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Listening Party

Agua de Annique – Feel Alive [Official Music Video]

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Anneke van Giersbergen is working on what is presumably the third album from her band, Agua de Annique. Of course it’s hard to tell for sure how it’s going to be released since sometimes her music is titled as just Agua de Annique, and other times it’s Anneke van Giersbergen featuring Agua de Annique. I guess she’s not really sure whether she wants to be part of a band or a solo artist. On the other hand, if this video is any indication, it’s solo artist all the way. The song is typical of what Anneke has been doing lately — alt. rock with an electronic undercurrent. It’s not bad and I’m sure the new album will be great, but the video is actually kind of boring. If you’re going to have the whole video be of you topless, at least tease a little ;)

Insomnium – Unsung


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“Unsung” is taken from Insomnium’s upcoming album, One For Sorrow. The album will be released on October 17th in Europe and one day later in the United States. Apparently, the song is one of the faster, heavier tracks from One For Sorrow — an album that the press release describes as diverse. Personally, I truly hope that the album is diverse because this song sounds like it could have come from any of their previous album (minus the token clean singing). If there is one positive that I heard, it’s that the growls sound more powerful this time around.

Left Spine Down – X-Ray

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Left Down Spine have signed with Metropolis Records and are back with their second album of digital hardcore. Those familiar with the band will notice that major changes have taken place since Fighting For Voltage was released in 2008. The band have dropped all of their metal influences and wall-of-sound production in favor of a fun mixture of punk, industrial and electronics. “X-Ray” is the first single from the album, Caution. Caution was released on the 26th of August.

(EDIT: Playback must be seen on YouTube due to copyright reasons. It’s worth it!)

It was only a matter of time. The Decemberists’ third single from their new album The King Is Dead features a fantastic video with a finely detailed reenactment of a scene from David Foster Wallace’s mammoth tome Infinite Jest. For those familiar with the book, the legendary tennis academy scene featuring a full game of Eschaton, a sort of thermonuclear war simulation played with tennis lobs, is set to “Calamity Song” (quite the appropriate lyrical choice). Given Colin Meloy’s hyper-literary tendencies, the connection isn’t too surprising, and true fans of the book will have a good time spotting out all the slight references stuffed into each scene. It’s also a damn good looking piece of work.

Now if only the band’s next video somehow recreated “The Entertainment” from the same book, that would be a real treat…

Green Day performed a new song entitled ‘Amy,’ presumably written in tribute to Amy Winehouse, at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa, California last week. The band performed 15 new tracks in total at the gig in aid of cystic fibrosis.

The band also posted the lyrics for ‘Amy’ on their website:

Amy
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are your eyes just singing the blues
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
No one really knows about your soul
And I barely even know your name
Burning rhythms and posting lies
For a bunch of fools drown in shame
Amy don’t you go
I want you around
Singin’ woah please don’t go
Do you wanna be a friend of mine?
Did you tattoo a lucky charm
To keep you out of harms way?
Warding off all evil signs
But it never really kept you safe
You’re too young for the golden age
Cause the record bin’s been replaced
27 gone without a trace
And you walked away from your drink
Is your heart singing out of tune
Are you eyes just singing the blues?
Dirty records from another time
Some blood stains on your shoes
May I have this last dance
By chance if we should meet?
Can you write me a lullaby?
So we can sing you to sleep

It is fairly easy to see that Alex Smith matches his peers within Detroit in terms of talent and quality of his output. That says a lot given the rich musical legacy of Detroit. His output of late hasn’t dropped off the standards set by 2005’s Just Ask the Lonely. On its own, Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance! can attest to that.

Though one can keep pretty close tabs on artists’ releases these days, sometimes a very pleasant surprise comes about unexpected. High School Graffiti is one of these pleasant surprises, with five cool little tunes. My Naffew Randy is one especially worth checking out. So hurry up and grab this EP for free here, and remember your please and thank yous.

This one’s a bit unexpected: London rapper Sway freestyling over Ed Sheeran’s ‘You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.’ Sheeran’s original is easily described as a sort of an English take on Jason Mraz (I’m more a fan of his cousin Laura), but Sway’s mix takes in a busy grime beat and a tongue-twisting lyric to give the track a completely different, much-improved feel.

Meanwhile, the lyrics – “next thing Slick Rick meets Chris from Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush” – are specific enough to alienate 95% of today’s UK hip hop audience, which is just as well since most of them are busy rioting at the minute.

Take a listen to an improvised live version of the original, here:

TV on the Radio covered one of the greatest songs of all time, ‘Waiting Room’ by Fugazi, at the Pitchfork Festival over the weekend. Here’s a good-quality video of the performance, though it cuts out about halfway through.

It sounds more than a touch lightweight to me. Then again, my favourite part of the original is Ian MacKaye’s raspy vocal and Tunde Adebimpe’s shrill singing doesn’t really measure up in my eyes. Check out this live recording of Fugazi performing ‘Waiting Room’ and compare.

“I not only offer great sex but best spots in parking lots / I’m handy and got swag so you know this ‘tard is hot.”

Look, argue all you want but you can’t argue with facts. Vagina ain’t handicapped.

If you thought we were going to stop posting this just because Osama is dead (so is Obama, according to Fox), you’ve clearly misread the situation horribly.

Enjoy your independence everybody, no matter what country you live in, and don’t forget to thank Will Smith for killing the aliens and making all this possible.

ANTHRAX – Fight’em ’til You Can’t by NuclearBlastRecords

Nuclear Blast records is making the first single from the upcoming Anthrax album available for free download. The song is called “Fight’em ’til You Can’t” and is taken from Worship Music which will be released on September 13th through Nuclear Blast Records. The song itself is pretty much classic Anthrax with just a hint of their 2003 release, We’ve Come For You All. It’s got the classic hardcore-tinged thrash riffs, Joey’s soaring vocals, a strong chorus and a fuckin’ driving beat. What more needs to be said? If the entire album is like this then it’s going to kill.

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Download “Fight’em ’til You Can’t” here: Nuclear Blast Records

Dutch alt-prog artists, The Gathering, are currently in the studio recording the follow-up to their critically acclaimed (by me) album The West Pole. The currently untitled album will be the second to feature new vocalist Silje Wergeland. In order to create a bit of excitement for its eventual release, the band have released one of the songs as a free download and video. The song is titled “Heroes for Ghosts” and clocks in at just under eleven minutes.

Sonically “Heroes for Ghosts” shares the same crisp clear production featured on The West Pole (which dropped the grittier sound of the few albums before it), but musically it has more in common with the expansive and moody experimentation of How to Measure a Planet. Over the course of the eleven minute song, it seems to pull from a handful of different influences that the band have tried over the years. There’s the obvious experimentation of How to Measure a Planet, the synth/brass sounds and distorted guitars of Mandylion, the chill vibes of The West Pole and even a bit of Souvenirs in a few of the percussive elements. It’s definitely another excellent song by The Gathering and seems to imply that they aren’t ready to make the same album twice. With the lack of a clear, recurring chorus the song will take a few listens to sink in, but it seems to be The Gathering’s preferred method.

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Because we had to do it.


Marissa Nadler – “Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning” from Alec K. Redfearn on Vimeo.

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Marissa Nadler has a sound that is a little hard to nail down. Her music is commonly referred to as ‘Dream-Folk’, but it often feels less like a dream and more like the morning after a drunken cry. Her music is generally soft and introspective as subtle acoustic melodies are washed over by layers of warm sound and Marissa’s beautifully expressive voice. This is a sound that Marissa has been perfecting since the release of her debut album in 2004, Ballads of Living and Dying. The album title itself should leave little doubt that Marissa doesn’t often sing about summer days and sunshine. Her last album, Little Hells, was released more than two years ago, but it appears that the wait is almost over.

Marissa Nadler’s self-titled fifth album will be released on June 14 through Box of Cedar Records. In preparation for the album’s release, Marissa has posted the video for the first single, “Baby, I Will Leave You in the Morning.” The video stars Marissa Nadler (apparently only the second video for her music that she has ever actually appeared in) singing in an old theatre that can only be described as haunting. The video continues its eerie trip as it fades from one peculiar location to the next while Marissa continues to sing in her flowing white dress. The song itself…

Note: The stream for Sarah Fimm’s new album has run its course. Thanks again to Sarah for making this music and allowing us to share it before the official release date. The album is now streaming at the AOL site.

Remember, if you liked what you heard you should seek it out and support independent artists:

CD Baby
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Amazon (US)
Amazon (UK)
Amazon (EU)

 

 

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This album has really been a decade in the making. Obviously Sarah Fimm hasn’t spent the last ten years writing for Near Infinite Possibility, but every previous release has been building to this. Each album has slowly saw Sarah’s songwriting skills increase and her reliance on electronics and sparse compositions fade. They have been little snapshots in time — displaying her gradual inclusion of additional instruments and guest musicians. This progress seemed to culminate with Red Yellow Sun in 2009, but apparently it was but another stepping stone.

Near Infinite Possibility sounds full and varied as it picks up where Red Yellow Sun left off and leaps forward another ten steps. It is a mixture of 70s psychedelic rock, alt. rock, moments of prog and elements of folk. It is a moody album that is sometimes dark and sometimes strange, but always excellent.

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