Saturday, 30 October 2010

Avey Tare - Lucky 1

Animal Collective have always presented themselves as, well, a collective so it's surprising that one of their most prominent song writers, David Portner (or Avey Tare as he'd rather be known), hasn't released a proper solo album until now. I say proper because he did release an album with his wife, Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir, back in 2007 where all the songs played backward. Anyway, Avey Tare released his solo album, Down There, this week on Animal Collective's own label, Paw Tracks, and his first single, Lucky 1, has been circling for a few weeks. His solo stuff sounds basically like all the songs he is responsible for in Animal Collective; the slower, experimental, psychadelic, less pop ones. It's pretty great but I was hoping more from it, hope it's a grower. However, Lucky 1 is a brilliant song and you can see the video below. Avey's bandmate Panda Bear also releases his solo album, Tomboy, soon. We'll just wait to see which one is better. Here's that video of Lucky 1, as promised earlier, for your enjoyment:

You can download the track for free at RCRD LBL.

Also in Animal Collective news, they will be curating next year's only ATP festival. It takes place at Minehead's Butlins and takes place between the 13th-15th May. Bands already announced include Lee "Scratch" Perry, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and the fantastic Zomby. I may or may not cry over the fact that I cannot go.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Girls - Heartbreaker

Girls released one of the best albums of last year with the adequately titled Album. Their sound was, on the surface, fairly standard Beach Boys influenced jingly-jangly Surf Pop but what made Girls' debut special was what hid beneath, and that was the sound of heartbreak. Whether this heartbreak came from Christopher Owen's time in the Children of God cult or something completely different, it is definitely there and can be felt throughout their debut. Girls will be releasing the follow up to Album on November 22nd in the form of an EP called Broken Dreams Club. They've released the first song off of it, called Heartbreaker, and it is everything that you expect of Girls eg. fantastic.

Download for Girls - Heartbreaker.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Lovvers - Strangers

Lovvers are destined for thousands of lazy comparisons between them and Wavves purely based on the repeated use of a letter in the name. However the comparison does carry a bit further, they are both pop bands at heart hiding behind their punky, fuzzy noise and lazy vocals. Lovvers are a lo-fi band from Nottingham who play punk straight out of '77 with a pop tinge. They released the great Think EP back in 2008 and released the good-but-not-as-great OCD Go Go Go Girls last year. Their new song, Strangers, however seems a return to form with Lovvers stretching their sound even further into melodic territory. You can check out Strangers on their MySpace.

Pixies Give Away Live Recordings

Pixies are a band that need no introduction, they were hugely influentional on the alternative rock scene and are still to this day adored by many. They have recently given away a few live recordings on to the internet. First is an EP of a selection of songs from their Doolittle 20th Anniversary tour last year recorded at Brixton Academy. Doolittle is quite frankly one of the best albums ever and I was lucky enough to catch them on that tour so can vouch for how incredible it was. It is more than worth getting. The second recording is not just an EP but an entire set, recorded at Coachella in 2004 when they were freshly reuinted. It's been put up to celebrate the launch of their new site where they plan on putting up entire live shows for cheap every week and are encouraging fans to upload their own videos and pictures.

Both recordings can be found at the new Pixies Music site.

Here's a live video of Pixies performing Debaser at T in the Park back in 2004 just in case you need reminding of how amazing this band is:

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Flying Lotus - Kill Your Co-Workers

Under the alias of Flying Lotus, Steven Ellison has released some of the most innovative, interesting and downright brilliant music of the last five years. Earlier in the year, Flying Lotus released the critically acclaimed Cosmogramma (an easy competitor for album of the year) which not only saw Ellison expanding and evolving his sound but also reaching a whole new audience. Not to be pinned down, he also recently released the Pattern+Grid World EP. This saw the FlyLo sound develop even more dramatically from jazz influenced glitchy Hip-Hop in to much more electronic territory. The video for Kill Your Co-Workers came out this week which is absolutely brilliant. It starts off with a parade but everything turns horribly wrong when robots start killing everyone. Watch it below.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Rollerpalooza II @ Sheffield Skate Central 08/10/10

To celebrate their 10th birthday, music website Drowned in Sound put on a series of events around the country. In Sheffield they put on a follow up to last year's successful Rollerpalooza. The concept of Rollerpalooza is a bizarre one, yet an unbelievably fun one. It takes place in a skate rink and you basically skate, drink, buy slushies/chips and watch bands until three in the morning. Needless to say I was quite excited for this one, especially when one of my favourite live band of recent times, Pulled Apart By Horses, and a band I've wanted to see for years, No Age, were added to the line-up.

I unfortunately missed the two opening bands, Liars Beware and Hey Sholay! due to pre-drinking across the road, queuing ages to get in/get skates and then learning to skate (I've never done it before ya see). The third band on however was Male Bonding who were quite an inspired choice, their fun, noisy punk songs being perfect to skate to. The sound was pretty great for Male Bonding as well considering the size and set-up of the place they were playing.

"Who's fallen over?" asks Tom Hudson, lead singer of Pulled Apart By Horses, to a show of hands. "Me too," he replies, "and I haven't even put skates on yet." Fuelled largely by alcohol, Pulled Apart By Horses put on an incredibly energetic and furious set. The band were constantly throwing themselves around the stage and at the crowd. I've seen this band a bunch of times and, even with a couple of technological problems, this evening is easily the best I've ever seen them. It wasn't long until this energy transposed on to the audience with people moshing and crowd surfing on, ahem, skates. Their set consisted entirely of songs off the album but they still managed to cram in all the fan favourites like Meat Ballooon and The Crapsons. They're also currently opening their sets with E=MC Hammer which works brilliantly, getting them off to a massive start. A fantastic set.

No Age had the difficult feat of coming on at two in the morning when everyone was shattered from roller skating all night. No Age's set was also the moment when the size and ambience of the venue got the better of the mixing desk as the sound was quite muddy for a lot of their set. However, No Age more than made up for it with some noisy, experimental goodness. They played a large chunk of stuff off new album Everything in Between and just about everything else was off their last album, Nouns. With the induction of a third live member on electronics, No Age seem to have found the only way to make their shows even noisier. However at the same time, their performance had an almost psychedelic trance like feel to it. It's been a long wait for me to see No Age but it was worth every moment.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The Body - All The Waters Of The Earth Turn To Blood

Back in June, New York duo The Body released the incredible All The Waters of The Earth Turn to Blood. The album is not only one of the best metal album of the year but one one of the most original as well. The album throws just about every metal genre there is in to the mixing pot from Doom to Sludge to Black Metal. However, it also includes tons of elements outside of metal such as IDM style electronics, Post-Rock ambience and a 32 piece choir. However what makes this album so great, rather than the vast range of sources, is the natural beauty hidden behind the aggression of this album. What The Body have created here is a profound, powerful, emotional and truly underrated piece of art.  Check out the song A Curse below.

Kanye West on Saturday Night Live

Last Saturday, Kanye West appeared on the US show Saturday Night Live performing new songs Power and Runaway. As can be expected from Kanye, it definitely was not your usual live television performance. Wearing a bright red suit, performed what he's described on Twitter as 'performance art'. During Power, he had a full performance group of dancers perform the 'moving painting' from the music video while during Runaway the dancers stood as a backdrop in ballet shapes. He was accompanied during this song by a MPC and a verse by Pusha T. It really does need to be seen to be believed, like so much of Kanye's recent activity. It's also very opinion splitting (again, just like everything else he does), people either thinking it's genius or just another boring example of how big his ego is. I think I'm leaning towards the former. Both the old school Kanye sounding Power and the 808s and Heartbreak era sounding, auto-tune fest Runaway have been released as singles and will appear on his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which is out in November.

Friday, 8 October 2010

No Age - Glitter

Los Angeles' duo Randy Randall and Dean Spunt, better known as No Age, released their new album, Everything in Between, last week. No Age have always written dreamy pop songs but hidden them behind feedback, noise and the fury and energy of punk. However on their new album, while all these elements are still there, their melodies and pop tendencies are far more forefront and in the open, not sounding dissimilar to My Bloody Valentine. Not quite the direction you'd expect from these vegan skate punks who used to be in the hardcore band Wives but it really is a great album. The second song on Everything in Between is called Glitter and is probably the most poppiest moment on the album. However, in typical No Age style, Glitter's dreamy vocal melody and guitar parts are accompanied by a tinnitus inducing noise loop. It's brilliant. Someone has created a fan video which goes perfectly with the song which you can see below.

And just in case you need reminding of how great No Age's last album, Nouns, is here's a video of them performing Sleeper Hold off it on The Daily Habit.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Pissed Jeans - False Jesii Part 2

Pissed Jeans proved they were more than just a pretty name last year when they released the brilliant album King of Jeans. Their Jesus Lizard inspired noise rock infused with hardcore was energetic and authentically furious at the world. The album is dripping in sludge and noise from beginning to end. King of Jeans is an album that embodies growing up and finding out that man-hood isn't all it's cracked out to be. Anyway, the best song was probably the first song on the album which was False Jesii Part 2. Pissed Jeans have finally got around to making their first ever music video and it just happens to be that song. False Jesii Part 2 is basically a song about not bothering to do stuff. The video is hilarious so check it out here:

Friday, 1 October 2010

Witch House

It's official, the Witch House scene has taken off and is taking the music world by storm. The genre of 'Witch House' is one that is very difficult to describe. It is basically dark, haunted sounding, electronic music with a huge influence from not only '80s gothic bands but also the 90's chop and screw hip-hop sampling technique. They sound like they're continuing the work of their hyped predecessors dubstep and 'chillwave'. It really does need to be heard to be understood, a surprisingly unique sounding genre. However, you can't help but feel a huge amount of the hype this genre is getting is down to the way the musicians present themselves. A large amount of them have stayed anonymous or clouded in mystery by having no communication with the media. Also, a lot of the bands also have, quite frankly, bizarre names such as oOoOO, †‡†, and ///▲▲▲\\\. I honestly can't tell if this is just a phase or something that is hear to stay. I suppose we're just going to have to wait and find out. Anyway, here's a track by Salem called King Night for your listening pleasure.


Holy State

Leeds' Holy State released their first self-titled EP a couple of years back on the mighty Holy Roar Records. The release hinted at brilliance, as did their split with fellow noisy Leeds residents Pulled Apart By Horses last year, but Holy State felt like a band that wasn't reaching their full potential. Their fun, loud and highly Hot Snakes inspired Post-Hardcore was great but felt like it missed something. Their new EP, again a self-titled, has that something. By reaching in to the pockets of Noise Rock bands like The Jesus Lizard and Post-Punk (and by adding, um, horns), Holy State have given themselves an impressive palette of sound to colour this release. You can hear the EP's opening stormer Brain Caves below and if you like it you can buy it from Dance to the Radio here.