Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Video for Moby's "Almost Home" (Plus Recent Appearances on KCRW)

A few years ago, Grammy-winning electronic musician Moby switched coasts, relocating from New York City to the Hollywood Hills. He recently appeared on the L.A. NPR station KCRW’s new program “Press Play” to discuss the decision (listen to the entire program here) as well as "Morning Becomes Eclectic" where he played some "random songs." He also discussed "the dark side of digital photography" and his belief that the apocalypse has already happened. (Listen to that program in the KCRW archives here.)  

Moby's latest video for "Almost Home" explores the universal tug of home, wherever that may be, is portrayed from the vantage point of one tiny stuffed dog, using a shoestring budget of just ten dollars. I just love Moby's cameo, reminding me of the time I flew into L.A. and the driver left me waiting as he circled around looking for the actress Jane Seymour. As a heart ache of a song, “Almost Home,” features the plaintive tenor of Damien Jurado -- just one of the collaborations on Moby’s latest album, Innocents. It seems there’s just no place like home, even for a tiny stuffed animal. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

YouTube Playlist of Winter 2014 New Music Playlist Songs

In this YouTube playlist of my latest collection, there were few actual videos produced by the artists.  New music is now just being slapped up on the site as simple promotional previews, but I wish we'd be able to glimpse the band in action instead (whether hanging out or performing?)  In a basic fan to band marketing tool, it'd allow another connection to the people checking out the new tune and wouldn't even cost much by using found footage spliced together.  Ah well.

Link to listen and watch the montage here or click video below.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Winter 2014 New Music Playlist

The ground hog seems to have definitely gotten things right – winter continues with a vengeance for those who are accustomed to such weather or not (looking at you Southeast!)  Why not use the time indoors to check out new bands like Temples, Big Data and Jamestown Revival, along with new releases from Fanfarlo, Cut Copy, Gardens & Villa, Bombay Bicycle Club and more.  As always, the playlist ends in a chill out mode thanks to tracks from Caspian and Hammock.  

Link to listen here, enjoy!

1. "Free Your Mind" – Cut Copy
Australian synth pop quartet Cut Copy has released its fourth album since 2001, with songs promoting the concept of individual freedom. “Free Your Mind” is the title track and single for the collection, using swirling layers to connect the power of positivity embedded in this dance tune.

2. "Colony Glen" – Gardens & Villa
Santa Barbara indie rock quintet Gardens & Villa is back with a sophomore album, Dunes.  Working with DFA producer, Tim Goldsworthy, the song “Colony Glen” relies on a solid synth backbone for a more extroverted sound.

3. “Shelter Song” – Temples

English pysch rock band Temples was formed in 2012 by singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw and bassist Thomas Edison Warmsley.  The “Shelter Song” shows this new group’s taste for heavy reverb with a tuneful take on songwriting.

4. "Dangerous"  – Big Data
Big Data is an electronic pop duo (Daniel Armbruster and Alan Wilkis) that uses music as a message to rail against user privacy and other perils of the internet age.  “Dangerous” is a solid pop single from the debut EP, I.O. – EP.

5. “Landlocked” – Fanfarlo
London based indie pop quintet Fanfarlo released its third album since 2006, Let’s Go Extinct. With influences of folk, indie rock and post-punk, the song “Landlocked” highlights Swedish musician Simon Balthazar’s warm baritone over a busy mix of electronic and acoustic instruments.

6. "Tourniquet" – Jeremy Messersmith
Messersmith is a prolific singer/songwriter based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With an unusual analogy for a love song, “Tourniquet” is a quirky but catchy tune off Murmurs, his fifth album since 

7. "Shake" – The Head and the Heart
Seattle indie folk rock band The Head and the Heart recently released its second album, Let’s Be Still. The single “Shake” is emblematic of the group’s aesthetic of sunny male/female harmonies over acoustic guitars.

8. "Red Eyes"  – The War On Drugs 
“Red Eyes” is the single off the third album since 2005, Lost In the Dream, by Philly indie rock quintet The War On Drugs. The band’s signature wall of sound via guitars brings an epic jam, for almost five minutes of group swagger.

9. "Forever" – Painted Palms
San Francisco based cousins Reese Donohue and Christopher Prudhomme recently released their debut full album as Painted Palms.  “Forever” is the title track, a multi-sectioned paean to 60s psych pop utilizing the tools of modern electronic production.

10. "Giants"  – Bear Hands
This Brooklyn indie electro quartet released “Giants” as a stand alone single. With the wavering synths, melodic guitar lines and punchy vocal delivery, the song is instantly memorable yet ready for many a replay.

11. "The Letterbomb"  – Milagres
Brooklyn’s indie rock band Milagres relies on the sweeping, artistic vision of singer and songwriter Kyle Wilson.  “The Letterbomb” combines explosive percussion and Wilson’s storytelling vocals as a teaser single for the upcoming sophomore album, Violent Light.

12. "Step Out" – José González
José González of the Swedish band Junip contributed three songs to the soundtrack of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  For “Step Out” he embraces a cinematic approach to his indie folk songwriting, expanding the music palette with orchestral instrumentation and multi-generational vocals.

13. "Luna" – Bombay Bicycle Club
“Luna” is the single from So Long, See You Tomorrow, the fourth album by England’s indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club since 2005.  The song features singer Rae Morris as a female counterpoint to Jack Steadman’s vocals, amid a swirling soundscape over tabla and mallets in a worldview of percussion.

14. "California (Cast Iron Soul)" – Jamestown Revival
New band Jamestown Revival joins childhood friends Jonathan Clay and Zach Chance flaunting their Texan roots in this song about moving to L.A. Their harmonies and acoustic instruments blend in an easy jam, clearly demonstrating that all ties to home clearly remain intact.

15. "Pulaski at Night" – Andrew Bird
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird recently released a seven song EP, I Want To See, based on this wistful tune referencing his home base of Chicago.  His distinctive, laid back vocals float easily over the eclectic musical arrangement.

16. "Hymn for the Greatest Generation" – Caspian
Caspian, an instrumental post-rock band since 2004 from Beverly, Massachusetts, had to regroup after the sudden, unexpected death of bass player Chris Friedrich last summer. The group went on with the tour in supporting a new EP, Hymn for the Greatest Generation. This title track opens the collection that now has even more depths of emotion.

17. "Then the Quiet Explosion" – Hammock
Hammock is an ambient post-rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, formed by two guitarists in 2005, Marc Byrd and Andrew Thompson.  They craft larger-than-life songs with live instruments, electronic beats and haunting electric guitar lines, such in “Then the Quiet Explosion” from a sixth album, Oblivion Hymns.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Antlers Song "Crest" - Soundtrack for Footage from New England Aquarium

This video captures exotic species of “Fish” and more found at the New England Aquarium in Boston, Massachusetts, set to the dreamy soundtrack of “Crest” by Brooklyn’s indie band The Antlers (off the appropriately named Undersea EP). The simple act of watching sea creatures make their way through the water is known to reduce stress, anxiety and even lower blood pressure, giving rise to the term aquarium therapy. With the camera pulling in tight, the viewer becomes another visitor reaping the calming benefits -- without ever needing to clean the tank.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Romantic Songs Playlist for Valentine's Day 2014

Here's another romantic songs playlist in honor of Valentine's Day 2014 -- the holiday perfectly placed in the dead of winter to remind us of the finer things in life. (It's always a good excuse for a nice dinner out at least!) Digging through my archives, I found passionately poignant songs that hadn't made it on my romantic songs playlists in 2013 or 2012, plus ones that have only appeared in the past year.

Things kick off with the music of two married couples that I've reviewed and interviewed, Mates of State's "Palomino" and The Submarines' "The Sun Shines At Night."  Their bands have been among my faves for years, and wish them well as always professionally and personally.  (At least in my marriage there's only one musician and one crazy music fan?)  From there it's another patchwork of love gone right or even wrong, hearts pumping either way.  Link to listen here, enjoy!

1. "Palomino" -- Mates of State
2. "The Sun Shines At Night" -- The Submarines
3. "Everday Feels Like Sunday" -- Of Montreal
4. "Your Silent Face" -- New Order
5. "On Melancholy Hill" -- Gorillaz
6. "Ya Hey" -- Vampire Weekend
7. "Bloodbuzz Ohio" -- The National
8. "HEART" -- Oberhofer
9. "Say That" -- Toro Y Moi
10. "I Got You Babe" -- UB40 Featuring Chrissie Hynde
11. " I Melt With You" -- Modern English
12. "Song For Zula" -- Phosphorescent
13. "Lost Cause" -- Beck
14. "Home" -- Brian Eno & David Byrne
15. "Is That Enough" -- Yo La Tengo
16. "Sing" -- Travis
17. "Same Mistake" -- Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
18. "My Body Is a Cage" -- Arcade Fire
19. "Almost Home" -- Moby Featuring Damien Jurado
20. "So Long You Pretty Thing" -- Spiritualized