Yeah?
7- Dear Science - TV on the Radio
6 - Third - Portishead
5 - Stay Positive - The Hold Steady
4 - Glasvegas
3 - Made in the Dark - Hot Chip
2 - Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends - Coldplay
1 - Accelerate - REM
Now in Long Form...
This was the record no one would have thought would ever happen. One of the biggest bands of the second British Invasion breaking up at the height of their career in 1998. A decade later, the band put themselves back together and created a fine blend of psychedelic rock, modern alternative and British jam. The Verve put a little bit of everything that has made them popular around the world into Forth. The title a pun, being the fourth record from the band but also showing they are going forth with their career together. I look forward to more music from one of my favorite acts.
KEY TRACKS : Love is Noise, Noise Epic9 - The Wombats - A Guide to Love, Loss and Desperation
A small trio from Liverpool that made a big post-punk sound on their debut. The Wombats picked up the bar style power trio rock that the Fratellis made popular last year with Costello Music and brought it to new levels. The Wombats were not afraid to put their hearts on their sleeves in creating one of the most fun, energetic and cleaver records of the year.
Key Tracks: Let's Dance to Joy Division, My First Wedding
8- Does it Offend You, Yeah? -You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into
A band that tries not to take themselves too seriously, but by doing that they really show they know how to have a great time. The word boring would cease to exist when listening to this record, Does it Offend You, Yeah fuses punk-electro-disco and pop into a non-stop dance party that will have you moving for hours.
Key Tracks: With a Heavy Heart (I Regret to Inform You), Epic Last Song
7- TV on the Radio - Dear Science
This Brooklyn band's last record was all about the Apocalypse and the end of the world as we know it and they did not feel fine. Their follow up however is a rebirth of the world around them in a full out hipster-hop dance party. This is one hell of a record and probably the band's best, TV on the Radio never stop impressing me on their musical abilities and style. One of the few band's that keep pushing the creative envelope and always have us wondering what they will do next.
Key Tracks: Family Tree, Red Dress
6 - Portishead - Third
Technically Portishead never broke up, they were just on hiatus for 11 years. Yet, it may have been worth the wait, they returned with Third, the album that could very well be the English trio's very best. Singer Beth Gibbons beautifully haunting voice penetrates right into your body, while the band hypnotizes you with their music. Third is a must own and one record that will leave you breathless.
Key Tracks: Nylon Smile, Magic Doors
5- The Hold Steady - Stay Positive
What more can I say about a band that I just absolutely love. The Hold Steady's fourth album, Stay Positive is a true rock and roll record from one of the last true rock and roll bands. It takes the story of the band's central characters created by singer Craig Finn on the band's debut The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, these characters have taken the form of all four records in telling their story, but we as fans still have no idea if Stay Positive is the conclusion. What we the fans do know is that this is a record about scenes, and how Religion is the biggest scene and everyone in America is part of a scene whether they like it or not. One of the most honest albums of the year.
Key Tracks: Constructive Summer, Lord, I am Discouraged
My favorite debut of the year from one of my new favorite bands. Having not only the privilege this year of discovering them, but having the opportunity to interview them for the blog made my admiration for Glasvegas grow. Taking stories ripped from the pages of your life and making them beautiful songs is not an easy task, but Glasvegas make it seem so natural. Combining a 50's retro style mixed with 80's Goth mixed with 21 Century alternative, Glasvegas have certainly served up one fine album. Listen to this record, love it as much as I have and I promise you will not want to let it go.
Key Tracks: Geraldine, Go Square Go
3- Hot Chip - Made in the Dark
The most fun you will have listening to any record this year! The perfect party starter, Hot Chip have made an album that will not only having you moving and shaking for hours, but will having you begging for more. They are masters of production, beats and musicians with each member playing more than one at a time. Certainly the band's best record they have released, the sky is the limit for these guys.
Key Tracks: One Pure Thought, Shake a Fist
2- Coldplay - Viva La Vida or Death and All of His Friends
The biggest selling record of the year from the biggest band of the decade. Just as people were about to write the band off, they answered with one of their best albums as well as their most epic and adventurous to date. Produced by the legendary Brian Eno, the band takes notes from all who have influenced them, from The Beatles to U2 to Radiohead to The Verve and created a masterpiece. Their is no denying how fantastic this album is.
Key Tracks: Viva La Vida, Lost
1- REM - Accelerate
Firing on all cylinders, the original college rockers shot back with their best record since 1994's Monster. Accelerate is REM's finest hour, after releasing a handful of mediocre and sometimes awful albums, REM cut out the problems and released a straight up rock, almost punk record. Showing their roots and not their age, REM shot songs from a cannon to show they still have it in them. Being a life long REM fan, I am so proud to see these guys back at the top!
Key Tracks: Living Well is the Best Revenge, Hollow Man
So there it is, my 10 picks of the year. I hope you enjoyed it and I encourage you to listen to each album and see what I am talking about. Now we usher in a new year to see what this list will look like 12 months from now.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
That is right after eight long years, Damon Albarn and Graham Coxon are putting aside their differences and are reforming Blur for 2009! As I posted a few weeks ago it was a confirmed rumor by Albarn, yet that has been said so many times that seeing was more believing. Blur will play their first performance in nine years for London's Hyde Park festival in July. That issue of NME hits US stores in two weeks.
Also, another of New Jersey's finest Thursday released the cover and release date to their latest, Common Existence. The album will be out February 17 under the band's new home at Epitaph records. See the cover below...
Saturday, December 6, 2008
2000- Radiohead - Kid A
2001- The Strokes - Is This It?
2002- NERD - In Search of...
2003- The White Stripes - Elephant
2004- The Killers - Hot Fuss
2005- The Mars Volta - Francis the Mute
2006- TV On The Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
2007- Kanye West - Graduation
... now to add to this list is 2008's biggest breakout star, someone who has seen the highs and lows of the music industry from behind the mixer and in front, and now can enjoy a great success. Brooklyn make some noise for....
I first came to hear Santogold in the fall of 2007 as she was hand selected by Bjork to open for her at Madison Square Garden. Santo at the time, an unknown, came on stage as if she was the headliner and from that moment on I knew she would be the next big thing. After putting out her self-titled debut this past year and finding time to hook up with DJ Diplo to release one of the best mixtapes of the year, Santogold has become music's hottest commodities. A former A&R executive turned producer she linked up with her friends Spank Rock to produce her first record which sounds like a fierce Cindy Lauper meets MIA. Now everyone from Jay-Z to NERD to Julian Casablancas has worked with her and music not only has a new rising star, but an artist with a vision. Santo is able to combine hip-hop, dub, reggae, rock and electronica and is not afraid to broaden her horizon's even more. She is poppy but artistic, she is humble but bold, she is energetic...she is Santogold.
Key Tracks - L.E.S. Artist, I'm A Lady (feat. Trouble Andrew)
Glasvegas - "A Snowflake Fell (and it Felt like A Kiss)
The Wombats - "Is This Christmas?"
The Killers and Elton John - "Joseph, Better You Than Me"
U2- "I Believe in Father Christmas"
Jimmy Eat World - "If You Were Born Today"
The Who - "Christmas"
Dave Matthews Band - "Christmas Song"
Jimmy Eat World - "Last Christmas"
Rogue Wave - "Christmas"
Run DMC - "Christmas in Hollis"
Bruce Springsteen - "Merry Xmas Baby"
Squirrel Nut Zippers - "Indian Giver"
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "Christmas All Over Again"
Death Cab for Cutie - "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
Dennis Leary - "Merry Fucking Christmas"
Stevie Wonder - "One Little Christmas Tree"
The Vandals - "C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S"
Eels - "Christmas is Going to the Dogs"
For more songs to add to the collection take a look at last years Playlist HERE
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Indeed I present my Best Films of the Year list right before the Oscars, but I promise you there will be nothing this year that tops Slumdog Millionaire. One of my favorite Directors of all time, Danny Boyle has created a film that fills up every positive adjective in the English language, calling it amazing is an understatement. This film exemplifies all the reasons we go to the movies....
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
You come from England, a place that is seeing a musical Renaissance, do you find it hard to get your music heard in your own country?
NB: If a band puts a lot of effort into the promotion and marketing side of the industry, and if the music is genuinely good then it will get heard by the right people, and by the right type of fans, and the band will progress. In my experience if a band hasn't been heard by enough of the right people, then they've been too lazy.
How does your music differ from every other unsigned act in the UK?
NB: Each band-member's own individual musical background is completely different to the next. We have backgrounds in fields like jazz, commercial music and music technology, and genres such as electronica, heavy metal and post-punk. From the extended chords and harmonies that are placed subtly into the songs, to the electronic and synthesized elements, it all seems to come together to form this atmospheric and layered final sound. It's a very British sound according to most people's views, we won't argue with that, but it's unique enough we hope.
The songs are very epic in sound, do you think that strikes more of an emotional chord with audiences? Especially Global audiences?
NB: I personally adore many bands that use layering, melody, harmony and ambient effects to create a huge, epic sound. If it's done correctly, adding more melodies and making the overall song denser can really have an emotional impact on people. As for global audiences, we do seem to have attracted a lot of European and North American interest online, perhaps it's just chance, I don't think British music fans are less keen on "epic" music haha!
Will the band ever make a trip to the US soon?
NB: Sadly I think a US trip will have to wait for another year or two, that's the kind of venture that needs a lot of financial and professional backing, both of which we're working on acquiring at the moment :) We've already had numerous requests by fans to play all over the US, but both the band and the fans will have to be patient a little while longer.
When will an EP / LP be released?
NB: Very soon!! We've been working on our first full-length album for the past couple of months, it's been very hard work sometimes, but that's just part of the beauty of creating something to be truly proud of. We're currently at the mixing and editing stage, we recorded so many instruments, and so many vocal parts that it's relatively slow progress to mix the entire thing, but seeing as this is our first release we wanted it to be something special, emotional and complete, not a rushed "collection of our songs". The finished product should hopefully be available to buy in the next two months.
How do you measure success?
NB: "Success" means different things to different people, for us it means a steady progression up the musical ladder. The first time I think we'll be able to call ourselves a successful band will be when we have finished our first album, we've put so much effort and love into creating something we're proud of that when it's complete we will have reached the first important rung on the ladder, even if it's initially just a personal success.
Where would you like that success to take you?
NB: After finishing the album we want to reach the point where we can viably share our music to the whole of the UK, I think we should reach that before we start spending too much energy planning anything global or pan-European. For most bands it's always a slow and steady progression, only a few groups are lucky enough to have a global fan base and audience from very early in their career, but of course we're not ruling out that possibility for us either haha :)
Special thanks to Nath and Blue Knives, keep up the great work!