Saturday, July 30, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Royal Bangs INTV!

It was just last year when we were running around Grant Park in Chicago for Lollapalooza when we accidentally came across Knoxville, Tennessee's Royal Bangs. The intense three pieces delivered a sucker punch set and we have been hooked since. With their latest release, Flux Outside on the brilliant Glassnote Records, Royal Bangs have been getting the attention they deserve and it is now no accident that how people have gotten to notice them. They are a unique rock and roll three piece outfit that combines southern rock inspiration, various aggressive hooks and manage to incorporate it with keyboards and have fans around the country jumping to their favor. In fact, Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney first took notice of the band and signed them to his label, Audio Eagle Records in 2008. Royal Bangs have been slamming through clubs but are ready to break down the walls with their big sound that can fill any arena. In an exclusive interview I spoke to guitarist Sam Stratton as we discussed the bands sound, recording Flux Outside and how the festival experienced has changed them. Take a look at my interview with Sam below:


When the band formed six years ago, did you think you would be three albums in at this point?

I didn't really project anything distinct for the band that long ago. I knew we all wanted to making music at an early age and devote a lot of time recording it. We're all studio nerds; if we didn't tour all the time, we'd have more than 3 records.

What was it like recording Flux Outside? Has anything changed within the band as far as songwriting and recording goes?

There is a major distinction between our previous albums and Flux Outside. The past records were more or less a collection of songs that we had made whenever we were home, but these songs were written in the same 3 month period. We made them to compliment each other and represent a complete work. The production quality has progressed. We've learned a great deal and found the right people to work with. We didn't have to duct tape mics to stands, sweat in storage units, or relieve stress with spontaneous fireworks
parties.

At one point there were five guys in the band, now you are a tight trio that produces such a big sound. Do you utilize more musicians in the studio now?

Nope, just the 3 of us. We can all play all the instruments. Some of us are way better at specific ones.

How do you managed to recreate the sound you do in the studio live on stage?

It took a lot of work. The record is so dense and we did so much with the mixing. Ryan has invented a lot of unique ways to route the signals and reproduce the strange sounds we made. The live show IS different. Some songs are have been rearranged to make more sense and they are really fucking loud.

Your live shows are overwhelming and intense, how much of a strain doesit take on you night in and night out to do what you do?

Zero. I love it. We all wanted to do this since we can remember and we are grateful to perform. After recording, performing live is our favorite facet of music.

Since you have toured so much, where are your favorite places to play?

We love NYC. We seem to be there regularly. Chicago, Austin, and especially The Pilot Light in Knoxville.
Last year we were introduced to you at Lollapalooza. What was that experience like?

Lollapalooza was the best festival experience we've had yet. The crowd was really into it, we played well, and Grant Park was beautiful. I met one of my heroes, Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, and had a super awkward fan moment.

How different is it to play a festival to a majority of faces that have never heard of you before as opposed to headlining shows where fans are coming just for you?

I have a kinda have the same experience at a lot of shows. I don't know if that is good or bad. I get into it and sort of lose touch. It seems that when people come to a show purposely they are more inclined to enjoy it and have more interest, higher energy levels, higher blood alcohol levels, etc.

Many bloggers and critics try and pinpoint your sound yet; their comparisons never seem to work. How would you describe Royal Bangs to someone who has never heard of you?

That's just what it is, I guess. The things people hear in the music can be so disparate that it ends up being pretty comical for us (celtic, southern, asian beard, afropop blues, surf, punk, prog). It's loud indie rock. I can't really make any comparisons either.

VINTAGE CLIPS - 120 Minutes!

Tonight MTV will bring back seminal Saturday night series, 120 Minutes with one of its original host, Matt Pinfield. Take a look at some vintage clips of the show from its glory days.













Live Pix - 2 Cellos @ LPR

Earlier this week, Croatia's 2Cello's a cello cover band hit up Le Poisson Rouge in Soho for their first NYC performance. RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action. Take a look:



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Live Pix - Glitch Mob / Phantogram / RJD2

Last week Glitch Mob, Phantogram, RJD2 hit up Terminal 5 for a night of eye and ear popping fun. Photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action. Take a look!

Glitch Mob


Phantogram
RJD2


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Friday, July 29, 2011

MORE RADIOHEAD REMIXES!



Radiohead have posted the third round of remixes for the forthcoming King of Limbs Remix record. These remixes have been done by Lone, Pearson Sound and Four Tet. Take a listen!

Beyonce & The Roots on Fallon



Beyonce with some help from The Roots perform a beautiful version of "Best Thing I Never Had" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night. Take a look!

FUNERAL PARTY on CONAN!



Funeral Party hit up Conan last night to perform their big single "New York City Moves to the Sound of LA." Take a look and find out why they are one of our favorite bands of the year!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

QUICK SPINS


Portugal. The Man In the Mountain, In the Cloud
In an age when music is at its most accessible and at its most abundant, in an age when more complain that there is “no goodmusic these days,” I present to you – again, Portugal. The Man. The only band on the planet that have released an album every year since 2006 and have only got better with each release. Even with a monster tour schedule as theirs they still manage to make some of the best music any ear can love. The band’s latest, In the Mountain, In the Cloud is their Atlantic Records debut and finds them at their most lush and textured release to date. The band, which follows up last years bestrecord – American Ghetto, with this release shows they can take the spot for album of the year again, two years in a row. Portugal. The Man provide magnificent hooks, beautiful melodies and clever lyrics in such a polished way it creates a psychedelic trip of sound and sonic style through the listeners imagination. Aside from being a magnificent band, they are also the perfect students, taking their love of The Beatles and George Martin’s perfect production and adapting it to their own unique blend. As I have said before in our latest live review of the band when they arrived in New York City in early June, with them signing to Atlantic Records, the labels late founder, Ahmet Ertegun is smiling down on his staff for acquiring such a cutting edge band and a band that cements Ertegun’s philosophy of attaining the best in the business. Portugal. The Man are not only the best young band in the business, they are the best band in America right now and will be the best for years to come, I havea sneaky feeling we are only seeing the beginning.
FINAL GRADE: A+

The Horrors Skying
The moody Brit rockers return with their third album and it is their best achievement to date. We have seen the evolution of The Horrors through the years in their music, from their bizarre 2007 debut, Strange House to 2009’s mind altering Primary Colours to this years release, Skying, which shows the band transcend a certain strain of Goth Rock or Cold Wave sound they have been known to create through the years to a more straightforward new wave 80’s sound. The album is not as dark as we have come to know of the band, it is a brighter lullaby of gorgeous hooks and melodies that will have us looking into what they will do for years to come.
FINAL GRADE: A

Friendly Fires Pala
The British bouncy electro-rockers come again and bring the sunshine. Friendly Fires fire back with an essential summer album of what it means to have fun in the sun and long after it goes down. Pala is a multilayered and textured cornucopia of noise that is so well put together it will be hard to sit still listening to any song on this album.
FINAL GRADE: A-


Japanese PopstarsControlling Your Allegiance
Northern Ireland’s party starters return with album number two and bring along a few friends for the ride. For the techno trio of Japanese Popstars, life begins at 3am and the party does not start until sometime around noon the next day, Controlling Your Allegiance is an ode to that lifestyle and they are not the onlys ones that belive in that idea. With vocal contributions from Robert Smith, Tom Smith of Editors, Jon Spencer, Lisa Hannigan, Morgan Kibby of M83 and others, Japanese Popstars show that having fun is not just their job, but also a way of life.
FINAL GRADE: B

ScreamComplete Control Session EP
The band that Dave Grohl got his start in return with a seven song EP recorded in Grohl’s home studio. The hardcore hero’s recorded the EP live at the Grohl residence and picks up where they left off. The EP is a fast and furious explosion of punk that grabs your immediate attention right from the first note.
FINAL GRADE: B

Cults
The much hyped and talked about New York buzz band arrive with their debut and live up to the hype. The duo of Brian Oblivion and Madeline Follin started their career in their dorm room of NYU last year, they released the single “Go Outside” last summer and they took the city then soon the blogosphere by storm. Here they are with their self-titled debut and show they were much more than just a duo with one very catchy hit, they are a duo with an abundance of catchy hits!
FINAL GRADE: B

Life Size MapsMagnifier EP
From the dorms of NYU to the uptown dorms of Columbia, New York’s new rock rumpus give out their debut EP for free and delight new listeners and surprise many more. Magnifier is a well put together EP that displays the band’s unique style of rock and roll, from distorted guitars with cellos backed by pounding drums, Life Size Maps are one of the more curious bands to come from the University in quite a while. We featured the band in as our January Rising Artist in an exclusive interview, get to know the band HERE and understand what the soon-to-be fuss will all be about.
FINAL GRADE: B-

The Front Bottoms
New Jersey new rockers turn up with their self-titled debut and have a ton of fun on arrival. The Front Bottoms are the type of band that can appeal to anyone – from pop-punkers to singer/songwriters to those who just do not want to think about what they are hearing. A very catchy band with basic programming, acoustic guitars, furious drumming and basic basslines but find a way to blend everything so well. It lays heavily on the bands rather obtuse lyrics that anyone that grew up in the suburbs can relate to.
FINAL GRADE: B-

The Black ShipsKurofune EP
After the fall of The Verve (again) in 2008, Simon Tong and Nick McCabe formed The Black Ships in 2010 and have been keeping a rather low profile ever since. The band has been an enigma since their conception and finally released a small EP that is an introduction as to what they are and what their sound truly is. McCabe and Tong were the musical centerpiece of The Verve and fail to reconnect their brilliant and one of a kind sound with this new outfit, but maybe that is the whole purpose.
FINAL GRADE: C+


Phillip SelwayRunning Blind EP
Radiohead’s drummer returns with a second solo outing of small material but fails to deliver big on his latest EP. Selway seems to want to take the lo-fi singer/songwriter approach with his own material and after releasing a forgettable debut last year, his latest collection of songs fails to catch on as well.
FINAL GRADE: C-


IncubusIf Not Now, When?
The SoCal rockers return with their seventh album and it falls flat, very flat. After a five years absence from the scene, numerous solo projects, Incubus return with a mature and mellow effort of forgettable songs that travel through no space and time. Though the band is known for their driving tracks that can amplify the emotion of any crowd, If Not Now, When? lacks those songs and that is fine, however, the band fail to capitalize on the idea the songs they did create for the record are not very exciting. It is one thing to mature, get older, evolve and adapt to various genres and scenes but this album is full of misses and full of uninteresting songs. What saves the record from being a total disappointment is Brandon Boyd still proves to be a human dictionary and thesaurus and still writes beautiful lyrics but the production and music of the rest of the band fail to back up his talents.
FINAL GRADE: D+

ROBYN Covers COLDPLAY!



Robyn covers Coldplay's latest single "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" for BBC Radio1 and we have to admit, she destroys the original out of the water. Take a listen!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Move to Ireland's Japanese Popstars


Strange things will happen when you believe in yourself and pursue what you adore. Just ask any band or artist that has cracked it in the big time or just ask anyone who simply loves what they do. For three friends from Northern Ireland; Gary Curran, Declan McLaughlin and Gareth Donoghue they were each DJ’s on their own in the Irish club scene, in 2006 they banded together and formed Japanese Popstars, a group that has taken them from the dance floors of pubs and clubs in their native country to jet setting around the world at major music festivals and working with their idols.

When we think of Irish bands here in America it is the immediate subconscious of bands like U2, The Pogues, Cranberries, Frames, Snow Patrol and the list goes on. However, as of late there has been a deep electronic movement going on in Ireland’s major cities that has been showcased in bands like Two Door Cinema Club and now the techno beat makers of Japanese Popstars. “There is a big underground techno scene in Ireland that has been influenced by the rest of Europe especially Berlin” Gareth tells me as I sat down with the group at EMI’s New York headquarters for an interview with the men. “Irish people enjoy a good time and a drink, there are plenty of pubs and places to dance, so this was a way to get involved and do something” Declan told me. The band got together after Declan and Gary attended a music festival and in a drunken idea in the grass they decided, “what if we formed a band and came back to this festival next year for free!” Declan said, after thinking about it long and hard after that particular festival, they invited Gareth to join and the group was set. It was Declan who came up with the band’s peculiar name, “I always have had a fascination with Japan, and figured if I started a band with a name like that, people would misbook us and we can go and play in Japan,” not a bad idea and in case you were wondering, the band has in fact played Japan, but on their own merit not because of a mishandling. For a band that formed on the outskirts of Belfast, their timing was right, “Once the guys in Two Door blew up, there was an interest in Belfast from record labels. It wasn’t like it used to be where you would have to go to London to get noticed, so we pushed ourselves,” Gareth says.

Japanese Popstars after all are an electronic outfit, they had to push as hard as a rising band, however, with the way technology has evolved, almost anyone these days can make beats and make remixes, the genre has become so accessible and making the market that much more competitive and difficult. “It was people like Daft Punk, Deadmaus, Chemical Brothers, who opened the door for electronic music to be as massive as it has become. I think its brilliant and exciting,” Gary says of the roar and rise of electronic acts emerging today, but Declan puts it in check by saying “It’s quality over quantity. So many people start their own labels and invest in the gear, studios and have no money to promote themselves and no means of exposure and never get heard.” With electronic music being as available and having so many subgenres, the music can appeal to every range from pop radio to a pretentious hipsters iPod. “Record labels really started taking notice to how big it has become, people like Dave Guetta really showed you can make serious money in the commercial market and then having rappers and hip-hop guys come on board, its massive now,” Gareth says. The guys in Japanese Popstars kept pushing for their dream and pushing for what they had and began to turn heads, including that of Tom Smith of Editors who asked the band to remix his band’s smash international single “Papillion.”

From their remixes to their acclaimed debut, We Just Are and driving work ethic, Japanese Popstars went from making a name for themselves in their own country gigging on the weekends to quitting their day jobs and making a name for themselves in Europe and now the rest of the world. Their latest album, Controlling Your Allegiance, was released in June via Astrelwerks and features a slew of guests from Tom Smith, Robert Smith, Jon Spencer, Green Velvet, Lisa Hannigan, Morgan Kibby of M83 and James Vincent McMorrow. When I asked how they got all these stars on their sophomore release, Declan jokingly stated, “We stayed outside their houses!” Though the truth is that they came up with a dream list and between their contacts and managers perseverance these singers came through and really become the centerpiece of the record’s story telling. “For our first album we wanted just us, we always wanted a vocalist but we wanted to show off who we were, so for this album it was something to experiment with. We approached Morgan Kibby first because we are huge M83 fans and love her voice, once she said yes, we came up with a list and just kept asking,” Gareth says. “I am still in disbelief, next step is to try and bring them on stage with us” Gary noted. While the Japanese Popstars are designing their dreams into reality, they are proof to the old theory that if you work hard and want something bad enough, it will happen. When I asked if they consider this work, Gary and Gareth replied with a quick “No,” but it was Declan that said, “yeah, its work. I have a job to do and this is it, it may not be a traditional job but it’s a job, one that I love and glad I have and I want to be the best I can be.” Gareth mentioned at one point “All we want is to write the best we can. The rest is out of our hands.”

Tori Amos Cover & Track Listing

Tori Amos returns this September with her new album, Night of the Hunters. Take a look at the cover above and the track listing below. The album arrives September 20.


1. "Shattering Sea"
2. "SnowBlind"
3. "Battle of Trees"
4. "Fearlessness"
5. "Cactus Practice"
6. "Star Whisperer"
7. "Job's Coffin"
8. "Nautical Twilight"
9. "Your Ghost"
10. "Edge of the Moon"
11. "The Chase"
12. "Night of Hunters"
13. "Seven Sisters"
14. "Carry"

Matt & Kim on Fallon!



Dynamic Brooklyn duo Matt & Kim hit up Fallon last night, take a look as they show Jimmy and his audience what it means to have as much fun in under four minutes.

Quick News

U2 are set to become the first band ever to open this year's Toronto International Film Festival this September. The band will release their documentary From the Sky Down directed by Davis Guggenheim - who directed Edge in It Might Get Loud. The documentary tells the oral story of U2 and the making of Achtung Baby according to Rolling Stone. From the Sky Down is also the first documentary to ever open the festival.

After laying low for a few years, acclaimed singer Feist will return with her new album, Metals on October 4.

Mastodon will release their anticipated new record, The Hunter on September 27.

Noel Gallagher released the cover art to his solo debut, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Take a look at the cover below:

Pearl Jam 20 Trailer!

Pearl Jam Twenty from Pearl Jam on Vimeo.



2011 is a big year for great American rock and rollers Pearl Jam. The band celebrate their 20th anniversary with a big weekend gig in Wisconsin, a book and documentary by Cameron Crowe. Take a look at the trailer for PJ20 which will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Eels on Letterman



Eels Returned to Letterman last night to perform "That's Not Her Way," take a look!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big Talk on Kimmel



Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci jumps in front of the kit and sings in his side project, Big Talk for their first TV appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Take a look!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Live Review - Sleeper Agent @ Studio at Webster Hall

If you are a band that wants to make it in some sort of fashion, playing New York City is not just the place to do it, for most bands it is a privilege that they have even gotten that far. For a Monday night, the packed Studio at Webster Hall was home for Kentucky rockers Sleeper Agent first New York appearance after spending most of the year recording and touring to gain a buzz for their forthcoming debut via Mom + Pop Music. At first look, the members of Sleeper Agent all look like they belong in other bands or characters we have grown up with, the rhythm section looks as if they should be in a metal band, guitarist Josh Martin looks like Shaggy from Scooby -Doo, keyboardist Scott Gardiner looks like he can be Cedric Bixler of Mars Volta's twin brother and the singing duo of Alex Kandel and Tony Smith look like the characters Pip and Estella out of Dickens Great Expectations with their heavy flirtatious and sexual tension, you just hope by the end of every song they kiss or embrace - yet they do not and tease us into the next song. For whatever the band may appear to be, they make it work, their sound is a catchy, dare I say, pop-rock filled with clever hooks and sing-a-long choruses and their live show is an all out free for all. With a room full of heads bobbing up and down and bodies swaying left to right, Sleeper Agent proved they were worthy of playing the city that never sleeps and those in attendance were lucky to see them. In an hour long set, which also featured a very unique cover of The xx's "VCR," Sleeper Agent looked as if they had no intention of stopping, with their debut, Celabrasion out next month, its not only worth a listen but this is a band worth embracing.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! A MILLION YEARS INTV!

To be a band coming from Brooklyn these days is like a band that was trying to make it out of Seattle in the late 80's and early 90's. It is a tough endeavor, however, it can be done but the road is a winding and narrow path. For Brooklyn's A Million Years the road has been long, yet they are driving fast and building a report that just saw them sell out two nights at Lower East Side's Mercury Lounge back to back. The band's constant gigging and raucous live shows have gained them much attention in the city and beyond. The band's debut, Mischief Maker was released last summer to stellar reviews and as they get noticed and work as hard as they can, it may feel like a million years for them to get to where they want to be but it will take much shorter time span for a band of this caliber. I had the opportunity to speak with vocalist and guitarist Keith Madden about the groups origins, style and praise. Take a look at my interview with Keith below.

You formed in 2007 and have gone through various line-up changes, is this the final line-up of A Million Years?

I can say with 100% certainty that the band lineup has never felt more complete. We are a well oiled machine.

You are inspired by the work of Radiohead, Spoon and Wilco – yet you take that inspiration and make it your own. Are you conscious of just using those bands as influence and not taking their sound and style?

Absolutely. When we're starting the process of writing songs we just sort of go with it and anything you do naturally like that is going to take on qualities of whatever songs or records are bouncing around in your head. The bands and records we love become points of reference. Like a language that we communicate ideas with. Most of the time we're totally conscious of the decisions we're making. But as each band member has their own individual take on that language sometimes its what gets lost in translation that ends up forming a song. And that's more fun anyway.

I have been covering bands in New York for years, but the Lower East Side has not taken to a band like this since CBGB’s Hayday. How do you feel about the love you are getting in New York?

It feels good. We care about this a lot and we put in a lot of work so it's reassuring to see that it gets noticed.

How is the vibe outside of the city, when you are playing to faces who have no idea who you are?

Touring can be tricky. Play to a packed room one night, and then play to a room of 5 people the next night. It varies but we are always getting better at making the most of any situation.

Being a new band from New York City, do you feel like you have to uphold some sort of rep and attitude or does the location you come from not even matter?

While I can't deny that the city has had an influence on the way I write songs, I don't think about it much. We used to think we'd need to tell people we're a native Brooklyn band but there doesn't seem to be any point to that any more. I'd rather they just listen to our records and make their decisions about us that way than worry about how we figure into some NYC rock and roll mythology.

You released your debut Mischief Maker last year and it received stellar reviews (from us at least), now that the album has been out for a year, have things changed in the band?

Having the record has made it a lot easier to communicate to people what it is we do and how we sound. Touring has been far more successful because we can actually put something in people's hands when the shows are over. Also we were able to score some gigs opening for Phoenix and 30 Seconds to Mars on the strength of it and we're still reaping benefits from those great opportunities.

How long will fans have to wait for a follow up?

Not long hopefully. We're always writing songs so we're going to take them all as far as they go before we make the decision to record again. Being an independent band in our position allows us freedom to decide that our next release might just be a string of singles, or EPs, instead of another full length. So maybe soon. Maybe not.

You have shared the stages with so many great bands, how do you feel about now being in the league of these acts?

Everyone has treated us with total respect so we feel lucky. And grateful.

Who has been your favorite person to play and tour with?

We did a stretch of dates with Jesse Malin and the St. Mark's Social in the UK. That was a blast. They were great to us and helped make our first overseas adventure memorable.

What do you learn from the bands that you are opening for? Do they bestow any wisdom down to you?

The recurring theme seems to be that no matter what level of success you are at, you need to be working harder and harder at being a better band. Also, the dressing rooms get bigger. That's nice.

Who would you like to play with next?

We are friends with bands in NYC that we haven't been able to coordinate gigs with yet. Bands like Wojcik, Year of the Tiger, Field Mouse, Whale Belly. The list goes on. So it'd be really good to do that this year. One big show with all of us playing. And LCD Soundsystem coming out of retirement to headline it.

The energy and vibe fans take from you doing your live shows is pretty incredible. I have seen you guys work a room. Do you go in each show with the same energy or does the crowd feed it?

We try to perform the same way every time. So if we're at 100% then the crowd's energy is what takes the gigs into transcendent territory. It's a great feeling when it happens.

A Million Years is a pretty unique name for a band, who came up with it and how did it stick?

The long answer is that I wanted a band name that had a classic kind of sound to it. So that one day some day a 15 year old kid would be scanning Allmusic.com like I used to and find out that his favorite band was influenced by a band called A Million Years. I was dreaming big. The short answer is that it was the last name on a long list of names that nobody hated. But then it sort of made sense to continue using it when getting the first incarnations of the band took forever to get together...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quick News

Just hours after the shocking news of Amy Winehouse's sudden passing, her former friend and collaborator, Mark Ronson has issued a statement to BBC. Ronson says Amy was "like a sister to me. She was my musical soulmate, this is one of the saddest days of my life." Ronson produced Winehouse's most famous record, Back to Black. Also, it apparently will be days before an autopsy result will be announced to indentify the singers cause of death.

UK's Mercury Prize nominees are in! The awards, which Amy Winehouse was nominated for in 2004 but lost to Franz Ferdinand, will be given out September 6 in the UK and the nominees are:
Adele: 21
Anna Calvi: Anna Calvi
Elbow: Build a Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything: Man Alive
Ghostpoet: Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
Gwilym Simcock: Good Days at Schloss Elmau
James Blake: James Blake
Katy B: On a Mission
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins: Diamond Mine
Metronomy: The English Riviera
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake
Tinie Tempah: Disc-Overy

Speaking to NME at Latitude Festival last weekend, Bloc Party singer Kele Okereke hinted that brand new Bloc Party material will be on the way soon. He says "There are some plans for new stuff. I'm not sure what I can say... I'd be surprised if there wasn't some new stuff before the end of the summer." Bloc Party went on hiatus in 2008 and reformed earlier this year.

France's M83 have announced the track listening to their forthcoming double album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. Take a look at the track listing below:

Disc 1:
01 Intro [ft. Zola Jesus]
02 Midnight City
03 Reunion
04 Where the Boats Go
05 Wait
06 Raconte-Moi Histoire
07 Train to Pluton
08 Claudia Lewis
09 This Bright Flash
10 When Will You Come Home?
11 Soon, My Friend

Disc 2
01 My Tears Are Becoming a Sea
02 New Map
03 OK Pal
04 Another Wave From You
05 Splendor
06 Year One, One UFO
07 Fountains
08 Steve McQueen
09 Echoes of Mine
10 Klaus I Love You
11 Outro

Playlist

Here it is - the spike of heat of summer. Here are some cool tracks to get you through the rest of the July heat.

- Best Coast - "Summer Mood"
- Richard Ashcroft - "On a Beach"
- The National - "Think You Can Wait"
- Broken Bells - "Meryn Fields"
- Burial - "NYC"
- Protest the Hero - "Hair Trigger"
- Funeral Party - "Finale"
- Sharks - "Joys of Living"
- Joy Formidable - "Whirrling"
- LCD Soundsystem - "All my Friends"
- Groove Armada - "I Won't Kneel"
- Stone Roses - "She Bangs the Drums"
- Tennis - "Cape Dory"
- Wire - "Pink Flag"
- The Misfits - "Attitude"
- The Sundays - "Here is Where the Story Ends"
- Kids of 88 - "My House"
- Peter Bjorn and John - "Tomorrow Has to Wait"
- VHS or Beta - "All Summer in Day"
- Fleet Foxes - "Sim Sala Bim"
- The Replacements - "Takin' a Ride"
- The Smithereens - "White Castle Blues"
- The Cure - "Pictures of You"
- The Drums - "Money"

LISTEN TO THIS PLAYLIST ON SPOTIFY!!!
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Cee - Lo on Letterman



Cee - Lo Green hit up Letterman this week to perform "Bright Lights, Bigger City" take a look!

RIP Amy Winehouse

In a sad and tragic turn of events, singer Amy Winehouse was found dead at her Camden - North London home at age of 27. Ambulances were called to her flat in the early hours of the morning today and no cause of death has been announced.

The award winning Winehouse has battled drug and alchol problems for years even before her massive 2007 acclaimed Mark Ronson produced album, Back to Black was released. Recently Winehouse has staggered to get the recognition she once held. Winehouse in recent months has been boo-ed off stage, has cancelled appearances and has become an enigma in the studio in terms of a follow up to Back to Black.

Taking to twitter, some celebs have tweeted:
Q- Tip : The last time I spoke 2 amy I told her let her light shine more

Vernon Reid of Living Colour - Amy Winehouse lived her truth, but wasn't able to change it to escape her fate. Now comes the snark & the self righteous media judgement.

Nick Frost - Rest in peace Amy. Sad news.

Billy Bragg - I hope Amy Winehouse can find some peace

Frank Carter - I don't care what you think..The fact Amy Winehouse has passed away is very sad news. Love her or hate her she had an incredible talent RIP

Frankie Francis of Frankie and the Heartstrings - We are all shocked to hear the Amy Winehouse news, very sad x

Winehouse in many ways foreshadowed her death in the now infamous video for "Back to Black"

Bush on Kimmel



Bush return this fall with a new album and here they are on Kimmel this week performing their latest single, "The Sound of Winter."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Live Review - U2 @ New Meadowlands Stadium

Tickets for the second leg of U2's 360 tour went on sale in the fall of 2009, in June of 2010 the show was postponed by a full calender year due to Bono having to have emergency back surgery, now 2011, U2 return and are even better than the real thing. In a year filled with doubt for the legendary Irish band; from Spiderman on Broadway, Bono's recovery, their tax controversy in Europe, Glastonbury headlining set, U2 proved once and for all they are the best touring band and spectacle on the planet.
Under their now infamous giant 167 foot "claw" stage, a contraption that requires the band to travel with more than 200 trucks and takes nearly two days to assemble, U2 arrived from the players tunnel of New Jersey's new football stadium to the sounds of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and massive applause of nearly 100 thousand screaming fans (I screamed enough for three people), they received a hero's welcome in a land that has welcomed them from the beginning. As soon as they took to the massive rotating stage, the feedback and reverb off Edge's guitar rang through to the opening licks of "Even Better than the Real Thing," a song which was not played on the first leg of their 360 tour and is now an opening song staple. From there they launched into "The Fly," "Mysterious Ways," and Bono addressing the crowd that 20 years ago they released two records from their sessions in Berlin, the albums that would become Achtung Baby! and Zooropa. Since they have no album to tour behind, this was a touring birthday to these albums that created U2's benchmark into rock and roll history and took them from global sensations to global phenoms. With the giant claw stage being the main attraction, a structure never seen before and possibly we may never see again, Bono, Edge, Larry and Adam took the fans eyes off the smoke and mirrors and placed them onto them. Unlike the first leg of this tour,which had the jaws of fans on the ground, it was more production rather than the music. It lacked the intimacy that make U2's concerts so damn special, now having two years with this particular stage, the band are free to do what they want, when they want. Less chirography, more rock and roll. It was all proven in song selections like "Zooropa," "Discotheque," and "Miss Sarajevo." While the focus of these gigs was to maximize the fans experience in seeing the band in massive stadiums, the motif of outer space and flying into outer space was understood when outer space connected with New Jersey as the band video called Commander Mark Kelly of the international space station to dedicate "Beautiful Day" to his wife, Senator Gabby Gifford who is recovering after being shot by a lunatic earlier this year at an event in Arizona.
While the concert was literally out of this world, Bono, would explain how it has been 30 years since the band's first concert in New Jersey at Ashbury Park's now defunct Fast Lane, he would read off the band's first set list and explain how Jersey was home to Springsteen and we were in his promise land - the band would later dedicate "Moment of Surrender" to Clarence Clemmons, who recently passed away. While the crowd would chant "BRUCE!" Bono acknowledged his friend who was watching the gig from the side of the stage. So much for the eye to see and the body to compute, in an assault on all senses by the time the first set closed it was a feel of "what just happened?" seem to simultaneously rush over the audience's faces. The band returned for two encores that ended on such high stimulation, from "One" to a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" to "Where the Streets Have no Name,"to returning with Bono swinging around a microphone for the second encore featuring the rarely performed "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me." They didn't seem like they would end, and just when you thought it was over - Bono would say "this was our first single! Out of Control!" The rare first single was played and closing the longest set in the band's tour, over two and half hours and Bono saying "that's us, just four lads from Dublin, out of control."

U2 New Meadowlands Stadium Set List 7/20/11
Even Better Than The Real Thing
The Fly
Mysterious Ways
Until the End of the World
I Will Follow
Get On Your Boots
Magnificent
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Promised Land
Stay - In the Wee Small Hours
Beautiful Day - Space Oddity
Elevation
Pride
Miss Sarajevo
Zooropa
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I'll Go Crazy (remix)
Discotheque - Psycho Killer - Life During Wartime
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On

ENCORE 1:
One
Hallelujah
Where the Streets Have No Name

ENCORE 2:
Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender
Out of Control

Joseph Arthur on Fallon

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Joseph Arthur was on Fallon last night to perform "Almost Blue" and "Even Tho." For his second song he got a little help from Jimmy himself and The Roots! Take a look!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Theophilus London on Kimmel!



Theophilus London hit up Kimmel last night to perform "I Stand," take a look!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Live Pix - Titus Andronicus @ 4Knots

Titus Andronicus were part of the inaugural Village Voice 4Knots Festival at South Street Seaport in NYC this weekend. RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture their energy and lunacy.






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Live Pix - Company Flow REUNION!

This summer the defunct legendary indie rappers Company Flow have reunited for two specials gigs. Originally hired for a special appearance at All Tomorrow's Parties in the UK, they did a special gig at Santos Party Haus this weekend in their hometown of NYC to send them off in style. Our photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV was on hand to catch all the action. There are a TON more photos on Facebook, so like us and see more!







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Live Review - Darkstar @ Le Poisson Rouge

From South London to Soho, New York, dubstep superstars Darkstar made their New York City debut last at the intimate Le Poisson Rouge and as I currently write this review, my body is still vibrating from being immersed in a room of sub-bass. In a room less than half full of those curious to hear what this trio of haunting beat creators sound like in concert, for those there, it was something special.
It may have been 100 degrees outside but Darkstar showed up in winter coats, it may have been 11pm and they looked like they just rolled out of bed, it may have been a Monday night but the crowd was ready to dance and that they did. The magic of dubstep is how hypnotic it is and how controlling it can have over the audience’s attention. The music's thick groves and seductive hooks can be as emotional, moody and sexy as some call it “end of the night” music. Yet, with whatever adjectives one wants to label dubstep, Darkstar were showing why they have been one of the most talked about bands in the genre.
With the release of their stellar debut, North last year via Hyperdub records, Darkstar stimulated the sounds of their presentation by breaking down what the crowd has heard on disc and altering the sounds and songs right on stage. With a sound system as perfect as that at LPR, Darkstar’s music became just that much more tangible and alive. With magnificent covers of Radiohead’s “Videotape” and Human League’s “Gold,” it only enhanced what was already a top showcase. With the small audience captivated by what they were doing on stage, Darkstar’s light shined as bright as it could, it will be until next time to see if a buzz from this gig will generate a larger audience.

Viva BROTHER on Kimmel!



England's Viva BROTHER performed "Darling Buds of May," from their forthcoming debut, Famous First Words on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Take a look!

Bono & Edge on Letterman



While promoting the awful epic of Spiderman - Turn off the Dark on Letterman, Bono & Edge did a beautiful impromptu performance of "Stuck in a Moment." The band is in NYC all week as they have a gig at the New Meadowlands Stadium on Tuesday, we will be on hand to cover the event!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

EXCLUSIVE! Dave Hause of Loved Ones INTV!

Dave Hause is the type of guy you would want to have a drink with. I have never actually had a drink with Hause, but after seeing him so many times, meeting him after gigs and listening to his music, he is just that down to Earth punk that writes songs that are headlines ripped from your life story. The singer of The Loved Ones has been enjoying success fronting the Philly punk band but earlier this year he released his acclaimed solo debut, Resolutions. Resolutions still has the firecracking punk that we have gone to love from Hause through the years but also shares a more intimate portrait as a songwriter as a majority of the songs are acoustic. I caught up with Hause and we discussed his inspirations, work with Loved Ones and solo material and myself getting very zealous and asking about him playing a putting together a tour with Hold Steady and Gaslight Anthem. Take a look.

Who are your biggest inspirations as a songwriter and musician?

They change over time. In the last few years it's been Conor Oberst, Jenny Lewis, Patty Griffin, The Hold Steady and Arcade Fire. The big ones are The Misfits, Springsteen, The Beatles, The Police, Tom Petty and The Clash.

What inspired you to make “Resolutions?”

I started writing songs and I felt like the direction they were taking was a bit too far in the "singer-songwriter" direction then I felt comfortable pushing The Loved Ones in. We're at our best when it's loud and intense. This record is more...quiet and intense. Once I had enough songs it just seemed clear to me that I should make my own record, and with the songs I have written for the next Loved Ones record, I feel like we'll be doing what we do best, and now I have another medium to work within.

“Resolutions” is your first full length solo material, was it odd doing a record by yourself after being in bands for so long?

It wasn't too odd, I assembled a great group of people to play on it and it felt like a band. The main difference between working within The Loved Ones paradigm and doing solo stuff is stylistic, not logistical. I worked with Pete Steinkopf, who is a dear friend of mine, to make the record and we just had the best time tracking and hanging out.

After releasing a few things solo, did you feel confident to make a full length?

Well I had the record put together and was working on it as I was releasing those little odds and sods, so my original intent was to release a full record first, it just didn't quite work out that way.

Who contributed to helping you with “Resolutions?"

Ok it's a hell of a list: Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls, produced, engineered, mixed and played some guitars. Brendan Hill, who I played with in The Curse played drums and percussion, Michael Cotterman (Loved Ones, Title Tracks, Kid Dynamite) played bass, Chris Gonzalez (Loved Ones, Explosion) played guitar, my sister Melissa Hause played piano and B3, Mitch Townsend (Matt Costa, Red 7) played guitar, mandolin, and lap steel, Chris Wollard (Hot Water Music) and Ericka Hause (my wife) both sang on the record.

You are releasing the record on Vinnie from Less than Jake’s Paper and Plastic label, how did you link up with Vinnie?

I met Vinnie when The Loved Ones toured with Less Than Jake in 2006. He had just sold his half of Fueled By Ramen and was talking then about starting a label, and I've always been impressed with his acumen and work ethic. I spoke with a lot of labels about releasing Resolutions, but with Vinnie I felt the most comfortable and the least boxed in.

Do you feel that working on your own is better, worse or just too different than doing things with The Loved Ones?

It's just two different things. I'm fortunate to have people care about either thing, a lot of great writers and players labor away with no one paying attention, and I'll never take that for granted.

Will there be more Loved Ones material soon?

Yes. I'm almost done writing the record and we're gearing up to rehearse and record.

When Brian Fallon of Gaslight Anthem went on his first solo tour in early 2010, you went along for the trek with him. What was it like touring together? Just two guys who front two bands breaking away for a bit?

It was great fun. It was he and his wife, me and my wife, a room full of people and 2 friends with some songs. We're planning on doing another big tour in the UK and Europe later this year, it's going to be a blast.

Kanye and Jay-Z are doing a record of duets together; will we ever see the same from you and Brian one day?

We don't have any plans to do anything like that, but who knows?

Who would be someone you would love to write and record with?

Hands down, immediately #1 answer is Patty Griffin. I'd love to make a record with Mike Mogis from Monsters of Folk and Bright Eyes as well.

Through the years you have also linked up with some fine artists like Bouncing Souls, The Hold Steady, Hot Water Music and others. Do you feel you have all built a community and friendship around the music that you play and process you use to make it?

Absolutely, it's great to operate in a world where we all respect and love one another, there are so many horror stories about competitiveness and jealousy in the music business, I don't think that kind of stuff helps anyone.

BURNING QUESTION: One tour I would love to see will be The Loved Ones, The Hold Steady and The Gaslight Anthem. Any possibility we can make this happen?

Anything is possible. Those two bands are pretty popular right now, so you'd have to ask them if they'd do it. We'd do that tour in a heartbeat.



Dave Hause video for "Time Will Tell" (Above) / Loved Ones video for "100K" (Below)

Dave & Brian Fallon cover Bouncing Souls "Gone"

Live Review - Paul McCartney @ Yankee Stadium

How does one review someone like Paul McCartney? Someone who did more at the age of 28 than most have ever done in a lifetime? How does someone actually attempt to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and begin a review on a person who has shaped the soundtrack of our lives? It is impossible. It is not something you can review, you just experience. So with that, this is a preface that this will not be a review but a dictation about the experience of what it is to witness a man whose songs are not just apart of your playlists on your iPod but are embedded in a special section of your soul. McCartney along with his three friends from Liverpool changed our lives, changed our world, changed rock and roll and generations later, still manage to do it, for what they did and for what Paul has done on his own, is simply timeless music and timeless achievements.

In the second of two sold out shows at Yankee Stadium, McCartney switched teams for the summer of 2011 and drafted himself from the famous fields in Queens to the famous field in the Bronx for a weekend of unforgettable wonderment, emotion, excitement and most of all, proof that age is just a number. Opening with "Magical Mystery Tour," and in an outfit that mimicked his appearance as a Beatle on Ed Sullivan and his original Hofner bass that he has used since the beginning it was a special moment right from the get go. As he then went into "Jet" and in a bizarre coincidence, planes began flying over Yankee Stadium as if Paul had ordered them to be part of the ambiance, it was then into "All My Loving" that the audience would realize it was going to be a night of hit after hit. As he took his heavy jacket off and joked "this is the famous wardrobe change of the night, no need for a wardrobe malfunction," it was a way of opening up and joking around with his audience, which is what he would do all night. In a career spanning 36 song setlist that would include everything from his work with The Beatles, Wings, his solo material and his recent work with The Firemen, Paul and his band drove the paying audience into a night that they could truly get their monies worth - after all nothing is cheap at Yankee Stadium!

As the songs would be a constant sing-a-long for the near three hours he was on stage, it was highlighted by his stories in between the songs, after playing a great instrumental cover of Hendrix's "Foxy Lady," he spoke of how Hendrix was in wonder of the Beatles and how he picked up their songs very quickly and would alter them. It would be stories like that, I would personally love to sit and hear all night long and most of them came out, with an interesting and fascinating life as Macca's it is those stories that only bring us closer to the songs. As he would discuss his friend and partner, John Lennon before playing the beautiful and touching "Here Today," he would encourage the audience to say what they need to say to love ones or anyone because once the opportunity passes, it is over and it may never happen as we understood that Sir Paul never had the chance to tell Lennon how much he loved him. It would be touching moments like that when he spoke of George Harrison, and how George gave him a ukulele and how they wrote "Something" on the tiny instrument, he would begin to play the original version of the song before the band would kick in for the studio version we know so well. As Paul made us sentimental, he then brought us back to the fact we were still at a rock and roll show and with a fire work display that could rival that of Macy's 4th of July spectacular, a highly explosive "Live and Let Die" was played. However, just as you thought the first set was done with a bang, "Hey Jude" under a full moon was played to an audience that were still screaming "Naaaa, Naaah, Na, Na, Na, Naah" long after the show was over.

Coming out for one of two encores, Paul brought out Long Island staple and his friend Billy Joel out for a very cool version of "I Saw Her Standing There," as the audience simply recreated the sound that Paul first heard in Shea Stadium when the Beatles first arrived in America, it was as if the night could not get any better and Paul could close it at any time. It did only get better and he showed no care to stop. At 69 years old he tired out a crowd that had some of them half his age, which was the beauty of the show, aside from the songs it was the aspect that grandfathers were there with their sons and grandsons, that mothers were there with their daughters and the young friends, old friends, middle aged friends were all there together, Paul with all of his music defies generation, defies age and simply will live on for all of eternity. It is people like McCartney that come around and shake up our lives for the better and shake up our world and for that, we thank him and for that we keep coming back no matter how much the cost, how much the aggravation in getting tickets, we keep coming back...because it's for Paul.

Paul McCartney Yankee Stadium Playlist 7/16/11

Magical Mystery Tour
Jet
All My Loving
Junior's Farm
Drive My Car
Sing the Changes
The Night Before
Let Me Roll It
Foxy Lady (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Paperback Writer
The Long and Winding Road
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Let 'Em In
Maybe I'm Amazed
I'm Looking Through You
I Will
Blackbird
Here Today
Dance Tonight
Mrs Vanderbilt
Eleanor Rigby
Something
Band on the Run
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Back in the U.S.S.R.
I've Got a Feeling
A Day in the Life / Give Peace A Chance
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude

Encore 1:
Lady Madonna
I Saw Her Standing There (with Billy Joel)
Get Back

Encore 2:
Yesterday
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Live Pix - Joan Jett in Coney Island

Rock and Roll Queen Joan Jett and her Blackhearts were loud and wild in Coney Island this past week. Photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action, take a look.







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Quick News

It has been rather quiet on The Shins front, but after rumors of the band are working on a new record, producer Greg Kurstin tweeted he is working with the band on their latest record. No release date or any more info is available at press time, stay tuned as we find out more.

Morrissey will release his tell all autobiography in December of 2012, he has finished the book and it is currently in the edit process.

The Black Keys have finished recording their new album with Danger Mouse in Nashville. In a recent interview to Spin magazine, Dan Auerbach says "It's the fastest we've ever played. The new album doesn't sound like Brothers. It doesn't have that open soul feel to it. It's way more driving and the tempos are really fast." The band hope to have it out by years end.

More Radiohead Remixes



Earlier in the month we posted two Radiohead remixes for a forthcoming King of Limbs remix album, here are three more songs the band has released as part of that forthcoming album.

Friday, July 15, 2011

JAMES BLAKE ON FALLON!



The beautiful and brilliant James Blake was on Jimmy Fallon making his US TV debut. Take a look at Blake as he performs "The Wilhelm Scream."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Live Review - Mona @ Studio at Webster Hall


Roaring guitars, pounding rhythms, dirty rock and roll – this is the formula to the much talked about Nashville quartet that is Mona. They have been a band we tipped to be one of the breakouts of the year and depending on what side of the world you are on, my calculations are correct. Much like another band from Nashville, Kings of Leon, Mona are finding a massive amount of success overseas in UK and the rest of Europe while they are still relative unknowns to most of America. Unlike the Leon clan they keep gaining comparisons to, the band formed in 2007 in Ohio and relocated to Nashville for more exposure, now that sounds like what The Black Keys have done, but that’s another discussion. Mona are no means a “southern rock” band, they are just a straight up, good time, American rock outfit that is ready to blow the roof off any joint they step in. At a packed part of Webster Hall, the intimate basement setting of the Studio at Webster Hall, for 50 minutes Mona showed the crowd that they are going to remember them and they want all the glory the business can offer these days.

The band has been in and out of New York City for the past year and is developing a strong fanbase in the process, “Everything great starts small. Everything that is great was once small” singer Nick Brown superciliously said halfway through the bands set. Brown has no intention of being a singer in a small band, it is his cocky report that has gotten him much attention in the press comparing himself to Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Robert Plant and Bono, his bravado may write something he cannot eventually fulfill but that is not going to stop him from trying. While the rest of his band remained mum during their performance, it was evident that each song could be the next great rock and roll single on whatever existing FM channel still actually plays rock and roll, it is evident that the crowd who were stage diving were ready for more it was also evident that their money is where their loud mouths are. With grand rip roaring tunes like “Listen to your Love,” “Teenager”, “Cloak and Dagger,” it will be hard to not pay attention to them. The bands self-titled debut arrives via Island Def-Jam this September, it is with that record that the next time they come back to New York City, it wont be any studios they will be in and this maybe the one time they perform to a paying audience in that type of space for a while.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quick News

It has been rather quiet on the Rilo Kiley front the last few years, but today in a shocking claim to Spinner, guitarist Blake Sennett has announced that the band has split up. He says "I just felt like there was a lot of deception, disloyalty, greed and things I don't really want to submit myself to. I had related that frustration to music but I just thought, 'I'm not going to put myself in that position again,' so I said, 'Fuck that, I can't do this anymore.'" The band's last record was 2007's Under the Black Light.

In another shocking headline, former Queens of the Stone Age, Dwarfs and reunited Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri was arrested by LAPD yesterday after a standoff with LA S.W.A.T. Team. LAPD were called to Oliveri's house after calls were made because he had locked himself and his girlfriend in the house during a domestic dispute. After a five hour standoff with police and special teams, with Oliveri having a loaded rifle, he gave himself up. He was arrested and arraigned and was hit with a $10,000 bail. Last year we interviewed Oliveri, you can read that interview HERE.

The super secret Watch the Throne collaboration album from Jay-Z and Kanye West is starting to unravel itself. Last week the released the cover to the album and now they released the track listing. Take a look:

01 No Church in the Wild (ft. Frank Ocean)
02 Lift Off (ft. Beyoncé)
03 Niggas in Paris
04 Otis (ft. Otis Redding)
05 Gotta Have It
06 New Day
07 Prime Time
08 Who Gon Stop Me
09 Murder to Excellence
10 Welcome to the Jungle
11 Sweet Baby Jesus (ft. Frank Ocean)
12 Why I Love You (ft. Mr Hudson)

Bonus tracks:
13 Illest Motherfucker Alive
14 H*A*M
15 That's My Bitch
16 The Joy (ft. Curtis Mayfield)



Live Pix - Slick Rick in The Bronx

The legendary Slick Rick was on hand last night at the Summerstage in the birthplace of hip-hop, the boogie down Bronx. Photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV was there to capture the action. Take a look.





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Live Pix - Raekwon & Friends in Brooklyn

Over in Brooklyn this past weekend, Wu-Tang's Raekwon gave a free performance and brought some friends along with him. From the legendary Smif & Wesson to rising star Juel Ortiz. Photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the event. Here are some pictures.


Juel Ortiz
Smiff & Wesson

Raekwon


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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Live Review - Incubus @ Ed Sullivan Theater

It has been five years since the last Incubus record, Light Grenades was released. In the time the band has had since they have have toured all over the world, released a greatest hits album, singer Brandon Boyd has opened art exhibits around the globe of his original material and published his second book as well as releasing a solo record, bassist Ben Kenney has also released a solo album, guitarist Mike Eizinger was a student of Flea's at UCLA. Drummer Jose Pasillas and multi-instrumentalist and DJ Chris Kilmore have gone on to keep busy within the music world, yet, needless to say they have been very busy and anticipation of new material has only grown through that time. On the eve of the release of their latest record, If Not Now, When?, the band's seventh studio album, the SoCal rockers returned to New York for a weekend of massive press and capped it all off with an intimate, invite only performance streamed on the web of the acclaimed Live on Letterman web series at Letterman's base at Ed Sullivan Theater.

As they walked onto the legendary stage which they did earlier in the day for a taping of the Late Show and which they have done many times before, I do not believe the band has ever been greeted with a reception quite like the one they received last night. They looked very relaxed, poised and very inviting as they opened with the bombastic "Megalomaniac" and kicking into the fan favorite, "Wish You Were Here." It was thrilling from the get go and the realization that the music world that Incubus have been apart of since the mid-90's is vastly different than it was when they first started, they displayed why they have beaten all cliches, critical berate, outlived genres we journalists have clumped them in through the years only to come back more resilient and mature as the years go on. For a band whose first song was called "Bathe in my Snot," needless to say they have certainly come a long way and their legion of fans have been devoted to them at every step. For an hour on stage with a very safe set list that only included a handful of new songs including the single "Promises, Promises," Incubus took fans back, but not too far back as not songs from SCIENCE were played (bummer) but a deep cut from Make Yourself, "Consequence" was. They certainly have matured through the years and it is easy to see that right away, as Chris Kilmore is not just a DJ spinning records to sample but having his hands and feet all over various types of organs, Eizinger on guitars has developed a sound far from just the pedals and chords he was so heavy relying on through the years and the rhythm section of Kenny and Pasillias has never been tighter. Yet, most of all, it falls on the shoulders of Boyd, whose lyrics evoke emotion and confusion with his audience as he captivates them with every word and sometimes confuses them due to his stellar vocabulary, as a front man he still faces the Justin Bieber syndrome as girls as screaming to "Take it off!" and he holds it in stride. His looks may have attracted a certain demographic but its his skills with the pen and movements on stage that have kept them and others there for decades and will continue to do so for decades to come.





Photo's By David M. Russell