Building off the success of their first major label debut I and Love and You, the Avett Brothers are back with their special mix of gut-wrenching vocals and banjo-filled “grasspunk” in a new album entitled The Carpenter. Yes, the banjo is back! The longevity and consistency should not be overlooked, as it doesn’t matter how many albums they’ve released, this band from North Carolina manages to exude the same level of free-spiritedness, forceful balladry, and a sense of optimism that infuses their rich and varied sound.
Today Jack White hit us all hard enough to leave us black ‘n’ blue with double vision as he unleashed the brand new Dori Oskowitz-directed video for “I’m Shakin‘”. Jack’s cover of Little Willie John‘s classic “I’m Shakin'” is the fourth single from his universally acclaimed debut album Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia).
With banjos blazing and foot-stomping galore, the English quartet Mumford & Sons are back with their highly anticipated second album Babel. Their gritty and triumphant take on folk rock has seen unparalleled success around the world in the past few years, which has consequently built high expectations for their follow up to the commercial success of Sigh No More. After all, it’s pretty hard to top a musical journey that has included playing at the Grammys with Bob Dylan and performing for President Barack Obama at the White House.
In May 2011, Foxygen‘s Sam France and Jonathan Rado nervously handed off a CD-R of their homemade mini-opus Take the Kids Off Broadway to producer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift after his performance in a Lower East Side club. The duo, who had just mixed and burned the disc that very night, had been devotees of Swift’s outsider-pop oeuvre since high school, when they first began recording their own pubescent forays into oddball rock n’ roll (at least a dozen records were finished before they graduated high school).
Barsuk Records has just released Menomena‘s video for “Plumage,” off their new album Moms. The video was directed by Trevor McMahan, who described the clip as “the ultimate illustration of the beautiful conflict in the band’s music – that aural struggle between instruments and ideas that is complex, satisfying, and always unmistakably Menomena.”
Ben Folds Five‘s new record, The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind, has debuted at #10 in the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it the highest debut of the band’s career. The Sound Of The Life Of The Mind is the groundbreaking pop trio’s fourth record and first in 13 years.
November 13th will see the release of Live Kisses, a 13-song film directed by Jonas Åkerlund, that captures the magic of an evening in February of this year. In the intimate surroundings of Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, where Paul McCartney recorded much of his Kisses On The Bottom album, he was reunited with the all-star musicians who joined him on the record to bring the songs to life for a once in a lifetime performance.
Exitmusic have kindly shared a new video for their new single “The Modern Age“. The beautiful pastoral and haunting images from director Daniel Ryan fit smoothly with front woman Aleksa Palladino‘s emotionally drenched vocal.
Of the inspiration for the shoot, Palladino says, “Devon and I spent a few years volunteering at wild life rescue centers and, despite all the best efforts of very knowledgeable and compassionate staff members, sometimes an animal would just die from the shock of being captured. Their bodies would shut down because they knew they were not free. It has always stayed with us. That’s where we got the idea for the video.”
Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters, Nirvana) is preparing to release a documentary film called Sound City. It’s about a recording studio, but more specifically it’s about a mixing console that used to reside there. That’s right, but it’s not just any old console. This particular one was used to record some of the most significant albums in modern music. Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty, Guns and Roses, Nirvana, Metallica and many more swear that this is the holy grail of modern music. And they very well might be right.
Currently streaming on NPR is a stunning live recording from the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. of French producer Anthony Gonzalez, aka M83. The band is currently on tour throughout the US (see below for dates).Their show is edgy and well crafted. The production is first rate and the musicianship displayed by the band is nothing short of phenomenal.
The Killers will also be hitting the road this winter with a full U.S. tour supporting Battle Born beginning after Thanksgiving. The dates see the band playing their fourth show at New York City’s prestigious Madison Square Garden, among other venues. Tegan and Sara will support on all dates, which are listed below.
Parisian electro-pop trio Chateau Marmont has released a new video and single for “Wargames” off its forthcoming debut LP, The Maze. “Wargames” is a tense song about the impossible love of two beings, forced into separation. Directed by Sam Rixon, the black and white video matches the single’s hurried pace, splicing together live footage of performances from various tours and the beautiful places in between. The clip also captures footage from Chateau Marmont’s North American tour last fall with Revolver, which followed their spring US live debut and well-received sets at SXSW ’11.
In anticipation of its official release, Gus + Scout are streaming their self-titled debut EP today (see below). Gus Wenner, 22 and Scout Willis, 21, recorded it at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck, NY with producer Charlie Klarsfeld.
After growing up on the same street in Hailey, Idaho the Gus + Scout lost touch only to be reunited at Brown University. Once together again, the two unearthed their lost connection through music and songwriting. Ultimately, they created Gus + Scout EP, a five song collection of emotional, country-inflected folk rock tunes.
Ultraísta, the multimedia trio comprised of vocalist/artist Laura Bettinson and multi-instrumentalist/producers Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney) and Joey Waronker (everybody else), will see the U.S. release of its self-titled debut album October 2 on Temporary Residence.
Founded in London in 2011 on a mutual love of Afrobeat, electronic and dance music, visual art, and tequila, Ultraísta has created 10 tracks of exquisitely crafted electronic kraut-pop for this phenomenal first outing.
On September 18th Keane will release Upstairs At United – Vol. 5, a special edition 4 track vinyl 12 inch. The disc was recorded in analog for Nashville based label 453 Music, a division of United Record Pressing. This special edition is available for pre-order here.
The band performed a stripped down version of four catalog songs for an exclusive “Upstairs At United” series of all-analog recordings in one take straight to tape, inside the historic United Record Pressing plant in Nashville, Tennessee.
When artists Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor harmonize their sounds under the moniker Azure Ray, listeners have come to expect a dreamy essence to the pop duo’s sound but on their forthcoming six-song EP, As Above So Below, Fink and Taylor take Azure Ray into an alternate universe. The dream-like quality remains, but these songs are almost eerie-sounding, far more electronic, minimalist and sonically rich. The album is inspired by parallel realities that seem cruelly just out of reach when lulled into a state of calm by their honeyed and wispy vocals, as though the words float above you like clouds your hands will never grasp.
They say that Robert Johnson went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil. If he did, then quite possibly he has been reincarnated as a white man from New Zealand. If you think that this sounds like the ravings of a madman, wait just one moment and let me introduce you to Willy Moon.
Public image Ltd has announced a much-anticipated North American headlining tour. It launches October 3 in Orlando and concludes November 3 with an appearance at the Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. The tour is in support of This Is PiL, their acclaimed first album of new music in 20 years that was released this past May via their own PiL Official label.
Today Jack White released “Freedom at 21,” the third video from his universally acclaimed debut record Blunderbuss (Third Man/Columbia).
Directed by Hype Williams, whose trailblazing 1990s work with 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G. and Missy Elliott defined the modern hip hop visual aesthetic-and whose more recent clips for Kanye West and Nicki Minaj expanded it that much further.
Life’s winding roads can take us down many paths, but when you’re committed to navigating the world on your own terms, it follows that you’ll cover enough ground for a wealth of experiences that are ripe for musical picking. This is particularly true for the long and varied career of Paleface, who has released a dozen records, toured all over the country, and inspired and collaborated with a boatload of talented artists. Recorded at Thunderdome Studios, One Big Party, produced by Paul ‘Ena’ Kostabi and Paleface, is his second full-length release under Ramseur Records, which houses notable acts like the Avett Brothers (bonus note: Paleface has collaborated and performed on three albums by the Avett Bros).