Sunday, November 30, 2014

Emilana Torrini - "Tookah"

Directed by the visual artist group Shynola, Emilíana Torrini's video for "Tookah" features her animated head (and sometimes hands) seemingly floating in water. About halfway through the video, the face begins to distort and multiply. The animation is amazing, though it definitely crosses the uncanny valley and becomes a little creepy. Still, an incredible video from a great collection of artists.

Emilíana released her latest album, also titled Tookah, in October of last year.

New Music Tuesday - November 4, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Arca - Xen

This Venezuelan producer has made a name for himself working with Kanye West on Yeezus and FKA Twigs for her second EP and debut album. His work has also gotten him attention from Björk, whose upcoming ninth album he is slated to work on. He is also a musician in his own right; he released several EPs in 2012 and a mixtape last year. This is his debut full-length. Just about everything he's done has come packaged with somewhat disturbing visuals, courtesy of artist and collaborator Jesse Kanda.

Watch: "Now You Know"
Watch: "Thievery"

Calvin Harris - Motion

Calvin Harris is a much more established producer out of Scotland. He has worked with Dizzee Rascal, Kylie Minogue, and Rihanna, but has also released several solo records. His latest features guest spots from Tinashe, Big Sean, and Haim.

Watch: "Open Wide" (featuring Big Sean)
Watch: "Outside" (featuring Ellie Goulding)

Deerhoof - La Isla Bonita

Writing for the 12th album from the now-two-decade-old Deerhoof began when they tried to write a song replicating their live version of the Ramones' "Pinhead." That is not the only influence on the album, they also draw broader inspiration from The Roots, to David Byrne, to Radiohead. The band has always shown a wide variety of styles and influences in their music, so the breadth shown on this record is no surprise.

Watch: "Paradise Girls"
Watch: "Exit Only"

Grouper - Ruins

Grouper, real name Liz Harris, has been performing under the name for almost a decade. Her ninth album, The Man Who Died in His Boat, received fairly universal acclaim when it was released last year. But reviews for her follow-up are even better. The album was recorded before her previous album was released, in 2011, with one track recorded way back in 2004.

Watch: "Made of Air"
Listen: "Holding"

Hideout - Rookie

Hideout is made up of Cory Stier and Gabriel Rodriguez, who provide drums and guitar for indie pop band Cults while on tour. The two are also longtime friends, but started writing and recording tracks together about two years ago. The result of their collaboration is this debut album.

Listen: "Where You've Been"
Listen: "Skylights"

Jon Batiste Chad Smith Bill Laswell - The Process

Red Hot Chili Peppers have become such a big name in their own right, that it's easy to forget that many of its members work in side projects. In this project, drummer Chad Smith partners up with Louisiana jazz musician Jon Batiste and bassist Bill Laswell. The album was intended to be a score for a movie which, apparently, will never get made. It brings together an even wider variety of musicians, including Toshinori Kondo, Killah Priest, and Tunde Adibimpe.

Listen: "Drop Away"
Listen: "The Drift"

Les Sins - Michael

Chaz Bundick has been performing under the name Toro Y Moi since 2008, but has been releasing singles as Les Sins since 2010. The side project focuses on dance music. His first album under the name is largely instrumental, and was inspired by cartoon soundtracks. It does feature some vocals, in the form of guest artist Nate Salman on the track "Why."

Watch: "Bother"
Watch: "Why"

Theophilus London - Vibes!

This is the second album from the young hip hop and R&B musician with the awesome name. He has always attracted some impressive guests, which have included Sara Quin, Glasser, and Solange Knowles in the past. On this go-around, he is working with Soko, Devonte Hynes, and Kanye West.

Watch: "Tribe"
Listen: "Can't Stop"

Other New Releases

Bob Dylan - The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

This is the 11th volume in Bob Dylan's long-running (since 1991) Bootleg Series. It is also a continuation of the Basement Tapes, which were recordings from Dylan following an 1966 injury. The album brings together several hours of new songs and alternate takes.

The Dead Weather - "Buzzkill(er)"/"It's Just Too Bad"

It's been four years since the release of The Dead Weather's last album, Sea of Cowards. In the time since, we've gotten a couple of solo records from Jack White, while Alison Mosshart released a 2011 album with her main act, The Kills. The Dead Weather plan to release a new album next year, but first we get a pair of awesome new songs, the latest in a series of singles over the past couple of years.

Listen: "Buzzkill(er)"

The Dismemberment Plans - Change Reissue

After reuniting to tour in 2010, this band released Uncanney Valley in 2013, their first album in 12 years. It wasn't their best work and it left many fans a little disappointed. This time, they're turning an eye back to their earlier work, re-releasing their 2001 record.

Listen: "The Face of the Earth"
Listen: "Secret Curse"

Domo Genesis - Under the Influence 2

Domo Genesis is the stage name of Dominique Cole, a member of the expansive Odd Future rap group, as well as the subgroup MellowHigh. He is slated to release his first full-length sometime next year, but has four mixtapes under his belt (as a solo artist).

Listen: "24 Hour Spitness"
Listen: "Go Outside" (featuring Iamsu!)

Hyperdub 10.4

This is the fourth and final installment of Hyperdub's 10th anniversary compilations. This one, like the others before, features new tracks from Jessy Lanza, Burial, Darkstar, and a variety of other artists.

Listen: Burial - "Lambeth"
Listen: Walton - "Laser War"

Liars - "I'm No Gold"

Liars released an incredible Mess earlier this year and "I'm No Gold" is the latest single to be released from the record. The single release comes packaged with a couple of new tracks and remixes of the song.

Watch: "I'm No Gold"
Listen: "Poison Bender"

Modest Mouse - This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About Reissue

Last week, Modest Mouse re-released The Lonesome Crowded West. This week, their first album, This Is a Long Drive for Something with Nothing to Think About, is getting the same treatment. The album was originally released in 1996.

Listen: "Dramamine"
Listen: "Edit the Sad Parts"

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Music Tuesday - October 28, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Creepers - Lush

Creepers is a side project from Deafheaven's Dan Tracy and Shiv Mehra, who produce a mix of psychedelia, shoegaze, and prog rock. The band has been playing in San Francisco and the Bay area for some years, but the success of Deafheaven's Sunbather has allowed that band to further promote related projects. This album is being released on Deafheaven frontman George Clark's All Black Recording Company label.

Watch: "Take You There"
Listen: "Vanishing"

The Flaming Lips - With a Little Help from My Fwends

The Flaming Lips have always been strange, but they seem to have allowed themselves to get to downright WTF-levels of weird in the past couple of years. The music itself has gotten stranger, but they've also chosen strange ways in which to release their music (gummy fetuses, for example), and have had some interesting bedfellows (like Miley Cyrus). Even as a full album of Beatles covers, their latest release is the most straightforward they've been in a while.

Watch: "Lucy in the Sky"
Listen: "A Day in the Life"

French for Rabbits - Spirits

French for Rabbits is a dream pop band out of Waikiku Beach, New Zealand, who have been active since 2012. Over the past couple of years, they have built up their name primarily through touring in their home country and across Europe. This is their debut album.

Watch: "The Other Side"
Listen: "Woke up to a Storm"


HAERTS is a truly international band. Members hail from Germany, England and the US, met at school in Iceland, but became a band in Brooklyn. This is their debut album, which follows an EP, Hemiplegia, which was released in 2013. They are an indie pop band, though they pull in some old school classic rock elements.

Watch: "Giving Up"
Listen: "Hemiplegia"

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness - Dust

This gothic/classic rock band first got together in 2003, but took an eight-year break following the release of their 2006 debut album Fear Is on Our Side. Despite the amount of time that has passed, the band has not sacrificed anything; they maintain a similar sound, the same record label (Secretly Canadian) and the same producer (Paul Barker) for their sophomore release.

Listen: "Faust"
Listen: "Come Undone"

Nick Oliveri's Uncontrollable - Leave Me Alone

Nick Oliveri is the former bassist for Kyuss, Dwarves, and, perhaps most famously, Queens of the Stone Age. His break away from QotSA has not been negative (he still sometimes performs with the band), but has merely served as an opportunity to explore his sound outside of the band. He has previously released music as the frontman for Mondo Generator, but this is his first release with this project.

Listen: "Keep Me in the Loop"
Listen: "Luv Is Fiction"

Pianos Become the Teeth - Keep You

This is the third album from the Baltimore post-hardcore band. However, even after guesting on hardcore punk band United Nation's The Next Four Years earlier this year, they are dialing back their sound a bit. The band is part of the "The Wave" movement in punk music, which aims to produce music with "emotionally-centered lyrical content, dual musical emphasis on both melody and distorted intensity." Their latest album sees them pulling that intensity back some, and focusing more on the lyrics and melody.

Watch: "Repine"
Listen: "Late Lives"

Restorations - LP3

Restorations is a punk rock band out of Philly, who seem to embody the working class ethos that has come to define much rock music out of the city. As the album's title suggests, this is the third album from the band. Their latest sees them further pulling some of the heartland rock elements that were previously lurking in the background on prior releases.

Watch: "Separate Songs"
Listen: "Misprint"

Run the Jewels - Run the Jewels 2

This is easily already my favorite hip hop album of the year, and one of my favorites all-around. It's the second go-around as Run the Jewels for Killer Mike and El-P, who released Run the Jewels last year. Both are amazing artists on their own, but create something special when they get together. Their sophomore record deals heavily with issues of police brutality and redemption, but manages to find lighter moments with sex, love, and more than a few vulgar jabs.

Watch: "Blockbuster Night Part 1"
Listen: "Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)"

The Twilight Sad - Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave

A couple of weeks ago, I said I love a good Scottish brogue in regards to We Were Promised Jetpacks' latest record. True, those guys employ a good brogue, but this band turns that up to 100. I first got into the band after the release of their incredible third album, No One Can Ever Know. While maintaining their dark, brooding, and emotional lyrics, this album may be even better.

Watch: "Last January"
Listen: "There's a Girl in the Corner"

Other New Releases

The Afghan Whigs - Gentlemen at 21 Anniversary Edition

After a 16-year hiatus, The Afghan Whigs regrouped last year and released the incredible Do to the Beast. They don't want us to forget the amazing music that they released in the past, though. Their fourth album is finally old enough to drink and is getting reissued to celebrate that milestone.

Watch: "Gentlemen"
Watch: "Debonair"

Cass McCombs/Meat Puppets - "Night of the World"/"(Hey Baby) Que Paso"

Cass McCombs and the Meat Puppets are currently in the middle of a tour together. They have also gotten together to record a split 7" with two new songs from each artist.

Listen: Cass McCombs - "Night of the World"
Listen: Meat Puppets - "(Hey Baby) Que Paso"

HAIM - "My Song 5" 7"

HAIM released their debut album, Days Are Gone, in October of last year. Their latest single shows just how big they've become leading up to and since that release. A new version of the track features A$AP Ferg, and its video features cameos from Ferg himself, Ezra Koenig, Vanessa Bayer, Grimes, and Kesha.

Watch: "My Song 5" (remix featuring A$AP Rocky)

How to Dress Well - “What Is This Heart?” Reissue

This may be one of the quickest reissue flips yet, Tom Krell released his third album in June of this year, so this reissue comes after just four months. There are no real changes in the album itself, though the reissue will come packaged with a remix compilation, detailed below.

Watch: "Face Again"
Watch: "Childhood Faith in Love"

How to Dress Well - “What Is This Heart?” Remixes

This is the collection of remixes coming with the reissue of How to Dress Well's latest album. Tracks from the record are reimagined by A.G. Cook, The Range, Dubbel Dutch, and Cyril Hahn.

Listen: "Repeat Pleasure" (A.G. Cook)

Led Zeppelin - House of the Holy Reissue

This has been a busy year for Led Zeppelin reissues, though this is the last batch for the year. House of the Holy was the band's fifth album, originally released in 1973.

Listen: "Dancing Days"
Listen: "No Quarter"

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV Reissue

Led Zeppelin IV was probably Led Zeppelin's most famous album containing the tracks "Rock and Roll," "Black Dog," and "Stairway to Heaven." As the name indicates, it was their fourth record, and saw its original release in 1971.

Watch: "Rock and Roll"
Listen: "Stairway to Heaven"

Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West Reissue

Another reissue for this week, this time from a more contemporary band. Modest Mouse formed just over 20 years ago and released The Lonesome Crowded West, their second album, in 1997. The album is often considered to be one of their best and one of the best indie rock albums of that decade.

Listen: "Heart Cooks Brain"
Listen: "Doin' the Cockroach"

Paul McCartney - New Reissue

At 72, Paul McCartney remains one of the most enigmatic performers alive, putting many of those even a third of his age to shame. Despite having released his 16 solo records, it should be no surprise that he's still got a lot of new material left in him. His latest album's reissue includes three new tracks, as well as a few live cuts.

Watch: "Early Days"
Watch: "Appreciate"

Panda Bear - Mr Noah EP

Noah Lennox has made incredible music both as a member of Animal Collective and as a solo artist under the name Panda Bear. He will be releasing his fifth album, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper, in January, but first we get a little tease of new material from him.

Watch: "Mr Noah"

Ryan Adams - Vampires 7"

Ryan Adams is still going strong with new material for 2014. This is the latest in his Pax Am EP series, featuring a great new track, "Vampires," along with a few others.

Listen: "Vampires"

Swans - Filth Reissue

Swans have all but positioned themselves for a place in many year-end best-of lists with the release of To Be Kind earlier this year. But right now, they're looking back to their beginnings by re-releasing their very first record, first put out in 1983.

Listen: "Weakling"
Listen: "Stay Here"

The Who - The Who Hits 50!

It's been a long career for iconic British rock band The Who, 50 years since the beginning! Their new album celebrating their time time together, The Who Hits 50!, isn't a typical greatest hits release. While it does include many of their top singles, it also brings in less popular singles, unreleased cuts, b-sides and even a new song.

Listen: "Be Lucky"

Sunday, November 23, 2014


Director: Luc Besson
Writers: Luc Besson
Stars: Scarlett Johansson (Lucy), Morgan Freeman (Professor Norman), Min-sik Choi (Mr. Jang), Amr Waked (Pierre Del Rio)

Ah, a movie that depends on and promotes a pervasive myth about the human body! The movie relies on the premise that we only use 10% of our brains (which, by the way is absolutely not true). After becoming an unwitting drug mule, Lucy, an American student studying in Taiwan, becomes able to unlock the remaining 90% when a captor kicks her in the stomach, breaking open bags of a new superdrug inside of her. She soon develops super-intelligence, greater mental acuity, and even the ability to defy physics. Using her newly-acquired skills, she goes after the drug dealers and the other drug mules. With her hands on every ounce of the drug, she gets in touch with Professor Norman in order to insure that the knowledge she has acquired is able to be passed on.

Mini soundtrack:

Beck - "Back to You"
The Crystal Method - "Single Barrel (Sling the Decks)"
Raury - "God's Whisper"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

New Music Tuesday - October 21, 2014

Be sure to view a list of upcoming releases here!

New Full-Length Releases

Aretha Franklin - Sings the Great Diva Classics

Aretha is undisputedly the greatest R&B/soul diva of the past century, but that doesn't mean she has no love for the other divas out there. Her 38th studio album has her covering hit songs from a variety of other songstresses. She draws inspiration from both her contemporaries (The Supremes, Gladys Knight), newer artists (Alicia Keys, Adele), and some in between. She one-ups most of them, and proves that she's still got it!

Listen: "Rolling in the Deep"
Listen: "I Will Survive"

Cold War Kids - Hold My Home

The Cold War Kids have released five albums during their decade together, but only one, their first, has been a beloved record of mine. Much of their work since seems to have been, boringly, attempting to appeal to a broad audience. I am, however, an immensely stubborn fan and will stick around even if they never release another "Hang Me Up to Dry." I'm not sure if this is the album to do it, but I don't completely dislike early singles from the record.

Watch: "All This Could Be Yours"
Listen: "Hot Coals"

The Coral - The Curse of Love

The Coral haven't released a proper album since 2010's The Butterfly House, though it seems longer since we haven't heard much from them in the meantime. It may still be a little while until we get new studio output from them. Their latest is a "lost album" of sorts, it was originally recorded in between 2005 and 2007.

Watch: "The Curse of Love"
Watch: "Nine Times the Colour Red"

Dorian Concept - Joined Ends

Dorian Concept is a composer and producer from Austria who has been a member of a funk band, Jacob's Salty and Bamboozling Ladder, and has contributed keyboards to Flying Lotus. His sophomore album sees him returning from a three-year production and touring hiatus and trying something new, both with his sound and the instruments that he employs.

Listen: "Ann River, Mn"
Listen: "Draft Culture"

Jessie Ware - Tough Love

Jessie Ware made a big impact with the release of her debut album, Devotion, two years ago. She has an R&B style that's a bit of a throwback to the genre in the 80s and 90s. It's also something I never thought I would like, let alone love as much as I have. Tough Love is a worthy follow-up, Ware proves that she has staying power.

Watch: "Say You Love Me"
Watch: "Tough Love"

Mark Lanegan Band - Phantom Radio

This is the ninth album from long-performing Mark Lanegan. The album continues on an electronic sound he first explored on his previous record, 2012's Blues Funeral. Phantom Radio follows an EP released in August that served as a bit of a teaser for this record.

Listen: "Floor of the Ocean"
Listen: "Torn Red Heart"

New Build - Pour It On

New Build is another side project from members of Hot Chip. They formed in 2011, with Al Doyle and Felix Martin from the other band; along with Tom Hopkins and Joy Leah Joseph. This is their second record. Their sound is differentiated from main act with more ambient and new wave elements.

Watch: "Look in Vain"
Watch: "The Sunlight"

Scott Walker + Sunn O))) - Soused

Scott Walker is a long-established pop, avant-garde, and art rock singer; Sunn O))) is a drone metal band active since the late '90s...this partnership makes total sense. Collaborations are nothing new for Sunn O))), who have previously worked with Earth, Ulver, and Boris; but it's fairly new territory for Walker, who has not been known for collaborating since his days with The Walker Brothers. I don't know much about Sunn O))), but unless they sound a lot like Walker, this has more of his style to it.

Watch: "Brando"

Thurston Moore - The Best Day

Thurston Moore has been anything but idle since the end of his marriage to Kim Gordon and of his iconic band, Sonic Youth. His output has included a collaborative album with Yoko Ono and Kim Gordon (recorded pre-divorce, of course), and albums with two new bands, Chelsea Light Moving and Caught on Tape. The Best Day is his first solo record since the end of his band, but his fourth overall.

Watch: "Speak to the Wild"
Listen: "The Best Day"

Weyes Blood - The Innocents

Weyes Blood is the stage name of Jackie-O Motherfucker and Ariel Pink collaborator Natalie Mering. Her solo music stands in contrast to the experimental nature of her past work, with a decidedly country folk style. However, on this record, she plays traditional instruments off of electronics and effects.

Watch: "Some Winters"
Listen: "Hang On"

Other New Releases

Escort - "If You Say So"

Escort is a disco band out of Brooklyn who have released one album, 2011's Escort. Most of their output have been standalone singles. This latest single comes backed with a cover of a St. Vincent track.

Listen: "If You Say So"
Listen: "Actor out of Work"

Hundred Waters - Down from the Rafters Remixes

Hundred Waters released their sophomore album, The Moon Rang Like a Bell, in May of this year. One of the album's tracks is getting the remix treatment this week, including contributions from Huxley, The Field, and Tim Hecker.

Listen: "Down from the Rafters" (The Field Remix)
Listen: "Down from the Rafters" (Huxley Remix)

Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell

Arthur Russell was a cellist and composer whose work and collaborations spanned a broad range of genres. His career was cut short as he passed away of complications from AIDS in 1992. He was relatively obscure when he died, but over the following years, he's achieved a greater level of attention. The latest Red Hot release features covers of his music from such artists as Phosphorescent, Devendra Banhart, and Sufjan Stevens.

Listen: Hot Chip - "Go Bang"
Listen: Sufjan Stevens - "A Little Lost"

Sleater-Kinney - Start Together

After an eight-year hiatus, iconic punk rock band, Sleater-Kinney got back together this year and will be releasing their eighth album, No Cities to Love, early next year. Before that happens, they are re-releasing their entire back catalog as the Start Together box set. In addition to their previous albums, the first single, "Bury Our Friends," from their forthcoming album, is included in the release.

Watch: "Jumpers"
Watch: "Bury Our Friends"

These New Puritans - Expanded (Live at the Barbican)

These New Puritans released their latest album, Field of Reeds, in June of last. They are following that up with a new live record. Live at the Barbican was recorded with a 35-piece orchestra at the Barbican in London in April of this year.

Listen: "We Want War"