March 26, 2010

New Music Overload! Thom Yorke, The National, BSS, and more

Well it is about time! This week has seen new music dropped by three of my favorite artists and some exciting up and comers ALL with great new tracks. With Thom Yorke (in a supporting role), The National and Broken Social Scene all releasing new music this week (and BSS with two new tunes), the pleasure centers in my brain have been malfunctioning and on the verge of complete collapse. Let's get to some of this music already:

Broken Social Scene already released the brilliant "World Sick" (currently in the pole position for song of the year for me) off their forthcoming album, Forgiveness Rock Record. Now they have made available for download on iTunes and available for streaming below, TWO new songs off the forthcoming album, "All to All" and "Force to Love". "Force to Love" is an excellent tradition rock song with the added layers one comes to expect from BSS. "All to All", for me, is the true gem. It uses occasional female vocalist for the group, Lisa Lobsinger, as the lead and it comes off like a newer Yeah Yeah Yeahs song with Lisa a more vulnerable Karen O. The song is airy, summery at the beginning and by minute 3 is jammy and drives it home beautifully. I have been listening to this one on repeat - check it out below.

The National already got me (way too) excited for their upcoming album with the "Terrible Love" performance from Fallon (video posted HERE.) Now comes their official single, "Bloodbuzz Ohio", off the new album, High Violet, that drops in May. This song would have fit beautifully on their last album, the absolute classic Boxer, but it shows a bit of the transition from that album to the all-out rocker that is "Terrible Love". These guys can do no wrong in my book.

Flying Lotus is an experimental producer based out of LA creating some of the craziest beats out there. His album, Los Angeles, was a critical darling in 2008. How does one improve upon that success? Team up with Thom Yorke on your new album's, Cosmogramma, first release, And the World Laughs With You". The first two minutes sets the stage for his mind bending beat making ability with Thom Yorke's super smooth vocals coming in shortly after the 2 minute mark. Loving this track too!

While the biggest names in indie music are raising the bar this year, the newer guys are holding their own too:

Delorean (who I have written about before HERE) are back with the first track, "Stay Close" off their upcoming debut album (though these guys had quite the impressive first EP dropped last year). This track is everything that is great about Delorean - fun, dancey electronic club music made for beach / poolside listening. These guys take a lot of influences from the Swedish poppy electronic bands (learn more about them HERE), but make this their own. Will be listening to this one all weekend.

One more newbie that I just started listening to be, but am really digging is Blondes. These two guys are an electronic music "jam band". They are experimenting and always pushing their music (I hear their live shows are sick!). Check out a jam off their EP below.

Enjoy and have a great weekend,

March 24, 2010

Phoenix: Live In Sydney FREE!

After topping numerous end of year lists (including DYB's) with their brilliant Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix and touring relentlessly throughout 2009 and still going strong in 2010 (with US dates starting again with Coachella on 4/18 - see full tour dates HERE), Phoenix is the gift that keeps on giving. But why stop there - Phoenix is giving away a 8 song FREE live set from their show in Sydney on their website -HERE! From someone who saw Phoenix perform 4 times last year (and will be front and center at their Coachella set), trust me this is a must listen.


March 15, 2010

The National Debut "Terrible Love" On Fallon...

And make me all the more excited for May. While this year has been slow on the mind-blowing music front, two of my favorite bands of the past decade, The National and Broken Social Scene, have both dropped new songs on the world to give me hope that the 10s have some promise yet. Broken Social Scene absolutely killed their return after a 5 year hiatus with the single, "World Sick" off their forthcoming album (out May 4th), Forgiveness Rock Record (single and all the details available HERE). The National's last two records (3rd and 4th overall), Alligator and Boxer, are two of my favorite records of the past decade (just barely missing out on this HERE) and show a band that is absolutely peaking right now. "Terrible Love" shows the band continuing to build on all the qualities that make them great -lead singer Matt Berninger's deep baritone, helpless yet somehow hopeful lyrics, brilliant orchestral instrumentation, and distinctive and flat out awesome drumming. The band talks about how they have to make their songs less "epic" as they finalize their record, but like Broken Social Scene these guys embrace that "epic" sound in all the best ways. The last minute is both raw but polished rock of the highest order. Can't say enough about these guys. I am looking to them and BSS to save the year.


March 5, 2010

Ok Go - "This Too Shall Pass" - Insane Music Video!

So the band that rode a synchronized treadmill (video) to stardom (the video for "Here It Goes Again" HERE) have managed with their latest video to top themselves and then some. This music video is on completely different level - it is one of the most insane and brilliantly awesome videos (music or otherwise) I have seen in a while. The video follows in one shot the most ridiculously extravagant Rube Goldberg Machine (or before I looked it up what I was calling The Mouse Trap Game)built in a two story warehouse in Echo Park with the help of local engineering firm Synn Labs. It is in no way profound but perfectly achieves what lead singer, Damian Kulash, said was it's main goal: "It's purpose is only to be awesome". Great success! The part with the guitar, spoon and glasses goes beyond simple awesomeness to utterly brilliant. The song is even pretty damn good too! Check it out below:


March 3, 2010

Fresh Tracks: Broken Social Scene, Local Natives, Gil Scott Heron and More

(Broken Social Scene)

Broken Social Scene are back at it after a 5 year hiatus (although there were a number of band side projects) and they sound as good as ever. "World Sick", BSS's first single off their forthcoming album Forgiveness Rock Record (forgiveness for their lengthy hiatus perhaps?), is EPIC like you would expect from the band that can range from 6-19 members. At times it seems like almost all 19 of them are playing various guitar parts building to the songs many crescendos - these guys absolutely own the modern guitar epic (almost forgot how good these guys can be). It doesn't stop with its musical brilliance either; lyrically, lead singer and lead member of BSS, Kevin Drew, strikes a chord with its chorus "I get world sick every time I take a stand". Seems to perfectly encapsulate the current feeling of constant disappointment from the world's (and our country's in particular) politicians. Get the get track for free at BSS's website:

Morning Benders are a throwback of the best kind. Coming out of the exploding music scene in San Fran, they have crafted a 60's pop gem with "Excuses". This one sounds like a lost track in Phil Spector's or Brian Wilson's catalog. The song has me longing for summer. It is just a breezy top down driving tune with airy almost floating guitar rhythms, and a gorgeous melody accented with lush harmonies. Take a listen to the single off their new album, Big Echo:

Morning Benders - "Excuses"

Local Natives are one of the most exciting bands in the LA music scene right now. Recently being graced with a P4K Best New Music label shouldn't hurt either. These guys are very much deserving. Their debut album, Gorilla Manor, is one of the most intriguing of the new year. They sound like Grizzly Bear if it was produced by David Sitek. Really these guys resolve my only issue with Grizzly Bear - their weak rhythm section. They don't quite have Grizzly Bear's vocal chops but they have some great harmonies and I LOVE their drumming. Listen to the great first two tracks off their album, "Wide Eyes" and "Airplanes".

Local Natives - "Wide Eyes"
Local Natives - "Airplanes"

Gil Scott Heron is an icon of the 1970's. An African-American poet, musician and author; his musical style played a huge role in the development of hip-hop both with the political and social commentary of his lyrics as well as his rapping style of delivery. Then for a long time he disappeared, was in and out of jail on drug related charges and had only one album to come out in the last 25 years. Then he recently dropped I'm New Here and damn he's still got it. "New York Is Killing Me" is sure to be a classic. It is a stripped down blues tune with minimal hand claps and Gil's signature raspy baritone lamenting of his personal downfall in that great city. But it wouldn't be a Heron classic without its social commentary on the changing landscape of NYC. Enjoy:

Gil Scott Heron - "New York Is Killing Me"

And lastly, Yes Giantess' "The Ruins" may sound EXACTLY like a Passion Pit track (and they also happen to be from Boston, Mass too) BUT it still sounds so good. Check it out:

Yes Giantess - "The Ruins"