Month: July 2016

New music video from Alex Cameron: “The Comeback”

Once again, I find myself stumbling for words to describe what it is about Cameron’s music and the simplicity of his music videos that attract me so much. There is sense of integrity and sincerity in his music that is nothing but genuine. The pattern of his music videos is Alex Cameron alone, dancing, swaying, performing for no one but himself, shamelessly. There is a fire behind Cameron’s music, a slow burn that seems it will go up in flames at any moment but Cameron remains stoic and composed but bursting with quiet passion.

In his newest single which is part 3 of a series of music videos/songs about show business, Cameron addresses the topic’s core: trying to keep your place in the business amongst all the greed and egotism.

 

“The Comeback” is off of Alex Cameron’s upcoming record, Jumping the Shark, which is due out August 19th on Secretly Canadian. He’ll be touring in support the new album this fall:

Fri. Sep. 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West %
Sat. Sep. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In %
Sun. Sep. 11 – Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theater %
Mon. Sep. 12 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre %
Wed. Sep. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer %
Thu. Sep. 15 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club %
Sat. Sep. 17 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall %
Sun. Sep. 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw %
Tue. Sep. 20 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair %
Fri. Oct. 21 – Lisbon, PT @ ZDB
Mon. Oct. 24 – Bordeaux, FR @ lboat
Tue. Oct. 25 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Avant-Garde
Thu. Oct. 27 – Antwerp, BE @ Autumn Falls (Trix Club)
Sat. Oct. 29 – Ghent, BE @ Autumn Falls (Charlatan)
Mon. Oct. 31 – Namur, BE @ Beautés Soniques
Tue. Nov. 8 – Copenhagen, DK @ Huset KBH
Wed. Nov. 9 – Hamburg, DE @ Aalhaus
Thu. Nov. 10 – Berlin, DE @ ACUD
Fri. Nov. 11 – Leipzig, DE @ UT Connewitz
Mon. Nov. 14 – Bristol, UK @ Start the Bus
Tue. Nov. 15 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds
Wed. Nov. 16 – London, UK @ Moth club
Thu. Nov. 17 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
Sat. Nov. 19 – Leeds, UK @ Headrow House
Sun. Nov. 20 – Brighton, UK @ Green Door Store
Fri. Nov. 25 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
Sat. Nov. 26 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre *
Tue. Nov. 29 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *
Wed. Nov. 30 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel *

% with Angel Olsen
* with Thee Oh Sees

Poignant music video from Unknown Mortal Orchestra: “First World Problem”

On the tail of the release of Uknown Mortal Orchestra’s newest album, Multi-Love in 2015, they’ve released a “stand-alone” single titled, “First World Problem.” The video depicts what appears to be a disputing couple who find themselves stretched between home and a barren land. They communicate through dance: violent, beautiful and raw.

The dancers are Kiani del Valle and Derek Schiesel, with Kiani del Valle as director along with James Lees. About the video del Valle says:

“With First World Problem, I aimed to create a dialogue between both art forms. I wanted the video to be the response to Ruban’s lyrics and musical melodies rather than showing literally what the song is saying. There are always two sides to one story and the video piece is her side of the story. I am a heavy fan of silent films and how unspoken language could add a second layer to the one we speak. The directorial collaboration with James Lees came really organically as we have been planning for a while to do something together. James is really good at storytelling and has a great eye, while I am more abstract and conceptual. Producer Jason Baum was the key element of magic, making everything happen gracefully.”

 

Catch the band touring this summer:

Wed. July 27 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Thu. July 28 – Providence, RI @ Fete Ballroom
Sat. July 30th – New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage
Sat. Aug. 13 – Eau Claire, WI @ Eaux Claires Festival
Wed. Aug. 17 – Paredes De Coura, Portugal @ Paredes de Coura
August 18-21 – Wales, United Kingdom @ Green Man Festival
Fri. August 19 – Hamburg, Germany @ Dockville
Fri. Aug. 26 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
Sun. Aug. 28 – Portland, OR @ MusicFest NW (Project Pabst)
Tue. Aug. 30 – Petaluma, CA @ Lagunitas Brewing Company
Thu. Sept. 1 – Santa Monica, CA @ Santa Monica Pier
Fri. Sept. 2 – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley w/ Tame Impala
Sat. Sept 3 – Berkeley, CA @ The Greek Theatre – UC Berkeley w/ Tame Impala

 

Playlist: Spring and Summer Sounds Vol II

Here it is! Volume II – 30 songs deep and over 2 hours long. Hopefully you find something in there you like.

 

New album to come September 2nd from Angel Olsen: “MY WOMAN”

Following the release of her last record in 2014, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, comes Angel Olsen’s latest project, MY WOMAN, due out September 2nd on Jagjaguwar. On this new record, Olsen still intoxicates her listeners with her longing vocals, sense of rock and grunge and her simultaneous understanding of soft, reflective songwriting. The album is organized with the A side tracks more themed to the upfront, pop n’ rock we know her so well for and the B side is decorated with longer, more stretched out tracks, indicative of her softer side. Justin Raisen (Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira, Santigold) produced MY WOMAN and it features guest artist Seth Kauffman on guitar in addition to Olsen’s guitarist Stewart Bronaugh and drummer Joshua Jaeger.

Before releasing her latest single and music video, “Shut Up Kiss Me”, Olsen released a teaser trailer for the track, “Intern”:

 

The first single to come from MY WOMAN is “Shut Up Kiss Me”, a more in-your-face track in comparison to “Intern”, thus it lies on the A side of the record. Again Olsen is outfitted with the shiny silver bob that was featured in the trailer for “Intern”, perhaps a theme for MY WOMAN. The goofy video features nothing short of some serious attitude but also a bit of playfulness from Olsen. She shakes her silver do around whilst roller skating down the street in the night hours, and alone, plus or minus some equally as silly young people, at a roller rink. The youthfullness is infectious as is her demanding voice.

 

Catch Olsen touring this fall for MY WOMAN with Alex Cameron, Rodrigo Amarante and Little Wings:

Fri. Sep. 9 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West *
Sat. Sep. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/In *
Sun. Sep. 11 – Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theater *
Mon. Sep. 12 – Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre *
Wed. Sep. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
Thu. Sep. 15 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club *
Fri. Sep. 16 – Hudson, NY @ Basilica Hudson
Sat. Sep. 17 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall *
Sun. Sep. 18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw *
Tue. Sep. 20 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair *
Wed. Sep. 21 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair &
Thu. Sep. 22 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom &
Fri. Sep. 23 – Montreal, QC @ Rialto Theatre &
Sat. Sep. 24 – Toronto, ON @ Virgin Mobile Mod Club &
Mon. Sep. 26 – Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch &
Tue. Sep. 27 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall &
Fri. Sep. 30 – St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway &
Sat. Oct. 1 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle &
Thu. Oct. 13 – Brighton, UK @ Concord 2 #
Fri. Oct. 14 – Manchester, UK @ Club Academy #
Sat. Oct. 15 – Glasgow, UK @ SWG3 Studio Warehouse #
Sun. Oct. 16 – Bristol, UK @ The Marble Factory #
Mon. Oct. 17 – London, UK @ KOKO #
Wed. Oct. 19 – Hamburg, DE @ Kampnagel #
Thu. Oct. 20 – Copenhagen, DK @ Koncerthuset, Studie 2 #
Fri. Oct. 21 – Oslo, NO @ John Dee #
Sat. Oct. 22 – Stockholm, SE @ Debaser Strand #
Sun. Oct. 23 – Goeteborg, SE @ Pustervik #
Tue. Oct. 25 – Berlin, DE @ Columbia Theater #
Wed. Oct. 26 – Munich, DE @ Ampere #
Thu. Oct. 27 – Zuerich, CH @ Bogen F #
Fri. Oct. 28 – Koeln, DE @ Stadtgarten #
Sat. Oct. 29 – Brussels, BE @ Botanique #
Fri. Nov. 4 – Paris, FR @ La Gaîté Lyrique #
Sat. Nov. 5 – Den Haag, NL @ Crossing Border Festival
Sun. Nov. 6 – Amsterdam, NL @ Tolhuistuin #

* = with Alex Cameron
& = with Rodrigo Amarante
# = with Little Wings

 

“Female Vampire” music video from Jenny Hval + album release date: Sep 30th

Norwegian musician and creative queen of pushing the boundaries that lie between the abstract, bizarre and beautiful, has released a head-turning music video for her single, “Female Vampire.” In slow motion, several beautiful women move through the Norwegian city of Oslo, partaking in strange rituals, all in the night hours. It is stunning and simultaneously frightening in a modern vampiric sense. About the video, Hval says:

What does eternity feel like? How do you ‘live’ when there is no death? Usually, the vampire is depicted as a lonesome, all-knowing and ancient creature combining violence, aggressive sexuality and deceitful youth. The pack behind the video for ‘Female Vampire’ wanted to explore vampiric eternity in a different narrative: in a group of romancing friends. The vampire friends move through their hometown of Oslo, partaking in public and private rituals of moving together. We also wanted to combine ideas from old vampire trash movies and modern trashy iPhone videos, resulting in an enigmatic world of time-lapse like slow motion where everything is always moving, or moving on. Not there, or not there yet.”

 

Hval’s newest record, Blood Bitch, is out September 30th on Sacred Bones. Her tour continues with a few festival dates and a tour in support of Blood Bitch beginning September 29th:

Fri. Aug. 5 – Katowice, PL @ Off Festival
Sun. Sep. 4 – Larmer Tree Gardens, UK @ End of the Road
Wed. Sep. 14 – Oslo, NO @ Ultima Festival
Thu. Sep. 29 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
Fri. Sep. 30 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
Tue. Oct. 4 – Boston, MA @ Great Scott
Wed. Oct. 5 – Montreal, QC @ Casa del Popolo
Fri. Oct. 7 – Toronto, ON @ The Drake
Sat. Oct. 8 – Oberlin, OH @ Oberlin College
Sun. Oct. 9 – Washington, DC @ DC9
Mon. Oct. 17 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
Tue. Oct. 18 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen
Wed. Oct. 19 – London, UK @ Oslo
Fri. Oct. 21 – Brussels, BE @ AB
Sat. Oct. 22 – Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
Mon. Oct. 24 – Luzern, CH @ Suedpol
Wed. Oct. 26 – Berlin, DE @ Kantine am Berghain
Thu. Oct. 27 – Amsterdam, NL @ De School
Fri. Oct. 28 – Hamburg, DE @ Kampnagel
Sat. Oct. 29 – Copenhagen, DK @ Jazzhouse
Fri. Nov. 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
Sat. Nov. 12 – Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club
Mon. Nov. 14 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
Tue. Nov. 15 – Seattle, WA @ Kremwerk
Wed. Nov. 16 – Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore Cabaret

 

Playlist: Spring and Summer Sounds

 

Forgive me for such a delay in playlist-making. Here is a small bite of what’s been hiding in my inbox for the last few months.

Album Review: “The Switcher” by Lonesome Shack

If anyone out there knows how to find and communicate rhythm in its purest, most raw form, it’s Lonesome Shack. There are no frills, bells or whistles: Lonesome Shack streamlines their music and the result is a smooth, clean and crisp boogie blues n’ rock sound. Back in the early years of the new millennium in the lonelier parts of New Mexico, Lonesome Shack front man, Ben Todd, discovered the voice (his voice) that bears the vocal weight of Lonesome Shack. Later on drummer/guitarist and friend, Kristian Garrard joined Todd and the duo released two records, Bound to Die and Slidin Boa. When 2011 rolled around, bassist Luke Bergman joined Todd and Garrard and three years later the trio released More Primitive. Between album releases the band toured across the US including opening for Blitzen Trapper at the Bartlett in Spokane, WA in 2014 which was where I heard their music for the first time. The buzz in the crowd during their performance was undeniable and all of us that got there early enough to see the opening band were glad we did.

For the fellows’ latest release, they decided to go big and release a four side full length titled, The Switcher. The record was released for public listening on June 24th, mastered by Johnny Goss (who also mastered More Primitive) and recorded at Dandelion Gold. The objective of the album was to create something that gave the listener the experience of being at a live show, and they did just that. Though, this is something that I have always loved about Lonesome Shack so it didn’t come as a surprise to me that The Switcher fell in line with their previous release. The way in which their music is recorded leaves the listener with a richer, more intimate experience. It’s that raw and pure quality I mentioned above. It is present live and it is present recorded, therefore whenever listening to Lonesome Shack, I feel transported.

The Switcher is an assortment of variations on the blues n’ rock theme, the groove unavoidable and the beat upfront and easy to find. They experiment with tempo, lyricism, rhythm and mood on this album, constantly changing these aspects but always staying true to their style. The record opens with “To the Floor”, a consistent groove that bleeds flowingly into the following song, title track, “The Switcher.” “The Switcher” is gritty, low and shady, the tempo slow and muddy.

The A side closes with one of my personal favorites on the record, “Dirty Traveler.” It’s sly and brooding, maintaining a shadowy temperament throughout. The bass secretly keeping time, the drums in the forefront and this sound effect that sounds like it’s straight out of a 70’s mystery flick. “Dirty Traveler” is something new and different for Lonesome Shack and it works.

The three tracks on the B Side couldn’t be any different from each other. “Chemicals” is quick, up tempo and dance-able while “True Vine” is a marching blues jam. Check out the music video created by Lonesome Shack member, Kristian Garrard.

 

“Stuff From a Cup” is a beauty in itself. There’s something tender about this track which isn’t a quality often heard or expected for that matter, from these fellows. The lyrics describe being young and dumb, finding love and expectations of becoming who you hoped you would.

The remainder of the record is decorated with dance-inducing tracks like “Sugar Farm”, “Mushin Dog” and “Safety Zone” and other more viscous grooves like “Pain on Me”, “Junk Train” and the closing cut, “Blood.” “Safety Zone” is another favorite of mine on the record, once again because it sticks out, it’s a standalone track. The attitude is more light hearted and it’s reminiscent of something you’d do the two step to at an old bar in a small town in Montana.

Altogether, The Switcher is an incredibly diverse collection of tracks that are blues-oriented but blur the lines between traditional blues, rock and old time folk/Americana. I commend these deeply talented musicians on their continuing creativity. You can purchase the album (digital and vinyl) on their Bandcamp page.