Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Smashing Pumpkins' "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope" Project Begins

Despite the fact that Billy Corgan is the only original member in the current version of Smashing Pumpkins. The new lineup has taken on quite a project. According to the website, the band has plans to issue a 44 song album for free. The album, titled "Teargarden By Kaleidyscope" is based on the Fool's Journey in the progress of the Tarot with four main characters/stages: The Child, The Fool, The Skeptic & The Mystic. They have already posted 2 songs (A Song For A Son, Widow Wake My Mind) on their website, and below. True to his word, the songs are free with no strings attached. You don't have to enter any information or join any mailing list. So grab them...

For those who would like to eventually buy the album, the plan so far is to issue limited edition 4 song EPs, making for a total of 11 EPs when they are finally done. Also, a boxed set will be available as well, but I think we're getting a bit ahead of ourselves, they still have 42 songs to complete. Keep checking the site, as they hope to release a song a month. I'm not really that impressed with the 2 songs so far, but being from Chicago I refuse to lose faith in a band that was so fantastic when I was growing up.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Albums to Hear in 2010

As promised here are 10 albums I'm looking forward to in the coming months. Most of them have release dates and titles, but some are so fresh I can only tell you it's coming.

1. Band of Horses - Night Rainbows
Of all the artists on this list, Band of Horses is the one shrouded in the most secrecy, which in turn makes it the most anticipated. From their stellar debut "Everything All The Time" to the sophomore effort "Cease to Begin" I have been amazed at their talent. While touring this past summer lead singer Ben Bridwell introduced new material while mentioning that the songs were from a new album titled "Night Rainbows". Despite rumors that the album is in fact done, there is no info on the band's site or from their label, Sub Pop.

2. Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
Never trust a lead singer, I don't care who it is (Trent Reznor, I'm looking in your direction). After Damon Albarn declared he was moving past the animated project, news came of a new album with some serious guests (Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Mos Def). The first single, "Stylo" will be released later this month with the album scheduled for 3/9/10. The band has sold over 15 million albums due to the fact that they can blend a bunch of genres, so expect anything. Those with free time on their hands, dig through their site for games, music and so much more.

3. My Chemical Romance - TBD
MCR have promised a true rock album, leaving behind the punk of their early work and the conceptual aspects of "The Black Parade". To prove they mean it, they are currently working with Brendan O'Brien who has produced Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine & Mastodon. A few months ago the band hit LA for a few shows debuting songs "Death Before Disco" & "Black Dragon Fighting Society". You can find the footage on Youtube, it's definitely a strong start.

4. The Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee
Prior to Adam Yauch announcing his battle with cancer, this album was finished, titled and even given a release date of last September. I remember watching them on Jimmy Fallon and counting the days until Lollapalooza where they were scheduled to play. The good news is that Adam has gotten better, even sending out emails about his progress. Even better would be a release date and tour, think of it as a "Got Well" world tour.

5. The Dead Weather - TBD
If you read my best of '09 post, you'd already know about the pending release. Want a sneak peak? Sign up for Third Man Record's Vault subscription and you'll receive TWO new songs "No Horse" and "Jawbreaker". The catch, it'll cost you $60 and it's a vinyl only release. I guess asking for a Numark TT turntable for Christmas was a pretty good idea after all...

6. She & Him - Volume 2
The Duo of M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel are back again with a collection of folk lullabies. Expect bigger and better. M. Ward had a pretty good 2009 with "Hold Time" and "Monsters of Folk", really maturing and evolving. Given the acclaim of the first album, let's hope Zooey takes a few more chances as well. A full track listing is up for the March 23rd release.

7. Broken Bells - Self Titled
The collaboration between Danger Mouse and James Mercer (of the Shins)recently gave away the first single "The High Road" and it immediately started a buzz. It seems as though Danger Mouse can do no wrong, bouncing from Gnarls Barkley to Beck to the Black Keys with unparallelled success. Let's hope the streak continues as some wonder what exactly Mercer has been doing with his time. Mercer's main project the Shins have been "working" on a new album, but last year Mercer replaced 2 original members and nothing else has really been said about the band's future.
The High Road by theearlynerd

8. Coheed & Cambria - Year of the Black Rainbow
Claudio Sanchez and the rest of the band made an announcement in December that the new album would be a prequel of sorts to the ongoing saga their fan base has grown to love. If you are a fan, you would know that all of their material is based on a futuristic galactic tale starting with the 2 characters "Coheed" and "Cambria", the parents of the hero, Claudio. Without going into the story, think "The Matrix meets Star Wars". The new album will address the origins of our hero and hopefully his parent's role in the expanding plot. They are releasing (tentatively April) a deluxe edition that includes a 300 page novel which means I will be reading an ACTUAL book this year.

9. Rogue Wave - Permalight
This California band has been on my radar since their contribution to the "Just Friend's" Soundtrack. Their song "Eyes" was exactly what you would expect from a west coast band, light and fluffy. However, instead of relying on that, they press a bit outside of the box and stretch the boundaries of their melodies. I do have some questions regarding them leaving Sub Pop for the Jack Johnson founded Brushfire, but the first single "Good Morning" is promising. Chicago people, catch them @ Lincoln Hall April 17th.
Eyes by theearlynerd

10. Hot Chip - One Life Stand
These guys have never released a bad album, or song for that matter. However, it is an acquired taste. British electropop doesn't always go over well in the states, I don't know why?!? I could listen to "Over and Over" over and over again which I think was the intended result. 2008's "Made in the Dark" was just as contagious with "Ready for the Floor" hitting every club in the world. The album is scheduled for release on March 9th, and a show @ the Riviera April 19th.

Despite releasing "Battle Studies" only two months ago, if I was a betting man I might look for new material in 2010 from John Mayer. He has tweeted that "the next album is closer than you think", recently played 2 shows with his blues outfit, John Mayer Trio and replaced his touring drummer with Steve Jordan leaving 2/3 of the trio to travel the world on tour this year. Add to that the fact that JM3's website has "New John Mayer Trio Website Coming Soon" and you have some blues in your future... maybe.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vampire Weekend New Album & Concert Info

Vampire Weekend's new album "Contra" is streaming right now, right HERE!!! I've been listening to it for the last couple of days and it's more of the same, but better. Recorded in California, the tone is more international and less indie punk. Even better news is that they will play a show at the Riviera on March 25th. A special VW presale starts tomorrow @ 10am, I think the presale is CONTRA, but don't quote me. There will also be an XRT presale starting Friday and the general onsale Saturday.

This Post is Brought to you by the Letter A

As you may or may not have read, this post will be the first of a 26-part project tentively called "the alphabet project". In an effort to reduce my current audio library and to review some of the older material, I have decided to listen to my ipod in alphabetical order. After completing the letter A, I can tell you this is going to be hard work and take a long time...

The Stats:
Artists: 29
Albums: 60
Songs: 644

The first highlight was Angus Young and his terribly underated skills, especially during the opening disc of Ac/Dc's Bonfire box set. Originally recorded for a weekly radio program at Atlantic Records, the group is young and full of fight. This is also the Ac/Dc they intended it to be with original lead singer, Bon Scott. Some guitarists may be better techinically, or have faster fingers, but Angus is king of the dirty riff.

About a year ago, I stumbled on to an acoustic cover of Daft Punk's "Digital Love" by the Danish band, Alphabeat. I can't tell you how often I find one song that I like while bouncing from site to site. The only problem is that they often get lost next to the 25,000 other songs. The original version of Digital Love has always been my favorite track from Discovery, but my major complaint was the sound. Compared to the other songs, it's too low and sort of stays in the background. But this version had feeling, had a pop, had completely turned the song on its' head. They took a love song and gave it a heart.

As I listened to Aretha Franklin the room became a cathedral, the winter air warmed up a bit and I was taken back to the Saturdays of my youth, doing chores and listening to music with my Ma. Every year there is some new girl with a voice, but no one can replace the range and power of Aretha Franklin. I found a very good song while digging through her catalog that has inspired another post, so stay tuned.

As much as I wish I could give every artist I listened to a bit of the spotlight, these artists pushed their way to the front. I'm already knee deep into B, but it's full of bands with large catalogs (The Beatles, Bright Eyes, Black Sabbath) so please be patient. Don't forget to sign up for my twitter account (theearlynerd)for detailed updates and more music news. For now, enjoy and download Alphabeat.

Digital Love (Daft Punk Cover) by theearlynerd