lundi, janvier 30, 2006

Music News Jan 2006

50ft Monster, Thursday, The Cure & AFI

Check out Brian and Neil's (members of Catherine Wheel) new band, 50ft Monster, at the following 2 links. They have 2 demo songs up and have plans to release an album in 2006.

Thursday Working Quickly On New Album

Bram Teitelman, N.Y.; from October 2005:

New Jersey-based rock act Thursday is a week into recording its second Island album with producer Dave Fridmann at his Tarbox Studios in Freedonia, N.Y. The as-yet-untitled set is tentatively due in April and is the follow-up to 2003's "War All the Time," which debuted at No. 7 on The Billboard 200.

"We'd always liked his records," singer Geoff Rickly tells of the decision to work with Fridmann. "We've always had a hard time fitting in all the stuff we do, with two guitars doing both rhythm and leads, keyboards and everyone in the band singing different parts. It's always gotten kind of cluttered, and one of the things he does best is keep track of a lot of information. Also, when he got the demos, he freaked out about how much he loved them, and it always helps when someone likes what you're doing and wants to work with you."

This will be Thursday's first project not recorded with producer Sal Villanueva, which Rickly says has given the band new perspective. "Sal's like family to us, and we're really used to the way each other work," he says. "There's something cool about that, but it's also safe. You knew what he was going to say and he knew what we were going to say, so any argument would have a degree of inevitability as to how it would work out. With Dave, there have been a lot of new ideas we'd never had about how things should work."

The band is attempting to record as much of the album live as possible. "On the last record, Tucker [Rule] played a lot of the drums on a click track to himself," Rickly says. "Whoever else was around was ancillary -- they didn't need to be there. Now, everyone's there all at once, and everyone has ideas all the time. It's been really exciting."

This approach seems to be working, as Thursday has already tracked seven songs and completed vocals on two. Of those, Rickly says the song "We Will Overcome" is nearly finished.

"The chorus goes 'If you follow the path that's straight and narrow, walk hand in hand because our roads are paved with broken arrows, we will overcome,'" Rickly says. "It's about how much of America's history is based in violence, and it's also about the current war going on, and the situation the country's in. It's also based on folk music and Pete Seeger's 'We Shall Overcome.' It's about standing up and saying something and not to despair the state of our country, but to stick together with the people you love and have hope."

Rickly says the material recorded so far has changed significantly from the demos presented to Fridmann. "There are certain elements that are still there, but they were so long ago that some of the songs changed even before we got into the studio." Rickly says. "The other song we've come really far on is one that was on the demos, but it has a totally different chorus now."

The Cure planning new album for Summer 2006, reissues, live DVD

Billboard is reporting that long-running post-punk act the Cure will be entering the studio in January 2006 to record its next album and the followup to 2004's eponymous effort. Frontman Robert Smith briefly mentions on the band's website a tentative release in the summer of 2006, which is expected on Geffen. The as yet untitled effort will be the band's first since keyboardist Roger O'Donnell and guitarist Perry Bamonte left the band earlier this year, while former guitarist Porl Thompson has since rejoined.

Also planned is a series of reissues from the band, which will include 1984's The Top, 1985's The Head on the Door and 1987's Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, as well as The Blue Sunshine, a 1983 album Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees bassist Steve Severin created under the name the Glove. The sets are due out by next spring.

In addition, Smith is assembling a live DVD from the band's recent summer performances, with a release expectedly some time in 2006.

Updates from AFI's Davey Havok and Hunter

AFI vocalist Davey Havok posted an update as the band continues to work on their upcoming full length follow up to Sing the Sorrow:

I've been listeing to Modern Lif is War a bit in the gym lately. My ocsxe boyfriends turned me onto them. Now, I do believe I'd like to see them live as I'd imagine them to be very engergetic and because, well, we're all dead Ramones.[...] In other similar matters - within the past couple of days I've run into both Andrew from Strife and Scott from EarthCrisis. I guess Frank Vicario should be next. Perhaps it's a sign? Perhaps we should all pull out the magnums and the ashen grey hoodies? Perhaps.

I'm in the studio right now listening to Adam rock it. Hunter also posted a quick status update, saying:

Just so you know, we're still in the studio working on our record (yes, the SAME record) and each day it gets better and better and that much closer to being done. since it's not quite done yet, we don't have a release date... and since we don't have a release date, I can't tell you when we'll be coming to your town. All I can tell you is to stay posted and we'll let you know what's up. The band has about three weeks of studio time remaining and hopes to release the album as early as February 2006.

Once again deep thanks go to Jen from this Yahoo group:


dimanche, janvier 29, 2006

Sugababes news

Sugababes Lose a Babe

by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover

The surly face of Sugababes, Mutya Buena, has announced she will be leaving the girl group in order to care for her baby daughter Tahlia.

Mutya is not the first gal to leave the ensemble – back in 2002 founding member Siobhan Donaghy left and was promptly replaced by the spritely Heidi Range. And just as a new Sugarbabe took Donaghy’s place, so shall a new member be integrated into the group following Buena’s departure.

Mutya posted an official statement on the Sugarbabes website:

“I’ve enjoyed an unbelievable career so far and I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved with Sugababes over the years. My decision to leave the band at this point is based purely on my personal reasons. It was very difficult but definitely not a snap decision. I signed up for being in Sugababes at the age of 13 and have spent my entire life devoted to making and performing music. I think there comes a time when everyone wants to re-evaluate their life and what they want out of it. For me that time has now come. For a long time I have been discussing with Heidi and Keisha our plans for the future and it got to the point where I honestly felt that the commitment I would need to make to Sugababes over the next 12 months was something that would become compromised by me. Clearly that wouldn’t have been fair to Heidi or Keisha or most of all to our fans. Certainly, my departure from the band would never mean the end of Sugababes. We were all in total agreement that a new member would enable the band to continue and I’m delighted that the new girl is taking my place. She’s so lucky to be getting one of the best jobs in the world! And certainly my leaving the band doesn’t mean I won’t be seeing Heidi or Keisha any more. We’ll still be seeing each other and I’ll definitely be taking Tah to all of their gigs.”

Fellow founding member Keisha Buchanan adds:

“When the decision was made, we had a band meeting to discuss the future. I think for our fans, the one thing Sugababes has come to stand for above all else is our consistent and unique style of music. Obviously, it goes without saying that we will all miss Mutya, but we also knew there was still a place for bringing in somebody new who could help us carry on taking the Sugababes brand of music forward.”

Before newbie Heidi finishes off by saying….

“Our management introduced us to someone they had been working with who undoubtedly had an amazing voice, who looked great and, just as important, was already a big fan of the band! When we all met her, we instantly knew she was the only person to share the rest of the journey with us.”

Sugarbabes will head off on a sold-out stadium tour supporting Take That with their new member in tow in 2006.

mercredi, janvier 25, 2006

Beth Orton news

Beth Orton Cozies Up to Strangers

Singer-songwriter showcases her voice on stripped-down fourth album

Soul with a country tear

Photo by Barry Brecheisen

In the four years since Beth Orton released her last album, Daybreaker, the British singer-songwriter, despite the occasional acoustic gig, retreated from public view. But she never stopped working or traveling. Orton took an inspiring trip to Africa, where she became wildly prolific, and has written ceaselessly since, looking inward to find what she calls her "truest voice" as a songwriter. On her fourth album, Comfort of Strangers, due February 7th, Orton reveals those introspective, assured songs, relocating her voice and mining new sonic ground in the process.

For the pared-down record, Orton stripped away the electronic elements and lush orchestrations that were staples of her previous albums. "I wanted to make the music that I liked to listen to, and I wasn't listening to electronic music," she explains. "For me, the thread that runs through everything I love is soul, is folk . . . In the end, it came to me like, 'You know what I want to make? A folk-gospel-soul record with a country tear dripping down its cheek.' But then at the same time, I wanted to do that as sparsely and minimally as possible."

After several attempts -- including collaborations with fellow singer/songwriter M. Ward and a go at self-production -- Orton found musical chemistry with producer Jim O'Rourke (Stereolab, Sonic Youth, Wilco), who also plays bass and piano on the album. Despite earlier frustrations, Orton says she and O'Rourke shared a musical vision, and their collaboration intuitively felt right. "I had contacted Jim O'Rourke, and I went to meet him and it was incredible," she says. "His vision and my vision just matched completely. He was like, 'It has to be about your voice. The music has to serve your songs.'"

The fourteen tracks on Comfort of Strangers strip away excess and foreground Orton's sultry croon -- always the hallmark of her sound -- and her guitar playing. But Comfort of Strangers is not skeletal. Instead, O'Rourke's production relies on texture, gently nudging Orton's voice with his bass or supple piano. "The way his bass [is arranged] against my voice, it's like creating another harmony," she says. "He's woven into it other dimensions that aren't exactly obvious at first, but as you listen they really come to life."

The songs' serpentine melodies are invariably surprising. One song, "Rectify," opens liltingly, buoyed by a tick-tock drumbeat and then unhinges in its chorus, transforming into a gospel-tinged shanty. Orton attributes the sound to the spontaneity that permeated the recording sessions. "A song like 'Worms,' the first song on the record -- I spent a year writing that song and almost daily I'd go back to it," she says. "It's really simple, but it's the first song I ever wrote on piano so I really wanted to get it right." But after privately obsessing over the song, O'Rourke recorded it after just three playthroughs.

The title track is a haunting folk tune colored by organ sounds. The song's title reflects the creative chemistry Orton discovered with her new collaborators. "I was going to call it Story of O," Orton says with a laugh, referencing the erotic classic. But "Comfort of Strangers" suddenly seemed the most fitting.

"I told the engineer [the album title], and he was like, 'You see? Just like you, me, [drummer] Tim [Barnes] and Jim! We were strangers, and now look what we've done,'" she says. "And I thought, 'Oh yeah, that's really sweet.' It was really lovely. It always amazes me how people can make these extraordinary connections with one another one minute and then be just complete strangers the next. Or be complete strangers and make extraordinary connections that last forever."

Orton and a stripped-down band, which she is currently assembling, will go on tour this March.

Beth Orton tour dates:

3/12: Washington, DC, 9:30 Club
3/13: Atlanta, Variety Playhouse
3/15: Austin, TX, South By Southwest
3/19: Denver, Gothic Theatre
3/20: Salt Lake City, Club Sound
3/23: San Diego, House of Blues
3/24: Hollywood, CA, Avalon
3/25: San Francisco, The Fillmore
3/27: Portland, OR, Wonder Ballroom
3/28: Seattle, The Showbox
3/29: Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom
4/1: Minneapolis, First Avenue
4/2: Madison, WI, Barrymore Theatre
4/3: Chicago, Vic Theatre
4/5: Detroit, The Majestic Theatre
4/6: Toronto, Carlu
4/7: Montreal, Club Soda
4/8: Boston, Avalon
4/10: Philadelphia, Theater of the Living Arts
4/11: New York, Webster Hall

Brian Orloff @ Rolling Stone

Posted Jan 24, 2006 12:00 AM

mardi, janvier 24, 2006

Pixies live

Pixies Release Live Album

by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover

December 20 2005

The legendary Pixies have revealed a new live album featuring material from their 2004-2005 reunion tour will be released strictly digitally from January 3.

Although it is already available through emusic, “Hey – Live Pixies” will be released through iTunes and other online music stores on the aforementioned date. There is no word as yet on a CD or vinyl release but the comprehensive double live album is well worth the download.


Disc One:

1. 'Planet of Sound' (Manchester, England - 8/30/2005)
2. 'Debaser' (Norfolk, Virginia - 12/6/2004)
3. 'Gouge Away' (New York - 12/16/2004)
4. 'Ed Is Dead' (Washington DC - 6/13/2005)
5. 'Bone Machine' (Cleveland, Ohio - 6/8/2005)
6. 'No. 13 Baby' (Leeds, England - 8/27/2005)
7. 'Holiday Song' (Raleigh, North Carolina - 6/12/2005)
8. 'I Bleed' (London, England - 6/2/2004)
9. 'Is She Weird?' (Leeds, England - 8/27/2005)
10. 'Caribou' (New York - 12/12/2004)
11. 'Crackity Jones' (Norfolk, Virginia - 12/6/2004)
12. 'Something Against You' (Washington, DC - 12/7/2004)
13. ’Into the White' (Raleigh, North Carolina - 6/12/2005)
14. 'Dead' (New York - 12/11/2005)

Disc Two:

1. 'La La Love You' (Los Angeles, California - 6/2/2005)
2. 'Cactus' (Edinburgh, Scotland - 8/28/2005)
3. 'Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)' (Indianapolis, Indiana - 6/7/2005)
4. 'Mr. Grieves' (Indianapolis, Indiana - 6/7/2005)
5. 'Nimrod's Son' (Washington DC - 12/8/2004)
6. 'Subbaculthcha' (Leeds, England - 8/27/2005)
7. 'Monkey Gone to Heaven' (Denver, Colorado - 6/5/2005)
8. 'Velouria' (Toronto - 7/9/2005)
9. 'Wave Of Mutilation' (San Francisco, California - 5/30/2005)
10. 'U-Mass' (Boston, Massachusetts - 12/9/2004)
11. 'Here Comes Your Man' (Newport, Rhode Island - 8/6/2005)
12. Hey' (Dublin, Ireland - 8/23/2005)
13. 'Vamos' (Washington, DC - 12/7/2004)
14. 'Gigantic' (Norfolk, Virginia - 12/6/2004)

Strokes tour 4 real

The Strokes to Tour "Earth"

New York rockers take third album live

Getting drastic

Photo by David Atlas

New York rockers the Strokes are set to launch a seventeen-date U.S. tour in support of their third album, First Impressions of Earth. The jaunt kicks off on March 3rd in their hometown, and wraps on April 11th in Minneapolis.

The Strokes warmed up for the tour with a handful of gigs in major cities timed to Impressions' release, and now head to Europe on Tuesday.

While still at work on the album, guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. told Rolling Stone how the band's method had changed, with the advance from 2003's Room on Fire invested in equipment to allow them to record in their rehearsal space. "Before, we would go into a studio, have a month and just cram it right in, and it was so tense," said Hammond. "Now, hopefully in that setting -- where we rehearse, where we feel more natural -- we'll come up with something that's different . . . Arrangement-wise, it'll be a little more drastic."

The warmer, looser Impressions, with its more expressive guitar solos, debuted at Number Four on the chart earlier this month.

The Strokes U.S. tour dates:

3/3: New York, Hammerstein Ballroom
3/6: Nashville, Ryman Auditorium
3/8: Atlanta, Tabernacle
3/10: Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theatre
3/11: Tulsa, OK, Cain's Ballroom
3/14: Austin, Stubb's Barbeque
3/15: Houston, Verizon Wireless Theater
3/17: Grand Prairie, TX, Nokia Theatre
3/19: Denver, Filmore Auditorium
3/21: Meza, AZ, Mesa Amphitheatre
3/24: San Francisco, Concourse
4/2: Portland, OR, Roseland Ballroom
4/4: Seattle, Paramount Theatre
4/7: Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
4/8: St. Louis, The Pageant
4/10: Milwaukee, Eagles Club
4/11: Minneapolis, Orpheum Theatre

ALEX MAR @ Rolling Stone

Posted Jan 23, 2006 12:00 AM

lundi, janvier 23, 2006


Ash Loses A Guitarist


by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover
January 23 2006

Irish rock veterans Ash have farewelled guitarist of 9 years Charlotte Hatherley.

Whilst the rest of Ash are to begin working on their latest album this year, Hatherley decided to go her separate way after expressing a desire to expand her solo catalogue. The official statement goes as follows:

“After nine years Ash and Charlotte Hatherley have mutually agreed to part company. The decision is completely amicable and they wish each other the very best for the future.

"Ash are returning to the studio later this year to make the follow up to 2004's MELTDOWN album. Charlotte is currently recording tracks for her second solo album which she plans to release in the autumn this year."

dimanche, janvier 22, 2006

Futureheads Make Grand Noise

British buzz band breaking out on second album

British quartet the Futureheads plan to break out of the angular-rock box this summer when they release the follow-up to their 2004 self-titled debut.

"A lot of the songs are much slower and grander," guitarist and co-songwriter Ross Millard says from his home in Newcastle, England, while on a break from mixing the group's as-yet-untitled second album. "I don't think anyone will be able to use the words 'agitated,' 'angular' or 'quirky' anymore. There's a lot more meat on the bones, more emotions in the songs. The songs carry enough weight or resonance to mean something more than just a jumping-around-on-the-dance-floor kind of thing."

Millard and Futureheads' frontman Barry Hyde spent the fall writing independently before resuming rehearsals with the rest of the ensemble in December. The group then trekked to a Scarborough, England, farmhouse to record with producer Ben Hillier (Depeche Mode, Blur), where they wrote six of the fourteen tracks. Among the new compositions are the tentatively titled "Worry," "Return of the Berserker" and "Favors for Favors."

One track in particular, a Millard composition currently going by the name "Munich," was inspired by the guitarist's devotion to British soccer team Manchester United. "It's about a famous sporting disaster -- an air crash, the Munich air disaster," Millard says referring to the February 6, 1958, incident that left twenty-one dead -- seven of which were players -- who became known as Busby's Babes. "We wanted to make the songs about things that were quite specific, or things people could make their own assumptions on that weren't too oblique or non-descript."

The band's last stint on the road seems to have inspired the change in direction. So when the Futureheads head back stateside this summer, does this mean they'll be spewing out a host of post-modern power ballads?

"Kind of, yeah. Get the lighters out," Millard says with a laugh. "We had to think about the fact that we'll be touring these songs for eighteen months. Having twenty songs in a set list where it's constantly the same kind of energy? There's no room to breathe in that. You don't want to be thrashing yourself around playing two-minute songs on stage. I think the second album is going to make the live show a lot more dynamic and interesting."

JOLIE LASH @ Rolling Stone

samedi, janvier 21, 2006

Music News 01 2006

Lilys, Queensryche, Morrissey, Lacuna Coil, Weezer, Luke Haines, The Streets, Bloc Party, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Lilys new album

by: Marco Gandolfi

American shoegazing stalwarts Lilys are gearing up to release Everything Wrong Is Imaginary in early March on Manifesto Records.

Head Lily Kurt Heasley, possibly one of the tallest men in indie rock, has assembled a new cast of characters for the forthcoming opus Everything Wrong Is Imaginary. The band has had many musicians periodically join its ranks but the glue has always remained Heasley and his seductive songwriting

Queensryche get new deal:

The progressive metal band Queensryche is announcing it has signed with Rhino Records.

Rhino is scheduled to release 'Operation:mindcrime II' in January 2006. This is the eagerly awaited sequel to Queensryche's groundbreaking 1988 concept album 'Operation:mindcrime.'

"'Operation:mindcrime II' is about revenge and what it does to people -- their emotions and the situations they find themselves in," says Tate, who conceived the sequel's direction last year while working on a screenplay based on the original album.

Morrissey on New Album:

Describing the sound of his new record - which is expected for release on March 27 - Morrissey revealed: "If you hear the new album you will notice a marked difference in sound, principally due to both (band-mates) Michael Farrell and to Jesse (Tobias). Personally and musically, Jesse has made a big impact - 'You Have Killed Me', 'The Youngest Was The Most Loved', 'In The Future When All's Well', 'I Just Want To See The Boy Happy'... these songs, especially, fully release the hounds."

He added: "There are no Boz (Boorer - guitar) songs on this album, but strangely, it is the album on which Boz has been most involved and had such a massive input. Boz is 24-hour non-stop, and if impetus lulls, Boz steers everyone back on track."

'Ringleader Of The Tormentors' will be preceded by the single 'You Have Killed Me', but an exact release date has yet to be confirmed.

Lacuna Coil new album:

Century Media Records has set an April 4th world-wide release date for Lacuna Coil's upcoming new album ''Karmacode."

The album's lead track, "Our Truth," will receive its worldwide debut on the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack on January 10th.

Weezer New Material:

Weezer have been working on new material for the follow up to 2005's 'Make Believe'.

The band were rumoured to be close to quitting due to the fact that lead singer/songwriter River Cuomo is set to return to Harvard University in February to complete his degree in English Literature.

"It's not going to be entirely quiet on the Weezer 'hood not by a long shot," a posting on the bands official site reads. "Everyone is planning on writing music and indeed a good deal of the songs have already been created while the band was still on tour this fall. Rivers returns to college this spring and everyone...continues to work towards a musical future... Only time will tell when the Weezer machine will get back into full gear."

The band also are planning to release a live DVD of their recent Japanese tour, culled from their three night performance at Tokyo's Studio Coast.

"We've got the footage; now it's a matter of putting it together. I don't have any info as a projected release time yet, but it will happen in '06 for sure," the statement continued.

Sonic Youth Eye 2006 Release:

Sonic Youth have been working on a new album - with a planned 2006 release date.

The as-yet-untitled album will be the follow up to 2004's 'Sonic Nurse'.

In a posting on the band's official website, they revealed they had been recording at Sear Sound Studio, where they had put together 1987's 'Sister' and 1994's'Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star'.

New songs recorded include:

'Pink Steam'
'Do You Believe In Rapture?'
'Sleepin Around'

Luke Haines Solo Album:

Luke Haines has announced details of a one-off show set to take place in London later this month.

The singer will be appearing at the Islington Academy on January 25 with a full band and playing a career-spanning set.

The gig is also likely to include the former Auteurs frontman debuting material from his new solo album - rumoured to be called 'Off My Rocker At The Art School Bop' - due for release in May.

Potential tracks from the LP include 'The Walton Hop', 'Freddie Mills Is Dead', 'Leeds United' and 'Bad Reputation (The Glitter Band)'.

Haines' last release - a retrospective CD box set entitled 'Luke Haines Is Dead' - was released in July last year and featured solo work alongside tracks by The Auteurs, Baader Meinhof and Black Box Recorder.

The Streets New Album in April:

The Streets have revealed that their new album will be called 'The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living'.

The album, due for release on April 11, is also loosely based on Mike Skinner's life after the success of 2004's 'A Grand Don't Come For Free'.

'It isn't a narrative,' Skinner told NME. 'But to be honest I don't think I could write an album without feeling like there are plots going on. Actually this album is a true story. After 'A Grand Don't Come For Free' I was like, 'What am I going to write about?' I can't moan I've got no money any more, but then it gradually dawned on me that my life is so crazy! You'd never believe some of the stuff that's happened to me along the way in countries far away.'

Skinner spent the summer recording his third album at home and then he went to New York in October to finish the tracks. He worked with an engineer who would email over the sounds Skinner requested and The Streets frontman would put the pieces of the record together.

Skinner revealed that he wanted Snoop Dogg and Gwen Stefani to appear on the new album. He said: 'I've spoken to loads of people - it could prove difficult. Maybe on the next album we'll do it, but it's definitely an idea I'd like to pursue.'

He also revealed some unlikely influences. 'I love The Smiths, but to me it all sounds quite similar - I want to be more like The Who. Every album I make I want to move the sound on. The first one was grungey garage, the second was really slow and dark. This album is going to be a bit more polished and bit faster, hopefully exciting.'

Bloc Party back in the studio:

Bloc Party are set to return to the studio this month and begin working on the follow up to 'Silent Alarm'.

Kele Okereke told NME.COM that he is keen to get into the studio and start putting down the tracks for the follow-up to their debut.

He mentioned that the new album with be more considered than their debut.

He said: "With 'Silent Alarm' I wanted to talk about how it felt being a 20-year-old in the western world. I think a lot of kids, me especially, just kind of felt in their 20s that they had all this passion, and it was very hard to find a focus. And that's what I want 'Silent Alarm' to represent.

"I don't want things to be as brash as they were. Slightly more considered: that's where the next record's going. But that's not to say we're going to turn all MOR!"

He added: "There are some great songs on 'Silent Alarm' that I'm really proud of, and with the next record we're looking to explore those ideas more fully. I think 'Silent Alarm''s a great album but I know now from the things that we've seen and heard throughout this year that we have it in us to make better records."

RHCP Name New Double Album:

Red Hot Chili Peppers spoke to NME.COM about their new album 'Stadium Arcadium'.

The double album, set for release in April, is produced by long time collaborator Rick Rubin, and was originally intended as a trilogy, released six months apart.

Singer Anthony Kiedis said: "The third record made it interesting for us, because two records have been done in different configurations. System [Of A Down] did it. Guns N' Roses did something similar, but three seemed sort of special, and we really got behind this idea until we realised that the third record wouldn't really be coming out for two years. It was like, 'This music needs to be heard now,' and two years from now we'll have new songs."

The first single from the album will be 'Danni California', named after a character who also featured in their single 'By The Way'.

He continued: "She makes a new and more profound appearance on 'Stadium Arcadium'. It's kind of the last chapter of this young girl's life, but it speaks of a cultural death on the west coast of the USA, a certain death and a rebirth in a way, out with the old, in with the new, from specifically the state we hail."

Other songs slated for inclusion are 'Charlie', 'Desecration Smile' and 'Hard To Concentrate'. A tour is also in the planning stages, with UK shows in spring.

vendredi, janvier 20, 2006

Smashing Pumpkins

Possible Smashing Pumpkins Reunion

Billy Corgan (photo by Ros O'Gorman)

by Eve Jenkin @ Undercover
January 20 2006

Seeing as though Billy Corgan’s various projects haven’t exactly lived up to expectation, a reunion of the ex-Smashing Pumpkiner’s former band seems more likely than ever.

The rumours of a possible reformation begun with an advert Corgan put out in the Chicago Tribune last year. It read: “When I played the final Smashing Pumpkins show on the night of December 2, 2000, I walked off the stage believing that I was forever leaving a piece of my life behind. I naively tried to start a new band, but found that my heart wasn't in it. I moved away to pursue a love that I once had but got lost. So I moved back home to heal what was broken in me, and to my surprise I found what I was looking or. I found that my heart is in Chicago, and that my heart is in the Smashing Pumpkins.

"For a year now I have walked around with a secret, a secret I chose to keep. But now I want you to be among the first to know that I have made plans to renew and revive the Smashing Pumpkins. I want my band back, and my songs, and my dreams. In this desire I feel I have come home again."

Now, according to the comeback is as good as confirmed, with Smashing Pumpkins planning to return to the stage at California’s Coachella festival on April 30. Corgan has kept in contact with second bassist Melissa Auf De Maur and drummer Jimmy Chamberlain, and posted an ambiguous statement on his website recently which has fuelled rumours of a reunion. “The surprise I have in store for you all will be announced soon enough,” he wrote. “Hold on to your horses. After all, good things surely come to those who wait....Don't you just love the suspense?”

dimanche, janvier 15, 2006

Isobel Campbell

Isobel Campbell announces 1st US tour

Kati Llewellyn and Amy Phillips report:

Now probably isn't the best time to be missing from the Belle and Sebastian lineup. With yesterday's Pfork 9.1 rating of If You're Feeling Sinister: Live at the Barbican and the upcoming release of The Life Pursuit, most of us would be ecstatic if ever given the chance to join up with the indie pop gods.

Isobel Campbell, however, holds a drastically different opinion from your average cardigan-wearing kid (for reasons that are likely described in that Belle and Sebastian biography we keep meaning to read but haven't gotten around to yet). As previously reported, the former B&S member will release two solo records this year, the first of which, Ballad of the Broken Seas, is due out on V2 on January 30 in the UK and March 7 in the US.

The sweet-voiced chanteuse will support the album with her first-ever North American tour as a solo artist, which will take her to Canada, the West, the East, and, of course, Chicago, all in just a week and a half. Backing Campbell will be several Glasgow luminaries: Eugene Kelly of the Vaselines/Eugenius/Captain America and Jim McCulloch of the Groovy Little Numbers/Soup Dragons on vocals and guitar, Dave McGowan of Teenage Fanclub/Vera Cruise covering the multi-instrumental end, and Dave Gormley of no bands in particular on drums.

Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone Age growler Mark Lanegan, who collaborated with Campbell on Ballad, may or may not show up for a guest appearance or two. And this writer may or may not show up for work tomorrow. Ah, to be a rock star!

Seeing other people:

03-04 Toronto, Ontario - Revival Bar
03-05 Chicago, IL - Schubas
03-07 Los Angeles, CA - The Troubadour
03-08 San Francisco, CA - Café du Nord
03-09 Seattle, WA - The Triple Door
03-10 Vancouver, British Columbia - Richard's on Richards
03-12 Boston, MA - TBD
03-13 New York, NY - Joe's Pub
03-14 Philadelphia, PA - World Café Live
03-15 Brooklyn, NY - Southpaw

Before she heads Stateside, Campbell will trot `round the UK with the same band in tow. The tour kicks off on Valentine's Day.:

02-14 Manchester, England - Night & Day
02-15 Leeds, England - Brudenell Social Club
02-16 Norwich, England - Arts Centre
02-17 Nottingham, England - Social
02-18 Dublin, Ireland - Sugar Club
02-20 Brighton, England - Komedia
02-21 London, England - Bush Hall
02-22 Cardiff, Wales - The Point
02-23 Birmingham, England - Glee Club
02-25 Glasgow, Scotland - ABC2

jeudi, janvier 12, 2006

Tori goes DVD

Tori Amos to Release Greatest Hits DVD

by Paul Cashmere @ Undercover
January 12 2006

Tori Amos’ former record label Warner will release a best of DVD through its Rhino imprint.

‘Tori Amos – The Video Collection: fade To Red’ will include videos from her most recent album ‘The Beekeeper’ through Sony-BMG include ‘A Sorta Fairytale’, the clip she made with Oscar winner Adrien Brody.

Tori says about the collection, "Over the years, whether it be through stills or moving picture, I have always enjoyed dancing with the devil from that other medium. I have been very fortunate to have worked with some amazing directors and camera people. They took my visions and translated them onto film. Together, we produced the videos that I am proud to present in this marriage of sight and sound that is this DVD collection. Myself and my audio buddies at Martian Studios, with the help of new technologies in the audio world, have been able to bring you these visual pieces of art as they have never been heard or seen before."

Disc 1
1. Past The Mission
2. Crucify
3. Jackie’s Strength
4. A Sorta Fairytale
5. Winter
6. Spark
7. Sleeps With Butterflies
8. Cornflake Girl
9. Hey Jupiter
10. Silent All These Years

Disc 2
1. Caught A Lite Sneeze
2. 1000 Oceans
3. God
4. Bliss
5. China
6. Raspberry Swirl
7. Talula
8. Sweet The Sting
9. Pretty Good Year

Professional Widow (remix)
Cornflake Girl (UK Version)

lundi, janvier 09, 2006



Las gracias y respetos van para miss Karola, a la que se puede leer siguiendo este enlace
  • El Blog de los Blogs
  • Buying Music...

    Buying Music From Anywhere and Selling It for Play on the Internet

    By ROBERT LEVINE @ New York Times
    Published: January 9, 2006

    New York Times technology reviewer David Pogue is at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, posting blog entries and daily video updates.

    Working in the media and entertainment group of the consultants McKinsey & Company, Greg Scholl got a firsthand look at the inefficiency in the music business: the major record labels focus on creating hits, and they rarely make money on releases that sell less than a few hundred thousand copies.

    An album by Manu Dibango is being distributed by the Orchard.

    Now, as chief executive of the Orchard, a music distributor that sells to iTunes, Napster, Yahoo and other digital music services, Mr. Scholl is trying to exploit that inefficiency.

    The Orchard is seeking to make money by purchasing music from small independent and foreign labels, and then distributing it to digital music services. In most music stores, CD's of, say, Chinese or Kenyan pop music would be consigned to the world-music bin as a good will gesture. But the economics of online stores is changing the financial calculations of the music business, making it profitable to sell a relatively small number of copies of a song, as long as a compact disc is not manufactured and distributed.

    So instead of trying to sell millions of copies of hundreds of albums, the standard music industry strategy, the Orchard hopes to sell hundreds of copies of thousands of albums. In that way, the company is anticipating that sales will follow a pattern known as "the long tail," in which a large number of only marginally popular items can eventually produce significant revenue.

    "We're not trying to make something a hit in order to make a business work," Mr. Scholl said. "We cast a very wide net, and we're going to catch some hits in it."

    So far, the Orchard has made deals to sell about 650,000 tracks from 72 countries to various services, including ring tone outlets. Those tracks include music from relatively well-known bands like Black Uhuru as well as thousands of Chinese pop songs. Much of that music is not yet online, and the company is not sure if all of it will ever be. The plan is to add music to various services gradually, so it can be promoted appropriately.

    The Orchard is not the only company looking to strike gold in the more obscure parts of the music business. One of the Orchard's rivals, the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, recently got the rights to digitally distribute 60,000 albums worth of music from a Chinese state-owned record company. The Orchard also faces competition from distribution companies owned by major labels.

    The bet that executives of these businesses are making is that online services will increase demand for music that was not previously popular, just as eBay stoked the sale of old books and trinkets once considered largely worthless.

    As Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research, put it: "In the world of shiny plastic discs, there are two barriers to getting the music you want: It's not in the store, or you've never heard of it. With digital distribution, the first barrier disappears. The second gets eased because of search engines, recommendation engines, technology like that."

    The Orchard was founded in 1997 as a distribution company by Scott Cohen and Richard Gottehrer, a songwriter whose hits included "My Boyfriend's Back." Named after its original location, on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, it began losing money and eventually acquired a reputation as being less than prompt with payments.

    In 2003 the Orchard was purchased by Dimensional Associates, the private equity arm of JDS Capital Management, for what Mr. Scholl indicated was less than $10 million. Dimensional also owns the online service eMusic and a music publishing company, and was interested in the Orchard partly because of the digital distribution rights it had acquired.

    "We were aware of the reputation," said Mr. Scholl, who was brought in to run the company, "and we worked to pay everyone back and begin more transparent accounting."

    The Orchard, Mr. Scholl said, is a "digital aggregator," a middleman between small independent labels and digital music services. Major labels, as well as most sizable independents, deal with such services directly or through an established physical distribution company like the Alternative Distribution Alliance, owned by Warner Music.

    The Orchard, as well as the Independent Online Distribution Alliance, mostly represent small labels in quantity. Along with a smattering of tracks recorded by stars before they signed with major labels, they offer an embarrassment of niches: free jazz, black metal and, in the case of the Orchard, a label that specializes in calliope music. And as the cost of putting tracks online is low, anything that can sell a few copies is worthwhile.

    "I'd say we more or less want everything," remarked Kevin Arnold, founder and chief executive of the independent alliance.

    Most digital distribution deals give the distributor 15 percent of the wholesale price of a track, usually somewhere around 65 cents, according to several people in the industry. Mr. Scholl said that the Orchard generally receives a higher percentage because it can effectively promote music to the services that sell it. To generate attention for some of the music from China, for example, it arranged for Jackie Chan to provide a list of his favorite tracks.

    "It's the equivalent of taking the music from the backroom, where you'd have to look for it, into the store," Mr. Scholl said.

    For some of the Orchard's international partners, the strategy is working. Epsa, an Argentine tango label, distributes about 500 albums through the Orchard. Laura Tesoriero, the label's chief executive, who also works with the Orchard as a representative in South America, said it had sold 10,000 digital tracks last quarter - no more than a rounding error by the standards of the United States pop music market, but enough to leave her feeling encouraged about the future of digital sales. A significant number of those sales, she expects, were to Argentines living in this country.

    The most significant growth in the sale of foreign music could come as the idea of buying online gains traction among such immigrant communities.

    "People in China don't think of Chinese music as world music and neither do Chinese people in the U.S.," said Yale Evelev, president of Luaka Bop, an independent label owned by David Byrne that specializes in pop music from Africa and South America.

    The Orchard will face greater competition as major labels sell the music they release internationally in the United States. The EMI Group, for example, plans to make available in this country a majority of the music it sells anywhere in the world, Adam Klein, a vice president, said. As an example of the potential of this, Mr. Klein said that Hotei, a band signed by EMI in Japan, had one of the top 10 rock albums on iTunes after one of its songs appeared on the soundtrack of "Kill Bill: Volume 1."

    Even with a business model that does not rely on hits, they would be welcome. "One man's niche is another man's mass market," Mike McGuire, a Gartner analyst said.

    vendredi, janvier 06, 2006

    Pete Townshend

    Headphones deafen you, Who star tells iPod fans

    By Adam Sherwin, Media Reporter @ The Times

    THE WHO’S guitarist Pete Townshend has warned the iPod generation to turn the volume down, after revealing that increasing deafness may force him into retirement.

    Townshend, 60, famed for his guitar-smashing escapades, said that he had been unable to complete recording sessions for a new Who album because of the irreparable hearing loss he has suffered. “I have terrible hearing trouble,” he said. “I have unwittingly helped to invent and refine a type of music that makes its principal proponents deaf.”

    Writing on his website, Townshend said that excessive volume at the group’s explosive 1960s concerts was not the cause. He blamed the earsplitting sounds emitted through studio headphones during years of recording.

    He warned the users of iPod headphones: “My intuition tells me there is terrible trouble ahead. The downside [to downloading] . . . may be that we use earphones at almost every stage of interaction with sound.”

    Noise-induced hearing loss is caused when the delicate hair nerves of the ear suffer continuing trauma from loud sound vibrations. Users of portable music players are advised to limit listening to one hour a day and keep the volume down, but research found that four out of ten young adults listened for longer. Apple iPods sold in Britain comply with EU volume standards and can play only at up to 104 decibels.

    Musicians are particularly vulnerable to hearing loss. Phil Collins, 54, has suffered a 60 per cent hearing loss and the American rapper Foxy Brown, 26, is to undergo an operation to restore her hearing after going almost totally deaf.

    Townshend said that work with Roger Daltrey on the first studio album from The Who for 25 years and plans for a world tour this year had been delayed because “my ears are ringing, loudly”. Although he can still hear speech, he has to take a 36-hour break between bouts of recording to allow his ears to recover. Beethoven continued composing despite losing his hearing but Townshend finds recording impossible at times. Describing an attempt over Christmas, he wrote: “With my hearing rolling off severely now at around three or four kilohertz, I don’t have much luck with high harmonics or piano overtones. Needless to say, I didn’t finish what I started.

    “Hearing loss is a terrible thing because it cannot be repaired. Music is a calling for life. You can write it when you’re deaf, but you can’t hear it or perform it.”

    About 4.7 million Britons, one in ten adults, are estimated to suffer from tinnitus. Good quality earplugs can reduce the noise level by up to 20 decibels at a rock concert.

    Townshend blamed the “often accidental buzzes, shrieks and poor connections that cause temporary high-level sounds” in recording studio headphones for his plight. Barbra Streisand also suffers from tinnitus and Peter Stringfellow has to wear a hearing aid as a result of years spent in noisy nightclubs.

    Townshend also disclosed that the late John Entwistle, The Who’s bassist, played out of time at concerts because he too couldn’t hear properly.

    # For information on protecting your hearing contact the RNID 0808 8080123 or access

    jeudi, janvier 05, 2006

    Strokes alive

    The Strokes Get Live

    New York rockers warm up for "First Impressions" tour in Chicago.

    After almost a full year recording, a few months of reflection, and a handful of secret club dates abroad, the Strokes -- still carrying the mantle of New York's Trendiest Rockers -- decided to wipe any sweat from their respective foreheads and, on the day of its release, break out some new material from First Impressions of Earth, their third album, at Chicago's intimate Park West venue.

    The excitement was palpable Tuesday night, with a capacity crowd packed with fans who had earned their tickets either through last Friday morning's long line or the venue's lottery system. The band appeared suddenly, just after 8:30, with the first few notes of the anthemic "Heart in a Cage." Drummer Fabrizio Moretti descended into the melody with his kick drum, as frontman Julian Casablancas swaggered, decked in some kind of Civil War-inspired coat. (The other members stuck to signature tight pants, tees and Chuck Taylors.) While fans of the band would likely rather have died than been caught screaming and pumping fists, they clearly embraced the new music, with its incredibly crisp sound.
    Over the course of the hourlong set, the five-piece interspersed new songs with fan favorites -- from their breakout single "Last Nite," off their 2001 debut Is This It, to "Take It or Leave It" and "Reptilia," off 2003's Room on Fire. "It's good to be back," Casablancas told the crowd.

    While not even the familiar high notes of 2003's synth-driven "The End Has No End" had a wild effect on the audience, the bouncing bass riff of the new, amped-up single "Juicebox" finally busted the evening wide open, sending arms into the air. Unthinkably, the crowd actually chanted along with the chorus.

    That number was shortly followed by what Casablancas called an "oldie but a goodie," "Last Nite," which quickly got people dancing. Impressively, the Strokes managed to move with their progressive new songs while placing them seamlessly beside their more angular older tunes -- including "Hard to Explain" and the poppier "Someday."

    They maintained that energy level when diving back into Impressions, a surprisingly far-reaching record for a band famous for its cool reserve, with unexpectedly loose and expressive guitar -- as on "Razorblade," "15 Minutes" and the instant classic album opener "You Only Live Once."

    The Strokes returned for a more pissed-off encore set, kicking off with the we-hate-the-NYPD ditty "New York City Cops" and wrapping up with Is This It's closer "Take It or Leave It."

    While a complete U.S. tour has yet to be announced, the band has added more preview gigs over the coming week: Thursday in Seattle, Friday in Los Angeles and next Monday in Atlanta. The Strokes kick off their European tour on January 24th.

    CLIFF BERRU @ Rolling Stone

    mardi, janvier 03, 2006

    Oh dear, more rock news...

    Muse plan to release their new album in spring 2006.

    The follow-up to 'Absolution' will be followed by a tour, the group revealed in a Christmas message to fans.

    "Thanks for the amazing support over the last year," they said on their official website. "We are really looking forward to the next one, with a new album and touring expeted in spring. Have a great time whereever you are."

    Christmas by Chris Isaak - New Album:

    There are those who will argue that Chris Isaak's Christmas is worth the sticker price for its rendition of "Blue Christmas" alone, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a pack of listeners to debate them.

    Isaak has always seemed the second coming of Elvis in surfer shorts, and on that track he so handily conjures the King it's both beautiful and creepy. But to pin this disc's merits on that chestnut alone is to sell it way, way short. There's the duet with Stevie Nicks on "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" to consider (she curtails her diva impulses and lets him steer, and though it's challenging to imagine, their voices weave well); plus the skill with which he incorporates his hula, rockabilly and country leanings (most obviously on "Mele Kalikimaka," but also in instrumentation throughout); plus the five originals he assembled for this disc. So few original carols find an audience and keep them that to pen that many for a 16-track CD seems like yuletide suicide, but those who embrace Isaak's essential quirkiness can be counted on to resuscitate them for years to come.

    Standouts among the five include "Washington Square" which, as a lament for a faraway loved one, picks up where "Blue Christmas" leaves off, and "Hey Santa," which subs for "Jingle Bell Rock" as this record's reason to rock the night away.

    Tammy La Gorce. This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

    Album Description

    After earning four gold or platinum albums, singer-songwriter-guitarist Chris Isaak put down his surfboard, turned up the air conditioner and laid down Chris Isaak Christmas, featuring 11 traditional songs (including "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" with Stevie Nicks) and five originals - the lonely-at-Christmas "Washington Square," "Hey Santa!" and "Christmas On TV," the spiritual "Brightest Star" and the maybe-next-year "Gotta Be Good." Chris Isaak Christmas is this season's holiday surprise - a Christmas album that's actually cool. This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

    Therapy? - New Album shaping up:

    New Album Producer Confirmed Saturday, Dec 17th, 2005

    All sorted with our forthcoming album producer. It's Pedro Ferriera (Colour Of Fire,The Darkness,Tokyo Dragons,many more) and he's going to produce, engineer and mix the whole shebang. We've already done a few days pre-production with him and he's a cool talented guy, we're all very excited about getting into the studio and getting the rock onto tape (or hard disk if you want to be pedantic).

    We're spending the Xmas period living with the demo versions and will get together early January to shake off the Turkey narcoplepsy and implement any last minute changes/nips/tucks etc.

    Provisionally we're looking to start recording the 2nd week of January and hopefully be well into mixing mid-Feb. Now I suppose it's time to start Xmas shopping...

    lundi, janvier 02, 2006

    Artists Best of 2005

    We asked many of our favorite artists to tell us what they enjoyed listening to in 2005, and some were kind enough to take the time to reply. From Sufjan to Jeezy to Animal Collective, here's what was on tour bus stereos in 2005:

    James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem

    1. Black Dice: Broken Ear Record
    2. The Juan Maclean: Less Than Human
    3. Delia and Gavin: Days of Mars
    4. Mu: Out of Breach
    5. Major Swellings (Prins Thomas): Major Swellings

    John Darnielle, the Mountain Goats

    1. Jackson Browne: Solo Acoustic Volume 1
    2. Geto Boys: The Foundation
    3. Dionne Warwick: Legends
    4. Final Fantasy: Has a Good Home
    5. Origin: Echoes of Decimation

    Jamie Stewart, Xiu Xiu

    1. Dead Science: Frost Giant
    2. Deerhoof: The Runners Four
    3. Broadcast: Tender Buttons
    4. This Song Is a Mess But So Am I: Marble Mouth
    5. Jim Yoshii Pile-Up: Picks Us Apart

    Jamie Lidell

    1. Cristian Vogel: Station 55
    2. Matthew Herbert: Plat Du Jour
    3. Wagon Christ: Sorry I Make You Lush
    4. Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster DVD
    5. Ark: Caliente

    Eleanor Friedberger, Fiery Furnaces

    1. Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings
    2. Amerie: "1 Thing"
    3. Franz Ferdinand: "Eleanor Put Your Boots On"
    4. R. Kelly: "Trapped in the Closet"
    5. Dungen: Ta Det Lugnt [Expanded]

    Paul Wall

    1. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
    2. Slim Thug: Already Platinum
    3. Pimp C: The Sweet James Jones Story
    4. Bun B: Trill
    5. Z-Ro: Let the Truth Be Told

    Broken Social Scene

    1. Smog: A River Ain't Too Much to Love
    2. Kanye West: Late Registration
    3. Dirty Three: Cinder
    4. Animal Collective: Feels
    5. American Analog Set: Set Free

    Devendra Banhart

    1. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering
    2. Jamie Lidell: Multiply
    3. Espers: The Weed Tree
    4. Animal Collective: Feels
    5. Songs of Green Pheasant: Songs of Green Pheasant

    Vashti Bunyan

    1. Devendra Banhart: Cripple Crow: Showing the breadth and subtlety of his vision more and more. This is first in my list not because he is a friend-- he became a friend because I love his music and light.

    2. Antony and the Johsons: I Am a Bird Now: He and his songs are beautiful, beautiful, breakable and raw.

    3. Gorillaz: Demon Days: And it's the guitarist's hands in the video...goes straight to my heart. I like things that come out of nothing-- in this case a blank sheet of paper.

    4. Animal Collective: Feels: Like no one else on earth-- each listen brings out more wonderful wonders.

    5. Arcade Fire: Funeral: It's been a while since I heard something for the first time on TV (Jools Holland) and went straight out next day to buy the album. It brims over with brilliance.

    Colin Meloy, Decemberists

    Black Mountain: Black Mountain
    Kate Bush: Aerial
    My Morning Jacket: Z
    Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
    Martha Wainwright: Martha Wainwright

    Carl Newman, New Pornographers

    1. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
    2. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    3. Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen Mary
    4. The Mountain Goats: The Sunset Tree
    5. Spoon: Gimme Fiction

    Nels Cline, Wilco

    Deerhoof: The Runners Four (Kill Rock Stars CD)
    What can I say? Twenty communally conceived tracks of golden pop, skewed Merceybeat go-go crunch, klangfarben chamber pieces, and joyous noise from one of the best bands in the world today or yesterday.

    Andrew Hill: Mosaic Select (Mosaic 3xCD box)
    Astonishing revelations from the Blue Note vaults: Mr. Hill in a trio playing organ, the quartet and string quartet material that was previously only on a two-fer from the 1970s, large group free blowing. The ever-intriguing Andrew Hill recorded a lot of music that is just now emerging, and we are lucky to be able to catch up.

    Carla Bozulich/Ches Smith (CDR)
    An eccentric and visionary work from two of my favorite artists/people. Starting with free improvisations (mostly piano and drums) and then editing/overdubbing (mostly voice and sampler), there seems to be no home yet for this brilliant artifact.

    Paul Motian: I Have the Room Above Her (ECM CD)
    The now classic trio or Mr. Motian, Joe Lovano, and Bill Frisell. One of my favorite groups of all time: Returns with another set of deceptively simple, achingly wistful, and unerringly melodic telepathy.

    Jim McAuley: Gongfarmer 18 (Nine Winds CD)
    Jim McAuley has been lurking in the Los Angeles underground now for decades. Before ending up here in the 70s, Mr. McAuley played on a lot of sessions (even on one of Frank Sinatra's most classic Reprise recordings!), lived in Paris, and was generally radical and always in the cracks. After futzing forever recording solo acoustic guitar performances (mostly improvised), he finally decided to release some. This is an excellent example of how traditional and extended techniques of playing the acoustic guitar (6-, 12-, and nylon-string) can co-exist in harmony with expressive results.

    Will Sheff, Okkervil River

    Antony and the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now (Secretly Canadian)
    Cass McCombs: PREfection (Monitor)
    Bill Fay: Time of the Last Persecution (Eclectic)
    Konono No. 1: Congotronics (Crammed Discs)
    Jean-Cluade Vannier: L'Enfant Assassin des Mouches (Finders Keepers)

    Glenn Kotche, Wilco

    1. Ethan Rose: Ceiling Songs: Really amazing stuff from Portland-based musician/artist. Also if you can find it, The Dot and the Line is numbingly beautiful-- made from player piano reels and packaged in resin boxes. (Locust)
    2. Tony Conrad and Faust: Outside The Dream Syndicate Alive: Blisteringly elegant. (Table of the Elements)
    3. Akron/Family: Akron/Family: Love It. (Young God)
    4. OOIOO: Gold and Green: Incredible music, beautiful booklet. (Thrill Jockey)
    5. Konono No. 1: Lubuaku: Got to play with them in Brasil this year, this is a great live record.(Terp Records)

    Jason Forrest

    1. Nathan Michel: The Beast (Sonig)
    2. The Books: Lost and Safe (Tomlab)
    3. Drumcorps: Rmx or Die (Kriss)
    4. Jamie Lidell: Multiply (Warp)
    5. Food For Animals: Scavengers (Muckamuck Produce)
    6. Electric Kettle: Drunk & Disorderly (Combine)
    7. Spunk: En Aldeles Forferdelig Skydom (Rune Grammofon)
    8. Warst: King Of the Street Maddest Chick (Ndom Records:
    9. Panicstepper: Ambush
    10. She's a Shranzy: DJ Killed the Video Star
    11. 1-Speed Bike: Klootzak Keizer (Broklyn Beats)
    12. End: The Sick Generation (Mirex)

    Pusha T, Clipse

    1. Clipse: We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2
    Of course I'm gonna go with We Got It 4 Cheap Vol. 2! With Vol. 1 we were trying to establish our ground, which was East Coast and lyrical-- period. We picked the Vol. 1 beats to try to spark that nostalgia of old East Coast shit, but with Vol. 2, we're ready to compete. Just telling everyone else: We're gonna take all your beats and burn over them.

    A lot of rappers today forget the true essence of a mixtape, when you could pick them shits up and hear Jay-Z or Nas rhyming over the fly beat that was out at the time. These days, guys are using them to test their new street records or just putting out a whole hell of a lot of excess music that they've made just to have a presence in the street-- whether it's a quality presence or not. That's corny. I came up on Big in the mixtape game. We were picking up mixtapes like they were albums. The first one I got that I really remember is the Bad Boy mixtape collection. Puff put his voice under a really high pitch and he's talking shit through the tape. Oh my god, I was done. Big was killin' it: [raps] "Niggas talkin' it but ain't livin' it/ Crystal pops I'm sippin it/ Mob hats and lizard shit/ Gator trunks, bitch." That's the one, I probably kept that mixtape the longest.

    2. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
    There's a certain level of honesty that's missing in a lot of rap records, but I think he embodies [honesty]. People might not say he's the most lyrical but he encompasses a level of truth that makes up for it. And I'm with the ad libs. There's nothing like being at a concert of his and 20,000 people are singing every song off that joint. Watching the people follow line for line, adlib for adlib is a dope look.

    3. Lil Wayne: Tha Carter II
    He's probably had one of the biggest progressions in hip-hop, especially with this album. That song "Hustler Musik", where he's got this melody like "somebody gonna die tonight"-- it's really hot.

    4. Styles P: The Ghost In the Machine
    Styles is a very hard rapper, which I love. But it's not just gratuitous because there's philosophy with everything he says. He rapped over "Toy Soldier" by Eminem-- incredible, bodied it. When 50 said, "All the other hard niggas, they come from Yonkers," he had to be talking about Styles P.

    5. Z-Ro: Let the Truth Be Told
    He's probably the best lyricist in Houston. From what I understand, he packs houses with three or four thousand people with one show. He's really consumed in his Houston thing.

    Prefuse 73

    1. José González: Veneer
    2. All things Dungen released or re-released
    3. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering
    4. Gonzales: Solo Piano
    5. Edan: Beauty and the Beat
    6. Earth: Hex; or Printing in the Infernal Method.

    Leslie Feist

    1. Juana Molina: Segundo
    2. M.I.A: Arular
    3. Lhasa: The Living Road
    4. Jason Collett: Idols of Exile
    5. Gonzales: Solo Piano

    Britt Daniel, Spoon

    1. The Clientele: Strange Geometry
    2. White Stripes: Get Behind Me Satan
    3. Crooked Fingers: Dignity and Shame
    4. Doves: Some Cities
    5. Depeche Mode: Playing the Angel
    6. Cass McCombs: PREfection
    7. New Pornographers: Twin Cinema
    8. Stephen Malkmus: Face the Truth
    9. Low: The Great Destroyer
    10. John Vanderslice: Pixel Revolt
    11. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
    12. American Music Club: Love Songs for Patriots
    13. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
    14. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

    Dan Snaith, Caribou

    1. Animal Collective: Feels
    2. Daft Punk: Human After All
    3. Quasimoto: The Further Adventures of Lord Quas
    4. Four Tet: Everything Ecstatic
    5. Shit and Shine: Latitudes

    Ian Parton, the Go! Team

    1. Architecture in Helsinki: In Case We Die
    2. dEUS: Pocket Revolution
    3. Super Furry Animals: Love Kraft
    4. Sage Francis: A Healthy Distrust
    5. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois

    Brian Case, the Ponys

    1. Sleater-Kinney: The Woods
    2. Psychic Ills: Mental Violence II 12"
    3. Pit er Pat: Shakey
    4. The Occasion: Cannery Hours
    5. Delia Gonzalez and Gavin Russom: The Days of Mars

    The Clientele

    1. The Instruments: Cast a Half Shadow (Orange Twin)
    2. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering (Fat Cat Records)
    3. The Bats: At the National Grid (Magic Marker)
    4. Annie Hayden: The Enemy of Love (Merge)
    5. Edmund Cake: Downtown Puff (Lil' Chief Records)

    Anthony Gonzales, M83

    1. Coldplay: X&Y
    2. Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.
    3. Depeche Mode: Playing the Angel
    4. Sigur Rós: Takk
    5. Kate Bush: Aerial
    6. Guided by Voices: Propeller (reissue)
    7. Animal Collective: Feels
    8. Talking Heads: Talking Heads Brick(reissue)
    9. Vitalic: OK Cowboy
    10. M.I.A.: Arular

    Alison Goldfrapp

    1. Motörhead: Ace of Spades (re-issue)
    2. LCD Soundsystem: LCD Soundsystem
    3. Feist: Let It Die
    4. Antony & the Johnsons: I Am a Bird Now
    5. Coldplay: X&Y

    Dave Allen, Gang of Four

    1. Bright Eyes: I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning
    2. Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: Jacksonville City Nights
    3. Atmosphere: You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We are Having
    4. Calexico/Iron & Wine: In the Reins
    5. Damian "Jr Gong" Marley: Welcome to Jamrock
    6. Dirty Martini: Dirty Martini
    7. Menomena: Under an Hour
    8. Brad Meldhau Trio: Day Is Done
    9. The Arcade Fire: Funeral
    10. Kanye West: Late Registration

    Jens Lekman

    1. TTA: The New School
    2. Goldmund: Corduroy Road
    3. El Perro Del Mar: Look It's...
    4. Blood Music: Sing a Song Fighter!
    5. Frida Hyvönen: Until Death Comes

    Gustav Ejstes, Dungen

    1. Edip Akbayram: Edip Akbayram (Shadoks)
    2. Jonny Soling & Kalle Almlöf: Ost Och Vast (Giga)
    3. Various Artists: Thai Beat a Go Go Vol. 3 (Subliminal Sounds)
    4. J Rocc: Play This (One) (Stones Throw)
    5. Charlie & Esdor: Charlie & Esdor (Mellotronen)

    Paul Smith, Maxïmo Park

    1. Smog: A River Ain't Too Much to Love
    Bill Callahan has been writing some of the better songs about the human condition. Here he adds a delicate touch and warmth to his usual brutal truth-telling.

    2. Arthur Russell: World Of Echo
    This reissue sounds like a dream, with moments of beautiful clarity woven into patches of abrasive electric cello. Fragments of Russell's aching voice betray his romanticism and lyrical precision.

    3. Pajo: Pajo
    A wonderful guitar player cements his reputation as a softly compelling singer.

    4. Field Music: Field Music
    Music this special doesn't come along very often. Complicated pop songs combine with strings and personal confusion. Meticulously performed and conceived.

    5. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois
    Pick any of the songs on this record and it will stand alone as an impeccable vignette. Put them altogether and you get an occasionally overwhelming testament to one man's unique and humane vision.

    Keith Fullerton Whitman

    1. Tod Dockstader: Aerial 1 and Aerial 2 (Sub Rosa)
    2. Skullflower: Orange Canyon Mind (Crucial Blast)
    3. Kevin Drumm/2673: Split (Kitty Play)
    4. Uton: Whispers from the Woods (Last Visible Dog)
    5. Jessica Rylan / C. Spencer Yeh: 2xC30 (DroneDisco)

    Andrew Bird

    The Go! Team: Thunder Lightning Strike
    Konono No. 1: Congotronics
    M. Ward: Transistor Radio
    My Morning Jacket: Z

    Josephine Olausson, Love Is All

    1. Comet Gain: City Fallen Leaves
    2. Fiery Furnaces: EP
    3. Deerhoof: The Runners Four
    4. Meatus Murder: More Songs About Balling and Food
    5. Vashti Bunyan: Lookaftering

    Ross Millard, Futureheads

    1. Field Music: Field Music
    2. Low: The Great Destroyer
    3. High On Fire: Blessed Black Wings
    4. This Ain't Vegas: The Night Don Benito Saved My Life
    5. Queens of the Stone Age: Lullabies To Paralyse

    Lau Nau

    1. Kuupuu: Sateen Suutelemat (Nidnod)
    2. Islaja: Palaa Aurinkoon (Fonal)
    3. Josephine Foster: Hazel Eyes I Will Lead You (Locust)
    4. Cast King: Saw Mill Man (Locust)
    5. Various Artists: Maan Matoset (POK)
    6. Tomutonttu: Ehdottelee (!)


    1. Kanye West: Late Registration
    2. Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley: Welcome to Jamrock
    3. Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101
    4. Mylo: "Drop the Pressure"

    John Fell Ryan, Excepter

    1. Lee Scratch Perry: I Am the Upsetter: The Story of Lee Scratch Perry: There aren't enough Lee Perry records. Luckily, I have heard it said, Lee Perry can't die.
    2. The Fall: Fall Heads Roll: Shoots the moon every time.
    3. Various Artists: Can You Jack? ACID: Midwestern enthusiasm cannot be denied. You might look here for house instead of euro-distro web-sites. The answer to the question is YES.
    4. Jandek: When I Took That Train: It's Jandek's Date Night record. Serious.
    5. M.I.A.: Arular: The other record that sampled "Sunshowers" this year.

    Cameron Bird, Architecture in Helsinki

    1. Animal Collective: Feels (Fat Cat)
    2. Still Flyin': Still Flyin' (self-released)
    3. Sufjan Stevens: Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty)
    4. Vive Le Rouge: Cent Tas D'Aretes (Vives Eaux)
    5. Dr Dog: Easy Beat (Rough Trade)