Deconstructionist indie rock band Battles create music that defies expectation. Ian Williams, Dave Konopka and John Stanier interact like triplets, crafting live loops of staccato guitar and synth noise with which Stanier creates mammoth, syncopated live beats, wielding his crash cymbal like Thor’s hammer. Epic opener “The Yabba” stops and starts with chopsocky electronics, swaying guitar swells and a skittering groove, building to an intense climax of all cylinders firing. On “Dot Net,” stuttering Konopka and Williams’ loops seem to communicate with one another like two robots speaking in binary, over which Stanier lays an expressive beat as counterpoint. The muscular groove of “FF Bada” ends up building to an anxious synth melody for one of the album’s most intense moments, while “Summer Simmer” recalls brainy analog electronic groups like The Art of Noise, if they were reborn as trance-inducing drill sergeants. You won’t miss former vocalist Tyondai Braxton on this release, as Battles instead focus all of their energies on their chemistry as a trio, with results that are rarely short of breathtaking. For fans of this kind of innovative, body-awakening music, La Di Da Di is truly an awesome experience.
Summer isn't over yet, and there are tons of great releases coming in the next few weeks. Check out our list of 20 upcoming albums, including new records from Lana Del Rey, David Gilmour, FIDLAR and more.
Beach House’s latest album strips back some of the pop shimmer of their last two albums while retaining the more confident songcraft they started debuting on 2010’s Teen Dream. First single “Sparks” is a powerhouse shoegazer that showcases the duo’s strengths, pairing Alex Scally’s emotive guitarwork with Victoria LeGrand’s lush, layered vocals.
Today, Monday July 25th at 6pm, the amazing group Battles will be doing a free, all ages performance at Amoeba Hollywood in support of their latest, recently released album by the trio, Gloss Drop which features collaborations from such artists as Gary Numan and Matias Aguayo. In fact when the NYC group played in LA a couple of months back at Echoplex Aguayo jpined them onstage for a live rendition of the album track (and current single/video) "Ice Cream." I missed that previous LA show but heard from folks who went that it was off the hook. I caught them in NYC a while back and they totally lived up to their rep as a great live band. They were mesmerizing. Loved them! Naturally then today's Amoeba set at 6pm (PST) promises to be a goodie. And if by chance you are not in the LA area or simply unable to make it to the Hollywood Amoeba store at that time today, the good news is that the special in-store set will be streamed live on Amoeba.com where you can also mail-order Gloss Drop for just $10.98 on CD and for $18.98 on LP version (both versions ship free to anywhhere in the US)
One of this year's most anticipated new PlayStation3 (PS3) video games, LittleBigPlanet, which was scheduled to be released tomorrow (Tuesday) has had its release date postponed due to an official complaint by a Muslim group who objected to a song on the game's soundtrack. Reportedly this religious group issued a complaint to Sony, makers of PS3, over the inclusion of a song by Malian kora player Toumani Diabaté on the background music soundtrack. This piece of music quotes two verses or expressions from the Qur'an, and many Muslims consider the mixing of music and scripture to be extremely disrespectful.
The game was already pressed, packaged, shipped and ready to go on sale, but now instead of the new PS3 game becoming available on its scheduled release date of October 21st, it has had to be withdrawn, have the soundtrack altered, and the game repackaged. Impressively, Sony reps say that this process will only delay the shipping of the game by a little over one week, meaning that it ships next week and should be on most store shelves by the end of the month or early November.
On the PlayStation blog, Sony's US director of Corporate Communications, Patrick Seybold, wrote, "Sorry for the delay, and rest assured, we are doing everything we can to get LittleBigPlanet to you as soon as possible." Other artists on the soundtrack to this new PS3 game include Battles, whose music also appears in the promotional clip for LittleBigPlanet below.
You've gotta love New York City in the summer months (it's still summer, even if kids are back at school) when there is just so much great live music always happening outdoors in the city's many parks and open public spaces. And the best part is that it's usually free and always fun-- like last weekend when Battles put on an incredible show at South Street Seaport in lower Manhattan, or this weekend on Sunday (Sept. 9th) when legendary New York club DJ Danny Krivit spun dance music for skaters and regular dancers alike in Central Park near 72nd in front of the bandshell, just as he did last year.
Also on Sunday afternoon, at the exact same time, across the river in Brookyn's Prospect Park at the expansive park's Music Pagoda was the ever popular and hella fun 14th Annual Clubhouse Jamboree -- the big, free house music (and food) party thrown by generous New York house music lover and all around cool guy Lil Ray. Lil Ray not only goes to the trouble and expense of getting permits, hauling in a large sound system, and lining up all the DJs for the long afternoon, but he also feeds near all of the thousand or so revelers that converge in the middle of the Brooklyn Park to dance their asses off to throbbing club house music every year on the second weekend of each September for the past fourteen years.
At about 6:45PM, right after DJ Spinna (pictured top left) -- the last DJ of the day -- had just finished his energetic set, and immediately after Lil Ray (pictured left) had thanked the vocally grateful gathering for supporting house music and for showing up to his annual party, I talked with the man for a moment. First I asked him why he has been throwing this big free party, at his expense, since 1994. "To show love for house music," he answered with a wide smile. "When I started the Clubhouse Jamboree it was a different time. There was no Internet to hear the music. [Back] then there really was little or no house music to be heard outside the clubs. And I wanted to take the music outside...into the park, and here in Brooklyn," he said. He added that his goal from that first party was to represent a variety of sounds within house music. "I always wanted to give different DJs from different clubs a chance to do their thing." So just how many people did he think he fed (the event was fully catered with full dinner plates of fish, rice, and vegetables, etc) of the approximate thousand strong that showed up on Sunday? "Well I brought 700 forks," he laughed. "And all the food is gone." So were the drinks, which included water and Cokes (which were care of Coca Cola, but everything else was at the expense of this generous New Yorker). Besides Spinna, the DJs for the afternoon included Ian Rock, DJ Wil Milton (Gravity), Brian Coxx (Soulgasm), and the young DJ sibling duo The Martinez Brothers.