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Welcome to our Q3 Mixtape this year, where we further illuminate some of our favorite songs released between July – September. Featuring tracks from Amplifier, Banks, Cymbals Eat Guitars, Dog Fashion Disco, Dopplereffekt, Kimbra, Lenny Kravitz, Mr. Kitty, Oado, Seven That Spells, Shabazz Palaces, Skrew, Yuna, and more than what’s listed in the aforementioned baker’s dozen, we’re hopeful that you’ll find something worth investigating further here.

(RIP.)

This also means that this is our last mixtape of the year, as we’ll prepare for our annual Year-End feature. Whether you’re a staffer, contributor, longtime shit-poster, or a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed newcomer, everybody has an opportunity to get involved in what amounts to be a fun year-end event for us. More details to come later, but as is also tradition, I’ll have some prize packages. To see what the winners got last year, you can check out the announcement here and see the actual prizes here.

What would you like to see for prizes this year? What albums are you excited about in Q4 that might crack your Top 10, 25, 50, or 100 [or greater]? Please feel free to let us know in the comments.

I hope you’re all enjoying the NFL season (unless you’re a Jacksonville fan, I guess?) and as we head towards the majesty that is the Fall Classic.

(We also use GoPros during our indoor office wiffleball…

On the heels of debuting some, uh, minimalistic album art and the raucous “Rollin’ and Tumblin’” off their forthcoming LP Get Hurt, The Gaslight Anthem have shared the title track as well.

Get Hurt is slated for an August 19th release date and is available for pre-order.

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The Gaslight Anthem – “Get Hurt” (3:43)
Get Hurt

In an earlier exclusive with Rolling Stone (which is a noteworthy read for fans if you haven’t seen it yet), frontman Brian Fallon noted: “I’ll probably continue to write about heartbreak forever. That stuff doesn’t go away as you get older. You’re always trying to make each record more autobiographical than the last one. Before, it was a lot of storytelling with lots of specific places and names. This time I wrote a lot of direct first-person narratives. You’re talking about yourself – so you have to find new way to do that each time – so for this record, it was a lot of poetry books and a lot of Bob Dylan…

… I can only do what I know and make it as real as possible.”

Photo credit: Joey Maloney

As we march towards Day 182 on the year, we honor the late radio personality Casey Kasem and his famous closing line: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Artist credit: ninjaink, deviantART

Be it summer or winter where you are, we hope that your first half has been just as splendid as ours. It’s time for our quarterly mixtape: this time, albums from April-June are on the docket after tipping our hats to 2014’s first quarter roughly 3 months ago.

Featuring music from Veni Domine, Fatima, tUnE-yArDs, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Fucked Up, and Plastikman, we are once again hopeful that there’s something for everybody here in our 28 selections.

In the meantime, keep on enjoying the World Cup festivities, as well.


(If they’re super lazy, Google could recycle this for March Madness when shit really gets crazy at the office.)

(Oooooooooookay, maybe not that crazy.)

Enjoy! -Jom

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Ages and Ages – “Over It” (5:18)
Divisionary
Listen if you like: Real Estate, Hey Rosetta!, Vampire Weekend
Official site |  Available on iTunes

It happens at least once every year, without fail. I stumble across a band that – despite my…

In a world where we can cure cancer with Facebook likes… wait, never mind.

In a world where the relationship between musicians and their fans is bolstered through social media, pay-what-you-like downloads, and [hopefully] a continued focus on developing legal services that actually adequately compensate the artists, it’s always a neat thing whenever musicians tease that they’ll share a forthcoming tune to drum up some interest (or send their fanbase into a frenzy).

About 8 hours ago, Adelaide’s Hilltop Hoods teased that they would share a track from their upcoming album Walking Under Stars, the group’s 7th studio album set for release later this year. Originally disclosing that “Won’t Let You Down”, featuring London-based rapper Maverick Sabre, would be the album’s first single, the trio pulled off a swerve and released “The Art of the Handshake”.

Stream “The Art of the Handshake” below, and based on their tongue-in-cheek tweet, decide where you fall on the continuum:

Increasing your band’s exposure can be a daunting task. Some are fortunate enough to have found spots on “The Big Four” American networks (or their equivalents); for example, House, Parenthood, and Scrubs all have (or had) prime-time TV spots, and expanding our parameters to include networks like CW (e.g. Gossip Girl), HBO (e.g. Treme), and Showtime (e.g. Weeds) illuminates how well-placed music can complement a show’s storyline. The same principle can be applied to video games, too, as well as marketing (e.g. Feist’s “1 2 3 4″ video for Apple). The premise is simple: write music that people enjoy (and that you enjoy playing) and, theoretically, you might not have to worry about finding work. On the other hand, bands should be strong enough to cultivate their own following first before hoping that a company or brand does it for them.

And then there are times where there’s the “other” category. ADAM are an all-female group based out of the Netherlands, and an unofficial video for their forthcoming single “Go to Go” has eclipsed 5 million views in less than a week. It reminds me of Clayton Cubitt’s Hysterical Literature series, which integrates culture and sexuality and pleasure into an alluring black-and-white package, but in the case of “Go to Go”, the women sing their way through their song under similar conditions:

The Dutch lasses pride themselves on “daring to be [themselves]“, and it’s empowering to see another example that the marriage of music and sex can…

As the champion of Malaysian Flight Simulator, I have a keen understanding of how music can fall off my proverbial radar undetected.

To protect you from having the same fate, we’ve collaborated on delivering to you some first-quarter artist and album highlights from our personal highlight reels. From the avant-garde and the macabre to the uptempo, D&B, and “dad rock” genres, we’re confident that you’ll find something in our 27-song playlist that’s worth checking out here.

Featuring tracks by Tokyo Police Club, Nebelung, Calibre, Kamchatka, and Animals as Leaders, we hope our diversified showcase underscores that 2014 is off to a splendid start.

Happy ‘official’ Opening Day, too, baseball fans. Enjoy! -Jom

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About Tess – “Shine” (7:07)
Shining

Listen if you like: BATS, And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank
Soundcloud | Purchase on iTunes

I don’t think this is intentional on my part, but I have such a Euro-Austral-’Murica tilt in my listening habits that there’s a distinct lack of Asian artists per my RYM listening map (while I haven’t updated this in awhile, it’s probably damning that my only listed bands are Boris, The Black Mages, Orphaned Land, and Koji Kondo, who composes soundtracks for The Legend of Zelda

I recognize that there are exceptions to every rule, but parody songs tend to bastardize the original source material beyond the point of recognition.

This isn’t the case for Freddy Scott’s tribute to one of his purported musical heroes, Trent Reznor. Imagination and imitation may very well be the sincerest forms of flattery.

As angry as Reznor was on Pretty Hate Machine or as self-destructive as he sounded on The Downward Spiral, my hunch is that the guy could still find a sense of humor in this. Scott originally posted the lyric video to this song back in January, but recently shot a video for the track (which also features SNL guitarist Jared Blake Scharff), which perfectly encapsulates Reznor’s mannerisms and video production to a ‘T’. My favorite bit is in the opening verse, but when it comes to accurately depicting the Nine Inch Nails videography and Reznor’s blueprint in a less-than-3-minute spoof… well, to paraphrase Scott’s own lyrics: “Yeah, it sounds really awesome.”

“… what the hell was that?”

The song is available at iTunes and Amazon.

I was playing pub trivia earlier this week with some friends, and one of the rounds was “Disney by Decade”. I knew this was coming because the ultra-shitty hostess was playing “A Whole New World” and “Part of Your World” and probably some other songs with “World” in them (perhaps “Two Worlds” was played, but Phil Collins gets a pass from me because it’s better than listening to 3 hours of Lilith Fair music, as is tradition in the hostess’ usual playlist).

Como si dijiera una palabraaaaaaaaaaa!

Anyway, we aced the round (Can you name 3 out of the 5 animated films Disney released in the 1980s? How about the 2 animated films from the 1970s where a lion is depicted as royalty? I can’t remember the other questions because, you know, it’s a bar), simply because the girls on our team know their shit (my contributions rely solely on sports, music, and maybe books; in other words, I would get my ass kicked on Jeopardy! in every direction imaginable).

Speaking of which, fuck this guy:

What the hell is a 'compliance analyst', anyway?

If you don’t recognize him, take a listen to this smarmy asshole. Hunting for the Daily Doubles is brilliant, but only wagering just enough to advance to the next day is a bitch move (in my opinion, you play to win the game).

On that note, onto the…

I bit the bullet and started cleaning my office today. I love being organized, but I hate cleaning. Do I really need to save notebooks and folders from undergrad courses that I’ll never crack open again? Even my graduate studies binder isn’t really connected to what I do today.

I'd show you the pages, but they're kinda sticky…

It was my good buddy’s birthday today, and although he’s in a different province now, we still have a chat every now and then about music past and present. He reminded me of one of our conversations last year, where we were debating about whether or not we were going to go to our 10-year reunion, which quickly segued into talking about the gigs we went to in high school. In 2003, our favorite gig was the immense Summer Sanitarium tour, which was a nu metal delight: Metallica, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, and Mudvayne.

It’s funny in a way, because Summer Sanitarium 2003 (~$46,000,000) outsold Ozzfest (~$23,000,000) and Lollapalooza (~$14,000,000) combined. Granted, Summer Sanitarium was the only stadium-driven tour that summer (save for Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, who had a small run).

As our conversation progressed, we talked about bands that have aged well from that list (he is an avid Deftones fan) and bands that have fallen off our individual radars a bit (he didn’t believe me that Alien Ant Farm are releasing a new album this…

Hello, friends!

As is our yearly tradition here, I hope all of you were “Down with the Christmas” this week, no matter what festive holiday you celebrate:

Stream: The Paybacks – “Down with the Christmas” (3:55)

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"I have no grievances to air, but I'd like to participate in the Feats of Strength!"

I decided to break this entry down into 3 components: the Jom Expansion Pack (25 albums that missed my Top 25 for whatever reason, mostly because a) they’re good albums that had a lot of playback value for me this year, but paled in comparison to my Top 25, and/or b) I totally missed these albums by a nautical mile and heard them way too late in the year to give them ample consideration for the staff year-end feature), my 5 favorite EPs this year, and then my Top 25 Albums of 2013.

In the Expansion Pack, the albums are in alphabetical order by artist name — if I tried to organize this into a Top 50, it’d be 2016 by the time I’ve figured it out (given my typical output, anyway). When cultivating the Jom Expansion Pack, I tried to not pick albums that already appeared on…

Sporting 13 tracks and clocking in at 75:07, The Red Paintings’ The Revolution is Never Coming, which was mixed on four separate continents (I assume Antarctica was out of the running) by eight different producers (including the late Bryan Carlstrom, who worked with Anthrax, The Offspring, Alice in Chains, Queen, and Social Distortion, among others), is now out via Bird’s Robe Records/MGM Distribution, and will soon be released through The End Records (USA), and Rough Trade (UK/EU) on October 1st.

The group continues to gain notoriety for their extraordinary live show, which typically includes paper and human canvases, costumed stage shows, and other exquisite visual projections in order to facilitate the music to listeners’ auditory and visual senses.

The Revolution is Never Coming features a 35-piece orchestra, a 22-piece choir, and lesser-seen instruments such as the theremin to help propel the quintet’s music even more.

We’ve been very fortunate to work with some absolutely brilliant people, namely our friends at Two Fish Out of Water (whose clients also include Clutch, Henry Rollins, The Jezebels, and Fearless Vampire Killers), to give readers the opportunity to win a free copy of the debut record!

There are three (3) copies of the album up for grabs.

Artwork courtesy of the immensely talented Scott Scheidly, FlounderArt.com

If this artwork looks familiar, it might be because this image was posted to We All Inherit the Moon’s last.fm page in 2008; however, Scheidly commented

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
The forums used to make me smile
And I knew if he had a chance
Ramsey could showcase his talents
And maybe we’d be jammin’ for a while…

I’m not really sure what bastardizing Don McLean lyrics has to do with anything, but as a friendly reminder, links to Mars Module’s music are located at the very bottom of the post or embedded throughout the feature for your convenience.

————-

When thinking back to when the forums were far more lively than they are today, we’re rewinding by a good 6-7 years.

Knowing what I know now, and given the ability to travel back in time, I’d punch 7-years-ago me so hard in the face to ensure that my life would be more Groundhog Day than Hot Tub Time Machine (although, even if I had to relive the same day over and over again, I’d still somehow manage to screw things up).

Talk to anyone who joined Musician Forums before Sputnikmusic launched in 2005 (anyone with a later join date and tries to tell you what’s up is just a poser who cannot be trusted), and you’ll probably get some decent information along with a lot of hilariously-distorted revisionist history.

However, this entry isn’t entirely dedicated to site history. As wonderful as nostalgia can be in moderation, the thought of reminiscing about a site I’ve frequented for 11+ years makes me want to barf.…

As promised, we want to whet your collective appetite for what the site’s tagging system and band pages will potentially look like (as you know, things are subject to change, but as of now, the owner’s on pace to start rolling this out sometime in Q3!).

Click the images to enlarge.

There is a high probability that the band pages will be re-designed, but this won’t take place until the tagging system is implemented since this will be a unique (and much-welcomed) upgrade to the site.

To give it to you hard and fast (that’s what she said), I’ll briefly (emphasis on briefly) walk you through what the tagging process will look like once it’s implemented.

I was going to use Opeth as an example, but I’m so sick of people trying to change their genres to Folk / Black Metal / Power Metal, so I’ll use another Sputnik darling instead.

1. First things first: here’s what the tagging system will look like (friendly reminder: click the images to enlarge them):

You’ll note that the red tags are basically what the site currently lists as the “Primary / Secondary / Tertiary” genres.

Once the tagging system is implemented, there will be a flurry of activity to get artists the most accurate genre listings. This will be awesome.

Because of basic statistics principles, we’re not worried about bands being mislabeled, because the community as a whole will ensure accuracy over the random…

I’m curious if the musician behind the Trash McSweeney alias dissociates from reality whenever he morphs into his idiosyncratic performer’s role.

Or, from a different point of view, whether or not the McSweeney persona is actually a commune of fragmented, detached personalities it has encountered over its lifespan and subsequently absorbed into some scattered, diffused on-stage character.


An argument could be made that the man behind the Trash figure has a roaring case of dissociative identity disorder to complement his synesthesia. When looking back at all the characters, elaborate stage settings, artistic canvases (human and non-human), and theatrical thematic material The Red Paintings have cultivated and performed with over the years, Trash might just very well be The Hatter from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (or some other vile character from the deepest, darkest recesses of Dr. Seuss’s mind). Oscillating to-and-fro from the aquatic to the extraterrestrial to a Japanese flair with the geisha costumes, and then incorporating elements of all three paradigms on the band’s current tour with Mindless Self Indulgence (later slated to be The Pineapple Thief when they arrive in the UK), there is a palpable bit of madness exhibited here. Look no further than the hundreds (okay, maybe “tens”) of separate Facebook pages the man’s currently operating devoted solely to this record (examples here, here, here, and here — in order, the band’s Facebook page, his personal artist page, the The Revolution is Never

SPOILER: this is old album art. Sorry!

Right when I start to think the forthcoming album should be renamed to something along the lines of This Record is Never Coming, Trash McSweeney and his merry band continue to release teaser after teaser that The Revolution is Never Coming is actually going to see the light of day sometime in 2013 (as opposed to the heavily-rumored 2010, 2011, and/or 2012 release dates).

Trash may have tone-to-color synesthesia, but just imagine how much I’d have to curb my anticipation if he had triskaidekaphobia.

All kidding aside, I’m looking forward to seeing them on their Chinese Whispers tour in April (the band is currently touring the United States after spending the latter part of 2012 in Europe), and keep your fingers crossed that I’ll be able to have a chat with the band prior to the gig. Their live shows are one-of-a-kind, and while I can’t promise that I’ll be a human canvas (the dude version of Lane Bryant wouldn’t want me to model for them, no matter how much they airbrush the hell out of my pasty ass), I can guarantee you that I’ll be obscenely geeked to watch them perform.

“Rain” is today’s track of the day, but it is the re-recorded version found on the forthcoming The Revolution is Never Coming. Similar to how the band revamped the immensely popular “The Streets Fell Into My Window”, their new “Rain” arrangement is characterized…

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