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Archive for December, 2012

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

"Happy New Year"

Lightspeed Champion covers ABBA

Photo via thepiratebaythepiratebayKind of an arbitrary selection to close out the year – and the regular cover of the week thing as a whole – but hey, it’s timely.

Dev Hynes doesn’t operate as Lightspeed Champion anymore, and even his new Blood Orange persona is presently taking a backseat to his role as Solange’s producer/co-conspirator, he was/is an amazingly prolific musician no matter what you call him, releasing music through whatever avenue happens to be convenient.

In 2007, that was MySpace and even before his debut full-length as Lightspeed Champion Falling Off The Lavender Bridge came out, he was giving away music to his early-adopter fans, like the Garageband Xmas EP. As the name implies, it was an EP of holiday songs recorded with GarageBand and one of the selections was the 1980 ABBA single from Souper Trouper. It’s an odd cover of an odd single, but it’s how we’re going out. And while the EP’s not available via MySpace anymore – though apparently they’re trying to be a thing again in 2013 so good luck with that – you can hope this torrent still works.

And with this the likely final post of year, I’d like to make note that the “worst retirement ever” will be getting a little less worst from here on out. I had said that I would ride 2012 out at pretty much the same pace I always had, but 2012 is over; expect things to get somewhat quieter hereabouts as, over these holidays, I’ve rediscovered how nice it is to not be writing a blog post every night/weekend. There’s actually a lot of hours in the day!

In any case, have a safe New Year’s Eve, and I’ll see you in 2013 eventually.

MP3: Lightspeed Champion – “Happy New Year”
Video: ABBA – “Happy New Year”

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

After You

Pulp, Wild Beasts, Frightened Rabbit, and more clear the closets for Boxing Week

Photo By Frank YangPulpHope everyone had a nice holiday. Just popping my head up to clear the decks before taking seasonal cover once again. Because despite very little technically happening over the last few days, a few noteworthy things floated their way up to the top of the internet, not least of which is a new old song from Pulp.

Though the safe return to port of the S.S. Coachella last week marked the band’s final engagement for the foreseeable future, they don’t go back into hiatus without some parting gifts. Passengers on the cruise were given gift cards with download codes which as of Christmas Day were redeemable for a new recording of an old song; “After You” had existed in demo form for many years, but recorded properly in November and given finishing touches on the cruise itself by James Murphy before being released to the cruise passengers, and then via Consequence Of Sound, onto the internet at large. The exact vintage of the tune is unclear but it certainly sounds like it predates their Common People/This Is Hardcore/We Love Life golden age, but hey. New! Old! Pulp! Happy! Christmas!

Stream: Pulp – “After You”

Wild Beasts have also offered up something from their archives, a track from the sessions for last year’s Smother.

Stream: Wild Beasts – “Stray”

Frightened Rabbit celebrated Christmas by giving away a holiday-themed track to their fans. Too late to make the caroling rounds this year, but an easy pick for your Christmas mixes next year. Their new album Pedestrian Verse is out February 5 and they play The Phoenix March 31.

MP3: Frightened Rabbit – “She Screams Christmas”

In what may the musical equivalent of constantly hitting refresh on the FedEx package tracking page, many were all agog about the announcement that My Bloody Valentine had completed mastering their new album, and while it seems unlikely that they’ll make good on Kevin Shields’ promise to release it this year, it’s done – as in out of Shields’ hands – and that much closer to being a reality. Exclaim has some specifics and design house IMeUs has some of the artwork that they submitted for consideration for the album’s packaging.

Radiohead Bonnaroo is a site that was set up to share a soundboard recording of Radiohead’s 2006 headlining set at said festival, though for a working download link you’ll have to hit Consequence Of Sound or, by now, your friendly neighbourhood bit torrent site.

Slicing Up Eyeballs have premiered a new Pet Shop Boys b-side, taken from “Memory Of The Future”, the latest single from Elysium.

Stream: Pet Shop Boys – “One Night”

Under The Radar interviews Django Django; they’re at The Opera House on March 12.

Wild Honey Pie has a video session with Daughter.

Editors frontman Tom Smith talks to The Daily Star about recovering from the departure of guitarist Chris Urbanowicz and their plans for their next album.

The Deer Tracks also offered up a Christmas gift to fans in the form of an unreleased track in both MP3 and video form. Their Archer Trilogy Pt. 3 full-length is due out on February 12 and there’s an interview with the band at MTV.

MP3: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”
Video: The Deer Tracks – “Bucket Of Sunbeams”

Low are streaming the first taste of their new album The Invisible Way, out March 19.

Stream: Low – “Plastic Cup”

Under The Radar has details on the fourth (!) Guided By Voices reunion album – English Little League is coming April 30. Ready yourself.

Hey, you know Color Me Obsessed, the Replacements documentary from a few years ago that featured no appearances from or music by The Replacements? You can now watch all two hours of it online. If you want.

Video: Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements

CBC Music talks to Japandroids about their killer 2012.

NOW has a video session with Evening Hymns.

The lineup for the third installment of Fucked Up’s Long Winter series has been announced – hit the Great Hall on January 11 for sets from Buck 65, Picastro, Moon King, and more. Cover is PWYC.

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

"Silent Night"

Richard Hawley covers Father Joseph Mohr

Photo By Frank YangFrank YangWait, who?

No, that’s not a misspelling of Father John Misty. Joseph Mohr is the 19th century Austrian priest who wrote the Christmas carol that would become know as “Silent Night” in English. Read about it at Wikipedia if you want to know more.

And click on the MP3 and video below if you want to hear Richard Hawley do his crooningest interpretation of the classic. The studio version comes from a holiday gift single which was given to attendees of a show in Sheffield in December 2006; luckily for us, one of those attendees saw fit to rip it and let it loose onto the internet. The live video is from the 2010 edition of Ireland’s Other Voices festival, and has Hawley backed by Jarvis Cocker and Lisa Hannigan.

Richard Hawley’s latest album Standing At The Sky’s Edge was released earlier this year. It’s great. “Silent Night” is, at this very second, being played or sung somewhere in the world and will continue to be so for the next three days. Just accept it.

Happy holidays.

MP3: Richard Hawley – “Silent Night”
Video: Richard Hawley (with Jarvis Cocker and Lisa Hannigan) – “Silent Night” (live)
Video: St. Thomas Boy’s Choir – “Stille Nacht”

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Fade

Happy holidays from Yo La Tengo and also me but mostly Yo La Tengo

Photo By Carlie ArmstrongCarlie ArmstrongSo here’s one last housecleaning post before basically winding down for the holidays. Which isn’t to say I won’t pop back next week, but let’s not assume so.

Happily, Yo La Tengo have made it easy to wrap things up – whereas most quiet down in December, the trio traditionally have their busiest run of the year thanks to their eight-night run of Hannukah shows at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. The combination of a tiny room and ridiculously cool opening acts and special guests have made the events instant sellouts, so those of us who don’t reside in or around the New Jersey area can thank NYC Taper for doing their best to document and share the proceedings.

This year, they captured seven of the eight shows and have made them all available to download, so when you’re sick of Christmas carols, pick one and turn it up. And if you want more, Matablog reports that special mix CDs compiled by the band from their own record collections and made available at the shows will be put on sale online today and tomorrow with all proceeds going to Norton Records, whose Brooklyn warehouse was basically destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Update: And night six is up. Collect them all!

Looking ahead to the January 15 release of their new album Fade, a new video from the record was just released – yes, it’s a time-lapse of a tree not entirely dissimilar to the one on the album cover; it serves as a nice companion piece to the “Before We Run” clip released last month. There’s also a short interview with Ira Kaplan about the new record at DIY, and a gentle reminder that the band are in town at The Phoenix on February 9.

And to keep it seasonal, here’s the Jan Terri cover that led off their 2002 Merry Christmas From Yo La Tengo EP. Because it’s fun.

MP3: Yo La Tengo – “Rock’N’Roll Santa”
Video: Yo La Tengo – “Ohm”

Exclaim has some details on the new Guided By Voices EP coming in the new year. It’s called Down By The Racetrack and will be available as of January 22.

Fast Company Create talks to J Mascis and mixer John Agnello and Village Voice to Lou Barlow about why the Dinosaur Jr reunion has been so successful.

Earlier this week, Bob Mould stopped by Reddit for an “Ask Me Anything” session. On March 1, he stops by The Horseshoe for face-tearing rock session.

Some show announcements before people stop paying attention entirely… American lo-fi soul saviour Cody ChesnuTT brings his 2012 release Landing On A Hundred to Wrongbar on February 10, tickets $19.50 in advance.

Video: Cody ChesnuTT – “Till I Met Thee”

Nashville’s Caitlin Rose is at The Garrison on April 5 as part of a Spring tour in support of her new album The Stand-In, due out February 25. A couple of tracks from the record are available to stream.

Stream: Caitlin Rose – “No One To Call”
Stream: Caitlin Rose – “I Was Cruel”

Brooklyn’s Caveman aren’t saying much about their follow-up to last year’s debut Coco Beware besides that it will be out this Spring, but they’ve already announced a tour to promote it. Look for them at Lee’s Palace on March 1, tickets $10.50.

MP3: Caveman – “Easy Water”
MP3: Caveman – “Thankful”

Memphis’ Lucero have graduated to the big rooms – the March 26 date of their Spring tour, still in support of this year’s Women & Work, will have them at The Phoenix. Tickets for that are $20.

Video: Lucero – “Women & Work”

NYC Taper is sharing a recording of Sharon Van Etten’s secret show in Brooklyn last week and The Sydney Morning Herald a short interview. She’s here at Massey Hall on March 23 opening up for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

She & Him get animated in a video for last year’s A Very She & Him Christmas, confirming that releasing a Christmas album is one of the best business decisions – if also one of the worst artistic decisions – a musician can make.

Video: She & Him – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

The 405 talks to Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing.

It shouldn’t be a point of surprise – they were due – but it’s still exciting that Yeah Yeah Yeahs have confirmed a new album will be out in the Spring via Twitter.

Bat For Lashes have released a third video from The Haunted Man. The Guardian talks to Natasha Khan about her 2012.

Video: Bat For Lashes – “A Wall”

Interview and The Village Voice talk to METZ.

Not sure why it took so long, but Modern Superstitions’ solidly garage-rocking self-titled debut is now available to stream. And buy.

MP3: Modern Superstitions – “Bad Habit”
Stream: Modern Superstitions / Modern Superstitions

Stereogum goes record-listening with John O’Regan of Diamond Rings. The Calgary Herald also has an interview.

That’s it, hopper’s about empty. Have a happy and safe holiday season everyone.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Shaker Hymns

Dry The River dry the Shallow Bed

Photo via Dry The RiverDry The RiverLondon’s Dry The River may not have had quite the world-conquering 2012 that I’d predicted for them back in the Spring, but they’ve still had a very good year, their debut album Shallow Bed delivering on the buzz that they’d built up at home and also translating trans-Atlantically, justifying a couple of North American tours. Not quite Mumford-level triumphs for the folk-rockers, but pretty damn good for a first outing.

So good, that they’ve recorded the album all over again. They’ve released an all-acoustic version of Shallow Bed entitled Shallow Bed Acoustic, and it may be just the thing for those who found the dramatically-produced original version a touch over the top, or maybe just want to be able to focus on the band’s impressive multi-part harmonies without all those crashing guitars. Either way, it’s a thing, you can buy it digitally, and it’s streaming in whole right now over at Clash. Give a listen, and maybe read this interview with frontman Peter Liddle at Nuvo.

Stream: Dry The River / Shallow The Bed Acoustic

London’s Citizens! – making a name for themselves amongst those who like their pop electro and dancey are making good on the title of their debut album Here We Are by being here – at Wrongbar, specifically – on March 7. Tickets $15 in advance.

Video: Citizens! – “True Romance”

The Line Of Best Fit has details on the debut album from the hotly-tipped British newcomers Palma Violets. Entitled 180, it will be out on 25 February of next year, so it’s unlikely there’ll be copies for sale when they play The Horseshoe on January 24… and yet somehow, I’m betting everyone there will have heard it. Magic!

The Quietus has some more details on the new House Of Love album She Paints Words In Red, direct from Guy Chadwick’s mouth. They’ve also got the release date – April 1.

Express Milwaukee talks to The Joy Formidable. Their new record Wolf’s Law is out January 22.

Pitchfork has got a three-part documentary video on The xx streaming on their site. If that’s your thing.

Time Out asks Emmy The Great how to write a great Christmas song. Because, if you’ll recall, last year she – with Ash’s Tim Wheeler – released an album’s worth. And they’ve just released a video from it – any resemblance between it and an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer are purely intentional, I’m sure.

Video: Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Zombie Christmas”

Of Monsters & Men talk to Rolling Stone about their plans for album number two.

The Raveonettes, on the other hand, tell The Von Pip Musical Express they may be done with the album form entirely despite being one of the more prolific bands of recent memory.

Artrocker talks to Swedish post-punks Holograms.