Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fanfarlo Live Session 2



As we mentioned last week, Fanfarlo will be doing different live sessions each week leading up to the release of their new album, Rooms Filled With Light.

Take a look at this week's session of the single, "De.Con.Struction."

Fishbone on Kimmel!



Legendary ska punks, Fishbone hit up Jimmy Kimmel Live last night to perform "Everyday Sunshine" and plug their new documentary of the same name. Take a look!

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. On Conan



Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. hit up Conan last night to perform "Simple Girl." Take a look!

Monday, January 30, 2012

LIVE Pix - GIGANTOUR @ The Theater at MSG

The Gigantour featuring Megadeath, Motorhead, Lacuna Coil & Volbeat made its stop to the newly renovated Theater at Madison Square Garden over the weekend. Our photo correspondent RICH D SMOOV captured the action. Take a look!

Motorhead

Megadeath

Lacuna Coil



For more photo's be sure to become a fan of YUPPIE on Facebook:


With This I Think I'm Officially A Yuppie

Promote Your Page Too

Quick News

In an interview in NME, Crystal Castles will head to Warsaw, Poland to work on album three next month. The band hopes to have the record out by the summer.

The Vaccines are also going to head back into the studio to work on new material. To follow-up one of last years best albums, What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? will be produced by Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon). Singer Justin Young told NME, "It's mostly written and we're going into the studio in Belgium in March to start recording so it'll definitely be out this year, without a doubt. We've definitely got six songs written that we all want to be on the record, but there's tonnes of other new songs and we're actually going into the studio out in Australia to work on ideas. I think we're in a good place with it and it's quite exciting." The band hope to have the record out this year.

Jack White has announced his plans for his solo debut. The former White Stripes front man will release his debut, Blunderbuss in April. Take a listen to the first single, "Love Interruption" below:


As we mentioned earlier this month, Garbage will release their new record this year. The band has come out and given the record a title and date, Not Your Kind of People and will be released via the band's Stunvolume label May 15.

Spiritualized has announced they are pushing back the release of their seventh studio album, Sweet Heart Sweet Light by a few weeks. The record, which was slated to arrive in March and some copies have been sent to critics, is not pleasing main man J.Pierce and they are reworking the record. Take a look at the tracklisting below:

01 Hey Jane
02 Little Girl
03 Get What You
04 Too Late
05 Heading for the Top
06 Freedom
07 I Am What I Am
08 Mary
09 Life Is a Problem
10 So Long You Pretty Things

Saturday, January 28, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Austra INTV!

After being named one of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012," Canada's Austra are certainly living up to the title. The Canadian three-piece electronic band have been making a name for themselves for a handful of years and last year saw them release their debut LP, Feel it Break on Domino to rave reviews. In fact, Austra were shortlisted as one of the finalists for their country's Polaris Prize but lost to Arcade Fire. The band is a wild, sexually charged and fierce talent that creates a sound to be admired. Take a look at our interview with Austra front woman, Katie Stelmanis. Take a look.

Hailing from Canada, we have seen many electronic inspired acts break out from there over the years. Is electronic music very popular there?

Its not hugely popular. Canada has a really small population and its difficult to foster a huge number of music genres. At the moment there just isn't a foundation for electronic musicians to make their music heard in Canada, so most of them have to seek recognition in other countries that are more set up to support it.

You are a classically trained artist, do you take what you know about classical music and bringit to electronica? Are there similarities in composing the two different genres?

I think electronic music and classical are quite similar. They both rely on the quality of the arrangements, and have layers and layers of harmonies, tracks, and landscapes within each song. I think my background in classical music led me to make electronic, because I could create complex arrangements for many instruments on my computer.

There has been so much buzz about the band in recent months, how to do respond to it?

My band and I are very realistic and try not to pay attention to buzz. We work hard and will continue to work hard and take the project as far as we can.

You seem to be the center piece of the band, is this your band with two backing members or a solo project under the banner Austra?

Its a collaborative project between 3 musicians, though that is always evolving. Currently I am touring as a 6-piece who all input their ideas into the project.

Where does the name Austra originate?

Its my middle name, and its a traditional Latvian name.

Sexuality plays a strong role in Austra, is it liberating to express yourself over music?

I think that music and dancing is a very sensual thing and people should feel like they want to express that when they see music or listen to it. Indie rock tends to be quite the opposite and we like bringing a strong sexual vibe to the stage.

You and Maya are gay and with sexuality playing a strong role in the music, is this the most gratifying outlet on how you can express yourself?

I suppose. I never think of my music as gay music, or as music with a political message. I am political as a person though and enjoying speaking up about the topic.

Do you find fans coming up to you and thanking you for being so proud of who you are?

Ya we do actually, I've had a lot of people thanking me for being at out musician.

There was an interesting paradox with how your video for “Beat and the Pulse” was censored from Youtube, while other videos – far more graphic and violent, were allowed. Do you feel the double standard in what is right and wrong in entertainment more frequently now?

I think its a clear depiction of where North America's values lie. There is a lot of hate, violent stuff on youtube, but clearly women's sexuality is more offensive to America's population.

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

Electronic, dramatic pop music.

What can we expect from Austra down the line?

Lots of touring and lots of music.


QUICK NEWS

The legendary Miles Davis will be immortalized on a US postage stamp. Joining the ranks of Elvis on the US stamp, the release shows the US Postal Service working in conjunction with France's La Posta how are creating musically themed stamps that will honor Edith Piaf.

Over a decade after they broke up, Ben Folds Five are currently working in the studio on a new album. The band expects to have it out this spring.

Taking to Twitter this week, Gaslight Anthem gave fans something to get excited over. The band tweeted, "This is my favorite songs we've ever recorded. Feels like we found our own sound." The band are currently in Nashville working on album four.

Epic Records has confirmed that they are promising a new Fiona Apple record this year. The long awaited record will come seven years after Apple released her last record, Extraordinary Machines in 2005.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Playlist

Its winding down to the end of the month...Time for a new playlist!

- Deer Tick - "Main Streets"
- Friendly Fires - "Live Those Days Tonight"
- Mental As Anything - "Nips Are Getting Bigger"
- Amy Winehouse - "Fuck Me Pumps"
- Ultravox - "Vienna"
- Wall of Voodoo - "Mexican Radio"
- Nine Inch Nails - "Terrible Lie"
- Jesus and Mary Chain - "Nine Million Rainy Days"
- David Bowie - "Battle for Britain"
- Liars - "Mr Your On Fire Mr"
- Psychedelic Furs - "Sister Europe"
- Suede - "Heroine"
- James Blake - "A Case of You"
- Theophilus London - "Last Name London"
- Bon Iver - "Towers"
- EMA - "Coda"
- Ill Bill - "Society is Brainwashed"
- Company Flow - "8 Steps to Perfection"
- Sage Francis - "Slow Man"
- Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Monarchy of Roses"
- Husker Du - "Ice Cold Ice"
- U2 - "Stay (Faraway, So Close)"
- Noel Gallagher - "The Death of You and Me"
- Robyn - "Be Mine!"

Get most of this playlist on Spotify!

Follow me on Spotify

Quick News

Glasvegas are hitting the road in the UK a year after they released their sophomore record, EUPHORIC /// HEARTBREAK \\\. As the band released a statement discussing their new tour, they also said they are demoing and writing new songs and will be in the studio at the end of this tour to work on record number three.

After we have been discussing all week, the Joy Division inspired Mickey Mouse shirt has now been pulled from the Disney store. A representative from Disney says, "As soon as we became aware there could be an issue, we pulled it from our shelves and our online store to review the situation further."

Norah Jones will release her new Danger Mouse produced album, Little Broken Hearts in the Spring. Jones and Danger Mouse worked together last year on the Rome album that also featured Jack White and Daniele Luppi.

Frank Turner took to his blog and gave an update on his hardcore side project. Turner says, "It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time, but it took a while to figure out the right way to do it. Now we have a line-up and we’ve been in the rehearsal room as a bunch, writing songs. Still no band name as of yet. Haha. It’s noisy, tongue-in-cheek, aggressive, abrasive stuff. It’s a side project, so it takes back seat priority-wise, which means I’m not sure when we’ll have time to record anything or get some music released, but it’s a lot closer to being a real band right now than it has been previously." Turner used to front the hardcore band, A Million Dead.

Blood Red Shoes will release their third album, In Time to Voices on March 26. Take a look at the track listing below:
01) In Time To Voices
02) Lost Kids
03) Cold
04) Two Dead Minutes
05) The Silence and the Drones
06) Night Light
07) Je Me Perds
08) Stop Kicking
09) Slip Into Blue
10) Down Here in the Dark
11) 7 Years
In 2010 we interviewed Blood Red Shoes in one of their first American interviews. Take a look at it HERE.

Dinosaur Jr. DVD Trailer



On February 21, Dinosaur Jr. will release the DVD, Bug Live at 9:30 Club: In the Hands of the Fans. The band shot the concert while on the road last year in support of their landmark record, Bug's anniversary at DC's 9:30 in June. Take a look at the trailer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

OFFICIALLY A PODCAST EPISODE 5

After a near two month hiatus, OFFICIALLY A PODCAST IS BACK!

Sorry for the delay folks!

Back For Episode 5, Host Bill Reese and Officially A Yuppie Owner, Sal Bono discuss the major reunions of 2012 - The Stone Roses, At the Drive-in and Refused. Plus, who they would like to see reunite!

Also, Reese sits down for a "Q&Ale" with Julius C. frontman Jay Stolar before the band plays their final gig in NYC this Saturday. A great interview with a great band! One not to miss!



Episode 5 by Officially A Podcast

Quick News

Canadian band Our Lady Peace will release their eighth album, Curve on April 3.

The newly reformed Garbage will release their yet-to-be-titled new album on their own label, Stunvolume. The record is a follow-up to 2005's Bleed Like Me and is produced by member and extraordinaire, Butch Vig.

The Gaslight Anthem are trading New Jersey for Nashville...only for a little bit to record the follow-up to 2010's American Slang. The band have finished writing and demoing materials and will record the record in the Music Capital.

The Klaxons have begun writing music for their new record and the follow-up to 2010's Surfing the Void. The band have been rumored to work with The Chemical Brothers and LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy for album number three.

Yesterday via Facebook we pointed out that Disney are now selling Joy Division inspired Mickey Mouse shirts. Yes, no shit, we know and are just as shocked too. Now Joy Division bassist Peter Hook spoke to MTV Hive about it and says, "I have seen a lot of Mickey Mouse t-shirts in my time. But I have to say this is probably the best... I hope that [Disney] will be as understanding when we start doing Donald Duck shirts." He also said he had no prior knowledge of Disney using the cover of their debut, Unknown Pleasures to influence the shirt. The other former members of Joy Division aka New Order, have not commented on the shirt nor have given permission to use the design. The Mickey Mouse company knows that Joy Division singer Ian Curtis did kill himself, right? Or what the hell the band's name means? OR what the fuck the band sounds like?! Take a look at the shirt below:
The Disney store website states, "Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!" The shirt is "created especially for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort." Crazy is all we can respond with.
Read our 2011 feature and interview with Peter Hook HERE.

Frank Turner Road Diary



Frank Turner had a massive 2011 and 2012 is looking just as bright and busy. To showcase what just happened with him in the last year, Turner and his backing band, The Sleeping Souls cut together a video diary. Take a look.

Read Frank's first interview of 2012 that he did with us HERE.

Fanarlo Live Sessions



Leading up to the February release of their new album, Rooms Filled With Light, once a week Fanfarlo will treat fans to live sessions of various songs off the new record. For session number one, they picked, "Shiny Things," take a look!

Also, read our November feature on Fanfarlo discussing the making of Rooms Filled With Light HERE.

Watch WILCO on Conan



Wilco hit up Conan last night to perform the title track off their latest release, The Whole Love.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Born Blonde INTV!

Just last month we picked England's Born Blonde as our Rising Artist. Now, as the new year rolls on, this British band with a distinct influence from The Verve are turning heads even more. Maybe it is because of the massive Stone Roses reunion taking place later this year, Britpop is seeing a revival in a whole new generation of bands inspired by the 90's genre. Bands like Sulk, Viva Brother, The Horrors and of course, Born Blonde. As the band's cosmic and psychedelic sound is catching a buzz back in Britain, it is time to learn more about the band. We spoke with singer, Arthur Delany about the back's backstory, sound and when are they finally going to make it to America.

How did the band come about?

We got together in late 2009. A few of us had already been playing together but a few new songs started kicking around and it just made sense to start fresh. Since then we have always tried to keep exploring and challenging ourselves, you know; keep the forward momentum going.

What made you want to be in a band?

The buzz you get onstage is pretty magical, and we seem to spend all our time in pursuit of that feeling, so it just makes sense for us to be there as often as possible. And because life is too short not to.

There has been much buzz about you over the recent months, how do you respond to the buzz?

It is obviously flattering, it is a particularly exciting time for us, but we are continuing to work hard and trying not to get too distracted.

Now the name of the band, Born Blonde seems to be ironic since no one in the band is blonde. How did the name come up?

We were all blonde once but nothing last forever.

Hailing from West London, do you find the city has an impact on your style and sound?

London is a crazy place to grow up. I think that the real struggle has been to slow down and let everything grow at its own pace; London encourages impatience! I also think that growing up here has inspired us to create our own world. There is so much going on that it forces you to find a space you can call your own.

You have been gaining much attention in London as the cities new house band, what is your favorite venue to play and why?

We have been playing all over London for quite a while. We did a residency at the Troubadour when we were just starting out, so many great names have played there so its got a load of soul. We all live near Shepard's Bush Empire so to do a show there someday is a dream of ours.

There have been many comparisons to your music and The Verve. Do you find the comparisons flattering or a pain in the ass? Were The Verve a big influence on you?

When we are in the studio we try not to think too much about what we are putting down, so all the music we make is the sum of all of our influences. We find a sound that excites us and it hopefully takes us somewhere new.

Your music is very trippy and spacey, do drugs play a role in your songwriting process?

We smoke all the time but none of us inhale...

Because England has such as strong musical legacy, do you ever stop and think how you can or will fit into the timeline of British music?

We don't stop and think really. Thinking about music prevents us from making it so its best not to be concerned with these things. There is no way of saying where or how we will fit in so it is best to just get on with it.

When can we expect a full length from you?

We have nearly finished recording our record but, as with all things creative, it is only finished when it is finished so we are going to take our time.

You supported the Kooks at one point, what was that like?

They've got some mad loyal fans who were a joy to play for. I think it showed us all what we wanted, to make that kind of connection is pretty cool.

Who would you love to play with and why?

We are real admirers of Tame Impala; their record 'Innerspeaker' has been on repeat so I guess they would be up there.

What has been the best thing about being in the band and why?

I think that making this record has been a high point so far. That, and watching our singe 'Solar' gather speed. You spend so much time getting everything ready it is nice to see people reactions.

How would you describe or sell yourself to someone who has never heard of you before?

Give it a listen.

Can we expect you in America soon?

We would definitely hope so. It would be an absolute pleasure.

Is playing America a big deal for you or would you rather concentrate on your home territory first?

Yes its a big deal. Were pretty excited about getting the chance to do so one day but we've got to get our shit all sorted over here for a while first. Its definitely on our list of things to do!



Very Awesome Video From Butch Walker



It is very rare that we plug and showcase music videos here on the website, we generally save them for Facebook & Twitter, but when a video this good and this fun comes across our desk, we have to show it.

Watch the new video from Dangerbird artist, Butch Walker for his song, "Synthesizers," and pay attention to who is the star of the vide0....Matthew McConaughey reprising his iconic character from Dazed and Confused. He just keeps on Livin...L.I.V.I.N!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Live Review - Caveman @ Bowery Ballroom

There was so much build-up and anticipation in Bowery Ballroom last night that you knew something special or something disastrous was going to happen. One of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012," Brooklyn buzz band Caveman, who formed in 2010 and played their first show at Bowery Ballroom returned to the iconic venue now as headliners. The sold-out audience packed the venue on a very frigid Friday night to see the buzz band in action.

At 11pm, smoke spat out from a dry ice machine and Caveman emerged on stage. With a screen projecting a skull and the band's logo, which by the way makes them look more like a metal band rather than an ambient indie band was an awkward juxtaposition to the sound they would create moments later. The best way to describe Caveman's sound is think James Mercer fronting The Stone Roses with a bit of Spiritualized thrown in, it is all very positive and very fun to listen to. As the band plugged and played away and the crowd swayed back and forth and were very locked into what the band were doing, it echoed the fact that Caveman have arrived. For years the members of the band have kicked around with other bands and have now come together and with sets at SXSW and CMJ last year and the release of their debut, CoCo Beware, Caveman have legitimized their buzz. Singer Matt Iwanunusa is one of the most humble people in music, as he addressed the crowd halfway through the set, "It's 2012! We survived! We are in this moment and thank you for being here and surviving with us!" It has been a long road for the musicians in the band to evolve and form Caveman, but now that they have done so and the fact that their live shows are so spot on to what they have on record and create such a tangible atmosphere to their songs in concert, their buzz is only going to get bigger as the year goes on.

Read our interview with Iwanunusa from earlier this month HERE.

Cults on Fallon!



New York City dance-rock outfit Cults made their TV debut last night on Fallon, take a look!

Los Campesinos on Letterman!



Watch Los Campesinos perform "By Your Hand" from their latest, Hello Sadness on Letterman. Then watch the band and Letterman get into a nice quarrel about football or soccer, pretty hilarious.

Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Etta James

Etta James 1938-2012

Music legend Etta James has passed away.
The singer of "At Last" was 73 and had endured a long battle with Leukemia.

James, who was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, crossed color lines and musical genres with her style, sound and presence. Taking soul, R&B, rock, gospel and jazz and mixing it all together to make her own unique blend of music that would make her one of the world's most popular and beloved singers.

James was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2011 and passed away today at 73 years old in Riverside, California.

She will be missed.

Avett Brothers on Fallon!



Watch the Avett Brothers on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon from last night. Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Live Review - Susan Justice @ Rockwood Music Hall

If Susan Justice looks a bit familiar to you, well, don't shake your head and think it is someone else, it is the woman you are think it is. Back in 2006 a little known singer-songwriter named Susan Cagle was discovered singing in a New York City subway station. Her talents were recorded for a popular record among indie fans called, The Subway Recordings. Cagle appeared on Oprah and things began looking up for the singer from New York. After gigging around the city and the country, she seemed to disappear.

Until now...

Susan has remarked. She is now reloaded, renamed and rebranded but still has the great songwriting chops that she had before. Striking you right in your heart and gut simultaneously, the now named, Susan Justice struck a chord with a packed room at Bowery's Rockwood Music Hall last night. In a short 30-minute set, Justice performed songs off her forthcoming EMI debut, Eat Dirt. She showed that after years in the business, she is not jaded or bitter, in fact she has come back better than before, now with thicker skin and stronger lyrics, songs like her title track and "Bob Dylan," display her raw talents and emotion. Just take one listen to Justice and you will learn more about this woman in one song than most artists display in a full career.




On the Road w. VIVA BROTHER

VIVA BROTHER, a band that had to change their name more times in 2011 than Lady Gaga changed outfits has put together a series of YouTube videos to showcase their current tour with The Wombats in Europe. Take a look at some of the webisodes below:






The band are also releasing a FREE live album on their website, get it HERE.

In 2011, we interviewed the band, take a look at that interview HERE.

Quick News

With all of the excitement and details about Bruce Springsteen's new album, Wrecking Ball, one piece of very cool information was overlooked. Longtime Springsteen friend and sometimes collaborator, Rage Against The Machine, Nightwatchman guitarist Tom Morello makes an appearance on the new record.

Eight years after his death, Johnny Ramone's autobiography, Commando: The Autobiography of Johnny Ramone will be released in April. His widow, Linda approved the posthumous release of the book.

J. Tillman, drummer for Fleet Foxes has left the band. Tillman released a statement on his Tumblr page that said, "Farewell Fleet Fans and Friends. Back into the gaping maw of obscurity I go. Tokyo is my last show with the Foxes. Sorry if I was distant and obtuse if we ever met. Have fun." In 2009 we interviewed Tillman, read that interview HERE.

Ladyhawke will release her sophomore release, Anxiety on March 19. She released the tracklisting to the album, take a look below:
1. Girl Like Me
2. Sunday Drive
3. Black, White & Blue
4. Vaccine
5. Blue Eyes
6. Vanity
7. The Quick & The Dead
8. Anxiety
9. Cellophane
10. Gone Gone Gone

Wale on Fallon



Wale with help from Miguel hit up Jimmy Fallon last night, take a look!

Ellie Goulding on Letterman



Ellie Goulding hit up Letterman last night to perform her smash single, "Lights," take a look!

Grouplove on Kimmel!





Grouplove were on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night and performed their hit, "Colours" and the song, "Tongue Tied." Take a look!

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN Cover & Tracklisting


The Boss - Mr. Springsteen has released the cover and tracklisting to his latest album. The record, Wrecking Ball will be out March 5 in the UK and the following day in the US. The title of the record comes from the song Bruce penned for the closing of New Jersey landmark, Giants Stadium in 2009. Take a look at the tracklisting below:



01 We Take Care of Our Own
02 Easy Money
03 Shackled and Down
04 Jack of All Trades
05 Death to My Hometown
06 This Depression
07 Wrecking Ball
08 You’ve Got It
09 Rocky Ground
10 Land of Hope and Dreams
11 We Are Alive
12 Swallowed Up (Bonus Track)
13 American Land (Bonus Track)

Listen to the first single, "We Take Care of Our Own," below:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Great Soundtracks - The Departed

Martin Scorsese just walked away this weekend with a Best Director trophy at the Golden Globes for his work in Hugo. Yet, in 2007 Scorsese finally got the attention from the Academy Awards as a Best Director winner for his 2006 film, The Departed. While the film brought Marty back to his gritty crime stories and saw him work with a brilliant cast that included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, Vera Farmiga, Martin Sheen, Anthony Anderson and more, one of the stars of the film was never seen and only heard - the film's soundtrack.

Just as brutally intense and violent his films can be, Martin Scorsese is a stickler for music. It is why he is crafted some of the best rock and roll documentaries of all time - from The Last Waltz, Shine a Light, No Direction Home and recently, George Harrison - Living in the Material World. Yet, the soundtrack for The Departed not only played perfectly for the films story to flow and pack a punch, it struck a chord with audiences. From the opening use of Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter," to Dropkick Murphy's "Shipping up to Boston." Yet, oddly enough, Marty needed a hand in picking the soundtrack. He contacted his friend, and The Band leader, Robbie Robertson to help pick music. The result was the soundtrack that features music from The Stones, Dropkick and the brilliant cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb," done by Floyd's Rodger Waters with Van Morrison and The Band. Plus music from Patsy Cline, Badfinger, The Beach Boys, The Allman Brothers and more.

Also a striking notice as to what is not on the soundtrack is "Gimme Shelter," like many songs from the film including Nas' "Theif's Theme," and John Lennon's "Well, Well, Well," they did not make the soundtrack cut and only appear in the film. With or without these songs, The Departed soundtrack plays like the gritty crime sage that it rests over and one to admire.

Mars Volta Cover & Tracklisting

Fresh off the heels of announcing a reunion of At The Drive-in, The Mars Volta announced they will release their sixth LP, Noctourniquet on March 26 in UK and the following day in US. Take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below:


'The Whip Hand'
'Aegis'
'Dyslexicon'
'Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound'
'The Malkin Jewel'
'Lapochka'
'In Absentia'
'Imago'
'Molochwalker'
'Trinkets Pale of Moon'
'Vedemalady'
'Noctourniquet'
'Zed and Two Naughts'

VINTAGE CLIP! KANYE WEST Rapping at 19!

Before he told people to "Watch the Throne," and before he was one of the biggest rappers on the planet, Kanye West started small just like everyone else. This past weekend, never-before-seen video of West rapping at 19 years old in his native Chicago surfaced. Take a look!







Screaming Females Cover & Tracklisting

New Jersey's Screaming Females will release their new album, Ugly on April 23. Steve Albini (Nirvana, The Cribs) has produced the record, take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below:


1. It All Means Nothing
2. Rotten Apple
3. Extinction
4. Red Hand
5. 5 High
6. Expire
7. Crow's Nest
8. Tell Me No
9. Leave It All Up to Me
10. Doom 84
11. Help Me
12. Something Ugly
13. Slow Birth
14. It's Nice

In 2010 we interviewed the band, take a look at our interview with Screaming Females HERE.

Quick News

After eight years, electronic pioneers, Orbital will release their new album, Wonky in March. The record was produced by Flood (U2, Editors, The Killers).

Odd Future will release their new mixtape, OF Tape Vol. 2 on March 20. The mixtape will feature Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Domo Genesis, Syd the Kyd, the Internet and Mike G. Odd Future front man, Tyler, The Creator will release his third solo album, Wolf this spring.

Dubstep artist and producer, Rusko will release his new album Songs on March 27 on pal Diplo's Mad Decent label. Take a look at the cover below:
The Cribs have announced the title of their forthcoming third record, the Steve Albini (Nirvana, Screaming Females) produced record, In The Bell of the Brazen Bull will arrive this Spring. The band have recorded the record in Chicago, New York and London. This will be the bands return to their signature three piece that they had prior to Johnny Marr who joined the band for their sophomore album and tour.

Unsane Cover & Track Listing

Heavy rockers Unsane will release their new album, Wreck on March 20. Take a look at the cover above and the track listing below. The record features nine new tracks and a cover of Flipper's "Ha Ha Ha."


1.) Rat
2.) Decay
3.) No Chance
4.) Pigeon
5.) Metropolis
6.) Ghost
7.) Don't
8.) Stuck
9.) Roach
10.) Ha Ha Ha

Sunday, January 15, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Towns INTV!

Every new year brings an influx of new bands and sounds to check out. As we posted our "15 Artists to Watch" in 2012 list last week, if we had to pick a 16th band, it would be Towns. The UK band has been building a buzz in their native land thanks to a big push from NME. Yet, Towns are just enjoying the spotlight that is being shed on them. A band with a strong 90's Britpop sound, it is no wonder they are building a strong fanbase on a popular sound. I had the chance to speak with Towns front man, James Maclucas. Take a look.

You are still a new band and building a buzz, how difficult is it to be a young band in the era that there seems to be a new one pop up every week?

The fact that there are people taking such a keen interest in new music can only help young bands. The internet has certainly made things more accessible, but it's still important to be good live. None of that social media stuff counts for anything if the tunes don't hold their own.

Being a young band and having to self finance everything, do you feel that this is an investment well worth it?

It's definitely a worth while investment otherwise our money would be wasted on a average night out. We save up our cash together because we love what we do and we're really having fun with it. I think its the wrong industry to get into if you just want to make money, you've got to have the passion and love it. We'd feel really lucky if anything does happen for us.

Who are some of your influences?

As teenagers the first band we shared a love for was The Cooper Temple Clause. Even before we started making music we would always go to gigs and listen to music together. We've been lucky in that respect, growing up together we have shared all the same experiences. The first gig that we all went to was The Vines, it was a pretty mental first gig to experience. I can also remember the look on each of our faces the first time we saw Forward Russia, they blew us away. Its a shame they couldn't capture their live sound on the record.

For great songwriting though you don't need to look any further than Jesus and Marychain, when you take away the noise all the songs can be sung on acoustic guitar... fucked up pop songs, that's what we would like to achieve.

How would you describe your band to someone who has never heard of you?

We're four lads who have grown up together listening to music and going to gigs. Now we're making music together, we can't think of anything better to do. Hopefully we can continue this and delay the onset of real life responsibility.

Brit-pop is indeed a major sound shaping the band, were you influenced by the 90’s Britpop era? Who were some of your favorites?

I think it's only natural that we are shaped by the 90's as that's the era we grew up in. But we do hate the word Brit-pop as it sounds tacky, and reminds us of a time when Tony Blair used music to gain popularity. I think in music you have to be true to yourself, it'd be fake of us to be heavily influenced by another era. I love Pulp and Oasis and its through those 90's records that you discover bands like, Velvet Underground, Smiths, Stone Roses, Sonic Youth and The Jesus and Marychain.

The name of the band, Towns, is it reflective of where you come from?

Most certainly yes. We wanted quite a non fussy name that is true to us and where we're from. I like band names such as Pavement or Ride that are just everyday words.

Does your town have a great influence on the band?

It's where we grew up so naturally our experiences seep into the music. We grew up in a seaside town called Weston-Super-Mare. It's a place full of hen parties and stag dos, where Bon Jovi supplies the soundtrack. I think we consciously fought against that and tried to escape it through our music. A lot of the themes we write about come from the monotony of everyday experiences of living in a small town.

Your live shows have been gaining you much attention with you crawling on floors and singing as one example. How much fun do you have each night you go on stage?

We wouldn't be doing it if we didn't have fun. We love watching bands who are exciting live, maybe even a bit ramshackle, bands like The Vines, Cribs, The Libertines all did live shows the right way. I hate watching bands who just stand there and are to afraid to look passionate.

You have been releasing singles like “Fields” one by one; will we be getting an EP or possible album soon?

At the moment we're just taking each step as it comes. We don't want to rush anything. But since our first London show we've had a few people interested in the band, so maybe in the near future we'll be asked to record some new tracks, but at the moment we have no backing or management, we're just four lads having a good time, making the most of opportunities we get to make music and play shows.

Music journalists back in the UK keep comparing you to Yuck, does the references and comparisons get old after a while?

We love Yuck but they weren't on our horizon when we started making our tunes, most of our songs were written before we'd heard of them. I like that band though and I can see the similarities, kinda fuzzy pop songs, but I dare say it is a slightly lazy comparison. But it doesn't bother us at all.

What is the best thing about Towns right now?

The fact that we're sharing these exciting times with close friends. Really can't explain how buzzing we all are at the moment.

What are your biggest goals for Towns?

I want to play shows all across the world, even if they're in really small clubs and we have to travel in a tiny van, I wouldn't care. We recently put on our own night in Bristol called Feed Me With Your Hiss. We set up our own P/A and there was about 50 people crammed into this really tiny pub. There was a really exciting atmosphere and everyone was buzzing. I wanna keep doing things like that. You get to meet people who are really into it and care about music, that to me is what it is all about.

Glastonbury festival is 20 miles down the road from our town, to play that would be a pipe dream come true. We just want to have a platform to put out the records and play shows.

Given the landscape these days with the internet and finding new bands all the time and giving reactions, do comments on sites, blogs and feedback about Towns ever make you want to alter things?

We take on advice from people we know. But comments on the internet aren't going change what we do. It is annoying when people compare us to Oasis, don't get me wrong Definitely Maybe is one of my favourite albums but I wouldn't say we sound anything like them.

Where would you like to see Towns in a year’s time?

It's hard to tell the future but in a year's time we'd love to be playing more shows. We really want to tour everywhere, work hard and really learn our craft. If we keep writing and doing shows who knows where we can get, but hopefully we'll be doing this for many years to come.



Saturday, January 14, 2012

VINTAGE CLIP- At The Drive-In on Jools Holland



With the major excitement this week that At The Drive-in have reunited after 11 years apart, we had to post this VINTAGE CLIP.

Back in 2000, At The Drive-in made their UK TV debut on Later...With Jools Holland. Watch the band completely destroy the set and their gear and create a name for themselves on the British TV staple. Also, fun trivia, appearing on the show that night was British crooner Robbie Williams-what a combo!

Quick News

Madonna has titled the name of her new album, the record which is called, MDNA will be released this Spring.

In the wake of the announcement that Black Sabbath axeman Tony Iommi was diagnosed with Lymphoma, a press statement was issued this week said that his battle with cancer will not disrupt Black Sabbath's 2012 reunion plans.

After four years producing, touring and working with everyone under the sun - Santigold will release her new album, Master of My Make Believe later this year. Santi, who just titled the follow-up to her 2008 "League of Their Own" album, will hit the road with Red Hot Chili Peppers next month.

The Decemberists will release a double-live album entitled, We All Raise Our Voices on March 13. The album will be a live retrospect of the band's career.

Blur guitarist Graham Coxon will release his eighth solo record, A+E this spring. Take a look at the tracklisting below:
'Advice'
'City Hall'
'What’ll It Take'
'Meet+Drink+Pollinate'
'The Truth'
'Seven Naked Valleys'
'Running For Your Life'
'Bah Singer'
'Knife In The Cast'
'Ooh, Yeh, Yeh'

VINTAGE CLIP - PULP on JOOLS HOLLAND!



With all the Coachella news this week, watch Pulp from a 1996 performance of "Disco 2000" from Later..With Jools Holland.

Jenny Owen Youngs Cover & Tracklisting

After launching a massive Kickstarter campaign, Jenny Owen Youngs raised nearly $40K to fund making her third album. The record, An Unwavering Band of Light arrives February 7. Take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below:

01 Love For Long
02 Your Apartment
03 Pirates
04 O God
05 Born To Lose
06 Why You Fall
07 Sleep Machine
08 Two By Two
09 Already Gone
10 So Long
11 Wake Up

This past fall, Jenny gave us an exclusive sneak peak into her recording sessions and discussed making her new album, take a look at that feature HERE.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! TOM SMITH INTV!

Christmas may be all but over, yet, it is time to discuss what could be one of the greatest records based on the holiday season. This past fall, Tom Smith of Editors and Andy Burrows formerly of Razorlight joined forces and released their debut, Smith & Burrows - Funny Looking Angels. The album has both Andy and Tom doing vocal duties and the duo crafted modern holiday classics on their first go around. While the duo did a small tour of Europe which saw Smith roll right into writing and recording sessions with Editors, Smith took time from his busy schedule for a chat with Officially A Yuppie.

In his only American interview about Smith and Burrows and first US interview of 2012, Smith and I discussed how he and Burrows got together, their songs and of course...some info on the new Editors record. Take a look:

Who approached who to start Smith & Burrows and how did the idea come about to do a Christmas album?

We'd been pestering each other about doing something for a long time, we didn't really know what to start with but to just get into a studio together and see what would happen was the guiding light....So that's what we did! It didn't start as a Christmas record, we just did a couple of covers. I think it was my suggestion to make an album of covers and release it for Christmas after thinking those first two (black and Yazoo) felt a little festive and wintery.

It is a hard thing to do, make a good holiday song without sounding a bit like Wham! So when you were writing these songs, did you think, “how are we going to sell ourselves to the public on holiday tunes and not come across very cheesy?

I like sad songs, Christmas or otherwise. Our Christmas record is a melancholic affair, avoiding the cheese was easy.

“When the Thames Froze” maybe the single greatest Christmas song ever and it is so bleak but also holds much hope. How did it come about? Also, did you think a song with the words “God Damn, this Government, can you tell me where the money went?” would strike a serious chord with listeners around the globe?

Thank you. I've been trying to write a Christmas song for years, I knew deep down that it wouldn't be right for Editors so as this S&B record developed I decided to go back to that seed of the song I'd tried to finish for the last 3 Christmas's. I wanted it to feel classic with that kinda communal hope that next year will be a cracker but also connected to now. Christmastime is generally spend spend spend so it felt right to have a frustrated off the cuff lyric referencing the fact that many many people are skint and don't see why.

You and Andy have such polar opposite sounding voices, how did you figure out who would sing what song? Did it boil down to who wrote the songs?

There really wasn't that much thought or discussion about that. Felt obvious to us for some reason.

Did you write songs for Andy and did Andy write songs for you?

We wrote one song together,"This Ain't New Jersey." "Thames" is mine and "Snowflakes" and Rossyln are Andy's. Although there was much collaboration in the recording, trust too...there were times when we were each working on the others song without the other one of us around.

The tour in support of “Funny Looking Angels” sees you both in clubs but also sees you guys busking to raise awareness, where did you decide what non-traditional places to play?

We had special Christmas Agent Elves booking the shows.

How did the title – “Funny Looking Angels” come about?

It's a cover of a tune by the band Delta. They're an almost mystical band from Birmingham, UK.

“This Ain’t New Jersey” is an interesting song since it is based off the mood one gets after viewing “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Is that one of your must watch holiday films?

Absolutely! That and The Snowman.

Will a non-holiday motif Smith and Burrows record ever happen?

Definitely.

Since I have to ask to please my readers, what are the plans for Editors in 2012? Sounds like you guys are back in the studio, can you give us a bit of an update?

We've been writing all year and start recording with Flood on Monday!! Hopefully out in the second half of 2012.





Photo by Alistair Burns

Quick Spins


The WeekndEchoes of Silence
The third and final mixtape to The Weeknd’s mixtape trilogy, which started earlier in 2011 with House of Balloons then continued onto Thursday and concluding with Echoes of Silence. The final installment is the best work of the trilogy, not discounting how great the others were, Echoes of Silence is a tighter sounding and much more conscious record, an “end of the night,” sounding record that will have you trying to recount the epic tales of your wild night.
FINAL GRADE: A

Snow PatrolFallen Empires
Northern Ireland’s biggest band returns with a fantastic follow-up to their brilliant and underrated 2007 release, A Hundred Million Suns. Since reaching acclaim in 2004 with their universally acclaimed, Final Straw, Snow Patrol then became one of the biggest bands in the world thanks to the massive single, “Chasing Cars” off the rather disappointing 2006 release, Eyes Open. Since then, the bandhas tried to not sound commercial and stick to their roots but have matured in every sonic way possible.Linking up with producer Jacknife Lee (REM, Bloc Party, Editors), Snow Patrol have layered their sound and taken inspiration in front all around the world, the result is Fallen Empires. Released this past November in the UK and Europe, finally seeing the light of day in North America, Snow Patrol prove again why they are one of the kings of their craft. The band utilizes sound the way Picasso utilized his paintbrush and spread a hefty amount of color into our atmosphere. Fallen Empires is a must listen, even if you are not a fan of the band.
FINAL GRADE: A-


James BlakeLove What Happened Here EP
James Blake’s second EP in just a handful of months finds the dubstep / soul singer dabbeling more in beats and sounds rather than tossing his signature vulnerable and brilliant vocals over the tunes. A three song EP of experimental music that will move Blake into the next phase of his career.
FINAL GRADE: B+


Enter Shakari A Flash Flood of Colour
On the latest record from the British nu-metal / rap-rock band, Enter Shakari went to Thailand to pick up new inspiration and vibes and A Flash Flood of Colour seems to be their best work to date. A much more intense and technical sounding record and it finds the band deviating from the British version of Linkin Park or Pendulum sound they have ridden on over the years. A Flash Flood of Colour, which was released in the UK last September and now finally getting a US release is a worthwhile listen that will get you motivated to cause a raucous in your own home.
FINAL GRADE: B+

HowlerAmerica, Give Up
Minnesota’s garage rock buzz band and one of the bands that we tipped to be a “15 Artists to Watch in 2012,” Howler are what their name says – a band howling full of fuzzy guitars, pounding drums and balls-to-the-wall rock and roll. This is a band not to sleep on and America, Give Up is a record to embrace.
FINAL GRADE: B+

The Big PinkFuture This
The British dance-rock duo returns and is just as poppy as ever. Following up the worldwide success they had with their 2009 debut, A Brief History of Love, The Big Pink have immersed themselves in various styles of both dance music and rock and roll and created a great hybrid of both.
FINAL GRADE: B

Graffiti6Colours
The debut of Tommy D and Jamie Scott’s brainchild, Colours is a record that will have so many people talking in 2012. Scott, who is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, writes about love that has gone wrong and the situations and people that have come across his life that have made him take note for what they have done to inspire him. The perfect blend of radio-friendly rock and pop, Graffiti6 will embrace the ears of their beholders.
FINAL GRADE: B


The InternetPurple Naked Ladies
The debut of Odd Future members, Syd the Kid and Matt Martians aka The Internet, displays a cornucopia of trip-hop induced electronica mixed with the vulgarity and humor we have gotten from Odd Future since day one. Purple Naked Ladies is a fine crafted album full of various beats and styles and featuring guest appearances from Left Brain, Mike G, Pyramid Vritra (Hal Williams), Tay Walker, Kilo Kish, and Coco O, The Internet, like fellow Odd Future member Frank Ocean, look to break away from the pack but still count on support.
FINAL GRADE: B

Black Taxi We Don’t Know Any Better
New York’s Black Taxi returns with their sophomore release and do not fall victim to the “sophomore slump” at all. The straight up rock and roll band from Brooklyn go gun-ho on album number two, working with again with producer Aaron Nevezie (Black Keys, Danger Mouse, Ambulance LTD) and respond with a solid rock effort.
FINAL GRADE: B-


CommonThe Dreamer, The Believer
Common returns with a new record that is easily forgettable. After releasing the fantastic single, “Ghetto Dreams” that featured Nas, it looked as if a new Common record was going to showcase a poet full of rage who had a fire lit under his belly. Yet, the end result is one of the most disappointing releases of the acclaimed rappers career, The Dreamer, The Believer finds someone who is always so smart with lyrics and words that he sounds like every other rapper out there today. Nothing original, nothing fresh and nothing to get excited over aside from the record’s first single.
FINAL GRADE: D

WATCH! LCD SOUNDSYSTEM Documentary Trailer!



In April of 2011, beloved Brooklyn band LCD Soundsystem waved goodbye to fans at one final blow-out gig at Madison Square Garden. Now a documentary entitled, Shut Up and Play the Hits chronicles the events around the gig and what front man James Murphy will do post-LCD will premiere at Sundance. Take a look at the trailer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

VCMG Cover & Tracklisting

As we have mentioned in the past, former Depeche Mode founding member Vince Clarke and principal Depeche Mode songwriter, guitarist and founder Martin Gore are working together since Clarke left the band in 1981, while Gore remained. The duo will release their debut album, Ssss on March 12. Take a look at the cover, above and the tracklisting below:


Lowly
Zaat
Spock
Windup Robot
Bendy Bass
Single Blip
Skip This Track
Aftermaths
Recycle
Flux

Quick News

After the big news that At The Drive-In have reformed and will play Coachella in April, many other rare reunions will be making a Stateside appearance. Swedish post-hardcore heroes Refused have reformed and will play the California festival as well as Way Out West Festival in Sweden this summer.
In a statement on the bands website, Refused said: "It's been a motley 14 years since our band came apart. We've all kept busy in our respective endeavors but we've all remained friends and kept in touch. There have been offers, and lots of jokes about these offers. We've sort of looked down from our high horses and made fun of people who've just wanted to share the psychopathic intensity that we would deliver on a nightly basis in our post-pubescent prime. A reunion has just seemed irrelevant to us. Too much other shit to do."
The band went onto say: "Coachella got in touch. There were a couple of phone-calls, lots of skepticism, some hesitant enthusiasm before one of us basically said: "– This is ridiculous. There are friends of ours who would murder close relatives just to go see bands there. Let's just do it, one last time." And with that, socialist fag-loving pc scumbags were on the road again. We never did "The shape of punk to come" justice back when it came out, too tangled up in petty internal bickering to really focus on the job. And suddenly there's this possibility to do it like it was intended. We wanna do it over, do it right. For the people who've kept the music alive through the years, but also for our own sakes. We feel that you deserve it and we hope the feeling is mutual."

Also playing Coachella and making a rare US appearance, Pulp! The Britrock band who reunited last year will play the festival and rumor has it they will be playing other US cities around the festival.

With all of the good music news that happened over the last two days, some sad news has struck the music world as Black Sabbath guitarist, the legendary Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with Lymphoma. In a statement on the bands website, the band said: "With the news that Black Sabbath´s Tony Iommi has been diagnosed with the early stages of lymphoma, his bandmates would like everyone to send positive vibes to the guitarist at this time. Iommi is currently working with his doctors to establish the best treatment plan--the “IRON MAN” of Rock & Roll remains upbeat and determined to make a full and successful recovery." As of now, the band still plan to go full speed ahead with their reunion, pending Iommi's sickness.

One of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012," Lana Del Rey has revealed the tracklisting for her debut album, Born to Die, which arrives later this month. Take a look:
1. Born To Die
2. Off To The Races
3. Blue Jeans
4. Video Games
5. Diest Mountain Dew
6. National Anthem
7. Dark Paradise
8. Radio
9. Carmen
10. Million Dollar Man
11. Summertime Sadness
12. This Is What Makes Us Girls

Surfer Blood on Fallon!



Surfer Blood hit up Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night! Take a look!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Live Review - Snow Patrol @ Ed Sullivan Theater

As the clock struck eight, the back doors to the Ed Sullivan Theater opened and out walked Northern Ireland's Snow Patrol. With the crowd at their feet screaming and clapping, the band were smiling from ear to ear. Before even playing a note, singer Gary Lightbody had mentioned how nervous and excited he was to play such a landmark venue with his band. For a special 45-minute taping of the acclaimed Live on Letterman web series, Snow Patrol flexed a bit of muscle and took fans in the audience and at home watching on the internet on a ride through their fantastic catalogue.

Opening with "Chocolate," off their breakthrough album, Final Straw, Snow Patrol knew how to get the crowds attention straight away. Going into their latest single, "Called Out in the Dark," off their new album, Fallen Empires, which finally makes its US release on Tuesday, it became a fun alternative rock and roll show. As great as the band sounded and as fantastic as the songs are, the night belonged to Lightbody, who, like most Irishmen has an amazing knack for storytelling and keeping peoples attention. Lightbody would make jokes and do fantastic banter with the audience in between songs and then go right into business when the music had to be played. Playing a selection of songs off Fallen Empires, Final Straw, A Hundred Million Suns and Eyes Open, the band that has been making music since 1994 stuck to a safe set for their limited time. It was a set that was well worth it, including songs like "Run," "New York," "Chasing Cars" and the epic show closer, their title track, "Fallen Empires." Being the band's first and only US show right now, they have just announced a slew of dates for early spring, catch them while you can, you will not be disappointed.

STREAM SNOW PATROL Live on LETTERMAN TONIGHT!



Tonight! Snow Patrol are performing a private concert at Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC for a taping of Live on Letterman.

Couldn't get into the show? Can't make it to NYC? No worries - We got you Covered!

TUNE IN TONIGHT at 8pm (EST) RIGHT HERE -when OFFICIALLY A YUPPIE Brings a LIVE STREAM of the ENTIRE CONCERT! It will be like you are right there!

All you have to do is just click PLAY in the box ABOVE and ENJOY!

AT THE DRIVE-In REUNITE!!!!!

At The Drive-In Website Intro from MONDIAL on Vimeo.

11 years after they broke-up, indie punks / post-hardcore hero's At The Drive-In have confirmed they are reuniting!

Initial rumors started after a festival organizer in Russia claimed the band were playing, yet nothing from the band confirmed anything. Since the band's split in 2000, At the Drive-in severed into two bands, The Mars Volta and Sparta and for years fans have waited for them to reunite.

As the years rolled on and more and more talk of a reunion came to surface, reps for the band and members of the band would strike it down until now. Earlier today, the band tweeted "¡ ATTENTION ! To whom it may concern: AT THE DRIVE-IN will be breaking their 11 year silence THIS STATION IS …NOW…OPERATIONAL." With an active website now and video (which you can watch above), the punks from El Paso, Texas are back!

Last year, Officially A Yuppie Owner, Salvatore Bono wrote a special article for UK's Spectator- Night and Day Arts Blog about the band's breakthrough record, Relationship of Command. You can read that HERE.

LISTEN! LOST RADIOHEAD SONGS SURFACE!





In the months after early Radiohead songs, pre-Bends era when they were Johnny Greenwood-less and known as On a Friday, that were recorded at Oxfordshire's Abingdon School in the late-80's have surfaced.

Take a listen to "Fat Girl," and "Fragile Friend."

Another lost early Radiohead track, was revealed as a hoax just before Christmas. The fake track, which was allegedly called 'How Do You Sit Still', actually turned out to be the work of singer-songwriter Christopher Stopa, who now works as a baker.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

EXCLUSIVE! Caveman INTV!

As we mentioned in our previous post that Caveman were one of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012," this Brooklyn band has made a name for themselves at American showcase festivals like SXSW and CMJ. After gaining rave reviews of their self-released debut, CoCo Beware which was released last fall, Caveman are ready to emerge from Brooklyn and trek across the music world. Blending psychedelic rock and pop combined with swelling guitars and drums, Caveman provide a sound to admire. As they are currently on their first headlining tour, which see's the band make a stop at New York's legendary Bowery Ballroom on January 20, I had a chance to speak with singer, Matt Iwanunusa about the band's beginnings, praise, Brooklyn and what happens next.

After forming in 2010, you gained so much attention in 2011. What was it like to be around for only a year and have all this buzz?

Matthew: It's exciting! People have really responded nicely to what we are doing and it's been really inspiring. A perfect way to spend the last few months before the apocalypse.

You started the band older than most bands that start young; do you feel you had to prove yourself more to live out your music dreams?

M: It takes time to find the right fit with things. I don't think it's about when you get into the scene, it's about making something you're proud of. That's the dream my friend. People respond to that.

What made you start the band?

M: I don't know how to do anything else.

Your sound is very unique; how would you explain it to someone who has never heard of you before?

M: Tunes you can vibe out to... sending out the pos vibe.

Who were some of your influences when starting the band?

M: Well during recording I was really obsessing over Brian Eno, Fleetwood Mac.

Hailing from New York City, how do you break the mold of not being just another band from New York?

M: The same way you break the mold of being just another band... I love NY, I love the scene. Lots of talented people reping!

CMJ 2011 was a big success for you, is it something you would return to and build off of now that you were one of the break-outs from it?

M: CMJ and all the other people who put us on their shows really made it a special time for us this year! Of course I would play it again, we had fun.

What has this experience been like for you this far?

M: Its been really great. Having people appreciate something my group of friends and I created is one of the best feelings ever, but we're staying focused to hopefully keep the good times comin!

The title of your debut is “Coco Beware,” what does the title signify? Is there a Coco?

M: Put the lime in the coco my dude.

What was it like making your debut?

M: We had one of the best men alive, Nick Stumpf, Producing it. It was a time in my life and everyone involved I think. 6 men just focused on an idea that we really cared about. I learned a lot about myself and made something we're all proud of!

Where does Caveman go from here?

M: I'm down for whatever...

What has been the best thing about being in Caveman thus far?

M: Spending time with everyone involved, meeting people in different towns, having people enjoy our music... the list goes on.

15 Artists to Watch in 2012

As we look into the New Year, we look forward to see what new sights and sounds 2012 will bring us. Here is a list of 15 musical acts that are sure to make a name for themselves in the year the Mayans believe the world will end.

1) Lana Del Rey – Not since Arctic Monkeys made a name for themselves has an artist been this hyped on the web. The New York City via Lake Placid singer found herself the talk of the blogosphere in 2011, thanks to her single, “Video Games,” which showcased her clever lyrics, talented voice and fantastic production. Now Del Rey will release her debut, Born to Die in January and it’s already being hailed by some critics.

2) Frank Ocean – While 2011 belonged to hip-hop collective Odd Future and their front man, Tyler, The Creator, Odd Future member Frank Ocean had more admiration thanks in part to his mixtapes and work on Jay-Z and Kanye’s epic Watch the Throne album. As Ocean readies a new solo album, this will be the year where he breaks out and may even break away from the collective that got him started.

3) Reptar – Athens, Georgia has given us amazing artists through the years – REM, B-52’s, Danger Mouse among others. Meet Athens next buzz band – Reptar. A pop-rock indie band that will certainly grab your attention right away.

4) Wolf Gang – This UK singer, producer, beatmaker is the full package and the real deal. Already a massive hit across the pond, Wolf Gang’s ambient electronic sounds will transport listeners to a whole new dimension.

5) S.C.U.M. – This London psychedelic punk band has been kicking around their city since 2007, now after all these years their music has taken shape in all the right ways. Once this band hits the festival circuit, they will be instant fan favorites.

6) The Front Bottoms – From New Jersey, a Blink-182 meets Ben Folds meets early Green Day inspired pop-punk band that take teenage angst to a whole new level. Their live shows are a sight to be seen and The Front Bottoms are ready to be The Garden State’s next big band.

7) Niki and the Dove – This Swedish duo formed in 2010 and signed to the legendary Sub Pop records in 2011 have managed to create the perfect blend of pop and electronica. Their live shows feel less like a concert and more like a Broadway production and with music this fascinating – 2012 is looking good for them to fly high.

8) Austra – A Canadian all girl electronic trio that have something special. Blending all types of electronic music together (pop, new wave, synth, Krautrock) and layering it under very sexual and seductive lyrics, Austra’s music is something that you can dance to and be entranced all at the same time.

9) Fallulah – 26-year-old Danish singer, Maria Apetri goes by the name Fallulah and has been a big buzz in Europe since releasing her debut in 2010. Now, as 2012 approaches, it is time Fallulah makes her mark in the US. Fans of Oh Land and Lykke Li will enjoy her immensely.

10) Dry the River – This London acoustic band has already drawn comparisons to another London acoustic band – Mumford and Sons and draws massive crowds to each of their shows back home. With their debut slated for the Spring and a forthcoming US tour, Dry the River are ready for your attention.

11) Howler – Howler are a Minneapolis garage rock band and are already getting attention from Spotify and NME and now deserve your attention. Signing to Rough Trade Records, the band will release their debut; America, Give Up in January and it for sure will be a record people talk about all year long.

12) Caveman – This Brooklyn band has only been around for a year but thanks to the release of their debut, Coco Beware and their acclaimed sets at SXSW and CMJ, Caveman are ready to emerge from the booming borough and into the New Year with a bang.

13) Blu – After releasing brilliant mixtape after brilliant mixtape, this California rapper has been a favorite among fans of the genre for years, but still remains unknown to the mainstream. After signing with Warner Bros for a 2011 release and later dropping the label and giving away his album for free, Blu is making his own rules and sticking to them, which is why he is someone who has respect among fans and critics wanting more.

14) Sulk – With the Godfathers of Britpop, The Stone Roses reuniting for a new album and world tour, the sound that dominated part of the world in the 90’s may experience a renaissance thanks in part to a new generation of bands that were inspired by the music that arrived a decade or so earlier.

15) Graffiti6 –Assembled by British producer Tommy D and songwriter Jamie Scott, Grffiti6 signed to Capitol Records and will release their debut in January and will be pop music’s favorite new band of 2012. Graffiti6’s radio friendly pop (think Coldplay, Snow Patrol) is easy to engage to and will swoon fans around the globe.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

London Rocks in 2012


London Rocks In 2012
by Linn Branson*

We may still be in the throes of an icy winter, but looking ahead to 2012 there are some very hot musical prospects emerging to melt your eardrums and warm your soul. And, pleasingly for this particular Londoner, the capital appears to be hothousing a thrusting multitude of artists ready to break out of their cocoons and spread their indie wings far and wide over the next 12 months.

So if you want to know what is making London’s heart beat – and hopefully will do yours too – here are 20 of our most brightly shining stars right now. And for our US friends, take note of those with an * by their name. These are amongst the 75-plus artists from the UK who will be winging their way Stateside in March to showcase at SXSW (March 13 – 18) in Austin, Texas.

(Click on each band name to visit their websites)

AU PALAIS*

Brother and sister David and Elise Commathe – aka Au Palais - may be strictly Canadians, but as they are now London-domiciled – and we love them (especially since David has commented on how the city is “one that truly is at the forefront of music”) – the Toronto duo meet the cut. The dark, synth/poppers shimmer brightly in a similar vein to fellow N. Americans, Austra. Smoothly rich sounds of electronica – as evidenced on their recent Tender Mercy EP – over which Elise’s vocals glide like an ethereal angel. Tracks such as ‘Tender Mercy’ itself and the equally sublime ‘Pathos’ send a shiver of excitement down the spine for their 2012 debut album.

BRETON*

Five-piece south London-based enigmatic arty electronica outfit who combine elements of electro and math-rock into something that is both unique and atmospheric. Multi-instrumentalists, indie film-makers and audio-visualists and remixers (they’ve remixed the likes of Chapel Club and Local Natives), their style has been described as a ‘multimedia Massive Attack’. ‘Edward the Confessor’ was the first single taken from their forthcoming album Other People’s Problems which they will be headlining their first UK shows in support of from March 28.

CLOCK OPERA*

Clock Opera's sound is focused around an array of sampling, falsetto vocals and Guy Connelly's pioneering of 'chop pop' (breaking up sounds to create songs and hitting on metal objects purloined from skips, or his own kitchen). Signed to Moshi Moshi/Island, they last year won fans and hearts a-plenty with their upbeat, catchy rhythms when they played support dates with Metronomy, Crystal Fighters and Chapel Club; released the acclaimed ‘Lesson No. 7’, as well as provided remixes for Everything Everything and Feist, amongst others. Their first single of 2012, "Once And For All," is released on January 30, to be followed by Ways To Forget, their debut album, on April 9.

CRUSHED BEAKS

Lo-fi guitar and drums duo, Matthew Poile and Alex Morris, started out as a bedroom project in 2010. Their music based around wildly distorted and lushly hook-filled swirling melodies, via which they create a ‘fuzzy wall of noise’, is described by Poile as aiming to ‘make a huge pulsing soundwash, a panoramic sound that envelops the listener’. They released their debut single ‘Close Ups’/’Sun Dogs’ last November. Their next London show is on February 13 (with Fairewell).

DAUGHTER*

Via a series of demos in late 2010, word soon got around last year about this folk ensemble fronted by the engaging Elena Tonra that weaves in a glacial soundscape along the lines of Bjork. With sessions on BBC 6 Music, Radio 1 and support shows to Benjamin Francis Leftwich and John Grant, they packed a full 2011 with playing the BBC Introducing Stage at Reading/Leeds festivals and released the EPs His Young Heart in April and The Wild Youth in November. They kick of 2012 playing Eurosonic festival on January 11, before further UK dates with Ben Howard.

DRY THE RIVER*

“Emotive, lilting folk and upbeat impassioned rock”, is how Dry The River was described by Q magazine. Longlisted in BBC’s Sound of 2012, appearances at SXSW last year, together with festival touring during the summer and the completion of their debut EP, have won them over many new converts. With No Rest being glowingly hailed, expect to be hearing a lot more of this east London-based quintet. They kick off the new year with dates in the US (Jan 25 – The Troubadour, LA w/ Alabama Shakes; 26 – The Independent, San Francisco w/ Alabama Shakes; 30 – Glasslands Gallery, Brooklyn; Jan 31 – The Mercury Lounge, NY), before heading back to the UK for a headlining tour in the spring.

JAMIE N COMMONS

BBC Sound of 2012 longlister, Commons is a 22-year-old Bristolian, now London-based (by way of Chicago and the West Country) singer/songwriter, who blasts out a growl-driven vocal in the style of a fortysomething Delta bluesman. Style, youth, a passion for lyrical intensity across themes of violence and Old Testament retribution, and a debut EP, The Baron released in October, all make Commons a name to sit up and listen to.

KINDNESS*

Sensual gilded electro-pop soul, with an M83 feel, Kindness – aka Adam Bainbridge, whom some may recall from his 2009 emergence with The Replacements – was brought to label Moshi Moshi’s attention via a mixtape compiled by Concrete’s Lisa Milberg. Kindness is the working name of With just the total of two gigs (including a London squat eviction part), on the basis of these and two aired tracks last year, ‘Cyan’ and ‘SEOD’, the March 19 release of his debut album, World, You Need A Change Of Mind (through his own Female Energy label) is one to welcome expectently.

MICHAEL KIWANUKA*

Winner of BBC's Sound of 2012 is Michael Kiwanuka. The 24-year-old north London-born son of Ugandan parents, Kiwanuka is something of a folk/soul prodigy, compared to Bill Withers and Otis Redding. His debut EP Tell Me A Tale was released last June, followed by the second, I’m Getting Ready. His much-anticipated debut album Home Again arrives on March 26.

SCOUNDRELS*

Rock ‘n’ roll ‘n’ country ‘n’ blues rousing quartet formed in 2009 during a sojourn on a houseboat in Lafayette, Louisiana, before de-camping to London. Their self0-titled debut album came out last year, along with the ‘Gulf Of Mexico’ single and Sniff It Up EP. They ended 2011 supporting The Kooks, and start of the new year with a January (22nd) show in Newcastle.

S.C.U.M*

Post-punk art rock Whitechapel quintet, whose bassist Huw Webb is the brother of The Horrors’ Rhys – and there is a fair similarity between the musical styles of the two bands: dark, atmosheric, trippy. S.C.U.M released their debut album Again Into Eyes in 2011. They head out to Europe for late January/February dates, before returning to London for the NME Awards Show on February 24.

SPECTOR

Nominated in the BBC’s Sound of 2012 longlist, an appearance on Later…with Jools Holland and the launch of their ‘Never Fade’ last June being attended by the great and the good (and not to mention frontman Fred MacPherson making NME’s ‘Cool List’), this is a band well on its way. With a debut album and UK tour with Florence and The Machine (March 2-16), much is expected of the Dalston hipsters and their indie soul vibe.

SULK*

Shoegaze returns with this London-based outfit SULK. On their second single release, 'Back In Bloom', they are seemingly aiming to revitalise the genre in a psychedelic, dreamy kind of way that reminds of the baggy grooves of Primal Scream, Ride and the Stone Roses, with a sound filled with melliferous reverb-laced guitars.

THE GHOSTS

Formed at the end of 2010 by Alex Starling, formerly the of Ou Est le Swimming Pool, with drummer Ian Palmer (to be later joined by Rayna Ferner and Alex Sharman on keys, plus Dan Whiffin, guitar), after OELSP's vocalist Charles Haddon took his own life at Belgium's Pukkelpop festival that August. Their first single ‘Enough Time’ (produced by Tim Bran - The Charlatans, La Roux - is an enticing foretaste of what to expect on their first album, The End set for an April release: darkly sweet and seductive lyrics, layers of pounding drum beats, luxuriant guitar chords and arrangements that swell on big choruses. Think part Empire Of The Sun, part MGMT.

THEME PARK

Much touted four-piece indie funk-rock band (that air a nod to Talking Heads) comprising of brothers Miles (vocals, guitar) and Marcus Haughton (vocals, guitar); Louis Bhose (bass) and Oscar Manthorpe (guitar). Signed to Luv Luv Luv Records, they have just finished recording their debut album, a follow-on from the much-praised ‘Milk’ single release of December. From their first live show only last August, they have since supported Bombay Bicycle Club and Spector, with an upcoming opening date at Alexandra Palace on March 9 for Florence and The Machine.

THE MILK

The Milk started out as teen punksters, then reformed and came back with a change of style that bleeds a mix of soul, funk and hip-hop. And it looks like they have hit on a winning formula. Nominated for 'Best Breakthrough Artist' at the UK Festivals Awards last year, they have already played sell-out shows around London at venues like Camden Barfly and Jazz Café. With a big UK tour lined up for March/ April, and the release of their debut album, The Milk look like the cream of the crop right now.

TRIBES*

Complete with big choruses, interesting lyrics and energetic guitar riffs, Tribes created traffic chaos last summer on a video shoot on the streets of their native Camden, and now the four-piece grunge-pop outfit are likely to set 2012 on fire, a year after their formation. 2011 saw the release of the singles ‘We Were Children’, ‘Sappho’ and ‘When The Day Comes’. The new year begins with the arrival of their Nirvana/Lemonheads twinged debut album Baby on January 16, before they embark on the NME Awards Tour around the UK from February 8.

VARIOUS CRUELTIES

Named after a painting by American Art Pop exponent Edward Ruscha, Various Cruelties are a quartet, orginally from Leeds and now London-based, with a Northern Soul/ mod pop feel that’s somewhere in the mid 60s – 70s (they describe themselves as ‘shabby Motown pop’). They have supported The Vaccines and Mumford & Sons and appeared on Later…With Jools Holland, playing the title track – and just released single – of their April dropping debut album Great Unknown. Next scheduled are five UK dates between January 16 – 21.

WE ARE THE OCEAN*

Five-piece post hardcore band from the Essex reaches (Loughton) of London, 2011 saw the release of their second album Go Now And Live and singles ‘What It Feels Like’, ‘The Waiting Room’ and ‘Runaway’ all Radio 1 playlisted. They play a few UK dates this month, before embarking on a coast-to-coast US tour from January 24.

ZULU WINTER*

London-based quintet Zulu Winter have come from nowhere (if you discount their earlier incarnation as The Molotovs) in under a year to be on course to rival both their management stable-mates, The Vaccines and White Lies, and gather up a following by largely word-of-mouth following with their Friendly Fires/Wild Beasts brand of indie-pop. Following up their first single release ‘Never Leave’, Zulu Winter are currently working on their debut album with Tom Morris (due in May). They start off 2012 with an appearance at Eurosonic and a London date at XOYO as part of the Q magazine sessions.


*Linn Branson is Officially A Yuppie's UK Correspondent, her other work for the site includes her December review of Smith and Burrows at Union Chapel.