Sunday, February 27, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Everything Everything INTV

Fast, clever, fun and most of all very catchy. England's Everything Everything have been the talk of their native country since releasing their debut album, Man Alive, last year. Forming in 2006, it was a hard but firm road the members of Everything Everything have been on to achieve the success they are chasing after. Last year saw them highly praised by fans and critics with Man Alive as well as beginning to gain international acclaim with their non-stop touring schedule. With the success of their debut under their belt, Everything Everything are now climbing the ladder even higher. As the band has been on tour in Europe, we spoke with drummer Michael Spearman, who took time from his busy schedule to discuss the bands beginnings, success and appeal. Take a look at our exclusive with Michael Spearman below.

How did the band come together?

Three of us met at school, then one extra at university in Salford. We had a line-up change in the form of a new guitarist about 2 years later.

Does the name of the band come from the Underworld live record of the same name “Everything, Everything?”

No, we had no idea about this, though we do like Underworld a fair amount.

What was it like recording your debut?

Very thrilling and relieving at the same time, we were in a haunted farmhouse in Wales in the middle of nowhere which gave us lots of inspiration.

Do you feel any vindication now that it is out?

Yes it feels liberating and also a but daunting, in the best way.

You titled the record “Man Alive,” how did that title come about? Does it have anything to do with how fans will feel during and after listening to the album, feeling very alive?

Well we like that idea yeah, the title actually comes from a song on it called Qwerty Finger. We like the myriad meanings you can take from it, depending on how deep or shallow you want to look.

Who came up with the concept for the cover art? It is pretty fantastic!

We based all the artwork on lyrics from our song 'Tin', we asked our artwork people (tappin and gofton) to track down images of urban foxes. Oddly enough we discovered later that we had a very close relationship with the photographer who's photos we had already chosen - jeremy's childhood's friend's father's best man!

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

Hopeful and unpredictable

You started off in Newcastle then moved to Kent and now reside in Manchester, do you consider yourself an Manchester act or just a British act?

Two of us were from near Newcastle, one from Kent, one from Guernsey. Yes a British act is a good term, I wish more of the media were content with us being that and not concentrating in where we are or aren't from.

With the backing of Manchester, do you feel any pressure to live up to the musical legacy of that city?

The true legacy of Manchester is a history of bands that looked to the future, something we've always tried to do. We feel extremely honoured to be a part of it, as we love the music of that city.

From BBC to NME to Q to Mojo to My Black Heart, every great British music publication has praised your band as the next big thing. How does this make you feel?

We hoped it would make a positive impact, but we were careful not to let reviews affect is too much - the way the album resonates with the public is more important, and more rewarding for us.

Do you feel any pressure to live up to these expectations?

We're often asked about pressure, I would have thought all bands try and do their best with each album and show. It's great that people have expectations; we don't feel pressured by it.

I ask this to every foreign act and surprisingly get a different answer everytime, is it a big deal to break big in the US for you?

It's the biggest deal in pop music; unfortunately you usually have to make a lot artistic compromises in order to even get close to the charts. You can be big in loads of different ways in the US, we'd love to be over there as much as possible.

Road to the Oscars 2011!

Tonight is the night! Get the popcorn and champagne ready for Hollywood's biggest night. In a film year marked by outstanding performances in solid films, we will honor film's art and achievements for another year. In a year when documentaries like The Two Escobars, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Client #9 and Inside Job had some brilliant narratives they could have been features and that the best picture of the year had no human actors in it, it shows the strength of motion pictures. With a new generation of hosts in James Franco and Anne Hathaway, the Oscars are going for ratings gold in trying to bring in a new audience and appeal. Hopefully they can lighten up the usual stuffy telecast. Also, one who everyone is curious to see lighten up the show and bring surprises will be mysterious street artist Banksy, who's documentary, Exit Through The Gift Shop has been nominated for Best Documentary. We will have to see!

As we do every year, here is our list of the 10 Best Films of the Year as well as some Oscar picks in the major categories. Tune in to ABC tonight at 7 to see how we did and who won.

10 BEST FILMS OF 2010

1- Toy Story 3
2- Inception
3- 127 Hours
4- The Fighter
5- Blue Valentine
6- The Social Network
7- The King's Speech
8- Shutter Island
9- Somewhere
10- Never Let Me Go

Oscar Picks for 10 Categories

Best Picture:
The King's Speech

Best Actor:
Colin Firth

Best Actress:
Natalie Portman

Best Supporting Actor:
Christian Bale

Best Supporting Actress:
Melissa Leo

Best Director:
David Fincher

Best Cinematography:
Wally Pfister

Best Screenplay (Original):
Inception

Best Screenplay (Adapted):
The Social Network

Best Score:
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Quick News

U2 fans got some great news this week, they have been announced to headline Glastonbury in June (No surprise after they had to bail on the fest last year due to Bono's back injury), but fans were also treated to the news that they will hear two brand new Hype songs this year. The Hype, which was one of the original U2 line-ups that featured The Edge's brother, Dik Evans on guitar, will have two songs in the forthcoming comedy Killing Bono.

Sad news to report, former X-Ray Spex singer Poly Styrene aka Marianne Elliott-Said, has revealed she is battling cancer. In a statement issued by her publicist, they did not mention the type or stage of cancer she has. Poly was set to tour in support of her latest effort, Generation Indigo, however, the tour has been cancelled but the album is still set to arrive in April.

The Cribs will be returning to the studio after the summer festival season. Taking to Twitter, the band said “Despite being on a break, The Cribs are not superhuman and still have to eat, therefore they will be playing a handful of summer festival shows,” this record will be the follow-up to 2009's massive Ignore the Ignorant and will be the second Cribs record featuring Johnny Marr.

TV on the Radio have been very quiet about their latest release, Nine Types of Light. They just released the single "Will Do," and the album will arrive in the spring, however, they just unleashed the photo to the cover art of the album. Take a look, the photo was done by TV bassist David Stiek.

Bright Eyes on Letterman



For the first time in years, Bright Eyes came back to television. Take a look as Conor Oberst and Co. return to Letterman.

Live Review - The Twees @ Knitting Factory

The Twees Live at the Knitting Factory by Leah Marchesano*

This past Friday I headed out to The Knitting Factory to catch one of my favorite NYC bands, The Twees. Also on the bill for the night was Eytan and the Embassy, Wild International, Chappo, Not Blood Paint and Sister Helen. The lineup for the night was in a word, exciting. When I walked into the venue, Wild International had taken the stage and within the one minute of me being in the room, I could tell that they had the complete attention of the crowd. Not only were they energetic but at one point they poured a basket full of various instruments into the stretched hands of their audience. They couldn't have made their performance any better, they held your attention, their songs were fun and the crowd interaction topped it off. Next up, Chappo. I was blown away. I had never heard their music before so I didn't know what to expect. When they started playing it was engulfing. The absorbed you in every way possible. Their songs made you dance, adorned in feathers you couldn't take your eyes off of them. It was an absolute pleasure for all of your senses. Usually when I'm waiting for the band I want to see to take the stage, I couldn't care less about who goes on before them. Wild International and Chappo were more than a thrill to watch, I don't think the night could've started out any better. As The Twees started to take the stage and set up their gear, I decided to position myself in awkward dead center, right up front. I wanted to be close enough to catch it all, really focus in on what makes The Twees such a great live band. As soon as they started playing you couldn't help but throw down your bag and dance. The energy that The Twees give back consumes you and you feel it being passed to everyone in the room. Everyone watching is having fun, you can see it on their faces and you can see it in the way they move. Though Jason Abrishami is the band's frontman, bassist David Kaplan and guitarist Jon Zuckerman each had their share, with Kaplan singing 'Hepburn Shades' and Zuckerman, 'Fan Fiction'. All three boys have their own distinct way of performing, you enjoy watching each of them equally, the rotation between them is one of the aspects that makes a Twee show so captivating. The highlight of the night was when we were beckoned on stage by the band to dance while they played, 'Wishful Thinking Youth'. Now, I feel I should point out, the stage at The Knitting Factory isn't the easiest to get up on. It takes an effort to jump and pull yourself up but plenty of people were more than willing to climb up and dance with the band. Even though you have a countless number of eyes on you, you don't at all feel awkward or self conscious. As soon as The Twees start playing you don't care to think of anything else. You're on stage. You're dancing. You're having fun. I was truly jealous of the bands drummer, Dan Edwards, who got to watch us all from behind his drum kit. I think if the band would have let us, we probably would've all stayed up their for the rest of their set. As soon and you hop down you spin around faster than ever, as to not miss a single second of the remainder of their set. The Twees know how to hook you. Whether it's through their songs or the amount of energy they're giving off, they have you. It's impressive. You see the ambition in their eyes and can only hope to see another one of their shows so you can get that same alluring feeling, again.

*Leah Marchesano is a contributing writer to Officially A Yuppie. She is one half of the dynamic duo of The Leah & Melissa Show.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ben Lovett See's The Eye of the Storm

EYE OF THE STORM | Lovett from Lovett on Vimeo.


Ben Lovett, not to be confused with the Ben Lovett of Mumford & Son's will release his band, Lovett album Highway Collection on March 15. Take a look at the amazing video for the second single, "Eye of the Storm." One of the best we have seen in a while.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Francis & The Lights INTV!

Given his birth name, Francis Starlite, Francis was born to entertain. The main man of Francis and the Lights had a break out year in 2010. From recording and touring with hip-hop sensation Drake to psychedelic rockers MGMT to synth sensations La Roux, Francis has put the spotlight on himself. As 2010 was a massive year for the singer, 2011 is already looking to be bigger with a headlining tour, a spot at Coachella and already working on a follow up to his acclaimed debut. Just before coming back to his native New York to perform at Soho's La Passion Rouge, we spoke with Francis about his success, work and upcoming projects. Don't expect the singer to give too many details, he is just as much of an enigma as his persona. Take a look at our interview below..

Given your name, do you feel as if you were born to be on stage? Be a star?

I am what I make of myself.

Your music is very soul meets pop meets 80’s New Wave, who are some of your influences?

I try as hard as I can to not talk about other musicians and bands. I am mostly influenced by the book "the Elements of Style" by Strunk and White.

You have received high praise from people like Drake and Kanye West, how does it make you feel knowing that people outside the genre are listening and praising you?

Both of those artists transcend any 'genre,' and I hope to do the same.

You worked with Drake on his record “Thank Me Later” then opened for him, what was that like?

It was incredible.

Your live shows have gotten you much attention, what is it on stage that you are doing that has everyone in awe?

Singing and dancing.

You toured with a variety of people last year, from Drake to MGMT to La Roux and Kesha. How difficult was it opening for various genres and different types of fans each night?

Being an unknown opening act for a headliner with #1 hits is a difficult proposition, no matter who is involved. This is the significant factor. That said, I go out there and do my work.

You went to Wesleyan University where you met and linked up with MGMT, do you guys continue a friendship and relationship?

I have only admired them from afar.

What was it like recording your debut, It’ll be Better?

It was hard. The songs and I had been through a lot, and we were tired.

The record only featured eight songs, it had some up in arms saying it wasn’t a full album, do you feels that it is the quality of song not quantity of songs on a record?

Yes. Most of my favorite records are short.

Is there a follow up already in the works?

I am working on new songs, and I hope to release them soon. I need to figure out how to record them, and with whom to release them.

Quick News

Anthony Kiedis told Spin Magazine the title of the Red Hot Chili Peppers latest release and hold on to your hats... The new Chili Peppers album will be called, Dr. Johnny Skinz's Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine-head. Kiedis does have an explanation, he says "He was reminiscing about one of his legendary acid trips, and told us that he had been playing a sold-out show to the planets and moons, and his #1 hit was, well, that title. We found it so funny that we told him for as long as the album was under the radar, that that would be our nickname for it." Dr. Johnny Skinz's Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine-Head arrives this summer.

Soundgarden will finally be entering into the studio this year (and for the first time this century) to record new material. The band, who have been laying low since last summer's Lollapalooza festival will release a live album this spring and at that time they will enter the studio.

Jack White will not form another band. Yes, you heard right, Mr. White, who's main band The White Stripes split a few weeks ago and who has been recording with The Raconteurs and Dead Weather will not start a new band. White tells Q, "If I can't say it in any of these bands, then I'll say it by myself," meaning he will start a solo project. Knowing Jack, we will be hearing much from him, no matter what form for a while.


Adele on Letterman



Right before she gave her stunning and private performance at Ed Sullivan Theater, Adele did a taping for Letterman. Take a look as she does her current smash, "Rolling in Deep."

Elbow Cover & Track Listing

The Mercury Prize Winning Elbow will release the anticipated follow up to their 2009 international smash, The Seldom Seen Kid. The band's latest, Build a Rocket Boys! (or as they have it in lower case - build a rocket boys!) will arrive in April. Take a look at the cover and track listing.


01 The Bird
02 Lippy Kids
03 With Love
04 Neat Little Rows
05 Jesus Is a Rochdale Girl
06 The Night Will Always Win
07 High Ideals
08 The River
09 Open Arms
10 The Birds (Reprise)
11 Dear Friends

Playlist

It's nearing the end of the month, so that means a new playlist. Take a look at these tracks we have been blasting.

- Bright Eyes - "Shell Games"
- Joy Division - "Dead Souls"
- Fran Healy feat. Neko Case - "Sing Me to Sleep"
- Fanfarlo - "Good Morning, Midnight"
- Cee Lo - "Bright Lights, Bigger City"
- LCD Soundsystem - "Us vs Them"
- Hot Chip w/ Bernard Sumner - "Didn't Know What Love Was"
- Nitzer Ebb - "Join in the Chant"
- Florence and the Machine - "You've Got the Love"
- Stone Roses - "Bye, Bye, Badman"
- Kanye West - "Lost in the World"
- Hurts - "Wonderful Life"
- Editors - "Last Day"
- Dr. Dre feat. Akon - "Kush"
- Robyn - "Call Your Girlfriend"
- White Lies - "Bigger Than Us"
- New Order - "True Faith"
- Primal Scream - "Jailbird"
- Gaslight Anthem - "I'da Called Ya' Woody, Joe!"
- Rolo Tomasi - "I Love Turbulence'
- Pendulum - "The Island"
- REM - "Discoverer"
- Talib Kweli - "Gutter Rainbows"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Live Review - Adele @ Ed Sullivan Theater


It is a big week for Adele; she just released her critically acclaimed and heavily anticipated sophomore release, 21. In her native Britain, she has the number one album and is the first living artist since The Beatles to have two singles and two albums in the UK Top Fives. In order to celebrate, generate some press and show off her talents, Britain’s Golden voice arrived in New York on the eve of 21’s release to display her talents in an intimate, invite only concert at the Ed Sullivan Theater for a special “Live on Letterman” segment (it can be seen below).

In the stage that has given iconic Brits a major platform, dare I mention The Beatles on Ed Sullivan or Oasis’ US television debut in 1994, Adele returned to Letterman’s building to live up to that legacy. As her band arrived on stage sharply at 9pm, Adele made a grand entrance through the back of the audience and tried her hardest not to stumble in her high heels as she got on stage and began belting out words from that powerful voice of hers. Adele’s voice comes from a place of vulnerability, it comes from heartbreak, and it comes from a young woman who is much more mature than most ladies her age. In her 21 years, she seems to have experienced a lifetime of education from situations that have given her a reason to write, sing and give all of herself for us to listen to and take in. In between songs, the neo-soul, bluesy singer would tell such hilarious and amazing stories about situations she has been in, her career, her jet-setting lifestyle that aside from listening to her great music, you wanted her to keep going with her great stories. Though with two Grammy Awards under her belt, top selling albums, numerous Brit Awards, critical acclaim and having Rick Rubin producing her work, success has not jaded Adele; she is as down to Earth and sweet as someone who has never had any success. Her personality and talents will be her key to longevity and why 15-20 years from now, the name Adele will still be talked about.

In her 45-minute performance which showcased brand new songs and songs off her debut, 19, the true highlight came during her performance of her breakout single “Chasing Pavements,” which was then followed up by a bossa-nova cover of The Cure’s “Love Song,” then followed by her brilliant and beautiful cover of Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love.” These were covers and renditions that would have Dylan and Robert Smith smile and be proud.

Adele will return to the New York area in the spring for a massive world tour, this is a show and person that is not to be missed. Her latest, 21, is out now and is more than worth a listen.






Photo's courtesy of John Filos of CBS.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Alan Wilder INTV!

From pianist to producer, beat maker to beautiful compositions. Alan Wilder is a name synonymous with electronic music and modern producing. The former Depeche Mode keyboardist and Recoil main man has been cranking out alternative sounds for four decades now and shows no sign of stopping. After leaving Depeche Mode in 1995, Wilder has focused on Recoil, the electronic project that has kept him busy for nearly 15 years. Recoil, which was started in 1986 as a Depeche Mode side project has now become his main focus as well as producing for artists like Nitzer Ebb, Curve and others. While he has kept his focus on his own work, last year after 15 years, Wilder rejoined Depeche Mode for a few songs at a special performance at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts in London. As the man has kept busy through the years with studio work and going on the road, we caught up with him as he finished his North American tour and got a rare interview and glimpse into the mind and world of this legendary artist. Take a look at our interview with Mr. Wilder as we discuss Recoil, recording and a maybe rejoining his former band.


You have had a slew of great guests playing with you on this tour from Alessandro Cortini to Martin Gore. Do you hand select your guests? Anyone that you would have loved to have joined you that you couldn’t get a hold of?

AW: Ideas for guests just tend to throw themselves up. Either they hail from the city we happen to be playing in, or they have approached me, or they might be someone I feel would suit the Recoil events in some capacity. Martin lives in California so that made sense for example. It would be ideal to have Recoil collaborators appear more regularly but the logistics of taking extra musicians and vocalists on the road in the US just don’t add up with this kind of project. Trying to make the tour cost effective in the current climate is, shall we say, a challenge.

You have been touring in support of your best of work - “Selected”, do you plan on releasing new material in the future?

AW: I haven’t got any completely concrete plans but I intend to carry on with what I started before this particular campaign kicked off. I have about 6/7 embryonic tracks underway but it’s too early to say what direction the whole thing is really going in, or when it will be complete. I’m planning to get back into the studio, fix my very ill studio computer and get to writing some new Recoil music.

With various guests on a Recoil album, how does a song get crafted? Do you write the lyrics for the singer or leave that to them and you concentrate on the music?

AW: Basically, I allow the music to direct me towards the voice. Nearly always I begin with some musical ideas (although occasionally I may have a voice sample, like The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet used on ‘Jezebel’) and the atmospheres which emerge then suggest a type of voice. I try to choose people who are technically proficient and who I also think will be empathetic with the Recoil approach. Good examples would be Joe Richardson and Diamanda Galas - both incredible singers with open-minded attitudes.

I tend to compose basic music first (I wouldn’t call them songs) which should at least lay a framework and some atmosphere to hopefully inspire any would-be vocalist. Usually at this stage the music has suggested who that voice might belong to, and so that is when I would approach people to contribute. Once a singer has come up with some ideas and we have recorded them, I then re-work everything, trying to wrestle it into a final piece. What we end up with can vary from a fairly straight song through to anything else that feels natural, or that just ‘works’.

You started Recoil in the late 80’s; did you think you would be doing it for this long?

AW: I guess not. I mean I never thought about it - and have seen no reason to stop since the project’s potential is so open, allowing me to work either alone or with as many other contributors as I like, with no musical restrictions. I think the set up is what I always wanted after I hit my late 20s and started outgrowing the concept of being in a group. The only reason I would change and do something else is financial - since, these days, it can be a struggle to make a living through music.

You do not consider Recoil a band, but merely a project. Do you think at this point after all these years, still a project given its longevity?

AW: When I was in my teens and twenties, I had plenty of conviction about wanting to become a musician (and a ‘successful’ one hopefully). So I was always driven and focused about doing the only thing I was really passionate about. But I never really foresaw exactly what form that would take, or end up as - I guess at the time, I just wanted to be in a band and make records. As I got older, I realised that being in a band suited me less and less, with all the politics that involves, and that I’m far happier acting as a kind of musical director for my own projects.

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?

AW: I like older analog synths, and have quite a few of them. However, these days I use less synthesis and more ‘real’ audio samples and loops. I am still attached to certain machines, like the Mini Moog and my VCS 3 synth which is used mainly for processing samples and loops, I have a great sounding Neve console from 1970s, and the Roland Space Echo is another favourite. I use a few software-based instruments - but I was never a synth wizard anyway. I like the fact that it is so much easier to save all your sounds as well as your mix effects and so on using the computer. Having said that, we still use familiar analogue boxes for particular sounds, reverbs and effects simply because their digital counterparts often don't match up. I love valve compressors and vintage eq units, tape delay etc. As far as computers and software goes, they are powerful tools and I enjoy many aspects although I do struggle to keep up sometimes. However, you don’t always need to be on the cutting edge to make good music - as long as you have some decent ideas. There are so many equally valid ways of doing things. In conclusion, I like a combination of all things.

You performed for the first time in over a decade with Depeche Mode in March, how was it being back on stage with them? How did you get involved with them again?

AW: It felt strangely familiar - which is maybe not surprising considering how much touring we used to do - but it was like I’d never been away. I had forgotten just how it feels though when a large audience is behind you like that. A proud moment for me knowing that most people were so happy about it.

It was great to see everyone (band and crew) and to catch up with their news, see how they were all fairing. The fact that is was for a worthy cause was also important of course, and I felt there would be a warm reaction from the people - which there was:)

Do you think you will work with them again?

AW: There are no plans for this at the moment.

Do you ever miss being in Depeche Mode or you are just so content and focused on working on your own material that it does not matter?

AW: After two divorces, I guess you could say I miss the cash! And I miss other aspects of that life of course, though there are elements I can happily do without.




New Layout!

Don't be scared, no you are not crazy...We changed the layout of the site! We hope you like it!

Once in a while you need to do some cleaning, so we took down Grandma's wallpaper and tossed up a nice fresh blue color and added some red. We are not 100% done but we are getting there. We shifted our side bar from the left to the right and added the "Popular Posts" section, so now you can see which top five of our posts are a major hit around the globe! Also, there is a much more sophisticated search engine thanks to our friends at Google. Again, we hope you dig it!

Keep coming back and enjoying the same site you have been since 2006! We told you 2011 would be the year of bigger and better things, so here is how we are kicking it off! Enjoy!

Raekwon on Fallon!



Wu Tang Clan's Raekwon brought Ghostface Killah and Jim Jones along with him for his performance on Fallon. Take a look!

Quick News

As reported earlier this week, Radiohead were releasing their latest record, The King of Limbs this weekend. Well, the Oxford five piece pulled a fast one and released it a day early. The eight song epic is having the world buzz.

Liam Gallagher has affirmed that Oasis will never get back together. The iconic singer is promoting his new band, Beady Eye with all the ex-members of the final Oasis line-up sans brother Noel. Liam tells The Guardian in response to an Oasis reunion “Never. This is not a stopgap until me and Noel come to our senses and start Oasis again. That is well and truly done.” Beady Eye's debut, Different Gear, Still Speeding arrives next week.

Florence and the Machine are headed off to Abbey Road to begin work on their massively successful Lungs next month.

Queens of the Stone Age are set to tour for the first time in years in support of the re-release and anniversary of their self titled debut album. The band will begin in North America this spring then head to Europe in the summer.

Scissor Sisters on Letterman



New York Cities Scissor Sisters returned home and took to Ed Sullivan Theater for one hell of a performance that will have you dancing in your seat, but feel free to get up and enjoy it!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Spins


The Streets Computers and Blues

On Mike Skinners swan song, he just may have crafted some of his very finest songs. On what is to be the fifth and final Streets record, Computers and Blues comes full circle a decade after Skinner’s bombastic debut with Original Pirate Material. The polo shirt wearing, middle class English rapper has given an insight as to how the middle class has struggled in the UK for years. Though as his career has gone on and the parties, drugs and women got more indulgent, the Streets began to discuss the rock star lifestyle. Now on Computers and Blues it is back to basics as to why and how Skinner started this operation in the first place. Opening the door for UK rappers like Dizzie Rascal, Lady Sov, Plan B and even Lily Allen, The Streets can bow out on an infectious record of grooves,licks, and most importantly an insight into the high working class. We are just two months into the year and this is already an album of the year contender.

FINAL GRADE: A+

Chapel ClubPalace

One of the most anticipated debuts of not just the year, but in recent memory, London’s Chapel Club is something to admire because their first full length, Palace, delivers and lives up to the hype and anticipation. Singer Lewis Bowman is a tortured soul and his lyrics showcase that torment of trying to find happiness, self-expression, comfort and love. The music of the band is just as haunting and vulnerable as Lewis’ words, which is why they are all the perfect combination of sonic style for one another. Easily the best debut we have heard since Glasvegas’ 2008 self-titled release and one of the most exciting and artistic bands to keep an eye on. Palace is a haunting musical display for a band that will take the thrown around the world.

FINAL GRADE: A

James Blake

All the rage and hype back in his native England, this 18-year-old beat maker is already being compared to Dark Star, Jamie xx and is already being looked at as the future of dub-step. With just a debut under his belt, a few covers and various remixes, James Blake is the most talked about new solo artist around and his debut is the answer to the call. It delivers in big ways. His debut is a hypnotic and haunting display of someone trying to find their place in the world and someone trying to find the balance in love and lust. This is a record that will grow on you and will stay in your head for days, one that you will keep replaying and finding new things about. James Blake just might be the most curious and fascinating newcomer in a while.

FINAL GRADE: A-

Bright EyesThe People’s Key

After a long absence, Coner Oberst has retaken his Bright Eyes moniker and is back to give his opinion and express on the state of the union and put his heart back on his sleeve. In many ways this is a Bright Eyes record but in many ways it is not, having a full band behind him and having synths incorporated into the new Bright Eyes era. The People’s Key is certainly a good album but will take some time to grow on you; it does not strike at first listen, but then cuts in deep.

FINAL GRADE : B+

..and You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Tao of the Dead

The prog / metal / rock / classic sounding band is back and better than ever. Tao of the Dead is indeed Trail of Dead’s finest effort. An intricate display of bone crunching rock and roll and intelligent playing. The combination of various forms and styles mix perfectly together and the band has never shined so bright as they do now. Tao of the Dead is a powerful listen.

FINAL GRADE: B+

The Go! TeamRolling Blackouts

What could be the final record from England’s The Go! Team, shows that the band maybe going out with a bang. The incredibly energetic and ultra fun live act, channel their live shows on album. For Go! Team fans around the world this is nothing new, but something to smile about.

FINAL GRADE: B+

Dave HauseResolutions

The Loved Ones singer goes solo on his first full LP and shows he can work it alone. Hause gives us a great rockabilly punk album that proves Hause’s worth as a songwriter, entertainer and rock and roller. Fueled with passionate lyrics, roaring guitars, pounding drums – Resolutions has it all! An exciting record that only makes us wanting more.

FINAL GRADE: B+

PendulumImmersion

The Australia via England high octane six piece are ready to take over the planet with Immersion. This is an electronic based, high energy; thumping album will make them fan favorites around the globe. Already a massive success in Australia and in their current home, England, Pendulum are poised to be the next Muse with an album this scientifically technical and precise.

FINAL GRADE: B

Cut CopyZonoscope

The Australian beat makers deliver high and mighty on their third album. Zonoscope is their most valiant effort to date. An instant party starter and a blast to listen to, Cut Copy will be one of the more talked about electronic duo’s of the year due to this album. I hope they are prepared to get bigger than what they are.

FINAL GRADE: B

British Sea PowerValhalla Dancehall

There was a time when British Sea Power were supposed to be as big as Bloc Party, yet they failed to reach the climax. Still a sensation back in England, around the world they have a solid fan base, yet everyone in their camp must know that it could be better. Valhalla Dancehall was the record that was expected to bring them up to higher status and it may still do so, but the issue with it is that it sounds like all the other releases the band has had in the past. Nothing new, but twangy guitar and catchy chanting choruses, it is a fun album but would have expected something more.

FINAL GRADE: C

The Black Keys on Conan!



The mighty Black Keys came to Conan this week to perform "Howlin' for You," take a look!

LCD Soundsystem on Colbert



LCD Soundsystem hit up Colbert Report this week to discuss the band's grand finale at MSG and why James is leaving it all behind. Yet, after they spoke, they did what they do best - make everyone shake their ass!

Quick News

Well, at this point, it is old news but it still much be mentioned for those that have not heard - BRAND NEW RADIOHEAD COMING SATURDAY! The creative masterminds will release their seventh album, The King of Limbs this weekend as an mp3 download BUT you can order a box set, or what they are calling a "newspaper album," HERE. The band have given zero info as to what the album will feature, all we know is that it was recorded in England and LA and longtime Radiohead producer, Nigel Goodrich is back on deck. We will have to wait till this weekend.

Directer, Julian Temple (Glastonbury, The Filth and the Fury) is set to direct a biopic on the late Marvin Gaye. No word as to casting but the film hopes to be out by 2012.

The Horrors will return this July with a new album. No other word was given rather than the month of it's release via the band's website forum.

Foo Fighters have given the title, track listing and release date to their latest record. The band's new disc, Wasting Light arrives on April 12. Take a look at the track listing below:
1. "Bridge Burning"
2. "Rope"
3. "Dear Rosemary"
4. "White Limo"
5. "Arlandria"
6. "These Days"
7. "Back & Forth"
8. "A Matter of Time"
9. "Miss the Misery"
10. "I Should Have Known"
11. "Walk"

Theophilus London on Letterman!



Fresh New York City rapper Theophilus London made his TV debut on Letterman this week, take a look!

Boris Releasing 3 New Albums!

Japanese metal art rockers Boris will be releasing three brand new albums in the spring! Two of the three albums will arrive in the US, the albums, Attention Please and Heavy Rocks will arrive April 26 and the third album, a self-titled will arrive in March in Japan only. The covers and track listings to each album are below.




01. Attention Please
02. Hope
03. Party Boy
04. See You Next Week
05. Tokyo Wonder Land
06. 16:47:52...
07. Aileron
08. Les Paul Custom '86
09. Spoon
10. Hand in Hand

01. Riot Sugar
02. 8
03. GALAXIANS
04. Jackson Head
05. Missing Pieces
06. Key
07. Window Shopping
08. Tu, la la
09. Aileron
10. Czechoslovakia


1. Party Boy
2. Hope-Hope
3. Flare
4. Black Original
5. Pardon?
6. Spoon
7. Head Jackson
8. Guitar dark
9. Tu, la la
10. Looprider
11. (Event information), yet few other songs

Sunday, February 13, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Frankie & The Heartstrings INTV!

Could Britpop be making a comeback? With an influx of band's coming from the UK, one could see that another invasion is on the rise. Bands with so much hype (and rightfully living up to it) are coming in droves from the land of Three Lions. Yet, of any of the bands that are coming, none represent and stick to the Britpop values or are just an essential British export more than Frankie and the Heartstrings. The band is set to release their debut, Hunger this week in the UK and they have fans and critics foaming at the mouth to hear what the full album will sound like. Singer Frankie Francis has already been compaired to Mick Jagger due to his stage presence and the band's live shows are having every club goer talking and every club owner trying to book them. Frankie and The Heartstrings are pure rock and roll, no question. They are a band that will appeal to every fan of good music and with their cocky charm, the band is ready to invade every ear. In his first American interview, we spoke to the charasmatic and very confident front man Frankie Francis about the band's hype, sound and style. Take look at the first American Interview of Frankie from The Heartstrings.

Hailing from Sunderland, was it harder to get recognized unlike bands that come from or migrate to London or Manchester?

We didn't really set out to do things to get recognized, we get recognized because of what we do and how we do it. We had a lot of interested people approach us from early on and thats cool, because if we find it interesting we think others will to.

The look of the band is also very unique, you look like an old school rock and roll band. Is the style just as important as the sound to the overall package of the Heartstrings?

Well as individuals we have always stood out for what we wear. I think the old school rock and roll comparison is cool but its not the whole of our look

There has been so much written about you and you do not even have a record out. This is just simply unheard of in music, at least in America. How does it feel to be a buzz band before the debut is released?

I guess that its exciting, and very encouraging. I like to play to people who think that we are just a buzz band, once you see us live you realise we are much more than that.

How was recording for the debut?

Im sitting in the reception area right now of Edwyn Collin's studio in West London right now. Its an incredible opportunity not just to be recording in a proper studio but with our idol. He's an amazing man and has a lot of talent.

Do you think you will just explode once it arrives?

Im so excited to see what people will think of the record. theres music on there that shows the delicate tender side of song making and theres also sing along pop hits. We all listen to records romantically so weve taken care to include intro's and outro's to both sides of the record. also a lot of consideration has gone into the running order.

As I read some of your influences, I noticed two bands that really stuck out. 1 – Dexy’s Midnight Runners, they are more than just a one hit wonder to you. How have they impacted you? The other band was Orange Juice, I know of a slew of young British bands that are mentioning their influence these days. Do you think they are getting the credit they deserve today that they didn’t get back then?

Maybe its just our generation giving nods to our dads record collections, but we really love those artists mentioned. Dexys and Orange juice are true British pop bands and there albums speak to us and inspire us everyday

As you were starting out Florence Welch asked you to support her and the Machine on tour, what was it like being asked that and having her in your corner backing you up?

It was a great opportunity and we are very lucky to have done that tour. Making friends with anyone along the way is great. The worst part was going to back to work the next day to our 9-5's as we were'nt signed back then

It has been said that you plan on being bigger and Jesus, bigger than The Beatles and better than U2. Do you think that is pretty stiff competition?

Not really, we dont like the Beatles or U2 and we dont believe in Jesus

From NME to Independent to Clash Music, your live shows have gained you so much attention and everyone says that Frankie is a natural front man. Do you attest this as the biggest key to your success?

The best thing about Frankie and the Heartstrings is exactly that, without all the elements, Dave, Mike, Mick , Den, Frankie nothing would be possible

From headlining clubs to supporting Florence, The Drums then to Glastonbury. What has this ride been like so far for you?

Pretty unreal, I still wake up thinking this is the best thing ever !!!! Im just so excited to be able to work on our stuff all day everyday, its a real privilege and were gunna grab it with both hands and move forward together , strong as fuck

How will 2011 top 2010?

I guess the album is well received and we continue to play our hearts out when we get the chance to new and existing fans, and the music we create gets better as it is, and we continue having fun.

There are so many young bands coming from the UK now and thanks to the internet they have been gaining global attention. Acts like yourself, Chapel Club, The Heartbreaks, Strange Death of Liberal England, Two Door Cinema Club and so on. Do you think that British indie is surpassing what is coming from North America? Do you feel that this is the next British invasion? How do Frankie and the Heartstrings stand out and above the others?

We are very much an British Indie band, we cant pretend to be anything else. Come and see us play and you'll see why were worth getting excited about. Movements are stronger if people stick together, Weve met Chapel Club there nice guys, if we all continue to make good music and put on good shows there will be no stopping us. Its a very exciting time for music , something is happening and I think were gunna have a say in it.




Quick News

LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has rightfully lashed out at ticket scalpers by telling ticket scalpers to "eat shit," after the band's final gig at Madison Square Garden went on sale and a majority of the tickets were taken by scalpers and posted at extremely high prices. Murphy reacted in a long letter on the band's website and announced that the band will do a four night run at New York's Terminal 5 leading up to the final hurrah to make up for the debacle.

According to Zane Lowe on BBC Radio, Death Cab for Cutie will release their seventh album, Code and Keys in May.

The Vaccines have pushed their debut, What Did You Expect from The Vaccines? up by a week. The album is now arriving March 14 instead of March 21 in the UK.

The Strokes have revieled the cover to their hotly anticipated album, Angles. Take a look at the cubert style cover below.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Henry Rollins is 50!

“Life is short, go far!” Henry Rollins said an hour into his sold out performance Friday night at Joe’s Pub in Astor Place. Rollins is going to be 50 this weekend and he is on the road celebrating in his favorite cities, after doing a weeks worth of shows in LA and before he gets to his native D.C. he arrived in New York City to do his standup / spoken word routine for nearly a weeks worth of shows. Rollins, who at the half century mark has probably done more with his life than most people older than him. Rollins never had a dead end job, never had kids, and never perused anything that didn’t require him to be 100% committed with passion. The former State of Alert, Black Flag and Rollins Band front man has become a Renaissance Man through the years, from an acclaimed author, actor, radio show disc jockey, TV show host, voice over persona, photographer and most of all, activist. Rollins at 50 has more stories and experiences that can span three lifetimes.

As we celebrated Henry’s life and work last night and he discussed a timeline of events in such a hilarious and genuine manor, I could not help but remember the first time Henry entered my life. I was 9 years old and was watching the Grammy Awards with my parents, it was 1994 and grunge was king and Cobain was still alive. As we were watching the show, someone accidentally hit the remote control and it jumped to MTV. This was a time when MTV was actually still playing videos at any given time of day and a video with an angry man painted in red in some scenes and running around in a Superman costume with thick glasses appeared. This dude singing was pissed off about something. As my mother jumped and said “what is this garbage!” I began to smile, at nearly a decade old I realized, this is what they call punk rock. As everyone filled and fought over the remote, I was glued to the TV and couldn’t keep my eyes off it. Hit with a twist of fait, before they could figure out what happened and change the channel back to the Grammy Awards, the lower third appeared in the bottom left corner of the screen and it gave the credits as:

Rollins Band
“Liar”
Weight

I remember the name forever and this was an era before the Internet, so clearly there was no YouTube, however, I had a few friends with older brothers and had to ask if they ever heard of this band before. Luckily, someone had and dubbed a few Rollins Band albums to tape for me. Right then and there, I knew Henry would be an interesting and important figure in my life.

As the years went on, Henry was always around, though not making music through the years, but he popped up in all random places in films, TV shows, his books and articles. While I was at University in Connecticut he would constantly come to Toad’s Place in New Haven and would do his spoken word. Yet, it would not be until 2009 when I approached Henry to do an interview for Officially A Yuppie. He was promoting his role on Son’s of Anarchy and I wanted to speak with a hero of mine. He was gracious and kind enough to make some time for me before he flew to various parts of the world for some exploring and soul searching. As nervous and excited as I was, the man could not have been more sincere and cool. Henry and I have corresponded through the years and as he celebrates his 50 years discussing his encounters around the globe and friends such as William Shatner and Ian MacKaye and his experience’s on the road with his band’s, his political satire and never ending comedy, it makes you realize that a man this intense and this globally versed will never be able to sit still. He admits that too, that he needs to be working; he needs to constantly be moving around. In a life such as his and in 50 years, his words “life is short, go far,” seem to be more motivational and more inspiring than anything he could have ever said before.

Live Review - A Celebration of Neil Young @ Carnegie Hall

The Music of Neil Young at Carnegie Hall
The Roots, Patti Smith and Others Salute Rock’s Last Iconoclast

By Bill Reese

The writer Chuck Klosterman recently said that the thing that makes Neil Young so cool is that he doesn’t know he’s Neil Young. Over the last four decades, the Canadian-born singer/songwriter has become a rock legend. He’s played 60’s folk, heavy metal, psychadelia and experimental, digital music. Along the way he wrote some of rock’s most iconic protest songs, never afraid to ruffle the feathers of U.S Presidents, the national guard, and just about anybody from the south. Uncompromising, unapologetic, unmistakable and unforgettable, the only thing Young has ever sold out are concert tours.

New York’s Carnegie Hall was no exception on Thursday night when City Winery proprietor Michael Dorf put on The Music of Neil Young, a tribute concert benefiting several charities and organizations. Dorf’s annual series—which has celebrated the music of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. in recent years—recruited more than a dozen singers and acts to pay tribute to Young.

The show led off with singer/songwriter Joe Purdy, who nailed Young’s “Out on the Weekend” off Harvest. The massive, ornate Carnegie Hall enhanced the intimacy of Purdy’s guitar and harmonica arrangement, as every slide of the fret board could be heard through the massive, ornate room.

If you only remember Joan Osborne from “One of Us,” then you’ve missed the last 15 years where she’s cemented herself as one of the great interpreters of the Motown and soul canon. Backed by the evening’s phenomenal house band, Osborne gave a powerful performance of Harvest’s “Old Man.” Not to be outdone, soul singer Bettye LaVette sang her version of “Heart of Gold,” which she had originally covered in 1972. LaVette joked before the song that “In 1972 I was the only black girl in the inner city singing ‘Heart of Gold.’”

After back-to-back soul performers, J Mascis from grunge legends Dinosaur, Jr. came out with a full band. Mascis and company took a minute to get their gear straight; their amplifier hum and buzz injecting the kind of raw, rock energy that is not commonly found on the legendary Carnegie stage. What came next was a blistering, balls-to-the-wall rendition of “Cortez the Killer,” an 8-minute romp of thrashing guitar solos. Mascis’ long, gray hair drooped in front of him as he tore through the 1975 Crazy Horse track with stunning effortlessness.
The middle of the show was hit-or-miss, most notably Shawn Colvin’s cover of “Birds” marred by an inexplicable mandolin solo. It wasn’t until Cowboy Junkies came on and played a billowy, psychedelic version of “Don’t Let it Bring You Down” that the show began its long build-up to what would be an epic climax.

Glen Hansard—half of The Swell Season and Oscar-winning actor/singer/songwriter from Once—came out to play “Tell Me Why” the opening gem from Young’s 1968 opus After the Gold Rush. He adjusted the microphone to the height of his unplugged guitar and seemed to let his voice ring out through Carnegie Hall’s four-balconied house without the aid of the mic.
Some artists had been a little guilty of doing their best Neil Young impression while playing their selection for the night. The same could not be said for Aaron Neville’s performance of CSNY’s “Helpless.” The house band backed Neville, who’s signature, smooth yet staccato voice transformed the song so much that it could have easily been mistaken for one of Neville’s many career hits.

Many artists could have done “Rockin’ in the Free World,” but the honor went to Pete Yorn, who took on the song solo on acoustic guitar. Yorn began softly, then strummed with passion and fury, reminding all in attendance that some songs remain powerful no matter how much amplification is put behind them.

The big question mark of the night was how would The Roots take on Young’s “Down by the River.” At the beginning, the answer seemed to be conventionally. A four-member Roots (minus Black Thought) were backed by Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle from The Dirty Projectors and gave the song a slow, rolling groove. After strumming the last chord in the third chorus, ?uestlove began a slow rumble with his drums, and with that, The Roots had been unleashed. The beat sped up and ?uestlove started looking more like Animal from The Muppets. Meanwhile, guitarist/singer “Captain” Kirk Douglas and bassist Owen Biddle went completely apeshit. The epic solo went on for nearly ten minutes, culminating in one more fiery chorus, and a frenetic outro. The crowd went bananas, giving the Roots the first standing ovation of the night.

Patti Smith and her daughter Jesse closed out the scheduled set with Young’s somber 2005 ballad “It’s A Dream.” There were hopes that the man of the hour would come out to serenade the crowd, but Young was not in attendance. Even if he were, he would most likely be way too humble to do so. The crowd, instead, were delighted to a two-song encore, with all the evening’s artists singing gang vocals on CSNY’s “Ohio” and Crazy Horse’s “Out of the Blue, Into the Black.”

The performance raised more than $75,000 for the night’s charities, including the Church Street School for Music and Art, The Pinwheel Project, Music Unites, Young Audiences New York, The American Symphony Orchestra and FIXS—an organization that fixes broken instruments in public schools.

Bill Reese is a contributing writer to Officially A Yuppie. His articles include, Today the Green Grass - The Jayhawks Reunite and Kid A Grows Up. He is also an editor for Playbill Magazine.

Rome Cover & Track Listing

As we mentioned earlier in the year, Danger Mouse was releasing an album called Rome by the Spring. The album, which is inspired by Italian Spaghetti Western films will feature Mouse composed music and conducted by Italian composer and conductor Daniele Luppi. The project will also not just feature Mouse making his own film score, it will also feature the help of Jack White and Norah Jones. Jones will sing and play piano as Jack will do his fancy guitar work and lend his vocal talents as well. Take a look at the cover and track listing to Rome below, the album comes out May 17.



01 Theme of Rome
02 The Rose with the Broken Neck
03 Morning Fog (Interlude)
04 Season's Trees
05 Her Hollow Ways (Interlude)
06 Roman Blue
07 Two Against One
08 The Gambling Priest
09 The World (Interlude)
10 Black
11 The Matador Has Fallen
12 Morning Fog
13 Problem Queen
14 Her Hollow Ways
15 The World

Trail of Dead on Fallon



...and You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead hit up Fallon this week to promote their latest, Tao of the Dead, watch as they wow the crowd!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tahiti 80 - France's Neo New Wavers Return!


Sometime in 1999 as Harvey Danger’s “Flagpole Sitta” and Barenaked Ladies “One Week” was storming the alternative and mainstream music charts, and a little band from France with a very interesting sound was peaking through and started showing America what they were made of. Tahiti 80, arrived in the US with their debut Puzzle and brought with them a sound that mixed new wave, Britpop and bubblegum pop – the perfect storm of radio friendly rock if you will. Yet, as America was basking in catchy tunes, these French hitmakers were creating a sound that would be ahead of their time in terms of style and sonic dynamics. Long before Phoenix had a hit record and Air were making ambient sounds, Tahiti 80 were poised to be Frances biggest export that were not hiding under space helmets (see Daft Punk).

Forming in 1993 in Paris, the band with their catchy sound would release a slew of EP’s in Europe and through relentless touring would gain attention in their native country and eventually all through the rest of the continent. “Pedro (Resende) & I started Tahiti 80 as a 4 track project. Then, we released a self produced EP in 1996. It just took some time to find a label willing to take the risk to sign a French band singing in English. Though, I think it's a strength not to release an album when you're 19 and only have 11 songs in stock. For Puzzle we had 40 songs available, and we already had our own sound. That's why we're still around” singer Xavier Boyer told me as we sat down to discuss the band’s history and latest ventures. The band, which takes their name from a vintage T-shirt that Xavier’s dad gave him as a kid, have been making exotic and curious songs that fit the band’s enigmatic name. Through the years the band has seen many highs and lows, with fallouts of record labels, not cracking America like they should have over a decade ago and seeing their fellow Frenchmen gain massive international appeal, Tahiti 80 on all accounts should be a bitter group of French artists, yet, they are far from it. The band’s latest release, due this month, The Past, The Present & The Possible finds them dabbling in new territory while keeping true to the sound they pioneered in the 90’s.

“We're curious people, we're always reading blogs or magazines, searching for new bands or reissues…We're just not bored yet with music in general, and we still like each other's company,” Xavier tells me when I asked about the difficulties of making new music and still being inspired after all these years. The sessions for The Past, The Present & The Possible took place in Rouen, France, the band’s base for many years. Xavier says “We definitely went for a more experimental approach with tight dynamics and synthetic sounds, as opposed to the "classic" vibe of our 4th album, Activity Center.” All of which they were aiming for has been achieved, The Past, The Present & The Possible is a fun and dynamic record that may very well be their ticket back into America and for American ears to savior, even for those who are listening for the first time.

As the decade plus years that have gone by since Tahiti 80 made their first attempt at breaking America, French music has been invading the eyes and ears in all genres. With acts like Daft Punk, Phoenix, Justice, SebastiAn, Busy P, Charlotte Gainsborg, Uffie and a slew of others, global audiences have embraced these acts. Yet, Xavier does not see this as a French musical revolution “A lot of these bands have been out there for a while now, so the French invasion is not such a new thing. Daft Punk and Air were important to us because they proved we could do it too, even if we were not playing the same kind of music. To be honest, a lot of French bands jumped on the bandwagon, using what I call "Vocoder English" and still benefit from the aura of the original "French Touch.” While the sound of Tahiti 80 may echo Phoenix to new ears, it was Tahiti 80 that had the influence on Thomas Mars and his band. “Our first album came out before theirs, that makes us the true originators of this scene! No, I don't think they stole anything from us. We're both French bands fronted by -more or less- high pitched singers blending Anglo American rock with a touch of soul music,” says Xavier. This humble approach and lookout on things is the exact reason Tahiti 80 has weathered the music industries storm for so long and will keep blasting out new music and continue to do so until they feel that creative nerve is gone.

While it was over a decade ago that they were battling with pop artist from all walks of music for America’s attention and their fellow countrymen have come in to claim a musical throne, Xavier is not disappointed, in fact, I found him inspired, “. Right now, it's a lot of marketing & concepts etc. and there's not much going on underneath the surface…No songs. I miss that part, the perfect pop song is what everybody should look for…” Given his determination and the direction of his band’s latest record, I believe he will craft it.


Darlin' (Adam & Eve Song) from Tahiti 80 on Vimeo.

Gang of Four on Letterman




Gang of Four just released their first album in 15 years and to celebrate, the influential British post-punk band took to Letterman and showed they still got it!

Quick News

Though he hinted about it last year with the release of This is Happening, James Murphy is packing up LCD Soundsystem after a decade of dance floor stomping noise, fun and chaos. The band's farewell gig will take place April 2 at Madison Square Garden and is said to be a three hour set featuring "special guests." Thank you James for helping white kids around the world dance, it will be the saddest dance party and the biggest New York City will ever see.

TV on the Radio will return in the spring with Nine Types of Light. This is the band's follow up to 2008's extraordinary Dear Science.

Arctic Monkeys front man, Alex Turner will release a solo EP to accompany the film Submarine. The Submarine EP will be released next month.

Okkervil River& Mona Track Listings

Okkervil River is set to release their much anticipated album, I Am Very Far in May. Though singer and songwriter Will Sheff has been very cryptic about the new record, he did unleash the track listing to I Am Very Far. Take a look below:
01. The Valley
02. Piratess
03. Rider
04. Lay of the Last Survivor
05. White Shadow Waltz
06. We Need A myth
07. Hanging from a Hit
08. Show Yourself
09. Your Past Life As a Blast
10. Wake and Be Fine
11. The Rise

Along with Okkervil, Nashville rockers Mona are set to release an album in May. Though this being the band's debut, there is already a ton of buzz swirling about this band, we even picked them to be one of the 15 to Watch in 2011!
'Cloak And Dagger'
'Listen To Your Love'
'Teenager'
'Lines In The Sand'
'Taboo Lights'
'Lean Into The Fall'
'Say You Will'
'Shooting The Moon'
'Pavement'
'Trouble On The Way'

DOES IT OFFEND YOU COVER & TRACK LISTING

The much anticipated sophomore release, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You from British electro rockers, Does it Offend You Yeah?! is set to be released next month. Take a look at the cover and track listing below.


"We Are The Dead" - 4:04
"John Hurt"
"Pull Out My Insides"
"Yeah"
"The Monkeys Are Coming" - 3:56
"Wrong Time Wrong Planet"
"Wrestler"
"Wondering" (Feat. Trip)
"The Knife"
"Broken Arms"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! MT. Desolation INTV!

When you think of Keane, you think of Coldplay meets Duran Duran mixed with U2 style of radio friendly rock. Dark and intimate folk music is not normally the first thing that comes to mind, but for MT. Desolation, the side project of Keane featuring members Tim Rice-Oxley and Jessie Quinn and members of Mumford and Sons, The Killers, Noah & the Whale, MT Desolation is a stark contrast to the band that has gotten Tim and Jessie global attention. However, for these two gentlemen it is all the more reason to try something new. It's sound is very Americana folk and very stripped. Taking their name and inspiration from Jack Kerouac's novel, The Dharma Bums, MT. Desolation arrived last fall to fill the music hole in your heart that has been scorned by the world around you. In an exclusive interview with Officially A Yuppie, we spoke with Tim Rice-Oxley, a man who is not only responsible for composing the sounds of both bands he is in, but now taking on songwriting duties and singing responsibilities in MT. Desolation. Take a look at our interview with Tim below.

When did you realize you wanted to do a side project?

It really just came from a desire to keep being creative and trying new things, and also working with new people I suppose. This was just a vague feeling until Jesse and I - with a bit of dutch courage inside us - hatched a plan to make a country album, and that just felt like the perfect opportunity to turn my brain to something else when there was a break in Keane touring. That was early 2010.

Most of your Keane fans will hear that this is a departure in style and sound for you, was this your intention?

Normally I like to just follow my nose as far as musical style goes, but in this case it was a very definite decision to try to make a country album. And I think part of the appeal of that was knowing that it seemed like a weird thing for two pasty English guys to do. Initially there was very much a tongue-in-cheek element to the concept, for that reason - it seemed like it would inevitably turn out to be pastiche-y at best, and at worst utterly ridiculous! But as time went on and we started writing songs we were really excited about, the whole thing morphed into something we were a little more serious about and a bit more proud of.

With being “two guys from Keane,” is it hard to shake that persona and be your own individual band or does it aid in attention towards Mt. Desolation?

We did consciously challenge ourselves to make music that would not overlap with Keane at all - that was part of the fun. We really wanted to try and stand on our own two feet as a band, as it were, otherwise it would feel to us and to other people like a slightly annoying vanity project! So we shut ourselves away and did our thing, and obviously lots of other musicians brought their touches to the sound as well. But then when we kind of emerged into the daylight inevitably the first thing people said in the press was "Keane, Killers and Mumford and Sons form supergroup"! So I don't think we could ever deny that the Keane connection has drawn people's interest towards Mt Desolation. I guess I hope that when people hear the music they will love it regardless of whether they're interested in Keane or not. We'll see!


Where does the name of the band derive from? Is it a real location?

It comes from a book by Jack Kerouac called 'The Dharma Bums', which I read on Jesse's recommendation while we were on tour last year. It's a really beautiful and inspiring book about leaving everything behind, hitchhiking across America, drunken philosophizing, religion and friendship and poetry and all of the stuff that the Beat artists looked at with such fresh eyes. At the end of the book the main character goes and sits on a mountaintop which he calls Mt Desolation for three months and just thinks about the world. I think it's actually a peak called Desolation Peak somewhere north of Seattle.

You worked with members of Mumford and Sons, The Killers, Noah and the Whale among others, but at its core its you and Jesse. Did you want the revolving door of musicians to try various people to jam with?

One of the original motivations behind making this record was to create an opportunity to bring together a fairly disparate bunch of friends and make music with them. I've been fortunate enough to be able to collaborate with some really interesting people over the last few years, and you can be sure that you will always learn something new, that it can push you to be creative in new ways and show you new ways of writing or playing. So the idea of getting all these brilliant musicians together sounded like brilliant fun and we also knew we would learn loads from it - which we did!

It sounds like we were very organized about the logistics of the whole thing, but we really weren't at all! We basically put out the word not long before we went into the studio, and people just got excited about it and gave as much of their time as they could. The atmosphere was amazing. It was really idyllic and something we'll treasure for the rest of our lives I reckon.

What was it like making your debut? Was it odd making your debut without Tom?

The singing was pretty scary! Never in a million years will I be able to sing as well as Tom, but I've learned to make the most of what meagre skills I have! And the rest of the guys were very encouraging which put me at my ease. Jesse felt the same way I guess, so we really encouraged each other along. We recorded a lot of the album live, so there was a certain amount of pressure to nail the vocals...but it's good to do things that are a bit scary, otherwise you just stick to what's easy and comfortable and I would get very bored doing that!

The record has been praised by critics, does it give you a sense of not just gratification but just cause for doing this project?

As I mentioned before, it would have been easy for us to make an album that was just a self-indulgent thing, basically a slightly crap version of Keane! So it has been really nice that people have appreciated the album as a piece of work that is valuable in its own right. In terms of giving us 'just cause', funnily enough I can honestly say that simply making the record was justification enough. It was so much fun making music with Jesse and the rest of the gang - I've made some really good friends doing it, and spent some incredibly happy times that I will never forget. Plus I've learned a lot. You can't ask for much more than that.

Granted the debut album is about to be released, but will the band continue on after one record?

It's really impossible to say at this stage, but I do hope so. If nothing else, the recording and touring has been so magical that I would hate to think we couldn't do it again. We were actually talking about it this morning, all feeling a bit sad that we don't have more time to spend on Mt D. But Jesse and I are incredibly excited about making the new Keane record, and we want to get back to that. It's an amazing position to be in, to be torn between two things like this that we genuinely love doing - we're pretty spoiled really!



Live Review - Robyn @ Radio City

She did it. She did it in a humble fashion, she did it with excitement, she did it all night with passion, she did it with a smile from ear to ear and most importantly she did it with so much stamina, she looked like she was ready to go all night long, as hard as she could. She is Robyn and she for the first time sold out New York's iconic Radio City Music Hall and as happy as she was about her accomplishments, New York City never seemed to be so proud to see an artist get to that stage.
It has been an interesting six months for Robyn and New York City, she arrived in the city for the first time in years with Kelis on a co-headlining tour that took them to book stores, Webster Hall and Music Hall of Williamsburg, mind you they sold out every night. Robyn then returned in November, in one of the greatest gigs Terminal 5 ever put on and now she arrives by herself at the second biggest stage in the city. What has brought Robyn on that stage and increasing size platforms, is not just her brilliant display of pop music but her stage presence. She is unlike anyone you will ever see, you cannot compare her to anyone, what she does on stage is just totally organic and unique that everyone in the music industry should reconsider their careers if they turned her down. It is minimal for pop music, in pop we expect the theatrics that Michael Jackson, Madonna and Lady Gaga bring, the lights, the screens, the costume changes and the caravan of backup dancers. For Robyn, it is not like that, it is her, two drummers and two programmers underneath a lighting grid. Simple as that. We are there to see her and she knows it, so she goes to work and what hard work it is. Giving everything she's got for 90 mind blowing minutes, Robyn is without a doubt the best solo performer on the planet right now.
Transforming Radio City, a seated venue, into the cities biggest dance club, Robyn made Radio City look like the Limelight nights of the mid-90's with people in the audience in intricate costumes and looking to have the time of their lives. Plowing through her break out Body Talk series of last year and tossing in tracks from her 2005 self titled release, the audience could not stop dancing, clapping and chanting each word. At points, it was as if she did not need the drummers because the audience was shaking the venue with their thunderous clapping in unison and foot stomping. As this went on, Robyn just had to reach out and thank the audience by running up the balconies and into the mezzanine and give as many hugs, high fives and kisses and she could. In a massive venue such as this, she made it feel as intimate as possible. With high energy and high octane, if this woman does not headline Madison Square Garden soon, music as we know it, will fail to ever get to it's highest potential. Robyn will be opening for Katy Perry in the States all summer, but it is Katy Perry and that new class of radio pop favorites that should all be opening for her, Robyn after all, is far superior than any cookie cutter music machine creation you will ever see.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quick News

Coldplay are officially confirmed to headline the Saturday of Glastonbury this year. No other acts have been named yet, but rumors are that it could be The Rolling Stones & U2 to play the spot they had to pull out of due to Bono's emergency back surgery.

Speaking of U2, according to Amazon in Germany, they will release their latest record in May. No confirmation from the band, but Amazon.de has not taken the album down since it was posted earlier last week.

The Libertines are flirting with the idea to play more gigs again after a successful reunion run last summer. Pete Doherty mentioned on his blog, Albionrooms.com that he has "Some offers for Libertines gigs" for this year. No word if they will actually happen. But Pete, Carl, John & Gary if you are reading this - Please come to the US!

Speaking of flirting with reunions, it looks like Blur are really ready to record again. Guitarist Graham Coxon took to twitter this week to say "Now off to see the Blur boys and have coffee and maybe switch a tape recorder on!" All we can say is.. YES, THANK YOU and FINALLY!

Also turning the switch back on are the Avett Brothers. The folk trio will head back into the studio to work with Rick Rubin again to record the follow up to their massive I & Love & You.

Metallica are also ready to record again and follow up their massive return from 2008's Death Magnetic. Lars Ulrich talked to Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet and said "In the past, we would be fed up with Metallica whenever we returned home after a gigantic world tour, but this time it's different." The band are harnessing a "good vibe" right now and they hope to return to the studio by March or April to begin working on new material.

The latest effort from The Go! Team, Rolling Blackouts maybe their last. Team member Ian Parton told BB6 Music that "We don't want to do a Jay-Z and say that and then three years later we'll be, 'Hey!' again. But it may well be… the last The Go! Team record. It might be the last year we're touring, certainly, the band."

Returning from hiatus, The Kaiser Chiefs are currently recording their new album for a possible June release.

If anyone saw the Coachella line up that was announced a few weeks ago, you saw that Candian electronic outfit Death from Above 1979 have returned. Taking to their website, Sebastian Grainger said "It's been five years since Death From Above 1979 played a show," he wrote. "10 years since Jesse [F Keeler, bandmate] played me the first demos and 11 years since we sat in his parents basement and played so loud we knocked the china off the shelves upstairs. [..]So why not say yes? Why not say yes to Coachella? Why not say yes to playing the music we designed to be an undeniable source of power? Jesse and I have decided that what we can do together should not be denied. Together again, as was always the intention, as a collaboration. The collision of two different worlds."

Interpol on Conan



The dapper gents of Interpol went on Conan this week to perform "Lights" off their latest self-titled album. Take a look.