Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Julius C Hits the Road In New York

NYC masters of rock, Julius C will be performing 30 times in 30 days starting September 1st at Rockwood Music Hall.

It’s no stunt, it’s just another 30 days in the life of this band that has lots of fun but also gives back. By way of that generosity, the band has added Powerhouse, the new and innovative supportive housing program for homeless pregnant/parenting teenage mothers located in Elmhurst, Queens to the list of partners supporting the month-long event. In addition to spreading the word about Powerhouse through September, the band will donate a day of its Rock Star Camp program to the organization.

Julius C leader Jay Stolar developed Rock Star Camp to bring more arts activities to summer camps in the Northeast and Julius C tours youth camps each summer, spending the day teaching songs to the kids and staging a concert each night where the campers performed backed by Julius C. The band played to nearly 20,000 campers and staff this year. Julius C plans to do the same for Powerhouse, bringing some much-needed stress relief to the young mothers in the program at a time full of challenging circumstances.

Silly Bandz are the sensation that is sweeping the nation. You’ve seen them everywhere… they look like rubber bands until you remove them and they snap back into fun animal shapes! Julius C loves them too and has partnered up with Silly Bandz to co-sponsor Julius C Tours NYC: 30 Days, 30 Shows. Anyone attending one of the performances during the month of September will receive free Silly Bandz. You can use ‘em to put your face back together after it gets rocked off, OK? Or trade them at the bar. Or just put your hair back. There are plenty of uses for Silly Bandz.

Owen Journeys Across Abandoned Bridges

In the midst of recording new material for an upcoming Owen full-length, Chicago native Mike Kinsella recorded a few exclusive tracks for a new limited 7", Abandoned Bridges, which will be released on physical & digital formats through Polyvinyl on September, 28th (white 7" limited to 500 copies).

Abandoned Bridges features the title track on the A-side along with a cover of Wilco's "I'm Always In Love" on the B-side. Recorded in Champaign-Urbana, IL, Abandoned Bridges marks the first time Kinsella has returned to record since American Football's debut. Listen to the A-side, "Abandoned Bridges" below.

Owen will also briefly hit the road for a few tour dates...
9/11 DeKalb, IL @ SMLTWN Skate Shop (Middlewest Fest)
9/15 St. Louis, MO @ Cicero's
9/17 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
9/24 Champaign, IL @ Pygmalion Music Festival

Download: Abandoned Bridges

Friday, August 27, 2010

Meet LexiconDon

Forged during a colorful year spent working at Hollywood Sound Studios in 2008, LexiconDon is the synthpop union of Alex Koons and Fabian Ordorica. Taking inspiration from their daily lives enjoying the struggles of getting by in Los Angeles, the songs are equal parts soulful heartbreak and late-night party jam.

Their debut release, Pink and Blue, is a unique blend of singable melodies and heartfelt lyrics over a vibrant storm of funk-laden pop. Capturing the youthful American spirit with summer serenades and hard hitting electronic production, their songs are a refreshing foil to the increasingly hazy lo-fi indie rock dominating the scene. Like a grown up twist on a John Hughes soundtrack, themes of innocence and young love flirt with darker moods, giving LexiconDon's music a nostalgic take on the simpler days of youth and the freedom of life on your own in the city. For LexiconDon and frontman Koons, moments of late night contemplation are matched by sing along anthems, adding up to something richer than your average dancepop.

Pink and Blue, is out now on dubFrequency.

Download: Student Body (Bit Funk Remix)

Join the Halloween Swim Team

LA triple-synth band Halloween Swim Team has its feet on the ground and its beats in outer space. Put them in a pile with synth heavy pioneers OMD, Gary Numan, Kraftwerk (sans vocoder), Hot Chip, Devo, and Flaming Lips (circa 2002), with traces of Can, pursuing psychedelic soundscapes like Animal Collective. The vocals range from galactic whisper to an intensity similar to Cedric Bixler (Mars Volta/At The Drive In) or Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), and at times the playfulness of Beck, Liars, and even Beastie Boys.

The band has spent the last few years living at the notorious Vermont House- an underground venue where HST wrote and released The End Of The Sky, and established a command post for the D.I.Y. community. When time came to move on, HST packed up and sought solitude in the suburbs to finish recording material for their new psychedelic synth-pop project, ANTENNAAA.

The band has since emerged with a vengeance, racking up miles in its graffiti-covered van playing endless shows at rock and roll clubs, living rooms, restaurants, barns, rooftops, and even lugging its instruments up desert rocky mountains to play in middle of nowhere. There aren't many swim teams that can do that!

Download: Pitch Black

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't Be Alarma Man

Alarma Man have welcomed the ideas of change and development over the years. Following the rough statement that is their first album, the band have taken the time in picking their new tools and instruments with care and consideration.

This care lead to the construction of the intermediary split EP with Knife And Ape and was chock-full of screams and shouts Moving on from that, the band now feature elaborate, non-chalant vocals, chant-like choirs, and a second drum set constantly bickering with the still knotty guitar patterns.

All this growth and expansion with Alarma Man led to the writing and recording of Love Forever which shows that the band are wiser and a bit more mature. And yet despite that, they still have enough restlessness to keep them young.

Talk About Good Fortune

Fortune follow the release of their debut album, Staring At The Ice Melt on August 30th with a double A side single on 6th September. The combination of ‘Under The Sun’ and ‘Gimme’ is the perfect calling card for the debut album, showcasing the new takes on dance music being pioneered by the French trio. Between the lugubrious breaks and bleeps of ‘Under The Sun’ and the disco flair of ‘Gimme’ lies the heart of the Fortune project.

Formed by members of the highly rated Abstrakt Keal Agram and Snookut and with Cassius’ Pierrick Devin on production duties, the genesis of Fortune was a desire to put together a band that could draw on the sounds and grooves of their previous work but with the addition of pop song structures and with a definite mission to play the songs live. Consequently, Staring At The Ice Melt draws from the entire palette of dance music from disco to hip hop, house to techno with each track is a fantastic piece of pop music.

The single is released on digital download on 6th September and comes with a host of exclusive remixes from the likes of Grand Marnier and Tepr alongside the return of Jon Kahuna with his first new music in a long time in collaboration with Si Duffy (New Order, Missy Elliot, Leftfield).

Download: Under the Sun (Qoso Remix)
Download: Gimme (Blackjoy Remix)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Scared Of The Americans

R&B infused indie rock outfit The Americans will release their six-track, sophomore EP on November 16th as a follow up to their self-titled debut.

The album was produced by lead singer / guitarist Charlie Klarsfeld and Sean Lennon, who also lends vocals to the forlorn yet optimistically sweet "Requiem" (which he produced). Each of the EP's six tracks organically build upon The Americans' debut EP, trading well-mapped lyrics for a more vulnerable set and collaborating with musicians like Daniel Merriweather and Mr. Jpatt (of NYC production team, The Knocks) to round out their already robust lineup.

Download: Diamond
Download: The Antidote
Download: Requiem

Ham1 Go On and On and On...

Through the last half-decade or so, Jim Willingham's ever-expanding canon-of-song has become somewhat of an Athens, Georgia institution; in that rough interval, he and his band Ham1 have performed extensively amid the vaunted downtown music scene, toured a good bit, and recorded no fewer than four full-length albums that both reflect and expand upon that locale's long-noted proclivity toward idiosyncratic narrative and a psychedelicized instrumental approach to fleshing elemental chord changes into full-blooded songs. Ham1's newest offering, Let's Go On and On and On and On With HAM1 somehow miraculously manages to expand on both of those factors simultaneously, a phenomenon attributable to fresh directions taken in the realms of the studio and in the development of the band's sonic palette, song-per-song.

Let's Go On and On and On and On With HAM1 finds the band reveling in sonic expansion a-plenty - in fact, there are three instrumentals across the record, all unified by the notion that they conjure some mythic day when Bob Wills drunkenly discovers a Big Muff. However, Ham1's calling card remains wholly intact: Willingham's affable, affecting delivery of his character-driven narratives.

As with any fully-felt folk-song, the main mode of emotional communication here are the lyrics and vocals, and Willingham speaks, intones and imparts his like an advising, wide-eyed friend beside you on a barstool might; think of a somewhat-southern-fried Jonathan Richman with his arm amiably around you on the porch, or a more-with-it Pip Proud overdubbing his vocals over a long-lost Guided-by-Voices track, and you're getting there. The inherent tension brought to bear between Willingham's heart-bravely-on-sleeve tendency toward vocal openhandedness and the swirling complexities of the ensemble playing and production gives the record its rarefied blend of sunlight and shade that makes for repeated, rewarding listening -- and allows Let's Go On and On and On and On With HAM1 to stand as a brash progression not only for the band itself, but for the skewed and celebrated psych-pop of Athens, Georgia.

Download: Ghost Loop

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dashing Suns Prep For New Album with Old Songs

Bay Area beach bums The Dashing Suns will release their debut LP, Really Like You, next week. But before the band introduces audiences to their breezy brand of garage and skuzzy sunburnt pop, the Oakland quartet wanted to offer up a few reinterpretations of other people's tunes.

First up? The ramshackle "Billy Two" from underrated Kiwi rock troupe The Clean. Next? A reverb-y take on downtown 60s icons The Velvet Underground and their classic "Who Loves The Sun." These tunes should whet your appetites until next week when the band will be streaming Really Like You in its entirety.

Download: Billy Two (by The Clean)
Download: Who Loves The Sun (by The VU)

Per Qx's New Blood

Big Love continues it's New Blood EP series to push more fresh DJ/Producer talent with the introduction of Per QX.

Per QX is from Stockholm but moved to east London about 9 years ago. He releases tracks on Roger Sanchez's Stealth records. He's been busy remixing Laidback Luke, Lady Gaga, Deadmaus Feat Mellefresh, Tomcraft, Princess Superstar and The Young Punx this year.

Any club kid who’s happy to spend their weekend standing in line at an old East London strip bar between the local bearded tranny and the Hoxton fashionista crew will be familiar with DJ & Producer Per QX.

As the promoter of one of the most acclaimed underground club nights in recent years GutterSlut, he presents a regular cacophony of electro, techno and mash up that’s captured the imagination of Londoners to the point of frenzy. The club’s ‘GutterBall’ party was reviewed as the best UK Club event in December 2009 by Mixmag.

His reach doesn’t stop there however – he’s played house and electro parties in over 30 countries, as well as appearing as a guest on Ministry Radio’s Saturday Sessions, Peter Rahaufer’s Star 69 radio show, and Larry Tee’s ‘Super Disco Party Machine’ in the US. This year he's played at Glastonbury for the first time, and is making several trips over to the White Isle…well, it would be rude not to.

Download: Zombie Technic
Download: Sweet Pepa
Download: Blow My Trumpet

Download more at Beatport

Friday, August 20, 2010

Audiolith Wants To Blow Your Mind

Audiolith is a record label, but like many others, they are a whole lot more. The label is the baby of Lars Lewerenz who began to release the music of his friends, his adopted family, in 2003.

Audiolith Youth is everywhere, there with it and down with it, coming to your town, and listening to what you have to say. Their philosophy is that your style is important to them, that by liking their mix(es), you become part of them, which in theory makes everything fun and authentic.

They rave, they drink beer and they keep their minds open. They dance and sing songs and want to blow your mind with good music. So far they've done a pretty good job.

The Moaners Love Humid Air

Head south past the Mason-Dixon line and into the swamp-hot humidity of North Carolina’s summer months, and a porch-swing singalong with The Moaners starts to sound very appealing. Melissa Swingle (formerly of alt-country darlings Trailer Bride) and Laura King (formerly of Grand National) have been conjuring the spirit of the South for over five years and two records with the ambitious goal of “[capturing] the feeling of … Faulkner’s South, O’Connor’s South.” With Nocturnal, their spell is stronger than ever.

Nocturnal is The Moaners’ most mature statement yet, tempering their ferocious, stomping garage rock with a songwriting sensibility that is by turn mysteriously dark and whimsically joyful. Each track offers something new from the band; “Humid Air” and “Raggedy Tune” explore new rhythmic approaches and textures, while “Cowboy Bob” boasts their most adventurous arrangement to date.

Personal note: I have a special attachment to this band. This was the very first release party I put together way back in 2005 and it got the ball rolling. From there the things snowballed out of control by 2006. Ah...fun times.

Download: Humid Air

Seeland Love Their Local Park

UK trio Seeland are Timothy Felton, Billy Bainbridge and Neil McAuley, sonic pioneers associated with Birmingham's 'Retro Futurist Electronic Scene'. The band was formed when Tim and Billy left their respective bands (Broadcast and Plone) and started writing songs together that could express the sounds of their minds.

Seeland are excited to announce their second album How to Live, out October 26 on LOAF Recordings. The band has released "Local Park" (see below), the first single off of their sophomore effort.

"Local Park", a gorgeous summer stroll of a tune, celebrates the Great British (and, frankly, universal) tradition of heading straight for the closest patch of grass as soon as the sun appears, in order to soak up the precious rays so rarely seen on their often grey isle. Instantly familiar in the tradition of The Kinks or The Small Faces and yet decidedly 'other' in it's musical vision, "Local Park" is as uplifting as the sun and optimistic as summer itself, the audio equivalent of strawberries and cream.

And who doesn't like that?

Download: Local Park

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eric Sharp, Bass Cadet & Thunder Cats

Eric Sharp’s ascent to the forefront of dance music can only be described as meteoric. From working countless dance floors into frenzies at clubs, bars, and parties across the US and the globe to producing some of San Francisco’s most epic parties with his crew Rock It Science, Eric’s seemingly endless energy and dedication is simply contagious. Mr. Sharp has already achieved great success as a DJ and promoter alike, keeping everyone dancing until the sun comes up.

One of the most versatile DJ’s around, Eric Sharp is known to play anything from Deep and Funky House to Dirty Acid Techno to pumping Chicago beats to Baile Funk to Baltimore Club Jams to Wobbly Fidget House to French & Italian Electro and everything in between. Inspired by jocks like Derrick Carter and Diplo who take their crowds on a musical journey, Eric always gives people what they need while still managing to keep them guessing and begging for more.

This is especially evident on his new single Thunder Cats. Eric Sharp & Bass Cadet go to the outer reaches of audio space exploration and zoom back into orbit delivering a monster of a club whomper with this single.

Download: Thunder Cats (Sick Boy Remix)
Download: Thunder Cats (Lj's Thunder Puss)

One Murdock It's Ok To Like

In the few years that had passed since Austin’s Murdocks released Surrenderender (2005), the band’s original lineup had fractured, and agents and journalists stopped calling. “You need to constantly release in this business or people lose interest and move on,” says Morris.It was around this time that bassist Kyle Robarge moved to Austin from Los Angeles and the two met in a coffee shop. “The music was raw and awesome and I was impressed with his vision and integrity,” says Robarge. “Murdocks had passed on a major label deal a few years earlier because they wanted someone to ghostwrite Franklin’s songs for him. You don’t see bands turn down that sort of thing in LA.”

2007’s Roar EP, the product of the trio’s early work together, was a 19-minute powerhouse incorporating elements of indie-rock, power-pop, garage and punk rock. Distortionist (2010) is undoubtedly a step forward for the band, both their heaviest and poppiest work to date. It is this aesthetic dissonance that sets Murdocks apart from other artist: they are as simple as they are challenging, as morbid as they are innocent, as na├»ve as they are jaded.

Distortionist is an exercise in lashing out at everything at once—divorce, failure, addiction, religion, family—an exercise in meeting futility with scorn. “It’s about the frustration you feel when you realize that where you thought your life would end up, and where it actually ended up are two totally different places,” says Murdocks frontman Franklin Morris. “It is impossible to reconcile sometimes, to adjust your dreams and expectations any further. It becomes absurd and disorienting, and the feeling multiplies in your brain until you just boil over.” It was at this boiling point Morris crafted the songs to become the core of the band’s long-awaited second album. Within a few years Morris found himself unemployed, divorced, and in a deteriorating band dropped by their long-time record label. “I didn’t know how to cope with any of it, and I guess I just kind of exploded.”

Download: Black Jesus Knocking

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Manic Street Preachers Prepare Return

I sent this out via Facebook/Twitter yesterday, but for those of you that aren't fans/followers of ours on Facebook or Twitter I've taken pity on you.

The Manic Street Preachers have marked the launch of their new album Postcards From A Young Man by making an exclusive new non-album track available for free download from their official website.

Postcards From A Young Man is released on the 20th September. It's preceded by the release of new single (It's Not War) - Just The End of Love the week before.

Enjoy and welcome back to The Manics...Oh and you can fan/friend/follow us over there on the right. We send out stuff daily via Facebook and Twitter that ISN'T on the blog.

Blonde Redhead Sparkles

Penny Sparkle is the newest album from Blonde Redhead, due out September 14th on 4AD!

Penny Sparkle marks yet another sonic twist in the adventurous canon of this New York City based group. The band opted to journey between New York and Stockholm in order to work closely with production duo Van Rivers and the Subliminal Kid, the Swedish artists/remixers/producers who have worked with such artists as Fever Ray, Glasser, Massive Attack and Bat For Lashes to name a few.

The trio, made up of Kazu Makino who originally hails from Japan, and Italian twin brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace, will tour the U.S. this coming October in support of their first album in 3 years. They will be joined by German electronic musician and producer Pantha Du Prince as opener on some dates.

10/15 Philadelphia PA Electric Factory*
10/16 Montreal QC Metropolis*
10/17 Toronto ON Phoenix Concert Theatre*
10/18 Detroit MI Magic Stick*
10/20 Newport KY Southgate House*
10/22 Chicago IL Vic Theatre*
10/23 Milwaukee WI Turner Hall Ballroom*
10/24 Minneapolis MN First Avenue*
10/25 St Louis MO The Pageant*
10/27 Nashville TN Mercy Lounge*
10/29 Atlanta GA Variety Playhouse
10/30 Carrboro NC Cat's Cradle
10/31 Washington DC 9:30 Club*
11/1 Boston MA Paradise Rock Club*
11/3 New York NY Webster Hall*
11/14 San Diego CA House of Blues
11/15 Pomona CA Glass House
11/16 Los Angeles CA The Music Box
11/19 San Francisco CA Warfield Theatre
11/20 Portland OR Roseland Theatre
11/21 Vancouver BC Commodore Ballroom
11/26 Salt Lake City UT The Depot
11/29 Houston TX Warehouse Live Studio
11/30 Dallas TX Granada Theater
12/1 Austin TX La Zona Rosa

Download: Here Sometimes

Goldfrapp Are Believers

British pop pioneers Goldfrapp release their next single Believer will be released on September 6th and available to download and purchase along with remixes by Joris Voorn, Vince Clarke, Subway and Davide Rossi.

The single, from Head First is Goldfrapp's most powerful trip to date, a speedy rush of synth optimism, euphoria, fantasy and romance. The diversity, ambition and direction of the new album continues to highlight Goldfrapp as true agenda-setters and modern British musical icons.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back To Air Conditioning School

Air Conditioning School is the latest project of Chris Heidman, formerly one half of indie-electro band Sukpatch, whose releases on Grand Royal, Moshi Moshi, and the mighty Sub Pop garnered much critical praise.

The beauty of ACS is the fact that Chris is no longer hiding behind the veil of collaboration. What's left is Heidman being exposed to the world by himself and the fact that the guy can actually write a pretty decent song.

While ACS is nothing like his former band, ACS is like listening to a long lost Yo La Tengo meets Beck record in love with the Silver Jews. It's a classic sound that's destined to be a classic itself. Having recently completed school...not the Air Conditioning kind...Chris has recently released his debut album as ACS.

Download: Up On

Who The Hell Are The Polyamorous Affair

The Polyamorous Affair is a nomadic-by-way-of-Los Angeles duo who weave a rich fantasy world into their own mischievous brand of electronic pop. The duo which formed in Denmark in 2007 is comprised of Eddie Chacon and Sissy Sainte-Marie who currently divide their time between Copenhagen and Berlin.

Today (August 16th) they release their 3rd album, Strange Bedfellows. Widely acclaimed across the board from NME to Dazed Digital, The Polyamorous Affair have become known for their strategic simplicity, chilly beats and warm vibes, all set in some bizarre frame of opulence.

Their latest album finds the two conjuring up a strangely seductive electronic hybrid laced with haunting guitars and live percussion that pull you in, spellbound. Strange Bedfellows, finds the duo offering surprisingly few duets, instead each branching into two distinct styles. The album breathes and pulsates with vibrancy and balance. Eddie reconnects with his soul roots and traditional songwriting while Sissy taps into dreams and trails off on mystical disco byways. This all makes for one darn fascinating affair (boooooo...ok I had to say that)

Download: Bright One

Sam Prekop's Old Punch Card

Sam Prekop's first solo record in five years is a vast departure from his previous solo work and that of his main band The Sea and Cake. Old Punch Card is an album of dark and mysterious beauty inspired by early electronic music and avant-garde composition.

Comprised entirely of modular synthesizers (with only one instance of guitar, no vocals, and no beats), it's a hard turn away from Prekop's usual fair and an interesting look at some of his more obscure musical interests.

In other news, The Sea and Cake are rumored to have recently visited the studio and new material could possibly be on the way shortly. In the meantime, the band is going on a month long tour with Broken Social Scene. Prekop plays guitar and sings on a track on their latest album that was produced by The Sea and Cake/Tortoise drummer John McEntire.

Oh yeah...the album is due out September 7th.

Download: The Silhouettes

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Concretes Return

"What happened to The Concretes?", people asked. Not a single new song in three years from a band that had been as reliable as a Swiss watch.

Time passed and even the band started to wonder, “What ever did happen to The Concretes?” After all, the band had practically become synonymous with 'Swedish Indie Pop", having released three albums (The Concretes, In Colour, and Hey Trouble) to international acclaim. Well, of course, there was a lot going on. Life, cycling, cooking, gardening, travel, children. And other side projects. Eclectic side projects. One member of the band even joined the circus.

Then, slowly, new songs began to appear. With less guitar, more keyboards, more bass, deep languorous vinyl grooves, twitching percussion and some good old cowbell – but still with those trademark melodies – the band is finally back with a new album WYWH, a new label (Brooklyn-based tastemakers Friendly Fire Recordings), a new singer (Lisa Milberg, though not new to the band, has stepped out from behind the drums to take over vocals for the band after the departure of Victoria Bergsman), and a new lease on life.

Anew. Renewed. Improved.

Download: Good Evening

Solve This Murder Mystery

Led by singer/guitarist Jeremy Coleman and his drumming sister Laura, Murder Mystery first found acclaim with their synth-popsingle “Love Astronaut.” Now they're building on that foundation with a pair of new singles, “I Am (If You Are)” [sung by Laura] and “Change My Mind” [sung by Jeremy], that continue where"Love Astronaut" left off -- surrounding catchy melodies with bouncy synths and as many guitar and bass hooks as you can cram into 2:30.

Joining the Coleman's in the band are multi-instrumentalist friends, Graham Roberts (gtr, keyboard, vox, cello) and Adam Fels (bass, gtr). As would be expected from a group of old friends and family, Murder Mystery’s members share a unique chemistry that extends from the studio to the stage, where they’re currently Moonwalking their way into the hearts of New York audiences.

Download: I Am (If You Are)
Download: Change My Mind

TWR72 Digs A Tunnel

With a friendship longer than ten years, The Walk and Rogerseventytwo started to work together as dj’s in the summer of 2004. Soon gigs followed in the Netherlands, including the big festivals, Prague, Paris, Copenhagen, Bratislava, Berlin, Freiburg and London. Six years later, they haven't killed each other and have actually gone on a successful recording binge garning support from everywhere.

Definitely one for the late nights TWR72's new single, Tunnel was recently released on Amsterdam’s own Instant Replay Label. This twisted, stripped down, bangin tune builds and builds to the end. Tunnel is a simple monster that gets every party going. A loop that keeps rising, and building, building and rising...and then it leaves you depressed.

Download: Tunnel

Back To The Future Islands

It's been a banner year for Future Islands thus far and it's only getting busier. The band spent more than two months on the road in the US (not including a couple of other smaller tours) and released their debut Thrill Jockey single In The Fall as well as their critically acclaimed second album In Evening Air. Now the band is getting ready to spend another month on the road in Europe and marking the occasion with a new EP called Undressed and by releasing another track from In Evening Air.

The songs for Undressed were recorded quickly in Baltimore's Mobtown Studios for broadcast on WYPR's "The Signal" as the band was preparing for their first ever acoustic show at the Metro Gallery in Baltimore. The sessions at Mobtown served as much as a practice as it did a recording, as Future Islands brought in three additional musicians to fill out the unplugged ensemble: Denny Bowen (Double Dagger) on drums, Kate Barutha on cello and Devlin Rice on acoustic guitar. Those performances saw Future Islands strip down rich textures and lush melodies to their core. Samuel Herring's always-affecting vocals are all the more haunting in this new setting.

Download: Walking Through That Door

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Behold The Lords of Flatbush

Joining the long roll call of Sheffield notables come the latest to be added to the list...Lords of Flatbush. Forming the hub of the operation is the duo of producer/songwriters Steve Neil Edwards and Fill Jones. With a CV as rich and varied as full English breakfast, they have worked their special brand of musical alchemy with all manner of talent from Basement Jaxx, Moloko, Axwell, Reverend & the Makers, Bob Sinclair, Pulp, Cassius, Bjork, REM, Sly & Robbie to the latest bright spark struck off the Steel City anvil, Toddla T.

Having already raised a dance floor commotion in collaboration with Seamus Haji on the single ‘24 Hours’, Flatbush swiftly moved on to recording an acclaimed live Radio 1 session and playing a clutch of roof-raising live dates. Now suitably poised with all cylinders firing, they make their official debut with the rambunctious single, 999.

Download: 999 (Toddla T Remix) via YouSendit
Download: 999 (Original) via YouSendit

Your Tears Run Rings

Tears Run Rings is a long distance relationship. In another life these old friends were in the breezy mid-90's indiepop combo The Autocollants and founded the renowned indie label Shelflife Records.

Now separated by the cities of Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles they collaborate through the magic of the internet. The band records in 3 separate studios, transferring tracks back and forth over the wires until they are perfect.

This all leads to hauntingly beautiful textures and pop melodies. In Distance, their second album on Clairecords, they have refined their lush, melencholy sound and set it to a beat informed by Factory Records.

Download: Forgotten
Download: Reunion

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hang a Left at Downtown/Union

LA’s band Downtown/Union formed in 2006 as a two-piece pop outfit by its principle songwriters Bo Bory and Jeff Electric. Andy and Joey Siara joined in 2008 and took up bass and lead guitar duties for D/U's debut LP Aurora Ahora, which made Web IN Front's ‘Best of 2008’ local music list.

As a four-piece, Jeff and Bo saw the potential in furthering their songwriting ideas and in 2009 with Johnny Seasons on bass and Adam Bomb on lead guitar the quartet was perfected.

D/U hit the studio and recorded their newest effort to date, five song EP "Astral Turf" which is available on 12" 180 gram black vinyl, itunes worldwide through Jaxart Records & digitally at: downtownunion.bandcamp.com

Oh and if you never see Pavement again...don't ask Downtown/Union because they wouldn't know or anything like that....

Download: Keep The Engine Running

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Shooting White Arrows

In the summer of 2008, fresh out of NYU with a degree in Ritualistic Shamanism, LA native Mickey Church began White Arrows. Fusing his studies with a drum machine and the looming, immediate presence of a booming NYC club scene, White Arrows was intended less as a band, than as a social document, detailing the experiences of Church's age cohort - the young, ambitious, f*cked up, beautiful children of a new cosmopolitan America; an America - all coastal culture and no middle.

It didn't take long before Church began seeing his band's name spray-painted all over the lower east side, and tattooed on the arms of friends and acquaintances. White Arrows isn't a band; it is a youth cult to the now.

White Arrows’ debut EP, Hearts and Lungs, is slated for a late August release, to coincide with the group's 5 week August Monday night residency at Spaceland.

Download: Coming or Going

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's Been No Ages

No Age's new album, Everything in Between, is due out on September 28, 2010 but you don’t have to wait until then to get your hands (and, I guess ears) on some new No Age music because we are giving you the opportunity to download the debut single “Glitter” off of the band’s new record now!

In anticipation of the bands new full length Sub Pop will be releasing two versions of the single “Glitter” on August 24th. The two versions are represented in a 12-inch and 7-inch format and while both feature the album track “Glitter”, each single has different, non-album b-sides (the 7-inch has one called “Inflorescence,” and the 12-inch has “In Rebound” and “Vision II”).

You can head over to Sub Pop and order the thing and even stream it! Woo Hoo.

Download: Glitter

A Fox In The Henhouse

2010 marks a new time for Ryan Escolopio and his vision of music and business alike. With the help of friends and family, Ryan has built a record label and a band from the ground up. iBOT Records is an all-digital label, acting on their perception of the future of the music industry. With artists such as Rookie Of The Year, Wakefield, Fox in the Henhouse & Joy Island on their roster, 2011 will give iBOT Records a concrete name on the map of independent music. With the opportunity to release the new record through his own record label, he has the ability to unleash his creativity.

After moving from coast to coast, and spending two years writing and recording, Wakefield's Ryan Escolopio has finally settled down in Baltimore, MD. Taking his pop punk roots to another level, Ryan broke into the indie rock scene with his new project Fox in the Henhouse - The Fox EP, on iBOT Records. The band's upcoming self-titled album, Fox in the Henhouse, unites his poignant lyrical styling with rollicking guitars to spark a number of crowd pleasers. The album, is set to release October 12, 2010

Download: Fears

You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too.

Eat More Cake are a 4-piece band comprising songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Andrew Briggs and Matt Pearn, drummer Alex Lane and DJ Owen Charles.

As the hype surrounding Eat More Cake's debut album Climb The Ladder, Live The Dream builds, the band are proud to present their new single 'Has To Be Done' with remixes by Lazybones, Choking Dolphin and The Domino State. The track is about inner conflict expressed through characters who try but fail to overcome their differences. Musically a colossal rolling bass line is interspersed with a huge wall of beats, synths and guitars which reflects the tension laid out in the vocals.

Their debut album Climb The Ladder, Live The Dream will be released in 2010.

Download: Has To Be Done

He's a Billenaire

Sam Billen is a busy man. Between raising his baby daughter, working full time at the University of Kansas, and running his new business, BillenSounds, LLC, he somehow finds plenty of time to dedicate to his passion - making music that moves. Since joining The Record Machine last year, he's released a good amount of music: a digital EP entitled Tokyo Sessions, a full-length album called Headphones and Cellphones, a Christmas compilation (including songs by friends Half-Handed Cloud, The Paper Route, and Andrew Conner from Ghosty), a solo piano album called Death of a Saint, and his most recent project, Removers, a constantly growing collection of his remixes and covers of the music that influences him. The Removers project is one that may turn out to be more epic than he first envisioned. As time passes, Sam has been finding more and more songs to 're-move', which in turn is leading to a consistent release of about one new Remover every month.

This time tackling a song from Shugo Tokumaru. This time Sam goes back to his Japanese influences. The first Remover he did from Japan was the cover of Yellow Magic Orchestra. This time he goes after a more contemporary artist in Shugo Tokumaru and finds great results. The song crescendo's and crashes beauty all around you. There are only going to be a few more Removers left as Sam is going to draw the project to close soon to start work on his next full length.

Download: Rum Hee

Next Stop Elephant and Castle

Elephant and Castle is a kaleidoscope of sound; twisting and grooving to create music all it’s own. Based out of Oakland, California, it is the project of musician/sound engineer David Reep. Starting with a love of old vinyl and the endless digging through old thrift stores, Elephant and Castle was formed with the idea of making modern music out of mostly vintage material. Similar to new bands such as Flying Lotus, The Samps, Free the Robots and drawing from the legends such as Madlib, Juan Atkins, and Derrick May, Elephant and Castle attempts to bridge the gap between cheese and soul.

During time spent living overseas as a youth in London, England, David absorbed the early 90′s electronic scene as well as the explosion of Britpop. There he became obsessed with learning the guitar, eventually leading to him picking up bass, keys and drums. Upon returning to Houston, Texas for high school he was primed for the booming rave scene, seeing many of his heros spin vinyl in forgotten warehouses. After moving to California for college, he started the record label Third Culture Records and continues to dedicate his time and effort to support new artists.Elephant and Castle’s debut release, Analogue EP will be available August 31st via Third Culture Records.

Download: The Look