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Archive for May, 2011

Watch: No Age – “Common Heat”

No Age‘s “Common Heat”, off of 2010’s Everything In Between, now has an animated music video, courtesty of French directors Weirdettes. The video features a constantly changing inkblot and pencil sketches. Check it out below.

Review: Panda Bear – Tomboy

Panda Bear – Tomboy

Released: April 12, 2011
Label: Paw Tracks
Purchase: iTunes | Insound | Amazon

Most finely tuned machines are beheld without conscious awareness of the intricacies and technical attention that has been involved in their construction, and their users blissfully ignorant in their expectation of service. Only once exploded is it apparent that the functions these machines serve are enabled only through the purposeful arrangement of all component parts toward an intended function. We become conscious of the fact that these units, complete and unassuming, are the result of a multiplicity of tiny mechanisms interrelating, communicating, affecting one another to produce a wider experience that is elaborate in its execution but impressively focused in delivery. The next, subsequent, realization is that this construction took skill – immense skill – and most of us would be ill-equipped and unable to create anything like it.

In this regard, Noah Lennox’s (Panda Bear)Tomboy is the musical performance racer of finely tuned machines.

In today’s alternative music scene, experimental electronica albums are a dime a dozen – often eventuating to be, ironically, hackneyed in their pursuit of nuance and originality. Lennox, of Animal Collective renown, is no bandwagon-hopper. Over the last eleven years and eight releases he and his Animal Collective comrades have been trailblazers of trip exploring the frontier of freak, with a steady stream of Lennox solo work supplementing their catalogue with characteristically hazy, washed out experimental electronica under his moniker Panda Bear.

This is electronic music, but not in the typical sense. There are no massive, tacky bass drops in Tomboy – any crescendo is supported by lavishly layered samples and loops. There is an almost classical sensibility in Lennox’s approach to electronic music, perhaps telling of his childhood background in the cello and piano. New sounds are introduced in concordance with one another and with a long amplitude attack and as a result the tracks tend to feel painstakingly created rather than a cobbled together graduation leading to a single cheap thrill. Songs are dynamic; some tracks begin and end in completely polar genres (“Last Night at the Jetty” meanders through ambience and chamber pop on its transition to rambling freak-folk).

Tomboy is drenched in distortion. Fuzz soaks sharp, bold loops with a softness that subdues them. The use of reverb contains the album’s sound, envelops otherwise domineering musical aspects (the percussion in “You Can Count on Me”) and wraps them in a softness that consolidates into a single musical experience what is essentially a collection of competing loops. The album is also almost exclusively poly-phonic – rarely do we experience abate from swirling, pulsing noise, which lends to the uncommon moments when the fuzz is stripped back a striking sense of clarity.

Individual songs seem to have no message independent of the album, and derive their meaning from their function/position within the record. On an intra-track level the songs blend into one another, to the extent that during a prolonged listening session the ocean of fuzzy reverb makes to disguise the separate songs into a single cohesive experience.

There is a strangely accessible side to the record. Lennox barely alters his voice’s strained lilt throughout the album, the constancy of his vocals adding continuity between tracks – comforting in its familiarity as a friend would be in a foreign country. For listeners completely comfortable in the album’s intimidatingly unconventional sound, though, this fixed voice is occasionally mired by predictability and may stagnate by the end of Tomboy.

The album’s main shortcomings are interconnected with this same familiarity and constancy. While immediately a very rewarding and immersive album, there is little fundamental deviation between tracks (also between this record and Panda Bear’s back catalogue as a whole) and as a result it simply doesn’t stand up to repeated listens. It is an enjoyable, intricately detailed experience, but ultimately not a deep one.

Tomboy will not be Lennox’s magnum opus, nor is it genre-defying, but it is a stunningly complete album experience and proof that he is damn good at what he does best. And why shouldn’t he be? He’s clearly had enough practice.


Standout Tracks: “Afterburner” – the current popular favorite, and with good reason: a throbbing bass line and buckets of fuzz make for a track effortlessly laid-back and enjoyable.

Arcade Fire Deluxe Edition

Arcade Fire will release a deluxe CD/DVD version of its Album of the Year Grammy Award-winning third album The Suburbs August 2nd on Merge Records in the U.S.

The CD has an extended version of “Wasted Hours (A Life We Can Live)” and two previously unreleased songs. The DVD includes the entire half-hour short film Scenes From The Suburbs, which is directed by Spike Jonze. It also includes a Behind the Scenes for the album and a music video for the track “The Suburbs”. A booklet is included with the package featuring lyrics and 80 pages of photos taken during the shooting of the short film.

Listen: Manchester Orchestra’s ‘Simple Math’

Manchester Orchestra‘s highly anticipated new album, Simple Math, is set to be released today, May 10 via Favorite Gentlemen/Sony Music Entertainment. The record is, according to frontman Andy Hull, a concept album: “It’s a story about a 23-year old who questions everything from marriage to love to religion to sex. Sometimes even for myself, it’s difficult to decipher which one I’m actually talking to. Everything I’ve written in the past has been about those things. This album is the most realized form of my questioning.” If you have yet to listen to the album, you can stream the album in its entirety below.

Chadwick Stokes Announces Solo Album

Chad Stokes Urmston of indie-rock acts Dispatch and State Radio will be releasing his first solo record this summer, choosing to use the moniker Chadwick Stokes. His new album, titled Simmerkane II, will be released on June 28th via Ruff Shod/Nettwerk Records. The deluxe version of the album includes two discs, including a second disc consisting of three tracks recorded with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, a band formed by Sierra Leone refugees who were displaced to Guinea during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

Once he rounds up a two-month long tour with State Radio, Stokes will be embarking on the Dispatch reunion tour during the month of June and then beginning a solo tour in support of Simmerkane II. You can check out the tracklisting for the album after the break.


Disc 1
1. Adelaide
2. Crowbar Hotel
3. Back To The Races
4. Rainsong
5. Insulin
6. Religion On The Rails (I Saw You There)
7. Black Bottle
8. Ichabod and Abraham
9. I Love Your Army
10. Spider And Gioma

Disc 2 (Deluxe) (with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars):
1. Coffee And Wine
2. All My Possessions (Ode To Troy)
3. Don’t Have You

New Sam Means Demo

Download a demo of a new song by Sam Means (guitarist of The Format) at his Bandcamp here. The new song is called “Bigger Heart” and features similar styles of classic mellowed-out by The Format songs.

Sublime with Rome Premiere First Single “Panic”

The new incarnation of Sublime, known as Sublime with Rome, are currently preparing for the release of their debut release Yours Truly, which is scheduled for a July 12 release via Fueled By Ramen. The album’s lead single, “Panic” can be heard at 107.7 The End.

The band is composed of Sublime founding members Eric Wilson and Bud Gaugh and singer/guitarist Rome Ramirez. You can check out a list of upcoming shows below.

Sublime With Rome 2011 Tour Dates:
05/07 – Tucson, AZ @ KFMA Day
05/11 – Buenos Aires, AR @ Micro Stadium Malvinas
05/13 – Sao Paolo, BR @ Via Funchal
05/14 – Curitiba, BR @ Lupaluna Fest
05/15 – Brazil, BR @ Opera Hall
05/18 – Porto Alegre, BR @ Pepsi On Stage
05/19 – Belo Horizonte, BR @ Chevrolet Hall
05/20 – Fortaleza, BR @ Barraca Biruta
05/21 – Recife, BR @ Club Portugues
05/22 – Rio De Janeiro, BR @ Circo Voador
06/05 – Brantford, ON @ Hockeyfest
06/09 – Lisbon, PR @ Estoril Open Air
06/11 – Interlaken, CH @ Greenfield Festival
06/12 – Nicklesdorf, AT @ Rock Ness
06/18 – Scheessell, DE @ Hurricane Festival
06/19 –  Neuhausen ob Eck, DE @ Southside Festival
07/02 – Gibbons, AB @ Boonstock Festival
07/06 – Wichita, KS @ Orpheum Block Party
07/08 – Bonner Springs, KS @ Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone Amphitheater #
07/09 – St. Louis, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater #
07/12 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE #
07/13 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theater #
07/14 – Chicago, IL @ Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island #
07/16 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center #
07/17 – Columbus, OH @ Lifestyles Community Pavilion #
07/19 – Omaha, NE @ Red Sky Festival
07/21 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Art Center #
07/22 – Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheater #
07/23 – Boston, MA @ Comcast Center #
07/25 – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center of the Arts #
07/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Penn’s Island #
07/28 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at VA Beach Amphitheater #
07/29 – Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live #
07/30 – Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood #
08/01 – Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater #
08/02 – Raleigh, NC @ Time Warner Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek #
08/05 – Live Oak, FL @ 311 Pow Wow Festival
08/11 – Lake Charles, LA @ L’Auberge Du Lac Casino #
08/12 – Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion #
08/13 – Dallas, TX @ GEXA Energy Pavilion #
08/14 – Austin, TX @ The Backyard #
08/16 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheater #
08/17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Usana Amphitheater #
08/19 – San Diego, CA @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater #
08/20 – Irvine, CA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater #
08/21 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl #
08/22 – Lancaster, CA @ Antelope Valley Fair
08/23 – San Francisco, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater at Mountain View #
08/25 – Eugene, OR @ Cuthbert Amphitheater #
08/26 – Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Amphitheater #

# = w/ 311

Radiohead to Perform ‘The King of Limbs’ Live on TV

Radiohead will be playing their new album, The King of Limbs, in it entirety on TV, with the BBC internationally distributing the broadcast on July 1st. According to a press release, the 55-minute program will be entitled Radiohead – The King of Limbs: Live From the Basement and include additional behind-the-scenes footage.

As the show’s title suggests, the live performance will be a part of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich’s “From The Basement” series. “The programme is filmed in HD, will have no audience and no presenter – just a rare opportunity to see an intimate performance from one of the greatest bands in the world.”

Odd Future Debut New Songs “Analog” and “65” On BBC

Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy Beats of OFWGKTA dropped by the Maida Vale Studios earlier today with BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe. While there, they performed “Sandwitches” and debuted MellowHype‘s new song “65”, as well as “Analog”, a brand new song from Tyler’s forthcoming album Goblin. The new song features Hodgy Beats and is the latest song to surface from the rapper’s second album and the collective’s first official release. You can listen to the entire session here or check out “Analog” below, courtesy of Some Kind of Awesome.

Goblin is set for a May 10th release via XL Recordings. Check out the tracklisting below.

Goblin Tracklist:
01. Goblin
02. Yonkers
03. Radicals
04. She
05 Transylvania
06. Nightmare
07. Tron Cat
08. Her
09. Sandwitches
10. Fish
11. Analog
12. BSD
13. Window
14. AU79
15. Golden

Eminem Announces Bad Meets Evil EP Title: ‘Hell: The Sequel’

Eminem just announced via Twitter that the title for the upcoming Bad Meets Evil EP will be Hell: The Sequel. The rap duo is composed of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″, who collaborated with Marshall on “Bad Meets Evil” from 1999’s The Slim Shady LP and on the single “Nuttin’ to Do”. The two long-time friends had a falling out in 2000 due to altercations between Royce and D12, but reunited late last year after Eminem signed Royce-affiliated Slaughterhouse to his record label, Shady Records.

The new EP is set to be released on June 14, 2011 via Shady Records and Interscope Records.