Friday, November 29, 2013

The 1975 on Kimmel!



 On Thanksgiving eve, The 1975 performed two tracks on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Take a look!

Quick News

Speaking to NME magazine, Arctic Monkeys front man Alex Turner gave a hint as to what is going on with his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets, his duo with Miles Kane. Turner said, "It's something we'd both love to do at some point but I don't know what that point is. I certainly don't think it's tomorrow. Miles is doing his thing and that's going great. It's like he's become whole. Although he always was a superstar, wasn't he? It's definitely something that's on the cards in the future. Or something else – it doesn't have to be the Shadow Puppets."

Turner also spoke about the follow-up to Arctic Monkey's latest, AM, which arrived this past fall. He said, "I think I can see there being something. I can't really confirm or deny that one. I can sort of imagine what it might be. I could see it when the record was finished. We'd met the deadline, but the thing was still sort of snowballing a little bit, and for that reason, we could still find ourselves walking into another one." He did indicate that the songs are in their infancy, "The songs aren't there, it's just an idea of mine. But that's usually how it works: this time the idea definitely led the whole procession, rather than the songs themselves."

In a matter of weeks could The Walkmen be playing their final shows ever? Singer Peter Bauer told The Washington Post that the band have no further recording or touring plans after their December 14 gig in Philadelphia. He said, "We really just have no idea. I don’t think any of us wanted to write another Walkmen record. Maybe that will change down the line, maybe it won’t, maybe we’ll play shows. I think it’s weird to make a hubbub about something if there’s nothing to really make a hubbub about. At the same time, I don’t think we’ve been a gang properly for a long time, so there’s not much to break up, I guess.”

Rakim is writing a musical tribute to the living legend, Nelson Mandela. Rakim asked fans to submit quotes and ideas about Mandela to him via Twitter and the influential rapper will compose a song about Mandela using the tweets. No word as to when the song will be released.

After reuniting earlier this year and releasing their terrible new album, What The... last month, Ron Reyes has quit Black Flag (again). Reyes took to Facebook and released a statement saying, "The writing was on the wall since before we played our first show. So many things went wrong from the start. I was into things like having a good drummer, rehearsing and spending time on things like beginnings and endings of songs, being a little less distracted with tour life and a little more on the ball. You know things that would make our efforts worthy of the name Black Flag... Yes it is my opinion that we fell very short indeed and the diminishing ticket sales and crowds are a testament to that. However It was made clear to me that raising these issues was tantamount to a blasphemous stab in the back to Greg. How could I question him, his efforts and hard work? How could I dare be a fan of OFF! And or be friends and a fan of Flag? I was told that I had to chose sides. But I refuse to treat someone like an infallible Pope figure. No guitarist deserves such unquestioning blind devotion." No word if the remaining members of Black Flag will look to replace Reyes on vocals.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twin Shadow Covers U2


Watch Twin Shadow cover U2's "With Or Without You" for his covers series!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

AFI on Kimmel!



Watch AFI perform "17 Crimes" and "Miss Murder" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Mazzy Star on Fallon


Watch Mazzy Star make their TV return to perform "California" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon!

Sky Ferreira on Letterman


 Watch Sky Ferreira perform "Your Not The One" on Letterman!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Live Review: Kanye West / A Tribe Called Quest @ MSG


There are leaders and there are followers and on Sunday, November 24, Madison Square Garden showcased two performers that lead us, the audience, following their every move and hanging onto every word. Kanye West closed his four night New York City run of his current Yeezus Tour with special guests, A Tribe Called Quest, as the opener. However, it wasn't just Tribe the audience was getting, it was the "Final" performance from one of hip-hop's most iconic, groundbreaking, and influential groups.

Since the release of Michael Rapaport's 2011 excellent documentary, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest, the status of the group was unfavorable to say the least. The film chronicled the band's history and through their 2010 Rock The Bells reunion, which hears leader Q-Tip saying, "Next time we get back together will be the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame." The group reformed earlier this year for Prince for his surprise SXSW showcase and then took a few offers to play on the European festival circuit this summer before doing their final Los Angeles show in August. Last month, when Q-Tip tweeted that they would be doing their NYC bow and final two gigs opening for Kanye on parts of his New York tour stop, the Yeezus Tour for the first time wasn't just about Kanye West, it was about Kanye AND the Tribe. Taking the stage just before 7:30, Tribe DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammed began spinning to his custom black, red, and green decks as Tip, Phife Dawg, and Jarobi stormed on stage to a screaming Madison Square Garden singing the opening lines to their classic, "Steve Biko (Stir It Up)." With giant screens behind Muhammed's DJ set that projected images of New York City, the history of the band, snippets of the documentary, it was something to use as crutch to entertain the crowd but was unnecessary, all eyes were fixated on the Tribe as they were dancing, jumping, rhyming, and getting the crowd going in the center of The World's Most Famous Arena. With classics like "Buggin' Out," "Oh My God," "Excursions," "Can I Kick It?" it was hard to imagine we were getting ready to say goodbye to them and these could potentially be the last time these songs are ever played by them again. So, to make matters much more special, as the group cranked into "Scenario," special guest Busta Rhymes stormed on stage like a Drill Sergeant to spit his verses.  During "Bonita Applebum," a dancer in full body paint resembling the covers to Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, walked on stage holding a giant apple above her head and then her measurements (38-24-37). It was more than just a concert, it was a party, and as Q-Tip jumped into the audience and shook hands, crowd surfed, and was with the people, it was clear this was a moment. But, all good things, in fact, great things, must come to an end. "This is seriously our last show. Thank you for getting us started," Q-Tip told the crowd before the group embraced one final time in the center of the stage. After 50 minutes, they were written into the history books. While many, including myself, would have liked to have seen the legendary Tribe go out with their own headlining set, say at Radio City, Barclays, or the Apollo, they had to do things on their own terms and to go out at Madison Square Garden in front of generations of fans, what more could you ask for?

Not many artists could trump the "final" performance of one of hip-hop's most celebrated and loved groups, but then again, not many artists are Kanye West. The Yeezus Tour is much more than a concert, it is much more than a spectacle, it is an experience and production unlike any other. Unlike anything any solo male rap artist has done, Yeezus is the full scale production that artists like Madonna, U2, OutKast, Beyonce, are known to having. However, Kanye since day 1 wanted to put himself in that echelon and over the years he has. The Yeezus Tour has found one of hip-hop's most controversial, celebrated, and forward thinking stars outdo even himself. In his first solo tour in five years since the groundbreaking 2008 / 2009 Glow in the Dark Tour, Kanye returned to Madison Square Garden on his own to bring his new album to life. The show tells the story of West searching for a Higher Power and looking for life's answers. With a stage that resembles an iceberg then transforms into a volcano then into a mountain, it was enough special effects that would make Hollywood even want to invest in his tour. Wearing various costumes for different chapters of the performance, each with their own diamond and jeweled face masks that would make Damian Hirst envious, and featuring back-up "dancers" wearing various outfits that ranged from religious robes to full body stockings, Kanye was bringing art to the arenas. In a set that was Yeezus heavy, he managed to sprinkle in songs like "Mercy," "Clique," "Power," "Can't Tell Me Nothing," and "Cold." Yet, while the audience was screaming the words back to him, it was more than just a setlist it was a story told through his music. With pyrotechnics, a giant circular screen that projected images of the sky, the devil, white Jesus, Kanye rising from behind the mountain, the mountain splitting into two, the stage rising and sending him in the air like a god, Yeezus is not a show that you can put into words but something you must experience. However, Kanye West is his own devil and god. During the breakdown of "Runaway," he went on for a 20-minute rant about how Lenny Kravitz was the reason black musicians were allowed at fashion shows and then gave a backhanded compliment to Kravitz by saying, "The difference between me and Lenny Kravitz is I don't give a fuck." Then ranting about corporations and his problems with his label, fashion companies, businesses, and only Yeezus knows what else. While the audience was entranced by the show he was giving us prior to the now expected rants, many began to leave and boo him. It took us all out of the show. After he said what he had to say, he then broke into "Stronger,""Through The Wire," "Jesus Walks," "Diamonds," then went ranting again. Once again, taking us out of the story and the show. This time, it was shorter but it was a stain on a great evening. What people will remember from Yeezus now is not the setlist, not the music, not all of MSG coming together, they will remember the great set and the rants that clearly defeated the whole purpose of what the show was about. After two-and-a-half hours on stage, Kanye told us all to believe in our dreams and handed the mic to an audience member as he walked off stage. Yeezus walks with us.

*Concert photos by RICH D SMOOV

Bruce Springsteen New Album Info


On January 14, Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band will release their 18th album, High Hopes. The record, which features a major contribution from Tom Morello, is a compilation of sorts of reworked and studio recorded tracks of songs The Boss has been playing live since reforming E-Street in the early 2000's. The album also features three covers and a cover of a cover, that is right Bruce and Morello do the Rage Against The Machine version of Springsteen's solo song, "The Ghost of Tom Joad." 

Take a look a the cover above, and the tracklisting below, as well as the video for the album's title track. 

1. High Hopes (Tim Scott McConnell) - featuring Tom Morello
2. Harry's Place  - featuring Tom Morello
3. American Skin (41 Shots) - featuring Tom Morello
4. Just Like Fire Would (Chris J. Bailey) - featuring Tom Morello
5. Down In The Hole
6. Heaven's Wall  - featuring Tom Morello
7. Frankie Fell In Love
8. This Is Your Sword
9. Hunter Of Invisible Game  - featuring Tom Morello
10. The Ghost of Tom Joad - duet with Tom Morello
11. The Wall
12. Dream Baby Dream (Martin Rev and Alan Vega) - featuring Tom Morello

VINTAGE CLIP: A Tribe Called Quest On Letterman


After A Tribe Called Quest announced last night at Madison Square Garden when opening for Kanye West, that it really was their final show together, we look back on Tribe's glory days when they appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman in 1996 performing "Stressed Out." Take a look!

Robot & Robyn



 Earlier this year, students at Sweden's KTH technical university began working on a robot version of their favorite Swede, Robyn. Now, after nearly a full year on the project, Robyn herself went to the university to see the nearly finished robot version of herself. Take a look!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

EXCLUSIVE! Saints Of Valory INTV!

It is hard to imagine that a band can form just but sheer chance encounters and luck. For Austin via Rio band Saints of Valory their formation was kismet. While the members of the band all had some sort of connection to Rio, yet, only singer Gavin Jasper being the only Brazilian in the band, the rest of the band hails from France, Canada, and Texas, yet, their chance encounters in the Brazilian capitol sealed their fate together. Now, after years of touring and working on music independently, Saints of Valory signed with Atlantic Records who will release their debut album in the spring of 2014. We spoke to Jasper about the band's formation, growing up in Brazil, and of course, if they have any plans of going back next year for the World Cup. Take a look at our interview with Jasper below:


The band formed in Rio but features members from all over the world? How did you come together and find each other?

At some point all of our paths crossed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. First with Godfrey and I when we were kids, as our parents were working abroad together. And then with Stephen as teenagers, he originally came over to Brazil for a month long vacation and ended up staying for about four years. 

The band started off being called, Diana, after the first fan of the band, a dog that watched you practice. How did you end up with the name Saints of Valory?

Our drummer's mother's name is Valerie, she's French. So the idea of something with Valerie was always in the mix. So you can say it was inspired by that but soon took a life of its own as we changed the spelling and added Saints. We wanted something personal but also original. 

Being a band that has influences from all over the world, would you dare explore music from other cultures to get out of your comfort zone?

Oh for sure, we love doing just that. Our song "Long Time Coming" was inspired by a carnival/samba style beat that sort of drives the whole song. 

You were a band that was discovered in the dying days of MySpace, how did that happen?

We had gotten together for three months in Brazil to write some music, with the intention of recording it and throwing it up on myspace. About three days later we got hit up by an indie label out of florida saying they wanted to sign us. We didn't sign with them, but it was a great indicator for a brand new band that we were doing something right and heading in the right direction.   

When can we expect your first full length?

There's no exact date set just yet, but sometime in the late spring next year. We have an EP called "Possibilities" that we put out as an introduction and teaser that have four songs from the full length. 

What has this experience been like for you?

Its been really fun, exciting and a lot of hard work. Meeting lots of new people every night that love our music and connect with what we're doing is the reward. 

You are now based in Austin, how has that city influenced your work and your band?

I think it made us work extra hard, when we first moved there it was a bit daunting as there were so many bands, and the city has a crazy amount of nightly entertainment. So it really pushed us to work hard, even just to stand out.  

Austin was good to us and really embraced us, so we're happy we made the decision to move and launch this band from there.

Playing to crowds all over the U.S., you recently played Rock In Rio to over 95,000 people, what was that experience like?

It was unreal, that was our first experience playing there. Rock In Rio is like "Woodstock" over there. And the Brazilians have music and rhythm in their blood so to speak so they're just as excited to hear music as we are to play it. 

How do fans from the U.S. differ from fans in Brazil?

I'd say the main difference of the two cultures are that countries like the U.S. and the UK have so much new music coming out at all times, and so many bands touring, fans have a quicker access to new music. I think that's a good thing because it helps new bands, as fans are open and are constantly looking for the "new thing" so to speak. In Brazil they love American music and they don't get as much of it, so you can definitely feel there's a vacuum, a hunger, which then turns to this genuine appreciation for you "even being there". So to answer your question, they equally love the music, just in their own way. 

Where does Saints of Valory go from here?

We're really excited about 2014! This year has been amazing, and we've grown so much as a band, its exciting to take everything up a notch, with our full length coming out and bigger tours and festivals planned, its going to be a crazy busy year. 

What has been the best experience about being in this band thus far?

Thats a tough question as there's been so many. We spend most of our time on the road, so playing some amazing venues would be one of them. We've had the honor of playing two sold-out shows at Red Rocks Colorado this year, so I'm sure thats one of them. 

Who would you love to play with and why?

 Before we played our first show as a band, we went to Austin to attend the SXSW Festival and we met "The Killers". And after having a beer with them we said "Hey, we're gonna play a show with you guys one day. " So it would be cool to play a show with them so this story can come full circle.   

Will we be hearing Saints of Valory at the World Cup next summer?

THATS THE GOAL! 

Quick News

A driving safety program and campaign has started in the memory of late Deftones bassist Chi Chang. Chang was involved in a car accident in 2008 that left him in a coma until he passed away earlier this year. The program called, Buckle Up For Chi, will raise awareness and the importance of using seatbelts in cars. For more information, visit the website HERE.

Young The Giant will release their much anticipated new album, Mind Over Matter, in January. Take a look at the tracklisting below:
1) Slow Dive
2) Anagram
3) It's About Time
4) Crystallized
5) Mind Over Matter
6) Day Dreamer
7) Firelight
8) Camera
9) In My Home
10) Eros
11) Teachers
12) Waves
13) Paralysis

Also releasing their much anticipated new album in January are Chicago punks, The Lawrence Arms. Their album, Metropole, will be their first in eight years. Take a look at the tracklisting below:
1) Chilean District
2) You Are Here
3) Hickey Avenue
4) Seventeener (17th & 37th)
5) Beautiful Things
6) Ancheron River
7) Metropole
8) Drunk Tweets
9) The YMCA Down The Street From The Clinic
10) Never Fade Away
11) Paradise Shitty
12) October Blood


FRANK TURNER COVERS THE NATIONAL!!!


 "I fucking love this band," Frank Turner said earlier this week at a tour stop in Cincinnati, Ohio, the hometown of The National. Turner then played the band's 2005 classic, "Mr. November" live for the first time on his own. Take a look!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

QUICK SPINS



Jake BuggShagri La
The 19-year-old English singer / songwriter phenom has struck again, only a year after releasing his acclaimed debut, Bugg shows he is here to stay. Shagri La hears Bugg’s signature throwback rockabilly riffs but this time produced by the lendary Rick Rubin to clear up the sound and scale of the music. Bugg may be doing something so basic, but he is doing it just right.
FINAL GRADE: A


Blu & NottzGods in the Spirit EP
New material from West Coast rapper Blu is hard to come by, when it comes it usually flies under the radar when in fact, it should be up there with the ranks of new school kings like Kendrick, Earl Sweatshirt, and A$AP. However, teaming up with Nottz might just give Blu the push he has needed for so long to be one of hip-hop’s most talked about emcees.
FINAL GRADE: A


Four Tet Beautiful Rewind
If anyone ever wanted to know what Four Tet sounded like, Rewind is the answer. It takes listeners on a musical voyage to territories that only this British producer, DJ, and beatmaker can provide.
FINAL GRADE: A-


AFI Burials
While most of the bands that emerged from the same emo scene as AFI are touring behind the one or two records that got them famous a decade or so ago, AFI are still releasing worthwhile material that shows they are going nowhere. Burials is the long awaited new release from the California band and it is as hard and as thrashing as they have ever been. They return to form in fine fashion.
FINAL GRADE: B+


Sky Ferreira Night Time, My Time
The long awaited debut from the California synthpop indie buzz girl has finally arrived and it arrives in fine form. Ferreira takes a seductive and dark look at pop music and blends catchy hooks and melodies that will haunt and pleasure the spirit. With some of the songs written with former As Tall As Lions singer Daniel Nigro, it is no wonder we enjoy the sound so much.
FINAL GRADE: B+


The Avett BrothersMagpie and the Dandelions
The Carolina fraternity returns with a bombastic new record that hears them taking their signature folk / Americana / rock sound to a stadium ready level. Magpie shows why these guys are loved by so many including Chris Cornell, Bob Dylan, Mumford & Sons, and many more.
FINAL GRADE: B+


A Wilhelm ScreamPartycrasher
The Massachusets hardcore titans return with their first album in six years and boy, are we glad they are back. Partychrasher plays like a bone crunching, foot stomping, face melting, good time…or as their fans would say, “It sounds like A Whilhelm Scream record.”
FINAL GRADE: B+


Blood Orange Cupid Deluxe
Much like Sky Ferreira, Blood Orange has an ability to make pop a seductive and haunting sound but still make you want to get up and move like there is some sort of party going on. On his long awaited second album, Cupid Delux, Blood Orange brings along a slew of guests like Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, Samantha Urbani of Friends, Clams Casino, Despot, Adam Bainbridge of Kindness, and Skepta, to join his party.
FINAL GRADE: B


Lucious JacksonMagic Hour
The divine indie darlings of the 90’s return with their first album since they reunited earlier this year and their first album since 1999’s Electric Honey. Now, older, wiser, and much more skeptic of the music industry, it is as if these fine ladies never left us.
FINAL GRADE: B


Dr. DogB-Room
One of music’s most adored traveling bands return with their third album and bring forth a much more psychedelic tone than ever before. B-Room still has the band harmonizing as if they were The Beatles, but bringing more of the later work of the Fab Four into the studio as a clear inspiration.
FINAL GRADE: B-


Okkervil River – The Silver Gymnasium
The seventh album from the Austin indie favorites hears them throwing back to the indie folk sound that got them their acclaim so many years ago. The Silver Gymnasium also hears singer Will Sheff go back to his masterful storytelling but crafting a concept record about growing up in a small town in New Hampshire.
FINAL GRADE: B-


ErasureSnow Globe
An 80’s new wave take on Christmas songs and brand new soon-to-be holiday classics! Yes, Please!
FINAL GRADE: B-


Blitzen TrapperVII
The seventh studio album from the Portland indie favorites hears them sticking to the same formula that has driven them for years.
FINAL GRADE: B-


EminemThe Marshall Mathers LP 2
Making a record after his fantastic 2010 Grammy Award winning Recovery record was going to be a hard task, but maybe that is why Eminem decided to go back to the album that made his a serious international star – The Marshall Mathers LP. Eminem has ditched his natural black locks to go back to his blonde alter-ego Slim Shady and spits and shits on everything in pop and in the media. Trying to be cutting edge by linking up with Rick Rubin to sample Beastie Boys cuts and give some of his songs a late 80’s / early 90’s feel to them doesn’t seem to flow. At points the album seems disjointed and Em is trying to fit as many words together as he possible can without letting a song breathe or just be.
FINAL GRADE: C+


The MelvinsTres Cabrones
The Melvins return with their second album this year and link up with original drummer Mike Dillard for a comical but often times redundant sounding LP.
FINAL GRADE: C+


Lady GagaArtpop
We know Lady Gaga has talent, she displayed that on her massive debut. We know Lady Gaga can be creative, she displays that every time she steps out the door. So, if she has all of these abilities to make her a great artist, why must she try so hard to not only sound like everyone else, but sound so generic that you think she has lost her touch. Artpop, much like it’s predecessor, Born This Way, is an uninspiring, overproduced, album that tries too hard to sound like the bastard child of Madonna and Cher. Our advice for her is to go back-to-basics and go back to being yourself, trying to outdo your last persona.
FINAL GRADE: D


MIAMantagi
After a three year wait, MIA returns with an album, that much like Gaga’s, is an overproduced effort that hears another woman trying to hard to gain attention. What MIA was doing early in her career when she was dating Diplo was fresh and original, especially to this part of the world, now, it is just something she is trying to do to stay relevant by throwing as much shit on the wall and seeing what sticks.
FINAL GRADE: D 

LIVE PIX: A TRIBE CALLED QUEST @ Barclays Center


While Kanye West is currently on his Yeezus world tour, this week the tour made it's way to New York City and the gigs were more special than ever, as the legendary Tribe Called Quest reunited for their final NYC area appearances opening for Kanye on special gigs. The first of the appearances happened on Wednesday at Brooklyn's Barclays Center. 

Our very own RICH D SMOOV was in attendance just for Tribe and see them before they make their final Big Apple bow on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Take a look at some of the live pix from SMOOV that feature special guest, Busta Rhymes. As Smoov put it, "This night was history. Amazing. One of the best sets I have ever seen them do." It was 55 minutes of non-stop music and from what it looks and sounds like, what a way to go out.









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Quick News

Dave Matthews Band have confirmed they are working on new material. No word as to when it will arrive, some are speculating next year.

Trent Reznor paused Nine Inch Nails' set in Vegas last week to Facetime with a terminally ill fan before kicking into "In This Twilight." The fan, photographer Andrew Youssef had been communicating with Reznor after he saw NIN at Outlands Festival this summer when he published a review in the OC Weekly which chronicles his cancer timeline. Reznor saw the post and got in touch with Youssef via Twitter and spoke to him in concert before playing "In This Twilight," a song Youssef enjoys.

After recent interviews discussing the fate of the new Wu-Tang Clan album and how it is currently void of material from Raekwon, RZA spoke to the Associated Press and said that the album is 45-days away from being done, however, Raekwon is still not on the album. RZA said, " He hasn’t turned in his verses yet. I don’t know if he’s still trying to find the vibe of the music. We have to talk about it before it becomes too late. But he hasn’t come to the table yet." The idea that the upcoming album, A Better Tomorrow, would not have Raekwon on it, also is a possibility. RZA said, "Well, you know what, that’s something that I would take a vote on with the rest of the crew. I’m not a dictator about that. Raekwon is a valuable energy to the Wu-Tang, his voice, his lyrics, his approach. Rae is a master lyricist."

Speaking to New York City's Talk Stoop, Nas discussed how hip-hop still seems lost. He said, "Today [Hip Hop] lost integrity. It’s lost meaning. It’s lost it’s love which is why I made a Hip Hop Is Dead album." He then went on to say that the "realness" of the genre is gone as well.

Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip have announced a joint project that will arrive next month. The album, The Abstract and The Dragon, will be released via Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label. Take a look at the cover below:

Chvrches on Kimmel



Watch Chvrches perform "The Mother We Share" and "Lies" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Jessie Ware on Conan


Watch Jessie Ware perform "Running" on Conan!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Quick News

Liars have confirmed that their new yet-to-be-titled album will be out in March.

Lady Gaga has been booked as the final act to play New York City's iconic Roseland Ballroom before it closes it's doors in April. Gaga will play four shows at the legendary venue.

After rumors circulated all day on Tuesday about OutKast reuniting for Coachella, Revolt TV have confirmed that the legendary Georgia duo will be reuniting and touring along with playing festivals in 2014. Book your tickets to Indigo Valley now!

The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon have opening up to Billboard magazine about why they never reunited before or after singer Joe Strummer's untimely death in 2002. Simonon said, "It's a better story at the end of the day that we didn't get back together. We saved all that time and effort by not reforming. It seems like we would have squandered what we'd achieved by reforming. Why do people get together? Why do bands reform? Oh, they're good mates. Well, that's nice. It's usually because of a financial situation that has to be adhered to. Basically, everyone's broke." Jones continued and said, "Our band is an idea as well. It kind of said, `You can do this.' We can say all this now in retrospect and sort of understand it. When we did it, we just did it instinctively with no thought of future significance." They both did confirm that they did make peace with Stummer long before he passed.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Noel Gallagher has officially closed the book on any type of Oasis reunion to take place next year or in the distant future as the band's legendary debut, Definitely Maybe will turn 20 in 2014. Gallagher said, "Yeah, so, ergo, band splits up, band is no more. There is no band. So, no, I won’t be getting involved, anyway. If there is a reunion, I won’t be in it...I’m proud of everything that we ever did. I mean, some songs are pretty shit, and there’s a couple of periods you’d rather forget, but I think on the whole… I think we made three great albums and four good ones, which is not bad out of eight. Kind of a 50 percent record. That’s pretty good, I think. But I’m cool with it. I don’t think there’s any unfinished business. I don’t think that we left anything unsaid, do you know what I mean? It’s like, if you’ve seen [Oasis], then good for you. If you didn’t, then that’s fucking tough shit. I’ve never seen the Beatles. So there you go."  

It has been quiet on the Mastodon front these days, but in a few weeks, the band will enter the recording studio to begin work on their sixth album. Drummer Brann Dailor told Rolling Stone that the band's idea for the album will shock fans. He said, "It's gonna be massive and insane, lots of epic greatness. There will be lots of huge riffs and new directions. It's real weird, real math-y, real straightforward. It's up, down and all around. It's a culmination of everything for the band. The snowball keeps rolling and collecting snow."

VINTAGE CLIP! Mazzy Star on Conan


In 1994,  Mazzy Star made their US TV debut on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. On Monday, the band will return to Late Night 19 years later and of course, with a different host, Jimmy Fallon. Take a look at a vintage clip of the band performing their hit, "Fade Into You" in '94!

Playlist


 Take a look at November's 26-song playlist and hear it on Spotify!

Cut Copy on Fallon


Watch Cut Copy bring their epic dance party to Fallon!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Officially A Icon: Karen O.


When we celebrated our 5th anniversary two years ago, we honored our five years with an artist that made our time as a website worthwhile and we named Damon Albarn our first recipient of Officially A Icon to his contributions to music and art. Last year, we raised the bar with guru and Renaissance man, Questlove.

Now, to join the list of these fine gentlemen is a woman that can hold her own on any stage and any platform. From fronting Yeah Yeah Yeahs to writing and acting in her 2012 opera Stop the Virgins to working on soundtracks like Where The Wild Things Are and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Karen O. has done it all and does it with such grace and poise that we only want more.

After releasing Mosquito with Yeah Yeah Yeahs earlier this year and hitting the road as a headlining festival act and bringing her unique vision to everything she does, Karen O. has become much more than a performer, songwriter, artist, and singer. She is a punk that does not try hard to be punk or stick out, being a woman comfortable in her own skin comes natural to her and shows the younger generations that you do not have to be naked on stage to be sexy. By just being her wild, crazy, and brilliant self, Karen O. is our icon.

Great Soundtracks: Swingers


In 1996, no independent film captured audiences hearts and attention more than Swingers. The film written by Jon Favreau, directed by Doug Liman and staring a then young Vince Vaughn, Favreau, Heather Graham took a moment out of L.A.'s neo-retro nightlife and plastered it on screen. The film, which was about the neo-retro swing movement that hit Los Angeles and Vegas in the mid-90's captured America's attention and brought swing music back to pop radio. The soundtrack to Swingers was more than just a movie soundtrack, it became the soundtrack to a brief movement in American pop culture and the score to a revitalization of a sound as American as apple pie.

Big band music was the sound of post World War II and when our service men came back home from the front, they had something cheerful to welcome them in. Swingers captured the underground scene that reestablished that form featuring music from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Jazz Jury, Bobby Darin, Average White Band, Dean Martin, and many more it paved the way for artists like Cherry Poppin' Daddy's, Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Amazing Royal Crowns, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Royal Crown Review, The Atomic Fireballs, and countless others who burned up the Billboard charts and had massive MTV play. Now, nearly 20 years after the fact, the soundtrack is still as bumping as ever.

Recommended Reading - Marilyn Manson "Long Hard Road Out Of Hell"


Before Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus tried to outdo themselves and shock all of the media and audiences around the world, there was Marilyn Manson. Just like KISS and Alice Cooper before him, Manson was the reigning shock king of the 1990's and captured his vivid imagination, creativity, and brilliance in his 1998 autobiography The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell. Written and released when he was just 29 years old and at the top of his fame, Manson took readers from his Catholic upbringing to the world's biggest stages. From depths of personal despair to emergency rooms to the top of the Billboard charts, before he hit 30, Manson lived a life that people twice his age never experienced.

What makes The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell such a fantastic read is that Manson is incredibly candid about sexuality, relationships with friends and lovers, and his drug use. It is so well written that whatever people have ever written off about Manson was corrected and became and eye opening experience for the reader. If you were a fan of his or not, this is a read to check out and all of these years later, since he has retreated from the limelight more that he has before, it is a book to pick up now that many young starlets these days are just mimicking his antics.

Luscious Jackson on Letterman


Watch Luscious Jackson perform for the 1st time on TV since their reunion on Letterman!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Maximo Park New Album Details


It has been a while since we heard from UK alt rockers Maximo Park, but they are coming back next year with their brand new album, Too Much Information. This being the band's fifth LP was self produced and will be released in early 2014. Take a look at the cover above and the tracklisting below:

1. Give, Get, Take
2. Brain Cells
3. Leave This Island
4.  Lydia, The Ink Will Never Dry
5. My Bloody Mind
6. Is It True?
7. Drinking Martinis
8. I Recognise The Light
9. Midnight On The Hill
10. Her Name Was Audre
11. Where We’re Going

Quick News

In a recent interview with Brooklyn Vegan, former Smiths guitarist and legend Johnny Marr has confirmed he will be writing and releasing his autobiography. No word as to when it will come out, but he will begin working on it after her current U.S. tour.

English band Morning Parade will be releasing their sophomore album in early 2014.

The long awaited Stone Roses cover album by The Flaming Lips will be released on Record Store Day Black Friday next week. It will be one of three albums released by the Lips that day including their Enders Game EP and split with Tame Impala.

Before becoming Pearl Jam's full time drummer Matt Cameron was playing with Soundgarden until they broke up in 1997. Now, with both bands back in action, Cameron has to choose and due to obligations on Pearl Jam's current tour, Cameron is still with them. However, there is no bad blood with Soundgarden nor has he been booted from the band. In fact, Cameron will be helping Chris Cornell and Co., find a new man on the skins. Cameron said in a statement, "Trying to balance the many twists and turns of my awesome music career. This is temporary. I am still an active member of Soundgarden."


Sunday, November 17, 2013

EXCLUSIVE! Natalie Curtis INTV!

When artistic ability runs through your veins, there is not stopping or containing what you can do. For Natalie Curtis, the daughter of late Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, she channeled her inherited artistic creativity into photography. Natalie, who has become one of England's most sought after photographers finds a unique and creative perspective on the art form that seems to be loosing touch thanks to camera phones and the accessibility of digital photography. We spoke with Natalie about her work, her just relaunched website -- 16apr79.com, and how she found her passion as a photographer. Take a look at our interview with Natalie below:


What initially got you into photography?
I can't remember! I was young, about 4 I've been told. And I've just been reminded that I also used to label family photos, before I could even spell... My mum's just been going through old boxes and found some pics from her childhood, and at some point I'd written captions on the backs, things like "Mummy and a friend."

When did you realize you could make a career out of this?

Not until I did Art Foundation at my local college - I don't know if there's anything similar in the States, but it's a year long pre-university course where you try loads of different things. I really enjoyed the photography unit. That was when I started to take it more seriously. Before then it was just hobby. 
 You just relaunched your website with all new content, when going through your collection of photos, does it become hard to pick which you would like to showcase?
Yes, definitely. When I was selecting images for the new site I went down the route of my then favourites, organised by year, plus some very recent work. But now that I've lived with the site for a few months, I'm already thinking of other ways that I could organise my work, include other images that I previously overlooked. 
Hailing from Manchester, how much has the city influenced your work?
I'd say that the feel of the city is very important in that a fair bit of my work has involved people in Manchester. Even if they're not from here, they're often photographed here. Manchester has influenced me generally in that when I was kid it was always the place where people did cool stuff, the place where people could do what they wanted to do. One of my earliest memories is of looking at 12" sleeves, records sent from Manchester, and having this almost mythical idea of the place in my head. I actually spent my childhood in Macclesfield, but I used to visit Manchester most weekends. I'm an honorary Mancunian!
Your images are very stark and often times very intense, your use of light and shadows is profound. Do you consider this your signature style?
You're very kind to say that. I've never thought of it in terms of a signature style. I just try to get what ever it is I'm looking at or experiencing. 
Being music royalty, much of your work also resembles the work of Anton Corbijn who famously photographed your father’s band, Joy Divison. Has Anton been an inspiration to you?
Not long after I graduated from university, Orian Williams (Control producer) and I were chatting about photography and he mentioned how Anton uses available light. I found that incredibly reassuring and encouraging, especially since at the time I was assisting on photo shoots with lots of lighting. 
 Has there been any talk of showcasing your work in a gallery in the coming months / year?
There's this - http://16apr79.com/blog/swaysstills I would love to do another exhibition next year. Not sure where though. 

Your photos are not so much of landscapes but generally of people and their expressions. Does photographing and exploring the human element appeal more to you?
Oh definitely. I guess I'm more interested in the emotional landscape, how people are relating to each other, their surroundings and their situation, and how I'm feeling also plays a part. 
 In an age when the cell phone is the most commonly used photo capturing device and the help of apps makes anyone look like a pro, do you feel doing analog work is nearly obsolete these days?
I don't think analog will ever completely vanish. But it has become less practical in that there's less choice of film, fewer labs and so on. 

How do you feel about the cell phone and digital photography making anyone a photographer? Do you feel it takes away the art from the genre?

I think it's great that people are having fun taking photos. The industry has changed, but growing up in a recording studio at a time when people started making records in their bedrooms, I guess I was expecting and prepared for change. And I'm fortunate that I also grew up around very forward thinking people. Doing what I do, I can't have the same sort of career as photographers did in the 70s or 80s. But that's okay, I think now and what's next is a really exciting time, there's a lot of possibilities. 

Coming from a musical background, have you ever photographed bands before?

When I was growing up? I seriously wish I'd photographed every band that ever recorded in our studio, everyone that was ever found sitting in our kitchen. But film was a precious commodity not to be wasted on musicians! I used to scowl at them instead. Apart from Doves, when they were Sub Sub, we liked them, and I did get to photograph them years later. 

Who would you love to photograph that you have not gotten a chance to?

I don't really think that way but having answered the above, the recording studio customers. 

Can we ever expect your work here in the U.S.?

Oh, I would LOVE to do a show and to shoot in the US. I really would like to spend more time over there. 

What is next for you?

Well I've been planning to set a up a web-shop for a few years now. I need to take some time out and decide what I'm going to sell. And then more exhibitions and lots more travel I hope. I think the main thing is time to breathe, to be more free with my work and yet at the same time be more focused. Now I'm in my thirties I'm more confident and sure of what I want and that's a good place to be. 


7 Year Anniversary


Seven years ago this weekend, this website started in a basement in my parent's house on the South Shore of Long Island. It has grown in ways I never ever thought possible. Gaining access to gigs, shaking hands with some of my musical heroes, landing a blogging gig at Huffington Post and at one point, the world's oldest magazine - The Spectator in England. This site has been like a child of mine and watching it grow and it being a passport to my passion has been incredible. From the bottom of my heart and all of my soul, thank you for reading and coming back. It really means the world to me and the small staff we have, we appreciate it.

Thank you again and here is to another year in the books!

Here is what some of our favorite artists have said about us in the past:

“One of the most fun-loving and forward-thinking blogs in the world, and run by one of the nicest guys in the business. Thank you Sal and Officially a Yuppie for getting in there so early with your support." Love from Chapel Club

"Best thing I've seen on the internet since the panda that sneezes.” - Matthew Whitehouse, The Heartbreaks

"Sal and his peeps at OfficiallyAYuppie.com are doing an amazing job of covering fresh, creative music and the entire NYC scene! They're not too hip for the room, but definitely have hip taste." - Doug Wimbish, Living Colour

“I read www.officiallyayuppie.com every week. Sal has his finger on the pulse of both commercial and independent music and entertainment. His blog has something for everyone and his interviews are always insightful. Plus, Sal's a great dude!” – Elliot Jacobson

“Thanks for these great questions” – Mary Foresberg Weiland

“So, does this make me a Yuppie now?!” – Mickey Leigh, Joey Ramone’s brother

“Thank you for the interview. I really appreciate the interest in my project. Be well” –Ben Kenney of Incubus

“It was good speaking with you. All the best.” Ian Mackaye

“No Crap Questions” – Rab Allen, Glasvegas


"Officially a yuppie! Thanks a great name for a site!" - Andrew W.K.

"Thank you for taking time out to speak with me and caring about us and what we do," - Anthony Green, Circa Survive

"It was a pleasure," - Peter Hook, Joy Division / New Order


"Really enjoyed this interview," - Photographer Natalie Curtis, Ian Curtis' daughter 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Africa Express Debut Album Details


The long awaited debut from Damon Albarn's Africa Express project is finally coming digitally next month. This past fall, Albarn brought friends Ghostpoet, Idris Elba, Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Brian Eno, and many more to Mali and linked up with local musicians in Bamako for a week and crafted Africa Express' first album.

The Africa Express project is something Albarn has been working on for years as a tour and a released a few singles, but finally, the debut album Africa Express Presents: Maison Des Jeunes will arrive in December. In 2014, a physical version of the album is rumored to be coming. In the meantime, take a look at the cover art above, and the tracklisting below as well as the video for "Soubour."

01 Adama Koita: "Fantainfalla Toyi Bolo" (Produced by Two Inch Punch)
02 Songhoy Blues: "Soubour" (Produced by Nick Zinner & Remi Kabaka)
03 Ghostpoet feat. Doucoura: "Season Change" (Produced by Two Inch Punch & Damon Albarn)
04 Bijou: "Dougoudé Sarrafo" (Produced by Damon Albarn)
05 Lil Silva: "Bouramsy" (Produced by Lil Silva)
06 Talbi: "Rapou Kanou" (Produced by Two Inch Punch)
07 Gambari ft. Kankou Kouyaté: "Yamore" (Produced by Damon Albarn)
08 Yacouba Sissoko Band: "Chanson Denko Tapestry" (Produced by Brian Eno)
09 Lobi Traoré Band: "Deni Kelen Be Koko" (Produced by David Maclean)
10 Moussa Traoré: "Farafina" (Produced by Damon Albarn)
11 Tiemoko Sogodogo: "Latégué" (Produced by Brian Eno)

The Killers Part 2 on Kimmel



 The Killers returned to Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform a handful of classics like "Mr. Brightside," "When You Were Young," and "All These Things I've Done." Take a look!

MIA on Conan!


 Watch M.I.A. perform on Conan!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Quick News

Speaking to Rolling Stone Pink Floyd's Rodger Waters spoke about his upcoming new solo album, his first in over twenty years. Waters said, "It's 55 minutes long. It's songs and theater as well. I don't want to give too much away, but it's couched as a radio play. It has characters who speak to each other, and it's a quest. It's about an old man and a young child trying to figure out why they are killing the children." No title nor official release date has been set, but Waters hopes to have it out next year.

Also speaking to Rolling Stone was Tool front man Maynard James Keenan and have gave somewhat of a status update on the prog-metal titans new album. He said, "I don't write the music. They write the music," he says of his bandmates. "I wait for them to bring music to me. They tend to go back over and over stuff. It's a long process. For a person like me, it can be a very tedious process." No release has been set, the last Tool studio album was 2006's 10,000 Days.

New York City garage rockers The Virgins have broken up after seven years and two albums together. Singer Donald Cumming said in a statement, "There's nothing I'd hoped to do with The Virgins that we haven't done. Its been an incredible experience and I want to thank everyone who was a part of it, but now it's time to move on. I'll see you in my dreams."

After being MIA for weeks, Russian authorities have confirmed that Pussy Riot's Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been transferred to a penal colony in Siberia. According to her husband, Petya Verzilov, the move to remote Siberia comes because of her hunger strike this past summer.

Could the new U2 album be on the way in April? According to reports the band are set to take out commercial time during the 2014 Super Bowl to announce the album, with many speculating that it will arrive in April. The album was produced by Danger Mouse. If fans, like us, can't wait till April, on Record Store Day they will release two new songs for the film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom on 10."

Lorde on Letterman


Watch Lorde stun the crowd on Letterman!

The Killers on Kimmel


Watch The Killers perform "Shot at the Night" on Kimmel!

Childish Gambino on Arsenio


Watch Childish Gambino go off on Arsenio's couch as he did an incredible version of his track "Shadows."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks New Album Details


In January, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks will return with their new album, Wig Out At Jagbags. Take a look at the album cover above and the tracklisting below:

01 Planetary Motion
02 The Janitor Revealed
03 Lariat
04 Houston Hades
05 Shibboleth
06 J Smoov
07 Rumble at the Rainbo
08 Chartjunk
09 Independence Street
10 Scattegories
11 Cinnamon and Lesbians
12 Surreal Teenagers

Quick News

Long Island band Bayside will release their new album, Cult, in February.

New Jersey's Rutgers University will be offering a class in the theology of Bruce Springsteen's lyrics. The semester long class will look at the Biblical references from The Boss' lyrics. Rutgers is not the only New Jersey university to offer classes on Springsteen's work, Princeton University has a sociology class on Springsteen's America, Monmouth University has hosted symposiums his work.

After releasing two amazing singles over the summer, TV on the Radio took to Facebook to alert fans that they are in Brooklyn working on new material. The band said, "Time to let the cat out of the bag: We’re working on a new record. Right this very moment. Meow, y’all.”

After decades of living on the edge, 67-year-old Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister has been fitted with a pacemaker in order to continue living, working, and touring. Doctors have also instructed the singer to undergo a drastic lifestyle change in order to keep on going.

Manic Street Preachers have confirmed they will release their new album, Futurology next year.

Against Me! have released the cover art to their long awaited new album, Transgender Dysphoria Blues, which arrives in January. Take a look at the cover below: