Category Archives: Music

A band named Tancred cannot be ‘power pop’

tancredThe new album from Tancred, Out of the Garden, is now available in stores and online!

They call it power pop. I was excited. I wanted to get pumped up, feel empowered, some sort of energy, it made me feel more somber than anything else. I was taken back to freshmen year in high school when Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes played “Romeo and Juliet.” Do Now I know I’m dating myself, but whatever, sometimes you hear music and it takes your back in time. That’s how my brain works. It’s like an archived soundtrack of life events. When I pulled up Tancred’s streaming playlist and listened to “It’s Not Likely” I found myself sitting on the pink carpet of my old bedroom wallowing in some sort of teenage drama listening to the soundtrack of what was supposed to be a hip, modern version of Romeo & Juliet. The soundtrack had tracks from Garbage and Everclear, One Inch Punch and Radiohead.

Now you know where Tancred stands in my realm of genre-ized music labels by back-in-time comparisons and I wouldn’t call it power pop. Maybe it’s alternative rock? It’s not bad. It’s not great. Either way I hope  you listen and find out for yourself!

Maybe a soundscape for the next vampire flick aptly named Feed the Fire

Promise and the Monster Feed the Fire Album CoverDon’t hate me for what I’m about to say, but when I started listening to Promise & The Monster I immediately started thinking about Twilight. That whole Saga, whether you like the stories or not (which I admit I do) has a pretty powerful soundtrack. I mean everyone knows Supermassive Black Hole by Muse and I hope we can all agree it’s a pretty awesome song.

I ramble.

So who is Promise & The Monster? Well the woman behind the band is Billie Lindahl. They are preparing to release their third album Feed The Fire out January 22nd on the Bella Union label. And the entire album is pretty dark and spellbinding. Honestly, it would be a great backdrop in a vampire flick.

“All the songs are, in a way, tales of violence,” Lindahl explains. “When I started to write the lyrics, I wrote about killings, where I imagined being inside the killer’s head. At the same time my own life started to collapse, starting with a break-up, and it took some bad turns. For a couple of years I lived a desperate life amongst the ruins of my old life. The landscape in the lyrics is an imaginary one, an apocalyptical landscape, but it resembles those ruins.”

Feed The Fire was recorded in Stockholm, where Lindahl lives, at Labyrint, a small basement studio run by her friend Love Martinsen who produced the album and shares most of the instrumentation with Lindahl.

The opening title track sets the scene with the immediate confession “I’m already too involved / I’m forced into the core.” ‘Hunter’ expands the dreamy, eerie mood with an echo of girl-group drama filtered through a remote Swedish forest, featuring the Erhu, a Chinese violin. “It’s a great instrument,” Lindahl says. “It sounds a bit like somebody is weeping, and I think we managed to make it weep.”

The view keeps changing: ‘Time Of The Season’ is a more urgent rush of blood, with chiming guitar, ‘Hammering the Nails’ is gentler despite the image, “this taste of blood in metal” and the tremelo guitar twang and an exquisite coda of Mariachi horns in ‘Machines’ resemble a slice of vintage Americana. ‘Slow And Quiet’ and ‘Julingvallen’ offer a sonic calm and respite. Images of skin, flesh, bone and rust create a clash between humanity and the natural world, while the words, “The blood and the seeds have dried” appear more than once. The album finale, a cover of the traditional British folk song ‘Fine Horseman,’ taps the same essense, but is the song’s foreboding drum mantra leading you out into the light, or further into the dark?

Duality sits at the core of Feed The Fire, and likewise the name Promise & The Monster. “To feed the fire can be seen as both constructive and destructive,” Lindahl concludes. “You keep the fire burning, the spark alive. But fire can kill you. Like life and death, it’s not really a contradiction. I think it’s necessary to be open to destructive forces if you want to live a life where strong emotions are present. To see, listen and feel is quite a violent and confusing experience, and I think my lyrics often evolve around that, blurring boundaries between dream and reality, and between sanity and insanity. To me, Feed The Fire is a concept album that explores those kinds of themes, from certain places and real happenings.”

Shimmering strings and gracious pop hooks

albumcover-birthmarkThe great multi-instrumentalist, Nate Kinsella (from American Football, Joan of Arc, Make Believe), continues his solo journey with a new album from Birthmark.

The new album, How You Look When You’re Falling Down, is now available out. The album is said to be filled with warm brass, shimmering strings, and gracious pop hooks coupled with Kinsella’s signature blend of intimate acoustic sounds and gently psychedelic electronic textures.

Stream How You Look When You’re Falling Down on the Polyvinyl site (desktop only) or via Under The Radar.

[A] vibrant and shimmering soundtrack for everyone’s personal journey.
— Stereogum

 

The Man and the Music with Murray #Rocktober

Happy 1st of October!

This is one of my most favorite times of year. It really is, I love the Fall and I love Halloween. Two of my kids were born in October (making May my other favorite time of year for my Finn) and of course my brother’s birthday is also in October. It’s a good month!

billmurrayAdding to the fun this October is the start of ROCK THE KASBAH’s #ROCKTOBER by getting to know legendary rock manager Richie Lanz (Bill Murray) in this brand new behind-the-scenes look – “The Man and the Music.” Hear what some of your favorite rock musicians had to say about Richie, his legacy, and his famous antics throughout the years.

SYNOPSIS 

A has-been rock manager from Van Nuys, California stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in Rock the Kasbah, a dramatic comedy inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events and directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson. Richie Lanz (Bill Murray), dumped and stranded in war-torn Kabul by his last remaining client (Zooey Deschanel), discovers Salima Khan (Leem Lubany), a Pashtun teenager with a beautiful voice and the courageous dream of becoming the first woman to compete on national television in Afghanistan’s  version of “American Idol.”  Richie partners with a savvy hooker (Kate Hudson), a pair of hard-partying war profiteers (Danny McBride and Scott Caan) and a hair-trigger mercenary (Bruce Willis) and, braving dangerous cultural prejudices, manages his new protégée into becoming the “Afghan Star.”

RELEASE DATE: October 23, 2015

CAST: Bill Murray, Kate Hudson, Zooey Deschanel, Danny McBride, Scott Caan, Leem Lubany, Arian Moayed, and Bruce Willis

DIRECTOR: Barry Levinson

WRITER: Mitch Glazer

17 of 184 Looper Shares New Video for “I’m A Photograph,”

 Still from "I'm a Photograph"
Still from “I’m a Photograph”
Looper have created a video for the track “I’m a Photograph” from their new album Offgrid:Offline, using vintage band photos alongside fan photographs submitted for a recent contest with creative camera company Lomography. Contestants were asked to send in their 10 best summer shots for the chance to be included in a forthcoming video. The winners were announced last week.  Watch and share the winning entries set perfectly to the Looper track HERE.

Looper’s new album was recorded at their remote home in the countryside, a new set of songs and stories – inspired by the return to peace and quiet, and influenced by indie-folk music. Conscious of the very different styles of previous albums, Looper set out to bring together elements of each into this new work. Structured like the first album, around a recurring melody, Offgrid:Offline is thematically centred on the spoken word piece which gives the album its title, drawing together the musical motifs and lyrical themes from throughout.

Looper emerged from Belle & Sebastian in 1997, when Stuart David (co-founder and bass player of B&S) and his wife Karn (an artist who directed the early B&S videos) collaborated for a show at Glasgow School of Art. A degree show fundraiser for Stuart’s sister Karla Black – who received a Turner Prize nomination in 2011- the performance was a multi-media affair incorporating TVs, super 8 film, 35mm slides and kinetic sculptures. Since nothing broke down and everyone clapped, they decided to keep doing it.

Looper also released a 5 CD retrospective box set, These Things, earlier this year. The box set collates tracks from their entire catalogue. In an inventive reinterpretation of ‘The Boxset,’ Looper have curated the database of their entire body of work as five separate CDs, themed by type and entitled lexiphonics, kinokraft, voxtrot, transmitte and melos.

Scooby Doo AND KISS Mystery Giveaway #ScoobyDoo

scoobydoo-kissMy husband is a huge KISS fan. I’ve been to a concert with him to see them and he has been to like 30 of their concerts. So when we bought the Scooby-Doo tv-episode which included music from KISS complete with KISS cartoon characters taking stage, he was quite amused. My kids just wanted to know what all the makeup was about. Scooby-Doo being Halloween-ish, meant for an easy explanation.  The weird band makeup is because they are in “character” but the movie was good. The kids love mysteries. I like the crop circle angle in this episode and we were all curious to see how the fire breathing ghosts panned out. I’ll always prefer the Scooby shows of the 70s though. Although I admit I’m okay with the Scooby Gang hanging around for my kids to enjoy.

scooby doo kiss rock roll mysteryBUT NOW there is an entire Scooby-Doo and KISS movie to watch (79 minutes of creepiness)! It was released digitally on July 10, 2015, and was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 21.

The Scooby-Doo and KISS Rock-N-Roll Mystery movie summary:

Get ready to Rock! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang team up with the one and only KISS in this all-new, out-of-this-world adventure! We join the Gang at Kiss World – the all-things-Kiss theme park, as they investigate a series of strange hauntings. With help from Kiss, they discover that the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria! The evil duos ghastly plan, to destroy the earth! Can the Gang’s cunning and Kiss’s power of rock save the day?! Tune in to this Rock and Roll Mystery for some thunderous, heavy FUN!

So now our readers have the chance to win this movie. You’ll love it, your kids will love it and you’ll be rocking out with KISS. First check out this fun sound maker app and then download a KISS mask to color and wear. But after you have your fun be sure to scroll down and enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget. We want to know who your favorite character is and if you have a favorite episode! Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

* Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Scooby Doo and KISS Rock & Roll Mystery Blu-ray Combo Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Must be 13 years or older.

 

Silversun Pickups announce new record Better Than Nature

Silversun Pickups have announced that their much-anticipated fourth studio album, BETTER NATURE, will be released September 25th via the band’s own New Machine Recordings. Pre-orders for the album in addition to other very limited items are now available at silversunpickups.com.

silversinpickupsBETTER NATURE is preceded by the incandescent new single, “Nightlight,” debuting August 6th.  “Nightlight” will also arrive via an inspired video directed by renowned filmmaker Mark Pellington which will premiere simultaneously with the song.

Silversun Pickups’ first new album in more than three years, BETTER NATURE sees the Silverlake, CA-based band partnering once again with producer Jacknife Lee (U2, Two Door Cinema Club, Crystal Castles), with whom they so successfully collaborated on 2012’s visionary NECK OF THE WOODS. The songs were created and crafted in Lee’s Topanga studio, the band spontaneously building out from singer/guitarist Brian Aubert’s deliberately spare songwriting demos (see tracklisting below). The result is fluid and freewheeling, “oozing,” in Aubert’s words, with heavily cranked guitars, propulsive rhythms, and seemingly infinite textures. GRAMMY® Award-winning mix engineer Alan Moulder (My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Royal Blood) brings maximum sonic power to the proceedings, but at the album’s beating heart is Silversun Pickups’ remarkably intuitive interplay, as ever providing panoramic musical counterpoint to Aubert’s incisive, increasingly self-exploratory lyricism. Richer, warmer, and more evocative than anything in their prior canon, BETTER NATURE is Silversun Pickups’ most human music thus far.

Silversun Pickups will herald BETTER NATURE with a full North American tour to be unveiled soon. In the meantime, the band will make a number of special appearances, beginning with a headline performance at FM 94.9’s Independence Jam, set for September 12th at Oceanside, CA’s Junior Seau Pier Amphitheatre.