Amoeblog

Shadow Dancing in The Desert: Fever Ray Hits Coachella

Posted by Aaron Detroit, April 1, 2010 10:00am | Post a Comment

Reason 1,867,456,378 those Indio bound this Spring have cause for celebration: Karin Dreijer Andersson aka Fever Ray is bringing her astonishing stage show to Coachella this year. And that is exactly what she brings: a stage show. Fever Ray’s 2009 Lynchian performance at The Fonda was one of the most visually evocative and vividly memorable Pop music shows I’ve ever attended. Stage set with an array of blinking antique lamps, Andersson appeared through heavy smoke and incense decked out in a colorful quilt-like shroud and a head-dress that could have come straight off of one of the Wild Things. Anderrson served as the ringmaster over a band of masked men (which features Fever Ray album collaborators Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid) for an intense 12 song set that also featured a bevy of stoner-ready laserlight grids that created an eerie green virtual ceiling for the living-room-in-the-middle-of the-woods/Pagan-Seance vibe that she appeared to be going for. But unlike most high-spectacle Pop concerts, Fever Ray’s presentation was not done to mask low-quality/without-meaning Pop songs, it was there to enhance the stark, supernatural atmosphere and sometimes even somber moods of her songs. During “Keep The Streets Empty For Me,” the ‘virtual laser ceiling’ lowered over the crowd to make the large space seem uncomfortably intimate, if not claustrophobic, then dissipated just as Andersson intoned, “Uncover our heads and reveal our souls.”

The show proved that Fever Ray’s visual side is an integral part of its art, not just complementary to its music but completing a whole narrative. This also became obvious over 2009 as Andersson released six (!) Fever Ray videos, including one for the project’s eerie cover of Nick Cave’s “Stranger Than Kindness.” Karin seemingly loves the melding of the two, as her other recent release is a soundtrack to an opera about Charles Darwin entitled Tomorrow, In A Year, written and performed by her other main project, The Knife. When Fever Ray won the P3 Guld Award (aka the Swedish Grammy) for Best Dance Artist (huh? Dance? maybe as in Shadow Dancing?) this year, Andersson accepted in a red Burqa-style veil only to reveal a flesh-colored ‘melting’ mask and then preceded to grunt and wheeze instead of spewing the usual ‘thank-yous’ to 'God and My Manager.' Many brushed this off as GaGa-aping but her intentions were apparently much deeper and to draw attention to worldly horrors: The mask was meant to represent the acid scarification many women suffer from violent attacks used in some predominately Muslim countries as a form of punishment and subjugation for "offenses" like going to school and appearing in public with an uncovered face. As with most Performance Art, it was met immediately with uncomfortable laughter, confusion, and your usual doses of skepticism and angry dismissals. For me, Karin Dreijer-Andersson is the 21st century pop artist I’ve been waiting for.

There’s no word yet whether or not Fever Ray’s Friday (April 16) Coachella performance will be the same show that Andersson toured last year, but Fever Ray in the California Desert should be something to behold. Please enjoy, now, all six Fever Ray videos culled from its debut.






Black Light District's Top Dark Music Albums of 2009

Posted by Aaron Detroit, December 16, 2009 01:22pm | Post a Comment
Folks at Amoeba Hollywood like to refer to the area in the store where the Goth/Industrial and Metal Sections reside as the "Dark Corner."  Black Light District is sort of a virtual extension of The Dark Corner (as well as its former resident, the Experimental section), so the year end lists here reflect those flavors and also include those darker-leaning titles from the creepier nooks in the rock section. Next week, we'll examine the 20 best of the decade. Now without further adieu...2009's greatest from the darker realms....


1. Cold Cave - Love Comes Close (CD/LP) [Heartworm/Matador]

Love Comes Close is an infectious slab of 9 inspired dark-wave and synth-pop anthems. Cold Cave couldn't have timed their debut any better either, with synthpop bound for a big comeback with the release of BBC's stellar documentary Synth Britannia. Read my review of Love Comes Close from earlier this year here.

Listen: Cold Cave "Heaven Was Full"



2. Tor Lundvall - Sleeping & Hiding (LP)
[Dais]

Come-down album of the year! Need a soundtrack while hiding in a secluded cabin in the forest? A score for floating or drowning? Astral-projection? Look no further! Nods to Pygmalion-era Slowdive and Steven Reich....Gorgeous.

Listen: Tor Lundvall "Falling Trees"







3. Fever Ray – S/T  (CD/LP) [Rabid]

Fever Ray (aka The Knife's Karin Dreijer Andersson) makes very filmic music. Dark & neon, not unlike Shriekback's contributions to Michael Mann's Manhunter soundtrack but with pitched-down vocals that sound thick and woozy like a NyQuil trip. Psychedelic, creepy, perfect.


         Listen: Fever Ray  "Keep The Streets Empty For Me"






4. Piano Magic – Ovations (CD/LP) [Darla]

Piano Magic call in heavy-hitter Gothic Godfathers Brendan Perry and Peter Ulrich of Dead Can Dance for their tenth LP, Ovations. Perry's vocals help the album reach its apparent goal of sounding like an O.G. 4AD release, recalling not only DCD but Cocteau Twins, and This Mortal Coil while also lovingly mining Gloom Pop and Shoegaze territory. Ominous, foreboding, and quite beautiful. Frontman Glen Johnson was on a roll this year, also releasing his stellar solo LP, Details Not Recorded.

            Listen: Piano Magic "Recovery Position"
 
                                                                                                                        Listen: Piano Magic
                                                                                             featuring Brendan Perry "The Nightmare Goes On"



5. Ruby Throat – Out of a Black Cloud Came A Bird (CD) [Sleepslikewolves]

Katiejane Garside became quite prolific this decade with three separate projects running in tandem with each other; the long-running Queen Adreena with former Daisy Chainsaw cohort Crispin Grey, her solo project Lalleshwari, and her Folk-Noir duo with guitarist Chris Wittingham, Ruby Throat. Out of A Black Cloud... is Ruby Throat's sophomore release and was released in a limited run this past November (no fear, a standard CD edition is on its way soon). Black Cloud finds Garside's unsettling and psycho-sexual fairytale-stylings covered in ethereal-psychedelic dream-wrap courtesy of Wittingham's instrumentation. Her voice is equal parts PJ Harvey, Alison Shaw (Cranes), and Hope Sandoval -- though sometimes a bit of Diamanda's babelogue madness creeps in.



6. Jessie Evans – Is It Fire? (CD/LP) [Fantomette]

Jessie Evans (Subtonix, The Vanishing, Autonervous) reinvents herself as the sultry siren with the orgy-inducing maracas. Budgie (Banshees, The Creatures) and Toby Dammit (Swans, Iggy Pop) show up for the party. See my review from earlier this year here.

Listen: Jessie Evans "Blood & Silver"





7. Rome – Flowers From Exile (CD) [Trisol]

The extremely prolific, self-proclaimed "Chanson Noir" group’s most accessible, textured, and varied album to date. Intricate neofolk arrangements of Flamenco guitar, strings, spoken-word samples and eerie & subtle synths ordered around electronic beats and acoustic percussion. Dark, longingly romantic balladry with deep tenor-Leonard Cohen-via-Andrew
Eldritch vocals from frontman Jerome Reuter. Top Notch!

Listen: Rome "We Who Fell In Love With The Sea"



8. Der Blutharsch – Flying High!(CD/2LP) [WKN]

The Austrian apocalyptic-industrial collective Der Blutharsch’s most seamless and cohesive of its “rock n’ roll” triptych. Read my review from earlier this year here.










9. Funeral Mist – Maranatha (CD/2LP)
[Norma Evangelium Diaboli]

It’s certainly not groundbreaking in the Black Metal genre to hate on religious dogma, but Funeral Mist’s sole member Arioch (aka Mortuus, current lead vocalist for Marduk) makes a gloriously blasphemous racket when he gets his hateration on. Youngsters, take note: Black Metal should be increasingly more like this -- with trumpets and sick-ass choirs!

Listen: Funeral Mist "Anti-Flesh Nimbus"



                                                                                
10. Current 93 – Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain (CD/2LP) [Coptic Cat]

Current 93 adds another landmark to its immense discography. This is David Tibet’s greatest masterwork since Of Ruine Or Some Blazing Starre or The Inmost Light trilogy. Heavy, doom-laden guitars and occasionally-treated vocals accompany Tibet’s feverish tales of apocalypse. It also features the oddest of odd guest appeances, including cameos from Rickie Lee Jones and Erotic Film Star Sasha Grey. Also check out the AMAZING Andrew Liles’ Mono-mix of the album, Monohallucinatory Mountain.

                          Listen: Current 93 "April 26 2007"



11. Wolves in the Throne Room – Black Cascade (CD/2LP ) and Malvolent Grain (12"EP/CD-R)
[Southern Lord]



12. Andrew Liles – Ouarda (CD)
[Dirter]



13. Former Ghosts – Fleurs (CD/LP)
[Upset the Rhythm]



14. Xeno & Oaklander – Sentinille (CD/LP)
[Weird]



15. Amesoeurs - S/T (CD/LP)
[Profound Lore]




16. Yoga – Megafauna (CD/LP)
[Holy Mountain]




17. All Hail The Transcending Ghost – S/T (CD)
[Cold Spring]




18. Antony & The Johnsons – The Crying Light (CD/LP)
[Secretly Canadian]




19. Cobalt – Gin (CD)
[Profound Lore]



20. Yellow Tears – Don’t Cry (LP)
[Hospital Productions]




Honorable Mentions:

Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue With The Stars (CD/2LP)
[Candlelight]

Throbbing Gristle - The Third Mind Movements (CD)
[Industrial]

Worm Ouroboros - S/T (CD)
[Profound Lore]

Les Paradisiers – More Tales From The Garden (LP)
[Disques de Lapin]

Beherit - Engram (CD)
[Spinefarm]

Birth! - S/T (Cassette)
[This Head Is For Burning]

Habitat – Code Gray (CD-R) 
[Self-Released]



Best Compilation of 2009:


Various Artists - Pagan Folk und Apocalyptic Psychedelia
(CD)
[Steinklang Industries]

Excellent  (and inexpensive!) comp of the ever-growing traditionalist, pagan and psychedelic movements within the Apocalyptic Folk genre. Features exceptional tracks from The Joy of Nature, Jahrtal, Allerseelen, Sangre Cavallum, and TONS more. All songs are taken from releases on the Ahnstern, Heimatfolk, Percht and Vrihaspati labels. An amazing rainy day listen.


 



Best Reissues/Vault Releases:

1. Bauhaus -
In The Flat Field & Mask Omnibus Editions
(CD Box Sets) [4AD/Beggars]

2.
Skinny Puppy – Last Rights (2LP+CD) [Nettwerk]

3. Coum Transmissions – The Sound of Porridge Bubbling (LP)
[Dais]


4. Sixx - Sister Devil (CD/LP)

[Nuclear War Now Productions]

5. Cold Cave – Cremations (CD/LP)[Hospital Productions]

Honorable Mention:


Death in June - Symbols & Clouds (Box Set) [NERUS]

my top 50 albums of 2009...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 15, 2009 01:20pm | Post a Comment

thieves like us play music
#1
Thieves Like Us
- Play Music (Shelflife)

This was one of those albums that I was excited about before I even heard it. I knew I would be falling in love with this one from the review alone. And the love only got stronger as time went on. I couldn't get enough of this one! It may not seem like much at first, but it truly is fantastic. I still don't know too much about this band. All I know is that they are from Sweden and they like New Order. The album is that sort of dark and new wave style but it doesn't really fall into one genre alone. Favorite songs on the album are "Fass," "Miss You," and "Drugs in My Body." The label Shelflife has put out good albums before, but nothing as good as this. I had really big hopes for this band this year to catch on in America but I don't think they ever really got that big here, which is the fate of many bands that I have fallen in love with before. They might just be a bit too weird or dark and slow. The album does not hit you over the head at first but it does get under your skin and the songs are catchy in their own special way. I highly recommend it. They do remind me a bit of the album by The Teenagers that I fell in love with last year, just without the silliness. A fantastic little album.

listen to "Fass" by Thieves Like Us...

 

buy the CD at amoeba.com

the pains of being pure at heart
#2
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart -
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart (Slumberland)


This album still gets me all happy and giggly -- even just looking at the album cover or saying the band's name out loud. The album cover reminds me of Strawberry Switchblade or My Bloody Valentine but The Pains of Being Pure at Heart sound more like Belle & Sebastian or Camera Obscura. This album is 100% pure twee pop, like nature intended it to be. The songs are cute and adorable but they are also so much more than that. They all tell a story and bring you into a different world, like watching your favorite movie when you are sad. This album can cure any bad mood...unless you hate twee music. Then it might make your mood a bit worse! But even then I think you might have a hard time not falling in love with this album. I saw them live at the Echo not too long after the album came out and it was a great show but I think they still had some stuff to work out. It was just hard to capture the brilliance of the album in a live setting. It is one of those records meant to be listened to in your own bedroom, music for those of us that grew up with The Cure and The Smiths; for those of those that fell in love with The Softies and The Aislers Set in the 90's. Slumberland was the perfect label for this band to end up on -- I really couldn't think of a better label for them. I have been a big fan of Slumberland for a while, since it brought us albums by The Softies, Boyracer, Velocity Girl, The Aislers Set, Henry's Dress, Lodger, Rocketship, and The Crystal Stilts. The Pains are one of my favorite discoveries of the year. I am happy to have them in my life.

listen to "Young Adult Friction" by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart...


buy the CD at amoeba.com

Continue reading...

New 12" Electronic Releases at Amoeba Hollywood - 10/23/09

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, October 19, 2009 03:38pm | Post a Comment
 
New Techno/Electronic 12"s Coming This Week:

DJ Koze
MINIMAL ELVIS & MIXIMAL MJ 12" 
LTD001

White label remix 12" from GET PHYSICAL's DJ KOZE. One side is his minimal smokey remix of ELVIS PRESLEY's cover of "FEVER" -- techno meets cafe jazz. The other side is a chopped up minimal remix of MICHAEL JACKSON's "BAD."


Aphex Twin
DUMB DAN REMIX 1-SIDED 12"
APX101 

1-sided remix of "ANALOGUE BUBBLEBATH" done by DUMB DAN (who also remixed JUSTICE vs NEW ORDER and DAFT PUNK recently). As an added bonus it's pressed on clear vinyl!    


Boys Noize JEFFER-MODESELEKTOR RMX 12" BNR038 

Excepter 
FRKWYS VOL. 2 EP 12" FRKWYS02

Flying Lotus 
WHOLE WIDE WORLD 12" RAMP016

Fever Ray 
IF I HAD A HEART REMIX 12" RABID38T

Fever Ray 
WHEN I GROW UP REMIXES 12" RABID40T 

MFA 
THROW IT BACK 12" 26BC      


New House/Disco 12"s Coming This Weekend:

Ronny & Renzo
ME, MYSELF, GOOD RMX 12" 
KKFR74005

The latest 12" from Belgium's KING KUNG FOO. Limited one time only pressing of 1000. Slow-mo Balaeric disco with a 9 min original mix on one side and a trippy "VOODOO RITUAL DUB" mix from QUIET VILLAGE on the flip. A song and 12" dedicated to the plight of the silverback gorilla. Full pic sleeve.



Idjut Boys 
DROID #3 12" 
DROID0309

Another deadly duo of cuts, taking basic raw drum track elements & twisting them into FX laden new shapes. Their patented dub ethic is woven into these club friendly tunes, hypnotizing and sporadic. Limited pressing, no repress on these, folks!
 


Art Of Tones CALL THE SHOTS 12" VIS189

Holger Czukay ODE TO PERFUME LTD. 10" C56014

Silicone Soul LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL 12" SOMA272

Smith & Mudd HVALA & ENOS 12" C56015

Various SPATIAL DISCO LP ETS007LP

DJ Sneak
HIT EM WHERE IT HURTS12" ROBSOUL78

Daniel Wang PRES. BALIHU YRS. PT 1 DLP RH108LP1

Daniel Wang
PRES. BALIHU YRS. PT 2 DLP RH108LP2

Eddie C MAKE A CHANGE 12" FB003

Jackpot RVNG OF THE NRDS #9 12" NRDS09

Jorge C MAS MUSICA EP 12" MATRIX21

Kink PSYCHE FUNK EP 12" UT03

Machine FUSE-AME & DIXON REMIXES 12" IV23

Spencer Parker YOU GOT ME 12" NRK153

T&K MUCHO SWASH 12" IDIB022

Timo Maas BITE THE DUST & PAYBACK 12" TIMORE001

W+L Black SOUL CLAP POP EDITS 12" WLB03

White Days GOSPEL DRUMS12" WHITEDAYS002

Wolf Music I WANNA SEE..EP-REVENGE 12" WOLFEP003



New Jungle/Dubstep 12"s Coming This Weekend:


Moody Boyz
FREEDOM (WITH PETE SIMPSON)12"
STUDR004


MOODY BOYZ (aka TONY THORPE) team up with soulful vocalist PETE SIMPSON for a bumpin' UK funky meets dubstep workout, with the dubwise mix on the flip.

Chasing Shadows
ILL 12"
HENCH011


Twisted beats, a punishing bassline,and sweeping atmospherics on this intensely nosiy dubstep effort from the HENCH label. B-side "AMIRAH" is equally dark & intense as well.



4 Hero PRESENTS EXTENSIONS DLP RCRLP03

Calibre
LET ME HOLD YOU 12" SIG015

Cluekid & LD
I DON'T WANNA CRY 12" CAS004

Digital & Outrage
RED LETTER 3LP CHANELD01LP

Emalkay
WHEN I LOOK AT YOU 12" DP034

FaltyDL
PARTY12" RAMP025

Goldie & Commix
ENVIOUS12" METH080

Junior Murvin 
NUMBER 1 SOUND (REMIXES)12" LIR01

Mungos Hi Fi 
INTERNATIONAL ROOTS (LD REMIX) 12" DP032

Sub Focus SUB FOCUS LP SAMPLER D12" RAMMLP13

out 3/24 & 3/31...fever ray...yeah yeahs...mono...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 23, 2009 02:55pm | Post a Comment

I seriously don't know where the month went. I thought it was still March. I have so very many new albums to talk about. It may have seemed like there was just nothing for me to talk about since I have not updated this blog in so long, but that is so far from the truth. I was off on a little vacation and then I had some visitors from out of town and then there was Record Store Day craziness! I am now officially back on the blog to tell you about all the amazing and exciting things that I have been listening to. There is always that horrible dry spell of music at the end of the year and the very beginning of the new, but all the new releases that you could ever want were saved up for March, April, and May. I am going to get finished up with March right now and just talk about the 3/24 and 3/31 new releaes. I will save the April stuff for the next couple of blogs. I highly recommend the new Decemberists album. I have been a fan of theirs for a couple years now. I suggest you go back and discover some of their older albums if you have not yet done that. I still need to spend some quality time with the new one. I also usually end up liking their albums more after I see them live. My favorite ladies from Azure Ray both had new albums in the last couple of weeks. Ladyluck by Maria Taylor is for sure good stuff but it has not yet grown on me like that second Maria Taylor solo album did. Lynn Teeter Flower from 2007 remains one of my favorites. I find myself going back to it whenever I feel a bit sad -- it has the perfect combination of pop and sadness. Orenda Fink, the other part of Azure Ray, also has a new album out. The band is called O+S and the new album is fantastic. O+S is Orenda and Cedric Lemoyne who was the bassist in Remy Zero. So far this O+S album is beating out Maria Taylor's as one of my favorites. I love them both and they both have fantastic voices, I have just been listening to the O+S more often.

There is also a great new album by Jeremy Jay. This dude is from Los Angeles and seems to be a very busy man. His last album made it onto my Best of the Year list last year. I was barely ready for a new album by him. Still spending some quality time with the last one A Place Where We Could Go. The new one is called Slow Dance. I like it so far but honestly have not had enough time to fall in love with it like I did the last one. Just too many albums to listen to right now. I keep listening to the same albums over and over and over again.

Another album that I have not had enough time for yet is the new Malajube. I have listened to it probably only twice but absolutely love it. I am going to have to again recommend their first album. Trompe-l'cei came out in 2006. I will not go so far as to say that the album changed my life, but it came very close. They are French Canadian and I have no idea what they are singing about, but the music is so good it really does not matter. The new album is called Labyrinthes. It is very close to the top of the list of albums that I need to spend some quality time with very soon. The music is very pretty and all sorts of messed up at the same time. A bit like Gang Gang Dance. They also remind me a lot of Blonde Redhead-- that same kind of crazy energy mixed up with an intense sort of dark feeling. I did love them before I saw this video...But now I really love them...

Here is the video for "Porte Disparu" from the new album...




I think that most of my top 10 or 20 albums of the year have come out in the last couple of months. Both the new Royksopp and Fever Ray will for sure be on that list. The new Royksopp is called Junior. I liked a couple of songs off their last album The Understanding, but I never completely fell in love with the whole album. The song "What Else Is There" remains one of my favorite songs. Maybe I just spent too much time listening to that one song. Nothing else on the album could really compare to it. The song featured Karin from The Knife and Fever Ray. Please go listen to that song if you have never heard it. If you love it like I do then you will love this new Royksopp album. If not, then you probably should not bother. The Understanding came out in 2005, so it has been a long 4 years to wait for this new album Junior, but Royksopp will give us two albums this year. In March we got Junior, and we also get Senior later in the year. I wonder how Junior Senior feels about this. Senior will be more instrumental and atmospheric. Junior features all sorts of guest vocalists. My favorite, Karin Dreijer Andersson, returns to sing on two songs, easily the best on the album. Her first song is track 4, which is "This Must Be It." The song is dangerously addictive and I find myself listening to it over and over again. I absolutely love her voice and love The Knife and love her new stuff as well. But Royksopp is able to do something else with her. Maybe they just make her a bit more accessible. Her voice is stil the strange and weird voice that you may be accustomed to. They just lighten her up a bit and make her more fun somehow. But don't get me wrong. I love her any way I can get her. Karin also has her new project, Fever Ray, who also just happen to have put out a new album. The new self titled album is put out by the great label Mute. I love love love it as well. Fever Ray is also more accessible than any of the Knife albums-- very similar to the Knife but maybe just a bit less wierd and a bit more of a pop album, or as close as she could possibly get. I don't really want her to turn into Robyn or Kylie Minogue but it is nice to hear a different side of her.
royksopp junior
I tend to get Norway and Sweden mixed up a bunch. They are right next to each other. It is an easy mistake. And I do like so much of the music that comes out of both those countries. Royksopp is from Norway. The Knife is from Sweden. The new Royksopp also features Robyn on one of the songs. She also comes from Sweden. Lykke Li, also from Swedfever rayen, sings on the song "Miss It So Much." Anneli Drecker, the singer from Bel Canto, sings on three of the tracks. She is actually from Norway. Her songs are my favorite from the album right after the songs by Karin. The two main members of Royksopp are Svein Berge and Torbjorn Bruntland. They do all the music on all the songs and sing on two of the songs on the album. The album is great and fun and everything an album should be. It makes you enjoy your life while listening to it and makes you want to come back for more. I do a lot more driving than I ever did before, and this is one of those great driving albums. Please pick up a copy of Silent Shout by The Knife if you have not yet done so. If you already have it and love it, then you really need both the new Fever Ray and Royksopp records in your life. I can't imagine the last couple of months of my lifyeah yeah yeahse without these albums.

I have been waiting for a new Yeah Yeah Yeahs album since the day after the last one came out. I did love Show Your Bones, I just wanted more. Three years seems like so long to have to wait for a new album, but the new album will not disappoint you...or maybe it will if you are expecting the exact same album. This album is a bit different and more atmospheric, but it is still Karen O and it is still the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I just recommend listening to it a couple times before you make up your mind. While I am still having trouble falling in love with the new PJ Harvey, I had no trouble falling in love with this album. It is called It's Blitz! and the first single is "Zero." I am sure you have already heard it and have maybe already watched the video that I posted on my last blog. The video is filmed on the streets of San Francisco, which makes me love yeah yeah yeahs its blitz!it even more. The deluxe version of the album features 4 acoustic versions of songs on the album. Acoustic Yeah Yeah Yeahs is for sure a different experience than I am accustomed to, but it is great to be able to hear those versions. The album is full of many fantastic songs. It starts with the great single and then just gets better. My favorite song is probably track 2 which is "Heads Will Roll," but then I also fall in love with the next track "Soft Shock" every time I hear it. There is not a bad song on this album and each song is so very different. "Skeletons" and "Runaway" make me cry every time I listen to them, but I keep going back for more. "Dragon Queen" is probably the most fun song on the album. I think the second to last song "Hysteric" is my favorite on the album, but it changes every time I listen to the record. I know I throw the word love around way too much, but I do love this album absolutely. And if you have never seen this band live, then you simply must do everything you can to try and see them. They are one of the best bands to see live. Karen O is just amazing to watch up on that stage. She just seems to be having so much fun.

Mono is one of those bands that I have been wanting to get into for a while. I knew I would like them, I just never got around to it. It was not until a couple of years ago that I finally started listening to them. They put out Gone in 2007, which was a collection of their EPs from 2000 to 2007. I, of course, fell in love. (I tend to do this a lot with music.) So I was anxiously awaiting this new album called Hymn to the Immortal Wind. I have been a long time fan of Explosions in the Sky. Mono does the same sort of instrumental rock type of thing that they do, and they are on the same great label called Temporary Residence Limited, but while the Explosions are from Texas, Mono are from Japan. This new album was recorded in Chicago and mixed by Steve Albini. It is hard to explain why you like an album like this so much. I guess it is like describing a classical album. There are no lyrics to fall in love with. No voice to captivate you. Just the sounds of the instruments. It ismono just the music. Without vocals, all the instruments obviously become the focus. I just like these albums because of the way they make me feel. I know I have described the Explosions this way before. The music allows me to think. I am not making up my own lyrics to go along with it, but I am sort of making up my own story to go along with it as I am listening to it. This music is just a sort of therapy. It helps me when I am not feeling the best and manages to fix most of my problems. This new album has 7 songs, most of them longer than 10 minutes. But, like a great score to a movie, they seamlessly flow together, creating one great album. There are certain albums that I would recommend listening to while driving around, and then there are the bands that I like listening to on my headphones while walking around the city. Mono is one of those bands. They don't work so well in the car, but are perfect for those private moments that you have by yourself. I highly recommend putting on your headphones and going for a nice 67 minute walk with this album. It will seriously cast some sort of magic over you and make you feel a whole lot better. But you really don't need to be feeling down to listen to this band. It just makes them even better for some reason.

Here is the rest of what came out on 3/24 and 3/31. Next up will be the releases of 4/7 and 4/14. It only gets better. New Bat For Lashes, Junior Boys, and Juan Maclean. And my new favorite album of the year by Thieves Like Us...

also out 3/24...






Hazards of Love by The Decemberists











Fist of God by MSTRKRFT











In A Perfect World by Keri Hilson











Grace/Wastelands by Peter Doherty











The Bends/Pablo Honey/OK Computer Deluxe Reissues by Radiohead











Enemy Mine by Swan Lake











I Blame You by The Obits











Slow Dance by Jeremy Jay











Fuckbook by Condo Fucks (Yo La Tengo)











O+S by O+S











Early Output by Fridge














Walt Disney & the World's Fair
















Bromst by Dan Deacon







also out 3/31...






A Woman A Man Walked By by P.J. Harvey & John Parish










Live In London by Leonard Cohen










Lost Channels by The Great Lake Swimmers











King Baby by Jim Gaffigan











That's So Gay by Pansy Division











Ladyluck by Maria Taylor










Labyrinthes by Malajube