Xiu Xiu, Mitski

Listen: Xiu Xiu & Mitski collaboration “Between the Breaths”

Apr 20, 2018

Wow, what a great and pleasantly surprising collaboration between Mitski and Xiu Xiu. Their new track "Between the Breaths" will be featured on the soundtrack to the promising looking How to Talk to Girls at Parties, which comes out in May. The nearly seven-minute song takes all kinds of unusual turns. Check it out:

Frankie Cosmos

Watch: Frankie Cosmos Perform All of New Album Vessel for Juan’s Basement

Apr 19, 2018

Juan's Basement, the video series of performances and interviews has returned after a ten-year hiatus. Frankie Cosmos was one of the first featured guests and you can check out the full performance of their new album Vessel here:

 

 

0:56 Caramelize 4:37 Apathy 7:02 As Often as I Can 8:12 This Stuff 10:16 Jesse 13:09 Duet 15:49 Accommodate 17:27 I'm Fried 19:14 Hereby 20:30 Ballad of R & J 22:30 Ur Up 23:27 Being Alive 25:55 Bus Bus Train Train 27:27 My Phone 28:15 Cafeteria 31:24 The End 33:05 Juan Puns 33:37 Same Thing 35:18 Vessel

 

Parquet Courts

Watch: Parquet Courts Perform New Song “Normalization” on KEXP

Apr 18, 2018

Parquet Courts is coming back with a new album Wide Awake! on May 18th – Oh joy. The firebrands were missed and it's good to see them picking up where they left off and keeping it punk with their performance of "Normalization" from the upcoming album at KEXP in February.

Bonnie “Prince” Billy

Stream: 1995 Will Oldham and co. Album “Viva Last Blues”

Apr 16, 2018

There always seems to be another obscure and amazing Will Oldham recording surfacing. Today it came in the announcement on Drag City that Oldham's 1995 material was now available to stream. One of the recordings is the Steve Albini produced Viva Last Blues, which finds Oldham in great company. 

The beautiful and transporting album was recorded at Bates Brothers Recording in Hueytown, Alabama, near Birmingham where Oldham lived at the time. Here's some background from Drag City: "The Bates’ ample supply of beautifully-maintained keyboards made inviting Liam Hayes to the session a no-brainer. Oldham spoke with Britt Walford about playing drums but eventually, Walford formally balked. Instead, Will was encouraged by brother Paul Oldham to ask Jason Loewenstein to come drum. Loewenstein (of Sparkalepsy and Sebadoh) was living in Louisville at the time. Ned Oldham played the bass.  Bryan Rich played “lead guitar”; questions still get asked about where said guitar was leading. Oldham has said that Stevie Wonder’s Music Of My Mind and Cat Stevens’ Catch Bull At Four were sonic influences, though such influence is hardly notable in the final product. Albini did some significant maintenance work on the 2” tape machines at the Bates studio in order to get things properly up and running. The record was titled Viva Last Blues, in partial tribute to the movies of Russ Meyer. The “last” aspect had to do with Oldham feeling like he was coming to the end of a certain trajectory of discovery."

Prefuse 73

Listen: New Prefuse 73 “Basinskitarian”

Apr 13, 2018

Producer Guillermo S. Herren has been making complex and captivating electronic beats as Prefuse 73 for years. Herren has resurfaced to announce his first solo album in three yearsSacrifices, set for release on May 25 via Lex Records. "Basisnskitarian" (someone who only listens to William Basinski?) is the first single from the new album and is challenging and rewarding, in classic Prefuse 73 form.

Here's some context for the new album: "Following a detour into fractured, kaleidoscopic hip-hop on recent releases, Herren has become increasingly interested in injecting a sense of space into his characteristically complex productions. The resultant 17-track collection is akin to watching an old photograph deteriorate in one's hands, as otherwise dense beats dissipate into airy expanses of emotionally resonant electronics. Its effect is not unlike attempting to recall a murky memory of a dream of Herren's earliest works, imbibed with the subtlety of modern minimalism....Sacrifices presents new terrain for the enigmatic Herren, a reinvigorated progenitor unafraid to swap his trademark freneticism for patient sonic pointillism, casting his penchant for beat making in an atmospheric new light."

Welcome back Prefuse 73.

Fleet Foxes

Watch: Fleet Foxes “If You Need To, Keep Time on Me” Video

Apr 12, 2018

Fleet Foxes just released their video for "If You Need To, Keep Time on Me" from last year's gracefully woven Crack-Up. The gorgeous Rorschach symmetry of the fluidly moving art moves perfectly with the lovely ballad. If you need a moment of peace right now, watch and listen:

Cold Fronts

Premiere: Cold Fronts “Stayin’ In” Video

Apr 11, 2018

Cold Fronts out of Philadelphia will be releasing their sophomore album Fantasy Du Jour on 4/20 via Sire Records and based on the lead single, the date is not incidental. Noisey aptly called the first single "Stayin' In", "perfectly formed nugget of slacker rock and Under the Radar has the premiere of the video that reaffirms this notion. Celebrating the position that there's nothing wrong with staying in to partake in a little music and mind alteration, the video of the uptempo garage-pop track takes a slow pull in on lead singer and guitarist Craig Almquist taking the brunt of a jam session bong rip before giving way to some appropriate animation.

Almquist added this funny warning: "So, originally the concept for the video was just a one shot of me ripping a bong and our director warned me that it might take like 3-5 tries but it actually took us ten. This was the tenth one. I don’t recommend doing ten bong rips back to back, mostly because it just hurts your lungs. But honestly you don’t need me to tell you that, you already know. Also, there's a cool animation sequence that happens at the end of the video in case you get bored of me coughing and drooling on myself for a minute."

Formed in by Almquist in 2010, Cold Fronts (great name, by the way) were discovered in 2012 by Sire Records co-founder, Seymour Stein while playing an impromptu show on the streets of Austin at SXSW. They released their debut Forever Whatever in 2015 and followed that by touring with bands like White ReaperThe WeeksHinds and Sunflower Bean. Cold Fronts will follow the release of Fantasy Du Jour with an extended US tour, dates below.


 

Tour Dates
04/20 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY - Album Release Show
04/28 - Spark Art Space - Syracuse, NY 
04/29 - Mohawk Place - Buffalo, NY
05/24 - Constellation Room - Santa Ana, CA*
05/25 - Soma Side Stage - San Diego, CA*
05/26 - Lodge Room - Los Angeles, CA*
05/27 - Cafe Du Nord - San Francisco, CA*
05/30 - Analog Cafe - Portland, OR*
05/31 - Funhouse - Seattle, WA*
06/02 - Kilby Court, Salt Lake City, UT*
06/03 - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO*
06/05 - Turf Club - Minneapolis, MN*
06/06 - Beat Kitchen - Chicago, IL*
06/07 - The Underground at DIME - Detroit, MI*
06/08 - The Funhouse - Pittsburgh, PA*
06/09 - Hard Luck - Toronto, ON*
06/10 - Middle East Upstairs - Boston, MA*
06/12 - Baby's Allright - New York, NY*
06/13 - DC9 - Washington D.C.*
06/14 - Everybody Hits - Philadelphia, PA*
06/15 - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA*
06/16 - Masquerade - Atlanta, GA*
06/17 - Soundbar - Orlando, FL*
06/19 - White Oak Music Hall Upstairs - Houston, TX*
06/20 - Barracuda - Austin, TX*
06/21 - Three Links - Dallas, TX*
06/22 - Lowbrow Palace - El Paso, TX*
06/23 - Rebel Lounge - Phoenix, AZ*
 
*with Hockey Dad

Gruff Rhys

Watch: Gruff Rhys “Frontier Man” Video

Apr 10, 2018

The prolific Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals is set to release his fifth album Babelsberg and his first record for Rough Trade since 2007’s classic Candylion. Today, Rhys shared the video for the first song on the album “Frontier Man”. Watch with pleasant amusement below.

Here's what Rhys said about the idea for the new album and some background on the project: “I’d made a note of the word Babelsberg after driving past a sign when I was on tour in 2014. Cut to a few years later and the studio where I recorded the album was being knocked down just a week after I finished to make way for a ‘luxury’ apartment development. I was looking for a name that evoked the Tower of Babel - people building towers to reach an idea of heaven (but maybe creating a kind of hell - I’m an atheist by the way!) In any case I had written Babelsberg down and when I listened to the songs together, it finally made sense why I’d done that.”

The album’s ten tracks were initially recorded in early 2016 in a whirlwind three-day session that took place before producer Ali Chant’s studio was demolished. The band he gathered for the record were his regular drummer Kliph Scurlock (ex-Flaming Lips) and multi-instrumentalists Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo) and Osian Gwynedd. The ten tracks then hibernated for eighteen months, awaiting orchestral scores by Swansea based composer Stephen McNeff and the incredible work of the 72 piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

The result is Gruff’s best record to date - a ten song index of modern times, each track set to timeless, indelible melody. Amazingly, for a collection of songs written over two years ago, each one seems to pull very sharp focus on the times we’re living in.

Over the course of Babelsberg’s forty-something minutes, Gruff manages to perfectly document our troubled and troubling times with humor, grace and always addictive melody. In a career that’s spanned three decades, two languages, multiple bands, offshoots, collaborations and one boundless imagination, Babelsberg is arguably Gruff’s finest set of songs to date.