Archive for March, 2010

The Cheapskate: The National; Latin American Indie; Phoenix…

This week has brought us a few top quality freebies for all you saving conscious music lovers: Track wise The National were giving away ‘Bloodbuzz Ohio’, the surprising first single –we thought it would be the already leaked ‘Terrible Love’- from their forthcoming fifth album ‘High Violet’.

Ex-Beta Band frontman Steve Mason provided another taster from his solo debut, ‘Lost And Found’, a trendy Active Child remix of which can also be downloaded for free. And Madonna’s mates and gipsy rockers Gogol Bordello began their way towards world domination with ‘Pala Tute’, taken from their Rick Rubin produced new album.

Leftfield Latin American bands were given an online boost this week with both Pitchfork and Club Fonograma giving away samplers of the most interesting up and coming new artist in the Spanish speaking continent. Pitchfork has compiled a mix to celebrate the MTYMX festival to be held soon in Mexico City–highlights include Jovenes Y Sexys; Chikita Violenta; etc. Meanwhile, Club Fonograma offered the seventh volume of their regular ‘Fonogramáticos’ compilation, covering the most adventurous sounds across the Latin world –Dominican Rita Indiana; Spanish indie band Los Punsetes and Chile’s new folkies Los Mil Jinetes are some of the best moments.

On the live stages, Phoenix gave away a full live album recorded in Sidney a few weeks ago during their current world tour. It offers renditions of eight out of the nine songs that formed their acclaimed ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’.

Just a stream, but equally interesting, Joanna Newsom is letting her fans to check the sound of her current tour by showcasing one of her recent shows via NPR radio.

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The Week That Was (26-03-2010): Los Planetas; Broken Social Scene; Meth, Rae & Ghost; Beck’s Record Club…

Two high profile albums were offered to listen in full this week. Brooklyn duo MGMT’s ‘Congratulations’, the follow-up to their breakthrough debut ‘Oracular Spectacular’, likely to generate rivers of ink shortly. Two major changes on it: no potential singles, which until now were the band’s greatest asset; and a focus on psychedelic sounds, courtesy of Sonic Boom on production duties. It could have been their ‘Dave Fridmann’ albums as it connects them with all the bands that have benefited from the ex-Mercury Rev arranging magic –from Flaming Lips to Low-. It may sounds less challenging and contemporary, but it’s far superior than its predecessor.

On a more local scale, Spanish most acclaimed band Los Planetas unveiled on Radio 3’s Julio Ruiz Show the follow-up to their groundbreaking ‘La Leyenda Del Tiempo’. ‘Una Opera Egipcia’ carries on merging alt-rock with flamenco and boasts a a few surprises, including collaborations with Spanish chanteause La Bien Querida and their first flirts with electronica.

On British soil, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood broadcast ‘Doghouse‘ the twenty minute classical piece that will form the base for the soundtrack of ‘Norwegian Wood’, the adaptation of the popular Murakami novel.

Canadian collective Broken Social Scene offered two new tracks from their forthcoming album, ‘Forgiveness Rock record’.

Beck’s record club showed the world the first track of his new venture, in which he has assembled Annie Clark of St. Vincent; Os Mutantes and Liars to perform the classic album ‘Kick’ by INXS. Its opening track ‘Guns in the Sky’ is the first taster for the project.

New videos for Ted Leo And The Pharmacists ‘The Mighty Sparrow’ and Brooklyn electroduo High PlacesThe Longest Shadows’, second track from their imminent sophomore and album ‘High Places vs. Mankind’, in which they have shaped a more accessible and accomplished work.

After all the uncertainty surrounding the project, it seems that ‘Wu-Massacre’, the collaboration between Wu-Tang greats Raekwon, Method Man and Ghostface under the moniker of Meth, Rae & Ghost will get a release next week. ‘Our Dreams’, their Michael Jackson sampling first single, has got an impressive video that somehow looks inspired by sinister movie ‘Seven’.

On a quiet week for news, the indie festival South By Southwest once more monopolized the attention of the music world. Among the hundreds of bands playing and plugging their stuff we found Macy Gray, surprisingly returning to the spotlight with a cover of Arcade Fire during popular blogger Perez Hilton’s party.

belle and sebastian

And as an incredible way to put an end to their year-long 10th anniversary celebrations, All Tomorrow’s Parties has just announced that Belle & Sebastian – the band who curated their first ever festival ‘The Bowlie Weekender’- will be back at Butlins Holiday Centre in Minehead for BOWLIE 2, to be held on 10th-12th December 2010. Tickets will go on sale next Monday, when the first batch of confirmed names will also be announced. More details @

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Four Tet ‘Sings’ All The Way To The Top


Kieran Hebden shows further proof of Four Tet’s return to form and reaches number one in our loop with ‘Sing’.

The week’s new entries include many old and recent favourites offering long-awaited tasters from their forthcoming works: The National, MGMT and The Drums among them.

Check the full loop here.
You can also listen to an extended selection of our current favourite tracks @


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The Cheapskate: MGMT; Pantha Du Prince; Neon Indian…

Our date with free music has got a few long-awaited treats, beginning with MGMT’s first taster from their second album ‘Congratulations’. The Brooklyn duo is giving away ‘Flash Delirium’ through their website. A more straightforward psychedelic effort than the stylistic melting pot that shaped the songs of their debut album.

Other up and coming US indie bands offering new songs for free were Here We Go Magic with their contagious new single ‘Collector’ and Glo-Fi purveyor Neon Indian, the latest of a number of artists dropping new tracks through Green Label Sound. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Week That Was (20-03-2010): Videos

Plenty of interesting videos this week, beginning with the smashing 9 minute epic, Tarantino-esque video for Lady Gaga’s ‘Telephone’; a visual extravaganza that recalls the golden days of MTV, when every clip was a world of surprises and Michael Jackson and Madonna reigned supreme. She even managed to convince Beyoncé to appear as her love subject… We haven’t exactly been the biggest fans of the ubiquitous star, but ‘Telephone’ is a new career high that confirms her unrivalled status as the best pop artist in the conservative waters of today’s mainstream music. The video is one of the most clicked ever in the story of youtube. Check the track’s remixes too. The likes of Passion Pit, Crookers and even Alphabeat have worked on it.

Hot Chip – I Feel Better

Hot Chip | MySpace Music Videos

Hot Chip brought a superb new video, ‘I Feel Better’, in which even the supernatural powers have had enough of boy bands and unleash their furious vengeance on one of them in the middle of club perfomance. Good song, too! Other video highlights of the week after the jump.. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Week That Was (20-03-2010): News And Records

Back to our weekly recap after a seven day hiatus, we began the fortnight with the shocking news of Mark Linkous aka Sparklehorse joining the tragic list of great artists who’ve put an end to their own life. Sparklehorse was a multiple Rober Award winner whose career has been spiked by a long story of depression; drug problems and bad luck. The release of his last opus, ‘Dark night Of The Soul’, was abruptly interrupted by his record label claiming copyright problems. Linkous was surrounded by a constellation of rock stars with David Lynch adding exclusive photographic and visual content to the project. The album was just recently given the go ahead.

Alex Chilton, the legendary member of The Box Tops and Big Star also passed away at 59. The cause is rumoured to have been a heart attack, right before a SxSw live appearance!

More shock arrived via Phil Spector launching an appeal against his murder conviction and Eddy Grant accusing Gorillaz of plagiarism in the cartoon band’s new single ‘Stylo’.

Better things came courtesy of Fleet Foxes’ lead singer Robin Pecknold, who offered us a cover of Joanna Newsom to celebrate he is soon to be touring next to our favourite harp player.

Elsewhere, Beck carried on his prolific record club, recruiting Brooklyn female songwriter Annie Clark, of St. Vincent fame; abrasive art-rock trio Liars, and reborn Tropicalia greats Os Mutantes to perform INXS breakthrough album ‘Kick’ in its entirety: after his previous reinterpretation’s of Velvet Underground & Nico; Leonard Cohen and Skip Spence’s creative landmarks.

A video that showed an entire song was the latest instalment in the clever promotional stunt that is ‘iamamiwhoami’. Who was it? Lykke Li? Christina Aguilera? Polly Scattergood? It seems that it all belong to Swedish singer Jonna Lee. Another, better known, Swedish popette unveiled some rather ambitious plans for 2010. Robyn will release her new material in three mini albums/ep’s during the year. A new song, ‘Fembot’ is currently streaming at her website.

LCD soundsystem carried on flooding the world’s media prior to the release of their long awaited, and apparently last ever third album. James Murphy unveiled a new track as part of an Yves St. Laurent fashion parade. Elsewhere, the first taster of his soundtrack for Noah Baumbach new movie ‘Greenberg’ leaked online. ‘Oh You (Christmas Blues)’ sounded like Suicide performing a dark ballad.

The world of soundtracks gave us more reasons to be cheerful. Members of Goldfrapp and Portishead announced their joint project to write a new score for the classic film ‘The Passion Of Joan Of Arc’; Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood follows his notable debut as soundtrack composer in ‘There Will Be blood’ by writing the music for the long-awaited adaptation of Murakami’s literary classic ‘Norwegian Wood’.

Two brand new compilations were also newsworthy: a Box Set comprising all albums of Krautrock masters Neu! was announced; as it was David Holmes’ best moments, including some of his remarkable film music and completed with 3 new songs; The Girlfriend Experience, Your On Fire (Too Fat) and The Lower Orders; 1 brand new remix of ‘The Ballad Of Sarah And Jack’ by Geese and an unreleased mix of ‘Living Room’ by Kevin Shields. ‘The Dogs Are Parading’ is the name of the anthology.

After last week’s new release bonanza, calm has been somehow restored. The last days have brought fewer streaming premieres. Among the most interesting ones: Goldfrapp’s 80’s electro-pop infused fifth album ,’Head First’, likely to become a career peak for the duo thanks to such gems as ‘Believer’ or ‘Alive’; and the ‘Volume 2’ of the collaboration between Americana troubadour M. Ward and Hollywood starlette Zoey Deschanel is streaming at the usual NPR destination.

Autechre came back to their more accessible ways with ‘Oversteps’ giving further signs of what looks like 90’s electronica getting back into trend; Italian electromeisters Crookers finally unveiled their star-studded and slightly disappointing album ‘Tons Of Friends’. Still, it’s got a few highlights that will be strong contenders for summer song 2010. Finally, Norwegian shoegaze purveyors Serena Maneesh were previewing their debut for the 4AD stable “Abyss In B Minor”.

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Gonjasufi On Top Of The Loop


The yoga teacher and Flying Lotus mate Gonjasufi has reached the peak of our loop this week with ‘KowboyzAndIndians”, one of the singles in his acclaimed debut ‘A Sufi And A Killer”.

Titus Andronicus opening track in their new concept album dedicated to the US civil war, Zola Jesus following the steps of Bat For Lashes with ‘Night’ and up and coming pop-rockers Cloud Nothings are some of the week’s new entries.

Check the full loop here.
You can also listen to an extended selection of our current favourite tracks @

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‘The White Ribbon’ & ‘Let The Right One In’ Sweep The Board At The Robers.

Michael Haneke & Thomas Alfredson swept the board at the 2009 Official Rober Awards and the Rober’s Film Poll respectively.

The Rober Academy awarded ’The White Ribbon’ with seven different prizes, including the ones for best picture, director and original screenplay. Meanwhile, fans of the modern vampire classic ‘Let The Right One In’ made the Swedish movie smash the competition in eight different categories at this year’s poll.

Complete list of winners and tally after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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Film Review: Top 40 Movies Of 2009

We’ve already recalled the biggest disappointments and surprises of the year. Finally the time has come to reveal the movies we enjoyed the most.

The war in Iraq; the life of a gay political activist in San Francisco; the origins of the nazi mentality; a refreshingly contemporary look at the vampires’ myth in Sweden and racial conflicts in French jails and schools were the locations of some of the most rewarding film works of the last 12 monts. After the jump, the Top 40 Best Pictures of 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Girls Replaces Pantha Du Prince As No 1 In The Loop.

U.S. Girls - Go Grey

Megan Remy’s project US Girls has replaced Pantha Du Prince at the top of our loop thanks to the hypnotically fuzzy ‘Red Ford Radio’, the highlight of her second album ‘Go Grey’.

Joanna Newsom’s ‘Baby Birch’; Vampire Weekend’s new single off their second opus ‘Contra’; Broken Social Scene and Gorillaz Feat. Gruff Rhys & De La Soul are some of the week’s new entries.

Check the full loop here.
You can also listen to an extended selection of our current favourite tracks @

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The Week That Was (04-03-2010): Gonjasufi; Gorillaz; Morning Benders; The Drums; Pavement; Foals…

In what’s been another bumper week for quality new albums, nearly 10 high profile releases, all hitting the shops next Mondays, were previewed online. Beginning by Gonjasufi, the yoga teacher, Flying Lotus collaborator and spiritual electronica purveyor that with ‘A Sufi & A Killer’ has got one of the most exciting albums of the year on his hands. It can still be heard in full at Clash magazine’s website.

MySpace is offering a few notable previews. Namely, Broken Bells’ debut album, the project formed by The Shins’ frontman James Mercer and Danger Mouse, already shaking alternative circles; Art-rockers Liars’ comeback with ‘Sisterworld’, hailed as a return to the peaks of ‘Drum’s Not Dead’ and energetic hardcore rockers Titus Andronicus with their second work ‘The Monitor’.

Damon Albarn’s and co animated popstars Gorillaz are back with a third offering, that on first impression sounds like the band’s most accomplished effort to date. A constellation of veteran stars –Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Mos Deff, Bobby Womack; Gruff Rhys; De La Soul, detc- collaborates. British newspaper The Guardian still has the premiere and the band is currently invading all audiovisual channels with all sorts of initiatives to support the launch.

Spinner’s listening post was humming and offering a bunch of interesting new albums including the latest from The Ruby Sun’ ‘Fight Softly’; The Besnard Lakes’ ‘Are The Roaring Road’ and Frightened Rabbitt’s ‘ The Winter Of Mixed Drinks’

Last, but not least, San Francisco indie pop craftsmen The Morning Benders have put together what is likely becoming their breakthrough record, ‘Big Echo’. Happy listening!

Not a week with big headlines to remember. We worried about the news of Guru’s being in a coma after a heart attack; luckily news of his evolution were positive and the rapper is allegedly recovering. Other than that, the first gig of Pavement’s long awaited reunion flooded the internet from Auckland. Videos of some of the concert highlights can be watched here.

Apart from the ones that already went to the top of our loops, among the tracks that have caught our attention this week we find most promising new band Rober nominees The Drums, following up their surftastic debut EP with a slice fine indie pop called ‘Just Friends’.

Devo announced their return to the studio after two decades and offered their rather good ‘Fresh’ while launching a curious colour study research through their website. On the other side of the coin, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim gave us a new taste of their Imelda Marcos inspired project. ‘Why Don’t You Love Me’ counts with Cyndi Lauper and Tori Amos as lead vocalists and it builds on the impression that the project is shaping up to be one of the year’s biggest disappointments.

Three returning bands were offering free goodies to their fans. British angular rockers Foals’ first taster from their second album ‘Spanish Sahara’ was unveiled this week. The Mount Kimbie remix of the track was given away in exchange for your email. Courtney Love did the same with ‘Skinny Little Bitch’. The first single of Hole’s controversial reunion comes years after Love’s career sank and looks a bit as a desperate attempt to rescue her career. Love’s former boyfriend and nineties alt-rock titan Billy Corgan, carried on his plan to slowly giving away his double new album –rumours of a ‘Mellon Collie’ soundalike abounds- free through the Smashing Pumpkins website. The first bits don’t look too promising either.

Elsewhere The Fader offered as usual a free download of their monthly podcast, including excellent stuff by new female rap sensation Nicky Minaj; Midlake; etc. and influential blog Gorilla Vs Bear offered a link to the new Rangers mixtape.

Many new and interesting videos also grazed the internet during the last seven days. Domino’s latest discovery Villagers; ‘Freak’, Estelle’s follow-up to ‘American Boy’; Crookers italo-bonkers ‘Festa Festa’ from the DJ duo’s imminent debut album ‘Tons Of Friend’

South-African trailer trash satire rappers are poised to be the next big novelty thing thanks to songs like the rather funny ‘Enter The Ninja’. And last, with certain delayed compared to the date their singles leaked, both Goldfrapp and Gorillaz have finally delivered their new videos. Goldfrapp’s ‘Rocket’ is an homage to the eighties sounds and clips that have inspired their fifth album. Meanwhile the biggest cartoon rock star ever have hired action star Bruce Willis to appear in their new promo ‘Stylo‘.

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2009 Film Review: 10 Surprises & Guilty Pleasures

But if the year was full of disappointments, it didn’t lack of surprises either; namely, the spectacular rise of science-fiction in all of its fronts, from the more mainstream –the rebirth of the Star Trek franchise- to the art house –Duncan Jones’ debut ‘Moon’-, which next to commercial and creative successes such as ‘District 9’ brought back the best qualities of a genre considered by many as minor and almost confined to comic adaptations in recent years. Horror kept on going stronger during the summer at the US box office and a series of Catalonian directors took it by assault; some of them leaving behind the limitations of trashy B-movie-like filmmaking and producing more than decent works such as ‘Orphan’. Elsewhere, among the landslide of stereotypical pictures masterminded for the family; children or female audience clusters we were able to find the odd unexpected jewel.

The next 10 movies were the biggest surprises and guilty pleasures the film industry provided in 2009. Read the rest of this entry »

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2009 Film Review: 10 Disappointments

Last year was sadly plagued with all sort of cinematographic deceptions: we found some of our favourite authors struggling to make sense; some others venturing into register changes with disheartening results; a few high-profile literary adaptations sinked and mainstream cinema gave further proof it has completely swallowed the independent way of film-making that meant such an influential batch of fresh talent during the 80’s and 90’s. The following ten titles arrived full of promise, but were not able to deliver… Read the rest of this entry »

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