Posted by: on October 3, 2008 at 11:06 am

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Do they have a wing at Cooperstown for Hall of Fame Shitters?

Posted by: on October 3, 2008 at 10:40 am

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Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Brooklyn spaz duo Matt and Kim get all old skool hip hop and shit on their new song “Daylight.” The track comes courtesy of Green Label Sound, Mountain Dew’s new MP3 download site. M&K are just the second artists to release a song via Green Label; the Cool Kids released a track earlier this year and two more bands are slated before the end of ’08.

MP3: “Daylight”

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Posted by: on October 2, 2008 at 9:00 am

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Posted by: on October 1, 2008 at 2:14 pm

MP3: “I’m Not Afraid Of A Fight”

This Friday a trip to Corktown won’t exactly make up for your inability to drop everything and take a road trip to Chicago to see My Bloody Valentine, but it’ll still give you a chance to exercise your shoegaze demons. Lansing’s Fields Of Industry make fuzzed out dream music that would fit perfectly on a mixtape with The Velvet Underground and Galaxy 500. Frontman Joshua Barton, when asked to expound on the notion of “the shoegaze label” said, “The shoegaze movement means a lot to me personally because it was that whole scene that pulled me out of listening exclusively to the Ramones (not that that wasn’t fun). I’ve never considered us a shoegaze band, but I think we’ve taken cues from shoegazers and many others who have tried to make something “beautiful” out of rock and roll.” Check out their tune “I’m Not Afraid Of A Fight” from Two Dogs, A Television which they released earlier this year and watch the charming video for “Point Of Contention.” Then go see them Friday — they’re playing with Detroit’s Indian Guides and Modernlull, along with Slow/Dynamite from Brooklyn. A guaranteed dreamy evening. — Laura Witkowski

Video for “Point Of Contention”

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Posted by: on September 30, 2008 at 11:47 am

Brightblack Morning Light, Motion To Rejoin (Matador Records, 2008)

MP3: “Hologram Buffalo”

If you live in a solar powered tent-like structure in the middle of New Mexico and spend your days meditating over your Native American heritage, reminiscing about your connection to nature, and writing long, slow motion jams celebrating the Earth and your quest for freedom, congratulations, you are probably Brightblack Morning Light. But for those unable to live a 24/7 hippie life of Zen and healing crystals, the music of Naybob Shineywater and partner Rachael Hughes offers a portal into that world to be entered at will by simply allowing their music to enter your world. Awash with mood altering shimmers and dream-like gliding riffs, Brightblack Morning Light proves that being in touch with the Earth doesn’t necessarily mean keeping your feet on the ground. Motion To Rejoin, their third full length and second for Matador, takes psych, funk, Native American instrumentation, 60’s soul, gospel and more and throws it all into Brightblack Morning Light’s cauldron of mysticism. Like most good recipes, this one takes its sweet time brewing to perfection, and the results must be savored slowly to truly enjoy. Each song floats and swirls like the smoke from a smudging stick, offering emotional and spiritual purification. Brightblack Morning Light are offering up a chance to get back in touch with the environment, to help you remember what it’s like to actually go outside and marvel at nature’s mysteries. Unless you’re far too jaded, consider accepting their Motion To Rejoin. — Laura Witkowski

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Posted by: on September 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm

We decided to finally clean up the office this weekend and found these pics from two weeks ago. Sorry for the delay. Hey, who’s the fucktard who left an open can of V8 on my desk?! …Continue Reading >>

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Posted by: on September 29, 2008 at 1:34 pm

On the morning of Saturday, September 27, I awoke feeling as if I was dropped out of an airplane, only to fall through the roof of my own house and into my own bed. The night before, my band had played our CD release show, and because it was more or less a “celebration” of sorts, I partook in possibly one too many helpings of a certain gold-colored beverage known to impair judgment from time to time, and needless to say, I was “feeling it” the next day.

But no matter — it was time to get up and shake it off. Because today was a day that I had been waiting for ever since I was a 16-year-old scruff in an oversized Sloan t-shirt marveling at the sonic mastery that is Loveless –- indeed, today, I was going to drive to Chicago to see My Bloody Valentine play live; and not only for the first time ever in my life, but for essentially what was only their fifth show in the US in over 15 years.

After a quick trip to Chipotle — McDonald’s Taco Bell! — to stuff a burrito in my alcohol-beaten body, my crew and I were off to Chi-City, cruising down I-94, jamming Archers of Loaf’s White Trash Heroes as if it were 1998 all over again. And soon, it was about to be 1991. And soon after that, 1988. Looks like our little Acura can convert into a time machine after all.

Once we completed the four-ish hour drive, we pulled into the city only to find that the street where our hotel was located was under some sort of construction. There were plastic coverings, loud machinery clack-clunking, and enough dirt, debris, and rubble to make me wonder aloud: “Where the fuck are we? Iraq?” Also, the hotel was essentially hidden under an “L” train rail, so, of course, being from Michigan, we were completely thrown off by the mere existence of an alternative mode of transportation in our midst. Soon enough, though, we found our destination (that iPhone Maps thing really is pretty dope), paid the …Continue Reading >>

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Posted by: on September 26, 2008 at 9:00 am

Kings of Leon, Only By The Night (RCA, 2008)

Like the rest of America, we’ve always had a mild curiosity, but overall “meh” attitude towards Kings of Leon. When they first hit in the summer of 2003, with Youth & Young Manhood, they were sporting Allman Brothers locks, their sisters’ jeans, and spiky guitars laced with a Southern twang that pegged them as a hick-version of the Strokes (or, perhaps, if My Morning Jacket had jumped in a time machine and relocated to New York City in 1978). But like a lot of new bands that were sprouting from the underground in the early parts of the Millennium, Kings of Leon seemed like another flash in the pan, with more “rock critics” (‘sup, Jenny Eliscu?) focusing on the Followill boys’ tweed jackets, long locks, and chest tats rather than the fact that, well, besides having chiseled jaws and cool clothes, that their actual songs were sort of ho-hum. Passable. Kinda cool, but not terribly exciting.

Thankfully for Kings of Leon, England usually disagrees with what most of the American music buying public thinks (how else can you explain the Libertines?), and once in a great while, they choose a group from our side of the pond to praise, champion, and essentially claim as their own (‘sup, Strokes?). So starting with their debut, and even more-so upon the release of 2005’s Aha Shake Heartbreak, Kings of Leon went from being on a few critics’ “cool lists” to sharing tea and crumpets with Oasis, with their mugs plastered on the cover of the NME every three issues or so (splitting time with the Libertines, presumably).

Still, America shrugged its shoulders. Maybe it’s cos the dudes are all brothers (well, the drummer is a cousin), and American brother-bands just aren’t taken seriously over here (the Brits have Oasis and we have, uh, Hanson?). Or maybe they’re just too goddamn good looking. Or perhaps it’s because their brand of rock and roll isn’t as easily digestible as, say, Kid Rock’s, who somehow gets away with combining Southern-rock clichés with recycled RUN DMC beats.

Whatever the case, KOL must have realized that a little change was in order. Starting on last year’s basically awesome Because of the Times, and on into the new Only by the Night, the down-home, “aw shucks” country boy thing gets pushed to side a bit, and as a result, a more succinct, melodic, and bold side of the band has come forth. Examples? How about we start with “Be Somebody,” a tune strewn with electrifying U2-ism’s in the guitar work, with brooding singer Caleb Followill’s chugging baritone going on about “loosening” his tie — which, really, is just what this band needs. Elsewhere, “Closer” bumps on with a sexy swagger that is at once grungy, spacey, and soulful, and at 3:16, when the song is left to breath for a moment…well, it’s nothing short of spine tingling. “Notion” nods to the Leon of old, but takes the path of trusted rootsy rockers Petty and Springsteen — less “Bonnaroo” if you will — with plonky pianos and crunchy-vs.-ringing guitar jangle that comes off effortlessly. Hell, even the wonky Johnny Greenwood-esque guitar lead sounds right here. The anthemic “Use Somebody” reaches for Arcade Fire/Coldplay levels of grandiosity, but brings things down to Earth with a little bit of restraint, and the ability to know that three minutes and fourty-five seconds is long enough to make your point. “Crawl” combines religious sentiments with a killer bass riff that could have been lifted from DFA 1979’s last album (or, more accurately, Joy Division’s whole catalouge) and drumming that nods to Led Zep’s “Kashmir,” as Caleb taunts “the crucified USA” to “learn to crawl” before he walks away. Hm, looks like even they realize America needs to play catch up when it comes to their own band.

Of course, we’ve all heard lead single “Sex on Fire” by now — with a title like that, how could we not? But even if it functions as the albums “popular” jam, the song still stands out on the album for it’s confident stance and passionate delivery by the whole band. And really, who doesn’t want to lean over to a loved one and shout, “Yo SEX is on FIYAAAAH!” during a nice moment of intimacy? We know we do. Thanks Kings of Leon. Oh…sweet new haircuts, by the way. — Ryan Allen

“Crawl,” from Kings of Leon’s YouTube Channel.

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Posted by: on September 25, 2008 at 11:00 am

Friendly Fires, Friendly Fires (XL Recordings. 2008)

MP3: “Jump In The Pool”

Hailing from the northern suburbs of London, Friendly Fires were apparently born out of boredom. Shocking, considering that their self-titled, XL-approved debut is far from yawn inducing (but we guess that’s how they do in the “northern suburbs of London”). Combining funky rhythms and sweeping synths, at first glance, it seems that these lads are aiming straight for your ass, creating a mood that seems ripe for drug taking, bumps ‘n grinds, and other naughty things. But, while FF do tend to fit into the electronica/synthpop genre usually reserved for mindless romps on the dance floor (think the Presets new-wave sheen mingling with the bounciness of Foals, and you’re close), they pick things up where other more credible influences like the Talking Heads and Public Image Ltd. left off — packing in substance and soul behind into their elastic sound. Lead singer/guitarist Ed Mac brightens every song with hooks so effortless, you’d swear they came from the mind of David Byrne himself, while synth player/guitarist Edd Gibson and drummer Jack Savidge create a seasaw of building melodies that rise with a fury and cascade into a rush of euphoria. Album opener “Jump in the Pool” kicks things off, with chaotic drums and a throbbing bass line, egging you to do exactly what the title demands. “Lovesick” is a sure hit, chock full of sexy, breathy vocals and a synth line that ought to give Fischerspooner and Klaxons a run for their money. And if you’re not sold by the time “Skeleton Boy” rolls around — a track that seamlessly transitions from 70s-disco glitter into to a gorgeous, sing-a-long chorus — then, my friend, you’re probably just afraid of the water. — Elle Sawa

Bonus!: The video for “Jump In The Pool”

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