Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Flight of the Conchords Release Charity Single & Revisiting Fave Musical Moments of HBO Show

Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie of the Flight of the Conchords have put together a new song using suggested lyrics by New Zealand school kids called, "Feel Inside (And Stuff Like That)."  These are the guys who kept me giggling through two seasons of their namesake show on HBO, so to see them cracking up in conversation with their lyricists is a pure delight.  One girl even mentions the recent Muppet movie in which McKenzie provided the songs, bringing home the openess of a child's outlook of the world.  A finale sing along includes many NZ celebrities that might not register, but the various genres are all easily recognizable. The project is part of Red Nose Day, a program of the U.K. based Comic Relief organization.

Clement and McKenzie met at the Victoria University of Wellington while studying film and theatre, combining their talents as musicians and comedians under the name Flight of the Conchords. From the opening credits,  their quirky half hour on U.S. television from 2007 to 2009 was about music. Not just about the characters in a band from that other land down under, but interspersed were brilliant musical tributes with wry words tripping off their tongues. Fellow comedians Ryhs Darby as their manager Murray and Kristen Shaal as the lone fan Mel rounded out the cast.  This new song had me diving happily into old faves from the show on YouTube (with some even found in HD).  Here's just a few, from the rap of "Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros," to revisiting remedial language studies when skewering the French in "Foux Da Fa Fa," and the spot on rendition of Pet Shop Boys in "Inner City Pressure" -- please Germaine and Bret, stay home and play some more synths!

And finally, the fabulous incarnations of David Bowie through the decades, ending in "Bowie's in Space." The two are doing a fine "Let's Dance" boogie in 80s style suits, which plays in rotation on the show's DVDs -- worth playing the them just for that!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Toro Y Moi's Side Project Les Sins Releases Two Songs

Photo: Force Field PR
Toro Y Moi (a.k.a. Chazwick Bundick) has a side project called Les Sins to indulge in the latest EDM craze.  He has two songs which will be released as a 7" on Dan Snaith of Caribou's label, Jiaolong, but you can listen to them via Soundcloud at the link below.  Bundick's music was a big part of the new chillwave sound of a few summers ago (he met like minded musician Ernest Greene of Washed Out during their days attending the University of South Carolina).  But he has recently alluded to how he felt to move on, and these compositions definitely do just that.

Toro Y Moi will also be appearing in the area on August 26 as part of the Afropunk Festival at the Commodore Barry park in Brooklyn, NY.  For more info visit afropunkfest.com.

Check out the songs "Fetch" and "Taken" on their Soundcloud page here or below.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Animal Collective Streams New Album Centipede Hz on Band Website

Animal Collective (Photo via SPIN)
The ninth album from experimental psych group Animal Collective, Centipede Hz, is now streaming on the band's website prior to the official release date of September 4.  Band member Geologist (Brian Weitz) told SPIN how this was not a marketing ploy, although it may seem like one. Releasing the songs as part of an Animal Collective radio broadcast allowed the band to be the first to present the new music to the fans, so hearing it for the first time would "feel more like an experience."

A family connection provides appropriately trippy visuals for each track by Abby Portner, sister of Avey Tare (David Portner).  Other members of this once Baltimore-based band are Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) and Deakin (Josh Dibb).

Listen to Centipede Hz here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sea Wolf Rehearsal Video for New Song "Old Friend"

In anticipation of their upcoming album, Old World Romance, indie band Sea Wolf has released a video for the lead off track "Old Friend." The percussive intro instantly intrigues the listener and I've already picked it for my next New Music Playlist. The rest of the album is full of the solid songwriting skills of frontman Alex Church, allowing things to build with time in nuanced arrangements of subdued musical moments.  Church is a California native who first hit the scene as a part of the dreamy psychedelic pop band Irving in 1998, until he began to create home recordings under the moniker Sea Wolf in 2003.

Old World Romance is due out September 11, followed by a tour in support of this fourth collection by the group (see dates below).  

9/16 Gary Calamar's Mimosa Brunch Series @ Federal Bar, North Hollywood, CA
10/03 Las Vegas, NV
10/04 Pioneertown, CA
10/05 Santa Ana, CA
10/06 Phoenix, AZ
10/07 Tucson, AZ
10/09 Denver, CO
10/11 St. Louis, MO
10/12 Louisville, KY
10/13 Cincinnati, OH
10/14 Columbus, OH
10/15 Pittsburgh, PA
10/16 Asbury Park, NJ
10/17 New York, NY
10/18 New York, NY
10/19 New York, NY
10/20 Boston, MA
10/21 Philadelphia, PA
10/22 Washington, DC
10/23 Toledo, OH
10/24 Chicago, IL
10/25 Milwaukee
10/26 Minneapolis, MN
10/29 Salt Lake City, UT
10/30 Missoula, MT
10/31 Pullman, WA
11/01 Seattle, WA
11/02 Vancouver, BC
11/03 Portland, OR
11/05 San Francisco, CA
11/07 Santa Cruz, CA
11/08 Fresno, CA
11/09 San Diego, CA
11/10 Los Angeles, CA

Monday, August 13, 2012

Divine Fits Offer Up New Songs on NPR "First Listen"

Photo credit: Marina Chavez
NPR stations are now providing a week worth of listening to the debut release by Divine Fits -- a new band comprised of Britt Daniels (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs), and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks) along with Alex Fischel on heavy rotation manning the keyboards.  A dozen songs make up the album, A Thing Called Divine Fits, and according to iTunes five were penned by Daniels, five by Boeckner plus one cover ("Shivers" by Boys Next Door).  Quirky rock songs such as "Flaggin a Ride," "Like Ice Cream" and the single "Would That Not Be Nice," have a heavy Spoon influence, while "What Gets You Alone" and "Baby Get Worse" leans towards the synth backbone of Handsome Furs. The acoustic quiet of "Civilian Stripes," layered waves of synth melodies in "The Salton Sea" and a dramatic finale for "Neopolitans" find a creative new ground combining both backgrounds.  Things are in pre-order stage until August 28, when a full download promises a 5-page digital booklet with artwork, recording credits and oft forgotten about lyrics (yes!)

NPR "First Listen" webpage with link to listen here. The band is also on tour, including a stop at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg on September 9 and in Asheville, North Carolina, at Moogfest 2012 this October.

A Thing Called Divine Fits track list:
1. My Love Is Real
2.  Flaggin a Ride
3. What Gets You Alone
4. Would That Not Be Nice
5. The Salton Sea
6. Baby Get Worse
7. Civilian Stripes
8. For Your Heart
9. Shivers
10. Like Ice Cream
11. Neopolitans

Friday, August 10, 2012

Earlimart Presents New Song, "97 Heart Attack"

Indie band Earlimart recently released a new song off their upcoming album, System Preferences.  From the opening guitar strum, the laid back simplicity of the tune is a trademark by this L.A. based duo of Aaron Espinoza and Ariana Murray.  Since their 2008 album Hymn and Her, the pair has kept busy touring and composing tracks for various film/TV projects.  They also collaborated with members of the band Grandaddy for the 2010 release of Admiral Radley's I Heart California. Plus Espinoza has produced artists such as Ben Gibbard, Port O'Brien and The Henry Clay People.  

System Preferences will be released on Earlimart's own label, The Ship, digitally on September 18 and October 16 on CD and LP.  Take a listen to the song on YouTube here or below.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Moogfest 2012 Announces Line Up

Moogfest has announced the line up for this year's Halloween weekend festival in Asheville, North Carolina. The event has been trimmed to two days, Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27, without last year's outdoor parking lot venue that went from chilly rain opening night to downright cold on closing night.  Headliners include Orbital and Primus, who will present the first stop on a 3D-enhanced live musical tour.  Swedish electro pop band Miike Snow, indie songstress Santigold and new wave pioneer Thomas Dolby are also on the bill.  Hip Hop artist EL-P will share the spotlight with newer bands such as Divine Fits and Bear In Heaven. And electronic groups are of course in focus with the tribute to Bob Moog's legacy, including Mouse on Mars, Four Tet, Squarepusher and Black Mother Super Rainbow.  See full list below.

Moogfest is produced in conjunction with the City of Asheville and Moog Music and directly benefits the Bob Moog Foundation.  Tickets go on sale this Friday, August 10 at noon via Moogfest.com.  

Primus 3D
Miike Snow
Richie Hawtin
Explosions in the Sky
The Magnetic Fields
Four Tet
Divine Fits
GZA presents Liquid Swords
Carl Craig
Pantha Du Prince
Shpongle presents The Masquerade
Thomas Dolby
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Cold Cave
Mouse on Mars
Prefuse 73 with Teebs
Ana Sia
Bear in Heaven
Killer Mike
Julia Holter
Wick-It the Instigator

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sigur Ros Concert July 31 @ Celebrate Brooklyn -- Audio Available on NPR

Jónsi Birgisson (Ryan Muir for NPR)
NPR's "Live in Concert" series provided a live audio feed for the Sigur Rós concert in Prospect Park July 31, as part of the Celebrate Brooklyn summerfest.  Even listening through my kitchen speakers, I was transported skyward by the otherworldly music of this Icelandic band.  Whether its the unfamiliar cultural landscape or Jónsi Birgisson's angelic falsetto, this band has existed on a separate parallel plane in the music scene since 1994.  The group is back on tour after four years, and those lucky to be there or nearby (like my daughter listening outside the venue), can now relive the evening.  For those of us outside the area, it was a treat indeed to be there in spirit and have another opportunity to experience the over hour-long set.  Many songs were from the latest release, Valtari, but a clear highlight dominated with Jónsi's contribution to the We Bought a Zoo soundtrack, "Gathering Stories."

Listen at the link here and for those looking for help saying the band name, see Wikipedia's handy 
pronunciation guide below.  

Sigur Rós (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈsɪːɣʏr ˈroːus] ( listen))