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Winter has come way too early to South-Eastern Australia this year, and by the sea was the last place I would usually want to be on a frigid Wednesday evening. On this particular night, however, the short tram ride out of the Melbourne CBD to St.Kilda’s charming Palais Theatre would be well and truly worth it, with City & Colour adding warmth to the first of two sold-out performances. The venue itself is an odd one for concerts: an all-seated bona fide theatre which plays home to everything from stage-shows to film festivals, and from comedians to rock gigs. Usually, I’d prefer my venues a little more – shall we say – beer-soaked, but complementing one of the world’s truly great voices with the acoustics of a high ceiling & some beautiful architecture (which was brought to life by a genuinely unexpected light-show) seemed very appropriate… Even if a portion of the strange cross-section of folk and hardcore fans may not have seen an actual theatre in their lives!

First up this evening would be the act known as Bahamas – aka 31 year old Toronto singer-songwriter Afie Jurvanen. Having just joined the touring City & Colour quintet as lead guitarist, Jurvanen casually paces out all by his lonesome tonight, with nothing but an acoustic guitar, his voice and a spotlight. In front of a half-capacity audience, he initially seems uncomfortable, taking two or three songs to truly find his rhythm and win over a crowd who most…


Marissa Nadler – The Wrecking Ball Company (Official Video)

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If it seems like only last year that Marissa Nadler was releasing her self-titled fifth album, it’s because it really was only last June. Having never been one to just sit around, she is already back with an album titled The Sister which is set to be released on May 29th. If this new song is any indication, her upcoming album is going to pick up right where the previous one left off — and that is definitely a good thing. ‘The Wrecking Ball Company’ is yet another hauntingly beautiful song which mixes minimalist musical accompaniment, strange lyrical imagery and Marissa’s evocative vocals to excellent effect. The video adds an extra layer of peculiarity over the course of its five minute run time, featuring Marissa Nadler engaged in… I don’t even know… digging, staring, standing, sleeping. Marissa explains it as such, “the song references the walls that can grow up between two people and how painful that distance can be.” In the video, “the couple is sharing the same desolate, unadorned house, but they are apart, and looking for a hopeful sign to bring them back together.” Well okay then; I’ll just take her word for it.

The Sister was recorded and produced by Brian McTear at Miner Street Studios in Philadelphia. The Sister is a companion record of eight new tracks subtly linked to last year’s self-titled critically acclaimed LP, out May 29 via her own Box Of Cedar Records.…


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Sputnikmusic is proud to be hosting a free giveaway to coincide with the upcoming new Keane release, Strangeland. Head over here for details and don’t forget to check out the review as well.

We’re also still hosting an exclusive stream from the band Trioscapes. Trioscapes is the instrumental side-project of Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs and also features Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums). We will be streaming the eleven-minute title track right here for one more week.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 8, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Ab-Soul – Control System (TopDawg Ent.) – Sobhi Yousseff
Allegaeon – Formshifter (Metal Blade)
Angelus Apatrida – The Call (Century Media)
At The Skylines – Secrets To Life (Roadrunner Records)
Big K.R.I.T. – K.R.I.T. Wuz Here (Green Streets Ent)
Dana Buoy – Summer Bodies (Lefse)
Mariah Carey – The Essential Mariah Carey (Sony Legacy)
Cattle Decapitation – Monolith of Inhumanity (Metal Blade) – Kyle Ward
Chasing Claymores – Hindsight’s 20/20 (Authentik Artists)
Daytrader – Twelve Years (Rise Records) – Adam Thomas
Heavy Blanket – Heavy Blanket (Outer Battery Records)
Here We Go Magic – A Different Ship (Secretly Canadian)
I Self Devine – The Sound of Low Class Amerika (Rhymesayers)
It Bites – Map of the Past (InsideOut


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In anticipation of Keane’s fourth studio album Strangeland (to be released this Tuesday, May 8th), Sputnik will be hosting a prize pack giveaway. The contest is based upon the music video to their latest single, “Disconnected”, which was filmed by directors Juan Antonio Bayona and Sergio G. Sanchez inside a haunted house in Barcelona while following a distinct 70’s horror aesthetic. The contestant who submits the best movie slogan/tagline in 15 words or less (i.e. Jaws‘ “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”) will receive the following:

-Strangeland CD
-Strangeland 12” vinyl record
-Strangeland poster

The winner will be chosen based on originality, cleverness, and/or humor, as well overall quality of the slogan. All answers should be sent via email to sowingsputnik@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 13th.

The music video can be viewed below. Good luck to all of the contestants involved!

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Also, you can show your support for the band by pre-ordering Strangeland via iTunes. Get the album reserved today!


There is something about the Beastie Boys that goes beyond the records and CDs, songs and music videos. That something is that after all these years they’ve managed to keep the fire that burned beneath them as snot nosed kids from Brooklyn burning as bright as it ever did. From their rise to prominence, to being deemed cultural icons, to their being crowned the elder statesmen of an ever evolving form of art, it was never about the money and status that came with their platinum records. It was always about an enduring friendship put to tape. It is that energy that the Beastie Boys will be remembered for long after the shock of Adam Yauch’s death cedes from memory. But furthermore for the people like me who grew up with the Beastie Boys as an ever present force in the constant media barrage that accompanied the childhood of anyone who is currently under the age of 35 or so, their music progressed in a way that gave us a blueprint for growing up into functional human beings. In youth it was easy to latch on to the sarcastic rebellion of Licensed to Ill. Even though I was born in the later half of Reaganomics, that album remained everywhere well into when I was first becoming aware to music as expression. While I was too young to fully grasp the drunken machismo that surrounded it, Licensed to Ill was the b-side to my grade school discovery of bands like…


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A few months ago, my best friend and I had the good sense to sign ourselves up for a competitive triathlon. 1.5km swim in the sea, 40km cycle, 10km run. We’re decent runners, decent cyclists, and terrible swimmers, so we figured why not. We like a challenge. I hadn’t swum aerobically for about six years before my first foray back in the murky blue a couple months ago. What an idiot. This shit is hard. And still is. We’re already much better than we were, but I’ll be honest, I’m fucking terrified of losing my cool in the ocean and pulling a Jack Dawson (sans the freezing cold and quiet, dignified death).

Anyway, I’m stuck in a little apartment in Vienna today listening to the rain rap its knuckles against the windows (fair enough after the beautiful week we’ve had here), trying to muster the energy to cycle out to the pool for another indecorous dip. But hey, procrastination seems so much more appealing, so instead I’m going to share a few tracks of my triathlon playlist with you all. Unfortunately, there can be no use of music during the actual event, so eventually I’ll start phasing out the usage so as not to become reliant. But, even if only in my head, I’ll still be keeping step to songs about the Holocaust as we round the last corner.

SHUFFLE

P.O.S – Let it Rattle

Well that’s a perfect starter. Worked perfectly on Never Better, works perfectly for setting…


There are only two rules of pirate metal: 1) pirate metal exists, and 2) shitty costumes.

The third rule (of two) is that you must always – ALWAYS – cover a seafaring shanty from a popular children’s TV show. US pirate thrash band Swashbuckle pioneered the art way back in 2008 with their cover of the SpongeBob Squarepants theme tune, but ballsed it up by making it really, really, really, really, really, really shit. I mean fuck. Pirates aren’t even cool. These people didn’t shower for fuck’s sake, and pissing yourself after 11 bottles of rum is not as attractive as Disney make it out to be.* Just ask your girlfriend.

Scottish outfit Alestorm made a better fist of things, pulling the pseudo-genre from the brink of Mariana’s Trench with their own spin on ‘You Are a Pirate’ (from the BBC show Lazy Town) on last year’s Back Through Time. ‘You Are a Pirate’ is by no means the authoritative sea-plunderer’s manifesto – the only criterion it lays down is that “if you like to sail the sea, you are a pirate,” leading to the rather dubious conclusion that Simon LeBon is a pirate – but as far as pirate metal goes this is  about as innovative and forward-thinking as it’s ever going to get.

*None of the above applies to this badass motherfucker.


**  The Stream has reached its end, but the entire album can be ordered here.

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Trioscapes consists of Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs, as well as Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums). Initially, the band formed in order to create their own rendition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra classic ‘Celestial Terrestrial Commuters’. However, after a few rehearsals and a single live show, they decided the music was too demanding and fun to perform and that the project should continue. Eventually they had enough material for their first full-length album, Separate Realities, and so they entered the studio during the first week of October with Jamie King in Winston-Salem, NC. Trioscapes combines elements of 70s fusion with progressive rock, dark syncopated grooves, a flare for the psychedelic, and an unabashed love for both quirky Zappa-ish melodies and thunderous abrasive trade-off lines.

For the next two weeks, we have the distinct pleasure of streaming the eleven-minute title track from the album. It’s hard to describe what the band have managed to do with just bass, percussion and saxophone (along with a few random inclusions along the way), but it is definitely as catchy as it is technical. The press release mentions Zappa as an influence and I’m not familiar with most of his work, but I can say that the bass/drum/sax combination definitely reminds me of a few of the instrumental parts on the self-titled Mr. Bungle album (which also mention…


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Sputnikmusic is currently hosting an exclusive stream from the band Trioscapes. Trioscapes is the instrumental side-project of Between the Buried and Me bassist Dan Briggs and also features Walter Fancourt (tenor saxophone/flute) and Matt Lynch (drums). We will be streaming the eleven-minute title track right here for the next two weeks.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of May 1, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alien Vampires – Clubbers Die Younger [EP] (Alfa-Matrix Records)
Archie Powell & the Exports – Great Ideas in Action (Good Land Records)
Attaque – When Lights Falls (Honest Jon’s Records)
B.o.B – Strange Clouds (Good Land Records)
Brian Jonestown Massacre – Aufheben (A. RECORDS) – Joseph Viney
Ane Brun – It All Starts With One (Play It Again Sam)
Callaghan – Life In Full Colour (Green Town Music)
Cradle Of Filth – Midnight In The Labyrinth (Peaceville)
Dot Hacker – Inhibition (Alternative Distribution Alliance)
Electrocution – Inside the Unreal [20th anniversary ltd. edition] (Rosem)
Eternal Deformity – The Beauty Of Chaos (Code666 Records)
Evans the Death – Evans the Death (Slumberland Records)
Father John Misty – Fear Fun (Sub Pop Records)
Freakangel – Let It All End (Alfa-Matrix Records)
Ghost Mice – All We Got is Each Other (Plan-It-X Records) – Robin Smith
Gravenhurst – The Ghost In Daylight (Warp Records)
Hop Along – Get Disowned (Hot Green Records)
Hurt – The Crux (Red General Records)
In Mourning – The Weight of Oceans (Spinefarm)
Norah…


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I recognise this isn’t exactly going to bolster my hipster cred.

“WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SONG, DUDE?” – for years, my go-to response when faced with this ludicrous question was Feeder’s ‘Just A Day’. On the not infrequent occasion that my tormentor didn’t know the song, or thought it was called ‘All By Myself’ (because all pop songs’ titles are their hook lines, duh), I would gleefully drag it up from the depths of my collection and admire the hold it still had over me. It astounded me that the sheer adrenaline and energy of that guitar riff (do do-do do, and so on) never wore off or ran aground; it still does the same things to me today, though now I have to measure my enthusiasm through an artistic spectrum because somewhere along the line it became not okay any more to just love awesome rock songs.

Except, you know, it is. I don’t drive, but if I decided to learn, it would be purely due to an imaginary scenario in which I just drive down the M1 and (probably) back all night listening to songs like ‘Just A Day’. But inside our adventurous natures (we’re all here because we explore music, right, instead of just absorbing it?) we sometimes manage to convince ourselves that the only things worth listening to are the abstract, the weird and the ironic. As a result of that conceit, we fail to care about those direct, simple songs, and as a result of…


I recently got the chance to talk to Eddie Gancos, vocalist of the Ohio-based post-hardcore act CityCop. CityCop just released the wonderful EP Seasons digitally back in December and are teaming up with Flannel Gurl records for a vinyl pressing this summer. I talked to Eddie about all things past, present, and future with CityCop and just how far they’ve come in the last few months.

SputnikMusic: So lets start off at the beginning — what’s the formation story of CityCop?

Eddie Gancos: Well one day at school Max (guitar) came up to me and said that he wanted to start up an acoustic/folk project and wanted me to sing for it. I never sang in my life. In fact I was kicked out of choir class. But I said sure. The reason he had asked me was because Cody, our current drummer, said that he wanted to take a break from music for a while because girls were more important. Max and Cody have been jamming together since junior high and I was in a terrible punk band called The Local Guns. It’s pretty funny to me that we were going to start an acoustic project because I have always been into Punk and Max at the time was a huge metal head.  So we practiced a few shitty Folk/Indie songs in his garage, including a Bright Eyes cover, and decided they were good enough to record. We couldn’t think of a name so we went on
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We get a lot of e-mail sent to our Sputnik G-Mail account and most of it is crap. It seems that most of it is spam, sales pitches and random links meant to ‘enhance’ your computer, but it is worth sifting through because we also get a lot of cool promos and even occasionally unheard gems such as this. The artist is named Miriam Bryant this is her first single, ‘Finders Keepers’. It’s a strange mix of piano melodies, electronics, subtle orchestral elements, programmed beats and the strong vocals of Miriam herself. Her bio says that she is twenty-one, English born and Swedish raised. Let’s hope that this isn’t the last we hear from her. With childhood friend Victor Rådström, 20, writer & producer, Miriam is now releasing her debut single, ‘Finders, Keepers’.

Miriam Bryant Facebook

Spotify


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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of April 24, 2012. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

7 Horns 7 Eyes – Throes Of Absolution (Century Media)
16 – Deep Cuts From Dark Clouds (Relapse Records)
Adaliah – Broken Families (MediaSkare)
Agruss – Morok (Code 666)
Anathema – Weather Systems (The End Records) – Trey Spencer
Theresa Andersson – Street Parade (Basin Street Records)
Mickey Avalon – Loaded (Suburban Noize)
Daniel Bedingfield – Stop the Traffik [EP] (UHT Productions)
Before The Dawn – Rise Of The Phoenix (Nuclear Blast)
Brendan Benson – What Kind of World (Readymade Records)
Bereft – Leichenhaus (The End Records)
The Bersarin Quartett – II [Digital Release] (denovali records)
Lee Brice – Hard 2 Love (Curb Records)
BT – Laptop Symphony (Black Hole Records)
Cancer Bats – Dead Set on Living (Metal Blade)
Catamenia – The Rewritten Chapters (Massacre)
Claro Intelecto – Reform Club (Delsin) – Deviant
The Dandy Warhols – This Machine (The End Records)
Death by Stereo – Black Sheep of the American Dream (Viking Funeral Records)
Death Grips – Money Store (Epic)
Deride – The Void (Massacre)
Deuce – Nine Lives (Eleven Seven Music)
Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs (12th Street Records)
DJ Spinna – DJ Spinna vs P&P Records (Traffic Entertainment)
Europe – Bag of Bones (earMusic/Edel)
Eve 6 – Speak In Code (Fearless Records)


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The press release for Wake up to the Waves – the first full-length album from Dublin electronic two-piece Last Days of 1984 – says the duo “are influenced by afro-beat, chill out music and tropical electronica.” To me, this seems like a rather long-winded and contrived way of saying “Animal Collective” but, hey, you know me. I’m all about getting to the point.

A couple of years ago when the indie media was collectively shitting itself over Merriweather Post Pavillion, I was literally (and by ‘literally’ I mean ‘figuratively’) swamped with PR for bands calling them the ‘next Animal Collective’ or some equally horrendous prospect. Before Animal Collective it was Radiohead. I don’t know who it is now, probably Azealia Banks or whatever number of photogenic, post-ironic blog bait douchebags it currently takes to suck Dilla’s dick.

Which is why it’s so refreshing to hear a band come along with such obvious smug indie douche credentials and make a conscious effort to downplay them and let people just judge for themselves. Yes, ‘River’s Edge’ sounds like Brian Rice and Darren Moloney spent their entire college experience listening to ‘My Girls’ on repeat and asking themselves just how do they DO that? But when the execution is so perfect and the result such a sweet, fluffy cloud of off-kilter Brian Wilsony pop, it’s hard not to laugh at the indie media’s myopic obsession with originality.

(For the record, the rest of the album does incorporate the aforementioned afrobeat and tropical…


Photo courtesy of the Atlantic

Sunday was the hottest day of the weekend by far, yet still a relatively (by Coachella standards) 83 degrees with a nice occasional breeze. It showed in the increased turnout to the open stages; Kentucky buzz band Sleeper Agent played a quick and dirty wake-up call of big riffs and shout-along choruses on the Outdoor Stage to the bleary-eyed, quickly roasting audience. I soon made my way to the other side of the festival to check out the criminally underbilled Noisia who played to a half-filled Sahara tent. I’m assuming Noisia’s relentless brand of drum n’ bass and dubstep was a bit too dark for the serotonin-depleted masses. After catching their well received remix of deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon,” I detoured over to the Mojave to see perennially on the cusp indie rockers Oberhofer. There’s a bit of Wavves in their rambling, sunny surf-rock, and if there was ever a song to get Brad Oberhofer’s pet project finally over the hump, irrepressibly catchy single “Away Frm U” is about as good a shot as any. Energy was something Mr. Oberhofer definitely did not lack; at one point, he climbed the precarious metal support on the left of the stage, seemingly for the express purpose of massaging the lights before climbing down and giving running high fives to the first row.

Santigold had a great time over at the Main Stage for her mid-afternoon…


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