A heart-wrenching exposition, the video for James Blake’s latest single is an artful, soul-steeped take on the apocalypse. As the lone motorcyclist approaches what seems to be a party of sorts, she finds herself in a time warp of what seems to be the last second before certain all-inclusive death. Perhaps a message expounding the sanctity of our time on this planet, regardless it is refreshing to see such a creative take infused with science-fiction. Many circles have branded the single as lending far too much from the likes of Tom Krell (How To Dress Well), but as the adage goes, imitation is the best form of flattery. “Retrograde” takes this ambient pop formula and couples it with the most evocative soul performance of the fledgling new year. If James Blake performs this at the end of the world, I’ll surely see you there.
Despite a number of unsuccessful forays into the performing/making/selling music trench, I thought I’d have another go anyway. 1902 is comprised by myself on bass and backing vocals and two members of local heroes The Trestles filling out the rest of the line-up. Not much else I can say just yet. The EP was recorded and released 19/01/13, and frankly I figured at least a few of you would be interested.
Feedback etc welcome and ultimately I hope you just enjoy it. It is available for free download.
CityCop and Les Doux are two bands that have been making names for themselves in the post-hardcore/emo scene, each releasing a handful of material that has been very well received. And rightfully so, as each band employs a chaotic yet cathartic brand of hardcore that draws inspiration from various acts such as Touche Amore and Pianos Become the Teeth. While both bands differ very much in regards to their inherent sounds, teaming up for the Family Ties/Labors of Love split feels fitting. The result is a varied, yet wholly wonderful combination of two truly talented bands. Luckily, we have an official stream of the split for you to enjoy!
This is the start of a new series wherein I (and hopefully other staff!) will be drawing your attention to those who plow away at the furrow in our individual localities.
Alpha Male Tea Party may compare themselves to “Elton John and sausages.” Their guitarist may possess a predilection towards dressing like a hyper-extended form of James Harries whilst on stage. Sure, their bassist may even don a pair of Mad Max-style post-apocalyptic goggles and dress up like Hulk Hogan when the time is right.
Don’t let any of this fool you. Alpha Male Tea Party are very much the real fucking deal. They combine the scope, intensity and talent of groups like Battles, Oceansize and Blakfish with the dress-sense and mad-cap divinations of Devo. For a genre and scene that can wallow in pretension, AMTP stand out with their surrealist mores; humourous song titles, unsubtle dress sense and a nod to weirder sides of life.
Having previously secured support slots with groups of the calibre of And So I Watch You From Afar, Adebisi Shank and Goonies Never Say Die, the trio have already laid waste to a number of venues in the North West of England and beyond. They also work closely in conjunction with Liverpool-based EDiLS Records, one of the fastest growing labels in the city. In spite of such a sparkling CV, the trio are still looking to broaden horizons; both their own and the audiences’.…
The end of an old year and the start of a new one is perfect for musohacks to fill up space in their dog-eared magazines and laggy websites. December sees retrospectives that tend to be useless insofar as it’s stuff you and they already know. Come the new year, come a new way to fleece your audience; the BBC’s Sound of <year> collection is heavily plagiarised as writer’s pokerface us and say “Hey, we knew about this lot all along!”
What seperates Sputnik Music from the other sites is the technology available to us. For reasons best left unknown, all staff now have access to a computer that pings emails from the future. One future staff member (name not revealed so as to prevent paradox) decided to reveal the big talking points on a year ahead for us, but one already forgotten for them:
In March 2012, Lester Chambers (of The Chamber Brothers fame, a 1960s soul group) posted the following image to his official Facebook page:
That hit song? “Time Has Come Today”.
In fighting for an open Internet (especially in the face of threats such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, and so on), entrepreneurs such as Alexis Ohanian — who once upon a time co-founded reddit and created Breadpig in 2008, an organization he describes as “an uncorporation that deals in delightful geeky wares and helps people helping the world” — have decided to flex their proverbial muscle and do something about such injustices. Upon seeing Lester’s story, Ohanian asserts that individuals around the world have an incredible opportunity to help support artists in the digital realm.
The two men met in April 2012, with Lester participating in a reddit Ask Me Anything around this time to tell his story and shed light on the corruption and tyranny of the record industry as he understood it. Lester’s story served as a catalyst to get him back in the studio to record another album.
With Breadpig, profits are disseminated to individuals and corporations that “make the world less sucky”, and the “uncorporation” spends its time “discovering and promoting fascinating technology, hacks, and ideas from all over the world” that are inspirational and impressive. Lester is now writing a new record, entitled Lester’s Time Has Come in an effort to not only rekindle his faith and trust in others’ vested interest…
Suppose you were knocked unconscious on December 31st, 2011, knowing that this would be the last time you’d see Dick Clark ring in a New Year with you:
… and you went through all of 2012 in a 320+ day Rip Van Winkle-like coma, missing out on all that 2012 would bring with pop music, for good and for ill:
But then you miraculously wake up just to spite the Mayans or something, and decide that you need an eight-minute crash-course on 2012 Pop Music (for whatever reason).
Vancouver-based artist Daniel Kim (Facebook) strives to create such mash-ups every year. The process is supremely labor-intensive, and he provides a brief, engaging overview of his process on his blog, The Gift of OCPD.
The mash-up is available below:
His alphabetical list of inclusions:
1. Adele – “Set Fire To The Rain”
Sputnik Music is dedicated to bringing you the best new music. Part of our endeavor includes this very blog, our “Infinite Playlist” – a user-submitted database consisting of quarterly, up-to-date tracks from your favorite artists (and hopefully a few ones you’ve never heard of before). Below you will find a list of songs from the third quarter of 2012. Each song is (if possible) accompanied by a download link, access to the artist’s home page, and a review of his/her latest album.
Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist is, as the title suggests, an ongoing project. You can contribute to future publications of Sputnik’s Infinite Playlist by submitting a song title, artist name, release date, and 5-10 sentence blurb to email@example.com.
All prior sections of the Infinite Playlist can be found below:
If you have any additional questions, drop me a message in my shoutbox. Q4 submissions will range from October to December, so feel free to send something in at your leisure. Not a user? No problem. You can register with the site here.
And as always, I would like to take a moment to recognize this issue’s contributors for their time and effort. Please give a round of applause for this quarter’s writers:
Amia Venera Landscape’s 2010 release, The Long Procession, was one of the surprise releases of that year. It probably could have even been near the top of our year-end lists if not for its mid-December release date. Its mixture of post metal, post hardcore, math metal, and ambience was expertly done (with some room for improvement, of course) and still generates discussion nearly two years later. The song that hit most people the hardest was the opening track, ‘Empire’, and this is the video for that song. Prepare to have your face melted… or something
NOTE: In other news, the band has just announced through their Facebook page that they’re going to be releasing more music this winter:
Hi everyone, after several months of almost silence, it’s time to see where we stand!
During this period we’ve been working on a lot of brand new music. The composition process took different directions, in terms of sounds and respective approaches, and it led us to create something around eighty songs of very different genres.
In the meanwhile, check out our previously unreleased video for the song ‘Empire’, taken from our first album ‘The Long Procession’.
Ten quick things about Friday’s The Gaslight Anthem gig at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit, Michigan (if you clicked this just to see the setlist, feel free to skip to the bottom):
1. This was a Gaslight-only gig. The Detroit date was added after the tour kicked off, which saved me a trip to Grand Rapids (they will be playing there on Monday, future dates can be accessed [here]). Initially, it was a bummer that neither supporting act was present, but singer/guitarist Brian Fallon announced that Hot Water Music were playing a gig a few blocks away and that we could get half-off tickets into that venue if we furnished our Gaslight ticket at the door. Plus, as you’ll read later, the Detroit gig was, without question, a one-of-a-kind show, so I wasn’t too devastated that it was just them.
2. Since Handwritten’s release, especially when the band were hitting their TV gigs, I’ve read a lot of mostly-negative opinions about Ian Perkins playing live with the band. Questions like “Is that third guitar REALLY necessary?” and his uncredited addition to the band being deemed “excessive” and “superfluous” could be construed as plausible, but after seeing the band play as a quintet, I was thoroughly impressed by Perkins’ stage presence. Rocking his trademark black flat cap on his scruffy, chiseled-out-of-granite dome, Perkins appeared comfortable and confident, and even allowed himself to express some nervous laughter when Fallon poked fun at his Horrible Crowes counterpart and put the…
No matter how much you love music, there is quite simply too much out there to keep track of. Even in your genre of choice, it is possible to overlook an impressive release, which can be frustrating when you find it year(s) later only to regret every single day that you weren’t already listening to it. For me, the most recent discovery of this sort was Laminate Pet Animal, a 2011 psychedelic/indie release that took me almost a full year to stumble upon.
Laminate Pet Animal is a brilliant effort from Snowmine, a band hailing from Brooklyn that is too little-known considering the heights they effortlessly ascend to. Their stellar blend of pop-accessible vocals (think James Mercer of The Shins) and challenging-yet-melodic atmospheres beckons casual listens as well as late night headphone sessions. Their sound works as one cohesive wave of beauty, flowing over your ears and engulfing them in one gorgeous instrumental arrangement after another.
Laminate Pet Animal is consistently jaw-dropping, so attempting to pick a standout track is like trying to pick out a date from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Nevertheless, one that exemplifies the album’s true nature, as well as what Snowmine is capable of, comes via “Let Me In”, a song driven by downright stunning vocals and a spacey atmosphere. Enjoy, and be sure to check out Snowmine’s bandcamp page for a name-your-own-price download of the album (It may be free, but it’s worth dropping a few bucks on to support the…
It would be easy to sit here and spout off a few facts about Anthony Sly in honor of his passing, but after all is said and done that would be useless. For what he left us in his 41 years deserves more than just the script notes of a life lived. His heart and emotion resonated with thousands in a way that was more akin to a family member even though we never truly knew him or even met him outside chance run ins or through quick conversations at shows. Tony Sly took the adolescent soul of pop punk and channeled it through a lens of understanding clarity well beyond his years. It was a gift. He sharpened and refined this skill further when he embarked on a solo career that offered a more fitting medium to work with given his ever maturing, but still so youthfully rooted, outlook.
In a time when musician’s obituaries are running like a constant news ticker through the internet, I, like most people, am slightly disconnected from the news when it breaks. It’s saddening but only for a moment, until some new stimuli pops up on my screen calling away the focus of my attention deprived brain, but when I read a single 140 word millisecond long tweet about the passing of Tony Sly it made me stop what I was doing in a stunned silence. It felt like I had lost a family member even though I had only met the man…
Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 31, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.
The Alchemist – Russian Roulette (Decon Inc.)