Dan Deacon just released a new song, Lots, which will appear on his upcoming album, America. The album is scheduled for release August 28.
Chicago record label Drag City plans to release early recordings of Silver Jews on the album Early Times June 19. The recordings feature the original lineup of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich and David Berman, the only permanent member of the band. The songs on Early Times originally appeared on the early ’90s EPs Dime Map of the Reef and The Arizona Record.
Matthew Dear plans to release a new album, Beams, at the end of August. Check out this just-released lead track, Her Fantasy.
Here are a couple new videos from young bands. PS I Love You is a Canadian duo who released its second album Death Dreams earlier this month. Watch the video for Princess Towers off the new release.
U.K. sisters Colette & Hannah Thurlow record as 2:54. Their self-titled debut is out today. Take a look at a video for the song Creeping below.
The new album by Virginia-based Eternal Summers is instantly likable. Check out this video for the song Millions from the band’s upcoming release Correct Behavior (out July 24).
A Place to Bury Strangers just released a video for You Are the One, a song off the upcoming album Worship. The video is a very disturbing homage to grindhouse cinema and is definitely not safe for work. The new album follows the excellent EP Onwards to the Wall, released in February.
Phil Elverum’s songs are not going to show up on any feel-good summertime playlists. His music is far too sullen, in a quiet and intense way. Elverum released his latest album as Mount Eerie, Clear Moon, on Tuesday.
Recorded in a vacated church in Anacortes, Washington, Clear Moon is another album made Elverum’s way. There’s no catchy hit song, no gimmicks, no compromise. Needless to say, he releases his albums on his own label, P.W. Elverum & Sun. You may even quibble whether these are songs. They’re sounds and atmosphere and climactic moments. He promises an “even bigger (weirder) companion album” to Clear Moon, called Ocean Roar, in September.
Describing Clear Moon, Elverum says the album is “part one of a pair of records exploring a living place as a modern questioning person, walking around and looking at things for 80 or so years before disbanding back into dirt.” As I said, it’s not the feel-good hit of the summer but it’s an album I’ll play.
Lee Ranaldo, Sonic Youth’s guitarist for three decades, has a new album, Between the Times & the Tides. And it’s pretty good. The album is not dissimilar to Sonic Youth though it tends to veer toward the band’s more pop-oriented material.
You can catch Ranaldo opening up for M. Ward at the Vic tonight (Tuesday).
Here’s a new video from Sleigh Bells for the song Demons, off the album Reign of Terror. I admit I didn’t like Sleigh Bells following the band’s debut a couple of years ago, but I’m a fan of Reign of Terror. I’m also looking forward to seeing these guys at Pitchfork.
And here’s remix of Demons by Diplo:
Japandroids and Chromatics were added to the Pitchfork Music Festival lineup in July. The three-day fest has gotten stronger with each new band announcement. Japandroids play Friday of the festival and Chromatics play Saturday.
The Dive, a single from the latest Fool’s Gold album Leave No Trace, is better than anything Vampire Weekend has recorded. Like Vampire Weekend, Fool’s Gold draws heavily from African pop. Check out the band at Schubas tonight (Monday).
Two years after a pair of impressive albums, the two-person bands Beach House and Best Coast are back with follow-up releases. For Best Coast, the album, The Only Places, stretches out from the hazy sound on the band’s 2010 debut Crazy for You. Singer Bethany Cosentino sings uptempo country-tinged songs on the slickly produced The Only Places. Jon Brion, who has worked with everyone from Robyn Hitchcock to Kanye to Katy Perry, produced the album. It’s a bigger sounding set of songs and at points more enjoyable than Crazy for You.
Beach House, on the other hand, stuck closely to the script of the stunning 2010 release Teen Dream. The band is not breaking any new ground on Bloom. It’s still a fine album and the approach is far more interesting than Beach House prior to Teen Dream, which was just flat out boring. On its fourth album, Beach House recreates that lush, dreamy soundscape defined by Teen Dream. Bloom is not the equal to that great album but it’s not far off.
Beach House plays Pitchfork July 15 and Best Coast plays the Vic later that month.
The HoZac Blackout Fest is getting started at 5 p.m. today (Friday) at the Empty Bottle. Headlining tonight is the way cool Davila 666 but warmup band Spider Fever is worth checking out as well. Spider Fever is fronted by punk-garage vet Mario Rubalcaba (Off!, Hot Snakes, Rocket from the Crypt). In all, there are seven bands playing Friday.
The reunited Guided By Voices is releasing its second album of the year next month and the band just offered the title track from that release, Class Clown Spots a UFO.
The song is actually quite old. It was originally called Crocker’s Favorite Song when Robert Pollard wrote it in the mid-1980s. The track was to be included but ultimately cut from the 1994 classic album Bee Thousand. It later showed up on GBV collectors’ sets, renamed Class Clown Spots a UFO. The song was re-recorded for the new release, which won’t be the last GBV album of the year. In January, Pollard and his mid-90s GBV lineup released Let’s Go Eat the Factory. The band is finishing its third album this year, The Bears for Lunch, which is due in November.
Here’s a video from La Sera at SXSW last year:
Clear Moon, out next week, is the first of two albums Phil Elverum plans to release this year.
Montreal’s Plants and Animals, supporting the catchy new album The End of That, plays Schubas tonight (Friday). Plants and Animals probably appeals to fans of White Rabbits, Here We Go Magic and maybe even fellow Montreal popsters Islands.
Ty Segall and White Fence figure prominently on my growing list of favorite albums this year. White Fence, fronted by psychedelic guitarist/songwriter Tim Presley, released the first half of what will be a 29-song album called Family Perfume Vol. 1 & 2 last month. (The second half will come out Tuesday.) Segall will release a new album, Wave Goodbye, in late June. Finally, Segall and White Fence just released a collaborative pysch-garage gem, Hair.
It’s a week of homecomings and record release shows for some local bands. Kicking things off tonight (Tuesday), soft-pop group the Hudson Branch plays a record release show at Lincoln Hall for the new album World Kid.
Finally, soul and R&B revivalists the Right Now, a band I really like, will play its own record release show Saturday at Lincoln Hall. The Right Now is promoting its new album Gets Over You.
Grand Rapids, Michigan-based La Dispute sometimes gets described as “post hardcore,” which means it sounds like At the Drive-In. These guys definitely have something to say. The almost 7-minute song, King Park, on last year’s Wildlife, screams about the senselessness of a drive-by shooting.
La Dispute headlines an all-ages show at Metro Sunday.
Check out this stunning video for Cass McCombs’ song Bradley Manning. Manning is the Army intelligence analyst accused of giving the “Collateral Murder” video and documents about the Iraq war to WikiLeaks.
Candy Salad, the new album by Suckers, takes so many twists and turns it’s hard to really define the totality of the record. Candy Salad starts off strong with the big song, Nowhere, followed by the ultra-poppy Figure it Out, the synth-heavy Bricks to the Bones, and the intriguing, folky Chinese Braille. About midway through the album I get a little bored. But it’s a catchy, cool record that deserves multiple listens.
Suckers are a quirky and original band, and, on their second full-length release, they’re a little more polished, which I don’t think takes anything away from their likability. You can catch them at Empty Bottle on Saturday.
Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, aka MCA, died, according to reports. Yauch, who was being treated for cancer, was 47.
It goes without saying that Beastie Boys revolutionized modern music with a hip hop core that blended multiple genres. Yauch will be terribly missed. Paul’s Boutique is the Beasties’ high-water mark but they made great music right up to last year’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
I fell in love with Lower Dens’ first album, Twin-Hand Movement, a couple of years ago. The guitar fuzz, the rhythm, Jana Hunter’s voice as an instrument — it all worked so well. The band’s just-released sophomore album, Nootropics, takes a different approach musically: Synthesizer, atmosphere, repetitive electronic sound.
“Some of the records that really influenced us during the making of this record would obviously be krautrock records,” Hunter told Stereogum last month. “I listened to Radioactivity by Kraftwerk pretty much constantly.”
It’s a departure but a good one for the band that yields a strong set of songs. One side observation: Hunter’s vocals have been compared with Beach House’s Victoria Legrand. The Nootropics song Propagation could be mistaken for a Beach House song. All in all, it’s a very good record. Recommended.