Pick Up 15 Coachella Releases Digitally Before the Show

Posted by Billy Gil, April 11, 2013 05:01pm | Post a Comment has many of the bands playing at Coachella this weekend and next available digitally. Pick up some of the albums below before your drive out to the desert!


Dinosaur Jr. - Chocomel Daze (Live 1987)

Recently released live set from 1987 from the legendary college-rock band, in all their You're Living All Over Me glory.









Divine Fits - A Thing Called Divine Fits

A surprisingly strong side project featuring Spoon's Britt Daniels and former Wolf Parade/Handsome Furs barker Dan Boeckner.









Grizzly Bear - Shields

Last year's Shields was one of the better indie-rock releases of the year. Revisit Shields and bask in its splendor.

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Albums Out April 9: The Knife, Kurt Vile and More

Posted by Billy Gil, April 9, 2013 10:54am | Post a Comment

Album Picks:

The Knife - Shaking The Habitual

CD $12.98

Deluxe CD $19.98

LP $27.98

As always, The Knife mean to disturb and provoke you, and Shaking the Habitual is their most adventurous statement to date. They begin the two-disc set with one of the more pop-oriented pieces — of course, The Knife’s defintion of pop involves alien distortion on Karin Dreijer Andersson’s vocals, which are growly and swoop in and out of conventional melodicism to begin with. On “A Tooth for an Eye,” it’s fairly typical, if highly accomplished, fare for The Knife, as Andersson’s warped vocals match her and Olaf Dreijer’s tribal beatwork and synths that bellow and squelch like steam machinery. This in no way prepares you for the set’s second song, the nine-minute “Full of Fire,” whose machine-gun beats are the accessible part of a demonic pop song in which synths bleep atonally like tea kettles and swirl like locusts, while Andersson’s vocals sound like they’ve been run over by tires full of syringes. Even with its mammoth run-time and demanding sound, it never falters in fascinating and keeping a fanged vice grip on the listener. You feel your hair stand on end and you start to sweat with each new turn. “A Cherry on Top” starts with five minutes of wraithlike synths before Andersson comes in with a digitally deepened voice in a sort of gender, culture, genre-bending near 10 minutes that’s both bewildering and bold. Of course The Knife’s freaky sounds can be grating or seemingly unusual for the sake of it sometimes — I opened a hotel website with a man singing in Hawaiian during the flute-laden “Without You My Life Would Be Boring” and didn’t notice for a full minute — and pieces like the nearly silent, nearly 20-minute “Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized” are more interesting in concept and as a breather than they are in actual sound. But Shaking the Habitual harkens back to a time when albums were meant to be an experience, something puzzled over, abandoned and returned to and studied, not streamed while searching for hotels. It’s anti-pop, but claims that it is “unlistenable” are unfounded. Even at nearly 10 minutes and with truly messed up sounds housed within in, “Raging Lung” is a pop song, with movements and parts that hit you and break through the din — when Andersson keeps coming in with her “that’s when it hurts” line ranks among the best pop moments on the album. “Networking” drops vocals almost entirely in favor of a Kraftwerkian cold synth rave-up, and it ends up one of the album’s catchiest songs in the process. “Stay Out Here” also features guest vocals from Light Asylum’s Shannon Funchess and artist Emily Roysdon that make the song a kind of horror house anthem as the singers’ vocals bounce off one another and come together in eerie harmony in a padded cell of wavelike synths and skittering beats. The Knife make many demands on you — of your time, of your patience and of your willingness to let go of preconceived notions of pop — on Shaking the Habitual. Trust them — you’ll emerge from the experience feeling as though you’ve gained a new understanding of what pop music can be. Few artists alive today can claim the same effect.

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my top 50 albums of 2011...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 18, 2011 01:15pm | Post a Comment
- Blouse (Captured Tracks)
Last year was when I first got obsessed with the label Captured Tracks. Both Wild Nothing and Soft Moon ended up in my top ten last year. This is the year of Blouse, Soft Metals and Craft Spells. This label can do no wrong and keeps putting out amazing albums one after the other. This album continues the Captured Tracks tradition of capturing that early 90's shoegaze sound that I am still obsessed with. This Blouse album fits in more with the soft rock side of shoegaze and dreampop. It is more like Beach House than the darker sounds of label mates Soft Moon. It is a beautiful album and I can't get enough.

kurt vile#2
Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo

This is not his first album but it really is his first album for me. This is the year that I fell hard for Kurt Vile. I could not stop listening to this album for a couple of months. There is just something about it that really got to me. The album is on the more folky side of things. Something that I need in my life every once in a while. He reminds me of Mark Kozelek and the Red House Painters. And listening to this album makes me remember the first time I discoved Mark Kozelek and was hooked for life. It really is that good.

Zola Jesus - Conatus (Sacred Bones)

Zola Jesus has given me exactly the album that I wanted from her. It is majestic and beautiful and dark and moody. This album is for fans of the The Knife and Fever Ray. And while we patiently wait for the next album by The Knife out next year, this album more than fills the void.  It is a dark emotional roller coaster. I really wish that artists like Bjork or Kate Bush would have moved in this direction. But thankfully we have Zola Jesus to bring us the album that we all needed in our life. A perfect album for dark and rainy winter nights. You should not live your life one day longer without Zola Jesus.

Veronica Falls
- Veronica Falls (Slumberland)
Slumberland has been another one of my favorite labels this year. I have always been a fan but they have really done a great job these last couple of years of sort of reinventing themselves and discovering a whole new group of twee sort of artists. It is the darker side of twee. This is really a fantastic little album from these folks from London. They released a couple of singles on Captured Tracks and have now given us this perfect pop masterpiece of a debut album. 

holy ghost!#5
Holy Ghost!
- Holy Ghost! (DFA)
Albums don't really get any more fun than this album. It captures that same feeling as Booka Shade's The Sun & The Neon Light from a couple of years ago. This is electronica raised on New Order and Depeche Mode. It is catchier than anything and is guaranteed to put you in good mood. I spent many hours of my life this year listening to this album. And I am not done with them yet. I keep finding myself going back to this record. And I always forget how much fun this album really is. It fits somewhere in between albums by Hot Chip, Telefon Tel Aviv or The Teenagers.

Washed Out - Within & Without (Sub Pop)

Washed Out is the only artist to appear in both my top tens last year and this year. The Life of Leisure EP from last year is still one of my favorite debuts of all time. Ernest Greene, the man behind Washed Out, has now given us his excellent full length album on Sub Pop this year. It is an almost perfect dream pop album. It fits somewhere in between Sigur Ros and Crystal Castles. It is what people like to call chillwave. It is basically just a more synth version of dream pop.  At times I have no idea what he is singing about. But this album takes me away to another sort of magical place. It doesn't get much better than this.

Soft Metals - Soft Metals (Captured Tracks)

I was of course first intrigued by Soft Metals because of their Patrick Nagel inspired album covers. But it really was not hard for them to win me over. My second favorite album from Captured Tracks this year. These songs would not be out of place on the soundtrack to Drive. This is the futuristic new wave that I love. Dark and synthy. This music is made for me. Soft Metals are from the beautiful city Portland. Which just happens to be one of my favorite cities. The songs are catchy and very addictive.

Gem Club
- Breakers (Hardly Art)
Hardly Art has been doing a good job at breaking my heart lately. They have just been releasing some great albums. First they reissued some amazing albums by Carissa's Wierd. And now this year they have released some amazing debut albums from Gem Club, Shimmering Stars and Seapony. This Gem Club album has really got to be the most beautiful and heartbreaking album out this year. For fans of Bon Iver and Jose Gonzalez and things that are amazing. This album might be hard for some to get through but it is worth the heartache.

Big Troubles - Romantic Comedy

Big Troubles! This album just sort of sneaked up on me. But I quickly got obsessed with it. A nice little feel good record for this year. You simply can't not like this album. Full of catchy and pop friendly songs. Big Troubles is sort of the perfect middle ground between a band like Pavement and a band like Blur. The songs are catchy and jangly and maybe a bit silly. But this is how pop music should sound. A perfect masterpiece of an album. Every song is just as good as the last on this album. Give me more Big Troubles.

- Soundtrack (Lakeshore)

Walking into this movie I had no idea that it would be my favorite movie of the year. It was a pleasant surprise. It was one of those movies where the music was just perfect. And the music was almost as important as the performances in the movie. It really played a big part of making the movie what it was. From the opening scene to the closing credits. This album is part soundtrack and part score. Cliff Martinez does a great job with the moody 80's score. And the tracks from Italians Do it Better artists Chromatics and Desire fit perfectly in the movie as well. A perfect soundtrack to a perfect film

Memory Tapes
- Player Piano (Carpark)

Shimmering Stars
- Violent Hearts
(Hardly Art)

The Raveonettes
- Raven In The Grave
(Vice Records)

- Father Son Holy Ghost
(True Panther Sounds)

Bon Iver
- Bon Iver (Jagjaguwar)

John Maus
- We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves

Cold Cave
- Cherish The Light Years

Teen Daze
- A Silent Planet
(Lefse Records)

- Go With Me (Hardly Art)

Puro Instinct
- Headbangers In Ecstacy
(Mexican Summer)

Craft Spells
- Idle Labor
(Captured Tracks)

Blood Orange
- Coastal Grooves

La Sera
- La Sera (Hardly Art)

Atlas Sound
- Parallax (4AD)

- An Album By Korallreven

The Drums
- Portamento
(French Kiss Records)

- Hurry Up We're Dreaming (Mute)

Det Vackra Livet
- Det Vackra Livet

Neon Indian
- Era Extrana
(Mom & Pop Music)

The Rip Tide (Pompeii Records)

David Lynch
- Crazy Clown Time
(Play It Again Sam)

Real Estate
- Days (Domino)

Sea Lions
- Everything You Always Wanted To Know About the Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask (Slumberland)

Dum Dum Girls
- Only In Dreams
(Sub Pop)

Friendly Fires
- Pala (XL Recordings)

- Thee Physical
(Lovepump United)

Com Truise
- Galactic Melt
(Ghostly International)

Hercules & Love Affair
- Blue Songs
(Moshi Moshi)

- Red Planet (Strange Attractions)

Gang Gang Dance
- Eye Contact (4AD)

Explosions In the Sky
Take Care Take Care Take Care

(Temporary Residence)

- Escape Velocity (Relapse)

Active Child
- You Are All I See (Vagrant)

Xeno & Oaklander
- Sets & Lights (Weird)

Esben & The Witch
- Violet Cries

Los Campesinos
! - Hello Sadness
(Arts & Crafts)

We Were Promised Jetpacks
In The Pit Of The Stomach

(Fat Cat)

Vivian Girls
- Share The Joy (Polyvinyl)

Acid House Kings
Music Sounds Better With You


The Artist
- Soundtrack (Sony)

out this week...3/8 & 3/15...kurt vile smoke ring for my halo!

Posted by Brad Schelden, March 17, 2011 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Kurt Vile has just released his brilliant 4th album called Smoke Ring for My Halo. I am obsessed. He released his 3rd album and his 1st for Matador about a year and a half ago, in October of 2009 and somehow it just passed me by. I just had to go back and see if I even mentioned it in my blog, and I only briefly did but I never got around to really giving it the time it deserved. That album is called Childish Prodigy. I really wish I could go back in time and fall in love with it right there and then but there was a lot going on that week to distract me! The new album from A Place To Bury Strangers had just come out, and new Dead Man's Bones and Gossip albums had just come out as well. I was busy! So when I first heard about the new Kurt Vile album, I really was not that excited and I didn't know what to expect. I had heard some good things about him -- I knew my friend Zack was obsessed, but I really had no idea what he sounded like. From the look of him, I expected him to sound like Andrew WK or Jay Reatard. I had no idea he would sound more like Mark Kozelek or Jose Gonzalez. He is sort of a combination of all your favorite folk musicians: Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bert Jansch, and Fairport Convention. I was pleasantly surprised when I first heard Smoke Ring for My Halo. I had absolutely no idea that this would be one of my favorite albums of the year!

Anyway, as I was saying, Kurt Vile signed with Matador in 2009 and released Childish Prodigy that same year. He had put out 2 albums before his debut on Matador. Constant Hitmaker was released on Gulcher in 2008 and God Is Saying This To You was released on Mexican Summer in 2009. I have not had a chance to go back and listen to these albums yet but they are high on my priority list -- I just can't stop listening to the new album! It's so good that it is almost too good. I literally have been listening to it over and over again. I just can't get enough of that first track," Baby's Arms." It Kurt Vile Smoke Ring for my Haloreminds me of some of my favorite songs by Mark Kozelek and the Red House Painters. But my favorite track is probably "Society Is My Friend." I still am trying to figure out what this song is about. I really have no idea...but it has not kept me from loving the song. Every track on the album is fantastic. Kurt Vile and his band have managed to somehow make one of the best albums of the year and I know some of his fans knew that this album would be that good since they have been loving Kurt Vile for years, but I know there are still many of us who are just discovering him for the first time, which is one of the magical things I love about music. There is nothing like that feeling of hearing an artist for the first time and falling immediately in love! It is sort of like love at first sight -- it doesn't happen that often but it is amazing when it does. There is nothing like that feeling -- so go get yourself some Kurt Vile!

Listen to the Kurt Vile song "Society is My Friend" from the new album Smoke Ring for My Halo...

the new album Smoke Ring for My Halo by Kurt Vile

Check out the Kurt Vile What's In My Bag video filmed at Amoeba San Francisco...

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Kurt Vile at Rickshaw Stop in SF Tonight

Posted by Miss Ess, November 9, 2010 12:44pm | Post a Comment

show to be at tonight in the Bay Area is Matador's own Kurt Vile at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. The guy is unstoppably good! Is it wrong to label his songs "bouncy?" They feel somehow bouncy to me... and have beautiful guitar work too. If you aren't in SF, over the next few weeks Kurt will continue his tour down through the South and back up to his hometown, Philly. Check out some songs and dates below.


"Dead Alive" in Big Sur

Tue-Nov-09 San Francisco, CA Rickshaw Stop
Thu-Nov-11 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
Sat-Nov-13 San Diego, CA Casbah
Sun-Nov-14 Tempe, AZ Trunk Space
Wed-Nov-17 San Antonio, TX The Korova
Thu-Nov-18 Austin, TX Emo’s (w/ Purling Hiss, The Young, Air Traffic Controllers)
Fri-Nov-19 Dallas, TX Club Dada
Sat-Nov-20 Little Rock, AR Whitewater Tavern
Sun-Nov-21 Memphis, TN Hi Tone
Wed-Nov-24 Washington, DC Black Cat (backstage)
Fri-Nov-26 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brendas
Fri-Dec-03 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory (w/ Metal Mountains)

10/21-11/13, co-headlining with The Soft Pack
10/19-12/3, support from Purling Hiss

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