May 17, 2013

Album Review: The National - 'Trouble Will Find Me'

The National, whose music many have labeled as gloomy, dark, and writhing with insecurities, stays the course with their latest, Trouble Will Find Me. But the biggest difference between this album and any previous is the band members have settled into themselves (the members ages now range from late thirties to early forties) and this comfort has eased tensions that would surface during the quintet's creative bursts of writing and recording earlier records. While tension, anger, and testosterone, definitely birthed live stalwarts such as Alligator's (2005) “Mr November”, this record sees the writing and recording process operating the way they always wished it would. The smooth sailing has unveiled some fluid and effortless tunes from the songwriting triumvirate of the Dessner brothers and singer/lyricist Matt Berninger. Upon first listen you may find yourself caught in the slowly measured swing of “Pink Rabbits”, but the song that should stick after many more listens, is the opener, “I Should Live In Salt”. Which is likely the best song Berninger has wrung out of his own life, writing the lyric after his brother, Tom, hired as a roadie for the band's High Violet tour, was fired. Here, his vocal, morose and restrained in the verses, as he asks his brother for forgiveness, gives way in the chorus as his guilt finally cracks and spills out. The musicians matching the singer's pace as the music softly throbs in the shadows until that guilt snaps into anger. All along the lyric hanging on the slow beat and then left dangling and drawn out on the soft hiccup in the song's meter. It's an unusual cadence which may first repel, but slowly becomes magnetic.

But there's much more, the chiming lilt of “Heavenfaced”, bearing an upper register vocal which lifts an already lovely melody and the bass heavy Joy Division throb of “Graceless”. But a standout is the overwhelmingly low-pitched solemnity of “Demons”, and it's self-punishing bridge with the line “When I walk in to a room I do not light it up... fuck...”. Although well-known indie names like Annie Clark (St Vincent), Sharon Van Etten, and Sufjan Stevens have lent voices and musicianship, what they've contributed is woven into the band's distinctive fabric and as a result doesn't stand out, or detract.

While the band is still conjuring brilliant echoes of musical heroes like Springsteen and Joy Division, the magic here is all The National. Trouble Will Find Me is the band somewhere between testosterone soaked reediness and Viagra popping paunch. Mature, responsible, confident and yet still keeping a closet brimming with anxiety, guilt, fear of the unknown and spectacular songs.

Trouble Will Find Me, is slated for release May 21 in the US and the 20th in Europe. 

May 8, 2013

The National's Matt Berninger Sings a Lullaby

Here's a six year old video of Matt from The National singing a snippet of "Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks" with his baby daughter, Isla, strapped to his chest.

The National - "Sea of Love" Official Video

 The first video from Trouble Will Find Me which is out May 20(UK)/21(US).

Video directed by Sophia Peer.

  PRE-ORDER via itunes.

Feb 6, 2013

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: 'Push The Sky Away' Album Review

On this the band's fifteenth album Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds step back from the edge of passionate rage they know so well, to simmer and stew throughout Push The Sky Away's nine songs. There isn't a track on the new record that knocks you down and straddles your chest like the seminal “Stagger Lee”, screaming in your sweaty face. The music on Push The Sky Away seeps into your skin on each listen, slowly building a darkened church inside the listener. Mr Cave and his Bad Seed cohorts whisper, scratch, and clatter from their well worn pulpit and as they often do, give us something to willingly embrace, if not ponder.

Release Date: Feb. 23rd

jubilee street [mp3]
Links to pre-order the record can be found here.

Feb 4, 2013

Nick Cave: NEW Video "Jubilee Street" NSFW

 "Jubilee Street" is the second song shared from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds fifteenth studio album, Push The Sky Away, and Mr Cave had this to say about the video and actor Ray Winstone.
“It was a real pleasure hanging around the set and watching Ray do his thing. He is a master. What a great actor. And of course, working with my friend and collaborator John Hillcoat is always a blast.”
It's a song about a lonely man and a hungry girl and where they meet in the middle... down on "Jubilee Street". The song is sad and the music is swirling slowly... round and round and round... as these 'minor players in the minor key' live their shadowy lives.

The record will be unveiled February 18th on Bad Seed Ltd., the band's own label.

Thanks to Noisey

Devendra Banhart: New Album And Single

On March 12, 2013, Devendra Banhart releases his Nonesuch debut, Mala, and typical of Banhart it's heavy on songs that don't wear out their welcome. The second track shared by the label is "Never Seen Such Good Things" and it's a bass heavy lilting beauty that may be the best pop song you've heard this year. It wouldn't sound out of place on a Strokes record, it's simply a great melody with well chosen instrumentation and the editing of experienced musicians. Mala, his eighth release, was recorded in Banhart's home with long time collaborator Noah Georgeson on an old Tascam recorder find in a thrift shop.
“A lot of early hip-hop had been made on [the Tascam],” says Banhart. “And knowing my songs are not hip-hop whatsoever, we thought it would be interesting to see how these kinds of songs would sound on equipment that was used to record our favorite rap. Let’s see how this technology would work for us. In the past we were more like, let’s use the oldest equipment we could find.”

Mala Track List:
01. "Golden Girls" - 1:35
02. "Daniel" - 3:05
03. "Für Hildegard von Bingen" - 2:35
04. "Never Seen Such Good Things" - 3:13
05. "Mi Negrita" - 3:24
06. "Your Fine Petting Duck" - 5:46
07. "The Ballad of Keenan Milton" - 2:12
08. "A Gain" - 1:35
09. "Won't You Come Over" - 3:35
10. "Cristobal Risquez" - 2:28
11. "Hatchet Wound" - 3:08
12. "Mala" - 1:08
13. "Won't You Come Home" - 3:31
14. "Taurobolium" - 3:16
15. "Something French" (LP-Only Bonus Track) - 2:57
16. "Loring Baker" (LP-Only Bonus Track) - 2:25

Dec 6, 2012

Hipstereo Xmas Mix

mary margaret o'hara christmas evermore

marvin gaye purple snowflakes

billy beau santa's coffee

roy orbison pretty paper

If this works out, there will be more to come...

Dec 9, 2011

The National: New Songs "Ryland" and "I Need My Girl"

No time to chat, or take these new songs by The National apart, just time to grab them from the net, tag 'em and post 'em. But this is good news, the band are working on new songs for the next album.

These songs were ripped from streams posted by CBC Radio's program, Q. Check the page for videos of the songs or links to youtube videos.

The National - Rylan (new song live) by

The National - I Need My Girl (new song live) by

Nov 25, 2011

Timber Timbre: "Swamp Magic" Video + More

Happy Halloween everybody south of the Canadian border! And north of the Mexican border! WHAT?! Oh, Happy Thanksgiving, I mean (wasn't that last month?). Well, then this spooky Timber Timbre video doesn't exactly fit the day now does it? What the hell, here it is anyways, since I'll be enjoying a Timber Timbre performance tonight, I've kinda got their music on my mind.

Timber Timbre - Creeep On Creepin' On by Arts & Crafts

Timber Timbre - I Get Low by La Route du Rock

Timber Timbre by bornsecular84

Timber Timbre - Demon Host by The Drift Record Shop