Tunng – “Don’t Look Down or Back” [Free MP3]

Tunng“Don’t Look Down or Back”

The UK-based folktronica collective, Tunng, is about to release their fourth album, …And Then We Saw Land,  in early April.  They’re sharing this track, “Don’t Look Down or Back”, as a free download now. Enjoy.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre Say: “Let’s Go Fucking Mental” [MP3]

The Brian Jonestown Massacre - “Let’s Go Fucking Mental”

BJM have cleared a track for free download from their forthcoming tenth album, Who Killed Sgt. Pepper, due out February 23rd.  Tour dates have also been announced. “Let’s Go Fucking Mental!”

BJM tour dates:
5/28: Cabooze, Minneapolis
5/29: Turner Hall, Milwaukee
5/30: Metro, Chicago
5/31: Grog Shop, Cleveland
6/02: Phoenix Concert Hall, Toronto
6/03: La Tulipe, Montreal
6/04: Paradise Rock Club, Boston
6/06: Webster Hall, New York
6/08: TLA, Philadelphia
6/09: 9:30 Club, DC
6/10: Mad Hatter, Cincinnati
6/11: Off Broadway, St Louis
6/13: Bluebird Theater, Denver
6/14: Urban Lounge, Salt Lake City
6/15: Knitting Factory, Boise
6/17: Crystal Ballroom, Portland
6/18: Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver
6/19: Neumos. Seattle
6/21: Fillmore, San Francisco
6/22: Henry Fonda Theater, Los Angeles

Everything Will Be Alright. Be Cool.

Golden Ages - Everything Will Be Alright”

“Be Cool

Philadelphia-based Golden Ages seems to have the making for success.  His ethereal, experimental soundscapes evoke references to the icons of his genre – Deerhunter, Panda Bear and Animal Collective. Both “Be Cool” and “Everything Will Be Alright” are two singles coming from his full length called Tradition, releasing this Spring. Rarely do I like to plagiarize a musician’s artist statement or press release, but this one was too good not to.

“Everything Will Be Alright” is about those tough times in life when you feel like you have no control over anything but you have to realize that things will work out, and even if they don’t, things will look up in time. “Be Cool” is about taking it easy, not being frustrated or impatient, and just enjoying life instead of worrying about the little things. The record’s describes that phase in life where you find yourself maturing both mentally and emotionally. “It’s about the transition from the aimlessness of youth into the difficult task of determining your own place in the world. The way growing up changes your relationships with those who are close to you, for better or for worse, and the need to leave in search of something better.”

Radiohead Benefit for Haiti – Concert Review, Set List, Video



Standing on the floor of LA’s Music Box Theater last night waiting for the Radiohead Benefit for Haiti to begin, it was hard not to muse over the crowd – a mix of the star-studded Hollywood elite and die-hard fans.  On my immediate right was 007 himself, Daniel Craig.  In front of me, some dude from The Practice (sorry, not up on my TV).  And to my left was a lone 18-year-old kid in a fur earflap hat trying to borrow one of our mobile phones so he could text his friends he made it in.  Hmm, I thought.  If you don’t even own a cell phone how could you possibly even afford the $475 minimum ticket price for tonight’s show.  Turns out he traded a scalper his MacBook Pro for a ticket.

Clearly, this wasn’t your average Sunday night.  Nor was this your average concert. This was Radiohead, one of the biggest and influential bands of our time, getting ready to play a one-off gig at a venue the size of San Francisco’s Bimbos 365 Club. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and everyone knew it.

At 8:30 Thom Yorke and company took the stage and set the intention for the evening: “It’s going to be a sing along tonight.” And indeed it was.  They gently eased us into an epic evening of music with  “Faust Arp” followed by “Fake Plastic Trees” and “Arpeggi/Weird Fishes”. Then all hell broke loose when they launched into “National Anthem”/ “Nude”/ “Karma Police”. If you weren’t sing along or yelping with glee, you were finding God, speaking in tongues and uttering phrases like “Jesus Christ… Oh my God…Oh my FUCKING God!!!”

Yes, it was a religious experience.  The best moment? Pick one.  Pick any.  Like when Yorke serenaded us on the piano with “Everything In It’s Right Place,” or the novelty of the band asking the audience to choose the next song: “Just” or “Airbag”. (The latter won.) Or the sneak preview of their new song, “Lotus Flower.” It was all insane.  But for me, I lost my mind at “Bodysnatchers”.

In the end, and most importantly, the band raised over $570,000 for Haiti. We all helped to support the cause.  And we all walked away with an experience we won’t soon forget.

Set List
Faust Arp
Fake Plastic Trees
Arpeggi
National Anthem
Nude
Karma Police
Kid A
Morning Bell
How to Disappear Completely
Wolf at the Door
The Bends
Recokoner
Lucky
Bodysnatchers
Dollars and Cents
Airbag
Exit Music (for a Film)

First Encore
Everything in It’s Right Place
You & Whose Army?
Pyramid Song
All I Need

Second Encore
Lotus Flower (new song)
Paranoid Android
Street Spirit

Music Industry Forecast: Cloudy

The music industry is in upheaval. Just look at the revenue projections – continued decline. The old model doesn’t work and, in desperation, the industry has tried many new models on for size: a la carte downloads, subscription services, ad-supported streaming. With the exception of iTunes, no one has had runaway success with any of these approaches.  So what’s next for the music industry?  Look to the clouds.

This week, TechCrunch, posted an insightful entry from digital music veteran Michael Robertson on Apple’s secret cloud strategy with iTunes and why their recent acquisition of LaLa is so critical. Like many, I assumed the acquisition was to further the development of the long anticipated subscription-based music service – like Rhapsody, Spotify, etc. Turns out this speculation is far from reality and there is no subscription-based service coming down the pike from Apple. The secret sauce to the Lala acquisition is actually it’s personal music storage service, which provides software to store a personal music library online and then play it from any web browser alongside web songs they vend.

The expectation is that Apple will unveil a mobile iTunes sometime in 2010 that will leverage Lala’s technology to copy users’ personal music libraries to the net (or cloud), making it available from any browser or net connected ipod/touch/tablet/computer. Once loaded, users will be able to navigate and play their music, videos and playlists from their personal URL using a browser based iTunes experience. Pretty cool, huh? The cloud-centric model is not lost on others in the space.  The acquisition of Lala will just help Apple get there first – again.

Album of the Week: Broken Bells

Broken Bells - “The High Road”

Danger Mouse strikes again.  This time with The Shins’ James Mercer in the self-titled debut, Broken Bells. Do I really need to say any more? Okay, the two met at a Danish music festival way back in 2004 and began secretly working on the album late 2008. The pair released “The High Road”as the debut single late December to promote the album that’s due out March 9. But the full album leaked that same month anyway. Are these things really accidental?  Hmmm, I wonder. Regardless, it’s fantastic and I love it.  Experimental and melodic, chalk it up to another Danger Mouse masterpiece. He truly is the man with the Midas touch.