Monthly Archives: March 2015

Dust off your skinny tie: Duran Duran has new album; Janelle Monae features on 1st single

If you grew up in the 80s, you watched MTV. If you watched MTV, you knew about Duran Duran.

The 80s boy group rose to prominence on the (at least at one time) all-music-vids-all-the-time TV station your parents didn’t want you to watch. Your girlfriends could all pick their fave hot guy (Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor or Roger Taylor) and plaster him all over their Tiger Beat bedroom wall. (Trust me, they were unstoppably hot once).

Duran-Duran-Rio-1

“Her name is Rio, hear them shout across the land”

Duran Duran is hoping to reignite a bit of that 80s magic with a new album and recording deal. Duran Duran announced March 27 that it signed with Warner Brothers, as well as released details on their upcoming album, their 14th, due in September.

The British heartthrobs, which seemed tailor-made for the sheer excess bred by the Me Generation, exploded on MTV with their sleek, sometimes androgynous look. Their rock/pop blend of racy music was pretty catchy too. Songs like “Rio,” “The Reflex,” “The Wild Boys,” “Girls On Film,” and “Save A Prayer,” and “Hungry Like the Wolf” were all mega hits in Reagan’s day. Hell, one of their albums was even called “Arena.”

Duran Duran Rio

Duran Duran pioneered the over-saturated, sexy music video in the early 80s.

Bassist John Taylor added his thoughts to the band’s new deal. “We are also excited that this deal means we will be reunited with our catalogue after years apart – and in that sense it really feels a little like coming home,” said Taylor.

The first single from the album, “Pressure Off,” will feature singer/songwriter Janelle Monae. Former Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante and Kiesza also feature on the album.

Producers Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson and Mr Hudson have all put their funk-rock stamp on Duran Duran’s latest album. Ronson (“Uptown Funk”) produced Duran Duran’s album “All You Need Is Now” in 2010.

The group’s not one to mess with a good thing by sticking with Rodgers, who produced “The Wild Boys” in 1984, after remixing their number 1 hit “The Reflex” (remember that video? — when the flood comes out of the giant screen at the concert?), as well as produced the group’s album “Notorious.”

Duran Duran's video for "The Reflex" featured magic water.

Duran Duran’s video for “The Reflex” featured magic water.

More details to come. Check out what all the buzz was about by watching the video for “Rio” “Girls On Film,” and “Save A Prayer.” If you have no idea who they are, here’s a Duran Duran primer.

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Filed under New Romantic, Pop, Rock

Unknown Mortal Orchestra releases “Multi-Love” video and app

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Photo by Dusdin Condren

Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Photo by Dusdin Condren

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has released the video for “Multi-Love,” along with a downloadable video-game app that coincides with the song. Multi-Love is also the name of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s new album, due on Jagjaguwar on May 26.

“Multi-Love” begins with a Styx-like keyboard melody, then opens up into a full disco-tech beat and a killer pulsing drum line. The video features a multitude of psychedelic, fluorescent colors that constantly regenerate. Watch “Multi-Love” on Youtube.

UMO multilovepic

Director Lionel Williams explains the app: “It is meant to represent the vacuum of space by impressing upon inter-dimensional unfolding, immaterial objects, and time-driven reverberation of events. The virtual space allows for most 3D objects to trail in time – based on the directions one moves. You can construct & paint the objects in space to stretch them in any direction, to create infinitely vast compositional spaces.”

Game instructions: W, A, S, and D keys move you around and your mouse/trackpad controls where you look. Download the “Multi-Love” app:

Mac: http://smarturl.it/UMOMLmac

PC: http://smarturl.it/UMOMLpc

Unity Pro Source File: http://smarturl.it/UMOMLunity

Check out their folksy video for “Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark)”: It’s got Pinocchio-like puppets that are sometimes doing unmentionable things.

The band has also announced additional tour dates lined up through September:

UNKNOWN MORTAL ORCHESTRA TOUR
May 7 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall
May 9 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
May 10 – Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
May 20 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
May 21 – London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall
May 22 – Coventry, UK – Warwick University
May 23 – Liverpool, UK – Sound City
May 25 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet
May 26 – Berlin, Germany – Berghain Katine
May 27 – Brussels, Belgium – AB Club
May 28 – Paris, France – La Fleche d’or
May 28-30 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
May 29-31 – Nimes, France – This Is Not a Love Song
June 2 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
June 3 – Montreal, QC – Fairmount Theatre
June 4 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
June 5 – Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
June 6 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
June 8 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
June 9 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
June 10 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird
June 11 to 14 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
June 13 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
June 14 – Carboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
June 15 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
June 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
June 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
June 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
July 16 to 19   – Southwold, UK – Latitude Festival
July 23 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
July 26 – Vancouver, BC – Imperial
July 28 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
July 29 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
July 31 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Aug 1 – Santa Fe, NM – Skylight
Aug 2 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
Aug 3 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
Aug 5  – San Diego, CA – Casbah
Aug 6  – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
Aug 7 to 9 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
Sep 20 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg Pandora
Sep 22 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
Sep 23 – London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sep 24 – Birmingham, UK – The Library at the Institute
Sep 25 – Manchester, UK – The Ritz
Sep 26 – Dublin, IE – Whelan’s
Sep 28 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
Sep 29 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Sep 30 – Glasgow, UK – QMU

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Filed under Psychedelic rock

Chillwave genius Memory Tapes’ new single drops next week

memoryTapesWide

Memory Tapes’ latest single, “Fallout,” is the newest piece of music to come from the synth-pop genius since his “Sunday Morning Mix” last August. “Fallout” is the A-side of a single he’ll release on Carpark Records at the end of this month — the B-side of which is “House On Fire.”

According to brooklynvegan.com, Memory Tapes (Dayve Hawk) is also announcing a summer tour that begins July 25 at Baby’s All Right with Computer Magic.

Hawk, of New Jersey, is formerly leader of the Philadelphia-based group Hail Social, now defunct. Listen to “Fallout,” along with the rest of his music, at Memory Tapes’ blog site.

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Filed under Chillwave, Dance-Synth, Dream pop, Electronic, New Music, Synth pop

Big Data releases “2.0” today, launches tour Tuesday in NYC

Big Data's "2.0" is out now on Warner Bros.

Big Data’s “2.0” is out now on Warner Bros.

Electropop group Big Data today released their full-length debut album, “2.0,” on which acts like Joywave, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Kimbra, Twin Shadow and Jamie Lidell have all played a part. Only the song “Big Dater” lacks a special guest.

Joywave collaborated with Big Data on the August hit “Dangerous”— which is basically unstoppable due to its dropping bass line and danceable hook.

Big Data spoke with Wired recently about the new album. According to a press release, Big Data’s Alan Wilkis had this to say about “2.0”:

“With each song on 2.0, I set out to explore a specific issue or moment in technology, and lyrically they are often voiced from the perspective of the ‘bad guy’ in the narrative. I had the immense privilege of collaborating with a host of incredible vocalists on 2.0, and at the end of the day I just hope these songs make you smile, dance, and think a bit.”

Big Data also launches a national headline tour Tuesday at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. More dates below:

03/24  Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY*

03/25  The Sinclair – Boston, MA*

03/26  Underground Arts – Philadelphia, PA*

03/27  Black Cat – Washington, DC*

03/28  The LC Pavillion – Columbus, OH

03/30  Lincoln Hall – Chicago, IL*

03/31   Fine Line Music Café – Minneapolis, MN*

04/01  Rave Eagles Club – Milwaukee, WI*

04/02  The Shelter – Detroit, MI w/ ON AN ON

04/03  Grog Shop – Cleveland, OH*

04/04 Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA*

04/06 Main Street Armory – Rochester, NY*

04/07  Showplace Buffalo – Buffalo, NY*

04/17  Sweetwater 420 Fest – Atlanta, GA

04/19  Urban Lounge -Salt Lake City, UT^

04/21  Knitting Factory -Boise, ID^

04/22  Hawthorne Theatre -Portland, OR^

04/23  The Crocodile – Seattle, WA^

04/24  Venue – Victoria, BC^

04/25  VENUE Nightclub – Vancouver, BC^

04/27  Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA^

04/28  The Knitting Factory – Reno, NV^

04/29  Harlows – Sacramento, CA^

04/30  Troubadour -Los Angeles, CA^

05/03  DC101 Kerfuffle – Washington, DC

05/08  Big Guava Fest – Tampa, FL

05/09  Untapped Fort Worth – Fort Worth, TX

*w/ ON AN ON & CHAPPO

^w/ The Moth & The Flame

2.0 Track listing:
1) The Business of Emotion (feat. White Sea)
2) Dangerous (feat. Joywave)
3) Clean (feat. Jamie Lidell)
4) The Glow (feat. Kimbra)
5) Snowed In (feat. Rivers Cuomo)
6) Big Dater
7) Automatic (feat. Jenn Wasner)
8) Get Some Freedom (feat. Dragonette)
9) Sick For Me (feat. Bear Hands)
10) Perfect Holiday (feat. Twin Shadow)

Big Data has also just wrapped up his time at SXSW.

“2.0” is

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Filed under Alternative dance, Electro-pop, Electronic, Indie Rock, Rock

Kendrik Lamar, ‘Seinfield’ theme join forces in hilarious mashup

seinfeld-kramer-pimp-strut

GET. OUT!

Jack Dudley on his Soundcloud profile has made the ultimate, hilarious mashup — combining a portion of Kendrick Lamar’s “King Kunta” with the “Seinfeld” theme song — that familiar slapstick/bass-heavy goof-off song that made someone a millionaire (probably).

I first heard about the mashup through a pimped-out post on Noisey. True story: @Seinfeld2000 talked to Dudley to find out whether he’s a close talker or has the jimmy legs.

The song is only 50 seconds, but I promise it can be a lifetime if you just keep hitting play.

Ahh, the power of technology!

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Filed under Mashups, Seinfeld

Mas Ysa announces tour with Young Fathers, releases single “Look Up”

Today Mas Ysa released his single “Look Up” and detailed plans to open for England’s Young Fathers for their full U.S. tour. Mas Ysa’s delicate vocals match up perfectly with the positive vibe he employs through his synthpop/percussive sound.

After Mas Ysa’s “Worth” EP was released in February 2014, he stayed busy, touring with Delorean, EMA and Hundred Waters, as well as performed at SXSW, Pitchfork Music Fest, Primavera Sound, Hopscotch and more.

Stream “Look Up” here; Listen to “Look Up” on Soundcloud as well.

Mas Ysa

Mas Ysa

Dates with Young Fathers:

4/09/2015   Boston, MA at Great Scott

4/10/2015   Brooklyn, NY at Music Hall of Williamsburg

4/11/2015   Philadelphia, PA at Boot & Saddle

4/12/2015   Washington, DC at Rock and Roll Hotel

4/14/2015   Raleigh, NC at Kings

4/15/2015   Atlanta, GA at Masquerade

4/16/2015   New Orleans, LA at Republic

4/17/2015   Houston, TX at Fitzgeralds

4/18/2015   Dallas, TX at Trees

4/19/2015   Austin, TX at The Parish

4/21/2015   Phoenix, AZ at Pub Rock

4/22/2015   San Diego, CA at The Casbah

4/24/2015   Los Angeles, CA at The Echo

4/25/2015   San Francisco, CA at The Independent
4/29/2015   Portland, OR at Holocene

4/30/2015   Vancouver, BC at Fortune

5/01/2015   Victoria, BC at Distrikt

5/02/2015   Seattle, WA at Neumos

5/05/2015   Boise, ID at Neurolux

5/06/2015   Salt Lake City, UT at Urban Lounge

5/07/2015   Denver, CO at Larimer Lounge

5/08/2015   Lincoln, NE at Vega

5/09/2015   Minneapolis, MN at 7th Street Entry

5/10/2015   Chicago, IL at Lincoln Hall

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Filed under Synth, Synth pop

GABI’s new track “Fleece” is already remixed, and it’s extreme

GABI-SYMPT

GABI’s debut album is called “Sympathy” and is due out on April 7 via Software Recording Co.

If you haven’t heard GABI yet, it’s a good bet you’ll be blown away by her sophisticated sound. The Autre Ne Veut Club remix of her single “Fleece” takes you from 0-60 in an instant, moving from ethereal goddess-singer to hyper synth experimentalist. For the “Fleece” remix, GABI partnered with singer Autre Ne Veut, who is also on the Software Recording Co.
But GABI’s original “Fleece” is just as beautiful and ghostly. GABI takes each vocal intonation and builds upon it exponentially, creating an almost holy vocal experience.

GABI Fleece remix

GABI is Gabrielle Herbst, a New York-based composer and vocalist who studied clarinet and piano, as well as Balinese dance and gamelan in Indonesia. Herbst has also written for chamber orchestra and mixed instrumentation. That work prompted Herbst to create short vocal compositions as GABI. Her upcoming album “Sympathy” is based on the human voice “as instrument, story and landscape.” Working with GABI in the studio was Matthew OKoren on percussion, Rick Quantz on viola, Josh Henderson on violin, and Aaron Roche on electric guitar and trombone.
Listen/watch “Fleece (Autre Ne Veut Club Remix)” and watch the video.
GABI’s debut, “Sympathy” is expected April 7 via Software Recording Co. GABI’s record-release show is April 22 at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC.

 Tracklisting for “Sympathy”:

1. Koo Koo
2. Da Void
3. Love Song
4. Mud
5. Falling
6. Where
7. Fleece
8. Home
9. Hymn

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Filed under Ambient, Opera

Twerps’ “Range Anxiety” keeps the peace

Twerps Range Anxiety

Twerps’ second full-length album, “Range Anxiety,” builds like a slow and steady charge, starting with the homespun, casual sound of “House Keys.”

Twerps’ style of sunny guitar pop lightly touches on 60s harmonies and Big Star sentimentalities, creating a sound that’s mellow but not easily forgotten.

The band takes that amicable sound one step further with the song “Back To You,” brightening up the common cohabitation of drums, guitar and percussion, and defining the Australian band’s Replacements/mid-era REM influences.

Everyone in Twerps (guitarist Martin Frawley; bassist and synth-man Rick Milovanovic; drummer and guitarist Alex Macfarlane; and guitarist and keyboardist Julia McFarlane) trade vocals, which makes for a true ensemble band.

Julia McFarlane lends her straightforward but husky punk vocals to “Stranger.” Later, on “Shoulders,” McFarlane takes another solitary crack at the lyrics, adding her delicate vocals to a heartfelt and meaningful guitar ballad.

“White As Snow” uses a quirky but pretty, jangly guitar melody that’s straight 60s Britpop. It’s also the most memorable on “Range Anxiety.”

The slightly perturbed lyrics on “Cheap Education” — “I’m seeing action, but no feeling…../are you with me, or without me/ I’m picking reason before believing“ segue into “Love At First Sight.”

That dreamer of a song signals a complete turnaround from the towering bitterness of “Cheap Education,” portraying a simple romantic melody and youthful rhymes.

Throughout “Range Anxiety,” there’s an easygoing sense of harmony, of the feeling that the album can pull you out of whatever doldrums you’re in and gently nudge you back up.

“Range Anxiety” is on Merge Records.

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Filed under Folk, Indie Rock

ICYMI: Bjork’s video for “Lionsong” is physically unsettling

bjork-lionsong-heart

Bjork’s latest album “Vulnicura” contains some of her most intensely painful and personal work to date, and her video for “Lionsong” is capable of physically putting you on edge.

The pastel blue and yellow “feathers” that adorn Bjork’s outfit, now famous as the symbol of “Vulnicura,” looks like the fluffy stuff from milkweed pods, or dandelion fuzz.

The opening scene, of what looks like a steampunk heart chamber, beats and wanes uncertainly as Bjork sings, “Maybe he will come out of this, loving me.” She strokes her feathers lovingly.

Dressed in a shiny black space suit, Bjork appears suspended in white, floating, but still stuck in one place, another unnerving factor to the video. Bjork is only protected by a few colorful feathers, adding to her vulnerability. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself tensing up while watching it.

See “Lionsong” via Billboard.

bjork_vulnicura_alt

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Filed under Baroque Pop, Electronic, Experimental, Trip hop

Shades of Arcade Fire color “Policy,” Will Butler’s debut

Will Butler's "Policy" was released March 10 on Merge Records

Will Butler’s “Policy” was released March 10 on Merge Records

On his debut, “Policy,” singer-songwriter Will Butler attempts to scramble out from underneath the behemoth shadow of indie-rock super group Arcade Fire.

But the dreamy rock feeling that flows so freely from his previous band does not carbon-copy itself throughout “Policy.”

“Someone please, tell me what my name is” he laments on the Lennon-esque “Finish What I Started” as Butler stretches his legs to find his own identity.

It’s clear that Butler meant to bring a whimsical quality to “Policy,” as it possesses elements of alternative, rock, indie-pop, rockabilly and American folk-rock.

“Take My Side,” is a fun introduction to the album, declaring there will be few dark, introspective pockets on the album. “Sing To Me,” with its dramatic piano and organ notes, is the only real brooding song on the record, but is also the bluesiest and most heartfelt.

“What I Want” keeps a tongue-in-cheek humor, while “Anna” has an infectious, brisk beat led by a bright synthesizer melody; Butler easily evokes that famous Elvis hiccup. The elementary lyrics on “Anna” keeps things light as well.

Will Butler also sounds a lot like his brother, Win, and almost uncomfortably so, at least on “Something’s Coming.” But Will Butler’s familiar vocals are not what make that song the best of the bunch. It’s the hot blast of a disco-rock beat paired with an unusual deep, fuzzy bass and exuberant piano that makes it the catchiest on “Policy.”

While it’s true that Butler is still exhibiting sounds of his previous band, there’s enough of his boisterous personality on “Policy” to elicit welcome surprises.

Policy was released March 10 on Merge Records.

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Filed under Folk Rock, Indie pop, Rock