Legendary punk Glen Danzig took his "Danzig Legacy" tour to New York City this past weekend, one of only four stops that see's him performing for the first time music from all three of his bands; The Misfits (with Dez on guitar!), Samhain and Danzig.
Our very own RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action. Take a look!
Full-time jobs, full-time families, part-time band. Maritime is an interesting band and project, for four gentlemen from Milwaukee, they play passionate rock and roll but never rush to any release or demand. Martime, who released their fourth album, Human Hearts earlier this year on Dangerbird Records, took years to make. Not because they could not get inspired or excited to make music, it was because their daily lives became center stage rather than the band. Maritime, which features former members of The Promise Ring (Davey von Bohlen and Dan Didier), have already made their conclusions about the business and art of making music, so for Maritime, this band is nothing but fun and an outlet to escape the daily grind. I spoke with the band, who are currently on the road supporting Human Hearts. Take a look at my interview with Maritime below.
There was a four year gap in between Heresy and the Hotel Choir and Human Hearts, why the long wait?
Dan Didier: Oh, you know, things. We, the Vehicles and Heresy came out relatively soon after one another so we decided; well, not decided it just sort of happened, that some of us would finish school, have another kids, etc. So basically life happened. We were active between these last two records, just not AS active. This gave us the opportunity to really work on the songs for Human Hearts and get them exactly how we want them and on our own schedule which was actually really nice.
Dan Hinz: Why the rush? I think the more time that passes between writing and recording an album, the more time you have to be inspired and influenced by events in your life. For some, this might pose the danger of "losing your sound" or "losing your audience" to the next big thing. As a band, we've found a way to conquer the fear associated with seconds fleating from the clock. It's quite liberating and probably why the first song on the record is called "It's Casual." It's our new credo.
The music world has changed dramatically in four years; do you feel like you are reintroducing yourselves again?
Davey von Bohlen: I have always felt every time I have ever gotten on stage that I was in a way reintroducing myself. It is my way of reminding myself that I am probably sharing my music with some people in the crowd for the first or last time and to leave the realest/best impression I can. To think any other way, to me, feels like the latter Elvis years where we would all be there to remember or try to conjur our memories of how awesome we were. It would be sadder than good.
With Human Hearts being your fourth album, how do you feel the band has evolved over time?
Dan Didier: Honestly this band has evolved pretty extensively over the years. It started with Davey and I and our ProTools rig. We actually had Justin play bass on the original Glass Floor demos (before we got Eric involved). Then we had the 'Eric' years which was really fun and different and difficult since he had to fly in to rehearse and to tour and we didn't have a solid guitar player so we were borrowing Mike Kinsella (Owen), Mike Feuerstack (Snailhouse), Matt Clark (Ambulete) and even Jeremy Gara (Arcade Fire) on keyboards. Then, when Dan Hinz joined we FINALLY had a solid guitar player, but then Eric left. In comes Justin, before we wrote and recorded Heresy, and we finally have a solid four piece. So, there is the actual evolution of the band. As crazy this all sounds, though, our label situation was even crazier. We were dropped by Anti- after delivering Glass Floor so we went to DeSoto for that record and half of We, the Vehicles. The half came from DeSoto licensing "W, TV" to Japan and Europe right before Kim decided not to be a label anymore. SO, we signed on with Flameshovel who released the domestic version. Then they released Heresy and all was well until THEY stopped being a label. So, it certainly feels good to be on Dangerbird right now!
This probably didn't answer your question, as you were most likely asking about our sound, but the above wackiness played a pretty crucial role in the song writing process of this band.
What was it like recording Human Hearts?
Dan Didier: It was really fun because we did it on our own terms. We tracked all the guitars, bass, vocals and keyboards ourselves at our own studio. The drums, you know, the most important part of the recording process if I do say so my damn self, were recorded in a more upscale studio then our own in Milwaukee. This gave us the opportunity to experiment more with the sounds. The laid back atmosphere that we recorded in I feel comes out in the record.
The band formed from the ashes of Promise Ring and Dismemberment Plan, did you bring any experience and influences from those bands in crafting Maritime’s music?
Davey von Bohlen: Not consciously, of course, but how does one go about shedding experience? So in that way, yes. We bring all of our experiences good and bad with us to every new thing we do. As far as influences, that is also an odd thing to consider. Dan and I are still influenced by life as individuals in the same way we ever were, so I think the answer is yes initially. If the question is asking if our sound is somehow a carry-forward from those bands we used to be in, then I think no. If anything, I would guess we would want to turn away from a sound we have already explored, instead of redoing it. But again, none of these things are discussed or even considered on a conscious level, so they might be better observed from the outside than from where I stand directly on top of the thing.
Human Hearts was released on Dangerbird Records, what’s it like being apart of the Dangerbird family?
Justin Klug: Really great. Dangerbird has carved out an interesting niche in the music world and because of that has been able to position itself as a label that can really focus on their artists. Not being stuck in the old label paradigm has been a big part of their success and they project he resulting energy & enthusiasm into everything they do. It's actually super refreshing.
You have spent nearly a lifetime on the road touring, with the release of new material, does the thought of touring exhaust you or excite you?
Davey von Bohlen: Exhausts and excites us. It is an old friend, and one that I don't think we can hang around with much anymore, but the relationship is comfortable and casual and still a lot of fun. Probably more fun than it was in the waning of our "on the road" years.
What is next for Maritime?
Justin Klug: I don't think anyone can say with any degree of certainty, but we'd like to try to do as many shows as we can through the end of the year in support of the record. We don't / can't tour as much as we used to, but we are committed to trying our best to get out there-even if there aren't any big tour plans. After that, maybe we'll write some new songs.
With The Stone Roses reunion under way, acclaimed British filmmaker Shane Meadows (This is England, Dead Man's Shoes)has been tapped to direct a documentary on the legendary Manchester band's return.
After passing away in July, the official coroners and toxicology reports on Amy Winehouse's death have been released and they state that Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning and her blood alcohol level was 5x's the legal limit.
The project Damon Albarn has been working on with Flea and Tony Allen finally has a name. The name of the band is called Rocketjuice and the Moon. Albarn tells The Irish Times that "Someone in Lagos did the sleeve design and that’s the name he gave it, which suits me because trying to find a name for another band is always tricky.” The band's debut will be out next year.
As we reported last week that Liam Gallagher would be up for a Oasis reunion in 2015 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their universally acclaimed (What's the Story) Morning Glory? record, brother Noel has put the kibosh on that idea, telling BBC Newsbeat "He's got my permission to go and play it. He can play it if he wants. I don't mind. I left that band for a reason and that reason still stands."
As they are on a massive press tour to promote their Lulu record with Lou Reed and about to stage their first concert in India this weekend, Metallica are already working on a new album to follow up 2008's fantastic Death Magnetic. Bassist Robert Truijlo tells Gulf News that "We've been busy writing and recording. We've got a couple of new songs we have been working on the past couple of weeks. The writing process for the new Metallica album has begun."
Continuing her battle with vocal chord issues, Adele has been forced to cancel ALL of her remaining 2011 dates.
“It has only been two years but it feels like a decade” singer Simon Balthazar told me before the band took the stage at a sold-out return to New York at Mercury Lounge. “We never played this place before, but we know how important it is, so it is one to scratch off after tonight,” Simon continued. He has been recovering from a cold and only arrived in the US just days before to start a small tour to build some buzz for fans and road test brand new material for their forthcoming sophomore album, Rooms Filled with Light, which is due in February.
Taking the stage just after 8pm, Fanfarlo arrived on stage to thunderous applause and began playing new songs, never-before-heard from Rooms Filled with Light. The songs sound like Cold Wave infused folk, which shows the band’s maturity since their well received, mainly folk 2009 debut, Reservoir. After a few new tracks, it was right into “I’m a Pilot,” from Reservoir that brought the audiences smile from big to grand. The brilliance of Fanfarlo is in their musicianship, like many of their contemporaries – Arcade Fire, The National, Death Cab for Cutie – they all are multi-instrumentalists. Balthazar himself is most impressive, switching from guitar to saxophone to keyboards to percussion and singing of course. While band member Cathy Lucas goes from keys to violin and sings as well, Leon Beckenmen does a similar task however instead of violin it is trumpet which is weapon. The band’s musical fusion of jazz, modern classical, new wave, cold wave and folk is something to be admired, to take all of these elements and not deviate too much from the foundation of what their sonic sound truly is. In the hour long set Fanfarlo displayed, it was a humble comeback, yet when they return for full support of Rooms Filled with Light, it will be in bigger rooms filled with sound.
A full feature and interview with Simon will be arriving in the coming weeks, stay tuned!
Mark Foster has to be in amazement as to what has gone on to him and his band, Foster the People this past year. In the two years of the trio’s existence, they have gone from local LA indie darlings to one of the biggest names on pop radio. 2011 has been a superb year for the band, having their debut Torches picked up by Columbia and signing to the label, being one of the most talked about bands at SXSW and Lollapalooza and of course, their much talked about performance on Saturday Night Live, having their massive single “Pumped Up Kicks” reach #3 on Hot 100 charts. Mark Foster is living the dream and has to be in a bit of marvel.
Last night at a packed private show for the web series, Live on Letterman, that look of wonderment was written all over his face. As his band strutted down the aisles to the famous Ed Sullivan Theater to take the stage, Foster looked nervous but also determined that he needed to bring his A-game to the famous stage. In a much hyped performance, Foster the People delivered. As the band started, their stadium lights beamed immensely on the stage, blinding the folks in the balcony but they did not seem to mind, Foster himself looked a bit uncomfortable but that would soon where off as the audience got more and more into it and they would change instruments for each song. The bands sound was fantastic; their musicianship is something to take in as well, each one plays more than one instrument and backed by two additional musicians, the magic they have created on Torches has came alive. As Foster spoke to the audience, in his surprisingly deep voice, he referenced The Doors playing on that stage and his love of Jim Morrison and gratitude for everyone coming out and supporting their success. While people were dancing in the aisles, the biggest applause would come from their closing number, the big one – “Pumped Up Kicks.” If Foster the People play their cards right, they will succeed in this business beyond a one-hit-wonder, by the look and way things are going for them now, it can happen.
In Episode 2 of OFFICIALLY A PODCAST, Bill Reese asked correspondent RICH D SMOOV what his most anticipated gig for the fall was, Smoov's response was simple, "Amon Tobin at Brooklyn Masonic Temple." For Smoov it was because of what Amon Tobin was doing with the massive production and stage set up of his show, playing behind a wall of blocks while projections played on the arrangements.
Take a look at Smoov's pictures of the night and Tobin sneaking out from behind the wall and Tobin played night 2 of a 4 night stand in Brooklyn.
Coldplay shared Jools Holland with Ryan Adams last night on the day of their release of their fifth album, Mylo Xyloto. Take a look at the band making their triumphant return to Jools as they played "Charlie Brown" and "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall."
Now that The Streets are finished, main man Mike Skinner is looking for more work. He is teaming up with his friend and former front man of The Music, Rob Harvey to form D.O.T. The band have started posting demos on a website and Skinner tells The Guardian that
"It's hard to speak for both of us but we have a very similar work ethic and love for high quality tea. Teapigs make some of the best. We are not endorsed by Teapigs, however, but I am by Ocktatrack, which is the loop-based musical instrument I will be playing when we perform live next year. It's like one of those buddy movies from the 80s where the dream is impossible until they both make each other see things in themselves that they previously didn't know."
Even though he just released his latest EP, Enough Thunder,James Blake will have some more tricks up his sleeve for a new batch of tunes for a December EP. No further details are available at press time, but his label R&S Records confirms a new EP before the end of the year.
Great news for Jenny Conlee of The Decemberists, after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer earlier this year, we have great news that her cancer is in remission! We wish Jenny a speedy recovery!
Confirming and announcing on the band's website yesterday, Titus Andronicus member Amy Klein has left the band. Amy, who plays guitar, violin and sings in the band says "I couldn't do it anymore," in a rather long post she says she will be leaving to focus on her own material and work. The band has already lined up a replacement with Liam Betson stepping up to fill her shoes. Last year we spoke with Titus main man, Patrick Stickles about the bands revolving door of musicians, read that interview HERE.
Chris Cornell is hitting the road this fall to continue the "Songbook Tour," he started last Spring on his own. The tour, which features him on stage with a collection of guitars and performing songs from his whole solo career, Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog days also heard him perform covers of some of his favorite songs. That essence was captured for the live record, appropriately titled, Songbook which will be out November 21 on Universal. Take a look at the cover above and the track listing below.
01. As Hope And Promise Fade 02. Scar On The Sky 03. Call Me A Dog 04. Ground Zero 05. Can't Change Me 06. I Am The Highway 07. Thank You (Led Zeppelin cover) 08. Cleaning My Gun 09. Wide Awake 10. Fell On Black Days 11. All Night Thing 12. Doesn't Remind Me 13. Like A Stone 14. Black Hole Sun 15. Imagine (John Lennon cover) 16. The Keeper
Northern Irish DJ group The Japanese Popstars have created a great 90-minute mixtape which feature remixes of their own work as well as work from Wild Beats, Loco and Jam, Mixhell and more. Take a listen..here is the full playlist below:
1. The Japanese Popstars 'Let Go' Boot leg 2. Mixhell 'Intergalactic' Beatauque Boot leg 3. Dino Lenny Taz 'Higher' Instrumental 4. Tai D.I.M 'Ion' 5. Felix Cartel 'The Joker' John Dahlback Remix 6. Santiago and Bushido 'Mothra' 7. Maxime Dangles 'Astroneff' 8. Adam Beyer 'Paranoize' 9. Loco And Jam 'Unknown' 10. Loops Of Fury 'Rack Em' 11. Sharooz 'Hysteriesis' TWR72 remix 12. Shinichi Osawa And Paul Chambers 'Fuzz Box' 13. The Japanese Popstars 'Face Melter' 14. The Japanese Popstars 'Falcon Punch' 15. TWR72 'Awake' 16. Maxime Dangles 'Good Job' 17. Menace and Tracid 'Buchla 200e' Original 18. Wild Beasts 'End Come Too Soon'
Germany has always had a knack for electronic based music - just listen to Kraftwerk, need I say more? But as various genres and sub-genres of electronic based music has formed in that country, it has been interpreted in many ways by various acts from other countries. Just listen to early Daft Punk, Justice, Japanese Popstars, Deadmau5 and you will hear a clear German influence on their electronic sound. Now as Europe and the rest of world have taken that sound and altered it to the "new European dance craze," electronic music is hitting Germany heavy again thanks in part to Digitalism. The duo of Jens "Jence" Moelle and İsmail "Isi" Tüfekçi have been making waves with their sound the world over for a few years now. Earlier this year they released their latest record, I Love You, Dude and the band have been on a non-stop blitzkrieg tour around the world hitting every major dancefloor and having the time of their lives. I had the opportunity to speak to the duo about their influences, sound, the fast moving electronic world and remix culture. Take a look at my interview with Digitalism below:
It has been four years since your last record, how have things changed as far as style and sound for the band go?
Jens: If you listen to the new album, you can tell that our typical “Digitalism” sound is still there, but it became more extreme. Compared to the first one, the melodies are more melodic, the hard stuff is even harder, and there are really fast and super slow songs now.
Isi: That’s a logical, natural step for us, because music wise we just started where we stopped last time, but of course took it much further. Four years is a long time, especially when you were young pretty back then and now you feel more “grown up”. We gained so much experience since the last album, it’s unreal.
In those four years, Digitalism has been the premiere electronic acts around the world. How do you feel about this?
Jens: That’s an honour of course. We were overwhelmed by the worldwide reception, because we didn’t have any expectations back then. For us we just made our favourite music and released it. Soon there were bootlegs and mash-ups of our music by other people, and there are probably lots of new acts out there that absorbed our melodic, rough and young musical approach. We can tell that in Hamburg where we’re from, our success encouraged many new artists to work harder and have ambitions, because they’d seen that this is possible.
Who came up with the title for your latest record, “I Love You, Dude?” It certainly displays the brotherhood between you both. Do you see this going on for a while?
Jens: Surely we’re kind of brothers, we see each other every day since more than ten years now. But the album title is not so much a reflection on that, we chose it for a couple of reasons. We came up with it while we were touring in Australia end of last year, and we were forced to having a break from the album production because we weren’t in the studio. We had a really god time in the sun down under, and things started to feel very easy. It kinda clicked and all of a sudden we knew what we had to do to finish the record. We had this phrase in our heads, and it got stuck in them. Then we thought why not name the album “I Love You, Dude”, because it reflects exactly that feeling of ease that we had by that time. We felt so relaxed and understood what we are doing and what we had to do. Also, we wanted to break completely with our first album. We see the new one not as a second album, more just like “an album”. We chose to create new artwork and all that. Finally, we love being cheeky and including twists here and there, and the title is another one of those: When you see the title, you REALLY don’t know what the music on it is gonna be like. It’s a complete disconnection that makes people laugh a lot. We love the irony.
What did you different on “I Love You, Dude” in comparison to your debut “Idealism?”
Jens: This time, instead of for 90% performance, we wanted to go for the 100% and enhance things. The songwriting for example is much more detailed because of all the experience we gained over the last years. We’ve watched so many bands playing concerts or at festivals, we saw how they handle things and all that. And also, our vocal production is better this time. We didn’t give a shit about it on the first record, but this time we thought, why not do it properly?
Isi: We also had the chance to buy lots of new gear that we could try out and get inspirations from, and we have more powerful production tools now and spent more time on mixing and soundshaping than before. We feel like we turned from producers into a band. That’s the feeling behind the new album: It was written by a band.
You claim that soundtracks and Daft Punk play a major influence on your work, outside of the music world, what else influences you?
Jens: The biggest influence is probably our bunker studio. It’s really isolated and timeless in there. There are no windows and you can never tell whether it’s day or night, or it’s a storm outside or it’s sunny and hot. This really maximizes your creativity because there are no distractions whatsoever, and the only way to ‘experience’ something is via your imagination. That way we’re not influenced by certain ‘scenes’ or collectives, and we can concentrate on our very own Digitalism sound. This bunker is in Hamburg, which is a really green city with lots of water, lake, river and canals in it, so it’s a very recreational feel there. Probably better for us than getting sucked into a certain corner somewhere else.
You have remixed tracks for Tom Vek, The Futureheads, Daft Punk, Tiga, Klaxons, White Stripes, Depeche Mode, Cut Copy. How and who do you choose to remix for? What is the thought process like when reimaging a band or artist?
Jens: Remixes come up in different ways. Sometimes we are asked to do a remix for someone, like it was the case with Cut Copy or Daft Punk, and sometimes we ask another band if we can remix them because we love their stuff. That was how The Presets or Test Icicles got remixed by us. It’s always different, and it’s always something special for us, it’s not just a job. It has to bring the original into a next dimension ideally. No electronic DJ would have played the original Futureheads “Skip To The End”, but they could play our remix, so that introduces this amazing band to the dance scene!
Isi: When we work on a remix the formula is really simple: We take very little parts of the original and turn the whole thing into a Digitalism song.
You headline major festivals and play club shows, which are your favorite or do you prefer to do?
Jens: Both things are very appealing to us. There’s probably nothing better than playing a huge stage outside in summer at a festival, with a massive soundsystem, and the weather is great and people are having a great time for a few days there, camping and going crazy. It’s like a huge school class trip, like a short vacation. The thing is though that you’re not so much connected to the audience because its further away from you than in small venues. That’s why we love club shows: You’re right in front of the people and you can interact with everyone. Ideally there’s sweat dripping off the ceiling and you become one with the audience. It’s not as anonymous as the big festival gigs where you have 20.000 people in front of you. It’s more personal.
Isi: We’re looking forward to this summer’s festivals, but we’ve also planned a club tour so we can play smaller venues, because that’s where we’re coming from.
Given that your music is electronic and the ever-changing landscape of technology we are in, do you, as a musician even find it difficult to keep up with how fast technology changes? Do you still use some gear from back when you started?
Jens: Absolutely! We a pretty oldschool regarding technology. There is lots of new gear in our studio, but many synthesizers or samplers are probably as old as us, and our techniques on production haven’t really changed that much since our first album. When things are obviously too easy to be true, we don’t trust it, and we prefer to learn the basics instead of trusting something that is all automated. We want to be in control over the machine.
You started off in Germany and were signed to a French label, because France has really become the epicenter of electronic based music over the last decade or so, was it easy to get noticed?
Jens: When we started, it wasn’t so easy for us in Germany. Although we had already been playing all over Europe, somehow our own country took a bit longer to warm up. We tried to balance that by playing there a lot, and eventually now Germany is one of the best countries for us. Back then, we had to deal with “The French Stamp”: Anywhere we played people thought we were French because of our reference (Kitsuné/Paris) and probably because of our not-so-German sound too. By that time, it was probably a good thing for us though, because the world electronic focus was on France in 2006. Maybe we brought it there a bit more, too.
You seem to cross genre in your music, do you do this to make yourself appeal to a larger fan base?
Jens: No this is not planned, it just reflects our two sides. We love electronic music and we love garage rock sound. Making an album of just techno would be too boring for us, so we combine it with rock elements! We’re pretty bipolar but trying to keep it together and balance it all well. And this doesn’t necessarily mean that the fanbase is larger, because somehow you’re lost in the void that is in the middle. It’s all about finding the right combination to define yourself.
Since being around the world and performing in front of so many faces, where is your favorite place in the world to play?
Jens: Anywhere that’s not a festival drowning in 5 ft of mud is good for us.
The centerpiece to CMJ 2011 was Portugal. The Man, easily dazzling every audience the Alaska band played in front of. We captured most of their tremendous week in NYC. Here are pictures from their headlining set at Terminal 5 and private unplugged show.
Portugal. The Man live at Lomography gallery in West Village.
Photo by correspondent Le-La Cloutier
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Could it be? Liam & Noel could reunite Oasis in 2015 for the anniversary of (What's The Story) Morning Glory? Liam Gallagher told Rolling Stone this week "In 2015, if we can put our shit aside, we can tour and play the album in its entirety for the 20th anniversary. I'd be up for that, if it's on our terms. There's got to be two-way respect." The band split in 2009 when Noel left before performing in Paris after a scuffle with his brother. Since then, the two no longer speak and have gone their separate ways musically. Tell you this much, this band gets back together for this anniversary, the owner of this site will be traveling to anywhere in the world to see it happen!
One of Liam and Noel's favorite bands, The Stone Roses reunited this week and as we reported, the band announced three shows in Manchester's Heaton Park. All three gigs went on sale yesterday and sold-out in a record 88 minutes. Making them the fastest selling gigs in UK history.
Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music compilation will be released on Def Jam in the Spring. It will feature GOOD artists like Big Sean, John Legend, Mos Def and more.
Garbage are currently in the studio working on a new album. The band hope to have it out in the Spring and will be the band's first album of new material since 2004's Bleed Like Me.
Muse's goal for their next record is to have it released a year from now, in October 2012. The band's manager spoke to Billboard.biz recently and said "They've written a lot of material already but you don't know how it's going to gel between them all. They write constantly. They write on the road, so before or after a gig they'll write nearly every night. It's a serious process, but you don't know how it's going to turn out until you start practising it together, because everybody's done it individually."
Dubstep artist Zomby will release a special 12" on December 6 entitled Nothing. Take a look at the track listing below:
01. Labyrinth 02. Digital Fractal 03. Equinox 04. Sens 05. It Was All A Dream 06. Trapdoor 07. Ecstasy Versions
Could Lady Gaga'sBorn This Way Remix album be better than Born This Way? Gaga just reveiled who has remixed and reworked her album for its forthcoming new interpretation. Take a look at the track listing below:
'Born This Way' (Zedd Remix) 'Judas' (Goldfrapp Remix) 'The Edge Of Glory' (Foster the People Remix) 'Yoü And I' (Wild Beasts Remix) 'Marry The Night' (The Weeknd & Ilangelo Remix) 'Black Jesus' (Michael Woods Remix) 'Bloody Mary' (The Horrors Remix) 'Scheiße' (Guena LG Remix) 'Americano' (Gregori Klosman Remix) 'Electric Chapel' (Two Door Cinema Club Remix) 'Yoü And I' – (Metronomy Remix) 'Judas' (Hurts Remix) 'Born This Way' (Twin Shadow Remix) 'The Edge of Glory' (Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix)
“I blew my voice out the other day; I have no idea how we are going to pull this off tonight and tomorrow” Portugal. The Man singer John Baldwin Gourley told me over drinks Wednesday evening before he and his band took to their instruments prior to a private show at the Lomography gallery in the West Village. I kept reassuring John that he will do a great job and had nothing to worry about. After a brief conversation, he retreated to join his band mates and get ready, organize a set list and warm up to perform for the lucky fans and VIPs at the intimate event. As I waited for the band, I kept thinking about their last CMJ unplugged appearance at Apple Store in SoHo in 2009. The buzz around this band had just hit fever pitch and while CMJ 2009 seemed to be rather quiet in terms of artists, two bands broke out that year – England’s The xx and America’s very own Portugal. The Man. Now two years later, the band has released two more records since then – last year’s best album, American Ghetto and this years brilliant In the Mountain. In the Cloud, which also see’s the band making their major label debut on Atlantic Records. Now back for CMJ, the band are the centerpiece of the blitzkrieg festival and received top billing on the list of artists performing, for the art band from Portland, originally from Wasilla, Alaska it has to be a proud feeling.
Portugal. The Man is a band that never stops, in fact, when they are not on their blistering tour schedule they are in the studio recording. They are true music artists that are still yearning to perfect their craft, so Wednesday at the small gallery unplugged show, they wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere and still give fans a reason to rejoice. In a half-hour set that included the songs “So American,” “1989,” “Do You,” and a handful of others, it was an interesting venue and atmosphere to see and hear the band. Especially in comparison to what the five-piece would pull off the next night headlining Terminal 5. Hit with a few technical difficulties, the fans did not seem to mind as this is was such a unique experience, at this point in the band’s career who knows when something like this will happen again.
After Wednesday’s one-of-a-kind incident, Portugal. The Man took to the massive Terminal 5 as headliners and was ready to make it a special occasion. As soon as you walked into the venue Thursday, you were immediately hit with the notion that “tonight is going to be special,” as you looked on the stage there were massive bulbs strung together that looked like candy that wrapped around the band’s gear and stage. There was also a heavy feeling in the air that the fans were ready to unleash. At 10pm sharp, smoke began to blow from dry-ice machines and the stage was hardly visible, blocking the band’s special lighting and hiding the band, but as the smoke blew over they emerged as the opening chords to “So American” were played. As the smoke cleared you could see the five members of the band were backed by a cellist and violinist to enhance their sound and something they had back in the early days of this band’s career. In a marathon setlist that included everything from “AKA M80 The Wolf,” “Elephants,” “Mornings,” “Got it All,” they blended each song into one another and refused to stop. It was as if the band was grabbing the audience by the throat and refusing to let go and slamming them with one great song after another. The highlights would not just come from their brilliant musicianship, it came in the form of two covers – covering The Beatles “Helter Skelter” and then during the encore creating a massive sing-a-long to their brilliant Oasis cover of “Don’t Look Back in Anger.” Not much can unite the Gallagher brothers these days, but if they heard this cover, I believe they would smile as wide and joyous as I was.
In a 24 song set that lasted nearly two hours, Portugal. The Man proved once and for all they are not just one of the best bands in America on the road these days, they also proved they are ready, even at their young age, to hit the echelon of touring bands like Pearl Jam, Phish, Grateful Dead where you can see this band every night of the week and every night it will be a totally different experience. Trust me, after just seeing them myself four times alone this year, each show has gotten better and better, each gig has gotten longer and longer and each experience has trying to locate my head – for it has been blow off my body.
It’s all I can think as I watch the under 21s pile into the main floor at Terminal 5. It’s 8:48 on a Wednesday (forty-eight minutes after the alleged start time, another fifty-seven to go before any music is played), and they outnumber the of age folks by at least four to one. We are all here to see Odd Future perform, and it’s only dawning on me now that this is their true audience, these kids who look up to them the way freshmen look up to seniors. I feel silly for coming, suddenly much older than my twenty-three years, but I sip my beer, lean back on the bar, try to look like I belong. We wait some more.
The crowd gets restless. Chants of “WOLF GANG” and “START THE SHOW” rise and fall. People crowd surf. Lighters are lit and waved side to side as if to a slow ballad. It’s standard fare for musicians to be late, but these audience members have curfews. Some are even here with a parent. Finally, after an hour and forty-five minutes (two and a half beers in adult terms), someone appears on stage. It is Syd tha Kid, Odd Future’s DJ and the only female member of the collective. She begins to spin and dance to her own creations. She is here to warm up the crowd, to offer an olive branch of sorts for making everybody wait. Before long everyone on the main floor is moving in sync, obeying the demands of the beats. All is forgiven, and here come the others.
High energy does not begin to describe what is happening on stage. At any given moment somebody is stage diving or doing his best to start a mosh pit. One member – not sure who – dares to climb up to the railing of the second floor balcony and fall into the high schoolers below. Manic seems a fitting word for what I am seeing. And yet, nobody is missing a cue or making any visible mistakes. Despite their antics, Tyler, Hodgy, Mike G, Left Brain, Frank Ocean, etc., all seem to know exactly what they’re doing. They can create chaos without letting it take over the performance, an admirable ability, deliberate or not.
Predictable as it is to say, Tyler, the Creator is the focal point of the show. He is the only one who addresses the crowd with words other than “Throw your hands up,” and he does so several times throughout the night. Between some songs, he comes to the front of the stage, looks around at the crowd, and expresses his thoughts about being here. The energy level drops when this happens, but nobody seems to mind. Tyler has become the face of the group, and when he speaks it’s not hard to understand why. He doesn’t speak like a twenty-year old who is suddenly famous. He knows this is amazing, that a group of kids from Los Angeles can sell out shows all over the country and be the thing everyone is talking about. He knows that it takes most musicians years to cultivate a loyal following, if they get one at all, yet his stands right in front of him, hanging on his every word. He knows that it could all go away as quickly. He sits down during one of these pauses, says, “I’m sick of this next one, but I know y’all wanna hear it,” and “Yonkers,” the song that brought him here, begins.
The show ends at 11:45, just early enough for a full night’s sleep before school. They close, fittingly, with “Radical,” the infamous chorus of “Kill people, burn shit, fuck school” being shouted by everyone familiar with the song. Outside, in the rain, I watch the crowd dissipate on 11th avenue, and am once again stunned by the demographic. I make a game of trying to find five people as tall as me (I am not that tall). I catch eyes with an older gentleman who is herding a group of four or five ten-year olds away from the fray as they rehash the events of the evening. He can’t believe what he’s just seen, what he is still seeing. The odd future.
*Raf Richardson-Carillo is a correspondent for Officially A Yuppie. In the past his works include Underrated Classics of Deltron 3030 and The Hives.
The CMJ Music Marathon is in full effect. The festival which brings thousands of bands from all over the world to New York City has just entered it’s fourth decade in creating a buzz and boom for bands and artists to break big in the music business. Some of the band’s that have struck gold from this festival you may have heard of – U2, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, Nirvana, Arcade Fire, Scissor Sisters, The Strokes – just to name a few. Therefore as bands perform their hearts out to get noticed in blitzkrieg sets and multiple gigs over the course of four days, journalist’s run to get as much coverage without missing a beat, or hoping to not miss who could blow up next.
As there is always a plethora of music acts to choose from in New York City on a given night, CMJ makes it that much harder. After catching a few bands and parties earlier in the day, I closed Wednesday of CMJ with South African rock band, The Parlotones. The Parlotones, who just finished opening for Coldplay in their native country, are a very Britpop and Britrock inspired band. Crafting magnificent ballads and extremely catchy radio-friendly hooks – think Coldplay, Sting, Snow Patrol. The band returned to New York City to headline the Highline Ballroom. Arriving on stage and dressed in all red and black uniform attire, the band looked more like goth-punk Alkaline Trio rather than a tender rock and roll band. However, as soon as they started playing and singer Kahn Morbee began to sing, a new initiative of the band began. The band, who are massive in their native country, selling out stadiums all on their own must have felt a bit strange with the half-filled Highline audience in front of them, but it was immediate that it doesn’t matter if there are 100 thousand people or 100 people in front of them, they are going to give you a performance to remember. Packed with beautiful harmonies and catchy hooks, The Parlotones affirmed they were the right band to catch on that given night. Mixing in covers of Rolling Stones, The Eagles and Elvis; they were a massive crowd pleasure, even with a majority of the small audience hailing from South Africa and screaming in Afrikaans to the band, Morbee would reply “We are a million miles from home and thank you for making us feel right at home.” After an hour and fifteen minutes on stage, it was a performance to remember. The band will release a new album in March and if it gets any buzz here in the US, be ready and warned they will be the next massive import here.
Jay-Z can now walk in the steps of MC Hammer with his own animated series. Jay's appearance on the HUB TV station show, Be Cool to Your School will feature the rapper-turned-tycoon on four episodes. Take a look at Jay animated below:
Radiohead have given more details about their 2012 tour that fans around the world are waiting for. Speaking to BBC 6 music, guitarist Ed O'Brien said "I think the important thing is that it's got to be a set in itself, it's got to work. Last time we went out, it felt very much like In Rainbows plus the greatest hits. And it's not going to be like that this time. I guess it's going to be predominantly from this record and the last record, and then see which songs fit around that." the tour will take place from February to November next year. Stay tuned for dates.
The busiest band in all of entertainment, The Roots will release their latest record, undun, a concept record on December 6. The album is a record based on the short life of Redford Stephens and his story will be told and unfolded through the bands music. Take a look at the track listing for undun beblow: 1) Sleep 2) Make My 3) One Time 4) Kool On 5) The Jump 6) Stomp 7) Lighthouse 8) I Remember 9) Tip The Scale 10) Redford
After years of bickering and scolding each other in the press and marked by a full year of rumors, seminal Britpop band, Stone Roses have confirmed this morning in a very publicized press conference in London they are back!
The original line-up of the band, Ian Brown, John Squire, Gary “Mani” Mounfield and Alan “Reni” Wren will perform for the first time together since 1995 at three special homecoming concerts at Manchester's Heaton Park. The band also confirmed they are planning a world tour and plan to write and record new music.
The last Stone Roses record arrived in 1994, entitled The Second Coming was the second and final studio record of the band's short lived career. With only two albums under their belt, the Roses had such a tremendous influence on British rock and roll and Britpop, influencing everyone from Oasis, Blur, Pulp, Suede, The Heartbreaks, Bloc Party, Glasvegas, The Fratellis and more.
The band's reunion has been long coming, after Reni left the band in 1995, Squire left the following year and finally coming to an end in summer of 1996. After the fall of Stone Roses, Mani famously went to play bass in Primal Scream.
In this episode, Host Bill Reese talks to Officially a Yuppie Owner and Editor, Salvatore Bono and photo correspondent and DJ Rich Delgado (RICH D SMOOV) and discusses Fall albums including Four Tet, Bjork, Metallica and Lou Reed, Justice and more. The three also begin to look back at the year that was.
Also in this cast we feature pundit and DJ Scott Mason in the segment "SCOTT MASON YOU CRAZY!" In this segment, Reese sits down with Mason and they discuss Beyonce, Dr. Conrad Murray Trial and the future of Hip-Hop.
At a concert for The Clinton Foundation this weekend in LA, Bono and Edge of U2 performed a 40-minute acoustic set, which you can watch above.
Here is what they played: "Bulletproof Pride," "Desire," "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," "A Man And A Woman," "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Staring At The Sun," "One - Happy Birthday." The Encore was "Miss Sarajevo"
Brooklyn, the epicenter of everything cool in the modern age. Face it, there is no escaping that idea. North Brooklyn has been gentrified by people from all around the country settling in and making a home and name for themselves, either through art or business, Brooklyn is booming. For two hip-hop loving friends from Rhode Island, the members of Javelin have settled into the borough and much like other dance party favorites - LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, Deluka - Javelin have made a mark on the scene. With funny references to pop culture, heavy electronic beats and hip-hop break beats, Javelin have become popular with fans of various genres thanks in part to their various styles. The band extended their style a bit more by making a spaghetti-western inspired album this year entitled, Canyon Candy. I had the chance to speak to member Thomas Van Buskirk about the bands influences, Brooklyn, their latest album and the film in which Canyon Candy is inspired by.
The band’s sound is a mix of electro and hip-hop, who are some of your influences?
We have several go-to sounds, I would say… Early hip hop and boogie music from the early 80's have definitely influenced what we do. Not only the sounds, but the vibe of upbeat inclusion through dance music, the feel of a neighborhood party.
How did you both come up with the idea of starting this electric induced percussion style? Did you ever think of having a full band?
Aesthetics, economy, necessity. We've toyed with the idea of live drums, but so often they sound generic in a live setting -- though they do bring crazy energy.
You both seem to have so much fun on stage and in the studio, was that the mission of Javelin when starting?
Yes. For our friends and for ourselves.
Early on you started out in Providence, how were you received there? Was it difficult getting noticed?
We never tried to get noticed. We didn't know what noticed was. People didn't use the internet in Providence-- we didn't read blogs, no one had any idea what was going on in New York City. It was a condensed, local scene that really only cared about other condensed, local scenes.
What prompted the move to Brooklyn?
The timing worked out. I was ready to leave having grown up there, and George's lady had an opportunity to go to school.
Many of your songs deal with pop culture like “Moscow 1980,” “Lindsay Brohan,” “Susie Cues,” 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?
Well Moscow 1980 was written by two Finnish guys who have memories of that Olympics, when nearly all Western countries boycotted Soviet involvement in Afghanistan. (Imagine). "Lindsay Brohan" is an example of a throw-away title that sticks for some reason. There is an element of celebrity names instantly bringing a wash of memories or associations for people, so that the title becomes an image of sorts.
Your latest record, “Canyon Candy,” see’s you taking on a Speghetti Western sound. Why the westward sound?
We got inspired by the landscape of the American west. We thought, "what is the sound of that canyon?" -- then we realized that this was something people had been striving for for years, as evidenced by any dollar bin of records containing "The Grand Canyon Suite" or whatever.
An interesting thing you are doing is raising fund to create a film centered around “Canyon Candy,” what prompted the idea?
We needed more money than anyone was willing to give us. We are lucky to have such an amazing support system out there, but it was kind of a leap of faith!
What would the film be about?
It is already in production. It will tell the story of a young girl whose travel companions are slaughtered and who has to wade her way through the hallucinatory desert, aided by a spirit cowboy, culminating in a showdown scene.
The both of you have toured non-stop for the last few years, does being on the road get exhausting and redundant after a while?
It's usually very exciting, albeit exhausting. We don't experience the kind of tour burnout other bands experience because we do most of the work ourselves (aside from the booking). We have to stay on our toes.
What can fans expect next from Javelin?
Hula Hoops? It's a secret, even to us. But it will probably involve big speakers and dancing.
For the month of October we not only get to indulge in scary movies and get ourselves ready to Halloween, but all of this can be soundtracked by great music provided by the cult classic Donnie Darko. The 2002 film became a sensation in the indie film world and was then re-released in 2004 as a directors cut and to coincide with the director's cut version of the film was the much talked about soundtrack to the movie that featured a slew of Cold-Wave and New-Wave 80's bands.
The original soundtrack just featured the film's score and the brilliant Tears for Fears cover of "Mad World" done by the film's composer Michael Andrews and singer Gary Jules. The 2004 release saw the all-star soundtrack of Joy Division, New Order, Duran Duran, Oingo Boingo, INXS, Tears for Fears, Echo & the Bunnymen and more. The soundtrack takes the films dark undertones and much in which the era the film is based and enhances the color of each song and the story director and writer Richard Kelly wrote about a time traveler. Easily one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all-time for one of the best films of the last decade.
It has been gridlock the last month between protestors and police as everyone is clashing over the #OCCUPYWALLSTREET movement and protests. Musicians from all genres are going down to raise awareness.
It started with a rumor that Radiohead would be playing while in NYC, but that was quickly squashed. Then Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel made a rare appearance and since then everyone from Jonah Matranga, Amanda Palmer, Tom Morello, Russell Simmons and Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Justin Sane of Anti-Flag have all gone down to lend support.
Take a look at correspondent Leigh Allen's photos of Justin Sane performing. Then watch video clips Mangum, Morello, Palmer and Kweli in action.
Artist's covering other artists music has gone on since the dawn of music, however, this week a plethora of covers were released by bands on the web, all very good and very interesting interpretations. Here are some of our favorites of the week.
The Horrors covering Beyonce's "Best Thing I Never Had"