Posts Tagged broken social scene

The Week That Was(24-04-2010): New Records Streaming Bonanza

This has been another bumper week for new albums. Many of the season’s most anticipated records finally hit the web and could be streamed. The highlight among them was THE NATIONAL’s fifth work ‘High Violet’, already a candidate for record of the year. It offers one of the most impressive collection of songs we have heard in a while. Hopes are sky-high for The National to break once and for all into the mainstream, following the steps of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective, etc. in consolidating as not only one of today’s best bands, but also one of the most popular.

Another vocalist blessed with a distinctive baritone voice, JOHN GRANT, has been on hiatus for years since his former band The Czars split up. The artist has created another work of intense and sad beauty, infused in 70’s vibes, maybe borrowed from fellow label and tour mates Midlake, who convinced the singer to get back to the studio and record the songs that now form ‘Queen Of Denmark’.

NPR kept on being the best destination for pre-release albums. This week they unveiled the new BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE album. The Canadian alt-rock collective have left on hold their multiple solo projects to finish their third offering ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’. Also on NPR, Mark E. Smith’s new opus with his band THE FALL, called ‘Your Future Our Clutter’.

In British Shores, STEVE MASON, formerly the leader of the deceased Scottish band Beta Band has also readied his solo debut, ‘Boys Outside’, in which he updates his songwriting by courting with today’s trends, without losing his melancholic vocal touch.

Back in the States, wunderkind Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg debuts with his band, AVI BUFFALO, eponymous record, halfway between the classy alt-americana of Wilco or Band of Horses and the lush psychedelia of Flaming Lips, but with a fresher and simpler approach. The sub-pop signees have made a record that’s definitely worth checking.

Avi Buffalo – Avi Buffalo by subpop

And comeback of the week goes to Courtney Love, who helped by Billy Corgan and Linda Perry has managed to rescue her old band HOLE and releases a new record titled ‘Nobody’s Daugher’. Whether she is or not still relevant in these times remains to be seen.

On a lighter and more summery note, uber trendy Basques DELOREAN release their first international album ‘Subiza’ through the True Panther label -home of Girls & Harlem among many others-, full of shimmery, balearic dream-pop (the album can be listened on Spotify).

And last, but not least, another highly rated American band, THE HOLD STEADY, is back! Acclaimed for the bravery of bringing traditional ,earnest Springteen-like rock and roll back into trend, ‘Heaven Is Whenever’ offers few changes and is another compact work that will please all their fans.

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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 @ http://www.atpfestival.com/

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