Friday, June 29, 2012

The Presets - Youth In Trouble

The Presets have released a video for their first single, Youth In Trouble. Directed by New York visual artist, Yoshi Sodeoka, it's a hyper-color, pixelated mash of graphics and scrambled footage. Perfect for big screens in dark rooms.

Pacifica, is scheduled for release on September, 14, on Modular Recordings. You can preorder it now on iTunes, or go for the Limited Edition Deluxe Package which is limited to 1500 and includes: Vinyl, CD and MP3, a hard cover book and signed lithograph.

A Chicago show has already been announced. They are playing the Metro on Thursday, October 25. Tickets on sale this Saturday at noon.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Big Boi - Gossip (ft. UGK & Big K.R.I.T)

With Andre 3000 in Dublin, filming the new Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side, the world will have to wait a bit longer for a true Outkast album. Thankfully, Big Boi realized that we still need some of that ATL flavor and released Gossip, the first single off his new album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.

Despite the album having a release date of November 13, it makes sense to give fans one, or maybe even two songs to blast all summer. A classic beat, with a little help from UGK and Big K.R.I.T. is more than enough to whet your appetite.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Usher - Climax (Paper Diamond Remix)

The latest remix of Usher's Climax dropped this morning, courtesy of Paper Diamond, and it is hot. While it seems like there has been an endless stream of remixes, this one takes a few chances, particularly with the vocals. He managed to take one of the smoothest voices in the industry and tweak it with stutters and so much distortion when the refrain kicks in, it just sails.

If you like what you hear, you can grab Paper Diamond's Wavesight EP, out now on Mad Decent. Chicago people you have two chances to catch him, he's playing a Lollapalooza after party at the Bottom Lounge and Perry's Tent. Download the track now for free, just in time for those 4th of July parties.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Bloody Beetroots - Rocksteady

The Bloody Beetroots released a new single this morning, the aptly-titled Rocksteady. It's been almost three years since their debut, Romborama, but the energy and aggression is still there.

That's not to say Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo hasn't been busy. Last year they released Church of Noise, featuring vocals from Dennis Lxyzen, even bringing him out during their killer set at Lollapalooza. They also released a collection of remixes, my favorite being their remix of Escape, by The Toxic Avenger.

Will Rocksteady, be the first single off a new album? No word on that just yet. But with a string of live dates over the summer a few things have been promised:

"Don't expect the same old show though, the masks are different, the sounds are changing and they have a brand new hi-octane club banger ready to annihilate the dance floor."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Tallest Man On Earth - There's No Leaving Now [Full Stream]

Swedish songwriter, Kristian Matsson aka The Tallest Man On Earth, released his latest gem on Tuesday, There's No Leaving Now and the result is his best album yet.

Since his debut in 2006, Matsson has steadily gained fans with his brand of folk music. Given his vocal style and bare arrangements, he has been compared to Bob Dylan on more than a few occasions. Although it has its merit, I find more similarities with Van Morrison, particularly on the first half of this album.

From the soft keys on To Just Grow Away, to the freight train shuffle and weaving guitars of Revelation Blues, there is a warmth and texture reminiscent of Van Morrison's Moondance. Matsson's ability to craft simple, concise songs often lead to an instant connection and comfort very few artists can achieve.

One of the things I like best about the album, is that it never sound rushed or cluttered. Every instrument has enough space to contribute, but not enough to wander off. The first single, 1904, is a perfect example with scattered single notes that brighten the song like a star-filled night. A lesser artist would have drenched the song with them, instead we are left hoping for more.

The title track, There's No Leaving Now, a gorgeous piano ballad, is filled with so much despair, it's hard not to think of your toughest days. You can practically hear the struggle as he counters subdued piano against stretched, weary vocals.

The entire album is available to stream right now, with a free download of 1904, courtesy of Dead Oceans. As an added bonus, I've added his cover of Paul Simon's Graceland, released earlier this year on his Record Store Day release, King of Spain.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Passion Pit - I'll Be Alright

Passion Pit released another new song over the weekend, the frenetic track, I'll Be Alright. It's the second single from their new album, Gossamer, available July 24.

Built on stuttering drums, 80's synths and soaring vocals, it pretty much expands their sound, almost to the breaking point. The bridge at 3 minutes is just killing me, I can't wait to hear this live.

If you have a conflict with the just released Lollapalooza schedule - they are up against The Shins - today is your lucky day. Passion Pit have been announced as one of the official after shows, playing the House of Blues, Thursday, August 2. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, at 10am.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Willie Nelson - Just Breathe (Pearl Jam Cover)

Willie Nelson released a video for Just Breathe this morning, the first single off his new album, Heroes. The song was originally recorded by Pearl Jam, a standout track from 2009's Backspacer. The feel of the song remains in tact with minor changes, mostly to accommodate Willie's style - harmonica instead of organ, lap steel guitar substituted for strings.

My only problem with the cover is Willie's son, Lukas and his delivery. Instead of sounding like a younger version of his father, it comes across as a chipmunk, helium-filled imitation of his dad's signature style. Check out the video below, followed by the original from Austin City Limits.

Watch Pearl Jam "Just Breathe" on PBS. See more from Austin City Limits.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

RAC - Hollywood (ft. Penguin Prison)

If you've been following the blog (or ANY music blog for that matter), you should be familiar with RAC aka Remix Artist Collective. As their name suggests, for the better part of 5 years they have been releasing remixes for artist such as: U2, Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club & Ra Ra Riot.

However, last month saw the release of Hollywood, the first track to bear their name as a group, and it's pretty awesome. The same qualities you would find in their best remixes have come together to make a perfect song for the summer. A mixture of shimmering synths, breezy guitars and bouncing bass with a little help from Chris Glover of Penguin Prison, on vocals.

If indie pop isn't your thing and you're looking for something with a bit more energy, you're in luck. Last week, a remix by The Magician was released with a stronger beat and hand claps to spare. Both are available for download, courtesy of Green Label Sound.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Hives - Lex Hives [Full Album Stream]

The Hives will release their fifth album next week, Lex Hives, and you can stream the entire album, courtesy of The New Yorker.

The Swedish rockers manage to squeeze 12 songs into 30 minutes, sticking to their formula of quick, hook-heavy, garage rock/punk. Similar to their other albums, they pack enough energy into a handful of songs and before the freshness wears off, they're already gone.

True to form, there is the lead single, Go Right Ahead, with the same brashness and stomp of their hits (Hate to Say I Told You So, Walk Idiot Walk, Tick Tick Boom). Other highlights include Wait A Minute, reminiscent of Devo, and If I Had A Cent, a minute and a half that would make the Ramones proud.

A deluxe edition is available on iTunes, with two bonus tracks. Insane is streaming right now on Rolling Stone and High School Shuffle is up on RCRDLBL.