I want to take the chance and present to you a young band from Germany – for several reasons. For one, they are among the best exports from my hometown of Aachen in terms of music, touring and the like. Also, they are a bunch of really nice and fun guys to hang out with, that’s always a plus. But last and cetainly not least: they are giving away their current album “Idee:Mensch” (Idea: Human) for free. So if you might like what you hear here, you can check out the whole package free of charge.
Longing For Tomorrow is a 3-piece Indie / Post-Hardcore/ Punk Rock outfit, that evolved out of a 4-piece Screamo/Post-Hardcore band. As one might guess from the name, early works were completely in English, the band has moved to German lyrics though. They constantly tour, and after a very successful tour through Brazil in late 2009, the band will depart to Russia soon and return to South America later this year.
Below you find some of my personal favorites from “Idee:Mensch”. Check out the bands MySpace for a free download of the album.
Longing For Tomorrow – Was uns bleibt
Longing For Tomorrow – Gipfelstuermer
Longing For Tomorrow – Blickes Fang
Belfast’s finest vocal-averse rock troupe And So I Watch You From Afar stepped into the Music Maker in Dublin city centre a couple of weeks back to record the first “Intervention” in association with our friends at State magazine.
The concept of State Intervention is simple: impromptu gigs are arranged in diffuse spots around the city, from music shops and bars to parks and street corners. The featured act is announced on the morning of the gig via Facebook and Twitter, and the whole gig is professionally shot and plastered up all over the internet for the whole world to squeeze and poke and do all sorts of deranged shit to.
And So I Watch You From Afar – ‘S Is For Salamander / Set Guitars To Kill’
I’ve been a fan of most the music that Peter Steele has put out including Carnivore and Type O Negative. Based on that, I’m not going to jump to any conclusions based on all of the news that’s floating around right now – we’ll save that shit for a different day. I did want to take this time to highlight his band prior to Type O Negative, though, because they were always a bit underrated in my opinion. Their first album was kind of sloppy thrash but their second release, Retaliation, was straight up hardcore with a huge streak of sarcasm and a warped sense of humor. None of these songs were supposed to be taken seriously, they were just supposed to be so incredibly stupid that they were funny. Of course, when Peter became famous through Type O Negative critics returned to this album to accuse him of everything from racism to homophobia to just about everything else (prompting the song “We Hate Everyone” on Bloody Kisses). Anyway, hopefully Peter is somewhere sleeping in New York (it is only 11am)…
- Jesus Hitler
- Angry Neurotic Catholics
I have to admit that I’m a bit worried by these song samples. Despite everything I’ve read, this album just sounds like it’s going to be very dull. With the exception of “The Termination Proclamation” and the title track, every song felt like something from Dead Heart in a Dead World (an album that I’m not a huge fan of). Worse, it sounded more tame and generic than that album did. You’d have to go all the way back to their debut to find something as lifeless. I hope I’m wrong because 30 second samples definitely aren’t the whole story, but this has definitely dampened my enthusiasm for this release.
Regular Ellen viewers can skip to the next paragraph – you’ll already know all about the latest sensation to break from the burgeoning Irish showband scene. Everybody else, allow me to introduce you to Crystal Swing, East Cork’s answer to the Carter Family and, as of a few hours ago, the most successful singing group in Irish music history.
The mother-daughter-son group (Dad is the sound engineer) consists of mother Mary Murray-Burke, daughter Dervla and son Derek. The trio have been on a rapid incline since the release of their album The Best Years of Our Lives in 2009. A performance video of ‘He Drinks Tequila,’ an old American country tune from the ’70s, from a local TV broadcast was picked up by Irish drag queen Panti, and from there the local music media. Their story soon became the thing of internet legend, earning the group an appearance on Ireland’s equivalent of the Late Show, the, err, Late Late Show, as well as a number of other national talk shows. From there, they were discovered by the white people’s answer to Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and featured on her St. Paddy’s Day special.
Smitten, Ellen vowed to have the band appear live on the show, and on April 12 her wish became a reality. And aside from perhaps the most lengthy and shameless plug for a hard liquor company in US network TV history, Crystal Schwing’s appearance on Ellen was an unqualified…
The sun and the moon, and even Mars
Magic everywhere in this bitch.
At a recent production (recent being circa 1995), permatanned paddywhacker Michael Flatley and his Riverdance crew performed an impromptu tap routine to the tune of Adebisi Shank’s 2008 smash ‘Snakehips.’
When asked to comment on the performance, Flatley was unresponsive, lending credence to rumours that his face may, in fact, be constructed entirely of wax.
Adebisi Shank – ‘Snakehips (Original, non-Riverdance mix)’
So the sun finally came (and stayed) out today, meaning it is officially time for sick summer mix tapes. What’s that, it’s only April? This is England. Got sun? Got shorts? Got temperatures above 20 degrees celsius? Got summer. Besides, Buddy Peace deserves to be heard by everyone, at all times of the year – anyone who can make MF Doom seem right at home in Jose Gonzalez’ IKEA kitchen is clearly doing something right. So dig out that SPF factor 50, whack on them sunnies, and enjoy the scorchingly mild heat to the tune of one of the best mix tapes of the last decade in Wolf Diesel Mountain. The track below is a minimix of that album, with a few extra bits thrown in for good measure.
Thera is a 5-piece band out of Alaska. Their core sound could most generically be described as alternative or emo, but there’s more to it than that. Thanks in large part to the vocals of Stephanie Plate, the band’s music takes on an epic feel despite the short duration of the songs. Her voice is very unique and capably conveys the raw emotion of her lyrics. Musically the band creates pieces that can move from uplifting highs to crushing lows within the span of a single song. I know it’s still early, but this may very well be one of my top 3 albums of 2010.
– The Aftermath
– The Downpour
– Don’t Hesitate
A music video that makes you enjoy a song you’d otherwise hate is a rarity. It only occurs once in a great, great while (usually, once a month, but hey sometimes it can even be two months!), and it’s usually accompanied by either a pop-culture reference typhoon, or Lady Gaga. The new video for Hot Chip’s “I Feel Better” off of their newest One Life Stand breaks this convention by being an entirely serious, stylish affair replete with incredible production values and hypnotizing camera work and dance moves. Before you blow this off as hipster garbage, I implore you to take a look at the world Hot Chip create in “I Feel Better”.
By the time Angel Dust came out in 1992, Faith No More were already an established band. Their previous album, The Real Thing, had gone platinum but it wasn’t enough to make the band rehash the same sound again. Angel Dust almost seemed to be a reaction against the fame that the band were receiving. They took the metal and funk of the previous albums and combined them with some of the most off-the-wall elements — and it worked. Faith No More, and Angel Dust in particular, went on to influence a whole generation (or two) of new musicians and when you listen to this album you’ll understand why.
The last time we checked in with German-born, English-based Irish songwriter (get yer head around that one) Yngve Wieland, he was a solo artist, having just released his debut album on his own Posttone Records in late 2008. Tell Men This was good enough to earn a glowing review and the #6 spot on my best of 2008 list, but that was small change compared to the groundwork Wieland was doing on the live circuit in the UK and Ireland.
There has been much change since the album’s release. Yngve made the transition from solo project to full-time band, taking up the moniker Yngve & the Innocent, in 2009, and Nothing Was Delivered is the first formal product of this union (although that year’s Have You No Love was recorded by the band, it was released under Yngve’s name).
‘You’ve Been Released’ continues in much the same vein as his previous recordings, making liberal use of modern Americana and classic influences, from Bright Eyes to Neil Young, with a hefty dose of blues guitar and barrel-house piano adding weight to the already up-tempo arrangement. Check the single out below, and stayed tuned to Yngve’s MySpace for new songs over the coming weeks.
Nothing Was Delivered is scheduled for release on April 23.
Yngve & the Innocent – ‘You’ve Been Released’
This smiling gentleman from the American Apparel catalog is Mark Ronson. Since Ronson happens to be a mild-mannered DJ, it would be safe to assume that any of his songs featuring Ghostface Killah & Nate Dogg would consist of a remix compiled from the safety of his living room. Alas, you would be wrong. Mark Ronson is clearly a BAMF, and he uses an assortment of hats, headphones, and shaved head art to prove that he belongs on the same set with the Killah.
Upon an initial listen, it would be hard to distinguish this track from anything that the Hood Internet is churning out on a daily basis. Interestingly, however, this song is not a recent product of the booming alternative hip-hop scene. Rather, it was released to limited acclaim (and quickly forgotten) in 2003. Goes to show that some genres can arrive well before their time.
Two years ago, I accepted a promotional album called ‘Ascendant’ from a guy named Mark Northfield. At the time, I didn’t think too much of it. I receive promos all the time, and while this one was certainly more enjoyable than most, I am ashamed to admit I basically dismissed it. I shirked giving it a (deserved) full scale review, instead giving it a cheeky soundoff based off a misguided first impression and not thinking much of it.
But in doing this, I short changed the album’s depth. ‘Ascendant’ has been an album I’ve come back to quite regularly over the past two years, and in doing so, I’ve discovered a deep, intricate album. Northfield’s sound is familiar, but not quite like anything I’ve encountered before. ‘Ascendant’ is jazzy, classy, intimate; like its set in a smokey bar where you’re the only one reeeeally listening. Northfield’s cast of friends brings a vaudevillian charm to each track, realizing a world that romanticizes theatricality, the 19th century brilliantly recaptured.
Northfield, I assume, frequents this site, as he has in the past cited on his Myspace my soundoff and the fact I placed his album (probably too low) on my top 100 albums of the decade. I hope he comes across this blog post and accepts this apology. I feel as though I’ve shortchanged him for far too long. I hope to get in a full review of ‘Ascendant’ this month. Maybe too little too late, but better late than never.