Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hot Promo Action

One of my favorite '80s acts is Echo & the Bunnymen. What has proven amazing about the band is how they have managed to keep making records and touring for the last twenty plus years. Even more amazing is the fact that these later year albums don't suck. The last year has seen the band playing it's 1985 classic Ocean Rain at the Royal Albert Hall, with similar shows following shortly after in New York at Radio City Music Hall and the massive new arena in their native Liverpool. The sell outs garnered great reviews. And now comes a brand new record, "The Fountain", out on October 12th in the UK. The band are also touring the US in late October & early November.

Singer Ian McCulloch recently told writer Pat Gilbert "This one was exciting to make. I felt excited to think of the Bunnymen as exciting again. I've re-found my spite, some might call it angst. I prefer to think of it as spite. This album is about something, rather than just sounding like it's about something. It's about having lived life, but still feeling like a kid. I'm a not traditional songwriter. What I do at my best is poetry." When asked how he rated The Fountain in terms of the Bunnymens other albums Mac smiles - "Its the best thing we've done since Ocean Rain"

Now Ian has always had a monster ego but I am sometimes willing to cut him some slack. This is largely due to the fact that the music he & guitarist Will Sergeant have been making all of these years has been consistantly good. From what I've heard of the new record, this might have to be one of those times. Here is a little taster...

Echo & the Bunnymen - Think I Need It Too

Synth pop duo Junior Boys are touring the US and Canada during Oct/Nov in support of their latest album Begone Dull Care. There is also a new single coming this fall on Domino Records, featuring Modeselektor and Prins Thomas remixes of “Bits and Pieces” and “Work”. The label sent an mp3 of the very tasty Prins Thomas remix for your auditory pleasure...

Junior Boys - Work (Prins Thomas Remix)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mutant Disco

Strut's celebration of Ze Records' rich catalog, Ze 30: Ze Records Story, is a great snapshot of some of the influential label's classic jams - and it's been in heavy rotation @ SIART for the last month or so. I've always loved Ze's mix of rock and funk and disco and soul and post-punk and the truly diverse and cool roster of bands. UK DJ and remix artist Leo Zero sheds light on even more quality tracks on his great promo mix, the Ze 30 Mix. It includes several tracks not featured on the Ze 30 compilation. The mix also acts as a window into Strut's next collaboration with Ze - an album of DJ edits of Ze tunes. It will include edits from Leo Zero, as well as Pilooski, Todd Terje, Rub N Tug, Idjut Boys, Optimo, & many more - out later this year on Strut. In the meantime get yer groove on to this great 30 minute mix of tunes!

Leo Zero's Ze 30 Mix
1. Don Armando - I'm An Indian Too
2. Coati Mundi - Say Hey
3. Sweet Pea Atkinson - Dance or Die
4. Daisy Chain - Time to Stop
5. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Table Manners
6. Cristina - Ballad of Immoral Manufacture
7. Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Fire
8. Material With Nona Hendryx - Bustin' Out (Seize The Beat Version)
9. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Something Wrong In Paradise (Larry Levan Mix)
10. Garcons - Encore l'Amore

Strut Records / Ze Records

Small Metal Gods

David Sylvian "Small Metal Gods"

Listen to David Sylvian's Manafon

Saturday, September 26, 2009

After Robots

My new favorite band in the whole world is the Afro-futurist four piece BLK JKS. From Johannesburg and Soweto, South Africa, these guys take the progressive rock blueprint and twist it and turn it until they have made it their own. TV On The Radio is a good reference point, but BLK JKS expand on the sound, adding township blues, avant jazz (with horns supplied by the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble) and edgy dub to their art rock/post punk brew.

BLK JKS - Molalatladi
Their debut album After Robots rocks and rolls, sways to the tribal beats, and veers from polyrhythmic party jams to cacophonous skronk. It was recorded in the US with Brandon Curtis (Secret Machines) at the helm - a man who knows his prog and understands the value of a good space jam. The band sings in English and the different tribal tongues of their homeland. It occasionally sounds like stuff you've heard before, but always ends up in surprising places. It is fierce and uncompromising and vital. Fantastic. Also available is the Mystery EP. SIART highly recommends both!

Dear Lily,

Yours sincerely, Dan Bull.
Download the mp3
Lily Allen reportedly quit the music biz this week. This comes after she recently vented on file sharing of mp3s on the internet. She's vehemently against it. Even though it was the way she was discovered and signed. It's amazing what success, money and major label support will do to you, eh? Anyway, up and coming UK popster Dan Bull has written a sharp letter to her and turned it into a lovely little song that really nails the whole situation. Now, I will admit to being quite a fan of Lily, but as an "offender" I feel her rubbish revisionist stance needed to be called out. A lot of fun!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Funky Friday

Random Video Fun

How about a couple of entertaining videos to get your Friday off to a good start?

I'll Teach Your Grandmother To Suck Eggs!

Gang of Four Two - Damaged Goods
Andy & Jon have a new rhythm section.
They still sound pretty damn good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Black And Blue Animal

Anyone I work with will tell you how much I love Miike Snow. Their self titled debut album has been in steady rotation in the 5 disc player for some 5 or 6 months now. I am amazed at how much I dig the record. It has sharp hooks and grownup pop smarts - definitely not a teenybopper record. On a related side note tho' - my kids (5 & 9) love it. The label sent a couple of remixes and a video to share. The Mark Ronson remix in particular is a real gem, stripping the tune down and turning it into a old school reggae-fied lovers rock jam.

Miike Snow - Black and Blue (Savage Skulls Remix)
Miike Snow - Animal (Mark Ronson Remix)
Buy @ iTunes / Myspace

I Can Be A Frog

Flaming Lips + Karen O. = Yowsah!
FYI -that is not Karen O. in the bikini - she is making all of the crazy noises in the song.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Handful Of Covers

A nice selection of covers today... Chico Fellini cover the Supertramp classic, and there are two wildly divergent takes on T.Rex - one by Minneapolis' own Idle Hands, the other by the mysteriously ethereal Manet. Finally, Jumbonics give the Strokes a groovin' soul makeover. Delicious!

Chico Fellini - Breakfast In America

Idle Hands - Cosmic Dancer

Manet - Cosmic Dancer

Jumbonics - Last Night

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hot Promo Action

Here are a few songs that labels and artists want you to hear this week. This is the good stuff!

Midnight Juggernauts - This New Technology (Album Version)

Kelpe - Microscope Contents
12" and download out today
Check out the delightful video...

Enjoy a little taster of Kel's forthcoming album...
Kelpe - Eye Candy Bath
Cambio Weschel
October 19th 2009

Simian Mobile Disco - Audacity Of Huge (Dada Life Remix)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Funky Friday : Sneaky Mix

Sneaky's - September Issue Mix
1. Intro
2. Sneaky - Open House
3. Dusty - Revolver Theme
4. Extra T´s - E.T. Boogie
5. Fingathing - Al-Naafiysch (Previously Unreleased)
6. Unknown - Yes You May (Moxie Disco Edit)
7. Max Berlin - Elle Et Moi (Joachim Remix)
8. Annu Malik - Sun O Dilruba Dil Ki Yeh Sada
9. Big Daddy Kane - Prince Of Darkness
10. Plus - Put Everything Together
11. EPMD - You´re A Customer
12. Dorian Concept - Fourteen
13. Last Order - Summertime
14. Samiyam - Return
15. Bangers N Cash Vs Snoop Dogg (Sneaky Refit)
16. J-Dilla - Lightworks (Flying Lotus Remix)
17. Mf Doom - That´s That
18. Higamos Hogamos - Major Blitzkrieg (DC Remix)
19. Burial And Fourtet - Moth
20. Joachim - Teenage Kiss


Funky Friday

The Phenomenal Handclap Band - You'll Disappear (Munk Remix)
Ame Strong - Tout Est Bleu (Francois Kevorkian Mix)
Solaris Heights
- Midnight (Padded Cell Remix)
Brilliant - It's A Man's Man's Man's World
Eddie Drennon
- Disco Jam
Tony Allen
- Secret Agent
- Take It, Leave It
Captain Sensible - Wot
- Psychic City
Q-Tip - Feelin'

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Joakim's Milky Mix

This week brings the release of the new Joakim album Milky Ways. It is a fine, fine album that mashes up disco, post-punk, psychedelia, electro, new wave, exotica and old school computer music and a whole bunch more into a cohesive package. Kind of like the sweet mix he has made to commemorate the album release. John Foxx, Vanessa Paradis, SPK and The Beatles all rolled into one? Yes please! Sound clash mix up of classics and current killers? You got it! Enjoy...
Joakim's Milky Mix
01 O.M.D. - Electricity (Micronauts Remix)
02 E.A.R. - Submarine
03 Dragons of Zynth - Anna Mae
04 John Foxx - Metal Beat
05 Joakim - Fly Like An Apple
06 James Pants - Rhythm Track 9
07 Pom Pom - Untitled
08 Soft Rocks - Black Magic
09 Vanessa Paradis - Des Que J’te vois (Joakim Unreleased Remix)
10 Red Dragon Band - Let Me Be Your Radio pt 1
11 The Rolling Stones - Undercover Of the Night
12 SPK - Dance Du Metal (I:Cube Edit)
13 Joakim - Watermelon Bubblicious
14 Sweet Exorcist - Mad Jack
15 Yura Yura Teikoky - Hollow Me (Alternate Version)
16 Dj Deeon - Exctacy
17 The Beatles - Helter Skelter (Demo)
18 Goslings - Croatan
19 Acid Mothers Temple - Electric Love Machine
20 Dennis Wilson - Farewell My Friend

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Music Tuesday

Bad Lieutenant - Sink Or Swim
Barney is back. After the ugly break up of New Order, Bernard Sumner has teamed up with Phil Cunningham and Jake Evans as Bad Lieutenant. Phil was in the last version of New Order as keyboardist Gillian Gilbert's replacement, and was also a member of '90s Britpoppers Marion. Their album Never Cry Another Tear is out on October 5 and also features collaborations with New Order drummer Stephen Morris and Blur bassist Alex James. Sink Or Swim is the band's debut single. My thoughts - it is not too far removed from the New Order style of mid-tempo rocker. It is definitely not dance-y, and keyboards are minimal. It has lots of strummy guitar and very Barney vocals. As a fan I have to say I find it mildly entertaining, and look forward to hearing the rest of the album.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hot Promo Action

Here is a nice selection of tunes that the record companies want you to hear this week...

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Higher Than The Stars (Saint Etienne Visits Lord Spank Remix)
This is where the indie rockers get the blissed out pop remix treatment from Saint Etienne.

The Dynamites feat. Charles Walker - If I Had Known
Sweet and soulful r'n'b of the old school variety.

Little Girls - Heinz
File under blistering post-punk riffage.

The Diogenes Club - The Ageless
Electro tinged pop music is good for you.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Steely Dan Redux

As many of you already know, I saw Steely Dan in Chicago a couple of weekends ago. It was the Chicago Theater - smallish, intimate, the perfect venue. Suffice it to say the band was smokin'. They played the classic Aja in it's sequential entirety, and then proceeded to romp through 14 gems from the extensive back catalog. Donald Fagen is a great band leader, orchestrating the 13 strong back up band while pounding on his Fender Rhodes or strolling the stage tootling his melodica. The crowd got boisterous and the band fed off of it - I've seen the Dan 3 times now and I've never seen so much interaction between Donald, Walter Becker and the crowd. Drummer Keith Carlock is a force to be reckoned with, capable of both extreme precision and loose grooves. Some of his solos were blisteringly good, as were those of the horn section and guitarists. All round worth the big dollars. The full set list is posted below, as well as a few clips of the show that I found on YouTube, all pretty decent in quality. Listen to some Dan songs here.

(Photo by me on theiPhone)
Tomorrow tickets go on sale for their Nov. 8th show @ the Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis. They will be playing Aja and the hits, and believe it or not I'm considering going again - for real. I like the Dan.

First Set:
1. “Black Cow”
2. “Aja”
3. “Deacon Blues”
4. “Peg”
5. “Home at Last”
6. “I Got the News”
7. “Josie”

Second Set:
8. “Black Friday”
9. “Time Out of Mind”
10. “Daddy Don't Live in that New York City No More”
11. “Bodhisattva”
12. “Babylon Sisters”
13. “Show Biz Kids”
14. “Hey Nineteen”
15. “Dirty Work”
16. “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart”
17. “Do It Again”
18. “Don't Take Me Alive”
19. “My Old School”
20. “Kid Charlemagne”

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Music Says I'm Old

This week's new releases that I am interested in are all... reissues of old records.

In case you live under a rock, this week brings remastered reissues of The Beatles back catalog. It is exciting for me because I only have the old albums on vinyl - I never did the original run of Beatles CDs in the '80s or the reissues in the '90s. If you have the big bucks (and can find it in a store) you can get them all together as a box set with a bonus DVD. I am choosing to go with the individual albums - I am a big fan of the later years, so I'm skipping some of the early stuff. From what I've managed to hear so far these reissues sound fantastic - crisp and clean and loud. So if you don't already own 'em I would recommend picking up a few.

The Stone Roses - Shoot You Down

The Stone Roses' self titled debut turned 20 years old this year, and this week it gets the deluxe 20th anniversary "legacy edition" treatment. In my musical kingdom it is almost as important as The Beatles records - a classic British rock record. Back in the day it was my fave for a long time. Remastered by original producer John Leckie and singer Ian Brown, it includes the original album with Fools Gold added as a bonus track, and a second CD of "The Lost Demos". You also get a DVD with a live show recorded in August of 1989 at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool as well as 6 music videos. It is a glorious reissue of a seminal album. It has been reissued before, but I stuck with my original issue CD. The old CD is a lot quieter than today's releases so I am pleased with the improved sound quality for sure! Haven't listened to the demos yet - not usually my thing - but have watched some of the live stuff and videos and it is all good! Shoot You Down is all about the guitar and shuffle-y beats - glorious!

The Feelies - Slipping (Into Something)

A couple of classic reissues from The Feelies hit stores this week too - Crazy Rhythms & The Good Earth. I was short on fundage so I went with The Good Earth from 1986. Produced by REM's Peter Buck, it is a fantastic set of VU inspired, jangly college rock that sounds just as good today as it did 23 years ago! The only annoyance is that the bonus content is not on the CD - you get a code to download three extra songs. Seems a bit goofy really, but whatever. Slipping (Into Something) is slow burning simmer with sinuous guitar that slowly builds into a storm of feedback and drums. Rock!!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Funky Friday

Time for the beats to move yer feets - some oldies mixed with some newish stuff- a fine SirBilly edit, a nice Dave Wrangler mash up, De La Soul on a Matt & Kim joint! Up and comers The Yes Pleases and Coo Gua are the shizzle in totally different ways. If these don't move you fuhgettaboutit.

YACHT vs. Amanda Blank - Might Like You Better (Dave Wrangler Remix)
The Sparks - Beat The Clock (SirBilly More Other Rhythms Edit)
Matt & Kim - Daylight (Troublemaker Remix feat. De La Soul)
James Chance & The Contortions - Roving Eye
Simian Mobile Disco - Audacity of Huge
Bits & Pieces - Don't Stop The Music
Boris - Buzz In (Nosajthing Remix)
The Yes Pleases - Designer
Alex Gopher - Handguns
Coo Gua - Planet #39