A Random Mp3 Trilogy: The Mars Volta, Islands/Beck, Sunset Rubdown

The Mars Volta @ The Tabernacle (9/24/08)

Octahedron, The Mars Volta‘s 5th full-length album, drops June 23rd and already a handful of tracks from it are floating around the web. Where Bedlam in Goliath was a successful continuation of their winning formula, this new album might see TMV take a new turn. Here is what Cedric Bixler-Zavala said about it:

“We always threatened we’d make a pop record. We wanted to make the opposite of all the other records we’d done. Sometimes it’s good to get rid of an old audience…because they know what to expect. And I’m sure whatever audience we get from this album, we’ll disappoint them with the next.”

I’m guessing there is a little sarcasm in that statement, although a few of the tracks I’ve heard certainly sound a little different. But I doubt too many TMV fans are going to be disappointed with the first single from Octahedron:

The Mars Volta : Cotopaxi

The Mars Volta myspace

Islands @ SXSW 2008

Another classic Beck album just got an expanded reissue. This time it was the 1994 K Records release One Foot In The Grave, which was recorded in Calvin Johnson‘s basement and features appearances from him as well as members of Lync, Built To Spill, and Presidents Of The United States of America. I absolutely love this Beck record, so I have been really enjoying listening to the reissue. It seems Islands are excited about it also because they recently posted a great cover of one of my favourite tunes from it on their myspace:

Islands : Cyanide Breath Mint (Beck cover)

Buy One Foot In The Grave Expanded Reissue

Buy Arm’s Way

Islands myspace

Beck myspace

Sunset Rubdown @ The Earl (9/24/08)

Sunset Rubdown‘s newest album, Dragonslayer, hits stores June 23rd, and from my first listen to it, it is going to be another amazing edition from Spencer Krug and company. But before I throw it in my heavy rotation and talk more about it, I still haven’t gotten over my obsession with their first record. I have been listening to it endlessly for months now after finally discovering it 3 years late, so here is the last epic track from it for you:

Sunset Rubdown : Shut Up I Am Dreaming Of Places Where Lovers Have Wings

Pre-order Dragonslayer

Sunset Rubdown website

Don’t forget Sunset Rubdown will be at the Drunken Unicorn June 16th.

New Sonic Youth: “Sacred Trickster” & “Pay No Mind” (Beck Cover)

Sonic Youth have released the first single from their upcoming, 16th album The Eternal. Barely over two minutes long, the album’s opening track features Kim Gordon “singing salutes to French painter Yves Klein and Western Massachusetts noise artist Noise Nomads“. While the record doesn’t officially come out until June 9, they are offering a “Buy Early Get Now” option where in addition to getting some cool extras for pre-ordering the album, those who pre-order it will get access to a stream of the entire album next Tuesday. The Eternal features Pavement‘s Mark Ibold on bass, who had been touring with them since their last release. While I did love 2006′s Rather Ripped, I think it was very much a search for a new direction and identity post-Jim O’Rourke and I think The Eternal is going to see a fuller realization of this new era sound. Also, since Thurston Moore complained that their previous major label status had compromised their recent albums, I’m interested to see what they do with the freedom they have been granted by their first release on Matador. No band in history has managed to remain so relevant for so long and I’m excited to hear if they can continue that trend. Below you will find the new single as well as their wacked out cover of Beck‘s “Pay No Mind” from one of their Record Store Day split 7″s that got released over the weekend:

Sonic Youth : Sacred Trickster

Sonic Youth : Pay No Mind (Beck cover)

Pre-Order The Eternal With Buy Earl Get Now

Sonic Youth website

Ohmpark’s Top 20 Best EPs/Short-Length Albums Of 2008

I decided to do something a little experimental this year with my best EP list. When I was comparing very short “full-length” albums to longer albums on my best LP list, I kept wanting to hold the time duration against the shorter album. Also, it seems the difference between EPs and LPs can be a bit arbitrary sometimes, so I decided to just draw a line completely based on album length to split up my best album lists. This list, then, is the best of all albums less than 35 minutes, regardless of what the record is labeled. I’m happy with the end result, as I’m able to really highlight some extremely worthwhile briefer albums and it made the competition on this list a lot tighter. When you really think about it, any classic album this short feels like it is in a different weight class. I want to give an honorable mention to Cynic‘s Traced In Air, Parade‘s Ghosts, and Mount Eerie with Julie Dorion and Fred Squire‘s Lost Wisdom because all three were awesome, but here are the 20 best albums under 35 minutes:

Click here to read the entire post…

What The Hell Am I Listening to?!?

The theme for this installment of What The Hell is seasoned veterans changing up their approach and putting out interesting and a bit underrated albums:

Beck (Los Angeles, CA)

When I think about where Beck is in his career, parallels to Neil Young come to mind for me. All the way back to the beginning through his catalogue, he has conquered tons of genres, amassed endless accolades, and made some super classic songs, and now while people think his best is behind him, he can go in whatever direction he wants free other people’s expectations. After his not-so-triumphant return to “old-school Beck” on Guero being his most dissappointing release to date, pretty much everyone still riding the “Loser” bandwagon had jumped off. The downside of that is that most people didn’t really pay attention to the spectacular The Information from 2 years ago, but I think maybe the lowered expectations helped take the pressure off to do some really interesting songwriting. Where Guero seemed so shallow and empty, just about trying to catch the listener with up-beat hooks, the two most recent Beck releases seem aimed at a deeper and more nuanced listen. Modern Guilt sees Danger Mouse take over the production duties this time (instead of the Dust Brothers or Nigel Godrich who have been trading off duties since Odelay), and the result is exactly what you would expect from this pairing, an album enjoyable to dance to or listen to by yourself in your headphones. While this isn’t the epic piece The Information was, the less than 34 minutes experience seems perfect for the upper music/downer lyrics dichotomy exploration he embarks on here. If you come to this album looking for some sort of Beck you want or expect, you might be disappointed, but take it for it is, and it’s a pretty damn good album.

Beck : Youthless

Beck : Gamma Ray

Buy Modern Guilt here

Beck myspace

Sigur Ros (Reykjavik, Iceland)

Sigur Ros‘s newest full-length sees the band attempting to shake up a formula that has yielded some seriously stunning results in the past without steering too far away from their characteristic sound. This is of course a problematic area to be in when you are a band like Sigur Ros (sort of the same place The Mars Volta is in right now); Do you keep on doing the same thing that works over your entire career and people attack your for being one-dimensional, or do you risk your fanbase and go in a starkly different direction? Sigur Ros have choose a middle road with an album that sounds very different and very much like their previous work at the same time (and of course many critics have hated on this choice as well). They used an outside producer for the first time, recorded the album in different cities across the globe, and shortened the studio time to throw them out of their comfort zone. The finished product is a fairly schizophrenic piece that bounces around much more lightly and upbeat at times than their previous stuff, but remains soft and pretty at other times and still contains a familiar taste of the grand and sublime.

Sigur Ros : Gobbledigook

Sigur Ros : Illgresi

Buy Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust here

Sigur Ros myspace

Humpday Randomnimity

I’m going to finish my tour coverage up tonight, but for now you can listen to Kebert Xela‘s Athfest performance at Southern Shelter. He also has a Mastodon show up from 2003.

Grizzly Bear are debuting a new song on Letterman tonight, so set your DVR.

Sunset Rubdown will be at The Earl September 24th. That is the same night as The Mars Volta, so I think I am going to try and catch some of both of those shows. Gogol Bordello will be playing at The Variety Playhouse that night too.

Of Montreal will be at The Tabernacle November 8th.

Magnetic Fields will be at the Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center October 17th.

A Place To Bury Strangers and Sian Alice Group will be at The Drunken Unicorn October 18th.

Ben Kweller will be at The Earl October 24th.

Pinback will be at The 40 Watt in Athens, Ga September 23rd, but no Atlanta date.

Nas is taking on Fox News.

David Gilmour is releasing a live show from 2006 on CD and DVD in September.

Dr. Dre‘s Detox album will supposedly be out by Christmas and feature guest appearances from Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Nas.

Deerhoof have leaked a new song as sheet music.

Bon Iver did Daytrotter.

New TV On The Radio album out September 23rd.

Russia is trying to ban Goth and Emo kids.

China has banned Bjork and other “dangerous” artists from playing there.

Built To Spill and Modest Mouse are working on doing a jam session together.

Karen O has a side project.

Willie Nelson will be at Chastain July 27th.

Jay Reatard/Deerhunter split 7″ sounds cool.

Get the new Vera Fang 7″.

And them vids:

New Animal Collective:

“Comfy In Nautica”:

Beck “Orphans”:

Zach Hill “Dark Art”:

A Random MP3 Trilogy

Here are a few of the hott tracks rolling around the big series of tubes:

There’ a new Beck album produced by Danger Mouse about to hit stores soon. Rumours say it could suddenly drop from the sky like In Rainbows or the new Nine Inch Nails albums, but not necessarily for free. It is tentatively titled Modern Guilt and is supposed to have a ’60s psychedelic feel. I’ve even heard rumours that Cat Power appears on it. I’m excited:

Beck : Chemtrails

Ratatat is another great artist with a new release dropping this summer. Everyone I know has fallen in love with these guys since their 2006 Classics blew up. In addition to creating high quality, crowd pleasing original instrumental jams, they do some stellar remixes, Volume 2 of which you can download for free from their myspace. LP3 hits stores July 8th, and here’s a preview:

Ratatat : Shiller

Finally, I have been jamming the new Islands album, Arm’s Way, hard since it came out yesterday. It certainly has its share of flaws, of which most everyone reviewing is paying a lot of attention, but there are a plethora of amazing things going on that have me hooked. Just like how many people who loved the Unicorns didn’t like the direction Islands took things originally, many people who were really into Return To The Sea may not have wanted them to go they way they did for this one, but if you take it for what it is, it kicks some major ass. They just did a Daytrotter session, including a Brian Eno cover, that you can check out here, but here’s a really different version of “The Arm” from it:

Islands : The Arm (Daytrotter session)

What The Hell Am I Listening to?!?

Evangelicals (Norman, Oklahoma)

I think right now if I had to pick my favourite album to come out this year, it would probably be Evangelicals‘ second album, The Evening Descends. It is so psychedelic and so operatic. This is one of those albums where I get excited as each new song begins. The kaleidoscopic sonic journey certainly gives a nod to fellow Oklahomans The Flaming Lips as well as many other folks, but the last thing you could accuse this band of is being unoriginal with its mix of influences. If you haven’t rocked this one yet, don’t delay any longer:

Skeleton Man
Party Crashin’

Evangelicals Myspace

Buy The Evening Descends Here

Beck (Los Angeles, Ca)

Beck is one of my favourite musicians and every time I return to one of his albums, I fall in love with what he does all over again. I recently picked up a copy of the Deluxe Odelay, and have been partying like its 1996. I have really enjoyed the Deluxe reissues I have picked up over the years as they are always full of fun extras, but I have to say this may be the best Deluxe album version I’ve got yet in terms of bonus material. Very much worth purchasing:

Strange Invitation
Beck Myspace

Buy Odelay (Deluxe) Here

Live Show: Beck (11/20/1996)

Longhorn LKA, Stuttgart, 20 Nov 1996
lineage: FM->(?)->CDR->EAC->shn->you

Setlist: (click to listen)
01 Loser
02 Thunderpeel
03 Novacaine
04 Devils Haircut
05 Hotwax
06 Lord Only Knows
07 ReadyMade
08 Jack-Ass
09 Sissyneck
10 Beercan

Download Lossless Torrent Here

Video Of The Day: Beck – Cellphone’s Dead

From The Information (#10 of 2006):

Sugarkane’s Top 50 Albums of 2006

2006 was a great year for me, and the main reasons are mostly related to music. I decided to do this list in December because i wanted to learn about as much music as possible, and what I thought would take a few days ended up taking almost 2 months, but it was extremely educational for me and i feel very good about this list. There were so many albums that I would like to give props to and cutting it down to 50 was hard. On a technical note, I went by U.S. release date with the exception of Laura’s Radio Swan Is Down (It was released in Australia over a year ago and has no U.S. release date). Feel free to blast it:

Click here to read the entire post…