Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ghost on Colbert



HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Watch Ghost perform "Cirice" on The Late Show.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Run The Jewels Share Meow the Jewels Documentary


Run the Jewels have shared a short documentary about the making of their cat remix album, Meow the Jewels.

Gary Clark Jr. on Seth Meyers


In between his two sold-out shows at Terminal 5, Gary Clark Jr. shredded on Late Night with Seth Meyers. Take a look!

Read: Live Review - Gary Clark Jr. at Terminal 5

U2 Bring Patti Smith On Stage in London


Earlier in the week, U2 brought out Noel Gallagher on stage at London's O2. Now, they have brought out Patti Smith, who the band have been using her song, "People Have the Power," as their entrance theme for the current tour. Take a look at the Irish rockers with the New York legend.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Live Review: Gary Clark Jr. @ Terminal 5


On one of the wettest nights of the year, 3,000 New Yorkers crammed into Terminal 5 as one of their hometeams was playing in a World Series match and another was having their season tip-off. It was a night when anyone in that room would have wanted to stay home and lay on the couch but they ventured out. Why? Because one of the greatest living guitarists was in town.

At 9 p.m., Austin native Gary Clark Jr. took to the stage with a confidence swagger for the first of two sold-out New York City gigs and tore the roof off the place.

Opening with "Bright Lights," the singer and guitarist, backed by a band that looks like they were members of Jimi Hendrix's Experience, brought their rock and soul sound to The Big Apple. The thing about Clark is that his band may look like the Experience, but if you close your eyes and listen, they, along with their leader, are the modern day version of Hendrix and his men. Clark makes guitar playing look so easy. He makes his six strings speak in a language that is beautiful to anyone's ear and native to anyone's tongue --that is because he is using the power of soul to make the sounds.

Combining garage rock, traditional R&B, and blues, the Austin guitar phenom is a hero to anyone who relishes in old time rock and roll with a new school twist. No wonder everyone from Keith Richards to Dave Grohl wants to play with him.

While on the road in support of his latest, The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, the 31-year-old kept to some of his hits from Blak and Blu while featuring Slim songs in between including a breathtaking version of "Church." Taking a queue out of Zeppelin's book, he and the band nearly extended every song to a long jam that would hear less singing and just straight playing while the fans lapped it up.

At one point, Clark noticed a fan who held a sign asking to play with him and the guitar hero obliged making the fans night by bringing him on stage. Even handing the gentleman his guitar off his shoulders in the process. It was a night that audience member will never forget and a night that everyone in the room witnessed something special because this may be the final time they see him in a venue of this size. I predict it will be Radio City if not Madison Square Garden next. He sure has the chops to do it.

Freddie Gibbs Announces New Album


Freddie Gibbs will release a new album, Shadow of a Doubt, next month. 

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting and watch the video for the first single "Fuckin Up the Count," below:

01 Rearview
02 Cocaine
03 Careless
04 Fuckin’ Up The Count
05 Extradite [ft. Black Thought]
06 McDuck [ft. Dana Williams]
07 Packages [ft. ManMan Savage]
08 Mexico [ft. Tory Lanez]
09 10 Times [ft. Gucci Mane & E-40]
10 Lately
11 Basketball Wives
12 Forever and A Day
13 Insecurities
14 Freddie Gordy
15 Cold Ass Nigga

Quick News

Miike Snow have confirmed that their new album will be called iii and it will be released in early 2016.

Flying Lotus mentioned that in 2016 the world will get a new album from his hip-hop alter ego Captain Murphy.

Deftones Chino Moreno confirmed to Morning Blaze, that the band will release their new album early next year. Drummer Abe Cunningham said the record is currently being mixed and Moreno added that he was inspired by Morrissey in terms of lyrics.

Black Sabbath have also confirmed that they will not release a new album even though they previously mentioned they would craft a follow-up to 2013's 13. The band will go forth on an extensive farewell tour instead.

School of Seven Bells will release their final album SVIIB in February. The album will feature posthumous recordings from late member Benjamin Curtis who passed away in December 2013 from T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. In a statement from fans, Alejandra Dehza said: "Benjamin and I wrote this record during a tour break in the summer of 2012. I can easily say that it was one of the most creative and inspired summers of our lives. What followed was the most tragic, soul shaking tidal wave that life could deliver, but even that wouldn't stop the vision for this record from being realized. This is a love letter from start to finish. It's the story of us starting from that first day we met in 2004, and that's the story of School of Seven Bells. So much love to all of you. Thank you for being a constant light in our lives."

Foals Cover Florence & The Machine


Foals entered the awesome BBC1 Radio Lounge and did a supreme cover of Florence & The Machine's "What Kind of Man." Take a look!

Alabama Shakes on Colbert


Watch Alabama Shakes perform "Joe" on The Late Show.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quick News

After five years, As Tall As Lions are reuniting for a special series of concerts in New York and L.A. at the end of the year. The band made the announcement on Facebook and said: "It’s been five years since our band broke up, and we'd be lying if we said we didn’t think about our time in ATAL ever since. It’s hard not to be nostalgic when you see all the love and support that you guys still give. Thank you for continuing to listen to our music, write us heartfelt messages, and, our personal favorite, cover our songs on YouTube. When we first read the e-mail last month asking the band to reunite for a show, we had mixed emotions. Nostalgia always comes with a bit of heartache, but the thought of playing music with our friends again outweighed any hesitation we had. We were overwhelmed to find out that everyone in the band felt the same exact way."


Action Bronson is currently recovering in an Alaska hospital after undergoing emergency surgery for a complication with an ongoing hernia issue. The Queens rapper posted updates on social media:
A photo posted by Action Bronson (@bambambaklava) on


Afrika Bambaaataa and Mark Ronson will be honored next month at Global Spin Awards for their contribution to music and DJ culture over the years.

Nine Inch Nails will release a special edition Black Friday Record Story Day box set of the first four Halo's on vinyl. Take a look at the cover, below:

Dave Navarro Appears in Documentary About His Late Mother


Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro will tell the story about his late mother, Connie Hopkins Navarro, who was murdered in 1983 by an ex-boyfriend. The film is called Mourning Son and is set to open in December. Take a look at the heartbreaking trailer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quick News

David Bowie will release his new album Blackstar in January, exactly two years after he released his first album in a decade The Next Day.

Speaking of David Bowie, Oscar winning director Danny Boyle has been trying to develop a musical about The Thin White Duke for years and it is currently in a strange place because he can't lock down the music rights to the project, which has forced it to be shelved for now. Boyle told Happy Sad Confused: “It’s a wonderful script, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It’s a sort of musical, but we couldn’t get the music rights. I didn’t want it to go down the route of ‘Velvet Goldmine,’ which couldn’t use the music, and used different music, and fictionalized it and stuff like that. So, we had to put it away for the moment. It’s a beautiful piece, and I hope we’ll be able to return to it. I’d love to do this film. It’s not really a musical, but it is [laughs], so we’ll see.”

Band of Horses have confirmed that they are finishing up their new album which has been produced by Grandaddy's Jason Lytle. It will be released this spring.

Grimes will release her new album, Art Angles in December. Take a look at the tracklisting, below:
01 laughing and not being normal
02 California
03 SCREAM [ft. Aristophanes]
04 Flesh without Blood
05 Belly of the beat
06 Kill V. Maim
07 Artangels
08 Easily
09 Pin
10 Realiti
11 World Princess part II
12 Venus Fly [ft. Janelle Monáe]
13 Life in the Vivid Dream
14 Butterfly

Common has signed on to play the villain in John Wick 2 which will star Keanu Reeves.

Roots bandleader and self proclaimed 'foodie,' Questlove is writing a book on chefs called something to food about: Exploring Creativity with America's Most Innovative Chefs. It will be out in April.

Speaking to i-D, Adele gave her first interview about her new album, 25, which arrives in November. In the interview, she said how motherhood has made her cut the drama out of her songs. "I used to f------ love the drama of all of it, but now I'm a mum I only have so much head space. I've got to clear a lot of stuff the f--- out, which is really therapeutic, 'cause I can really hold a grudge. Life is so much easier when you don't hoard your past."

Could Stone Roses be crafting a new album? In an interview with Soccer AM, Noel Gallagher said he has some insider interview and gave a coy response when asked if the iconic Manchester band are making new music. He said: "Yes. I know exactly what's going on... They're blooming."

Baroness will release their new album, Purple, in December, as previously reported. The band released the album cover, take a look below:

Chance the Rapper on Colbert


Watch Chance the Rapper debut his new song, "Angels" on The Late Show.

Noel Gallagher Join U2 on Stage in London


Watch Noel Gallagher join U2 on stage at London's O2 Arena as they perform "I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Recommended Reading: Everyone Loves You When You're Dead

An icon is defined as "a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something," for author and journalist Neil Strauss, he compiled interviews and memorable bits of his illustrious career that hit the cutting room floor and brought them back to life in his 2011 book, Everyone Loves You When You're Dead.

The book, which features interviews with Oasis, Lady Gaga, Chuck Berry, Britney Spears, Ludacris, Phil Collins and many others. He paints a picture using the words from these artists and shows the inner workings of their creativity and inner madness plus an inside look into what celebrity life and culture is really like. While Strauss made enemies in his career, he also made stars like Gaga break down and become the most candid they ever have been. An interesting and curious read to what a world and culture we as a society are obsessed with is really like.

Great Soundtracks: Super Fly


Curtis Mayfield was only two albums into his career before he did the soundtrack to Super Fly. The music and sound Mayfield crafted for the famous Blaxplotation film of the same name became a staple to funk, soul and R&B for years to come. The soundtrack became so wildly popular when it was released in 1972 that it outgrossed the film in terms of financial numbers and even bolstered two massive hits, "Freddies Dead" and "Super Fly."

Thanks to it's socially aware lyrics about drug use, poverty, racial injustice, it helped launch the idea that soul and R&B music can have concept records. Along with Marvin Gaye's What's Going On?, the records were a benchmark for social and conceptual R&B records of the 70s and cemented their status as legendary.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Live Review: Blur @ Madison Square Garden


On-again and off-again for the last 25 years, Blur finally made their triumphant debut at The World's Most Famous Arena -- Madison Square Garden.

Read: Live Review: BLUR at Music Hall of Williamsburg

The band, who released their fantastic new album, The Magic Whip, earlier this year, returned to New York for their largest solo headlining slot to date in North America. This wasn't a festival, this wasn't an appearance, this was all Blur all night.

Hear Our Essential BLUR Playlist on Spotify!

Hitting the stage at 9 p.m. sharp and backed behind giant neon ice cream cones and Lost-inspired Dharma octagons, Blur got a heroes welcome as they opened with "Go Out," but it was "There Is No Other Way," the second song of the night that was played to deafening applause since it wasn't just six months old to the audience's ears. While the show was in support of The Magic Whip, it was the older, classic songs that were never played in a room this big in the U.S. that everyone desired. Especially since the last time Blur played a majority of those songs with their original line-up was 15 years ago.

Damon Albarn has played The Garden once before, just five years ago with Gorillaz but now it was time to bring his "other" band to the stage. "Well, this feels good! Its only taken us 25 years to get here. Better late than never," the front man said just a few songs in. He told The New York Times earlier this week that this was something he wanted the rest of his band to feel.
They certainly felt it and so did the crowd. In a career-spanning two-hour set that featured everything from new songs like "Lonesome Street" and "Thought I Was a Spaceman" to the classics like "Boys and Girls," "Tender," "Song 2," "Coffee & TV," "End of a Century," no one could forget this occasion that was 25 years in the making.


A photo posted by Madison Square Garden (@madisonsquaregarden) on
For some, it was the first time they were able to experience Blur live. For others, it was a trip down memory lane, yet, while they played through their musical timeline, it was clear that as they got older they got better. If The Magic Whip is Blur's alleged final record or the beginning of something new, the next chapter of their careers, this is was a benchmark gig for them.

As they sang their final song, the epic "The Universal," it was a moment to savor. As Albarn sang: "This is the next century / Were the universal spree / You can find it anywhere,"it was an echo of the sentiments that were being felt around the large room. It really, really did happen.

Blur Madison Square Garden Setlist 10/23/15 

Go Out
There's No Other Way
Lonesome Street
Badhead
End of a Century
Ghost Ship
Coffee & TV
Out of Time
Country Sad Ballad Man
Beetlebum
Thought I Was a Spaceman
Trimm Trabb
Tender
Parklife
Song 2
To the End
This Is a Low

Encore
Stereotypes
Girls & Boys
For Tomorrow
The Universal
A photo posted by Madison Square Garden (@madisonsquaregarden) on

Quick News

Elton John will release his new album, Wonderful Crazy Night, in February via Island.

Speaking to Hot 97, Chance the Rapper said that he is currently working on a new song with Stephen Colbert. He didn't elaborate exactly what he was doing with the Late Show host, but then discussed his anticipated new album: "I’m working on a lot of music and a lot of individual projects right now, but my focus is eventually getting out of this trilogy of music that would be #10Day and Acid Rap and third mixtape. And eventually to get to a place where, you know, like I said: stand on top of something and look around and be like, 'This is what I do'. I’m not just rapping to rap. This is what I do....It's a project just like any other project, but this one is defining."

Modern Baseball have announced they will release their new album, Holy Ghost, next year.

A musical based around the beginnings of Beastie Boys will open in London next month.  The show is an unauthorized production of the iconic hip-hop trios story.

Next month, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart will release a new EP called Hell, where they cover James' "Laid." Take a look at the cover, below:

Public Enemy on Kimmel


Watch Public Enemy perform "Fight the Power" on Jimmy Kimmel's final night in Brooklyn.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Esperanza Spalding on Kimmel


Watch Esperanza Spalding present D+evolition on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as they perform "One."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Live Review: Dave Gahan & Soulsavers @ Town Hall


For six special concerts around the world, Dave Gahan and Soulsavers will take their show to intimate venues where they will bring their new album, Angles and Ghosts, to life. This isn't the first solo venture for the Depeche Mode singer but it is the first time where the front man really has broken free of any binds and ties he may have to his day job and now off on his own.

As the tour began earlier this week in Los Angeles, the second and final stop in North America was a sold-out Town Hall in New York's Time Square before they head to London, Paris, Berlin, and Milan. The tour, which is hitting all fashion capitols, is far from the massive stage set ups Gahan is known for. This time, inside the intimate venues, it is a stripped down stage with the six-pieces that comprise his touring band and Soulsavers as well as a trio of backup singers.

Hitting the stage at 8:15, everyone involved in the performance walked out to the sounds of an opera as they took their places and opened with "In the Morning." Gahan, who still manages to strut around and swing his hips like a gothic Elvis, uses his voice more as an instrument on this project and instead of going for pop hits, he is opting for the subdue, melodic and often times melancholy sounds of his own personal agony. More candid and personal than ever, his brooding tenor and baritone vocals, shine like never before.

Even has members of the audience screamed Depeche Mode song titles like "Behind the Wheel," "Policy of Truth" and "Enjoy the Silence," he smiled and brushed it off. Even as they also screamed "Dave, I love you," he smiled and brushed it off. During the main set he was really focused on making the room his and making people, even for at least an hour, forget who he plays with and suspend his legacy for just a brief blip of time, so that his work with Soulsavers can shine.

After an hour on set and playing a majority of Angles and Ghosts, they walked off stage for a brief break before coming back for the encore. "Here are a few you know," he told the crowd. It featured some of Gahan's older solo songs, "Kingdom," and "Dirty Sticky Floors." While more of the audience screamed for Depeche Mode material, he finally obliged them with "Condemnation" and "Walking in My Shoes."

This concert wasn't the Dave Gahan his fans thought they knew, this was the Gahan that really is.
 

Stream Beach Slang's Debut Album


Thanks to the folks at NPR, you can now stream Beach Slang's debut, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us. 

Read Our Recent Interview with Beach Slang

Finally! Adele Details New Album!


Following yesterday's candid tweet, Adele has given details about her anticipated new album, 25.

The record arrives on November 20 and as mentioned previously, the album reportedly features work from Tobias Jesso Jr, Max Martin, Danger Mouse, Ryan Tedder, and Damon Albarn.

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below, as well as the album trailer:

01 Hello
02 Send My Love (To Your New Lover)
03 I Miss You
04 When We Were Young
05 Remedy
06 Water Under The Bridge
07 River Lea
08 Love In The Dark
09 Million Years Ago
10 All I Ask
11 Sweetest Devotion

Big Grams on Kimmel


Watch Big Grams aka Big Boi and Phantogram perform "Goldmine Junkie" and "Drum Machine" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Savages Announce New Album


Savages are set to slay audiences again in January when they release their sophomore LP, Adore Life.

In a press release, the band said of the album: "It’s about change and the power to change. It’s about metamorphosis and evolution. It’s about sticking to your guns and toughing it out. It’s about now, not tomorrow. It’s about recognizing your potential. It’s about self-doubt and inaction. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about you and me and the others. It’s about the choices we make. It’s about finding the poetry and avoiding the cliché. It’s about being the solution, not the problem. It’s about showing weakness to be strong. It’s about digging through your dirt to look for diamonds. It's about claiming your right to think unacceptable thoughts. It’s about boredom and the things we do to drive it away. It’s about being on your own so you can be with people. It’s about knowing what it means to be human and what it might mean one day. It’s about the parts and the sum of the parts. It's about the music and the message: together, one and the same. It’s about bass, guitars, drums, and vocals. It’s about opening-out and never, ever dying. But most of all it’s about love, every kind of love. Love is the answer."

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below and watch the new video for "The Answer."

01 The Answer
02 Evil
03 Sad Person
04 Adore
05 I Need Something New
06 Slowing Down The World
07 When In Love
08 Surrender
09 T.I.W.Y.G.
10 Mechanics

Quick News

The Vaccines front man Justin Young may be the band's new drummer. He spoke to NME and said that the band is already working on their new album, the follow-up to this years dismal English Graffiti, and said fans may hear him behind the kit and sing. "But I'm playing drums now – Eagles, Genesis style. I've never really been able to play guitar and I was inspired by watching Phil Collins. I'm not lying. I'm doing lead vocals from the drums and Pete's playing guitar and keytar. I don't wanna say much more at this point because I don't know whether it's going to work, but I feel like anything is possible now. Hand on heart, last week we wrote 50 complete songs."

Matt Berninger spoke to Rolling Stone and said that The National are working on new material. The singer said: "We're working on a record. We're collecting all the ideas. Those guys are coming out to California for a week. We're in the anything-goes, fun phase of that. That's happening, but no idea when."

The National's Aaron Dessner and German musician Alva Noto are joining Ryuichi Sakamoto for the score on the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio film, The Revenant.

Speaking to Billboard, Herbie Hancock has confirmed that he is working with Flying Lotus and Thundercat on new music. The jazz legend said: "There's a scene that's happening, kind of an underground movement that's given partially to a connection to jazz or a new form of jazz. It's very difficult to define because what's involved is very often hip-hop and rap and electronics and jazz elements, classical elements. It's pretty broad-based, very open. It touches on the experimental while at the same time touches on the street. So I'm very intrigued. I feel I have something that I might be able to kind of bring along and add a little bit to the sauce with a lot of these young voices, so let's see what we come up with."

Speaking to Gigwise, Royal Blood's Mike Kerr said that the band will hibernate before heading back into the studio and work on their sophomore album.

Adele finally gave fans an update on Twitter and said her new album, 25, is coming, but never said when.

Kendrick Lamar with National Symphony


It was a historic night as Kendrick Lamar performed songs from his brilliant To Pimp a Butterfly with The National Symphony in D.C. on Tuesday. Take a look at a excerpt from the show.

Jay Z on Kimmel


Watch Jay Z perform "Empire State of Mind" in his hometown of Brooklyn on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Florence & The Machine on Ellen


Watch Florence & the Machine perform on top of a pool as they do "Ship to Wreck" on Ellen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ryan Adams on Kimmel


Jimmy Kimmel returned to Brooklyn where he will broadcast his show for the week and he was greeted by Ryan Adams who did his version of Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York."

Monday, October 19, 2015

Playlist


Take a look at October's 27-song playlist of musical musing and enjoy!

Quick News

Afghan Whigs will release a new album, the follow-up to last year's brilliant Do to the Beast, next year.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Dave Gahan said he will meet with Martin Gore of Depeche Mode by the end of the month to discuss moving forward with the band following their solo ventures this year. Gahan said: "We talked about getting together towards the end of the year to talk about what our plans will be. We'd like to do another record. So we'll talk about when that will be and sometime next year I wouldn't be surprised if we were back in the studio."

Next month, Hot Chip will release a deluxe edition of their latest album, Why Make Sense? The deluxe edition will feature a four-song EP that features the band's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Dancing in the Dark."

Next month, Givers will release their new album, New Kingdom. Take a look at the cover, below:

Grimes has released the title and cover of her new album. The record, Art Angels, doesn't have a release date but take a look at the cover, below:

Blur 'New World Towers' Documentary Trailer


Blur will release their documentary New World Towers, which captures the bands return to the stage and recording of their new album, The Magic Whip, in December. Take a look at the trailer, above!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

EXCLUSIVE! MC Lars INTV!

If you are white and a rapper, society qualifies your music inside two categories -- a guy trying to be Eminem or a guy that will fall by the wayside like Asher Roth and Vanilla Ice. For MC Lars he is not gunning for either spot and carving out his own path. By coming his love of literature and nerd culture, Lars is making a name for himself by being himself. We spoke to the emcee before he releases his new album, The Zombie Dinosaur LP. Take a look at our interview, below:

When people think of rappers, everything that you do does not come to mind. How do you respond to that?


Thanks!  I try to be myself and keep it original.  Hip-hop has such a rich, deep history with a lot of artistic variation and diversity.  I'd like to think that a song like "Forgot About Jack" would sit well next to KRS-One's "You Mist Learn".  Rap has always had an interesting, educational component since the 70s. 

You were an English lit major at Stanford and then studied Shakespeare at Oxford, since hiphop is a take off of poetry, did you find that these were your roots to writing lyrics? 

100% - my first rap was a Shakespeare song in high school and studying literature really inspired me to express myself in the way that I have.  Being a literature major is about thinking in metaphors and having a concrete thesis with every piece you back up repeatedly, not unlike a chorus. 

You mix writing icons like Kerouac and Poe and mix it with Game of Thrones references - what else drives your source of inspiration? 

I like to write about anything that's interesting to me and not limit myself.  If I can have a unique take on something and spin it in a way that's never been done, then I do, and the curiosity to create something different really drives the creative process.  "Dragon Blood" is a song about the victorious underdog, everything I write carries on in that thematic tradition somehow.

From your work to The Hold Steady to Death Cab For Cutie to Sage Francis not to mention The Beatles and Dylan, many musicians have been influenced by Kerouac. Why do you think this is?  

I think there's something romantic about the wandering writer, capturing his world in such a personal and passionate way.  Any touring musician can deeply relate to him.  He also has a very musical prose and the way he and the Beats helped usher in the counterculture movements of the mid-20th century had a huge effect on literally every type of underground music genre to emerge in the 60s until now.  He was the 2Pac of his generation.

You titled your latest EP after Edgar Allen Poe, what do you think he would think of hip-hop?

 Poe was very obsessed with writing verse in a musical way and reading his poems aloud. He believed in the magic of the sound of words and spend hours and hours crafting his meter and flow.  He would have loved Fetty Wap and probably even made him a character in "the Tell Tale Heart".

What can you tell us about your upcoming album, Zombie Dinosaur?

It's my fourth full length, and is a return to the pop culture-inspired themes of some of my previous works, with collaborations with Watsky, Kool Keith, Roger from Less than Jake and more.  Topics range from everything from Star Wars, the Simpsons, Roger Rabbit and hipster parenting.  Special guest appearance by my Dad on the album too.

If dinosaurs entered the world of The Walking Dead, how would Rick and the gang try and survive?
 

I'm not sure that they would!  But it would be an amazing series finale, that's for sure.

Where did the stage name MC Lars derive from?

"Lars" was a the name of a German counselor character in Judd Apatow's 1995 summer camp movie "Heavyweights".  There is a scene where Lars DJs the awkward camp dance and acts ridiculously.  He's menacing but funny and I thought the name "Lars" was amazing.  I added the MC in high school and there you go.

After a decade doing this, what still motivates you?

I love creating things and don't think I'll ever stop, even after 12 years of touring.  I'll probably tour less in the future, but I'll always find time to make music and art as long as I'm alive.  I'm very fortunate that rapping has paid all of my bills since 2005.

Where do you go from here?


We are working on a kids' hip-hop puppet show called "Yes Yes, Y'all!" that teaches kids about literature through music and robots that time travel.  Look for it sometime in 2016!




**Photo by Nicole Mag**

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Live Review: Fiction Plane @ The Standard


CMJ has gone from a festival where new bands are found to a whose who playing in high profile venues. For British band, Fiction Plane, they are looking to reboot in front of crowds after going under the radar the last few years and did it in one of the most high profile places during this year's CMJ Music Marathon  -- The Standard Hotel in the East Village.


With the New York City skyline as their backdrop, the band, who will release their new album, Mondo Lumina next month, debuted new songs to the swanky room as well as some of their hits. Performing in a place as intimate as the roof of this hotel and being at eye level with their audience, they remained cool under pressure and sounded very good for an uncharacteristic venue.

Fronted by Joe Sumner, Sting's son, he looks and sounds like his father and even plays the bass just like him, and like his famous dad, good songwriting is in his DNA. The new songs, "Where Do We Go From Here," "Walk Through the Fire,"and "Flesh and Bone," are just a handful of tracks that could all be singles but also some of your new favorite tracks. His ability to tell a story with every song is part of the appeal. For their hour long set, they played on the top of New York City but made it the top of their world.

Quick News

Husker Du have launched their very first website and very first webstore furthering speculation that the band could reunite one day. Drummer Grant Hart told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: "The main thing is, there’s ongoing communication between the three of us now." The band, fronted by Bob Mould, split up at the end of the 80s.

This year's Barclay Card Mercury Prize nominees have been announced. The award, which is given out to the best British album of the year, will be handed out on November 20. Take a look at the nominees:
Aphex TwinSyro
Wolf AliceMy Love Is Cool 
Róisín Murphy - Hairless Toys
C DuncanArchitect 
ESKAESKA 
Florence and the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 
GhostpoetShedding Skin 
Benjamin Clementine - At Least for Now 
Jamie xxIn Colour 
SOAK - Before We Forgot How to Dream 
Gaz CoombesMatador 
Slaves - Are You Satisfied?

M83 plan on reissuing their breakthrough album, 2008's Saturdays=Youth, and the records predecessor, Digital Shades, next month. The reissues will feature remixes, the remastered records, and B-sides.

M83 also plans on releasing a new album next year, according to reports.

Bruce Springsteen will release a massive box set from his 1908 album, The River, just in time for the holidays when it hits shelves next month. The 4CD / 3DVD set will feature the remastered record, B-sides, a live concert, as well as documentary on the making of the record, and a coffee table book.

During a Reddit AMA session, Blur's Graham Coxon says he is prepping a new solo album. He said: "Funnily enough I woke up today thinking about sound concepts, harmony, mood and rhythm. I might like to go expansive English, a bit like if England had a huge desert is the middle. That kinda sound." He also mentioned that he has another solo that he hasn't released and recorded it around the same time as his debut, A&E, in 2012. He said: "I have a solo album sitting on hold right now with no plans to release.. one day i would like to put it out though. It was recorded at the same time as 'A&E'. I just didn't want to release another solo album while there was a lot of Blur activity going on."

Arca New Album Details


Next month, producer extraordinaire Arca will release his sophomore album, Mutant

Take a look at  the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below, and watch the video for "En:"

01 Alive
02 Mutant
03 Vanity
04 Sinner
05 Anger
06 Sever
07 Beacon
08 Snakes
09 Else
10 Umbilical
11 Hymn
12 Front Load
13 Gratitude
14 EN
15 Siren
16 Extent
17 Enveloped
18 Faggot
19 Soichiro
20 Peonies

U2 on TFI Friday


Beloved British series TFI Friday returned and U2 were the first guests on the show. Take a look at their interview with host Chris Evans and watch them perform "Vertigo" and "Raised by Wolves."

Beach House on Colbert


Watch Beach House perform their new song "One Thing" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Duran Duran on Kimmel


Watch Duran Duran perform "You Kill Me With Silence" on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

DANZIG Releasing New Album


Danzig will release his first album in five years, Skeletons, next month. 

The record, which is a series of covers based on artists he admires and has influenced his career. 

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

1. Devil's Angels (from Devil’s Angels soundtrack)
2. Satan (from Satan’s Sadists soundtrack)
3. Let Yourself Go (Elvis Presley)
4. N.I.B. (Black Sabbath)
5. Lord Of Your Thighs (Aerosmith)
6. Action Woman (The Litter)
7. Rough Boy (ZZ Top)
8. With a Girl Like You (The Troggs)
9. Find Somebody (The Young Rascals)
10. Crying In The Rain (The Everly Brothers)

Quick News

Speaking to a Russian radio show, Johnny Greenwood has confirmed that Radiohead have finished their ninth album and hope to tour next year. Greenwood said: "We have finished recording of the new album but we keep reevaluating the work we’ve done. We hope we’ll get it right soon, and after that we’ll start planning the next year’s tour.”

Speaking to Billboard, St. Lucia have confirmed they have finished their sophomore album. Details are forthcoming as to when it will be released and titled.

 Damon Albarn spoke to Rolling Stone about a plethora of things including the new Gorillaz album. Albarn said that the record is in the very early stages and mentioned: "That’s next year. I’m working on it at the moment, and it’s going very well. I’m very excited. So far, it's really fast, and it's got quite a lot of energy. I've been stuck on piano, somewhere off Broadway, for years now. I want to go somewhere completely opposite of that."

Albarn, who is with Blur in North America, said that he has a love / hate relationship with performing in the band. He said: "I still try to avoid it like the plague, to be honest with you. But something weird happens once I've stepped onstage: I just have the best time. And then as soon as we get off, I say, "Never again." It's very strange. There has to be some sort of psychological paper that explains that emotion of trying to not do something; and then doing it, and then loving it; and then as soon as you've done it, trying not to do it again. I sort of forget sometimes that I did all that work, all those years ago. But then we have such a fine time onstage — it has a very emotional undercurrent, but it's also fun and silly and noisy. That's a fantastic recipe, to have all of those elements colliding into each other."

At a concert in Nashville over the weekend, Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey got emotional talking about his band and that it is unclear if they will ever release music again and that it might be their final show for a while. He said: "I’m gonna have a new daughter. We’ll hopefully have a record for you. I wanna tell you right here and now, this isn’t gonna last much longer, but it’s been so special for so long. For as long as it does last, we're so grateful to you all for being here."
Take a look at the whole five-minute speech here:

Janet Devlin Releasing Christmas EP


Northern Ireland's Janet Devlin will release a Christmas EP next month, December Daze.

The EP was inspired and written during her first trip to New York City which happened earlier this year. According to a press release, Devlin said: "I'd gone for a walk in Central Park and it was covered in snow, reminding me of all the classic Christmas films that had been made there. Back in my hotel, I sat on the 36th floor with my guitar player, with the view of Times Square in the background, watching people with their woolly hats and oversized coats."

Read Our Interview with Janet Devlin

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

1.  December Daze
2.  River
3.  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
4.  Happy Holidays
5.  Silent Night

Listen! Dave Gahan & Soulsavers 'Angels & Ghosts'


Before it arrives next week, NPR has posted the full album stream of Dave Gahan and Soulsavers' Angels and Ghosts. Take a listen!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Live Review: Tokyo Police Club @ Rough Trade


It's the 2015 CMJ Music Marathon, which means more than the usual amount of bands are playing New York City during the week. Yet, while new bands look to get exposure and established acts looks to cement their legacy, it is a time where everyone tries to get into as much as possible and see and much as possible.

One of the biggest parties was a sponsored function featuring Tokyo Police Club and Chicago newcomers The Kickback at Rough Trade in Brooklyn. It was a party put on by Pandora and Taco Bell and as the Canadian pop-rock band came to the end of their album cycle, they did it in grand fashion as fans were packing into the venue even late into their set.


Hitting the stage around 9 to an extremely filled concert area of the record store, fans crammed in to see the band for the free show. As the indie rockers brought their catchy riffs and tunes to the room, they were all smiles as their Toronto Blue Jays made it to another round of the MLB post-season and that must have lit a fire under them as they played with more bombast than usual.
In their hour long set, they gave fans just what they wanted -- the hits and nothing else. It was at CMJ nearly a decade ago where this band first cut their teeth in New York City and now it was payback and they delivered the only way they knew how -- through the music.

While Tokyo Police Club were one of the name acts hitting the festival this year, the idea of unsigned and independent artists getting exposure is what this festival is for and openers, The Kickback, are one who left a mark. In their 30 minute set, the Chicago band which draws clear inspiration from Stone Roses, Wheatus, Butthole Surfers made a name for themselves with their highly energetic and impressive opening set. It took them 30 minutes but this band's Brooklyn debut is something people will talk about for a long time.

Craig Finn on Seth Meyers


Watch The Hold Steady's Craig Finn perform a track from his solo album, Faith in the Future, on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

FFS on Corden


Franz Ferdinand and Sparks aka FFS performed on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Take a look!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Darlene Love on Colbert


Watch Darlene Love perform a cover of Elvis Costello's "Forbidden Nights" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bloc Party Announce Fifth LP 'HYMNS'


In January, Bloc Party will release their fifth album, HYMNS. The record is the first to be done without the original line-up and seem to be going in a more electronic direction which is what they did with their third record, Intimacy and what singer Kele Okereke has done with his solo work.

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, and hear the first single, "The Love Within," below:


01 The Love Within
02 Only He Can Heal Me
03 So Real
04 The Good News
05 Fortress
06 Different Drugs
07 Into the Earth
08 My True Name
09 Virtue
10 Exes
11 Living Lux
12 Eden
13 Paradiso
14 New Blood
15 Evening Song

Quick News

John Giddings, the Isle of Wight festival promoter has spoken to Music Week and said that his pal, David Bowie has retired from touring. Giddings said: "David is one of the best artists I’ve ever worked with. But every time I see him now, before I even speak to him, he goes, 'I’m not touring' and I say, 'I’m not asking'." Bowie last toured in 2014.

Speaking to the crowd at the Austin City Limits festival, Dave Grohl said that Foo Fighters have recorded five new songs and one of which is with Ben Kweller. Grohl said: "Just by chance, I bumped into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in about 16 years, right as I was recording a vocal. This motherfucker walks in — I’m like, ‘Hey, man!’ — and he starts fucking singing the most beautiful harmony to the thing I was singing. I was like, ‘Get your ass in the vocal booth right now.’ And then he said, ‘Hey, if you want, I’ll come up and sing a song with you tonight.'"

According to artist Jamie Hewlett, Gorillaz will return with new music in 2016. He spoke to DIY and said: "That’s [due]next year. I’m working on it at the moment, and it’s going very well. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’m at that phase of experimentation. What I try not to do when I’m working in this creative period, the cooking of the mess, is go to other peoples’ exhibitions and look at other peoples’ work. I close my eyes, and don’t want to know what anyone else is doing. Doing that has kind of ruined the creative process for me in the past, and I don’t want to let that happen again."

Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and his friend singer / songwriter Miles Kanes' side-project The Last Shadow Puppets seem to be recording again. Musician Owen Pallett revealed he is collaborating with the British duo on their sophomore LP. Pallett tweeted that he was working with the band in a message to fans that has already been deleted. No official confirmation has been made from Turner and Kane.

Bars of Gold, the offshoot of Bear Vs. Shark singer Marc Paffi, has confirmed via their Facebook page that the Michigan post-hardcore band are reuniting. Bear Vs. Shark have remained inactive for almost a decade and seem to be coming back thanks to this post, below:


BVS reunion CONFIRMED
Posted by BARS OF GOLD on Saturday, October 10, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

EXCLUSIVE! EDITORS INTV!

This month, Editors released their fifth album, In Dreams. It marked the first time the British band self produced a record and tried to find their footing following the tumultuous period when founding member Chris Urbanowicz left the band in 2012 and they released The Weight of Your Love. Now, the band are back and seem to be in a place that not only has them inspired to push their sound and direction but look to make the future a brighter place. We spoke to members Edward Lay and Elliot Williams about their new record, regrouping and hoping to make a return to America after a five year hiatus touring in the States. Take a look at our interview, below:

The new record is called 'In Dreams,' what does the title signify? 


Elliott- A lot of Toms lyrics on this album have references to dreams. Also we recorded the album in total isolation in a remote part of Scotland's western Highlands. The ever changing hourly spectrum of weather from snow, storms and glorious sun lent its self to a dream like atmosphere where time seemed to disappear. In Dream seemed appropriate. 

This is the first record that you produced on your own, what was that experience like? 

Elliot: When we went up to Scotland originally we went with the intention of writing and demoing. As the songs started to develop we slowly realized we were accidentally making the record! 

Why did you opt to go solo on the production end and not get someone behind the decks? 


Elliot: We felt like bringing a producer in the studio or going to a "proper" studio would kill the atmosphere and vibe we were creating in our make shift set up. The 5 of us working collectively bouncing off each other ideas was working really well. Bringing a producer in could of changed that dynamic. It became a really equal input and creative experience. 

As this band has evolved through the years, there has been a shift in sound and style and the fans have responded to it in ever fashion. What causes the shift?

Elliot: I think that as a band you always want to push forward and progress. Although the albums do shift, there are still direct links between all of them. I think the Weight Of Your Love will always be seen as the most drastic departure due to the nature of the circumstance. The band had been through trauma losing a member in Chris and gaining two. It was very important for Editors with myself and Justin to become a band again in the traditional sense. So that record was very much a rock record with a band in a room vibe. On In Dream the roles were much more open and less instrument based anyone could contribute anything on any instrument. We don't really set out with a plan, concept or set direction on any record. It's cliche but you just go where the music takes you. 

Five albums in, what still inspires you?

Ed: With every album we release, there comes a time to reflect on its sound and what we would like to try and get out of the next record. That is sometimes inspiration enough, as we have never got to the end of a year thinking that we have done enough and don't need to try again. The band now feels the most collaborative it's ever been, so we are obviously inspiring each other also. 
Crafting this album, what is one thing you learned about yourself musically that you didn't know or acknowledge before?

Ed: That I could play keyboard and the other band members wouldn't laugh too much. 

Since the beautiful and underrated "In This Light and On This Evening," guitars seem to be taking a backseat in Editors sound and synths are more prominent. Why is this? Will there ever be a return prominent return to the axe?

Ed: We love guitar, and have used it in important ways on the record. But we didn't want it to be the main focal point on most of the songs,  it had to be necessary and enhance those moments it appears in. We treat every instrument the same though- there is only one real drum kit on the record, and it came in the last song as a bit of punctuation into the big outro of Marching Orders. It's not like they won't feature on future editors records, and that goes the same for the guitar. 

It has been 5 long years since you toured America, when can us fans here expect your return?

Ed; It just didn't work out on the last record for us coming to America. We all enjoy touring in the states and all want to come back- it's just a shame it's been such a long time for us. Nothing is for definite, but if there is an appetite for us from the fans, old and new, to come and play some shows we would love to. 

In 2013, the band said they almost split up, what is the moral like now? What drove you guys to the brink and back?

Ed: We had a torturous time of it back then. We were going over new material but never really agreeing on anything, and to not be productive as a band is the worst feeling. We managed to get two new members in and became a band again, creating a rock album that we could play in a room and got to know each other. This new album is based on that new bond we created, the trust we have in each other's musical opinions and tastes. Spirits are high. 

Where do Editors go from here?
Ed: We have a huge tour which starts on Friday 9th October. The record hasn't been out a week yet and we are going through all the emotions that having new material suddenly available brings. We feel like we have been at our most inclusive and creative on this record, so we just hope that will continue onto the live shows before we start to look at the next load of music. 

Quick News

Paper magazine this month has enlisted rappers of today talking about the influence of rappers of the past. Kendrick Lamar has written about Easy-E, who said: "I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Eazy and I wouldn’t be able to say the things that I say, talk about my community the way I talk about it, for good or for bad. He’s 100 percent influenced me in terms of really being not only honest with myself, but honest about where I come from and being proud of where I come from.”

For the same Paper feature, Eminem wrote about 2Pac, who said: "He was taking things further than a lot of rappers at the time -- pushing it to the next level as far as giving feeling to his words and his music. A lot of people say, "You feel Pac," and it's absolutely true. The way he chose which words to say with which beat was genius; it's like he knew what part of the beat and what chord change was the right place to hit these certain words... to make them jump off the track and make you feel what he was saying. Like, listen to "If I Die 2Nite." Whatever he was rapping about, it was urgent. If it was a sad song, it'd make you cry. But there were a lot of different sides to him: fed-up, angry, militant, having a good time. His spirit spoke to me because it was like you knew everything that he was going through, especially when he made Me Against the World. You just felt every aspect of his pain, every emotion: when he was happy, when he was sad. His ability to touch people's lives like that was incredible."

Matt Cameron of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden is teaming up with Alain Johannes formerly of Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, Dimitri Coats of OFF! and Burning Brides, and Matt Shepard of Soundgarden in a new band called Ten Commandos. The band will release their debut next month. 

The city of Boston has declared today "Patti Smith Day," the mayor announced the news yesterday on Twitter:

Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood will release Junun, an album he made in India with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur earlier this year. The record arrives next month, take a look at the cover, below:

Friday, October 9, 2015

Thursday, October 8, 2015

'Amy' Soundtrack Details Unveiled


The soundtrack to the Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy, will be released via Island UK at the end of the month. 

Take a look at the cover, above, and the tracklisting, below:

01 Antonio Pinto: "Opening"
02 Amy Winehouse: "Stronger Than Me"
03 Antonio Pinto: "Poetic Finale"
04 Amy Winehouse: "What Is It About Men" [Live @ North Sea Jazz Festival]
05 Antonio Pinto: "Walk"
06 Amy Winehouse: "Some Unholy War" [Downtempo version]
07 Antonio Pinto: "Holiday Texts"
08 Antonio Pinto: "Kidnapping Amy"
09 Amy Winehouse: "Like Smoke" [Demo]
10 Amy Winehouse: "Tears Dry On Their Own"
11 Antonio Pinto: "Seperacao Fotos"
12 Strange Cargo: "The Name of the Wave"
13 Amy Winehouse: "Back to Black" [A cappella / Album Medley]
14 Antonio Pinto: "Cynthia"
15 Amy Winehouse: "Rehab" [Live on Jools Holland]
16 Antonio Pinto: "In the Studio"
17 Amy Winehouse: "We’re Still Friends" [Live @ Union Chapel]
18 Antonio Pinto: "Amy Lives"
19 Amy Winehouse: "Love is a Losing Game" [Live @ Mercury Awards]
20 Antonio Pinto: "Arrested"
21 Amy Winehouse & Tony Bennett: "Body and Soul"
22 Antonio Pinto: "Amy Forever"
23 Amy Winehouse: "Valerie" [Live @ BBC]

Run The Jewels Share Tour Mixtape


Run the Jewels' DJ Trackstar has released The Jewel Runner Tour Mixtape as a free download and stream to fans.

The mixtape features RTJ tracks, Meow the Jewels remixes, and friends of the group like Boots, Big Grams, Cuz Lightyear and more. 

Take a listen and see the tracklisting, below:


Quick News

Massive Attack have confirmed that they will be releasing new music before the end of the year. While no other details have been given, it will be the first album from the duo in five years.

The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon will release his solo debut, Painkillers, in early 2016. The album was produced by Butch Walker.

Rick Ross will release his eighth album, Black Matter, in December.

The 1975 announced that they will release their sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It, in February.

Is a character in the upcoming Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, inspired by Beastie Boys? Apparently that is the case with the character Ello Asty which takes it's name from the trio's album, Hello Nasty. Thanks to the internet, one fan spotted that the words: "Born to Ill" are written on the character's helmet after being spotted in a photo.
Rihanna will call her new album, ANTI and has released the artwork to the LP. No tracklisting nor release date has been released. Take a look at the cover, below: