It has been fourteen years since Death Cab For Cutie frontman, Ben Gibbard, released his debut EP, You Can Play These Songs With Chords, on cassette. Almost a decade and a half later, with three gold records and one platinum under his belt, Gibbard is still winning the hearts of boys and girls who are searching for love and how to deal with heartbreak. Even for those of us who grew up listening to The Photo Album or Transatlanticism, his story telling still catches our ears and we have to give it a listen. No matter how far your musical exploration has taken you, you always know that Death Cab For Cutie will be there, crying out for the brokenhearted and the lovers all at once.
The cool part about Graffiti6 is that whether you're listening to a soul-funk-dance track like "Starlight" or a digitized, pop-ballad like "Annie You Save Me", all their songs can be striped of effects and a hundred layers of vocals and played acoustically. There's not many dance party groups you can say that about.
Graffiti6 is the love child of famed producer, DJ, arranger, and writer Tommy D and singer/songwriter Jamie Scott. Tommy D is known for his work with such greats as Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, KT Tunstall and he even produced Right Said Fred's hit, "I'm Too Sexy" (remember that gem?). Jamie Scott reached his international acclaim with two solo albums under the pseudonym, Jamie Scott & The Town, and has toured alongside Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson.
STOP! what ever it is you are doing, dig those headphones into your ear canals, and prepare your mind for this explosion of sultry bass grooves, rat-a-tat-ttacking drums, and raw life - in stereo.
This sounds pretty close to a promo or a plug for The Bright Light Social Hour. Like they are a distant relative of an estranged uncle and we're trying to get in their good graces so we'll be invited over for Thanksgiving dinner; but let me assure you, this album is every bit as important for dance-funk-soul-rock as Girl Talk's Night Ripper was for bringing mash-ups to the big leagues. Or hell - every bit as timely as when we realized that "Parents just don't understand."
Summer is the time for mischievous flirtation; the time when courtships bloom; and the time when freedom is felt from a warm breeze on bare skin. Battles video for their latest single, "Ice Cream", has all the elements that make for an early launch to the much anticipated sunshine-season. The track features kickin' ass karate students, shoes, the classic single-room battles video performance, and a lot of...well, licking - naturally.
Three years after the acclaimed release of their first album, Mirrored (Warp Records), lead vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist, Tyondai Braxton, left the group to pursue his solo career. But the remaining trio - Iam WIlliams, John Stanier, and Dave Konopka - refused to let the loss of a leg stumble their climb up the mountain. Glass Drop (Warp), which is set for release on June 7, is a matured version of the dance-rock party that Battles has grown into since 2004. Their style, while still beautifully raw and full of pure energy, is more eloquent and staggeringly grooveable.
Some songs just hit you. Anger, sadness, happiness - like no other art form, music has this ability to viscerally imbed itself within your soul, affirming or shaking the very core of which you've built yourself upon. In his newest single, "Is It Done", J Mascis cranks up the nostalgia and has the video prove it.
As the frontman-songwriter for Dinosaur Jr., Mascis has always teetered on the vague and ominous, and backed it up with wailing guitar solos and volumes of distortion. But on this new solo album, Several Shades of Why, Mascis cuts through his self-produced indie twang and scratches more on his Neil Young roots with acoustic track after acoustic track. Though Mascis is still as misty as always on the subject matter, the record feels more personal and intimate because of the close-encountered feeling from the almost strictly all-vocals-and-guitar tracks.
Battles - "Ice Cream"
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of Battles. They released a string of three EP's - EP C, 6/2004, Monitor Records; B EP, 9/2004, Dim Mak Records; and Tonto+, 10/2007, Warp Records, featuring some epic tracks including "B+T" and "SZ2". They rocked us with their first LP in 2007, Mirrored (Warp Records). And since then, have been touring festivals and the world turning heads and bringing the heavy, indie-dance to everyone that'll listen.
If you're one of those that dig the Battles vibe, today is your lucky day. Ian Williams, John Stanier, Dave Konopka, and Tyondai Braxton (Guitar, guitar, drums, vocals respectively), have set a release date for their highly anticipated sophmore album, Glass Drop (Warp Records). June 6/7, 2011 will be a glorious day for you fans, but have no fear, take a sneak peak at their single off the Glass Drop, "Ice Cream". Go here for more Battles info.
Get this: Outkast's Big Boi has been assisting in the production of Modest Mouse's new album. Though Issac Brock, singer-guitarist of the band, and the guys haven't mentioned anything, Big Boi dropped a series of excited tweets about their work.
"Me and @mouche1 [producer Chris Carmouche] in the studio workin with Modest Mouse on their new album Turnt up ! Shout out to Issac and the crew!"; "Been camped out in the Lab with Modest Mouse all week, workin on the new mouse LP, coolest cats ever. Long Live The Funk"; "Modest Mousin' it."
Soon after TV on the Radio finished recording their sixth and most recent studio album, Nine Types of Light, bassist Gerard Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer. In light of the tragic news, Smith took time off from the bands touring schedule to fight the battle. Sadly, last week, on April 20, 2011, Smith, 36, lost that battle and died.
After the event, the band released this statement, "We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly."
It's been twenty years since Jane's Addiction frontman, Perry Farrell, began his plans to host a farewell show that would rock the history books. His vision, however, mutated in to something far bigger than even he could have imagined and in 1991, the first Lollapalooza was born.
Over the course of two decades (sans a five year hiatus from 1998 to 2002, and a cancellation in 2004), Lollapalooza has been host to the zeitgeist of musical illumination, presenting landmark acts such as: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Ice Cube, Sonic Youth, Rage Against the Machine, Ministry, Tool, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, George Clinton and the P Funk All-Stars, Henry Rollins, L7, Beastie Boys, the Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day and so many more.
September 2, 3 & 4 - Friday through Sunday - will mark the 3rd annual Electric Zoo. Over one hundred of the worlds most talented electronic artists, from live acts to DJ's, will take to several stages to create the hottest dance party this side of...anywhere.
Electric Zoo takes your classic club night and infuses it with the fashion and raw energy that can only be summoned through a full weekend of the freshest dance music out there. For three straight days and nights, Randall's Island Park, New York City, will be taken over by the best of the best in house, dubstep, trance, techno, electro, indie dance and more. This is New York's Electronic Music Festival.