Duffy - Serious Diplo - Big Lost Neon Neon - I Lust U John Cameron - AfroWaltz Alan Parker - Frozen Steam Jamie Lidell - Figured Me Out Steely Dan - Glamour Profession Glass Candy - Life After Sundown Meat Beat Manifesto - Solid Waste James White & The Blacks - Contort Yourself (Remix)
I got a rather exciting e-mail from Astralwerks Records yesterday, and this is what it said...
KRAFTWERK ANNOUNCE A SHORT SERIES OF US SHOWS
Kraftwerk is one of the most influential bands in pop history. In a career spanning more than 35 years, the German electro pioneers have been endlessly saluted and mimicked by each new generation of innovators. In the late 1970s, the post-punk futurists professed their devotion. In the 1980s and '90s, the leading lights of Chicago house, Detroit and Euro-techno paid homage. Kraftwerk is possibly the most sampled band on the planet, and their music continues to inspire.
Over the last decade, Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert and Henning Schmitz have toured the world and now Kraftwerk is returning to the US to perform a short series of shows in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Denver, and the 2008 Coachella festival. These are Kraftwerk's first US shows since 2005 following the release of their first ever official live document, the 2 x CD and DVD sets Minimum-Maximum. Their unforgettable appearance at Coachella 2004, combining state-of-the-art interactive audio and lighting, still has their legions of fans buzzing four years on.
Sat 4/19 Minneapolis, MN @ Myth Sun 4/20 Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom Wed 4/23 Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium Sat 4/26 Coachella, CA @ Coachella Music Festival
My hometown finally made the cut! After being a fan for some 30 years I am going to get a chance to see The Man Machine up close and personal, and man am I psyched. Tickets go on sale March 22nd. The craziest part of this is the club they are playing, The Myth. It is a box (capacity 4500) in the middle of a parking lot behind a mall, way out in the 'burbs. It is reputed to be a pretty good place to see bands, and the sound system is state of the art. The usual acts it books? 311, Flo Rida, Tech N9ne & Paul Wall and Megadeath are all upcoming shows there. Anyway, it should be interesting to see what kind of a crowd Kraftwerk draw here, and I expect to be mightily entertained.
The DFA Records crew are getting heads nodding with their latest signing, Hercules And Love Affair. They are New York producer and DJ Andrew Butler, singers Nomi and Kim Ann Foxman, as well as special guest vocalist Antony Hegarty from Antony & The Johnsons. They enlisted Tim Goldsworthy to program and produce the self titled debut, and it is a disco stunner. And by disco, I mean the good stuff - the '70s underground, Arthur Russell, Ze Records, Giorgio Moroder, Grace Jones and Larry Levan's Paradise Garage mixes all come to mind. It is a throbbing mix of classic disco influences, live instrumentation and current electronic production. There are strings, horns and synths. There are funky instrumentals. And I even like the songs Antony sings on, despite not being a fan of his vibrato overloaded croon. The record was released this week in Europe, with no US date yet. It is fantastic, so I hope America gets a chance to try it out soon.
Today is the 25th birthday of New Order's seminal electro classic BlueMonday. Yes, the 7th of March, 1983 brought the release that would eventually become the biggest selling 12" single of all time, all 7 minutes and 29 seconds of it. At the time I was floored, as it was a big stylistic shift from rock to electronics. I loved it, and still do. I wonder how many times I've heard this song in the last 25 years? Its a guaranteed floor filler that has been remixed and re-released every few years, and more than a few tunes have cloned it's style. If you don't know it, here is your chance to nab a stone cold classic in 3 different takes; the original, the '88 remix and a live version from somewhere in South America in 2006 (from what was reported to have been their last show).
Two new rock records hit the shelves today. Funnily enough, they are both by '90s alt-rockers - Stephen Malkmus and the duo of Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan. A decade and some removed from their old bands, and based on these two records they are still going pretty strong...
The former Pavement singer is back with a revamped Jicks, now with Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney/Quasi) on drums. The result is a much beefier and harder rocking bunch of tunes. Stephen indulges his inner '70s guitar god on several fuzzy jams (most of the tunes clock in at around six minutes!). It is still very much a classic Malkmus record tho', with quirky tunes and characters at every turn. Gardenia is one of the shorter, lighter moments on the album - love the sunny backing vocals on this.
Two of the moodiest voices in modern rock have teamed up as The Gutter Twins, and surprise, surprise, they've put out an album of broody, moody modern rock. Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers) and Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) bring their best bits to this mix. Dulli's soulful howl, the blacksploitation rock and those touches of electronica mesh with Lanegan's gritty Delta blues and whisky and cigarettes croon-from-hell. These guys can be relied on to soundtrack some of life's darker moments, and Saturnalia delivers the bleakness you crave. The Body is a softer, gentler moment and features the lovely vocals of Martina Topley-Bird.