Sunday, August 24, 2014

Simian Ghost: Never Really Knew

What started as a solo project and morphed into a trio is now a quintet when performing live.  Swedish band Simian Ghost from Sandviken, 118 miles west of Stockholm, will drop their third full-length 'The Veil' on September 9. (their second album 'Youth' from 2012 was reissued in the U.S. this year on Austin, Texas based indie label Red Eye Transit with five additional tracks.)

They have several shows scheduled for the fall, including an appearance at the famed CMJ Music Marathon in New York City which will take place October 21-25.

The quirky clip for the excellent teaser single "Never Really Knew" was directed by accomplished American director Dan Huiting and requires a disclaimer due to its twist ending: no adult male dancer was harmed in the making of this video.

The downright funky acoustic version was recorded for French label Discograph; it was shot by Paris based production company Oktofilms. (Oktofilms)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Shura: Touch + Just Once

Buzz has been slowly building around London-by-way-of-Manchester artist Shura and her two stellar tracks "Touch" and "Just Once".

Upcoming shows announced on her Facebook page this week:

- November 1: London Calling Festival in Amsterdam (also on the bill: Spoon, Sebadoh and more.)

- November 21: Electronic Beats Festival in Leipzig (also on the bill: Warpaint, Asbjørn, and more.)

The excellent video for "Touch" was directed by Ammr Khalifa, also London based.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bright Light Bright Light: In Your Care + I Believe

Hailing from Wales, 31-year-old Rod Thomas used to busk during his teens at various London Underground stations and went on to release several folk singles plus one folk album, yet it wasn't until he began recording and performing as Bright Light Bright Light in 2009-2010 that he found his true identity, sound and voice.

The singer-songwriter/dj/producer's debut album 'Make Me Believe' came out in 2012.  His second full-length 'Life Is Easy' dropped last month; the track "I Wish We Were Leaving" features Elton John whom Thomas will be joining on the superstar's extensive North America/Europe fall tour September 13 - December 9.

However, the album's finest moments are the stellar tracks "In Your Care" and "I Believe".  Thankfully both songs are accompanied by excellent videos: the first very poignant mother/son narrative was shot in NYC by Brooklyn based director Thomas O'Connor; the latter literally and figuratively buoyant clip was directed by Portland, Oregon born filmmaker Andrew Ellmaker in collaboration with Blake Martin.!live/c6gc

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spoon: Inside Out

When feeling burned out in 2010, Austin band Spoon wisely took a break for a few years, each member doing various musical projects. The sabbatical seemed to have worked: Tuesday they released 'They Want My Soul', produced by Joe Chicarelli and the king of alt-rock, Dave Friedman, formerly of Mercury Rev. With this album, their eighth studio full-length and their first on Loma Vista Recordings (Little Dragon, Cut Copy, Rhye, Soundgarden, etc.) they have also added Alex Fischel (keyboard/guitar) to join co-founders Britt Daniel and Jim Eno, as well as Rob Pope and Eric Harvey.

The track "Inside Out" is accompanied by a unique clip comprised of shots by acclaimed Alburquerque native/Chicago based photographer Todd Baxter which were then edited by Spanish graphic designer Mau Morgo into a delightfully weird and dreamlike video, perfectly complimenting the superb soundscape created by Spoon.

Tomorrow night Friday Spoon will be performing a sold out gig at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles, but fortunately there are many more dates scheduled this summer and fall:

August 10 - September 23: the U.S. (twenty-one shows) and Canada (two shows)
October 5 & 12: Austin City Limits Music Festival
November 1 - 7:  Continental Europe (six shows) and the UK (one show)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Dandy Warhols: We Used To Be Friends

The Dandy Warhols in 2002

Veronica Mars, starring the immensely talented Kristen Bell (three seasons, 2004-2007) was one of the best American TV shows; the crowdfunded feature film premiering earlier this year wasn't so shabby either. The track used as the show's theme song sounds as good today as it did then:  "We Used To Be Friends" by The Dandy Warhols, from their 2003 album 'Welcome to the Monkey House'.

The Portland, Oregon band have been together for twenty years and their fan base remains solid, as evidenced by the fact that most of the shows for the upcoming August 21 - September 3 Australia tour already have sold out.  September 12 - October 3 they'll be touring North America; the schedule includes one gig in Toronto September 25.

Friday, July 25, 2014

The So So Glos: All Of The Time + Speakeasy

Arguably the hardest working band in show business, Brooklyn natives The So So Glos' most recent collection of perfect punk entitled 'Blow Out' dropped in February. On the sublime tracks "All of the Time" and "Speakeasy" are echoes of The Clash, The Stooges, The Kinks and The Ramones, but they have managed to forge a sound of their own.

The excellent videos for the two album tracks have shockingly few views on YouTube despite a loyal fan base: "All of the Time" directed by Daniel Ralston is a textbook example of less-is-more, whereas "Speakeasy" is a comparatively big production number with a clever commentary on the Age of the Smartphone; it was directed and edited by Chris Elia.

The quartet has more than a dozen dates left of their current North American tour; half of those will be opening gigs for Stiff Little Fingers. Between October 7 and 25 they will be touring Ireland, the UK and continental Europe with fellow Brooklynites The Hold Steady.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rae Morris: Cold (Featuring Fryars) + Wait A While

20-year-old singer-songwriter Rae Morris drops her second EP 'Cold' on July 29. On the stellar title track she has teamed up with fellow British tunesmith Benjamin Garrett aka Fryars who also co-stars with Morris in the cleverly choreographed video.

Her debut EP 'From Above' was released last year; it includes the beautiful "Wait a While" for which a clip was shot at the famous arcade in her native Blackpool.

Morris is currently touring the UK; there are also two shows in Switzerland (July 31) and Germany (September 18) scheduled. Between October 13 and November 2 she will be opening for George Ezra on his extensive European tour: first gig is in Dublin, last one in Copenhagen.