Friday, May 30, 2014

Quick News

Antichrist Superstar Marilyn Manson will star in the upcoming season of Sons of Anarchy. Manson, who will join the list of musicians like Henry Rollins and Dave Navarro who have appeared on the show in the past, will play a white supremacist and says about appearing on the show, "Sons' has been such a big part of my life, as well as my father's, so I was determined to make him proud by being involved in what will probably be remembered as the most amazing piece of television cinema. After all, the very heart of 'SOA' is about that relationship. So, now all I need is a motorcycle."

French pop artist Yelle will release her new album this fall. No word on what it will be called or when it will arrive. 

John Mellencamp will release his new album, Plain Spoken, this fall. The record is Mellencamp's 22nd.

U2's Bono and The Edge have been named as members of Fender guitars Board of Directors. About joining the board, Bono said, "Wherever you go in the world, Fender is a standard bearer, not just for excellence in technology and craft, but for the influence of American culture. This made-in-USA company has at its heart innovation."

Former Swedish House Mafia bandmates Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso have formed a new band called Axwell Λ Ingrosso and will release new music later this year. The duo will debut new tunes next week at Governor's Ball in New York City.

Speaking to The Nashville Scene, The Kills Alison Mosshart talked about the sessions for the band's upcoming fifth album. She said, "We're trying to make a record that's completely different. Anything that sounds like it could have sat quite easily on any of the other records will probably get scrapped or reworked, played on some kind of different instruments with a completely different kind of rhythm and a completely different kind of feel. That's what takes so long, is trying to break out of the thing that you know and you're good at and trying to get good at something else. You never know what's going to happen with a record when you're writing". "It could be done all of a sudden in two months, or it could take another year. You get on these tangents, and you find new directions. You kind of follow the scent wherever it's taking you. Sometimes it takes a long time. Sometimes it's fast as hell."

Live Pix: Maryland Death Fest 2014

Last weekend, the 2014 installment to the annual Maryland Death Fest returned to Baltimore for four days of mind-blowing heavy metal over Memorial Day Weekend. Our very own RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action. Take a look at highlights of his live pix:

 Death Angel
 Pungent Stench


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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bishop Allen Announce New Album!

After five long years, Brooklyn duo Bishop Allen will return this August with Lights Out. Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting as well as the new single, "Start Again," below:

1. Start Again
2. Why I Had To Go
3. Crows
4. No Show
5. Give It Back
6. Black Hole
7. Skeleton Key
8. Good Talk
9. Hammer and Nail
10. Bread Crumbs
11. No Conditions
12. Shadow

Live Pix: Black N Blue Bowl 2014

A few weeks back, The 2014 Black N Blue Bowl returned to New York City, this time it took place at new Brooklyn venue, The Well. Our very own RICH D SMOOV was on hand to capture the action from Sunday May 18th. Take a look!

7 Seconds
 Agnostic Front
 Power Trip

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Quick News

Rise Against have confirmed that their new album will be out in July. No word as to what it will be called or what the release date will be.

Belle and Sebastian have confirmed they are in Atlanta working on their new album. No release has been given, however, the band hopes to have it out by the fall.

Following their return last year after an 11 year hiatus, Canadian rockers Big Wreck will release their new album, Ghost, in July.

Teaming up with Seattle company Koru, Nas has announced scholarships to help students transition from college to the working world. In a statement, Nas said, "I'm inspired to support Koru participants because I know how hard it can be to carve out your path and purpose in life. It takes conviction, hard work and the right network. The young people going through Koru are gritty, book smart and street smart. The Koru program gives them an opportunity to put those smarts to work. I can't wait to work directly with them and share what I've learned through my own life experiences." The New York Times has reported that Nas has donated $100,000 to Koru and established the fund.

Erasure have announced that they will release their 16th album, The Violent Flame, this fall.

Speaking to BB1, Queen's Brian May has confirmed that the iconic British band will release their first album in 20 years and will feature unheard songs and unheard vocals from the late Freddie Mercury, including a song with Michael Jackson. The working title of the record is Queen Forever and it will be out later this year.

Speaking to NME, La Roux's Elly Jackson is opening up for the first time about her split from music partner, Ben Langmaid. She said that their "wasn't a great deal of understanding," between them on making music. She continued, "I came to him with some rare disco references and he made it very clear he didn't like them. There wasn't a great deal of understanding. Sometimes I thought we were on the same level, but then from the production that would come to light, I didn't feel that we were. I wasn't happy with the way some of the demos were sounding." La Roux's latest, Trouble in Paradise, is out this summer. 

Arcade Fire on Jools Holland

Watch Arcade Fire perform "You All Ready Know" on Later...With Jools Holland!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Jesus & Mary Chain in Brazil

Last week, The Jesus and Mary Chain played a series of shows in South America, including Brazil's Cultura Ingelsa Festival in São Paulo, Brazil. Take a look at the iconic cold-wave band's full performance that was taped for TV.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Quick News

Foo Fighters have confirmed via their social networks that their new album will arrive this fall. No word yet on a title or exact date. Speaking to Billboard about the record, Foo leader Dave Grohl said, "As we were coming down from the success of the last record, I thought, 'Now we have license to get weird. If we wanted, we could make some crazy, bleak Radiohead record and freak everyone out. Then I thought, 'F- that.'" He then said that the band made, "Stadium anthems that startle."

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Robyn and Royksopp talked about their latest collaborative E.P., Do It Again. Robyn talked about how they came together, saying, "I came off tour and I was pretty hung over, and I didn't know what to do with myself, really. I had no instinct or inspiration to make a new album. I had lots of ideas… but I felt like I wanted to look deeper into things. So I went to Bergen [in Norway] hoping it could be this thing where we'd all carry the same weight, but unsure if that was what they wanted to do. And without asking for it, I was let into their very long-term relationship that's been going on since they were teenagers." She then talked about the making of the E.P. saying, "The way we wrote it talks about dance music in a way, the idea of the peak and the fall, and then coming back into it, but it's something you can apply to a lot of things. Life goes in cycles, you have periods where you produce, and then periods where you soak up other things. You'll be in love and you'll be out of love, you'll be drunk and then you'll be sober. If you know any kids, and you tickle them or spin them around, they get really frustrated, they pee their pants or they throw up, and then they're like 'Again!'" she continues. "It's about going all the way to this euphoric state, but not stopping, and maybe you end up someplace really ugly."

Also speaking to Rolling Stone were The Gaslight Anthem, who are in Nashville recording their new album. About the sound of the record, singer Brian Fallon said, "For this record, I went back and studied any band that had changed. The Stones, the Beatles, U2, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, all those bands. I was looking at any band that was one thing and then became something else. How did they do it? Did they do it overnight, or did they do it in stages? I wanted to figure out how far you can go without pissing people off."He then said, "I'll probably continue to write about heartbreak forever. That stuff doesn't go away as you get older. You're always trying to make each record more autobiographical than the last one. Before it was a lot of storytelling with lots of specific places and names. This time I wrote a lot of direct first-person narratives.You're talking about yourself, so you have to find new way to do that each time, so for this record it was a lot of poetry books and a lot of Bob Dylan." No word as to when the album will be finished.

Little Dragon on Kimmel

Watch Little Dragon perform "Klapp Klapp" and "Killing Me" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Midnight Masses Debut Album Details

The long awaited debut album from New York City art rockers, Midnight Masses is called Departures and will finally be arriving in July. Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, as well as a behind-the-scenes feature on the making of the album, below:

1. Golden Age
2. Am I A Nomad?
3. All Goes Black
4. Broken Mirror
5. Departures
6. Clap Your Hands
7. Everywhere Is NowHere
8. If I Knew
9. Hollywood Death Forever
10. Be Still
11. There Goes Our Man

Take a look at our 2010 interview with the band HERE!

Great Soundtracks: Drive

In 2011, the Ryan Gosling film, Drive became one of the most talked about movies of that year. What was also talked about, and like the film, it still is, was the soundtrack. The film, a sexy but ultra-violent slow burn of a thriller was enhanced by the score of Cliff Martinez and the music of Kavinsky, College, Desire, Chromatics, Riz Ortolani, and others. The film which opens with College's "A Real Hero," became and instant memorable movie scene and propelled the careers of everyone involved in the music of the film. Like a character in the film, the seductive and playful music that is a throwback to 80's cold and new wave scenes and mixed with modern electronica, was unmissable and memorable. In a film with not much dialogue, the gaps of non-speaking parts were filled with sound that came off screen. This is a soundtrack that stands on it's own, once you listen to it, you immediately are thrusted back into the scenes of the film and in fact, when listening to it in a car, you feel like you are Gosling's character. If not, then we just feel like a bunch of dorks for admitting that!

Recommended Reading: Tao of Wu

Could a rapper be a philosopher? Could one get enlightenment from the leader of Wu-Tang? These were the surprising questions people were asking in 2009 when RZA released, The Tao of Wu, a book that is semi-autobiographical and thought provoking.

In the New York Times Bestseller, RZA uses hip-hop lyrics, parables, and looks at all religions that have inspired him and altered his views and thoughts and throws it together into a book that one could use in everyday life. In Tao of Wu, RZA gets personal and discusses everything from growing up in the ghetto to his attempted murder charge to what he uses to record albums. He also discusses numerology and looks at the complexities of theories and what it all means in the grand scheme of things. There is a reason why RZA is always looked at as one of the most forward thinking and evolving minds in music, this book is proof. 

Pulp Documentary Trailer

Next month, UK theaters will get a chance to see the long-awaited documentary, Pulp: A Film About Life, Death, and Supermarkets. The film, which chronicles Britpop band Pulp's history and leading to their swansong concert in 2012 in Sheffield, England. 

While the film is still waiting a U.S. release, the trailer has a arrived, take a look:

Veruca Salt on Conan

Watch Veruca Salt perform "Seether" on Conan!

Lykke Li on Kimmel

 Watch Lykke Li perform "No One Ever Loved," and "No Rest For The Wicked" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Godflesh Announce New EP

For the first time in 13 years, pioneering industrial outfit Godflesh will release brand new music in the form of an E.P. The E.P. out next month called Decline & Fall is also the first new music the band has worked on since reuniting in 2009. Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting below, as well as hear the new single, "Ringer," below:

01 Ringer
02 Dogbite
03 Playing With Fire
04 Decline and Fall

Quick News

On Monday, New York City will rename 77th Street between West End Ave. and Riverside Drive, Miles Davis Way.

Lupe Fiasco has been tapped to be the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team's Music Director and will create playlists for the team ahead of next month's World Cup.

Speaking to NME, Pete Doherty has revealed he is working on a secret solo album in Hamburg, Germany. No word as to when it will be released. 

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers will release their new album, Hypnotic Eye, in July.

Next month, Pink Floyd will be releasing a box set anniversary edition of their 1994 album, The Division Bell. The box set will include the album remastered, a red 7-inch vinyl replica of the single "Take It Back," a clear 7-inch vinyl replica of "High Hopes," a 12-inch blue vinyl replica of "High Hopes" a with reverse laser etched design, the 2011 Discovery remaster of the album and a Blu-ray disc including the album in HD.

United Nations, the band featuring Geoff Rickley of Thursday and members of Converge, Glassjaw and Pianos Become the Teeth, will release their new album, The Next Four Years in July. Take a look at the album's cover below:

Dinosaur Jr. front man J. Mascis will release his new solo album, Tied to a Star this summer. Tak ea look at the cover below:

Full Oasis 'Definitely Maybe' Documentary

Over the last couple weeks, Oasis have been issuing different parts to the documentary series chronicling the making of their amazing debut, Definitely Maybe, which came out 20 years ago. Now, the iconic Brit rockers have released the full documentary on YouTube, take a look!

We Are Scientists on Letterman

Watch We Are Scientists on Letterman!

Afrojack on Arsenio

Watch Afrojack perform "10 Feet Tall" on Arsenio!

The Roots & A-Trak on Fallon

The Roots and special guest A-Trak were the musical guest on The Tonight Show to perform "Never" off the Philly titans latest, ...and Then You Shoot Your Cousin. Take a look!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quick Spins

The Horrors Luminous
The career of The Horrors has been a gradual incline and alteration in sound from when they first appeared on the music scene back in 2006. Back then, with their debut, Strangehouse, they looked like a poor mans version of My Chemical Romance. Then, in 2009, they returned with Primary Colours, a record that heard them channeling the angst into art and a contemporary Joy Division. Then, in 2011, they released the groundbreaking Skying, a record that heard them take the best of 80’s cold and new wave and giving it a modern spin. Now, with Luminous, they don’t transition too much from Skying but still manage to mature in all the right ways. Luminous is dark, cavernous, but also melodic and angelic. Luminous shines as another highlight in the magnificent career of The Horrors and only makes us excited for what is to come.

Robyn & RoyksaapDo It Again EP
Sweden’s favorite pop acts are hitting the road this summer and to celebrate their joint venture, they release an EP of perfect pop. An EP from two careers birthed in a country that have given the world nothing but the best to dance on their own to.

Conor Oberst Upside Down Mountain
The greatest voice of America’s current generation returns with his latest solo album. Recorded in Tennessee, Oberst, never a stranger to the American frontier, takes a deeper look into his folk roots and American style with strong Nashville and Memphis influences on Upside Down Mountain.

The Heartbreaks We May Yet Stand A Chance
What if Frankie Valli fronted a flamenco band? That is what English lads The Heartbreaks have done with their sophomore album. Gone are the polished guitar licks but what is kept are the raging rhythm sections and catchy hooks and spicy acoustic guitar licks are added to make this record stand out from any album any English band will release this year.

BluGood To Be Home
The Los Angeles rapper returns with a bold double album about his upbringing, family, his roots, but most of all, the real side of Los Angeles that never gets mentioned in the media. While the record is a bit too long and loses some touch with a handful of filler tracks, Blu still manages to spit his heart out and give it all to showcase why he is one of the best rappers around today.

The Minneapolis hip-hop duo return with their latest album and bring forth, yet again, their raw, in-your-face, and personal lyrics about life, love and the persuit of happiness.

Lily Allen- Sheezus
The spunky hip-popper, Lily Allen, returns after nearly seven years away from music so she could start a family. Sheezus is Allen returning to form and speaking her mind about the current state of pop and pop culture since she has been away. With that being said, she knows how to craft a great pop tune but what the record lacks is production. The beats and sounds on Sheezus sound more like something made on Garage Band or a basic Casio keyboard that hold the record back from being a truly memorable comeback.

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart Days of Abandon
The Brooklyn hipster band come back with a great summertime album that gives Smiths fans a reason to rejoice with a jangly guitar sound and catchy hooks.

Duck Sauce – Quack
EDM heros Armand Van Helden and A-Trak team-up for a record of exactly what you would expect – nonstop, floor slamming dance tracks that are enough to be an instant party starter no matter where it is played.

Rodrigo Y Gabriela 9 Dead Alive
The jaw dropping Mexican guitar duo fire back with a new record that pays homage to those who have gone before us. Each song is a representation of loved ones that have passed that the duo have known and loved. A tribute record of sorts, it once again has the duo speaking with their fingers instead of their tongues.

ColdplayGhost Stories
During the making of Coldplay’s sixth record, Chris Martin’s personal life began to unravel. While the world found out in March that he and wife, Gwyneth Paltrow were “Consciously Uncoupling,” he seemed to have known for a while, and that is all reflected in Ghost Stories. Taking influences from artists like Bon Iver and Elbow, Coldplay return with a very somber and heartbreaking record that at some points is reminiscent of Beck’s Sea Change, but nowhere near as original.  Ghost Stories may be one of the most anticipated albums of the year, however, tends to be lackluster in sound but is kept alive thanks to Martin’s heartbreaking lyrics. However, for a band like Coldplay to craft a record like this at this point in their career, a certain amount of respect has to be given. They clearly could have repeated the radio-friendly bullshit that Mylo Xlyoto had, but picked to walk this path.

The Black KeysTurn Blue
The Nashville via Ohio blues rock titans return with their latest record and bring back Danger Mouse to helm the project. Turn Blue is a Black Keys record with a twist, if you look at their previous work, think of it as rock and roll before the 1960’s, this album is now then venturing into the decade that gave us The Doors, Pink Floyd, and Zeppelin. With a trippy influence on the overall album, The Black Keys change it up a bit the only way they possibly can.

The Roots - ….and Then You Shoot Your Cousin
The hardest working band in music return with their latest record and it is sure one to divide fans. The Roots who are constantly busy may find it hard to focus on themselves and their own work. …and Then You Shoot Your Cousin is a result of that. The legendary Philly crew comeback with a symphonic rap record that features more lush instrumentals that it does vocal aggression. The Roots, who have always taken their time to perfect the beat, look to break ground on a new vision and sound for them, yet, it seems to be focused more on what is new than what has gotten them to be who they are.

Sharon Van Etten Are We There
The Brooklyn singer / songwriter returns with her latest album, yet, it just adds to her talented collection of songs without doing anything too diverse.

Lykke Li I Never Learn
The dark Swedish songstress returns with a record that takes such a personal turn, by the end of it, you feel as if you have just gone through a therapy session with her. I Never Learn is minimal in it’s sound but grand in it’s lyrics. Lykke Li’s ability to tell a story through song is one to admire and hear.

EelsThe Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett
The 11th record from Eels is a mouthful in both it’s title and sonic ability. The record is an understated minimal record that does so much, while in fact, doing so little. It is an Eels record through and through, but channels a personal connection as the singer of the band, Mark Oliver Everett centers the songs around himself and his persona.

Guided By Voices Cool Planet
The indie rock legends return with their “original” line-up again and release their 21st album and second record before the second half of this year. Cool Planet is GBV record, just like Motivational Jumpsuit, for fans of this band it is another to add to the collection.

RiFF RaFF Announces Debut

The long awaited debut from the pop culture phenomenon known as RiFF RaFF is finally coming. Mad Descent announced that Neon Icon, RiFF RaFF aka Jody Highroller's LP will arrive the first week in June. Take a look at the cover, above - yes that is it, and the tracklisting, below:

06 LAVA GLACiERS (ft. Childish Gambino)
08 MAYBE YOU LOVE ME [ft. Mike Posner]
09 AQUABERRY DOLPHiN [ft. Mac Miller]
11 TiME
13 COOL iT DOWN [ft. Dirty Projectors' Amber Coffman]
15 HOW TO BE THE MAN [ft. Slim Thug and Paul Wall] [Houston Remix]

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on Letterman

Watch Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on Letterman!

Conor Oberst on Fallon

Watch Conor Oberst perform "Zigzagging Toward The Light" on The Tonight Show!

The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger on Conan

Watch The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger perform "Poor Paul Getty" on Conan.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Basement Jaxx Announce New LP!

In July, EDM OG's Basement Jaxx will release their first album in five years, Junto. Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, as well as hear the 1st single, "Unicorn," below:

01 Intro
02 Power to the People
03 Unicorn
04 Never Say Never
05 We Are Not Alone
06 What’s The News
07 Summer Dem
08 Buffalo
09 Rock This Road
10 Sneakin’ Toronto
11 Something About You
12 Mermaid of Salinas
13 Love Is At Your Side

Quick News

From prestige to party -- Andrew W.K. is set to address The Oxford Union, the most prestigious debate society in the world at England's Oxford University. Taking place on June 13th, 2014, W.K.’s keynote, titled Andrew W.K. and The Philosophy of Partying, will discuss his signature message of positive power and celebratory self-confidence.

Nas has announced the start of his own record label --- Mass Appeal Records, a label that will allow him to own all of his own music once his contract with Def Jam expires at the end of the year. The label will also release compilations, and Nas' catalog including unreleased material, as well as the long-awaited, The Lost Tapes 2.  Speaking to Billboard, Nas said, "I'm excited to be a part of creating and supporting future careers and legacy artists, promoting love and finding new genius to help the world. I'm going to be as involved as I need to be, but I also want to be respectful of the art and give artists the space they need to grow and become themselves."

The Flaming Lips have confirmed that they will be releasing their Sgnt. Pepper's covers record on October 28.

Going on Twitter, Cedric Bixler-Zavala has announced that early Mars Volta records will be given a proper vinyl reissue. No word yet as to when they will be pressed.

Wilco's Jeff Tweedy will be releasing a solo-album at some point this year. The singer will be hitting the road this summer and with the announcement of the tour also came confirmation he is releasing his solo debut. No further information has been given at press time.

While Jenny Lewis announced she will be releasing her latest solo album, The Voyager,  in July, she has now released the tracklisting to the upcoming LP. Take a look:
01 Head Underwater
02 She's Not Me
03 Just One of the Guys
04 Slippery Slopes
05 Late Bloomer
06 You Can't Outrun 'Em
07 The New You
08 Aloha & the Three Johns
09 Love U Forever
10 The Voyager

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Live Review: OFF! @ Bowery Ballroom

Before they even played a single note, the mood inside Bowery Ballroom was pretty unruly as cups of beer were projected at the stage as the punk vets in the supergroup OFF! took the stage. Singer Keith Morris, who used to front Black Flag and Circle Jerks, took his mic and said, "Don't throw your beer! Drink your beer! Don't be a fucking moron!" He then went on to introduce the band which features Dimitri Coats from Burning Brides, Redd Kross bassist Steven Shane McDonald, and Rocket from the Crypt drummer Mario Rubalcaba, and as they started their engines Morris shouted, "...and we are OFF!" The band went into their high-octane old-school garage punk sound that has had fans around the world thrilled for bringing the sound that made them infamous in their respective previous band back to a new generation who have really only heard that type of sound on records.

As circle pits broke out, stage divers launched into the crowd-- including Coats, and fists were punching the air, OFF! turned Bowery Ballroom into another legendary Bowery venue, CBGB's which was up the street from where everyone was letting loose on Saturday night. With a mix of old and new school punks, it was a chance to relive the glory days of a genre that in its purest form was its rawest. "We are on the road to promote a new record," Morris said, "It is what bands do when they have a new album out. Our record is called Wasted Years, we are going to play some songs off it." The record, which arrived last month, is typical OFF!, short, hard hitting distorted songs that break right into you.

In between songs, Morris would talk about the bands current tour with New York City's Cerebral Ballzy and California's NASA Space Universe, he would also talk about his long career making music. Yet, with his banter, would come hecklers who would want him to stop talking or would scream "Fuck Black Flag," to which a shocked Morris would reply, "No, it is not fuck Black Flag!" The crowd applauded and had his support, to then he would beat around the bush with the ongoing legal issues featuring Morris and some of the former members of Black Flag against Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn. Morris would say, "Things like that make us stronger, inspire us, and make us put out music like this!" In the hour long set that include songs like "Panic Attack," "Void You Out," "Upside Down," and "I Got News For You," OFF! took New York City back to its roots.


Take a look at May's 29-song playlist and hear it on Spotify!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Live Review: Talib Kweli @ Rough Trade

Talib Kweli is proving that their is no rest for the wicked. The hip-hop legend and Brooklyn native made what he called "A pit stop" in his home borough to perform a free concert and do an in-store appearance at Rough Trade in Williamsburg before he jetted off to Orlando for a concert. Kweli, who flew back into town this morning, is on the road promoting his latest record, Gravitas, a record he distributed himself and cut out a major label and middle man distributor. While the record was released late last year, he is touring behind it now.

Despite a picture perfect day in New York City, Kweli packed Rough Trade for an hour long performance that took everyone on a timeline of his illustrious career.  With just a mic in his hand a DJ behind him, Kweli focused mainly on the songs from Gravitas but also told the crowd that many of the "personal" tracks on that record and previous albums were being brought out for a rare live appearance. In a near 20 year career, Kweli broke out tracks from nearly all of his LP's, his work with Hi-Tek, and Reflection Eternal. Yet, while the crowd was going along to the music, the best moments of the show came when he would stop and discuss the meaning behind certain songs and the evolution of a beat. This came full circle when his DJ began playing Rick James' "I Love Mary Jane" and barely half of the audience knew what the hook was. A clearly flabbergasted Kweli took everyone to school on who Rick James was and what this song means, then he dropped into Kanye West's "Get 'Em High" and that clearly had everyone's attention before he began playing The Beatles' "Elenor Rigby" to sample over for his song, "Lonely." That sequence summed up the gig, bridging the gaps between his own songs over the years and taking them apart for something new. Before wrapping up with "Get By," he was genuanly delighted to see everyone pack the new Brooklyn venue and come out on a day like it was outside and couldn't wait to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. It is with that spirit that has kept Kweli on top of his game for so long, he is a down to Earth and humble performer that wants to enlighten and educate for as long as he can.

Elbow on Fallon

Watch Elbow perform on The Tonight Show!

Chromeo on Letterman

 Watch Chromeo perform "Jealous (I Ain't With It)" on Letterman!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Live Review: Mastodon @ Terminal 5

Last night, metal monsters Mastodon brought their triple threat, bone crunching bill to New York's Terminal 5. The bill, which Mastodon headlined, also had French metal heads Gojira and Norwegian black rockers Kvelertak exploding into cities around North America. As the Georgia band are currently on the road to drum up buzz for their forthcoming, Once More Around The Sun album, they did it in the best way possible -- just letting the music do the talking.

Mastodon are a band that appeals to anyone that likes their music hard and thunderous, but they also appeal to those who love good musicianship and playing. That being said, the audience at New York's Terminal 5 was split among those you would normally see at a metal show and those you would normally just see hanging around your local record store looking for classic rock vinyls. Over the years, Mastodon's fan base has rightfully grown and every time they return to New York City their shows get bigger and louder and last night was no exception.

Arriving on stage at 9:30, and walking out to strange psychedelic music, Mastodon took the stage to a deafening applause that was soon drowned out by the band saying "thank you" by plugging into the opening chords of "Hearts Alive" and then straight into "Divinations." The audience was just embracing it all. Every single hand was in the air punching the sky and throwing up devil horns and every single head was banging so hard you would have thought their skulls would have detached from their necks. Yet, the sight to be see was Mastodon themselves. Playing in front of a giant banner that featured trippy circles and images, the musicianship of this band is something to admire. Between the altering vocals of guitarist Brent Hinds and bassist Troy Sanders, the call-and-answer screaming meets melodic singing is something that has always made Mastodon stand out. Yet, the playing of guitarist Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor is enough to make John Bonham and Jeff Hanneman smile in their graves. The pulse pounding and relentless sounds the band create on stage is enough to send your heart into exploding pieces but the battle between the rhythm section and lead sections is musical fight for superiority. That is what makes the band a live band to experience. They battle each other on stage and while it may be an innocent maneuver, each member of the band has done this job for so long and so well that when they jam out to stretch out their songs and go into solo's it is a treat for the audience as each of them outdo the others.

In an unruly 80-minute set that included super deep cuts and songs from each of their albums, including two brand new tracks, "High Road" and "Chimes at Midnight," which are much more chomping and straight-forward metal tunes than their earlier work, it was relentless as they hardly took breaks between songs. At points Sanders would address the crowd and then them for coming to show and how New York's audiences are one of their favorites, it was all about the music. As they closed with "The Sparrow," the band retreated to the wings as Dailor came to Sanders' mic to thank the crowd again and say goodnight. Just like that it was over, no encore, no massive singles like "Curl of the Burl" played, it was just in your face hard rock that beat you until submission,

Mastodon Terminal 5 5/15/14 Setlist:
Hearts Alive
Crusher Destroyer
Capillarian Crest
Black Tongue
Crystal Skull
Siberian Divide
Naked Burn
Octopus Has No Friends
Chimes at Midnight
High Road
Bedazzled Fingernails
Aqua Dementia
The Sparrow 

Live Pix: Cibo Matto @ Brooklyn Bridge Park

On Thursday night, Brooklyn kicked-off their annual "Celebrate Brooklyn" free concerts in the borough. This year, Cibo Matto performed to open up the season. Take a look at some live pix by correspondent Leigh Allen.