Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Damon Albarn: Everyday Robots


8.8

Damon Albarn is at a point in his career where he is musically losing his mind. He's recorded all genres between his band work and solo recordings, and assembled every combination of instrumentation one could dream of. This newest release sounds like an exhausted musician pulling away from any preconceived aspirations, yet the music is as innovative as ever. It's full of 'sounds' flying in and out, a very Salvador Dali-esque picture is painted, sounds of flying accordions and squeaking violins, obscure samples and sound effects, centered around Albarn and his acoustic guitar. It's a more mellow record than his previous releases. The mix of acoustic guitar ballads and psychedelic production trickery is impressive. It's hard to guess if he's been working on this album for many years, or does he write this much music, as prolific as anyone. It seems every year, Albarn is releasing a different project. Nevertheless, Everyday Robots stands out from the rest. The idea of Damon Albarn isolated in a studio churning out these tracks, playing everything himself, is brilliant! Perhaps he needed to get this out of his system, to move forward with that new Blur record we've all been waiting for. We'll see...

John Frusciante: Enclosure


8.4

In a world of listeners with no attention span, John Frusciante offers a very sporadic, unpredictable, cutting edge new record. None of the tracks sustain a groove without changing sonically for long and  the song structures move in odd directions. It's very chaotic music when you try and dissect it part by part. Throughout the album, Frusciante keeps to funk and ambience. This is like an anti-live album. He explores everything you can do in a studio while editing it all together very critical and mathematically. It's interesting music to say the least. John Frusciante is becoming a prolific solo artist with a discography that may parallel Frank Zappa over the years.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kim's Video & Music closing on 1st Avenue...


This is a sad announcement for vinyl record collectors and cheap DVD hoarders. Kim's record stores always stayed open till midnight, this being the last of them. Another nail in the coffin of the age of true record shopping in NYC. Buying vinyl isn't as fun online and digging through crates will always be cool. Sad to see it go...

This was the crown jewel of Record Store Day 2014...


Gram Parsons "180 Gram: Alternate Takes from GP and Grievous Angel"

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

RECORD STORE DAY Saturday April 19th

THIS HEAT PLAN OFFICIAL VINYL REISSUES OF THIS HEAT, DECEIT AND "HEALTH AND EFFICIENCY"


There’s no denying that This Heat‘s early run of releases were crucial in informing a new wave of experimental musicians in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

Sadly their two most revered records – the self titled debut and its followup Deceit – have been unavailable on vinyl since 1988, forcing vinyl buyers to opt for often horribly pressed bootleg versions that have flooded the market in recent years.

Thankfully, the band have now announced (via Facebook) that there are brand new vinyl versions of both records and the excellent 12″ ‘Health and Efficiency’ in the works, and that they will indeed be remastered “to the highest spec with all the attention to detail that we have maintained through our history.” Updates are due to follow, and the band urges buyers not to purchase bootlegs in the interim.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Watch: The Afghan Whigs’ full performance at Coachella 2014


The Afghan Whigs made their Coachella debut on Friday evening. The band’s 10-song set includes cuts from their forthcoming comeback album, Do to the Beast, along with old favorites like Gentleman standout “Fountain and Fairfax” and Congregation closer “Miles Iz Dead”. Though it’s been 16 years since their last official album, the reunited veterans showed little signs of rust.

Watch video of the full performance below and check out the setlist.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Stream: John Frusciante’s new solo album Enclosure… from outer space.


As the approach to releasing and promoting albums continually adapts, there have been some fairly novel approaches to album streams: Daft Punk unveiled Random Access Memories from the cattle town of Wee Waa, Australia; Beck made Morning Phase available to airline travelers via Gogo Inflight Internet; even Bruce Springsteen got inventive, revealing High Hopes via CBS’ Good Wife. Still, this one has got to take the proverbial cake: former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante is streaming his new solo album, Enclosure, right now. From space.

According to a press release, the album was loaded onto an “experimental Cube Satellite called Sat-JF14″ and launched into space aboard an “Interorbital Systems’ NEPTUNE Modular Rocket.” Beginning today, fans can download the Sat-JF14 app, which enables them to track the satellite in real time. When the satellite reaches a user’s specific geographic region, Enclosure will unlock and be available for streaming on any iOS or Android mobile device. As if that weren’t enough of a marvel, app users can also chat with one another, sharing thoughts on the album. With this kind of wondrous technology already available, how much longer will we have to wait for actual hoverboards?

“This partnership with John Frusciante, Record Collection and Loducca represents a new chapter in our quest to further explore the cosmic relationship between science and art,” said Randa Milliron, Interorbital Systems co-founder and CEO. “Enclosure is a musical masterpiece and we’re thrilled to be able to utilize our proprietary space technology to facilitate this unprecedented form of space-enhanced distribution.”

The album preview will be available until April 7th, at which time “Sat-JF14 will cease transmission.” (That’s only slightly disconcerting, right?) Download your copy of the app here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

PIXIES ANNOUNCE FIRST NEW ALBUM SINCE 1991, INDIE CINDY


The resurgent indie titans collect their new material on a two-disc set.

The Pixies just digitally released EP3, another limited-edition four-track vinyl. On April 28, they will release Indie Cindy, an album comprised of the songs from the band’s recent run of EPs.

The tracklist is below. Indie Cindy will be available as a 2CD set (limited to 3,000 copies) with a 40-page hardback book, and the second CD is a 13-rack live set recorded on their recent world tour. The 2LP set comes on 180-gram 12″ vinyl (but without the live album). For details, head to the Pixies’ webstore.

Monday, March 17, 2014

R.E.M. reissuing two 'MTV Unplugged' sessions as box set for Record Store Day


Record Store Day 2014 is about a month away (April 19) and one of this year's exclusive releases is a four-LP set of R.E.M.'s two MTV Unplugged sessions:

The "Unplugged" performances are sonic snapshots that capture the legendary Athens, Georgia band at important points on its journey from alternative-music progenitors to international stars that have sold more than 85 million albums.

Drummer Bill Berry, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and singer Michael Stipe recorded their first "Unplugged" session in 1991, while riding a growing wave of success that began in 1987 with the commercial breakthrough of Document. Much of the performance spotlights songs from R.E.M.'s then-current album Out of Time, which sold over 18 million copies worldwide and was the band's first #1 album in the U.S. From the album, the band performed "Radio Song," "Low" and its biggest American hit, "Losing My Religion."

The remainder of the set list spans eight years of music and touches on five different albums, mixing "Perfect Circle" from R.E.M.'s 1983 debut Murmur and fan-favorites like "Fall On Me" and "Its The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" with a cover of The Troggs' "Love Is All Around." Five songs that never aired can be heard on this set for the first time, including two tracks from the multi-platinum Green - "Get Up" and "World Leader Pretend."

R.E.M. made an extremely rare second appearance on "Unplugged" in 2001, but this time without original drummer Bill Berry, who left the band in 1997. For the show, the band focused mainly on its 12th studio album Reveal - which came out that year - with performances of the singles "Imitation of Life" and "All The Way To Reno (You're Gonna Be A Star)." The song selection draws from eight different albums with "So. Central Rain" from 1984's Reckoning, "Cuyahoga" from 1986's Lifes Rich Pageant and "Find The River," the elegiac album closer from the 1992 classic Automatic For The People.The set includes recordings of songs that were taped but never aired on the two specials.