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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chant Of The Paladin

Top/ Birthed in Las Vegas by baroque pop band Panic at the Disco, second album Pretty. Odd. (Decaydance, 2008) includes "I Have Friends in Holy Spaces" and "Mad as Rabbits". It is possible that the song's title is a reference to Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, alluding to The Mad Hatter and the March Hare or the White Rabbit. Middle/ Canadian singer, composer, harpist and pianist Loreena McKennitt is often compared to Enya, but McKennitt's music is more grounded in traditional and classical invocations, using literary works as sources of lyrics such as "The Lady of Shalott" by Lord Tennyson, Yeats' "The Stolen Child" and William Blake's "Lullaby". To Drive the Cold Winter Away (Quinlan Road, 1987) is McKennitt's second album. All the songs were recorded in churches, many in Glenstal Abbey, Ireland. Bottom/ Foxtrot (Charisma, 1972) is the fourth studio album by British progressive rock band Genesis and the second from the "classic" lineup of Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, and Steve Hackett. Featured in the album artwork is the "fox on the rocks". The figure in a red dress with a fox's head was one of Gabriel's earliest stage costumes. Both "Watcher of the Skies", which is based on Arthur C. Clarke's novel Childhood's End, and the 23-minute "Supper's Ready" rank among some of the band's most beloved works. Also included is "Horizons", which starts with the central idea of Bach's Prelude of the first Cello Suite and then develops its own piece, baroque style.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Come And Play In The Milky Night

Top/ Midnight Juggernauts are a Melbourne based band, described by Rolling Stone US as "David Bowie if his Berlin Trilogy was a collaboration with Kraftwerk and Faust." Their debut album, Dystopia (Siberia/Inertia, 2007), is sometimes reminiscent of Scissor Sisters. The band has been described as anything from 'prog dance meets cosmic film scores' to 'slasher-flick disco' to 'deadpan landscape'. It also received reviews stating Dystopia was an "euphoric hammering together of Krautrock grooves, psychedelic flights of melodic fancy and post-Justice grindy synth noises". Middle/ The Devil, You + Me (City Slang/Alien Transistor, 2008) is the sixth studio album by German indietronica band The Notwist. The album Neon Golden (released in 2002) put them on the map for American listeners, with its heartfelt sentiment and catchy tunes. While singer Markus Acher, in addition to his work with The Notwist and 13 & God, also works with indietronica band Lali Puna, lead programmer Martin Gretschmann also leads side project Console. Relying heavily on elements of electronic music, Console is reminiscent of some electro bands, such as Ladytron and Miss Kittin. Cover design by Yokoland. Bottom/ In 1982 British alternative rock band The Cure released Pornography (Fiction Records), the third and final album of an "oppressively dispirited" trio that cemented the Cure's stature as purveyors of the emerging gothic rock genre. Recorded with the group on the brink of collapse, it represents the conclusion of the musical journey started with Seventeen Seconds and Faith. Often cited as the most disturbing product of The Cure, the album's opening lyrical line is "It doesn't matter if we all die". Now considered one of the key gothic rock albums of all time, Pornography has gained much respect over the years.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crisis? What Crisis?

Top/ With its timeless cover artwork and title, Crisis? What Crisis? (A&M, 1975) was British progressive rock band Supertramp's first LP to be recorded in America. The band had a series of top-selling albums in the 1970s and early 1980s. Their early music included ambitious concept albums, from which were drawn a number of hits including "Goodbye Stranger", "Bloody Well Right", "The Logical Song", "Breakfast in America", "Dreamer", "Give a Little Bit", "It's Raining Again", and "Take the Long Way Home". Supertramp attained superstardom in the United States, Canada, most of Europe, South Africa, Australia and Brazil, although they were not quite as popular in the UK. Nonetheless, the album Breakfast in America was a big hit there. On April 21, 2010 it was announced that Supertramp would give 35 concerts in the fall of 2010. This tour called "70-10" was to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the group's first release. Bottom/ Bandwagonesque is the third album by Scottish indie rock outfit Teenage Fanclub, released in 1991 on Creation Records. Bandwagonesque achieved notoriety by beating Nirvana's landmark album Nevermind to be voted 'album of the year' for 1991 by US rock magazine Spin, also beating Creation stablemates My Bloody Valentine's album Loveless, and R.E.M.'s hugely successful Out of Time. Bandwagonesque is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The cover is designed by Sharon Fitzgerald. When Kiss member Gene Simmons (who trademarked a moneybag logo) was made aware of the record he sent a letter to Geffen Records - who in turn gave in and sent Mr. Simmons a cheque, according to Simmons audiobook Sex Money Kiss. Originally a noisy and chaotic band, Teenage Fanclub emerged from the Glasgow C86 scene. Their sound relies heavily on chiming, Byrds-esque guitars and harmony vocals reminiscent of West Coast bands.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Forever Blowing Bubbles

Top/ Neo-Krautrock band Black Moth Super Rainbow from Pittsburgh lay down yummy synth bubbles and Vocoder hums on their third album Dandelion Gum (Graveface, 2007). Their music contains elements of psychedelia, folk, electronica, and pop. Track listing includes "Neon Syrup for the Cemetery Sisters", "Jump into My Mouth and Breathe the Stardust" and "Lollipopsichord". Middle/ Fireball is a hard rock album by Deep Purple, released in 1971 on Harvest. It was their fifth studio album, and the second with the classic Mk II lineup featuring Ian Gillan (vocals) and Ritchie Blackmore (guitar). Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertfordshire in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock although some band members have tried not to label themselves any one genre. The band has also incorporated pop and progressive rock elements. Within weeks of Fireball's release, the band was already performing songs planned for the next album. Machine Head, recorded at the Grand Hotel Montreux, Switzerland with the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and released in March 1972, has since become one of the band's most famous albums, including tracks that became live classics such as "Highway Star," "Space Truckin'," "Lazy," and "Smoke on the Water." Ritchie Blackmore ranked 55 on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time in 2003. Deep Purple was once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's loudest band, and it has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. Bottom/ For her sixth full-length studio album Volta (One Little Indian, 2007), Icelandic singer Björk put together her own fourteen-piece brass section of female Icelandic musicians who play on three tracks on the album. Antony Hegarty, frontman and lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons, appears on the album for two duets.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Shiva In The Mix

Top/ Mother of Punk, so what the Funk? Nina Hagen is the Hindu goddess Kali on the cover of her full-on devotional album Om Namah Shivay! (SPV, 1999). Artwork by Pierre & Gilles, whose collaborations include actress Catherine Deneuve, designer Jean-Paul Gaultier, model Naomi Campbell, musicians Marilyn Manson, Madonna and lo-fi duet CocoRosie. Although sometimes presented as dark and violent, Kali is often considered the kindest and most loving of all Hindu goddesses. Bottom/ Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! (Mute, 2008) is the fourteenth studio album by alternative rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. It is the second Bad Seeds studio album without long-time guitarist and backing vocalist Blixa Bargeld and features the same line up as the Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus double album. Nicholas Edward "Nick" Cave (born 22 September 1957) is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, and occasional film actor. He is best known for his work as a frontman of the critically acclaimed rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in Melbourne in 1983, a group known for its eclectic influences and musical styles. Before that, he had fronted the group The Birthday Party in the early 1980s, a band renowned for its highly dark, challenging lyrics and violent sound influenced by free jazz, blues, and post-punk. In 2006, he formed the garage rock band Grinderman that released its debut the following year. Cave's music is generally characterised by emotional intensity, a wide variety of influences, and lyrical obsessions with "religion, death, love, America, and violence."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Direct To Mental

Bottom/ Sea Change (Geffen, 2002) is the eighth studio album by American alternative rock artist Beck. Produced by Nigel Godrich and inspired by the dissolution of a relationship, Sea Change received overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim upon release, with several reviews regarding it as Beck's magnum opus. Much of Beck's trademark recondite, ironic lyrics are replaced by more sincere, simpler lyrical content. "Lost Cause" and "Guess I'm Doing Fine" were released as singles, respectively. The term sea change is defined as a broad transformation, which reflects the departure in style from both Beck's previous effort Midnite Vultures and previous, sample-based recordings, as well as Beck's desire to give each album an identity. On Sea Change, Beck eschews the heavy sampling of his previous albums for real, live instrumentation. It is said that the album sound concept is inspired by the sound of Serge Gainsbourg's album Histoire de Melody Nelson. Beck would later produce an album for, and record with, Gainsbourg's daughter Charlotte. Critics have also compared the acoustic and relaxed melodies of Sea Change to the works of British singer-songwriter Nick Drake and Bob Dylan's 1975 album Blood on the Tracks. Over time, the album has become highly regarded as one of the best albums of the 2000s. Top/ Just a Souvenir is an album by Squarepusher, which was released on October 27, 2008 on Warp Records. The album's genesis came from a daydream, in which Tom Jenkinson envisioned a rock band performing a concert against the backdrop of a large, glowing coathanger. The performance quickly became surreal: among other things, a river forces the band to kayak whilst performing; the guitarist is able to accelerate or decelerate time at will; and every drum in the drummer's kit begins to switch places with one another. As such, the majority of the album consists of Jenkinson's own version of jazz fusion, threaded through with classical guitar, math rock and funk recordings. Squarepusher is the performing pseudonym of Tom Jenkinson, an English electronic music artist signed to Warp Records. He specializes in the electronic music genres of drum and bass, musique concrète, and acid, with a significant jazz influence.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We Mean It, Man

Soundtrack album to the film Performance by Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg features music from Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, The Last Poets and Mick Jagger (Warner Brothers, 1970). Performance pushed boundaries by featuring extremely explicit sex scenes and use of drugs, both of which have been rumoured to be real instead of simulated. It has been reported that during a test screening, one Warner executive's wife vomited in shock. Middle/ Frontwoman Courtney Love and Los Angeles band Hole released Live Through This (DGC, 1994) just four days after the discovery of Kurt Cobain's body, Courtney Love's late husband, singer/ songwriter of grunge band Nirvana Top/ Rising from the ashes of the pivotal punk group the Sex Pistols, iconic frontman John Lydon (formerly known as Johnny Rotten) and Public Image Ltd. (PiL) rolled out First Issue (Virgin Records) in 1978. Arguably the first post-rock group, PiL branched out to a more experimentalist sound, and early work is often regarded as some of the most challenging and innovative music of the post-punk period. Album credits read: "Public Image would like to thank absolutely nobody".

Friday, July 1, 2011

Excursions Into "Oh, A-Oh"

Bottom/ "Utopia (Genetically Enriched)" is an electronic song performed by British groupGoldfrapp. Released as Felt Mountain's fourth single in June 2001, "Utopia (Genetically Enriched)" became Goldfrapp's first song to chart in their native England. The song was written and produced by Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory for the duo's debut album Felt Mountain(Mute, 2000). The album featured Alison Goldfrapp's synthesized vocals over cinematic soundscapes and is influenced by a variety of music styles including cabaret, folk, and electronic music. Goldfrapp is a British electronic music group known for their visual theatrics and contribution to the popularization of electronic dance music. Their fourth album Seventh Tree (2008) placed a greater emphasis on ambient and downtempo music, drawing inspiration from nature and paganism, while their fifth album, Head First (2010), found the group exploring '80s synth-pop and dance. Middle/ "Christine" is a song recorded by English rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. The song was written by Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin and it was released as the second single from the band's third album Kaleidoscope (Polydor, 1980). "Christine" marked a change in musical direction for the band, with new guitarist John McGeoch, formerly of Magazine, and the brand new drummer and composer Budgie from The Slits. Veering from a punkish, more guitar-oriented sound, The Banshees (reduced to a trio) began their experimentation with electronic soundscapes and Middle Eastern exotica. Lyrically the song continued the band's exploration with mental illness (as they did on previous single "Happy House"), as it describes Christine, a woman with "22 faces" ("...Personality changes behind her red smile / Every new problem brings a stranger inside / Helplessly forcing one more new disguise..."). Two of Christine's identities, the Strawberry Girl and the Banana Split Lady, are mentioned in the lyrics of the song. Top/ Goldfrapp's "Lovely Head" was released as Felt Mountain's first single in May 2000 on Mute.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reset The Preset

Big Men Cry (Mammoth Records) is a music album by artist Banco de Gaia, released in 1997. Banco de Gaia is an electronic music band from England, formed in 1989 by Toby Marks (born 1964, South London). The music of Banco de Gaia is best categorized as ambient dub, but Marks works to cross genres, often using Arabic and Middle Eastern samples against a bass heavy reggae, rock, or trance rhythm to produce deeply textured tracks that progress layer upon layer. Key albums by Banco de Gaia include Maya (1994), Last Train to Lhasa (1995), Live at Glastonbury (1996) and Farewell Ferengistan (2006). On 20 September 2009, Banco De Gaia played an album launch show for his album, Memories Dreams Reflections at Dingwalls in London. This show was to celebrate twenty years of Banco De Gaia.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Voices Of Syn

Blues for Allah (Grateful Dead Records, 1975) is the eighth studio album by the Grateful Dead. The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The band was known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of rock, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, country, jazz, psychedelia, space music and gospel—and for live performances of long musical improvisation. "Their music," Lenny Kaye wrote, "touches on ground that most other groups don't even know exists." Top/ Blackdance (Brain/Virgin, 1974) is the third album by Klaus Schulze. Klaus Schulze is a highly influential German electronic music composer and musician. He was briefly a member of the electronic bands Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel before a solo career of more than 40 albums lasting over 3 decades. Highlights include 1976's Moondawn. Schulze often takes German events as a starting point in his compositions. His use of the pseudonym Richard Wahnfried indicates his interest in Richard Wagner, which also informs other albums of his music, notably 1975's Timewind.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

Top/ Berlin-based electropop duo Stereo Total get down with "Discotheque" (Disko B, 2006). Their music can be described as a humorous mix of synth-pop, New Wave, electronica, punk rock, and pop music. They also tend to embody a retro-hip European 1960s mod style, and references to that period can be found in their music. Some songs strongly evoke a mod/psych/garage-rock vibe, both in production aesthetic and lyrical content. Sixties French pop in the vein of Francoise Hardy can be heard in the mix also. Some of their tracks are playful, low-fi versions of pop/rock/soul songs that employ the use of analog recording equipment and reverberation. Middle/ In 1983 British impresario Malcolm McLaren released Duck Rock (Charisma Records), an album which mixed up influences from Africa, Central and South America and the USA, including hip-hop. The album proved to be highly influential in bringing hip-hop to a wider audience in the UK. Two of the singles from the album ("Buffalo Gals" and "Double Dutch") became major chart hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Guest musicians featured on this album include Trevor Horn, Anne Dudley and J.J. Jeczalik, three artists who would eventually become the Art of Noise. Clips of the World's Famous Supreme Team radio show appear between songs. Cover artwork includes art by Pop/graffiti artist Keith Haring. Malcolm McLaren (22 January 1946 – 8 April 2010) was an English performer, impresario, self-publicist and former manager of the Sex Pistols and the New York Dolls. Bottom/ Fingerlickin' good artwork for Let It Bleed (Decca/ABKCO, 1969) by the Rolling Stones displays a surreal sculpture designed by Robert Brownjohn.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In Search Of The Lost Chord

Top/ There Is Love in You is the fifth full-length album by Four Tet, released on 25 January 2010 on Domino. Kieran Hebden (born 1977, Putney, London, England, UK) is a post-rock and electronic musician. Hebden first came to prominence as a member of the band Fridge before establishing himself as a solo artist under the moniker of Four Tet. Hebden's music typically eschews the traditional pop song format in favour of a more abstract approach —his sound and melodies incorporate elements of hip hop, electronica, techno, jazz, and folk music with live instrumentation. In late 1999, Hebden contributed a remix of the opening track of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II. This relatively high-profile exposure attracted new interest in Four Tet from fans of electronica and IDM (intelligent dance music), genres in which the Warp brand has a preeminent status. Hebden's fourth studio album Everything Ecstatic (Domino Records, 2005) brought with it another shift in style, leaving behind the breezy "folktronica" of 2001's Pause and 2003's Rounds for a darker, more complex sound. Hebden's recent output includes a number of improvisational works with veteran jazz drummer Steve Reid, and a collaboration with Burial. In 2008, Hebden collaborated with composer David Arnold to write "Crawl, End Crawl", the song used for the end credits of the film Quantum of Solace. Bottom/ On their first collaboration album (No Pussyfooting) (EG Records, 1973), a dense, multi-layered piece of ambient drone music, Eno (right) and King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp (left) used similar techniques that eventually became known as Frippertronics. Best known as the father of modern ambient music, with an art school background and inspiration from minimalism, English electronic musician, music theorist and record producer Brian Eno recorded four highly idiosyncratic and original rock albums, before turning to more abstract soundscapes on records such as Discreet Music (1975) and Ambient 1/Music for Airports (1978).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Your Consciousness Goes Bip

Frenchman Chris Joss is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and autonomous studio producer. Having lived in London for most of the 90's, Joss digested the vibrant music scenes of the city while working as a sound engineer and playing bass and guitar in various bands. In 1996 Joss recorded his first album The Man With a Suitcase, the soundtrack to an imaginary 60's TV series, released in 1999 on indie label Pulp Flavor with the Bombay By Bus EP. In 2000 Chris Joss started recording his 2nd LP Dr Rhythm, released confidentially in 2002 by Irma. Encompassing electronica, breakbeat, funk and soundtrack music, Dr Rhythm upped the ante for Joss' musical catalogue. In 2004 Chris Joss’ third LP You've Been Spiked was released by ESL Music. With its thick funky bass lines, wah-wah guitars, Rhodes and Hammond riffs pulsating over live rootsy drums, the album was a vibrant tribute to 60's and 70's dance music. In 2005, Joss contributed to the soundtrack of the movie Inside Deep Throat, reworking original songs and producing new ones, some available on the soundtrack album on Koch. Seriously injured in a domestic accident, almost costing him his right arm, Chris Joss recorded a version of John Williams' “Superman” theme song in between hospital stays in January 2006. In February 2008 ESL Music released 13 new tracks from Chris Joss on Teraphonic Overdubs, a collection of grooves influenced by the diversity of Library music, crossing genres that were years apart while staying true to the funk. Flower power times 10! Chris Joss’ 5th LP, entitled Sticks, saw release on ESL Music in March 2009. Sticks is a smoky sonic journey through the Asian sub-continent. Filled out by a lush tapestry of ethereal sitars, rubber-funk bass, cheeky organ riffs, snappy drum kicks and smoky atmospherics, Sticks captures a deep and irresistible vintage groove that defies categorization! French multi-instrumentalist and music producer extraordinaire Chris Joss is back again with a new album Monomaniacs, Volume 1. Like a long lost vintage LP plucked from a time capsule buried sometime in the 1970’s, this album brings Joss back to a distinctly traditional and dusty funk groove. Recalling the iconic blaxploitation and grindhouse film soundtracks of that era, Monomaniacs is filled with ricocheting breakbeats, whirlwinds of wah-wah, rubber-band basslines, cosmic organs, and even a few shredding rock guitars to put some hair on your chest. Can Volume 2 be far behind?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Journey To The Center Of The Mind

Top/ Music Has the Right to Children (Warp Records, 1998) is the studio debut album of the Scottish electronic music duo Boards of Canada, consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin Sandison. The album was recorded at the Hexagon Sun studio, an atelier maintained by the duo, in Pentland Hills, Scotland. The songs utilize a number of field recordings and intense sound manipulation. Boards of Canada's music is reminiscent of the warm, scratchy, artificial sounds of 1970s media and contains themes of childhood, nostalgia and the natural world. The album received universal acclamation upon release. Interviews with the Sandison brothers provide some insight into their creative inspiration. They have cited several acts that have influenced their work, including Joni Mitchell, The Incredible String Band, The Beatles and My Bloody Valentine, which use of distortion, pitch bending, and digital reverb resulted in the sound that was to become known as shoegazing. They have also expressed a strong interest in the power of subliminal messaging and their work is full of cryptic messages, including references to numerology and cult figures such as David Koresh of the Branch Davidians, amongst other vague hints. Bottom/ Major releases by Boards of Canada include Geogaddi (Warp, 2002) and 2006's The Campfire Headphase. Geogaddi revisits the innocent, child-like melodic and harmonic structure found throughout the band's previous album, Music Has the Right to Children. The artwork of the album carries a distinct kaleidoscopic motif.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pumping On Your Stereo

Eagles of Death Metal's third album, Heart On (Downtown Recordings), was released on October 28, 2008, following Peace, Love, Death Metal (2004) and Death by Sexy (2006). Eagles of Death Metal (EoDM) is an American garage rock revival band from Palm Desert, California, formed by Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme. Despite the name, Eagles of Death Metal is not a death metal band, but music that Josh Homme thought would be The Eagles crossed with death metal. In a 2003 interview Homme described the sound of the band as a combination of "bluegrass slide guitar mixed with stripper drum beats and Canned Heat vocals." Jesse Hughes is known and somewhat loved by fans for his over-enthusiastic and charismatic interaction with audiences at live performances. In 2010 the track "High Voltage" from their album Heart On was featured in an online campaign for Head & Shoulders shampoo called "It's Showertime Joy!". In the video a man in a robe dances with four sexy nurses in a shower to the track.

Slow Emotion Replay

It's What I'm Thinking Pt.1 – Photographing Snowflakes (One Last Fruit Records) is the seventh studio album by Badly Drawn Boy, released on October 4, 2010. Photographing Snowflakes the first of a planned trilogy of albums all to be released under the title It's What I'm Thinking. Top/ Following the success of his early EPs, Damon Gough (stage name Badly Drawn Boy)'s debut album, The Hour of Bewilderbeast (XL Recordings/Twisted Nerve Records), was released in June 2000, accompanied by four singles. The cover art, produced by Andy Votel, is loosely based on Leonardo Da Vinci's drawing "Vitruvian Man". The original art also featured Woody Allen, however his picture had to be removed due to copyright issues. The album featured members of Alfie and Doves as backing musicians. In 2002, Gough returned to score the film adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel About a Boy. His third album, Have You Fed the Fish?, introduced more guitars and an increasingly mainstream pop sound which was not welcomed by all critics. The album is a play on Gough's minor celebrity status and namechecks fellow musicians such as Madonna and John Lennon. 2009's Is There Nothing We Could Do? featured music taken from and inspired by the television film The Fattest Man in Britain. This was released on his own BDB Records label. Badly Drawn Boy is a Mercury Prize-winning alternative rock singer/songwriter. He was born on October 2, 1969, in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, England. A supporter of Manchester City Football Club, Gough is a Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Buckley and Pixies fan. He is parodied in the adult comic Viz as "Badly Overdrawn Boy", a pop singer who fails to sell any records and resorts to busking outside his local bank. In 2002, Q magazine named Badly Drawn Boy in their list of the "50 Bands to See Before You Die", although this was as part of a sub-list of "5 Bands That Could Go Either Way" on account of Gough's tendency to talk and tell stories for extended periods in concert rather than play songs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Before The Dawn Heals Us

Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts is the second album by the French electronica group M83. The album was released in 2003 on Gooom to positive reviews. The cover art is by Justine Kurland, and called Snow Angels. M83 is an electronic/dream pop act by French musician Anthony Gonzalez. It is named after a spiral galaxy, Messier 83. The band was founded in 2001 by Gonzalez and former member Nicolas Fromageau in Antibes. The musical style owes something to the shoegazing genre in its extensive use of reverb effects and lyrics spoken softly over loud instrumentals, though M83's songs employ considerably less guitar than most shoegazing bands such as My Bloody Valentine. For the third album released by M83, Before the Dawn Heals Us, Gonzalez decided to part from Fromageau and record mainly on his own. Saturdays = Youth, M83's fifth studio album was released on April 15, 2008 on Mute Records. It was recorded with Ken Thomas (known for his work with Sigur Rós, The Sugarcubes, Boys in a Band, Cocteau Twins and Suede), and Ewan Pearson (who has also produced for Tracey Thorn, The Rapture and Ladytron).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nonstop Disco Powerpack

Bottom/ Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (Capitol Records) is the eighth studio album by alternative hip hop group the Beastie Boys, released in late April/ early May 2011. The album was originally planned for release on September 15, 2009 under the title Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1, as the first installment of a two part set. However, the album was delayed after band member Adam "MCA" Yauch was diagnosed with cancer. Yauch stated that the cancer is localized, and that he should be fine after surgery. The album was previously known by the working title Tadlock's Glasses, which was stated to be a reference to a former bus driver named Tadlock, who used to drive for Elvis Presley's back-up singers. Presley once gave Tadlock a pair of glasses which he was proud of. It was later speculated that the Tadlock's Glasses story was simply a joke misinterpreted by the media. The album was launched on April 23, 2011 by live-streaming the album online via boombox inside Madison Square Garden. "Lee Majors Come Again", which features hardcore punk, was released as the album's first single in 2009. Promo singles of the track were given out in very select copies of the group's third studio album Check Your Head quadruple reissue boxset. The track made its first appearance in media on the game DJ Hero, where it was mixed with Daft Punk's "Da Funk". A version of the song "Too Many Rappers", featuring Nas, was released as the album's second single in July 2009. It peaked at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 making it the Beastie Boys' first single in five years to chart on the Hot 100; the last time being "Ch-Check It Out" in 2004 that peaked at #68. The next single, "Make Some Noise" was released as a download on April 11, 2011 and five days later as 7" vinyl single for Record Store Day. Beastie Boys are an American hip hop trio from New York City. The group consists of Mike D (Michael Diamond), MCA (Adam Yauch), and Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz). The Beastie Boys began as a pop or punk rock band in 1979, first appearing on the compilation cassette New York Thrash before releasing their first EP, Polly Wog Stew, in 1982. They are one of the longest lived hip-hop acts worldwide and continue to enjoy commercial and critical success in 2011, nearly 25 years after the release of their debut album. On September 27, 2007, they were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2009, the group released digitally remastered deluxe editions of their albums Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty.