If the new video for his ravey new track “Tenderoni” (produced by Spank Rock’s XXXChange) is any indication, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke hopes to bring electro back with his solo project. (Man, that bassline brings me back… to Wiley’s ’08 jam “Wearing My Rolex” or Peaches’ “I Feel Cream.”)
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I’ve been a fan of Booka Shade since their second album, 2006′s Movements (I enjoyed 2004′s Memento and 2008′s The Sun and the Neon Light as well), and I was excited to learn that the arty German techno duo is continuing their biannual trend of new LPs with the forthcoming More!. Check out the music video for the new track “Bad Love” below:
2010′s Crystal Castles improves on their (also self-titled) debut in nearly every way. The latest from the Toronto-based electro duo is reminiscent of the jump forward taken by Deerhunter between Cryptograms and Microcastle, or Fuck Buttons from Street Horrrsing to Tarot Sport. Like those acts, Crystal Castles have reconciled with their detractors instead of running from them. By staying true to themselves, they’ve created a more focused, propulsive, and satisfying follow-up.
Indie hip-hop wunderkind Theophilus London has just released a new mixtape, entitled I Want You (download link below). As with his previous effort, This Charming Mixtape, the Brooklyn MC has crafted another superlistenable genre-bending pastiche to build hype from a forthcoming full-length.
Optimogeddon: a seven-hour Fin-de-Siècle blowout mix for your next seven-hour Fin-de-Siècle blowout. (I’ve only listened to Part 1 of 5 so far…)
On April 25th, the greatest club night in either Glasgow, the UK or the world (depending on who you ask) finishes. Optimo (Espacio), the brainchild of JD Twitch and JG Wilkes, arrived quietly at Glasgow’s Sub Club in 1997, and set about blowing the cobwebs off a stale, self-congratulatory Glasgow techno scene through a simple core philosophy: If it sounds good and makes people dance, play it.
Now, after 12-and-a-half years of sublime, genre-straddling, how-did-they-do-that acts of weekly musical witchcraft, combined with a zero-tolerance approach to “DJ culture”… it will all be over.
The National performed and discussed their fifth LP High Violet at WNYC’s Greene Space on Monday (I made it out there for the live session, but honestly, the webcast is just as good as being there). In a potentially lucrative promotional move, the new album was streaming in full alongside a recent NYT profile of the band (only “Bloodbuzz, Ohio” is available now).
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Chuck Klosterman asserts that Beck’s “Loser” is the defining song of the 90′s because it illustrates how MTV was instrumental to the mainstreamification of alternative culture in the pre-Internet era. (Incidentally, Vice, which recently declared that it wants to be the new MTV, was founded that very same year.) (Spin)
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[I'm a little late on this one, but] blogosphere darlings Pomplamoose put the Indie Pop Fun back in Viral YouTube Sensation… or something to that effect. (NPR)
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New Holy Ghost! track; they’re opening for labelmates LCD Soundsystem for the four upcoming New York dates during the latter band’s current world tour.
The song is a thrilling, aggressive, hardcore electric anthem and heavily samples “Ghost Rider” by Suicide (ca. 1977, buy MP3 here). As my friend Clayton wonders aloud, perhaps the lyrics “America America is killing its youth” in the Suicide song influenced the visuals in the M.I.A. video.
Incendiary political statement or crass PR stunt? Either way, we’re a long way from the fun/intelligence dichotomy: the overly gritty dystopian realism strikes me as a slightly-too-desperate bid for artistic credibility, if not authenticity in itself. At best, the short film is visceral to the extent that it is powerful yet reductive; at worst, it blurs the line between senseless and pointless.
UPDATE: Animal on the reference points; Diplo on the production.
Ke$ha made a minor PR spla$h in the blog ocean (a drop in the Photobucket?) with a mediocre-to-bad performance on $NL last week (I’ll spare you the clips, but you can find them here). Yet pop pundits from across the internets have come to her defen$e, speculating that the “not dumb” pop$tar/rapper will eventually command some kind long-term po$t-reinvention cult following. In other words, we can already fondly look back at the passable Uffie-meets-Gaga single “TiK ToK,” because $he’s charting a path back to Na$hville.
Fred Falke transforms the bubbly electro party jam into a disco-funk banger, which I like about as much as the original (i.e. I’ve heard worse):
Dery’s dissection of Lady Gaga and her (purportedly) apocryphal brilliance is worth reading, though I should caution that it’s on the heavy side: in a brief riposte from the pro-Gaga camp,* one commenter characterizes [Lord] Dery’s essay as “ridiculous long, very smart, [and] very namedroppy.” As far as I can tell, it comes down to a matter of whether fun and intelligence are mutually exclusive.
Pitchfork has just announced the final lineup for their wildly successful eponymous music festival, and it’s pretty much an indie kid’s dream come true: Liars, Wolf Parade, Major Lazer, Beach House, Why?, Big Boi, Robyn, and several other independent music luminaries will be playing across three days in Chicago come July, alongside previously-announced headliners Pavement, LCD Soundsystem and Modest Mouse… not to mention the likes of Broken Social Scene, Panda Bear, Raekwon, Titus Andronicus, Dâm-Funk, Sleigh Bells et al.
Liars stole the show in 2006—they’re easily one of my favorite live acts—and Stephen Malkmus was a highlight in 2007, but Pitchfork has really outdone themselves for the fifth time around. Honestly, the lineup is basically too stacked at this point (if the previous run-on paragraph is any indication), an extreme case of ‘festival oversaturation’: there’s simply no way that one would have the opportunity to see every single band he or she wanted to see.
Liars' Angus Andrew shredding
Related: Liars, St. Vincent (also playing this festival this year) and ’fork fest veterans Os Mutantes covering INXS for Beck’s Record Club (Stereogum); Awesome interview with Angus from Liars (Motherboard); LCD Soundsystem dates for what may or may not be a final tour (BV).
Shameless self-promotion, because it’s been a while:
So somehow I missed this, but LCD Soundsystem has (sort of) released a new track from their forthcoming (and possibly last, as reported earlier) album. In addition to over an hour of new music from James Murphy & co., they’ve also come up with a name and album art to spite Stereogum’s crowdsourcing campaign.
Just as Sisterworld is the Liars’ L.A. album, This Is Happeningrepresents the same for LCD, and the different roads from NYC to the City of Angels to illustrate just how far we’ve come from the dance-punk glory days of the early 00′s.
Of course, if the Pitchfork-approved single “Drunk Girls” (below) is any indication, I imagine that the one-time disco savior has crafted a radically different sound from the art-punk experimentalists: it’s a matter of timelessness vs. timeliness, respectively, insofar as rock music evolves through a dialectic* of the two principles.
But I digress: “Drunk Girls,” for your listening pleasure.
via Stereogum, which also posted a clip of another track on the forthcoming LP: “Pow Pow“
In other album art news, D*Face × X*Tina: never would’ve seen it coming, but I can dig it. At least it sets a precendent for some kind of blockbuster Shepard Fairey / Lady Gaga collabo.
*Yes I dropped a d-bomb. No, I don’t really know what it means, and I’m not proud of it.