Saturday, October 17, 2009

Snob's Music

Snob's Music

Link to Snob's Music

R.E.M.: "Carnival of Sorts (Box Cars)" (video)

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 08:20 AM PDT

Jay Farrar and Benjamin Gibbard: "One Fast Move or I'm Gone: Kerouac's Big Sur" (album review)

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 05:58 AM PDT

Quick Hits: WAZ, Tiny Tide

Posted: 16 Oct 2009 10:19 PM PDT

Music Is My King Size Bed

Music Is My King Size Bed

Massive Album Artwork - Part I

Posted: 16 Oct 2009 07:00 PM PDT

I know that some might view a blog post full of album art as a cop out. Trust me...these album artwork updates aren't cop outs. Those who say that have never tried formatting a blog post in Blogger. It's suck a process! Blogger can be so finicky sometimes. It drives me INSANE. I actually spend longer on these Album Artwork posts than I do writing some of my other posts. Anyway, lots of new artwork to catch up on so here we go with part #1.

Adam Lambert
While not the lead single off of Adam Lambert's major label debut (due out by year's end), "Time For Miracles" is the lead single off of the 2012 movie soundtrack. Produced by Rob Cavallo (Paramore, Green Day, Avril Lavigne), the track has already been tauted a potential "power-ballad smash" by Entertainment Weekly's Michael Slezak. 2012 is the new big budget disaster pic from director Roland Emmerich, due out November 13th. The single will be released on October 20th. I'm definitely looking forward to some new material from Adam Lambert.

Alesha Dixon
Former Mis-Teeq member and solo artist, Alesha Dixon is re-releasing her second album, The Alesha Show - dubbing this one The Encore. Lead single off of the reboot is the John Shanks-produced/Gary Barlow-written ballad, "To Love Again." Not too crazy about the song to be honest. I think Dixon has a perfectly adequate voice, but I much prefer her on an up-tempo track. I don't know if this song is going to be enough to make the album jump up the charts, but who knows. There are 2 other new tracks on the album (including one co-written by Paloma Faith and one produced by Xenomania), out in the UK November 23rd. The single precedes the album on November 15th.

I'm loving the artwork campaign for Amerie's In Love & War album. It's artistic AND sexy at the same time. The music on the other hand...I haven't really been inspired by any of Amerie's new material. Perhaps I haven't given it enough of a chance. There is no release date yet for "Pretty Brown," the third single released from the new album, due out November 3rd. It features hip hop artists Trey Songz.

Asher Roth
I don't know if it's bad boy/thug appeal or what, but there's something about Asher Roth that I just find sexy. "She Don't Wanna Man" was actually the 4th single released off of Roth's debut album Asleep In The Bread Aisle. The single came out in July and features R&B artist Keri Hilson. The 5th single, "As I Em" was released on October 6th. I think we can expect big things from Roth, who's only 24. Lots of talent there.

Britney SpearsBritney Spears
This Britney Spears collection makes me VERY excited. Not sure if I could or should drop $100 + on the Ultimate Fan Box Edition, but part of kind of wants to. I think I'm going to wait to see what remixes & b-sides are released with each of the singles. I did purchase the Girls Aloud singles that case, we got a lot more remixes and b-sides. The Britney collection is only offering one extra track per single. We'll have to see. The black cover is for the domestic release of the compilation, due out November 1oth while the purple cover will be on the CD/DVD Edition and International version of the album. The Box Set will be released internationally on November 24th. The album artwork is a bit boring. I'd rather have a new photo but I'll take what I can get.

Carrie Underwood
Mama's Song was first previewed on and is now available for download on iTunes. While not an official album single, it's nice to hear this little teaser off of the album. I'm still really loving "Cowboy Casanova" and am really excited to hear what the new album (Play On - due out November 3rd) sounds like. Mama's Song was co-written by Kara DioGuardi and Carrie Underwood herself.

DarinDarin is another cutey. Oh and go figure, he's Swedish. The Swedish pop singers are all cute. Can anyone clarify what this single (a cover of the Coldplay song) is for? It's not on his 2008 album, Flashback. I know it was recorded in 2009 but I can't seem to find out what it's promoting or if it's just a stand alone single. Regardless, Darin looks great on the single artwork. Darin will be releasing his first UK single in November, a duet with Kat DeLuna called "Breathing Your Love." The track was produced by RedOne and released in Sweden one year ago.

Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy
It seems like everyone is releasing a greatest hits album these days. "Alpha Dog" is the first single off of the upcoming Fall Out Boy Greatest Hits album, Believers Never Die. Making an early appearance as a demo on Welcome To The New Administration, the single is due out November 16th (internationally on November 17th). The Greatest Hits album comes out on November 17th and features 15 tracks plus 3 bonus tracks.

Janet Jackson
Janet Jackson
And we have another "Best Of" compilation. This one, by the always amazing Janet Jackson will be released on November 17th. Number Ones (called The Best in international markets) is a two-disc album that contains all of Janet's hits PLUS the new track, "Make Me," co-produced by Rodney Jerkins and Miss Janet herself. The album is to be released jointly by A&M/Universal & EMI and features 33 of Jackson's number 1 singles. Wow. What a career! This is a hot song. Can't wait for some remixes.

Jennifer Paige and Nick CarterWhen I was in Germany this past Spring, one of the CD singles I picked up was Jennifer Paige's "Underestimated." We here in America of course remember Paige for her 1998 hit single "Crush," which managed to hit #1 in several countries that year. Since then, her U.S. success has been relatively non-existent, but she has managed to find a following in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. According to Italian website "Beautiful Lie" is the new single by Jennifer Paige and features Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame. Interesting collaboration indeed. It was apparently recorded in LA this past summer, hitting radio in Germany Austria and Switzerland on October 6th. It's due for a digital release in Europe on November 20th. The single is the first off of Jennifer Paige's upcoming 4th album of the same name. Can anyone shed some more light on this track or her upcoming album? Check out this video of Carter and Paige chatting about the single. You can also hear a bit of the single in the clip, which sounds pretty decent.

Justin BieberJustin BieberChrist. 15 years old and he's already a heart throb. Poor guy. Must be rough. Justin Bieber is a Canadian singer who started out on YouTube before hitting the mainstream, signing an album deal with Island Records. His debut album, My World is set to be released on November 17th and is preceded by two singles - "One Time" (released July 7th) which peaked at #12 on Canadian pop charts and 21 in the U.S. The second single, "One Less Lonely Girl," was released on October 6th. Bieber recently made an appearance on NBC's The Today Show (October 12th) where he performed 3 songs in front of a crowd of screaming girls. He's also touring with Taylor Swift on the European leg of her Fearless Tour. Looks like there's lots in store for this talented young singer.

Kandi BurrussReal Housewife of Atlanta star, Kandi Burruss released her new single "Fly Above" on October 7th. This is Kandi's first single since 2001's "Cheatin' On Me," from her debut solo record Hey Kandi. Formerly part of the R&B group Xscape, Burruss has been writing up a storm since Xscape and her first solo album. Now is the PERFECT time to release a new single. With the popularity of the Bravo show, Kandi's in the spotlight once again and man does she deserve it. Writing hits for the likes of Destiny's Child ("Bills, Bills, Bills," "Bug a Boo"), P!nk ("There You Go"), and TLC ("No Scrubs") - it's about time Kandi wrote herself a few hits. Kandi has previewed snippets of the new track on her reality show and I like what I hear. This track has potential, as does her forthcoming album. An EP will be released on November 10th, including lead single "Fly Above."

popwreckoning updates

popwreckoning updates

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Interview with: Marc Beatty and Eamon Hamilton of Brakesbrakesbrakes (Part 2)

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 08:37 AM PDT

In the second half of my interview with Brakesbrakesbrakes’s singer/guitarist Eamon Hamilton and bassist Marc Beatty , they talk to me about their new live album and tell me about their “hometown” of Brighton, England.

To catch up on part 1 of this interview, click here.

h-brakes1Mary Chang, PopWreckoning: “Don’t Take Me to Space (Man)” is a great song, loved it the first time I heard it on Steve Lamacq’s 6music programme. As a writer and poet, I can appreciate the rhyming use of “I don’t care if this world’s masonic” and “I’ve got a true love keeping me on it.” What was the inspiration behind it?
Eamon Hamilton (singer/guitarist for Brakesbrakesbrakes): I had seen some 2012 internet conspiracy theories, (in cheesy voice) “the world’s gonna end in 2012!” Anyway, it seems like these adult ghost stories, these conspiracy theories about the end of time. And I just didn’t care about this. I wrote it like, I don’t care whether the world ends or not.
MC: Do you feel that it’s a defining song on the album? The cover of Touchdown has the five UFOs.
Marc Beatty (bassist for Brakesbrakesbrakes): And it’s [the cover design] seems to have gone down really well. We were quite surprised how popular it’s been [with the fans].
EH: But it’s just a love song, innit? (grins)
MC: I was wondering if you’d had any alien encounters or something.(all laugh)
MB: Yes, we’ve all had them.
EH: Unfortunately, we can’t tell you.
MC: One of those “if we told you, you’d have to kill me” things?
MB: Right.
EH: One time I saw these weird lights coming up over Brighton. I couldn’t work out what these lights were. They were really close together, and then they shuttled away. Then it turned out it was just lasers. Disappointing.

MC: You will release a live album next month called Rock is Dodeljik. I have it on good authority from my best Dutch mate that I pronounced that right. She told me she read an article in a Dutch music magazine that the title had something to do with someone quitting smoking. Is this true?
EH: Yeah, I’ve quit smoking. The Netherlands, Holland, they have the best tobacco in the world, the Drum. It always was the tobacco center of Europe, what with Rotterdam and all the ports. So yeah, you can find it in all the cafes. So I thought, yeah, it was time to give it up really, and the album’s name is a reminder of this.
MB: And it’s a pun of “death” on the cigarette pack. Whenever we tour over there, we see it, and then you’ve got a picture in your mind.
EH: The health warning is “roken in dodeljik”.
MB: “Roken” means smoking, and we always thought it was funny, so we wanted to call our album “rock is deadly.”
EH: But there’s also the English phrase of a “doddle” – is that an American phrase as well? Or just British?
MC: No…not that I’m aware of.
EH: A doddle is something easy, “it’s a doddle, mate!” So yeah. And what else would you said…(begins jokey imitation of Mark Knopfler in Dire Straits) “that ain’t working, that’s the way you do it.” We’re all Dire Straits fans on the sly. (laughs) Or it could be, “rocking is dude-de-lik” like over here [in America] “hey dude!” But yeah, it [dodeljik] means lethal.

j-brakes3MC: So you blokes are from Brighton. Are you all originally from there, or do you have individual stories on what drew you to the seaside?
MB: Only [the brothers White] Alex [drums] and Tom [guitarist] were born in Brighton. I was born near London, moved to Brighton when I was about 3.
EH: Eh, you’re a Brighton boy!
MB: Yeah, Brighton boy. And Eamon is from Canada.
EH: From Northern B.C. [British Columbia] but moved away when I was about 2. I grew up in the West Country of Britain. I went back to Brighton for a band I was in before this because Brighton was a good epicenter of music. It’s an awesome place for music. There’s not much else there but music. But yeah, it was music that drew me to Brighton.

MC: I have been lucky to visit many places in England, mostly for gigs! But I’ve yet to stop in Brighton.
EH: Oh yeah?
MC: Yeah, but the pier and some of the venues are legendary. I’ve several friends who go down to Brighton from London regularly for gigs. Do you have any favorite venues, either playing yourselves or where you’ve seen memorable shows?
EH: My favorite one is the Pavilion Theatre. It’s a council venue. It’s so very expensive to put gigs on there. So not too many gigs get put on there.
MB: There used to be a lot of good gigs there, the promoter would promote [the bands], they would bring in their own sound systems. These days when people put on gigs there, they use the in-house sound system, which isn’t as good. And people don’t want to put on stuff there [for that reason]. Brighton’s had a bit of bad luck with venues, a lot of people buying the venues, doing them up, and getting it wrong. There’s one place, Freebar, the place where we grew up…I met Alex and Tom there when I was 15. I worked there, loads of my friends worked there, yeah, and the place has changed a lot over the years. And now it’s in a state that no one in the town likes. It was ripped out and redone.
EH: Out of towners…(scoffs)
MB: And the people who bought it recently, they changed it and had such bad business, now someone else has moved in…
EH: Really? Shit.
MB: And Brighton’s always had this changing venue scene.
EH: And we’ve always had the Concorde 2. Half of Rock is Dodeljik was recorded there.
MC: Okay. Is that shaped like an airplane or something?
MB: It’s called the Concorde 2 because there used to be a Concorde venue further towards the centre of town, near the seafront. They closed that down because the council wanted to turn it into this whole new development with a Burger King, an arcade, all that sort of shit. So they [the people who run the Concorde 2] bought a listed building slightly further down the road, a big old building.
EH: Yeah, and it’s a great venue. Brighton’s just a great town for music.

MC: How often do you go back [to Brighton] now that you’re on tour?
MB: Eamon lives in New York…Alex is in London. I lived in Glasgow for the last 2 and a half years, I’m just about to move back to Brighton. So yeah, we’ve got family and friends there.
EH: (begins Rod Stewart impression) “it’s in our heart, it’s in our soul…” Sorry! (laughs)

MC: I know you guys are needed at the sound check…so what it is like touring with your labelmates [ and the Twilight Sad]? Were you mates before? Did you know what their music was like?
EH: We did know their music, yeah.
MB: We’ve only been on this label for a year or so. And yeah, a year today, or a year a couple days ago. But this is the first Fat Cat-orientated tour that we’ve done. We did a show in Brighton at [a English music festival that takes place in May]. It’s sort of like a South by Southwest in Brighton. We did a gig, we headlined and they supported us. We kinda met them then, but it was a really busy time, we couldn’t make any relationships with them. And they live in . Surprisingly, I hadn’t even met them when I lived there, probably because I was away on tour and they were always on tour. So yeah, since last week, we’ve been starting to get to know everyone on the bus.
MC: Have you been enjoying the tour so far?
EH: Yeah, it’s been awesome.
MC: When did you guys start in America?
EH: A couple days ago, on Thursday in Chapel Hill.
MB: Just about recovering from jet lag now. Today. Today I feel normal. The thing is, we flew over and then went straight into it [gigging]…ughh! And you don’t get much sleep, it takes about a week to get used to sleeping on a bus.

Alex and Tom come out and say it’s time for their sound check.

MC: Thanks guys for this interview.
MB: Yeah, thank you.

Interview conducted and gig photos in this article by: Mary Chang

Brakesbrakesbrakes: website | myspace | BrakesBrakesBrakes Announces October North American Tour, Plans for Single and Live Album | Fat Cat Records Tour Featuring the Twilight Sad, Brakesbrakesbrakes, and We Were Promised Jetpacks @ Black Cat, Washington, DC | Interview with: Marc Beatty and Eamon Hamilton of Brakesbrakesbrakes (Part 1)

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Cyclic Defrost Magazine

Cyclic Defrost Magazine

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Somatic Responses – Reformation (Ad Noiseam)

Posted: 17 Oct 2009 04:01 PM PDT

Somatic Responses

Welsh brothers John and Paul Healy have spent the last fifteen or so years honing their own distinctive fusion of hardcore electronic and noise elements, with a formidable backcatalogue that spans such labels as Sublight, Hymen and Zhark International. Three years on from 2006’s preceding ‘Giauzar’ album on the now defunct Sublight label, this latest album ‘Reformation’ marks significant change in the brothers’ overall sonic approach, with the eight tracks here veering closer to the sort of hard-edged mutant dubstep fashioned by the likes of Milanese and The Bug, rather than the breakcore-based noisescapes Somatic Responses have previously been more readily associated with.

A key case in point is the swaggering, steel-trap snare laced ‘Murder Thought’, which takes its cue from the harsh aesthetic laid down by the latter’s ‘London Zoo’, threading rapid-fire breakcore rhythms against vast reverbed-out crashes and writhing sub-bass, while the aptly-titled ‘Deadstep’ manages to retain the brothers’ signature sense of cinematic menace as delayed drums flutter like bats against a carpet of eerie, grinding electronics. Elsewhere, the harsh and serrated ‘Panic Attack’ sees raw swathes of evil synth bass noise and scattering breakcore rhythms battling for space with snatches of the classic "Stop the panic’" rave sample, before ‘Who’s Stopping Ya! Killer’ takes things out with sampled reggae vocal grabs being contorted to near breaking point over harsh, flickering beats and toxic bass pulse – indeed, it’s pretty much guaranteed that your head will be nicely scrambled by its end. In this instance, Somatic Responses’ incorporation of dark dubstep influences into their sonic approach has resulted in what’s easily their most accessible and human-sounding collection to date.

Chris Downton

Somatic Responses – Reformation (Ad Noiseam) is a post from: Cyclic Defrost Magazine.