Keith KlenowskiWhile 2010 was unquestionably the year of The National with the release of their breakout record High Violet, the band haven’t been entirely quiet this year, continuing to tour and also releasing a couple of new tracks for soundtracks to various things. One of them was for Portal 2, which I’m led to understand is a video game; I’m still working on finishing Super Mario Bros so I’ll have to take your word for it.
But rather than just put the song out there, the band and game producers made a proper single of it and enlisted fans to create and submit videos for the slow-burning, piano-led song and out of the 320 entries, chose two they found to be standouts – one featuring a sad lip-synching sock puppet and another animated in theme with the game – and awarded them first and 1.00000000001th place, with prizes awarded to both. The second place entry and other notable clips are available to view at the Portal 2 website.
MP3: The National – “Exile Vilify”
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify” (1st Place)
Video: The National – “Exile Vilify” (1.00000000001th Place)
Girls have released a video for the first single from their forthcoming album Father, Son, Holy Ghost. It’s out September 13 and they play The Mod Club on the 27th of the month.
Video: Girls – “Vomit”
Warpaint are re-releasing their 2010 debut The Fool in an inevitable deluxe edition come September 19, in the UK at least. The bonus incentives include the entirety of their 2009 EP Exquisite Corpse – which is absolutely worth hearing, even if it features actress Shannyn Sossamon on drums rather than current powerhouse Stella Mozgawa and also a re-recorded version of Billie Holiday, which is available to stream at Wears The Trousers. The Galway Advertiser has a feature piece on the band.
Paste has put tUnE-yArDs on the cover of their latest electronic edition of their magazine. She plays Lee’s Palace on September 24.
The London Evening Standard profiles Annie Clark of St. Vincent. Her latest Strange Mercy is out September 13.
Cowbell has an interview with Stephen Malkmus, whose new album with The Jicks Mirror Traffic is out August 23. They play The Phoenix on September 21.
One-time Guided By Voices member and rock journalist James Greer has posted recollections of the time GBV were being courted by Warner Bros to his blog.
MTV talks to Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn about the decision to make a solo record, as he is for release in early 2012.
Into The Woods has a video session with Okkervil River wherein they perform the B-side to their “Rider” single; the A-side of their new single is now available to download – the 7″ of which comes with another new song as the B-side – stream that one at Pitchfork.
MP3: Okkervil River – “Your Past Life As A Blast”
NPR has a World Cafe session with Jason Isbell while The Corner News and The Emory Wheel.
A new MP3 from Blitzen Trapper’s forthcoming American Goldwing is now available to download. The album is out September 13 and they play The Opera House on October 30.
MP3: Blitzen Trapper – “Love The Way You Walk Away”
Ryan Adams has confirmed an October 11 release date for his new solo record Ashes & Fire; Spin has details on the album and some of the guests who’ll make appearances.
Blurt reports that Calexico are assembling a vinyl box set of their many, many (eight in total) tour-only releases. Entitled Road Atlas, the collection is being targeted for a Fall release.
NOW talks to Dayve Hawk of Memory Tapes, taking the stage at Wrongbar tomorrow night around midnight.
Singer-songwriter Sean Rowe returns to town for a show at The Rivoli on September 9, tickets $11.50 in advance.
MP3: Sean Rowe – “Jonathan”
Spinner talks to Marissa Nadler, who has announced a Fall tour that brings her back to town for a show at the El Mocambo on September 13 with Irish singer-songwriter Vincent James McMorrow. She’s promoting her self-titled album, released earlier this Summer and has just put out a new video.
MP3: Marissa Nadler – “Baby I Will Leave You In The Morning”
Video: Marissa Nadler – “Alabaster Queen”
With their second album Dracula set for a September 20 release, Portland’s Nurses have made a date at The Drake Undergroudn for October 19.
MP3: Nurses – “Fever Dreams”
Tags: Blitzen Trapper, Calexico, Craig Finn, Girls, Guided By Voices, Hold Steady, Jason Isbell, Marissa Nadler, Memory Tapes, National, Nurses, okkervil river, Ryan Adams, Sean Rowe, St Vincent, Stephen Malkmus, tUnE-yArDs, Warpaint