Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 The Albums - Honorable Mentions

So here it begins, the end of the year superlatives for what was the best albums (in my humble opinion of course) that defined 2010. Here is the first of three lists, we begin with my HONORABLE MENTIONS category, next week will feature my coveted LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN and followed by TOP 10. So here were records that were very good and solid but didn't crack the Top 10, however, are worthy of mention. As always it is broken up into a quick list and then with explanations.

2010 Honorable Mentions (In No Particular Order) Short Form:

- Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
- Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
- The Drums
- Deftones - Diamond Eyes
- Far - At Night We Live
- Cee Lo - The Ladykiller

Now with Explanations:

Band of Horses - Infinite Arms
A beautiful and astounding effort from one of indie rocks favorite bands. A soundscape of gorgeous music seized with introspective and fantastic songwriting. 2010 was a big year for Band of Horses and they are just beginning their stampede. Infinite Arms is their third album but has become the one to give them the attention they full deserve.
Key Tracks: Factory, Laredo

Surfer Blood - Astro Coast
The Beach Boys meets The Strokes meets The Smiths, with a cornucopia of sound and style like that, you know you are destined for great things. Easily one of the best debuts of the year and one of the most catchy albums to arrive in a while. These Florida rockers are bound for glory, we cannot wait to see what they do next, Astro Coast is only a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Key Tracks: Swim, Catholic Pagans

The Drums
Just as impressive as Surfer Blood, The Drums long awaited and anticipated debut delivers in such big ways. One of the catchiest and best sounding first releases we have heard in years. The Drums drum up sexy surf pop and mix it with garage and a bit of electro in some area’s. The Drums have created a record so fresh and exciting, you will want to blast this any time of day and grab your surf board and head into the ocean.
Key Tracks: Let's Go Surfing, Forever and Ever Amen

Deftones - Diamond Eyes
Sometimes in life you have to go through tragedy in order to come out on top. For Deftones, their road to ruin has been severe, after having their bassist Chi Cheng sidelined in a coma after a massive car accident, the band pushed forward to create their best record in 10 years. Diamond Eyes is what we have come to love from these Sacramento kings. It is moody in some areas, aggressive in others and a full out wall of noise from top to bottom. Strap on to something tight because Diamond Eyes is a fierce ride.
Key Tracks: Royal, Sextape

Far - At Night We Live
Far is one of those bands that has unfairly been pushed aside by critics, yet in the meantime they paved the way for bands like Deftones, Incubus and Linkin Park to come about. The long awaited reunion record from one of California's finest arrived this year and it did not disappoint. Inspired by friendship and their close friend Chi Cheng's condition, At Night We Live goes hand in hand with Deftones Diamond Eyes. Like two distant cousins reuniting for the first time in a while, they pick up where they left off.
Key Tracks: Give Me a Reason, At Night We Live

Cee Lo - The Ladykiller
The voice of Goodie Mob and Gnarles Barkley fires back on his sophomore solo disc and stands apart from everything that he has ever done. It is a collection of soul and jazz and infused with his own creative style that we have gone to love through the years. The Ladykiller is a must listen and an album that you will be playing over and over again.
Final Grade: Fuck You, Bodies

EXCLUSIVE! Gasoline Silver INTV!

Minnesota this time of year is a very cold and brutal place, yet rock and roll fans from the area have been warming up and turning on the heat to Gasoline Silver. A trio from the Twin Cities, Gasoline Silver formed last year and the buzz about town was right there with them. Playing a garage rock meets 70's soul, Gasoline Silver sound like they come from LA rather than Minneapolis. Comprised of singer and guitarist Ron Franklin, Andy Hertel on drums and Josh Misner on keyboards, they take an approach to their sound that The Doors would admire. After releasing an EP, the band has finally released their self titled debut and we had the opportunity to speak to the band as they discuss their beginnings, recording and what is to come. Take a look at our interview with Gasoline Silver below.

The band started after Ron had a bunch of material he wanted to work on with a full band after doing a series of successful solo shows. What was it like having a full band?

RF: Playing these songs as Gasoline Silver was totally natural. Just as I imagined when I wrote the songs. But I didn’t expect to meet Josh and Andy so I never bothered to hope that it could ever be a band. I thought I’d find folks who could play drums and keys for some shows, and other folks for other shows.

As soon as I started playing with Josh and Andy, I knew I wanted it to be a set line-up. Because once we had this line-up, it was obvious to us and others in the room that we had something different than other bands. Maybe not better or worse, but a different set of rules to performing. Not about making it thru a song, or being consistent, but finding the song every time you play. And you can dance to it. Might as well see where it goes.

Was it odd working with someone who already knew the path they wanted the band to go in?

Josh Misner: It's good to have strong direction. At the same time, Ron keeps things spontaneous and open to evolution.

RF: Aw, shucks.

Andy Hertel: No, it wasn't odd at all. That’s a common situation. That said, our visions are similar, and we're excited about the future.

How did the band’s name come about?

RF: Originally, this was to be my next solo record. GASOLINE SILVER was the working title. By the time it became a band, the band just had to be called “Gasoline Silver”—that’s what the songs were supposed to be, and the songs led me to finding the other guys.

The “Silver” part remains a poorly kept secret, but it has been revealed that “Gasoline” comes from the book by Gregory Corso.

You have been around for a year and there is already a buzz behind you. How do you respond to this?

RF: It’s pretty far out. It’s cool to play a show and have people we don’t know requesting a song like “To Electricity” that’s not even released yet. Or “Honey Bee”, which we still haven’t recorded. Hope we can keep playing together, play in some more towns.

What was it like recording your debut?

Josh: We kept it all very off the cuff and in the moment. Sessions done this way are always the most fun. The version of “It’s All Over But the Cryin’” that we cut live for the video is the same take that made it onto the record.

Andy: It was a blast. We really clicked in the studio.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you before?

RF: We’ve been calling it 3-Piece Electro Freek. For now.

Andy: Rock and Roll. And 3-piece Electro-Freek.

Josh: Awesome.

Who were some of your influences in orchestrating the bands sound?

RF: As far as the sound… it just came down to how I felt like recording the songs, and the instrumentation I wanted to hear when performing the songs.

After touring solo, with just electric guitar and harmonica, I eventually got to the point where I could take any song I would do-- and find every corner of it that I could find as just one person. Which I dug. No loops or nothing. But once I got to this point, and had it down to some sort of technique, there was nowhere left to go.

I began to hear all these other sounds in my head while I was onstage-- drums, electro stuff. Thought I would start recording that way… and when Josh and Andy came along, that was it. I knew Gasoline Silver, the band, could try anything we wanted, and if it worked, it would have the sound that I wanted, because that happens to be the sound we make.

Hailing from Minnesota, what is the music scene like out there?

Josh: Awesome.

Andy: The Twin Cities music scene is vibrant and re-emerging. There are many great bands of many different genres who are pushing boundaries, and there is a lot of support for music in the community.

RF: Josh and Andy live here … and I dig being here. There are cool record stores with vinyl… we played our first show at 7th Street Entry… Willie’s is a very cool guitar store… we shot our videos live at the Flowers recording studio…. it’s pretty happening to have all that in the two towns.

Getting out of town, like going up to play in Duluth, there’s tons of great wide open space where you can really hone in on your thoughts, and what you hear in your head. In Cloquet, MN, there’s a little old corner gas station designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Looked like Edward Hopper drawing for the Jetsons. I got a ten minute feedback solo out of seeing that.

Where would you like Gasoline Silver to go?

RF: Different outfits, really. We want to go all the way to San Francisco. Last winter I played slide guitar and electric piano on this record Wig! by Peter Case… and during the sessions he told me how when he was starting out, playing on the streets in San Francisco, he would hang out at this place called the Coffee Gallery, and Bob Kaufman was a regular there. Kaufman was still doing his vow of silence, ten years after JFK passed. Then one day he just started talking. I want to go see this place, and play a Gasoline Silver concert in whatever the location is now. Probably a Panera.

If there was anyone alive or dead you could play with, who would it be and why?

RF: I’ve always wished Edith Piaf could play bass in Gasoline Silver. I’m adamant that no one else ever will. Just seems like she would be right in the pocket.

Sharon Jones on Conan

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings can never do any wrong, take a look as they play their hearts out on Conan.


Chapel Club has announced the title of their long awaited debut, the album, Palace will be available January 31.

Fiest is heading into the studio to record her long awaited fourth record. The Winnipeg Free Press is reporting that Leslie Fiest plans to record her new record this winter in her native Canada.

Last Shadow Puppet and Rascal singer / guitarist Miles Kane has revealed that ex-Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher will make an appearance on his upcoming solo disc for the song "My Fantasy." Kane tells BBC Newsbeat that "I texted him [Gallagher] saying, 'I need some icing on this tune,' and he said, 'Icing is what I do very well.'" Kane's yet-untitled solo disc arrives sometime in 2011.

Glasvegas are set to make their long awaited live return in January. The band have been working on their sophomore disc in LA for all of 2010 and will return to the stage in their native Scotland come the new year. Singer James Allen tells NME "We love playing live. We love Scotland. We wanted to discover more of our own country doing what we are passionate about. Our new songs will be heard live first in our home country and we're very proud to be able to do that." Drummer Caroline McKay left the band earlier this year, no word as to who is replacing the founding member.

The Beatles are on iTunes and I could give a damn! That is what I have written for UK's The Spectator, take a look at my piece that is drumming up some controversy HERE.

Portishead will not make fans wait a decade as promised for the follow up to their brilliant 2008 record, Third. Speaking to BBC 6 Music, member Adrian Utley said, “We’re just finishing up some projects we’ve each got and then we’ll look to start writing, a little bit separately and then together but it is pretty exciting. I think we’re just gearing up to it, staring at each other a bit and getting ready to go.” Portishead have just curated this year ATP festival in the UK which features MF DOOM, Company Flow, Beak > and Grinderman among others.

REM have revealed the track listing for their forthcoming 15th album, Collapse into Now. The album arrives in March and features contributions from Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith and Peaches. Take a look at the track listing below:

'All The Best'
'Oh My Heart'
'It Happened Today' (featuring Eddie Vedder)
'Every Day Is Yours To Win'
'Alligator Aviator Autopilot Antimatter' (featuring Peaches)
'Walk It Back'
'Mine Smell Like Honey'
'That Someone Is You'
'Me, Marlon Brando, Marlon Brando and I'
'Blue' (featuring Patti Smith)

NERD on Fallon

NERD bring the noise and bring the funk to Jimmy Fallon, take a look!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Kanye WestMy Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
The most anticipated album of the year delivers in big ways. Kanye West has given the world his musical masterpiece and hip-hop a new direction to go in. Kanye who has been teasing fans with his “GOOD Friday’s” give-away songs for a few months, not to mention all of his ego hype via Twitter and what he has released, lives up to all expectations. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is a beautiful and lush piece of music that transcends genres and style. It is an intimate portrait of a conflicted artist trying to prove his worth to the world. While he has already done so in four other albums of solo material,all of the things Kanye has done off the mic have made him a publicist’s worst nightmare. Dark Twisted Fantasy exposes his duality as Kanye the rapper and West the person and his way to cope with both. Can he be a good person or a better one while being one of the greatest rappers of all time in a genre that is all about what you got and not who you are? This maybe verbal therapy for the rapper, but he is getting to where he needs to be as a person. In the meantime, what he has proven is that he cannot make a band record. Even when critics and fans gave him grief over 808’s and Heartbreak – everyone wanted to emulate that sound and style. So while they knocked him, they all wanted to be him. If others copy his style now, hip-hop will become the most exciting and creative it has ever been.

Cee LoThe Ladykiller
The voice of Goodie Mob and Gnarles Barkley fires back on his sophomore solo disc and stands apart from everything that he has ever done. With the success of the single “Fuck You,” Cee Lo Green has released a record that can not only back up a single but also push him above the pack. It is a collection of soul and jazz and infused with his own creative style that we have gone to love through the years. The Ladykiller is a must listen and an album that you will be playing over and over again.

RobynBody Talk aka Body Talk pt 3
The Queen of pop music gives us her final installment to her beloved Body Talk series. Though the biggest disappointment of this Body Talk is that 10 of the 15 songs appear on parts 1 & 2. However coupled with the five new tracks, it plays off as the greatest pop record of the last 10 years – fact! The Swedish sensation is taking the world by storm from her music, live shows and not give a fuck attitude. Body Talk is a record that will have you moving and shaking for hours and will wear the repeat button down on whatever device you use to listen to your music. With contributions from Snoop Dogg, Diplo, Royksapp and others, Body Talk moves and shakes out of orbit. Robyn, my hat is off to you – our new Queen of pop.

Hank and Cupcakes
WOW! Never has an EP been this exciting! Hank and Cupcakes are an Israeli duo that have found themselves in Brooklyn and are becoming one of the cities most talked about new bands. Fresh and furious, the duo’s sound is a combination of jazz, funk, rock and punk, even giving Joy Division a cover of "She's Lost Control" that would have made Ian Curtis smile. Move over Gogol Bordello and Matt and Kim a new energy has hit the borough. With just one EP they have managed to get their word out, once their full length arrives, it will be more than just New York talking about them – it will be the whole world.

Wolf and Cub - Science and Sorcery
One of Australia’s most talked about band’s finally arrives in North America and the wait was worth it. Wolf and Cub are an infectious noise rock band that bends sounds and styles just using conventional instruments. A talented act that we will be hearing more of down the line.

Tahiti 80Solitary Bizness
So we all know Phoenix, but did you know Phoenix were influenced by these Parisians and have adopted their sound. Tahiti 80 have been cranking out neo New Wave for years in fact, as far back as the early 90’s. On their latest EP they are going to get right into your heart and heads and make you wait as they work on their latest full length. Give Solitary Bizness a listen and I promise you will be in love like a sunset….

Norah Jones - ..Featuring
The jazz songstress has released her first compilation and it is a smart one, then again, we would not expect anything less from Norah. …Featuring is a record that features her favorite and best duets with everyone from Foo Fighters, Ryan Adams, Belle and Sebastian, Q-Tip, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Herbie Hancock and many others. A soothing and fresh disc that brings out the best of Jones with her best friends.

Kid CudiMan on the Moon II – Legend of Mr. Ranger ***
Kid Cudi is not your average rapper, so if you are looking for a rap album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager is probably not for you. The album, which features some tracks on which there is no rapping, is darkto say the least - centered around drug use, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Even on tracks like "Mojo So Dope," Cudi’s attempts at bravado are overshadowed by mentions of “drownin (his) sorrows with some O.E.” While this is no conventional album, those who listen with an open mind will find a unique sound coupled with a brutally honest look inside Scott Mescudi’s tortured soul.

Everyone Everywhere
Straight Up Rock and Roll from Philly that brings a warm hug to your ears as we approach the next cold winter. Fans of the Hold Steady will dig this band for their no-frills straight up bar band approach to their music.

Franz NicolayLuck and Courage
The latest solo release from indie and punks favorite piano and accordion player. Nicolay shines on Luck and Courage more than any other record he has ever released. He pours his soul into whatever he does (just ask anyone that has ever seen him on stage), yet Luck and Courage is his most introspective release yet. The man can do it all and with a bit of luck and courage he proves we can do it all as well. An inspiring listen to anyone walking in the great unknown.

Loved Crushed Velvet
An EP from a band that are set for pretty big things, Loved Crushed Velvet are band that captures the essence of a dirty city and turn it into a clean cut rock song. In a small EP of tracks they prove they are worth keeping an eye on.

Matt and Kim Sidewalks
Brooklyn’s favorite duo have taken America by storm with their amazing and energetic live shows. Sidewalks is a continuation of the fun party music these two lovers make. Though, the unfortunate thing about Sidewalks is that like most Matt and Kim records is that it does not capture the energy and raucous of their live gigs – yet, it is still a fun listen.

Pharell and Chad Hugo return with another disc of the ultimate party songs. Combining space age funk, hip-hop, electro and rock NERD have nothing to prove on album number four. However, that does not mean that will not call on some heavy hitting friends like Daft Punk and Santigold to lend a hand.

Nicki Minaj Pink Friday
The latest princess of hip-hop shows she is a spitfire on her debut. Though there is something missing from her first release and it could be substance. The rhymes are fun and are delivered very hard and she proves she has more balls in a male dominated genre than most emcees, however the pink hair gimmick and bizarre faces are distracting from what she is trying to do – which is make it sound like it comes natural to her. Pink Friday comes off forced and unfocused. Though she maybe one of Kanye and Jay-Z’s protégée’s she still has something’s to learn.

***Matthew Warford is a contributing writer to With This I Think I'm Officially A Yuppie

Peter Hook To Bring "Unknown Pleasures" to America

For the first time in over 30 years, Joy Division's debut masterpiece Unknown Pleasures will be heard live in full for the first time in America. JD bassist Peter Hook will be taking the album over to American shores with his band The Light to perform the record with a few Joy Division classics thrown in.

Joy Division formed in 1976 in Manchester, England and through their mysterious sound and interesting take on punk, the band quickly became the talk of England and then soon Europe. Having released only two records 1979's Unknown Pleasures and 1980's Closer, the band were bound to take over the world and on the eve of their first North American tour, singer Ian Curtis took his own life and the band dismantled soon after. The surviving members of Joy Division formed New Order and took the 1980's by storm in the wake of Curtis' passing.

Now beginning next week for the first time, fans of all ages can hear Unknown Pleasures played by Peter Hook. Here are the dates:
Weds Dec 1st 9.30 Club , Washington
Thurs Dec 2nd Voyeur, Philadelphia
Fri Dec 3rd Webster Hall, New York
Sat Dec 4th Royale, Boston
Mon Dec 6th Double Door , Chicago
Tues Dec 7th Showbox at the Market , Seattle
Thurs Dec 9th Doug Fir Lounge , Portland
Fri Dec 10th Mezzanine, San Francisco
Sat Dec 11th The Music Box, Hollywood

Hooky has already done a slew of dates in Europe to rave reviews and we will be at the 12/3 gig at Webster Hall! Tickets are still available for all shows, this is an event not to be missed!

Gorillaz Cover The xx

Damon Albarn and Co. took to BBC 1 and covered The xx's "Crystalized" I wonder if they will make a feature on the new Gorillaz record now???

Sunday, November 21, 2010

EXCLUSIVE! Titus Andronicus INTV!

From Sinatra to Southside Johnny to The Boss to Bouncing Souls to Gaslight Anthem to Thursday to My Chemical Romance to Screaming Females, the list goes on and on. What all of these artists have in common is that they hail from the Garden State - New Jersey and what New Jersey has given to the music world are passionate artists that make great music. Glen Rock, New Jersey's Titus Andronicus is one of those next great Jersey bands. In five years the band has developed such a cult like following that they are becoming one of indie and garage rock's fastest rising acts and critical darlings. Titus Andronicus have gone through various line up changes and as much drama as the Shakespeare play they take their name from, but are holding strong and steady without taking themselves too serious. We spoke with singer Patrick Stickles about the band's history, praise, New Jersey and recording with Craig Finn of The Hold Steady. Take a look at our interview with Patrick below...

You take your name from the Shakespeare play of the same name, why did you decide to call yourselves Titus Andronicus? Does it have anything to do with the character, or did it just sound cool?

Initially, it was just to sound cool. People with an interest in rock and roll have a tendency to walk the earth on the lookout for cool band names, and I am no exception – I have accumulated untold dozens of such names, some of which were maybe sort of okay, and most of which were just plain stupid.

As is so often the case, meaning was applied to it retroactively. The "deeper meaning" that was eventually settled on didn't have anything to do with the character of Titus Andronicus, but rather the place that the particular play holds in the literary canon. That is to say, The Most Lamentable Romaine Tragedy of Titus Andronicus has default "high-brow" status just by virtue of being a work of Shakespeare, but at the same time, it is very "low-brow" in content, relative to the Bard's other works – atrocities abound, and it ends up having more in common with "Saw" than, say, "Hamlet." This places the play at an interesting nexus between "high" and "low" culture, between cerebral and visceral human impulses, which is the same sort of place that we hope our band can occupy. We are a punk rock band, but we don't see that as an excuse not to pursue the highest level of musical sophistication that we can. Furthermore, we may allude to fancy-pants stuff like Albert Camus or Pieter Bruegel, but also to Seinfeld and the Simpsons and all that other stuff we love. Speaking of...

You seem to enjoy referring to pop culture, with obviously the name of the band. Your debut, The Airing of Grievances comes from the famous “Festivus” Seinfeld Episode. The song “Fear and Loathing in Mahwah, NJ,” is a clear connection to the Hunter S. Thompson book. Do you do this because it is easy to pay homage to what has influenced you? Or because you know the audience will recognize it and be more inclined to check it out?

I suppose it is more the first one, because few of our references are so obscure that if people were able to find out about a band as low on the totem pole as Titus Andronicus, they have probably already heard of Hunter Thompson or Albert Camus or Billy Bragg or any of these other people we allude to. Although, our audience seems to be constantly getting younger and younger (at our last show in NYC, not one but two youngsters told me it was their first concert ever!), so maybe it is possible that we might be someone's introduction to something cool.

How did the band form?

It is a classic American story. Me and some pals from high school got together to make obnoxious noise. We had dreams of putting out a seven inch and going on a tour. We did those things, and fell ass-backwards into a "career" of sorts.

There have been about 18 people to come through the band to play, why so many and is this the lineup that will stick for a while?

I couldn't answer this question with much authority, since I have never quit the band myself, and when our various alumni announced their own quitting, who can say if they were telling the truth? That said, here are some of the reasons I have been able to infer, one way or another.
In the first three years of our playing together, we racked up most of our "ex-members." At first, this was because a lot of our members (our first two drummers, for example) were still in high school, and moved away from New Jersey when they went off to college, so we lost a lot of them to that. When our first record came out and we decided to pursue the band full-time, a couple of us were still pursuing college degrees, and they wisely decided to finish out that project rather than following us down the very uncertain road to "indie rock fame."

When we started touring a lot, we burned through a few guys who thought that the touring life was what they wanted, but were proven wrong. Our policy has always been that if we are going to do something, we will do it all the way. This resulted in a 73-day tour at the beginning of 2009, which effectively killed our first proper touring lineup, because our dear sweet Andrew Cedermark just didn't have the sensibilities he thought he might. He has since settled into a quieter life down in Virginia and found some happiness, for which we are all glad. Our other guitarist at the time, Ian O'Neil, told us pretty much the same thing, that touring was getting in the way of personal stuff that he just couldn't ignore. Imagine our surprise when we learned a couple months later that he had joined Deer Tick, which tours as much as we do, if not more. I guess what he really meant was that he likes country music more than indie rock. Why he didn't just say that is anyone's guess. No hard feelings though – he is still the man.

Will this lineup last? Impossible to say, because I thought that the last ones were going to and I was wrong. I guess we shall see! I have my fingers crossed, because I really am especially fond of this one.

Hailing from a small New Jersey town, was it hard to get noticed with your art rock/indie style?

Where we come from in New Jersey, there is not much of an indie rock scene. The scene in NJ is much more dominated by hardcore and emo bands. As a result, in our formative years, we didn't play in Jersey very much, unless it was at a show we organized ourselves, usually in our practice space, or at friends' houses. Attempts to play in NJ usually fell flat on their faces, and we spent much more time playing around New York City, which has a lot more opportunities for indie rock bands.

When people think of Jersey bands, acts like Springsteen, Bouncing Souls, Thursday, Gaslight Anthem, Saves the Day and so on, those bands note the connection to the Garden State and where they are from. How does and has Jersey impacted Titus?

While we do take a certain amount of pride in our New Jersey heritage, and refuse to try and hide it, even though claiming to be from Brooklyn or something would probably be hipper, it is hard to say to what extent being from New Jersey has influenced our various decisions over the years. How can we properly quantify the effect that any aspect of our heritage or identity has on our behavior relative to another? If I had to guess though, I would say that being from New Jersey, which is so reviled in the eyes of the United States and, indeed, the world, and an object of mockery through shows like "The Jersey Shore" and "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and things like this, infuses us with a certain underdog spirit, a drive to prove that we are as good as people from any other state. Then again, maybe not – hard to say for sure.

Your music has a sound of frustration and anger. Did creating The Airing of Grievances release some of that?

Playing rock and roll, in general, I find to be a cathartic experience. Just the act of screaming and jumping around is a great way to let off steam, and I am very fortunate to get to spend a good chunk of almost every day doing it. It is sort of similar to primal scream therapy. With this outlet, I do find myself feeling much more well-balanced. By getting to scream into a microphone, I don't have to scream at my loved ones or anything like that.

With those high emotions, playing the songs night in and night out, is it tiring to take yourselves back to that place of pain and anger?

Not really, because so much of live performance is strictly mechanical. That is not to say I go on stage to be a robot, but most of the songs (from our first album anyway), I have sung in excess of 400 times, so I can sing words that I wrote in a depressed place and not necessarily be transported there. The edges are worn down by sheer repetition.

Your live shows and music have gained you so much attention with the likes of Rolling Stone naming you one of the best new bands to look out for after this years South By Southwest Festival. What is it like getting the attention now after being in a band for so long?

It is nice and flattering and all that, but at the same time, I know that real validation has to come from within, that when you start holding yourself to someone else's definition of success, it is the first step towards pandering and losing whatever may have made you interesting in the first place. So, I try not to give that sort of thing too much weight, even though it is nice for our parents to see us in Rolling Stone and stuff.

Craig Finn of The Hold Steady appeared has collaborated with you, what was it like working with him? Will we ever see The Hold Steady and Titus do a tour together?

Truth be told, Craig recorded his part separately from our recording process – he had his guitar technician record it when they were recording vocals for demos of what would become the songs on their new record. That said, he is a really nice guy and has become a treasured friend of mine. As to whether or not we will ever tour together, that would certainly be awesome – we opened for them once in NJ, and got probably the best response we ever got from someone else's audience. We almost got to do some dates together this summer, but sadly, it conflicted with plans that we had already made. Maybe someday. It certainly is something I would enjoy.

Arcade Fire on Jools Holland!

Arcade Fire brought the fury to Jools Holland this week! Take a look as they perform "Ready to Start" and "Month of May" on the beloved British series.

Robyn COVERS Prince!

Our favorite Pop Princess Robyn, has covered Prince's classic "When Doves Cry" for UK's Channel 4! Take a look!

Grinderman on Fallon

Nick Cave and his even creepier outfit, Grinderman invaded Jimmy Fallon this week. Take a look!


As we venture off into the end of the month, here are some tracks for you to check out that we have been rocking.

- The Who - "Punks and Godfathers"
- Chapel Club - "The Shore"
- Stereophonics - "My Friends"
- Friendly Fires - "Skeleton Key"
- NERD - "Hypnotize You"
- Rick Ross - "BMF"
- Mars Volta - "Goliath"
- Stars - "Fixed"
- Robyn - "Dancing on my Own"
- Crowded House - "Don't Dream It's Over"
- The Clash - "Magnificent 7"
- Arcade Fire - "Roccoco"
- X - "Los Angeles"
- Blood Red Shoes - "Colours Fade"
- REM - "Leave"
- Strange Death of Liberal England - "Oh Solitude"
- OMD - "New Babies, New Toys"
- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - "Paris"
- Sting - "Russians"
- Spiritualized - "Cop Shoot Cop"
- Deluka - "Waves"
- The Cribs - "Housewife"
- The Frames - "Finally"
- Glassjaw - "All Good Junkies go to Heaven"


With Swell Season on hiatus, Glen Hansard and THE FRAMES are back! They made a rare TV appearance this week on Fallon, take a look!


Scottish instrumental outfit, Mogwai are releasing their latest record - with an amazing title and cover, I will add - Hardcore Will Never Die. But You Will, in February. They are also giving away their latest track "Rano Pano" for FREE!

The Decemberists on Conan

The Decemberists hit up Conan this week to showcase their latest song "Down By the Water," with singer Gillian Welch. Take a look!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


For years the Canadian outfit of Stars have been cranking out music. Yet, over time the story of the band has gotten changed and interpreted in various ways, it has become like a big version of the telephone game via the internet. As the band released the beautiful, Five Ghosts earlier this year and have been wowing crowds around the world with their fun and lavish live shows. 2010 was a year that had made Stars shine. From packed performances at this summer's Lollapalooza festival to a massive headlining tour, Five Ghosts have carried Stars into the big light where they belong. We had a chance to speak with the main man behind Stars to Torquil Campbell as he explained the process of Five Ghosts, Canada's current music boom and how some of the band have been featured in Broken Social Scene and how some are not...take a look at our interview with Torquil below.

What was it like making Five Ghosts?

Long, hard, sad, beautiful, friendly, messy, boring and fascinating...a lot like life.

Where did the title of the record come from?

The number five has been haunting us for a while. and I think because of all that happened to us last year, birth and death and motion of all kinds, that ghosts just seemed to be everywhere. And when we looked closer, there were five of them...

Being in both Stars and Broken Social Scene was it daunting making this record while being in both bands?

I’m not in broken in that way. I just play idiot in the broken social scene. You don’t have to do anything but make a few jokes to play that.

What the reason for some of you to break from Broken Social Scene to do this project almost 10 years ago?

That is not in any way what happened. Stars existed before broken social scene ever was around. We had an album out before they existed. we are not a broken social scene side project. But you know, something gets written in a blog enough, it becomes truth, and there's nothing we can do about that I guess.

The name of the band was inspired by a short lived Syd Barrett project?

No it wasn't

Was his work in Floyd and major influence on you?

I love Syd Barrett...but no it wasn't....

Your music is very colorful and active, who are some of your influences?

New Order, Smiths, Marvin Gaye, Saint Etienne, Modest Mussorgsky, Junior Boys, Husker Du, Beyonce, Soft Cell, Cabaret Voltaire, Converge, Everything But The Girl, Prefab Sprout

You relocated to New York for a while then ended up back in Canada. Did the city influence your work in any way?


Why the move back to the Mother land?

A lot of reasons. Amy and Evan couldn’t be in New York legally, and we wanted to be somewhere where we wouldn’t have to work constantly to earn the rent. Montréal is a place where you can still find cheap jam space and the community rule is that you support each other. its a great place to be an artist....

With Broken Social Scene and its break away acts such as yourselves, Feist and fellow Canadian bands like Arcade Fire, Black Mountain and Holy Fuck to name a few. Canada has become an indie powerhouse. What is it like knowing that you and your country are contributing to scene that is gaining global attention?

Feist did not break away from the broken social scene! Not everyone was waiting for the broken social scene to form so they could have music careers! She had already put an album out before broken existed and had been in several bands! come on man...BSS is amazing but they aren’t responsible for everything good coming out of Canada/everyone individually has to work hard to get their things done, and everyone has. Including all the beautiful people in broken. but its unfair to Feist, (who is waaaaaay bigger then BSS) and to us and to Jason Collette and everyone else in the band that releases their own music to place them as nothing but a side project.

Being apart of two influential bands, do you have fans come up and tell you that you have influenced them?


How does that make you feel?

Incredibly proud and grateful. its an amazing thing to know that the music you've made has communicated with people you don't know, and of course there were so many bands that did that for us.

What is the best thing about being in this band?

Getting to be in business with people I’ve known and loved all my life. And the catch phrases....

Live Review - Nitzer Ebb @ Gramercy Theater

On Tuesday night Kings of Leon were headlining Madison Square Garden again, Mumford and Sons were playing the second of two sold out shows at Terminal 5 and rising buzz artist Glasser was in Brooklyn selling out a crowd of curious faces, yet of all these shows, only one legendary act was playing in New York on Tuesday - industrial legends Nitzer Ebb were playing a packed crowd at Gramercy Theater.
The British band with a German influence have been providing pulsating beats and pounding the ear drums of fans the world over for nearly four decades. In a seven date tour that opened in Miami, drummer Bon Harris mentioned "Miami was great fun, it was the benchmark as to what this tour will be," as he told me when I spoke to him before the gig.They return to New York after playing a welcomed gig last year at the same venue, yet this time they return with brand new material. In support of Industrial Complex, the band's first record of new material in 15 years, Nitzer Ebb have not lost the touch that have gained them acclaim the world over for so long, in fact they have just gotten better. In a very impressive 85 minute set, the trio who looked like three dapper mod Englishmen that just stepped out of Ben Sherman store, took the stage at full force. Opening with "Payroll," a track off Industrial Complex, Nitzer Ebb looked as confident as ever and were not going to let up through the night. With percussionists Bon Harris and Jason Payne providing the pulse pounding rhythms, all of the synths and guitar work were all provided by their Mac laptops, as singer Douglas McCarthey would strut back and forth on the stage like rabid dog, it was something to admire. Going through their new work and classics like "Let Your Body Learn," "Murderous," and the crowd favorite, "Join in the Chant," Nitzer Ebb are playing to a legion of devoted fans and have proven they are not going anywhere. McCarthy mentioned to me "this is a great place with great sound, so we are hoping that New York brings the best out of us like they did the last time we played here," New York brought the best out of them and they brought the best out of New York.


To celebrate the release of Darkness on the Edge of Town reissue and The Promise, Bruce Springsteen spent Tuesday night on Fallon. Take a look as The Boss plays with The Roots and Little Steven on "Because the Night" and "Save My Love" as well as a jam with "Neil Young," performing Willow Smith's "Whip my Hair,"

Quick News

Damon Albarn is just a beast, a musical beast. The Gorillaz, Blur, The Good The Bad and The Queen front man is hoping to record the first album via only using an iPad. That's right, Steve Jobs favorite invention will be the main source of musical output for Albarn. He will be trying this idea out for the next Gorillaz record, which he hopes to have out by years end. Yet, while Albarn is doing that, he is also hinting at a possible Blur reunion...again! Albarn spoke to NME and says that "We did talk about doing something in January. Something small, no career-based world domination ideas."

Metallica are just wrapping up their two year long world tour and are going to reconvene next year to record their next record. Lars Ulrich tells Antimusic “There’s a bunch of balls in the air for 2011, but I think the main one is we want to get back to writing again.”

After years of dispute and speculation, The Beatles have finally reached iTunes. Now, just pray they release all the albums on 180 gram vinyl.

The Streets have released the track listing to their forthcoming record, Computers and Blues, which will be out next year. Take a look,
'Outside Inside'
'Going Through Hell'
'Roof Of Your Car'
'Puzzled By People'
'Without A Blink'
'Blip On A Screen'
'Those That Don't Know'
'We Can Never Be Friends'
'Trying To Kill M.E.'
'Trust Me'
'Lock The Locks'

Kings of Leon on Fallon

The Followill boys hit up Jimmy Fallon last week, take a look!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


To celebrate our fourth anniversary, we knew we had to do something big and explosive. After witnessing one of the loudest and one of the most insane performances ever this past fall from Atari Teenage Riot, we knew we had to have them celebrate our four years. Atari Teenage Riot is the newly reformed and legendary digital hardcore band from Germany. During the 90's their shows would clock in louder than Motorheads, they caused more riots than Rage Against the Machine and thrusted more people to take action than any punk band ever did. Formed by the creator of digital hardcore, Alec Empire after the fall of Berlin Wall, Atari Teenage Riot would speak out against the neo-fascim, neo-Nazi movements that were still plaguing the "new" Germany. After their voices were heard, they were soon banned in their own country for taking action and giving a voice to the problems that caused a rift in their homeland and across Europe. While this occurred, the band gained international attention and were quickly signed to the Beastie Boys (no defunct) Grand Royal label, toured with Rage Against the Machine and Wu-Tang Clan, collaborated with Slayer and opened for Beck. Leaving a trail of destruction in their path, Atari Teenage Riot were becoming one of the world's must see and must heard acts. Yet, in 2001 founding member Carl Crack died of a drug overdose and the band went on hiatus. Not until 2009 when Empire, Nic Endo linked with producer and musician CX KIDTRONiK to reactivate the band. Now ATR are back and better than ever! Louder and more radical than ever - they would make every pundit at Fox News' head's explode, the band is enjoying a much deserved reunion and recourse into making music. We spoke with the mastermind behind the band, Alec Empire in what could be one of the best interviews with one of the best people I have spoken to, Empire and I discuss the band's reunion, music and politics. One of the most interesting and intelligent people in the business today, take a look at our interview with the legendary Alec Empire below..

How does it feel to be making a return with the band after all these years?

Alec: It feels weird and great at the same time. This wasn't really planned. We wanted to play a one off show in London, and the feedback we got from it was so amazing, the phone just rang and rang after that. I didn't expect that at all. I was very active over the past decade with my various solo projects, did a lot of touring, film scores, production etc…it didn't feel like I am suddenly on stage again you know…But when we took the old disks, stuck them into the Atari 1040 ST computer from back in the day…everything was still there…you know that information doesn't change over time. I was a quite amazed about how much energy we managed to get out of a computer with 2MB RAM… Very soon we realized that ATR in 2010 is more like a software update or something… applying the basic idea of the band to our present time, instead of just glorifying the past. I found this very exciting and challenging.

What prompted the reunion?

Alec: For some reason the time felt right. A lot of bands kept referencing ATR as a major influence. The political situation, the crisis, the major music industry going down…we wrote most of our songs about these things…back then people thought we're paranoid angry Germans, now a lot more people actually seem to understand what we were talking about.

Atari Teenage Riot first reformed for a free London show, why London? Why free?

Alec: The show was actually not free…not sure where this was mentioned but it was supposed to be an Alec Empire show a few months earlier that we spontaneously changed into an ATR show. The biggest surprise was that the majority of the crowd saw ATR for the first time, very young crowd…it immediately put ATR into a new context.

How are things with MC KIDTRONIK working out as the new member of the band?

Alec: He is awesome…perfect for what what we want to do with the project right now. The band is two thirds American now, Nic Endo was born in Texas, he comes from Detroit but lives in Brooklyn now. He rewrote a lot of the lyrics for the old songs. When MC Carl Crack sang that stuff it was about the racism in Germany when the Berlin Wall had come down…CX wasn't even in Germany at that time…so he wanted to tell his own story instead of replacing and repeating what Carl Crack said. When Carl Crack died in September 2001 it seemed impossible for ATR to continue. When we met CX at a show in Amsterdam last year, we clicked.

When you started ATR, you were surrounded by controversy in your native Germany. How have things changed now? Are things a bit better?

Alec: Not really. Germany is run by very slow and conservative people…the country doesn't have enough drive. The Germans love authorities and hierarchies…and that doesn't only go for the military and car industry, it also goes for the music scene. Only the experimental and avant-garde is interesting in Germany, but they don't get recognized enough there. I do love to record and write music in Berlin though. Perhaps because I'm in the middle of all that.

Do you still feel that "Deutschland Has Gotta Die?”

Alec: It's no secret, I don't believe in Nation states and the governments who run them. I find they often make things worse. When we wrote the song, we simply couldn't understand why Germany held on to all that outdated stuff. We live in a world where everybody gets connected more and more. To think nationalist hardly make sense in our times. The danger is that in Germany you get a lot of Neo-Nazis with that…. What many people don't understand is that the Germans lost World War II , so these old ideals sit very deep, and it will take generations to change that. On the surface it all looks shiny but underneath it gets very ugly. We think that every person on this planet should have the same chance to get somewhere in life and this shouldn't depend on his/her nationality.

You left Berlin in your late teens, in order to escape mandatory military service. Being the first generation after the wall fell down and being forced to join something, how did you and the rest of your generation respond?

Alec: Of course we were very angry. Imagine you have a few months before you get out of school and suddenly you get told you have to do the military service. You can't even choose? We grew up in the occupied Berlin, we didn't feel "German" at all. We listened to American and British radio stations, went to clubs who played all the rap and hip hop records from the US. Most of the kids from the American soldiers went to the same clubs….so we didn't even have time to prepare for it. I was producing my first records while I was still at school, had been offered various record contracts…to take 2 years off and sit in some bunker in a German forest was not in my plan. Of course having had a family member killed in a concentration camp also played a huge role for me.

Politics and social situations have always been at the forefront of ATR’s music. What do you say about the world we live in now?

Alec: I think we are seeing the world shifting from the old times to the new times…technology is leading the way. A lot of conservative thinking people have problems dealing with that. They often hold on to old religious rules, so they find stability in this fast changing world…I see a lot of political activism around the globe. It is much easier now to find more information about politics for example. Even though there are a lot of conflicts in the world right now, I feel very optimistic. The question that everyone has to ask themselves is whether they want to be part of the decision making, or be passive and just consume. Knowledge is key. Back in the 90ties we kept repeating that Capitalism only works for a minority of people. It is very easy to see this now.

Your live shows have always gained you much attention around the world, how has ATR’s live show changed in your 10 year absence? What can fans expect?

Alec: ATR in 2010 is not like ATR in 1997. Of course we play all the songs in the set, but we made the show even more physical in terms of sound. We still use a lot of the old machines, because they define the sound of the band. But there are a lot more tools around these days to make the show more powerful. I was just told by a promoter of a festival in Berlin that Crystal Castles did pull out because they didn't want to play next to us on the bill. I am still trying to find out if that's true though…When we played Reading Festival in the UK, we were told to turn down the sound while the Libertines were playing on the other stage. The new set up is way more energetic than ATR used to be back in the day. We also do parts in the set where we all work the machines…a little inside joke, a reference to Kraftwerk…but of course the audience gets this huge blast of noise…The critics in Europe, especially in the UK think that ATR now would blow the old ATR away easily…hard to say…we just do what feels exciting to us.…we want to spread euphoria and encourage the crowd to get involved and take control of their own lives.

How do American audiences differ from European audiences? Who are the best people to play for?

Alec: American audiences as very honest and respectful, if you treat them in the same way….I met great people while we were touring. I always find it hard to answer this question as the US is such a huge country. I can't generalize it.

1997 was the year you made your biggest impact in America was your compilation album, “Burn, Berlin Burn,” touring with Rage Against the Machine, Wu-Tang Clan and being signed to Beastie Boys now defunct label, Grand Royal. Do you feel that with your return now, this can happen in a bigger way again?

Alec: The 90ties were the golden age of record sales…something like that…I don't really know right now. If I learnt something over all those years making music, then it's one thing: If you want to repeat the past you'll fail. We move into the future and now more than ever before it's down to the fans, the people out there to decide if they like it or not. We don't compromise to get to a bigger crowd. Things are changing so fast these days, it would be a mistake to try to manipulate anything. We have our own set up, a great studio, we do our own artwork, our own photos, etc…..we built this over years. Back then many people didn't understand. Now our way of working has become almost the stereo type business model for new bands. We can act very fast. I think the time is much better now for Atari Teenage Riot. The music industry has become like Wall Street…a lot of bubbles, not much substance. We were never really a part of that anyway.

Will we be getting a new studio album from Atari Teenage Riot soon?

Alec: We have recorded a few things over the summer. After the North American dates we'll do more. If that ends up being a CD album or 60 songs that you can download for free, I can't say that yet. For us the most important thing is to write the best ATR material we can at this point. I felt provoked when a journalist from Mojo Magazine told me it wasn't possible, just because Pixies didn't do it, Stooges did it badly, and all the others… that's his opinion, we'll see. We recorded Activate! in one night. The crowd goes nuts when we play it. But there will be also some music that will take a few years to sink in….we got a lot of ideas … I also love that we hooked up with Dim Mak, because this means we don't get limited to the Digital Hardcore thing too much. If we manage to capture the energy from the live shows, then we succeed.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Who would have guessed that this site would be going on and as strong four years after I started it? I for one did not think any of this would happen. With This I Think I’m Officially A Yuppie started in November 2006 and was just a site for friends of mine to look at for music and movie news, after all the URL used to be - it was not even a proper site! Yet, things change and have changed for the better over time. This is now a full on music website that has been praised the world over, we have readers in every corner of the globe and the response is something I could not be prouder of. From our interviews with artists from all genres to our detailed and very attentive live reviews and fun album reviews, Officially A Yuppie I am proud to say, is becoming one of the net’s premiere music sites and I have YOU to thank for that. I have YOU to thank for reading it and coming back and giving us inspiration.
To all of the bands and artists that are putting out worthwhile music – thank you for inspiring my staff and I. We are living in such a great time of music, no matter what any other blogger may say, music today does not suck. It sucks if you are not looking for what you want, everything is at our fingertips in all genres and we are privileged to bring you some great acts. After all we are the first American website to interview Glasvegas, La Roux, Violent Soho and Chapel Club. You can also bet we have many more exclusives coming for you in the next year. While other site are talking about their hero’s we are chasing ours down speaking with and bring to you from Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Bouncing Souls, Johnny Marr, Living Colour, Bad Brains and we promise more legendary interviews in the coming months – your heads will blow off with who we have lined up! Even to celebrate our 4 years we are posting an AMAZING interview with the LEGENDARY ALEC EMPIRE of ATARI TEENAGE RIOT! Stay tuned!
We have also been talking to some of the best and biggest acts around like Portugal The Man, The Bravery, Airborne Toxic Event and The Drums.
To my staff that consists of some of the best correspondents and photographers in the business – thank you! Thank you for your time and hard work, I hope this is as much for you as it is for me and it is only going to get bigger and better!
To all of the artists, publicists, managers and labels thank you for all of your help and support! It means the world to us to have you in our corner of consideration!
To my friends and family, thank you for your input and guidance and encouragement, without you this whole adventure would have never started.
2010 has been an amazing year for us, we have given you an exclusive interview each week, brought you more live reviews and album reviews than ever before and the best wall to wall coverage of Lollapalooza 2010 more than any other website. It has also been a great year for me as I have been featured in one of my all time favorite bands – Oasis’ latest greatest hits record “Time Flies.” I have also been chosen to write not just for one but two of the world’s most prestigious sites – The Huffington Post in the US and The Spectator in the UK. Thank you for all that believe in me, my work and this site. I promise you are just seeing the beginning!

Salvatore Bono