"Biz Bag" appears on the Bay Area band's upcoming EP, She's on Top, which I originally typed as "Who's the Boss" (blame Tony Danza...or Alyssa "Wen® Hair" Milano...or Judith Light..or Reagan-era sitcoms in general).
Why it's called "Biz Bag," I couldn't say, but it rocks in a big, bad, beautiful way—and I'm still kicking myself for missing their Seattle show last fall. I even took a picture of the poster, because I was so excited, but then deadlines got the best of me.
Here's an excerpt from Drag City's breathless press release:
This morning, Pitchfork premiered "Biz Bag," one of the completely bonk, top-of-the-pop-tart jams from the freshly pressed-and-forthcoming (May 21st!) "She’s On Top" 12" EP by Sic Alps. "She's On Top," a concise gem-drop! Pure rock 'n' roll directives of an unusually clean (for Sic Alps!) variety pour forever from das grooves and we're not gonna lie—this ain't no waxident, it's a classicident! One solid blast threatens to obliterate both end of yer parties* with vitality and charm, a peakingly [sic] planned romp into the twilight hours that float beyond the late-nite hours. Taste this first listen, and you'll eat exactly what we mean.
* I read that as "panties." (I suspect that DC main man Rian Murphy wrote this thing.)
Their 10th (!) studio album, I Hate Music, will be out August 20th. Here's the album trailer:
And a little more info, by way of press release:
I Hate Music will be released on CD, LP and digital. The limited-edition deluxe LP will be pressed on colored vinyl and include a bonus 7-inch containing two non-album tracks, along with an I Hate Music stencil. Both the standard and deluxe LPs will be issued on 150-gram vinyl and feature a die-cut sleeve. All pre-orders in the Merge store will come with an I Hate Music poster, the first 200 of which will be signed by the band.
In honor of their upcoming album Champions of Breakfast, our friends, the non-stop hiphop, snap crackle pop punks Don't Talk to the Cops are challenging anyone with an Instagram (everybody's getting those, you know) account to a BREAKFAST CONTEST! All you have to do is post a photo of your best, most creative breakfast with @donttalktothecops #ChampionsOfBreakfast.
The winner gets a copy of the new record, DtttC cereal, a T-shirt, and a button pack! Also, have you seen this poster?
Yesterday a friend of mine tipped me off to Jar, the new album by Pennsylvania rock band Daylight. "I can't tell if this is like great ’90s rock or the shitty ’00 stuff," he said. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure it out myself.
The song "Outside of Me" has a nice, poppy Foo Fighters feel and "Life In a Jar" has huge production that recalls Hum and early Smashing Pumpkins. I dig it! But on some songs—"In On It" (the intro, at least) and "Youngest Daughter," for example—their hard rock sound creeps dangerously close to the 3 Doors Down/Our Lady Peace post-grunge nonsense. (And "Sheltered" is, like, at least 50% "In Bloom.")
Is it good? Is it bad? Is it possible that a band can be both on the same album?
Let's have a poll! And maybe discuss this question: What does it take to successfully pull off a ’90s sound in a post-grunge world without coming off like all those bands who just sounded like assholes trying to cash in on a trend? Can it be done?
I go back and forth between admiring musicians who change things up with every record and those who do the same thing every time, just fine-tuning their basic template with each release.
To my ears, Emma "Scout" Niblett falls into the latter category. I keep waiting for her to do something radically different, but she never does—not counting the "Nasty" cover below.
On It's Up to Emma, her confessional vocals remains front and center, bolstered by spare electric guitar and minimalist percussion (kick drum, tambourine), although "Can't Fool Me Now" and "What Can I Do" feel fuller than usual with mournful strings and a soaring, Sinéad O' Connor-like vocal line. As with O'Connor and Cat Power, her emotions lie just below the surface, threatening to escape in full, spilling out all over the place, incinerating everything in their vicinity. It's as if her instrumental restraint keeps them in check. This makes every record an intense, claustrophobic experience.
On "Gun," for instance, she sings, "Think I'm gonna buy me a gun, a nice little silver one." Then, in "All Night Long," she wails, "I don't need to hear her name....get away from her spell...I need a love of my own." Either she has lousy taste in lovers or she expects more from men than any of them can reasonably deliver. I have no idea, but at least she shares some responsibility for these romantic disappointments when she admits: "I fooled myself for too long."
Say Hi's Eric Elbogen composed the soundtrack for the film Free Samples (starring Jessie Eisenberg and in theaters May 31), and the soundtrack is available today via Barsuk Records.
Stereogum has a free download of the song "Love, Love, Love," and the whole thing is on iTunes. The songs are mostly instrumental (and named after ice cream flavors—cute!), so you can listen and act out your own quirky romantic comedy.
I listened to New Zealand sextet the Phoenix Foundation's double-LP, Fandango, this weekend, and it didn't quite win me over, though it came close (and I'll assume Kiwis don't think about talking bags when they see the word "Fandango").
In reading up on the band, which has been around since 1997, I learned some interesting things: 1) they took their name from the TV show MacGyver, and 2) they provided the score for Taika Waititi's films Boy and Eagle vs. Shark (featuring Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords).
Say Hello to Chance the Rapper: Chicago's latest hiphop prodigy claims his new mixtape Acid Rain, which dropped yesterday, is "the best tape to come out in 2013." The year's still young but after hearing it, it's hard to argue with him.
And Finally, Hometown Heroes Shabazz Palaces Remix Animal Collective: This is pretty druggy.
A few days ago, choice Norwegian DJ/songwriter Annie ("Chewing Gum", "I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me", "The Breakfast Song") returned all sure-footed with the melancholically sophisticated, dancefloor synth-pop glimmer that is "Tube Stops & Lonely Hearts".
As a song, it works double-duty, which is rare: it carries on both the European transportation themes of Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express", Primal Scream's "Autobahn '66", and — just a couple of months ago — Little Boots' "Motorway", but also the lustrous memories of early '90s British dance culture heroically illustrated in The Streets' "Weak Become Heroes". And all the while still coming off adept and modern.
Bobby Whitlock Where There's a Will, There's a Way: The ABC-Dunhill Years (Future Days-Light in the Attic)
Unless you're a Southern rock expert or a liner-note obsessive, you probably haven't heard of Memphis singer, guitarist, and keyboard player Bobby Whitlock.
On the basis of this 21-track Light in the Attic collection, which appears on their new Future Days subsidiary, he was the quintessential 1970s artist: ramblin' man, jack of all trades, classic-rock Zelig. Where There's a Will, There's a Way: The ABC-Dunhill Years combines the two solo albums he released in 1972, Bobby Whitlock and Raw Velvet.
Whitlock got his start by playing with Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & the Dominoes (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs), and George Harrison (All Things Must Pass), and they would return the favor by contributing to these records, along with bassist Klaus Voorman, sax player Bobby Keys, the Edwin Hawkins Singers, and producers Andy Johns and Jimmy Miller (Exile on Main Street).
by Dave Segal
on Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Warp Records has announced that it will release hermetic, highly influential Scottish electronic duo Boards of Canada's fourth album, Tomorrow’s Harvest, on June 11. And there was much rejoicing on the IDM list. Tomorrow's Harvest is BOC's first release since 2006's Trans Canada Highway EP. It will not feature a guest appearance by Daft Punk.
Tracklist 01. Gemini 02. Reach For The Dead 03. White Cyclosa 04. Jacquard Causeway 05. Telepath 06. Cold Earth 07. Transmisiones Ferox 08. Sick Times 09. Collapse 10. Palace Posy 11. Split Your Infinities 12. Uritual 13. Nothing Is Real 14. Sundown 15. New Seeds 16. Come To Dust 17. Semena Mertvykh
Boards of Canada's greatest track (still) after the jump.
This Toronto trio doesn't sound a lot like METZ, but after listening to their new EP, Better, I can see how they'd make swell tour mates for that Sub Pop outfit (and not just because of the whole "Toronto trio" thing).
Odonis Odonis has more of a goth-punk thing going on—they prefer the somewhat misleading term "industrial surfgaze"—but they complement METZ's less noirish, but equally aggressive noise-rock attack (and singer-guitarist Dean Tzenos can wail just as impressively as METZ's Alex Edkins).
THE THERMALS Desperate Ground (Saddle Creek) ***1/2 (out of 5)
I really do appreciate a good concept record—Lifter Puller's Fiestas and Fiascos would be on my Top 10 Records of All Time list, if I ever bothered to make such a list—but it's getting increasingly difficult to be impressed by such a thing. Maybe it's Green Day's fault for such laughable attempts, or maybe it's our society's obsession with the song over the album, but it feels pointless to even try crafting a concept record in 2013. Regardless, the Thermals give it a go with their latest, Desperate Ground.
Desperate Ground definitely has a concept, loosely wrapped up in destruction-obsessed songs like "Born to Kill" and "The Sword by My Side," but it almost goes unnoticed on the first couple listens. The Thermals have a very specific sound, and I love them for it, but that same crunchy, pogo-pop noise is carried from song to song without too much fluctuation.
by Kelly O
on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM
Says John Dwyer, in a press release, about new album Floating Coffin, and song "Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster":
"These songs occur in the mindset of a world that's perpetually war-ridden. Overall, it's pretty dark, and much heavier than our other albums." You can hear that sense of foreboding in "Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster. "That one's a song about war. It's like people take less notice of those horrors anymore. Dark goings-on are so ever present that they can just wash over you every day."
By that title, I'll assume Dead Ghosts can't get no...satisfaction. So it's hardly a shocker that the Vancouver quartet evokes the Rolling Stones—the early mono 'Stones that is. Can't Get No is grungier than anything Mick and the guys ever did, but it's in a similar vein: lo-fi, no bells and whistles. Instead of piano, they've got an organ (and they're gonna use it).
Near as I can tell, Maurizio Chiumento (bass) and brothers Nicol (guitar, vocals), Drew (guitar), and Mike Wilkinson (drums) have made no concessions to the modern world. In fact, if I didn't know otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised to find that they actually recorded their second album in 1967 (they used a Tascam 388 8-track). As ever, that kind of fidelity to a bygone era is both admirable and limiting. Admirable because they do it so well and limiting because it's been done before. And some of the garage-rock enthusiasts who would enjoy the LP the most will never hear it, because they have no interest in "new music."
BRITNEY SPEARS TO RELEASE NEW SONG “OOH LA LA” FOR COLUMBIA PICTURES/SONY PICTURES ANIMATION’S FAMILY COMEDY THE SMURFS™ 2
Pop icon Britney Spears will release a song for Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Animation’s highly anticipated family comedy The Smurfs™ 2... “Ooh La La,” which will play at the end credits of the film, was written by Lukasz Gottwald (Dr. Luke), Joshua Coleman (Ammo), Henry Walter (Cirkut), Bonnie McKee, Jacob Kasher Hindlin (J Kash), Lola Blanc and Fransisca Hall and produced by Dr. Luke, Ammo and Cirkut for Prescription Songs.
Britney Spears added, “I have always loved the Smurfs as a kid and now my boys are the biggest Smurfs fans EVER. I wanted to surprise them with a song in the movie. I know they'll think it's Smurftastic!”