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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 19, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Accept – Blind Rage (Nuclear Blast US)
Ace Frehley – Space Invader (Entertainment One Music)
Ariana Grande – My Everything (Universal Republic)
Avenged Sevenfold – Waking The Fallen: Resurrected (Hopeless Records)
Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie (Universal Republic)
Beach Day – Native Echoes (Kanine Records)
Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker (ATO Records)
Better Than Ezra – Surprise (Liaison Records)
Bishop Allen – Lights Out (Dead Oceans)
Buddy – Last Call For The Quiet Life (Stove Punchin’ Records)
Chase Rice – Ignite The Night (Dack Janiels Records)
Colton Dixon – Anchor (Sparrow Records/Universal)
Counterpunch – Bruises (Cyber Tracks)
Darkness Divided – Written In Blood (Victory Records)
Dirty Loops – Loopified (Verve)
Dr. John – Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch (Concord)
Dragonforce – Maximum Overload (Metal Blade)
Egypt Central – Murder In The French Quarter (Fat Lady Music)
Electric Würms – Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk (Warner Bros.)
Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – You Will Eventually Be Forgotten (Topshelf Records) – Eli
Fat White Family – Champagne Holocaust (Fat Possum Records)
Gretchen Wilson – Snapshot (Redneck Records)
He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit (Tragic Hero Records)
Imogen Heap – Sparks (RCA)
Jason Feathers – De Oro (Totally Gross National Product)
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – Secret Evil (Instant Records)
JJ – V (Secretly Canadian)

For the majority of the year, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a placid hub of serene wildlife and meditative arrangements located in the heart of the Bay Area city. At around 1000 acres, it’s easy to get lost in one garden or traverse a series of trails and meadows and totally forget the fact that you’re in one of the more claustrophobic cities in the country. Since 2008, however, the three-day Outside Lands Music and Art Festival has transformed the center of the park into a massive combination of live music, artisan cuisine, wine and cheese pairings, a plethora of local craft brews, and a surreal array of the kind of weird art you’d expect from San Francisco locals.

Peaking with an estimated 200,000 ticket holders and over a hundred performers, the 7th edition of the festival was the largest (and most crowded) yet. Given how integrated the experience has become – with the new “GastroMagic” area that showcases celebrity chefs, local restaurants, and sports its very own stage, along with separate areas entitled WineLands and BeerLands – Outside Lands is now, more than most festivals, a unique celebration of the city it calls home. Instead of divvying it up into its component days, then, here are 30 things I liked.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan / Samantha Saturday

1. Short of Kacey Musgraves, Run the Jewels likely had the best set of the day (and about as far apart as

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 12, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adebisi Shank – This Is The Third Album of A Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House)
Adult Jazz – Gist Is (Spare Thought)
Brian Setzer – Rockabilly Riot! All Original (Surfdog)
Caleb Johnson – Testify (Interscope Records)
Dilated Peoples – Directors Of Photography (Rhymesayers)
FaltyDL – In The Wild (Ninja Tune)
FKA Twigs – LP1 (XL Recordings)
The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt (Island) – Jom
Grey Lands – Songs By Other People (Paper Bag Records)
Hilltop Hoods – Walking Under Stars (Golden Era Records)
Karma To Burn – Arch Stanton (Deepdive Records/Faba Records)
Kris Allen – Horizons (+180 Records)
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Neon (Letting Up Despite Great Faults)
Lucero – Live From Atlanta (Liberty & Lament Records)
Marcel Dettmann – Fabric 77 (Fabric Worldwide)
Pixie Lott – Pixie Lott (Interscope Records)
Porter Robinson – Worlds (Astralwerks/Universal)
Sinéad O’Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss (Nettwerk Records)
Soja – Amid The Noise & Haste (ATO Records)
Tank – Stronger (Atlantic)
Twista – Dark Horse (Get Money Gang Entertainment/Universal)
The Underachievers – The Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium (RPM MSC Distribution)
Upon A Burning Body – The World Is My Enemy Now (Sumerian Records)
Watsky – All You Can Do (Steel Wool Records)


Album Streams:

Adult Jazz – Gist Is

FaltyDL – Into

Dog Fashion Disco may have one of the wackiest names in music business, but their multifaceted style shouldn’t get discredited because of that. The sextet’s new offering, released 8 years after the seminal Adultery, epitomizes exactly what made their music unique in the first place. Sturdy metal-centered arrangements are augmented by jazzy woodwind instruments and spooky keys taken straight from a horror movie. The allure of the record lies in how effectively these divergent influences are combined. Even though Sweet Nothings is certainly a helluva lot of fun to listen to, there’s insidious darkness loitering beneath the surfaces here, implicit regardless of whether the sextet are rolling at full tilt or holding back. Here’s a brief interview with the group’s singer, Todd Smith.

Sweet Nothings is a worthy follow-up to your amazing 2006’s release Adultery. What motivated you to come back as Dog Fashion Disco?

We are all good friends and we have a great time creating and performing together so we figured, why not?

Although Dog Fashion Disco broke up in 2007, you continued creating music with such groups as Polkadot Cadaver, El Creepo and Knives Out. Did your work under these monikers influence your creative process for Sweet Nothings in any way?

No, those other projects have a vibe and feel that’s all their own in my opinion. When writing the new album we just wanted to give people a diverse and fun album to rock out to.

Adultery was a concept album unlike Sweet Nothings

The following is something I wrote up a few months ago while trying to consolidate my thoughts on what to tell more-novice writers when they ask “But why can’t I write about every track?” Keep in mind this shows me trying to speak for Sputnik as a whole, but is also my personal opinion, so feel free to chime in as well as discussing my own reasons. Enjoy.


Track-by-track reviews are frowned upon on Sputnikmusic. Why? Because, at best, the site tries to be “professional.” And, obviously, there are different definitions on what makes a review that way, but the one generally agreed-upon rule is that explicitly track-by-track reviews don’t look good, especially beside full paragraph-by-paragraph album analyses. There are a number of explanations for this, and I’ll include a few here. First, track-by-track reviews typically have really, really short paragraphs. Which can be fine, but in almost all types of critical writing paragraphs should have at least a few sentences. We all probably learned this in elementary school: intro sentence, three body sentences, concluding sentence. And that’s probably the bare minimum, and usually even that’s not enough – typically, my paragraphs are about 8-12 sentences, which I think is a pretty good length as it’s beefy but not threateningly long. To reiterate: track-by-track reviews lead to too-short paragraphs, which really doesn’t look well-written and complete.

Second, track-by-track reviews are almost always incredibly disjointed. A review should have some sort of coherent structure (and no, brief intro…

This probably won’t be something that I always have time to do, but some weeks just overflow with quality releases. Today I’d like to share with you two of my favorite tracks, written by The Rosebuds and Owl John, respectively. These two tracks only combine to take a little bit over 8 minutes of your time, so I suggest you give them both a try!

The Rosebuds: “In My Teeth”

from the album Sand + Silence

Listen if you like: dEUS, Spoon, Wye Oak

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“In My Teeth” is the opening track on an album brimming with confident melodies. Wrapped tightly around mature instrumental framework, this track manages to sound relaxed in its urgency, potent in its lyrical content, and entirely fresh from a novelty standpoint. Oh, and it was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Check the band’s official website out out here, and if you would like to purchase this song or the entire album, it is available on iTunes or Amazon.


Owl John: “A Good Reason to Grow Old”

from the album Owl John

Listen if you like: Frightened Rabbit, Bright Eyes, Biffy Clyro

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“Turn your back to the afterlife!” Scott Hutchison proclaims, in an emotional bout of suicidal triumph…”with my head in my hands I resolved to die alone…I was ready to drown in the afterlife, but not anymore…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 5, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Alestorm – Sunset On The Golden Age (Napalm Records)
Andreas Varady – Andreas Varady (Verve)
Bear In Heaven – Time Is Over One Day Old (Dead Oceans)
Belphegor – Conjuring The Dead (Nuclear Blast US)
Ben Miller Band – Any Way, Shape Or Form (New West Records)
Chrome – Feel It Like A Scientist (King Of Spades)
Darkest Hour – Darkest Hour (Sumerian Records)
David Kilgour & The Heavy Eights – End Times Undone (Merge Records)
EDJ – EDJ (Easy Sound Recording Company)
Eluveitie – Origins (Nuclear Blast US)
Entombed A.D. – Back To The Front (Century Media)
Godsmack – 1000hp (Universal Republic)
The Interrupters – The Interrupters (Hellcat Records)
KIX – Rock Your Face Off (Loud & Proud Records)
Land Observations – The Grand Tour (Mute)
Mozart’s Sister – Being (Asthmatic Kitty)
The Murder City Devils – The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again (The Murder City Devils)
Nachtmystium – World We Left Behind (Century Media)
Naomi Punk – Television Man (Captured Tracks)
Rosebuds – Sand + Silence (Western Vinyl) – SowingSeason
Skid Row – Rise Of The Damnation Army (MRI)
Spider Bags – Frozen Letter (Merge Records)
Spoon – They Want My Soul (Loma Vista/Republic) – Rudy K
Sunny Sweeney – Provoked (Thirty Tigers)
Tuatara – Underworld (Sunyata Records)

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 29, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adelitas Way – Stuck (CMG)
Beck – Song Reader (Capitol)
Dark Lotus – Mud Water Air & Blood (InGrooves)
Eric Clapton & Friends – The Breeze (An Appreciation Of JJ Cale) (Bushbranch/Surfdog)
Hooray For Earth – Racy (Dovecote)
Hyperdub – Hyperdub 10.2 (Hyperdub)
Jenny Lewis – The Voyager (Warner Bros.)
Jungle – Jungle (XL)
Marc Broussard – A Life Worth Living (Vanguard)
New God – Firework (Yellow K Records)
No Lands – Negative Space (Naxos Of America, Inc.)
Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty (Sub Pop)
Stardeath & White Dwarf’s – Wastoid (Federal Prism)
Theory of a Deadman – Savages (Roadrunner Records)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye (Warner Bros.)
To Rococo Rot – Instrument (City Slang)


Album Streams:

Hooray For Earth – Racy

Jenny Lewis – The Voyager

Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty

Theory Of A Deadman – Savages

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye


SputnikMusic’s Most Played Artists of the Week (according to Last.FM):

Staff :

1. United Nations
2. OutKast
3. Alvvays
4. Kanye West
5. Spoon
6. RX Bandits
7. Manic Street Preachers
8. Daft Punk
9. Shabazz Palaces
10. Future Islands


1. Opeth
2. Porcupine Tree
3. Anberlin
4. Radiohead
5. Weezer
6. Mastodon

Hey guys, Brendan here. Since I’m taking a break from my reviewing, I thought I’d finally start using the staff blog! Even though I’m five months late, I say: “better late than never.” So, as an extension from my Video Game Nostalgia series, I’m going to take a retrospective look at some of my favorite childhood musical artists and talk about how well they hold up today. Enjoy!

It all started with one album and one trip. When I was just a kid, around 10 years old or so, I was riding from California with my family to see my grandparents out in Arizona. Going out there for Christmas was a yearly thing we’d do, gathering the entire family for our traditional holiday-related festivities. A nice dinner, great movies, the joy of opening presents on Christmas morning while eating some large cinnamon rolls… great times all around. But, for this one particular trip, I brought my old portable CD player and a copy I had of Queen’s greatest hits – unfortunately the Hollywood edition and not the original version that contained the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Even with the exclusion of their most famous song, I was still putting this album on repeat during the entirety of the trip.

Why? Because Queen’s music was unlike anything I’d heard up to that point.

I was listening to bands like Journey and Foreigner at the time, so while I was already taking piano lessons during this time, my knowledge of more eclectic…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 22, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

5 Seconds Of Summer – 5 Seconds Of Summer (Capitol Records)
Alvvays – Alvvays (Polyvinyl Records)
Anberlin – Lowborn (Tooth & Nail Records) – SowingSeason
The Black Angels – Clear Lake Forest (Blue Horizon)
Colony House – When I Was Younger (Descendant Records)
Common – Nobody Smiling (Def Jam)
Crown The Empire – The Resistance: Rise Of The Runaways (Rise Records)
Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start A War? (Century Media)
Freeman – Freeman (Partisan Records)
Got A Girl – I Love You But I Must Drive Off This Cliff Now (Bulk Recordings)
Jesse McCartney – In Technicolor (InGrooves)
Joyce Manor – Never Hungover Again (Epitaph)
La Roux – Trouble In Paradise (Interscope Records)
Logistics – Polyphony (Hospital Records)
Monomyth – Saturnalia Regalia! (Mint Records)
Mustered Courage – Powerlines (Travianna Records)
One Finger Riot – The Sea (Post Planetary)
The Phantom Band – Strange Friend (Chemikal Underground)
PS I Love You – For Those Who Stay (Paper Bag Records)
RX Bandits – Gemini, Her Majesty (InGrooves)
Tilts – Cuatro Hombres (Robotic Empire)
White Fence – For The Recently Found Innocent (Drag City)
Xander Smith – Outside (Music Fix)
Yes – Heaven & Earth (Frontiers Records)


Album Streams:

Alvvays – Alvvays

Common – Nobody Smiling

Fozzy – Do You Wanna Start A War

Got A

I remember a time long, long, long ago, when James Murphy proclaimed “New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down.” Oh, if only he knew what was truly coming when he uttered those words. The same ironic desire for downtrodden credibility and celebrity chic that defined Murphy’s aesthetic several years ago, has manifested into an even more cliched centralization of east coast cool that has quickly swallowed what your parents vaguely remember as the achingly blue collar borough of Brooklyn. Thanks to Catey Shaw and her poisonously saccharine “song of the summer” attempt, “Brooklyn Girls”, those of you who have never had the opportunity to experience New York City’s new school C.H.U.D.s can now see the siege that has befallen this once great city.

Catey Shaw – Brooklyn Girls

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The band members: Lynn Gunn, Alex Babinski, and Brian MacDonald

I like to believe that thanks in some part to the small but dedicated PVRIS fanbase here on Sputnikmusic, the young post-hardcore band’s music has gained serious traction in the alternative music world and signed to Rise Records as a direct result. Obviously, the chances of the four or five people who still actively comment on my gushing (if somewhat incompetent) review of their debut self-titled EP as a significant cause of label A&R picking up on the electric energy of the group’s distorted guitar wails and penchant for catchy songwriting is pretty slim. That being said, the band deserves credit where credit is due, and their focused live energy translates well to recording. When their inevitable first full-length comes out (soon, hopefully!), it promises to be a good’un. We got the chance to have a quick chat with lead singer Lynn Gunn following the band’s Warped Tour set in Mansfield, MA about the upcoming release, new musical directions, and performing through a medium like Warped.

We’re here with Lynn of the now eminently Google-able PVRIS with a V, as opposed to the original, eminently un-google-able Paris with an A. How are you doing?

I’m good! How are you?

I’m good, thanks! Tiring day, but, you know…

(laughs) I feel that.

Your album has been looming on the horizon for

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of July 15, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

The Acid – Liminal (Mute/Artist Intelligence)
Anand Wilder & Maxwell Kardon – Break Line (Secretly Canadian)
Antemasque – Antemasque (Volcom Entertainment)
Army Navy – The Wilderness Inside (The Fever Zone)
Big Wreck – Ghosts (Zoe Records/PGD)
Bleachers – Strange Desire (RCA)
Calyx & Teebee – FabricLive.76 (Fabric Worldwide)
Chris Letchford – Lightbox (Chris Letchford/Bandcamp)
Cloud Boat – Model Of You (Apollo Records)
Dead Fingers – Big Black Dog (Communicating Vessels)
Fhloston Paradigm – Phoenix (Hyperdub)
Fink – Hard Believer (Ninja Tune)
I The Breather – Life Reaper (Sumerian Records)
Jason Mraz – Yes! (Atlantic)
John Hiatt – For Terms Of My Surrender (New West Records)
Landlady – Upright Behavior (Hometapes)
Luluc – Passerby (Sub Pop Records)
Madlib – Rock Konducta (Madlib Invasion)
Manic Street Preachers – Futurology (Columbia)
Marsha Ambrosius – Friends & Lovers (RCA)
Melted Toys – Melted Toys (Underwater Peoples Records)
Morrissey – World Peace Is None Of Your Business (Harvest)
The Mother Hips – Chronicle Man (Mother Hips Records)
Needles//Pins – Shamebirds (Dirt Cult Records)
Pennywise – Yesterdays (Epitaph)
Raffi – Love Bug (Rounder)
Reigning Sound – Shattered (Merge Records)
Richard Reed Parry – Music For Heart And Breath (Deutsche Grammophon)
Rise Against – The Black Market (Interscope Records)
Sébastien Tellier – L’Aventura (Record Makers)
Slow Club – Complete Surrender (Wichita)
Suicide Silence

Niko Potočnjak – guitars & Jeremy White – bass, vocals

For those unaware of them, Seven That Spells are a Croatian psychedelic/noise rock band that hails from the 23rd century where rock is dead. They have traveled back in time to our years to change the tragic course of the boring history. These prolific troubadours have recorded 11 ‘observations’ in just over 13 years of existence while also touring the world multiple times. The latest release, IO, is the second part of the ongoing Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock trilogy. Conqueror and founding father, Niko Potočnjak has found some spare time to answer a few questions for Sputnik Music.

Hello! How’s everything going at the Seven That Spells HQ?

All is well. Taking a rest from drugs and other stuff. It’s been one hell of a weekend ha ha ha!

You’ve got a new record out this month, the second part of The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock, entitled IO. For those who aren’t accustomed to the trilogy, what inspired the concept?

It’s just my vision of how a modern psych band should sound like. The trilogy is a concept – kind of a well known format that allows you to stretch things further. Sometimes one album is really enough though ha ha! Anyway its fun and it makes you focus – no lazy shit here – only lethal stuff.

In contrast to some of your previous albums, both AUM and IO sound more rehearsed rather than focusing on spontaneous

Yesterday (06.07.2014) was the day of the 26th Estonian Song Festival – the biggest national party that’s held here every five years. A little backstory: the tradition of countrywide song festivals in Estonia began in 1869, when 46 male choirs and five orchestras gathered together in the city of Tartu (the first song festival featured only men, mixed choirs featured first in 1891, and all-female choirs in 1896, regularly from 1933). 878 people performed. It laid the foundation for a national awakening and National Song Festivals have been an inseparable part of Estonian culture ever since. They are our main tool for defining ourselves and have always been events entwined with our yearning for independence, while simultaneously emphasizeing our oneness. During Soviet occupation, these song festivals were the most prolific regular patriotic events inside the Soviet Union – happenings that even the governing force majeure couldn’t impale nor stifle by forcing propagandistic themes into the programme. Thus, Estonia’s struggle for freedom under Soviet rule is known under the name “The Singing Revolution”.

Nowadays about 30 000 singers perform to a crowd over three times that size (which is a lot considering Estonia’s whole population is 1.3 million), all united in a positive, patriotic, uplifting circle of celebration. I didn’t go this year (as a spectator of course, thy higher powers have not blessed me with a particularly impressive set of pipes), which I’m more than a little ashamed over. It’s not that I couldn’t go, but…

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